NWA:TNA Weekly PPV - Episode 2 (06/26/2002)

TNA WEEKLY PPV - Episode 2 Review - Featured image

June 26, 2002
Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Alabama

The newly-formed NWA: Total Non-Stop Action (NWA:TNA) were back with their second weekly PPV after an audacious start seven days prior. 

The very first segment of the very first event had seen a bunch of wrestlers mocking and criticizing the main event as a stupid idea despite the fact that they were competing in it. 

That main event had been a huge battle royal to determine a new world champion which was eventually won by Ken Shamrock.

Elsewhere on that show, Jeff Jarrett had started a feud with musician Toby Keith, Brian Christopher and K-Krush had found themselves at odds, and we'd seen the debut of a pair of wrestling condoms known as The Johnsons. 

This week, we'd see more from Jarrett, Keith, Christopher, and Krush. Thankfully, The Johnsons would be nowhere to be seen, though we did get the ominous debut of a man whose only talent was having a big bottom.

Here's what went down: 

Jeff Jarrett and Toby Keith Hate Each Other 

Tonight's show began with a lengthy recap of TNA's first weekly PPV.

The video focused more or less entirely on Jeff Jarrett, his problem with NWA championship committee member Jackie Fargo, and his country-fried beef with musician Toby Keith

This all started when Jarrett interrupted a performance by Keith.

The singer later extracted a modicum of revenge by entering that show's main event battle royal, and helping Scott Hall eliminate him, thereby depriving Double J of the opportunity to be the world champion in his own company. 

Of course, we all know how many more of those opportunities would come Jarrett's way, but let's not dwell on that right now because there’s more recap to cover.

This opening recap video lasted for the better part of four minutes, showing us Ken Shamrock winning the battle royal, Jarrett yelling at Fargo for it, and Fargo sicking Scott Hall on Jarrett, apparently leading to a match tonight.

Once all that was finally over, we cut live to the arena for the obligatory pyro and crowd shots of what looked to be a capacity crowd of lively fans.

Welcome to The Asylum

From there, we were greeted by the incomparable Mike Tenay and his esteemed broadcast colleagues, Don West and Ed Ferrara.

TNA Weekly PPV - Episode 2 Review - Don West, Mike Tenay, and Ed Ferrara

The three ran down tonight’s card, then it was onto the ring for more Jeff Jarrett.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Scott Hall (w/ Toby Keith and Jackie Fargo)

‘The Chosen One’ stormed to the ring, grabbed a microphone, and immediately called out Scott Hall, Toby Keith, and Jackie Fargo.

Answering the call, the most random trio of individuals in pro wrestling history made their way to the ring, receiving plenty of adulation from the fans as they did so.

TNA Weekly PPV 2 Review - Jeff Jarrett vs. Scott Hall

Hall was already dressed in his ring gear, and that meant our opening contest was ready to go. 

What transpired was exactly the kind of solid effort you’d expect from two long-time veterans. 

Jarrett may not have been the flashiest wrestler in the world, and  I certainly understand the point of view of his many detractors, but I have to give the man credit;

He and Hall gave us an above-average opener with the atmosphere and energy of a main-event match.

Towards the finish, Hall looked to put Jarrett away with the Razor’s Edge, only for K-Krush (R-Truth) to intervene and pull Double J to safety.

This brought out Krush’s rival, Brian Christopher, for a ringside brawl, which distracted referee Slick Johnson enough that he had to leave the ring.

With the official otherwise occupied, Toby Keith hit the ring and delivered the slowest, weakest-looking low-blow in history to prevent The Chosen One from drilling Hall with The Stroke.

Keith then stood over Hall as he made the cover, at which point Slick Johnson slid back between the ropes, paid zero attention to the burly country singer, and counted the fall.
Your Winner: Jeff Jarrett

As we cut to two pretty girls dancing in cages, Mike Tenay and Don West led us into a brief recap of Francine getting into a catfight with Electra on last week’s show.

We’d see more of them later, but for now, we got what Tenay told us had originally been scheduled to open the show before Jarrett had hijacked things.

Cheex (w/ The Brown Eyed Girl) vs. Frank Parker

Alright, let’s get into this one.

If you’re unfamiliar with the legend of Cheex, he was a huge, fat guy with an even fatter booty who, despite being so bad he made The Great Kahli look like Bryan Danielson, claimed to have been trained by The Minnesota Wrecking Crew.

TNA Weekly PPV Episode 2 Review - Cheex pins Frank Parker

The wobbly wonder had almost completely derailed TNA’s first weekly PPV when his massive girth snapped a ring rope in a dark match, and he was now set to make his on-screen debut.

Accompanying him was The Brown Eyed Girl, a thinly-veiled ass joke that was so lame you could hear Mike Tenay cringe as he said it.

The only thing I can find about a woman who they might as well have just called Asshole is that she was trained by The Dudley Boys.

Anyway, this was a pitiful excuse for a match.

Frank Parker, a veteran of the indie scene in the Carolinas, tried his best, but there was little he could do to get a decent match out of a man whose only talent was having a fat ass.

This one sucked so bad that even the announcers stopped caring, instead focusing on announcing an upcoming main event for the following week’s show pitting Jeff Jarrett and K-Krush against Scott Hall and Brian Christopher.

Then, in a move that you have to believe was meant to distract from the in-ring atrocity, Aleesha (Ryan Shamrock) came out to cajole ring announcer Jeramy Borash into giving her a stack of cash.

Back in the ring, Cheex collapsed on top of Parker, won the match, and was never heard from again.
Your Winner: Cheex

Up next, we got a recap of NASCAR heroes Hermie Saddler and Sterling Marlin appearing on last week’s show, only for K-Krush to come out and tell them nobody cared.

This brought out Brian Christopher, who attacked Krush, starting one of TNA’s first real rivalries.

K-Krush vs. Brian Christopher (w/ Hermie Saddler and Sterling Marlin)

This one turned out to be a very enjoyable match thanks to the insane athleticism of Mr. Ron Killings, who proved himself to be a star in the making with a style that nobody had really seen in pro wrestling at that time.

TNA Weekly PPV Episode 2 Review - Brian Christopher

Christopher was no slouch either. The firm fan favorite played to his strengths from start to finish, and the result was a lot of fun to watch.

Speaking of the finish, that came when Krush found himself straddling the middle rope, which the NASCAR boys promptly shook up and down, much to the dismay of Krush and his Little Jimmies.

With Krush selling the spot on the apron, Christopher took to the top, donned his goggles, and won the match with a Hip Hop Drop.
Your Winner: Brian Christopher

As entertaining as that match had been, I feel compelled to point out that two of the three matches we’d seen so far had ended with non-wrestlers hitting the heels in the balls so that the babyfaces could win.

Make of that what you will.

Up next, this:

Lingerie Battle Royal
Featuring; Joanie, Francine, Shannon, Alexis Laree, Elektra, Taylor Vaughn, Miss Sasha, Tyler
Winner Gets a TNA Contract 

Before this one got underway, it was obvious that the girls had been sent out in a different order than the one written on Jeramy Borash’s cards, as he first introduced Joanie and Francine in the wrong order, then seemed to give up on the ring introductions altogether.

Even the commentary team had some difficulty, resulting in something as simple as a match introduction being very confusing.

Like Borash, I eventually gave up trying to figure out who I was watching and had to turn to CageMatch to figure it out.

I have no idea who Miss Sasha, Joanie, and Tyler were. Shannon was, of course, the late, great Shannon Spruill, better known as Daffney. Taylor Vaughn was the girl known for a split second as Barbara Bush during the Attitude Era, and Elektra had spent a bit of time in ECW as a valet.

I’ll assume you already know who Francine and Alexis Laree are. 

I’ll also assume that you know right away this wasn’t going to be very good.

Don’t get me wrong, I never mind seeing beautiful women on my screen, but there’s nothing sexy or even remotely entertaining about women rolling around in a mass catfight wearing oversized PJs and doing practically nothing of note.

The only interesting part of the match came when most of the girls teamed up to eliminate Francine.

Realizing that she’d failed her ambition of gaining a TNA contract, The Queen of Extreme fell to her knees outside the ring and began to sob.

Ed Ferrara came to console her, but of course, this was a chance to grope her as he literally picked her up by her breasts in a weird and uncomfortable moment.

Feigning a willingness to do anything to get a job, Francine quickly dropped back to her knees and began removing Ferrara’s belt as the former Jim Ross impersonator looked to the stars, ready to be fellated in front of a sold-out crowd.

Of course, there was to be no happy ending for  Ferrara. Francine returned to her feet and whipped the bejebus out of the deeply unlikeable Ed Ferrara.

Eventually, Taylor Vaughn won the match, and there’s absolutely nothing interesting I can say about it.
Your Winner: Taylor Vaugn

Post-match, Francine returned to the ring and stripped Taylor to her undies.

Clearly, this wasn’t over yet.

Bobcat Has a Problem With Goldilocks

Backstage, Goldilocks attempted an interview with “Puerto Rican Superstar’ Apollo, only to be interrupted by Bobcat.

TNA Weekly PPV Episode 2 Review - Bobcat (w/ David Young) confronts Goldilocks

Displaying all the natural charisma of a chewed pencil, the blonde bombshell was unimpressed with Apolo and claimed her man, David Young, was the next big star.  This is despite the fact that Young simply loitered in the background, looking unremarkable and not very star-like. 

Unprompted, Bobcat then turned her attention to Goldilocks herself, insisting that TNA's backstage interviewer was somehow "jealous" of her and aggravating Goldilocks until she terminated the interview. 

The whole thing was strange, unnecessary, and quite terrible. 

Apollo vs. David Young (w/ Bobcat) 

From there, Bobcat led David Young to the ring for a match with Apollo, which surpassed this writer's expectations. 

TNA Weekly PPV Episode 2 Review - Apollo

The story here was a simple one: The young upstart (Apollo) going up against a veteran (David Young) who, despite appearing to have all the skills to get the job done, was persistently distracted by his own manager. 

As Young and Apollo did their best to string together a decent match, Bobcat cavorted around the ringside area and eventually focused all her efforts on flirting with Jeramy Borash. 

This completely threw Young off his game, causing him to spend far too long on a moonsault attempt and missing it entirely. 

Not long after, Apollo pulled off a tornado DDT from the second rope, followed by a TKO to claim the victory.
Your Winner: Apollo 

Afterward, Bobcat returned to the ring and paraded around the ring as if she and her man had just won. 

Joel Gertner is Here

Joel Gertner must have had plenty of friends in pro wrestling. Why else would he keep getting booked?

TNA Weekly PPV 2 - Joel Gertner

Here, 'The Quintessential Stud Muffin' appeared to have lost considerable weight since his time in ECW, standing in the ring with his shirt unbuttoned, looking like a villain from a Jonah Hill movie. 

He was here to manage The Rainbow Express team of Lenny Lane & Bruce (Allan Funk), but before he could do that, Gertner first had to cut a rambling promo to make sure we all knew that just because the team he managed was gay, he was not. 

This was so bad that you could see the fans behind Gertner paying no attention to him and chatting among themselves as he went on and on about his team's "alternative lifestyles."

The Dupps Don't Want None of Dem "Alternative Lifestyles"

Gertner introduced his team, ready for a match. However, we then cut backstage, where they're opponents, The Dupps, refused to wrestle "dem alternative lifestyle boys" because they didn't want to catch The Gay. 

That was a shame because it denied us an appearance from Fluff Dupp

Fortunately, America's Most Wanted had just arrived at the building and were loitering by a doorway with NWA president Bill Brehens, waiting for their cue. 

TNA Weekly PPV 2 - Bill Brehens books America's Most Wanted in a match

When the camera caught up with them, Brehens asked the duo to fill in, telling them to "take their shirts off" and wrestle in their street clothes since there was no time to change. 

The Rainbow Express (Lenny & Bruce w/ Joel Gertner) vs. America's Most Wanted ('Wildcat' Chris Harris & 'Cowboy' James Storm') 

Chris Harris and James Storm were awesome, hitting the ring and immediately taking down their opponents in a flurry of offense. 

TNA 2nd Weekly PPV - Lenny & Bruce (The Rainbow Express)

Not that it lasted long. The heels soon took over, isolating Storm from his partner for a lengthy beatdown, complete with suggestive pin attempts and hand-kissing in place of regular tags. 

All the while, Don West (who was supposed to be a face or at least a neutral observer) expressed his absolute disgust at Lenny & Bruce's homoerotic antics while heel announcer Ed Ferrara gave them his full support. 

It's kind of sad that this is how homosexuality was treated in pro wrestling back in the day, but we probably don't need to get into all that right now. 

Instead, I'll simply tell you that Storm eventually made the hot tag, leading to a fast-paced, explosive finish in which Storm took Bruce to the outside while Harris rolled up Lenny for the cover, the count, and the fall. 
Your Winners: America's Most Wanted 

After a quick shot of TNA's stage-side cage dancers, we cut to Ricky Steamboat.

The Disciples Of The New Church Challenge Ken Shamrock 

Wearing a referee's outfit ready for his role in our main event, Steamboat was there to introduce -and ultimately, put over- our new NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Ken Shamrock

Grinning from ear to ear and looking genuinely thrilled, 'The World's Most Dangerous Man' promised to defend the title with honor and pride before he was interrupted by Minister James Mitchell

TNA 2nd Weekly PPV - Slash & Father James Mitchell

Declaring himself on a mission from his own personal god, Mitchell challenged Shamrock to defend the title on next week's show against one of his Disciples of the New Church.

From there, he introduced Slash, a move which went over like the proverbial wet fart. 

Even Shamrock couldn't help but chuckle at the arrival of the former PG-13 member.

"Is this some kind of joke?" asked Shamrock, echoing the thoughts of most of the audience. 

Clearly needing no time to prepare, the champion laid down his title and was ready to fight there and then. 

Alas, he was soon attacked from behind by Malice, who began choking Shamrock and had to be dragged off him by Steamboat, another official, and "TNA Security."

By security, I mean a group of scrawny trainees, some of whom flailed awkwardly around the ring, some of whom merely stood there with a vacant "deer in the headlights" expression. 

After all that, it was announced that it was actually Malice (formerly 'The Wall' in WCW) who would be challenging Shamrock rather than the guy who used to rap for The Nation of Domination. 

Main Event Time

This was all followed by highlights from the X-Division six-man, which had kicked off the first-ever TNA event a week prior. 

Tenay told us that tonight we would be crowning the first-ever X-Division Champion in a four-man round-robin tournament. 

However, the match was then announced as "Double Elimination," and things got even more confusing when all four men came to the ring at once without any rules being explained. 

As it turned out, everyone would take turns wrestling each other. 

Any wrestler who lost two matches would be eliminated until a victor remained. It sounds simple now, but since the announcers never really told you what was going on (or I somehow missed it), it took me a while to figure this next match out. 

Double Elimination Match for the NWA X Championship 
AJ Styles vs. Psicosis vs. Low-Ki vs. Jerry Lynn

But man, am I glad I figured it out because this was gold. 

AJ Styles kicked things off, coming to the ring to a truly horrible theme song in which some dude crooned about the USA. 

TNA 2nd Weekly PPV - Psicosis

He entered into a short battle with WCW legend Psicosis, who seemed to be missing a step or two but otherwise put in a spirited effort against the future WWE Champion. 

Styles went over but was immediately attacked by our next participant, Low-Ki

'Ki quickly got the better of their exchange, battering his opponent and wowing both fans and announcers at the same time with his punishing offense, agility, and intensity. Sadly for him, even that combination wasn't enough to put away Styles, who soon regained the upper hand and put Low-Ki away for his second fall. 

Jerry Lynn then entered the fray and immediately beat AJ with the cradle piledriver, which brought Psicosis back for a second round. 

Unsurprisingly, the two veterans produced the most enthralling segment of this long and often confusing match, combining the high-flying, crowd-pleasing spots and, ahem, non-stop action that were the hallmarks of the X-Division with a sense of pacing and psychology that their younger opponents seemed to lack. 

After an enjoyable back-and-forth, Lynn put Psicosis away. 

Having lost two matches and with no chance of catching up to Styles and Lynn's two points, Psicosis was eliminated from the competition. 

Lynn continued to prove why he's so well-respected in the wrestling industry by immediately picking up the pace for a brilliant round with Low-Ki, the younger of the two gaining control but struggling to hold onto it as the more established star used his wits and experience to pull off counter after counter. 

Low-Ki likewise ate a piledriver, meaning there was only AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn left. AJ brought his one defeat into the ring with him, so if he lost again, Lynn would be our new champion. If AJ won, however, that would mean each man would have one defeat a piece, and thus a sudden death round would take place. 

Which is exactly what happened. 

As the match passed the 15-minute mark, the two delivered an enthralling encounter which ended with Jerry eating his second Styles Clash of the night. 

With everything on the line, special referee Ricky Steamboat stepped up to officiate the final, championship-defining fall. 

TNA 2nd Weekly PPV - Ricky Steamboat declares AJ Styles the new X Champion

A gripping finale, if ever there was one, Styles and Lynn ensured that this was the first genuinely awesome match in TNA history. 

Utterly compelling, the two barely let up, even making a sleeper-hold spot work in a match that had so far been full of fast-paced action and cool-looking moves. 

After a thrilling end to a great match, Styles leaped off the top rope with a Spiral Tap to capture the gold. 
Your Winner and New NWA X Champion: AJ Styles 

Confetti rained from the rafters. AJ's weird "USA" theme blasted out of the arena, and Ricky Steamboat handed the X Championship (not officially known as the X-Division Championship at this stage) to the victor, and our first champion had been crowned. 

Finally, Tenay, West, and Ferrara plugged next week's show, featuring SHamrock/Malice and that Hall/Christopher vs. Jarrett/Krush tag match. 

If you ignore the terrible spectacle of Cheex and Bobcat's awful acting, the second weekly Pay Per View presented by NWA:TNA was a step up on the previous effort. 

The main-event caliber opener, while not the best match in the world, was a solid way to kick off the show, while that main event was one of the most exciting matches I've watched in a long while. 
Things were far from perfect, sure, but this upstart company certainly seemed to be heading in the right direction. 

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