NWA TNA Rewind 8.15.02


Sometimes, covering an upstart promotion is so frustrating. Last week, NWA:TNA put on a super show top to bottom, with only a couple missteps. But some red flags were raised when only one match was announced for this week. And now about 12 hours after the end of TNA #9, I can’t help but feel gipped by last night’s show. The main event, which was the only real storyline/angle progressed through the show, was a screwjob and left me as a fan with a feeling of being ripped off. Anyway, on to some major points

Trimming the Meat, Leaving the Fat?

TNA has thusfar done a great job of listening to fans, and eliminating segements or wrestlers who were identified as problems. Last week, the Dupp Cup and Miss TNA segments were universally panned as the low parts of otherwise strong shows. This week, strong storytelling and intense in ring action was lessened, while Dupp Cup, Disco Jive Talkin’ and Miss TNA received more time on the show.

Without girls on the show to be “Miss TNA”, why have it as a crown or title at all? Bruce is not going anywhere as a single, and the segments don’t seem to provide much entertainment.

The Dupps are ok for some brief comic relief, but they were in something like 4 segments last night. They might be interesting side characters some day, but at this point, they are dragging the show down.

And I’m not sure who felt “Dean Baldwin” was a funny or appropriate segment on a wrestling show fans have to PAY to see, but it was a nightmare. In addition, a major joke from Disco about Alex Baldwin and Kim Basinger wasn’t even accurate, as that Hollywood super couple has been split for a while. If the writers are intent on making pop culture references, the Baldwins are certainly not hip and current, especially when the references aren’t even correct.

No Steamboat, Others In His Place

One of the huge positives thusfar in TNA has been the stellar work of Ricky Steamboat as NWA’s respectful spokesman, keeping order in TNA whether the fans like it or not. Steamboat has lent a credibility to NWA:TNA that almost no other wrestling personality could do.

On weeks where he is not booked, like last night’s PPV, the “NWA officials” that are presented are terrible. Bill Behren’s rambling promo while he had a cowboy hat and tons of security was awful. And later in the show when Bullet Bob Armstrong came out, held up the titles and made a bunch of matches for next week.

It’s good to have an authority figure or structure in place for NWA, but having a rotating batch of old men with no credibility to today’s fans is not serving any real purpose. And it wont get Jeff Jarrett over to continually torment authority figures that fans don’t care about.

Title Match Confusion

For weeks, I’ve complimented TNA’s respect for its title belts, and its treatment of its titles as important. But starting last week with two title changes, it seems like Vince Russo’s hatred for titles is seeping into TNA booking.

The World Tag Title match was a backdrop for the World Title conflict between The Truth and Jeff Jarrett, and it made the Tag Titles seem less important as a result. In addition, having a draw finish with the titles held up, presumable for another tournament, devalues the titles already. It’s sad to see the TNA title picture already degenerate.

While this weeks Low Ki vs. Flying Elvises four-way X Title match made a bit of sense, even though it was 3-on-1, next weeks Low Ki vs. SATs/Amazing Red makes almost no sense. Putting a champion in a match where there are three top contenders will make future one on one matches seems like less of a challenge.

Chinks in the X Division armor

The darling division of TNA thusfar has been the X Division, but there are some cracks in the armor that really showed last night. There are only so many innovative moves that can impress fans before they get bored. The spotfest matches last night seemed to lack flow and pro wrestling transition and psychology. In addition, the 6 man tag seemed to be filled with indy-level talent not ready for the big time, especially Slick J.

The X Division shines when super talented guys such as Low Ki, AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn are allowed to tell a great story in the ring. But when the less polished and experienced wrestlers are making up a bulk of the division, it seems to make the division appear weaker and less compelling.


My Nemesis wrote in:

This weeks edition was very messy and the tempo of the show seemed very off. Production was elevated which is great minus the piss poor Flying Elvises interview that sounded if it took place in a Highschool cafeteria.

S.A.T’s match vs. Kash, Sharkboy and J-slim was most excellent but it went downhill from there. I will not give Russo all the blame as many of the shitty gimmicks were well in place before he arrived. I am a great fan of Sports Entertainment but the Dupps, Midgets and Jive Talkin have

to go. They are horrendous and even the hillbilly’s in attendance who usually go for this crap had the boring chant going. That should tell you that this is the wrong direction to be heading.

Again, interesting backstage skits involving humor and birthing stories between wrestlers to be finished in the ring good. Bad acting and fart humor mixed with horrendous midget workrate bad.

The main event was pretty good but NWA:TNA HAS to learn how to end their shows on a high note instead of being anti-climatic every week. Bringing out dinosaur Bullet Bob to stutter through match making was really poor and slowed things down to a crawl at the end.

Decent to poor show by television standards but this is a pay per view.

Finally my favorite wrestler yet again jobs and disgustingly to Don Harris. Why have someone be billed a monster then job them to security personell? Malice is being wasted and I know he stated in the 411 interview he did not care as long as it was working towards a worthwile goal but this is getting ridiculous. Looks like they are planning on turning him heel soon which I welcome as using reverse psychology as a face he should go on a Goldberg like winning barage. Wierd booking here.

Once again great job calling the show. Hope it improves next week.

Widro responds:

The show was booked horrendously last night. The Harrises, if used at all, should be used to build stars only. Having Malice lose last night was terrible, unless it does lead somewhere, like Harris being beaten and forced to retire by Malice.

Sondiesel chimes in with:

I thought the show was ok, not as good as past weeks,

but still ok. I thought that there was too much

talking and not enought wrestling in tonight’s show.

I guess the quote that sums it up best is “shut up and

wrestle”!!!!!!! Also, I think the dupps are funny,

but enough is enough, they got too much tv time

tonight!! Also, I tried to give disco the benefit of

the doubt, and maybe his show could get better, but

after three weeks of crap, it’s time for that skit to

go. It’s pointless, and is no advantage to any

storyline in tna. And one more thing, I didn’t like

the way the show ended, don west promoing for next

week’s show was terrible, they could’ve let the match

last longer then. Like I said earlier, too much

talking. With all that said, let’s get on to the

wrestling, it was great, there is no comparison to

it!!!! I know this is off the subject, but i have to

get this off my chest, the wwe signs great talents,

and makes them change their wrestling style. What’s

the point in that??? You signed them because of their

ability to wrestle in the ring right??? To make Tazz,

Rey, and countless others to change their style is

unfair to their fans!!!!!

Back to TNA, the SAT’s are awesome. They

impress me more and more. The miss tna angle can go,

i don’t like it. Although I don’t care for don harris

or malice, if your gonna have those two wrestle each

other, then tna did the right thing and had them beat

each other up with objects, I loved that. I don’t

like the dupps, and the only thing that mad the match

good was when puppet came out, he is cool. Also, I

don’t like monty brown either, I would’ve rather seen

skipper win the match, on a side note, I don’t think

that having monty fight for the belt is good, to me,

he’s not main event talent…..but, he may prove me

wrong in the future i don’t know. I loved the flying

elvises vs low ki, the flying elvises are funny, and

are great wrestlers. I hope to see sonny go into

singles competition soon and go for the championship,

whle estrada and yang stay a team. Low Ki is amazing,

his kicks are great. I thought the main event was

good, although I didn’t care too much for the ending,

but nevertheless, a good match.

Next week’s show is shaping up to be a can’t miss

type of show!!!!!! On a side note, I hope jerry

jarrett gets together with scott hall’s reps cause I

wanna see him wrestle in tna, he is a great wrestler

who still has what it takes to put on a show for the


Quick comment from A420DUI:

more X division= thumbs up. no more dupps. that fat chick was hot! the women’s division is reborn

Widro responds:

Nothing like beastly woman doing power moves!

Reggie writes:

hey wids, tna really sucked this week. do you know if they plan to stick with the dupp cup? I hate that thing

Widro responds:

I would have thought it would have been dropped last week, but obviously I was wrong. It seemed to get more TV time this time, which is really an indication that TNA writers don’t seem to know what the fans want.

Meaken sent:

I bought the ppv show for the first time last night, and was both disappointed and entertained by what I saw. I do not mind the slightly less than stellar production of the show, nor even the scaled down ring and ramp and arena set-up. Most of the wrestlers seemed very enthusiastic about their matches and roles, which was pretty good–it gets the fans into it a little more.

My pros about the show were:

-Lo Ki and the Flying Elvises. They were all pretty talented.

-Jerry Lynn and AJ Styles (even though the match seemed off).

-That Primetime guy and his opponent. It was a pretty well set-up grudge match, considering.

My cons:

-The SAT team was not that impressive to me. They don’t sell well.

-Some of the matches were not properly paced. Too rushed, too many strange pauses and moments (the six man opener, the clashing styles in the main event).

-The show is obviously trying to retain a certain general appeal, while also trying to achieve a sort of “hardcore” following. However, the hardcore spots that were performed last night were not very convincing (sans a couple of spots, like that Primetime guy’s dive to the outside with a trashcan placed on Alpha-something). When someone was tossed into the railing, for instance, they did not go into it all out (like most of ECW’s roster would, making even me wince a little every time)…

I will definitely get the show again sometime, but not every week. The ending was very weak. I was hoping for an impromptu match to decide the tag champs, with Jarrett versus Styles. That would have made too much sense, however, and wrestling no longer appeals to the logical.

Widro responds:

TNA is still searching for an identity, and doesn’t seem closer after two months than they were when they began. They will need to button down a niche and stay there for their relaunch in the fall.

Make sure to check out 411’s exclusive interview with Malice, and stay with us next week for more NWA coverage, where the card seems to indicate a stronger show.

Jonathan Widro is the owner and founder of Inside Pulse. Over a decade ago he burst onto the scene with a pro-WCW reporting style that earned him the nickname WCWidro. Check him out on Twitter for mostly inane non sequiturs