Credit: Trent Van Drisse & PWInsider
I attended my first ever TNA house show tonight, and also my first ever show at a baseball stadium, as TNA presented BaseBrawl at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Kentucky on an absolutely perfect night weather wise.
I did attend a few TNA shows way back in the early days at the Nashville Fairgrounds, but nothing since. It’s hard to guesstimate an attendance at a ballpark, but mine would be in the 700ish range, but I could be wrong a fair bit in either direction on that one. The crowd was pretty responsive most of the show, and most of the matches on the show were in the “about what you’d expect” range quality wise. The ring was set up on home plate.
I was surprised at the TV like star quality of the card on this show going in, considering some of the much weaker house show line ups they’ve presented the past few months. The top stars were out tonight, including Sting making a rare house show appearance. I’m guessing he appeared here in Lexington because his son, who is also named Steven Borden, is attending the University of Kentucky as a football player, and was the first player signed by UK head coach Mark Stoops.
Jeremy Borash was the ring announcer, and also handled doing the music. Middle Tennessee’s own Jason James handled the pre-show and intermission emceeing duties.
All in all it was a real bad night for Aces & Eights, and a good night for winning by submission. Zero OVW involvement at all on this show, which mildly surprised me with it being so close to Louisville. A golf cart brought the wrestlers part way to the ring. Brian and Earl Hebner split the refereeing duties tonight, with Earl reffing more than just the ladies match. He of course also did his usual “I screwed Bret” routine to sell his T-shirts.
It was revealed tonight that using the code “BaseBrawl” on Ticketmaster will allow you to buy a ticket at regular price and get a second one for five dollars to the July 18th Impact tapings in Louisville.
1. Chris Sabin beat Kenny King to retain the X Division championship
Sabin won with his “Future shock” finisher. Both Sabin and King looked good here.
2. Mickie James beat Velvet Sky to retain the TNA Women’s Knockouts Championship
You know the drill here, Velvet has a bum left knee so Mickie took advantage of it, and eventually won with a dropkick to the bad knee.
3. AJ Styles beat Garett Bischoff by submission
Styles is always such a pleasure to watch perform, and Garett Bischoff did fine here as well, all things considered. This one went awhile, ending with Styles winning with his new “Calf Killer” submission finisher.
4. James Storm & Gunner beat Bobby Roode & Austin Aries by submission to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championships
Lots and lots of stalling before the start of this one. James Storm helped himself to a vendors cotton candy, and took a sip from a fans’ beer. Roode & Aries went to the pitchers mound and acted as if they were warming up in the bullpen. Storm later hit Roode with a few fans’ beers, while Gunner and Aries battled on the infield. The heels later sipped from Storm’s beer bottle, but he hit them both to make them spit beer in the air. The match ended when Gunner forced Roode to submit to the “Gun Rack”.
They tried to put Gunner over strong here, and he looks tremendous physically nowadays, but he was clearly the least over guy in this match, which makes sense given how little time he’s been back, and in this role with a push. He still has things to work on, both in ring, and as far as connecting with the crowd goes. But its easy to see the legit potential in him. Oh, and Austin Aries is a fantastic man, and talent. In other news, fire hot!
5. Jeff Hardy beat Mr. Anderson
Hardy got the win with the “Twist of Fate”. Not a long match, but all action while it lasted.
6. Sting & Kurt Angle beat Bully Ray & Devon by submission
With Angle down outside the ring, Referee Brian Hebner got bumped, and Bully Ray hit Sting with a large chain, but Sting kicked out in a close near fall. In the end Sting forced Bully Ray to tap out to the “Scorpion Deathlock”. I knew this match wouldn’t go long, but it was even shorter than I expected, maybe 7 or 8 minutes tops, and that’s probably being generous. The crowd enjoyed it, but not much of a match really, but it had the all important “star factor” going for it. So Aces & Eights goes 0-3 on the night, and 3 of the 6 matches end via submission.
Sting, who seemed to be in a great mood, took the mic after the match and mentioned he was wearing blue trim on his black tights in honor of the University of Kentucky. Sting then stayed in the ring and posed for pics with fans, at 30 bucks a pop.