This week, TNA will deal with the controversial end to the X-Division championship match. Ron Harris will turn to another new partner in his bid to get his hands on Storm and Harris. The Maximos look to take full advantage of their golden opportunity. Mortimer Plumtree’s reasons for stalking the X-Division are revealed with surprising consequences, and Pac and James find the ‘perfect’ partner for their grudge match. So how did they do? Let’s find out!
Tenay and West welcome us to the shows. We’ve got some Hollywood type company in the house tonight. Chris Rock and Hermie Sadler are in the house. West gives us a rundown of tonight’s action.
We get a recap of the attack on Ron Killings.
Killings is coming out, but he’s not scheduled to be out right then, which confuses Borash. Killings has something to get off his chest. He claims that James and Pac needed to hire a hitman to take him out and that the mystery guy is their partner. He then insults Don West, who, for his part finds it ironic that ‘The Truth’ can’t face the truth. He attacked Syxx and James so they returned the favor. It should also be pointed out that the crowd as turned on Killings in a big way, they’re actually chanting ‘overrated’ at him.
James and Syxx come out to salvage this meltdown and James tells Killings, that he’s trying to help him, just like he did in WWF. He’s trying to get Killings to stop whining and crying and realize that not everything is perfect…or is it? We find out the identity of James and Pac’s mystery partner…Curt Hennig, aka, Mr. Perfect! The crowd is excited, but they aren’t popping as much as they would have a few years before.
I’m not buying that Hennig was the hooded figure from last week, but I’ll play along just to watch him wrestle.
Hennig says that he’s not sure what he’s gotten himself into, but he says that he was hired to do a job and he’s going to do it as only he can. He then says that he doesn’t like ‘The Truth’. Syxx Pac says that they’re going to do to Truth what his mother should’ve done: whip his ass!
This promo has veered back into the borderline cringe territory.
Anyway, Team Perfect Derelicts start down the ramp when they’re blindsided by Jarrett and Lawler and all six guys start fighting in the ring, so this match is on!
Curt Hennig, Syxx-Pac, and B.G. James vs Ron Killings, Jeff Jarrett, and Brian Lawler (with April): After Lawler makes sure April is ‘safe’, this match is starting and we start off with Hennig/Jarrett, which is probably going to be the highlight of this thing. Jarrett seems to delight in mocking Hennig and using Hennig’s moves against him. To be honest, this match was a little sad. I’m a huge Mr. Perfect fan, but he was not in prime physical shape and the moves weren’t as crisp and…perfect as they used to be. However, the match wasn’t terrible, it was pretty good, but not earth shattering.
Towards the end, things breakdown and James beats Jarrett with a chair and chases him to the back. For some reason, Lawler hits a blatant low-blown on Hennig and the ref doesn’t DQ him for it, despite seeing him do it. Remember me saying that I didn’t buy Hennig being the hooded figure that attacked Killings? Well, I was right. He showed up and hit a sitout powerbomb on Killings, giving Hennig the opening to hit the Perfect-Plex for the pinfall.
Winner: Hennig, Pac, and James.
Comment: That was okay. Not great, but okay.
Backstage, Goldylocks comes upon James, who is out cold, seeming to have been cracked over the head with a lead pip by Jarrett, who is nearby.
In the ring, what seems to be our regularly scheduled segment starts. Jerry Lynn comes out and discusses the controversial end to his match with AJ Styles last week. For those who don’t remember, it was a ladder match that AJ Styles won but because Sonny Siaki distracted Lynn, even though the distraction did not cost Lynn the title, Bob Armstrong disqualified AJ Styles, gave the title back to Lynn, and scheduled another ladder match.
Lynn addresses the Sonny Siaki situation and says that if Sonny Siaki is trying to piss him off, he’s done a very good job of it. He then vows that after he beats Styles fair and square tonight, he’ll face Siaki next week.
At this point, Siaki comes out and leans into the Rock rip off gimmick, claiming to be the reason all the fans are in the building, despite the loud round of boos he’s getting. Lynn runs up and they start fighting, which ends with Lynn’s knee having a nasty encounter with a guardrail and having to be stretchered out, leaving Styles’ rematch in jeopardy.
We see a video from earlier in the day. Goldylocks was getting ready to shoot something when she was approached by Syxx-Pac, who asked her nicely, to accompany him to the men’s locker room because he had something to say to someone and he wanted it filmed.
See, guys, really cool men don’t treat women like garbage, only insecure men do. Thanks for setting the example, Pac.
It turns out that Pac wants to apologize to Lo-Ki for his comments last week. Lo-Ki accepted the apology and everyone’s cool, until Doofus Styles shows up, claiming to be the X-Division.
I’m not sure what they’re trying to do with Styles, but it’s really not working for me.
NWA Tag Team Match: James Storm and Chris Harris vs The Maximos: The Maximos’ entrance music is really generic and blah. They get a pretty good pop. Harris and Storm get a good reaction too. Storm is still doing the goofy cowboy thing, but it’s over with this crowd. This match had an awkward start. Storm and Harris are used to being the outsized underdogs and that’s not going to work with the Maximos. To their credit, the Maximos changed up their game and actually included wrestling moves instead of just high spots. There was a really scary, not very well thought out spot where Storm pushed one of the Maximos off the topturnbuckle onto his brother OUTSIDE the ring. Thankfully, the spot went well, but whoever called that didn’t think it through very well. Storm and Harris would finally pull out the victory after hitting a double urunage on one of the Maximos.
Winner: Storm and Harris by pinfall.
Comment: This match wasn’t great, but it didn’t suck, which counts as a win at this point.
Once all four men clear the ring, Goldylocks, who is getting chants from the crowd, comes out and introduces one of our special guests for the evening: Chris Rock! For reference, in 2002, Chris Rock was one of the hottest comedians in the United States off of his ‘Bigger and Blacker’ tour. That said, I find it weird for him to be at TNA, he doesn’t strike me as a wrestling fan. Anyway, Rock praises TNA wrestling and challenges anyone to say that it’s fake because they’ll get their ass kicked.
Four Corners Match: Kid Kash vs Tony Mamaluke vs Ace Steel vs Lo-Ki: Okay, apparently, this is one of those matches for rankings in the X-Division. Whoever gets the most pins in 15 minutes is the #1 Contender. This match was hard to keep up with. Interestingly, Mortimer Plumtree is back, an apparently all his lurking during the X-Division matches was gathering data to help some member of the X-Division get the title match, or some such nonsense.
Ace Steel manages to get the win with two pinfalls, but the sequence was total crap: Ki suplexes Steel into the ring as the clock runs down, Steel rolls Ki into a small package and gets the pinfall with an assist from Plumtree.
Winner: Ace Steel.
Comment: Eh. Not a bad match, but the ending was garbage.
After that mess, our palate cleanser is Hermie Sadler (yawn), who has shaved off his goatee. He’s super proud to be driving the NWA-TNA car for NASCAR, though how TNA can still afford to be sponsoring anything when they’ve just narrowly escaped going out of business is a little beyond me. Anyway, Bruce shows up, still in his lovely Miss TNA dress that I still want, and derides Sadler’s driving since he always seems to be at TNA instead of driving. Jarrett then comes out and trashes Sadler as well, asking why they couldn’t have picked a better driver for the TNA car.
Sadler, who seems to have taken a couple of promo classes, shoots back at Jarrett’s big talk, pointing out that Jarrett still isn’t NWA Champion and then asks Bruce if he’s going to grow up to be a man or a woman. Well, that did it, we got ourselves a fight, which B.G. James joins in, helping Sadler get rid of Bruce and Jarrett, and promises Jarrett that their issues aren’t finished yet.
Ron Harris and Sonny Siaki vs Rick Michaels and Chris Michaels: This seems to be our random match of the night. Apparently, despite having the same last name and wearing identical outfits, Chris and Rick Michaels are not related to each other. We find out as the match gets going that whoever wins this match gets a title shot at Storm and Harris next week, which pretty much gives the ending away.
Overall this match was okay, it wasn’t magic. The team of Harris and Siaki worked pretty well, but it feels like TNA isn’t sure what to do with Siaki if he’s not with the Flying Elvises. Whoops! Guess I spoke too soon. The Michaels pick up the pinfall after a really badly done ‘missed’ kick from Harris to one of the Michaels hit Siaki instead and Harris does not try to break up the pinfall.
Winner: Chris Michaels and Rick Michaels.
Comment: Okay. It wasn’t great and Harris’ kick stunk, but it was a good. The only person that didn’t look great was Ron Harris.
After the match, Harris and Siaki get into it, with Harris blaming Siaki, despite it being Harris’ mistake and refusal to stop the pinfall that cost them the match. Siaki fights back and the brawl is broken up by Don West and TNA security. Don Harris seems to be on his brother’s side because he throws Siaki out.
After everyone leaves, Boring Bill Behrens comes out to give us an update on Jerry Lynn: Due to injuries sustained during the earlier brawl with Sonny Siaki, Jerry Lynn is unable to compete tonight, however, the ladder match will still go on. It’ll be Ace Steel vs AJ Styles. An angry Lo-Ki storms out, pointing out that he was robbed and that the only reason Steel won is because he had a ‘nerd’ helping him.
Didn’t anyone tell you that the geeks and nerds will inherit the earth, Lo-Ki?
Anyway, Plumtree comes out and insults Lo-Ki, calling him a liar and a punk, which is about the DUMBEST thing you can say to someone with Lo-Ki’s background, especially if you’re someone who looks like he couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag, like Plumtree. Plumtree further risks his life by saying that Ki lost a fight to Tammy Lynn Sytch, aka, Sunny to you WWF fans.
Lo-Ki tears Plumtree a new one for his stupidity and says that Plumtree was, is, and will always be an outsider looking in and wishing he could belong.
At this point, Bob Armstrong comes out and says that this isn’t a talk show (no, Bob, it’s a promo segment, remember?) and makes a match: Steel vs Lo-Ki to face AJ Styles.
Lo-Ki vs Ace Steel (with Mortimer Plumtree) – Winner faces AJ Styles for the X-division Championship: This one was quick. Steel attacks Lo-Ki’s bad ankle, Plumtree rams a steel chair into said ankle with the ref not looking. When Bob Armstrong comes out, we learn a very valuable lesson: ALWAYS tell the ring announcer if the finish was changed! Why? Because Borash announces Steel as the winner by count out, which was the original finish, and is then told that Lo-Ki is the winner by DQ.
Winner: Lo-Ki by DQ.
Comment: Who forgot to tell Borash about the changed finish?
To further muddy these waters, Armstrong decides to just throw out the rankings from the Four Corners match earlier in the evening and declared that all X-Division wrestlers are eligible for this ladder match.
Ladder Match for the X-Division Championship: AJ Styles vs Lo-Ki vs Ace Steel vs Syxx Pac vs Kid Kash vs Tony Mamaluke vs Jose Maximo vs Joel Maximo: This match started in chaos and stayed that way, which is normal for a multi-man ladder match. The problem is that pretty much no one knows how to do a ladder match or do it very well. Styles and Syxx-Pac are the only ones in the group that have done a ladder match, to the best of my understanding.
This match was a mess from the start, there were a lot of poorly executed high spots, but not a lot of going for the title. However, we did get the obligatory ‘Everyone climbs the multiple ladders in the ring’ spot. For some reason, the ref is in the ring, which is stupid and dangerous. Syxx-Pac would eventually climb the ladder and get the gold after suplexing AJ Styles off the ladder.
Winner: Syxx-Pac. The crowd doesn’t know what to think about this and neither am I since Pac didn’t do much in this match.
Comment: I love ladder matches, but this was an ‘eh’ for me.
West gives us the weekly ‘Please tune in so we stay employed’ promo, which promises that our THIRD ladder match in as many weeks will happen next week between Syxx-Pac and AJ Styles as well as the NWA Tag Team Championship match.
Overall Comments: So, how was NWA-TNA episode 16? The wrestling was great overall, but there were a lot of wonky and just silly finishes. It doesn’t feel like any stories were advanced very much.
I have to say that for an organization that was over 50 years old at the time of this episode, the NWA doesn’t seem to have a clue on how to do a TV show. A lot of stuff that went on, like forgetting to tell Jeremy Borash that the finish had changed, was very amateurish.
Also, it seems that TNA is trying to do to Styles what they tried to do with Jarrett and have him waver between very unlikeable babyface and a heel by constantly screwing him over when it comes to title shots. This seems to be Russo’s attempt to create a new Stone Cold Steve Austin, which proves how little Russo really understands about wrestling. You can’t just recreate lightning in a bottle. Neither Styles or Jarrett are a good fit for that role, but whoever does the writing keeps trying to make them fit in that mold instead of being themselves and the same goes for trying to make Sonny Siaki into TNA’s version of the Rock.
I love Curt Hennig, but I’m not sure what to make of him in TNA. At the time this episode was done, Hennig had just been released from WWE for his part in the ‘Plane ride from Hell’ and it’s clear that time, injuries, and substance abuse issues were starting to catch up with him. He wasn’t the smooth, crisp Mr. Perfect I remember from my childhood and that makes me sad.
Stinkers: X-Division Ladder Match. Just…eesh.
Snoozers: Six Man Grudge match.
Match of the Night: Harris/Storm vs Maximos.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this show didn’t completely suck, there was good wrestling, just crappy finishes and amateur antics that people who have been around as long as Jerry Jarrett and the NWA should not be doing.