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  January 7, 2002



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

WWA debuts, Thunder returns
By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM! Wrestling

WWA: The Inception, the first ever World Wrestling All-Stars pay-per-view had its moments last night but not enough of them to really matter. For those who don't know, the promotion is owned and operated by Jeremy Borash has been in existence since October of last year. They have toured extensively throughout Australia, England, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Basically, the WWA is a home to wrestling's outcasts. Those who for various reasons can't find a job with the World Wrestling Federation. It could be the WWF has shown no interest in them (Norman Smiley, Crowbar, Stevie Ray, Disco Inferno) were fired (Buff Bagwell, Road Dog), aren't welcome back (Jeff Jarrett) or don't wish to work for Vince McMahon ever again (Bret Hart). The WWA also spotlights some Australian talent, the best of which is a behemoth named "Front Row" Nathan Jones who is an impressive specimen. Canadian wrestling legend Bret Hart is the acting WWA Commissioner.

The WWA roster includes the aforementioned plus Gangrel, Luna Vachon, Konnan, Brian Christopher, Scott Steiner, Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis, the West Hollywood Blondes (Lenny and Lodi), Big Vito, Daffney, The Harris Brothers and The Mean Street Posse. These are recognizable names to be sure and can draw a crowd in Europe where WCW did so well but the lack of "main event talent" (excluding Jarrett, Steiner and Hart) just doesn't fly back here in North America where showmanship is king and actual wrestling talent isn't appreciated as much as it should be. The promotion has flourished and there are plans to bring their show to Las Vegas in February with Randy Savage and possibly A.J. Styles joining the ranks.

Back when WWA: The Inception was filmed (in October of 2001), the talent pool was even smaller. With the promotion still trying to find its way and with many of the stars still working their WWF or WCW gimmicks to the hilt, Inception came off as bargain basement version of WCW Thunder. Having said that, the production values were solid throughout. Except for a few key moments which were missed by the camera crew, the show was presented in a far better way than any non-Big Three wrestling pay-per-view on record.

Though some of the matches needed more work from the bookers and wrestlers alike, the comedy spots were genuinely hilarious...except for the inclusion of two costumed extras dressed up as the Bananas And Pajamas characters from the popular children's show. Talk about lame. Inception was nothing to write home about but at the same time it certainly didn't outright bomb either. Since there is no way for us in North America to tell how much the promotion has improved since last October, it seems as if we will have to wait until the Vegas show in February for the jury to return with its verdict. In any case, it was a pleasure to have seen such great talents as Jeff Jarrett, Bret Hart, Pscosis and Juvie on the small screen again.

The WWA used the Inception show to get the ball rolling as far as establishing their champions. Though The Road Dogg had already been crowned their World Champion, the title was vacated so a "Seven Deadly Sins" tournament could be held for the pay-per-view. In the final round of the tournament, Jeff Jarrett faced The Road Dogg in a steel cage match. Fans who remember their nineties WWF history will recall that Road Dogg acted as Jarrett's valet and the dissolving of their "partnership" let to a feud between the two. With Bret Hart sitting at the announcer's table ready to award the belt to the winner, Road Dogg and Jarrett battled in the ring. Fighting over the top of the cage to the floor, Jarrett attempted to clobber Road Dogg with the ring bell. Road Dogg wrestled it away from him and creamed Jarrett instead. Jarrett came up bleeding...and I kid you not...like a faucet. The blood was literally pouring out of his head.

Back in the ring, Jarrett ducked a flying forearm from Road Dogg which in turn hit the referee. This gave Jarrett time to retrieve his guitar from outside the ring and return to break it over Road Dogg's head. Jarrett signaled to Hart then wrapped Road Dogg in the Sharpshooter. Mocking the way he was forced to leave the WWF, Hart refused to call the match saying to Jarrett that he had to "earn" the WWA World Heavyweight Title. Minutes later, Road Dogg found himself in the same situation. As Jarrett tapped out to Road Dogg's Sharpshooter, Hart again wouldn't ring the bell because Road Dogg had knocked out the referee when he lifted Jarrett up for a Pump-Handle Slam.

Apparently feeling that neither The Road Dogg or Jeff Jarrett were worthy of the title, Bret Hart left the ringside area with it. Road Dogg chased him down, snatched the strap and brought it into the cage. Road Dogg swung at Jarrett and missed. Jarrett gave Road Dogg The Stroke on the belt to be crowned the new WWA World Heavyweight Champion. After Jarrett threatened to hit Hart with the belt, Hart promptly put him in the Sharpshooter to the joy of the crowd in attendance.


WWA Inception Results




  • Commissioner Bret Hart cuts a promo in the ring. He apologizes for not coming to Australia sooner saying he "saved the best for last". He thanked Australia for its hospitality. He warned all of the competitors in the tournament that they would have to "work hard" for the right to be declared WWA Champion. Hart made reference to the fact that he left both the WWF and WCW without actually being beaten for the World Titles there. He said The Rock, Steve Austin, Chris Benoit and "that piece of sh-t" Vince McMahon can't hold a candle to him. He claimed the WWA has "integrity" unlike the other organizations he has worked for.


    Psicosis versus The Juice (WWA International Cruiserweight Title - Ladder Match, First round match in the WWA World Heavyweight Title tournament)

  • Good to see that both high-fliers are still in fine form. Psicosis has no mask and short hair. Juvie cuts a WCW promo he used to do to mock The Rock. Psicosis is busted open by a ladder shot from Juvie and executes his flying leg drop from off the top of a ladder. The Juice did his Air Juvie off the top of the ladder too. In a cool spot, Juvie laid Psicosis over the ladder then flipped over and powerbombed him to the mat. The commentator sell Juvie's injury to his ribs.

  • Winner: ...and new WWA International Cruiserweight Champion...The Juice at 8 minutes and 11 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 7 / 10.


  • WWA's version of the Nitro Girls -- The Starlettes -- dance...and not very well.

  • Nathan Jones and his manager (an Australian radio personality) arrive by limo. Lenny and Lodi harass Disco backstage. Disco says that a star such as himself should have his own security. He tells a production assistant backstage to send him "two suits".


    Konnan versus Road Dogg (Dog Collar Match, First round match in the WWA World Heavyweight Title tournament)

  • Short and not very sweet. Konnan has a crowbar of some sort hidden in his pants (yep, those are mighty big pants). He uses it often to punk out Road Dogg. When he jumps off the top rope with it, Road Dogg boots him in the face, hog-ties him and drags him around to all four turnbuckles.

  • Winner: Road Dogg at 3 minutes and 39 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 2 / 10.


    Devon Storm (Crowbar) versus "Screaming" Norman Smiley (Hardcore Match)

  • The Big Wiggle is back! Call me crazy. Call me insane. But, man, I miss Norman Smiley. The guy was a laugh riot and because of that even some of the lame matches he was involved in were still entertaining. Smiley comes out dressed like a basketball player in this one. Lawler says that while Devon Storm claims to "listen to the voices in his head", he himself listens to "the voices in his pants". Heh. Heh. Norman busts Storm open. Storm launches into some wonderfully resourceful offence which makes you wonder why the WWF hasn't used him as a replacement for Mick Foley. He suicide splashes Smiley from inside the ring while Norman lays on a table outside the ring. He mule kicks his way out of the Big Wiggle and for the finale, he puts Smiley on two tables and splashes him from high atop the scaffolding at the entrance way. Wow! Smiley, however, rolls on top of an injured Storm to pin him.

  • Winner: Norman Smiley at 9 minutes and 54 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 7 / 10.


  • The production assistant brings Disco Inferno two people dressed as the Bananas and Pajamas characters. He thought Disco said "two fruits" instead of "two suits". Yuk. Yuk. With Stevie Ray interviewing him, Bret Hart says that Juvie can't continue in the tournament because of his injured ribs and announces that anyone who works for the WWA (cameramen, referees, popcorn vendors, bus drivers) can join the battle royal. Stevie Ray puts down his mike and accepts the offer to "kick some ass".


    Battle Royal (First round match in the WWA World Heavyweight Title tournament)

  • Buff Bagwell, Disco Inferno, two referees, a cameraman, a Starlette dancer, Jerry Lawler, Lawler's broadcast partner, Norman Smiley, Devon Storm and even the Bananas And Pajamas clones join in. Lawler is attacked by the Starlette, flips her to the mat and starts trying to make out with her. Lawler does the Big Wiggle on Smiley. Disco reveals his new move...The Village People Elbow. The only difference between his and The Rock's move is that Disco spells out "YMCA" before commencing with it. The Bananas And Pajamas clones put Disco out. Bagwell throws them out.

  • Winner: Buff Bagwell at 6 minutes and 15 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 0 / 10.


    Jeff Jarrett versus Nathan Jones (Guitar On A Pole Match, First round match in the WWA World Heavyweight Title tournament)

  • Jarrett gets thrown around like a ping pong ball until Jones makes a fatal mistake in trying to retrieve the guitar. Jarrett low-blows him, breaks the guitar over Jones' talk show manager's head and Strokes him for the victory.

  • Winner: Jeff Jarrett at 4 minutes and 7 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 2 / 10.


  • Lawler holds a King's Court interview segment in the ring. He invites the Bananas And Pajamas clones to join him. No matter how much he prods, they won't reveal their identities. Lenny and Lodi show up to cause trouble. Bret Hart emerges and asks the "two fruits" to leave the ring. Lawler asks...Which two fruits? Hardy-har-har. And so the "gay humour" begins. Hart announces that with Juvie injured, Lenny and Lodi will take on Road Dogg in a Triple Threat match.


    Lenny versus Lodi versus Road Dogg (Second round match in the WWA World Heavyweight Title tournament)

  • Lenny and Lodi keep interrupting each other's pins. Mucho "gay humour" here with both of them ending up in...hmmm...shall we say...compromising positions. When Lenny and Lodi botch a move and fall on top of each other, Road Dogg pins them both.

  • Winner: The Road Dogg at 3 minutes and 56 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 3 / 10.


  • "Straight Shooting" Stevie Ray interviews Buff Bagwell. Bagwell says that his match with Jarrett with have a stipulation of puppies and whips. Ray is as confused as we are and not because Buff Bagwell is on another wrestling pay-per-view either. Puppies? Whips? What could it all mean?


    Buff Bagwell versus Jeff Jarrett (Lumberjack, Second round match in the WWA World Heavyweight Title tournament)

  • Buff brings out the Starlettes with him. Each has a whip. They surround the ring to act as "lumberjacks". Each time Jarrett is thrown out, the women whip him. Each time Buff is tossed out, they fawn all over him. In a funny moment, even the ref gets whipped. When he hightails it out of there, Buff hits the Blockbuster on Jarrett. A Starlette counts the pinfall. The ref nixes that decision and returns to the ring. Jarrett Strokes a distracted Bagwell for the win.

  • Winner: Jeff Jarrett at 4 minutes and 5 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 2 / 10.


  • Luna Vachon gives an almost incomprehensible interview backstage. Something about coming to Australia to renew her vows with Vampire Warrior (Gangrel in the WWF) and how he has disgraced her by losing all of his matches. Throw in a couple of growls, snorts and groans in there and you can pretty much get the gist of the promo.


    Luna Vachon versus Vampire Warrior (Black Wedding Match)

  • Luna attacks Warrior. Warrior pleads with her to stop. Luna crunches his "family jewels" with a pair of kitchen tongs and beats him over the head with a cookie sheet. Lawler says...If you are married to Luna you better not ever be late for dinner. Heh. Heh. When Luna throws her wedding ring at Warrior and spits on him, it is the last straw. Warrior DDT's her. She is out cold.

  • Winner: The Vampire Warrior at 2 minutes and 26 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 0 / 10.


  • The Starlettes come out to dance again (...or whatever it is they are doing). Disco (like us) has had enough. He orders them to leave. He enters the steel cage and demands that the Bananas And Pajamas clones come on down! After being thrown into the cage and having his head smacked into the cage door, Disco tosses one of the clones off the top of the cage. Man, that Disco is evil...I tell you...evil! How could he do that to the heroes of children everyone. You can bet he is going straight to hell.


    Jeff Jarrett versus Road Dogg (Steel Cage Match, Second round match in the WWA World Heavyweight Title tournament

  • Winner: ...and the new WWA World Heavyweight Champion...Jeff Jarrett at 10 minutes and 26 seconds.
  • Match Rating: 7 / 10.


  • Total Event Time: 2 hours.
  • Overall Event Rating: 3 / 10.

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