July 23, 2003
Your hosts are Don West and Mike Tenay
Best of Three Match Series, Match #1
D’Lo Brown vs. AJ Styles w/Trinity
This is a singles match. West lets us know that Vince Russo has been barred from ringside for all matches tonight. AJ takes an exaggerated bump off a shoulder block then gets elbowed out of the ring. D’Lo rolls him back inside and gets two off a top rope clothesline. AJ blocks a rana and turns that into an ankle lock but D’Lo turns that into a facebuster, getting two. D’Lo roughs up AJ but gets caught on a float over and hit with an Alabama Slam. Dropkick gets two. They go back and forth for a bit until AJ hits him with the Pele Kick. D’Lo hammers away the hits a few clotheslines. He gets nearfalls off a spinebuster and a suplex then tosses AJ to the floor. Trinity stun-guns D’Lo and AJ hits a springboard 450, getting two. D’Lo cuts off AJ on the top rope and hits a super fallaway slam but Trinity distracts the ref and that allows Sonny Siaki to run out and hit the Siakalypse Now and he puts AJ on top, who gets the pin (7:44) *3/4.
Thoughts: I didn’t like this match much, as they were already working like they were at the end of the third fall halfway through. There were some nice spots but that was about it as the fans weren’t buying this.
Elix Skipper vs. Mad Mikey
Mikey is the former Crash Holly, who was recently released from the WWE. He came out to answer an open challenge from Skipper. They start by trading off basic stuff. Mikey dodges a charge and Skipper with a backbreaker. He stomps Skipper after coming down from the top rope and hits the Hop Splash. Skipper tosses Mikey on the top rope with an inverted suplex then takes him off with a legdrop. Mikey fights back and gets two with a victory roll but Skipper takes him down then kicks and elbows him on the head and neck. Mikey hits a neckbreaker as both men are down. Mikey wins a slugfest and show fire, unlike the crowd. Mikey bulldogs Skipper after a stungun then gets two off a crossbody block. After a reversal sequence, Mikey sends Skipper into the middle turnbuckle with a headscissors and rolls him up for two. Mikey gets frustrated then they fight over the scale. The ref takes it away and Skipper caches Mikey with a catatonic for the win (6:35) *1/2.
Thoughts: The Skipper push isn’t clicking. He is a decent enough worker but has nothing going for him in terms of being a singles wrestler. Mikey being brought in was a waste, as they didn’t need someone who was as low on the card in the WWE as he was. Hell, he was Shannon Moore’s apprentice as a Mattitude follower. Any X Division guy could have been used in this spot and it would have accomplished the same thing.
A video recap of the feud between Joe Legend and Jeff Jarrett. This was long and dull, much like every segment involved with this feud.
Before the match, Legend was talking down to the Black-Shirt Security then cuts a basic anti-American promo, with the crowd starting a
chant. He said he hired Black Security, making fun of them for being wimps, in order to keep Jarrett away from him. USA
Joe Legend vs. Matt Sydal & Altar Boy Luke
After some counters, Legend hits a double clothesline. He backhands Sydal to the floor then throws around Luke. Legend blocks an axe handle by Sydal then hits him with a sitout chokeslam. Luke breaks that up with a basement dropkick but gets hit with a TKO. Jarrett is now on the ramp with his guitar and sits down. Legend gets hit with a double team move but gets the advantage and puts both men on his back and hits a stunner. He then hits both men with the Stone Cutter for the win (3:37). After the match, Jarrett asks the ref if the match is officially over and security parts, allowing Jarrett to run in after Legend. Jarrett hits a stroke and grabs the guitar but Red Shirt security, (Kevin Northcutt & Ryan Wilson), run in and stop the attack. Northcutt shoves Jarrett, who then hammers away.
Thoughts: This is the feud that will never end. Legend looked alright in this match though.
Scott Hudson is backstage in front of a locker room door. Russo can be heard inside, warning AJ about D’Lo as the submission match between the two is next.
Another “Fallen Angel” promo airs. He says those who do not embrace sports entertainment will be cast aside.
Best of Three Match Series, Match #2
D’Lo Brown vs. AJ Styles
Siaki attacks Brown on the ramp, allowing AJ to clip D’Lo from behind. Siaki gets thrown out as AJ works on the leg in the ring. D’Lo punches away but sells the knee and AJ knocks him down. AJ uses a crossface after a crucifix attempt as Russo is seen peaking through the stage. AJ grapevines the leg then uses a few more submission holds then get frustrated and ends up getting caught with a stunner in midair. D’Lo struggles to stand up but is able to clothesline AJ. He then gets taken down and AJ applies a Sharpshooter. AJ keeps on dragging him back into the middle of the ring but D’Lo is able to reverse the hold and AJ taps (5:50) *.
Thoughts: Bad match with lousy psychology. The ending was shit too. This three match series has done nothing but devalue the belt at this point.
We get an interview with Don Callis, who is the new TNA management consultant. He makes sure that everyone knows he has his MBA. Callis says the future of TNA is bright and he is perfect in business and wrestling management. Tenay asks about his hatred of hardcore wrestling and he says they downsized, by getting rid of New Jack and Sandman and mentions how he wants to get rid of the women while quoting his market research studies that he claims shows how fans do not want hardcore matches and scantily clad women.
Nurse Veronica and Valentina come out and call themselves the “Bitchslap Girls.” They call out Lollipop and April Pennington, who come out but get stopped by security. The referee starts a “let them fight” chant and the crowd comes alive as the girls brawl for under a minute until Trinity runs out and orders around the Bitchslap Girls before powerbombing Lollipop. The brawling with the girls was terrible.
The 3 Live Crew bring us another taped segment. They are in the hood this week. BG acts scared and ends up being unintentionally racist as a result. The only funny moment was when he asked a guy with his kids if he just bought a “forty.” It ends with BG going into a salon and coming out with a perm and holding a forty, dressed like a pimp. Not a good segment.
Glen Gilbertti is in the ring, requesting Jeremy Borash. He promises that he will not hurt him, unlike last week, and asks him that since he loves
’s Most Wanted, he would make a great valet and hands him a dress and a cowboy hat. He demands Borash put on the clothes then pushes him around when he refuses. AMW runs out and tears off Gilbertti’s clothes but Diamond and Swinger attack them from behind, right before their match. America
Diamond & Swinger continue their assault but AMW comes back and tosses them outside. Harris backdrops Storm onto their opponents and he follows that with a plancha. They brawl outside the ring for a bit. Back in the ring, Swinger clotheslines Harris and takes control of the match. Harris gets double-teamed in the corner then Diamond gets two off a snap suplex. They use quick tags to neutralize Harris but he is able to fight back and tag Storm, who runs wild. A bit of miscommunication occurs between Storm and Swinger in the process. Diamond trips up Storm then stun-guns him on the railing. Storm is now in trouble as he gets double-teamed in the ring. They get a few nearfalls on Storm, using suplexes, until Storm and Diamond collide. Storm hits a back suplex and both men are down again. Storm makes the tag and the crowd does not care. He clotheslines Diamond to the floor and gets two off a crossbody on Swinger. They go for the Hart Attack but Diamond pulls down the top rope on Harris and Diamond super kicks Storm as Swinger rolls him up for two. Harris now pulls down the rope on Diamond and then hit Swinger with the Death Sentence but Gilbertti runs out, now wearing pants, and breaks up the pin with a bullrope for the DQ (9:15) **1/2. He continues the assault as Diamond and Swinger whip them with belts. This lasts for a while until several referees run out to stop them.
Thoughts: Lame finish aside, this was a solid match. The end would assume that a bullrope match would take place next. These guys had good chemistry.
A video package airs on the feud between Shane Douglas and Raven.
Scott Hudson is backstage with the
and Shane Douglas. Brian Lee looks to weigh about 175 lbs here. Mitchell and Douglas cut promos on Raven, similar to every other one they have done during this feud New Church
New Church & Shane Douglas w/James Mitchell vs. Raven & Julio & CM Punk
The match starts with a brawl and ends with Raven and the Gathering dumping their opponents outside. Slash and Punk are now in the ring. Punk hits a running knee smash and a discus forearm but gets caught with a sitout powerbomb. Lee is in and drops a bunch of elbows and they use quick tags until Punk fights back and tags Julio. He takes out everyone with spin kicks and hits Slash with a full nelson slam for a nearfall. Lee pulls out Julio and rams him into the post before rolling him back inside, where Slash hits him with a helicopter slam. Julio gets neutralized in the corner for a while as the crowd starts chanting for “Julio.” Slash misses a senton as both and that allows Julio to tag Raven. He goes wild but
Douglas bails and Raven chases him to the back, where a man in a white mask and suit drags him behind the curtain. In the ring, Lee gets dumped outside as Punk & Julio work on Slash but Douglas crotches Julio on the top rope and Slash puts Punk on his shoulders as they hit the Doomsday Device. Slash pulls out a table from under the ring and sets it up in the corner as Raven is shown crawling to the ring, wearing a crimson mask. Slash drags him inside but Raven fights back. He hits everyone with the Raven Effect but Mitchell runs in and that allows Douglas to spear him through the table and get the win (9:22) **1/2.
Thoughts: Better than I would have thought, considering the guys in this match. Punk looked the best he has in TNA so far and had a nice sequence with Slash at the beginning. This feud has been solid and the crowd is buying Raven as a top face.
The final part of the Sting Interview airs. They talk about how Christianity is the focal point of his life and Sting says that there was a lot of good and bad in wrestling but god was holding him all along. He said he was ready to lose not only his marriage, but also his life before giving his life to the lord in August of 1998.
Mike Tenay introduces several legends as they welcome the new Head of Authority. The legends are Sara Lee, Corsica Joe, Ricky Morton, Larry Zbyszko, and Harley Race. Kid Kash comes out and tells Tenay to step aside so he can run down the legends. He calls Lee the first “working rat” of this business and calls Race a disgrace to wrestling, which causes Morton, his trainer, to berate him for his blatant disrespect. Kash pushes him and pulls Lee in front of him but Erik Watts comes out from behind and chokeslams him before introducing himself as the new Head of Authority.
Watts as the Head of Authority was predictable when he started referring to himself in the third person a few weeks back, as no one believed that Bischoff was the “Eric from WCW.”
West runs down next week’s show which includes
Michael Shane (Billed as Shawn Michael’s cousin) vs. Chris Sabin for the X Division Title
Jeff Jarrett vs. Joe Legend in a Double Pole Match (guitar and a bat on a pole match)
Raven & CM Punk & Julio vs. Shane Douglas & New Church in a Clockwork
Orange House of Fun Match.
Raven is up in the Raven’s Nest with Punk and Julio. He promotes the match for next week.
Best of Three Match Series, Match #3
D’Lo Brown vs. AJ Styles w/Trinity
They both run out on the ramp to grab the ladder and end up brawling. AJ slides under the guardrail and pushes it into D’Lo as he charges. D’Lo fights back and leaps off the steps and takes him out with a clothesline. D’Lo grabs the ladder and tosses it at AJ as he attempts a tope. D’Lo sets up a table outside of the ring but gets taken down with a springboard hurricarana as he enters the ring. AJ flies out with an insane tope con
. The crowd is going nuts as both men are down. In the ring, Styles uses a chair and goes out to grab the ladder and sets it up in the corner and whips D’Lo. AJ wedges a chair in the corner but D’Lo fights back. AJ yanks him off the ladder and uses it as a weapon. He goes to climb but D’Lo tosses him off and climbs up. He reaches the belt but AJ cuts him off then pushes him off. AJ tosses the ladder at D’Lo then grabs another table from underneath the ring but D’Lo hits him with an overhead suplex. D’Lo places AJ on the table and climbs the ladder in the ring and hits the frog splash. Poor AJ, as that looked like it fucking killed him. D’Lo drags the ladder in the middle of the ring and climbs but Sonny Siaki runs out and pushes him off and he bounces off the table set up outside. Siaki retreats as AJ climbs but D’Lo meets him up top and they fight over the belt and fall down, with both men holding the belt on the mat. Russo runs out and yells at the ref, who whispers is decision to Borash, who then lets us know that AJ Styles has won the match and retains the championship (10:59) **1/4. The show immediately ends afterwards. hilo
Thoughts: Another solid match tainted by a shitty finish. Even though this was mostly a collection of spots, it was fun. Overall, I still call the series between these two a failure that devalued the belt.
Final Thoughts: The show was okay but a lot of these matches left a bad taste in your mouth due to the terrible finishes. The Douglas/Raven feud is working, as is the tag feud, but the Raven/Legend stuff is going nowhere. No X Division showcase this week is a disappointment too. The promotion is still struggling to find an identity and looks nothing more than a low-rent WWE at this point.
How the hell this company stayed alive while charging $10 a week for their shitty show is beyond me.ReplyDelete
Kevin Northcutt... he was pretty good in the early 00's during the "Mid-South II" run (Basically an indy using the Mid-South name, running mostly out of SELA)... but then vanished off the face of the earth.ReplyDelete
And yes, his run as TNA security counts as vanishing off the face of the earth.
"The promotion is still struggling to find an identity and looks nothing more than a low-rent WWE at this point."ReplyDelete
As opposed to ten years later, where they look like a low-rent WCW.