|NWA Total Nonstop Action||
"On June 19th, wrestling changes forever!" Well, I kinda doubt it,
but...but gosh, maybe Wednesday nights never WILL be the same.
We start with some black and white footage of old-time wrestling, EXPLODING to the TNA opener. "NWA" in small letters, "TNA" in GIANT letters, and "Total Nonstop Action" underneath.
We hear the end of the countdown for the live audience cue (always a promising sign!) and here's the PYRO - we probably could have saved some money by not bothering with some of the more cheesy ones, but the rest of it's pretty nice. They never say it but I will - LIVE from the von Braun Center in Huntsvilla, AL 19.6.2, THIS is the debut of NWA TOTAL NONSTOP ACTION! The ring announcer's PA is cut off from the beginning, but it's up halfway through the opening welcome - as well as "Please welcome one of your hosts for the evening, Mr. DON WEST!" Wow, West sprung for a Hawaiian shirt! "Thank you! Are you ready to have a good time?! We're makin' history! Get ready for some Total Nonstop Action - and let me introduce one of my cohorts at the announce table. The most influential man in wrestlin' who ALWAYS has an opinion, ED FERRARA!" *Everybody* gets music and an entrance! Yikes! Check out those dreadlocks! Check out the LEATHER! "Is everybody ready for a little TNA? 'cause I know that that's what I'M all about, and I'm not necessarily talkin' about Total Nonstop Action, I'm talkin' about T! N! A! And right now, let me throw over to my other cohort at the announce table, the one and only, the Professor of Vanilla, Mr. MIKE TENAY!" At least *Tenay's* got a tux. "And hello everyone, from ringside. I am Mike Tenay, welcoming you to the premiere event of the NWATNA. It's all about Total Nonstop Action. Tonight, a very special evening. It's an evening that revolves around history - and history on so many fronts. Number one, we are going to be respecting history. The legends of the NWA are in attendance. People like Harley Race, Dory Funk Jnr, and Ricky Steamboat. And gentlemen, we are also going to be *making* history this evening - not only the first ever event, but we are also going to be crowning an NWA *World's* Heavyweight Champion with the Gauntlet for the Gold. If you'll give me just a second, I'll run down the rules for the Gauntlet for the Gold. We will start off with two competitors in the ring. Every ninety seconds, another wrestler will come from the back. The only way that you can be eliminated is by being thrown OVER the top rope, and down to the arena floor. Once we reach the final two competitors, NWA World Heavyweight Championship rules will apply. It will be one fall to a finish, with the winner by either pinfall or submission - and yes, Ed Ferrara, tonight we will make history by crowning a new NWA World's Heavyweight Champion." "And don't forget, Mike Tenay, this is my kind of match, because it's just like it is in real life - no friends, no allies, every man for himself, only the strong survive, it's Darwinism in action." Man I've missed Tenay's "hmm yes I see" face. "Don West, it's great to be a part of history, it's great to have you and Ed out here at the table - tonight, the new NWA World's Heavyweight Champion crowned with the winner of the Gauntlet for the Gold." "I tell ya what though, guys, we got more history - we've got the legends from the NWA, so let's send it out there to Jeremy, and Jeremy, who do we got?"
In the ring is an underdressed JEREMY BORASH. "Ladies and gentlemen, at this time as part of tonight's premiere broadcast of NWA Total Nonstop Action, it is my pleasure to introduce to you some of the legends of the National Wrestling Alliance. At this time, please allow me to introduce to you the former eight-time NWA Heavyweight Champion of the World, HANDSOME HARLEY RACE!" Here's a bit between Ferarra and Tenay just for you: "Is he wrestling tonight?" "Who?" "Harley Race." "NO he's not wrestling! He's here because he's a legend in this sport, and he's here because we *respect* the legends of the NWA and professional wrestling!" "What d'you mean 'we,' kemo sabe? Hahahaha..." "He is a former NWA tag and world's champion, please welcome DORY FUNK JNR!" Funk wears a "www.dory-funk.com" cap to the ring - good on him for sneaking in that self-promotion. "He is the original Fabulous One! Please welcome JACKIE FARGO!" He's still strutting! "He was a first-ballot Wrestling Observer Hall of Famer, Ed Ferrara!" "Wrestling Observer? What's that?" "Wrestling Observer, it's a very famous newsletter in this business." "I'm hearin' ya but it's all pops and buzzes." I should point out the guy in the aisle with the OBSERVERLIVECHAT.COM sign, complete with Meltzer and Alvarez' heads pasted on it. "He is the father of one of the greatest wrestling families of all time, the fighting fireman from Marietta, 'BULLET' BOB ARMSTRONG! ... They are the first couple of the NWA, CORSICA JOE & SARAH LEE!" They're now coming out with no space between them and Tenay can't read his notes. "He is a senior vice president of the National Wrestling Alliance, please welcome Mr. BILL BEHRENS. He is a former NWA World Champion. He is a former six-time NWA world tag champion with over six thousand matches spanning a spectacular twenty year career, please welcome RICKY STEAMBOAT!" Steamboat carries the championship belt with him to the ring. "Listen to this crowd!" Ummm.... Steamboat is the group spokesman. "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, wrestling fans across the world that are be gonna be watching this pay-per-view tonight. That's right. It gives me great pleasure to stand in this squared circle, and the many times that I was in this circle...and throughout my wrestling career would someday be a world champion, and it did happen, on that memorable night with Ric Flair, the Nature Boy...Chicago, 1989 - and became an NWA World Champion. You know something, ladies and gentlemen - this belt, of all the championships I've won, and all these gentlemen that stand here with me, this belt means more to me and to them than any championship I've ever held in my life - the NWA Championship. This belt, to us and in this business of wrestling, is like the Stanley Cup is to hockey players, it is like the Super Bowl to football, the World Series to baseball players, winning Wimbledon for the tennis players - this is what this belt means to us in our sport - to be the NWA Heavyweight champion is the ultimate goal! Yes. You know, ladies and gentlemen, tonight there have been a selected twenty wrestlers through these NWA representatives, that are going to be going the Gauntlet for the Gold, and that's for this belt. And also through these good friends of mine, and some old foes, they have chosen me that when it comes down to the final two wrestlers, that I am going to be the special referee for this belt." Commentators are agog! But suddenly some music hits, and...JEDOUBLEF JADOUBLEREDOUBLET is out. "What the hell is Jeff Jarrett doing out here? Nobody invited him to this party!" "He's out here to get this party started, Mike Tenay!" Don West: "..." "The Gauntlet for the Gold. Two guys are gonna start, and there's gonna be a total walkin' down this aisle - that's the biggest buncha crap I've ever heard in my life! Ricky Steamboat, did you win the title in a stupid battle royal? Dory, did you win your title back in 1902 in a Battle Royal? Hell no, you didn't! This is the biggest joke of an NWA title that I've ever witnessed. I win my titles man to man, Fargo, you butt out of it, you old fart." "You kiss my ass!" Commentators mark out over the first expletive - uttered by a 71 year old man. "Listen to me. You won't whip nobody, boy. I remember when you was that high still doo-dooin' yella, I don't wanna hear about how you (struts) and how you try to - 'cause you don't do it like the Fabulous One does, so don't give me that for all your mouth runnin' on that stage...I'm gonna do you another one tonight, Mr. Jarrett. I'm gonna put you on the very first match and let you try to beat all twenty of them people." Tenay translates - he's #1 in the Gauntlet. "All right, all right, if I've gotta step in the ring first, that's all right with me. Because what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna proceed to kick nineteen other asses, and I'm gonna walk outta here the NEW NWA World Heavyweight Champion!" "Jeff, you might...Jarrett you might be last, huh?" Fargo shouldn't try to talk over the music - oh, look it's KEN SHAMROCK'S SIDEBURNS! "Jeff - you're right about how this NWA title match is played out - it sucks." Damn, is EVERYBODY gonna bash the company they work for tonight? "But...you may be whippin' eighteen other people's asses in that ring, but you ain't whippin' number 19, and that's ME!" But the music starts up *again* - and from up in the crowd, SCOTT HALL makes *his* entrance - complete with "Landing Strip" T-shirt (hey Kev). "Hey yo. Jeff Jarrett, Ken Shamrock, I agree with ya about this battle royal for the belt - it sucks." Well, that's three for three. "But one thing's for sure, right here in TNA, we ARE gonna do it tonight...so quit cryin' about it. And Jarrett and Shamrock, I don't know if it's eighteen or nineteen people you gotta beat up - just focus on tryin' to beat up one....Scott Hall." "Well let me tell you somethin', Hall - you can stick it, Shamrock you can stick it, all you old farts can, and Fargo, you're gonna regret this day as long as you live."
We go to the back. "What's up, guys, this is GOLDILOCKS. And I know there's a lot going on out there, but we got the action right back here. You wanna talk about uh, TNA? I gotcher Total Nonstop Action right here, baby. With me...is the Original Midget Killer, PUPPET THE PSYCHO DWARF, and he's told me that he's got something that he wants to say!" "That's right, let's start the show off with midgets! Why? 'cause midgets are the true stars of this country! The day I came outta my momma, yeah, I said the day I came outta my momma - the nurses and the doctors just stopped and stared, when I was a little child, weeblewobblin' down the street, everybody stopped and stared, and now TNA brings me to Huntsville, Alabama and they got these two midgets out there, TEO and Hollywood? All I wanna say is, I wanna see some major blood, and I just think I can provide that." Somebody says "What's up with the TNA girls?" during this - then Jarrett interrupts by loudly kicking nearby furniture in his way - and STILL cursing Fargo.
The TNA GIRLS dance in cages (well, the one we can see does anyway) while Borash starts introducing our opening bout (about DAMN time - it's already 16 after! What is this, RAW?)
One fall, 20:00 time limit
The TNA Girls dance - replays cost MONEY. "Are we goin' to the ring now, me and Don?" "Nope."
TNA Girls dance - Tenay plugs nwatna.com, which in my humble opinion is a rather crappy site. Sorry.
Ferrara & West have made their way to the ring, so let's see them. "Ya know, when we heard about something that was comin' up next week, we couldn't believe it and we wanted to give ya a sneak peak. And I'm talkin' about TNA - I'm talking about the lingerie BATTLE ROYAL. I knew you'd like that! So, when we heard about this, we begged - no, wait, Don begged, I demanded - that we give you a sneak peak tonight, and start bringin' out so that you can get a glimpse of the eyeful you're gonna get next week, so let's without any further ado - Don, start bringin' 'em down." "We're gonna start it off, we're gonna start it off - known in the ECW as the Queen of Extreme, I'm talkin' about the beautiful FRANCINE!" Too bad she can't make it own the ramp in those shoes - they quickly move along. "And the next lovely lady - she is the one, the only MISS JOANIE!" "You knew her in the ECW as Daffney - I mean, the WCW as Daffney, come on - we bring you our own SHANNON!" Cute pink wig and magic wand! I should add that whoever is directing this thing apparently doesn't know which camera shot goes with which woman. "And one of my personal favourites, one of the hottest names, one of the most talented wrestlers on the indy circuit, ALEXIS MARIE!" "One of the former stars from the NCW, the incredible (SASHA?)!" "She's a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader, give it up for ERIN!" "Another ECW superstar - the incomparable, the incredible ELEKTRA!" "And here's another familiar face - you are not gonna believe what's about to come here, she is incredible - introducing Miss TAYLOR VAUGHN!" "And making her debut tonight, let's welcome to NWATNA, TERESA TYLER!" Wow, good to see they saved a big finish for the last... ah. "I gotta tell ya, Don, I feel like a kid in a candy store." "And I know my wife is watchin', they're MAKING me do this, honey!" "Absolutely, this is gonna be one the greatest things we have ever seen." "They are all here - they are all here - and folks, these are the gals. The competitors that next week you are gonna see on the biggest catfight in television history! And only one of 'em can be named Miss T! N! A!" Francine steals West's mic. "Let me tell ya something, PUDGY - none of the women in this ring right now deserve to be in this ring - because none of 'em can compare to me. Let's face it, ladies...I'm the Queen of Extreme. I mean, really, what have any of you ever done for the wrestling business?" Shannon looks shocked and cute. Elektra grabs Ferrara's mic. "I'll tell ya. Number one, who deemed YOU Queen of Extreme? I see there's many other ladies in this ring, and you wanna know what? This is a new company. I don't hear 'Extreme' in the title. Unless you're ashamed that you singlehandedly *bankrupted* another company." CATFIGHT CATFIGHT CATFIGHT ehh, maybe I'm not the Real Man I thought I was but neither of these ladies really do anything for me. Francine manages to rip off Elektra's top, but lest we actually have to catch a glimpse of her bra, West helpfully puts Ferrara's jacket (which had to be handed to him earlier, 'cause he forgot to bring it in with him) over her. "I'll tell ya what - what I just did to her, I'm gonna do to every one o' you - because not you, or any of the people at home, is gonna see my in MY lingerie because I am gonna be crowned the first-ever Miss T-N-A." Well, at least Don West looks like he's having fun. HA HA MELTZER'S HEAD PASTED ON A SIGN
The NWA Girls - always in the cages, always dancing
Backstage, where Goldilocks stands with "Mortimer Plumtree - story of a life filled with torment - torment leading to pain - pain leading to will - will leading to power! Power, allowing me to bring MY tag team who, in our formative years, were my tormenters...now my servants. They do WHAT I tell them to do, when I tell them to do it. They wear what I tell them to, without questioning, for they know that they owe ME their freedom...their livelihoods...their very lives. They don't speak unless I allow them to - they listen only to me, and now I call upon them to once and for all, make their presence known in this arena - when writing the history books of this sport, I give to you MY tag team - (chuckles) - the Johnsons."
THE JOHNSONS (Richard and Rod - 632
pounds - led to the ring by Mortimer
Plumtree) v. PSICOSIS (Mexico City, Mexico) & COWBOY JAMES STORM
(Franklin, TN) (507 pounds)
Backstage, Goldilocks encounters the Dupps - they're brothers AND cousins! They walk to the locker room, where they meet their girlfriend (AND cousin) - also, there's a metal tub filled with ice and Schlitz. Some other guy walks by. "Oh, hey hey, guys guys guys guys guys - I'm sorry, no, no beer drinking here in the locker room, I need you to put those things down. We don't want any intoxicated wrestlers out in our ring, so just put those things down right now. Thank you!" Make your own jokes, folks! The girl says "Gee, there are sure some wussies here in the NWA!" "Hey Bo, whoever heard o' getting drunk on beer?"
Back to the ring, and Jeremy Borash. "Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, it is my pleasure to introduce to you the 1993 Busch series rookie of the year HERMIE SADLER, and the current NASCAR Winston Cup points leader, STERLING MARLIN!" Tenay says Marlin is the NASCAR equivalent of the NWA World's Heavyweight Champion - arrr. "Sterling, right now you're standing on top of the mountain in the Winston Cup points series - you're the leader - you got a race this Sunday." "Yeah, we're lookin' forward to goin' out to Sonoma, California - went to Virginia a couple weeks ago, had a good road course test, so we're anxious to get out to California." "And certainly, standin' on top of the mountain right now as the Winston Cup points leader, a lot of pressure." "Yeah, a little bit, I mean we got about a hundred point lead and uh, hopefully we'll just keep racin' hard and try to get us some more wins, more top fives and try to win this championship." "All right. Hermie--" "Stop everything!" Hey it's K KRUSH (nee K-Kwik, nee K Krush) come to save us from this non-wrestling stuff! "You know what - I am SICK to my stomach! I'm sick and tired of hearing about some damn racecar drivers!" Thank you! "This is professional wrestling. You guys call yourselves athletes? You got no damn business inside of a professional wrestling ring. Shut up! I am a athlete! You're looking at a athlete! MY KIND are athletes! YOUR KIND drive a car around a circle in a left motion continuously. MY KIND - we throw basketballs, we throw touchdowns, we run for touchdowns, we do arm drops, we do leg drops, my GRANDMOMMA can do what you do." Sadler takes Borash's mic - oh man, this accent won't help the vibe I'm pickin' up any. "Why don't you shut up just one second? I heard about all I wanna hear. How do you expect anybody here to take you serious, lookin' like you look - you look like a real athlete. Apparently you don't know just who we are. But, there are lots of NASCAR fans in Huntsville, Alabama--" Tenay: "TESTIFY!" "--and they KNOW we're athletes!" "You know what...damn you, and damn Alabama! I'm gonna introduce you to professional wrestling." Off comes the shirt - two handfuls of Sadler - but now BRIAN CHRISTOPHER (who Ferrara keeps calling "Brian Lawler" for some reason) is out to make the save. Taps on his shoulder - spins him round, right, right, right, into the ropes, press and atomic drop - superkick - and now Sadler and Marlin toss Krush over the top rope to the floor! Krush ain't happy. "Yo yo yo yo yo yo yo - K Krush - listen up you motherfa - mofo! You wanna come down here and pick on these guys? Well I tell you what: why don't YOUR KIND come down and pick on MY KIND right here, right now, how 'bout it Huntsville? That's what I'm talkin' about. I'll tell you what, listen. Me...and you - I'm challenging you. The G-Master wants you in the ring next week, and I'll have my friends Sterling - gimme some, dawg - and Hermie - gimme some, dawg - riding in my corner." While TNA SECURITY holds back Krush, he says he got it. Yes, fans - next week, we will find out JUST WHICH RACE IS BEST ohhhhhh. ANd now Christopher and the racecar drivers are gonna DANCE...no, wait, they're not. Never mind.
Instead, we watch the TNA Girls dance.
Backstage, Jarrett's got Fargo in a throttle until refs and security break it up.
CHRISTIAN YORK & JOEY MATTHEWS (Virgian
- "2 - rather," 454 pounds) v. THE
DUPPS (Stan & Bo - 462 pounds - with Fluff)
Here's a clip from the Toby Keith video "How Do You Like Me Now" - the video that launched a thousand catchphrases... well.... one. This isn't wrestling either. You know, I'm starting to get the vibe that this show isn't really geared for a laid back Californian like myself...I don't know.
"Wrestling fans, at this time it is my honour to present to you, to sing the hottest song in the country, 'The Angry American,' CMA Male Vocalist of the year, Dreamworks recording artist TOBY KEITH!"
"Howdy!" He's playing his guitar but it isn't mic'd - oh, wait, there they go. Is this REALLY the hottest song in the country? I mean, I LOVE America, but *this*.... eh. Crowd eats this up, which again makes me think about that "Californian" thing. Wait...I think I'm catching the fever!! BOOT IN YOUR ASS YEAH YEAH USA USA USA USA Unfortunately - or fortunately - JEDOUBLEF JADOUBLEREDOUBLET is back out, shoving Keith and kicking down his microphone stand before he can finish his song. "Hey Toby Keith! Nobody wants to hear you, nobody wants to hear you sing, nobody wants to hear that damn song, so take your angry American ass right outta here! No it's time to get the main event goin'. You haul your ass straight outta here, I've got a world title to win. So beat it, pal! Hey Toby...I just got a few words for you, and everybody in this buildin'. How do you like ME now?"
"Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, it is time for your NWA Total Nonstop Action main event of the evening! It is a twenty man Gauntlet for the Gold for the NWA Heavyweight Championship of the world. One man will enter - another man will enter every ninety seconds later until there are two men left in the ring." That's as far as Borash gets - BUFF DADDY BAGWELL hits the ring and without an opening bell, it's on:
NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP:
GAUNTLET FOR THE GOLD
They go ahead and reset the corner clock to 90...and here comes #3, LASH LeROUX - hey, he's been eatin' well. Stomp by Jarrett, stomp, stomp, right, through the ropes and outside - Jarrett follows. Hard into the barricade at ringside. Throated on the rail. Back to the apron and back in - kick by Jarrett, the Stroke, picks him up and runs him outside. (2:29)
They reset the clock again. #4 is SCREAMIN' BLACK MAGIC NORMAN SMILEY. He's opted for powder blue tonight. Jarrett with a stomp. Right, into the ropes, reversal by Smiley, up and over, puts up a hand to halt Jarrett in his tracks, then starts wiggling. So Jarrett clotheslines him down. Head to the buckle by Jarrett. Into the ropes, revesed, scoop - swoop - and a slam by Smiley. Is he gonna do it in da butt and smack his bitch up? No, Jarrett's trick knee acts up, halting him in his tracks. The Stroke. And out goes Smiley. (4:04) Wow, this is a big ol' wankfest for Jeff, isn't it? Geez, I hope they don't do this ALL match...
#5 is APOLO (IWA's Gran Apolo says The Cubs Fan - thanks). Jarrett with a forearm in the back, forearm, forearm, into the ropes is reversed into a rydeenbomb by Apolo. Clothesline by Apolo, clothesline. Into the ropes, reversed by Jarrett, hip toss blocked, into a neckbreaker by Apolo. Over the ropes - but he lands on the apron. Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, pulled back in - but only through the ropes this time. Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp. Stomp. I think I got 'em all. Head to the buckle. Looks like we'll make it the full ninety...Apolo presses Jarrett high, but holds him FOREVER, waiting for the next man to save Jarrett...
Sure enough, #6 is K KRUSH and the first thing he does is forearm Apolo in the back - unfortunately, he'd already dropped Jarrett anyway. Oh well. Krush with a right, right, right, into the ropes, reversal, Krush ducks, gutshot, off the ropes with an axe kick. Krush stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp. Jarrett content to take a powder in the corner. Whip into the ropes is reversed, clothesline by Apolo. Jarrett from behind on Apolo. To the corner, "how do you like ME now?" Ten punch count along. Krush takes Jarrett's place. "I WANT SOME!" HE gets ten punches on Apolo. Jarrett and Krush try to put Apolo over but he hooks the top rope. The clock is done...double into the ropes, duck, double clothesline by Apolo...
#7 is led to the ring by MINISTER JAMES MITCHELL - it's SLASH (Wolfie D in a previous life) - Slash goes for Apolo, who ducks - right, right, into the ropes, reversed, hip toss blocked, clothesline by Apolo. Into the ropes, back body drop by Apolo. Slash into the ropes, DDT. Head to the buckle - finally Jarrett is over, block, right, right by Slash, right by Apolo. Krush from behind - shoved back. Slash pressed by Apolo - Jarrett saves. Jarrett with a suplex on Apolo. Slash drops the elbow, elbow, elbow. Jarrett stomps.
#8 is DEL RIOS - all dressed up like Scott Steiner, bleached facial hair, Superman "S" on his ass. Right by Jarrett, right by Rios, goes for Slash but Krush has him from behind. Well, it's just about time to stop calling blow by blow. Ferrara: "He's got a familiar look, I just can't place it." Rios wants a belly-to-belly suplex on Slash, but Slash opts for the bite to prevent that. Apolo fiercely holds onto the ropes in the typical Royal Rumble spot. Rios DOES get the belly-to-belly on Slash. It'll be six men in the ring...
#9 is JUSTICE. A former NWA Wildside champion! Apolo sent into the ring, and he gives him a big boot. Jarrett wants some - HE gets a big boot. Rios gets a...wait for it...big boot. Justice may want to consider tossing people - spinning sidewalk slam on Rios instead. Jarrett tosses Apolo - but he lands on the apron. Jarrett and Slash kick at him but he ain't leaving yet, apparently.
#10 is - ah ya ya, it's KONNAN. Konnan goes straight for Jarrett - rolling clothesline for Jarrett, for Slash, for Rios - repetition gets moves over, I guess. Justice gets one, but he doesn't leave his feet. Facebuster DOES take him down, though. Slash manages to turn it around and take control on Konnan. Tenay, on Mitchell: "That is one sinister looking individual."
#11 is.. "Well, well, well..." JOEL GERTNER? "I've chased anything in a skirt / and I get right up in that dress / I'm gonna be with five girls in Huntsville / 'cause I don't settle for less / I'm gonna tear up the hotel room / and make the bedsheets a mess / But first, I got some business / with the Rainbow Express / So while all you girls are thinkin' / about drinkin' jug of joy juice / let me introduce, and all your clowns get your asses ready / for the man they call BRUCE." Bruce (nee the Funkster, Kwee-Wee, Angry Allan Funk) is accompanied by LENNY (lane) - Bruce hits the ring and starts...well, not much, really. Do you get the feeling that the ring is just filling up with cannon fodder for whoever gets the Diesel push? Wow, that poem took up a lot of the ninety...
#12 is RICK WOOF WOOF. Steinerline for you, Steinerline for you, Steinerline for you, Steinerline for you, remember what I said about repetition? Slash is tossed out. (16:33) Justice sends Steiner into the ropes - Steiner ducks - there's a (sorta) back body drop by Steiner. And now Justice is out. (16:50) Geez, they're giving the Diesel push to STEINER? Another semi-backdrop, semi-crippling by Steiner on Jarrett. Everybody's paired up again and the clock's run down again...
#13 is MALICE (The Wall), another of Mitchell's "Disciples of the New Church." The number is probably a coincidence - chokeslam for Del Rios, chokeslam for Bruce, chokeslam for Konnan, rep-e-ti-tion. K Krush gets a chokeslam. Bruce tossed (18:10), K Krush tossed (18:16), Rios tossed (18:21), and now Konnan is tossed (18:31). Yikes. Finally, Rick Steiner, presumably unhappy that Malice just doubled his elimination count, goes to work with forearms to the back and kicks. Steiner winds up - oh, no, Malice lowers the bridge and Steiner is eliminated. (18:46) Jarrett and Malice toss Apolo, but he skins the cat...
#14 is CLEAN & SOBER. Apolo is inexplicably perched on the top turnbuckle. Hall has opted for "KLIQ" trunks tonight. Hall ducks Jarrett's swing, right hand connects, right for Malice, right, right for Jarrett, forearm for Malice, Apolo finally comes off with a weak forearm but Malice leaves his feet for it. Hall with rights on Jarrett. Apolo into the ropes, ducks Malice, superkicks Malice! Head to the buckle - back to Hall - Jarrett into the ropes, gutshot, sets up for the Edge (wow, he really should toss him instead of dropping him to the canvas), drops him to the canvas with the Edge (damn) - Hall from behind on Malice, but leaves him to work on Apolo, signalling to the outside instead...
#15 is...well, it isn't TOBY KEITH but that's who walks out. Keith grabs Jarrett, who Hall left for him - up for the suplex - the HALF HOUR SUPLEX, even! Keith tells Hall to take care of it - and together, they toss Jarrett to the floor. TAKE THAT, OSAMA BIN LADEN! (21:20) Keith leaves the ring as Hall starts on Malice. Malice starts to come back but Apolo strikes from behind. Is there an alliance forming? They take turns seeing who can chop Malice louder - and there's a Hand of Friendship!
#15 *really* is "WILDCAT" CHRIS HARRIS. His big move is an Austin Press on Apolo. Before another ten seconds have elapsed, they finally figure out they're a man behind so they send out
#16 is VAMPIRE WARRIOR. The ring is again filling up - will they try another super-push?
#17 is DANGEROUS DEVON STORM. He psychs himself up on the ramp, then runs to the ring and tries very hard to connect with every single person in the ring as quickly as possible. Mitchell whispers in Malice's ear while Crowbar gives the Mind Bender to Harris. Storm chopping away on Harris - switch in the ring so *Harris* can chop away. Hall stands back and watches. Now taking a seat on the top turnbuckle. Nothing much else to report...
#18 is STEVE CORINO, "the only former NWA World's Champion entered in the Gauntlet." Corino goes for Storm, then ducks his punch so Vampire Warrior can take it - they go at it until Corino breaks it up with a blind double clohtesline. Atomic drop for Harris. "Ohtanikick" says Tenay - on Harris - didn't look like it connected at all, but at this point, who's counting. Malice is almost tossed, but Mitchell shoves him back in.
#19 is KEN SHAMROCK. Corino stands ready to take him on - gutshot, kick in the head puts him down. Kick for Storm, forearm for Vampire Warrior, right for Hall, powerslam for Harris, jumping high knee for Malice - but he stays on his feet - Shamrock tries again, but Malice catches him and drops him. That's it for THAT flurry...where's the clock again?
#20 and the final entrant is BRIAN CHRISTOPHER. Again, Cornio is the first man to take blows from the new entrant. The clock runs even though there's no one left...ah, they took it away. Christopher dumps Harris (29:12), ducks a charging Storm to put HIM out (29:17) and then dumps Vampire Warrior (29:19) - Corino laying in wait - right, right, right, right, right, right by Christopher, right, right, ducks a clothesline by Corino, then clotheslines him out. (29:45) They're giving a Diesel push to Christopher...well, maybe not, as Malice gives Christopher ahhhhhTHECHOKESLAAAAAM and he's down and out. Hall, Apolo and Shamrock all regard Malice in uneasy fashion - but then Shamrock decides to kick Christopher while he's down instead. Christopher tossed with no problem. (30:19) Apolo and Hall go for Malice - into the ropes - double chokeslam - no, they punch out of the attempt - Apolo runs at Malice - dummy - Malice dumps him. (30:39) Hall with a right, Shamrock standing back. Gutshot - wants the Edge, but Malice backdrops him out of the ring, instead. (30:56) And now we're down to two. RICKY STEAMBOAT hits the ring.
No time limit
Backstage, Jeff Jarrett is making sure he gets another segment - also, Security holds back Jackie Fargo AND Toby Keith! Whoops, Fargo just said "Now we get ready to go out there" but we're still watching them
Back to our commentators...until
JEDOUBLEF JADOUBLEREDOUBLET is back out again. "Wait a minute, that's the biggest buncha crap I've ever heard in my entire life. You mean to tell me that the World title is gonna be decided by a Gauntlet for the Gold match?" Wait, are we FINALLY getting a replay tonight? Oh...nope. "Dory Funk, let me ask you: did you ever win a title in a battle royal? Did you? Harley, did you ever win one of your titles in a damn battle royal? It's a damn joke out here, Bullet, and you know it. All o' y'all know it. How in the world can a World title can a World title be decided in a battle royal?" RIGHT HAND to "Bullet" Bob Armstrong and he *flies* across the commentary table, ending up in Tenay's lap! "It's the biggest joke I've ever seen in my entire life." Tenay: "DAMN YOU, JARRETT!" "The World title is decided by a Battle Royal. What the hell kinda NW--" Jarrett stops short as he's caught sight of JACKIE FARGO, TOBY KEITH and TNA SECURITY heading out to ringside. Borash passes Fargo a mic. "Fargo - whoa whoa whoa!" "Let me tell you something, you punk - you no good, dirty rotten lowdown fourteen carat son of a, son of a--" "Yeah, well you know what?" "Listen to me - I've been out of the wrestling business for many years, he's a country music singer, but I'll tell ya what I'll do, pally, I got somebody that'll whip your ass next week." "We ain't gotta wait for next week, let's get it on right now!" "Scott Hall! Scott Hall! Scott Hall!" "We ain't gotta wait - you want some o' me?" Jarrett goes for Hall - right, right, right by Hall, right by Jarretty, and this continues until TNA Security pull them apart long enough for us to glimpse the "TNA: Total Nonstop Action (C) 2002 J Sports Entertainment" notice - Tenay manages to blurt out that Hall/Jarrett will be next week...
...and we're out.
Hey guys, "Thunder" is back. Do YOU want to pay $9.95 to watch it?
Soooooooooo much talking. I mean, what wrestling there WAS was okay, but nothing really tickled me. Commentary was a washout - I hope they didn't pay Don West too much (and they probably didn't) but Tenay was pretty damn good. Hall/Jarrett will probably be a good match, but it'll probably be hard for me to keep from making comparisons to the GREAT matches they had in 1994-5 for the WWF intercontinental title - and man, that's SEVEN YEARS AGO. And I like K Krush, but surely they don't have to get all double entendrely with the racism crap to get people interested in him, do they? Doggone it, given the big T&A soundalike factor, a lot of those women sure seemed rather unappealing. Finally, it sure looked like they really wanted to have their mainline feud be Jeff Jarrett...and a 71 year old man. Aren't there ENOUGH old folks at the top of the card elsewhere in the sport?
Still, I will give credit to Jeff Jarrett for one thing - he didn't say "slapnuts" once.
I promise you I'll do a whole lot less transcription next week. See you later!