Credit Aaron Grinder and Prowrestling.net
After attending the TNA taping in Louisville on Thursday there are two things that are certain. Number one is that if TNA doesn’t strongly consider bringing a PPV to Louisville they are out of their minds. The crowd was good size probably between 4,000-5,000 and was hot all night long. Normally crowds tire out by the third hour or so of a show. That didn’t happen here as they were just as hot for A.J. Styles vs. Jeff Hardy at the end of the tapings as they were for the opening Bully Ray and Hulk Hogan drama.
The second thing is that if given proper build, the crowd could get behind Chris Sabin. He got good but not great reactions, although the pop was pretty big when he won. I understand the reasoning behind it being that it’s the equivalent of Money in the Bank and they want to keep it valuable, but why take it off one of the best heels in the business.
Bully got nuclear heat every time out and he knew how to get everyone in the building against him. Hulk Hogan got the biggest pop by far which says a lot. Had Chris Sabin been built properly for this win the crowd reaction would have been off the charts. TNA is a good brand overall but focus on the guys who actually wrestle and develop their characters. If TNA could do that moments like tonight would be much more special and memorable. At the moment, it just seems like a ratings ploy and not an investment in Chris Sabin. The crowd wanted to get behind him but didn’t seem to have enough emotionally invested in his character. Don’t get me wrong it was a great moment to see in person but it still felt like that spark was missing.
Overall, the show was very good and very well paced. Even during commercial breaks the announcers would play to the crowd unlike WWE shows where everyone just kind of sits and waits. This was my first TNA show in three years since Lockdown in 2010 and it was worth the two hour drive from Indianapolis. The TNA live experience has always been fan oriented even more than the WWE.
The only negative of the night falls on the facility itself. There was only one concession stand and one souvenir stand and they were by the entrance and across from each other. It took forever to get drinks and was backed up all night. They did have a good selection of merchandise all of which was reasonably priced. My wife, my dad, and I all got the blue bag special which contained 4 t-shirts for 20 bucks. Funny enough, the first shirt my wife pulled out was an RVD shirt. Although she was disappointed her favorite wrestler James Storm wasn’t there, we all had a great time. I highly recommend a TNA show to anyone who is a wrestling fan. It’s fan friendly for sure and is well worth the money.
1. Hulk Hogan
2. Chris Sabin Winning
3. Main Event Mafia
4. AJ Styles/ Jeff Hardy
5. Ultimate X
1. Bully Ray
2. Jon Bolin (Lawyer for Bully Ray)
3. Mr. Anderson