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.
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.