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NWA-TNA Episode 8: Opportunities Won and Lost

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This week, TNA continues to deal with Jeff Jarret’s fight for his world title shot. AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn continue to deal with the issues of their partnership, especially after last week. Malice of the New Church will try to make a sacrifice of Don Harris, and Truth will get the opportunity to make history. Let’s see how they do.

 

Opening

The montage is back.  We start backstage where The Dupps, Apolo, and Goldilocks are backstage. We start with our first match

 

Spanish Announce Team (Amazing Red, Joel Maximo, Jose Maximo) vs Flying Elvises (Estrada, Siaki, and Yang)

Spanish Announce Team, and yes, that is their name, is out to little reaction. Elivises are out to little reaction as well and we’re off.

This was a really good match. Amazing Red and his friends put on a good show, but the Elvises were absolutely dominate. Unfortunately, this was more of a spot show than a wrestling match. The ongoing storyline of trouble in the Elvises continued as Siaki seems to think he’s too good for the gimmick and his partners. Unfortunately, that bit him in the ass as Estrada and Yang got sick of his nonsense and bailed out, leaving him to face the SATs (no, I’m not kidding) by himself.  Siaki held his own, but still refused help from Yang when Yang came back to help him.

The match completely breaks down when Estrada and Yang come to Siaki’s rescue. Estrada and Yang would take out Red, but Siaki would come in and steal the pin. Estrada and Yang are not happy about this and the issues in the Flying Elvises continue.

Winner: Flying Elvises by pinfall.

Comment: This match went from okay to bad by the end of it. Not a lot of actual wrestling, just spots.

Tenay gives us the match breakdown: Jarrett and Apolo, who are both considered top contenders for the NWA Title will face off, a triple threat match for the X Division title, and Truth will face Ken Shamrock for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

Tenay had an interview Apolo, who is not want for opening formalities, much to Tenay’s annoyance, he wants to get to the point of the interview: The fact that, despite being undefeated in TNA, he was passed over for a title shot against Shamrock for the NWA World Title. Apolo seemed to have taken Steamboat’s decision more personally than it was meant to be and implies that Steamboat’s decision was based on corruption, rather than Steamboat offering an opportunity to someone who seemed just as deserving. Tenay is incensed at the accusation but Apolo is just as incensed about Truth getting his spot. Apolo then says that he’s going to make Steamboat look him in the eye and tell him why he was passed over.

Backstage, Goldilocks is there as Apolo tries to confront Steamboat, who has no idea what is going on. He tells Apolo that he’s extremely busy and he’ll talk to Apolo when he’s ready, so Apolo shouldn’t come to him with ‘NOW’ crap.

Now that some gasoline has been added to the pissed off Apolo fire, the Dupps follow Steamboat, with a reluctant Goldilocks in tow, they’ve been waiting in their church clothes for hours to talk to Steamboat, but before we can find out what Dupps are up to, Lynn and Styles come crashing into the room in the middle of a huge fight. Guess Lynn is still mad about last week. The fight goes all over, including the handicap bathroom.

 

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ken Shamrock vs Ron Killings

Steamboat is introduced as the NWA representative for the match, but he’s accosted by the badly dressed Dupps, who just want to talk to Steamboat about something. Steamboat isn’t interested in hearing their idea, he just tells them to do whatever they want (oh, god). The Dupps are happy about this and leave.

Truth is out first to an okay pop. Talking seems to be over, he’s all business. Shamrock gets a good pop and he’s all business as usual. At first glance, this seems like a piece of cake for Shamrock given his extensive experience in the ring. However, Truth is a wily competitor and refuses to back down. Of the three title defenses that Shamrock’s had since TNA started, this has been the best, to be honest. Truth and Shamrock seemed to really click in the ring and worked really well together.

Unfortunately, this really good match has a few too many cooks working on it. Watching this match are the New Church and Monty Brown. Don Harris is there as head of security. Unfortunately, Harris is only one man, and Brown, Apolo, and the New Church run in and cause havoc. The match keeps going, even after Apolo misses with a savant kick and nails Shamrock. Steamboat gets Shamrock back into the ring and goes after Apolo. Apolo’s kick does the trick, Truth hits a running cutter and it’s all over.

Winner: Truth by pinfall. NEW NWA Heavyweight Champion. Ron Killings is the first African-American man to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship*.  Truth can’t believe this is happening and neither can anyone else.

Comment: That was a really good match, I just wish they hadn’t felt the need to have all the run ins and have Truth get the win with help.

*TECHNICALLY, the first African-American man to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship was Bobo Brazil, however his win over Buddy Rogers was because Rogers refused to do the match, claiming illness, and the NWA never acknowledged that Bobo had won and Bobo refused to accept a title he hadn’t won in the ring. Ron Simmons’ victory was for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship after WCW had severed ties with the NWA.

Steamboat comes back and is NOT happy with what happened. He tells Apolo to get his butt out there and face him like a man. Steamboat admits that leapfrogging Truth over Apolo might’ve been a mistake but that Apolo has been running around like a madman and that’s not going to fly, however he’s going to give Apolo the title shot he’s owed.

At this point, Jarrett interrupts and renews his claims that he’s still owed a title shot and is livid at the statement that Apolo ‘earned’ his title shot, while Jarrett has been waiting patiently for his chance (and yes, he said that with a straight face). Jarrett says that the answer to why he keeps getting passed is as white as his skin (Oh sweet Jesus, please don’t go there), and it isn’t because he’s been acting like a brat and insulted the people who make the decisions in the NWA. No, Jarrett says that he’s being passed over because of reverse discrimination.

(Oh, God, we’re actually going down this rabbit hole)

Steamboat is NOT having it and says that this bullshit (YES, Steamboat swore!) is going to stop tonight! Steamboat then tells Apolo that if he beats Jarrett in their match tonight, he’ll get his title shot and if Jarrett beats Apolo, he’ll get a title shot. On top of that, Steamboat is going to be the referee, to make sure everything is on the up and up.

Jarrett, who seems to have forgotten that Steamboat being referee means that he’s untouchable, says that he’ll see both of them in the ring and that Steamboat is fair game.

 

After all that, it’s time for Jive Talkin’, only the set has definitely been downsized from ‘Stuff we found at a yard sale’ to ‘Stuff that we found on site’. Disco isn’t happy about this and then the Dupps come out, just to make this more of a mess. The Dupps introduce themselves as Stan ‘Blond’ Dupp and Bo ‘Hat’ Dupp. The Dupps have some exciting news for us, they’re announcing the first Dupp Cup Invitational, whatever the hell that is.

Apparently, the Cup has been passed down through the generations of Dupps (there’s a joke in there, but I won’t deal in stereotypes, easy as they’re making it). Okay, apparently, the Dupp Cup is the spittoon, that everyone drank whisky, and God only knows what else, out of (EW!). Disco stops the description before we get into the TRULY gross things that happen with this ‘Cup’ and asks what the point is. Hat says that ‘Steamship’ said that they could do what they want, so they’re going to make the Dupp Cup the new hardcore division. Hardcore division of what, I’m not sure I want to know.

There are actual rules to this thing and they are as follows:

10 Points to win

  • Put your opponent through a table = 2 ½ points
  • Put your opponent through a flaming table = 5 points
  • Put your opponent’s head in the toilet = 2 ½ points
  • You get 3 ½ points if the toilet has poop in it when you put your opponent’s head in it.
  • Goose a woman = 2 ½ points
  • Goose a man = 3 ½ points (for the danger of getting the crap kicked out of you by the man, I guess)
  • Nail Jeremy Borash = 2 ½ points
  • Nail the old lady who sells the tickets = 2 ½ points
  • Use a farm animal = 2 ½ points (is 2 ½ the highest they can count?)
  • Spank opponent with horse manure = 2 ½ points, no extra points if they like it.
  • Introduce opponent to Jay, whoever that is, = 2 ½ points
  • Cry like a p**y = -5 points
  • Put opponent’s head in cotton candy machine for one full rotation = 10 points (wouldn’t that be murder?)
  • Hit opponent with fan brought weapon = 1 point.

 When asked about an opponent, Blond says that he saw what Disco did to his ‘girlfriend’, Goldilocks. Disco is completely unrepentant and refers to Goldilocks as a ‘dumb bitch’, which doesn’t make Blond very happy. Blond then says that he has something to show Goldilocks and after stripping down to his boxers, reveals that he’s wearing an undershirt with Goldilocks’ face on it (okay, I’m officially creeped out).

Disco again asks about an opponent and discovers that Blond wants to take him on. Disco refuses, citing that he’s a talk show host. As he’s talking, the big blonde that attacked Goldilocks last week comes out. Disco introduces her as Paulina from Tough Enough and says that she doesn’t want him to wrestle tonight (my neutered cat has bigger balls than this guy)..

Blond is not intimidated and refers to Paulina as ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, however, it looks like Disco isn’t going to be wrestling. When asked about the winner’s purse, the Dupps reveal that the purse is the $.64 they have between them. So they up the ante to: The winner gets one night with Fluff Dupp and Blond and Hat get to watch (Sweet Jesus!).

 

The Dupps vs Ed Ferrara

That brings in Ed Ferrara, who can’t resist the urge to be a creep. He’s willing to do this for the chance to have sex with Fluff while the Dupps watch. He agrees to do it and just get things going, nails punches poor Jeremy Borash in the face, so he’s already got 2 ½ points. He then gooses Don West, so that’s six points.

The Dupps don’t seem particularly thrilled that Ed is more than halfway through getting a night with Fluff .  Jeremy Borash pissed off at being sucker punched, attacks Ferrara from behind and gets thrown over the railing, which I THINK brings the total up to 8 ½ points. By this point, the Dupps have decided that Ferrara isn’t going to get a night with Fluff and jump into the ring. Ferrara actually comes quite close to winning this thing, but he comes out on the short end of this trainwreck.

Winner: The Dupps

Comment: My IQ just dropped a few points after this.

Well, after that, we see another pre-recorded interview, this time between Tenay and Monty Brown. Brown is proud to talk about his background, which is pretty impressive. When asked about politics, Brown admitted that politics in football affected his career, but when he proved himself to the Bills and the Patriots, the politics didn’t matter. When asked about Truth’s rantings about ‘They’ and ‘Them’, Brown states that he doesn’t like Truth and doesn’t buy his complaints because he feels Truth didn’t make his opportunities like he himself did, which comes across as a little tone deaf, but before he can go much further, he’s attacked by Elix Skipper, who douses him with yellow paint and tells him to shut up and that he has no idea what Skipper and Truth went through because he (Brown) was too busy kissing the behinds of the people in the back. There’s a lot of ranting about learning on the streets and that Skipper considers Brown a chicken.

 

First Blood Match: Malice (with James Mitchell) vs Don Harris

Malice and Mitchell get a small pop, Harris gets a better one. This match was brutal and nasty, as you would expect for a First Blood match, not a lot of wrestling, but a lot of ass kicking.

Harris has his hands full because dealing with one member of the New Church brings the rest of them out. At one point, Mitchell gets a taste of his own medicine and gets some blood on his face. Harris is the first to bleed, but it’s really hard to see how due to a poorly executed blading job. To add insult to injury, Malice and Slash continue to pummel Harris, but he’s not subjected to the baptism.

Winner: Malice.

Comment: That was an okay match, not a barn burner.

Backstage, Goldilocks is trying to get an interview with the de-throned Miss TNA, Taylor Vaughn, when she’s interrupted by Sonny Siaki, who is looking for Ricky Steamboat. After finally getting rid of him, she then interrupted by Bruce, who takes her microphone and storms into the locker room where Vaughn is and taunts her. Vaughn is NOT happy and shoves him into the corner, using a sexual slur in the process. Things get ugly before they’re broken up by the other women in the locker room. Vaughn challenges Bruce to an Evening Gown match to get her crown back. After Bruce leaves, Lo Ki and Styles come flying in, continuing the fight that Styles and Lynn had earlier in the night.

 

Apolo vs Jeff Jarrett

Special Ref Steamboat is out to little reaction, the audience seems bored with the show. Apolo doesn’t get a reaction. Jarrett actually gets a reaction. True to his word, Steamboat calls it down the middle. This was a really good match, Apolo still isn’t the best in-ring performer, but he looked really good out there with Jarrett.

Jarrett looked like a first rate heel out there, despite having some support from the audience. The problem was that Steamboat’s insistence on following the NWA’s rules hampered the match, at least to me. Even Flair got away with more underhanded stuff than Jarrett did in this match.

We get a false finish where it looked like Apolo had won, but Jarrett got his foot on the ropes in time. Apolo hit a German suplex on Jarrett but still lost as Jarrett was able to get his shoulder up a split second before a double pin, giving him the victory. Apolo is livid, not realizing that his shoulders were both on the mat too and accosts Steamboat, who tells him that he’ll talk to him in the back and that the decision was not based on any issue Steamboat had with him. Apolo is still angry and says that Jarrett stole the match, but he’s finally taken into the back by security.

With Apolo out of his hair, Steamboat turns his attention to the still celebrating Jarrett and makes a little announcement: Yes, Jarrett won the match, and Steamboat is a man of his word, HOWEVER, Jarrett will not be facing Truth for the NWA Title, Jarrett and Truth will be tag team partners next week in a match against Styles and Lynn next week for the Tag Team Titles. Steamboat’s justification is that while he promised Jarrett he’d get Truth and A title shot, he never said it would be for the NWA Title.

Not surprisingly, Jarrett is livid over the double cross, and the crowd, and myself, don’t blame him. He goes to attack Steamboat, but Steamboat hides behind security.  Jarrett yells at Tenay and West, like they have any say over what just happened.

Winner: Jeff Jarrett by pinfall.

Comment: That was a good match, but the swerve just didn’t work for me.

 

Evening Gown Match: Taylor Vaughn vs Bruce

Again, I won’t be covering this due to the sheer stupidity of the whole thing. I will say that Bruce comes out in a lovely red sequined number and a not horrible blond wig, though his orange wrestling boots clash with the dress. And after this trainwreck, Bruce stripped down to reveal that he was wearing lingerie, which is still apparently unthinkable in Tennessee, even though Goldust shattered that ceiling in WWE years before.

Winner: Bruce.

Comment: Can this storyline be over now?

West gives his over the top hyping for next week’s show and the merchandise stand. He’s no Billy Mays or Anthony Sullivan, but it’s not awful.

 

X Division Championship Match: AJ Styles vs Lo Ki vs Jerry Lynn

Lo Ki is out first, and the crowd seems to have woken up a little bit. Lynn gets a good reaction. Styles gets almost no reaction and he’s got a slightly new look. This was a good match, but there were points where it felt like Lo Ki was the third wheel because someone didn’t want to have Lynn and Styles face off yet. There were some pretty insane spots, but Styles and Lynn stuck to wrestling and all three guys tore the place down. Unfortunately, Lo Ki took out the ref, which resulted in absolute chaos.

Styles’ was definitely the heel in this match, but it was more the obnoxious kid that’s too big for his britches kind of heel, than an actual bad guy. It cost him tonight when taking the time to mock Lo Ki, ended with Lo Ki getting the pin and the title.

Winner: Lo Ki by pinfall.

Comment: I liked this match, but it felt like Lo Ki, who had already had a shot at the title and lost, was put in because Creative didn’t want Lynn vs Styles to be for the X Division Title just yet.

Backstage, Jarrett and Truth, who are going to be partners next week are facing off, Jarrett demanding his title shot NOW. Back in the ring, Styles and Lynn are going at it. Jarrett and Truth come out, still arguing and Jarrett is still demanding his title shot

 

Overall Comment

So, was TNA Episode 8 an improvement over last week. Yes, it was, but the bar was set so low, that’s no much of an accomplishment. This show was a lot better than last week’s disaster, the presentation was much more streamlined, the promos didn’t go on forever, and most of the storylines were meaningfully advanced.

The Jarrett situation annoyed me because Jarrett seemed to be making strides in establishing himself as the top heel in TNA, only to almost have to start all over again with this swerve of Steamboat double crossing him over the title shot. It just feels like instead of building Jarrett up as a heel, Russo, or whoever is calling the shots, is determined to recreate Austin vs McMahon with Jarrett and Steamboat, and while Steamboat is certainly more equipped than the NWA officials to play a character, he’s not a great heel.

The issue with the way women are treated is still there, but someone must’ve made Russo tone it down. There were still PLENTY of issues to be had, but it wasn’t nearly as bad a last week.

The Truth/Brown/Skipper situation is starting to take an interesting turn, because it does reflect real life issues for African-Americans. It’s still uncomfortable, but the pieces are starting to fall into a picture that somewhat makes sense as a storyline.

I hate the NWA-TNA version of Heel!Styles. I was already annoyed with him and he never said a word. He was an annoying little punk.

Stinkers: Dupps vs Ed Ferrara. I swear my IQ dropped.

Snoozers: Flying Elvises vs Spanish Announce Team. It was just boring.

Match of the Night: Jarrett vs Apolo.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I enjoyed this show more than I did last week’s and I hope next week’s show improves on this one.


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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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