TNA: Sting, Douglas, Waltman rock anniversary show
DONNIE ABREU - SLAM! Wrestling
It\'s finally here. The day they said would never come. The little show that couldn\'t ... did! Many \"experts\" laughed at the model of TNA when it was first announced. Many of the top wrestling journalists mocked the concept and said it would be dead before the end of last summer. One solid year later and NWA Total Non Stop Action is not only rolling right along - it has become a player in the industry.
To start this week\'s recap I have to give props to TNA ring announcer Jeremy Borash, who doubles as the man who puts together all of the video packages for the show.
The anniversary show started with a very slick, well cut montage that showcased many of the stars that have competed in the company over the past years and some of the biggest high spots. Just terrific.
I should also comment on the new set. It looks very WCW. It stands from floor to ceiling and is a lot of rounded steel and coloured lights. Kind of sleek looking. Amazing upgrade.
Match #1: Sonny Siaki, Ron Harris and David Young VS The Sandman, D\'Lo Brown and Frankie Kazarian.
Wow. When did Sonny Siaki learn to work? He threw Kazarian with a beautiful T-Bone suplex moments after taking the \'Back To The Future\' (electric chair drop into a bridge).
The match ended quickly, when D\'Lo came off the top rope, changed direction in mid air and hit a frog splash on Young in the middle of the ring.
As expected, neither Sandman or Harris ever entered the match.
Winners: Brown, Sandman and Kazarian
After the match Sandman wanted to have a beer with his buddies, but they were jumped by S.E.X. The beating lasted a minute or so until the save was made by Jeff Jarrett and STING!! The crowd went WILD!
Sting cleared house with his big black bat and we\'re off to a red hot start.
TNA now has a permanent Spanish Broadcast team, featuring Konnan.
Vince Russo then came down to the ring to work the mic. He received a very mixed reaction. Half the crowd chanting \"Russo! Russo!\" while the rest screamed, \"You Suck! You Suck!\"
Russo talked about how the Nashville fans aren\'t loyal since they turned on one of their own (Jarrett) and basically forced Russo back into the picture. He then introduced the new NWA champion AJ Styles. Russo says that at his age, Styles is better than Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart and Sting were.
AJ cuts a heel promo, insulting the crowd and is interrupted by Mike Tenay. Tenay tries to convince Styles that he was brainwashed by Russo. Russo replies with \"This business is all about screwing - who you screw to get to the top. Friends, Foes - whoever\".
That\'s when D\'Lo Brown\'s music hits. He looks like he wants to confront Styles, but instead he goes after Russo. He talks about how Russo created D\'Lo Brown in the WWF. Created the walk, the neck gimmick, the whole character. He said Russo was the only one who believed in him in New York when everyone else thought he was a mid-carder, but now, he doesn\'t even know who he is.
A scrap broke out with the former Vic Venom and Styles double teaming Brown. D\'Lo was saved by Raven who was then attacked from behind by THE FRANCHISE, Shane Douglas!
Goldylocks (what happened to Scott Hudson?) is backstage interviewing Tracey and Veronica (now collectively known as Bitch Slap). They inform us that the NWA has just passed down a ruling that women are no longer allowed to compete with the men! Without sounding painfully chauvenist, let me just say \"WhooooHoooo!\".
Julio Dinero and Alexis Laree are then shown in the parking lot talking about how pissed Raven is going to be that they didn\'t help him out. CM Punk interrupts asking Raven\'s disciples about joining the Gathering. Dinero says that Raven is so pissed off, that there might not BE a Gathering anymore. The kid replied with \"There will always be a Gathering. Quote CM Punk, nevermore.\"
X-Division Title Match: Chris Sabin VS Paul London
You\'re not going to believe what Paul London did unless you see it for yourself! With Sabin on the outside, London ran along the ring apron and did a running shooting star press to the floor! WOW!
Not to be outdone, a few minutes later Sabin came with a corkscrew plancha - leaping over the top to the outside.
Another great spot came when London spun off the top turnbuckle into a high cross body block but landed on the perfectly placed bent knee of Sabin. Sabin followed up with the reverse Catatonic into a back breaker.
At this point, CM Punk entered the ring and sat in the corner of the ring (just like Raven) and just watched the match. London with the perfect Shooting Star Press, but can\'t make the cover. Ref bump. Punk gives London the Raven Effect and then takes the Future Shock (fisherman buster) from Sabin. Goodnight.
Winner and STILL Champion: Chris Sabin
New Jack interview backstage with Goldy. NJ said he is ready for Mike Sanders. Shark Boy showed up and NJ said he doesn\'t have time to play with him this week. In recent weeks they\'ve been seen playing cards, chess, Twister - all kinds of stuff. NJ says he is focused on Sanders and can\'t be playing around. SB shows off the big \"Incredible Hulk\" green fist boxing gloves. New Jack looks intrigued and says, after he\'s done in the ring he\'ll come back and play Hulk with the Shark.
NJ then came with another golden line towards Mike Sanders: \"I don\'t know wrestlin\' moves. I don\'t know holds. I know whoppin your ass!\"
Hard 10 Match: New Jack VS Mike Sanders
Sanders opened up with a 7-1 lead. He is the only one that has learned not to drop his weapon after a shot. He connects with a weapon and keeps hitting his man to pile up the points. It ain\'t rocket science boys.
New Jack was far more creative in picking up points. Like when he laid a trash can lid on Sander\'s groin and came down with a headbutt. That made the score 7-5.
NJ put Sanders on a table and went to the top rope, ready to come down on the former WCW commissioner. Sharky handed NJ one of the Hulk hands, and the crowd went NUTS: \"Use It! Use It!\" NJ looked confused but did take it. He put the glove on and started doing most-muscular poses and even a little Pee Wee Herman dance before punching Sanders right through the table for 5 points and the win.
Winner: New Jack
Grudge Match: Justin Credible VS Jerry Lynn
This match started off well as a good old fashioned chop fest, but came to a quick and strange end. Credible went for the tombstone piledriver, which turned into a fish-out-of-water spot. Credible ended up on top and then grabbed the ropes to earn a three count. The ref first signaled no pin fall and waved it off. Lynn stared at him as if to say \"What the hell are you doing\". He then raised Credible\'s arm in victory. My guess is the referee forgot the finish. Credible and JL battled after the bell to the outside.
Winner: Justin Credible?
Interview segment with Ron Killings and Konnan being conducted by BG James who was apparently trying to be funny by doing a Tenay impression. They did a segment stuffed with racial stereotypes and just confused the hell out of people. Waste of time.
Kenzo Suzuki VS Perry Saturn
Kenzo used to work for New Japan but is now with WJ (World Japan). Saturn, has been working in New Japan and is making his first TNA appearance in several weeks. Tenay mentioned how Kenzo\'s first match ever was at the Tokyo Dome in front of 63,000.
I didn\'t realize from tapes I had seen in the past how big Kenzo is. He made Saturn look small. He\'s got to be about 6\'4 or 6\'5\" with a muscular build and a great look.
This was a stiff looking suplex fest. Saturn went for the cover and the win, but his Team Extreme (remember that?) team mate, Credible jumped in and the match was thrown out. Lynn attacked Credible and they battled to the back.
Winner: No Contest
Goldy is chatting with THE MAN, World Champion AJ Styles. Styles says that Vince will find him the best available tag partner for the main event match against Jarrett and Sting. He doesn\'t know who it will be, but he trusts Vince. Oh, I hope it\'s a Russo made star like Judy Bagwell or David Arquette.
NWA TNA Tag Team Title Match: Triple X VS America\'s Most Wanted
Before Borash introduced the participants, we see Christopher Daniels and Elix Skipper backstage and they lay out Chris Harris and James Storm.
Skipper and Daniels are then lead to the ring by LOW KI!! Yes! Low Ki is wearing both belts around his neck and a sling because of the shoulder injury he suffered a few weeks ago.
Daniels gets on the mic and says that he is returning to Japan in two weeks, and this might be the last two weeks that we see him! WHAT? NO! Say it ain\'t so!
The challengers made their way to the ring no-selling the beat down they just took. Ring the bell start the match.
Daniels held Storm up for a vertical suplex when Skipper did a double jump, off the top rope into a high cross body. Awesome. Storm took a beating for a couple minutes and then made the hot tag to the big southpaw.
Harris wiped out Daniels and then went one on one with Prime Time. Harris reversed the Play Of The Day into a Catatonic. Harris missed a Stinger Splash and then took the Angel\'s Wings from Daniels. Storm made the save.
When Daniels went for a super-plex on Storm, Harris came in with an electric chair - while Storm jumped off the top and connected with a reverse DDT. I MARKED out!
Daniels took the Death Sentence but the count was interrupted by Skipper. Low Ki occupied the ref allowing Elix to get a belt shot in. Daniels made the cover.
Winners and STILL Champions: Triple X
We get an interview with owner Jerry Jarrett. You now know why Jerry normally stays off camera. He just rambled on and on forever.
Eric Watts (subbing for Goldy) was in the middle of the ring and said it was time for some excitement. He is \"Mr. Ratings and Mr. Explosion\". Explosion is TNA\'s \"B\" show. He then asks the \"Mighty Midget\" Kid Kash to come to the ring. The talked trash until Watts finall put Kash up for a chokeslam. He held him in the air showing him to all sides before just tossing him away. Watts looked up on the AsylumTron (what?) and saw Goldy locked inside a cage with the 6\'6\" monster, Abyss. Abyss was just staring at her and Goldy was freaking out. Watts tried to make the save but was jumped by Kash with a night stick.
Chris Harris and James Storm come to the broadcast position and say that NEXT WEEK we will have a tag title rematch, inside a steel cage!
MAIN EVENT: AJ Styles & Mystery Partner VS Jeff Jarrett and Sting
Russo took the mic and said the mystery man is a degenerate, a scum bag and a low life. But he is a lot like Russo. It\'s Sean Waltman! The announcers go nuts talking about how Waltman left TNA because of personal issues with Russo. Waltman killed his own heat by taking about 2 minutes to actually come through the entrance (where the hell was he?). When he got to the ring, he and Russo did the old Wolfpac club finger thingy.
Waltman is wearing a track suit. Did he KNOW he was working tonight?
Jarrett and Sting came out together to Jarrett\'s music. No big entrance or build for Sting. Weird.
Within a minute Sting went for the Scorpion Death Lock, but they were too close to the ropes. Sting then did a plancha over the top to the floor on Styles.
In the ring, Syxx-Pac went for a bronco buster, but missed everything. Jarrett slapped on a figure four but then got caught with a HUGE springboard leg drop by AJ.
Sting has the Scorpion on Styles but then Pac came in from behind with a baseball bat shot. Sting then got a taste of his own medicine when Styles locked the Sharpshooter in. Sting managed to push Styles off.
Sting then hit reverse DDTs on both of his opponents simultaneously before making the hot tag to Jarrett.
Jarrett did connect with the Stroke on Styles, but the ref was nowhere to be found. Jarrett then went for the Stroke off the second rope, but Russo interfered. Raven and Shane Douglas came from the back, but just beat on each other. Sting went after Russo. The match appears to have been thrown out. Sting, Jarrett and Raven are all on the same side? Raven and Jarrett go nose to nose to end the show.
Winners: No Contest
Looks like next week we might have Raven, Stinger and JJ versus Styles, Waltman and The Franchise.
The show has fantastic energy and pacing this week, but the matches were all shorter than usual. TNA rarely does goofy \"No Contest\" finishes, so two in one week makes me think people just couldn\'t agree in the booking meetings.
Happy Birthday NWA Total Non Stop Action. You\'ve come a long way , baby.
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!