TNA News TNA News: Impact Wrestling SPOILERS 9/1 - BAX's in-person results for next Thursday's episode
Aug 27, 2011 - 12:09:43 AM
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TNA Impact Wrestling TV taping report
August 25, 2011
Report by Matt Baxendell, PWTorch Impact specialist
When TNA announced they were finally taking Impact on the road on a consistent basis, I knew I had to make the three-hour trek from Atlanta to Huntsville to see the show. Having been to the Bizzarro World that Is the Impact Zone, I really felt like this was a huge chance for the company to see which wrestlers were over in front of a real wrestling crowd. And it didn’t disappoint.
We got there about an hour before the show and made our way into the Von Braun Center. By the way, I tweeted a bunch of pictures and one video during the show, so follow me @mattbaxendell and check my timeline for all of those updates.
Anyways, the usual live event staples of Don West hawking expensive guitars signed by Double J and a merchandise line that was ten people deep were all there, just everything was heightened by the size of the event. I was a little surprised to see that a good 75 percent of the arena was being used for the available seating, as they only used half of a similarly sized venue in Fayetteville, N.C.
My seats were on the floor, so I had a very good vantage point to figure out the available crowd on hand. By the time Jeremy Borash came out to introduce the announcers, the entire side opposite the main cameras (all the way up to the top of the arena) was full. The floor was obviously sold out on all sides, but the end zone of the arena was much smaller than you would expect. Even though it was full, there wasn’t the same capacity on that edge compared to Fayetteville.
The side where the hard camera was located had about 70 percent of the lower bowl filled, while the upper deck had three sections opened and they were about half full. My estimate in attendance was about 3,500 people, though that could go as high as 4,000. All in all, it was a nice crowd, though I did see a fair number of kids holding TNA action figures that earned them a free ticket to the show as part of a local promotion to get people at the arena on a school night.
Also of note, the Bound for Glory 'Tron from last year was still in use, though the third screen kept having issues. The show began with Hulk Hogan making his way to the ring and you knew we weren’t in Kansas anymore because the crowd actually booed him, unlike the tourists snapping pictures of him in Orlando.
Impact Wrestling SPOILERS 9/1
-- The opening segment for the first show featured Hogan complaining about Ric Flair’s stipulation on Sting before announcing that Sting-Flair would take place on the September 15 Impact. How that’s not a PPV match is beyond me, but that’s what they’re doing. Hogan then called out Angle and asked him to hurt Sting for him that night. The crowd also booed Angle loudly, so the impact (no pun intended) of having real fans continued.
Sting quickly came out to one of the loudest cheers of the night and accepted the match as his title re-match. Hogan jumped in and declared himself the special enforcer and the Main Event was set.
(1) Gunner beat RVD in the last Bound for Glory Series match to determine the final spot at no Surrender. TNA did not tell the audience what the standings were, nor the stakes of the match, but with #1-ranked Crimson’s storyline of him being sidelining by Samoa Joe, this was for the final spot. It was a nice match, but Jerry Lynn came out twice. First, he was intercepted by Van Dam and sent backstage, but then he ran out and threw RVD off the top turnbuckle to cost him the match. Gunner didn’t get much of a reaction this time out (but he did later), while RVD got a solid cheer. Being the first match, the fans were into it.
After that, the X Division was featured in a tag match.
(2) Brian Kendrick & Jesse Sorensen beat Austin Aries & Kid Kash. The crowd didn’t make a lot of noise during the entrances (Kendrick wore some headdress that confused everyone), but they were really into the match. Aries hit a suicide dive that had everyone standing and applauding. After Aries and Kendrick fought to the back, Kash had a couple of nearfalls on Sorensen before Jesse got the win via roll-up. A solid match that continued the good crowd response.
-- Up next was Eric Bischoff with the entire Knockouts division in the ring. I figured this would be Traci Brooks being declared Knockout Law and wasn’t really interested. Bischoff didn’t get much heat initially, but then as he was seemingly about to announce Brooks’s new role, he told her to go stand in the corner and introduced Karen Jarrett as the new Knockouts VP.
The crowd hated her. Lots of chants and insults as she made Traci her servant/slave. After that bit, Winter & Mickie got into a brawl that involved the entire division. Once it was over, Tara, Tessmacher, Velvet, and Mickie stood tall in the ring.
-- After that, Matt Morgan (who was on commentary for the RVD-Gunner match) came out to the ring and called out Samoa Joe, who apparently cheap-shotted him backstage. The audience had no idea since none of the backstage stuff was remotely explained to the crowd. Joe came out to a big pop (amazing how over he still is despite a couple years worth of bad booking) and got the better of Morgan in a brawl, eventually decking him with two LOUD chairshots. The crowd ate it up.
(3) Mickie James beat Knockouts champion Winter (w/Angelina Love) to capture the Knockouts Title. This was the first title match of the first taping. Halfway through, Angelina was thrown backstage for grabbing at James, leaving it to be a one-on-one without interference. Winter went to choke Mickie with her red necklace, but the ref took it and Mickie took advantage with a big kick for the win.
-- Then after that, out came Daniels and A.J. Styles for their match. The crowd had no idea that it was happening or what had led to the match being made (since it was being taped during this week's Impact), so after the initial big pop for Styles, they largely sat on their hands, curious to see what happened.
(4) Daniels beat A.J. Styles. Styles slipped on a springboard attempt and Daniels quickly pinned him for the win after about 7-8 minutes, but the real story was Daniels refusing to shake A.J.’s hand, which earned him some heat from the crowd.
The Main Event was up next. Sting got another huge cheer, while Angle continued to be heavily booed.
(5) TNA World Hvt. champion Kurt Angle beat Sting to retain the TNA World Title. It was a fairly long match for TV standards (8-9 minutes or so) before Sting put Angle into the Scorpion Death Lock. Hogan distracted the ref while Gunner ran in, but Sting back dropped him. But, as the ref tried getting Gunner out of the ring, Hogan climbed in and hit Sting with one of his weak-looking chair shots that Sting no-sold. As he backed Hogan down, Angle recovered and hit the Angle Slam for the three count.
Afterwards, Sting knocked Angle down and forced Hogan into the corner, but Immortal ran in for the save. As they were kicking his face in, Mr. Anderson came charging in to save Sting and that’s where the first show ended.
In between, they filmed what appeared to be two Xplosion matches.
(a) Pope & Devon beat British Invasion to become the number one contenders to the Tag Titles. I still don’t understand how the Invasion keep getting lost in the shuffle when they’re the best tag team in the company now that GenMe is gone, Beer Money is focusing on singles action, Team 3D is long since broken up, and the Motor City Machineguns are sidelined by Sabin’s injury. Instead, there's the uninteresting matchup of Mexican America vs. Devon/Pope? The Tag Division from a year ago absolutely owns what is going on right now.
(b) TV champion Eric Young beat Robbie E. in the other Xplosion match. After E.Y. won, Rob Terry came down and hit him with a huge powerbomb and apparently he is now Robbie E’s muscle.
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