TNA Lazarush 3/31/04
By The L-A-Z
Apr 5, 2004, 16:11

NOTE: Due to the fact that Dr. Tom is busy with his actual job, as well as moderating the forum itself, the Lazarush was not possible to be posted on the main site when it was finished. Until the return of Damian "The Dames" Gonzalez (AKA Cap'n Redwings), the Lazarush shall be published with the aid of my fellow horror movie fanatic Mark "Goodear" Goodhart. Rock on, boyardee.

Another Lazarush, you bitches! Sorry it was up late last week (didn't get posted until Monday afternoon, methinks), but my account at TSM only lets me submit articles for approval, and not put them directly up on the site. DrTom (who is in charge of TSM until Dames returns) informed me that my account could not be upgraded until Dames comes back, so you'll have to stick it out with me and usually late updates until Dames does, indeed, come back. I'm not sure when that will happen, but it will happen soon.
I actually got feedback for the last one, most of it just the usual "you're good" stuff. Could somebody PLEASE ask a TNA question (I've been watching since TNA's fourth show on July 10th, 2002, and know what went down on the first three shows as well) for me to answer? Since the feedback is usually about positive reflections, I'd like some people to engage in some discussions with me.

Also, are there any Massholes (Massachusetts natives), preferably from southern MA near Rhode Island, that read this and are into metal? Me and my friend Suzy have been trying to start a metal band since we met, and we're looking for a drummer and a bassist. Influences: Slayer (HEAVILY), Exodus, lots of old-school thrash (including pre-Black Metallica and pre-Countdown Megadeth), Iron Maiden, and even The Misfits and some other punk bands. Hit me up!


  • The semi-finals of the Tag Team tournament go down, as the reformed XXX (LowKi and Christopher Daniels) take on The Naturals (Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas), and Kid Kash and Dallas (who was named on the TNA website) take on The New Church (Slash and Sinn).
  • The vacated as-of-the-past-week X-Division title, held up due to Chris Sabin's knee injury, is decided as #1 contender The Amazing Red challenges #2 contender (thanks to last week's 6-man rankings match) Frankie Kazarian.
  • Highlights of the Latin Lover/Jeff Jarrett match from AAA in Mexico are shown, which is where a riot started after Jeff Jarrett retained the NWA World title.
  • Monte Brown and Sabu square off in a match that was booked last week after Sabu attacked Brown for beating down Don Harris.
  • A four-team contest to decide who gets the first Tag Team title shot. The contestants? The New Franchise (Shane Douglas and Michael Shane), David Young & Glenn Gilberti, Sonny Siaki & Simon Diamond, and D'Lo Brown & Gran Apolo.
  • Abyss, Ron "The Truth" Killings, AJ Styles, and Raven square off in a Final Four-Way match (where one fall wins it all) to determine who will face "Wildcat" Chris Harris on April 14th. The winner of the match with Harris will take on Jeff Jarrett in a steel cage for the NWA World title.

There's the FBI warning, and Chris Harris reads off of either cue cards or a teleprompter to tell us that CABLE AND PAY-PER-VIEW THEFT ARE BAD (right, Mike?). Video recap of the last few weeks, and let's get right to the ring for our first match, since I am in a little bit of a rush tonight.

MATCH ONE: XXX (LowKi and Christopher Daniels) vs. The Naturals (Andy Douglas and Chase Stevens) in the semi-finals of the NWA World Tag Team title tournament
THE ACTION: There's the bell, and Daniels hands his priest things (dunno what they're called) to the ringside attendant. HUGE "Fallen Angel" chant, and Daniels is loving it. Douglas and Daniels to start, and they tie up. Daniels with a side headlock, and he wrenches it in as Douglas whips him to the ropes, but stops him and locks on his own headlock. Christopher with shots to the midsection, and Douglas off the ropes with a shoulderblock, knocking Daniels down. Douglas off of the ropes again, and Daniels up, leapfrogs, and then an armdrag sends Douglas down. Andy's up, and an armdrag sends Daniels down. Daniels up, and an armdrag sends Douglas down. Andy's back up, and ANOTHER armdrag has Daniels down as he rolls to his feet, and a short staredown ensues. Douglas shoves Daniels, and Daniels shoves back. They circle, ready to fight, and Stevens attacks Daniels from behind as Douglas brings Ki into the ring. Double whip is reversed, and XXX backdrops both of the Naturals in stereo. LowKi clotheslines Douglas over the top rope to the floor, but Stevens ducks one from Daniels. Whip to the ropes, and XXX hiptosses Stevens down. Leg drop by Daniels, and then Ki off the ropes with a Muta elbow. Daniels goes to attack Stevens, but Chase pokes Daniels in the eyes, and tags out to Douglas. Andy in, and he gets hiptossed down by Daniels. Back up, and the "Fallen Angel" dropkicks Douglas into the XXX corner, tagging out to LowKi. Both men begin kicking and stomping on Douglas, slumping him into the corner, and they trade bootscrapes. Ki's are better.
Ki with a knife-edge chop to Douglas, and he whips him into the corner, charging in and connecting with an avalanche. Ki holds Douglas, and delivers a series of VICIOUS elbows to the back of his head, knocking him down and covering for 2. Knife-edge sends Douglas stumbling into the ropes, and Ki hits the ropes, but Stevens kicks him in the back. Ki knocks Stevens off of the apron, but eats a knee from Douglas. Ki turns around, and gets knocked down by Douglas. Andy slugs Ki in the face, and then tosses him into the corner. Headbutts, and then Andy Douglas wrenches Ki's arms over the top ropes. Daniels tries to come in to save his partner, and the referee is distracted, allowing Chase Stevens to illegally hit LowKi a few times. Tag out to Stevens, and Douglas holds him as Stevens connects with rights and lefts to the midsection. Club to the back of the head sends LowKi down, and Chase brings him up, hitting a snap suplex for 2. Chase gets frustrated and begins choking LowKi, breaking it up at the count of 4. Stevens chokes LowKi over the bottom rope, and then the referee is distracted by Daniels' attempt to enter, allowing Douglas to illegally do the same. Bootscrape by Stevens, and he tags in Douglas, who kicks LowKi in the midsection. Knife-edge by LowKi, and he blocks a double axehandle, whipping Douglas into the ropes. Douglas ducks a back elbow, and connects with a rising knee for 2. Douglas with a double underhook, and he knees Ki in the face twice before hitting a butterfly suplex for 2. LowKi tries to make the tag, and Douglas knocks Daniels off of the apron. Tag out to Stevens, who whips LowKi into the ropes and connects with a dropkick for 2. Stevens with a modified abdominal stretch while LowKi is seated on the mat, and LowKi refuses to give up, pissing Chase off. Stevens brings LowKi to his feet, and knocks him down with a big right. Stevens up top, and LowKi gets to his feet...only to get knocked down by a flying forearm for 2 as Daniels pulls Stevens off of Ki. Tag out to Douglas, who goes up top. Double! LowKi nails Douglas int the midsection, causing him to flip over, and both men are down. LowKi reaches for the tag to Daniels, but Stevens enters the ring and knocks Daniels to the apron. Douglas with a knee to the face, and then a blatant choke to LowKi. Tag out to Stevens, and Douglas holds LowKi in a double chickenwing, allowing Stevens to connect with a dropkick. Chase tries to bring Ki to his feet, but Ki fires back with shots to the midsection, backing Stevens into the corner. LowKi with a whip, but Chase reverses it, sending LowKi into a neutral corner. Chase charges, and lariats LowKi down for a delayed 2. Whip to the ropes is reversed by LowKi, who holds on and then BAM! Kappou kick. LowKi begins crawling over to his corner, but Douglas walks around the ring, and pulls Daniels off of the apron.
Daniels knocks Douglas down with a right, and then gets back on the apron, tagging in. Daniels with a springboard dropkick sends Stevens down, and then Douglas comes in. Daniels clotheslines Stevens down, and then does the same to Douglas. Daniels walks over to Chase, and Chase hits him in the midsection, clubbing his back. Double whip to the ropes, and Daniels ducks a double back elbow, springboarding off of the middle rope with a moonsault press to knock both Naturals down. Whip to the ropes by Daniels, and Stevens it caught with a Blue Thunder Bomb for 2. Douglas and Stevens whip Daniels into the ropes, and connect with a double flapjack for 2. LowKi pulls Stevens out of the ring, and slides in. LowKi ducks a clothesline by Andy Douglas, and begins CHOPPING THE CHAVE OUT OF HIS CHEST. LowKi with a whip to the ropes, but Douglas reverses it. Ki back with a clothesline attempt, but Douglas ducks it...and gets picked up by Daniels...LOWKI HITS THE ROPES AND CONNECTS WITH A KICK TO DOUGLAS' FACE, KNOCKING HIM OUT OF DANIELS' GRIP AND TO THE MAT! Daniels positions Douglas just right, and goes for it (say it with me now): BEST...MOONSAULT...EVER! 1...2...NO! STEVENS BREAKS IT UP AT 2! Stevens clubs Daniels in the back, and both Naturals lift Daniels up and hit a double Gordbuster. LowKi up on the apron, and the Naturlas grab him for a double suplex into the ring...but LowKi fires off with knees to both men's heads! Stevens breaks it up, and Daniels gets up, whipping Stevens into the corner as LowKi takes Douglas to the mat with a cross-armbreaker. Stevens reverses the whip, and Daniels tries to float over, but Stevens catches him for an Alabama Slam, and corkscrews his body around, hitting a spinebuster to the mat. Stevens sees his partner, and breaks the hold! LowKi gets shoved out of the ring, and Stevens covers Daniels for 2. In the corner, Douglas opens a bag of powder. Referee Rudy Charles sees it, and Chase Stevens enters the ring with a steel chair in hand, pushing the ref into the corner. LowKi kicks the powder out of Douglas' hand and into his own face, and Stevens is perplexed! Chase takes a swing at LowKi with the chair, but Ki ducks it, and boots him in the midsection, causing him to drop the chair. Ki lifts Stevens up for a suplex as Daniels gets up, and drops him back onto Daniels' shoulders...NECKBOMB! Daniels covers for the pinfall at 12:08.
THE WINNERS: XXX (LowKi and Christopher Daniels)
POST-MATCH: Andy Douglas stumbles around blindly from the powder, and then bails with Chase Stevens as the two limp up the ramp. LowKi and Christopher Daniels stare each other down, and then LowKi extends his hand...which Daniels shakes! XXX IS REFORMED, BABAY~!
RATING: **1/2. Very, very solid match. I think if the Naturals weren't as green as they are this could have off-the-charts amazing, seeing as how Daniels and LowKi are two of the best North American workers today (I'd definitely rank them in the top 20, if not the top 10). As it is, I liked this match. The finish for XXX these days is great, and I don't actually remember XXX having a team finisher besides the "Daniels holds opponent up so LowKi can springboard and kick 'em down" stuff. Andy Douglas carries Chase Stevens, but it's not too obvious (which is funny, because Chase Stevens carried Cassidy O'Reilly in the Hot Shots).

Scott Hudson in the back, and he has Kid Kash and Dallas. Hudson wants to have some information about Swinger. "First of all, Scott Not So Hotty, what's my name?" Kid Kash. "You're right. And you don't ask me questions, because I'll answer when I feel like it." KID KASH IS YOUR FAVORITE WRESTLER. Kash says you can only trust family, so that's why Dallas - who is 6'9" and 295 pounds - and Kash are going to win the Tag Team titles. MATCH TWO: Kid Kash and Dallas vs. The New Church (Slash and Sinn) in the semi-finals of the NWA World Tag Team title tournament
THE ACTION: Heh. Kash comes out in a Heel Section shirt, but took off the "Section" part so it just says "Heel." Meh. Pitiful attempt to piss off your most lively of live fans, eh TNA? The New Church come out, and I still hate Sinn but love Slash. There's the bell, and it's Kash and Slash to start. "Kid Kash Sucks" chants rival "K-I-D" ones, and Kash tells Slash to back off. They circle, and tie up. Slash with a full-arm dragon twist, and Kash trips Slash up. They wrestle around on the mat as Kash tries to apply a headlock, but Slash keeps reversing. They get to the corner, and break it up. Slash chases Kash a little, but Kash climbs up into the arms of Dallas on the apron, and Slash backs off as Dallas yells at him. Kash comes down, and a tie up ensues. Rear waistlock by Kash, and he takes Slash down to the mat. More mat wrestling, as Slash tries to get out of Kash's grip and Kash keeps going back to trying to apply a headlock or a front facelock. Both men to their feet, and Kash again cowers to Dallas. Sinn enters, and both men charge...sliding under the bottom rope and pulling Dallas off of the apron. They send Dallas into the guardrail, and both men get back in the ring. Sinn with a headbutt to Kash, and then Slash connects with a right. Knife-edge chop by Sinn, and then the New Church lifts Kash up in the double Torture Rack, hitting a double Argentinian Backbreaker out of it. Sinn goes back to the apron, and Slash tries to grab Kash...but Kash keeps kicking him away, trying to tag out to Dallas. HAHA! KASH RULES! Tag out to Sinn, and Kash tries to climb under Sinn's legs to get to Dallas...but Sinn catches him and catapaults him into the New Church corner. Tag out to Slash, and Slash connects with a vertical suplex for 2 as Dallas breaks it up. Slash brings Kash to his feet, but gets dropkicked in the midsection. Kash charges his corner and tries to jump over Slash to tag out to Dallas, but Slash catches him, and then whips him into the corner. Slash charges, but gets backdropped onto the apron. Slap by Kash, and Slash slaps back, grabbing his head and running down the be met with a big boot by Dallas, sending Slash off of the apron to the floor. Dallas hops off of the apron, and sends Slash back into the ring. Kash up top, and he connects with a flying clothesline for 2 as Sinn breaks it up. (I'd just like to take the time to say that I think Kid Kash's flying clothesline is the best in the business, as he dives off like he's going for a leg drop, but then BAM! He clotheslines his opponent down, and just covers him how he landed. It really is a thing of beauty, and I'd like somebody to show me a flying clothesline that looks better.) Tag out to Dallas, and they whip Slash into the ropes, connecting with a double back elbow. Dallas covers, but Slash kicks out at 2. Dallas argues with the referee, and brings Slash to his feet, knocking him into his corner with a big right.
Dallas knocks Sinn off of the apron, and then chokes Slash with a boot before tagging out to Kash. Whip to the ropes is reversed by Slash, and Kash connects with a sunset flip for 2. Kash covers jacknife-style for 2, but Slash with a seated powerbomb-style pinning predicament, but Kash kicks out at 2. They trade rights, and Kash pokes Slash in the eyes. K-I-D charges the corner, and double-springboards to the top, leaping off...BUT SLASH CATCHES HIM AND HITS A BOSSMAN SLAM DOWN! Both men are down, and the referee counts away. Slash begins crawling towards the wrong corner, but stops and tags in Sinn. Kash dives into his corner, and tags out to Dallas. Sinn with rights to Dallas, but it doesn't knock the big man down. Sinn off of the ropes, and Dallas catches him by the goozle...and then catches Slash by the goozle! The New Church fire back with rights and lefts, and go for a double suplex to the big man. Kash clips Sinn's knee from behind as Dallas shoves Slash into the corner, choking him after connecting with rights and lefts. Sinn reverses a whip into the ropes, and Kash ducks a clothesline, stopping mid-step as Sinn turns around...BAM! Kash just LEVELLED Sinn with a corkscrew enziguri. SWEEEEEEEEET. Sinn backs up against the ropes, and Kash goes onto the apron across from Sinn. Springboard, and a somersault dropkick to the midsection by Kash. Slash reverses his predicament in the corner, and knocks Dallas down. He lifts Kash up, and hits the Whirlybird...only to turn around and get booted out of the ring by Dallas with a big boot. Sinn is brought to his feet by Dallas, and Sinn kicks out of it. He charges, and connects with a Thesz Press variation for 2. Sinn is fired up, and begins connecting with rights to Dallas. Sinn off of the ropes, but he gets hit in the back by Kid Kash from the outside with the metal pipe Dallas brought out with them. Dallas with a tilt-a-whirl, and he positions Sinn in an inverted crucifix...STANDING ICONOCLASM~! 1...2...3! There's the win at 8:46.
THE WINNERS: Kid Kash and Dallas
POST-MATCH: Dallas gets out of the ring, and Kid Kash takes a seat on his shoulders, holding the metal pipe in the air in a sign of celebration.
RATING: *3/4. Dallas is very green, no doubt, but his moveset is pretty decent. I marked for the standing Iconoclasm (inverted crucifix to Michinoku Driver II; basically, hold the opponent under their arms on your back Outsider's Edge-style, only they're facing towards you, and then flip them over and sit-out with a Michinoku Driver), but he needs to work on his timing. If anybody in TNA could teach the big man how to work as a good big man, it'd be Abyss. Heh...I just remembered how much I marked for the ever-improving Kevin Northcutt, and now he's nowhere to be seen. Where is he? Is he on Xplosion, or just no longer with TNA? I think he and Kash would have made a better team, honestly. Slash busted his ass, as always, and Kid Kash held the bout together. Sinn...Sinn moves like he's afraid of breaking something every time he does ANYTHING. I don't think he can lift his arms up past his ribcage, honestly.
At ringside, Mike Tenay and Don West announce that finals will be LowKi and Christopher Daniels against Kid Kash and Dallas NEXT WEEK (so instead of X-Cup 3 being all X-Cup, it's going to have a non-X-Cup match, just like the last event which had ICP and members of Jarrett's posse in a hardcore brawl). Right now, we're going to see clips of Jeff Jarrett against Latin Lover for the NWA World title from a week and a half ago for AAA in Mexico City, Mexico.

Jarrett told Mexico City he defended the belt all over the world (England, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and now in Mexico). Jarrett seems to have done the typical Jarrett stuff to Latin Lover, and I hear he won through interference by Abyss. I'd like to see this match, simply for the fact that the heat was so off the charts (supposedly, Latin Lover is AAA's top guy) that a riot happened after Jarrett won. Video interview with Jarrett, and he talks about his possible opponents in the Final Four-Way tonight. Raven has the experience, but not the brains. Abyss has the brute strength, but he's a nutcase. Killings has the attitude, but not the focus. And AJ Styles has the athleticism, but not the experience. None of them have the talent to study their opponents, live and breathe professional wrestling, and he's forgotten more than any of them will ever know (well, I say BALLS TO THAT, considering Raven is reported as the single greatest mind in wrestling these days).
In the ring, Mike Tenay is set to interview America's Most Wanted. He wants to find out Storm's plans after healing from his injury and returning from his suspension, and wants to know Harris' plans regarding the NWA World title. AMW's music plays, and out they come. Harris walks down the ring, but Jarrett blindsides Storm with a guitar shot! Harris charges up the ramp, and starts shooting southpaws to Jarrett, throwing him into the ring. They trade punches, and Harris whips Jarrett into the ropes, but Jarrett reverses. Harris ducks a clothesline, and hits a leaping lariat. Into the corner, and Harris hits the 10-punch. Whip attempt by Wildcat, but Jarrett holds on, hits some knees to the midsection, and goes for The Stroke. Harris blocks it, lifts him up, and hits the Catatonic. Harris goes outside and grabs a second guitar that Jarrett brought out, and gets into the ring, measuring Jarrett up. Harris winds up, but RAVEN enters the ring...RAVEN EFFECT! Raven and Jarrett get into a shoving match, and then AJ Styles comes from out of the crowd, and flies off of the top with a double clothesline to both men. Styles chases Raven onto the ramp, and continues pounding on him with rights. Jarrett gets to his feet, grabs the guitar...EL KABONG TO CHRIS HARRIS! Blackshirt Security enter the ring to come to the aid of Harris, and Jarrett celebrates his beating the chave out of both members of America's Most Wanted.

Backstage, Hudson is with Monte Brown. Hudson says Monte is stepping into the ring with Sabu, and Brown says the ring is his hunting ground, so he should keep his mouth closed to learn something. Monte says it's not duck season, it's not rabbit season, but it's open season, and he's going hunting. Sabu wants to talk about competition? It's not about competition, it's about "The Alpha Male." Homicidal? Suicidal? GENOCIDAL?! Sabu doesn't even know what those words are, and neither do the fans. Sabu's nothing but a carribou to Monte Brown, and when he's drinking from the water hole, he'll look up, thinks he hears something...but it's too late, because Brown will take him out. The last thing he'll feel is the POUNCE, PERIOD! Good promo from Monte, and I loved how he made the "chewing" motion just after talking about how Sabu is carribou to Brown's predator.

MATCH THREE: Sabu vs. "The Alpha Male" Monte Brown
THE ACTION: Monte, please: GET NEW TIGHTS. The leopard print? Doesn't work. Brown slides into the ring, and Sabu stomps on him as the bell rings. Whip by Sabu is reversed, and Brown knocks Sabu down with a big clothesline. Stomps, and Brown brings Sabu back to his feet, dropping him with a pair of rights. Whip to the ropes, and Monte goes for a diving shoulder tackle, but Sabu ducks it, and hits a basement dropkick to the face as Monte tries to get up. Whip to the corner, and Sabu charges, springboarding off of the middle rope and connecting with a clothesline for 2. Sabu on the apron, and a slingshot somersault legdrop gets 2. Sabu applies the Camel Clutch (shades of his uncle, the original Sheik), and Brown refuses to submit, turning the hold into a shouldermount. Brown falls back with an Electric Chair Suplex, and he covers for 2. Brown brings Sabu to his feet, asnd knocks him into the corner with a big right. Whip to the corner, and Monte charges, but Sabu moves out of the way. Sabu off of the middle rope with a springboard crossbody attempt, but Brown catches him and nails a powerslam. 1...2...Sabu kicks out. Monte holds Sabu's arms in a straight-jacket position from the front, and knees him in the midsection. He turns him around, and drives his neck into Monte's knee, and then hits a straight-jacket neckbreaker for 2. Monte places Sabu on the ropes, and clubs him with forearms to the back. Brown off of the ropes, and Sabu pulls the top rope down, sending Monte to the outside.
Sabu slingshots over the top rope, and 'rana's Brown to the floor. Sabu runs around to the commentator's table, grabs a chair, and then walks over to where Brown is, and tosses the chair into his face. Sabu grabs the chair and throws it in the ring, walking around to the other side of the ring and pulling a table out from underneath. Sabu sets the table up at ringside, just in front of Tenay and West, and walks around the ring to club Monte from behind with a right. Sabu bring Monte over towards the table with rights, and knocks him onto the table, getting up on the apron...but Brown gets up and brings Sabu down, slamming his face-first onto the table. Brown throws Sabu back into the ring, and climbs in himself. Sabu with a big soccer kick to Brown's midsection, and Sabu whips Brown off of the ropes, but it's reversed, and Brown whips Sabu in. BAM! The Pounce (diving shoulder tackle) is botched slightly, but it still looked decent enough. Sabu bails, and Monte picks up the chair. Monte steps onto the apron, and throws the chair onto Sabu, stepping off of the apron and placing Sabu on the table. Monte steps up onto the commentator's table, but Sabu pops up and shoves Brown into the guardrail from the top of Tenay and West's table! Sabu tries to throw Monte onto the table, but the table breaks partially (ain't that a bitch?). Sabu slides back into the ring, sets up a chair (which he tossed in earlier), and hits the ropes...AIR SABU LEGDROP THROUGH THE TABLE ON THE OUTSIDE! No matter how many times I see that spot (nearly every Sabu match), I still love it. Sabu rolls into the ring, and Brown staggers to his feet as the referee starts the count. Brown slides into the ring, and Sabu covers for 2. Whip to the ropes is reversed, and Monte tilt-a-whirl's Sabu, going for a running powerslam...but Sabu floats out of it and hits an inverted DDT for 2. He sets up the chair, and hits the ropes, going for the Triple Jump Moonsault...but Brown pops up and punches Sabu off of the top rope to the outside!
Brown follows him, and whips him into the guardrail before throwing him into the crowd. Brown gets into the crowd, and begins bashing Sabu with rights as they brawl towards the old SEX locker room. They climb up the steps (Raven's Nest), and then up onto the upper deck of the Asylum. Sabu grabs a chair...AND BREAKS IT OVER MONTE BROWN'S HEAD! Sabu brings Monte to his feet, and Brown fires back with rights, and then slams his face into the guardrail. Both men fight down the steps, and Brown throws him down the steps. Sabu slams Brown's face into the dancer's cage, and then climbs up, leaping off with a lariat. There's the bell, and it's a count-out draw at 10:29.
POST-MATCH: They continue brawling, and Brown sends Sabu to the floor with a big right, laying the boots to him. Brown goes "aw, to hell with this," and starts walking back towards the ramp...BUT SABU JUMPS HIM FROM BEHIND! Brown knocks Sabu back down with a big right, and Blackshirt Security comes in to break it up. Security tries to push Brown back, but Monte clonks him with a right and starts stomping the hell out of him.
RATING: *1/2. Not a real wrestling match, but an entertaining brawl nonetheless. I'm really, really liking Monte Brown. I actually did way back when (and anybody that's chatted with me about TNA around the time Ron Killings was NWA World champion will attest to this), and Brown has come back with a vengeance. Charisma? Yep. Strength? Yep. Excellent look? Yep. Maybe team Northcutt (if he's still with TNA) and Brown up as a tag team? Excellent power moves, I say.

In the back with Hudson, who has Gilberti and Young with him. Hudson says that David Young is 0 and 17 since October 26th, 2003. David says he's beaten the clowns, but Glenn informs that KASH beat the clown. Glenn is sick of carrying Young on his back, so tonight he has to win the four-way tag match. The New Franchise come over, and Hudson wants to know if there's dissention within the ranks. Douglas says something profound about samurai swords and stuff, and compares the sword to the attitude of people in the business today. Michael Shane says that nothing will step in the way of what they want. Douglas then ends it by saying that they are the REAL Franchise of the sport, not some clones, and that they set the precedent. And, obviously, this is a comment regarding Ric Flair calling HHH the Franchise of professional wrestling last Monday on Raw (which is incredibly hilarious, to me anyways, considering Flair and Douglas have legit heat, as do HHH and Douglas {since Douglas claimed that The Kliq was holding him down in the WWF in the mid-90's}, and HHH's entire "The Game" gimmick was basically a clone of Shane Douglas' "The Franchise" schtick in ECW). It's time for the Wildcard match!

MATCH FOUR: Sonny Siaki/Simon Diamond vs. Glenn Gilberti/David Young vs. The New Franchise (Shane Douglas and Michael Shane) w/ Tracy Brooks vs. D'Lo Brown/Gran Apolo for the first shot at the NWA World Tag Team titles
THE ACTION: Apolo comes out wearing the El Leon mask, and D'Lo tells him to take it off. He does, shedding the "El Leon" gimmick (which sucked anyways), and they get to the ring. There's the bell, and it's D'Lo and Douglas to start. D'Lo is sporting new attire tonight, with leather pants that have "D'LO BROWN" in Japanese on it, and a singlet tank. Douglas gets in Brown's face, and Brown barks back, telling him to bring it. Tie up, and Douglas with a side headlock, and then a full-arm dragon twist. Brown down to a knee, and Douglas wrenches in an arm scissors. D'Lo gets to his feet, but Douglas forces him back down to a knee. Knee to the midsection, and D'Lo with rights. Douglas ducks a clothesline, and gets knife-edged. Off the ropes, and D'Lo goes for a backdrop, but Shane flips over him, and gets a dropkick. Tag out to Apolo, and they whip Douglas into the ropes, hitting a double hiptoss. Both men hit the ropes, and D'Lo hits a splash as Apolo drops a leg for 2. Full-arm dragon twist, and Apolo clubs Douglas' shoulder. Douglas forces Apolo into the ropes, breaking the hold, and hits a series of shoulder thrusts to the midsection. Off the ropes, and Douglas prevents a backdrop with a Gordbuster. Douglas goes for the somersault neck snap, but Apolo ducks down, and Shane rolls to his feet...only to get decked by both Glenn Gilberti and David Young! Douglas turns around, and gets scoop slammed into his corner, tagging out to Michael Shane.
Shane enters the ring, ducks a clothesline, and whips Apolo into the ropes. Apolo reverses, and Shane ducks under Apolo's legs, applying a rear waistlock. Standing switch, and Shane breaks it up with back elbows. Shane off the ropes, and Apolo lifts him up high for a Gorilla Press, but Shane floats out of it and slugs Apolo in the back a few times. Whip to the corner by Apolo, but Shane moves out of the way of the charging Apolo, and turns around to be met with a Spear. Diamond blind tagged Apolo, and Apolo covers, but Diamond tells him, and then Diamond covers for 2. Simon with a suplex attempt, but Shane floats over and whips Diamond into the ropes. Dropkick, and Shane brings Diamond back to his feet, slugging him with rights. Diamond fires back, and whips Shane to the ropes, but Shane reverses it. Diamond ducks a clothesline, and hits a powerslam on Shane for 2. Tag out to Siaki, and Simon whips Shane into the ropes, booting him in the midsection. Sonny hits the ropes, and connects with a somersault swinging neckbreaker for 2. Siaki knocks Shane Douglas off of the ring apron, and then charges at Shane...but Shane moves, and Siaki goes shoulder-first into the post. Douglas on the outside, whips Siaki into the guardraill, and then rolls him back into the ring. Shane brings Sonny to his feet, and hits an armbreaker for 2 as Brown breaks it up. Shane with a full-arm dragon twist, and he elbows Siaki's shoulder before whipping him off of the ropes. Siaki ducks a clothesline, pancakes Shane up, and connects with a Samoan Drop. Shane gets a blind tag from Gilberti, who enters with rights to Siaki. DAYUM, HE'S PISSED! Whip is reversed, and Siaki connects with a single-legged dropkick. Siaki with a full-arm drago ntwist, but Gilberti pokes him in the eyes, and tags out Young. Young with a full-arm dragon twist, yelling "I GOT 'EM!" Siaki pulls himself out, and superkicks Young down. Whip to the ropes by Siaki, but Young boots Siaki in the face after a telegraphed backdrop. Whip to the ropes by Young, and he leapfrogs Siaki. Sonny returns off the ropes, and Young ducks underneath him, connecting with a Hayabusa-like 'rana as Glenn taunts the other teams.
Young with a full-arm dragon twist, and he tags in D'Lo Brown. Brown levels Young with rights, and Siaki tags in Shane, tossing him into the ring. Whip to the ropes by D'Lo, and he hits Sky High for 2 as Douglas breaks it up. Tracy tosses the steel chain in to Douglas, and Douglas begins wrapping it around his fist, but D'Lo whips Shane into Douglas, sending Douglas off of the apron. Douglas pulls Shane out of the ring, and the two shove each other. Michael Shane walks up the ramp to the back, and Douglas follows him up as David Young and D'Lo Brown wrestle on the mat in the ring. At the top of the ramp, Shane and Douglas are face-to-face, and argue as Shane just walks backstage with Douglas following. In the ring, Young hits the ropes, but D'Lo connects with a big boot, and then a tilt-a-whirl sit-out Rock Bottom. D'Lo goes for a tag to Apolo, but Gilberti knocks him off of the apron. Whip to the ropes by Young, and he connects with the Spinebuster...BUT SIMON DIAMOND BLIND TAGGED HIMSELF IN AGAIN! Simon levels Young with rights, whips him into the ropes, connecting with a backdrop. Simon with a vertical suplex, and then he rolls over and hits another. Up again, Gordbuster...SIMON SERIES! Gilberti enters the ring, but gets superkicked down by Simon Diamond. Johnny Swinger enters the ring (!), and BAM! Chairshot takes Simon Diamond out. Young covers, but Siaki breaks it up at 2 with a rolling elbow drop or senton or something (looked cool, though). Siaki and Gilberti are on the outside, with Gilberti punching Siaki into the commentator's table. In the ring, Apolo enters, lifts David Young up...TKO! And it's enough to get the Tag title shot for D'Lo Brown and Gran Apolo at 9:52.
THE WINNERS: D'Lo Brown/Gran Apolo
POST-MATCH: D'Lo and Apolo celebrate, as Siaki is perplexed as to how he lost, and Gilberti bitches. That's it, really.
RATING: **1/4. Very well-booked match, and everybody busted their asses. Apolo's activity was kept to a minimum, and I don't mind. D'Lo has turned into a workhorse since leaving WWE. Gilberti didn't interact too much, and I liked the intermingling of three angles: Swinger's feud with Siamond, Siaki and Diamond's feud with Gilberti and Young, and the dissention within the ranks of the New Franchise. Dutch and Russo are booking VERY well together, and I'm loving TNA as of late, even without the incredibly stellar matches they used to deliver each week in 2002.

Hudson's in the back at Abyss' lair, and he's trying to find Abyss. This hot chick with black hair (**cough, cough**GOLDYLOCKS WITH DYED HAIR**cough, cough**) says that Abyss is preparing for the match, and Hudson asks if they've met. The chick (GOLDYLOCKS WITH DYED HAIR) asks him if he does know her.

A little recap of Amazing Red in TNA is shown, mostly focusing on last week's 6-man rankings match, with some clips of when he and Jerry Lynn won the #1 contendership to the NWA World Tag Team titles (the shouldermount 'rana to Chris Sabin) and a few other clips of the InfraRed. Chris Sabin comes out in crutches, handing the NWA World X-Division title over to the referee, and he takes a seat at ringside, so it's time for our first X-Division title match SINCE JANUARY.

MATCH FIVE: Frankie Kazarian vs. The Amazing Red for the X-Division title
THE ACTION: Introductions with both men in the ring (which, honestly, makes the match seem more opponent, as that's how they do introductions in legitimate fighting sports), and a HUGE "Red" chant already. Haha, the referee gets heat. YOU SUCK, MIKE COZY! Kazarian gets boo'd, and then Red gets cheered like a motherbaka'er. There's the bell, and Kazarian charges, leveling Red in the corner with rights, and then he stomps away. Kazarian chokes Red on the middle rope, and then shoots him off, arguing with the ref. Frankie with a right to Red, and then he whips him into the ropes. Kazarian with a tilt-a-whirl, but Red headscissors out of it. Backdrop to Frankie, and then an armdrag, and another. A single-legged dropkick misses as Kazarian bails, and he lies down on the ramp asking for a time out. Red goes for a baseball slide, but Kazarian slides into the ring just as he does. Red up on the apron, and he slingshots over Kazarian's back and rolls to his feet, only to be met with a bicycle kick. Kazarian scoop slams Red down, springboards onto the apron, and then slingshots in with a legdrop for 2. Rights by Red, and he whips Frankie into the ropes. Frankie catches a boot, and he sweeps Red's leg out from under him, hitting a springboard dropkick before stalling with a pose. Kazarian with a blatant choke, and then he lifts Red up in an inverted fireman's carry, nailing a neckbreaker out of it for 2. Kazarian brigns Red back to his feet, and whips him into the ropes. Red ducks a clothesline, and then a back elbow, and connects with a tilt-a-whirl DDT (albeit a botched one). Kazarian staggers to his feet, and Red charges, but Kazarian ducks under a clothesline and goes for a neckbreaker, but twists it into a facebuster. Kazarian drapes his shin over Red's throat, choking him with it. Whip to the corner by Kazarian, and Red hits hard, falling to his ass. Kazarian charges, and floats up into a basement dropkick. Kazarian brings Red back to his feet, and goes for the Way Of The Future (snapping inverted Russian Legsweep), but Red whips Frankie into the corner. Frankie reverses it, and Red takes a seat on the top rope. Kazarian charges, eats boot, and Red flies off with a lariat. Both men are down, and Red up to his feet first. Kazarian misses a clothesline, and gets slapped across the face with a right by Red. Kazrarian with another clothesline, but Red ducks it and connects with a series of rights. Whip to the corner by Red is reversed, and Frankie charges, but Red gets the boot up. Legsweep by Red sends Kazarian into the middle rope, and then he slumps down into the corner. Red runs across the ring, dropkicking Kazarian in the face, and Frankie bails, walking towards the commentator's table. Red hits the ropes...TOPE CON HILO!
Red knife-edges Kazarian, and then whips him into the guardrail, but Kazarian reverses and Red's sent in. Kazarian grabs one of Sabin's crutches, and goes to hit Red, but Sabin pulls it away. Kazarian's attention is torn towards Sabin, and Red charges, using the ring steps as a springboard, and he catches the turning-around Kazarian with a tornado Novacaine. Red slides Kazarian back into the ring, and rolls in after him, covering for 2. Red with a boot, and he whips Kazarian into the ropes, connecting with a back elbow, and then a spinning roundhouse kick gets 2. Red's a little too slow here, and maybe he should have taken more time off to fully heal his knee. Red tries to whip Kazarian, but Frankie blocks it, and picks Red up with a shouldermount position, holding his arms for the Back To The Future (Ocean Cyclone Suplex). Red slides down, and goes for the Code Red, but Kazarian shoves him off, and hits an inverted snapmare (HOLY CHAVE) for 2. Kazarian whips Red into the ropes, but Red holds on. Kazarian charges, but gets backdropped onto the apron. Kazarian lands on his feet, kicks Red in the midsection, and hits a slingshot DDT for 2. Knife-edge by Kazarian, and another before he whips Red into the ropes. Kazarian goes for a hiptoss...BUT RED REVERSES IT INTO THE CODE RED! 1...2...NO! KAZARIAN KICKS OUT! That is the best way to hit the Code Red EVER. Kazarian goes for a clothesline, but Red blocks it, hits a roundhouse kick, and then legsweeps Kazarian. Red goes for the Red Star Press (standing SSP), but Kazarian moves out of the way, and then an Oklahoma Roll by Frankie Kazarian gets the pinfall at 9:15.
THE WINNER: And new X-Division champion, Frankie Kazarian
POST-MATCH: Frankie celebrates like mad, and takes a victory lap around the ring while he holds the X-Division title. He stops in front of Sabin, showing off the fact that he's now the X-Division champion, and he slaps Sabin across the face, shoving the title in his face. Sonjay Dutt comes out from the back, and begins pounding on Kazarian, throwing him into the ring. Jerry Lynn and Elix Skipper come out too, and Team NWA is here to kick the chave out of Kazarian. Sabin in, and he levels Kazarian with a right. All four members enter the ring, and Kazarian runs up the ramp with the X-Division title as Jerry Lynn and Sonjay Dutt chase him.
RATING: **1/4. Workrate was decent, and the last few minutes were hot...but the finish was terrible. Sure, it was 100% clean, but do you know what? Completely anti-climactic. Why couldn't Kazarian have gotten a nearfall with the Oklahoma Roll, and then Red goes up top for the InfraRed...but Kazarian pops up and hits the Flux Capacitor (one man Spanish Fly, AKA moonsault Rock Bottom)? Would have made the end of the match hotter, and would have put the new X-Division champion over as a thinker instead of a thief. I just know they're waiting for Sabin to heal up completely before they give the belt back to him, but really, guys, Kazarian? The same Kazarian that got very little heat, if any, during his first TNA run? The same Kazarian that had to attack Jerry Lynn, the top X-Division talent of TNA, to get any heat whatsoever? PFFT!

Scott Hudson's in the back with 3 Live Kru, and he wants to know if Ron is ready. Ron says he MADE this match, so of course he's ready. Heh, cool. After every line of monologue, some fans are yelling "TRUTH!" A lot better than Austin's "What?," I can tell you that. Can Ron get an amen? "AMEN!" Ron: "Been there, done that." Konnan says 3LK has Ron's back covered, and he wants Russo to give 3LK a Tag title shot ASAP. BG says Russo's running out of time, and may not have enough time to CALLLL SOMEBODAYYYYYYYY!!! BG reiterates that they have Truth's back tonight.

Tenay and West backstage, and they're pimping the whole "Academy at the Asylum" thing again. There are two groups: one for beginners, and one for the more experienced. On April 12th and April 13th, there's a gut check to see what trainees will be in what groups. Next week, it's X-Cup 3 as the reigning champions Team AAA (Hector Garza, Mr. Aguila, Abismo Negro, and Heavy Metal subbing for Juventud Guerrera) take on Team UK (none of the members I have any idea of who they are, since the only Brit wrestlers I know of are Jonny Storm and Doug Williams). The manager of Team UK (David Taylor, who I think used to work for WCW and team with Lord Steven Regal). Taylor wants everybody to show some respect for the British flag, and says everybody will find out soon that Team UK are the best wrestlers in the world. Oooookaaaay...

AGAIN to the back with Scott Hudson, who sets the table for the Final Four-Way, and this leads Sting to come in and say "IT'S SHOWTIME!" Odd...Sting's facepaint was worn off like he had a match or something, so maybe he had some sort of physical altercation during the X-Cup taping, or maybe just during the filming of his movie. A video package rolls for the Final Four-Way, and it's very well put's just I wish TNA would get some better in-house music, seeing as how I can only stand so much generic techno, bland rock riffs, and rip-off's of actual themes.

MATCH SIX: Raven vs. Abyss vs. Ron "The Truth" Killings vs. AJ Styles for a shot at Chris Harris on April 14th, the winner of which will face Jeff Jarrett in a steel cage for the NWA World Heavyweight title
THE ACTION: Well, this match should be really good. Abyss is great for a big man, Raven is all-around awesome, Ron Killings can pull his weight and his timing is impeccable, and AJ Styles, pardon the cliché, is phenomenal. Vince Russo comes out, and he's joining Tenay and West on commentary. Out comes Sting to be the special enforcer, and I'm ROCKING OUT TO FAUXTALLICA! OH YEEEAAAAH!!! Haha.
Anyways, Raven's out first...and I'd prefer he use his original TNA theme instead of the "Come Out And Play" (The Offspring, Raven's ECW and indies theme), since that fits his current character so much better. Abyss is out next, and then comes The Truth. Finally, it's AJ Styles completing the entrances, and there's the bell. All four men stare each other down, and AJ walks right over to Raven, jawwing with him. Abyss turns AJ around, and AJ slugs him down. Raven slugs AJ down, and Truth runs over, beating down on Raven in the corner as Abyss tosses Styles out of the ring. Abyss and Raven whip Truth into the ropes, and they hit a double flapjack. ABYSS HAS HEMORRHOIDS! Raven goes for the Raven Effect on Abyss, but Abyss shoves him into the corner. Abyss charges, Raven moves out of the way, and Truth clotheslines Raven out of the ring. AJ Styles springboards off of the top rope, and goes for a 'rana to Abyss, but Abyss catches him. Styles forces himself out and lands on his feet, chopping the big man. Styles hits the ropes and goes for a springboard, but Raven pulls him off of the middle rope (!) and out of the ring, smacking him with hard rights. Whip to the guardrail by Raven, and Sting shoves Raven away. In the ring, Truth goes for a sidekick, but Abyss catches him and brings him up into a shouldermount. Truth turns around, and 'rana's Abyss down, sending him out of the ring. Raven slides in, and he goes after Truth, applying a rear waistlock. Styles springboards in with a dropkick to Raven as Truth moves out of the way, and Raven bails. Abyss re-enters, and both Truth and Styles attack the big man. They whip him into the corner after a series of double knife-edges, and then both men clothesline him down. They whip Abyss into the ropes again, and go for a double clothesline, but Abyss ducks it. Abyss returns, and both men dropkick Abyss down. Raven gets on the apron, but gets dropkicked off of it by both Truth and Styles.
AJ and Truth try to double suplex Abyss, but he's too big. They go for a double back suplex, but he's still too big. Abyss delivers a double back suplex to both men, and Raven comes back in, superkicking Abyss down. Rights by Raven, and Abyss catches him by the goozle, but Raven kicks low and hits the ropes. Abyss hooks Raven up into an inverted fireman's carry, but Raven kicks off of the top rope and hits a bulldog. Styles sees Raven, and plants a kick that sends Raven out of the ring. Truth kicks AJ in the midsection, and goes for the Axe Kick, but AJ moves out of the way and applies a rear waistlock. Truth hits the ropes, and AJ rolls back to his feet. AJ with a boot to the midsection, and he signals for the Styles Clash, but Raven enters and knocks AJ down with a right. AJ hooks Raven for the Styles Clash, but Abyss enters and boots him iin the face. Raven stomps on AJ as Abyss chokes Killings, and Raven throws Styles out of the ring. Raven boots Killings, and Abyss shoves him out of the ring. Raven leaves the ring, and he begins brawling with Sting on the outside. Sting throws Raven into the guardrail, and Abyss comes over, but gets a right. Raven begins delivering rights to the Stinger, and rolls him into the ring. Sting gets double teamed by both Raven and Abyss, and is shoved in the corner as Abyss chokes him with his hands, and Raven with his boot. Raven with rights, but Sting fights back with boots to the midsection, and he begins trading off between the two with rights. Sting clotheslines both men over the top, and then leave the ring. Truth and AJ both hit the ropes, and hit TOPE CON HILO EN STEREO~!~!~!~!~!~! HOLY BAKA'ING CHAVE!! I'm calling for a Truth/Styles match RIGHT...NOW!
Killings grabs a steel chair, and bonks Abyss over the head, sending him back down. Styles and Truth enter the ring, and Styles with knife-edge chops. Whip to the ropes is reversed by Killings, and Truth knocks Styles down with a corkscrew forearm. Boot the midsection, and Truth hits the ropes for the Axe Kick, but Raven hits Truth in the back with a steel chair. Raven enters the ring, and clotheslines Styles in the corner. Raven grabs Styles in a side headlock, runs, and catches Truth with a clothesline as he bulldogs Truth down. Raven sends Truth out of the ring, and picks the chair back up. Raven sets the chair up, and whips Styles into the ropes. Could it be? COULD IT BAKA'ING BE?! No! Styles reverses the whip, and hits a drop toehold onto Raven into the chair. Styles covers, but Truth breaks it up at 2. Truth sets the chair up, and then...BAM! AXE KICK ONTO THE CHAIR! 1...2...NO! ABYSS PULLS THE REF OUT OF THE RING! Abyss gets in the ring, and Truth attacks him in the corner with boots. Truth backs into the opposite corner, and charges, using the chair as a springboard...BUT ABYSS CATCHES HIM WITH THE BLACKHOLE SLAM! 1...2...NO! Raven pulls Truth out! Raven bails, and Abyss follows him on the outside, chasing him around the ring. Raven slides back into the ring, followed by Abyss...RAVEN EFFECT! AJ Styles on the apron, and he climbs up top as Raven covers! 1...2...AJ STYLES BREAKS IT UP WITH A SWANTON!! Styles whips Raven into the corner, and then charges for an avalanche, but Raven moves out of the way. Raven kicks Styles in the gut, and goes for the Raven Effect, but Styles twists out of it...STYLES CLASH! The ref is distracted as Jeff Jarrett enters the ring, but Sting pulls Jarrett out of the ring. Sting goes to whip Jarrett into the guardrail, but Jarrett reverses, and Sting is sent into the guardrail. Vince Russo gets up from his commentating position, and he argues with Jarrett. Jarrett grabs the white towel off of Russo's shoulder, and he throws it into the ring as AJ lifts Raven for the Styles Clash. Styles puts Raven back down, picks up the towel, and looks at Russo as Sting chases Jarrett back up the ramp. AJ argues with Russo, and Raven low blows Styles from behind. RAVEN EFFECT! 1...2...3! Raven gets the pinfall at 11:13.
POST-MATCH: Russo is shocked, and he seems depressed slightly because all throughout the match he said Raven was the only man in this match that didn't belong. AJ gets up finally, and stares at Russo up on the ramp. Tenay hypes X-Cup 3, and we're off the air!
RATING: ***. I dug this match a lot. I think the finish was too abrupt, but it kept AJ Styles' heat. Abyss and Truth were just kinda "there" in this match, as it was mostly about Raven and Styles, but both men worked their share. I'm still amazed by how awesome Truth really is, considering he's been kept locked in tag bouts with 3 Live Kru for so long where his true abilities didn't shine one bit. Favorite spot? Definitely, DEFINITELY the topé con hilo en stereo by Truth and Styles to Raven and Abyss, respectively. I'm actually anxious to see Raven/Harris in the steel cage, which is something I haven't been able to say for a non-X-Cup bout for a VERY long time. If there was one match worth the $10, it was this match.

If you can still catch the replay, GET THIS SHOW! The past three or four TNA's have been dynamite, and this week's is no exception. I'll see you all next week for X-Cup 3, and not a moment sooner. What? You wanted me back more? Oh well, that's life. Deal with it. Rock n' roll, babe.

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