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4/2 NWA-TNA PPV review: Allinson's "alt perspective" report

Apr 3, 2003 - 1:56:00 PM
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NWA-TNA pay-per-view #39
April 2, 2003
Live from Nashville, Tenn.
By Gregg Allinson, Torch Team Contributor


From the centre of the ring, Glen Gilbertti calls this the most important night of D-Lo Brown's life and calls Brown out for a pep talk. Brown refuses to come out. Gilbertti is disappointed, but can understand why Brown doesn't trust anybody and recounts the end of last week's show, where Jeff Jarrett legitimately busted Brown's head wide open with a chair shot. Gilbertti compares Jeff Jarrett to Anakin Skywalker just before he turned to the dark side (which means finally somebody's picked up on a joke I started doing in 1999, when Jarrett was called "The Chosen One" in WCW. Anytime somebody called him that, I asked "He's the one who will bring balance to the Force?" But I digress). On the other hand, SEE cares about D-Lo. A.J. Styles bolts towards the ring and starts punching Gilbertti. They end up outside the ring, where Styles maintains the upper hand until he takes the steps from ringside, sets them up, runs up, dives off, right into a chair Gilbertti has waiting. Gilbertti takes Styles back into the ring as Raven arrives and plops himself in a corner to watch the fight. Styles attacks until security separates him from Gilbertti. Styles briefly breaks free, but is quickly restrained again and hauled off. Raven picks up a chair and talks to Gilbertti. Brown runs in, grabs Raven by his wrist, and spins him around. The two shout at each other, but SEE quickly breaks them up.

"Earlier today," Mike Tenay sat down with Konnan and Jerry Lynn. The segment was originally slated to be a one-on-one interview with Jerry Lynn, but Konnan insisted he be included in the discussion. Konnan is still upset over what he sees as American promoters ripping off the lucha libra style and renaming it, first in WCW as the Cruiserweight division, then in TNA with the X-Division. Lynn continues to maintain that he has the utmost respect for luchadors, that he and "X-Pac" used to watch lucha tapes and try to learn from them, and that it was a thrill to work over in Mexico. Tenay is still a lucha fan. Konnan does an "aw, shucks, I didn't know you felt that way. I'm sorry" routine and owns up to being the one behind the mystery luchador's attack on Lynn last week, going so far as to give Lynn the luchador outfit as a sign of respect and trust. Either Jerry Lynn is really dumb or I've been watching wrestling too long, 'cause I knew Konnan was gearing up for another attack on Lynn when I saw this. In regards to his X-Division title match, Lynn says it's about time. Tenay and Konnan wish him luck.

From the rafters, Goldylocks talks to Raven, who drones on about the crushing burden of his destiny to become NWA World Champion and tries to get the fans to shut up. As much as I like Raven, his promos are seriously starting to border on self-parody.

Your usual superb Jeremy Borash video recap package, this one focusing on Dusty Rhodes' match with David Flair last week and his ongoing efforts to teach the NWA Next Generation some respect for tradition.

(1) Grandmaster Lawler (w/David Flair) defeated "Wildcat" Chris Harris. Lawler bodyslams Harris, then stalls for what seems like an eternity. Finally, he locks up with Harris, tosses him off the ropes, and catches him with a shoulderblock. Lawler attempts to follow up with an enziguiri, but Harris dodges it and hits Lawler with a flying clothesline. Lawler begs for mercy, but he gets punched over the top rope instead. Lawler goes to the announcer's table and has a temper tantrum, smashing a water bottle on the table, then getting back in the ring.

On the ring apron, Flair taunts Harris. Lawler charges at Harris, who catches him with a drop toe hold. Harris punches Lawler until Lawler rakes him across the eyes. Lawler misses a cross body block, but Harris hits one for a two count. Flair grabs Harris's leg, tripping him. Lawler pulls Harris's hair. Lawler distracts the referee as Flair chokes Harris. Lawler catches Harris with a neckbreaker for a near fall, then rams his head into a turnbuckle and punches him back into a corner. Lawler goes to the top and ends up jumping right into Harris's fist. The two slug away at each other. Lawler runs towards Harris, who powerslams him and seizes control of the match with a back body drop and DDT. Harris pins Lawler while Flair talks to the referee. Harris confronts Flair. Lawler rushes towards Harris, who ducks, but stops just short of Flair. Harris nails Lawler with a spear for a pinfall attempt that's broken up by Flair. Harris leans over the ropes and pulls Flair up by his hair. Lawler picks up Flair's NWA World Title belt and again runs towards Harris, who ducks once more. This time, Flair and Lawler collide. Harris rolls up Lawler, but Lawler kicks out.

Harris and Lawler get into a tug-of-war over the title belt. Harris wins it and drops the belt to the mat. Harris gives Lawler a catatonic onto the belt, but again, Flair distracts the referee. Harris punches Flair off of the ring apron, only to have Lawler hit him in the back with the belt. Lawler pins Harris for the victory.

After the match, Flair stomps on Harris and bodyslams him. Lawler continues the assault with a legdrop. Dusty Rhodes ambles into the ring and clotheslines Lawler and Flair. Rhodes picks up the belt, but again, Lawler seizes it from him. Rhodes remains in the ring while Flair and Lawler watch him from the outside. Rhodes is going to try to "'splain himself." He says that tradition means you don't go to Babe Ruth's house, talk to Mrs. Babe, and ask if you can go through Babe's closet. Tradition means you don't go to Muhammad Ali, take one of his old title belts, and parade around the mall with it. Rhodes earned his title working the hard way, starting when he was 19 and getting his brains squeezed out by Fritz Von Erich. He's not a daddy's boy like Flair and Lawler. A huge "Daddy's Boy" chant breaks out. Rhodes says he'll get the title back, even if he has to form a posse, and asks the crowd if they want to be part of his posse. Well, of course they do. Grandmaster Lawler, ever the king of wit, says that Rhodes couldn't get any posse if he were the last man on Earth. I get it. You see, posse sounds like, oh, never mind.

Lawler calls Rhodes an old fat man. Rhodes mockingly acts like he's in severe pain over being called fat. Dusty Rhodes is the greatest man on the face of the planet. Lawler says that what really hurts Rhodes is the fact that he's got the belt. Rhodes challenges Lawler to a Bunkhouse match, but Lawler declines. He'll put the title up in his own match- a ladder match. Rhodes accepts, vows to study tapes of ladder matches, and says he'll stick the ladder right up Lawler's ass.

Backstage, Goldylocks talks to Sandman and Saturn. She asks Saturn who their mystery partner is in their match against the Harris Brothers and Christopher Daniels. Saturn tells her never mind that- where do SEE get off calling themselves "extreme?" James Mitchell walks in and offers to repay his debt to Sandman and Saturn for their help last week by loaning them either Brian Lee or Slash as a partner. Sandman angrily rejects his offer, saying they've got the situation covered. Mitchell sighs, adding that sometimes in a man's life, he needs to take things into his own hands. Saturn grabs him and says he doesn't know if that's meant to be a threat or a promise, but if he wants, Mitchell can bring his shit.

(2) Trinity defeated Alexis Laree. Laree shoves Trinity. Trinity backs Laree into a corner. The two lock up. Laree twists Trinity's arm, but Trinity flips around and takes Laree down, locking her in an armbar. Laree escapes by pulling Trinity's hair, then whips her off the ropes. Trinity head-scissors Laree, who rolls out of the ring, begging for a time out. Trinity chases Laree around the ring until Laree gets back in and kicks Trinity in the face. Laree stomps Trinity, pulls her hair, and kicks her. Laree tries to put Trinity away with a basement dropkick, but only gets a two count. Laree unloads more kicks and tosses Trinity through the ropes. Laree rams Trinity into a guardrail, then tries taking her out with an enziguiri, but again only gets two. Trinity goes on the offensive with a dropkick, clothesline, and spin kick. Trinity goes to the top rope, but Laree follows her up and tries superplexing her. Trinity blocks the move, so Laree settles for clubbing her in the back instead. Trinity pushes Laree off and goes for a moonsault, but Laree rolls out of the way. Again, Raven enters the ring and sits in a corner as the women struggle to their feet. Kid Kash waits at the entrance ramp, subtly wearing a "Heel Section" t-shirt. Trinity superkicks Laree and flips onto her for a three count.

Swiftly, Raven Evenflows Trinity and kidnaps Laree. Kash walks away without checking on Trinity or seeking revenge on Raven.

Backstage, inspirational babyface Jeff Jarrett chokes non-wrestling woman Goldylocks for daring to use insider lingo. Between the Anakin Skywalker reference and Jarrett beating up women who can't defend themselves, I think Vince Russo's been partying like it's 1999.

(3) Sandman & Perry Saturn & New Jack defeated the Harris Brothers (Ron & Don) & Christopher Daniels. The lights went out after the SEE trio were in the ring and Team ECW was on the ramp. I'd heard reports that the third man was going to be Sabu, but nope- it's New Jack, the man who made me an ECW fan. Jack hits Daniels and his partners with a trash can lid. Team ECW celebrates in the ring as SEE stare at them from the outside.

Saturn backdrops Daniels into the ring and clotheslines him. Saturn continues to slug away at Daniels until he catches him with a beautiful German suplex. Daniels gets up and rams Saturn head-first into the SEE corner. The Harris Brothers pound away at Saturn, then toss him right into a Christopher Daniels dropkick. Daniels continues his offense with a Russian leg sweep, followed by a double springboard moonsault for a two count. Saturn strikes back with a sit-out powerbomb. The Harrises run in and everybody ends up fighting at ringside.

Don and Saturn are the first two back in the ring. Saturn dropkicks Don for a near fall. After Don kicks out, Saturn clotheslines him. Sandman and Daniels get back in the ring as Ron and Jack fight in the back of the Asylum, near some tables. Jack goes to the balcony, trying to drive Ron through one of the tables, but "Killdozer" Brian Lee shows up and pushes Jack through the other table. James Mitchell laughs as Lee walks down and brutalizes Ron.

Meanwhile, back in the ring, Saturn suplexes Don and tries pinning him, but Daniels pulls the ref out of the ring. Slash runs in and hits Don with a chair. Saturn kicks the chair, sending it into Slash's face. Saturn hits the Death Valley Driver on Don for the win.

Following the match, Mike Barton (a.k.a Bart Gunn)- clad in a SEE shirt- gives Saturn a powerbomb and Death Valley Driver. Barton looked a lot like a fatter, older Jamie Noble.

Backstage, Goldylocks asks Kid Kash why he didn't help Trinity. He say he's told her over and over to stay in her corner, but she's taken it upon herself to try to get herself over. Now Kash is going to show her where her place is.

(4) David Young defeated Sonny Siaki (w/Desire). I'm sorry, but I just love the way Jeremy Borash says "De-SIGH-errr" when he introduces her. Sadly, that's the best thing Sonny Siaki has going for him right now. At least he's wearing a belt this week. Before the match starts, the referee handcuffs Desire to the ropes. Tenay notes that the NWA Board of Directors (comprised, no doubt, of Ricky Steamboat, Bob Armstrong, J.J. Dillon, and other lost TNA Commissioners) made the decision to handcuff Desire to the ropes after last week, when Siaki and Desire handcuffed Young to the ropes and attacked Athena. Siaki is still outside the ring protesting the ruling when Young runs up onto the ringside steps and huracanranas Siaki. Very impressive, given Young's size. Young whips Siaki into the guardrail, punches him, then spears him. Young rolls Siaki into the ring for a two count. Young does a tilt-a-whirl head-scissors, but again only gets a two count on Siaki. Siaki starts putting together a comeback with a suplex followed by a split-legged moonsault for another near fall. Finally, both men stand back up and chop away at each other. Ric Flair would be proud. Siaki takes Young down with what looks like a reverse uranage to me for yet another near fall. Young continues to show promise.

Siaki backs Young into the ropes and punches Young a couple of times. Young does a desperation running sit out powerbomb. Siaki takes Young down hard with a spinebuster for two. Young does the Siakilypse for two. Young tries a moonsault, but misses. Abrupt ending as Young pins Siaki by blocking Siaki's magistral cradle.

After the match, Athena walks out, bearing a pair of handcuffs. She handcuffs Siaki to the ropes. Young takes the keys to Desire's handcuffs from the ref, gives them to Athena, and Athena unlocks Desire. Desire tries in vain to free Siaki. Young plays keep away with Desire for a moment, then lays her out with a spinebuster.

Ron "The Truth" Killings video package, culminating a flashback to the end of last week's show, where Mabel debuted.

(5) Ron "The Truth" Killings defeated "Prime Time" Elix Skipper. The evil Ron Killings enters the ring through the crowd to a large babyface reaction. Skipper attacks him from behind, then lays into him with kicks and forearms. Killings smashes Skipper with a flying forearm for two. Killings slams Skipper's face down hard and again tries to put him away. Killings sends Skipper over the top rope and nails him with a suicide dive, then whips Skipper into the stairs before rolling him back into the ring.

Killings goes to the top rope. Skipper pulls on the rope, knocking Killings off. Skipper kicks Killings, following up with a diving punch and flying forearm. Skipper takes Killings down with a very sloppy fireman's carry, then locks on the Canadian Maple Leaf. You know, Team Canada's not really dead, so long as Elix Skipper remembers it. Killings escapes, but Skipper tries hooking Killings in the Maple Leaf again. Killings slaps him. Skipper knees Killings in the midsection and pins him, but after only a one count, Skipper mockingly rubs his forearm across Killings' face. The referee stops Skipper and breaks him off from Killings.

Skipper drags Killings over to the ring apron and lays half of his body out of the ring. Skipper lays an axe kick on Killings, sending him to ringside. Skipper whips Killings towards a guardrail, but Killings reverses. Killings tries axe kicking Skipper while he's tied up in the rail, but Skipper dodges and Killings ends up posting himself. Skipper kicks Killings in the face and flings him into the ring. Skipper lands a missile dropkick on Killings for a near fall. Killings takes Skipper up like he's going to suplex him, then snaps Skipper's neck over his shoulder.

Both men slug away at each other from their knees, slowly rising to their feet. Killings punches Skipper down, backdrops him, then whips him into the corner. Killings clotheslines Skipper and suplexes him for a two count. Killings gets another near fall after an axe kick.

Christopher Daniels comes to ringside and tries punching Killings. Killings ducks, then knocks Daniels straight off the ring apron. Skipper tries to capitalize on the distraction by giving Killings a belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall. Killings wins the match by executing a face front suplex off the top rope.

After the match, Daniels enziguiris Killings. Nelson Knight (the artist formerly known as Mabel) rushes in, sit-out powerbombs Skipper, and splashes Double X.

A goofy video of Erik Watts hanging around with Brian Urlacher, Neal McCoy, Ira Dean (who?), Jim McMahon, Mark Rypien and John Daley airs. All that starpower, and still Watts comes off as a nervous dork. Part of me wishes Mike Ditka, Dick Butkis, and Gale Sayers showed up on the video so we could see some sort of Chicago Bears legends reunion, though.

Don West Shill! NASCAR's Jeff Hammond will commentate on one of the matches next week! NWA-TNA/NASCAR legend Hermie Sadler returns! Dusty Rhodes vs. Grandmaster Lawler in a ladder match! Perry Saturn vs. Mike Barton! Sandman's Armed Asylum match (Sandman&New Jack vs. The Harris Brothers; weapons are hidden all over the Asylum)! Coming at you next week!

(6) Kid Kash defeated Jerry Lynn to retain the NWA X-Title. Kash limps to the ring as West mentions that Kash hyperextended his knee in another match against Lynn in St. Louis this weekend. Lynn and Kash lock up. Lynn takes Kash down with a drop toe hold. Kash kicks Lynn down. Kash dives and tries to pin Lynn. The two dive at each other, each dodging the other, until they end up in a staredown.

Kash and Lynn trade headlocks. Lynn sends Kash into the ropes. Kash hits him with a shoulderblock. Lynn strikes back with some armdrags. Kash slinks over to a corner and begs for mercy. When he stands up, he offers his hand to Lynn, then slaps Lynn across the face. Kash bodyslams Lynn. Lynn hiptosses Kash. Lynn goes off the ropes and tries to roll Kash up, but Kash rolls through and almost pins Lynn. Lynn bridges out into a backslide. Kash attempts a Moneymaker, but he can't lift Lynn up. Lynn spins Kash around in a Gory Special and clotheslines the champion. Kash trips Lynn. Lynn goes for a guillotine legdrop, but Kash avoids him. Lynn falls to the floor. Kash huracanranas Lynn outside the ring.

Kash limps back in and takes Lynn down with a spinning neckbreaker, then drops him on his head for two. Kash stretches Lynn out on the mat. Lynn rolls Kash up for a two count and follows up with a tilt-a-whirl backdrop for another two. Kash drops Lynn's neck across the top rope, but at a heavy price, as he causes further damage to his leg. Kash desperately tries to put Lynn away with a diving splash. After Lynn escapes, Kash and the referee argue. Kash chokes Lynn in the corner, where the two begin to chop away at each other. Kash lands a moonsault for a near fall. Kash again snaps Lynn over the top rope and springboards off the ropes, right into a Lynn dropkick. Lynn blocks Kash's punches and punches him back. Lynn hits a legdrop for two, then a powerbomb for two. Kash slams Lynn down for a two count before trying to go for the Moneymaker again, but Lynn escapes once more. Kash bodyslams Lynn for another near fall. Lynn hits an inverted DDT for two. Lynn takes Kash up with a fireman's carry, but accidentally hits the ref. A mysterious new luchador tornado DDTs Lynn. Kash covers Lynn as the referee wakes up. Very, very good match.

Jarrett-Brown promo package. Clips of Brown getting stitches at Nashville Methodist Hospital at 10:36 pm last Wednesday. Brown cuts a very good promo from the hospital, calling Jarrett a liar when he said there was no glass ceiling in TNA. Brown says that judging by the number of stitches in his head, he's hit the glass ceiling and busted through it.

(7) Jeff Jarrett defeated D-Lo Brown to retain the NWA World Title. Brown punches Jarrett backstage before the ring introductions start. Brown drags Jarrett to ringside. Jarrett punches him back, gets a chair, and levels Brown with it. Brown grabs the chair and hits Jarrett. The two punch away until Glen Gilbertti rushes out and holds Jarrett for a moment, helping Brown. Brown bashes Jarrett's head into the ringside steps, rolls him into the ring, and punches his head. Brown gets a near fall on Jarrett, then kicks the champion into a corner. Brown tosses Jarrett through the middle ropes, again taking the fight to the outside. Brown takes a chair and tries hitting Jarrett, but Jarrett ducks and slams Brown's head into the guard rail and announcer's table. Jarrett commandeers the chair, but Gilbertti is there to steal it. Brown DDTs Jarrett on the Asylum floor.

Back in the ring, Brown locks a sleeper on Jarrett. Jarrett elbows his way out. Brown again tries locking the sleeper in, but Jarrett takes him down with a series of elbows and sets him up for a suplex. After Jarrett suplexes Brown, both men lay on the mat, winded. Eventually, both rise and Jarrett goes all out, trying to end the match with a back body drop and a drop kick. D-Lo floats over Jarrett and Strokes him for a two count. Jarrett returns the favor by giving Brown a sit-out powerbomb for two. Jarrett climbs to the top rope and punches Brown in the corner. The referee tries breaking them up, but Jarrett mistakenly thinks the ref is Glen Gilbertti and clocks him. Gilbertti runs in and lays out Jarrett. As the referee regains consciousness, he counts to two. Jarrett goes to the top rope for a cross body block, but Brown dodges him and again, the ref goes down. Gilbertti and Mike Sanders attack, Sanders laying Jarrett out with his own title belt. Brown covers Jarrett, but again comes up short. Both men clothesline each other. Raven strolls in, once more perching himself in the corner. Sanders accidentally superkicks Brown, allowing Jarrett to set up the Stroke and win the match.

After the match, Raven faces Jarrett. Security breaks them up. SEE enters the ring. Jarrett tells SEE to get out. They do and Raven and Jarrett come to blows. Jarrett punches Raven into a corner. Alexis Laree runs in and pulls Jarrett's hair. Jarrett picks up a chair and lays Laree out with a chairshot to end the show. Well, at least this time, Jarrett beat up a female wrestler in what could be considered self-defense.

The Bottom Line: Why is it that when TNA establishes a successful championship division, it immediately falls apart? Remember how, a few months ago, the X-Division was suffering? Now the tag division- bolstered by strong teams like Triple X, the New Church, and America's Most Wanted- is basically MIA, what with the champions never defending their titles and the premature AMW split on the horizon.

Also, what's up with Killings? He turns heel only to do battle with SEE two weeks in a row? And we're supposed to hate him for beating up a guy who chokes defenseless women? For that matter, are there any faces or heels left in TNA? The New Church, Ron Killings, Jeff Jarrett, America's Most Wanted, D-Lo Brown, Kid Kash, and A.J. Styles all seem to be terribly confused in regards to their allegiances. I know Russo and Gilbertti love to drone on about "realistic" characters, but in the end, wrestling is all about trying to get people to pay to see a heel get their comeuppance in the ring (which is what even the Stone Cold vs. McMahon feud boiled down to). That's hard to do when all of your top guys don't know if they're "good" or "evil." Great wrestling show this week, but an utterly bizarre one from a character and storyline development standpoint.


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