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TNA: Semi-finale sizzles
By JASON CLEVETT -- SLAM! Wrestling


It looked like TNA was destined to end its weekly shows with on a sour note, as in the past few weeks an overabundance of talking and garbage has out shadowed some damn good matches. This week?s broadcast however gave hope that TNA can go out next week with its head held high and some momentum going into Victory Road on November 8th. A red-hot live crowd watched some great in-ring action highlighted a broadcast that was dragged down only by yet another nightly brawl (and all ... that ... Jaaaazz) and the resurrection of The Midnight Rider.

After Erik Watts reminded fans not to steal this--the almost final broadcast of TNA--the show kicked off with Jeff Jarrett out to hype his title defense. After reading some of the great work here on SLAM! regarding former NWA Champions like Harley Race defending the belt 300 times a year, it really makes me wish Jarrett would defend it more then once every few months. Next week it?s the King of the Mountain vs. The Charismatic Enigma, and the eyes of the world will be on TNA. So will Monty Brown?s, who is next in line for a title shot, which at the current rate should occur sometime in 2005.

Kid Kash and Dallas then cut a promo to hype the main event ?Asylum street fight? against AJ Styles and Ron Killings.

Match 1: NWA Tag Team Championship: The Naturals (champions) vs. America?s Most Wanted (Challengers) vs. Triple-X (Challengers.)

A red-hot opener that showcased the talents of all six men. Much like The Hardys, Dudleys and E&C circa 2000, these six men have been one of the main reasons to watch TNA. James Storm was hurt in the match but refused medical attention and insisted on trying to continue the match. The end of the match heated up with Harris taking Douglas to the floor with a belly-to-belly suplex, Skipper attempted to ropewalk against Harris and was also sent to the floor. Daniels hit the angel?s wings on Storm but Stevens snuck in and grabbed the pin.

Winners:.. and still Tag Team Champions ? Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas

Scott Hudson interviewed Vince Russo about a variety of topics such as The Natural?s opponents for the final episode of TNA. It?s Wrestlemania X Flashback, as the belts will be defended twice. He also talks about Dusty, telling those of us anxiously awaiting MORE DUSTY that he will be back next week.

Match 2: Kazarian & Michael Shane vs. Amazing Red & Chris Sabin.

The great matches continued, as this hot tag match saw Sabin play the ?Ricky Morton role? of the match as the former X-division co-champs continued to show great teamwork and gel as a team. Sabin came back with a springboard tornado DDT to Kazarian and tagged in the eager Red, who slipped on a springboard but recovered to casually clothesline and flatline Kazarian. A top rope blockbuster by S&K resulted in a two count. Sabin took Kazarian to the floor and Red hit the ropes, knocking Traci Brooks off the apron, and distracting him long enough to walk into a superkick by Michael Shane.

Winners: Kazarian & Michael Shane

Hudson was chilling with Team Canada, who of course played the ?Our team beat your team in hockey? card. He hypes Petey Williams, X champ and the 6-man tag later.

Match 3: X-Division Championship: Petey Williams (Champion) vs. Sonjay Dutt (Challenger.)

The rabid crowd loudly chanted ?USA? for the match between Canadian Petey Williams and Bombay, India?s Sonjay Dutt. This kind of tomfoolery wouldn?t happen in Orlando! Another great back and forth match. Dutt blocked Williams? first attempt at the Canadian Destroyer and hit a sick inverted piledriver for a two count. A fisherman buster set Petey up for the hindu press, but Dirty D?Amore distracted everyone. Sonjay missed the move and a simple Canadian Destroyer, which once again got a pop from people who had never seen the move before, put Dutt away.

Winner:? and still X-division Champion. Petey Williams.

Interview with Two of the Three Live Kru and a video recap of their feud with Team Canada.

Match 4: Team Canada vs. Konnan, BG James & a ?mystery partner.?

I had a bad dream the other night. I dreamt that Dusty Rhodes, having been suspended by Vince Russo, would appear under a mask as ?The Masked Rider.? Well, never say dreams don?t come true kids, in this case it ended up being a nightmare. The streak of great wrestling comes to a grinding halt despite a hard effort by the Canadians. The crowd chanted ?Let's go Road Dog.? They were on fire! A glorified squash and poor Johnny Devine once again is the fall guy, taking a flapjack, pumphandle slam, and the ?This is definitely not a Dusty Rhodes Elbow? to lose for his team.

Winners: 3LK & The Midnight Rider.

Goldilocks trapped Sharkboy and D-Ray in a cage and sucked up to Abyss.

Alex Shelly & Abyss vs. Sonny Siaki & Erik Watts.

Siaki & Watts were fighting to free the rest of the slaves, namely Sharky & D-ray. A short back and forth match that saw interference by Desire, Goldilocks and Watts' wife Georgie. All of the distraction lead to Shelly being rolled up and pinned, thoroughly angering Goldilocks.

Winners: Siaki & Watts

Hype time towards the final weekly broadcast. They announce a 6-team X-division match, but of course that isn?t important when we have DUSTY in the house. Russo hits ringside and he and Rhodes agree to a match next week between Dusty and Scott D?Amore. 3LK & Team Canada banned from ringside, Russo as the guest referee and if D?Amore wins Rhodes leaves TNA to let Russo control it. I smell a heel turn.

Interview with Styles & Killings and a video package for the main event.

Match 6: Asylum Street Fight: AJ Styles & Ron Killings vs. Kid Kash & Dallas.

Styles wore fatigues to match Killings. A great brawl that unfortunately was hard to follow at times due to them being out in the crowd with little lighting. Killings took to the air early with a dive from the ring over the barricade onto Kash and Dallas. After that it became a blur of a brawl outside, with so much action that you couldn?t figure out what was going on. Apparently neither could the fans, who repeatedly got in the way. Dallas and Killings took each other out with brutal chairshots. Everyone finally staggered back into the ring and Killings and AJ did some cool teamwork, including Styles jumping off of Killings? back into a 'rana on Dallas. A dropkick to the knee by Styles set up a top rope axe-kick by Killings to send Dallas to the showers.

Winners: AJ Styles & Ron Killings.

Team Canada hit the ring, and once again the show ends with a giant brawl. It really takes away from that particular occurrence when it happens every week. Kash 'rana?d Styles off the top through a table on the floor. Jarrett and Hardy got it on, resulting in Hardy trapping Jarrett in a Texas Cloverleaf and Jarrett tapping as the camera faded to black.

That does it for me, as Jaya will be the one covering the final weekly broadcast of TNA. I hope the readers have enjoyed SLAM!?s coverage of TNA for the past two years. We?ve (usually) enjoyed the shows and bringing you the results, and I am sure that Jaya or I will be covering the monthly shows, starting with Victory Road on November 8. Until then...


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    Jason Clevett doesn?t know what to do on Wednesday Nights anymore.