Written by: Bob Colling
National Wrestling Alliance/Total Non-Stop Action Weekly PPV #61
From: Nashville, TN
Opening Contest: America’s Most Wanted vs. Sinn & Slash vs. Kid Kash & Abyss vs. BG James & Ron Killings in a number one contenders match: Storm and Slash kick off the match with Storm hitting a side Russian leg sweep. Harris and Storm double team Slash hitting a neck breaker and a leg drop combo for a two count. Harris is picked up by Slash and Sinn as they have a double Torture Rack and slam Harris to the canvas for a two count. Sinn continues to work over Storm with strikes. BG tags himself in and quickly attempted a cover on Storm for a two count. BG can’t hit a pump handle slam and Storm super kicks BG for a two count. Kash enters and dropkicks a seated BG. Kash kicks BG a few times and hits a springboard somersault dropkick across the ring! Kash misses a forearm drop off the top and Killings gets tagged in working over Kash hitting a scissors kick.
BG lifts Kash up to allow Killings to deliver a leaping kick for a two count. Kash flips off Killings after avoiding a leaping kick. Abyss is tagged in but can’t hit Killings instead James gets tagged in and now everyone is tagging in quickly to confuse Abyss and keep him off balance. They are all wrenching on his arm. Kash slaps Abyss and that gets Abyss fired up to clean house on everyone in the match. Abyss tosses Storm over his head onto Sinn and Storm. AMW hit a double spear on Abyss! AMW take Abyss out with a dive to the floor. Kash attempts the Money Maker but Terry Taylor rolls into the ring and low blows Kash to allow Killings to hit a front suplex for the win. (***. I actually really enjoyed this match and thought they focused on the right acts. Abyss got his moment of spotlight and the fans bought into it. Taylor involvement advances the feud with Kash. An overall enjoyable start to the program.)
Roddy Piper makes his return to TNA and talks about how his family and friends read on the internet that he was a drug addict and blames a promoter for that. He takes credit for making WrestleMania a success and is here to ride on a rocket ship that is about to take off. Vince Russo comes out and says that Piper is only here because nobody else wants the Hot Rod. Russo says that it will either be him or Piper that stays in TNA because they can’t be in the same place working together.
Second Contest: D’Lo Brown vs. Sonny Siaki in a casket match: Usually, the casket would be placed outside the ring. However, this match has the casket inside the ring. Brown goes right after Siaki hitting several right hands and continues to hammer away on Siaki ramming Sonny face first onto the casket. Brown slams the casket door onto Sonny’s back. Trinity gets on the apron to distract Brown and prevents D’Lo from closing the casket. Brown hits a leaping kick and a snap suplex. Brown sets the casket up in the corner and sends Siaki back first into the casket. Siaki lifts Brown up and drops D’Lo chest first over the casket in the corner to get control of the match. Siaki slams the casket onto Brown on the canvas.
Brown fights back with strikes, backdrop and clotheslines. Siaki sends Brown into the casket and Trinity holds Brown in the corner so Siaki can shove the casket into the back of Brown. Brown plants Siaki onto the casket with a spine buster! Brown hits a frog splash off the top onto the casket! Ekmo enters the ring and attacks Brown hitting a Samoan Drop! Ekmo goes to the top and hits a top rope big splash. Ekmo places Brown in the casket and Siaki closes the casket. (*1/2. There were a few good spots but it mostly uneventful. Ekmo is Jamal from the WWE and better known as Umaga. I’m not sure why Siaki needs him, hopefully as just a enforcer kind of deal.)
Backstage, Don Callis and Erik Watts have a confrontation regarding issues in TNA. Callis would make sure that Jerry Lynn didn’t have a title match tonight if he could have his way. Watts shows Callis that he has all the power by flipping him off.
Third Contest: Eric Young, Frankie Kazarian & Juventud Guerrera vs. Nosawa, Chris Sabin & NWA-TNA X-Division Champion Michael Shane: Young is making his TNA debut. Guerrera and Shane kick off the match. Guerrera works over Shane with a few chops but Shane drops Guerrera with a spin kick. Nosawa enters and is met with a dropkick from Guerrera. Young tags in but Nosawa dropkicks Young while he is seated. Sabin gets the tag and works over Young with strikes in the corner. Young hits a few dropkicks on Sabin and tags in Kazarian. Sabin is double teamed by Young and Kazarian as they hit a splash and leg drop combo for a two count. Kazarian is kicked by Nosawa on the apron after knocking Shane off. Shane sends Kazarian into the guard railing and Sabin hits a springboard spinning heel kick for a near fall.
Shane legally tags in and trades right hands with Frankie. Kazarian blocks a tornado DDT attempt and they are both on the middle rope where Shane hits a swinging neck breaker for a two count! Sabin tags in but is met with a kick from Kazarian rather quickly. Shane prevents Kazarian from tagging out. Kazarian fights off the three opponents with a hurricanrana on Sabin and a springboard back elbow to Shane and Nosawa. Guerrera is tagged in and hits a wheelbarrow bulldog on Shane and Nosawa. Guerrera plants Sabin with a DDT and a spinning heel kick for Nosawa. Shane prevents Guerrera from going to the floor but Juventud takes Nosawa out the second time. Shane hits a somersault dive over the top to the floor. Young hits a suicide dive. Kazarian dives over the top to take everyone out as well. Sabin springboards off the top to hit a somersault dive onto everyone.
Sabin has Guerrera but can’t hit a tornado DDT. Guerrera plants Sabin with the Juvi Driver! Guerrera heads to the top rope but Shane crotches Juventud on the top. Sabin hits the Cradle Shock but Kazarian breaks up the cover. Kazarian connects with the Wave of the Future on Sabin. Shane plants Kazarian with a DDT. Guerrera head scissors Shane head first into the railing. Nosawa nails Young with a shining wizard. Young hits a wheelbarrow neck breaker but Sabin hits Young with the title belt and Shane rolls in to pin Young. Kazarian is seen talking to a woman in the crowd, apparently distracted by her. (***. Well, Kazarian is getting some character development of probably being a ladies man and caring more about the women than winning matches. This is your typical spot-fest match but they had some good moves in there and the pace was enjoyable.)
Backstage, Christopher Daniels is with a three guys and tells them they need to get Jeff Jarrett ready for his final seven days. Daniels is going to get more members for his group, apparently.
Jeff Jarrett comes out and wants a rematch for the NWA-TNA World Championship. Jarrett believes the easy choice is to pick Piper because he cares about the company while Russo doesn’t. He also makes it clear that he is coming for Christopher Daniels.
Fourth Contest: NWA-TNA World Tag Team Champions Simon Diamond & Johnny Swinger vs. Shark Boy & Mad Mikey: The comedic duo in Mikey and Shark Boy can’t be taken overly seriously. This is a non-title match, anyway. Mikey attacks Glen Gilbertti on the floor and Shark Boy is taken out with the Problem Solver to end the bout. I probably enjoy the Swinger/Diamond tag team far more than I expected.
Backstage, Jeff Jarrett is brawling with Christopher Daniels minions tossing one of them over the railing and through a table.
Fifth Contest: NWA-TNA World Champion AJ Styles vs. Jerry Lynn: This was a big feud for TNA last year, so there is interest in this showdown for the top championship. The main event must have something big for it if this isn’t closing the show. Lynn slaps Styles after AJ slapped Lynn on the chest. Lynn decks Styles with a clothesline and stomps away on AJ in the corner to continue his offense. Lynn monkey flips Styles chest first into the corner and hits a tilt a while back breaker for a two count. Styles attempts a springboard reverse DDT but Lynn drops AJ across the top rope and dropkicks Styles off the apron to the floor. Lynn slams AJ into the railing and Styles slides under the railing to avoid the railing a second time. AJ leaps off the railing but Lynn hits a gut buster over his knee. Lynn signals for the cradle piledriver but Trinity distracts Lynn and allows Styles to catapult Lynn into the ring steps. Lynn has been busted wide open.
Jerry is bleeding quite badly as Styles is working over his hated rival in the corner. Styles attempts a tornado DDT but Lynn counters with a suplex toss into the corner. Lynn backdrops AJ followed by a swinging neck breaker. Lynn plants AJ with a TKO but can’t put the champ away on the cover attempt. Styles attempts a hurricanrana but is power bombed by Lynn for another two count. Lynn attempts the cradle piledriver but Trinity shoves the referee into the move and allows AJ to hit a double leg slam. Styles plants Lynn with a brain buster for a two count. Styles attempts the Styles Clash but Lynn counters with a backdrop driver for a near fall again. Trinity is arguing with the referee on the floor as Styles has a steel chair. Lynn avoids the chair shot but is low blowed. Styles hits a neck breaker onto the steel chair but Lynn kicks out at two. AJ hits the Styles Clash and wins the match. (***. It’s a good match between two guys that have had some memorable matches in TNA. I don’t think the chair usage was needed as Styles needs to get some clean wins to be a credible champion. Nonetheless, Lynn getting busted open added emotion to the match and enhanced the action, as well.)
Vince Russo comes out and says that the moment of truth is upon us as the decision between himself and Piper must be met. Dusty Rhodes came out and gave AJ Styles a baseball bat to drop Vince Russo. Dusty turns his attention to Russo and is met with a baseball shot from Styles. Roddy Piper came down to the ring but was stopped by the red shirt security and dragged to the backstage area.
Main Event: Raven vs. Shane Douglas in a hair vs hair match: They start trading punches with Raven sending Douglas to the floor but they quickly return to the ring. Raven sends Douglas to the floor again after a boot to the midsection but Douglas rolls back into the ring. Raven sends Douglas into the guard railing and drops Douglas with a right hand. Raven tosses Douglas over the railing into the crowd. While in the crowd, Raven whacks Douglas over the back with a steel chair. Raven leg drops the chair over the face of Douglas! Raven sends Douglas into a steel chair that a fan is holding and whacks Douglas with a plastic trash can. They get back into the ring where Raven continues to jab Douglas. Raven has a cobra clutch locked in but Douglas refuses to give in. Raven attempts the DDT but Douglas gets away and drop toe holds Raven through the middle rope to the floor.
Douglas follows and hammers away on Raven to keep control of the bout. Raven jabs Douglas and hits a side Russian leg sweep against the railing. Raven rams Douglas head first into the ring steps. Douglas has been busted wide open as Raven continues to deliver jabs. Douglas misses a punch and hits the ring steps head first instead. Douglas low blows Raven to avoid being sent face first into the announcers table. Douglas rams Raven face first into the ring steps. They are both busted wide open at this point. Douglas taunts fans in the front row by showing them the blood of Raven. Douglas hits a rolling neck snap to keep the advantage in the ring. Douglas goes for an abdominal stretch but Raven counters briefly with the cobra clutch. Raven counters the abdominal stretch but Douglas hip tosses Raven over the top to the floor. Raven fights back with jabs and Douglas drops to the mat where he is now puking.
Tenay is playing it off as if Douglas is physically spent but I believe Douglas was sick leading into the match. Anyway, Douglas has a chain around his first and decks Raven to nearly win the match. Raven had brought a chair into the ring before being hit with the chain. Raven drop toe holds Douglas face first onto the chair but can’t put Douglas away on the cover. Raven hits a running bulldog onto the chair but Douglas kicks out again. Raven ducks a clothesline to super kick Douglas for a two count. Slash pulled the referee out of the ring but Raven splashes Douglas and collides with Slash and the referee on the bulldog attempt. Sinn enters to super kick Raven and Raven is being attacked. Two tables are brought into the ring as Raven is laid out.
Julio Dinero and CM Punk run into the ring and make the save sending the New Church to the floor. Douglas sets a table up but Raven plants Douglas with a DDT for a two count. Raven puts Douglas on the middle rope but Douglas fights off and tosses Raven through the table for a near fall. Douglas sets another table up and places Raven on top of it. Douglas is stopped and Raven hits a top rope DDT through the table! Raven has the cover but the lights go out. When the lights come back on, the mystery man reveals himself as being Vampiro! Vampiro plants Raven with a DDT and Douglas covers Raven to win the match. (***1/4. This feud has been very entertaining and the match is a good brawl with a few good hardcore spots. The top rope DDT was neat to see. They’ve given the heels a lot of momentum so that when Raven probably prevails, it should be a memorable moment.) After the match, Raven doesn’t attack the men but instead sits on a chair and gets his head shaved. James Mitchell shaves Raven’s head, which he does incorrectly and scalps the head of Raven as he bleeds more from the top of his head. Douglas shows Raven his look in the mirror and Raven is left embarrassed to end the program.
An enjoyable episode this week for TNA as we got some really good action and the angles are moving along very well. Sure there are still interference and other minor things that don’t need to be happening but the stories being told are enjoyable and that’s the most important aspect of the viewing experience. Vampiro in TNA is interesting, but I don’t see him as a main event act. Shane Douglas still appears to be the leader of the group, as he should be.
Thanks for reading.