As we approach this year’s TLC, we look back at one from the past!
As we get closer to closing the book on 2018, we’re approaching WWE’s December pay-per-view TLC, so today we’re looking back at one from the past with TLC 2015! After cashing in Money In The Bank on Roman Reigns after a grueling tournament to crown a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Sheamus must now face Reigns fair and square in a TLC Match! Let’s get into the action…
Kickoff Show Match: Sasha Banks w/Naomi & Tamina vs. Becky Lynch
Collar & elbow tie-up to kick things off, Sasha with a side headlock, Becky counters into one of her own, Banks attempts to roll her away, but Lynch hangs on. The Boss reverses an irish whip to the corner, charges in and scores with a monkey flip into a cover, celebrates a little early and Becky rolls her up for a quick 2. Banks tries to pick the leg, Becky counters and gains a side headlock, Sasha pushing her to the ropes and scoring with a shoulder knockdown for a count of 2. Back to the ropes they go, The Boss tries a leapfrog, Lynch hooks the leg and Banks faceplants into the canvas, The Lass Kicker looking for the Dis-Arm-Her, but Sasha squirms to the ropes to escape.
Lynch tries to slingshot The Boss to the mat, Sasha lands on her feet and connects with a big forearm, rushes in and gets caught in an armbar. She pushes Becky off to the ropes, follows in and Lynch with an armdrag, going right back to the armbar. Banks attempts to roll her away, Becky maintaining the hold, ducks a right hand and rolls Banks up for multiple 1 counts, then slaps the armbar back on. The Boss creates some separation with stiff forearms, sends Lynch to the corner and charges in, The Lass Kicker hopping up and over, controlling Sasha with another armbar. The Boss backs her into the corner using the hair, briefly breaks clean and tries to sneak in a forearm, Becky avoids it and connects with a springboard kick.
Naomi climbs to the apron and gets dropped back down for her troubles, Lynch turns back to The Boss and rushes in, Sasha side-steps and Becky hits the ring post shoulder-first. Banks planks her across the middle rope and drops down the double knees, taking control as we head to a break….The Boss chokes Lynch on the bottom rope when we come back, Tamina with a cheap shot behind the official’s back. The Lass Kicker tries to battle back with forearms, sends Sasha to the ropes for a clothesline, Banks counters into a tilt-a-whirl and cracks her with a backstabber. She rolls through, crosses Becky’s arms across her faces and wrenches back, grinding Lynch down to the canvas.
The Lass Kicker powers to her feet with Banks on her shoulders The Boss turns it into a victory roll for a near fall, Becky with a roll-up off the kick-out and she gets 2. She catches Banks rushing in with another roll-up for 2, drops The Boss face-first on the 2nd turnbuckle, then builds momentum with a flurry of clotheslines and a heel kick. She drops a leg, tries for another and Sasha avoids it, planting her with a cross-arm neckbreaker, covering numerous times and only getting 2 counts. The Boss slaps Lynch in the face, Becky comes back with a heavy shot, pushes Sasha to the ropes and throws her with a LassPlex, Banks grabbing the bottom rope at a count of 2.
Sasha kicks her way back to her feet, Becky takes her down with an armwhip, slaps on a cross armbreaker, The Boss tries to roll her way out and Lynch hangs on for the Dis-Arm-Her. Banks switches the momentum into a roll-up for 2, The Lass Kicker hangs onto the arm on the kick-out, going right back to the Dis-Arm-Her, Tamina getting to the apron to distract the referee, allowing Naomi to sneak in and kick Lynch in the face. The Boss takes the opening and scores with the backstabber, rolls through into the Bank Statement and Lynch is forced to tap.
Winner: Sasha Banks (Bank Statement)
- EA’s Take: Solid showing on our Kickoff match from both ladies, The Boss getting the big win in her hometown with help from the unity of Team B.A.D. Becky’s in an odd spot right now, seemingly playing the 3rd wheel between her former Team PCB members, Paige & Charlotte. With performances like this it will be very difficult to keep Becky & Sasha near the bottom tier of the Divas division for much longer, especially if the “We Want Sasha” chants continue.
Open: After Seth Rollins cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase at WrestleMania, Roman Reigns’ luck as it pertains to winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship has been less than stellar. He finally reached the mountaintop at Survivor Series, winning a tournament to gain the vacant title, only to have Sheamus cash in his Money In The Bank and steal the championship. Tonight, Roman looks for revenge with tables, ladders and chairs.
Match #1 – Triple Threat Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championships: WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) w/Xavier Woods vs. Lucha Dragons (Kalisto & Sin Cara) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
Xavier joins commentary for this match, the bell rings and the brawl is on, Jimmy & Sin Cara send Big E to the ropes, Jimmy drops down and Sin Cara scores with a dropkick. Jey, Kalisto & Kofi attempt to bring ladders in, Big E clears the ring, pushes back on Kalisto & Jey, then pulls Kingston’s ladder inside. New Day stand it up and start to climb, The Usos are there to meet them, toss Kofi outside and then pair-off with Big E & Sin Cara. Kingston & Kalisto climb up opposite sides of the apron, springboard into the ring and land on their feet on the ladder.
The Usos playing defense, everyone takes a turn climbing up with no success. Big E & Kofi get thrown outside, climbs to the 2nd rope on the apron and fly with synchronized moonsaults to New Day. The Usos grab the ladder in the ring, knock The Lucha Dragons off the apron with it, then throw it outside, New Day & Luchas catching it in the air. The Usos hit the ropes and take flight with crossbody planchas onto the ladder, taking all 4 of their opponents out. They head back in and set the ladder up under the titles, Kingston slides in, hops through the middle of the ladder for a dropkick, gets his feet caught and The Usos dump him over the top to the floor. Big E rolls in behind them, pushes the ladder into The Usos and sends Jimmy flying outside.
Kofi smashes him with a ladder as Big E stomps a hole into Jey in the corner, Kingston comes in and they sandwich him behind the ladder. Big E whips Kingston in for a basement dropkick, Jimmy rolls inside and gets caught, E tossing him onto the ladder with an overhead belly to belly suplex. The Dragons are back in the ring and clock Kingston with another ladder, attempt to smash Big E, but he powers them back to the corner. Kalisto climbs to the top, hops through the ladder and lands on Big E with a seated senton, Kofi gets to his feet and drills him with a superkick. Sin Cara goes to the 2nd rope with the ladder, Kingston scales up to meet him, gets knocked down and Sin Cara rides the ladder down into a splash on him.
He takes The Usos out on the outside with a baseball slide into a ladder, hits the ropes and jumps onto the ladder on the floor with a somersault senton on Jimmy & Jey. Kalisto spears Big E with a ladder back inside, sets it up over his prone body and starts the climb up, Big E benchpressing him up, but Sin Cara hops on it to bring it back down. E benchpresses it again with both Luchas on it, Sin Cara falls and gets hanged on the top rope, The Usos slide in and Kalisto jumps off with a crossbody. Jimmy & Jey catch him in the air, Jey plants him with a spinning side slam, then they drop Big E with a double superkick. The Usos prop him in the corner and sandwich him with a ladder, Kingston comes in for a save and gets leveled, Jimmy & Jey charging into the corner with a dropkick to the ladder.
Kofi comes to and elevates Jimmy to the outside, Jey pulls a smaller ladder into the ring, slams Kingston on it then heads up top. Kingston crotches him on the top turnbuckle, climbs up and gets sent back down, getting his foot caught in the ropes and hanging in the tree of woe. Jimmy passes a ladder to Jey and he hammers Kingston, holds it in front of Kofi and Jimmy charges in with the hip attack. The Usos are alone in the ring now, stand a ladder up, The Dragons are their to meet them and we get a staredown before everyone takes a shot at climbing. Sin Cara assists Kalisto into a senton on Jimmy, they place a ladder over his body and Sin Cara flips his partner into a 450 splash on top.
Lucha Dragons now holding the ring and starting to ascend the ladder, Kofi’s back in to lay them out with forearms, then planks another ladder between the ropes and the standing ladder. He attempts to drive Kalisto into it, Kalisto slides under, pushes the ladder into Kingston’s ribs, springs off of it with a hurricanrana and Kofi hits the ladder head-first, spilling to the floor. Kalisto heads up after the titles, The Usos hit the ring climbing up opposite sides, Sin Cara pulls Jimmy down to the canvas as Kalisto is sent down as well. Kalisto springs back up, climbs over Jey, hooks him for Salida Del Sol and they both go crashing through the planked ladder. Sin Cara climbs upstairs and follows with a somersault senton.
Kalisto & Jimmy drag themselves up the ladder and reach for the championships, Kalisto gets knocked down and Jimmy’s all alone. Big E hits the ring to make the save, pulling him down and pushing the ladder over, looks to toss Jimmy to the floor, but he turns tables and E is sent outside. Jimmy attempts a suicide dive and runs into a forearm, E grabs a ladder to bring into the ring and Jimmy hits with a baseball slide. He looks to the corner, scales to the top rope and jumps to the floor onto the ladder, squashing Big E with the Uso Splash. Kalisto stirs around in the squared circle and drags himself up the ladder, Woods leaves commentary, grabs the trombone and throws it into Kalisto’s back, Kingston quickly sliding in and flipping him off the ladder to the mat. Kofi climbs up, unhooks the titles and The New Day retains.
Winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: The New Day
- EA’s Take: Wow, the tag division just spat on the rest of the roster and proclaimed “Follow that!” with this match. Amazing high-spots and some pretty innovative stuff here, Kalisto’s Salida Del Sol being the showstealer. This is going to be very difficult for anyone to measure up to the rest of the night and we’re just getting started. I think it’s a little odd that New Day retained, they’re starting to run out of babyface challengers at this point after running through everyone for the majority of 2015. Unless someone’s getting called up from NXT, they may end up having to turn themselves.
Match #2: Rusev w/Lana vs. Ryback
Rusev jumps Ryback right at the bell, clobbers him in the back and whips him to the ropes, The Big Guy hanging on and catching Rusev coming in with a back elbow. He sends The Bulgarian Brute to the outside after a shoulder tackle, follows him out and drives Rusev into the barricade before rolling him back in. The Big Guy heads up top and scores with a double axe handle, presses Rusev over his head, drops him face-first and follows with a splash for a count of 2. He rams The Bulgarian Brute back into the corner and fires away, climbs to the 2nd rope for right hands, Rusev powers him out and drops him on the ropes with a hot shot.
He takes control and chokes Ryback on the bottom rope, rams him head-first into the top turnbuckle and drives shoulders to the solarplexes, flattening The Big Guy with a short-arm clothesline. Rusev grabs the neck with a nervehold to ground Ryback, The Big Guy fights to a vertical base, gets clubbed in the back and The Bulgarian Brute hooks him for a vertical suplex. Ryback blocks and they trade suplex attempts back and forth, The Big Guy finally plants Rusev and starts to build a head of steam with multiple shoulder blocks. He squashes The Bulgarian Brute in the corner, Rusev reverses a whip across, charges in and runs into a boot, Ryback following up with a 2nd rope dropkick that gets a 2 count.
The Big Guy’s ready to finish it, picks Rusev up and gets driven into the corner, The Bulgarian Brute attempting a splash, but Ryback side-steps and goes to the top rope. He connects with a crossbody that gains a near fall, drops the straps and sets Rusev in his crosshairs for a Meat Hook. The Bulgarian Brute wisely rolls out of the ring and walks off with Lana at his side, Ryback giving chase up the aisle and brings him back by the hair. Rusev breaks the grip with a back elbow, he pushes The Big Guy and he falls back, running into Lana and sending her down. Ryback is distracted, turns around and gets clocked by a superkick, Lana springing to her feet and celebrating after deceiving The Big Guy.
The Bulgarian Brute rolls Ryback in the squared circle and covers for 2, calls for The Accolade, but The Big Guy blocks it, powering to his feet with Rusev on his shoulders for Shellshocked. Rusev slips out of it, scores with a roundhouse to the head, locks in The Accolade to a knocked out Ryback and the official calls for the bell.
Winner: Rusev (The Accolade)
- EA’s Take: Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that this was a bad match. It’s just that…who cares? The story was a little absurd heading into it and both of these guys have really fallen off the map in comparison to where they were at the height of their WWE runs thus far. Ryback is still missing something, it’s tough to put my finger on exactly what it is. It’s certainly not his ability, which you can also say about Rusev as well.
Backstage: Dean Ambrose warms up for his match when Roman Reigns comes in. He tells Dean he was just speaking to The Usos and it’s down to them tonight to hold it down for the family. Reigns is excited for tonight, describing how good it will feel to regain the WWE Title and put a hole in Sheamus’ head with a ladder. Win, lose or draw, tonight’s about making a statement. Ambrose says he had a different vision and that’s for both of them to be standing in the ring later as champions.
Match #3 – Chairs Match for the WWE United States Championship: WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
Ringside is littered with set-up chairs, both guys slide out to the floor after a chair at the bell, roll back in and the duel is on. They drop the chairs and Swagger hits a clothesline, the champion rolls to the outside, The Real American in pursuit and Del Rio tries to drive him into the post, only to get rammed into the steel instead. The challenger bounces Alberto’s head off a chair multiple times, back into the ring they go and The Real American looks for the Swagger Bomb, El Patron sticking a chair up and catches him in the throat. The champion scores with a clothesline that gets 1, sends Swagger sternum-first into the turnbuckles, then rams the chair to the ribs and smacks it over his back.
He props the chair flat between the ropes in the corner, the challenger firing away with right hands, Alberto reverses a whip into the chair, The Real American puts on the brakes to avoid it, but Del Rio makes him pay with a backstabber for a count of 2. El Patron hammers the challenger in the back with a chair, sets his sights on a superkick, but Swagger is able to throw the chair in his face to avoid it. He ducks a clothesline, hits the ropes for one of his own, follows with another, then connects with two more in the corners. The Real American wants the Swagger Bomb again, Del Rio gets the feet up, Swagger catches the foot and goes for the Patriot Lock, but the champion is able to kick him away. Swagger rushes right back in and is split with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a near fall, tosses The Real American out to the floor, then throws a pile of chairs onto him.
He sends the challenger back in the squared circle and covers for 2, calls for the Cross Armbreaker, Swagger counters out and sends him shoulder-first into the ring post, follows with a roll-up and nearly gets the 3 count. The Real American pounds Del Rio’s back with a chair, wraps his ankle in it and slaps on the Patriot Lock, the champion crawling to grabs the apron, but there’s no breaks in this match. El Patron works his way out of the ring using the ring skirting, Swagger ducks his head out to grab the champion and takes a chair shot to the breadbasket. Alberto heads upstairs with a chair-in-hand, The Real American catches him coming down with a slam, finally hits the Swagger Bomb and Del Rio kicks at 2.
The challenger slides to the outside and sends a handful of chairs into the ring, pummels Alberto in the back again, then props him on the top turnbuckle and climbs up. The champion pushes him away, picks the arm and hangs over the ropes with the Cross Armbreaker, releasing the hold on his own accord. He heads back inside and unleashes a barrage of chair shots to the back in the corner, stacks the chairs up under Swagger, climbs up top and delivers tree of woe double stomp for the 1-2-3.
Winner and STILL WWE United States Champion: Alberto Del Rio (Tree Of Woe Double Stomp)
- EA’s Take: Brutal, physical match between two of the better technicians in the company, showing they can also deliver a good brawl. The chairs were really used to perfection and were a real focal point of the match, which is what you’d expect from a chairs match. I get that Swagger & Del Rio have a history, so it only makes sense for The Real American to be one of the first challengers to Alberto’s title. I just don’t like that I’m supposed to take Swagger as a serious contender after months and months of being relegated to Superstars, most of the time on the losing end.
Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 23
NWA-TNA Episode 23: November 27, 2002
Goldy is introduced and sings ‘God Bless America’ and sounds lovely as usual.
Opening: We open with Borash in the ring and he says that since it’s the day before Thanksgiving and because everyone is feeling grateful, despite everything the country has been through and is about to go through (the War in Afghanistan was about to start, I think), everyone at TNA is thankful to the fans for supporting them.
Briscoe Brothers vs Divine Storm (with Trinity): The Briscoes are back! They’re going up against generic new comers, Divine Storm.
This match was much better than Divine Storm’s previous outing last week. They and the Briscoes worked together very well and put on a really good match. Trinity got involved, hitting a hurricanrana on one of the Briscoes. There was also a really cool spot where one member of the Briscoes and one member of Divine Storm hit stereo diving sentons on each other’s opponent.
Ultimately, Divine Storm would win this round with a cradle suplex.
At ringside, Tenay addresses the revelation that Vince Russo was Mr. Wrestling III. The usually calm, neutral Tenay minces no words about how he feels. He does NOT like Vince Russo, he does NOT want to be associated with him, and vows to not let Russo destroy TNA the way he did WCW. West is a little stunned by Tenay’s anger, claiming that he didn’t realize that Tenay disliked Russo that much.
After the commercial break, Tenay is in the ring and he’s wanting to interview Jeff Jarrett. He gets Vince Russo instead. Russo seems to see no reason to play nice. He throws Tenay out of the ring and tells him to go sulk in the commentary area. Apparently Tenay had vowed to quit if Russo was allowed into TNA and Russo called his bluff, telling him he can go home and pout like Sean Waltman and they’ll replace him with a chimpanzee that will have more personality.
Addressing the audience, and seemingly unaware of just how many people hold him responsible for the destruction of WCW, Russo introduced himself as the Anti-Christ of wrestling and said that he came back because the business was ‘in the shitter’, without seeming to accept that he’s very much to blame for the state of the business.
Russo then tries to claim credit for Jarrett’s rise in the late 90s, claiming to have befriended him in WWE, despite the Double J gimmick, though it should be pointed out that Russo’s ‘friendship’ didn’t help Jarrett get out of the mid-cards in WWE. Russo then clams that the Jarrett’s begged him to come in and help TNA, saying that TNA means ‘Tits and Ass’ not ‘Total Non-Stop Acton’.
Proving that he has no clue what he’s doing, Russo disrespects the NWA greats who have been putting up with his garbage, and claims he’s saving TNA, instead of destroying it.
But Russo’s wants us all to know that he’s not a total psychopath. He offers Jarrett, who owns the company and put up with Russo’s BS even when it nearly closed the company down, be in on what he’s got planned for TNA, which will include some drastic changes. He will expect an answer by the end of the show.
After Russo leaves, an incensed Tenay calls Russo a cancer, stating that Russo is everything that is wrong with professional wrestling and says, point blank, that Russo killed WCW.
Throughout the evening’s show, there were various TNA on-screen talent plugging a silent auction to benefit a school for autistic children and for breast cancer awareness. The segments were pretty lame, so I’m not going to mention them past this point.
America’s Most Wanted vs The Hot Shots: Hot Shots don’t get a ton of love from the crowd,but there are some cheers. AMW are extremely over, but they aren’t in good moods after losing their rematch to New Church last week. The match was pretty typical for these teams. AMW was ground and pound, while the Hot Shots were a lot of flash and cockiness, butthe match was really good.
During the match, James Mitchell and Bella Donna come out, which distracts Storm and Harris, just when they had the match won. AMW pursued the Not-So-Good Minister and his lady, getting themselves counted out in the process. Mitchell, proving that there is no honor among thieves, ran for his life and left Bella Donna to the wolves.
Storm and Harris, proving that they are equal opportunity ass-kickers, were ready to hit the Death Sentence on Bella Donna, when Mitchell returned to half-heartedly try to save her. As the AMW were distracted, the New Church attacked from behind. Mitchell grabbed Bella and they got away, but Bella needs to rethink her life choices.
Backstage, Goldylocks is looking to talk to Jeff Jarrett about his upcoming match against Ron Killings and, presumably, Russo’s offer, but Dory Funk Jr is barring the door.
Funk, lets Goldy know that while Jarrett IS in the locker room, he doesn’t want to talk to anyone since he’s focusing on the match. When Goldy asks if he’s Jarrett’s manager, Funk simply says that he’s got a vested interest in the match.
NWA Tag Team Championship Match: BG James and Curt Hennig vs New Church (with James Mitchell and Bella Donna): I’m not sure why the Harris Twins aren’t in this match since they’re supposed to be the #1 Contenders for the tag titles, but we’re getting James and Hennig. It was supposed to be James/Waltman, but Tenay informs us that Waltman has refused to show up because he doesn’t to be associated with Russo.
Michell gets on the mic and says that he doesn’t care about the difference between professional wrestling and sports entertainment, he’s just interested in being evil.
This match was really basic, which is probably the best option for everyone involved. Hennig looks like he’s laid off the booze and hit the gym a little more, but there’s no hiding the fact that his ring skills are lacking, though he shows some of his former brilliance with an interesting modified figure-four.
AMW run in, causing James and Hennig to be DQ’d just when they thought they had the match won. All hell breaks loose with AMW not only brawling with the New Church, but with the angered James and Hennig who feel that they were robbed of their opportunity. AMW would chase New Church into the back, but it’s clear that AMW have made enemies of James and Hennig.
Alyx Winters vs EZ Money: For reasons that I can’t explain, EZ Money has gotten over with the higher ups at TNA and is back for another match. His opponent is Alyx Winters,who reminds me a little of the Wunderkind from WCW.
The match has a pretty basic start, but there’s an interesting reverse Boston Crab/swing hold by Money. There’s a spot where Winters was supposed to float over Money, but Money didn’t run in and when Winters landed, it was balls first on Money’s knee. After that stupid spot,that Money was very proud of, the match went rapidly downhill. Money picked up the win with a cradle suplex and left poor Winters in the ring.
Backstage, we find Goldylocks with Bruce, who has been in middle of the drama that is the relationship of Brian Lawler and April. After seeming to be caught in the shower with April and probably NOT conserving water, unless April gets turned on by saving the Earth’s oceans, Bruce found himself fending off not only an enraged Lawler, but his former partner, Lenny Lane, who tried to claim that Bruce was ineligible to be Miss TNA because he was actually straight. If you find that confusing, join the club.
This week, Bruce has ditched the pastels and his fetching Miss TNA number for a pretty basic…guy look, long-sleeved shirt, baseball cap.When Goldy introduces him as Bruce, he corrects her and says that his name is now Allen Funk. A confused Goldy asks him about the April situation and Funk claims that he felt sorry for April because of how Lawler treated her and tried to comfort her. What that has to do with showering together, I have no idea.
Furthermore, Bruce states that he is gay, but that his heart got involved and that April is a very sexual person. Goldy makes a really bad joke, but asks what Funk plans to do with the Miss TNA gear, and Funk says he’ll give it to April.
Crimson Dragon vs Sonny Siaki: Last week, Crimson Dragon made a mediocre debut in a match involving AJ Styles. This week, Dragon and Siaki meet one on one. Dragon’s changed his look and looks like a very stylish ninja, while Siaki looks bored,though he gets a bit of a pop from the crowd.
The match was okay, Siaki does his best, but Dragon sucks. He botches several spots before Siaki can put him away with a super overhead-toss and a Money clip.
Once Crimson Dragon is vanquished, a disgusted Siaki gets on the mic and states that he’s tired of the lackluster opponents he’s been getting. If TNA won’t give him better competition than this, he doesn’t want to say. Sonny Siaki, in his own mind, should only be wrestling top guys and be in title matches.
Backstage, Goldylocks is with April, apparently, Goldy was wanting to interview Lawler, but found April instead. April says that Lawler has been in the production truck watching the footage of the shower scene all day. April doesn’t seem to get what the problem is, Bruce is gay and she’s faithful to Brian, which shows that either she’s an idiot or he is.
Goldy points out that no one believes her, especially after last week, to which April coyly implies that Goldy’s jealous. Angry and fed up…FINALLY, Goldy tells the cameraman to cut off the interview because she’s ‘done with this bullshit’.
To add more drama to this mess, Lawler goes to ringside, not dressed to wrestle and looking very sad. According to him, he gave everything he had to a woman and that April cheated on him and made him look like an idiot, though it must be said that Lawler was already doing a good job of making himself look like an idiot before April got there. In play at sympathy, Lawler then claims that April and Goldylocks had an affair, which didn’t win him much sympathy. Fed up, Lawler says he’s quitting the wrestling business and does his really bad crying act before walking away.
Tenay and West are dumbstruck, with even West saying that that was weird.
Thing get weirder back stage when Goldylocks tries to talk to Lawler, but finds him being comforted by Priscilla, Jorge Estrada’s manager. Lawler is STILL doing the fake crying thing, telling Priscilla that she’s the only one that cares. They walk away together, but we see Lawler grabbing Priscilla’s butt, so I don’t think we have to worry about him bouncing back from April.
X-Division Championship Match: Jerry Lynn vs AJ Styles (with Mortimer Plumtree): The rivalry between Styles and Lynn is well-known, so I won’t go into it here. Styles won the right to face Lynn last week after defeating Jorge Estrada and Crimson Dragon.
The match was okay. Even the best rivals have a clunker and this was that match for Styles and Lynn. I’m not sure what was going on,but they just could seem to mesh as seamlessly as they usually do.
Added to the trouble was Plumtree, who was trying to use some heel manager tactics and not doing a great job at it. Unfortunately, Plumtree’s antics would end up costing Styles the match when the brass knucks Plumtree tossed him ended up with Lynn, who knocked Styles into next week for the pin.
In a pre-show interview, Tenay interviewed Dory Funk Jr. Funk, who has none of his brother’s personality, talked about how much being NWA champion meant to him, and talked about what he learned from all the greats he worked with, and plugged the Funking Conservatory wrestling school. For whatever reason, the person typing up the names of the former NWA greats Funk mentions spells Jack Brisco’s name as ‘Briscoe’.
Funk stated that he believed that the Jarrett/Killings feud was the future of the NWA and would be seen as a great rivalry in twenty years. As for Russo, Funk makes no bones about the fact that he doesn’t like Russo and feels that Russo’s sports entertainment had no place in professional wrestling.
NWA Championship Match: Jeff Jarrett vs Ron Killings: It’s time for the rematch. Both men get great pops, though Jarrett’s is a little mixed. This was a really great match, much better than last week’s. Jarrett and Killings took each other all over the arena, actually resulting in a double countout, but Bob Armstrong demanded that the match be restarted so that there could be a definitive winner.
There was a really lame ‘take out ref’ spot that was only saved by Armstrong’s selling, While Armstrong was ‘out’, Russo showed up, seeming to help Jarrett, handing Jarrett his guitar to finish Killings off. Instead, Jarrett breaks the guitar over the turnbuckle to the crowd’s delight, choosing to put Killings away with three Strokes to retain the title.
Angered, Russo go on the mic as Jarrett was leaving,demanding to know Jarrett’s answer, but the show ends before we hear what Jarrett has to say.
Overall Thoughts: So, how was Week 23 of NWA-TNA? Not great. There were a lot of blah matches andstupid/awful segments and only a couple of really good matches to cover for it.
The use of Russo was interesting, he seemed to truly NOT get that most people hold him responsible for what happened to WCW, a fact that bears out if you ever listen to him and seemed to honestly think that the wrestling business needed him. Spoilers: It doesn’t. In my opinion, having watched this show from the first episode to now, Russo’s involvement has been what’s kept TNA from really flourishing in the early stages, which nearly put the company out of business.
I’m glad the Lawler/April/Bruce/Goldy thing seems to be finally over because it was godawful to watch. Siaki getting fed up with having to deal with mediocre job guys was interesting, but they’re still trying to make him a Rock clone and it’s not getting over with fans.
Overall, this was an okay show. I’m hopeful next week will be better.
Chairshot Classics: WWF In Your House 5 – Season’s Beatings (1995)
A look back at a previous December pay-per-view!
As we get closer to closing the book on 2018, we’re approaching WWE’s December pay-per-view so today we’re looking back at a past December event with In Your House 5: Season’s Beatings! A family squabble has been renewed in a rematch from SummerSlam 1992, except this time The British Bulldog challenges his brother-in-law Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart for the WWF Championship! Let’s get into the action…
Open: “It’s that special time of year. A time of giving, a time of joy, but one family not enjoying the spirit of this holiday season is The Harts. At a time when most come together, this family has been ripped apart. Bret Hart, the reigning three-time WWF Champion puts his title on the line against his brother-in-law, The British Bulldog, a man driven by the obsession to become champion, who Bret has never beaten. Tonight, two men stand apart, one family stands divided. Tonight, it will be more like seasons beatings for The Hart Family.”
Match #1: The 1-2-3 Kid & Sycho Sid w/’The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty
Goldust is seen sitting in the crowd to watch the action, applauding Razor as he makes his way to the ring. 1-2-3 Kid & Jannetty will kick things off, Marty teases having Ramon start the match, The Kid goes on the attack with kicks, shoots him to the ropes, but Marty slides under him for a kick of his own. Kid blocks it, Jannetty brings the other leg around for an enzuigiri that gets 2, hooks on a wristlock and looks to make a tag, but The Kid squirms free. They lock-up and 1-2-3 Kid backs Marty to the corner, doesn’t break clean and slaps him across the face, Jannetty pushes him onto his backside, then grabs a side headlock.
Kid pushes him away to the ropes, Marty scores with a shoulder block, goes back to the ropes and The Kid leapfrogs over, attempts a hip toss, but it’s blocked. Jannetty goes for a hip toss of his own to no avail, 1-2-3 Kid flips himself to his feet, gets leveled by a clothesline, Marty hooks the leg and finds a 2 count. He hooks on another wristlock and tries to tag, The Kid again squirms away, gets surprised by a drop toe hold, Jannetty goes to drag him to his corner, but 1-2-3 Kid breaks free once more. He puts the bad-mouth on Jannetty and a shoving match ensues, Kid swings wildly with a right hand that misses, Marty splits him with an atomic drop, then finally tags out. The Bad Guy steps in and 1-2-3 Kid retreats to the outside, Jannetty drops off the apron, rolls him right back in and Razor throws his toothpick in The Kid’s face.
1-2-3 Kid doesn’t appreciate it and pushes him, Ramon retorts with a slap to the face, ducks under a punch and delivers an atomic drop of his own, Kid making a blind tag in the process. Sid steps in and flattens The Bad Guy with a clothesline, hammers away at his back, chokes the champion across the 2nd rope, then brings Kid back in for a series of kicks. 1-2-3 Kid corners Razor and unloads with rights and chops, Sycho Sid re-enters the match, continues to batter The Bad Guy in the corner, then fires away with right hands. Ramon rebounds off the ropes and scores with fists of his own, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Sid tries a clothesline that’s off-target, Razor comes back through for one of his own and they double down after a double clothesline.
Both guys crawl to tags, Jannetty peppers The Kid with punches, attempts to shoot him to the ropes, 1-2-3 Kid reverses for a back body drop, Marty puts on the brakes and drives him face-first into the canvas. He sends Kid back to the ropes for a clothesline, The Kid ducks it, runs into a powerslam for a near fall, then reverses a whip to the corner. 1-2-3 Kid charges in and eats a back elbow, Marty hops to the 2nd rope, comes off with a somersault cutter, but only gains a near fall. He looks to ground The Kid with a camel clutch, we go to Todd Pettengill who is sitting with Goldust, The Bizarre One speaking about how much machismo Razor is oozing and comments on how good The Bad Guy looks before presenting Todd with an envelope to give him.
Back in the ring Marty slaps on a front facelock, Kid backs him to the corner, drives shoulders to the midsection, Jannetty counters one with a knee, snapmares The Kid over and grabs a rear chinlock. DiBiase climbs to the apron to distract the official, Kid finds his footing, shoves Jannetty off to the ropes, Sid clocks him from behind and 1-2-3 Kid follows with a spinning heel kick. Sid gets the tag and bludgeons Marty in the corner, Jannetty begins to battle back, climbs to the top rope for a crossbody, but gets caught in mid-air with a powerslam that almost puts it away. Sycho Sid scoops him up for a body slam, baits The Bad Guy into the ring, Marty hooks Sid from behind with a schoolboy, but the referee is busy dealing with Razor.
Sid quickly tags out and Kid plants Marty with a body slam, ascends the corner to the top rope, connects with a frog splash, but still can’t finish it off. Tag back to Sid, The Kid shoots Jannety to the ropes, the big man follows up with a big boot, The 1-2-3 Kid then baiting Ramon back inside. The official works to get the champion back to his corner, Sycho Sid whips Marty into the turnbuckles, shoots Kid in for a running dropkick, then turns Jannetty inside-out with a clothesline. He drives a knee into the spine and slaps on a chinlock, Marty fights to his feet, Sid clubs him back to the mat, Jannetty tries to punch his way back in it, but gets knocked down again. The Kid re-enters the match, snapmares Marty over and hits the ropes for a short leg drop, tags right back out and Sycho Sid uncorks with more heavy shots.
He tags out and Kid comes off the top with a double axe handle, sends Jannetty to the corner and charges in, nobody’s home and both guys reach out for a tag. The Bad Guy fires away with stiff right hands to Sid, knocks him down with a discus punch, catches The Kid coming in with another haymaker, then sends him colliding into his partner. He tosses 1-2-3 Kid with a fallaway slam to dispose of him, hooks Sid for the Razor’s Edge, the big man counters out with a back body drop, hits the ropes for a leg drop and it’s off the mark. Ramon looks to whip Sycho Sid to the corner, the big man reverses it and follows him in, takes a boot to the chops, the champion climbs to the 2nd rope, planting Sid with a bulldog for the 1-2-3.
Winners: Razor Ramon & Marty Jannetty (Razor/2nd Rope Bulldog)
- After The Bell: Kid hits the ring to make the save a little too late, The Bad Guy grabs him for the Razor’s Edge, Sid reaches in from the floor and drags The Kid outside to safety.
- EA’s Take: Just a solid match to begin the show here, the action was really driven by Kid & Jannetty as you’d expect. Kind of an abrupt finish too, it almost seemed like The Kid was supposed to make the save, but his timing was off. I know they WWF is building towards a 1-1 match between Razor & Kid after The Bad Guy’s brief feud with Goldust, but it just seems strange that they would have Sid take the loss here. Especially with them pumping Sid & The Kid as the next great tag team, they probably should have gone over.
In The Arena: Our ring announcer makes the announcement for our next match, but Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler interrupts and says he’s got something big for everyone. The King says we are close to that time of year when everyone expects a visit from a special individual, but there’s a fat chance Santa Claus will come see any of the idiots here tonight. Lawler states he’s brought a surprise for everybody that is very special, introducing ‘Double J’ Jeff Jarrett. King tells us that Double J is greater than great, claims Jarrett is preparing for his newest world tour, saying that his last album and tour was so successful that he has a gift. He presents Jarrett with a gold CD to commemorate selling 500,000 copies of his last album, Double J calling it the culmination of that tour. He reminds us that he said he would use the WWF and that’s what he did, claiming to have taken Monday Night RAW to new levels all by himself. Jarrett speaks about putting the finishing touches on his new album, but also wants to declare himself as the first participant in next month’s Royal Rumble, believing he will go to WrestleMania XII and be crowned WWF Champion.
In The Arena: Dean Douglas heads to the ring for his match, calls for a mic and says class is in session now. He states he was prepared to come out tonight and give Ahmed Johnson a wrestling lesson, but the doctors did what no wrestler could do and sidelined him. Douglas claims his back is only at 65%, says he could still show Ahmed a thing or two, but they wouldn’t allow it so he had to find a replacement, introducing Buddy Landel.
Match #2: Buddy Landel w/Dean Douglas vs. Ahmed Johnson
‘Double J’ Jeff Jarrett has joined commentary for this match. Ahmed enters the squared circle and gets right in Douglas’ face, Dean slaps him, Johnson looks to unload with a big right hand, but Landel blocks it from behind and we’re underway. Buddy fires away with stinging chops, Ahmed absorbs them, Landel tries to beg him off, scores with fists, but they have no affect. Ahmed grabs him by the throat, props Landel on the top turnbuckle, the referee steps in to force a break, Buddy comes off the 2nd rope with a crossbody, but gets caught in mid-air. Johnson plants him with a spinebuster, hauls him up for the Pearl River Plunge and that’s all she wrote.
Winner: Ahmed Johnson (Pearl River Plunge)
- After The Bell: Douglas has his head down in disbelief on the outside, Ahmed slides to the floor, grabs the paddle and whacks him across the backside to send him scurrying. Lawler calls Johnson to the floor for an interview, calls for a different camera angle and goes on to talk up Double J instead of asking questions. He insults Ahmed and asks Jarrett how he’d do against him, Johnson states he’s heard enough, calls Double J a fake cowboy and a wannabe. Jarrett picks up his gold CD plaque clobbers Ahmed on the back of the head, then smashes the glass over him. He drags Johnson up, Lawler holds up a chair, Double J drives Ahmed into it, then rocks him with multiple chair shots. He rams Ahmed head-first into the steep steps, grabs the paddle and delivers a shot, then fires away with right hands. Johnson begins absorbing the shots, grabs the chair and chases Double J to the back.
- EA’s Take: Not much to say about this one. Dean was pulled after complaining of a back issue, something that garnered him loads of heat considering Undertaker had been performing with a broken orbital bone in his face. This would be the last of Douglas we see in the WWF as whether any of the stories for why it happened are true or not, it led to him departing the company after roughly six months. Ahmed is still only a couple of months into his run and is being pushed pretty quickly despite still lacking in some areas, but would go on to feud with his post-match attacker, the returning Jeff Jarrett.
Backstage: Todd Pettengill is joined by Razor Ramon, congratulates him on the win and speaks about defending the IC Title against Yokozuna on RAW tomorrow. The Bad Guy informs Yoko that if he wants it, he just has to take it, but doesn’t think he can. Pettengill hands Ramon the envelope from Goldust and takes his leave, Razor rips it open and reads the letter, looking puzzled before crumpling it up.
Match #3 is an Arkansas Hog Pen Match – Special Referee Hillbilly Jim: Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Henry O. Godwinn
Godwinn chases Helmsley to the outside with a bucket of slop prior to the bell, The Connecticut Blue Blood avoids the swap and Tony Chimel takes it at ringside instead. Hunter takes the opening and goes on the attack, rolls Henry back into the ring, slides in and staggers him to the corner with a forearm. I guess we’re officially underway with no bell, The Hog Farmer begins to battle his way out of the corner, shoots Helmsley to the ropes for a back body drop, Hunter rolls out-and-in for a quick walk, then catches Henry with a thumb to the eye. The Connecticut Blue Blood looks to whip him to the ropes, Godwinn reverses it, goes downstairs with a right hand, follows with an uppercut, then ties him up in the ropes.
He reaches out for a handful of slop, rubs it all over Hunter’s face, Helmsley slips free and clobbers him from behind with a forearm. He unloads in the corner with boots and fists, chokes The Hog Farmer, then shoots him across and delivers a kick to the midsection. He hits the ropes and scores with a swinging neckbreaker, lines Henry up for a knee drop, then plasters him with more heavy punches. He shoots Godwinn to the ropes and connects with a high knee, dumps him to the outside, climbs out and looks to whip him into the steel steps. The Hog Farmer reverses, drives The Connecticut Blue Blood into the stairs with a battering ram, powers him up over his shoulder and starts heading towards the hog pen.
Helmsley slides off and rocks Henry with a right hand, rams him face-first off of a guardrail, wants to do it again, but it’s blocked and Godwinn returns the favor. He drops Hunter with a big right, attempts to shoot him into the fencing of the pen, The Connecticut Blue Blood turns the tables and sends Henry into it instead. He hooks The Hog Farmer for the Pedigree, Godwinn reverses with a back body drop, Helmsley lands on the top of the fencing, stands up and connects with a diving elbow drop on the floor. Hunter looks to get away from the hog pen and crawls back to the ring, Henry gives chase, reverses a whip to the corner and charges in, but eats a boot to the chops.
The Connecticut Blue Blood collapses and they double down, Helmsley finds his footing first, whips Godwinn to the ropes, drops down and goes for a monkey toss, but Henry puts on the brakes and plants him with a wheelbarrow facebuster. Both guys stagger back up, The Hog Farmer sends Helmsley into the corner, Hunter gets turned inside-out, Henry shoots him back across and The Connecticut Blue Blood spills over the top to the floor. Godwinn goes out after him, they exchange blows and The Hog Farmer gets the better of it, sets him up for the Slop Drop on the floor, but Helmsley hangs onto the barricade to block it.
The Connecticut Blue Blood goes to shoot Henry into the side of the pen, Godwinn reverses and deposits Hunter instead, plants him on the floor with a Slop Drop and both guys struggle back to their feet. Helmsley uses the hog pen to get back up, The Hog Farmer charges in, gets back body dropped into the pen and this one’s over.
Winner: Hunter Hearst Helmsley
- After The Bell: Hillbilly raises The Connecticut Blue Blood’s hand, Helmsley rips his arm away, shoves him, Hillbilly Jim returns the favor and Henry reaches over the fencing to grab him. He powers Hunter up in a military press, drops him face-first in the mud, then hauls him up for a body slam. The Connecticut Blue Blood pulls himself back to his feet, but slips and falls back down over-and-over.
- EA’s Take: While this was certainly no masterpiece and the stipulation is pretty cheesy for my taste, this one is actually pretty entertaining overall. It’s at least a new idea, both competitors gave a solid showing with some not-so-typical offensive maneuvers and the aggression, especially from Helmsley, was clearly turned up and showed a different side of The Connecticut Blue Blood. This would basically serve as the finale of this rivalry, although they’d meet once again in the Royal Rumble. Henry would go on and reunite with his old tag partner from WCW, while Hunter’s push would stall a little bit as he began coming to the ring accompanied by some high-profile beauties.