Hello Gatecrashers! We’ve finally reached it; the wrestler I was so curious about that I paid good money for the first 8 TNA shows on VHS appears for the first time! Was it worth it? No! I saw him live a few months later!
We’ll review the 4th TNA Weekly TNA PPV and then compare it with AEW’s All Out 2019 in the next Compare and Contrast Column!
Check out my previous articles for more context here! I make a lot of references to previous shows so if you want in on all the jokes, check them out! But more importantly, check out all the content on Gatecrashers!
Last Week on TNA; We saw Monty Brown’s debut, Ken Shamrock defeating both Malice and the malicious WHAT chant, BIG JIM MILLER and his BIG GOLD BOWLING TROPHY, a ton of thrown together tag teams, new NWA Tag Champs, Buff Bagwell leaving and Jeff Jarrett yelling on mic to take us home. Guess how the show ends this week?
Note: I may have referred to the tag belts as the TNA Tag Team Championship. It’s actually the NWA Tag Team Championship. Sorry to all the pedants out there.
Very Good: ON AND ON SOUTH OF JACKSON… VILLE, NORTH CAROLINA!!!
The show starts with a NWA Tag Team Championship match. I think it’s a good idea. Let’s feature the hot new title right away. Why wait?
They show a recap of last week’s “booked by untreated bipolar disorder” Tag Team Tournament. Teams ditching their managers, teams breaking up immediately, teams getting jumped, Don West propagating homophobia… it was a lot. In the end AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn teamed up and jumped right into the finals, beating the Rainbow Express in a very 1997 Nitro Filler level match.
Father James Mitchell has recruited a new member to his New Church; Tempest. Okay… so Tempest’s previous name was Devon Storm which is already creepy as fuck, so why change it? I guess… storm… tempest… it’s a stretch and I don’t like it. Maybe they can bring on another member and call him Duke Orsino and start a whole Shakespearian sub-stable. Anyway, Tempest and Slash will be facing off against the NWA Tag Champs…
AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn, who I shall refer to by what obviously should have been their tag team name, StyleLynn (or StyleLynn and ProfyleLynn if you want to make it super long, like this sentence) join the eeeevil satanists in the ring to give us a nonsensical first defense. The New Church haven’t won a match but they are at the top of the list. People shit on AEW’s ranking system but at least it gives some structure when necessary. Where are The Flying Elvis Impersonators? They should be #1, but instead they are being treated like nothing but hound dogs.
I gotta give the announcers credit here. They say that Tempest requested the name change and Madden notes that “something is missing from his eyes.” I love details! I also love spooky shit and cults! The team is also not arguing the whole time and actually calling the match. Big improvements here.
Tempest and Slash do a GREAT job of working with the Ted Petty Invitational style that their opponents bring. They sell everything that comes at them, but when they are on offense they just toss AJ all around the ring. It’s like seeing a really strong WCW team facing off against a great ROH team. This blows everything from last week out of the water, even though it’s over in 11 minutes.
The match ends with Jerry Lynn hitting the Cradle Piledriver on Tempest, followed by getting kicked off the pin by Slash, then AJ tags in and hits the Spiral Tap for the win. Jerry looks put out by blind tag and the stolen pin. He refuses to celebrate in the ring with AJ. For some reason we get ringpost fireworks? Did you like the pairing of Lynn and Styles? Well, prepare to be brutally disappointed!
Mid: The Phone Hall Is Coming From Inside The Building!
They recap Brian Christopher’s heel turn on Scott Hall and the following beatdown by Christopher, Jarrett and K-Krush. Then they have an obvious pre-recorded .wav file of Scott Hall *live* on the phone. Apparently he’s the “new Scott Hall” and they didn’t do enough to take him out. Meh.
Brian Christopher comes to the ring to cut a promo. While he’s on his way the announcers do their best to justify Christopher’s turn. Jerry Jarrett and Jerry Lawler ran Memphis together, and Brian Christopher and Jeff Jarrett came up in the business together so OBVIOUSLY Hall should have known better.
Christopher cuts a promo mostly on Jerry Lawler. He wants to change from a boy to a man. “I’m gonna make myself famous. I am no longer Jerry’s kid. From now on I’m Brian Lawler.” Okay, so… you are trying to distance yourself from Jerry Lawler but then you change you name to Lawler? I don’t think that works the way you hoped.
Another point; Lawler is still dressed in his “Too Sexy” gear. A change in look would have helped sell the NEW Brian Lawler.
Lawler then faces off against “Secret Badass” Normal Smiley. Smiley dances and humps instead of cracking Lawler’s bones into Looney Tunes shapes. This is pretty much a squash. Lawler wins with the goggle-less Hip Hop Drop.
Lawler’s promo is pretty good for a guy who has never been known as a strong promo. He isn’t nearly as cartoonish and screamy as usual. What sucks is that his B- promo and heel turn is completely trashed in under a month. STAY TUNED!
Good: K-Krush on the mic
Krush just absolutely incenses the audience for about 3 minutes. I mean… they are already biased against him but he masterfully plays them, running down NASCAR, calling them “assholses” and then reading individual folks in the seats. He’s the off-brand New Jack in Smokey Mountain.
There’s a small backstage segment where Bherens confronts Jarrett about the attack on Jim Miller last week, how he can prove it was Jarrett and that Jarrett is suspended. Jarrett says “SUSPEND THIS.” and grabs his crotch. I’m not sure how you would suspend someones dick but if that’s what Jarrett is into…
Goldie hears Father James Mitchell yelling at someone behind a door but the door gets closed. Not sure what that’s about.
Bad: Hermie ain’t no Jebaily
In the blowoff to the between A White Man Driving In Circles vs. A Black Man Driving The Audience Nuts, Hermie Sadler faces K-Krush. Krush does a good job wrestling himself while drawing massive heat. Hermie lets himself be guided which leads to a “not as bad as you’d think” match. I mean, truly, K-Krush could have been wrestling a stack of potatoes here for all the carrying he does. Hermie does ZERO wrestling moves. Krush wins by pin with his feet on the ropes, but then reverses the decision after K-Krush takes a shot at Hermie after the pin.
SO HERMIE SADLER HAS A WIN OVER K-KRUSH SPOILER K-KRUSH WILL BE NWA CHAMPION IN A FEW WEEKS WHAT THE FUCK
Bad: “BIG IN JAPAN” Alecia
Alicia gets cash from Pro Wrestling Noah’s Prodigal Son Takao Omori. Time to play “What’s Alicia Collecting For This Week?”
Omori was at Loveless Café, getting some BISCUITS AND GRAAVAAAYYY but he had forgotten to exchange his yen for dollars. Alicia, who had just finished up her own plate of BISCUITS AND GRAAVAAAYYY (please click on that link), offered to loan Omori cash until he could get the exchange taken care of. Since Omori was only in Nashville for one night, she had to meet him while he was doing his PRE-MATCH SQUATS.
And that’s why Alicia was collecting cash!
Reminder: We never find out why Alicia was actually collecting cash.
Bad: The Briscoes Do Not Get An Introduction
The Babby Briscoes are already in the ring (no respect, I tells ya) and are facing off against the blandly named and blandly wrestled Hot Shots. Jesus, the Briscoes are still teenagers here. They have almost no muscle mass. I think current Mark Briscoe weighs as much now as the Babbys did then.
The match goes for all of 2 minutes before THE DISCIPLES OF THE NEW CHURCH come to ringside. Malice, doing his best Kane impression, decimates both tag teams. NO CONTEST.
The Briscoes have proven themselves to be… problematic… but they are a great goddamn tag team. They never broke through to WWE due to not being “aesthetically pleasing”. WWE wouldn’t know what to do with them anyway. Regardless, The Briscoes need sensitivity training and a true apology to the queer comunity to solidify their legacy.
The Disciples say they want Shamrock to come to the ring now or they’ll attack people at ringside. When they drag the timekeeper into the ring, Shamrock comes down to break things up. He gets a GOOZLE from Malice, but Omori comes down to make the save. The Disciples bail. Omori and Shamrock bump into each other and have a BIG OL’ STAREDOWN.
FUCK: THE DUPPS
The segment starts with Fluff Dupp trying to avoid kisses from her brother or cousin Bo Dupp. Current NWA World’s Champion Stan Dupp picks his nose, eats the booger, and regales us with the fable of the dog who licks himself but to truly find release he has to latch onto Aunt Bell’s leg and hump her varicose veins and that’s what they’ll do to the Flying Elvises tonight. WHAT.
Bo hands Fluff off to Dupp so they can have playful sexual assault in the background. Bo then cuts a nonsensical promo “You’ve got to ask the questions first then strike later. If you see a fork in the road you gotta take it. Never look a deaf man in the eye. And remember, if the shoe fits, then it’s probably the right size. And another thing our Daddy taught us, if it looks like shit and it smells like shit and you pick it up and play with it and it feels like shit, don’t eat it, because it’s probably sheeeiiit!” WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING. THIS IS NOT FUNNY.
As the Dupps come down the ramp, Madden says “The family that plays together usually comes from Kentucky.” Yikes. The Flying Elvises are in the Sonny Siaki/Jorge Estrada configuration. Jimmy Yang is touring the King’s Road with All Japan.
Mortimer Plumbtree and his cricket bat join the announce team. Plumbtree explains that The Johnsons just lost their temper last week and everything is fine. I agree, everything is fine because the Johnsons never come back!
This is the first time we’ve heard Plumbtree’s voice. He sounds like a right wing radio host who entertains every conspiracy except Q-anon.
Ferrara points out exactly what I have been saying; The Elvises have been left out of Tag Title matches and X Division matches even though they had a better win loss record than everybody else. Oh, no I agree with Predator Ferrara! Feels gross.
The match is better than I expected. It’s all of 5 minutes so there’s no room for The Dupps to do their dumb bits. Stan looked like a mini-hoss here and Bo is an underrated big man. Siaki hits a sweet split leg Moonsault and Estrada wins with a second rope springboard twisting Senton called “The Perfect 10” which is not an Elvis thing at all. Call it, like, “Are You Senton Tonight” or “The Love Me Tenderizer”. It kinda looks like he’s going to kill himself but in a cool way.
As I noted in Week 1, the Elvises forget to do any Elvis stuff.
Bad: Misogynist Announcers
Adult film star Jasmine St.Claire comes to the ring. She had made appearances in the latter days of ECW and dated The Blue Meanie for a while. They even started their own wrestling company, Pro Pain Wrestling (3PW). I actually went to one of their shows at the ECW Arena/Bingo Hall. As I recall the show was fine. Their relationship fell apart and so did the company like so many ECW clones.
The announcers are a trio of horny assholes who can’t stop making jokes about how many men Jasmine has slept with. She says she’s here to bring real TNA to the company, then does a strip tease for Jeremy Borash. Yadda yadda yadda. NWA Vice President Bill Bherens rushes the ring with his sport coat, then gets cut off by a rabid Ed Ferrara. Bherens gets past him and then covers up Jasmine before she can take her clothes off and hurries her to the back. The crowd boos as if Jeff Jarrett just ran down 9/11.
Bad: Tag Teams That Can’t Get Along Part 1
Backstage Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles are kick the fuck out of each other, throwing each other into tables and chairs and ring barriers… it’s a backstage brawl on speed. It’s all over in under a minute. Jerry Cradle Piledrivers Styles on one of those rolling equipment carts, throws a tag belt on his body and half-assedly yells “Enjoy your belt, you glory hound. Yeah. Glory hound.”
Bad: The NWA Title defense is not the main event again
Nothing to add.
Goodish: When Shamrock Hits Your Eye Like A Big Pizza Pie, That’s Omori
Watch this match on the Impact Wrestling Youtube Channel! Or don’t, I’m not your boss.
The pre match graphics help sell the big match feel and Tenay explains that Omori likes to hit the Axe Bomber and the Bombs Away Kneedrop. I like a little strategy discussion. Do it more!
This is… a match. The crowd does not care about Omori. You get these reminders that Shamrock is not a main event talent. Take a look at this gif:
He goes the wrong way on that neckbreaker. Weird.
Omori’s Axe Bomber looks DEVASTATING. Shamrock works the leg for most of the match. He transitions from an arm bar to an ankle lock which looks super sweet. Then Jeff Jarrett comes to the ring like a fucking asshole and starts hitting everyone with a chair. Harley Race, age 59, eats a fully unprotected chair shot for reasons.
Shamrock also takes one on the dome without getting his hands up. Jarrett is swinging for the fences here. Wild ass shit. Also wild to think that Sting is older than Race was here and is still running the ropes and occasionally bumping in 2021. Things are different now! People aren’t as old!
Bullet Bob Armstrong admonishes Jarrett as he goes to the back. NO CONTEST GREAT.
Goldilocks asks Jerry Lynn why he attacked Styles. She says “Can you give me some–”. Jerry cuts her off and says “You want some? OPEN UP AND SAY AHH.” GROSS.
She bumps into Father Mitchell, who asks her to direct Jeff Jarrett to him. “Jeff Jarrett is about to commit a cardinal sin that I can’t absolve. I’m not a really charitable god.” FUCK YES. Mitchell is so good. He actually has layers to his character. “(Calmly) You can either lose that smirk… (nastily) or we’ll cut it off!”
We have been hearing moaning during the segment. Goldi runs around the corner and finds Bill Beherens in the “Jim Miller” position; tied up with “FU” painted on his belly.
Here’s that living backstage that I mentioned in the first column. It’s so effective for storytelling. The stories aren’t always good though.
Good: The X-Division 6 Way Elimination Ranking Match Or Whatever Who Cares CHRISTOPHER DANIELS IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YEAAAAH CHRISTOPHER DANIELS!!!!!!!!!!! This is the guy who made me buy the VHS tapes so long ago! I AM OLD.
We have another “TNA makes matches confusing” thing going on here. So there are 6 wrestlers. This match determines the rankings. If you are eliminated first, you are the sixth seed. Second elimination would be the fifth place contender and so on. I guess it’s not THAT confusing. Again, where are the Elvises? There’s only 2 wrestlers we’ve seen before in this match. WHATEVER CHRISTOPHER DANIELS IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The competitors are:
Kickman Low Ki
8 day WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Champion Elix Skipper
8 day WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Champion Kid Romeo
ECW technical wizard Tony Mamaluke
THE FALLEN ANGEL CHRISTOPHER DANIELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For the second time tonight, Jerry Lynn
This is a great showcase of what the X-Division is supposed to be. Lots of action, everybody gets their shit in. There are some fuck ups here and there but nothing that ruins the match. Mamaluke is the workhorse of the first 5-ish minutes. It’s easy to forget how absolutely masterful his technical wrestling is. The only reason he didn’t have a bigger career or make it in the ROH world is his lack of personality.
Jerry Lynn is the first one out due to a count out. He couldn’t get back to the ring apron after eating a bunch of dives. Elix hits the Overdive on Mamaluke for the second elimination, leaving the future member of S.E.X. and Kid Romeo in the match. Daniels eliminates Skipper with The Last Rites. Kid Romeo hits a top rope Air Raid Crash on Daniels but Daniels has his foot on the ropes. Ki gets a tap out on Kid Romeo with the Dragon Clutch. That leaves Daniels and Ki. These two already know how to work with each other.
Don West yells “I’d pay 100 dollars to see this!”
“I’d watch that for $100!”
There’s a fight in the crowd that draws attention away. The audience has seen around 3 hours of wrestling at this point since they taped 2 PPVs at a time and are starting to burn out. They have a great mini-match here though. Ki gets the win and first place contendership with the Ki Krush. Estrada and Siaki rush the ring. Siaki gets on the mic and says that the Elvises are the X Division. TBH he’s not good on the stick. Romeo, Skipper and Mamaluke come down to make the save.
Again, the Elvises forget to do any Elvis stuff.
Bad: The Tennessee Titans Save TNA
I didn’t catch it before but they probably mentioned that a group of the Tennessee Titans were at ringside. Jarrett comes down after the main event because he’s so fucking important to yell about how he should be next up against Shamrock and how nobody matters except him, including the Titans. He gets in their face and some big Defensive Line looking motherfucker jumps the rail and starts fucking Jarrett up for real. More Titans jump Jarrett. The Disciples of the New Church haul ass to ringside for what was probably supposed to be a much calmer segment to add tension to next week but instead they have to drag Jarrett away from the Titans and throw him over another barricade. This shit is wild. Check out the My World episode about it. In the end it helped TNA stay afloat but I’ll let Mr. Jarrett explain that.
Jarrett closes the show again!
This was my favorite TNA show so far. The storyline stuff is still bad and confusing, and giving Hermie Sadler a win over K-Krush was rough. There was still an unnecessary misogynist segment and the brutal mocking of rural America. However, there were two good wrestling matches, a couple decent ones and no gay bashing. They did more of their efficient backstage segments and put the mic in front of James Mitchell. Good stuff!
The show would have benefited by having some interviews or sizzle reels for the X Division folks in the preceding weeks or even on this show, but whatever. Also it seems like a no-brainer to put Daniels with The New Church. TNA never figured out what to do with Daniels in the long term.
But, yeah, if someone asked for a good early TNA show, I’d probably point to this one. Just skip the Dupps. Always skip the Dupps. Skip. Dupp. Skip Dupp? OH NO I MADE A NEW DUPP.
Next time: I write entirely too many words about AEW All Out 2019, then Compare and Contrast with this show. AEW will be better!