Impact Wrestling Taping (VIP Edition): June 13, 2011

Impact Zone

We wrapped up Day 6 in Orlando by going back for our 2nd night of Impact Wrestling action as part of our VIP Package from Slammiversary weekend. We were JUST in time to head over to the Impact Zone for action once we made our way from the Islands of Adventure.

Impact Zone Line

Getting in early by virtue of our VIP passes (though toward the back of the VIP pack) our pick of seats weren’t quite as choice as they were for the Slammiversary PPV but I opted for seats near the entrance way in hopes of getting nice shots as the wrestlers made their way down the entrance way. It worked out so so for me.

One general comment, this is the first time I’ve ever been to a TV taping for a wrestling show so it was just FASCINATING to see all the production guys running around to set things up or break things down in-between matches.

In addition to the Impact taping our VIP pass also got us a meet and greet with Mexican America at the end of the show. They were also selling an in-ring meet and greet and photo op with RVD which we also pounced upon!

With that said, we’re off to our first segment for our time in the Impact Zone as everything was set-up in the ring before we walked in.

Segment 1: Mr. Anderson’s championship celebration promo

Mr. Anderson Celebratory Promo

Mr. Anderson Celebratory Promo

Continuing his push to the moon Gunner interrupts Anderson wanting a “thanks” for softening up Sting and a title shot.

Gunner

Gunner spoils Anderson's Party

Heated words are exchanged and things don’t end well for Anderson.

Gunner spoils Anderson's Party

Break time in the tapings as the production crew break down the set (just interesting to watch!)

Production Crew

Prior to each match Jeremy Borash would always get up and rile us up mentioning we’re coming back from commercial or whatever and to make some noise as the cameras are about to start rolling again. Christy Hemme would do her thing and the wrestlers would make their entrance for the next match.

Match 1: Hernandez (w/ Mexican America) vs. Devon

Match 1:  Hernandez (w/ Mexican America) vs. Devon

Match 1:  Hernandez (w/ Mexican America) vs. Devon

Match 1:  Hernandez (w/ Mexican America) vs. Devon

Match 1:  Hernandez (w/ Mexican America) vs. Devon

Match itself was as good as a 3 minute match that ends in a DQ run-in cluster**** can be.

Match 1:  Hernandez (w/ Mexican America) vs. Devon

The main story of course was the continuation of a storyline behind the Pope (who came down to ringside) and Devon. Pope saves Devon from the Mexican gangbang at the insistence of Devon’s kids.

After ringside is cleared, Jeremy Borash comes back out and riles us up for a Kurt Angle appearance.

Segment 2: Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett Promo

Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett Promo

Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett Promo

Kurt comes out and talks about his being ready to move on after his Jarrett feud and his desire to train for the U.S. Olympic team (go for it dude!)

Of course, Jarrett comes down to challenge Kurt for ONE FINAL MATCH DESPITE LAST NIGHT BEING THEIR FINAL MATCH EVER. Angle calls him on it and they exchange a great promo. They decide to have a parking lot brawl at the end of the show with the stipulation that if Jeff loses he moves to Mexico. Sadly we don’t get to see the parking lot brawl at end of the night as we had to tune in like everyone else to see it.

Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett Promo

Match 2: X-Division Destination X Spot 3-Way Match — Kid Kash vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Austin Aries

Match 2:  Austin Aries vs. Kid Kash vs. Jimmy Rave

Match 2:  Austin Aries vs. Kid Kash vs. Jimmy Rave

Match 2:  Austin Aries vs. Kid Kash vs. Jimmy Rave

Match 2:  Austin Aries vs. Kid Kash vs. Jimmy Rave

I was pleasantly surprised when this match came out as I knew something was up with Impact when Kid Kash came out making his return! Surprises continued as both Jimmy Rave and Austin Aries came out next and the SMARKS in the crowd came alive with a ton of “welcome back” and “Austin Aries” chants!

Loving the X-Division style of match I personally LOVED this match and the guys definitely pulled out the stops so I was happy!

Match 2:  Austin Aries vs. Kid Kash vs. Jimmy Rave

Aries picked up the win but Kash and Rave definitely impressed as well ans Kash looked more than happy to be back home in the Impact Zone.

Match 3: Sarita and Rosita vs. Velvet Sky and Miss Tessmacher

Next up was another great segment featuring the Knockout tag champs Sarita and Rosita against Velvet Sky and Miss Tessmacher.

Match 3:  Sarita and Rosita vs. Velvet Sky and Miss Tessmacher

Match 3:  Sarita and Rosita vs. Velvet Sky and Miss Tessmacher

Match 3:  Sarita and Rosita vs. Velvet Sky and Miss Tessmacher

Match 3:  Sarita and Rosita vs. Velvet Sky and Miss Tessmacher

The match itself was good as the women actually had time to showcase their stuff (unlike poor Devon and Hernandez). The fact that these four are the hottest (imho) of the Knockouts doesn’t hurt either…

Match 3:  Sarita and Rosita vs. Velvet Sky and Miss Tessmacher

The match ended with interference from ODB to continue her storyline with Velvet but more important was the surprise return of Jacqueline to TNA (another pleasant surprise which added to the “bigger” atmosphere of this show coupled with the X-Division returns.

Match 3:  Sarita and Rosita vs. Velvet Sky and Miss Tessmacher

Poor Velvet continues to get the beatdown from the Knockouts heel roster (to my dismay) as her streak of bad luck in that department continues.

Match 4: Bound for Glory Series — Samoa Joe vs. Rob Vam Dam

Match 4:  Samoa Joe vs. RVD

Match 4:  Samoa Joe vs. RVD

Match 4:  Samoa Joe vs. RVD

Match 4:  Samoa Joe vs. RVD

For my money, the match of the night and at another time and place this could/would have been a big money feud/match-up.

Match itself was great as the contrast in styles was great to see.

Match 4:  Samoa Joe vs. RVD

Match 4:  Samoa Joe vs. RVD

Match 4:  Samoa Joe vs. RVD

RVD picks up the win with the Five Star Frog Splash as Joe’s job streak continues.

Main Event — Match 5: Mr. Anderson (c) vs. Gunner

Match 5:  Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner

Match 5:  Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner

Match 5:  Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner

Match 5:  Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner

Gunner’s super push continues as he picks up the surprise win over the champ after an okay match.

Match 5:  Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner

Match 5:  Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner

Match 5:  Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner

Match 5:  Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner

Not exactly a big Gunner fan (yet) but it’s nice to see new people elevated and pushed. Guy’s on a hot streak for sure with high profile wins.

After this it was the Xplosion taping as the Xplosion graphics went up and Desmond Wolfe, Xplosion Comissioner, came out to the broadcast booth. Ironically enough, Wolfe would be released from his contract only days later (go figure).

Xplosion Taping

Xplosion Taping

Xplosion Match: Alex Shelley vs. Okada

Xplosion:  Alex Shelley vs. Okada

Xplosion:  Alex Shelley vs. Okada

Xplosion:  Alex Shelley vs. Okada

Xplosion:  Alex Shelley vs. Okada

Honestly, I never heard of Okada (has he been on Impact before????) but this was a nice enough match. Shelley gets the win with Sliced Bread.

Xplosion:  Alex Shelley vs. Okada

Xplosion:  Alex Shelley vs. Okada

After the show we lined up for our in-ring meet and greet with RVD which was just SUPER cool. Having VIP passes we got to cut to the front of the line. Stepping into the ring (a lifelong dream) was COOL. It’s pretty bouncy in the TNA ring and the ropes really are springy. RVD does come very much across as a stoner having talked to him briefly. Every photo op before us was him saying, “R-V-D” with the thumb point to himself (kinda reminded me of Denny Crane from Boston Legal, lol). Our conversation and photo op with RVD?

RVD: “Hey! Come on in. Nice shirt!” (I’m wearing an RVD shirt).
Me: “Of course!”
Pose for picture.
RVD: *points to self* “R-V-D.”
Me: Star struck.
RVD: *shaking my hand* “Yeah, that’s good stuff!”
Shell: “Can I get a hug?” *jumps on him*
RVD: *chuckles* “Yeah.”

RVD Meet and Greet

Totally cool!

Then it was off to the VIP line for our meet and greet with Mexican America. The girls had already changed back to street clothes, Hernandez had put a shirt on and Anarchia pretty much looked the same. All of them seemed really cool in person, Hernandez in particular who was up and about and took a little more time to talk to folks (the other three were behind a table).

Mexican America Meet and Greet

Mexican America Meet and Greet

And that concluded our adventures at the Impact Zone. Having other plans for the following night we didn’t make it back for the 2nd set of Impact tapings our VIP Pass allowed us to (not mention missing our chance to meet AJ Styles). All in all though, it was an AWESOME two days of action and meeting the stars of TNA in person was just a SUPER COOL experience.

Impact Zone

Full set of photos can be found here.

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