Torch Flashbacks KELLER'S NWA-TNA PPV REPORT 5 YRS. AGO (11-12-03): Sting & A.J. Styles together vs. Lex Luger & Jeff Jarrett, Raven & The Sandman team, X Division Gauntlet
Nov 13, 2008 - 3:37:35 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
NOVEMBER 12, 2003
LIVE FROM NASHVILLE, TENN.
-During the pregame show, they hyped Lex Luger as the most controversial man in wrestling the past few years. So much for staying away from any language that would suggest they're capitalizing on the publicity from his personal life.
-A graphic aired on the screen with a picture of Michael "Mad Mikey" Lockwood (a/k/a Crash) acknowledging his death.
-A five minute highlight package aired with footage from last week's show.
-Scott Hudson interviewed Jimmy Hart, who was joined by A.J. Styles. They talked about the main event. Really amateurish segment in terms of setting, pacing, and production. The "Why" gimmick from Jimmy Hart doesn't seem like something that's going to catch fire. And Styles needs to iron his dress shirts before he wears them on national TV if he wants to be seen as a star. Imagine Rock or Ric Flair wearing a wrinkled shirt on a national show.
-Mike Tenay and Don West introduced the show.
1 -- TEN MAN GAUNTLET MATCH
It began with B.G. James vs. Chris Harris. Sonny Siaki (w/Trinity) came out third just 45 seconds into the match. James and Harris eliminated Siaki right away over the top rope. Harris went back to punching away at James. David Young came out next. C.M. Punk, James Storm, and Glen Gilberti were the next three out. Gilberti was eliminated quickly. Ekmo Fatu came out and eliminated Young. James and Harris eliminated each other. Julio Deniro and Ron "The Truth" Killings came out last. The final three were Truth, Ekmo, and Storm. Ekmo did a sitdown splash on both Truth and Storm. As Ekmo bragged, Storm and Truth kicked him over the top rope. He threw a tantrum at ringside. Truth and Storm then fought one on one starting at 10:00. Tenay stressed out Storm & Harris lost their tag team titles ten weeks ago and still haven't received a rematch. They collided mid-ring with a simultaneous crossbody block. Both were slow to rise. David Young came to ringside and distracted Storm. As the ref turned to order Young to leave the ringside area, Gilberti KO'd Storm with a chair. Killings then scored the pin.
WINNER: Killings at 13:01
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Lots of action, but nothing special overall.
-Hudson interviewed Don Callis and The Red Shirts. Abyss joined Callis. Callis said a lot of people have a lot coming their way.
-Mike Tenay introduced Jeff Jarrett for a mid-ring interview. Tenay said they had a lot of territory to cover. Jarrett yanked the mic out of his hand and told him he had to leave the ring. Tenay left the ring. Jarrett told West to earn his money for once and hold the mic for him, but don't ask any questions. Jarrett asked where Hulk Hogan is and when will he show his face again. West told Jarrett he was confused because he went to Japan to keep him out of TNA, but now he wants him to show up. Good point. Jarrett told West not to be a smart ass. Jarrett said Hogan has been saying he's won every title he wanted except the NWA World Hvt. Title. Jarrett said he called Hogan's bluff and attacked him in Japan. Jarrett said since Hogan has been on various radio shows including Mancow, John Boy and Billy, and Bubba the Love Sponge bad-mouthing him. Jarrett told Hogan he will not be ignored. "One way or another we're going to settle this," Jarrett said. "Either you can come to TNA or I will take TNA to Hulk Hogan once and for all." Then he yanked the mic out of West's hand and turned his attention to tonight. He talked about Sting and A.J. Styles, but not Luger.
Raven then walked out (with "CRASH" written on his chest and "Victoria" on his armband) and told Jarrett he failed to mention his name. He said last week, after eliminating James Mitchell, he announced his destiny was winning the NWA World Hvt. Title. Jarrett told him like he said about Styles earlier, he doesn't think Raven can compete on his level. He also told him he'll need to find a tag partner for a match later. Raven said he doesn't need a partner to take the NWA Title from him. The Red Shirts then attacked Raven from behind. The Red Shirts and Jarrett beat up on Raven. Jarrett gave Raven a Stroke on a chair.
-A recap aired of last week's X Division Battle Royal that set up tonight's next match as part of the Michael Shane Invitational X Tournament.
2 -- CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. LOW KI
Smooth back and forth action with only one highspot outside the ring. Otherwise, they did a lot of matwork and submissions, appropriate for two partners wrestling each other out of circumstances not rivalry. It ended with a cool finishing move from Daniels on Key out of nowhere, a reversal of the Key Krusher with a leg cradle roll up. After Daniels scored the pin somewhat anticlimactically, they shook hands. Tenay said they had to put their friendships aside for the match, but they respect each other. The masked X came out next and attacked Daniels as Low Ki watched from the stage. They had a whole week and couldn't come up with something more substantial and catchy than "X" for his name? This angle with X so far is really bad on so many levels.
WINNER: Christopher Daniels at 9:48.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- They worked a deliberately paced match, ROH or Japan style, with a slow build and not a lot of highspots. The crowd never got into it, or if they were, they were into it very quietly (you know, "silent heat"). Not an edge-of-your seat match, but compelling viewing with a clean finish.
-A black and white pretaped segment aired with Shane Douglas who told someone not shown that he impressed him last week. He said the New Franchise spot could be his.
3 -- SONJAY DUTT vs. CHAD COLLYER
Tenay said due to the serious injury suffered to Chris Sabin last week at the hands of "X", Dutt fills in for him in the qualifying match. Dutt hit some nice spots, but like with many crowds that see the same crew each week wrestling the same style, they aren't popping for highspots unless they really care about the wrestlers involved. There has been zero character development for Dutt and Collyer, so that doesn't leave fans with much. They showed Tracy on her cell phone watching the match. Tenay and West didn't do viewers much good in making them care about Dutt or Collyer because they went from talking about Tracy to talking about the main event, again strangely staying away from mentioning Luger's name. Collyer applied a Texas Cloverleaf at 4:30, but Dutt quickly grabbed the bottom rope to break the hold. Dutt rolled up Collyer on a reversal to win the match. As Dutt celebrated his win
WINNER: Dutt at 6:40.
STAR RATING: *3/4
-Tenay and West did their rapid fire questions segment with Erik Watts and Goldy Locks. Watts, when asked about Luger, said he has a big ego and is a locker room morale buster and he's surprised he's even showing up. When they got into cheesy sexual innuendo, the acting got really bad. Watts put Hogan over as being to wrestling as Elvis is to rock and roll. He said the only thing left for him is the NWA Title. They finished ripping on Callis.
-Hudson said he wanted to talk to Lex Luger. He said: "You've see the reports. You know what he's been through." He knocked on his locker room door. Jarrett came out and told him he isn't going to let him talk to Luger, but he will prove Styles doesn't belong in the ring with them. Hudson asked, "Is he even in there?" Jarrett slammed the door on Hudson before answering.
4 -- ABYSS vs. DON HARRIS (w/Chris Vaughn)
The announcers focused on the match in the ring this time, as opposed to the Dutt-Collyer match. It change that it was two big guys trading punches and forearms and stomps for five minutes. At 5:05 Abyss gave Harris a sideslam for a two count. Harris came back at 6:30, stomped on Callis's hand at ringside, and then chokeslammed Abyss for a near fall. harris then went after Callis again, but Abyss interrupted and gave Harris his Black Hole Slam finisher for the win.
WINNER: Abyss at 7:10.
STAR RATING: * -- It was what it was. Acceptable, but they could have accomplished the same thing in four minutes. Giving those two the same amount of time as Dutt vs. Collyer is a bit odd.
-After the match A.J. Styles came out and faced off with Abyss. Abyss easily tossed him over the top rope, but then Styles flew back into the ring and quickly sent Abyss out of the ring with a clothesline. Tenay and West said Styles, by easily knocked Abyss out of the ring, showed he can compete with heavyweights like Jarrett. Callis talked Abyss out of returning to the ring.
-Hudson interviewed 3 Live Krew about earning a tag team title shot next week against Simon Diamond & Johnny Swinger. Konnan said they like to have a good time, but when it's time to get serious, they can do that, too. Harris & Storm interrupted and said if they win, they'll be waiting behind the curtain for them, and if they lose, get out of their way.
5 -- THE RED SHIRTS (Ryan Wilson & Kevin Northcutt) vs. RAVEN & SANDMAN
West assumed Raven's mystery partner would be either Julio Deniro and C.M. Punk. Raven came out, showing the effects of the backstage attack earlier. He said the evilest person he ever fought, someone who beat him half to death, who he might not even be able to trust is... Sandman. Julio and Punk were standing behind Raven. West said they were expecting it would be one of them who was picked. Sandman came out through the crowd. Sandman began the match against Northcutt. He tagged in Raven at 2:00. The Red Shirts took over on Raven quickly, including Wilson ramming Raven back-first into the ring apron at ringside. Raven bled heavily from the forehead by 5:30. Raven fought back with a low blow. Raven hot-tagged Sandman at 7:00. Sandman worked over both Red Shirts for a minute. He gave Northcut a top rope huracanrana. Legend KO'd Sandman with a foreign object and Northcut scored the easy pin.
WINNERS: Red Shirts at 7:52.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Decent formula tag match with a really lame finish.
-After the match Deniro and Punk made the save as Raven and Sandman were getting attacked by the three heels. Punk and Deniro then told Raven he should have picked them. That gave Legend and Northcutt a chance to attack them from behind. Legend handcuffed Raven to the bottom rope. Watts then charged the ring for the save. Erik cleared the ring with some big kicks and chairshots. Erik Watts told Callis over the mic that he didn't get rid of him. He said he is the authority in the ring, so he announced a six-man tag match with Raven & Sandman & Watts vs. Legend & The Red Shirts in a Raven House of Fun match.
-Tenay and West said next week Jimmy Hart is going to update the condition of Hulk Hogan. West then plugged the new DVDs TNA is selling with the best matches in TNA history. West said next week would be Dutt, Daniels, and X in a three-way to earn an X Title shot, plus the tag title match and six-man match just announced.
-A video preview aired for the main event with a brief Sting promo (is there any other kind) and footage of the angle leading up to the match.
6 -- STING & A.J. STYLES (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. "TOTAL PACKAGE" LEX LUGER & JEFF JARRETT
Sting came out first followed by Styles with Jimmy Hart. Jarrett came out third, accompanied by Callis. Luger came out fourth. Tenay said this is Luger's first U.S. match since WCW folded "nearly three years ago" and his first match since "the untimely death of Miss Elizabeth." Luger came out in a black robe and made a big production of unveiling his physique. Luger looks good physique-wise straight on, but from the side his age shows with a much thicker mid-section than he used to have. Sting threw his robe at Luger before the bell. Callis told Styles over the house mic he has no business in the same ring with Jarrett and Luger. Luger made fun of Styles's stature, calling him "A.C. Styles" and saying he has no business in the ring with "The Total Package" and the NWA World Hvt. Champion. Sting did his usual enthusiastic, yet somewhat uncomfortably forced mic work. He awkwardly said Luger and Jarrett aren't in Styles's league, then welcomed Luger to Nashville. The match began with Sting vs. Jarrett. Sting hit a couple of clotheslines, then tagged in Styles. Styles threw a hard chop at Jarrett, then a nice dropkick as Jarrett rebounded off the ropes followed by a kneedrop. At 3:00 Jarrett tagged in Luger. Luger posed and flexed his pecs. Styles kicked Luger in the left leg, but when he charged into him, Luger just stood there and Styles bounced off of him. Luger walked around really gingerly like a 60 year old. Luger then pressed Styles and dropped him to the mat. Luger smiled, and then armdragged Styles. "The methodical, yet effective offense of the Total Package, Lex Luger," said Tenay, acknowledging the obvious pacing limitations of Luger. Styles made a big production of his back being sore. Luger gingerly threw Styles into the ropes, then caught Styles as he flew into him. Luger turned it into a bearhug, then tossed Styles to the mat. Luger then tagged out to Jarrett. Jarrett took Styles down with a spinebuster for a two count. Luger then tagged in again and stomped away at Styles. Styles ducked a Jarrett clothesline and hot-tagged Sting, but the ref didn't see the tag. Jarrett and Luger stomped away on Styles. Luger elbowed Styles in the head, then tagged in Jarrett. Styles kicked Jarrett and hot-tagged Sting, but once again the ref didn't see it. Luger tossed Styles over the top rope (if standing in one place and slapping the back of his head as he runs past him and leaps over the top rope counts). Sting entered the ring and worked over Luger and Jarrett. Luger took his first bump of the match after a Sting punch. Luger followed up with a low blow. Luger then signaled for the Torture Rack. Sting escaped and clotheslined Jarrett. Styles then leaped off the rope onto Luger, who kicked out at two. No, he kicked out at one. Luger then put Styles in the Torture Rack. Sting entered the ring and hit Luger in the stomach three times with a baseball bat. Styles then rolled up Luger for the three count. "I guess he can compete at this level," said Tenay.
WINNERS: Styles & Sting at 10:40.
STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Luger was absolutely sad to watch in the ring because you could tell he was working extra hard to do as much as he humanly could, but it wasn't much of anything.
After the match, as Styles and Jarrett fought, Abyss entered the ring and gave Styles a Black Hole Slam. Jarrett then called out Hulk Hogan. He said Raven is done, so "it' just me and you, Hogan!" Raven then attacked Jarrett. The Red Shirts charged the ring and as the brawl broke out, they cut to credits at 9:50 p.m.
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