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TNA: Shane shines; Raven screwed again
By DONNIE ABREU -- SLAM! Wrestling


Storyline inconsistencies plagued this week's NWA TNA main event and left fans with that "kissed on the cheek by your sister" feeling. Michael Shane seized his opportunity on the mic, carving out a new heel persona and showing the world that he is a viable X-Division Champion with a very bright future in TNA.

Shane Douglas and The Disciples Of The New Chutch (Slash and Sinn) VS. The 3 Live Krew (Ron Killings, BG James and Konnan)

Konnan started things off with his "Yo Yo Yo Lemme Speak On This...." The 3LK are definitely over with the Asylum crowd. Father James Mitchell joined the broadcast team for commentary, but unfortunately his headset wasn't working.

Slash puts Sinn in a reverse DDT and took him over in a reverse vertical suplex onto BG James. Good ol' B Gizzle was the whoopin' boy for the first five minutes of this match, being dominated by Douglas and the Disciples.

Mitchell's mic finally started working and he explained the absence of Alexis Laree who recently signed a developmental deal with the WWE. Mitchell said that last week when Shane Douglas had her down and cut her hair, Raven did not rescue her. She was upset by this and has abandoned the Gathering. Pretty good explanation.

Finally a hot tag to Ron "The Suntanned Superman" Killings. He took Douglas down with a flying headscissors. Then dodged Sinn with his back handspring flip. He took out Sinn and Slash, tossing them to his teammates on the outside. Mitchell snuck into the ring and looked ready to attack Killings from behind.

The Gathering, CM Punk and Julio Dinero slid into the ring and before they touched ANYONE, the match was thrown out. Stupid finish.

Winners: Match thrown out

Sonny Siaki was backstage talking to Terry Taylor. He was telling Taylor how this week he will finally bury D'Lo Brown's career. Taylor, who was wearing a TNA golf shirt and appears to be working backstage, told Siaki to hurry up because his match was next.

Sonny Siaki (with Trinity)VS. D'Lo Brown

Brown was introduced after Cocky Siaki and took control quickly sending the former X Division champ to the floor. Brown then tried a move out of Mark Henry's playbook. He went running towards the ropes and slid between the top and second rope to attempt a strange looking dropkick. Siaki caught Brown's legs and powerbombed him on the floor.

Siaki then put Brown in Styles Clash position but just turned his body flinging Brown's head into the steel staircase. Back in the ring, Siaki came off the middle rope with a double axe handle but Brown caught him with a Diamond Cutter. Both men were down. Short powerbomb by Brown. He seemed to have the win, but the referee was distracted by Trinity. Siaki recovered and hit the Siakalypse. Only a two count.

D'Lo with a sit-out Frisbee slam on Siaki. Trinity came off the top rope and D'Lo caught her for another Frisbee slam, but she turned it into a tornado DDT. The Ace In The Hole recovered and hit the Siaki-Driver for the win.

Winner: Sonny Siaki

After the match Siaki beat on Brown pulling him all the way to the parking lot where a hearse was waiting. Siaki was going to throw D'Lo in when Jeff Jarrett made the save with a guitar shot. Jarrett tossed Siaki in the hearse and went to check on Brown.

Don Callis walked out to the announce position and said it was ridiculous that Director of Authority Eric Watts awarded Jerry Lynn a title shot this week after his behavior in recent weeks.

A recap of last week's Ultimate X match was shown.

The new X-Division champion Michael Shane was interviewed by Terry Taylor. Shane cut a GREAT promo saying "I am the Show Stopper. I am the Main Event. I am The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels's cousin." He questioned Taylor on who he was and what his credentials in the business were. He ended by telling Lynn that he would "dance all over his face". Hilarious stuff.

X-Division Championship Match: Michael Shane VS. Jerry Lynn

Callis on the mic for this match along with Don West and Mike Tenay.

Shane came to the ring to chants of "HBK! HBK!" Lynn took control the of the match with side headlocks and takedowns. Shane escaped Lynn's hold and the gloated, only to be taken down again. Lynn with a flying headscissors and then a couple of deep arm drags. Shane finally regained the advantage via shortcuts and cheap shots. He would constantly prance around and pose for the crowd, only to have Lynn beat him back down.

Lynn slammed Shane's face on the announcer's desk right in front of Callis. Callis pulled out a pen and paper and yelled "I'm making notes!" Beautiful. Back in the ring, Shane managed to drop Lynn throat first across the top rope. Lynn dropped Shane into the second turnbuckle with a drop toehold but then took a cheap shot in the mouth.

Shane knocked Lynn out and set him up in the middle of the ring. He went to the top rope and posed for some kind of spectacular move. The crowd started to cheer the heel champ, when Shane just stepped down from the top rope, telling the crowd off. Shane "tuned up the band" and went for Sweet Chin Music, but had the kick blocked.

Lynn had a full mount on Shane and tried to fill him up with closed fists. Huge powerbomb by Lynn. Lynn with his version of the TKO / F-5. Lynn went for the Cradle Piledriver but the redshirt security team of Kevin Northcutt and Brian Willis came to the ring and distracted Lynn.

Lynn turned back to Shane and took Sweet Chin Music right in the chops.

Winner and STILL Champion: Michael Shane

A pre-recorded interview with Raven and Mike Tenay was shown next. Tenay asked Raven about his problems with the New Church and why they are obsessed with cutting his hair.

Instead of answering Tenay, Raven started talking about how twenty years ago Tommy Rich became the youngest NWA champion ever and looked to be onto something special. Then he got into a blood feud with Buzz Sawyer and was never the same. Rich forgot to "go back for the prize"

In ECW Raven was the world champion, but then became embroiled in two of the most brutal feuds in wrestling history - with Tommy Dreamer and with Sandman. He knew he had to avoid these and "get back to the prize".

Raven said that all he wants is the NWA World title and different people, Mitchell, Douglas, the Church, the Mystery Man - all of them have tried to keep him from the prize. Raven said he hasn't lost his focus and has only one goal.

AJ Styles and Vince Russo interrupted the segment. Styles mocked Raven asking "Why all the candles? Is it your birthday? You got some eye liner on? You got a quote for me old man?" Raven smacked the champion in the mouth forcing Russo to hold Styles back and pull him away.

Abyss VS. The Sandman

TNA fans everywhere have been talking about the 6'8" Abyss following his impressive showing in the Gauntlet match last week.

Sandman had his trademark entrance and busted himself open by smacking a beer can across his face before the match even started.

When the bell rang, Sandman started laying into Abyss with cane shots. Abyss took a couple but then fought back and backed Sandman into a corner. He pulled the former ECW champion's shirt over his head and pounded his chest with tomahawk chops.

Sandman attempted a cross body block on the outside but Abyss caught him and threw him into the ring post. Sandman took advantage again for a second and backed Abyss against the guardrail. He then came off with a springboard side splash off a steel chair. Crowd popped! Sandman set up a table on the outside and tossed Abyss into the ring.

Sandman off the top rope with a rolling Senton which had the crowd going crazy. Kid Kash then ran in and was telling Abyss off for turning on him last week. He kicked Abyss in the jewels . Abyss responded by taking Kash up for a powerbomb over the top rope, but Kash sort of turned it into a hurricanrana. It looked like "someone" was supposed to go through the table but nobody did. They barely hit it and it didn't break.

Abyss was rolled into the ring and Sandman got a long two count. Immediately after that Abyss hit the "Black Hole", his spinning sidewalk slam for the win.

Winner: Abyss

Backstage, Taylor asked Kash to explain himself. Kash called Taylor a dinosaur and a caveman. Abyss confronted Kash and then after taking a shove in the chest seemed to be under Kash's "mind control" again. Strange.

NWA Tag Team Title Match: America's Most Wanted VS. Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger

Here's hoping this two month feud comes to an end this week.

All four men battled on the outside for a couple minutes before the match was officially started. Diamond and Swinger were in complete control. Tenay reminds the viewing audience that titles in NWA TNA do change hands on disqualifications or count outs, so the champions must be prepared.

Slow-Motion Diamond was kicking and stomping James Storm at a sleep-inducing pace before tagging Swinger. A series of kicks on Swinger allowed Storm the chance to crawl to his corner and make a tag. Hot tag to Chris Harris.

Lefts and rights by Harris followed by a full nelson slam, a Lou Thesz press, a flying bulldog and a huge cross body block off the tope. Harris then reversed a double whip and speared Swinger only to be superkicked by Diamond. Storm made the save. Harris went for the Catatonic but took a low blow from Swinger. A mere two count left Swinger on his knees literally pulling his hair out.

We then had a great spot with Harris holding Diamond on his shoulders for a powerbomb, while Diamond had an electric chair on Storm, who was trying to superplex Swinger. All four men went up and over at the same time.

Glen Gilberti interfered and threw one of the tag belts into the ring to try and help his boys. The referee tried to take control by gathering up the belts and taking them back to the time keeper.

Harris was choking out Gilberti but then took a chair shot in the face, followed by the Problem Solver (flapjack into a DDT) for the finish.

Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions of the World: Diamond and Swinger

Dusty Rhodes walked out - day late and a dollar short - and said that the finish was some "unadulterated bull 'poop'" ... but The Dust didn't say "poop". He then said something in Dusty-eese that I couldn't understand. The bottom line was he wanted his match with Gilberti to start.

Chants from the heel friendly crowd of "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye" sent in the direction of AMW as they walked up the ramp.

Bull Rope Match: Dusty Rhodes VS. Glen Gilberti

This match was brutal. The Dream controlled the entire match. Glberti appeared to be hurt and when the ref when to check on him Christopher Daniels slid into the ring and knocked Rhodes out with brass knuckles. 1-2-3. Crowd chanting at Daniels "SAVE OUR SOULS! SAVE OUR SOULS!"

Winner: Glen Gilberti

Save made by Chris Harris. James Storm was nowhere to be seen. The new tag champs ran in, but Jeff Jarrett evened the odds. Huge guitar shot by Jarrett on the Fallen Angel. Great segment.

Mikey Tenay spoke to "Mad" Mikey (aka Crash Holly). Hilarious Mikey talked about being trained by 75 year old Mae Young and asked Tenay to imagine taking a bronco buster from her. Mikey said he is one of the most decorated champions in wrestling history, but he's also one of the biggest losers. He ended by doing a GREAT temper tantrum on the floor.

A confrontation went down backstage between 3LK and the new Tag Team Champions.

A promo ran hyping the return of Roddy Piper. Apparently "he's pissed" and he's going to be getting a live mic. Stay tuned.

Tenay and West talked about the Super 8 X-Division Tournament that will be seen next week. It will feature Jerry Lynn, Chris Sabin, Michael Shane, Frankiw Kazarian, Juventud Guerrera, Johnny Storm, Nasawa and Bret Hart's nephew Teddy Hart. Can a feud between Hart and the Heartbreak Cousin be far off?

A recap of last week's Gauntlet match was then shown.

NWA World Title Match: AJ Styles VS. Raven

Take note WWE: TNA began the introductions for their highly anticipated main event with 30 minutes of airtime remaining. This should be good.

Raven's got so much scar tissue on his forehead, you could see a gaping wound under a paper thin layer of skin. He should be bleeding within two minutes or so. This is Raven's second shot at the NWA title. His first was a controversial loss to Jarrett. Raven did defeat Styles in a ladder match to become #1 contender many months ago.

Raven came out firing with a couple of near falls following some low blows and impact shots. Raven teased the Evenflow DDT a couple times and repeatedly threw Styles to the outside. Raven caught Styles and took him up for a back bodydrop, but instead held him on his shoulder and dumped him over the top rope.

On the outside, Raven smashed a trash can across Style's face, and then gave him five Russian leg sweeps into the guard rail. The crowd was on fire. Styles was busted open. Raven rolled a semi-conscious Styles into the ring and attempted a pin but Russo had the ref distracted. Inverted DDT by Styles. As this happened, Dinero and Punk came out and carried Russo to the back.

Raven caught a kick attempt by Styles but took a reverse enziguri. Big knee drop by Styles followed up by fishhooks and eye gauging. The crowd was super hot chanting Raven's name.

Styles from the outside came into the ring with a springboard hurricanrana. Snap mare followed by a couple of stiff kicks into Raven's back. Styles bridged into a reverse chin lock and Indian Deathlock on Raven. Awesome looking move. Raven managed to grab the bottom rope. Styles blocked a whip the corner and came back with a reverse superkick. Styles then used the drop toe hold onto the chair. Raven eventually recovered enough to grab the chair and just throw it into Raven's face. Both men were down.

Styles got to his feet first, but when he tried to grab Raven he was caught with stiff right hands, a discus clothesline, a HUGE knee lift and clothesline / bulldog combination. Two count. Raven went for the droptoe hold on the chair, but Styles jumped on the chair and then onto the top rope, and came leaping back with a clothesline. As he was in the air, Raven threw the chair at his face.

Raven with a Styles Clash. Sinn of the New Church made the save. DAMMN YOU SINN! Go back to main-eventing at the CNE! Leave Raven alone! Styles with the Evenflow DDT. Two Count.

Raven went for the Evenflow but Styles pushed Raven into the ref in the corner knocking him out. Raven hit an Evenflow and took out Sinn. Slash interfered, but was blinded when Raven threw powder in his eyes. Slash couldn't see anything and then took Styles up for the Helicopter Spin! DDT by Raven - two count only.

Raven had Styles on the top rope and went for a superplex, but was shoved from the top by Shane Douglas who came running out. Styles came off the top, but was caught in a powerbomb.

Douglas interfered again and gave Styles the chance to hit the Clash. 1-2-3.

Winner and STILL Champion: AJ Styles

After the match there were beat downs and run-ins by everyone: D'Lo, Jarrett, Harris, Rhodes, Daniels, Douglas, Sinn, Slash, Diamond and Swinger.

Eric Watts said that he is going to deal with this and next week all of those men, plus Raven and Storm will be in a War Games Clockwork Orange House Of Fun Match. Inside a cage, bring any weapons you like, come dressed how you like, and every 90 seconds a new man will enter. The match has been dubbed Wednesday Bloody Wednesday and Watts will serve as the special referee. No mention if this will be for the title.

Overall, this was a decent show with a rather disappointing finish. Once again TNA fans were red-hot with anticipation of seeing Raven win the World Title, only to see him screwed again. We also had a major storyline inconsistency as there wasn't an appearance by the Mystery Assailant who has targeted Raven for the last four weeks. Another storyline inconsistency would be that Raven's Gathering didn't assist him when he was being attacked during the match and after.

We didn't get to see Chris Sabin, Frankie Kazarian, Elix Skipper, Joe Legend and countless others this week. That would have helped this week's show. We also didn't get to see Christopher "The best damn wrestler on the planet" Daniels work a match. This week's installment earned about a 5 out of 10 from this viewer.

Next week's show should be interesting with the Super 8 X Tournament and Wednesday Bloody Wednesday. Until then...

Donnie Abreu has been a wrestling journalist for eight years and is the co-founder of IceCold Media (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! Looking to make some extra cash? Visit www.icecoldmedia.com to find out about ICM's new Affiliate Program and how it can work for you!