The next installment of Tiffany MC’s weekly Classic IMPACT!
We open with a recap of the ending of last week’s episode, but with some after show footage of Killings and Russo getting into a fight and the Harris Brothers breaking it up. While this was going on, Russo was still demanding an answer from Jarrett and Jarrett wasn’t saying anything.
After that, we hear some very familiar bagpipes and after a few minutes, the Hot Rod comes out with a young man I’m ASSUMING is his son because I have no other explanation for why this kid is here.
Piper got on the mic to cut a promo, but because the promo was so long, I’m not going to go through the whole thing here. Piper UNLOADED on Russo, saying that the NWA was the only thing Russo hadn’t killed. He said Russo was a ‘hump’ (I’m assuming he meant ‘hunk’, but you never know) of 300lbs that failed to become a wrestler and became a sport entertainer, but never had any talent, though the fact that Piper himself made a VERY good living being a sports entertainer should be pointed out. He said that Russo was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and would kill the dreams of all the young guys in the locker room. He then says he’s there to challenge Russo.
He also plugs his book, which is part of the reason he was in Nashville to start with, saying it was about a boy and his dreams. In his usual, controversial style, Piper accused Russo of all the sins in the calendar, including being the Osama Bin Laden of wrestling (YES, he said that a year after 9/11) and of killing Owen Hart, who Piper claimed to be related to (he’s not to the best of my understanding). He then, without naming names, trashed some of Russo’s ideas in WWE.
Piper then calls out Russo, who tries to pull one over, but this is Roddy Piper we’re talking about and that didn’t work. In what can best be described as a drunken rant, Piper asked Russo, who he had just PUBLICLY accused of killing Owen Hart, if he killed Owen Hart, and asked how he’d bankrupted WCW so fast. I guess Piper didn’t get the memo that WCW was having financial troubles before Russo got there.
To his credit, Russo tried to defend himself, but Piper is DEFINITELY drunk, and is a loud and stubborn drunk at that. Finally, the Harris boys come out to try and save this mess and at least get Russo out of the ring. This was NOT a great start to the show. After that mess was over, we were given an update on the Lynn/Siaki X-Division title match that was randomly announced last week: It will NOT be happening this week because Jerry Lynn is injured again.
Spanish Announce Team vs Divine Storm (with Trinity): Maximos get a good pop. Apparently, SAT and Divine Storm trained together in Brooklyn. To add some more pressure to this, the winners get a shot at the Tag Team Champions, the New Church.
How’d it go? Well…the start was something to be seen rather than described. Honestly, these guys didn’t give the appearance of people who trained together, unless they all had very short-term memories. The match was awkward, especially for the Maximos. It actually looked like two teams that were still in training. Divine Storm got the win with a big assist from Trinity, so they will be fed…er, working with the New Church for the Tag Team Championship.
Harris comes out to a great pop. The whole point to the singles matches Harris and Storm will be having against the New Church is to have a chance to get their hands on James Mitchell.
Russo interrupts, claiming that he doesn’t have an issue with Harris. He then berates Piper for the opening segment and tells him that he’s going to hell for bringing up Owen Hart’s death. He also berates the TNA fans for supporting the NWA, an organization that he claims doesn’t care about them because it’s run by old men. Showing that he has no real understanding that the fans know full well what his ‘accomplishments’ are and that’s why they’re jeering, he claims the fans don’t know what they want.
To prove just why the fans are right to jeer, Russo calls attention to the Athena signs in the crowd. It turns out that Athena is the girl who takes the wrestlers’ gear to the back for them and she is very loved by the crowd. Russo calls her into the ring and proceeds to insult, bully, and degrade Athena, to the outrage of the crowd. When Athena, rightly, slaps the shit out of him, Russo has the Harris brothers, who aren’t happy with their treatment by the NWA, attack Athena, who can’t defend herself.
Backstage, an enraged Bob Armstrong let the Harris twins have it. He reminds them that the NWA, not Vince Russo, is paying them. He also points out that he gave them shots, despite neither of them being good wrestlers and that all Russo’s going to give them is a joy ride. The Harrises aren’t listening and call Armstrong’s warning ‘Bullshit’.
At ringside, an enraged Chris Harris is also calling ‘Bullshit’ on what just happened, but he’s saying it Tenay and West. Tenay will only say that this is what happens when Russo is around and he’s not happy.
Chris Harris vs Brian Lee (with New Church): Well, we finally got to see this match. The match starts off in a brawl, but that was about the highlight of the match. Lee might bear a resemblance to Undertaker, but he’s not nearly as good of a wrestler as the Dead Man. Harris would pull out the win with a spear, so AMW is one match away from getting their hands on James Mitchell.
Backstage, Goldy finds Ron Killings talking to a subtly pleased Bob Armstrong. Killings wants Russo’s ass for robbing him of the NWA Title. Armstrong is very understanding but tells him that he has to deal with the Harris twins first, by tagging with Jeff Jarrett.
James Storm vs Slash (with New Church): Round two of this starts with a sneak attack by Slash. Sensing that the Church was in trouble. Mitchell, Lee, and Bella Donna all did their part to try and help Slash win, but Storm was more determined. That said, this was a much better match than the previous one. Slash is definitely the breakout star of the New Church.
I will say that Bella Donna finally seems to be getting the hang of being a valet and getting her timing right, which is nice to see. She doesn’t seem to be very evil, compared with other members of the Church, more like a lost soul that’s being exploited by Mitchell. In the end, Storm would get the win, with an assist from Harris and the Death Sentence, when the New Church’s antics backfired on them. So James Mitchell will face America’s Most Wanted in a bullrope match.
Tenay and West go over the rules of the Bullrope match: Storm, Harris, and Mitchell will be joined at the wrist and there will be a STEEL cowbell in this somewhere.
In the locker room, Bob Armstrong is trying fire up Jeff Jarrett and Ron Killings, but Jarrett still isn’t saying anything. Jarrett still hasn’t responded to anyone’s question about his loyalty, though Killings getting in his face probably didn’t help.
Double Elimination Match: EZ Money vs Kid Kash vs AJ Styles vs Joel Maximo: Styles is determined to get back to the title match, because he takes out Joel Maximo before the match officially starts. The match pretty good. It had it’s slow spots, but Styles and Kash were easily the highlights of the match. However, to everyone’s surprise, EZ Money pulled out the win with a pin on Joel Maximo, with an assist from AJ Styles.
We get word through Tenay that Jarrett and Killings WILL team up against the Harris Twins later in the show.
Backstage, Goldy is with Sonny Siaki and she’s not happy about it. Siaki is looking like LL Cool J. Goldy tries to be a good sport and wishes Siaki luck, despite the fact that she looked like she wanted to gag rather than say anything nice to him.
Siaki seems to have dropped the speaking in the third person thing, thank heavens. He doesn’t need Goldy’s well-wishes, he’s waited a long time for this match and it doesn’t really matter when his match with Lynn happens because he’s going to walk away with the gold. I applaud them for letting Siaki try and be himself, but it seems a little too late.
Tenay introduces Jerry Lynn, who explains that he’s got a partially torn pectoral muscle, but he WILL be competing next week against Sonny Siaki. The segment is interrupted by the Harris twins bringing out a table and putting Bill Behrens, the boring as beige NWA official, on it. Lynn tries to save Behrens’ bacon, but ends up being powerbombed THROUGH Behrens and the table. Ron Killings runs out to make the save, but suffers a pretty nasty beat down for his troubles.
Backstage, Goldy finds Bob Armstrong and BG James. Armstrong is pleading with James to put aside his issues with Jarrett and team up to face the Harris twins. James finally agrees and addresses Armstrong as ‘Dad’ for the first time since he’s appeared on TNA.
Bullrope Match – AMW vs Bella Donna: James Mitchell comes out and claims that he can’t compete because he has double pneumonia, though that claim falls a little flat all things considered. He then offers up Bella Donna instead, which AMW are less than impressed with.
Unfortunately, Slash and Lee get the jump on AMW, softening them up for Mitchell to get in some eye gouges and shots with the cowbell. Mitchell then offers to let Bella Donna finish things up, but AMW pull her off the top rope in a spot that looked really awful for Bella’s knee, and set her up for the Catatonic and Eight Second Ride. Still not satisfied, but not wanting to take their frustrations out on the helpless Bella Donna, AMW leave her in the ring and go after Mitchell, who runs for his life.
Tenay shows us a pre-show interview he did with Curt Hennig, who still seems to believe that it’s 1991 and he’s still the best wrestler in the world. In his mind, he’s the better option to carry TNA than Jeff Jarrett, who has nearly broken his back trying to carry Hennig on several occasions. As for Russo, Hennig says that Russo gave him a chance in WCW, but put the belt on David Arquette, which is all that needs to be said to explain why Vince Russo should never be allowed around professional wrestling. Hennig is still bragging about taking down Lesnar, but that still hasn’t been confirmed by any reliable, or sober, witness.
In present time, BG James is found out cold under some metal chairs. Looks like Jarrett’s going to have to deal with the Harrises and Russo on his own.
Harris Brothers vs BG James and Jeff Jarrett: Remember Bash at the Beach 1996 when there was genuine interest and suspense about the NWO and the third man? Remember the shock when it turned out that Hulk Hogan, still one of the biggest stars in wrestling, had turned on the fans?
This was not that match. Jarrett did a good job, but the Harris twins were a load to carry on his own. Ron Killings, limping, and with taped ribs, came to the rescue, letting Jarrett beat the Harrises with a Stroke.
However, the real shock came AFTER the match. Ron Killings still wanted Russo, but suffered another severe beatdown as Russo came in from the crowd. BG James came from the back an appeared to be helping Killings, just before he laid him out with a chairshot, to the crowd’s fury. Then, just to add surrealism to this mess, Percy Pringle, aka, Paul Bearer is on the ramp as Russo, James, and the Harrises celebrate and that’s where the show ends.
Overall Comments: I don’t have much to say about this show other than there were okay matches and an awful story. I didn’t watch much of WCW as a kid, so I didn’t see the real affects of Vince Russo’s ‘writing’ until later and it’s easy to see why his ideas took off in the Attitude Era because he gave the mostly male wrestling demographic what they wanted.
However, watching it back now, and I’ve said this before: It is clear that Russo has a serious problem with women and takes any opportunity to try and humiliate and degrade them and the fact that many people still wish Russo was writing for WWE shows that people either don’t remember how badly the women were treated or they don’t care.
I will say that I was happy to hear the Nashville crowd letting Russo know what they thought of him and it wasn’t friendly.
The whole plotline about Jarrett’s loyalties was so blatantly ripped off from the original NWO storyline, I’m surprised Vince didn’t sue, plus it was just awful. What made the NWO work were the original three guys involved. It’s another example of Russo thinking you can just plug anyone into a storyline or a character type and it’ll work and the audience will buy it, not thinking that 1. The NWO storyline, with all the twists and turns, only ended a couple of years before and fans remember it very vividly. And 2. All three guys were top stars in their primes. BG James and the Harris Twins were past their primes, and Paul Bearer’s glory days of being a manager were largely behind him, not a great formula for rebooting the NWO.
The Piper thing was another storyline from the NWO years, but it was in awful taste and not a great showing for Piper, who came across as an angry drunk using the death of a friend to sell a book.
I didn’t enjoy this episode and I hope this isn’t the precursor to worse things down the road.