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Thread: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

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    TNA Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    Hey y'all, what's good, it's Silk here with another disappointing wrestling thread that'll flame out after three posts.

    Still with me? Cool. You may have heard that Impact Wrestling recently relaunched their turd of a streaming app and have managed to actually put together a decently running service this time (after two or three days of problems at launch). In testing this app, I've decided to put my pocketbook to work and watch Impact Wrestling, better known as TNA in these reviews, from the very beginning. Yes I'll be blowing my way through weekly PPV after weekly PPV and god willing if I'm still here in a couple of years we'll be talking about Impact too.

    What's the best part of this project? I don't actually know much about TNA, except that they poached a lot of WWE guys in the mid-2000's and onward, Scott Steiner was real bad at math on at least one occasion, Hogan and Eric Bischoff probably ruined everything, and Jeff Hardy couldn't walk straight that one time. That's it. I presume that people like AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, etc. were big deals but I've never known WHY except for catching an old match here and there. Better yet I didn't even start watching wrestling until 2002, the year NWA-TNA was founded, so these old WCW and ECW cast-offs littering the early days of TNA are also people I do not recognize or have any pre-existing bias for! Basically, I'm as ignorant to this product as you can hope to be as a wrestling fan in 2019, and boy if that doesn't excite me.

    Now if you know me, you know that I'm not into star ratings or doing long drawn out match critiques. I'm really interested in booking, story-telling, and character development. So if you want someone to review every Ken Shamrock match in TNA, go see what Shock is doing right now instead of writing 30 Days of Kane. If you wanna see fun little recaps of TNA PPVs with my darling commentary and the sound of my head bashing on a desk as I break down their booking decisions, you're in the right place.

    Reviews will be (probably?) weekly in this very thread and I'll be kicking things off with the premiere episode of NWA-TNA real dang soon. Join me, or don't.



    Silk's Big Dumb Video Game Thread | Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA from the Moment of IMPACT
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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    Idk if you were around when I reviewed the weekly ppvs years ago, but I loved how good and terrible those things were, so I’ll be reading this with great interest.

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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    NWA-TNA PPV #1 (June 19, 2002)


    To start with, I’ll address the historic opening of the show, where we introduce the commentary team and walk out a bunch of NWA legends. They talk extensively about how NWA-TNA (henceforth referred to as just TNA because I am lazy) is amazing because it will respect the old NWA lineages and pay tribute to it, presumably with terrible wrestling. They announce a GAUNTLET FOR THE GOLD match, a battle royale style match to crown the first TNA champion, followed by some promos from legendary athletes like Jeff Jarrett, Ken Shamrock, and Scott Hall. No shocker that one of these three men will win the belt tonight, but maybe it’ll be interesting to see what cannon fodder gets thrown their way.

    No it was not. The Gauntlet for the Gold was the show’s main event and was one of the most boring battle royales I’ve ever seen, in part thanks to a truly lackluster roster, but also thanks to a failure to book any compelling spots outside of the bizarre moment in which early 2000’s country fad Toby Keith eliminated Jeff Jarrett. Since Jarrett had been the most entertaining part of the show to this point, I was more than a little disappointed. After an opening sequence where Jarrett eliminated the first few guys one by one, the ring quickly filled up with big names like Slash, Apollo, and Vampire Warrior, and only cleared out when Malice got a few token eliminations and then toward the end of the match. Surprisingly the finale was Ken Shamrock against the aforementioned Malice, and my hopes for a respectable one-on-one match for the title were dashed when this ended up being little more than an extended Shamrock squash. Malice got to break some submission holds and briefly look intimidating, but the finale of the battle royale was a quick belly to belly from Shamrock to seal the deal and make him the first ever TNA Champion. I never much cared for Shamrock in his time in WWE and this performance wasn’t particularly impressive, but I shouldn’t hold that against him since no one came out of this smelling like roses except Toby Keith.

    At least there was one good match for the show to fall back on. The first match in TNA history featured the team of Jerry Lynn, Low Ki, and a young AJ Styles tagging against the Flying Elvises. I confess, I couldn’t keep the Elvises straight and maybe never knew their names at all (Punk Wolf has since kindly informed me that one of them is the great Jimmy Wang Yang), but they were pleasant partners for the big names to bounce off and this was a highly entertaining sprint to kick off a new era of wrestling. TNA may have a dud of a first championship bout on their hands but at least the first match in company history was a good, albeit unspectacular one. I figured this was an easy win for the big name team, since all three were announced for the X Division Championship next week, but surprisingly the Elvises won this one. This was not the last time I’d peg an obvious squash match incorrectly.


    And Everything In Between:

    • The first backstage promo in TNA history was from a presumably self-loathing “midget killer” who is himself a little person. I didn’t catch his name but apparently TNA has a little guy division, which doesn’t excite me if it’s anything like WWE’s short-lived attempt at it. The match that followed did not feature the midget killer whos name I didn’t catch, but instead saw Teo conquering Hollywood in a nothing match. The guy cutting the promo beforehand was more entertaining than this match but alas I still don’t know who he is.
    • There was a lingerie battle royale announced for next week, reminding me that this is wrestling in 2002. All of the participating ladies emerge, mostly tramped up, to hype the match, and two of them, Francine and Elektra have a modest catfight that ends in some stripping. I didn’t see ECW but it’s implied that both women paid their dues there. I’m not excited for this match.
    • A sweater vest named Mortimer Plumtree introduces his team known as “The Johnsons”, a pair of big dick jokes who would later work for Simon Dean in WWE. They defeat the team of Psicosis and James Storm, who were way more impressive in the match than the victors but we gotta make these big idiots look good. Terrible gimmick, but I’ll be watching James Storm from here.
    • A pair of inbreds and their sister/cousin/wife called The Dupps defeat the team of Christian York and Joey Matthews. This was a pretty bland tag team match but it was interesting to get my earliest look at Joey Mercury. I didn’t realize Trevor Murdoch was one of the rednecks until I looked him up after the match.
    • There was a little more “Celebrity” involvement in this show when two Nascar drivers got in a verbal spat with K-Krush, formerly the great K-Kwik and eventually to be the greater R-Truth. Krush calls out the Nascar drivers by saying they have no business being in a wrestling ring (he’s right), and Nascar boy says no one takes Krush seriously because of the way he looks (black?). Krush is obviously the face in this segment but they send me home unhappy when Brian Christopher comes out and helps the drivers dispatch of him. I want my money back.
    • Toby Keith also performed nine tenths of a shitty song before Jeff Jarrett finally interrupted him.


    Overall Impact: F

    This was a pretty terrible show top to bottom and I can't imagine how anyone watching this would have said "Oh I've gotta be back for this next week!" Perhaps the promise of women in their underwear and a Jarrett/Hall match was enough to bring people back for seconds, but will it be worth it?
    Last edited by Silk; 05-16-2019 at 02:38 PM.



    Silk's Big Dumb Video Game Thread | Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA from the Moment of IMPACT
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    Never Forget
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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    Ah, the long and painful road that is bearing witness to the...well, "rise" isn't quite the right word...of TNA.

    Bless you in this endeavor, Silky.

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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    Quote Originally Posted by Silk View Post
    [*]The first backstage promo in TNA history was from a presumably self-loathing “midget killer” who is himself a little person. I didn’t catch his name but apparently TNA has a little guy division, which doesn’t excite me if it’s anything like WWE’s short-lived attempt at it. The match that followed did not feature the midget killer whos name I didn’t catch, but instead saw Teo conquering Hollywood in a nothing match. The guy cutting the promo beforehand was more entertaining than this match but alas I still don’t know who he is.
    It's Puppet, Silk. Puppet the Midget Killer.

    Like I said in the Shoutbox yesterday, Silk. Good luck with this. You gonna need it.

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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    Jim is going to be pissed that you didn’t call this Total Nonstop Fraction


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    The only time WWE came close to a good story line post Attitude Era was Undertaker/Mordecai - Dakstang

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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Mitch View Post
    Jim is going to be pissed that you didn’t call this Total Nonstop Fraction


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    Fuck that's so good.



    Silk's Big Dumb Video Game Thread | Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA from the Moment of IMPACT
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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    Loved the flying Elvises gimmick


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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    Yeah I remember this Show so much crazy to go back to where it began. The Main Reason I gave this Company a chance early on was due to the X-Division guys that wrestled that night. Low Ki I had watched in Ring of Honor months before so I liked him and had always had respect for Lynn in his ECW days. I found myself loving Styles after the first two Shows, and that love hasn't stopped since no matter how many times they want me to jump off of the Yacht.


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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    Say what you will about Toby Keith, but his Vertical Suplex he delivered in his part was picture perfect. He missed his calling as a worker for sure.

    Also loved the ECW "wrestlers" promo where Elektra claimed Francine single handedly bankrupted ECW. Yes, it wasn't any ot Heyman's infamous money handling issues or the WWF taking over or any number of factors, it was Francine who fucked everything up.

    Mortimer Plumtree cut a hell of a promo for his team who had become his servants and do whatever he wanted and wear whatever he wanted. It's nice that S&M had a place for representation in TNA in 2002, and gay at that.

    The first promo was typical TNA with everyone involved in the opener saying the main event gauntlet for the gold sucked and was a stupid idea (in fairness they were correct). What a way to hype the main event of your very first show.

    I've seen this all far too many fucking times.

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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    That's actually bang-on about Toby Keith, and I forgot to make a note of it in the write-up, but I was pretty impressed by his form on the suplex. I'm guessing he got coached a lot on that one.

    Why would you ever watch this show more than once



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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    'CAUSE HE'LL SUPLEX YOUR ASS IT'S THE AMERICAN WAY
    Last edited by Creeping Death; 05-11-2019 at 04:31 AM.

    Spoiler:


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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    ...
    Last edited by Creeping Death; 05-11-2019 at 04:24 AM.

    Spoiler:


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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    NWA-TNA PPV #2 (June 26, 2002)


    To say this was the first great match in TNA’s brief history would be an understatement. The main event of our second PPV was a double-elimination tournament for the X Division Championship between Jerry Lynn, Low Ki, AJ Styles, and Psicosis. I went in with mild expectations even after enjoying last week’s work from these four, not quite trusting TNA to put on a complete match yet, but found myself fully immersed in the journey to the title. Low Ki was the most impressive of the bunch, his offense looking the best in the fast-paced affair. Sadly he doesn’t make the “Final” as it were but I love the story this match took, setting up Jerry Lynn needing to be pinned twice at the end, making him the dangerous veteran for a young AJ Styles to try and conquer. The last ten to fifteen minutes of the night is reserved for those two and they put on a stellar show as Styles pins Lynn twice to become the first X Division champ. Amidst the celebration, the line “The future of our business has arrived,” echoes from the commentary booth. Couldn’t agree more.


    Not to be outdone, Jeff Jarrett says if he can’t main event, he’s damn sure gonna kick this thing off. Jarrett and Scott Hall had, quite honestly, a decent match to open the show. I don’t love the way Scott Hall moves in 2002, he’s clearly edging toward his decline, but Jarrett still looks pretty fresh and these guys open with a strong couple of minutes. The match starts to drag a little the longer it goes, and it’s not much more than a ten minute match as it is, and then it ends, strangely, with Toby Keith intervening and costing Jarrett the match in Hall’s favor. It’s a little bizarre for the face Scott Hall to win under these kind of circumstances, but I guess he is “The Bad Guy” and Jarrett is such a tool bag of a heel that people love to see him lose under any circumstance. K-Krush also tried to fuck things up for Hall, so there's that. This mostly worked.



    As it turns out, TNA is a little jumpy when it comes to booking. Before Brian Christopher and K-Krush come out for their match, they’ve already announced that Christopher and Hall will face Krush and Jarrett in a tag match next week, effectively setting up a rematch for this match that hasn’t even happened yet. It’s a peculiar choice, when it’s something they could just announce afterward, perhaps the first in a long lineage of baffling booking choices from the TNA crew. Christopher and K-Krush have a pretty nothing match that doesn’t exactly have me clamoring for next week’s rematch, but I’m still sold on Krush and Jarrett as the best personalities in the company, so getting them teamed up does get me tingling a little. Similarly to the first match, the token celebrity douche, the Nascar guys, help Christopher win with his Hip Hop Drop. Next week is basically gonna be 5 on 2… in favor of the faces?


    And Everything In Between:


    • I’d be remiss not to talk about the Lingerie Battle Royale. I don’t much feel like giving this match very much lip service, it managed to outdo last week’s battle royale in awfulness, and added in a side story where Francine got eliminated, teased a blowjob on Ed Ferrara, then used his belt to whip him and the match winner (Taylor Vaughn) into submission. This was short but still felt eternal.


    • The team of Chris Harris and James Storm had a stunningly quick debut, showing up in this episode to battle The Rainbow Express since the Dupps refused to fight anyone with that “lifestyle.” A lot is made during the match of the Rainbow Express being gay and how that’s weird, because this is 2002, but the match itself is reasonably fast-paced and entertaining. The team that would be AMW gets a win with a roll-up.


    • Apolo and David Young have a quickie match that doesn’t give me any reason to be particularly interested in either man. Apolo wins and looks good doing it, showing that his strong performance last week was no fluke. Young’s manager, Bobcat, spends most of this match flirting with people on the outside of the ring, eventually distracting him into losing the match. One questions the nature of this relationship.


    • CHEEX defeats a jobber. CHEEX is a person I never want to see on my screen again. Please god, I’m begging you.


    • Ken Shamrock’s major feud appears to be Malice going forward, ensuring a rematch I don’t want to see of last week’s Gauntlet for the Gold final. Shamrock was introduced for a promo to talk some shit before James Mitchell interrupted him at the top of the ramp with his accomplice Slash. They tease the notion of a Slash/Shamrock match and as the champ is bracing for Slash to rush the ring, he gets jumped from behind by Malice, of course. Pretty standard feud-builder but wasn’t a bad one.


    Overall Impact: C
    The X Division Title match carried this show further than it normally would have gone, since it gave us an entire half hour of quality content. On top of a solid opener and a fun tag match, the second TNA PPV gives a little more reason for us to come back next week. The X Division is already shaping up to be significantly better than WWE’s cruiserweight division was at this time, and a couple of modestly entertaining feuds are building. Next week, a bunch of tag matches as TNA’s first Tag champs are declared.





    Silk's Big Dumb Video Game Thread | Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA from the Moment of IMPACT
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    Never Forget
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    [footnote: Is now the longest reigning WWE Champion in Smackdown history]


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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    That main event is amazing. Still holds up really well
    ROH!!!ROH!!!ROH!!!

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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    I just googled Cheex holy wtf


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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    Silk entered the Cheex Zone thank goodness you survived Sister.

    I implore everyone watch the X-Division Match to crown it's first Champion, still in my top 20 favorite Matches from Impact.


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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    Been reading this from a far and I think your commentary to TNA is great. I hate Jarrett in general so for a good whilecI didnt watch TNA. The Aslyum time is sort of lost to me.


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    CWA World Heavyweight Champion
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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    I am going to watch the final convoluted main event match tonight. Still sounds awesome with the talent.

    The rest of the card seems pretty uneventful.

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    Re: Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA From the Moment of IMPACT

    Took a week off for the holiday. Also no screenshots this week yet cause the Impact player is being all fucky. TNA~!


    NWA-TNA PPV #3 (July 3, 2002)

    Three weeks of TNA television has led to this. Even earlier in the show, Scott Hall came out to talk some smack and ran into the combined forces of Jeff Jarrett and K-Krush, with the former just trying to provide a distraction for the latter. This would prove to backfire as Hall would still overpower K-Krush and clear the ring, signaling a dark omen for the heel team. Now, in the main event, Hall and Brian Christopher teamed up against the two of them in a show chock-full of basic tag team wrestling. At this point in the show I was a bit weary of the classic “heel beats down face, hot tag, finish” formula and this one thankfully opened with a bit of outside-the-ring action with Hall and Jarrett particularly causing some chaos up on the stage. The match, unfortunately, settled back down into that same formula but turned when Scott Hall went for the hot tag and got empty space from his partner. Christopher turned on Hall and the newly united threesome finally proved enough to overtake TNA’s baddest dude, leaving him laid out to end the show. The twist was a bit surprising given TNA’s lack of midcard faces as it is, but Hall has needed some adversity to overcome.


    Now speaking of tag team wrestling, this show was bonkers full of it because of a four team tag team tournament to crown the first ever NWA-TNA Tag Team Champions. Harris and Storm defeated the Johnsons, and the Rainbow Express defeated Buff Bagwell and Apolo to get here (both will be touched on later), but the former team was laid out in the back an hour beforehand, prompting the impromptu team of AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn to answer the call. Styles having just wrestled in the segment before plays this match as the weakened man, leaving the craft veteran Lynn to try and down the Express mostly by himself. This was the match of the night, and though it didn’t quite live up to the previous works of Lynn & Styles, the storytelling was best here and the talent in the ring was certainly tops. Unsurprisingly given the storyline, Styles and Lynn take the match and the belts. This is however, surprising that given the wealth of “talent” on this roster, TNA has already settled for putting two belts on the same guy. I’d complain more if it wasn’t AJ Styles, but I hope a real tag division starts to take shape soon.


    At the very least it was better than tonight’s TNA Championship match, a rematch between Ken Shamrock and Malice that was no better than the first and unfortunately longer. Shamrock’s presence has proven to be pretty good but as a ring worker I’m left indifferent to him, though it could simply be his opponent. The winner of this match is getting a man named “Omori” from Japan who they talk about a lot in this show but never show. For the sake of a pure experience I’ve chosen to do no research on him and let this company educate me enough to prepare for this match. I’m not sure they did a good job.


    And Everything In Between:

    • After the pre-AMW boys beat The Johnsons, the two big dicks turned on Mortimer Plumtree, ending a TNA institution after three short weeks. I hope they take out Cheex next.
    • The Rainbow Express qualifying match also has big storyline implications, as Buff Bagwell either turns heel or retires completely after the match. He cuts a profane promo talking about “Buff” never achieved anything and says “My name is Marcus, and my ass is going home.” Apolo was out of the ring by now so this short-lived partnership seemed to have no resonance for either man.
    • Tonight’s episode saw the debut of Monty Brown, perhaps just the midcard face I’m looking for. He cuts a promo before his debut match saying he’s coming for Shamrock’s title, then squashes a jobber with “The Alpha Bomb.” A strong debut for an up-and-coming talent.
    • Shamrock would return the favor later in the show, cutting a promo against Brown that all but ensures he will defeat Malice and Omori to set up a program here. James Mitchell interrupts and turns out the lights. When they come back up, Malice has downed Shamrock, setting up their match in half an hour.
    • There was both a women’s match and a midget match on this show and since neither division has proven to be worth anything yet, I won’t pay them much lip service. Francine defeats Taylor Vaughn by DQ when the latter brings out a belt, and then Francine whips around Ed Ferrara a bit. Puppet defeats Todd Stone and then hits Don West with a kendo stick. Not a great night to be a TNA announcer.
    • Finally AJ Styles defended his X Division title against David Young. This was a fairly entertaining match they used to hype up the X Division a bit more; they’re clearly pushing it as the premier feature of TNA even here. Styles wins with a semi-botched Styles Clash from the second rope.

    Overall Impact: C
    Whereas last week’s show was carried to this grade by one match, this week was a more consistently average show which is actually a good sign for TNA. Most of the night is wrestling of at least decent quality and while the tag match formula got a bit samey on a show with four of them, it was far better than anything involving Puppet or Francine. This may be TNA’s most promising overall show yet, with a lot of storylines starting to pay off and organic feuds building.





    Silk's Big Dumb Video Game Thread | Total Nonstop Silk: Reviewing TNA from the Moment of IMPACT
    WC Rumble Winner 2017, Comic and Game Dork, Mafia Overlord, #Iconic

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    [footnote: Is now the longest reigning WWE Champion in Smackdown history]


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