Bayless’ Look Back: NWA-TNA Weekly PPV #2

cheex

June 26, 2002

Live from the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsvile, AL

Your hosts are Mike Tenay, Don West, and Ed Ferrara, who is still proudly sporting his shitlocks.

Recap of last week’s show, with 95% of it revolving around Jeff Jarrett. They also showed a few seconds of Shamrock winning the title.

Tenay plugs Brian Christopher vs. K-Krush, with Hermie Sadler & Sterling Martin in Christopher’s corner. The also plug a “Double Main Event” with the X-Division Championship decided in a double elimination match and Scott Hall vs. Jeff Jarrett.

Jeff Jarrett comes down to the ring and demands that Hall, Keith, and Fargo get out here now as he wants the match to start immediately, prompting a surprised Tenay to state how this was supposed to be the main event.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Scott Hall w/Jackie Fargo & Toby Keith

Jarrett clears the ring when the faces comes out and jaws with the crowd. Hall flicks his toothpick in Jarrett’s face and laughs hysterically, even throwing in a knee-slap. Hall as a happy-go-lucky babyface just doesn’t work. Crowd starts a “you suck” chant at Jarrett before he takes Hall down with an armdrag, prompting Jarrett to yell back “who sucks now”. Lots of stalling follows as Jarrett messes around with Hall. Hall lands a few punches and catches Jarrett for the fallaway slam. A clothesline sends Jarrett to the floor as Hall panders to the crowd. Jarrett gets dragged and pushed in the ring but Hall falls down allowing Jeff to take advantage. He hits a few dropkicks and beats on Hall in the corner. Hall attempts a comeback but Jarrett jumps on his back and gets him in a sleeper hold, prompting Ferrara to refer to him as a “thinking man’s wrestler.” After about a minute, Hall catches Jarrett in a sleeper but that is quickly reversed into a back suplex by Jarrett, knocking both men on the mat. Jarrett attempts a cover and gets two. Hall comes up swinging and hits a slo-mo discus punch. Clotheslines in the corner are followed by another clothesline, this time knocking Jarrett down in the middle of the ring for a two count. He gets Jarrett up for the Razor’s Edge but K-Krush comes in and pulls down Jarrett then punches Hall in the face, with the referee looking on at this the entire time. Fargo, after blowing his cue the first time, eventually hits K-Krush. Holy shit did that spot look bad. Brian Christopher comes and chases K-Krush away. Back in the ring, Jarrett slams Hall face first into the mat. He yells at Keith and gets Hall in position for the Stroke when Keith comes from behind and gives Jarrett the low-blow. Hall and Keith with a double face-first slam to the mat on Jarrett as the ref slides into the ring and counts to three, with Keith hovering right over him the entire time (7:00) *1/4. Ferrara calls this the “biggest load of crap” that he has ever seen and goes on about Jarrett getting screwed again.

Thoughts: This played out like a Nitro main-event from 1996, with tons of outside inteference. Hall and Jarrett could at least work the crowd, which was vocal throughout the match. With that said, the action was not much but you aren’t going to expect great work from Hall in 2002 to begin with. In regards to Hall, having him as a smiling babyface didn’t work for me at all. Jarrett as the company’s badass doesn’t work great, either. The outside interference was done horribly and it came off looking like a Chinese Fire Drill. It did pump up the crowd though.

Quick rundown of the Miss TNA Lingerie Battle Royal as Ferrara gushes all over Francine.

Cheex w/Brown Eyed Girl vs. Frank Parker

Cheex is a morbidly obese black guy who has a low-rent costume and attempts to dance down the ramp. To put it bluntly, he is a fat fuck without a shred of charisma. He even appears to get winded walking to the ring. He is best known as the guy who broke the ropes minutes before TNA’s first show. I have no clue as to who the Brown Eyed Girl is or the opponent, Frank Parker. Tenay mentions how Jimmy Valiant trained Parker and Gene & Ole Anderson trained Cheex as Ferrara goes off about not caring about yesterday’s news and states how he is still pissed at Jarrett getting screwed again. Back to the match, Parker tries some kicks and clotheslines to no effect. He gets slammed after failing to move Cheex in an Irish whip attempt. Tenay states how the NWA officials just made Hall & Christopher vs. Jarrett & K-Krush for next week as Alicia is shown walking past the ring. Cheex with a running butt smash, or an “ass blast” according to Don West while Ferrara tells an incredibly lame fat bastard joke regarding Cheex and Teo, the midget wrestler. Cheex is now completely gassed and Parker gets in a few shots after an eye poke. Alicia is harassing Jeremy Borash at ringside as a sloppy looking reversal sequence ends with Cheex blocking a sunset flip with a sitdown splash. Cheex then puts this thing out of its misery with another splash (2:08) DUD. Post match action sees Alicia collecting money from Borash, like she is some sort of pimp.

Thoughts: The match was horrendous, with Cheex seemingly exceeding his billed weight of 450 lbs. He couldn’t even get his feet off of the ground during his splash. Anyway, this entire segment was a platform for the announcers to plug upcoming matches and further the Alicia bit, which still comes off as a waste of time. By the way, according to Tenay, this was supposed to be the opening match. At least it was short.

Tenay mentions that next week will feature a one night tournament to crown the TNA Tag-Team Champions, but that the Hall & Christopher vs. Jarrett & K-Krush match is not part of that.

Replay of last week when K-Krush got into it with Sterling Marlin & Hermie Sadler before getting chased off by Brian Christopher.

K-Krush vs. Brian Christopher w/ Sterling Marlin and Hermie Sadler

Killings attacks Christopher from behind, who was standing on the second rope, just as the bell sounds. He beats on him for a bit until Christopher manages to hit a neckbreaker after a leapfrog. Running bulldog from Christopher gets two. He tries hit again but ends up getting shoved and crotched on the second turnbuckle. Killings gets a vertical suplex for two as Ferrara rants about Sadler being a “twerp.” Killings with a leg lariat and then applies a chinlock. Christopher eventually breaks the hold and hulks up as he is hit by clubbing forearms to the back. Enzuigiri by Christopher, who then gets a stunner after K-Krush drops his head following an Irish whip. Christopher attempts mounted punches in the corner but K-Krush breaks that up with an inverted atomic drop. As the ref checks on Christopher, K-Krush attempts to climb the ropes as the racecar drivers stand on the apron and catch Krush in the ropes and move them up and down rapidly, crotching him. He rolls back in the ring and eventually falls down in the corner near Christopher, who climbs up top and puts on his goggles before hitting the Hip Hop Drop (top-rope legdrop) for the win (4:47) *1/4. Ferrara, doing a poor excuse of a poor excuse of a Jesse Ventura impression, states how he is now twice as mad at this injustice as he is with what happened to Jarrett.

Thoughts: Match wasn’t much other than an attempt to get over the fact that this featured NASCAR drivers. Killings showed some potential though as Christopher’s act, despite getting cheered here, was played out around this time.

Tenay states how the Rainbow Express will be here tonight and lists the competitors for the X Division match tonight: AJ Styles, Low Ki, Psychosis, and Jerry Lynn.

Jeremy Borash is in the ring to announce the competitors for the Miss TNA Lingerie Battle Royal. Borash announces Francine first, but Tyler comes out first and announces Tyler second and Francine comes out. The announcers state how he is distracted and he stops naming off the competitors. Another bush-league segment.

Miss TNA Lingerie Battle Royal

Here are the competitors: Francine, Tyler, Miss Joni, Shannon, Alexis Laree, Miss Sasha, Elektra, Taylor Vaughn, and Erin Bray. I have no idea what happened to Rebecca Briggs, who was brought out last week. The rules are that when the girl has her pajamas pulled off and is exposing her lingerie, she is eliminated. Since they couldn’t competently announce the girls, I have no idea as to who half of them are. Anyway, Tyler is eliminated first, courtesy of Elektra. Shannon eliminates Sasha. Erin is eliminated off-camera. Nothing going on at all, unless you are interested in the sexualized comments from Ferrara and West. Francine is tripled-teamed by Elektra, Shannon, and Joni and is eliminated. Joni gets eliminated by Shannon. Francine collaspes on the ground and is helped up by Ferrara, who places his hand on her breasts. She then takes off his belt and simulates giving oral sex but instead beats him with the belt. As that went on, Shannon and Alexis Laree were eliminated off-camera, leaving Elektra and Taylor Vaughn left. After about thirty seconds, Vaughn wins (4:41) -*. After the match, Francine hits Taylor from behind. That was another terribly timed spot as Francine was already going in the ring before Taylor turned her back. She was looking right at her. Anyway, Francine then takes off Taylor’s pajamas and whips her with the belt as the camera clearly shows the belt hitting Taylor’s pajamas that were tossed beside her.

Thoughts: A huge clusterfuck. I understand the T & A portion of the show but this was filled with skanks and the few non-skanky competitors weren’t shown for more than five seconds. Crowd was silent for a majority of this and West and Ferrara on commentary certainly didn’t help anything. Just about every single thing about this entire segment was executed terribly.

Goldylocks is backstage with Apolo. He barely gets out two words before he is interrupted by Bobcat and David Young. Bobcat gets into it with Goldylocks. Bobcat is alright in her role but Goldylocks is really bad as an interviewer.

Apolo vs. David Young w/Bobcat

Young grabs a side headlock off of a lockup. He shoulderblocks Apolo to no effect before getting caught in an ugly looking tilt-a-whirl slam. Apolo blocks a hiptoss and hits a double underhook suplex on Young, who immediately rolls outside. Bobcat is shown teasing Jeremy Borash as Apolo rolls Young back in the ring. Apolo chops the shit out of Young but misses a charge in the corner. Young grabs the advantage with some kicks as the camera is focused on Bobcat and Borash. Young grabs an armlcok but breaks the hold to focus on Bobcat and gets rolled up by Apolo for two. Young comes back with a clothesline then gets an enzuigiri for two. Suplex gets two. He gets a snapmare into a chinlock as the crowd starts a faint chant for Apolo. The hold is broken up and Apolo manages to get a tornado DDT by springboarding off of the middle rope. Young hits a spienbuster after dodging a charge but is distracted by Bobcat’s antics. He misses a moonsault and eats a superkick from Apolo, who then hits the TKO for the win (5:26) *1/2. After the match, Bobcat enters the ring and runs around as if Young was victorious.

Thoughts: Not a bad match, although Apolo is a bit clunky in the ring. Young is a solid worker though. They established the Bobcat character well, I thought. As a new company, you need to establish characters early and this was a start. Not perfect or anything, but okay.

In the ring, Joel Gertner comes out and shares a poem about himself. He then talks about his team, the Rainbow Express, and how he doesn’t care that they are gay. He also states that he doesn’t care what happens in their hotel room as long as they perform in the ring. The Rainbow Express come to the ring as Tenay states how they were too controversial for WCW and that original member Lodi, is out with an injury and Bruce has taken his place. The Dupps are scheduled for the match and their music plays but they do not come out. The camera cuts backstage to the Dupps and Goldylocks as Stan Dupp states how they are not going to wrestle “them alternative lifestyle boys” as James Storm and Chris Harris are walking into the arena in street clothes as they area approached by a panicked Bill Behrens, who asks them if they can wrestle tonight. The two accept the challenge as Behrens tells them that they don’t have time to put on their gear and to just take off their shirts and go to the ring. That whole exchange between Behrens and the future AMW came off as awkward and somewhat homoerotic.

Rainbow Express w/Joel Gertner vs. Chris Harris & James Storm

The Rainbow Express immediately stomp on their opponents as soon as they hit the ring. Harris shortly sends Bruce to the floor with a clothesline as storm beats on Lenny. West goes on about how he saw Storm and Harris recently wrestle at some fair and states it was one of the best matches that he had ever seen. Storm gets an elbow while charging at Lenny, who immediately hits a tornado DDT. Leg drop by Lenny and he then tags Bruce by kissing his hand which disgusts Don West. As Ferrara tries to calm down West, a sloppy exchange involving Bruce with a springboard sunset flip attempt that needed assistance from Lenny that got two. Harris runs in and gets a tilt-a-whirl headscissors on Lane, then gets reprimanded by the ref. The Rainbow Express use some homoerotic double team moves on Storm, drawing boos from the crowd. Lenny gets a suplex on Storm and crawls halfway across the ring to make the cover, which gets two. West continues to rant about his displeasure of the Rainbow Express’ mannerisms. Tag to Bruce who gets a scoop slam and lays into Storm before quickly tagging out. Lenny gets the Tigertamer (Jericho’s Liontamer) that Harris breaks up with a clothesline as West screams with joy. The crowd is just dead for all of this. Eventually, both men make the tag and Harris runs wild. Storm takes Bruce down off of the apron. Back in the ring, Lenny hotshots Harris as Ferrara and West continue to go at each other regarding the Rainbow Express. Harris rolls through a slam and gets two. Backslide gets two. Lenny with a reverse rollup on Harris but gets shoved and knocked into Bruce, who was re-entering the ring. Harris then gets a quick rollup on the stunned Lane for the win (4:47) ½*

Thoughts: Match wasn’t that good and the crowd was silent. The commentary was excruciatingly bad as the overly homophobic West made it unbearable. Ferrara as the guy questioning West on his displeasure for the act went nowhere. As far as the Rainbow Express, the act might have been able to go somewhere if the performers were talented. Lenny and Bruce are nothing more than jobbers. They are medicore in the ring and it was a lame attempt to be controversial. It was the first time that Harris & Storm had teamed up in TNA, for what it’s worth.

Ricky Steamboat is in the ring, wearing a referee’s shirt. He then introduces NWA-TNA champion Ken Shamrock, as West yells with the same excitement as he did when he sold Joe Montana gem mint ten’s. Shamrock states how he will defend the belt with honor as West yells “you damn skippy.” Good lord has he been awful tonight. James Mitchell interrupts and insults the “crackers” in the crowd and dares Shamrock to defend the belt against one of his disciples. He brings out Slash as the crowd goes silent and Shamrock calls him a joke. As they go back and forth, Malice sneaks in the ring from behind and hits Shamrock with a chokeslam and maintains the hold. Steamboat unsuccessfully tries to pull Malice off as the security hits the ring. They make mall security look badass by comparision. After a minute, Malice breaks as he and the rest of the New Church laugh. The segment was alright and at least coherent with Malice wanting revenge after losing in the title match last week. Shamrock isn’t good with the mic but luckily Mitchell did most of the talking.

Highlights from last week’s six-man tag match, showcasing the X Division style. Tenay states how the Flying Elvises are pissed that they were not invited to this match.

Double Elimination Match for the NWA-TNA X Division Championship

AJ Styles vs. Psicosis vs. Low Ki vs. Jerry Lynn

The rules are that two men start off. Once one is pinned, they roll out and another comes in the ring. Once you are pinned twice, you are eliminated from the match. Styles and Psicosis start off the match. AJ with some chops but gets caught in a wheelbarrow slam. Psychosis with a monkey flip but Styles lands on his feet and hits a superkick, which gets two. Styles charges but gets elbowed and Psicosis comes back with a spinning heel kick that barely made any contact. He goes up top and the guillotine leg drop gets two. Styles manages to reverse an Irish whip and turns a hurricanrana attempt into the Styles Clash for the pinfall (2:02). Low Ki comes in and hits some stiff kicks. Then in an incredible spot, Styles kips up and gets a hurricanrana on Low Ki. Damn, that looked great. Low Ki blocks a German suplex and kicks Styles in the back of the head. West compares Low Ki to Bruce Lee as he chops Styles in the corner. Styles manages to catch Low Ki on a monkey flip and attempts the Styles Clash. Low Ki escapes and kicks Styles in the head and tosses him high in the corner. Low Ki goes up top and gets the dragon sleeper and manages to hold on as they fall off the ropes. That spot looked really cool but I think they were lucky as Styles looked like he just dropped accidentally. Low Ki kicks Styles hard and goes up top. He lands on his feet after a twisting move and walks into a clothesline. Styles with a German suplex and rolls through that to hit a sitout facebuster for the pinfall (4:24). Jerry Lynn comes on and clotheslines Styles before hitting the cradle piledriver for the pinfall (4:44). Psicosis comes right in and hits a missle dropkick to the back of Lynn. He whips Lynn, who ducks a clothesine and gets a snapmare. Tilt-a-whirl headscissors to Psicosis and these two are working crisply at a lightning fast pace. West gushes about the match as Tenay mentions Lynn’s feud with the Lightning Kid (X-Pac) in the GWF. Psicosis takes Lynn outside with a hurricanrana and flies on him with a somersault plancha. The crowd is loving this and West is losing his mind. Psicosis rolls Lynn back in the ring and gets a top rope spinning heel kick for two. Lynn gets an inverted DDT for two. Psicosis hangs on the ropes, causing Lynn to miss a dropkick. He heads up top but gets dropkicked in midair and Lynn gets the cradle piledriver for the pinfall, eliminating Psicosis (7:44). Low Ki is in next and beats on Lynn as West is selling this PPV hard. Lynn elbows Low Ki after a charge and goes up top but Low Ki hits a rolling kick. Ki with a Frankensteiner but Lynn rolls through that and gets two. Low Ki fires back with some stiff kicks until Lynn lands an enziguiri. Backdrop from Lynn is followed by a clothesline. Lynn tries for the cradle piledriver but Low Ki locks in an armbar. Lynn eventually counters that with a powerbomb, which gets two. Low Ki blocks a suplex and gets Lynn up for the Ki Krusher but Lynn reverses that into a DDT. Lynn comes back with a short-armed clothesline the cradle piledriver for the win (12:04). Styles comes in and hits a discus clothesline for two. Lynn manages to counter a Styles Clash attempt into a hurricanrana before walking into a spinning heel kick. Lynn catches Styles with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker then while on the apron, smashes AJ into the turnbuckle. Sunset flip attempt is blocked by AJ, who goes on the apron and gets a twisting slingshot splash for two. He moonsaults off of the chest of Lynn then runs into a boot. Lynn fires back with a DDT. A suplex reversal sequence ends with AJ getting a neckbreaker, which also gets two. Lynn manages to get a Liger Bomb for two. This match is just fantastic. Everyone is hitting their moves perfectly. Styles backdrops Lynn off of a piledriver attempt and hits the Styles Clash for the pinfall (16:04). Steamboat is now the referee. Both guys slug it out and then do a bunch of pinning reversal sequences. Double clothesline spot follows as West repeats “How can they go on!” AJ gets up first and dropkicks Lynn, who rolls out on the apron. Lynn catches AJ with a hangman’s neckbreaker then drag him outside. He whips AJ into the guardrail. AJ boots Lynn while on the apron and then hits the Phenomenon (moonsault /inverted DDT combo). He rolls Lynn in the ring and gets two. Lynn reverses a suplex and hits an inverted suplex, leaving Styles on the ropes and then delivers a DDT, which gets two. Lynn gets Styles up in the Vertebreaker position and spins around before Styles escapes. Styles tries a rana but Lynn catches and delivers a sitout facecrusher from the powerbomb position, which gets two. Damn, that’s a sweet move. The crowd is all over the nearfalls. Both men just beat the ten count as Styles escapes a powebomb and hits a neckbreaker from the fireman’s carry position, to get two. Lynn blocks a suplex attempt and gets a brainbuster for two. Lynn puts AJ in the sleeper hold, which is eventually broken up with a jawbreaker. AJ goes up top but is knocked down and Lynn gets a superplex for two as Tenay plays up how Lynn hurt himself on that move. He puts AJ up top but gets shoved off and AJ hits the Spiral Tap (corkscrew senton) for the win (25:56) ****1/2. Confetti comes down and fireworks are set off as Steamboat puts the belt into AJ’s hands. Tenay says how the future of wrestling has arrived and to remember the name, AJ Styles. They then recap the match by showing all of the pinfalls.

Thoughts: Incredible match. This was a great way to put over the X Division. Everyone looked good but the match really showcased everyone but Psicosis and even he did a great job. It also planted the seeds for a Lynn vs. Styles feud. They managed to make the X Division title a lot more prestigious than the heavyweight title. Go out of your way to see this match.

The announcers then hype the matches that are scheduled for next week:

Scott Hall & Brian Christopher vs. Jeff Jarrett & K-Krush

Ken Shamrock vs. Malice for the NWA-TNA World Heavyweight Championship

NWA-TNA Tag Team Championship Tournament

Final Thoughts: This show was unremarkable until the main event, which is a must-see match. The worst thing about this show was the commentary. Ed Ferrara sucked and having him be upset when the heels lost yet get angry with West’s homophobia didn’t appear to make much sense. Speaking of West and the homophobia regarding the Rainbow Express, it was painful. Who the fuck thought that it was a good idea? Having him yell about the main event like he is selling an autographed John Olerud helmet is okay but everything else by him was pure shit. The X Division stuff is a start but the rest of the product comes off as low-rent.

Author: Brian Bayless