TNA Live Event (Norfolk Va.)
Report by Matt and Belinda Elliot and ProWrestling.net
We bought tickets for the show when they first went on sale. So, we were a bit perturbed earlier in the week when they announced Scott Steiner vs. Jeff Jarrett as the main event with semi main events of The Hardys vs. Crimson and Matt Morgan, plus Beer Money vs. Ink Inc. Bleh. Not pretty on paper.
So we were actually very happy that none of these advertised matches took place. The card was good and the atmosphere was a lot of fun as it has been at every previous TNA house show we have attended. Here are the matches that actually occurred:
Mick Foley signed autographs before the show. Jeremy Borash started with the usual mic work. Jarrett and Ink Inc came out and claimed they wonâ€™t allow any fans backstage. Borash said he is defying their order.
1. Kazarian defeated Chris Sabin to retain the X Division Championship. Neither of these guys were advertised for the show. Great opener.
2. Mickie James pinned Sarita. Pretty good match with a couple obviously botched moves. But still fine entertainment.
Mick Foley was introduced next. He came out and began talking about how it was referee Brian Hebnerâ€™s return to his home state of Virginia as if that was a big deal. Magnus came out to interrupt. He and Foley argued back and forth a minute then Foley announced he would be the ringside enforcer to help ref Brian Hebner be sure there were no ringside shenanigans in Magnusâ€™s match with Rob Terry.
3. Rob Terry vs. Magnus was stopped a couple minutes in by Mick Foley. They were being very scientific and kept shaking hands with each other after every exchange. Mick said Terry and Magnus were breaking Virginiaâ€™s state law prohibiting sucking. So he was making himself the new in-ring referee and was making the match a 3 way adding in Eric Young.
4. Eric Young defeated Rob Terry and Magnus when Mick Foley became involved. Foley helped Young. This was very entertaining and ended with each face applying a sock covered Mandible Claw on the heels. Not a classic â€“ but the crowd was very entertained.
4. Scott Steiner, Crimson, and Matt Morgan defeated Jeff Jarrett and Ink Inc. I guess I wasnâ€™t aware Ink Inc. were heels. But they brought a “This place sux” sign with them to be sure we all knew they were heels. Good match with Jarrett avoiding Steiner the whole match. JJ submitted to the Steiner recliner once Steiner finally got a hold of him.
Intermission. Mickie James signed autographs.
5. Samoa Joe defeated “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero. Joe won by submission to the rear naked choke. Good match.
6. Beer Money defeated Jeff and Matt Hardy to retain the TNA Tag Titles. This was a much better main event than the advertised lineup. It had been previously announced that the Hardys would be taking pictures with the fans after the show. Matt got on the mic and said if they won this match, not only would they be tag champs, but they would not have to take any pictures with the fans. James Storm then added that if Beer Money won, not only would the Hardys have to take pictures with the fans, Matt Hardy would have to kiss this older woman sitting in the front row. Beer Money won a good match.
Matt Hardy kissed the fan in question who fell down to the mat on top of him and laid there for a minute or so kissing him. The Hardys then spent over an hour taking pictures with the fans for $20 a picture. There had to be 500 people in line to get pictures with them, at least. Meanwhile, several mid-carders surrounded the ring signing autographs and Jeff Jarrett signed autographs at the merchandise table.
Notes: I would estimate the attendance as about 1,500. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less. Everyone seemed to have a really good time and no one seemed to mind the changing of the advertised card.
We bought floor seats so we were able to attend a pre-show meet and greet. Before letting us in, Don West said wrestlers would only be signing official TNA merchandise. So I bought a $20 program with which I obtained about 15 different wrestlers’ autographs. A fan complained that after buying $50 seats to be able to attend the meet and greet, they were now being told they had to spend more money to get autographs. He asked Don West why the wrestlers couldnâ€™t just sign his ticket.
Don said that wasnâ€™t possible because there would be too many autographs for the wrestlers to sign because EVERYBODY had a ticket. Yeah, Don, they did â€“ expensive tickets that were supposed to get them into a meet and greet where no rules had been established in advance. The meet and greet included Pope, Sabin, Sarita, Terry, Young, Magnus and Crimson. So, Pope was the most famous of the wrestlers at the meet and greet for the fans who bought the most expensive tickets. The general public was included later in the night in opportunities to meet most everyone else â€“ Samoa Joe and Scott Steiner were the only ones I didnâ€™t see come out to meet fans at some point.
They were selling $80 TNA model race cars that were limited editions. Anyone who bought one of these got to go backstage for a Hardy Party to meet the Hardys and “whoever else was backstage at the time.” So, I guess buying expensive seats for a mid-card meet and greet wasnâ€™t the greatest investment.
Having said that, TNA really does put on good house shows and it was a lot of fun interacting with the wrestlers.