Credit: Nick Sidel & ProWrestling.net
The first thing I noticed walking in was that the setup was a little different. Now, I’ve been going to shows at the War Memorial Auditorium since ECW came down here in ’95, was at their 3rd PPV, Hardcore Heaven ’97, saw MLW and a recent ROH show. TNA’s twist on it was having the guys come down from the front stage down the middle, instead of off the side. Maybe for less fan interaction? I’ll get to that later.
Another thing I noticed was that the crowd was surprisingly smaller (should I really have been surprised?) and a little more family oriented (more kids and elderly) than the Friday night ROH show a few weeks back. However, the crowd was vocal and into the show, but they were nothing compared to the ROH crowd. ROH’s style brings out the hardcores and causes fans to go bananas, while TNA, for the most part is very tame and too WWE-ish. Now it’s on to the show.
Jeremy Borash started the show hyping the crowd up, which he would end up doing throughout the show. He told us that the main event championship match was being changed to a triple threat match.
1. Austin Aries defeated Zima Ion. Alright match, with both guys playing to the crowd a lot. Aries did his usual spots, except for the awesome speeding bullet running dive, which I was waiting for. Aries won with the brainbuster. After seeing ROH here a few weeks ago and knowing what these guys could do if they were allowed, I was disappointed, but not surprised. I was hoping that at a house show there was a chance they could go. Didn’t happen.
2. Gail Kim defeated Velvet Sky. Pre-match, Borash introduced Earl “The Pearl” Hebner. He was doing his madman gimmick and tried to go after an obese black man in the front row. The fan played along and took off his shirt, which was funny, but wasn’t a pretty sight since he could’ve used Velvet’s sportsbra or at least Kramer and Mr. Costanza’s bro/manzier. Speaking of Velvet, she looked great. The match was the same stuff as always, seemed to last forever and too many clotheslines. I blinked and missed Kim win with the Eat Da’feat.
3. Crimson defeated Matt Morgan. Crimson won. Was busy Facebooking
4. Samoa Joe and Magnus defeated Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. Pretty good match. Daniels was really charismatic, continually doing a doggy style humping dance and other things. Kazarian was jawing with a goofy guy pretending to be Flair, wig and all. Nothing special match. Joe was OK, but just went through the motions. Magnus got the pin after the elbow drop off the top.
Don West actually made an appearance and was doing what he does best, hocking overpriced items. Gail Kim was doing pics and autographs and had a really long line. I was taking a cigarette break.
5. D-Von defeated Gunner. D-Von was really over and also won the match. Don’t know what anyone sees in Gunner. He might want to consider a name change, as anyone who’s been locked up knows what the other meaning of being a “gunner” is. I know someone has to have told him by now, so I can’t understand why he’s keeping the tag, LOL.
6. Bobby Roode defeated Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray. Bully came out first and really milked it, spent what seemed forever until he got on the mic and berated the crowd, specifically the obese guy Hebner went after earlier. He said he wouldn’t let any of the skanks down here touch his calves, which was funny. Jeff came out and the place went crazy, no one on the card came close. Such a shame and waste of his talents, but I can relate to his situation, its a tough problem to have.
The heels double teamed on Hardy, Hardy made a comeback and that was the theme. Hardy hit a twist of fate on Bully, Roode threw Jeff out the ring and copped the pin. Match was too quick and paled in comparison to the ROH three way a few weeks ago, which I didn’t think was anything special. After the match they announced Jeff would be posing for pics at $10 a pop and he didn’t even go to the back to wipe the sweat off. Seemed like half the crowd stayed for that, so he made some good money.
That goes back to something I said earlier about fan interaction. The guys gave off the feeling like let’s get to the ring, get this over with and let’s get out of here. They didn’t go around the ring to play with the crowd at all even after the matches, for some reason that stood out to me, maybe too many heelish characters?
Overall I had fun, the show was decent, but definitely the worst out of anything I’ve seen at the WMA. Also, it finished very quickly, barely cracking two hours. Once again, comparing it to the ROH show, which went three hours and had some great stuff on it, they look like the number three company or barely above an indy show if it wasn’t for all the big names.
Speaking of big names, where were all the stars of Impact Wrestling? I read the lineup going in, so I knew who was not going to be there, but for those who read this, check out a list of all the guys who weren’t there: AJ Styles, James Storm, Kurt Angle, Ric Flair, RVD (who would’ve been crazy over down here), Eric Young for the kids, Motor City Machine Guns, Mr. Anderson, and Kid Kash just to name a few. The show should have been a lot better and would have been with some of them. Maybe next time? Borash said they’d be coming back, we’ll see