WWA – The Reckoning: They Didn’t Go Out On The Bottom

WWA: The Reckoning
Date: June 8, 2003 (Taped May 25, 2003)
Location: North Shore Events Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
Attendance: 3,000
Commentators: Jeremy Borash, Glenn Gilbertti

This is the final show for the company and they knew that going in. Therefore, tonight is all about unifying titles into either NWA or TNA belts, meaning you can see a lot of the results already. It’s also a much smaller card with just six matches in the entire show. That really doesn’t make me all that upset. Let’s get to it.

Some native Australians do a war dance.

We get a clip of Sting winning the world title at a house show. Jarrett is here tonight with the NWA World Title for a unification match.

Opening sequence.

Rick Steiner vs. Mark Mercedes

Mercedes is an Australian wrestler, rightly making him the heel in the match. He runs his mouth about how much better Australia is than New Zealand to really endear himself to the people. They start with a brawl on the floor with Steiner being whipped into the barricade. Naturally he doesn’t sell it and backdrops Mark in the ring before putting on a Crossface of all things. Mercedes comes back with a release German suplex for two and a forearm takes Steiner down again.

Off to a front facelock followed by a chinlock with Rick in trouble. The fans are all over Mark here and Rick comes back with a boot in the corner and some Steiner Lines. An overhead suplex puts Mercedes down but Mercedes comes back with some shots in the corner. He puts Rick on the middle rope but gets punched down, allowing the Steiner Bulldog to connect for the pin.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t terrible and the fans were way into it due to some cheap my country is better than yours head. Yeah it’s cheap heat, but at the end of the day it got the fans to boo the heel and cheer the face so it’s doing its job. Steiner was his usual stiff and no selling self but the match wasn’t horrible.

The lights go out and Sting is in the rafters. He talks about being in Kiwi Country and being back in black, which is apparently a battle cry for a rugby team. Jarrett’s guitar is nothing but an Australian wallaby and tonight it’s showtime.

Puppet vs. Teo vs. Meatball

Here’s something I won’t miss at all about this promotion. Puppet goes into a rant about wanting to kill all the midgets in the world so he’ll be the only one left, making him the real star. See, midgets are always the real star of a show. Meatball and Puppet team up to take out Total E Outstanding (just go with it) but Puppet turns on Meatball a few seconds in. Teo goes after both of them to start but gets punched down by Puppet.

Teo comes back with a low headbutt to Meatball in the corner but a double team takes Teo down. The 250lb Meatball turns on Puppet and hits a cartwheel into an elbow for two. Meatball accidentally sends Puppet to the floor and a Swanton Bomb from Teo is good for the pin. At least it was, ahem, short.

Johnny Swinger says he’s going to win the Cruiserweight Title and the X Title tonight.

Kazarian says he’s the future and it looks good.

Konnan vs. Devon Storm

Hardcore. Konnan jumps over him in the corner to start but gets caught by a kendo stick to the ribs for two. Gilbertti: “SHOOT HIM BETWEEN THE EYES! That’s hardcore!” They trade some shots with Konnan getting the better of it but the fans want tables. A trashcan lid to Storm’s head gets two and a rolling lariat sends him to the floor. Konnan rips up the barricade and sends Storm into it before heading to the entrance and sending Storm into the island set.

Storm comes back and kicks Konnan to the floor as the camera starts messing up. Back at ringside Devon bridges the barricade between the steps and ring before getting two off a splash in the ring. Konnan whips him onto the barricade for two and a suplex back in gets the same. A chair is wedged into the corner but Konnan is sent face first into it for two. Konnan is sandwiched between a chair and Crowbar for a northern lights suplex. Storm puts him on the bridged barricade again and hits a flip dive over the top for the pin. It’s as out of nowhere as it sounds.

Rating: D. It’s another dull match with a bunch of weapon shots that meant nothing at all. Storm didn’t do anything but hardcore in this company which is annoying as he can do some decent regular stuff too. Konnan was his usual self here but the match wasn’t anything interesting at all.

Chris Sabin says he’s retaining his title and winning the WWA Title.

Jerry Lynn says he’s retaining his title and winning the X Division Title.

WWA Cruiserweight Title/TNA X-Division Title: Kazarian vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Johnny Swinger vs. Chris Sabin

One fall to a finish here and the winner gets both titles. Thankfully there are no tags here and it’s a big brawl from the start. Everyone misses a flip dive before trying a quick rollup for two each leading to a fourway stalemate. We get three straight armdrags to send everyone across the ring until Sabin is left alone with Kaz. A big kick to the head gets two for Sabin but Kaz takes over while the other two brawl on the floor. Back to the Future (Sabin is on Kaz’s shoulder with Kaz dropping back into a cover) gets two and a hard clothesline gets the same.

Swinger finally comes back in to stomp Kaz into the corner before hooking up with Sabin for a double flapjack. Lynn comes in off the top to take both Kaz and Sabin down with a cross body and a bad looking rana puts Kaz down. Swinger puts Lynn in the figure four as the other two are out on the floor. Sabin and Kaz come off the top to break it up and both get two counts.

It’s Sabin and Lynn alone in the ring with Jerry hitting a hurricanrana and a dropkick for two. Lynn hooks a German suplex on Kaz but Sabin hits a sunset flip on Lynn at the same time for a double two count. Swinger makes the save and puts Sabin in an Indian Deathlock but Lynn puts Swinger in a dragon sleeper at the same time, only to have Kaz hook a reverse cravate on Lynn, all at the same time. Kaz finally turns it around into a double reverse DDT for two on Jerry.

Lynn loads up a dive on Swinger but walks into a superkick from Kaz, allowing Kaz to hit the big dive on Swinger instead. Lynn dives on both guys after getting a running start off an Irish whip from Sabin. Sabin hits a big dive onto all three guys to put everyone down. Sabin monkey flips Kaz into a double clothesline to take the other two down before Sabin belly to back superplexes Kaz off the top in another big crash.

We get the parade of finishers with Lynn hitting a TKO on Swinger for two. Kaz gets two on Sabin after a slingshot DDT and the Tower of Doom gets two for Jerry. Swinger hits a Boss Man Slam for two on Lynn and a spinning backbreaker gets the same for Sabin on Kaz. Sabin’s tornado DDT puts Swinger on the floor and Lynn counters a piledriver on Kaz into Sheamus’ White Noise for two. Sabin and Kaz are left alone in the ring with Chris hitting a MuscleBuster on a crotched Kaz for the pin and the titles.

Rating: C+. This was fun but it was every stereotype of a multiman cruiserweight match you could think of rolled into one. The problem with this comes down to feeling like I’ve seen it all before which doesn’t make it all that exciting. The ending was obvious of course but there’s only so much you can do about that.

Here’s Shane Douglas with something to say. We get the required ECW chant before Shane goes on a rant about Vince McMahon and how he made ECW into an awesome place. Shane rips on the national rugby team and New Zealand in general, saying New Zealand is the stepchild of Australia. The question is who made ECW great: Shane or Sabu. The fans chant for Sabu as Shane talks about suffering a career ending arm injury a few weeks ago. Shane doesn’t care about the injury and wants to fight Sabu right now.

This brings out Joe E. Legend who says we can’t do that because he knows more about Shane than any other wrestler in the world. Legend is hurt because he wanted to see Douglas beat up Sabu. He insults New Zealand as well as Borash rifles through disclaimers about how WWA doesn’t think this badly about the country. Legend lists off Douglas’ accomplishments and we get the WHAT treatment. This just keeps going as we’re waiting on Sabu to come out. Legend offers to fight Sabu for Shane and that’s all cool.

Sabu vs. Joe E. Legend

Shane jumps in on commentary to further annoy me. Legend quickly takes it to the mat into a headscissors before we get to the insane stuff. Joe wins a quick slugout and chokes in the corner but gets caught in a springboard tornado DDT for two. We head to the floor for a flip dive by Sabu before Legend stomps away back inside. They head back outside for a big springboard dive from Sabu as Shane blames Sabu for killing ECW.

We get our first table brought in but Legend runs him over with a clothesline before it could be set up. Sabu is busted open as Legend spears him into the barricade. Some right hands have no effect on Joe so he gets two off a big boot to the face back inside. We hit the chinlock until Legend kicks a chair into Sabu’s back for no cover. Sabu pelts the chair into Joe’s face and an Arabian facebuster with the chair gets two.

There’s the camel clutch on Legend but Joe gets to the ropes pretty quickly. Legend comes back with a northern lights suplex as the fans want the table. Joe is sent to the apron and knocked over the table so we can brawl on the floor a bit. That goes nowhere so Joe takes him back inside and gets two off a powerbomb. Sabu crotches him on the top and hooks a top rope rana for two. Joe avoids a top rope splash and kicks Sabu in the head for two. A chokeslam powerbomb gets two on Sabu but the fans still want the table.

Legend’s Vader Bomb only hits chair and an Arabian Press gets two. Air Sabu is caught in a fireman’s carry drop sending Sabu face first onto the chair. Sabu finally puts him on the table and the triple jump legdrop sends Legend through it to pop the crowd. Back in and the chair is pelted into Legend’s face again before going up top. After breaking up a superplex attempt, the top rope Arabian Facebuster is good for the pin.

Rating: D. This wasn’t terrible but it was LONG, running nearly 18 minutes, or a lot longer than any Sabu match should last. Legend was decent enough but he isn’t the most exciting guy in the world. All the fans wanted to see was Sabu put someone through a table so the match could have ended after that point. Not bad, but WAY too long.

Shane and Legend lay out Sabu with Shane’s cast.

Here’s WWA boss Andrew McManus to introduce Bret Hart. This is just after his stroke so Bret isn’t in the best condition. Bret talks about hearing from someone in the WWE who said his stock was at an all time low when he appeared on a WWA show. He doesn’t have stock in wrestling because he’s long since retired. Yesterday was the four year anniversary of Owen’s death and Owen would be proud of Bret for being here.

Hart talks about British Bulldog, Miss Elizabeth and Curt Hennig all passing away in the past year. After his stroke he got emails from all over the world and he thought it was because he was the world champion and not just the WWE Champion. Bret says the Hitman is a real character and what you see is what you get with him. He thanks the fans and leaves so the main event can happen. This was designed to be a feel good moment and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Jarrett says he’s going to leave with two world titles.

WWA World Title/NWA World Title: Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett

They fight over a lockup to start with Sting shoving Jarrett away. A pair of shoulder put Jarrett down and we have a standoff. Jeff comes back with right hands and struts a bit but Sting comes back with some atomic drops and a bulldog to send Jeff to the outside. They head to the floor for some brawling with Jeff being sent into the announce table over and over.

Back in and Gilbertti is freaking out over Sting destroying his work area. Sting fires down right hands at Jeff’s head but Jarrett hits him low to escape. Jarrett sends him face first into some buckles but keeps stopping to pose. Gilbertti: “Right now Sting is on queer street.” A clothesline gets a few near falls for Jarrett as Gilbertti points out that Jeff clearly isn’t going to pin him so why let Sting get a breather instead of pounding on him?

Jeff elbows Sting in the jaw but still won’t go in for the kill. Instead he puts on a sleeper but Sting elbows out, only to have his splash hit Jeff’s knees. Back up and they ram heads to set up Sting’s collapsing headbutt to the groin. Sting misses the Stinger Splash but saves himself from crashing, only to play possum on Jarrett.

Jeff gets the guitar but Sting hits it with the bat to save himself. Some bat shots to the knee sets up the Stinger Splash but the second hits the referee. There’s the Scorpion Death Drop but there’s no referee. Instead Joey Legend comes out with the guitar but Rick Steiner makes the save. Sting splashes both villains but Rick breaks up the Scorpion with a guitar shot to the head to give Jarrett the pin.

Rating: C-. It’s Jarrett vs. Sting with both guys somewhat trying. This is one of those pairings where you know they’re going to put on a passable match no matter what they do so this isn’t a surprise at all. It’s interesting to see Sting when he was still somewhat young and trying so the match wasn’t a disappointment at all.

Overall Rating: D+. It’s not worth watching but this wasn’t the worst show in the world. It’s about two hours long and two of the good matches run over twelve minutes each so there’s some redeeming value here. The promotion closed after this which was the right move. TNA was taking the place that WWA was designed to fill so there was no point to this company existing anymore. This could have been a lot worse though so at least they didn’t go out on the bottom.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my book on the History of Starrcade from Amazon for just $4 at:

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1 comment

  1. RJAY63 says:

    Thanks for the review KB! 🙂