wrestling / Video Reviews

The Wrestling Bazaar: NWA/TNA Weekly PPV #16

May 27, 2011 | Posted by Nick Bazar

October 16, 2002- The Asylum in Nashville, Tennessee

At ringside, Mike Tenay and Don West pitch it to a series of hype videos for tonight’s matches.

In the back, Goldilocks is with Jorge Estrada. I can’t hear anything they’re saying. Audio comes in as Estrada welcomes his new valet, Priscilla. As he speaks, Syxx Pac quietly leaves an office in the background. Estrada will be hosting auditions to find a new Elvis. Brian Lawler steps in looking for April. If anything happens, he will hold Goldilocks responsible. In the background, the office door opens again and it’s April.

Match One: David Young vs. Brian Lawler
April meets up with Lawler on the ramp and Lawler makes her sit at ringside for the match. Lawler transfers his pre-match anger to the opening minutes of the match, dominating Young easily. Soon enough, he directs his attention to April, allowing Young to get a few shots in. They go back and forth with Lawler taking back control with the Stroke. His constant pandering comes back to bite him as he takes far too long to hit a powerbomb and ends up having it countered into a reverse electric chair. The pandering costs him again on a Hip Hop Drop attempt. Young sees an opening and heads to the top but April distracts him, allowing Lawler to hit an inverted DDT off the ropes for the win.
Winner: Brian Lawler in 6:00
Rating: * (Nothing to see here. Lawler pays attention to everything but his opponent, and it allows them to make comebacks. That’s typically the story of every one of his matches.)

We get a video highlighting the Sonny Siaki/Jerry Lynn feud. It sets up an in-ring Jerry Lynn promo, who heads to the ring with a limp. Lynn will hold all responsibility for re-injuring his knee last week. He won’t take responsibility for what he does to Siaki next week though. Lynn has heard Siaki’s rap before- he is exactly what’s wrong with this business today. Siaki has earned nothing, but wants everything. Lynn will be his reality check. Sonny Siaki comes out. Unlike Lynn, Siaki won’t be a mid-carder for 15 years. Siaki is life. Lynn reminds Siaki that after life comes death, and they brawl in the ring. Siaki targets the knee and a bunch of X-Division guys and security try to separate them.

Earlier today, Mike Tenay had a sit-down interview with Syxx Pac. Syxx puts over the X-Division as extreme and exciting. It’s the cream of the crop in wrestling today. He is not here to recreate the nWo or DX. He is here because he is a professional wrestler, not a sports entertainer. Syxx will prove he is the X-Division Champion tonight.

Match Two: Sonny Siaki vs. Jorge Estrada
They’ve been building to this match for quite some time now, but I think they waited too long. Especially considering Siaki is in a program with Lynn now. Estrada starts off strong hitting a bunch of springboard stuff but Siaki takes control with a belly-to-belly suplex to the outside. Siaki continues with a nice fallaway pumphandle slam on the floor before giving Estrada a small opening off a missed legdrop back inside. Estrada hits a tornado DDT off the ropes but can’t make the cover. He suddenly gets his second wind and attacks with a surge of offense until falling to a big Siaki clothesline. Siaki heads outside for a quick breather and eggs Estrada on to try for a high risk move. He does, and Siaki moves out of the way. Back inside, Siaki hits the Siakalypse for the win.
Winner: Sonny Siaki in 5:00
Rating: *3/4 (Heatless. Shame too, because the crowd was hot for the Siaki/Estrada feud some weeks ago, but it died down when TNA stopped paying it any attention. Estrada is without direction at this point, and it doesn’t make him look very intimidating when his valet is taller than him.)

Post-match, Jerry Lynn runs out and brawls with Sonny Siaki again. More security.

Match Three: Derek Wylde vs. Ace Steel
Steel has this crazy intensity about him, almost Brian Pillman-like. He is accompanied by Mortimer Plumtree. Wylde tries to show off his stuff in the beginning, but none of it is very fluid. He takes one too many risks and Steel eventually smarts up to it, catching him in midair coming off the top. Steel takes over from there, hitting a superplex and eventually a gory neckbreaker he calls the Twist of Cain for the win.
Winner: Ace Steel in 4:00
Rating: * (Steel didn’t do much, and almost botched his finisher. While he was far more impressive last week, his character has more direction this week with Plumtree at his side.)

Lollipop is back in the cage this week. I miss her in wrestling, she’s purty.

Before our next match, BG James does his usual mic shtick. He will go through Jeff Jarrett like a hot knife through butter; Hermie Sadler will drive over Bruce, homo. The amount of redneck in this segment is almost suffocating. Jarrett grabs a mic and lets Sadler know that movie producers want him in their next film- The Last and The Furious.

Match Four: Bruce/Jeff Jarrett vs. BG James/Hermie Sadler
Sadler has been made to look impressive in his previous matches at the expense of actual wrestlers. I question TNA’s many attempts to try and prove that “NASCAR drivers are real athletes, dammit!” Tenay keeps mentioning how this tag match is about respect. Respect- that’s always been a buzz word in TNA. James handles Jarrett at the start, but Sadler wants in when Bruce makes the tag. Does it make me a bad fan that I enjoy watching Bruce paintbrush Sadler, the supposed babyface? Bruce continues to school Sadler until he manages to bust out a hiptoss and side headlock. James tags himself in and lets Bruce’s gyrating antics break up a pumphandle slam attempt. The heels take over from there until James eventually mounts a comeback on a series of jabs. Sadler steps in and takes Bruce out with a snap suplex while James brawls with Jarrett up the ramp. Brian Lawler appears on the stage and nails James with a trashcan. Meanwhile, Sadler very awkwardly rolls Bruce up for the win.
Winner: BG James/Hermie Sadler in 7:00
Rating: * (When I say the finish was very awkward, I mean Bruce was dry humping Sadler on the rollup. Anyway, the stinkers continue. This was just barely “okay” during the heel’s isolation of James, and it just broke down soon afterward. Sadler gets another win over a TNA superstar.)

Post-match, Bruce tries to get frisky with Jeff Jarrett and ends up taking a Stroke onto his tiara.

Match Five: Norman Smiley vs. Ron Harris
After weeks of trying to find a tag partner that fits, Harris is thrown into singles action. If only he had an identical twin brother working for the same company. Smiley uses his dancing to distract Harris and get some offense in at the start. It doesn’t last long as Harris avoids the Big Wiggle and dominates. Smiley is the quicker of the two, so that helps him get back into it and eventually successfully perform the Big Wiggle. Harris has enough of it and puts him away with a big sidewalk slam and the Cobra Slam for the win.
Winner: Ron Harris in 5:00
Rating: *3/4 (Fine for what it was, but still on par with the rest of the below-average stuff we’ve been treated to this week. It actually felt shorter than 5 minutes, so that’s something I guess.)

Post-match, Ron Harris unloads on Norman Smiley, only to awaken an inner range inside him. Smiley goes crazy on Harris and Don Harris has to break it up. The Harris Brothers stare each other down.

Match Six: NWA Tag Team Championship- Chris Harris©/James Storm© vs. Chris Michaels/Rick Michaels
Harris and Storm still haven’t been given a team name, but there is a sign in the crowd that reads “America’s Most Wanted- Chris Harris and James Storm.” Hmmm. Chris and Rick earned a title shot last week, beating Ron Harris and Sonny Siaki. Storm and Harris start off strong, even hitting consecutive planchas to the outside. The challengers have to heel it up to turn things around, as Chris takes out Storm’s legs from the apron. They begin isolating Storm, staying fresh with quick tags. Harris makes the hot tag and takes both out with flying clotheslines. He gets a nearfall off a high crossbody onto Chris, and the match breaks down. Storm has the match won with a tornado DDT on Rick, but the ref has his back turned. Chris comes off the top with a legdrop for a believable nearfall. They go back and forth for a while and a Double Shot/diving elbow combo from Chris and Rick give them another nearfall. Harris ends up securing the win with a huge Catatonic.
Winner: Chris Harris/James Storm in 7:00 to retain the NWA Tag Team Championship
Rating: ** (This is already becoming the typical Harris/Storm tag team match. Storm tries to get some sympathy as the face in the peril, and the match breaks down with a series of nearfalls after Harris gets the hot tag. Should work, but surprisingly, Harris/Storm are not over with the Nashville crowd. They were dead for this.)

Post-match, The Hot Shots run down and attack Chris Harris and James Storm. Chris and Rick Michaels join them in the beatdown until refs break it up.

Match Seven: X-Division Championship- Syxx Pac© vs. AJ Styles
Mortimer Plumtree accompanies Styles; Tenay and West have a hissy fit. Styles plays the dick card right out of the gate, kicking away a handshake offer from Syxx. Not to be outdone, Syxx gives him a crotch chop. Styles out-wrestles Syxx in the early going, but a standing rana proves to be a bad decision as it wakes Syxx up and he attacks with a series of strikes. The shift in momentum flusters Styles and he has to bail to the outside to stall on two occasions. He takes back control by crotching Syxx on the ringpost, followed by some well-timed interference from Plumtree. When Styles senses Syxx is getting his second wind, he tosses him to the outside and hits with a picture-perfect flip dive over the ropes before slowing things back down with a chinlock. He tries to end it with a Spiral Tap, but Syxx has it scouted and makes him miss. Syxx starts his comeback, hitting Styles with several kicks before getting too overconfident and taking a dropkick to the gut coming off the top rope. Styles mocks Syxx with an attempt at the Bronco Buster but ends up being pushed up and over the top. Syxx follows up with a dive to the outside before getting a nearfall off a northern lights suplex. Styles tries to answer with a discus clothesline but ends up taking out the ref instead. This works against Syxx as there is no one there to count the fall when he hits the X-Factor. Plumtree steps in and the ref wakes up just in time to stop Syxx from attacking him. Syxx regroups and hits the Bronco Buster followed by repeated rights to the head. The ref tries to break it up but Syxx pushes him away to cause a disqualification.
Winner: AJ Styles via Disqualification in 14:00, Syxx Pac retains the X-Division Championship
Rating: **1/2 (Not sure if that was the intended finish as you could clearly hear Syxx say to the ref, “ring it!” Styles had to tone down his pace a little to help Syxx keep up, but they did fine all things considered. You don’t see a heel win by DQ every day, but this presumably sets up a rematch in the future.)

At ringside, Don West is back with the hard sell of next week’s show.

Earlier today, Mike Tenay had another sit-down interview, this time with Curt Hennig. The AWA was wrestling; it’s where Hennig first became a champion and learned the fundamentals of wrestling. He doesn’t see a whole lot of wrestling nowadays, but he does see it in NWA/TNA. He puts over NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ron Killings, but he has his eyes on that title.

Before our next match, Ron Killings has a few things to say. When will TNA officials grow a set of balls and show their faces? They are a bunch of punk ass cowards. Killings was told by the “board” that he would be able to give minority wrestlers the chance he was given. How long did that last? Tonight, Killings will prove to Curt Hennig that he is the Suntan Superman. Hennig’s music hits and he has an answer. Has Killings ever heard the word “respect”? No one likes Killings, and as far as he’s concerned, he can kiss his ass!

Match Eight: NWA World Heavyweight Championship- Ron Killings© vs. Curt Hennig
Hennig receives this title shot because he pinned Killings last week in his debut match. They stall for quite a bit before Hennig gains a takedown off a go-behind. Killings has to bail to the outside and back body drops Hennig onto the announce table. They brawl in the crowd briefly and Hennig gets back on offense with a steel chair shot to the back. So far, Hennig has proved he can out-wrestle and out-brawl Killings. Realizing that, Killings has to resort to throwing some kind of substance into Hennig’s eyes to gain an advantage. Meanwhile, a few wrestlers appear on the entrance stage, watching the championship match. Killings starts working over the leg and naturally, we get the Hennig bump on the ropes. Hennig starts to come back with a knee lift, but takes out the ref on the wind-up of a bodyslam. He is about to hit the Hennigplex but Mr. Wrestling III slides into the ring and attacks both guys. BG James and Syxx Pac come in and scare Mr. Wrestling III out of the ring. Ace Steel, Ron Harris and AJ Styles come in and everyone joins in on a random brawl. Scott Armstrong, Bill Behrens, TNA security and more refs clear the ring and re-start the match. Killings doesn’t take too kindly to that, and tosses the original ref across the ring. He goes outside and knocks out JB and Armstrong before grabbing a steel chair. Armstrong gets on the mic and gives Killings two options: 1) get back in the ring and continue the match, or 2) get counted out and lose the title. As the ref is counting Killings out, Jeff Jarrett runs in and low blows Hennig. Killings makes the quick cover and wins.
Winner: Ron Killings in 9:00 to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Rating: DUD (I don’t normally give out DUD ratings, but this deserves it. Funny how this match was preceded by Hennig’s promo on TNA having actual “wrestling.” The first half was slow and dull “wrestling” while the second half was filled with run-ins by most of the locker room.)

Post-match, Ron Killings ends the show with a rap.

The 411: TNA just cannot get on a roll. The thing is, as evidenced by last week’s show, they can produce good television. This week just wasn’t one of those shows. The first half meandered along at a snail’s pace with a bunch of below-average matches while the second half was hampered by the booking. How do you expect people to come back for more with an ending like that? At this point, they only had 2,000 or so viewers, why risk losing them? They had a good thing going with Killings as champion, but that main event did absolutely nothing for his credibility. The only parts of the show worth looking forward to are AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett- TNA was in pretty rough shape at this point.
 
Final Score:  4.0   [ Poor ]  legend

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Nick Bazar

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