Thursday night's Impact Wrestling taping in New York City was one of the best tapings the company has had in years and in speaking to a number of people who work for the company after the show, it was being praised as one of the top three or five best TNA events in the company's history.
Scott Fishman, Senior vice president and executive producer of Spike was in attendance at the taping. There were some Spike employees at the taping yesterday, but Fishman is a top level exec with the cable network and has had a long standing relationship with TNA.
Company morale was extremely up after the taping. There was a feeling that the crew had accomplished something special and that it was a night where a lot of talents who had worked hard but hadn't been spotlighted as stars received a star reaction. I would say that was a fair assessment as there were names like The Wolves who received a homecoming welcome from the audience that made them look far more important than they had been coming off. TNA staff who had never really seen how loud and passionate the NYC fans could get were blown away.
The taping drew a legitimate 1,200 fans to the Manhattan Center's Grand Ballroom. The paid was a little less, although signs posted backstage noted that the show was sold out and there were no comp tickets available for guests.
A source with the venue (not TNA) stated that 150-200 fans who attempted to buy tickets at the door were turned away as letting them in would have put the venue beyond fire code capacity and there was no way that was going to be allowed.
The third and final TNA Impact Wrestling taping at the Manhattan Center tonight is already sold out in advance. TNA had sold that date out first (it was announced as the Hardy Boyz reunion initially) but released an additional 20 tickets yesterday. They were immediately bought up. It's possible there will be seats released but it won't be many and it won't be until the last minute.
TNA held tryouts before the fans were in the building for some local independent talents. The only name I've confirmed is female talent Kasey Ray.
Former WWE referee Kevin Keenan was at the show visiting.
Reby Sky, Matt Hardy's wife who has worked for Lucha Libre USA, currently hosts a Playboy TV series and is a NYC native, was also at the show.
TNA was selling signed and framed posters commemorating Matt and Jeff Hardy's reunion.
After tonight's taping, TNA is off on Saturday and then has a house show Sunday in Lakewood, NJ at the FirstEnergy Park with TNA champ Bobby Lashley vs. Eric Young, Bully Ray vs. EC3 with Rockstar Spud, Angelina Love & Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim & Madison Rayne, TNA Tag Team champions The Wolves Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards vs. BroMans, Sanada vs. Manik vs. Tigre Uno plus Kurt Angle appearing.
TNA will be taping in the venue again 8/5-8/7. Don't be surprised to see TNA go back and tape TV at the Sands Bethlehem Events Center in PA either as the staff and performers really loved the atmosphere there as well.