|By Raj Giri||January 07, 2013 | Comments|
The ring was on the stage, for someone who has attended a bunch of concerts here it was interesting to see. Place was maybe half full, I was surprised at the number of kids (all attired in Jeff Hardy gear) at the show being TNA seems to focus more on the 18-39 demographic.
SoCal Val was our ring announcer as the show opened with the TNA Tag Team champions Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez defending their gold against Robbie T. and Robbie E. The champs retained in a standard tag match when Chavo hit the frog splash. Robbie E got a pop when SoCal announced him being from the Jersey shore. Other than that nothing notable came from this opening match.
Knockout champion Tara (w/ Jessie) retained over Mickie James, after the match Jessie got on the mic and talked trash issuing an open challenge which lead to Bully Ray's music and return to his old stomping ground which he referred to as Killadelphia. Bully was super over with the crowd whom started a loud "welcome back" chant. We got a referee and the match was on its way. Wasn't a long one, it ended when Jessie hit the low blow and the ref called for the bell awarding Bully the match by disqualification. Tara and Jessie double teamed Bully after the bell until Mickie James came back out to make the save. Mickie told Bully to "get the table!!" which lead to Bully putting Jessie through a table which the Philly crowd popped big for with chants of "ECW! ECW! ECW!" Bully then hand picked a kid from the front row and gave him a piece of the broken table which he also signed, pretty cool stuff.
X-Division champion Rob Van Dam successfully defended his title against Kazarian when he hit the five star frog splash. It was typical RVD match with the same spots he always hits. Rob of course was super over with the fans.
Next up was Aces & 8's (Devon and Doc) v.s. Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. Match was ok, the end came when Joe took a suicide dive over the ropes on Doc distracting the referee which gave Devon an opening to hit Kurt in the head with a hammer before going for the pin.
This lead to a brief intermission so the ring crew could assemble the steel cage for the main event, it was then that SoCal announced that referee Earl Hebner would be selling and signing his stupid t-shirts (I said stupid, not her) which drew a pretty big crowd at the merchandise stand.
The main event saw Jeff Hardy successfully defend his TNA World title in a three way steel cage match against Austin Aries and Bobby Roode with James Storm acting as the special guest referee. Hardy got the biggest pop of the night while Roode and Aries got a good response from the older males. Match wasn't bad, it was very slow at the beginning but picked up some steam with the heels double teaming Hardy then arguing amongst themselves. Aries got in Storm's face one too many times and ended up getting super kicked. Hardy took advantage of the now level playing field and hit the twist of fate on Roode and it was good for the 1-2-3.
After the match SoCal announced that for $20.00 you could take a picture with Hardy in front of the cage. My friend and I got in line in front of the stage until a short time later a security guard redirected us to the very back of another very long line to the left of the stage which was our cue to just say screw it and leave. During our brief time in line I watched Hardy and he looked genuinely happy to be there interacting with fans young and old.
It was my first TNA show and for what I paid ($29.00) I'd say it was worth it, the in ring action was what you'd expect from a house show.
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