NWA - TNA Weekly PPV #5 Review (07/17/2002)

NWA - TNA Weekly PPV #5 Review (07/17/2002)

July 17, 2002
Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee

By the time Episode 5 of NWA-TNA's weekly Pay Per View shows rolled around, it was clear that this unique business model wasn't generating the kind of income the company was hoping for. 

As a result, this would be the last weekly PPV to emanate live from Nashville's Municipal Auditorium. The following week, the company would move to the smaller -and cheaper- Nashville Fairgrounds, officially kicking off the Asylum Years. 

22 years later, this will also be the last TNA weekly PPV review I write for a while. Not because I don't enjoy the shows, but because only the first five episodes are free on YouTube and you guys don't buy enough of my pro wrestling books to help me pay for a subscription to TNA's streaming service. 

Still, I'm not bitter about it. 

How could I be where there's AJ Styles versus Low Ki, an appearance from an ECW legend, and a PO'd Ken Shamrock to look forward to?

Ready to do this? 

Let's get to it.

Ken Shamrock is Angry

We started this week’s show with a recap of Jeff Jarrett going loco and destroying everything and everyone -including world champion Ken Shamrock- with a steel chair.

TNA Weekly PPV Episode 5 Review - Ken Shamrock gets angry with Goldylocks

If you recall, Jarrett was throwing a tantrum because he’d been denied a title shot on the quite reasonable grounds that he hadn’t done anything to earn one.

Cut to a rainy day out in some kind of park where Goldylocks chased down Shamrock for an interview.

BACK OFF, BITCH!” He snapped when she finally caught up with him.

Unless Shamrock was enthusiastically telling her about his favorite Guns ‘n’ Roses song, that was just unnecessary.

Getting so close into Goldylock’s face that she could no doubt smell what he had for lunch, the champion admitted to being annoyed about getting whacked by Jarrett and stormed off.

Goldylocks shrugged, and that was that.

Welcome to TNA Weekly PPV #5! 

From there, we went into our standard intro with pyro, crowd shots, and a greeeting from the venerable Mike Tenay, who was joined as usual by Ed Ferrera and Don West.

TNA Weekly PPV Episode 5 Review - Don West, Mike Tenay, and Ed Ferrera

Before we could see any of those guys on screen, however, Tenay informed us of a ruckus going on in the back.

Sure enough, there was Jarrett and his other arch-enemy, Scott Hall, brawling away.

A gaggle of security guards (including one of the Harris Brothers) eventually broke up the scrap and dragged Jarrett outside the building.

That was unfortunate for The Chosen One, especially as he was supposed to face Malice in a number one contender’s match that had been set to open the show.

With the commotion over, we went back to the ringside announcer table, where Mike Tenay referred to Don West as “The Zoot Suit Daddy.”

That was weird.

Malice is Still Ready for a Fight

Tenay, West, and Ferrara had barely finished telling us that Jarrett had forfeited his match with Malice when the big man himself arrived, accompanied, as ever, by Father James Mitchell and The Disciples of the New Church.

TNA Weekly PPV #5 - July 17, 2022 - Father James Mitchell

Taking to the microphone, Mitchell declared that Malice was still ready to “wash his hands in the crimson life essence of another victim,” which was an over-dramatic way of saying he still wanted to compete.

Mitchell was just about to declare that nobody would be brave enough to step into the ring when the whole arena went dark.

When the lights came back on, there was none other than the homicidal, genocidal, suicidal maniac himself, Sabu.

Ladder Match 
Malice vs. Sabu 

The winner earns a shot at the world title

As the announcers practically creamed themselves over his arrival, the former ECW launched straight into Malice, kicking off a match that exceeded all expectations.

TNA Weekly PPV #5 - July 17, 2022 - Sabu vs. Malice

While this may not have been the most memorable ladder match of all time, it was certainly damn fun to watch.

Sabu threw out all of his greatest hits while Malice relied on his size and strength in what must surely have been the best match of his sadly short career.

NWA-TNA Weekly PPV Episode 5 - 07/17/22 - Malice drops Sabu on a ladder

The longer it went on, the more engrossing this match became until Sabu pushed his opponent off the top of the ladder, sending the giant Malice crashing over the ropes and through a table on the outside.

As the Disciples of the New Church went into panic mode on the outside, Sabu climbed the ladder, retrieved the contract, and earned himself a shot at Ken Shamrock’s world title on next week’s show.
Your Winner: Sabu

Man, I enjoyed the heck out of that match.

Sabu, however, probably didn’t.

NWA-TNA Weekly PPV Episode 5 - 07/17/22 - The Disciples of The New Church surround Sabu

No sooner had he disembarked from the ladder than Tempest and Slash attacked him, setting him up for a brutal finale in which Malice chokeslammed the ECW legend off the apron through a table.

True to Father Mitchell’s word, this whole thing ended with Malice washing his hands in Sabu’s blood.

Meanwhile, outside the arena, rain poured down on Jeff Jarrett as the angry grappler was physically ejected from the arena by Bill Brehens and his security team.

It’s funny, really, because the last time we saw Brehens he was hog-tied and beaten up in the back, but there was to be no mention of that tonight. 

Jerry Lynn Confronts AJ Styles

As Sabu struggled to get to his feet, X division and tag team champion AJ Styles stormed to ringside to call out his tag team partner, Jerry Lynn.

NWA-TNA Weekly Pay Per View Episode 5 - Jerry Lynn confronts AJ Styles

Lynn had attacked AJ on last week’s show after the younger star had proven himself to be a bit of a glory hog in their first title defense together, and now Styles wanted answers.

And my goodness, did he get them.

Lynn arrived on the scene moments later, reminding his partner that while he (Lynn) was an established 14-year veteran, Styles was still, by all accounts, something of a rookie. 

The more senior member of their team went on to tell his partner that he deserved the beating he got last week as he essentially stole the match-winning fall from Lynn in a blatant show of disrespect.

Jerry had thus far been positioned as the heel in this story, even though he made valid points.

AJ Styles really had been a glory hound and probably deserved a talking-to.

Unfortunately, the X champion didn’t see it that way. He promptly attacked his own partner and took him out with a Styles Clash in a moment Mike Tenay described as “uncharacteristic.”

The plot thickens.

Francine Attacks

Out in the back, Goldilocks reminded us that former porn star Jasmine St. Claire had shown up on last week’s show to give Jeremy Borash a strip tease.

It hadn’t been a great segment, but it did give us the tremendous moment when Ed Ferrara spear-tackled Bill Brehens to stop him from putting an end to things.

As I said in my last review, it was probably the best thing Ferrera ever did in pro wrestling.

Anyway, this week, Goldilocks (who for some reason I keep wanting to call “Lauren”) attempted to interview St. Claire, but the adult actress was immediately attacked and thrown into the shower by Francine.

There’d be more from these two ladies later, but first, this:

K-Krush is a Star

K-Krush hit the ring and grabbed a microphone to vent his frustrations in a killer promo delivered with conviction and believability.

NWA-TNA Weekly Pay Per View Episode 5 - K-Krush is Angry

The man now regarded today as something of a national treasure was pissed at being dropped by WWE and then coming to TNA, only to find himself stuck in a feud with a NASCAR driver.

Of course, he knew why that was.

Everybody was afraid of him.

Everyone was afraid of his natural-born star appeal and knew that if they didn’t hold him down, they’d have to acknowledge how great he was and promote him.

All that, according to Krush, stopped now.

Referring to himself as “The Truth,” the irate grappler insisted he was done playing.

He was done being treated like a second-class citizen.

He was done being held back.

His star would not be denied, and he would prove himself worthy of more.

K-Krush vs. Norman Smiley 

It seems a shame that Krush cut such a stellar promo about asserting his dominance in TNA only to be saddled with a match against an opponent you knew had no chance of winning the moment he arrived.

NWA-TNA Weekly Pay Per View - June 17 2002 - K-Krush vs. Norman Smiley

Don’t get me wrong, I take nothing away from Norman Smiley’s undeniable talent. He was always a joy to watch, and that was certainly the case here, but he posed no credible threat to K-Krush.

It was an enjoyable undercard match for sure, and Krush certainly looked more dominant and determined than he had in the last four weeks. Still, his inevitable victory wasn’t exactly indicative of main-event stardom.

Great, so you beat Norman Smiley. 

No offense, but who hasn’t done that?
Your Winner: K-Krush 

Afterward, Krush took off his belt, whooped Smiley with it, and then turned it into a noose that he used to hang the former WCW hardcore champion over the top rope.

No wrestlers came to Smiley’s defense. Nor, at first, did any security guards.

NWA-TNA Weekly Pay Per View - June 17 2002 - K-Krush, Norman Smiley, and Norman Smiley's Wife

Fortunately, Norman did have one person watching his back:

His wife.

Mrs. Smiley barged her way to ringside, saving the day until Krush turned his attention to her.

That was enough to finally bring out security, ending this segment with a fierce-looking K-Krush staring coldly and viciously down the camera lens.

That whole post-match segment did more to establish Krush as a viable threat than the match itself and hey, bonus, we now know what Norman Smiley's missus looks like.

Puppet Has P.M.S

Out in the back, Goldilocks found Puppet The Psycho Dwarf hiding in a bin.

NWA-TNA Weekly Pay Per View - June 17 2002 - Goldylocks interviews Puppet The Psycho Dwarf in a bin

That might just be the single most ridiculous sentence I’ve ever written, which is why I love pro wrestling so much.

Only in this world could I write a basic statement of fact and have it sound so utterly absurd.

What was Puppet doing in that bin?

Well, he certainly wasn’t masturbating, that’s for sure. 

He made it very clear to Goldylocks that there was no monkey spanking going on, only a spot of meditation to help with his P.M.S., or Pissed-off Midget Syndrome if you prefer.

The diminutive grappler also had some words of warning for his upcoming opponent, Meatball, that was apparently enough to make Goldylocks seriously consider quitting her job there on the spot.

It didn’t help matters that she then ran into The Dupps, one of whom played with a lighter while the other humped his cousin.

Yeah. I’d probably quit after that too.

The Flying Elvises (Siaki & Estrada) vs. ‘Prime Time’ Elix Skipper & ‘The Fallen Angel’ Christopher Daniels 

For the most part, this was a quality match that delivered the kind of high-flying excitement that set the X-Division apart from just about anything else in pro wrestling.

NWA-TNA Weekly Pay Per View #5 Review - Sonny Siaki prepares to powerbomb Elix Skipper

Not that it was always easy to pay attention to.

At various points, Sonny Siaki left his partner in the ring to join the commentary table where he dismissed Jorge Estrada as a “knucklehead,” and declared that he was the one carrying the team.

Putting his money where his mouth was, Siaki scored the pin for his team by taking out Elix Skipper with a swinging neckbreaker.

Everything leading up to that moment had been solid, even if Siaki’s excursions to the announce table were incredibly distracting.

The funny part is that his antics weren’t even the weirdest part about this whole thing.

The weirdest part was Mike Tenay trying to sell us on how amazing it was that we could watch the same match as the announce team at the same time as if this was some radical new TNA concept.
Your Winners: The Flying Elvises

Afterward, The Dupps came down and began wailing on Estrada with a wooden plank.

Naturally, Siaki ditched his “knucklehead” partner and left him to fend for himself.

Meanwhile, out by the stage, pint-sized grappler Teo was shown getting down with one of the cage dancers.

NWA-TNA Weekly Pay Per View #5 Review - Teo in a cage

Of course, my dear wife -who had been busy elsewhere for the past hour- chose this particular moment to walk into the room.

“What are you watching?” She asked at the sight of the diminutive wrestler shaking it with the foxy brunette in the cage.

“It’s just wrestling,” I answered honestly.

“Mmhmm, sure it is.”

I still don’t think she quite believed me.

Scott Hall Attacks K-Krush

Out in the back, Goldylocks attempted an interview with K-Krush. 

NWA-TNA Weekly Pay Per View #5 Review - Goldylocks interviews K-Krush

Krush had barely finished calling her a bitch when Scott Hall attacked him, finally getting revenge on Krush for the beatdown he suffered a few weeks ago.

If you’re keeping score, that was the second time Goldilocks had been called a bitch within the space of an hour.

No wonder she wanted to quit her job.

Hardcore Match
Meatball vs. Puppet The Psycho Dwarf

Meatball was billed as The World’s Largest Midget on account of having a big ol’ booty and plenty of girth.

NWA-TNA Weekly Pay Per View #5 (07/17/02) - Meatball forages for food

Naturally, then, he couldn’t even make it all the way down to the ring without stopping by a conveniently placed shopping cart to grab a bag of Cheetos.

Get it? Because fat people can’t stop eating.


If you’re wondering why the shopping cart was there in the first place, it’s because the only thing funnier than pudgy people is pudgy little people throwing food at each other.


That’s precisely what this one was all about.

Part hardcore match, part midget food fight, the two battled up to the shopping cart and began pelting each other with cream pies, a bag of flour, and a watermelon.

NWA-TNA Weekly Pay Per View #5 (07/17/02) - Meatball vs. Puppet

To be fair, the watermelon exploded beautifully, resulting in one of the match’s two highlights.

The other, in case you’re wondering, was Meatball dropping a cartwheel elbow on his opponent in the middle of the entranceway.

I know that doesn’t sound all that great. I'm probably making this whole thing sound terrible, but it genuinely wasn’t that bad.

Despite the questionable silliness, Meatball and Puppet did at least scrap their hearts out to make the best of the hand dealt to them and some moments were genuinely entertaining.

Unsurprisingly, Puppet kept up his TNA winning streak thanks to a chair-assisted Vader Bomb.
Your Winner: Puppet The Psycho Dwarf

We followed Puppet as he made his exit, passing Teo and the dancer en route, and flashing a dirty look to the former.

Unperturbed, the two continued dancing in the cage until Teo lost all sense of self-control and attacked the dancer, ripping off her shirt and leaving her in a bra.

Ed Ferrera and Don West found that blatant sexual assault quite hilarious.

Man, what a different time we used to live in.

Jasmine St. Claire vs. Francine

I don’t know what to say about this one except that it was a catch-as-catch classic for the ages, an epic saga full of captivating technical wizardry and nuanced storytelling.

NWA-TNA Weekly Pay Per View #5 (07/17/02) Review - Jasmine St. Claire

I’m kidding, of course.

It was two hot women ripping each other's clothes off in a catfight while the announcers whooped and hollered like they’d never seen a woman in a thong before.

NWA-TNA Weekly Pay Per View #5 (07/17/02) Review - The Blue Meanie

Then The Blue Meanie came down to protect his real-life girlfriend Jasmine by DDTing Francine.
Your Winner Via DQ: Francine 

I’m only assuming St. Claire was disqualified in that match.

Between Ed Ferrara jumping in the ring to check on Francine and some EMTs wheeling her out on a stretcher, the actual match result wasn’t communicated very clearly.

NWA-TNA X-Division Championship 
NWA-TNA X-Division Champion AJ Styles vs. Low Ki

It had only taken five weeks for the “X” championship to officially become the “X-Division.” 

TNA Weekly PPV Episode 5 Review - AJ Styles vs. Low Ki

Whatever it was called, these bouts had been a consistent highlight of TNA’s weekly Pay Per Views. 

Here, Styles and Low Ki did their best to make sure that was also the case this week.

The duo started off on the mat as a rather subdued Ed Ferrera gave us a solemn update on Francine’s condition.

Of course, things soon picked up with some innovative, fast-paced back and forth, inspiring Mike Tenay to tell us this was going to be an unpredictable match.

Actually, he called it “unpredickable.

That was great news for me, because I really hate when wrestling matches have been pre-dicked.

On a less immature note, Tenay also told us that the winner of this bout would defend the title in Philadelphia for a new, upstart independent promotion called Ring of Honor.

The action itself was as solid as expected and certainly proved itself a highlight of TNA 5.

Yet somehow, it didn’t quite generate the same kind of excitement as previous X-Division matches.

That may have been because AJ’s earlier confrontation with his tag team partner set up the potential for a Jerry Lynn run-in which never materialized despite the crowd seeming to be waiting for it.

Whatever the reason, this was a case of a match being technically very good but still failing to hit the mark.

If that’s not proof that wrestling is about more than just the moves, I don’t know what is.

Speaking of moves, AJ eventually hit the Styles Clash and it was all over.
Your Winner and Still X-Division Champion: AJ Styles 

The Jerry Lynn run-in finally came after the bell as the veteran attacked his tag partner at the top of the entrance then threw him in the ring and beat him up with a ladder.

All the while, the crowd chanted “Jerry! Jerry!,” and you know what? I don’t blame them.

Styles had been acting like a d-bag and deserved to be taught a lesson.

As the X-Division champion was helped to the back, Mike Tenay informed us that next week’s world title match between Sabu and Ken Shamrock would be decided in a ladder match were submissions were also an acceptable form of victory.

That way, each man would be able to play to their strengths.

That was still a week away. First, there was tonight’s main event to get to.

Brian Lawler vs. Scott Hall

Last week, Brian Lawler had declared that he no longer wished to live in his father’s shadow, so was changing his surname to the same as his dad’s.

TNA Weekly PPV Episode 5 Review - Scott Hall sneaks up on Brian Lawler

Tonight, he continued heeling it up by implying that Jerry Lawler was a pedophile. 

He also promised to reveal a juicy secret involving The King, Jim Ross, and Vince McMahon but was interrupted by Scott Hall’s music.

When the nWo founder failed to materialize, Lawler began gloating to the crowd until, in a classic pantomime fashion, he discovered his rival had standing begging him the whole time.

Hall went on the attack, clobbering Lawler around the ring and out to the floor until the former Too Cool member turned the tide by whacking his foe with a lady’s purse.

Stopping only to tell the crowd to kiss his ass, Lawler kept up the momentum, getting Hall back between the ropes and systematically wearing him down.

Naturally, Hall made a comeback and even set up his opponent for The Edge.

At that point, K-Krush ran in to repay Hall for his earlier assault but was so ineffective that he needn’t have bothered.

Finally, Scott Hall lifted Brian Lawler over his head, drove him to the mat, and pinned him.
Your Winner: Scott Hall

Afterward, Krush returned to the ring so that he and Lawler could team up on Hall.

Security eventually came to the rescue but then, just when you thought all was calm, Jeff Jarrett returned looking like a 50-year-old middle manager ready for his company’s mandatory golf trip.

Swinging a chair with wild abandon, Jarrett began taking people out left and right until the cameras began to fade and Tenay declared that we were all out of time.

Buy The Complete History of Wrestlemania on Amazon

TNA’s fifth weekly Pay Per View highlighted a problem that would plague the company for some years to come.

That problem was that TNA was somehow capable of delivering the absolute best and the absolute worst of pro wrestling all on one show.

It’s hard to believe that someone on the booking team said “hey, why don’t we just take two talented young wrestlers and let them go at it in a match,” and then someone else said “hey! Yeah! Great idea!” Then, moments later, that same person said “hey, why don’t we book some dry-humping incest cousins and a midget sex attack” and the person they were talking with said “hey! That’s a great idea too!”

Yet that’s what must’ve happened, leaving you feeling that this new company was struggling to define its identity.

They’d have a long, long way to go before they nailed it.

I'd love to finish off these weekly PPVs, but since I'm getting through them at such a slow rate, I just can't justify spending money on yet another subscription service right now. Give me a chance to free up some time, and we'll get back to this. 

Until then, thanks for reading. Here’s some other stuff you might enjoy:

Other TNA Weekly PPV Reviews

Other 2002 pro wrestling reviews

Post a Comment