Written by: Bob Colling
National Wrestling Alliance/Total Non-Stop Action presents Weekly PPV #54
From: Nashville, TN
Opening Contest: NWA-TNA World Champion AJ Styles vs. D’Lo Brown: The only way to win this match is by pin fall. Brown opens the match turning Styles inside out with a shoulder block. Brown knocks Styles to the floor but they quickly return to the ring. Brown leaps off the top rope to hit a flying clothesline for a near fall. Brown counters the Styles Clash, but AJ gets an ankle lock on Brown. D’Lo counters with one of his own and drives Styles down to the canvas with a wheelbarrow face buster. Brown hammers away on Styles in the corner but Styles whips Brown to the canvas with a double leg slam. Styles hits a dropkick but Brown counters a scoop slam attempt by hitting a back suplex. Styles ducks a clothesline to hit the Pele Kick for a near fall. Styles hits a spin kick to stagger Brown against the ropes. Brown recovers to hit a spinning heel kick. Brown drives Styles to the canvas with a spine buster but AJ kicks out at two on the pin attempt.
Styles gets a near fall with a northern lights suplex. Brown sends Styles to the floor but Trinity drops Brown throat first across the middle rope. Styles hits a springboard 450 splash but Brown kicks out at two! Brown stops Styles on the top rope and hits a middle rope fallaway slam! Sonny Siaki comes in and drops Brown with a sit down power slam. Styles is put on top and pins Brown to win the first fall of the best out of three falls match. (**1/2. A fine opening match and the interference by Siaki protects Brown while continuing their feud, I’d imagine. That middle rope fallaway slam could have had a far worse outcome.)
Second Contest: Elix Skipper vs. Mad Mikey: Mikey is Crash Holly from the WWE. This is his TNA debut. Skipper leg sweeps Mikey to start the match and taunts him. Mikey comes back with a forearm strike to drop Skipper. Elix misses a charging attack in the corner and Mikey hits a back breaker. Mikey decides against going to the top rope and stomps on Skipper. Mikey leaps off the top, lands, and then splashes Skipper with the Hop Splash for a near fall. Skipper drops Mikey across the top rope gut first and hits a springboard leg drop. Skipper drops Mikey with a knee strike to his face. Mikey hammers away on Skipper and delivers a kick to the chest followed by a rollup for a near fall. Skipper takes Mikey over with a headlock suplex but can’t get a three on the cover attempt. Skipper leg drops Mikey on the apron and drives Mikey chest first across the apron to keep the advantage. Mikey battles back with a neck breaker. Mikey comes back with several clotheslines, but the fans aren’t all that behind him. Mikey hits a running bulldog but Skipper kicks out at two. Mikey trips Skipper and leaps off the top to his a cross body for another two count. Skipper avoids a clothesline but misses a spin kick. Mikey sends Skipper face first into the corner with a head scissors for a near fall. Skipper tries to use the scale, but Mikey blocks it only for Skipper to hit a swinging side slam for the win. (**. This felt like it went on a little long, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly bad or anything. Skipper could have used a more dominating victory unless they were trying to establish Mikey as well.)
Joe E. Legend comes out and throws various insults at Jeff Jarrett before issuing an open challenge to anyone. He has hired four security guards to make sure that he isn’t attacked by Jarrett from behind.
Third Contest: Joe E. Legend vs. Altar Boy Luke vs. Matt Sydal: As expected, Legend dominates both opponents. Jeff Jarrett appears at the top of the ramp way with his lucky guitar. Legend has both men on his back and hits a double Stunner. Legend hits both men with the Stone Cutter and wins the match with a double pin.
Jeff Jarrett comes down and attacks Legend following the match and is able to hit the Stroke. The red shirt security guards come in to stop the brawling, but Jarrett begins to hammer away on the leader of the group, Kevin Northcutt.
Backstage, Scott Hudson is overhearing Vince Russo yelling at NWA-TNA World Champion AJ Styles, who believes that Russo worries too much.
Fourth Contest: NWA-TNA World Champion AJ Styles vs. D’Lo Brown: The only way to win this match is by submission. Siaki attacks Brown from behind and that allows Styles to chop block Brown’s leg and focuses his offense on Brown’s knee. Styles dropkicks the right knee to drop Brown and locks in a leg lock trying to get a submission and switches to an Indian Death Lock but Brown refuses to give in. Brown struggles to move on the leg and is met with a kick to the face by Styles. Styles gets a Crossface locked in but Brown doesn’t give in. Styles keeps Brown on the canvas with a leg lock but is still unable to get a submission. Brown stops Styles by lifting him into the air and hitting an ace crusher on the way down. Brown runs over Styles with a clothesline and delivers a right hand to drop the champion. Styles goes for the Sharpshooter and has it locked in but Brown doesn’t give in. Brown trips Styles to reverse the move and puts the Sharpshooter in with his knee on AJ’s neck to get a submission! (*1/2. It was apparent who was going to win this, and I think that caused fans to not really care about the match. The action was boring and uninspiring.)
Mike Tenay had a sit down interview with Don Callis. Callis said there are two types of leaders in wrestling. Those who understand wrestling but no business, and those who understand business but not wrestling. Callis says that market research has made it obvious that fans don’t want hardcore wrestling anymore. They also don’t want to see scantily clad women fight.
There is a brawl between Nurse Veronica, Valentina and the TNA dancers. Trinity comes in and attacks the TNA dancers. This feud is pointless.
A segment featuring BG James going to the hood to interact with African Americans is aired. James assumes that all black people have guns and booze. He eventually has a makeover where he gets an afro and some pimp clothes.
Glen Gilbertti suggests to Jeremy Borash that he would be a great valet for America’s Most Wanted. Gilbertti has a cowboy hat and gives him a shirt. Borash is sick of Gilbertti for being a jerk towards him. Borash shoves Gilbertti and the tag champs enter to attack Gilbertti. Gilbertti has his pants torn off and they nearly removed his underwear.
Fifth Contest: NWA-TNA World Tag Team Champions America’s Most Wanted vs. Johnny Swinger & Simon Diamond: Swinger and Diamond enter the ring to attack Harris and Storm to kick start the title match. Harris backdrops Storm over the top onto Diamond and Swinger on the floor to hit a cross body. Harris follows up with a slingshot cross body to take the challengers out as well. Harris works over Diamond while Storm pummels Swinger on the floor. Diamond knee lifts Harris in the ring but Swinger enters to nail Harris with a clothesline to get the upper hand. Swinger and Diamond hit a side slam/neck breaker combo on Harris. Diamond takes Harris over with a snap suplex for a near fall. Harris continues to be double teamed in the corner but fights back with strikes on the challengers. Storm gets the hot tag and cleans house with right hands. Storm takes Diamond over with a head scissors and super kicks Swinger. Storm is fired up as he hits a reverse pedigree for a near fall.
Diamond trips Storm from the floor and drops Storm chest first across the guard railing. Harris comes over to deck Diamond but the referee comes over to stop the brawling. A double flatliner on Storm but they only get a near fall on the cover attempt. Swinger drives Storm down with a back suplex for a two count. Diamond tags in but Storm tries to fight back only for Simon to hit the Simon Series for a near fall. Simon and Storm are trading right hands until Storm nails Diamond with a forearm strike. Storm hits a weak looking back suplex on Diamond. Swinger and Harris get the tags with Harris cleaning house on the heels. Harris hits a swinging neck breaker on Diamond and a full nelson slam on Swinger. Harris hits a top rope cross body but Swinger kicks out at two. Diamond pulls the top rope down and Harris crashes to the floor. Diamond super kicks Storm and Swinger nearly got a three count on a rollup. Harris pulls the top rope and Diamond crashes to the floor. Storm has Swinger and Harris goes to the top rope looking for and hitting the Death Sentence! Glen Gilbertti comes in with a bull rope and attacks the champions to cause a disqualification. (**1/2. It’s a fine match but the fans were not responding to what they were going for here. I have to think there is a disconnect between the fans and the duo of Diamond and Swinger.) After the match, Harris is triple teamed being whipped the bull rope. Storm is hogtied for trying to make the save. I like the trio of Gilbertti, Swinger and Diamond.
Backstage, Shane Douglas says that Raven should be ready to have his ass franchised tonight.
Sixth Contest: Raven, CM Punk & Julio Dinero vs. Shane Douglas, Brian Lee & Slash: Raven, Dinero and Punk charge the ring and everyone begins to brawl to kickoff the match. Dinero comes off the top to double clothesline Lee and Slash. Raven clotheslines Douglas over the top to the floor. Douglas and Raven legally start the match until Douglas backs into a corner and tags in Slash to try his luck as does Punk. Slash works over Punk with a few chops un the corner but Punk hits a t-bone suplex and works over Slash with chops followed by a high knee and discus forearm for a near fall. Slash counters a hurricanrana attempt with a quick power bomb. Lee tags into the match and scoop slams Punk. Douglas gets the tag to maintain control over Punk by wrenching on his neck. Dinero gets the tag and spin kicks Slash and Douglas. Dinero clotheslines Douglas over the top to the floor before hitting Slash with a swinging full nelson slam for a near fall.
Lee grabs Dinero and drives Dinero back first into the ring post back first. Slash has Diner and slams Julio to the canvas. Lee big boots Dinero and taunts Raven and Punk on the apron. Slash tags in and continues to work over Dinero in the corner. Slash misses a top rope senton splash. Douglas and Raven get the tags with Raven hammering away on the heels with right hands. Raven hits a clothesline on Slash and wants Douglas, who bails from the ring. Raven chases Douglas into the crowd and they brawl to the backstage area. A mysterious masked man grabs Raven from behind the curtain and Douglas laughs. Lee is backdropped over the top to the floor by Punk and Dinero. Punk and Dinero double team Slash but Douglas crotches Dinero on the top. Slash has Punk on his shoulders to allow Douglas to hit a top rope clothesline. Slash goes under the ring to grab a table. Raven returns but is busted wide open. Raven is put against the table but Raven fights back. The referee is bumped in the corner as Raven hits a bulldog/clothesline combo on Slash and Douglas. Raven DDTs Slash and attempts the same for Douglas, but Mitchell enters and Douglas spears Raven through the table for the win. (**1/2. A fine match and the angle progression continues between Raven and Douglas. I have no idea who the masked man might have been, and I’m not sure there is anything to come up from it as the announcers didn’t even mention it following the three count. Douglas victory is needed to continue the feud.)
Mike Tenay continues his sit-down interview with Sting for the fourth installment. Sting basically puts over finding Christ in 1998 and credits Ted DiBiase and Nikita Koloff for putting his life back together.
In the ring, Tenay introduces Sara Lee, Ricky Morton, Harley Race, Larry Zbyszko and Corscia Jones who are here to endorse the new NWA authority figure. Kid Kash comes into the ring and insults the legends. Morton tells Kash that he wouldn’t have a ring to stand in if it wasn’t for them years ago. Kash responds by slapping Morton and Sara Lee gets involved. Erik Watts enters the ring and choke slams Kash. Watts reveals that he is the new Director of Authority for TNA! Watts holds Kash to allow Race to punch Kash to the canvas!
Raven speaks from the Nest and issues a challenge to the New Church for a six man Clockwork Orange House Of Fun match next week.
Main Event: NWA-TNA World Champion AJ Styles vs. D’Lo Brown in a ladder match: Styles runs to the ladder at the top of the ramp but Brown chases after him and hammers away on Styles. Tenay claims that Brown is undefeated in ladder matches dating back to IWA days in Puerto Rico. Styles rams Brown face first into the ring steps. Styles rams the guard railing to Brown’s midsection but D’Lo springboards off the ring steps to take AJ out with a cross body in the crowd. Vince Russo is watching by the entrance ramp as Brown tosses the ladder into AJ’s face. Brown sets up a table on the floor and looks to suplex Styles from the ring to the floor, but AJ lands on the apron and is able to hit a springboard head scissors. Styles takes Brown out with a somersault dive over the top to the floor!
Styles slams the ladder across Brown’s back on the floor to maintain control of the title match. Styles whacks Brown over the back with the chair. Styles slides the ladder into the ring and continues to work over D’Lo. Styles sends Brown chest first into the ladder and the ladder also falls onto Brown! Styles goes back to working over D’Lo with a steel chair. Styles wedges a chair in the corner but Brown nails AJ with the ladder. Brown begins to climb the ladder but AJ shoves him off and nails D’Lo with the ladder. AJ rams the ladder into D’Lo’s midsection to keep control of the match. Styles climbs the ladder but Brown stops the champ and slams Styles to the canvas. Styles shoves Brown off the ladder and D’Lo lands throat first across the top rope. Styles drops the ladder across the back of D’Lo. AJ sets up two tables on the floor on two different sides of the ring. Brown backdrops Styles on the ramp way to stop AJ in his tracks. D’Lo places Styles on the table and sets up the ladder in the ring. Brown climbs the ladder and leaps off to hit a frog splash off the top of the ladder onto Styles through the table!
Brown sets the ladder up in the middle of the ring and has his hand on the belt but Sonny Siaki comes in and tips the ladder over causing Brown to crash to the floor, missing the table that was setup! Styles begins to climb but so does D’Lo and they are both going for the gold. They have their hands on the belt and crash to the canvas with both men holding the championship. The referee ends up deeming that Styles was not defeated the match ends in a draw, but Styles retains the title. (***. Alright, so this was a good match between these two with a few sick spots thrown in there. Kudos to D’Lo and Styles for being able to pull off the tricky finish to the match, too.)
Yet another good show for TNA as they have finally found a direction and are seemingly keeping with it. The Styles/D’Lo matches were effective and the ladder match was a suitable outcome for them as it allows TNA to run that match at least one more time. Diamond, Swinger and Gilbertti is an entertaining trio and have worked good matches with America’s Most Wanted. Kid Kash is fast becoming a top heel act in the company and I have no problem with that whatsoever. Lastly, the Douglas/Raven stuff gets better each week and appears to be going for an extended period of time. I’m liking what I’ve been seeing in TNA recently in 2003.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.