NWA - TNA Weekly PPV #4 Review (07/10/2002)

TNA Weekly PPV Review #4 - July 10, 2002

July 10, 2002
Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee

By the time NWA:TNA’s fourth weekly PPV came about, the company appeared to have all its ducks in a row.

Ken Shamrock was still the NWA World Heavyweight Champion and was set to defend tonight against visiting star, Takao Omori.

AJ Styles had captured the X title in episode 2, held onto it in a title defense against David Young in episode 3, and then, on the same show, added to his belt collection by partnering with Jerry Lynn to beat The Rainbow Express (Lenny Lane & Alan ‘Bruce’ Funk) for the vacant tag straps.

Meanwhile, Father James Mitchell was establishing himself as TNA’s chief baddy, leading his Disciples of The New Church in a war against Shamrock.

Now that we’re all caught up, let’s get to the show.

NWA:TNA Weekly PPV - Episode 4 

There was no recap this week, nor did we have to sit through another long preamble from announcers Mike Tenay, Don West, and Ed Ferrara.

NWA:TNA Weekly PPV  #4 Review - Don West, Mike Tenay, and Ed Ferrara

Instead, we got a bunch of pyro, a quick voice-over greeting from Tenay, and then it was straight down to our opening contest.

NWA World Tag Team Championship 
NWA World Tag Team Champions Jerry Lynn & AJ Styles vs. The Disciples of The New Church (Slash & Tempest w/ Father James Mitchell)

Remember how I said Mitchell was being positioned as the primary heel? 

TNA Weekly PPV - Episode 4 review - The New Church

As he brought out his men for this match, the graphic labeled the team as simply “Father James Mitchell w/ The Disciples of the New Church,” without bothering to list either of the actual competitors by name.

Slash, of course, had been around for the past few weeks, while Tempest was a brand-new arrival. As you’ve likely worked out from the picture above, he was the wrestler better known as Devon Storm/Crowbar. 

Meanwhile, the champs came down to AJ Styles’s awful Bruce Springsteen knock-off theme which, I’ve you’ve read my last few early TNA reviews, you know I absolutely loathe.

That aside, the match was more or less as good as you might expect, and while that was largely down to the innovative style of the champions, the challengers more than held their own, the battle going back and forth for the better part of 15 minutes with nary a dull moment in sight.

Early on, Mike Tenay noted that Lynn would be pulling double duty tonight. Not only was he teaming with AJ in this opener but, later on, he’d also be competing in a main event match to determine the X Division rankings.

TNA Weekly PPV Review - June 10, 2002 - Tempest puts a hurting on AJ Styles

Tenay also informed us that the person ranked number one would be the number one contender for AJ’s title.

So, naturally, when it came time for the finish, Lynn found himself upset with Styles.

To be honest, you couldn’t really blame him.

Lynn had the match under control, countering Tempest's DVD attempt with a cradle piledriver before hurling Slash outside of the ring. At that point, Styles tagged himself in, landed a Spiral Tap, and claimed the pinfall for himself.

Frustrated at his glory-hogging partner, Lynn stood on the outside, getting even more annoyed as Styles paraded around with both tag belts like he’d won them singlehandedly.

Hmm, I wonder if AJ Styles learned how to be a babyface from Hulk Hogan.
Your Winners and still tag team champions: AJ Styles & Jerry Lynn

Up next, we got a look back at the previous week’s main event in which Brian Christopher turned on Scott Hall, who was then brutally assaulted by Jeff Jarrett.

As I said in my episode 3 review, the turn wouldn’t have been so bad if Christopher hadn’t been actively fighting against Jarrett and JJ’s partner, K-Krush for most of the match.

As the recap played, Tenay got on the phone with Hall, who insisted that it wasn’t how many times you get knocked down that counts, it’s how many times you get back up.

Naturally, he also swore revenge on Christopher, Jarrett, and Krush.

This all led into Brian Christopher coming to the ring for some mic time. Just so you could tell that he really was a heel now, he wrote the same style of attire as always, but in black.

Brian Christopher is His Own Man 

As he made his way out, Ferrera noted that nobody should have been surprised by Christopher aligning with Jarrett. After all, they’d grown up together and their fathers had even been business partners at one stage.

TNA Weekly PPV #4 - Brian Christopher

Of course, Christopher’s famous father was the main thing he wanted to talk about.

In a convincing and compelling promo that left me thinking I’ve been underestimating him for all this time, Brian Christopher declared that he was sick of living in Jerry Lawler’s shadow, especially since The King was never there for him as a kid.

It was now his time. Time to stand out, be his own man, and be a star.

This was all good stuff right until the end, when Big Bad Brian declared that he would now go by the name of Brian Lawler.

I don’t know about you,  but that doesn’t make a great deal of sense.

“I’m sick of living in my dad’s shadow, so now I’m going to change my last name to the same
as his, making the comparisons and references to Jerry even more obvious.”

Right you are, then.

Brian Lawler vs. Norman Smiley

With that surprisingly good promo out of the way, Norman Smiley came out to a strong pop to take on Lawler in a reasonably good match.

Smiley, who hadn’t been seen on PPV since WCW Slamboree 2000, delighted the crowd with his signature spots and charismatic ring presence, but it was obvious from the get-go that this was always going to be Brian’s match.

At the finish, Smiley got his opponent in the corner for that old favorite, the ten punches, only for Lawler to hit him with a low blow.

Heading to the top rope, the former Too Cool member further confirmed he was a new man by toying with the idea of wearing his trademark goggles and then throwing them away.

From there, a single Hip Hop Drop sealed the deal.
Your Winner: Brian Lawler 

Post-match, Lawler returned to the microphone and warned Scott Hall that he was next on his list.

Jeff Jarrett is Deluded

Out in the back, Goldilocks caught up with Jeff Jarrett, who was found harassing NWA Vice President Bill Brehens about a title shot.

TNA Weekly PPV #4 - Jeff Jarrett confronts Bill Brehens

For reasons known only to himself, Jarrett believed himself to be the number one contender for Ken Shamrock’s title and was absolutely furious that he was being denied his opportunity.

After shoving Brehens one too many times, the boss declared that not only would Jarrett not get a title shot, he was now also suspended.

“Oh yeah? Suspend this, bitch!” Jarrett replied, grabbing his crotch in a way that made me laugh much more than it should have.

By the way, Brehens’ appearance reminds me that episode 3 had the whole thing where NWA President Jim Miller had been hog-tied in the back and assaulted.

So far there was no mention of him.

Was Miller OK?

Was he still in the back, tied up and shirtless somewhere?

I really hope that angle gets resolved, otherwise it’s a major early fail for TNA.

K-Krush vs. Hermie Sadler (w/ his pit crew) 

And so, we were finally (hopefully) going to see the end of K-Krush’s feud with NASCAR driver, Hermie Sadler.

TNA Weekly PPV #4 - K-Krush vs. Hermie Sadler

I know I’ve ragged on this a lot over the last couple of reviews, but there were a lot of NASCAR fans in the audience and they HATED Krush.

As the future TNA champion took to the microphone, the crowd let him have it with both barrels, screaming bloody murder at Krush and even pelting him with a soda.

Sadler then made his way to the ring looking like he was going for a light workout at Planet Fitness and brought his entire pit crew with him.

The match kicked off and, weirdly enough, was pretty entertaining.

Obviously, this wasn’t going to be a catch-as-catch-can classic, but Saddler clearly understood his role and played it well. His early offense consisted mostly of moving out of harms way when Krush tried to attack, then pouncing on his opponent with the most basic punches and kicks imaginable.

As basic as it was, the crowd ate it up, and since the whole point of pro wrestling is to entertain the audience, it’s fair to say this match was a success for those involved.

Of course, Krush soon gained the upper hand and attempted a series of nonchalant pin attempts that his opponent repeatedly kicked out of.

When that didn’t work, Krush applied a figure four but the NASCAR star reversed it and followed up by hitting his only real wrestling move of the match, a pretty good sit-down powerbomb.

Krush recovered and went for another pin attempt, this time using the ropes for leverage to get the three count.

It wasn’t quite over though, Krush struck Saddler after the bell, so the referee reversed the decision.

It was an effective way to create a feel-good ending to the match without making Ron Killings look stupid
Your Winner: Hermie Saddler

Out in the back, Takao Omori was shown preparing for his upcoming match when Aleesha approached him.

TNA Weekly PPV #4 - Takao Omori pays Aleesha

The Japanese star handed her some money, making this the fourth such exchange we’d seen her involved in.

Ed Ferrera -who had given her the money the previous week- claimed that he would reveal all later in the show,  but first, there was this.

The Briscoes (Mark & Jay Briscoe) vs. The Hot Shots (Cassidy O'Reilly & Chase Stevens)

So, here we had the TNA debuts of both The Briscoes and The Hot Shots in what looked to have all the makings of a good match.

Things started well, with both teams bouncing and flying around in an attempt to gain the advantage.

As things progressed, The Hot Shots gained the upper hand and it looked as though we were going to be treated to an enjoyable spot fest.

Before that could happen, however, The Disciples of the New Church came down and Malice destroyed everyone in sight.
No Contest

“Vengeance is mine, so sayeth I,” declared James Mitchell as he took center stage in the middle of the ring.

TNA Weekly PPV #4 - Slash, James Mitchell, and Tempest (Crowbar)

Surrounded by his henchmen, the sinister manager declared that they would not be leaving the ring until Malice had Ken Shamrock’s blood on his hands, and if that meant innocent victims had to suffer, then so be it.

Sure enough, Mitchell deliberated whether Malice should first destroy referee Scott Armstrong or the timekeeper, who at first I thought was Big Dick Johnson. However, the only thing I can find online about that guy are news stories from when he was fired by WWE for unprofessional conduct.

So, if you can either confirm or deny that it was him, do let me know.

Anyway, Malice looked to destroy the nerdy timekeeper, at which point Shamrock finally arrived but was soon overpowered by Malice, Tempest and Slash.

Making the heroic save, Shamrock’s scheduled opponent, Takao Omori ran out and helped the champion clean house.

The two then had an intense staredown, building some kind of tension for their later match.

A Word With The Dupps

Backstage, Goldilocks looked mighty uncomfortable as she attempted to interview The Dupps.

TNA Weekly PPV - June 10, 2002 - Goldilocks interviews The Dupps

Bo and Stan Dupp took turns to sexually molest their cousin, Fluff, in the background while spouting a bunch of nonsense to put over what stupid rednecks they were supposed to be.

Bo, in particular, threw out some genuinely funny gems, imparting words of wisdom such as “Never look a deaf man in the eye,” and “If the shoe fits, it’s probably the right size.”

It was dumb, but I chuckled.

Jasmine St. Claire Arrives in TNA

Up next, Jeramy Borash attempted to introduce The Dupps for their upcoming match but was interrupted by the arrival of former porn star and ECW alumn, Jasmine St. Claire.

TNA Weekly PPV - June 10, 2002 - Jasmine St. Claire

As West and Ferrera lost their minds, St Claire strolled to ringside and took to the microphone to deliver an awfully wooden and over-rehearsed promo.

Decked in a sequin gown, Jasmine noted that she’d been watching TNA for the last three weeks and still hadn’t seen any booty, so she’d decided to come and change all this by, apparently, giving Jeramy Borash a striptease.

Great, I’m stuck with West and Ferrara and Borash gets a lap dance,” griped Mike Tenay, who at this point sounded just as horny as his two colleagues.

Sure enough, St. Claire started to dance and even slipped her thong off under her dress, which was apparently the last straw for Bill Brehens.

The NWA Vice President hit the ring, at which point Ferrera hit the ring at speed and dove at the boss with a mighty spear tackle, delivering the move with such urgency and desperation that your writer fell about laughing.

Seriously, that one move may have been the greatest thing Ed Ferrera ever did in his pro wrestling career.

Unfettered, Brehens got to his feet and wrapped his jacket around St. Claire even though she was still fully clothed, then escorted her to the back, much to the dismay of our three horny commentators.

Int the ring, a flabbergasted Jeramy Borash composed himself long enough to finally introduce our next match.

The Dupps (Stan & Bo Dupp w/ Fluff Dupp) vs. The Flying Elvises (Sonny Siaki & Jorge Estrada)

The Flying Elvises hadn’t been seen since defeating AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, and Low Ki in the first-ever TNA match, a feat that seemed all the more impressive now that AJ and Lynn were the tag champions.

Here, they got stuck into a decent effort against The Dupps which apparently caught the attention of Mortimer Plumtree and drew him to ringside.

Joining the broadcast booth, Plumtree insisted that everything was fine following the breakdown in his relationship with The Johnsons, who he claimed were simply away working on getting better as a tag team.

As the actual match became nothing but the background, Plumtree continued, speculating that it was likely to have been Jerry Lynn who attacked Chris Harris & James Storm on last week’s show as Lynn had the most to gain by filling in and taking their title shot.

Back to the action, it was, as I said, decent enough, but it really did feel like nothing more than filler.

In the end, the Flying Elvises won thanks to a springboard splash from Jorge Estrada.
Your Winners: The Flying Elvises

We didn’t get to see Estrada and his partner, Sonny Siaki celebrating for very long as news broke that something big was happening in the back.

Sure enough, Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles were brawling in the catering area. Lynn got the upper hand in the fight, finishing off his own tag team partner with a cradle piledriver on top of a storage box.

“There’s your belt, AJ, you glory hound!” Yelled Lynn as he stormed off.

Speaking of Storm, we still hadn’t heard anything from James Storm and Chris Harris, but at least they’d been mentioned on screen.

There were only 40 minutes left in this show and nobody had given us an update on the attack on Jim Wilson the previous week. I don't know why I even care so much. It's not like I'm expecting something amazing to transpire from it.

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship 
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ken Shamrock vs. Takao Omori 

Curiously, Shamrock didn’t have his belt with him as he came out to defend it against Omori.

TNA Weekly PPV Review - June 10, 2002 - Ken Shamrock vs. Takao Omori Tale of the Tape

Harley Race may have had it. The former champion was wheeled out as a special “NWA Representative,” but I somehow missed his actual entrance and have no idea if he had the title belt or not.

Anyway, this match was very solid, not outlandishly amazing or worthy of being considered one of the best TNA matches ever or anything, but a captivating Striker vs. Submission Specialist battle between two guys who absolutely looked like a world heavyweight champion and his number one contender.

I hope you get what I mean by that.

Shamrock in particular was more jacked than I think I’ve ever seen him. He looked great. He looked like a champion.

Omori, likewise, carried himself like someone worthy of being champion, or at least worthy of challenging for it.

TNA Weekly PPV - June 10, 2002 - Ken Shamrock vs. Takao Omori

Together, the two gradually built up a match that got better and better until it abruptly stopped at the hands of an interfering Jeff Jarrett.

Swinging a steel chair, Jarrett went loco, taking out both champ and challenger as well as a gaggle of security personnel who tried to get involved.
No Contest

Even Harley Race tried to stop Jarrett, but he too got whacked over the head with a chair. Fair play to him for taking that move I suppose. 

Backstage Shenanigans

Out in the back, Goldilocks found Jerry Lynn sitting against a wall and wanted to get an explanation for his attack on AJ Styles.

TNA Weekly PPV Review - June 10, 2002 - Goldilocks interviews Jerry Lynn

Instead, Lynn invited her to fellate him and stormed off, leaving Goldilocks to walk right into James Mitchell and his disciples.

Mitchell asked the interviewer to pass a message to Jeff Jarrett. The New Church were looking for him.

Not necessarily to beat him up, of course, just to “have a word” and ensure they avoided a “messy situation” of both targeting Ken Shamrock.

As Mitchell and his boys left, Goldilocks heard muffled cries for help coming from nearby.

When she investigated, she found Bill Brehens hogtied and gagged with FU written on his bare chest.

As Mike Tenay pointed out, this was the exact same situation we’d seen Jim Miller in on the previous episode, so at least that whole thing hadn’t been completely forgotten about.

Anyway, with all that over, it was onto our main event of the evening.

Six-Man Elimination Match
Lo Ki vs. ‘Prime Time’ Elix Skipper vs. Kid Romeo vs. Tony Mamaluke vs. ‘The Fallen Angel’ Christopher Daniels vs. NWA Tag Team Champion Jerry Lynn

Surprisingly, Lynn was the first to go, getting counted out after Tony Mamaluke knocked him off the top rope to the outside.

TNA Weekly PPV Review - June 10, 2002 - Low Ki prepares to strike Tony Mamaluke

Karma quickly reared its ugly head for Mamaluke, who moments later was sent to the showers by Elix Skipper.

After more fast and furious action, the debuting Christopher Daniels put away Elix Skipper with a Last Rites, but soon fell victim to Kid Romeo. There was a moment when Romeo looked to have legitimately pinned The Fallen Angel, but Daniels narrowly kicked out and spent his time playing dead by the ropes as Lo Ki locked Romeo in a Dragon Clutch to score the next fall.

Ultimately, it all boiled down to Daniels and ‘Ki, the two continually one-upping one another and trading one desperate attempt at victory after another.

It was an enthralling conclusion to a great match, culminating in a win for Low Ki after he slipped free of Daniels’ Last Rites set-up and scored the fall with a huge Ki Krusher.
Your Winner: Low Ki.

As Tenay began telling us that Ki would get his title shot against AJ Styles on next week’s show, the victorious grappler’s celebration was cut short by the arrival of The Flying Elvises.

Upset about not being left out of the match, the two attacked both Daniels and Low Ki until Elix Skipper, Tony Mamaluke, and Kid Romeo returned to make the save.

So Long ‘Til Next Time

Just when you thought the show was over, Jeff Jarrett stormed to ringside, cussed out Mike Tenay for no good reason, and vowed to get his title shot on next week’s show.

Taking out his frustrations on anyone within sight, Jarrett said that wrapped TNA’s fourth weekly PPV by getting into a scrap with a Tennessee Titans football player sitting at ringside.

While episode three had mostly been about story development, the fourth installment of TNA’s weekly Pay Per View series returned the focus to the ring. With the main event unsurprisingly stealing the show and even the NASCAR thing turning out as well as could be expected, there was nary a bad match in sight this week. 
I still want to know what happened to Jim Miller though. 

Thanks for reading. 

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