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TNA: Russo Returns - Raven gets screwed again!
By DONNIE ABREU - SLAM! Wrestling


This week\'s was significantly more entertaining that a couple of other turkeys TNA put out in the month of May. This one featured a conclusion to an old storyline, the beginning of several new ones, new alliances, several returning faces and another Raven screw job.

Match #1 CM Punk and Jason Cross VS. AJ Styles and D\'Lo Brown

Last week CM Punk and Jason Cross were facing each other and this week they are showing their value as a solid tag team. Both will become X-Division main stays, but are showing their skills in tag action this week.

This match was an absolute high spot fesr with D\'Lo hitting some high impact offence. He unveiled a new move - a vertical suplex into a stunner! The finish came when both Punk and Cross were laying in the ring, head to head. Brown came off the top with a frog splash, and Styles came down with a spingboard 450 splash. It was simply awesome.

Winners: AJ Styles and D\'Lo Brown

At the end of the match D\'Lo took the mic and complained about working tag matches and saying he and AJ want respect and the World Title.

Brown says he has been screwed for years, and Styles is being screwed now. D\'Lo goes on to say that the ultimate insult was their match this week \"against a couple of jobbers\" He says that they are being held down by NWA Champion Jeff Jarrett.

Brown then spoke the sentiments of many online fans by saying \"In our lockeroom, our champion is \'The Game\'\". The heel section started chanting \"Triple J - Triple J - Triple J\".

AJ agreed with everything his partner had to say, and decided for them to succeed and achieve their goals, their tag team must end. They hug and go off on their separate ways.

Jeff Jarrett came down to the ring in street clothes and the title around his shoulder to address the crowd.

Jeff received mixed reviews from the crowd. He said \"I hear the boos. You think Raven got ripped off don\'t you? You think he should be champion? Well life sucks and then you die!\"

Raven came down to the ring to a solid baby-face reception. \"The Perfect Killing Machine\" ran down Jarrett, but his best line was \"my dream is being held down by a man who\'s political connections are surpassed only by Shane and Stephanie McMahon\". Raven then offers Jarrett a trip into his Clockwork Orange House Of Fun.

Jarrett says that Raven couldn\'t beat him on his best day. He says he has sacrificed his whole life to get where he is. All Raven did was drugs and alcohol. Raven nodded in agreement and was cheered. Jarrett said that nobody wanted to see the NWA title around Raven\'s waist, to which the champion found himself being booed out of the ring.

Jarrett\'s music hit, when suddenly a man came to the ring with a \"CONFIDENTIAL\" letter for Jarrett. Jarrett open it and mumbled something about someone being suspended. .

Absolutely fantastic segment!

Backstage Glen Gilberti was bragging to S.E.X. about how he just got Jarrett suspended from TNA. Gilberti then did his usual pep talk to each member of the team. He asked the Harris twins to find America\'s Most Wanted member Chris Harris and to bring him in for a chat.

Match #2 Asylum Alliance Tournament Match - Sandman and Sonny Siaki VS. B.G. James and Konnan

B.G. James (aka Road Dogg Jesse James), a founding member of S.E.X. hasn\'t been seen on TNA in months. He left long ago after financial disputes with the company. He is back in the company and wearing an NWA t-shirt.

Sandman and \"Cocky Siaki\" (as James called him) were opponents last week in a Clockwork Orange House Of Fun match.

Siaki started the match and was beaten on by James. Siaki went for several tags but Sandman was on the floor drinking a beer, and not at all interested in helping out the former X-Division Champion.

Siaki tried to tag again by slapping Sandman in the face. Sandman spit a mouthful of beer into his partner\'s face, distracting him enough to take a pump handle slam from James. 1-2-3. Konnan and Sandman never even entered the ring.

Winners: B.G. James and Konnan

New Jack is backstage screaming about his Hard 10 match tonight, when Shark Boy shows up with a Chutes and Ladders board game! He wants to play a fun little game with New Jack. The Gangsta softened up said, \"Oh you wanna play? Maybe we can work somethin\' out.\" Really funny little bit. Shark Boy doesn\'t say a word. He just nods through his goofy mask like a Disney character.

Match #3 Hard 10 Tournament Match - Slash VS. New Jack

1 Point for every blow with a weapon. 5 Points when you put your opponent through a table. 10 Points wins the match.

Mike Sanders won the first Hard 10 match last week, and joined the announce team for this bout. He did a HILARIOUS good ol\' boy style cheeseball announcer voice and just buried Don West. .

A rule was mentioned that you must win by two points. Slash had an 8-4 lead, before New Jack tied it. They just exchanged single points back and forth and ended up in overtime, tied 13-13. From the top rope New Jack threw Slash to the outside and threw a table to win 18-13.

Winner: New Jack

Mike Tenay spoke to Elix Skipper and Chris Daniels in a pre-taped interview. Low Ki is out with a separated shoulder. Tenay talks about the International backgrounds of both men and talks about how far Elix has come from his days in WCW.

Chris Daniels cut an incredibly charismatic promo and was cut off by his un-charismatic partner. Stick to working Skipper.

The Harris Twins are searching for Chris Harris, but are jumped by Ron Killings and Konnan and left laying.

The SAT\'s are back in TNA and being interviewed by Goldylocks. They say they are glad to be back and are very proud of the success of their cousin, The Amazing Red.

Eric Watts they walks in and tells Goldy to follow him off camera. She did.

Match #4 - Non Title Tag Team Match - Triple X (Skipper and Daniels) VS. The SAT\'s (Joel and Jose Maximo)

The match was dominated by Triple X from the start with the Maximos showing the odd bit of offence. . There were so many unique never-before-seen double team moves - you just have to see to believe. The Maximos went for their awesome finish, The Spanish Fly but were interrupted by Daniels who caught one of the brothers with the Angel\'s Wings. Jose was setting up a springboard move when Skipper walked the top rope, hit a hurricanrana and won the match.

The SAT\'s did not look themselves at all. A sub-par performance by them overall.

Winners: Triple X

At the end of the match, Raven DDT\'s both Jose and Joel to send a message to Red. In the S.E.X. locker room, a catfight broke out between Desire and Tracy. The male members of Sports Entertainment Xtreme just stood back and cheered them both on. The \"action\" spilled out to the ring and apparently we have an impromptu \"match\". Desire gave Tracy a rock bottom, before being speared by the Toronto native. Tracy then came off the top rope with a Lou Thesz press. David Young (Tracy\'s Asylum Alliance partner) crushed Tracy with a spinebuster. Goldlocks and Eric Watts are locked inside a janitor\'s cloest. Watts is trying to work his moves on Goldy. Goldy appears interested by says she doesn\'t want to do anything on TV and not with a \"freaking wrestler\" she doesn\'t trust. Watts says not to lump him in with the other guys. They are both entertainers. They kiss and Watts walks off. Kid Kash is backstage and being checked out by a \"Naughty Nurse\". She says she is there for his pre match checkup. Kash says he has a pulled groin and asks for an oral exam. He then stops her and says he knows that she was sent in by Tracy. The nurse kneed the Kid in the family jewels and said next time he\'d get a rectal exam.

Match #5 - Mystery Luchadore VS. Kid Kash

The Luchadore takes the mask off and as expected for the past four weeks, it was Trinity. She dominates the match from the first bell. WOW! Baron Von Kash! Kid\'s first offensive move was the Iron Claw! He calls it the \"Hand in your face\". Iron Claw would have been just fine thank you. Trinity went to the top rope looking for a hurricanrana but was caught and landed in a tombstone piledriver. This match was short, and nothing like the first one they had several weeks ago.

Winner: Kid Kash

Jeff Jarrett is walking around backstage. NWA representative Bill Beherens is urging Jarrett to leave the building since he was suspended for some unknown reason by the National Wrestling Alliance. Jarrett says he\'s not leaving. Backstage in the S.E.X. locker room, Gilberti has a chat with Chris Harris. He refers to The Wildcat as a friend. He says that he wants to help his friend who was scheduled to compete alone this week since his partner James Storm was off dealing with \"personal issues\". Gilberti announces X-Division champion Chris Sabin as his new partner. Harris reluctantly accepts.

Match #6 - Asylum Alliance Tournament Match - Jerry Lynn and Justin Credible VS. Chris Sabin and Chris Harris.

Ok, I admit it. I marked out for the first time pairing of the former ECW World Champions, Credible and Lynn. Sabin was in the ring last weekend with Lynn in that WWA cruiserweight title fatal four-way. This match was very well-worked and also showcased a bit of Sabin\'s personality. For the first time we see Sabin as a little goofy with hilarious facial expressions. Don West dumb comment of the night: \"Sabin is built like a wrestler\". And what would the rest of the roster be built like Mr. West? A bunch of baseball card salesman? The match was decent and went back and forth. The finish set up a terrific future match. Lynn had his man ready for a cradle piledriver, but Credible told his partner that he was the legal man. Lynn allowed him to take over and attempt a That\'s Incredible Tombstone. Sabin reversed the attempt and pinned Credible!

Winners: Chris Sabin and Chris Harris

Lynn pie-faced Credible and showed his disgust with the loss. They attacked each other and went punch for punch until getting into a pull apart. Several minutes later Lynn said he was going to kick Justin\'s ass, just like he did in ECW. They go to the back and Goldy\'s mic is being held by Eric Watts. Watts says he is all excited about the match between Glen Gilberti and Raven. Watts throws off a bunch of goofy one liners before being interrupted by Raven. Raven says he should pull Eric\'s eyes out and use the sockets as latrines - but he won\'t because the big man makes him laugh! The crowd loved that. Watts said he knew what didn\'t make Raven laugh. The politics and the \"B.S.\" chants - because everyone knows he should be the World Champion.

Match #7 - Glen Gilberti VS. Raven

The spent the first several minutes on the outside and was dominated by Raven. It looked a lot like a hardcore match and was really nothing more than a brawl. When they were back in the ring, Raven locked in a wrestling hold - The Cobra Cluth. Rodney Mack: watch and learn how to apply the damn hold! Gilberti backed Raven into the corner to escape, but a few minutes later was locked in it again. This time Gilberti broke out with a Stunner. Gilberti tried to hit the drop toe-hold onto a chair but Raven stopped in his tracks picked the chair up and threw it at the #1 Contender\'s face. Raven then used that same move on Double G. Raven was attacked from behind by the Harris Twins but was saved by Alexis Laree and Julio Dinero. The match continued with Gilberti working the left ankle of Raven. He used spinning toe holds, a scissors stomp a ton of kicks, and an Angle-like ankle lock. Raven managed to escape from an ankle lock with an enziguiri if you can believe that! Raven followed up with a spinning clothesline, trademark knee lift, bulldog and more. Sonny Siaki came to ringside and pulled the ref out of the ring when he was bout to count three following a DDT on Gilberti. Gilberti hit a Stunner, but Raven managed to kick out. We had a ref bump and another sure-bet cover by Raven. Sandman came out and nailed the Flock leader with three cane shots to the back of the head. Sandman was chased out of the ring by Jeff Jarrett of all people. Raven eventually recovered and hit another DDT. The referee was still down. Then, Vince Russo made his on-camera return to TNA. He nailed Raven with a baseball bat, pulled The Gifted One on top and we get a pinfall.

Winner: Glen Gilberti

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!