WrestleHeat.com site contributor Ronnie Magewizard attended the TNA Impact Wrestling World Event live tour on June 29, 2011 in Tyler, Texas and sent in the following notes and results from the show. If you ever attend a live event and would like to contribute results and/or notes from the show, or any news for that matter, please e-mail us at webmaster@WrestleHeat.com.
COMMENTARY: The Oil Palace in Tyler is a rickety old building with a leaky roof. Due to heavy rain yesterday, there was water leaking from the ceiling in about a dozen places inside the building, including one side of the ring. Until bell time for the first match, a tarp was kept on the side of the ring where the water was coming through. After several matches and during intermission, the crew tried to mop up the wet spots on the mat. Understandably, priority number one for the wrestlers on the card was clearly to work around the potentially hazardous conditions as safely as possible. There were relatively few high-risk spots, and none on the affected side of the ring.
Don West was there, to the detriment of the show (in my opinion). He gave an ULTRA hard sell to the gimmick tables, basically badgering people non-stop over the PA from the second the doors opened until just a few minutes before bell time for the first match. He did the same thing again during intermission. Jeremy Borash emceed during the actual show, and was at least a little more subtle about hawking TNA merchandise. But the whole thing left a bad taste in the mouths of some in attendance — the tickets for the show were relatively pricey (more expensive than comparable WWE tickets the previous fall) and the WWE staff was not nearly as pushy about trying to milk every possible dollar out of the marks. However, the flip side to side was that TNA offered much more fan-to-performer interaction (autograph sessions, photos, backstage passes, a chance to come in the ring — mind you, all for a price or at least requiring purchase of certain merchandise) than WWE offers at a typical house show.
The building was a little less than half full for the card. The crowd was reasonably enthusiastic, however. In terms of booking, I felt like it was an old-fashioned Southern-style booking — the babyfaces went over in every match but one, the heels (especially Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson) drew cheap heat on themselves by mocking Texas in general and the town in particular (Anderson went off on how horrible the Oil Palace is), and even the comedy spots were pretty old-school.
There were really no truly memorable matches on the show. The relative lack of high spots was understandable because of the hazardous conditions in the ring. But there was also very little psychology or story-telling possible because the matches were all so short. The entire card was over 2 hours after the opening match started.
MATCHES AND RESULTS:
Mickie James and Velvet Sky vs Sarita and Rosita
Primarily a comedy match. The Mexican team mocked Velvet’s straddle-the-ropes-and-wiggle-
her-booty ring entrance, so of course Velvet demonstrated (twice, on opposite sides of the ring) the correct way to do it. There was an old-school comedy spot where Mickie James put Sarita over her knee and spanked her repeated, and referee Earl Hebner fanning Sarita’s backside when she got up. Later, there was a ridiculous comedic spot where Sarita (still sporting the face mask) accidentally worked over her own partner’s arm for about 20 second in the corner until she finally noticed that Velvet had left the ring and was waving at her from the floor. The finish involved Mickie throwing Rosita into Hebner’s arms. Hebner paused, looked around and then kissed Rosita on the mouth. The disgusted and distracted Rosita was then rolled up from behind and pinned.
Winners: Mickie James and Velvet Sky
Samoa Joe vs. Hernandez
A very disappointing match, in my opinion. Hernandez mostly stalled and posed while Joe looked very stale. When Joe is at his best, it’s because he plays up his intensity and his offense looks very stiff. Last night at least, Joe just went through the motions. It also didn’t help that the match was short. Hernandez jumped Joe from behind at the start of the match, and got most of the early offense in. Joe eventually recovered, locked in his rear chokehold and got the submission after yanking Hernandez away from the ropes and down to the mat.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Mr. Kennedy vs. Crimson
Kennedy started out by cutting a semi-shoot promo on what a dump the Oil Palace really is, and how it was almost embarrassing to have to wrestle in front of such a moronic-looking crowd. He then touted Crimson’s unbeaten record in TNA, saying that his fortunate winning streak was about to come to screeching halt. Finally, he started to do his signature self-introdiction, paused as the crowd started to say it along with him, and tossed away the house mike after shouting “Oh, shut up!”. Crimson came out to a smaller pop than Kennedy received. Kennedy got in the early offense (taunting him by hollering “THIS guy is undefeated?”) and then they went back-and-forth. Crimson kicked out of Kennedy’s Plunge finisher and recovered to score the pin with his Red Sky finisher. Obviously, TNA is pushing the hell out of Crimson right now. Kennedy was actually the wrestler pictured on the promotional posters for the card — you don’t often see the guy who gets top billing on the poster put over his opponent cleanly. This was one of the better matches on the card.
Bound for Glory Series match/ Tag Team Championship match: Beer Money vs. Devon and Shannon Moore
Very odd booking for this match. There were three faces (Beer Money and Devon) while Devon and his unlikely partner Moore cooperated reluctantly and mistrustfully of one another. What made the booking especially odd is that Moore acted like an overeager babyface early in the match, exhorting the fans to get behind Devon. At one point, Moore attempted to cheat and Devon loudly admonished him “Shannon, don’t do that! I don’t play that sh*t!”. The Devon/Moore team had the majority of the early offense, but eventually Beer Money took over, landed their finisher on Moore and got the pin. Afterward, Devon raised the champions’ arms and shook their hands. Moore was invited to do the same, and he did. He then spit in Storm’s face. So Beer Money and Devon triple-teamed Moore and Devon did the old Team 3D finisher. The faces then left the ring together, leaving Moore laying in the ring.
Winners: Beer Money
Bound for Glory Series match: D’Angelo Dinero vs. Bully Ray vs. Gunner (Three way match)
Ray came out and cut a promo on Dinero, asking him how it was to sleep with Devon’s wife (adding, “I’m just askin’ for the people. I already know. I slept with her plenty of times myself”.) and then played up how superior people from New York are, how stupid people from Texas are, and how George Bush really screwed up the country (“not that Obama is doing any better, but I’m just sayin’). He then told the Pope that he realizes that this is an unfair match, because Gunner and he intended to double-team him the entire match and thoroughly kick his ass. Ray said he had an offer to make: If the Pope would just lay down and let one of the Immortal members pin him, he’d save himself a severe beatdown. Ray added that he’d even let Gunner get the pin and just walk out of the ring, because as long as a member of Immortal won, he didn’t care who it was. Dinero laid down, Ray and Gunner jostled each other trying to be the one to get the pin, and were met by kicks from Dinero. The Pope cleaned house early until the heels took over. They double-teamed the Pope for a few minutes and then Gunner went for a pin. Ray yanked him off, screaming “That’s MY seven points!”. They resumed double-teaming, Ray went for the pin and Gunner pulled him off, using the same retort to Ray. As they argued, Pope took over again, knocking Ray out of the ring and landing his finisher on Gunner. Ray retrieved his chain from the ring apron, hit Pope with it and got the pin. He then shoved Gunner and said, “Be happy for me, you jerk! WE won!”
All in all, an entertaining match. The ring work was nothing special, but Ray drew lots of heel heat on himself and sympathy for Pope.
Winner: Bully Ray
Main event: Jeff Jarrett vs. AJ Styles
Except for a couple of AJ’s aerial spots (which were greatly toned down in this match for the aforementioned reasons), this match might as well have taken place in World Class Championship Wrestling circa 1986. Jarrett played up being the delusional/cowardly heel and AJ was the sympathetic babyface who controlled the match whenever Jarrett wasn’t cheating to take control. There were lengthy chinlock and armbar spots with Styles drawing off the cheers of the crowd to finally get to his feet. After several near-falls, Jarrett argued with Hebner about a slow count, and was then cradled and pinned cleanly by Styles.
Winner: AJ Styles