TNA House Show Report From Westbury, NY (9/2) - Flair, Storm Vs. Angle, Hardy
There were perhaps a little under 2,000 in attendance. The setting was very interesting: a 2,500 seat theatre-in-the-round, with an extremely low theatre ceiling above the stage. Jesse Sorensen hit his head on a hanging speaker while on a top turnbuckle. The bump startled and provoked him into his cross-body jump. Matt Morgan nearly hit his head on a very dusty overhead light while posing on a rope in the corner. And James Storm was frightened by a very close overhead light in a corner, flinched, and gestured as if he was waving off a bee swarm.
The crowd was cheering for Kurt Angle, who had signed autographs before the show at the concession area. Though, the crowd was not necessarily against Storm. Mid-match a musical "You Suck" chant broke out to the beat of Angle's WWE theme. Angle responded to the cheers with some surprise, a confused shoulder shrug, and eventually a couple of profane gestures.
Storm and Angle put on the best match of the show in the co-main event. It, perhaps along with Gunner vs. Devon, was the only match that didn't seem rushed. Storm had a wonderful combination of moves at the end of the match culminating with a code breaker sending Angle into the ropes and back into a Storm Last Call superkick for a Cowboy victory. Storm received applause towards and at the end of the match.
There were copious "Woo!" chants for Ric Flair as he was introduced as Gunner's manager against Devon. Gunner was victorious after he reversed suplex in a corner. Devon's foot was caught under the bottom rope during the pin-fall. Devon complained of Flair cheating, but I really didn't see it. Maybe Flair forgot to cheat, and Devon picked up the slack.
Jeff Hardy was the favorite of the women and children in attendance, and received the biggest introduction "pop". He defeated Bully Ray and Bobby Roode in a non-title triple-threat after Bully betrayed Roode, though the two reconciled after the match. Bully acted covetous of Roode's title belt when Roode was pre-match posing.
Immediately after hitting a Twist-of-Fate on Bully and gaining the pin-fall, TNA staff strapped an ice pack on Hardy's back. He kept it there while he posed for photos in the ring with the assembled crowd. It was $20 for a photo in the ring with him. He seemed to be very courteously interacting with the fans. Hardy also had a glow-in-the-dark action figure toy signing before the show.
Morgan v. Crimson was a lot better than their pay-per-view match. Though Morgan really carried it until the end when Crimson won with something like a roll-up.
Don West was a dynamo, hosting the pre-show and intermission, and hawking merchandise. He received several small affectionate calls from the crowd.
Austin Aries, Madison Rayne/ Gail Kim, Gunner, Crimson, James Storm, Jeff Hardy
1) Jeff Hardy
2) Kurt Angle
3) Ric Flair
4) The Knockouts -- Mickie James was most popular in her and Velvet Sky's loss to Gail Kim and Madison Rayne with the Women's Tag Titles on the line. But they were all appreciated by the males in attendance.
5) Matt Morgan -- He was surprisingly popular in his defeat to Crimson by way of an inside cradle. He was appalled at the small ring area, to a humorous effect.
6) Devon/ James Storm
1) Bully Ray -- He did a stand-up segment insulting the crowd for ten minutes before the main event. He picked a fight with an eight-year-old girl.
3) Jesse Sorensen -- It was a bit of a mean-spirited, though not rude, crowd. The vocal attendees rooted for Austin Aries as he defeated Sorensen with a brain-buster to retain his X-Title.
Thanks to Joshua Kahn for contributing to this article. Got a news tip? Send it to us by clicking here.