This week, TNA will start the search for Ron Killings’ next opponent. Some new rules are laid down by Bob Armstrong, the mystery of Mr. Wrestling III deepens, and Amazing Red has the chance of a lifetime. How’d they do? Let’s find out.
Tony Mamaluke vs Kid Kash: We go right into the match. There’s a lot of standing switches and going for early pins. The first few minutes of this match consist of this and it gets boring quickly. The match was okay, it wasn’t much to write home about. Kash did his best to get a decent match out of Mamaluke, but the flow of the match was just blah and there was no real chemistry between them. Kid Kash would get the win with his Money Maker finish.
Winner: Kid Kash by pinfall.
Comment: Okay match, but very boring.
To my surprise, Tenay hypes a #1 Contender’s Tournament that hasn’t been announced yet. The tournament consists of:
Curt Hennig vs Jeff Jarrett, Sonny Siaki vs Jerry Lynn, Syxx Pac vs Brian Lawler, and Ron Harris vs BG James.
Did we have trouble with the editing crew this week? Why would you hype a tournament that no one knew about?
We’re shown a pre-show interview Tenay did with Scott Hall, who actually seemed sober. Hall said that he’d been attracted by the ‘Outlaw Spirit’ of TNA. That there were young guys trying to make a name for themselves and older guys that don’t care and are there to have fun. He also comments that the people who own the company, who are Jeff Jarrett, Jerry Jarrett, and Panda Energy, are too stupid to know when to quit. He also admitted that TNA is the only company that’s willing to hire him.
Tenay mentioned that the only title Hall has never held in his long career is the World Heavyweight Championship. Hall said that he respected the title and would be lying if he said he didn’t want it, but he also respected the TNA locker room.
When asked about Ron Killings, Hall said that he was very impressed with Killings, but Killings was going to find out that he’s not as good as he thinks he is.
NWA-TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match: Ron Killings vs Scott Hall: Killings comes out to a raucus crowd, who wasted no time telling him how much he sucked. Finally fed up with this, Killings fired back by telling the crowd that if he sucked, they swallowed.
That was pretty good.
While the crowd chanted ‘Overrated’ at him, Killings griped about the backstage politics practiced by the former Kliq/NWO members and Curt Hennig.
Normally, I would roll my eyes at this, but it definitely explains why a group of guys who are clearly past their primes are still in a main event position.
Killings then addressed the Mr. Wrestling III situation and said that Jeff Jarrett was NOT Mr. Wrestling III. No one is sure how to take that since there had been no suspicion or implication of that at all. Turning his attention to Hall, Killings tried to use Hall’s ‘Don’t sing it, just bring it,’ catchphrase but he flubs it badly. Hall comes out and advises Killings to quit messing with the fans and to stop being Jarrett’s tool because he’s getting played like Ricky Ricardo’s bongo drums.
Seriously, what decade are we in.
Once the ACTUAL match got going, it was pretty good. From the way Hall sounded once he came out for the match, I’m guessing that he’d visited the bar once his interview with Tenay was over because he was a little sloppy in places and his selling needed work. However, the match wasn’t as bad as their previous encounter.
Mr. Wrestling III runs in and attack Hall, but Hall was ready and fought back before unmasking Mr. Wrestling, but he didn’t show the man’s face. However, Mr. Wrestling’s work was done because the distraction was enough for Killings to get the pinfall. Mr. Wrestling gets his mask back on, though Tenay and West claim they saw light colored hair, as if that proves it was Jarrett, despite the build and body movements indicate otherwise.
Winner: Ron Killings by pinfall.
Comment: That was an okay match, but Killings needs a better opponent.
Apparently, we were supposed to have a video recap of the Hennig/Jarrett feud, but the video doesn’t show. Jarrett comes out for a promo. He claimed that he was going to keep things short since the show is Total Nonstop Action. He had two points to make.
- Six weeks ago, he’d vowed to stop griping about not getting a title shot and decided to earn it.
If I remember correctly, he made that vow while holding a bound, pissed off, little person before a match.
He thanked the NWA for putting him in the tournament and vowed to walk out of the tournament as NWA champion.
- He addressed the Mr. Wrestling III situation by putting a bounty out on the masked man’s hide. He didn’t name an amount but stated that if anyone could tell him who Mr. Wrestling was, he’d pay whatever amount they named.
I assume there’s a cap on this
At this point, Hennig comes out and he looks like he’s been in the same bar or party Hall had been at and had just left. He mocked Jarrett’s previous Double J and Chosen One gimmicks before throwing some shade at DDP for some reason.
I’m not sure what’s the obsession with DDP, I assume there’s a reason.
Hennig then implied that Jarrett himself was Mr. Wrestling III, despite the fact that Jarrett himself had beaten up Mr. Wrestling III. Hennig then vowed to kick Jarrett’s ass.
Three Way Dance for NWA-TNA Tag Team Championship: America’s Most Wanted vs Hot Shots vs The Michaels: The Hot Shots and Michaels get little reaction, and actually seemed to be in alliance with each other. Storm and Harris come out, and have AMW on their tights. Both men seem to be in a bad mood because the match started on the floor. This match was pretty good. Storm and Harris seemed to finally be gelling more as a team and their teamwork was much better than their opponents.
The Hot Shots and Michaels seemed to be in cahoots until it looked like the Michaels were going to win the match, then all hell broke loose. AMW would get the pin after hitting what would become known as the Death Sentence on one of the Michaels for the three.
Winner: America’s Most Wanted by pinfall
As AMW were celebrating, the lights went out. When the lights came back on, Slash and Primetime Brian Lee were in the ring, attacking AMW. James Mitchell is enjoying this before getting on the mic, vowing that the New Church would do whatever they wanted for as long as he tells them until he gets what he wants, calling himself a personal messiah.
Comment: Okay match, the stuff with New Church was interesting.
In another pre-show interview, Mike Tenay talked to NWA rep, Bob Armstrong. Armstrong revealed that, in an effort to give the fans a better experience and to make sure that every title match has a clear winner, if a champion gets DQ’d or counted out, they would lose the title.
In response to locker room and fan complaints about who was getting title shots, Armstrong officially announced the #1 Contender’s Tournament and the card. To keep things on the up and up, Head of Security, Don Harris would be the referee, even though his twin brother is part of the tournament.
Because that wasn’t a conflict of interest or anything.
#1 Contender’s Tournament Match: Ron Harris vs BG James: Before the match gets started, we find out that Syxx-Pac vs Brian Lawler won’t be happening tonight because Syxx has a hip injury.
Given the storyline between Syxx and Lawler, I could make a joke about this, but I won’t.
Ron Harris comes out to little reaction. Judging by the smile on his face, he seems to think he’s got an in in this thing. James does his usual entrance, without talking. The match was bleh. Don Harris was not a great referee and seemed to be favoring his brother, which is no shock.
We go to the back where Jarrett and Hennig are fighting and the jobbers are trying to pull them apart. Hennig seemed to have overdone the blading because he’s bleeding like crazy while Goldylocks is trying to get him help while still being a backstage reporter. Bob Armstrong, seemingly fed up with Don Harris’ lackluster referee job, came out and told Don that he was done as a referee. Don was furious at the dismissal and attacked Armstrong.
The distraction and chaos gave BG James the opening he needed for a roll up win.
Winner: BG James by pinfall.
Comment: Blah. How did these two get into the tournament.
Mixed Tag Team Match: Jorge Estrada and Priscilla vs Ace Steel and Bruce: This was supposed Estrada and Priscilla vs Steel and Plumtree, but Plumtree refused, saying that he was too much of a gentleman to fight a woman, so he brought out a more…appropriate competitor, Miss TNA, Bruce.
Oh no, not this again.
This match was total crap and that’s all I’m going to say about it.
Winner: Ace Steel and Bruce. After the match, Plumtree has Steel and Bruce put Priscilla over his knee so he can spank her.
#1 Contender’s Tournament – Curt Hennig vs Jeff Jarrett: Hennig comes out for the match, his head still wrapped and his face still bloody, but before he gets in the ring, Jarrett attacks him with a chair, throws him in the ring, and hits the Stroke, to the joy of the crowd.
Winner: Jeff Jarrett by pinfall.
After the match, Jarrett continued to attack Hennig before being forced to leave.
Comment: If I had to hazard a guess of what just happened, I would guess that NWA officials decided that Hennig was too messed up to wrestle.
#1 Contender’s Tournament – Jerry Lynn vs Sonny Siaki: Goldylocks is with Jerry Lynn, and mentions his ongoing issues with Sonny Siaki and asks about revenge. Lynn finds the question amusing and says that, while he would love to get revenge on Siaki, he was more interested in winning the tournament and getting another shot at the NWA-TNA championship because politics have kept him from getting that far before.
After a recap of the Siaki/Lynn feud, Goldy is back, with Sonny Siaki, who is standing way too close for her comfort or mine. Siaki is being a real creep to Goldy, making a lot of innuendoes about her obsession with him and not saying much of value about the match.
The actual match was okay. It was better than last week’s encounter, but Siaki seemed bored and disconnected. He didn’t get much of a reaction from the fans, who were busy chanting ‘Rocky Ripoff’, and didn’t do anything to get more from them. Siaki would get the pin after using the ropes for leverage after hitting Money Clip.
Winner: Sonny Siaki by pinfall.
Enraged, Jerry Lynn attacks Siaki and gives Siaki’s knee the same treatment Siaki gave him.
Comment: That was a pretty good match, but Siaki didn’t seem very engaged in the match.
Even though Syxx-Pac is out with an injury, we get a very dramatic recap of his feud with Brian Lawler and April’s involvement.
Backstage, Goldylocks is with Lawler and April. Lawler looks like he’s over the moon and very in love. April doesn’t seem quite as lovestruck as Lawler, but she’s making a good effort.
In response to Goldy’s question, Lawler says that things between him and April are great. He compares their love to Antony and Cleopatra, or Romeo and Juliet, apparently missing the parts where those relationships ended pretty tragically. He kisses April and keeps talking about how wonderful things are.
This is nauseating, but he seems happy.
Lawler and April go out to a mixed reaction, but Lawler’s too smitten to care. A person that I sincerely hope was a plant and not an ACTUAL fan, attacks Lawler, so Lawler pulls him out of the crowd and beats him up.
X-Division Championship Match – AJ Styles (with Mortimer Plumtree) vs Amazing Red: Red gets a great ovation, as does Styles, even with Plumtree with him. I’ll admit, I was very skeptical about Amazing Red going into this match. What I’ve seen of his work in TNA since his debut hasn’t impressed me all that much. He seemed to be a high spot guy who didn’t have a lot of actual wrestling skills. I’m pleased to say that he proved me wrong, at least a little bit, in this match. Red actually showed off some wrestling skills and was able to keep up with Styles.
Styles, for his part, made Red look like a star and actually seemed a little winded halfway through the match. Plumtree, perhaps fearing his meal ticket was slipping away, grabbed Red’s leg as a distraction, but Red, wisely didn’t go after him. Styles would eventually get the pinfall after rolling through a hurricanrana off the top turnbuckle.
Winner: AJ Styles by pinfall.
Comment: Great match. Red looked fantastic in defeat.
We close with Don West doing his ‘Please keep us employed!’ promo.
Overall Comments: So how was week 19 of NWA-TNA? This week was actually pretty good. It wasn’t fantastic, but it was better than some of the shows they’ve put on.
I was disappointed that TNA has started sliding back in their treatment of women, hopefully that’s not going to become a major issue again.
One gripe I keep having is with the almost amateurish things the company is doing. If you’re going to announce a tournament, you make the official announcement at the start of the show with the explanations, not just have the lead commentator dump it on the fans at the start of the show with no explanations or build.
I normally scoff and roll my eyes when people talk about backstage politics in wrestling, particularly when it comes to the Kliq. However, this week, I found myself siding with the people complaining. Hall, Syxx, James, and Hennig (who was never part of the Kliq), are all great, but you can’t tell me that any of them really should be in the spot they’re in. All four are clearly past their prime and struggle to keep up with the younger guys, and Hall and Hennig both seem to struggle to stay sober on the job.
The Hennig thing continues to depress me. It’s sad to see a man I loved to watch wrestle decline as badly as he has. He was clearly on SOMETHING, which probably explains why his match with Jarrett was so short. I don’t know how long Hennig was in TNA, but I have a feeling he’s blown his chance.
Stinkers: We have another tie between the Mixed Tag match, Hennig/Jarrett, and James/Harris.
Snoozers: Lynn/Siaki. Siaki didn’t seem interested, which dragged the whole thing down.
Match of the Night: Styles vs Amazing Red.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this was a good show, even with all the issues.