Report by Rob Lamka & F4WOnline.com.
The house show was held in the Dispatch Ice Haus, a smaller hockey arena that is connected right next to Nationwide Arena…where at the same time there is a TNA house show, there was some sort of Glen Beck political rally at Nationwide Arena. So among with all the stereotypical "people of walmart" wrestling fans, there were plenty of people outside of the arena promoting political causes ranging from fighting healthcare reform to men preaching that "gays will burn in hell." Talk about an interesting sight to see as you walk around outside the arena.
Show started around 7:35pm, Jeremy Borash came out and you couldn’t understand a damn word he was saying most of the evening. Except occasionally the words "backstage passes" were audible over the horrible sound system and the fans would go crazier for that and half the stuff in any of the matches. The sound set up was horrible all throughout the night. I’ve seen high school kids play garage/basement shows with a better sound set up. The production values are really scaled back too, just an entrance way with the tna logo and two circular flashing lights and four large stadium lights to light up the ring.
1.) Velvet Sky vs. Sarita
Match went about 9 minutes. Started off well, the crowd was really heated to just see some wrestling. First two minutes consisted of a lot of stalling and Velvet Sky taunting to the crowd. Around the 5 minute mark, some fans started to get restless. There were a ton of near falls in the last three minutes or so, most of them looked very sloppy. One had Velvet arguing with the ref which lead to a sloppy schoolgirl, the other, had Velvet going for a bodyslam and Sarita reversed it into what I think was supposed to be a cradle pinfall attempt. Finish saw Sarita go for a float over DDT that looked kinda botched and Velvet hit a DDT of her own for the pinfall.
2.) X Division Title Match: Fatal Four Way
Doug Williams, Jay Lethal (doing the Flair gimmick), Homicide and Shannon Moore
First Borash introduced the "most controversial referee in pro wrestling history" Earl Hebner. Then Lethal came out and did his flair impersonation, along with starting the "O-H, I-O" chant (it’s a common cheer for the Ohio State University football team, based in Columbus) to a huge pop. Throughout this, the crowd started chanting "YOU SCREWED BRET" at Hebner. Yes…in 2010. Then, Hebner ripped off his ref shirt to expose a white t-shirt with stripes on it that said "Damn Right I Did". Oh god. Worse, they were selling these shirts. Even worse, I saw at least 50 YOUNG CHILDREN walking around later with these t-shirts on. Jeez…talk about some great parenting.
The match itself went about 7 minutes. Lethal was probably the most over guy with the crowd. Williams was hated. Crowd chanted USA at him. Early on, the babyfaces (Lethal and Moore) dumped the heels to the outside and hit dual plancas on the heels. Most of the match saw Lethal work with Williams and Moore work with Homicide. One pair would be doing spots on the inside, the other would be brawling on the outside. At one point Moore hit an awesome moonsault onto Homicide, leading to a pin attempt that was broken up by Lethal. At one point, all men were down in ring after hitting a series of moves and the ref began a standing 10 count…which, I didn’t think was a way a fatal four way match could end…but this is TNA after all…Finish saw Lethal hit a release dragon suplex (I apologize if this has another name, I don’t watch a whole lot of TNA) on Homicide, but Williams ran back into the ring, threw Lethal into a post, tossed him outside and steal the pinfall. Fun, solid match, but there was a little bit too much going on at once here.
3.) Knockout’s Title Match: Madison Rayne vs. Taylor Wilde.
Went about 5 minutes. Very similar to the first match on the card. There was a lot of crowd taunting on Madison Rayne’s part, and her offense mostly consisted of choking Taylor Wilde. Madison was wearing an outfit that was very close to her skin tone…leading to some interesting cat calls from the section I was sitting in. Crowd wasn’t really into this one though, and at about the four minute mark I heard someone from across our section yell "TAKE IT HOME". At that point, she fell into the arms of Earl Hebner, who began to MAKE OUT WITH MADISON RAYNE. He then began to dance around like he was Ric Flair. Then things got really odd…Taylor went over to Hebner, Madison turned Taylor around and then they tried "something" that let to Madison cradling Taylor for the 3 count.
4.) 6 way match: Eric Young, Matt Morgan and Abyss vs. Mr. Anderson, Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle.
Heels came out first to a modest reaction, Abyss came out a heel…which is nice to know that they at least are keeping up to date with the tv storylines…then Mr. Anderson came out to a pretty big reaction. Couldn’t really hear what he was saying, but I know he said the word "Asshole" a couple of times. No one in the crowd were chanting "we are assholes"…probably because there was a surprising number of young children in the audience tonight and if a R-Rated chant would be attempted in our section, it immediately died off. Jarrett then came out to a weak reaction, but when Angle came out, it was the biggest pop of the night at that point.
Match went 7 minutes was probably the best match of that point. Babyfaces ran wild early and Eric Young went to make a tag to Matt Morgan who didn’t extend his hand out, so Young tagged in Abyss instead. Heels got the heat for a decent amount of time. They teased the hot tag to Angle throughout the match. Young missed a leg drop on Jarrett, leading to a tease of the hot tag, but Abyss cut off Jarrett. Jarrett and Abyss traded reversals until Jarrett hit the stroke from nowhere and tagged in Kurt Angle. The place exploded at this point and everyone jumped to their feet. Babyfaces started to clear the ring and the finish saw Eric Young go for what looked to be a tombstone piledriver on Kurt Angle, but Angle reversed it into an ankle lock for the quick tap. Best match on the show so far.
After the match Jarrett talked about TNA’s 8th anniversary and thanked the fans, then Kurt Angle got on the mic and thanked the fans.
Continued on page two …
Intermission was about 20 minutes. They had a booth set up to "meet" the beautiful people. They were shuffling people through so quickly, you barely had enough time to get anything signed and couldn’t even get pictures taken with them. Before the show, they had Jarrett at the same table, but it wasn’t as rushed and after the main event, Abyss was there signing stuff and he took his time with everyone. I got to meet Shannon Moore at the concession line where he was getting Nachos~! He said he was really liking tagging up with Jesse Neil and posed for a few pictures with some kids.
5.) Global Title Match: Rob Terry vs. Orlando Jordan.
Match went 9 minutes. Crowd wasn’t really into either guy, but the match itself wasn’t horrible. Jordan spent the majority of the time working over Terry’s leg…which was as exciting as it sounds. Jordan came out in hot pink trunks, but didn’t really play up the bi-sexual gimmick. That didn’t stop a fan in our section from standing up the whole time during the match, flicking off Jordan with both hands and shouting homophobic phrases at him. Classy. This man, looked like a cross with the Necro Butcher and that guy from the World Series of Poker who kinda looks like Jesus. Where else but at a wrestling show? Terry looks like he’s actually improved though, and most of his offense was spent throwing around Orlando Jordan. Finish saw Orlando Jordan, standing over a prone Rob Terry, pull down one of his kneepads and then motion with his hands, as if he was drawing the letters on a chalkboard, the letters "O and J". However, he was facing our section when he did this and if you read it from left to right, it would have read "J O"…Jordan then missed a knee drop and Rob Terry hit Orlando Jordan with a jumping ROUNDHOUSE KICK! Yes, like he was Jackie Chan for the pinfall. This was the semi-main event….
Borash then got on the mic and did the usual bullshit about "the next time we come to (insert town here) we just might bring a PPV". Yeah. Right. Assuming they’re even around by the time they make it back up here. Crowd ate this up though.
6.) AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy.
AJ came out to a mixed reaction. Jeff then came out to the biggest ovation of the night. His music however, is headache inducing live. It’s been two hours since the show as I’m typing this and my head is still pounding. This was the sound crew’s biggest atrocity as there was constant feedback during this entrance…like someone put a microphone right up to an amplifier. First three minutes of the match saw AJ Styles act as if he was just going to take a count out. Borash then announced that if he didn’t get back to the ring by the count of 10, he was not only DQ’ed from the match, but suspended indefinitely. O…k? Styles got back to the ring at 9 and immediately bailed. Then he did this again. Then he got on the apron at 6 and stalled, so the ref counted quicker. Crowd was getting heated for this, but I thought it was annoying as hell. Then early in the match, Hardy was laid out outside and Styles was trying to get the ref to count faster by grabbing the refs hand and shaking it up and down. Goofy. At this point, I feared we were going to get a count out. The match went about 17 minutes overall and had a lot of good back and forth action. Finish saw Jeff Hardy reverse a Styles Clash attempt into a twist of fate and a swanton bomb for the pin fall.
After the match, about a third of the people immediately got up and left. Borash got on the mic and did their whole "we’ll bring backstage to you" bit and let people get their pictures taken in the ring with Jeff Hardy for 20 bucks. My friend and his wife went and said they were trying to shuffle through them as quick as possible since the line for this was enormous. About 30 minutes after the last match had ended though, Orlando Jordan had came back from backstage and was spending a lot of time signing stuff and talking to fans. He came off as a real nice guy. Don West also was still spending a lot of time talking with fans before and after the show, while he was also on the mic trying to shill merchandise.
Overall, this was my first time seeing TNA live and although I’m not a big fan of the television show, I had a pretty fun time at the house show tonight. Some of the matches weren’t the best, but they were given time and most of the wrestlers were pretty cool about trying to meet up with fans.