NWA:TNA Weekly PPV #3 (07/03/2002)

NWA:TNA Weekly PPV Review - Episode 3 - July 3rd, 2002

July 3rd, 2002
Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee

NWA:TNA came into episode 3 of their weekly Pay Per View events with two new champions at the helm. 

Ken Shamrock captured the NWA World Championship in the first episode, after which AJ Styles claimed the X title after a thrilling four-way contest involving Low-Ki, Jerry Lynn, and Psicosis in the second episode. 

Tonight, we'd not only see both men defending their titles for the first time but also witness the first-ever TNA Tag Team Champions crowned in a four-team tournament. 

Elsewhere, the rivalry between Scott Hall and Jeff Jarrett was set to heat up in our main event. 

Without further ado, let's get to it. 


Fortunately, we weren’t subjected to a lengthy recap of last week’s show, which is a good thing considering NWA: TNA Episode 2 dedicated more time to recaps than your average modern-day Raw episode.

Instead, we simply got a fancy opening graphic which gave way to shots of an excited audience chanting “TNA! TNA” over which Mike Tenay promised us fireworks on this Independence Day eve.

Sure enough, TNA’s budget had stretched to a modest pyro display, next to which attractive young women gyrated in shark cages.

NWA:TNA Weekly PPV - Episode 3 - Don West, Mike Tenay, and Ed Ferrara

As the camera finally settled on the ringside area, we found Tenay accompanied by his broadcast colleagues Don West and Ed “Midlife Crisis dreadlocks” Ferrara.

The trio ran down the featured attractions on tonight’s card, including the two aforementioned title matches and a tag match putting Scott Hall & Brian Christopher taking on Jeff Jarrett & K-Krush.

After Ferrera had finished ranting in support of Jarrett & Krush, Tenay introduced NWA President Jim Miller, who insisted it was a pleasure to be there despite being roundly booed by the crowd.

Milner presented Tenay with a trophy as a means of officially welcoming Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling to the National Wrestling Alliance. 

NWA:TNA Weekly PPV - Episode 3 - Mike Tenay and NWA President Jim Miller

He then promised to reveal a surprise, which was that he was bringing in Japanese star Takao Omori to challenge the winner of tonight’s NWA title match on next week’s show.

With all that out of the way, it was onto Jeramy Borash for the introductions to our opening contest.

NWA Tag Team Championship Tournament
Qualifying Match
‘Wildcat’ Chris Harris & ‘Cowboy’ James Storm vs. The Johnsons (Richard & Rod w/ Mortimer Plumtree)

So, even though I referred to them as America’s Most Wanted in my last review, Chris Harris & James Storm weren’t officially going by that name yet.

NWA:TNA Weekly PPV - Episode 3 Review - Mortimer Plumtree & The Johnsons

They did, however, come out to a huge ovation for a tag team tournament match against the Wrestlecrap-worthy Johnsons.

The duo, better known as The Shane Twins or Gymini in WWE, were led to the ring by a cricket-bat-wielding Mortimer Plumtree who came to the ring waxing prophetical like a doomsaying preacher, looking and sounding for all the world like a cross between Brother Love, Jim Cornette, and an extra from a Harry Potter movie.

One can only assume this was meant to distract from the fact that his team was a pair of walking dick jokes.

Having said all that, this genuinely wasn’t too bad of a match, mainly because Harris & Storm were such an exciting team to watch.

The duo burst out of the gate all guns blazing, their speed and youthful energy delighting the crowd and giving them the upper hand over their opponents.

Of course, standard tag team formula rules dictated that the heels would have to gain the advantage eventually, and they did, turning Harris upside down with a double powerbomb before getting their hands on James Storm for a longer beatdown.

Following a somewhat short stint as face-in-peril, Storm made the hot tag and a four-way brawl broke out.

In the middle of the madness, Hharris dove off the top rope onto one of Johnsons but was caught in mid-air. 

Before he was slammed to the mat, however, James Storm also jumped off the top, dropkicking his own partner to send him crashing down ontop of the Johnson boy for the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winners: Chris Harris & James Storm

NWA:TNA Weekly PPV - Episode 3 Review - Mortimer Plumtree

Afterward, Mortimer Plumtree berated his men so they attacked him and left, never to be seen again in TNA.

Scott Hall and Jeff Jarrett Can’t Wait

Up next, Jeramy Borash introduced Scott Hall for an in-ring promo.

NWA:TNA Weekly PPV - Episode 3 Review - Scott Hall

Hall could barely finish his trademark “hey yo,” before he was interrupted by Jeff Jarrett, who delighted in calling his arch-enemy a “bitch.”

“Don’t sing it, bring it,” urged Hall, issuing an invitation Jarrett was more than happy to accept as he made his way to the ring for a spot of fisticuffs.

Before he could get there, however, he was stopped by NWA President Jim Miller, who refused to let Jarrett make a mockery of the National Wrestling Alliance and stopped him from getting in the ring.

It's interesting that Miller thought two guys settling a rivalry made a mockery of the NWA, but The Johnsons somehow didn't.

Anyway, at that point, K-Krush attacked Hall from behind but was quickly overpowered and sent crashing from the ring courtesy of a trademark Scott Hall fallaway slam.

Meanwhile, back in the dressing room, Goldilocks revealed that Chris Harris & James Storm had been the victims of a brutal assault.

Cameras showed us the duo covered in their own blood as Bill Brehens (who I’m sure was referred to as the NWA President last week) demanded some help.

‘The Alpha Male’ Monty Brown vs. Anthony Ingram 

Heck yeah. 

NWA:TNA Weekly PPV - Episode 3 Review - Monty Brown

I used to be a big fan of Monty Brown, so this one was exciting even if all he did was beat up indie stalwart Anthony Ingram in a brief squash match.

Prior to the bell, Brown burst through the curtain in a maelstrom of energy and charisma, taking to the mic to work up the crowd and declare that he was here to come after Ken Shamrock’s title.

The match itself was over in moments, Brown making light work of his opponent and looking damn impressive in the process before ending it with the Alpha Bomb (powerbomb into a pin).
Your Winner: Monty Brown 

Backstage, Goldilocks searched for Jim Miller, presumably to deal with the Harris/Storm situation.

NWA:TNA Weekly PPV - Episode 3 Review - Goldilocks interviews Puppet The Psycho Dwarf

She didn’t find him, but she did find Puppet The Psycho Dwarf, who ranted and raved about wanting to beat up Gary Coleman, Vern Troyer, and pretty much every little person on the planet.

Alright then.

NWA Tag Team Championship Tournament
Qualifying Match
The Rainbow Express (Lenny & Bruce w/ Joel Gertner) vs. Buff Bagwell & Apollo 

Lenny & Bruce were led to the ring first before we cut to the back where Goldilocks revealed that Buff Bagwell was a surprise participant in this tournament and would team with Apollo

TNA Wrestling Weekly PPV Review - Episode 3 - Goldilocks interviews Buff Bagwell & Apollo

Buff’s star power earned him a good pop from the fans, but he immediately heeled it up, dismissing his own partner as “the second best” wrestler in the country, referring to the interviewer as “Goldi-Lick” and cutting off Apollo’s mic time because he didn’t think anybody would understand the foreign star’s accent.

The actual match then got underway and proved to be a decent if unremarkable effort.

Early on, we were distracted by Aleesha making her way out to extort cash from Ed Ferrrera.

This was now the third week she’d done this, taking money from referee Slick Johnson in week one and Jeramy Borash in week 2. 

Ferrera refused to get drawn into his business arrangement with the former Ryan Shamrock, preferring to focus on the match at hand.

Speaking of, this one went back and forth for a while until Apollo got knocked to the outside.

Bagwell looked to pick up the slack for his team by drilling Bruce (Allan Funk) with a Buff Blockbuster, yet before he could capitalize, the former WCW star got superkicked out of his britches by Lenny Lane and was promptly pinned.
Your Winners: The Rainbow Express

Post-match, a dejected Bagwell spoke to Ed Ferrera, renouncing the “Buff” gimmick since it had apparently brought him nothing but trouble and insisting that not only did he want to be called “Marcus” from now on, but also that he was “done.”

Ken Shamrock is Confused 

Up next, Ken Shamrock strolled out onto the stage to respond to Monty Brown’s challenge.

TNA Wrestling Weekly PPV Review - Episode 3 - NWA:TNA World Champion Ken Shamrock

Shamrock had so far been a solid babyface for TNA, but the crowd clearly also loved Monty, which meant the NWA Champion was met with a round of boos as he expressed his confusion that Brown would dare challenge him after just one match.

It wasn’t long before the jeers from the audience turned into something far worse:

The dreaded “What?” chant.

Laughing it off as best he could, The World’s Most Dangerous Man promised that he would first beat Malice, then “that Japanese punk,” Takao Omori, and then -and only then- would he send Brown home with his head shoved up his ass should the indie favorite be “unlucky enough” to earn a title shot.

Before Shamrock could say much more, the arena turned dark, and a solitary spotlight down on the sinister minister himself, James Mitchell.

Looking as Faustian as ever, Mitchell declared that the only thing the champion had to worry about was Malice.

Sure enough, once the lights returned in the arena, the man once known as The Wall in WCW was standing over a fallen Ken Shamrock, presumedly having blindsided him for the second week in a row.  

The segment ended with Shamrock being placed in a neck brace, casting doubt over his upcoming title defense.

Bill Brehens is a Busy Man 

Out in the back, Goldilocks cleared up my earlier confusion by referring to Bill Brehens as the NWA Vice President.

TNA Wrestling Weekly PPV Review - Episode 3 - Jerry Lynn bothers Bill Brehens

She wanted a word with him to find out, in her words, “exactly what’s going on here in TNA,” while at the same time, Jerry Lynn wanted Brehens to let him find a partner and replace the injured Harris & Storm in our tag team title match.

The man in charge, however, was too busy for either of them as he remained on the phone with a mystery contact who cared so little about “exactly what was going on in TNA” that they kept putting him on hold.

Puppet The Psycho Dwarf vs. Todd Stone 

Poor Todd Stone didn’t stand a chance.

TNA Wrestling Weekly PPV Review - Episode 3 - Puppet 'The Psycho Dwarf' destroys Todd Stone

Prior to the match, Puppet The Psycho Dwarf took to the microphone to make sure everybody knew that he was a “midget killer” who, true to his job description, was there to kill midgets.

Sure enough, Puppet assaulted his opponent with a slew of Singapore cane shots the moment Stone stepped between the ropes, and never let up.

Destroying Stone with trash can shots, a clothesline, and more blows with the cane, The Psycho Dwarf was unrelenting, attacking his helpless adversary with violent glee before putting him away with a Death Valley Driver onto the trash can.
Your Winner: Puppet 

True to form, The Psycho Dwarf went even more nuts after the bell, lashing at Jeramy Borash as the announcer tried to pull Todd Stone’s lifeless body from the ring, then when Don West patronized him with a “way to go, little fella!,” Puppet met West’s offer of a high-five by viciously whacking him with the cane.

Finally, this whole crowd-pleasing ordeal ended with Puppet chasing referee Slick Johnson to the back. 

Ken Shamrock May Be Injured

Out in the back, Goldilocks grabbed a quick word with the two EMTs tending to visibly hurt Ken Shamrock.

As the NWA champion groaned and writhed in his seat, both EMTs declared that it was still too early to tell the full extent of his injury and whether Shamrock would be able to compete in our pending world title fight.

Francine vs. Taylor Vaughn

Before this contest, we were shown a recap from last week’s Miss TNA Battle Royal in which the winner earned a TNA contract.

TNA Wrestling Weekly PPV Review - Francine

This recap included the awful moment when Francine was eliminated and Ed Ferrara tried to coerce her into going down on him in exchange for a job.

That battle royal had eventually been won by Taylor Vaughn, though being crowned Miss TNA apparently wasn’t that much of a blessing.

Not only had Francine gotten herself a repeat booking anyway despite supposedly not having a contract, but the Queen of Extreme immediately started lashing at the former Barbara Bush with a leather belt.

Referee Scott Armstrong eventually seized the weapon, only for Vaughn to grab it and start attacking her nemesis.

Moments later, she deliberately struck the official with it and the match was thrown out within the space of roughly sixty seconds.
Your Winner via DQ: Francine 

Post-match, Ed Ferrera hopped up into the ring to give Francine her props until she made him grab her boob as an excuse to whip the ex-WWE writer like the dirty dog he was.


As Francine made her way to the back, she deliberately shoved Jeramy Borash, who was standing at the entrance for an interview with racing driver Hermie Sadler.

TNA Weekly PPV Review - Episode 3 - K-Krush & Hermie Saddler

Accompanied by his pit crew,  the nasally NASCAR star gushed about what a great response he’d been getting from the TNA fans as the entire audience booed the crap out of him, though he did get a Mick Foley-style cheap pop by mentioning Nashville.

K-Krush then arrived on the scene with his own “posse” of awkward-looking traineees and gave Hermie hell until Hermie could take no more and speared him to the ground.

Any brawl that may have ensued was immediately broken up, and the whole thing ended with Krush challenging Saddler to a match on next week’s show.

The challenge was accepted and the match was set.

Dear Lord, please don’t make me watch a fighting NASCAR driver. I’ve already seen more than enough Sparky Plug matches to last me a lifetime.

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championshi
NWA Champion Ken Shamrock vs. Malice (w/ Father James Mitchell)

Selling the earlier beatdown, the defending champion stormed to the ring and was immediately beaten down by the challenger.

From there, Malice spent the bulk of this mediocre match brutally assaulting his opponent.

This resulted in a strange match where Malice looked very impressive but the match itself wasn’t all that exciting.

After a few minutes of getting his ass whooped, Shamrock reversed a Malice suplex attempt with one of his own and pulled off a quick belly-to-belly for the win.
Your Winner and Still NWA Champion: Ken Shamrock 

Post-match, Ed Ferrera began ranting about how Malice still looked great and stood tall while a lifeless Shamrock struggled to the back.

That was obviously the story they were going for here, but it would have been much better told had only Dread Head Ed been a bit more subtle about the whole thing

National Wrestling Alliance X Championship
NWA X Champion AJ Styles vs. David Young (w/ Bobcat)

I don’t know how David Young had earned a title shot when he’d lost his one and only match in TNA so far.

What I do know, is that his opponent being such an exciting wrestler meant that we spent much more time focusing on the action than in his previous match, when much of the focus had been solely on Bobcat.

I also know that this was the best match on this show (so far at least) by a country mile.

AJ Styles maintained control in the early going, constantly using his speed and agility to counter his bulkier opponent’s strength until Young turned the momentum by dropping the champ throat-first on the ropes and taking him down with an impressive asai moonsault.

Back in the ring, Young continued wearing the champion down while on the outside, Bobcat paced back and forth talking to someone a cell phone, completely oblivious to the match.

To be fair, that was a smart way to maintain her “self-absorbed spotlight stealer” gimmick without her actually stealing the spotlight from a fantastic match.

At one point, the challenger (who was a far better wrestler than this fan ever realizes) looked to have the match won with his trademark spine buster, only for Styles to kick out at the last minute.

Undeterred, Young maintained his advantage, even setting up Styles for a hurricanrana off the top. Before he could hit the move, however, AJ countered with a Styles Clash to retain the gold.
Your Winner and Still X Champion: AJ Styles 

As Styles’ ridiculous “Born and Raised in the USA” theme played, Bobcat paraded around the ring to what she must have imagined were her adoring fans.

Out in the back, Goldilocks interviewed The Rainbow Express.

TNA Weekly PPV Review - Episode 3 - Goldilocks interviews The Rainbow Express & Joel Gertner

Just in case anyone didn’t know they were gay, Lenny Lane made a point to ensure that the first words out of his mouth were “We’re not interested in you.”

Lenny & Bruce’s manager, Joel Gertner, on the other hand, was very interested in the pretty blonde reporter, fawning over her as he cut an admittedly-not-terrible promo about his team should be automatically declared the champions now that Chris Harris & James Storm couldn’t compete.

After sniffing Goldilock’s face off, Gertner led his men to the ring, where they assumed they would simply be handed the titles.

National Wrestling Alliance Worls Tag Team Tournament Final
The Rainbow Express (Lenny & Bruce w/ Joel Gertner) vs. Jerry Lynn & NWA X Champion AJ Styles

There was no angle or promo to herald the arrival of AJ Styles & Jerry Lynn, just the blasting of Styles’ stupid Bruce Springsteen rip-off theme song and the assumption that Bill Brehens must have granted Lynn his earlier wish. 

TNA Weekly PPV Review - Episode 3 - Lenny Lane puts Jerry Lynn in the Tiger Tamer

As the fresh man, Jerry Lynn wrestled the bulk of this match for his team. It was a tactic that worked at first as he took control of both Lenny and Bruce.

However, it wasn’t long before the Rainbow Express gained the advantage and began to isolate the former ECW star from his partner.

Lenny & Bruce took firm control, with the former putting Lynn in a “Tiger Tamer” hold, which was basically a Lion Tamer because I suppose Lenny Lane looked kind of like Chris Jericho and a tiger is kind of like a lion or something?

Anyway, it didn’t matter.

What mattered here is that the Rainbow boys proved they were more than just an over-the-top gimmick, holding their own with a strong performance against their incredibly talented opponents.

Not that it was enough to win them the match.

As things broke down at the finish, AJ Styles came off the top rope with a Spiral Tap to win the match and his second piece of TNA Gold.
Your Winners and New NWA Tag Team Champions: Jerry Lynn & AJ Styles 

Backstage, somebody had beaten up NWA President Jim Miller, ripped his shirt off, hog-tied him, and scrawled FU on his chest.

As a gaggle of officials panicked around the fallen president, it became obvious that this was a company already low on new ideas.

Throughout this show, I’ve been reflecting on how it was more about setting up and developing stories rather than delivering match after match.

I’d be fine with that if this wasn’t the second “mystery attacker” angle on a two-hour show and the third “oh no, somebody’s been attacked, this changes everything” angle within the same timeframe.

K-Krush & Jeff Jarrett vs. Brian Christopher & Scott Hall

These two teams wasted no time laying into each other, the action immediately toppling into the stands for an arena-wide brawl.

TNA Weekly PPV Review - Episode 3 - Brian Christopher begs Scott Hall to make a tag

As Krush and Brian Christopher battled through the stands, Hall and Jarrett made their way to the dancer’s cage, where the brunette dancer quickly scurried away.

And so she should. Poor girl. 

Did they really make these dancers stand in their cages for the entire show? 

Once the action returned to the ring, the bad guys soon took control of The Bad Guy, Jarrett and Krush overpowering Hall and wearing him down.

As they did so, Brian Christopher begged -nay, demanded- a tag, sounding almost annoyed at his partner even though it was obvious Hall was in no state or position to make one.

If you didn’t see a Grandmaster Sexay heel turn coming a mile away at this point, you must never have seen a wrestling match before.

Sure enough, when Hall was finally able to make the tag, Christopher sucker-punched him.

Hall retaliated by beating up both his opponents and his own partner, but the numbers game proved too much and Brian Christopher eventually helped Jeff Jarrett get the pinfall over Scott Hall.
Your Winners: Jeff Jarrett & K-Krush 

As Double J took to the turnbuckles to celebrate, Brian Christopher embraced K-Krush, the very man he’d been exchanging wild blows with just minutes earlier.

I have no problem with mid-match heel turns in tag bouts, but if you’re going to do it, do it like Arn Anderson’s heel turn on young Dustin Rhodes back at WCW Bash at the Beach '94.

In that one, at least The Enforcer had the good sense not to duke it out with the very people he was about to join forces with.

Anyway, this whole thing ended with Jarrett reminding Hall that he’d beaten him at Royal Rumble 1995, then in 1997, and again here tonight, vowing to run the nWo founder out of the NWA for good before smashing him with the NWA:TNA trophy from the start of the show.

Man, how’s that for a callback.

For what it's worth, I could find no record of a Jarrett vs. Hall singles match in 1997. The two were part of a three-way War Games match at Uncensored '97, but Hall's team, Team nWo, won that one.

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Although I enjoyed this show immensely for the nostalgia value, NWA: TNA Weekly PPV episode 3 wasn’t the best.

As I mentioned earlier, this seemed more focused on building up to something bigger and developing stories, but most of those stories quickly became repetitive.

The Styles/Young match was a blast to watch, while each of the final two tag team matches delivered in different ways. 

I’m not against the Brian Christopher heel turn either, just the stupid way it was executed.

Stay tuned for episode 4 and let’s see how it plays out. 

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