This Week’s TNA News & Notes, Including WWE vs. TNA in Orlando

TNA’s live iMPACT! last night did a 1.0 cable rating, according to Nielsen Media Research by way of WrestlingObserver.com. This is around the normal rating for taped shows. A replay will air at Midnight on Saturday night, conflicting with any over-run of the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony as well as AM Raw.

The big story coming out of last night, however, is WWE’s Robbie McAllister choosing to sit in the Impact Zone crowd to watch his friend Johnny Devine’s match, TNA’s decision to show him (including a graphic saying “Derrick Graham-Couch – WWE Wrestler”) on camera during the broadcast, and the aftermath of the above.

While TNA announcer Mike Tenay didn’t name The Highlander, as he was shown on camera (not looking into the camera), Tenay said that Orlando was the “center of the wrestling universe.” Also shown on camera throughout the evening were Detroit Tigers’ Joel Zumaya and Pittsburgh Steelers’ James Farrior.

According to PWInsider.com, Robbie lined up with the other fans to get in to the venue and TNA realized he was in the crowd, showing him on camera without using his WWE gimmick name to avoid any legal issues. Just after this, he left the building and it was reported that WWE officials contacted him and were upset with the situation, as WWE talent was told during a meeting to not be seen socializing with TNA folks over the weekend. On top of that, the hotel where WWE is staying has been put under heightened security with anyone who’s not with WWE, including TNA wrestlers and staff, barred from the hotel… and WWE purchased blocks of rooms for fans who bought the travel package in the hotel where TNA usually puts up IT’S talent, scheduling autograph sessions with WWE Tag Champs Miz & Morrison as well as Carlito at that hotel.

Dave Meltzer at WrestlingObserver.com has written that WWE talent was also asked to avoid attending the weekend’s ROH events.

According to reports on Prowrestling.net, Robbie told fans that saw him that he was being sent home and would not be a part of WrestleMania (he wasn’t scheduled on the card anyway) and that TNA wrestlers are quite upset with management for showing him on camera. WrestlingObserver.com confirms this report, adding that there was fear Robbie would lose his job due to not being in a high spot on the roster.

OTHER TNA NOTES:

Originally reported at WrestlingObserver.com…

– MMA star Frank Trigg, who was on commentary during the Kurt Angle vs. Styles & Tomko “exhibition” yesterday, will also help announce the Samoa Joe title shot vs. Angle at Lockdown, with Joe and Angle looking to do a worked MMA style match (a la UWFI).

Originally reported at PWInsider.com…

– TNA turned away 2000-3000 fans at the door, not without controversy. There were reports of TNA and Universal staff not informing fans that the venue was full, allowing them to continue to wait in a long line, and an overall unpleasant experience for those who waited. Universal reportedly offered people who didn’t get in VIP passes for tonight’s or tomorrow’s show.

– TNA President Dixie Carter greeted a lot of fans in the building, as well as some who were turned away at the door, which seems to be her M.O.

– Fans were warmed up pre-show with t-shirts and DVDs tossed into the crowd, a well as a dark match featuring Curry Man & Shark Boy & Super Eric beating RelliK, Jimmy Rave & Lance Hoyt. After this, ring announcer Dave Penzer and Jeremy Borash hyped up the crowd, as Robert Roode came out, cut a promo on Booker T, and the brawl began that started off the show.

– Executives from Midway Games were in attendance.

– TNAWrestling.com went down several times during the broadcast.

– TNA has cut a deal with Joe Hand Promotions to distribute PPVs commercially, including in bars and restaurants, starting with April 13’s Lockdown.

Originally reported at Prowrestling.net…

– TNA’s mobile service teased Chicago, New York and Toronto as possible locations for Bound For Glory.

– There are “rumblings” that Hector Guerrero will be brought in as LAX’ mouthpiece.

– On Monday, Jason Powell reported that while a “well-placed source reports that Konnan has not filed an actual lawsuit against TNA wrestling,” one is in the works. Konnan’s lawyer Cary Ichter (he is Michael Benoit’s attorney and also handled the discrimination case against WCW a few years back) filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Atlanta, that gives TNA 30 days to respond. (They have since responded, with info on that available here.) Jeff Jarrett, Terry Taylor, Vince Russo and Dutch Mantel are among TNA execs to be named in what is believed to be a $7 million lawsuit. Allegations will include drug use by at least one office worker, receipt of prescription drugs from at least two office workers, and racial discrimination.

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