NWA-TNA Weekly PPV Episode 1 6/19/2002
I'm doing this an the epilogue to WCW. This is really the direct continuation of WCW from when it died in 2001. A brief recap of how we got here: WCW and ECW died in 2001. WWE purchased 24 contracts from WCW, and took a few guys from ECW. After Vince McMahon publicly fired Jeff Jarrett on the final Nitro, he and his father decided to start their own promotion to fill the gap left by ECW and WCW. Since they couldn't get a TV deal, they decided to run weekly PPVs for $9.99 per show. The crew and roster were made up of guys WWE didn't want and young unknowns mixed in with veterans and indie darlings.
Jeremy Borash introduces our announcers for the show. First up is Don West, who is best known for selling baseball cards on TV. He introduces his partner, Ed Ferrara. The former Oklahoma now has dreadlocks and makes a tit reference in his first words. He throws it to head play by play man, Mike Tenay. That bird faced cunt. We will crown a new NWA Champion tonight in a Gauntlet For The Gold match. It's a Royal Rumble, with the final two men having a singles match.
Jeremy Borash brings out some NWA legends, such as Harley Race, Dory Funk Jr., Jackie Fargo (Tenay brings up how impressive it was that he was a first ballot hall of famer for the Wrestling Observer), Bob Armstrong, Corsica Joe and Sarah Lee, Bill Behrens, and Ricky Steamboat. They make a big deal out of Dragon holding the belt he won from Ric Flair. He won the Big Gold Belt from Flair and never held the Dome belt. Ricky talks about defeating Flair and how important the NWA Championship is to him. Ricky will be the referee for the NWA Championship match. Jeff Jarrett comes out. Double J thinks it's bullshit to win the title in a battle royal. Jackie Fargo tells Jeff to kiss his ass. Tenay has gone to the Bischoff school of responding to promos like they're talking to him. Jeff is now going to be the first entrant in the battle royal. This brings Ken Shamrock out! Shamrock agrees with him and buries the concept of the title match. Next, Scott Hall comes out of the crowd! First WCW reference. He also buries the concept of the match. Jeff tells everyone to STICK IT, brothers. Naturally, the best way to open a promotion is to do a 15 minute promo segment with the 3 biggest names you have saying the concept for the main event sucks.
TO THE BACK. Goldylocks talks to Puppet The Psycho Dwarf. Puppet says midgets are the true stars of the country. He wants to see some midget blood. Jeff Jarrett walks by kicking things.
The Flying Elvis Impersonators vs AJ Styles/Low Ki/Jerry Lynn
The Flying Elvises are Jorge Estrada, Sonny Siaki (Power Plant graduate who was cut from WWE) and Jimmy Yang, who was in the Jung Dragons and was also cut from WWE. They come out to a Jimmy Hart version of 3 Door's Down's Kryptonite instead of anything Elvis related. Also, Impersonators was on their name card. Tenay explains the concept of the X-Division. Slick Johnson was the ref. Dives from Lynn and Low Ki. AJ and Yang stay in the ring. Yang does a Flapjack Norton and Shining Wizard. I don't think Don West has ever seen a wrestling match. Back breaker from Lynn. These 3 and another guy will be in a tournament next week for the X Divison Championship. Yang rolls through a tornado DDT that Tenay thought he just no sold. Siaki is basically a Rock rip off, but if Rock stopped growing when he was 12. He does a flipping neck breaker to Ki. Derailer from Sonny. Samoan drop/moonsault combo. Bad looking hanging neck breaker and a standing SSP. The neck breaker was close to being the first botch of TNA. Ki does his kick combo and tags out. Asai reverse DDT from AJ. Don asks why Yang wasn't disqualified for breaking the pin. Ed and Tenay go dead silent for the next 30 seconds trying not to respond. Lynn hits the cradle piledriver. Siaki hits his move on Lynn. Ki accidentally kicks AJ. Yang pins AJ with the Yang Time. I think it was the first time he ever mostly landed it.
TNA Girls dance. In cages. Lol, we got to hear Ed and Don asking the producer if they are going to the ring next.
Hollywood vs Teo Midget Match
This whole match is a botch. Top rope frog splash from Hollywood. Ed makes midgets being the right height for oral sex jokes. Teo wins with some kind of swanton that I'm pretty sure missed entirely. TEO stands for Total E Outstanding.
TNA Girls dance.
Don West and Ed Ferrara give us a sneak peak of next week's lingerie battle royal. Francine, Miss Joanie, "You knew her in the ECW as Daffney....I mean the WCW as Daffney" Shannon, Alexis Laree (Mickie James before she got thick), Incredible Sansha, Erin, Elektra, Taylor Vaughn, and Theresa ??. Every introduction had mics going out, or Don messing up, girls coming out on the wrong cue, and so much more. Francine grabs a mic and buries all of the other girls. Elektra takes offense to Francine being the Queen of Extreme. This is a new company. She then claims Francine singled handedly bankrupted ECW. Francine tears Elektra's top off, even though she had stuff on under it. 35 minutes in and we've had a 15 minute promo with Jeff Jarrett, a midget match, a 6 man tag, and a segment with ex ECW girls SHOOTING on each other.
TNA Girls dance.
TO THE BACK. Goldy talks with Mortimer Plumbtree, who has a paddle. His tag team used to bully him, but now they are his servants, because they owe him their freedom. The Johnsons.
The Johnsons vs Psychosis/Cowboy James Storm
The Johnsons are dudes dressed up to look like walking penises. Richard and Rod Johnson. Sorry about your damn luck, Cowboy. "I thought they outlawed cowboy gimmicks after 1992." Cap guns and everything. It looks like James Storm had yet to discover beer. Slick Johnson is the ref. I wonder if he's related. Tenay says the gimmick is a good one for SWERVING refs. Ryan Shamrock/Symphony walks out, now known as Alicia. "Mortimer was GIVING it to the Johnsons." Boy, this is bad. The Johnsons are awful. And look like dicks. Slick seems to know Alicia and tries to slyly send her away. "I'm not going to say he's getting pounded by a Johnson." YOU CAN'T POWERBOMB KIDMAN! Head and arm dickplexes. Johnson 1 pins James Storm with a TKO. It needs a dick related name. Slick and Alicia have some kind of confrontation after the match. Slick gives her money.
TO THE BACK. Goldy is hit on by The Dupps. Their cousin is also girlfriend to both of them. No beer drinking in the locker room, says Bill Behrens.
Jeremy Borash brings Hermie Saddler and Sterling Marlin out. Midgets, incestuous rednecks, NASCAR drivers, cowboys, Elvis impersonators, girls in cages. Seems about right. This is like This Week in WCW Motor Sports. K-Krush comes out, sick to his stomach over having to hear about race car drivers. Wrestlers are athletes. Race car drivers just drive in a circle. Oh, he's saying "my kind". I thought he was talking about wrestlers, but he's talking about black people. Hermie Sadler bows up and says it's hard to take Truth seriously looking like he looks. Like a muscular black man? K-Krush grabs Hermie which sends Brian Lawler to the ring to make the save. The white NASCAR drivers throw the black man out of the ring to thunderous applause of the Alabama crowd. Brian Christopher nearly calls Truth a "motherfucker", then challenges "Your kind" to face "my kind". What's best about this is they're clearly working a racism angle here, but Brian Christopher dresses and does his best to sound like a black guy. They'll have a match next week.
TNA Girls dance.
TO THE BACK. Jeff Jarrett is choking Jackie Fargo. Security and refs pull them apart.
Christian York/Joey Matthews vs The Dupps
Did you know the Dupps are rednecks and rednecks all fuck their cousins? I can't believe TNA is still around. Would anyone see this show and think they'd still be running shows 11 years later? One of the Dupps is the future Trevor Murdoch. The other one I believe is the one who stole The Kat from Jerry Lawler. I don't know. I don't really care. I hate redneck gimmicks. Or at least this kind of redneck gimmick. I bet Vince McMahon hates himself for not coming up with the Dupps gimmick. Both teams were around in dying ECW, although Trevor Murdoch wasn't part of the team yet. The Dupps win after Fluff Duff (cousin and girlfriend) crotches York on the top rope. They're going to have a threesome now.
TNA Girls dance.
Toby Keith video is shown. Toby then comes out to perform. His guitar isn't mic'd for the first 30 seconds. Fuck, this song is embarrassing and cringe inducing. It's a completely non-ironic AMERICA FUCK YEAH kind of song. Jeff Jarrett comes out and shoves him. Good. This song was fucking terrible. Jeff says no one wants to hear him or that damn song. Jeff is my new favorite wrestler. Tenay says to speak for yourself. I know Tenay doesn't like country. He's a metal head.
Gauntlet For the Gold NWA Championship
Jeff Jarrett is entrant number 1. Buff Bagwell is 2nd in. A nice gut on Buff. Buff actually got brought over to the WWF and was fired after 2 weeks for being terrible and having his mom call in for him. Blockbuster. Buff is eliminated! In comes Lash LeRoux. Lol. Lash looks like he hasn't been to the gym once since WCW folded. Stroke. Lash has been eliminated. NORMAN SMILEY! Best surprise of the show so far. Smiley Slam! Jeff stops the Big Wiggle and eliminates Norman. He should have gone all the way! Next in is Apollo, who was a big star in IWA PR. "Uhhh, Mike, what is the IWA?" He gets the most offense on Jeff so far. K-Krush is next in. Ax (you a question) kick. In comes Slash, the former Wolfie D of PG-13. The Sinister Minister is his manager. Don suggests that Apollo probably doesn't speak English and doesn't know the rules. All 3 announcers go out of their way to bring attention to guys saving other guys. Del Rios is in. Del Rios is a straight rip off of Big Poppa Pump and is actually the former Phantasmo/Spellbinder from USWA and a few WWF shows. He's got the same hair and facial hair as Steiner, plus purple shorts with a Superman logo on it, and he's doing suplexes. Ed lampshades it. Justice enters the match. This is the future Abyss, before he had a mask. Black Hole Slam to fake Steiner. Abyss pretty much looks like a Rhyno if you stretched him up. Konnan is in. FUCKING KONNAN. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. Joel Gertner? He's an entrant? Oh good, he introduces Bruce. Bruce is the former Kiwi, and is accompanied by Lenny Lane. I guess he has replaced Lodi. Well, they mention Lodi so who knows. Rick Steiner is in. The ring is full. Let's start eliminating people please. He should eliminate fake Scott Steiner. He eliminates Slash with a t-bone over the top. Steinerline sends Aybss out. Malice is in. He's The Wall. Chokeslams everywhere. Unsurprisingly, Konnan took the worst one. Kiwi is eliminated. Truth is eliminated. Scott Steiner is eliminated. Konnan is eliminated. FUCK KONNAN. He also took the most pussy bump out of the ring I've ever seen. Rick went for a Steinerline and went flying over the ropes face first. Scott Hall enters the match. "Left the WWF recently by mutual agreement." Fucking lol. I guess "being a drunken asshole on a plane ride" counts as mutual agreement. Razor's Edge to Jarrett. Toby Keith comes out and suplexes Jeff. His bandana came off, showing exactly why he wears a bandana or hat at all times. He looks like Kendall Windham. He and Hall eliminate Jeff. I'm not sure if he was an entrant or not. Apollo and Hall chop the FUCK out of Wall. Chris Harris is next in. Poor Braden Walker. Gangrel (with black hair) comes in before the timer is up. Excuse me, Vampire Warrior. WE KNOW WHO THAT IS. Dangerous Deven Storm AKA Crowbar is in next. This is such a Thunder battle royal. Crowbar tries to chop Braden Walker's nipples off. Steve Corino! He's the only former NWA Champion in the gauntlet. I believe he's the only former ECW Champion in the match as well. Ken Shamrock is in. Lol, Corino tries to SHOOT with him and gets kicked in the head. The final entrant is Brian Christopher, who was announced as such even though he was referred to as Brian Lawler earlier. The timer started up anyway. Crowbar, Harris, and Gangrel are all out. Corino is out. Christopher is out. Final four are Shamrock, Wall, Hall, and Apollo. Apollo is back dropped out. Hall tries the Edge right by the ropes and is eliminated, with the camera missing most of the elimination.
Ken Shamrock vs Malice NWA Championship Special Guest Referee: Ricky Steamboat
It would make more sense to me to have Shamrock be in the match longer than Wall, considering he's much smaller and should be in better shape. Instead, they had Wall be in the ring for half the gauntlet and then have a singles match. Maybe Shamrock refused or wasn't in ring shape to do so. I don't think he had done any pro wrestling since leaving WWE in 1999. Or maybe they could have booked both guys to be in the battle royal for a few minutes and both be fresh for the singles match. Shamrock counters the chokeslam with a cross arm breaker, which I believe he did to Taker in their weird shootstyle match they had. With some help from James Mitchell, he gets to the ropes. Ankle lock! Wall got to the ropes, but Shamrock pulled him back. Wall got to the ropes again. Steamboat gives Shamrock a TEN COUNT to release the hold. Has Steamboat never been in a wrestling match? You have 'till 5, referee. But Steamboat had a spot of his arm dropping 3 times during a sleeper and still continuing as a regular of his. Shamrock belly to bellys his way out of a choke slam. New champion! Ken Shamrock is the new NWA Champion!
TO THE BACK. Jeff Jarrett is still shit talking Toby Keith and Jackie Fargo.
Jeff then comes out, pissed that the title was decided by a battle royal.he decks Bullet Bob. Jackie Fargo and Toby Keith come out. Jackie will have someone to kick Jeff's ass next week. He then calls for Scott Hall and the show ends in a big pull apart brawl.
DQ Count: Shockingly, 0 out of 6 matches.
This is definitely what WCW would have been if WWE hadn't bought them. It has many of the same wrestlers, refs, on screen talent, and production people. Actually, I'd say it had better production values than 2000/2001 WCW, probably had a bigger audience, and definitely looks better than current TNA.
WCW 1999-2001 talent used: Jeff Jarrett, Mike Tenay, Ed Ferrara, The Wall, Lash LeRoux, Crowbar, Jeremy Borash, Symphony, Rick Steiner, Buff Bagwell, Scott Hall, Kiwi, Lenny Lane, Daffney, Sonny Siaki/Chris Harris/James Storm on a technicality since they were on Saturday Night and backstage segments, but never on Nitro or Thunder, Jimmy Yang, Slick Johnson, Scott Armstrong, AJ Styles, Wolfie D, Norman Smiley.
The show was terrible, but it did have an impressive looking crowd and pretty decent production values. But the in ring stuff sucked. As did pretty much everything else. Redneck cousin fuckers, midgets, country music singers, NASCAR drivers making fun of a black man for how he dresses and throwing him from a ring to a huge ovation, ambiguously gay guys, former ECW girls SHOOTING on each other, Elvis impersonators. If you changed a few people, it'd definitely fit in as an episode of Thunder from 2000.
I can't believe TNA is still around. If you saw this show and thought TNA would even be around for a year, I'd think you were an idiot. But there they are, still around 11 years later, having barely grown even with a TV deal.