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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 25 (12/11/2002)

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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.


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classic: Andrew’s 2019 AEW Double or Nothing Ratings & Analysis

Take a look back at AEW’s first PPV effort, the 2019 Double Or Nothing in Andrew’s Retro Ratings and Analysis!

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AEW Double Or Nothing 2019AEW Double Or Nothing 2019

Take a look back at AEW’s first PPV effort, the 2019 Double Or Nothing in Andrew’s Retro Ratings and Analysis!

With AEW Double Or Nothing–the 2022 edition–on the horizon, enjoy this trip down memory lane as Andrew Balaz reviewed the inaugural Las Vegas AEW pay-per-view…spectacular?

Well this is history boys and girls. Good, bad or indifferent, it’s the first show of the IWC’s favorite t-shirt company. What becomes of Hangman since he’s injured and PAC cancelled? What surprises will we get?

We all sit here with bated breath. Some want it to fail, many want it to succeed. Me? I just want it to not suck.

Let’s see what we got!

Ratings:

  • Casino Battle Royal: Hangman Page wins @10:45 – **
  • Sammy Guevara vs Kip Sabian: Sabian wins Argentine Facebuster @9:55 – ***
  • So Cal Uncensored vs Strong Hearts: SCU wins via Best Meltzer Ever @14:00 – *** 1/2
  • Britt Baker vs Nyla Rose vs Kylie Rae vs Awesome Kong: Britt Bakers wins via Kneecap Brainbuster @11:05 – ***
  • Best Friends vs Angelico & Jack Evans: Best Friends win via Strong Zero @12:55 – ** 1/2
  • Riho, Hikaru Shida &  Ryo Mizunami vs Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki & Emi Sakura: Hikaru wins via Three Count @13:10 – *** 1/4
  • Dustin Rhodes vs Cody Rhodes: Cody wins via Crossroads @22:35 – *****
  • AAA Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (c) vs Lucha Brothers: Bucks retain via Meltzer Driver @25:00 – *****
  • Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho: Jericho wins via Judas Effect @23:50 – **** 1/4

Analysis:

This was definitely a mess. A few spots, a bunch of messy spots and just generally awkward moments. Flying Brian Jr had a few decent spots, Luchasaurus looked good and Orange Cassidy is awful. Hangman being the 21st entrant made a lot of sense, but probably already upset a few people since it wasn’t CM Punk or Jon Moxley. Of course Page won. He can fight with a bum leg, cause he has three of them. So yeah, not an awful match, but it had a lot of issues.

Sabian looked tremendous in this match. Guevara definitely did too much. Shooting Star onto Sabian draped over the outside barricade, a bad double Moonsault and standing Shoot Star hurt the match a little. But Sabian’s technically proficient, charismatic and can hang in the air a bit too. So Sabian was the star here. Solid match.

Well now, this was great. Strong Hearts trio pulled off some great fluid offense and SCU did fantastic. This was just a great match, I can’t really accurately describe more than great match. Best Meltzer Ever is a little dumb when it comes to names, but damn was this a good match.

So Brandi comes out in her gear to swerve us that she’s adding herself to the match, but instead she adds Awesome Kong! So the Triple Threat turns into a Fatal 4 Way and it’s not bad. A lot of the early portion is focused on taking out Kong, then Nyla becomes the target. Britt and Kylie are the ones left in the ring after the collateral damage. Kylie looks to be firing up for a finish, but Britt catches her in a Kneecap Brainbuster (Adam Cole’s Last Shot in ROH).

Excessive spots, excessive near falls, I knew to expect it to a degree with these four, but that doesn’t make it better. This was definitely an ‘Indie style” match, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. There was a lights out attack on both teams from…some team, with masked minions. The “Who Are You” chant kicks up and commentary doesn’t lend any information. So that’s really not helpful.

Everyone got their stuff in, we got to see a lot of personality from the different women and the action was solid. I also appreciated Emi Sakura trying to rally momentum doing We Will Rock You stomps (since she was dressed as Freddy Mercury). Save for the big mess up with the bell ringer calling the end of the match when the referee obviously held up 2 and said 2, just messed up the flow and gave away the finish since Hikaru’s music played. Not bad, just the ending did kind of take the air out of a pretty good match.

Wow. Dustin and Cody brought it, Dustin bladed pretty deep, I think even Dusty would’ve blushed. New moves from Dustin like the Misawa style Apron Senton, a Code Red and a few classics. The blood, the desire to keep fighting, this was everything wrestling should be. It made sense for Cody to win the match of course, but wow after the match was a beautiful moment. Also call of the night might have to go to Excalibur when Cody hit a Pump Kick aka Bicycle Kick and you hear him say something like ” He hit him with a BICYCLE”.  In a huge homage to Dustin and Dusty’s Heart to Heart promo, Cody tells Dustin he can’t retire, because he needs a partner. He doesn’t just need a partner, he needs his big brother. This was a great way cap off such a hard hitting personal match. Wow.

Belt reveal with a few extra curricular and Bret Hart. Much like Bret Hart, the belt doesn’t do anything for me. It looks a lot like Big Gold, but it’s so ostentatious it’s hard to love it. Just too shimmery or whatever. It’s not bad, but I in no way love the belt.

I’m very happy there was the unveiling ceremony between the Rhodes match and this one. Cause this was a great match and moving it out too quick could’ve hurt the crowd immersion. Great tandem moves, a decent thread of the ring rust playing a part against the Young Bucks early on and just generally great spots. There definitely was a lot of stuff, big spots and it was “spot monkey” style, but it all worked. The Lucha Brothers pulled out crazy moves to try and get the AAA belts back and the Bucks were trying to prove they still had it with most of the year off. Just really really good.

Well now Jericho and Omega pick back up where they left off. Referee Paul Turner allows for a lot of out of the ring shenanigans. Jericho busts Omega open, tries to use a table as a shield, but Omega still throws himself at Jericho.Jericho focuses on Omega’s face with the Triangle Dropkick, a Lionsault went high and this was pretty damn solid. A few missteps and Jericho not countering the first One Winged Angel was car crash worthy, but aside from that, this was nice. Multiple Codebreakers followed by the new Judas Effect, leave Omega laying for the 1, 2, 3.

Jericho says AEW is for him not for fans, and he deserves a thank you. When the crowd pops, Jericho thinks it’s for him, but Jon Moxley makes his debut through the crowd! Almost as if it were a reference to Lex Luger showing up on the first Nitro, it looks like Jericho basically says “You don’t work here”. Dirty Deeds to Jericho, Dirty Deeds to referee Paul Turner and Omega manages a burst of energy to brawl for a little bit. They end up on the poker chips, Moxley hits Dirty Deeds and then just dumps him off, onto some other stage item.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

Well damn, I was skeptical since All In didn’t rate as highly for me as other fans, but this was great. Aside from a few personal gripes, and not really enjoying the cluster that was the Battle Royal, this was one of the better shows of the year thus far. Good surprises like Awesome Kong, Bret Hart and Jon Moxley. Jericho winning the main event breaks up The Elite getting the clean sweep, so that shows it’s not as predictable as All In.

Oh and yes, I can’t express how good the Rhodes match was. The match itself, the story it told, the promo after, everything was just beautiful. That is my number 1 match of the year personally, cause it was just too damn poignant.

Good job AEW. Great show, and the symbolic moment where Cody used the sledgehammer to break the replica throne Triple H used for his WrestleMania 22 entrance. It was awesome.


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock from WWE Backlash 1999

Ahead of WrestleMania Backlash, Chris King takes a stroll back to WWE Backlash 1999 as Stone Cold Steve Austin defends his WWE Championship against The Rock. 

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WWE Backlash 1999 Steve Austin The Rock

Ahead of WrestleMania Backlash, Chris King takes a stroll back to WWE Backlash 1999 as Stone Cold Steve Austin defends his WWE Championship against The Rock.

Let’s set the scene for a minute, you’ve got “The Texas Rattlesnake” and Corporate Rock going one-on-one at WrestleMania XV. Austin wins the championship and the McMahon family is livid. Stone Cold wants his Smoking Skull Championship belt back, and Vince and Shane McMahon are trying to keep it from him by hook or by crook.

Damn, things were different during the Attitude Era, The Rock threw Stone Cold over a bridge and held a funeral for his rival. The storytelling was captivating and exciting, and it kept you guessing what would happen next. Keep in mind this match was conclusively built around a championship belt, something that would never work in the current product.

It was a high-octane no disqualification match with Shane as the special guest referee for their latest encounter. Austin began the match running straight into the ring for a brawl which spilled out all over the arena.  I miss how exciting these two superstars were. Rock hit a vicious Rock Bottom through the Spanish announce table and then got on commentary to talk some smack.

The arrogant challenger took the camera to talk trash while Austin laid on the other announce table, and ate a Stunner through the table. Man, the WWE Universe was on fire throughout the entire match. I feel like both superstars can’t put on a bad match because they have such strong in-ring chemistry.

The finish of the match came when Austin had Rock set up for the three-count but Shane refused to count. Vince came down and struck Shane with the Smoking Skull belt. Austin hit another Stunner and decked the challenger with the belt for the victory. Vince then tossed his rival his precious Smoking Skull Championship.


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