TNA Weekly PPV #12: More Brian Lawler Than You Could Ever Need

TNA Weekly PPV #12
Date: September 18, 2002
Location: Tennessee State Fairgrounds Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Don West, Mike Tenay

Yes indeed I’m still doing these shows even though I haven’t done one since about Thanksgiving. I have no idea what’s going on at this point in TNA given how long it’s been, but apparently there’s a Gauntlet for the Gold (gauntlet match) for a shot at the tag titles and Ron Killings is defending the title against Jerry Lynn. Let’s get to it.

We open with Goldilocks explaining the rules for Gauntlet for the gold. Basically you have ten teams and two individual wrestlers start. Every minute another wrestler comes out and it’s over the top rope until we get down to two. Then their partners come out and it’s a tag match with the winners getting the belts. I’ve heard of worse ideas. Anyway Scott Hall pops up and says he has a surprise partner. It’s Sean Waltman who pops up for a second. Nice job on the surprise there people.

The announcers run down the card, including a celebrity boxing match. Oh jeez.

Earlier today Brian Lawler tries to jump Jeff Jarrett but Jeff fends him off with some luggage. Jarrett says that he never touched Lawler’s girlfriend April. Apparently April is playing Brian and Lawler can only trust Jeff. Ok then.

Cue Jarrett to the arena where he says he’s had it with Bob Armstrong and his masked man. Either Armstrong comes out now or Jeff is coming back there to get him. Jarrett goes to the back but is jumped by the Masked Bullet. They fight to the ring and Bullet does every single Road Dogg move there is and even says Oh You Didn’t Know into a mic. With Jeff down, Bullet pulls off his mask and it’s…..Road Dogg (called Brian James). Well that’s a bit anti-climactic.

Dogg says that he and Jarrett bailed on the WWF back in 1995 but then Dogg became part of DX. Apparently his name here is BG James with the G standing for “Get It, Got It, Good”. James is going to be in the Gauntlet for the Gold tonight and will find a partner somewhere. I guess Lawler vs. Jarrett is done now.

Jorge Estrada and Sonny Siaki say that it’s all about the Flying Elvises and not Sonny himself. Sonny talks about how we should support Jerry Lynn in the main event tonight, implying that he’s going to interfere.

AJ Styles vs. Kid Kash

Before the match AJ says that Sonny won’t be supporting Jerry Lynn tonight and it’s not over between himself and Jerry. AJ sounds even more like a hick here than he does now. Feeling out process to start with Styles taking over with an armbar. They head to the mat with AJ holding an armbar before Kash escapes a backslide. Both guys snap off some armdrags as we’re told that Low Ki returns next week. A Jericho springboard dropkick puts AJ on the floor and a slingshot rana keeps him down.

AJ gets back up and runs to the apron for a moonsault to take Kash down. Very fast paced stuff so far here. Back in and Styles takes Kash down with a sweet springboard dropkick for two. Kid hits the Bank Roll (kind of a Whisper in the Wind) for two and it’s off to a standing Boston Crab on Styles. That goes nowhere so Kash tries the Money Maker but gets backdropped out to the floor instead. AJ hits a sweet jumping DDT off the apron and both guys are down.

Back in and Kash sends AJ face first into the middle buckle before getting two off a German suplex. AJ comes back with his moonsault into (not really but close enough) the reverse DDT for two. Kash runs up the corner and hits a SWEET rana followed by a tornado DDT for two. AJ comes back with a dropkick to the knee and the always cool nipup into a rana of his own.

Discus lariat gets two on Kash as does a dropkick to the back of his head. AJ loads up another springboard dive but jumps into a dropkick to put both guys down. Kash tries a top rope splash but only his canvas. He manages to crotch AJ, but a top rope rana is countered into a Styles Clash off the middle rope for the academic pin.

Rating: B-. This was just a spotfest and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not a good match as there have been far better versions of this before, but AJ looked good and that was the right idea here. AJ was rapidly gaining credibility and a win over a decent name like Kash was only going to help that.

Buff Bagwell says that he’s Marcus Bagwell again and wants another chance. BG James pops up and asks him to be his partner in the Gauntlet. Marcus accepts, and I think we’re supposed to buy this as the latest super team. You know, because Bagwell won like five WCW tag titles. Surely you remember his EPIC partnership with The Patriot right?

Here’s Dustin Diamond (Screech from Saved By the Bell) who says that after winning on Celebrity Boxing, he could come here to be a wrestler. This leads to an argument with Tiny the ring announcer and a boxing match is scheduled for later. Please make it short at least.

The Hotshots (Chase Stevens and Cassidy O’Reilly) say they’ve given up their spot in the Gauntlet because they want to earn it in a three way match. They leave and Disco Inferno pops up, looking for Brian Lawler.

Dustin Diamond vs. Tiny the Timekeeper

Boxing match, Tiny is a short fat guy, Dustin knocks him out in 35 seconds. Seriously, that’s it.

Hot Shots vs. Derek Wylde/Jimmy Rave vs. Ace Steele/CM Punk

Indeed, CM Punk was in TNA for a half a cup of coffee. The team who takes the fall here is out of the Gauntlet. Punk has blonde hair here which is a weird look for him. Stevens and Punk get things going and we get a gymnastics exhibition with both guys spinning around with little contact being made. Punk hits a kind of reverse powerbomb onto Steele’s knee with Ace coming in legally. Steele chops away on Chase (Stevens, along with his partner Cassidy O’Reilly) but a blind tag brings in Wylde. He tries to slingshot in, only to be powerbombed down by Chase as things speed up.

Off to Rave vs. O’Reilly with Jimmy getting caught by a slingshot splash. Cassidy likes to dance around a lot and shout at the fans. The Hot Shots hit stereo dropkicks to Rave’s head for two and a leg lariat from Chase puts Rave down. Back to Cassidy who slams Rave down but hits knees while trying a Lionsault. Jimmy tags in Punk who misses a springboard missile dropkick on Chase before having his head taken off by Cassidy.

Everything breaks down and the Hot Shots hit a nice superkick/German suplex combo on Wylde. Cassidy misses a twisting dive to the floor and it’s time to unleash the dives. Back in the ring, Steele puts Stevens in a Gory Special and drops down into a kind of Widow’s Peak to win the match and spot in the Gauntlet.

Rating: D-. Well that sucked. I know it’s blasphemy to say a Punk match sucked, but there’s no other way to put it. This was boring, sloppy and uneventful as none of the six guys were anything special in the slightest. I know Punk would get WAY better, but at this point he was nothing to see at all.

Harris and Storm are ready for the Gauntlet and Harris finally calls Storm buckaroo.

Here are Hall and Waltman with something to say. Hall reminisces about his time with the 1-2-3 Kid and the match they had on Raw in 1993. Waltman (Syxx-Pac here) says that he’s here to be a wrestler, not a sports entetainer. Ron Harris and Brian Lee try to interrupt but get beaten down by the stars.

Brian Lawler panics about his girlfriend missing and says it’s a life or death situation. Next.

Hermie Sadler is praised for being awesome in NASCAR and is invited to be here for the next match.

Bruce comes out to insult Sadler’s wife and calls out some chick from the crowd for a match.

Miss TNA: Bruce vs. ???

She doesn’t even get a name and is pinned by a powerbomb in like a minute. Did I mention they have no idea how to fill an hour and forty five minutes of PPV time at this point?

Sadler gives Bruce an atomic drop post match.

Jerry Lynn is ready for his one shot at greatness when Killings comes in and says Jerry has to kill him to beat him. This wasn’t bad actually.

Gauntlet for the Gold

There are twenty people (ten teams) in this with two individuals starting. It’s a Royal Rumble style match and when there are two people left, the partners return for a tag match for the vacant titles, which were vacated when AJ/Lynn had a double pin against Jarrett/Killings. Brian Lawler is #1 and James Storm is #2. Lawler crotches him on the ropes before the bell but Storm fires off right hands. Apparently Chris Harris is going to be #20.

Storm pounds away to start and a missile dropkick puts Brian down. With nothing else happening, here’s Jose Maximo at #3. Lawler gets double teamed in the corner for a bit before fighting both guys off. Derek Wyles is #4 but after some headscissors, Lawler throws him out. Joel is dumped too and we’re back to Storm vs. Lawler. Actually scratch that as Lawler eliminates his third guy in a row by sending Storm out. You know, because Brian Lawler is AWESOME.

Buff Bagwell is #5 and he comes in with middle fingers blazing. Oh wait he’s Marcus Bagwell here, despite looking and wrestling like he has for years. Bagwell hits a neckbreaker and pounds away in the corner until Kobain is #6. Lawler again gets to dominate some more talented people until Ace Steele is #7. There’s nothing of note to talk about here as it’s just standing around and slowly beating on each other in the corner with Lawler biting Bagwell’s head.

Jorge Estrada is #8 and gets chopped by Steele. The ring is getting too full now. Lawler hits Bagwell low in the corner and Brian Lee is #9. Hopefully he can throw some of these little men out. We don’t get that of course since that would help the match, so here’s Syxx-Pac at #10. Syxx cleans house and dumps Jose off a chop (yes a chop) before hitting the Bronco Buster on Marcus.

CM Punk (Steele’s partner) is #11 but Steele is thrown out before Punk makes it to the ring. We hear about how impressive it is that Lawler has lasted ELEVEN minutes as Jimmy Rave (Derrick Wylde) is #12. Punk hits a Rey Mysterio sitout bulldog on Rave as there are too many people out there. Ron Harris (Brian Lee) is #13 to give us our first full team. Their dominance is shown as they send Jorge to the apron, but the Karate Elvis (again, seriously) sunset flips Lee down to survive. The second attempt works though and Estrada is gone.

Punk and Rave are tossed by the big guys as well, meaning two full teams are eliminated. Syxx sends out Bagwell and Lawler (no fanfare, which is odd as the announcers have spent ten minutes worshipping the guy) as BG James (Marcus Bagwell) is #14. We get heel miscommunication between Lee and Harris but Road Dogg (blonde here for some reason) gets stomped down I the corner. Joel Maximo (Jose Maximo) is #15 and is out about two seconds later.

Syxx gets hit with a big double spinebuster but since Waltman is a GIANT KILLER he clotheslines both of them down at once. Since we haven’t seen enough of him tonight, here’s Brian Lawler AGAIN to throw out Syxx. Slash (Kobain) is #16 and BG James is triple teamed. Sonni Siaki (Jorge Estrada) is #17 and he goes after Slash to give James a breather.

Disco Inferno (Brian Lawler) is #18 as the match continues to drag. Scott Hall (Syxx Pac) is #19 and he pounds away on Lee. Ron Harris is dumped out and Chris Harris (James Storm) is #20, giving us a final grouping of Hall, Chris Harris, Siaki, Disco, James and Lee. The announcers aren’t sure if Slash was eliminated despite seeing him go over the top. Siaki is dumped and Disco gets caught between Hall and BG until Hall finally knocks him out. Hall and James square off but Lee jumps both guys for stereo eliminations, getting us down to Harris vs. Lee, meaning the battle royal is over.

Rating: D. This was long and dull with the partner thing going almost nowhere. Between that and the worship of Brian Lawler, this never went anywhere. The fast intervals helped, but so many of these people are unknown for the most part, which makes it hard to care about any of them. Also the two giants looked pitiful out there for the most part which didn’t do them any favors.

Tag Titles: James Storm/Chris Harris vs. Brian Lee/Ron Haris

Ron chokeslams James on the stage to start things off as a handicap match. Also here’s Jeff Jarrett to beat up BG James and take the focus off the title match. Lee kicks Chris in the face as AMW (are they even called that yet?) is in big trouble. Chris comes back for a bit but gets clotheslined down for two. West points out the problem here: too many people named James and Harris.

Storm finally gets back in and cleans house, only to get caught in a chokeslam/belly to back suplex combo for no cover. Ron pulls out a table for no apparent reason and lays Storm out on top of it. Lee loads up Chris in a chokeslam but gets rolled up (and into the ropes) to give AMW the pin and the titles.

Rating: D. This was barely even a match with Chris getting beaten down for a few minutes and Storm being on the floor most of the time. The table thing was stupid and the ending was even worse as both guys were in the ropes for the fall and the referee counted it anyway. Nothing to see here, but at least the right team won.

BG James is bloody in the back to make sure the tag titles get no focus.

NWA World Title: Ron Killings vs. Jerry Lynn

If Lynn wins, he’s a Triple Crown Champion three months after the promotion started. Truth jumps him to start and elbows Lynn down before talking a lot of trash. Tenay thinks that whoever controls the match will win. This man is the PROFESSOR people. A headscissors puts Truth down and a backbreaker gets two for Jerry. Lynn hits what appeared to be a slingshot elbow to the groin in the corner but Truth pops up and throws him out to the floor.

The champion drops Jerry face first onto the announce table and Lynn is busted open. Back in and a kind of belly to back suplex gets two for Truth and he shows Jerry’s bloody face to the camera. Lynn comes back with his spinning sunset flip out of the corner for two but Truth does his backflip into a drop down into a side kick sequence. They head back to the floor with Truth ramming Jerry’s bloody head into the post and gouging at the cut.

Back in again and Truth puts on a modified surfboard but Lynn grabs the rope. The ax kick gets two for Truth but Jerry comes back with a spinning rollup for two of his own. Truth stays on offense as AJ Styles is at ringside. Now Kid Kash and the S.A.T. come down as well. Here are the Flying Elvises as the fans are ALL behind Lynn. Jerry makes a comeback with some clotheslines but the cradle piledriver is countered. Lynn reverses a suplex into a DDT for two but AJ breaks up the pin. The challenger goes up but Siaki shoves him down, allowing Truth to hit a Diamond Cutter for the pin to retain.

Rating: C-. This wasn’t bad but the drama felt manufactured and the big moment feeling they were going for doesn’t work when the company debuted three months before this. The match wasn’t bad but Truth wasn’t the kind of guy you want working a match like this. The Siaki interference was as obvious as you can get as well.

BG James comes out to talk trash about Killings for no apparent reason. This brings out Jarrett because he has to end the show but Hall and Waltman make the save to close us out.

Overall Rating: D. This didn’t work at all for the most part. We had a mindless spot fest to start and then a pretty boring feature match for the tag titles. On top of that we have a just ok main event and WAY too much Brian Lawler. When you combine that with the stupid boxing and Bruce stuff, this wasn’t that entertaining. They need a story and they need it soon.

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