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Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 18 – October 23, 2002

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This week, TNA will try to deal with the ongoing issues between Team Derelicts and Team Jarrett. Five of the top X-Division talent vie for a chance at gold. Jerry Lynn looks to settle the score with Sonny Siaki. AJ Styles and Syxx Pac look to end their feud over the X-Division championship once and for all, and Curt Hennig looks to add another belt to his resume. How’d they do? Let’s find out!

Elimination Match To Determine the #1 Contender for the X-Division Championship: Amazing Red vs Kid Kash vs Joel Maximo vs Jose Maximo vs Elix Skipper: We start right off with the X-Division. Everyone gets an okay pop. Elix Skipper is back after being gone for a few weeks. The rules are pretty standard for a fatal five way Elimination match in WWE: Whoever is left standing wins. For whatever reason, Tenay and West feel the need to act like the audience has never heard of fatal five-ways and to explain the rules. This match was okay. Except for Kid Kash and Elix Skipper in a few spots, the match was basically a spotfest. There were also several botches and sloppy spots that made the match look a little amateurish.

Our order of Elimination was:

  1. Jose Maximo by Elix Skipper
  2. Elix Skipper by Joel Maximo
  3. Joel Maximo by Kid Kash
  4. Kid Kash by Amazing Red via InfraRed.

Winner: Amazing Red by pinfall.

Comment: That wasn’t a great match, but it wasn’t terrible. Kid Kash is definitely the highlight of the X-Division mid-card.

We go backstage and Goldylocks is trying to do an interview with Brian Lawler, but Lawler is more interested in looking out the arena door for some reason, presumably looking for April. Goldy tries to talk to him about his match with BG James and Lawler gets pissy with her, stating that he knows he’s got a match, that’s why he’s there!

Chill out, dude.

Goldy’s had enough and shoots back that she KNOWS that, she wants to know his thoughts on it. That seems to snap Lawler out of his own head and he apologizes to Goldy and says that he’s under a lot pressure right now and even offers to do the interview later.

We get a recap of Storm and Harris’ tag team championship run so far.

NWA-TNA Tag Team Championship Match – James Storm and Chris Harris vs The Hot Shots: Hot Shots come out first and they look confident and cocky as ever. Storm and Harris come out and they’re so pissed off that Storm doesn’t shoot off his capguns, they’re in the mood to fight.

This match started off on the floor and Storm and Harris dominated from the start, which isn’t much of change from their usual matches, what made this match different was the attitude. No joking, or goofy cowboy gimmicks, just straight ass-kicking. That said, they did sell for the Hot Shots and made them look fabulous, but no one really thought the Hot Shots had a prayer of beating Storm and Harris and they didn’t. Storm hit Eight Second Warning for the pinfall.

Winner: Storm and Harris by pinfall.

Comment: That was a really good match. Storm’s powerbomb counter to a hurricanrana was impressive.

Backstage, Goldylocks is talking to Jerry Lynn. She asks about his knee and Lynn admits that his knee is still messed up, but shrugs it off, saying that he’s worked hurt before.

Goldylocks suggests postponing the match until next week, but Lynn refuses. There’s no off season in pro-wrestling and he’ll do the match this week.

I like that even though Goldy’s suggestion annoyed him, Lynn didn’t act like a dick. It’s not a difficult thing to do, guys, I promise.

Lynn continues and says that he’s tired of all these young guys using him as a stepping stone and not respecting him and vows to make Sonny Siaki respect him.

At this point, for reasons only known to him, Lawler wanders in and looks nuttier than before and asking where the elusive April is. The acting is really bad, but maybe that was on purpose.

May I suggest asking X-Pac, since he claims to be sleeping with her.

Grudge Match – Jerry Lynn vs Sonny Siaki: Siaki is getting BOOED, loudly and it doesn’t sound like the kind of heat he wants. Lynn gets a great pop as he gets the jump on Siaki and this match starts on the floor.

This match was pretty good for as quick as it was. Siaki’s a great heel and really good in the ring, but the Rock ripoff is hurting him. Siaki works on Lynn’s knee from the start, but Lynn keeps fighting back. Lynn finally gets the pin after ramming Siaki into the middle turnbuckle and getting a rollup pin. Siaki is furious and attacks Lynn again

Winner: Jerry Lynn by pinfall.

Comment: A quick but really good match. Only really annoying thing is how Tenay and West over played the injury to Lynn’s knee.

Curt Hennig and BG James come out for a promo. Hennig looks drunk and bloated. Hennig gets on the mic and claims that he’s been dealing with Curt Hennig wannabes his entire career, including DDP, who Hennig claims stole his hairstyle.

I think DDP’s hair is that way naturally, Hennig.

Hennig turns his attention to Jarrett, who he claims is the biggest Curt Hennig wannabe of all. He reminds Jarrett of their match back when Jarrett was a rookie and Hennig kicked his ass all over the Asylum.  Hennig then claimed that the Double JJ/country music gimmick that Jarrett was famous for was actually a ripoff of Hennig’s band ‘West Texas Rednecks’ and their supposedly Gold single ‘Rap is Crap’.

This is total BS. Jarrett was doing the Double J gimmick from at least 1993 while Hennig was still Mr. Perfect. The West Texas Rednecks didn’t happen until Hennig was in WCW in the late 90s.

ANYWAY.

Hennig then challenges Jarrett to a match next week, regardless of the results of his NWA Championship match. He then rambles about his physique, never mind that he’s not the slim and trim Mr. Perfect he was ten years before. He then demands that the camera zoom in on him and claims that he took down Brock Lesnar during the infamous Plane Ride from Hell.

I should point out that no one, including those on that flight, are all entirely sure what happened. Lesnar himself claims that he doesn’t remember what happened because he was intoxicated during the flight.

Jarrett’s music hits but he doesn’t come out. Going backstage, we find Jarrett talking to Lawler, trying to get him to go out to the ring like they’re supposed to, but Lawler doesn’t want to because he’s still trying to find April. Jarrett finally gets sick of his excuses and the whole situation and storms off. James gets on the mic and mocks Lawler for his relationship troubles and vows to beat him during their match tonight.

Scott Hall vs Jeff Jarrett: Scott Hall comes out and this is a shock to everyone since his match with Jarrett is scheduled for later tonight. Hall gets on the mic and says that he wasn’t supposed to come out until later, but that he was never good at following the rules.

Really? We hadn’t noticed.

Hall then claims that he’s trying to be a good boy, but he flubs the next line, and says that he can’t be a good boy.

The audience forgives the flub, but it’s clear that Hall’s not stone cold sober.

He then calls Jarrett out so they can have this match now instead of Later and Jarrett obliges.

If Scott Hall had been sober, this would’ve been a really good match, but because he wasn’t, Jarrett nearly killed himself trying to hold the match together. That said, this was an okay match on its own. Hall and Jarrett really work well together, and we got a pretty good brawl on the floor and into the crowd.

The biggest gripe I have with this match is not the fact that Scott Hall wasn’t sober, I’m used to that, no, my big gripe is with the finish. It went something like this: Hall goes to clothesline Jarrett, misses, nearly hits the ref. Jarrett misses his clothesline and hits the ref. Jarrett hits Hall with his best friend, the steel chair, which brings out Hennig. The lights go out and we get a video of Truth making fun of Hennig and vowing victory. When the lights come back on, Lawler attacks Hennig for some reason, which brings out BG James. In all of this chaos, Hennig hits a low blow on Jarrett which lets Hall hit the Edge for the win.

Winner: Scott Hall by pinfall.

Comment: Okay match, lame ending.

Brian Lawler vs BG James: We come back from commercial and go right into the next match. James comes out first and Lawler comes out alone, no April in sight.

This match stunk. James was past his prime and, at one point, hit Lawler with a sloppy piledrive that easily could’ve broken Lawler’s neck. Lawler was dazed for much of the rest of the match. He would get on the mic and ask where April was, but it was really bizarre. James would get the win after Syxx-Pac and April come out to the ramp and start kissing, or Pac was trying to eat her face, whichever you prefer and distracted Lawler enough to let James get the pinfall.

Afterwards, Lawler tried to go after Pac and April and avenge his honor, but James held him back in the ring while Lawler cried very pathetically.

Winner: BG James by pinfall.

Comment: UGH.

No Disqualification Match for the X-Division Championship: Syxx-Pac vs AJ Styles (with Mortimer Plumtree): Back from commercial break and it is time for the X-Division championship match. Styles and Plumtree are out to boos. Syxx gets a good reaction and gets on the mic. He acknowledges that last week’s match wasn’t great and vows that this week will be better and threatens to kick Plumtree’s ass if he interferes.

This match was really good. Syxx showed signs of the really great performer he was when his demons weren’t getting a hold of him. While he wasn’t in the prime shape he’d been in years before, he was able to keep up with Styles. Styles was his usual great self. He slowed down his pace a little to accommodate Syxx, but they still put o a great match. The only snag was the Lawler/April storyline.

Lawler came out and attacked Syxx, hitting him in the head with the belt while Syxx was getting into the ropes to get out of a Styles Clash attempt. Styles hit the Clash and we have a NEW X-Division Champion. Despite the tainted win, Syxx is a good sport and raises Styles’ hand, but Styles passes the belt to Lawler, who knocks Syxx out with it.

Winner: AJ Styles by pinfall

Comment: That was a really good match.

Ace Steel (with Mortimer Plumtree) vs Jorge Estrada (with Priscilla): Steel, who is also managed by Plumtree, comes out alone because Plumtree is busy celebrating with Styles and thinks Steel should be able to handle Estrada on his own.

That was an unwise decision to make. This match was a wreck. Steel isn’t that good of a competitor and botched a lot of spots. Estrada is an okay competitor, but he had quite a job of making something out of this match. Priscilla was mostly there to be pretty and cheer Estrada, though she did end up being the deciding factor in the match by grabbing Steel’s leg, which helped Estrada get the pinfall.

Afterwards, Steel attacked Estrada and Plumtree came out to protest. Priscilla jumped on Plumtree and put on a pretty good sleeper hold until she was unceremoniously thrown off by Plumtree.

Winner: Jorge Estrada.

Comment: Meh.

Syxx comes back out, looking a little dazed from the X-Division match. He says that he paid the price for being distracted and that the Lawler situation has distracted him. Turns out that the whole April situation had started out as a rib to push Lawler’s buttons. However, the player fell for his mark. Syxx admitted to falling for April and calling her a great piece of ass.

I guess that’s a compliment.

Syxx is so enamored with April that he actually offers to wrestle Lawler for April.

Why not just ask April who she wants to date?

Lawler comes out and he looks confused and unsure…until April runs out and starts talking to Lawler and holding his face. An impatient Syxx demanded that they speak up so everyone could hear what was going on.

April declares her love for Lawler and seems to be spinning this as all Syxx’s fault and, despite the evidence to the contrary, that she’s innocent.

Lawler actually believes this and, new invigorated by the idea of Pac mistreating his woman, goes to the ring and starts fighting. The fight was broken up and April seems secretly pleased by her mischief.

West does his weekly ‘Please keep us employed’ sell.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match: Ron Killings vs Curt Hennig: Killings comes out first and raps for the crowd before Hennig comes out.

This match was pathetic. It’s becoming pretty clear that Hennig was not the performer he was in WWE. He was almost a caricature of himself. Killings had to work very hard to keep this match looking presentable, including doing the lamest self-crotching on a top rope I’ve ever seen. They ended up brawling on the floor, which is always a great way of covering for one or both competitors short-comings in the ring.

A prime example of how out of shape and rusty Hennig had become came towards the end of the match. Killings threw Hennig back into the ring and Hennig went to a far corner and waited for Killings to come over instead of attacking Killings as he came in. Mr. Wrestling III comes in and starts attacking, but Hennig doesn’t want to win this way and beats up Mr. Wrestling and tries to unmask him, which gives Killings the opening to hit a cheap shot and get the pinfall. The show ends with Killings leaving, still the champion.

Winner: Ron Killings.

Comment: BLEH! As a fan of Mr. Perfect, it pains me to see how out of shape and bad he’d become.

Overall Comment: So, how was this week’s TNA? It was actually really good. All the matches had a purpose, even if the storylines were lame or the match quality was poor.

The Lawler/April storyline is finally starting to take shape and is blurring the line between abuser and abused in a way that is actually a little interesting in a twisted way. However, I’m not thrilled about April being the prize in a wrestling match.

Love that the guys seemed to have gotten the message that being a dick to a woman doesn’t make you cool. I actually applauded when Lawler apologized to Goldylocks for yelling at her.

I’m glad that Storm and Harris are starting to morph in their America’s Most Wanted personas, or Storm is.

I’m not feeling Mortimer Plumtree as a character. He’s like the most annoying traits of Bobby Heenan and Jim Cornette without the charm or wit of either of them.

It’s sad that Syxx-Pac’s personal issues had such a devastating effect on his career because the match against Styles showed how good Pac could be when he was focused.

Stinkers: It’s a tie between Killings vs Hennig and James/Lawler.

Snoozers: Number 1 Contender’s match.

Match of the Night: Syxx-Pac vs Styles. EASILY the best match of the night.

Final Thoughts:  This was a really good show overall. I can only hope that this continues.


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