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.
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: WCW Bash At The Beach 1994 – Hulk’s WCW Debut!
Our weekly Chairshot Classics WCW PPV series continues with Bash At The Beach ’94!
Open: World’s collide as an unimaginable match will take place between Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan!
Match #1 for the WCW World Television Championship: Johnny B. Badd vs. WCW World Television Champion Lord Steven Regal w/Sir William
The crowd is on Regal immediately. Badd reaches in and Regal backs off. Collar and elbow, Badd with position in the corner and he’s backed off by the referee. Another tie up, Regal grabs the wrist, Badd rolls out and counters with a wristlock of his own. Regal rolls and monkeyflips the challenger. Side headlock by Regal, position in the corner and it’s broken up. Badd takes control as USA chants ring from the crowd. Regal counters with a single leg trip and grabs some time in the corner.
A determined Badd grabs a side headlock, but it’s quickly countered with a single leg by Regal. He tries to hold the Badd man on the mat, but Johnny won’t give. Regal with a monkey flip into a pin, but Badd uses the momentum to roll him up instead, the champ kicking at 2. Collar and elbow tie up, side headlock by Regal, they hit the ropes, Badd leap frogs and hits a Mexican arm drag takeover. Regal with a single leg pick up but Badd flips him across the ring. Collar and elbow, they jockey and Regal hangs on to a side headlock. To the ropes they go, shoulder block by Regal. On the comeback, Badd hits an armdrag. He grabs the wrist but Regal scores some forearms.
Badd hits the ropes, Regal grabs his boot but Badd hammerlocks him down to the mat. The champ rolls to the floor and the fans hate it. He feigns to the back, prompting more booing. Back in the ring, Regal takes control with European uppercuts and a snapmare takedown. Badd counters into a hammerlock, but Regal is able to break it in the corner. They tease position, and it’s Regal with more uppercuts. Badd blocks a vertical suplex into a wristlock but he’s rocked with forearms and a headbutt. Knees to face from Regal followed by a dropkick. Badd fights back with a fireman’s carry takeover and grabs the arm on the mat.
Regal gets to his feet, but Badd cranks the wrist hard. Regal fights away with forearms but he won’t give up the wrist. He lifts Regal for leverage, but Lord Steven is able to score a big right kick. Irish whip, Regal stops short of the turnbuckle but Badd is on target with a dropkick. Into the ropes and it’s a flying head scissor by Badd, following with a huge hip toss. He sends Regal for a high elevation back drop. Badd calls for the Kiss That Don’t Miss and he clocks Regal with it, the champ smartly rolls out, Badd isn’t letting up and comes over the top rope with a crossbody. He rolls Regal back in and focuses on Sir William.
He is back to the apron, flies in with a sunset flip, William offers Regal his cane to hang on to, Nick Patrick notices it and kicks it away, Regal tumbles over but kicks out at 2. Regal somersaults out of the position and rolls Badd up with plenty of leverage, he gets 3 and retains the title.
Winner and STILL WCW World Television Champion: Lord Steven Regal (Roll-Up)
- After The Bell: Badd is frustrated, he flings Sir William into the ring and offers him a back body drop.
- EA’s Take: I’m not crazy about the finish, seeing as Badd was in control at the time. I can’t imagine how annoying it is to wrestle amid all of the glitter from Johnny’s pop guns, but there’s no denying the man is really hitting his strides in terms of character and in the ring, although the in-ring part you’d never know it by this match since he was across the squared circle from one of the best to ever do it.
In The Ring: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund introduces Japan’s premiere superstar, Antonio Inoki. On behalf of WCW, for his contributions to professional wrestling, Inoki is presented with a plaque of recognition. Lord Steven Regal returns to the ring, offended that this man from overseas receives respect, but he doesn’t get any. Inoki is lucky he’s retired or he’d have to teach him a lesson. Antonio takes his jacket off and Regal and Sir William retreat.
Match #2: Vader w/Harley Race vs. The Guardian Angel
Jesse Ventura has joined commentary in place of Bobby Heenan for this bout. Angel throws Race out of the ring and Vader blindsides him. He throws Angel to the ropes and hits a spin kick. He approaches with a clothesline, Angel counters into a belly to back suplex. He throws some rights and removes Vader’s head gear. Powerful body slam by Angel. He rushes the former World Champion with a clothesline and Vader rolls to the floor. Angel gives chase and throws some forearms. Race gets involved and he’s clocked, but it gives Vader an opportunity to make a comeback. Angel is prone on the outside, Race teases a boot to the head but the ref catches him.
He crawls back in and is immediately assaulted in the corner. Angel fights back toe to tie and finally gets the upperhand. Vader reverses an Irish whip and knocks him down with a body shot. Vader from the second rope, he tries a sunset flip but Angel sits down on his chest. Standing clothesline rocks Angel, Vader from behind locks in a calf crusher submission. He maneuvers into a crossface submission, he rolls Angel over and only gets two. Angel fights back from his knees but Vader returns the favor of the bodyslam. From the 2nd rope he scores with a Vader Bomb. Race asks for one more, this time he goes all the way up top for a moonsault, but he hurts himself on the landing. Both men are down, Race climbs up to the top rope but Angel presses him down.
He clotheslines Vader over the top rope and dumps Race out through the middle. He slides to the floor and tags both men. Vader climbs to the apron and Angel hits a vertical suplex. To the ropes, Angel hits a shoulder block that backs Vader into the referee, knocking him out for a short time. Race hands Vader Angel’s old nightstick, but The Guardian pounds him down with right forearms. He grabs the nightstick away just in time for the referee to see it. The official assumes Angel used the foreign object and calls for the bell.
Winner: Vader (Disqualification)
- EA’s Take: The Boss is no more. As you remember, at Spring Stampede, he was stripped of his Boss gimmick (due to a lawsuit by the WWF because of it’s striking similarities to his Big Boss Man gimmick), hence the finish with the nightstick. Harley Race’s partnership with Vader is among my favorite manager/wrestler combinations. I often wonder had Harley not taken a fall in the coming year and been at his side when he made the jump to the WWF, maybe things could have gone differently there. Probably not, but maybe.
Match #3: ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes & ‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson vs. Terry Funk & Bunkhouse Buck w/Col. Robert Parker & Meng
Buck will start things out with Anderson. They lock up and quickly release, Funk taunts Double A from the corner. Buck wants a piece of Rhodes, he gets his wish and The Natural pummels him. Rhodes wastes no time to knock an interfering Funk to the floor. He nails him with rights on the apron and Funk falls to the floor. In the ring, Funk and Rhodes tie up, Funk takes control with some chops and a forearm. Scoop slam from Funk, to the ropes and Funk hits a shoulder block. On the comeback, it’s Rhodes with a scoop slam.
Buck rushes in and he gets the same treatment. Without the referee’s attention, Dustin tosses both men over the top rope and Parker is incensed. Funk is slow to return, they tie up, Funk with a waistlock and Rhodes reverses into an atomic drop. He gives one to Buck while he’s at it. Funk takes some rights in the corner, a snapmare and a big elbow. Funk catches him with a belly to back suplex but can’t find his partner. He manages to tag in Buck who puts the boot to Rhodes’ head. They hit the ropes and Rhodes misses a crossbody, rolls out of the ring and takes a nasty spill on the steps. Funk gives him some abuse on the outside and The Enforcer checks in.
The ref’s attention is tied and Funk does some more dirty work before rolling him in to Buck. Knees to the small of the back by Bunkhouse Buck and he sits down with a front facelock. Terry Funk grabs a chair and sits it at ringside. Buck plants Rhodes with a scoop slam, puts the boot to his head and locks in an abdominal stretch. Funk is tagged in and he sits down with a reverse neck breaker. Terry lifts Rhodes and sits down with a piledriver, Anderson makes the save. Dustin goes down with a shoulder block, Funk staggers to his corner to make the tag. Big boot to the jaw by Buck and he sends Rhodes into the buckle. He applies a front facelock and holds him on the mat.
Anderson asks for some crowd help as a tag is made to Funk. They double team Rhodes with forearms, Rhodes fights his way out of the corner hitting a few bionic elbows. He whips Buck into Funk and elevates Funk for a back body drop. He gives another one to Buck and bashes both men’s heads together. Buck is clotheslined over the top rope, he sends Funk for a big clothesline. He attempts a pin but Buck has climbed to the top rope, Rhodes sits him down for a low blow. Rhodes throws Buck on top of Funk and then gives a distracting Parker a big right. A tag is finally made to Anderson, he’s fired up but immediately turns to plant Rhodes with a DDT. The ref was distracted by Meng on the apron, but turns to see Funk covering Rhodes after Anderson pulled him on top.
Winners: Terry Funk & Bunkhouse Buck (Anderson DDT)
- After The Bell: All 3 men assault The Natural, Anderson putting the knee to Rhodes’ forearm. Security finally breaks it up. ‘Mean’ Gene tries to get a word with Arn Anderson to figure out what just happened, but The Enforcer says they’re going to party. Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan grab a quick word with Hank Aaron. They ask ‘The Home Run King’ for his thoughts about the main event, he’s unsure who will win but he’s rooting for both Flair and Hogan.
- EA’s Take: We’ve got a heel heavy show so far in terms of winners. Kind of funny that the most bad ass guy out there was ringside instead of competing, but hello Meng! Very interesting turn of events here. I was thinking to myself: “Why hasn’t Anderson been tagged in at all? Rhodes has worked the entire match”. Oh, THAT’S why!
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene is joined by WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair & Sensuous Sherri. The champ laughs about what just happened to Dustin Rhodes. What’s he gonna do when Double A runs wild on him? Gene discusses the biggest match of his life tonight, Flair knows that it’s standing room only with a lot of big shots, and that’s just the way they like it. Sherri reminds Hogan that he’s the challenger with a failing career, Flair has nothing to prove. To be the man, you have to beat the man.
Match #4 for the WCW United States Championship: Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. WCW United States Champion ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin
Austin blindsides Steamboat with forearms and some knee to knee contact. The Dragon fights back with some chops. They exchange strikes but Austin really works on the knee, he tries a submission but Steamboat kicks him into the ring post. From the top rope, Steamboat walks across and chops the arm. Hammerlock scoop slam by Steamboat. Austin takes position in the corner, Steamboat with some chops but Austin gets the big boot up. He heads for the top but Steamboat dropkicks him, tying him up on the top rope.
Steamboat heads to the floor to pound on the vulnerable Austin. Stunning Steve bounces back into the ring, Steamboat scores with a spin kick and an arm drag. Steamboat with an armbar, they spin for position and Steamboat chops him down. He hangs onto the wrist and puts his knee to Austin’s ribs. They run the ropes, Austin leapfrogs twice but tries baiting Steamboat by saying his knee gave out. The Dragon isn’t buying it and mauls him with kicks. Austin is drop kicked out of the ring, still playing possum about his knee as he calls timeout. He pulls Steamboat out to the floor and delivers chops and rights. Steamboat fights back and chases him all the way around the ring. They roll in and hit the ropes hard, Steamboat leaps on Austin’s back for a sleeper.
He pushes Austin into the turnbuckle and can’t pin him with a schoolboy. Steamboat moves into an armbar and cranks away at it. Austin kicks back with a low blow to break it up. Stunning Steve with a standing clothesline but is still reeling about his arm. Belly to back suplex by Austin, he sends Steamboat with a back elbow but The Dragon won’t stay down. It takes two more shots before Steamboat stumbles out of the ring. From the apron, the champ lifts Steamboat for a vertical suplex but he’s slow to cover. Steve hooks him, Steamboat backflips out of a suplex, grabs hold of Austin’s neck and throws him down for a 2 count. Austin is sent for the ride and receives an armdrag, hanging on with an armbar.
Steamboat drives his knee into Austin’s shoulder. To the ropes, Austin is caught out of the air from an attempted Thesz Press and Steamboat bridges for another 2 count. Scoop slam by Steamboat and he still can’t get him. From the ropes, Austin picks Steamboat up for a big slam and both men are slow to get up. Austin rubs Steamboat’s face into the mat and heads to the middle turnbuckle. A big knee rocks the back of Steamboat’s head. He measures Steamboat for a big elbow and lays in some shots in the corner. Steamboat pushes him away and dares him to do it again. Austin wears down the dazed challenger, Steamboat finally able to land a shot back. He takes Austin down with a double leg pick up and catapults him into the turnbuckle.
Austin staggers back and Steamboat flips him over for a pin, the champ able to just kick out. Austin is up quick and takes Steamboat down with a clothesline. They stagger to their feet and Austin buries a shoulder into Steamboat’s midsection. To the ropes, Austin lifts him for a back drop and follows it with a swinging neck breaker. He’s slow to cover and Steamboat kicks out. Reverse chin lock from a standing position by Austin, Steamboat doesn’t have enough to make it to his feet and Austin drives him head first into the mat. He tries multiple pins but Steamboat keeps getting his shoulder up. The Dragon bridges, Austin tries driving him down but Steamboat gets his knees up. He pursues Austin but is kicked away.
Stunning Steve chokes him on the middle rope and hits a bronco buster. He taunts the lifeless Steamboat to the camera. Austin charges him, but the tables are turned when Steamboat hits the Stun Gun. They roll to the apron and exchange fire until Steamboat is tossed into the railing. Ricky strikes back by throwing Austin into the railing, the champ rolls into the ring and Steamboat lands a chop from the top rope. He lays in 10 rights as the fans count. Austin is sent for a back body drop, Steamboat follows it with a clothesline and a chop, Austin kicks out at two. Stunning Steve changes momentum by going to the eyes, he tries to dump Steamboat over the top rope but The Dragon hangs on.
He flips back in, Austin charges with a clothesline, Steamboat ducks and fights back with chops. Austin tries a desperation back drop but Steamboat hangs on again. Steamboat tries a variety of pinning combination but Austin stays alive. Multiple reversals for a piledriver, Steamboat wins the battle. Steamboat heads for the top rope, Austin attempts to throw the referee in front of him. Steamboat begs Randy Anderson not to call for a disqualification and he tackles Austin to the mat. To the ropes, Steamboat ducks clotheslines and lands a crossbody. Stunning Steve uses the momentum to roll all the way over. Steamboat kicks out at two, so Austin puts his legs on the ropes for leverage and scores the cheap win on the second attempt.
Winner and STILL WCW United States Champion: ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin (Crossbody Reversal)
- EA’s Take: Just a solid, back-and-forth match between two guys who know what they’re doing here. The theme of the heels winning continues. Also, that Thesz Press reversal did not look comfortable in the least.