10 YEARS AGO – TNA in Montreal, Quebec (12-27-07): A.J. Styles, Kurt Angle challenges for World Title, Eric Young vs. James Storm, plus Samoa Joe, Jay Lethal, LAX, Abyss, Kim

A.J. Styles (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)


TNA house show report
December 27, 2007
Montreal, Quebec
Report by Jean-Philippe Larivière, PWTorch correspondent

Although the crowd was disappointingly small (between a third and a half of the 2700-place arena), the crowd was quite into the show, cheering and jeering almost all the time.

Sylvain Grenier, former WWE wrestler and current TNA announcer for the Québec TV sports channel RDS, started pumping the crowd up in French. Jeremy Borash then took over in English for the rest of the evening.

(1) “Showtime” Eric Young defeated “Cowboy” James Storm with a roll-up. The crowd was on fire for this first match, often chanting “Super Eric.”

(2) Sonjay Dutt defeated Jimmy Rave with a moonsault. The crowd didn’t seem to care for Rave, rudely chanting “jobber” at him, a chant I despise.

(3) Women’s Champion Gail Kim & Ms. Brooks defeated Awesome Kong & Jackie Moore. Wow, does Ms. Brooks ever look great in person. I’m not a fan of the “diva” stuff, but this was a good wrestling match involving wrestlers who happen to be women. Who would have thought?

(4) X Division Champion “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal defeated Johnny Devine. Devine started playing to the crowd by speaking French (quite well, I might add), then swerving and saying that what’s great about being from Western Canada is not having to speak French. Ouch.

(5) Samoa Joe defeated Robert Roode (accompanied by Ms. Brooks) with the Kokina Clutch. Joe is awesome of course, and Roode is such a solid wrestler, that this was my favorite match of the night. I just love the heavyweight powerhouses. Also, Ms. Brooks less-than-subtly encouraged the crowd to boo Roode by doing a thumbs-down motion when he climbed on the turnbuckles before the match. The various interactions between these two was quite entertaining to me.

During the intermission, Joe signed autographed pictures for five dollars.

(6) Abyss defeated “Wildcat” Chris Harris with the Black Hole Slam. The crowd popped quite a bit when Abyss came out, after Harris’ whiny speech, but seemmed flat throughout most of the match, even chanting “jobber” at Harris. Ugh, no kidding. He’s a favorite of mine, and so is Abyss, but the people didn’t seem as into it as I was. They did pop for Abyss’ big moves, though.

(7) TNA World Tag Team Champions A.J. Styles & Tomko defeated the LAX (Homicide & Hernandez). The crowd liked both teams a lot, but seemed a bit more behind the champs. Solid action. Styles and Tomko make a great team, with their very different wrestling styles.

(8) Christian Cage defeated TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle by disqualification (the special referee was Earl Hebner, notoriously despised in Montreal). The crowd seemed to want to cheer Angle, even though he did everything he could to get booed. Cage didn’t receive as many cheers as I thought he would, but was still very much over. Chanting the ridiculously outdated “You screwed Bret” at Hebner was still quite fun, although I didn’t partake in the “F*** you Hebner” chants… Also, at one point, Sylvain Grenier took a chair from Kurt Angle’s hands when Angle attempted to nail Cage with it.

After the event, Gail Kim and Sylvain Grenier signed autographs. Also, for twenty dollars, Kurt Angle took pictures with the fans in the middle of the ring (the photo came in a previously autographed photo-holding thingie). This was truly the mark-out moment of a lifetime for me, being able to tell my favorite wrestler “You’re the best, Kurt, you’re the best!” and to shake his hand.

Most cheers

1. Samoa Joe
2. Referee Rudy Charles (seriously… loud and frequent Rudy chants)
3. Christian Cage
4. Kurt Angle
5. Styles and Tomko

Most boos

1. Earl Hebner (by far)
2. Kurt Angle
3. Maybe Roode or Devine, but it seems the crowd cheered for mostly everyone, just being happy to finally see TNA in Québec.

NOTES: Overall, I was impressed by this show. It was the first time I ever sat in the front row, and everything seemed incredibly stiff and “real,” especially compared to television. Although TNA was mostly going through the motions with the champions keeping their belts and pretty much all the faces winning, it was great seeing no interference or crazy booking (except during the main event, and even then it wasn’t too bad). JB announced that TNA would come back to Montreal. Let’s hope they do, and that more people show up for the event next time around.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS FLASHBACK: 10 YEARS AGO – WWE in East Rutherford, N.J.: Undertaker, Punk, Edge, Batista, MVP, Kelly Kelly, Kane, Dreamer, Great Khali, Miz, Festus

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