On episode 25 of NWA-TNA, Vince Russo’s reign continues. The New Church faces the Harris Brothers. BG James is confronted over his defection. Ron Killings looks for revenge, and the questions about Jarrett’s loyalties persist.
Recap of last week with the highlights of Piper and Russo’s promos that won’t set you teeth on edge.
Jason Cross vs Tony Mamaluke: Jason Cross looks like Styles’ younger brother. Neither Mamaluke or Cross get much of a pop. Apparently, Cross has a really cool finisher: A Shooting Star Leg drop that I actually want to see. Despite what happened last week, Athena still has a lot of fans in the crowd.
This is a pretty average match. Cross is definitely a high-flyer and, unlike a lot of the X-Division, he’s not making a lot of botches, at least not yet.
Cross and Styles could be a tag team, they have very similar styles. Cross’s finisher is VERY impressive, but for reasons that escape me, Mamaluke gets the submission win after everyone has been talking about Cross’ finisher.
After that, BG James shows up with the Harris Twins. James has Jarrett’s guitar, which he warns Tenay and West to guard with their lives. I wonder if James remembers that this is Nashville, there’s a guitar store on every street, practically. Anyway, the twins beat up poor Mamaluke and Cross, while James rants on the mic. Russo isn’t here tonight because he’s scouting for more members to join SEX, which about what you’d expect for a faction run by Russo to be called. James gives Russo credit for coming up with DX and swears that this is good for business.
Bob Armstrong comes out and lets his wayward son have it for joining Russo and spitting over family tradition. Added to this drama is Ron Killings, who comes out with a chain draped around him like a boa constrictor. Apparently, Killings and BG have a match involving a chain and a chair tonight.
However, Bob isn’t done. Showing no fear, he tells the Harrises that he’d love to beat the hell out of them, but they’ve got a match against the New Church and they’ll be fired if they try to get out of it. Ron Harris replies that he doesn’t really care, but the titles need to be on the line, which Armstrong agrees to. At that, the New Church comes out and starts cleaning out. Security and the locker room break it up, or tries to, but NWO this ain’t.
Jarrett’s been a busy bee, according Tenay, who gushes over how Jarrett’s been defending the NWA title in the indys against guys like Sting, which sounds really cool.
Backstage, we find the intrepid Goldylocks with Jorge Estrada, who isn’t in a good mood. The Flying Elvises are not only no longer a team, but it seems like Estrada’ been abandoned by everyone. Siaki turned on them, Yang’s in Japan most of the time, and isn’t returning his calls, and then, his precious Priscilla left with Brian Lawler a few weeks ago.
Goldy asks if the Flying Elvises are dead, but Estrada seems genuinely upset by the defection of his friends and girlfriend and doesn’t answer.
Jorge Estrada vs Kid Kash: Well, Estrada is still a true believer in the Elvises, or they haven’t come up with his new gimmick yet, he’s still wearing the jumpsuit.
This was pretty average for Estrada, which isn’t good. He noticeably whiffed a kick to Kash’s face. Kash doesn’t seem to be in a good mood, which doesn’t improve with Estrada botching a rope-assisted moonsault that nearly knocked him out and may have hurt Kash’s ankle. It’s telling that, despite Estrada being the nominal babyface, Kash was getting a better reaction from the crowd.
Kash gets the win with a brainbuster, but he seems genuinely pissed off, and I don’t really blame him.
Backstage, Goldy’s with Bob and Scott Armstrong, but neither man wants to talk. Bob’s on the phone, but walks away when Goldy tries to ask a question.
America’s Most Wanted vs Divine Storm (with Trinity): AMW get a great pop. Divine Strom gets an okay pop, but AMW are the clear favorites.
This match was interesting. Usually AMW play the endangered babyfaces, no matter how big their opponents are, but that didn’t happen in this match. AMW may be faces, but they played up their size and strength advantage over Divine Storm, who looked very small next to AMW. One big highlight was James Storm hitting a hurricanrana on one member of Divine Storm. Another was the AMW version of Poetry in Motion…over the top rope, and, of course, Trinity got involved with her moonsault.
Divine Storm would pick up the surprising win after Trinity hit a low blow on Storm that ref somehow didn’t spot. AMW are furious, but the cheap win builds Divine Storm while not hurting AMW.
Backstage, Scott Armstrong is confronting BG, who is smoking, to give an idea of how long ago this was. Scott’s playing the concerned brother, trying to remind BG that they’re family and the Armstrongs, not Russo, have helped BG every step of the way. BG counters by saying that he’s made his own way in the wrestling business, not because he had help from anyone. This is basically a mash up of various old WWE storylines from the Attitude Era and these guys aren’t the ones to make it work.
We get a recap of Styles attacking Amazing Red last week before the big X-Division Double Elimination match.
AJ Styles (with Mortimer Plumtree) vs Amazing Red: Red gets the jump on Styles but it legit looks like a little kid trying to beat up his big brother. The crowd seems to be behind Red and he takes it to Styles, much to Styles’ shock. Styles manages to get the upper hand, but it’s clear Red’s assault took him out of his game a little.
This match was really good. Not quite as good as their X-Division Championship match, but still good nonetheless. Red’s really developing as a performer, and working with guys like Styles, Kash, and Lynn seems to be helping him out a lot.
Plumtree, of course, did his best to help Styles win, but Red would pull out the win with a superhurricanrana and the good sense to go for a quick pin.
NWA-TNA Tag Team Championship: New Church (with James Mitchell and Bella Donna) vs Harris Brothers: Champs come out first, which is odd. Harris Brothers come through the crowd like the Hall/Nash wannabes they are.
I wish I could say that this match was better in viewing than it was on paper, but that would be a lie. At BEST, this was a lukewarm ‘Okay’ match. At worst, it was just a mess. The Harris Brothers were never great technical wrestlers, but age and maybe some bad decisions have decreased their skills. New Church are okay, but their styles are too similar to the Harrises to really work.
The Harris Brothers actually won the match after BG James took out Slash with a chair. But then, Percy Pringle, aka Paul Bearer, who is supposed to be aligned with the Harris brothers and SEX, tells the ref what happened and gets the decision overturned.
Not surprisingly, the Harris Brothers are angry, and everyone else is confused. Mitchell tries to calm the waters by suggesting that the Harrises go after Pringle for messing with the match, even though Mitchell’s team benefitted from Pringle’s interference. Talk about ungrateful.
Thankfully, Pringle is saved by AMW who come in with chairs aswingin’ and convince the heels to go to the back.
There’s a recap of the Siaki/Lynn feud and a pre-taped interview with Tenay and Siaki. Siaki doesn’t care about Lynn’s complaints about the lack of respect. As far as Sonny Siaki is concerned, Jerry Lynn is old news and Sonny Siaki is the future. Unfortunately, Siaki is still too much of a Rock ripoff.
X-Division Championship Match: Jerry Lynn vs Sonny Siaki: This is supposed to be seen as a big fight, but it’s been so long since these two have actively feuded that it feels flat to me.
This was an okay match, but it definitely didn’t feel like a big fight. Siaki has no real personality or charisma and the match just feels like they’re going through the motions.
To everyone’s shock, Sonny Siaki would pull out the victory and become the NEW X-Division Championship after an assist from a mystery woman who pulled Lynn’s leg off the top turnbuckle. Siaki celebrates, but if this was supposed to be his ascension, it didn’t work.
Chairs and Chains Match – Ron Killings vs BG James: Well, it’s time for the weekly trainwreck match. That sounds harsh but TNA usually has at least one match that is a total mess and my money is on it being this one.
The logistics of this match are simple: Both men are chain together and there is a steel chair attached to the chain, so either man can use it on the other.
The match lost its purpose when the chain came off of Killings’ wrist. Also, this match was not nearly as good as it seemed on paper.
Afterwards, Killings wanted to get some more revenge on James, but Bob Armstrong, still a devoted father, DOVE into the ring and tried to stop his son’s trip to the woodshed. Truth actually was about to respect the old gentleman’s wishes when James tried to hit him with a chair. Killings moved and James tapped his father with the chair, though Armstrong sold it like James had absolutely knocked him out. In shock, James hit Killings anyway and then stood over his fallen dad like he couldn’t believe what had just happened, though he made no effort to check on his dad.
Before the big title match, we see a pre-taped interview with Jeff Jarrett and Mike Tenay. Jarrett’s happy to talk about what the NWA Championship means to him and how he’s always dreamed of being NWA Champion. Tenay brings up Sean Waltman’s refusal to work due to the employment of Vince Russo. Jarrett’s opinion is that since Russo doesn’t sign the checks, Waltman has no reason to not show up. Jarrett says that it’s cowardly and that it proves Waltman’s heart isn’t in it if he’s refusing to come in.
As for the comments about Owen Hart’s tragic death, Jarrett refuses to talk about it on a wrestling program, but says it was no one’s fault, including Vince Russo’s. Jarrett’s not happy about Piper’s comments, but no one knew Piper was coming and you get what you get. Finally, Tenay asks the $64k question: What is Jeff Jarrett’s answer to Vince Russo? Jarrett still refuses to answer, other than saying he’ll give his answer to Russo’s face in due time.
NWA Championship Match – Jeff Jarrett vs Curt Hennig: Here we go again. Another effort by Jeff Jarrett to help Curt Hennig recapture his Mr. Perfect magic.
Like previous attempts to recapture the Perfect magic, this match was hampered by the fact that Curt Hennig was two years, several injuries, and a lot of personal problems removed from Mr. Perfect and could not go the way he used to, not that he and Jarrett didn’t try.
It looked like Hennig might pull this out after Scott Armstrong was knocked out and Hennig countered the Stroke with a low blow, but Russo ran in and TRIED to break Jarrett’s guitar on Hennig’s back but either the guitar was tougher than believed or Russo didn’t hit hard enough, but the guitar didn’t break. Jarrett retained and still has a slightly dented guitar to play a song on.
Russo hands the title to Jarrett and the questions still hang in the air. Russo and Jarrett get into it but then AJ Styles jumps Jarrett. I’m guessing that Russo got tired of waiting for an answer and that’s where the show ended.
Overall Comments: So, how was episode 25? Not bad. This was actually a decent show. The lack of Russo and the fact that it seems like Jerry Jarrett was doing the writing, really improved the show.
The whole S.E.X thing is just bad. It’s basically a mashup of a lot of Attitude Era stories from WWF and WCW and put on guys that aren’t really talented enough to carry them.
I’m not sold on Siaki being champion, I think it’s more of Lynn having injury problems because Siaki is just boring.
The Jason Cross thing was annoying. What take the trouble to hype the guy and his super cool finisher and then have him lose in his debut match to Tony Mamluke?
Overall, this was a good show. Hopefully, Jerry Jarrett will keep control of the writing and Russo will stay an on-screen figure only.