Special Look Back at the First Days of NWA-TNA
the WrestleCrap induction of the wrestling penises (or is
that pen-i?) known as The Johnsons a couple of weeks back,
I have been bombarded with requests for some of the more...how
can I put this nicely?...idiotic characters and angles that
plagued the first few weeks of NWA-TNA's existence. In fact,
my inbox has been jammed with suggestions as to individual
personas and storylines that really need a home here at the
was torn, however - for starters, most of the stuff mentioned
in the emails, while idiotic in and of themselves, really
didn't warrant, in my mind, full blown inductions. While it
might seem easy for me to rant and rave about how stupid having
a fat guy named Cheex was, in reality, I can only come up
with so many words for something as limited as to what that
character really was. So while I was dying to cover him, I
really didn't know quite how to do so.
my fellow Crappers over at the Official
WrestleCrap Forum, specifically a guy with the handle
of CXRhodes: "So far you have The Johnsons from TNA,
but I wonder if you would ever consider a precedent-setting
decision and inducting TNA as a whole?"
let it be known that I do not hate TNA. In fact, I think that
a lot of the promotion is actually pretty darn good. Sure,
I hate the fact that no matter what happens, Jeff Jarrett
will always be on top, but there is a LOT to like about the
company, especially that guys who would never EVER get a chance
in WWE, like AJ Styles, sometimes get huge pushes in the organization.
The idea, therefore, of inducting the company as a whole was
something I shrugged off.
then I happened to pop in some tapes of the early TNA shows...and
my GOD was it brutal. Perhaps Blade Braxton summed it up best:
"It was so damned SOUTHERN...I felt like I should have
been required to have chewing tobacco in my mouth and country
music playing softly on my stereo while viewing it."
won't go that far (probably because I am a hick myself), nor
can I in good conscience induct TNA as a whole. However, I
think it would be an equal miscarriage of justice to let the
early days of TNA slide by unnoted. Because trust me, those
first shows were well and truly WrestleCraptastic. In fact,
I remember several articles right before and right after TNA's
first show where columnists claimed that the company was trying
to appeal to the WrestleCrap crowd.
let me explain to any future wrestling promoter out there:
being at WrestleCrap is a sign you did something BAD, not
GOOD. I know it's a tricky concept, but really, putting on
stuff that just so I can make fun of it, while flattering,
isn't a very sound business strategy.
case someone at home didn't know who was footing the
bill for the show, it was made very apparent when the
first wrestler to appear on stage was none other than
Jeff Jarrett, who proceeded to claim that having a battle
royal to determine the first ever NWA-TNA champion was
in case someone thought, "Well, he's a heel, so
he's supposed to say stuff like that", babyface
Scott Hall came out and said the exact same thing.
love that - nothing like tell fans how dumb the promotion
is that they are watching right off the bat. You know,
WCW used to do stuff like that all the time.
thought I'd mention that.
though, if you were looking for ugly women dancing in
cages, TNA was your place. In fact, back on those first
few shows, it was very clear to even the densest mark
that TNA stood for anything but "Total Nonstop
yes, these hoochies would swivel and gyrate in their
cages liked sexed up rats, all the while basked in near
darkness. And for that, I was very relieved - in the
few instances where the spotlights flashed upon their
mugs, it became readily apparent that light was not
you name the participants in the first ever televised
TNA wrestling match?
Shamrock? Uh uh!
it was none of those guys. But if you guessed "The
Flying Elvis Impersonators", step right up and
choose your prize!
the hate mail - I will be the first to admit that these
guys (Sonny Siaki, Jorge Estrada, and Jimmy Yang) were
quite good in the ring. That's not my point. My point
is that having dudes dressed up as Elvis in your VERY
FIRST MATCH kind of detracts from the talent they have,
talent that, on their own, could easily differentiate
the promotion from others.
besides that, there's only room for one Elvis impersonator,
and that man is Wayne Ferris. Thank you very much, you're
a beautiful audience.)
know what you're asking. What could possibly follow
flying Elvises? There's but one word:
should that be midgets?)
we have Teo, the extreme midget. I don't know about
you, but I really don't need my midgets "extreme."
Call me a puss, but midgets with tattoos and nipple
rings just flat out scare me. I
appreciate the thought of trying to be hip and fly and
cool and dope and whatever the hell else kids say these
days, but to be fair, I'll take just a plain ol' Haiti
Kid any day of the week.
Teo wasn't just an extreme midget, he was an extreme
midget rapist, as during one episode of the show, he
actually hopped in with one of the cage dancers and
attempted to have his extreme midget way with her.
totally disgusting. Surely even a social outcast like
Teo could have found someone a little less ho bag-ish.
of, look - it's an ALL SKANK BATTLE ROYALE! There was
Francince, Elektra, Daffney, and a bunch of other tramps,
no doubt leftovers from Amateur Night at the local Gold
all of the girls eventually ganged up on Francine, sadly
none of them proclaimed that she had a gap wide enough
to drive a truck through.
course, we all remember the Johnsons, whose gimmick
was that they were real, live wrestling penises. What
you might not remember, though, was the follow up tandem
of the Hot Shots. There gimmick was that they had huge
schlongs (the visual accomplished by jamming tubesocks
into their tights).
For your edification, I present to you their first (and
hopefully last) promo reprinted verbatim and in its
We are proud.
And we are protruding!!!"
then proceeded to grab their nether regions.
don't know what it was, but TNA sure loved their penis
are you don't remember him, but there was yet another
Johnson that made appearances in TNA's early days: referee
cares, right? Well get this - Johnson, who I will remind
you was a referee, actually pantomimed along
with every move being performed in the ring between
a look at the photo to your right. Scott Hall is whipped
into the turnbuckle, so Johnson HOLDS HIS BACK.
know it's a powerful move when the REF sells it.
Johnsons. Let's talk more about women - specifically,
those that don't wrestle!
Alicia Webb (known as Ryan Shamrock in the WWF and Symphony
in WCW) makes her appearance as a gal who guys pay money
to because...well....we never found out. It's right
up there with the Baby Doll-Dusty photos on the wrestling
she propositions Jeremy Borash, who looks to have already
creamed his jeans, a sight that I believe ranks up there
with a midget rapist as one that would do little to
encourage viewers to order future pay-per-views.
know, not a week goes by when I don't get an email asking
where the ECW inductions are. Well, gang, here's one,
ironically enough stuck inside a TNA retrospective.
It's the Dupps - Bo Dupp, Stan Dupp, and their cousin/girlfriend,
Fluff Dupp. They were basically inbred hillbillies,
and Bo's gimmick was that he had his hand shoved up
his ass about half the time.
know, maybe I SHOULD give them a full blown induction
one of these days. After all, it just wouldn't be right
to try to squeeze all the intricacies of the DUPP
CUP into just a 200 pixel box.
not sure, but I think this is Disco Inferno's talk show
segment "Jive Talkin'." That
or he is conducting a live remote from grandma's yard
if granny would take $5 for that worn down end table?
an effort to get the attention of NASCAR fans, TNA also
imported race drivers Hermie Sadler and Sterling Marlin...
also brought in Toby Keith to attract country music
be fair, I have no real issue with bringing in folks
to attract new fans. But when you start putting these
guys in the ring? Come on. Leave the action inside the
ring to the wrestlers. They're the real athletes. Why,
just look at...
who was so fat that he made Rikishi look like Kendall
Windham by comparison. The guy was so obese that he
actually had to stop on his way to the ring and catch
a breather. Now I'm no physician or anything, but I'm
guessing that's probably not healthy.
should also point out that his valet was named BROWN
EYE GIRL, which might be the single worst monicker I've
heard in the history of this great sport of ours.
not just call her Sphincter Face and be done with it?
of asses, we'd be remiss to not bring up the fantabulous
Buff Bagwell "shoot" interview (conducted
here with a dreadlocked Ed Ferrara), in which he claimed
that he wasn't Buff anymore, he was just Marcus Bagwell.
know, if you're going to rip off bad WCW angles, at
least import Gary Spivey and do it right.
it or not, there was even more repeats of horrible
WCW stuff, such as the Rainbow Express of Lenny Lane
and Bruce (Kwee Wee), who openly promoted their alternative
in case someone didn't quite catch onto the fact "alternative
lifestyle" = GAY, Bruce decided that he wanted
to be Miss TNA.
know, perhaps TNA was just trying to appeal to a whole
new demographic, that being one that enjoyed guys
showing off their big weiners, fat guys named Cheex,
and guys in garters showing off their asses.
guessing that is probably a pretty small demo, but
to be fair, the company IS still in business two years
later, so what do I know?
coup disgrace, however, had to be this little fella
here. Now you may ask, didn't we already see midgets?
A midget rapist, no less? Why yes, yes, we did. But
this guy deserves special attention. Maybe psychiatric
is Puppet the Midget Killer.
he's a Midget Killer because he's not a midget - he's
me to reiterate what I just wrote: HE'S A DWARF AND
HE WANTS TO MURDER
think the high point in his career would be what we
see to the left, with him waving his gun in the air,
no doubt looking to add Little Beaver's head to his
oh no; there was something for which he would become
far more famous.
was the first - and to my knowledge, only - midget...umm,
I mean dwarf to ever get caught spanking
his monkey in a trash can on a wrestling show.
prove that he was in reality a very courterous bloke,
he even offered Goldilocks some of his, and I am quoting
am very glad my mother never read me the TNA version
of that particular fairy tale when I was a child.
amazing thing to me is that not only did TNA run these early,
largely awful shows, but here they are, over twenty-four months
later, still in business. There was no one who gave these
guys even the slightest chance to survive (least of all me!),
but they did, and they are now unquestionably the number two
wrestling promotion in the US.
given the early shows this company ran, "number two"
seems very appropriate.
Puppet the Midget
Killer: "Two weeks ago, TNA brought me in and they've
got these two midgets taking my limelight. They let them wrestle.
Well, I want to beat some midget ass! I want to make a midget
bleed tonight! Why don't you bring in that Gary Coleman? Oh,
that's right he's a has been! Or how about Mini-Me? Yeah,
Mini-Me, I'll beat your ass, you're taking all my money in
the movies! Or why don't you bring in that drunk midget from
the Howard Stern Show, Beetlejuice? I will wipe the floor
with you! I am not leaving here tonight until I beat some
midget ass! I want to see a midget bleed! And that's a promise!"