|Me, Austin Aries, My Girl Friend, AJ Styles, My Dad, and Kurt Angle|
Last night, Sunday June 24th 2012, I attended the TNA Impact House Show in Hamilton Ontario Canada. It was the best house show I have ever been to in my entire life! Before the show I finally managed to get a Sting T-shirt, which I have wanted since I was a kid. Even though Sting never attends house shows, they were still selling his merchandise at the event. They were also selling Hulk Hogan shirts, which I bought for my girlfriend, and Jeff Hardy shirts, and none of them were there. Though Jeremy Borash kept announcing in the ring that he was on the phone with Hulk Hogan who was booking the matches lol.
The show opened with Christopher Daniels and Kazarian coming to the ring to announce that Fortune had gotten back together! Then Bobby Roode came out to the ring to join them. Basically, those three had teamed up, but that was it, the rest of Fortune was not joining them. In fact, AJ Styles came running out to the ring with his tag-team partner Kurt Angle and X-Division Champion Austin Aries to attack Daniels, Kazarian, and Roode. This is when Borash announced that Hulk Hogan had called and booked them all in a 6-man tag-team main event!
Our seats were 7 rows back from the ring, and right beside the walkway to the ring. So we were able to get great pictures of the wrestlers on the way to and from the ring, and we were able to high-five them and shake their hands. We were also close enough to get great pictures and videos of them in the ring. It was a very small event, so everyone was very close to the action.
I was there with my girlfriend and my dad. My dad always goes with my to wrestling events, but this was my girlfriend's very first live event. My cousin and my uncle were also there like always, but their seats were on the opposite side facing the ring and walkway. My uncle used to work for the PPV company in Canada and would get free tickets to every wrestling event plus all kinds of merchandise and would go to lunches with the wrestlers while they were in town. He basically had my dream job! My cousin grew up backstage at all the wrestling events, she knows the wrestlers personally and has all the juiciest gossip lol. They actually convinced my aunt to go with them to one of the shows, and it just happened to be the Survivor Series in Montreal, also known as the Bret Hart Screw Job lol. My aunt still insists that it was all part of the show haha. Oh and my cousin, actually met the Honky Tonk Man backstage at one of the shows and got him to autograph a picture to me personally, but the she decided to keep it for herself and still hasn't given it to me lol. I WANT MY HONKY TONK MAN AUTOGRAPH HEATHER!!!
Anyways, back to the show... The first match was Robbie E vs Gunner. I was confused at first as to who was going to be the babyface, but clearly it was Gunner. Robbie E had the crowd booing him, doing his dance and fist pump. He then told Gunner to do a dance, the music started but Gunner just punched Robbie in the face, and the crowd started the very first Gunner chant in wrestling history lmao. In the end, Robbie held the ropes to get the pin-fall, much to the crowd's disappointment. I should also add that in person, Gunner is extremely intimidating looking, and Robbie's hair is even more ridiculous looking haha.
The second match of the night was the only one I really wanted to see in person... the Knockouts Championship match between the former Champion Gail Kim, and the current Champion Miss Tessmacher aka my other girlfriend lol. As far as how much hotter they both looked in person, especially Tessmacher, all I can say is WOW! It was a great match, and of course Tessmacher won. But the real highlight of the match was when Tessmacher was heading to the back, and I actually got to touch her! As my girlfriend said afterwards, I can officially die happy now!
Next, Zema Ion came out, he looks just as stupid in person as he does on TV lol. I was expecting another jobber to come out to face him, but then I head the music for Samoa Joe! The crowd went nuts, and Joe came out looking very intense. He just destroyed Zema Ion and won the match with the Muscle-Buster! It was great, Joe was awesome in person, and on his way to the back he actually high-fived me!
After that match it was announced that there would be an intermission. This would give those with backstage passes a chance to come back and meet some of the wrestlers. For those who didn't, Austin Aries would be coming out to the merchandise stand to sign autographs. Also Earl Hebner and his son would be signing autographs at the merchandise stand for anyone that bought his shirt. He wouldn't sign anything else. It was ridiculous, Earl refereed the match with Joe and Zema, and it was announced that this was his 100,000 career match. Before the match started he pulled off his referee shirt and underneath he had his merchandise shirt, which was a white t-shirt with black referee strips, but on the front it said "Damn Right I Did" referring to the whole "you screwed Bret" chant that follows him everywhere. To make matters worse, he then put on a pair of old school Bret Hart shades that Bret used to give away to fans in the front row back in the day. Of course this caused the crowd to almost riot, and fans were saying nasty things to Earl on his way to the back, I feel like a total traitor but I actually shook his hand lol. Not that I support him or anything, I just wanted to shake everyone's hand when they walked by lol.
Anyways, I wasn't about to buy Earl's shirt just to get his autograph, so I went to meet Austin Aries instead. This didn't go as well as I had hoped lol. First off, I had to buy a $20 program just so I would have something for him to sign lol. Then when I got up to him I went to shake his hand and he refused because he said it was swollen. I got a fist pump instead though. Then I put my program down on the table and asked him if there was a picture of him inside that he could sign, since I had just bought it I hadn't bothered to look inside yet lol. He just grabbed the program and said it's "your job to find it, not mine" and autographed the cover instead. Rather than walk away, I just opened the program and started looking for his picture, he laughed and said it was somewhere after the Mexican guys lol. I found it and he agreed to autograph it as well. Not only did he sign it but he also drew a mustache on himself lol. I was nervous, I wanted to ask him about forfeiting the X-Division title and about being moved up to the main event... but all that came out was "so are you in the main event" lol and his answer was that he is always the main event!
He had the X-Division Championship sitting on the table with him and I wanted to see if he would let me touch the belt so I could say I've touched the X-Division Championship... but this also did not go very well lol. In my head, what I wanted to say was "can I touch the belt" but what actually came out was "would you mind if I touched the belt" and his answer was just "yea" so in my head he was saying yea you can touch it, so I did... he suddenly jumped up all pissed off and yelled at me that he said YEA as in YEA I DO MIND IF YOU TOUCH MY BELT! So I think its safe to say Austin Aries was pissed at me and does not like me... but now I can say, not only have I touched the X-Division Championship, but the Champion almost kicked my ass because of it lol.
After the intermission was over, it was announced that the next match would be part of the Bound For Glory Series and the two men competing would be Ken Anderson and James Storm! The crowd went nuts, and it was very exciting. I think I was the only one in my group cheering for Anderson as he was set up as the heel to put over The Cowboy, who is the odds on favourite to win the whole tournament, and is the current leader. Anderson came out first, and when he got to the ring he motioned for the mic to be lowered from the ceiling. However, there was no mic in the ceiling lol. Finally by his third attempt, Jeremy Borash climbed in the ring, placed a chair behind Anderson, climbed on top of the chair and held a mic over Anderson's head for him to grab lmao. He did his trademark introduction, only when he shouted Anderson, someone in the front row shouted Kennedy lol. Anderson stopped and announced that Mr. Kennedy had died in a train wreck and you can watch that train wreck live every Monday night lmao. The crowd loved this.
James Storm came out to an even bigger cheer. He had his beer bottle in hand. When the match started the crowd was actually divided, there was a split chant going, half chanting "Cowboy", and the other half chanting "Asshole" haha. It was a great match, back and forth. In the end, Storm hit his Super-Kick and went for the pin, it was academic, but after the 2 count the bell rang and it was announced that the match had ended in a time limit draw. The crowd was on the verge of riot, Storm grabbed the mic and demanded 5 more minutes. But the referee Earl said no and went to the back. Storm tried to offer some of his beer to Anderson, but Anderson said he would rather have water, so Storm Super-Kicked him again and dumped the beer over his face. Storm was clearly the crowd favourite, all he had to do was start talking about how the best beer in the world comes from Canada and start making fun of how shitty American beer is, and the whole crowd was on his side! It was also announced that highlights of that match would be shown live on Impact this Thursday since it was part of the Bound For Glory Series! I can't wait to see it!
All that was left after this was the 6-man main event! And what a great match it was! AJ Styles started against Christopher Daniels. The heels were of course cheating and triple teaming him the whole time. Daniels would bring AJ over to his corner and hand his arm over to Kazarian who would smash it over his shoulder with his back to the ring, facing the crowd. He would then hand the arm over to Roode who was standing next to him on the ring apron also facing the crowd, and he would do the same thing. They tried this several times, and the referee would be busy holding Kurt Angle and Austin Aries back while this was happening. Only the third time they tried to do this, AJ reversed it and throw Daniels into the corner and Kazarian started smashing his own partners arm over his shoulder, only he didn't know who it was since he was facing the crowd lol. He then handed the arm over to Roode who of course did the same thing. They actually kept going back and forth taking turns doing this until AJ, Angle, and Aries all walked outside the ring and around the ring in front of Roode and Kazarian. It took them a moment to realize that if all three members of the other team was outside the ring in front of them, who was behind them lmao.
The highlight of the match in my opinion was then Kurt Angle suplexed both Daniels and Kazarian at the same time. He did this move on the last PPV and I was so excited to see him do it again live and in person. Angle put on a suplex clinic in the middle of the ring, an AJ was doing all the high-flying moves, while Aries was running around the ring full speed hitting everyone. It was great. In the end, most of the guys were knocked outside the ring, and Aries hit his Brain-Buster on Daniels for the win! Aries had been announced as the new number one contender for Roode's title, so he spent the whole match trying to go after Roode, but he kept getting away.
After the match was over Roode, Daniels, and Kazarian quickly ran to the back, leaving Angle, Styles, and Aries in the ring with the belts celebrating in front of the crowd. It was then announced that anyone that wanted to come up in the ring could get their picture taken with all three Champions. It was only $20 per group, not per person. So if you were there with 10 of your friends you could all get in one picture for only $20. I thought this was a great idea for the fans and a great deal. So of course I wanted to do it, and my girlfriend and my dad both wanted to come with me. So the three of us got to climb into the TNA wrestling ring that they use on Impact, and shake hands with Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, and Austin Aries. Then we all got to pose together for a picture which they printed off for use there and said would be up on the TNA website with 48 hours. It was just a great thing to do for all of the fans. TNA really goes the extra mile to connect with their fans and its something all wrestling promotions should do. I've been going to WWF/WWE events since I was a kid and I have never been that close to the action or got to meet any of the superstars. After going to this TNA show I can't help but think how bad all of the WWF/WWE events were run.