TNA Weekly PPV #16
Date: October 16, 2002
Location: Tennessee State Fairgrounds Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Don West, Mike Tenay
Back to this after a much needed five months away. This company just isn’t interesting at this point but they somehow survived through all this. Syxx Pac is X-Division Champion and gets to defend tonight against AJ Styles in what has the potential to be a solid match. Let’s get to it.
We open with a much needed recap. Jorge Estrada issued a challenge to Sonny Siaki and they square off tonight.
We’re also getting a showdown between Hermie Sadler/BG James vs. Jeff Jarrett/Bruce.
Chris and Rick Michaels get a World Tag Team Titles match tonight after beating one of the Harris Brothers/Sonny Siaki last week.
Jorge Rivera says the Flying Elvises are all shook up but there’s no reason for interviewer Goldilocks to sweat on her blue suede shoes over it. He brings in his new Priscilla and says there’s going to be talent search for the new Elvis. Brian Christopher interrupts and demands to know where his girlfriend April is. Goldilocks doesn’t know and Brian storms off. Jorge says he’s looking for the swivel in the new Elvis.
David Young vs. Brian Lawler
April comes out before the match and Brian is annoyed at her for making him wait. He demands April sit in a chair at ringside before flipping off the fans. Lawler hammers away in the corner but stops to dance. I guess that’s supposed to show his anger? Back up and Young takes over with a hiptoss and a clothesline to put Lawler on the floor. They get back inside and Young charges into a superkick so Lawler can thrust his crotch at the crowd.
In an old Memphis tactic, Lawler gets the referee looking at the crowd and hits David low. Young comes back by loading Brian up for an Alabama Slam but instead spins around and drops him face first on the mat. A DDT gets two for David but he misses a moonsault. Brian misses his top rope legdrop as well so David climbs the ropes again, only to have April wave at him, allowing Brian to hit a middle rope Russian legsweep for the pin.
Rating: D+. Lawler just isn’t working for me in this company. He’s great in Memphis but that’s a very different world than almost anywhere else in wrestling. At the end of the day there’s just no interest in this stupid April storyline and it isn’t getting any better at all. Young never did much for me either.
We recap Sonny Siaki and AJ Styles attacking an injured Jerry Lynn a few weeks and costing him a match against Ron Killings. The beating continued in the back until Jerry was locked in a case. Jerry wanted revenge the next week but was sent through a barricade, forcing him to vacate the X-Division Title.
Here’s Jerry Lynn with something to say. He takes responsibility for his knee injury last week, but next week he won’t take any responsibility for what he does to Sonny Siaki. He’s heard all this stuff before and Siaki is everything that’s wrong with wrestling today. Sonny hasn’t earned any respect at all and doesn’t want to, so next week Jerry will beat the respect into him.
This brings out Siaki who says Jerry is right because he doesn’t respect anyone. He won’t be a jobber like Lynn for the next fifteen years though. Siaki comes to the ring and puts Lynn in a leg lock until some jobbers come out and pull him off. Jerry gets up and goes after Siaki in the corner. The wrestlers and security combined can’t hold him back. Siaki won’t be held back either as the brawl continues. NWA officials come out for the real break up.
Earlier today Tenay talked to Sean Waltman about Waltman being X-Division before there was an X-Division. Waltman is flattered and says the X-Division is about excitement and proving who is the best pound for pound wrestler in the world. Tenay asks if Waltman can have the same impact here that he had in the WWF and WCW. Waltman wants to know if he means the positive or negative impact. He’s a wrestler and has been for fifteen years and that’s why he’s here. Waltman doesn’t have any problems with AJ Styles but he’s ready for the match tonight.
Sonny Siaki vs. Jorge Estrada
Jorge charges to the ring and the fight is on fast. A kick to the ribs hunches Siaki over, allowing Jorge to hit a spinning springboard Fameasser for two. Sonny throws him into the corner but gets caught with a springboard moonsault for another near fall. A suplex puts Estrada on the floor and a pumphandle slam keeps him down.
Back in and Siaki falls down trying a slam but it hurts Jorge for some reason. A double clothesline puts both guys down but it’s Estrada up first with a rolling fireman’s carry and Lionsault for two. Back up and Siaki nails a clothesline for two but Sonny rolls to the floor for a breather. Estrada goes to the top but dives onto the barricade by mistake. Siaki nails the Siakalypse (reverse Cross Rhodes) for the pin.
Rating: C-. Not a terrible match here and it was actually built up over the last few weeks to set things in motion. In other words, there was an actual story and I cared about the match as a result. Siaki and Estrada aren’t the most interesting guys in the world but they’re good for high flying and that’s all they needed to do here.
Jerry Lynn comes out and goes after Siaki until officials run out to break up the big brawl.
Derek Wylde vs. Ace Steel
Steel has Mortimer Plumtree in his corner and is most famous for training CM Punk and Colt Cabana. He has some freaky looking eyes on the way to the ring. Wylde takes him down by the arm to start before rolling out of a wristlock and sending Ace into the ropes. Derek gets his legs under Ace’s arms and pulls him out to the floor before taking him down with a hurricanrana. Back in and Ace rams him into the corner before hitting a nice running dropkick. A superplex drops Wylde and sets up a HORRIBLE looking Widow’s Peak (the Twist of Kane, whatever that means) to give Ace the pin.
Rating: D+. This one didn’t do much for me. Steel is a guy I’ve never been able to get into and Wylde was your generic indy guy who does high flying stuff. This felt like more filler stuff but at least Plumtree wanting to take over the company with his army of guys is a story. It’s not much but it’s better than nothing at least.
Bruce/Jeff Jarrett vs. Hermie Sadler/BG James
Let’s get this over with. Sadler is a NASCAR driver and this is about whether he’s a real athlete or not. Before the match, BG calls Bruce a shemale and a homo but is still the face here. Jarrett says Hermie should be in the Last and the Furious after his recent performance. After those lame or offensive jokes, Jarrett and BG get things going.
A forearm puts Jarrett down and it’s off to Bruce for the usual gestures and “comedy” spots you would expect from Bruce’s gimmick. Sadler comes in as well and is easily taken down with a drop toehold. A bad looking headlock has Bruce in trouble and it’s back to BG who loads up a low blow but thinks there’s nothing there to hurt.
Bruce likes the pumphandle slam too much so BG lets him go. BG is in trouble due to some forearms to the face and knee drops to the chest before it’s back to Jarrett who gets punched in the face. The shaky knee drop gets no reaction and everything breaks down. BG and Jarrett fight up the ramp and Hermie gets two off a backdrop. Brian Lawler lays James out with a trashcan as Sadler counters a sunset flip into the pin on Bruce.
Rating: D-. Looking back, characters like Bruce come off as much more offensive than anything else. The joke isn’t funny and hasn’t been funny for years. Sadler didn’t add anything to this other than some very low level celebrity status, but the match was terrible either way.
Jarrett lays out Bruce with the Stroke post match.
Norman Smiley vs. Ron Harris
The announcers talk about how long it’s been since we’ve seen Norman, which is true as he hasn’t had a match in eleven weeks. Yeah that’s not a very long time overall, but it’s over three fourths of the time TNA has been around. Harris shoves him down to start and shoves him again to break up a cravate. Back up and some clotheslines drop Harris for a few seconds but a slam wears Norman out. Ron doesn’t take kindly to a Big Wiggle attempt and kicks Smiley in the face. Some whips across the ring and a big side slam get two for Harris but a half nelson slam is good for the pin.
Rating: D. Just a squash but at the end of the day there’s nothing interesting about Ron Harris. We know it’s setting up a reunion or showdown with his brother, but neither of those options are going to mean anything. They don’t have characters or anything other than they used to be an uninteresting tag team, but we’re supposed to care?
Ron goes after Norman again post match but Smiley fights back. Don Harris makes the save but stops Ron from attacking Smiley anymore.
Tag Team Titles: Chris Harris/James Storm vs. Rick Michaels/Chris Michaels
For the save of clarity, only Chris Michaels will be referred to as Chris. Harris and Storm are defending and undefeated. Storm runs over Rick with a shoulder to start before sending him out to the floor. Rick goes outside as well before Harris backdrops Storm onto both of them. Harris dives over the ropes to take both Michaels out in a nice dive of his own.
Back in and the challengers take over with some double teaming to Storm with kicks and whips into the corner. A nice dropkick gets two for Rick but Storm escapes over to the corner for the hot tag to Harris. Everything breaks down again with Harris getting two off a cross body.
Harris hits a Cactus Clothesline to send Chris out to the floor, meaning Storm’s reverse tornado DDT gets no count. Chris gets back in and nails Storm for two but Harris knocks Chris to the floor. Storm is sent off the top and into the barricade, allowing the challengers to hit a neckbreaker/top rope elbow combination for two on Harris. Storm takes out Rick, allowing Harris to hit a quick Catatonic on Chris to retain the titles.
Rating: C-. This was probably match of the night so far but that’s not really saying much. The LONG segment at the end with all four guys fighting took away from the good stuff earlier on. It would have worked had there been another five minutes in the middle there but it felt rushed otherwise. Also having two guys named Michaels but emphasizing they weren’t related got annoying. Just say they’re cousins or something and the team will feel more natural.
The Hot Shots attack the champions post match to set up some new challengers. Rick and Chris help with the beatdown as this goes on too long.
X-Division Title: AJ Styles vs. Syxx-Pac
AJ debuts Mortimer Plumtree as his new manager to continue Plumtree’s attempt to try to take over the division. Syxx-Pac is defending and I could have sworn the announcers said this was to be a ladder match or a three way with Low Ki also involved. Feeling out process to start and they trade armdrags to no one’s advantage. Styles grabs a headlock and throws the first right hand as things speed up a bit.
Syxx sends him into the corner and kicks Styles down but AJ bails to avoid the Bronco Buster. Back in and Styles nails a kick to the ribs and crotches Pac against the post to really take over. Plumtree gets in some choking of his own behind the referee’s back, setting up an AJ chinlock. Back up and they chop it out before the champion is sent through the ropes to the floor. Styles follows him out with a HUGE flip dive and the fans aren’t sure if they should cheer or not.
Back in and we hit another chinlock until AJ gets two off a Fameasser. Spiral Tap (called a twisting move by Tenay) misses and Pac nails some big spinwheel kicks to the face. Pac goes up but gets dropkicked out of the air for two. Styles tries his own Bronco Buster but gets kicked to the floor in a nice counter.
A BIG dive takes AJ down as well and they head back inside with both guys in trouble. AJ’s discus lariat takes the referee down by mistake so there’s no one to count a pin off the X-Factor. Plumtree comes in for a distraction as a second referee comes in. Pac hammers away in the corner and shoves away the second referee for the DQ.
Rating: B-. Lame ending to a good match. Plumtree wasn’t much of a manager but it was a surprise for AJ. That being said, it would have been better to have AJ win the title here if you’re going to have him debut a manager. This was the kind of match the show needed after a VERY bad first seventy five minutes.
Don West hypes up next week’s show as only he can.
Earlier today Tenay sat down with Curt Hennig for an introduction. Seriously, they think the fans need an introduction to Curt Hennig? Curt says he’s been successful everywhere so he can get one here too.
NWA World Title: Ron Killings vs. Curt Hennig
Before the match Killings, the champion of course, asks when TNA officials are going to stop hiding behind their titles. He doesn’t like all these people making decisions and trying to downplay minority wrestlers like himself. Tonight, Hennig’s blood is on their hands instead of his. He cranks up the evil by saying everyone’s mama is overrated. Hennig comes out and rants about respect before getting in for the opening bell.
Feeling out process to start with both guys shoving each other into the corner. Hennig takes him down into a front facelock before they head outside. Killings backdrops him onto the announce table and sends him over the barricade for some right hands. Back in with Truth in control as Mortimer Plumtree, Ron Harris and AJ Styles watch from the stage. Truth gets in a shot to the eye and kicks Hennig’s knee out for two. Hennig comes back with a slam but the referee gets knocked down in the process.
Mr. Wrestling 3 sneaks in again and hammers away on Hennig, drawing in some other wrestlers to get rid of him. Security and officials come out for the big pull apart as the bell hasn’t rung yet. Everyone gets out and the match actually continues…..until Truth throws the referee down again. He also nails Jeremy Borash and Bullet Bob Armstrong before grabbing a chair. Armstrong says either get back in there and wrestle or get counted out and be stripped of the belt. Jarrett sneaks in with a low blow to Hennig, giving Truth the pin.
Rating: D. What was the point in having the match continue if they’re just going to have it go on like that? I’m assuming it sets up Hennig vs. Jarrett, but they could have set that up a bunch of other ways. Truth going nuts is fine, but have him against someone more interesting than Bob Armstrong.
Overall Rating: D. Somehow this was an improvement over last week’s mess. Things picked up a bit near the end but the rest of the show was just such a mess. I like the X-Division stuff they’re doing but the main event scene is awful right now. The Jarrett/James/Sadler nonsense is bad enough but then we have Truth ranting about how stupid the corporate structure is.
The problem with that: I totally agree with him (save for the racist stuff). I have no interest in hearing about this tradition and such with guys like Bullet Bob Armstrong from never meant anything on a national stage. All that being said, this was a slight improvement over last week and they’ve got some stuff going with potential for the future. This show was much more boring than bad, and that’s at least a step in the right direction.
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