January 15, 2003
A black-and-white video recap of the Jarrett/Russo feud is shown.
Show opens with Tenay interviewing Vince Russo in a pre-taped segment. Tenay asks him what his job is as a TV writer. Russo replies that it is to make sure “eyeballs are watching the TV.” He does whatever is necessary to make sure ratings are strong. Tenay then asks Russo are writers to blame for the show when it fails and Russo agrees then says if Tenay was in charge, we would have a two-hour long wrestling match and would be thrown off the air . Russo says that wrestling needs to evolve and that Tenay will understand that one day. Tenay asks about his failure in WCW.
Russo questions how he could kill the company in just nine months. Tenay mentions all the talent and Russo says how come they had to bring him in if they had all this talent. He responds by saying how the product was in the “shitter” and that the eyeballs were not watching. They then intensify their argument as Tenay brings up the cruiserweights and Russo’s decision to build the division around Evan Karageis, Ed Ferrara, and Madusa. Russo replies by stating how Americans do not want Lucha Libre and that they should go to Japan or Mexico for that. He tells Tenay that he doesn’t mean s---. Tenay brings up how he ruined the WCW Heavyweight Title by giving it to David Arquette and Russo says that he saw the photo of that the next day in “USA Today” and that wouldn’t have happened if DDP won the belt. Tenay asks how Nitro lost to WWF the next week 7.4 to 2.4 and Russo swears some more, completely avoiding the question. They talk about the present and more or less argue about the same things they have been for the past several weeks. Russo says building has been packed and they have been turning away hundreds since he came to TNA. Russo tells Tenay is his doing this for his own good. Russo says that he has two boys at home who he wants to make a living in “this business” and he has to save it for them. He tells Tenay to kiss his “big ass” before storming off. A lot of talking here and this all seem scripted, though you can tell that Tenay and Russo really do not seem to care much for each other.
Your hosts are Don West and Mike Tenay
Tenay and West attempt to run down the show but the music for SEX hits and they come to the ring. Russo tells Tenay that he brought his “soapbox” as the camera shows an soapbox in the ring, that actually has the word “soapbox” written on the side.. Russo says that this is all about him and Jarrett and names off Tenay, Dusty, and the Road Warriors and says if they all want to get involved, then get involved. He says they are not the nWo then makes a plea saying how there are millions around the world who believe in Russo and SEX and asks for everyone to step up and join or forever hold your peace. Percy Pringle comes out and waddles to the ring. Percy says he is the only person in the building who knows the real Vince Russo. In fact, he knows him longer than anyone in this business. Percy makes fun of him for his reporter days and says he “snaked” his way to the top. Percy says he has been part of some of the best entertainment “this business” has ever seen. Percy then says that Russo might be right and extends his hand. Russo confirms if Percy wants to be part of the family as Percy still wants that handshake. Russo says that Percy is no different from Jarrett or the Undertaker then calls Percy a “fat piece of s---” for talking about him behind his back and Percy slaps him. SEX then beats down Percy and hits him with the soapbox as Russo tells us this segment was brought to us by SEX as the camera shows Percy bleeding profusely from the forehead. All of a sudden, Jorge Estrada runs in but he gets destroyed as Russo yells at Tenay, asking if he is watching this as they put Estrada through the table. Jarrett runs in with a chair and security as SEX clears the ring. Twenty minutes into the show and we have already had two lengthy Russo segments.
Tenay informs us that Amazing Red is stuck in Japan and that Jorge Estrada was supposed to take his place against Sonny Siaki. However, Estrada is hurt and they will find a replacement for him later on tonight. West runs down the rest of the show:
AMW vs. Quiet Storm
Jarrett & Road Warriors vs. XXX
NWA-TNA Tag Title Match
Divine Storm w/Trinity vs. America’s Most Wanted
Divine Storm attack the champs from behind. Harris hits Quiet Storm with a clothesline then backdrops him onto his own partner. He elevates Storm onto both guys and beats on QS in the ring. They knock Devine off the apron and hit QS with a double clothesline. Fans cheer for AMW as Trinity grabs the leg of Storm, allowing QS to hit a clothesline. Devine tags and hits a snap suplex for two. Back elbow smash gets two. Tag to QS and he tosses Storm to the floor. Trinity runs off the apron and hits Storm with a rana. Harris is getting fed up as QS hits Storm with a tornado DDT, getting two. He goes up top but misses a senton and both men are down. Hot tag to Harris and he destroys both men. Powerslam on Devine gets two. They set up QS for the Death Sentence but Trinity runs in for the low blow and Devine knocks Harris off the top. QS covers Storm but only gets two. AMW is on the floor and QS hits them with a somersault senton then Devine takes them out with a running flip dive before Trinity takes them out with a moonsault from the top rope. In the ring, QS places Storm on the top rope and takes him off with a stunner, getting two. Devine charges at Storm but gets backdropped to the floor and AMW hits QS with the Death Sentence for the win (7:08) **.
Thoughts: Decent action, although this was more like a collection of moves rather than a wrestling match. QS is really small, he could probably wrestle as a mini in Mexico. It looks a bit silly to see him Irish whip Harris, who might be a foot taller than him. AMW are firing on all cylinders where as Divine Storm is just the backdrop for Trinity.
Video package on AJ Styles, focusing on him wanting a shot at the Heavyweight Title and his recent attacks on Jarrett.
AJ comes to the ring and tells the crowd he is no longer with Mortimer Plumtree and not affiliated with Vince Russo. He says he is his own man then gets interrupted by Ron Killings, which angers AJ. Killings says that AJ must be “out his damn mind” and that he is still wet behind the ears, stating that his breath still smells like “Similac.” What an insult. He says he has to get past the “Suntan Superman” if he wants a shot at the title. They then trade punches as the ref signals for the bell.
AJ Styles vs. Ron “The Truth” Killings
Killings hits a hiptoss and an armdrag before sending AJ out of the ring with a dropkick. Killings gets a sunsetflip for two. AJ dropkicks the Truth as he comes down and hits the kip-up rana. Tenay says that Australia will broadcast TNA starting next week. AJ gets a dropkick for two. Truth comes back with a Downward Spiral but AJ catches him with a spinkick. AJ grabs a headlock then sends him to the mat. He hits a swanton then gets a walking delayed vertical suplex for two. AJ backs Truth in the corner and chops him hard. He then kills him with a corner clothesline but Truth pulls up on a dropkick. Truth gets a Oklahoma Roll for two but walks into a clothesline from AJ and does the 180 oversell. Truth escapes from a Muta Lock and headbutts AJ in the groin. Killings eats boot on a charge then ducks the discus clothesline and hits a spinning back suplex, with a majority of AJ’s weight landing on him. Truth hits a few punches. Flying forearm gets two. He heads up top but AJ cuts him off. He climbs up and they fight over a superplex and that ends with the Truth getting a Super Gordbuster! Mortimer Plumtree then runs in and distracts the ref and that allows David Flair to run in and hit Killings with his burlap sack and he puts AJ on top of him and the ref turns around and counts to three (8:09) **1/2.
Thoughts: Good action, although it was at a slower pace than these two usually wrestle. Makes sense to have AJ win, seeing as they are building him up as a Heavyweight contender. I feel for Killings, as he has been floundering since dropping the title to Jarrett two months ago.Looks like they are doing an angle with Flair and is burlap sack. No one cares at all about David Flair. He never gets a reaction from the crowd. Plus, he is one of the worst wrestlers in the promotion.
The camera immediately cuts out back to Goldylocks, who is with Jarrett and the Road Warriors. Jarrett calls AJ a punk and Animal calls him a baby. Hawk tells Russo that he is done and lets out the “What a Rush” line.
The camera then immediately cuts back to the ring as AJ yells at Tenay that he beat “him.” He demands a title shot and wants Tenay to use his power to get a shot. He tells him to ask Bob Armstrong as AJ says he will not leave until he gets a shot at Jarrett. He shoves Tiny the Bell Keeper off of his chair and brings it in the ring. All of a sudden, a voice is heard yelling at AJ and it turns out to be Larry Zbyszko. He tells AJ that he is cutting into his interview time as a “Larry” chant breaks out. Larry tells us the biggest fool of all is the man who fools himself. He says that he wants to cut his wrists after listening to Russo, comparing him to a cancerous cell. He orders AJ to shut up and says he will never make the grade if he sells his soul. Larry says he fought for his image for 29 years, despite people trying to steal it and lie about him. He asks AJ some questions then orders him to shut up as he speaks. He tells AJ to pay his dues as AJ replies by saying he should beat him in a match then slaps Larry. Security runs out to separate both men. I really did not care for this segment. Having AJ, the most exciting new star in the promotion, get punked by a man in his 50’s, does him no favors. Also, Zbyszko is nowhere near enough of a big name to give anyone a rub in 2002.
Video recap of the confrontation last week between Desire and Goldylocks and Athena. Goldylocks suffered a legit concussion from getting tossed to the floor.
Desire vs. April Hunter
April is back for the first time since losing to Bruce during his Miss TNA phase . Desire attacks April as she enters the ring. She tosses her outside as Athena runs over to console her. In the ring, they trade chops until April hits a tilt-a-whirl headscisors. Sideslam gets two. In an awful looking spot, April is whipped into the corner and floats over with Desire about ten feet behind her, then backs up into a poor excuse of a dropkick. Desire’s pants are falling down a bit but she hits an enziguri, getting two. April hits a back elbow smash and a clothesline before hitting a suplex. Slam by April as Tenay tells us that Dusty trained Desire. April climbs up top but Siaki cuts her off. Desire attempts to leap to the top but falls off as a “you f----- up” chant breaks out then she hits a nice looking top rope rana for the win (2:58) DUD. After the match, Desire attacks April but Athena runs in for the save. Desire gains the advantage then rips off Athena’s shirt. She then tries to rip off her pants as Athena puts up a fight. Siaki signals for Desire to stop and she leaves.
Thoughts: Awful match. It is easy to see why the WWE gave up on Desire as she is just horrible in the ring. She should have tried to keep it basic instead of doing the spots that they did. April tried and looks like someone who TNA should be focusing on if they want to start a women’s division.
Goldylocks is in the parking lot, expecting Dusty Rhodes. A masked man in a pickup truck gets out and it is Mr. Wrestling IV. Oh great, we are back to the mystery masked man angle again.
Video recap of Mike Sanders debut last week. Sanders is then introduced to the ring and he asks for the mic. He says that it seems like the people still love him but he is here for one reason only, to support what Vince Russo stands for. He says he will be scouting talent for Vince and he will make the decision as to whether or not he will keep them. Sanders says that there is problem with philosophy between the legends and that evolution is the solution. Jerry Lynn comes out for his match with Sanders and says he agrees with Zbyszko in that its done with tradition. He tells Sanders he does his talking in the ring and calls him a bitch before tossing him from the apron, back into the ring. Neither guy really impressed on the mic here.
Mike Sanders vs. Jerry Lynn
Lynn beats on Sanders then hits a bulldog for two. Sanders gets tossed to the floor then sent into the guardrail from a baseball slide. Lynn hits his apron leg drop then gets two off a slingshot splash. Lynn beats on Sanders in the corner as Don Harris distracts Lynn. Sanders hits a stun gun then a leg lariat for two. He chokes out Lynn for a bit then hammers away. Lynn comes back with a rollup and a crucifix but Sanders pokes the eye. He hits a pumphandle toss that gets two. Lynn gets a snapmare and kicks Lynn hard in the chest. He puts on a chinlock for a bit until Lynn escapes. He yanks down Lynn by the hair but misses a moonsault. They slug it out until Lynn hits a few running elbow smashes in the corner. Rebound clothesline gets two. He hits a crossbody but Harris yanks the ref out of the ring and kills him with the big boot. Lynn hits a DDT but the ref is out. Sanders gets a low blow then hits a neckbreaker as a second ref runs in but Lynn kicks out at two. He places Lynn up top but he fights out and takes Sanders down with a powerbomb. Harris pulls out the ref again and sets him up for the powerbomb but Dusty Rhodes comes out and hits a few bionic elbows. In the ring, Lynn escapes from a Fireman’s carry and hits the TKO as the first ref slides in and counts to three (7:48) **.
Thoughts: Match was fairly decent. Sanders does a good job of selling but his offense is rough looking. I didn’t mind the interference here to be honest.
Immediately after the match, Dusty shakes Lynn’s hand as he exits the ring. A loud “Dusty” chant breaks out as Dusty asks Russo if they are “crossed” with each other. He mentions 35 years ago he drove by a building that read “Pro Wrestling at 8pm” on the marquee, not a midget beating off in a trashcan at 8pm. He says we cannot lose tradition and brings up a story of sitting in a shitty hotel drinking his last beer with the NWA title in his bag. That is apparently how he knew that wrestling was real. BG James looks from the apron. He then brings up the midget in the trash can thing again and again as a comparison against tradition. Dusty says the guys on “Monday” and in the “industry” have a choice to make an impact. Russo then comes through the crowd and stands on the announcers table. He says he wants to look him into the eye. He says he was never thanked by making his son into a star, stating he created Goldust. Russo says that Dusty gave him goosebumps last week as he grew up idolizing him and Ric Flair, as Dusty tells him he has that half right. Russo then says his priorities changed after working in the wrestling business and he wanted to slap his birthmark off of his gut. Russo then makes Dusty an offer that he cannot refuse. He tells him to put on his gear and he will get “his s---” and make the 6 man tag an 8 man match. Dusty says he does not need gear to whip his ass as Russo tells Dusty that if SEX wins the match, next week all titles are on the line and he gets to pick the challengers. He tells Dusty to be aware before he beats off in a trashcan. West tries his best to sell this segment. The crowd loved Dusty but we have already had way too much Russo on this show. Dusty mentioning the midget whacking off in a trash can over and over again grew old and when you add the fact that Russo was not even the person who came up with that segment, it makes the segment seem even worse than it was.
Jason Cross vs. David Young
Young slams Cross to the mat and they do counters until Cross hits a rana. He sends Young to the floor with a spinning leg lariat then flies out with a twisting somersault tope. Young blocks a tornado DDT then suplexes Cross against the apron. In the ring, Young covers and gets two. Clothesline gets two. They completely botch a backslide spot then Cross hits the Roll of the Dice. Somersault leg drop gets two. Cross lands on his feet after a German Suplex attempt but walks into a swinging facebuster. Cross dodges a corner charge as Bob Armstrong is walking towards the announcers table. Cross sells the arm as he hits one of the best looking Swanton Bomb’s I have ever seen. That only gets two as Bob tells us that Siaki will defend against Kash tonight. Also, Kash has an equalizer for Desire. He then tells us that he has accepted Russo’s offer. Cross takes Young off the top rope with a neckbreaker. He goes up top but misses the Crossfire and Young hits him with the spinebuster for the pin (5:20) *1/2.
Thoughts: These guys just didn’t click at all in the ring. They did bust out a few nice moves but that was about it. The Swanton Bomb by Cross was a thing of beauty.
After the match, BG is arguing with his dad as Scott Armstrong gets between the two. Back in the ring, Konnan is seen beating the s--- out of Young and Cross with a kendo stick. NWA Nashville promoter Bert Prentice is in the ring ordering Konnan to leave. He leaves as security and police escort him out of the building. Just like that, Konnan is back in TNA. He was part of the debut show during the “Gauntlet for the Gold” segment.
NWA-TNA X Division Championship Match
Sonny Siaki (Champion) w/Desire vs. Kid Kash w/Trinity
Kash and Trinity run into the ring and everyone brawls. Kash and Trinity hit dual dropkicks as Siaki and Desire clear the ring. Siaki re-enters then rolls back out after getting hit with a pair of dropkicks. Kash slides out but Siaki catches him and stun guns him on the guardrail. He beats on Kash for a bit until Kash reverses an Irish whip, sending Siaki into the guardrail. In the ring, Kash gets a guillotine leg drop for two. Siaki sends Kash into the corner with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Siaki eats boot on a charge and Kash hits a moonsault. Bankroll gets two. Siaki hits Kash with a Fire Thunder Driver and that only gets two. Kash hits a double springboard rana then a tornado DDT but that only gets two as Desire breaks up the pin. Kash floats over on a backslide but Desire hooks Kash’s leg and Siaki hits the Siakalypse for the win (4:50) **. After the match, Trinity and Desire have a catfight in the ring and Trinity hits a tornado DDT.
Thoughts: Short match but it was all action. I still have no idea if Kash is a face or a heel at this point. It seems to change week to week. This match also looks to have set up a Desire vs. Trinity feud.
West and Tenay run down next week’s show:
Roddy Piper via satellite
AJ Styles vs. Larry Zbyszko
XXX & Vince Russo vs. Jeff Jarrett & Dusty Rhodes & Road Warriors
Russo is wearing a track suit and a hockey helmet. Dusty grabs the mic and tells him that this is not a “hockey thing” and to “get on with it.” Daniels and Jarrett start things out. Ki and Skipper distract Jarrett, allowing Daniels to attack. Russo is standing on the floor as Jarrett makes a comeback. Ki tags in as does Animal. Ki gets tossed across the ring but comes back with a kick and a front facelock. Animal tosses Ki again but misses a charge in the corner. Animal catches Ki off a springboard kick attempt and flattens him with a sitout powerbomb. He kicks Ki as Daniels distracts the ref, allowing Skipper to land a running knee strike. Ki makes the tag to Skipper and they double team Animal until he hit them both with a double suplex. Hawk tags in and hits a fistdrop from the top rope. He takes Skipper down with a big boot and then connects on a dropkick, getting two. Skipper uses the Matrix to dodge an attack but Hawk no-sells a bunch of forearm shots and hits a clothesline. Hakw hits a gutwrench and tags Jarrett. Skipper attacks Jarrett and Russo gets in a few cheapshots. Jarrett fights back and knocks Ki and Daniels off the apron. He goes after Russo but gets attacked by Daniels. Ki and Daniels rough him up before rolling him back in the ring. Tag to Daniels and they hit a double front suplex, getting two. Daniels kicks Jarrett in the corner as Dusty and the Road Warriors complain to the ref, allowing XXX to destroy Jarrett. Ki puts Jarrett in a front facelock as Jarrett picks him up, moving closer to his corner. Daniels distracts the ref and Jarrett tags Animal, but it gets cut off. Russo has his mouth piece in now as Skipper is neutralizing Jarrett in the corner. Jarrett fights back but misses a dropkick and XX goes back on the attack. Jarrett gets a small package and the ref is distracted and only gets two. Daniels and Ki get a nice double team move where Daniels held up Jarrett and Ki hit a springboard kick, which was then turned into a Boston Crab. Hawk breaks up a pin attempt as the crowd chants for Dusty. Daniels catches off the ropes and they counter each other moves until they clothesline each other. Hot tag to Dusty and he takes out XXX with the bionic elbow. Russo jumps of f the apron as the Warriors and Dusty are taking care of XXX. All of a sudden, Mr. Wrestling IV enters the ring and hits Dusty with a chain and Russo puts Skipper on top for the win (11:41) **3/4. After the match, Mr. Wrestling IV joins Russo in the ring and unmasks, revealing himself to be Nikita Koloff as no one cares. Tenay does his best Don West impression to sell this segment but it really failed.
Thoughts: The match was much better than I thought it would be. They were smart to keep Dusty and Russo out of it until the end. Also, having Jarrett play the face-in-peril role was smart. XXX are all good workers so it was a fine match that got better as the match went along. Now that Russo won, the stipulation of him getting to pick all of the challengers to the titles is in play next week. That is at least intriguing. However, revealing Mr. Wrestling IV to be Nikita Koloff makes zero sense. Why is he aligned with SEX? Also, why should I even care to find out next week? Bringing back people to play off a feud from over a decade ago is pathetic.
Final Thoughts: If you are a fan of Russo and his “shoot” comments, this was the show for you. If not, this show was torturous. They were a couple decent matches but all of this talking for a show that cost $9.95 is inexcusable. SEX needs to have a star in order to be successful. They do not have someone even close to carry that role. They are wasting too much time bringing back guys who peaked in the 1980’s. Try focusing on talent that can lead you into the future. I’ll be back next week, which was a lot more memorable than this show.