Posted by Alex Barie
Most of you probably know that I went to TNA’s Impact Wrestling this past Thursday. It was in Indiana, PA. I would first like to thank Kendra Bunyon for filling in for me with live coverage of the show as well as plugging my Twitter and Facebook page. I also want to thank Richard Gray for looking over TNANews.com this weekend. I was too busy to produce any content, but I am back and I am ready to go!
After going to Impact Wrestling on Thursday, I have thought of so many articles to write. It’s crazy! It’s so weird though because I went to WWE Raw a little more than a month ago and I really didn’t think of as many articles as I did when I went Impact. I wrote on my social media, “It looks like TNA is inspirational!” While I will be pumping out articles for the next days and weeks to come as I gather everything… I want to write about my experience with TNA from Thursday!
Indiana, PA was Impact Wrestling’s fourth city since they started on the road. First was Chicago. Next was Jonesboro. After was Corpus Christi and finally it was Indiana. I know several people who went to Impact Wrestling and those people actually write for WrestlingNewsWorld.com… or are huge fans of the site. Gesus Oliver and Jesse Sherwood to name a few. I have heard some stories from them about their experience. Jesse didn’t have a great experience if I can say so myself (more so with how the taped show looked on television). Hearing stories is not the same as actually going to the event.
As I wrote earlier, I went to Raw more than a month ago. I went with a friend. This friend is a casual wrestling fan, so I always look to him to see what he thinks of the shows. Most of the time I get caught up in what the IWC say, so it’s pretty hard to judge thinks on both sides. Let’s face it… wrestling companies aren’t going to cater to the IWC. They are going to cater to my friend. His thoughts on Raw weren’t good. He thought the show was boring and drawn out. He didn’t even feel the excitement for Wrestlemania 29 as it was in about 2 weeks. Hearing that from a casual fan is never good. I brought the same guy with me to Impact Wrestling. I really wanted to hear his thoughts about it. First off, he said it was better than Raw. He said the energy was so much better. He loved how the crowd was. Going to a WWE event… you just blend in. You are just one person in the stands. To me, it felt like you had to be one of them. It didn’t feel like that with Impact. At Impact, you felt like yourself. It felt like you had a voice. You weren’t just blended in. You wanted to stand out. You actually can! That may do with the smaller audience, but I would rather take being in a smaller wilder crowd than a large bland crowd. It sure does make a difference.
I wanted to introduce my friend and what he thought of Raw and Impact before I actually went into my experience. Now here’s the part most want to read about.
Indiana, PA isn’t a huge city. Sure, it’s a city with a whole college campus, but it is nothing compared to Pittsburgh. Did that make a difference? At the lower scheme of things, no. I live about an hour or an hour and a half away from Indiana and I still went to the show. I feel like going outside the city is beneficial for TNA as it’s cheaper and you still get people who love the show. It really doesn’t matter if they have to travel. Not for me anyways.
I was stoked going to the event. I was skeptical about how well the show was going to do though. I haven’t heard any advertising. I haven’t seen any advertising around my area. I was told from other people that they saw TNA promoting the show. Kurt Angle actually did a lot of promotional stuff, but I never heard anything. With that being said, I’ll let TNA’s advertising go, but I still found it weird. In reality, WWE barely advertised at all when they came to Pittsburgh. I never seen anything. So I guess their equal on that part.
My friend and I traveled to Indiana and got to the complex. We entered and I called this person. Richard gave me a number of someone to call. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to go backstage. Everyone wants to go backstage. I tried to pull a few strings but I think I pulled them too hard or the wrong ones. I want to thank Richard for trying. I went in as a media credential. That means I am able to go to the side of the arena and takes as many pictures as I wanted. I even got a badge for the event. It’s meant to be a sticker, but I’m keeping it! The area had about 3 to 4 other people. It certainly was different than what I expected. I actually text Kurt Angle about going backstage at the end of the show. He got back to me and said he would have let me in if I contacted him earlier. Next time though. With that being said, TNA… come back SOON!
I took pictures at that media area for the first segment, but I am not going to stand the whole time. I wanted to find my front row seat. This is where it becomes dicey. I asked someone who worked there and she really didn’t have any clue where we were. She guessed that we sat in this one area. Yeah, that helps! I asked another lady and she said we sit on the opposite side… where Aces & 8s came through. Ah, that doesn’t seem right. I asked a third lady. 3 times is a charm, right? Well, she popped an attitude on me. She did find my seats though. Strangely, when I was standing in the media area, I looked over and there was some sort of problem with the seating arrangements. A worker came over and added one or two seats to a row. Not sure what that was about, but it certainly caught my eye. As for my seats…this guy was taking two of them up. Makes sense… you don’t want the show to come off as having an empty seat! In fact, when I was standing in the media area, some guy rushed over to inform another guy that they needed to find two people to fill two seats in the stands. It was during a taped Xplosion match. The guy rushed away and probably found people to fill it up. I wonder who was calling those shots.
I sat in my seat at the start of the TNA Tag Team Title match. I never sat that close. For $75… it’s not bad at all! I have no idea what it would cost to sit that close for Raw! I certainly got into the show. I would certainly recommend sitting in those seats if you can. The only problem I had with my seats is the lack of camera views. I certainly thought I was going to be on TV. I certainly thought you would be able to see me. You couldn’t. I was actually told that you can see me from a birds eye view at one point, but nothing straight on. The camera guy in front of me always faced away from me. When the action was out of the ring, he turned just enough or backed up so I wouldn’t be in the shot. It seemed like it was planned out that way. It was just a bad spot to think you would be on TV.
On the bright side, the seat is great to interact with some of the TNA stars. From Jeremy Borash to Christy Hemme to So Cal Val to Mike Tenay… each one of them sat down in that corner of the arena at some point during the show. Mike Tenay would sit there when they taped an Xplosion Match. I took a picture of him sitting there. He winking and pointed at the guy next to me when I snapped the shot. He then did it to me but I let him go with a thanks. Classy guy! Jeremy, Christy, and Val were all there at different times interacting with us. So Cal actually got into the show and responded at every move or every promo. Certainly got us more interested. Certainly great interaction!
One story I do want to tell is a moment during the TNA Tag Team Title Match. Christopher Daniels was as guest commentator and Kaz was standing beside him. Kaz was in his blue jeans and leather jacket. The guy beside me was extremely wild. He drank more than he should have but he made an impression. The lady on the other side of me was slumped into her chair the whole time. I question why they were even there. She didn’t show any enthusiasm. Anyway, the guy to my left starting yelling at Kaz saying he was wearing fake leather and he should sit down because he’s not doing anything important. Kaz turned around and thought it was me. He yelled, “Stop looking at my @ss!” I thought that was great! He turned back around to watch the ring. He then turned about a minute later and yelled, “I told you to stop!” He glared and I took a quick snapshot. Funny moment as well as entertaining!
I really want to write about the script in general. The doors opened at 6PM and the show started at 7PM. I questioned why but I figured they had to tape Xplosion. That will probably take from 7 to 8PM. Well, the filming actually began at around 6:45PM with an Xplosion match. Jeremy Borash then stated they are going live at 7. I was puzzled. Live? 7PM EDT? I thought it would be for next week’s show. Well, nope! They weren’t actually live this Thursday. It was about an hour tape delay. I was sending tweets out before people were actually seeing what I was seeing. I was almost the spoiler alert! That in general brought my energy level down. I wanted to give LIVE updates. Not hour delay updates. It didn’t sit well with me. They finished this week’s show and then did another Xplosion match. They then picked up with next week’s show. I don’t even know what the beginning is because they didn’t even show it. They went right into an X-Division Match. I don’t know about others but I was confused. Jesse Sherwood said they didn’t tape Xplosion at all when they were in Jonesboro. He also stated that they probably started early because TNA didn’t want us to go home too late. Makes sense, but they could have taped an hour of next week’s show before going live this week. That’s what I thought they were doing. The whole show was over at 10:30PM EDT. Was it rushed? Not really but they have a very limited time schedule. They can’t be fooling around.
While they were taping the second show… there was miscommunication within the TNA staff. First off, Christy Hemme walked over to where I was sitting and was talking to one guy who sat right by the “bell guy.” Christy told the guy that she had no idea what is going on because she didn’t get a script. She then said, “I guess I pissed someone off.” The guy did have a script and gave it to her. There is also another instance. While they were taping Kurt Angle’s match for this week… this one girl who was at ringside said they went black. The guy who talked to Christy before started asking questions. There must have been some mishap as the camera went dark. They weren’t filming anything. It quickly came back but it was directly during Kurt’s match. Obviously no one else would know unless they were sitting that close hearing everything.
We stayed in the arena for awhile after the show ended. The crew was already tearing the place up. We did the same thing with Raw. While the WWE crew moved so much faster than TNA’s… it’s amazing the quick turnaround. The show is finished and they already start packing up for the next night. They just keep moving from one city to another. As we stayed around though, my friend noticed two DVDs that people left at their seats. There weren’t anymore than a couple dozen people left. We went and took the DVDs. The people were long gone. It’s was a nice free gift.
We were heading phone for the night and my friend brought up a fascinating topic. When we came to the complex, we entered the front door and then went to the side so I can call the person Richard gave me. They took us right in to the floor. Do you see the problem there? They never checked our tickets! That one number got us in and they didn’t even question us. Scary, huh? I am sure they checked other people’s tickets… I sure hope so, but there wasn’t anyone at the front gate or in the lobby at all. It wasn’t like that for WWE Raw. We both mentioned the words, “Crazy, weird, and wild.” It’s almost appalling!
Going to Impact Wrestling was certainly an experience! First off, it was better than going to WWE Raw. I credit that to actually being in the front row. I also give credit to a lot more than that. Impact felt so much more alive. You get into it. You want to be heard. You feel the energy. My friend even said, “Imagine what it would be like if they actually had a bigger arena?” Honestly, there were moments when the crowd was louder than the crowd at Raw. Both are wrestling fans… but Impact is smaller. How can that be so?
I would recommend going to an Impact Wrestling show. I always felt like it would be difficult to attend several years ago, but now it has become easier for everyone! My overall experience was great. The thing that I can’t forget is the bad experience with finding my seat and the scary idea of going to the event without them even checking for a ticket. That is the complex’s fault though! It’s their lack of experience!
Thanks for checking out my experience with TNA Wrestling’s Impact Wrestling. If you went to their show, how was your experience? DId you enjoy it? Stay tuned for more articles coming up dealing with my time at Impact Wrestling!
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