Wednesday, August 12, 2015

WWA: The Eruption (2002 Australian PPV)

Melbourne, Australia
April 14, 2002

The third WWA PPV event went back to the land down under and this would be the final WWA event before the Jarretts would begin showcasing NWA-TNA via weekly $10 pay-per-views in June that year... but not the final WWA event overall. Let's not get to that now. Because Jeff Jarrett was tending to his own house, so to speak, he would drop the WWA World Title to Nathan Jones, a guy perhaps best known for being signed by WWE and doing nothing of note because, well, he wasn't very good at what he did. WWA, on the other hand, thought he was good enough to their World Champion. I suppose being a local Aussie kid helped in that decision-making.

Your commentary team comprises Jeremy Borash (who doubles as ring announcer) and the Disco Inferno. And you know what? As far as commentary teams go, this one is tolerable. Not the greatest thing ever or anything like that, but Borash and Gilberti are passable on the mic, easy on the ears, and certainly a step above having Mark Madden on there.

Your commissioner for tonight's show is Sid with a walking cane. Sid, once master and ruler of the world, snapped his leg in half during a match in WCW the year prior and it was a pretty gruesome fall too that was thought to have been career killing. Time heals all wounds as Sid would make a return to Monday Night RAW and deliver a power bomb to Heath Slater.

International Cruiserweight Tournament Semi-Finals: a tournament that became a necessity because the former champion, Eddie Guerrero, re-signed with WWE a short time prior.

Semi-finals #1: AJ Styles beat Nova to advance. Short but sweet, I suppose. Maybe if these guys had a little more time, I would've cared a little more, but it was fine for what it was.

Semi-finals #2: Jerry Lynn beat Chuck E. Chaos (some random Australian dude) to advance. This lasted all of a minute and I paid little to no attention here. Oh well.

Sid gives Scott Steiner a title shot against reigning WWA World champion Nathan Jones, who defeated Jeff Jarrett in a prior wrestling show. Again, we went from multi-time WCW World Champion Jeff Jarrett to Nathan Jones. I'm fairly certain this is easy money on who is winning.

Teo beat Puppet in a hardcore "little person" match. Say, can we toss in Hornswoggle for good measure? This did nothing for me, but it might do something for somebody, so... eh, they tried. I'll give them that much... also, for anyone who has read the WWA Revolution posting from yesterday, I did copy and paste that blurb, because it practically felt like the same match, only the end result being different.

Ernest Miller and Brian Christopher beat Stevie Ray and Buff Bagwell when Christopher pinned Bagwell... a classic case of four guys with little history together thrown in for shits and giggles. If there was a rhyme or reason behind this, it's clearly not touched on that much by the commentary team. That seems to be an issue here; no backstory to any of these matches. It's just wrestling for the sake of wrestling and not much more.

Alan Funk beat Quebecer Pierre (yes, THAT Quebecer Pierre)... and oh look, he's doing the Hulk Hogan imitation with hair, look, moves, mannerisms... eh... I've got nothing.

In the finals of that tournament thing, AJ Styles defeated Jerry Lynn to win the vacant Cruiserweight title. Eh, not great, but not bad. It's pefectly acceptable wrestling. Styles would eventually garner success in TNA and beyond, while Jerry Lynn... well, he's alive still, no?

Sabu beat Devon Storm in a hardcore steel cage match... meh. This is a thing that happened. I'd like to say that I somewhat enjoyed this more than their previous match, but that isn't really saying much. Couldn't you have gotten another ECW guy for Sabu to play with and give Crowbar someone else?

Scott Steiner defeated WWA World Champion Nathan Jones to win the title... it seems only fitting that an Australia-based promotion going on Australian tours would crown Nathan Jones as their World Champion. Unfortunately, poor Nathan Jones is about as believable of a World class champion as a Big Mac is as a gourmet meal served at five-star restaurants. Ol' Scott tried, but he just couldn't make this guy look like an even bigger joke than he already was.

Steiner would challenge Sid to a fight... but it was not to be, as Steiner would soon be signed by WWE and have a couple horrible main events with McSon-In-Law. Sid would also be gone from the promotion by year's end.

Compared to the previous PPV offering, The Eruption is a FAR BETTER show from the WWA and for whatever it was worth, would serve as a precursor to the talents of a few choice wrestlers who would find themselves plying their trade elsewhere in the months to come. Unfortunately, as much as this is a step above the Revolution, it's not that great of a show, as a lot of the stuff featured here is forgettable fare that ranges from barely mediocre to outright embarrassing. It's one of those shows that is often best experienced live because your expectations are generally lower and the kind of show that you see once and quickly forget about the next day.

Shortly after this, the Jarretts would start up NWA-TNA and a good number of talent featured here would make their way to that promotion. So, you would be forgiven in thinking that the WWA experiment would be over and done with because... oh wait, they had TWO MORE?

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