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NWA/TNA Weekly PPV - July 17, 2002

by Scrooge McSuck>

- Last week on NWA-TNA: Total Nonstop Action, Low-Ki won a grueling 6-Man Elimination Match to be named the #1 Contender to the X-Division Championship. A.J. Styles and Jerry Lynn retained their Tag Team Titles, but wound up fighting each other backstage due to personal problems. Ken Shamrock's the World Champion and nobody cares, Jeff Jarrett has lost his mind and a few people care, and Jasmine St. Claire offered Jeremy Borash a lap-dance. When the second best highlight of the week was Ed Ferrara tackling Bill Behrens, you know you have problems with the booking team.

- Goldylocks interviews Ken Shamrock from earlier in the week. He swears a lot and shoves the camera out of his face. That's the last we will see of the World Champion this week on a PPV that costs us $9.95. Hope you enjoyed it.

- Mike Tenay, Don West, and Ed Ferrara are at ringside to call all the action, unless otherwise noted. Weird observation, and yes, I am referencing this because of a particular website: Every show seems to open with the camera panning people with signs with the name "Athena" on them. Who is Athena, and why should I care?

- Scott Hall and Jeff Jarrett are brawling backstage. How does this effect Jarrett's upcoming Ladder Match with Malice for the #1 Contendership to Ken Shamrock's World Championship? Simple... he's out of the match, despite Hall probably starting everything. Jeff Jarrett is being screwed more than Bret Hart! Bill Behrens deserves to be stripped of all his powers of authority. Malice comes out for the match, and in the first of MANY occasions, the lights go out to introduce a surprise... and that surprise is Malice's new opponent, SABU.

#1 Contender's Ladder Match:
Sabu vs. Malice (w/ James Mitchell):

Considering it's 2002 and ECW was only dead for a year, bringing in Sabu for a few shows wasn't the worst idea in the world, and the fans reacted well to his surprise appearance. Sabu quickly takes Malice down with a Tornado DDT and springs off the ropes with a side kick. Whip is reversed and Malice lays him out with an elbow. Tempest tosses a chair to Malice, but Sabu takes his legs from under him and throws the chair into his face (unprotected)... twice. He launches himself off the chair, but Malice catches him and plants him with a slam. Sabu takes his turn doing a header into a chair. They blow a spot so ugly, I don't even know what they were trying. They take too long setting up a simple "baseball slide into the ladder" spot. Sabu with a double springboard plancha to the floor, at least done at regular speed. Sabu sets up a table, rather than go for the contract. Malice recovers and rolls snake eyes across the ladder. Sabu's bleeding, I think from the nose. Malice whips Sabu into the ladder and drops him, and the ladder, with a scoop slam. Malice takes a while setting up another spot and gets the ladder kicked back into his face. Sabu climbs, but Malice takes him down with a Powerbomb. He props the ladder in the corner and sends Sabu onto it with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Malice climbs, but Sabu dropkicks the ladder over. Sabu with a chair assisted leg drop. Malice no-sells some chair shots and catches Sabu off the ropes with a spinebuster. Malice climbs and gets pushed over, taking a dive through the table at ringside. Sabu retrieves the contract at 13:24, earning a World Championship Match next week. The New Church attacks post-match, including a chokeslam from the apron through a table. ** Decent garbage brawl, but that one sequence of about 45-seconds looked beyond bush league, it definitely killed my interest for most of the remainder of the match. Could've stood to chop off 3-4 minutes, too. Malice, the big monster heel, is now 0-3 in his NWA-TNA career. I guess someone forget to say you should let the monster win, occasionally.

- Jerry Lynn and A.J. Styles come to the ring and talk trash with each other (including excessive use of the s-word). Lynn comes across as a bitter veteran talking about sleeping in his car and eating peanut butter sandwiches. No Ramen Noodles? Styles responds by knocking Lynn on his ass with an enziguri and the Styles Clash. Lynn kind of deserved it.

- Backstage, Francine is doing a poor job of beating the crap out of Jasmine St. Claire. I'm really tired of these poor efforts of T&A in TNA.

Norman Smiley vs. K-Krush:

Mike Tenay sucks up to the online critics for claiming TNA has been doing a great job at being an alternative product. K-Krush vents about not being a star, despite dancing, wrestling, and SMELLING like a star, and being stuck in the ring with NASCAR drivers. And being fired by the WWF/WWE. Krush's promo generates a mild "K-Krush" chant, and he declares "The Truth will not be denied." Krush attacks before the bell and stomps Smiley down in the corner. Smily comes back with the wind-up slam and teases The Big Wiggle. Smiley counters a body scissors with a face buster for a two count. Krush avoids a charge, does a split to duck a clothesline, and takes Smiley off his feet with a jumping heel kick for two. Smiley ducks under a clothesline and brings Krush down with a back suplex. Whip, Smiley with an elbow and a clothesline. Krush with a knee to the chest and a front suplex, and it's enough for three at 3:22. Post-match, Krush takes his belt off and gives Smiley a good working over with it. Smiley's wife runs out and gets throttled before TNA Security break it up * Match was a rushed outing designed as a back-drop for Krush's promo and character's change in direction, much like they did with Brian Christopher/Lawler last week. Only differences being that K-Krush's promo had passion, direction, and the crowd actually giving a crap.

- Puppet, The Psycho Dwarf is backstage in a garbage can, and (allegedly) whacking off. He offers Goldylocks some porridge. Puppet is suffering from PMS: Pissed Midget Syndrome. O... k. Sitting around the corner are the Dupps. Stan is playing with a lighter while Bo and Fluff make out. Stan says Goldylocks has "pretty lips... not those lips." Can I have the last three minutes of my life back?

Christopher Daniels & Elix Skipper vs. The Flying Elvis':

Looking at this blindly, you would think that Daniels and Skipper were the team with the most focus on... nope, it's Sonny Siaki and Jorge Estrada as Elvis impersonating minorities. Daniels and Skipper bum rush and the action is hot and heavy. Skipper wipes out Estrada with a somersault plancha. Siaki with a drop toe hold into the ropes, followed by a Samoan Drop for two. Estrada with a sloppy running SSP for two. Siaki leaves the ring area to join the commentary, making fun of Jorge's hair, accusing him of thinking he really is Elvis. Great, another team is breaking up? Siaki takes off his top to show off to the ladies. He puts Skipper over his shoulder and comes down with a back breaker. You'd think that would hurt the man performing it more. Estrada with a springboard moonsault for two. Estrada with a modified whirly-bird for two. Skipper comes out of nowhere with a springboard clothesline and makes the tag to Daniels. He cleans house and takes Estrada down with a bulldog. Skipper jumps off the back of Daniels, off the shoulders of Estrada, and takes Siaki over with a hurricanrana. Siaki trips Daniels up and Estrada delivers a basement dropkick, followed by a second rope leg drop for two. Daniels avoids a charge and puts Estrada down with an enziguri. Skipper with the hot tag, taking Siaki down with a belly-to-belly, followed by a rolling underhook suplex for two. Estrada with the X-Factor and an UGLY springboard whatever. Daniels with a reverse leg split and a double springboard moonsault for two. Skipper with a missile dropkick on Siaki for two. Siaki with a boot to the midsection and a twisting gutwrench suplex for two. Skipper counters a german suplex with the Play of the Day, but Siaki runs back in, plants him with an inverted spinning neckbreaker, and covers for three at 9:48. **1/2 Good match, but not much of a formula match, with neither team really playing much in a heel vs. face role. Estrada blew a handful of spots, too. For no good god damn reason, the Dupps lay out Estrada while Siaki runs away. Maybe revenge for last week? Who cares.

Meatball vs. Puppet, The Psycho Dwarf:

It's another "hardcore rules" match for our midget division. I hope Puppet has washed his hand since earlier. Meatball is the world's largest midget (oxymoron of the century), looking like Chumlee from Pawn Stars, with Paul Heyman's hairline. Puppet slams Meatball over the head with a trash can, and drops him across it with a drop toe hold. Puppet "dropkicks" the can back into his face, and I say that generously. Meatball knocks him to the floor and comes off the apron with a double axehandle. Meatball with the world's second worst cartwheel (that still goes to Michael Finley at the 1997 All-Star Saturday Night) and an elbow drop. He blasts Puppet with a pie and starts throwing random groceries at him. HE'S GOT A PINEAPPLE! Puppet goes low and bashes him over the head with a giant bag of flour. He pulls out the Watermelon and splits it over his head. Puppet continues to punish Meatball, and this match is begging to end. He comes off the steps with a Tornado DDT, but only gets two. Puppet leg drops Meatball's face into a chair and comes off the second rope with a splash for three at 7:13. * This was OK, I guess. I really dislike midget matches, but they at least tried to make it entertaining, even though it dragged pretty bad after the opening minutes.

Jasmine St. Claire vs. Francine:

This should suck. Jasmine is wearing a t-shirt and no bra, and Jeremy Borash continues to be a drooling pig. If TNA could afford Joey Styles, he would be screaming CATFIGHT! CATFIGHT! CATFIGHT! They grope and pull hair, furthering the idea that wrestling is the lowest form of entertainment. They take turns removing random articles of clothing until THE BLUE MEANIE runs in, looking to be the slimmest he has ever been, and planting Francine with a DDT. Call it a No Contest. Francine has been a heel in all her previous appearances, but now everyone is defending her honor because the Meanie interrupted the match and assaulted her. Who writes this crap?

NWA X-Division Championship Match:
"The Phenomenal" A.J. Styles vs. Low-Ki:

Low-Ki earned the status of #1 Contender by winning a 6-Man Elimination Match the previous week. TNA tried to do something cute by doing a "ranking" system based on the eliminations, but I'm pretty sure they ignored it immediately after this. Does anyone else think Jerry Lynn will interfere for what happened earlier tonight? They do some chain wrestling until it turns into a slugfest. They take turns with kicks until Low-Ki brings Styles down with a waistlock and locks on a front facelock. Styles goes for the leg and gets a kick to the face for it. Low-Ki goes for the handspring kick, but Styles interrupts with a dropkick to the ribs. Whip to the ropes and Styles with a drop-sault, followed by a running senton for two. Low-Ki counters a whip with a rolling roundhouse, followed by a thrust kick, knocking Styles to the apron. Styles brings Low-Ki to the apron and knocks him off with a discus clothesline, but misses an Asai Moonsault. Styles tries another high spot and takes a roundhouse kick to the face. Low-Ki hooks on the Dragon Clutch, but Styles is still on the apron.

Styles fights out of another Dragon Clutch, springs off the ropes, and takes Low-Ki down with an inverted DDT. Whip to the corner, Styles runs into a boot. Low-Ki charges, and Styles takes him over with a snap powerslam for two. Styles with a delayed brain-buster, but it only gets two. They fight over a suplex on the top rope, with Styles getting the best of the exchange. Low-Ki rolls out of the way of the Spiral Tap and covers for two. Low-Ki goes for the Ki-Crusher (Fisherman Suplex/Oklahoma Stamede), but Styles counters mid-way through with a Tornado DDT. Low-Ki reverses a whip to the corner and connects with the jumping roundhouse kick. Styles counters a twisting moonsault and connects with the Styles Clash for the three count at 10:37! That seemingly came out of nowhere. ***1/2 Light on the high spots, going more with wrestling and progressively building up the impact of each big move delivered until an unimaginable counter was turned into a finishing spot. Jerry Lynn runs out onto the entrance set and tackles Styles out of his boots. He drags him back into the ring and connects with a Piledriver. He pulls out a ladder (and why not?) and uses it to punish Styles some more. It's a shame he's the #6 Contender to the X-Division Title.

- Because it's TNA, Sabu wants the Championship Match to a Ladder Match, which Ken Shamrock has agreed to, but the NWA Championship Committee has made it that Submissions can obtain victory, as well. Ladder and/or Submission Rules Only! TNA's first attempt at a head-scratching over-booking decision!

Scott Hall vs. Brian Lawler:

This is CLOSING THE SHOW? Oh man, where's the bottle of Vodka when you need it... weak "Jerry's Kid" chant from probably 10 people. Brian continues to push the idea that he has daddy issues, like the fact his father has married three women, all younger than himself. He bought a ticket for his father to be there, but he's probably at the local high school with a fist-full of candy... that doesn't make much sense. The crowd goes mild for Scott Hall sneaking up on Brian Lawler. They milk this for a ridiculously long time, to the point Hall could've taken a nap behind his back before he finally turned around. Hall with rights, sending Lawler to the floor. Hall dominates a slugfest, and why not? Lawler looks like a scrub next to him, even considering how far from his prime Scott Hall is. Lawler grabs a purse from the crowd and whacks Hall over the head with it. Lawler takes control in the ring, doing little of note. Lawler with a snap suplex for two. Lawler grabs the microphone for some mid-match taunting of the crowd. Lawler ducks under a discus punch and lays Hall out with a super-kick. Hall interrupts a climb to the top, slamming Lawler off. Hall with the fallaway slam, followed by a second rope back suplex. He signals for the end, but K-Krush runs in, only to get knocked silly. Hall with the Razor's Edge for three at 8:20. I don't think anyone expected Hall in doing a pinfall job to Lawler, and rightfully so. Lawler just looked too far out of Hall's league just standing next to him. Hall gets double-teamed post-match and hung by K-Krush's belt. 1/2* Match was little more than punchy-kicky crap until the finishing sequence.

- Jeff Jarrett shows up again, whacking Hall and a bunch of TNA Security with a steel chair. End Show.

Final Thoughts: NWA-TNA continues to appear it's weekly program is written an hour before the show is broadcast with little attention paid from segment to segment, like K-Krush cutting a passionate promo about being over-looked, only to show up and share the "spotlight" with Brian Lawler in a feud that really doesn't make much sense. A.J. Styles and Low-Ki delivered a pretty good match, and the stuff between Styles and Lynn continues to be the one constant from week to week that's worth looking forward to. Sabu and Malice put on a watchable garbage match, but boy was it ugly at times. It looks like the Flying Elvis' don't have much time left as a team, with them planting the seeds of Sonny Siaki breaking off on his own. Did I mention they can't make up their mind whether or not Francine is a face or heel? Eh, who cares, I don't think she appears again after this episode.

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