TNA Maximum iMPACT! Tour 2011 – London, England (29/01/11)

TNA 2011 UK Tour

TNA 2011 UK Tour

TNA house show report (Courtesy of PWTorch)
January 29, 2011
London, England at Wembley Arena

Pre Show Notes

Wembley Arena was about 70 percent full with only a small area at the top of one stand taped off. Dixie Carter announced to the crowd that this was the biggest attendance TNA had ever drawn, breaking the record they set at the same arena this time last year.

Dixie Carter was walking throughout the crowd signing autographs and posing for photos. Jeremy Borash alleged that parts of the show were being filmed for Challenge TV.

Live Show Report

(1) X Division champion Kazarian beat Shannon Moore and Chris Sabin in a three-way match to retain the X Division Title. This was your standard TNA opener. A lot of the spots were over-contrived and the offense, particularly the striking, looked loose and soft. Regardless, they pulled together for an enjoyable, fast-paced opener with some intriguing sequences. Kaz went over clean.

(2) Matt Morgan & Mickie James & Angelina Love beat The Pope & Madison Rayne & Tara. The crowd was into Morgan, and that was the only interesting note in a paint-by-numbers match. Mickie hit a Lou Thesz Press off Morgan’s shoulders before Morgan hit the Carbon Footprint for a clean win.

Pre-Match Promo: Before the next match, Jeff Jarrett said he was royalty, called the crowd free-loaders, and effectively plugged TNA’s new timeslot on Challenge TV.

(3) Jeff Jarrett beat Johnny Moss, a local independent wrestler. The English wrestler seemed very jacked up. Jarrett garnered the most legitimate heel heat and worked a stalling cheap heat match that really engaged the fans. A veteran display that demonstrated how to get the maximum reaction from minimum effort.

(4) TNA tag champions Beer Money (James Storm & Robert Roode) beat Brutus Magnus & partner. I didn’t catch Magnus partner’s name. It wasn’t Doug Williams. He had long blonde hair; could have been Kendrick, perhaps. Anyways, lots of stalling and crowd interaction spots as the two teams walked through an entertaining but uninspired match. Probably the match of the night with the crowd being strongly behind Beer Money.

[Intermission]

Dixie Carter addressed the crowd, saying how much she loves the U.K. Oddly, when Bob Carter’s name was mentioned, his name was greeted with boos. Nothing to write home about. Basically a plug for the Challenge TV show.

(5) Rob Van Dam beat Matt Hardy. Rob Van Dam was very over in the arena garnering the biggest fan reaction. Matt did not seem to be over as a heel. He got a splattering of cheers, but I thought he was largely greeted with ambivalence. RVD did his best to wrestle around Hardy’s limitations, but this was a clumsy match that lacked flow. RVD won clean with the Five Star Frogsplash.

(6) Ric Flair beat Doug Williams via submission. Flair got a huge face reaction; Williams was met with a respectful but muted response. In keeping with the theme of the night, this match was wrestled at a casual pace. Flair ran through his spots and even bladed at ringside (so much so they had to mop up the ring afterwards) before sending the crowd home happy with a figure four victory.

(7) TNA World Hvt. champion Mr. Anderson beat Jeff Hardy to retain the TNA World Title. The crowd was completely burned out by this point, and while the entrances were met with enthusiasm, the match was surprisingly flat. I didn’t think Jeff was really over as a heel or face; people just seemed to cheer for moves. Anderson’s entrance was over, but there seemed to be little interest in watching him wrestle. Jeff spent a lot of his time dancing and crotch-thrusting in this one. This match featured two ref bumps and a run-in by Matt Hardy, but eventually saw Anderson countering the Twist Of Hate into the Mic Check for the clean win. Uninspiring but satisfactory.

Overall Thoughts

It felt like the crowd came to see a show and the stars rather than being invested in the storylines and characters. RVD and Morgan were over individually, as were the Knockouts, but for the rest of the night, the crowd seemed content to cheer for whoever they liked regardless of how they were booked.

All of the matches were in the plodding *3/4-**3/4 range, with a big emphasis on crowd enjoyment, stalling and cheap heat.

TNA’s show was very badly-paced and balanced as they seemed to progressively burn out the crowd leading to a very flat feeling for the main event.

Biggest Pops:

(1) RVD
(2) Ric Flair
(3) Beer Money
(4) Matt Morgan
(5) Sabin (hot crowd for the opener)

Biggest Heat:

(1) Jeff Jarrett (by some distance)
(2) Kaz (hot crowd at the start)
(3) No one else. It was just a general mish-mash of cheers and boos.

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About Ray Mullan
Ray Mullan is a longtime wrestling fan and Owner/Editor of TNA UK . Also a contributing writer to a number of other online wrestling media including 1Wrestling.com, Wrestle Zone UK & Lords of Pain.

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