Re: Official TNA DVD Help/Discussion/Review Thread
I just checked out "NWA:TNA Best of NWA Title Matches" which is a great DVD collection for anybody who is looking for good material from the weekly PPV era.
One thing I noticed while watching this is just how far TNA has come since then in terms of production. Watch the recent TNA DVD releases and then watch this one and you'll see the difference. The DVD comes on with a main menue featuring the TNA logo and a simple list of the matches on the disc with no Play all feature.
The matches on this set come from the first 13-14 months or so in TNA's history and all the matches are either NWA World Title Matches or NWA Tag Team Title Matches. This is a two disc set featuring 11 matches and a special series of interviews with Sting from when he was with TNA in 2003.
Also, during the matches, they post comments from some of the competitors like Jarrett, AJ, & AMW. This is kind of annoying since it intterupts the match, but none of the comments go too long which is good. It would have been better if they put them in before or after the matches though.
Before each match, Tenay & West give us a quick intro to each bout and explain the background of the bout, which is actually a nice transition from match to match.
The first disc is all World Title matches and we begin with the original Gauntlet for the Gold from the very first TNA PPV. The wrestlers featured in this match are Jeff Jarrett, Scott Hall, Rick Steiner, Buff Bagwell, Ken Shamrock, Malice, BG James, Ron Killings (going by K-Krush), Del Rios, The Vampire Warrior (Gangrel), Bruce of the Rainbow Express, Brian Christopher, Chris Harris, Justice, Apolo, Slash, Konnan, Devon Storm, Steve Corino, Lash Leroux, & Norman Smiley. But the match is so heavily clipped on the DVD, some of them you don't see. It would have been nice to include the full Gauntlet, but they got a lot of the cool stuff on there like Toby Keith suplexing Jeff Jarrett, and the nice little match between Shamrock & Malice to close. And of course if you want to see an Unmasked Abyss, pay close attention to the wrestler Justice. It was cool to see some of this footage, but it would have been nice to get the full gauntlet, but none of the other matches on the set are clipped, so this is the last time we get this problem. Ken Shamrock came away victorious in this match as the very first World Champion in TNA history.
- The first real match on the DVD is Ron Killings vs. Jeff Jarrett. Now normally I'm hard on Ron Killings, but this is probably the best match I've ever seen him in. There was some nice wrestling and some really good brawling as well. Thanks to some help from Vince Russo (dressed as Mr. Wrestling III), Jeff Jarrett was able to come away with his first NWA World Title.
- AJ Styles vs. Jeff Jarrett was next and IMO, this is the match that made AJ Styles a legit contender in the heavyweight ranks. The clash of styles in this match added great flavor to the bout and made it very exciting. This was definately the best World Title match TNA had held up to this point in the promotion. Jarrett picked up the win, but AJ would get his day in the sun later on.
- This next match was definately the biggest match TNA held in its first year. Jeff Jarrett vs. Raven for the World Title was their first blockbuster main event. The match is featured on a few other DVD releases (History of TNA: Year One, Best of Raven) but that only shows just how important this match was in the early days of TNA. The match itself is very good and filled with drama and cool moments. It's probably my favorite match on the set. Jarrett walked away victorious despite overwhelming odds.
- AJ vs. Jeff & Raven vs. Jeff were the two best title matches TNA had, so why not just combine all three guys into one match? That's what they did as Jarrett defended his title against AJ Styles & Raven in a Triple Threat Match for the gold. This match is also featured on "Best of AJ Styles Vol 1" and with good reason. It was AJ's first World Title win in TNA (oddly enough, he beat Jarrett for all three of his World Title wins) The match itself isn't quite on the level of the previous two, but still really good with some really cool reversals and action from all three guys. AJ Styles of course got the win after some unexpected help from Vince Russo.
- The only World Title match on Disc 2 is Match 3 in the AJ Styles/D'Lo Brown Best of 3 Series where the title was decided in a Ladder Match. This match is also found on "Best of AJ Styles Vol 1" and is a really fun ladder match. It features one of the most amazing spots I have ever seen in a Ladder match where D'Lo climbed to the top of the Ladder and did a Frog Splash to the outside onto AJ through a table. That was insane. The ending was a little weird as both men climbed up and grabbed the belt and took it down. The belt stayed with AJ on the explaination that on a Draw the Champion retains, but that kind of made the double finish pointless, but oh well.
Now we move into the tag title matches in this collection:
- The first major tag team feud in TNA's history was AMW vs. The New Church, and it is only fitting that the final match in the feud be included on the DVD. This one has also found its way onto a few DVDs (History of TNA: Year 1, Best of AMW), which is understandable because the match was well built and is really good. All the matches these two teams had were great brawls and this was no exception. AMW finally got their big win over The New Church and regained their NWA Tag Titles.
- The second big tag team feud in TNA's first year was between AMW & XXX, and the first meeting between the two factions is included in this set. Normally it would be AMW going up against Daniels & Skipper, but this first match involved the Low Ki/Skipper pairing. This was a very good tag team match as one would expect and there were a lot of great counters as well. Triple X were able to cheat their way to victory, the first of 4 they would get over AMW.
- The next tag match is pure X Division action as Daniels & Skipper defend the gold against Jerry Lynn & Amazing Red. First of all, I suggest watching any Amazing Red match from the first year because Don West just LOVED the guy. He put him over so big it was insane. If you love high flying X Division then you'll love this match. All four guys pulled out some amazing move in this one. It was great, and its a forgotten gem from TNA's past. I'd say its one of the best non gimmicked tag matches in TNA history. Seriously, I would rank it up there AMW vs. Team Canada from FR & some of the AJ/Daniels vs. AMW matches. Surprisingly, Lynn & Red take the titles here.
- At some point Triple X regained the belts and the next match is a title defense against AJ Styles & D'Lo Brown. I'll say this. AJ & D'Lo is one of the best tag teams TNA put together that never won the tag titles. The XXX pairing for this match was Skipper & Daniels. This was another very good action packed match up. The ending was botched, which hurt it a bit, but watching this match makes me wish that AJ & D'Lo had won the straps because they worked very well together. Triple X once again retained the tag titles.
- And the final match on the set is the first Cage Match in TNA history as AMW sought to take the titles from XXX (Daniels & Skipper) This was a very good match with tons of great action, violence, and drama. There were a few minor botches here and there, but all of them were made up for (for example, the botched Death Sentence was made for that awesome Death Sentence off the top of the cage!) This was definatley one of TNA's earliest classics and I'm sure if they ever made a History of TNA: Year 2 this match would be on there (it wook place the week after the 1st anniversary show)
- And finally we have the interview segments with Sting which to be honest are nothing overly special, and the segments are poorly edited for the DVD. For some reason we catch the end of the previous segment before going into the Sting segment (we get footage of Elix Skipper winning a match, and then head into Sting) Sting gives some interesting answers though so its not a total waste.
1) Raven vs. Jarrett
2) AMW vs. XXX: Steel Cage
3) AJ vs. Jarrett
4) Red/Lynn vs. XXX
5) AMW vs. XXX
6) AJ vs. Raven vs. Jarrett
7) AMW vs. New Church
8) AJ vs. D'Lo: Ladder Match
9) AJ/D'Lo vs. XXX
10) Killings vs. Jarrett
11) Gauntlet for the Gold
So yeah this is a nice collection of some of TNA's best work from the first year, and there are some very rare matches on here that are definately worth picking up. Even if you already have some of this matches from the Best of AJ, Best of AMW, or Year One DVDs, some very good matches like the Lynn/Red vs. XXX, AMW vs. XXX, AJ vs. Jarrett matches can't be found anywhere else, so this is definately worth checking out if you can get your hands on it.