Velvet Sky signed autographs by the merch table before the show. They really miss Don West. The guy doing it now was just awful. He announced that they had 20 VIP backstage passes to give out for $50 each. Fans who buy a pass can bring one other person with them backstage during the intermission. My drunken friend thought it was amazing so he picked up a pass for us to go backstage, but we'll get to that later.
So Cal Val was the host. Estimated Attendance – 700
1. Joseph Parks defeated Robbie E (w/Robbie T) via splash off the top rope. Before the match, a bro-off took place which is basically just a dance-off. Joseph Park was starting to get the crowd behind him until Robbie E. attacked him to start the match. Lots of tension between Robbie E and Robbie T. Robbie E. accidently hit Robbie T. on the apron and that made the big man angry. Right hand to Robbie E. and Joseph Parks slammed him to the ground and finished him with a top rope splash.
2. Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky and ODB defeated Tara and Gail Kim when Velvet Sky pinned Tara. Earl Hebner was actually pretty funny in this match. He kept checking out the girls and at one point had one hand on ODB's breast and another on Tara's to break them up. Some good action here and all of the girls looked great in the ring. A lot more entertaining than I thought it would be for a knockouts match. The finish came when Velvet Sky pinned Tara.
3. Devon defeated Magnus to retain the TV Title. Devon won via roll-up. Magnus has improved so much in the ring. He looked great! The crowd was very much behind him too. Great action here and the finish came when a masked member of the Aces and Eights came out to distract the referee. That allowed Devon to hit a low-blow behind the ref's back and rolled up Magnus to retain the TV Title.
4. James Storm defeated Austin Aries via Last Call. Aries got on the mic and got a ton of heat. He said he lives in Tampa because the cold weather sucks. He ripped on James Storm, the city of Detroit, the Lions, and former Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch who was sitting ringside. Storm got on the mic and said he was hammered and he just got back from the Landing Strip which is a strip club in Detroit. This was a fun match with lots of fan interaction. Kyle Vanden Bosch even hit a boot to Aries, which the crowd loved. Storm won with the Last Call.
Is it me or does James Storm rip off a lot of other wrestlers? He came out drinking beer and celebrating with a beer bash (Austin), had a brahma bull on the back of his tights (The Rock), hit a code breaker (Jericho), hanging second rope DDT (Orton), and won the match with Sweet Chin Music (Shawn Michaels).
5. Kurt Angle defeated Mr. Anderson via Angle Slam. Lots of USA chants for Kurt. A masked Aces and Eights member ran in and hit Kurt with a chair on the apron which allowed Anderson to hit the mic check but Kurt kicked out at two! Magnus came out and evened up the odds taking out the Aces and Eights guy and Kurt hit the Angle Slam for the win. The crowd loved it.
Intermission: The workers began putting up the cage as soon as the intermission started. It's the first time I have seen an intermission take place with only one match to go.
Earl Hebner was signing at the merch table during the intermission. He's still selling the "Damn Right I Did!" shirts to play off the Montreal Screwjob.
Everyone that bought a VIP pass got to go backstage. My buddy and I were the first in line and actually got to talk with Kurt Angle for about five minutes while everyone was setting up. Kurt was really cool! He was such a down to earth guy and very humble. Someone asked him about the Olympic Committee getting rid of wrestling and he said it will get reversed.
This was set up like an assembly line. The line went from start to finish: Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, Mr. Anderson and Devon. The security guys were trying to rush people through the lines and said no pictures. Luckily, I was there before they got setup and got a pic with Kurt. Aries and Anderson didn't seem to care much about being there but Devon had a smile on his face the whole time. He was genuinely happy to be there and took time with everyone. Kurt Angle and Devon made it worth getting the VIP pass for me just seeing how cool they were.
6. TNA World Champion Jeff Hardy defeated Bobby Roode via Twist of Fate. Just an average 15 minute match. They didn't do anything too crazy with the cage. Lots of nice reversals at the end, but it ended with Jeff hitting the Twist of Fate on Roode to send the crowd home happy.
After the show, they announced you and your group could get in the ring with Jeff Hardy and take pictures for $20.
Kind of a side-note but as I was walking out, I walked by the merch stand and thought I recognized one of the guys selling merch. I asked him if he knew who Sal Rinauro was, and it turned out it was him. You guys may know him from Colt Cabana's Wrestling Road Diaries DVD.
Overall, it was a fun show and every match was pretty solid. The crowd just looked weak to me. They were vocal, but I was expecting a lot more than 700 people. I was just at a WWE Raw house show in December and they sold out Joe Louis Arena. There was a nasty blizzard that night too. Just goes to show how far ahead WWE is than TNA.