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As Good as it Gets
June 27, 2003

by Damian Gonzalez


As many of you have guessed, I’ve decided to go with a new format of naming the NWA Diatribes because eventually, it’ll start to get a little confusing.  I got a few good suggestions, such as using Year 2, Week 1 like Bryan Staebell does, but ultimately, it makes it a bit confusing when trying to backtrack.  Since Raw and Smackdown don’t go by “Weeks”, yet air weekly, I figured that I might as well use the date from now on. 

On a side note, next week’s TNA will either be early (that Wednesday night) or really late…because I’m going away for the July 4th weekend on Thursday afternoon.  Just a word of warning. 

With that being said…lets hit this week’s recap!

The show starts with a video package on AJ Styles and his actions since winning the title.  This video package was done VERY well, with a nice soundtrack and new video effects that TNA hasn’t used prior to this show.  They also focus on Sting’s involvement and the end of last week’s main event tag match with Raven and Shane Douglas…leading to Sting starting a truce of sorts between heated rivals Raven and Jeff Jarrett. 

The video then shifts its focus to the AMW vs. Triple X feud, covering their past matches and last week’s finish leading to tonight’s Cage match.  The package ends with “No Way In, No Way Out, No Way Else…Steel Cage!”  Considering that most Cage matches have eons of interference these days, that’s really saying a mouthful for tonight’s match and I hope they stick to it. 

The show hits the intro…and the Cage match is up first!  As reported by Dave Meltzer and the Wrestling Observer, this was most likely done because it takes longer to set up a cage as opposed to taking it down.  Makes sense to me. 

Americas Most Wanted vs. Triple X for the NWA Tag Team Titles in a Cage Match

Match Background:  Americas Most Wanted received a shot at Triple X and the tag team titles last week after winning the Asylum Alliance tournament.  They were defeated when the 3rd member of Triple X, Low-Ki, sidelined with a shoulder injury, interfered in the match, causing Triple X to go 4-0 against AMW.  In those 4 victories, every possible combination of Triple X has defeated Americas Most Wanted.  Low-Ki and Elix Skipper defeated AMW on  January 22 (Week 28) to win the titles the first time.  Low-Ki and Christopher Daniels then teamed up on March 12 (Week 35) to win the belts back against AMW in the finals of a tournament when the tag titles were vacated.  And finally, the duo with the most success, Christopher Daniels and Elix Skipper defeated Triple X on April 23, (Week 41) in a number one contenders match for the Tag Team Titles and also retained last week in a tag title defense.  After the interference, Chris Harris laid the challenge out to Triple X: A Cage match for the Tag straps for tonight’s show.

The Match:  The first thing you notice when looking at the Steel Cage is that it is HIGH.  So far, it looks like a good sign in terms of having a clean finish to this match.  Also, the cage is akin to the ones that WWE uses now, yet appears to be more solid at first glance. 

Chris Daniels and Elix Skipper come down to the ring without Low-Ki.  We actually get boxing style intros by Jeremy Borash, despite the match not being the main event of the evening.  The crowd is VERY vocal tonight and after last week’s LOUD crowd during the Anniversary Show, TNA must have learned how to mic the crowd better.  There’s no way that the Asylum got a batch of new fans in there…or the fans just woke up. 

Before the bell rings, Mike Tenay informs us that Vince Russo owns the rights to the name Sports Entertainment Extreme and has forbidden the use of the initials and T-shirts to all of its members, including Triple X.  VERY interesting…

The match starts with both teams brawling as the ref locks the cage door.  Triple X gets a double vertical suplex on James Storm as the crowd chants “Kill the Cowboy”.  AMW come back and Harris nails a running bulldog on Daniels and follow it up by tossing Elix onto him.  Tenay also makes sure to emphasize that this match will be decided by pinfall or submission only…none of the climbing stuff tonight.  Harris goes to work on Daniels and attempts to throw him into the cage, but it’s blocked.  Daniels tries to throw HIM into the cage and that is blocked as well.  “Fallen Angel” chant by the crowd as Elix comes into the ring and helps Daniels send Harris into the cage.  Elix sends Harris into the cage again and gets a two count.  Harris is busted open by the cage immediately as Triple X work him over in the corner.  Daniels nails Harris in the head with a headbutt to the wound!  Elix comes in, only for Harris to attempt a comeback, but Elix springs backwards with a moonsault off the ropes, nailing Harris on the head with his knees for a two count.  Intentional or not, that helps the match’s psychology.  That incites a “Holy Shit” chant and Daniels comes in…only for Harris to hit him with a left arm lariat.  Harris is still down, however, so Daniels recovers with a calf kick.  Elix comes back and brings the pain on Harris, tossing him into the cage again.  Harris recovers and gets some separation, finally able to tag in Storm.  Storm is a HOUSE…EN…FUEGO~! and takes out both men. 

Elix is able to come back and gets Storm in an inverted front face lock (Reverse DDT position), but Storm reverses it and reverse suplexes Elix into the cage!  Storm gets a neckbreaker on Daniels as the crowd chants “TNA” and Storm gets a two count off of a powerslam.  Daniels gets up and positions Storm between the cage and ropes…and charges into Storm, driving him into the cage. Another “Kill the Cowboy” chant begins as Harris is just sitting in the corner, bleeding.  Storm begins to bleed as well, as the cage is once against the catalyst for immediate bloodletting.  Elix and Daniels combine for a suplex/crossbody, but Elix can’t get a pinfall attempt immediately, allowing Storm to kick out at 2.  After an irish whip, Elix and Storm collide headfirst and both men are down…and both men are able to make the tag. 

Harris is a HOUSE…EN…FUEGO~! immediately, despite the blood loss and back body drops Skipper into the cage!  Harris picks up Daniels and rams him into the cage face first twice!  Daniels is now busted open as well as Harris tosses him around and plants him with a full nelson slam for two!  Harris goes for the Catatonic, but Daniels is able to land on his feet and connects with the ANGELS WINGS~!  ONE…TWO…NO!  Tenay calls it a “sit-out, swinging Pedigree move”, as Triple H’s finisher is now as mainstream as the Tombstone Piledriver.  Daniels goes for a Reverse DDT, presumably to set up the Last Rites, but Storm gets up and nails him with a clothesline.  He sets up Daniels in the corner for the Swinging Noose, but Daniels escapes and somehow, both men end up on the middle of the top rope and Daniels rams Storm’s head into the cage numerous times before drilling him with an Inverted Russian Leg Sweep (Downward Spiral, Wave of the Future) to the floor!  “Holy Shit” indeed!  Harris and Elix are now up and Skipper powers Harris over with a belly to belly and rams Harris into the cage again!  Skipper’s yet unnamed odd neck toss gets a two count.  Skipper begins climbing the cage for some reason, but he’s followed by Harris!  Harris powerbombs him off the top of the cage!  ONE…TWO…NO!  Daniels gets up and hits the Last Rites on Storm, but Harris kicks him off at the last possible second!  Harris clotheslines Daniels and places him on the top rope…and both men end up on it!  Daniels tries to get away…and looks to be slipping off the top, but Harris spears him off the top to the floor!  ONE…TWO…NO! 

Skipper nails the Play of the Day on Storm, which is slightly botched and Skipper climbs the cage again.  He turns around…and NAILS a cross body off the top of the cage onto Storm!  Both men absolutely sell it like DEATH as we get numerous replays!  ONE…TWO…NO!  Skipper once again climbs the top of the cage again…and Harris shoves him off to the floor!  The match isn’t over though as Daniels is left in the cage alone!  Daniels demands that Skipper come back in…but AMW knock Elix back down to the floor as he tries to climb!  Daniels turns around and EATS a superkick!  They set Daniels up for the Death Sentence…but for whatever reason, Harris blows it as he comes off the top.  Storm goes for the cover and thankfully, Daniels is able to kick out.  Skipper climbs back into the top of the cage…but he’s knocked back down! 

Storm sets Daniels up again…and Harris climbs to the top of the cage! 


Winners and NEW NWA Tag Team Champions:  Americas Most Wanted!

My Opinion:  This was one of the best Tag Team matches in TNA history and a clear success for TNA in terms of delivering in their Cage stipulations.  There was zero interference, both teams were super over in the process, were given as much time as they needed and they delivered a myriad of incredible high spots that made sense in the confines of a cage. 

The beginning of the match had some solid cage psychology as Daniels wasn’t able to toss Harris into the cage by himself, but was able to once Elix assisted him.  Harris and Storm bled off of the cage immediately, as did Daniels, putting over the cage as a legitimate weapon, which hasn’t happened too many times in the past few years.  Usually, guys get thrown into the cage 4 or 5 times before we saw blood, but not tonight.    Their work was just as crisp as ever, except for the blown Death Sentence, which drops the match’s rating just a bit.  It was clear who was going to go over tonight…and it was the right decision given all of the buildup.  With Low-Ki injured, Daniels going to Japan and Sports Entertainment Extreme apparently over as a stable, this might be the end of the Triple X era in TNA.  If so, it was definitely a success.  

Bryan Staebell pointed something out to me that makes this match even more genius:  "It perfectly blended old school with new school, and told a genius story with Skipper getting thrown out and AMW finally having the numbers advantage and winning (and not even 2 on 2 either!!!"  That alone makes me incline to raise the match rating to ****).

The rest of the show is going to have to work extra hard to try and meet or even best the feel and atmosphere of that first match. 

D’Lo Brown then comes to the ring with THE STICK~! before the cage is even broken down and tells the ring crew that what he has to say can’t wait.   “D’Lo” chant by the crowd as he talks about coming to TNA only for the NWA Title.  D’Lo resurrects the “lethal injection of poison” phrase as he talks about Vince Russo clouding the mind of the current champion and his former partner, AJ Styles.  D’Lo states that his quest for the NWA Title restarts tonight…but tonight is about pride and calls out the champion! 

AJ responds and gets into the ring alone and without the NWA Title.  They get in each others face…and begin brawling!  D’Lo goes to work on Styles and drops him throat first onto the top rope!  AJ tries to get away, but D’Lo tosses him into the cage!  The crowd chants “Bust His Head!” as D’Lo is STILL on offense against the champion.  Styles gets a moment of separation and climbs over the cage and down to the floor…but D’Lo charges and knocks Styles off, causing the champion to take a HARD face first bump which just has to be SEEN!  He starts holding his face as if his nose is broken and the bump is replayed again.  D’Lo goes after Styles on the outside and suplexes him overhead!  He grabs a chair and wails him over the back with it…breaking it in the process!  D’Lo throws a steel chair into the cage and the champ as well…and in comes a ref as D’Lo goes for a cover! 

Screw the Match Background for this!  All you need to know is that this is impromptu and non-title!

AJ knocks D’Lo down and grabs the chair himself…and NAILS D’Lo on the top of the head with it!  D’Lo is now busted wide open as AJ goes to work with lefts and rights.  AJ nails a chair assisted knee drop on D’Lo as the challenger bleeds some more.  AJ tosses D’Lo into the cage some more…and then closes the steel cage door into D’Lo’s face!  D’Lo gets up and tosses Styles into the cage!  D’Lo gets up and he’s a HOUSE…EN…FUEGO~! as he nails a few clotheslines, SCREAMS and nails the Sudden Impact for two!  SKY HIGH~! By D’Lo and motions for the Lo’ Down…but decides to do it off the top of the cage! 

Russo comes into the ring with a bat and challenges D’Lo to come down.  He knocks the referee down as AJ gets up and throws a chair at D’Lo, knocking him down onto the top turnbuckle!  AJ gets on top and nails a SUPER BACK SUPLEX off the top…and D’Lo is almost KILLED as Russo is a little too late on removing the steel chair from his landing!  The bell is rung repeatedly as Russo grabs the mic.  His words are undecipherable at first, until AJ hits D’Lo with a chair.  Jeff Jarrett tries to run in, but is stopped by security.  Russo screams that D’Lo will NEVER get a title shot as AJ hits him with a steel chair and plants him on it with the STYLES CLASH~!  Russo tells AJ that his work is done and they leave to a chorus of boos. 

My Two Cents: That was CLEARLY…the BEST half hour of television that TNA has ever produced.  From the great video package in the beginning, the awesome blow off cage match and the D’Lo/AJ confrontation, everything was done quite well.  The only thing that marred it in any way was Russo’s desire to try and put himself over at the end of the D’Lo/AJ confrontation.  I’ve already stated my opinion on the cage match.  The confrontation was EXCELLENT as it puts D’Lo Brown at the forefront of number 1 contenders and made himself look like a superstar for the first time in his TNA career. 

We go to the back where The Gathering get jumped by Shane Douglas!  Douglas gets the jump on Julio…and goes after Laree when she tried to go after him from behind.  Julio recovers and get some shots in on him, but Douglas ducks a superkick and Laree EATS it!  Douglas goes after Julio again…belly to bellying him onto a steel guardrail!

Douglas comes towards the ring and DEMANDS THE STICK~!  He gets one and goes up the steps…

“They call me…”The Franchise” Shane Douglas!”  The crowd pops…as does Zack Malibu in the privacy of his own home. 

He says that he is in TNA to make Raven’s life a living hell…because in 1994, he threw down the NWA Title and threw it’s heritage down the toilet.  He turned on the TV and saw Raven, one of his ECW brethren, trying to resurrect what he killed…so he made a “deal with the Devil” to get his foot in the door and take Raven to hell and back.  It’s never revealed who he’s talking to, but the general consensus is that it is Vince Russo.  During Douglas’ promo, Raven makes his way towards him and they begin brawling on the steps!  Raven gets the advantage…and Glen Gilberti appears from the top of the steps to help Douglas!  CM Punk tries to help Raven, but gets knocked down the steps, as does Raven!  Douglas and Gilberti go down the steps to finish the job, but Jeff Jarrett goes after them with his guitar and the heels take off running. 

We now go to the back…where we see black and white footage of an “uncensored, unscripted” interview between Mike Tenay and an unpainted Sting…..called “Sting: Behind the Paint”…and will be shown next week.  That was produced VERY well.  Their production department, while still light years away from WWE’s, is getting better very quickly. 

Jerry Lynn vs. Justin Credible in a Lights Out match

Match Background:  Justin Credible and Jerry Lynn were tag team partners in the Asylum Alliance tournament and had a long pullapart brawl after they lost to Chris Harris and Chris Sabin.  Jerry Lynn had Sabin set up for the Cradle Piledriver, but Credible was the legal man and let him know, so Lynn stepped aside, only for Sabin to reverse That’s Incredible into a roll up for the pin.  In last week’s Interrogation segment, Jerry Lynn claimed that the only reason why Justin Credible was so successful in ECW, was because of his relationship with Paul Heyman.  That lead to another brawl and a match during the One Year Anniversary Show.  The match was VERY disappointing as it seemed to end just as it was getting ready to start with Justin Credible using the ropes to pin Jerry Lynn in about two minutes.  They brawled after the match, letting the fans know that it wasn’t over by a long shot.  Earlier tonight, Mike Tenay and Don West stated that their match will be a unsanctioned “Lights Out” match.  Their most memorable match was in ECW, where Jerry Lynn won the ECW World Title off of Credible with a Cradle Tombstone Piledriver. 

The Match:  In all honesty, I’m not even sure if this match is officially underway as the lights are out in the Asylum, yet Credible and Lynn are brawling somewhere outside.  It looks as if a ref is with them, so I’m inclined to think so.  Lynn whips Credible THROUGH a chain link fence and continues the beatdown in a grassy area.  Credible starts grating Lynn’s face on a fence…and end up fighting in the back of a pick-up truck.  Lynn tosses him off truck into a few plastic crates…and drives a random broken piece of table into Credible’s face.  They head into the building and Lynn tosses Credible through some plywood and hits him with the pieces.  Lynn tosses Credible towards the dancers area and drops him throat first onto the steel safety rail.  Lynn comes flying over the rail onto Credible and rams Credible into the cage where Lollipop dances!  She jumps out of there and appears to be somewhat injured by the fall as she lies on the stage.  Lynn goes to check on her, but Credible attacks from behind.  They end up brawling on the stage, with Lynn going for the Cradle Piledriver, but Credible back body drops him instead.  Credible then sets Lynn up for the Tombstone Piledriver, but Lynn rolls Credible up for the pinfall!

Winner:  Jerry Lynn

After the match, Lynn goes to check on Lollipop, but Credible attacks him, throws him off the stage and cuffs him to the dancers cage.  He takes a chair and drives it into his ribs repeatedly!  He gets in a chair shot to the face (which didn’t look good at all) and leaves as Lynn bleeds from what was most likely a blood capsule.

My Opinion:  Once again, both men have a very short match.  Last week, Justin Credible got the win in a short wrestling match and this week, Lynn got the win in a short brawl.  It seems as if both men are winning in matches the other should be better at.  Either way, this match just wasn’t good at all until they got inside the building.  Don’t worry…they’ll be more matches, but they better be longer.  ¾* 

In the back, the group formerly known as SEX is together and Gilberti begins talking to them about the fact that they need to regroup, because the NWA won’t let them back in.  He smacks the SHIT out of Chris Daniels and tells him to get the tag titles back…tells Sabin to retain his “Cruiserweight” Title, Siaki to win the Hard 10 and also gives the boys one last mission.  Destroy the one thing he thinks embodies what he hates most of all in pro wrestling…he wants Shark Boy’s mask.

Chris Sabin vs. Frankie Kazarian

Match Background:  This would have been Chris Sabin’s third title defense of the X Title that he won in a three way match between himself, Red and Jerry Lynn, but sadly this is non-title.  His first defense was a squash against Shark Boy and last week, he barely retained his title against Paul London due to interference by CM Punk.  This week, his challenger is Frankie “The Future” Kazarian, who has been on a roll in the past few weeks in TNA.  He got the pinfall in a 6-man X-Division tag team match on June 4th (Week 47) and also pinned David Young in the opening 6-man tag match at the Anniversary Show. 

The Match:  “Hail Sabin” chant starts out as the champ comes down the ramp.  Antonio Banderas, I mean Frankie Kazarian, flips out of an armbar as the announcers remind us that both men are nicknamed “The Future” and they begin chain wrestling.  EXCELLENT fake out as Sabin fakes an elbowdrop and hits a rana on Kazarian as he moves out of the way, prompting a louder “Hail Sabin” chant.  Kazarian gets a few dropkicks and Sabin bails.  Kazarian jumps on the apron and jumps back in, DDT’ing the champ in the process for two.  Kazarian hits a snap suplex into a face buster, which he follows up with a dropkick for two.  Sabin comes back with a HUGE tornado DDT for two.  Sabin whips Kazarian into the turnbuckle and then tosses him over the top to the floor.  Sabin flies to the outside with a GORGEOUS Somersault Tope Con Hilo, knocking down the challenger on the ramp!  He send Kazarian hard into the steel steps…and they DON’T MOVE.  Ouch.  Sabin tosses Karazian into the ring and gets MEGA air while springboarding into the ring with a clothesline.  He drops down with a leg and almost pins him in that position.  Sabin gets a nice dropkick for another two count before the hit the chinlock.  Kazarian gets up and tries to get away, but Sabin hits an odd looking neckbreaker variation where Karazian’s neck landed on Sabin’s KNEE.  Kazarian gets an atomic drop on Sabin as well as a running boot to the head, but Sabin counters with a backslide for a two count.  Kazarian with a La Magistral for two and they exchange roll ups for the next two minutes.  Sabin gets up and kicks him in the back of the head with an enziguiri, knocking Kazarian down.  Sabin applies a figure four headscissors on the Banderas look a-like, before nailing a fist drop on him.  Kazarian comes back with a scissors kick and both men are down.  Both men come back up and Sabin tries a victory roll, but Kazarian falls backwards into Back To the Future for a two count.  Sabin charges at Kazarian, now in the corner and EATS BOOT.  Kazarian turns around and climbs the turnbuckles…and HOLY SHIT! 

Wow, that legitimately got reaction out of me.  With Kazarian facing the ring post, Sabin popped up ala Kurt Angle and hits a German Suplex off the top!  Sabin actually slipped on his way down and Kazarian landed on his STOMACH.  The crowd went INSANE!  Sabin crawls over…ONE…TWO…NO!  Sabin goes for Future Shock, but Kararian blocks it and Death Valley Drivers him into the Tree of Woe!  Now THAT I’ve NEVER seen!  Kazarian goes to the other side of the ring and tries a Van-Terminator…but Sabin moves out of the way and Kazarian crashes and burns.  Sabin comes back in and Kazarian tries a Wave of the Future, but Sabin blocks it and hits his Swinging Rock Bottom over the knee for the ONE…TWO…NO!  Sabin argues with the ref as Kazarian rests in the corner and then charges…but Kazarian flips up and Sabin goes crotch first into the ring post!  Kazarian, sitting on the top, tries a Tornado DDT, but its blocked and Sabin him up for the Future Shock!  Kazarian flips out and NAILS Sabin with Wave of the Future and crawls over…ONE…TWO…NO!  “TNA” chant by the crowd as they are very appreciative!  Kazarian hooks Sabin in an inverted front face lock, but Sabin escapes and counters with a Tiger Suplex for ONE…TWO…NO!!!  I was almost SURE that was the win.  Sabin sets Kazarian on the mat and heads to the top, but Kazarian pops up and kicks Sabin, crotching him!  He goes to the top…and hits a ONE MAN SPANISH FLY, which  he calls the FLUX CAPACITOR~!  “Holy Shit” from the crowd as he makes the cover…ONE…TWO…THREE!

Winner: Frankie Kazarian

My Opinion:  I’ve got to catch my breath here.  Both guys have only been on TNA for a couple of weeks and have been impressive, but THIS match was AWESOME.  The moves were crisp, innovative and they got the crowd in the palm of their hands, despite being new to the company.  Kazarian most likely will now be the number one contender to the X Title and all I can say is…BRING IT ON!  ***1/2. 

Goldylocks is in the back with Shane Douglas, who is upset.  He cuts a promo on Jeff Jarrett for sticking his nose where it belongs.  He issues a challenge to Jarrett and Raven for a tag match against himself and Gilberti…and claims that he will use them as stepping stones.  DAMN, I missed Shane Douglas’ mic work. 

We go to a video package hyping up the next match…

Erik Watts vs. Kid Kash

Match Background:  Kid Kash’s misogynist ways have gotten him into a feud with Erik Watts, defending the honor of his lady, Goldylocks.  Three weeks ago, Kid Kash abused his former valet, Trinity, in the ring while Goldylocks, (Watts’ significant other) was interviewing him.  After watching him degrade Trinity, she decided that she had enough and stood up to him…only to get slapped down by the K-I-D.  Erik Watts came down to make the save and threw the smaller Kash around like a rag doll, walking away with both Goldylocks AND Trinity.  The following week, during a backstage interview, Erik Watts was attacked by a large masked man who was able to incapacitate him before a handicap match was to take place between himself, Goldylocks, Trinity against Kid Kash.  The match ended up taking place without Watts and Kash was able to pin Trinity after interference from the masked man again.  Then, last week, Watts tried to keep Goldylocks out of harms way and interview Kash for her, but ended up getting into a brawl with him.  As he was beating Kash, Goldylocks was shown on the monitor being held captive by the masked man somewhere in the back.  While Watts came to the rescue, he was attacked from behind by Kash and layed out, leading to tonight’s match up. 

The Match:  Erik Watts is over, despite not having much wrestling ability.  The match starts as the smaller Kash gets a few chops on Watts…but gets caught after a springboard into an overhead toss.  Watts charges into the corner and misses, but elevates Kash up over the top to the floor.  On the floor, Kash gets up and leaps off the steps onto Watts’ shoulders for a rana before tossing him back into the ring.  Kash comes off the top with a top rope clothesline, but Watts presses Kash off of him during the pinfall.  Kash tries to chop the big man down with some submission holds as the crowd chants for the big man.  Watts gets up and connects with a boot on Kash and then a legdrop for two.  Kash gets up and gouges the eye of Watts before dropkicking him in the knee.  Kash attempts a sunset flip, but Watts grabs Kash and pulls him up and into the corner before slamming him down hard and selling the back.  Watts gets on Kash for the pin, but only gets a two count.  Kash gets up and comes off the top after an elbow to Watts’ face, but gets caught and powerslammed for two!  Kash gets up as Watts is still selling the back and tries a rana, but Watts catches him.  Watts tries to powerbomb him, but can’t support the weight and falls down.  Kash nails his spinning DDT and goes for the cover for the ONE…TWO…NO!  Kash argues with the ref about it and then attempts the Money Maker, but he can’t lift the bigger Watts.  Watts gets up and slams Kash down…and nails him with a running clothesline.  The crowd is chanting for Watts as he gets a third clothesline on the former X Champ.  Watts goes for the E-Bomb, but Kash puts on the Iron Claw to counter.  He drives Watts into the corner with it, crushing the ref, who is now downed.  Erik recovers and powerbombs Kash!  He goes to wake up the ref, but the huge masked man appears from behind and hits his Swinging Bossman Slam on Watts and leaves through the crowd, allowing Kid Kash to win. 

Winner: Kid Kash

Goldylocks comes down to check on Watts after the match.

My Opinion:  Decent psychology as Kash tried to chop the big man down, worked on the back and play to his strengths.  Watts was carried the whole way through and was adequate in his selling and power moves.  Kid Kash winning definitely extends this feud so don’t think this one is over.  *3/4. 

We now go to the back for an Interrogation segment…but its Konnan and The Truth instead of Tenay and West in the graphic! 

B.G. James is in the Interrogation chair…Dressed EXACTLY like Don West!  Red silk tie and a Red silk shirt…

Truth: “Don West: Miss Buttersworth or Aunt Jamaima?”

James does a HILARIOUS impression of West (although its not as good as mine) as he gets overly excited and says that if Amazing Red had a syrup he’s swim in it and bathe in it!  The rest of the skit is mainly B.G. James making fun of West’s other job as the Baseball Card guy…and finishes it up by offering up a Barry Bonds rookie card before getting out of breath.  He says “Go Red Go” as Konnan and Truth help him to the back. 

I really don’t get these segments, but they sure are entertaining. 

West says that imitation is the fairest form of flattery before we go to Shark Boy…in the Shark Tank. 

We go to the back where Shark Boy is in a kiddie pool with a beach ball…and New Jack is yelling at him.  He wants to know WHY he’s in the pool, when she should be scouting the Hard 10 match for him tonight.  Shark Boy, who NEVER says a word, takes a few rings and starts tossing them at a plastic octopus…but New Jack doesn’t want to play.  “Black people don’t do well in the water!  Last time a bunch of us was in the water, it was in a boat and the ride was no fun!”  Eventually, New Jack gives in and squeezes into the kiddie pool…“Now my drawers is wet”. 

If Shark Boy can get over…without SPEAKING, there is NO REASON why WWE can’t get some of their un-charasmatic wrestlers over.  Keep in mind that Russo, the man who said that you NEED to speak to get over, is helping to write the shows. 

The Sandman vs. Sonny Siaki in a Semi-Final match for the Hard 10 Tournament

Match Background:  Back in May, Glen Gilberti set a trap for The Sandman as he asked for a sit down match.  Sandman showed up to the meeting, but Siaki was in Gilberti’s place.  Things seemed civil for a moment, but David Young ended up trying to ambush Sandman, unsuccessfully and Sandman brawled with Siaki for a few minutes.  Sandman then faced Siaki in a Clockwork Orange House of Fun match, which ended in a no-contest after Raven DDT’ed both men.  Since then, Sandman and Siaki were reluctant partners in the Asylum Alliance tournament and were eliminated after miscommunication.  The Hard 10 tournament began and Siaki advanced into the semi’s to face The Sandman here tonight.  After Sandman’s qualifying round, Siaki nailed Sandman with a cane shot to the face, setting up tonight’s match.  The winner will be facing New Jack in the finals of the tournament. 

The Match:  The match starts very abruptly as Siaki nails Sandman from behind on the top of the ramp during Sandman’s entrance, making it 1-0.  They make their way to ringside and Siaki rams Sandman’s head into a weapon that a fan is holding to make it 2-0.  Siaki tosses several weapons into the ring, but Sandman gets up and tosses Siaki into the ring.  Sandman whips Siaki into the corner and places a chair on Siaki’s face.  Sandman slingshots himself over with a sloppy ass legdrop to make it 2-1.  Sandman sets Siaki on the ropes and comes off the top with a chair assisted legdrop to the back of Siaki’s head to make it 2-2.  He lights up a cigarette in the middle of the match and wedges a chair between the turnbuckles as he gives the butt to the ref.  Sandman whips Siaki into that corner, but Siaki reverses it to make it 3-2.  Siaki takes the cig from the ref and puffs on it, but can’t take it and starts coughing.  Siaki nails the Siakalypse in the ring and Sandman heads to the floor.  Siaki tosses a garbage can at Sandman, making it 4-2 and Sandman falls on the table set up at ringside.  Siaki comes off the top and CRUSHES Sandman through the table with a nice splash making it 9-2 in favor of Siaki!  Sandman gets up and nails Siaki with a trashcan to make it 9-3.  Another shot makes it 9-4.  Sandman then wedges a table between the safety rail and the ring before nailing Siaki with a can lid to make it 9-5.  Another shot makes it 9-6, in favor of Siaki.  He places Siaki on the table and gets in the ring.  He comes off the top with a senton and puts Siaki through the table to make it 9-11 and Sandman wins the match, advancing to the finals! 

Winner: The Sandman

After the match, both men end up the ring, holding weapons and looking to finish things, but the ref is successful in holding them back.  New Jack comes into the ring and Siaki walks away.  New Jack grabs THE STICK~! and says “Look at me Drunky…did you ever think that we would be standing here preparing to beat the dog doo doo out of each other in one week?”  Sandman wants to know what his point is…and New Jack tells him that they’ll leave it all in the ring next week.  They share a beer and share mutual respect as the segment comes to an end. 

My Opinion:  I still don’t like the Hard 10 concept, although this match was kept brief and somewhat enjoyable.  It seems as if the Siaki/Sandman “feud” has been blown off here with the clean Sandman victory and he’ll face New Jack in the finals.  That is going to be one ugly encounter.  ¾* 

We go to the back where Goldylocks is with Jeff Jarrett.  Jarrett says that while he might not like Raven personally, professionally, he knows that he brings the pain so it’s up to him if they’ll be tag partners tonight.  Raven walks into the scene and says “On my list of least favorite people on the planet Earth, you’re definitely near the top.  But if I don’t have to worry about you Stroking me from behind, I think we’ll do alright.”  Good Lord, someone PLEASE tell me why I took that in the dirtiest way possible? 

Two words: Yuna Firerose. 

Sonny Siaki appears as Goldylocks is about to send it back to Tenay and West and asks where Russo is at…

Back in the Shark Tank, Mike Sanders is beating up Shark Boy in the kiddie pool!  He steps on the octopus and leaves Shark Boy laying…but doesn’t really try to unmask him. 

Another promo for the Sting/Tenay interview airs again. 

Tenay and West run down the card for next week’s show, which so far consists of the Sting interview, New Jack vs. Sandman in the Hard 10 Finals, AMW defending their tag team titles against Sonny Siaki and David Young…and then Jerry Lynn interrupts.

Lynn, sporting a new goatee by the way and still bleeding from his match against Credible, cuts a pretty bad promo announcing a Russian Chain match next week against Justin Credible. 

A match between Erik Watts and the mystery masked man is also announced before they send it over to Goldylocks who is with Sonny Siaki. 

Goldylocks says that she saw him talking to Russo earlier, so she wants to know what was said.  Siaki doesn’t say anything about that except that they’ll be some changes coming.  Goldy says that now that AJ is the champ and he’s aligned with Russo, that doesn’t mean that Russo has the power.   Trinity comes into the picture…and puts a hard chinlock on Goldylocks for some reason, apparently turning heel.  Siaki says that more changes like this will be coming soon. 

Shane Douglas & Glenn Gilberti vs. Raven & Jeff Jarrett

Match Background:  Jeff Jarrett and Raven had a big feud in TNA over the NWA Title, which resulted in the Most Anticipated Match in TNA History back on April 30th.  Raven lost to Jarrett in a match that EVERYONE was upset about and swore revenge.  In a three way match with AJ Styles two weeks ago, Raven faced Jeff Jarrett again, but it was AJ Styles who won the title.  During that match, “The Franchise” Shane Douglas interfered and took Raven to the back.  He also attacked him last week, but his motives weren’t known until earlier in the show.  Jeff Jarrett also faced Glenn Gilberti in the past and defeated him, thanks to interference by Vince Russo so there is no love lost there.  Last week, Sting started a truce between Raven and Jarrett and when Raven was attacked earlier in the show by Gilberti and Douglas, Jarrett made the save, leading to tonight’s main event. 

The Match:  Douglas is heavier than he used to be, sporting a small gut...and a loss of most of his upper body muscle mass.  Raven gets his awesome new Tron during his entrance and a slight remix of his music and goes right after Douglas before the bell and Jeff Jarrett hasn’t even come down yet.  He runs down to help Raven at ringside and end up brawling near the announce table.  Raven comes flying awkwardly over the top in the ring to the outside, landing on Gilberti and Douglas and clutches his ankle as he may be slightly injured.  Douglas is with Jarrett in the ring, but Raven trips up Shane and ties him up on the apron.  Jarrett comes charging in, but Douglas moves out of the way, almost causing JJ to punch Raven.  It doesn’t work and The Franchise is the recipient of a right hand instead.  Jarrett tosses Gilberti into the front row and goes into the crowd to battle him.  Raven, limping, goes after Douglas on the floor.  All 4 men are in the crowd now as Gilberti nails Jarrett with a chair over the back and a few right hands.   Meanwhile, Raven is still holding onto his ankle and is limping.  Jarrett helps Raven out and assists him in drop toe holding Douglas into a chair and does the same for Gilberti.  All 4 men make it to ringside and Douglas comes running off the ring apron into the steel guard rail, missing Jeff Jarrett who moved out of the way.  Raven is still limping as Jarrett drives Gilberti into the announce table and whacks him with a chair. 

Back in the ring now, Gilberti whips Jarrett into the ropes and he collides with Raven, sending him to the floor, clutching his ankle again.  Gilberti gets a neckbreaker for two as the match seems to finally settle in the ring.  Douglas comes in with an elbowdrop for two, but Jarrett gets a small package for two.  He cuts off Jarrett from Raven, who is trying to make a tag.  The ref doesn’t see the tag as the heels work over Jarrett in the corner and Gilberti locks on a sleeper.  A “Disco Sucks” chant breaks out as Jarrett gets back to his feet and hits a jawbreaker.  The crowd chants for Raven as Jarrett makes the tag and Raven is limping HOUSE…EN…FUEGO~! 

Raven hits the weakest knee lift of all time, but that’s understandable, before bulldogging both Douglas and Gilberti at the same time.  Raven hits the Raven Effect on Douglas but Gilberti breaks it up.  Jarrett comes in now…and falls as he’s irish whipped.  Gilberti then tosses him over the top rope, leaving Raven alone in the ring.  Douglas dropkicks Raven in the knee and throws a chain to Gilberti, who wraps it around his hand.  Jarrett comes in with a guitar and nails Gilberti before he hits Raven with the chain!  Raven goes for the cover…ONE…TWO…WHAT?  The ref falls out of the ring and says two as Gilberti doesn’t kick out AT ALL.  Douglas then kicks the ref out, obviously late for his cue.  Jarrett comes into the ring and attempts the Stroke on Douglas, but its reversed into the Belly to Belly!  Raven gets up and DDT’s Douglas!  ONE…TWO…NO! 

Father James Mitchell, who we haven’t seen in quite some time, comes down to ringside as West screams out that Douglas DID say that he “made a deal with the Devil”.  Raven tosses Douglas out and shoves Gilberti out as well.  Mitchell comes into the ring and throws a fireball at Raven, who’s clutches his face and the Gathering come to check on Raven as the show ends…

Winner: No Contest I presume.

My Opinion:  Well, that sucked.  The end of the match was total chaos as the ref and Douglas completely botched a false finish and the ending was very vague.  It seems as if Douglas is with Father James Mitchell, which really doesn’t fit at all.  Raven’s injury affected his in ring performance as did Douglas’ weight gain.  Gilberti and Jarrett were fine, although I’m not a fan of crowd brawling at all.  This was probably the most disappointing match of the night.  *1/2.

Overall:  Besides the main event, this was a great show and hit on almost all cylinders.  Had the main event been good, this would have been the best show that TNA has ever put on by far.  The stinkers weren’t THAT bad and were kept short, except for the main event.  The tag title match and the X Division match were definitely the highlight of the week in terms of in ring action, besting anything on Raw or Smackdown as well.  It seems as if TNA is really hyping up next week’s Sting interview and hopefully, they’ll get a few more buys out of that.  So far, it looks as if Year 2 for TNA is going to be a good one.  

‘Til next time,


Damian Gonzalez has not yet filed one of these mini-bios.

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