TNA in Dublin – January 21st 2013
by Alan Counihan
I have been to three TNA House Shows in The National Stadium in Dublin – 2009, 2011 and 2013. All have followed a similar theme – wrestling which was “house show style” to the extreme but at the same time was exactly what their crowd wanted. Each time the crowd has been in the 1,200 range and it’s always been a hardcore TNA loving crowd. The want to chant “You Screwed Bret” at Earl Hebner, they want to see Velvet Sky shake her butt, they want to hear James Storm talk about drinking beer in Dublin and they want to see guys do their finishers. For the wrestling purist, it’s nothing to write home about, but to these Impact Wrestling fans it’s all they want. Well almost all they want……
The biggest mark against this show was the blatant and quite frankly fraudulent false advertising of Jeff Hardy. I knew beforehand of the issue with Jeff being advertised even though TNA knew full well that he couldn’t travel to the UK for the tour, but it didn’t really hit me how scummy this was until I was entering the building and saw a ton of children (and the occasional adult) wearing Jeff Hardy makeup that they had probably spent hours on that afternoon. Once inside the doors, they were greeted by a couple of A4 pieces of paper with the message that Jeff was not going to be on the show. There was no apology during the course of the event.
The show opened with Bad Influence of Kazarian and a very amped up Chris Daniels taking on Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez. A large portion of the crowd was really into Daniels and he got on the mic in an attempt to quell the “Let’s Go Daniels” chants but it was to no avail. Thus the heat segment didn’t work too great. There was some good action towards the finish which saw Chavo use the Frog Splash to get the win (and no, his weak Frog Splash doesn’t look any better live than it does on TV). The TNA Knockouts were up next in a rather terrible match mainly due to Velvet Sky who, God bless the girl, is all over the place in there. She’s not athletic and yet she tries to do absurd convoluted moves which always look terrible. The match mercifully ended when she got the win with a sit-out Pedigree.
Maybe the best match on the show was RVD vs. Zema Ion. The crowd treated Zema like a nobody when the match was starting but he got himself over with great heel antics and some great looking stuff when RVD gave him a chance to shine (such as a swinging DDT which RVD took his usual great DDT bump for). They played around with Zema’s hairspray a lot to start the match and that got over big. Van Dam won with the Five Star Frogsplash. If that was the best match on the show, the best moment may have preceded it. Earl Hebner was doing his Bret Hart schtick with the sunglasses and I swear to God, A FAN JUMPED THE RAIL AND TRIED TO GET AT HIM!!!! He was grabbed by security and kicked out as Christy Hemme encouraged us to boo him. Surreal.
Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode vs. James Storm was a decently fun three way with Aries really standing out with his charisma and abilities in the ring. He probably looked the most polished all rounder on the show. We then got a cringy segment with Dixie Carter being thanked for being their “fearless leader” before Magnus interrupted for some UK vs. Ireland heel heat. The “suspeneded” Bully Ray came to Dixie’s defence and she lifted his suspension for once night so he could have a No DQ match with The Mag Daddy. The match was fine. Bully did Hogan spots and put him through a table for the win. Intermission saw the cage go up and the main event cage match pitting Sting (who was making his return to the city he won the WCW title in in 1993) and Kurt Angle vs. Aces & Eights got under way shortly after. Kurt was jumped by Mike Knox before entering the cage and Sting was left alone with Devon and Doc (who looked awesome taking some big bumps). The babyfaces fought back with Kurt eventually recovering and cleaning house. Simple and exactly what the crowd wanted. Bar the Jeff Hardy incident, that’s the best way the show as a whole can be summed up really.
Thanks for reading, and please be sure to check out the 2012 DKP/ProWres Paradise Year End Annual. Dean Knickerbocker, myself and a host of great contributors present a comprehensive full colour PDF Annual detailing the year 2012 in the world of wrestling. Interviews with some of the stars of 2012, roundtables, reviews, ratings, awards and a must for every annual..... PUZZLES~!!! - it's all included in this 174 page beast! Right now the Annual is available to download at the following links, and will hopefully be available to download directly from our site here soon.
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