Final Thoughts: The show itself wasn’t bad at all but the overall direction of the company is not improving. The roster is made up of a majority of heels and just about everyone else is hinting towards a heel turn. The only clear-cut faces are Red, Lynn, James Storm and Dusty. The main event was awesome and we finally have a date for the Raven vs. Jarrett title match so those are two positives. Adding Sabin to the X Division gives it the new blood that it needs and he looked great.
April 9, 2003
Your hosts are Don West and Mike Tenay
The show opens up with a video recap of last week’s show. It did a good job of making the show look a lot less horrible than it actually was.
Armed Asylum Match
Sandman & New Jack vs. Disciples of the New Church w/James Mitchell vs. Harris Brothers
New Jack jumps the Disciples before the Harris Brothers enter the ring. The Harris Brothers beat Sandman as he was drinking and smoking in the crowd. Everyone is now in the ring and using weapons, such as a cheese grater. Slash is pouring blood and getting attacked with a stapler gun from New Jack. Don chokes out Sandman with a rope and New Jack misses a running dive with a chair and falls into the guardrail. They are now brawling in the back as Slash nails Don with a trashcan. Lee and New Jack are fighting over a machete as there is too much going on, making it difficult to focus. Slash climbs up to the balcony then hits a senton on Don Harris through the table, causing the crowd to go nuts. Lee and New Jack climb the stairs and New jack backdrops him off the balcony and through a table. Lee awkwardly hit the table. Ron Harris uses a fork on Sandman as Slash and New Jack are fighting and the Harris Brothers are beating on Sandman. A loud “TNA” chant happens as New Jack goes to the upper level and elbow drops Slash through the table. Sandman is wailing on both Harris’s with the Singapore cane until Don boots a trash can in his face. The Harris’s then catch Sandman with the H Bomb for the win (8:32) *.
Thoughts: Lots of garbage brawling but there was too much going on at once to focus. At least there were a few nicely done crazy spots. New Jack and Sandman appeared to be completely wasted (not exactly a shock and New Jack admitted he was fucked up during his entire TNA run) and did some terrible brawling. Slash stood out above everyone else here. He was by far, the best worker out of the six. The announcers speculated that New Jack went into business for himself and left Sandman alone to get pinned.
Goldylocks is with Mike Barton. She mentions his match with Perry Saturn as he lists off all the guys he beat during the “Brawl for All.” D’Lo interrupts and yells to Gilbertti. He says that he has a problem with Mike Sanders. Gilbertti goes into the SEX locker room and sees Chris Harris hanging out. He asks him to get Mike Sanders, and he agrees. By the time this ended, I forgot half of what went on. Cramming several things into a single segment does not give you enough time to focus.
Don West is sitting alone, stating he will have answers about Chris Harris tonight. He then throws it to Tenay, who states that a four team tag match will take place tonight with the winners will face off against each other at a later date for the right to face the X Division Champion. XXX is in the match and if they lose, they will have to give the winning team a title shot.
Teany now welcomes Hermie Sadler and Jeff Hammond. This interview goes on forever as they babble about NASCAR and briefly put over TNA. Those two are nowhere near important enough to give TNA is big-time celebrity rub. The crowd didn’t seem to care about them either.
Raven is shown entering the arena with Alexis Laree and Julio Dinero.
The Interrogators Segment with Dusty Rhodes. He calls Ted Turner “Daddy” and makes a fart sound to describe WCW. Nothing else really stood out.
Brian Lawler vs. Dusty Rhodes
Lawler oversells Dusty’s offense to start. On the floor, Lawler rams Dusty’s head off the announcers table then rams the ladder into his face. He taunts the crowd and yells at Tenay before heading into the ring. Dusty is bleeding from the forehead as Lawler sets up the ladder. Lawler stalls as the crowd chants for Dusty. He climbs as slow as humanly possible to allow Dusty to get into the ring. He bumps the ladder and Lawler falls on the ropes. Dusty takes Lawler down with a bionic elbow then pulls a stepladder from underneath the ring. He uses it to hit Lawler a few times then sets it up and hits him with an elbow drop. Dusty sits down for a bit then sets up the ladder. As he climbs, Lawler hits him with a low blow then climbs up top but decides to go down and punch Rhodes. He climbs back up but misses a leg drop. The crowd chants for Dusty as he climbs up but gets cut off by David Flair, who climbs up and tries to get the belt but Nikita Koloff shakes the ladder. He climbs and grabs the belt then kicks Lawler down. Dusty doesn’t trust Nikita at first but he takes the belt that was handed to him for the win (7:35) ¾*. As both men are celebrating, Erik Watts runs in and steals the belt. Nikita and Dusty raise hands on the ramp.
Thoughts: Nowhere near as horrible as I expected. Lawler did a fine job and they laid out a good match. Sure, the action itself sucked but this was not embarrassing or anything, even if some of the spots were contrived. The stuff with Nikita did not get much of a reaction. The feud over the belt remains ridiculous.
Goldylocks is chasing down Chris Harris. She asks him about SEX and he blows her off until they run into James Storm. He questions as to why he was in the SEX locker room and Harris says they are not bad guys and he could have been asking for a title shot. They have a heated exchange until Storm leaves. Sanders arrives as Harris gives him the message. Sanders throws out words like “having heat ever since I started” and not caring about “the boys in the back” before insulting Harris, who calls him an “Asshole.” Sanders says he will appease him by meeting with Gilbertti. Harris’s acting, to be kind, was fucking terrible here. Completely wooden and it sounded like he was reading off of cue cards that were placed out of his field of vision.
Glen Gilbertti vs. AJ Styles
Gilbertti brawls to start but AJ takes the advantage. He hits a dropkick and a rana. German suplex gets two. He snaps Gilbertti’s neck off the top rope but is met with a dropkick in mid-air after a slingshot crossbody attempt. Outside the ring, Gilbertti trips up a charging AJ, who crashes into the stairs. In the ring, Gilbertti hits a uranage and a dropkick. AJ does a somersault sell for a clothesline then gets hit with an inverted atomic drop and a side Russian legsweep. Elbow drop gets two. Gilbertti whips AJ into the corner as a “Disco sucks” chant breaks out. AJ counters a swinging neckbreaker and fights back. Disco dodges a Phenomenon attempt and gets two off a neckbreaker. AJ catches him with a gutbuster off a pumphandle then hits the Phenomenon, getting two. AJ floats over on a backslide attempt but walks into a DDT. AJ lands on the apron after a backdrop and hits a kick. He misses a springboard 450 and Gilbertti rolls him up and puts his feet on the ropes. The ref counted to three but saw his feet and says it was two. AJ gets him with the Styles Clash as he was arguing and uses his feet on the ropes for the win (7:24) **1/4. After the match, Disco argues with the referee and pushes him and the ref pushes him back. Gilbertti attacks him from behind and bets him up some more. He tosses him over the guardrail and hits him with a chair. The ref is bleeding as someone from the crowd does the Chris Tucker “you got knocked the fuck out” bit from “Friday.”
Thoughts: Match was fine, although it was one of AJ’s weaker outings. Gilbertti looked good here, almost better than AJ if you can believe that. Crowd was not into this that much and the fact that there was two heels going against each other is a major part of that. At this point, I’d say 80% of the roster is made up of heels, tweeners, and others hinting at turning heel. Its too much.
Goldylocks is in the SEX locker room. Gilbertti looks to be yelling at Sanders but focuses his anger on D’Lo Brown, saying that he is not one of them and orders him to beat up D’Lo and promises that SEX will have his back.
Sonny Siaki & Desire vs. David Young & Athena
An auction winner accompanies Siaki & Desire. He looks profoundly depressed. Siaki grabs the mic and calls Young fat and ugly but says it doesn’t matter because the fight started between Athena and Desire. The men step out and the women now have a singles match. Just as this starts, Young hits Athena with a spinebuster and Desire covers for the win (0:41). Young is then given a SEX t-shirt and hugs Desire.
Thoughts: Young only really became a face for two weeks when he came to the aid of Athena but there was no need for him to join an already bloated SEX roster. Even though the crowd loves Athena, they didn’t seem to care much that Young turned on her.
Goldylocks is with Perry Saturn. He says that he was told you needed to be in 500 fights before you could be called a tough guy. He babbles on some more until Jarrett interrupts and alerts Tenay that he will be available for an interview. Mike Barton attacks Saturn and it leads into their match.
Perry Saturn vs. Mike Barton
Barton is wearing tights similar to Taka Michinoku. Saturn is opened up as Barton roughs him up. He hits a top rope shoulderblock. Saturn hits a few German suplexes and a clothesline. Dropkick gets two. Saturn puts on a cross armbreaker for a bit. He runs into a boot and gets killed with a clothesline. Barton hammers away as the ref warns him about using open fists. Saturn is pouring out blood as he has a gash above his eye. Saturn fights back and hits a T-Bone suplex. Barton drops him with a right and yells at the ref to check on him. That is a cool spot, actually. He holds Saturn up for a vertical suplex as his blood is pouring onto him, then turns it into a brainbuster. Saturn gets knocked down as the crowd is behind him. Saturn ducks a clothesline and hits a superkick. Elbow drop gets two. Blue Thunder bomb gets two. He floats over on a fireman’s carry and hits the Death Valley Driver but that only gets two. Barton gets up and kills Saturn with a punch but sells the effects and Saturn sees this and applies a wristhold for the win by submission (7:24) ***. The announcers sold it as Barton broke his hand.
Thoughts: Good match. These two beat the crap out of each other. Barton looked great here and I wonder what happened because he was never seen in TNA again. He was bigger than a majority of the roster and looked like a threat. The crowd was into Saturn although they seemed confused by the ending as I don’t think they had an idea that Barton was selling an injured hand due to constantly punching Saturn.
Goldylocks is backstage with New Jack. He yells at her then Sandman cuts in and says that he strayed from the plan. As they argue, the New Church hit Sandman with a fireball then destroy New Jack. They yell “Evil” into the camera.
Mike Sanders vs. D’Lo Brown
D’Lo runs in and fires away. He hits a back elbow smash and stomps him in the corner. He tries to play to the crowd but they are quiet. D’Lo is on the apron and Sanders takes him down with a sweep. He then hits him with a moonsault from the apron and tosses him into the guardrail. Snap suplex on the floor and he rolls D’Lo back inside. He gets a few nearfalls then hits a pumphandle toss. Sanders runs into an elbow but hits a backdrop. He mocks D’Lo’s headshake legdrop and gets two. He puts on a Cobra Clutch for a bit until D’Lo escapes. He hits a few clotheslines and a spinebuster. Legdrop gets two. Jumping calf kick gets two. Sanders is able to get the Double Shot for two but D’Lo counters a move into a slam. Siaki runs out and cuts off D’Lo as Desire distracts the ref. Sanders hits a superplex but only gets two. They do some counters until D’Lo hits the Sky High for the win (7:04) **. After the match, Gilbertti runs in and stomps D’Lo along with Siaki and Desire. They hold up D’Lo for Sanders and he hits him with a superkick.
Thoughts: The work itself was solid but this had zero heat. Sanders looked better than usual. The problem again is that you have a member of a heel stable who is hinting that he might turn face and another guy who is a tweener hinting to join that same stable so the crowd doesn’t know who to cheer for. It took less than a month for the crowd to go cold on the ex-WWE guy who they were red hot for when he debuted.
Tenay in an interview with Trinity from earlier today. She talks about her athletic background and how she rides for a motorcycle stunt team. She has been wrestling fro one year and mentions training with Amazing Red and the SAT under Mikey Whipwreck. She also mentions her work as a stuntwoman when Kid Kash interrupts. Tenay refers to him as “Dave” as Kash runs down Trinity for stealing the spotlight and complains that he has to face Raven tonight because of her. He orders her to stand in his corner and to not move a muscle. Kash is doing the best heel work in this company.
Raven w/Alexis Laree & Julio Dinero vs. Kid Kash w/Trinity
They exchange counters to start. They screw up a spot in which Raven was supposed to get clotheslined to the floor so Kash just dumps him. Kash still has an injured knee. Back inside, Kash hits an enziguiri that was off by a mile. He misses a springboard dropkick and Raven stomps away. He hits a clothesline and a running kneelift. He rolls him up after a slingshot in the corner and that gets two. Laree grabs Kash by the leg and that allows Julio to hit him. Raven covers and gets two. Backdrop gets two. Raven gets a chair but Kash reverses a whip and sends him into it with a drop toehold. Kash fights back and messes up a springboard rana. Tornado DDT gets two. Raven catches him and hits a powerbomb but that only gets two. Kash messes up a springboard and hits a crossbody for two. Rollup gets two. A terrible looking leg lariat gets two. Raven cuts him off the top rope but gets tossed down. Kash misses a dive but Trinity hits a rana. Laree charges but accidentally hits Julio, taking him off the apron. Trinity takes them both out with a moonsault then heads outback as Raven hits the Evenflow DDT for the win (7:25) *.
Thoughts: Kash botched almost everything he tried but he was legitimately hurt and probably should not have been out there anyway. This will lead to more friction between Trinity and Kash.
West plugs the main event, which is Jerry Lynn & Amazing Red vs. Jason Cross & Shark Boy vs. XXX vs. Jonny Storm and Chris Sabin. The winners of the match will face off at a later date with the winner getting a shot at the X Division Title. If XXX lose, the winning team gets a tag-team title shot. Also, Tenay plugs the interview with Jeff Jarrett.
Tenay welcomes Jeff Hammond to the booth
XXX vs. Shark Boy & Jason Cross vs. Jonny Storm & Chris Sabin vs. Jerry Lynn & Amazing Red
This is the TNA debut for Chris Sabin. The theme song he came out to is what he ended up using for a while, minus the “Hail Sabin” part at the beginning. Lynn and Storm start things out. The do a bunch of counters until Red and Shark Boy tag. The crowd chants for Red as these two pick up the pace. Shark Boy hits Red with a dropkick after a springboard move and gets two. Red hits a powerslam for two. Tag to Daniels who beats on Shark Boy for a bit. Shark Boy comes back and bites Daniels in the ass before tagging to Cross. He hits Daniels with a few armdrags and a dropkick then tags to Sabin. Skipper tags and these two are going at a rapid rate. Skipper lands on the apron and flips in and hits a clothesline on a charging Sabin in a really cool spot. Sabin comes back with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and a release overhead suplex. Shark Boy and Daniels are now in as Hammond babbles on about Hardcore Holly suplexing him in a Stacker commercial. Ah, the good ol’ days of frequent Stacker commercials on RAW. Shark Boy clotheslines Daniels to the floor and follows him out with a pescado. Sabin is in and suplexes Cross before hitting a springboard plancha on Shark Boy. Red follows out with an amazing looking somersault tope then Storm finishes it off with a double springboard somersault senton. In the ring, Cross hits Daniels with an Unprettier but Skipper distracts the ref. As Cross climbs the ropes, the masked lucahdor pushes him off and Daniels hits the Last Rites for the pin (7:16). Daniels hits Storm with a heel kick but misses a charge in the corner. Storm botches a rana but that gets two. Lynn is in and hits Storm with the TKO. Red hits a rana on Daniels but Skipper hits him with the Play of the Day. Sabin runs in and rolls through a crossbody block and in one motion, picks him up and hits a backbreaker out of the catatonic. The masked luchador runs in and hits Sabin with a tornado DDT and that allows Lynn to hit him with the cradle piledriver for the pin (9:00). Daniels crotches Lynn on the ropes and Skipper takes him off with the rope walk rana. He hit that perfectly. XXX double teams Lynn for a bit until he fights back. Hot tag to Red who takes out XXX with a double dropkick. He then hits them with more kicks for nearfalls. Skipper gets two off a uranage. Lynn comes in and powerbombs Skipper off the top rope for two. Daniels then hits Lynn with the BME for two. XXX hits Lynn with the Rockerplex but Red breaks up the pin. Lynn puts Daniels on his shoulders and Red hits a top rope spinkick for two. Skipper runs in with the belt but Lynn kicks it in his face. Daniels hits Red with an STO for two. Red floats over on a suplex then gets a small package out of a tilt-a-whirl for the win (13:37) ****.
Thoughts: Excellent match. Just about everything here was performed smoothly, with the exception of a botched rana from Storm. Sabin impressed in his debut and he sold like a motherfucker. The team of Red and Lynn is interesting and one the crowd can get behind, seeing how TNA has ruined AMW at this point. The future matches have not been given dates so a tag match between the winners and AMW as well as the singles matches between Lynn and Red will be coming up in the next few weeks.
Immediately after the match, they cut backstage to Goldylocks who is with Erik Watts. She mentions how he stole the belt from Dusty. He says that it is not an issue and he doesn’t care about the belt, but rather he cares about Jarrett. Watts tells Goldy that Jarrett sent him emails stating he was sorry for choking her last week. He is massaging her shoulders and talks for too long about the past (which is what a majority of those watching have no clue about but he talks like everyone does). He ends by throwing it back to Tenay.
Tenay is in the ring and calls out Jarrett. He comes out and Tenay asks him about his heelish behaviors over the past few weeks. Jarrett asks Tenay if he wants the WWF version of him or the NWA good guy. Tenay tells him to rise above the pressure and Jarrett yanks the mic out of his hands. Raven’s music hits and he comes out with Dinero and Laree. Raven tells him to beat up Tenay if it will make him feel like a man but says it is really all about himself. Raven says that in 21 days, he will take away his title. The crowd starts chanting that Raven sucks as Jarrett tells him to shoot his “drug induced ass” into the ring right now. Security steps in front of Jarrett then scurry away as Raven and Jarrett and staring at each other with chairs in their hands. The luchador runs out as does Dusty but Jarrett accidentally hits him with a chair as the announcers speculate that Jeff is paranoid.