The SmarK Rant for NWA-TNA PPV #6 – 07.24.02
Well last week was Full Russo. You never go full Russo!
Live from Nashville, TN, with their first appearance at the Fairgrounds. It looks like SHIT compared to the first few weeks of tapings. At least they had a big-league look to the show for a while, but definitely not now. According to the Observer, they didn’t even paper the building, leaving them with about 700 people in a 1500 seat arena.
Also this is the point where they start to go completely underwater with the PPV companies, to the point where the Jarretts were suing various people in the industry due to supposedly being lied to about what PPV buy numbers were and how much money was in it for them.
Your hosts are Mike Tenay, Don West & Ed Ferrera
Jeff Jarrett lays out some security geeks with a steel chair in the cold open, and cuts an angry promo on Ken Shamrock about how he deserves the title shot that Sabu is getting tonight. So we cut to the back, and Ken Shamrock is ALSO beating up security geeks until Bullet Bob and one of the HarriSS twins talk him off the ledge. So then Shamrock locks security into the room and instructs some random roid-monkey to guard the door. Back to the ring, as Bill Behrens suspends Jeff Jarrett for 60 days and threatens to drag him off, but security is locked up in the back and thus he can’t back up his big talk. So Jarrett lays him out, and then lays out Shamrock when he comes out as well. So Jarrett hates all authority figures and gets to look like a badass in every appearance, and he’s supposed to be a HEEL. Yeah.
Low Ki v. The Amazing Red
Ki throws a shin kick to start, but Red takes him down with armdrags and dropkicks him to the floor before following with a rana off the apron. Back in, Red slugs away and dropkicks Ki into the corner for two. Ki misses a charge and Red gets a neckbreaker off the middle rope for two, but Ki sends him flying into the corner with the koppo kick. Muta power elbow gets two. Fun fact from Tenay: Apparently Low Ki took him name from a line in the Blackstreet song “No Diggity”. Huh. Ki chops away on Red in the corner and takes him to the top for a hanging guillotine, which gets two. That was some crazy core strength there. They do a test of strength and Red walks up his chest in the corner and gets two. And then Ki kicks Red so hard that he knocks the doo rag off him! Red fires back with a shooting star press for two. Code Red gets two, back when that was a brand new highspot. Ki tries a tilt-a-whirl slam and Red reverses into a tornado DDT for two. Another try, but Ki throws him into the corner and beats him down. Red somersaults over him and hits him with an enzuigiri. He goes up to finish and misses a moonsault, and Ki hits him with the handspring enzuigiri before finishing with the Ki Krusher at7:27. Just an amazing spot monkey match that instantly got both guys over. ****
Meanwhile, Jeff Jarrett storms to the locked door backstage and calls the guy “Joe Steroid”, promising to return and get him out of the way.
The Hot Shots (Cassidy O’Reilly & Chase Stevens) v. “Wildcat” Chris Harris & “Cowboy” James Storm
So now we learn that it was the Hot Shots who are retconned into being the attackers who took Harris & Storm out of the tournament, and cut to a backstage promo where Storm does the whole “Yippie kay yay” gimmick, and Harris bitches him out for having a shitty gimmick. Which is hilarious considering Harris is long gone from the business and Storm is still being funny drunk cowboy and making money. Also, WACKY PARTNERS WHO HATE EACH OTHER and guys complaining about their gimmicks, take two drinks. Also the Hot Shots are now randomly heels who talk about their penises. The babyfaces get some shine on Stevens, but O’Reilly runs Storm into the railing and Stevens gets two. Dropkick gets two. O’Reilly works Storm over and hits a handspring elbow to set up a springboard moonsault for two. Chase comes in and misses a moonsault, and it’s hot tag Harris. He runs wild and gets a double clothesline on the Hot Shots, and Storm adds a swinging DDT on O’Reilly before Harris finishes Stevens with a northern lights suplex at 5:00. Just looked like any other bush league tag match. **
Apolo v. Brian Lawler
Mike Tenay notes that Lawler now has to be considered a top contender, despite him just doing the job to Scott Hall. Lawler does some Memphis stalling shit but Apolo gets a couple of slams and slugs away in the corner, then hits a short powerbomb for two. He charges and Lawler superkicks him out of the corner and then finds a chain or necklace and chokes him out. Apolo with a suplex, but a splash hits knees. Lawler goes up with a missile dropkick and then to the chinlock, but Apolo fights out and makes the comeback. Legdrop gets two. Apolo gets a superkick and sets up the TKO, but Lawler escapes and stops to dance. And then Apolo rolls him up for the fluke pin at 7:10. Really bad with a shitty finish. DUD Afterwards, Lawler shows how EDGY and DANGEROUS he is by going over and attacking Don West and choking him out. THERE’S NO SECURITY TO SAVE HIM! How coincidental that security is locked in a broom closet backstage and now they’re needed in every single segment of the show. I know I’m not a storytelling genius like Vince Russo, but if you lock security away for one segment and pay it off one time, that’s clever. If you do it over and over to the point where anyone running the show in kayfabe with half a brain could have just paid $20 to some jobbers to act as security for the night instead, then it’s stupid.
K-Krush, who much like Jeff Jarrett is a dangerous heel attacking everyone and shooting on authority figures, joins us for another promo. Also, did you know THERE’S NO SECURITY tonight. So K-Krush is dead and gone because white people gave him that name, so now he’s THE TRUTH. He notes that he’s basing this life choice on basketball star Allen Iverson, who he considers to be the greatest. And then he runs down a list of other famously persecuted black athletes, like OJ Simpson. This gets a huge heel reaction, but really this promo came off more like race-baiting the rednecks than any kind of true star-making promos like his other ones were. Anyway, Monty Brown comes out and cuts off Truth’s hate-filled rant, disputing whatever the point was supposed to be. Apparently Monty is OK with rich white people? Truth notes that it’s OK for them both to have their own views, so Monty should “step his Uncle Tom ass out of the ring” and the brawl is on. They do a couple of spots and Monty hits him with the powerbomb and leaves. Monty should have ended up the bigger star, but that’s sure not how it worked out.
Meanwhile, we recap the AJ v. Jerry Lynn feud that still doesn’t make any particular sense. So earlier in the day, Mike Tenay sat down with the tag champs to get to the bottom of things, and AJ has his baseball cap on backwards so you know he’s a young punk! But they’ve patched up their differences and understand each other so much better now and 100% won’t be breaking up again.
NWA World tag team titles: Jerry Lynn & AJ Styles v. The Flying Elvises
Jimmy Yang is just back from a tour of the orient, you see. So it’s Yang and Estrada representing the Elvises while Sonny Siaki does commentary with a microphone that barely works. Lynn trades hammerlocks with Estrada, but Estrada takes him down with a sideslam and then misses a moonsault. Lynn gets a Gory Special and Estrada flips out of it while Sonny takes credit for training his teammates. Lynn slugs away in the corner and the champs double-team him for two. The crowd, at least a few of them who actually care enough to make noise, chant “Let’s Go Elvis” and AJ gets an enzuigiri for two. AJ throws chops in the corner, but Jimmy Yang comes in and stomps AJ down. Styles comes back with a suplex for two and JL comes in with a senton for two. Backbreaker gets two. Back to AJ, who hits Yang with a forearm in the corner, but he tries a springboard crossbody and LANDS ON YANG’S KNEE. Holy shit if that was a worked spot that’s incredible timing because it looked FUCKING PAINFUL. AJ bails to the floor and Siaki attacks him out there. Back in the ring, the Elvii work AJ over in the corner and Estrada gets a suplex for two. Estrada drops knees on AJ’s gut and Yang suplexes him on the top rope for two. Estrada with a moonsault for two, but AJ cradles for two. Jorge with the spinebuster for two and Yang slinsgshots in with a senton for two. Yang with an abdominal stretch, but AJ fights back with his moonsault DDT that he STILL can’t hit properly after a month. Estrada cuts off the tag and the Elvis team double-teams AJ in the corner and AJ misses a dropkick. Yang slugs away, but AJ finally fights back with a mule kick, which busts Yang’s nose open. Finally it’s hot tag Lynn, who gets the sunset bomb in the corner on Estrada for two. They fight on the floor and Estrada hits Lynn with a quebrada, but then Siaki leaves the table and saves his partners, leaving Styles to hit Lynn with a dive by accident. Back in the ring, Yang and Estrada team up with a double flying splash on AJ while Jerry is busted open on the floor. AJ fights back with a lariat on Estrada and goes up to finish, but Lynn pins Estrada with a springboard splash at 16:33. Crowd was super dead. Match was OK but about 10 minutes too long. **
Disco Inferno joins us with Jive Talkin’, his new talk show segment. And he’s got the most ghetto Sears catalog living room furniture as the set. He does a pretty funny bit running down his glorious WCW career, beating Barry Horowitz “16 or 17 times in a row” and helping to retire Bill Goldberg. “Yeah he was in the arena that night” notes Tenay. So he continues putting himself over and offers to teach everyone how to be bigger stars. And also he’s offering to teach the entire state how to speak English. So I guess this was just a PREVIEW of Jive Talkin’, and the real show debuts next week.
I should also note that Ed Ferrera is just a complete parody of a heel announcer at this point in the show, literally making his entire schtick into agreeing with whatever stupid stuff the heels say over and over.
Meanwhile, Ken Shamrock goes looking for Jeff Jarrett but can’t find him.
Simon Diamond & Johnny Swinger v. Monty Brown & Elix Skipper
Although Simon Diamond lost about 67% of his star presence due to not having “Simon Says” as his theme song, he still has an awesome wrestling name at this point. So of course they managed to fuck that up too. The heels work Skipper over with some stuff and things and whatever. I wanna say wrestling moves? Double backwards legsweep thing gets two. Heel miscommunication leads to Skipper hitting Swinger with a suplex and Monty gets the “hot” tag in an arena that sounds like it’s 2020 and everyone is behind plexiglass. Simon and Swinger get their double DDT deal on Skipper but NOW the referee cares about who the legal man is and won’t count. And Monty hits the Alpha Bomb on Diamond to finish at 5:40. Hell of a debut for Simon & Swinger there. * And then The Truth runs out and attacks Brown, as Elix Skipper walks off. It was a setup, you see, and Elix didn’t actually care about winning. SO WHY DID THEY NEED TO WIN THE FUCKING MATCH THEN?
Meanwhile, Goldy interviews the Dupps, who accidentally left Fluff with Pop Dupp. You see, last time he OD’d on Viagra and Fluff didn’t walk straight for a week. So the Dupps are all depressed about not having a match, so we get some Russo meta-humor as Stan notes that you only need to bump into someone to get a match. So they go over and bump into the weightlifter guarding the door, which apparently sets up a match.
Bo Dupp v. Ian Harrison
The announcers keep calling him “The Iron Brit” as though he’s a character we should already know or care about. This does give us a funny bit as Jeremy Borash doesn’t know who he is, so the Dupps instruct him to announce “Some big musclehead guy from the back”. I love shoot comments that aren’t supposed to be shoot comments. Harrison throws Dupp around and gets a sitout slam for two. The crowd does not care in the least. Bo gets a big boot and standing frog splash for two. Harrison gets a suplex for two and I’ve got an epic burn coming so prepare yourself. Harrison gets a powerslam for two, but Stan runs in late for the DQ at 3:00, as the ref had to stop counting and pretend like he kicked out. Just awful. -** Not only that, but the roided Harrison should have joined the brothers afterwards as BLOW DUPP.
Told you it was an epic burn. Gotta take what entertainment I can get from this show.
Anyway, Harrison only worked this one match and then never returned, thankfully.
Ladder v. submission match, NWA World title: Ken Shamrock v. Sabu
What the fuck is that stipulation? So I guess Sabu has to climb a ladder and get the belt, but Shamrock can only submit him? Are they TRYING to book the worst match humanly possible before we even get to Sabu blowing everything? Like that literally reads like a dare where they booked this match and wanted to find a guaranteed way to make sure it was a complete trainwreck. Shamrock slugs Sabu down and goes for the ankle, because THAT’S what Sabu matches are known for: Their complex psychology and selling. Sabu tries an armbar but Shamrock reverses to the leg, and Sabu makes the ropes. He gets a leg lariat and slingshot legdrop, but then tries a pinfall and then has to try an armbar instead. Oh, so either guy can climb the ladder or do a submission I guess? WHAT AM I EVEN WATCHING? Shamrock beats on him in the corner, so Sabu just leaves the ring and grabs the ladder, and Shamrock dropkicks it into his face. So they walk up the ramp and fight on the ramp, where Sabu takes a pointless bump into the dancer cages and comes up bleeding. Back to ringside, where Sabu brings out a table this time as this is like some kind of telephone game parody of Russo’s favorite Attitude Era brawls. Sabu dives and SHOCKINGLY puts himself through the table as a result, and what any of this has to do with either climbing a ladder or trying for a submission is beyond me. So Shamrock brings in the ladder and climbs for the belt, but the lights go out (TAKE A DRINK!) and Malice comes out and cuts him off with a chokeslam. ENOUGH WITH MALICE ALREADY. And then Malice climbs up and steals the belt for himself to win the match (?) at 9:00? I guess? What a disaster this was. -*
Pretty sure this week was actually worse than last week’s stunningly bad Russo debut.