5/22 TNA in Plattsburgh, N.Y.: Mr. Anderson vs. Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer faces A.J. Styles and a fan, Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne for the TNA Knockouts Title, Matt Morgan vs. The Pope, Jeff Jarrett vs. Samoa Joe
TNA Live Event
Plattsburgh, N.Y. at Crete Civic Center
Report by Dot Net reader Greg Duquette of Colchester, Vt.
I have been to dozens of wrestling shows over the years, some independent shows, some Raws and Smackdowns, a couple of WCW shows, and a few pay-per-views including two WrestleManias. This was my second TNA show, and once again, although working on a small time budget, they were first class entertainment. I so badly wish that the quality of wrestling at TNA house shows would spill over into their TV production. If it did, then they may actually live up to their new Thursday name "Impact Wrestling" as opposed to the weekly soap opera we are now so used to. I truly believe that in time, it would boost ratings, bringing back some real wrestling fans.
The crowd of approximately 700 was there early, and Don West was right there with them, keeping us entertained the entire two hours we were there before the show began, selling merchandise (The $20 brown bag special is the best deal anywhere, by the way). Fans were encouraged to surround ringside, as various wrestlers came out to sign free autographs, including The Pope, Matt Morgan, Madison Rayne, and more. Also signing merchandise at various tables set up around the arena were Kazarian, AJ Styles, and Ken Anderson to name a few.
The last half hour before the show Don West must have thrown about two or three dozen different individual TNA merchandise items into the very enthusiastic crowd. 7:30 and on comes Jermey Borash with his usual speech about finding the loudest people in the building throughout the show and issuing them backstage passes, then on with the show. (i was with 70,000 at Wrestlemania in Toronto, and maybe it was just something to do with the physical structure of the building, but these 700 people were LOUD!)
1. Kazarian defeated Robbie E. Very good opening match. Fast paced, near falls, and high flying action, really had the crowd into it all the way through. Kazarian even did Robbie E's famous fist pump dance.
2. Mickie James defeated Madison Rayne to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship. Funny skit where Madison got knocked out and fell into Earl Hebner's arms. Everyone thought he was just going to drop her, but instead he gave her a kiss on the lips!
3. Matt Morgan defeated The Pope. Both men got a decent pop from the crowd. The Pope is a great showman, and Morgan is the most gifted seven-foot athlete I have ever seen in the ring.
4. AJ Styles defeated Tommy Dreamer. Considering Tommy's limited ability these days, the two actually worked a very good match together. Nice back and forth action throughout. Tommy was very entertaining on the mic before the start of the match, and plays a good heel character. AJ got the biggest ovation of the night.
4.5 A Little Person defeated Tommy Dreamer. AJ invited a little person from the crowd into the ring and asked the ref to ring the bell so Tommy could face him. Dreamer got on his knees, face to face with the fan, and raised fists with him. From behind, AJ kicked Dreamer in the back of the head, knocking him out, and the midget got the pin. The crowd ate it up!
Intermission, more autograph signings for about a half-hour.
5. Samoa Joe defeated Jeff Jarrett by submission. Jarrett played a good heel, but a lot of stalling by him made this match drag a bit. Not bad, but not their best either.
6. Rob Van Dam defeated Ken Anderson with the 5 Star Frog Splash. I have heard a lot of criticism of RVD in the past few months of him just "going through the motions," but, at least for tonight, he looked much better than that to me. The crowd was hot for both wrestlers, as they worked a predictable, but good match together with nice back and forth action and some close pinfalls.
After the match, with Anderson was still laying in the ring, Mick Foley came out to (almost) everyones surprise, and received a huge ovation, as he and Anderson went at it in the ring together. Mr Socko finally put Anderson back out for good, to end the show. More autograph opportunities, including a $20 offer to get autographs and your photo taken in the ring with Foley and RVD together.
Notes: Overall, this was a very good show. The one advantage TNA has over WWE. as people have noted before, is the ability to meet the wrestlers, to get photographs, autographs, exchange words, and actually feel like you the fan, are a valued part of the show, and not just another $50 for "the man." The guys (and gals) really seemed to enjoy what they were doing, and enjoyed us being there as much as we enjoyed being there too.
I am not a WWE fan or a TNA fan, I am a wrestling fan, and this was a fun show. If you can do without the lights and pyro, and prefer quality wrestling, with a real personal feel, where everyone (including the wrestlers) seem to be having a good time, I highly recommend, and encourage you to attend a TNA show when they are in your area. You will not regret it.
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