February 12, 2003
The arena is dark as photo of Curt Hennig, along with his wrestling boots, are placed in a chair. He is given the ten-bell salute and a graphic reading “Curt Hennig 1958-2003” comes across the screen. For what its worth, the WWE on RAW two days prior only put up a graphic for him at the start of the show then never mentioned is name once during the show.
A somber Mike Tenay shows us what happened after the show went off the air last week. He apologizes for the language that Don West and himself uses during this segment. After Jarrett unmasks revealing himself, SEX beats down Jarrett, who is tied up on the ropes, prompting West to ask “What the fuck is happening here.” The f-bomb was bleeped out as Russo and SEX take turns whipping him with a belt. They zoom in on Jarrett’s back as it is covered in nasty-looking welts. This was a very good segment and I have no idea why they didn’t close out the show with this.
Don West introduces us to the show and directs us to the ring as Mike Tenay is about to speak. He informs us that “Bullet” Bob Armstrong has asked for a leave of absence, citing that it has become “too personal” for him. Tenay says that the NWA has found a replacement and it is someone who was a former high-ranking WCW and WWF official as J.J. Dillon is introduced. The SEX theme plays as Russo and the Harris Brothers enter the ring. Russo says he came out to give an update about his friend, Jeff Jarrett, but cannot believe that Dillon, who he refers to as a “piece of shit,” has the audacity to enter this building. He tells the fans that Dillon attempted to get him fired to WCW, which automatically makes Dillon a face with the crowd. Russo says he grew up admiring the Four Horseman but said when they met in the WWF, he was a minion of Vince McMahon and had his head up his ass so he went to WCW. The crowd engages a dueling SEX/Russo Sucks chant but only a handful of people are cheering for SEX. He babbles on some more about WCW, calling Kevin Sullivan a “politicking, piece of shit” and accuses JJ of trying to put him out of the business then threatens to have the Harris Brothers beat the crap out of him. JJ says that Russo still suffers from selective amnesia and when he left the WWF it was on his own terms and told McMahon in person, unlike Russo who skipped out right before a TV show via phone call. He says that the problem was Bischoff was not a wrestling person as Russo starts lying down in the ring, acting bored, as JJ said Russo called him looking for a job. Russo asks the audience if they are bored as the Harris Brothers head towards JJ. All of a sudden, The Sandman comes out with his Singapore Cane and beats them down. Sandman looks more drunk than usual and is swinging it around uncontrollably. A lengthy and dull opening segment, basically your typical Russo semi-shoot. The crowd did not respond much to Sandman at all either. Speaking of the crowd, they were tough all night long. Can’t say that I blame them though.
Back to West and Tenay at the table who talk about Jarrett. The say that he is not booked on the show and will update us on his condition later. They then talk about the Tag-Team Titles and show us a video of last week’s match between XXX and the New Church that resulted in the title’s being held up. They will have a tournament that will have the winner face XXX for the belts. Tonight, the Rock & Roll Express will face AMW and face the winner of the New Church vs. Harris Brothers match next week.
Rock & Roll Express vs. America’s Most Wanted
Harris and Morton start out. Harris takes him down with a shoulderblock. Harris then gets a hiptoss and a clothesline before knocking Gibson off the apron. Gibson pulls the rope down on Harris but he didn’t fall over so Morton flips him outside. Gibson beats on him outside and it did not look convincing at all. In the ring, they double-team Harris for a bit then make quick tags to neutralize Harris. The Rock & Rolls look terrible tonight, doing everything in slow-motion. Harris hits a clothesline and makes the hot tag to Storm. The crowd doesn’t react at all as Storm runs wild. He skins the cat then flattens Morton with an enziguiri. He hits the Swinging Noose but the ref is yelling at Harris outside the ring so Gibson hits Storm and Morton rolls on top. That only gets two though. Storm dodges a double back-body drop and dumps Gibson. Double dropkick to Morton as Harris hits the Perfectplex on Morton for the win as Tenay goes off about how that move should always be called the “Perfectplex” (4:57) ¼*. After the match, Low Ki lays out AMW with the tag belt and blows a snot rocket before leaving.
Thoughts: Bad match, all due to Morton and Gibson, who were in no shape to perform. They were in their mid 40’s at this point, which isn’t that old, but they seemed gassed before the bell rang.
Tenay takes us backstage to the parking lot as Goldylocks is asking who he is waiting for. He is pacing around and yells at Raven, who just arrived, about the Sandman being here tonight. Raven had no idea that he was around then Sandman comes out and beats him with the Singapore Cane. He then goes into the crowd for a beer and a smoke.
Harris Brothers vs. New Church w/ James Mitchell
Both teams start out brawling around the ring for a bit. In the ring, Lee hits Don with a big boot and a DDT before tagging Slash. He gets beaten on quickly and Ron tags. He chops him in the corner but Slash fights back. He gets a dropkick then does the bicycle kick in the corner. Don trips him up and drags him outside. He sets up the chair and Ron boots it into the face of Slash. Tenay breaks the news from JJ Dillon that Jarrett will defend the title against AJ Styles next week. Also, the main event tonight will have Raven vs. Sandman. Back in the ring, Slash takes a chairshot before Ron hits him with repeated corner clotheslines. Slash comes back with a big boot and makes the tag to Lee. He runs wild until Low Ki comes out and distracts him. The Harris Brothers hit Lee from behind and hit the H-Bomb for the win (4:50) ½*.
Thoughts: Match was nothing, but above average for a match involving the Harris Brothers I suppose. Brian Lee is looking scarier by the week. He is rapidly losing weight. They are trying to book Low Ki as a cheap-shot artist, which is a terrible idea.
A video recap of the feud between Kid Kash and Sonny Siaki. This showed a lot of clips of the mixed tag match but not the match from last month in which Siaki beat Kash.
X Division Title Match
Kid Kash w/Trinity vs. Sonny Siaki (Champion) w/Desire
This gets the Boxing-style ring introductions. Desire also gets the biggest reaction by a mile. They start out by countering their moves and trading armdrags. West proclaims Kash as the “King of a Million Moves” as Siaki kills him with a short-armed clothesline. He presses him over his head and turns it into a fallaway slam, getting two. He sidesteps as charging Kash, who tumbles outside. Siaki chops him hard but Kash reverses a whip and sends him into the steps. Siaki ducks a chair toss but Trinity feeds Kash with another chair and he connects with that. Desire whips Trinity into the guardrail as Kash is in the ring covering Siaki and gets two. Trinity is selling her back as Kash chops away. Desire distracts him then the women chase each other around. Everyone is running around until Siaki throws a chair at Kash. Tenay puts over Trinity’s work as a stuntwomen in the “Daredevil” movie as Siaki rolls Kash into the ring. Kash hits an enziguiri then tries a springboard move on the apron but Desire yanks him down. Siaki goes out and swings him into the guardrail. Back in the ring Kash manages a sunset flip but Siaki comes back with a sweet half nelson suplex for two. Siaki ducks his head and Kash kicks him before hitting a double springboard rana. Tornado DDT gets two as Desire breaks up the pin. Trinity enters the ring and has a catfight with Desire. Her pants are falling off too. Desire crotches Kash on the top turnbuckle and the women eventually spill outside. Siaki goes up top but Kash shoves him down and Kash tries a springboard moonsault and falls down, nearly breaking his neck, but covers gets the win and the belt (7:10) *. Kash and Trinity celebrate with the belt for a bit and the fans applaud.
Thoughts: Bad match and the finish looked awful. It was a miracle that Kash didn’t break his neck. Too much of this revolved around the women. At least they took the belt off of Siaki though. He can go to the heavyweight division now. He was a major flop as the X Division Champ.
Tenay welcomes us to the debut of “The Interrogators” segment, which is a bunch of word association and other general questions that lasts for sixty seconds. This even gets a graphic of West and Tenay, which is unintentionally hilarious to say the least. The first participant is Ron Killings. He refers to Vince McMahon as an “asshole,” says that Jeff Jarrett is “crazy as hell” and prefers Trinity over Desire. He also states that his favorite finishing move is the “Hat Rack Crack.” Tenay asks him if he approached Russo about joining SEX and Killings swears at him before storming off. Not bad, actually, but the storyline about whether or not Killings is trying to get into SEX is getting played out, especially when the crowd sees him as a heel. Ever since Killings lost the belt, he has really been floundering.
Goldylocks is with Mike Sanders and Glen Gilbertti, who has a calendar. Sanders tells her to refer to them as their titles. Gilbertti tells Goldy that she can be perfect for his “Bitch Slap Faction” and suggests names such as “Cameltoe,” Moose Knuckle,” “BC Alley,” and “Ku Klux Anne.” He then tells that he can put anyone in gimmick and even shits on the Crimson Dragon character from a few months ago. They talk about character development and acquisitions until BG James interrupts, calling them goofy bastards then tells them to take on “Elvis and the black guy” as he will take on “Gimp Bizkit.” A terrible attempt at humor and this was as entertaining as hit reads. Its sad they were charging people money for segments like this.
Ron “The Truth” Killings & Jorge Estrada & Tenacious Z vs. Mike Sanders & BG James & Glen Gilbertti
Estrada has ditched the Elvis gear and is now wearing black trunks and rocking a huge afro. After some bickering between both teams, BG and Killings start things out. BG gets a few kicks in the corner. Killings fights back and gets the ax kick. Sanders tags and eats a leg lariat. Estrada tags and they get do some double team stuff. Estrada is hit from behind by Gilbertti and Sanders hits a leg lariat. Gilbertti tags and beats on Estrada in the corner. Estrada comes back with a springboard crossbody then a running Shooting Star Press that gets two. That didn’t hit cleanly at all. They do a clumsy sequence that leads to Estrada getting a superkick. He misses a frog splash and gets hit with a DDT. Sanders tags and hits a neckbreaker, getting two. Suplex gets two. SEX neutralizes Estrada, using a lot of double-team moves, most of which involve dancing. Estrada rolls away from an elbow and he tags Tenacious Z. He hits a springboard dropkick that wakes up the crowd. He dropkicks the rest of SEX but BG pulls him off the ropes after a springboard attempt. BG rolls him back in and Gilbertti drops an elbow. Tag to BG, who flips off the crowd. He punches away then gets two off of a big boot. He tells him to tag then kicks his leg out. He mocks Z some more as Scott Armstrong comes down the ramp. He gets distracted and that allows Z to hit a moonsault. Hot tag to Killings and he fires away. He hits Sanders with a back drop and the match breaks down. Estrada takes out Disco and BG with a pescado and Killings hits Gilbertti with the Truth Conviction for the win (7:40) *1/4.
Thoughts: Not great by any means, but it was mostly all action. Tenacious Z did some impressive stuff and was really the only highlight of the match.
Goldylocks is backstage with Raven. She asks about wrestling Sandman and he cannot understand why he is mad at him. He says he took his wife from him after she had left and that its “Bullshit” that Sandman follows him everywhere as AJ Styles runs out and attacks Raven. Security breaks that up as Goldy finds the Rock & Roll Express laid out with hoods over their heads. The AJ/Raven stuff was okay but it cant imagine that anyone is confused as to who the attacker of the Rock & Roll Express was .
Mike Tenay in a pre-taped interview with David Flair. He continues to rock the Ecko Unlimited gear. Tenay asks him about guys like Arn Anderson, who Flair acknowledges as a big part of his life. He says that Russo gave him his first shot. He asks about Stacy Keibler and he says at time, he didn’t know “which head was working.” Tenay asks about his dad. David says that his dad worked 365 days a year and was never around for him. He says that he was providing for a mark like Tenay but was never a father. He says his goal is to become the best wrestler as Tenay asks about the burlap sack. Flair says that he will know when he wants him to know as the interview ends. Flair is only marginally better at interviews than he is in the ring.
Low Ki is in the ring as the camera goes backstage with Goldylocks, who is with Steve Corino. He starts off mentioning his time in Japan with Ki, thinking that they were friends but puts down Ki for hanging around with Russo, therefore dissing the sport of pro wrestling. He lists off the NWA legends and says that he will beat the respect back into him and says he is in TNA to destroy SEX, starting with Low Ki.
Low Ki vs. “King of Old School” Steve Corino
Corino comes out to the music that Abyss would use as his theme when he joined TNA. Crowd starts a mild chant for Corino as he beats on Ki. He knocks him down but Ki shoves the ref and hits Corino with a Koppu Kick. Ki chokes him out against the ropes then chops him in the corner. Corino fights back and tosses Ki to the floor. He beats on him outside the ring until Ki fights back. Ki pulls up on a dropkick attempt by Corino and goes back on offense. Suplex gets two. He chokes out Corino in the corner with his boot as West notes that Corino was part of the Gauntlet for the Gold on TNA’s debut show. Ki continues to beat on Corino, using chops and punches. Ki gets in some kicks but Corino hulks up and makes a comeback. He knocks Ki down with a forearm. He sidesteps a springboard kick and gets two off a T-Bone Suplex. He sends Ki to the apron with a leg lariat but Ki comes back in and locks on the Dragon Sleeper. Corino breaks that up by ramming Ki into the corner. Ki charges but gets caught with a superkick and that gets two. Ki gets a crucifix then turns it into an armbreaker. Corino counters that and hits the Old School Expulsion (inverted neckbreaker) but Ki kicks out at two, with his hand hitting the ref in the face. Referee Scott Armstrong sells it as if he was eye-rake don purpose and calls for the DQ (6:54) *3/4. Wow, what that a horrible looking finish or what. Ki barely touched him in the face. After the match, Corino attacks Ki and knocks him outside. AMW come out and beat on Ki as well until he escapes. He runs into the New Church and they run him off before having a staredown with AMW.
Thoughts: The match was fine but the finish was really awful. I don’t understand the booking of Low Ki on this show as you have one of the stiffest workers in the company using basic, cheap heel tactics throughout the show. The crowd was behind Corino for a bit but cooled off quickly. The crowd was not vocal tonight.
Goldylocks is with Jerry Lynn, who apparently requested this interview. Lynn wants to give Russo is props, for getting him out of focus. He says that he and AJ packed this arena over the Summer because people wanted to see wrestling. He wants to re-establish the X Division, stating that wrestling is the way to get back at Russo and his Sports Entertainment. He then says he will win the gauntlet match tonight.
Tenay runs down the competitors for the gauntlet. It will not be a battle royal style gauntlet but it will start with two men in the ring, with the winner moving on. The competitors include: Shark Boy, Jose Maximo, Joel Maximo, David Young, Tony Mamaluke, Jimmy Rave, Paul London, and Jerry Lynn.
X Division Gauntlet for the Gold
Shark Boy vs. Jose Maximo vs. Joel Maximo vs. David Young vs. Tony Mamaluke vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Paul London vs. Jerry Lynn
All of the men surround the ring. West says he is excited to see the debut of London. The order has been pre-determined. Shark Boy and Jose Maximo start off. They engage in a lot of counters then exchange rollups. Jose hits a suplex for two. He beats on Shark Boy in the corner but runs into a boot and Shark Boy gets the Deep Sea Drop for the pin (1:00). Joel Maximo is in next and he chops down Shark Boy. Suplex gets two. He gets a scoop slam then heads up and hits a Swanton Bomb and that only gets two. Joel runs into an elbow and Shark Boy gets the Deep Sea Drop for the pin (2:13). Jimmy Rave is in next and he gets a few chops. He gets two off of a Northern Lights Suplex but Shark Boy comes back with a neckbreaker. He gets some mounted punches in the corner and caps that off with the Shark Bite. He tries for another Deep Sea Drop but Rave blocks that and hits the Northern Lights Driver for the pin (3:20). Mamaluke is in next as the crowd boos Shark Boy’s elimination. He blocks a tornado DDT and puts on the Fujiwara armbar. Rave makes it to the ropes but Mamaluke kills him with a release back suplex for the pin (3:59). Young comes in and kills Mamaluke with a clothesline. Mamaluke escapes from a press slam attempt and puts him in a sleeper. Young escapes but Mamaluke clips the knee as Tenay brings us his previous reconstructive knee surgery. Mamaluke hesitates then goes to work on the knee. He grapevines the leg as Young is doing a fine job of selling. Shinbreaker by Mamaluke but Young blocks a DDT and tosses Mamaluke in the corner. Young then catches Mamaluke off the top with an inverted atomic drop and immediately hits the spinebuster for the pin (6:04). Jerry Lynn is next and gets the TKO. Young dodges a clip attemoptut sells the knee as he lands on his leg. Young gets a spinebuster but continues to sell the knee and is unable to cover quickly. Slam by Young, who then heads up top. He misses a moonsault and Lynn goes to work on the leg. Single leg crab by Lynn as Young tries to make it to the ropes. Lynn pulls him in the center of the ring and applies the STF. Young tries to escapes but taps out (8:11). London is the final entrant. He gets caught with a drop toehold as Mamaluke is shown helping Young up the ramp. They have a nice reversal sequence that ends with Lynn getting an armdrag. The crowd applauds as London fights out. He snaps off a rana but gets caught with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, which gets two. Lynn attempts a Boston Crab but London blocks that and reaches the ropes. He floats over on a slam and hits Lynn with a twisting neckbreaker, which gets two. They trade punches but London wins and gets two off a springboard sunset flip. Spinning heel kick gets two. Gutwrench gets two. London gets frustrated and heads up top. Lynn cuts him off and takes him off with a springboard sunset bomb, which only gets two. He tries a piledriver but London counters with a backdrop. West continues to put over London as both men struggle to get up. London runs across the ring and hits a forearm smash then gets a rollup for two. Lynn runs into a boot and London goes up top. Lynn gets his knees up on the London Calling (Shooting Star Press) and that gets two. They do a few more counters until Lynn hits the cradle piledriver for the win (15:04) ***.
Thoughts: Solid match. Nothing really stood out but Young did a good job selling the leg and London looked good, although not great, in his TNA debut. They got over Shark Boy’s finisher too. The match was fine and didn’t have any blown spots. The outcome was obvious as no one bought the other competitors as threats, unless you thought London would debut with a surprise win.
After the match, the rest of the competitors, besides Young and Mamaluke, come up and congratulate both men. Konnan comes out and asks Lynn “what’s poppin.” He said should he call him Mr. JL, saying taht they had Lucha Libre matches in WCW before he was in the nWo. He then tells Lynn that the X Division is not his to establish and speaks in Spanish for a bit. Lynn said he wrestled in WCW and was the only American who could hang with the luchadores and make them look good. Konnan accuses him of stealing all of his moves from Luchadores as Lynn said that he turned all of the styles across the world into the “X style” before telling Konnan that he was bitter and jealous for not being a high flyer, like Juventud, Psychosis, and Mysterio. Konnan said that he does not need to do that in order to sell out arenas and says something in Spanish as the SAT’s attack Lynn. They walk off together through the crowd and into Russo, who thanks him for sticking up for him in WCW. He also tells Konnan that his attack last week on Siaki caused him to go into his match hurt and ask Konnan where his allegiance lies. Konnan says that he doesn’t have to tell him shit as he and the SAT’s walk away. The segment was decent, Konnan did great on the mic, and if it leads to Konnan bringing in Luchadores to the X Division, it will be even better. The SAT’s don’t cut it as a major threat though. They are far too hit-and-miss in the ring.
Goldylocks is with Estrada. She mentions how he is a singles wrestler now and he talks about that until Killings interrupts. Estrada has been a singles wrestler for months so I don’t understand the point of the interview. Killings says that he has already answered the questions from the NWA and will now refuse all interviews. Goldy chases after him and sees Sanders and Gilbertti laid out, wearing masks. Tenay says that the mystery attacker might be the Sandman while West thinks it might be Russo himself. Its pretty obvious to anyone watching who the attacker is and this segment was a giant waste of time.
West plugs AJ Styles vs. Jeff Jarrett for the NWA-TNA Heavyweight Title next week.
Falls Count Anywhere
Raven vs. Sandman
Sandman is still busted open from the opening segment. Raven kicks him before he enters the ring. Sandman sends Raven into the guardrail and tosses a guardrail into the ring. He sets it up near the ropes and sends Raven into it with a drop toehold. He crotches him on the guardrail on the second attempt and knocks him off with a clothesline. Sandman is sloppier than usual tonight. Raven is busted open but he is able to send Sandman into the guardrail. They brawl into the stands and Raven drags him up in the bleachers. Raven knocks him down and drags him near the ramp. He slams his heads off the dancers’ stage and gets two. Suplex on the ramp from Raven then gets a trashcan. He slams it off his back and rolls him into the ring. Raven tosses two trashcans and a chair into the ring. He gouges the Sandman then grabs the chair. He sets it up in the middle of the ring and grabs another, wedging it into the corner. He whips the Sandman into the corner and gets two. Sandman reverses a whip and sends Raven into the chair with a drop toehold. He bounces a trashcan off of Raven’s head a few times until he goes down. Sandman covers and gets two. Raven gets tossed to the floor and the brawl into the crowd again. Sandman drags him around and places him on a table. He heads up to the balcony but gets hit from behind by Low Ki, who then tosses him through the table. Raven then covers for the win (7:29) *.
Thoughts: A garbage brawl, which was played out in 2003. Sandman did not look good here. The fans were not that responsive to the match but were probably more vocal during this than any other match.
After the match, Corino comes out and beats on Low Ki until Raven hits him. Sandman comes into the ring and hits Ki and Raven with the cane. He and Corino take control until the rest of SEX comes out. Russo orders for Corino and Sandman to get hogtied. They start to tie them up until Jeff Jarrett runs out and beats on SEX with a Singapore Cane. He wrestles a chair away from Russo but AJ Styles runs in and gives Jarrett a Styles Clash onto the chair as the show ends.
Final Thoughts: Not much of a show. A bit better than the past two weeks anyway. They did advance the AJ/Raven storyline, put over AJ’s title match next week, took the X Division belt off of Siaki, started a feud between Lynn and Konnan, and had a decent X Division match. The tag-tournament had two bad matches though and having Jeff Jarrett booked as Steve Austin is a failure. The SEX stuff is horrible too and it dominates the shows. The debuts of Sandman and Corino didn’t exactly get things going either. The promotion continues