1/24 TNA in Brussels, Belgium: A.J. Styles vs. Bully Ray, Madison Rayne and Gail Kim vs. Mickie James and Tara, Austin Aries vs. Alex Shelley vs. Mark Haskins for the X Division Title
TNA Live Event
Report by Dot Net Member Christophe Van hoelj
First of all, I didn’t have high expectations for the number of people that would attend the event. In the Dutch speaking part of the country (where I live), there isn’t any wrestling on TV. The French have been seeing Impact Wrestling on TV for just two months. However, even though the place was far from packed, there was an acceptable amount of people there (my estimate 1,000-1,500). Now for the show itself.
1. Austin Aries defeated Alex Shelley and Mark Haskins. Haskins was announced as being from Belgium, which resulted in a minor pop from the crowd. Typical X-Division spot fest, which the crowd overall seemed to like. A part from the crowd even started chanting "TNA,TNA,TNA" when Haskins dove over the ropes onto Aries and Shelley who where on the outside of the ring. The match ended with Aries performing a Brain Buster on Shelley.
2. Gunner defeated Doug Williams. A forgettable match which ended with Gunner giving Williams a DDT and covering him for the three-count. The most memorable moment during the match was Gunner reacting to something that was said in the crowd and as a result spitting to the crowd.
3. Crimson defeated Samoa Joe. Joe was very popular with the crowd until he started insulting them and turning them against him. Joe dominated the whole match until Crimson was able to spear him. Crimson won with the red sjy followed by a three-count. After the match Joe attacked Crimson and made him pass out with the Kokina Clutch. Crimson sold the choke by lying on the mat for a couple of minutes and then needing help to leave the ring and having a lot of problems to leave the arena.
4. Mickie James and Tara defeated Gail Kim and Madison Rayne. At a certain point, Mickie performed a Thesz Press form the turnbuckle on Rayne. She covered Rayne, but Kim came into the ring to break the count. Tara threw Kim out of the ring. Tara and Mickie James threw Madison Rayne into the arms of the referee (Earl Hebner). Earl hesitated for one moment but started to kiss Madison Rayne afterwards. Rayne looked shocked and disgusted and walked right into a superkick by James. James covered Rayne for a three-count. After the match, Tara jumped Mickie James and started to kiss her (massive pop from the crowd) which left Mickie looking confused.
- Intermisson, Mickie James was signing autographs for everyone who bought TNA merchandise.
5. AJ Styles defeated Bully Ray. Bully Ray was the star of the night in my opinion. From the beginning he was insulting the audience, as well as face to face as on the mic. When he entered the ring he chased the referee out of the ring. After harassing Christy Hemme for a couple of minutes, she also had to leave the ring. When Styles entered the ring, Ray took a sign out of the audience and began tearing it into pieces.
At a certain point the paper was too tick for him to tear it further. After a couple of tries (which resulted in a lot of laughs from the crowd) he gave the piece of paper to the referee who tore it further without any problems. The match ended when Styles pinned Ray after a Flying armbar. After the match Bully Ray stayed down in the ring without moving for a couple of minutes. Suddenly he made gestures as if he was trying to kick out of a cover. He stood up and gestured that he didn’t understand why AJ got the three-count since he just kicked out.
6. Bobby Roode defeated Kurt Angle and James Storm in a three-way to retain the TNA Title. The crowd was highly into Kurt Angle, which made him start the match as a heel and end it as a face. The match ended when Storm hit the Last Call on Angle, tried to cover him but was thrown out of the ring by Roode, who quickly covered Angle for a three-count. Afterward, Roode started celebrating but received rather quickly a Last Call from Storm, who took the title belt and posed with it (and with a beer of course).
At the end of the show parts of the crowd started booing. Apparently some people came to see Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan and/or Sting and were highly disappointed that they didn’t show up (the fact that they all had their photo in the program booklet didn’t help I guess).
Notes: All in all, a very peasant experience. The wrestlers really did their best to entertain the crowd, especially the heels who all did a terrific job at turning the crowd against them. Also, even though I was under the impression that a lot of people didn’t even know half of the wrestlers, almost everybody seemed to have a good time during the show. Tara signed autographs after the show (once again only for those who bought merchandise).
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