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TNA: Second anniversary nothing special
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling


With the way TNA hyped this week's show, celebrating two years of business as well as the recent debut of Impact should have been something special. Instead what viewers got was a hum-drum, by-the-numbers show, with the most anticipated match ending badly, and the main event resulting in a cliffhanger, a severe no-no when your audience is paying out ten bucks a week for your shows. Especially frustrating is the statement "We may find out, tune in Friday on Impact" as Canadians don't get the show.

That said, TNA does deserve credit for sticking with things. Many predicted the promotion would fold within months, and the fact that they can proudly say they have reached two years, regardless of outside funding from Panda Energy, is still a remarkable milestone to reach.

The show starts with Jeremy Borash talking about all of the hard work that went into making TNA successful, so don't pirate it!

Mike Tenay and Don West welcome us to the show and introduce us to a number of legends at ringside to celebrate the history of the NWA. Sara Lee, Harley Race, Larry Zbyszko, Corsica Joe, and Mickey Doyle are there, and a chair has Dusty Rhodes name on it, but no Dusty due to a guitar shot by Jeff Jarrett on Impact.

Match 1: America's Most Wanted (champions) vs. Miyamoto & Nosawa (challengers) NWA Tag Team Titles.

Team Japan makes their first showing since the World-X cup in a decent match with AMW. Surprisingly the smaller Japanese duo dominates early on after Nosawa takes out Harris with a shining wizard. Fast paced back and fourth actions continues until Harris takes Miyamoto out with a spear, superkicks Nosawa, and AMW ends things with the death sentence.

Winners: And still NWA Tag Team Champions America's Most Wanted

The Naturals, wearing the ring gear they stole from AMW last week, assault the champs and smear lipstick on them. Not very flattering.

Scott Hudson is joined by Kid "If this was ECW I would be wrestling tonight" Kash & Dallas. Kash, who has a broken fibula complains that for 15 years he has wrestled through injury and this is just more protection of AJ Styles by the NWA.

A video airs set in the future, 2074, and a very old AJ Styles (Who would be 96) and something else, all from tonight's challenger. These would continue throughout the night.

Match 2: Trinity vs. Desire Stretcher Match.

A year ago Trinity broke Desire's back, thus the stipulation. I give TNA credit at least they let some of their feuds build instead of having Trinity toss salt in Desire's eyes to set up a last minute match that nobody would care about. A decent match that sees Trinity smartly concentrate on Desire's back as the two brawl around the ring trying to toss each other onto the stretcher. Desire went for it but Trinity tossed a chair into her face when she turned around. Trinity grabbed a fan's sign and tore it up before locking Desire in the setup position for a Boston Crab flipping her over and slamming Desire's face into the ring steps. A dive however missed. Trinity recovered to place Desire on a table and climb up to the balcony, but Desire moves and Trinity crashes through the table with a legdrop! Desire wheels Trinity to the waiting ambulance, but when it opens it reveals former WCW Hardcore Champion Big Vito, who assaults Desire, allowing Trinity to stretcher her and push her into the ambulance.

Winner: Trinity

Director of Authority Vince Russo threatens that if Jarrett uses the guitar he will be disqualified and lose the title, and refuses to comment on the X-Division challenger.

Challenger video airs again followed by a video recap of Jerry Lynn and Scott D'amore's feud.

Match 3: Jerry Lynn vs. Scott D'Amore.

Many were probably surprised by how decent this match turned out to be, but anyone who is familiar with D'Amore's decade-long career knows he can handle himself in the ring. After some initial goofyness involving D'Amore trying to get Lynn disqualified for using a closed fist, and then trying to get intentionally DQ's by shoving the referee, the match got going and surprisingly D'Amore dominated. Each time Lynn tried for the cradle piledriver, D'Amore escaped. Lynn responded by reversing the Damoralizer (Awesome name!) into a inverted DDT for a two count. The crowd was floored by a moonsault by D'Amore that nearly got a two count. Out came the trusty hockey stick, knocking down the referee and nearly getting pinfall after being broken over Lynn's back. Lynn came back and finally took D'Amore up and planted him on his head with the cradle piledriver. Ouch! Nasty, nasty bump by the Canadian.

Winner: Jerry Lynn.

Team Canada attacked Lynn, but Team NWA made the save, including Christopher Daniels, who ran in wearing street clothes and cleared the ring of the dastardly Canadians. Backstage, the NYC still looks goofy, although Johnny Swinger seems to be getting more and more into the Samoan Dancer outfit. David Young interrupts and stuff happens. Gilberti promises to make Young a winner. Didn't they drop him a few months ago? Oh, and double or nothing next week, NYC vs. Pat Kenny & Sonny Siaki.

Match 4: Mini Pierroth vs. Mascarita Sagrada

Sagrada was known as Max Mini during his brief time in the WWE in 1997. A comedy match in typical mini style, with some cool moves from the little guys. Sagrada surprises Pierroth with a victory roll for the three count.

Winner: Mascarita Sagrada

After the match, Young runs to the ring and takes out Max, demanding referee Mike Posey count. Posey refuses and gets shoved down. Anarchy ensues as the minis bite Young on the butt, D-Ray 3000 hits the ring, and then Posey hits a NICE dropkick, everyone piles on Young and Posey counts him down for three. According to my friend Wes "All that match needed was boobs and it would be the best match ever." That's debatable.

Video Package highlighting D-Lo Brown's return to TNA. He lays down a challenge to the winner of Jarrett vs. Killings, but Monty Brown takes him out and says... something. Can we get a translator in here? Please?

Match 5: AJ Styles (Champion) vs. Mystery Guy, Version 1-uhhh (Challenger) X-Division Championship.

This was spoiled on the Internet, but many still didn't realize that the challenger was going to be Jeff Hardy until his name came up in the entrance video. The last big appearance Hardy made after leaving the WWE as in Ring of Honor in July 2003, and that was a total disaster as he was totally off his game and the fans completely turned on him. Apparently the same fans are not in the Asylum as they loudly chanted his name and went nuts for him. Hardy has a chance to redeem himself and does a decent job, having a decent, though unspectacular match with Styles. Styles seemed really nervous about the challenge of Hardy as the two locked up and traded headscissors and wristlocks. Match started to pick up, and Hardy hit the corkscrew moonsault on Styles before Kash & Dallas hit the ring and assaulted AJ. Yes, a DQ, killing the "Dream Match." Sigh. Hardy saves Styles and the two have a heated argument.

Winner: via Disqualification and still X-Division Champion AJ Styles.

Shane Douglas goes to a remote location for Raven's "tribute" to the sheik. Sabu walks in and sees the skeleton with Sheik's picture on it. "Irish" Mickey Doyle, who worked for Sheik in Michigan years ago comes in and tells Sabu this has become personal and he has to respond. Then he hugs him. Hugging Sabu? Now that is taking your life in your hands!

Video Package for Killings vs. Jarrett.

Match 6: Jeff Jarrett (Champion) vs. Ron Killings (Challenger) NWA Championship.

Vince Russo and some referees go to ringside to search out guitars after the introductions. Larry Zybysko tells Russo it was too easy so they search and find more. This was the first title match in the six-sided ring. So Jarrett has been champion for three weeks without title defenses. Styles, in the same period, had three. Just pointing that out. A decent back and forth match, as expected, before both men brawled out of the ring and Jarrett stroked Killings off of the stage through a table. He hits the ring and the referee starts to count, prompting us to wonder why he wasn't counting for the lengthy period of time they were outside of the ring. Killings makes it back in and the match continues to go back and fourth with Killings getting a number of nearfalls, before accidentally knocking out the referee. Title belt shot gets a two count. Jarrett tosses the stairs aside to reveal a hidden guitar, he and Killings fight over it, Killings wins and nails Jarrett with it, covering him for the three count!

Winner: And New NWA Champion: Ron Killings.

BUT WAIT... The referees hit the ring to tell Rudy Charles what happened. Okay, so why don't they do that every other time Jarrett uses the damn guitar to win? Or when D'Amore uses his hockey stick? Russo hits the ring and looks torn. Dusty Rhodes hits the stage with a ring mic and tells Russo that there's a right decision and a wrong decision and that sometimes, the wrong decision is right do make the decision not with his head, but with his heart. With that Tenay said "Will we have an answer on Impact" and we faded out.

That's right, we don't know the results. You will have to TUNE IN TO OUR IMPACT REPORT this weekend to find out!

Jason Clevett is a very sleepy writer from Calgary, who is moving this weekend. Can you sense his anticipation?