April 1, 2004
TNA: X marks Kazarian
By DONNIE ABREU -- SLAM! Wrestling
Building on a couple of good shows, TNA returned last night with another well thought out pay-per-view, delivering a new X-Division champion, the finalists in the tag team title tournament and setting up a number one contender's match for next week. Without further ado, let's re-live the action.
Semi Final Match
Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas have become mainstays on TNA recently, but were really in tough against cult icons Daniels and Ki.
The match started quickly with some nice chain wrestling and then turned quickly into The Naturals double teaming Daniels. Eventually the hugely popular Fallen Angel and Low Ki took over with some awesome ring work and nice high spots.
The finish came when Douglas (once again) tried to throw powder into his opponents' eyes. Ki saw the powder and kicked it into Douglas' face. Stevens tried to use a chair but had it kicked right back at him. Low Ki picked up Douglas for the Ki-Krusher '99, but like last week, he let his man drop backwards where Daniels caught him and delivered a simultaneous powerbomb.
Winners, and moving on to the finals of the tournament: Chris Daniels and Low Ki
Semi Final Match
The 6-foot-6 Dallas, who is apparently Kash's cousin, has been identified as indy worker "Shadow". He seems to be very green, but has the right look to be Kash's bodyguard / stooge.
There's something about seeing Sinn work as a babyface that just doesn't seem right to me. Ever since I first saw him work in dank little bars in Scarborough or at the CNE, he's always been Mr. Evil. To his credit, he did manage to fire the crowd up.
Kash (like last week) did most of the work in this match, and was double teamed a great deal.
Nice spot saw Kash run to the corner for a double springboard where he tried to turn back into a splash - but Slash caught him and spun into a Spinebuster. Sweet.
Slash did hit his whirlybird finisher on the Kid, but was then booted in the face by Dallas right out of the ring.
Sinn then went to work on Dallas. When Sinn hit the ropes, Kash nailed him with a pipe. Dallas then picked him up (imagine a Razor's Edge but Sinn is belly to back with Dallas instead of being back to back) and drove him down to the ground with a 360. Awesome finisher. One-two-three.
Winners, and moving on to the finals of the tournament: Kid Kash and Dallas
A video package was then shown of Jeff Jarrett defeating Latin Lover in AAA a couple weeks ago. JJ then talked about the final four match, and basically said he'll bury anyone.
Mike Tenay then brought Chris Harris and James Storm to the ring for an interview. As they were walking out, Jarrett smashed a guitar over Storm's head. Harris then went to work on JJ in the ring and laid him out with the Catatonic. Harris then took another guitar and was going to clobber JJ with it. He was stopped by Raven who DDT'd him. When Raven went after Jarrett, AJ Styles came off the top with a clothesline. They battled to the outside. Jarrett recovered and took Harris out with a vicious guitar shot to the face.
"The Alpha Male" Monty Brown cut another very entertaining promo backstage. Why was this guy off TNA for more than a year? He has all kinds of potential. He referred to Sabu as nothing more than caribou waiting to be hunted. Sabu of course, said nothing in his own defence.
Sabu VS. Monty Brown
I like almost everything about Monty - other than his horrible leopard skin tights. He started this match out dominating Sabu with his superior power. Sabu eventually slowed the big guy down and used a couple drop kicks and a camel clutch to try and negate all that strength.
Geez, Sabu doesn't even attempt to cover his mouth when he calls out spots. Sabu came off the ropes with a springboard, but Brown caught him in a powerslam.
When Brown was on the outside, Sabu lept over the top and snapped off a hurricanrana. He followed that up by throwing a chair at Brown's head. Sabu set a table up on the outside. Sabu put Monty on the table but the end of it broke from the weight. That didn't stop Sabu. He put the table on an angle, then went back into the ring. He ran off the ropes, off a chair, stood on the top rope and crashed down across Monty's chest with a legdrop. It looked stiff. Tough bump.
These two battled through the crowd all the way to the balcony, and then to the upper deck. Sabu then broke a chair over Brown's head!! The big man collapsed on a bunch of fans in the cheap seats. They battled all the way back down to the floor until the referee called for the bell.
Winner: No Contest
They continued to exchange shots well after the bell. This match was actually better than expected, but a win by Monty Brown would have done a lot to increase his credibility. I suppose this feud will be extended.
Scott Hudson was backstage talking to David Young and Glen Gilberti. Hudson informed Young that according to TNA's website, Young is 0-17 since returning in October. Gilberti asked Young when the last time was that he actually pinned somebody. Young seemed shocked, but said he would be more focused now. Gilberti said that if Young didn't come through this week, he'd be out of the crew.
Shane Douglas and Michael Shane then cut a promo about their upcoming match. Since Triple H is now calling himself "The Franchise", I was really hoping Douglas would refer to himself as "The Game". Anyway.
Tag Team Fatal Fourway
The winners of this match will be named number one contenders to the tag team titles.
Apollo walked in with D'Lo wearing the El Leon mask. Brown told him to rip it off which he did, confirming one of the worst kept secret identities since Chainsaw Charlie.
Shane Douglas and Michael Shane had their weekly argument. Tracy tried to play peacemaker, but eventually Michael just walked out and Douglas went after him. So this match became a Fatal Threeway.
When Diamond was on a roll, Johnny Swinger came out of nowhere and clobbered his former partner with a chair. D'Lo and Apollo connected with a TKO to score the win immediately after that.
Winners: D'Lo Brown and Apollo
Scott Hudson was backstage looking for Abyss. Instead he found a dark-haired woman with glasses who said Abyss was busy preparing for his big match. Hudson asked if he knew her. She just walked off. It looked to me like Daffney - formerly of WCW and TNA.
Chris Sabin then came to the ring on crutches (he suffered an injury several weeks ago) to forfeit the X-Division title. Sabin had to forfeit since he has not been able to make a title defence within the mandatory 30-day period. The winner of the next match will be named the new X-Division champion. Sabin sat ringside to watch the match.
TNA X-Division Championship Match
Tenay did draw the comparison between Red and Rey Mysterio. They had similar styles prior to their respective knee surgeries. Rey then had to adjust his style. Red seems to be struggling in that area. He was known for being a huge daredevil and hitting high spot after high spot. He's not really a great "wrestler". He can still hit a big high spot here and there, but he has slowed down noticeably.
With Kazarian on the outside, Red hit a running 360 dive. When he recovered, Kazarian went up to Sabin and snagged one of his crutches. While FK was distracted, Red sprung off the steel steps and caught Frankie with a spinning flatliner. Nice!
The Amazing One wrapped his legs around Frankie's waist in mid-air and then snapped off a 360 powerbomb, "The Code Red". He then went for the Red Star press, but missed. Frankie shot the half nelson and picked up the win and the title.
Winner and NEW X-Division Champion: Frankie Kazarian
After the match, Kazarian took a victory lap around the ring and was booed loudly. He shoved his belt in Sabin's face. Sabin stood up, only to have the taste slapped out of his mouth. The save was made for the former champion by America's X Cup teammates, Sonjay Dutt, Elix Skipper and Jerry Lynn.
The 3 Live Kru were interviewed backstage. As usual Ron Killings is pure gold on the microphone and Konnan sucks. BG James tried to work his ultra stale "You betta call somebody" catch phrase in, but it didn't quite work.
Next week: we will have the America's X-Cup #3 - The defending champions Team AAA will defend against Team UK.
David Taylor (remember him?) came out with Team UK. No, Taylor's not wrestling - he's just the mouthpiece. He told the fans that they would respect his team next week.
Sting was then shown backstage. He literally said nothing other than "It's showtime folks!" Thanks for showin' up Stinger.
The Final Fourway
The winner of this match will face Chris Harris. The winner of that match will face JJ for the World Title. The special "enforcer" for this match was Sting. All four men battled simultaneously.
AJ seemed obsessed with taking out Raven. The two of them fought it out on the outside, and when Raven had the upper hand, Sting attacked Raven with a couple of right hands. Ummm, why?
Nice spot saw Abyss use a belly to back suplex on AJ and Killings at the same time. Abyss really is under-rated. I do believe he's the best working big man in the business.
Later on in the match, AJ was outside and hurt. Raven and Abyss went after AJ, but Sting protected him. Abyss and Raven then tossed Sting into the ring and double teamed him. Sting fought them off and tossed them both over the top. The two former NWA World Champions (AJ and Killings) then flew over the top with simultaneous flip dives.
AJ eventually nailed Raven with a Styles Clash and seemed to have the win. Jarrett ran out to distract the ref Sting tried to take JJ down but was thrown into the rail. Vince Russo tried to run JJ out. Jarrett took a white towel that Russo was holding and tossed it into the ring. AJ saw the towel and thought that Russo just pulled a "Golden Boy" on him. While staring at Russo, Raven snuck in an Evenflow DDT for the win.
Overall, this was a very entertaining, well paced show. I would definitely recommend ordering the replay if you missed the show - and I haven't said that for a while. The next two shows have been built pretty well. TNA seems to be turning a corner.
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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