The debut episode of NWA: Total Nonstop Action opened with a brief video of old wrestling footage, exploding into the TNA logo. Pyro exploded in the arena, and ring announcer Jeremy Borash introduced Don West. West came out and welcomed the fans, then introduced Ed Ferrara, who now sports a head of dreadlocks. Ferrara then introduced Mike Tenay, who welcomed us to the show. The fans were chanting "TNA" as Tenay ran down the main event rules.
They went right into introductions of the legends, with Tenay running down the accomplishments of the wrestlers as they came down. Harley Race was first, then Dory Funk Jr., Jackie Fargo (who did the strut as he came out), Bullet Bob Armstrong, Corsica Joe & Sarah Lee, Bill Behrens, and finally, Ricky Steamboat, who was holding the NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt, and got the biggest pop of the bunch.
Steamboat took the mic, and talked about winning the NWA World Title in Chicago in 1989 from Ric Flair. He put over the importance of the title, and how winning the title was the ultimate goal of every wrestler. Steamboat talked about the "Gauntlet For The Gold" and that he would be the referee for the end of the match, where the battle royal turns into a regular match.
Jeff Jarrett's music hit, and he came out on the top stage. He asked if Steamboat or Funk had won the World Title in a battle royal. He said titles should be win in a match, not a battle royal. Jackie Fargo interrupted him, and said he would now be the first man to enter the Gauntlet For The Gold. Jeff said that would be fine, and he would walk through all 19 men to win the title. Ken Shamrock came out, and he agreed with Jarrett that the match concept for the title "sucks". He said Jarrett could whip 18 other people, but not him. Scott Hall then appeared in the crowd, and gave his trademark "Hey yo" and then agreed that the battle royal concept sucks. However, he told Jarrett and Shamrock to deal with it, and that they only needed to worry about one man, him. Jarrett told them all to stick it, and that Fargo would regret today for as long as he lived.
They went backstage, where Goldylocks (a hot blonde) interviewed Puppet, who said they needed to start with midget action, but not Hollywood and Teo. As he was being interviewed, Jeff Jarrett walked by in the background, kicking things and complaining about what Fargo had done.
We saw that they have go-go dancers in cages on either side of the entrance ramp.
The first match of the night was Jerry Lynn, Low Ki, and AJ Styles vs. The Flying Elvis' (Jimmy Yang, Jorge Estrada & Sonny Siaki). The legends were watching on a monitor, and were not happy with the Elvis gimmick. Mike Tenay put over the X division. The Elvis' attacked before the bell after refusing to shake hands. Lynn, Ki and Styles immediately took over with Ki hitting a tope, Lynn a plancha from the top rope, and Styles hitting a rana on Yang. Yang hit a running knee after taking a powerslam, then Lynn tagged in. Lynn hit a Tornado DDt on Yang, who flipped out of it and hit a jumping kick. Siaki tagged in and hit a hard right, but Lynn caught him with a flying headscissors. Lynn hit a bulldog out of a body scissors, then tagged Low Ki. Ki chopped and slugged Siaki, but was caught with a spinning neckbreaker for two by Siaki. Siaki got caught with a side kick, but Siaki ducked another kick and hit a drop down over the shoulder backbreaker for a one count. Estrada tagged in, and hit a springboard moonsault after Siaki hit a Samoan Drop in Low Ki. Estrada set up Ki on the corner, and dropped him with a neckbreaker, then a standing shooting star for a two count. Ki slid between the legs and kicked Estrada's legs out, then delivered a series of kicks, with Estrada catching him with one at the end of the combo. Styles and Yang tagged in, and Styles hit a flying forearm, then an Asai moonsault into a reverse DDT for a two count. Yang flipped out of a German suplex, and hit a leg lariat. low Ki cam in and hit a rolling kick sending Yang to the floor. Estrada came in and hit a spinebuster on Low Ki. Lynn hit a cradle piledriver on Estrada. Low Ki accidentally kicked Styles with a handspring kick, then was kicked from the ring by Yang. With Styles out, Yang came off the top rope with Yang Time (spinning bodypress) for the win. Yang, Estrada and Siaki are the winners.
They went right into the second match, a midget bout with Teo vs. Hollywood. Hollywood attacked early, but Teo hit a windmill bodypress, some chops and a diving headbutt to the groin. Teo dominated, pounding Hollywood in the corner, but got caught in a Michinoku Driver for a two count. He complained about the count, and was rolled up by Teo for two. Hollywood hit a clothesline and a frog splash from the top for two. Teo hit some punches and chops, then a side Russian legsweep. Teo went to the top and hit a swanton bomb for the three count. Teo is the winner.
Ed Ferrara and Don West were in the ring, explaining that the lingerie battle royal would be next week, but they would preview the ladies tonight. Francine, Miss Joanie (Jerry Lawler's new babe, for those that haven't been to his site lately), Shannon (formerly Daffney), Alexis Laree, Sasha, Erin, Elektra, Taylor, and Theresa all came to the ring (although the camera was focused on the wrong girl at times). No, they were not wearing lingerie. Francine got on the mic, and said the other women didn't deserve to be in the ring with the "Queen Of Extreme". Elektra took issue with her, and blamed her for bankrupting ECW. Francine and Elektra had a catfight, with Elektra's shirt being ripped off (she had a bra on). Francine took off, promising she would win the lingerie battle royal next week, and be the first "Ms. NWA TNA".
Goldylocks interviewed Mortimer Plumtree, who said his tag team had tormented him when they were younger, but now they worked for him. He said his tag team would rewrite history, The Johnsons. Cue the innuendo jokes.
Plumtree escorted the Johnsons, who were wearing full flesh-colored bodysuits and masks. Their opponents are Cowboy James Storm and Psicosis. Storm had the full cowboy getup, including firing blanks out of his pistols. Psicosis started with one Johnson, who hit a splash in the corner, a double underhook suplex and a vertical suplex before Psicosis hit a spinkick. He gave the toher an densugiri, and Storm tagged in with a missle dropkick. Alicia came out and watched the match. Storm took on both, men for a time, then tagged in Psicosis. The announcers explained that the Johnsons had to wear the outfits and masks because Mortimer has something on them, and they have to obey him. Psicosis reversed a powerbomb into a facebuster, then tagged Storm who cleaned house, until the Johnsons hit simultaneous head and arm suplxes. Psicosis ended up brawling on the floor with one Johnson. In the ring, Mortimer distracted Storm, and the other Johnson caught him in a fireman's carry into a facebuster for the win. The Johnsons win.
After the match, Alicia confronted referee Slick Johnson, who gave her money for some reason and walked away.
Goldylocks went to interview The Dupps, who now have a female girlfriend. They were about to drink some beer, when Bill Behrens informed them that they could not drink before their match.
Jeremy Borash interviewed Sterling Martin and Hermie Sadler about the current NASCAR happenings, but were interrupted by K Krush (formerly K Kwick). He said he was tired of hearing about race car drivers, saying they were not athletes and should not be in the ring. Hermie got in his face over his comments, and K Krush was about to hit him, when Brian Christopher came to the ring and laid Krush out with a reverse atomic drop and a superkick. Sterling and Hermie tossed Krush over the top rope to the floor. Brian Christopher challenged K Kwick to a match next week, and said he would have Sterling and Hermie in his corner. For some reason, they kept using the words "my kind" and "your kind" in reference to race car drivers and wrestlers, but then Christopher said it to, and I don't think he is a race car driver.
We saw that Jeff Jarrett was choking Jackie Fargo in the back, but referees pulled them off.
The next match was the Dupps vs. Joey Matthews and Christian York. The Dupps attacked before the bell, hitting a flapjack on Matthews, but York hit a springboard dropkick on both of the Dupps. York and Matthews got a two count with a double suplex, but Stan Dupp hit a sitdown full nelson bombon Matthews and tagged Bo Dupp. Bo hit a splash for a two count on Matthews. Matthews hit a neckbreaker on Stan Dupp and tagged York. York cleaned house with clotheslines, and Bo went for a sitdown splash and York moved. York hit a back elbow in Stan, and the Cutting Edge senton splash on Bo. Matthews clothesline Stan from the ring. York went to the top rope, but Fluff Dupp (the girlfriend) crotched York on the top. He fell into the ring, and Bo rolled him up with a handful of trunks for the win.
They showed a clip of a Toby Keith video, then he performed "Angry American" live. Jeff Jarrett interrupted him, knocking down the microphone. Officials kept them apart, and Jeff said to get him out of there, because he had a World Title to win. Jeff mocked Keith's song, saying "How do you like me now?"
Keith was escorted out, and the "Gauntlet For The Gold" began. Jarrett was number one, and Buff Bagwell was number two. Bagwell hit a hiptoss and took over early, trying to get Jarrett over the top, but Jeff held onto the ropes. Buff hit a Buff Blockbuster, but tried to hit a clothesline, and Jeff hit a backdrop and Buff went over the top to the floor.
Lash LeRoux was the next entrant, and Jarrett stomped him as he came in. He threw him between the ropes and whipped him into the rail on the floor. Jarrett dropped him over the rail, then tossed him in the ring. Jarrett gave LeRoux the Stroke, then eliminated him.
They didn't bother waiting for the clock to finish up, and sent in the next entrant and restarted the clock. Norman Smiley hit the ring, leapfrogged Jarrett, danced, but was clotheslined. Norman hit the windup slam, and he went for the Big Wiggle, but Jarrett hit a low kick, and the Stroke. Norman was then tossed over the top rope.
Apolo came out, and hit a series of clotheslines and reversed a hiptoss into a neckbreaker. Jarrett was tossed over the top, but he held on. Apolo stomped Jarrett, then rammed him into the turnbuckles. He pressed Jarrett, but K Krush was next out, and he attacked Apolo.
K Krush hit a ax kick on Apolo and stomped him down. Apolo hit a clothesline, but Jarrett attacked him from behind and pounded him in the corner. Krush then took a turn pounding Apolo in the corner. Apolo hit a double clothesline on both.
Slash, with Minister Jim Mitchell was out next. Apolo backdropped him and hit a DDT. Apolo pressed Slash, but Jarrett clipped him from behind. Jarrett hit a vertical suplex on Apolo.
Del Rios, who is looked and dressed just like Scott Steiner (including an "S" on his trunks) came in next, and it began to resemble more of a battle royal. Slash bit out of a Del Rios suplex attempt. Del Rios eventually got the belly to belly suplex on Slash, then helped Apolo with Krush and Jarrett.
Justice was next out, and he gave Jarrett and Del Rios big boots to the face, then gave Del Rios a side slam. Slash hit a reverse DDT on Del Rios.
Konnan was next out. Konnan hit the rolling clothesline on Jarrett, Slash and Del Rios all in a row. He then hit it on Justice, then followed with a facebuster on him.
Joel Gertner came out next, doing one of his classic innuendo introductions, and sent Bruce of the Rainbow Express to the ring. Lenny escorted him down, and Bruce entered the ring. Apolo hit Bruce with a clothesline and worked him over in the corner.
Rick Steiner, to a big pop, was out next. Steinerlines everywhere, as he laid out several participants, then suplexed Slash over the top rope to the floor. He slammed the huge Justice, then Steiner clotheslined Justice over the top and to the floor. Jarrett was caught in a Steiner powerslam.
Malice (formerly the Wall) was out next, managed by Jim Mitchell. He hit chokeslams on Del Rios and Bruce, then gave one to Konnan as well. He hit one on Krush too. Malice then eliminated Bruce, Krush, Del Rios, and Konnan in a row, before Rick Steiner stopped his momentum. Steiner charged Malice for a clothesline, but he ducked and Steiner went to the floor. Malice and Jarrett tried to eliminate Apolo, but he held on.
Scott Hall was out next. He slugged it out with Jarrett, while Apolo superkicked Malice. Hall went for the Outsiders Edge on Jarrett, and hit it. Malice stomped Apolo, and Toby Keith came to the ring. Keith, at Hall's request, gave Jarrett a vertical suplex. Hall (and Keith) then tossed Jarrett over the top to the floor. Keith then left the ring.
Hall, Malice and Apolo are in the ring, with Hall and Apolo taking turns chopping Malice.
Chris Harris was the next man out, and he hit a Thesz press on Apolo. Vampire Warrior hit the ring, apparently ahead of schedule, and attacked everyone. Malice hit a clothesline on Hall.
Devon Storm was next out. Storm hit a gourdbuster on Harris. Apolo and Malice exchanged chops. Storm chopped Harris, and Harris returned the shots. Hall stood in the corner, and watched everyone else fight. Storm and Warrior hit a double clothesline on Harris. Storm and Warrior went after Hall.
Steve Corino was out next. Storm and Warrior accidentally hit each other, and went at it. Corino hit a running kick on Harris in the corner. Apolo and Malice struggled by the ropes, but Mitchell made sure Malice didn't fall out. Crowbar yanked Hall throat first on the top rope and hit a jawbreaker and superkick.
Ken Shamrock then came out. He immediately kicked and chopped down Corino, Storm and Warrior. he slapped Hall away and slammed Harris. He ran at Malice, who caught Shamrock and slammed him. Warrior almost eliminated Harris, but he managed to roll back in.
Brian Christopher was the last man to come out. We have nine men in. Christopher eliminated Harris, Warrior and Storm quickly. Six men left.
Christopher slugged it out with Corino, and Christopher clotheslined him from the ring. Five left.
Christopher danced, and Malice chokeslammed him. Shamrock picked up Christopher and tossed him out. Four left.
Malice backdropped Apolo from the ring. Three left.
Shamrock watched, as Hall went for the Outsiders Edge on Malice, but Malice backdropped out, and Hall went over the top to the floor.
It was now Malice vs. Shamrock, with Steamboat as the referee. Malice hit a kick to the gut at the start, and a side slam for a two count. Malice hit a vertical suplex for another two count. Shamrock went for a sunset flip, but Malice punched out of it. Malice went for a chokeslam, but as he lifted him, Shamrock grabbed him in a jujigatame cross armbreaker. Malice got to the ropes for a break. Malice kicked Shamrock in the guy and threw some punches and headbutts. He missed a clothesline, and tried for a kick, but Shamrock caught it and applied an anklelock. Malice managed to get to the ropes, but Shamrock pulled him back and reapplied the ankle lock. He made the ropes, and Shamrock took a long time to break. Shamrock shoved Steamboat, and they argued. Mitchell appeared to hand Malice something. Shamrock kicked Malice's legs out from under him, and choked him on the ropes. The fans were chanting "Let's Go Shamrock". Malice hit a kick, and went for the chokeslam, but Shamrock reversed it into a belly to belly suplex, and got the pin.
Ken Shamrock is the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion.
Backstage, Jeff Jarrett was arguing with Toby Keith and Jackie Fargo, who were held back by referees.
As the announcers were wrapping up the show, Jarrett came back out. He was yelling about the title being decided in a battle royal. Jarrett slugged Bob Armstrong and shoved Dory Funk. Fargo and Keith were heading back out, with Fargo yelling at Jarrett on the mic. Fargo said he had someone to beat Jarrett, and called for Scott Hall.
Hall came out, and he and Jarrett brawled in the aisle to end the show, and the announcers put over that it would be Hall vs. Jarrett next week.
Recap by Buck Woodward of 1Wrestling