Monday, July 16, 2012
At noon on Saturday there was a special meet and greet held at the Direct Auto Insurance building on Covington Pike in Memphis. They had a neat setup with local radio station K97 on hand. Also they had all sorts of ticket giveaways and other drawings for a chance to win some TNA merchandise. The fine people at Direct even hooked us up with water and Domino's pizza. How cool is that! There was a great turnout to meet IMPACT WRESTLING Superstars "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero, “The Cowboy” James Storm, Velvet Sky and The World Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries. This reminded me of the good ole days back in Tupelo when WCW would run a pay-per-view and have wrestlers signing at Southern Housing, Roper Toyota and Blockbuster Video. I'm sure there's a few of you out there that remember that.
Not only did you receive just an autograph from Austin Aries, but from time to time "A Double" would label it with authenticity by adding "The Greatest Mustache Ever Drawn"
At around five thirty, fans that purchased the fifty dollar tickets were able to enter AutoZone Park for a special meet and greet before the show. However, before this could happen, Don West's Apprentice, Jimmy J, had to give us the lowdown on all of the INSANE deals for the night. First, he went through all the goodies that the Jeff Hardy VIPs would be getting along with the custom made purple Louisville Slugger baseball bat. The famous Brown Bag Special consisted of the program, celebrating ten years of TNA, a new IMPACT WRESTLING t-shirt, an action figure and four dvds for only thirty bucks. Next, was a deal for twenty dollars you would get one of the last remaining packages of Beer Money action figures and get to go backstage to get both “The Cowboy” James Storm and "The It Factor" Bobby Roode to sign it. Finally the last deal was for the new Official TNA Heavyweight Championship Replica Belt. For three hundred and seventy-five dollars not only would you get the belt, but pretty much everything else. You would also receive all the items in the Brown Bag Special, the Beer Money figures and a special meet and greet with Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy at the end of the night.
Speaking of DVDs, wrestler Sal Rinauro, from The Wrestling Road Diaries fame was working the gimmick table. Here he is pictured with Katelyn.
Once "Handsome" Jimmy.....I mean Jimmy J was done with his sales pitch, we were able to go to our seats where IMPACT WRESTLING STARS Devon, Garett Bischoff, "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero, Magnus and The World Tag-Team Champions, Kazarian & "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels came out of the tunnel to sign autographs on the field.
It's showtime! Since Jeremy Borash was over in the UK, None other than Memphis Announcing, Wrestling, Managing Extraordinaire and Host of 101.7 Kiss FM Jonesboro's Morning Show, Brandon Baxter, would serve as the honorary host for the night's festivities!
Opening Match-Knockouts Action-Madison Rayne defeated Velvet Sky with a schoolgirl, by pulling the pigeons' feathers....uh tights.
Senior Referee Earl Hebner made his way to the ring to a warm round of boos. Once inside, Earl took his official's uniform off to show off his, "Damn right I did!" shirt. However this time, he put on a pair of Bret's signature sunglasses and did some crotch chops and pelvic thrusting. The place went nuts! Madison must have got him some blue pills.
Bound For Glory Series Match-Mr. Anderson defeated "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero with The Mic Check to earn seven points. After the match, Mr. Anderson went up to a couple kids, getting them to say, "ANDERSON!!!"
Bound For Glory Series Match-“The Cowboy” James Storm defeated Magnus with the Last Call Superkick to earn seven points. During the match, while outside the ring, Storm was going around getting the fans to put their feet up so he could throw Magnus into them. At one point, a fan took off his prosthetic leg and gave it to Storm to use and Storm did just that. You could tell "The Cowboy" was loving it.
The weather was looking rough so to avoid a possible rain delay like last year, Brandon Baxter announced that they were gonna continue without having an intermission to make sure everybody got to see all the matches.
"The Charismatic Enigma" Jeff Hardy defeated Crimson with the Twist of Fate. Hardy received a HUGE pop as always.
World Tag-Team Champions Daniels & Kazarian defeated Television Champion Devon & Garett Bischoff with a hi-lo finisher on Garett. Daniels and Kaz were dancing on the way to the ring. Daniels even quoted a few lines from a popular Rod Stewart song saying, "If you want my body and you think I'm sexy" Kaz was talking about Memphis being the home of Rock and roll, but the people lacked the proper hygiene. That was entertaining. Garett still is a working progress.
Main Event-World Heavyweight Championship Destination X Rematch-Champion Austin Aries defeated Bobby Roode with the brainbuster to retain. Roode got a TON of heat. Didn't think he was going to make it to the ring because he was having an intense confrontation with IWA Referee, Dontavis Wakin in the tunnel. Aries and Roode fought all over the place, out on the field and even into the stands at AutoZone Park. After the match, Roode didn't take things too well. Imagine that. He chased after Brandon Baxter, Referees Earl and Brian Hebner, Jimmy J and other TNA staff. After Roode's fireworks, it was announced that three months ago, Senior Referee Earl Hebner after thirty plus years in the business refereed his 100,000 match. Wow! What a milestone. Jimmy J said that Earl Hebner would be signing his t-shirt at the merchandise table for ten dollars.
As an extra added bonus, while leaving I got to meet Brandon Baxter and Randy Hales for the first time ever, so that was a definite GOOD CALL!