The SmarK Rant for NWA-TNA PPV #10 – 08.21.02
Yup, back to these. I was always coming back to them, don’t worry. I’m still paying for the subscription!
DID YOU KNOW…this episode was actually one of the ones that was carried by Canadian PPV companies at the time, so I actually had done it originally in 2002? They only ended up putting something like 2 or 3 of the original run on PPV up here, at least that I had access to when I lived in Edmonton. By the time it was actually picked up on a regular basis I had lost interest in continuing on with it. Especially at $10 per show. That was a lot of hot dogs and ramen noodles at the time. I mean, unless I had some kind of “MAGIC BLACK BOX” to just magically get PPVs for free. But that’s stupid to even suggest.
Taped from Nashville, TN. We’re getting to the point now where things were looking PRETTY dire for the company, as they suddenly told talent that they would be taping two shows this week and then going on hiatus until 09/18. So this one and the next one feature a whole bunch of talent and budget cutbacks in efforts to save money before the fabled PPV revenue finally starts coming in. Which I don’t think it ever did.
Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Don West and THANK GOD, Ed Ferrera is history.
AJ Styles v. Jerry Lynn
This is a best-of-three series tonight, and this first one is a falls count anywhere match, to be followed by a no-DQ match and then an Iron Man match. Oh, and the winner of the series gets a shot at the X Division title. Are there any more plates that they need to juggle with this match tonight or can the bookers CALM THE FUCK DOWN with it yet? Lynn yanks him out of the ring and drops him on the railing, then clotheslines him into the crowd. AJ fires back with a superkick from behind the railing and then springboards over with a splash for two on the floor. They trade chops as the announcers explain that AJ has now been screwed out of both of his titles without losing either one. One guess who’s writing. Back into the crowd, and Lynn rams AJ into the floor for two. They fight up into the seats and AJ tosses Lynn off the bleachers and then follows with a somersault dive onto him for two. Back to ringside, as Lynn suplexes Styles onto the railing and then back into ringside for two. They head into the ring and Styles gets two and then follows with a slingshot suplex into a neckbreaker for two. They fight on the apron and AJ takes him to the floor with a rana for two, and it’s up the ramp as they exchange chops until AJ hits the enzuigiri. They slug it out at the entrance and Lynn spears him and then bulldogs him off the stage and onto a platform for two. AJ comes back with an attempt at the Styles Clash, but Lynn backdrops out of it and then hits his cradle piledriver to finish at 9:56. Fun brawl to start the show. ***
Meanwhile, Goldy Locks finds James Storm and a smoking Chris Harris. Storm once again does his “aw shucks” cowboy act and Harris gets all pissed off at him and stops the interview so he can complain about the gimmick. This brings Brian Lee and Ron Harris (the non-SS one) over for a word, but they offend Storm by calling him a “buckaroo” without earning the designation first. Like, they’re literally shooting these in Nashville, why wouldn’t you want to run with a cowboy gimmick? Harris comes off like a complete doofus here.
Ron Harris & Brian Lee v. Chris Harris & James Storm
Interestingly there are three people in the match with the last name of “Harris”, none of whom are related to each other. Lee, who has clearly being taking his ICOPRO as of late, slugs away on Storm to start, but the Cowboy cleans house on the heels and Wildcat comes in with a flying axehandle to clear the ring. The crowd chants “DOA”, obviously in reference to TNA’s PPV clearance at this point. Ron comes in and throws shoulderblocks on Chris, but the babyfaces clean house again and Storm hits the heels with a dive to the floor. Back in, Lee catches Wildcat with a tombstone for two as Storm makes the save. Ron works him over in the corner and gets a sideslam for two. It should be noted that they still make sure to talk about head of security Don Harris even though they’re keeping him off TV for being an (alleged) neo-Nazi. Chris Harris fights back with a Thesz Press on Lee for two, but he gets tossed and beat up by Ron. They continue double-teaming Chris in the corner and Ron gets a big boot, which allows Lee to get two. Harris finally comes back with a bulldog and makes the hot tag to Storm, and they clean house and clothesline Lee to the floor. So then Lee grabs a “fan” from the front row, who is built suspiciously like a wrestler, and beats on him, while Storm rolls up Ron for the pin at 9:13. I have no clue what that finish was about or why I should care, but the match was pretty OK and the future AMW continue to be super-over babyfaces. **1/2
Sonny Siaki v. Jimmy Yang
Yes, it’s EXPLODING ELVISES! Also it’s a 2 out of 3 falls match, because reasons. They fight on the floor before the bell and Yang sends him into the railing after a brawl on the ramp and drops him on the railing, and we head in to start the match. Yang gets two in the ring and blocks a charge with an elbow out of the corner, then follows with a springboard missile dropkick for two. Yang with a chinlock, but Siaki fights out and hits something like a Big Ending for two. Mike Tenay drops HOT NEWZ here: Bill Goldberg will be returning to the ring for a tour of the Orient! Yang comes back with Yang Time to win the first fall at 2:05.
Second fall starts right away and Yang tries a Tarantula, but Siaki dumps him to the floor and hurls him into the front row with a vicious flip over the railing, and then suplexes him back to ringside. Back in, that gets two. Flipping neckbreaker gets two and Siaki goes to the chinlock and then chops away on Yang on the ropes, but Yang fights back with his own and Siaki gets an ugly pumphandle slam thing that goes badly. That gets two. Siaki sends him into the corner and chokes him out there, and a legdrop gets two. Siaki with a surfboard, but Yang gets a backslide for two, so Siaki hits him with what Tenay calls “a strange clothesline or lariat type move”. That’s as accurate as anything I can call it. Siaki finishes him off with another neckbreaker at 7:05.
Third fall and Siaki gets a Canadian backbreaker for two, but Yang is in the ropes. Yang rolls him into a half crab, but Siaki makes the ropes, so Yang works the leg with a kneebar. “You’ve gotta clean your own house” notes Don West. Well unless you’re a Harris brother, in which case you probably still own slaves to do it for you. I’m joking! That costs more money than TNA was paying. Yang fights back with a shining wizard and a bunch of clotheslines for two, but he tries a rana and Siaki hurks him back into the top turnbuckle to block that. Siaki goes up and gets crotched, and Yang brings him down with a rana for two. They fight over a german suplex and Siaki rolls him up on the ropes for the pin at 12:45. This was quite decent but didn’t need the stip. ***
And then Jeff Jarrett interrupts the celebration, complaining that Bullet Bob has pissed him off (does Ricky Steamboat even exist anymore?) and this prompts Brian Lawler to storm out and attack him, as we still don’t know the mysterious mystery behind Lawler’s path of rage. So Goldy hits the ring and tries to find out what the deal is, but he’s just so ANGRY that he can’t reveal the secret yet. But then he does want to reveal the secret, but gosh darn, Slash attacks him and they have a match instead.
Slash v. Brian Lawler
So yeah, Slash attacks and lays him out, then suplexes him on the top rope and they fight on the floor. Slash whips him into the railings as Tenay notes that James Mitchell is “stirring things up” with the New Church, which I believe is code for “Malice got cut to save payroll”. Slash tries to pull the mats for a piledriver, but Lawler backdrops him on the concrete and they continue the messy brawl as Lawler brings him into the ring and then clotheslines him to the floor again. Lawler bulldogs him on the ramp and tries to get a chair from the fans again, and gets punked out again. Back in the ring, Slash lays him out and gets two. Slash hits the helicopter slam for two, but Lawler gets a DDT and makes the comeback (?). Both guys are heels so this is a weird dynamic anyway. Slash goes for his finisher, but Lawler blocks, so Slash goes low and they fight to the top. Lawler slugs him down and finishes with the Tennessee Jam at 5:58. This was certainly a match that happened, neither the first nor last time Brian Christopher wrestled Wolfie D in Tennessee. *1/2
X Division title: Low Ki v. Joel Maximo v. Jose Maximo v. Amazing Red
Once again, this is more properly a Four Corners match. Ki slams Red for two and drops the power elbow for two, but he tries for the Ki Crusher and Red escapes and dropkicks him into the corner for two. Jose comes in and tries a tornado DDT on Ki, but he gets blocked and chopped, and then hits the DDT out of the other corner for two. Maximos get a double team bulldog for two and Joel hits a lariat for two. Ki springboards back with a rana to come back, but Jose attacks from behind, so Ki puts them both in the corner with the rolling kick. Red sneaks in with a standing shooting star on Joel for two, but Ki tags himself in again and the SATs triple-team him until Red decides to turn on the Maximos with a rana. Red walks up Joel’s shoulders, but Low Ki springboards with a dropkick to knock him off for a crazy bump. The Maximos double-team Ki with a neckbreaker, but Red cleans house now and hits Jose with a rana off the apron that sends him into his brother on the floor. Red then tries a dive onto Low Ki, but Ki hits him with a kick from the floor and looks to put him away with the Ki Crusher, but then changes his mind and tosses Red onto the Maximos. Ki follows with a corkscrew dive off the top onto the pile, and he gets two on Joel. Ki charges and gets dumped to the floor, while Jose hits Red with a powerbomb for two. And then Joel hits Jose with a double underhook powerbomb and pins him at 9:24 to eliminate him. This would have been much better served with one fall. Red flies up and hits Joel with the Infra-Red splash for the pin at 10:15. Ki and Red slug it out in the corner and Red tries the Code Red, but Ki just slams him into the corner to break free and that gets two. Low Ki tries another Crusher, but then decides to take Red to the top rope instead, and Red is able to fight out of it. They fight on the top and Ki hooks the Crusher again, hitting it off the top rope to retain at 12:02. Too long for what the SATs were capable of at that point in their careers, as this really exposed them badly. There was some occasional crazy spots but absolutely nothing in between. **1/2
Meanwhile, Goldy has words with The Truth, who calls her “a hussy” and compares himself to Abraham Lincoln. He freed the African American sports entertainers! He had a dream, and in his dream his foot was knocking the dirt off Brown’s sorry ass. Truth was money at this point.
NWA World title: Ron Killings v. Monty Brown
What, no wacky stip for this one? They slug it out in the corner and Brown hits a corner splash and throws shoulderblocks to keep Truth down for two. Truth pulls down the rope and puts him on the floor, then follows with a dive. They fight out and Brown tries a powerbomb through the announce table, but Truth escapes that, so Monty hits him with an overhead suplex on the floor and both guys are down. Gotta say, there’s been way too much brawling on the floor on this show. That’s just lazy agents. Back in, Brown gets two and he is BLOWED UP. Truth hits a flatliner and Brown looks like a corpse while he’s selling, and Truth gets a flying legdrop for two. Brown can barely kick out, so Truth goes to a chinlock to let the poor bastard actually catch some oxygen. Brown fights back with a back elbow, but Truth hits him with a leg lariat and Brown is just dying on the mat, so Truth gets two. Brown tries a clothesline out of the corner but he can’t even lift his arm, so they do a suplex instead and both guys are down. Mostly Brown. Brown comes back with a running powerslam and a splash for two. Truth hits him with the axe kick for two, but Monty tries for the Alpha Bomb and Truth gets an ugly reversal into a rollup for the pin at 10:18 to retain. Oh this was not a good idea. Monty Brown needed to be confined to 2:00 matches. ½* And then of course Stone Cold Jeff Hearst Helmsley hits the ring and lays out both guys with chairshots, and then Brian Lawler attacks HIM for mysterious mystery reasons, but he accidentally hits Truth with a chairshot and knocks him out.
Wait, so what happened to Jarrett and Truth as a team challenging for the tag team titles? The titles were held up after the last show and now they’re just not gonna be involved any longer?
Meanwhile, Jerry Lynn is talking with Goldy about the next match in the series, but AJ decides to just attack him and start.
AJ Styles v. Jerry Lynn
So this is no-DQ and they brawl from the back and into the ring, but JL necks him on the top rope and immediately pulls out a table. He tries to powerbomb AJ through it, but gets blocked, and AJ dives at him and lands on the overturned table instead. That was awkward. Lynn grabs a chair, but AJ SWEEPS THE LEG and legdrops the chair onto his face and then wedges the chair in the corner. Lynn counters with a catapult into the chair and gets two off that. They slug it out in the corner, but Lynn guillotines him in the corner and they fight to the top. Lynn tries a tornado DDT, but AJ clotheslines him back to the mat and hits a legdrop for two. That got screwed up and the crowd lets AJ have it. They clothesline each other and land on the chair. They fight over that and Lynn tries a sunset flip, but AJ blocks by hitting in the face with the chair and gets two. AJ takes a mighty swing with the chair and Lynn dropkicks it back in his face, and that gets two. However, Lynn picks him up and wants more punishment, so they head to the top and slug it out, allowing AJ to fight him off, but Lynn crotches him. And then Lynn brings him down to the floor and through the table with a rana, as AJ takes a terrifying bump and his head bounces off it while it’s breaking. Back in, that gets two for Lynn. Back to the top, but this time AJ fights back and brings him down for a Styles Clash onto the chair, and that finishes at 11:38. This was pretty weak for them. **1/2
10:00 Iron Man overtime: AJ Styles v. Jerry Lynn
Lynn is still out, so AJ pins him TWICE to go up 2-0 right away. A third try only gets two, however. Lynn reverses a suplex into a neckbreaker for two. Lynn tries a sleeper, but AJ reverses to his own and we get the arm drop gimmick, but JL comes back, so AJ yanks him down by the hair and clamps on the chinlock to try and ride out the clock. Lynn fights up and they trade rana attempts, but Lynn powerbombs him for the pin to make it 2-1 at 3:50. Lynn hits him with a corner clothesline and tries the piledriver, but AJ backdrops out of that and punts him. They slug it out in the corner and AJ charges, but misses and takes a crazy bump off the turnbuckles. Lynn hits a springboard legdrop for two off that. Lynn goes up, but AJ brings him down with a Razor’s Edge into a facebuster for the pin at 6:33 to make it 3-1. Looks like they messed up the fall there, with Lynn forgetting to lift his shoulder or something. AJ hits a spinkick for two, but Low Ki comes out to watch while carrying a ladder. This distracts AJ and Lynn spikes him with a piledriver for the pin at 8:10 to make it 3-2 AJ. And then he hits a Styles Clash on AJ to tie it up at 3-3 at 9:00. And they trade crazy near falls as time expires at 10:00 and we’re still tied. So it’s a draw and we get a triple threat match for the X title next week instead. This was probably the best of the three, although it takes balls to promise a definitive winner and then book a draw anyway. ***1/2
Don West does the hard sell for next week’s triple threat ladder match, and as usual he’s incredible in this role.
Meanwhile, Scott Armstrong tries to convince Bob to come out of the dressing room, where he’s locked in, apparently wanting to take desperate measures to deal with Jeff Jarrett.
Jeff Jarrett joins us so he can receive whatever Bob’s surprise was supposed to be, and this brings out The Bullet, who is clearly not Bob Armstrong and was actually Steve playing the role here. So Jeff beats him up, as if anyone in 2002 even remembered the Bullet gimmick, but the Bullet makes the comeback and clotheslines him out of the ring. And then, of course, the real Bob comes out wielding a chair and we’re out. This was a dumb angle to end the show as this Jarrett stuff just drags on and on.
This was CLEARLY a show done on the cheap, like as cheap as possible, with whichever guys were in the area that night and a complete no-nonsense approach with all in-ring stuff. That being said, I don’t necessarily want NO nonsense, I want APPROPRIATE amounts of nonsense. This one swung too far to the wrong direction for me and just felt desperate. Which it was.