The Wrestling Bazaar: NWA/TNA Weekly PPV #13
During a meeting with Jeff and Jerry Jarrett concerning this and future shows, Vince Russo expressed interest in introducing a KKK character to feud with Ron Killings. Jerry, already skeptical of Russo’s understanding of the wrestling business, vetoed the idea immediately and wrote this show by himself. This show is Jerry’s first solo effort since PPV #4.
September 25, 2002- The Asylum in Nashville, Tennessee
Mike Tenay and Don West welcome us from ringside. The card hyping is cut short as Tenay, pressing his headset against his ear to magnify importance, pulls one of these numbers: “Keith Mitchell? Director Keith Mitchell? Something is going down in the back?!”
…And to the back we go, as Goldilocks catches up with Jerry Lynn beating the crap out of Sonny Siaki for costing him the NWA World Heavyweight Championship last week. They brawl until Don Harris breaks it up.
Back to ringside where Tenay and West finish their run-down of the card. It’s always bothered me how Tenay always refers to a champion’s first title defense as their “initial title defense.” Either way, tonight is Chris Harris and James Storm’s initial NWA Tag Team Championship defense.
Match One: Amazing Red vs. Sonny Siaki
Siaki has ditched his white Flying Elvises jumpsuit for black pants, and comes out selling a rib injury from his brawl. Red jumpstarts the match with a dive to the outside before Siaki can even enter the ring. After that, he doesn’t get much else in as Siaki dominates. It’s good to see that Siaki has toned down his X-Division style offense and found a nice power game. It adds to his heel character and makes him more believable. Halfway through the match, we spot Mortimer Plumtree- looking very much like a blonde Angry Video Game Nerd- taking notes on the match. Red manages to make a small comeback at the end, but his confidence gets the better of him as a missed dive off the top allows Siaki to hit him with his Money Clip neckbreaker for the win.
Winner: Sonny Siaki in 7:00
Rating: **1/4 (This, in my opinion, is exactly what you want out of an opening match. They had a solid outing that wasn’t trying to outshine anything else on the card or burn out the crowd early. A fine appetizer match.)
Post-match, Jorge Estrada comes out on the entrance stage. Last week, Sonny Siaki worked Estrada over for the last time. By the time the show is over, he wants Siaki’s Elvis gear.
In the back, Ron Killings attacks Amazing Red and Goldilocks magically appears with a microphone. Killings will get them before they get him. Tenay assumes he is referring to the X-Division guys.
Match Two: NWA Tag Team Championship: Tables Match- Chris Harris/James Storm© vs. Ron Harris/Brian Lee
The stipulation stems from the fact that Ron tried to put Storm through a table last week during the championship match. Strangely, this match starts out as a standard tag as opposed to having all four guys brawling…oh wait, there it is. Okay, and after a few seconds, it’s back to tagging in and out. Who laid this match out? Ron brings in a table and sets it up in the corner while Harris sells like he’s been through an Ironman match. Harris eventually makes the semi-warm tag to Storm and it breaks down. Standing on the apron, Lee tries to suplex Harris out of the ring and onto a table set-up at ringside but Storm intervenes and blocks it. He then jumps off Harris’ back Hardy Boy-style and elbows Lee off the apron and onto the table for the win.
Winner: Chris Harris/James Storm in 7:00 to retain the NWA Tag Team Championship
Rating: ¾* (Not good at all. They didn’t structure the match around the table stip very well and we were left with some piss-poor exchanges. It also felt rushed, which hurt Harris and Storm’s eventual comeback.)
Post-match, Ron Harris lays Chris Harris and James Storm out with a title belt to the head. He ends the beating with a powerbomb on Storm through a table. TNA security comes out and we get a face-to-face meeting between the Harris Brothers.
Earlier today, Goldilocks caught up with Miss TNA Bruce outside the arena. Sarah the Ticket Lady steps in and slaps him.
Ron Killings makes his way to the ring for a promo. He wants all these Trashville, Nashville rejects to shut up because he has something to get off his chest. Guaranteed heat. Growing up in the projects, he knows how it is to live with rats. Do you know what it’s like to go to sleep in a bed full of rats? (I’m assuming he means the animal, not the whore). After he won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, he considered the fact that there might not be any prejudice. Well, there is, and it is growing right here in TNA. Here is proof: What happened to Ricky Steamboat after he gave Killings a title shot? He hasn’t been back. Where is the Killings merchandise? Where is his private dressing room? Tonight, he has to wrestle Jerry Lynn with X-Division wrestlers as Lumberjacks. What the hell is that? Where is Killings’ posse?
Before he can finish, BG James comes out. Where is Killings’ posse? It’s right here (he points to his crotch). James is hearing Killings talk like a prima donna. Is that what this has come to? A few years ago, who was it that offered Killings a friendship? Who was it who covered for Killings when the boys were burying him to the higher ups? James thinks Killings needs a wake-up call. Killings sees it differently- James brought Killings to the WWF because his ass was in trouble. He needed the Suntan Superman to carry the load for a little bit, and Killings did just that. Killings carried James like a 10-pound bag of potatoes. In spite of that, when Killings extended his hand to James last week, James ignored it. As long as James is in Killings’ Asylum, he is his bitch…and they brawl with James getting the upper-hand as Killings retreats to the back.
In the back, Goldilocks is with Brian Lawler and his girlfriend, April. In the background, we hear JB getting the crowd pumped up. April has been spoken to, and there will be no more disrespect. April did what she had to do to find comfort. Lawler interjects- their business is no one else’s business.
Match Three: 2/3 Falls Match- AJ Styles vs. Low-Ki
The winner gets a shot at the X-Division championship next week; the loser is out of the title picture. Ki’s name is spelled “Lo Ki” on his graphic. Styles does a great bit early on, giving Ki a taste of his own medicine with a series of kicks to the chest. He follows up with Ki’s mat slap taunt. It momentarily comes back to bite him in the ass, giving Ki a surge of life. Styles eventually slows Ki back down though. Aside from a few female “AJ” chants, Styles is finally getting over as a heel in the Asylum. After connecting with a springboard head kick, Ki applies the Dragon Clutch to win the first fall at the 7:00 mark.
You would think the lack of rest period would benefit Ki, but Styles is on the offensive immediately. Ki takes advantage by blocking a baseball slide to the outside and locking in a standing Dragon Clutch, but Styles takes it back by dropping him back-first onto the entrance ramp. Tenay calls that “arena awareness.” Back inside, Ki applies the Hanging Dragon in-between the ropes, but breaks it to climb onto the middle rope. Styles recovers and tries for a sunset flip but Ki backflips himself out of it. Styles rolls through and covers for the second fall at the 11:00 mark.
Ki starts off strong, taking the action to the outside. It turns out to be a bad decision as Styles catches a kick and rams his leg into the barricade, setting up the story for the rest of the match. Back inside, they trade positions on the top rope. Styles teases a mid-rope Styles Clash but comes off with a shinbreaker instead. Styles references the heel playbook and connects with a low blow but fails to capitalize on a ropes leverage pin. That doesn’t stop him from hitting the Styles Clash for the win at the 15:00 mark.
Winner: AJ Styles in 15:00
Rating: *** (Good match that felt rushed, especially toward the end. By that time, the crowd had forgotten about their favorites and just wanted to see who would win. Assuming he retains the title later tonight, it looks like we will get another round of Styles/Lynn.)
In the back, Goldilocks is with Jeff Jarrett. His quest for the title has not been derailed. As a matter of fact, he is more focused than ever. Scott Hall and BG James are just obstacles he needs to eliminate.
Match Four: Brian Lawler/Elix Skipper vs. Scott Hall/Syxx Pac
Skipper, an odd partner choice for Lawler, botches his backflip entrance. I want to mention, Lawler’s theme song sounds an awful lot like the Filthy Animals’ theme song from WCW. This match quickly becomes more about Lawler’s girlfriend, April, than anything else. He is repeatedly distracted by her, constantly leaving the ring to tell her exactly where to stand. Skipper realizes this and tags himself in, leaving Hall to play the face in the peril. Still distracted, Lawler berates April from the apron, causing Don West to leave the booth and check on her. Lawler pushes him away and tries to comfort her. Meanwhile, Hall makes the hot tag to Syxx who unloads on Skipper. Lawler is able to make the save after an X-Factor, but is forcefully slapped to the outside by Hall. Finish comes when Skipper dives off the top and Syxx catches him with another X-Factor on the way down. Nicely done.
Winner: Syxx Pac/Scott Hall in 9:00
Rating: **1/4 (Not a bad formula tag match, but a little surprising that Hall took on the bulk of the beating as opposed to Syxx. The April storyline could have some potential, just as long as they don’t push it down our throats.)
Post-match, Jeff Jarrett runs in and singlehandedly takes care of Scott Hall and Syxx Pac. Brian Lawler and Elix Skipper join in on the beating before being scared away by Don Harris and the rest of TNA security.
In the back, Goldilocks is with AJ Styles. Is Styles cocky? Yep. Does Styles have a big mouth? Yep (That could be beneficial, you know, if you’re into that sort of thing). He is the best sports entertainer in the business and he wants a Ladder Match next week.
Bruce is back for some more “edgy” TV. He almost bought into the whole “women being equal” thing. He is here week after week, defending his crown, and yet, no fat broad can stand with him. All they are good for is cleaning and spreading. In a hilarious moment, JB and Don West try to stop Sarah the Ticket Lady from attacking Bruce with a broom. Don Harris joins in and he can’t help but crack a smile.
Match Five: Kid Kash vs. Jorge Estrada
Kash, after working face last week against Styles, is back to heel. We get the usual quick trading of moves and standoffs in the opening sequence. Mortimer Plumtree is once again inspecting the match from the entrance ramp. It spills to the outside and Estrada barely grazes Kash on an Undertaker-style leap over the top. Kash connects with a big flip off the top rope to the outside to get the crowd on their feet. Back inside, they fit about as many top rope dives as possible with no consequences whatsoever. One of Kash’s finally does make a difference, as Estrada catches him in mid-air and comes down with a powerbomb. This allows Estrada to hit a springboard flip he calls the TCB (Taking Care of Business) to win the match.
Winner: Jorge Estrada in 6:00
Rating: *3/4 (After a promising start, Kash’s character is in limbo right now. Heel one week, face the next and back to heel. He is basically changing his character based on his opponent for that week. As for the match, they gave us the “wrestling” in the opening sequence before resorting to mindless spots.)
Post-match, Jorge Estrada gets on the mic. Time is up and he wants Sonny Siaki. Siaki comes out and is sorry there was a misunderstanding. He never wanted it to go down like this. If Estrada wants the Elvis jumpsuit, no problem, he can have. Siaki just hopes Estrada doesn’t mind he gave it a proper burial- check out the video. We see Siaki throwing the suit into a flaming garbage can. Estrada goes nuts.
Match Six: X-Division Championship: Lumberjack Match- Jerry Lynn© vs. Ron Killings
Our lumberjacks are: Amazing Red, Kid Kash, Low-Ki and Jorge Estrada. Basically everyone who came out to show their support for Lynn last week, minus Sonny Siaki and AJ Styles- the guys who cost him the match. Lynn starts off hot, forcing Killings to face the lumberjacks twice in the opening minutes. They send him back inside promptly, and all is well. However, when Lynn ends up outside for the first time, Kash gets in a cheap shot, much to the dismay of Tenay. “What was that about?” I wonder whether he has ever seen a lumberjack match before. Meanwhile, AJ Styles appears on the entrance ramp with a ladder. Back inside, Killings is back in control, pulling out a Muscle Buster. Aside from that and a nice powerslam, this is where the match flat lines. Lynn mounts a comeback after countering a bodyslam into an inverted DDT. They trade blows and Lynn gets a nearfall off a sitout powerbomb. Killings gets desperate and connects with a low blow behind the ref’s back just as Red and Estrada hop onto the apron. They distract the ref while Ki snaps Killings’ neck across the top rope on the opposite side of the ring. Lynn takes advantage and hits a TKO for the win.
Winner: Jerry Lynn in 9:00 to retain the X-Division Championship
Rating: **1/2 (Better than last week, but still a little plodding while Killings was on offense. Lynn gets a big win over the NWA World Heavyweight Champion and will go on to meet Styles next week.)
At ringside, Mike Tenay pitches it to the excitable Don West for the hard sell on next week’s show.
Before our main event, BG James gets on the mic. He has to do his “Oh, you didn’t know?” shtick twice as JB talks over him the first time. Earlier tonight, Jeff Jarrett said he had three mountains to climb. James guesses he is first. This ain’t nothing but a B to the G thing, and he is about to feel his B to the G sing. You see, it’s BG James and the G stands for Get it, Got it, Good! He is really trying hard to get that catchphrase over; it’s the second time he’s used it tonight. If I remember correctly, it’s the same catchphrase he and Kip James started to use as the James Gang.
Match Seven: Jeff Jarrett vs. BG James
James manages to bust out his leg swivel dance three times in about 90 seconds- that has to be some kind of record. It costs him the third time as Jarrett is able to hit him with an enzuigiri. James was blown up after a minute of brawling a couple shows ago, so I’m impressed that he is holding up well in his first real match. They make their way to the outside and James hits Jarrett with a chair a few times. They brawl into the crowd where Jarrett pays him back for those chair shots. In a sign of Jarrett’s professionalism, he makes sure to play to the crowd at certain points to give James a little breather. A well-timed sleeper helps in that regard as well. James tries to wake the crowd up for a comeback, but they aren’t very responsive. Both guys are down after a Jarrett back suplex. James gets a second wind and gets in some mounted punches, accidently hitting the ref in the process. While James checks on him, Jarrett gets a chair and wedges it between the top and middle rope. James realizes this and sends Jarrett head-first into it. Elix Skipper and Brian Lawler interfere on behalf of Jarrett, but James initially outsmarts them both. On a second attempt, they manage to distract him, allowing Jarrett to connect with a chair shot to the head for a believable nearfall. James regroups and is about to get the win off a pumphandle slam, but Skipper and Lawler enter the ring and take him out for the disqualification.
Winner: BG James via Disqualification in 9:00
Rating: ** (Jarrett took care of James out there. They did a pretty good job of working around James’ limitations and kept up a decent pace. The DQ finish makes little sense in a match that featured about 15 chair shots and complete disregard for a countout, but you had to expect it.)
Post-match, Syxx Pac and Scott Hall make the save. Ron Killings comes in and teams with Jeff Jarrett, Elix Skipper and Brian Lawler to take care of business. They celebrate to end the show.
The 411: Jerry Jarrett’s influence is definitely more noticeable here with the focus being on logical match-ups and promos with the sole intention of advancing a feud. The result is one of the most focused shows of the series up to this point. While they offered nothing must-see, almost everything made sense and was at least watchable. I also appreciate the fact that they finally managed to make the Bruce character somewhat entertaining. Most importantly of all, they set themselves up with a number of intriguing scenarios for the next few weeks.
|Final Score: 6.9 [ Average ] legend|