Credit: Nick Graham & F4WOnline.com
This was my first time at a TNA show, and even if the TV show reverts to horrible Russo/Jarrett crash TV, it will not be my last. This was about 1/3 the price and 5 times the fun of any WWE show I’ve been to. Walking into the relatively small and packed Joplin Memorial Hall (max capacity 2712) and seeing Don West and Team 3D at the merchandise stand ten feet from the front door was surreal, but gave a good feel for how much more intimate TNA shows feel from the WWE ones I’ve attended at Kemper Arena and the Sprint Center. The building was packed – if it was not sold out it was incredibly close, to the point where the front hallway of the building was pretty much impenetrable during intermission.
Chris Sabin beat Jay Lethal w/ a flying tornado DDT – GREAT opener that fired up an already hot crowd.
Tara beat ODB with the Widow’s Peak – ODB was actually the babyface with the crowd for most of the match, but that’s not surprising in Southwest Missouri. Shark Boy was the guest ref, and was highly over. This was the first match where I noticed a 10-11 year old fat kid with no shirt on in the front row, jawing with ODB. Written in sharpie across his ample frame – "FUTURE TNA SUPERSTAR". He was a dead ringer for Horace from The Monster Squad and Chunk from The Goonies, and he would later become the star of the evening.
JB came out to give out some backstage passes, and pretty much had to give one to the fat kid in the front row, though implored him "But before e you come backstage….put a shirt on."
Samoa Joe beat Abyss with the Kokina Clutch in a solid match, though Joe works much better when he can play the bully. Two faces in a monster vs monster matchup lacked chemistry, and it came across pretty flat, though both guys were over, especially Joe.
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