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TNA: Monty Brown looking like a contender
By STEVEN JOHNSON - SLAM! Wrestling


We know the NWA-TNA world champion is Jeff Jarrett. We know he swings a mean guitar. What we don't know is whom he will swing it at next.

Judging from the Sept. 24 edition of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling Impact!, that somebody could be Monty Brown. While much of the Friday's show, televised on Fox Sports Net, was given to speculation about Jarrett's top rival, only Brown got the kind of significant face time that one would expect from an impending main eventer.

Impact! is more important than it was before TNA abandoned its weekly live pay-per-views, settling instead for a monthly PPV. While the company will show a "best of" next week in the Wednesday PPV time slot - it'll focus on 2004 heavyweight bouts - the attention is clearly turned to the Nov. 7 event and the possible role of the increasingly popular Brown. As a result, there was a little more talk and a little less 'rasslin on this telecast, compared with the first Impact! tapings.

Match one: Jerrelle Clark vs Petey Williams (with Team Canada)

Williams, who has emerged as one of the best wrestlers in the promotion, found it necessary to consult with his team members outside the ring after Clark gained an early upper hand. True to form, he caught Clark from behind after Team Canada manager Scott D'Amore distracted his rival. After a commercial break - Williams was said to have dominated the match during the timeout - Clark made a brief comeback with an elbow drop off the ropes. But Williams' compatriots again distracted the inattentive Clark. A Russian leg sweep and flip piledriver finished off Clark in 7:07.

Winner: Petey Williams

Match two: Konnan and Ron Killings vs Mike Hannigan and Marcus Dillon

Only two-thirds of 3 Live Kru was present for this match; and announcers Mike Tenay and Don West announced B.G. James was at home tending to storm damage on his house. Hopefully, that was not too serious. Likely, it caused more trouble that the Hannigan-Dillon duo. Konnan began by battering Hannigan, who tagged to Dillon. Killings stopped him with a pedigree in 2:36. Tenay mentioned the death of Jim Barnett, the legendary promoter and NWA official, during the contest.

Winners: Konnan and Ron Killings

TNA plugged its upcoming PPV highlight reel for next week, and followed that with a video package on Jarrett. Jarrett strolled to the ring and demanded to know the identity of his top challenger. Quickly, Brown came to the ring and welcomed Jarrett to the Serengeti, his pet name for the plains of the ring. Brown has improved on promos since he started with TNA. Jarrett dismissed Brown and pushed him in the face, a sure sign for a pull-apart brawl. As referees were breaking up the scuffle, Dusty Rhodes came to ringside and threw up his hands.

After a commercial, Larry Zbyszko and Rhodes, two members of the TNA championship committee, started jawing at each other. Rhodes is championing the cause of Jeff Hardy for a rematch with Jarrett, while Larry lit into him, saying "You cannot run the show." Zbyszko vowed he'd bring Terry Funk, another championship committee member and long-time thorn in Rhodes' side, to the next Impact!

Match three: Abyss vs Frankie Capone

Capone attacked Abyss before the match. Didn't work. Chalk up one for Abyss with the spinning side slam in 0:43.

Winner: Abyss

Match four: Primetime and Chris Harris vs James Storm and Christopher Daniels

If you missed TNA in recent weeks, read carefully. Primetime and Chris Harris are the tag champions, even though they are sworn enemies. Their normal partners, Storm and Daniels, fell victim to injury, so Zbyszko paired Primetime and Harris against The Naturals. Naturally, they won the tag belts from The Naturals. Hence, the question in this match was whether former partners would bash each other in an effort to keep precious gold around their waists.

In the early going, they did no such thing. When Primetime tagged Harris after delivering an inverted atomic drop to Storm, Storm quickly tagged Daniels to keep from squaring off against his standard teammate. Later, Storm refused to enter the ring when Primetime tried to get him to double team Storm.

After a commercial, Harris sent Daniels flying with a back bodydrop for a two-count, and a full nelson slam for another count of two. Soon, all four men entered the ring, only adding to the confusion. Said an astute West: "Things are getting pretty weird." Daniels brought a chair into the ring, only to start arguing with Primetime. In the interim, Storm took advantage with a superkick, laying out Primetime for the win and the tag team title. We'll see how the wrestling title history sites treat this one. Daniels tried to Primetime what went awry as the show ended.

Winners and new champions: James Storm and Christopher Daniels

Steven Johnson is a writer and editor in Virginia. He can be reached at blakeslee_74@yahoo.com.