I went to the final TNA show in the UK at Wembley Arena on 26th January. I would say the attendance was between 6,000 to 6,500. A very good crowd and very lively. Everyone was there having a good time and think this show was better than last years. It was a friendly atmosphere.
Some of the matches on the show were very good and in front of this crowd they will look major league. They did the same set up as last year, where the camera's were set up from the entrance, they also had a set up like a WCW show, having a stage leading up the ring.
Here are some notes from the show:
Jeremy Borash came out and welcomed us to the show, trying to get the crowd going before the first match. The steel cage, was already set up for a match for Xplosion. He talked a bit about the success of British Boot Camp, hinted at a second season and also talked about TNA visiting the UK next year. Jeremy Borash also announced that TNA will have a new show on Challenge TV called backstage pass, where they will be filming behind the scenes footage of there tour show at Wembley Arena.
Dixie Carter came out and did her normal address, She thanks the fans for coming and saying this is a highlight of there year to come to the UK. She said that 2013 will be some big announcements for the UK fans, which will be big. I am thinking that she is hinting a UK Wrestling Promotion show, like Ring Ka King project. She did also mention the idea of a PPV and think that could happen, because TNA now does the TNA One Night Only series.
The steel cage was set up for a match for Xplosion.
Match 1: Zema Ion Vs. Kenny King in the Xcape steel cage match. A very short 6 minute match between the two. Kenny King won, by escaping the cage. I liked the match and thought it was a good way to start the evening off. The crowd was into it and some cool spots in the match. Will be worth watching.
It took TNA 10 minutes to get the cage down.
Impact taping for February 14th
Hulk Hogan opens the show and announces four matches, to find out who he will pick to face Jeff Hardy for the TNA World Title at Lockdown. It was not a tournament, but were matches to help Hulk Hogan pick his number one contender. The matches announced were James Storm Vs RVD, Daniels Vs Magnus, Angle Vs Samoa Joe and Roode Vs Aries. Hulk Hogan also announced that Aces and Eights made a challenge for Lethal Lockdown and announced that Sting was the captain of the team. Sting came out to a huge pop and announced he will find his team to face Aces and Eights.
Match 1: Daniels Vs Magnus. Magnus won the match with a top rope elbow for the pin. The match was decent for the time given. Magnus got a half decent pop, but not a massive one. Kaz was manager ringside, but was kicked out for trying to interfere too much.
Match 2: Bobby Roode Vs Austin Aries. This match went to a double count out, due to Chavo and Hernandez coming out to distract Roode and Aries. The match itself was entertaining, two heels trying to out do each other. The start they were trying to do the poke of doom on each other, and started to argue like they normally do. Later in the match Roode got a chair and hits it on the ring mat and falls down and Aries does the same. This is something Eddie Guerrero used to do. The referee is completely confused and was just a fun match all round.
Well worth the effort to watch on TV.
Match 3: Samoa Joe Vs Kurt Angle. Best match of the night, a typical Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle match. The match went to a double DQ, when two members of the Aces and Eights came out. Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff, try to beat down Angle and Joe, but they over power them and run them off.
Match 4: Blossom Twins and Party Marty Vs Gail Kim, Tara and Jesse. Match was a bit boring and should have been given less TV time. All members worked hard. The Blossom Twins look good and could be a good addition to the women's roster. Gail Kim got the pin on one of the Blossom Twins. Marty, did a dive on Jesse outside of the ring but hit the guard rail. I think Jesse set up himself wrong, where he was too close to the ring and left Marty for dry. Marty worked hard in the match, but his gimmick is rubbish.
After the match Gail Kim, Tara set up a match for the Knockouts Title, but Brooke Hogan comes out and adds Velvet Sky and Tessmacher to the match in a Elimination 4 way match next week.
Match 5: Rob Van Dam Vs James Storm. A decent match, James Storm won with the super kick. I think Rob Van Dam worked hard, one of his better matches. James Storm, got a good reaction.
Hulk Hogan comes out to name the new Number One Contender, but the Aces and Eights come out and surround Hulk Hogan around the ring. Bully Ray walks up for the save, but it looked like they were teasing a heel turn, as it was a good few minutes before Sting came out with some cricket bats, to run off the Aces and Eights. It looks like they are going to turn Bully Ray and make him the leader of the Aces and Eights.
Impact taping for February 21
Match 1: Robbie E Vs Rock Star Spud. A decent outing for Spud. He got a hero's welcome and put on a good show. Spud got the pin, with a roll up as Robbie E tried to get the clip board from Robbie T. But he refused to let go. After the match Robbie T did a face turn, as Robbie E, went on a berate and slapped him. Then Robbie T, did his muscle pose to scare him off.
Match 2: Daniels, Kazarian, Roode and Aries Vs Chavo, Joseph Park, James Storm and Hernandez. A decent match, but was too congested at times. I think they needed a match to get everyone on TV. Joseph park got a good pop and was well over. Not sure when he finally become's Abyss, but this character needs to stay for a while. In the match Roode and Aries, leave after having a disagreement with Daniels and Kazarian. Future title match?? Park got the pin on Kazarian, as the faces do the finishers.
Match 3: RVD Vs Kenny King for the X division title. I thought this match was the place, where Kenny King would get the title, but think they are keeping that until Lockdown. A decent match, still both lacking chemistry. RVD wins with the Frog Splash.
Hulk Hogan makes his way to the ring and announces the number one contender for the TNA Title against Jeff Hardy. They kept mentioning Jeff Hardy throughout the show, which was good as it keeps him in the picture, while he is away off TV. Hulk Hogan made a shock announcement naming Bully Ray as the number one contender. This was a shock for most fans, but was a nice way to swerve the audience. Bully Ray comes out and thanks Hulk Hogan, etc... But he also wants to get revenge on the Aces and Eight and sets up a 6 man tag match, three members of Aces and Eights, Vs Bully Ray, Sting and Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan got a huge pop, when he accepted, as no one was expecting that.
Match 4: Garrett Bischoff Vs Samoa Joe. A strange match, as Bischoff looks really small. My worry is Bischoff and Brisco, due to there size that no one will take them to being heels. Samoa Joe dominates the match, but goes to a DQ as Wes Brisco comes out to beat down on Joe. Kurt Angle makes the save and announces that he will face Wes Brisco at Lockdown in a Steel Cage.
Match 5: Gail Kim Vs Tara Vs Velvet Sky Vs Tessmacher for the Knockouts Title. Jesse was told to go to the back before the match started. This was an elimination match. Tara was pinned first by Gail Kim. Then Tessmacher was eliminated and then Gail Kim pinned Velvet Sky to become the new Champion. The match was fine, but dragged a bit too much. I think some people were leaving around this time.
Match 6: Aces and Eights (Devon, Anderson and Doc) Vs Bully Ray, Sting and Hulk Hogan. All members came out, apart from Hulk Hogan, they did the usual thing, where they play the music twice and he didn't come out. The heels beat down on Bully Ray and Sting in the match, then Sting and Bully fought back. As they were going for the finish, Aces and Eights, from the stage area dragged out Brooke and Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan was cut open, Bully Ray ran over to save them, but left Sting, where Aces and Eights pinned Sting. After the match Aces and Eights beat down Sting, Bully Ray goes to the back and members of the roster come out for the save. It looks like they are setting up for Hulk Hogan to return to the ring at Lockdown, as part of Stings team.
That closed the show, the roster stayed out for a while and Dixie Carter walked out, all very happy and thanked everyone for coming tonight. Overall this was the best TNA show, I have been to, since they started touring here. Borash hinted that they should come more than twice a year and I think they should. Getting 8 weeks of television from the UK, will make them look major league. TNA does need to go on the road more and think they should spend the money to do this. They must leave the Impact Zone, if they are going to take this company forward. It does not need high production values, if they set up like they do in the UK, it will present there TV much better. The Impact Zone, should be used for just Xplosion and TNA One Night Only PPV's.