To see over 200 pictures from last night’s house show in Asbury Park, click here. And remember, I’m not a photographer by any means so some of the pictures look good, but most of them look “acceptable” at best. Enjoy!
The audience looked pretty good for this show. I attended both the 2008 house show and last summer’s house show and this crowd was definitely bigger. Was it tremendously bigger? Not really. But it was definitely bigger than last year’s attendance. If I had to guess, I’d say there were between 1200 – 1500 people in the Convention Hall last night. I expect that this will be translated into 500 – 600 people by the hate sites out there. Oh well.
Amazing Red, Eric Young, and Orlando Jordan vs. The British Invasion and Robbie E. w/ Cookie
This was a fun match with some high-flying spots thanks to Amazing Red. Robbie E. received a good reaction from the crowd even though he was playing a heel tonight. By far one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a wrestling ring was Robbie E. opening the match by fist pumping and dancing to his entrance music once the teams were broken into their respective corners (by the way, Brutus Magnus was swinging his butt in the corner on the outside of the ring – it was a funny scene). It wasn’t the fist pumping that was funny, it was Robbie E. facing The British Invasion while he was fist pumping and Orlando Jordan sort of slowly creeping up behind him and dancing and grinding with him while he was fist pumping. Ha!
Hey – it’s Asbury Park. That stuff happens all of the time.
Moving on… the match, unfortunately, became a bit of a comedy act with everyone chasing each other around the ring. It was weird and the crowd booed big time for that minute or so. However, the competitors managed to get both themselves and the match over with the audience – and it was a hot audience in Asbury Park last night. I’m not sure why Robbie E. isn’t on television more often – he did a phenomenal job playing his role last night and he was very over with the crowd.
Winners: Amazing Red, Eric Young, and Orlando Jordan
The Knockouts came out to a very good reaction from the crowd. And, as is usual from the TNA Wrestling Knockouts, they put on one hell of a match. Angelina Love had the upper hand for a while and Winter tried to get involved once or twice (successfully putting the boots to Mickie James on the outside of the ring during one encounter). However, in the end the Knockouts Champion won the match with her patented ass-to-the-face from the top rope (what is that move called?). Here’s a picture of some of the action from that match:
After a really competitive match, Mickie James came out on top. By the way, all three of these women are really hot on iMPACT Wrestling, but I think they’re even hotter in person. Incredibly attractive.
Winner: Mickie James
Believe it or not, Jeff Jarrett got a pretty strong negative reaction from the crowd. I have to admit that I was impressed because most of the time I envision him getting the equivalent of “X-Pac Heat” (i.e. fans booing because they don’t want to see you, not because you’re a bad guy). This was a decent match with Jeff Jarrett maintaining the upper hand for the entire beginning of the match.
However, like any good AJ Styles match – there was a Pele Kick, a Styles Clash, and we had a winner. As always, AJ Styles was extremely impressive in his win.
Winner: AJ Styles
After the AJ Styles match was over, there was a special guest appearance by Ric Flair. Here’s a picture of “The Nature Boy” himself in the ring in Asbury Park:
There were a few things that stood out to me during Ric Flair’s promo to the live audience. First, he opened up by saying, “Don’t you guys realize by now that I’m the bad guy?” He had to say that because he got the only standing ovation of the night. Hey, when Ric Flair walks into a wrestling ring, you stand up – period. Second, he went on and on about how he was going to take all of these women in the back and keep them up all night long. Typical Ric Flair lines, but entertaining to hear in person.
And finally, he said that he’s fully healed from his surgery and that he’ll be on this Thursday’s episode of iMPACT Wrestling. He also said that he thinks the wrestling fans must be bored out of their minds because he hasn’t been on the show. On top of that, he said that he has spent most of his time in TNA Wresting up until this point trying to entertain the fans and that he’s going to be back to business when he returns. In fact, he said that he’s ready to be the World Champion again and that the wrestling fans can take that to the bank because he might just go out and take that championship.
So… something to look forward to on iMPACT Wrestling in the coming weeks.
Bully Ray vs. Devon
Aside from the brutality, what I remember most about this match is Bully Ray ripping into the audience before the match started. He told some guy that it looked like his mother and father were brother and sister. That’s funny stuff to say to an otherwise small crowd. Reminded me of many years ago when I used to watch an independent wrestler named The Kodiak Bear. This guy would rip into the audience before the match and literally walk up to people and spit on them (he spit on one of my football buddies at a house show in a high school gymnasium and it almost caused a riot). Anyway, somewhere I have to imagine that The Kodiak Bear is smiling knowing that Bully Ray is carrying on his legacy of being a complete asshole to the fans.
Devon came out and I gotta tell you, he got whipped pretty good for most of the match while it was in the ring. Then, when the action went outside the ring, Devon gained the upper hand. It looked like Devon was going to win (and put Bully Ray through a table at the same time) when Bully Ray managed to roll him up and get the victory.
What was interesting during this match was that Bully Ray assaulted referee Brian Hebner which ultimately led to Hebner helping Devon later in the match. Devon is keeping many of the signature Team 3D moves like the “What’s Up” headbutt to the nuts from the top rope as well as the “Devon! Get the tables!” schtick. Well, when Devon went for the “What’s Up,” Brian Hebner held Bully Ray’s legs open. And when it was time to get the tables, Brian Hebner hit Devon in the chest and yelled for him to get the tables. It was entertaining. Here are some pictures of that interaction:
Winner: Bully Ray
At this point in the night there was an intermission where Mickie James signed autographs for the fans. Also, Earl and Brian Hebner were sitting by the entrance way trying to sell signed copies of Earl Hebner’s “Damn Right I Did!” t-shirts for $10. Don West was hyping the hell out of those shirts, but there weren’t many takers.
Rob Van Dam vs. Crimson
This was an incredibly short match from two guys who could probably go for 25 – 30 minutes. I’m not sure what the process was behind booking this match, but relegating these two guys to a 15 minute performance doesn’t do either of their abilities justice. In any event, this was an entertaining match that saw Crimson maintain his undefeated streak and Rob Van Dam do all of his classic moves.
The fans are very into Rob Van Dam and one of these days I’ll figure out how to upload the video that I took of the fans chanting “RVD! RVD! RVD!” Actually, here it is…
This was a good match and I was entertained, but these guys had a hard job to do coming back from intermission so the crowd was about 80% into it (the other 20% of the crowd was still trying to get a Mickie James autograph). In the end, Crimson won with a pinfall and earned 7 more Bound for Glory Series points.
Now don’t get me wrong – this match was good. Sure, there were a few too many blown spots and I think that comes from these two not working together too much in the past. However, I don’t understand why this match was the main event. Frankly, the Bully Ray vs. Devon match had more of a reaction from the crowd. Of course, Mr. Anderson got a ton of “Asshole! Asshole! Asshole!” chants from the crowd and the fans in attendance seemed generally impressed with Kurt Angle. However, there was a distinct drain in the air during this match. I’m not sure what it was, but the crowd just wasn’t into it.
What the crowd was into, though, was the Kurt Angle picture session after this match was over. The line for getting a picture with Kurt Angle was enormous!
Even though Mr. Anderson is the champion, Kurt Angle easily won this non-title match. I expect that we’ll see Kurt Angle with the title by Bound for Glory.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Overall, the show was very entertaining and a lot of fun for the fans in attendance. To see over 200 pictures from the show, click here. Enjoy!