Bryan Turner’s VHS Rehab YouTube channel has been uploading old Tennessee wrestling footage from a variety of different promotions that had previously been thought of as lost footage. Thankfully, a lot of footage has been donated to Bryan and he’s been posting new matches and segments every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Full shows published on Saturday’s.
Match #1: Hot Shots (Chase Stevens & Cassidy Riley) vs. Larry Zbyszko & Terry Taylor – April 6th, 2002
Reason For Reviewing: I’m always intrigued by younger local talents squaring off against legends and this one seems like a big match on paper. Taylor and Zbyszko aren’t too far removed from actively competing and the Hot Shots are a good young heel team that I’ve seen in TNA a few months later. Hopefully Zbyszko and Taylor give the Hot Shots time to shine.
Zbyszko backs Riley into a corner, but cleanly backs off. Riley gets the crowd behind him and Zbyszko stalls for a bit. Zbyszko get a go behind on Riley and controls with a hammerlock. Riley counters, but Zbyszko reaches the ropes to break the hold. Riley shoulder blocks Zbyszko and nearly wins with a sunset flip. Zbyszko complains of a handful of tights before tagging in Taylor. Riley shoulder blocks Taylor and gets another sunset flip for a two count. Taylor complains just like Zbyszko. Taylor gets wrist control and Zbyszko yanks on Riley’s arm from the apron. Taylor keeps wrist control on the mat. Zbyszko yanks down on Riley’s arm again. Riley manages to counter and Zbyszko yanks on Taylor’s arm on accident. Riley keeps arm control on the mat, but doesn’t get a submission. Taylor eye rakes free and argues with Zbyszko on the apron. Zbyszko returns to the match and works over Riley with strikes. Taylor yanks on Zbyszko’s arm on accident as Riley countered. There’s a local commercial.
Zbyszko has kept Riley on the mat, but doesn’t get a three count. Stevens tags in, but the referee didn’t see it and Riley is beaten down. Taylor covers, but the referee was out of position and only gets a two count. Taylor keeps a chin lock on Riley, but again there’s no submission. Riley elbows free and is met with a knee lift. Zbyszko returns to the match and Riley is beaten down again with strikes. Zbyszko has a submission on Riley, but settles for a two count. Riley takes Zbyszko over with a snap suplex. Taylor returns to the match, but Stevens gets tagged in. Stevens hammers away on Taylor and hits a heel kick for a near fall. Stevens backdrops Taylor followed by right hands. Stevens kicks Taylor and connects with a scissors kick, but Zbyszko makes the save. All four men are in the ring with Riley and Stevens hammering away on the legends in opposite corners. Taylor and Zbyszko are sent into each other. Zbyszko backdrops Riley to the floor. Zbyszko accidentally punches Taylor and Riley hits a frog splash off the top to pin Taylor! (*1/2. I was not expecting the Hot Shots to win this one cleanly. That was a great decision and the kind of booking that Indies should always be doing. Stevens didn’t have a lot shine, but his hot tag sequence was done well. Taylor and Zbyszko playing the role of legends who miscommunicated and then cost themselves the match wasn’t a surprising direction to go in. I’m glad they did the job for the younger guys.)
Match #2: Joey Matthews vs. Chris Vaughn – March 6th, 2004
Reason For Reviewing: I’ve been a fan of Joey Matthews for a long time and Vaughn has been fun to watch outside of TNA. Vaughn has shown the ability of being a good sympathetic babyface and I’m sure that will be highlighted here, as well. Matthews plays the old school heel role really well so I’m expecting a good old school kind of match.
They lockup with both men struggling for position. Vaughn backs Matthews into a corner, but backs off and Matthews stalls on the floor. The crowd is heavily behind Vaughn. Matthews has a go behind on Vaughn and gets a near fall. Vaughn takes Matthews down to the mat, but only gets a one count. Matthews gets a hammerlock on Vaughn, but Vaughn counters and Matthews gets to the ropes quickly. Matthews misses an elbow drop and Vaughn goes back to wrist control until Matthews gets to the ropes and bails to the floor. Matthews yanks on Vaughn’s arm to maintain the advantage. Vaughn kips up and yanks on Matthews arm. Vaughn takes Matthews down to the mat and wrenches on the left arm some more. Matthews sends Vaughn through the middle rope into the ring post.
Matthews follows to the floor and rams Vaughn face first onto the apron. Matthews rolls Vaughn back into the ring and delivers a stomp to the back and a knee drop. Matthews covers Vaughn for a near fall. Matthews chokes Vaughn over the top rope. Vaughn tries to kick free out of the corner, but Matthews delivers a strike and sends Vaughn into a corner followed by a clothesline. Matthews covers for a two count. Vaughn elbows Matthews, but is met with a knee strike. Vaughn tries for a backslide and takes Matthews down for a two count. Matthews back elbows Vaughn to the mat. Matthews hits a northern lights suplex for a near fall. Matthews twists Vaughn’s neck, but doesn’t get a submission. Matthews elbow strikes Vaughn to the mat. Vaughn elbows free and Matthews tries to toss Vaughn to the floor, but Vaughn quickly returns. Vaughn hits a missile dropkick off the top and Matthews begs off in the corner. Vaughn continues with a few right hands and blocks a kick to deliver an atomic drop and running neckbreaker for a near fall. Matthews eye rakes Vaughn as the referee is out of position.
Vaughn elbows Matthews in the corner and hits a float over bulldog for a near fall. Vaughn tries for a DDT, but Matthews counters, but Vaughn comes off the ropes to hit a cutter, but the Naturals slide into the ring and attack Vaughn to prevent the pin fall. Vaughn fights off the Naturals, but the numbers are too much and the Naturals beat on Vaughn. Jason Scott, Vaughn’s partner, comes out and that leads to a brawl. Andy Douglas whacks Vaughn with a chair shot and the heels continue to use chairs on the tag champs. Naturals powerbomb Scott on two chairs! Chase Stevens promises they will get a rematch. (**1/4. This kind of went exactly as I expected it to go. I thought it was a solid match and the crowd was heavily behind Vaughn. Thus far in this series, Vaughn has become a guy I want to watch more of.)
Match #3: Nick Dinsmore & Rob Conway vs. Sean O’Haire & Mark Jindrak – 2/23/2002 – USACW
Reason For Reviewing: This is a unique match as O’Haire and Jindrak are WCW guys working in the WWE developmental program OVW for the last several months. Dinsmore and Conway have been OVW mainstays for many years. It’s interesting to see these guys competing outside of the WWE umbrella. I’m interested to see how they work in front of a regional crowd. Also, I think it’s interesting that Conway and Dinsmore were seen as the future of the WWE while O’Haire and Jindrak were at one point considered the future of WCW.
Dinsmore and Jindrak kickoff the tag match with Dinsmore getting wrist control. Dinsmore takes Jindrak down to the mat and keeps a wrist lock on until Conway tags in. Conway keeps wrist control on Jindrak until Jindrak reaches the ropes. Conway breaks free from a waist lock and takes Jindrak down to the mat to put a front face lock on. Jindrak backs Conway into a corner and delivers a boot followed by left hands. O’Haire tags into the match and kicks Conway followed by right hands and knee lifts in the corner. O’Haire clotheslines Conway in the corner. Conway responds with chops in the corner. Conway comes out of the corner with a clothesline and tags in Dinsmore. O’Haire gets wrist control and yanks on Dinsmore’s more. O’Haire continues to work over the left arm in the corner. Jindrak returns to the match and hammers away on Dinsmore. Dinsmore ducks a clothesline to deliver a forearm smash and back elbow for a near fall. Jindrak and O’Haire are both taken down with double hip tosses and they bail to the floor to regroup.
Jindrak works over Conway with strikes and stomps in the corner. Jindrak drops Conway with a left hand for a one count. Jindrak knee lifts Conway and stomps on Conway. Conway hammers away on Jindrak, but is stopped by a knee lift. O’Haire tags back in and kicks Conway in the midsection. O’Haire continues to work over Conway in the corner with strikes to the midsection. Conway delivers a wild strike, but O’Haire regains control and Jindrak enters to deliver a strike to the midsection. Conway misses a crossbody as Jindrak delivered a strike and Dinsmore is tagged in. Dinsmore dropkicks Jindrak. Jindrak accidentally punches O’Haire on the apron. O’Haire trips Dinsmore and Jindrak drops a forearm to the back before tagging in O’Haire. Conway is distracting the referee allowing a double team on Dinsmore. O’Haire delivers a double leg drop to the midsection of Dinsmore followed by a few stomps to the midsection for a near fall. Jindrak tags back in and pummels Dinsmore in the corner with strikes. Jindrak pulls back on Dinsmore’s arms as the match goes into a commercial.
Conway is distracting the referee allowing for a double team. O’Haire presses his knee into Dinsmore’s back and pulls back on his arms, but doesn’t get a submission. Dinsmore elbows free and runs into a boot. O’Haire hits an over the shoulder backbreaker for a near fall. O’Haire stomps on Dinsmore after decking Conway off the apron. Jindrak returns to the match and keeps Dinsmore on the mat using the ropes for leverage. The referee finally sees Jindrak cheating and Jindrak decks Conway off the apron. Dinsmore tries for a tag, but nobody is there. Jindrak hip tosses Dinsmore for a two count. Dinsmore is met with a double back elbow and O’Haire gets a two count. O’Haire continues to stomp on Dinsmore and drops Dinsmore with a right hand. O’Haire drops Dinsmore with a right hand. O’Haire comes off the ropes to deck Dinsmore with another strike. Jindrak keeps Dinsmore on the mat, but can’t get a submission. Dinsmore ducks a clothesline to hit a spinning heel kick on Jindrak. O’Haire gets tagged in and Conway decks O’Haire managing to get a hot tag and cleans house with strikes. Conway takes Jindrak over with a hurricanrana and a DDT to O’Haire for a two count. All four men are in the ring brawling at this point. Conway and Dinsmore are sent into each other. Dinsmore trips O’Haire and Jindrak punches Conway a few times. Conway plants Jindrak with a flapjack to get the pin. (*1/2. The video is nearly twenty minutes and I think it’s safe to say that the match didn’t need to be 15+. The match showed just how far behind Jindrak and O’Haire were compared to Conway and Dinsmore. Did this prove that WCW training was further behind than WWE? I think there’s an argument there. I’d consider this a match that didn’t meet my expectations.)
Match #4: AJ Styles vs. NWA Wildside Champion David Young – 3/31/2002 – USACW Tojo Memorial Show
Reason For Reviewing: I believe this is the match that earned David Young a job with TNA and as a result I’m curious to see what he did here to earn a spot. Young’s TNA run was rather underwhelming and I’m hopeful for a breakout kind of match. I’m sure that’s possible with a guy like AJ Styles.
They lockup and Young shoves Styles into the corner. Young takes Styles down to the mat with a go-behind and controls Styles with a hammerlock. Young forearms free and shoulder blocks Styles to the mat. Young runs the ropes and is met with an arm drag. Styles maintains arm control. Styles kicks Young a few times and takes Young down to the mat with an arm bar, but Young reaches the ropes quickly. Young regroups in the corner and Styles takes Young over with another arm drag. Styles wrenches on the arm, but doesn’t get a submission. Young forearms Styles in the corner and misses a splash. Styles responds with a few kicks and a jumping kick to the head for a near fall. Styles locks in a cross arm bar, but Young isn’t going to give in. Young powers out and powerbombs Styles to the mat. Young kicks Styles on the lower back a few times, but Styles responds with a few kicks of his own. Styles chops Young in the corner and sunset flips Young. Styles tries for a tornado DDT, but Young avoids it. Young tosses Styles into the corner with a suplex. Young stomps on Styles to keep control.
Young takes Styles over with a snap suplex leading to a near fall. Young locks in a head scissors on the mat, but Styles isn’t looking to submit. Styles breaks free and locks in an Indian death lock, but fails to get a submission. Styles stomps on Young a few times followed by a knee strike. Young holds onto the ropes to avoid a dropkick. Young keeps control getting a two count and puts a sleeper on Styles. Young boot scrapes Styles and goes to the middle rope missing a diving headbutt. Styles powerbombs Young and goes to the top rope hitting the Spiral Tap. Styles covers, but only gets a two count. Young tosses Styles with a wheelbarrow suplex. Young nails Styles with a clothesline and gets a near fall. Young locks in a half Boston Crab, but Styles continues to fight out and nails Young with a kick. Styles chops Young and counters a standing hurricanrana, but can’t hit the Styles Clash and settles for a forearm smash to the back. Styles puts a chin lock on Young, but doesn’t get a submission. Young leg drops Styles for a near fall. Styles fights back with a few kicks to the ribs.
Styles goes to the top rope, but is crotched by Young. Young hooks Styles for a suplex, but is shoved off. Styles leaps off doing a somersault and hits a hurricanrana, but the bell sounds and the match has ended in a draw. Styles wants five more minutes. Styles takes Young out with a somersault dive to the floor. Styles leaps off the apron, but Young moves and Young hits a springboard moonsault to the floor! Young brings Styles into the ring from the apron with a brainbuster and gets a two count. Styles hits a springboard reverse DDT for a near fall. Styles hits a muscle buster and drags Young to the corner. Styles goes to the top missing a 450 splash. Young fires back with right hands and plants Styles with a spinebuster. Young goes for the cover, but the bell sounds to end the match in a draw for real this time. (**1/2. Okay, I’m guessing that wasn’t the match that earned Young a job. It’s not a bad match by any means. There is some quality action, but it was a little slow and I’m assuming it was to get to the draw outcome. The extra five minutes angle has always annoyed me, but it didn’t kill the match for me.)
That wraps up the second installment. Thanks for reading!