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Paparazzi Productions was a villainous professional wrestling faction in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Started by Alex Shelley, it was inspired by his real-life interest in, and study of, wrestling videos. It had grown to include Kevin Nash and Johnny Devine, Devine was later replaced by Austin Starr.
Starr was released from the company so Shelley started teaming with Chris Sabin, forming the Motor City Machine Guns. Nash was also part of this group (all three were from Detroit, Michigan) for a short time.
2005 - 2006
Paparazzi Productions began as a gimmick when Alex Shelley carried a camera to the ring in November 2005 to record his matches. Though briefly he would appear along with Austin Aries and Roderick Strong (who helped him form Generation Next in Ring of Honor), this would end when the latter two were suspended for disobeying orders by not skipping out on a Ring of Honor show to avoid a snowstorm and ensure they made it to Against All Odds 2006 on time (which they did).
Initially, it began apparently for Shelley to film his own matches. However, in January 2006, Jeff Jarrett hired him to gather counter-blackmail against Jackie Gayda. He apparently succeeded, as she shortly stopped giving demands to Jarrett and agreed to subordinate herself to Planet Jarrett. Later Jarrett hired Shelley again, this time to get footage of Sting to prove that he had indeed retired. When he went to get a second tape of Sting, he was caught, and Sting announced that he was coming back to solve the Jarrett problem once and for all.
After Destination X in March, Father James Mitchell was cutting a promo with Abyss stating how he intended to humiliate then NWA World Heavyweight Champion Christian Cage. Alex Shelley came up and suggested that "Humiliation" would be a great title for his latest film. Mitchell thought it was a "capital idea" and hired him. Together, they stalked Christian Cage's wife, then went to their house, where Abyss attacked and nearly "killed" Christian. Although that was the end of Shelley's direct involvement in their feud, Christian Cage would later get his revenge on Shelley in a singles match on TNA Impact! that May.
In May, Alex Shelley interviewed Kevin Nash, who said that he was the main attraction of TNA and that the X Division was a bunch of no-talent hacks. In the interview he made various outlandish often comical claims, one of which was that Nash was the biggest draw in WWE of all time for which he had brought in a chart. At the end of the TNA 2006 World X Cup Tournament, where Shelley was seen as a disinterested member of Team USA and was further unwelcome after his interview series, Shelley ultimately abandoned his teammates after they won the World X Cup and joined Kevin Nash on his assault of the X Division. He started filming Kevin Nash as he attacked Chris Sabin, Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt. He also helped Kevin Nash win a match against Sabin at Slammiversary.
After this interview Paparazzi Production segments became more frequent on TNA Impact! and Kevin Nash became an unofficial member and leader of Paparazzi Productions. Since this interview all the new segments have taken on a more comedic role most likely due to Kevin Nash being very well known for his humor backstage.
On June 29, Shelley enlisted Johnny Devine to be Paparazzi Production's production assistant, the two of them wearing Shelley's new "Eye Spy" T-shirt. They wrestled as a tag team on a special TNA Xplosion match and an Impact! non-title match versus then, NWA Tag Team champions A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels, and also helped Kevin Nash humiliate Chris Sabin on Impact! on July 6. Nash and Shelley lost to Sabin and Lethal on the Victory Road PPV on July 16.
Nash then decided to go for the X Division championship. He got penciled into a Number One Contendership match for the title against Chris Sabin at Hard Justice. He claimed that he had developed an 840° somersault splash that he would unveil in the match. Over the weekend, however, he suffered a mysterious neck injury, supposedly while practicing it with Tito Ortiz, and named Alex Shelley to replace him in the match. From his wheelchair, Nash was helpless as he watched Shelley lose the match to Chris Sabin. Also, Johnny Devine lost a singles match to Eric Young.
Kevin Nash went out of action due to the injury, while Alex Shelley and Johnny Devine continue to wrestle in both singles and tag-team action. Nash returned prior to Bound for Glory, and held The Kevin Nash Open Invitational X Division Gauntlet Battle Royal, which was won by the debuting Austin Starr. Nash had taken an interest in Starr, which seems to be at the behest of Alex Shelley.
On the October 26 edition of Impact!, Shelley revealed he fired Devine due to insubordination (refusing to edit German snuff films) and Nash, in admiration, directed Shelley to record all of Austin Starr's actions. Despite the obvious resentment between Shelley and Starr, Nash decided to start the PCS X-Division Tournament. Although the duo could not overcome the team of Ron Killings and Lance Hoyt at Genesis, Nash continues to show confidence in the team. Shelley has shown recent resentment towards Nash, even saying that an inkblot looked like his (Shelley's) heart after Nash broke it, while Starr saw himself holding various TNA Championships.
On December 10, 2006 TNA presented Turning Point and the Paparazzi Championship Series (A play on the "Bowl Championship Series".) began. The contestants were Alex Shelley, Austin Starr, Senshi, Jay Lethal, and Sonjay Dutt. Nash mercilessly picked on Lethal, Senshi, and especially Dutt(insinuating throughout the contest that he was taking steroids), but kept the actual competition fair. Shelley and Starr showed little teamwork, causing both men to lose, allowing Senshi to pick up the win. The PCS has continued with Push-up, Pogo, and Limbo Contests, a game of Musical Chairs, and a game of Texas Hold'Em. It ended at Final Resultion where Shelley defeated Starr to become the PCS Champion. Bob Backlund was a special guest judge for the event because Kevin Nash made several references to him during the whole competition. This was set up most likely because Kevin Nash beat Bob Backlund years earlier in what was then known as the WWF for the World Championship in a record eight seconds.
By this point, Starr had gone a bit berserk since losing the PCS, attacking Senshi and starting a feud. Both members have since stepped back into the ring, and Shelley is, as Jeremy Borash put it, "back behind the camera." While Shelley and Starr continued to do their own thing, Nash started the "Paparazzi Idol" contest, featuring Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal in which Nash would help Lethal would develop his "Macho Man" impersonation gimmick, Black Machismo. Nash also tried to help Dutt as well, but the only gimmicks he could come up with for him were old ones of his (Oz, Vinnie Vegas, Diesel), much to Dutt's frustration.
On the March 1 episode of Impact, both Shelley and Starr teamed up with X Division Champion Chris Sabin to take on Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal and Jerry Lynn. During this brief period, Shelley and Starr finally seemed united, though both would go their separate ways once more. Shelley would begin to work with NWA Tag Team Champions The Latin American Xchange (LAX) and Starr would begin a feud with Bob Backlund. Meanwhile, Nash continued to work with Dutt and Lethal develop their "characters".
At Destination X Starr lost a Crossface Chickenwing Match to Senshi, and Shelley helped LAX beat Team 3D in a Ghetto Brawl. Shelley has continued to work with LAX over recent weeks, and Nash seemed to be working full-time, with Lethal. Shelley has also gotten more footage on Sting and James Mitchell in recent weeks. At Lockdown Starr was defeated by Senshi with Mr. Backlund as the Special Referee, and Shelley lost in an Xscape Match for the X-Division Championship, which included Shelley's indie partner Sabin, who briefly showed teamwork with him during the match and ended up winning to retain the title.
With Starr's release, Shelley and Sabin steadily brought the Machine Guns camaraderie into TNA full-time, and Nash, despite initially promising to manage the duo, devoted his energies elsewhere, to the likes of Jay Lethal and Kurt Angle. Thus, it could be said the Paparazzis had officially broken up as of April 26.
- Alex Shelley - Founder
- Kevin Nash - Coach
- Johnny Devine - (May 2006 - October 2006)
- The Austin Starr - (October 2006 - April 2007).