TNA Maximum Impact Tour 2011 – Manchester Evening News Arena

21 Mar

TNA Wrestling

28th January 2011

I was a wreck.

Stupidly I went out the night before TNA’s tour date in Manchester.

This was beginning to be known as the tour from hell. Two injuries to a top talent, one of the replacements (Kurt Angle) having to leave the tour to be with his new baby, and Ric Flair deciding he liked Dublin so much that he didn’t want to go to Berlin meant that the tour was a little low when it rolled into Manchester (although with that said, it did include Ric Flair again – woooooo!!).

That being said, we weren’t much better. One of my few mates who are into wrestling yet not a participant had ticket problems, and another one had issues getting time off work meaning we were a few numbers down ourself. Couple that with a hangover, meaning I wasn’t too chuffed when I finally left the house.

In any rate, after meeting my mate at Manchester Picadilly Station, we headed to the traditional haunt of sad professional wrestling fans – the pub. Amazingly, we weren’t the only fans there, with a few more braving the sunshine to go to the pub. Wearing a British Invasion t-shirt (which is something I love about TNA – their tees are cool designs, not muscly men in swimming trunks), I was often the recipient of TNA banter – tickets, where the bogs were, when Desmond Wolfe will return – I must be very approachable.

Anyway, moving onto the actual show, and we were stupidly late arriving, getting there just before Jeremy Borash (the MC for the evening)  began his hyping spiel. It’s the same as always – we’ve backstage passes to give away, the bad guys (in this case Jeff Jarrett & The Hardy Boys) don’t want anybody backstage, but we’ll just have to cheer harder to get the passes. It’s the same as last year, but it still works getting the crowd worked up.

Haskins Flying & Ultimately Missing

From my time working in the wrestling business, I’ve always been told that the first match is vitally important. It helps warm up the crowd & a bad first match kills the crowd dead. So it was odd that the first individual out was an invitee on the European Tour – Oxford’s Mark Haskins. You pay £50 & the first guy out the casual fan wouldn’t have a clue with? The crowd responded with a “Who Are Ya?” chant. They could’ve been onto something though, the cheers for “The Prince of Punk” Shannon Moore was remarkably good. To their undying credit, both competitors went for it, with a high flying match that saw multiple leaps over the top rope, a Shooting Star Press by Haskins, and a couple of top rope hurricaranas, the last one was missed by Haskins, allowing Moore to hit his “Mooregasm” finisher for the win. Good match!


Mickie James leads Angelina Love out of her corner.

Second match & we got a couple of bonefide stars. Tara – formally Victoria – was a former multi-time WWE Women’s Champion, who was the referee  in the match between Angelina Love (a “good girl” leader of The Beautiful People) vs. the awesome, stunning & talented Mickie James – who has the second best music in wrestling today. Who also was a “good girl”. This match was for the #1 contender for the Knockouts Championship – which again was bad booking of the show as not only was it good girl vs good girl, the prize wasn’t going to be defended that night (I was convinced that the winner would’ve fought later that night – why have a #1 contenders match on the show if you don’t have the title match?), anyway Mickie James won, snogged Tara (all wrestling fans believe hot women snog each other, fact), and left. Was a good match again.

Sabin jumps onto Kazarian. I like this pic!

Third match was for TNA’s X Divison belt & it was between Kazarian & Chris Sabin. Finally we had a match that made sense! Sabin was the good guy & Kazarian was the bad guy, they’ve had matches in the past & they’ve always been awesome, and this was no different. Plenty of high flying moves, which saw eventually Kazarian landing his Impact Piledriver to win.


The fourth match, and the final before the break, was by far the best. The year before Beer Money – the best tag team at the time, fought The British Invasion. This was a rematch of last year’s main event, but with the roles reversed – The British Invasion were now the local heroes against the evil invaders Beer Money with their manager the legendary “Dirtiest Player In the Game” Ric Flair.


At least that was the plan. Unfortunately, because Beer Money are so good (and that’s not a shot at The British Invasion, as they are great too!), and because they have Ric Flair, Beer Money got cheered out of the building. Especially after Ric Flair called us all “wankers” as well. To the credit of the combatants, the match changed mid match with Douglas Williams & Magnus berating the crowd as traitors. Beer Money did win the match, with a Flair interference. I was hoarse screaming like a girl, so I had a welcome break, which involved buying an overpriced beer & t-shirt from the concession stands.

After the break there were two matches, including more bad booking. Rob Terry (a baddie) & Matt Morgan (a goodie) faced Jeff Jarrett (a baddie) & “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero (a goodie). I mean, what? Furthermore, Jeff Jarret made the mistake that all Americans make – they thing that because we’re in Manchester, everybody supports Manchester United – so slagging off the team ended in cheers. Furthermore, Rob Terry is arguably one of the least popular wrestlers in the world. He’s silly hair, he’s Welsh & he looks clueless at times. Unsurprisingly, he was booed out of the building, as well as a brilliant chant of “He’s On Steroids”. The match was short & ended up as a bit of a mess towards the end, with Morgan & Terry winning.

More aerial manouvers, that miss.

It was then time for the main event – Rob Van Dam & Mr. Anderson vs. The Hardy Boyz. I am a massive fan of Jeff Hardy’s new persona as “The Antichrist”, it’s just a little bit original yet familiar, that I love. The match itself was an enjoyable main event, with Anderson & RVD winning. If you are wondering why the right up for the main event is short, it’s because the main event is often more about the people involved interacting on the microphone. Mr. Anderson being particularly funny referencing the Keys & Gray sacking from the week before. Thus, after getting a photo with the permatanned Jeremy Borash, we were sent packing – to The Grand Central (now that Jilly’s has shut down, The Grand Central seems to be the place for wrestling fans – it’s gothic, cheap & the colour of choice seems to be black – so it’s easy to see why. After a pint of rather unfulfilling Fosters, I said my goodbyes and headed home.

You and me love. Jeff Hardy makes me cry too.

I was a bit underwhelmed by this years TNA Tour. Whilst it was still relatively fun, it wasn’t as good as the year before. Too many people (read Jeff Hardy) looked like they didn’t want to be there, and half the time it didn’t make sense. If you’ve been keeping up with TNA recently you’ll know that often they do things that make no sense, and many of the people don’t want to be there.

With that said – it looks like we got an authentic TNA Experience. Just kinda wish I didn’t pay £50 for the privilege.

About Rhys Wynne

Rhys Wynne is the editor & creator of You're Supposed To Be At Home. For his sins, he is a Colwyn Bay & Liverpool fan, and a serial blog creator. You can follow Rhys on twitter here.

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