January 8, 2004
TNA: Sabin wins 2nd Ultimate X match
By DONNIE ABREU -- SLAM! Wrestling
The last few episodes of the Wednesday night pay per view could have been called NWA TNT - Total Non Stop Talking. This week, they finally got back to their roots, and gave the fans a lot of action, smattered with some entertaining and memorable moments. This week's show featured the return of a couple of old faces, the debut of a new mysterious one and the crowning of a new X-Division champion in what I am calling the first "Match Of The Year" candidate for 2004. It didn't take long.
The show started with Jeff Jarrett and Kid Kash sitting in an office chatting about what a big night it would be. Someone on a speaker phone told Jarrett that the NWA board was dirty and a huge expose would force Director Of Authority Eric Watts to step down. Jarrett also asked if he could unleash the "big" news this week, and the voice on the phone said absolutely not.
Jarrett then asked Kash to take a clipboard and get the signature of everyone who collects a paycheque in TNA. They must sign to signify that they are with JJ, or they will be crushed.
The Three Live Krew (the reigning TNA tag team champs) unveiled their new single. It's certainly better than the first, but still - NOT good. Their beat did have an 'Insane Clown Posse' flavour to it, which I guess is appropriate since they are rumoured to be coming to TNA to team with Vampiro and face the 3LK.
Jarrett came to the ring with TNA Management Consultant Don Callis and Kash. Callis told Watts that they did some background checks on him and he came up clean. The people who hired him were dirty though and where there's smoke, there's fire. Callis told Watts to step down or he would eventually be fired. Watts refused to relinquish his spot.
Watts then made a New Year's resolution to make Jarrett 10 pounds lighter by having him drop the World Title. Jarrett barked about how he's beaten everyone and there isn't a #1 contender. Just then a big man with a huge physique wearing an all black mask slid into the ring behind JJ and laid a beating on him. The announcers went crazy and so did the crowd. Jarrett and company regrouped on the outside wondering who the hell was that masked man?
Backstage Scott Hudson was talking to Johnny Swinger and Simon Diamond about their tag team title match. They talked about how jacked they were, when their former manager Glen Gilberti walked into the shot talking about how excited he was about their big night. Swinger and Diamond can't figure out why Gilberti won't just go away. Many of us have felt that way for years.
The Red Shirt Security & Abyss VS. America's Most Wanted and AJ Styles
How quickly AJ has fallen down the card. He was the man. Then Hogan was supposed to come in to work Jarrett, so he dropped the belt. Hogan's not coming anytime soon, but Jarrett is still the champ and has stopped all of AJ's forward momentum. Now he's working a pointless six-man.
Big AJ high spot as he did a beautiful swan dive to the outside jumping over the ropes (no touch) onto both red shirts. Abyss tried to double chokeslam AMW but was flapjacked instead.
As the two tag teams battled on the outside, Abyss gave AJ an overhead release German, but Styles landed on his feet. He came back with a quick enziguri and went for the Styles Clash. Jarrett then came in to hit AJ with a horrible belt shot. That allowed Abyss to wind up the former champ and nail a massive Black Hole Slam.
Winners: Abyss and The Red Shirts
A video package was shown where Trinity talked about being named TNA's Babe of the Year by the fans. Sonny Siaki interrupted saying that she never would have won the award had it not been for him. Kash interrupted and asked them both to sign Jarrett's "Are You With Me?" sheet. Siaki refused saying he's been advised not to sign anything.
NWA World Tag Team Title Match
As per usual Konnan gets the mic to "speak on dis" and then steps to the outside to allow Ron Killings and BG James to actually work.
We then saw a camera shot of Elix Skipper (who hasn't been on the show in ages) talking to Christopher Daniels. He was making the Triple X hand sign and seemed to be asking Daniels about reforming the team.
The Truth is clearly the best performer in this match. He was flying around the ring, dominating the action. The ref was distracted by a brawl on the outside when David Young came into the ring. He tried to clothesline Killings, but missed and took out Diamond instead. A face first suplex later and the match was over.
Winners and Still Champions: The 3LK
After the match, Young yelled at Diamond saying he screwed up. Diamond snapped and took Young down with right hands. He was pulled off by Swinger and Gilberti.
Tenay and West tried to do a promo but Kash came out wanting them to sign the sheet.
A pretty interesting video was then shown stating that TNA has working agreements with AAA in Mexico and the IWA in Puerto Rico. The biggest stars from both companies will be joining TNA in 2004.
Kash was then shown smacking the ringside time keeper (who resembles the Pillsbury Dough Boy more than a little) forcing him to sign the sheet.
In the ring, Black Shirt Security member Chris Vaughn put a beating on Kash as if to say "no thanks, I'd rather not sign." The Dough Boy than rang the bell and a referee ran out.
Chris Vaughn VS. Kid Kash
Kash regained the advantage, but then in one of the funnier spots I've seen in a long time, referee Rudy Charles turned his back and looked at the crowd with that "confused ref face". Black shirt security member Don Callis ran out and destroyed Kash. Charles turned around and made a quick count.
Winner: Chris Vaughn
Nice promo by CM Punk with Julio riding shot gone where they talked about taking Raven out.
CM Punk and Julio Dinero VS. Raven and a mystery partner
Bill Banks had apparently said on a website recently that the mystery man would NOT be the Sandman. Well, guess what? It was the Sandman.
Raven started by slapping Punk and Dinero before taking a beer from Sandman and spitting it in the faces of his former followers.
We then see a shot backstage of Elix talking to Low Ki, making the Triple X signal. It would seem he is trying to reform their team.
Back to the match, Sandman and Raven had complete control for quite a while. That changed with a springboard off the top by Punk. He then put his foot on Sandman's throat and yelled at Raven, "THIS IS WHO YOU CHOSE?" Punk Rules.
Big top rope legdrop onto the back of Sandman's head by Punk followed by a moonsault by Dinero. Punk then attempted a corkscrew plancha, but Sandman rolled away and tagged Raven.
Raven had control until a dopey looking dude in a black robe and one of those black hoods with a black cloth for a face (the kind kids love around Halloween) crawled on the apron and smothered Raven's face with a cloth allegedly soaked in ether.
Raven went down, and took a DDT from Punk. 1-2-3.
Winners: Punk and Dinero
The masked man pulled his hood off after the match and showed himself to be Raven's greatest nemesis - Father James Mitchell.
In the ring, Mike Tenay (flanked by Eric Watts and Goldlocks) was ready to present the trophy for Mr. TNA 2003 (as voted by the fans online). Tenay announced that there were two finalists, AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett.
Jarrett and AJ were both shown backstage in little insets (like the Oscars). Jarrett believed he had already won the award and was shaking hands with his boys when Tenay announced that STYLES won. Jarrett did not do the polite Susan Lucci smile. He freaked out and stepped off camera. Styles came to the ring and thanked the fans. He then said that he wanted more in 2004.
Jarrett came out to bitch and moan about Styles and the fans. Tenay has apparently become AJ's manager because he did all the talking, asking for a match between them where the World Title and the Mr. TNA trophy would both be on the line.
Jarrett said instead that next week it would be Styles and Watts VS. Jarrett and Abyss. If the babyfaces win Styles gets his title shot. If they lose, Watts loses his job. Goldlocks accepted the challenge. Anyone see Goldy turning heel next week? Bank on it.
Ultimate X2 for the TNA X-Division Title
If you didn't get to see the first Ultimate X match, let me quickly explain the set up. There are 14 foot high scaffold poles in each corner of the ring attached to the posts. Steel cables criss cross the ring at the top of the posts to form an X. The title belt is hung from the middle. The winner is the man who can bring the belt down. There are no ladders.
The first Ultimate X match was simply awesome and saw Michael Shane shocked everyone by snagging the title.
Daniels, maybe the top wrestler on the planet, is the only man in the match who has never held the X-Title.
Unlike the first match, this one features four wrestlers instead of three. Mike Tenay made comments about Michael Shane's cousin Shawn Michaels bringing fame to the ladder match 10 years ago, just as young Shane is doing for the Ultimate X match now.
Sabin leg-dropped Shane onto a chair as Daniels pulled out a table to use on his former partner, Low-Ki. Ki and Daniels stood on the apron and each tried to hit their finishers onto the table but reversed until Shane knocked Ki to the outside.
With everyone down, Daniels tried sprinboarding off the ropes to the belt, but just missed it. He went across the cables, but was smacked by a chair that Shane had. Shane provided a little comedy by trying to reach the belt while standing on that same chair. He was about a foot short.
Daniels tried a triple jump moonsault to get the belt, but Low Ki caught him in mid air with a springboard spin kick into the ribs. Damn!
Ki and Daniels then had a full fledged chop fest. Shane broke it up only to be double teamed and then hung in the upside down in the hanging dragon!
Daniels tried going hand over hand on the cables to get the belt, but Ki caught up and slapped a hanging dragon on Daniels while hanging in the air. Awesome spot.
The match continued and featured countless more high spots. Shane Douglas then ran down to the ring with a ladder for his stable mate. Michael Shane went up the ladder only to be rock bottomed off the top by Daniels. Sabin then climbed the ladder but took an overhead realease German off of it. WOW. Daniels then used the ladder as a battering ram in the midsection of the champ and Ki. He called for the "Best Moonsault Ever" and landed it on Ki.
The ladder was used as a weapon for quite a while but could not be figured into the finish since that IS the only rule in this match. Ki and Daniels exchanged punches at the top of the ladder only to have the whole thing pushed over by Shane, sending both men over the top rope to the floor. The ref then got in the ring and took the ladder away. Shane went to the top rope only to be superkicked by Sabin to the outside through the table. Sabin went hand over hand across the cable and grabbed the belt. He pulled and pulled on it until it finally gave, and he fell to the mat as the new champion.
Winner and NEW X-Division Champion: Chris Sabin
I'm a HUGE Sabin fan, but I must admit, this wasn't his finest match by any means. The other three guys figured into most of the "OH MY GOD" spots, while Sabin seemed to hang back.
Great overall show - one that has been long, long overdue. Thank you TNA for returning to what matters - great matches and a little less of the babbling old timers.
Donnie Abreu has been a wrestling journalist for eight years and is the co-founder of IceCold Media (www.icecoldmedia.com).
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