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TNA Monthly Check-up:
The Road to "No Surrender"
July 15, 2005

Compiled by Jason Longshore
OnlineOnslaught.com's TNA Pinch Hitter


I should probably just retire now. I donít think Iíll ever be able to top picking Raven to win the NWA World Title at last monthís Slammiversary. I had a hunch, had heard some rumors that Jarrett was not going to be in the match, combine that with some painkillers and a lack of sleep, and presto! You turn into Nostradamus. I make no promises, but you never know when it  

can happen again, so keep readingÖ

The rest of Slammiversary was good as well. The Naturals retained their NWA World Tag Team titles in a great match with Team Canada, Christopher Daniels retained the X Division title over both Michael Shane and Chris Sabin. Shocker pinned the returning Alex Shelley in an excellent match. Samoa Joe made his TNA debut by destroying Sonjay Dutt. Lance Hoyt lost his match to Bobby Roode, but became an even bigger babyface by taking Coach DíAmore out of action.

Go to TNAWrestling.com and catch up on Impact. All you need is Real Player, which they can hook you up with as well. Iíll hit you with the highlights hereÖ

June 24

Michael Shane d. James Storm
Shark Boy d. David Young
Samoa Joe d. Delirious
Christopher Daniels d. Elix Skipper

Thoughts: Shane is accompanied by Traci, while Storm has Chris Harris as backup. I will give Harris props for trying to cuff Traci. Rudy Charles does not play their game though, and tosses both of them from ringside. West makes a good point about how Storm is out of his element because of his lack of recent singlesí matches. After watching Raw, I forget that a color commentator is actually supposed to make points like that. After both she and Harris were tossed from ringside, Traci reappears at the top of the ramp, with Alex Shelley in tow. Hey, it wouldnít take me that long to do whatever Traci wanted, I can promise you that. Shane ends up with the win after a superkick finished off a distracted Storm. Solid match that sets up a backstory for No Surrender. Father James Mitchell makes his return backstage, as heís seen talking to Abyss. Mitchell promises to get Abyss his first one-on-one World Title match. Monty Brown and Outlaw interrupt a 3LK interview, with Monty doing an excellent Road Dogg impression. BG no-showed the interview, playing off of the problems he and Konnan had at Slammiversary. It wouldnít be Impact if David Young wasnít jobbing. Will he ever get a win? Jeff Jarrett is backstage demanding a title shot and Larry Zybysko basically tells him to shut up. I donít mind some silly gimmicks, but Delirious might as well just be Idiotic. Thank you Samoa Joe for annihilating him, double thanks for continuing to choke the moron after the bell. Elix gets bonus points for hiding next to the heel entrance to sneak attack Daniels. Good to see Skipper get in a lot of offense too, I thought he took a little too much of a beating in their PPV match. The match was really good, with Daniels getting the submission out of nowhere. I think the idiot yelling ďWhatĒ during Ravenís promo really didnít understand him. Mitchell interrupts and then proceeds to up the ante on one dollar words. Abyss ends the verbal stand off with a Black Hole Slam.

July 1

Sean Waltman d. Sonjay Dutt
Lance Hoyt d. Eric Young
Abyss d. Sonny Siaki
AMW d. Simon Diamond/Trytan
AJ Styles d. Alex Shelley

Thoughts: Wow, streaming is much better. We begin with a recap of the Abyss/Raven confrontation from last week. Waltmanís music is growing on me, itís not as awful as I thought it was. Poor Sonjay is starting to tread into David Young Impact jobber territory. Itís good to know Sean is still a fan of the crotch chop, he brought all of his old heel tactics. Sonjay did hit a sweet pseudo-619 type move on the outside, it was the highlight of the match. It was a little slower paced match than youíd expect. Terry Taylor interviews a visibly upset Team Canada, they tell us that Coach DíAmore is in traction after the chokeslam and moonsault from Lance Hoyt. Petey Williams steps up as a leader of the group, he says heís the captain of the team. I demand that he has a ĎCí stitched on his Team Canada jersey for the PPV. The fans go retarded for Hoyt, which amazes me every time. I know that Impact is still airing on TV in a few markets and overseas, but I HATE the commercial interruptions in the matches. Hoyt/Young was a fun little match, the fan reaction for Hoyt always helps. Requisite Team Canada beatdown follows the match, which draws The Naturals out to help out Orlandoís favorite son. Hoyt, Stevens, and Douglas then went backstage to fire up some Depeche Mode DVDís. Monty Brown makes his case to Terry Taylor for being a World Title contender. He says heíll earn Zybyskoís respect. Please do not sign me up for an Abyss frog splash, Siaki shouldíve been dead. Abyss/Siaki was very good. Sonny needs a singles push, can we wave bye-bye to Apollo please? It is good to see that Abyss has improved at wedging the chair between the ropes. Raven attacked Abyss during the post-match beatdown of Apollo, hitting the Evenflow DDT, pulling him headfirst into the chair with the chain, and challenged the big man to a Double Dog Collar match at the PPV. Hooray for the return of Simon Diamond, boo to the return of Trytan. Couldnít he have at least been forced to wear a Muskateer outfit? Simon does still have a problem though, poor fella. Whatís the Prodigy and Prodigette doing these days? During the AMW/Diamond & Trytan match, Jeff Jarrett came out to talk smack to Mike Tenay. He did plant the seed that Matt Hardy doesnít show up, heís taking credit for it. Thatís one way to cover your bases. AMW ended up getting the win in a good tag match. A snazzy Christopher Daniels is interrupted by Petey Williams, who ends up getting a title shot at the PPV. Alex Shelleyís entrance makes you want to backhand him, well done Mr. Shelley. While the crowd chants for AJ, about three guys try a little too hard to be ďindyĒ and chant for Shelley. These guys had a really good match on Impact last Fall, and they do a good job to live up to it again. Waltman comes out to join the announce team during the match to build up his match with AJ at the PPV. Shelley did a crazy inverted Pedigree, I hate to know what itís called. AJ won with the Styles Clash, after busting Shelleyís nose. The show ends with Waltman mockingly congratulating Styles and Jerry Lynn coming out to break it up. Are we possibly building up to the return of Lynn in TNA? Excellent show this week.

July 8

Chris Sabin d. David Young
Zach Gowen NC Mikey Batts
Samoa Joe wins Triple Threat Match over Shark Boy and Elix Skipper
Petey Williams d. Amazing Red
Abyss d. Cassidy Reilly
Naturals/Lance Hoyt d. Team Canada (Roode/Young/A1)

Thoughts: Itís amazing how impressive Young can be when you give him a little bit of offense in a match. Even though it seems like itís the direction theyíre going with Samoa Joe, Young would make an excellent X-Division bully. He had a sweet German suplex follwed by a clothesline combination in the middle of the match, really nasty. While Sabin celebrated, Samoa Joe came out to kill him. Not beat him down, but I think he really tried to kill him. Good segment, it definitely makes you want to see their match on the PPV. Negative points to AJ for wearing a pink Polo shirt during his backstage interview, even Larry Zybysko seemed put off by it. He gathered himself enough to announce that Jerry Lynn would be the guest referee for the Styles/Waltman match at No Surrender. AMW hypes their PPV match with Michael Shane and Alex Shelley. I miss when Storm used to tell us what his Mamma told him about their opponents. Jarrett came out to interrupt the Gowen/Batts match, which wasnít all that upsetting. Smashing his guitar over Gowenís head, that might be a little rude. Imitating Zach hopping around, that was downright mean. Bonus points to you, Mr. Jarrett. The triple threat was highlighted by Joe double German suplexing both Skipper and Shark Boy. They continue to build up Joe, Iím just wondering if heís going to eventually go after the X Division title or the World Title. Speaking of the X Division champion, Daniels joined in on commentary during the Williams/Red match. He got an eyeful, it was a fun, fast-paced match. Probably even too fast, although itís good to see Red back in fine form. Isnít it, Don West? Backstage, Monty Brown threatens 3LK again, what a shock. Can we move along in the Outlaw/BG James saga, please? If I was Cassidy Reilly, Iíd just leave when I saw that Abyss was going to kill me again, that had to the fourth or fifth time heís been squashed. This time, Abyss gets the better of Raven in the post match brawl. The main event was fun. Hoytís inexplicable enormous popularity + the hatred for Team Canada = a fun match to watch. Fun little show this week, although it might have been better to cut a match or segment to flesh out some of the matches a bit more.

July 15

Team Canada (Williams/Young) d. Christopher Daniels/Samoa Joe
Simon Diamond/Trytan d. Sonny Siaki/Apollo
Shocker d. Sonjay Dutt
Team Canada (Roode/A1) d. AJ Styles/Sean Waltman

Thoughts: All the Jarrett haters riot, as the show opens with a recap of Jarrettís attack on Zach Gowen and his promo about the World Title. Interesting pairing of Joe and Daniels in the opening tag match, besides the fact they both kick 847 kinds of ass, it could be used to set up dissension between the two of them. Petey is one of the better heels going today, he really makes you want to smack him upside the head. I like giving Sabinís character a bit of an edge by attacking Joe, he deserved it after last week. I also liked Williams getting the pin and the Canadian Destroyer on Daniels. Great, great, great opening match. I hope Cassidy Reilly made his tye dyed TNA shirt in his basement. He pledges his allegiance to Raven in a weird interview. Diamond and Trytan arenít an awful team. Outlaw and Monty Brown really hate K-Dawgís pre-match spiel, they attacked 3LK before the scheduled match even began. BG James is still on the side of a milk carton, weíll see if he shows up on Sunday. Dutt continues his jobbing streak against Shocker. Just go ahead and make a new J.O.B. Squad with Sonjay, David Young, and Cassidy Reilly. James Mitchell is brilliant on promos, he even scares me a little. Jerry Lynn explains that he knows both Waltman and Styles well and got involved in their match because he helped build the X Division and wants the match to be as good as it can be. Tenay explains that Waltman requested to team with Styles this week and Zybysko liked the idea. Good work by both Tenay and West in setting up their PPV match. Also, good booking by TNA in having Team Canada get the win here. The Canadians needed a win over a quality opponent, and adding more to the Styles/Waltman story is smart. Iím really looking forward to the PPV match. Raven got the last word, I think Michell has inspired Ravenís promos as of late as he delivered here. I hope people check this weekís Impact out, it should add to the PPV buyrate.

Which brings us to Sunday's No Surrender PPV, featuring the following 8 announced matches...

Double-Dog-Collar "No Surrender" Match for the NWA Title

Raven walked out of Slammiversary as the surprise World Champion. Whether TNA was trying to capitalize on the current ECW nostalgia or not, it was a good idea to shake things up. Abyss was also in the King of the Mountain match, having given up yet another one on one World Title match. James Mitchell made his return to TNA and promised to deliver that one on one title match that has continually eluded Abyss. After a promo battle between Raven and Mitchell on June 24ís Impact, Abyss made his claim for a title shot by delivering a Black Hole Slam to Raven. The following week, Raven got his revenge after Abyssí win over Sonny Siaki. He used Abyssí chain against him, and proceeded to challenge the big man to a Double Dog Collar match for the World Title at the PPV. Itís also a No Surrender match (nice, huh?), meaning that you cannot quit in this match. A little much perhaps, but it does set the bar pretty high for a brutal match.

If we go back in time, Mitchell also has other motives for going after Raven. He was butchered at the hands of Raven in late 2003 after a long feud with Mitchellís New Church. That was Mitchellís first, and thus far only, match in his career. Mitchell next turned Ravenís own Gathering (CM Punk and Julio Dinero) against him in early 2004, but Raven ran all of them off as well. Mitchell hadnít been seen in TNA since then, until his surprise return last month. Abyss is his latest recruit in an over two year long war with Raven.

The OOutlOOk
Raven wins: 5 votes   --|--  Abyss wins: 0 votes

Michael T. Ford says... Raven d. Abyss.
I haven't totally gotten behind the idea of Raven as champ, but as far as opening feuds go, Abyss is a fine choice. With a variety of gimmick matches that they could run through, I don't see this ending here by a long shot. However, you have to give Raven the win in order to capitalize on his momentum. My original theory was that Rhyno makes his appearance here, to put a postmatch beatdown on Raven. Abyss always finds a way to recover from the clean loss. Even with Matt Hardy's appearance in doubt, I'd say that Raven vs. Rhyno or (Raven vs. Rhyno vs. Abyss) is a better PPV use for the ManBeast.
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... Raven d. Abyss.
Raven entered Slammiversary without a real feud with anyone but the TNA championship committee, but he left the PPV as a first-time champion and with any number of contenders: Jarrett, AJ Styles, Monty Brown, Syxx Factor all made their claim in the King of the Mountain match. But Abyss was granted the #1 contender slot, and this is a good move that should yield an entertaining match. Anytime heís on the mic, Raven is gold, but his forte in the ring lies in more garbagey/hardcore brawls, and the Steel Chain Dog Collar Match fits the bill. Although it would be nice to see a TNA title bout without all the pomp and circumstances of ladders, guitars, penalty boxes, and chains, thisíll be a fun match, but thereís no way the belt gets moved three months in a row. They need a name to be champ while theyíre off TV, and Ravenís the guy. A chain-choking Evenflow DDT gets Raven the pinfall after some bloody shenanigans. After the match, however, Mitchell and Abyss start throttling Raven themselves and are joined by Jeff Jarrett who hits Raven with the guitar. Just as it looks like the showís going to leave with Raven basically dead, the much-anticipated debut of Rhino saves the day. Perhaps a Gore through a table or something similar to cap off the show. Or maybe he Gores Raven and Abyss to show that heís a loose cannon. Personally, I donít think Raven v. Rhino is good just yet, but Rhino v. Abyss should be great, and Jarrett will no doubt be back in the title picture soon.
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Raven d. Abyss.
The interesting thing about this match, to me, is that Abyss and his manager James Mitchell both have completely different reasons for wanting this match against Raven... a fair shot at the title and cold, hard revenge. Abyss is very much a "go-getter" in the ring, but as far as sticking up for himself backstage, he's a bit of a wuss. He's been the number one contender for the NWA World Title about 40 times in the last three months and he never has gotten his one on one title shot. Enter James Mitchell. He has issues with Raven going back quite a ways, so he struck a deal to manage the affairs of Abyss in order to get at Raven. Pretty simple.

Since TNA sort of hit the reset button with Raven winning the strap, like they did with AJ winning it from Jarrett, logic would dictate that Raven SHOULD hold on to the belt for more than a month. They might actually go through with that this time. Raven has quite an internet following. Seeing as how TNA has pretty much become an internet-only promotion for the time being, keeping the belt on a popular worker who can talk and still brawl his way through a good match might be a good idea. Raven will win his favorite of gimmick matches and retain the title. Abyss and James Mitchell will find new ways to make Raven's life a living hell.
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Raven d. Abyss.
So I presumed that Styles wouldnít lose in his 1st title defense and I was wrong. But Ravenís world title win was a good enough story to do it to AJ. Abyss isnít. Honestly, Iím kind of disappointed with the story between Abyss and James Mitchell. I donít think anyoneís done anything wrong, I just am not enjoying the teaming as much as I thought I would. Part of it has to do with the fact that there have been no battles of words between Mitchell and Raven but a lot of brawls between Abyss and Raven. If they havenít bothered to use the overwhelming strength and history of 2 of their 3 players Iíd guess they intend this story to last and for it to be the next step of the feud.

I guess Jeff Jarrett is being shifted over to this story. I know the Hardy references were significantly downplayed this past week and Jarrett talked about ďthe new talentĒ in relation to him coming after Abyss and Raven. So my guess would be that with Hardy out of the equation Rhino takes his slot and both factor into this match somewhere. Jarrett tries to cause trouble and Rhino debuts to stop him? A Rhino/Raven pairing would make some sense from the ECW sense but Iím half afraid that heís going to end up in the 3LK story as Monty Brownís surprise. Something about the Alpha Male and the Man Beast combining the Gore and the Pounce sounds so silly that I think it might happen. But this seems like the best spot. Unless TNAís got some other ďnew talentĒ in mind. None of the recently tossed WWE guys seems like an immediate world picture plug (sorry Charlie) and I donít know if thereís anyone on the indy circuit. Hey, who knows? Maybe Hardy will be there.

Match should be a good, bloody brawl. Well, mildly bloody since Abyss wears a full mask, but Raven will be bleeding. As long as TNA doesnít go overboard with run-ins it should be very good, and TNA seems to have a good run going with not falling into their old vices. Someoneís going to make his debut. Probably Rhino. Probably not Hardy. Should be interesting to watch.
Jason Longshore says... Raven d. Abyss.
Iím disappointed TNA didnít use the backstory of Raven/Mitchell more in setting up this match. With their long history, Iím hoping this is just the beginning of something interesting. As much as I like Abyssí work, Iíd like to see this feud shifted to more between Raven and Mitchell. Mitchell could bring in new recruits after Abyss is defeating, which would anger Abyss, and you have even more drama to play with. Rhyno (or Rhino, or Robby Rhino, or whatever they want to call him in TNA) could be the next recruit. Personally, Iíd like to see the return of the New Church (Slash and either ďKilldozerĒ Brian Lee or Sinn). They could be the foot soldiers to help Mitchell and his chosen one in their war with Raven.

Where ever they decide to go after this match, the match itself should be a bloody, violent, barbaric affair. Why throw in the No Surrender stipulation if it isnít? Raven rules in those types of matches, and Abyss has shown heís up for some crazy bumps. Iím looking forward to it.


X Division Title Match

Petey Williams, the Captain of Team Canada and de facto leader in Coach DíAmoreís absence, talked his way into this match by interrupting a Christopher Daniels backstage interview on the July 1 Impact. He then went out the following week and defeated Amazing Red in an impressive performance. He punctuated his month by pinning Daniels after a Canadian Destroyer in a tag match on this weekís Impact.

This is the first time Daniels has really been made to look vulnerable in his X Division reign. Heís held the belt for four months, and been dominant for the majority of it. The self-proclaimed ďMr. TNAĒ has defeated his former tag team partner Elix Skipper, Mexican superstar Shocker, TNAís favorite son AJ Styles, and both Chris Sabin and Michael Shane in the same match.

The OOutlOOk
Daniels wins: 4 votes   --|--  Williams wins: 1 vote

Michael T. Ford says... Chris Daniels d. Petey Williams.
Smart money has always been to keep pushing Daniels until the time is right to take the belt off of him, in preparation for a move to the World Title scene (probably in an Ultimate X). I've recently wavered a bit in that perspective, preferring to see Daniels continue to raise the prestige of the X Division title until it's essentially coequal with the NWA World Title (and possibly MORE prestigious among the smarks). Regardless of that perspective, however, I think that Petey Williams is not the right man for the job of taking down The Fallen Angel. Plus, I think that the captain of Team Canada has another storyline going, that of the splintering of his team.
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... Petey Williams d. Chris Daniels.
The Fallen Angel is probably my favorite part of TNA, as I think heís got the all-around skills to make any segment completely enjoyable. On the other hand, watching Petey Williams hit the Canadian Destroyer is one of my favorite sights in all of wrestling. And while Iím not a huge fan of Team Canada, the announcers are putting him over huge as he is the center of the faction with the Porkbellied mouthpiece out of the picture, and Petey is doing a good job in that role. So Iím stuck. I think TNA needs to keep fans guessing and the PPVís need to have memorable moments, and I think this is the best spot to do it. Yeah, the Super X Cup is coming up over the next month, and logic dictates that if Daniels loses the championship soon it should be after someone wins a long and grueling tournament. But Iím not so sure I see anyone really adept at rising to the occasion. So Iím going to go out on a limb and say that, with Team Canadaís help, Petey Williams picks up the surprising upset and the X Division championship. Mr. TNA goes on to compete in the Super X Cup and maybe weíll see a rematch next month.
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Chris Daniels d. Petey Williams.
Chris Daniels has been spouting off at the mouth, as he's want to do, that he's the greatest X Division champ ever and that he's defeated every challenger the world has thrown at him. Of course, Canada is part of the world, so Petey Williams of Team Canada decides that he should get an immediate chance at the belt. The way Williams sees it, Daniels hasn't defeated anyone from Canada in a title match and since Petey can lay claim to being the longest reigning X Division champion in TNA history, that should be more than enough to warrant a title shot.

Not much build up here, but there doesn't have to be. The X Division is about putting on cool wrestling matches and Daniels/Williams should fall easily into that category. I can't see Daniels losing the strap here. He's firing on all cylinders with his cocky Mr. TNA gimmick and is the man to beat at the top of the X Division. Without AJ as NWA champ, there's really no compelling reason to move "The Fallen Angel" up to the heavyweight scene just yet. Petey will try to bust out a Canadian Destroyer, but it'll get reversed into the Angels Wings and Daniels will retain.
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Chris Daniels d. Petey Williams.
One of these days Daniels is going to lose and Iím going to curse. But I donít think this is it. This seems like its pretty much just another step in Danielsí story. Heís been beating everyone TNA has to offer and is claiming complete dominance over the X Division. Williams is one of the last significant X Division names that he hasnít yet beat. So they two will have a very good match and Daniels will walk away with the win. Petey can move into his role as leader of Team Canada some more and maybe play in the Super X Cup. Red might be another X Division star that Daniels has to beat but when all is said and done Danielsí claim of beating everyone in TNA will be true and then weíll see someone pop into the company. There are quite a few options available and the Super X Cup could easily be used to give us our man. But whoever he is Iím pretty confident the formula is place and that means no championship for Petey.
Jason Longshore says... Chris Daniels d. Petey Williams.
This has been set up as Danielsí toughest challenge since he won the X Division title. Williams got the better of him all month. Classic Booking 101 should then dictate that Daniels will retain, since heís the face in this feud. I think Iíll agree with that notion. Part of Danielsí greatness is that he can play the heel when needed (like he did against AJ and Skipper) or be a convincing babyface (like he currently is). Keep the belt on him and keep the possibilities open. My hunch is that theyíre gearing up for a Daniels/Samoa Joe feud for the title.


Jerry Lynn is the Special Guest Referee

AJ thought Waltman was helping him in last monthís King of the Mountain match. It appeared that he was, as they made plans and then worked together throughout the match. AJ dropped the belt as he was trying to hang it to win the match, and Waltman even retrieved it for him. It was all a ruse by evil Sean though, he proceeded to give AJ an X-Factor off the top of the ladder. AJ was able to stop Waltman from winning the World Title, but Abyss pushed them both off a ladder, to the outside, through some tables. The last shots of AJ at Slammiversary were of him screaming at Waltman.

AJ got his wish as Director of Authority Larry Zybysko announced the match for No Surrender. After AJís victory over Alex Shelley on the July 1 Impact, Waltman came to the ring. They nearly got into it, but Jerry Lynn came out from the back to separate the two. The following week, Zybysko announced that Lynn would be the special guest referee for the match at the PPV. On this weekís Impact, Waltman requested that he team with AJ in an attempt to get into his head. Of course, a wayward spin kick ended up costing AJ the pin. Styles was not amused, and the brawl was on. Lynn was again the one to break it up and save it for PPV.

Lynn is the wild card here. His feud with Styles was what really ignited the X Division back in TNAís early days. His feud over a decade ago with Waltman, then the Lightning Kid, in the Global Wrestling Federation put both men on the map.

The OOutlOOk
Styles wins: 3 votes   --|--  Waltman wins: 2 votes

Michael T. Ford says... AJ Styles d. Waltman.
I don't buy Sean "S-pac" Waltman in the X Division; he can't really fly like before, and his neck injury means that he has to be "protected" by workers whose appeal is often their recklessness. If it were up to me, Samoa Joe would killhimdead, leaving him to hang back in the midcard purgatory that Jeff Hardy occupies, occasionally relying upon his Clique affiliation to get nostalgia pops. (Seriously, why didn't TNA find a way to produce some "Outsiders" or "Clique" or "Scott Hall: Hey Yo" merchandise to milk the marginal drawing power of the trio?) That being said, I do like S-pac as a heel. Too bad Nash and Hall are gone, because I'd be able to stomach this feud if AJ could go over the entire Outsider Wolfpack Clique singlehandedly. But as it stands now, I think they're transitioning Pac to Lynn, and hopefully AJ can get a clean win.
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... AJ Styles d. Waltman.
I donít like Sean Waltman, and I really donít think he has much use for the future of the company. That being said, his brashness plays well against the rather non-intense Styles. I think thisíll be an entertaining little affair, but this feud isnít destined to last very long. Styles needs younger, more versatile opponents (read: not Jerry Lynn), and while Iím not going to question Waltmanís effort, heís going to earn his paycheck by making Styles look good and giving him a chance to move on to something else, like maybe a feud with . I really hope Lynnís involvement is limited to post-match stuff, so if a Styles Clash finishes the kid 1-2-3 Iíll be content with an engaging but forgettable encounter.
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Sean Waltman d. Styles.
X-Pork showed up as the "wildcard" in last month's King of the Mountain match and tricked Styles into thinking that he was going to help him win the NWA Heavyweight title. Oh... stupid man. Instead, X-Prick turned on Styles and X-Factored him straight on his gullible, frat-boy face. Now, there's a strained "mutual respect" thing going on. AJ respects Waltman's, um... veteran-ness, I guess. X-Puke respects AJ's abilities in the ring, but finds Styles to be a bit naive when it comes to being a "top guy" in the wrestling biz. Waltman wants to teach AJ a lesson and AJ is more than willing to allow him to come see who needs to be taught what. X Division pioneer, Jerry Lynn is a guy who's fought both of these guys, so he has decided to step in and guest ref the match.

TNA's been explaining, through Waltman, that AJ's inability to hold on to the NWA title is a direct result of his willingness to be a bit too trusting. Now without getting all "bookery" about it, the only reason to have a special guest ref is if he's going to play a pivotal role in the match. Maybe I'm thinking too much, but I can see Jerry Lynn doing what Ortiz did to Jarrett and cost AJ the match. Styles figures he can trust Lynn to call it down the middle and it costs him the match. Constant betrayals might help give a new edge to AJ's "character" and Lynn's turning would set up a possible Lynn/AJ feud. I wouldn't complain.
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Sean Waltman d. Styles.
Uh, I donít know. If this match is just filler to give Styles a match against a very good competitor on this PPV than my pick will be wrong. But with Raven and Abyss and Jarrett and ďnew talentĒ up in the main event Styles seems like the odd man out. And doing Styles/Daniels again seems excessive. Give these two 3 matches and let them put on a show. Allow Waltman to turn heel. I donít know. But the match should be good and should play to both guysí strengths. TNA doesnít seem to have any silly ideas about Waltman. Heís a name who can wrestle a very good match and they seem to be using him as no more. So turn him heel and let him occupy Styles for awhile. Then team him with one of the WWE firings and give AMW another team to dance with.
Jason Longshore says... AJ Styles d. Waltman.
I really could go either way on this match. I liked the match these two had a while back in TNA, and Iím looking forward to this one. Judging from the other guysí predictions, I might be the only one looking forward to it. Lynn will be involved in the finish, otherwise, why have him out there? There have been rumblings of Lynn and Waltman wanting to reignite their feud from years ago. Iím guessing Waltman attempts to use some shenanigans to get the upper hand, Lynn stops him, Styles gets the win, and Waltman blames Lynn for his loss.

Personally, Iíd rather see Lynn turn heel, help Waltman get the win, and restart his feud with Styles. The AJ/Lynn feud was what hooked me about TNA and Iíd love to see a repeat performance. I donít think Iíll get what I want just yet though, I think Lynn and Waltman want to work together again first.



This saga began when AMWís James Storm and Michael Shane had a match on the June 24 Impact. Shane ended up getting the win after Shaneís girl Traci convinced Alex Shelley to interfere on Shaneís behalf. AMW looks to have regained their form as of late, with a two match winning streak going into this match. This will be the first time Shane and Shelley have teamed.

The OOutlOOk
AMW win: 3 votes   --|--  Shane/Shelley win: 2 votes

Michael T. Ford says... Shane/Shelley d. AMW.
I have a confession to make. I didn't like Shazarian, because I thought both men made GREAT X Division heels, and in a division that's so face-heavy, having guys that could put heat on those matches made them an asset to the division as solo wrestlers, and since I knew that they weren't going over AMW, I wanted them to stay allies, but not a regular team. (Kinda like Vitamin C.) So you can understand my ambivalence about Shanelley. Michael Shane was JUST getting to carry his Platinum Prick Card again, with Traci by his side, and iAlex Shelley cuts a "world-beater" promo (with a mission statement and everything),. Shelley then proceeds to get beat by Shocker, who had no face momentum, then by Styles in a match that made their iMPACT Classic look like a joke. He then gets involved with Michael Shane for no reason, and now they get to face AMW, the HHHs of the TNA tag division. Why these guys are not heel is inexplicable. So since they can't turn heel here, I am stuck. TNA might be dead set on keeping them in a holding pattern as stagnant faces, in which case, they will certainly win. If they are possibly going heel, they'll need the loss to further spi the team into desperation. I'm going with my heart rather than my head here.
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... AMW d. Shane/Shelley.
AMW have been kind of taking a backseat as of late, with The Naturals and Team Canada making the most of the tag team spotlight and so many new arrivals as of late. Shane and Shelley have also been getting some attention, with individual high-profile matches against Chris Sabin, Christopher Daniels, and AJ Styles in the last four or five weeks. Aside from the X-Division match, Iím most looking forward to this one. Shane and Shelley have great futures and AMW are pretty good at accentuating their opponentsí heelish qualities. I think both teams could benefit from a win here, but since Iíve got a lot of heels winning thus far, Iím going to balance it out with Shane and Shelley miscommunicating and losing, allowing AMW to scamper away in victory and making Cowboy and My Brother happy. I like when My Brother is happy.
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... AMW d. Shane/Shelley.
Shane had a match against Storm on the first Internet iMPACT! in which his valet, the totally OMG~! HAWT Traci, was banned from ringside along with Storm's tag team partner, Chris Harris. In retaliation, Traci used her womanly, um... boobs, to convince Alex Shelley to interfere on Shane's behalf. AMW doesn't like it when people stick their noses in their business, so they want a match at No Surrender.

I like AMW. I like Michael Shane. I like Traci and her boobs. And from what I've seen so far of Alex Shelley, I'm really starting to like him too. He's got great heel charisma and great ring presence. Anyway, Shelley hasn't seen a win here since his debut, so they might throw him a bone and give him a pin, but more than likely TNA will want to continue AMW's not-losing streak. It's kind of a toss up, but I'm picking the fan favorites, AMW.
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Shane/Shelley d. AMW.
I am very much in support of this Shane/Shelly teaming. This will give Alex Shelley a very real chance to get over with the audience and it gives a talented team to the division. I must admit, while I enjoy all three teams Iíve grown a bit tired of the Naturals vs AMW vs Team Canada. Shane/Shelley and Brown/Outlaw give both AMW and the Naturals a couple of new teams to feud with in the near future. For AMW that was very necessary. This match should be very good, especially if Shelley is allowed time to shine. It can really work either way. Shane/Shelley lose and then lash out in revenge or Traci helps them cheat out a win and AMW starts to road to revenge. It really has become a formula for AMW by now but thatís ok because itís a well done formula. Heel team annoys AMW, heel team uses numbers to get some cheap wins, AMW overcomes the numbers to get the triumphant victory (cage optional). It works; Iím ok with it. And Shane/Shelley/Traci are as good of dance partners as there is in TNA for this go around.
Jason Longshore says... AMW d. Shane/Shelley.
I like the idea of Shane and Shelley teaming, but Iíd rather see them in singles matches. They can still work together at times, but I donít want to see them tagging full-time like Shane did with Frankie Kazarian. I agree with Michael on that point. While I donít want to see them get squashed here or anything, AMW should be getting the win.

AMW has been pushed to the backburner a bit as of late, now could be the time to start their rise back to the top of the tag division. A win this month, a feud with the evil Canadians for the #1 contender slot next month, followed by either winning the tag titles or feuding with the debuting Dudley Boys would work just fine for me. I know, I know, the Dudleys wonít be around any time soon. Just let me dream, okay?


Super X Cup Qualifying Match

No backstory here, at least not between the guys in this match. The Super X Cup was a good X Division tournament TNA last held in 2003. That was what introduced us to Chris Sabin, as he claimed the trophy. The tournament is returning next month on Impact, with the winner of this match nabbing the last spot in the field. The winner will get an X Division Title shot, as well as a very spiffy trophy. A very spiffy trophy that will undoubtedly end up being smashed over someoneís head as always happens in wrestling.

The OOutlOOk
Skipper wins: 3 votes
SharkBoy wins: 1 vote   --|--  Dutt wins: 1 vote
(Mikey Batts Received No Winning Votes)

Michael T. Ford says... Elix Skipper wins.
I like the Super X Cup, so I dig the IDEA behind this match. But I hate 4way matches where there are really only 2 possible winners. Actually, if you think about the fact that they can always putt Dutt in as a cheesy-ass "international" participant (he's INDIAN...from the HIMALAYAS and all...), that makes Primetime the prime entry. Sometimes it's okay to surprise fans by taking OUT Mikey Batts, and putting in a WILDCARD, just to get the IWC speculating on ~LOW KI~ or ~AUSTIN ARIES~ or ~JAMES GIBSON~ or ~AMERICAN DRAGON.~ Obviously, if you can deliver one of them, that could be huge. Still, even if you can't, with no TV show, any new guy you bring in will be thought of as moderately successful, compared to an IMPACT jobber (Hey, let's bring in Matt Striker; he's probably got a little sick time saved up, and he'd relish being on an ROH show, a WWE show, and a TNA show in the same week.) Well, anyway, the only way Primetime doesn't win is if they really are trying to get Sharkboy over as a serious threat. HA!
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... SharkBoy wins.
I guess this is for the last slot in the tournament, although I couldnít figure out who else is already there. Hmm. Anyway, Iím going to write out Mikey Batts for now, since I donít think heís been around at all for at least a month. Elix Skipper has been getting jobbed out recently, losing all sorts of matches and even losing momentum after getting turned on by The Fallen Angel. I think TNA is looking past him, at least for the moment. To me, that leaves Shark Boy and Sonjay Dutt. Both have lost and won a bit recently, but I think the fans are a little bit more behind Shark Boy. Plus, heís kind of like The Hurricane: heíll always be around and is one of those essential ďfun reliefĒ characters that make the program complete. The tournament needs someone like that when everyone else is a relatively stoic badass. Dutt has a nice upside, but Iíll be watching Sharkboy pick up the pinfall in 2-D.
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Sonjay Dutt wins.
The Super X Cup is a tournament for X Division competitors from all around the world. They've had one or two of these before. TNA just recently announced on their website that on the next iMAPCT! tapings they are going to continue the tournament. They haven't announced who's IN the tournament just yet, but this match is for the "remaining" spot in the contest. The finals will be held at next month's Sacrifice PPV, and will also be for a shot at the X Division title.

This could really go any way here, so I'm going with Dutt. His "international" flavor is really the only thing making him stand out amongst the other players in this match, so we'll go with him. The match will most likely by a spotty clusterfuck, but hell, what else would you expect?
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Elix Skipper wins.
I havenít really read anything on the Super X Cup so I donít know what format itís taking this time around. First time it was a singles affair and last it was team competition. Singles is probably the easiest and the most likely to produce entertaining matches. And the team matchups really donít seem viable now that theyíre off their weekly PPV format. Skipper seems like the guy most likely to move into this event. Shark Boy would be a waste to a tournament. I suppose its possible that theyíd use such a tournament to push Batts but that doesnít really seem their style. And Duttís a viable option but heís been primarily serving jobber duty for the last few weeks. Skipper could use an occasional win and he brings more to the table than the rest. Once the format/rules/schedule is explained Iíd expect Shocker and Red to join him at the very least but hopefully TNA brings us some new talent (not named Nosawa). The wealth of WWE firings gives them some interesting options like Spanky or Jimmy Yank/Akio.
Jason Longshore says... Elix Skipper wins.
Nothing against the other guys in the match, but Skipper is definitely the guy with the highest profile here. He needs to be in the Super X Cup, he could even be a good choice to win the thing. Weíll see when the rest of the field is announced on Impact next week. This should be a fun match to watch, with all sorts of crazy moves, some sort of Tower of Doom spot, and some sick bumps.


Street Fight

Where is BG James? He hasnít been seen in TNA since his match at Slammiversary where Konnan missed a tag in their match against AMW that saw James take the pin. While James and Konnan were arguing, Outlaw came out to try to get James to leave with him. The crowd chanted ďNew Age OutlawsĒ, but James ended leaving out of a side door by himself. He no-showed a scheduled interview with 3LK and Mike Tenay, which lead to some mocking from Monty Brown and Outlaw. From that, and some more Road Dogg impersonations by the Alpha Male, we have this match. These guys have been crossing paths for a while now, but the story this time revolves around BGís absence. Will he show up to play a part in this match? Whose side is he on?

The OOutlOOk
Outlaw/Brown win: 5 votes   --|--  3LK win: 0 votes

Michael T. Ford says... Monty/Outlaw d. 3LK.
Forgive me while I weep openly at how long this storyline has stretched, and how it has managed to envelop would-be stars Monty Brown and Ron Killings. This is all about the love and affection of one BG "One Catchphrase" James. I predict the ending that extends it further. Monty Brown pins Konnan.
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... Monty/Outlaw d. 3LK.
How much longer can they tease the BG James/Outlaw reunion? I think this part of the feud has run its course, and the little exposure they have hurts the pace of the storyline more than it helps it. Basically, I think Monty Brownís moving on to something better very soon, and the tension in Three Live Ko-ko-ka-Kru is as good as itís going to get. This is where BG finally joins up with the Outlaw, and the New Age Outlaws 2005 beat down Killings and Konnan. But please donít do it with shoes; thatís just stupid. The No DQ rules will be an advantage for Brown/Outlaw, and the violence wonít stop until well after the bell. However, this will set up a great match next month. Best of all, Billy will again get to drawl out, ďI got two waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaards for ya!Ē And then Iíll be happy.
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Monty/Outlaw d. 3LK.
This story's been going on forever. Ever since The Outlaw showed up in TNA, Konnan and The Truth can't tell where the allegiance of their 3LK brother BG James lies. TNA's been teasing the payoff to this for WAY too long and it's time to pull the damn trigger already.

Oh, hell, this month I'll go with Outlaw and Brown getting the win when BG James tries to come help his friends and ends up costing them the match. We'll get no pay off and the story will drag on until Bound For Glory, and I will cry. Who gives a crap, just do SOMETHING , please.
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Monty/Outlaw d. 3LK.
I have no idea where theyíre going to BG James. Is he going to stay with 3LK? Is he going to join up with the Outlaw? Brown said he had a ďsurpriseĒ for 3LK but it didnít sound like he was referencing James. Iíve even read that James has some sort of legit issues with Konnan/Killings. Or do one of Konnan/Killings turn? I have NO idea. But Brown and Outlaw should be a pretty good tag team and it gives Brown something to stay in the action while there are no top card slots available. If I knew where the story was going I could probably try and predict what happens but by now this story has dragged out so long and without anything really resembling development (Brownís addition and Jamesí disappearance pretty much being it) that I not only am starting to lose interest but Iím also just complete lost as to the pace of the story. Maybe James will appear and a conclusion will be made? I doubt it. If everyone shows up and is interested the match should be fine. Provided it doesnít go too long.
Jason Longshore says... Monty/Outlaw d. 3LK.
Itís time, itís finally time. BG will return, screw over his former buddies in 3LK, and join forces with the Outlaw. The New New Age Outlaws will then be a force in the tag division. What will that mean for Monty Brown? Iíd like to see him get ticked off at the Outlaw for being used, and turn face again. He could cut some great promos about it, bitching about getting tossed aside for a washed up has-been. He could even help Killings and Konnan beat the NNAO at next monthís PPV to finally put an end to the feud. Monty can then go solo and start climbing back towards the World Title, while James/Outlaw make a nice addition to the tag division.



Lance Hoyt, Orlandoís new favorite son, put Team Canadaís Coach DíAmore in traction after a chokeslam and a moonsault at Slammiversary. The Canadians are not happy about this turn of events and want revenge. The Naturals had an excellent match with Team Canada at Slammiversary, retaining their NWA World Tag Titles after some help from their new ďadvisorĒ Jimmy Hart. These six men faced off on Impact on June 8, with the Naturals and Hoyt getting the duke.

The OOutlOOk
Naturals/Hoyt win: 3 votes
Team Canada win: 2 votes

Michael T. Ford says... Naturals/Hoyt win.
Hoyt lost last time. Hoyt wins this time.
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... Team Canada wins.
The 07/08 edition of iMPACT ended with Hoyt picking up the pinfall victory over Team Canada, but as the show went off the air the foreigners were beating down their opponents. I think this match will end up almost the reverse: Team Canada steals cheats to win and tries to do more physical damage after the match, but this time The Naturals and Hoyt fend off the attack. Thisíll add some spice nice tag title feud for the next generic-action-movie-themed PayPerView. Iím also counting on Jimmy Hart being utilized more; heís been relatively quiet (for him, anyway) and they might as well use him while heís still a little popular. Please donít let him join the Canadians, though. A ďMouth of the Great White NorthĒ heel turn would just be stupid. Anyway, I think A1 picks up the pin on Hoyt in a hot match, probably even the showís opener.
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Naturals/Hoyt win.
Bobby Roode has issues with Lance Hoyt. They're both big guys who like to pound people. Except Hoyt's a full on face now. As chance would have it, so are the Naturals. Even though they didn't get along a few weeks ago, The Naturals came to Lance's aid when Team Canada attacked him. Now, they're having a PPV match.

Honestly, this is the match I care least about on the whole card. Members of Team Canada got a wins over Styles/Waltman and Samoa Joe/Daniels on this past iMPACT! so chances are, they're not gonna win this match. Or something. The super popular Hoyt and the tag champs go over.
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Naturals/Hoyt win.
Blah. Everyone loves Hoyt. I still havenít found a reason to remember what A1 looks like. I really donít care. At least its not another Hoyt/Roode match.
Jason Longshore says... Team Canada wins.
I donít know what the future holds for these six guys. The Naturals have held the tag belts for a few months now and could stand to take a loss, especially since the belts arenít being defended this month. Hoyt is so over with the Impact Zone that he could fall down the ramp and still get cheered. A loss isnít going to hurt him either. The Canadians need a win, theyíve been jobbing a lot lately. Roode should get the pin over one of The Naturals, setting up a rematch for the tag titles on Impact next month. We could also see the return of Coach DíAmore here to help his Canadians on to victory.



Joe debuted for TNA last month and has been on a killing spree ever since. He has been 847 shades of dominant in all of his appearances. Mike Tenay has made a big point of Joe only losing one match in the last three years. Sabin has been one of the more impressive members of the X Division, having held the title twice and winning Ultimate X three times.

After the match was announced, Joe attacked Sabin after his victory over David Young on the June 8 Impact. Sabin proved that he had guts by attacking Joe during his tag match the following week.

The OOutlOOk
Joe wins: 5 votes   --|--  Sabin wins: 0 votes

Michael T. Ford says... Samoa Joe d. Sabin.
So you're Chris Sabin, and you had a hot feud with Michael Shane, which probably could develop into an EPIC rivalry which elevated both men. First you get put into a title match that EVERYBODY knew you couldn't win, then you get Samoa Joe, the so-called "Samoan Supl...I mean Submission Machine" in a continuation of Joe's monster push. Sabin needs new representation.
Cory "borntorun" Harris says... Samoa Joe d. Sabin.
Samoa Joe hasnít really lived up to my expectations. Granted, I have yet to watch his ROH stuff (and a friend even sent me a match to watch that I havenít gotten to in two weeks), but in TNA heís been kindaÖmeh. Heís good at dropping people on his head, but the submissions heís using are kind of bland to me. They look kind of violent, but chokehold variations donít really entertain me. I guess thatís why I liked Taz for his suplexes but not for his Tazzmission. Iím NOT saying that Joe sucks; I was just expecting so much and so far havenít been fulfilled. On the other hand, I think Chris Sabin is phenomenal, and Iíll watch a match with him any day. Not that it matters; they make a big deal of Samoa Joeís record and I donít think that heís going to be losing any time soon. I hope these two can bring out the best in each other, but Joey Joe Joe makes Sabin tap after letting him fall on his skull.
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says... Samoa Joe d. Sabin.
The build up to this is beyond nonexistent, unless you count "championship committee wants to put a competitive match on the PPV" as build up. Samoa Joe has walked into TNA's X Division and convincingly dominated all opponents. Chris Sabin is a two-time X Division champ. He should be a sufficient challenge for Joe, and a possible spoiler for his undefeated streak. The only confrontation they've had on iMPACT! is a couple run ins in each other's matches to remind the audience that they're gonna have a match.

There's no way Samoa Joe doesn't win this unless he gets disqualified for some reason. Since his debut, they've been trumpeting the fact that he hasn't lost a match in something like two years and that he's ROH's Pure Champion. They've built him up as an unbeatable, uncaring, unstoppable wrecking machine and they aren't gonna throw that away by having him lose to Chris Sabin. It should be a hell of a match though.
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... Samoa Joe d. Sabin.
Poor Chris. I love Sabin and I think TNA does too. But somehow he always seems to be the odd man odd in the company. Joeís in fresh and TNAís screaming about what a monster he is so it seems like heís got no option other than beating Sabin. Besides, Sabin was nearly defeated by David Young on Impact and thatís never a good sign. Hopefully the Young match wasnít a sign that theyíre going to let Joe simply squash Sabin with ease. But Sabin and Joe should put on a top-notch match and if TNA gives them time it could be one of if not the best of the show. Please TNA, cut the bad/mediocre wrestlers short. Give THIS one 15 minutes.
Jason Longshore says... Samoa Joe d. Sabin.
I donít think this will be as one-sides as most, but I think TNA has to keep Joe on his winning streak. It appears that this will be the opening match on the show, it could be a hard act to follow for the rest of the lineup. We havenít seen the best of Joe as heís been primarily showcased in short squashes in TNA. Sabin has always delivered on PPV, I donít think this will be an exception. It could be a surprise Match of the Night. Joe ends up getting the win via submission and moves on to feud with Daniels for the X Division Title.



The OOutlOOk

Michael T. Ford says...
If Jeff Jarrett has a match again Hardy or Rhyno, heíll lose. If itís anyone else, Jarrett wins.
Cory "borntorun" Harris says...
No Matt Hardy. Donít even wish it, donít listen to rumors, itís not going to happen. Jeff Hardy? Iím not so sure about, but thatís because I donít really want him back that much. Another alternative for Rhino is obviously to get involved with Monty Brown, since their moves are relatively similar, but that match will come some day. Match of the night is Petey/Daniels, but I think every match on the card has something a little decent, although Iíd never expect an AJ Styles match to be one Iíd anticipate least. This should be a memorable show if my predictions hold true, with Rhinoís debut, BGís heel turn, and Samoa Joe and Chris Sabin putting on a nice back and forth affair. Oh, and I didnít get Slammiversary picks in last month because of technical problems, but I can certainly say that I didnít expect Raven to win the belt. But I did pick Shark Boyís victory! WOOOOOOOOOO!
Brad "angstboy" Smoley says...
TNA's first month of internet-only promotion has been interesting. A little download troubles aside, I think it was fairly successful. i know there were some people out there than maybe never got to see TNA when it was on FSN that got a chance to check them out for the first time. So, it isn't all bad. Anyway, No Surrender looks to be fun with 8 solid matches so far. Also, Rhino is scheduled to be at the PPV and might fill in for Matt Hardy's "new talent" spot against Jarrett. Unless of course Matt Hardy magically DOES show up at the PPV. How weird would that be? Very.
Chris "Lucky" Lopez says... 
[crickets chirping]
Jason Longshore says... 
What is the plan for Rhyno? My guess is that he shows up during the main event, although itíll be interesting to see what his motives are. If Jarrett interferes like heís threatened, maybe Rhyno just Gores Jarrett and they end up feuding for the next month. Personally, Iíd like to see Rhyno join up with James Mitchell.

Will anyone else be making a TNA debut this Sunday? My vote is a no on Matt Hardy. I think it would make TNA look second rate by having him on the show, whether he wants to show up or not. I donít know how far along they were in negotiations to have him join TNA, my guess is pretty far because they set up a feud for him with Jarrett. Since his return to WWE, I wouldnít have him there even if WWE allowed it due to a previous commitment. TNA should not allow themselves to be a pawn in a WWE storyline and Iím really hoping they stay out of it. If you want to keep the continuity of the Jarrett storyline, just bring Jeff Hardy back to defend the honor of the Hardyzí fans. And stop snickering about the second rate commentÖ


If you miss the show this weekend, Iíll be back on Monday with the recap. See you thenÖ


Jason Longshore is your second-most-favorite wrestling fan/writer from Atlanta, GA.

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