I know what you’re thinking. “It’s Wednesday and you’re posting up LAST week’s show?” Well, there’s a perfectly good explanation.
As you can read for yourself here Thursday, there was a blackout in New York City and I wasn’t able to get a hold of last week’s TNA until recently. Believe me, I hate putting these up late more than you guys hate waiting for it. In the meantime, I might as well start off with the intro I already had prepared for it…
Eight hundred dollars.
Ringside seats for Wrestlemania XX in Madison Square Garden are going to be about $800 after the $750 ticket price, building fees, taxes and all that, effectively killing any chance of me sitting ringside after 10 years of waiting for this event. I could probably afford to buy one ticket, but would you really want to go alone? My friends don’t have that kind of money. I’m going to still try to go, as other seats cost about 200+, but now I’m depressed about it.
Oh, let’s just hit the recap already.
Because of the VCR MASTERMIND that is Bob Barron, we skip the FBI’s Manhunt for all you offenders out there and probably the intro video package as well as it starts off with 3 Live Krew making their entrance to the Asylum to a very loud pop. Mike Tenay runs down the title resume of all three men as Truth dances in the ring and Konnan gets on THE STICK~! He hits the usual catchphrases, which the fans are going BONKERS over before the bell rings for the first match of the night. Apparently, their opponents were either already in the ring, already introduced (thanks Bob) or TNA just REALLY doesn’t care enough about them to give them any more screen time than minimally possible.
Ron “The Truth” Killings, Konnan & B.G. James vs. Devon Storm, Vampire Warrior & Sinn
Match Background: Going as far back as May, Ron Killings & Konnan formed 3 Live Krew along with B.G. James when he helped them defeat the Harris Brothers. Since then, 3 Live Krew have been in a ton of skits, some funny…and some downright awful. Their skits as of late have been Wrestlecrap worthy. Anyway, hopefully the skits have helped them get over with the live crowd as they’re making their return to the Asylum tonight.
They’re facing the team of Devon Storm, Vampire Warrior and Sinn. Sinn is making his TNA debut while the other two men were last seen in losing in the first round of the Hard 10 Tournament (aka the Worst Tourney EVER).
The Match: Konnan starts the match off with Devon Storm who don’t do much of note until Konnan gets Storm over the top, but he skins the cat back in. Konnan is waiting, however, and delivers an X-Factor on the former Crowbar before a slow, rope assisted head scissors and the WORST ARMDRAG EVER. B.G. James comes into the match and he connects with a few right hands on all the men involved, only to fall victim to a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count.
Devon Storm brings Sinn into the ring and back suplex him onto B.G., turning it into a splash, before Storm hits a quebrada and Vampire Warrior (Gangrel) comes crashing down with an elbowdrop as well. Of course, since 3 Live Krew are going over, B.G. kicks out.
Sinn comes in and hits an enziguiri to B.G.’s back before tagging in V. Warrior again. He chokes James on the ropes for a few seconds until an irish whip sequence where both men collide headfirst. The Harris Brothers are seen watching the match in the crowd as both men tag out and The Truth comes in to face Sinn. Truth brings the intensity with a flying forearm to the newcomer and the Spinning Scissors Kick on V. Warrior. Truth sets Storm up for the Split/Leg Lariat combo, but Konnan rolls behind him and clotheslines Storm after the split for a nice double team in theory, but executed poorly. Eh, the fans liked it though.
Konnan and B.G. James get a hold of V. Warrior after he made the save for Storm and set him up ¾’s away from The Truth on the top for a legdrop between his legs! That’s broken up by Storm as the fans chant “TNA” and all 3 members of 3LK are in the ring now. Storm tries a cross body, but gets caught by Killings and James, allowing Konnan to dropkick Storm’s midsection for another double team maneuver. Truth then uses James as a springboard for a Poetry In Motion-like dropkick on Sinn…and Konnan follows up by insinuating receiving fellatio by Sinn on the top rope. I wish I was kidding. Humphandle Slam by B.G. James…and that’s the win.
Winners: 3 Live Krew
My Opinion: Wow…I guess I was wrong about those promos, even though I still think they were horrible. The fans came unglued for 3 Live Krew, which is quite an accomplishment by TNA considering two-thirds of the members don’t exactly set the world on fire with their in ring ability. This was nothing more than a 3LK squash and it actually made me yearn for six man tag titles again. Ahh, now I got a pipe dream about a six man tag division with Triple X, SAT’s plus Red, The Gathering, the New Church & Douglas, AMW & Dusty, Swinger, Simon & Gilberti, etc.
Anyway, the match was pretty much a squash and aside from a few bleh doubleteams, nothing to really see here. ½*
We go to West & Tenay who run down tonight’s card. They then throw it to some “interesting & disturbing” footage that took place after last week’s show went off the air. It’s basically Russo’s crew beating Erik Watts with a baseball bat and Jeff Jarrett making the save with a steel chair. Sadly, Christopher Daniels is then revealed to be a part of Russo’s camp as the Red Shirt Security come in to quiet Jarrett down and take a few chairshots from Double J in the process.
In the ring, Erik Watts has THE STICK~! and he’s directing his comments towards Russo’s camp. Watts basically said that they took him down, but not out…so Russo comes to the ring with AJ Styles. Russo tells him that he’s not trying to make it personal, but as long as Styles has the title, Watts is the Authority figure of nothing. He says that Styles is now on vacation because there aren’t any challengers left. He claims to have tried contacting Sting, but he hasn’t responded at all.
Styles & Russo start to walk up the ramp when Watts tells him that he’s got to fight his contractual obligations by facing Low-Ki here tonight or forfeit the title. Watts says that he knows Styles won’t give it up voluntarily, so he’ll take it from his hands himself. Considering there was no mention of Low-Ki on the show in quite some time, I’m surprised that the announcers, especially West, didn’t bust their vocal cords open for that announcement. Also, in a funny moment, Watts almost backed himself into a corner by calling Russo a “chicken-“, almost forgetting the ban on cursing…but the fans started chanting “Shit” for him. Styles comes into the ring alone and tells Watts that he’d love to see him take the title from his grasp right now.
Watts turns around for some reason as Styles gets ready to attack him from behind when Low-Ki makes his TNA return and attacks Styles! He sets up Styles for the 3 KICK COMBO~!, but Legend comes into the ring and tackles him before he can accomplish the first of the triad. Watts comes in to nail Legend and then goes to chokeslam AJ…but Russo connects with a shot to the lower back of Watts with a bat. Russo and Styles pin ‘Ki in the corner with the bat and tell him that he won’t get a shot at the title tonight…and Jarrett runs in to a pop. He takes out Legend and goes after Russo, about to give him The Stroke when AJ runs interference. Jarrett then punks out AJ, takes out Legend again…and Low-Ki hits a somersault kick on AJ, sending him to the outside and all of the heels are cleared.
I’m disappointed that the return of Low-Ki was met with such a little response and even less of an explanation. The last time we saw him, he was a heel with Triple X. With Daniels and Skipper as heels still, we were given no indication that ‘Ki should have been anything different, yet we’re supposed to cheer him the moment he returns and gets an immediate shot at the World Champion?
In the back, Scott Hudson is with Gilberti, Simon & Swinger. They cut a promo solely on Dusty Rhodes and the fact that they won’t line up for any bionic elbows “like Tully and Arn and JJ used to do”. Simon does a Dusty impression as Swinger spits out an unmenacing one liner and that’s the interview.
Jerry Lynn vs. Elix Skipper
Match Background: Two weeks ago, Jerry Lynn faced Elix Skipper and defeated him in SECONDS. The man who claims to be the “pound for pound best wrestler in the world” was upset, naturally, so he extended a challenge to Lynn for a second match right then and there. Lynn accepted and won that match as well! It’s pretty damn rare that someone wins both falls of a 2 out of 3 falls match. Last week, Elix interrupted a 4-way X Division match and beat up anyone within his distance before getting on the stick and calling out Lynn. Lynn, who wasn’t allowed in the building because of Don Callis, will answer the challenge this week in another one on one encounter.
The Match: Lynn attacks Skipper as he makes his way down the ramp, but Elix goes on the offense the moment they get into the ring. Lynn ends up on the outside, so Elix jumps on the apron and goes for an Asai moonsault, but lands on his feet instead as Lynn heads back into the ring. Elix grabs his trusty scale and gets on the apron, only to be dropkicked down by Lynn. Elix gets on the apron, allowing Lynn to attempt his guillotine legdrop, but he misses and nails an elbow to Elix instead. He yells at him, screaming “cuz of you I lost a payday!” Elix once again goes back on offense, hitting a GORGEOUS moonsault off the top rope onto Lynn for two. Lynn charges at Skipper, only to get elevated and crotched on the top rope. Elix gets on the top rope for the tight-rope walk rana called New School, but Lynn ducks and Elix ends up crotching himself on the ropes!
Lynn then lays Elix flat using the ropes and DDT’s him down for the pinfall!
Winner: Jerry Lynn
After the match, Elix attacks Lynn and plants him with a double arm overhead suplex. He goes for a top rope legdrop, but Lynn moves out of the way and then uses the scale on Skipper! He then puts on a neck vice, shoving away the referee, causing more to come out and stop Lynn. Don Callis is at the top of the ramp taking notes…Lynn ends up leaving through the crowd.
My Opinion: What kind of a push is this for Elix Skipper? Three straight 100% clean losses in short matches to Jerry Lynn after so much build up for being the “best wrestling in the world”? Then, he can’t even get a post match attack down right? It seems like whatever push Elix is getting is being completely flushed down the toilet in favor of building up the Lynn/Callis storyline right now, which I don’t agree with. ¾*
In the back, Scott Hudson is with Chris Sabin, who still has the X Title in his possession. He sounds so much like RVD, it’s scary. Hudson asks him about his thoughts on the upcoming number 1 contenders ladder match between Frankie Kazarian and Michael Shane. Sabin basically says that he can beat them both on his worst day, so just let him know who he has to face and when.
The match will take place…right now.
Michael Shane vs. Frankie Kazarian in a Ladder Match
Match Background: Michael Shane debuted a couple of weeks ago against X Champ Chris Sabin with Sabin’s rival Kazarian as the special ref, but was able to successfully defend the title when Kazarian was deemed an unfair judge. The distraction allowed Sabin to use the title belt on Shane and get the pinfall. Shane then won a 4 way X match last week to become the #1 contender for the X Title, almost becoming a heel in the match from his mannerisms alone. Also last week, Kazarian faced Sabin in a match with a STUPID finish as the match was restarted twice and ended up with no winner as referee Rudy Charles stopped the match and said that Erik Watts would make the final call. He made the call, which was that Sabin would retain the title and Shane would have to face Kazarian in a number 1 contenders ladder match tonight.
How is that a good call exactly? Sabin retaining is the right call but Shane being in a second #1 contenders match in a row makes last week’s 4 way meaningless. If anything, Shane should have gotten the shot with Kazarian getting a guaranteed shot at the winner. That’s more than fair. Instead, Shane has to prove himself again…and in a ladder match, no less.
The Match: I know this doesn’t belong here, but during the intros I realized that Lollipop isn’t there this week, but someone much hotter is. That is all.
They lock up with Kazarian taking the first advantage and going to the floor to retrieve the ladder. As Kazarian walks towards the ring with it, Shane leaps over the top onto him AND the ladder with a somersault tope! That causes a “TNA” chant to erupt as we get a replay for the move. Shane throws the ladder in and sets it up. We get the first shot of what is at the top of the ladder, a contract on a clipboard much like the Raven/AJ Styles ladder match for the #1 contendership to the NWA Title a few months ago. Kazarian comes in and tries to knock Shane off, but gets a double axehandle to the face as Shane sees him first and leaps at him. Shane sets the ladder up in the corner and he whips Kazarian into it. He rams Frankie in again several times and then charges at him with Kazarian moving out of the way and Shane colliding with the ladder himself. Kazarian uses the ladder as a weapon, nailing Shane on the back with it and propping it up in the corner as well. Kazarian tries to smack Shane with it, but Shane ducks and grabs it himself. Kazarian springs off of the ropes with a dropkick to Shane, who’s holding the ladder, allowing Kazarian to set it up in the corner. Shane charges at Kazarian, who back body drops him up and over onto the propped ladder in the corner!
Kazarian heads to the top and leapfrogs over the ladder with a legdrop onto Shane. Kazarian starts to climb, but gets cut off by Shane who nails him with right hands. Shane climbs it with him and connects with a neckbreaker off the ladder! Both men climb up the ladder on opposite ends and a slugfest begins at the top of the ladder. Kazarian uses a sunset flip powerbomb off the ladder onto Shane and Kazarian heads up the ladder! He makes it to the top, but Chris Sabin comes running in and tosses him off the ladder onto the floor! Shane recovers and starts climbing the ladder….but Shane then comes in and springboard dropkicks the ladder! Shane gets knocked down and Sabin climbs the ladder himself…and steals the contract!
Winner: No Contest
After the match, Sabin nails both men with the X Title…and then uses the ladder on Kazarian. Don Callis steals the belt from ringside during this melee and walks away with Sabin unknowing. Sabin is relentless in his attacks on Shane and whips him into the ladder again! As he leaves, he starts asking for his belt….
My Opinion: Once again, a non finish to a title match. When was the last time that a ladder match was decided with no interference in TNA? Sadly, I don’t remember right now. Sabin coming in and beating up both men will obviously lead to a three way match, which should have been decided last week. Instead, we’ve got two no contests in a row for the X Title. Callis taking the title leads me to believe that he’s more than just a foil for Jerry Lynn, which is a good thing. The guy talks well and would be great as someone truly in a position of power, but now we’ve got a Stone Cold/Bischoff situation as we’ve already got a “GM” for lack of a better term in Watts.
The match itself wasn’t that great. Every single spot with the exception of the somersault tope to the outside was something that has been done in other ladder matches in the past, so this one wasn’t innovative at all. It’s seriously time to put the ladder match to rest for now. *3/4
We go to another Mad Mikey video, this time showing his displeasure at a National Enquirer story about Ben Affleck and J.Lo. “Mad Mikey is mad at Ben Affleck.” He’s forced to use it as toilet paper as there’s nothing left. All of a sudden, TNA starts to have some technical difficulties and the fans openly start booing. A few seconds later, we see that it’s an angle as Mad Mikey is destroying the tape in the production truck and throws a tantrum on the outside. Hey, I’ll admit it…they fooled me. TNA doesn’t have the best production in the world sometimes.
Scott Hudson is with Jeff Jarrett who asks him what his purpose is now that he can’t get a title shot. Jarrett says that he’s going to destroy Russo and once he does that, he’ll get the title shot. Scott tells him that Russo is too smart to be set up, so Jarrett responds by reminding him that he’s known Russo longer than anyone and he knows his weakness, which will be his downfall.
Kid Kash vs. Bobby Eaton
Match Background: Kid Kash disrespected a few veterans a couple of weeks ago, setting up a match between himself and his trainer Ricky Morton the following week. Kash won that match with the help of Abyss, who also helped him the week after that as he took on the “Living Legend” Larry Zybszko. This week, another veteran is coming in to face Kash, Bobby Eaton. “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton was a perennial TV champ in the NWA and more importantly, a member of the Midnight Express and a former tag team champion.
The Match: Kash takes the microphone as Eaton comes into the ring and talks about being in a foul mood because of an incident with Dusty Rhodes earlier. According to Kash, Dusty ate all the brownies at the catering table and because he didn’t leave Kash any…he’s got a lesson to learn. That is quite simply the smallest excuse for a match I’ve ever heard. That even tops the coffee spilling for Jericho/Kane and the Japanese Shampoo commercial for Edge/Booker T for me. Come on…eating all the brownies?
He turns his attention to Bobby Eaton and tells him that he watched a ton of old Midnight Express tapes during the week. He insults him before attacking him at the bell and dropkicks him out of the ring. Kash immediately gets a chair from ringside and throws it at Bobby Eaton on the outside before tossing him back in. Kash chokes him with the ropes, but goes flying with an Eaton right hand. Kash comes charging back with a dropkick to the face, sending Eaton to the outside once again. Kash comes off the apron with an elbow to the back of the head and then sends him into the ring post. Kash sets up the “Hand in the Face”, which he does, but Eaton fights back and finally has the advantage for the first time in the match. He connects with a back body drop and a clothesline for a two count and follows it up with a swinging neckbreaker for another nearfall. Eaton comes off the ropes and Kash charges at him, only to get caught in a backbreaker by Eaton in mid jump! Abyss gets on the apron, distracting the official, so Eaton heads towards him and ducks a right hand. He attacks Abyss himself, but Kash nails Eaton with a low blow from behind and rolls him up for the win.
Winner: Kid Kash
My Opinion: I’m not exactly sure where this is supposed to lead to, other than a match with Dusty Rhodes down the line. Even if Kash were to win that, I doubt that it would have the same effect that it had with Steve Corino a few years ago because those matches were seriously bloody. Once again, Abyss comes in for the interference and Kash basically wins a squash. ½*
We go to the back where Erik Watts is being jumped by Legend, focusing on his injured ribs.
We go to a video package for the following match up. The weird video effects in this package actually detract from the actual events, in my opinion.
In the back, Scott Hudson is with Raven, who is in a circle of candles, just sitting there, not moving. As Hudson tells us that both The Gathering and the New Church are barred from ringside, Raven gets up and creeps towards him. He tells him that there will be closure when he finds out who Mitchell’s mystery man that has been attacking him recently is and when he “renovates Shane Douglas’ internal organs from the outside in”.
Raven vs. Shane Douglas
Match Background: This feud has been going on for over two months now and this is the first time that these two men will be meeting in the ring in TNA one on one. When Raven faced Jeff Jarrett and AJ Styles for the NWA Title in Week 47, Shane Douglas made his TNA debut and cost him the title. He singled out Raven’s followers, The Gathering the following week and gave his reasoning for his interference. Raven was trying to win the NWA Title, a title which Douglas himself threw down when he declared that he was ECW through and through back in 1994. Both men, former ECW World Champions, never really crossed paths in that promotion.
Now, in TNA, they’ve faced each other a numerous amount of times in various tag team matches as Douglas has aligned himself with Father James Mitchell and the Disciples of the New Church. In these six-man matches, Douglas has gotten the pinfall on Raven each and every time. Last week, Douglas called out Raven and was in the losing end of a brawl with him before Mitchell announced that his Gathering was kidnapped and about to be tortured. Raven fled as it appeared to be part of Douglas’ plan. When Raven tried to come to their aid, he was attacked and Douglas put him in a body bag, finally setting up their first one on one encounter tonight.
The Match: Shane Douglas gets a Tron video as he comes down the aisle, jaw jacking with some of the fans.
Raven charges the ring and chases Douglas around the ringside area, who bails as the fans chant “Raven” loudly. Raven tries to pull Douglas in by his hair, but he’s tripped and Douglas crotches him with the ring post. Douglas drops an F bomb as he beats up Raven on the outside and tosses him into the steel barricade. Raven starts to fight back, but Douglas drop toe holds him, sending Raven into the steel steps. He exchanges middle fingers with some fans at ringside as Raven is busted open. Douglas is generating TONS of heat with the fans at ringside as Raven gets up and fights back, but Douglas takes the quick advantage with a cheap shot to the face. Douglas tosses Raven into the announce table and audibly yells at Tenay: “Give me my fuckin’ due!” No one curses like Shane Douglas.
He throws Raven into the ring and taunts the fans some more as he waits for Raven to get up. He starts chopping him in the corner and Raven starts to fight back with chops of his own to a loud pop and Raven comes charging at him in the corner, but EATS BOOT. Douglas heads to the outside and grabs a steel chair, bringing it into the ring with him. He sets it up and drop toe holds him into it. Here’s a nice little fun fact for you. Shane Douglas actually came up with the drop toe hold to the chair, but “gave” the move to Raven back in ECW and told him he could use it. Raven said this himself in his SECOND RF shoot interview, which was reviewed by TSM’s Brandon Truitt two weeks ago.
He starts yelling at Tenay again, cursing up a storm before going back to put the boots to Raven. As the ref removes the chair from the ring, Raven connects with a low blow, stopping Douglas in his tracks. Raven wedges the chair between the top and middle turnbuckles and goes to whip him into the corner, but its reversed and Raven crashes through it himself! Douglas is adoring the fact that Raven’s blood is on his hands as he mugs for the cameraman and goes to crotch Raven into the ring post again. This time, Raven reverses and he takes over at ringside momentarily. Douglas regains the momentum and throws him back into the ring again and puts on the Figure Four!
Raven’s shoulders are almost pinned to the mat with the Figure Four, but eventually gains the strength to reverse the move! Now Douglas is limping as Raven gets up with a few running clotheslines and Raven is a HOUSE…EN…FUEGO~! Raven limps to the corner and charges at him again, completely blowing a running clothesline, causing the crowd to boo in response. Raven picks up Douglas, only to get whipped into the ropes and Shane hooks him for the Belly to Belly! He yells at the fans before he can get the move off and Raven headbutts him and does the move himself!
As this happens, we cut to Father Mitchell, who is at the ramp with a bodybag…that’s moving. Raven goes for the Raven Effect on Douglas, but before the move is completed, Mitchell’s voice comes over the PA system and it stops him in the middle of his tracks. He tells him that he has to make a decision…DDT Douglas or save Alexis who’s in the bodybag with only about 15 seconds of air left. Raven tries to leave to help her, but Douglas won’t let him. Douglas goes for a suplex, but Raven reverses it into a small package for the three count!
Raven immediately charges up the ramp after the pinfall and goes to unzip the bag. He unzips it….and it’s the mystery man. The lights go out and when they come back on, Raven is laid out. Mitchell takes out a pair of scissors and hands them to Douglas, now on the ramp and attempt to cut his hair, but security stops him.
My Opinion: This match should have been the perfect blow off, the way it was structured. Although not a technical masterpiece, Raven made Douglas look really good, he generated a lot of heat on his own and Raven had his comebacks timed perfectly. The blown clothesline did take away from the match up, as did the poor ending as it doesn’t look like their rivalry is over just yet. Hopefully, Douglas won’t incur too much of Jeff Jarrett’s wrath backstage over his filthy mouth and he’ll be allowed back on the show, unlike another former ECW wrestler who isn’t with the company anymore for similar reasons. I’ll give you one hint. He used to team with a kid dressed like a Shark. *3/4
We go to a video package recapping all of the times that Sonny Siaki has interfered in D’Lo Brown’s matches against AJ Styles. Sonny Siaki does a brief promo afterwards inviting D’Lo Brown to a burial next week…the burial of his career. A Sonny/D’Lo feud is the next logical step for those two, so I’m all for it.
In the back, Scott Hudson is with Don Callis, who’s holding the X Division Title. He starts off by stating that the Jerry Lynn situation will be dealt with in the future. He then says that while Erik Watts is incapacitated, TNA management has given him the authority to deal with the X Division situation. His solution is the “Ultimate X Match”. Hudson holds up a diagram of Callis’ creation and it involves all three men, Sabin, Kazarian and Shane. There are going to be 4 poles on the ring posts connected diagonally by steel wire and the X Title will be in the middle of it. He says that not only will be decide the X Title situation…but it’ll pop a massive buyrate.
Tenay and West completely mark out for the match up, despite disliking Callis. They make sure to emphasize that ladder will NOT be used in the Ultimate X match next week.
We get a video package on the AMW/Simon & Swinger situation and how it came to be a 6 man tag.
AMW & Dusty Rhodes vs. Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger & Glenn Gilberti
Match Background: This feud started about a month ago when AMW defeated Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger in a tag title defense. Glenn Gilberti, the former leader of S.E.X., was in their corner and has a deep routed hatred for AMW for their belief in “tradition”. Since that match, AMW and Simon & Swinger have developed a decent rivalry as they’ve faced each other again with AMW about to be victorious a second time, only for Gilberti to interfere. After the match, Diamond and Swinger ended up whipping both men with leather straps, setting up a Strap match last week. Even though it was non-title, Simon and Swinger still weren’t successful in defeated AMW, but got a piece of revenge afterwards by stealing their tag titles. That didn’t last long though as AMW retrieved them later on in the show in a brawl…but the tides again where turned when Gilberti made it 3 on 2 and AMW were whipped again.
Later on in the night, AMW made a challenge for a six man tag next week to try and give Gilberti a bit of what he’s been dishing out lately. They’ve recruited Dusty Rhodes for tonight’s six man tag. With Dusty being the weakest worker in the match and Gilberti still ailing from a back injury, they shouldn’t factor into the majority of the match, so we’re safe.
The Match: The match starts off with Dusty and Gilberti teasing each other, until AMW & Simon & Swinger start the match up themselves. Storm sends Swinger to the outside as Harris comes charging off the ropes with a clothesline onto Diamond. Harris then elevates Storm up and over the top to the outside onto Swinger and Diamond with a pescado. Harris does the same as Dusty teases going after Gilberti.
Storm suplexes Swinger back into the match before tagging out to Harris, who connects with a bulldog. Harris charges at Swinger, but EATS BOOT, allowing Swinger to tag out to Gilberti, who falls victim to a Lou Thesz pres by Harris. Dusty is tagged in…and he tags Diamond with a bionic elbow as the other two bail out the ring. The fans are going nuts for Dusty as the heels regroup. Diamond comes into the ring, openly mocking Dusty before he locks up with him. Dusty connects with an elbow to the arm and Storm comes in to work on said arm as well. Storm gets a head scissors off of the ropes, but gets tripped up by Swinger, allowing the heels to take advantage. They doubleteam Storm for a two count and then Gilberti comes in to put an exclamation point on it. Storm fights back, but Gilberti connects with a hard clothesline before tagging out to Simon Diamond. He hits 2/3rd’s of the Simon Series before connecting with a superkick to Storm for a close two count. Swinger comes in and Storm hits a bad superkick on him for two. He crawls over to the corner and tags in Dusty, but the ref didn’t see it, allowing the heels to beat up on Storm a little more.
Simon whips Swinger into Storm in the corner…but Storm fights back and sends BOTH men over the top. He crawls to the corner, but gets stopped by Gilberti….but Storm reaches and tags out to Dusty! Gilberti is all alone in the ring and Dusty delivers the Flip Flop & Fly before connecting with the Bionic Elbow. He nails Gilberti with a cow bell and gets the pinfall.
Winner: AMW & Dusty Rhodes
All of a sudden, Christopher Daniels comes through the crowd and attacks Dusty! He’s there to take out tradition! He beats him down, until Jeff Jarrett comes in to brawl with Daniels. Jarrett ends up delivering a spinebuster and a back body drop on him until Legend comes in to take out Jarrett. Legend, Daniels, Gilberti, Simon and Swinger continue to beat down Dusty and AMW until Jarrett comes back into the ring with a chair! Erik Watts comes into the ring as well and Jarrett ends up nailing Daniels with a chair. Watts takes the mic and makes a match for next week between AMW & Simon & Swinger, a double bull rope match. He also makes a match between himself and Jeff Jarrett against Legend and Chris Daniels.
My Opinion: Before all of the sillyness at the end, the match wasn’t entirely too bad, but not nearly as good as the previous encounters between AMW & Simon & Swinger. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why Dusty Rhodes is so popular. He does NOTHING for me. *1/2
Tenay and West run down the card for next week before going to a video package on Jeff Jarrett.
In the back, Scott Hudson is with Low-Ki. With his DEEP voice, Low-Ki says that AJ Styles has battled him around the world and he’ll take him down tonight. He hits his long ass catchphrase before heading to the ring…
AJ Styles (w/ Vince Russo) vs. Low-Ki for the NWA World Title
Match Background: AJ Styles has finally moved past D’Lo Brown in the title picture and as the show closed last week, Vince Russo declared that there was no one left. Enter the returning Low-Ki. This is Low-Ki’s in ring return to TNA after being sidelined for months with an injury he sustained wrestling elsewhere. This is an interesting match up, storyline wise, since Low-Ki was in Triple X and S.E.X. under Vince Russo and is now facing Russo’s champion. This isn’t the first time that Low-Ki has faced AJ either. They faced each other over a year ago in one of Styles’ first X Division Title defenses back when the promotion started. AJ was able to get the clean pin in a good match, but Low-Ki went on to capture AJ’s X Title in a three way match in Week 8 by pinning Jerry Lynn (****3/4). This is also Low-Ki’s second title shot at the World Title as he faced Ron “The Truth” Killings for it in Week 13 and was unsuccessful then.
Seriously, it bothers the hell out of me that guys like D’Lo Brown, Raven and even AJ Styles himself had to work so long and hard to get a World Title shot and Low-Ki gets one right off the bat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big ‘Ki fan, but that’s just flawed booking.
The Match: Low-Ki has some sort of wrapping around his shoulder, which I believe is the one he injured in Japan.
We get boxing style intros by Jeremy Borash, of course.
They lock up with FORCE as they end up going around the ring without giving each other the advantage. The ref has to literally get between them to separate them. Russo is with Tenay & West at the announce table, but I really don’t want to listen to him tonight. AJ wrenches ‘Ki’s arm and takes him down, so Low-Ki escapes by kicking Styles away. He sells the arm as he backs into the corner to regroup. A “Low-Ki” chant starts up as ‘Ki puts on an armbar and transitions into a waistlock before AJ reverses into an armbar of his own. ‘Ki hooks on a front face lock, but AJ is able to escape that as well.
AJ nails ‘Ki with a knee to the midsection, but ‘Ki WAILS on AJ with a back elbow a vicious chop to the chest…but AJ leapfrogs a charging ‘Ki and connects with a BEAUTIFUL dropkick. He follows it up with a snap neckbreaker for a two count, so AJ goes to toss ‘Ki out of the ring…but instead, he gets 619’ed!
Low-Ki connects with a hard European uppercut and then the MUTA ELBOW~! Low-Ki chops the HELL out of Styles in the corner…and then hooks on the Bite of the Dragon using the ropes! Styles gets out of the corner and Ki’ dropkicks the hell out of AJ’s knee to set up the 3 KICK COMBO~! He hits the first two kicks and goes for the third, but AJ ducks and connects with a leg sweep. ‘Ki kips up and hits the Tidal Crush kick to the back of the head instead!
Low-Ki goes for a rana, but Styles catches and sets him up for the Styles Clash, Low-Ki ends up rolling Styles up though, but he rolls through and sets him up for the move again! He hooks one leg behind his arm and ‘Ki uses it to leverage himself down and hook Styles’ ankle! Styles gets up and enziguiri’s ‘Ki in the back of the head! Kip up rana by Styles sends ‘Ki to the outside!
Styles gets on the apron and goes for an Asai Moonsault, but ‘Ki stops him. Styles kicks him back and completes the move, hooking his head down for the reverse DDT combo on the ramp! AJ sends him back into the ring for the two count.
Low-Ki gets a crucifix for two in the ring, but Styles connects with a kick allowing him to get a cocky two count on the challenger. AJ nails him with a few right hands and applies a butterfly suplex. Another “Low-Ki” chant starts up as Styles goes for his vertical suplex/neckbreaker move…but ‘Ki reverses it into a Dragon Sleeper! AJ backs him into the corner and places him on the top rope, where he rans him down over the top rope, crushing his throat! That only gets a two count for Styles as well.
Styles puts on a reverse chinlock for a moment and then gets into a bit of an argument with the ref, allowing Russo to poke ‘Ki in the ribs with the bat. AJ goes for the cover…and Low-Ki kicks him in the face to kick out. AJ sets him up into the corner and brings the chops. AJ is very confident that he’s got ‘Ki in his grasp…so ‘Ki trips the ref into Styles and uses the distraction to hit a springboard kick to Styles’ face! Low-Ki gets up and hits Styles with a forearm and a running clothesline. Butterfly suplex with an AWESOME bridge by ‘Ki only gets a two count on the champion as well! Low-Ki with the rapid fire short kicks of DEATH only get two counts as well. Low-Ki goes for the ‘Ki Krusher and gets his running start, but AJ gets out of it and spikes him with a DDT! Both men get up in their respective corners…and ‘Ki charges at Styles for the Cartwheel kick! AJ ducks and CONNECTS big time with a discus clothesline on Low-Ki! ONE…TWO…NO!
AJ gets up and just starts swinging wildly at ‘Ki and winds up for a big time clothesline…but ‘Ki ends up hooking an Octopus from it! Styles escapes and hits a Rolling German into a face buster for ONE…TWO…NO! Styles goes for his quebrada/reverse DDT combo, but ‘Ki kicks him off! Cartwheel kick by Low-Ki! Low-Ki goes to the outside, but Russo gets involved…so ‘Ki knocks him on his ass! He starts pounding on him, putting him on the announce table before heading to the top! The fans are DYING for it, but Referee Rudy Charles is in his way, not allowing him to dive onto Russo! The fans are booing openly as ‘Ki goes to concentrate on Styles now, who hits him in the head with the bat…and gets the easy pinfall.
Winner: AJ Styles
My Opinion: THIS is what I miss about TNA and also what I hate about it. I’ve been a Low-Ki fan for quite a while now and it was very refreshing to see him come in and just WRESTLE. He and Styles surely put on a show for the fans, using moves and counters that they haven’t used in over a year in TNA. Styles went back to his X Division roots to face ‘Ki, while he showed the world that he was back and could legitimately be the NWA Champion. Then, of course, Russo had to rear his ugly head and interfere in a match that was going just GREAT and mar the ending of it. When was the last time anyone got a clean victory in the world title picture? Ugh. Anyway, I don’t want to concentrate on the negative right now as this match ruled everything that’s preceded it for the past couple of months. ****1/2.
Overall: The show wasn’t great, but I suggest everyone find a way to get the last match. The booking has been very flawed lately…can I get a clean finish SOMEWHERE? I think the only clean finish was in the squash in the first match and before that, I honestly can’t tell ya. That’s TNA’s biggest problem right now.
And I’m done…until tomorrow, where it WILL be up.
The Dames, Damian Gonzalez
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