In Chapter 12 of the NWA TNA story, the company rebounded from a loss of funding by enlisting the help of Panda Energy and Dixie Carter, a nice older lady who doesn’t really know how this all works but insists that her 19-year old nephew watch and think about becoming a wrestler.
In Chapter 13, Jerry Jarrett tries to ground and refocus the promotion with a spotlight on logical match-ups, Ron and Don Harris fighting each other because they look alike, and a man being extremely upset that another man burned an Elvis Halloween costume in a literal garbage fire.
If you’d like to keep up with these columns as they go — and we’re really into them now — be sure to check out the NWA TNA Wrestling: The Asylum Years tag. I’d give you a direct link to the shows but the Global Wrestling Network redirects everything to their main page. Still.
And now, chapter thirteen of the TNA Wrestling story for September 25, 2002.
Hope You Weren’t Wondering Where That ‘Jeff Jarrett Did Something Bad To Brian Lawler’s Girlfriend April’ Story Was Going, Because This Week They’re Friends, And No, They Don’t Bother Explaining It
Several weeks ago, Brian Lawler jumped Jeff Jarrett and tried to attack him with a chair, claiming he “knew what he did,” and that it had something to do with Lawler’s girlfriend, “April.” Since then, Lawler and Jarrett have been attacking each other in parking lots over the situation, and nobody at TNA can get a clear answer. Goldy Locks almost did, but the interview was interrupted mid-Goldy Locks poop face.
This week, Goldy interviews Lawler and April — keep in mind this was the early 2000s, when female wrestlers didn’t usually have last names, and you could have big stars with names like “CINDY” — and they tell her that their business is their business. Which I guess is why they’ve spent five shows over six weeks fighting about it on pay-per-view.
That’s the entire resolution to the story. “It’s none of your business.” Lawler teams with Elix Skipper (and not Disco Inferno, who was his tag team partner in last week’s Gauntlet for the Gold) to take on Syxx and Scott Hall, loses to them, and then Jeff Jarrett runs out to help him beat them down. And now suddenly Jarrett and Lawler are friends, because dot dot dot question mark question mark farting emoji. There’s a farting emoji, right?
To make things even worse, Jarrett takes on Brian Get It Got It Good James in the main event, attempts to wrestle for 30 consecutive seconds without James collapsing from exhaustion because in 2002 he had the cardio of a 75-year old man (which made The Bullet disguise believable) and smashes him in the head with a chair as dangerously as possible. James is about to win anyway, so Lawler runs out and helps Jarrett. In case you were thinking maybe that earlier situation was a “my enemy is your enemy” situation.
Why is this worse? Because when Syxx and Scott Hall run out to even the odds, who shows up to help the heels? Why, none other than Ron ‘The Truth’ Killings, the NWA World Heavyweight Champion. The guy Jarrett’s been trying to get a title shot against, because his entire motivation in TNA has been winning the title. The guy who caused Jarrett to claim “reverse discrimination” when Ricky Steamboat gave him a title shot.
Also hilarious is the fact that the match took place almost entirely on the floor and involved over a dozen chair shots, and ended on a disqualification because someone else ran in. It’s like they put wrestler names and match concepts into one of those Royal Rumble bingo tumblers.
Note: When starting a wrestling promotion, it’s important to nWo at all times.
Jesus Take The Wheel, The Road Dogg Is Writing His Own Material
The Truth is mad enough to team with guys he hates, I guess, for two reasons.
Reason 1: He gets confronted by his old tag team partner BG James and accused of being a prima donna. Road Dogg is really up on his commedia dell’arte terminology. James is clearly writing his own material here, so take the worst Road Dogg promo you’ve ever heard (or the best one, they’re the same) and magnify the least threatening parts of it by ten. He says he’s got a “posse” for Truth in his pants — no, he didn’t think how much that sounds like he’s saying he has a pussy — and says he’s not Demi Moore, he’s not Jack Nicholson and he’s not Tom Cruise, because he “can handle the truth.” That reference was 10 years old when this aired. It also takes him two tries to get it out. But to his credit, it’s probably hard to talk when you’ve got that massive goatee. That shit looks like he put a doll’s scrunchie on his posse pubes.
Reason 2: He’s up against Jerry Lynn in an X-Division Championship lumberjack match, with X-Division wrestlers “surrounding the ring.” I put that in quotes because this is the actual lumberjack match:
If you can’t tell, there’s one wrestler on each side of the ring. One. That’s four total. Honestly there might only be three, you never really see all four sides at once. Before the match, Truth tries to attack all the X-Division guys backstage to further thin the herd, but it doesn’t affect the match at all. I think the best bit is when Tenay’s suddenly like, “IS THERE SOMETHING GOING ON IN THE BACK?? WE HAVE CAMERAS IN THE BACK, LET’S SEND IT TO THE BACK, WHAT’S GOING ON???” and then they cut to Amazing Red casually walking through the curtain and getting attacked by Truth. Like, couldn’t y’all have joined that in progress? Is Mike Tenay a pre-cog? Is that why he’s always declaring “we know who that is?”
Truth loses, too. The best part of THAT is that next week, Jerry Lynn follows up his pinfall victory over the NWA World Heavyweight Champion by losing the X-Division Championship. I have to say, I complain about Raw and Smackdown booking not making a lot of sense, but that shit reads like a scientific journal compared to early TNA.
Sonny Siaki Gets The Funniest Angle In TNA History (So Far)
Last week, Sonny Siaki interfered in Jerry Lynn’s previous match against Truth and caused him to lose, presumably setting up some kind of feud between the two over the X-Division Championship. This week’s show opens with Siaki and Lynn brawling through the back, including a funny moment where they half-pretend to toss each other into the women’s restroom, but neither of them actually go in.
The follow-up to this is (1) Jerry Lynn facing AJ Styles for the X-Division Championship next week, (2) Lynn losing the championship to Styles, and (3) Siaki continuing to feud with the Flying Elvises. Because … man, how many times can I say “because TNA” in one series?
Siaki defeats Amazing Red in this week’s opener. When it’s over, Jorge Estrada shows up and attempts the world’s most difficult promo: mixing Elvis jokes with shooting. Brother’s like, “Last week, you worked me! You’ve been getting over on me! But tonight we’re getting over on YOU! BLUE SUEDE SHOES.” That’s barely paraphrased.
Later, after Estrada’s defeated Kid Kash, Siaki appears on the PandaTron and BURNS HIS ELVIS SUIT IN AN ACTUAL GARBAGE FIRE, declaring it a, and I quote, “hunka-hunka burning crap.” The only thing better than Goldy Locks’ Zandig-esque sell of JESUS~! at almost getting shoot burned is Estrada’s reaction, which is a brimmed hat from being Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice:
I think my favorite part of the entire run so far is nobody questioning why the Asylum has free-standing garbage fires blazing outside. Jerry Jarrett was a Red Priest of R’hllor and booked these shows by staring into the flames.
The Harrisees Explode
New NWA Tag Team Champions Chris Harris and James Storm have an absolutely awful tables match with the Filler Elite Squad of Brian Lee and Ron Harris, and it only really happens for our first look at Ron and his brother Don going face-to-face. Skinhead to skinhead!
It’s all so bad. Ron Harris might be the worst actual wrestler in the world at this time, and wouldn’t sell it if you ran over him in a car. The psychology of the tables doesn’t make sense, either, as they bring tables into the ring and set them up and then never pay it off. Plus, the announce team won’t stop going on about how lucky America’s Most Wanted were to win the Gauntlet for the Gold and how they didn’t deserve it, and Harris and Lee beat the shit out of them again until one of them gets forearmed at the wrong time and accidentally falls backwards through a table. Things get better for Storm and Harris — there are three people named “Harris” involved in this, by the way — but before that happens, prepare your butts for Harris Brother vs. Harris Brother. Like a fart fighting a shart.
I Still Want One Of Those AJ Styles Shirts
First of all, did anyone care about the continuity errors caused by Goldy Locks changing clothes like five times per episode? That’s a rhetorical question.
Second of all, one of the most surprising aspects of this episode is that they have a 2-out-of-3 Falls match between AJ Styles and Low Ki with actual stakes — the winner gets an X-Division title shot, the loser falls out of title contention — and it’s … not great. For some reason they work a slow, grounded style that’s mostly Ki kicking Styles, and then they botch a finish with Styles’ feet on the ropes and have to let him win clean. It’s weird, and awkward, and everything a Styles/Ki match shouldn’t be.
Plus, this is the episode where they don’t know how to spell Low Ki’s name on their official graphics, then immediately jump to a shot of a fan who does. People who go to your shows shouldn’t know more about the show than you, every promotion ever!
Finally This Week, Bruce Is Feuding With An Old Lady Over A Parking Spot
The only “Miss TNA” content this week is Bruce arriving to the arena, stealing the parking spot of ticket lady “Sarah Lee,” and getting into a fight with her. Bruce tells her to take her “crippled ass” back to the nursing home, and she threatens to stick her umbrella up his ass. Tiny, the timekeeper who lost a boxing match to Saved By The Bell‘s Screech in like thirty seconds last week, has to step in and keep them from coming to blows.
There’s a followup segment cut from the GWN version of the show where Sarah tries to fight Bruce with a broom, which I’m guessing is cut for the super loud “faggot” chants. I’m interested to know why that got cut, and not the other several times it happened. But hey, cross the line, everybody.
- Jerry Lynn defends the X-Division Championship against AJ Styles in another ladder match, because you can’t get enough of those
- BG James brutally announces he wants to talk some “smickity-smickity-smizak”
- The Jarrett/Lawler feud over April turns into a Syxx/Lawler feud over April, somehow
- Low Ki, who “fell out of title contention” by losing to Styles this week, gets a shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, because nobody’s fucking paying attention