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From the Outside (10.15.03)
Posted by Bryan "bps 'The Truth' 21" Staebell on Oct 15, 2003, 05:36
Jeff Jarrett attacks Hulk Hogan in Japan
The big story this week, much like last week, involves Hulk Hogan. The Hogan/Jarrett build kicked off in a surprising an unexpected fashion. I had assumed they would wait to even mention Hogan until after the big Styles/Jarrett match next week…but they thought otherwise.
This past weekend Hogan wrestled Masa Chono in New Japan marking his first appearance in Japan for nearly a decade. Hogan won the match and went to give a post match interview to the Japanese media. During the interview he said that one of his goals was to win the NWA World Championship, as it is the one title he’s never held in the States. Then Jeff Jarrett appeared and knocked him out with a guitar saying that TNA had just come to him. Following that, Chono chased Jarrett away and said he would aid Hogan in this battle. That last part probably has nothing to do with TNA and will instead likely lead to Jarrett coming into New Japan later on to take on the team of Chono and Hogan. The footage is going to be aired on TNA tonight.
Right off the bat I am very pleased that this angle has begun with Hogan putting over the NWA title. That is exactly the way it should go. What we’ve seen here is one of the industry’s most recognizable stars standing half way around the world putting over this championship. That’s something.
Another interesting thing going on here is exactly what the deal is between New Japan and TNA. It makes sense that they would have some interest in even a limited working agreement, as both companies are trying to figure out the best way to make money out of Hogan at the same time. I read that TNA was able to get the footage that will air tonight for free, which isn’t usually the case with New Japan. There is also a report of New Japan stating that he would send Tiger Mask 4 to the November 30th show as a way of showing their commitment to Hogan and the promotions that he has ties too. I haven’t seen a source on that, but I trust the person who reported it. It will be quite interesting to see exactly how this TNA/New Japan thing shakes out. At the very least I expect Jarrett to do some work for them.
So then we get to the problem (and there always is one) with the angle. Simply…Jarrett isn’t champion yet…and he’s still a face. Now…I’m sure he will be both heel and champion after next week but what business did Jarrett have attacking Hogan right now? That’s something they’ll try to explain away this week…but it just comes down to a simple timing issue.
Either way TNA is really thinking outside of the box on this one, and I love it. I’ll have more coverage on this topic in the future. It’s hard to write about it now since they haven’t shown the footage yet…and more importantly we haven’t heard how Jarrett and the announcers are going to treat the angle yet.
NWA 55th Anniversary Show
The NWA recently staged its 55th anniversary show. The event sees representatives from pretty much all of the NWA franchises (and there are many of them) come together for a big wrestling card. You may recall that last year Ron “The Truth” Killings defended the NWA title as the TNA representative. This year America’s Most Wanted appeared on TNA’s behalf. Now…there are only a few titles that are actual NWA titles…meaning that they are traditionally the titles of the NWA and not one of the sub-companies (for example the X title is a TNA title, while the NWA title is not). All of the NWA franchises have their own titles, but the NWA World Championship and the NWA Tag Team Championship (and I believe the NWA Jr. Heavyweight Championship and NWA North American Championship…which TNA has chosen not to use) are the “main” ones. It’s kind of a shame that neither the Tag Champions (Diamond and Swinger) nor the World Champion (Styles) were able to attend. It’s not surprising that Diamond and Swinger couldn’t make it as they don’t work as a tag team around the indys and have their own individual bookings (not to mention Swinger is still kind of injured and probably not working too often). Styles, on the other hand, has been champion for 4 months and seeing as he’s had a TNA contract since the company opened…it’s kind of surprising that Jerry Jarrett never had him booked for it. I read a quote from someone in the NWA that said it was the equivalent of the WWE champion not being at WrestleMania. Although I think that’s an exaggeration, I do see his point. NWA has pretty much handed over the keys to the kingdom to the Jarretts and having their champion headline the NWA’s biggest (and maybe only…I’m not sure) show doesn’t seem like too much to ask.
Also of note from the show, the NWA introduced its new board of directors. I’m not quite sure what they do anymore. They used to be the guys who voted for who to put the NWA title on…and I think they may still…unless they handed that authority over to TNA as well. I’ve never read that they had done that…but TNA’s never tried putting it on someone who would get vetoed anyway. It seems to be largely a ceremonial spot now. Vince Sr. was a part of it at one time, despite owning the rival organization (of course that was in the days of territories and Vince’s North East stronghold didn’t interfere with the NWA territories, and they would swap talent. That was up until Vince Jr. conquered everyone). It used to be a lot harder to get the green light as NWA Champion, but that kind of went out the window when the NWA was broken off of WCW and didn’t have a national outlet anymore. Nowadays I think their sole job is to make sure the title never ends up on David Arquette or Vince Russo.
Video Game retraction
It turns out the news of a TNA video game produced by EA sports was premature. TNA issued a statement claiming they were still in talks with “several” companies and that EA had recently visited TNA offices. The way I see it…there will be a game announcement sooner than later. In Mike Tenay’s weekly Q&A column he said that there was an upcoming announcement, but that he didn’t think it would involve EA. I think that’s a mistake from both a gaming perspective and a recognition perspective. If they have the opportunity to put the EA label on their game they should take it regardless of another company offering a little more money. It’s a mark of quality (especially since they use the great AKI as their developer) and a mark of success and promotion.
News and Notes
TNA has re-launched their website (again). It’s not a huge overhaul, but it is a bit easier on the eyes. Every time they redo the site it looks more and more like the WE site. I don’t know if that’s what they’re going for…but you can see for yourself at nwatna.com.
To coincide with the site re-launch, TNA has finally made their first line of DVDs available. Well…”available” may be a bit too strong a word. The three DVDs (you can also get them in VHS) focus on different match types. There’s a best of the X division (which IMO somehow leaves out the actual best match of the X division, the week 8 3 way between Styles, Lynn and Low-Ki), a best of TNA title matches (which covers the NWA World and Tag titles…and I think they made good choices on the line-up), and the last one focuses on their bloodiest matches (obviously the weakest of the three). The first two look great, although their were some questionable choices for the X division set like TWO Kid Kash/Red matches and only one of the AJ Styles/Red matches…that’s so backwards. The set leaves off right at the debut of Chris Sabin…so don’t expect to find Super X Cup matches on there or the real good Sabin/London and Sabin/Kazarian (first match) matches on this volume. It’s a hell of a head start on the next one though. They are only available through PayPal right now…and they won’t start shipping for another month. Like I said…”available” is a bit strong. I don’t quite understand why we’re not seeing these in stores (yet at least) when you can find XPW DVDs almost everywhere…and they never hired a ton of people solely for promotion and expansion. Another baby step in the right direction when they really need to start taking leaps.
Finally, TNA has officially announced the November 30th three-hour pay per view. They are calling it “Bound for Glory”.
By now you’ve probably read Dames Diatribe on last week’s show so you know what happened. It was pretty much another blah show. I like where things are heading storyline wise but the current feuds don’t really leave much chance for great matches. It seems like this is always the case with TNA. Either they are finally putting together a show full of nice storylines that make sense, but the matches aren’t memorable OR they are putting on crap stories and one or two matches a night will kick ass. Sooner or later these things are going to happen on the same night (hopefully Bound For Glory) and it will be tremendous.
America’s Most Wanted and Dusty Rhodes vs. Vince Russo, Sonny Siaki and Ekmo
That’s right. Jamal is main eventing. Here’s the deal…Russo never actually wrestles (he’s logged about 20 seconds of ring time in 2 matches so far) so you can take him out of the equation. What you’re left with is basically AMW vs. Siaki and Ekmo (Jamal), with Dusty Rhodes trying to get his hands on Russo as a sideshow. I have a great deal of faith in the abilities of AMW to have surprisingly good matches with not so good opponents. At one time AMW had a real good match against Siaki and David Young that was actually BETTER than the AMW vs. Styles and D-Lo match! This is almost the same thing except Ekmo replaces Young.
Kid Kash vs. Abyss
It’s too early for this match to happen, which concerns me. They haven’t spent enough time exploring the Kash/Abyss relationship yet and that tells me this won’t end up being an actual match so much as a progression of the story. Last week’s crowd in the Asylum was dead all night long…but still popped huge for Abyss when he stood up to Kash. I think this storyline has a big payoff with Abyss turning into a monster face at the end…but playing around with it this early could ruin that. Remember when they teased the AMW breakup for weeks and it ended up killing their heat? Same risk here.
Raven vs. a New Church member
They are billing this as Raven vs. either Slash or Vampiro. The pecking order would seem to point to Slash being the man this week. Last week Raven squashed Sinn to begin his road to Jim Mitchell. Raven vs. Slash sounds so good in theory that you know something is going to screw it up in practice. Unlike Sinn, I don’t think that Slash should be squashed in two minutes…and that they could actually have a really good match.
Erik Watts vs. Kevin Northcutt
I just don’t know.
Michael Shane vs. Christopher Daniels
This is for Shane’s X title…which means that Daniels is officially back in the X division. That’s both a positive and a negative. It’s a plus because Daniels simply fares better against people his own size (match quality wise). It’s a negative because he kind of got cut off (and I think Styles did too) by Hogan’s impending arrival. I don’t know what this match will look like. Shane had been on a decent run in TNA but he didn’t have a good showing last week against Sabin and seems to be slipping back into being a boring worker. The other problem is that everyone in the X division is a heel.
Simon Diamond and Johnny Swinger vs. ??? and ???
There aren’t that many people to serve as challengers for the tag titles here. It could just be Truth and his merry band of misfits again…or Shark Boy and Mad Mikey back for more. It should be Punk and Julio…but as usual they seem to have no plans for them.
Sonjay Dutt and Jerrelle Clark vs. Eric Young & El Fuego
This has showcase match written all over it. There are only two purposes for this match. The first is for TNA to see what Dutt can do (and every report I’ve ever read says that he’s awesome). The second is for Dutt’s partner to hit his big 630 move. I’ve seen a 450 splash…and can’t quit figure out how to add more degrees to it…but I guess I’ll find out soon.
The Footage of the Hogan/Jarrett altercation in Japan.
Roddy Piper wants to say something and we get to see if TNA will let him. Joy.
AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett will also be there to build towards next weeks title match.
Until next week find me at [email protected]