The next installment of Tiffany MC’s weekly NWA-TNA Chairshot Classics!
On this episode of NWA-TNA (check out last week’s), it’s all come down to this: Jeff Jarrett has his date with destiny when he takes on Ron Killings for the NWA Championship, but a familiar face could call everything into question. AMW looks for revenge against the New Church, the Lawler/April situation takes several bizarre turns, and Jerry Lynn defends the X-Division Championship against Amazing Red. How’d they do? Let’s find out.
The show starts with Tenay and West give us a quick run-down of the card, and topping it off is the NWA World Heavyweight Championship match between Ron Killings and Jeff Jarrett.
In a pre-show interview, Tenay talked to Champion Ron Killings. Jeff Jarrett was also offered a chance for an interview, but he’d declined, stating that he needed to focus on his title match. Tenay tells us that he never heard back from Mr. Wrestling III about the open contract.
Ron Killings says that he’s not worried about Mr. Wrestling anymore. He’s been watching Jeff Jarrett over the past few months and knows that Jarrett’s passion was for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, but Killings has that same passion. Being NWA Champion has justified everything Killings has been through in his career.
Killings says that their match is about who has the most passion for that title. Who wants it more badly, and who’s willing to go the furthest to get it.
Comment: Another great interview for Killings. I still wish they’d showed more of this Killings instead of the wild-eyed lunatic.
Divine Storm (with Trinity) vs EZ Money and Sonny Siaki: Divine Storm come out first and they look like budge Maximo Brothers, and Trinity looks like a typical wrestling valet for 2002. EZ Money and Siaki are out next. Someone must’ve told Money that his pants looked stupid, because he ditched them for trunks after his introduction. Siaki looks thrilled, as always.
The match started with Divine Storm getting the upper-hand, but the match went outside and everyone go into the act, including Trinity, who hits an okay moonsault on everyone. Back in the ring, Siaki is doing his best to keep this match together, but it was tough when the other three people in the ring are mediocre at best. Siaki would get the win for his team with his Money Clip move and Divine Storm retreat to lick their wounds. EZ Money, who did alright in the match, wanted to pose, but Siaki just wanted out of there.
Winner: EZ Money and Sonny Siaki.
Comment: Generic is the best way to describe this match. Siaki looked bored.
James Mitchell and Bella Donna, who looks sleep-deprived and high at the same time come out. Mitchell gets on the mic and talks about how the upcoming NWA Championship match is all anyone wants to talk about. The New Church isn’t satisfied with being Tag Team Champs. He’ll only be satisfied when one of his minions is World Heavyweight Champion. While he was talking, Bella Donna was feeling herself up and then leaning on Mitchell. It was creepy but not in a cool way.
Malice (with James Mitchell and Bella Donna) vs Kory Williams: After all that, Malice comes out to face Kory Williams, who didn’t get an entrance, and is wearing a Matadores mask. The match was quick. Malice didn’t even take his vest off. The one…highlight was when Malice went to do a move off the top rope, and slipped off, falling FLAT on his face. That flub didn’t stop Malice from getting the pin. After his victory, he beats Williams up some more, as if it’s Williams’ fault he flopped.
Winner: Malice by pinfall.
Comment: Bleh. Malice falling on his face was the only good part.
Tag Team Tournament Final – Spanish Announce Team vs Harris Brothers: The winner of this match faces the winner of the New Church/America’s Most Wanted match later in the show. This pairing seems like a joke, though I’m a little worried that the joke is on the viewer.
Despite being outsized by the Harris Brothers, the Maximos showed no fear, getting the jump on the Harrises. The Harrises definitely had the edge as far as experience, but the Maximos were a lot younger and quicker. That didn’t stop the Harrises from trying to keep up, namely Don doing a big man’s version of the slingshot plancha onto the Maximos. The Harrises’ experience advantage would be the deciding factor in the match and getting the pin on the Maximos after an H-Bomb.
Winner: The Harris Brothers by pinfall.
Comment: Eh match. Neither team really seemed like a threat to New Church.
Backstage, Goldylocks is talking to April. Goldy starts with the question we all want to know: What the hell was April thinking showering (and presumably having sex) with Bruce?
April is upset by the accusation, pleading innocence. She claimed that it was a production trick to make her look bad. Goldy isn’t buying this and says that April makes her sick.
April begins to ‘cry’, basically making sobbing sounds, which doesn’t work on Goldy. Bruce, clad in his Miss TNA regalia, comes up and comforts April, while Goldy rolls her eyes in disgust. Bruce claims to be gay and that the whole situation was a production trick. Goldy comments that he’s as gay as Ralph Nader, which I didn’t totally get, but anyway.
At this point, Lenny marches up and claims that Bruce is a phony gay man, and is actually straight as an arrow. Lenny then claims that since Bruce is straight, he can’t be Miss TNA and Lenny wants the crown and sash.
Bruce refuses and a slap fight commences. To add further ‘WTF?’ to this situation, Brian Lawler run in and starts beating up Bruce, with Lenny’s help.
BG James vs Lenny Lane: James comes out and does his usual schtick, but gets interrupted by Lenny, who has his own entrance music. James isn’t impressed by this, or Lenny, and gets back on the mic, claiming that the following match won’t be a gay bashing, but that he will beat up a f****t (yes, he said that, AND the audience cheered).
After that charming introduction, Lenny keeps stalling, but finally locks up. During a somewhat awkward series of standing switches, Lenny came up with an…innovative counter: Rub his ass against James’ crotch, which broke the hold, and earned Lenny a punch. After that, James wrestled a little more gingerly, as though he was afraid that Lenny’s…gayness was contagious.
Thankfully, an enraged Bruce interrupts this ongoing trainwreck and attacks Lenny, which James finds very funny. Brian Lawler comes out and attacks Bruce, while April screams and cries outside the ring. For some reason, even though the ref SAW Bruce attack Lenny, James is able to get a pinfall victory on Lenny. Outside the ring, Goldylocks comes to April’s rescue, giving her a hug and leading her backstage by the hand, while Brian Lawler loses his shit in the ring.
Winner: BG James, but everyone lost.
Comment: Who let Russo have the pen back?!
Jorge Estrada (with Priscilla) vs AJ Styles (with Mortimer Plumtree) vs Crimson Dragon: Everyone comes out with their respective managers, Dragon comes out in really RED clothes and a generic white mask.
There’s no hiding the fact that this match was boring. Estrada is a mediocre wrestler at best, as was the Crimson Dragon. Styles looked bored and was having to limit himself to cover for his opponents and that barely kept this match from being a mess. It would take an elevated Styles Clash on Estrada through Dragon for Styles to get the pinfall. He’ll meet the winner of Jerry Lynn/Amazing Red next week.
Winner: AJ Styles by pinfall.
Comment: Styles looked so bored, it wasn’t funny.
Backstage, Goldylocks was with America’s Most Wanted. Goldy wants to know if there is a plan. Harris was in a bad mood and says that their plan is to beat the hell out of James Mitchell. What they want is to get their respect and belts back.
Storm says that he learned a long time ago that you kill a snake by cutting off the head. He warns Bella Donna that if she jumps on his back again, she’ll go on an eight second ride and Storm won’t be sorry.
NWA Tag Team Championship Match – New Church (with James Mitchell and Bella Donna) vs America’s Most Wanted: There’s a guy in the audience with a sign saying ‘Who the Hell is Athena?’ and I love him for it.
The match starts out on the floor in a brawl. We find out that Brian Lee is no longer ‘Primetime’, he’s now ‘Bulldozer’ Brian Lee, which doesn’t sound nearly scary enough for the New Church. The match was the usual brutal slugfest for these two teams. Harris tries twice to get a sunset flip on Malice, but Malice is too big. Mitchell and Bella Donna don’t do a whole lot, though Bella Donna still doesn’t seem to know what’s going on.
Getting frustrated by AMW’s refusal to lose, Lee gets the spike, but Storm blocks him with a kick. Storm then gets the spike and tries to use it. Bella Donna jumps on his back and gets thrown. Storm again tries to use the spike and gets DQ’d. Bella Donna, not realizing that the match was over, gets on Storm’s back again and goes for an Eight Second Ride. AMW is PISSED at this point and attacks everyone, including the ref. Now bereft of protectors, James Mitchell runs for his life before Security runs in and promptly gets the snot knocked out of them by AMW.
Winner: New Church by DQ
Comment: Not an awful match, much to my surprise.
In another pre-show interview, Tenay interviews Amazing Red. Red is clearly nervous about talking on camera, but comes across as very humble and eager. He talks about his childhood and what inspired him to get into wrestling, which was Hulk Hogan, Rey Mysterio, and watching cruiserweights. He also says that he respects Jerry Lynn, loves the X-Division and would love to win the belt. It was a good interview but the answers were stock answers and we didn’t see much of Red’s personality.
As for the X-Division Champion, he was doing an interview with Goldylocks, who says that she was looking forward to his match with Amazing Red. Lynn’s in a good mood and replies that he’s looking forward to this match too because Red reminds him of himself when he was younger. Red’s doing things right and Lynn is happy to do this match with him. It was a good interview, but Lynn seemed a little cocky.
X-Division Championship Match – Jerry Lynn vs Amazing Red: The match got off to an awkward start and stayed that way. Lynn and Red are both really good competitors, but they just couldn’t seem to mesh and it made the match hard to get into. Give the devils their dues, Lynn and Red really tried to put on a match that lived up to expectations, but it just didn’t come together.
Lynn would get the pinfall after a piledriver off the middle turnbuckle. Afterwards, Lynn helped Red to his feet and shook his hand.
Winner: Jerry Lynn by pinfall.
Comment: This match had a lot of potential, but Lynn and Red just couldn’t seem to get it together, which is sad because they both tried.
It’s go time.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Ron Killings vs Jeff Jarrett: This match might be at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, but it has a big fight feel worthy of Madison Square Garden, all that’s missing is the annoying guy that WCW used to introduce important title matches.
The match starts out with a lot of jockeying for position, but Killings doesn’t seem to be taking this very seriously. Jarrett gets control, but takes his eye off the prize briefly to do his signature Strut. Killings would turn the momentum around by hitting a low blow that Scott Armstrong would’ve had to have been blind to not see.
Killings hits the figure four, but Jarrett’s a master of that move and was ble to counter it. After Scott Armstrong got hit, but not badly enough to be KO’d, Killings took advantage of the distraction to get a chair, which backfired when Jarrett used it on Killings. However, Killings wasn’t daunted and actually countered the Stroke
The match goes out to the floor, then out into the crowd, but neither man is counted out. Somewhere in the brawl, Jarrett gets busted open, which shows nicely on his hair. Though he fights back, even coming back from being on the receiving end of a VERY elevated leg drop from Killings. Back in the ring, Killings accidentally takes out Scott Armstrong, but gets himself KO’d by ramming his head into Jarrett’s by accident.
During the melee, Mr. Wrestling III shows up and gets into the ring. He has the guitar and seems poised to use it on Killings, but hesitates, before turning to Jarrett, who has his back turned. Once Jarrett is on his feet, sort of, but before he turns around, Mr. Wrestling El Kabongs Killings with the guitar, knocking him out. Mr. Wrestling then clears out of the ring, letting Jarrett to get the pin.
Jeff Jarrett is the NEW NWA World Heavyweight Champion! The Boyhood Dream has come true! Jarrett is ecstatic, as is the crowd, even with the crazy finish. As he celebrates, Mr. Wrestling comes back into the ring and lets Jarrett see him as he applauds. He then reveals himself to be Vince Russo, the man who is widely, and somewhat justifiably, blamed for the destruction of WCW.
The crowd is STUNNED. Tenay shouts out ‘Oh, shit, it’s Vince Russo!’, which is as good a reaction as any. No one is more stunned than Jarrett, who has achieved a dream, but who knows what Russo’s going to want in return.
Overall Comments: So, how was Episode 22 of NWA-TNA? Well, it was definitely a mixed bag. The first hour was an absolute trainwreck. Mediocre matches that didn’t do anyone any good and the whole thing with Rainbow Express/Lawler/April/Goldy thing wasn’t just a ‘Who booked this crap?’ moment, but a ‘Who the hell let this air on TV?!’ It was like the first hour was Russo’s and the second hour was Jerry Jarrett’s.
Jeff Jarrett is FINALLY the World Heavyweight Champion. I give TNA props for how they built Jarrett up so that the audience WANTED him to become champion. It was very much like how they built Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin but letting Jeff be Jeff. My only regret was that it took so much time and two lukewarm reigns for us to get there.
I cannot ABIDE Vince Russo, but the swerve of him being Mr. Wrestling III was perfect. Jarrett and Russo were cronies in WCW before it imploded, so to see them on opposite sides will be interesting to watch.
Something has to be done with the X-Division. It’s getting stale with only a few really top guys and the rest being mediocre at best. Styles looked bored to death wrestling Estrada and Crimson Dragon.
Lynn/Red would’ve been a great match if they had just gotten it together.
The feud between New Church and AMW is fantastic. I’m not sure the upcoming match between the Harris Brothers and New Church will be as good, but we’ll see.