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NWA/TNA Weekly PPV - July 24, 2002

by Scrooge McSuck

- Quite a while ago, I started covering the weekly Pay-Per-Views from the company currently known as (double checks) Impact Wrestling. Unfortunately, I stock-piled recapped episodes that are now lost, so here I am, going back in time to cover about 2-months-worth of Impact wrestling for a second time. As usual, I make no promises in keeping up on these. I'm using Impact's new streaming service, which is just a rebranding for the previous one using the Global Wrestling name. Since the available talent and booking changed so rapidly in the early days, I'll go in cold with this episode.

- The episode begins immediately in the ring with Jeff Jarrett laying into two geeks pretending to be security with a steel chair. He demands his title shot against Ken Shamrock while Mike Tenay, Ed Ferrara and Don West talk over him the entire time. We cut backstage to Shamrock beating up even more security guys and giving the business to a Harris twin and Bob Armstrong. He assigns IAN HARRISON to make sure the security doesn't interfere. Bill Behrens comes to the ring, acting as today's authority figure. Jarrett's out of control actions ends tonight, and he's suspended for 60-days. Jarrett accepts the punishment by clobbering Behrens with the chair (an unprotected shot to the head, by the way). Tenay constantly screams that security isn't coming thanks to Shamrock. Speaking of the NWA Champion, he attacks Jarrett while wearing SANDALS. Suddenly, the Alpha Male Monty Brown and Apollo come to the ring to break things up, but it only gives Jarrett the opening to give Shamrock a chair shot to the head. Here's Brian Lawler and K-Krush (wearing an Allen Iverson jersey) to settle things down, too. Something tells me Jarrett's suspension is lifted before those 60-days are served.

The Amazing Red vs. Low-Ki:

Why does the ring skirt have the website for Total Nonstop Action listed TWICE? West says he heard Red is like what his name suggests, "Amazing." HOT TAKE, DON. Low-Ki's name is spelled "Lo-Ki" this week. Last week, he unsuccessfully challenged A.J. Styles for the X-Division Championship. They trade low kicks to start. Red with some loose arm drags, followed by a dropkick that sends Low-Ki to the floor. Red teases a dive, flips to the apron, and jumps off for a hurricanrana. Back inside, Red with right hands. Low-Ki misses a charge to the corner and gets sent face-first to the turnbuckle. Another charge meets a boot, and Red comes off the middle rope with a neck breaker for two. Low-Ki blocks a hurricanrana and lays Red out with a rolling heel kick, knocking Red clean across the ring. Low-Ki with a slam and snap-elbow drop for two. Low-Ki with a springboard… something for two. These two could tighten things up a little. Butterfly suplex into a modified dragon sleeper. Low-Ki straddles Red across the top turnbuckle and hooks a hanging dragon sleeper, but there's no submission with them in the ropes. Low-Ki with knees to the midsection and headbutts to the chest. Red fires back with boots to the face. Low-Ki blocks a kick and retaliates, knocking Red's bandana off in the process. Red with a leg sweep and standing SSP out of nowhere for two. Code Red connects for two. Whip to the ropes and Red with a Tornado DDT for two. Low-Ki blocks the second attempt. Red avoids Low-Ki's flurry of strikes and hits a corkscrew enzuigiri (see: Trouble in Paradise). Red to the top rope, missing a corkscrew moonsault (the "infra-red"). Low-Ki with a cartwheel roundhouse kick and finishes with the Ki-Crusher '99 at 7:30. Good match with a few spots that looked a little sloppy. ***

- For no reason, here's a gratuitous shot of NWA-TNA's cage dancers. Is that 2000 WCW I smell?

- Goldilocks is backstage tracking Jeff Jarrett. He yells at Ian "Joe Steroid" Harrison, demanding to get some more of Ken Shamrock.

The Hot Shots vs. "Wild Cat" Chris Harris & "Cowboy" James Storm:

The Hot Shots are Chase Stevens and Cassidy O'Reilly. O'Reilly says, "we're pricks, we're proud, and we're protruding." Harris and Storm are yet to be named "America's Most Wanted", as they're trying to figure out how to gel as a team. Amazingly, they didn't turn on each other two weeks later. The Hot Shots are allegedly responsible for costing Harris and Storm their shot at winning the tag titles. In a pre-taped interview, Harris chastises Storm for his "buckaroo bullsh*t" and says, "his gimmick sucks." The action began during the pre-tape, with Harris and Storm working the Hot Shots over on the floor. Storm with a spinebuster on O'Reilly. Harris hits Stevens with a spear and takes him over with a delayed suplex. Whip to the corner and Harris with a release Northern Lights suplex. Storm tags in and immediately gets worked over on the outside. Hot Shots with some weak double-team offense. Double basement dropkick for two. O'Reilly with a handspring back elbow. Almost every fan on the hard camera side is resting their chins on their hands with boredom. Combination neck breaker and slingshot back suplex. Stevens misses a moonsault. Sorry, he didn't miss it, as he landed short and Storm rolled INTO the miss. Harris gets the hot tag despite the botch and runs wild with right hands. Whip to the corner and he takes Stevens down with a bulldog. Thesz Press to O'Reilly as Tenay has magically forgotten which is Stevens and which is O'Reilly Storm hits O'Reilly with an inverted tornado DDT, and Harris pins Stevens with a Northern Lights Suplex at the 6:00 mark (there was no opening bell). Post-match, the Hot Shots lay Harris and Storm out because wins and losses mean nothing. Have I mentioned security is STILL unavailable? Match was OK, but this match smelled of Russo, from the penile-based promo, adult language, fighting teammates, and using insider lingo like "your gimmick sucks." *

- Ken Shamrock is P.O.

Apollo vs. Brian Lawler:

Apollo is on loan from IWA Puerto Rico. Spelling continues to be an issue in the production truck, spelling his name as "Apolo" on the graphic. Lawler's still dressing like Grandmaster Sexay, making NWA-TNA look second-rate, pushing him as a top talent (to his credit, he is in familiar territory, but the national audience doesn't know of his time in Memphis). Lockup, Apollo goes for the arm but Lawler counters with a slam. Crisscross and Apollo with an overhead throw. Lawler with a cheap shot in the corner. Whip across the ring and Apollo hits a Sky-High on Lawler for two. According to Tenay, the NWA committee considers Apollo the next contender to the Heavyweight Title. Lawler uses his necklace to choke Apollo down. Apollo blocks a suplex and counters with his own. The comeback is short-lived as Lawler brings up the knees to counter a splash. Lawler with a missile dropkick for two. Apollo fights out of a chin-lock. Apollo with a big clothesline, followed by an elbow. He plants Lawler with a splash and comes off the ropes with a leg drop. Whip is reversed, and a series of counters ends with Apollo hitting a Super-Kick to the FOREHEAD. Lawler escapes the TKO and brings Apollo down with an inverted DDT. Lawler has a busted lip, probably from that wild Super-Kick. He dances instead of following up. Lawler with a neck breaker and more hotdogging. Apollo recovers and rolls him up for three at 7:06. There's your next #1 contender. Dumb finish to a below-average match. *1/4

- Brian Lawler assaults Don West. Have I mentioned there's no security available? I have? Well, there's no security. IT'S BEDLAM IN THE FAIRGROUNDS!

- K-Krush comes out for an in-ring promo. We see highlights him having hanging Norman Smiley and Scott Hall with his belt. SOMEONE CALL SECURITY. Krush demands to be called by his REAL name "The Truth". K-Krush is no longer, it's dead and stinking. "They gave me that name." From now on he does things when he wants to because the rules and guidelines are out the window. From this day forward, it's all about "The Truth" and makes vague references to racial inequality. He doesn't say anything about black and white, but brings up names like Allen Iverson, Mike Tyson, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Ray Lewis, and O.J. SIMPSON, so paint your own picture. Monty Brown interrupts to tell Truth to shut up. Brown talks about being in 2 Super Bowls and left football to make his opportunities in the NWA. "They" helped create that opportunity for him and says the truth may be "The Truth" can talk the talk but he can't walk the walk. The Truth says he has no problem with Brown and tells his "Uncle Tom selling-out ass" to step off. Truth attacks, but Brown blocks and throws him with a double under-hook suplex. Brown catches a body press and spikes Truth with "The Alpha Bomb." WHERE'S SECURITY?!

- Highlights of the A.J. Styles/Jerry Lynn saga, as they've quickly become partners and co-holders of the Tag Team Titles that can't trust each other due to professional insecurities on Jerry Lynn's behalf. There's excessive bleeping despite earlier letting guys use "sh*t" in a nothing promo. Have I mentioned they're due to defend the Tag Team Titles tonight?

- Mike Tenay with a pre-taped interview with A.J. Styles and Jerry Lynn. Production issues plague the segment, so they replay the tape after 20-seconds of muted audio. Styles says he wants to have a career like Lynn, and says he understands where he is coming from. Lynn says he was in A.J.'s shoes 10 years ago and maybe they can get on with their business. Tonight, the fans will see them working together as a unit.

NWA Tag Team Championship Match:
A.J. Styles & Jerry Lynn (c) vs. The Flying Elvis':

How can anyone take a top contender serious when they're doing a bad Honkytonk Man impersonation? Jorge Estrada and Jimmy Yang are working the match, as Sonny Siaki joins commentary. I sense they're already doing the "guy thinks he's above the team" split. Anything is better than this gimmick, unless you give the worst worker in the group the worker's belt for an extended run. Whoops, spoilers. Lynn and Estrada start. Siaki needs to speak up, I can barely hear him. Whip to the ropes and Estrada with a side slam in honor of Dino Bravo. Lynn avoids a Lion-Sault and traps Estrada in the Gory Special. Estrada doesn't bother selling and they take turns performing head-scissors. Styles and Lynn with a flapjack. Whip to the ropes and Styles with a wild spinning heel kick on Estrada for two. Oh God, Siaki refers to himself in 3rd-person. Now I remember why he was called the poor-man's Rock. Yang in, dodging a dropkick and putting the boots to Styles. He hotdogs, allowing Styles to recover and nip up into a head-scissors. Styles with a back suplex for two. Lynn with a drop toe hold and Styles with a running senton for two. Lynn with a flying snap mare and tilt-o-whirl back-breaker for two. Yang counters a tombstone but is taken over with a flying head-scissors. Styles dives into the corner with a forearm (was it phenomenal?). Yang counters a twisting body press by dropping Styles across the knee.

Estrada can't handle getting a cheap shot on the floor, so Siaki does it for him. Back inside, Yang with a Russian leg-sweep into an Octopus stretch. Yang with a series of shoulders to the midsection and Estrada with a snap suplex for two. Estrada with a side-effect for two. Yang hangs Styles out to dry across the top rope with a gourd buster for two. Estrada with a springboard moonsault for two. Styles with a small package out of nowhere for two. Estrada with a spine-buster for two. More near falls, more bored faces. Styles escapes an abdominal stretch and springboards into an inverted DDT. Estrada cuts off the tag attempt and they work Styles over in the corner. Lynn finally gets the hot tag and lays into both men with clotheslines. Springboard sunset flip on Estrada for two. Push-off dropkick sends Yang to the floor and Lynn follows with a slingshot plancha. Estrada follows with an Asai moonsault and nearly falls on his head. Not to be outdone, Styles completes the sequence with a somersault senton, but Siaki saves his teammates, causing Styles to hit only Lynn. Back inside, Yang with a splash and Estrada with a guillotine leg drop. Meanwhile, Lynn is bleeding a gusher on the floor (on top of Yang having a busted nose). Styles with a hangman's neck breaker on Estrada. He turns Yang inside-out with a clothesline and goes to the top for the Spiral Tap, but before he can finish, Lynn finishes off Estrada at 16:15 in a confusing sequence. OK, but Estrada doesn't seem to have chemistry with anyone, the match lacked heat, and the comedy team got way too much offense considering Styles and Lynn have been pushed as stars in the short-lived promotion. **

- "Jive Talkin" with the Disco Inferno. The furniture used for the "set" looks like stuff found at the side of the road or at the world's tackiest garage sale. I love Tenay saying "we know who you are", assuming all fans are aware who Disco Inferno is/was. He runs down his career, including retiring Jumping Joey Maggs and beating Barry Horowitz at least 16-times on National TV. He's here to provide his wisdom and knowledge to those willing to listen, like teaching A.J. Styles how to be a Superstar or Ken Shamrock what the meaning of the word "personality" is.

- Ken Shamrock is still looking for Jeff Jarrett, and security is still trapped by the might of Ian Harrison.

"The Alpha Male" Monty Brown & "Primetime" Elix Skipper vs. Simon Diamond & Johnny Swinger:

What a random tag team in the form of Brown and Skipper. Diamond and Swinger have history as a team in ECW, so at least that makes sense. Skipper and Diamond start. They trade blows to start. Whip and Skipper with a Franken-Steiner for a two-count. Diamond ducks an elbow but is caught in a modified cradle for two. Swinger charges in and gets laid out by a clothesline from Brown. Diamond gets pounded back and forth before a double dropkick lays him out. Swinger with a clothesline from the apron to put Skipper in the role of face-in-peril. Whip and Diamond and Swinger with a combo side-slam and inverted DDT. Swinger with a cobra-clutch leg-sweep for two. Skipper bridges to avoid a flying body press, but Diamond makes sure to keep him in their corner. Diamond with a pair of snap suplexes followed by a gourd buster for two. Double face-buster from Diamond and Swinger for two. Swinger misses a charge and Diamond accidentally hits him with a clothesline. Skipper with a Super-Kick on Diamond followed by a rolling Northern Lights Suplex on Swinger. Brown gets the hot tag and plants Diamond with a power-slam. All four men in the ring. Skipper gets laid out, but the referee recognizes he's not the legal man. WOAH, A SMART REFEREE?! Brown with the Alpha bomb on Diamond for three at 5:38. Another OK match. At least the finish was clean, but are there really plans for SKIPPER AND BROWN as a team? The answer is no, as The Truth comes out to choke Brown with his belt while Skipper is all "you go get him, dawg." *1/2

- UPDATE: Security is unavailable.

- Goldilocks is backstage with The Dupps, Stan and Bo. Where's Fluff? Bo left her with Pop. They don't have a match, but "in the wrestling business, you just got to bump into somebody, and you can have a wrestling match that night." Stan encourages Bo to try that technique on IAN HARRISON. I know this isn't a visual media but imagine me slapping my forehead in disbelief and move on.

Bo Dupp (w/ Stan Dupp) vs. Ian Harrison:

Did I ever mention Stan Dupp gained some level of success in the WWE as "Trevor Murdoch"? If I have, I don't care, I need to pad things here because I've got nothing to work with. Stan convinced Jeremy Borash to introduce Harrison as "some big muscle-head guy from the back." I'm sorry, I smirked at that. Almost as funny as "Joe Steroid." Bo attacks Harrison as he enters the ring. It doesn't take him long to turn the tables and work Bo over. Harrison with a sit-out power-slam for two as the crowd weakly chants "U-S-A", meaning they support the inbred hillbilly. Crisscross and Dupp staggers Harrison before knocking him off his feet with a boot. Elevated frog splash from Dupp for two. Harrison immediately pops up with a back suplex for two. Harrison with a press slam, minus pull extension. He's the U.K. Warrior, minus a personality. Dupp with more strikes that Harrison barely sells for 3-seconds. Crisscross and Harrison with a power-slam for two… or three? Dupp never got the shoulder up, so Stan runs in at 3:03. Harrison fights both Dupps off and snaps their board in half because he big and strong. Short and terrible. DUD

- Jeff Jarrett and Ken Shamrock brawl in a swarm of security. I guess the All Mighty Harrison disappearing has given them the courage to do something.

NWA Heavyweight Championship; Ladder vs. Submission Match:
Ken Shamrock (c) vs. Sabu:

Okay, how in the HELL does this seem fair? Either Sabu wins via climbing the ladder, or Shamrock wins via submission. I smell a Russo screw-job. Last week, Sabu defeated Malice, the worst booked monster heel not under WWE's employment in the history of the business, to earn the title shot. Shamrock opens with knees to the midsection. Shamrock lays him out with a clothesline and goes for the ankle. Sabu counters, but Shamrock quickly counters again. BREAKING NEWS! Security is so fed up they've left the building. Shamrock with high kicks and a snap mare into a chin-lock. Whip to the ropes and Sabu with a clothesline. He goes for the cross arm-bar, but Shamrock counters with a leg-lock. I guess rope breaks are allowed in a Ladder Match. BREAKING NEWS PART TWO: Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat will be here with FULL AUTHORITY. Meanwhile, Sabu with a springboard heel kick and somersault leg-drop. He covers, then goes back to the arm-bar. If you love rope breaks, this is your match. Whip to the corner and Shamrock with a jumping heel kick. Sabu finally says the hell with this and fetches the ladder. Shamrock, perfectly fine and alert, baseball slides the ladder into Sabu's face because, as we've seen, Sabu is a F'N moron. Even though Shamrock has controlled the match so far, he decides to take the fight to the ramp, where his submissions aren't allowed. LOGIC. He ends up paying for it, being sent into the barricade. Sabu retrieves a table as we see he has a cut across his cheek. He lays Shamrock across the table and puts himself through the table with his signature springboard senton. Shamrock throws the ladder in the ring, so I guess you can win EITHER by submission or climbing, not by specifically one way (thanks for not letting us know, TNA). Shamrock grabs the belt, but music plays and the lights go out. Malice misses his cue, so he runs in, fights Shamrock off the ladder, and grabs the belt himself to end this at 9:35. "What the hell is going on here?" I don't know, bad writing? No chemistry and a sh*t finish. ¾*

Final Thoughts: Need I remind everyone that we paid $9.95 for this episode as it aired live on Pay-Per-View? Meaningless tag team matches, a meaningless episode-long storyline centered around Ian Harrison, a terrible main event, and even worse promos. This was easily the worst episode of the weekly PPV's thus far, with only the opening match between Low Ki and Amazing Red worth enough of a recommendation, and even that was throw-away filler as it was a match that took place for the sake of having a match.

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