May 6, 2004
TNA: I am Canadian!
By JASON CLEVETT - SLAM! Wrestling
Last night's NWA-TNA broadcast proved why Canada has a reputation for creating some of the best in professional wrestling history. The show stealer of the night was the 8-Man X-division match featuring Canadians Petey Williams, "Hotshot" Johnny Devine, Bobby Rude and "Showtime" Eric Young against TNA's Jerry Lynn, Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin and Elix Skipper. Also, a huge announcement!
The announcement is not that the Fox Sports deal is signed, but NWA-TNA did say they had a "huge announcement" next week which is likely to be that. This week however the announcement is the fact that I, along with the lovely and talented Jaya Roopasingh will be your new guides through the wacky world of NWA-TNA on a rotating basis. This week you are stuck with me but have no fear because next week Jaya will be giving her insight!
The show kicks off with Desire telling us, from one blue collar worker to another, not to steal cable, because every time you do God kills a kitten, and you take things out of her mouth. This was followed by a lengthy video package covering the past few weeks of TNA action.
To the ring, and Three Live Kru hit the ring and demand Mike Tenay bring a microphone into the ring, where they argue about last week's title match between Ron Killings and AJ Styles, which was restarted after a double pin, allowing for AJ to pin "The Truth." Then out comes Monty Brown who makes no sense in a rambling senseless promo. It was something about his title being "The Alpha Male" and he defends it every week. Seriously, never let that man speak again. It was time I will never ever get back! A brawl breaks out and 3LK are given thirty minutes to leave the building.
Raven continues to talk about his destiny, and lists off the people he has taken out of TNA like Vampiro and Synn, among others. Raven remains a great and intense promo guy.
Next up, a Frankie Kazarian promo and a video package for the Sonjay Dutt/Amazing Red best of three series for a shot at the X-division title. Eighteen minutes in, no wrestling., Yup that action sure doesn't stop!
Match 1: Sonjay Dutt vs. Amazing Red.
In their continuing need to make everything more complicated than it needs to be, the series between Dutt and Red is a "Three Strikes" series. Since both men have lost to Kazarian in the past, they each start with one strike, and will get another strike for each loss. First person to go three strikes is out. Huh? Kazarian watches from the entrance as mat wrestling starts, and the two trade armbar reversals. Dutt is the first to take flight with a spinning headscissors followed by a running double-knee to the chest. Red tries to outdo him with multiple spins into an attempted DDT but something goes wrong and both men end up in a heap. Red misses a standing moonsault, tried for an enziguri and was trapped in a La Magistral cradle to give him two strikes.
Winner: Sonjay Dutt.
A video package runs on the history and fallout of The New Franchise. Michael Shane is interviewed and Scott Hudson points out Tracii Brooks is MIA. Apparently, the two have split. Shane continues the brilliant promo work of the evening stating to Douglas "Your sunset is going down and mine is rising." Um, I didn't know sunsets rose, wouldn't that knock earth off it's axis or something?
Match 2: Michael Shane vs. Shane Douglas.
I find it hard to resist recapping this match using only the name "Shane" to really confuse you. When M. Shane entered the ring, Douglas came on the PA and said he knew were Tracii was. She's in the basement with Kane!!!! No, wait, she's with Douglas. Michael Shane hides behind Tracii early on, shoving her into Douglas and trying for a superkick, only to have his foot caught and spun around. Douglas ducks the clothesline off of that and picks Shane in a suplex, crotching him on the post. A decent but not spectacular bout unfolds as Douglas does a trio of suplexes including a lengthy delayed one. Michael Shane blocks the belly-to-belly. In a shocking swerve, Tracii tries to throw a chain to Michael Shane! They were in cahoots all along! Douglas intercepts, introduces Mr. Chain to Mr. Shane and gets the three count. Douglas then spanks Tracii but gets hit with her cast and whipped and choked.
Winner: Shane Douglas.
A video package promoting the X-Cup in a few weeks airs. Ultimate X 3! We then cut to Team Canada, wearing snazzy new outfits because they are sponsored by Molson Canadian baby!!!!! Now show the American's what real beer tastes like! [Editor's Note: We can do better than Molson Canadian, Jason.] Coach Scott D'Amore introduces the "New and Improved Team Canada" (Rude and Young replaced Jack Evans and Teddy Hart) and leads his team in the first verse of "Oh Canada" before doing a awesome Jacques Rougeau impression, reminding them not to forget the French Canadian fans and sing the verse again in French. 3LK interrupt to say they are leaving! How rude. Petey Williams gets in a final dig at Hudson, saying "It's no wonder everyone hates you."
Match 3: Team TNA (Jerry Lynn, Elix Skipper, Chris Sabin & Christopher Daniels) vs. Team Canada v2.0 (Petey Williams, Johnny Devine, Bobby Rude & Eric Young.)
A fantastic match with some serious Match Of The Year type stuff. I am not just saying that out of Canadian pride either, it was a fantastic match with so much going on I can't cover it, despite watching twice. The crowd comes alive for the first time, chanting "USA" and the Canadians do a great job of jawing with the fans. Lots of wrestling exchanges to start with Lynn taking the brunt of things before things really pick up. In a neat moment, Sabin runs towards the ropes and Devine, who drops to his knees on the apron cowering, only for Sabin to springboard off into a tornado DDT on Young, Devine tried to springboard right after and got planted with a powerbomb. Another move that had to be seen to be believed saw a seven-man tumble from the turnbuckles involving everyone but Lynn. Rude & Williams went to superplex Sabin, but Skipper and Daniels climbed behind them for a back suplex. Devine and Young then got under them for powerbombs and they all came tumbling down. Wow. Petey finally debuted the sunset-flip piledriver in TNA on Skipper for another holy you know what moment. That chant also came out when Daniels climbed behind Devine and hit a inverted frankenstiener from the top! As anarchy rained, Jerry Lynn rolled up Rude. Coach D'Amore tries to interfere, Lynn takes him out and goes for the cradle piledriver. D'Amore finishes Lynn with a salute to Marty McSorley with a hockey stick to the head and a small package by Rude gives the Canadians the win!
Winners: Petey Williams, Johnny Devine, Bobby Rude and Eric Young.
A camera is in Vince Russo's office, showing it has been trashed. But the question is by who? Kid Kash says he knows, but he ain't one to gossip and you didn't hear nothing from him. James Storm, um, storms into the office after being accused as the trasher, and the chases Kash to ringside. Dallas ran out to help his cousin and James avoided the double team.
Match 4: Trinity vs. Desire.
Women = Cooling off period after great match. It is hard to believe that Trinity was having great matches with Kid Kash a year or so ago. All the boys (Siaki, Kenny, Swinger & Gilberti) are kicked out from ringside. Trinity concentrates on Desire's back, which was broken and resulted in a 10-month layoff. A mercifully short match as Trinity throws Desire into the referee, kicks her in the back and rolls her up. Trinity then attackes Desire and hits a moonsault, setting up a second one with a chair before Siaki makes the save.
With Siaki in the ring, it allows for Johnny Swinger & Glenn Gilberti to attack "Irish" Pat Kenny (Why? What was wrong with Simon Diamond? Why must you give me matches like the 8-man tag and then tick me off with this stupidity?) and pour Irish beer and green paint on him. Because he's Irish, get it? That is so funny I forgot to laugh. Really lame angle, much like that joke.
A video package of the history between Goldilocks and Erik Watts. She's been leaving messages on his machine. She says "I don't need you anymore, so many people are banging my door down." ... so many smartass comments ... Must ... keep control. Erik Watts is interviewed. "Abyss, you don't get involved in a domestic dispute."
Match 5: Erik Watts vs. Abyss
The crowd is dead for this awful dragging match. It plods along as they brawl ... and brawl, followed by more brawling. Watts gets caught hanging upside down from the turnbuckle outside the ring and Abyss kicks him in the stomach. After both men went for a chokeslam Watts scored with a top rope clothesline. Goldilocks distracted Watts, who walked into a black hole slam to end the misery. Goldylocks pulled a move out of Ted Dibiase's playbook, shoving cash into Watts' mouth. He responds by grabbing her by the throat for a chokeslam, and Abyss attacks him and chokes him out with a chain. Oh goody, more classic Abyss vs. Watts matches.
An interview with La Parka and Armando Quintaro talking about team AAA and the X-cup. Or maybe it is someone pretending to be La Parka. I mean, Diamond Dallas Page did announce he was returning to wrestling! (Why do I remember this stuff?!) Raven attacks La Parka for the hell of it.
Time to shill for next week! Sonay vs. Red 2! Hector Garza & Mr. Aguilla vs. Petey Williams & Bobby Rude! Shane vs. Shane in a "Corporal Punishment" match (Loser forced to watch Abyss vs. Watts for three hours) Monty Brown vs. BJ James! (Good luck with that one Jaya!) Storm vs. Kash! Plus a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT! Gee, I wonder what that could be?
Video Package on Raven & Styles. One thing about TNA, they have some continuity, it's been a year since Raven was derailed from his NWA title destiny, and when Styles won his first NWA belt it was in a three-way that also involved Raven. Many thought that the man from the Bowery was going to grab the belt making Styles win a huge surprise. Now Styles is champion again and Raven is still bitter. At least he's not bald anymore. Kurt Angle and Raven need to talk.
Match 6: NWA World Championship – AJ Styles (Champion) vs. Raven (Challenger.)
The main event is another excellent match but in an entirely different way from the 8-man tag. The two jaw to start and jockey around a bit. The match centers around Styles working on Raven's leg and Raven targeting Styles' shoulder. Styles went for a dive early on but saw Raven moving, landed on his feet on the apron, hopped back into the ring and mocked Raven's crucifixtion pose. The champ locks on an Indian Deathlock and then a Muta Clutch before missing a plancha. Raven then went to work on the arm and locked on a cross face chicken wing taught to him by Bob Backlund. Styles rolls out into a headlock which is reversed into a hammerlock, but comes back taking down Raven with 6 clotheslines using his good arm! The little things count! Raven blocks an enziguri, tried a DDT, reversed into a Styles Clash attempt, reversed into a nasty armbar. After going outside, Raven throws a chair into the ring and sets it up before heading to the corner and pulling something out of his tights. Styles nails him and finds a pill bottle, which brings to mind more smartass remarks, but it turns out to be powder. He gets Raven with it but at the same time is superkicked. A blinded raven sends the referee into the chair with a drop toehold. Styles then did a drop toehold of his own but missed a springboard 450. A wicked chairshot would have ended things had the referee been awake. La Parka struts to ringside for vengeance and DDT's Raven! Styles Clash! Destiny remains unfulfilled as Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles.
But wait, in the shocker of shockers, La Parka unmasks and it is DDP!!! No, no wait it's Chris Harris. Damn, I was hoping TNA would feel the bang! Storm hits ringside as well and the locker room empties to break up the AMW/Raven brawl. Harris looks funny in the skeleton suit. Harris then tells AJ that he should have been in the cage match and he deserved a shot. Styles is a fighting champion and accepts for next week! Wait, title defenses? What a novel idea!
Bottom Line: Thumbs in the middle for this one as two awesome matches were dragged down by the awful Abyss vs. Watts match and so-so matches with Dutt/Red and Shane/Douglas. But TNA has been showing noticeable improvement as of late. Next week's show looks solid, lets hope when I come back in two weeks it is good!
Jason Clevett is from Calgary, Alberta and is not going to mock the mostly Toronto-based staff of SLAM! Wrestling about the Calgary Flames advancing and the Toronto Maple Leafs tasting defeat. Who is the center of the universe now, huh?