Thanks to WrestlingINC.com reader Ryan Kennedy for sending in this report of TNA's house show last night in New Orleans, LA:
I was at the TNA house show from the UNO Lakefront Arena and it was another great house show by TNA. I brought my friend who has never been to a wrestling show and he loved it. I have to applaud TNA for another job well done on their house shows, from the meet-and-greet to the backstage passes to the post-show picture with Mr. Anderson in the ring. While we were in line for the meet-and-greet, Don West comes out to tell us about how it will go down and asks us if we want to buy programs. Atlas Security was doing the security as usual.
The meet-and-greet started at around 6. We line up at the barricades and the wrestlers come around ringside to sign and take pictures. Robert Roode, Robbie E, Cookie, Sarita, Eric Young, Orlando Jordan, Tommy Dreamer, the referee Jackson James, and another ref were signing autographs and taking pictures. All of them were very nice and open to taking pictures, which I asked many for photo ops. While this was going on, Don West kept talking and was doing his usual Brown Bag Specials and selling the Jeff Jarrett guitars for $200 which included meeting Jeff backstage, his autograph, and picture with him. Also, you get to go backstage again at intermission and the post-event ring picture was included in the $200. Also, they were selling $50 backstage passes for you and a guest which included 8X10s of Angelina Love, Mick Foley, and Jeff Jarrett, going backstage at intermission, and the post-event ring picture. My friend and I bought that and split the price between us.
After the meet-and-greet, Don West would come in the ring every 10 minutes to pitch more Brown Bag Specials and throw shirts, DVDs, The Pope's sunglasses, and Jeff Hardy pendants to the crowd. Matt Morgan was signing autographs by the merchandise table. When the show actually started, Jeremy Borash came in the ring to give out the backstage passes. One of the TNA employees wanted Borash to stop giving them out. I forgot why, but it was probably the whole "Jeff Jarrett doesn't want anyone backstage" bit. But Borash kept giving them out.
1. Tommy Dreamer def. Robbie E (W/Cookie) – Good match. Good to see Tommy Dreamer in the ring since he has not been on television lately. Robbie E was trying to show Tommy how to fist-pump, which was a funny sight. Cookie got involved trying to hold Dreamer's foot when he crossed the ropes. He grabbed her by the hair and put her in the corner. The finish is when Robbie knocks into Cookie in the corner and Dreamer hits the Death Valley Driver for the win. Good 10 minute match.
2. Angelina Love def. Sarita – Typical Knockouts match. Angelina Love did her very nice ring entrance. Angelina and Sarita are so pretty in person.
3. Devon def. Bully Ray in a Tables Match with Mick Foley as the special guest referee – Bully Ray gets typical heel heat by pushing a member of Atlas security and trash talking at fans. Bully Ray stalls a little before the match starts and pushes the ref. The ref grabs a microphone and says him and the rest of the TNA roster are sick of Bully Ray bulling people around. So he called in a special guest referee and out comes Mick Foley to a huge pop! Mick Foley is dressed in sweatpants and a Bruce Springsteen 1993 Tour jacket. Another friend of mine who had tickets next to me brought his "We Want Tables" sign and Foley grabbed the sign mid-match and held it up in the ring for a nice pop. The finish came with Bully Ray pushing Foley and Foley brings out Mr. Socko and shoves Socko down Ray's throat and Devon slams Bully Ray through a table for the win.
4. TNA Tag Team Title Match – Beer Money def. Eric Young and Orlando Jordan – Eric Young comes out wearing the original TNA World Title belt. Beer Money came out to a nice pop. Young and Roode start out the match and run back and forth through the ropes, in that Young slides out and Roode acts frustrated. Throughout the match, Eric Young acts like he is on Beer Money's team which was funny. Later on, when Roode and Orlando Jordan are in the ring, Roode jumps out and jumps over the barricade and sits in an empty seat in the front row which was a funny sight. There is even a point when Young is on Beer Money's side and they tag him in and he faces off against Jordan for a few minutes. Jordan is confused and keeps yelling to Young "What are you doing?!" Toward the end, Young slips off his shorts and reveals blue Beer Money tights. He joins them in the Beer Money chant. The end comes when Beer Money gave Young, which looks like, a botched DWI. Young landed hard on his head. Young shakes hands with Roode and Storm after the match.
Intermission – Angelina Love is signing autographs at intermission. My friend and I head backstage with the pass we bought. Mostly the same people from the meet-and-greet: Young, Jordan, Roode, Cookie, Robbie E, and Sarita. Foley, Devon, and James Storm are also signing. Big crowd for Foley and he was nice to everyone. He told me he thought he met me before, even though I never met him before. A+ for the backstage stuff. Everyone was approachable and so nice to talk to.
5. Jeff Jarrett def. Samoa Joe. Good 10 minute match. Jarrett is in good shape for being 43. Jarrett won with the Stroke. After the match, Joe argues with Jackson James and James pushes Joe. Joe puts James in the Musclebuster for a huge pop.
6. TNA World Title match – Mr. Anderson def. Matt Morgan. Great match from both guys. Anderson won with the Mic Check. Anderson makes Borash give him the microphone in his open hand since no mic fell down in Anderson's hand. The same thing he normally does at all house shows. Anderson gets on the mic and tells Borash that since he can't bring everyone backstage, the wrestlers will come around the ring for more autographs. Young, Jordan, Robbie E, Cookie, and Sarita come to ringside to sign autographs. Anderson does the post-show picture in the ring for $20. Anderson is so laid-back and took time to shake hands and talk to everyone that got a picture with him. Jeff Jarrett was signing autographs at the merchandise stand while the post-show ring picture with Anderson was going on.
Even though I am not a fan of most of TNA's current storylines, they put on a great house show. My friend, who was attending his first wrestling event, loved it from start to finish. A+ for all of the meet-and-greet and backstage stuff, including all of the autograph sessions. Don West is an excellent pitchman and Mick Foley was a nice surprise, considering it's been December since we have seen him. This was the second house show in New Orleans and it was so much better than the first one back in April 2009. The show in 2009 just did the post-show ring picture with Foley and the "backstage passes to the loudest fans" bit and did not have any of the backstage passes for $50, Jarrett's guitar and all the extras for $200, autograph sessions before and after the show and at intermission, and the meet-and-greet with a $50 ticket deal. A+ for the whole house show experience and I hope TNA comes back to New Orleans soon.