Article on TNA Wrestling making ESPN's "SportsCenter" program & more

Reported by Adam Martin of
On Tuesday, December 13, 2005 at 4:59 PM EST

The following article was issued on today:

By Ross Forman

TNA Wrestling on Monday continued to be a mainstream media hit, thanks to the BaseBrawl match at Turning Point, held this past Sunday in Orlando.

The Chicago Tribune ran a story about Pierzynski Monday, while the Chicago Sun-Times and Boston Globe covered the event Tuesday, along with WLS-TV (ABC) and WFLD-TV (Fox) in Chicago, among others. Oh yeah, ESPN also is on that list. During SportsCenter telecasts Monday, the A.J. Pierzynski home plate-attack on Simon Diamond landed at No. 9 on ESPN's Top 10 sporting moments from this past weekend.

No wonder Diamond said, before the match, that more media credentials were issued for Turning Point than any event in TNA history.

"I was a lot more nervous doing this than I was in the World Series - way, way, way more nervous," said Pierzynski, whose cell phone was blitzed with calls from teammates before, during and after the match. "These guys are great athletes and they're amazing at what they do, so for me to just be a part of it was nerve-racking."

Johnny Damon, the popular outfielder who won the 2004 World Series with Boston, was in the front row ringside, along with White Sox backup catcher Chris Widger and White Sox prospect Brian Anderson. Several other baseball players cheered on Pierzynski from the prized ringside seats, along with numerous entertain stars.

Jeff Torborg - a former major league player and manager, and the father of Dale Torborg -also was present, along with Dale's wife, the former Asya of WCW fame.

Damon, as the world watched, came to Pierzynski's aide during the match, giving him a home plate to whack Diamond en route to the victory.

Pierzynski signed the plate for Diamond, writing, "Best Wishes, A.J. Pierzynski."

"I owed A.J. a favor,” Damon said. “He looked awesome in the ring. I think A.J. has a future with TNA Wrestling."

But maybe not as a wrestler. “I’m that good enough of an athlete to flip around, move around the way they do,” Pierzynski said. "I'm always in the middle of stuff ... this is just one more thing you can add to the list."

Damon said he enjoys watching wrestling on TV, but bringing his wife and kids to the TNA show in-person, "was awesome."

"This was exactly what I thought it would be, and I loved it," Damon said.