wrestling / TV Reports

The SmarK Rant For NWA-TNA – September 24 2003

September 25, 2003 | Posted by Scott Keith

The SmarK Rant for NWA-TNA – September 24, 2003

– I’m currently listening to the Macho Man rap album (along with accompanying press kit and 8×10 glossy) and I’ve gotta say that my life won’t be complete until I review this…thing. The scary thing is that it’s actually NOT BAD, but Savage’s rapping redefines “Middle-aged and crazy”, emphasis on “crazy”. A review is forthcoming this weekend, but I’m gonna need to stock up on booze first, because I’m really not drunk enough this afternoon to do it justice.

– Live from Nashville, TN.

– Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Don West.

– A confrontation outside reveals that Don Callis controls what happens outside the ring, while Erik Watts controls what happens inside the ring. That still doesn’t make any sense, but they’re trying.

– 3 Live Kru debut their REALLY bad new single, which is kind of a rap/metal fusion in the sense that the song is a sandwich and the rap part is pickled herrings and the metal part is motor oil. Mercifully, Simon & Swinger (with David Young playing the part of Johnny Swinger due to an appendectomy) lay them out. Glenn Gilberti cuts a promo to announce that the tag title match is obviously off, but Raven and the Gathering lay THEM out, and Raven cuts a really good promo about how most stipulations don’t mean anything, but this one cost him his hair. Raven remains the #1 babyface in the promotion in the hearts of the crowd.

– #1 contender’s match: Jerry Lynn v. Nosawa v. Chris Sabin v. Frankie Kazarian v. Juventud Guerrera. Kazarian debuts new leather pants to go along with his weird “ladies man” heel persona, which actually looks a lot better, albeit making him look like the junior member of Kronik or something. Nosawa takes him down with a crucifix for one, and they trade wristlocks. Nosawa goes low and superkicks him, and Juvy tags in. Nosawa gets a leg lariat, so Sabin tries against him. Lynn sneaks in with a bulldog for two, and a rana on Sabin, who returns with his own. Lynn dumps him and follows with a rana to the floor. Back in, Lynn gets two. They clothesline each other and tag out to Juvy & Nosawa. Juvy charges and hits boot, resulting in a german suplex from Nosawa, but he comes back with a cradle suplex into a brainbuster for the pin to eliminate Nosawa. Lynn dropkicks Sabin out, leaving Juvy & Kazarian. Juvy gets a headscissors and chops away, and a seated dropkick off a sunset flip puts Kazarian out. Juvy follows with a headscissors to the floor. Back in, he misses a charge, but Sabin tags in a Doomsday Device on Juvy. Dropkick gets two on Kazarian. Lynn guillotines Sabin off a rollup and gets two. Juvy tags himself in and gets a springboard dropkick on Lynn, and he chops away on Sabin. Kazarian tags in with a springboard dropkick and a flip axe kick. Lynn tags in, and dodges Kazarian’s slingshot DDT, and Sabin comes in, but gets caught with a Wave of the Future for two. Sabin comes back with an F5 variation for the pin to eliminate Kazarian. Time to change his pants again, I guess. Sabin catapults Juvy into the corner, but misses a dropkick. Lynn comes in for two. Sabin tries an inverted DDT, but Juvy springboards in with a bulldog on him, which in turn completes the DDT and allows Juvy to cover Lynn for two. Next up, an amazing three-way sunset flip / german suplex combo sees Lynn getting two on Juvy, but Sabin hits him with an enzuigiri. Drunk Driver on Sabin gets two. Juvy & Lynn do a pinfall sequence that combines the Flair one and the Eddy/Dean one, but Lynn turns a piledriver attempt into an Emerald Frozen for the pin to eliminate Juvy. Lynn tries the piledriver on Sabin, but gets sent into the turnbuckle for two. Sabin goes up, but Lynn follows and superplexes him for two. Sabin comes back with a big boot and brainbuster for two. Sabin tries the cradle piledriver, but the ref is bumped, allowing Michael Shane to run, hit Sabin with the belt by accident, and Lynn to finish at 15:12. These beltshot finishes in X matches are getting on my nerves. Match was good, but didn’t really hold together very well outside of the spots. ***1/4

– Meantime, Shark Boy and Mad Mikey (in a Spongebob costume for god knows what reason) are interrupted by an attack from Sonny Siaki & “Tickle Me” Ekmo. Well that works, I guess.

– Earlier today, Piper talks with Mike Tenay, and he’s still crazy and I have no idea what purpose he’s supposed to be serving or even what his intentions are. I swear Vince must either be a miracle worker or have some REALLY good shit if he was able to keep Piper coherent while on WWE TV.

– In the ring, Don Callis informs us that, deep down, we really want Vince Russo around. That’s pretty deep down, like down with the part of me that can stomach black licorice and thinks that Undertaker just isn’t getting enough of a push. Anyway, buoyed by the firing of Roddy Piper, he’s about to announce the firing of Jeff Jarrett, but Erik Watts and the black shirt security guys lay him out. Watts promises Jarrett a title shot within 30 days, and a shot at Christopher Daniels tonight. EVERYONE MUST BOW DOWN BEFORE THE POWER OF THE ALMIGHTY JARRETT! Seriously, outside of Dusty Rhodes I’ve never seen anyone more deluded about their place in the wrestling world. It’s pretty obvious at this point that Russo is gonna cost AJ the World title to Jeff Jarrett and turn him face, while Jarrett keeps the belt for another 8 months. Never mind that AJ was already a huge babyface just by…wait for it…beating Jarrett in the first place. Using JJ in such a huge position, thus associating your company with a guy who was near the top of WCW while it sunk like the Titanic, is just gonna give you the stink of failure no matter how hard you push Jarrett as the next Steve Austin. As least Raven was smart enough to bail on the ship with the rats. ANYWAY, I digress. Watts also makes a Dusty Rhodes v. AJ Styles bunkhouse match for later tonight, plus a six-man tag for the tag team titles (follow that logic), and yet another Gathering v. Church six-man. Oh, and one more.

– Kevin Northcutt & Ryan Wilson v. Chris Vaughn & Rick Santel. This is the evil red shirt security against the smaller black shirt security. Tenay assures us that everyone are at the least indy workers, unlike the WWE, who would pretend that they’re all untrained and would probably book missed spots to reinforce that. Northcutt gets a spinebuster on Vaughn and pounds away in the corner, and Wilson pumphandles him, for two. The size difference here is scary. Wilson chokes him down, but misses a boot. Full-nelson slam gets two, however. Northcutt gets a press slam for two. Vaughn fights back, but gets tossed around in dramatic fashion. Wilson gets a tilt-a-whirl sideslam for two. Vaughn comes back with an enzuigiri, but the Red Shirts cut off the tag. I should point out that heat for the little guy getting DESTROYED by the heels is just unreal. It ALWAYS works. Especially with a southern crowd. Northcutt tosses him and Wilson sends him careening in the stairs in a crazy bump. Back in, that gets two. Just as Tenay starts begging the heels to show mercy and end it, Vaughn escapes and makes the hot tag to Santel, who gets a forearm on Northcutt before getting laid out. They toss Vaughn, but Watts comes in and chokeslams Northcutt to give the black shirts the upset win at 6:22. This was shockingly entertaining and well worked. *** Not sure why WCW didn’t do anything with Northcutt, because he’s huge and was trained at the Power Plant.

– Kid Kash v. Terry Taylor. Terry is the first legend who actually thinks to bring backup, in this case AMW, setting up the impending feud against Kash & Abyss. At least TNA actually knows where it’s going with feuds and starts to set them up logically. Kash gets an armdrag to start, but Taylor clotheslines him for two, and Kash bails. Back in, Taylor legwhips him into an anklelock, but Kash makes the ropes. He slugs Terry down and pounds away, and grabs an armbar, and that’s your heat segment, although it doesn’t draw any. Neckbreaker and high cross get two. Kash tosses him, but AMW help the old guy back in. Taylor comes back with a pair of atomic drops, but Abyss sneaks in with his sideslam. Ref is bumped, so Chris Harris spears Kash and puts Taylor on top for the pin at 6:12. Kash is the most bipolar worker I’ve seen as of late, varying wildly between good and terrible, and you just never know which one is showing up. Let’s just move on, shall we? ј*

– Jeff Jarrett v. Christopher Daniels. Daniels slugs JJJ down, but gets backdropped. Daniels dumps him and follows with a dive, but he hits the railing and Jarrett sends him into it a few more times. Back in, Daniels catches him coming off the top and chokeslams him. Clothesline and choking, as he applies a cool triangle choke using the ropes. Suplex gets two. Jarrett rolls him up for two, but Daniels slugs him down again. Uranage and moonsault get two. Into a hammerlock submission, but JJJ comes back with an enzuigiri. Jarrett wins a slugfest and dropkicks him, and a high cross gets two. Another try is reversed for two by Daniels. Daniels gets a jawbreaker, and Jarrett goes for the figure-four, but Daniels reverses for two. Blue Thunder Bomb and he goes up, but Jarrett shoves an altarboy into the ropes to crotch him, and a cradle finishes at 7:19. No shock there, and AGAIN with the botched inference leading to the finish. Didn’t Vince Russo write a column about how RAW was doing all the same finishes? Maybe he should stand up at the booking meetings and read it. **1/4

– NWA World tag titles: Simon Diamond, David Young & Glenn Gilberti v. 3 Live Kru. The Kru cleans house to start, so that Konnan can do his spiel. Why they have Konnan do his lame-o one and not BG James’ massively over one, unless it’s for legal reasons, is beyond me. It’s like inviting Emeril Lagasse over for dinner and ordering pizza. Simon slugs Konnan, and they do some reverses until Konnan gets the rolling clothesline. Young comes in against James, and slugs him down. James comes back with a corner clothesline, and Wazzup with Truth. Young bails. Next up, Gilberti against Killings, as Truth overpowers him, but gets clotheslined. Truth dodges him and comes back with a leg lariat for two. Powerslam gets two. Cheapshot from outside turns the tide, as Simon comes in and loses a slugfest. Simon Series gets two, however. Young clotheslines him and Gilberti works the leg, but Killings comes back with an axe kick. Hot tag James, who slugs all three down and drops the knee on Simon. It’s BONZO GONZO, and Simon superkicks Konnan. Heel miscommunication leads to a Killings missile dropkick, and James dumps Diamond. Truth follows with a tope, but James walks into a chairshot from Gilberti and gets pinned after the MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER OF DOOM from David Young at 9:55. My god, I didn’t think that finisher would ever finish a match! Everyone seemed tentative and off, but it didn’t suck or anything. **

– Bunkhouse Match: AJ Styles v. Dusty Rhodes. This takes place outside, as Rhodes attacks, but Russo & AJ beat him down. Rhodes goes low and sends him into the pickup truck, and they fight into the arena. AJ slugs away on Dusty on the floor, but Dusty uses his own boot to come back. Man, the smell alone after 30 years of using those things would be enough. Vinnie Ru lays him out from behind, however. Russo, by the way, is dressed like Tommy Lee Jones in “Under Siege”, and given how Dusty usually dresses for these matches the jokes just write themselves. In the ring, Rhodes gives AJ a spanking, and whips Russo, but Jarrett and Trinity run in (separately) and it ends up with Trinity getting her bare ass spanked by Dusty. Now THERE’S the kind of run-in finish I can deal with. No contest at 4:00. DUD Next week: Dusty & JJJ v. Russo & AJ, which was set up by a tease of Dusty v. AJ for the belt. Don’t EVEN tempt him.

– Dog collar match: Raven, CM Punk & Julio Dinero v. Shane Douglas, Sinn & Slash. The Gathering attack and attach the chains, as Raven picks Shane and they all brawl out. Julio pulls Sinn into the post, as does Raven to Douglas. In the ring, Raven chokes him out and cobra clutches him, but Slash breaks it up. The Church takes over and chokes them down, and everyone bleeds. Slash & Punk fight it out in the ring as everyone else brawls out, and Slash heads out, yanks Punk to the floor, and then tosses him to the ramp. Sinn grinds Julio’s face into the stairs in one of the more pleasant visuals. Raven & Douglas do the thing in the ring, and Shane clotheslines him with the chain, allowing the Church to pound away. The Church members all go up and all get pulled off by the Gathering, and Raven and Punk get a double-bulldog on Shane. It’s a triple pummel in the corners, but it would require a Tennessee crowd to count to 30, so they call it off around 4 to be on the safe side. Meeting of the minds, and we’re left with Julio doing something to get the win over Sinn at 7:50 as the camera instead follows Raven & Douglas outside. Vampiro comes in for the heel beatdown, and all the faces are simultaneously hung from the balcony by their chains to end the show. Awww, ain’t that sweet? Match was extremely violent, if not good or anything. **1/2

The Bottom Line:

Another mediocre effort as TNA struggles to find their groove again, but there was nothing terrible or insulting here, at least. And it’s easy to follow where things are going, even though that’s not where I want them to go.

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