Lordsofpain.net reader Himanshu Doi sent in the following report and images from Wednesday's Ring Ka King show from Pune, India:
I attended the fourth and what might be the final day of taping of the month for the upcoming wrestling show on Colors "Ring Ka King" at Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune. Here are the spoilers:
- The taping began with a segment involving Jazzy Lahoria who was the "Commissioner of Ring Ka King", Matt Morgan, Magnus, Abyss, Steiner, Sonjay Dutt, Doctor Nicholas Dinsmore, some Indian wrestlers and Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh. I missed most of this part since I arrived late into the arena and wasn't able to catch it.
- The team of "The Snakes" (Shawn and Arya Daivari) and Raisha Saeed defeated Bollywood Boyz (Bollywood Lions) and Mickie James.
- Matt Morgan, the Ring Ka King champion, came out for a promo. Apparently he's a babyface and he started off the promo with a couple of lines in Hindi to get over with the crowd. He says that there was going to be a battle royal later on for the #1 contendership to his Ring Ka King championship. He says he wants to know who was the one who attacked him from behind, so whoever he is must come out now. Abyss' music hits and he comes to the ring. Morgan gets the upper hand at first but Abyss comes back and dominates him. Morgan is helped up to the back by a couple of referees.
- Battle Royal for the #1 contendership to the Ring Ka King championship:
1. Sir Brutus Magnus
2. B Maxx (Indian wrestler)
3. Barood (Indian wrestler)
4. Roscoe Jackson (Trevor Murdoch)
5. Doctor Nicholas Dinsmore
6. Romeo Rapta (Indian wrestler)
7. Isaiah Outlaw (?)
8. American Adonis (Chris Mordetzky/Masters)
9. Chhotu aur Zoravar
10. Mahabali Veera
11. Scott Steiner
12. Aaghori Saaya
Chhotu aur Zoravar is a team that consists of one short and one really tall Indian guy, Chhotu being the short one and Zoravar the tall one. Zoravar is a 7-foot plus guy and was jumped on by everyone in the battle royal. Looks like they found their own version of The Great Khali.
Aaghori Saaya had an almost Samoa Joe like character and was in control of the match fighting with Steiner. Magnus attacked Adonis as soon as he entered, but they both teamed up against Aaghori when he eliminated Steiner. In the end, Aaghori managed to eliminate Adonis, but was beaten to the punch by Magnus who became the #1 contender to Morgan's title.
- Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh came out to promote the #1 contendership match. He needed at least 15 retakes.
- Mickie James (w/Bollywood Boyz) defeated Raisha Saeed (w/The Snakes) with the Mickie DDT. The Snakes tried to interfere in the match but were fended off by Bollywood Boyz.
- Jeremy comes out with a female Indian presenter. He says that there is an American businessman Jeff Jarrett who wants to buy Ring Ka King. He will be here tonight to try and buy the company. The female presenter translates what he said to the audience.
- Pagal Parinda (in the guise of an Indian wrestler but who seemed to be Alex Shelley, I might be wrong) defeated Zema Ion. Pagal Parinda had a bird gimmick and came out with wings. Sonjay Dutt enters the ring after the match and cuts a promo in Hindi, asking him who he thinks he is. The crowd cheers for him at first, so Sonjay Dutt said in Hindi that you're all the crazy ones, not this guy. Parinda doesn't reply to the Hindi promo which further leads me to believe that it was Shelley. He pulls some punches on Dutt till he falls out of the ring, then hits a diving crossbody over the ropes and re-enters the ring to end the segment.
- Jeremy Borash and the female presenter remind us of the arrival of Jeff Jarrett and say he is the same man who brought Steiner and Abyss into Ring Ka King.
- Scott Steiner and Abyss defeated Barood and Romeo Rapta (both Indian wrestlers). The match was really a squash match but what followed was one of the most amazing sights on a wrestling show you could ever wish to see. Following the win, Steiner motioned to punch one of the people in the crowd. He then climbed over the barrier and into the crowd. The crowd scattered in opposite directions away from him as if he were a raging bull! He then proceeded to climb to the second tier like f***ing King Kong and those people tried to run away from him too! Great stuff by Steiner! I hope they got it on camera because it is to be seen to be believed!
- We then had the contract signing segment where Jeff Jarrett would try to buy Ring Ka King from the Commissioner, Jazzy Lahoria. A red carpet and a table was set up in the ring. An Indian presenter introduced Jarrett as the founder of TNA Wrestling and he made his entrance through AJ Styles' style pyro, followed by Steiner, Magnus, Abyss and Dutt. The Commissioner Jazzy Lahoria was then introduced. Jarrett said that he was impressed that they were able to do what they have done. He said he was the founder of TNA Wrestling, his family was in the business for 70-plus years and that he would be able to take Ring
ka King to another level. After some deliberation, Jazzy said that for th sake of the fans, he would not sell Ring Ka King to Jarrett. Sonjay Dutt then tried to convince him in Hindi to sign the contract. Steiner catches him by the collar and is threatened by Dutt. Just as it seems that he was going to sign the contract, he tore it up. Jeff Jarrett is livid and takes off his suit and throws it to the ground and was almost about to hit Jazzy. He then slowly cools down, wears his suit back on and offers Jazzy a handshake. Jazzy thinks about it and shakes his hand. Jarrett hugs Jazzy, then turns around and punches him down. The entire bunch gang up on him. Steiner hit him with his own walking stick and Abyss takes it and chokes him with it. Harbhajan Singh then enters the ring with an Indian police officer character guy who must've been about 6'5"-6'6". This causes Jarrett and co. to quietly leave the ring. Harbhajan and the police officer check on Jazzy who he is helped up by the two and gets a standing ovation from the crowd.
- Bollywood Boyz defeated Broadway (Little Guido/Nunzio) and Hollywood (Joey Ryan) with a double superkick on Broadway.
- Roscoe Jackson (Trevor Murdoch) defeated Romeo Rapta (Indian wrestler) after a splash off the top rope. Roscoe shook Romeo's hand and raised it after the match.
- Sir Brutus Magnus vs Matt Morgan for the Ring Ka King championship. During the intoductions by JB (which was interestingly enough done in kilos instead of pounds), Jarrett appeared in the crowd claiming to have a ticket. Soon after the match began, he appeared in front of the announce table and clapped, distracting Morgan enough for Magnus to capitalize. The action went to the outside with Magnus hitting Morgan's head against the barrier. The action returned to the ring as Magnus stayed in control through the majority of the match. It then came to a sleeper hold by Magnus, only for Morgan gets his hand up before 3 and come back into the match. Morgan went for the chokeslam, but it was avoided by Magnus only to get clotheslined. Morgan gets the chokeslam this time. Some Indian guy I didn't recognise distracted Morgan. The Indian police character then returned and hit Morgan with a baton while the ref was distracted. Magnus then hit the Mag Driver on Morgan and gets the 3 count. Magnus becomes the new Ring Ka King Champion. Jarrett then enters the ring and puts the championship on Magnus' shoulders. The police character guy celebrates with them to suggest that he was bought off by Jarrett, and Dutt, Steiner and Abyss join in the celebration. Some Indian wrestlers try to enter the ring but are attacked by the bunch and thrown out. Harbhajan Singh's music hits and he comes out with a cricket bat in hand leading to Jarrett and co. leaving the ring. Harbhajan says in Hindi that it was a mistake to give him a second chance, and that soon he would take his wicket. Magnus celebrates with the championship on the ramp as they leave.
- The show is being promoted as "Ring Ka King: Wrestling Ka Mahayuddh", which translates to "King Of The Ring:Wrestling's Megabattle" in Hindi. The show name in all likelihood was chosen by Endemol and Colors and not TNA.
- This was the first set of tapings for the show and was shot over four days. The next set of tapings will be in January.
- The show was held at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, which is a city near Mumbai.
- The arena probably had about 1,500 people in, and they might have turned off about a 1,000 more. And that was with zero promotion or advertising.
- In terms of the size of the arena, it was similar to the Impact Zone, but the floor area was filled to capacity till they hardly had any space to move around.
- While in conversation with a lady who had come to watch the show, I found out that like most TV shows in India with an on-screen audience, there were a lot of people who were sent by the organizers to watch the show and fill the seats. I'm convinced that with the turnout that they got even without any promoting or advertising in the city, they wouln't have needed to do that had they done some promoting in the city they were taping it in at least.
- Joe Baath is one of the two announcers of the show. Joe Baath has been the presenter for a bunch of TNA Wrestling recap shows in India for the past 5 years. The announcing will be in Hindi.
- A lot of the Indian wrestlers were also used on the previous wrestling show on Colors, "100% De Dhana Dhan", which involved the South African wrestling promotion WWP.
- The show will air every Saturday and Sunday night on Colors in India, which is available in the US and UK as "Aapka Colors". Colors is one of the top three networks in India in terms of ratings.
- It may be possible that Bigg Boss, the Indian version of Big Brother involving Indian celebrities, will be the lead-in to Ring Ka King.
- The celebrity involvement in the show is by Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh. Cricket is the most popular sport in India and Harbhajan Singh is among one of the well-known faces of the national team.
- The production values of the show were excellent and may match or even exceed the quality of production in the Impact Zone. There was a truckload of lighting on the ceiling of the arena and was definitely much better lit than the Impact Zone. Though the Impact Zone may win in the pyrotechnics department.
- I managed to catch a glimpse of what the arena might look like on TV by the direct feed on one of the TVs in the "Creative TNA" room. It looks spectacular and will look good on TV too.
- I was not allowed to take photos, but I managed to sneak out my camera and take a few snaps from the horrible view that I got behind the announcer's table.
- Overall this was a great experience, it being my first time at a wrestling event. All the wrestlers and celebrities involved got a great reaction from the crowds, unlike the usually dead Impact Zone. I'm sure TNA would be pleased with the way the tapings turned out. I was lucky to find a few wrestlers on the hallway outside and I quickly searched through my bag for a piece of paper, though all I could find was a bank receipt. Oh well. I managed to get a couple of autographs - one from Matt Morgan, who was nice enough to give me an autograph after frantically trying to get to the bathroom before asking one of the crew members "Can you tell me where is the shower?" The other was from Luke Gallows, though he did not seem very pleased by my asking him for an autograph. I was dumbfounded and speechless when I saw these guys in front of me, because I've only ever watched these guys on TV. Also it made me realise how big these guys are. Matt Morgan was f***ing huge!