TNA UK Maximum Impact Tour
Braehead Arena, Glasgow, Scotland
27th January 2011
Before the show, the video screen was plugging the news about Impact airing on Challenge TV, with times and channel info - a really smart thing to have done, the amount of people around me that didn't know, it got the message across to everybody.
Jeremy Borash opens the show, promising the fans a night they'll never forget, and introduces the first match:
Kazarian bt. Shannon Moore, Chris Sabin, and Mark Haskins.
Sabin and Moore were by far the most popular in this match, Haskins didn't look out of place in the ring either. Nonstop highspots, especially from Sabin, while Shannon Moore worked the crowd well.
Jeremy Borash introduces Earl Hebner, who inexplicably enters to Alice in Chains - Man In The Box, famous as Tommy Dreamer's ECW theme. Hebner milks the crowd for all it's worth, beautifully, it has to be said, doing the DX crotch chop at one point. Once the "You Screwed Bret!" chant starts, Hebner takes his zebra stripes off to reveal a shirt that says "Damn Right I Did!" while copying Bret's signature pose.
Mickie James & Angelina Love bt. Madison Rayne & Tara
Good solid match, Hebner ends up holding Madison at one point, and steals a kiss to huge cheers. Mickie takes the pin and gives a fan at ringside a kiss.
Jeff Jarrett bt. Lionheart (Special Guest Referee Greg Hemphill)
Hemphill is a Scottish comedian, and huge wrestling fan, he looked like he enjoyed every minute - especially a double strut he and Lionheart pulled off after Jarrett was knocked out of the ring. Local wrestler Lionheart had the crowd firmly on his side, helped no end by an awesome heel performance from Jarrett. I'm no JJ fan, but he worked the fans beautifully. Jarrett took the win after Hemphill was knocked out, and Jarrett smashed the customary guitar over Lionheart's head. Hebner came down and counted the 3.
Hemphill and Lionheart posed for pictures with Dixie Carter at ringside afterwards.
Then, Jeremy Borash sprints off into the stands to find a guest ring announcer at this point. picks a guy called Frasier and his girlfriend. and Frasier promptly goes down on one knee and proposes! She says yes (thankfully for Frasier) and the production desk plays the wedding march.
Beer Money (w/ Ric Flair) bt. The British Invasion
Best match of the night by far. The British Invasion played heel (English guys in Scotland? Go figure!) and Beer Money revelled in the one night face turn. They and Ric Flair could do no wrong. Wooos and Beer Money! chants broke out throughout the match, and Roode especially was loving it. Flair cut a short promo before the match, and credit to Williams and Magnus, they jumped on board with the role reversal straight away and played it up, Williams especially looked to be having a ball. Beer Money took the win, and celebrated with Flair in the ring afterwards. Really, really good tag match, could have been a PPV bout easily.
Dixie comes out into the ring with a couple of kids and thanks everyone for their support over the past couple of difficult months, and plugs the TV deal again (something Borash did very well all night, it has to be said) and takes us to the intermission.
Matt Morgan bt. The Pope
The Pope was pulling off every trick in the book to stay heel, but the crowd was split with Let's Go Morgan! Let's Go Pope duelling chants. Morgan is HUGE in person, and sold a leg injury well before pulling off the win after a short, but not too short match.
Mr. Anderson and RVD bt. Matt & Jeff Hardy
How Matt can say he's in the best shape of his life, is beyond me. He wrestled in a shirt for the first half of the match, and when he took it off, there were audible laughs from the crowd, and several FAT HARDY signs on show. Jeff stayed heel through the match, and did it very well. It was a very pro-Jeff corwd judging by shirts and signs in the crowd, but he played his role very well. Anderson took the win in a fairly long match, but with little in the way of high flying that you'd expect from a match with Jeff and RVD involved.
Anderson adopted his signature pose, but there was no mic for him. so Jeremy Borash stood on a chair behind him and lowered his mic into his hand. Anderson described RVD as 275lbs, which Van Dam looked bemused at before shrugging and laughing, and hit his catchphrase. during the pause between Andersons, a loud KENNEDY! shout was heard, which raised a wry smile from the TNA Champion.
They posed for the fans, and Borash said they would return soon and closed the show.
All in all a VERY good show, just under 3 hours and never dragged. Borash is a great presence all through the show, keeping things moving and firing the crowd up. Lots of nice touches from TNA, handing out backstage passes all through the show for kids to go backstage during intermission and after the show, and Dixie Carter was happily signing autographs and posing for photos before the show.
I'd highly recommend attending a TNA house show, even if you're not a fan of the TV product - it honestly bears little resemblance to an Impact show.