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NWA-TNA Episode 10: Going Out With a Bang? (Part 1)

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NWA-TNA comes to us this week, still dealing with the continual problems with Jeff Jarrett and his quest to become NWA Champion, the on-going issues with AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn. To throw a further ball into this juggling act, the NWA Tag Championships have been held up due dueling ref counts last week, which has just furthered Jarrett’s list of grievances against the NWA. So, let’s find out what’s going on!

Opening: We start with our usual opening. The crowd seems pumped and ready to go.

Falls Count Anywhere Match: AJ Styles vs Jerry Lynn

Styles is out first and he’s wearing a headband, for some reason, maybe to look tough. Jerry Lynn is out next, to an okay pop. Let’s start this showdown. Maybe it’s because I’ve done some research and know something about what was going on behind the scenes, but this definitely feels like a blowoff match, but in the same breath, this feud has been brewing for two and a half months and it was needing to happen. Styles seems to be a little winded, but he’s hanging with Lynn, who definitely has an experience advantage not only due to his more years in the business, but also his time in ECW, where these kinds of matches were normal.

This was an amazing match, unsurprisingly, what was at stake, the #1 Contendership for the X Division Title seems unimportant compared to seeing these two go at it one on one. There was an ugly hurricanrana by Styles on Lynn, but neither man seemed all that hurt. Lynn finally puts Styles away with his patented piledriver on the stage.

Winner: Jerry Lynn by pinfall. Falls at 1-0 Lynn.

Comment: That was really good. It felt like a main event match and the absence of Ed Ferrara made the commentary tolerable.

Backstage, we find the long-suffering Goldilocks backstage with Storm and Harris. Harris is smoking for some reason, probably another attempt to be edgy. Storm is still doing his goofy cowboy gimmick, which is really annoying. The only person that really seems to be in a good mood, is Goldi, probably because the Dupps aren’t around.

Goldi isn’t a fan of Harris smoking, but she doesn’t complain. Harris is as annoyed with Storm’s behavior as I am. He wants Storm to give up the cowboy gimmick, which he blames for them not being on TV for weeks. (Trust me, dude, you DIDN’T want to be on this show) It’s interesting that TNA shows that tag teams don’t always get along, which is certainly more realistic, without having it lead up to a turn angle.

During this interview, they have a run in with Ron Harris, identical twin of Don Harris, and ‘Primetime’ Brian Lee, an ECW alum. They mock Storm and Harris. The confrontation ends with a challenge of a match, which Storm and Harris accept.

Ron Harris and Brian Lee vs James Storm and Chris Harris

Lee and Harris get a minimal pop. Harris and Storm get a nice pop (Wow, no wonder Lee was the fake Undertaker). This was an okay match compared to the opener. If you’re wanting technical beauty or scientific prowess, you better skip this one. However, both teams worked together very well, with a few awkward spots. Lee almost got a pinfall off a tombstone, but Storm broke it up. A fan, that I hope is a plant, gets a little too handsy with Lee and pays for it with a beatdown. The distraction gives Harris and Storm the opening they need to pin Ron Harris with a roll up.

Winner: James Storm and Chris Harris by pinfall. Afterwards, Lee and Harris argue about Lee beating up the fan, and then attack Harris and Storm from behind to avenge their loss.

Comment: That was a lot better than I thought it would be.

2 Out of 3 Falls: Sonny Siaki vs Jimmy Yang

Siaki is out first, still in his Elvis gear, he’s very popular with the ladies. Yang gets a nice pop, but has to duck because Siaki tries to get a cheap shot in. This is another match that feels like a blow off, though why they didn’t do a two on one handicap match is a little beyond me. That said, this was a really good match that let Yang and Siaki show off their skills.

First Fall: Yang gets the first fall after a Phoenix Splash.

Second Fall: Siaki gets the second fall after a rolling neckbreaker, even though it looks like Yang got his shoulder up.

Rubber Fall: Siaki gets the final fall by using the ropes for leverage.

Winner: Siaki by by pinfall.

Comment: I honestly wish they’d give Siaki a different gimmick. He’s basically the Rock from 1998, if the Rock had no sense of humor, in an Elvis jumpsuit.

Jeff Jarrett comes out, calling out Bob Armstrong, citing his many grievances against the NWA. Before he can go on, Brian Lawler attacks Jarrett. Security tries to separate them, but these two are trying very hard to hit each other. Jarrett seems as perplexed by Lawler’s conduct as everyone else is.

Lawler is in the ring and Goldilocks is given the job of trying to get an interview with Lawler to solve this mystery. Lawler seems willing to answer, but not with Goldilocks there and tells her to leave, because not acting like a jerk is too much to ask. Unfortunately, just as he’s about to reveal his issue with Jarrett, Slash from the New Church appears and attacks Lawler from behind. Apparently, they’re supposed to have a match and it’s starting.

Brian Lawler vs Slash

This was a reasonably okay match. Neither guy is the best wrestler in the world, and Lawler picks a fight with a member of the audience, for some reason, but this match wasn’t awful, however, this just felt like filler and was pretty rough in places, especially on Slash’s end. The psychology is weird. Lawler kept most of his angry, crazy schtick, but he insisted on doing his dance moves and gets the pin off the Hip Hop Drop.

Winner: Brian Lawler by pinfall.

Comment: That happened. I’m not sure why, but it did.

Backstage, Jarrett and Bob Armstrong are arguing about Jarrett’s surprise opponent. It’s kind of hard to understand what’s being said, but Jarrett threatened to take down everyone.

X Division Championship Match: Lo Ki vs Joel Maximo vs Jose Maximo vs Amazing Red

Amazing Red and the Maximos gets a minimal pop, as does Lo Ki. There was certainly no teamwork between Amazing Red and the Maximos. This seems to be a Four Corners Elimination match. Compared to the matches that Styles had as X Division Champion, this was just not a great match. Red and the Maximos seem to be more spot artists than wrestlers and some spots looked like mistakes from a circus act. Lo Ki seems to have forgotten that this is an elimination match and that his best bet is to let the Maximos and Red eliminate each other, because he actually breaks up a pin attempt by one of the Maximos on Amazing Red.

Winner: Lo Ki by pinfall.

Comment: I hope they do something else with this division, because the current field, without Styles, Lynn, Skipper, or the Elvises, is boring. It’s all high spots and almost no wrestling.  I don’t mind high spots, but this is wrestling, not a circus act

Backstage, Goldilocks is interviewing Truth and asks him about his match with Monty Brown. Truth’s first response is to call Goldilocks a ‘little hussy’, because that’s the mature and professional way for a grown man to answer a simple question asked by a woman doing her job. He then says that Brown should be kissing his black ass, (his words, not mine). Truth then compares his NWA Title win to Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves.

(Oh, Truth).

Truth then says that Brown should be thanking him, but if he wants to take the title, Truth says come and get it because he doesn’t care if you’re black, white, brown, polk-dot (I’m not kidding), you’ll have to kill him to take it.

(Oh boy).

Before the next match gets started, we get a look at April Hunter, a noted fitness model, who has apparently accepted Bruce’s open challenge and that will happen next week.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ron ‘Truth’ Killings vs Monty Brown

Brown gets a good pop, as does Truth. This is a pretty historic moment for the NWA. Unfortunately, that’s about the best that can be said for this match. Brown has a lot of power, but not a ton of skill and his selling stinks. The match wasn’t awful, but Brown’s lack of experience is really showing, he’s not ready to be in this big of a match just yet, which makes it seem like this match was done to perhaps wrap up the storyline. Truth finally gets the pinfall after a botched Victory Roll and a roll up

Winner: Ron Killings by pinfall.

Comment: That was a mess. Brown needs a lot more polishing up before being put back in a NWA Title match.

Jarrett runs in and attacks Scott Armstrong, Bob Armstrong’s son, with a steel chair before laying out Brown. Jarrett goes to attack Truth, but Truth attacks first and the two start fighting. The presence of Jarrett brings out Lawler, who promptly joins in the ruckus. Jarrett is surrounded by three men he as either attacked, insulted, or both. Lawler goes to hit Jarrett with the chair, hits Truth instead. Jarrett bails out, leaving Monte Brown in the ring with Truth and Armstrong. This would be a perfect way to get a pin attempt, except that the match is over.

Backstage, Goldi is interviewing Jerry Lynn about his upcoming match with Styles. Lynn says that the two month issue with Styles is going to end tonight. We get a little more insight into the issues between them. Apparently, Styles has been playing head games and pulling ribs on Lynn, which may explain why Lynn has been talking about respect. Lynn admits that Styles has taken everything he’s dished out so far, but the best part about being a veteran is the knowledge you have, and that Styles will respect him. Before the interview can officially end, Styles jumps Lynn from behind.

No Disqualification Match: AJ Styles vs Jerry Lynn

Well, so much for coming to the ring, they’re starting this now. This is really a continuation of the Falls Count Anywhere match from earlier. If I have a gripe about this, it’s that they’re doing all these matches in one night. Ideally, this should be happening over a few weeks or just do the matches back to back instead of splitting them up. There is a botched hurricanrana spot from Lynn to Styles through a table and it’s lucky Styles wasn’t badly hurt because it looked awful.

Winner: Styles by pinfall after a Styles Clash on a steel chair.

Comment: We’re in sudden death.

10 Minute Iron Man Match: AJ Styles vs Jerry Lynn

It’s an Iron Man Match, most decisions after ten minutes wins this thing.

Falls One and Two: AJ Styles by pinfall due to Lynn still being dazed from the No DQ match. 2-0, Styles

Fall Three: Jerry Lynn by pinfall. 2-1, Styles

Fall Four: AJ Styles by pinfall even though Lynn got his shoulder up. 3-1, Styles

Fall Five: Jerry Lynn by pinfall 3-2, Styles

For some reason, Lo Ki comes out, with a ladder, apparently, that’s going to be the match he’ll have with whomever survives this.

Fall Six: Jerry Lynn by pinfall after using the Styles Clash on Styles. We are tied 3-3.

We are under a minute and desperation is sinking in. Both men NEED to break the tie and it shows. Unfortunately, neither man is able to get the final decision. Lo Ki raises both men’s hands, indicating that he’s willing to face both men after the performance they put on, before laying both men out with kicks to the head. Lo Ki then says that if they want a title shot, they’ll receive one, even though that had already been decided, and that the X Division isn’t about AJ Styles or Jerry Lynn, even though they’re the stars of the division, the X Division is about the man who holds the X-Division title, which is Lo Ki. Next week, the title will be decided in a Triple Ladder match, though I THINK he meant Triple Threat Ladder Match. Lo Ki keeps talking and I wish he’d stop because the point’s been made.

Winner: Draw.

Comment: That was a really good match, I just wish it hadn’t felt so rushed and they’d had more time.

Backstage, Scott Armstrong is talking to his father, Bob Armstrong, and Scott is warning his dad about Jarrett and that going up against Jarrett is a bad idea. Goldilocks is trying to keep her mic up so they can catch the conversation, but Scott just keeps getting annoyed with her and tells her to leave because this is family business, despite Bob seemingly having decided to fight Jarrett himself and that this happening in a semi-public area. Finally Goldilocks leaves, but apparently, Jarrett’s new opponent is going to be a sixty year old man.

Jarrett seems to find this very funny and wants Armstrong to reveal the surprise. Well, the opponent is a surprise. It’s a guy, who is clearly NOT Bob Armstrong, but wearing what looks like Armstrong’s old wrestling gear and a really lame mask. Jarrett seems to believe that this is Bob Armstrong and proceeds to beat him up anyway. Jarrett goes to give The Blank the Stroke, but the Blank counters. It finally occurs to Jarrett that this isn’t Bob Armstrong, about the time the real one comes out of the back, wielding a chair…and that’s where the show ends.

Overall Comments: So how was Episode 10 of NWA-TNA? Compared to the last few weeks, this was a really good show. No Dupps, no Jive Talkin’, no Miss TNA challenge, very few interviews, the focus was on the wrestling. It’s unfortunate that Health South had already withdrawn their backing, because this show really showcased the wrestling that the NWA has always prided itself on.

You may have noticed that I referred to a couple of the matches as blowoffs, and that was because this and episode 11 were the last shows TNA would tape before the Health South money ran out, so the shows were taped in one day. That meant that if they didn’t find a new backer, Episodes 10 and 11 would’ve been the last shows of NWA-TNA ever made. Obviously, they found a new backer, but at the time of the taping, they didn’t have one and seemed to be wrapping up the big storylines, just in case the company folded.

My issue with how women, Goldilocks especially (mainly because she’s the only woman on every week), are treated on this show is still there. I’m not sure why the writer(s) seem to find it so difficult to have men answer simple questions asked by a woman who is doing her job, without being jerks. I’m not sure if it’s toxic masculinity, or what, but it’s very irritating to see grown men name-calling a woman for doing her job.

The issue with Jarrett’s storyline wasn’t as prominent this week, but it was still there. The story with Lawler is just odd and seems like a clumsy attempt to remake an old WWE storyline.

We finally got some insight into the Lynn/Styles issues, but it just seems like a too late attempt to make Lynn sympathetic. It would’ve been nice to hear or see the reasons for Lynn’s sudden turn before now rather than having Lynn just randomly turn on his partner and acting like a bitter, jealous, has-been who doesn’t like how the younger guys seem to be leaving him in the dust.

Overall, this was a good show and did a good job of starting to wrap things up if worse came to worse.

Stinkers: Lo Ki vs Amazing Red vs Joel Maximo vs Jose Maximo. It was boring and a circus act more than a wrestling match.

Snoozers: Sonny Siaki vs Jimmy Yang. It was forgettable overall.

Match of the Night: AJ Styles vs Jerry Lynn, all three matches.

Final Thoughts: I enjoyed this show and wish that it hadn’t taken three weeks of awful shows and withdrawal of financial backing to get here.

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Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 24 – December 4, 2002

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The next installment of Tiffany MC’s weekly Classic IMPACT!

We open with a recap of the ending of last week’s episode, but with some after show footage of Killings and Russo getting into a fight and the Harris Brothers breaking it up. While this was going on, Russo was still demanding an answer from Jarrett and Jarrett wasn’t saying anything.





After that, we hear some very familiar bagpipes and after a few minutes, the Hot Rod comes out with a young man I’m ASSUMING is his son because I have no other explanation for why this kid is here.

Piper got on the mic to cut a promo, but because the promo was so long, I’m not going to go through the whole thing here. Piper UNLOADED on Russo, saying that the NWA was the only thing Russo hadn’t killed. He said Russo was a ‘hump’ (I’m assuming he meant ‘hunk’, but you never know) of 300lbs that failed to become a wrestler and became a sport entertainer, but never had any talent, though the fact that Piper himself made a VERY good living being a sports entertainer should be pointed out. He said that Russo was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and would kill the dreams of all the young guys in the locker room. He then says he’s there to challenge Russo.

He also plugs his book, which is part of the reason he was in Nashville to start with, saying it was about a boy and his dreams. In his usual, controversial style, Piper accused Russo of all the sins in the calendar, including being the Osama Bin Laden of wrestling (YES, he said that a year after 9/11) and of killing Owen Hart, who Piper claimed to be related to (he’s not to the best of my understanding). He then, without naming names, trashed some of Russo’s ideas in WWE.

Piper then calls out Russo, who tries to pull one over, but this is Roddy Piper we’re talking about and that didn’t work. In what can best be described as a drunken rant, Piper asked Russo, who he had just PUBLICLY accused of killing Owen Hart, if he killed Owen Hart, and asked how he’d bankrupted WCW so fast. I guess Piper didn’t get the memo that WCW was having financial troubles before Russo got there.

To his credit, Russo tried to defend himself, but Piper is DEFINITELY drunk, and is a loud and stubborn drunk at that. Finally, the Harris boys come out to try and save this mess and at least get Russo out of the ring. This was NOT a great start to the show. After that mess was over, we were given an update on the Lynn/Siaki X-Division title match that was randomly announced last week: It will NOT be happening this week because Jerry Lynn is injured again.

Spanish Announce Team vs Divine Storm (with Trinity): Maximos get a good pop. Apparently, SAT and Divine Storm trained together in Brooklyn. To add some more pressure to this, the winners get a shot at the Tag Team Champions, the New Church.

How’d it go? Well…the start was something to be seen rather than described. Honestly, these guys didn’t give the appearance of people who trained together, unless they all had very short-term memories. The match was awkward, especially for the Maximos. It actually looked like two teams that were still in training. Divine Storm got the win with a big assist from Trinity, so they will be fed…er, working with the New Church for the Tag Team Championship.

Harris comes out to a great pop. The whole point to the singles matches Harris and Storm will be having against the New Church is to have a chance to get their hands on James Mitchell.

Russo interrupts, claiming that he doesn’t have an issue with Harris. He then berates Piper for the opening segment and tells him that he’s going to hell for bringing up Owen Hart’s death. He also berates the TNA fans for supporting the NWA, an organization that he claims doesn’t care about them because it’s run by old men. Showing that he has no real understanding that the fans know full well what his ‘accomplishments’ are and that’s why they’re jeering, he claims the fans don’t know what they want.

To prove just why the fans are right to jeer, Russo calls attention to the Athena signs in the crowd. It turns out that Athena is the girl who takes the wrestlers’ gear to the back for them and she is very loved by the crowd. Russo calls her into the ring and proceeds to insult, bully, and degrade Athena, to the outrage of the crowd. When Athena, rightly, slaps the shit out of him, Russo has the Harris brothers, who aren’t happy with their treatment by the NWA, attack Athena, who can’t defend herself.

Backstage, an enraged Bob Armstrong let the Harris twins have it. He reminds them that the NWA, not Vince Russo, is paying them. He also points out that he gave them shots, despite neither of them being good wrestlers and that all Russo’s going to give them is a joy ride. The Harrises aren’t listening and call Armstrong’s warning ‘Bullshit’.

At ringside, an enraged Chris Harris is also calling ‘Bullshit’ on what just happened, but he’s saying it Tenay and West. Tenay will only say that this is what happens when Russo is around and he’s not happy.

Chris Harris vs Brian Lee (with New Church): Well, we finally got to see this match. The match starts off in a brawl, but that was about the highlight of the match. Lee might bear a resemblance to Undertaker, but he’s not nearly as good of a wrestler as the Dead Man. Harris would pull out the win with a spear, so AMW is one match away from getting their hands on James Mitchell.

Backstage, Goldy finds Ron Killings talking to a subtly pleased Bob Armstrong. Killings wants Russo’s ass for robbing him of the NWA Title. Armstrong is very understanding but tells him that he has to deal with the Harris twins first, by tagging with Jeff Jarrett.

James Storm vs Slash (with New Church): Round two of this starts with a sneak attack by Slash. Sensing that the Church was in trouble. Mitchell, Lee, and Bella Donna all did their part to try and help Slash win, but Storm was more determined. That said, this was a much better match than the previous one. Slash is definitely the breakout star of the New Church.

I will say that Bella Donna finally seems to be getting the hang of being a valet and getting her timing right, which is nice to see. She doesn’t seem to be very evil, compared with other members of the Church, more like a lost soul that’s being exploited by Mitchell. In the end, Storm would get the win, with an assist from Harris and the Death Sentence, when the New Church’s antics backfired on them. So James Mitchell will face America’s Most Wanted in a bullrope match.

Tenay and West go over the rules of the Bullrope match: Storm, Harris, and Mitchell will be joined at the wrist and there will be a STEEL cowbell in this somewhere.

In the locker room, Bob Armstrong is trying fire up Jeff Jarrett and Ron Killings, but Jarrett still isn’t saying anything. Jarrett still hasn’t responded to anyone’s question about his loyalty, though Killings getting in his face probably didn’t help.

Double Elimination Match: EZ Money vs Kid Kash vs AJ Styles vs Joel Maximo: Styles is determined to get back to the title match, because he takes out Joel Maximo before the match officially starts. The match pretty good. It had it’s slow spots, but Styles and Kash were easily the highlights of the match. However, to everyone’s surprise, EZ Money pulled out the win with a pin on Joel Maximo, with an assist from AJ Styles.

We get word through Tenay that Jarrett and Killings WILL team up against the Harris Twins later in the show.

Backstage, Goldy is with Sonny Siaki and she’s not happy about it. Siaki is looking like LL Cool J. Goldy tries to be a good sport and wishes Siaki luck, despite the fact that she looked like she wanted to gag rather than say anything nice to him.

Siaki seems to have dropped the speaking in the third person thing, thank heavens. He doesn’t need Goldy’s well-wishes, he’s waited a long time for this match and it doesn’t really matter when his match with Lynn happens because he’s going to walk away with the gold. I applaud them for letting Siaki try and be himself, but it seems a little too late.

Tenay introduces Jerry Lynn, who explains that he’s got a partially torn pectoral muscle, but he WILL be competing next week against Sonny Siaki. The segment is interrupted by the Harris twins bringing out a table and putting Bill Behrens, the boring as beige NWA official, on it. Lynn tries to save Behrens’ bacon, but ends up being powerbombed THROUGH Behrens and the table. Ron Killings runs out to make the save, but suffers a pretty nasty beat down for his troubles.

Backstage, Goldy finds Bob Armstrong and BG James. Armstrong is pleading with James to put aside his issues with Jarrett and team up to face the Harris twins. James finally agrees and addresses Armstrong as ‘Dad’ for the first time since he’s appeared on TNA.

Bullrope Match – AMW vs Bella Donna: James Mitchell comes out and claims that he can’t compete because he has double pneumonia, though that claim falls a little flat all things considered. He then offers up Bella Donna instead, which AMW are less than impressed with.

Unfortunately, Slash and Lee get the jump on AMW, softening them up for Mitchell to get in some eye gouges and shots with the cowbell. Mitchell then offers to let Bella Donna finish things up, but AMW pull her off the top rope in a spot that looked really awful for Bella’s knee, and set her up for the Catatonic and Eight Second Ride. Still not satisfied, but not wanting to take their frustrations out on the helpless Bella Donna, AMW leave her in the ring and go after Mitchell, who runs for his life.

Tenay shows us a pre-show interview he did with Curt Hennig, who still seems to believe that it’s 1991 and he’s still the best wrestler in the world. In his mind, he’s the better option to carry TNA than Jeff Jarrett, who has nearly broken his back trying to carry Hennig on several occasions. As for Russo, Hennig says that Russo gave him a chance in WCW, but put the belt on David Arquette, which is all that needs to be said to explain why Vince Russo should never be allowed around professional wrestling. Hennig is still bragging about taking down Lesnar, but that still hasn’t been confirmed by any reliable, or sober, witness.

In present time, BG James is found out cold under some metal chairs. Looks like Jarrett’s going to have to deal with the Harrises and Russo on his own.

Harris Brothers vs BG James and Jeff Jarrett: Remember Bash at the Beach 1996 when there was genuine interest and suspense about the NWO and the third man? Remember the shock when it turned out that Hulk Hogan, still one of the biggest stars in wrestling, had turned on the fans?

This was not that match. Jarrett did a good job, but the Harris twins were a load to carry on his own. Ron Killings, limping, and with taped ribs, came to the rescue, letting Jarrett beat the Harrises with a Stroke.

However, the real shock came AFTER the match. Ron Killings still wanted Russo, but suffered another severe beatdown as Russo came in from the crowd. BG James came from the back an appeared to be helping Killings, just before he laid him out with a chairshot, to the crowd’s fury. Then, just to add surrealism to this mess, Percy Pringle, aka, Paul Bearer is on the ramp as Russo, James, and the Harrises celebrate and that’s where the show ends.

Overall Comments: I don’t have much to say about this show other than there were okay matches and an awful story. I didn’t watch much of WCW as a kid, so I didn’t see the real affects of Vince Russo’s ‘writing’ until later and it’s easy to see why his ideas took off in the Attitude Era because he gave the mostly male wrestling demographic what they wanted.

However, watching it back now, and I’ve said this before: It is clear that Russo has a serious problem with women and takes any opportunity to try and humiliate and degrade them and the fact that many people still wish Russo was writing for WWE shows that people either don’t remember how badly the women were treated or they don’t care.

I will say that I was happy to hear the Nashville crowd letting Russo know what they thought of him and it wasn’t friendly.

The whole plotline about Jarrett’s loyalties was so blatantly ripped off from the original NWO storyline, I’m surprised Vince didn’t sue, plus it was just awful. What made the NWO work were the original three guys involved. It’s another example of Russo thinking you can just plug anyone into a storyline or a character type and it’ll work and the audience will buy it, not thinking that 1. The NWO storyline, with all the twists and turns, only ended a couple of years before and fans remember it very vividly. And 2. All three guys were top stars in their primes. BG James and the Harris Twins were past their primes, and Paul Bearer’s glory days of being a manager were largely behind him, not a great formula for rebooting the NWO.

The Piper thing was another storyline from the NWO years, but it was in awful taste and not a great showing for Piper, who came across as an angry drunk using the death of a friend to sell a book.

I didn’t enjoy this episode and I hope this isn’t the precursor to worse things down the road.





What did you think of this episode of TNA IMPACT!? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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Chairshot Classics: WWF Royal Rumble ’88

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Our road to the 2019 Royal Rumble begins with a look back at the inaugural event!

This was originally not a PPV, but actually a special which aired on the USA Network. It would however, create the 3rd in WWF’s ‘Big 4’ PPV’s and become the annual January tradition that a lot of fans look forward to even more so than WrestleMania. A little known fact is that in late 1987, WWF experimented with the Royal Rumble idea, holding one in St. Louis, Missouri that saw One Man Gang victorious. This is never referred to though, as WWF considers this the first for historical purposes. It’s every man for himself and luck of the draw, let’s get to the action!





Open: Photos featuring all the matchups for tonights event are shown, as Vince McMahon runs down the card that includes the contract signing for the biggest rematch in WWF history between Hulk Hogan & Andre The Giant. In the arena are Vince & Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, there’s no time to waste and we go right to the ring and Howard Finkel.

Match #1: ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat
They tie-up and Rude doesn’t hesitate to throw hands, Steamboat fires back with chops and Rude goes to the eyes. He tries to throw Ricky over the top, Steamboat hangs on, skinning the cat back inside and tossing Rude out to the floor. The Ravishing One collects himself, telling the ref Steamboat grabbed the tights back inside. Rude wants a test of strength, stops to have a conversation with the fans at ringside and then they lock hands. Rude gets wrist control, driving The Dragon to his knees. Steamboat to his feet, gets out, taking Rude down with a top wristlock and going into an armbar. The Dragon works over the arm, wrenching at the joint and putting Rude to the canvas.

Rude breaks it with a right hand, into the ropes, Steamboat slides through the legs and gets an armdrag, going back into the armbar. Steamboat relentless on the shoulder joint, Rude with forearms and Ricky fires back with chops. Into the ropes, back and forth and Steamboat with another chop, gaining control over Rude’s arm once more. Rude gets to a vertical base, breaking the hold with boots and right hands. Whips The Dragon in and lands a back elbow, finally getting something going. The Ravishing One smashing Steamboat’s head into the turnbuckles, Rude continuing to hammer away.

In the ropes again, Ricky slides through Rude’s legs and hits another armdrag, grabbing an armbar and driving his knee into the shoulder. Rude gets to his feet, sending Steamboat into the ropes and driving an elbow into the chin. More heavy shots from Rude, Steamboat fires back, into the ropes, Rude reverses and drives a knee to the midsection. Steamboat falls out to the floor, Rude giving chase and driving his back into the apron, then slamming Ricky on the floor. Rude drags The Dragon to the apron, bringing him in the hard way with a vertical suplex for a count of 2, then locks in a variation of a Camel Clutch.

The Dragon attempts getting up, but Rude jumps down on the back numberous times. Steamboat gets up again, this time lifting Rude on his shoulders and then dropping him to the mat. Ricky to his feet first, goes for a splash, but Rude gets the knees up, following with an atomic drop for a 2 count. Rude goes back to the Camel Clutch, Steamboat propels him into the corner and then drives his head into the top turnbuckle. The Dragon with a snapmare and a falling chop for 2, Rude goes to the midsection and gets a side headlock takedown, they float over into a bridge and Ricky gains a backslide for a near fall.

He ducks a right, grabs a roll-up for another. Both guys go back and forth with small packages for 2 counts, Rude flooring Ricky with a clothesline for another. Rude attempts a vertical suplex, Steamboat blocks and hits one of his own, then climbs up top. The Dragon jumps off with a crossbody, Rude pulling the referee in front of him and Steamboat takes him out. Rude gets Steamboat up in a Rack, the ref gets to his feet and calls for the bell.
Winner: ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude (Rack)

  • After The Bell: Finkel announces that the winner is by disqualification and it’s Ricky Steamboat. Rude hits the ring again after a premature celebration and berates the ref.

Winner: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (Disqualification)

  • EA’s TakeTwo great workers here, but definitely not as quality of a match as you’d expect. Lots of rest holds and the pace didn’t pick up until the last 15-20 seconds of the match. Rick Rude is easily one of the most underrated WWF Superstars of all-time, after arriving from the NWA in the summer of 1987. No real feud between these two here, as they had limited interactions. Steamboat was one of the company’s hottest babyfaces after his WrestleMania III bout with Randy Savage, but a few weeks after Steamboat asked for time off to be with his wife, who was expecting the birth of their first child. It didn’t sit well with management, as a lot of time had been put into grooming Ricky to be a top babyface. When he would return in late 1987, he was not pushed or really put into any meaningful storylines.

In The Arena: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is with Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura. Tonight, Canadian strongman Dino Bravo will attempt to break the world benchpress record of 705 lbs. They introduce Dino Bravo along with his manager Frenchy Martin. Dino calls it a big challenge, but he feels up to the task. Frenchy says something in French, of course. Ventura goes over some of the technicalities, as Dino goes for a warmup rep at 415 lbs. Dino stops and says it requires total concentration, asking the crowd to be silent. Using Ventura as his spotter, Bravo lifts it and reps it with no problems. They rip through 505, 555, 595 and 655. The crowd keeps making noise and Bravo feigns leaving with 715 lbs. Dino comes back and attempts it, Ventura helps Bravo get it up and they proclaim it legit.

  • EA’s TakeI know they were trying to gain heat for the newly repackaged Dino Bravo, but this was just brutally long. The fans were clapping in support of him breaking the record, until he walked off. Dino would return to singles competition when his alliance with Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine as The Dream Team was phased out, joining up with his new manager Frenchy Martin as the French-Canadian Strongman.

Match #2 for the WWF Women’s Tag Team Championships 2/3 Falls: WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai) w/’Mouth Of The South’ Jimmy Hart vs. The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Toteno & Itsuki Yamazaki)
The bell rings and The Angels hit the The Glamour Girls with dropkicks. Noriyo & Leilani are left in the ring, Noriyo missing another dropkick as Leilani hangs onto the ropes. Leilani tosses her across the ring by the hair and then drives her into Martin’s knee before she tags in. Martin with a slam, covering and Noriyo bridges out, grabbing a roll-up for 2. Itsuki tags, sends Martin into the ropes and hits a rolling headbutt, followed by a piledriver. Noriyo back in, she gets taken to the ground, but grabs a body scissors.

Martin fights out of it, Noriyo attempts a crossbody and gets caught, then dropped to the canvas. Martin misses an elbow drop, then quickly crawls over and tags Leilani. She enters and takes a knee out of the ropes, Itsuki back in with a flying forearm and a dropkick. The Angels strike back and forth in the corner, Itsuki covering a count of 2, then lock in an octopus stretch. Martin comes in the ring to try and break it, but kicks her own partner. Noriyo back in to deliver a dropkick to Martin, then we get synchronized figure four’s from The Angels. The legal participants are left in the ring, Itsuki breaks the hold and wishbones Leilani’s legs, then tags Noriyo. She comes in and cross the legs, grabbing a modified surfboard.

Itsuki back in, she continues to work the leg, Martin comes in to help her partner and they pull on Leilani by her hands and legs. Martin is dropped to the mat and rolls outside going back to the apron, Leilani crawls to try and tag, finally making it. Martin fires a kick to the midsection, whips Noriyo into the corner and she hops on the turnbuckle, putting the boots up to a charging Martin. Judy catches the feet, pulling Noriyo off the turnbuckle and slamming her to the mat. She delivers a shot to Itsuki on the apron, whips Noriyo into the ropes and Leilani with a cheap shot from the apron. Martin plants Itsuki with a reverse powerbomb, covers and gets the first fall.
First Fall: The Glamour Girls

Martin tosses Itsuki by the hair, putting her in the wrong part of town, then whips her into the ropes for a flying forearm and a count of 1. She slams Itsuki, attempts a splash and misses, allowing Noriyo to tag in and hit a dropkick. Into the ropes, Noriyo with a jumping clothesling, heads to the 2nd rope and connects with another for a near fall. She hits the ropes, landinga crossbody for another 2, then tags Itsuki for a double team suplex. Martin enters the ring to break it up, but gets caught and The Angels attempt to whips The Glamour Girls into one another. The Angels stop short, Glamour Girls charging with clotheslines and end up hitting one another. Order is restored and Leilani flattens Itsuki, lifts her to her shoulder, Itsuki rolls through into a pin and picks up a 3 count.
Second Fall: The Jumping Bomb Angels

The Angels rush Leilani and deliver double knees, then a double clothesline before the ring clears to a one on one situation. Itsuki with a running knee, but Leilani uses her size to force Itsuki into her corner and Martin makes a tag. Into the ropes, Martin catches a kick attempt, Itsuki countering with an enzuigiri and Noriyo enters. Noriyo attempts a fisherman suplex, Martin counters and drives a knee to the midsection, then whips Noriyo hard into the corner. Martin charges, Noriyo hops up and over, grabbing a backslide, but Martin rolls through. Judy grabs the legs, catapulting Noriyo into her corner and tagging out.

Leilani wrenches the neck, then stomps away at Noriyo and hangs her across the top rope by the hair. Double underhook suplex plants Noriyo and Leilani gets a count of 2. Leilani maintains the advantage, Martin in off the tag with a big boot that sends Noriyo into a tag. Itsuki comes in and is immediately tossed across the ring by the hair, then distracts the ref for Leilani to get in an illegal choke. Leilani makes a cover for multiple 1 counts, sends Itsuki in for a double axe handle and it’s blocked. She drops Leilani keyster first on the canvas a couple times and gets a 2 count. She tosses Leilani into her own corner, then brings Martin in the hard way and tags Noriyo.

She climbs upstairs, Itsuki with a slam and Noriyo follows off the top with a knee drop for 2. Noriyo hits a double underhook suplex into a bridge, gaining another 2 count, then brings Itsuki back in for a crossbody and another 2. Martin is slammed to the mat, Itsuki comes off the 2nd rope with a senton and misses, Martin covering and only getting 2. Itsuki with a leg takedown, Noriyo with the tag and a 2nd rope clothesline, but Leilani breaks up the pinfall. The ref’s tied up with Leilani, The Angels climb opposing turnbuckles and hit a tandem dropkick for the 1-2-3.
Winners and NEW WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions: The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo/Tandem Top Rope Dropkick)

  • EA’s TakeThe crowd was quite into this contest and a lot of the style of The Angels is ahead of it’s time, however the pacing of the contest was a bit too hectic at times. Women’s wrestling isn’t quite as clean and smooth as the men at this point, it would take a number of years for it to get to that point. The WWF Women’s Tag Team Titles are a forgotten relic in the annals of WWE history and this is the last major appearance they’d ever see. The Glamour Girls would go on to regain the championships in June before the titles were dropped completely in early 1989.

Video: Footage from WrestleMania III is shown, when Andre The Giant took on Hulk Hogan for the WWF Heavyweight Championship. At one point, Hogan attempted to slam Andre, but The Giant’s weight came crashing down onto the champion for what some claim was a 3 count. ‘The Million Dollar Man’ has plans to buy the championship, but Hulk Hogan refused to sell it. DiBiase promises to get what he wants, no matter the cost. Andre would accept DiBiase’s offer, attacking the champion on Saturday Night’s Main Event. The Giant has agreed to hand the title over.

In The Ring: It’s time for the contract signing for the biggest rematch in history, as Andre The Giant along with ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & Virgil make their way to the ring. ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund will oversee the proceedings and he introduces WWF Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan, then WWF President Jack Tunney.Tunney & Hogan sit down at the table, but Andre refuses as Gene urges him to sign the contract. DiBiase gives Andre a few words and he slowly makes his way to the table, staring down the champion. The Giant finally takes a seat, then DiBiase takes the mic and begs Hogan to sign. Hulk appears to be having doubts, but then signs after some more prodding by The Million Dollar Man. Andre reviews the contract and Hulk grows impatient. The Giant finally puts his name on the dotted line and DiBiase tells him to put his ‘stamp of approval on it’. Hogan lunges at DiBiase and Andre grabs the champion, slamming his head into the table.

  • EA’s TakeThis segment is a stark contrast to the one earlier tonight. Yes, it was also long, but that was supposed to be the effect and it worked perfectly. Even almost 30 years later, you could feel the tension as Hogan’s blood boiled at Andre toying around with him. DiBiase was the perfect foil to add a new layer to the Hulk/Andre rivalry, giving it new life with the ‘purchasing of the title’ story. This contract was signed for a match to come on Saturday Night’s Main Event and would lead to the biggest moment in the shows history.
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