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wrestling / TV Reports

411’s WWA The Reckoning Report 06.08.03

June 8, 2003 | Posted by Peter Kent


Curiosity killed the Panda? I’ve never seen one of these WWA things before. But I have heard rumblings, murmurs, a scuttlebutt if you will – that this WWA show has a Jerry Lynn match which is a “surefire match of the year”. What ho? Bold words! Let us take the plunge, then, intrepid reader, and wear soil-proof undergarments lest these rumors be more than mere hyperbole.

A quick aside, for those who cross over into the 411 comics zone: I recently picked up the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volume 2 issues 1-5 (being the Alan Moore-phile that I am), and I highly recommend it. I mean, (Dr. Jekyl and..) Mr. Hyde VIOLATES the Invisible Man?! Yes, I mean LIKE THAT!

– Aired on 6/8/03, taped at the North Shore Events Center, Auckland New Zealand

– Your announcers are Jeremy Borasch and Glen Gilberti

We kick things off with a bunch of tribal warriors doing a kick-ass screaming war dance. Every wrestling show should start like this. Sounds a bit like one of my favorite albums of all time, Sepultura: Roots.

We cut to the intro, which is clips of past shows in a grainy Se7en-style kinda thing with a decent nuuu metal song kicking it in the background.

Mark Mercedes vs Rick Steiner: Mercedes was trained by Dean Malenko. He’s a kind of big dude with long hair, wears a superman shirt. He’s from Australia, and he cuts a quick heel promo playing into the rivalry between New Zealand and Australia. The crowd, which was red hot to start, boos his tights off. Steiner enters and does his “if you don’t like me bite me” thing. Steiner dominates to start, pounding away and hitting a suplex somewhere in there. Mercedes takes the momentum with a very nice suplex of his own. He cinches in a chinlock and the crowd gets on his case. This is a great crowd. They brawl back and forth for maybe two minutes, then Steiner hits a top rope bulldog for the win. Winner: Rick Steiner Harmless opener. Very hot crowd, I’m happy to say.

Borasch and Glen yak it up for a minute at ringside, talking about tonight’s title unification match… Then the lights go out.

We hear Sting’s voice say: “Over here!” The camera wobbles around. Sting says: “Up here doofus!” The camera continues to search. Wait, there he is on a catwalk above the crowd. He lets us know the “STIZZINGER is in the house” (at least it’s not the hizzouse). He says his bat represents the All Blacks (cheers) and Jarrett’s guitar is the “Wallobies” (big boos). Sting says: “It’s showtime”, walks off and boom! There’s half his paycheck.

Midget three way dance – Puppet vs Meatball vs Teo: Puppet cuts a promo about how once he kills all the midgets in the world he’ll be a big star, Meatball is fat, and Teo is the babyface hip-hop lovin’ mini midget. They battle for a bit, Teo hits an awesome tip-up into a head-to-the-groin on Meatball. Later, Puppet gets dumped, and Teo hits a 619 on Meatball. Then Teo executes a midget swanton and picks up the win. Winner: Teo As far as midget wrestling goes this was OK, I guess. What ever happened to Little Buddha?

We check out a couple of promos taped earlier. First up is Jonny Swinger who cuts a quick, generic heel promo.

Then we cut to Frankie Kazarian, who considers himself exceptionally handsome. He says he’s facing two great wrestlers tonight… And Jonny Swinger. Hehe that was pretty good.

Hardcore match – Devon Storm vs Konnan: Note that while this is a hardcore match, a few other matches later on incorporate all sorts of hardcore stuff and the ref doesn’t do anything. I guess this is an “ECW-style” promotion where anything goes, bringing the count of promotions like that to: ALL OF THEM (yeah yeah except ROH). Devon Storm might be better known to you as WCW’s Crowbar. Gilberti wants to see blood, hopes someone “pulls a gun and shoots his opponent, it’s hardcore – anything goes”. Mmm hmm. Konnan hits a couple moves in the first minute, then does a roll and gets hit in the gut with a caneshot. Pretty much from here on out Konnan is sucking wind. We get some chairshots and lid shots, and then we brawl to the outside. Konnan sets up a guardrail on the ramp. He whips Storm into it to a huge reaction. Konnan drags Storm up the ramp. At the top of the ramp is a neat little set, looks like a tiki god statue amidst some exotic plants, with a stonehenge kind of thing overtop the whole thing. Konnan throws Storm’s head into the quite elaborately rendered groin of the tiki god. Hahaa. Storm rallies, and bashes Konnan’s head into the stonehenge thing, shaking it. Crowd chants: “One more time!”. Storm obliges, chucking Konnan into it, knocking it over. Storm brings Konnan back to ringside, where he sets one end of the flat guardrail on the ring apron, while the other end is held up by the ringsteps. They get in the ring, Konnan catches Storm in a tip-up, and POWERSLAMS STORM ONTO THE GUARDRAIL! It collapses as Storm lands on it and looks extremely painful. Konnan is in control, suplexes Storm back into the ring. Konnan wedges a chair in the corner between the middle and top rope. Storm reverses an irish whip, sending Konnan head-first into the chair. THE VERY CHAIR HE PLACED THERE TO BEGIN WITH! Then Storm kicks it up a notch: He stands Konnan up, wraps his arms around Konnan’s waist as they’re belly-to-belly. In Storm’s hands, he has the chair, which is pressed against Konnan’s back. Then he hits a NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX! HOODY HOOO! Storm is a GAWD! Don’t question it. As Konnan gasps for oxygen, Storm sets the guardrail up again at ringside. He lays Konnan on it, climbs into the ring. Storm with the SLINGSHOT SPLASH! Storm covers at ringside. 1..2..3 Winner: Devon Storm I like Konnan, but he didn’t have to do much. You’ve heard the expression “he can carry a broomstick to a good match”, well Devon Storm fits the bill. This match was very good and it was literally ALL STORM. Seems to my completely untrained eye that Storm would make a great road agent, or at least worthy of working in a major promotion.

We see two more promos taped earlier. Chris Sabin, sporting the SEX t-shirt, is sitting in the empty arena. He says Jerry Lynn is so old he’s dying and says he heard Jonny Swinger talking about his destiny… “You suck”, says Sabin. He puts over SEX and says “I’m great and you’re not”.

We see the ring being built over the shoulder of the GOLDEN LION Jerry Lynn! #225 on the DVDVR 500 (He needs to watch some ACE STEEL TAPES!). Lynn says he’s been wrestling longer than all three of his opponents combined. He says he invented this style, whether you call it light-heavyweight, cruiser or the x-style. Damn right! Let’s watch the man work, shall we?

NWA X-Title/WWA Cruiserweight Title Unification match – Jonny Swinger vs Frankie Kazarian vs Chris Sabin vs Jerry Lynn: Crowd is really behind Lynn, a bunch of “Jerry” chants throughout this one. Someone put the set back together. Sabin uses the SEX theme, I half-expect to see Russo shoot on Meatball. Lynn comes out to his TNA bastardization of that Fear Factory song. My recap of this match is insanely long and probably very boring so let me spare you and summarize: Basically all four guys go to town, trading moves and have a few ultra-cool 4 man submission spots, and a bunch of stuff where one guy goes to suplex another, then Jerry Lynn comes in and Sunset flips both of them, that kind of thing. All four guys shine, Sabin ends up winning as Swinger tries to lunge in and make the save, but is too late. Awesome match, truly awesome. Near perfection in execution, a seamless string of spots. Kazarian maybe slightly, SLIGHTLY muffed a couple backflips into set-ups, but it’s not something that comes even close to being called a [email protected] Winner: Chris Sabin I’ll talk about this a bit at the end of the recap.

Ohh boy here comes Shane Douglas, wearing a polo shirt and khakis. He’s got a cast on his left arm. He baits us smart marks by saying he “saved pro wrestling in the ’90’s” from Vince McMahon turning it into a cartoon in the “mid-’90’s”. Ohh K The Rock N Wrestling connection aired in 1995, huh? OK I got worked. He says he created ECW, not Sabu. He wanted to wrestle Sabu tonight but the commisionner said he’s not fit to wrestle. Joe E. Legend comes out. I was under the impression that Legend was “Just Joe”, the guy who looked like Tommy Dreamer, but this dude looks a lot like one of the guys from Kronik. Whoever he is, he LIGHTS UP THE MIC, noting that you have to be “flushed down a toilet to end up in New Zealand”. The crowd does the “What?” thing to him, and he has a whole prepared string of responses which pretty much shuts them up (for a minute, anyway). He asks Shane to let him fight Sabu for him. Joe claims Sabu will be known as “Job-bu” when he’s done with him. Shane, overacting as always, squeals and spits that he accepts as long as Joe breaks Sabu’s neck. Shane says lamely: “Tonight Sabu will be Legend-ized”. Then Joe cinches in his mic superiority with his catchphrase: “Heroes come and go, but legends live forever”. Sabu’s music hits, and Douglas is a guest commentator.

Joe E. Legend vs Sabu: Joe starts to plod around and kick and punch Sabu after being hit with an Air Sabu. It becomes hard to concentrate as Douglas and Gilberti become an overbearing two-headed creature taking turns screaming into their mics and hyping themselves. After about 6 minutes of Joe working that scintillating WWE punch/kick offense PEPPERED with chinlocks, Sabu chucks a chair into his face. Sabu follows up with an arabian facebuster and then cinches in a camel clutch. The crowd is completely behind Sabu. Then Joe busts out this kick ass move he calls the Straight Jacket Legend Bomb. Basically it’s like a pumphandle into a powerbomb kind of thing, looks awesome. Legend climbs the ropes as the commentary beast causes ears around the world to ooze grey brainmatter. Sabu crotches him and hits a springboard frankensteiner. Sabu then hits the springboard ‘rainbow kick’, but misses a flying headbutt attempt. Sabu gets up, Legend drops him with a big boot. Glen says urgently: “Shane can you picture yourself in there with Sabu!??!” and Shane lets us know that yes, he can, and he’d have this match wrapped up five minutes earlier. Joey hits an awesome chokeslam set-up into a powerbomb, only 2! Joe goes for a splash, but Sabu raises his knees and places a chair on them for good measure. Sabu goes for the Air Sabu, but Legend catches him so Sabu is face down strung across Legend’s shoulders. Joe then does an F-5 so Sabu’s face lands on the chair! WOO! “Holy shit” chant. Shane, breathing heavy, watches Sabu lying in the ring, as Joe rolls out, and says: “I’ve seen Sabu do this before! He’s praying to those Gods of his for strength! *huff huff huff*”. Joe finally covers, gets two. Sabu takes the advantage, and goes for the triple jump moonsault, but Legend snatches Sabu’s leg as he hops over him. Sabu grabs the chair and chucks it at Joey’s face. It narrowly misses, but the crowd can’t seem to tell so it’s all good. Sabu hits a top rope facebuster and covers. 1..2..3 Winner: Sabu Legend is pretty freaking awesome, though he was dead boring on offense during the first half of the match. Gilberti and Douglas combine into something so annoying man cannot capture it in mere words. Seems to me Legend could make it big in the WWE realm of hosses, he cut an awesome promo.

Shane Douglas runs in and pummels Sabu with his cast. Now GO AWAY.

The CEO of the WWA, Andrew McManus gets in the ring. He has on this black shirt with all these patches placed randomly on it. What is he, a racing car? He introduces Bret Hart. Bret’s hair is cut a bit, so it’s like Kurt Cobain-length, or that-schmuck-from-Creed-length, depending on how old you are. Crowd gives him HUGE applause. Bret says about a year ago he talked with a guy from WWE Canada who told him his “stock was at an all-time low”. A fan yells “You’ll always be the best”, man these people love him. I’m tearing up, but then Macho Man reuniting with Miss Elizabeth made me cry so I’m probably not an accurate indicator of the average wrestling fan. He mentions Owen passing away four years ago, sparking a HUGE “Owen” chant. Then he mentions Bulldog, Henning and Elizabeth passing and says they were all good people. He says when he had his stroke he received emails from all over the world, and likes to think he truly was a world champion. That’s about it. Very emotional segment, awesome crowd. I read a report that Bret looked terrible, he looked fine to me. He sat on a stool in the ring there, his left arm was bent and in his hand was a bottled water. He didn’t move that arm hardly at all. His speech was fine, other than the haircut and walking a bit slower, he was just like the Bret Hart we remember. Am I the only one who hopes he never goes back to the WWE? The hell with Vince.

Backstage, some bald guy interviews Jeff. He asks Jeff a bunch of questions, and Jeff goes “you just said everything I was gonna say” and says something about how he’s going to win and unify the titles. Yes, He’s ADEQUATE! He’s SENSIBLE! He is the SAFE CHOICE as YOUR NWA CHAMPION!

NWA World Title/WWA World Title Unifcation Match – Jeff Jarret (NWA) vs Sting (WWA): We are reminded that Sting beat Lex Luger for the WWA title. Jarrett gets booed, Sting is very popular. Sting out-powers Jeff for the first couple minutes. “Let’s go Slapnuts” chant. Man these fans are great! Jarrett lays on some punches. Jeff slams Sting’s head off many a turnbuckle. he goes for a bunch of pins over and over: 1….2..NO! 1….2..NO! 1….2..NO! 1….2..NO! 1….2..NO! Gilberti notes how dumb it is to keep trying that. Then Jeff does a cool thing where he kneels over Sting, and does a test of strength, trying to force Sting’s shoulders to the mat. 1..2..Sting powers up his left shoulder. 1…2.. Sting powers up his right shoulder. 1..2..Sting wraps his legs around Jeff and sits up! Sunset Flip? 1..2.. Jarrett kicks. That was kinda cool. Then Jeff cinches in a sleeper, but the crowd is red-hot anyway. Sting elbows out, goes for a Stinger Splash, but Jarrett counters with a knee to the gut. JJ grabs his guitar, Sting gets his bat. Jarrett swings at Sting, but Sting blocks with his bat, cracking open the flimsy-looking guitar quite a bit. Sting then proceeds to bat the crap out of Jeff. He hits a Stinger Splash. Then.. goes for another and somehow the ref got sandwiched between them for your contrived ref bump of the evening. Sting covers but the ref is unconscious. Yes, here are the run-ins. Joe E. Legend has the guitar, and is about to whack Sting, but Steiner runs in and stops him. Steiner dups Legend out of the ring, and grabs hold of the guitar. Sting gets up. Steiner stands there. HMMMM. * BOONNGG CRASH SWWEERRVVEEE! * Steiner clocks Sting. Jeff covers, Steiner leaves. Ref is up. 1..2..3. Winner: Jeff Jarrett Fun match. Jarrett walks out and there’s your PPV.

I don’t even know how much this thing cost. If it was $10, it was a great value. If it was $15, it was still worth it. $19.95 is the limit, if this two hour thing was more than $20 then I dunno if it was worth it. But there were many good things on this show: Devon Storm makes a mountain out of a molehill, Joe E. Legend reveals his greatness, the four way was one of the best matches so far this year, Bret Hart appeared in a pretty emotional – if not eventful – segment, Sting is always fun, and all those Sabu haters can note that the guy didn’t blow any spots or anything. Good production quality too, and an INSANE crowd. What a great bunch they were. Somebody do a show at New Zealand again, that was awesome.

Also, I think Borasch is an excellent commentator. He has that kind of old school style, he didn’t do any of that “breathless call” stuff that Tenay does. In fact, don’t hit me, I think I like Borasch a bit more than Tenay. Jeremy’d need a good commentator, and while Glen was harmless for most of this show, give Borasch someone like Don Callis and you got yourself a SWEET announce team. Enough with the Joey Styles talk, he’s good but he’ll always be the ECDUB guy. Let’s all try to let go of ECdub, OK? It’s gone. A little at a time. There.

Now, is the four way the Match of the Year? Hot crowd, great action.. Well right now my picks for match of the year are Angle/Benoit from the Rumble, AJ vs Low Ki from the Zero One U$A show.. And that’s about it. Michaels/Y2J was very good, but it seemed dated. It was like we were watching the best match from 1997. It was good, but a little slow. Let’s have something more cutting edge as out MOTY, eh? Angle vs Benoit had an awesome second half, but the first half was a bit boring in parts. AJ/Low Ki was awesome through and through, but while it had a hot crowd the roof didn’t blow off the place. And this four way had an insanely hot crowd, was entertaining start to finish, but… It didn’t have the build that Angle/Benoit did. And the 4 way’s finish was kind of abrupt, it could have been drawn-out more. Angle/Benoit’s finish was classic, a mindblowing series of reversals that was a beautiful thing to behold. So I’d say Angle/Benoit is my pick for match of the year. Keep in mind I have seen very little from Japan or the indies from this year, so I’m sure there’s a host of other candidates out there I should see. But if I were to make a 3 hour “Best of 2003” tape, I think this four way would be a great pick as the first match of the tape. GREAT stuff.

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Peter Kent
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