This week, TNA deals with the aftermath of last week’s X Division match, the falling out of Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles, and Jeff Jarrett’s insistence that he was promised a shot at Ken Shamrock’s World Heavyweight title. We’ve also got the ongoing mystery of who is attacking NWA officials that cross Jeff Jarrett. Is it Jarrett or is something else going on? Let’s find out
We start with a recap of last week’s ending and Jarrett’s insistence on being #1 Contender, as well as his assault on anyone who gets in his way.
We start with a segment taped earlier in the day of Goldilocks trying to get an interview with Ken Shamrock. In a display of the head writer’s serious issues with women, Shamrock screams at Goldilocks, who is just trying to do her job, and calls her a bitch before belittling and threatening her and telling her to back off.
(Seriously, Vince Russo needs a psychiatrist if he thinks that this is edgy and not misogynistic)
We start the usual pyro and Mike Tenay gives us the expected card for tonight: We’re going to have a #1 Contender’s match, which is going to be a ladder match between Malice and Jarrett.
Before we can find out the rest of the card, we’re sent to the back, where Scott Hall is assaulting Jeff Jarrett. We find out that Hall is going to face Brian Lawler later in the evening, but he wants to take care of some business with Jarrett first. Jarrett manages to turn the tides on Hall, but Hall seems determined to stop Jarrett from getting his match. They’re finally separated by NWA officials, though Jarrett is then told he forfeited his match, despite being attacked by Hall.
Don West’s jacket is red with black pinstripes. It’s not as godawful as last week’s but it’s not great.
Ladder Match to Determine the #1 Contender For the World Heavyweight Championship: Malice (with James Mitchell and the Disciples of the New Church) vs Sabu.
Malice and company come out to little reaction. No one is quite sure what’s going to happen since the NWA arbitrarily took Jarrett out of the match.
James Mitchell gets on the mic and he looks very smug. He says that he regrets announcing that due to unforeseen circumstances, Jeff Jarrett will not be able to bleed tonight. He says that Malice is willing to wash his hands in another victim’s blood and extends an open challenge.
Before much more of this charming tirade and the lights go out and when the lights go back up, it’s Sabu! The homicidal, suicidal, genocidal maniac of the original ECW. The crowd goes nuts! Apparently, Sabu was supposed to make his debut later in the evening, but crap happens.
Given the participants involved and the nature of the match itself, this is NOT a showcase of fine wrestling skills.
Unlike most ladder matches, the contract for a title shot seems like a distant second to just letting Sabu and Malice beat the hell out of each other. We were a good five minutes into the match before the ladder was even touched by anyone and another two or three before anyone made an attempt to get the contract. Malice is a good, if not very refined, wrestler and showed off a lot of impressive skills, but Sabu is just…not good. He’s good at finding ways of bleeding and breaking bones, but he’s not a great wrestler and it tells compared to Malice.
Compared to WWE, spots off the ladder have been few and far between. Again, the title shot is being treated as a VERY distant second to just letting two guys beat each other up.
Ah, we finally get the ‘Push the ladder so that the person on it lands on the conveniently placed table outside’ spot, which gives Sabu time to climb the ladder and get the contract.
Winner: Sabu. James Michell and his crew are not happy about this and attack Sabu from behind, but Sabu’s dealt with crazier people than this bunch and fights back, but the numbers game is a little too much.
Comment: To me, it’s never a good sign when a title shot isn’t as important as letting two guys, who aren’t the best wrestlers, fight. They could’ve had this match without the title shot on the line and made the title shot match between Hall and Jarrett.
Backstage, the NWA officials are STILL fighting with Jarrett, who refuses to leave without the title shot he was robbed of. It’s hard to understand what’s being said, but no one’s happy. I’m on Jarrett’s side a little, here, the NWA had no right to just arbitrarily strip him of his title shot over a backstage fight. If they didn’t want him in the match, they shouldn’t have scheduled it.
Back at ring side, the ref is helping Sabu to his feet after his beatdown when AJ Styles comes out. AJ doesn’t look like he’s in a good mood. Apparently, he wants to talk to Jerry Lynn about what happened last week, but Lynn seems to be in a fighting mood tonight, and tells him to shut up, but apparently, Lynn will tell us why he decided to beat up his tag team partner.
Basically, Lynn’s mad that he’s getting showed up by Styles, who is younger, and a little more talented than him and he thinks that Styles is a glory hound, even though Lynn was the one who tapped Styles to be his tag team partner. He also seems to be bitter over Styles beating him for the X Division title.
Styles doesn’t look like he can believe that someone he seemed to have a lot of respect for is acting like this, but the story seems to be making Lynn a bitter veteran who is getting passed by the younger generation and doesn’t like it.
Styles seems to take Lynn’s criticism to heart and agrees to basically play junior partner to Lynn, despite being a double champion. Lynn seems placated and turns his back, only for Styles to pay Lynn back for last week with a kick upside the head and a beatdown of his own, ending in a Styles Clash. Safe to say, this issue isn’t over. All of the commentators seem to be on Styles’ side, pointing out that Styles earned both belts.
Backstage, Goldilocks is trying to get an interview with Jasmine St. Claire and we get a recap of the impromptu lapdance that made Jeremy Borash the most envied man in the building.
Goldilocks tries to interview Jasmine, only to be yanked away by Francine, who then proceeds to attack Jasmine. What follows is a really lame fight that lasts about ten seconds and Francine was left standing.
We’re told that the title match between Shamrock and Sabu will be next week on TNA. That should be…interesting. Back to the ring for our next match!
K-Krush vs Norman Smiley
K-Krush is out first to a decent pop. Apparently, his match against Hervey Sadler was a big hit with the fans and wrestling press and helped get TNA some attention.
Krush cuts a promo on the audience and fans at home and says he looks like a star and sounds like a star on the mic. The audience seems to be getting behind him…a little. Krush then asks that with all the tools he has, why isn’t he the biggest star in wrestling? He then gripes about having to work with Hervey Sadler. He then asks why WWF/WWE let him go and I think I know where this is going.
Yup, he’s going there. H hasn’t said it yet, but he’s basically saying that he’s not a bigger star because WWE and TNA don’t want to promote a black man. Surprisingly, a lot of the crowd seems to be behind him, despite his heelish efforts. Krush vows to take what’s his and spit in the face of anyone who gets in the way and that the truth will no longer be denied.
(So that’s where the name came from)
So, with that out of the way, it’s time for Krush’s opponent, Norman Smiley, to come out and he gets a bigger pop.
I really want to like Smiley, he seems talented and I’ve heard good things about him, but he’s not wowing me. This is a very acrobatic match, but Krush is more interested in winning than anything else, which is good.
This match doesn’t take very long and ends with K-Krush hitting what looks like a sloppy sit out Brainbuster on Smiley for the three count.
Winner K-Krush by pinfall. Afterwards, K-Krush attacks Smiley and beats him with his belt and actually does a rough hanging of Smiley over the top rope with the belt. Norman Smiley’s wife comes to the rescue and gets accosted by Krush instead before security comes in.
Comment: I’m not really sure what the point of this match or the aftermath was.
Backstage, Goldilocks is trying to get an interview with Puppet the Midget Killer (I swear, it’s what she said!). Only Puppet is playing Oscar the Grouch (seriously, he’s in a trash can). Puppet wants some privacy and Goldilocks is perplexed by what he’s doing in the trashcan. Puppet seems to think Goldilocks thinks he’s spanking the monkey and makes some crude sexual innuendos that someone hiding in an easily overturned trashcan probably shouldn’t be making. Goldilocks is not impressed with this. Puppet says that what he’s really doing his putting his game face on and says he’s suffering from PMS: Pissed Midget Syndrome.
(:eyeroll: Trust me, dude, you wouldn’t survive REAL PMS, never mind an actual period)
To her credit, Goldilocks tries to keep this interview going and asks about Puppet’s opponent tonight, Meatball, the World’s Largest Midget. Puppet is insulted by Meatball and says he’s going to wrap his six inch pythons around Meatball’s neck and choke him out. He then hits on Goldilocks, who is NOT interested and calls his ‘python’ a garden snake.
(Get him, girl!)
Not surprisingly, given how she’s been treated, Goldilocks is over this backstage interviewer gig and says that she’s leaving when her singing career takes off. To give her further reasons to get the hell out of Dodge, she finds the Dupps making out on the floor, or at least Hat and Fluff. Blond Dupp doesn’t seem to be paying attention to anything but the lighter he was playing with. Goldilocks is about done with this when Blond Dupp starts to compliment her and then gets fascinated with his lighter again, then he compliments her lips but he’s not talking about the ones on her face.
(EW! Get out of there, girl!)
ANYWAY, it seems to be time for our next match.
Don West says that Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles will either have a one on one match against each other or a tag match, it wasn’t clear.
The Flying Elvises vs Elix Skipper and Christopher Daniels
Elivii are out first and to a minimal reaction and their moves still suck. We get a recap of the Flying Elvises run in at the end of last week’s show.
Their opponents are two guys who got beat up by the Elvii last week.
This match is pretty fast and furious. Both teams have a legit bone to pick over last week, but Elvii are in control right now.
Siaki is so confident in success that he actually leaves Estrada to handle things in the ring, so he can run his mouth on commentary.
This isn’t as good a match as last week’s but it’s still very good. Siaki keeps going back to the commentary table.
Daniels gets tagged in and cleans house. I have to say that there’s a lot of whiffing.
This is one of those matches where you can’t look away or you’ll miss something. The ref misses a pin attempt because he was distracted by Daniels and one of the Elvises and it gives the Elvises the edge to get a win.
Winner: The Flying Elvises by pinfall.
Comment: I’m not wowed by this match. It just…didn’t work for me. There was a lot of whiffing showing light (showing that a move is staged). Suddenly, the Dupps come out and break 2x4s over the heads of the Flying Elvises. The Dupps are quite pleased with themselves and there’s kisses for every cousin.
One of the TNA girls has a visitor: T.O., one of the little people wrestlers, and he’s having a blast.
Backstage, the long-suffering Goldilocks is doing an interview with K-Krush and asks about the incident with Norman Smiley. K-Krush threatens Goldilocks, but is attacked by Scott Hall, who is still out for blood. I find it odd that Hall is allowed in the building and Jarrett was thrown out. Hall makes the comment of ‘2 down, 1 to go’, meaning that Brian Lawler is next on the hit list.
Back at the ring, it’s time for some midget wrestling action.
Meatball vs Puppet
So, we get our first look at Meatball, and he’s a big little dude. Apparently, Meatball is a bottomless pit, Tenay complains that he’s starving because Meatball had eaten everything in catering within ten minutes and is still hungry.
Puppet is out next and he gets an okay pop.
This match is weird. It’s not a squash, but it’s not great. Meatball wastes perfectly good food kicking Puppet’s ass, even has his own mini shopping cart. Puppet turns the dinner table and drops a full thing of flour and a watermelon on Meatball’s head.
I’m ready for this mess to end. Thankfully, Puppet gets the pin and can continue his anti-midget rampage.
Winner: Puppet by pinfall.
Comment: That happened and I’m glad it’s over.
T.O is still with the TNA girl and he’s loving it. The dancer doesn’t seem to mind until T.O. gets too handsy and nearly pulls off her top.
After all that, Jasmine St. Claire is back, soaking wet and not happy about what happened with Francine. Borash and the ref make idiots of themselves trying to open the ropes for her. Apparently, we’re either having a match or the ref is from the Puppet/Meatball fiasco and just stayed at ringside for the next match.
Jasmine gets on the mic and calls out Francine. Okay, so this is a match.
Jasmine St. Claire vs Francine
Francine doesn’t get Borash and the ref fighting over helping her into the ring.
If you’re expecting a match with skills like the ladies of today, you’re in the wrong place. This is a catfight that could just as easily be happening on Jerry Springer. Jasmine seems intent on ripping Francine’s hair out or her top off. She gets the top off, at least. Francine gets her back by ripping off Jasmine’s shorts, thankfully there’s a thong underneath.
Francine takes off her belt and starts spanking Jasmine, for lack of a better word. Blue Meanie, who is almost unrecognizable from his ECW and WWE years, gets in the ring and dares Francine to hit him, which she does. Meanie retaliates with a DDT on Francine, which incenses the commentary team, who didn’t seem all that bothered by Goldilocks’ treatment, but it may have been because none of the wrestlers actually touched Goldilocks.
Ed Ferrara is so angry that he goes to Francine’s aid, despite Francine beating his ass over the last few weeks. Francine is taken away on a stretcher.
Backstage, Goldilocks tries to get an interview with Low Ki, but Low Ki isn’t interested and walks away.
We get a tale of the tape for Low Ki and Styles.
X Division Title Match: AJ Styles vs Low Ki
Low Ki gets a good pop. I’m still not sure what will happen to the other contenders if Low Ki wins. Styles gets a good pop.
Ed Ferrara, who had been tending to Francine, is back and gives us an update on her condition. He sounds really upset, but I’m more interested in the match than in his Francine obsession.
This match starts off really good, lot of solid mat work before the fists start flying. This is easily the most alive match of the night.
This match is really amazing. Low Ki and Styles work really well together and the contrast in their styles works here. I have to keep reminding myself that Styles is in his fourth year as a pro and so isn’t as smooth in the ring as the AJ Styles I’m used to watching in WWE.
One of the things with the X Division as it is in 2002, when it was basically the Cruiserweight Division, is that you can’t take your eyes away for very long or you’ll missing a lot.
I think I’ve said before that Low Ki scares me and I’m not sure why. He’s extremely talented, but there are times when it seems like he’s not as careful as he should be when doing spots.
Whoa! Styles countered a corkscrew move by Low Ki in to a Styles Clash and that’s three!
Winner: AJ Styles by pinfall.
Comment: That was a really good match. Both guys looked great and put on a heck of a show.
I really thought this was the main event, there’s been no word about another match.
As AJ’s leaving, he gets speared by Jerry Lynn, who apparently didn’t like getting a taste of his own medicine earlier in the evening. Lynn hits his piledriver again before going to the ringside area and pulling out a ladder, indicating what kind of match these two are probably going to have next week. Lynn basically throws Styles on and into the ladder several times, probably trying to soften him up for their match next week. Finally, Lynn leaves and Styles is barely moving.
Okay, apparently there’s still some more show left.
Now it’s time for our actual main event.
Brian Lawler vs Scott Hall
Lawler is out first to a not positive reaction. Lawler gets on the mic, the crowd is rubbing the fact that he’s Jerry Lawler’s kid in his face. The more he gripes about it, the louder they get. He decides to drop some facts about his dad. 1. His dad’s been married three times, which is only a big deal if you lived in the 1950s. 2. Each wife was younger than Brian. Including Brian’s own mother, I guess. Even the commentators are lost on this one. 3. Brian left a ticket for his dad to come watch him wrestle, but Lawler’s not here and Brian accuses his dad of being a pedophile. We don’t get to hear the next line of BS because Hall’s music hits, to Lawler’s anger, but he’s so busy trying slander his father and mocking Hall’s legit substance abuse problems to realize who’s behind him. Turn around, dude. Or maybe don’t.
Hall’s getting tired of being sneaky but he’s being patient. FINALLY, Lawler turns around and this match is on.
Hall is pissed, and lays into Lawler. This quickly goes outside the ring, with Hall smashing Lawler into any surface that could do some damage.
Lawler seems to be over this and tries to head for the back, but Hall is after him and beats him up on the ramp.
Lawler keeps trying to escape and finally manages to get the upper hand in this match, ramming Hall’s head into the ringpost.
The crowd keeps reminding Lawler of being Jerry’s kid and it’s pissing Lawler off and he’s taking it out on Hall.
This match is actually pretty good, much better than I was expecting, but it just feels flat after the X Division match and the aftermath.
Lawler take some time to run his mouth on the mic some more, which gives Hall some time to get his bearings back, but Lawler gets the upper hand back quickly. Lawler goes for the Hip Hop Drop, but Hall stops him and is back in control.
I keep getting the feeling that Jarrett’s lurking somewhere, given how the night started. K-Krush comes out to get him some of Hall, but Hall sends him outside. Hall hits the Razor’s Edge and that’s the ballgame.
Winner: Scott Hall by pinfall.
K-Krush comes back again and nearly gets a Razor’s Edge but a low blow from Lawler breaks that up. Lawler and Krush give Hall a wedgie before beating him up and throwing him outside where Krush hangs Hall from the middle rope with his belt again. Officials come out to break things up and send Lawler and Krush to the back.
A stretcher is brought in and Hall gets on it, but I still think Jarrett’s lurking. Sure enough a guy, who looks like a doctor from a distance turns out to be Jarrett, wielding a steel chair and swings it at everyone in sight, but specifically, Hall. The show ends with Jarrett standing tall over everyone.
Comment: I’m honestly surprised Hall got a cleanish victory over Lawler. I figured Jarrett would interfere somehow. Still, this match felt flat after the X-Division match. I think the title match should’ve gone last.
So, how was Week 5 of NWA-TNA? This show was a little flat to me. There was about as much talking as there were matches and most of the matches weren’t anything to write home about.
The ongoing issue of Jarrett vs the NWA is becoming baffling on a level that even Austin vs McMahon didn’t reach. The fact that Jarrett was just stripped of a match within minutes of it being announced for really no good reason, is just silly. It still begs the question of whether Jarrett’s a top heel or a really unlikeable babyface. Both sides got an argument here.
I really hope that Brian Lawler talked to his dad before doing this heel run and that King’s okay with the things being said about him, because it’s just hard to listen to a child bash their parents, even in a scripted setting, when you know that that parent worked very hard to give their child a good life.
My ongoing issue with the way women, specifically Goldilocks, are treated on camera is still going. I’m not sure what kind of person finds this ‘edgy’, but it’s not good. My hat is off to Francine for taking that DDT from Blue Meanie, she sold it like a champ.
My second big issue this week is the NWA Title. I will admit that Shamrock’s title reign hasn’t been a barn burner, but the fact that Shamrock wasn’t even on tonight and that the #1 Contender spot was a distant second to two guys beating each other up bothered me. I still think Malice vs Sabu should’ve been a separate match from the #1 Contender match. I’m not expecting much from Shamrock vs Sabu next week, but maybe I’ll be surprised.
The third big issue is the rushing of the Jerry Lynn/AJ Styles storyline. I get that it would be very easy for a veteran like Jerry Lynn to feel out of place and out of step with the younger guys, and to resent it, but it feels like the feud between him and Styles is being rushed without much of a build. I wish we could’ve had more of a slow burn with this feud.
Stinker: K-Krush vs Norman Smiley. I still have no idea what that was all about.
Snoozer: Flying Elvises vs Daniels/Skipper. It was a boring X Division match. Something I never thought I’d say.
Match of the Night: Styles vs Low Ki. This was a really good match overall. I still find myself getting a little frustrated with Styles, but I keep reminding myself that in 2002, he was still pretty early into his career and wouldn’t be as smooth in his moves as he is in 2018.
Final Thoughts: This felt like a filler episode. It filled time but didn’t’ move much of the story forward.
Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 27 – January 8, 2003
Tiffany MC’s weekly TNA IMPACT Chairshot Classics series continues!
It’s the first TNA of 2003 and we’re picking up right where we left off in 2002! Russo’s SEX faction continues to wreak havoc. Jeff Jarrett gives three members of SEX an opportunity. Bob Armstrong calls in the big guns to combat SEX’s threat, and America’s Most Wanted gets one more shot at the New Church. How’d they do? Let’s find out!
We start with a recap of Russo’s debut on TNA and his and S.E.X’s efforts to take over with ‘Sports Entertainment’ and his battle with Jeff Jarrett. TNA also has a new logo.
We open with Tena and several wrestlers in the ring, Jerry Lynn and Ron Killings among them. There are also a lot of NWA legends in the ringside area. Tenay says he’s going to introduce us to our ‘future’, which turns out to be two of the security guys. He also sings the praises of the four current starts in the ring, referring to Lynn and AMW as MVPs.
The point of this segment becomes obvious when Tenay starts talking about WCW and listening to Russo say he could make anyone a wrestler, using Judy Bagwell and David Arquette as example.
For those who don’t know about this, Judy Bagwell was the mother of Buff Bagwell and was heavily featured in some storylines towards the end of WCW’s run. David Arquette is an actor who won the World Heavyweight championship, despite not being a trained wrestler and having more respect for the title than Russo did. Arquette’s winning of the title was widely criticized at the time and cited as one of the many reasons WCW ultimately went under, though at that the point that the moment happened, the WCW ship was already taking on water.
Tenay begs the fans to go to TNA’s website and voice their support for ‘true wrestling’ rather than Russo’s ‘Sports Entertainment’. The fans seem to be behind this move, but Russo and his crew come out of the crowd.
Russo is not in a good mood and threatens to beat up Tenay, claiming he’s there to save the business. Tenay wasn’t impressed, or intimidated, pointing out that business is DOWN, Russo claims that it’s because of people like Tenay running their mouths. He then reminds us that WCW’s ratings were huge with him in charge and that, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, no one was coming to TNA shows before he showed up. He then insults the Traditional Wrestling stalwarts. Sara Lee, one of the NWA legends, and the only one with any guts, slaps Russo and the fight’s on! S.E.X gets the upper hand until the Road Warriors and Jarrett come barreling out of the back and S.E.X wisely beat a retreat.
Backstage, Desire throws out two of TNA’s dancers so S.E.X can have their locker room.
Back at ringside, the evicted dancers are being taken to a different locker room and it’s time for our first match.
EZ Money and Kid Kash vs Tony Mamaluke and David Young: Kash is easily the most over of the four guys in the ring. As usual, with the X-Division outside of a few people, this match was a mess, lots of high spots, not a lot of wrestling and there were a lot of botches. Kid Kash did his best to save it, but it was a futile effort.
Young and Mamaluke would get the win, but only after Young botched a spot with EZ Money and then had to pick up the pieces. Not a great opener and the fans were booing pretty loudly by the end of it.
After the match, the X-Division members of S.E.X come out and beat the holy hell out of everyone in the ring. We also see the formation of what would be a legendary tag team. Skipper gets on the mic and says the best part of S.E.X is the XXX. That’s right, the legendary team of XXX, which would have a fabulous feud with America’s Most Wanted, was part of this pathetic NWO/DX ripoff. Skipper then claims that, despite the X-Division functioning reasonably well without them, there is no X-Division without himself, Lo-Ki, and Skipper and that the X-Division is either with them, or against them.
At this point, Jarrett plays security guard and storms the ring. Jarrett claims it’s his and the NWA’s house. Jarrett gives XXX an opportunity, he’ll take each of them on in separate singles matches TONIGHT. XXX can’t believe their ears and accept easily. Jarrett ups the ante by saying that when he’s done with them, he’s going to put Russo through a table.
Backstage, Goldylocks is with Team NWA where Armstrong and company are holding a meeting. Goldy wants to know what the plan is since Russo is back. Armstrong asks AMW to get ‘him’ on the phone. Turning back to Goldy, Armstrong says he’s not dumb enough to think he can win this war on his own, it’s going to take everything and everyone he can muster and he needs a Grand Slam, as in baseball, not wrestling. Lynn and Killings step up and promise to strike back for the NWA.
AMW are back with the phone and Armstrong tells whoever is on the other end that he needs him now. Not sure who it’s going to be, but the conversation seemed positive.
X-Division Championship Match: Jason Cross vs Sonny Siaki: Desire is billed as Miss SEX, which is okay, I guess. For some reason, there’s a big pole in one turnbuckle, no idea what that’s about.
This match is a typical Siaki affair, lots of great moves, no chemistry and the audience doesn’t care. Fortunately for Siaki, Desire/Miss SEX was there to keep things interesting. This isn’t a good match for Jason Cross because he looked hopelessly outmatched by Siaki and didn’t get to break out a lot of his big moves. In the end, Miss SEX would be the deciding factor in the match, taking advantage of a downed ref to crotch Cross, giving Siaki time to get the pinfall.
However, Bob Armstrong isn’t going to stand for this and comes out, telling Miss SEX to get her ass into the back and trying to restart the match. Russo comes out and refuses to let the match be restarted, calling Cross a punk who was in no shape to wrestle anyway. After more increasingly nasty arguing, Russo says James will do a match instead and Lynn and Killings run out to answer.
BG James and Don Harris vs Jerry Lynn and Ron Killings: This match started with a fight. Harris and James were really outmatched in terms of skill by Lynna and Killings.
This match was just a mess. I’m not sure there’s anything redeeming that can be said about it. Killings botched a 450 and overshot the landing, but James gets a few points for selling it anyway. Killings and Lynn get a DQ win when a man, ID’d as Mike Sanders, whoever that is. We’re shown a pre-show interview with Percy Pringle, who is NOT in good shape. Pringle had last been seen on WWF TV in the late 90s before Undertaker had to take time off for an injury.
The interview was not much if you wanted to know his motives for being in TNA. Pringle had no opinions and no ideas about much of anything, but says his time in WCCW and WWE was good. Basically, he’s there but no one knows what to do with him. He did talk about the old NWA, but nothing ground-breaking
NWA Tag Team Championship Match – New Church (with James Mitchell and Bella Donna) vs America’s Most Wanted: Before the match gets underway, it’s announced that there will be no rematch, whatever the outcome. If New Church loses, they won’t have a chance to regain the titles, if AMW loses, no matter what, they’re SOL. The match started with a fight, as is usual between these teams and stuff is flying!
Things went about how they usually did for these teams, but the stipulation that this was last call for their feud seemed to have lit a real fire. It looked like AMW would get the win after a miscue lead to Slash throwing powder in Lee’s eyes while Belladonna had the ref distracted.
The end came after AMW hit the Death Sentence on Slash onto a chair. NEW Tag Team champions. Everyone goes nuts and while Belladonna rolls Slash and Lee out of the ring, AMW and the fans celebrate.
Backstage, Goldylocks is trying to do her job and talk to Bob Armstrong about what’s been going on, but Bob doesn’t have time for her right now, much to her irritation, though Armstrong was polite about blowing her off.
Axe-Handle on a Pole Match – Curt Hennig vs David Flair: Hennig comes out in street gear. This match explains the huge pole that’s been stuck to the ring all night. Hennig gets on the mic and cuts a really bitter and pathetic promo in the style of the ‘Priceless’ commercials by MasterCard which were all the rage back then. He talks about how much money to pay his dues and becoming the greatest wrestler, and take down Brock Lesnar. Hennig reminds us that he ran Ric Flair out of the WWF.
David Flair tried to get the jump on Hennig, but Hennig saw it coming. This was an AWFUL match. David Flair was a terrible wrestler and Hennig, without Jarrett to cover for him, looked terrible. Hennig would win this one, but everyone lost.
After the match, Goldylocks is waiting to talk to Flair, but gets blown off…again. Goldylocks is pissed and frustrated, and you can hardly blame her. Miss SEX, or whatever her name is, confronts Goldy for coming around ‘her boys’ and warns her to back off. Goldy stands up for herself and gets attacked. To make this more…odd, Athena comes to Goldy’s rescue and attacks Miss SEX before Siaki gets them apart.
Don West is trying to do his usual promo when Sanders from earlier comes out and berates Tenay, but says Tenay will have an opportunity to interview Russo next week (Oh goody). Tenay, clearly angry, agrees and we’re all left to wonder if we’ll see a fight between Tenay and Russo. My money is on Tenay in a fair fight. Don West can’t believe his eyes or his ears and it’s time for the main events.
Christopher Daniels vs Jeff Jarrett: Daniels comes out of the crowd to little reaction. Jarrett gets a good reaction and we’re off!
The match was short, but incredibly good, which is a plus given how the rest of the night has gone. Jarrett does a good job of making Daniels seem like a worthy competitor but, for once, he’s not having to damn near kill himself to do it. Jarrett won this with a Stroke after hitting a knee on Daniels.
Elix Skipper vs Jeff Jarrett: Skipper wastes no time jumping into the ring and dominating the first part of the match.
This match wasn’t quite as good as Daniels/Jarrett, but it wasn’t awful. Skipper’s put on a few pounds of muscle and looks like a viable threat. His moves are a little out of control, but it doesn’t hurt to watch him wrestle. It looked like Jarrett was going to be beaten when Christopher Daniel tried to help Skipper, but Jarrett ducked and got the pinfall.
Lo-Ki vs Jeff Jarrett: Now no one is holding back and it takes two refs to restore order with Scott Armstrong forcing Skipper and Daniels back.
Lo-Ki dominated much of this match and was as brutal to watch as ever. Jarrett made him look great and didn’t need to nearly kill himself to do it. Jarrett had the match won, but Daniels and Skipper interfered and the match was thrown out. XXX started attacking Jarrett.
EVENTUALLY, the Road Warriors come out and attack XXX, but AJ Styles runs in and attacks the Road Warriors. Then the rest of SEX comes out and the fight’s on. Russo’s like a kid at Christmas at the thought of having AJ Styles in SEX but Styles blows him off, the only side he’s on is his own.
SEX is about to put Jarrett through a table when Dusty Rhodes comes out and it Bionic Elbow City for everyone and that’s where the show ends.
Overall Comments: So how was TNA this week? It was ‘eh’ at best. They furthered the ‘Sports Entertainment vs Traditional Wrestling’ storyline, but that was it. Only a couple of the matches were any good and there was more time spent on promos than anything else.
The SEX storyline continues to be a mashup of the NWO and DX but there aren’t any big stars to lead it. Everyone it is either a has-been, a never-was, or a young guy just starting out. There isn’t a Hogan, or Nash, or Rock to be the focus of the group.
Russo continues to be trash and watching Sara Lee slap him was refreshing. I’m not sure what the inclusion of Dusty Rhodes is supposed to do, but he was still SO over with the crowd that it doesn’t really matter right now.
One sad note is Curt Hennig. This would be his final appearance on TV. He would pass away in February of 2003. RIP Mr. Perfect.
This week was a lukewarm okay show. I’m hoping next week will be better.
Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 26 – December 18, 2002
Tiffany MC’s weekly TNA IMPACT Chairshot Classics series continues!
It’s the last TNA episode of 2002! Vince Russo’s Sports Entertainment X-Treme continues to run roughshod over TNA. AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett both face questions about their loyalty. The X-Division fights to decide a new #1 Contender, and it’s Doomsday for the Tag Team Division.
How’d they do? Let’s find out!
We open with a recap of last week’s action with Vince Russo’s SEX faction. Back to reality, Mike Tenay tells us that this will be TNA’s final show of 2002 and they’ll be taking two weeks off for Christmas and New Year’s.
Before the show gets underway, Tenay talks about the importance of the NWA title and we get some really grainy pictures of Jeff Jarrett defending the NWA title in the UK, Northern Ireland, and Japan. Jarrett also gives an interview to Jeremy Borash, discussing how much the NWA means to him and how happy he is to fly around the world to defend it against whomever wants a shot.
Back in the Asylum, we go backstage where Goldylocks is trying to get a word with Curt Hennig who just ignores her. Hennig comes through the crowd in his street clothes and snatches the mic away from a confused Borash.
Hennig immediately starts complaining about what happened during his title match last week with Jeff Jarrett and claims that Russo screwed him over, though given how poorly Hennig has been wrestling, it could be said that Russo did everyone a favor. Hennig then says that he’d planned to wait until later in the show to do this, but he’s run out of beer on the bus and he’s waiting for Lesnar to return from the liquor store, which no one seems to buy, along with his claim to still be the greatest wrestler to lace up a pair of boots.
As for Russo, he’s ‘just a fan’ as far as Hennig is concerned, but that doesn’t mean Hennig won’t beat the hell out of him and tie him up like a pretzel. Hennig used a lot of rodent metaphors to describe Russo, which was a little creepy.
At this point, Russo’s come out and he’s running his mouth, though we can’t quite hear what he’s saying. Hennig takes the bait and gets jumped by Low-Ki, Elix Skipper, and Christopher Daniels. From what we can hear from Lo-Ki, these three were supposed to be part of the Gauntlet for the Gold match, but they’re pulling out. Russo taunts Tenay and West while James gets on the mic and mocks Jim Ross. It’s all NWO antics but none of these guys are cool enough to get it over.
Backstage, Goldylocks is talking to Bob Armstrong and asking him about what was going on. Armstrong doesn’t seem overly bothered, at least not yet, and says that Russo only thinks he’s in charge.
As this was going on, AJ Styles, who seemed to have joined Russo’s faction walked past, heading for the locker room. Armstrong stopped him and upbraided him for aligning Russo and warning Styles against whatever promises Russo might have made him.
Confused and irritated, Styles denied that he was aligned with Russo. He was doing his talking in the ring, just like Armstrong preached. He doesn’t care about Russo or SEX, he’s after Jarrett’s title and promises to keep coming for Jarrett until he gets a title shot. Armstrong doesn’t buy this and leaves to talk to Styles some more.
10 Man Gauntlet for the Gold for the #1 Contendership: This TNA staple is a mix of a Gauntlet match and the Royal Rumble. Two men start in the ring and every 90 seconds someone else will join the fun. You can only be eliminated by pinfall or submission. Our first two contestants are Jason Cross, who debuted last week, and Amazing Red. As the match is getting underway, we go to the back and find Jarrett beating the holy hell out of Styles while Mortimer Plumtree tried, but not very hard, to stop Jarrett.
Overall, this match was pretty good and was clearly there to eat up time on a holiday show. The biggest problem I had was that, outside of a few people, this match was mostly comprised of the dregs of the X-Division.
In the end, it came down to Jason Cross and Amazing Red, who were our first two contestant. Cross hit his AMAZING Crossfire, which Red sold by flopping like a fish on dry land, which was hilarious to watch. Jason Cross gets the pin and is now the #1 Contender, which is weird considering that he jobbed to Tony Mamaluke last week. ANYWAY, pretty good match and a surprise ending.
As Cross and Red leave the ring, Tenay announces that he’s been told by Bob Armstrong that Jerry Lynn has been added to the X-Division Championship match between Sonny Siaki and EZ Money since Lynn was screwed over by the woman who ran in to help Siaki last week.
Russo and his crew come out. Russo insults TNA and the fans, saying that people in New York, re: WWE, are laughing at TNA’s weekly PPVs. He also claimed that he could become a dentist and make a fortune in Tennessee.
Turns out, it’s time for the airing of the grievances by the three X-Division guys who have joined SEX. Lo-Ki’s complaint is that the NWA stopped booking him because he wouldn’t commit to a 52 week schedule with them; because pushing a guy who’s only around some of the time over guys who are there and getting over with the fans every week makes SO much sense.
Christopher Daniels’ complaint is a little more reasonable. He claims that the NWA wouldn’t book him because the cost of a plane ticket from California to Tennessee every week was too expensive. Though, given that TNA is just starting out and the NWA isn’t as big as it used to be, I can also see the other side of this. Russo soothes Daniels by saying he’ll buy him a new plane.
Skipper claims that the NWA wasn’t paying him enough money, though from what I’ve seen of Skipper’s work in TNA, it’s more like the NWA was paying him too much. Russo promises that Skipper will get paid twice a day.
BG James thinks he’s going to kick his own father’s ass, which I seriously doubt since Bullet Bob is in better shape than his own son. Russo warns the Harris brothers to not let him down, which already seems like a recipe for disaster.
Turning his attention to Jeff Jarrett, Russo tells his former…associate to bring his ‘hillbilly hick ass’, Russo’s words, not mine, to the ring.
Jarrett comes out and says that he’s spent the last three weeks listening to Russo run his mouth and it’s time to set the record straight. Jarrett gets in the ring and starts dropping some truth bombs.
Truth #1: Vince Russo was a magazine writer who acted like a fanboy (paraphrasing) to interview Jarrett in the early 90’s.
Truth #2: Vince Russo disrespects professional wrestling because he hates it.
Truth #3: Jarrett protected Russo from getting his ass kicked by the likes of Shawn Michaels, Scott Steiner, and Goldberg. Personally, I would pay to see any of these fights, but that’s me.
However, to his immense credit, Jarrett doesn’t completely throw Russo under the bus. He also cites his own less than stellar record in Sports Entertainment, including beating up old ladies. Jarrett seemed genuinely guilt-ridden by those actions. He also points out that if it weren’t for the fact that Russo somehow keeps finding jobs in wrestling, he’d be selling TVs in New York City.
Russo was unimpressed and said that Jarrett has lost his balls and has become a daddy’s boy, though I’m not sure Russo realizes that that’s not really an insult in the South. Trying another tactic, he says that the wrestlers in the back don’t respect Jarrett and laugh at him behind his back, but if he sides with Russo, Russo will make sure that he’s respected.
By this point, Jarrett was over this conversation and puts his position in plain English: He is not now, nor was he ever on Russo’s side. Them’s fightin’ words and all hell breaks loose. Jarrett puts up a pretty good fight by grabbing his favorite non-guitar equalizer, a metal chair, and starts swinging, but he was eventually overwhelmed by SEX and it took a run in by security to settle the situation down.
Non-Title Tag Team Match – The New Church (with James Mitchell and Bella Donna) vs America’s Most Wanted vs the Harris Brothers: For some reason, despite being part of the previous segment, the Harris Brothers were no in the ring when this segment started. Storm and Harris are still not being called America’s Most Wanted for some reason. Percy Pringle is there, but he’s sitting on the ramp and isn’t looking very good.
The match was okay. For awhile, it seemed like it was an AMW vs New Church match with the Harris Brothers looking on. The match quickly devolved into an all-out brawl. Belladonna is getting better at her role as valet, but she’s still learning. She jumps up on the apron and seems to be shaking her, admittedly lovely, ass, but since she’s facing the wrong way, it has little affect on Scott Armstrong. Mitchell is also on the apron and has more luck getting Armstrong’s attention.
It looked like the Harris Brothers were going to pull out a win, but then things got even crazier. First, Athena, who was destroyed by the Harrises at the instigation of Vince Russo, ran in and hit Ron with a low blow. Don grabbed her, but was stopped from actually harming her by the f***ing ROAD WARRIORS!!! Hawk and Animal storm the ring to a HUGE pop and take out the Harris Brothers. One Harris gets a trip on the Doomsday Device and the other one gets squashed by a Hawk splash.
Wildcat and Storm, wisely, don’t ask questions and quickly get the pinfall win, though since neither of them pinned a member of the New Church, it’s not clear that they’ll get a title shot out of this win.
Backstage, Goldylocks is trying to get a word with the Road Warriors, but their promo wasn’t one of their better efforts. Animal says what just happened is what Vince Russo can do with his ‘Sports Entertainment’ and warns that Russo’s next. Hawk actually pauses for a moment and warns Russo that the Warriors still snack on danger and dine on death and they’re coming for Russo, before storming out.
Confused and a little freaked out, Goldy begins to head for another part of the building when we hear Bob Armstrong talking. Sneaking into the X-Division locker room, we find Armstrong giving a…pep talk to the X-Division and trying to find some people to deal with the X-Division defectors. Armstrong’s clearly had his fill of SEX’s antics and is trying to stop it before it becomes the monster the NWO was in its heyday.
X-Division Championship Match – Sonny Siaki vs Jerry Lynn vs EZ Money: We get a recap of the Siaki vs Lynn saga and all three men come out and we get the intros in the ring, like a big match, but the inclusion of EZ Money kind of kills that vibe.
The match was okay, Lynn and Siaki worked well together, but Money was clearly in over his head and was probably just there to take the pin. It honestly looked like Lynn was going to regain his title when the lady from last week came out to the ring and got on the apron, enticing Lynn to come over. When he gave her his attention, she opened her jacket to reveal her goods and then slapped Lynn. Siaki took advantage and threw Lynn out of the ring.
EZ Money tried to go in for the kill on Siaki, but got killed instead with a Money Clip, retaining his X-Division Championship. Afterwards, Russo comes out of the crowd and is greeted with a hug by the girl and gets in the ring.
Russo addresses Siaki and says that it was always about him and that Russo’s had his eye on Siaki and called him the elite athlete of TNA, which shows how little Russo really gets about wrestling. The girl is introduced as Desire and she’s being offered as Siaki’s new valet. What are her qualifications? She’s got tits and a nice ass, which Russo thinks is all that’s needed, especially for SEX.
While Siaki mulls this over, the enraged Lynn attacks him from behind, but finds himself being attacked by Siaki, Russo, and Desire. Russo dismisses Lynn as a ‘Professional Wrestler’ before leaving with Russo and Desire in tow. So SEX has the X-Division champion instead of the NWA Heavyweight Champion, not much of a second option.
Street Fight – Ron Killings vs BG James: Killings came out first and started rapping, but James got the jump on him and the match is on. This match was a pretty basic Hardcore Match, though James and Killings were much slower to pull out the weapons than they would have in WWE. However, just as it seemed that Killings was going to get the upperhand, SEX attacked, which allowed James to pick up the win.
However, Bob Armstrong comes out and he’s had it with all this bullshit and grabs the mic. In the ring are the Maximos and Amazing Red, who have apparently volunteered to defend the honor of TNA against SEX. Armstrong then challenges Russo to send however many guys he wanted to face the SATs and Amazing Red and out come Lo-Ki, Christopher Daniels, and Elix Skipper.
SAT and Amazing Red vs Lo-Ki, Christopher Daniels, and Elix Skipper: The match started out as a brawl that SEX dominated for the most part, but Team TNA were able to get on top for a little while. This was a great match, even if the story was pretty shitty. Eventually, Team SEX was able to finally pull out the win. So, for now, SEX would be the dominate faction.
Russo and James come out and Russo insults Amazing Red, saying he’d taken craps bigger than Red. His goons prepare to put the Maximos and Red through a table, but Hennig ran out to stop them, but was quickly overwhelmed by SEX.
Then David Flair came out and attacked Hennig, though no one in the crowd seemed all that intrigued by Flair’s appearance. Jarrett came out and started cleaning house, but he was set upon by SEX and AJ Styles who came out to pick the bones before Jarrett was put through a table by Daniels and Skipper.
While this was going on, Russo was lounging around and generally trying to be cool and looking stupid. After Jarrett was put through the table, Russo destroyed the TNA log and claimed that the show was brought to them by SEX.
Overall Comments: So, how was this week’s TNA? It was okay. The SEX storyline was heavily featured, as usual, and the influx of the young guys helped keep SEX from looking too much like a crew of WWE leftovers, but other than Lo-Ki, Daniels and Skipper weren’t really established enough for anyone to care. Siaki’s defection would’ve been a bigger deal if he’d been over with the crowd.
The stuff about Jarrett and Russo’s relationship in WWE and WCW has been the only really interesting part of this whole storyline, the rest of SEX is basically a bad NWO redo.
Another interesting thing was AJ Styles. His position of not being part of SEX but taking advantage of the disruption they’re creating to advance his own agenda was interesting. He would’ve been a better pick than Siaki.
The Road Warriors things was interesting, but I’m not sure how well they’re going to fit into TNA. Hennig continues to disappoint, but at least he owned up to the drinking, but the Lesnar thing is becoming eye-rolling.
Overall, this was an okay show, it’s about what I expected from a holiday show. Hopefully things will improve in the new year.