Matthew Wilkerson passed along this report.
I attended the TNA event at the Shenandoah County Fair in Woodstock, VA. I travelled from Arlington, TX to VA again to see Mickie James wrestle on her birthday. I’m a big Mickie fan. =D Mickie, Daniels, Kaz, Park, Sabin, & Magnus all did a meet & greet before the show as did Austin Aries if you bought one of his deluxe figures. I don’t know how many people were there but it was a small venue with a sellout crowd of at least 500 or more people. All the ringside seats, where I was, were filled with premium ticket holders. The cheaper seats in the bandstand and even the distant bleachers were filled to or near capacity. It’s also worth mentioning that you didn’t get in free just by going to the fair. You had to pay extra to see the TNA event and pay even more for the meet & greet premium ticket. 3 Redskin fans were contemplating lynching me for joking about sneaking in–and possibly because I was carrying a Cowboys travel bag.
Anyway, the event starts with Jeremy Borash announcing the line-up and trying to sell premium back-stage passes. Daniels & Kazarian’s music then hits who came out to work the crowd with their usual, entertaining heel promo. They also said that NO ONE will be going backstage tonight because they say so. Storm & Gunner’s music then hits who then put the Tag Team Titles on the line along with defending the fans’ right to go backstage. (Uh, ok then.) Great tag match with relatively little comedy spots ends with Storm super-kicking Kaz upside down in the corner & Gunner hitting his finisher on Daniels for the win. So the fans will be allowed to go backstage–for an additional $50.
Mickie James successfully defended the Knockouts title against ODB in another great match. Despite it being a near-hometown crowd for Mickie, the fans were about 75-25 in Mickie’s favor with a lot of scattered ODB chants. Mickie REALLY played up her part as a heel throughout and won the match by putting both her feet on the middle rope. Mickie celebrates then ODB storms off after flipping the bird to a group of Mickie fans who tried to high-5 her. SNAP!
Mr. Anderson beats Joseph Park. Crowd solidly behind Anderson even though he told the them that a “bunch of hicks” cheering for him meant nothing. Ouch. Fans are all sick of the Joseph Park character and it really showed here. Anderson hits the Mic-Check for the win.
Austin Aries beats Bobby Roode in a REALLY GREAT match with a lot of back & forth action in & out of the ring. Both wrestlers were respectfully cheered throughout the match with some fans even cheering for Aries AND Roode at the same time. Both tried their finishers until Aries wins the match with a small package. Best match of the night with both Roode & Aries REALLY going out for just a house show.
Long intermission for the fans who were the backstage ticket holders. JB then announces that after the intermission Bully Ray will defend the TNA title against AJ Styles.
The next match however was AJ Styles wrestling Chris Sabin–playing the heel. WTF? It was reported on another site later that TNA had to change up the match due to AJ not being able to fight for the title due to losing at No Surrender last year but this wasn’t explained to us at the time. Is Eric Bischoff booking house shows now too? Anyway, another great yet confusing match with Sabin actually trying to win using heel tactics until AJ hits the calf killer for the submission win. Sabin then explains that being a heel isn’t him and he was just having a bad month after losing the TNA title to Bully Ray. The 2 then shake hands. Crowd solidly behind AJ who got the loudest pop of the night.
In the main event, JB announces that GM Hulk Hogan, who apparently is also f*cking up house show booking now, has once again shaken up the BFG series by pitting Magnus (the current non-spoiler points leader) against Bully Ray for the title in an early Bound For Glory preview of sorts. Crowd was about 50-50 with maybe slightly more cheers for Bully Ray. Bully wins the match when Brian Hebner takes a Hebner bump which allows Bully to grab his chain & knock out Magnus for the cheap win. Anderson then comes out to celebrate with Bully afterwards. They then decide to double team Magnus for being in the Main Event Mafia until AJ Styles comes out for the save and both Magnus & AJ drive off Aces & 8s. TNA then gave fans the chance to have their pictures taken with AJ & Magnus afterwards.
Overall a great event with great wrestling action for an event that was at a backwoods county fair. The wrestlers were all really nice to us for the meet & greet; especially Mickie who was working on her birthday. As usual the TNA wrestlers are the company’s saving grace while the TNA bookers screw up the shows with their usual Hogan/Bischoff-esque incompetence.