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The Monthly Check-Up: TNA Weekly
TV Capsules, and PPV Preview!
April 22, 2005

by Jason Longshore
OnlineOnslaught.com's TNA Pinch Hitter


Destination X left us with a shocking heel turn for Monty Brown, and a not so shocking win for Jeff Jarrett to retain the NWA World Title. Christopher Daniels finally got his hands on the X Title, even if he had to cheat a little to do it. Jeff Hardy even regained a little respect from the fans by taking a nasty Black Hole Slam on thumb tacks. 

Here's a quick recap of Impact since Destination X, and where the road to Lockdown has lead us.

March 18
Christopher Daniels over Jerrelle Clark, Kid Kash over Mikey Batts, AMW/Dustin Rhodes over The Naturals/Chris Candido, Shocker over David Young, DDP/Sean Waltman over Lex Lovett/Buck Quartermain
Five matches is too many for a one hour show, especially the first show after a PPV. I liked the celebration footage of Jarrett and his minions. They added a little intrigue to Monty Brown's heel turn with him asking Jarrett, "You owe me, right?" The Elix Skipper/Christopher Daniels confrontation was done well. Daniels is a great heel champion. The slow burn on the 3 Live Kru/Outlaw/B.G. James issue is a little too slow. The Naturals and Candido are too good together to be glorified jobbers. Dusty made both Traci and Trinity his assistants, which made the whole preceding month of tag matches between their teams meaningless. Good job there Dusty, you made me watch the Harris Brothers and Phi Delta Fat for nothing. Shocker rules, that was a good signing. Quartermain dropped Waltman on his head, not a good thing to do to a guy with neck problems.

March 25
Trytan over Buck Quartermain, Shocker/Jeff Hardy over David Young/Lex Lovett, Disciples of Destruction (Harris Brothers) over Shark Boy/Cassidy Reilly, Apollo over Sonny Siaki, AMW over Phi Delta Slam by DQ after Team Canada ran in
They set up the AJ Styles/Abyss re-feud with AJ defending Traci from Abyss. I can't say that I blame him there. Trytan is just lame. Bill Engvall hyped up Jarrett's appearance on the Blue Collar TV show. I'm sure Rick loved that segment. The Shocker match was once again entertaining. The only good thing about the Harris' match was that Traci was at ringside. I guess you have to get over somehow, at least they figured out a good way this time. Traci also earned bonus points for the best sell job of Shark Boy's Ass Bite of Doom. Jarrett, Monty and Outlaw beat up Nash backstage, I guess they got tired of waiting for his leg to snap on its own. Raven tried to bond with Jeff Hardy, that was funny stuff. I see a match a brewing. The Siaki/Apollo stuff was lame, not as lame as Trytan, but close. Phi Delta Slam wasn't too bad in there with AMW, maybe they've got more to show than their giant bellies.

April 1
Abyss over Cassidy Reilly, Elix Skipper over Petey Williams, Michael Shane, and Chris Sabin in an elimination X Division #1 Contender Match
They had a great video package on the history of XXX, but made a huge mistake by saying that Skipper was facing Daniels at the PPV. All of this was of course before the main event match TO DETERMINE WHO FACED DANIELS AT THE PPV. How in the hell do you give away the result to your main event on a taped show? Ugh, let's move on now that that's out of the way. The AJ/Abyss/Hardy/Raven brawl was good stuff, a good way to add fuel to the fire of both feuds. I'm glad they decided to let Michael Shane keep his name, I guess. The main event, even though the outcome was spoiled during the show, was great. It went over 20 minutes, pretty impressive for a show that's only 60 minutes. Kudos to TNA for that.

April 8
Chris Sabin over Michael Shane, AJ Styles over Chase Stevens of The Naturals, Dustin Rhodes/Cassidy Reilly over Lex Lovett/David Young, Apollo v. Kid Kash went to a no contest after interference by Lance Hoyt and Sonny Siaki
The last few weeks of wondering who's going to be in the steel cage matches is all for naught now, Dusty announced EVERY match will be in the Six Sides of Steel. I don't know about that one. The Shane/Sabin match was very good, as was Stevens/Styles. Stevens, and The Naturals, are very underutilized. The Daniels/Skipper backstage confrontation was weak, these guys are usually better at these type of segments. No matter how many brawls they have, I just don't care about Apollo and his problems with Kash and Hoyt.

April 15
Michael Shane/Kid Kash/Lance Hoyt over Chris Sabin/Apollo/Sonny Siaki, 3 Live Kru (Killings/James) over Team Canada (Williams/A-1), Christopher Daniels over Mikey Batts, Konnan over Eric Young, Outlaw/Alpha Male over DDP/Sean Waltman
The opening match was good, Apollo didn't even bother me that much. It's a shame Kash couldn't keep his mouth shut long enough to keep his job, but at least he went out as a winner. He was a great heel in TNA, and kept the act going a little long backstage for management. I really don't want to see Konnan in singles matches anymore, even Young couldn't help him much in this one. The main event was solid, even with the expected interference from Mr. Jarrett. It's funny how much the crowd loves X-Pac.

April 22
3 Live Kru over Buck Quartermain/Lex Lovett/David Young, The Naturals over America's Most Wanted (non-title), Jeff Hardy/AJ Styles over Raven/Abyss by DQ
I had to look in the crystal ball for these. I'm looking forward to seeing the last two matches. The Naturals/AMW feud from last year was excellent, hopefully they can duplicate a little of it for the new fans. On paper, it should be a good show.

And now, cue the parental advisory, we're onto the preview/predictions for the PPV, proper. Remember, every match is in the Six Sides of Steel cage.

TNA Lockdown PPV Preview

Main event, for a NWA World Title shot at May's PPV: AJ Styles v. Abyss
All signs point to this match being in the main event slot. That's a smart move by TNA, although it puts a hell of a lot of pressure on Styles and Abyss to deliver. If they channel their feud from early 2004, no one will be disappointed. I wasn't a fan of Abyss when he first showed up in TNA, it was his feud with AJ Styles that opened my eyes. They had a great series of matches, with each one better than the last. It's been a while, but hopefully they can get back into the groove quickly here. This match came about when AJ stopped Abyss from threatening Traci and Trinity in Dusty's office. It was never really stated, but I gather that Abyss put up his title shot (won in a PPV victory over Jeff Hardy) in order to get AJ in a match at Lockdown. With Daniels dominating in the X Division, it appears AJ can return to the World Title scene. Is he the one to finally take the title from Jarrett? I think he'll get the chance, AJ will win at Lockdown to get the title shot at Hard Justice in May. If the match lives up to their past history, you will want to do whatever it takes to see it.

Lethal Lockdown Rules: Jeff Jarrett, Monty Brown, The Outlaw v. DDP, Sean Waltman, and ?
Kevin Nash was supposed to be in the match, but he has an injury that will probably keep him out of the ring. I give TNA credit for announcing this ahead of time. He's trying to get medically cleared, but that's unlikely. As for who his replacement will be, I don't know. I'd go with B.G. James. He has the DX history with Waltman and maybe we'll finally get a payoff to this stuff with The Outlaw. Who knows, Dusty could just name himself into the match just so he can bleed on PPV once again. Lethal Lockdown Rules are as follows. Two men start, each new participant is determined by the luck of the draw. Oh yeah, weapons are also legal. As for predictions, here goes. Jarrett will probably have the manliest blade job of the bunch. There will be at least two Pounces, three Bronco Busters, and thirty-seven Diamond Cutters. Jarrett will get pinned by somebody, just to show he'll job occasionally.

X Division Title Match: Christopher Daniels (champ) v. Elix Skipper
I hope Skipper is really on here, he seems to be very hit or miss to me. I also hope he doesn't try to repeat his hurricanrana from the top of the cage that won the Holy Shit award from 2004. They do need to tease that spot though, just for Daniels to get even more heat when he avoids it. The Fallen Angel has been one of the best things going, not only on Impact, but on RAW or Smackdown too. They really didn't need to do anything crazy to set this up, they already have the XXX backstory and Daniels dastardliness from Destination X. Skipper won an excellent four-way match to get the title shot. Unfortunately, they gave away the result before the match, but I've already bitched about that. Daniels should retain his title here, although the match should be excellent. I'm hoping for a Daniels/Sabin feud next.

NWA World Tag Team Match: America's Most Wanted (champs) v. Team Canada
AMW and the Canadians have crossed paths many times, their match at Turning Point in December was one of the best tag matches in TNA history. The intrigue here is that Coach D'Amore won't name which two Canadians will be in the match. Bobby Roode already has a match, so it will be a combination of Petey Williams, Eric Young, and A-1. AMW is at home in the cage, having set the standard for Six Sides of Steel excellence in their matches with The Naturals and XXX. Harris, Storm, and whichever two Canadians are in the match will probably bleed buckets. Maybe we'll see the return of the Death Sentence from the top of the cage here? However they finish it, AMW will retain their titles.

Tables Match: Raven v. Jeff Hardy
For some strange reason, I'm looking forward to this one. Raven is coming off two sub-par matches with Dustin Rhodes on PPV, Hardy is coming off two insane spot fests against Abyss. Hardy should make Raven's offense look good here. This should be a match where the cage doesn't come into play too much, I'm sure that's going to get old after a night of cage matches. It should also be fairly quick. Hardy will get the win, but then get destroyed by Raven afterwards. This feud should have legs, hopefully until Matt Hardy's no-compete clause is up and he can get involved. I could get behind a Matt Hardy/Raven feud.

Prince of Darkness Match: Dustin Rhodes v. Bobby Roode
This is going to be a blindfold match. I might get one too and play along, it will probably improve the match. A six-pack, a bottle of Bacardi, and a pound of blow might also be needed. If you couldn't tell, I'm not sold on the blindfold concept. No prediction here, except that I'll be glad when it's over.

Xscape Match: Michael Shane v. Sonjay Dutt v. Chris Sabin v. Shocker
The exit from TNA of Kid Kash brings us the return of the Playa from the Himalaya, Sonjay Dutt. I hate to see Kash go, but it's great to see Dutt back. To win the match, you have to escape the cage. Or Xscape the cage, if you weeell. Shane is the only heel here, that should make for an interesting dynamic. Shocker has been great, or 1000% Guapo, since his debut. I wouldn't mind seeing him take the win here. Chris Sabin is my choice for a winner though. A win for him would be a nice launching pad for another run at the X Title. Sabin/Daniels would kick all varieties of ass.

Challenge Match: Apollo v. Lance Hoyt
I'm challenged to come up with anything good to say about this one. Hoyt is pretty much screwed with Kash's departure. Even before that, the crowd was treating them like faces because of their apathy towards Apollo and his running buddy Sonny Siaki. I'm still not sure that Hoyt's family and friends aren't filling the front rows at the Impact Zone and giving him all the big pops. TNA might as well just roll with it, let Hoyt turn full-fledged face here. Siaki works much better as a heel anyway. Apollo might even be interesting as a heel, who knows? Hoyt gets the win to give him something interesting now that he's on his own.

Eight steel cage matches in one night, will it work? It's sure putting a lot of pressure on the wrestlers involved. I'm not a huge fan of adding gimmicks to every match, but I actually think it helps in this case. It will at least make each match a little different, as different as possible at least. It's going to be tough for the guys not to repeat the same spots all night though. I'm sure there will be a good deal of blood and guts, TNA did issue a parental advisory so there better be. The critics are waiting with baited breath, so I hope the guys are all at their best.

Enjoy the show, or check back Monday for the recap.


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

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