Hi!

I almost got to cover Smackdown for Cubs last week but then there was no late replay on The Score. Tragic. Instead, I bring you this, another offering from my free PPV weekend.

WWA The Reckoning - aired 06/08/2003
Taped 05/25/2003
North Shore Events Centre; Auckland, New Zealand

Jeremy Borash welcomes us to the first-ever PPV from New Zealand, and David Penzer introduces New Zealand's Tama Toa Warriors. They're a bunch of dudes in loincloths doing a war dance in one of those small old WCW rings.

Tantric's Revillution kicks in as we see footage of Sting winning the WWA title. Tonight, the WWA champion meets the NWA champion for the FIRST. TIME. EVER. The opening video has Sting, Jeff Jarrett, Disco Inferno, Sabu, and some midgets. Probably there were other people too but I was typing.

Your hosts are Jeremy Borash and Gllenn Gillbberrttii, who I'm just gonna call Disco Inferno because that's easier. And I'm pretty sure it's his real name.

MARK MERCEDES (Sydney, Australia, 250 lbs) v. RICK STEINER (Detroit, Michigan, 270 lbs)
Mercedes kinda looks like old dark-haired Bradshaw and Mideon had a kid. He starts off by yelling at the fans since Aussies and New Zealanders will never ever get along ever. Rick Steiner shows up, swears, and does the "if you WANT SOME" routine. It's on, and they're fighting on the floor. Quickly into the ring, Steiner backdrops Mercedes and hooks on a Crippler Crossface. Mercedes blocks a German suplex attempt with a low kick and gets the first two count. A release German suplex gets two as the crowd chants "Aussies suck." Mercedes was apparently trained by Dean Malenko, or so says Disco. Punching and kicking ensues until Steiner comes back with some Steinerlines and one of Tazz's funky suplexes. Steiner climbs the ropes for no reason and Mercedes attacks, but he winds up on the mat and Steiner hits a bulldog off the second rope for the win. This wasn't awful but it was nothing special either.
STEINER d. MERCEDES (pin, 3:36, second-rope bulldog)

Still tonight: Bret Hart! Jeff Jarrett versus Sting! The lights go out and OWWWWW! Borash and Disco sound like idiots because they can't tell it's Sting until the lights come back on. "Stizzinger is in the houuuuuuuuuse" and he sucks up to the locals and it's showtime and all that.

THREE-WAY MATCH: PUPPET THE MIDGET KILLER (4'4", 150 lbs) v. MEATBALL (New York City, 4'8", 250 lbs) v. TEO (Gary, Indiana, 3'11", 95 lbs)
Puppet wants to kill ALL other midgets because midgets are the true stars in the world and he'll be the BIGGEST star when he's the only one left. Borash runs down Puppet's acting credentials, and he does have some good mic skills. And a Web site. Meatball kinda looks like King Kong Bundy in Yokozuna's tights, and he wants to team up against TEO. Puppet agrees, but rolls up Meatball right at the start. They do lots of spots where TEO ducks out of the way and Meatball and Puppet run into each other. TEO sends Puppet headfirst into Meatball's meatballs. Meatball slams Puppet and does a cartwheel into an elbowdrop - this is called the Jagerbomb - and TEO breaks up the pin. More hit and run spots, then Puppet ties TEO up in the ropes. Of course, TEO moves and Puppet hits the floor. TEO bounces off the ropes and hits Meatball with a (619) - called the 3'11" - and follows it with a Swanton Bomb (Disco: "My God! He must be five-and-a-half, six feet in the air!") for the win. This was okay. Kinda fun.
TEO d. MEATBALL (pin, 3:15, Swanton Bomb)

Still tonight: a four-way cruiserweight match! Johnny Swinger figures it's his destiny to win tonight. Frankie Kazarian, meanwhile, notes that he's in there with two of the best cruiserweights in the world - and Johnny Swinger. Ha! He's also sitting next to some kind of Tiki God with a giant boner (really).

HARDCORE MATCH: DEVON STORM (243 lbs) v. KONNAN (Mexico City, 235 lbs)
A bit of punchkick until Storm grabs a kendo stick and smacks Konnan around. Storm hits a nice moonsault for two as Disco complains that they're not using weapons. He makes a good point when he says there's no DQ, so why not use a gun or knife - but then goes on to talk about how great it would be for buyrates if there would be a death on the PPV. May 1999 would disagree.

Konnan comes back by smacking Storm with a garbage can lid. They tumble to the floor and Konnan tosses Storm into a guardrail. They fight up the ramp, where Storm hits Konnan with the "Polynesian phallic God" that had a boner for Frankie Kazarian. The wrestlers take turns tossing each other into the set at the top of the ramp, basically destroying it. They come back to ringside and someone has a sign that reads NZPWI.CO.NZ so I'll link it, sure. Storm drags the ring steps to the middle of the floor and balances a chunk of guardrail so it's half on the ring apron, half on the steps. They fight into the ring and Storm gets a two count off a splash. Storm tries to leap over Konnan, but he gets caught and dumped over the ropes onto the guardrail. Only gets two, even though Konnan was half hanging out of the ring. I guess only ropes give leverage. Konnan takes Storm back into the ring with a suplex and floats over for two. Konnan wedges a chair between the first and second ropes, but Storm reverses the Irish whip, then legdrops Konnan in the nuts. It's worth noting that the crowd is now doing the Montreal TWOOOOOOOOO on two counts. Storm grabs the chair and gives Konnan a Northern Lights Suplex on the chair for two. Back on the floor, Storm whacks Konnan with a trash can lid, then sets up the guardrail again. This time, he places Konnan on the guardrail and leaps over the top rope, squishing Konnan for three. Kinda slow but it had a few decent spots.
STORM d. KONNAN (pin, 10:03, plancha on a guardrail)

More interviews with the cruiserweights, which is a nice way of making the match seem important. Chris Sabin promises victory and says Johnny Swinger sucks. Jerry Lynn just promises victory.

TITLE UNIFICATION FOUR-WAY MATCH: JOHNNY SWINGER (Atlanta, Georgia, 225 lbs) v. FRANKIE KAZARIAN (Anaheim, California, 218 lbs) v. CHRIS SABIN (NWA TNA X Division champion, Detroit, Michigan, 207 lbs) v. JERRY LYNN (WWA Cruiserweight champion, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 212 lbs)
Okay. I know that I can be all wordy with the match descriptions. Since I know you likely won't read all this, let me just say that you should really track down a copy of this match now because it is great.

Swinger does the most understated little dance when he enters the ring. Kazarian met Bret Hart at an autograph signing, and Bret told him to get trained by Killer Kowalski, so he did. Disco is favouring Sabin, his fellow member in S.E.X. Lynn enters to "Jerry" chants. This match is under first fall rules, all four guys in the ring at once.

At the bell, Lynn pairs off with Swinger and Sabin with Kazarian. Swinger slams Lynn, Lynn kicks him away. Lynn hiptosses Sabin, Sabin kicks him away. Sabin trips up Kazarian but misses an elbowdrop. Swinger misses a legdrop. Lynn misses a senton. Kazarian misses a somersault senton. Sabin schoolboys Kazarian for two. Lynn sunset flips Sabin for two. Swinger rolls up Lynn for two. All four go for dropkicks, all four miss. The crowd shows respect. We're less than one minute in.

Everyone armdrags everyone else, then Kazarian clotheslines Swinger to the floor. He tries to backdrop Lynn out as well, but he lands on his feet; feet which get yanked out from under him by Swinger. Sabin smacks Kazarian with an enzuigiri and the crowd loves it, but it only gets two. Kazarian comes back with a short clothesline for two and a springboard legdrop for two. Sabin tries to leapfrog Kazarian, but gets caught with Back To The Future (an electric chair into a bridging back suplex) for two, as Swinger is back in the ring for the save. Swinger and Sabin flapjack Kazarian, but neither will let the other get the pin. They whip Kazarian into the corner, but he ducks a double clothesline with a somersault. As he pops up, he sees Lynn on the top rope - he gets all bug-eyed, ducks, and Lynn's crossbody takes out both Swinger and Sabin instead. Kazarian takes down Lynn with a leg lariat, but Swinger dumps him to the floor. Swinger hooks Lynn in the figure four, but it's broken as Sabin comes off the ropes with a splash to Lynn and Kazarian hits a legdrop off the top to Swinger. Disco complains that they didn't just jump on Lynn and Swinger's legs to break them. He has a point.

Sabin tosses Kazarian to the floor again. Lynn and Sabin trade counters (bodyslam into an inverted DDT into a snapmare) until Lynn hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Kazarian slaps Lynn around and yells "I AM THE COOLEST PERSON IN THE WORLD" for no reason, apart from maybe being the coolest person in the world. Lynn grabs Sabin for a German suplex, but Kazarian comes off the top with a sunset flip on Lynn, who German suplexes Sabin anyway. The double pin gets two. Swinger hooks an Indian deathlock on Sabin, Lynn hooks a dragon sleeper on Swinger, and Kazarian flips over Lynn and hooks on a hangman. Eventually Swinger lets go of Sabin, and Kazarian drops Lynn with an inverted DDT (who, in turn, hits an inverted DDT on Swinger). With all four guys down, the ref starts a 10 count but stops at 6.

Lynn backdrops Swinger to the apron. Swinger tries to shoulderblock Lynn in the gut, but Lynn jumps and legdrops the back of Swinger's head. Swinger falls to the floor and Lynn bounces off the ropes but runs into a superkick from Kazarian. Kazarian then dives over the top rope and nearly winds up in the front row - awesome hangtime. He lands on Swinger, of course. Sabin sends Lynn off the ropes, where he springboards off the middle rope and somersaults onto Swinger and Kazarian on the floor. That leaves Sabin in the ring, so he runs, jumps on the top rope, and Swantons onto everyone - this is called the Leap Of Faith. The crowd chants "holy shit" as well they might.

Back in the ring, Kazarian lands on his feet out of a Sabin monkey flip, and clothesline both Swinger and Lynn. He hops up to the top rope, but Sabin follows and absolutely launches him off the top rope with a release German suplex. Another "holy shit" chant. The ref starts a 10 count again. Lynn and Sabin are first up. Lynn escapes a Sabin suplex but can't escape the Bum Rush - Sabin grabs Lynn for a Stunner, but then spins Lynn down onto his knee instead. Kazarian grabs Sabin with The Wave Of The Future, which is... you know an Implant DDT? This is like an Implant Flatliner. Either way, Swinger drops Kazarian with a Swinger Stinger, which is a belly-to-belly Stunner (aka Shane Douglas' Franchiser, thanks to Jake and Justin and no thanks to Ted for the fact-checking). Lynn goes for a cradle piledriver to Swinger, but he escapes - he doesn't escape a TKO for two. Kazarian is on the apron and Sabin runs gut-first into Kazarian's shoulder - a slingshot DDT gets two.

Kazarian sets up Sabin for a superplex. Lynn goes for a sunset flip into a powerbomb on Kazarian - who still manages to take Sabin over. Swinger makes the save. He then runs into Lynn's boot, but still hits a Mood Swing (a Bossman Slam with 180-degree rotation before the slam) for two. Sabin hits a backbreaker on Kazarian - like D'Lo Brown's Sudden Impact except onto a knee instead of the mat - also for two. Borash calls this move the Bum Rush, but we already had one Bum Rush and now I will never know which one is the real Bum Rush.

Sabin bounces off the middle rope and drops Swinger with a DDT, but Kazarian takes down Sabin with an enzuigiri before he can get the pin. Kazarian goes for a powerbomb to Lynn, but instead Lynn stands up, holds on to Kazarian, and drops him headfirst in one of those behind-the-back piledriver things. I bet it has a name. Sabin tosses Lynn off the ropes, but Swinger is on the floor and he drags Lynn out. In the ring, Kazarian jumps up to the top rope, but Sabin hits the ropes and Kazarian crotches himself. Sabin scoops Kazarian off the ropes and drops him with the Future Shock - it's like he had him for a Perfectplex but instead of hooking one leg, he hooked both. And when he fell back, he didn't bridge. And when the ref counted, Kazarian didn't kick out. Chris Sabin unifies the WWA Cruiserweight and NWA TNA X titles. Disco is thrilled. Go see this match. See it now. It's 100 different kinds of awesome. A great performance by all four guys.
SABIN d. KAZARIAN (pin, Future Shock, 14:54, Sabin unifies the WWA Cruiserweight and NWA TNA X titles)

What can follow that? Well, how about Shane Douglas?

How about not?

Douglas - who has a broken arm - is in the ring for maybe 5 seconds before he starts swearing. This interview is standard Shane Douglas. Vince McMahon is a piece of shit, Shane Douglas saved wrestling by turning ECW into a power, shit shit ass ass shit ass FRANCHISE. Good Lord, this guy will not shut up. I'm glad I didn't pay for this show or I would be very violent. I really don't like Shane Douglas at the best of times and this is not the best of times.

After nearly six minutes of Shane Douglas yelling, Joe E. Legend - who's all built and has long hair and looks nothing like Just Joe - comes out to volunteer to take Douglas' place in the scheduled match against Sabu. This takes forever too as Legend has to play along with the WHAT WHAT WHAT for a while. Then Douglas has to talk some more. Total time of the interview: 10:13 that I will never get back.

JOE E. LEGEND v. HE IS HOMICIDAL, GENOCIDAL, SUICIDAL SABU (Bombay, Michigan)
Oh Christ, now Douglas has joined Disco and Borash on commentary. The match starts with some punching and kicking and not much happens until Sabu hits a springboard DDT but misses a springboard moonsault. Legend escapes to the floor, where Sabu dives on him. Back in the ring, Legend kips up and drops Sabu with a clothesline and follows it with a suplex. He scales the ropes but Sabu tosses him to the floor. Sabu sets up a chair in the ring and hits a triple jump dive to the floor. As nice as that was (and it was), this match is still a little underwhelming compared to the last one.

Sabu gets a table, but Legend scoops up Sabu and tosses him onto the guardrail. Back in the ring, we get some brief chinlock action (not a chinlock applied to briefs) and then they're on the floor again. Legend tries to suplex Sabu onto the table, but Sabu reverses it. Legend does hit a superkick for two. More chinlockery. Borash calls it a Stretch Plum, but it's not a Stretch Plum unless Fire Pro has lied to me all these years, and I am going to believe Fire Pro over Borash. More slow brawling until Sabu is like "screw this" and just throws the chair at Legend. We get a camel clutch for a while, and when Sabu doesn't get a submission, he kicks the chair into Legend's face. The crowd grows restless and chants "use the table." Sabu tries, but Legend jumps over it. Legend comes back with a cross-arm powerbomb (a "Straight Jacket Legendbomb", says Borash) for two, but Sabu's right back in control with a top rope hurricarana. Legend comes back with a chokeslam into a powerbomb (like D'Lo's Sky-Hi) for two. Legend goes for a Vaderbomb but hits Sabu's chair. Sabu hits a springboard moonsault for two. He sets up the chair and tries to leap off it onto Legend, but Legend catches him and drops him face-first on the chair for two. Finally, Sabu sets Legend on the table, sets up a chair again, and hits a triple jump legdrop onto Legend.

Back in the ring, Sabu goes for a triple jump moonsault, but Legend trips up Sabu. Sabu is all like "what? oh" and then throws the chair at Legend's head again. He climbs the ropes with the chair and throws the chair at Legend's head AGAIN, then hits a second-rope Arabian Facebuster for the win. I guess this wasn't THAT bad, but it was kinda slow and there's no way it should have been longer than the cruiser four-way. It was only a few minutes longer but it felt WAY longer.
SABU d. LEGEND (pin, 17:18, second-rope Arabian Facebuster)

After the match, Douglas stomps away at Sabu and whomps him with his cast in classic Cowboy Bob Orton fashion. 'Cause this just wasn't long enough.

Once all the carnage is cleared, David Penzer introduces Andrew McManus who is wearing what looks like one of those brown Bushwhacker shirts with the stickers from different places on it. McManus takes only a few seconds to introduce Bret Hart, who gets a well-deserved standing ovation. Bret appears skinnier than before. He's walking a little slowly and his hair is cut shorter than before - about chin length. He thanks the fans, who call back with "Thank you, Bret" and "We love you, Bret," along with "Hitman" chants. He mentions a few people who've passed away - Davey Boy Smith, Curt Hennig, and Elizabeth, along with Owen. Each name receives polite applause. He talks about recovering from his stroke, and how he didn't think he'd be able to see his fans again. He thanks them again and leaves to "make room for the main event." He walks out to another standing ovation. Total time of the interview was about 6 minutes.

Backstage, a bald guy named Scott interviews Jeff Jarrett. He promises to unite the belts and, well, that's it, really.

TITLE UNIFICATION MATCH: JEFF JARRETT (Music City, USA, 235 lbs, NWA World champion) v. STING (Venice Beach, California, 251 lbs, WWA World champion)
Extended introductions for both men once they hit the ring. Sting is the heavy crowd favourite, and he starts by taking Jarrett down with shoulderblocks. The crowd chants "let's go Slap Nuts," so Jarrett goes. He takes Sting down on the ropes, legdrops his neck, and struts. Sting comes back with a few reverse atomic drops and a facebuster. Sting tosses Jarrett into the corner and goes for a 10-count punch, but he only makes it to 9 as the tenth punch is Jarrett punching Sting in the nuts. A sleeper takes Sting down. He fights his way out and hits a slam, but a splash only hits knees. They shoulderblock each other - Jarrett falls first, and then Sting collapses, inadvertantly headbutting Jarrett in the nuts. Back up, Sting goes for a Stinger Splash but misses. Jarrett points at his head because he's smart like that. Jarrett grabs the guitar but Sting has the bat and blocks - maybe Sting isn't the stupidest man in wrestling after all. If only he can make it through this match without having someone turn against him, we might be on to something.

Sting beats up Jarrett with the bat, which for some reason isn't a disqualification. Sting hits a Stinger Splash, but the second one catches naught but referee. Joe E. Legend shows up with a guitar, but Rick Steiner follows to make the save. Sting tosses Legend and hooks Jarrett in the Scorpion Deathlock - and of course Steiner smacks Sting with the guitar. Disco acts shocked because Sting and Steiner are long time friends, forgetting whatever WCW PPV it was where Steiner attacked a fake Sting with dogs. Anyway, Jarrett wins.
JARRETT d. STING (pin, 10:29, guitar shot, Jarrett unifies the WWA and NWA World titles)

Final thoughts: this was strictly a one-match show. The cruiser match was easily worth going out of your way to see. Everything else was pretty bland and skippable.

Next show: Now that I've run out of my free PPV weekend stuff, I might just review whatever tape I happen to see next. Who knows.

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