WWA Eruption: The Forerunner Of TNA But With Even Less Star Power

WWA: The Eruption
Date: April 14, 2002 (Taped April 13, 2002)
Location: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia
Commentators: Jeremy Borash, Disco Inferno

Back to these guys again for their third of five PPVs. It’s been about two months since the last show and we have a new world champion in the form of Nathan Jones who won the title about a week before this show. We’ve also got a vacant Cruiserweight Championship as Eddie Guerrero went back to the WWF so it’s mini tournament time! Let’s get to it.

The set looks like a volcano which is appropriate.

Sid Vicious, the commissioner now, is here and using a cane to walk.

A very confused Australian ring announcer screws up the name of the company and welcomes the announcers to the broadcast table that they’ve been at for at least three minutes now. I can understand screwing up the company name as World Wrestling Association as it’s a much more natural name.

International Cruiserweight Title Tournament Semi-Finals: AJ Styles vs. Nova

They slug it out to start as we can hear presumably the director talking through the headsets. Nova sends AJ into the middle buckle but AJ pops back up and runs him over with a shoulder. Nova clotheslines him down but AJ nips up into a hurricanrana to Nova back down. AJ tries another rana but Nova grabs him into a powerbomb position and does some lifts of AJ in an impressive power display before flipping him forward and onto his face for two.

Nova hooks a freaky looking three limb submission hold called Twisted Sister which only lasts for a few seconds. A BIG kick to the face gets two on Styles but Nova misses a Swanton. AJ picks up Nova for the Styles Clash (Director: “Finish.”) to advance to the title match later tonight.

Rating: C+. This was too short to be able to mean much as they were flying through this, no pun intended. The director was really distracting here as he kept talking about times and such like that. They really do need to work on fixing that as it’s really hard to ignore. Still though, good choice for an opener here as AJ would go on to become a big star in the near future.

Scott Steiner is here.

The Starettes dance a bit.

Quick video on Jerry Lynn arriving last month and attacking Eddie Guerrero.

Here’s Sid with something to say. Seeing him in a suit is a very odd sight. He said he needed to hear the fans again, which draws a pretty lame Sid chant. Sid thanks Andrew McManus, the WWA owner, for giving him this chance. He talks about sitting at home thinking he’s done in wrestling when McManus called him and asked him to come to Australia for a show.

As for Scott Steiner, he’s an amazing talent but he doesn’t want to play by the rules of the WWA. Sid officially makes him #1 contender and the match will take place tonight. He says he won’t be perfect but he’s glad to have one more shot at this. This is probably the most coherent you’ll ever hear Sid, which makes this pretty dull stuff.

International Cruiserweight Title Tournament Semi-Finals: Jerry Lynn vs. Chuck E. Chaos

Chaos is an Australian wrestler who gets a good reaction. He jumps Lynn as he comes in and pulls Jerry to the floor for springboard dive. As Chuckie comes back in, Jerry hits the spinning Fameasser and the cradle piledriver to end this in just over a minute.

Disco is having trouble with his audio and we get some bad small talk between him and Jeremy.

Puppet the midget is in the back yelling at some company guy. The audio here is terrible but I think he wants to kill his opponent Teo.

Puppet vs. Teo

Hardcore of course. Puppet runs his mouth before the match but Teo runs in to pound away. A running knee to Teo’s head in the corner is followed by a slingshot headbutt to the groin. Puppet heads to the floor to grab some chairs and here’s your out of context line of the night from Disco: “You have to pay to lick a midget?” Puppet drops Teo on three chairs set up in the middle of the ring for two. Teo hits a TKO for two before they horribly botch I think a Blockbuster.

Teo brings in a garbage can as we hear from the director again. Puppet comes back again (there’s less selling in this match than in Death of a Salesman. How’s THAT for mixing two different worlds?) with a Vader Bomb but Teo punches him down and hits a top rope Swanton bomb for two. Now Puppet is put in a trashcan while Teo pounds away with a chair. Teo brings in a ladder for a big splash onto the trashcan onto Puppet for the pin. I think this was the last midget match from this company.

Rating: D+. The hardcore stuff here kind of works for these guys. I’m still not a fan of them but at least they’re trying out there. Puppet would go on to annoy fans on TNA where he would pull a gun in one of his matches. Thankfully we’ve gotten to better midget wrestling in Hulk Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling. Not much else to say here.

Teo molests Steiner’s chick Midajah in the back.

Stevie Ray/Buff Bagwell vs. Ernest Miller/Brian Christopher

Buff and Christopher start things off with Brian dancing around like a schmuck. Instead of fighting Buff poses for a bunch of booing from the crowd. They run the ropes a lot until we get some weak hip tosses and slams. A bulldog puts Bagwell down and it’s off to Miller. Disco sums up the problem with Miller (and the future Brodus Clay) in general: If he wants someone to call his mama, why doesn’t he leave a number?

Bagwell takes Miller down with a swinging neckbreaker before it’s off to Ray for some more slow beating. The not hot tag brings in Christopher who is caught in a backbreaker and a kind of powerbomb for no cover. Off to a lame chinlock from Bagwell followed by a double clothesline to put both guys down. Brian hits an enziguri to set up the double tag so Miller can pound on Ray for a bit. Back to Buff who messes up a sunset flip before Miller does his gyrating. Everything breaks down and Stevie accidentally kicks Buff, allowing Christopher to hit the Hip Hop Drop for the pin on Bagwell.

Rating: D+. They took four guys and threw them into a tag match to fill in about ten minutes. While it wasn’t a good match at all and had ZERO heat from the crowd, what do you expect from guys like this? The match could only be so good given the talent in there, and it never was anything more than what it seemed like: filler.

Post match Christopher and Miller dance a bit. Thankfully the Starettes come out to join them. As do some fans. Disco: “What would Lou Thesz think right now?” Inferno can’t take anymore and tries to get in, only to be beaten up by Christopher and the kids.

Alan Funk, the Funkster, does his Hogan impression before fighting Pierre Ouellette and cutting a weird promo on the Rougeau Family.

Alan Funk vs. Quebecer Pierre

As in from the Quebecers in the early to mid 90s WWF. Before the match Pierre says he’s a former three time tag team champion of the world (take THAT Daniels fans!) before singing the Canadian national anthem. Thankfully (I think?) the Funkster breaks it up but Pierre runs him over and pounds away to start. Funk comes back with a few clotheslines but Pierre pounds him back down. The Hogan impression is decent but it’s not adding anything at all here.

Pierre runs him over again for two and hooks a sleeper. After that goes nowhere, Funk hits a springboard sunset flip for two before walking into a suplex for two for the French Canadian dude. A guillotine legdrop gets two on Funk and it’s time to Hulk Up. The big boot is blocked and Funk gets clotheslined right back down again. A running Liger Bomb sets up a Swanton Bomb for two for Pierre and now it’s the real Hulk Up time. Disco: “I know who he reminds me of now: BOBBY EATON!” They chop it out with Pierre taking over with more power stuff before the big boot and a piledriver set up the legdrop for the pin by Funk.

Rating: D. We get it: he’s a Hogan impersonator. He looks a lot like Hulk and has a few of the mannerisms down, but how much can you get out of something like this? It’s been done MANY times before and Funk really doesn’t do anything new with it. Then again it’s the same kind of thing you would expect from a mid level indy company.

Video on Nathan Jones.

Here are Steiner and Midajah to a big reaction even though he’s a heel. Scott talks about all the women he’s had in Australia and makes fun of Australian sports. Steiner offers to beat up someone from the crowd but here’s Nathan Jones to stare at Scott instead. Thankfully they’ve finally changed the design of the world title and it looks more like a traditional belt. Nathan comes to the ring but Sid (who is shorter than Jones) comes out to say save it for the main event. Steiner talks about how he broke Sid’s body and spirit so Sid says he’ll be the enforcer for the main event.

Video on the cruiserweights in the company.

International Cruiserweight Title: AJ Styles vs. Jerry Lynn

This has a twenty minute time limit. That’s the best they can do for their secondary championship? Don’t bother trying to make it feel important or anything. They head to the mat to start with neither guy being able to get an advantage. Jerry avoids a dropkick and we have a standoff. Styles flips out of a wristlock to put on one of his own and they flip around a lot before both guys try armdrags at the same time, resulting in a Lynn armbar. That’s a new spot for me.

Styles escapes a monkey flip but gets clotheslined down and hit with a backbreaker for two. Off to a surfboard by Lynn followed by a spinning inverted Gory Special. AJ comes back with his moonsault DDT for two and a big kick to the head for two more. Styles tries a tornado DDT but gets caught in a northern lights suplex into the corner instead to put him right back down. AJ knocks him out to the floor and hits a big flip dive to take Jerry down again as selling continues to be a foreign idea.

Back in and the dive gets two as Lynn is bleeding from the mouth a bit. The Styles Clash is countered into a rana from Jerry but AJ counters the cradle piledriver as well. We get a nice long pinfall reversal sequence with about five two counts each. Jerry finally kills AJ dead with a German suplex so Styles comes back with a neckbreaker for two of his own. Lynn hits a sitout powerbomb for two and gets the same off the cradle piledriver. Out of nowhere AJ counters a DDT and hits the Styles Clash for two of his own. AJ goes up top but gets punched in the ribs. Lynn’s superplex is broken up and the Spiral Tap gives AJ the title.

Rating: B-. This was fine for a spot fest but at the same time it felt like they were trying to have a classic rather than having one. The lack of selling was as annoying as ever with both guys taking big moves and popping right back up like it was a single chop. These two would have WAY better matches in TNA but those were a few months away.

Jerry shakes AJ’s hand post match.

A cage is lowered as we recap Devon Storm vs. Sabu. They’re both hardcore and have fought twice already. That’s about it.

Devon Storm vs. Sabu

In a cage as I said and apparently you can only win by pin here but “it doesn’t matter where the pin is”. Why do they have to over complicate these things? Storm hits a quick shoulder block to start and pounds away before Sabu comes back with a springboard DDT for two. Sabu hits a pair of springboard leg lariats for no count before Storm slams Sabu’s back into the cage twice to take over.

Sabu is busted open via another shot to the cage before Storm gets two off a top rope splash. Sabu’s back is bleeding now too. Apparently this fires him up enough to send Storm into the cage to take over. The bleeding guy finds a sharp object from somewhere and starts stabbing away at Storm’s head to bust him open as well. Sabu goes up top, only to get caught in a northern lights superplex to shift momentum again.

Devon finds a chair from somewhere to beat on Sabu with before hitting a northern lights suplex (popular move tonight) onto said chair for no cover. Storm wedges the chair between the ropes and of course gets rammed into it for his efforts. Sabu pelts the chair at Storm’s head before hitting Air Sabu in the corner. Air Sabu against the cage puts Storm down for an Arabian Facebuster but the triple jump moonsault off the cage misses completely.

A Death Valley Driver on the chair gets two for Storm so he goes to the floor (not a win) and sets up a piece of guard rail between the steps and the barricade. Sabu kicks Storm in the face on the floor as both guys are now out of the cage. Sabu pulls out a table and they slug it out a bit. Devon suplexes Sabu onto the bridged piece of railing and we stall a bit more. There’s a table set up next to the ring so Storm pulls out two more in addition to the set one.

Storm stacks another table on the set one as this has stopped being a cage match in any form. A DDT on the floor puts Sabu down for half a second and Storm puts Sabu on the top of the two tables. There’s a BIG dive off the cage to put both guys down yet again. Another table is set up back inside the cage (remember that?) but Storm throws a chair through the door to put Sabu down.

Sabu comes back with a fireball to pop the crowd huge. He puts Devon on the table and hits a moonsault off the top of the cage onto Storm….but the table doesn’t break. An Arabian Facebuster off the top of the cage is FINALLY enough to break the table and get the pin on Storm.

Rating: D. This was violence for the sake of violence which isn’t my style at all. On top of that, having the guys leave the cage is always annoying as it defeats the purpose of having a cage. The big splash through the tables looked great but other than that all we had here were the same brawling spots we’ve already seen from these guys.

The announcers talk about a sweepstakes while the cage is taken down.

Midajah vs. Queen Bea

Evening gown match. Bea is a Penthouse Pet who only had like four matches ever. They can’t wrestle, they look good in their outfits, Bea’s underwear is blue and she loses in less than two and a half minutes. The midgets come out and strip Midajah for fun.

WWA World Title: Nathan Jones vs. Scott Steiner

Scott is challenging here and punches Jones in the corner. Oh and Sid is outside enforcer. Jones beals Scott down and they collide a few times. Steiner flips Jones off which earns him another shoulder from the champion. Jones knocks Steiner to the floor so Steiner knocks Jones to the floor. The champion hits a slingshot clothesline back in for two before pounding away in the corner.

Steiner immediately comes back by shoving Jones over the top and out to the floor. Jones is whipped HARD through a barricade as we continue to hide the severe limitations of both guys. Back inside and Steiner hits a backbreaker to put Nathan down again. There are the pushups followed by some yelling at the fans by the challenger. Off to a lame bow and arrow hold by Steiner and a low blow to keep Jones down. A northern lights suplex (why is that so popular tonight?) keeps Jones in trouble so Steiner can put on…..a Sharpshooter? It’s horrible as you would expect but it’s more strange to see than bad.

We hit a bearhug from Steiner which he ends himself with an overhead belly to belly to put Jones down. Scott pounds away but Jones comes back with a side slam to get himself a breather. A clothesline sets up a very awkward looking elbow drop by the champion who follows that up by literally falling off the top rope on a clothesline attempt. Literally, he fell forward with no vertical leap at all. Jones loads up the chokeslam but Midajah jumps on his back.

Steiner stops to yell at Sid for a bit, causing Jones to try a pair of quick rollups for two. Scott pokes the champion in the eye and slams him down, only to jump into the chokeslam. Midajah makes the save so Sid loads up Midajah for the powerslam. Another referee stops him and in the melee Steiner hits Jones with a belt shot. The Steiner Recliner gives Scott via arm drops.

Rating: D. This wasn’t that good at all. At the end of the day, Jones was all look and almost no substance whatsoever. As bad as he looked beforehand, the falling off the top rope turned the whole thing into an even bigger joke than it already was. Sid was only there as a means to the end of the match and added nothing else. The whole match was a clash of styles and neither guy was good enough to carry the other to anything above terrible.

Sid raises Scott’s hand post match but wants a title match later. Scott leaves without saying anything before coming back to say let’s do it right now. Sid stumbles over saying he’ll fight if he’s able. Now that’s the babbling Vicious we know and love….for some reason.

Overall Rating: D. These shows aren’t very good. Now to be fair at this point there was no TNA so this was literally the best English alternative to WWE. A lot of these guys would go on to appear in TNA but while they were here there wasn’t much to see from them. The show goes by fast but there’s absolutely nothing on here worth seeing. It isn’t terrible but it falls into that category of you see it and never think of it again after a day or so.

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