We’re getting closer to WWE’s annual November tradition the Survivor Series, so today we’re taking a look back at another previous event! With Yokozuna still on top of the WWF mountain following SummerSlam, Lex Luger was still on his chase. Along with his team of All Americans, the stage was set for a showdown against the WWF Champion’s Foreign Fanatics. Plus, this event has by far the very BEST of Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan from beginning to end!
Open: A video package is played with Lex Luger sitting with his family to talk about Thanksgiving, wishing everybody a happy holidays.
In The Arena: The crowd rises for the singing of our National Anthem.
Match #1 – Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Irwin R. Schyster, Diesel, ‘The Model’ Rick Martel & Adam Bomb w/Harvey Wippleman vs. The 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty, WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon & ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage
Razor introduces Savage as his new partner to replace Mr. Perfect. Martel & Ramon to kick things off, The Model with some words for The Bad Guy, Razor pushes him and receives a slap to the face in return. Collar & elbow tie-up, Martel gains a wristlock, the champion counters to one of his own, switches to a hammerlock and they trade reversals before The Model uses a drop toe hold. He goes to a side headlock, The Bad Guy counters again to a hammerlock, Martel working his way up and breaking out with a back elbow, celebrates a little early and gets slapped in the face for it.
The Model strikes with kicks and fists, irish whip to the corner is reversed, Martel hops up and over the champion charging in, runs back across to the 2nd rope for a crossbody, Razor switching the leverage and gets a count of 2. He shoots The Model to the ropes, misses a wild right hand, Martel attempts another crossbody, Ramon catching him in the air for a fallaway slam and another 2 count. The Model goes to the breadbasket with left hands, sends The Bad Guy to the ropes for a kick to the midsection, Razor catches the foot, spins him around and splits him with an atomic drop. Macho sneaks in a jab, the champion follows with an inverted atomic drop, hits the ropes and flattens The Model with multiple clotheslines.
Martel rolls to his corner and tags out, Adam Bomb stepping in and goes face-to-face with The Bad Guy, locking up and Bomb powers Razor back into the corner. They tie-up again and this time Adam powers Ramon to the canvas, the champion going back in for another tie-up and gets caught in a side headlock. Razor pushes him away to the ropes, Bomb explodes off with a shoulder knockdown, the champion looking befuddled and obliging Adam in a test of strength. Bomb grinds The Bad Guy to his knees, Ramon uses the crowd to work back to his feet, uses kicks to the breadbasket and then a northern lights suplex for a cover. Martel hits the ring to break the count at 2 with an elbow drop, Razor sees it coming and avoids it, The Model hitting his partner instead.
Wippleman gets into the ring and shoves Martel, The Model returning fire and punches Harvey to his backside, Adam making him pay with right hands. Diesel comes into the ring to break it up, IRS has to get in between everybody and settle them down. Order is restored, The Kind tagging in, goes to a side headlock on Bomb, gets pushed away to the ropes and floored by a big shoulder knockdown. Adam shoots him back in for a back body drop, 1-2-3 Kid counters with a sunset flip, Adam simply grabbing him by the throat, elevating him into the air and dropping him face-first on the mat. Diesel gets a tag and hammers The Kid, tosses him clear across the ring, then plants him with a gutwrench suplex.
He shoots Kid to the ropes and clocks him with a big boot, Diesel sending him back in for a side slam, but it’s countered into a headscissors takedown. Savage quickly gets a tag and runs to the top turbuckle for a double axe handle, clobbers Bomb off the apron with a clothesline, catches Schyster coming in with a back elbow, Martel following to be hit with a body slam. Macho Man splits IRS with an atomic drop, he collides into The Model, both men spilling to the outside, Adam sliding in from behind and ambushing Savage. He hammers Macho in the corner with right hands, irish whip across is reversed, Bomb collides with Diesel who has just gotten back to his feet, Savage clearing Adam to the outside with a high knee to the back.
He slams Diesel, goes back upstairs, scores with the Elbow Drop and gets the elimination. Diesel has been eliminated. The Model attacks Macho from behind and chokes him in the corner, irish whip across is reversed, Savage hitting a back body drop off the rebound. He drives Martel head-first into the top turnbuckle, falls backwards to a tag after taking a big right, IRS entering the match. Schyster strikes first off the collar & elbow tie-up, pummels Savage in the corner, shoots him to the ropes for a clothesline, Macho ducking it and hits a crossbody for a 2 count. He flattens IRS with multiple clotheslines, tag to Razor, The Bad Guy working over the shoulder and goes to an armbar. Schyster finds a standing position, Ramon switches to a side headlock, gets pushed away to the ropes, IRS drops down and The Model delivers a cheap shot from the apron.
He tags in and comes off the 2nd rope with a double axe handle, cracks the champion with a backbreaker, then hammers away at the lower back with a knee drop. Bomb re-enters the match, shoots The Bad Guy to the ropes for a back elbow, tags back out and Martel again comes off the 2nd rope with a double axe. Another quick tag, IRS snapmares Razor over, drops an elbow, follows with a leg drop and gains a count of 2. He utilizes a rear chinlock to wear the champion down, Savage tries to come in and help, gets cut-off by the referee and it allows The Model to switch out without a tag. Martel releases it and sends The Bad Guy to the ropes for a back body drop, Razor counters with a big knee lift, The Model tagging IRS and preventing Ramon from making a tag.
The champion battles back, irish whip to the corner is reversed, Schyster charges in and meets a boot to the chin, Macho getting the tag. Savage slingshots into the ring and immediately gets caught with a knee lift, IRS whips him to the ropes for a back body drop, Macho Man avoiding it with a kick, then drives him head-first into the top turnbuckle after a high knee to the back. He drops Schyster throat-first on the top rope, body slams him in the middle of the ring, climbs the corner and Crush makes his way to the aisle. Savage notices him, drops to the floor, his teammates prevent him from going after Crush and he heads into the ring, still focused on the big Hawaiian.
He climbs to the 2nd rope and taunts Crush to come fight, IRS grabs Macho from behind, schoolboy and he gets a 3 count. ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage has been eliminated. Savage sprints to the back, Jannetty taking the ring now, locks up with Schyster and goes to a side headlock. IRS sends him away to the ropes, attempts a hip toss, Marty blocks and hits one of his own, follows with a dropkick and covers for 2. Schyster quickly tags out, The Model drives Jannetty back into the corner and hits a flurry of left hands, buries knees into the abdomen, tag to Adam Bomb and he plants Marty with a back suplex. He chokes him on the top rope, delivers kicks to the ribs in the corner, Martel re-enters and applies an abdominal stretch, using Bomb for extra leverage.
They get caught and the hold is broken, The Model shoots Jannetty to the corner, runs in to deliver a spear, misses and drives his shoulder into the ring post. The Bad Guy tags in as IRS enters, Schyster gets met with with heavy punches, the champion whips him hard back-and-forth into the turnbuckles, grabs him by the neck and plants him with a chokeslam. Ramon says it’s over and sets for the Razor’s Edge, drives IRS into the mat and his night is finished. Irwin R. Schyster has been eliminated. Martel ambushes Razor from behind, pummels him in the corner, the champion turns the tables on his, Adam hits the ring and it causes everyone to join the fray.
The Model shoots The Bad Guy to the ropes for a back body drop, the champion puts on the brakes, picks him up for the Razor’s Edge, IRS taking advantage of the referee being occupied and clocks The Bad Guy with his briefcase. The champion spills to the outside, the official puts on the count and he can’t make it back in. Razor Ramon has been eliminated. The Kid steps in, Wippleman holding a conference with his squad, collar & elbow tie-up with Martel, The Model going to the ribs with a knee for the early advantage. Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, 1-2-3 Kid drops leapfrogs over, drops down, measures The Model for a punch, but Martel cartwheels around him to avoid it.
They tie-up again, Kid with a side headlock, gets shoved to the ropes, The Model leapfrogs over this time, gets caught with a Japanese arm drag and The Kid grabs a wristlock. Martel easily escapes after a forearm shot and tags out, Bomb coming in and swinging wildly with a right hand, Kid ducks it, picks the legs and hits the ropes. Adam tosses him into the air, The Kid countering with a dropkick that sends him to the outside, Kid hitting the ropes again and takes flight with a suicide dive. Bomb catches him in the air and slams him on the floor, throws The Kid back into the ring, climbs to the apron and slingshots in with a clothesline. He whips 1-2-3 Kid hard into the turnbuckles, does it again and follows him in, Kid side-stepping away, uses a schoolboy and gets a near fall.
The Kid using stiff kicks, crawls towards his corner, Adam prevents him from getting there and tags out, The Model dropping an elbow to the lower back, plants 1-2-3 Kid with a gutwrench suplex and gets a count of 2. He shoots him to the ropes, doubles him over with a fist to the breadbasket, Martel to the 2nd rope for a double axe handle, but Kid counters with a punch to the ribs of his own. Marty gets the tag and fires away with right hands, whips The Model to the ropes for a jumping back elbow, sends him back in and goes to the abdomen with a fist, following it up with a knee lift. Jannetty shoots him to the corner, rams him head-first into the top turnbuckle over and over, snapamare into a cover and he gains a 2 count.
The Kid tags in and they send Martel to the ropes for a double back elbow, whip to the corner is reversed, The Model charges in, 1-2-3 Kid hops up and over into a sunset flip and that’s a 3 count. ‘The Model’ Rick Martel has been eliminated. Adam Bomb hits the ring and chases Kid to his corner, Marty tags, drives a shoulder to the abdomen from the apron, slingshots in with a sunset flip and puts it away.
Winners & Sole Survivors: The 1-2-3 Kid & Marty Jannetty
- EA’s Take: Crowd is on fire tonight, especially for this opening contest that was pretty good as far as Survivor Series elimination matches go. This was a pretty good blend of power, speed, technical skills, star power, new and familiar. A nice blend of veterans and up-and-comers like Adam Bomb or The Kid, Savage stepping in for Mr. Perfect who had his comeback attempt derailed by more back issues. Macho was having issues with Crush and served as the “perfect” replacement in his PPV return to the ring after serving as a color commentator on RAW. The only other story line issue here is between Razor & Martel, The Bad Guy having won the IC Title after defeating The Model. Shawn Michaels had been suspended and stripped of the championship, but had returned by this time and claimed to be the rightful title-holder.
Backstage: Todd Pettengill is standing by with Shawn Michaels, The Heartbreak Kid claiming he’s still the Intercontinental Champion because the gold never left his waist. Pettengill shows some footage from earlier today in which Family Feud’s Ray Combs for comments by The Hart Family about their match tonight. Michaels mocks The Harts some more after watching the tape, informs Bret that he’s got a score to settle with him after last year’s Survivor Series. His Knights will easily handle the retired Hart brothers and if Stu sticks his nose in it, Shawn vows to waffle him.
In The Ring: Ray Combs of The Family Feud introduces The Hart Family seated at ringside, then takes a survey about our next match before announces the participants.
Match #2 – Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Shawn Michaels & His Knights (Blue Knight, Red Knight, Black Knight) vs. The Harts (Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart, ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart, Bruce & Keith) w/Stu Hart
Combs joins commentary for the match, Shawn & Owen to start the action, Michaels wants a piece of Bruce, The Rocket tagging out. Collar & elbow tie-up, Shawn gains a side headlock, tags The Red Knight, Bruce sending Michaels off to the ropes. Bruce drops down and Red does the same to avoid a collision, Bruce pushes them into one-another and Shawn has some choice words for Red. Michaels stays in the ring, Bruce backs him into the corner off the tie-up, chops away at the chest, irish whip across is reversed, Shawn doubling him back towards his corner and Bruce levels Red & Blue with a double clothesline to knock them off the apron.
Black grabs Bruce and holds him, Shawn with a head of steam for a high knee, Bruce side-steps it, Black gets drilled instead and Bruce follows with an arm drag to Michaels before making a tag. Keith enters the ring and grabs a wristlock, switches to an armbar, then to a hammerlock. The Heartbreak Kid counters out with one of his own, Keith with a back elbow to escape it, hits the ropes and ducks a clothesline, Shawn ducks for a back body drop, Keith puts on the brakes, sends him back to the ropes for a slam, Michaels slipping out and scoring with a kick. He hooks him for a vertical suplex, Keith counters into a small package for a 2 count, quickly catches Shawn with a drop toe hold and goes back to an armbar.
He switches to a standing wristlock, Michaels uses a body slam to escape and makes a tag, Red taking the ring and attempts an elbow drop, but doesn’t find the mark. Keith quickly goes into an arm drag and another armbar, tag to Owen he works over the shoulder with a wristlock, Red Knight counters into one of his own, The Rocket rolling through to break away, but takes a thumb to the eye. Red shoots him to the ropes, drops down, goes for a hip toss, Owen blocks it and hits one of his own, follows with a Japanese arm drag and a dropkick, Red falling back into his corner and tagging out. Black comes in and runs right into a hip toss, The Rocket with multiple arm drags, staggers to the wrong corner and pays for it, Owen tossing Black back to his own corner and there’s tags on both sides.
Bret steps in with Blue and ties up, Blue rips at the eyes, whips him to the ropes for a kick to the breadbasket, The Hitman catches his foot, spins him around and splits him with an atomic drop. He follows with an inverted atomic drop, hits the ropes and flattens Blue with a clothesline, makes a cover and gets a count of 2. Tag back to Keith, fireman’s carry takes Blue over, he slaps on an armbar, makes a tag, Bruce coming in to maintain the hold. Blue finds his footing and sends Bruce off to the ropes, Shawn sneaks in a cheap shot to the lower back, Blue taking the opening to deliver a body slam, making a tag to Michaels who cracks Bruce with a backbreaker.
The Heartbreak Kid drops multiple elbows to the lower back and tags out, Red comes off the 2nd rope with a double axe to the spine, throws Bruce with a butterfly suplex and gets a near fall. Black tags in and pummels Bruce with right hands, Bruce blocks one and goes into a backslide for a quick 2 count, Shawn quickly getting a tag and puts the boots to Bruce to stop any momentum. Bruce spills to the outside under the bottom rope, Michaels goes out to bring him back to the apron, looks to drive him head-first into the top turnbuckle, Bruce blocking it and returning the favor, but he’s too close to the wrong corner and gets dropped by Red.
The Heartbreak Kid sends him to the ropes for a clothesline, Bruce ducks it, levels Michaels with one of his own, tags on both sides and The Hitman fires away on Black with rights, sends him to the ropes for another to the ribs, then rolls him up for a near fall. He follows with a small package for another quick 2, cracks Black with a backbreaker, comes off the 2nd rope with an elbow drop, hooks the leg and Shawn breaks the count at 2. Tag to Owen, double irish whip to the ropes, The Rocket clocks Black with a spinning heel kick, lateral press and now Blue hits the ring to break it up before the match falls apart with everyone paired off in opposite corners. Four way irish whip, Michaels & His Knights all collide into one another and the ring clears, Owen goes to the top rope, scores with a dropkick to Black, hooks the leg and gets 3. The Black Knight has been eliminated.
Combs shouts out that we have a winner, but of course that’s not the case. Red tries to ambush Owen after the pinfall and gets taken out at the knee, The Rocket targeting the left leg and he makes a tag to Bret for a wishbone. The Hitman keeps on the injured limb, Keith re-enters the match to do more of the same, ties the leg up in the ropes and drives knees to the joint before the ref forces a break. Red uses the opening to score with a big knee lift, tries to reach for a tag, Keith cuts him off, drags him back to the corner and brings Bruce in for more punishment to the knee. Hitman re-enters for another quick wishbone, tag back to Keith who goes back to the leg, Red kicks him away and Keith is sent head-first into the top turnbuckle.
The Red Knight strikes with fists and headbutts, snapmares him over for a knee drop and misses the target, Keith immediately locking on a figure four. Shawn steps in to break it up which baits in Bruce, the official is distracted, Blue Knight switching out without a tag and he pounds Keith with clubbing blows and chops. Keith turns the tables and fires away, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Red trips Keith up as he hits the ropes, Michaels slingshots in with a diving headbutt to the shoulder and Blue follows with a leg drop on the arm. He goes to work on the shoulder joint with elbows and locks in an armbar, The Heartbreak Kid tags in, drops a double axe to the arm off the top, drives Keith’s shoulder into the top turnbuckle multiple times, then wraps it around the ropes and makes a tag.
Red re-enters and keeps on the left arm, pulls Keith under the bottom rope in the corner, drives the shoulder into the ring post and climbs back inside. He positions Keith under the bottom rope and catapults him throat-first into it, Blue gets a tag, drops another leg on the left arm, plants him with a hammerlock body slam, drops another leg and tags out. Shawn goes back upstairs, Blue launches him into a splash, Keith rolls away to avoid it, Bret gets the tag and Michaels quickly tags right out. Red steps in and is met by stinging right hands, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Red Knight attempts to leapfrog over, Hitman catches him, drops him flat on his back and slaps on the Sharpshooter for the elimination. The Red Knight has been eliminated.
The Blue Knight steps right in and levels Bret before he even releases the Sharpshooter, puts the boots to The Hitman and then dumps him on the outside. Keith comes around ringside to check on him, the official hops out to get Keith back to his corner, Michaels taking the opportunity to drop a double axe on Bret from the apron and throw him back inside. Blue plants Hitman with a vertical suplex for a count of 2, drops an elbow for a quick 1, then drives Bret face-first into Shawn’s boot before tagging him. The Heartbreak Kid whips Bret hard into the turnbuckles, drives knees to the lower spine, hooks the leg and gains another 2 count. Irish whip back to the ropes and Michaels connects with a jumping back elbow for another 2, grounds The Hitman with a rear chinlock, the ref checking the arm, but Bret is able to keep it up on the third attempt.
Hitman works to a vertical base, hits the ropes, Shawn goes to the breadbasket with a knee, tag to Blue and he drops a headbutt to the lower abdomen for a near fall. Blue Knight backs Bret into the corner and drives shoulders to the ribs, shoots him across and charges in, The Hitman gets the boots up, hops to the 2nd rope for a clothesline and he crawls to a tag. The Rocket springs in and fires away with fists, scores with a dropkick, puts Blue in the corner and climbs to the 2nd rope for a barrage of punches, then plants him with a body slam. Owen comes off the 2nd rope with an elbow drop and makes a cover, Michaels hits the ring to break it up, Bruce comes in to meet him with heavy rights, then teams up with Owen for a double noggin knocker.
He shoots Shawn at The Rocket, Shawn with a baseball slide under Owen’s legs to duck to the outside, turns around and Stu clocks him with a left. Owen slingshots over the top with a crossbody and rolls Michaels back in, whips him into a collision with Blue, goes up top for a crossbody, Shawn ducking it, but The Rocket hits Blue into a cover. The Heartbreak Kid tries to break it up with an elbow drop, misses Owen and hits his partner, Bruce & Owen with a double clothesline to dispose of Michaels, The Rocket locks a Sharpshooter on Blue Knight and he gives. The Blue Knight has been eliminated.
Shawn is left all by himself now, Michaels looks to take a walk and gets cut-off by Bret, Hitman throws him back in the ring, and Owens splits him with an atomic drop. The Heartbreak Kid staggers into the wrong corner and meets a succession of fists, Bruce re-enters and drops multiple knees for a count of 2, sends Shawn to the corner, charges in and runs into a back elbow. Michaels uses a blatant choke, drills Bruce with a superkick, hooks the leg and only gets 2. He whips Bruce to the ropes for a back body drop, Bruce puts on the brakes and counters with a kick, tag to Bret and he steps in for an inverted atomic drop.
He whips Shawn hard into the turnbuckles, catapults him back into the buckles, drops an elbow, lateral press and a near fall. The Hitman plants him with a side russian leg sweep for another 2, looks for a backbreaker, Michaels rips at the eyes to avoid it, Owen tags himself in, sends The Heartbreak Kid to the ropes and tosses him with a belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall. Another whip to the ropes is reversed, Michaels drops down, Owen collides with Bret on the apron and sends him flying into the barricade, Shawn takes advantage of the distraction, schoolboy on The Rocket and a count of 3. ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart has been eliminated.
Bruce & Keith are on the floor checking on Bret, meanwhile Owen is losing his temper in the ring, Heenan tosses Shawn a bottle of water and The Heartbreak Kid gets a brief recoup. Bruce slides into the ring and meets him with right hands, flattens Michaels with a clothesline and gains a 2 count. He shoots Shawn in and locks in a sleeper hold, The Heartbreak Kid pulls Bruce into the top turnbuckle to break the hold, Bruce tries to use a side headlock, gets pushed away to the ropes, both guys colliding heads and dropping to the mat. Bruce reaches a tag, Keith whips Shawn to the ropes for an abdominal stretch, Michaels powers out with a hip toss, Keith now reaching a tag to The Hitman.
Bret comes in and pummels The Heartbreak Kid with punches, shoots him into the corner and turns him inside-out, sends him back across, Michaels landing planked across the top turnbuckle. Bret with kicks to the abdomen, Shawn gets crotched on the top rope, Hitman sweeps the legs for the Sharpshooter, Michaels ducks out under the bottom rope and runs to the back, getting counted out.
Winners & Sole Survivors: Bruce Hart, Keith Hart & Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart
- After The Bell: Owen comes back out to seemingly join in on the celebration, shoves Bret and an argument ensues. The Rocket is still hot about the way he was eliminated, Bruce & Keith attempt to reason with him, but Owen won’t hear it and he’s left in the ring to celebrate alone to a chorus of boos. Todd Pettengill catches up with Owen for a word as he makes his exit, but Owen doesn’t want to talk.
- EA’s Take: A painfully long match that was never the scheduled or planned contest from the beginning. Shawn Michaels was inserted into this rivalry as a placeholder for Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler after The King was caught under some legal issues. Hence the “Knight” gimmick, which makes a little more sense knowing The King was supposed to be the team captain. Bruce & Keith were pretty boring in the ring to be honest, but thankfully Bobby Heenan’s Hart Family zingers kept me interested throughout. The Blue Knight was played by Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine, The Red Knight was Barry Horowitz and Black was a man named Jeff Gaylord that never really gained any notoriety. This match would mark the beginning of Owen’s famed heel turn, an angle that truly helped him make a mark on the industry, however he’d give an alignment with Bret one last shot at the Royal Rumble.
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.