Background: A week earlier, Ron “The Truth” Killings convinced Ricky Steamboat (who had the power to make matches for some unexplained reason) to give Killings the World title shot Steamboat never got in WWF/WWE, making the match between NWA World Heavyweight champion Ken Shamrock (who would defeat Sabu in a No Disqualification match later in the night) and the future “R-Truth”.
NWA-TNA PPV #8
August 7, 2002
Ken Shamrock vs. Ron Killings
The challenger made a big mistake by going to mat with Shamrock incredibly early. Making his way to the ropes saved “The Truth” on more than one occasion. The champion pulled Killings off the mat, trying to go strike for strike with the former UFC star, getting kicked in the face. Whipping Shamrock off the ropes, Killings found himself being swept into another leg lock. His closeness to the ropes helped the challenger live to fight another day. Sit-out power bomb by Shamrock bounced Killings’ head off of the mat. Ron Killings tried to get up swinging for the fences, but slung himself into a power slam. The champion decided to start throwing leg lariats and flying back elbows to set up his Ankle Lock. Once again, the ropes stopped the challenger from being forced to tap out. As Shamrock’s arch nemesis in The Disciples of the New Church, Killings’ recent enemy in Monty Brown watched, Killings reversed a suplex on the floor to bounce both men’s bodies off the padded concrete!
Champion and challenger reentered the ring with fists flying. Gripping an arm during his mount, Shamrock turned the fist-based offense into a cross arm bar. Chants of “Shamrock sucks!” started to ring out, forcing the champ to relinquish the hold. Dumping his opponent to the floor, Shamrock put “Truth” in the path of an incoming Apollo so the big man could attack Killings. Things were breaking down and Apollo accidentally super kicked Shamrock! Ricky Steamboat ran out, rolling Shamrock into the ring so this match wouldn’t end in a count out. Ace Crusher landed for Killings … for the three count! New champion!
Winner: Ron Killings (9:17)
Is It A Classic: That title change came out of nowhere as it seemed to viewers of the company at the time that Shamrock was going to face Malice (a man who had literally stolen the title belt from Shamrock and was forced to give it back). The match also happened less than twenty minutes into the show; making it appear there wouldn’t be a title change. As a match, it wasn’t very good at all. It was a poor hybrid of mixed martial arts and pro wrestling featuring two people who just didn’t have any real chemistry. Add that to the fact the fans were turning on Shamrock for using submission after unsuccessful submission in a ring almost too small for a match like what they were going for thanks to rope breaks. And that ending was just terrible. While a very unexpected moment (Killings winning the title on his first try), everything before the title change was just bad.