Saturday, June 26, 2021

NWA-TNA PPV #1 Review - June 19th, 2002 (Watch Along w/ My World podcast)

June 19th, 2002
Huntsville, Alabama
This was initially something I watched, reviewed, and never posted for a project I was starting. Almost a year passed, and Jeff Jarrett began his podcast "My World" with Conrad Thompson. They proceeded to do two whole episodes on the formation of NWA-TNA and did a third which was a watch along of this first show. SO, you know I had to dig this review up and do the watch along and add in some stuff on this review before FINALLY posting it. 

Don West starts things and that already tells me what I’m getting into.

West, Mike Tenay and Ed Ferrara are on commentary. Tonight we crown a new NWA World Champion on the first ever NWA-TNA event. Things have changed and tonight is all about non stop action. They go to the ring where Jeremy Borash brings out former NWA champions. Harley Race and many others. Ricky Steamboat is holding the NWA Title and will present it later. He cuts a promo on how much the title means to him and everyone else in the ring. Jeff Jarret interrupts and I still love his theme music. Jarrett talks his way into being named the #1 entrant in the title gauntlet. Ken Shamrock comes out to talk some shit and get a pop followed by SCOTT HALL. Jarrett promises to win and make Fargo regret the day he made him enter first.
Only 60 seconds in and watching this while listening to the watch along has given some awesome tidbits. Apparently, this opening segment that I just detailed was not planned to go on first. Before the show, during a dark match, the ring broke which caused them to have to stall for time when they went live which led to them sending out Don West and Ed Ferrara and then doing this segment, which was scheduled to go on second after the X Division opener, to open the show. 

GOLDILOCKS is backstage with Teo. Midget wrestling will take place later. Oh.. TNA. Funny note here I didn’t notice on my initial watch is hearing the production team say “get ready for the TNA girls” and it coming through clear as day on the audio feed during this interview. Some would use this as another tNa LOL moment but honestly, it’s a rough around the edges first live broadcast and it kinda adds to the premise of what this is. A debut and a first rodeo for every single person involved. 

1) AJ Styles, Low Ki, & Jerry Lynn vs. Jimmy Yang, Sonny Siaki, & Jorge Estrada

This fucking rocked. Perfect showcase for everyone involved and the future X Division. Not only did the action rule, but they built towards next week's X Division stuff with AJ Styles & Low Ki having miscommunication and it costing their team the match. YANG TIME for the win.

Match rating - ***

2) Teo vs. Hollywood

Crowd was hot for this, but I am unsure what to think. It was fun for what it was. Scott Armstrong as the ref. Teo wins. Dave Meltzer only gave this one star and said it had to go. Jarrett disputes that on the podcast and insists on it displaying the variety he wanted TNA to have and that all wrestling should have. 

They plug the TNA website while "the TNA girls dance"

Ed & Don are in the ring to bring out the lingerie battle royal participants for next week. Among these are ECW's Francine and Alexis Laree (the future Mickie James). Francine is riled up and gets in a catfight with one of the other random's that I don't know.

Goldilocks is backstage with Mortimer Plumtree hyping up the debut of the Johnson's. I always thought this was a little dumb despite the delivery from Plumtree being superb. One interesting note from Jarrett on the podcast is that this was Goldilocks’ first wrestling show yet her facial expressions and presence felt like the complete opposite and it is definitely impressive and something I noticed when watching this back. 

3) The Johnsons vs. James Storm & Psichosis 

Storm's music and look is so GOOD. You can tell he's gonna be a star even this early. Seeing him & Psichosis team up is so random but cool. The Johnson's gimmick is stupid as it's just a play on a penis. Psichosis was the only one solid in the ring in this. Storm has the star look and presence, but is still green and the Johnson's are awkward. According to the pod, Jerry Jarrett was a huge fan of Storm which is what led to him being in TNA, and rightfully so because he had IT from the jump. Jeff also mentioned that Storm was always tremendous at playing any character or role. Conrad asked Jeff whose idea The Johnson’s were and he basically said he didn’t know and wouldn’t take ownership of it himself which was kind of hilarious. 

Match rating - *3/4

Another terrible backstage segment with hillbilly shit. Trevor Murdoch, a young Trevor Murdoch is involved and yanno.. on the pod, Conrad basically refused to even comment tom this and god dammit, I’m taking the same route because lord jesus.. 

NASCAR drivers Hermie Sadler and Sterling Marlin are here because it's TNA and unneccessarily redneck. This is dumb as fuck and low-key racist. I don't even wanna give it the time and acknowledge. I just want to see K-Krush (R-Truth/Ron Killings) beat the hell out of Jerry Lawler's son who came down and cleaned house on him for confronting the race car drivers and made a bunch of shitty "your kind" remarks. Gross. 

4) Christian York & Joey Matthews vs. The Dupps (Bo Dupp & Stan Dupp) (w/ Fluff Dupp)

Fluff, the cousin of Stan & Bo screws York & Matthews in a fairly short match. Cool seeing the future Joey Mercury here along with York who would pop up a couple times in the next decade.

Match rating - *1/2

Toby Keith performs his angry american song to make the redneck cringy southern theme of this show continue. Jeff Jarrett attacks him in route to the ring for the battle royal. Jeff mentions on the pod that Toby was asked by the White House to come perform at an event on this same day, but he had already committed to be here with Jeff and he stuck to that commitment. 

5) Gauntlet Battle Royal for the NWA World Title

Who will be the first ace of TNA? Time to find out. Lots of random names here. Some big names and some obscure ones where I was like who the fuck?! Jarrett is in first and clears out the first few names, most notably the man he began the match against - Buff Bagwell. On the pod, Conrad mentions how good Jeff looked here and asks him "did you get on the gas for this show?" and Jeff says "You tell me.. look at me.." INSANE lmao. Norman Smiley is out now which was a cool appearance. He gets thrown out though and out comes Apollo. Conrad compares Apollo to a modern day young Brian Cage and asks Jeff why Apollo didn't work out which is an interesting discussion. Ron Killings and Malice are out next. Malice is accompanied by the legend James Mitchell. The next interesting entrant is a young, unmasked Abyss wrestling under the name 'Prince Justice'. Jeff says Abyss hadn't found himself yet here and didn't until Dutch Mantel took him to Puerto Rico and it was there that he developed into a life of his own. We get some other neat appearances down the stretch including Steve Corino although he doesn’t last long. Joel Gertner hits the stage to introduce Bruce & Lenny - the Rainbow Express. They apparently named Bruce as a rib on Bruce Prichard whom the Jarrett’s had some issues with over the years. I thought Jarrett may win this, but Scott Hall & Toby Keith take care of him and it comes down to Ken Shamrock and someone named Malice, whom I have never seen until now, but damn. This closing few minutes but him and Shamrock kinda ruled? Awesome closing stretch to finish off a fun for the most part battle royal that had a lot going on. Shamrock defeats Malice to become the new NWA Champion and the first of the TNA era. Didn't think I would get hype on Shamrock, but this was sick.

Match rating - ***1/4 (most of this is for the closing stretch) 

Shamrock celebrates as cameras cut backstage where security is holding back Toby Keith and Jackie Fargo. Jeff Jarrett is talking shit and heads back out to the ring. He assaults Bob Armstrong and Fargo & Keith make the save. Jarrett retreats and gets attacked by Scott Hall on the ramp. Fargo announces Jarrett vs. Hall for next week to close the show!

Very fun viewing, even with it being my second or third time. The addition of the watch along was a blast and I highly suggest taking a listen to it and all the other episodes of the My World with Jeff Jarrett podcast. I listen on Spotify, but it's on several different platforms including Conrad's site -! Check it out! 

My review of the following week of NWA-TNA (PPV #2 on 6/26/02) is coming very soon so stay tuned for that as well. Maybe I'll actually stick with this project this go round! 

No comments:

Post a Comment