January 22, 2003
Jeremy Borash is shown from location somewhere, welcoming Australia to TNA. They will now get to watch TNA in their country. Borash puts over the Australians as being great wrestling fans. Whatever.
Your hosts are Don West & Mike Tenay
David Young & Shark Boy & Jimmy Yang vs. Amazing Red & Spanish Announce Team
Red and the SAT’s get jumped from behind but quickly turn things around. They Irish whip all three men into each other then go up top and hit elbow drops, barely getting a one count. Joel assists Red with a somersault tope onto Young and Yang. They then triple-team Shark Boy and try some cool stuff but none of it hit cleanly and Red really fucked up something at the end. The SAT’s put Shark Boy in a surfboard/Dragon Sleeper combo as Red comes off of the top rope with a stomp. That looked off, too. Jose hits Shark Boy with a corner clothesline, getting two. Shark Boy ends up hitting Jose with a weak looking Codebreaker then tags Yang as the announcers tell us that Russo will name the opponents in the title matches tonight as part of last week’s stipulations. Yang hits a springboard missile dropkick and chops Jose in the corner. Moonsault kick by Yang then he follows that with several shoulder thrusts. Jose floats over on a suplex attempt and kills Yang with an enziguiri. Tag to Joel and beats on Yang. He then runs across the ring and nearly decapitates Yang with a running Yakuza kick. German suplex gets two. He covers again and gets two. Yang gets a spinning heel kick and tags Young. Joel gets a few shots but gets tossed in the corner. Joel comes back with a dropkick and tags Red. Red gets a tornado DDT for two but then gets caught with a swinging facebuster. Tag to Shark Boy and he punches Red in the corner. The crowd chants for Red as he is dropkicked in mid-air. Red flips over Shark Boy and kicks him before landing an enziguiri. Jose tags and he gets a backdrop for two. Blind tag by Yang and he hits Jose with a clothesline then tosses him outside. He whips him into the guardrail then into the steps. He rolls him back in the ring and tags Young as they get two off a double suplex. Young hits a lariat for two then tags Shark Boy. He slugs it out with Jose until hitting a hangmen’s meckbreaker, which gets two. Crowd chants “SAT” as Jose hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissor then a back suplex. He shoves Shark Boy away with his feet and tags Joel. He hits a few enziguiri’s then kills him with a brainbuster. He goes up top but misses the Swanton Bomb. Young tags and they exchange reversals until he hits a back suplex. HE jumps up top and hits a moonsault for two. They do an awkward looking double clothesline spot as Yang and Red tag. Red gets a Mexican armdrag but is then flattened with a powerbomb, which only gets two. Yang gets him a fireman’s carry and tries a tilt-a-whirl but Red reverses it into a nasty looking armbar. Young breaks that up and hits a spinebuster. Joel comes off the top with a missile dropkick as the announcers point out how Jose is still on the floor. Shark Boy hits the DSD but Jose comes in and clotheslines him to the floor then follows with a quebrada. Red kicks Yang in the corner. He tries a tornado DDT but Yang flips out of that and lands a kick. He signals for the Yang Time, which the crowd cheers, but he gets crotched by Joel and Red goes up and hits the Code Red from the top for the win! (12:29) **1/2.
Thoughts: Decent match. Young probably stood out the most with his power moves. Red was uncharacteristically sloppy here. He didn’t have a good performance, nor did the SAT’s for that matter. They just came back from Japan so they could have been tired.
Immediately after the match, Konnan runs in the ring and beats the losing team with a kendo stick as Bert Prentice comes out again and orders the police and security to take him away as Tenay tells us that he doesn’t have a contract with TNA. Konnan’s yells as Tenay says he has no idea what he is upset about.
Tenay tells us that Percy Pringle is recovering from his beating last week by SEX. Also, “In the Pit” from Roddy Piper will happen tonight. West then holds up a copy of “Pro Wrestlnig Illustrated” that features Nikita Koloff and Dusty Rhodes on the cover. He then channels Casey Kasem as he tells us that a fan gave him this magazine and told him about the feud.
West runs down the card:
AJ Styles vs. Larry Zbyszko
Ron Killings & Jerry Lynn vs. David Flair & Mike Sanders
Also, Russo picks the challengers for all of the titles tonight
SEX comes out to the ring, without Ron Harris for some reason. Russo grabs the mic and calls out a fan for his “Russo is a Virgin” sign and tells him he needs to have a talk with his mother. Russo tells Tenay that the PPV buys for last week’s show were up by 22%. He also tells us that the #1 t-shirt is the SEX shirt. He tells Tenay that this is his night, SEX’s night, and the night of champions. He starts off with the tag-team titles, calling AMW the “Cowboy and the Underwear Model” and then asks his men who would want to face them tonight. Russo then names Elix Skipper and Low Ki as the challengers. Up next, the X Division belt. He tells Siaki at all is fair in war and love and he will not book him in a cakewalk. He says it will be a three-way dance with “anyone of the future” (Rick Santel or Chris Vaughn) then says that a three-way needs a woman and picks Athena, as she always brings her knee pads. Tenay is irate with Russo for destroying the X Division like he did the cruiserweight division in WCW. He tells Jarrett that the offer to join SEX is off the table and that he will defend in a four-way match with gauntlet rules against Christopher Daniels, BG James, and Don Harris. Russo then says that he has one very important phone call to make then hands over the mic to Mike Sanders, the SEX “Director of Acquisitions.” The fans chant “S-O-L” as Russo orders everyone else to leave the ring. Sanders promises us that he has acquired two of the hottest commodities for SEX. Next week, we will meet the new Director of Talent Development and this week, he has acquired the SEX Australian Heavyweight Champion, because Vince Russo said so, Ashley Hudson. This was not his debut as he teamed with Ron Harris against AMW during the angle when Ron couldn’t beat AMW and would attack his partner when he lost the match.
Ashley Hudson vs. Jorge Estrada
The two measure each other before Estrada gets a school boy for two. He hits an armdrag as Tenay tells us about his tenure in WCW and West brings up his previous appearance in TNA. They do a hiptoss reversal sequence ending with Hudson getting tossed to the floor then Estrada almost kills himself with a pescado. He rolls Hudson back in then stands on the middle rope and moonsaults in, barely connecting, getting two. Hudson ducks out as Tenay talks about Russo. Back in the ring, Hudson catches a flying Estrada with a knee. He chokes out Estrada with the middle rope then stomps away. He tosses Estrada to the floor then into the steps. Hudson hotshots Estarda on the steps then rolls him back in the ring. He slingshots in the ring with a legdrop then poses on the top rope. He puts his feet on the ropes during his pin attempt but only gets two. This match is so uninteresting that Tenay and West talk about everything else in the promotion. Hudson tries a suplex but they manage to fuck that up as Estrada lands softly on his feet and just covers Hudson, getting two. Estrada gets a backdrop then the TCB gets two. Quebrada gets two. Estrada goes up top but Hudson shoves the ref into the ropes. Hudson goes up top but gets shoved off. Estrada hits a crossbody but Hudson rolls through and gets the win (5:00) DUD. After the match, Sanders approaches Estrada and extends his hand but Estrada rolls away.
Thoughts: Terrible match. Hudson is dull and Estrada gets worse and worse each week. Even the announcers couldn’t be bothered to call this drek. Its pretty obvious that they just had Hudson go over to appeal to the Australian audience.
The camera shows TNA cage dancer Lollipop, who pulls up her shorts and exposes her ass, which has a temporary tattoo of the Australian flag on each cheek. Best thing on the show so far.
Video recap of the AJ Styles / Larry Zbyszko confrontation from last week.
“Living Legend” Larry Zbyszko vs. AJ Styles
Styles mocks Zbyszko by walking down the ramp like an old man. Tenay brings up Zbyszko’s match against Scott Hall from “Souled Out” in 1998. Crowd chants for Larry, who actually looks decent for his age. Lots of stalling from Larry until he gets a single leg takedown. AJ taunts Larry, who then grabs the arm and grounds him with a headscissors. AJ reaches the ropes with his foot but gets taken back down again. Back to the headscissors for Larry. AJ breaks out and takes Larry down with a shoulderblock but gets caught with a hiptoss. Larry goes back to the arm for a bit. AJ escape and hits a running knee smash. He beats on Larry as a “Living Legend” chant breaks out. AJ delivers a superkick, which sends Larry to the floor. The camera shows Mortimer Plumtree on the ramp observing the match. Larry is now standing on the top rope and motioning like he is going to jump to AJ, who is on the floor. The ref gets him down for some reason then AJ pulls Larry down and beats on him. Larry gets a spin kick then a backdrop, getting two. AJ blocks a suplex attempt and hits one of his own before heading up top. Larry crotches him by shaking the ropes, causing AJ to fall on the mat. Larry goes to AJ but his taken down then AJ puts his feet on the ropes and gets the win (5:49) ¾*. After the match, AJ goes over to Tenay and yells about wanting a title match.
Thoughts: Why waste AJ with this garbage? The SEX vs. Traditional Wrestling thing should not go this far. I understand they want to transition AJ into the heavyweight division but they can do that without having him face Zbyszko.
Goldylocks is backstage with Jerry Lynn and Ron Killings. She brings up their match between Flair & Sanders then asks Lynn about what will happen if Russo gets his way and he is out of a job and cannot support his family. Killings is shown walking away in the background as Lynn says that this is about his livelihood and he is here to support his daughter.
Mike Sanders & David Flair vs. Ron “The Truth” Killings & Jerry Lynn
Flair has his burlap sack with him. Lynn and Killings run in an immediately attack their opponents. Killings and Flair pair off and they have some rough looking exchanges, mostly due to Flair. Killings pulls Flair to the floor and brawl outside the ring and in front of the two guys in the ring. Lynn rolls up Sanders, getting two. Crossbody gets two. Flair and Sanders double-team Lynn until they run into a boot and Lynn gets a double bulldog. Good lord, does Flair look awful out there. Lynn beats on Flair in the corner as the crowd does the “Whoo!” calls. Sanders sneaks behind the refs back and guillotines Lynn. Tag to Sanders and they hit some basic double team stuff. Sanders covers and gets two. He beats on Lynn in the corner and tags Flair, who gets in some weak stomps. They double team Lynn behind the refs back as he deals with Killings. Suplex by Sanders gets two. He covers again and gets two but Lynn fights back. Flair catches him with a knee but Lynn shoves him off the apron. Sanders catches him with a kick that gets two. Flair tags and Tenay actually apologizes to the viewers for not paying attention to the in-ring action as they have been talking about everything else in the promotion. Flair hits a shinbreaker on Lynn and works the leg. He tries a figure-four but Lynn rolls him up for two. Flair gets a clothesline and chops Lynn in the corner. Crowd starts a “David Flair Sucks” chant but Sanders gets the to stop that by extending his arms, causing the crowd to go “Hey!!!!” Gotta give Sanders credit, the man can work the crowd. His only weakness was that his offense sucked. Sanders tags and stomps Lynn in the corner then Flair chokes him out behind the ref’s back. Sanders tells Lynn that the crowd doesn’t want him here as they are chanting “Hey!” Sanders goes towards the Truth but Lynn trips him up and makes the tag. Truth goes wild and beats on both men. He hits Sanders with the ax kick, getting two. Lynn tags and they a double hiptoss. The ref goes to Killings as Flair hits Lynn with the sack and Sanders gets the pin (7:49) ½*. After the match, Sanders tells Killings that when they talked earlier, the answer is that the talent roster is full and says thanks, but no thanks.
Thoughts: The match sucked, due to David Flair of course, but the post match comments from Sanders was at least intriguing
Its now “In the Pit” with Roddy Piper. This is pre-taped. Piper is shown in a ring with the local “WB” affiliate banner in the background. He tells TNA that he has never heard such an uprising until he mentioned Owen Hart. He refers to him as his cousin again, then points at a row of empty chairs, stating he used to be there, next to the Junkyard Dog and Kerry Von Erich. He tells Russo that he slapped him upside his head then calls him the worst kind of coward. He says that Jeff Jarrett comes from his school and rambles on for a while. He tells that Russo underestimated his enemy then mentions the “WB” logo and that he has a new show for young talent and rants on like a lunatic again. He will never go to Nashville again and now has his teeth into something and can come into spirit. He calls Kid Kash a new young guy and that the saddest thing he has ever seen is someone killing the soul of Kid Kash and he will take a flame thrower to Russo for that and is sending everyone from “WB 32” to him. A pathetic, rambling mess this was.
NWA-TNA World Tag Team Titles
Elix Skipper & Low Ki w/Christopher Daniels vs. America’s Most Wanted (Champions)
Tenay tells us that if you want to hear more from Piper, you can go on “Pipervision” which is on the internet. Ki and Storm start things off. They do some counters and reversals then end up hitting each other with stiff chops before there was some miscommunication as Storm looked to be expecting a leapfrog and Ki did a dropkick instead. Ki hits Storm with some stiff offense as the crowd chants “Monkey Boy” at Ki. Storm hits a monkey flip then kills him with a lariat. Tag to Harris, who comes off the top with an elbow. Backdrop by Harris and tag to Storm. Harris lifts Ki up and Storm hits a missile dropkick. Harris then catapults Ki in the corner and they throw Ki at Skipper, who was entering the ring. XXX regroups outside for a bit then Skipper enters. Storm hits him with a bad looking tilt-a-whirl headscissors then tags Harris as they double team Skipper. Thesz Press by Harris and Storm tags. Double backdrop gets two. Daniels grabs the leg of Storm, allowing Skipper to hit a belly-to-belly. Ki tags and chops Storm in the corner. XXX neutralizes Storm in the corner, going behind the referee’s back whenever possible. Skipper holds up Storm as Ki hits a springboard kick. Skipper puts him in a Boston Crab then works the leg of Storm. Skipper applies a chinlock as the crowd rallies behind Storm. He tries to escape but Skipper takes him down then tags Ki. He mocks Harris then hits a running elbow smash, getting two. Storm blocks a suplex and tries to make his way towards Harris and makes the tag, but the ref was distracted by Skipper and orders Harris back to his corner. Daniels gets a cheapshot on and XXX is beating him down. Skipper tags and trips Storm, allowing Ki to hit a running basement dropkick for two. Storm tries to fight back but gets cut off. Tag to Skipper and he covers for two after hitting a knee drop. They dodge a bunch of kicks until Storm kills him with a roundhouse. Both men tag and Harris goes wild. Tilt-a-whirl slam to Ki gets two as Skipper breaks that up. Storm hits Skipper with a swinging neckbreaker and that gets two. Ki springboards off the middle rope but Harris catches him and hits a sitout powerbomb but the ref is out of position. Harris unloads on Skipper against the ropes. Things slow down a lot as Harris is beating on Skipper until he rolls out. He focuses on Ki and looks at him for five seconds before getting kicked in the face. Skipper hits a Tiger Suplex for two. Ki then hits the Shining Wizard on Harris for two. Harris hotshots Skipper but Ki chops him hard. Harris catches him and goes for the Catatonic but Ki turns it into an armbreaker. Storm dropkicks Ki and he falls down. Harris hits Skipper with a crossbody and he uses the Matrix to escape the cover, only to walk into a super kick from Storm. They set up Skipper for the Death Sentence but Daniels jumps up on the apron and Harris gets off the top rope and goes after him, allowing Ki to kick Storm in the face. Harris catches Ki off a cartwheel kick attempt and hits the Catatonic. Daniels distracts the ref and Skipper hits Harris in the head with a belt and Ki covers, getting the pin and winning the titles (15:18) **3/4.
Thoughts: The match got better towards the end but the heat segment on Storm went on for way too long. Also, these guys weren’t that crisp, especially in the beginning. So, AMW loses the belts two weeks after retaining them.
Lollipop once again shows us her ass and shakes it rapidly.
Tenay says that the future of TNA rests solely on the shoulders of Jeff Jarrett. Goldy is backstage with Bob Armstrong. Goldy asks him about Russo and Armstrong yells at her then rambles before walking away
X Division Championship Match
Athena vs. Chris Vaughn vs. Sonny Siaki (Champion) w/Desire
Siaki beat Vaughn in a squash match a few months ago, which West recalls. Siaki boots down Vaughn as Athena runs away. Siaki suplexes Vaughn on the ropes then grabs Athena. She slaps him and Vaughn gets two off a rollup. He gets another rollup but Siaki catches him and hits a Death Valley Driver. He hits the Siakalypse but pulls Vaughn up at two. He goes to Athena and she kicks him low. Vaughn hits a pair of clotheslines and a dropkick. Athena and Desire engage in a catfight outside the ring as Vaughn gets a bulldog off of a wheelbarrow. Cutter gets two. Siaki then gets the Fire Thunder Driver, which is now called the Siakalypse Now and gets the win (1:24) ¼*. After the match, Siaki grabs Athena and Trinity hits Siaki with a missile dropkick. Desire runs in and gets taken down with a tilt-a-whirl headscissor. Siaki grabs Trinity as Kash runs out and hits Siaki with a rana. Desire gets her shirt yanked off, exposing her bra before Siaki wrestles her away.
Thoughts: Match was meaningless but used as a platform to give Trinity a feud, which is with Desire as well as a feud between Kash and Siaki.
Tenay gets word that Goldylocks was invited into the SEX locker room, for a party. When she enters, SEX drenches her with champagne. Sanders even pours it directly on her shirt. Russo interrupts and says that they still have Jeff out there tonight and that they will party when he says the party and orders them to finish the job as the crowd starts a “Russo sucks” chant.
West and Tenty talk about the title match as West quotes Yogi Berra.
Dusty Rhodes is introduced to the ring, carrying a bullrope. He tells us that Russo has everything going his way but that he didn’t account for the NWA blood running through the veins of Jeff Jarrett. He calls out Nikita Koloff, who eventually comes out through the crowd, but has to wait a minute for security to untie the guardrail. He says he remembers when he was the “Baddest cat in town” he never took orders from everyone and “whored” himself to Russo and the almighty dollar. He then brings up Magnum TA’s accident and how they were rivals. He says he came to Nikita, when he “didn’t speak no English” and told him to take TA’s place. Since no one in the crowd seems to remember this, they barely react when Dusty asks him to re-form the super powers. He has Tenay give him the magazine and Nikita looks at it for a while until Russo and XXX run out. Russo tells that Nikita that he is here to save wrestling and then goes back and forth with Dusty about Sports Entertainment vs. Traditional Wrestling. Russo demands a decision as he pushes Russo aside and goes into the ring, joining Dusty but cheapshots him and XX attacks as Russo tells Dusty to “blow him.” Koloff walks away on his on, without SEX. Tenay then leaves the booth and heads out back. A total waste of time and why the fuck would I care were Nikita Koloff’s allegiance lays in 2003?
Before Jarrett heads to the ring, Tenay is backstage pleading with him to think about tradition and the NWA. Jarrett tells him that he is going to kick ass and to go back to the booth.
Gauntlet Match for the NWA-TNA World Heavyweight Championship
BG James vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Don Harris vs. Jeff Jarrett (Champion)
Rules for this match mean that you can be eliminated by either pinfall, submission, or by getting thrown over the top rope. Jarrett runs into the ring and attacks everyone. He tossed Daniels over the top rope but he skins the cat then runs in and hits an enziguiri. BG and Daniels attempt to toss Jarrett but that fails. Jarrett gets beat down and rolls outside. He reverses a whip and sends Daniels into the guardrail. He delivers chairshots to Harris and James. BG tries for the care but Referee Scott Armstrong grabs it from him. Jarrett gets busted open as all three men takes turns beating him down. Harris bounces a chair off of Jarrett’s head as they now all beat on Jarrett in the crowd. Once again, Scott Armstrong takes the chair from his brother. Jarrett grabs a chair and fights back but the numbers game catches up with him. Daniels goes up the stairs but Jarrett rolls off the table and Daniels crashes through. He beats everyone with a chair as he heads towards the ring. BG and Harris crotch him on the guardrail then rolls him into the ring. Fans chant for Jarrett as BG is punching away. Harris is also bleeding as he looks into the camera. Big boot by Harris and BG dances around before covering and that only gets two. Inverted atomic drop by BG then the pumphandle but Jarrett gets his foot on the rope. BG tosses his brother as Harris powerbombs Jarrett and that only gets two. BG slaps his brother, who takes off his shirt and kicks BG in the nuts and fires away. Jarrett fights back and backdrops a charging Harris to the floor (7:55). He then elminates BG via backdrop (7:59). Rudy Charles is now in the ring as Dusty is beating on BG. Daniels finally makes it to the ring as the camera shows the brawling around the arena and then Dusty beating up everyone in the SEX locker room. Daniels has Jarrett in the Koji Clutch as several wrestlers are watching the match. BME by Daniels gets two. Daniels goes back up top but Jarrett catches him and hits the Stroke for the win (10:24) *3/4. After the match, several wrestlers run out and put Jarrett on their shoulders. Borash goes into the ring to talk with Jarrett. Before that happens, Raven runs out from the crowd into the ring and beats on Jarrett, with all the wrestlers just standing there. He hits him with the Even Flow DDT and takes the belt before backing into the corner and ducking out before he gets touched. He holds the belt as he walks up the ramp then Russo yells for him and he goes with him as he yells “Fucking Raven” and Raven holds up the belt, with Tenay screaming as the show goes off the air.
Thoughts: The match was about as good as you really could have hoped for. At least the booking was competent. However, the match was all about the end and the debut of Raven, who debuted just two days after wrestling his last match with the WWE. Having him appear so soon was shocking.
Final Thoughts: Well, this show was largely terrible but the surprise debut of Raven at least made for a good ending. The main problems are the constant focus on the 1980’s, with Zbyszko, Koloff, and Dusty getting lots of time, and the overall lack of depth in the heavyweight division. Raven will obviously help the latter but the former is really starting to get old and I really do not get how it is supposed to get people to buy the PPV’s, let alone actually create a new star.