10 YRS AGO – TNA in Winston-Salem, N.C.: Angle limps out and apologizes, Styles vs. Samoa Joe, Main Event Mafia vs. Beef Money, Lethal vs. Sabin

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

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The following was originally published on PWTorch.com ten years ago this week…

TNA house show report
July 18, 2009
Winston-Salem, N.C.
Report by: Brian J. Adkins, Torch reader

A small, but very vocal and “into it” crowd. I’d say the arena might hold 4,000, but a lot was closed off and only about 500-1,000 fans were there. The card was changed from information given on their website and on the poster on the building.

They opened the doors at 6:30 and the show started at 7:30. Jeremy Borash welcomed the crowd and did the bit where he talks about free backstage passes. Some guy says no, but they give them out anyway.

There were only two referees all night, “Slick” Johnson and Earl Hebner. I’m not sure if they gave Slick one, but before the second match, Borash gave Earl a ring introduction.

The opening match was a cruiserweight triple threat match.

(1) Chris Sabin beat Suicide and “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal. Everyone was really into the fast-paced, high-flying, exciting maneuvers. Lethal did some of his signature spots like diving through the ropes to the floor but mostly played comic relief. Chris Sabin won via pinfall after the Cradle Shock on Suicide in about 12 minutes.

(2) Daffney pinned Rhaka Khan. Daffney did the splits on the edge of the ring and then came in under the bottom rope, apparently channeling Melina. I haven’t seen Rhaka Khan in a while. She still seemed somewhat sloppy at times. Rhaka also did a split maneuver during the match, giving Daffney a leg drop.

(3) Matt Morgan pinned Kip James. A strong reaction for both guys. Matt was being cheered at first, until he gave the crowd the “Screw you” arm gesture, then the crowd played along and booed him. Kip had his supporters as well. They gave DX signs and chanted “Billy, Billy.” Apparently, some folks are still living in the past. But Kip gave them what they seemed to want and did the DX crotch chop and such, until getting the Carbon Footprint from Matt.

(4) TNA tag team champions Beer Money, Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) beat Scott Steiner & Booker T. of the Main Event Mafia to retain the TNA Tag Title. Roode pinned Steiner after the D.W.I. (Driving While Investing). No “Boozer Cruiser” or Sharmell. A strong reaction for both teams. Steiner stated, as usual, that he hated “rednecks and white trash.” Booker T. called everyone “fat-asses.” Beer Money did the, “You say Beer, You say Money” bit when they pointed at the audience. Storm spotted a woman at ringside and said one other thing they liked besides beer and money was big boobies and asked the crowd to chant that as well. They had the crowd chanting “Beer Money” throughout the match. When Storm chopped Steiner or Booker, you could hear it echo, but when Steiner tried it, you couldn’t hear anything. After the loss, Booker held up Steiner’s arm – claiming they should have been the winners – to a chorus of boos. The match seemed to last 15 -20 minutes.

Jeremy Borash asked the crowd to stay after the main event for a surprise and then said the next time in W-S it would be a pay-per-view. Hopefully it’ll draw a bigger crowd. Time for intermission. After the 15 minute intermission, we had another Knockouts match.

(5) Taylor Wilde pinned Madison Rayne. Madison tried to jump over the top rope at the beginning, but she fell, which drew laughs and jeering from the fans. Match went about ten minutes and had much more of a faster pace and back-and-forth than the first women’s match.

(6) TNA Legends champion A.J. Styles beat Samoa Joe to retain the Legends Title. Joe didn’t seem to have as much of a reaction as Styles. Twice, A.J. tried to pick up Joe, which was just a dumb move. He punched Joe a couple of times rather stiffly. I don’t recall Joe doing any dives or much high-flying. Styles did his signature moves, such as the top rope springboard clothesline and the Pele kick, which ended the bout. It lasted about 15 minutes, which seemed short considering they announced a 60-minute time limit.

The surprise was the appearance of TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle, who had been scheduled for the main event against Styles on the poster. The TNA website had a six-man match of MEM against Beer Money & Styles as the main event. Angle was walking slowly, almost limping to the ring. He apologized for not wrestling, but said he had pulled a groin muscle. He then touted all the wrestlers in the back for busting their butts and for the fans helping to improve the ratings. I think he said they were at two million viewers, which is inaccurate, and said that even though this was his first time to Winston-Salem, it wouldn’t be his last and that next time he would be there on a TNA pay-per-view. Neither he nor Borash said when that would be.

Borash then told the fans that for 20 dollars the champ would take a picture with them. Black Machismo and Daffney also came out to sign autographs for the fans around ringside.

Everyone was definitely into the acts and the wrestlers, who all seemed to be trying their best, even though they have a pay-per-view on Sunday. However, it looked disappointing due to such a small crowd and the show seemed to end rather quickly. After introductions, it lasted maybe two hours.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS PREVIOUS TNA FLASHBACK: 10 YRS AGO – TNA IMPACT TV REPORT (7-18-08): Samoa Joe, Booker T, Sting, Beer Money, Consequences Creed (Xavier Woods), Eric Young, 10-Woman Gauntlet

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