Presented LIVE on Pay-Per-View on June 9th, 2004 from the TNA Asylum with Mike Tenay and Don West calling the action, unless otherwise noted. Last week on TNA PPV #97, Jeff Jarrett became a 3-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion and declared himself "King of the Mountain." Tonight, A.J. Styles challenges Kazarian for the X-Division Championship, and new Tag Team Champions America's Most Wanted make their first defense of the Tag Team Titles.
Instead of opening the show with a match, we're getting an in-ring segment celebrating Jeff Jarrett's victory from last week, with a ridiculous introduction, putting him above the level of anyone else in professional wrestling history. Mike Tenay calls it self-serving and egotistical. OK, I can see why I gave up on TNA around this time. No access to FSN and paying $10 for shows that were rumored to be on the way out, and you're opening with a 15-minute promo segment. Last week, he was crowned the first ever "King of the Mountain" in the most innovative and groundbreaking match in wrestling. He says someone needs to not only (literally) crown him, but strap the belt around his waist, and that's Director of Authority Vince Russo. He knows he would've done it for Raven, Chris Harris, Ron Killings, and A.J. Styles, so he should do the honors right now. Russo, PLAYING A BABYFACE, reluctantly comes out and does so without hesitation. Russo gives us a rundown of TNA's history and celebrates not only making it to syndication (Xplosion), but Network TV (the recently debuted iMPACT). Jarrett doesn't want to hear about them being a team. This company was built on Jeff's hard work, not Russo's. Russo doesn't discredit Jeff's accomplishments, but says that the success of TNA belongs to A.J. Styles and America's Most Wanted among others. Jarrett loses his cool and goes for Russo, bringing out 3 Live Kru. Yes, a 3-on-1 babyface attack is great booking. Jarrett bails out quickly, leaving behind his belt. Ron Killings says the man has approved a "Triple Jeopardy Match", whatever that is.
Scott Hudson is backstage with Elix Skipper. We find out that Skipper and Christopher Daniels won the voting to challenge for the Tag Team Titles. Unfortunately, Daniels was injured "in Japan" last week, and will be out for 4-6 weeks. Trinity, Glen Gilberti and Johnny Swinger interrupt, and it sounds like they'll be getting the title shot instead. I have no memory of Trinity turning heel.
Highlights of America's Most Wanted defeating Kid Kash and Dallas for the Titles on iMPACT, followed by a pre-tape from Chris Harris and James Storm. CAN WE GET A MATCH, PLEASE?
Scott Hudson is standing by with Kid Kash and Dallas. When will the former Champions get their rematch? Kash says they won't get a rematch. He claims discrimination against the K-I-D, but from this moment on, Kash is going to prove how easy it is to get some gold. Not quite a gold standard promo.
Shane Douglas is "at the remote location outside the Asylum" where Raven is still hanging around in a ring inside an empty building. Raven says it's good that Shane has accepted retirement and fell into his role of holding a microphone. Raven says that he's never had a singles match with Sabu because Sabu is afraid of him. Raven brought Sabu to TNA for the sake of having a match with him, and Sabu has denied him that opportunity. If Sabu accepts his house of fun challenge, Raven promises to retire.
Scott Hudson is with David Young, who is baffled by tonight's Gut Check Match. Hudson says Young will be in a Gut Check Challenge, which is basically "you earn a spot on the roster by winning." Hudson notes Young's record is 0-53. D-Ray 3000 wanders in, not knowing where the ring is. Young says he should be fired, he doesn't even know where he is.
Scott Hudson continues to earn his paycheck, this time standing by with 3 Live Kru (BG James, Ron Killings, and Konnan). What is TRIPLE JEOPARDY? Konnan talks about a strap match and tells us "don't ask about the rules." If Jarrett survives, it's Double J and BG James in a Trailer Park Trash Match. "If you can swing it, you can bring it." AND IF JARRETT SURVIVES THAT, he's facing The Truth in a Ghetto Justice Match. Does TNA not know how to book babyfaces and heels?
Moments ago, Sonjay Dutt delivers Sabu's message to Raven. "There's no match tonight, and Raven knows about the promise." Raven responds by slapping Sonjay across the face. Dutt doesn't accept the response kindly and unloads with rights. Raven no-sells a trash can shot and hits Dutt low before planting him with the Raven Effect. Raven handcuffs Dutt to the ropes and makes a turban joke while placing a food strainer on his head.
Scott Hudson is with World Champion Jeff Jarrett. Maybe cut down on the interviews so we don't see Hudson 10 times in one show, or hire more personnel. Jarrett says Konnan can't count to 10 in either English or Spanish. Russo tried stacking the deck last week, and look what happened.
BG James comes out with a shopping cart full of goodies. Jarrett with an unsuccessful bum rush, getting smacked over the head with a trash can lid and metal mailbox. Jarrett cuts him off and rams him with the shopping cart. Minsa, a.k.a. Stephanie Bellars, formerly known as Gorgeous George (the girlfriend of Randy Savage), is watching intently. Meanwhile, Jarrett and James trade more weapon shots. I have ZERO memory of Minsa to the point I had to google her. Whip to the ropes and James busts out his signature jabs before whacking Jarrett with a trash can. They make their way to the announcer's table. Jarrett with a Stroke onto the guardrail to finish James at 3:16.
Ron Killings is the final roadblock for Jarrett with "Ghetto Justice." Still no clue what that means. Truth comes out with a guitar. Jarrett tries getting the jump but Truth hits him with a spinning forearm, followed by a running powerslam. Whip to the corner and Truth with a jumping leg lariat for two. If you took a drink every time they show Minsa, you'd be wasted by now, and we're only 7-minutes deep. Clever sign in the front row reads "JJJ fears The Truth." Get it? JEFF JARRETT WAS COMPARED TO TRIPLE H WITH HIS OWN REIGN OF TERROR. Jarrett takes control with weapon shots as the crowd just kind of groans. Truth counters a sleeper with a spinning back suplex. Truth catches Jarrett off the ropes with a sit-out spine-buster and plants him with the Falcon Arrow. Jarrett avoids a flying axe kick and snatches the guitar from the table. Why is the referee trying to stop him when weapons were used earlier? The referee gets the El Kabong treatment, and the distraction allows Truth to roll him up for three at 4:23 thanks to a second referee hitting the ring in record time. THE FIX WAS IN. How is this show this bad? If I rated each match individually, they would all be bottom of the barrel. Together? Still bottom of the barrel. ZERO STARS
We get a pre-tape from Goldy Locks, who isn't happy being accused of stealing Erik Watts' money. WHAT MONEY? Wherever she's cutting this promo has terrible acoustics, with annoying echo the entire time. She wants Watts' contract and suggests Abyss vs. Watts, money vs. contract.
Jeff Jarrett is still in the ring and in a foul mood while Mike Tenay eggs him on from ringside. Next Wednesday on PPV! Team NWA vs. Team Canada in a Flag Match! The NYC takes on Pat Kenney and Sonny Siaki in an "Ultimate Humiliation Match." AMW defends the Tag Team Titles against Monty Brown and Abyss! Tenay and West put over Impact on FSN, including clips from matches we haven't seen yet.
D'Lo Brown... RETURNING SOON. I didn't know he was gone.
Scott Hudson interviews A.J. Styles about tonight's Main Event. Styles says he only needs a 3-second mistake from Kazarian.
Back inside, Kazarian with a magistral cradle for two. Suplex and float over into a series of mounted right hands from the X-Division Champion. Styles tries the Styles Clash again, but Kazarian escapes and connects with a swinging neck breaker. He plants Styles with a slam and comes off the top with a high elevation leg drop. Unfortunately for Kazarian, Styles rolls out of the ring. Kazarian follows, dropping a double axe-handle across the back. Styles teases a comeback, hitting a diving splash in the corner. Kazarian avoids a second attempt and knocks Styles into the corner with a shotgun dropkick. Snap mare and Kazarian slows things down with a chin-lock. Kazarian willingly gives up the hold and sends Styles across the ring with another dropkick. Kazarian blows a kiss at some jabroni in the crowd. He hangs Styles up across the top rope but botches a springboard. Like, I have ZERO idea what he was going for. They fight for control on the ropes until Styles takes Kazarian to the floor with a super-plex! Both men are able to avoid the count-out, back when that spot wasn't done to death. Unfortunately, the spot loses a lot of Impact because the referee didn't continue the count while Kazarian was still on the floor. They trade blows, with Styles getting the better of the exchange. He lifts Kazarian up for a delayed suplex and turns it into a hangman's neck breaker for a near-fall. Kazarian flips through a back suplex but Styles surprises him with the Pele Kick. Kazarian counters the Styles Clash and sits down with a victory roll for "two". Maybe it was the camera, but I don't think I saw the shoulder come up. Kazarian with a Super-Kick for two. Styles blocks a flying hurricanrana but is caught with Wave of the Future for a near-fall. Styles fights out of a lift and turns Kazarian inside-out with a lariat. Kazarian nails Styles on the top rope with a jumping Super-Kick. Styles shoves Kazarian off the top rope and "hits" the Spiral Tap for two, but the bell rings anyway at 19:31 and despite Kazarian getting his shoulder up AT two, the referee awards the belt to Styles. Post-match, Dallas attacks Styles, setting up a further attack from Kid Kash. I don't know what happened, but this went from a pretty good match to a series of f*ck ups, and it's hard to ignore them when one is THE DECIDING FALL. I'm knocking a full star off the rating for the multiple screw-ups near the end of the match. **
Final Thoughts: After enjoying the launch of Impact, this PPV was a sobering reality of what NWA-TNA was for the most part: a lot of nonsensical overbooking and the referees being some of the worst the business had to offer. The best match of the night was ruined by one of the most incompetently executed finishes possible, and the rest is some Grade-A Russo junk. Women being assaulted by men, a bunch of random stipulation matches with no heat, and hey, they got Gorgeous George to make an appearance and do absolutely nothing. I don't know if this is a sign I should give up on the 2-hour weekly PPV's and just watch Impact and the monthly 3-hour offerings, but don't bother checking out anything from this show unless you're a TNALOL kind of person.