Monday, November 6, 2023

21 Years Ago In TNA #20 - It's Panda-Monium In The Asylum (November 6th, 2002)

So my understanding is that this is the point (or close to it) where Panda Energy has taken majority interest in TNA, thus insuring that it was last for years and years and years and years and years to come... somewhere in Washington, Shoulders Torelli shed a tear. In any event, there's money coming in so that means we can focus on having some decent shows to entice people in buying this shit on a weekly basis.

And for what it's worth, this show wasn't too bad.

Neat touch was the show opening up with a video showcasing the NWA 54th anniversary show that took place some time ago, featuring Jorge Estrada winning the NWA Eastern Championship, Ron Killings defending and retaining his title over some guy named Hernandez, and also a couple others. You know it would've been nice if we had these older NWA shows available to watch. Get on that, Billy.

After that, the show opens proper with Jorge Estrada defeating Bruce via countout in a match that made my head hurt. This match was also for Bruce's Miss TNA crown. I may have been a tad generous in calling this show "not bad."

Sonny Siaki and BG James cut promos on each other to hype their semi-final match coming up next, which sees James coming out on top to advance to the tournament finals next week. AMW retain their titles over Brian Lee and Slash via DQ when a weapon is involved. Syxx-Pac beats Jerry's Kid in another semi-final match to advance and he grabs Jerry's Kid's girlfriend in the process as I continue to not give a fuck about this whole storyline.

And then we have a sit-down with Mike Tenay and Ron Killings, who confides that Tenay is the only white dude he can trust and talks about this Mr. Wrestling III asshole running in on his matches. So he outright challenges Mr. Wrestling III to a match and even has a contract prepped. Truth has his shit set... sadly, Jeff Jarrett grabs says contract from Tenay and rips it up because he doesn't want anyone else to get another free title match before him. So is Jarrett supposed to be the babyface or heel? Am I supposed to be rooting for him or booing him? Maybe booking expert Brian James can clear this up for me.

Kid Kash wins another elimination match to earn a shot at the X-Division championship. It's a moves match, whatever. Then Jarrett comes out for another promo, talking about almost beating Hennig for the AWA title years ago and talking about his own accomplishes before making another promise to get the title shot he deserves. This leads to Jeff Jarrett defeating Curt Hennig via DQ after Hennig strikes a ref and Jarrett with several chair shots, thus giving Hennig a clear shot at the finals. For what it's worth, it was a fun brawl while it lasted and at the very least, it's giving Jarrett a clear path towards that elusive title match that he probably should have gotten ages ago.

Again, am I supposed to be rooting for this asshole or booing him? Help me, Roadie!

And in the main event, Jerry Lynn defeated X-Division Champion AJ Styles in a pretty good match to win the title. Not sure how I feel about that one because AJ might've been better off keeping the belt for a little longer to establish it a bit... but then look who's writing and booking this shit in the first place.

You know what? This show is giving me high hopes. Sure, there's still some residual hot garbage to overcome, but there's been more stuff to like on this show than dislike, and for that, I give TNA credit. They're starting to feel like something I could watch rather than the crap that was on McWrestling in 2002.

Until I realize there's only two weeks to go until that moment... and then my confidence shakes. Once that moment comes along, that's when I'm jumping off this wagon train before it falls off the rails. I've seen what lays beyond that moment and I didn't care for it one bit... and unlike 21 years ago, where you were pretty much rooting for the other guy to success so you wouldn't have to go back to watch whatever was coming out of the McSon-In-Law show, there's no incentive for me to keep going forward. I'm doing this out of my own sick pain.

This show is a step up, but that's about all it is. Next week's show is going to have offer up more than that.

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