TNA Weekly PPV #17: No One, I Repeat No One, Cares About Brian Lawler

TNA Weekly PPV #17
Date: October 23, 2002
Location: Tennessee State Fairgrounds Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Don West, Mike Taney

The big match tonight is Lynn vs. Siaki in the showdown of a well built feud. Unfortunately it probably won’t get as much coverage as Jarrett/Lawler/Killings/Sadler because that’s the major story around here anymore. Not that it’s interesting or anything, but they’re the big stories and that’s what we’re getting. The good news though is things are starting to pick up a little big and is now up to boring instead of horrible. Let’s get to it.

There are graphics for the matches coming up later tonight. I don’t remember those on earlier shows.

Amazing Red vs. Kid Kash vs. Joel Maximo vs. Jose Maximo vs. Elix Skipper

Elimination rules and the winner gets an X Title shot next week. Skipper quickly dropkicks Jose out to the floor before Red dropkicks Skipper and Kash out to the floor. Red loads up a big dive but gets clotheslined down by Joel, who hits a big dive of his own. That’s fine with Red as he hits a dive onto all four of them to fire up the crowd in a hurry. Kash goes in and hits a dive of his own, with the wrestlers nice enough to look at him all the way down.

Joel has Kash in a Gory Special so Red gets in front of Joel like he’s in a Liontamer. Jose wraps Red’s neck up in some kind of a leg hold but Skipper puts Jose in a camel clutch for a five way submission. That’s…..really freaking stupid looking actually. Skipper finally lets go and dropkicks the whole pile down. Joel botches a headscissors on Skipper but gets two off a German suplex. Jose hits a bad looking hurricanrana on Kash before jumping into a dropkick to the chest. Kash tries a running hurricanrana to the top to the floor but mostly just lands on the back of his head. The botches are strong with this one.

Kid redeems himself a bit with a tornado DDT off the table to Joel as Red and Jose go into a somewhat insane countering sequence, culminating with Jose getting two off a sitout powerbomb. Skipper counters Jose’s tornado DDT before walking the top rope into a hurricanrana for an even closer two. Kash comes in off the top with a clothesline to Elix for another near fall but gets caught in a spinning powerbomb. Red breaks up the cover for no apparent reason before kicking Skipper in the face for no cover.

Kash runs the top rope on Red and hits a kind of top rope gorilla press of all things for no cover. Kid follows up by throwing Joel off the top for two but Jose breaks up the pin. Were the wrestlers not told this was elimination? Skipper hits a quick Play of the Day to eliminate Jose and thankfully keeping me from having to tell which Maximo was which. Skipper dives on Joel but gets kicked into an over the shoulder piledriver (Maximo Explosion) for the elimination. Kash takes Joel down with a top rope hurricanrana and hits the Money Maker for a pin.

We’re down to Red vs. Kash with Red hitting a spin kick to the face for two. West makes things confusing again by referring to Red as the kid. Kash comes back with something like a Whisper in the Wind for two followed by a pinfall reversal sequence for a series of near falls. The Bankroll (fisherman’s buster) gets two on Amazing and a BIG springboard cross body gets the same. Red fights out of a superplex attempt and hits Infrared (a very spinning flip dive) for the pin and the title shot.

Rating: C+. This was what you want for an opening match, especially with cruiserweights: let them fly around the ring like crazy for about twelve minutes and let the crowd get fired up. No the wrestling wasn’t much more than flips and dives and botches, but this wasn’t supposed to be Flair vs. Race.

Brian Christopher is looking for his girlfriend April because this story just won’t end.

Package on the Hotshots attacking Harris and Storm last week after AMW successfully defended the Tag Team Titles.

Tag Team Titles: Chris Harris/James Storm vs. Hotshots

Be AMW already. The Hotshots are Cassidy O’Reilly and Chase Stevens. The champs waste no time and start the brawl fast, easily sending the Hotshots to the floor. Harris sends Cassidy into the barricade as the announcers can’t remember if his last name has an O’ or not. Storm counters a Stevens dive into a powerbomb on the floor before planting him with a snap suplex. The timekeeper is thrown to the floor and there’s blood coming from someone.

The match finally settles down with Storm throwing Stevens around and Harris coming in with a running bulldog. Stevens accidentally knocks O’Reilly to the floor where he’s able to trip up Harris to take over. Storm is knocked off the apron so Cassidy can put Harris in a half crab. O’Reilly is no Lance Storm so the hold doesn’t do much good and it’s back to Chase for some stomping.

Chris nails the spear out of nowhere though, allowing for the hot tag to Storm. Everything breaks down with the champions taking over until Storm is sent outside. The Catatonic is broken up by a superkick for two and Storm grabs Stevens for a strange looking move called the 8 Second Ride (think White Noise but Storm spins him around very fast into a downward spiral) for the pin to retain.

Rating: C-. Not bad here but I don’t care for that finishing move from Storm. It’s more complicated than it needs to be for that payoff. The Hot Shots are a team that popped up in TNA for years to come but never meant anything at all. To be fair though, they had a pretty low ceiling with a generic name like the Hot Shots.

We recap Lynn vs. Siaki which is disrespect vs. experience.

Jerry says his knee is banged up but wrestlers don’t have an off season. Siaki isn’t going to use him to get a rub because this is what Jerry Lynn does. Brian Lawler gets in front of the camera, still looking for his girlfriend.

Jerry Lynn vs. Sonny Siaki

The fight starts on the floor as you would expect it to do. Jerry knocks him into the crowd but bangs up his knee on a dive over the barricade. Lynn limps around ringside before they get in the ring for the opening bell. Siaki wisely goes right for the knee and drops in some elbows but Jerry fights up again. Lynn hits his legdrop with Siaki’s neck over the ropes but it just injures the knee even worse.

Sonny is a smart villain and wraps the knee around the post a few times to take over even more. A clothesline to the back of Lynn’s head sets up a modified Indian deathlock followed by a very modified leglock while pulling on Lynn’s arms. When Jerry makes the ropes, Siaki just drives the bad knee into the mat. A figure four is broken by with Siaki being sent into the post shoulder first, allowing Lynn to grab a rollup for the pin out of nowhere.

Rating: C. This was all about the story instead of the action but there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m sure we’ll get a rematch but there’s a good story here to carry it to the next stage. Old vs. new is an idea that is going to work most of the time, except for when Bischoff ran it every month or so.

Siaki puts Lynn in a half crab for awhile post match. Lynn is helped to the back by referees.

Video on Ron Killings vs. Curt Hennig from last week where Mr. Wrestling 3 interfered to help Killings win. They have a rematch tonight.

Here are BG James and Curt Hennig with something to say. Instead of talking about Killings, Hennig talks about Jeff Jarrett being a Curt Hennig wannabe. He beat Jarrett from one end of this building back when Jarrett was a rookie. Curt brings up the West Texas Rednecks and says the guitar was a ripoff from the band. That’s a bit of a stretch I’d think but it’s close. Curt wants a piece of Jarrett next week no matter what happens this week since he’s the guy that took down Brock Lesnar at 35,000 feet (a reference to the Plane Ride From Hell, a real incident that got Hennig fired from WWE).

Jarrett is seen in the back with Brian Lawler but Lawler says he can’t go out there with Jeff because he’s waiting on his April. BG James insults Lawler and says he wants a piece of him man to man anytime. We also get the Get It Got It Good catchphrase which really isn’t catching on.

Mike tells us about an auction on TNA’s website to benefit the families of the victims of the DC sniper.

Here’s an unexpected Scott Hall with something to say. He’s been trying to be a good boy since he got here and he’s tired of it. Now he’s going to do whatever he wants and that means he wants Jeff Jarrett now instead of waiting for later. Jeff comes to the ring and the match is on now.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Scott Hall

It’s Hall in control early on but they get into a chase on the floor with Jarrett getting in a cheap shot as they come back in. Hall comes back with the fall away slam and Jeff tries to leave. They fight around the set and into the dark with Jarrett hitting him with a trashcan. Scott one ups him with a chair to the back and they head to ringside again. The Edge is countered with a backdrop over the top rope and Hall is in trouble again.

Jarrett loads up the steps but does nothing with them, instead sending Hall back into the ring. Jeff hammers away in the corner and hits the running crotch attack on the ropes. A swinging neckbreaker gets two on Scott and we hit the sleeper. Hall finally fights up with a belly to back suplex to put both guys down. Back up and Jarrett clotheslines the referee down, allowing Jarrett to blast Scott in the head with a chair.

Hennig runs in for the save but there go the lights. They couldn’t even pay the bills back then? Truth pops up on screen and says he’ll be in Curt’s business like a rectal thermometer. The lights come back on and Brian Lawler jumps Hennig. This brings out BG James to chase Lawler off as Hennig hits Jarrett low. The Edge is enough for Hall to pin Jarrett.

Rating: D+. The brawling wasn’t bad but man alive this multi-man main event scene is driving me crazy. It’s just not all that interesting as Lawler’s issues with his girlfriend are ridiculously dull and the whole thing is just a big fight that goes on and on. We need to get to a story soon and hopefully over the title.

We see a few seconds of Lawler vs. James last week.

BG James vs. Brian Lawler

Of course it’s a brawl to start with Lawler getting the better of it. Almost as I type that, Lawler misses a charge and falls out to the floor. The brawl heads to the ramp and Lawler is crotched on the barricade. BG pulls on his leg and Lawler of course freaks out because he’s uncomfortable with any male doing anything to his crotch. They head to the announce table and Lawler looks around for April, allowing BG to hit him a few times with a chair. West: “We have got to move this table somewhere else next week.”

Lawler whips him into the steps to take over before stealing a chair out of the crowd. That goes badly though as BG takes it away and hits Lawler in the head. Brian looks…..confused by the head shot and they head back inside for the shaky punches. Lawler comes back with right hand of his own but Syxx-Pac is on the apron kissing Lawler’s girlfriend. He falls off the top and crotches himself, allowing BG to get the easy pin.

Rating: D. Now please let the story be over. This thing has been going on FAR too long now and the interest just isn’t there. I have no idea why I’m supposed to care about Lawler’s issues with his girlfriend but the story gets about five segments every week. It’s just not interesting but TNA keeps going with it over and over again.

The announcers talk about what we just saw.

We look at AJ Styles almost winning the X-Division Title last week with the help of his new manager Mortimer Plumtree but the match ended in a disqualification. They also have a rematch tonight.

X-Division Title: Syxx-Pac vs. AJ Styles

AJ is challenging. Before the match Pac gets the mic and says he thinks this should be No DQ so we don’t have the same ending as last week. He also warns Plumtree against interfering. Feeling out process to start with Styles being sent to the outside. A big flip dive takes the challenger down and a spinwheel kick back inside does the same. There’s a surfboard to AJ before he’s sent to the floor again and into the barricade.

Pac throws the steps at Styles but only hits more steps, allowing AJ to send him into the post. Back inside and the Spiral Tap connects for two. I don’t remember anyone kicking out of that before. AJ cranks on both of the champion’s arms followed by the moonsault into a reverse DDT for two. Pac comes back with the spinwheel kicks and a sitout powerbomb for two. A lot of smaller guys use that move for some reason.

The Bronco Buster connects but Pac spends too much time posing and gets powerbombed out of the corner for two. Pac grabs the X-Factor but Plumtree pulls the referee out of the ring. Styles hits Plumtree by mistake but is able to grab Pac in a German suplex for two. Pac gets to the ropes to escape the Clash but Brian Lawler (erg) comes out and blasts Pac in the head with I think a bottle, allowing Styles to hit the Clash for the pin and the title.

Rating: C. Not a bad match here but man alive I am sick of Brian Lawler. He’s all over this show and stopped being interesting after about eighteen seconds on television. AJ being champion again makes sense as he’s far more important to the company’s future than Syxx-Pac and a win over Pac is a good thing for his status.

Pac raises Styles’ hand post match because it was No DQ so it wasn’t really cheating. Lawler hits Pac in the back of the head with the belt.

Jorge Estrada vs. Ace Steel

Steel takes him down to the mat and rides Estrada for a bit. Plumtree isn’t out here with Ace this week due to celebrating with AJ. Jorge counters a leapfrog into a powerslam for two before getting two off a suplex. This time it’s Steel countering a headscissors out of the corner into a side slam followed by a middle rope seated dropkick in a nice move.

Estrada tries to bail to the floor but gets caught by a suicide dive. Ace shoves Jorge’s chick Priscilla down, causing Estrada to come back with a running DDT on the floor. Back in and Ace gets two off a superplex. Neither guy can hit their finisher so Steel gets a pair of near falls off a pair of northern lights suplexes. Priscilla grabs Ace’s foot, giving Estrada a quick rollup for the pin.

Rating: C. This was fine but it’s nothing we haven’t seen done better multiple times before. Steel isn’t much to see but there are far worse talents on the roster. The match came off as filler, but at least there’s something to it with Plumtree switching over to Styles instead of being in Steel’s corner.

Post match Steel goes after Estrada, drawing in Priscilla for the save. This goes badly as Ace slams her down. Plumtree comes out as well but gets in a fight with Priscilla instead.

Here’s Syxx-Pac with something to say. He talks about being out here several times tonight so he’ll make this quick. There are a few reasons he lost the X Title tonight but the biggest of them all is that AJ Styles is a world class wrestler and he won the match. On top of that though, he was worried about messing with Brian Lawler in a rib and it cost him. The truth is that April is hot but he wants to fix things with Lawler right now, winner gets April.

Here’s a stressed out Lawler who says he doesn’t want April anymore because she’s damaged goods. April comes out and says she loves Brian and that Pac forced her to kiss him. Brian whines like a 13 year old girl and the fight is on until security comes out to ruin all the Brian Lawler fun.

Don West hypes up next week’s show.

NWA World Title: Ron Killings vs. Curt Hennig

Curt is challenging and takes it to Truth to start before it heads outside. Killings sends him into the barricade and loads up the side kick, only to crotch himself on the steel. Curt chops away but gets choked with a camera cable. We get a pelvic thrust at the crowd from the champion followed by a middle rope legdrop from Truth for two. The ax kick connects but Truth doesn’t cover, instead hitting a middle rope fist to the head. Still no cover as the champion takes him into the corner for some eye raking.

A wheelbarrow slam is good for two on Hennig but Curt comes back with some more chops. Curt puts on an ankle lock of all things when the chops get old. Truth is quickly in the ropes so Curt kicks him low and backdrops Truth down for no cover. Mr. Wrestling 3 tries to interfere but gets taken down by a knee lift from Hennig. Curt goes for the mask but Truth hits Hennig in the back of the head with brass knuckles to retain the title.

Rating: D+. This was way better than last week as it was at least a match. It still wasn’t all that great or anything though as Hennig just didn’t have all that much in the ring at this point. Truth didn’t do much to help his cause either as he was mainly all talk and a bunch of kicks. He needed the right kind of opponent and an old southern guy like Hennig wasn’t it.

Overall Rating: D. This wasn’t their worst show by far but the stupid main event storylines are still dragging this show into the ground with Brian Lawler being the top culprit. The story with he and April is just horrible as I have no reason to care about either of them. If those stories with Jarrett and Hennig and Lawler etc are going to dominate the company, then the title needs to be involved as well. There’s stuff here, but it needs a few more edits before it gets good.

 

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