Credit: Eric Sturrock and Pwinsider.com
TNA Against All Odds Off Air Notes & VIP Experience Notes
This was my first time at a TNA TV Show. I had only been to 4 TNA Live Events before in Poughkeepsie, NY. & Albany, NY.
I had ordered the TNA VIP Package for this weekend. The package never said where to meet or pick up the package, so going by the schedule of events I went to the Hard rock Café where the pre- show party was scheduled to be and therE was a line outside of it. Three nice people checked you in and gave you a card to wear with a number of which you were to get into the Impact Zone. As I walked into the upstairs part of the Hard Rock, Jeff Hardy was already signing autographs and taking pictures with the fans. Jeff was really nice to all the fans. Jeff left and next came in was Jeff & Karen Jarrett, who sat outside on the balcony. Jeff & Karen were exceptionally nice to all the fans. I asked Jeff if TNA was going to sponsor Elliott or Hermie Sadler in any NASCAR events this year and he said he did not know yet. He also said Hermie was backstage tonight. After they left, Rob Van Dam took their place and signed and took pictures. RVD took time with every fan to make sure they had a good time. Matt Hardy & Rob Terry came in next. Matt was nice to everyone and so was Terry. So Cal Val was on the balcony with RVD taping something. We were all then led outside, where we stood for about 20 minutes, then led to outside of the Impact Zone.
They had everyone line up in one area. A lady took count on a click counter (like an umpire uses in baseball) as each person walked by her. Theme park guests and TNA fans who waited outside to get in lined up behind us. We stood in that line for about one hour. We all were let into the Impact Zone. All of the chair ringside seats where off limits as they had cards with people's names on them. I choose to sit opposite of the stage. I don't know if they do this on the other bleachers there but boy they squeeze you in like sardines. One of the stagehands had everyone squeeze in closer to each other to "get us all on TV". Then she squeezed more people in. That caused some people to be upset, saying she lied. A group behind me was cursing to each other saying they would never do this again and said it was stupid for them to go to this wrestling show. Really disappointing to see possible new TNA fans become non- fans so quickly. The seats were uncomfortable as you had your knees into the person in front of you's back and people behind you's knees in your back. That made it so there was not even a path in each row so you had to carefully walk out of your row as you accidentally kicked people and stepped on other's feet. Some fans were wondering what would happen if there was a fire and that nobody would be able to get out.
Jeremy Borash came out about 15 minutes before the show started and worked his magic and got all us fans going crazy. Borash, like on TNA live events, brought a lot of fun to everyone and to me was the most enjoyable part of the show. JB wanted to see which part of the crowd was the loudest. JB got the fans in the bleaches closest to the stage going with cheers. And then had us opposite of the stage cheer. The two sections of fans then went back and forth with cheers/boos and "You suck" chants. JB asked the fans in the section between the pi t(camera side) and my side (opposite stage) to cheer. They were not as loud as the previous and got "You suck too" chants from both sections. JB asked the pit to cheer and they were not as energetic as the first two sections. JB said they better cheer louder or he would switch them out with our section as the pit is very important to the show as they are the background. JB also said that some celebrities were at the show and pointed out a radio DJ called "Madcow" in the front row. The way TNA did this and how they do their live events is something special, something that makes the show so much more enjoyable and remember able. No wrestling company shows love to their fans like this in my eyes.
Crowd was really booing Robbie E & Cookie. I think JB did a awesome job getting the crowd warmed up and they let out with fire on the heels.
After the 6-man tag match as Immortal walked up the stage, Rob Terry yelled at AJ and AJ sarcastically clapped at him.
Apparently many fans did know who Okada was. As people around were guessing that TNA got the guy from the green hornet movie while others thought that it looked like Tajiri. Fans around me were laughing when Samoa Joe had one of Dinero's dollars stuck on him for awhile. Don't know if you could see it clearly on TV but like we could see Joe blade himself.
During the Madison Rayne & Mickie James match I was taking pictures of the Impact Zone and noticed that Vince Russo was standing by the Spanish announce table watching the match. Fans around me were saying Madison Rayne looked a lot better in person then on TV (what? She always looks hot lol). Impact Zone seemed really into the match. The TNA Knockouts' match's & segments always blow WWE's out of the water and tonight again was no different. Earl Hebner watched the match from below the Commentators booth we also watched the Morgan/Hernandez segment from there.
The RVD/Hardy match was really enjoyable for everyone in attendance it seemed. Some fans really like the submission hold in the match saying its something different and they liked it. I noticed So Cal Val acting like a cheerleader trying to get the fans to cheer when she did.
JB came to the ring and got everyone cheering a litte bit more and introduced Earl Hebner. Earl got his usual "You screwed Bret chants" and acted really upset at same fans chanting it. Earl also made funny faces and pointed to all of us opposite stage side and waved at a friend of his in the ringside seating. Fans were yelling at Devon to not fall for Ray's trap at the start of the match. Don't know if this was seen on camera but when Devon smashed Ray with a bottle of Coke and then threw it up in the air it came down and became lodged in the camera crane. It got fans laughing, then a TNA member pulled the bottle out of the crane. Crowd was loving when Devon used the cane on Ray. After Devon's kids came to the ring I noticed Vince Russo was standing by the Spanish commentary table and then moved over by the fans on the floor and looking at the match and the fans reactions. Russo then moved to below the commentary table standing behind NASCAR Driver/Reporter Hermie Sadler & Brian Hebner who were watching the match. Hermie stayed their watching the show until the final match when he went back backstage.
JB got back in the ring and got the fans cheering loud again and asked us who we were pulling for either Jarrett or Angle. The Impact Zone was really into the match. Vince Russo reappeared sitting by the camera & production guys watching the match. Two fans were upset it seems that Angle lost and threw what looked like a bag or paper into the ring. Security was on them right away and I think took two people out. As Angle was leaving his boots in the ring, Earl Hebner eating a lollipop was joking around with some fans below the commentary table and So Cal Val was talking to them.
TNA's guys with black shirts saying "Security" on them after every match were going into the ring with a broom and brushing the mat and using towels and a spray bottle to wipe off the ropes and turnbuckle. When Samoa bled in the ring, after they sprayed out the blood from the ring mat. After Angle's match they took his boots out of the ring and to the back.
With the Championship match the Impact Zone was still hot and the crowd ooh'ed and ahh'ed at all the great spots in the match. Don't know if it was seen on TV but a fan had a funny sign that read "Total Nonstop Assholes". Brian Hebner was below the commentary table watching the match. Hebner went back backstage during the match and Simon Diamond came out by the commentary booth and watched the match. After the match everyone started flying out of the Impact Zone.
It was a great experience at the show. The only negative thing was how squeezed in everyone was and that it was really uncomfortable. But other then that awesome show and great atmosphere. Unlike with live wrestling events, the lighting in the Impact Zone helped you take awesome pictures. The staff were always nice to point you to the bathrooms and any other questions people had. The VIP experience was awesome and you got a program filled with autographs on the cover and back. You also got a poster signed by everybody who was on the show.
Anyone who has never been to a TNA TV show in Orlando and you are planning a vacation down their you should go, as you will have a great time. If TNA ever does a VIP deal again you should jump on the chance as its well worth the money. I hope Monday & Tuesday VIP stuff and the Impact tapings are as fun as today.
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