This week, TNA deals with the controversial finish of the X-Division Championship. Jorge Estrada looks to get some revenge on Sonny Siaki. AJ Styles looks to reclaim his X-Division Championship from Syxx-Pac, and Ron Killings has a date with ‘perfection’. How do they do? Let’s find out!
We start out with Tenay and West hyping up the show and giving us a rundown of tonight’s card, which isn’t sounding promising, but we’re getting an actual video package, so TNA is stepping up a little.
After that, we head to the back where Goldylocks is talking to Jorge Estrada, though what they’re saying is a bit of a mystery since the audio isn’t working. When the sound comes back, Goldy is asking Estrada about how he’s going to deal with former frenemie, and partner, Sonny Siaki. Estrada admits that the Elvises have had their issues, but they’re still going strong, they’re even getting a valet and her name is…Priscilla!
Priscilla looks like one of Godfather’s ladies from WWE. Estrada then announces that he’s holding auditions for a new member for the Flying Elvises.
While this is going on, the door behind Goldylocks and Estrada opens and Syxx-Pac comes out. Then Goldy is accosted by Brian Lawler. Apparently, Lawler has misplaced his girlfriend again and vows to hold Goldylocks responsible if something happens to her, though why it’s Goldy’s problem is anyone’s guess other than the fact that she’s the only other woman on TNA.
Anyway, as Estrada tries to finish up his promo, the door behind them opens again and April comes out. Hmm.
David Young vs Brian Lawler: Young barely gets a reaction, or maybe his entrance music is too loud. Lawler comes out alone and pissed, guess April was in no hurry to go out to the ring with him. Or maybe not, April runs out and tries to explain where she’s been while Lawler yells at her. She even has her purse with her. Lawler grabs her and yells at her before making her sit at ringside. The crowd is not liking this, which makes for a dangerous situation.
When the match finally got underway, it was okay, though there were some ‘WTF’ spots, such as Lawler being dumped out of the ring and landing face first in April’s lap, which she was NOT happy about.
That one eyebrow raising moment aside, this match wasn’t much to write home about. Lawler kept getting distracted by the crowd and April, who looked more and more disgusted as things went out. Sadly, Young, who seems to be a legit talent is basically served up for scraps to Lawler.
Lawler would pull this match out after a timely distraction from April that keeps Young from hitting whatever top rope move he had planned, allowing Lawler to hit a Scorpion Death Drop off the ropes. Oddly, even though she helped her guy win, April doesn’t seem very happy.
Winner: Brian Lawler by pinfall.
We get a recap of Lynn/Siaki issue. Jerry Lynn comes to the ring and cuts a promo on Siaki. While Lynn doesn’t blame Siaki for his (Lynn’s) knee getting reinjured last week, he promises that Siaki will suffer a lot worse during their match next week. He says that Siaki is exactly what’s wrong with the business: He wants everything but doesn’t want to earn it. Lynn promises to be a nasty reality check on what it takes to make it in the wrestling business.
Siaki comes out, and says that, unlike Lynn, he’s going to be a big star in the business and won’t be a mid-carder for almost two decades. Sonny Siaki is life. Lynn is decidedly NOT impressed and points out that after life is death. Well, that started it. A brawl breaks out with Siaki targeting Lynn’s bad knee. It takes the whole X-Division to pull Siaki off him. Lynn isn’t deterred and attacks Siaki and the X-Division, bad knee and all. Security comes out and does a half-assed job of keeping them apart.
Finally, Bob Armstrong, the most out of touch man in wrestling, comes out to bring order to this mess. Finally, Don Harris comes in and physically throws Siaki out of the ring.
We go to an pre-recorded interview that Tenay did with Syxx-Pac. Tenay discusses Pac’s career and points out that Pac was X-Division before the term existed.
That’s because they were called ‘Cruiserweights’, Mike. Those have been around for a long time.
Pac, for his part, sings the praises of the X-Division, calling them the best in the world of wrestling. He also claims that he’s not there to recreate the NWO or DX, he’s there to perform and wrestle. Tenay praises Pac’s maturity in the way he’s behaving and Waltman says that he’s willing to own up when he does something wrong. He also vows to walk out as X-Division Champion.
All joking aside, Waltman comes across as very intelligent and articulate in this interview. If you just know Waltman from his DX or NWO days, or his substance issues, this interview is a real eye-opener.
Back in the ring, order has been restored and it’s time for our next match.
Sonny Siaki vs Jorge Estrada: Siaki comes out to a mediocre reaction. The fans don’t even want to boo him very loudly. Estrada and Priscilla come out next to even less reaction.
The match was okay, but the crowd didn’t seem hugely invested, probably because TNA had let the breakup of the Elvises die down in favor of the Siaki/Lynn feud. Siaki would get the win with his Money Clip after Estrada missed a double axe handle off the top turnbuckle.
Winner: Sonny Siaki by pinfall.
After the match, Siaki is leaving when he’s attacked by Jerry Lynn. Security and X-Division comes out to break it up, but they might as well just let them fight.
Derek Wyld vs Ace Steel (with Mortimer Plumtree): Wyld gets a good pop, as does Ace Steel. Plumtree sticks out like a sore, uber nerdy, very creepy, thumb.
This match was pretty good. Wyld was definitely the star, but there were botches for everyone. I’m guessing that someone figured that putting Plumtree with Steel would make Steel a bigger deal…except that Steel isn’t that good and Wyld nearly broke his back trying to carry him.
Steel picks up the win with a Widow’s peak and gets a hug from Plumtree.
Winner: Ace Steel by pinfall.
Back to the ring, it’s time for our next match.
Bruce and Jeff Jarrett vs BG James and Hermie Sadler: Bruce comes out first in his lovely dress. He actually seems to have fans that are either trolling, or like the dress. Jarrett gets a pretty good pop. James and Sadler come out and try to out redneck and cringe each other with this promo that includes Sadler vowing to run Bruce over and use of the word ‘homo’. Jarrett gets on the mic and tells Sadler that his next career will be in movies, starring in ‘The Last and the Furious’
Wow. What a show of wit. *slow clap*
With those pleasantries out of the way, this match gets going.
It’s not often that I feel sorry for a heel, but poor Jeff Jarrett for having to carry this nonsense. Bruce is a pretty okay wrestler, but his gimmick overshadows his talent, James is past his prime and not a great wrestler to start with, and Sadler is a NASCAR driver they keep bringing in.
One funny highlight is James debating on whether to do his borderline low blow on Bruce and thinking better of it. Other than that, this match was just blah. Jarrett was getting cheered by people in the crowd when he hit a move.
Eventually, it comes down to Sadler and Bruce and Sadler shows that he’s at least gotten some training to wrestle. James and Jarrett are brawling on the ramp when Lawler comes out and ‘nails’ James with a trashcan. Security comes in to break things up.
Sadler’s inexperience in the ring shows in the finish. He was supposed to roll up Bruce for the pin, but forgot to grab Bruce’s legs, so Bruce had to basically dry hump Sadler to get him to do the move right.
Winner: BG James and Hermie Sadler.
Comment: Holy. Shit. I hope Jarrett and Bruce got a bonus for doing that match.
Jarrett is livid over the loss and he and Bruce argue with the ref while Sadler and Security help James out. Jarrett gets into it with Bruce, who makes the ref put his tiara on him and asks for Jarrett’s opinion and a hug. Jarrett hits Bruce with a low blow and the Stroke to the joy of the crowd.
Norman Smiley vs Ron Harris: Norman Smiley, last seen getting beat up by Ron Killings is out next. Harris barely gets a reaction. He seems to have given up on finding a suitable tag team partner.
This match wasn’t much to write home about. It was very slow and awkward on both sides. Harris did finally manage to hit that big boot and not have it look stupid as hell.
Harris finally ends this by hitting a sidewalk slam for the pinfall.
Winner: Ron Harris by pinfall.
Afterwards, Harris beats up on Smiley some more, but something in Smiley snaps and he goes berserk. Ron has to be saved by security and brother Don, which doesn’t make either man very happy.
NWA Tag Team Championship Match: Chris Harris and James Storm vs Rick and Chris Michaels: The Michaels come out to little pop. Harris and Storm get a great pop.
This match was pretty standard for Storm and Harris at this point: Storm starts, gets the heat on him, Harris makes the save. Pretty standard babyface stuff, except that that formula doesn’t compute when Storm and Harris are bigger than their opponents.
To their credit, Storm and Harris break out some planchas and dives to keep up, but it’s hard to buy the Michaels as threats or Storm and Harris as babyface underdogs. This match should be a squash, but it’s not and that’s frustrating.
Harris hits his Catatonic finisher and this one is finally over.
Winner: Storm and Harris by pinfall.
Comment: This match wasn’t great, but it’s the best one they’ve had so far tonight.
After the match, the Hot Shots run in and attack Storm and Harris, and the incensed Michaels join in. Out come Security to break up another fight. At least someone’s earning their check tonight.
X-Division Championship: Syxx-Pac vs AJ Styles: Plumtree comes out and it turns out that Styles is his other new client. Personally, I thought Styles had better sense. ANYWAY, despite the promise, or threat, of yet ANOTHER NWA ladder match, this is actually going to be a straight fall match, thank God.
Syxx gets a great reaction and looks focused.
This match was really good, not that I had the bar set very high, Pac had definitely slowed down since his Lightning Kid days, but he was still able to keep up with Styles and put on a good match.
Plumtree kept interfering, trying to be a nerdy Heenan, but not nearly as funny or charming. Pac was starting to get winded and shoved the referee when the ref tried to get him and Styles out of the corner, causing a DQ.
Winner: AJ Styles by DQ.
Comment: That end was awkward, but it’s clear that Pac was sucking air like there was no tomorrow. Overall, it was a great match.
Don West does his ‘PLEASE! Tune in next week so I can keep buying these ugly silk shirts!’ promos.
Tenay was a busy man before the show, he had a sit-down with Curt Hennig. Hennig talks about his days in the AWA, which had been defunct for over a decade by that point, and says that’s where he first became a heavyweight champion, though I believe that’s also the only major territory where he was a heavyweight champion. Anyway, Hennig says that he learned about wrestling in the AWA, but he’s hasn’t seen a lot of wrestling anymore, except in TNA and vows to be come NWA Champion.
Way to burn that bridge, Curt.
Killings comes out before the match and he’s angry at the TNA board. He claims that they promised him that he could give title shots to minority wrestlers and that promise hasn’t lasted, though Killings doesn’t seem to realize that there aren’t that many minorities in TNA, and most of them are in the X-Division that he doesn’t like, so he probably wouldn’t get them shots anyway. ANYHOW, after more complaining about the ‘punk ass cowards’ that run TNA, Killings vows to show Hennig that he’s the ‘Suntan Superman’.
Hennig comes out and gives Killings some ‘advice’: Respect is a word he needs to learn.
NWA Heavyweight Championship: Ron Killings vs Curt Hennig: This match was boring right from the start. Hennig’s age and the fact that his peak years were a decade in the past were really on display here. That was really sad because there was a group of guys, who probably grew up watching Hennig, on the ramp watching the match.
The match went from boring to run in city when the hooded guy, now going by Mr. Wrestling III runs in and attacks Killings. Hennig tries to get him out of the ring and is attack, then half the locker runs out and either attacks Hennig or Killings or attacks the guys attacking Killings or Hennig.
Bob Armstrong comes in to restore order and restart the match. Killings isn’t happy about that and throws Scott Armstrong around, and hits Borash and Bob Armstrong. Unfazed, Bob Armstrong gives Killings a choice: Either restart the match and win or lose it or get counted out and be stripped of the title. Killings agrees but Jarrett sneaks in and hits a low-blow on Hennig, which lets Killings get the pinfall.
Winner: Ron Killings by pinfall.
Comment: That was painful to watch.
Overall Comments: This show STUNK! There’s no beating around the bush about it. I usually try to find something nice to say about every show, but the complete mediocrity of the matches and the storytelling made that impossible.
Due to almost every match being mediocre and/or having botches, I can’t choose which one stunk the most. Estrada vs Siaki gets an honorable mention for trying to restart an abandoned storyline, but the match fell flat.
The Lawler/April storyline is one I’m increasingly uncomfortable with. It would be one thing if they had stuck with the original storyline with her manipulating him, but it’s clear that she, at least in kayfabe, doesn’t like him, which raises uncomfortable questions as to why she’s there.
What is going on with Jeff Jarrett? He’s still in the World Championship storyline but has not been in a World Title match. Instead, he’s stuck trying to carry everyone else. Someone needs to figure out something for Jarrett to do because it’s hurting him to be the most talented guy on the roster and not be in any title conversation. Put him in the X-Division or something.
Match of the Night: AJ Styles vs Syxx Pac.
Final Thoughts: I’ve watched ahead a couple of years, I know this gets better, I just wish they’d hurry it up.