[Flashback PPV Recap] NWA-TNA Weekly PPV #2 – June 26, 2002
Venue: Von Braun Center (Huntsville, AL)
Commentators: Mike Tenay/Don West/Ed Ferrara
- Jerry Lynn Vs. AJ Styles Vs. Psicosis Vs. Low-Ki in a round robin elimination match for the TNA X-Division Title
- Scott Hall Vs. Jeff Jarrett
- Brian Christopher (w/Hermie Sadler and Sterling Marlin) Vs. K-Krush
- America’s Most Wanted (James Storm/Chris Harris) Vs. The Rainbow Express (Bruce/Lenny Lane)
- Cheex Vs. Frank Parker
- 9 Woman Lingerie Battle Royal
- Apolo Vs. David Young
Click “read more” for a full recap of the show.
Last week on NWA-TNA: Jeff Jarrett runs afoul of both wrestling legend Jackie Fargo and country legend Toby Keith, Ken Shamrock won the Gauntlet for the Gold to become the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Jarrett attacks the NWA legends in attendance and Fargo signs Jarrett-Hall for this week. The two brawl to the end last week’s show.
The pyro goes off as Mike Tenay welcomes the home audience to week #2 of NWA-TNA. We go to the announce table where Tenay is joined by Don West and, sigh, Ed Ferrara. They discuss the Brian Christopher/K-Krush match signed for this week as well as the, sigh again, Lingerie Battle Royal. Tenay then announces the double main event: Jeff Jarrett meets Scott Hall and a four man round robin tournament to determine the first ever TNA X-Division Champion.
Jeff Jarrett makes his way out to start the show proper. He gets on the mic and says that he doesn’t want to wait and tells Scott Hall and his entourage to come out so they can get this match started now. Hall obliges and out he comes accompanied by Jackie Fargo and Toby Keith. Hall makes his way into the ring and Jarrett bails, allowing him to do his normal entrance routine complete with (lackluster) fireworks raining down from above.
Match #1: Scott Hall (w/ Jackie Fargo/Toby Keith) Vs. Jeff Jarrett
Hall throws his toothpick in Jarrett’s face to start the match. Jarrett takes Hall down with an arm drag and brags about it to Fargo and Keith. Headlock into a wristlock takedown by Jarrett and Jarrett slaps him repeatedly in the head afterwards to mock Hall’s normal routine. Headlock by Jarrett but he’s taken down with a slap to the face. Hall hits him with another right and catches Jarrett with a fallaway slam. Hall clotheslines Jarrett over the top rope and onto the floor.
Jarrett gets back in and takes Hall down with two dropkicks. Jarrett lays Hall on the second rope and hits a running leg lariat. Jarrett sends Hall face-first into the top turnbuckle. Hall fights out but Jarrett jumps on his back and applies a sleeperhold. Jarrett wears him down all the way to the mat. The crowd wakes Hall up and he gets to his feet. He throws Jarrett into the ropes and applies his own sleeperhold but Jarrett connects with a back suplex to quickly break it. Both men are down.
Jarrett drapes an arm over Hall. 1…2…kick out. Jarrett hits the ropes and goes for a right but Hall blocks it and gets a few of his own. Hall whips Jarrett into the corner twice, each time following it up with a clothesline. Hall hits a final clothesline in the center of the ring and goes for the pin. 1…2…kick out. Hall signals for the Outsider Edge. He picks him up but out comes K-Krush who pulls Jarrett out of his hands. K-Krush hits Hall, but Brian Christopher comes out and chases him off.
Meanwhile back in the ring Jarrett is taking advantage of the interference. Jarrett goes for The Stroke but Keith gets into the ring and hits him with a low-blow. Hall and Keith then send Jarrett face-first into the mat and Hall goes for the pin. The ref runs back into the ring after being distracted by the Christopher/K-Krush brawl and counts the pin. 1…2…3!
Winner [via Pinfall]: Scott Hall (7:01)
- Star power (in 2002 anyway) notwithstanding, Jarrett/Hall put on a dull match made worse by the K-Krush interference that didn’t get anyone disqualified. The ending was also pretty dumb but having Keith come out and help Hall win made sense given the location of the event. Again you gotta love NWA-TNA wearing every inch of its southern heritage. Expendable stuff though and I guarantee the other main event will have no problem beating this one quality-wise. (C-)
Last Week on NWA-TNA: A preview of this week’s Lingerie Battle Royal was held that ended with Francine and Elektra having an old-fashioned cat fight. Apparently the winner gets a TNA contract; I guess I missed that last week when I was trying to find Drano to drink.
Out comes Cheex along with his valet The Brown Eyed Girl (sigh) for the second match, his opponent Frank Parker already in the ring. Tenay runs through his history as he dances in the aisle…well as much as a morbidly obese man can anyway. Cheex finally makes his way into the ring as Parker gives a little background on Parker.
Match #2: Cheex (w/ The Brown Eyed Girl) Vs. Frank Parker
Parker tries to take Cheex down but the man is just too big. Cheex no-sells the offense and hits a clothesline to knock Parker to the mat. Parker tries to reverse an Irish whip but can’t move the mountain and Cheex picks him up and delivers a bodyslam. Parker crawls to the corner and Cheex hits a running butt smash into his face followed by another. Parker tries to get some offense in as we cut to ringside where Alicia and Jeremy Borash are talking. Meanwhile in the ring Cheex hits a running (sort-of) splash for the 1…2…3!
Winner [via Pinfall]: Cheex (2:08)
- There’s athletically big and morbidly big and Cheex definitely was the latter. Worse than that he appeared to be a shameless rip off of Rikishi (dancing fat guy) who had made a big impact on WWF in the years before. A squash match in more ways than one, this was just ugly to watch from all angles. Sigh. (F)
As Cheex celebrates in the ring, Borash hands Alicia some money. Apparently she’s quite the prostitute.
We cut to a shot of the TNA cage dancers as Tenay announces a one night tournament to crown the NWA World Tag Team Champions on next week’s show. He also announces a separate tag team match for next week: Scott Hall/Brian Christopher Vs. Jeff Jarrett/K-Krush.
Last Week on NWA-TNA: K-Krush interrupts Hermie Sadler and Sterling Marlin during their in-ring interview. Brian Christopher runs out to defend their honor and challenges him to a match for this week’s show.
K-Krush makes his way out for the next match to really obnoxious generic hip hop music. He gets into the ring and soaks in the boos of the Alabama crowd. He’s lucky there’s security there to prevent a lynch mob. Brian Christopher makes his way out next accompanied by the NASCAR guys Hermie Sadler and Sterling Marlin. He also has generic hip hop music.
Match #3: Brian Christopher (w/ Hermie Sadler/Sterling Marlin) Vs. K-Krush
Krush attacks Christopher from behind to start the match. He goes for a backdrop but Christopher hits a reverse neckbreaker instead, followed by a bulldog. Christopher goes for the pin. 2-count. Christopher goes for a second bulldog but Krush sends him crotch-first into the corner. Krush follows it up with a suplex and goes for a pin. 2-count. Christopher fights back and whips him in the corner but Krush floats over, ducks a clothesline with the splits, and hits him with a spinning heel kick. Krush goes for the pin. 2-count once again.
Krush applies a chinlock in the center of the ring to wear Christopher down. Christopher fights out and hulks up as Krush hits a series of forearms. Christopher hits a few rights, ducks a clothesline, and hits an enziguri after Krush blocks a kick. Krush reverses an Irish whip, but Christopher hits a Stone Cold Stunner out of nowhere. That’s three finishing moves in Christopher’s arsenal. Corner mount from Christopher but Krush grabs him and hits an inverted atomic drop.
Krush starts leaving the ring, but Sadler and Marlin crotch him on the second rope and make it hurt while Christopher distracts the ref. Krush falls over in pain and Christopher goes to the top rope. He puts his goggles on and hits the Hip Hop Drop for the 1…2…3!
Winner [via Pinfall]: Brian Christopher (4:48)
- The first decent match of the show but once again the face needed the help of his celebrity friends in order to win. And heels are booed because…? Christopher using the Stunner as just a normal move was also a bit jarring but I can forgive that, and although I hate that they got involved the Sadler/Marlin spot was actually sort of entertaining. Either way it was an okay, albeit short, match. (C+)
After a replay of the finish, the TNA cage dancers take over as Tenay hypes up what else is in store for this week, ending with the four man round robin tournament for the X-Division Title.
Jeremy Borash is in the ring. He announces it’s time for the lingerie battle royal which pops the crowd. Borash lays down the rules and says the winner will be crowned “Miss TNA”. Ferrara and West are ecstatic about this. Borash introduces the first lady as Francine but it’s actually the former Chastity.
- Thoughts: Warts and all, TNA On Demand. Once again, much respect.
Francine comes out second and Borash introduces her as “Joanie“. At this point Borash gives up and each woman makes her way out without introductions: Shannon, Alexis Laree, blonde lady, another blonde lady (who trips on her way down), Elektra, and Taylor Vaughn (also blonde but with shorter hair). They are all wearing loose-fitting pajamas so’s to make it easier to rip off.
“Match” #4: The Lingerie Battle Royal [Winner is crowned “Miss TNA” and gets a TNA contract]
A nine woman catfight ensues. Shirts come off, people choke people with said shirts. Tyler is eliminated first (wait, who?). She runs away wearing a thong. Sasha is out next next (one of the blondes). Erin is out next (another blonde). She runs away from the ring in embarrassment that she was in this match. A little wrestling manages to break out now that most of the non-wrestlers have been eliminated. Three girls gang up on Francine and strip her, making her the next elimination. Joanie is eliminated next. Francine is crying at ringside and falls to the ground. Ed Ferrara leaves the announce table to console her. He grabs her boob to help her up. She turns around, takes off his belt, and whips Ferrara with it repeatedly.
- Thoughts: Francine for the TNA Hall of Fame.
Other women have also been eliminated, leaving Elektra and Taylor Vaughn as the final two. Vaughn rips her top layer off and chokes her before ripping the bottom half off.
Winner and the FIRST Miss TNA [via…Ripping Stuff Off]: Taylor Vaughn (4:43)
- Francine whipping Ed Ferrara was amazing but outside of that this wasn’t really a match as you could probably guess. It was just titilation for the Alabamians in attendance and you can’t blame NWA TNA for that; Alabama still doesn’t have the internet or computers. (N/A)
Post-match, Francine runs in and attacks winner Taylor Vaughn from behind before stripping her down to her lingerie. No one leaves unscathed! Francine grabs the belt and whips the fallen Vaughn repeatedly until the ref gets in between the two. Ferrara whines about how he just wanted to “console” Francine.
- Thought: I wonder how many rapists and molesters use “consoling” as their defense when they go to trial.
The TNA cage dancers are back dancing as Tenay hypes up NWA World Champion Ken Shamrock making an appearance later but sends it first backstage to Goldilocks whom he calls “precocious” because apparently she’s 12.
Goldilocks is with Puerto Rican superstar Apolo. Apolo says he’s moved to Orlando and attempts to talk about his match but gets interrupted by his opponent David Young and Young’s valet Bobcat (no, not that Bobcat). Bobcat accuses Goldilocks of being jealous of her for some reason and that she should be interviewing Young instead of Apolo. Bobcat continues to run her mouth about Goldilocks, so Goldilocks cuts the interview and we go back to the TNA cage dancers.
- Thoughts: So…that was random. Who is Bobcat? Why does she hate Goldilocks? What is happening? Why does David Young have hair? WHERE AM I?!?
Apolo makes his way out for his match. His theme is a generic rip-off of that song Santana and Rob Thomas did a bunch of years back that was played ad nauseum on every radio station for what seemed like eternity…but also with a little techno thrown in. Sigh. His opponent David Young makes his way out next alongside Bobcat. You might remember these three from the segment that occurred one minute ago.
Match #5: Apolo Vs. David Young (w/ Bobcat)
Young grabs a side headlock and gets sent into the ropes. Young tries to take Apolo down but fails. Young dodges a leapfrog but runs into a spinning slam. Apolo blocks a hip toss and hits Young with a double underhook suplex. Young rolls out to the floor and Apolo hits him with a suicide dive (the camera was focusing on Bobcat instead). The action moves back into the ring and Apolo lands a series of loud open hand chops. Apolo whips him into the corner and follows up with a splash. Apolo tries to do it again but Young moves and he goes into the turnbuckles shoulder-first.
Young is on the offensive, but again the cameras focus on Bobcat flirting with Borash at ringside. Young grabs an arm bar to wear Apolo down as Bobcat undoes Borash’s shirt. Young gets distracted at this and breaks the hold. Apolo tries to roll him up but only gets a 2-count and Young follows it with a clothesline. Enziguri by Young followed by a pinfall attempt. 2-count. Bobcat sits on Borash’s lap as Young connects with a suplex on Apolo. Young goes for another pin. 2-count once again.
Snapmare by Young into a reverse chinlock, with a knee to the back of Apolo for extra pain. The crowd half-heartedly cheers Apolo to his feet. Apolo grabs Young and hits a springboard tornado DDT. Apolo whips Young into the corner, but Young moves and plants him with the Spinebuster, his finisher. Young gets distracted by Bobcat flirting with Borash. Young misses a moonsault and Apolo connects with a Superkick. Apolo then hits the F-5 for the 1…2…3!
Winner [via Pinfall]: Apolo (5:28)
- Decent enough match but the Bobcat stuff took center stage and made whatever was happening in the ring play second fiddle. Apolo is a weird cat; he’s sort of like a Puerto Rican Mike Awesome, a giant who works like a cruiserweight, but his offensive move set is similar to a backyard wrestler (all high impact moves and nothing else). The crowd was completely dead for this match and although I tried earnestly to get into it, TNA wouldn’t let me and instead forced me to care that Bobcat wanted to get a little dirty with Borash. (C)
After the match Bobcat gets into the ring but instead of consoling David Young she runs around the ring trying to grab more spotlight. Unfortunately the lights have already darkened to make way for the TNA cage dancers.
Tenay pimps the NWA-TNA website then sends it back to the ring where Joel Gertner is standing by. He unleashes another dirty nickname then talks about The Rainbow Express being gay and how lots of people are gay. He then says “what they do in their hotel room is their business, but when they get into the ring they are all business” then finally introduces the team to the ring. Out come Bruce and Lenny Lane to the ring, their arms intertwined. Tenay talks about how Bruce is only a replacement for Lane’s regular partner Lodi who is out with a neck injury.
- Thoughts: A homosexual gimmick is nothing to be ashamed of; creating a heel homosexual gimmick designed to make bigots boo you is something to be ashamed of. Awkward.
Jeremy Borash then introduces their opponents The Dupps but the trio doesn’t make their way out. We kick it to backstage where Stan Dupp is telling his partner, his cousin/girlfriend Fluff Dupp, and Goldilocks that they are refusing to wrestle The Rainbow Express due to their “alternative lifestyle”. Goldilocks walks away and runs into James Storm and Chris Harris who are apparently just arriving to the show they weren’t booked on. NWA official Bill Behrens stops them and asks them if they can replace The Dupps in their match. They say yes and ask to get in their gear, but Behrens says there isn’t time and the match is now. Storm and Harris drop their stuff and run to the ring.
- Thoughts: And that my friends is how America’s Most Wanted, one of TNA’s all-time greatest teams, was formed. And as much The Dupps refusing to wrestle against The Rainbow Express made me cringe, it actually does make sense for their characters (backwoods hillbillies). I just wish they weren’t so damn representative of probably 90% of their crowd.
Their makeshift theme music, which sounds like a weird country/zydeco blend, plays them out and Storm/Harris run to the ring in their jeans but without their shirts. For the ladies.
Match #6: James Storm/Chris Harris Vs. The Rainbow Express (Bruce/Lenny Lane)
The Rainbow Express attacks Storm/Harris right at the bell but the makeshift team easily fights back. Harris clotheslines Lane to the floor and Storm hits Lane with a running face slam. Lane fights back however and hits a tornado DDT from the second rope. Lane tags Bruce in by kissing his hand. Bruce goes for a springboard sunset flip but can’t bring him down until Lane clotheslines him to the mat. Bruce gets a 2-count and Harris comes in and attacks Lane.
As Harris and the ref argue, The Rainbow Express continue to double team Storm. Suplex by Lane and a sensual pinning attempt for a 2-count. Bruce tags back in and repeatedly kicks and punches Storm. Bruce kisses Lane’s hand to tag him back in. Storm reverses an Irish whip but Lane holds the ropes and Storm goes to the mat after missing a dropkick. Lane applies a “TigerTamer” but while the ref is distracted with Bruce, Harris runs in and breaks the hold.
Harris gets the hot tag and he makes mince meat of The Rainbow Express. Thesz press onto Lane by Harris while Storm and Bruce fight to the outside. Lane hits Harris with a hot shot on the top rope and follows it with a bodyslam. Harris rolls him up for a 2, then hits a backslide for another 2. Lane rolls Harris up and Harris kicks out sending Lane into Bruce. Harris then rolls up Lane again for the 1…2…3!
Winners [via Pinfall]: James Storm/Chris Harris (4:49)
- The homophobia exhibited by West through out the match was suffocating but action-wise it was a pretty good tag team match considering it was “thrown together at the last minute”. The Rainbow Express played excellent heels although the fact that their homosexuality made them heels is sickening. And the fact that Ferrara, the heel announcer, was the only one defending them made it even worse. F*cking pathetic. I know I shouldn’t expect better out of a wrestling company, especially one that was steered at the time by someone who thought “Crash TV” was the new way to do professional wrestling, but still. Have some goddamn decency, jesus. But again back to the match…pretty good and Harris/Storm getting a win over an established team made them look strong heading into next week’s tag team tournament. (C+)
Ken Shamrock’s Interview Segment
Tenay talks about the dignity of professional wrestling as we watch the TNA cage dancers do their thing. They then take it to Ricky Steamboat who’s in the ring wearing a referee shirt (I guess he’s officiating the X-Division main event). He asks the crowd if they’ve had fun and if this has been a good show so far and West is way more enthused than the crowd itself. Steamboat introduces the NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ken Shamrock to the ring. Shamrock makes his way out while wearing sandals, which is the least dangerous thing “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” could do.
Steamboat touts Shamrock’s accomplishment of becoming NWA Champion, listing the former champions that came before him and no one can take this accomplishment away from him. Shamrock grabs the mic and says he will defend the NWA World Heavyweight Title with honor and pride. Shamrock says no matter where he’s wrestled/fought he has risen to the top and it’s the same in NWA-TNA. Shamrock tells those who support him he appreciates it and those who don’t like it to kiss his ass.
Shamrock’s celebratory speech is interrupted by “Father” James Mitchell who makes his way out to the entrance stage. Mitchell says he’s sorry to interrupt this schmooze-fest but if he let it continue he would’ve vomited. Mitchell then says he’s on a mission from God…his God. Mitchell says that his “Disciples of the New Church” are going to make sure that they control the NWA World Heavyweight Title. Mitchell says that Shamrock is the World’s Most Dangerous Man according to legend and if it’s true he would like to issue him a challenge. Mitchell challenges Shamrock to face one of his Disciples next week for the belt and introduces Slash.
Shamrock says it’s a joke and challenges Slash to come down to the ring and take it from him tonight. Malice sneaks up behind Shamrock and chokeslams him. Malice chokes Shamrock on the mat as Steamboat tries to get him off. A bunch of other TNA officials come out and try to separate the two but Malice tosses them aside and continues choking Shamrock out. Mitchell tells Malice to save a piece of his carcass for next week and Malice exits the ring immediately. Mitchell says “might is right and the meek shall inherit nothing” as we go to the replay of Malice’s attack. Tenay says the match is on for next week and they bring up the fact Shamrock and Malice were the final two in the Gauntlet for the Gold last week.
- Thoughts: James Mitchell is so damn good on the mic that he made this segment, and his Disciples of the New Church, work just by his oratory skills alone. I’ll be honest: I kind of want to see Shamrock/Malice duke it out in a proper match (even though the challenge wasn’t technically accepted). Maybe they’ll do a bit more in the ring this time around. Besides that, the segment itself was sort of awkward; Steamboat and Shamrock are not exactly known for their mic skills so it was a bit rough to listen to.
Last Week on NWA-TNA: We see highlights from the opening X-Division six man contest as the announcers hype up all the crazy high flying action that occurred. They then hype the X-Division itself and how “revolutionary” it is. Tenay then hypes the four man round robin for the X-Division Title tonight. Ferrara asks why The Flying Elvises aren’t in the match and I have to agree with him.
Jeremy Borash handles the introductions for the main event. AJ Styles comes out first (with a Bruce Springsteen “Born in the USA” rip-off song), followed by Psicosis, Low-Ki, and Jerry Lynn.
Main Event: AJ Styles Vs. Psicosis Vs. Low-Ki Vs. Jerry Lynn in a Round Robin Elimination Match for the TNA X-Division Title
Styles and Psicosis start the match off. Headlock by Styles, but Psicosis sends him into the ropes. Styles ducks a clothesline and repeatedly chops him. Psicosis responds with a face slam to stop the momentum. Psicosis attempts a monkey flip but Styles lands on his feet and connects with a superkick for a 2-count. Psicosis catches Styles with an elbow followed by a spinning heel kick. Psicosis heads to the top rope and lands the Guillotine legdrop for the 1…2…kick out. Styles reverses the Irish whip and blocks a hurricanrana attempt. Styles hits the Styles Clash for the 1…2…3! Psicosis has one elimination.
Low-Ki immediately rushes in but Styles hits a hurricanrana from his back. Ki however fights back and hits a kick to knock some sense into Styles. Ki attempts a handspring monkey flip but Styles catches him and goes for the Styles Clash. Ki breaks out and sends Styles into the top turnbuckle. Styles sticks Ki on the apron but Ki kicks him and knocks him to the mat. Ki goes to the top and goes for a twisting splash but Styles moves. Ki lands on his feet but runs into a running lariat. German suplex into a face buster for the 1…2…3! Low-Ki has one elimination.
Jerry Lynn runs in and hits the Cradle Piledriver for the 1…2…3! AJ Styles has one elimination.
Psicosis launches from the top immediately and connects with a Missile Dropkick to the back of Lynn’s head. Lynn ducks a clothesline and the two exchange waistlocks. Lynn leapfrogs Psicosis and hits a tilt-a-whirl flying head scissors. Don West is having a coronary on commentary. Lynn hits a bulldog from the second rope and goes for the pin. 1…2…kick out. Psicosis goes for a hurricanrana but Lynn catches him. He finally connects and sends Lynn to the floor. Psicosis then hits a flying somersault splash to Lynn as the crowd cheers.
Psicosis brings him back in and goes for the pin. 2-count. Lynn reverses a body slam into an inverted DDT for the 1…2…kick out. Lynn misses a dropkick and Psicosis goes to the top. Lynn catches him with a dropkick on his way down. Lynn picks Psicosis up and connects with the Cradle Piledriver for the 1…2…3! Psicosis has two eliminations; Psicosis has been eliminated.
Low-Ki immediately runs in and kicks Lynn. He goes for the pin. 2-count. Ki bodyslams Lynn and hits the Great Muta-style elbow drop. He goes for another pin. 2-count. Ki chokes Lynn with his boot in the corner. Lynn catches Ki with the boots and goes to the second rope but Ki catches him with a kick followed by a hurricanrana. Lynn rolls through for the 1…2…KICK OUT. Lynn ducks a kick and hits an enziguri. Don West talks about how awesome it is that NWA-TNA is only 9.95 a week! Always the salesman.
Lynn and Ki trade rights and Lynn wins the shootout. Backdrop by Lynn followed by a series of clotheslines. Ki backs off to the corner and Lynn rushes. Lynn is backdropped to the apron and Ki tries a shoulder block but Lynn jumps over and lands a legdrop. Lynn gets back in and goes for the Cradle Piledriver but Ki blocks it and locks Lynn in a triangle choke. Lynn grasps his hands together and slams Ki to the mat for the 1…2…KICK OUT. So close. Ki is bleeding at the mouth.
Ki escapes a suplex and picks Lynn up for one of his own but Lynn reverses it into a DDT (after waiting for way too long). Short arm clothesline by Lynn and he follows it up with the Cradle Piledriver for the 1…2…3! Low-Ki has two eliminations; Low-Ki has been eliminated.
Styles immediately levels Lynn with a discus clothesline and goes for the pin. 2-count. Styles goes for the Styles Clash but Lynn reverses into a hurricanrana. Styles responds with a spinning leg kick and goes for the pin again. 2-count. Lynn connects with a Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for another 2-count. Styles backdrops Lynn to the apron, and Lynn slams him into the turnbuckle. Styles blocks a sunset flip and hits a springboard twisting splash for the 1…2…KICK OUT.
Styles whips Lynn into the corner and moonsaults off his chest. Lynn gets a boot up after and hits a standing tornado DDT for the 1…2…KICK OUT. Styles blocks a suplex and hits a hangman neckbreaker for the 1…2…KICK OUT. Styles sends Lynn into the corner but Lynn catches him and hits a running sitout powerbomb for the 1…2…KICK OUT. Styles reverses the Cradle Piledriver with a backdrop, then hits the Styles Clash for the 1…2…3! Jerry Lynn has one elimination. Ricky Steamboat comes in to officiate the final fall of the match.
Lynn and Styles finally get to their feet and trade rights. Styles catches Lynn mid float-over but Lynn rolls him up for a 2-count. A series of near-falls and reversals lead to a whole bunch of 2-counts. Too numerous to recap but it’s an excellent sequence that ends when Lynn and Styles clothesline one another at the same time. They get back up and Styles dropkicks Lynn. Lynn heads to the apron, ducks a clothesline, and drops Styles neck-first on the top rope. Lynn pulls him out of the ring and sends him into the guardrail. Lynn smashes Styles into the apron and rolls in/out to break the count. Lynn whips Styles into the apron, but Styles jumps onto the apron and lands the moonsault/inverted DDT combo on the floor. Ferrara says this match is as good as Flair/Steamboat and Guerrero/Malenko.
Styles rolls Lynn back into the ring and goes for the pin. 2-count. Styles tries for the inverted DDT again but Lynn picks him up and drops him on the top rope. Lynn then delivers a DDT from the rope and goes for the pin. 1…2…KICK OUT. I am so glad Hall/Jarrett wasn’t the actual main event. Lynn picks Styles up but Styles slides out and attempts a hurricanrana but Lynn reverses it into a facebuster for the 1…2…KICK OUT. The crowd goes insane as does the announcers as does the man writing this recap. Holy crap.
Lynn is first to his feet and goes for a power bomb but Styles slides out and hits a backbreaker-like move for the 1…2…KICK OUT. So close. Lynn blocks a suplex and hits a brainbuster for the 1…2…KICK OUT. Lynn locks Styles in a sleeperhold which feels completely out of place in a match like this. Styles fights it and escapes the move with a jawbreaker. Styles goes to the top but Lynn crotches him with a right hand. Lynn goes to the top and connects with the Superplex. Lynn covers him for the 1…2…KIIIIICK OOOOUT. Holy hell.
Forearms to the head by Lynn and Styles collapses in the corner. Lynn seats Styles on the top turnbuckle and mounts the second rope. Styles shoves him off and heads to the top rope. Styles hits the Spinal Tap (twisting Asai moonsault) for the 1…2…3!
Winner and FIRST X-Division Champion [via Pinfall]: AJ Styles (25:56)
- With this being the first chance to actually showcase the X-Division, TNA made sure that the match blew everyone away and even ten years later it still accomplishes that goal. All four men were amazing in this match and the pace was insanely quick (in a good way). Once it got down to Styles/Lynn the drama intensified and so did the action and the constant near-falls had me on the edge of my seat. Just an amazing match that I can’t do justice to because it needs to be seen to be believed. Some say that a show is only as good as its main event, and if that’s true, this week’s edition of NWA-TNA was a masterpiece. Okay no it wasn’t, not even close actually, but it was definitely definitely a step up from the first edition. This match would start a pattern that TNA would follow for almost its entire run: the X-Division match is the best match on the card, no questions and very few exceptions. Just tremendous. I’m going to watch this match again. (A)
The pyro goes off and confetti/streamers rain as Steamboat raises Styles’ hand in victory. Steamboat hands Styles the X-Division Title and raises it in victory. He makes his rounds to the corners of the ring to celebrate and hold his belt high as the commentators continue to freak out over the match they just watched.
Match Recap: Tenay goes through every elimination of the match we just watched. That just seems unnecessary.
We join Tenay/West/Ferrara at the announce table. Tenay runs down the big matches for next week’s show: a one night tournament for the NWA World Tag Team Titles, Scott Hall/Brian Christopher Vs. Jeff Jarrett/K-Krush (Ferrara hypes the match up) and Ken Shamrock (c) Vs. Malice for the NWA World Heavyweight Title (West hypes that match up). Tenay then signs off for TNA and we end this week’s episode by a shot of Styles holding the X-Division Title high in the air.
Overall Show Grade: C+
- Favorite Match: Styles/Lynn/Low-Ki/Psicosis
- Least Favorite Match: Cheex/Frank Parker OR Lingerie Battle Royal
- Favorite Moments: Every minute of the X-Division main event, the announcers going insane during said match and going all out with enthusiasm, Francine whipping Ed Ferrara with his own belt, Father James Mitchell being ridiculously great on the mic, The Disciples of the New Church
- Least Favorite Moments: The Lingerie Battle Royal, Cheex, the rampant homophobia when The Rainbow Express were wrestling, Bobcat, Apolo’s backyard wrestler moveset, Scott Hall and Brian Christopher both needing celebrity run-ins to win their matches.