February 5, 2004
TNA: Too much talk, too little action
By DONNIE ABREU -- SLAM! Wrestling
TNA should have been launching a series of new storylines this week, as many of the ongoing ones were tied up neatly last Wednesday. Instead, we were treated to extensions on old stories and made to feel like we were trapped on a never-ending merry-go-round. Look TNA: either stick to the light storylines and the wild action that made us love you - or make these soap opera style storylines a little more original from week to week. Rehashed "Invasions" and "Management" battles are so three years ago.
The show started with a graphic stating "Under New Management" - in reference of course to the Don Callis victory over Eric Watts last week. The opening montage for the show was re-edited and showed nothing but World Champion Jeff Jarrett and Callis.
Jeremy Borash introduced Jarrett who was accompanied to the ring by Callis and Jonny Fairplay. All of Jarrett's cronies were waiting for him in the ring.
Jarrett took the mic and called to order a "company meeting". Wow, is this a shoot? Ha. Jarrett then introduced his lawyer Tom Stennenbaum Esquire. Tom is the voice that has been advising JJ over the speakerphone for the last few weeks.
Tom tells JJ the NWA board of directors has been disbanded. The fans are chanting and are clearly bored by this story.
All of the babyfaces in TNA, along with the officials walked out to be told that they were subject to dismissal for breach of contract.
Jarret told Sonny Siaki that for not signing with his team, he would face Kid Kash this week. If he lost, he'd be fired. He then told El Leon that he'd be facing Abyss and if he lost, he'd be unmasked.
Chris Harris of America's Most Wanted asked for a mic and spoke on behalf of the entire locker room and the entire wrestling world. He told the champ that everyone was sick of being part of the "Jeff Jarrett show." Jarrett told him to watch his mouth and remember that he's nothing but a mid-card tag wrestler. Harris reminded him that as a mid-card tag wrestler, he gave TNA some of the best matches they had last year. Very true. Harris then said that he knew who Jarrett's surprise opponent was this week but he wasn't going to tell. A big brawl broke out between the two massive factions.
We had a little more hype for the America's X-Cup challenge next week and then a recap of the Insane Clown Posse's ordeal with Glen Gilberti and David Young.
Young was shown in a promo basically saying that he is afraid of clowns. Great pre-recorded promo by ICP with some spooky style special effects. Now THAT'S the way to use these guys.
Insane Clown Posse VS. Glen Gilberti and David Young
Massive ICP chants as Violent J hopped around the ring and used his power to toss Gilberti out of the ring. Double hip toss followed by a double dropkick from the clowns.
Shaggy 2 Dope dove over the top but didn't quite get enough air and just barely hit his opponents while landing almost squarely on his head. Violent J followed that up with a somersault suicide dive of his own, which took out everyone. They aren't pretty, but they are fun to watch.
Shaggy was picked up for a suplex by Young, but the rapper turned it into a swinging spike DDT. Gilberti came back into the ring and took a brief advantage over Shags. The whole time, the crowd was singing various ICP tracks. Hot tag to Violent J who took out Gilberti and then nailed Young with a pair of DVD's. The first one wasn't bad - the second one was brutal. Young kicked out then hit the spinebuster on Shaggy. Pin was broken up. Superkick by Shags. That was quickly followed by a Violent J moonsault and an Alabama Jam legdrop from his partner. 1-2-3.
Winners: Wicked Clowns!
Gilberti and Young jumped the clowns after the match, but they were saved by JCW wrestler, 2 Tough Tony.
Backstage, Jerry Lynn and his America's Cup team talked about how they will win the tournament next week.
Kid Kash VS. Sonny Siaki
This match started slowly but turned UGLY when Siaki threw an overhead release German suplex that had Kash land COMPLETELY on his head! Whoah. After a few tense moments, the ref indicated all was well and the match continued.
Kash took Borash's chair to use on Siaki. Borash tried to stop the former X-Champ but was thrown to the floor. Kash was then attacked (again) by time keeper Tiny and 80-year-old Sarah Lee. This gimmick is making Kash into a complete joke. Kash, back in the ring, was distracted by JB and then rolled up by Siaki.
Winner: Sonny Siaki
Callis walked out and was all pissed off over what just happened. He told Borash, Tiny and Sarah Lee that they don't have any right to interfere in matches. He then decided to fire all three of them. Callis referred to himself as a "Canadian Caesar." Callis then told Siaki that eventually he would be fired for breach of contract as well. Trinity ran down and helped Kash lay Siaki out. Callis then put a "Under New Management" sticker on SS's chest.
Rick Michaels walked out to serve as the new time keeper, while TNA Director of Media Relations Tim Welsh came out to take Borash's job as announcer.
Abyss VS. El Leon
Abyss roared in El Leon's masked face only to take a STIFF right hand to the face. Ouch. Abyss was thrown to the outside and took a flying somersault plancha from the Puerto Rican star. Abyss recovered, then went under the ring to set up a table. El Leon tried to Rock Botton Abyss through the table but instead took a Russian Leg Sweep on the floor. Back in the ring, both men exchanged power moves before Leon cut Abyss down with a big spear. He followed that up with a Magnum TA style belly to belly. Leon tried another Rock Bottom, but Abyss reversed and hit one of his own. Jumping F5 by Leon scored only a two count.
Black hole slam by Abyss. Instead of going for the pin, Abyss went for the mask. El Leon was saved by AJ Styles.
Winner: Abyss by DQ
This was easily El Leon's best TNA match - with or without the mask.
AJ took the mic and demanded a title shot. Callis took the mic and told him he could have a tag team title shot. He said that he would face the Red Shirt Security team this week and his partner would be his arch rival, Abyss.
Backstage, Sandman and his "extreme" partner of the week Terry Funk cut a really nice promo.
The Gathering (Julio Dinero & CM Punk) with Father James Mitchell VS. The Sandman and Terry Funk
I don't think CM Punk ever thought he'd be facing Terry Funk again! Nice ovation for the Funker from the Asylum.
The Gathering attacked the Extreme Team before the bell. Funk turned the tide and took out Dinero with a Stone Cold Stunner. Punk jumped the icon and ran his throat into the ropes screaming, "Come on you egg sucking dog!" That's good stuff.
Funk was saved by a Sandman cane shot, and then made his way up for a moonsault. Unfortunately for the former NWA World Champion, he didn't hit anything except the top of his head on the mat.
Spike piledriver by the Gathering on Funk. Two count only. Julio held Funk for Punk who came off the top with a sloppy hurricanrana. Funk moved and Punk almost took out his partner but he missed the move altogether.
Punk then held Sandman side saddle over a chair while Dinero came off the top with an elbow across the throat. Game over.
Winners: The Gathering
NWA TNA Tag Team Title Match
El Leon came down to the ring and kept Abyss out of the match. AJ then went on to simply put on a clinic against both red shirts. He used his typical high-octane attack before the numbers game caught up with him.
Great move by Legend who had Styles on his back, and hit a new variation of a Stunner. Superplex off the top by Northcutt. Awesome Northcutt Driver!
AJ continued to kick out time after time. Chris Harris came down to the ring and took Legend out of the match, allowing Styles to roll up Northcutt.
Well, the shortest title reign in TNA history - one glorious week - is over.
Winners and NEW Champions: AJ Styles and Abyss
In the back, Hudson interviewed the ICP asking what was left for them to prove. HILARIOUS promo by the clowns. These guys are PPV gold. ICP then challenged ANYONE Jarrett could find to a Juggalo Street Fight next week.
Eric Watts came out to the ring. He's no longer the Director of Authority but he's still an active wrestler. Goldylocks interrupted to talk to her ex. She was calling him "Sweety" and being all soft. But then she cut a promo on him for never letting her in the spotlight. Then she told Eric how she faked it everytime. This bit went on WAY too long. Watts kissed Goldy and tried to chokeslam her, but he was attacked by Jarrett and the Red Shirts.
As this was going on, Jarrett's mystery opponent showed up and attacked him to jumpstart the match. The mystery opponent was... Dustin Rhodes.
NWA World Title Match
Dustin still has the short bleached hair, but is now sporting a black goatee. Bad look. He's also dressed in a cut off black t-shirt, black jeans and cowboy boots. Yawn. Been there, done that.
This match went through the crowd and all over the building - hardcore style. Rhodes spike DDT'd JJ on a chair, but the Red Shirts ran in to buy some time for the champ. The Red Shirts were run off by El Leon and AJ, allowing Dustin to go back to work. Powerslam by Rhodes, but the cover was broken up by Abyss. Rhodes went after Abyss as AJ hit a frog splash on JJ. Rhodes covered but only got a two.
Dustin then hit the Shattered Dreams kick to the family jewels. He was set to make the pin when the Naturals interfered by throwing powder in the challenger's face. JJ covered and won.
Winner and Still Champion: Jeff Jarrett
As the show went off the air, Tenay said that the NWA board, in their last act before disbanding, named a new director of authority - and he would be revealed next week. Great. Let's play out the same story all over again.
Overall, not a bad show - but a little too much talking and not enough action. Where the hell was the X-Division this week? Yes, I know we'll be overdosing on it next Wednesday - but I need a weekly fix. Very disappointing.
Donnie Abreu is a Toronto-based writer who has been blessing SLAM! Wrestling with his presence for many, many years now.