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TNA on Spike TV should be X-cellent
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun


If you've never seen Total Nonstop Action wrestling, you're in for a real treat on Oct. 1 when Spike TV begins airing TNA Impact at 11 p.m. each Saturday night.

TNA has been around for a few years, but Canadian viewers will finally get a full dose of what's been a fairly well-kept secret, previously shown on Fox Sports Net, a set of regional networks in the U.S.

Get ready to hear plenty more from names like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, The Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels, The Alpha Male Monty Brown, Abyss, Tito Ortiz, America's Most Wanted and The Naturals.

There are plenty of familiar names too, guys like: Current heavyweight champ Jeff Jarrett, BG James (Road Dogg), Kip James (Billy Gunn), Raven, Rhino, Sabu , Kevin Nash and The Dudley Boyz (although they will not be permitted to go by that name). There's even a Team Canada, led by Scott D'Amore.

"If you like wrestling, you will like this product," says TNA president Dixie Carter. "If you like 20-minute promos, then our product may not be for you. You're going to see some moves you've never seen before and some names you've never heard."

Carter has good reason to be excited. The Spike TV deal is the result of plenty of hard work from Carter and her staff.

"We had a great opportunity with Fox Sports Net," she says. "We hoped to turn it into something bigger. But it was 22 regional networks and it wasn't available in Canada. We were in a 4 p.m. time slot, but even then our ratings were fantastic.

"This (Spike TV) is a long-term deal for us ... multiple years."

She says that TNA is something special.

"We have one major competitor which does a good job at what it does," says Carter. "But we're Total Nonstop Action. (Even without a TV deal during the summer), these guys were putting their bodies on the line. They know they can change people into TNA fans.

"Our philosophy is if it's been done before, we'd better do it better. We think people will be hooked when they see things like the six-sided ring, the Six Sides of Steel matches and Ultimate X matches. (Our guys) can do things you've never seen."

She says TNA would like to take its pay-per-views on the road in 2006, with a likely stop somewhere in Canada.

- Chris Jericho is coming to Ottawa ... with his band, Fozzy, which will perform at Barrymore's on Nov. 14. Fozzy will be in Montreal on Nov. 16.

- Ric Flair. An intercontinental championship. Viagra. A limousine full of lovely ladies. Sounds like last Sunday night, at the Unforgiven pay-per-view, was a good one for The Nature Boy. Flair won the title from Carlito. Other Unforgiven results: John Cena kept his title by DQ after hitting Kurt Angle with the belt; Trish and Ashley beat Victoria and Torrie; The Big Show beat Snitsky; Shelton Benjamin beat Kerwin White; Shawn Michaels beat Chris Masters with some sweet chin music; and Matt Hardy delivered an awesome leg drop off the top of the steel cage to defeat Edge.

- WWE continues to load up its USA Network RAW debut with The Homecoming on Oct. 3 from Dallas. RAW is moving from Spike TV. TSN will continue to carry the program in Canada, but will delay the show, which will begin at 7:55 p.m. in the U.S. TSN will tape delay it, running it from 9-midnight. Following a half-hour sports desk, TSN will then air a one-hour Greatest Moments of RAW. On The Homecoming, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Mick Foley and Triple H are scheduled to appear, along with some names from the past, including: Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Jimmy Hart, Hillbilly Jim, Superstar Billy Graham, The Iron Sheik, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Harley Race, Superfly Jimmy Snuka, Chief Jay Strongbow, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Nikolai Volkoff and Koko B. Ware. WWE boss Vince McMahon also announced that John Cena will face Eric Bischoff. And Matt Hardy will face Edge with plenty on the line ... the winner gets the Money in the Bank title shot and the loser must leave RAW.

- It's full steam ahead for The Fight Network, which began its programming on Thursday at noon, one day later than planned. You can watch The Fight Network on Channel 427 of the Rogers Digital package (you've got to be a digital subscriber). There's some outstanding programming lined up for The Fight Network. Got my first glimpse of Ring of Honor action on Friday.

- WWE has released Mark Copani (Muhammad Hassan). Still on board is Shawn (Khosrow) Daivari.

- TNA will release its first seven DVDs on Dec. 6 in Canada.

- CPW's Uprising, last Saturday in Gatineau, saw Max Alexander joined by Caster McFear to beat up Freak. Looks like Max is Simply Irresistible again. The next CPW show is Oct. 1, at the St-Jean Bosco school gym.