McMinnville is a town of about 15,000 about one hour from Nashville. Our Civic Center is basically a glorified high school gym.
I was surprised that TNA came to this market, though we did host WCW once or twice. Having said that, the lower portion of the arena was at least 90% full. I would estimate about 1,200 to 1,500 fans. The crows was hot most of the night.
I was bummed out that Christy Hemme was absent from the show, but that's just me. J.B. did his usual excellent job of working the crowd, and did the deal with the back stage passes.
Dewey Barnes defeated Shawn Schultz.
Dewey came out of the souvenir stand. Schultz is a very good indy worker who is currently working for SAW in Nashville as well as other promotions. Schultz was announced as a "gut check winner" though I don't know if that's true. In a very short match, Dewey actually beat Schultz with, I think, an Oklahoma Side Roll.
Chris Sabin defeated Austin Aries.
This was a really good match. Not a ton of high flying, but both guys worked hard. I'm not sure how much Sabin has to give on house shows any more, but I respect what he's gone through to get back. The crowd didn't know if they should cheer of boo Aries at first, he's such a cocky character, but they established that right away. Sabin was full blown heel here. He teased hitting Aries with the belt, but then hit him with an International object for the win. As he gloated, Aries dropped him with a brain buster to get his heat back. After Aries left, the crowd booed Sabin, and then applauded him, as I did, for his hard work and coming back from two consecutive knee injuries. Hats off of Sabin.
TNA Knockouts champion Gail Kim defeated Madison Rayne.
Kim got on the mic and acknowledged Rayne had recently given birth. She then gave Madison the chance to lay down and take a pin so she could get back to her child "in one piece". Make no mistake about it, Madison did not rush back. You could break concrete blocks on her abs. She looked great! Rayne pretended to agree to take the pin and laid down, just to almost pin Gail with a small package. Good back and forth with each wrestler getting about half or the offense. Kim pinned Rayne while holding the ropes. Nice match.
TNA Tag Team champions The BroMans defeated James Storm & Gunner.
This was the longest match of the night with some good wrestling and a lot of comedy spots. Many of the spots were set to show that E and Jesse just aren't too smart. The funniest spot was the old pump handle gimmick where Robbie E turned his back to the ring and wrenched Storm's arm, until Storm reversed it and fed him Jesse's arm. Robbie's facial expressions were fantastic, getting the crowd's approval to wrench it some more, until he realized it was Jesse's arm. The BroMans "get it", especially Robbie E. Just very entertaining. There was no indication of dissension between Storm and Gunner. Robbie spit beer in Storm's face and they then double teamed Gunner for the pin.
Bobby Roode came out and issued an open challenge, and then made it a "no DQ" match. He was making the offer to anyone in the arena, including the crowd. Then the music hit for Abyss.
Abyss defeated Bobby Roode
Good ring work with the advantage going back and forth. Roode began working on the leg of Abyss, with that being the theme throughout the match. The involvement of some chairs was about as hardcore as it got, with Abyss defeating Roode with the Black Hole Slam. This surprised me, with Roode being in a top program and "Abyss" being seldom seen at all at this point.
During intermission, you could meet and get autographs of the Heber's at the merch stand.
Impact World Heavyweight Champion Magnus defeated Samoa Joe.
The theme here was the two combatants knowing each other so well that they each avoided the other's signature moves. Magnus did the "British champion lowering himself to come to Tennessee" thing . During the night I got annoyed with excessive cheap heat talking about the intelligence and speech of Tennesseans. Then the guy in front me tried to get a U.S.A. chant started during this match. Oh well, they may have a point. Eventually, Magnus won by hitting Joe with the belt, after the only ref-bump of the night. (thank goodness) Nice tribute to Joe after the match.
I'm high on Magnus and I can see that he has tremendous potential. But for him to be Champion at this point is a stretch, in my opinion. It's obvious that numerous workers on the card get far greater crowd reaction that he does, working the mic as hard as he can. He's just not there yet.
Let me restate the obvious. Bully Ray is a heat seeking machine. He can generate more old school heat than anyone in the business today. He worked the ringside crowd for five minutes. Bully then took the mic and issued another open challenge. Sting's music hit, and Bully acted shocked and afraid.
Sting defeated Bully Ray.
The crowd was wild for Sting. (This is WCW country after all) Obviously, Sting isn't a great worker any more, so there was a lot of mic work, working the crowd and rest holds involved. But these two pros know how to work that into an entertaining match. Sting finally hit the Scorpion Death Drop on Bully for the win. After the match, the BroMans hit the ring and attacked Sting, only to be dispatched by Storm and Gunner. A salute to the fans by Sting, and a salute to Sting by the fans. This led to a photo op with Storm and Gunner as the show ended.
Not a lot of great high flying or ring work, but an entertaining three hours.
Note: A friend of mine got to take his grandson back stage to meet and get a photo with Sting. All I heard was that it was a genuine, personal meeting, with no feeling that he was in a hurry or going through the motions. A real class act. That's nice to hear that for a change.