June 26, 2003
TNA: Rebel promotion delivers awesome show
By DONNIE ABREU - SLAM! Wrestling
The June 26th installment of NWA TNA was exactly what the name suggests: Total Non Stop Action. I was literally screaming at the screen, begging for rest holds or long promos so that I could properly recap the action without missing anything. This show was definitely one to be seen.
Year Number Two is now officially under way, and was kicked off with the fifth meeting between America's Most Wanted and the tag team champions, Triple X. This one is historic, as it is the first CAGE MATCH in the history of TNA.
Match #1 America's Most Wanted VS. Truple X: Inside the Steel Cage
As expected, this match was first to accommodate the time needed to properly set up the cage. The cage is HUGE. A legitimate 13-15 feet high - unlike some of the cages in the WWE that are said to be that tall but never are. Surprisingly, when ring announcer Jeremy Borash introduced the challengers, the fans responded with boos! That's the first time Chris Harris and James Storm have heard that. It was also pointed out that Elix Skipper and Chris Daniels were not wearing Sports Entertainment Xtreme t-shirts this week. Mike Tenay says that the story is simple: Vince Russo owns the rights to the S.E.X. brand and he has decided not to allow any of the current members to carry the name. That means the gimmick is either dead, or we'll have a battle for the rights to the name.
Now for the actual match!
Wow, it didn't take long for Chris Harris to be busted open - sporting a gash that would've made Vitali Klitschko proud. Nice spot saw Skipper go for a dragon sleeper into a vertical suplex - only to have it reversed and then thrown up against the cage wall. I'm not sure how it happened but soon after taking a combination vertical / cross body, Storm was on the canvas and wearing a crimson mask of his own. Big bump of the match: Storm brought Skipper back into the ring from the top of the cage with a modified power bomb. Daniels was walking the top rope, the way Skipper normally does when he was speared by Harris who was standing on the top rope!
The Superfly moment of the match saw Elix Skipper connect with a high cross body that was textbook perfect from the TOP OF THE CAGE! Awesome!
Skipper then went to the top of the cage again but was knocked off the top to the floor by the Wildcat. Escaping the cage is not a way to win this match. It had to be submission or pinfall. AMW went for the Death Sentence on Daniels but messed it up badly. They made up for that by trying it a second time - but Harris lept from the top of the cage with a legdrop while the Fallen Angel was being held by Storm.
Cover. Pin. Win.
Have a nice time in Japan Chris. Thanks for the memories!
Winners and NEW Champions: America's Most Wanted
D'Lo Brown came out to cut a promo - and stall for time, allowing the crew to tear down the cage. Brown talked about how his goal in TNA was to win the World Title. But he was sidetracked by his buddy AJ Styles. He said the relationship he had with Styles saw him take, take and take without giving anything back. Brown says his goal to win the big belt is re-started tonight and he will go through Russo's boy. Styles comes out to confront Brown - and because the crew hasn't taken the damn ring down yet. Styles didn't say a word (probably a good thing), and just started wailing on his former partner. Brown countered and laid a beating on the World Champion.
Styles tried escaping the cage and when he was on the outside of it, D'Lo Pushed him off!! Styles fell 15 feet to the floor and did a full face bump! WOW!! Brown then broke a chair over Style's back!
Strange thing happened after that. Referee Andrew Thomas came from the back and all of a sudden, this impromptu beat down is a MATCH! Huh??
Match #2: NWA World Championship Match: D'Lo Brown VS. AJ Styles
Soon after the bell rang, Styles wiped out Brown with a chair to his face. I don't think I've ever seen D'Lo busted open. He wears a nice crimson mask.
Styles dominated the action for several minutes before Brown finally fired up threw the champ into the cage face first. We then got a Catatonic and Low Down on Styles. Brown then went to the TOP OF THE CAGE for the frog splash. As he was preparing to leap, Russo ran into the ring with a baseball bat and dared Brown to jump. Styles got to his face and threw a chair at Brown forcing him to fall to the turnbuckles. He then took a brutal belly to back suplex from the champ off the top! Holy COOOOOW! The referee rang the bell and we have a DQ
Winner: D'Lo Brown via DQ
Jeff Jarrett ran out with guitar in hand to make the save but was sent to the back by security. The beat down continued and ended with a Styles Clash.
We then went outside and saw The Franchise Shane Douglas take out Raven's Gathering (Julio Dinero and Alexis Laree). Douglas made his way into the building and up to Raven's perch to cut a promo. Douglas says the reason he is after Raven is because he threw the NWA World Title in the garbage years ago and killed it. He despises Raven, a former soldier in Extreme, for trying so hard to win the title that he already made obsolete. Douglas claims NWA officials didn't want him in the company and it was an old friend who got him into the company. He swore that he would do this man's bidding and help him eliminate Raven. He apparently made "A deal with the devil". He says it's not Raven's destiny to win the NWA title - it's his destiny to get FRANCHISED. Raven made his way out to the perch and a battle ensued. Raven had the upperhand for a second before Glen Gilberti popped up to help Douglas. Gathering wannabe CM Punk tried to help Raven but was stopped by SD. Jarrett finally ran the heels off to save his former enemy. The lights in the building then went out to signify that the next match was uinsanctioned.
Match #3: "Lights Out Match": Justin Credible VS. Jerry Lynn
This isn't what I expected. It started out like a 1999 WWF hardcore match in the parking lot, and then into the concession stands in the building. Why would TNA put two superb workers like this in a straight garbage match? They battled down to the TNA set and fought on the stage. TNA dancer, Lollipop was injured during this mess. Lynn reversed a piledriver attempt and rolled Credible up for the win. The roll up was sloppy and the pin didn't look very definitive. Once again these two put out a brutal match with a horrible finish.
Winner: Jerry Lynn
Credible then handcuffed Lynn to Lollipop's dancing cage and laid him out with stiff chair shots to the midsection.
Glen Gilberti is in his locker room with the guys who used to be S.E.X. Gilberti complains about Russo not allowing them to use the name anymore, but says that each of them must do something great to maintain their status. He started with Raven, and he wants Sabin to retain the X title next.
He also said he wants Shark Boy's mask because the guy makes him sick.
Match #4: X-Division Non-Title Match: Chris Sabin VS Frankie Kazarian
Both men in this match are nicknamed "The Future". Sabin may be a heel, but he is over HUGE with the crowd. Loud chants of "Hail Sabin" can be heard throughout the entire match. This guy's more over than the World Champion! The 21-year-old champion is truly a prodigy. You forget that he's only in his second full year of competition. Kazarian is awesome as well, but Sabin is just on another level, blending high spots and mat work with precision. Kazarian went to the top rope for a moonsault or something similar, when Sabin RAN across the ring and up the ropes (Kurt Angle style - but MUCH quicker) and THREW Kazarian with a 360 overhead release! WHOAH!!!! Hail Sabin! Kazarian then maned to kick out of a Catatonic where he was driven into Sabin's knees. Kazarian then popped out of the Fisherman Buster and hit his Wave Of The Future (spinning Flatliner). Sabin came back with a double under hook German! Frankie Kazarian then hit a new move that HAS TO BE SEEN to be believed. It's called the Flux Capacitor. It's a one-man version of the Spanish Fly. Both men on the tope rope and then a suplex into 360 backflip, ending in a wicked face bump. If you missed the show, order the replay to see THIS move! FK rolled on the champ and picked up the win.
Winner and still the Future: Frankie Kazarian
We were then treated to a video package recapping the Kid Kash, Eric Watts, Goldylocks, Abyss storyline.
Match #5: Kid Kash VS Eric Watts
Watts is over big time (thanks to his hilarious promos over the past couple in months), but is still sporting his WCW ring gear. Baggy jeans with yellow inserts and a muscle shirt. Time for a makeover dude. The match was as expected slow and plodding. Kash used a ground attack with a ton of rest holds and arm locks. Watts couldn't blow up THAT quickly could he? Does he have Konnan's stamina. Tenay reminds us that Watts is undefeated on Xplosion. When Watts was up on his feet he used goofy power moves and even Hogan's legdrop of doom. Watts did manage to catch the K I D off the top and turn it into a powerslam. He caught him a little too low or it would have looked great. Kash went for a top rope hurricanrana but I guess Watts no sold it cuz he barely turned over and didn't hit the mat. Looked very awkward. Watts hit his E-Bomb (his version of the Last Ride) but the ref had just been bumped. I hate when that happens. Abyss ran in, nailed EW with a spinning sidewalk slam and Kash picked up the win.
Winner: Kid Kash
We had an installment of the Interrogators, where Don West was being questioned by Ron Killings and Konnan. Only thing was, West was being impersonated by BG James. They goofed on him for a few minutes. When the segment was over, West sounded like he ENJOYED it! Geeez
He then saw Shark Boy in his "Shark Tank" - which was a little rubber wading pool. New Jack was trying to fire him up to get him to help scout his next opponent.
Shark appeared to be ignoring his buddy as he was playing a game of ring toss. New Jack then sat in the pool and started playing along. These guys are too much for words.
Match #6: Hard 10 Semi Final Tournament Match: Sonny Siaki VS. Sandman
After a couple of chair assisted leg drops, Sandman tied the score at 2-2 and decided to light up a smoke. He took a few puffs and asked the ref to hold it while he continued the match. Siaki threw Sandman into a chair, then took his cigarette from the ref. Siaki took a puff, choked and gagged and then put it out.
Sandman was on the outside, laying prone on a table when Siaki hit an UNBELIEVABLE splash from the top rope to onto Hak. That made the score 9-2. Siaki only needed a single point to win. Sandman chipped away with chair shots and made the score 9-6 before setting up Siaki on a table on the floor. Sandman then did a running somersault onto the former X Champion to pick up 5 points and the win.
Winner and advancing to the finals of the Hard 10 Tournament: Sandman.
New Jack came out and grabbed the mic. "Listen up Drunky....Did you ever think we would ever be standin here getting ready to beat the dog doo doo out of each other?"" The crowd chanted "ECW ECW" before the two members of the Extreme Revolution popped a couple of beers in celebration.
We then went back to the Shark Tank and saw Mike Sanders beating on the little guy. Gilberti asked for his mask, but Sanders didn't leave with it. He left the kid laying in the pool - mask intact.
We then went back to the Shark Tank and saw Mike Sanders beating on the A promo is shown for a Mike Tenay sit down interview with Sting. The interview was 30 minutes in length and part of it will be shown next week.
Jerry Lynn walked in and said that next week he wants Credible in a good old fashioned Russian Chain Match.
Siaki was talking to Goldylocks and said there are going to be changes starting next week. Trinity then snuck up behind her friend Goldy and choked her out!
Match #7: Main Event: Glen Gilberti and Shane Douglas VS. Raven and Jeff Jarrett
Before Jarrett was even introduced, Raven was jumped by both of his opponents. Jarrett quickly made the save. The pair offs were as expected: Gilberti vs Jarrett and Raven vs Douglas. Raven did a suicide dive over the top rope to the floor on the designated heels but appeared to twist his ankle. Raven was limping noticeably for the rest of the match. Raven hit Gilberti with a drop toehold onto a chair and sat for a few moments clutching his ankle. I'm hoping he hasn't torn anything. There was a spot in the match where Gilberti reversed an Irish whip but the partners collided sending Raven to the floor. When he landed he was in tremendous pain grabbing that right ankle. Back in the ring, Douglas and GG took turns working Jarrett over. Raven finally took the hot tag and limped through both men. He pulled Douglas down with a bulldog out of the corner while simultaneously taking Glen down with a clothesline. Jarrett hit GG with his guitar and Raven made the cover. The ref was about to count three, because Douglas didn't break up the pinfall in time, when he just STOPPED counting and slid out of the ring. Whoah. Bad. Very bad. Soon after, Father James Mitchell made his return to TNA. Apparently he is the one that Douglas made the deal with. Mitchell came into the ring and threw a fireball in Raven's face to end the show.
Winners: Raven and Jarrett by DQ
Awesome show! Like I said before catch the replay if you missed the live broadcast. You won't be sorry. Also be sure to visit NWATNA.Com for information on their Frequent Buyer's Program; a great little reward system where they offer prized when you order their shows. Take notes Vinnie Mac.
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!