This week, TNA will have its hands full with three former members of DX/NWO in the same building. Ron Killings stirs up the X-Division. Wildcat and Storm have their first title defense, and AJ Styles and Lo-Ki face off in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match to determine the new #1 Contender for the X-Division Title.
How’d they do? Let’s find out!
The crowd in the Asylum is hot. Tenay gives a quick rundown of tonight’s card before we’re interrupted and sent to the back, where Jerry Lynn is beating up Sonny Siaki for his actions last week. Siaki finally gets his wits together and starts fighting back, but Lynn is too angry. When security try to break things up, they get beat up by Lynn and Siaki. Don Harris finally restores some order.
West and Tenay again try to run down the card and we’re told that Jerry Lynn will defend the X-Division Title against Ron Killings in a Lumberjack Match and the Lumberjacks will be members of the X-Division. Tenay says that when he talked to Killings about it, Killings said that everything he reads about TNA is talking about the X-Division, so his solution is to take out the X-Division.
Amazing Red vs Sonny Siaki: Red is out first to a pretty good pop. Siaki is out to little reaction and he’s not in his Elvis threads. Red gets the jump on Siaki, targeting Siaki’s ribs. This match was actually pretty good. There was a real contrast in styles between Red and Siaki, but it worked here. Red didn’t really have a chance, but it was a fun match to watch. During the match, Mortimer Plummer was spotted near the ramp taking notes on what was going on. Siaki finally got the pinfall by hitting Red with a neckbreaker after ducking one of Red’s high-flying moves.
Winner: Sonny Siaki by pinfall.
Comment: Match wasn’t much to write home about, but it was very enjoyable.
After the match, Jorge Estrada comes out and he tells Siaki that Siaki’s pulled the wool over Estrada’s eyes for the last time. He’s giving Siaki until the end of the night to turn his jumpsuit. Reminder, Siaki was not wearing his Elvis jumpsuit during this match, so I don’t think he really cares.
Backstage, Amazing Red has his own problems. He’s getting jumped by Killings, who claims that he’s taking out ‘them’ before they get him.
Table Match for the NWA-TNA Tag Team Championship: Chris Harris and James Storm vs Ron Harris and Brian Lee: Harris and Lee are out first to a pretty good reaction. We get a recap of last week’s Gauntlet for the Gold and Tag Team Championship match. Storm and Wildcat are out next to a great reaction and Storm is still doing the silly cowboy thing. This match was not good. Apparently, no one in TNA watched a Table match from WWE or ECW because the match was basically a regular Tag match with tables instead of pinfalls or submissions. One of the deviations from a regular Table Match is that putting both opponents through tables isn’t required since AMW only put Lee through a table.
Winner: Storm and Wildcat.
Harris isn’t going to take another defeat lying down and attacks Wildcat and Storm and puts Storm through a table. Security tries to restore order, but it takes a run in from Don Harris to calm things down.
We go to a previously recorded video with Goldylocks out in the rain, trying to get an interview with Bruce, when Bruce is attacked by an older lady. She cusses Bruce out, much to his amusement. He’s less amused when she slaps him.
Back in the ring, Killings is out. In his usual charming manner, he tells Trashville to shut up because he’s got something to get off his chest. He talks about being raised in the projects and asks if the audience knows what it’s like to sleep with rats. He then claims that his winning the NWA championship meant that there wasn’t prejudice after all, but he was wrong. It’s still there. There’s no merchandise for The Truth, Ricky Steamboat, who initially gave Killings his title match, is gone, and now Killings is having a Lumberjack match against Jerry Lynn, but all the Lumberjacks are members of the X-Division! Where’s Killings backup? Where’s his posse.
Ron, you’ve insulted just about everyone in the company at some point.
At this point, BG James, Killings’ former partner and mentor, comes out. After telling Killings that his penis was his posse, James tells Killings that he’s acting like a prima donna and reminds us that he (James) brought Killings to the WWE and gave him a start.
Killings replies that James didn’t bring him to WWE to help a young guy get a start, he says that James brought him to WWE because James needed someone to carry him and that someone was Ron Killings. Killings then claims that he extended a hand in friendship to James and that James ignored him. He then says that TNA is HIS house and as long as James is there, he’s Killings’ bitch.
That did it and the fists start flying. Killings ends up beating a retreat, leaving James in the ring. James says that, unlike Demi Moore and Tom Cruise, he can handle the Truth.
Backstage, Goldylocks is with Brian Lawler, who has finally found his…I’m not sure what she is at this point, April. When Goldy asks, Lawler tells her that what happens between him and April is their business, even though he’s been making everyone else’s business for weeks and there are no issues. He then yells at April for speaking to Goldy for some reason.
Okay, I’m not loving where this storyline has gone.
2-Out-Of-3 Falls Match For the X-Division #1 Contendership: AJ Styles vs Lo-Ki: Styles gets a pretty good pop, as does Lo-Ki. We’re reminded that whoever wins this match is the #1 Contender and the loser goes to the very back of the line.
First Fall: AJ dominates the first part of the match, demonstrating the headstand counter to headscissors that Deonna Purrazzo has made famous. One thing I’ll say for both these guys is that their wrestling isn’t all highspots, there’s seriously wrestling in with the high spots which makes it very fun to watch. Lo-Ki is the clear favorite of the crowd.
Lo-Ki would get the win with his Dragon Clutch.
Score: 1-0, Lo-Ki
Winner: Lo-Ki by submission.
Comment: Really great start.
Second Fall: Styles is a wounded animal now. If he doesn’t win now, he’s out, so he’s going all out, balls out. Lo-Ki, however, can smell victory and fights back, neither man can afford to lose this. Lo-Ki goes for the Dragon Clutch, but Styles counters with a Samoan Drop outside of the ring.
Styles would get the pin after rolling through a Frankensteiner counter to a powerbomb.
Score: 1-1, we are tied.
Winner: AJ Styles by pinfall.
Comment: Another really great match.
Third Fall: It is sudden death and everyone’s done playing. Lo-Ki damn near takes Styles’ head off with a kick. Things get nasty in a hurry with Styles targeting Lo-Ki’s knee. Lo-Ki fights back, but without being able to get in those nasty AF kicks of his, he’s a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest.
There was a really sloppy pin attempt with Styles trying to put his feet on the ropes but Lo-Ki got out of it. Styles got the pinfall with a Styles Clash. He’s the new #1 Contender for the X-Division Title and Lo-Ki’s at the back of the line.
Winner: AJ Styles.
Comment: This match was really good. It got a little sloppy towards the end because both guys were getting tired, but they pulled no punches. The downside of Lo-Ki was shown when his knee was taken out because kicking is basically his moveset and that hurt the match because he had nothing to fall back on.
Backstage, Goldy is with Jeff Jarrett, who hasn’t been having a lot of luck in TNA. She asks about the new arrivals, who are aligned with Scott Hall. Jarrett insults Goldy for suggesting, with a great deal of justification, that his championship aspirations have been derailed, stating that nothing has been derailed. He’s still focused on the NWA Title and Scott Hall and his friends are just obstacles.
I’m WAITING for Goldy to just pop one of these idiots in the mouth. Let Hall and Syxx be an example of being cool without being a macho a**hole to women.
ANYWAY! Back to the ring for the next match!
Brian Lawler and Elix Skipper vs Scott Hall and Syxx-Pac: Skipper doesn’t get a great reaction and botches his signature backflip. Lawler has April with him and it’s not clear what’s going on since Lawler is treating April pretty rottenly. Syxx-Pac and Hall get a great reaction. This match was hard to get into because Lawler kept acting like a spaz about April, yelling at her for nothing. Even Hall and Pac were like ‘Dude, WTF?’. Finally, April is…encouraged to sit down and we finally get Lawler focused, somewhat, on the actual match.
In an interesting twist on how tag matches usually go, bigger guy Scott Hall takes most of the punishment. At one point, Lawler’s treatment of April gets so crazy, Don West comes to check on her and gets attacked by Lawler, which leaves Elix Skipper having to deal with Hall and Pac on his own. Lawler tries to save his partner, but he’s quickly sent back out by Hall. Syxx finally gets the pin after countering a high spot by Skipper into a face buster.
Winner: Scott Hall and Syxx Pac by pinfall.
Comment: That was okay, but the Lawler storyline is not wowing me.
As Hall and Pac are celebrating, Jeff Jarrett comes out and cleans house with some help from Lawler, for some reason, and Skipper. Finally, Ron Harris restores order.
Wasn’t Lawler trying to kill Jarrett a few weeks ago?
Anyway, backstage, Goldylocks is with AJ Styles who is in very good mood and is dancing badly. Styles owns up to being cocky and having a big mouth, but he’s the best wrestler in the world, so who cares. For some reason, he’s also hitting on Goldy, which she isn’t having.
Come on, Goldy, just punch ONE of them!
Kid Kash vs Jorge Estrada: Kash gets a good pop. Jorge doesn’t get quite as good a reaction.
This match was okay. It was all Estrada and Kash barely got in any offense, which stunk. Mortimer Plumtree was back, for some reason. Another weird thing was the ref counting two even though he was in the wrong position to see Kash’s shoulder come up. Estrada gets the pinfall after a springboard flip.
Winner: Jorge Estrada by pinfall.
After the match, Estrada gets on the mic and repeats his demand to Sonny Siaki: Turn in your jumpsuit. Siaki comes out and claims that there was a misunderstanding and he didn’t want things to end like this. A claim that is proved blatantly false when we’re shown a video of Siaki BURNING the Elvis jumpsuit while a horrified Goldylocks looks on, calling it a ‘Hunka Hunka Burning Crap’. Estrada flips his lid, as can be imagined.
Eh on this segment, and they definitely lose points for mangling an Elvis hit.
There seem to be some technical glitches giving us the rundown of the Killings/Lynn issues for a couple of seconds, but here we go.
Lumberjack Match for the X-Division Championship: Jerry Lynn vs Ron Killings: For some reason, the Lumberjacks come out to Lynn’s music and they’re not getting much reaction, and neither does Lynn or Killings, to be honest. Lynn gets the jump on Killings and we’re off! This match was okay, but like last week, there was no real chemistry between Killings and Lynn. Someone seems to have forgotten to tell Kash that he’s there to support Lynn because he attacks Lynn when Lynn was thrown out of the ring.
While this was going on, Styles is on the top of the ramp, posing with a ladder, implying that that’s the match he wants and he honestly looks like an idiot. Killings’ disrespect of the X-Division bites him in the ass when Red and one of the Maximos distract the ref by calling his attention to Killings low blowing Lynn, which gave the opening to Lo-Ki who distracted Killings and then dazed him with a solid kick to the head, letting Lynn get the pinfall victory.
Winner: Jerry Lynn retains by pinfall.
Comment: Eh match, loved the ending with the X-Division getting back at Killings.
In the ring, Killings is having it out with Scott Armstrong, livid at what happened, but he’s getting no sympathy since he picked the fight with the X-Division.
West gives us his weekly ‘PLEASE keep us employed and tune in next week!’ pitches. After that, we go straight to the Main Event.
Jeff Jarrett vs BG James: Jarrett is out first to a good reaction. James comes out and after having to restart his usual entrance shtick since Borash doesn’t seem to have known how Road Dogg does an entrance. This grudge match from 1996 was actually not completely awful. James was pretty out of shape and sloppy in some places, but Jarrett sold his ass off and made James look fantastic. James got a DQ win after Skipper and Lawler run in and attack James.
Winner: BG James by DQ due to outside interference.
Comment: That was okay, not a barn burner but it wasn’t godawful.
After the match, Hall and Pac run in and help James fend off Jarrett and company until a still irate Killings runs in and takes people out with the NWA belt. The show ends with the heels standing tall.
Overall Comments: Where has this show been? This wasn’t a great episode but compared to some of the sludge that had been showcased, it was a damn near masterpiece. It seems Vince Russo had his pen taken away again, thank God. Granted, this episode wasn’t Shakespeare, but compared to previous weeks, it was pretty close. There were still a few…plotholes.
- The shift in the Lawler/April storyline. When this storyline started, it was clear to anyone with two eyes that April was manipulating Lawler. Now, Lawler comes across as controlling and borderline abusive.
- Lawler/Jarrett. If you recall, Lawler was attacking Jarrett and claiming that Jarrett had done something to April. Now, he and Jarrett are friends again.
I’m still not happy with the treatment of women, but Jarrett did a good job of toning down the macho a**holeness of previous weeks, but there’s still a LOT of room for work.
I’m not sure what the heck they’re doing with Styles’ character. His match was superb, but the interview backstage was odd and made him look like an idiot.
Stinkers: Estrada vs Kash.
Snoozers: Killings vs Lynn, though the ending saved it.
Match of the Night: Styles vs Lo-Ki
Final Thoughts: This was another reset and overall it was pretty good aside from the few bugs.