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Compare and Contrast TNA and AEW: TNA Weekly PPV #3, 07/03/2002

Hey Gatecrashers! This week I’ll watch and shit on the third TNA weekly PPV from July 3rd, 2002 at the Nashville Auditorium. Let’s see if there’s any Good or Mid in our Good/Bad/Mid of TNA’s Weekly PPV #3. You can watch the PPV legally here!

LET’S GO!

BEST: NO DUPPS

NO DUPPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pictured above: NO DUPPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bad: Wardrobe Provided By Spirit Halloween Clearance Section

Fucking book ‘em, Dango.

Mid: “Big In Japan” Jim Miller

Mike Tenay has a rinside segment with NWA President Jim Miller. Jim missed the first couple TNA shows because he was in Japan, scouting talent. He has a big surprise which he pushes off for all of 30 seconds by welcoming TNA into the NWA family with a very cool trophy that certainly is still in a place of honor on Jerry Jarrett’s mantle. Then Jim drops that he’s bringing in Takao Omori who will take on NWA World’s Champion Ken Shamrock next week. I’m not a huge All Japan head but apparently he had a significant singles run in the 2010s.

“Mr. Tenay, I’m here to award you with the World’s Most ‘Um, Actually’ Announcer Award.”

Oh, yeah, they pipe Jim’s half of the audio to the audience. Jim is answering Mike’s questions but the audience is hearing Jim speak without context. There is literally no reaction when he drops Omori’s name. In 2002 Omori had been shipped off to Harley Race’s federation after Omori blew up a spot or something in a Pro Wrestling Noah show. Unless you were a tape trader or a huge fan of Troy Missouri’s World League Wrestling his name meant nothing in America. Jim could have said Misawa was going to be there next week and gotten the same reaction from this Nashville crowd. Meanwhile in Philadelphia ROH would go into the red to bring in The Great Muta to pop 500 people… and drive DVD sales, to be fair.

I tried to find info on Jim Miller and there isn’t much. He was the NWA President from 2001-2002. He runs a promotion called Pro Wrestling Express out of Pittsburgh. They did a lot of work with the NWA until the mid 10s. His LinkedIn profile picture is the same as the screenshot above from a different angle. Was he ever a wrestler himself? Why did he stop being the NWA President? I don’t know and I can’t spend any more time looking, OKAY?!?

I would say this whole segment has no value, but I did get 3 paragraphs out of it, so it has value to me, dammit! It has MID value! So does the next section!

Mid: Building Tension

Hall comes to the ring to build up the main even with him and Jeffery Jarretty. “Heyo.” Jeff’s theme song/Amber Alert notification interrupts Hall. “HEY YO MY ASS” says Jarrett, the same guy who could not BELIEVE Steve Austin would say “ASS” on TV 4 years ago. Jarrett is such a sweet lil country boy. We get the ol’ “Don’t sing it. Bring it.” from Hall. Jarrett starts coming down the ring but gets cut off by Jim “Japan Excursion” Miller. “This is the NWA. You’re in our house now.” Jarrett backs off, leaving Hall to get jumped by K-Krush. Krush loses the upper hand pretty quickly.

This is fine. Paint by numbers stuff.

Good: “The Alpha Monster” Monty Abyss

Monty Brown’s debut match! It’s a squash! Of course it is! He wins with The Alpha Bomb which is just a Powerbomb!

Monty cuts a promo on the way to the ring. He’s rough but he has a lot of charisma. It’s like he hasn’t figured out how to merge his own big personna with what he thinks a wrestler is supposed to SHOUT LIKE!!! He shoots right for the top, calling out Ken Shamrock. Love it. Everybody should be looking to take a title.

Also fun/weird/cool is that Monty’s theme song is what we all think of as Abyss’ theme song. THE STRINGS GO BRRUM BEEM BEEM BAAM BAM BUMBUMBUM BRRUUUM BEEM BEEM BAAM BAM BUMBUMBUM. THE DRUMS GO GUHGUGUH CLANG CLANG GUHGUHGUH. Except there are lyrics? I tried to find this theme on Youtube and got nowhere.

I would have booked Monty to squash The Dupps every week for two months.

Bad: Puppet is a shameless name dropper

Goldie is backstage talking to three security doodz. She can’t find Jim Miller and nobody knows where he is! Did she check to see if he was selling illegal DDT Pro dubs behind the bleachers?

She stops two young blond wrestledoodz called The Hot Shots who mutter that they haven’t seen Jim. Puppet the Psycho Midget grabs the mic, pulls Goldilocks down to his face and cuts a promo on Gary Coleman (“he’s a has been”), Mini Me (“You’re takin’ all my money in the movies”), and Stern Wack Pack alumn Beetlejuice. He’s not leaving until he kicks some “midget ass”. Yikes.

Later Puppet has a match with little person Todd Stone. It’s complete trash. After the match Puppet whacks annoying referee Slick Johnson, Jeremy Borash, Don West, and Ed Ferrara with a kendo stick. It’s not as much fun as it sounds!

Bad: Alicia’s Money Heist

Alicia does her weekly match interruption by visiting Ed “Dreamsicle” Ferrara and taking money from him while this guy behind them shoots his shot.

You used to call me on my landline.

Time for this week’s edition of “Let’s make up a reason why Alicia is collecting cash!” Ed’s family keeps giving him money to get his terrible dreads cut off, but instead of doing us all a favor, Ed hands that cash to Alicia so she can invest it with her buddy Bernie Madoff. I’m sure it’ll all work out great!

Good: Ken Shamrock beats the WHAT! chant

Ken Shamrock cuts a promo from the stage, responding to Monty Brown’s challenge. The crowd starts “WHAT!”-ing him. He gets a little frustrated and then just chuckles. The crowd responds. He leans into the dumb WHATs and uses them as punctuation. He says he’s got to beat Malice tonight, “this japanese punk next week” and then he will be happy to beat Monty Brown and shove his head up his AAAAASSSSSS!!!!

The lights go down and THE SINISTER MINISTER JAMES MITCHELL evils a promo from the rafters. When the lights come up we see Malice standing over Shamrock. Shammy gets the neckbrace and stretcher treatment.

Someone doesn’t skip leg day.

Later Goldi checks to see if Ken Shamrock is able to fight tonight. Some actual EMTs attempt to act. As an actor may I say… I don’t come to your ambulance and tell you how to… shove the blood back into the… dying guy.

Shamrock and Malice that match for the title despite the beatdown. Malice works the wounded Shamrock over until Shammy hits a flash belly to belly suplex (which I will try to remember to call The Shamwow in all future columns) for the pin. It lasts 6 minutes. Way to make the title look important!

BAD: Mr. Treehorn treats objects like women, man!

We get a recap of the embarrassing Women’s Lingerie Battle Royal. Francine comes to the ring and is joined by Miss TNA Taylor Vaughn. Miss TNA does not mean you have a belt, a trophy, a sash or a crown. There’s no proof she is Miss TNA! ANYONE COULD CLAIM THEY ARE MS. TNA!. Francince pulls out a belt and starts whipping and choking Taylor before the bell rings. Taylor looks absolutely lost here. The ref gets the belt away from Francine. Taylor snatches it from him and then whips Francine. Francine does some good selling here for what are some really weak looking belt shots. The ref tells TAYLOR to leave for some reason. I guess it’s a DQ?

Ed Ferarra joins Francine in the ring, hands her the belt and then raises her hand  that she is the winner. Then he cops another feel… “he’s a hands on announcer”… fuck. Francine whips him and then the segment is over. Everybody comes out looking worse. How fun!

Bad: It doesn’t get much Sadler than this.

Borash interviews NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler and his face stable THE PIT CREW… er, I mean, his actual pit crew. OF COURSE K-Krush interrupts this fluff interview. Krush shits all over race car driving and then asks Sadler if he wants to “do something”. So then the NASCAR driver does a double leg take down on Krush.

Sadler DRIVES Krush to the floor!

Krush then challenges Sadler to a match next week. Sadler accepts. We all wonder how bad this will be.

Spoiler alert: K-Krush will be NWA Champion in 4 weeks!

Mid: The First Ever X Division Title Defense

AJ Styles will defend his X Division title against… a guy who lost handily last week due to his manager distracting HIM from doing his job. Oy.

I mentioned this last week; AJ and David Young are both from NWA Wildside and, from what I understand, they wrestled each other a lot. David Young wrestles as if Steve Corino was trying to be AJ Styles. He’s a mish mash of high flyer, old school rassler and powerhouse. David enters with his manager/valet Bobcat, who is dressed like the inside of Dave Navarro’s coffin.

“Flames. Flames! Flaaaames…on the side of my face, breathing, breathless, heaving breaths.”

Tenay name drops Alex Marvez here, which blows my mind. Wrestling columnist Marvez loved the Round Robin Four Way Eliminator Tournament for the X-Division Title last week. I’m glad he liked it. I’m even more glad he wasn’t on commentary.

“How long you gonna be tryin’ on clothes, honey?”

Of course the match isn’t bad; AJ is just too exciting and Young knows how to work with him. The match comes in at under 10 minutes. Normally I’d say that’s too short but SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN LATER IN THE SHOW. Bobcat is on her phone at ringside. She looks like a completely different person from the previous week. Last week’s Bobcat looked like someone’s drunk aunt coming into the party in a gown screeching “I CAN STILL FIT IN MY PAGEANT DRESS.” This week she looks like a college girl in 2002 from the suburbs trying to come up with a halloween costume based on what she THINKS an exotic dancer dresses like.

There’s not a whole lot to talk about with the actual match. Young has a pretty badass looking spinebuster. We get to see the first time AJ reverses a top rope hurricanrana attempt into a second rope Styles Clash.  This match is fine but it doesn’t make the title or AJ look particularly strong.

Bobcat gets in the ring and dances around even though David Young lost.

So, yeah, why is David Young facing AJ? The better choice would be anyone from The Flying Elvises. They are all X Division types and actually won a match!

A Quick Good: Almost America’s Most Wanted

Chris Harris and James Storm are more or less real tag team now! After their fluke team up and flash win over The Rainbow Express last week, they’ve stuck together and will be part of the One Night TNA Tag Team Title Tournament.

Bad: The Tag Title Tournament

This tournament is rrrrrough. The first rounds feature America’s Kinda Wanted vs. The Johnsons, which I expected to be pretty bad but is a peppy affair. Keeping this under 5 minutes helped keep the Shane Twins from getting blown up. It’s hard to get excited about a five minute match though. 

AI YAI YAI

Storm gets caught on an attempted flying lateral body press by a Johnson, then is dropkicked into a pin by Harris. After the match, Mortimer Plumbtree dresses down the Johnsons. Johnson #1 and Plumbtree can’t figure out how to do a chokeslam so #1 shoves him to the ground. This is literally the second time we’ve seen these three and they’re already broken up. I get the Johnsons wanting to ditch their gimmick as soon as possible but, like… this literally goes nowhere. I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure this is the last time they would be seen in TNA. They go on to join Ohio Valley Wrestling, then FCW, then they were Gymini in WWE during an era where I wasn’t watching WWE so I didn’t even know they were the same dudes until literally just now.

The aimless Plumbtree will fart around TNA for the next year before being relegated to backstage duties. The worst part is I don’t think he’s a bad performer or has a bad character. I just don’t know why this Ivy League douchebag is involved in wrestling. Give me a reason why he’s here!

A theatre actor’s first time on camera.

About 3 minutes later we see America’s Second Tier of People Who Are Wanted bloodied and beatdown backstage. It looks like Storm and Harris legit gigged for about 10 seconds of footage. TNA Official Bill Bherens is panicking. WHO DID THIS THE TOURNAMENT IS RUINED. Backstage Gadfly Goldilocks provides helpful commentary like. “Wow. What is happening here. Woah.”

The next match is The Rainbow Express vs. TWO RANDOS MYSTERY TEAM. The Rainbow Express gay panics their way to the ring. Goldilocks interviews The Mystery Team and it’s not Derrick Comedy. It’s Apolo and FUCK NO GODDAMMIT BUFF BAGWELL. Bagwell calls Goldilocks “Goldilick”. I hate this fucking guy so much. Buff is dressed in his “time travelling bounty hunter Abraham Lincoln” gear.

“I’M HERE TO KILL DINOSAUR HITLER AND CHEW BUBBLEGUM AND AT THIS TIME PERIOD THERE’S NO BUBBLEGUM.”

Buff brags that he won the WCW title 6 times with 5 different partners. Buff says Apolo is #2 and Buff is #1. Apollo tries to talk and Buff cuts him off. Great, a tag team that doesn’t get along. Do you like CAN THEY COEXIST tag team storylines instead of actual competent writing? Then you are going to LOVE TNA FOR THE NEXT 20 FUCKING YEARS.

If you’ve seen any 96-99 WCW Nitro lower-card filler then you’ve seen this tag match. Boring boring boring. Don West, the face commentator, is non stop trashing The Rainbow Express. He’s practically begging for Buff Bagwell to do a hate crime, not realizing that a Bagwell match is already a hate crime against ME.

Buff plays to the crowd and eats a shitty Superkick from Lenny for the pin. Buff gets a 1000 yard stare after losing. Apollo leaves him in the ring. GODDAMMIT ED FERRARA GIVES BAGWELL A MIC.

Buff says “Y’all know my name is Marcus. I’m not Buff anymore.” “I’m a six time world tag team champion and I just got beat by– TWO– GAY GUYS.” He says he’s Marcus and he wants to go home, adding “Buff” has ruined his career. He hands his dumb hat to Ed and then bails while the crowd sings “HEY HEY HEY GOODBYE.” This is yet another bit that goes nowhere. Buff makes 2 more appearances this year guaranteeing that this story is dead on arrival. TNA also does this EXACT SAME “I am shoot dropping my gimmick” angle with Brian Christopher in a week or two. Great.

RIP

We’re still fucking around with this tournament. Bill Bherens is backstage on his cell phone doing that thing where he’s talking real fast which means there’s nobody on the other end of the call. Jerry Lynn keeps butting in, offering to find a partner and take America’s Most Injured’s spot. Bherens tells him to fuck off.

Later Golidlocks interviews Joel Gertner and The Rainbow Express. Gertner points out that there’s no teams left to fight, the Express are the rightful NWA Tag Team Champions. Gertner hits on Goldilocks then kisses her without consent. Bruce and Lenny yell “GROSS”. I AGREE!

The Rainbow Express come to the ring to get their titles, but the NWA has ruled that they must have opponents for the finals. So now JERRY LYNN AND AJ STYLES ARE IN THE FINALS. ANOTHER “TWO RANDOS” TAG TEAM.

The Rainbow Express are mediocre. Jerry Lynn and AJ do their best but there’s not much they can do to make this exciting. This is a huge clash of eras, or at least wrestling styles based on eras. The Express is pure early 90s tag team filler. Styles and Lynn are ahead of their time here unless you were way into the J Cup or ROH. There is a… ahem, style clash here that can’t be overcome. The end result is 12 minutes of meh meh meh. Styles and Lynn go crazy for about 30 seconds at the end of the match, hitting ALL THE COOL SHIT. AJ flippy swippies the Spiral Tap for the pin.

AJ STYLES AND JERRY LYNN ARE YOUR FIRST NWA TNA TAAAAAAAAAAAAG TEEEAAAAAM CHAMPIONS! STYLELYNN ANE PROFYLYNN!!!

FACE THE HARD CAM FELLAS.

AJ is the first Double Champion and it’s only week 3. This dude has a rocket on his back.

I should also point out that Jerry Lynn looks kind of frustrated after Styles got the pin. I’m sure it’s nothing.

Let’s sum this whole tournament up; Storm and Harris, a newly formed tag team, beat The Johnsons. The Johnsons leave and never come back. Then Harris and Storm are beat up and then cut from the tournament. The Rainbow Express beat “two randos” Buff and Apolo, who then break up. Then The Rainbow Express faces off against another two randos who weren’t even a tag team 40 minutes ago and that’s the team that wins. Why so much ga ga? It’s such a tortured way to get the tag title on AJ Styles. Why not just have AJ take the week off from the X Division and have Stylelynn beat Harris and Storm or The Johnsons? WHY NOT HAVE THAT HAPPEN RUSSO FROM 20 YEARS AGO?!?!

TNA just loves making things unnecessarily busy and confusing. Nobody comes out of this thing looking particularly good or strong. BOO.

BETTER THAN GOOD: You can’t spell “FUN” without “FU”!

During the show, Goldie finds Jim Miller tied up in the back with FU written on his big ol’ belly. Goldilocks sells this like she just got a third ticket on her car this week.

This outfit is Lenny Kravitz approved 100% AMERICAN WOMAAAAAN

Just… just look at that screenshot. Pure gold.

Bad: RANDOS ALL AROUND

Even though we have the finals of the Tag Title Tournament AND and an NWA title defense, wheeee Jeff Jarrett has to be in the main event. It’s “two randos” Jarrett and Krush vs. “two randos” Hall and Christopher here. The match spills into the crowd almost immediately. Nothing of note occurs. They get back in the ring. Nothing of note occurs. These guys spend so much time laying around on the mat that you’d think there was a gas leak. There’s a double down with Hall and Jarrett followed by a double down with Hall and Krush and then a double down with Hall and Jarrett and Krush which leads to Brian Christopher pulling away from the hot tag in our FIRST EVER TNA DUMB HEEL TURN FOR NO REASON  and I mean for NO REASON. In a couple weeks Brian will be a face, attacking Jeff Jarrett for INCREDIBLY VAGUE REASONS THAT MAKE HIM YELL AND GRIT HIS TEEETH!!!

The match ends with the ref bumped, Hall getting hit with The Stroke and The Hip Hop Drop before getting pinned by Jarrett. RUSSO Y’ALL.

Jarrett gets on the mic and hollers that he’s going to run Hall out of the NWA, then hits him with the Ringcrashers Fall 2021 Fantasy Booking trophy. Hall goes out on a stretcher. Jarrett keeps beating him up while hollering about how fucking great he is.

Everybody gets a trophy in this snowflake cancel culture touchy feely bah bah bah

This whole segment feels like a retreading of late era WCW. People yell at each other and turn on each other and hate each other for no reason. Not compelling, not interesting.

—-

And that’s the show!

This show was pretty fucking frustrating BUT… it was the best of the 3 TNA PPVs so far. There was sexism and homophobia but no out and out racism! Not even any implied racism! THIS WILL NOT LAST.

The wrestling definitely took a step down this week. There was no standout X Division match, the NWA title match was dull and the tag stuff was formulaic. There wasn’t a ton of story movement either; Bobcat is still a distraction, Francine is still a meanie, and Jarrett has convinced two other wrestlers to hate Scott Hall for some reason. We can look forward to Omori vs. Shamrock and if we squint real hard you can also look forward to actual wrestler K-Krush vs. NASCARMAN Hermie Sadler.

I had to remind myself that people were expected to pay $9.99 to watch what would have been a pretty bleak episode of Nitro. Even a big wrestling fan would have felt pretty ripped off after buying three weeks of this, let alone one. On top of all this, Jeff and Jerry Jarrett were getting fed false information about the PPV buys, giving them a false sense of security until the truth came out. Definitely give the My World Podcast episodes 4-9 a listen for more context into what was happening behind the scenes in early TNA.

Next up: I’ll be watching and writing likely more complimentary things about AEW’s Fight for the Fallen 2019! 

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Compare and Contrast TNA and AEW: TNA’s 2nd Weekly PPV, 06/26/02

Hello, Gatecrashers! It’s time to take a look at the second TNA weekly PPV from June 26, 2002. I reviewed the first TNA PPV last week (check it out here) and it was not great! Jingoism, racism, sexism, homophobia and Jeff Jarrett as a main event heel. It’s going to be a while before TNA stops being the worst expression of American fears. At least I’ll have a lot to talk about!

———————————————————————–

Last week, Ken Shamrock won the Gauntlet for the Gold to become the AND NEW NWA champion. Former four time WCW champion (all reigns in 1 ½ months) charged into “top heel” position by running down the show just as it started, courting death after interrupting Toby Keith’s ode to boots, asses and 9/11, and then brawling with this week’s opponent Scott Hall.

TNA got it’s first look at fresh-faced AJ Styles who goes on to do some stuff of note. K-Krush started a feud with two NASCAR drivers and “Too Racist” Bryan Christopher. The Dupps did a bunch of shitty redneck tropes. A bunch of women who looked lost along with Alexis Laree, Francine and SHANNON (AKA DAFFNEY) came out to set up the Lingerie Battle Royal. Goldilocks smelled a fart. Ed Ferrara and his white guy dreads embarrass everybody in the world.

Ed. What are you doing. 

MID: WCW Booking is Back Baby!

Jeff Jarrett’s “My World” theme is so useful; the alarm noise lets us know that we can hit the fast forward button. Jeff insists that the purported main event of him vs. Scott Hall starts RIGHT NOW! Hall comes down with Toby Keith and Jackie Fargo.

Jarrett does some super awkward chain wrestling to start before Hall takes control. Jarrett gets dumped to the outside and comes face to face with TALL COUNTRY SINGER. Jarrett gets a sleeper hold on Hall for a full minute but somehow it feels much longer. They double down right afterwards, fulfilling the promise of TOTAL NONSTOP NOTHING. Hall takes control and things are pretty good for a couple minutes. He HOISTS Jeff up for the Razors Edge but K-Krush. makes the ga-ga save for some reason. Fargo decks K-Krush and then gets chased out by Bryan Christopher. Jarrett sets up the stroke but gets hit in the yambags by Toby Keith. He really should have put his BOOT IN HIS ASS FOR AMERICA. Hall gets the pin.

A fine but indicative start to a TNA PPV. Lots of interference, a dirty finish, and a celebrity getting over on a wrestler. It’s not the last time it’ll happen tonight!

BAD: Clap ‘Em?

It’s the debut of Cheex! Cheex is billed at 402 lbs. Ferrara cannot stop with the fat jokes. I mean he CAN’T STOP. Combine this with a TERRIBLE match and you have an huge waste of time.

Cheex was in the dark match that broke the ring last week. I’ll assume it was due to the ring not wanting to be party to shit wrestling.

Cheex wrestles a bald white guy who probably thought he was the next Ole Anderson.

MID: Gimmie my money!

Alecia is back, collecting money from an incredulous Jeremy Borash. The implication is that Alecia is a sex worker, but I’d rather make up a new reason ever week as to why she’s interrupting a wrestling show to get that cash.

Okay, so… Alecia lent Jeremy Borash $100 to get a haircut. Alecia was so offended by his “fashion don’t” frosted tips that she wanted her money back RIGHT NOW YOU LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT BORASH GIVE ME MY MONEY

YOU AREN’T BOY BAND MATERIAL BORASH

This gets a Mid since the camera cuts to Hair Care Fashionista Alecia during the Cheex match. I’d rather watch a dumb plot that doesn’t go anywhere than hear Ed make fat jokes while Cheex tries not to run the ropes.

BAD: 

They replay almost all of the “NASCAR drivers talking shit” segment from last week to prep the K-Krush “Your Kind” vs. Bryan Christopher “My Kind” six man tag. Which, turns out, isn’t a six man tag, I guess I misunderstood when Christopher pointed to “his kind” Hermie Sadler and Sterling Martin and then asked K-Krush to get “your kind” for a match next week. Bleh.

K-Krush has his own face airbrushed on his ring gear. Five stars.

SHIRTS IS WATCHIN’.

Christopher comes to the ring with Hermie Sadler and Sterling, oh, I’m sorry… STERLIN Marlin.

“Hurlin” Sterlin Marlin

Christopher is still dressing and acting like Grand Master Sexay; a pastiche of a white person’s idea of what a rapper dresses and acts like. It’s pretty hilarious that a guy who is appropriating black culture is accusing a black man of reverse racism.

Christopher has the lamest no-sell “Hulk Up”. He wiggles his knees and yells. The crowd LOVES everything Christopher does despite his utter lack of charisma. They are all over K-Krush. Krush gets crotched on the middle rope by Marlin and Sadler. Huge pop.

LOOK AT THESE ATHLETES.

Hip Hop Drop for the pin. Crowd is on their feet even though the match was very mediocre. I can’t figure out why they were so involved! WHAT COULD POSSIBLY MAKE THEM CHEER A BLAND WHITE GUY WHO IS FACING A BLACK GUY?!?!?

BAD: Lingerie Battle Royale

“The competitor with their clothes on wins the battle royale and will be crowned Miss TNA.” Ferrara says “We’re all winners in this one.” No. This is definitely a “No matter who wins, we lose part of our soul” situation.

Jeremy Borash fucks up immediately by introducing Francine first, skipping… some other lady. I don’t mean to be dismissive but 2/3rds of the women in this match are obviously not wrestlers. They have NO CHARISMA and do not look like they want to be there. Shannon (Daffney) shows enough personality for everybody else.

“YAAAAAAHHHH!!!!”

All of them are wearing the same set of top and bottom pajamas. Under that is a mix of normal to sexy underwear. Mileage may vary. SASHA IS OUT AND I AM UP.” – Ed Ferrara. GROSS MAN DON’T BONER TALK ME. When the women are eliminated they RUN to the back as fast as possible. This whole thing is more embarrassing than Ed Ferrara’s dreads.

Three women gang up on Francine to take her out of the ring. She has a wardrobe malfunction and fights to keep her pajama top on until she can get it figured out. Ferrara comes out to console her at ringside and cops a feel on Francine. “He said he’d be hands on but not that hands on.” – Mike Tenay. NO MAN STOP. Francine DROPS TO HER KNEES and takes off his belt like she’s about to give Ed a binger, then WHIPS THE SHIT OUT OF HIM with the belt which is the only good part of this trainwreck.

Taylor Vaughn wins the match. Francine whips her from behind. Who is Taylor Vaughn? I don’t know! I don’t want to look her up. I think she’s had enough bad press already. Her ‘reign’ as Miss TNA does not go well!

Alexis Laree was in this match as well. A complete waste of talent but at least she got paid. I fast forwarded through this match so IDK when she was eliminated. I don’t know when anyone was eliminated. When I saw someone roll out of the ring in their skivvies I just felt bad for them. Yes, run to the back. Run to the back and keep running until the Von Braun Center is far, far behind you. Run until the memories fade.

MID: Young Talent

Goldilocks interviews Apolo and gets interrupted by new character Bobcat and her client Daivd Young. We haven’t met these people so Bobcat is just some lady with a boa yelling at Goldi. David Young says NOTHING. Ed Ferrara says that “Bobcat isn’t professional but dresses like a professional.” Fucking hell.

David Young was the other ‘get’ from NWA Wildside along with AJ Styles. They wrestled each other A LOT in that promotion. David Young is… not good. He can’t hang with the early 00s Super 8/Ted Petty style and he can’t merge what he does have with a more ‘old school’ style. He doesn’t have a superstar look either. He and I can be best described as “doofy lookin’”.

OOF MCDOOF.

Bobcat flirts with Borash, distracing David Young throughout the match. He hits a “perfect Arn Anderson spinebuster” but gets distracted again before missing a moonsault. SUPERKICK WITH LEG SLAP by Apolo into an F-5 Stunner thingy. The match is fine but doesn’t need this ga-ga.

Bad/Mid: BE GAY DO WRESTLING

Joel Gertner does his boring horny rhyming and then channels Connor4Real’s “Equal Rights (Not Gay)” rap to explain why The Qintissential Heterosexual Studmuffin is managing The Rainbow Express. “There are people with alternative lifestyles who live better lives than you do.” PREACH. “When they get the ring, they are all business” which is a lie, they just do a bunch of gay baity moves; trying to hump their opponent, jaming their crotch on the back of someone’s head, sexy covers… which doesn’t get as much heat from the audience as you’d think.

In a rare moment of homophobia working to my favor, the Dupps refuse to wrestle the Rainbow Express. Bill Bherens drafts nearby wrestlers Chris Harris and James Storm to fill in. We don’t know it yet but this is the inception of one of TNA’s biggest homegrown successes, America’s Most Wanted.

Chris Harris is absolutely ripped in this match. In my head he always looks like Braden Walker.

Don West goes APOPLECTIC when this happens.

Lenny does “The Tiger Tamer” because he looks like Chris Jericho, I guess? Too bad he doesn’t wrestle or cut promos like him.

Storm and Harris win with a roll up. It’s really a story of two matches; One with all the “gay” wrestling that barely got heat and an actual tag match that was fine. Storm and Harris are legit good as a team right away. This match doesn’t show off what they are truly capable of but we’ll see plenty in the years to come.

Mid – Not very nice, very evil

Ricky Steamboat introduces Ken Shamrock. Shamrock cuts a pretty good promo, promising to defend the title around the world. Minister James Mitchell interrupts to announce that he’s on a MISSION FROM GOD BUT NOT YOUR GOD and his Disciples of the New Church are going to take control of the NWA.

I always liked Mitchell’s gimmick, but it has the same problem as most “spooky boo” gimmicks. Why are you here? What does wrestling do to help your eeeeevil plans? If he said that he wanted to have the NWA championship in his stable because it would help spread the “new gospel” to more people, but instead it’s just… I’m evil and I have wrestlers.

“MWAHAHA I AM GENERICALLY EVIL FOR REASONS.”

Mitchell challenges Shamrock to face PG-13 rated Slash, but R rated Malice jumps Shamrock from the back. “Might makes right, and the meek shall inherit… nothing.” That’s good stuff! WHY ARE YOU HERE THOUGH. GO BE SATAN IN THE WOODS

BEST but confusing – The X Division Championship Tournament but it’s not a tournament

With almost no ceremony we learn the X Division title will be crowned tonight. The competitors in this tournament are AJ Styles, Low Ki, Jerry Lynn and Psicosis. Which is nuts because…

“They (The Flying Elvises) defeated three of the four men in this round robin matchup!” – Mike Tenay

YEAH!!! I AGREE!

So you have three guys who LOST last week competing for a title and three guys who WON last week steaming the wrinkles out of their jumpsuits at home. Why didn’t they make last week’s six man tag a qualifier for the X Division? Why not book TFRCIYITPTE to win so they EARN the shot? You could even have Psicosis and Storm booked as well, but then Storm jumps into the Rainbow Express match, giving up his shot at the X Division title! But no, we get three losers and Psicosis for no particular reason.

We get another overcomplicated TNA specialty match. This is a double elimination tournament, you have to lose twice to be eliminated, but it’s also EVERYBODY at once, so it’s not a tournament. When you get a pin, another opponent enters and a new match starts. I’m still not sure what’s happening.

AJ is only 3 years into his career here and already looks super crisp. He lacks personality though; he’s a pretty face and an exciting moveset. He pins Psicosis in just under 2 minutes with the Styles Clash. That’s one loss for Psicosis.

Low Ki is next for some reason and lays his signature stiff kicks on AJ. Styles hits a hurricanrana FROM THE GROUND. These two had fought on the indies a bunch. They work very well together. Lots of innovative counters. Ki throws AJ over the top turnbuckle into the post, then pulls him back from the top rope into a Dragon Sleeper. This does NOT GET A SUBMISSION. They stiff the fuck out of each other until AJ hits a rolling German into a Facebuster for the pin. This also gets 2 minutes and feels like a compressed 6 minutes of a normal Ki/Styles match. One loss for Ki.

Lynn in next to take on AJ. Cradle piledriver immediately and gets a pin. TACTICS WILEY VETERAN Under 30 seconds there. One loss for AJ.

Psicosis vs. Lynn, which would be an AMAZING match if they got 15-20 minutes. It’s still pretty great although MUCH more WCW Cruiserweight than indie spectacle. Lynn and Psicosis are very smooth together. Lynn hits another Cradle Piledriver and gets a win. Psicosis is eliminated. 3 minutes!

Ki hits one Kawada style kick to Lynn’s chest to start. Ki’s strikes are so goddamn stiff. It’s almost like he’s not sure it’s a work. Low Ki would have loved working in UWF.  Ki just works over Lynn for most of their section. The announcers are saying that Lynn has been in for a while and is “running on fumes”. He’s been in for all of 5 minutes at this point. Lynn goes for the Cradle Piledriver, Ki reverses into a Triangle Armbar. Lynn pulls Ki up for a powerbomb for 2. Ki goes for a Ki Crusher but gets reversed into a rolling DDT. Lynn adds a level of psychology to Ki and it’s great to see. Lynn with another Cradle Piledriver, removing Ki from the contest.

AJ back in. Discuss clothesline but only gets two. A “STYLES CLASH AAAHHHGG!!!” gets reversed into a Hurricanrana. Mike Tenay says “We are 15 minutes into this contest! Can you believe it!” Yes, I can. They haven’t been in there for more than 5 minutes a piece. “THESE ARE THE GREATEST ATHLETES I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!” – Don West. He LOVES this style of wrestling so much. When he says “I’ve never SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS” you know it’s true. It’s like he’s becoming a wrestling fan in front of us. He loses his goddamn mind when AJ hits a leaping two foot jump off chest backflip dropkicky thingy.

The Leaping Jump Off Chest Backflip Dropkicky Thingy

A lot of great ACTION before AJ hits a Styles Clash. Now they both have a loss. Whoever gets the next pin or submission wins. Ricky Steamboat comes in to referee the final fall. There’s a long pin reversal situation before a double down. They go to the outside, AJ hits an inverted DDT on the floor. They go back to the ring where AJ gets two. Now they go into a segment with reversals into BIG MOVES; suplexes, DDTs, a spinning inverted Gory special, a flipping facebuster… it’s nuts. AJ wins with the Spiral Tap, which he don’t do no more.

This move goes to 11.

FIREWORKS CONFETTI THEME SONG AJ STYES IS THE FIRST X DIVISION CHAMPION

YEAH BRO GET IT!!!

“REMEMBER THE NAME, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! AJ STYLES! THE FUTURE OF OUR SPORT HAS ARRIVED!” – Mike Tenay

The entire AJ/Lynn section got 13 minutes and they are super great. If you like these two together, then you have a lot to look forward to in the next few months of PPVs. Unless you like good stories along with good matches. Then you won’t like it.

I know I kinda crapped on the rules and the short time that the first eliminations got but this is BY FAR the best match that TNA has had so far. The X Division is here and it will SAVE so many PPVs and TV shows.

Watch the match yourself! It’s on the official Impact Youtube page. Of course it’s uploaded in the wrong aspect ration. LOL TNA.

GOOD: This little dickhead who is now, like, 30 years old.

blah blah blah

Hahaha!

My reaction when Buff Bagwell wrestles

This is while the booth sets up next week’s show. A one night tournament for the Tag Titles. Scott Hall and Bryan Christopher vs Jarrett and K-Krush. Ken Shamrock vs. Malice for the NWA title. This is a pretty good starter feud for Shamrock but he doesn’t feel like the center of the show. 

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And that’s it!

This show is slightly better than the first weekly PPV, mostly due to the final X Division match. It’s so fucking good. I don’t care that the pins came so fast and furious. It made the match feel important. Everybody was pulling out all the stops and taking big risks to get their hands on the new belt.

Aside from that, we had a continuation of all the racist, sexist and homophobic storylines from last week. At least we didn’t have to deal with the Dupps for more than 30 seconds or roided up dick men.

Next week we’ll Compare/Contrast with “The Most Luxurious Gaming & Wrestling Festival of All Time”, AEW’s 2nd PPV; Fyter Fest!