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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
KELLER'S NWA-TNA PPV REPORT
APRIL 16, 2003
LIVE FROM NASHVILLE, TENN
-You missed last week? Forgot what happened? No problem. A four minute highlight package aired with dramatic music in the background concluding with Jeff Jarrett KO'ing Dusty Rhodes with a chair.
-The opening montage aired, then Mike Tenay and Don West introduced the program. Tenay said, "Welcome to NWA-TNA, the only weekly television series broadcast exclusively on PPV." Tenay then previewed the program.
-They went outside the arena live to Dusty Rhodes pacing, waiting for the arrival of Jeff Jarrett so he could confront him over the chairshot last week.
-Raven sat alongside Julio and Alexis in the rafters. He said Julio and Alexis recognize him as the deity that he is. He said they are sick of Jarrett's attempt to turn TNA into a Southern wrasslin' promotion from their youth. He said he finds it offensive that he refuses to throw away his childhood passions and become a real man. Fans began a small "Raven sucks" chant. Raven paused, although the chant didn't get much louder as he had hoped. He said his destiny since childhood has been to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title. He said going insane and being taken care of by people in white lab coats "is not an altogether pleasant experience." Then then turned his attention to D-Lo briefly, saying he is about to get to know what "The Raven Effect" is.
1 -- RAVEN (w/Julio and Alexis) vs. D-LO BROWN
Tenay reminded viewers that Raven faces Jarrett for the NWA Title on April 30. At 1:10 D-Lo clotheslined Raven over the top rope. At 2:00 Raven tossed D-Lo to ringside where Raven's followers attacked him. At 4:20 D-Lo came back and hit his Frog Splash, but Alexis distracted the ref as Julio Deniro kicked D-Lo. Raven then rolled up D-Lo for a two count at 4:40. In a nicely coordinated spot, D-Lo and the ref ducked a wild Raven clothesline, but D-Lo blindly fired back with a kick and hit th ref instead. Deniro blinded D-Lo with powder. D-Lo then blindly powerbombed Alexis. Julio entered the ring, but D-Lo slammed him to the mat, too. Raven then surprised D-Lo with the Evenflow DDT. The ref returned to the ring and counted to three.
WINNER: Raven at 5:57.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Average six minute match. Solid work and well executed, but not especially dynamic or memorable. It gave Raven a win over a "name wrestler" headed into his title match against Jeff Jarrett, though.
-A video package aired hyping Raven vs. Jeff Jarrett. Tenay and West previewed the rest of the program. West got loud and enthusiastic as he talked about the line-up.
-Goldy was in the SEX locker room. Gilbertti told Sanders that he is back in the SEX mix. He also gave a pep talk to Sony Siaki and Triple X. He then talked about his own match, a street fight against A.J. Styles. Gilbertti is really doing a good job at playing the leadership role and dropping his corny comedy act. Gilbertti antagonized Don Harris into hitting in the head a few times to get him warmed up.
2 -- A.J. STYLES vs. GLEN GILBERTTI
Tenay said Jeff Jarrett still hasn't arrived, and West said Dusty Rhodes is still waiting for him to arrive. Gilbertti dominated early with brawling at ringside and then got some aid from Siaki near the SEX locker room. It's amazing how much tougher wrestlers' characters become once they get booking power or backstage influence. They brawled through the crowd. Styles escaped a Gilbertti powerbomb attempt in the aisle at 4:20 and Styles suplexed out of it. When Sanders interfered, D-Lo intervened to even the sides. They went into the ring at 6:00 with a bloodied Styles on offense, beating up Gilbertti with suplexes. Styles beat up Gilbertti with a chair for a minute, but Gilbertti then surprised Styles with a throat-drop over the edge of the chair Stunner-style and scored the surprise pin.
WINNER: Gilbertti at 7:55.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Good brawl. I'm not so sure about the wisdom of Styles doing a clean job to Gilbertti, though.
-Goldy interviewed Dusty in the parking lot. Dusty told her she has a great voice and is a cute little thing, but the things he has to say to Jeff he's going to say man-to-man. It's scary to say, but Dusty is aging better than Ric Flair. Erik Watts arrived and took some verbal shots at Dusty as he walked by. Dusty asked him where all of his celebrity friends are. He said he is still the baddest outlaw in the Wild West. He then uttered Bret Hart's catchphrase about being the best there is, ever was, and ever will be. He said he's not worth his trouble. Watts threw his bag at Dusty, knocking him out. Unlike Jim Cornette's mysterious tennis racket, Watts unzipped his bag to reveal a title belt inside that KO'd Dusty. When he was going to take another shot at Dusty, Goldy screamed and said he's done enough.
Before the next match, Kid Kash told Trinity he watched a tape of her interview with Tenay last week. He said he is embarrassed and ashamed of the way he acted. He admitted she was a part of him winning and holding the title belt. He said the more he thought about it, the more he realized that she should be able to wrestle men or women and he'll be there for her just like she's been there for him. He asked her if she would accept his apology. He then kissed her. She kissed back and accepted his apology. West said, "At least he came to his senses."
3 -- KID KASH (w/Trinity) vs. MIKE SANDERS - X Title match.
Tenay said Sanders is much more focused than in the past. He didn't feel comfortable taking off his shirt during his match, though. Sanders dominated offense in the opening minutes. Trinity went to the top rope to help Kash at 4:45, but Sanders shoved her off the top rope. Kash nailed Sanders with a twisting moonsault at 42:20 for his first near fall of the night. Sanders came back immediately with a dropkick to Kash's ankles. Trinity then nailed Sanders with a top rope crossbody block followed by a 360 roundhouse kick. She came of the top rope with a moonsault. Kash came off the top rope, but Sanders caught him and powerbombed him for a near fall at 6:30. Kash surprised Sanders with an enzuigiri and then did an RVD style dropkick by springboarding off the top rope and nailing a sitting Sanders. After the match The Harris brothers beat up Trinity. Kash watched from the rampway, deciding not to risk his well-being to help Trinity. Tenay said he was showing his true colors.
WINNER: Kash at 7:12 to retain the X Title.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- "Above Average" Mike actually had an "above average" match. His best match to date in TNA, although hardly a classic X Title match that helped establish the division in TNA's early months last year.
-Goldy interviewed James Mitchell with Brian Lee & Slash standing behind him. Mitchell told Sandman he doesn't take rejection well, so because he rejected his offer to join the New Church, he targeted him last week at the first annual "New Church barbecue." He blamed Perry Saturn for getting Sandman all worked up over the the "brotherhood of the extreme" and convincing Sandman to not reject the Church offer. Mitchell said he went into his own backyard to find the dragon who is going to eat his flesh later. Very good promo from Mitchell. On point and convincing.
4 -- PERRY SATURN vs. MIKE AWESOME
Saturn said before the match that he was ready for his "flesh-eating dragon." Out came Mike Awesome as the surprise opponent for Saturn. Sometime since his WWE stint Awesome morphed into ol' PWA Champ and pre-Nitro WCW washout "Thunderblood" Charlie Norris's twin brother. With his unkempt hair and larger gut, the always blunt Awesome seemed even less refined than usual in his movement and execution. Saturn backdropped Awesome over the railing into the crowd at 2:00. Awesome leaped over the railing and nailed Saturn with a clothesline. He didn't get quite the hangtime he did 20 pounds ago, though. Saturn dominated offense for the body of the match. Awesome then came back with a top rope clothesline at 6:30 for a near fall. Saturn escaped Awesome's running powerbomb and nailed him with a superkick and scored a near fall. Awesome hit a lame looking top rope splash for a two count, then went for his Awesome Bomb. Sandman and New Jack charged the ring, prompting Slash and Lee to enter the ring.
WINNER: Awesome via DQ at 8:00.
STAR RATING: 3/4* -- Weak ending to a plodding match with a sadly overweight and shell-of-former-self Awesome.
-They went to the parking lot where Jeff Jarrett began throwing things out of a truck. Goldy called for help from the production crew, yelling that Jarrett was flipping out. Tenay said this is just more evidence that Jarrett is losing it. West said Jarrett has "literally flipped out." As if it wasn't enough to misuse the word "literally" once, he repeated it.
-Mike Tenay did a sit-down interview with America's Most Wanted. Chris Harris said they are still a great team. He said it's not worth reading into his friendliness to the SEX wrestlers last week. James Storm said you're not supposed to hang out with the opponents. Harris said that's right when they're in the ring, but when they're outside the ring, there's nothing wrong with having a beer with a guy he just wrestled. Harris said Storm is his partner and best friend. Tenay asked Harris if he'll be there to support Storm in his singles match. Harris assured Storm he'll be there for him. Storm said, "We'll see."
-Goldy interviewed David Young, asking him what happened with him in Athena last week. Siaki interrupted, called her "Goofy Locks," and said it's none of her business. Goldy said she heard Siaki was supposed to wrestle Harris. Siaki said his schedule is too full to wrestle a nobody. He said he is a corporation. Goldy laughed. Young began promo'ing his match. Siaki interrupted and told Young that SEX wrestlers are cool and his sounds like a hick. He told him to let him (Siaki) do all his talking for him.
5 -- JAMES STORM vs. DAVID YOUNG (w/Sonny Siaki)
At 5:15, Storm had Young down for a pin, so Siaki yanked the ref out of the ring by his legs. Storm turned to yell at Siaki, giving Young a chance to hit Storm from behind with a weak looking forearm. Storm lifted Young, but Desire entered the ring and gave Storm a low-blow from behind, setting up a spinebuster for Young for the win.
WINNER: Young at 8:55.
STAR RATING: ** -- Good effort and solid match.
-West plugged a chance for a viewer to have his name placed on Hermie Sadler's car.
-A video feature aired on The New Church-Extreme Team feud.
-Goldy interviewed Sandman and New Jack while playing chess backstage. Sandman told Goldy that they're in the middle of a chess game, so it was a bad time. New Jack burped as Sandman sucked down a cigarette. Goldy asked them if they were on the same page. Sandman said they are extreme brothers. New Jack said last week he and Sandman may not have been on the same page last week, but they each have a role. His role, he said, is to dive off balconies onto tables. He vowed to finish the job they started last week. Sandman told New Jack that he was in check. They got into an argument when New Jack accused him of cheating while his back was turned. Sandman bashed the beer can against his forehead, drawing blood. Good promo segment.
6 -- BRIAN LEE & SLASH (w/James Mitchell) vs. SANDMAN & NEW JACK
A typical wild brawl you'd expect from these four. Slash was going to leap off the top rope onto New Jack on a table on the floor, but Sandman stopped him with a cane shot. Mitchell hit Sandman from behind. Sandman turned around. Sandman then nailed Slash with a beer cane. Lee then blindsided Sandman. Mitchell then jabbed Sandman with a spike. Sandman ran out to even the sides. Mitchell held Sandman as Lee kicked him in the gut. New Jack went to the top rope with a chair and nailed Slash with it. Awesome then hit New Jack from behind. Awesome threw New Jack over the top rope through the table at ringside. Fans chanted "Holy sh--." Awesome rolled New Jack back into the ring. Slash then pinned him. The lights went out, and Justin Credible appeared center ring when the lights came back on. He joined Saturn and Sandman in fending off The Chuck with a cane.
WINNERS: Slash & Lee at 6:21.
STAR RATING: ** -- Satisfying wild brawl with weapons and blood.
-Back outside in the parking lot, Jarrett threw a barrel at Erik Watts when he made a smart aleck comment about Jarrett having destroyed equipment.
7 -- CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & ELIX SKIPPER vs. JERRY LYNN & AMAZING RED - NWA Tag Team Champions
Tenay said Lynn and Red team tonight, but will face each other next week. Tenay called them the "X Division Dream Team." West said Daniels and Skipper took exception to that comment. Daniels and Lynn opened with some strong, crisp exchanges. Elix and Red then tagged in and went back and forth. At 7:00 Red flipped over the top rope with a dive onto both Elix and Daniels. Back in the ring Elix and Daniels worked over Red, getting a near fall at 8:30. They followed with a series of submission holds on Red. Red fought back at 11:30 with a tornado kick to Daniels and a roundhouse kick and tornado kick combination on Skipper. Great, fluid kicks by Red leading to a hot-tag for Lynn at 11:45. Lynn went to work on both Skipper and Daniels. Lynn hit a tornado DDT for a near fall. Four-way action ensued. The mysterious black masked wrestler attacked Red and Lynn. Daniels then put his feet on the middle for leverage and scored a near fall on Lynn at 13:00. He followed up with Angel's Wings on Lynn for another two count. Daniels then elbowed Lynn off the top rope as Elix held up in an inverted bodyvice (Jesse Ventura's old finisher). Lynn kicked out. He then managed to catapult Skipper into Daniels, who was standing on the top rope, and then cradle Skipper for the pin.
WINNERS: Lynn & Red at 14:16 to capture the NWA Tag Team Titles.
STAR RATING: **** - Excellent 15 minute tag match. Probably Daniels's best performance in TNA to date. Everyone was on.
-After the match, Jeff Jarrett attacked Lynn & Red during their post-match celebration. Jarrett then grabbed the house mic and cut a promo aimed at Raven. He said he is going to "cut the balls off a monster before it gets full grown." He said Raven had exactly three seconds to get his "beloved son and daughter" out to the ring or "I'll come back there and blow torch your ass." He counted to three. No answer, so Jarrett headed to the SEX locker room. He tried to kick in the locker room door. Alexis attacked Jarrett from behind with a trash can lid. Jarrett fired back. He also hit Julio with the trash can lid several times. Eventually Julio and Alexis took control, bashing Jarrett several times with the lid. They entered the ring.
8 -- JEFF JARRETT vs. ALEXIS & JULIO DENIRO
The ring was setup for the Clockwork Orange House of Fun match by the time they entered it. Jarrett came back after taking a series of shots with a crutch at 2:00. He continued to beat them up for several minutes. He set both of them on a table in mid-ring. When he went to the top rope, Raven ran out and suplexed Jarrett onto Julio and Alexis, breaking the table. Julio rolled onto Jarrett and scored the pin. Raven added a DDT for good measure afterward.
WINNER: Julio Deniro and Alexis Laree at 5:02.
STAR RATING: *1/2 --It accomplished its purpose by effectively building up the Apr. 30 Raven vs. Jarrett NWA Title match.
-The show closed with a list of over a dozen TV markets (with stations and times) that the TNA Xplosion syndicated show can be seen each week.
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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
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He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
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