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   Thu, July 15, 2004



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TNA: Storylines steal from in-ring action
By JAYA ROOPANSINGH -- SLAM! Wrestling


Wednesday night, TNA put on another great show but their concentration on storylines is starting to take away from the great wrestling they're used to putting out. Too much talk and obvious finishes. Still, it's the best wrestling on right now.

This week's show starts off with the New York Connection in the back complaining about Gilberti and Swinger still wearing grass skirts and a leprechaun outfit. It seems they're trying to pull off being an Italian Mafia of some sort. NWA should stick to the wrestlers telling the stories in the ring and forget the gimmick crap.

The first match of the night is one that I've been waiting forever to see. Michael Shane going one on one with AJ Styles. I'm sure they've fought before but this was the first time I had seen it. If Shane wins, he gets a shot at the X title. If AJ wins, Shane must leave the X division.

AJ Styles VS. Michael Shane

The staredown begins, they each have a slap to the face and get in some Flair-like chops. Shane's a little woozy but manages to throw in some punches. AJ still comes back. They both go to the outside. Thus far, nothing really technical, Traci comes from behind long enough to distract AJ and Shane gets the upper hand. Some more chops, back in the ring. Shane drives his knees into AJ's mid section, he goes off the ropes, standing hip lock, AJ reverses, Shane elbows out, goes off the ropes, AJ leap frogs, Shane puts on the breaks, turns around and has AJ for a reverse over head suplex, AJ lands on his feet, drop kick to Shane, and two count.

AJ puts a sleeper on Shane, he does a jaw breaker, AJ tries to put the clash on Shane, instead, Shane drives him into the turnbuckle, then sling shots him into the corner. Shane gets a reverse chin lock on AJ with his knees firmly pressed into AJ's back. Shane pulls him out of the move, the pace quickens, Shane throws AJ into the corner, Shane runs at AJ, gets a boot, Shane whipped into the corner, AJ charges in and gets thrown back first into the turnbuckle, two count on AJ.

Shane dominating AJ, he goes off the ropes, hits a back suplex, two count. Shane puts on another sleeper on AJ. Crowd cheers him out. He chops Shane a few more times, throws him to the ropes, ducks for the back drop, Shane telegraphs it, grabs AJ's head and slams him to the mat. Shane now tries to put the clash on AJ, he scrambles out and out of no where he does a reverse heel kick out of a backflip. You just never know where AJ's gonna come from. They both get to their feet at the same time. AJ gets four straight running lariats, a scoop slam, Shane back up, AJ clotheslines him out of the ring. AJ backs up for the running suicide dive. He nails Shane but lands with his knees straight across the guardrails. Traci helps Shane up and back into the ring, AJ tries to get up but is in too much pain, his knees buckle on him. He calls the ref out to the floor and trainers start running out from the back. The ref declares a forfeit. Jerry Lynn and some trainers help AJ to the back.

Winner: By forfeit, Michael Shane

Vito and Pat Kenney are in the back fighting and Trinity is getting her shots in on Kenney while he's on the floor.

They have an interview with D-Lo Brown. He talks about how wrestling has taken a backseat in his life, now that he's a father. He sounds like he's ready to give up on the business and be with his family.

NYC goes to the ring. They start beating on referee, Posey. The ref gets knocked out to the floor, he grabs a broom, goes back in and starts laying it into NYC. The numbers play out and the ref gets clobbered again until finally some help comes from the back.

They show a great video package of the history between Raven and Sabu. I can't wait to see these two fight. All the former ECW wrestlers should be sitting at ringside during the match.

Abyss & Alex Shelly VS Sonjay Dutt & Sabu

Dutt and Shelly start things out. Wrists hold and reversals, Dutt gets a pinning combination, Shelly kicks out, Dutt thrown to the ropes, he gets on top, Frankenstiener, Shelly back up in a daze, Dutt lays it into him and tags in Sabu. He drives Shelly to the mat, but can't keep him out of his corner, the tag to Abyss. Sabu fears no one, he goes straight after Abyss, they're punching each other, Sabu goes down, and Shelly is back in. He runs after Sabu, misses, Sabu tags in Dutt again. Dutt throws Shelly into the ropes, blind tag to Abyss, Dutt runs off the other side of the ropes, Shelly steps aside and Dutt runs right into Abyss and falls down.

Abyss waffles Dutt while Sabu is going nuts on the outside. Sabu now has a chair inside. He sets it up for the spring board. They play back and forth with the chair. Dutt connects with a kick to Shelly. Abyss gets Dutt in the torture rack, Sabu waffles, Abyss with the chair, Dutt goes to the top, Sabu throws Abyss the chair and directs him towards Dutt, He jumps off and lands the drop kick into the chair. Shelly has Sabu on the outside. Abyss gets Dutt in a brainbuster and the three count. Sabu upset at the results grabs Abyss and dominates him on the outside. He goes for a top rope manoeuvre, the lights go out and Raven's voice starts to shout over the crowd. The Sheik is dead, long live Raven, fight me. The lights back on, Abyss has Sabu in the shock wave. Sabu then gets powerbombed through the table.

Winners: Alex Shelly & Abyss

Backstage with Dusty Rhodes and he tells us that Jeff Hardy will be here next week and he's got a folder with his name on it.

Team Canada (Johnny Devine, Eric Young, Petey Williams, Bobby Roode) Vs Chris Sabin, Red, Christopher Daniels & (PT) Elix Skipper

PT and Devine start things off. Wrists lock into an arm bar, PT makes his way out. Devine goes for a spring cross body misses, but Young is in position to hit one of his own, PT goes down for the pin, matrixed out of it, tags in Daniels. Triple X with a double team, Young whipped to the ropes, Daniels leap frogs and PT catches him with the clothes line. Daniels sets PT up for the drop on Young, PT hits it and goes out. Daniels takes his shot at all the Team Canada members on the outside, over the head slam on Young , tag into Red. He gets a kick to Young's midsection, whip to the ropes, back heel kick, two count.

Red tags in Sabin, he gets a drop kick off the ropes, two count, has Young in a head lock manoeuvre, Young elbows his way out by Sabin's holding on, Young manages to get to Petey Williams for the tag without Sabin looking, Williams puts the boots to Sabin. Devine in goes for a headscissors, receives a sitting power bomb. Devine holds Sabin in the corner while he gets a tag to Young. He cuts Sabin off, they double team him, Young whips in Sabin, charges, Sabin reverses, Young stands on his head on the top and gets chopped down. Young holds Sabin and gets the tag to Roode, ref distracted with Sabins' team. Team Canada takes advantage, Roode has Sabin in corner, reverse chin lock, Devine in, neck breaker, pin, Daniels breaks it. Devine goes for bomb on Sabin, he fights out of it and gets a sitting drop kick.

PT in, spring board clothesline on Young, one for Devine, spinning heel kick on Young, one for Devine, Roode in, stops PT with clothesline, Daniels in with insegury to Roode, Williams in, Daniels takes him up, reversed with DDT to Daniels, Red spring board kick, cover, Young pulls him off wheel barrow up and drives him back down, PT from behind, scoop tilta slam, Roode full nelson slam on PT, cover, Daniels again breaks it, throws Roode out, Spring moonsault on Roode, Devine also hits the moonsault on Daniels, PT hits a spinning cross body on Devine, Young revs up to go, Sabin cuts him off, they both go over and hang on, try to skin the cat, Young up first, tries to push of Sabin, he clips his feet around Young and throws him over and goes over with him. They all brawl, Williams goes to the top, Red cuts him off, suplex off the top to Williams, he lands on everyone. They continue to brawl outside while Roode has Red in the ring. Red gets Roode down, D'Amore gets up, Red shoots him down, he goes to the top, D'Amore shoves him off, Daniels, PT and Williams back in the ring. XXX does a powerbomb at the same time Roode does the Canadian Bomb, Roode gets the pin first, ref comes back in on the side of XXX, counts their pin instead.

Winners: Red, Daniels, Skipper & Sabin

10-Man Guitar on a pole match

Jeff Jarrett and his guards & Ken Shamrock VS Dusty Rhodes, Larry Zbzysko & 3 Live Kru

Dream is the last to come out and he goes right after all five men. They scatter out into a brawl, Dream with JJ, Shamrock with Truth, the Elite guards with LZ, BG and Konnan. BG and Onx start things off in the ring. Dusty drops his bionic elbow on JJ on the rails. I missed a bunch of stuff here, sorry. It was just all over the place.

Hernandez goes after the guitar, Truth pulls him off, Truth goes for it, JJ breaks it, Zbzysko in to stop JJ from getting it, Zbzysko throws the lefts and rights at Jarrett. The guards come in for the save. JJ and Dream are fighting on the rampway. Dream sets him up to be hit by someone else but before anyone could come he gets a donkey kick to the groin, JJ gets chair and smashes Dream. JJ brings a chair to the ring and tries to level everyone.

Dream now goes for the guitar, can't really reach it--probably because he's only on the second rope and can't seem to make himself to the top. Maybe that's why he's supposed to be retired!!! Everyone tries to lift him up to get the guitar, Shamrock hits them in the back, while they go down, JJ sneaks back in and gets the guitar, Onyx has Dream held up for a guitar shot, Dream fights out with the elbow, JJ turns around, goes for the shot anyway, Dream grabs the guitar and hits Onyx. He goes for the pin and the win. JJ is on the ramp in disbelief, he walks right into Monty Brown who challenged him earlier on in the evening. Shamrock meets them up there and they all challenge each other.

Winners: Zbzysko, Rhodes, 3 Live Kru

AJ Styles VS Frankie Kazarian

Same stipulations apply but Jerry Lynn is taking Styles' place. Kazarian says he signed on the line for AJ and if he can't come out then he forfeits and Kazarian gets a shot at the title. At that moment AJ comes out with his leg wrapped up. He convinces Lynn to leave and the match begins.

Deep arm drag to Kazarian, arm bar, Kazarian trying to climb out, gets another drag for it, back to his feet, German release, AJ going for discus move, his knee slows him down, Kazarian catches him with a high kick that knocks AJ out. Neck breaker to AJ on the outside. He gets slammed into the rails where he first got hurt, Kazarian drops elbows and chops and gets a two count.

After a long while of punches and slaps, AJ finally goes nuts with some lefts and rights, goes for the spring board, knee buckles, Kazarian goes over gets the sitting head scissors, German suplex, Shane and Traci come out to cheer him on. Traci on the apron distracting the referee, Shane runs in and superkicks AJ. Traci gets down and the ref turns to see the pin, two count.

AJ mounts a comeback on Kazarian, gets a pin, Traci pulls the ref out. Shane comes in, this time AJ sees him coming and throws him right back out. Traci goes to Shane and the ref gets back inside. Traci gets in the ring, AJ gives her the clash, Kazarian goes for the wave of the future, AJ blocks and goes for the clash, ref is tied up with seeing if Traci is okay, Shane comes in and clips the injured knee, Kazarian goes for the pin, calls the ref, three count. Once again Traci takes a big blow for the guys while they celebrate without even helping her up to her feet.

Winner: Frankie Kazarian

They show a Jeff Hardy package hyping his appearance next week.

Double Ladder Match, AMW's gear on the line with a contract for a rematch for the tag team gold

America's Most Wanted Vs The Naturals

AMW can't wait, they go running to the ring and knocks out the Naturals. They automatically go for the ladders, but gets cut off. XXX and the Elite guards are watching from the top of the ramp.

Harris elevates Douglas back first in ladder. Harris sets the ladder to climb, Stevens takes it out from under him, they're all down. Storm is on top for back flip on Stevens, but gets pushed over on a table, knocked out completely. Harris goes nuts on Stevens before he sees Storm out cold. Afterwards he pounds on Stevens with the ladder. Douglas tries to get back in but gets ladder to the gut. Storm starts to stir, Harris goes for suplex on Stevens, Douglas moves ladder so Stevens won't land on it. He grabs a chair and clubs Harris with it. Double team on Harris, puts Harris in the ladder and crushes him in it with a moonsault off the ropes by Stevens. Douglas gets chair, Storm manages to climb up and grab Douglas' feet. Stevens continues to fight with Harris.

Storm and Douglas are in the ring, climbing up the ladder, Douglas still has a chair, Storm doesn't know it till he gets nailed with it. Harris knocks Stevens out. Douglas tries to reach the bag but can't seem to so he goes for the jump to get it, Harris spears him in mid air. Storm sees his chance to run up the ladder and he gets the bag full of gear.

XXX cheers them on and Harris grabs the mic and tells them the match they choose for their contracted title match is a six-sided steel cage match next week.

Winners: AMW

Jaya Roopansingh is a Toronto-based writer and fashion consultant. Email her at phoenix7275@yahoo.com.