TNA Weekly PPV #6: The Most Boring Ladder Match I Can Remember In A Long Time

TNA Weekly PPV #6
Date: July 24, 2002
Location: Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Don West, Ed Ferrara

Back to Tennessee for another pair of shows. The main event tonight is Sabu challenging Shamrock in a ladder/submission match which is a new one on me. On top of that we have Styles/Lynn defending the titles against the Flying Elvises which was set up last week I believe. These shows are finally getting some traction and they’re starting to fill in a lot of their flaws. Let’s get to it.

We open with Jarrett in the ring and he beats up some security guards with a chair. He isn’t leaving until Shamrock gets out here with Jarrett’s title. In the back we see Shamrock destroying security as well. Shamrock locks all of the security in a room and has a massive British dude guard the door. Shamrock heads to the ring but some suit comes out to talk to Jarrett first. Apparently this is the NWA VP and he’s suspending Jarrett for 60 days. This would be his second suspension in about three weeks. Oh the suit is Bill Behrens.

He threatens Jarrett with security, which is locked in a room. Jarrett cracks Behrens with the chair and beats him with it a bit more. Shamrock FINALLY comes out and destroys Jarrett until Monty Brown and Apolo pull Ken off. Jarrett uses the distraction to bash Shamrock with a chair. Brian Lawler and K-Krush come out to stop Jarrett. I smell a six man.

Amazing Red vs. Low Ki

Tenay talks about how important this is for the rankings. Didn’t we already establish the rankings a few weeks back? We head to the floor almost immediately with Red hitting a sweet rana to take over. Back in and Low Ki looks a bit insane before hitting a Liger Kick to take over. An elbow drop gets two and it’s off to a cravate. A springboard enziguri to the face gets two and HOKEY SMOKE LOW KI USED A SUPLEX!!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen him use one before.

Red gets put in the Tree of Woe and a baseball slide gets two for Ki. Red fires off some kicks in the corner but Low Ki blocks the next few and kicks Red’s hat off. A leg sweep from Red takes Low Ki down and a standing shooting star gets two. A swinging sunset flip gets the same and they’re both back to their feet. Red’s tornado DDT is countered but he avoids some stomps from Low Ki. It’s time for some gymnastics and an enziguri from Red takes Ki down. A big corkscrew moonsault misses for Red and the Ki Krusher 99 (sitout fisherman’s brainbuster) gets the pin for Low Ki.

Rating: C+. I’m not a fan of Low Ki but he was WAY over in early TNA. Red was a great flipper and that’s all you need to be to secure an occasional spot on a card like this one. This was fine for an opener here and the match was fine all things considered. Low Ki would become the first ROH World Champion three days later.

Jarrett goes up to the big British guy and backs down.

Hot Shots vs. Chris Harris/James Storm

Hot Shots are Cassidy O’Reilley and Chase Stevens. No name yet for the future AMW. Earlier today we hear from AMW that it was the Hot Shots that attacked them a few weeks back. Storm is WAY over the top with his cowboy stuff here, to the point where he’s not funny anymore. Storm has fake guns on his hips and Harris yells about how stupid this gimmick is. It’s hilarious that Storm would become world champion while Harris is nowhere to be seen.

Storm and O’Reilley start with the Cowboy taking over early. Harris gets a blind tag and spears Riley down before it’s off to Stevens who is suplexed down for two. Back to Storm who is sent to the floor and sent into the barricade before being sent back in for two from Stevens. The Hot Shots hit a double dropkick with one kick hitting both sides of Storm’s head for two.

Cassidy gets a few not very near falls as it’s clear the Hot Shots don’t have much of an offense. Stevens was supposed to miss a moonsault but Storm rolls too slow and gets hit on the back. Hot tag brings in Harris and everything breaks down. A spinning reverse DDT from Storm takes O’Reilley out and Harris counters a tornado DDT into a northern lights suplex for the pin on Stevens.

Rating: D+. To say this was a weak feud buildup is an understatement. The Hot Shots just weren’t that good and AMW needed way better competition. It was clear they were one of if not the best teams in the company already, but it would take a few months before they were treated as such.

The Hot Shots beat up AMW post match.

Shamrock shoves a doctor away and wants Jarrett.

Apolo vs. Brian Lawler

Brian gets chants of Jerry’s Kid which are a bit shaking as this is being written the day after Lawler had a heart attack on Raw. Both guys toss each other around a bit with Lawler freaking out both times. Apolo pounds away in the corner as the announcers talk about who should be #1 contender. Lawler chokes away with a necklace in the corner and gets two knees up to block an Apolo splash. A middle rope dropkick puts Apolo down but Lawler stops to laugh at the crowd.

Off to a chinlock as that’s about the extent of Lawler’s Memphis offense. Apolo fights up (by fights I mean stands up) and makes a comeback with some Hogan style offense including a slam and legdrop. A not-Hoganesque superkick sets up a TKO attempt which is countered by Lawler into a reverse DDT for no cover. Lawler dances around a lot and is rolled up for the pin out of nowhere.

Rating: D. Lawler is really dull as a heel. I get that he was good in Memphis and the USWA as a heel, but this isn’t Memphis or the USWA. It’s post-Too Cool for him and based on that, this character just isn’t working. We know he wants to form his own career without being known as Jerry’s kid, and his method for doing this is constantly talking about Jerry Lawler. The problem with this (aside from the fact that he already did this by being Grandmaster Sexay) is that there is no chance Jerry Lawler is coming here for a payoff to the angle. Without that, it makes a story feel like it has no conclusion, and that makes it pointless.

Lawler snaps and beats up Don West post match. Tenay keeps telling us there’s no security tonight, which makes me ask: what was the point in Shamrock locking them away? To get at Jarrett? I guess so but it’s kind of a weak way to get to the show long angle they’re going with.

Here’s K-Krush and we get a recap of him choking Norman Smiley and others last week. Krush says his name is no longer K-Krush but now The Truth. He isn’t going to do what they tell him to do anymore and it’s all about the Truth. This is getting a big face reaction. He talks about Allen Iverson (nicknamed The Truth) a lot and calls him a criminal. He calls Iverson the best basketball player ever and Tyson the best boxer ever. People think Tyson is an animal but he’s just great. More athletes are listed, including O.J. Simpson, until he gets interrupted by Monty Brown.

Brown (coming out to Abyss’ music) makes fun of Truth for complaining and says don’t go where Truth is leading. He’s talking about racism if that doesn’t come over clearly. Brown talks about being a football player and walking away from it before coming to the NWA. “They” are making this a possibility for him and maybe Truth just doesn’t have what it takes. Truth says no to a fight before calling Brown an Uncle Tom and jumping Brown. Monty tosses him away with ease and hits the Alpha Bomb.

We recap Lynn and Styles’ tag title reign and the problems they’ve been having.

We get a sitdown interview from earlier with the tag champions. AJ talks about being young and hungry but says he respects Lynn. Lynn is a veteran and he says AJ has to earn everything he gets, which AJ realizes as well.

Tag Titles: Flying Elvises vs. Jerry Lynn/AJ Styles

It’s Estrada and Yang for the Elvises with Siaki on commentary. Lynn and Estrada start things off and Jorge is sent into the corner very quickly via an armdrag. Estrada comes back with a side slam but misses a Lionsault. A spinning Gory Special by Lynn doesn’t seem to do much and they trade headscissors. Off to AJ who hits a sweet spin kick for two but then gets sent into the middle buckle via a headscissors.

Yang comes in and maybe he’ll actually sell something. Styles nips up into another headscissors and takes Yang down with a belly to back suplex for two. Back to Lynn as the champions stay on offense. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two for Jerry and it’s back to Styles. Yang tries a tombstone but Styles counters with, you guessed it, a headscissors. Yang finally gets his knees up to stop a cross body and the Elvises take over.

Everything goes to the floor and Siaki interferes with a clothesline to give the challengers their first real advantage. Yang hooks a modified Koji Clutch before bringing Estrada back in. The Elvises tag in and out rapidly and hit suplexes and flip attacks for two after two. AJ hooks a small package for two but gets clotheslined down by Estrada again. A spinebuster gets two for Estrada and Yang hits a slingshot hilo for two.

Yang hooks an abdominal stretch on AJ which doesn’t last long either. The moonsault into the DDT puts Yang down but Estrada breaks up the tag to Lynn. AJ gets beaten on even more before FINALLY hitting a kick to the face of Yang to break free and tag in Lynn. Lynn speeds things way up and dropkicks Yang to the floor, followed by a big plancha. Estrada dives on them both and here’s AJ for the big dive, but Siaki pulls the challengers out and Styles hits Lynn, busting Lynn open on the barricade.

The Elvises hit a top rope splash/legdrop and SWEET GOODNESS is Lynn bleeding bad! I mean his face is COVERED. Lynn can’t stand up but he manages a quick shot to Estrada for the pin while Styles is ready for the Spiral Tap on Yang, meaning Lynn stole a pin just like AJ did recently.

Rating: B-. This was pure formula, but the good thing is that the standard tag formula works very well. Lynn vs. Styles works very well and it’s being played out very well. For a new company, this is the perfect midcard feud and it’s working incredibly well. Good stuff again here which is all you would expect from these guys.

Styles storms off immediately and leaves Lynn laying.

Disco Inferno now gets a talk show. He’s going by his real name of Glenn Gilbertti here and takes credit for Goldberg’s first loss and retiring Jumping Joey Maggs. He rambles on a bit about a bikini contest and says there’s nothing else for him to do in wrestling. Gilberti says he’s going to teach Shamrock what personality is and how to make Lynn look young. Starting next week he’s going to unlock the door to logic. This is the most rambling I’ve heard this side of a drunk Piper promo. I think he’s supposed to be a motivational speaker or something.

Shamrock is still looking for Jarrett.

Simon Diamond/Johnny Swinger vs. Elix Skipper/Monty Brown

Simon and Swinger were a regular tag team in the last days of ECW. Skipper and Simon start things off with Skipper getting a bunch of fast two counts. Brown comes in for a double dropkick and Skipper starts pounding away again, only to get caught in a double dropkick. That’s fair play if nothing else. Swinger hits a neckbreaker for two and it’s back to Simon for some suplexes for two of his own.

We get some heel miscommunication and Skipper hits a pair of superkicks to take them down. Off to Brown with no heat to the tag and he cleans house. Everything breaks down and an MNM Snapshot takes Skipper down but he isn’t legal. Brown hits a quick Alpha Bomb (it starts off like a slam but he throws the guy up into a powerbomb) for the pin on Diamond.

Rating: D+. Nothing special here at all but Brown was getting a decent push to open his run in the company. Simon and Swinger didn’t last long at all but they were somewhat known names and could fill in some spots on the roster I guess. Just a basic match here though and not much worth seeing.

Post match Truth comes out and hangs Brown as Elix just walks out. It was a setup 30 minutes in the making!

The Dupps continue to not be funny. Bo challenges the big British guy. To call this stupid would be an insult to the people stupid people call stupid.

Bo Dupp vs. Ian Harrison

That’s the big guy’s name. Harrison used to be Mr. Universe and therefore is a McMahon wet dream waiting to happen. The hick fans chant for Bo but this is basically a squash. Harrison is clearly there for his look but he’s not the worst muscle head I’ve ever seen. Bo gets in some offense but walks into a powerslam for two. Stan Dupp runs in for the DQ a second later. This went nowhere at all.

Shamrock and Jarrett have a pull apart brawl as security is finally out of the locker room.

NWA World Title: Sabu vs. Ken Shamrock

This a ladder/submission match, which is exactly what it sounds like. After a LONG recap of last week’s ladder match with Sabu vs. Malice, we’re ready to go. The fans seem to be completely behind Sabu here. Shamrock controls to start and goes for a leg hold but Sabu makes the rope. Sabu gets a quick rollup for two so the rules are basically thrown out the window so far. Apparently security has walked out of the building. Not like it makes a difference or anything.

Shamrock grabs an armbar but Sabu gets out before it can go on full. Sabu actually tries a leg lock but Shamrock is like boy please and counters into a leg bar. The springboard leg lariat takes Shamrock down and the slingshot legdrop looks to set up an armbar. I don’t think the pins count anymore. Apparently Ricky Steamboat is in charge next week.

Sabu gets knocked to the floor and we get the first ladder brought in with like four minutes left. The ladder gets kicked into Sabu’s face before it gets into the ring. Sabu and Shamrock brawl up the ramp with Sabu being through into one of the mini cages near the stage. Sabu is busted open but he manages to send Shamrock into the barricade.

It’s table time but the springboard flip dive by Sabu misses Shamrock, sending Sabu through the table on the ramp. Cool looking dive though. FINALLY a ladder is brought in but as Shamrock goes up, Malice runs in and chokeslams him down. Malice gets the belt itself and leaves to end the show.

Rating: D. Other than a few spots from Sabu, this was really boring. They had a no contest in a ladder match. That’s hard to do but they managed to do it here. Shamrock is a really boring champion but thankfully he’ll only have the title for a few more weeks. This is the last match Sabu would have with the company for almost a year and it’s a shame he couldn’t go out on the one he had last week which was way better.

Overall Rating: C+. You have to remember that this company isn’t even two months old yet. Factoring in that, this is a pretty remarkable performance as they’ve gotten rid of about 80% of the dumb stuff (the Dupps still are insanely annoying) and have some solid stories going on. It’s going to take a LONG time before they get anything significant going on, but these early days aren’t terrible by any stretch.

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