Bayless’ Look Back: NWA-TNA Weekly PPV #3

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July 3, 2002

Live from the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, TN

Your hosts are Mike Tenay, Don West, and Ed Ferrara

The announcers plug the NWA-TNA Tag Team Championship Tournament and the main event, Scott Hall & Brian Christopher vs. Jeff Jarrett & K-Krush.

NWA President Jim Miller comes out to make a special announcement. He presents a trophy to Tenay, welcoming TNA to the NWA. He then rambles on about his trip to Japan before revealing that Takao Omori will face the Champion next week.

NWA-TNA Tag-Team Championship Tournament Semi-Finals

Chris Harris & “Cowboy” James Storm vs. The Johnsons w/ Mortimer Plumtree

Plumtree has a pre-match promo in which he guarantees that his “Servants” will win the Tag-Team Championship. It was nothing special at all. Harris gets backed into the corner and hit with a double underhook suplex for two. Johnson #1 misses a corner splash and gets taken down with an armdrag. Thesz press by Harris and he tags Storm. Storm’s attempt at a hiptoss is blocked but he eventually comes back with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. He ducks his head after an Irish whip and gets hits with a swinging neckbreaker. Tag to Johnson #2 and they slam him down. Johnson #2 with a press slam as Plumtree yells at Storm. The Johnsons make quick tags and continue to work on Storm. Crowd starts to get into the match as Storm gets his feet up as Johnson #2 comes off the middle ropes. Storm comes back with an inverted atomic drop and a superkick. Both men are down as Ferrara states how one of these could win the championship tonight. Good insight, Shitlocks. Both men tag out as Harris runs wild, but the Johnsons eventually double team Harris. Storm clotheslines one of the Johnson’s over the ropes, taking himself out in the process. Harris with a spear to the remaining Johnson then gets caught after a crossbody attempt but Storm comes off the top rope with a missile dropkick and Harris gets the win (4:41) *1/2. After the match, Plumtree berates his team and pushes them, resulting in the Johnsons shoving him down after teasing a chokeslam and walking out of the ring. The camera shows Plumtree crawling around and limping up the ramp, begging them to come back.

Thoughts: The match was fine and you could see that there was something special with Storm and Harris. They knew when to make the comeback and they always showed fire. The Johnsons did some decent power stuff again too. The Plumtree angle after the match was meaningless, as this was the second and final appearance of the Johnson’s on NWA-TNA programming.

Scott Hall comes out and is interrupted immediately by Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett talks about how no one cares about Hall, then calls him a bitch. Hall states how Jarrett can’t back up his words and says “don’t sing it, bring it.” NWA President Jim Miller intervenes and says Jarrett will wait to fight Hall until the NWA decides a time. K-Krush ambushes Hall in the ring but ends up getting clotheslined out quickly. Segment wasn’t terrible but Miller is not someone who should be on TV.

Camera cuts backstage as Goldylocks is in the locker room where Harris and Storm were ambushed and left bloodied as Bill Behrens yells for help. Goldylocks and Behrens cannot act at all.

Anthony Ingram vs. Monty Brown

Before the match, Brown cuts a promo stating how he came to TNA for Ken Shamrock. Tenay mentions how Brown has been dominating the independent scene in Michigan. Ingram didn’t get a ring entrance and I have no clue as to who he is. Brown beats on Ingram once the bell rings. He gets an exploder then uses clubbing forearms. He catches Ingram and hits a powerslam. Brown signals for the Alpha Bomb (scoop powerbomb) and hits it for the win (1:32) NR.

Thoughts: Brown had a ton of charisma but was really green in the ring at this point. Also, he had on some crappy gear and was sporting cornrows. The announcers spent most of the time talking about the Tag Title Tournament so this segment came off as filler.

Goldylocks is in the back looking for Jim Miller. The Hotshots walk by and state that they have not seen him. Puppet the Psycho Dwarf interrupts and cuts a promo. He wants to see midget blood and will not leave until he beats a midget. He named off celebs like Gary Coleman and Mini Me as midgets that he would like to beat. Puppet really can cut a decent promo.

NWA-TNA Tag-Team Championship Tournament Semi-Finals

Rainbow Express w/Joel Gertner vs. Buff Bagwell & Apolo

Goldylocks interviews Bagwell and Apolo before the match. Bagwell acts selfish and guarantees a win. Nothing new from Buff here. Bruce and Buff start off the match. Buff gets a shoulderblock and a hiptoss before posing to the crowd. Bruce hits him from behind but then gets taken down by Buff. Buff with a Vaderbomb and more posing as Alicia is shown walking down the aisle. Tag to Lane who gives Buff the hand to the face routine. Buff follows with an eye poke as the camera shows Alicia getting money from Ferrara and checking it off in her black book. They show Apolo in the ring beating on the Rainbow Express. Spinebuster to Lane gets two. Apolo no-sells some chops and hits a scoop slam. Gertner hooks the leg of Apolo, allowing Lane to get a DDT. Tag to Bruce and he stomps down Apolo. They begin to double-team Apolo as Ferrara notices how West toned down the homophobia towards the Rainbow Express. Apolo catches Lane with a full nelson slam and both men are down. Both men tag out and the crowd is silent. Bagwell cleans house on the Rainbow Express. He blows a crossbody spot in which he was supposed to take out Lane and himself but they couldn’t get over the ropes. That looked terrible. Apolo kills Bruce with a superkick and gets the TKO. Lane attacks from behind then pulls down the top rope when after Apolo charges after him. Buff comes in and hits the blockbuster on Bruce but decides to pose to the crowd, allowing Lane to hit a weak looking superkick for the win (5:48) ¾*. After the match, Buff is shown talking to himself as Ferrara goes to interview him. Buff states how he is not “Buff” but rather “Marcus.” Says no one “gave a shit” about him when he broke his neck and that being “Buff” got him beat by “two gay guys” tonight. He says he wants to go home and then gives away his top hat. West says how Buff sucked tonight as Ferrara says he was moved by his pain.

Thoughts: The match got really bad in the last minute but was passable overall. The story about Buff being a show-off costing him the match was fine but the post match stuff was a page out of WCW’s dying days. Thankfully, West toned down the homophobia when the Rainbow Express used their antics. The Alicia angle continues to be a giant waste of time. Exactly what is the payoff to that supposed to be anyway?

Ken Shamrock comes out and addresses Monty Brown’s challenge by stating how he is a joke. His promo was awful. He mentions his match against Malice as the crowd does the “What” chant routine. James Mitchell is shown in the balcony and tells Shamrock to not worry about anyone else but Malice. The lights are out in the arena with the exception of the balcony. When they come back on, Shamrock is motionless on the mat with Malice standing over him. Segment was okay and furthered along the feud between Shamrock and The New Church.

Bill Behrens is on the phone panicking about the all of the chaos and the whereabouts of Jim Miller. Jerry Lynn asks him to find a partner to replace the injured Storm & Harris team. Behrens yells at him to go away and does the same to Goldylocks. More terrible acting from Behrens and Goldylocks.

Hardcore Midget Match

Puppet vs. Todd Stone

Puppet nails Stone with a kendo stick as he enters the ring. Puppet smashes him with a trashcan and takes him down with a clothesline. Some more trashcan shots are followed by a slam onto the can. He puts the can over Stone’s head and beats it with the kendo stick as West is laughing hysterically and enjoying himself way too much. Puppet then gets a TKO on the trash can for the win (1:54) ¼*. After the match, Puppet nails the ref with a kendo stick and hits Borash, Ferrara, and West before chasing the referee up the ramp.

Thoughts: Match was a total squash but fine for what it was. West was brutal on commentary as he was constantly laughing and expressing his love for Puppet. He was portrayed as a face announcer from the beginning yet he is homophobic and loves the heel midget wrestler. The commentary might be the worst thing about these shows so far.

Goldylocks is with Ken Shamrock and the medics and cannot get an update on his condition other than the fact his neck is hurt.

Recap of last week’s Miss TNA battle royal and the action between Francine and Taylor Vaughn.

Francine vs. Taylor Vaughn

Francine attacks Vaughn from behind with a leather belt. Vaughn then takes the belt from her and chokes her out. The referee attempts to take the belt but gets hit and ring the bell for the DQ. Ferrara comes to the ring to raise the hand of Francine and places his hand on her chest and eventually gets slapped and hit with the strap.

Thoughts: A waste of time. No one cared about the females and the Ferrara and Francine stuff is getting old. They didn’t even ring the bell to start the match and the ref only decides to go for the DQ finish after he gets hit with the belt.

Borash introduces Hermie Sadler and his pit crew. K-Krush interrupts and states how he must have had his ass whooped a lot as a kid because he doesn’t listen. I like that line, actually. Sadler attacks K-Krush and then accepts a challenge next week for a match. I love K-Krush as an angry heel. He does a great job in that role. Having a lower tier NASCAR driver isn’t going to spark business though, even in the South.

NWA-TNA Championship

Malice w/James Mitchell vs. Ken Shamrock

Malice attacks Shamrock as he enters the ring. That is the theme of the night I guess. He works the neck and knocks Shamrock off the apron. He rolls Ken back in and works on the neck some more. He lifts Shamrock by the neck as he sits on the top rope. Leg drop gets two. Shamrock locks in an armbar as Malice tried a choke but the hold is broken up. Malice tosses Shamrock outside and drops the chain he had in his hand. He slams Shamrock’s head off of the announcers table and works the neck some more. Back in the ring, Shamrock gets a leg lock but Malice quickly reaches the ropes. Malice with a few back suplexes and locks on a neck vise. Shamrock blocks a suplex attempt and gets a snap suplex of his own. Malice is up quickly but Shamrock with a kick and then a belly-to-belly suplex for the win (5:53) *1/2.

Thoughts: The match was going fine but the ending was abrupt and made no sense as Malice just no-sold a snap suplex seconds prior to getting pinned. Also, the belly-to-belly suplex as a finisher is weak. This made Malice seem like a loser as he could barely beat a guy he injured less than an hour ago. I don’t mind Shamrock but he was not a good choice as the first champion.

NWA-TNA X Division Championship

David Young w/Bobcat vs. AJ Styles (Champion)

Before the match, Tenay mentions how writer Alex Marvez wrote in his column about the X-Division match from last week being the best PPV match he has seen all year. Young attacks Styles before the match but eventually gets hit with a dropkick. Styles counters a full nelson slam with an armdrag. He gets another armdrag but Young runs him over with a shoulder block. Styles takes Young out of the ring with a hurricanrana. He comes up way short on a somersault plancha and throws a forearm at Young. He rolls him in the ring for two. Bobcat is shown speaking on a cellphone as Styles is backdropped on the apron. Styles tries a springboard but is shoved off and Young follows that with an Asai Moonsault. Young rolls him back in the ring and gets two. They slug it out and do a few reversals and counters before Young throws him in the corner with a northern lights suplex. Styles manages a crucifix for two. Rollup gets two. Young gets an enziguri for two. Camera focuses on Bobcat as Young gets the figure-four headlock and then a powerslam for two. Brainbuster gets two. Young with a headlock but AJ breaks out and hits a superkick, which gets two. Styles gets the phenomenon for two. It was really sloppy looking. Bobcat waves to the camera as Young gets backdropped. Styles with some kicks and chops but Young gets a spinebuster as Styles tried to escape a full-nelson slam. Young places Styles on top for the Frankensteiner but gets caught mid-move and Styles turns it into a top-rope Styles Clash for the win (8:46) **1/2. After the match, Bobcat celebrates in the ring and raises Young’s hand, oblivious to the fact that her man lost.

Thoughts: Match was decent, but not great or anything. Not a whole lot of action here as Young wrestles more of a power style and there were too many restholds, especially for the X Division. AJ blew a few spots as well and was nowhere near as crisp as he was last week.

Tenay plugs next week’s matches including a six-man elimination match that will determine the ranking order for the X Division including Low Ki, Jerry Lynn, Elix Skipper, Kid Romeo, Christopher Daniels, and Tony Mamaluke.

Goldylocks is with the Rainbow Express and Joel Gertner. Lane tells her he knows a place that can fix her hair and Gertner does his schtick with Goldylocks, disgusting her in the process. Not a good segment and I like Gertner, who really should still have a job in wrestling today.

Borash introduces the opponents for the Rainbow Express, Jerry Lynn & AJ Styles.

NWA-TNA Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals

Rainbow Express w/Joel Gertner vs. AJ Styles & Jerry Lynn

Once again tonight, the heels stomp the faces as they enter the ring. Lynn tosses the Rainbow Express from the ring and hits them with a plancha. Styles then follows with a corkcscrew plancha. Back inside, Lane and Lynn trade reversals until Lynn gets a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Lynn with a drop toehold on a charging Lane, who hits the second turnbuckle. Bruce charges in and gets dropped face first into Lenny’s crotch. Lynn rams Bruce head into Lenny crotch. I’m surprised that West wasn’t losing his mind over this. Lynn heads up top but Gertner grabs his leg, allowing Lane to get the advantage. Bruce tags in and stomps Lane. Lynn lands on the apron after a backdrop and hits a leg drop on Bruce, which gets two. Styles tags in and creams Bruce with a spinning heel kick, which gets two. Quick tag to Lynn who hammers away. Bruce eats a boot on a charge in the corner and Lynn climbs up top for the bulldog and he pin is broken up by Lane. Bruce gets a low blow and makes the tag. Lynn gets a jawbreaker and then a rollup for two. Lane pulls on the ropes after a failed dropkick from Lynn and gets the Tiger Tamer until Styles breaks it up with a clothesline. Bruce comes in without tagging and the ref doesn’t notice. Slam by Bruce gets two. He stomps Lynn and tags Lane, who gets a delayed vertical suplex for two. The camera shows a worried Joel Gertner outside and AJ is favoring his back. Bruce tags in but Lynn gets a sunset flip for two. Lynn counters a springboard sunset flip with a sitdown splash but Bruce counters that with a rollup for two. Lynn with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors but that is countered into a sitout facebuster, which gets two. Bruce gets a chinlock as the crowd starts a lukewarm chant for Lynn. Bruce now has the headscissors locked in as the crowd is starting to come alive. Lynn escapes a powerbomb attempt twice and gets a rollup for two as Gertner distracted the referee. Lynn floats over Bruce and gets an inverted DDT as both men are down. They tag out and AJ beats on Lane. Hurricanrana gets two. Superkick gets two. Lynn now stomps on Bruce. Lane catches AJ with a forward Russian Legsweep and Lynn breaks up the pin attempt. Lynn hits Lane with the cradle piledriver and takes out a charging Bruce with a hurricanrana. Styles then goes up top and hits the Spiral Tap for the win (12:22) ***. The confetti drops from the ceiling as the two celebrate the title win.

Thoughts: Good match. Having Lynn and Styles team together is an interesting dynamic and it’s nice to see that they are pushing a young talent instead of an old WCW/WWE reject.

Camera cuts to the back as the security shows Jim Miller tied up and gagged on the floor. Goldylocks attempts to act shocked and appalled.

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

All four men attack each other in the ring and take the action outside. They end up brawling in the crowd and all over the arena, with the faces getting the upper hand. Hall beats on Jarrett inside of the dancer’s cage. Back in the ring, Christopher backdrops K-Krush. He goes up top as Hall is beating Jarrett but misses the Hip-Hop Drop. Krush dumps Christopher but Hall is standing behind him and eventually gets a choke slam. Jarrett comes back in but Hall punches him down. Jarrett gets in a few shots before Hall tags Christopher, who comes in and gets some mounted punches in the corner. He misses a charge in the corner and tags Hall. Jarrett shoves Hall into the ropes, knocking Christopher off of the apron. K-Krush tags in and hits a missile dropkick. Flying forearm gets two. Tag to Jarrett who punches him down and jaws with the crowd. Neckbreaker gets two and Killings tags back in and hits a spinning heel kick. He yells at Christopher and tags in Jarrett. Hall rolls through a crossbody and gets two. Jarrett quickly gains the advantage and locks in a sleeper hold. Hall reverses into one of his own but that is quickly broken up with a jawbreaker. Jarrett gets a back suplex and both men are down. Christopher prevents Jarrett’s tag from happening but Hall now has no one to tag. Killings tags in and gets an axe kick. Krush puts Hall in a chinlock then tells the crowd to “shut up.” Hall gets up and hits an electric chair drop as both men are down. Jarrett tags in but Hall hits both men with a double clothesline. Christopher rallies the crowd but pulls back his hand on the tag attempt and punches Hall. Jarrett charges but Hall counters with an atomic drop. He clears house on everyone, including Christopher. Razor’s Edge to K-Krush. The ref is down and Christopher breaks up a Razor’s Edge attempt. Jarrett with the stroke and Christopher goes up top with the Hip Hop Drop, allowing Jarrett to cover Hall for the win (11:41) **1/4. Jarrett grabs the mic and tells Hall that he “isn’t worth a shit” as K-Krush and Christopher hug in the background. He mentions beating Hall in 1995 and 1997 and running Hall out of WCW and he will do the same here. Jarrett beats Hall with the trophy. The refs signal for the EMTs as they bring out the stretchers. Jarrett challenges everyone, including the Tennessee Titans offensive line, who are in the front row. Jarrett bring up how the WWE kicked Hall out of the nWo. Jarrett dumps Hall off the stretcher and states he will prove once and for all that he should have walked out of the first show as the World Championship. As Tenay runs down next week’s card, Jarrett continues to assault Hall as the show ends.

Thoughts: The match itself was decent enough. The Christopher heel turn is fine as he makes a far better heel than a face but he and K-Krush completely disappeared once the match ended and Jarrett took over. Plus, Krush and Christopher fought last week and the hug by the two signaled that this was planned all along, making the whole thing seem contrived. If you hated the fact that Jarrett dominated TNA during it’s early years, then you will probably not like this segment.

Final Thoughts: The first 75% of this show was painfully boring, burning out the crowd. The last three matches were decent enough though. However, the poor production values and horrible announcing really hurt the product. Also, the only heavyweight faces they have that are worth anything are Hall and Shamrock and they are not strong workers at this point in their careers. I do like that they have giving Styles a push though. Overall this show had less embarrassingly bad material but it still wasn’t very good.

Author: Brian Bayless