April 24, 2003
TNA: Barbed wire, kendo sticks and Team Extreme unites
By DONNIE ABREU - SLAM! Wrestling
The Truth returns, Raven rules and Dusty Rhodes is nowhere to be seen! Yes indeed folks, it was another solid program for NWA TNA this week!
The show is kick started by Raven. He cuts a promo backstage talking about his match with Jeff Jarrett next week and how he will "achieve his birth right and his destiny" by becoming NWA World Champion. Raven also promised to drop the mother-load of all bombshells on Jarrett later tonight.
TNA's backstage reporter Goldylocks is outside talking to "Gifted" Glen Gilberti and "B.A." Mike Sanders outside the arena. Gilberti suggests the "B.A." stands for "Below Average" and not "Bad Ass". They continue hassling each other when the Harris twins, Triple X, Sonny Siaki, David Young and Desire all arrive. Gilberti is pissed at them for being late and smacks Siaki across the face. Young gets into Gilberti's grill, but is eventually calmed down as the S.E.X. leader sends them on their way to the dressing room to get ready for the show.
I'm not sure what they had to get ready for since this was pretty much the extent of Siaki, Young and Desire's contribution to this episode.
D'Lo Brown and A.J. Styles crash the party attacking Gilberti and Sanders. They brawl all the way to the ring and we have our first match.
AJ Styles and D'Lo Brown VS. Mike Sanders and Glen Gilberti
Sanders is sporting a new / old look. Walking shorts, an S.E.X. t-shirt and a white bandana. Don West compares it to Michael Jordan doffing his number 45 in favor of old familiar 23 when he returned to the Bulls from retirement. A stretch? I'd say so.
Mike Tenay tells us that Styles injured his knee at a show this past week. A.J. and D'Lo are tagging together for the first time, but surprisingly they do show some decent chemistry, and pull off several double team maneuvers.
Styles is definitely favoring his left knee. Not sure what the extent of this injury is. More on that as it develops.
D'Lo hit a Sudden Impact (Catatonic) and then connected with a perfect frog splash from the top. Take that RVD!
Gilberti made that save and then another after Brown connected with a Lo-Down.
D'Lo laid out Gilberti and motioned for Styles to climb the ropes and come down with the Spiral Tap. Styles, who did not participate much in this match, took his time climbing the ropes and was cut off by Triple X. The match was then thrown out.
Winners: Styles and Brown by DQ
Triple X put a beating on Styles before being interrupted by the tag champs Jerry Lynn and The Amazing Red. The rest of the S.E.X. locker room unloaded and destroyed the champs.
Goldy is now with NWA TNA World Champion, Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett says he doesn't understand Raven's promo and he doesn't care what the surprise is. He says he might have cared in his days of shouting out "slap nutz" or when Raven was "trying to make a name for himself in some run down Bingo Hall", but not now. He wraps by saying that tonight he will be the hunter, not the hunted.
Eric Watts interrupts showing Jarrett an extra long straight-jacket. He says he wants to help his childhood friend and he is going after Raven. Jarrett remarks with "He's going to get killed. And it'll be the best thing for him".
The cameras then cut away to a commotion in another locker room. Goldylocks rushes over and we see security tending to America's Most Wanted member Chris Harris, who has apparently been attacked. James Storm looks ticked off.
America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm) VS. Triple X (Elix Skipper and Christopher Daniels): Tag Title #1 Contenders Match
Skipper takes the mic and apologizes to the Triple X fans, saying there will not be a match tonight - because as slow as Storm is - he's not dumb enough to take them both on.
Predictably, Storm hits the ring like a house on fire and tosses both men to the outside. Storm quickly followed with an over the top plancha onto Skipper and Daniels. Very nicely done. After a few minutes of controlling the tempo, the numbers finally catch up and Triple X turns the tide.
The two on one continued for 5 minutes or so before Chris Harris finally stumbled down to the ring, holding his head and appearing a little groggy.
Even with Harris in the corner, Storm couldn't get there for the tag.
Finally, 3 or 4 minutes later, a superkick took out Skipper, and Storm made the hot tag! Slight problem though: the ref didn't see it as Daniels had him distracted. Storm is still in the match and is once again being double-teamed. After another minute or so, The Tennessee Cowboy managed to escape and finally tagged his partner.
Harris connected with lariats and a flying shoulder tackle, before both Triple X'ers took him out too. The action went back and forth from that point with several impressive false finishes.
Harris regained the advantage and then held Skipper up for a Catatonic. As he was poised to deliver the move, Daniels kicked him "down there" from behind. Skipper rolls the Wildcat up and earns the win.
Winners: Skipper and Daniels
Storm looked down at Harris and walked off in disgust.
Call me crazy, but I was expecting a heel turn from Harris, not storm. My guess: it'll be revealed that Storm was the one who jumped his partner before the match, as he has been upset at the fact that Harris had been socializing with S.E.X. in recent weeks and putting so much focus on his singles career. The ol' double swerve? Maybe.
Backstage again, Alexis Laree is looking for Jarrett. Jarrett crushes her from behind with a trashcan then leads her to the parking lot. Jarrett unloaded a right hand on Laree before tossing her into the back of a pick-up truck.
Back at ringside, Eric Watts is telling Mike Tenay and Don West that he is looking for Raven.
Father James Mitchell is shown in a creepy pretaped interview explaining the rules of the Ultimate Sin match. The entire ring is surrounded by barbed wire and not "that fake WCW barbed wire!." Well said! To demonstrate the legitimacy of his claim, Mitchell made French fries when he sliced a raw potato by rubbing it against the wire.
He then shows off some of the other toys in the match. Just to name a few, we see a kendo stick on a pole, tables, a sickle, and a ladder. If someone climbs the ladder they will find a baseball bat hanging from the rafters.
As an aside, no one explains a bizarre stipulation like Mitchell. Terrific promo.
Slash, Brian Lee and Mike Awesome (The New Church) VS. Saturn, Sandman and New Jack (Team Extreme) Ultimate Sin match
This match had been promoted with Justin Credible, but instead we have the Original Gangsta, New Jack. Right from the bell, New Jack carves Slash's forehead with the sickle and Slash is bleeding like a stuck pig. Not to be outdone, Slash got his hands on one of New Jack's favorite weapons and stapled a dollar bill to the Gangstas face!
Tenay put over Awesome's FMW history in barbed wire matches. Awesome nailed Saturn with a powerbomb off the top before being clobbered by the Sandman with a cane shot.
Saturn used Hak's old finisher - a Russian leg sweep with a kendo stick on Lee.
Awesome had The Sandman on the side of the ring and hit a twisting sit out powerbomb through a table! Just guess what the crowd was chanting!
After coming from the top rope and hitting Slash with a chair, New Jack set up the ladder and went for the bat. As he was about to grab that Louisville Slugger, Slash pushed the ladder over, sending New Jack to the outside through a table! Cue the crowd.
Slash went for the bat himself, but then all the lights in the building went out. When they came back up, Justin Credible was at the top of the ladder opposite Slash and punched him to the mat. Credible snatched the bat and nailed the former PG-13 member, allowing Saturn to make the pin.
This was a bloodbath and as far as hardcore matches go (which I'm not generally a big fan of) - pretty amazing.
Winners: Team Extreme
A video package was then shown recapping the Trinity - Kid Kash saga.
Tenay is in the ring and introduces the X-Division Champion, Kid Kash. Tenay talks about the "gutless display" demonstrated by the champ last week when he allowed the Harris boys to H-Bomb his main squeeze.
Kash disagrees and then tells everyone that he is the one that discovered Trinity. She was "working dark matches with two J-brones from New York" when he saw some talent. Kash then says that Trinity doesn't have a contract with TNA - she has one with the K-I-D. He sums up by saying that he owns Trinity.
Her music hits and she's now in the ring and on the mic. Trinity says she is going to get things straight, but before she finishes her sentence she has the taste slapped out of her mouth! Tenay freaks out, but cheers on as Trinity retaliates with a smack of her own.
Kash says that since Trinity wants to wrestle men, he is going to make her dreams come true tonight! A ref slides into the ring and we have a match!
Kid Kash VS. Trinity: Non-Title X-Division Match
Trinity jumps Kash and shows off her quickness. She connects with a series of arm drags and spin kicks before landing a moonsault from the top to the arena floor. Wow! Trinity appeared to smack her knee pretty hard but didn't stop moving.
Kash threw Trinity into the safety rail and then threw a chair about 40 miles an hour into her face! As God is my witness; that was the most painful looking chairshot I think I've ever witnessed! Eat your heart out Foley!!
Back in the ring, Kash is toying with Trinity, showing that he could pin her at any time. He buries high knees into her chest and then hits a version of the Ki Krusher 99 into a back breaker!
Trinity managed to kick out after being nearly beheaded by a fierce looking lariat. The crowd is red hot for this manager-turned-X Division-contender. Kash tosses Trin to the ropes, but she reverses and nails an amazing hurricanrana, driving the champ's head right into the mat!
Trinity went to the top and tried to land a split-legged-somersault senton bomb but landed awkwardly. That's when the Harris boys and Mike Sanders came to the ring. Trinity and Kash were both down and out. The crowd was expecting to see an H-bomb, but they weren't expecting to see Kash take it! The crowd explodes!
Sanders tossed the former Daredevil stuntwoman onto the champ as she made the cover and picked up the win!
Somewhat strange booking decision as the heels help the babyface against another heel. This may evolve into S.E.X. trying to woo Trinity into their camp. Shark Boy is introduced and walks down the ramp for his match with Justin Credible. The Shark was attacked from behind however by Slash who is still wearing that bright crimson mask.
Slash grabs ring announcer Jeremy Borash and put a sickle to his throat. He wants Credible in the ring or Borash will get his neck wet. Borash did a terrific job of selling the spot. Credible sneaks up from behind and takes out the New Church member with a cane shot to the back of the head.
The match is started.
Justin Credible VS Slash
Slash is being pushed to the stars tonight. He was made to look strong in the Ultimate Sin match and is being put over by the announcers as Credible lays an old school beating on him.
Both men take some brutal shots and Slash managed to hit his trademark whirly-bird helicopter spin. The fight spilled to the outside and eventually to the parking lot.
Slash had control and the kendo stick when fellow Team Extreme members Saturn and New Jack tried to interfere. Slash took them both out with stiff cane shots before being attacked from behind by Sandman with a FLAMING KENDO STICK! The bell rings and the match is thrown out.
Winner: Double DQ
Eric Watts comes to the ring and says he is looking for Raven. Raven's music hits but its Julio Dinero that shows up. Watts says he doesn't want a stooge from the Nest, he wants the leader of the pack. Julio attacks Watts but takes a big chokeslam. He recovers and fights back but then feels an E-Bomb into the top turnbuckle. Alexis Laree slides into the ring to help her teammate. She chokes out Watts and stomps away at his face. Julio set up a table but Watts was saved by Jarrett! Jarrett crushed Laree with a DDT and then the Stroke on Dinero. Dinero is set up on a table, as Jeff climbed the ropes. Laree hops on the champ for a hurricanrana, but is caught and then powerbombed through Dinero and the wood.
Jarrett leaves the ring and the building looking for Raven.
Tenay and West continue to hype the Jarrett - Raven title match next Wednesday. They then throw to a video package recapping the history between The Amazing Red and Jerry Lynn. The next match is billed as "A Matter Of Respect". A strange caption considering they have no on-air heat (like the Lynn-Styles feud from last year).
Konnan then made his return to TNA after a two week absence and joined the broadcast team.
Amazing Red VS. Jerry Lynn: X-Division Title #1 Contenders Match
Konnan runs down Lynn and complains about TNA having women (but he didn't use the word "women") on the show, but a decorated champion like himself can't get a match. Note to Konnan: Trinity didn't blow up at the 1:30 point of the contest.
The match starts as expected. We have the typical babyface feeling out process with the obligatory reversals and standing switches.
After a reversed Code Red, the Amazing one pops off the ropes and does a full 360 landing on the outside edge of the ring. He then launched himself into a perfect hurricanrana to the floor. Awesome.
Konnan tossed out a few humorous one-liners before he exploded into charges of racial inequality. He respects Red, who is Puerto Rican but says that TNA would prefer to "keep things white".
After a series of brutal shots on the outside, Red hit the Code-Red (catapult powerbomb) but Lynn managed to kick out at two. Red them came down from the top rope but was caught and landed in a sit-out powerbomb.
Red reversed an attempted F5 and tried Lynn's cradle pildriver. Lynn reversed that attempt and crushed his smaller opponent with a devastating version of the Kryptonite Krunch! JL signaled for the cradle piledriver but Red flipped out, before being sent into the post shoulder first.
That's when Ron "The Truth" Killings made his return to TNA and destroyed Jerry Lynn.
Immediately after, Killings went to the booth and told Konnan, "We need to talk. NOW!" Konnan and Killings walked off into the crowd, and didn't stick around to see a top rope InfraRed for the pinfall victory.
Winner: The Amazing Red
Red and Lynn shook hands and hugged at the conclusion of the match.
Eric Watts is shown backstage doing an Elmer Fudd impression! He's hunting Wavens! He walks into Raven's locker room but is destroyed by the leader of the Flock.
Tenay and West are again hyping next week's World Title match and throw to the same video package we have seen over the past few weeks.
After the video, Jarrett is shown walking towards Raven's locker room. Raven meets him halfway and clobbers the champ with a mop! They brawl down to the ring, exchanging stiff right hands. Jarrett delivers a chair shot and then pulls out the straight jacket. Raven struggles but after another chairshot, doesn't have much left. A third chairshot finds it's mark and then the lights went out. When they came back up, Jarrett was face to face with all four members of Team Extreme! Yes Yes Yes! "The mother-load of all bombshells." -Quote The Raven Nevermore.
Saturn, Credible and New Jack strap Jarrett into the straight jacket. As if that wasn't enough, they wrapped him up in barbed wire and then hung him upside down against the ropes! From that position, Double J took several brutal cane shots from Raven.
Strangely, Sandman didn't participate in any of this. He seemed somewhat confused as he just leaned up against a corner and watched. Maybe he had one too many Fullington-weisers.
The show goes off the air with Team Extreme and Raven posing. E-C-W! E-C-W!
Another solid program! The Ultimate Sin match, and both #1 contenders bouts were definitely worth the price of the show. Check out the encore if you missed the broadcast ñ I guarantee you will not be disappointed!
Trinity shocked me. It was nothing like watching Chyna and Jericho. This was actually compelling.
This show was also a coming out party for New Church member Slash. For the first time since TNA debuted, I believe that Slash will become a main event player in this company. Nice work by the writing team.
Internet rumors that Sabu and / or Shane Douglas may be on this week's show turned out to be false; but in my opinion, TNA had to get out of the "can-you-top-this" pattern of debuting a big name on EVERY show.
Overall: 8.5 / 10
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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!