Tiffany MC’s weekly Chairshot Classics series continues with the next episode of TNA IMPACT!
On this week’s episode, the brackets for the #1 Contender’s Tournament heads to the finals, a new face of evil is introduced, America’s Most Wanted tries to stop the New Church. AJ Styles’ attempt to get his rematch doesn’t go as planned. How did they do? Let’s find out!
We start off the show with Goldylocks showing off a new talent: She’s a heck of a singer. Not a Lilian Garcia, but really good. Mike Tenay and Don West are our hosts, as always, and Tenay informs us that he has yet to be contacted by Mr. Wrestling III to sign the contract with Ron Killings and West gives us a quick rundown of the card.
AJ Styles, accompanied by the slimy Mortimer Plumtree comes out and AJ’s not in good mood, mostly because of the fact that he’s not X-Division Champion anymore. The crowd give Styles a lot of flack, which only gets worse when he refers to Tenay as ‘Sugar Tit’, for some reason.
Why’s he out there? Well, Plumtree informs us that the anticipated Jerry Lynn/Kash match isn’t going to happen. Why? Because Styles has a rematch clause in his contract, which Plumtree claims happened because of his brilliance as a manager, rather than being a standard part of a contract. He then recommends that Kid Kash go home.
They’re interrupted by Jerry Lynn who tells ‘Mr. Nerd’ to calm down. Lynn then tries to say that Styles doesn’t deserve to have a match, despite the fact that he himself got a match he didn’t deserve over Kash last week. Lynn then says that he went to TNA management and had the rematch changed to a Triple Threat match between himself, Styles, and Kash. Styles, quite understandably, isn’t happy about this, but the match is set.
Tony Mamaluke vs EZ Money: Mamaluke, who hasn’t made much of a splash in the X-Division, comes out to little reaction and neither does EZ Money, who looks like the son of Brutus Beefcake in a bad blackjack dealer’s outfit.
If there can be a ‘standard’ X-Division match, this was definitely it. It was a cold match with no story behind it other than re-introducing EZ Money, who apparently had been getting over in WCW before it closed, to the audience. Problem is that Tony Mamaluke is about as interesting as wet paint, and so you got a pretty blah match. Money would get the victory with a sloppy one armed powerbomb
Winner: EZ Money by pinfall.
Comment: Nothing really interesting about this match.
Chris Vaughn vs Sonny Siaki: This was another cold match. Sonny Siaki had been feuding with Jerry Lynn, but since Lynn is the X-Division champion, Siaki had to play with someone else this week. The unfortunate someone was Chris Vaughn, who didn’t even get an entrance.
Siaki dominated the match from the start, though Vaughn did his best to fight back. Siaki, for his part, didn’t seem happy about being relegated to working with a jobber and took his frustration out on Vaughn, repeatedly breaking three counts to punish Vaughn some more. It would take three Money Clips before Siaki was satisfied with his work.
Winner: Sonny Siaki by pinfall.
Comment: Okay match, but it was clear that Siaki wasn’t happy.
Backstage, Goldylocks is with Brian Lawler, who seems to be in a really good mood, and looking surprisingly healthy for a man who supposedly had a heart attack just a week before. Goldy brings up the on/off nature of Lawler and April’s relationship, but Lawler claims that everything’s great, despite him emotionally blackmailing her into staying with him by faking a heart attack.
Before Lawler could go into the dirty details, we all hear some pretty explicit sounding moans coming from the women’s shower room. Lawler, suspecting the worst, barges in, where we find April wearing nothing but a lot of soap suds. April screams at Lawler to get out, while Lawler is screaming accusations at her.
While all that racket going on, we nearly miss seeing the curtain for one of the other stalls open, revealing Bruce, who quickly closes the curtain. Back at ringside, Father James Mitchell comes out. He talked about the never-ending discussion about the difference between pro-wrestling and sports entertainment. Mitchell says that the New Church is neither of those things, they’re just evil. He then lets us know that the New Church has recruited a new member: Bella Donna.
Bella Donna is…definitely a departure from your usual valets in pro-wrestling, sort of like an emo, goth stripper and seems high as a kite. She does show us what probably enticed her to Vince Russo: She’s got a nice ass and she has no problem showing it off. After that introduction, we are re-introduced to Malice, who is running to the ring to face his opponent.
Kaos vs Malice (with Bella Donna and Father James Mitchell): I have no idea who Kaos is. He wasn’t given an introduction or entrance, which is just as well, since he’s just there to get the hell beat out of him by Malice. Mitchell and Bella Donna are at ringside, but there’s no real point since Kao doesn’t have a chance here, though he shows a little light. The end would come after Malice hit the Rocket Launcher, without a kneepad, though I’m not sure who suffered the worst for that decision.
Winner: Malice by pinfall
Comment: Not much of match. Bella Donna was the only real highlight of the whole segment.
Jorge Estrada vs Brian Lawler: Estrada and Priscilla come out to little reaction and they’re still a non-sensical couple. Lawler and April come out and Lawler seems to be feeling very possessive of April after the shower incident. The crowd is laughing at Lawler and/or April and Lawler isn’t happy about that, though he should be used to it by now. With an overly tight hug, it’s time to get down to business. After a little jockeying, Lawler wants a kiss from April. Estrada tries to go for a double noggin-knocker, but Lawler and April are able to get away.
The match was mediocre at best. Away from the Flying Elvises, Estrada has been exposed as a mediocre wrestler with a lame gimmick. Lawler has a lot of talent, but never seems to be able to focus enough to fulfill his potential. Both of those issues were on display. There was a lot of swinging and missing on both sides and just sloppy spots.
The tide began to turn for the odd when Lawler grabbed April’s purse, possibly to use against Estrada, except he couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn, which allowed Estrada to hit an elevated leg drop. After this, Lawler was wearing April’s purse around his neck like some demented Flava Flav wannabe.
April grabbed Estrada’s leg to trip him up during a pass, which caused Estrada to grab her by the hair. April managed to squirm free, but found herself confronted by an angry Priscilla, who slapped her and then engaged in a really lame catfight. That mess caused enough distraction to let Lawler get in a low blow on Estrada and get the pin.
Winner: Brian Lawler by pinfall
Comment: Yuck match, they didn’t even have a good catfight.
Backstage, Goldylocks is talking to Jeff Jarrett and Jarrett seems to be in a really good mood, for once. Goldy mentions Jarrett’s match with Sean Waltman and their history with each other.
Jarrett refreshes our memory of how he’s been screwed over by the NWA time and again, but that he’d been working on earning his way into a title shot.
Jarrett then lets us in on some inside information: Waltman isn’t there. No one’s sure what ‘s going on, apparently he missed his flight, or some such thing. What this means for the tournament is that Jarrett gets a bye for this week and will be facing BG James next week in the finals.
Turning his attention to his former lackey and friend, Jarrett wishes James good luck next week, but vows that he will be facing Ron Killings for the title.
Jimmy Yang vs Amazing Red: Yang comes out, but he’s not dressed like an Elvis. Tenay informs us that the Flying Elvises have basically disbanded, which makes Estrada’s gimmick even sadder. There were a lot of mistakes and awkward spots in this match, but the biggest one was Jimmy Yang not taking Amazing Red seriously. True, Red as seriously as he should have. Red had a really good showing despite all the awkward spots. Still, it would take a corkscrew clothesline after a moonsault was countered into a gutbuster.
Winner: Amazing Red by pinfall.
Comment: Okay match. As Red was leaving the ring, Tenay and West informed us that Red will be getting a title shot against the winner of the triple threat match. I’m not sure why Yang was included in this match, since he’s been gone for several weeks, but it beats having another multi-man #1 Contender’s match.
Backstage, Goldylocks is with BG James and asks him about his match next week with Jeff Jarrett. James says that he’s starting to envision title matches, he’d been planning to scout the Jarrett/Waltman match, but Waltman’s absence has scrapped that plan. He discussed his history with Jarrett, but little of it makes any real sense. He’s saying a lot of pithy phrases and catch phrases, but not much else.
At this point, Jarrett interrupts the promo. He insists that he just wants to wish James good luck next week. James hesitates, citing their history, asserting that he’s not as stupid as Jarrett thinks he is. However, Jarrett plays the Boy Scout and insists that he just wants to wish an old friend good luck. When James give in, Jarrett, probably to remind us all who the heel is, attacks and a fight breaks out. Back at ringside, it’s time for the next match.
Spanish Announce Team vs Rainbow Express: As the teams make their ways to the ring, we’re told that there’s a mini-tournament going on with the winners facing the winner of the New Church vs America’s Most Wanted later in the evening. As the Rainbow Express come to the ring, they’re doing their usual antics. The match was…not great. One of the Maximos isn’t all that good in the ring. Rainbow Express are good workers, but their gimmick really overshadows their actual talent.
The SATs would pick up the win, but the big story seems to be that there is friction between the Rainbow Express. We saw some friction last week, but this week, Lenny dropped the top rope and sent Bruce out to the floor, leaving Bruce dazed and leaves Lenny vulnerable to the Double Spanish Fly that ended the match. Tenay and West start speculation that Lenny wants to be Miss TNA and is trying to take Bruce out.
Backstage, Goldylocks was looking for someone, but runs into Bob Armstrong, who she also wants to talk to. It turns out that Don Harris was fired for attacking Bob Armstrong last week, but has been spotted backstage. When Goldy asks about this, Armstrong explains that while Harris is no longer head of security, he can still wrestle and so is allowed backstage. Armstrong sings the praises of the Harris brothers and assures us that he bears no ill will towards Don for last week. He then says he’s excited for the show, but seems to be afraid of busting a seam.
Hot Shots vs Harris Brothers: Neither team gets a great reaction. The best thing about the reunion of the Harris brothers is that you can actually tell them apart. The start of the match is about what you’d expect for the founders of the WWF’s DOA, a big brawl. The Hot Shots couldn’t hope to beat the Harris brothers in a brawl, but they sure tried. The biggest problems with this match was that the Harris brothers weren’t very good, and the Hot Shots aren’t experienced enough to be able to cover for them and carry the match, so it’s just a mess.
Winner: The Harris Brothers by pinfall.
After the pinfall, the Harris brothers beat up the Hot Shots for the hell of it.
Comment: Bleh match.
BG James comes storming out of the back. He’s NOT happy about Jeff Jarrett’s antics from earlier and berates Jarrett for insulting his intelligence. He then demands that Jarrett come to the ring and have their finals match NOW!
Jarrett does come out and tries to convince, rather patronizingly, to wait until next week, but James’ blood is up and he’s not taking no for an answer. He tells Jarrett that his antics earlier proved that he was a p***y, but that’s not enough for James. He tells Jarrett that he’s not surprised that Jarrett is a p***y because Jarrett’s father, Jerry is a p***y. That angers Jarrett but he doesn’t rise to the bait, so James does something truly stupid, he brings Jarrett’s mother into it. Word of advice, NEVER insult a man’s mama, especially in the South.
Jarrett is FURIOUS, and so is the crowd on his behalf, and the fight’s on. Bob Armstrong comes to the ramp, but he apparently okays the match because the bell rings.
#1 Contender’s Tournament Finals – Jeff Jarrett vs BG James: This match is more of a brawl than anything else. They fight in the crowd, with James dominating most of it, but the fight goes on for too long and starts to get boring. Thankfully, Jarrett gets the upper hand and we FINALLY get back to the ring. Once in the ring, the ACTUAL match is quick. James gets a steel chair and Jarrett misses a clothesline, but is able to counter James’ pumphandle attempt into the Stroke on the chair.
Winner: Jeff Jarrett by pinfall. He is FINALLY the #1 Contender for the NWA Heavyweight Championship. The crowd is applauding him for finally getting the opportunity.
Comment: The match stunk, but at least Jarrett is the #1 Contender.
NWA Tag Team Championship Match – America’s Most Wanted vs the New Church (with James Mitchell and Bella Donna): New Church is out first but AMW gets the jump on them and the fight’s on! Like Jarrett vs James in the previous segment, this match started as a brawl and stayed that way. Slash got busted open like he always does, but it seems that no one has shown him how to blade himself correctly. There were a few humorous spots in this match. Brian Lee is supposed to be an evil heel, but he was several times put off doing something dastardly by Tenay and West on commentary.
The other source of humor was Bella Donna. I’m not sure how much Bella Donna knew about pro-wrestling before she came to TNA, but I don’t think it was a lot. She seemed horrified by the blood, which is odd for a woman who is supposed to be the valet of a bloodthirsty cult, and she kept interfering at odd moments and generally didn’t seem to know what was going on.
However, Bella Donna would prove vital to the end of the match. Storm had accidentally taken out the referee, right before he and Harris hit the Death Sentence, which should’ve gotten them the pinfall in this circus, but there was no ref. Slash goes for a spike spot, but as Storm blocks it, Bella Donna jumps on his back in a really bad attempt at a sleeper hold. However, the distraction was enough to let Lee get the pinfall on Storm and we have new Tag Team Champions!
Winner: New Church by pinfall. NEW tag team champs. Afterwards, Bella Donna goes to Slash to tend to him and smeared some of his blood on herself. Gross.
Comment: Okay match. The Bella Donna thing shows that she was chosen for her look than her skill or knowledge. However, we’ve got a definite tag team feud that looks interesting.
Triple Threat Match for the X-Division Championship – Jerry Lynn vs Kid Kash vs AJ Styles: Everyone gets a pretty good pop. This match has been highly anticipated since Kid Kash got to TNA, so it has a lot of hype to live up to. Unfortunately, this match didn’t live up to expectations. In fact, it was boring. There were high spots, but it mostly consisted of two guys teaming up on the third one, throwing him out, and then going at each other. Guy who was thrown out comes in and we start all over again.
Things would pick up…a little when Kash and Lynn double team Styles. However, Styles goes for the Styles Clash and then White Noise (I don’t remember the actual name for the move) on Kash, but Lynn broke up the pin. Plumtree tried to help by tripping Lynn, but Lynn would throw Styles out on top of Plumtree. Lynn would then hit his piledriver to retain the championship.
Winner: Jerry Lynn by pinfall.
Comment: This would’ve been a better match if it had been one on one.
For some reason, Jeremy Borash is on commentary and he’s not doing an awful job. Apparently, Don West’s ‘Please keep us employed’ promos are a big hit backstage because Bob Armstrong delivers next week’s match card to West personally.
Once West is done doing his best Billy Mays, Jeff Jarrett comes out. He reminds us that Ron Killings is the first African-American NWA Championship and compliments his sometime friend on that accomplishment. However, Jarrett reminds us that the NWA has screwed him over and jerked him around since the start of TNA, which is true, but it should be said that Jarrett started some of it.
Jarrett then talks about how important the NWA Title was to him as a kid and how he used to watch all the greats: Jack Brisco, Ricky Steamboat, Ric Flair, the Funk Brothers, and Sting. He repeats his promise to fulfill his dream and walk out of TNA as the new NWA Heavyweight Champion.
Overall Comments: So, how was week 21 of TNA? It was actually really good. TNA seems to FINALLY be finding its footing. It still has its rough spots, but the focus on the matches and building the stories from there is working.
The Lawler/April thing is just bad. There was some hints of questioning who was the abuser and who was abused, but now it’s just getting sad.
TNA still seems to be struggling with Jarrett’s status. He cut two very babyface promos but acted like a heel with James, which was then squandered by having James insult Jarrett’s parents. It still feels like they’re trying to squeeze Jarrett into a Stone Cold Steve Austin or Rock mold, which doesn’t work because Jarrett doesn’t have that kind of personality.
Overall, this has been another good show and, hopefully, TNA has figured out how to put on a good show and tell good stories.