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The Wrestling Bazaar: NWA/TNA Weekly PPV #1

October 7, 2010 | Posted by Nick Bazar
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The Wrestling Bazaar: NWA/TNA Weekly PPV #1  

TNA Wrestling began as a weekly Pay-Per-View show under the National Wrestling Alliance banner, running from June 19, 2002 to September 8, 2004. Deals with Randy Savage, Sting, Scott Steiner and Sid Vicious all fell through in the months prior to the premiere, leaving them with Jeff Jarrett, Ken Shamrock, Scott Hall and Brian Christopher as main acts.

June 19, 2002- Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville, Alabama

The opening video begins with some old-school wrestling footage then transitions into an explosion revealing the NWA/TNA logo while generic rock music plays.

In the arena, we get a standard pyro show. The entrance stage actually looks pretty top-notch with four white screens behind a large NWA/TNA logo in the center.

Jeremy Borash introduces us to “one of the hosts for the evening,” Don West! Are you ready to have a good time? Get ready for some Total Non-Stop Action. West, in a flamboyant Hawaiian shirt, introduces us to his broadcast partner, Ed Ferrara. Complete with dreadlocks and a leather jacket, Ferrara cracks the first “T & A” joke of the night.

We send it to Mike Tenay at ringside. Tonight is an evening that revolves around history. Legends of wrestling are in attendance. History will be made tonight by crowning a new NWA World Heavyweight Champion in a Gauntlet for the Gold. This match will follow Royal Rumble rules until we get down to the final two participants. At that point, a singles match between the two will determine the winner.
In the ring, JB introduces us to legends of the NWA as Tenay runs down each of their accomplishments individually. Harley Race, Dory Funk Jr., Jackie Fargo, Bob Armstrong, Corsica Joe, Sarah Lee, Bill Behrens and Ricky Steamboat (holding the NWA World Heavyweight Championship) all enter the ring. Steamboat thanks all the fans watching. He will never forget winning the World Championship against Ric Flair. The NWA World Heavyweight Championship means more to all these legends than any other championship in wrestling. 20 wrestlers have been selected by NWA representatives to compete for said championship tonight. When it comes down to the final two, Steamboat will be the special guest referee.

Out comes Jeff Jarrett to the same theme music he has today. This Gauntlet for the Gold is the stupidest idea he has ever heard of. It is the biggest joke of the NWA Championship he has ever seen. Jackie Fargo verbally attacks Jarrett and challenges him to be the very first entrant. Jarrett accepts. Ken Shamrock comes out. He agrees that the Gauntlet sucks but, Jarrett will not be whipping Shamrock tonight. Scott Hall then appears in the crowd to a big reaction. Hey yo! He also agrees that the Gauntlet sucks, but it is going to happen, so quit whining about it. All they have to worry about it beating Scott Hall. Jarrett tells everyone to stick it and leaves.

In the back, backstage interviewer Goldilocks interviews midget wrestler, Psycho Dwarf. He thinks midgets are the true stars of wrestling. He heard TNA has brought in Teo and Hollywood. All he wants is some midget blood. Jarrett passes by, pissed off.

Match One: 6-Man Tag- AJ Styles/Low-Ki/Jerry Lynn vs. Jorge Estrada/Sonny Siaki/Jimmy Yang
Estrada, Siaki and Yang are known as the Flying Elvises. Tenay explains how the X-Division is not about weight-limits, it is about wrestlers going out there and performing incredible matches. Styles, Ki and Lynn extend their hands for handshakes but the Elvises decline and attack. Styles, Ki and Lynn all slide under the Elvises and dropkick them out of the ring. Ki hits a suicide dive and Lynn flies off the top rope to the outside. Inside, Styles hits Yang with a powerslam coming off the ropes for two. Yang comes back with a high mat slam and a running leg lariat for two. Styles counters a suplex with an elbow attack in mid-air and tags in Lynn. Off the ropes, Lynn hits with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Lynn blocks a charge in the corner and hits a tornado DDT but Yang lands on his feet and dropkicks Lynn. He charges at Lynn in the Elvises corner and catches him with a boot as he moonsaults off his chest. After a shoulder block, he tags in Siaki. Siaki hits with an uppercut but misses a somersault splash. Lynn ducks a clothesline and connects with a tilt-a-whirl head scissors. Siaki tries a wheel-barrel but Lynn counters it into a bulldog for two. Ki tags in and chops away but runs into a Siaki uppercut and a neckbreaker for two. Siaki charges at Ki in the corner and eats a boot. Ki misses a second boot coming out of the corner as Siaki hits with a backbreaker for two. Estrada tags in and they hit a combination Samoan drop/springboard moonsault for two. Estrada chops in the corner but Ki reverses an Irish whip. Estrada floats over, perches Ki on the top rope and hits an elevated cutter. A standing moonsault gets him two. Ki slides under Estrada off an Irish whip and dropkicks his knees. Ki connects with a few kicks and makes the tag into Styles as Estrada tags in Yang. Styles hits a hard elbow smash off the ropes then his soon-to-be patented springboard moonsault into an inverted DDT. Cover gets two. Styles goes to German suplex Yang but he lands on his feet and hits with a running round kick. Cover is interrupted by Ki at two. Ki and Yang go at it and West wonders why he isn’t getting disqualified for it. A rolling kick by Ki sends Yang off the apron and onto the floor. Estrada enters and hits Ki with a sitout spinebuster. Cover is interrupted by Lynn at one. Lynn connects with his cradle piledriver but Siaki enters and hits a Cross Rhodes. Styles comes back in with a kick to the back of Siaki’s head then backs Yang into a corner. Ki goes to kick Yang but hits Styles accidently. Estrada goes to the top and hits Ki with a missile dropkick. Yang goes to the top and comes down with a corkscrew moonsault on Styles for the win.
Winner: Jorge Estrada/Sonny Siaki/Jimmy Yang in 6:00
Rating: **1/2 (And that is the very first TNA match- A complete spot-fest, setting the stage for countless more down the road. The action was definitely non-stop, that’s for sure.)

Ah, the TNA cage dancers get some TV time. Ferrara wonders out loud whether he and West are due in the ring. Guess not, as JB introduces the participants for our next match.

Match Two: Midget Match- Hollywood vs. Teo
Tenay brags about TNA being able to showcase everything. Hollywood pounds away in the corner and botches a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker off the ropes. Teo rams his head into the middle turnbuckle and pulls Hollywood’s shirt over his head. Chops proceed. Teo retreats and drops his head on Hollywood’s nuts. Teo brings Hollywood into another corner and hits with 11 mounted punches. Hollywood reverses an Irish whip and catches Teo on a float over attempt. He comes down with a sitout spinebuster. Cover gets two. Teo surprises Hollywood with a rollup but only gets two. Hollywood hits with a clothesline and heads to the top rope. Tadpole splash gets him two. Teo comes back with some jabs then a legsweep. Teo climbs to the top and totally misses with a Swanton but gets the win anyway.
Winner: Teo in 3:00
Rating: ¼* (Moving on.)

Ferrara and West are in the ring. Ferrara announces a Lingerie Battle Royal for next week, but promises a preview right now. Out come Francine, Joanie, Shannon (Daffney), Alexis Laree (Mickie James), Sasha (?), Erin, Electra, Taylor Vaughn and Dareesa Tyler (?). Francine takes the mic from West. None of these women deserve to be in this ring because none can compare to her. She is the Queen of Extreme. Electra questions who named her that. This is a new company. Catfight! Electra’s top is ripped off and West (with a huge grin on his face) tries to cover her up. Francine promises to be crowned the first ever Miss TNA.

In the back, Goldilocks is with Mortimer Plumtree. He plays a heel manager role and introduces us to his tag team: two men who used to torment him in school, The Johnsons.

Match Three: The Johnsons vs. Psicosis/James Storm
Let me paint you a picture: The Johnsons are two very large men in skin-tight, skin-colored full body suits and masks. Hmmm, what could they be going for there? James Storm comes out in a black, buttoned-up trench coat, looking like he is about to flash an innocent bystander. Oh no, and he has fake pistols with him. Psicosis and Johnson #1 start. Johnson powers Psicosis into the corner and clubs away. In the opposite corner, he hits a clothesline and a double under-hook for two. A snap suplex gets him two more. Psicosis ducks two clotheslines and connects with a side kick. Johnson #2 enters and gets hit with an enzuigiri. Strom tags in and hits a missile dropkick. A Johnson avoids a double clothesline and bails. The former Ryan Shamrock appears on the entrance ramp. Back in, Johnson clubs at Storm’s back and hits an armdrag. Johnson sends Storm out of the ring but he is able to skin the cat and connect with some strikes and a bulldog. Psicosis comes in and hits a basement dropkick. They exchange chops and Psicosis is sent to a corner where the second Johnson slams him down by the hair. The Johnsons hit a double flapjack. Ferrara works in a “pounded by a Johnson” joke. The second Johnson tags in and they hit a double shoulderblock. Psicosis counters a powerbomb into a sitout facebuster. In tags Storm and he attacks both Johnsons. He ranas one and superkicks another. The Johnsons throw Psicosis and Storm into each other and hit stereo overhead suplexes. Storm reverses a fireman’s carry and rolls up a Johnson for two. Storm goes for a spinning DDT out of the corner but Johnson pushes him off. Plumtree grabs Storm’s leg, distracting him and allowing Johnson to hit a TKO for the win.
Winner: The Johnsons in 5:00
Rating: *3/4 (As ridiculous as the gimmick was, The Johnson’s actually had some nice power moves on display here. I might be wrong, but their build is very reminiscent of the Shane Twins. Who would’ve known that out of all four in the ring, the man who took the pinfall would go on to have (by far) the most success in TNA?)

Post-match, referee Mark Johnson pays Ryan Shamrock money. Apparently, she is a prostitute.

In the back, Goldilocks is with the Dupps. One of the Dupps you may know as Trevor Murdoch. They drink beer but Bill Behrens tells them to stop as he doesn’t want intoxicated wrestlers in the ring. Can’t argue with that.

In the ring, JB introduces NASCAR drivers, Hermie Sadler and Sterling Marlin. The Alabama crowd loves them, more-so than many of the wrestlers on the show. Marlin and Sadler discuss an upcoming race. Out comes K-Krush (Ron Killings) who runs down the two drivers. “His kind” are athletes. They throw basketballs, run for touchdowns, throw for touchdowns and hit arm drops. These two guys are not athletes. Sadler tells him to shut up. How can K-Krush expect these people to take him seriously, dressed the way he’s dressed? There are many NASCAR fans in Hunstville, Alabama. Tenay shouts, “Testify!” K-Krush says screw Alabama and readies himself for a fight. All of a sudden, Brian Christopher runs down the ramp and attacks K-Krush. Sterling and Sadler send K-Krush out of the ring. Christopher grabs the mic and calls him a mo-fo. Why doesn’t “your kind” come down and pick on “my kind” right now? He challenges K-Krush to a match next week.

In the back, Jeff Jarrett is choking Jackie Fargo.

Match Four: Christian York/Joey Matthews vs. Stan Dupp/Bo Dupp
The Dupps have a redneck gimmick and come out with their “cousin and girlfriend,” Fluff. This is stereotype overload. The Dupps attack and double team on Matthews with a flapjack. They go to double clothesline him but York catches them with springboard clotheslines. York tags in Matthews and they connect with a double suplex that gets two. Stan ducks a clothesline and hits Matthews with a full nelson slam. Bo tags in and chops the chest. Matthews fights back but Bo stops an Irish whip attempt and hits with a big boot followed by a big splash that gets two. Stan tags in who goes for a neckbreaker which Matthews reverses into one of his own. Both tag in their partners. York catches Bo with a flying clothesline then strikes Stan. Bo comes up from behind with clubs and an Irish whip. York with a sunset flip which Bo blocks. He tries to sit down on York but he moves out of the way. York hits some mounted punches in the corner then connects with a back elbow on Stan. York sets Bo up for a fireman’s carry and slams him down. A back senton gets two when Stan interrupts. Matthews takes Stan out of the ring as York hits a tornado DDT on Bo. York climbs to the top but Fluff crotches him. Bo goes for the cover and gets the win.
Winner: Stan Dupp/Bo Dupp in 4:00
Rating: * (Not good. I guess they figured the Dupps gimmick would go over like a million bucks in front of an Alabama crowd. That has to be an insult.)

We get a video package on Toby Keith which leads to JB introducing Toby Keith for a live performance of “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” on the entrance ramp. The crowd is really into it; again, more-so than most of the wrestlers. Jarrett eventually comes out and interrupts it as he heads to the ring for the Gauntlet for the Gold.

Jarrett gets on the mic. Hey Toby, no one wants to see you or hear your music. Jarrett is here to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. How do you like him now?

Match Five: The Gauntlet for the Gold
Two men start and others enter at 90 second intervals. Over the top elimination rules. #1 Jarrett is in the ring as #2 Buff Bagwell hurries down the ramp. Bagwell unloads and hits a neckbreaker. He blocks a hiptoss and hits a clothesline. He sends Jarrett to the apron but he hangs on. Back in, Bagwell pounds away in the corner and hits a Blockbuster off of the opposite corner. Bagwell charges at Jarrett in the ropes but Jarrett backdrops him out of the ring. #3 Lash LeRoux is greeted by some Jarrett stomps on his way in. He is sent to the outside through the middle rope. Jarrett follows and drops him chest-first on the barricade. Back in, Jarrett hits the Stroke and eliminates him. There is a countdown clock in the corner, but wrestlers are coming out way before it reaches zero. #4 Norman Smiley is met by the same stomps. Smiley leapfrogs Jarrett and wiggles. Jarrett quickly knocks him down. Jarrett slams Smiley’s head on the top turnbuckle but is bodyslammed coming off the ropes. Smiley calls for the Big Wiggle but Jarrett low blows him and hits the Stroke. Smiley is eliminated. #5 Apolo is met by Jarrett back clubs. Apolo comes back with a high angle spinebuster and some clotheslines. He blocks a hiptoss and hits a neckbreaker. Apolo sends Jarrett to the apron and stomps but Jarrett re-enters. Apolo teases sending Jarrett over the top, press slam style, but #6 K-Krush runs in and saves Jarrett. Krush ducks a clothesline and hits an axe kick. He stomps Apolo as Jarrett regroups in the corner. Apolo mounts a small come back with a clothesline but Jarrett attacks from behind. He gets in some mounted punches in the corner followed by Krush doing the same. They both try to power Apolo out but he hits dual clotheslines. #7 Slash goes after Apolo as well but Apolo clotheslines him and hits a back body drop. Apolo connects with a DDT on Slash. He goes to press slam him but Jarrett stops it and hits a suplex. Slash follows with elbow drops. #8 Del Rios is a Scott Steiner clone. Apparently he is a face as Jarrett and Slash attack him. Jarrett focuses on Apolo as Slash bites Del Rios. Krush sits back for a while before assisting Jarrett in trying to eliminate Apolo. Del Rios goes to his aid. #9 Justice is an un-masked Abyss. He attacks Krush and Apolo, the first man with no alliances. He hits his very first TNA Black Hole Slam on Del Rios. #10 Konnan comes out to a good pop and goes straight for Jarrett and Slash with clotheslines. He hits two more on Del Rios and Justice. K-Factor on Justice. #11 Joel Gertner. Well, well, well. He does his rhyming gimmick and introduces Bruce of the Rainbow Express. He goes after Justice and Apolo. #12 Rick Steiner comes out to another good pop. He Steinerlines Slash, Jarrett, Justice, Bruce and Del Rios. Slash is eliminated by a Steiner suplex. Steiner suplexes Justice and clotheslines him out of the ring. He catches Jarrett with another suplex. #13 Malice, formerly known as The Wall in WCW, chokeslams Del Rios, Bruce, Konnan and Krush. Malice eliminates Bruce, Krush, Del Rios and Konnan one after the other. He then clotheslines Rick Steiner out of the ring. #14 Scott Hall unloads on Jarrett and Malice. Hall and Apolo team up against the two. Hall hits a Razor’s Edge on Jarrett. #15 Toby Keith suplexes Jarrett in TNA’s first memorable moment. Hall and Keith then throw Jarrett over the top. Hall and Apolo double team on Malice. #16 Chris Harris attacks all three men left in the ring. Vampire Warrior enters and suplexes Harris. I guess he was the real #15 entrant. #17 Devon Storm goes after Harris with a Sitout powerbomb. They trade chops in the corner. Hall rests on the top turnbuckle. Yes, that is something you want to do in this type of match. #18 Steve Corino double clotheslines Storm and Warrior. Storm and Warrior then double team on Hall. #19 Ken Shamrock kicks Corino, Storm and Warrior then suplexes Harris. He gets caught by Malice and is slammed down. #20 Brian Christopher eliminates Harris, Storm and Warrior. A few seconds later he eliminates Corino and gets caught by a Malice chokeslam. He is then eliminated by Shamrock. The final four are Malice, Apolo, Hall and Shamrock. Apolo is back body dropped out of the ring by Malice. Hall attempts Razor’s Edge on Malice but it flipped over the top.
Winners: Malice and Ken Shamrock in 31:00
Rating: ** (Your basic Battle Royal. They inserted some recognizable faces in there and got some good pops out of them. The Toby Keith suplex is still replayed today, so that is worth something.)

Match Six: NWA World Heavyweight Championship- Malice vs. Ken Shamrock
Ricky Steamboat is your Special Guest Referee. Shamrock runs into a Malice boot at the start. He comes back with some jabs at the gut but Malice catches him with a sidewalk slam for two. Malice hits a vertical suplex for two. He drives Shamrock into the top turnbuckle then sends him running. On the way back, Shamrock goes for a sunset flip but Malice stops the pin attempt. Shamrock ducks a clothesline and reverses a chokeslam attempt into a cross armbreaker. Malice eventually reaches the ropes. Malice comes back with some strikes. He Irish whips Shamrock and misses with a clothesline. Shamrock catches a big boot and turns it into an anklelock. After a lengthy period, Malice reaches the rope. Shamrock breaks on…seven. He gets into it with Steamboat. Shamrock kicks the legs but runs into a big boot. Malice tries for another chokeslam but Shamrock counters into a belly-to-belly for the win.
Winner: Ken Shamrock in 6:00 to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Rating: *3/4 (Wasn’t bad, but it felt really rushed. I’m guessing the logic behind putting the belt on Shamrock was to get attention from fans of two different worlds, pro wrestling and MMA. In hindsight, it must be seen as a failure. But, I must say, he did look motivated.)

In the back, security holds Toby Keith and Jackie Fargo back as Jarrett bad-mouths them.

Jarrett heads down the ramp and toward the ring with mic in hand. He questions whether any of the legends at ringside won a belt in a Battle Royal. He sends Bob Armstrong over the announce table with a punch. Jackie Fargo and Toby Keith come out again with security. Fargo promises Jarrett will get his ass kicked next week. Scott Hall comes out and brawls with Jarrett as Ferrara announces Jarrett vs. Hall for next week.

The 411: Not the kind of show an upstart wrestling promotion wants to open with. From the racial overtones in the K-Krush segment to the blatant stereotyping with a gimmick like the Dupps, this was sports entertainment at its worst. Tenay/West/Ferrara had no chemistry, but understandably so. West, in particular, was completely out of place, contributing very little to the commentary. On the positive side, they did a good job of introducing the X-Division as something people will want to watch and establishing Jarrett as a main heel.
 
Final Score:  4.0   [ Poor ]  legend

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