Credit: Jon Smith & PWInsider
Just got back from the TNA show in Barre, Vermont. My first live wrestling show in over 10 years and my first major brand experience.
The show has been advertised for the BOR Ice Arena, which is a tiny rink, but the show was in the Municipal Auditorium, which shares a parking lot but is much larger in comparison. The crowd was amazing, loud, into every match and promo. Someone got thrown out after throwing water on Devon a few seconds after Devon watered a different section of the audience. Socal Val and the rest of the live crew did an amazing job getting everyone hyped and loud, these people knew what they were doing.
Match #1: Kenny King def. Rockstar Spud with his finisher. Spud is tiny. Mostly a comedy match with no high spots or big bumps. Funny spots with Spud hyping the crowd and timed reactions from King.
Match #2: Velvet Sky def. Gail Kim by rollup. Gail did a promo telling Sky to drop the title due to her injured knee, which she sold throughout the match. Gail attacked it the entire time but lost to a schoolboy.
*Before the event began, Sky walked through the crowd to get to the entrance for autographs. Even with the auditorium half-full, no one noticed it was her except for the people waiting in line for her.
Match #3: AJ Styles def. Magnus with his leg submission. Magnus did the which side promo before the match, which ended with shoving then the actual match.
Match #4: Devon w/ D’Lo def. Joseph Park after a low blow. Devon and D’Lo did a Park is a joke promo, Park never hulked up or anything.
Match #5: Matt Morgan def. Hernandez with the Carbon Footprint. We live in a tiny dirt town according to big money Morgan. He was very animated during his promo and even after the match. Covered Hebner with Hulk’s robe and was joking around during Hernandez’ entrance. Very different compared to what we see on TV. Only risky spot of the night started this match, with Hernandez jumping over the top to land on Morgan on the floor stopping his promo.
Match #6: Bully Ray def. Kurt Angle after a chain to the face. Bully is the king of the mic. Worked the crowd very well, while never getting creepy or dark. Very lighthearted and fun playing the ‘don’t let Angle touch my belt’ and other games with the crowd calling him a baby. Telling Angle to not repeat spots and fighting with an old lady after the match too. Classic, fun, entertainment.
They teased a 4v4 streetfight between Bully, Devon, D’Lo, & Doc versus Magnus, Angle, Park, & Hernandez, but it never happened. Still got the crowd hot though.
The crowd was into everybody and the only heel heat was against Bully. Hernandez got a real nice pop, but Angle’s reaction was unbelievable. It was a fantastic show despite a small venue, and the combination of a great crowd and TNA’s mic people was the reason why.