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NWA/TNA: Super Powers reunited
By DONNIE ABREU - SLAM! Wrestling


This week\'s show starts with a series of recaps from last week\'s program. This was a WONDERFUL idea! Instead of having to deal with long awkward packages throughout the entire show, we just get them out of the way at the top. Brilliant. Now for the action...

Six Man Armed Asylum Match

Sandman and New Jack VS. Brian Lee and Slash VS. Harris Brothers TNA has learned their lesson: Harris Brothers + Main Event = ticked off fans.

We are told that this match is the brainchild of the Sandman. I\'m surpised Sandman thinks about anything other than how to open a beer that isn\'t a twist off.

The \"match\" starts with a ring full of hardcore plunder. Tables, canes, chairs, cheese graters, trash cans, forks - you get the idea. Lots of juice in this one.

A blood-soaked Slash hit a Senton bomb off the balcony onto a Harris boy who was laying prone on a table set up below. The crowd seemingly enjoyed it.

Other balcony antics: New Jack back dropped Brian Lee over the railing and to the floor, but Lee missed the table underneath and landed very awkwardly but appeared to be okay.

Sandman took a trash can in the face and then a sloppy looking H-Bomb. The inventor of the match loses to the twins.

WINNER: Harris Brothers

Goldylocks is backstage and is interviewing Mike Barton (Bart Gunn). She hypes his first TNA match, which will happen on this show against Perry Saturn. He talks about having beat up guys like Steve Williams, The Godfather and others. The Godfather you say? Wow! Stick to your tales of New Japan big boy.

D\'Lo crashes the party and tells Glen Gilberti he wants Mike Sanders tonight. Brown is blaming Sanders for ruining his title shot last week. Glen Gilberti tries to calm D\'Lo and tells him he\'s also searching for Sanders.

Gilberti then looks to the back of the S.E.X. dressing room and asks \"Wildcat\" Chris Harris to go find Sanders and bring him back to the locker room. Harris seems very content hanging out in the S.E.X. locker room. Was there a heel turn that we all missed?

Mike Tenay cuts an interview with racer Hermie Sadler and speaks with Jeff Hammod from Fox Sports. They babble about race cars and such. Heeee (Yawn) Haw.

Dusty Rhodes is in The Interrogators segment. If you\'ve never see The Interrogators, think of Off The Record when they do their word association at the end of an interview. Some of Dusty\'s questions and responses:

WCW - stuck his tongue out and made the ol raspberry noise

Ted Turner - \"Daddy\" (that\'s creepy)

Harley Race or Ric Flair - \"Race is the baddest man alive\".

Goldust - \"Son\" (how enlightening)

Nolan Ryan or Roger Clemens - \"Nolan was better in his prime\"

This brings us to -

Ladder Match for Ric Flair\'s old NWA Title

Brian Lawler VS. Dusty Rhodes

Dusty bladed after a few punches and a weak shot with the ladder to the face. Lawler had the ladder set up in the ring and took his sweet time - he was on it about 3 minutes; allowing Dust to finally knock him off.

After a couple of flyin\' fists and elbows by The American Dream, he went under the ring and pulled out a two-rung step ladder! HA! Now that\'s comedy. Very impressive moment came when Dusty jumped off the second rung with a bionic elbow.

Rhodes had Lawler out and then started to climb. David Flair showed up and beat Dusty down. Flair started up the ladder himself, but was cut of by Nikita Koloff! Nikita was last seen in TNA clobbering Rhodes and siding with Vince Russo. Koloff climbs the ladder and grabs the title. He then presents it to his former tag partner. After asking the crowd for approval, he finally takes the strap and the Super Powers hug! Reunited and it feels so good (ewww weeeeeell). As the two old timers celebrate Eric Watts slips in grabs the title and runs off laughing.

WINNER: ummmm, Nikita Koloff? No Contest

Goldy interviews Chris Harris outside while he\'s searching for Sanders. She asks what\'s up with him. Then his tag partner James \"Hey remember me?\" Storm comes out and asks what\'s up with him being in the S.E.X. locker room. Harris says he\'s just hanging with the boys, and that Storm should trust him. Storm takes off. It would appear that the former tag champs have split.

Then we see Sanders. He and Harris have a verbal exchange about how much heat Sanders has in S.E.X. and in the business in general. A somewhat confusing exchange, but tonight has gone over so well I\'ll just ignore it.

A.J. Styles VS. Glen Gilberti

Styles has a score to settle with Gilberti from a couple weeks ago when he cost him a #1 contender\'s match. I was curious to see if Styles could pull a decent match out of \"The Gifted One\". Much to my surprise, the former Disco Inferno was very aggressive and looked better than I\'ve seen since his very early days in WCW. Amazing what a little motivation and the chance to work with a true talent will do for a guy.

Gilberti dominated most of the early going with A.J. connecting on a few signature high spots.

The end of the match came when Styles went for a springboard 360 splash, which he missed. Gilberti rolled him up and put his feet on the ropes. The referee counted three, but then corrected himself saying he saw Glen on the ropes.

As the S.E.X. leader argues with the ref, Styles attacks from behind and nails the Styles Clash (looks like a piledriver, but then A.J. jumps and falls straight forward crashing down on his opponent who hits the mat face first). The pin is elementary, but just to add insult to injury; Styles put his feet on the ropes. The ref doesn\'t see and counts three.

WINNER: A.J. Styles

Disco is furious and decides to put a massive 5-minute beating on the referee. Mike Tenay says this is why TNA needs a new Commissioner.

Sanders is in the S.E.X. locker room with Gilberti asking if there is a problem. Gilberti asks \"Who the hell does D\'Lo Brown think he is, telling me what to do?\" Perfect! Gilberti tells Sanders that they were both hand picked by Vince Russo to be members of the team. D\'Lo is an outsider and deserves the beating of a lifetime.

Sonny Siaki and Desire VS. David Young and Athena

Siaki starts with a microphone and says that he and David haven\'t gotten along because he\'s so good looking and David\'s fat and ugly. That aside, the issue is between Athena and Desire. So the match should be between and, I\'m quoting Mr. Siaki, \"Desire and Fatty\". Fatty accepts.

Desire VS. Athena

The bell rings and Young hits friend Athena with a huge spinebuster! Desire covers and wins. Young grabs an S.E.X. t-shirt and celebrates with Siaki! I didn\'t see that one coming at all! Nice job.

WINNER: Athena

Goldy interviewed Perry Saturn about his upcoming match with Mike Barton. Perry mumbles about something. Jeff Jarrett interrupts and says he will tell Tenay what\'s on his mind later on.

Barton jumps Saturn and beats him all the way down to the ring.

Saturn VS. Mike Barton

Lefty starts showing off the fist that everyone remembers from Brawl For All (which Tenay put over). Barton is supporting some blue tights with the Japanese flag on them - very cool. Not sure I\'ve ever seen a white American wrestler wearing gear with a Japanese flag while competing in the U.S. Maybe Albright. Anyway, I digress.

Saturn wears a dark and somewhat disturbing crimson mask very early in this match as a result of Barton\'s straight lefts. Barton also hit a nice moonsault off the top.

This one turned into a full out fist fight. Barton just continued to pummel Saturn with lefts to the face. Saturn took unbelievably stiff looking shots and then asked for more while not covering up.

Saturn hit a DVD, Barton kicked out.

After another punch Barton appeared to hurt his hand on Saturn\'s big head. Saturn seized the moment and put a submission move on Barton\'s wrist / hand. Barton tapped immediately.

This was not a good \"match\", but it was a great fight. The finish was a little strange but had a true sense of realism to it. Maybe because Barton was really hurt? More on that next week.

WINNER: Saturn

Backstage, Goldylocks is chatting with New Jack. Sandman interferes saying they had a plan with regards to their match and New Jack didn\'t stick to it. They argue and a fireball comes out of nowhere! The New Church and James \"Firestarter\" Mitchell attack Sandman and New Jack.

D\'Lo Brown VS. Mike Sanders

D\'Lo starts out on fire and put an old school beating on Sanders. Sanders had some terrific looking offence. Two of the finer moments early on were his moonsault to the outside and a pump handle pick up into an Angle-Slam. Nice.

As was the case when he faced Chris Harris two weeks ago, Brown appears to blow up early and be completely out of gas at about the 3 minute mark.

D\'Lo went to the top for a frog splash, but Sonny Siaki came out and pulled his ankles. Sanders went up to get Brown and hit a perfect superplex. Sanders floated over for the pin but D\'Lo rolled a shoulder.

After a nice series of reversals D\'Lo snuck in his sit out powerbomb, the Sky High for the win.

WINNER: D\'Lo Brown

Siaki, Desire, Gilberti and Sanders beat on D\'Lo. Where\'s Mark Henry when you need him?

We then go to a pretaped interview with Tenay talking to Trinity. He asks about her athletic background and basically works hard to put her over as a legitimate competitor. Trinity talks about her Hollywood stunt work - she was a double for Jennifer Garner in Darevdevil and for J-Lo in Anaconda.

Kid Kash interrupts and wonders what all the fuss is about with Trinity. He blames her for the fact that he has a match this week with Raven. He tells Trinity to stay in the corner and not interfere at all.

Raven VS. Kid Kash

This a non-title match. Kash\'s X-Divison championship is not on the line. Too bad.

Raven, who was announced as the #1 contender to the World Title, was led to the ring by Alexis Laree and Julio Dinero. The only other time Dinero was on TNA was when he faced and lost to Raven. Looks like Raven is building a new Flock.

This match may be heel versus heel, but the crowd loves Raven. As expected there was plenty of interference from Laree and Dinero.

Dinero passed Raven a chair which was set up for the drop toehold. Raven threw Kash to the ropes but had the move reversed, and met the chair face first himself.

Kash is really favoring his left knee and seems to be out of it. Trinity goes to the top rope and hits Raven with a Hurricanarana. She then takes out Laree and Dinero with a moonsault from the top rope to the floor. Very impressive!

After doing all that damage, Trinity leaves and heads for the locker room. Raven recovers, hits an Evenflow DDT and wins the match.

WINNER: Raven

Tenay and West promo the main event and then introduce Jeff Hammond from Fox Sports joins the announce team.

Elimination Match

Elix Skipper & Christopher Daniels VS. Jason Cross & Shark Boy VS. Jonny Storm and Chris Sabin VS. Jerry Lynn & The Amazing Red.

Ok, here\'s the gimmick: if Triple X (Skipper and Daniels) the current TNA tag champions win then they move on to some other contenders next week. If any other team wins, they will receive a tag title match next week.

Sabin is in his first TNA match, while his partner \"The wonder kid\" Jonny Storm is in his second.

Everyone shows off their offence in this match and we get some terrific high spots. This is the type of match we had become accustomed to on TNA and have been missing for several weeks.

Hammond talks about his history as a wrestling fan, and then about Bob Holly body slamming him during the filming of a Stacker2 commercial. They\'ve got to spend less time talking about the WWE on this show.

Jason Cross executed a beautiful move - imagine Christian\'s Unprettier, off the second rope from a summersault. Right after that, the unknown luchador in the spider get-up interfered and caused Cross to be pinned by Daniels. Shark Boy went running after his fellow masked man. So much for that Internet rumor that the mystery man IS in fact Shark Boy. Unless, this is all part of some elaborate, well thought out clever angle. Hmmmm. Stay tuned.

21 year old Sabin hit a Catatonic into a backbreaker. The spider lucha returned and caused Sabin to be set up for a Jerry Lynn cradle piledriver. 1-2-3.

The match is now down to Triple X and Lynn & Red.

Lynn was straddling the ropes somewhere in the middle when Skipper walked the cable and jumped into a perfect hurricanrana. Awesome! Amazing Red put on a kicking clinic with a top rope split-legged shot that took out both Triple X\'ers and then a gravity-defying series of heel kicks.

The finish came after several reversals between Red and Daniels that ended with an Amazing Red small package for a clean win. Lynn and Red will face the champs next week.

WINNER: Amazing Red and Jerry Lynn

Goldy interviews Eric Watts. Eric says he doesn\'t care about the belt he stole from Dusty (which he is wearing around his waist).

Watts is working hard to get his character over and he is really starting to grow on me. Some very funny moments that really can\'t be described. It wouldn\'t do his mannerisms justice. Watts did say that he doesn\'t think any fans in TNA like Jarrett. He believes TNA is using the old \"New York trick\" when they would pipe in the sound of a crowd cheering and going nuts - but the fans are barely awake. Ouch. Nice promo.

Mike Tenay is in the middle of the ring and introduces the World Champion Jeff Jarrett. Tenay asks Jarrett why he attacked D\'Lo from behind with a chair, why he choked Goldylocks and why he attacked Alexis Laree.

Jeff wants to know who Mike wants to speak to. The \"good guy\" or \"J-E Double F, J-A Double R, E Double T\". Jarrett sounds like, and is acting like a total heel.

Tenay tells Jarrett he has a responsibility as champion to represent the NWA properly. Jarrett gets pissed off grabs the mic and asks how Tenay is going to tell him to be a champion.

Raven\'s music hits and he grabs a stick. Raven seems amused and says the reason Jeff is acting insane is because the leader of the Flock has gotten under his skin and into his head. He then says his destiny will be realized in 21 days when they face off and he becomes World Champion. Fans go nuts and Raven says \"Don\'t you dare cheer me - shut your mouth!\" Of course, he also got ticked when the fans started chanting \"Raven Sucks\".

Jarrett says \"While your ass was de-toxing somewhere I was winning world titles\". He then tells Raven to get his \"drugged up ass\" in the ring right now.

Jarrett has a chair in the middle of the ring and is surrounded by Raven, Laree and Dinero. Dusty Rhodes comes into the ring (perhaps to try and calm Jeff down). Rhodes puts a hand on Jeff\'s shoulder and takes a chair shot to the face instead. Yes! Jarrett can\'t believe what he\'s done. Raven laughs (as did I) and the show fades to black.

This was a terrific effort by the folks at TNA. The last couple of weeks have been somewhat lack luster but this felt much more like a Total Non Stop Action program. He had solid work all the way through (with the exception of the Lawler-Rhodes comedy match) and even a few surprises (Young turn, Nikita\'s appearance). Match of the night had to be the main event with an honorable mention to Gilberti and Styles.

SLAM! Readers, send me your comments, questions or thoughts on this show or anything TNA-related. I will publish them in my Tuesday morning TNA preview piece.

Donnie Abreu has been a wrestling journalist for eight years and is the co-founder of IceCold Media (http://www.icecoldmedia.com). Visit IceCold Media for all your custom media design needs. Mention that you read Donnie\'s column on SLAM! and receive a 20% discount!