12/30 TNA in Albany, N.Y.: Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode for the TNA Title, Bro-Off 2, Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray, Tara vs. Velvet Sky, TNA Tag Champs Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan
TNA live event
Report by Dot Net Member Zim Twitter.com/zzimm22
I would estimate 500-700 in attendance here at the Times Union Center. They had a small stage set up with a frame, curtain, lights, and steps; similar to some of the old ECW sets. Not elaborate, but professional looking.
Christy Hemme came onto stage with an acoustic guitar and performed a pretty good National Anthem. She would also be the ring announcer for the evening.
The new (not) Don West got the fans absolutely crazy for free merchandise. I will always be loud for wrestling, but I refuse to get shamelessly rabid over free merch.
Jesse Godderz came out with Tara. Followed by Robbie E, who said that he gave Bigger Rob the weekend off after winning the Bro-Off on Impact. He then announced Bro-Off round 2 tonight. They repeated the segment from Impact, only instead of Bigger Rob posing, a match started. Robbie is the babyface apparently.
1. Jesse Godderz (w/Tara) beat Robbie E. Jesse won after a roll-up with a handful of tights. About five minutes, nothing special. Robbie played to the crowd pretty well though, perhaps a turn in the near future. Post match Jesse held Robbie for Tara to slap but Velvet Sky's music hit and she took it to Tara, the ref called for the bell and match number two was underway.
2. Velvet Sky pinned Tara by reversing the Widow's Peak into a roll-up. Probably seven minutes and better than anything from any Diva not named Paige.
Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan came out next. I'm quite excited to see Ryan live, as he hasn't had much, if any, exposure (no pun intended) to wrestling fans in the Northeast.
Earl Hebner came out next to Alice in Chains' "Man in the Box" and played up the Screwjob with a t-shirt and Hitman sunglasses. He was followed by Mexican America 2.0, who came out to LAX's music. One fan was vocally calling for Homicide to return throughout the entire match.
3. TNA Tag Champions Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez beat Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan when Chavo hit the Frog Splash on Ryan. Probably went about 12 minutes and the crowd liked Chavo and Hernandez. Impressive PWG-esque spot where Hernandez held a vertical suplex for 25 seconds on Joey Ryan.
Post match, Chavo felt the need to grab a mic and mention that he had many tag matches in this building with his old tag team partner. This led to "Eddie" chants. While I miss the hell out of watching Eddie, I resent Chavo for mentioning him to get himself over all the time.
Austin Aries came out, followed by Bully Ray. They bickered back and forth, which ended in Aries refusing to wrestle because he thought Hebner wasn't an impartial ref. Hebner grabbed a mic and said that if Aries got counted out, he would be fined $5,000. Okay?
4. Bully Ray pinned Austin Aries after an awesome one-man 3D. Some comical spots in the opening minutes before it got serious for the last 5 or 10 mins. Crowd was almost entirely behind Bully from entrance to exit. Disappointing action considering the abilities of the two men involved, but Aries made that finish look fantastic.
Intermission. Not Don West announced that Earl Hebner recently refereed his 100,000th match. He was at the merch stand signing his "Damn Right I Did" shirt.
Devon and D.O.C came to the ring, Devon had Sting's bat in hand. James Storm out next to the pop of the night so far, followed by Samoa Joe. Devon grabbed a mic at ringside and said that when Aces & 8's are in the building, we should bow down to the two men in the ring, apparently missing that Joe and Storm were the only two men in the ring at the time. Unintentionally funny moment.
5. Aces & 8's (Devon and D.O.C) beat James Storm and Samoa Joe. Aces & 8's won after the V.P. came to the ring and hit Storm with the hammer, allowing D.O.C. to pick up the win. The crowd was really into Joe's signature spots and seemed very impressed by him in general. Very good match. Storm sold the hammer strike by lying unconscious in the ring for more than five minutes before being helped to the back. The crowd became restless and one fan yelled, "Beer guy, get the Cowboy a beer!" This led to a large "Beer!" chant.
Bobby Roode came out to some heat, followed by Jeff Hardy who got the expected pop of the night.
6. TNA champion Jeff Hardy pinned Bobby Roode after a Twist of Fate stunner variation followed by the original. Roode took control from the start and kept it for most of the match. Slow spots, but the crowd came alive for Hardy's offense. Believable near-fall when Roode brought both belts into the ring, when Hebner went to dispose of one, Roode struck Hardy with the other. The finish came shortly thereafter.
Notes: Overall, a fun night of wrestling. No action stood out is particularly great, but all of the wrestlers put forth a good effort and put together a solid show. It was interesting to hear and see the reactions of fans who may not be as familiar with the Impact wrestling product as many people reading this probably are. The reactions for James Storm, Samoa Joe, and of course, Jeff Hardy stood out above the rest of the card. I hoped for another match, as six seems to leave the card just a little bit short, IMO. But for a $23 ticket, I can't complain. Until next time...
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