Thank You TNA

Nick Perkins


It has been years since I’ve seen a non-WWE live event. The last one I remember is a WCW Thunder broadcast from right before Hogan and Eric Bischoff were to fight DDP and Jay Leno. I’m not sure if I remember, but I think that show sucked. Needless to say, it was with great trepidation that my friend Eric (who doesn’t even really like wrestling anymore) and I drove two hours to a TNA house show in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Now, I’m not the biggest TNA fan in the world. I’ve criticized it just as much as the next guy (but not as much as Nick or Chris). But the idea of seeing Samoa Joe or Scott Steiner live made this an easy decision- I was going, and one way or another, I was going to:
A) Meet a wrestler
B) Give my business card to someone important
C) Eat mini donuts.
Sadly, C didn’t come to fruition. But the other two did! Eric and I got second row seats in what was a somewhat small arena. I had never been that close to a wrestling ring and I almost cried. On a sidenote, I don’t know how much smaller a TNA ring is from a WWE ring, but it didn’t look that big at all. That aside, it was a great show. It was a house show in Cheyenne, Wyoming, so I didn’t expect any of the really big name TNA stars. What I got were wrestlers who put on a great show for a small crowd, simply because they love to perform. From Consequences Creed, to Matt Morgan, to Scott Steiner, the heels all played up their personas to a tee. They insulted us, antagonized us- even threatened us!…I’ll get to that last one in a moment. The heels were interacting with the fans was the most fun part of the show.
The matches were decent. Seeing the Motor City Machine Guns and Samoa Joe live almost made me feel like a kid again. Speaking of kids, there were two sitting in front of us that were brave enough to yell “Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater” at Scott Steiner. When it came to dealing with Mr. Steiner, these kids were a lot braver than I was. As he made his way into the ring, I started yelling my heart out, trying to antagonize Big Poppa Pump. Turns out, a thumbs down does the trick. Steiner came right at me, scaring the bebuddah out of me. He then told me to “shut up,” flipped me off, and looked at me like he was going to kill me. Now, I know this was all a part of the show and he was just doing his job, but Scott Steiner terrified me. He also impressed me to no end. He was the best performer of the night.
The main event consisted of Team 3D taking on the Motor City Machine Guns. Team 3D won a decent match after 3Ding one of the Guns through a table. That was a cool spot, but what was even cooler, and what I will forever give credit to TNA for, was that after the match Brother D-von took one of the kids that was sitting in front of us, lifted him up over the guardrail, took him into the ring, and paraded him around. The crowd even chanted this little boy’s name. They gave the kid a piece of broken table that was signed by both of them and gave him a memory that will last forever. There have been times in my life when I’ve been embarrassed to be a wrestling fan, but I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder to be a wrestling fan than that night. The fact that Team 3D would, instead of trying to get the heck out of a small town as fast as they could, would stick around and give this young kid something to remember and cherish for the rest of his life. On top of that, Team 3D invited any fan that wanted to (and who had $20) to come into the ring and have their picture taken with them. Now, I don’t blame them for wanting to charge $20. They had to get a little revenue because, as I stated, it was a smaller show. That didn’t take away from the moment at all.
After I handed the money taker the best twenty dollar bill I ever spent, I stepped into the six-sided ring for the very first time. I stood in a professional wrestling ring. I even bounced off the ropes a time or two. And then, I shook hands with Brother Ray and Brother D-von. Eric and I got our picture taken with them. My mission was almost complete.
A few of the stars stuck around to sign autographs after the show. Abyss, Eric Young, Angelina Love, and a couple others stayed until they had signed every last fan’s program, video game, shirt, boobs, etc….No joke, walking out of the show, a lady told me that she tried to convince Jeremy Borash to sign her chest. He signed the top of her shirt instead. WAIT! Jeremy Borash! He was the guy! He was the important guy I was going to give my card to…and I did exactly that. I gave Jeremy Borash my business card. I doubt he’ll ever use it. He probably barely read it, but that wasn’t the point. The point was, he took it, acknowledged it, game me a wink, and put it in his pocket. Just like the little boy in front of us, that was a memory I will cherish for a lifetime.
All in all, my trip to a TNA house show in Cheyenne, Wyoming was better than any other show I had been to. It was more fun than Raw, it was much more fun than Thunder, and it did it all without great pyro, huge name wrestlers, or any of the frills that usually come with a wrestling show. It was just a show experienced by people that loved wrestling. That was the bond between the wrestlers and the fans- we all loved wrestling. After that show in Cheyenne, I loved wrestling even more, and I have TNA to thank for that.
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