By Ryan Clark on June 16, 2012
Credit: James Caldwell and pwtorch.com
Live at the venue formerly known as the Verizon Theater, this is TNA’s third annual trip for a summer house show. The demographics look the same: inverse of the WWE crowd with majority of 18-49 males, especially WCW left-overs, and minority of kids with families here to see Jeff Hardy.
Speaking of Hardy, the big merchandising gimmick from Don West’s replacement is “buy a Hardy & A.J. Styles two-pack and get it signed by both.” More than half of the crowd in attendance before belltime took him up on the offer, with the line stretching around the floor section Last year, the signed Jeff Jarrett guitar was the money-maker, so TNA continues to find ways to stretch the per-capita dollar with smaller crowds.
Of note, TNA executive Bruce Prichard is here. Prichard is local to the area. TNA agent Pat Kenney was out in the crowd before the show.
Before the show, TNA offered a VIP pass that had 20 people scrambling to the merchandise table. Plus, brown bag specials and more merchandise offers.
After Sign Guy was introduced to the live crowd, Jeremy Borash came out to warm up the crowd before Rob Terry made his way out for the opening match. Doug Williams was out next.
(1) Doug Williams beat Rob Terry at 5:55. Doug won with a roll-up after doing his best to get a serviceable opener out of Terry, who was like trying to move a piece of furniture in the ring when he wasn’t posing in-between moves. Lots of boos for Terry on the way out, with one ringside fan challenging him to a posedown.
(2) Velvet Sky & Tara beat Angelina Love & Winter at 8:05. Sky was best-received by the crowd during intros since she had the only recognizable music using the Beautiful People theme. The heels isolated Tara for several minutes, scoring several nearfalls, before Velvet tagged in and picked up the win. No Tessmacher in her hometown a week after winning the KO Title.
JB announced “a few” BFG matches tonight, with highlights to air on Impact this Thursday.
(3) Hernandez beat Kid Kash at 10:15. Hernandez was announced from his hometown to play the face role. Before the bell, Kash ripped up Sign Guy’s inflammatory sign to draw boos. Kash played cowardly heel during the first-half building to a big 20-second delayed vertical suplex. During the second-half, they were all over the place with some really good exchanges followed by those moments during a Hernandez match where he looks lost in the ring. Hernandez eventually hit a big flying splash to the outside to a strong reaction, then hit a top-rope splash inside the ring for the pin and the win.
Next out was Crimson to cut a local heel promo and a vow to restart his undefeated streak. The crowd seemed to recognize events at Slammiversary with Crimson losing. A bearded Matt Morgan then answered an open challenge to a pop.
(4) Matt Morgan beat Crimson at 8:15. Morgan took it to Crimson early, then sold a left knee injury ringside. Crimson tried to leave, but Morgan dragged him back into the ring. Crimson, still wrestling with his shirt on, took control at this point, working on the knee. They built to a spot where Crimson got cocky, bounced off the ropes, and ate a discus clothesline to set up Morgan’s comeback. They went back and forth countering finishers before Morgan nailed a bicycle kick out of the corner for the pin and the win. Good reaction for the finish. Afterward, Morgan grabbed a sign from Sign Guy with Morgan’s face and text reading “Going, Going, Gone.” Morgan flashed it to the crowd before smiling and doing a victory lap.
[ 20-minute Intermission that turned into 28 minutes gave fans another opportunity to buy merchandise and for VIP'ers to talk to Crimson. ]
(5) Garett Bischoff beat Gunner at 5:54. This one was interesting. The males didn’t care for Bischoff, and let him know while taking a beating from Crimson. The rally clap was provided by the females and kids sympathetic to Bischoff. Gunner dominated, then Bischoff hit a forward-sweep cutter of sorts out of nowhere for the pin and the win. Kids and women cheered for the outcome before Gunner kicked the ring steps on the way out.
Daniels and Kazarian came out dancing and gyrating for a Tag Title re-match from the PPV. They cut a local heel promo and vowed to regain the Tag Titles tonight… and make sure the ladies don’t get to experience his “sexual deliciousness.” Biggest pop of the night thus far then went to Kurt Angle out first for the Tag Title match. A.J. joined him as the heels stalled before the match.
(6) TNA tag champions Kurt Angle & A.J. Styles beat Daniels & Kaz at 8:38 to retain the TNA Tag Titles. This was really, really good. Two memorable spots from A.J. with a double springboard reverse DDT and a Styles Clash out of a toss from Angle for the pin and the win. The heels were good throughout and argued amongst themselves on the way out. Angle and Styles posed with the belts in the ring before celebrating on the way out.
Next up was the TNA World Title match main event. Jeff Hardy’s music played for almost the entire song before he came out. Odd. Hardy then did a victory lap before entering the ring. Bobby Roode came out next and took his time entering the ring before JB handled formal ring intros. During intros, Hardy was gingerly walking around the ring.
(7) TNA World champion Bobby Roode beat Jeff Hardy at 12:18 to retain the TNA World Title. Funny moment early when Hardy did his dance/pose, then Roode mockingly did it moments later. Surprising dance skill from Roode on the imitation. Roode then slid Hardy under the ropes into the timekeeper’s table at JB’s feet. Hardy came up selling a left knee injury, so Roode went to work on the knee. Roode tributed Ric Flair with the figure-four to continue the assault. Hardy made his comeback, then wanted the Twist of Fate, but the ref was bumped. Hardy got a visual pin moments later while the ref remained down. Roode then introduced the belt, confusion ensued, Roode hit a low blow, and finished him with a Fisherman suplex for the win. Post-match: Hardy hit the Twist of Fate on Roode to leave standing tall following the loss.
So, there were no BFG Series matches. JB said portions of the show were taped for Impact, and the Tag Title match was taped for TNA Today. The show ran two hours and 20 minutes with the 28-minute intermission.
Hardy, still selling the knee, remained in the ring for post-show photos for $20. A TNA rep brought an icepack into the ring to stuff it down Hardy’s pants to cool off his back.
Overall: Good show with one really good Tag Title match and Roode looking solid as top champ. He’s come into his own in the role. The undercard provided solid support and got the crowd warmed up for the main events.
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