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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 27 – January 8, 2003
Tiffany MC’s weekly TNA IMPACT Chairshot Classics series continues!
It’s the first TNA of 2003 and we’re picking up right where we left off in 2002! Russo’s SEX faction continues to wreak havoc. Jeff Jarrett gives three members of SEX an opportunity. Bob Armstrong calls in the big guns to combat SEX’s threat, and America’s Most Wanted gets one more shot at the New Church. How’d they do? Let’s find out!
We start with a recap of Russo’s debut on TNA and his and S.E.X’s efforts to take over with ‘Sports Entertainment’ and his battle with Jeff Jarrett. TNA also has a new logo.
We open with Tena and several wrestlers in the ring, Jerry Lynn and Ron Killings among them. There are also a lot of NWA legends in the ringside area. Tenay says he’s going to introduce us to our ‘future’, which turns out to be two of the security guys. He also sings the praises of the four current starts in the ring, referring to Lynn and AMW as MVPs.
The point of this segment becomes obvious when Tenay starts talking about WCW and listening to Russo say he could make anyone a wrestler, using Judy Bagwell and David Arquette as example.
For those who don’t know about this, Judy Bagwell was the mother of Buff Bagwell and was heavily featured in some storylines towards the end of WCW’s run. David Arquette is an actor who won the World Heavyweight championship, despite not being a trained wrestler and having more respect for the title than Russo did. Arquette’s winning of the title was widely criticized at the time and cited as one of the many reasons WCW ultimately went under, though at that the point that the moment happened, the WCW ship was already taking on water.
Tenay begs the fans to go to TNA’s website and voice their support for ‘true wrestling’ rather than Russo’s ‘Sports Entertainment’. The fans seem to be behind this move, but Russo and his crew come out of the crowd.
Russo is not in a good mood and threatens to beat up Tenay, claiming he’s there to save the business. Tenay wasn’t impressed, or intimidated, pointing out that business is DOWN, Russo claims that it’s because of people like Tenay running their mouths. He then reminds us that WCW’s ratings were huge with him in charge and that, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, no one was coming to TNA shows before he showed up. He then insults the Traditional Wrestling stalwarts. Sara Lee, one of the NWA legends, and the only one with any guts, slaps Russo and the fight’s on! S.E.X gets the upper hand until the Road Warriors and Jarrett come barreling out of the back and S.E.X wisely beat a retreat.
Backstage, Desire throws out two of TNA’s dancers so S.E.X can have their locker room.
Back at ringside, the evicted dancers are being taken to a different locker room and it’s time for our first match.
EZ Money and Kid Kash vs Tony Mamaluke and David Young: Kash is easily the most over of the four guys in the ring. As usual, with the X-Division outside of a few people, this match was a mess, lots of high spots, not a lot of wrestling and there were a lot of botches. Kid Kash did his best to save it, but it was a futile effort.
Young and Mamaluke would get the win, but only after Young botched a spot with EZ Money and then had to pick up the pieces. Not a great opener and the fans were booing pretty loudly by the end of it.
After the match, the X-Division members of S.E.X come out and beat the holy hell out of everyone in the ring. We also see the formation of what would be a legendary tag team. Skipper gets on the mic and says the best part of S.E.X is the XXX. That’s right, the legendary team of XXX, which would have a fabulous feud with America’s Most Wanted, was part of this pathetic NWO/DX ripoff. Skipper then claims that, despite the X-Division functioning reasonably well without them, there is no X-Division without himself, Lo-Ki, and Skipper and that the X-Division is either with them, or against them.
At this point, Jarrett plays security guard and storms the ring. Jarrett claims it’s his and the NWA’s house. Jarrett gives XXX an opportunity, he’ll take each of them on in separate singles matches TONIGHT. XXX can’t believe their ears and accept easily. Jarrett ups the ante by saying that when he’s done with them, he’s going to put Russo through a table.
Backstage, Goldylocks is with Team NWA where Armstrong and company are holding a meeting. Goldy wants to know what the plan is since Russo is back. Armstrong asks AMW to get ‘him’ on the phone. Turning back to Goldy, Armstrong says he’s not dumb enough to think he can win this war on his own, it’s going to take everything and everyone he can muster and he needs a Grand Slam, as in baseball, not wrestling. Lynn and Killings step up and promise to strike back for the NWA.
AMW are back with the phone and Armstrong tells whoever is on the other end that he needs him now. Not sure who it’s going to be, but the conversation seemed positive.
X-Division Championship Match: Jason Cross vs Sonny Siaki: Desire is billed as Miss SEX, which is okay, I guess. For some reason, there’s a big pole in one turnbuckle, no idea what that’s about.
This match is a typical Siaki affair, lots of great moves, no chemistry and the audience doesn’t care. Fortunately for Siaki, Desire/Miss SEX was there to keep things interesting. This isn’t a good match for Jason Cross because he looked hopelessly outmatched by Siaki and didn’t get to break out a lot of his big moves. In the end, Miss SEX would be the deciding factor in the match, taking advantage of a downed ref to crotch Cross, giving Siaki time to get the pinfall.
However, Bob Armstrong isn’t going to stand for this and comes out, telling Miss SEX to get her ass into the back and trying to restart the match. Russo comes out and refuses to let the match be restarted, calling Cross a punk who was in no shape to wrestle anyway. After more increasingly nasty arguing, Russo says James will do a match instead and Lynn and Killings run out to answer.
BG James and Don Harris vs Jerry Lynn and Ron Killings: This match started with a fight. Harris and James were really outmatched in terms of skill by Lynna and Killings.
This match was just a mess. I’m not sure there’s anything redeeming that can be said about it. Killings botched a 450 and overshot the landing, but James gets a few points for selling it anyway. Killings and Lynn get a DQ win when a man, ID’d as Mike Sanders, whoever that is. We’re shown a pre-show interview with Percy Pringle, who is NOT in good shape. Pringle had last been seen on WWF TV in the late 90s before Undertaker had to take time off for an injury.
The interview was not much if you wanted to know his motives for being in TNA. Pringle had no opinions and no ideas about much of anything, but says his time in WCCW and WWE was good. Basically, he’s there but no one knows what to do with him. He did talk about the old NWA, but nothing ground-breaking
NWA Tag Team Championship Match – New Church (with James Mitchell and Bella Donna) vs America’s Most Wanted: Before the match gets underway, it’s announced that there will be no rematch, whatever the outcome. If New Church loses, they won’t have a chance to regain the titles, if AMW loses, no matter what, they’re SOL. The match started with a fight, as is usual between these teams and stuff is flying!
Things went about how they usually did for these teams, but the stipulation that this was last call for their feud seemed to have lit a real fire. It looked like AMW would get the win after a miscue lead to Slash throwing powder in Lee’s eyes while Belladonna had the ref distracted.
The end came after AMW hit the Death Sentence on Slash onto a chair. NEW Tag Team champions. Everyone goes nuts and while Belladonna rolls Slash and Lee out of the ring, AMW and the fans celebrate.
Backstage, Goldylocks is trying to do her job and talk to Bob Armstrong about what’s been going on, but Bob doesn’t have time for her right now, much to her irritation, though Armstrong was polite about blowing her off.
Axe-Handle on a Pole Match – Curt Hennig vs David Flair: Hennig comes out in street gear. This match explains the huge pole that’s been stuck to the ring all night. Hennig gets on the mic and cuts a really bitter and pathetic promo in the style of the ‘Priceless’ commercials by MasterCard which were all the rage back then. He talks about how much money to pay his dues and becoming the greatest wrestler, and take down Brock Lesnar. Hennig reminds us that he ran Ric Flair out of the WWF.
David Flair tried to get the jump on Hennig, but Hennig saw it coming. This was an AWFUL match. David Flair was a terrible wrestler and Hennig, without Jarrett to cover for him, looked terrible. Hennig would win this one, but everyone lost.
After the match, Goldylocks is waiting to talk to Flair, but gets blown off…again. Goldylocks is pissed and frustrated, and you can hardly blame her. Miss SEX, or whatever her name is, confronts Goldy for coming around ‘her boys’ and warns her to back off. Goldy stands up for herself and gets attacked. To make this more…odd, Athena comes to Goldy’s rescue and attacks Miss SEX before Siaki gets them apart.
Don West is trying to do his usual promo when Sanders from earlier comes out and berates Tenay, but says Tenay will have an opportunity to interview Russo next week (Oh goody). Tenay, clearly angry, agrees and we’re all left to wonder if we’ll see a fight between Tenay and Russo. My money is on Tenay in a fair fight. Don West can’t believe his eyes or his ears and it’s time for the main events.
Christopher Daniels vs Jeff Jarrett: Daniels comes out of the crowd to little reaction. Jarrett gets a good reaction and we’re off!
The match was short, but incredibly good, which is a plus given how the rest of the night has gone. Jarrett does a good job of making Daniels seem like a worthy competitor but, for once, he’s not having to damn near kill himself to do it. Jarrett won this with a Stroke after hitting a knee on Daniels.
Elix Skipper vs Jeff Jarrett: Skipper wastes no time jumping into the ring and dominating the first part of the match.
This match wasn’t quite as good as Daniels/Jarrett, but it wasn’t awful. Skipper’s put on a few pounds of muscle and looks like a viable threat. His moves are a little out of control, but it doesn’t hurt to watch him wrestle. It looked like Jarrett was going to be beaten when Christopher Daniel tried to help Skipper, but Jarrett ducked and got the pinfall.
Lo-Ki vs Jeff Jarrett: Now no one is holding back and it takes two refs to restore order with Scott Armstrong forcing Skipper and Daniels back.
Lo-Ki dominated much of this match and was as brutal to watch as ever. Jarrett made him look great and didn’t need to nearly kill himself to do it. Jarrett had the match won, but Daniels and Skipper interfered and the match was thrown out. XXX started attacking Jarrett.
EVENTUALLY, the Road Warriors come out and attack XXX, but AJ Styles runs in and attacks the Road Warriors. Then the rest of SEX comes out and the fight’s on. Russo’s like a kid at Christmas at the thought of having AJ Styles in SEX but Styles blows him off, the only side he’s on is his own.
SEX is about to put Jarrett through a table when Dusty Rhodes comes out and it Bionic Elbow City for everyone and that’s where the show ends.
Overall Comments: So how was TNA this week? It was ‘eh’ at best. They furthered the ‘Sports Entertainment vs Traditional Wrestling’ storyline, but that was it. Only a couple of the matches were any good and there was more time spent on promos than anything else.
The SEX storyline continues to be a mashup of the NWO and DX but there aren’t any big stars to lead it. Everyone it is either a has-been, a never-was, or a young guy just starting out. There isn’t a Hogan, or Nash, or Rock to be the focus of the group.
Russo continues to be trash and watching Sara Lee slap him was refreshing. I’m not sure what the inclusion of Dusty Rhodes is supposed to do, but he was still SO over with the crowd that it doesn’t really matter right now.
One sad note is Curt Hennig. This would be his final appearance on TV. He would pass away in February of 2003. RIP Mr. Perfect.
This week was a lukewarm okay show. I’m hoping next week will be better.
Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 26 – December 18, 2002
Tiffany MC’s weekly TNA IMPACT Chairshot Classics series continues!
It’s the last TNA episode of 2002! Vince Russo’s Sports Entertainment X-Treme continues to run roughshod over TNA. AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett both face questions about their loyalty. The X-Division fights to decide a new #1 Contender, and it’s Doomsday for the Tag Team Division.
How’d they do? Let’s find out!
We open with a recap of last week’s action with Vince Russo’s SEX faction. Back to reality, Mike Tenay tells us that this will be TNA’s final show of 2002 and they’ll be taking two weeks off for Christmas and New Year’s.
Before the show gets underway, Tenay talks about the importance of the NWA title and we get some really grainy pictures of Jeff Jarrett defending the NWA title in the UK, Northern Ireland, and Japan. Jarrett also gives an interview to Jeremy Borash, discussing how much the NWA means to him and how happy he is to fly around the world to defend it against whomever wants a shot.
Back in the Asylum, we go backstage where Goldylocks is trying to get a word with Curt Hennig who just ignores her. Hennig comes through the crowd in his street clothes and snatches the mic away from a confused Borash.
Hennig immediately starts complaining about what happened during his title match last week with Jeff Jarrett and claims that Russo screwed him over, though given how poorly Hennig has been wrestling, it could be said that Russo did everyone a favor. Hennig then says that he’d planned to wait until later in the show to do this, but he’s run out of beer on the bus and he’s waiting for Lesnar to return from the liquor store, which no one seems to buy, along with his claim to still be the greatest wrestler to lace up a pair of boots.
As for Russo, he’s ‘just a fan’ as far as Hennig is concerned, but that doesn’t mean Hennig won’t beat the hell out of him and tie him up like a pretzel. Hennig used a lot of rodent metaphors to describe Russo, which was a little creepy.
At this point, Russo’s come out and he’s running his mouth, though we can’t quite hear what he’s saying. Hennig takes the bait and gets jumped by Low-Ki, Elix Skipper, and Christopher Daniels. From what we can hear from Lo-Ki, these three were supposed to be part of the Gauntlet for the Gold match, but they’re pulling out. Russo taunts Tenay and West while James gets on the mic and mocks Jim Ross. It’s all NWO antics but none of these guys are cool enough to get it over.
Backstage, Goldylocks is talking to Bob Armstrong and asking him about what was going on. Armstrong doesn’t seem overly bothered, at least not yet, and says that Russo only thinks he’s in charge.
As this was going on, AJ Styles, who seemed to have joined Russo’s faction walked past, heading for the locker room. Armstrong stopped him and upbraided him for aligning Russo and warning Styles against whatever promises Russo might have made him.
Confused and irritated, Styles denied that he was aligned with Russo. He was doing his talking in the ring, just like Armstrong preached. He doesn’t care about Russo or SEX, he’s after Jarrett’s title and promises to keep coming for Jarrett until he gets a title shot. Armstrong doesn’t buy this and leaves to talk to Styles some more.
10 Man Gauntlet for the Gold for the #1 Contendership: This TNA staple is a mix of a Gauntlet match and the Royal Rumble. Two men start in the ring and every 90 seconds someone else will join the fun. You can only be eliminated by pinfall or submission. Our first two contestants are Jason Cross, who debuted last week, and Amazing Red. As the match is getting underway, we go to the back and find Jarrett beating the holy hell out of Styles while Mortimer Plumtree tried, but not very hard, to stop Jarrett.
Overall, this match was pretty good and was clearly there to eat up time on a holiday show. The biggest problem I had was that, outside of a few people, this match was mostly comprised of the dregs of the X-Division.
In the end, it came down to Jason Cross and Amazing Red, who were our first two contestant. Cross hit his AMAZING Crossfire, which Red sold by flopping like a fish on dry land, which was hilarious to watch. Jason Cross gets the pin and is now the #1 Contender, which is weird considering that he jobbed to Tony Mamaluke last week. ANYWAY, pretty good match and a surprise ending.
As Cross and Red leave the ring, Tenay announces that he’s been told by Bob Armstrong that Jerry Lynn has been added to the X-Division Championship match between Sonny Siaki and EZ Money since Lynn was screwed over by the woman who ran in to help Siaki last week.
Russo and his crew come out. Russo insults TNA and the fans, saying that people in New York, re: WWE, are laughing at TNA’s weekly PPVs. He also claimed that he could become a dentist and make a fortune in Tennessee.
Turns out, it’s time for the airing of the grievances by the three X-Division guys who have joined SEX. Lo-Ki’s complaint is that the NWA stopped booking him because he wouldn’t commit to a 52 week schedule with them; because pushing a guy who’s only around some of the time over guys who are there and getting over with the fans every week makes SO much sense.
Christopher Daniels’ complaint is a little more reasonable. He claims that the NWA wouldn’t book him because the cost of a plane ticket from California to Tennessee every week was too expensive. Though, given that TNA is just starting out and the NWA isn’t as big as it used to be, I can also see the other side of this. Russo soothes Daniels by saying he’ll buy him a new plane.
Skipper claims that the NWA wasn’t paying him enough money, though from what I’ve seen of Skipper’s work in TNA, it’s more like the NWA was paying him too much. Russo promises that Skipper will get paid twice a day.
BG James thinks he’s going to kick his own father’s ass, which I seriously doubt since Bullet Bob is in better shape than his own son. Russo warns the Harris brothers to not let him down, which already seems like a recipe for disaster.
Turning his attention to Jeff Jarrett, Russo tells his former…associate to bring his ‘hillbilly hick ass’, Russo’s words, not mine, to the ring.
Jarrett comes out and says that he’s spent the last three weeks listening to Russo run his mouth and it’s time to set the record straight. Jarrett gets in the ring and starts dropping some truth bombs.
Truth #1: Vince Russo was a magazine writer who acted like a fanboy (paraphrasing) to interview Jarrett in the early 90’s.
Truth #2: Vince Russo disrespects professional wrestling because he hates it.
Truth #3: Jarrett protected Russo from getting his ass kicked by the likes of Shawn Michaels, Scott Steiner, and Goldberg. Personally, I would pay to see any of these fights, but that’s me.
However, to his immense credit, Jarrett doesn’t completely throw Russo under the bus. He also cites his own less than stellar record in Sports Entertainment, including beating up old ladies. Jarrett seemed genuinely guilt-ridden by those actions. He also points out that if it weren’t for the fact that Russo somehow keeps finding jobs in wrestling, he’d be selling TVs in New York City.
Russo was unimpressed and said that Jarrett has lost his balls and has become a daddy’s boy, though I’m not sure Russo realizes that that’s not really an insult in the South. Trying another tactic, he says that the wrestlers in the back don’t respect Jarrett and laugh at him behind his back, but if he sides with Russo, Russo will make sure that he’s respected.
By this point, Jarrett was over this conversation and puts his position in plain English: He is not now, nor was he ever on Russo’s side. Them’s fightin’ words and all hell breaks loose. Jarrett puts up a pretty good fight by grabbing his favorite non-guitar equalizer, a metal chair, and starts swinging, but he was eventually overwhelmed by SEX and it took a run in by security to settle the situation down.
Non-Title Tag Team Match – The New Church (with James Mitchell and Bella Donna) vs America’s Most Wanted vs the Harris Brothers: For some reason, despite being part of the previous segment, the Harris Brothers were no in the ring when this segment started. Storm and Harris are still not being called America’s Most Wanted for some reason. Percy Pringle is there, but he’s sitting on the ramp and isn’t looking very good.
The match was okay. For awhile, it seemed like it was an AMW vs New Church match with the Harris Brothers looking on. The match quickly devolved into an all-out brawl. Belladonna is getting better at her role as valet, but she’s still learning. She jumps up on the apron and seems to be shaking her, admittedly lovely, ass, but since she’s facing the wrong way, it has little affect on Scott Armstrong. Mitchell is also on the apron and has more luck getting Armstrong’s attention.
It looked like the Harris Brothers were going to pull out a win, but then things got even crazier. First, Athena, who was destroyed by the Harrises at the instigation of Vince Russo, ran in and hit Ron with a low blow. Don grabbed her, but was stopped from actually harming her by the f***ing ROAD WARRIORS!!! Hawk and Animal storm the ring to a HUGE pop and take out the Harris Brothers. One Harris gets a trip on the Doomsday Device and the other one gets squashed by a Hawk splash.
Wildcat and Storm, wisely, don’t ask questions and quickly get the pinfall win, though since neither of them pinned a member of the New Church, it’s not clear that they’ll get a title shot out of this win.
Backstage, Goldylocks is trying to get a word with the Road Warriors, but their promo wasn’t one of their better efforts. Animal says what just happened is what Vince Russo can do with his ‘Sports Entertainment’ and warns that Russo’s next. Hawk actually pauses for a moment and warns Russo that the Warriors still snack on danger and dine on death and they’re coming for Russo, before storming out.
Confused and a little freaked out, Goldy begins to head for another part of the building when we hear Bob Armstrong talking. Sneaking into the X-Division locker room, we find Armstrong giving a…pep talk to the X-Division and trying to find some people to deal with the X-Division defectors. Armstrong’s clearly had his fill of SEX’s antics and is trying to stop it before it becomes the monster the NWO was in its heyday.
X-Division Championship Match – Sonny Siaki vs Jerry Lynn vs EZ Money: We get a recap of the Siaki vs Lynn saga and all three men come out and we get the intros in the ring, like a big match, but the inclusion of EZ Money kind of kills that vibe.
The match was okay, Lynn and Siaki worked well together, but Money was clearly in over his head and was probably just there to take the pin. It honestly looked like Lynn was going to regain his title when the lady from last week came out to the ring and got on the apron, enticing Lynn to come over. When he gave her his attention, she opened her jacket to reveal her goods and then slapped Lynn. Siaki took advantage and threw Lynn out of the ring.
EZ Money tried to go in for the kill on Siaki, but got killed instead with a Money Clip, retaining his X-Division Championship. Afterwards, Russo comes out of the crowd and is greeted with a hug by the girl and gets in the ring.
Russo addresses Siaki and says that it was always about him and that Russo’s had his eye on Siaki and called him the elite athlete of TNA, which shows how little Russo really gets about wrestling. The girl is introduced as Desire and she’s being offered as Siaki’s new valet. What are her qualifications? She’s got tits and a nice ass, which Russo thinks is all that’s needed, especially for SEX.
While Siaki mulls this over, the enraged Lynn attacks him from behind, but finds himself being attacked by Siaki, Russo, and Desire. Russo dismisses Lynn as a ‘Professional Wrestler’ before leaving with Russo and Desire in tow. So SEX has the X-Division champion instead of the NWA Heavyweight Champion, not much of a second option.
Street Fight – Ron Killings vs BG James: Killings came out first and started rapping, but James got the jump on him and the match is on. This match was a pretty basic Hardcore Match, though James and Killings were much slower to pull out the weapons than they would have in WWE. However, just as it seemed that Killings was going to get the upperhand, SEX attacked, which allowed James to pick up the win.
However, Bob Armstrong comes out and he’s had it with all this bullshit and grabs the mic. In the ring are the Maximos and Amazing Red, who have apparently volunteered to defend the honor of TNA against SEX. Armstrong then challenges Russo to send however many guys he wanted to face the SATs and Amazing Red and out come Lo-Ki, Christopher Daniels, and Elix Skipper.
SAT and Amazing Red vs Lo-Ki, Christopher Daniels, and Elix Skipper: The match started out as a brawl that SEX dominated for the most part, but Team TNA were able to get on top for a little while. This was a great match, even if the story was pretty shitty. Eventually, Team SEX was able to finally pull out the win. So, for now, SEX would be the dominate faction.
Russo and James come out and Russo insults Amazing Red, saying he’d taken craps bigger than Red. His goons prepare to put the Maximos and Red through a table, but Hennig ran out to stop them, but was quickly overwhelmed by SEX.
Then David Flair came out and attacked Hennig, though no one in the crowd seemed all that intrigued by Flair’s appearance. Jarrett came out and started cleaning house, but he was set upon by SEX and AJ Styles who came out to pick the bones before Jarrett was put through a table by Daniels and Skipper.
While this was going on, Russo was lounging around and generally trying to be cool and looking stupid. After Jarrett was put through the table, Russo destroyed the TNA log and claimed that the show was brought to them by SEX.
Overall Comments: So, how was this week’s TNA? It was okay. The SEX storyline was heavily featured, as usual, and the influx of the young guys helped keep SEX from looking too much like a crew of WWE leftovers, but other than Lo-Ki, Daniels and Skipper weren’t really established enough for anyone to care. Siaki’s defection would’ve been a bigger deal if he’d been over with the crowd.
The stuff about Jarrett and Russo’s relationship in WWE and WCW has been the only really interesting part of this whole storyline, the rest of SEX is basically a bad NWO redo.
Another interesting thing was AJ Styles. His position of not being part of SEX but taking advantage of the disruption they’re creating to advance his own agenda was interesting. He would’ve been a better pick than Siaki.
The Road Warriors things was interesting, but I’m not sure how well they’re going to fit into TNA. Hennig continues to disappoint, but at least he owned up to the drinking, but the Lesnar thing is becoming eye-rolling.
Overall, this was an okay show, it’s about what I expected from a holiday show. Hopefully things will improve in the new year.