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Chairshot Classic: NWA-TNA, The Asylum Years Episode 1: Total Nonstop Talking

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TNA Wrestling Logo

I’ll admit, that I didn’t watch TNA in the beginning. I was living on my own and was struggling to pay rent and utilities and didn’t have cable. Plus, paying for a PPV every week was not something my parents would’ve been into, so I missed the first few years of TNA until it was available on free TV and enjoyed it for the most part, though I haven’t watched in a long time. So, when the Global Wrestling Network came out, I was quite excited to get a look at TNA’s early years.

I will preface this with a warning: I have never seen these shows before, so this article is my real-time reactions to what’s going on. Things in parenthesis is my color commentary.

The opening mimics and calls back the opening of the old wrestling shows of the territories. It’s got the old statue of two men wrestling and clips of the old NWA territories (I think). This promotion actually starts in the summer of 2002, over a year after the fall of WCW and ECW, so I’m assuming that none of these clips are of promotions owned by WWE. The TNA logo literally explodes out of this nostalgia, signaling that ‘Yes, this is the NWA, but we’re updating it and are more edgy’.

This actually looks a little like an opening to an 80s WCW show, to be honest, but the crowd seems hot, so let’s do this. Don West is introduced, he’s wearing an ugly shirt that could be Hawaiian and a pseudo-mullet from the 80s. He introduces Ed Ferrara, the person who took part in the mocking of JR back during the Monday Night Wars. Unsurprisingly, Ed, who is wearing dreadlocks for some reason, is not nearly as popular as Don West, but he gets crowd going. He says he’s all about T-n-A, and not just Total Nonstop Action (ew).  Ed introduces Mike Tenay as ‘The Professor of Vanilla’.

Tenay, the least sleazy looking one of the bunch, thanks us for joining the show and says that tonight’s show revolves around history, respecting it and making it. They brag about all the NWA legends being there and say that there will be a new NWA World Heavyweight Champion crowned that night. We get the rules for the Gauntlet for the Gold, which is basically the Royal Rumble until we get down to the final two, which will be fought as a straight fall match.

Jeremy Borash, with overly-frosted hair, introduces the legends that are in attendance: Harley Race, Dory Funk Jr, Jackie Fargo (Memphis legend, trained Jerry Lawler), ‘Bullet’ Bob Armstrong (Road Dogg’s father), Corsica Joe and Sarah Lee (no idea who they are), Bill Berhens (VP of the NWA), Ricky Steamboat, who is carrying the NWA Heavyweight Championship. The crowd loves this and is going nuts.

I really don’t like Ed Ferrara, I hope he doesn’t stay long because he is getting on my last nerve with his commentary.

Steamboat thanks everyone for coming, reminds them of his feud with Ric Flair, which is one of the best ever and says that winning the NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt meant more to him than any other victory in his career.

(Okay, Tenay’s starting to annoy me too.)

Steamboat compares being NWA World Heavyweight Champion to the World Series and Wimbledon. He says Gauntlet for the Gold will consist of twenty guys, which I’m guessing is basically the TNA locker room, but giving a number sounds better.  Steamboat also says that he will be the special guest referee for the final part of the Gauntlet for the Gold.

Scratch that, the entire commentary team annoys me.

We are interrupted by Jeff Jarrett, who is the actual co-owner of this circus. Jarrett makes it clear that he thinks the whole Gauntlet thing is stupid, pointing out that Steamboat didn’t win the belt in a Battle Royal. He won by beating Ric Flair one on one (should I point out that Ric Flair won the WWE Championship in a Royal Rumble?). He then proceeds to insult the legends while making the point that none of them won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in a battle royal. He then starts having words with Jackie Fargo, who tells him to kiss his ass. Fargo’s a little tough to understand but he’s chewing Jarrett out.

To be honest, I hope Jarrett beats some of these guys up, just to get them out of the ring.

Fargo then tells Jarrett that he (Jarrett) will the first entry into the Gauntlet for the Gold. Which means that Jarrett will have to outlast eighteen other men and win the one-on-one finish to be NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Jarrett accepts and predicts that he’ll win, which I’m pretty sure is the plan here. Some music hits and out comes Ken Shamrock, former WWF Intercontinental Champion.  I’m not sure what’s going on with Shamrock’s facial hair, but it looks really silly.

Shamrock agrees with Jarrett about the Gauntlet for the Gold, but indicates that he’s #20 in this match, which means Jarrett’s got to survive the Gauntlet match, including a fresh Ken Shamrock.

And they gripe about WWE being predictable, I’ve never seen this show before and I’m already sure Jarret’s winning.

Music hits again and it’s Scott Hall coming from the crowd (were they that strapped for talent?). Scott Hall also agrees that the Gauntlet match stinks. Hall doesn’t remember how many people are in this match, but he tells them to focus on beating one man: Scott Hall.

How much longer is this segment going to take?

Jarrett’s had about enough of this nonsense and tells everyone, Shamrock, Hall, and the Legends to stick it before warning Fargo that he’s going to regret this day as long as he lives before leaving and, thankfully, ending this segment.

We go backstage and a lady who says her name is Goldilocks who says the action is backstage and she’s got the action right here before introducing The Psycho Dwarf who says that the first match is going to be midgets (his words, not mine) because midgets are the true stars of the show. He cuts a very crude promo and Goldilocks looks like she’s torn between being disturbed and laughing, but she seems to be trying to take this seriously. The promo is interrupted by Jarrett throwing a tantrum.

We come back to scantily clad women dancing in cages, which I suspect Russo and/or Ferrara had something to do with, and our first match: A six-man tag team match.

X-Division Match: AJ Styles, Low Ki, and Jerry Lynn vs The Flying Elvises (Sonny Siaki, Jorge Estrada, and Jimmy Yang).

Styles, Low Ki, and Lynn come out to huge pops and we’re told that this is an X-Division match and are told what that means: Extreme wrestling and there isn’t a specific weight class, despite all six guys qualifying as cruiserweights. We cut to the Legends and they’re laughing and/or confused by the Elvises.

The teams exchange words before the Elvises get the jump on Styles and company.

No matter what Tenay says X-Division means, this is a cruiserweight match and is very hard to follow. However, all six guys are amazing competitors and this match is fun to watch.  I’m not really sold on Low Ki, for some reason, but the rest of the competitors are great. This match quickly devolves into chaos.

(can someone turn off Ferrara’s mic, please?)

Results: The Flying Elvises by pinfall after Yang pins Styles.

Highlights: A.J Styles is amazing to watch, even at the start of his career.

Comments: I really enjoyed this.

Midget Match (their words): Teo vs Hollywood.

The competitors get okay pops but this one is hard to follow, though there are midget jokes aplenty from the commentators. This match is sloppy in a lot of places, but these guys have plenty of fight. Scott Armstrong has his hands full with these two.

(Seriously, can we shut up Ed Ferrara? Don West is annoying enough, but Ferrara is unbearable).

Result: Teo by pinfall after a twisting Swanton.

Comments: Uh…yeah.

We’re getting an in-ring segment with Don and Ferrara, which means the sound’s going off because I’ve had just about enough of Ferrara and the show’s not half over yet.

We’re being introduced to the ladies who will be wrestling to be crowned Miss TNA, which seems to be a rough prototype for the Knockouts Division, though if Russo is involved, most of these women weren’t picked for their wrestling skills. To no one’s surprise, the Miss TNA match is a lingerie match, rather than an actual wrestling contest. However, we do see a very young Mickie James working as Alexis Laree. Francine (ECW’s Queen of Extreme) has had enough of West, Ferrara, and this whole set up and says that none of the women there deserve to be in the ring because they don’t compare to her. Never mind that Francine was never known for her wrestling prowess. The ladies take exception to Francine’s mouth and her claims of superiority over them.

Elektra (another ECW alum) grabs the mic and calls out Francine, points out that TNA doesn’t have ‘Extreme’ in the title and asks if Francine is ashamed because she singlehandedly bankrupted another company (ECW). Francine take exception to this, and I don’t blame her and the fight’s on. Francine rips Elektra’s top off and leaves, vowing to do the same to the other women.

West and Ferrara are having too much fun holding Elektra back, which makes this even creepier.

Backstage, Goldilocks is interviewing some dude called Mortimer Plumtree. Plumtree says his life has been full of torment which lead him to power. Apparently, he’s the manager of a tag team consisting of guys who used to torment him. Goldilocks looks really wigged out and I’m with her, this guy is creepy. He says his team does what he wants when he wants and don’t speak unless he allows them to, which probably isn’t often since he talks enough for three people.  His team is: The Johnsons.

(*slow clap*)

The Johnsons (with Mortimer Plumtree) vs Psychosis and Outlaw James Storm.

The Johnsons are two guys that are covered from head to foot in beige, including their masks. One of the commentators says that people were dissing the Johnsons without seeing what they can do first and that we should wait until after the match is over to diss them. (Fair enough)

Psychosis (without his mask) comes out with James Storm, who has, apparently, had the same gimmick since 2002.

The Johnsons aren’t great, but Psychosis and Storm are pretty good as a team.

Alicia (Ryan Shamrock for WWE fans, Symphony for WCW Fans) comes out and seems to be assessing the situation.

Back to the ring, Plumtree is berating his team to do better, but that might be a tall order.

(is Alicia going to do anything or is she just going to stand there?)

This match is bleh to say the least. Storm and Psychosis are okay, but the Johnsons need some work.

Results: The Johnsons by pinfall. The crowd isn’t having it. Alicia has a conversation with the ref and is paid some money by him. Okay.

Highlights: It ended.

Comments: Doing some research, I found that The Johnsons, aka The Shane Twins, aka Gymini, didn’t last long in TNA and were released after a few shows and I can see why.

Backstage, Goldilocks is catcalled by two hillbilly looking guys who are really gross. One of them looks familiar, but I’m not placing him.

(Some research has revealed that the guy doing most of the talking is a young Trevor Murdoch, who would be a WWE Tag champion during the first Brand Split with the late Lance Cade)

Goldilocks is trying to leave to film something, but the hillbillies seem to know what she’s going to film and come with her. In the locker room, we find a young lady dressed like an adult film version of Daisy Duke. According to Trevor, this lovely lady is his girlfriend and/or a cousin (oh dear). The Duke wannabes try to crack open some beers but a backstage person tells them that it’s not allowed because TNA doesn’t want intoxicated wrestlers in the ring.

(I wonder if that has something to do with a story Kevin Nash told about WCW’s party culture where the beer was on ice when they got to the arena)

Their lady…friend (according to Wikipedia, her name is Fluff Dupp) comments that there are a lot of sissies in TNA. Trevor and the other guy scoff at the idea of getting drunk on beer.

Goldilocks has had enough and excuses herself.

eremy Borash introduces Hervey Sadler (1993 Busch Series Rookie of the Year) and Sterling Marlin (the then points leader for the Winston Cup)

What? They are in Tennessee.

Tenay just said Marlin is the NWA World Heavyweight Champion of NASCAR. Yeah…no.

Sadler and Marlin get a good pop, but why they’re here is a mystery to me. Borash does an interview and the crowd is being very raucous.

Seriously, what are they doing here?

We’re saved from more of this by K-Krush (R-Truth, who had just been released by WWE, where he’d been wrestling as K-Kwik). Krush says he’s sick of racecar driving, which doesn’t go well with the crowd, and says that this is professional wrestling. He also said racecar drivers aren’t athletes. Krush says that he is an athlete, as are his ‘kind’ (I’m not sure if he means wrestlers or African Americans) and that Marlin’s ‘kind’ (NASCAR drivers or white people) drive a car around in a circle.

Never mind, this promo gets racial very quickly and Sadler steps in and asks how Krush expects anyone to take him seriously considering out he’s dressed. Things get nasty quickly as Krush gets a hold of Sadler, but Sadler is saved by Brian Christopher (Grandmaster Sexay of Too Cool), who starts fighting Krush.

Gotta say, the image of three white guys teaming up against one black guy while a mostly white crowd cheers them on is very disturbing.

Brian Christopher cuts a promo on Krush and challenges him to a match Krush’s ‘kind’ vs Christopher and the NASCAR guys.

Krush accepts the challenge and is dragged from the ringside area by some ‘security guards’.

We go backstage to find Jarrett assaulting Jackie Fargo (don’t think that’s a wise move Jeff) while the refs try to separate them. Jarrett says he wants Fargo to remember this night.

Back to the ring, it’s time for our next match, and it’s a tag team match!

Christian York and Joey Matthews (Joey Mercury) vs The Dupps (with Fluff)

York and Matthews are amazingly over! The Dupps are our hillbilly friends from earlier and aren’t quite as over, well Fluff might be.

Fluff scolds York and Matthews letting the Dupps get the jump on them, but York and Matthews quickly rally.

York and Matthews are great and Trevor is too, but Bo Dupp is a little too goofy, he does a bunny hop before going into a standing splash.

Results: The Dupps win it by pinfall after Fluff causes York to losing his balance that some how went unnoticed by Scott Armstrong, who was on the same side of the ring chastising Matthews and Trevor.

Comment: Oh heavens, what was that?

In what I’m assuming is a nod to the fact that TNA is in Nashville, Tennessee, aka Music City, USA, they do a tribute to the then CMA Male Vocalist of the Year, Toby Keith (who, at one point, tried to be a part owner of TNA) and his hit song ‘How Do Ya Like Me Now?’.

Seriously, what the actual f**k?.

Oh, there’s an actual point to the Toby Keith tribute, he’s going to sing before the Gauntlet for the Gold, but instead of the National Anthem, he’s singing ‘Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue’.

Jarrett interrupts the proceedings and Keith is pissed. Jarrett tells Keith to take his ‘Angry American’ ass out and says it’s time for the Main Event.

Gauntlet for the Gold. Winner becomes the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

Okay, this is going to be a little tough to follow. I can tell you that #2 is Buff Bagwell, who is quickly eliminated.

One difference between the Royal Rumble and the Gauntlet for the Gold is that we get a running clock of the full ninety seconds between competitors. Also, once someone is eliminated, the clock resets, no one gets a chance to catch their breath.

Why are there commercial breaks in a PPV?

Okay, Toby Keith is apparently an entrant in this thing and can do a basic suplex.

HOLD THE PHONE! Your humble reviewer has to eat her words. I’ve been thinking that this whole Gauntlet for the Gold was going to lead up to Jarrett being the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion, but Jarrett just got eliminated by Scott Hall and Toby Keith.

Okay, eliminating Jarrett seemed to be Keith’s objective and he’s out, but he’s following Jarrett up the ramp.

I don’t know why, but Gangrel has jumped in the ring, apparently, he’s an entrant, or Toby Keith was borrowing his number.

There’s a lot of former WCW and ECW guys in this match.

Okay, we are down to Malice and Ken Shamrock. Steamboat’s in the ring, let’s do this!

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match: Ken Shamrock vs Malice. Special Referee: Ricky Steamboat

This match was pretty rough. Malice has a lot of power, but not a lot of finesse. Shamrock’s history in MMA speaks for itself, plus both guys are pretty tired from the Gauntlet match, especially Malice.

There seems to be a lot focus on whether or not Malice taps out. Apparently, the announcers can’t tell the difference between a slap on the mat from pain and tapping out. Thankfully, Steamboat can, or this match would’ve been over already. Shamrock and Steamboat are having some words over Shamrock not wanting to break the ankle lock.

Results: Ken Shamrock by pinfall, unbelievably. Shamrock enters an exclusive club and unlike Shane Douglas, Shamrock doesn’t throw down the belt. Shamrock is a World Champion, something he never accomplished in WWF/E. The legends come out to congratulate Shamrock. Backstage, Jarrett, Fargo, and Toby Keith are still fighting. Jarrett seems to think Fargo sent Keith out there to screw him out of the title, and that’s probably a safe bet.

Comments: That was interesting.  Lot of filler guys, not enough guys that really seemed to have a chance of being champion. The swerve with Jarrett was interesting.

Jarrett comes out and is still bitching about the Gauntlet for the Gold and actually attacks a couple of the sturdier looking legends, which brings out Fargo, Toby Keith, and some security guards.  There’s a lot of yelling and threatening, and Fargo seems to think that Toby Keith being a good singer means anything in the wrestling business. Fargo also promises that Jarrett will get his ass whipped next week. Jarrett doesn’t want to wait until next week. Apparently, the match is going to be Jeff Jarrett vs Scott Hall. Hall run out from the back and the first TNA episode ends with Jarrett and Hall duking it while the security guards half-heartedly try to stop them.

Overall Thoughts:

So, how was the first episode of TNA? Like most first episodes of anything, it was very awkward. There was a lot of talking, I think the first segment took at least twenty minutes to get through before we got to an actual match.

The TNA locker room at this time seemed very lackluster. It seemed to consist of a lot of guys that were leftover from the collapse of WCW and ECW and either weren’t signed by WWE or were released after the Invasion angle ended towards the end of 2001. There is some young talent, but a lot of this roster seems to be made up of leftovers, which really isn’t surprising for what is basically a start-up/expansion wrestling promotion. However, there were also a lot of young guys that would become mainstays of the roster: Styles, Storm, and Harris.

The announce team was awful. Mike Tenay is a great source of wrestling information, but he is not a good lead announcer, at least not right now. He really needs a Jim Ross or Tony Schiavone type person to do the actual play-by-play. Don West and Ed Ferrara were both extremely cringe-worthy, though West wasn’t nearly as bad as Ferrara, but some research has assured me that Ferrara won’t be there much longer.

The Gauntlet for the Gold was an interesting match and had a pretty good swerve. I was convinced that Jarrett was going to win, but I wasn’t upset by Shamrock’s win.

The inclusion of NASCAR guys and Toby Keith was pointless, in my opinion, and the segment with the NASCAR guys and Brian Christopher ganging up on K-Krush was disturbing.

One thing I did notice was that, unless Jarrett was on camera, there was almost no mention of the Gauntlet for the Gold, which seems a little surprising considering that they spent the first twenty minutes of the show hyping it.

I will say that, for all the issues and eye-rolling, face-palming, moments, TNA showed a lot of promise. Jarrett showed that he could be a top guy to build a company around, something that really wasn’t evident in WCW. It looks like the Jarretts and company realize what they need to do to not only bring the NWA back into the mainstream, but make it a viable competition for WWE.

Stinkers: Oh, so many. I would have to say The Johnsons vs Storm and Psychosis just for sheer ‘WTF’.

Match of the Night: Gauntlet for the Gold was a surprisingly good match, even with a less than stellar roster.

Final Thoughts: This episode was very rough around the edges, but it showed promise and I did enjoy parts of it.


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: WCW Monday Nitro Episode 12 – Sting vs. Hogan

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WCW Monday Nitro

Here is the go-home Nitro for World War 3!

WCW Nitro: Episode 12
November 20, 1995
Macon Coliseum, Macon, GA

Bischoff, Heenan and McMichael are on commentary as usual getting us hyped for Hulk Hogan vs Sting in the main event. Bischoff is calling it the Super Bowl of professional wrestling, interesting they gave it away on free television.

Scott “Flash” Norton vs The Shark

The Shark attacks Norton on the entrance ramp and they brawl outside the ring. Bobby Heenan says that Shark is well over 500 pounds, who believes that??? The Shark gets control with a belly to belly suplex, but Norton starts no selling his strikes. Norton hits a scoop powerslam and gets the victory. This was a very lackluster match and seemed to be filler for a few minutes. John Tenta was so talented, it’s sad that he never caught on like he really could have.

Winner: Scott Norton via pinfall

Mean Gene interviews Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart at the entrance ramp. Hart is trying to rally Sting for his match against Hogan later, focusing on Hogan not being behind Sting as a talent. Taskmaster hypes up World War 3 and how the Dungeon of Doom has strength in numbers.

Disco Inferno is out to dance until Eddie Guerrero’s music hits and he runs off.

Eddie Guerrero vs Brian Pillman

This was supposed to be Ric Flair but he came out in street clothes with Brian Pillman in his ring gear. Flair cuts a promo about being so focused on Sting, that he’s having Pillman take his place. Replace one amazing competitor with another, I’m not mad. Guerrero in control early with a neck tie head scissors, big dropkick and belly to back suplex. He goes off the top rope but Pillman catches him with a dropkick to halt the momentum. Pillman hits his own belly to back suplex for a near fall. The two trade chops before Brian sticks a finger in Eddie’s eye and hits a snap powerslam for another near fall. Pillman suplexes Eddie out of the ring and misses a cross body on the railing. Eddie counters with his own MASSIVE cross body and brings Brian back in the ring. Eddie hits the brainbuster and goes to the top rope but Pillman crotches him up there. Eddie pushes Brian off the top rope and hits the frog splash to get the victory. A very fun match, I’m sure these two could seriously tear the roof off the place.

Winner: Eddie Guerrero via pinfall

We take a look back at Nitro from the previous week where the Dungeon of Doom and Lex Luger attacked Randy Savage and worked over his arm. Commentary is saying it is a serious arm injury that will need surgery. Eric Bischoff wonders if Macho Man is faking the injury to plot against Hulk Hogan.

Big Bubba vs Road Warrior Hawk

A rare singles match for Hawk and a younger Ray Traylor, I’m good with this. Hawk attacks Bubba to start and is in control after a back body drop. Hawk hits a scoop slam but misses a splash off the top rope. Bubba is in control now with strikes and a clothesline. Hawk makes a comeback but Bubba cuts him off with a big spinebuster before eating a right fist outside the ring. The men knock heads and Hawk goes to the top rope but Bubba counters it into a facebuster. Bubba pulls something from his pocket(maybe a roll of quarters?) and tapes up his hand. He goes to come off the ropes but Jim Duggan comes out of nowhere to trip Bubba who falls face first on the foreign object. Hawk makes the cover for the victory. Big hoss match, fun stuff.

Winner: Hawk via pinfall

Sting vs Hulk Hogan

This match has been hyped up all show as the be all and end all of professional wrestling. Sting comes out in red and yellow, fitting considering Hogan’s recent move to the “dark side.” We went to commercial before Sting’s entrance and apparently right after. Interesting television choices there.

Hogan’s music hit and there’s some boos in the crowd. Macho Man Randy Savage comes out and is motioning to the entrance for Hogan to come out for an uncomfortably long time. Hogan comes in through the crowd and postures to the crowd to mostly boos. Hogan is still clean shaven and dressed in black.

After the bell, Sting is on the offensive early with lots of strikes. Hulk takes control with strikes of his own and is getting a good amount of boos. Hulk misses a clothesline and tumbles over the top rope after 2 dropkicks. Hulk pulls Stinger out of the ring, puts his head into the guardrail and suplexes him at ringside.

Sting comes back in the ring with a running cross body and we are back on even ground. Hulk goes for a spinning toe drop and it looks awful and slow, same with his attempt at an armbar takedown. It’s obvious that he is wrestling out of his comfort zone. Sting takes control with crisp looking holds and transitions. Hulk rides a side headlock for a lengthy time before inexplicably just letting Sting go. Sting goes for a Stinger Splash and Hogan counters it into a bearhug for a few seconds before again letting him go.

Belly to back suplex garners a near fall for Hulkster and he hits a suplex for another near fall. Sting comes back and starts working over the leg before locking on the Scorpion Death Lock-that is good storytelling and psychology. Hogan powers out of it and starts his traditional hulk up comeback. Three punches, big boot to Sting’s face, but Sting avoids the leg drop. Hogan’s leg is hurting, Sting locks on the Scorpion Death Lock again.

The Dungeon of Doom comes down and attacks everyone but Sting and Hogan seem to overcome the 6 on 2 odds. The Giant comes down and goes to chokeslam Hogan and Sting. Macho Man hits Giant with a chair but eats a chokelsam for his effort. Hogan and Sting use a chair to clothesline The Giant over the top rope as we go to break.

Winner: No Contest via interference on both men

After the break, Taskmaster and Jimmy Hart are at the commentary table and are sent away by Bischoff. This is being billed as an appetizer to World War 3. Bischoff pushes the narrative that WCW is unpredictable and anyone could walk out of World War 3 as WCW Heavyweight Champion as Nitro goes off the air.

The build to World War 3 has been fun, it’ll be interesting to see how it progresses and changes the show going forward!


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Chairshot Classics: Raw #11 (April 5 1993)

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Monday Night Raw Logo

Welcome to the Granddaddy of them all in it’s infancy years as we put the Monday into Monday Night Raw as we cover Monday Night Raw episode by episode. Last night (in 1993) was WrestleMania 9. Here are the results:

. Tatanka beat Intercontinental Champion, Shawn Michaels by Count Out
. Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner beat Samu & Fatu when Scott Steiner pinned Samu after a Frankensteiner
. Doink beat Crush when a second Doink hit Crush with a fake arm
. Razor Ramon beat Bob Backlund after a Small Package
. Ted DiBiase & IRS beat Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake to defend the Tag Team Titles by DQ
. Lex Luger beat Mr Perfect after a Backslide
. The Undertaker beat Giant Gonzales by DQ for using chloroform
. Yokozuna beat Bret Hart to win the WWE Title after Mr Fuji threw salt in Bret Hart’s eyes
. Hulk Hogan beat Yokozuna to win the WWE Title after a Legdrop Of Doom

Also, one of my colleagues was nice enough to review it so I don’t have to. Here it is.

WrestleMania IX: Genius Gamble or Busted Flush?

All caught up? Good. This may be the night after WrestleMania but it’s not going to be the big deal that it is today. Is it any good though? One way to find out.

Raw #11 (April 5 1993)

Vince and Savage welcome us to Raw (no Bartlet!!!!!! *streamers*) and they run through some of the matches on tonight’s show.

. Bam Bam Bigelow vs Virgil

While this wasn’t an enhancement match, there really was only ever going to be one winner of this. To his credit Virgil got some offence in. Probably enough so he’s not considered Enhancement. To make things worse, Vince and Savage spend half the match discussing the events of WrestleMania and basically ignoring this match. I know it’s a post PPV Raw but they should find a way to give an equal cover to the match AND last night’s show. Bigelow won this following a top rope Headbutt.

Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow

Jerry Lawler is supposed to wrestle but he decides not to as the crowd refuse to stop chanting “Burger King

We see a backstage interview that was clearly taped at WrestleMania with Mr Fuji, Yokozuna and Mean Gene. Gene points out that Fuji is unhappy at the result of last night with Fuji feeling that Yokozuna’s WWE Title match with Hulk Hogan was unsanctioned and as a result Yokozuna should still be champion. Talk about leading the witness, neither Fuji nor Yokozuna spoke a word here.

. Bob Backlund vs Kim Chee

I don’t know if this is Enhancement or not. Granted that is due to my not knowing that Kim Chee wrestled. As matches go this was fairly even but I feel that, like the last match, only one was ever going to win. Backlund won with a Bridging Roll Up. Or at least that’s as good as I can describe it. If you have a better name, Tweet me.

Winner: Bob Backlund

. Damian Demento vs Jim Brunzell

I thought Brunzell left years ago! Worse still, Rob Bartlett calls in. Apparently he’s ran out of money and is still in Vegas. What’s even odder is that I’ve seen WrestleMania a few times over the years and I have no recollection of ever seeing him to the point that I thought last week was HIS last week (still hopin’). This match was alright. It screams filler but that doesn’t make it bad. Demento looked quite good on offence and got the win here after a Neckbreaker followed by a Knee Drop

Winner: Damian Demento

Bret Hart IcoPro ad.

Randy Savage Slim Jim ad.

We get an ad for the Encore Presentation of WrestleMania.

. Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner vs Blake Beverley & Beau Beverley

This is a better match. This match SHOULD have been the main event. This was a proper match between two name teams. Scott’s power and suplexes looked good as they usually do. Beverly’s slowed it down and worked on face in peril until the hot tag. Basic tag team formula but if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Scott got the pin after a Frankensteiner on Blake.

Winners: Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner

The “hyperactivity” ad for Mania airs.

. Jerry Lawler vs Jim Powers

Another one sided match with only ever one winner. Not a lot I can say. It was decent, it was basic. I still say the Steiner’s match should have been the main event. To prove how much of a basic Jerry Lawler match this is, Lawler won wth a Piledriver.

Winner: Jerry Lawler

We get the action figure ad.

Jerry Lawler says it’s easy to be tough when you’re in a seat. It looks like Savage and Lawler may have an altercation. Vince plugs Money Inc vs Bushwackers next week and we fade out.

Post Show: For a post WrestleMania show this was bizarre. The debuts, the chanting crowds, the party atmosphere that we take for granted in 2018 are non-existent here. Tat said, this was a better show than the previous ten. I don’t know if it’s because WWE have found the right balance for the show, if it’s due to a lack of Bartlett or a lack of enhancement matches. Either way it was better and long may it continue.

Match Of The Night: Steiners vs Beverleys. Have you not been paying attention?

MVP: Bam Bam Bigelow. Vince and Savage may have ignored him but I like him

Rating: 8/10

With that I am done. I can be found on Twitter @Callaweasy2220 where I live tweet Raw, Smackdown, NXT and (when there is one on) Pay Per View. Also feel free to tweet me your opinions on the new format I’ve been doing for the last two weeks. Do you like it? Hate it? If you just want to talk wrestling you can Tweet me about that too.

While you are here feel free to peruse all the news, views and reviews that we at Chairshot have to offer. Maybe after reading this, you want to contribute yourself. You can find how to do just that here at Chairshot too.

I’ll be back next week with the next thrilling installment of Raw so until then #UseYourHead and ALWAYS have an Angle!


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Classic IMPACT

Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA #6 – July 24, 2002

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This week, TNA will be dealing with the aftermath of last week’s shenanigans, including Jeff Jarrett’s somewhat understandable anger at his treatment by NWA leadership. Sabu will have his one-on-one match with Ken Shamrock for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn will have to try and put their differences aside in order to hold on to their Tag Team Championship. Plus, James Mitchell and his minions are running loose. This is also the first TNA to come from the Asylum of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. So, let’s see what’s going on!

Opening

This week’s show opening is a definitely scaledown from previous shows: No opening montage, no pyro, the Asylum reminds me of old episodes of the territory shows, which is actually very refreshing.

We start at ringside where Jeff Jarrett is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. He’s attacking the security guards sent to make him leave with a steel chair. Jarrett basically says that he’s done talking, his silence will be deafening and will consist of raw violence, because that’s worked so well up to now. He demands that Shamrock comes out with his (Jarrett’s) title or there’s going be bodies laying out around the ring. He then says that he’s been making his case for five weeks that he should be NWA Champion, but people aren’t listening. He basically threatens to hold the show hostage until he gets the title shot he was robbed of last week by NWA leadership.

We go backstage where Security is surrounding Shamrock, presumably to keep him from going out to confront Jarrett. Shamrock’s cooperation lasts about two seconds and then he’s taking out the security guards, except for one big, blond guy who seems to be the only security guard who knows what he’s doing, but he also gets his butt kicked.

Bob Armstrong and someone who looks like one of the Harris Brothers (DOA in WWE) are trying to calm Shamrock down, but step aside once its clear that he means business. Shamrock then locks Armstrong and Harris in the room and heads to the ring. Some unknown musclehead demands to know what’s going on and Shamrock tells to be sure that no one leaves the room or gets inside.

Back in the ring, NWA Vice President, Bill Behrens, who has been constantly trying to put out the Jarrett wildfire with a garden hose, decides to try gasoline instead. He suspends Jarrett for sixty days due to Jarrett’s actions over the last few weeks, ignoring the fact that Jarrett’s actions were a reaction to the NWA’s treatment of him, justified or not. He also tells Jarrett that he can leave under his own steam like a gentleman or be dragged out by security, apparently not realizing that his crack security team has been taken out by Ken Shamrock.

Jarrett’s reaction to this latest BS, is to whack Behrens upside the head with the steel chair, to the joy of the crowd. Shamrock comes out and a fight breaks out. Since Security is a little preoccupied, a couple of guys from the locker room come out to try and restore order. Jarrett uses the distraction to nail Shamrock with the steel chair. Before the babyface enforcers can do anything, Lawler and K-Krush come to Jarrett’s rescue. Jarrett says something to Tenay, but it’s hard to understand what he said.

While order is being restored, we get a rundown of tonight’s card. Again, Tenay talks about Jarrett’s disdain for authority, while ignoring the fact that Jarrett has a very good reason to be upset considering that the NWA officials have seemed to go out of their way to screw him over for expressing his opinion and not sucking up to them. Last week’s arbitrary revoking of his #1 Contender match is a good example.

Amazing Red vs Lo Ki

Amazing Red comes out to a minimal pop. Lo Ki gets a better pop, but he looks like he’s in a bad mood.

This match was very fast paced, but not a lot of wrestling, in my opinion. This was Amazing Red’s TNA debut and it’s easy to see why he became a staple of the X Division for several years and actually seems to have Lo Ki’s number, but Lo Ki gets his game together.

Have to say that Red loses some badass cred when Lo Ki kicks off his bandana and he’s revealed to slightly resemble Carrot Top.

Ferrara makes a comment that this match resembles a Jackie Chan movie and I have to agree to a point.

Lo Ki hits the Ki Krush and gets the three count.

Winner: Lo Ki by pinfall

Comment: I think I would’ve liked this match more if it hadn’t seemed like such a spot fest. There was very little actual wrestling and just a lot of kicking and flips.

We still have the dancing girls, but they’re a little more dressed than last week.

Goldilocks is trying to keep up with Jarrett who is trying to get Shamrock’s friend to let him into where Shamrock is, but Muscles isn’t having it, but Jarrett doesn’t care, but backs off for now.

Hot Shots vs James Storm and Chris Harris

 Hot Shots are out first to an okay pop, they’re still pretty generic looking and the crowd doesn’t seem terribly impressed. One of the Hot Shots gets on the mic and says that, and I quote, “We’re pricks, we’re proud, and we’re protruding”.

Storm and Harris, who really should be in the Tag Title hunt, get a huge pop.

In an earlier interview, it’s revealed that the Hot Shots are the ones that jumped Storm and Harris in Episode 3, not the Rainbow Express or the Dupps. This doesn’t make any sense to me sense the Hot Shots weren’t part of the show that night. Anyway, Storm and Harris vow to teach the Hot Shots a lesson. Storm is acting goofier than a pet coon, to quote JR, and it seems to be getting on Harris’ nerves.

Back to the ring, the match has already started, and the Hot Shots are already trying to bail out, but Storm and Harris aren’t having it.

Apparently, Tenay doesn’t buy the story of the Hot Shots taking out Storm and Harris either, but Ferrara points out that the absence of Storm and Harris opened the door for the Hot Shots to get a match on PPV.

Harris is taking care of business and tags in Storm but Hot Shots keep him from getting into the ring and a fight breaks out outside. The Hot Shots are dominating Storm, but Storm refuses to stay down.

The Hot Shots are playing arrogant heels very well, problem is that they’re so unknown that no one really cares. Hot Shot #2 misses the moonsault but hits Storm anyway, but Storm is still able to tag in Harris.

Okay, whatever Storm was smoking, drinking, or rubbing into his belly seems to have worn off because he’s all business. Harris hits a Northern Lights Suplex for the three.

Winner: James Storm and Chris Harris by pinfall

Hot Shot #1 attacks them both from behind and take them both out.

Comment: That was a pretty good match. I hate how Storm was being portrayed in the earlier interview, but the match was good.

Backstage, the long-suffering Goldilocks is with the trainers, working on Ken Shamrock, to make sure he’ll be able to meet Sabu later in the evening. Shamrock seems to be groggy, but that only lasts a few seconds. He grabs the trainer and demands to know where Jarrett is, when the trainer can’t answer that question, Shamrock loses it.

Apolo vs Brian Lawler

 Apolo is out first to a good pop. Lawler is out next to a pretty good pop. He’s not dancing around like he was last week and seems to have embraced toning things down, though he still hates hearing ‘Jerry’s Kid’ from the crowd.

This match is a real contrast in styles and personas, but it’s pretty good, at least so far. Apolo is dominating the match, but Lawler keeps coming back. Apolo is a beast, and I mean that nicely. He’s got a good look and can go in the ring. For all his whining about his father, Lawler seems to be taking moves out of his dad’s heel playbook.

After some ‘eh’ back and forth, Apolo goes for the kill, but Lawler counters. Lawler got his lip busted but doesn’t seem to mind it too badly. He still wastes too much time dancing, which you shouldn’t do with someone like Apolo. Lawler’s time-wasting costs him, Apolo does a quick roll up for the victory. Lawler can’t believe it and goes to the commentators, who try to explain what happened, but Lawler is livid and goes after Don West. Since there is still no security, the only people to help West are Tenay, Ferrara, and some other guy at ringside.

Winner: Apolo by pinfall

Comment: I was ‘eh’ on this match. It was good, but it seemed like a waste of both guys, who really didn’t benefit from any part of the match.

K-Krush is out to a mixed reaction. We get a recap of what K-Krush did to Norman Smiley, which is disturbing in any circumstances, but especially in the South. We also are shown him doing the same to Scott Hall.

K-Krush seems to have no remorse over what happened. He says his name is ‘The Truth’. Okay, that’s easier to type. He says that ‘They’ gave him the name ‘K-Krush’ and he won’t be ‘Their’ puppet any more. The crowd seems torn on how to react. A lot of people are supporting Truth, but just as many want him to shut up.

Truth says he doesn’t abide by ‘Their’ rules and it’s all about the truth. He still won’t come out and say that the NWA won’t put the title on him because he’s black, but he invokes Al Iverson, OJ Simpson, and Mike Tyson, saying that they are all great men kept down by ‘Them’, rather than by their own actions, and all of them are African-American athletes who had trouble with the law.

This crowd is getting nasty and the situation is saved by Monty Brown, who is completely over this. Truth looks really scary and isn’t backing down, so Brown MIGHT want to watch his step.

Brown talks about his accomplishments, which were a distant memory in 2002 and says that ‘They’ helped him accomplish his goals. He then tells Truth that maybe the problem isn’t ‘Them’, maybe the problem is that Truth isn’t as great as he thinks he is. Them’s fightin’ words, as my grandfather would say.

Truth is looking increasingly crazy and pissed off, which could be bad for Brown. He tells Brown that he doesn’t have a problem with him (why don’t I believe that), and that Brown isn’t the one Truth has a problem with. Brown’s got his own bills to pay and so does Truth. He then tells Brown to take his selling out, Uncle Tom (DUDE!), ass out of Truth’s ring.

The crowd goes ballistic, and so does Truth, who takes quick advantage of Brown’s shock to attack him. Brown quickly regains his bearings and the fight’s on. Brown hits the Alpha Bomb, but this issue is just getting started.

We get a recap of the Jerry Lynn/AJ Styles issue right before their tag team match.

We get a pre-match interview involving Mike Tenay. Both guys own up to their issues with each other, but they seemed to have declared a truce and are trying to work things out, but there does seem to be some remaining tension, and considering that they’ve spent the last two weeks beating each other up as often as their opponents, this truce seems shaky at best.

NWA Tag Team Championship Match: AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn vs Flying Elvises

 Flying Elvises are out in full. Jorge Estrada and Jimmy Yang are going to be the ones competing this week, Sonny Siake is there to run his mouth. The champs are out to a great pop.

Unlike the Amazing Red/Lo Ki match, this is NOT a spot fest. There are a lot of spots, but there is actual wrestling in this. Lynn’s veteran experience is really on show here and the champs make a good show of working together in the early stages of the match.

This match is very fast moving, so it’s a little hard to keep up with but it’s still a really good match. These four guys are really good, it almost looks like they’re dancing with each other.

Finally, the Elivses get tired of being good dance partners and start playing dirty, which is easy for them since they have the numbers’ advantage. Styles is taking a classic buttkicking, but he’s giving as good as he gets, but he’s also making the Elivises look good.

Lynn finally gets tagged in and starts cleaning house. It LOOKS like a three count got broken up too late by Yang. Lynn calls on Styles to hit a move to take the Elvises out, but the Elvises get out of the way and Styles hits Lynn, which busts Lynn open, probably due to Lynn overblading a little.

Elvises are going after Styles, but I don’t think Styles is the legal man. Finally, Lynn gets the pin due to the ref actually remembering who the legal guys were.

Winner: Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles by pinfall

Styles apparently thought he was the legal man and is pissed that Lynn ‘stole’ the pinfall from him and leaves. Guess they’re still working on things.

Comment: That was a much better X Division match than Lo Ki and Amazing Red. Glad the storyline of Styles vs Lynn was advanced and that the Flying Elvises got some ring time.

Coming back from commercial, there’s a guy sitting in a mismatched 1970s looking living room suit that looks like it came from a garage sale (which, given that it’s summer in Tennessee, is probably very likely).

A close up reveals that our friend is revealed to be the notorious (and notoriously bad) Disco Inferno (Jeez, they were desperate for cheap talent). Disco’s got a new haircut and isn’t dancing, thankfully. He brags about his win/loss record and how great he is. No man is an island, but any man can be a delusional idiot, apparently.

Disco seems to be confusing his accomplishments with ones that anyone gives a damn about, before trashing Nashville, which really sets the crowd off. Disco keeps on talking and pissing people off. Apparently, his new goal in TNA is to help people. He wants to help Ken Shamrock get a personality and he wants to help Jerry Lynn get some cosmetic surgery. He compares himself to 90s talk show hosts: Sally Jesse Raphael, Jerry Springer, and Montel Williams. He’s going to his own segment called ‘Jive Talkin’ (Oh boy).

Backstage, Ken Shamrock meets up with his musclehead friend, who warns him that Jarrett is looking for him. Shamrock replies that Jarrett better pray that he DOESN’T find him.

Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger vs Monty Brown and Elix Skipper

Diamond and Swinger are out first to a minimal pop, though they’re apparently ECW alumni. Monty Brown and Elix Skipper get a slightly better pop. Tenay poo poos Skipper’s CFL career while bragging about Brown’s two Super Bowl trips.

Anyway, this match was okay. Skipper and Brown were actually a pretty good team with a contrasting look and styles that worked for them, but Diamond and Swinger weren’t slouches either.

Skipper is really good, but some of his stuff looks like he hurts himself just as much as the opponent. Brown gets tagged in and starts kicking some ass. An attempt by Skipper to help Brown out ends with Skipper nailing Brown, and Skipper getting nailed with Diamond and Swinger’s finishing move, but since Skipper wasn’t legal, they can’t get the pin. Brown hits the Alpha Bomb on one of his opponents and gets the pin.

Winner: Monty Brown and Elix Skipper

Things change when Truth does and run in and chokes Brown with his belt. Apparently, Skipper was in on this ruse, because he leaves Brown to his fate.

Comment: That wasn’t an awful match. If not for what happened with Truth, I would’ve said that with a few more matches to iron out the kinks, Brown and Skipper could’ve been a real force in the tag division.

Backstage, Goldilocks is stuck trying to get an interview with the Dupps, minus Fluff, but she warns them that if they start anything, she’s leaving. For some reason, Blond Dupp’s mouth is bleeding. He starts by saying that pink is his favorite color. Goldilocks figures she knows where this is going and starts to leave but they don’t let her. Finally, Hat Dupp says that the real problem is that they don’t have a match tonight and Hat left Fluff with Pop Dupp, which is apparently not a good thing for Pop, Fluff, or the sheep (EW!!!!!!!!). Blond Dupp has an idea, apparently, all you have to do to get a match is to bump into someone. They then start ‘bumping’ into an increasingly pissed off Goldilocks, who is stuck between them.

Goldilocks has finally reached her limit with this crap and warns Hat Dupp that if doesn’t get his hands off her breasts, he’s going to be singing soprano (Tell em Goldilocks!). Realizing that they aren’t going to get a match with Goldilocks, Hat Dupp gets the brilliant idea of bumping into a guy instead. So, Blond Dupp sends him after Shamrock’s musclehead friend, who is still guarding the room where NWA security is being held. Not surprisingly, Muscles is not impressed, or happy, with this plan and it looks like Hat’s going to get his match.

Hat Dupp vs Ian Harrison

Okay, this is apparently NOT the scheduled match, but the Dupps have wood and Borash is smart enough to not argue with them. Apparently, the Dupps don’t know who they just picked a fight with, they want him introduced as ‘Musclehead guy from the back’ and Borash just goes with it.

Okay, Muscles’ REAL name is Ian Harrison, he’s a professional body builder who has won or placed in several bodybuilding competitions and he’s known as the ‘Iron Brick’ in his native England. Basically, the WORST guy to pick a fight with. Considering that there’s been no mention of Harrison being anything BUT a body builder, this is either going to be fantastic or an absolute trainwreck.

Hat gets the jump on Harrison and this thing is on. Harrison seems to have some basic wrestling moves knowledge, but he’s going to need some work, and by some, I mean a lot more than whatever he’s gotten so far.

Okay, whatever they’re planning for Harrison just got declared DOA. Hat took him down with two elbow shots.

This match isn’t great. Harrison should’ve already crushed Hat to pulp and, instead, Hat is managing to get in a lot of offense. Granted, Harrison is clearly out of his element and Hat’s doing his best, but this is just ‘bleh’.

Finally, Blond Dupp does a run in and Harrison gets a DQ victory. The Dupps try to attack him with their might boards, but the boards meet a tragic end when Harrison snaps Hat’s board over his knee. At this tragic calamity, the Dupps run for higher ground.

Winner: Ian Harrison by DQ

Comment: On a scale of one to ten, that was awful. I hope they weren’t planning on making Harrison into a monster wrestler, because that isn’t how you do it.

Backstage, Jarrett is hellbent on getting HIS title. Since the Dupps got Harrison out of the doorway, he can now let the security guards, Bob Armstrong, and one of the Harris brothers out. Apparently, Shamrock’s already in there and a fight breaks out. Thankfully, there’s a room full of pissed off security guards to break things up. Finally, the Harris brother that was locked in all night tells Shamrock to go take care of his title and security’s going to handle Jarrett, never mind that Shamrock’s the one who locked them in all night.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match/Submission Match
Ken Shamrock vs Sabu

Sabu is out first to a great pop. For some reason, Sabu’s headgear is an American flag. We get a recap of last week’s ladder match. Shamrock gets a good pop, but this mix of gimmick matches is not giving me a lot of confidence in the quality of this match because it makes absolutely no sense.

This match isn’t great. It’s better than some of the matches we’ve seen tonight, but it isn’t the best. Sabu is a very odd pick for an NWA Title match because he’s not really that good of a wrestler, though he was matching submission holds with Shamrock. The ladder is only featured in a couple of spots, this is another excuse to have Sabu be Sabu and the opponent and stakes are a distant second.

Finally, Shamrock goes to retrieve his belt, realizing that Sabu is not going to submit and gets it in the easiest retrieval in history. While he’s trying to get the belt unhooked, the lights go out. When the lights come up, Malice slides into the ring and attacks Shamrock, chokeslamming him off of the ladder. Malice then climbs the ladder himself and takes the title. Never mind that he was not a competitor in this match, and therefore, has no right to the title.

Tenay suddenly remembers that Jarrett vowed to leave with the NWA title and hints that Jarrett might be behind this, which would be a pretty stupid thing for Jarrett to do, considering how treacherous James Mitchell and his New Church are.

Winner: Even though Shamrock had the title and had it pretty much unhooked, the match is declared a no contest due to the run in and confiscation of the title by Malice.

Comment: What did I just sit through?

Overall Comments

So, how was the first TNA from the Asylum? It was okay. The matches were lackluster at best, except for a few bright spots, but the bigger story is the reset of TNA. This show was very scaled down, no pyro, or fancy stuff, much more reminiscent of how wrestling was in the 80s.

As far as storytelling, someone seems to have realized that a show based around stuff that was too trashy for the Attitude Era was probably not the best storytelling model. The storylines were taken back to basics and the other…stuff, the women who couldn’t wrestle, and the little people, were taken out. Even the dancers were more covered and not gyrating as much.

My issue with how Goldilocks, as the only woman in TNA, was treated and is still there, but in the one questionable situation that really arose, she was allowed to stand up for herself, which I did like.

The one situation I was extremely uncomfortable with was the K-Krush/Truth thing. I found the not quite calling the NWA racist while whining about racism a little hard to swallow and the hanging black men by the neck in the ring was disturbing on way too many levels to go into here, but especially to do this in the South, as was Truth calling Monty Brown an ‘Uncle Tom’. Someone needs to put the brakes on this or they’re going to start having big problems.

The NWA title situation needs to change desperately. I don’t want to say that Ken Shamrock is a bad champion, but his booking and the way the NWA title is being used is ridiculous, and tonight’s title match was a prime example. It was like they didn’t want to do another ladder match but didn’t want to make the match appear stacked in Shamrock’s favor, so they tried to do both and just created a big mess. The run in by Malice just added stupidity to the equation, though the hint that Jeff Jarrett masterminded the whole thing is at least an interesting theory.

Speaking of Jeff Jarrett, the confusing way he’s being booked is looking like they’re trying to recreate Austin vs McMahon, only it’s going to be Jeff Jarrett vs the NWA and it’s not working, mainly because Jarrett’s persona is too different from Steve Austin’s to make it work the way Austin vs McMahon did, plus the NWA people he’s up against are way too boring to be good Vince McMahon stand ins. Jarrett has proven to have the stuff to be the guy to build a brand around, but he needs better people to butt heads with to make this work.

Stinkers: Ian Harrison vs Hat Dupp. I don’t know what they were planning to do with Harrison, but whatever it was failed spectacularly. Shamrock/Sabu is a close second.

Snoozers: Apolo vs Brian Lawler. It was an okay match, but it really didn’t do either man any favors.

Match of the Night: Lynn/Styles vs Flying Elvises. This was about the only match that was actually worth watching again.

Final Thoughts: This was a rough reset of TNA, but I do think it shows some promise overall with a little more work on match quality and storytelling.


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