Credit: Mark Lisenby and PWInsider
The TNA house show in Columbus, Georgia, had a decent turnout of an estimated crowd of 1,500 to 1,700 fans (much larger than the last time they were in town). The people who purchased floor seats were allowed in 2 hours early for a backstage meet and greet with some of the wrestlers. These consisted of Ken Anderson, Gunner, James Storm, Mickie James, Bobby Roode, Robbie E, and Jessie Godderz.
The entrance area for the wrestlers looked better than the last time TNA was here. LED light bars were lined on square trestles and a 60 inch screen was on each side of the entrance. The show begins on time with Jeremy Borash warming the crowd up with offers of back stage passes to the loudest patrons. Devon comes out from a front entrance (keeping with the Aces and Eights persona) and cuts a promo saying that there would be no backstage passes tonight and that Aces and Eights were shutting the show down. Kurt Angle comes out and tells Devon that if Devon wins, they could shut it down, but if Angle wins, not only will the show continue, but Devon must give an Aces and Eights shirt to a fan and shake his hand. Devon agrees and the match begins (Brian Hebner referee). Angle wins with an Angle Slam, and he gives away some passes. Devon flips off the crowd and leaves without giving away a shirt.
The next match is for the Total Knockouts Belt: Mickie James vs Velvet Sky with Earl Hebner as the referee. Hebner taunts the crowd and eventually pulls off his referee shirt revealing his striped “Damn Right I Did” t-shirt underneath. He puts on a pair of Bret Hart sunglasses and struts around the ring. Both women make their entrances. Mickie James is great in her role; she looks like she is really having fun with it. The back and forth match ends with James getting the win by holding Sky’s trunks and the rope.
The TNA Tag Team Straps are now going to be defended with the champs, Gunner and James Storm facing off against Robbie E and Jesse Godderz. This was another entertaining match with plenty of comedy from both Robbie E and Godderz. Earl Hebner even got in on the action, helping Storm hip-toss Robbie E. The champs retain with a clean pin.
The Bobby Roode vs Jeff Hardy match was not a Bound For Glory Series match. A great back-and-forth match that saw Hardy get the duke.
During intermission, Jimmy J (the person who took Don West’s place) cut a promo saying the Earl Hebner had refereed over 100,000 matches and this was a record that probably would never be broken.
After intermission, our Bound For Glory Series match of the evening was Ken Anderson vs. AJ Styles. Anderson came to the ring from a separate entrance (like Devon) and interacted with the crowd. Styles came in with zero interaction. The back and forth match ended Anderson getting the 7 points with a roll-up (and more than a handful of tights) on Styles. After the bell, Styles put Anderson in the Calf Killer, and Brian Hebner came to the ring to help his father break the two wrestlers apart. Styles got in the face of Earl, pushing him across the ring into the turnbuckles.
It’s Main Event time: the TNA World Heavyweight belt is on the line as Chris Sabin defends against Bully Ray. Bully comes to the ring Aces and Eights style and cuts a promo saying that he was robbed and he didn’t want to wait for the steel cage at the upcoming Hardcore Justice TV taping; he wanted a rematch tonight. He said that Sabin should come to the ring and just give the belt to him. Sabin hits the ring and teases Bully as if he was going to give the belt to him, but turns and holds it above his head. The match is a back-and-forth affair with Bully entertaining the crowd. He definitely is one of, if not, the best heel in the business. The match ends somewhat quickly with Sabin getting a clean pin on a roll-up. After the bell, Devon hits the ring and knocks Sabin down. Bully and Devon begin the beat down. Hardy runs in to make the save and he and Sabin run Bully and Devon out of the ring.
All in all, this was an above average house show from TNA. I have been to the three house shows that TNA has run in Columbus over the past years and this was the best crowd yet by far. Everyone went home happy.