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NWA-TNA #5: Less Action, More Talk

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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

Opening

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.

Overall Comments:

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.


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Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 15: Night of Chumpions

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On this week’s episode, EVERY title belt is on the line! Jerry Lynn defends the X-Division Title against AJ Styles in a ladder match, Ron Killings defends the NWA Title against Lo-Ki, and Chris Harris and James Storm defend the Tag Titles against Ron Harris and a mystery partner.

Also, the war of words between Jarrett, his crew and the DX/NWO merger continues. The Maximos and Flying Elvises compete for a big opportunity. Siaki takes his first steps in one-on-one competition without the Elvises against a familiar face.

So how’d they do? Let’s find out!

 We start off with a DX reunion! Syxx Pac and BG James make their way to the ring and James wants to do some smack talk. He and Syxx have been everywhere and have done that. However, both think TNA is a fresh start. They address Jarrett and Brian Lawler and, using Gilligan’s Island for an analogy, say that they’re in for a shipwreck (which one’s Gilligan?). As for Ron Killings, neither man is very impressed with him, stating that the future is in danger if Ron Killings is that future, stating that Killings isn’t ready.

Syxx gets on the mic, not happy that Lo-Ki, who he claims to like a great deal, is getting a title shot against Killings, a shot he thinks either himself or James should be getting because Lo-Ki isn’t in their league yet and that Truth should be taken care of by them.

Aren’t they supposed to be the babyfaces?

At this point, Killings comes out, claiming that all Pac and James want is his championship. He asserts that he is the future of pro-wrestling and that he only gives title shots to those who are like him and don’t have silver spoons hanging out of, and I quote, ‘their cracker asses’.

By this point, Syxx has had enough of Killings and his race cards and tells killings that the only thing hanging out of his (Killings) ass is going to be Syxx’s foot.

Now, Jarrett comes out to save us all, wondering why Hall is missing from the team and mocking Hall’s well-known substance abuse problems. James takes offense to that, warning Jarrett to keep his mouth shut about Hall since Hall isn’t there to defend himself, or kick Jarrett’s ass. Jarrett replies that he only cares because Hall’s screwed up the card, there’s supposed to be a six-man tag tonight, but it’ll have to be a handicap match: Pac and James vs Jarrett, Killings and…

At this point, Lawler and Elix Skipper sneak into the ring and attack DX from behind. DX gets the upper hand and throws Lawler and Skipper out of the ring where team leader Jarrett corrals his boys.

Tenay and West give us a rundown of the card and say they’ll try to get a hold of Scott Hall to find out why he’s not there.

Amazing Red vs Shark Boy: Red is out first to a good pop. Shark Boy gets an okay pop.  For some reason, Elix Skipper is on commentary and his voice is too annoying to listen to for more than a minute. He sounds like a very annoying Chris Tucker. This match was, despite the stupid shark thing, a pretty okay match. I’m not sure why Shark Boy chose such a stupid gimmick because he’s not a terrible wrestler. Mortimer Plumtree is back, still creepy, and still creepily watching the X-Division.

This match is basically all Shark Boy since Red doesn’t seem to have much wrestling skill outside of flying around. Red finally gets the pinfall after reversing a blockbuster attempt and hitting a Phoenix splash and a standing crossbody splash.

Winner: Amazing Red by pinfall.

Comment: That was an okay opening match.

After the match, Skipper attacks Red, for some reason, security tries to intervene, but it takes Don Harris to finally restore order.

Seriously, dude, hire better security guards.

We get a recap of the end of last week’s Lynn/Killings match and how several members of the X-Division help Lynn retain his title, including Lo-Ki.

Backstage, Goldylocks is talking to Lo-Ki and asks him about his title match against Killings. Lo-Ki promises to get to that, but he’s more concerned with Syxx-Pac’s comments at the start of the show. Unsurprisingly, he’s offended by Syxx-Pac’s comments tells him to mark it down in his book who started what. As for Killings, as far as Lo-Ki sees it, Killings has had it out for the X-Division because they get much more attention than his own title reign. He then says this title match is because he put himself in a position to make a difference because Jerry Lynn got screwed out of being NWA Champion. He says that Truth is unprepared, preoccupied, and unfocused and that he’s going to prove that it’s not the size of the fighter, it’s the size of the fight in the fighter. Or, as Eddie Guererro would say ‘It’s no the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog’.

We were going to get a tag match here, but apparently, Killings didn’t like what Lo-Ki had to say. For those keeping score, the reason Lo-Ki was given a title shot has changed for the third time. First we were told that it was because he helped Lynn beat Killings last week, then Killings claimed that he gave him the shot because Lo-Ki didn’t have a silver spoon hanging out his ass, now Killings is claiming that he gave Lo-Ki the shot because he felt sorry for him. He repeats that Lo-Ki will have to kill him to take the title. He then tells Lo-Ki to get his punk ass out there, so the NWA Heavyweight Championship match is happening now.

FYI: While this was going on, the crowd was chanting ‘Overrated’ at Killings.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ron Killings vs Lo-Ki: Well, whatever the motive is for giving Lo-Ki a title shot, the match is a happenin’! Killings is on Lo-Ki as soon as Lo-Ki slides in and we’re on.It takes a couple of minutes for Lo-Ki to get his bearings, but once he does, we have a real match.

Unlike Killings’ previous title defenses, this one is actually worth watching again. Killings and Lo-Ki worked really well together and there was good chemistry. Killings tried to steal the win by blatantly putting his feet on the ropes for leverage. It actually looked like Lo-Ki could pull this one out, but Killings hit his True Conviction, a sitout facebuster from the second turnbuckle and that is the end of that.

Winner: Ron Killings by pinfall.

Comment: That was really good.

Killings gets back on the mic, but before he can say anything, he’s jumped from behind by someone in a white hoodie and white ski-mask, because having a light skinned person in a hood and a covered face beating up an African American man doesn’t look bad or anything. It’s ‘edgy’.

Anyway!

Back to our regularly scheduled match. The Maximos are taking on the Flying Elvises to win a shot at the Tag Team Champions next week.

The Maximos vs Jorge Estrada and Jimmy Yang: Both teams get pretty good pop. This will be the first outing of the Elvises since Sonny Siaki officially left the group last week.

Unrelated note: I’m not sure who ‘Athena’ is as far as TNA goes, but she seems to have a lot of fans in the crowd who want to see her wrestle.

Anyway, this match was ‘eh’. The Maximos were really outmatched by the Elivses at every step and there were a lot of botches. Added to all that was Mortimer Plumtree, who still seems to be scouting the X-Division, and Sonny Siaki, who seems to be watching his old crew from the ramp.

For some strange reason, Siaki jumps on the apron, acting like he wanted to be tagged in, for an equally strange reason, Estrada believes him and goes for the tag, only for Siaki to get off the apron and head to the back, leaving his former teammate to his fate. The Maximos hit their elevated double team DDT and that’s it.

Winner: Maximos by pinfall.

Comment: What the hell was that?

Backstage is trying to get an interview with Siaki when Siaki is attacked by Jerry Lynn. Siaki is saved by Styles, who holds Lynn for Siaki to hit while yelling ‘stop’ at the same time. To add further insult to injury, they stuff Lynn in a production case, AJ sits on it and tells Siaki that he’s lucky that Bob Armstrong didn’t see it.

Uh…yeah.

Sonny Siaki vs David Young: Well, Siaki’s back to an okay pop and he’s greased himself up at some point. Anyway, his opponent is David Young, a hapless guy who had the misfortune of having Bobcat for a manager. Apparently, Young has ditched Bobcat, much to Borash’s relief and is focusing on being a top competitor.

This match was pretty good, but not a standout. This is basically the third X-Division match of the night and the crowd’s getting bored. Young is trying to hang, but this match is just blah. Young had a chance to get a pin but chose to go for a moonsault instead and missed when Siaki moved out of the way. Siaki hits his Money Clip and that’s that.

Winner: Sonny Siaki by pinfall.

Comment: That was an okay match, but after at least three high-flying matches, this didn’t really stand out.

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Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 14: Hard Day’s Reset

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This week, TNA will have its hands full with three former members of DX/NWO in the same building. Ron Killings stirs up the X-Division. Wildcat and Storm have their first title defense, and AJ Styles and Lo-Ki face off in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match to determine the new #1 Contender for the X-Division Title.

How’d they do? Let’s find out!

 The crowd in the Asylum is hot. Tenay gives a quick rundown of tonight’s card before we’re interrupted and sent to the back, where Jerry Lynn is beating up Sonny Siaki for his actions last week. Siaki finally gets his wits together and starts fighting back, but Lynn is too angry. When security try to break things up, they get beat up by Lynn and Siaki. Don Harris finally restores some order.

West and Tenay again try to run down the card and we’re told that Jerry Lynn will defend the X-Division Title against Ron Killings in a Lumberjack Match and the Lumberjacks will be members of the X-Division. Tenay says that when he talked to Killings about it, Killings said that everything he reads about TNA is talking about the X-Division, so his solution is to take out the X-Division.

Amazing Red vs Sonny Siaki: Red is out first to a pretty good pop. Siaki is out to little reaction and he’s not in his Elvis threads. Red gets the jump on Siaki, targeting Siaki’s ribs. This match was actually pretty good. There was a real contrast in styles between Red and Siaki, but it worked here. Red didn’t really have a chance, but it was a fun match to watch. During the match, Mortimer Plummer was spotted near the ramp taking notes on what was going on. Siaki finally got the pinfall by hitting Red with a neckbreaker after ducking one of Red’s high-flying moves.

Winner: Sonny Siaki by pinfall.

Comment: Match wasn’t much to write home about, but it was very enjoyable.

After the match, Jorge Estrada comes out and he tells Siaki that Siaki’s pulled the wool over Estrada’s eyes for the last time. He’s giving Siaki until the end of the night to turn his jumpsuit. Reminder, Siaki was not wearing his Elvis jumpsuit during this match, so I don’t think he really cares.

Backstage, Amazing Red has his own problems. He’s getting jumped by Killings, who claims that he’s taking out ‘them’ before they get him.

Table Match for the NWA-TNA Tag Team Championship: Chris Harris and James Storm vs Ron Harris and Brian Lee: Harris and Lee are out first to a pretty good reaction. We get a recap of last week’s Gauntlet for the Gold and Tag Team Championship match. Storm and Wildcat are out next to a great reaction and Storm is still doing the silly cowboy thing. This match was not good. Apparently, no one in TNA watched a Table match from WWE or ECW because the match was basically a regular Tag match with tables instead of pinfalls or submissions. One of the deviations from a regular Table Match is that putting both opponents through tables isn’t required since AMW only put Lee through a table.

Winner: Storm and Wildcat.

Comment: Bleh.

Harris isn’t going to take another defeat lying down and attacks Wildcat and Storm and puts Storm through a table. Security tries to restore order, but it takes a run in from Don Harris to calm things down.

We go to a previously recorded video with Goldylocks out in the rain, trying to get an interview with Bruce, when Bruce is attacked by an older lady. She cusses Bruce out, much to his amusement. He’s less amused when she slaps him.

Back in the ring, Killings is out. In his usual charming manner, he tells Trashville to shut up because he’s got something to get off his chest. He talks about being raised in the projects and asks if the audience knows what it’s like to sleep with rats. He then claims that his winning the NWA championship meant that there wasn’t prejudice after all, but he was  wrong. It’s still there. There’s no merchandise for The Truth, Ricky Steamboat, who initially gave Killings his title match, is gone, and now Killings is having a Lumberjack match against Jerry Lynn, but all the Lumberjacks are members of the X-Division! Where’s Killings backup? Where’s his posse.

Ron, you’ve insulted just about everyone in the company at some point.

At this point, BG James, Killings’ former partner and mentor, comes out. After telling Killings that his penis was his posse, James tells Killings that he’s acting like a prima donna and reminds us that he (James) brought Killings to the WWE and gave him a start.

Killings replies that James didn’t bring him to WWE to help a young guy get a start, he says that James brought him to WWE because James needed someone to carry him and that someone was Ron Killings. Killings then claims that he extended a hand in friendship to James and that James ignored him. He then says that TNA is HIS house and as long as James is there, he’s Killings’ bitch.

That did it and the fists start flying. Killings ends up beating a retreat, leaving James in the ring. James says that, unlike Demi Moore and Tom Cruise, he can handle the Truth.

Backstage, Goldylocks is with Brian Lawler, who has finally found his…I’m not sure what she is at this point, April. When Goldy asks, Lawler tells her that what happens between him and April is their business, even though he’s been making everyone else’s business for weeks and there are no issues. He then yells at April for speaking to Goldy for some reason.

Okay, I’m not loving where this storyline has gone.

2-Out-Of-3 Falls Match For the X-Division #1 Contendership: AJ Styles vs Lo-Ki:  Styles gets a pretty good pop, as does Lo-Ki. We’re reminded that whoever wins this match is the #1 Contender and the loser goes to the very back of the line.

First Fall: AJ dominates the first part of the match, demonstrating the headstand counter to headscissors that Deonna Purrazzo has made famous. One thing I’ll say for both these guys is that their wrestling isn’t all highspots, there’s seriously wrestling in with the high spots which makes it very fun to watch. Lo-Ki is the clear favorite of the crowd.

Lo-Ki would get the win with his Dragon Clutch.

Score: 1-0, Lo-Ki

Winner: Lo-Ki by submission.

Comment: Really great start.

Second Fall: Styles is a wounded animal now. If he doesn’t win now, he’s out, so he’s going all out, balls out. Lo-Ki, however, can smell victory and fights back, neither man can afford to lose this. Lo-Ki goes for the Dragon Clutch, but Styles counters with a Samoan Drop outside of the ring.

Styles would get the pin after rolling through a Frankensteiner counter to a powerbomb.

Score: 1-1, we are tied.

Winner: AJ Styles by pinfall.

Comment: Another really great match.

Third Fall: It is sudden death and everyone’s done playing. Lo-Ki damn near takes Styles’ head off with a kick. Things get nasty in a hurry with Styles targeting Lo-Ki’s knee. Lo-Ki fights back, but without being able to get in those nasty AF kicks of his, he’s a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest.

There was a really sloppy pin attempt with Styles trying to put his feet on the ropes but Lo-Ki got out of it. Styles got the pinfall with a Styles Clash. He’s the new #1 Contender for the X-Division Title and Lo-Ki’s at the back of the line.

Winner: AJ Styles.

Comment: This match was really good. It got a little sloppy towards the end because both guys were getting tired, but they pulled no punches. The downside of Lo-Ki was shown when his knee was taken out because kicking is basically his moveset and that hurt the match because he had nothing to fall back on.

Backstage, Goldy is with Jeff Jarrett, who hasn’t been having a lot of luck in TNA. She asks about the new arrivals, who are aligned with Scott Hall. Jarrett insults Goldy for suggesting, with a great deal of justification, that his championship aspirations have been derailed, stating that nothing has been derailed. He’s still focused on the NWA Title and Scott Hall and his friends are just obstacles.

I’m WAITING for Goldy to just pop one of these idiots in the mouth. Let Hall and Syxx be an example of being cool without being a macho a**hole to women.

ANYWAY! Back to the ring for the next match!

Brian Lawler and Elix Skipper vs Scott Hall and Syxx-Pac: Skipper doesn’t get a great reaction and botches his signature backflip. Lawler has April with him and it’s not clear what’s going on since Lawler is treating April pretty rottenly. Syxx-Pac and Hall get a great reaction. This match was hard to get into because Lawler kept acting like a spaz about April, yelling at her for nothing. Even Hall and Pac were like ‘Dude, WTF?’. Finally, April is…encouraged to sit down and we finally get Lawler focused, somewhat, on the actual match.

In an interesting twist on how tag matches usually go, bigger guy Scott Hall takes most of the punishment. At one point, Lawler’s treatment of April gets so crazy, Don West comes to check on her and gets attacked by Lawler, which leaves Elix Skipper having to deal with Hall and Pac on his own. Lawler tries to save his partner, but he’s quickly sent back out by Hall. Syxx finally gets the pin after countering a high spot by Skipper into a face buster.

Winner: Scott Hall and Syxx Pac by pinfall.

Comment: That was okay, but the Lawler storyline is not wowing me.

As Hall and Pac are celebrating, Jeff Jarrett comes out and cleans house with some help from Lawler, for some reason, and Skipper.  Finally, Ron Harris restores order.

Wasn’t Lawler trying to kill Jarrett a few weeks ago?

Anyway, backstage, Goldylocks is with AJ Styles who is in very good mood and is dancing badly. Styles owns up to being cocky and having a big mouth, but he’s the best wrestler in the world, so who cares. For some reason, he’s also hitting on Goldy, which she isn’t having.

Come on, Goldy, just punch ONE of them!

Kid Kash vs Jorge Estrada: Kash gets a good pop. Jorge doesn’t get quite as good a reaction.

This match was okay. It was all Estrada and Kash barely got in any offense, which stunk. Mortimer Plumtree was back, for some reason. Another weird thing was the ref counting two even though he was in the wrong position to see Kash’s shoulder come up. Estrada gets the pinfall after a springboard flip.

Winner: Jorge Estrada by pinfall.

Comment: Eh.

After the match, Estrada gets on the mic and repeats his demand to Sonny Siaki: Turn in your jumpsuit. Siaki comes out and claims that there was a misunderstanding and he didn’t want things to end like this. A claim that is proved blatantly false when we’re shown a video of Siaki BURNING the Elvis jumpsuit while a horrified Goldylocks looks on, calling it a ‘Hunka Hunka Burning Crap’. Estrada flips his lid, as can be imagined.

Eh on this segment, and they definitely lose points for mangling an Elvis hit.

There seem to be some technical glitches giving us the rundown of the Killings/Lynn issues for a couple of seconds, but here we go.

Lumberjack Match for the X-Division Championship: Jerry Lynn vs Ron Killings: For some reason, the Lumberjacks come out to Lynn’s music and they’re not getting much reaction, and neither does Lynn or Killings, to be honest. Lynn gets the jump on Killings and we’re off! This match was okay, but like last week, there was no real chemistry between Killings and Lynn. Someone seems to have forgotten to tell Kash that he’s there to support Lynn because he attacks Lynn when Lynn was thrown out of the ring.

While this was going on, Styles is on the top of the ramp, posing with a ladder, implying that that’s the match he wants and he honestly looks like an idiot. Killings’ disrespect of the X-Division bites him in the ass when Red and one of the Maximos distract the ref by calling his attention to Killings low blowing Lynn, which gave the opening to Lo-Ki who distracted Killings and then dazed him with a solid kick to the head, letting Lynn get the pinfall victory.

Winner: Jerry Lynn retains by pinfall.

Comment: Eh match, loved the ending with the X-Division getting back at Killings.

In the ring, Killings is having it out with Scott Armstrong, livid at what happened, but he’s getting no sympathy since he picked the fight with the X-Division.

West gives us his weekly ‘PLEASE keep us employed and tune in next week!’ pitches.  After that, we go straight to the Main Event.

Jeff Jarrett vs BG James: Jarrett is out first to a good reaction. James comes out and after having to restart his usual entrance shtick since Borash doesn’t seem to have known how Road Dogg does an entrance. This grudge match from 1996 was actually not completely awful. James was pretty out of shape and sloppy in some places, but Jarrett sold his ass off and made James look fantastic. James got a DQ win after Skipper and Lawler run in and attack James.

Winner: BG James by DQ due to outside interference.

Comment: That was okay, not a barn burner but it wasn’t godawful.

After the match, Hall and Pac run in and help James fend off Jarrett and company until a still irate Killings runs in and takes people out with the NWA belt. The show ends with the heels standing tall.

Overall Comments: Where has this show been? This wasn’t a great episode but compared to some of the sludge that had been showcased, it was a damn near masterpiece. It seems Vince Russo had his pen taken away again, thank God. Granted, this episode wasn’t Shakespeare, but compared to previous weeks, it was pretty close. There were still a few…plotholes.

  1. The shift in the Lawler/April storyline. When this storyline started, it was clear to anyone with two eyes that April was manipulating Lawler. Now, Lawler comes across as controlling and borderline abusive.
  2. Lawler/Jarrett. If you recall, Lawler was attacking Jarrett and claiming that Jarrett had done something to April. Now, he and Jarrett are friends again.

I’m still not happy with the treatment of women, but Jarrett did a good job of toning down the macho a**holeness of previous weeks, but there’s still a LOT of room for work.

I’m not sure what the heck they’re doing with Styles’ character. His match was superb, but the interview backstage was odd and made him look like an idiot.

Stinkers: Estrada vs Kash.

Snoozers: Killings vs Lynn, though the ending saved it.

Match of the Night: Styles vs Lo-Ki

Final Thoughts: This was another reset and overall it was pretty good aside from the few bugs.


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Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 13 – Talking and Tag Teams

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After a two week hiatus and nearly going out of business, TNA is back with all new action. We’re going to crown new NWA Tag Team Champions, Jerry Lynn will have the chance of a lifetime against Ron Killings, Styles and Kash will face off in a dream match and much more! So let’s see how things are going!

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Goldylocks welcomes us to the show and lets us know that we’ll be having a Gauntlet for the Gold match to determine the new Tag Team Champions. Joining her is Scott Hall, who will be joining the tag team tournament. Hall’s in a good mood and, unlike a lot of wrestlers, doesn’t give Goldy crap when she brings up when things didn’t go well for him. He says that he’s not done with Jarrett, but right now, he’s buzzed about the Tag Team Tournament because he’s got a great partner to go for the gold with: Sean Waltman, aka 1-2-3 Kid/Syxx/X-Pac. Waltman looks great and like he’s put on some muscles. Waltman apologizes for not wanting to talk to Goldy, saying that he and Hall have catching up to do.

(Take note other TNA wrestlers: You don’t have to be a dick towards a woman to be cool!)

Tenay and West give us a rundown of tonight’s card. I hate West’s UGLY shirt. The crowd is jazzed about TNA being back. We’re also getting a champion vs champion match: Jerry Lynn vs Ron Killings. If Jerry Lynn wins, he’ll be TNA’s first Triple Crown Winner. For some unknown reason, Dustin Diamond from ‘Saved by the Bell’ is going to be here. We’re also hoping to find out who the masked Bullet is.

We see a video of Brian Lawler yelling at Goldy to not talk to him, even though she wasn’t, because he’s waiting on someone, who turns out to be Jarrett, who is not in the mood. He ‘slams’ his rolling suitcase into Lawler before anything really starts and tells him enough! He never touched Lawler’s girlfriend. Jarrett seems to be genuinely trying to talk some sense into Lawler but Lawler isn’t listening.

In real time, Jarrett’s in the ring and he’s done playing around. Jarrett’s done with Bob Armstrong’s BS, he’s going to unmask the masked Bullet one way or another, or Bob’s going to get his Depends beaten off. (Ew)

When Armstrong doesn’t appear, Jarrett makes good on his threat. He manages to grab Armstrong but is waylaid by the Blank. After a brief brawl, the Blank, who is unsurprisingly revealed to be Brian Armstrong, aka, The Road Dogg Jesse James. What’s the youngest of the Armstrong brood doing here? Well, for one, he doesn’t appreciate Jarrett attacking his father, Bob, and for another, he blames Jarrett for the ‘career suicide’ Dogg performed when he walked out of WWE. Apparently, even joining DX and having great runs as tag champion, and Hardcore Champion wasn’t enough and now Dogg is here to even the score. Jarrett seems even less impressed with this than I am. James also announces that he will find himself a tag partner and join Gauntlet for the Gold.

Backstage, Goldylocks is with two-thirds of the Flying Elvises and it seems that Sonny Siaki has had a change of heart. The last two weeks have shown him that it’s not all about him and that the Flying Elvises will be part of Gauntlet for the Gold and that he’s cheering for Jerry Lynn to capture the NWA Championship from Ron Killings.

AJ Styles vs Kid Kash: Kid Kash gets a minimal pop, as does Styles, which is odd, or it could be that the audio on my computer is bad. Styles cuts a pre-match promo, trashing Siaki’s comments, saying that the only thing supporting Lynn is Lynn’s jockstrap. Like last week, he promised Lynn that their issues aren’t over.

This match was really good. Even though both competitors were technically heels, the match more than made up for it. There were plenty of high spots and plenty of mat wrestling. This match really had it all, depending on your tastes.

Styles would pick up the victory after a Styles Clash off the second rope. The crowd gives both guys a standing ovation for a really great match.

Winner: AJ Styles by pinfall.

Comment: I have a feeling this will be the highlight of the evening.

We go back to Goldylocks who is interviewing a familiar face: Marcus Bagwell, who was last seen walking out of TNA having relinquished his ‘Buff’ name after a disappointing loss in the first tag team tournament. When asked about why he was there, Bagwell said that ‘Buff’ Bagwell has gotten a lot opportunities, but he’s here for a second chance and to show what Marcus Alexander Bagwell can do.

As he’s talking, he’s approached by Road Dogg, who was liking what he was hearing and offers Bagwell the chance he was looking for: Join Road Dogg in the Tag Team Gauntlet for the Gold. Bagwell accepts, and we have manly hugging. Isn’t it lovely?

At ringside, Jeremy Borash introduces our celebrity guest: Dustin Diamond, aka, Screech from Saved by the Bell. Apparently, Dustin was involved in a celebrity boxing thing and now thinks he’s the next Mike Tyson. He starts challenging people at ringside to a match before West puts for the idea Tiny, the Timekeeper, who is a big guy with no muscle tone. Tiny agrees and we’ve got ourselves a trainwreck…er, a match!

Backstage, Goldy has her hands full with the Hot Shots, who apparently aren’t a part of the Gauntlet for the Gold Match. According to the Hot Shots, they, very generously, gave up their spot so younger guys could have a chance. According to Goldylocks, they aren’t in because they’re the 10th ranked team and didn’t make the cut. The Hot Shots aren’t happy with being exposed and storm off.  As they’re leaving, Goldy is approached by Disco Inferno, who is looking for Brian Lawler. Goldy tells him that it’s not her night to watch Lawler, so she hasn’t seen him. Disco apparently missed the Outsiders’ lesson that being a dick to women doesn’t make you cool and insults Goldy before storming off.

Boxing Match: Dustin Diamond vs Tiny the Time Keeper

 This match is happening, not sure why. Three one minute matches, Marquis of Queensbury and all that. This was a trainwreck that Diamond won in less than a minute.

 Winner: Dustin Diamond by KO.

Comment: That happened.

 

Jimmy Rave/Wylde vs Ace Steele/CM Punk vs Hot Shots

Jimmy Rave and Wylde are out first to little reaction, as are Punk and Steele. Punk has bleached blonde hair. Hot Shots get no reaction either, despite their early 90s inspired tangerine tights. We get a little clarification on Goldy’s comments: While Hot Shots weren’t originally in Gauntlet for the Gold, if they win this Triple Threat Match, they will be in. The rules are a little odd, it’s a Triple Threat, but whichever team is pinned is the only one that will be eliminated from Gauntlet for the Gold, the other two teams will advance.

This match was actually pretty good. I always like seeing future big stars when they’re first starting out, even if it’s someone I can’t stand, like CM Punk.

Hot Shots lived up to their name as the arrogant heels of this thing, which ended up costing them after Rave hit his version of the Gory Special on Cassidy. According to the rules, Rave/Wylde and Steele/Punk both advance to the Gauntlet for the Gold.

Winner: Rave/Wylde, Steele/Punk.

Comment: This was one of those instances of making things overly complicated.

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