We’re kicking off this week backstage with Apolo, The Dupps and Goldie standing outside the office of Ricky Steamboat. Tenay promises a special interview with Apolo later on in the show, we go to the ring for six man tag team action.
Spanish Announce Team (Jose Maximo, Joel Maximo and Amazing Red) vs. The Flying Elvises (Estrada, Yang, Siaki)
The SAT are out first followed by the Elvises who slide into the ring to kick start this at the bell with all six men in the ring. Tenay explains that the SAT are named to protect the table that often gets broken at WWE events we are not even three minutes into this show before we get a “not this promotion” reference.
The Elvises power through and corner one off the Maximos to get things started off. All three guys take out Jose with a triple powerbomb. Tenay mentions that Steamboat was so upset with Puppet’s actions last week where he pulled out a hand gun that Puppet is not in attendance tonight. Meanwhile in the ring the story is that Siaki is shooing away Estrada and Yang whilst he takes on the SAT.
After Siaki rejects the tag Estrada and Yang jump down off the apron and leave Siaki to go and sit at the announce table. The SAT start triple teaming Siaki. Jorge Estrada starts singing on commentary. Siaki gets a pumphandle suplex but only a two count. Yang gets back on the apron offers the tag but gets rejected by Siaki. Yang is trying desperately to get some Elvis song puns over on commentary.
Siaki climbs to the top rope, Amazing Red hits an amazing looking flip enziguri from the floor to the top of Siaki’s head. This cues the Maximos to climb to the top rope and hook Siaki up for a Spanish Fly off the top rope. All three men sell this, Amazing Red hits the Infra-Red corkscrew moonsault and crawls back into the cover. Estrada and Yang slide in to make the save, then clear the ring of the Maximos. Yang dives out with a splash, Estrada is about to do the same but Red cuts him off with a boot to the mid section and a Code Red; Estrada isn’t legal but the referee gets a two count before it’s broken up by Yang.
There’s a really weird double team sequence with Yang that’s a little botchy. The Maximos spy Estrada on the top rope, attempt to hook him for a Spanish Fly but Estrada breaks out and hits a double DDT off the top rope. Yang takes out Red with a spin kick and both Estrada and Yang come off the top with a tandem splash/leg drop to Red. The two pose as Siaki rolls into the ring and picks up the win to the shock of his partners.
There’s a separation of celebrations as Siaki leaves the ring alone.
We go to the announce table and Don is in a blue silk number this week. Tenay runs down the triple main event for tonight: two number one contenders Jarrett and Apollo will be action, a triple threat between Low Ki, Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles for the X Division Championship and NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ken Shamrock defends against Ron “The Truth” Killings. Tenay goes to a sit down interview with Apollo video tape.
Apollo’s heavy Puerto Rican accent is no help here, but the basic jist is Apollo is having a moan about being overlooked by Ricky Steamboat and calls Steamboat corrupt; Tenay is incredulous about this comment. Apollo has about four words he repeats over an over here: “respect”, “tonight”, “spot” and “corrupt”. We briefly go to the dancing girls and then go to a shot of Apollo outside the office of Steamboat.
AJ Styles walks out of the office followed by Steamboat who is confronted by Apollo. Steamboat, wearing half moon glasses, proclaims to be a very busy man and says he’ll talk to Apollo when he’s ready. As Steamboat leaves the Dupps give chase and Goldie follows when all of a sudden Jerry Lynn comes storming over and starts attacking AJ Styles as they go tumbling over chairs, tables and into the toilet as the black shirts break it up.
Steamboat comes out to the ringside, still pursued by Dupps he stops and tells them “whatever you want to do, go do it”. The Dupps high five as Jeremy Borash announces that the next contest is for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, holy shit this is going on second?! Ed Ferarra says this is due to TV time restrictions, despite being on PPV.
We get a very brief tale of the tape: the stats here are Truth is very much the underdog here giving away height, weight and experience to Shamrock. Truth’s advantages are listed as “SOMETHING TO PROVE/HUNGRY” and “CAN TALK THE TALK”. This will be Shamrock’s fourth title defence in the seven weeks since he won the championship.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Ken Shamrock (c) vs. Ron “The Truth” Killings
Truth is out first, Tenay calls him the inarguable breakout star of the heavyweight division with reversed decision over a NASCAR driver there might be some people who would argue this point. Shamrock is out next, poses briefly with the title to no reaction. Tenay does a good job hyping the importance of the contest and then turns his attention to Steamboat on commentary and asks him what the Dupps wanted.
Shamrock starts things off with a leg bar and almost trips up but still delivers a stiff roundhouse to the face of R-Truth. The focus on commentary is the backstage politics and “playing favourites” of who gets to get a world title shot, Steamboat point blanc says that R-Truth touched a nerve and gave him the shot tonight.
The commentary team put over that a lot of world championship matches go sixty minutes or longer. Shamrock is working over the legs of Truth who immediately grabs the ropes any time Ken locks on a submission. Truth takes control but gets powerbombed out of the corner by Shamrock. Shamrock hits a powerslam for a two count.
Shamrock suddenly screams and hooks a hurricarana, Truth slowly rolls over onto the mat so the move looks really weak. Shamrock hooks in the ankle lock and again Truth gets the rope. Shamrock clotheslines Truth to the outside, we get a shot of the New Church on the ramp watching on. This brings out Don Harris who comes to sit at the ramp to prevent interference. Shamrock brings Truth back into the ring and we get a shot of Monty Brown also on the ramp watching the match. Shamrock goes to suplex Truth, but Truth reverses it. Truth brings the match back into the ring and we get a smart comment from Ed Ferarra “Truth can’t win the title on the outside and Shamrock can’t lose it”.
It’s not long before Truth is backdropped over the ropes to the outside again though. The two begin brawling on the outside as Apolo comes storming down the ramp, pushing aside Don Harris, Apolo starts beating on Truth and this allows the New Church to come down beat down Shamrock. Don and Monty then get involved. Apolo goes to kick Truth, who dodges and the kick is supposed to hit Shamrock but it misses by a mile. Shamrock sells it though and inexplicably gets rolled back into the ring by Steamboat and heads up the ramp to clear everyone out.
Truth hits an Ace Crusher, the referee slides into the ring and counts the three.
NEW! NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Ron “The Truth” Killings
Truth is dumbstruck as Tenay puts over the move “he calls the Truth and Consequences”. This was just shy of ten minutes. The crowd is mild over this result, there’s some mild booing. The announce table do a good job of trying to put the moment over; Tenay says this is historic on so many fronts and goes into professor mode listing names and dates but never mind that shit because Steamboat is back out.
Steamboat calls out Apolo. To recap this is the guy who just interfered in a World Title match and wants a shot at the title. Steamboat tells him that he’s been running around like a maniac and it has to stop, he also awkwardly pushes Apolo so he blocks the hard camera. What is Steamboat going to do in order to put Apolo in his place? He gives Apolo the title shot he wants.
This brings out Jarrett. Jarrett
claims for the past seven weeks he has waited patiently for his title
shot and for some reason has been passed by, however tonight he
realises the reason is “as white as his[my] skin”. Jarrett is
claiming “reverse discrimination” and he’s being passed by
because he’s not a minority. Jarrett starts listing off minorities
and demands why they have gotten title shots and not him. Steamboat
says “the bullshit is going to stop here tonight” he stumbles
through his lines but gets to making the match between Jarrett and
Apollo, there are some crucial lines here:
“Apolo if you beat Jarrett, I will give you that championship match with the Truth. Jarrett tonight if you beat Apolo... I’ll give you the Truth.”
Terms agreed Jarrett turns to leave but Steamboat throws in one more decision; Steamboat is going to be the referee, he’s going to call it right down the middle and there won’t be any “false winners”. Steamboat reiterates it: “one conclusive winner: you or Apolo, I’m the referee”. Jarrett claims because Steamboat is stepping in the ring he’s fair game and the segment ends with Jarrett’s music.
Tenay claims this means law and order is back in the NWA. Remember that historic moment a few minutes ago, that’s completely ignored in favour of talking about Jarrett and Ricky Steamboat. Oh dear lord it’s time for Jive Talkin’.
Disco’s set has been switched for a chalkboard with the works “JIVE TALKEN”, this brings out the Dupps; Stan has got a toy hobby horse and lighter fluid and Bo has got a spittoon. They are out to announce the first Dupp Cup Invitational. The titular cup is the spittoon which apparently has been used as receptacle for drink and faeces down the Dupp generation. The Dupps announce the Cup as the new hardcore division, this is the result of the “do whatever they want”. Disco makes a mistake and asks what the rules are, Stan flips the chalkboard where the rules are written illegibly. Stan reads each of these out to some pops and Disco then repeats them:
- You have to get ten points to win the match
- Put an opponent through a table 2 ½ points
- If the table is on fire then it’s 5 points
Put your opponent’s head in a toilet 2 ½ points
- If there’s shit in the toilet 3 ½ points
- Goose a woman 2 ½ points
- Goose a man 3 ½ points
- Hit Jeremy Borash 2 ½ points
- Hit the ticket lady 2 ½ points
- Use a farm animal (in any sort of way) 2 ½ points
- Spank your opponent’s bare ass with the hobby horse 2 ½ points
- If they like it -2 ½ points
- Introduce an opponent to “Jay” 2 ½ points
- Cry like a big ol’ pussy in the ring -5 points
- Stick opponent’s head in the candy cotton machine for one rotation 10 points.
Disco adds an additional rule that if you take a weapon from a fan and hit your opponent it should be 5 points, Stan argues him down to just 1 point. This took 8 minutes to run through. Disco asks if they have an opponent, Stan confronts Disco over what he did to his “girlfriend” Goldie last week. Stan takes off his shirt and reveals a picture of Goldie taped to his chest.
Disco refuses to get involved in the match and Paulina shows up, sorry “Paulina from Tough Enough”. Disco suggests that they make some sort of offer in order to get an opponent the Dupps empty some pocket change on the ground there are no takers for $0.64. Disco suggests to up the ante, after discussing it with the hobby horse they offer “one night with Fluff Dupp and they get to watch”. Ed Ferrara gets into the ring and agrees to the terms socking Jeremy Borash for two and half points.
The Dupp Cup Invitational
Ed Ferrara vs. Stan and Bo Dupp
Ed gives Don the mic and tells him to call this. Stan and Bo come down to the ring and the match is on with Don doing commentary. Ed takes a stiff chair shot to the head from Stan, the second from Bo is softer thankfully. Stan gets “Jay” which is a blow up doll (Russo seriously claims he was not involved creatively with the company at this point) and throws it’s into Ed’s face.
Meanwhile Bo is trying to get into the ticket office, but the ticket lady attacks Bo with the broom and the crowd start chanting “TNA! TNA!”. Paulina low blows Stan for breaking the set and then dumps the chalkboard on his head. At ringside Ed spears Bo. Ed then exposes Bo’s ass and whips him with “horsey-poo” (the horse actually got a chant briefly) but Bo likes it so Ed loses points for this.
Ed grabs a table and gets it in the ring, but before Ed can do anything he gets chokeslammed through the table and the Dupps win with 10½ points
This was a mess; the points system detracted from the match because the half points made things to complicated for Don and Disco to follow along. Mike Tenay sitting out for this shit and not calling it is the only good thing about this segment honestly. Tenay sends us to an interview with Monty Brown, outside on a park bench.
The jist of the conversation is Monty has been successful in pretty much everything and his transition from football to wrestling. The conversation then turns to politics in football, on a wrestling show, and then to the Truth or “Ronny” to Monty.
Out of nowhere Elix Skipper hits Monty with a tin of yellow paint, telling him that he doesn’t know anything about him or Ron, calling him a chicken. Don has to explain the metaphor here: Elix was painting him yellow like a coward. Ed has been carted to the back after the match.
First Blood Match
Malice vs. Don Harris
The New Church’s music hits and Malice is out for the First Blood match, Father James Mitchell has got the Ark again. Don Harris is out next, Malice tries to jump him at the bell. Malice picks up a chair and gets booted in the face by Don Harris and then gets thrown into the barricades twice.
Mitchell is on commentary to explain the black bag that Slash was using last week; it’s symbolic of the darkness of ignorance. The actions spills to the concessions stand as a pair of cops nonchalantly walk in front of the camera. This match is crowd brawling with camera angles. Mitchell explains the significance of the Oaudad blood saying “why does a bear urinate on a tree, why does the deer paw the ground; it’s marking it’s territory.”
Malice goes for a piledriver on the ramp, but Don reverses it with a a backdrop and then sends Malice off the ramp into the barricade. This sends out Slash who attacks Don and pulls a spike out of his boot, Don blocks the attempt and then hits Slash with his own weapon. Slash is now bleeding, Don Harris becomes the stupid babyface as he decides to pick up the downed Slash and attack him, this allows Malice to take advantage.
Slash hooks the arms of Don at ringside and Mitchell threatens him with the Ark, Don kicks the Ark out of the hands of Mitchell, the contents “blood” goes all over the face of Mitchell.
OK this is the most bizarre finish ever, Don gets into the ring clearly not bleeding, Malice attempts an Irish whip, Don reverses goes for a clothesline, Malice ducks and Don catches Malice in a side slam. And then we cut to Don on the mat bleeding. Not sure if this is a fuck up as the referee calls for the bell and the post match beat down begins and Mitchell cuts a promo.
We go to the back with Goldie, she’s hoping to get the thoughts of
Taylor Vaughn about losing her Miss TNA Title to a man last week.
Siaki interrupts the segment before Bruce grabs the mic and struts
into the ring, he asks her the same question Goldie was planning to.
She responds by calling him a homo, kneeing him in the balls and
throwing him in the shower saying she wants her title back. The girls
restrain her and Bruce accepts the rematch saying it will be an
evening gown match.
Exit stage right Bruce, enter stage right AJ beating up Low Ki. Security break it up and we head to the ring to see Ricky Steamboat heading out in a referee shirt. Gonna point this out right now everyone is doing a really good job not calling this a “number one contenders” match and there’s a reason for that...
Apolo vs. Jeff Jarrett (Special Referee: Ricky Steamboat)
Apolo comes out to no heat, but there’s a small pop for Jarrett. Tenay has a great line “from midgets to NWA Presidents no one has been safe from the wrath of Jeff Jarrett”.
Lock up to start things up establishing Apolo’s power over Jarrett and Steamboat gets to get in the mix for a clean break. Psychology in a match. Jarrett locks up again backs Apolo into a corner and goes for a closed fist strike and Steamboat blocks the attempt getting boos from the crowd. He does the same for Apolo but Jarrett takes advantage.
Apolo hits a sky high sitout powerbomb only getting a two. The fight goes to the outside which allows Jarrett to take advantage sending Apolo into both sets of steps and the announce table busting him open. Steamboat cuts Jarrett off when he tries to use the chair and actually rolls Apolo back into the ring.
Apolo impressively scales to the top rope but gets cut off by Jarrett. Crazy spot where Jarrett ducks a leap frog from Apolo and clips the knee sending the big man into a flip bump. Jeff lassos and hooks in the figure four leglock. Rather than checking for the submission Apolo passes out so Ricky has to do the arm drop check. Apolo does a shit job at keeping his arm up on the third so Ricky starts counting shoulders. Apolo reverses the pressure and Jarrett gets the rope break.
Apolo makes his comeback with a tornado DDT for a double down. Both men up to their feet at seven and we go to a very clunky reversal sequence ending with a superkick from Apolo. A lazy cover by Apolo allows Jarrett to get the foot on the bottom rope. Apolo ducks a clothesline and stacks Jarrett up for a german suplex.
Steamboat counts one, counts two, Jarrett lifts his shoulder and Steamboat counts three. The bell rings and Steamboat raises the hand of Jeff Jarrett to the shock of Apolo. Steamboat grabs a mic and heads up the ramp to be confronted by a bloody Apolo. Apolo is not having any of Steamboat and has to be carried off by security armed with nightsticks.
Steamboat says he’s a man of his word and he was going to give him the Truth. The crowd goes silent realising they’ve been swerved. Steamboat says “I didn’t say I’d give you The Truth in an NWA World Title match” instead Steamboat is making Jarrett and Truth tag partners for the NWA Tag Team Championships next week. This gets boos and “bullshit” chants from the crowd. Jarrett tries to attack Steamboat with a chair but gets cut off by security. Don and Mike run down that there’s going to be a tag team championship between two teams who’s gimmick is they don’t get along.
Miss TNA Title – Evening Gown Match
Bruce (c) vs. Taylor Vaughn
Taylor Vaughn is out first in a black glittery dress followed by Bruce in a blonde wig, and red sparkly dress. Don points out that they have to root for Bruce to avoid Bruce being stripped by Taylor Vaughn.
“You suck dick” chants from the crowd. Taylor focuses most of her offence on Bruce’s balls. Bruce then beats Taylor up with a suplex and facebuster slam. Bruce then strips Taylor of her dress must to the distress of Bruce. Bruce gets his tiara and sash back, then grabs the mic to tell everyone that he’s going to strip off to reveal a thong, suspenders and stockings. Don tells his wife to up his viagra prescription.
Don gets to do his “super salesman” pitch for next week:
- NWA Tag Team Championships: AJ Styles & Jerry Lynn vs. Truth and Jeff Jarrett
… and that’s it. He plugs a couple of shirts and a hat.
Triple Threat - NWA X Division Championship
AJ Styles (c) vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Low Ki
Gonna preface this with Dave Meltzer’s four and half star rating for this match. Stare down by all three and the faces lock up before realizing they could take turns taking out AJ Styles.
The action here is essentially a take turn singles with some really impressive transitional three man moves to swap people out. This might seem like a put down but the action is fast, furious and hard to follow. Honestly can’t do this match justice, find it online and go watch just this.
There’s an awesome sequence when all three guys hit each other with each other’s finishers. There’s a referee bump just so AJ can use a chair on Lynn, Low Ki crawls back into the ring, the referee starts counting: one, AJ is climbing to the top to hit the Spiral Tap, two, AJ hits the Spiral Tap but Low Ki is still making the cover and referee counts three.
If it wasn’t for the dumb finish, this would have been five stars and they pull the same slow count hesitation stuff in the Jarrett/Apolo match.
NEW X-Division Champion: Low Ki
Ki gets his celebration for twenty seconds before we go to the
back. Jarrett is being blocked by nightsticks barely audible
as he’s pointing Truth demanding a title shot as AJ and Jerry Lynn
attack each other. Jarrett appears on the ramp with Truth and
This show again highlights the problem of doing three weeks of stuff in two hours. TNA has a two hour wrestling show and the writers want to tell a story, but rather than tell you this story at pace they want to rush through the conflicts and resolutions so they can get to the actual twist. When you sit back and look at this, the entire show suffered because they wanted to book Truth and Jarrett vs. Styles and Lynn in a “tag teams that don’t get along” match for the titles next week.
They had to move the NWA World Title match to second on the card so they could do the angle with Steamboat and Jarrett, to then do the match with Apolo, to then pull the swerve. Now you could have easily ended this show with the title match had Apolo interfere and built the intrigue over what Steamboat would do about it. Of course that would mean another week with tag partners that don’t get along but then again you only rehashed that angle the weeks before where you brought them together to break them up.
The match was not that great. This was my opinion before the four and half star main event. From the moment Mike Tenay said “what was that interaction with the Dupps” I knew this match was doomed, because the importance was not on the contest but on Steamboat being blackmailed into giving a black male a title shot. Given time this could have been a great match, easily agented as Truth is a guy who depends on unique offence and Shamrock tries to ground that offence. Truth pulls out his finishers that he’s been doing every week and Shamrock kicks out, so Truth uses something new to beat Ken.
Instead they had to have a brawl on the outside, in front of the referee, with no disqualification and Truth just wins with a move no one has seen. Mike Tenay can’t even begin to talk about how “historic” this win is and put over the new champion before we have to do a Jarrett segment.
I get the show is called “Total Nonstop Action” but the title itself is bullshit. You get ten minutes of “action” where people are on commentary, tag team partners aren’t getting along, there’s interference, there’s distractions, there’s politics that you have to stop and say “let’s just think about what we’ve just witnessed”. TNA is like Jason Bourne movie where all the fight sequences happened at once and then Matt Damon delivers some exposition.
Steamboat goes from being the best damn thing about last week’s show to the worst thing on this week’s show. All credibility went out the window for a match with a stupid finish that then had a dumber resolution.
The Dupp Cup, the Elvises stuff and that really good main event can all take a sideline. The takeaway from this PPV: they rushed putting their world title, for the first time on a black man just so a guy could cut a promo about reverse discrimination to then win a match only to be swerved out of the result into a tag match next.
Take this in for a few seconds and hold on to it for next week.