Screen cap via Twitter @NBAonTNT

Put the Inside the NBA crew with pro wrestler Chris Jericho, other stars from AEW (All-Elite Wrestling), and a wrestling ring in the NBA on TNT studios and hijinks and hilarity can’t help but occur. The combination did not disappoint during Thursday night’s show.

OK, there was definitely some corporate synergy at play since TNT now broadcasts AEW Dynamite every Wednesday. But sometimes promoting network programming can result in something really fun. Like Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal grappling within the squared circle!

Could there ever be a bigger Big Splash than one from Shaquille O’Neal? Even King Kong Bundy would nod affirmatively. That might have been the last we saw of Charles Barkley. Or he would’ve been flattened on that canvas like Wile E. Coyote after a boulder dropped on him. An elbow drop from Shaq likely would’ve yielded the same result. Easy pin — 1, 2, 3!

Chuck could’ve had a little more fun with this. As Ernie Johnson said, “Just let him go.” All in the name of good television. But in Barkley’s defense, how many of us would like to be picked up and dropped to the canvas? Or have 300-plus pounds of Shaq jump on us from the top rope? It all sounds great until somebody gets hurt, right?

Barkley doing the classic heal move of rolling out of the ring before a big blow can be struck was probably the smart move.

At least Shaq didn’t just try to dish out the punishment. He took a fall when he had to.

Although, really, Shaq could’ve just caught Underdog, right? Catch him and then slam him over the knee for a backbreaker. Standard wrestling move! Or throw him down with a power slam. Little guy. It probably took all he had just to hook O’Neal’s enormous left leg for a pin. Rolling out of the ring, like Barkley did, ensured living another day.

But shouldn’t this be a monthly feature on Inside the NBA? Give Chuck a bit more time to prepare, to learn the ropes — literally — and the reigning kings of the sports studio show won’t ever have to worry about surrendering their title belt.

[Traina’s Thoughts]

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.