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The SmarK Rant For NWA-TNA – August 27 2003

August 28, 2003 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarK Rant for NWA-TNA – August 27, 2003

– Live from Nashville, TN.

– Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Don West.

– Opening match: Shane Douglas, Sinn & Slash v. Konnan, Ron Killings & BG James. Konnan starts with Slash and gets an inverted DDT and some charming simulated fellatio in the corner. I’m trying to cut K-Dogg a break these days, but MAN does he make it too easy for me some days. Truth comes in and gets a quick axe kick, and they hit their version of Wazzup on Shane. Double slam on Slash gets two. James with the funky punches, but Shane distracts him and he’s YOUR hick-in-peril. Sinn gets a clothesline for two. They work him over in the corner, and Sinn gets a victory roll for two. I appreciate working the new talent into major storylines, but Sinn is just such a bland wrestler. Perhaps Altarboy Luke would have been a more fitting choice. Douglas kicks him down and Slash gets a suplex and kneedrop for two. Douglas with an abdominal stretch, and the crowd goes crazy with “Let’s go Road Dogg” chants. I’m sure 800 people will have subpoenas from Jerry McDevitt in their hands tomorrow morning. The skits with 3 Live Krew may have been dumb, but it got them over as big stars. Hot tag Killings, who gets a headscissors and back kick on Douglas. The heels are confounded and confused, and it’s BONZO GONZO time. Killings goes for a suplex on Shane, but Mitchell comes in to interrupt. Truth dumps Shane, and the Gathering hit the ring for the no-contest in 7:09. This was roughly a billion times better than it had any right to be, thanks to a hot crowd and a simple storyline that’s over with the crowd. **1/2

– Sonny Siaki v. D-Lo Brown. They brawl by the ramp to start and D-Lo gets a quebrada. D-Lo slingshots in for two. He slugs away, but Siaki charges and gets dumped. D-Lo follows with a baseball slide, but Siaki catches it and powerbombs him on the floor in a nasty spot. They head back in, where Siaki gets an ugly moonsault, landing with knees on D-Lo’s stomach, for two. He stomps away, and gets a clothesline, but comes off the middle with whatever and gets caught in a Diamond Cutter. D-Lo comes back for the slugfest and backdrops him. Sky High, but the ref is hitting on Trinity. Well, at least they’re being original. Siaki with the Siakalypse for two. D-Lo with That Fucking Spinning Uranage (I’d just call it “That Fucking Move” as a running gag, but I guarantee that within three weeks I’d get 10 e-mails a show asking what I’m talking about) but Trinity comes in with the flying DDT, allowing Siaki to finish with his version of the Emerald Frozen (although it was looking close to an Owen Driver ’97 in terms of execution) for the pin at 5:40. Well, it’s better than an A-Train match. *1/2 I know what they’re trying to do with Siaki, but it’s only gonna end in heartbreak for them because he don’t got it yet. The fight continues outside, but Jeff Jarrett (presumably still sitting in the hearse from last week) pops out of it and lays out Siaki. What the hell did Jeff Jarrett have to do with this match, or Sonny Siaki for that matter?

– Highlights of the Ultimate X match from last week, as unlike the WWE when they have a great match they make a big deal out of it.

– Afterwards, Michael Shane does a ludicrously over-the-top aping of Shawn Michaels’ 1992 interview style. Did you know he’s Shawn’s cousin?

– X title: Michael Shane v. Jerry Lynn. Lynn grabs a headlock to start and hangs on tight as they work off that for a bit. Shane grabs his own, but Lynn counters with a takedown and pounds away. They slug it out, won by Lynn, and he gets a headscissors and works over the arm. I also need to point out that Don Callis is doing commentary here, and his interaction with Mike Tenay is hilarious, as he gives what sound like perfectly reasonable, if corporate, explanations for stuff and then Tenay just destroys him. Like he’s talking about how unfair it is that Shane should have to defend the title just a week after the grueling Ultimate X match, and Tenay goes “So it’s unfair when the champion has to defend his belt against legitimate competition?” in a really disbelieving voice. I’m not doing it justice, but Tenay’s indignation and the way Callis keeps dodging the tough questions is just funny as hell. They need to dump the useless Russo and get Callis managing Styles as his wholesome pretty-boy corporate puppet. Shane knees out and necksnaps him off the apron, and follows with a baseball slide, but Lynn pulls him off the apron. They brawl on the floor and Lynn meets the cold, cold stairs. Back in, Lynn returns the necksnap and dropkicks him off the apron. More brawling, as Lynn walks by and yells at Callis again. His reply: “I’m making notes!” Back in, Shane blocks a rollup and hotshots him for two. Shane uses everyone’s favorite, CLUBBING FOREARMS, and they exchange hair takedowns. Lynn comes back but gets tossed. Back in, Shane slugs away, but gets sent into the turnbuckles. He returns fire with a forearm, stomps him, and heads up to the top. That sequence seems oddly familiar. He decides not to drop the big elbow (apparently fearing the wrath of Shane McMahon), but Lynn blocks the superkick with a kick of his own, and slaps him down. Shane goes low and gets two. Piledriver is reversed by Lynn, who pounds away on the mat. Callis heads to the back in a huff as a result of all the violence, and Lynn spears Shane. Powerbomb sets up an F5, but the Red Security People break things up, and the superkick finishes for Shane at 12:23. Jerry Lynn kept it together with bubble gum and duct tape, but *** is ***. ***

– And while I’m at it, are they ever gonna get to the secret origin of the security forces, like Blaze and Satanus battling for the soul of Jim Dotson and splitting him into Red Security and Black Security? That’s what we call a “double-barreled inside joke” for those of you not in the geek biz.

– Speaking of geeky inside references, Raven does an insanely cool promo comparing his current situation to that of Tommy Rich when he got involved in a blood feud with Buzz Sawyer that wrecked his career. I’d actually call the booking closer to Freebirds v. Von Erichs, but a good point either way.

– Abyss v. Sandman. Sandman wastes perfectly good beer by spitting it at Abyss, but gets laid out and chopped in the corner. Abyss tosses him, but Sandman tries a pescado, only to get posted. They brawl for a bit, and Sandman dives off a chair onto him. The table follows, but isn’t used. Back in, Sandman comes off the top with a SWANTON of all things. That looked like one of those flip-splashes that are only done for the purpose of missing. Kid Kash then comes in to give Abyss a piece of his mind. They do a spot that was supposed to be Kash putting Abyss through the table on the outside with a rana, but the table doesn’t break. Back in, it gets two, but Abyss finishes things quickly with the Black Hole Slam at 3:43. Ѕ* It’s good to see Sandman actually understands his role at this point in his career.

– NWA World tag team title: America’s Most Wanted v. Simon & Swinger. No Disco tonight. Yet. Brawl outside to start, as it goes on for a good few minutes, with AMW just pounding the hell out of the challengers out there and Storm launching himself off the stairs at Swinger while Harris chokes Diamond out with a chain. In the ring, Swinger stomps Storm back out again and works the back. They head back in, as the match starts proper and Simon pounds on Storm in the corner, and the double-team sideslam gets two for Swinger. Simon hammers him, but runs into an elbow. He gets a northern lights suplex for two. Swinger stomps away. They pinball Storm and Simon slugs him down and hammers away. Suplex gets two. Swingers slugs him down, but Storm kicks him down with the series of them, hot tag Harris. Lariat for Simon, full nelson slam for Swinger. He pounds Simon off the Thesz Press, and bulldogs Swinger. High cross gets two on Simon. The heels take over, but Harris spears Swinger and Storm superkicks Diamond for two. Simon goes low on Storm, and Swinger goes low on Harris. There’s way too many ballshots in this promotion lately – it’s like Kevin Sullivan is booking or something. Harris prevents a superplex by Swinger and they fight on top, but Swinger goes down and Simon pops up to try. They then do a spot so simple and yet crazy that I’m shocked it’s never been done before: Simon starts to do the superplex, but Storm jumps onto the middle turnbuckle and starts to powerbomb him down. Then, before that can begin, Swinger suplexes HIM, resulting in a four-man stacked superplex that nearly blows the roof off the place. That was truly crazy and yet totally safe. Holy SHIT sums it up nicely. Glenn Gilberti slithers down while everyone is out and distracts the ref, giving Simon a belt in the process. Harris kicks it back in his face for two, but Gilberti breaks the count. And finally the heel’s persistence and gameplan pays off, as Harris once again goes after Gilberti, and Glenn again pops him in the face with a chair, and this time they’ve taken care of Storm in advance, leaving no one to save, and Swinger to get the easy pin on Harris to finally win the NWA World tag belts at 11:21. That’s a nice bit of payoff for those who have been following the whole feud. Usual terrific match from these guys. ***1/2 Dusty saves AMW from any further tomfoolery, but the damage is done, so we segue right into…

– Bullrope match: Dusty Rhodes v. Glenn Gilberti. Wow, it’s the Battle of the Idiot Bookers. Dusty clangs his cowbell in intimidating fashion to start, and elbows him down. He does a tasteful lowblow (something like the fourth on the night) but Gilberti tries to bail, forgetting that’s attached at the wrist. Dusty chokes him out with the rope, and Glenn takes a powder again, and doesn’t get anywhere, again. Dusty uses the cowbell to draw blood. MORE COWBELL. Glenn slugs back, but his Flip Flop & Fly flops and a straight cowbell shot puts him down and out. Chris Daniels runs in, however, and lays out Dusty with one powerful punch, as Gilberti gets the pin at 4:09. This was super slow motion, but it at least resembled a match. * Simon & Swinger attack, and (guess who) Jeff Jarrett makes the save in yet another match he has nothing to do with. The heels run in terror from him, the irony of which is probably totally lost on him merely three years after doing a funny parody of Dusty Rhodes in WCW.

– Earlier today, Mike Tenay sits down with Mad Mikey and asks the hard-hitting questions. Mikey throws a tantrum.

– Meantime, Simon & Swinger annoy the 3 Live Krew folks to presumably set up the next tag team feud, but Jeff Jarrett sets a new record for sticking his nose into other peoples’ business by laying out Glenn Gilberti, which brings his body count to like 5 people for this show. Even HHH doesn’t usually bury more than two or three per show. It’s just not good manners.

– NWA World title: AJ Styles v. Raven. We all know what the finish logically has to be based on the buildup, but the challenge is making the audience forget that on the way there. Styles gets some quick kicks as they spar to start. Raven slugs him into the corner and shoulderblocks him for two. Criss-cross and Raven headbutts him low for two. AJ runs away, but catches Raven coming in on the chase. Raven slugs back and AJ bails again, but Raven brings him in for a suplex, which gets two. He tosses AJ to the floor and finds a trashcan, making good use of it. AJ bleeds and gets smacked into the railing with Russian legsweeps FOUR TIMES. Where’s Don Callis? That seems a little excessive. Back in, Raven can’t cover because Russo is distracting the ref, perhaps with a fascinating story about how he used to write the WWF’s storylines from 1997 until 1999, which he seems to bring up to anyone within shouting distance. AJ goes low (#5 on the night) and gets the springboard inverted DDT, but the Gathering now gathers up Russo and gets rid of him. AJ slugs Raven, but he fights back, and then gets spinkicked down again. It gets two. Suplex and Styles gets two off a knee. Styles chops him, but Raven superkicks him. Raven is just crazy over, by the way. All you need to get over in the south is to take a shitkicking and know when to time the comebacks, really. AJ springboards in with a rana, and lays in the stiff kicks to the back. Bridged Indian deathlock, but Raven makes the ropes. AJ gets a chair and hits the DROP TOEHOLD OF DEATH on Raven, for two. Another try is blocked, and Raven throws the chair in his face and both are out. Raven fights back with a rebound clothesline and kneelift, and a bulldog gets two. Raven sets up the chair again and tries the drop toehold, but AJ does an amazingly graceful leap from the chair to the ropes and springboards back at him, which Raven counters with a chairshot in mid-air. See, whereas a lot of workers would be stuck in a style clash, Raven adjusts the brawling style to counter AJ’s high-flying. He doesn’t even need to change to match him, he just works with what he has. They reverse DDTs, and Raven gets his own version of the Styles Clash, for two. Sinn stops the count, however. AJ DDTs Raven for two. AJ slugs away and Sinn sneaks in again, but AJ crashes into him to get rid of him. The ref is bumped as Raven gets the DDT, no count. Slash then comes in and tosses powder, but gets it kicked back in his own face, and then, blinded, destroys Styles for Raven. That’s such an awesome little mini-story told with just that one near-fall, as Raven not only foils the cheating attempt but uses it to his advantage. Raven only gets two, however. They head up, but Shane Douglas now interferes, pushing Raven off the top. AJ comes flying down, but gets caught with a powerbomb for two. Douglas goes low (#6!) on Raven, Styles Clash, and that’s all she wrote at 15:02. You knew from the start that there was no way the New Church would let Raven walk out with the title, but that’s part of the fun of the match. ****1/4 It’s also ridiculously obvious that Jeff Jarrett is going to be the one to dethrone Styles in the end. Anyway, the big brawl erupts again, and Erik Watts sets up a WarGames match of sorts for next week with the primary 10 foes in the promotion, and himself as special referee. I smell a heel turn.

The Bottom Line:

The best wrestling show on TV (for this month at least) continues to be TNA as they provide feuds that people care about with payoffs that pay things off and people that the fans actually want to see. I’m more than happy to mark out and cheer openly for a promotion that gives me reason to, and this is wrestling as we LIKED IT, dammit.

Hopefully the taped shows won’t disrupt the groove too much, but I’d HIGHLY recommend getting the 1-cent show two weeks from now, if only to see the famous cage match.

Until next time, keep it old school…


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