December 18, 2002
Your hosts are Don West and Mike Tenay
They run down the show as Tenay talks about the 53 year history of the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. They show video of Jarrett defending the belt all around the world as well as Jeremy Borash interviewing Jarrett. I assume this was an attempt to put over the importance of the belt but it didn’t really work here and the production values of the piece were terrible.
The camera’s cut out back as Goldylocks tries to interview Hennig in the parking lot. He blows her off and heads to the ring. As she was trying to talk to him, you could hear the echo and it was annoying. Hennig goes into the ring and yanks the mic from Borash. He is pissed at Russo for costing him the title last week. He then says that he ran out of beer on the bus but he has Brock Lesnar buying him some more at the liquor store. Jesus Christ, let it go Curt. He says he will use his body to tie Russo up in a knot. He then uses mouse terminology to describe Russo, who he also refers to as “just a fan.” Russo then appears from the crowd, flanked by the Harris Brothers. Curt chases after them but gets jumped by Low Ki, Christopher Daniels, and Elix Skipper. They beat on Hennig as BG James steals the headset from West and pretends to be Jim Ross on commentary, using his signature lines and screaming “Stone Cold Wins” repeatedly. The Harris Brothers cut down the TNA banners as Russo welcomes Hennig to Sports Entertainment Extreme. Security runs in and protects Hennig. Russo jumps on the announcers table and screams in the face of Tenay. Ki yells at Hennig then says “screw the gauntlet” before taking off in the crowd as Tenay and West try to piece together why the X Division guys, who were billed before the show as taking part in the X Division Gauntlet match, aligned with Russo. Decent segment to put over SEX and the addition of the new guys at least gives them some fresh blood.
The camera shows the TNA Dancer as Tenay and West are trying to regain composure. They then show Goldylocks backstage with Bob Armstrong. AJ Styles walks by and Armstrong says he is not welcome in the NWA lockeroom. AJ says he never stated that he was aligned with Russo and did his talking in the ring, like Bob has advocated in the past. AJ says he will be all over Jarrett until he gets a shot at his title. Another solid segment, putting over AJ as a heavyweight championship contender. Being that AJ has clearly been the breakout star of TNA, he should be in the title mix.
10-Man X Division Gauntlet for the Gold
The rules for this are a man enters every 90 seconds and the last two left will have a singles match to determine a winner. Eliminations occur only by pinfall or submission. #1 is Jason Cross and #2 is the Amazing Red. West doesn’t waste any time declaring is love for Red. The camera cuts to the locker room as Jarrett is beating the piss out of AJ Styles, with Mortimer Plumtree in the background pleading for him to stop. Handshake to start and Tenay tells us that Low Ki, Daniels, and Skipper have withdrawn from the gauntlet and will be replaced by the SAT’s and Ace Steel. Talk about a drop in quality. These two engage in a typical, fast-paced X division trade off sequence. Red gets his Red Star Press and clotheslines Cross to the floor. #3 is Tony Mamaluke and he immediately goes after Red. He hits a DDT then a shinbreaker on Cross. He puts him in the Sicilian Crab but Cross reaches the ropes. Mamaluke puts the move back on then breaks. He clotheslines Red then hits a jawbreaker on Cross. #4 is Jimmy Rave and he goes after Mamaluke. Red goes after Rave and they engage in a sloppy sequence ending with Rave hitting a facebuster as Red went for the Infrared. Mamaluke knocks Cross to the floor but Rave rolls him up for two. Cross and Red brawl on the floor as Mamaluke beats on Rave. #5 is Shark Boy and he assists with the Tower of Doom spot on Mamaluke and Rave. He hits Cross with a neckbreaker and the crowd is into Shark Boy. Top rope bulldog on Rave gets two as Plumtree joins the announcers table, stating how there is a problem in TNA and that AJ is not returning his calls. The camera goes split screen as not much is happening. #6 is Kid Kash and he goes after everyone in the ring. He catches Shark Boy with a powerslam, getting two. #7 is Ace Steel and he nails Rave with a missile dropkick. Way too much going on here. Rave rolls up Mamaluke for the first elimination. Shark Boy then eliminates Rave with the DSD and Kash eliminates him with the brainbuster. #8 is Jose Maximo and he hits a crossbody on Kash for two. #9 is Joel Maximo and everyone is on the floor slugging it out. Plumtree finally storms off after declaring tha the X Division is his life. The Maximos and Red brawl with Steel for a bit then Kash hits Red with a chair as #10 is David Young. He flattens Red with a sitout powerbomb then hits the SAT with a back suplex. Young looks good as he is destroying everyone until he nearly kills himself when he overshoots a quebrada onto Steel and the SAT’s. Steel then tries to kill himself with a double springboard plancha. Cross hits a tremendous twisting somersault plancha and Red almost tops that with a running flip dive before Kash finishes this car wreck spot off with a double springboard somersault plancha. In the ring, Kash hits Young with a missile dropkick for two. Kash hits a Rana and a tornado DDT for two. Kash shoves the ref as the camera shows the brawling outside of the ring. More brawling takes place as we see Kash crashing into the guardrail. In the ring, the SAT’s hits a double team DDT on Young and Red gets the Infrared for the elimination. Steel reverses a superplex by Jose into a tornado DDT for the pin. Joel then rolls up Steel for the elimination. Kash clotheslines Joel for two. Kash counters a running powerbomb from Joel into a rana for the elimination. Red and Kash double team Cross before fighting each other. They do some nice stuff and Red kills him with an enziguiri but Kash is able to reach the ropes on the pin attempt. Red climbs up top but Kash runs up and delivers a super powerslam. Cross breaks up that pin attempt as West is dumbfounded by that. Say what you want about West but he always called out illogical spots and brought up past shows. Cross hits a super rana on Kash, who then gets hit with a swinging DDT for the elimination, leaving Cross and Red as the last two participants. Cross hits a brainbuster then hits the Crossfire (just barely) for the win (22:09) **3/4.
Thoughts: Long match that was dull in the middle but it came together nicely at the end. It featured some nice moves too. Cross winning was fine, always good to see a young guy with talent get a chance, but why the hell did he lose to Mamaluke last week if he was going to win this match. I would have loved to see Ki, Daniels, and Skipper here though. The match quality, which was fine without them, would have been improved.
Tenay says he has just received word that Bob Armstrong will add Jerry Lynn to the X Division title match between Siaki and EZ Money, because Armstrong felt he got screwed last week. Also, New Church vs. Harris Brothers vs. America’s Most Wanted will take place tonight.
Russo and SEX enter the ring. Russo says he has one question on his mind. That question is that thousands of people tune into PPV to laugh at the TNA product and crowd, stating that New Yorkers find this funny. Whatever, New Yorkers probably find Russo funny as well. He says he could make a million bucks if he was a dentist here in Nashville. He introduces Low Ki, stating that NWA was not booking him because he wouldn’t commit to a 52-week schedule. Ki alledgedly called Russo, who says that SEX is his home. He introduces Daniels, saying he read about him on the internet for two years and that NWA wouldn’t use him because the plane ticket from California cost too much. Russo says he will buy him a plane. Skipper is introduced and Russo says he has a soft spot for him as for some reason the camera zooms in on his abs. Is Bill Behrens on camera duty tonight? Skipper says TNA wouldn’t offer him enough money and Russo says he will get him paid and laid twice a day. Russo then tells a “fat wench” in the crowd that she needs to get laid herself. He turns to BG James and tells him he will kick his dad’s ass. Finally, he turns to the Harris Brothers and doesn’t want to be let down. He then tells Jarrett to bring his “hillbilly, hick ass” out to the ring as Jarrett’s music hits. Russo demands an answer as Jarrett enters the ring. He tells Russo that he has sat back for three weeks listening to him run his mouth but now it is his turn to listen. He tells us who Vince Russo really is, a magazine writer who has no business in the ring. He says that Russo disrespects the business because he hates it and he tells stories of the past. Jarrett says in 1993, Vince was happy like a boy to interview him. Jarrett says that he protected him from Shawn Michaels, telling Harris and James that they were fully aware of this. He says in WCW, Goldberg and Scott Steiner wanted to kick his ass but he still protected Vince. Jarrett runs down his own “Sport Entertainment” moments, beating up old women and celebrities, sounding shameful that he engaged in these events. Jarrett tells Russo he disrespected everything he stood for by attacking his father then says if it wasn’t for Professional Wrestling, he would still be in New York selling televisions. Russo then asks him where his balls are and he is now a daddy’s boy. Russo says the wrestlers in the back have no respect for him and he is a laughing stock but he can change that. He asks Jarrett if he is with him or without him and Jarrett reveals he never was with him or will ever be with him then attacks SEX before fleeing the ring. He grabs a chair from the crowd and takes out everyone with a chair until SEX catches up and stomps him. Tenay pleads for help as everyone hits their finishers on Jarrett. Finally, security runs out and SEX clears the ring. Russo arrogantly lays across the announcers table and drinks a bottle of water before dumping it over the table. I didn’t mind the beginning of the segment, it re-introduced Daniels, Ki, and Skipper and gave some insight as to why they have been away from TNA, but the Jarrett/Russo part just went over everyone’s heads. Plus, no one cares about the Russo/Jarrett relationship in 1993 WWF.
New Church w/James Mitchell & Belladonna vs. America’s Most Wanted vs. Harris Brothers
Slash attacks Storm to start. Storm comes back with a somersault senton but gets hits with the Eye of the Hurricane, which is broken up by Don. The camera shows Percy Pringle, looking fatter than ever, sitting on the ramp. Seriously, he looks to have gained a 100 lbs since leaving the WWE. Storm hits a Russian Leg Sweep and tags out. AMW gets the atomic drop/superkick combo on Slash but Ron breaks up that pin attempt. Slash comes back with a clothesline and tags Lee. Big boot gets two from Lee. Suplex gets two. Press slam from Lee and he chokes out Chris against the ropes. Chris comes back with a Thesz Press and a clothesline. Crossbody block gets two and Storm tags. They double team the New Church but get clotheslined down by the Harris Brothers. Everyone then brawls outside of the ring and its difficult to keep track of what is going on as the camera switches focus constantly. Chris and Don go at it in the ring then AMW beat on the Harris Brothers until the tables are turned. They hit a double chokeslam then the H Bomb on Wildcat. Belladonna (and her beautiful ass) jump on the apron as does James Mitchell. Athena then runs into the ring and hits Ron with a low blow. The Road Warriors then run into the ring and clean house, to the fans delight. Doomsday Device on Slash and they take out Ron. The leave the ring and Wildcat climbs on top of Ron for the win (7:37) *.
Thoughts: Match wasn’t much at all but this was designed to introduce the Road Warriors into TNA. The crowd went nuts when they appeared so the segment worked. Speaking of the match, AMW continues to shine and Slash can work but the rest was basic brawling.
Goldylocks tries to catch up with the Road Warriors. They yell about Russo and Animal tells Russo that this was their sports entertainment. Goldy then walks by the locker room where Bob Armstrong is telling several X Division guys about excluding Russo and the rest of SEX from TNA. He tells him to give them the best they got and it must be a team effort if SEX is to be stopped.
Video recap of the Siaki/Lynn saga.
X Division Title Match
EZ Money vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Sonny Siaki (Champion)
This gets the boxing style ring introductions. Siaki gets knocked down and EZ and Lynn trade off moves before ending in a standoff. They duck a clothesline attempt from Siaki, who boots Lynn when he ducks his head. EZ hits Siaki with a facebreaker and a neckbreaker but Lynn breaks up the pin attempt. He takes down EZ with a tilt-a-whirl headscissor then with a rollup after a superkick from Siaki to EZ. Siaki breaks up the pin. Siaki then alley-oops Lynn to EZ and Lynn tries to take him down with a rana but EZ spears Siaki for two. Siaki gets the pumphandle drop on Lynn for two. EZ beats on Siaki in the corner setting up for his running basement dropkick. He eats boot after charging towards Lynn as the camera shows WWA owner Andrew McManus (and his insanely gorgeous wife) in the crowd. Lynn springs off the back of Siaki to deliver a tornado DDT, which gets two. Siaki dodges Lynn’s apron legdrop but gets stunned by Lynn. EZ gets backdropped and Lands on Siaki then Lynn takes them out with a somersault senton. Back in the ring, everyone is laid out after getting clotheslined. Siaki and Lynn get up first and Lynn counters a Samoan Drop attempt with a DDT. EZ hits Lynn with the Money Bag as Siaki breaks that up and hits EZ with an overhead bell-to-belly and that gets two. EZ and Lynn hit the 3D on Siaki and Lynn covers for two. Lynn hits EZ with the Cradle Piledriver but Siaki pulls the ref away and the mystery girl from last week is on the apron, distracting Lynn. She removes her coat then Siaki clotheslines him to the floor. EZ tries a suplex but Siaki blocks that and hits the Siakalypse for the win (7:45) **1/2. After the match, the woman hugs Russo, who goes into the ring. Russo tells Siaki that it was always about Sonny for him and that he is the elite athlete in this business. He wants him to represent SEX and tells him no one has what he has at his age. Russo says his gift is the woman, who he calls Desire and says she has tits and ass, everything that Sports Entertainment is about. Russo then quotes Tony Montana as Lynn attacks Siaki. Desire clips Lynn and Siaki stomps him as Russo yells at Lynn, calling him a “professional wrestler.” Sonny walks off with Desire and Russo.
Thoughts: Solid match. The focus of this was on Siaki joining SEX. This is another push for Siaki, who has failed to get over with the fans as part of the Elvises then as a solo act who broke away. They just wouldn’t give up on this guy. Looking back, if they started this guy off in a regular tag-team or with a manager, he would have done a lot better in the long run. His doesn’t show any personality in interviews and is just a somewhat decent worker with a good look. I cant blame Siaki as TNA put him in a position to fail. He wasn’t ready to be a major player in a national promotion.
Ron “The Truth” Killings vs. BG James
Killings raps about SEX but gets attacked by James. BG mocks Killings dance but eats a leg lariat. Flying forearm by Killings and he goes after BG, who is walking up the ramp. Axe Kick gets two. Killings takes BG off the stage with a bulldog onto the dancers stage. BG hits him with a trashcan for two. He hits him again then powerbombs him through the table and that gets two. He hits Truth with a tray and a caution sign. He picks up some porcelain item that broke when Truth kicked him. Truth nails BG with a shovel but gets attacked by Elix Skipper. Low Ki and Christopher Daniels are out as well and BG covers for the win (4:35) ¼*.
Thoughts: Match was not good. It came across as a basic WWE Hardcore Match. BG can barely move around at this point and the feud between these two as done nothing to help either guy, especially Killings who has been stuck in neutral since losing the title. As we see a short time later, this match was really designed to introduce the main event.
Immediately after the pinfall, Bob Armstrong comes out and is sick of SEX then says he has three men who stepped up tonight and challenges Russo for three of his men to fight. The SAT’s and Amazing Red enter the ring then Ki, Daniels, and Skipper run in and we have an impromptu match.
Spanish Announce Team & Amazing Red vs. Low Ki & Christopher Daniels & Elix Skipper
All six men brawl in the ring to start things off. The SEX members gain the advantage. Ki hits Joel with a springboard knee smash. Joel then dropkicks him off the top rope and onto the floor. Jose and Skipper trade off stuff then Daniels joins in. Jose takes out Skipper with a tope and Red hits a springboard rana on Ki in the ring. They triple-team Ki in the corner then do some elaborate triple-team stuff, even if it was obviously choreographed. The crowd goes nuts as Red dropkicks Ki for two. Jose tags but Ki counters a tornado DDT with an inverted atomic drop and tags Daniels. Jose beats on him in the corner and tags Red. Double dropkick gets two. Ki gets a few kicks for two. Joel tags and gets a powerslam that Ki breaks up at two. Daniels gets backdropped to the floor then Skipper enters. Guess this is under Lucha rules. The SAT have Skipper in a camel clutch submission move as Red hits a running basement dropkick in a sweet looking spot. The SAT hit Ki with a double bulldog and that gets two. Red tags and gets a missile dropkick for two. Skipper knees Red from the apron then Daniels taunts the SAT’s as Skipper beats on Red behind the ref’s back. Skipper beats on Red in the ring and makes a bunch of covers but can’t pin Red. Skipper hits a bunch of knee strikes as the crowd starts a “SAT” chant. The heels distract the ref to beat on Red and West is sad that Low Ki joined Russo. Ki tags and legdrops Red but Jose breaks up the pin. Daniels tags and Red gets him in a small package but the ref is distracted. Delayed vertical suplex by Daniels is followed by a split-legged moonsault and that gets two. Skipper is in and stretches Red, who manages to escape. Skipper cuts off Red and Ki tags. West makes another good point how Red had been in the ring for over thirty minutes tonight when you count the Gauntlet. Red gets a DDT but Ki cuts off the tag. Ki gets him up for the Ki Crusher but Red counters with a headscissor takeover. Crowd is chanting for Red then he comes back with the Code Red and Skipper breaks that up at two. Red tags both SAT’s and they run wild. The whole match breaks down for a bit. Jose hits Skipper with a tornado DDT but Daniels breaks up the pin and hits a STO before the hitting the BME. Joel makes the save and nearly kills Daniels with the Maximo Impact (Backdrop Driver). Skipper breaks up the pin and hits a brainbuster, getting two. Red is laying in the corner and gets booted out by Ki. Skipper takes out Joel with a twisting pescado and Jose clears the ring. He tags Red then Ki rolls into the ring. Red beats the piss out of Ki and the crowd is loving this match. Ki reverses the Code Red and flips him over then hits a backbreaker. He misses the Phoenix Splash but dodges the Infrared. Ki covers for two as we see the brawling at ringside. Red escapes the Ki Crusher and gets two off a rollup as we see Don West screaming “Go Red Go” on top off the announcers table. Ki hits a dropkick and we see the brawling outside of the ring. Daniels is in for Ki and Red snaps of a rana, getting two. Daniels fights back and hits the Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Ki tags back in but accidentally hits Daniels with a Yakuza Kick and Red rolls him up for two. Ki gets a clothesline as Joel is beating on Daniels. Cartwheel kick gets two. They are still brawling on the floor as Ki covers and Red kicks out again. West continues to lead the chant then Red hits a spinkick and the 718, which West calls a 719. Red then hits a springboard swinging DDT and that only gets two. Red Star Press gets two. Skipper comes in and hits a gutwrench and rolls Ki on top but Red still kicks out. Ki gets him up once again for the Ki Crusher but red fights it off. The SAT’s attempt the Spanish Fly but Daniels and Skipper stop that from happening and also duck crossbody blocks. They hit the SAT’s with their finishers and kick them out of the ring as Red climbs up top. He tries for a super hurricarana but Ki blocks that. They fight it out on top and Ki puts Red on his shoulders then hits a Super Ki Crusher! Ki sells like he is in a world of pain himself then rolls on top of Red for the pin (21:03) ****1/4.
Thoughts: Tremendous match. All six guys busted their ass and the crowd was going nuts. Even in defeat, Red got over from this match. His great selling helped a lot, as did Don West, who always puts him over on commentary. I thought it was a really smart move on TNA’s part to have West, arguably one of the greatest pitchmen of his time, to help push a new star on commentary. Hell, he even led the crowd in a chant while announcing the match. A fantastic main event.
Immediately after the match, Russo and BG James run into the ring. Russo says he will answer the greatest question in the history of professional “Wrasslin.” He says the reason tables are under the ring are because wrestlers put them there. The Harris’ grab the tables as he insults Red and says he has dropped bigger turds than him. They put him and the SAT’s on the table and Daniels climbs up top but Curt Hennig runs out. Hennig fights them off with a belt but is outnumbered. All of a sudden, a man in jeans and a shirt enters the ring with an axe. It turns out to be David Flair, who is sporting darker hair than before, as well as a lot of Ecko Unlimited clothing. He hits Hennig and puts on the figure four leglock and Russo orders SEX to break his leg. Jarrett then runs out with a steel chair and cleans house. He hits Low Ki with the stroke and hits Flair before putting him in the figure four. Hennig cant fight off the rest of SEX and AJ Styles runs in and beats on Jarrett. They set up Jarrett on the table with Daniels and Skipper diving off together crashing through Jarrett. Russo takes the axe and walks over to the TNA logo at the top of the entrance ramp and destroys the set as the show goes off the air with Russo telling us that the show was brought to the viewers by SEX.
Final Thoughts: A solid show from TNA. There was nothing embarrassing and the main event was great. A lot of X Division action here and they made SEX seem a little bit more than a group of WWE castoffs and washups. No one cared (or ever did) about David Flair, but Ki, Daniels, and Skipper give them good workers to a group that didn’t have any. They managed to get the Amazing Red over as a star too. Also, they appear to be building towards an AJ/Jarrett match, which will actually provide Jarrett with a decent opponent. Next show will be the first of 2003.