Monday, November 20, 2023

21 Years Ago In TNA #22 - Aw, Shit... It's Vince Russo... (a.k.a. THE END FOR ME... November 20th, 2002)

21 Years Ago In TNA... Vince Russo made his return to television.

And this is where I dropped the show.

When I started this project back in June, there were three possible exit points that I had considered ending this on. The first being after sampling the first five episodes on YouTube, which were free. The second exit point would've been right around the two-week period where I could've found something else to do instead, but opted to continue this TNA journey for better or worse. However, this third and final exit point is a sure thing; the debut of Vince Russo on TNA was the last stop. Whether the show is good or not - and spoiler: the show wasn't very good - this is the last edition of my journey to NWA-TNA from 21 years ago. I'm done.

And so I invite you to join me with on this final edition of 21 Years Ago In TNA... because there isn't going to be another one... ever. The next TNA show I'm doing is probably gonna be the new one in January, which means I'm gonna need a new banner.

Let's blow this thing and go home.

So tonight, Jeff Jarrett FINALLY gets his much deserved World title match against champion Ron Killings. Both champion and challenger cut strong promos.

Opening match is the tag team of EZ Money and Sonny Siaki defeating the team of Divine Storm, with two guys I either don't recognize or don't recall, but I do recall their manager: Trinity, who would be a fixture in TNA for a few years before making the jump to WWE's ill-fated ECW reboot in 2006. This is followed by a quick Malice squash as they try to make him a monster again... even though his first run has been anything but inspired. Harris Brothers win a match against... some guys. There's a bit with Jerry's Kid's Girl, Bruce, and Lenny Lane, who goes on to be defeated by BG James in a thing that happened... welcome to TNA, kid. Nobody gives a shit.

AJ Styles wins a three-way match to earn a X Title shot in the future, while Jerry Lynn retains his title over Amazing Red in what I feel was the only genuinely enjoyable match. That interview that Red has with Mike Tenay certainly helped in the hype, even though Red isn't exactly the greatest speaker in the world, but it got me more invested regardless. New Church retain the tag titles over AMW in a no DQ match. There's a couple video packages hyping up the main event. I'd be more excited if I hadn't already tuned out and this show presented me with something to get excited over. Not even Don West's incredible hype could make me care about this show at this point. Maybe I've resigned to the fact that this is where the ride comes to an end regardless.

Jeff Jarrett defeated NWA World Champion Ron Killings with an assist from Mr. Wrestling III - who whacks Truth with a GEE-TAR - to win the title... the first of 28,173 NWA title reigns for Mr. Jarrett, if I recall. To be fair, the match wasn't too bad and it was nice to see a main event match not have a billion run-ins... and then of course, there was the finish. I don't know; maybe Jarrett should have won clean since people were behind him, but at this point, what does it matter?

And yes, Mr. Wrestling III pulls off his mask to reveal his face to the world and Mike Tenay utters the very words that ends my journey to the early days of TNA.

"Oh shit. It's Vince Russo."

I can recall my initial reaction when I had heard the news that Vince Russo was revealed to be Mr. Wrestling III... I rolled my eyes and gave up on TNA right then and there. Clearly, this show was more than happy to continue where WCW left off before it shuttered its doors. You've got the same shitty booking, the same brain-dead mentality of ripping off what worked in WWF without any of the talent that people would care about, and most of all, Vince Russo is employed... which was the only thing that really "shocked" me.

I pulled up my old wrestling rants from 2002 that I posted on the old Webstation and I had a few blurbs. On November 24th, 2002, I wrote:

 "Vince Russo is Mr. Wrestling III? Some people were quite shocked by this and I don’t understand why. Because he’s a booker and not a wrestler? Because of the fallout rumors on the Internet? Who cares, as long as the shock booking worked... then again, maybe people are shocked that Russo has a job after he helped kill WCW."

On November 29th, 2002, I wrote the following blurb: "I would like to give congratulations to NWA-TNA for keeping a well-guarded secret in an era where secrets are hard to keep thanks to the Internet. With that in mind, the development between NWA World champion Jeff Jarrett and Vince Russo has intrigued me... until I remembered why I stopped watching WCW in the first place."

For the record, the congratulations was sincere but the intrigue was not. In fairness, I wasn't regularly watching the show at the time because if I had, I probably would've noticed Russo's handiwork all over these shows, which makes this so-called "well-guarded secret" not much of a secret. Regardless, I stopped watching the show and even wrote an update one day saying so.

With all that out of the way, yes, Vince Russo is the masked man, Jeff Jarrett is in... shock, I guess, and the show ends... and so does this journey.

That's my goal post. It's one that's going to stick. Could I come back and revisit some shows down the road? Maybe, but why would I want to? I have no desire to see SEX run rampant in TNA - the internet has more than enough sex that you can watch for free if you know where to look. I don't need to revisit the cringey Russo worked-shoot stuff that came off as more fake than the fake wrestling show that they were putting out. I'm done with this atrocious run of shitty TNA shows. I wanna watch some good wrestling for once... and actually care about it.

I'm done with this shit. Time to find something else to cover on this blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it real and keep it clean.