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NWA/TNA Weekly PPV - July 3, 2002

by Scrooge McSuck>

- Last week on NWA-TNA: Total Nonstop Action, A.J. Styles was crowned the first ever X-Division Champion! Also featured: Malice attacked World Heavyweight Champion Ken Shamrock, setting up a Title Match for tonight's broadcast. Scott Hall used help from Toby Keith and Brian Christopher used help from a couple of NASCAR drivers to pick up victories over Jeff Jarrett and K-Krush. An obese black man, a bunch of skanks in outlet store pajamas, and the Rainbow Express were also used, but nobody cared (except me, obviously, since I keep bitching about it).

- Tonight on NWA-TNA: Total Nonstop Action: The first ever title defenses for Ken Shamrock and A.J. Styles, Scott Hall and Brian Christopher take on Jeff Jarrett and K-Krush, and a "Tournament" will be held to determine the NEW NWA Tag Team Champions! I wonder if that random team of Chris Harris and James Storm will be featured. I wonder if anything ever came of them...

- Mike Tenay introduces us to Jim Miller, President of NWA. The graphic on the screen reads "Jim Wilson". Because TNA. He offers Mike Tenay a dollar tree trophy and welcomes NWA-TNA to the NWA Family. Jim "Wilson" Miller says he found a "big Japanese guy" to use next week named "Omori." You mean that Omori dude from the 1996 Royal Rumble Match?! But he won't have Orient Express music to remind everyone who he is!

James Storm & Chris Harris vs. Richard & Rod Johnson (w/ Mortimer Plumtree):

This is the first match in the Tag Team Championship Tournament. Last week, Storm and Harris were literally thrown into a match together and were victorious over the Rainbow Express. The Johnsons are two bulked up guys in flesh colored body suits... do I have to explain the fucking joke? Plumtree is some kind of preppy Dean Douglas looking doofus with a paddle board. Harris starts and gets taken over by a Johnson with a double underhook suplex. Harris ducks a pair of clotheslines and takes over the big Johnson with a hip toss. He comes off the ropes with a Thesz Press. Storm tags in and takes Johnson down with a spinning head scissors. Johnson with a sloppy swinging neck breaker. The Johnsons launch Storm into the air, slamming him down hard. The Johnsons work Storm over, doing little of note. Storm with an inverted atomic drop and Super-Kick. Harris with the hot tag, unloading with lefts on both Johnsons. Harris slips off the shoulders of a Johnson and comes off the ropes with a spear. Johnson catches a body press, but Storm adds a dropkick to finish the sequence, and the randomly thrown together team of Storm and Harris move on in the Tournament at 4:42. Plumtree gives the Johnsons the business until being manhandled. What, another break-up between a manager/valet and their protege? * Pretty rushed match, as expected with a "loaded" card (as in too many matches). Harris and Storm look good, but a little green, and the Johnsons suck.

- Scott Hall and Jeff Jarrett have a short talkie segment to remind everyone that they will be in tonight's Main Event. At least it was only 5-minutes instead of a ridiculously long 20-minutes like some other companies were doing on a regular basis.

- Backstage, Goldylocks and TNA Security find James Storm and Chris Harris bloodied and beaten up. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?! WHO COULD HAVE DONE THIS!? (Spoiler: TNA doesn't know either... because TNA)

"The Alpha Male" Monty Brown vs. Anthony Ingram:

I smell a squash match! Brown is a former NFL Player with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots. His theme music sounds like it was remixed and recycled for Abyss. He cuts a pre-match promo about wanting to take out Ken Shamrock. I'm guessing he's a heel... maybe? Brown rushes the ring and pounds away on a guy who could barely pass for a weekend syndies Jobber for WWF. Whip to the corner and Brown takes him over with a snap suplex. Ingram reverses a whip, but jumps into the waiting arms of Brown and gets planted with a Powerslam. Brown signals for something, and finishes Ingram with the Alpha Bomb at 1:32. Squash match, so I'm not going to give it a rating.

- Goldylocks is with Jim Miller... or not. Suddenly two goobers with "Hot Shots" on the back of their tights walk by with nothing to say. Suddenly (again), a creepy looking Midget shows up and cuts a pretty solid promo. I guess that's Puppet, The Psycho Dwarf. Goldylocks really sucks, by the way, so we can expect her to be featured every week for the next three years. Gag me with a spoon, please.

Apolo & Buff Bagwell vs. The Rainbow Express (w/ Joel Gertner):

Talk about a random team with Apolo and Bagwell. Bagwell's pre-match promo is overly arrogant, so we can expect them to lose. Bagwell starts with Bruce. Don West already acts disgusted to a simple hug between Lenny and Bruce. Bagwell celebrates a simple hip toss, allowing Bruce to attack from behind. For reasons unknown, Alicia (a.k.a the ex-Ryan Shamrock) comes out and gets money from Ed Ferrara. Back to the action, Apolo is manhandling the Express. Apolo no-sells chops from Lenny and unloads with chops of his own before planting him with a sit-out slam. Gertner hooks the ankle, opening the door for the Rainbow Express to take control. Lenny with a leg drop for two. Apolo ducks a clothesline and connects with a full nelson slam. Bagwell gets the coldest hot tag of all time. He dominates both men and blows an ugly cross body spot. Apolo knocks Bruce's head off with a Super-Kick and follows with the TKO. Buff comes off the second rope with the Block Buster, but celebrates and gets laid out with a Super-Kick. Lenny covers... for three at 5:49!? BUFF DID A PINFALL JOB?! 1/2* Match mostly stunk. Post-match, Ferarra interviews Buff, who denounces his name and calls himself "Marcus", and drops the s-bomb because it's the cool thing to do. He also seems disappointed in losing to "two gay guys" and wants to go home (possible to mommy Judy). Buff's lost motivation heel/face/whatever turn would go nowhere, of course. Because TNA.

- Ken Shamrock cuts a pretty bad promo (surprised) responding to Monty Brown's challenge from earlier in the night. James Mitchell interrupts, the lights go out, and when they return, Malice is standing over a badly beaten Shamrock. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR TONIGHT'S WORLD TITLE MATCH!?

- Bill Behrens is freaking out backstage over the Tag Team Tournament situation. Jerry Lynn shows up offering himself as long as he can find a partner. I wonder where they can possibly go with this...

Puppet, The Psycho Dwarf vs. Todd Stone:

It seems like every "wanna-be" promotion from 2001-02 just had to feature midgets to pad out the cards. Puppet cuts a promo about wanting to spill some midget blood. Random crappy music plays, and out comes a random crappy midget. Never heard of Stone, and I don't recall seeing him before. He comes in, obviously leaving himself open for Puppet to whack him with a Kendo Stick. Puppet blasts him with a trash can and comes off the ropes with a clothesline. Puppet puts a trash can over Stone's head and whacks it with the Kendo Stick. Puppet with an ugly TKO onto the can, and it's over at 1:56. DUD I don't care what size you are, but when you make it look like amateur hour, then we all suffer. at least it was short. Puppet whacks referee Slick Johnson with the stick, then takes swings at Jeremy Borash, and finally the broadcast team, including Don West who seems to be enjoying Puppet too much. Puppet nailing West was probably the highlight of the night... so far.

- We recap last week's Lingerie Battle Royale. It sucked.

"Miss TNA" Taylor Vaughn vs. Francine:

Anyone else notice in the flashback that Francine's belt shots were hitting the piled up pajamas rather than Vaughn? I guess Francine earned a contract despite losing? I don't know, not much is making sense lately. Is Taylor Vaughn the former B.B., the big-breasted paramedic in WWE circa 1999-2000? Francine attacks with a concealed belt. Vaughn wrestles it away from Francine and uses it, too. She whacks referee Scott Armstrong, drawing the Disqualification to a match that never had an opening bell! What a complete waste of valuable PPV time. Remember, this isn't a weekly TV show, this is a weekly PPV! Ed Ferarra tries getting some from Francine, but it's a no go. DUD So Francine wins despite using an illegal object in clear view of the referee first, in a match that never actually started... because it's TNA.

- Jeremy Borash brings out Hermie Sadler and his Pit Crew. I understand he has a minor following with NASCAR fans, but this getting too much. K-Krush interrupts (again), and the end game is a one-on-one match between Krush and Sadler... NEXT WEEK, on Total Nonstop Action!

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Ken Shamrock © vs. Malice (w/ James Mitchell):

Shamrock defeated Malice to be crowned the NEW NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and since then, has twice been left a broken, beaten pile of goop. James Mitchell (a.k.a The Sinister Minister) is leading a group called "The Dicyples of the New Church", with Malice as it's leading member. Malice puts the boots to Shamrock before he could enter the ring and hangs him up across the top rope. Malice continues to dominate with stompin' and chokin'. Snapmare and a crappy leg drop gets two. Shamrock grabs the arm for the cross armbreaker, but Malice easily fights out of it and tosses Shamrock to the arena floor. Malice slaps on a Dragon Sleeper, which seems a bit out of his comfort zone. Back in the ring, Shamrock grapevines the leg, but Malice is able to make it to the ropes to force a break. Malice with a pair of back suplex drops. Shamrock fights off a suplex attempt and snaps him over with one of his own. Whip to the ropes is countered with a belly-to-belly suplex... for three at 5:54?! That looked like a fast count from Slick Johnson, if you ask me. Way to make Malice look like a monster: destroy the Champion until losing to a single transitional move. * It was OK, but that's where the positives end. Shamrock looks like a chump, and the "top heel" contender so far is made to look like a loser.

NWA X-Division Championship Match:
"The Phenomenal" A.J. Styles © vs. David Young (w/ Bobcat):

So... Young earns the spot of top contender by LOSING his one and only match last week to Apolo? I know X-Division isn't "generic cruiserweight matches", but Young seems like someone who doesn't belong in the ring with an A.J. Styles. Bobcat milks the entrance and Young has to stand by, holding her tiny purse. Young attacks before the bell with clubberin' blows. Styles fights back and connects with a dropkick. He takes Young over with a pair of awkward looking arm drags. Criss-cross, and Young plows through him with a shoulder tackle. Styles busts out the nip-up hurricanrana, sending Young to the floor, but Young is out of position for a somersault plancha, so the spot just looks terrible. Styles goes for a springboard, but Young pushes him off, hanging him across the top rope. Young follows him to the floor with an Asai Moonsault. Meanwhile, Bobcat is disinterested in the match by talking on her cell phone. They fight over a waistlock until Young T-Bone throws Styles into the turnbuckle. Whip to the ropes and Styles with a crucifix for two. Oklahoma Roll gets two. Young counters an enziguri with one of his own for two. Young with a snapmare and head scissors. Styles fights to his feet, only to run into a Powerslam. Young with a Brain Buster for two. Styles escapes a chinlock and connects with a Super-Kick for two. Styles springboards into an Inverted DDT for two. After a series of counters, Young plants Styles with a Spinebuster, but it only gets two. Styles blocks a top rope hurricanrana and finishes with the Styles Clash at 8:45. That was pretty cool. Bobcat celebrates her existance afterwards. I think she's the inspiration for Dixie Carter. **1/2 Standard formula match. A couple of big spots, a horribly blown spot, and overall decent action you likely won't remember 15-minutes later.

- More stuff with Goldylocks. I stopped caring already.

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match:
The Rainbow Express (w/ Joel Gertner) vs. Jerry Lynn & A.J. Styles:

Yes, because Chris Harris and James Storm are injured, Jerry Lynn weaseled his way into getting the spot in the Finals, and picked Styles as his partner. Lenny and Bruce attack before the bell, but Lynn clears the ring and follows them out with a plancha. Styles adds a twisting plancha of his own onto the pile. Lynn fights out of a German Suplex attempt and takes Lenny over with a flying head scissors. Lynn teases a Bronco Buster, but chooses to stomp away on him instead. He trips Bruce into Lenny's crotch and rams him repeatedly. Lynn tries going to the top rope, but Gertner creates a distraction. Lynn leg drops Bruce across the middle rope for two. Styles in with a brutal spinning heel kick for two. Lynn with a bulldog from the second rope for two. Modified victory roll on Lenny gets two. Lenny blocks a dropkick and slaps on the Tiger-Tamer. Styles comes in and breaks it with a clothesline. Lynn surprises Bruce with a sunset flip for two. Whip to the ropes and Bruce springboards into a sunset flip for two. Bruce counters a flying head scissors with a face-buster for two. Bruce goes for a Powerbomb, but Lynn counters. Bruce counters the Cradle Piledriver, but Lynn rolls through with a school boy for two. Styles with the hot tag, running through Lenny with clotheslines and taking him over with a hurricanrana for two. Super-Kick and discuss clothesline gets two! Lenny gives Styles a modified version of Jarrett's "Stroke". Lynn gives him the Cradle Piledriver, and Styles finishes with the Spiral Tap for the three count and Tag Titles at 12:21! **1/4 Match was just alright, and understandable: Bruce and Lenny are decent, but nothing more, and they don't have the greatest chemistry (or any at all, for that matter). Meanwhile, Lynn worked the majority of the match, for the sake of obvious booking. Nice continuity that Styles worked short spurts of the match and having Lynn work the bulk of it since he's clearly fresh and Styles less than 10-minutes earlier had a pretty hard fought match.

Scott Hall & Brian Christopher vs. Jeff Jarrett & K-Krush:

This should be... something. Nice of Brian Christopher to continue playing Grandmaster Sexay. You'd think WWE would slap a "cease and desist" lawsuit on using a gimmick they've obviously created and have a trademark on. I like how Hall's music is a combination of awful and his Razor Ramon theme. Hall/Jarrett and Christopher/Krush brawl around the ring area. Hall pounds away on Jarrett in the TNA Dancers™ Cage. Christopher and Krush find their way back in the ring. Krush rolls out of the way of the Hip Hop Drop and tosses him to the floor. Hall lets Krush show off his athleticism before planting him with a chokeslam. Hall and Christopher take turns pounding away on Jarrett. Hall tags in despite being nowhere near his corner or imaginary tag rope. Whip is reversed, with Hall knocking Christopher off the apron by accident. Krush with a missile dropkick and a stupid looking... I don't even know what he was trying to do. Jarrett with a sloppy swinging neck breaker for two. Hall rolls through a body press for two. Jarrett grabs a sleeper. Hall makes the comeback, but Christopher conveniently finds himself out of position for the tag. Krush with the Scissors Kick, but he chooses to slap on a shitty seated chinlock than go for a cover, allowing Hall the obvious counter. Hall with a double clothesline, and the hot tag to Christopher... is denied, as Christopher turns heel. Hall briefly fights off all three until Jarrett plants him with the Stroke. Christopher adds the Hip Hop Drop, and Jarrett covers for three at 11:42. Post-match, Jarrett grabs the trophy from earlier and smashes it over Hall, who gets stretchered out. Who didn't see that coming? * Mostly a nothing match that combined Memphis booking with shitty Nitro Main Events. Hall looked out of shape, Christopher stinks, and K-Krush is too busy doing flashy moves with little substance, leaving Jarrett to carry the whole thing.

Final Thoughts: Better show this time around than the week before. While there weren't any blow-you-away matches, there was a whole lot less in the "holy crap, how is this on a show we're paying $9.95 for" department. Brian Christopher's heel turn makes no sense (because it was something to do), the handling of Malice and jobbing him so easily to Ken Shamrock makes no sense, and offering a product where the goal is to be "unorganized and confused" makes no sense, but hey, A.J. Styles and Jerry Lynn rule, so let's watch TNA for the sake of watching them carry everyone to good matches.

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