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COMMENT





TNA: String of great shows ends
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling


TNA's has been on a roll since August, but their series of fantastic shows ground to a halt last night as they presented two hours that caused me to have to re-watch part of the show due to falling asleep.

The show seemed cursed from the beginning, as technical problems left us listening to Jeremy Borash hype up the crowd, and then crowd chatter instead of a recap of last week's events. After what seemed like forever, they finally aired the same recap this time with sound, and then show Vince Russo and AJ Styles arriving. Too bad I couldn't hear what they were saying, as more sound problems plagued the broadcast. Finally we cut to the opening match.

Americas Most Wanted vs. Kid Kash & Abyss

Match started with no announcing. I was having flashbacks to Unforgiven's Announcers Match, except this match was good. The heel section was loudly chanting for Kash, who fired up the monster in usual slap-happy manner. When the announcers finally kicked in it was hard to hear them. The match was decent but sloppy, such as when Kash went for the hurricanrana off the top to the mat and sort of missed, and Harris tried to slingshot Kash into the corner, which also sort of missed. The best spot of the match saw Abyss sitting on the top rope and Kash climb on top of his shoulders with a moonsault. Storm hit a hurricanrana off the top and Abyss took a horrible bump. Spears abounded then before Kash hit Storm with a chair and the Black Hole Slam took the win. After the match Terry Taylor came down to dispute the win and got beaten up for his troubles.

Winner: Kid Kash & Abyss

Then the announcement comes down from Tenay and West that it is signed, sealed, and on October 22, AJ Styles WILL defend his title against Jeff Jarrett. The last time these guys locked up they had a hell of a match, and it should be no different this time, although I suspect the ending won't favor my buddy AJ, which makes me sad. We got more hype as the sound problems finally seemed to be fixed, until Don Callis came out and made no sense. After that it all seemed clear as mud.

X Division Championship: Michael Shane vs. Jerry Lynn

The match started with the introduction of Antonio Penna of Mexico's AAA promotion. These two guys wrestled each other in August in an awesome match. They appeared to have forgotten that as this was a dull match that seemed to be going through the motions, and a disappointment considering that Jerry Lynn can carry just about anyone to a great match. Michael Sabin came down to ringside with his Super X trophy and wants to put it up vs. the belt on next weeks show. He then watched the rest of the match from ringside and cost Lynn the match when he crotched him on the top rope. A superkick let Shane retain. Hey that rhymed!

Winner: And still X-Division Champion, Michael Shane.

Scott Hudson talked to Shark Boy and Mad Mikey, and D-Lo came to let them know he had their backs against Siaki and Ekmo. Enter the Callis, who told Brown that if he interfered, Red Shirt Security would beat him up.

D-Lo Brown vs. Christopher Daniels

Both guys work hard and put on the match of the night. Lots of nice wrestling and a dive off the top to the floor by Daniels that caused the first big pop of the night. Brown also flew off the top to the floor but ate barricade. D-Lo came back and went up top to finish the match, but Red Shirt Security distracted him, allowing for a superplex and the last rites to be performed for poor D-Lo.

Winner: Christopher Daniels.

Okay, I missed last week. When did Callis' attention switch from Jerry Lynn to D-Lo? And does the throwaway match with Jarrett last week end Daniels' feud with him?

Scott Hudson was in back again with Erik Watts and Rick Santel, who had a separated shoulder. Callis came in, there was something about Health Insurance and then my head started swimming. Callis reiterates Jesse Ventura's complaint from 20 years ago, there is no Health Insurance in wrestling! There's also no crying in baseball!

We then get part two of "Roddy Piper's Incoherent Rambling!!!" They talked more about health insurance. Tenay asked Piper if maybe he should just leave wrestling and concentrate on TV and movies. Yeah, because that worked so well every other time. Piper said it's not time to move on to TV and movies, because he was born a wrestler. Piper looked in the camera, ready to deliver his big line.... AND AUDIO CUTS OUT!!!!!

Let me take this moment to thank Donnie Abrieu for not being able to cover the show tonight. Feel free to be busy on nights when TNA is good.

Sonny Siaki & Ekmo vs. Mad Mikey & Shark Boy.

Two massive 400 pound former WWF tag team stars collide in TNA!!!!!!!! Cras, er, Mikey and Sharky did a double-619 on Ekmo, with the yell in the air and everything. It was dubbed the "12-38" by the announcers. I actually kind of think it is amusing that Mikey alters big name moves as his own. I still giggle thinking about the "Preschool" rope walk. Anyway, the match was nothing special and ended with the Gigantic Samoan Splash on Shark Pancake. A beat down ensued and D-Lo, of course, made the save, which lead to the inevitable Red Shirt run in, handcuffs were involved, and D-Lo was tossed out the back door.

An interview from "Earlier Today" runs with Tenay and the World Tag Champs. It takes up to a year to recover from an appendectomy according to Swinger, but he will be back in action next week. Gilberti is not your typical manager; he doesn't carry a tennis racket! He's a disco dancing fool! He's also not very nice to David Young, who subbed last week for Swinger, telling him he is not a part of the group. But hey, if he replaces Glen in his match with Sandman he may get to join. That doesn't sound like a fair deal to me.

We cut to an interview with Jarrett and Rhodes. Dusty was in tights. This was the moment when I closed my eyes and prayed that he would at least keep the T-shirt on. Dear God man, no one wants to see that! Put on some pants!

More confusion in a confusion-filled show as Russo told AJ the match was off.

David Young vs. Sandman

Is anyone else tired of the Sandman entrance? That is so 1997! Some lucky fan had beer poured in his mouth. I think Sandman is trying to outdo top WWE stars. He drinks beer like Austin AND does the Triple-H spray! Yes I know he drank before Austin, no need to send me such a nasty e-mail. Sandman wrestled a sloppy match, what a shock, and beat Young with the Drunkencanrana off the top and then a sommersault senton. As he heads to the back he gets chaired by da tag champs. The trio then get into the ring and Diamond STANDS THERE WITH A CHAIR to make it blatantly obvious what is about to happen. Apparently it isn't just the production truck that was off last night. Gilberti gives Young a kiss on the cheek, but it is the kiss of death as a SHOCKING CHAIR SHOT by Simon and the beat down occurred until 3LC made the save.

More just confusing stupidity, as Russo tries to convince Jarrett that Dusty is the enemy ... huh?

The Disciples & Vampiro vs. 3 Live Crew.

In a night plagued with sound problems, why couldn't it cut out during the god awful entrance theme of the Crew. And what the heck is a B-Jizzle anyway? Vampiro sports a Mohawk. Douglas gets on the mic and the announce table talk about how Raven is not there. Right, no Raven what so ever, he is not there. Don't expect him at all. A mess of a match that was all over the place before Vampiro caned The Truth and the bell rings. But in a shocking swerve, Raven showed up. Bet ya didn't see that coming. He brought the chain from last week and tried to hang Jim Mitchell till Douglas broke that up. Douglas ends up being taken out.

Winners: No Contest

Raven cut another awesome promo after the match, promising to take out the Church, Douglas, and Vampiro, so that he could make Mitchell watch before he got his hands on him.

Next week on TNA!!! Kid Kash/Abyss vs. AMW, with Terry Taylor special referee! Sabin vs. Shane for the X-Division title! Chris Vaughn/D'Lo Brown vs. the Redshirts!

Dusty Rhodes and Jeff Jarrett vs. AJ Styles and Vince Russo.

Vince Russo came to the ring in full hockey gear, including a helmet and carrying a baseball bat. He also spent most of the match on the outside, which made it watchable. Dusty, thank God, kept his shirt on, so we didn't hafta see the splotch on his belly-welly if you will. Still, the trunks were bad enough. Styles dominated Dusty, working the knee including hitting him in the leg, with the bat, right in front of the referee. There was no mention of this being No DQ. Styles tried the Boss Man rope move, and missed, allowing for the hot tag to Jarrett, who put fellow former WCW World Champion Vince Russo in the figure-four. Styles tried to break it up with the bat, Jarrett nailed him, then hit him with the bat so hard that AJ ended up on the top rope. A top rope stroke set it up for Dusty to step into the ring, hit the bionic elbow, sit on poor AJ's face and spank him three times to register the count.

Winners: Dusty Rhodes and Jeff Jarrett.

Styles was irate and humiliated. Had I been caught wearing purple underwear on PPV a week ago I would be too. He demands a match with Rhodes next week, and when Russo tries to talk him out of it he slaps the taste out of his mouth. Whoo! Any kind of match Dusty wants, it will happen next week. Dusty accepts, which Jarret loves, and the match he wants ... is for the NWA World Title. The look on Jarrett's face changing from laughter to anger is great. The show ends with Rhodes and Jarrett arguing and having a shoving match.

As bad as the show was, it set the tone for the next few weeks. My desire to see AJ try and get a good match out of Dusty Rhodes is non-existant, since Dusty looked horrible last night. It seems that a double-turn is brewing for the current and former champ as they head towards their titanic rematch on October 22.

Jason Clevett considers not forcing Donnie Abrieu to watch tonight's TNA broadcast to be a great early wedding gift and volunteers to increase the gift to two weeks next week. He wishes the best of luck to the soon-to-be happily-wedded couple.