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 23
NWA-TNA Episode 23: November 27, 2002
Goldy is introduced and sings ‘God Bless America’ and sounds lovely as usual.
Opening: We open with Borash in the ring and he says that since it’s the day before Thanksgiving and because everyone is feeling grateful, despite everything the country has been through and is about to go through (the War in Afghanistan was about to start, I think), everyone at TNA is thankful to the fans for supporting them.
Briscoe Brothers vs Divine Storm (with Trinity): The Briscoes are back! They’re going up against generic new comers, Divine Storm.
This match was much better than Divine Storm’s previous outing last week. They and the Briscoes worked together very well and put on a really good match. Trinity got involved, hitting a hurricanrana on one of the Briscoes. There was also a really cool spot where one member of the Briscoes and one member of Divine Storm hit stereo diving sentons on each other’s opponent.
Ultimately, Divine Storm would win this round with a cradle suplex.
At ringside, Tenay addresses the revelation that Vince Russo was Mr. Wrestling III. The usually calm, neutral Tenay minces no words about how he feels. He does NOT like Vince Russo, he does NOT want to be associated with him, and vows to not let Russo destroy TNA the way he did WCW. West is a little stunned by Tenay’s anger, claiming that he didn’t realize that Tenay disliked Russo that much.
After the commercial break, Tenay is in the ring and he’s wanting to interview Jeff Jarrett. He gets Vince Russo instead. Russo seems to see no reason to play nice. He throws Tenay out of the ring and tells him to go sulk in the commentary area. Apparently Tenay had vowed to quit if Russo was allowed into TNA and Russo called his bluff, telling him he can go home and pout like Sean Waltman and they’ll replace him with a chimpanzee that will have more personality.
Addressing the audience, and seemingly unaware of just how many people hold him responsible for the destruction of WCW, Russo introduced himself as the Anti-Christ of wrestling and said that he came back because the business was ‘in the shitter’, without seeming to accept that he’s very much to blame for the state of the business.
Russo then tries to claim credit for Jarrett’s rise in the late 90s, claiming to have befriended him in WWE, despite the Double J gimmick, though it should be pointed out that Russo’s ‘friendship’ didn’t help Jarrett get out of the mid-cards in WWE. Russo then clams that the Jarrett’s begged him to come in and help TNA, saying that TNA means ‘Tits and Ass’ not ‘Total Non-Stop Acton’.
Proving that he has no clue what he’s doing, Russo disrespects the NWA greats who have been putting up with his garbage, and claims he’s saving TNA, instead of destroying it.
But Russo’s wants us all to know that he’s not a total psychopath. He offers Jarrett, who owns the company and put up with Russo’s BS even when it nearly closed the company down, be in on what he’s got planned for TNA, which will include some drastic changes. He will expect an answer by the end of the show.
After Russo leaves, an incensed Tenay calls Russo a cancer, stating that Russo is everything that is wrong with professional wrestling and says, point blank, that Russo killed WCW.
Throughout the evening’s show, there were various TNA on-screen talent plugging a silent auction to benefit a school for autistic children and for breast cancer awareness. The segments were pretty lame, so I’m not going to mention them past this point.
America’s Most Wanted vs The Hot Shots: Hot Shots don’t get a ton of love from the crowd,but there are some cheers. AMW are extremely over, but they aren’t in good moods after losing their rematch to New Church last week. The match was pretty typical for these teams. AMW was ground and pound, while the Hot Shots were a lot of flash and cockiness, butthe match was really good.
During the match, James Mitchell and Bella Donna come out, which distracts Storm and Harris, just when they had the match won. AMW pursued the Not-So-Good Minister and his lady, getting themselves counted out in the process. Mitchell, proving that there is no honor among thieves, ran for his life and left Bella Donna to the wolves.
Storm and Harris, proving that they are equal opportunity ass-kickers, were ready to hit the Death Sentence on Bella Donna, when Mitchell returned to half-heartedly try to save her. As the AMW were distracted, the New Church attacked from behind. Mitchell grabbed Bella and they got away, but Bella needs to rethink her life choices.
Backstage, Goldylocks is looking to talk to Jeff Jarrett about his upcoming match against Ron Killings and, presumably, Russo’s offer, but Dory Funk Jr is barring the door.
Funk, lets Goldy know that while Jarrett IS in the locker room, he doesn’t want to talk to anyone since he’s focusing on the match. When Goldy asks if he’s Jarrett’s manager, Funk simply says that he’s got a vested interest in the match.
NWA Tag Team Championship Match: BG James and Curt Hennig vs New Church (with James Mitchell and Bella Donna): I’m not sure why the Harris Twins aren’t in this match since they’re supposed to be the #1 Contenders for the tag titles, but we’re getting James and Hennig. It was supposed to be James/Waltman, but Tenay informs us that Waltman has refused to show up because he doesn’t to be associated with Russo.
Michell gets on the mic and says that he doesn’t care about the difference between professional wrestling and sports entertainment, he’s just interested in being evil.
This match was really basic, which is probably the best option for everyone involved. Hennig looks like he’s laid off the booze and hit the gym a little more, but there’s no hiding the fact that his ring skills are lacking, though he shows some of his former brilliance with an interesting modified figure-four.
AMW run in, causing James and Hennig to be DQ’d just when they thought they had the match won. All hell breaks loose with AMW not only brawling with the New Church, but with the angered James and Hennig who feel that they were robbed of their opportunity. AMW would chase New Church into the back, but it’s clear that AMW have made enemies of James and Hennig.
Alyx Winters vs EZ Money: For reasons that I can’t explain, EZ Money has gotten over with the higher ups at TNA and is back for another match. His opponent is Alyx Winters,who reminds me a little of the Wunderkind from WCW.
The match has a pretty basic start, but there’s an interesting reverse Boston Crab/swing hold by Money. There’s a spot where Winters was supposed to float over Money, but Money didn’t run in and when Winters landed, it was balls first on Money’s knee. After that stupid spot,that Money was very proud of, the match went rapidly downhill. Money picked up the win with a cradle suplex and left poor Winters in the ring.
Backstage, we find Goldylocks with Bruce, who has been in middle of the drama that is the relationship of Brian Lawler and April. After seeming to be caught in the shower with April and probably NOT conserving water, unless April gets turned on by saving the Earth’s oceans, Bruce found himself fending off not only an enraged Lawler, but his former partner, Lenny Lane, who tried to claim that Bruce was ineligible to be Miss TNA because he was actually straight. If you find that confusing, join the club.
This week, Bruce has ditched the pastels and his fetching Miss TNA number for a pretty basic…guy look, long-sleeved shirt, baseball cap.When Goldy introduces him as Bruce, he corrects her and says that his name is now Allen Funk. A confused Goldy asks him about the April situation and Funk claims that he felt sorry for April because of how Lawler treated her and tried to comfort her. What that has to do with showering together, I have no idea.
Furthermore, Bruce states that he is gay, but that his heart got involved and that April is a very sexual person. Goldy makes a really bad joke, but asks what Funk plans to do with the Miss TNA gear, and Funk says he’ll give it to April.
Crimson Dragon vs Sonny Siaki: Last week, Crimson Dragon made a mediocre debut in a match involving AJ Styles. This week, Dragon and Siaki meet one on one. Dragon’s changed his look and looks like a very stylish ninja, while Siaki looks bored,though he gets a bit of a pop from the crowd.
The match was okay, Siaki does his best, but Dragon sucks. He botches several spots before Siaki can put him away with a super overhead-toss and a Money clip.
Once Crimson Dragon is vanquished, a disgusted Siaki gets on the mic and states that he’s tired of the lackluster opponents he’s been getting. If TNA won’t give him better competition than this, he doesn’t want to say. Sonny Siaki, in his own mind, should only be wrestling top guys and be in title matches.
Backstage, Goldylocks is with April, apparently, Goldy was wanting to interview Lawler, but found April instead. April says that Lawler has been in the production truck watching the footage of the shower scene all day. April doesn’t seem to get what the problem is, Bruce is gay and she’s faithful to Brian, which shows that either she’s an idiot or he is.
Goldy points out that no one believes her, especially after last week, to which April coyly implies that Goldy’s jealous. Angry and fed up…FINALLY, Goldy tells the cameraman to cut off the interview because she’s ‘done with this bullshit’.
To add more drama to this mess, Lawler goes to ringside, not dressed to wrestle and looking very sad. According to him, he gave everything he had to a woman and that April cheated on him and made him look like an idiot, though it must be said that Lawler was already doing a good job of making himself look like an idiot before April got there. In play at sympathy, Lawler then claims that April and Goldylocks had an affair, which didn’t win him much sympathy. Fed up, Lawler says he’s quitting the wrestling business and does his really bad crying act before walking away.
Tenay and West are dumbstruck, with even West saying that that was weird.
Thing get weirder back stage when Goldylocks tries to talk to Lawler, but finds him being comforted by Priscilla, Jorge Estrada’s manager. Lawler is STILL doing the fake crying thing, telling Priscilla that she’s the only one that cares. They walk away together, but we see Lawler grabbing Priscilla’s butt, so I don’t think we have to worry about him bouncing back from April.
X-Division Championship Match: Jerry Lynn vs AJ Styles (with Mortimer Plumtree): The rivalry between Styles and Lynn is well-known, so I won’t go into it here. Styles won the right to face Lynn last week after defeating Jorge Estrada and Crimson Dragon.
The match was okay. Even the best rivals have a clunker and this was that match for Styles and Lynn. I’m not sure what was going on,but they just could seem to mesh as seamlessly as they usually do.
Added to the trouble was Plumtree, who was trying to use some heel manager tactics and not doing a great job at it. Unfortunately, Plumtree’s antics would end up costing Styles the match when the brass knucks Plumtree tossed him ended up with Lynn, who knocked Styles into next week for the pin.
In a pre-show interview, Tenay interviewed Dory Funk Jr. Funk, who has none of his brother’s personality, talked about how much being NWA champion meant to him, and talked about what he learned from all the greats he worked with, and plugged the Funking Conservatory wrestling school. For whatever reason, the person typing up the names of the former NWA greats Funk mentions spells Jack Brisco’s name as ‘Briscoe’.
Funk stated that he believed that the Jarrett/Killings feud was the future of the NWA and would be seen as a great rivalry in twenty years. As for Russo, Funk makes no bones about the fact that he doesn’t like Russo and feels that Russo’s sports entertainment had no place in professional wrestling.
NWA Championship Match: Jeff Jarrett vs Ron Killings: It’s time for the rematch. Both men get great pops, though Jarrett’s is a little mixed. This was a really great match, much better than last week’s. Jarrett and Killings took each other all over the arena, actually resulting in a double countout, but Bob Armstrong demanded that the match be restarted so that there could be a definitive winner.
There was a really lame ‘take out ref’ spot that was only saved by Armstrong’s selling, While Armstrong was ‘out’, Russo showed up, seeming to help Jarrett, handing Jarrett his guitar to finish Killings off. Instead, Jarrett breaks the guitar over the turnbuckle to the crowd’s delight, choosing to put Killings away with three Strokes to retain the title.
Angered, Russo go on the mic as Jarrett was leaving,demanding to know Jarrett’s answer, but the show ends before we hear what Jarrett has to say.
Overall Thoughts: So, how was Week 23 of NWA-TNA? Not great. There were a lot of blah matches andstupid/awful segments and only a couple of really good matches to cover for it.
The use of Russo was interesting, he seemed to truly NOT get that most people hold him responsible for what happened to WCW, a fact that bears out if you ever listen to him and seemed to honestly think that the wrestling business needed him. Spoilers: It doesn’t. In my opinion, having watched this show from the first episode to now, Russo’s involvement has been what’s kept TNA from really flourishing in the early stages, which nearly put the company out of business.
I’m glad the Lawler/April/Bruce/Goldy thing seems to be finally over because it was godawful to watch. Siaki getting fed up with having to deal with mediocre job guys was interesting, but they’re still trying to make him a Rock clone and it’s not getting over with fans.
Overall, this was an okay show. I’m hopeful next week will be better.
Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 22 – Boyhood Dream Fulfilled
The next installment of Tiffany MC’s weekly NWA-TNA Chairshot Classics!
On this episode of NWA-TNA (check out last week’s), it’s all come down to this: Jeff Jarrett has his date with destiny when he takes on Ron Killings for the NWA Championship, but a familiar face could call everything into question. AMW looks for revenge against the New Church, the Lawler/April situation takes several bizarre turns, and Jerry Lynn defends the X-Division Championship against Amazing Red. How’d they do? Let’s find out.
The show starts with Tenay and West give us a quick run-down of the card, and topping it off is the NWA World Heavyweight Championship match between Ron Killings and Jeff Jarrett.
In a pre-show interview, Tenay talked to Champion Ron Killings. Jeff Jarrett was also offered a chance for an interview, but he’d declined, stating that he needed to focus on his title match. Tenay tells us that he never heard back from Mr. Wrestling III about the open contract.
Ron Killings says that he’s not worried about Mr. Wrestling anymore. He’s been watching Jeff Jarrett over the past few months and knows that Jarrett’s passion was for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, but Killings has that same passion. Being NWA Champion has justified everything Killings has been through in his career.
Killings says that their match is about who has the most passion for that title. Who wants it more badly, and who’s willing to go the furthest to get it.
Comment: Another great interview for Killings. I still wish they’d showed more of this Killings instead of the wild-eyed lunatic.
Divine Storm (with Trinity) vs EZ Money and Sonny Siaki: Divine Storm come out first and they look like budge Maximo Brothers, and Trinity looks like a typical wrestling valet for 2002. EZ Money and Siaki are out next. Someone must’ve told Money that his pants looked stupid, because he ditched them for trunks after his introduction. Siaki looks thrilled, as always.
The match started with Divine Storm getting the upper-hand, but the match went outside and everyone go into the act, including Trinity, who hits an okay moonsault on everyone. Back in the ring, Siaki is doing his best to keep this match together, but it was tough when the other three people in the ring are mediocre at best. Siaki would get the win for his team with his Money Clip move and Divine Storm retreat to lick their wounds. EZ Money, who did alright in the match, wanted to pose, but Siaki just wanted out of there.
Winner: EZ Money and Sonny Siaki.
Comment: Generic is the best way to describe this match. Siaki looked bored.
James Mitchell and Bella Donna, who looks sleep-deprived and high at the same time come out. Mitchell gets on the mic and talks about how the upcoming NWA Championship match is all anyone wants to talk about. The New Church isn’t satisfied with being Tag Team Champs. He’ll only be satisfied when one of his minions is World Heavyweight Champion. While he was talking, Bella Donna was feeling herself up and then leaning on Mitchell. It was creepy but not in a cool way.
Malice (with James Mitchell and Bella Donna) vs Kory Williams: After all that, Malice comes out to face Kory Williams, who didn’t get an entrance, and is wearing a Matadores mask. The match was quick. Malice didn’t even take his vest off. The one…highlight was when Malice went to do a move off the top rope, and slipped off, falling FLAT on his face. That flub didn’t stop Malice from getting the pin. After his victory, he beats Williams up some more, as if it’s Williams’ fault he flopped.
Winner: Malice by pinfall.
Comment: Bleh. Malice falling on his face was the only good part.
Tag Team Tournament Final – Spanish Announce Team vs Harris Brothers: The winner of this match faces the winner of the New Church/America’s Most Wanted match later in the show. This pairing seems like a joke, though I’m a little worried that the joke is on the viewer.
Despite being outsized by the Harris Brothers, the Maximos showed no fear, getting the jump on the Harrises. The Harrises definitely had the edge as far as experience, but the Maximos were a lot younger and quicker. That didn’t stop the Harrises from trying to keep up, namely Don doing a big man’s version of the slingshot plancha onto the Maximos. The Harrises’ experience advantage would be the deciding factor in the match and getting the pin on the Maximos after an H-Bomb.
Winner: The Harris Brothers by pinfall.
Comment: Eh match. Neither team really seemed like a threat to New Church.
Backstage, Goldylocks is talking to April. Goldy starts with the question we all want to know: What the hell was April thinking showering (and presumably having sex) with Bruce?
April is upset by the accusation, pleading innocence. She claimed that it was a production trick to make her look bad. Goldy isn’t buying this and says that April makes her sick.
April begins to ‘cry’, basically making sobbing sounds, which doesn’t work on Goldy. Bruce, clad in his Miss TNA regalia, comes up and comforts April, while Goldy rolls her eyes in disgust. Bruce claims to be gay and that the whole situation was a production trick. Goldy comments that he’s as gay as Ralph Nader, which I didn’t totally get, but anyway.
At this point, Lenny marches up and claims that Bruce is a phony gay man, and is actually straight as an arrow. Lenny then claims that since Bruce is straight, he can’t be Miss TNA and Lenny wants the crown and sash.
Bruce refuses and a slap fight commences. To add further ‘WTF?’ to this situation, Brian Lawler run in and starts beating up Bruce, with Lenny’s help.
BG James vs Lenny Lane: James comes out and does his usual schtick, but gets interrupted by Lenny, who has his own entrance music. James isn’t impressed by this, or Lenny, and gets back on the mic, claiming that the following match won’t be a gay bashing, but that he will beat up a f****t (yes, he said that, AND the audience cheered).
After that charming introduction, Lenny keeps stalling, but finally locks up. During a somewhat awkward series of standing switches, Lenny came up with an…innovative counter: Rub his ass against James’ crotch, which broke the hold, and earned Lenny a punch. After that, James wrestled a little more gingerly, as though he was afraid that Lenny’s…gayness was contagious.
Thankfully, an enraged Bruce interrupts this ongoing trainwreck and attacks Lenny, which James finds very funny. Brian Lawler comes out and attacks Bruce, while April screams and cries outside the ring. For some reason, even though the ref SAW Bruce attack Lenny, James is able to get a pinfall victory on Lenny. Outside the ring, Goldylocks comes to April’s rescue, giving her a hug and leading her backstage by the hand, while Brian Lawler loses his shit in the ring.
Winner: BG James, but everyone lost.
Comment: Who let Russo have the pen back?!
Jorge Estrada (with Priscilla) vs AJ Styles (with Mortimer Plumtree) vs Crimson Dragon: Everyone comes out with their respective managers, Dragon comes out in really RED clothes and a generic white mask.
There’s no hiding the fact that this match was boring. Estrada is a mediocre wrestler at best, as was the Crimson Dragon. Styles looked bored and was having to limit himself to cover for his opponents and that barely kept this match from being a mess. It would take an elevated Styles Clash on Estrada through Dragon for Styles to get the pinfall. He’ll meet the winner of Jerry Lynn/Amazing Red next week.
Winner: AJ Styles by pinfall.
Comment: Styles looked so bored, it wasn’t funny.
Backstage, Goldylocks was with America’s Most Wanted. Goldy wants to know if there is a plan. Harris was in a bad mood and says that their plan is to beat the hell out of James Mitchell. What they want is to get their respect and belts back.
Storm says that he learned a long time ago that you kill a snake by cutting off the head. He warns Bella Donna that if she jumps on his back again, she’ll go on an eight second ride and Storm won’t be sorry.
NWA Tag Team Championship Match – New Church (with James Mitchell and Bella Donna) vs America’s Most Wanted: There’s a guy in the audience with a sign saying ‘Who the Hell is Athena?’ and I love him for it.
The match starts out on the floor in a brawl. We find out that Brian Lee is no longer ‘Primetime’, he’s now ‘Bulldozer’ Brian Lee, which doesn’t sound nearly scary enough for the New Church. The match was the usual brutal slugfest for these two teams. Harris tries twice to get a sunset flip on Malice, but Malice is too big. Mitchell and Bella Donna don’t do a whole lot, though Bella Donna still doesn’t seem to know what’s going on.
Getting frustrated by AMW’s refusal to lose, Lee gets the spike, but Storm blocks him with a kick. Storm then gets the spike and tries to use it. Bella Donna jumps on his back and gets thrown. Storm again tries to use the spike and gets DQ’d. Bella Donna, not realizing that the match was over, gets on Storm’s back again and goes for an Eight Second Ride. AMW is PISSED at this point and attacks everyone, including the ref. Now bereft of protectors, James Mitchell runs for his life before Security runs in and promptly gets the snot knocked out of them by AMW.
Winner: New Church by DQ
Comment: Not an awful match, much to my surprise.
In another pre-show interview, Tenay interviews Amazing Red. Red is clearly nervous about talking on camera, but comes across as very humble and eager. He talks about his childhood and what inspired him to get into wrestling, which was Hulk Hogan, Rey Mysterio, and watching cruiserweights. He also says that he respects Jerry Lynn, loves the X-Division and would love to win the belt. It was a good interview but the answers were stock answers and we didn’t see much of Red’s personality.
As for the X-Division Champion, he was doing an interview with Goldylocks, who says that she was looking forward to his match with Amazing Red. Lynn’s in a good mood and replies that he’s looking forward to this match too because Red reminds him of himself when he was younger. Red’s doing things right and Lynn is happy to do this match with him. It was a good interview, but Lynn seemed a little cocky.
X-Division Championship Match – Jerry Lynn vs Amazing Red: The match got off to an awkward start and stayed that way. Lynn and Red are both really good competitors, but they just couldn’t seem to mesh and it made the match hard to get into. Give the devils their dues, Lynn and Red really tried to put on a match that lived up to expectations, but it just didn’t come together.
Lynn would get the pinfall after a piledriver off the middle turnbuckle. Afterwards, Lynn helped Red to his feet and shook his hand.
Winner: Jerry Lynn by pinfall.
Comment: This match had a lot of potential, but Lynn and Red just couldn’t seem to get it together, which is sad because they both tried.
It’s go time.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Ron Killings vs Jeff Jarrett: This match might be at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, but it has a big fight feel worthy of Madison Square Garden, all that’s missing is the annoying guy that WCW used to introduce important title matches.
The match starts out with a lot of jockeying for position, but Killings doesn’t seem to be taking this very seriously. Jarrett gets control, but takes his eye off the prize briefly to do his signature Strut. Killings would turn the momentum around by hitting a low blow that Scott Armstrong would’ve had to have been blind to not see.
Killings hits the figure four, but Jarrett’s a master of that move and was ble to counter it. After Scott Armstrong got hit, but not badly enough to be KO’d, Killings took advantage of the distraction to get a chair, which backfired when Jarrett used it on Killings. However, Killings wasn’t daunted and actually countered the Stroke
The match goes out to the floor, then out into the crowd, but neither man is counted out. Somewhere in the brawl, Jarrett gets busted open, which shows nicely on his hair. Though he fights back, even coming back from being on the receiving end of a VERY elevated leg drop from Killings. Back in the ring, Killings accidentally takes out Scott Armstrong, but gets himself KO’d by ramming his head into Jarrett’s by accident.
During the melee, Mr. Wrestling III shows up and gets into the ring. He has the guitar and seems poised to use it on Killings, but hesitates, before turning to Jarrett, who has his back turned. Once Jarrett is on his feet, sort of, but before he turns around, Mr. Wrestling El Kabongs Killings with the guitar, knocking him out. Mr. Wrestling then clears out of the ring, letting Jarrett to get the pin.
Jeff Jarrett is the NEW NWA World Heavyweight Champion! The Boyhood Dream has come true! Jarrett is ecstatic, as is the crowd, even with the crazy finish. As he celebrates, Mr. Wrestling comes back into the ring and lets Jarrett see him as he applauds. He then reveals himself to be Vince Russo, the man who is widely, and somewhat justifiably, blamed for the destruction of WCW.
The crowd is STUNNED. Tenay shouts out ‘Oh, shit, it’s Vince Russo!’, which is as good a reaction as any. No one is more stunned than Jarrett, who has achieved a dream, but who knows what Russo’s going to want in return.
Overall Comments: So, how was Episode 22 of NWA-TNA? Well, it was definitely a mixed bag. The first hour was an absolute trainwreck. Mediocre matches that didn’t do anyone any good and the whole thing with Rainbow Express/Lawler/April/Goldy thing wasn’t just a ‘Who booked this crap?’ moment, but a ‘Who the hell let this air on TV?!’ It was like the first hour was Russo’s and the second hour was Jerry Jarrett’s.
Jeff Jarrett is FINALLY the World Heavyweight Champion. I give TNA props for how they built Jarrett up so that the audience WANTED him to become champion. It was very much like how they built Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin but letting Jeff be Jeff. My only regret was that it took so much time and two lukewarm reigns for us to get there.
I cannot ABIDE Vince Russo, but the swerve of him being Mr. Wrestling III was perfect. Jarrett and Russo were cronies in WCW before it imploded, so to see them on opposite sides will be interesting to watch.
Something has to be done with the X-Division. It’s getting stale with only a few really top guys and the rest being mediocre at best. Styles looked bored to death wrestling Estrada and Crimson Dragon.
Lynn/Red would’ve been a great match if they had just gotten it together.
The feud between New Church and AMW is fantastic. I’m not sure the upcoming match between the Harris Brothers and New Church will be as good, but we’ll see.