TNA Impact Wrestling live event (Rome, Ga.)
Report by Jason Hawkin and ProWrestling.net
The show was held in front of around 1,200 fans. The crowd was super hot all night long and responded very well to everything presented.
Before the show, I attended the meet and greet session, as I won a local radio contest and got access, $100 in free merchandise, and the chance to manage a superstar for the night. Abyss, Crimson, The Pope, Mexican America, Magnus, Don West, and Gunner all came out and signed. Everybody was super cool, friendly, and appreciative of the fans attending.
Before the matches Velvet Sky and Mickie James also did the $10 photo ops, which was doing huge business.
Don West is amazing at his job of merchandise pitch man. They were selling like crazy all night, and I bet there were over 100 fans take them up on the guitar for $175 and a backstage access to Jarrett, RVD, Anderson, AJ Styles, and Beer Money offer.
Bruce Prichard and D Lo Brown were there running the show.
Dixie Carter and her whole family were also there, as Dixie’s dad and grandparents are from Rome. They filled up an entire row and Dixie was very friendly and excited to interact with fans. On to the show.
Mexican America came out and cut a heel promo to get the crowd riled up to start the show
1. Crimson defeated Magnus in the opener. Basic, yet good match. One of the backstage hands said that Crimson had never gotten that big of a pop and they all seemed pleased.
2. Mickie James and Velvet Sky defeated Angelina Love and Winter. I got to be Velvet Sky’s manager, so I met the Knockouts backstage right before their match. All four were very friendly, and Winter even walked up and said, “Hi, my name is Katie.” The crowd was going nuts and they did the spot where Earl Hebner wore the “I DID IT” t-shirt and Bret Hart sunglasses. Before the match I spent about 10 minutes with Earl and he was AWESOME to talk with.
3. Beer Money defeated the Pope and Gunnner in a Bound for Glory series match when James Storm rolled up Gunner. Beer Money was way over with the crowd. Afterwards they invited Dixie into the ring and played the storyline of her being robbed of her company by Hogan and Bischoff. She said that her whole family had to buy tickets to attend, but spoke of her history in Rome and vowed to get the company back.
4. Rob Van Dam defeated Abyss. Good match with both guys working hard. Pretty even match until RVD rolled up Abyss to send everyone to intermission and the merchandise tables happy.
Angelina Love and Winter signed at the merchandise table. When I went through the line, Winter actually gave me the thumbs down motion and booed before signing.
5. Mr. Anderson defeated Jeff Jarrett with the Mic Check. Some stalling at the start, but the crowd ate it up. Once they got going, this was a really good match with both guys getting in their usually spots.
6. AJ Styles and Kazarian defeated Mexican America in the main event. AJ was super over, and Kazarian was popular as well. The crowd was all over Mexican America. AJ rolled up Anarquia for the win to send the crowd home happy.
After the show AJ teased that Impact may be taped in Rome soon, which the crowd went nuts over. Jeremy Borash also hyped that, and even mentioned a pay-per-view being held in Rome.
They offered the $20 in-ring photos with Beer Money, AJ, and Kazarian to end the show, and the line was across the arena floor into the lobby to do it.
Jeff Jarrett was in the lobby signing for everybody and was super friendly with the fans. I chatted with him for a couple of minutes and he could not have been nicer.
Notes: All in all, a perfect evening and a lot of fun. When it comes to fun house show events and fan friendly interactions, TNA cannot be touched. The only drawback is the head guy from Atlas Security. He is a Class A jerk. He talks down to fans, has a chip on his shoulder, and acts like he is the star of the show that everyone came to see. However, that is a minor issue compared to the overall experience.