Team USA (professional wrestling)
Team USA (also known as Team NWA or Team TNA) is a wrestling faction brought together as part of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's X-Cup Tournaments, which involved a team of X Division contestants from various countries representing their nation in an international wrestling competition.
Team USA was created and led Jerry Lynn after he was appointed by TNA Management as the man for the job due to being a pioneer of the X Division. The other teams in the X-Cup Tournaments were Team Mexico or Team AAA, Team Britain, Team Canada, and Team Japan or Team AJPW.
They were also embroiled in a feud with Frankie Kazarian, who believed he was wrongfully overlooked by Lynn with regards to the selection of the team. Kazarian proceeded to make his point by attacking and defeating members of Team USA in an attempt to get Lynn's attention. Sonjay Dutt eventually left the team to pursue a grudge with Kazarian regarding this situation. Kazarian defeated Dutt and demanded the now-open spot on the team.
TNA responded by putting him in a match with Christopher Daniels for the open spot. Daniels won the match and joined Team USA.
With Daniels on Team USA, the team enjoyed instant success, winning an 8-man tag warm-up for the World X-Cup. Their momentum carried into the World X-Cup, where Team USA emerged victorious.
Jay Lethal was the first to qualify for the team, defeating Shannon Moore and Roderick Strong in a triple threat match. Chris Sabin was the second to qualify, defeating Alex Shelley and Sonjay Dutt for the role. Sonjay Dutt, who defeated Matt Bentley and Elix Skipper, was the third to qualify. Finally, Alex Shelley would qualify by defeating Roderick Strong and Chase Stevens.
At a later time, former Team USA captain Jerry Lynn was given the authority of coach/mentor for the team. Despite never coming to the ring with the team during the competitions, he advised them backstage and appointed former teammate Chris Sabin as the team captain for 2006.
World X-Cup Run
Team USA jumped ahead early in the World X-Cup, with Alex Shelley and Sonjay Dutt defeating Minoru Tanaka and Hirooki Goto of Team Japan on TNA Impact! to earn Team USA 2 points. Chris Sabin then defeated Puma of Team Mexico to earn Team USA another 3 points. After not scoring any points in the Gauntlet for the Gold match at Sacrifice, the team found themselves tied for first place with Team Canada after Petey Williams pinned Puma to win the Gauntlet.
Director of Authority Larry Zbyszko announced a sudden death tiebreaker between the captains of the two teams for the following episode of TNA Impact to determine the winner of the World X-Cup. Just before the match started, both respective teams were locked out of the Impact Zone. Chris Sabin defeated Petey Williams with the Cradle Shock to win the match at the tournament for Team USA.
The inclusion of Shelley on the team created controversy for Team USA, as the team was mostly full of babyface wrestlers, while Shelley was a heel working for Jeff Jarrett's Planet Jarrett faction. Problems with Shelley led to initial losses in exhibition matches featuring Team USA taking on Team Canada and Team Japan, but Shelley turned things around and became a productive member of Team USA, aiding their efforts.
Shelley later got involved with a second controversy that started during the World X-Cup. He was invited by Kevin Nash to conduct an interview with the big man. During the interview, Nash criticized TNA and threatened to destroy the X Division. Shelley showed the tape to Team USA, who took serious offense.
Nash appeared after the Gauntlet match at Sacrifice, beating down Puma after he had lost the match and delivering a Jackknife Powerbomb to the Team Mexico competitor. Nash also appeared the following week on TNA Impact, attacking Chris Sabin after he won the trophy. Nash broke the trophy and used parts of it to gouge Sabin, then delivered a Jackknife Powerbomb to him as well. Jerry Lynn and Team USA eventually was allowed back into the arena and made the save, but Shelley mysteriously departed with Nash.
After the 2006 World X-Cup, Alex Shelley formed the Paparazzi Productions along with Kevin Nash and they developed a short feud with USA 2006 Team Captain, Chris Sabin. Since then, Sabin is now teaming with Alex Shelley as the Motor City Machine Guns. Meanwhile, Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal are an on-again-off-again tag-team. Lethal is now known as "Black Machismo" and his character is based on that of "The Macho Man" Randy Savage. Dutt, on the other hand, is currently playing a character that is based on Gandhi.
Mexico won the World X Cup 2008.
Team USA won the World Cup of Wrestling in a tiebreaker match against Team Aces & Eights.
- Jerry Lynn (Captain)
- Chris Sabin
- Elix Skipper
- Sonjay Dutt (Left the team to pursue a feud with Frankie Kazarian)
- Christopher Daniels (Replaced Dutt)
World X Cup record
|2004 America's X Cup||2nd||N/A||Jerry Lynn|
|2004 World X Cup||1st||7||Jerry Lynn|
|2006 World X Cup||1st||6||Chris Sabin|
|2008 World X Cup||2nd||7||Kaz|
|2013 World Cup of Wrestling||1st||4||James Storm|
Championships and accomplishments
- Total Nonstop Action Wrestling