Torch Flashbacks TNA PPV FLASHBACK (4 Years Ago): Dec. 11, 2002 - Hennig vs. Jarrett, B.G. James, Ron Killings, Styles
Dec 14, 2006 - 7:07:00 AM
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NWA-TNA PPV #25
DECEMBER 11 2002
LIVE FROM NASHVILLE, TENN
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, TORCH EDITOR
Extensive highlights aired last week's angles with Roddy Piper, Vince Russo, Ron Killings, Jeff Jarrett, The Harrises, and the final teaser at the end with Paul Bearer. Nice job on producing the show and making it seem not only watchable, but exciting (unlike last week's "real time" live version).
1 -- JASON CROSS vs. TONY MAMALUKE
Mike Tenay said that Cross looked so good in his match on NWA-TNA Xplosion (their syndicated TV show), that he earned a right to showcase himself on PPV. A minute into the match West had already declared him the next Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy, Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Jushin Liger, and Lou Thesz. Cross hit a nice twisting plancha onto Mamaluke at ringside. They did do a nice job setting up Cross's desire to someday be an X Division Champion. It was one of those matches that had some of those innovative moves where you don't know which wrestlers was on offense and which on the receiving end sometimes. Cross hit an amazingly looking Crossfire (acrobatic shooting star legdrop), but he sold a leg injury afterward. Mamaluke then hit Cross with his finisher for the win.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- Really good for a spotfest. Cross does look to have good ring savvy and natural timing while not looking phony or soft in the process like other indy wrestlers of his ilk.
-B.G. James came out and trash-talked Tenay and West with threats, then attacked Mamaluke. The Harrises joined him. James said Russo wasn't around because he was out recruiting new talent. He said it was Russo's penmanship and his performance that helped launch DX to superstardom in WWE. He said everything going on is for the good of the wrestling business. Bob Armstrong walked out and said he can't believe what's coming out of his mouth. He called Russo a "rat funk phony." Tenay said, "Amen." Bob said he spanked James when he was a kid to teach him right from wrong, so what happened to make him follow Russo? James told his Bob, his father, that he never helped him get to the top. Bob said he won't show favoritism because he's his son, he will treat him equally. He called out Ron "The Truth" Killings, who was holding a chain and chair. Bob said they would fight later until there was a winner. He warned the Harrises that if they interfere, he'll take that as an opportunity to knock them on their asses. He then announced they will be wrestling the Church (Slash & Brian Lee). If they chose not to wrestle, then the NWA paychecks will stop coming their way. The Harrises said they don't give a sh-- what Bob does as long as they get a chance at the titles. Bob said the time for talking is done because the fans want to see wrestling. Bob, of course, finished with some strange story about a snake. James and the Harrises then charged after Bob and Killings. Slash and Lee ran out to equal the sides. Bob ordered security to break up the brawl. The ring filled with a bunch of unknown wrestlers.
-Tenay announced that Jeff Jarrett had just returned from a tour of Europe defending the NWA Title and will be headed to Japan this weekend to defend the title, and that's why they call it the NWA World Title. West then screamed about each of the scheduled upcoming matches.
-Goldy Locks interviewed Jorge Estrada. He said Jimmy Yang won't return his phone calls and Siaki isn't his friend anymore. He said the final straw was his woman, Priscilla, leaving him for Brian Lawler. He said he needs to take a different direction with his career. He said from now on he is playing it by ear. Goldy asked if that meant the FLing Elvises are dead. Estrada didn't say anything and walked away.
2 -- KID KASH vs. JORGE ESTRADA
West talked about how Kash seems pissed off these days because he's not getting mentioned in the same breath as the top X Division wrestlers. This match showed why. Other than Kash's highspots, he's well below the level of the other X Division wrestlers. This was an example of all of Kash's weaknesses magnified as the timing of even the most rudimentary moves was off and there's no way it was just Kash's fault. Both wrestlers seemed to be wrestling in a different timezone. When the match was over, it was a relief because at least they didn't hurt anyone.
WINNER: Kid Kash with a suplex DDT.
STAR RATING: Neg. * -- A disaster of a match, not quite on the proportion of the Tough Enough 2 gals on Raw, but really bad. And you could see in Kash's face afterward that he wasn't happy at all with the match which was quietly, consistently bad from the opening minute. I think Kash and Estrada are going to want to buy and burn every recording of this match.
Scott Armstrong told his father that he was going to go try to figure out what was wrong with B.G. James.
3 -- JAMES STORM & CHRIS HARRIS vs. DIVINE STORM (w/Trinity).
After the men dove onto each other at ringside, Trinity leaped off the top rope onto all four at ringside. In the end, Trinity broke up the Death Sentence finisher by Harris & Storm leading to the quick pin for Divine Storm.
WINNER: Divine Storm.
STAR RATING: ** -- Solid tag match. Some good highspots early and a surprising finish, with decent action in the middle. Divine Storm just don't look major league at all.
-Scott Armstrong confronted B.G. James outside. James said his father took him down dirt roads while he is paving his own super highway.
4 -- A.J. STYLES (w/Mortimer Plumtree) vs. AMAZING RED
Red attacked Styles at the start with a barrage of punches. Styles shoved him off several times. Red gave Styles a sweet jump reverse sidekick followed by the 718 (his version of Rey's 619). When he dove onto Styles at ringside, Styles caught him and turned it into a backbreaker over his knee. In the ring Styles gave Red a nice backbreaker and stomach breaker in rapid-fire fashion. Morty interfered at ringside leading to Styles getting a strong advantage. He dropped Red face-first over the ringside stairs. Red fought back with a huracanrana out of nowhere for a two count. He followed with a roundkick to the back of Styles's head, but Styles reversed Red into an inverted DDT for a near fall. Styles tied up Red into a hold that Tenay didn't even give a name to (see, Michael Cole isn't the only one who skips names for moves). Styles got frustrated when Red still managed to kick out. Red fought back with a series of punches, but Styles came back with a sitdown powerbomb for a near fall. Styles set up the Styles Clash, but Red escaped (even though his shirt covered his face), and he nailed Styles with a spin wheel kick, then went to the top rope and took Styles down with a huracanrana and scored an upset three count. "Do you believe in miracles!" Tenay yelled. Styles took a nice bump on the finishing move.
WINNER: Amazing Red.
STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- Really good match. They did a nice job (the wrestlers and announcers) setting up Styles as the favorite so that when Red won, it seemed like a genuine underdog upset, yet not a fluke, but instead a sign of things to come for Red.
END OF FIRST HOUR
5 -- RON & DON HARRIS vs. SLASH & BRIAN LEE (w/James Mitchell) - NWA World Tag Team Title match.
Styles and Morty joined Tenay and West on commentary. A gasping Styles said, "What happened?" Tenay said he lost. Styles accused him of cheating. Morty threw out a bunch of big words to describe his outrage at what happened, insisting that Red submitted several times. The four wrestlers brawled into the crowd a minute into the match. As Styles and Morty continued to complain, Tenay said they lost and just can't take it. Styles threw the headset down and left with Morty. B.G. James interfered, nailing Slash with a chair, leading to the Harrises scoring the apparent win. Paul Bearer walked to ringside and told the ref that James cheated. The ref then reversed the decision. Mitchell grabbed the mic afterward and ordered his men to go after Pringle, completely ungrateful to Bearer for helping his men keep their titles. He said Bearer has business sticking his nose in their business. Storm & Harris made the save with chairs.
WINNERS: Slash & Lee via DQ.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Intense five minute brawl, although the finish came out of nowhere and the reversal was kind of lame because since when do referees reverse their decisions based on someone walking to ringside with no authority and telling him someone cheated.
-A video package aired on Jerry Lynn and Sonny Siaki's feud.
-Tenay interviewed Sonny Siaki. Siaki said since he got into wrestling four years ago, he's been told over and over to respect the veterans. He said he believed it was time for the young to replace the old.
6 -- JERRY LYNN (champ) vs. SONNY SIAKI - X Title match.
Jeremy Borash did formal ring introductions to make the match seem more important than others. The match began slowly and methodically. At 4:30 Lynn gave Siaki a guillotine legdrop for a two count. Ten minute into the match Lynn caught Siaki in mid-air and powerbombed him to the mat for a two count. Lynn followed with a DDT and scored another two count. At 11:00 Lynn shoved Siaki into the corner and the ref got in the way and went down. Lynn blocked Siaki's finisher and then hit his cradle piledriver. The ref was too groggy to make the count right away. Siaki eventually kicked out. Lynn sideslammed Siaki, but then a woman knocked him off balance. The woman winked at Siaki and walked away. Siaki then gave Lynn the Siakilypse for the win.
WINNER: Siaki at 13:00.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Not a bad match fundamentally, but it never really left first or second gear. Siaki just never seems to be in a hurry to get anywhere or do anything. There's no sense of urgency to his matches. He kind of has some Kevin Nash in his style. Nash, at his size, can barely get away with it, but Siaki at his size definitely can't. The woman who interfered is likely Kim Nielsen, who is Siaki's real life girlfriend. TNA officials were waiting for Kim's WWE developmental contract to expire before bringing her in.
7 -- B.G. JAMES vs. RON "THE TRUTH" KILLINGS in a chains and chair match.
James is doing a good job carrying himself as a heel. It's a much better role for than being a babyface, since his babyface schtick had gotten really stale. James didn't seem thrilled with getting his arm attached to the chair. Killings dove at him with the chain giving the ref a chance to attach James to the chain. The chain was threaded through the chair so the chair just dangled in the middle. Killings kicked a chair into James's face early in the match Van Daminator style. The chain was long enough that with James down on his back, Killings had just enough slack to mount the top rope. When he came flying off, James moved out of his path and then took over offense. Killings, from ringside, yanked James via the chain into the corner turnbuckle. He followed with a two count. The Chains came off the wrists of both wrestlers on the yank move. James went for a pump handle slam, but Killings reversed it with a face-first suplex onto the chair for the win. After the match Killings put a chair on James's chest and was going to come off the top rope onto him, but Bob Armstrong ran out to stop it. Tenay and West said he didn't want to see his son hurt. Meanwhile. James got up and swung a chair at Killings, but instead mistakenly hit Bob. He seemed to be upset that he hit his father with the chair, but rather than check on him, he just bailed out through the crowd, still looking nervous and worried.
WINNER: Killings in 4:00.
STAR RATING: * -- Nothing wrong with the short match, but there wasn't much to it. If they ever want to try to sell the brutality of a chain and chair match again, they're going to have a tough time as this was nothing special. No blood, no brutality, barely a broken sweat by either wrestler.
-West went on his weekly rant plugging next week's line-up. Tenay said he'd have a sitdown interview with Pringle to find out what he's doing in TNA. West then plugged the Harrrises vs. Harris & Storm vs. Slash & Lee, Sonny Siaki defends X Title against E.Z. Money, and a ten-man X Division gauntlet match to determine the no. 1 contender for the title with unique rules.
-A video package aired on Jarrett and Curt Hennig. They didn't do a great job building up this match as I had trouble even remembering who was challenging Jarrett by the time this part of the show rolled around. A big title match should be mentioned a few times throughout the show to build anticipation. On the bright side, the video package was well put together.
-A sitdown interview then aired with Jeff Jarrett. He did another babyface interview talking about how he grew up dreaming of becoming NWA Champion. Tenay asked Jarrett about Sean Waltman's refusal to appear on NWA-TNA programming due to Russo's arrival. "My gut reaction tells me it's utterly ridiculous," Jarrett said. He said they travelled down the same career path. He said Waltman is acting like a coward. "Sean Waltman knows full well that Vince Russo doesn't write his checks. For him not to wrestle on TNA because of Russo is a copout. Everybody knows he missed two shots here and that shows me where his heart is at." Regarding the Owen Hart comments, Jarrett said Owen was a dear friend of his. "I will say this, VInce Russo or nobody else walking this Earth is responsible for Owen Hart's death." Jarrett said only one person knew Roddy was going to be there and he made some scathing remarks. "I think he's in that list of someone who doesn't care for Russo on a number of levels," Jarrett added. Tenay told Jarrett he knows that Russo and Jarrett were close during their WCW days, so he asked him flat out if he is with him or against him. Jeff took a deep breath and said, "All I'll say is this. Vince Russo came out here a couple of weeks ago and said some pretty scathing things about my career... But I'm gonna answer Russo to his face man-to-man when the time is right."
They did the tale of the tape, although they run past it so quickly that I couldn't digest half of the stats before they were taken off the screen.
8 -- JEFF JARRETT (champ) vs. CURT HENNIG - NWA World Title match.
Tenay again touted Jarrett's worldwide defenses of the NWA Title. It would be a good touch if they showed still shots or video clips of Jarrett's defenses overseas, and even better if they'd actually state who Jarrett defeated to retain the title. When they just talk about his defenses but don't give the results, it seems as if they're either lying outright or holding back info. They fought at ringside in the opening minute. Jarrett hit Hennig with a chair, prompting Tenay to point out that if he gets intentionally DQ'd, he'll lose the title under TNA rules. Jarrett thought about using the guitar, but thought better of it. Back in the ring Hennig worked over Jarrett's knee. At 6:00 Jarrett thought of using the guitar, but then thought better of it and set up the Stroke. With the ref down, Vince Russo ran out and hit Hennig in the back with the guitar (the first shot was so weak he had to hit him a second time, and even them the flimsy guitar barely broke). Jarrett then scored the pin. Afterward Russo told Jarrett that he was there for him again, apparently trying to buy his loyalty. That might make some sense had Jarrett been in jeopardy at that point, but he was about to win, so the logical storyline progression is for Jarrett to point out the obvious - that he didn't need Russo's help since he was about to win anyway. The show ended with A.J. Styles running in and attacking Jarrett as Tenay yelled, "We gotta go!"
WINNER: Jarrett at 6:30 to retain the NWA Title.
STAR RATING: * -- Another half-hearted effort from Hennig and not the type of buzzworthy match that TNA needs to attract the audience they've obviously going after - internet-reading fans. They had five extra minutes to work with before the top of the hour, but kept the match at less than seven minutes before going to the finish. Hennig isn't going to be a draw for TNA if he continues to cement his rep as someone whose heart just isn't in it.
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