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KELLER'S TNA TURNING POINT PPV 11/9: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Sting vs. Styles, Nash vs. Samoa Joe, Main Event Mafia

Nov 9, 2008 - 10:07:04 PM

By Wade Keller, Torch editor

NOVEMBER 9, 2008

-The show opened with a video package. Jeff Jarrett said: "A good roster is going to have a mix of veterans, prime time players, young guys, and stars of tomorrow. And that's what we've got. The stars of tomorrow are where the money's at." That was followed by Sting saying, "'If we can get you, Sting, to come wrestle for TNA, the Spike network is going to pick us up.' Those were Jeff's words, not mine." Angle said: "If I saw Samoa Joe at the airport, I wouldn't recognize him." Joe then asked why those guys are being paid two or three times what the other guys are paid and they wrestle less often. Booker bragged, totally inaccurately, that since he arrived, ratings have gone through the roof. At least the heels here seemed full of themselves here compared to Impact, where they seemed entirely reasonable, full of wit, and speaking truth.

-Jeremy Borash tried to talk to the Main Event Mafia as they got out of their Hummer limo. They all ignored Borash except Steiner, who said they'll all come together out of respect for the business. He said they've paid their dues, so you can imagine their shock at seeing the younger wrestlers sitting backstage reading comic books and playing with their joysticks. He said the young punks don't respect the guys who paved the way for them. Steiner said they'll end it all before they get started because the young punks don't have what it takes. "Now get our bags," he told Borash to close.

-A video package aired hyping the top matches on the show. Then Mike Tenay introduced the show with a lousy mic hook-up that made him sound like he was recorded on a record player in 1970. Pryo blasted as Don West hyped some of the matches on the show. His mic was screwed up, too. It's not like they're in a new setting. This is their home arena and they can't get the sound right?

1 -- X DIVISION RANKING MATCH: Consequences Creed, Sonjay Dutt (w/So Cal Val), Petey Williams, Jimmy Rave, Volador, Eric Young, Doug Williams, Homicide, Jay Lethal

None of the participants got their own ring intros. They played generic music so they could get through the ring intros quicker. Tag in, do a few moves. Tag out. Another tags in, does a few moves, tags out. And so on and so forth with occasional chants of "TNA, TNA" as Tenay and West work hard to try to get viewers to care about the wrestlers in the ring. The crowd popped for a traditional lucha sequence, lightning fast by Lethal and Volador. West said it's time for Dutt to shine or he could fall down the ladder of contenders. A minute later Dutt was pinned clean after a top rope huracanrana by Volador at 6:00. That put Dutt in the ten spot in the Top 10 Rankings for the X Division, a rankings that has never been referenced before by TNA. A loud TNA chant broke out after a flip dive by Volador onto Rave. Rave finished Volador with a Rock the World a minute later. Williams pinned Rave less than a minute later on a rolling suplex into a bridge. Williams tossed several "TNA Originals," as Tenay called them, out of the ring. The "originals" are also known as the young, unproven punks, which sounds contradictory. What's more odd, Creed is considered one of them and he's hardly an original TNA roster member. Chaos broke out briefly followed by Homicide hitting the Gringos Cutter on Williams, then diving toward and right through and over Young and Creed at ringside. He flew into the wall just past the ringside railings. He rubbed his head in pain afterward, looking completely disoriented. The crowd chanted, "Homicide, Homicide." The ref said he can't go on, so he's eliminated from the match. Hernandez then came out to check on his partner. Creed has a new outfit that gives him a chance to get over with fans now. It's black with read, white, and blue markings, but it's not like he turned an American flag into wrestling trunks. Petey hit the Canadian Destroyer out of nowhere for the pin. Tanahashi hit a top rope splash on Petey. The pattern in these generally is that once you score a pin, you do a job a minute later. Getting to score a pin first is supposed to remove some of the sting of doing the job a minute later. It came down to Williams, Tanahashi, Lethal, and Young. Tanahashi scored a near fall with a cool somersault splash. Lethal came back with a surprise small package for a pin. Williams hit a nasty clothesline for a convincing near fall at 14:00. "I thought he was dead," said West. Young snuck back into the ring and surprised Williams with a neckbreaker for the pin. That left Young vs. Lethal. At this point, by all logic, this should last a while as both men are relatively fresh since they were tagging in and out for 14 minutes, not wrestling non-stop. They exchanged some sudden near falls, then circled each other and seemed relatively fresh. Young scored a pin with a back suplex into a bridge.

WINNER: Young in 17:00 to become the no. 1 X Division Title contender.

STAR RATING: *1/2 -- I dislike this format. Lots of cool moves and exchanges, but the rapid-fire pins just don't make any sense relative to a typical match where it takes several minutes in the ring of being beaten down before they're vulnerable to getting pinned. Having nine wrestlers - or in this case, eight - get pinned on average once every two minutes just hurts everyone more than it helps.

-Young spoke after his victory from mid-ring. In tight with management, it's time to rehab Young into something other than a goofball comedy figure. This win and this promo is an attempt to move him into that spot, but it's going to be difficult to forget what an idiot he's been portrayed as for a couple years. He said, "We're wrestlers. We're not showmen. We're not entertainers. We're not side-show freaks. We're not millionaires. We're wrestlers." He said this journey started as a dream for everyone in the ring, plus everyone in the back and in the crowd. He talked about how it started in the Asylum in Nashville six years. He said, "We were kids, and some of us still are," he said pointing at Creed. He said they're going to create a legacy that is not forgotten. He said the Main Event Mafia will find out that legacy continues tonight with maybe the best chapter yet. He said, "Tonight, these kids become men." He then pointed to the losers in the match that just took place and raised their arms.

-They showed Tenay and West at ringside. They hyped the line-up of matches scheduled for the evening.

-Lauren interviewed Mick Foley and Jeff Jarrett backstage. Jarrett said that as the founder of TNA, he's responsible for their livelihood and well-being. He said what happens in the ring happens, but outside of the ring is TNA's responsibility. Jarrett told Foley to talk to "the kids" and he'll go to talk to the Mafia. Boy, calling them "the kids" is a bad idea.

-A video package aired on the Awesome Kong vs. Roxxi match.


West wondered how long Roxxi could go after the beatdown on Thursday's Impact. After a couple minutes of back and forth action, the heels isolated Roxxi for several minutes. Roxxi hot-tagged Taylor at 6:00. Eventually four-way action ensued. Roxxi knocked Kong to the floor, then dove onto her at ringside. Taylor flipped out of a suplex attempt by Saeed and then bridged her for a leverage pin.

WINNERS: Taylor & Roxxi in 8:00.


-Borash was backstage in the plush, executive environment that was the Main Event Mafia locker room. Jarrett walked in and said he was going to make it short and sweet. He said he knows they want to get things done in the ring. He just asked them to be professional, "and as one of your peers, don't let things get out of hand." Angle stood up and said, "In order to be one of our peers, you need to be a wrestler, not some has-been hiding behind a desk that doesn't want to face reality." He asked Jarrett who he is to tell him what to do if he won't get in the ring. "Until you grow some balls, your word means nothing around here," he said. Nash stepped between them. Angle stormed away. Nash told Jarrett to "go talk to the children in the other locker room, that's what you need to do." Jarrett told Nash to put himself in his shoes. "It's my company, it's my future." Nash said he needs to look around "because this is your future." That thought gave Jarrett a headache, apparently, as he rubbed his temples.

3 -- SHIEK ABDUL BASHIR vs. RHINO - Non-Title Grudge Match

West said he has a better understanding of Bashir after his interview with Tenay, but one thing about him is he has a way of getting under your skin and pushing the right buttons. Tenay said he can sympathize with him to a certain extent, but when he constantly talks about himself as the victim, that's when he had to cut him off. Sgt. Ten year Army veteran Sean M. Autrey walked to the ring. He was introduced as being medically retired in August after serving on active duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Tenay said he is the special guest ring announcer. Bashir sneered at him at ringside. Rhino then charged to the ring. West said Rhino has to be sure he doesn't let his emotions take over. After Rhino beat him down for a minute, Bashir begged off and bowed at his feet. The Insane Clown Posse came to ringside wearing "JWO" t-shirts. What, is this 1998 suddenly? A small "ICP" chant broke out. Oh good, the "pretend wrestlers" are back to disrespect the industry more with no-selling and backyard wrestling highspots. Scott Hall is with them, too. Yes, that Scott Hall. Bashir used a back mule kick to Rhino's crotch to take control. ICP threw a drink at him. The announcers ignored their presence, which made them seem like co-conspirators rather than serving the fans by addressing the obvious. Bashir crotch-chopped the ICP at ringside. Rhino chopped Bashir. When Bashir shoved one of the ICP members off-camera, West still ignored who it was. Tenay finally said the fans at ringside are familiar faces. Bashir settled in the ring into a chinlock at 6:00. Rhino came back at 8:00 with a spinebuster. Bashir got upset with the ref and spit at him. Rhino then surprised with him a lousy looking Gore for the win.

WINNER: Rhino in 9:00.

STAR RATING: * -- Pretty forgettable.

-Lauren stood outside the locker room of "the kids." Foley was giving them a speech. He said what's happening is generational and has happened often throughout the years. He asked them to meet them half way. He had everyone's attention except for Sabin and Shelly who were laughing in the background while talking to each other. Foley confronted them. Shelly said, "I'm sorry. Who are you?" Shelly said he was kidding, obviously he's the Hardcore Legend and former World Champion. Then he added, "I just don't care about any of those things, to be honest with you." Foley said if he acknowledges his comment, everything Sting and the MEM have said is true. Foley said the only reason he invested money in TNA was to show support to guys like them. Shelly said "If you want to help us, why don't you take your dumpy ass back to your desk, push your pencil..." Lethal and Creed lunged at them. Young and Petey intervened. Styles apologized to Foley on their behalf. Foley threw his arms up and left.

-Tenay said there is dissension within the ranks of the "TNA Originals." Man, both of the names they use for that faction are just horrendous. Being "originals" one second and "kids" the next feels totally contradictory. Neither applies, neither is catchy, neither should have made it past the brainstorming session. Ugh.

4 -- BEER MONEY INC. (James Storm & Robert Roode w/Jacqueline) vs. MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (Alex Shelly & Chris Sabin) - TNA Tag Team Title match

West said Beer Money must feel good about the dissension backstage. He said the Guns have a lot of growing up to do. He also praised Beer Money for getting better and better over time. The Guns hit a stereo dive off the top rope onto Roode and Storm at ringside. BMI isolated Shelly a few minutes into the match. Sabin got the hot-tag, but the ref's back was turned and he didn't allow it. Storm put on his cowboy hat and dove at Shelly in the corner, but Shelly moved. He crawled over and hot-tagged Sabin again, but the ref again didn't see it as he was distracted by Roode. Jackie beat on Shelly at ringside at 9:00. At 10:00 Sabin finally did get the hot-tag and went on a flurry against both Roode and Storm. He hung them both in the corner and Sabin and Shelly hit them with stereo dropkicks, one high, the other low. Sabin hit a springboard DDT for a two count. Shelly dove through the ropes, driving Roode into the security rail. Then Sabin hit a huraicanrana on Storm. Shelly followed with a frog splash leading to a believable near fall. Roode tagged in, then Shelly tagged in. Shelly held Roode in a surfboard as Sabin hit a springboard legdrop to the back of Roode's head. Storm broke up the pin attempt. Sabin hit Storm with an enzuigiri. Roode surprised Sabin with a spinebuster for a near fall. The Guns set up Roode for a double-team move off the ropes. Roode fought out of it and then yanked Shelly backwards and hung hum upside down in the corner. Storm held Sabin down, but Sabin up-kicked out of it. Sabin went for a top rope move. The pile turned into a four-way tower suplex that popped the crowd. Shelly held onto his right ever since he was snapped down and hung upside down in the corner. He was just selling, though, as he popped up and roundkicked Storm off the apron. Then they double-teamed Roode. Jackie intervened. Sabin threatened to strike her, but instead bodyslammed her. Storm, meanwhile, drank beer at ringside. He sprayed beer in Sabin's eyes as Sabin rolled up Roode. Roode and Storm finished Sabin with a double-team powerbomb for the win.

WINNERS: Beer Money Inc. in 17:00.

STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Lots of interesting spots, but a real clustermess at times. Probably twice as many clever spots as could fit comfortably and realistically into the ample time they were given. It's also tough to justify hinting at a heel turn for the Guns right before they go out there for the tag match, then have them wrestle totally as babyfaces.

-Borash interviewed Booker and Sharmell backstage in his royal red locker room. He asked what will happen if Christian beats him for the Legends Belt. Sharmell said that won't happen because the belt represents the very person that Booker T is. She predicted Christian will join the MEM by the end of the night.

5 -- BOOKER T vs. CHRISTIAN CAGE - Legends Title

The fact that they're treating the Legends Title that Booker created himself and awarded himself as a legit, sanctioned belt is irritating. It's not a heat-generator, it's just one more belt that created title inflation and thus devalues the other belts. ICP and Scott Hall were no longer at ringside by this point. At 2:00 they brawled at ringside. At 4:00 Booker settled into side headlocks. West said Christian hasn't been the same since being thrown into the ringpost. Booker stopped a Christian comeback with an eye poke. Christian finally came back at 7:00 with an inverted DDT for a two count. When he climbed to the top rope, Sharmell distracted him long enough to put Booker in position to meet Christian at the top and execute a top rope superplex. Booker stood first and did the Spinarooni at 8:00. Christian elbowed out of a full nelson and then hit a reverse drop into a leverage two count. More pin attempts leading to a sharpshooter by Christian in mid-ring. Sharmell stood on the ring apron. Christian let go of the hold. West said he shouldn't have done that. Sharmell slapped him. Booker moved in to kick Christian, but Christian moved. Booker stopped short, but Christian surprised Booker with a sideslam for a two count at 11:00. Booker escaped an Unprettier. Booker rolled through on a pin attempt by Christian and yanked his tights for a roll-up three count. Booker afterward said he expected Christian to join the MEM later. He said tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. they have a meeting and he needs him there.

WINNER: Booker T in 11:00.

STAR RATING: *3/4 - A kiss-your-sister finish and another safe familiar formula match from Booker.

-Lauren interviewed Matt Morgan and Abyss. Lauren asked the same question she asked last Thursday on Impact - whether his burns had recovered. Abyss said Lauren looks beautiful. He said all that's been on his mind this week is Angle. He said Morgan has told him that if he's not 100 percent, not only will Angle beat him, but he'll try to hurt him. He said he won't let that happen because he's the one who requested "falls count anywhere" stips. He said Angle can't run or hide and they'd fight everywhere including the concession stand to get candy and a hot dog. He said they'll fight to the top bleachers. He talked about the pain he felt when Angle ripped his puss-filled scars open. He said, "Tonight my puss will be replaced with your blood, Kurt. He he he he he he he he he." Morgan said it should be him out there, not Abyss.

-A video package aired, for some reason, on the Angle-Jarrett feud including more disgusting inclusion of Jarrett's real-life daughters, who lost their mother to breast cancer, in the storyline to add fuel to their grudge.

6 -- ABYSS vs. KURT ANGLE - Falls Count Anywhere Match

Angle was hesitant to lock up early. Abyss dominated offense and brawled with Angle through the bleachers and then back to ringside. Just a stand-up brawl. Angle grabbed a chair and jabbed Abyss in the gut with it and then across the back. Thankfully no flush shots to the skull (yet). West pointed out that he had burns all over his back. West then went berserk when Angle made a running leap off the stage and flipped onto Abyss below. Nice graceful spot. Abyss made a comeback a minute later, though, and set up a chokeslam on the concrete. Angle escaped with what West delicately described as "a kick to the nuts." Angle speared Abyss through the wall of the entrance stage. They were both slow to get up as the crowd chanted "TNA, TNA."

At 9:00 the two disappeared. They showed Tenay and West saying they were out of camera range. The crowd booed. Then out fro the other side of the ramp popped Angle, thrown through the wall by Abyss. Abyss followed on his feet. Abyss and Angle brought it back into the ring. Abyss got in steady offense until 12:00. Angle grabbed a chair. When he charged at Abyss, Abyss punched the chair into Angle's face. Abyss then wedged the chair into the corner. Angle avoided being thrown into the chair, but Abyss kicked Angle between the legs and then threw Angle head-first into the chair. He followed with a chokeslam for a very near fall. Abyss actually celebrated, but the ref signaled that Angle kicked out at the last possible split second.

Abyss dragged Angle to mid-ring and set a chair on Angle's body. He caught his breath and then climbed to the second rope. West said if he hits it, it's over. He went for the splash, but Angle moved. Angle then grabbed the chair and hit Abyss across the skull flush. There it is. The disgusting sound of the totally unnecessary concussion-causing unprotected blows to the skull that TNA management should be ashamed that they allow wrestlers to do to another in the heat of their desire to have great matches. They have to be the sober ones who step in and stop this. Angle hit a moonsault on a chair on Abyss, but Abyss kicked out with authority at two. Abyss set up Angle for a tombstone, but Angle slipped out and applied an anklelock. Abyss powered out and then hit a Black Hole Slam for a near fall at 15:00. Angle retreated through the Spanish announce table area. Angle shoved the announcers off of the stage and climbed onto the desk. Abyss slowly pursued him. Angle then climbed up into the scaffolding. Abyss continued his pursuit. Abyss met him on the platform above the Spanish broadcast set. Abyss pressed Angle, but Angle escaped and knocked Abyss off the platform with an uppercut through the Spanish announce desk, which crushed underneath him. Angle then covered Abyss and scored the pin. Tenay said, "That, ladies and gentleman, was freakin' awesome." They showed Angle and Abyss being tended to afterward by security and referees. Angle looked like he had fallen down a well ten days ago and was just pulled out.

WINNER: Angle in 17:00.

STAR RATING: **** - That match had an epic feeling for a falls count anywhere brawl. It had various chapters, many convincing near falls, several creative big spots, and the crowd was into it.

-Lauren interviewed Samoa Joe backstage. He said he knew Nash would turn on him at some point. "I knew that you would come hunting for me sooner or later. The only reason I'm disappointed in myself is I underestimated what a petty bitch you were," Joe said. "That I underestimated you'd come after me this soon." He said he did research and saw that he has stood next to men greater than him all his career, and one thing Nash can't stand for long is standing next to greatness. He said Nash taught him to be calm and focused, and he is. He said tonight is not about getting respect, it's about getting even. Good promo from Joe. Totally fit the circumstances and build-up.

-A video package aired on the Nash-Joe storyline.


Nash wore a bright red shiny wrestling outfit. They had a slugfest at the bell. Joe got the better of it with what West described as pinpoint precise punches. At 2:00 they brawled to the floor. Joe rammed Nash's head into the announce table. At 3:00 Nash reversed Joe into the ringpost. Nash reached under the ring and pulled out a tool from a toolbox. He cut the turnbuckle pad off of the corner to expose the steel buckle. Nash swung a chair at Joe back at ringside, but Joe ducked and threw Nash back into the ring. Nash kneed Joe in the gut, then whipped him into the corner. Joe dropped him with a punch to the chin. Nash, though, sent Joe face-first into the turnbuckle at 4:00. Nash went on offense for a few minutes. Joe came back with a flying kick off the second rope. Then he mounted Joe with some MMA blows. Nash poked Joe in the eyes, the "move of the night" apparently that all heels agreed to use. Nash grabbed a chair at ringside again. Joe went for a slidekick, but Nash met him with a chair to the top of his head. Both were slow to get up. Nash gave Joe a Jackknife at 9:00. West declared Joe done, but Joe kicked out. Imagine that! An announcer being wrong about predicting the finish of a match? Nash rammed Joe's forehead into the ringpost. The ref yelled at Nash, "You can't do that!" He didn't disqualify him, so apparently Joe can. Joe came up bleeding from the forehead. Nash continued to ram Joe into the turnbuckle. Why did the ref say he can't do that if he was going to let him do that over and over again? Nash went for another Jackknife. Joe kicked out just before three. West exclaimed: "Unreal!" Tenay said they've never seen anything like that in Nash's career. Nash leaned into Joe. Joe surprised Nash with an armbar attempt out of nowhere. Nash punched out of it, but not before doing some damage. Nash clutched his arm in pain as Joe worked his way back to his feet. The ref went down, giving Nash a chance to give Joe a deliberate low blow from behind. Nash then covered Joe and put his lets on the bottom rope for added leverage to score the three count.

WINNER: Nash in 12:00.

STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Well designed and plotted. Some of the execution was a little clunky, but at other times it was convincing with dramatic near falls. They really tried hard to minimize any loss of stature in losing for Joe as he was rammed into an exposed turnbuckle, poked in the eyes, given low blows, and yet kicked out of Jackknifes twice before Nash finally won with a low-blow and a leverage pin with feet on the ropes. Has anyone ever cheated more to win a match?

-Borash interviewed Sting about facing Styles. He said he knew Styles when he first joined TNA over six years ago and he's never seen him more focused. He wanted to know if Sting regrets bringing up his father and making it personal. Sting said he has no regrets. He said sometimes you have to look back to move forward. He said he obviously struck a cord when he brought up that Styles's dad kicked him out of the house when he was 15 years old. He said even now he's trying to help him even as he spits at him. He said his will is stronger than anything Styles brings to the ring. "Tonight, I'm going to kick him out of my house," he closed.

8 -- STING vs. A.J. STYLES - TNA World Hvt. Title match

West touted Styles as being as good of an athlete as anyone Sting has ever faced in the ring. He said Sting will need to dig down and use all of his experience. West pointed out that the MEM won all night, but if he leaves without the belt, it's a defeat for the MEM and a losing night overall. Lots of stand-up wrestling with hammerlocks and escaped early. Styles caught Sting with a high dropkick out of nowhere at 3:00. Sting rolled to ringside to recover. The ref began his count. Styles took control in the ring and hit a flying kneerop. Styles came back at 5:00 with a press and a drop onto the ringside mat on the floor. Sting then went on sustained offense. There were loud competing crowd chants of "Let's Go A.J." and "Let's Go Sting." Sting applied an abdominal stretch, a bearhug, and another abdominal stretch. Styles finally kicked Sting at 10:00. With both men down and the crowd worked into a frenzy, West said, "Man, this crowd is hot." They were hot. Styles got up and nailed Sting with a flying forearm for a two count. After a snap suplex he scored another two count. Sting went for a Scorpion Deathlock, but Styles avoided it. Sting did hit a Scorpion Death Drop leading to a two count. Sting then climbed to the top rope and leaped off with a bodyblock. Styles moved, then Styles set up a Styles Clash. Sting flailed his leg to escape, then caught a charging Styles with an lebow. He hit a prompt Stinger Splash in the corner. He hit another. Styles collapsed in the corner at 13:00. Sting propped him up for a third splash and hit it. Sting set up a superplex, but Styles punched out of it and powered Sting to the mat with a sunset flip. Styles crawled over and positioned Sting for a move of his own off the top rope. Styles hit the Spiral Tap. He was stunned himself and slow to get up. Styles mouthed, "One more time." As Styles climbed to the top rope again, Angle and Booker ran out. Styles forearmed them off the apron. Sting got up. Styles went for a Pele kick. Sting small packaged Styles for a leverage pin. A dejected Styles took in the loss as the MEM celebrated together.

WINNER: Sting in 15:00.

STAR RATING: ***1/2 -- Good match. Styles is just excellent and this was one of Sting's better matches. He didn't sell much, and usually that means the guy taking the beating wins in the end, but it took interference to keep Styles from winning. Man, a night of unsatisfying finishes. Not because the heels won, but because they were so interference-laden and involved leverage pins. Nothing really clean and decisive other than MEM's undefeated night, which will be the storyline going forward.

-The announcers reflected on the MEM victories with clips from each of their wins. Booker won by roll-up and tights; Angle won in dramatic fashion off the scaffold platform; Nash won with his feet on the ropes; Sting won with a small package. They went back live to Styles walked to the back dejected as the MEM celebrated together.

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

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He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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