This week, TNA will deal with the fallout of the shocking NWA World Championship match, the NWA will try again to reign in Jeff Jarrett, who will continue to press his case to get a World Championship shot, the tumultuous partnership of Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles will face its biggest challenge yet, and the Dupp Cup has a shocking winner.
Opening: We start with a recap of Truth’s historic win over Ken Shamrock. Mike Tenay welcomes us and we start with our first match.
Truth comes out to a pretty good pop. Truth tells the audience that they wanted the truth and now they’re all in HIS house, the TNA Asylum. Truth says that last week made him a legend. He owned up to be bitter and not sure if he was going to get the opportunity that he deserved or that NWA would play fair, which is fair given how Jeff Jarrett was treated last week. He also comes out and says what he’s been dancing around for weeks: he was denied opportunities because of being African-American. To expound his point, he claims that WWE held him back because he was black, claiming a WWE executive told him that he couldn’t make the same mistakes as everyone else because he was a ‘Black man in a white man’s world’.
Truth claims that he’s not playing a race card and that he’s a black man in a man’s world and that he’s a legend. He also reminds us that everyone deals with prejudice but that everyone gets an opportunity and it’s what you do with the opportunities that matter.
Jarrett comes out and repeats his claim of reverse discrimination because while Truth did beat Shamrock, he was given the opportunity to face Shamrock, while Jarrett has been fighting every week for the same chance and gotten screwed out of it time and again. Furthermore, he wants a match against Truth for the NWA title TONIGHT.
(Uh, Jeff, you guys have a tag match tonight)
Truth isn’t buying Jarrett’s claims of discrimination, but says that if Jarrett wants a fight for the title, he’d be glad to give him one.
Unfortunately, we’re interrupted by Boring as Beige Bill Behrens, in a really stupid looking cowboy hat, who brought some rent a cops, one of the Harris Twins, and Bob Armstrong, with him for back up. Apparently, Steamboat has the night off, Behrens is in charge, and he’s still blaming Jarrett for the attacks on NWA officials. He also says that Jarrett can fight Truth if he wants, but it’s not going to be for the title, which only adds to Jarrett’s feelings of being wronged. Before Jarrett can press his point by forcefully pressing his fist into Behrens’ nose, he’s attacked from behind by Brian Lawler, who was last seen attacking Don West a few weeks ago. Lawler seems to have dropped Jarrett as a friend, claiming ‘I know what you did’, though what Jarrett did isn’t explained.
With that drama over with, Tenay and company run down the card for tonight.
Kid Kash, Shark Boy, Slim J vs Amazing Red, Joel Maximo, Jose Maximo: Kid Kash gets the best pop of the group. Slim J seems to be an attempt on cashing in on Eminem’s popularity at the time.
This was an okay match. It seemed to be more about spots than actual wrestling. Kid Kash really stood out in this match, but I can’t say this match was very memorable. Slim J is supposedly a 17 year-old in his first year, and it really shows. It wasn’t a total disaster, but this seemed to be a highlight of what a lot of people don’t like about cruiserweights: To many high spots for no real reason, and not very much actual wrestling. However, it got the crowd going and they seemed to enjoy it.
Winner: Amazing Red and the Maximo Brothers by pinfall.
Comment: That wasn’t the best match, but it didn’t suck.
Backstage, we find poor Goldilocks with the Dupps in front of an outhouse, and it seems Goldi isn’t in a good mood (can’t imagine why). She warns the Dupps that she doesn’t like them and she doesn’t want them touching her. Blond Dupp seems to think that his defending her last week meant that she had to be nice to him. (Oh, I’m hating this already). To prove her point about them not touching her, when Blond asks her to check out his package, she hits him with her microphone, in the package.
Apparently, the Dupps have a…great idea for a new TV show, based on MTV’s ‘Cribs’, only it’s going to be called ‘Shitters’. (NO, I am NOT kidding). They open the outhouse, which was a apparently their Grandmother’s and stinks to high hell, if Goldi’s reactions are anything to go by, but she continues the interview while gagging.
Bruce vs Woman in Jeans: Bruce comes out for a promo, still in his fetching red number.
(Seriously, I want that dress. I don’t know where I would wear it, but I want it so badly).
Bruce claims to love everyone, and that he’s more woman than Tenay’s wife or any woman in the arena.
He says that all the women are jealous of him and all the married men are fantasizing about him. This is being said while he’s bulging out of a dress that barely fits, while the audience chants ‘You suck d**k!’.
He then challenges any woman to a match, promising to cut them a check for $5000 if they could beat him in a match.
The challenge is finally accepted by a larger lady in an Old Navy shirt. Borash has her sign a release contract and she’s on her way.
Much like last week, I’m not going to dignify this wreck with much more than this: The match was awful. Old Navy Lady got in a few good shots, but Bruce is a pro and it showed.
Winner: Bruce by pinfall. However, Old Navy was a good sport about it.
Comment: Bruce’s dress was the only thing I liked about this whole thing.
Backstage, a Dupp free and much happier looking Goldilocks is interviewing Jeff Jarrett. Goldilocks asks about Lawler, which pisses Jarrett off. Jarrett claims to not know what Lawler’s so mad about and that he’ll deal with it in his own time, telling Goldilocks not to start anything.
(Dude, she’s doing her job)
Jarrett says that what he DOES want to talk about is Truth. He says that he and Truth aren’t friends, and that he and Truth are only partners because Jarrett’s being forced to be his partner. Jarrett says that he’s going to keep after Truth because Truth is wearing Jarrett’s belt and that Jarrett isn’t going to be taking crap from anybody.
Speaking of crap. Jarrett has Goldi follow him into the bathroom where he finds Bill Behrens in middle of a trip to the throne room, complete with very colorful boxers, that were conveniently already pulled up. Jarrett gives Behrens a very weak beatdown that Behrens sold like the worst jobber. Jarrett then warns Behrens that if he screws with Jarrett anymore, he’ll be part of the wall Jarrett just shoved him into.
On his way out, Jarrett encounters Lo Ki and as we follow him out, we see an encounter between Hat Dupp and one of the midget wrestlers. Hat seems to think that even accidental run-ins means a match is on.
Dupp Cup: Teo vs Hat Dupp: Teo is out first and then out comes the Dupps with their toys. Teo uses the middle rope to low blow Hat before low blowing Borash. Don’t ask me how many points that is.
Do I need to say this was a trainwreck? The only good part was the commentary, and even that wasn’t enough to save this mess. Though, when Blond goes to attack the ticket lady, she beats the tar out of him with a broom.
Winner: Teo with some help from Puppet.
Comment: Oh, I hope this storyline ends soon.
We get a recap of the issues between Monty Brown and Elix Skipper.
Detroit Street Fight: Elix Skipper vs Monty Brown: Skipper gets little reaction. Skipper gets on the mic and says that this is HIS house and that Brown has no business being there and that Skipper didn’t give him permission to be there. Brown doesn’t get a much better reaction but gets the jump on Skipper.
This wasn’t a great match, even by Street Fight standards. Brown still has a lot to learn about storytelling in a match. This was more of a palate cleanser than anything else.
Winner: Monty Brown by pinfall.
Backstage, Goldilocks is with the Flying Elvises, who are about to compete against each other and Lo Ki for the TNA X Division Championship. When asked about how they were feeling about that, Estrada says that there are mixed emotions for the Flying Elvises. They are also wearing black armbands to remember the 25th anniversary of Elvis’ death. Estrada also says that they are all professionals and have to step and take advantage of the opportunity they’re being given.
Jimmy Yang and Estrada are really leaning into this whole Elvis thing, which makes Siaki’s utter contempt interesting, even if his attempt to mimic the Rock’s promo style is annoying. Siaki points out that Elvis died on the toilet. He then insults his ‘teammates’ and Elvis while Goldilocks looks like she’d rather be somewhere else.
X-Division Championship Match: Lo Ki vs Sonny Siaki vs Jorge Estrada vs Jimmy Yang: Lo Ki is out first to an okay reaction. Elvises don’t get a much better reaction.
This was an okay match in the beginning. The Flying Elvises didn’t spare each other but the first half of the match was mostly a spot fest. However, Siaki proved to be only out for himself when he cheap shotted Yang and further showed his contempt for his ‘teammates’.
Once Estrada and Yang were eliminated is when things got interesting because it was down to Siaki and Lo Ki. Their part of the match was brief but very good. Siaki ended up being defeated due to a distraction after Yang got in a payback cheap shot, which left the door open for Lo Ki to get the win on a roll up.
Winner: Lo Ki by pinfall.
Comment: Siaki has the makings of good heel, but he needs a better gimmick than basically being a Rock rip off.
We get a view of an incident from earlier where Goldilocks was interviewing Jerry Lynn in the Lynnmobile (that’s what they called it) and were discussing the issues between Lynn and Styles and their match with Jarrett and Truth. Lynn said that he and Styles would work together because, when it comes to the tag belts, they’re professionals. Last week was every man for himself. He then stops the car and says that he has something to take care of. I should point out that Lynn was very calm and laid back during the whole conversation, even if the interview in an SUV was a little awkward.
What he had to take care of was beating the hell out of AJ Styles in the middle of a gas station parking lot. Lynn leaves Styles in a heap in a clawfoot bathtub that was outside and warns him not to mess with him (Lynn again) and that it IS about respect.
(So, just attacking him out of the blue is respectful?)
Back at the Asylum, it is time for Jive Talkin’. Apparently, Disco isn’t going to have a wrestler on this week, he’s going to have a genuine movie star on his show. Who would be that desperate, you ask? Dean Baldwin.
(No, he’s not a lost Baldwin brother, just some dude they brought in who sort of looks like a Baldwin brother).
Walmart Baldwin and Disco waste no time in insulting the Dupps and Goldilocks. Walmart is trying to promote his new movie, Urban Hearthrobs and its big name cast, including Frank Stallone and Carrot Top.
(Oh, someone punch one of these idiots).
We get some super creepy talk about what Alec Baldwin and then-wife Kim Bassinger get up to in bed and whether or not Kim is a screamer.
The audience isn’t having this and neither am I, get to the damn point of this already.
Walmart Baldwin wants to talk about his movie, Disco wants to know if Alec and Kim have had threesomes.
We are saved by Brian Lawler, who lets us all know that he doesn’t give a s**t about Disco Inferno, his show, or Walmart Baldwin. What does Lawler care about? Whatever it is that Jeff Jarrett did. Walmart Baldwin makes the error of insulting Lawler and pays for it with a stiff punch to the face.
Disco tries to save face by hyping next week’s Jive Talkin’.
Backstage, Lawler is being tossed out of the building by Don Harris.
In another part of the building, Goldilocks is dealing with angry Dupps. Apparently, Blond Dupp is so angry at losing the Dupp Cup, he just walked out, leaving Hat by himself. Hat seems to think Goldi should know what to do, Goldi’s response is to shrug and say “He’s your brother”.
NWA Tag Team Championship Match: AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn vs Jeff Jarrett and Ron ‘Truth’ Killings: Jarrett gets a pretty good pop, as does Truth. Lynn gets a great reaction and is ambushed by Jarrett and Truth. Styles comes in to save Lynn and the champs work together, like Lynn said they would.
This was such a good match, especially to what had happened earlier in the show. Jarrett and Styles worked great together, with a few awkward spots. Lynn and Truth’s end was a little more awkward, but still very good.
Unfortunately, when the tag champs try to work together in the same ring, things get more awkward. However, Jarrett, Styles, and Lynn can make a good match out of just about anything.
Unfortunately, this great match was ruined by crazy booking. Scott Armstrong got taken out by Styles by accident and we had the usual, babyface pins heel and there’s no ref. By the time Armstrong had collected himself, another ref was sliding in and we had dueling counts, one for the champs, one for the challengers.
Bob Armstrong comes out and takes the belts, declaring that the belts will be held up. He then tells Truth that he’ll be defending the title against Monty Brown. Jerry Lynn and Styles will face each other for a chance at the X Division Championship next week. Lynn wants a Falls Count Anywhere Match. Styles wants a No DQ match (isn’t that basically the same thing?). Armstrong match gives them both what they want, in 2 out of 3 falls, the third match will be a 10-minute Iron Match.
As for Jarrett, he’s had enough of the NWA’s BS, he’s leaving with the tag belts he thinks he won. He says that Monty Brown got his match, Lynn and Styles got theirs, but what about Jeff Jarrett? Armstrong tells him that he’s got a special opponent in mind for Jarrett next week. Jarrett walks out, with the Tag Belts, with Armstrong in hot pursuit.
Winner: No Contest due to the screwy finish.
Comment: That match saved this show for me up until the finish.
Don West does his best Billy Mays for next week’s show, but we’re interrupted by news that something’s going on in the back.
Backstage, Jarrett and Armstrong are arguing and Jarrett is trying to leave with the tag belts, when he’s attacked by a deranged Brian Lawler, who is still screaming about knowing what Jarrett did.
Overall Comments: So, how was NWA-TNA # 9? It was okay. Most of the matches were nothing to get excited about except for the main event, even if the non-finish was frustrating.
Someone seems to have made Russo ease up on the sexist way women were treated on the show. Goldilocks was actually able to hit back at the Dupps and the fan from the intergender match got in a few licks.
The ongoing issue with whether or not Jarrett is a face or a heel is still there. He seemed to be a heel tonight, but his continued claims of reverse discrimination are not going to make him a heel in Tennessee, and whoever is writing this show should’ve realized that.
Despite being a pretty lackluster episode, this was a pivotal episode for TNA. Health South, the original financial backer for TNA, withdrew its support after this episode, leaving TNA scrambling. This lead it to Panda Energy, and Dixie Carter. This partnership, for better or worse would be the ground TNA stood on for over a decade.
Stinkers: Bruce vs Old Navy Lady. The only bright spot was Bruce’s dress, which I still want.
Snoozers: Elix Skipper vs Monty Brown.
Match of the Night: Lynn/Styles vs Jarrett/Truth
Final Thoughts: If this match was the last straw for Health South, I can hardly blame them, but this was hardly the worst episode.