TNA Maximum Impact Tour 2012 Manchester Review
February 1, 2012 · 0 Comments
First a rant about public transport! I hate it and I hate snow for turning a normal two and a half hour journey into a five hour from hell bus ride. Thus meaning that I missed the opening of the show but the exciting thing is as soon as I walked through the doors I forgot all about it! As I saw Alex Shelley nailing Mark Haskins with a stiff kick in the face! The first thing I notice was the awesome stage setup which is the same as the Impact Zone in Florida with a mini stage etc. The Arena was pretty full and was into the action. Here is a recap of the results…
Jeremy Borash and Christy Hemme are both hyping the crowd and announcing tonight!
Austin Aries vs. Alex Shelley vs. Mark Haskins
I was a little let down that I missed most the match-up as two of my favorite TNA Superstars are Shelley and Aries. The finish saw Shelley go for the Slice Bread Number Two only for Haskins to reverse it and straddle Shelley on the ropes while Aries picked up the pieces and nailed the Brainbuster for the win! Quality finish to the match but the problem TNA has is that Aries is getting shown as a face even by acting like a heel [see: Mark Henry] and the crowd were happy that he won. From what I saw and heard during the interval it was a good opener.
Before the next contest Jeremy Borash introduced Earl Hebner and the fans began to chant the ‘You screw Bret.’ That chant has probably been done a thousand times. Hebner plays up on it and takes out a pair of sunglasses and does the Hitman taunt to the fans, who are eating it up.
Doug Williams vs. Crimson
For the second night in a row Crimson got booed and to be honest you can’t blame the Manchester crowd as he is going against a national treasure in Doug Williams. Doug got the better of the opening exchange until Crimson took control with power moves. Doug busted out the suicide dive to the outside and a Douglas chant breaks out. Highlight of the match for me was the T-bone by Crimson that looked sick and amazing from where I was sat. Crimson won the match with a Sky High! Apart from the opening and the dive, the match was subpar and basically a squash which is strange considering it was Doug’s home country.
Gunner vs. AJ Styles
Gunner came out first and garnered cheap heat by mocking Doug Williams, there is something about Gunner I do not like but I still don’t know what it is. AJ got a huge pop as he came out and a huge AJ Styles chant! This was co-match of the night for me as both men got a lot of offense in with Styles nailing two Superman forearms; one off the guard rail and one into the ring. After nailing the one off the guard rail AJ took time to kiss a teenage girl on the cheek, making her swoon for the rest of the match. The finish came when Gunner reversed the Styles Clash and went for the F-5 only for Styles to reverse that and nail him with the Pele. Styles went to the outside and celebrated with the fans as Gunner sold the kick for a good couple of minutes.
Gail Kim & Madison Rayne vs. Tara & Mickie James
The one thing I liked about this match up was the fact Kim and Rayne were wearing matching colors. It is little touches like this that shows that they are a team. The match was short with Mickie playing the face in danger role as Kim and Rayne took turns beating her down until the finish. This saw Hebner getting some tongue action on Madison Rayne while Tara nailed Kim with the Widows Peak which I was shocked about until it clicked that Tara is Gail’s next opponent, therefore making sense for her to go over. The post-match celebrations saw Mickie and Tara kiss Earl who passed out and then Tara kissed Mickie which resulted in Tara passing out. It was fun stuff all around.
During the first half of the show Borash was in the crowd giving out free backstage passes to fans and promised more in the second half but never delivered…I was disappointed ha-ha. Before the intermission Borash told us the next match will be shown live next week on Challenge! Thanks to another reporter at the show I found out that I only missed half of a match so that was amazing news.
Bobby Roode © vs. Samoa Joe
This match was filmed for Xplosion as it was the reward for Samoa Joe winning the tournament. The crowd love Joe but not so much love for Roode. We get the champions introduction which was a nice touch as well as a ‘Joe’s gonna kill ya’ chant….which I have missed. There was a funny moment where Joe ‘off camera’ does the wanker sign about Bobby Roode which gets the crowd going. Joe was on fire tonight, his cut down television matches do not do this man justice. Many people are saying he is lazy but he was truly on form. We even saw him pull out the Ole! Roode nailed Joe with the spinebuster only for Joe to no sell it which the crowd eats up. The finish saw Roode grab the ref and low blow Joe (unlike other sites that reported a clean finish – SHAME ON YOU!) and nail him with the Perfect-Plex to get the three. After the pin fall Roode left the ringside area as the camera switched off. Joe then grabbed an England flag from a fan and waved it in the air…Manchester truly loves Joe.
Borash introduced TNA president Dixie Carter who came out and thanked the fans for making them the number one wrestling company……in the United Kingdom! She then welcome a special guess, who was an old lady who fought off a burglar who was trying to rob (or burglarize as Dixie put it) her house! This all lead to the main event. Bully Ray came out and gets on the mic. First he called Christy a slag and says that he wants to punch the old woman in the mouth. Then to rub salt in he took off his top to reveal a Liverpool top with Gerard on the back that gets some good heat for him. Angle came out to cheers from the crowd. Then the baby-faces came out. James Storm was first with the crowd going wild for cowboy. Then it was time for Sting and the crowd pop big style for him. As both teams got in the ring they were interrupted by TNA World Champion Bobby Roode, who called us all wankers, telling Sting and Storm that it is a three on two handicap match-up now. Storm gets on the mic and gets the crowd to chant ‘BEER’ and ‘DRINKERS’. Sting laughs saying ‘didn’t you realise last night? We have a partner!’ Cue…HULK HOGAN! Everyone gets on their feet as ‘Eye of the Tiger’ is played, and out comes THE IMMORTAL ONE….THE HULKSTER…..wait he is wearing red sweats? And is looking old…WHATEVER he is HULK HOGAN…..then I passed out and can’t remember what happened. Nah just kidding Hulk came down leaving us with a three on three match-up.
Bully Ray, Kurt Angle & Bobby Roode vs. James Storm, Sting & Hulk Hogan
Hogan does his usual start of the match with the shirt ripping etc. We have the basic tag team match up with the faces starting off well with Sting and Storm dominating only for the heels to cheat to take advantage. This all leads to Hulk Hogan coming into the ring and Hulking up and beating down on Bully Ray. Bully is now one of my favourite (and my girlfriend’s favourite) wrestlers. All through the match he was smack-talking the crowd as well as cheering ‘Gerard whoop!’ which made me giggle. After getting nailed with the Big Boot, Bully and Hogan went to the outside and grabbed a walking stick off the old lady Bully Ray was calling and Hogan nailed him with it. I know what you’re thinking….shouldn’t that be a DQ? Not in a Hulk Hogan match remember? He used to use his weight belt all the time and never got DQ’d! Anyway they fought back into the ring where Hogan nailed him again. Bully landed in the corner which was followed by a Stinger Splash which was then followed by a superkick by Storm for the three-count. After the three, Storm drank beer and all three played up to the crowd. Hogan left pretty soon after, while Sting took time with the crowd high fiving everyone who was around ringside. It really showed who truly cared for the fans in attendance.
Overall it was a fantastic show, and what house show have you seen lately that can name a main event involving Sting, Hogan and Angle! I was so impressed with the show that I am considering buying tickets for next year, which will include Jeff Hardy and maybe a few more people who never featured this year, like Daniels and Matt Morgan. The tickets go on sale this Monday for one week at a price freeze at this year prices, which a great deal. If you want a great night of wrestling entertainment featuring some of the best young talent and yesterday’s stars I highly recommend that you go to see TNA.
Dates for 2013
Wednesday 23 January 2013 Glasgow Braehead Arena
Thursday 24 January 2013 Nottingham Capital FM Arena
Friday 25 January 2013 Manchester Arena
Saturday 26 January 2013 London Wembley Arena
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