|By Raj Giri||July 30, 2012 | Comments|
I went to the show with my wife, my brother, and our buddy Ed. Doors opened at approximately 4:00 PM for the meet and greet.
First, we were queued up in a hallway, where TNA officials offered the following pieces of merchandise:
* $30 "brown bag special" – 1 program, 4 DVDs, 1 action figure, 1 T-shirt
* $20 – Kurt Angle / Mr. Anderson action figure combo pack. If you bought one of these, you would be able to go backstage and get them autographed by Angle & Anderson. TNA officials said that the action figures that they had were the only ones left in existence.
* $375 – TNA replica championship belt. Buying one of these would give you a "lifetime backstage pass" for any and all future TNA events, except for PPVs and Impact. We were told that they don't have time to do backstage meet and greets at PPVs or at Impact.
The ring itself was on a stage, with a majority of the fans seated in theater-style seating at an orchestra level or balcony level. It was a nice theater and not your typical wrestling venue.
There were only 4 rows of ringside seats on only two sides of the ring. One side of the ring had no seats where the wrestlers made their entrance, and the other side of the ring had no seats to not obstruct the view of those sitting in the thereat seating. We sat in row #2, and we had a close-up view of the action.
The meet and greet included with the ticket was with Garret Bischoff, Magnus, The Pope, Kazarian, and Christopher Daniels. They all sat at a long table and mainly signed programs and posed for pictures. The guy in front of me laid four playing cards on the table, "Aces and Eights", for each of them to sign. Kazarian said he wasn't afraid of Aces and Eights, and said that he beat up bikers all the time. Kazarian was wearing a Metallica T-shirt, and said he left his Pantera T-shirt at home. The Pope said it was a conspiracy. Magnus and a member of TNA security hinted that they might even be members of Aces and Eights. Garrett Bischoff said he had nothing to say to Scotty Steiner.
Actually, there were a lot of supporters for the 'Aces and Eights' gang that has been wreaking havoc on Impact Wrestling as of late. Someone brought an 'Aces and Eights' sign, and there were a lot of the Aces and Eights playing cards being thrown around the ringside crowd all nite. The question on everyone's mind is whether the 'Aces and Eights' gang would be riding into Akron on this night.
After the first meet and greet, there was another meet and greet with Madison Rayne at the merchandise table. For $10, you could buy a Madison Rayne tapestry and get your picture taken behind the table with Madison. It was good to see Madison Rayne return to her hometown. Madison used to wrestle on the independent circuit in the Cleveland/Akron area under the name Lexi Lane. Now that Angelina Love and Velvet Sky are gone, many feel that Madison is the #1 Knockout in TNA.
Meanwhile, those with the $20 action figures met Anderson and Angle. The doors opened for everyone who didn't have a 'meet and greet' ticket and the show was ready to start. After the crowd filed in, I would estimate that there were approximately 500 fans in attendance.
Amongst those in attendance, Joseph Park was sitting in the theater in the approximately the sixth row. (I wonder if he bought a "brown bag special")
E-Z-E contributed to this article. Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.
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