Sure we waited in line for an hour before we were allowed into the TNA Impact Zone, but once inside I didn't really care all that much. I'd only ever been to a live wrestling match once before at a house show. I'd never seen a live televised event before. I was worried that I wouldn't know any of the new wrestlers, as I'd not watched in over a decade, but I need not have worried all that much – the more things change...
Hulk Hogan and Mick Foley took to the stage, explaining how the times were changing, and how the torch needed to be past. Hogan was a hero of the 80s, Foley a hero of the 90s. They were going to usher in the new era of wrestling for a new decade (never mind that the decade after the 90s was already over too.)
Still – to see these two greats in person was something that reverted me back to a small child. I may have been on my feet screaming a wee bit.
Next up was a women's match. Yawn. If there's anything worse that wrestling, it's women wrestling. It looks far faker, and far more terrible then the men's. Still – it gave me time to figure out how the cameras were set up, and let me understand that while things may look random at home, one character was almost always facing the main camera. The ref was always in a similar position, and the less attractive was also with her back to the camera. The use of stage was something I'd never really thought about when it came to wrestling, and yet here it was – so obvious.
When that ended, without me caring to remember names or outcomes, Ric Flair took to the mat – Ric 'Woooo!' Flair! Once more, the child inside of me could hardly believe it. I got a picture of him Wooo-ing and that was a childhood dream come true. The Impact Zone was small, holding perhaps eight hundred people. Every picture was a good up close picture.
Next was a steel cage match between Beer Money and the Motor City machine guns. I didn't know either of these guys, but a cage match is a cage match. One of the guys got 'busted open' (I assume he used a razer on his forehead) getting blood all over the mat. The fans were wild and crazy. If you want to see America for its stereotyped best, go to wrestling. This is where the mullets take centre stage.
Next up, stepped The Freak! “Look at his body,” Katherine shouted. I am emasculated. You didn't head me saying anything when the women were doing their thing. “So sculpted!” I felt like Brad, when Rocky was first introduced into the world. Dammit Janet!
This match did not last long. And soon he was gone.
Then Mr. Anderson took to the stage. He is a new superstar – flagship of the federation from what I could gather. People with his signs were put ringside, pulled from the line. He was a mouth that could entertain, and wrestle. But he was just there and gone. Hardly taking up any time at all.
The final match was between Tommy Dreamer an Abyss (a Mankind knock off.) This ended with Tommy being screwed over by Raven (who does not look nearly as good as a wrestler these days, as he did when he was in WCW on the N64 all those years ago.) Foley came out, once more, to set things right – and that was that. Three hours of wrestling at an end.
It struck me that I kind of liked wrestling. But then I like everything live, especially when it gives me a chance to shout. With voice gone, we walked under the Universal gates, and the full moon, getting in our car for the ride back home.
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