This week, TNA will be dealing with the aftermath of last week’s shenanigans, including Jeff Jarrett’s somewhat understandable anger at his treatment by NWA leadership. Sabu will have his one-on-one match with Ken Shamrock for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn will have to try and put their differences aside in order to hold on to their Tag Team Championship. Plus, James Mitchell and his minions are running loose. This is also the first TNA to come from the Asylum of the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. So, let’s see what’s going on!
This week’s show opening is a definitely scaledown from previous shows: No opening montage, no pyro, the Asylum reminds me of old episodes of the territory shows, which is actually very refreshing.
We start at ringside where Jeff Jarrett is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. He’s attacking the security guards sent to make him leave with a steel chair. Jarrett basically says that he’s done talking, his silence will be deafening and will consist of raw violence, because that’s worked so well up to now. He demands that Shamrock comes out with his (Jarrett’s) title or there’s going be bodies laying out around the ring. He then says that he’s been making his case for five weeks that he should be NWA Champion, but people aren’t listening. He basically threatens to hold the show hostage until he gets the title shot he was robbed of last week by NWA leadership.
We go backstage where Security is surrounding Shamrock, presumably to keep him from going out to confront Jarrett. Shamrock’s cooperation lasts about two seconds and then he’s taking out the security guards, except for one big, blond guy who seems to be the only security guard who knows what he’s doing, but he also gets his butt kicked.
Bob Armstrong and someone who looks like one of the Harris Brothers (DOA in WWE) are trying to calm Shamrock down, but step aside once its clear that he means business. Shamrock then locks Armstrong and Harris in the room and heads to the ring. Some unknown musclehead demands to know what’s going on and Shamrock tells to be sure that no one leaves the room or gets inside.
Back in the ring, NWA Vice President, Bill Behrens, who has been constantly trying to put out the Jarrett wildfire with a garden hose, decides to try gasoline instead. He suspends Jarrett for sixty days due to Jarrett’s actions over the last few weeks, ignoring the fact that Jarrett’s actions were a reaction to the NWA’s treatment of him, justified or not. He also tells Jarrett that he can leave under his own steam like a gentleman or be dragged out by security, apparently not realizing that his crack security team has been taken out by Ken Shamrock.
Jarrett’s reaction to this latest BS, is to whack Behrens upside the head with the steel chair, to the joy of the crowd. Shamrock comes out and a fight breaks out. Since Security is a little preoccupied, a couple of guys from the locker room come out to try and restore order. Jarrett uses the distraction to nail Shamrock with the steel chair. Before the babyface enforcers can do anything, Lawler and K-Krush come to Jarrett’s rescue. Jarrett says something to Tenay, but it’s hard to understand what he said.
While order is being restored, we get a rundown of tonight’s card. Again, Tenay talks about Jarrett’s disdain for authority, while ignoring the fact that Jarrett has a very good reason to be upset considering that the NWA officials have seemed to go out of their way to screw him over for expressing his opinion and not sucking up to them. Last week’s arbitrary revoking of his #1 Contender match is a good example.
Amazing Red vs Lo Ki
Amazing Red comes out to a minimal pop. Lo Ki gets a better pop, but he looks like he’s in a bad mood.
This match was very fast paced, but not a lot of wrestling, in my opinion. This was Amazing Red’s TNA debut and it’s easy to see why he became a staple of the X Division for several years and actually seems to have Lo Ki’s number, but Lo Ki gets his game together.
Have to say that Red loses some badass cred when Lo Ki kicks off his bandana and he’s revealed to slightly resemble Carrot Top.
Ferrara makes a comment that this match resembles a Jackie Chan movie and I have to agree to a point.
Lo Ki hits the Ki Krush and gets the three count.
Winner: Lo Ki by pinfall
Comment: I think I would’ve liked this match more if it hadn’t seemed like such a spot fest. There was very little actual wrestling and just a lot of kicking and flips.
We still have the dancing girls, but they’re a little more dressed than last week.
Goldilocks is trying to keep up with Jarrett who is trying to get Shamrock’s friend to let him into where Shamrock is, but Muscles isn’t having it, but Jarrett doesn’t care, but backs off for now.
Hot Shots vs James Storm and Chris Harris
Hot Shots are out first to an okay pop, they’re still pretty generic looking and the crowd doesn’t seem terribly impressed. One of the Hot Shots gets on the mic and says that, and I quote, “We’re pricks, we’re proud, and we’re protruding”.
Storm and Harris, who really should be in the Tag Title hunt, get a huge pop.
In an earlier interview, it’s revealed that the Hot Shots are the ones that jumped Storm and Harris in Episode 3, not the Rainbow Express or the Dupps. This doesn’t make any sense to me sense the Hot Shots weren’t part of the show that night. Anyway, Storm and Harris vow to teach the Hot Shots a lesson. Storm is acting goofier than a pet coon, to quote JR, and it seems to be getting on Harris’ nerves.
Back to the ring, the match has already started, and the Hot Shots are already trying to bail out, but Storm and Harris aren’t having it.
Apparently, Tenay doesn’t buy the story of the Hot Shots taking out Storm and Harris either, but Ferrara points out that the absence of Storm and Harris opened the door for the Hot Shots to get a match on PPV.
Harris is taking care of business and tags in Storm but Hot Shots keep him from getting into the ring and a fight breaks out outside. The Hot Shots are dominating Storm, but Storm refuses to stay down.
The Hot Shots are playing arrogant heels very well, problem is that they’re so unknown that no one really cares. Hot Shot #2 misses the moonsault but hits Storm anyway, but Storm is still able to tag in Harris.
Okay, whatever Storm was smoking, drinking, or rubbing into his belly seems to have worn off because he’s all business. Harris hits a Northern Lights Suplex for the three.
Winner: James Storm and Chris Harris by pinfall
Hot Shot #1 attacks them both from behind and take them both out.
Comment: That was a pretty good match. I hate how Storm was being portrayed in the earlier interview, but the match was good.
Backstage, the long-suffering Goldilocks is with the trainers, working on Ken Shamrock, to make sure he’ll be able to meet Sabu later in the evening. Shamrock seems to be groggy, but that only lasts a few seconds. He grabs the trainer and demands to know where Jarrett is, when the trainer can’t answer that question, Shamrock loses it.
Apolo vs Brian Lawler
Apolo is out first to a good pop. Lawler is out next to a pretty good pop. He’s not dancing around like he was last week and seems to have embraced toning things down, though he still hates hearing ‘Jerry’s Kid’ from the crowd.
This match is a real contrast in styles and personas, but it’s pretty good, at least so far. Apolo is dominating the match, but Lawler keeps coming back. Apolo is a beast, and I mean that nicely. He’s got a good look and can go in the ring. For all his whining about his father, Lawler seems to be taking moves out of his dad’s heel playbook.
After some ‘eh’ back and forth, Apolo goes for the kill, but Lawler counters. Lawler got his lip busted but doesn’t seem to mind it too badly. He still wastes too much time dancing, which you shouldn’t do with someone like Apolo. Lawler’s time-wasting costs him, Apolo does a quick roll up for the victory. Lawler can’t believe it and goes to the commentators, who try to explain what happened, but Lawler is livid and goes after Don West. Since there is still no security, the only people to help West are Tenay, Ferrara, and some other guy at ringside.
Winner: Apolo by pinfall
Comment: I was ‘eh’ on this match. It was good, but it seemed like a waste of both guys, who really didn’t benefit from any part of the match.
K-Krush is out to a mixed reaction. We get a recap of what K-Krush did to Norman Smiley, which is disturbing in any circumstances, but especially in the South. We also are shown him doing the same to Scott Hall.
K-Krush seems to have no remorse over what happened. He says his name is ‘The Truth’. Okay, that’s easier to type. He says that ‘They’ gave him the name ‘K-Krush’ and he won’t be ‘Their’ puppet any more. The crowd seems torn on how to react. A lot of people are supporting Truth, but just as many want him to shut up.
Truth says he doesn’t abide by ‘Their’ rules and it’s all about the truth. He still won’t come out and say that the NWA won’t put the title on him because he’s black, but he invokes Al Iverson, OJ Simpson, and Mike Tyson, saying that they are all great men kept down by ‘Them’, rather than by their own actions, and all of them are African-American athletes who had trouble with the law.
This crowd is getting nasty and the situation is saved by Monty Brown, who is completely over this. Truth looks really scary and isn’t backing down, so Brown MIGHT want to watch his step.
Brown talks about his accomplishments, which were a distant memory in 2002 and says that ‘They’ helped him accomplish his goals. He then tells Truth that maybe the problem isn’t ‘Them’, maybe the problem is that Truth isn’t as great as he thinks he is. Them’s fightin’ words, as my grandfather would say.
Truth is looking increasingly crazy and pissed off, which could be bad for Brown. He tells Brown that he doesn’t have a problem with him (why don’t I believe that), and that Brown isn’t the one Truth has a problem with. Brown’s got his own bills to pay and so does Truth. He then tells Brown to take his selling out, Uncle Tom (DUDE!), ass out of Truth’s ring.
The crowd goes ballistic, and so does Truth, who takes quick advantage of Brown’s shock to attack him. Brown quickly regains his bearings and the fight’s on. Brown hits the Alpha Bomb, but this issue is just getting started.
We get a recap of the Jerry Lynn/AJ Styles issue right before their tag team match.
We get a pre-match interview involving Mike Tenay. Both guys own up to their issues with each other, but they seemed to have declared a truce and are trying to work things out, but there does seem to be some remaining tension, and considering that they’ve spent the last two weeks beating each other up as often as their opponents, this truce seems shaky at best.
NWA Tag Team Championship Match: AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn vs Flying Elvises
Flying Elvises are out in full. Jorge Estrada and Jimmy Yang are going to be the ones competing this week, Sonny Siake is there to run his mouth. The champs are out to a great pop.
Unlike the Amazing Red/Lo Ki match, this is NOT a spot fest. There are a lot of spots, but there is actual wrestling in this. Lynn’s veteran experience is really on show here and the champs make a good show of working together in the early stages of the match.
This match is very fast moving, so it’s a little hard to keep up with but it’s still a really good match. These four guys are really good, it almost looks like they’re dancing with each other.
Finally, the Elivses get tired of being good dance partners and start playing dirty, which is easy for them since they have the numbers’ advantage. Styles is taking a classic buttkicking, but he’s giving as good as he gets, but he’s also making the Elivises look good.
Lynn finally gets tagged in and starts cleaning house. It LOOKS like a three count got broken up too late by Yang. Lynn calls on Styles to hit a move to take the Elvises out, but the Elvises get out of the way and Styles hits Lynn, which busts Lynn open, probably due to Lynn overblading a little.
Elvises are going after Styles, but I don’t think Styles is the legal man. Finally, Lynn gets the pin due to the ref actually remembering who the legal guys were.
Winner: Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles by pinfall
Styles apparently thought he was the legal man and is pissed that Lynn ‘stole’ the pinfall from him and leaves. Guess they’re still working on things.
Comment: That was a much better X Division match than Lo Ki and Amazing Red. Glad the storyline of Styles vs Lynn was advanced and that the Flying Elvises got some ring time.
Coming back from commercial, there’s a guy sitting in a mismatched 1970s looking living room suit that looks like it came from a garage sale (which, given that it’s summer in Tennessee, is probably very likely).
A close up reveals that our friend is revealed to be the notorious (and notoriously bad) Disco Inferno (Jeez, they were desperate for cheap talent). Disco’s got a new haircut and isn’t dancing, thankfully. He brags about his win/loss record and how great he is. No man is an island, but any man can be a delusional idiot, apparently.
Disco seems to be confusing his accomplishments with ones that anyone gives a damn about, before trashing Nashville, which really sets the crowd off. Disco keeps on talking and pissing people off. Apparently, his new goal in TNA is to help people. He wants to help Ken Shamrock get a personality and he wants to help Jerry Lynn get some cosmetic surgery. He compares himself to 90s talk show hosts: Sally Jesse Raphael, Jerry Springer, and Montel Williams. He’s going to his own segment called ‘Jive Talkin’ (Oh boy).
Backstage, Ken Shamrock meets up with his musclehead friend, who warns him that Jarrett is looking for him. Shamrock replies that Jarrett better pray that he DOESN’T find him.
Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger vs Monty Brown and Elix Skipper
Diamond and Swinger are out first to a minimal pop, though they’re apparently ECW alumni. Monty Brown and Elix Skipper get a slightly better pop. Tenay poo poos Skipper’s CFL career while bragging about Brown’s two Super Bowl trips.
Anyway, this match was okay. Skipper and Brown were actually a pretty good team with a contrasting look and styles that worked for them, but Diamond and Swinger weren’t slouches either.
Skipper is really good, but some of his stuff looks like he hurts himself just as much as the opponent. Brown gets tagged in and starts kicking some ass. An attempt by Skipper to help Brown out ends with Skipper nailing Brown, and Skipper getting nailed with Diamond and Swinger’s finishing move, but since Skipper wasn’t legal, they can’t get the pin. Brown hits the Alpha Bomb on one of his opponents and gets the pin.
Winner: Monty Brown and Elix Skipper
Things change when Truth does and run in and chokes Brown with his belt. Apparently, Skipper was in on this ruse, because he leaves Brown to his fate.
Comment: That wasn’t an awful match. If not for what happened with Truth, I would’ve said that with a few more matches to iron out the kinks, Brown and Skipper could’ve been a real force in the tag division.
Backstage, Goldilocks is stuck trying to get an interview with the Dupps, minus Fluff, but she warns them that if they start anything, she’s leaving. For some reason, Blond Dupp’s mouth is bleeding. He starts by saying that pink is his favorite color. Goldilocks figures she knows where this is going and starts to leave but they don’t let her. Finally, Hat Dupp says that the real problem is that they don’t have a match tonight and Hat left Fluff with Pop Dupp, which is apparently not a good thing for Pop, Fluff, or the sheep (EW!!!!!!!!). Blond Dupp has an idea, apparently, all you have to do to get a match is to bump into someone. They then start ‘bumping’ into an increasingly pissed off Goldilocks, who is stuck between them.
Goldilocks has finally reached her limit with this crap and warns Hat Dupp that if doesn’t get his hands off her breasts, he’s going to be singing soprano (Tell em Goldilocks!). Realizing that they aren’t going to get a match with Goldilocks, Hat Dupp gets the brilliant idea of bumping into a guy instead. So, Blond Dupp sends him after Shamrock’s musclehead friend, who is still guarding the room where NWA security is being held. Not surprisingly, Muscles is not impressed, or happy, with this plan and it looks like Hat’s going to get his match.
Hat Dupp vs Ian Harrison
Okay, this is apparently NOT the scheduled match, but the Dupps have wood and Borash is smart enough to not argue with them. Apparently, the Dupps don’t know who they just picked a fight with, they want him introduced as ‘Musclehead guy from the back’ and Borash just goes with it.
Okay, Muscles’ REAL name is Ian Harrison, he’s a professional body builder who has won or placed in several bodybuilding competitions and he’s known as the ‘Iron Brick’ in his native England. Basically, the WORST guy to pick a fight with. Considering that there’s been no mention of Harrison being anything BUT a body builder, this is either going to be fantastic or an absolute trainwreck.
Hat gets the jump on Harrison and this thing is on. Harrison seems to have some basic wrestling moves knowledge, but he’s going to need some work, and by some, I mean a lot more than whatever he’s gotten so far.
Okay, whatever they’re planning for Harrison just got declared DOA. Hat took him down with two elbow shots.
This match isn’t great. Harrison should’ve already crushed Hat to pulp and, instead, Hat is managing to get in a lot of offense. Granted, Harrison is clearly out of his element and Hat’s doing his best, but this is just ‘bleh’.
Finally, Blond Dupp does a run in and Harrison gets a DQ victory. The Dupps try to attack him with their might boards, but the boards meet a tragic end when Harrison snaps Hat’s board over his knee. At this tragic calamity, the Dupps run for higher ground.
Winner: Ian Harrison by DQ
Comment: On a scale of one to ten, that was awful. I hope they weren’t planning on making Harrison into a monster wrestler, because that isn’t how you do it.
Backstage, Jarrett is hellbent on getting HIS title. Since the Dupps got Harrison out of the doorway, he can now let the security guards, Bob Armstrong, and one of the Harris brothers out. Apparently, Shamrock’s already in there and a fight breaks out. Thankfully, there’s a room full of pissed off security guards to break things up. Finally, the Harris brother that was locked in all night tells Shamrock to go take care of his title and security’s going to handle Jarrett, never mind that Shamrock’s the one who locked them in all night.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match/Submission Match
Ken Shamrock vs Sabu
Sabu is out first to a great pop. For some reason, Sabu’s headgear is an American flag. We get a recap of last week’s ladder match. Shamrock gets a good pop, but this mix of gimmick matches is not giving me a lot of confidence in the quality of this match because it makes absolutely no sense.
This match isn’t great. It’s better than some of the matches we’ve seen tonight, but it isn’t the best. Sabu is a very odd pick for an NWA Title match because he’s not really that good of a wrestler, though he was matching submission holds with Shamrock. The ladder is only featured in a couple of spots, this is another excuse to have Sabu be Sabu and the opponent and stakes are a distant second.
Finally, Shamrock goes to retrieve his belt, realizing that Sabu is not going to submit and gets it in the easiest retrieval in history. While he’s trying to get the belt unhooked, the lights go out. When the lights come up, Malice slides into the ring and attacks Shamrock, chokeslamming him off of the ladder. Malice then climbs the ladder himself and takes the title. Never mind that he was not a competitor in this match, and therefore, has no right to the title.
Tenay suddenly remembers that Jarrett vowed to leave with the NWA title and hints that Jarrett might be behind this, which would be a pretty stupid thing for Jarrett to do, considering how treacherous James Mitchell and his New Church are.
Winner: Even though Shamrock had the title and had it pretty much unhooked, the match is declared a no contest due to the run in and confiscation of the title by Malice.
Comment: What did I just sit through?
So, how was the first TNA from the Asylum? It was okay. The matches were lackluster at best, except for a few bright spots, but the bigger story is the reset of TNA. This show was very scaled down, no pyro, or fancy stuff, much more reminiscent of how wrestling was in the 80s.
As far as storytelling, someone seems to have realized that a show based around stuff that was too trashy for the Attitude Era was probably not the best storytelling model. The storylines were taken back to basics and the other…stuff, the women who couldn’t wrestle, and the little people, were taken out. Even the dancers were more covered and not gyrating as much.
My issue with how Goldilocks, as the only woman in TNA, was treated and is still there, but in the one questionable situation that really arose, she was allowed to stand up for herself, which I did like.
The one situation I was extremely uncomfortable with was the K-Krush/Truth thing. I found the not quite calling the NWA racist while whining about racism a little hard to swallow and the hanging black men by the neck in the ring was disturbing on way too many levels to go into here, but especially to do this in the South, as was Truth calling Monty Brown an ‘Uncle Tom’. Someone needs to put the brakes on this or they’re going to start having big problems.
The NWA title situation needs to change desperately. I don’t want to say that Ken Shamrock is a bad champion, but his booking and the way the NWA title is being used is ridiculous, and tonight’s title match was a prime example. It was like they didn’t want to do another ladder match but didn’t want to make the match appear stacked in Shamrock’s favor, so they tried to do both and just created a big mess. The run in by Malice just added stupidity to the equation, though the hint that Jeff Jarrett masterminded the whole thing is at least an interesting theory.
Speaking of Jeff Jarrett, the confusing way he’s being booked is looking like they’re trying to recreate Austin vs McMahon, only it’s going to be Jeff Jarrett vs the NWA and it’s not working, mainly because Jarrett’s persona is too different from Steve Austin’s to make it work the way Austin vs McMahon did, plus the NWA people he’s up against are way too boring to be good Vince McMahon stand ins. Jarrett has proven to have the stuff to be the guy to build a brand around, but he needs better people to butt heads with to make this work.
Stinkers: Ian Harrison vs Hat Dupp. I don’t know what they were planning to do with Harrison, but whatever it was failed spectacularly. Shamrock/Sabu is a close second.
Snoozers: Apolo vs Brian Lawler. It was an okay match, but it really didn’t do either man any favors.
Match of the Night: Lynn/Styles vs Flying Elvises. This was about the only match that was actually worth watching again.
Final Thoughts: This was a rough reset of TNA, but I do think it shows some promise overall with a little more work on match quality and storytelling.
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Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 15: Night of Chumpions
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’.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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
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!
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.