AS I SEE IT
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets PWBTS.com
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I was at the TNA house show at a packed and stifling ECW Arena this past Friday night (despite it being the second full day of fall, it was 90 degrees out). It was a packed building with an amazingly enthusiastic crowd beginning to end. Note to local promoters: if you can afford it, consider mainstream advertising. TNA ran a number of ads in the Philadelphia Daily News, as well as having the event getting a major push on the ECW Arena site with special ads. TNA had a larger budget than any independent will have...but with the advertising market being what it is, some deals might be available. If not, try weekly and alternate papers (as an example, Philadelphia has a lot of them, as well as neighborhood and Spanish language ones) for a few issues...because the crowd indicated by a show of hands that most of them were new to the building...which looks like advertising played a large part.
The crowd was notable given that it was a split squad, with no Angle, Sting, Hogan at the Arena
Sitting up in the Eagles Nest was a unique perspective to watch a show after all these years of seeing shows live at the ECW Arena from the floor (and once or twice from the old ECW stage and the seats over the Arena entrance).
Amazing Red defeated Jay Lethal to retain the TNA X Division Championship. Lethal missed the Randy Savage-esque elbow, followed by Red to hit Code Red for a nearfall by a Red Star Press for the pinfall. Lethal regained it the next night in Rahway, NJ. For those who weren't online this past weekend...TNA traded the X Division Title at house shows this past weekend...wonder if it'll get acknowledged on TV?
Tommy Dreamer defeated AJ Styles in a match where the stipulation was actually to allow the crowd to get backstage passes. This is apparently a regular feature feature with AJ Styles's "representative" telling Borash that Styles doesn't want fans backstage. Dreamer got the expected loud reaction and put over ECW (nope, he didn't cry) and won for the forces of free passes...or something like that after Styles went for a Figure Four, was shoved off into a chair set up in a corner, followed by a Dreamer DDT for the pinfall.
Angelina Love defeated Tara to retain the TNA Knockout Women's Championship in an "eh" sort of match, won by Love after the "Botox Injection".
The Dudleys, er..."Team 3D" defeated Ink Inc. in a Philadelphia Street Fight. The Dudleys came out and the place went nuts...cut a promo putting over the Arena, fans, and their time in ECW. The Dudleys won after Shannon Moore took the Wassup, and Neal took a 3D through a table to give the Dudleys the win
Rhino defeated "Shore", who's also been called Robbie E elsewhere (Rob Eckos doing a Jersey Shore knockoff) with "Cookie" (Becky Bayless doing a Snooki knockoff) . Pretty much a squash match to introduce the character, let Becky Bayless look hot at ringside, and let Eckos be Rhino's personal punch...er...spearing bag.
Jeff Hardy defeated D'Angelo Dinero in a babyface vs. babyface match. Both guys were crazy over...and looked like they were actually having fun with the crowd. The finish saw Dinero go for the DDE, Hardy avoided it and hit a Twist of Fate/Swanton Bomb combination for the pinfall.
The main event saw Mr. Anderson defeated Abyss with Mick Foley in a no disqualification match that featured a Rob Van dam run-in, with Van Dam still selling the "horrible beatdown" with 1,346 stitches (or whatever it was supposed to be)....and Foley using Mr. Socko. A hilarious moment came when Anderson did his standard reaching for the ceiling mike bit, only not to find a mike...making a puzzled face only to have Jeremy Borash run out and handed Anderson his mike from "above"
Vince Russo was wandering around the crowd periodically, not looking particularly happy for some reason. Given the hot, packed, crowd he had with a split squad show, he should have been.
Until next time...
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