wrestling / TV Reports

411’s NWA:TNA Xplosion Report 02.21.04

February 21, 2004 | Posted by Gregory Conley

i think the wacky tag team partners who hate each other was invented by Vince Russo

I hate to nitpick, but from Keith’s book, the Heyman formula is “serious tag team partners who used to hate each other”. Vince Russo begat the “wacky partners who hate each other” idea.

Wasn’t that Vince Russo’s idea?

For all you naysayers, I present to you: The Smark Retro Rant for Wrestlepalooza ’98.

I do own both of Keith’s books, as “Tonight!” proudly sits next to Bring It On Again as the last book separating my DVD and literature sections. I used the ‘net as my reference point for that one, and now, Mr. Keith, you’ve got some splaining to do.

Onto the juicy manmeat of this post, the actual report.

We’re LIVE from my 36” television.

After Macho Man cranks it out, we immediately cut to Mike Tenay introducing Vince Russo at the end of Wednesday’s PPV.

Scott Hudson welcomes us to Xplosion, while the byline lets us know that Raven and Sabu will reunite on Wednesday night. Let’s just forget the fact that besides for the two weeks that the weak ECW-lite faction was present, they never teamed, nor were presented as friends in the past. With TNA, we’ve got a lot of little secrets and indiscretions that we keep locked away.

The powertrip by Don Callis (cherish his name now, as you likely won’t hear it for a long time) and Jeff Jarrett is shown in a long video package that somehow manages to focus on Jeff Jarrett in nearly every frame of it. Well, at least it’s well put together.

The fact that they show a silhouette with a question mark over the face in that video, which is airing after the Russo clip was played at the beginning is a pretty stupid mistake. If you’re going to reuse some footage from the previous week, you better switch it up at least to make full sense.

Promo for the PPVs air, and are all sorts of misleading. When it comes time to show “Every Wednesday night on PPV,” a huge picture of Sting is conveniently behind it. The eight diehard Sting fans will be disappointed.

Ohhh my God. Another promo airs, asking where else you can see Brian Ulacher take down Jonny Fairplay, and then the highlight, Toby Keith suplexing Jeff Jarrett. Guys, that was EIGHTY-TWO shows ago. Why not make a commercial designed to appeal to the women in the audience, telling them to tune in on Wednesday night if they want to see the fiery conclusion to angles like Ryan Shamrock – whore, temptress, or what?

Speaking of Ryan Shamrock, she’s not here anymore. But Trinity is, and she’s up next.

Buy the Girls of TNA Calendar. Rumor has it that if you squint your eyes long enough, the Brown Eyed Girl can be seen in the background as a hot dog vendor at the beach.

Trinity vs. Angel Williams – Angel’s a younger version of Luna without the tattoo or dementia. They lock up, and Angel connects with a quick armdrag takedown. Trinity combats with an elbow, and Kid Kash is slowly approaching the ring. Ugly little armdrag move on both their parts, followed by a dropkick from Angel. Angel goes off the top, and Trinity dropkicks her in the knee. Moonsault right to the cooter by Trinity, and that’s all at 1:05. Okay then. At least we’re over that crutch in TNA history where Desire vs. Trinity was being marketed as an actual angle. Kash was a non-factor here, which is a bit confusing.

Buy the Girls of TNA Calendar. If this one sells well, expect Dixie Carter to show why she has an infatuation with pandas in part two.

The TNA cam captures a promo by 3 Live Kru. Before you step to them, you better tie your shoes, wipe your ass, and clean your nose because they’re the big boys. And to think WCW wasted all that effort on a slogan like “Where the big boys play” when Konnan’s marketing genius was lying dormant in the back. Tracy, on the other hand, better open her mouth because she’s about to get (expletive). I’ll leave it to your imagination. I can’t believe James still calls them The New French Fries. Nor can I believe that they were given the Tag Titles.

Video package concerning Diamond and Swinger. Incase you missed the report; Swinger turned on Diamond this past Wednesday. My big problem with these packages is that Borash is wasting way too much time by showing clip after clip of really unrelated stuff to get to that final point.

TNA Cam with Simon Diamond, who scares the cameraman out of his locker room with nothing more than a glare.

Buy the Girls of TNA calendar. Want to know why this didn’t come out in early-2003? Yeah, Brian Lawler slapped the women around, resulting in a delay.

That fat guy talks about Mexico’s X-Cup on March 10th.

Shane Douglas (w/Michael Shane & Tracy) vs. Kid Phoenix – Scott Hudson says that Douglas is only getting better with age. Excuse me while I laugh uproariously. Michael Shane joins the booth, quickly explaining his dismay at the lack of headset and chair. Douglas and this kid, who looks completely lost in the opening moments, go at it with punches. The kid goes for ten punches, and gets atomic dropped for his troubles. Big clothesline, and the kid get left in the corner, allowing Tracy to choke him. Douglas nearly collides with Tracy, allowing the jobber to score a roll-up. Only two. Apparently his name is Kid Phoenix, and I refuse to back and edit the play-by-play to reflect that. Phoenix sends him into the corner, but gets elevated and dropped on the top turnbuckle. Rolling neck snap from Douglas, who then applies his camel clutch/full nelson combination to get a submission win at 1:40. Phoenix looked completely confused here, but Douglas held it together nicely. Shane and Shane will take on 3 Live Kru on Wednesday night.

Buy the Girls of TNA calendar. Jesus Christ, I’m all out of creative energy, and we’re two weeks in.

You know what I just realized? Despite what Hudson has been saying, Abyss vs. AJ Styles is NOT TNA’s first Table Match. Has everyone forgotten about America’s Most Wanted vs. Brian Lee & Ron Harris from the time when, I believe, SEX was running wild? I expect an immediately apology from Scott Hudson.

They recap the Styles/Fairplay segment, barely cutting anything. While I realize that I shouldn’t be judging their business practices, having a syndicated show that winds up showing fifteen-twenty minutes of a show that typically lasts an hour and forty-five minutes is kind of questionable. In other news, hey look, it’s Jeff Jarrett! Fairplay, on the upside, is an absolute gem.

TNA Cam is with AJ Styles, who, judging by his skin, hasn’t been exfoliating nearly enough. Styles is coming for Abyss on Wednesday. TNA has completely ignored their “Titles can change on a disqualification/countout” rule, by the way, since they’re still held up and all.

B.G. James (w/Ron Killings) vs. Nate Webb– Konnan is not out with 3LK. Do I smell tension? No, that’s just the stench of failure that has James had enveloped in recent years. Killings comes to the booth, which is a smart ongoing thing they seem to be developing. Holy shit, it’s IWA Mid-South star, and former Christopher Daniel disciple Nate Webb! Webb, dressed like a total asshole schmuck, flips over an armlock, leading to a Japanese armdrag. James quickly retaliates with a forearm shot that Webb sells like death. Chops from James, followed by some dancing kicks. Whip and a corner clothesline by James, but Webb combats with a spin kick. Webb with the stupidest spinning splash ever for two. I work with special ed children, and avoid using the word retarded in any sense, especially in regards to insults. But God damn, that was fucking RETARDED. Wiggle and Jive punches, along with a Shake Rattle ‘N’ Roll kneedrop is only good for two on James’ part. Pumphandle slam ends it at 2:23. Webb needs to be slapped promptly for that splash, while James did nothing to endear me here.

Buy the Girls of TNA calendar. God, it hurts me to not have a joke here.

We head back to January 7th where Mitchell chloroformed Raven, and quickly skip ahead to Terry Funk’s pleading speech to Raven, coupled with the match and promo that followed. Raven plans to use a rusty fork to take out the intestines of Punk, Deniro, and Mitchell, and in a very nice event of foreshadowing, he says that Jarrett is next. Sabu is up this week, and let’s just hope the idiot doesn’t eliminate himself from any battle royals this time around.

They air the last moments of the Chris Harris/Jarrett match, which segued into Vince Russo’s appearance. Already played at the beginning of the show, so the surprise is ruined.

Don West appears, with “HARDSELL IT, DON!” appearing under him. Cute.

3 Live Kru vs. The New Franchise
AJ Styles vs. Abyss in the first ever TNA Tables Match (NO!), where the winner gets to choose his partner for the Tag Team Title belts.
Raven/Sabu vs. The Gather
What’s going on with Vince Russo?

The show closes with TNA Cam approaching Vince Russo. They ask him for comment on how he became the new DOA. “I GOT THIS JOB BY SWERVIN’ THEM BABY!” Well, he didn’t put it exactly like that. “Comment? There will be comment next Wednesday.”

PPV on Wednesday is shaping up to be another middle level showing that is common with their current booking philosophy. I have no idea what guys like Sabin and Daniels are doing, and while we’re at it, when are we going to get that XXX reunion/angle closure?

As always, be cool and read Your Video Store Shelf . New column coming at the end of this week.


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Gregory Conley

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