Hey Gatecrashers! This episode of TNA might cause me to have a brain hemorrhage so if the column abruptly stops mid-sentence, you’ll know why! If I survive I’ll do my regular Compare/Contrast with AEW in a couple of weeks.
As usual I’ll make my reviews easy to read by using my derivative “The Good, The Bad and The Mid” format. Last week’s PPV was all over the place, quality-wise. The best of the best goes to The Truth’s uncomfortable but effective manipulation of Ricky Steamboat leading to a title match for Truth. After that, we had some great X Division action with AJ/Skipper and Lynn/Ki. The Disciples of the New Church dripped THE BLOOD OF THE AUDAD on the heads of their victims (I LOVE SPOOKY STUFF). The mid included… nothing of note. And the Bad was really bad. Sonny Siaki tried to be The Rock, Disco Inferno kept saying, ugh, “breasts”, The Rainbow Expressess’ Bruce won the Miss TNA tiara, and PUPPET PULLED A GUN ON JEFF JARRETT.
The worst part is that this episode is about to make last week look super fun and classy. Let’s not fuck about any longer and get into TNA PPV #8, taped at the Nashville Auditorium on August 08, 2002.
Bad: Apolo Does Some Bad Acting While The Dupps Pop Zits On Goldilocks Outside Ricky Steamboat’s Office Door
Good: A Monkey’s Paw Situation For Your Dear Author
This marks the first appearance of northeast tag team stalwarts The Spanish Announce Team in TNA. If I had to sum up The SAT ’s it’d be “Like Amazing Red, but sloppy”, which makes sense because Amazing Red is their cousin. Red is joining them tonight in trios action against the fully stocked Flying Elvises. Jimmy Yang is finally back from his All Japan excursion!
At least someone does. Also, the plural of Elvis isn’t “Elvis’”, that’d be if Elvis was in possession of something, like “Elvis’ Overrated Biopic” for example.
If you haven’t seen the Maximos wrestle before, I recommend checking them out. They aren’t exactly GOOD, they’re more like, OH FUCK DON’T DIE OH WOW THEY DID IT. They are the originators of the ludicrous Spanish Fly which we all (especially Sammy Guevara) have come to know and love.
This match is just a lot of spots, but they are fun spots. The teams barely follow tag rules so much that the ref just gives up and lets them do whatever. It’s very reminiscent of the ROH Tag Team Scramble matches which were often utter chaos and nonsense.
The attempt to get Siaki over as the next Rock continues as he steals focus, refuses to tag and gets the other Elivses to stop doing Elvis stuff. Eventually Estrada and Yang jump off the apron and go to commentary, calling out Siaki’s bad attitude. Yang says that Siaki is “all shook up in the head”. NICE! ELVIS STUFF! FINALLY! GET IT YANG! Then Estrada attempts to do an impromptu Yankovic on Heartbreak Hotel but replaces the actual words with mumbling lines like “He’s down the street on Lonelyville” and “Without Estrada and Yang, he’s in trouble.” You know, just like the song! I’m kind of getting what I wanted all these weeks! Elvis references!
On the upside, Siaki ends up being a practice dummy for all of the SAT’s convoluted moves, like this Surfboard/Dragon Sleeper/Double Stomp move:
The terrible Elvis commentary continues. Yang says “He (Siaki) didn’t teach us nothin’. If he’s lonely tonight, then gonna be lonely tonight, baby.” I know I said I wanted more Elvis stuff but… not like this… NOT LIKE THIS!!!
Yang jumps back on the apron and offers a tag to Siaki and Siaki waves him off, like a fucking idiot. Yang says “He must have gotten kicked in the head! His head is swelling up by the second, like a big ol’ hound dog.” I TAKE IT ALL BACK PLEASE STOP WITH THE ELVIS STUFF!!!!
Estrada and Yang come in for the save after the SAT hit Siaki with everything Mikey Whipreck ever taught them. Shit just goes off at this point, logic goes out the window as The Maximos flip all over the place, blowing spots, hitting piledrivers and moving WAY TOO FAST for their opponents to keep up with. In the end Siaki and Yang hit combo top rope powerbomb and splash on Red, then hit an Elvis pose while Siaki steals the pin.
Wow, I wrote a lot about this match! Is it a good match? YMMV. Is it a fun match? YEAH FUCK YEAH
Good: The Backstage is Alive Again!
“Earlier today”, Mike Tenay interviewed Apolo about how Apolo is undefeated in singles competition, but got leapfrogged by… hey, they call him Ron “The Truth” Killings for the first time by my account! Sorry, that got me excited for some reason. Regardless, Apolo says that respect is everything, and that he respects Steamboat, but now Steamboat lost his respect by giving his spot to The Truth. He calls Steamboat “corrupt” and wants an answer as to why he is disrespected. It’s kind of a mess at the end there.
Then we cut to Apolo RIGHT NOW at Steamboat’s office door. AJ Styles exits looking… gah, it’s hard to say… perturbed or arrogant… nobody is a good actor here. Apolo cuts off Steamboat but Steamboat just pushes past him. The Dupps are still there with Goldylocks. They trail after Steamboat complaining that they’ve been waiting since 9 am. Then Jerry Lynn blows past everybody and jumps AJ Styles! They brawl all over a bunch of folding tables and chairs and into a bathroom. “I’VE NEVER SEEN SUCH HATRED!” yells Don West. “Bullet” Bob Armstrong and other TNA security break up the fight.
If you happen to remember my first couple of columns I put over how efficient TNA’s backstage storytelling COULD be, where one storyline moved forward and then was interrupted by another, and then a third event would happen, making good use of time while giving the show a sense of LIFE. Even the Dupps being on screen for three seconds couldn’t make me unhappy about how well this all blended together. Wonderful stuff!
And where was Ricky Steamboat going this whole time? To the ring to oversee the NWA World’s Title match! It all makes sense! He didn’t have time to talk to Apolo because he had a job to do! LOGIC! I LOVE IT!
Unfortunately, The Dupps follow him out. Steamboat, in an attempt to get rid of the annoying redneck parodies, tells them that “whatever it is you want to do, you go do it.” This… does not go well.
What seems like the MAAAAAIN EVENT is actually second on the card tonight, but on the upside the real MAAAAAIN EVENT will be a three way X Division match! The Truth insinuated himself into this NWA title match, let’s see how he does against someone who doesn’t drive in NASCAR.
Shamrock comes to the ring looking absolutely jacked. Shamrock holds down The Truth with strikes and holds while Steamboat explains exactly why he gave The Truth the title shot, and, yeah, it’s because Steamboat felt like he was overlooked in the WWF for the title because of race. He also puts over the fact that this match, in the style of the classic NWA, could easily go 60 minutes. Steamboat is often really rough on the mic but he’s GREAT on commentary! I think we missed years of Ricky on color commentary seeing how it suited him here in 2002.
Oh, yeah, and the Disciples of the New Church are watching the match from one entrance ramp, but Don Harris takes a seat nearby to keep an eye on them. Monty Brown is also watching from the other entrance ramp. When the action spills outside, Apolo rushes to attack Truth, drawing in The Disciples, Monty Brown and Don Harris. Apolo goes for a SuperKick on The Truth but misses, hitting the air in front of Shamrock, the force of which causes Shamrock to whip backwards violently. I mean, check this whiff out.
Steamboat rolls Shamrock back in the ring. Truth with a “Truth or Consequences” (aka a Diamondcutter) and then he gets the three! THE MAN WHO LOST TO HERMIE SADLER IS NOW THE NWA CHAMPION!!! The crowd goes kinda nuts for it!
Was the match good? Not really! It’s always fun to see a title change though.
What happens with former champion Ken Shamrock after this? Nothing! We don’t see him for two years where he shows up for all of two matches and then appears in Impact FIFTEEN YEARS LATER for a very fun little run.
Good But Makes You Feel Bad: Back It Up Flip It And Reverse It (“it” being racism)
Ricky Steamboat calls Apolo to the ring and tells Apolo that he’s been acting like a maniac and can’t do that anymore, but he’s going to give him a title shot next week. UGH then Jeff Jarrett interrupts and says he deserves a title shot, and that the reason he’s been passed over is as obvious “as the white of my skin.” OH FUCK HERE IT COMES REVERSE RACISM BUCKLE THE FUCK UP
Yup, fucking called it. Jarrett says “What we have here is a case of reverse discrimination.” Ricky Steamboat makes the same face I’m making:
Jarrett drawls, “Just because I’m not a minority, you think you have the right to pass me by”. OH NOOOO. Steamboat tries to shut him down to no avail. “Just because I’m not black, or Puerto Rican or Hawaiian” Jarrett’s not going to get a title shot. Steamboat says “The BULLSHIT is going to stop here tonight!” WOW A SHITBOMB FROM THE STEAMBOAT MAN! Steamboat makes a match between Jarrett and Apolo and the winner gets a title shot at The Truth. Then Steamboat adds another stipulation, that he’s going to be the special guest referee. I’m sure that’ll stop there from being any shenanigans.
Steamboat gets manipulated again! I don’t know if this is intentional storytelling or not, but that’s pretty good stuff. He’s too reactionary and short sighted, always looking at stopping the current potential controversy instead of the long run.
Not Just Bad, The Worst Actually: The Dupp Cup
It’s The Jive Talkin’ Dupp Cup segment.
I will do my damn best to recap this. I can’t skip it because I’ve built it up (Builted Dupp) way too much to just skip it. Keep in mind the last match lasted 10 minutes. This shit goes on for FUCK ME SEVENTEEN MINUTES KILL ME
So… Disco Inferno enters the stage and his normal “very expensive set” is shoved off to the side. Instead there’s just a blackboard that has a handmade cardboard sign that says “JIVE TALKEN’” with the “L” backwards. “I can’t take this crap into syndication!” hollers Disco in what is the last gasp of humor in this trainwreck of a segment.
The Dupps come out. Stan is whipping himself around on a hobby horse for no fucking reason. There’s a quick insinuation that The Dupps have been huffing lighter fluid but it’s not delivered in a way that makes it a joke. Disco asks what they are doing here. Stan tells Bo to tell them the news, and Bo says they are here to announce the first Dupp Cup Invitational. The Cup is a spittoon that has been passed down from Grampa Dupp and Pop Dupp who drank their moonshine out of it and even their little Round Dupp drinks from it… there’s an aside here that I can’t quite get, Stan says something like… “That’s voos that’s voos”… Voos Dupp? I don’t know, well, anyway, Round Dupp took his first dookie in the Cup. FUCKING TWO MINUTES IN FOLKS LET’S FUCKING GO IF I WROTE IT YOU GOTTA READ IT
Disco cuts them off, he asks what the Dupp Cup thing is all about. Bo says that “Mr. Steamship” said they could do whatever they want. The Dupp Cup Invitational will be the new Hardcore Division. Disco asks if Steamboat is an R SLUR. Stan says they could do whatever they want as long as they left Steamboat alone.
The Dups flip over the chalkboard and show the “10 Points To Win Dupp Cup”. You have to get 10 points to win the match. I’ll list them below AS WRITTEN with any necessary commentary.
- put oponent thru table – 2 ½ pts
- Burnin’ tabel – 5 pts
- Put oponent head in commode 2 ½
- If theres sheeeet in it 3 ½ (The crowd loves this stipulation)
- Goose a woman 2 ½
- Goose a man 3 ½ (Stan gooses Disco here as an example)
- Nail Jeremee the creepy announser – 2 ½ (Stan says Jeremy Borash looks like Kermit the Frog, which is pretty accurate)
- Nail old Lady at tikit window 2/ ½ (The ticket lady made them pay adult prices to get in and they don’t like that!)
- Use a farm animel 2 ½ (Disco – “When you say use a farm animal in any way, what do you mean?” Stan – “If you use ‘em, you abuse ‘em, you sleep with ‘em…” Me – “FUUUUUUUCKKKKINKILLLLLL MEEEEE!!!!”)
- Spank opponent with Horsey-Poo in the Bear Ass 2 ½
- If he likes it – 2 ½ (Self-explanatory.)
- introduse opponent to Jai 2 ½ (“We’ll show you later who Jai is” foreshadows Stan Dupp.)
- Cry like a pussy – -5 (Big pop for the word “PUSSY!”)
- put oponents head in the cotton candy machine 10 pts (The machine has to get ONE FULL ROTATION or it doesn’t count!)
And I’m sure these rules will be easily followed and counted and used for YEARS TO COME here in NWA: Total Nonstop Action!
Disco says they should add a new rule where if you use an object from the audience and use it then you should get 5 points, but logically Stan says it should only be worth one point. And that’s the new Hardcore division here in TNA!
Disco asks if they have an “oponent” in mind. Stan says “I saw what you did to my girlfriend Goldylocks last week.” Disco calls her a “dumb b*tch” which DRAWS THE IRE of Stan! But instead of doing what everybody in 2022 wants to do and punch Disco in his stupid face, he drops his overalls and pulls his shirt open to reveal this:
Disco says it looks like Stan clipped the picture from a porno mag. Stan says what I’m thinking; “That ain’t funny.” Disco asks who their opponent is, Stan says “How about you?” but then Paulina from Tough Enough steps in front of Stan and prevents what I’m sure would have been at least a four star classic match.
Disco says they need to ante up a prize to get someone to “be in this stupid match with these stupid rules”. The Dupps drop a handful of pennies on the ground. 10 MINUTES IN EVERYBODY WE HAVEN’T EVEN GOTTEN TO THE MATCH YET
No takers. Stan and Dupp talk to Horsey Poo and decide that their opponent gets “one night with Fluff Dupp… BUTWEGETTOWATCH.”
At this point I take a break from the column, get a drink, and come back, ready to power through.
What a shocker, PRED-ator Ferrara steps up because he wants a more-or-less non-consensual “night” with their cousin/sister Fluff Dupp. He steps into the ring and immediately gains 2 ½ points by decking Jeremy Borash. OH NO THIS IS A MATCH FEATURING OKLAHOMA IN DREADS AND A WOLVERINE BUTTON DOWN.
Ferrara runs over to Don West, hands him the mic and then GOOSES HIM, he’s up to six unanswered points! Two field goals! One touchdown minus a PAT! Somebody stop this pervert!
Borash jumps Ferrara and then gets dumped over the guard rail. The match starts and gloriously, as I have previously stated, I do not do play by plays. Ferrara eats TWO unprotected chair shots like a fucking idiot. The Dupps got the chairs from the audience so they get two more points. A boot, a drink, and a cane shot to Ferarra bring us to 6 points Ferrara, 5 points Dupps. Stan drags Ferrarra up to the ramp and brings out Jai, a… blow up sex doll… what what I expecting. I saw this segment years ago but I must have blocked this part out.
Stan WHACKS Ferrarra in the face with Jai, bringing the Dupps up to 7 ½ points. This tequila is good, bringing me to almost not hating life and everyone in it.
We cut to Bo trying to get to the old ticket lady who opens up the ticket room door and hits him with a broom.
The crowd starts chanting TNA. Back to the ramp, Stan is just FLIPPING OUT with Jai, eventually knocking over an “antique lamp” according to Disco. Stan gets in Disco’s face, but Tough Enough’s Paulina does what I wish I could do and gives him a shot right in the yambags, then see-saws the blackboard into the back of his head TWO TIMES TWO TIMES I SAY
Outside the ring, Ferrara nails a shockingly good looking SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR on Bo Dupp.
Ferrara nails Bo with a fan-provided chair 3 times for 3 more points. The crowd starts cheering for Horsey Poo. Ferrarra winds up with Horsey Poo, nails Bo in the bare ass, but BO LIKES IT! Ferrarra loses 2 ½ points! THIS IS THE WORST THING EVER UNTIL DON HARRIS COMES TO THE RING WEARING NAZI SHIT IN A COUPLE WEEKS SPOILER ALERT
Ed pulls out a table but wastes too much time. Bo chokeslams Ferrara through the not-on-fire table to give The Dupps 10 ½ points. The Dupps win the first ever Dupp Cup Invitational. History is made. I am drunk.
Good: Literally Anything Else
“Earlier today”, Mike Tenay met up with Monty Brown on a small bench outside somewhere. Monty talks about his athletic career where he played on two AFC championship teams. He feels like he’s come full circle. He comes across very real here, none of that blustery “Alpha Male” wrestler-y stuff. Tenay asks him about the politics of being an athlete. He wasn’t a first round draft pick in the NFL, he was a free agent, and did the most with his opportunity. “You beat those politics physically and mentally.” Tenay brings up The Truth and his use of the word “they”. Monty says he doesn’t like The Truth and how he blames other people for keeping him down.
Like, literally out of nowhere, Elix Skipper comes running into frame with a bucket of neon colored yellow paint and knocks Brown to the ground. Skipper yells “Shut the hell up, Monty, you don’t know what the hell you are talking about! All you can do is kiss their behinds in the back, you don’t know what we do in the street! All you are is a chicken! I’m not having it… in my house!” Elix definitely lost steam there.
This segment is the best thing to happen since I had to watch the Dupp Cup.
Good: Blu Blood
Haha, “Blu Blood”. I really crack me up when I’ve been drinking.
We get our promised First Blood match between Malice and Don Harris. Don is wearing a reserved “Daytona Bike Week” sleeveless number here, not the promised “very offensive” shirt I warned of last week. It’s coming folks! In fact, I already spoiled it in the Dupp Cup segment!
Anyway, this match is a decent hardcore match. Better than I expected.
Mitchell is on commentary. He puts over the black bag that Slash uses on “oponents” as representing “the eternal darkness of ignorance”. Wow, bro! That’s a lot of meaning for one little bag!
He says other great spooky stuff but I’m pretty trashed right now.
At one point Don Harris kicks the Ark into James Mitchell’s face, splashing him with the Blood of the Audad. It’s cool! Goat blood!
Oh, shit, the end of this match is a botch! Don Harris does a side slam on Malice but bashes his head into Malice’s, cutting himself open the hard way. And it’s VERY OBVIOUS.
That’s the match!
Post match beatdown by The Disciples. Mitchell grabs the mic. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit… NOTHING!” YEAH BUDDY EVIL SHIIIIIT
Mid: The Backstage Is Alive But Also Homophobia!
Goldilocks is backstage outside the women’s dressing room, hoping to get a moment with Taylor Vaughn and get her thoughts about losing the Miss TNA crown/sash last week, when that DANG SONNY SIAKI grabs the mic, asks where Ricky Steamboat is. He doesn’t leave until Goldilocks says his full ass name. He then grabs the mic and says “Sonny Siaki has left the interview.” MORE TERRIBLE ELVIS STUFF MY HOPES AND DREAMS DASHED BEFORE ME
Bruce swishes past Goldilock’s into the women’s dressing room and does his offensive gay stereotype bit at Taylor Vaughn. She shoves him in the shower and then takes his challenge for an evening gown match tonight. NOOOOO.
After Bruce sashays away, AJ Styles and Low Ki have a very short but very fun brawl in the women’s dressing room. That sounds weird but trust me, it’s got a clever bit where Low Ki grabs the roof railing and… well, let me just GIF it.
Mid: Jorf Jerbitt
I’m pretty lit up! Jeff Jarrett has a match with Apolo and it’s pure WCW midcard action. Steamboat keeps interrupting the match by actually enforcing the rules. That’s pretty much the story of the match. In the end, Apolo does a bridging german suplex pin, but Jarrett gets a shoulder up, while Apolo leaves both of his on the mat. Technically Apolo eats a pin.
I don’t have much steam left, y’all. The Dupp Cup took it out of me.
Steamboat then says that he said he’d give Jarrett “The Truth”, but not for a world title shot, but as a tag team partner against “JT and Jerry”… aww honey, he meant AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn… next week. Steamboat outsmarted Jarrett! Haha, fuck you Jarrett, you don’t get a World’s Title Match, you get a World’s Tag Team Title Match! You dumb fucker! Your quest for gold led to you to… gold…
Bad: More homophobia
I’m writing this on Tuesday 9/6/22.
I have Covid and I drank a couple of shots of tequila.
CM Punk might get fired from AEW.
Trump took home nuclear secrets about another country.
Anyway, twenty years ago, the former Kweewee dressed in drag and won a horrible evening gown match against Taylor Vaughn to retain the Miss TNA crown, to the delight of literally nobody.
Good: The X Division Wakes Me Up
Woo! There’s an X Division triple threat featuring Low Ki, AJ Styles and Jerry Freakin’ Lynn! I tried to find clips from this match but all I found was SPOILER ALERT the three way Ladder Match they have in a few weeks, so we have that to look forward to!
This is the first X Division match that I think could have main evented a 2002-03 Ring of Honor show. Other X Divizzzy matches could have been on the midcard, but this one feels truly big time. It’s fluid, hard hitting, and everything you’d want from a high-end indy show. I’ll just gif from here on out.
This is absolutely a forgotten classic of the X Division. I think the Ladder Match is more well remembered between these three but this match is so fucking awesome I find it hard to belive that the ladder match will beat it. Near the end they start spamming EACH OTHER’S FINISHERS and they look FUCKING GREAT.
The only downside of the match is the finish involves a downed ref, AJ hitting Lynn with a chair, Ki laying on Lynn’s body and getting the three count even after eating a Spiral Tap. I had a gif but it won’t load on wordpress!
Even with Ki winning his first X Division belt under a dubious finish, it’s still a stellar match. I love this style of wrestling; three people who just want to go out there and crush it for 15 minutes. Try and track this match down, it’s just fantastic.
Mid: Wacky Tag Teams That Can’t Get Along Collide
Anyway, after the match, tag team champions Lynn and Styles brawl while backstage and eventually in front of the audience tag team challengers Truth and Jarrett argue. Russo literally cannot find another way to tell a story other than “tag teams hate each other”.
And that’s the show!
Maybe it’s the tequila talking, but that main event just about made up for the absolutely shit-pile-on-fire-in-your-backyard terrible Dupp Cup segment. I feel like I took a long, glorious shower after toiling in pig slop for nine hours. Good wrestling really can change moods. I love wrestling. I love you, reader. I love everybody.
Woo, I’m drunk.
I’ll be sober, Covid free and back for some AEW Action in two weeks, where there’s still a lot of TAG TEAM ACTION coming up! TBH, AEW will have to work hard to beat this gah dahm X Division three way dance! Can they do it? Read me in two weeks you jerks! YOU JERKS!!! I’LL FIGHT YAH I’M FIGHTIN’ DRUNK NOW!!!