Pulse Wrestling Live Report: TNA BaseBrawl, Coney Island, N.Y., 7.1.11 (AJ Styles, RVD, Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, Mickie James)

Happy Fourth of July Weekend everyone! CB here reporting live from TNA BaseBrawl in Coney Island / Brooklyn, N.Y.

Below is the advertised card plus some pre-show thoughts:

Advertised Card:

— Special house show appearance by Ric Flair

— TNA Champion Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle

— Bound For Glory Series: Match 1: A.J. Styles vs. RVD

— Bound For Glory Series: Match 2: Bully Ray (Immortal) vs. Devon

— Jeff Jarrett vs. Crimson

— Six-man tag team match: Amazing Red, Eric Young and Orlando Jordan vs. British Invasion and Robbie E. (with Cookie)

— Knockouts Championship match: Mickie James (champion) vs. Angelina Love

Preshow Thoughts:

–If you live in the NY Metro area and haven’t been to Coney Island in a few years or ever before, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. The area has really been revitalized and on a gorgeous summer night this is a great place to be. You have the Boardwalk, the Brooklyn Cyclones, the ACTUAL Cyclone roller-coaster, and of course, the Original Nathan’s…

–Speaking of which, my Nathan’s order was a Chili Dog, a regular Frank, regular ripple Fries and a Diet Coke. Yes, I know there is irony in that drink order. And yes, the Chili Dog is simply culinary heaven, every single time.

–The start time for the show is 7:00 pm, it’s now 7:10 and Don West has been in the ring for the first 10 minutes hocking all of the merchandise, as usual.

–My first chant of the night: “WWEShop” when West was shilling Jeff Hardy pendants. Someone in my section (Section 2, Field Box) then retorted with: “Carolina Court System!”

–I must say these are great seats, behind what would be home plate at MCU Park, Row J. Looking forward to seeing how the wrestlers work the crowd. The best part is no Bischoff, no Hogan, and no Sting, meaning no poor booking, no magically healed broken ribs, and no environmentally unfriendly misuse of face-paint!

–So the real start time is 7:30 pm ET, and we got a live crowd (very typical for NY), about two-thirds filled. Let’s see what happens as the show begins ……… NOW!

Pulse Wrestling Live Report: TNA BaseBrawl, Coney Island, N.Y., 7.1.11

Jeremy Borash comes out to a nice reception, always liked JB, and he wears all of his hats very well, especially as the live crowd hype man / ring announcer.

JB tells us the loudest fans will get backstage passes, and that leads to…

Match 1: Six-man tag team match: Amazing Red, Eric Young and Orlando Jordan vs. British Invasion and Robbie E. (with Cookie)

–Robbie E. is out first with Cookie (*****FISTPUMP*****) followed by the British Invasion. And here come the faces together, with a huge pop for Amazing Red in his home borough of Brooklyn. Chants of “EY” also break out for the TNA Original.

–Recap: Robbie E fistpumps and dances to kick things off, until Orlando grinds with him. EY then runs the bases outside the ring and the ref calls him safe, and Amazing Red steals the show as always. British Invasion were unimpressive in person. Amazing Red was brilliant and scores the pin. Match time: 15 minutes *1/2

Match 2: Knockouts Championship match: Mickie James (champion) vs. Angelina Love

–Borash calls out Earl Hebner, “You Screwed Bret” chants ring out, and Hebner reveals his T-Shirt: “Damn Right I Did”. Man, more people get more mileage out of the Montreal Screwjob than the folks from the OJ trial.

–Angelina Love and Winter come out, and it’s very synthetic out here. But then, HARDCORE COUNTRY hits the ring!

–Anyone who thinks Mickie James isn’t HOT is sadly mistaken. She’s much prettier than the Zombie she’s up against tonight, especially in person.

–Recap: Winter gets involved several times throughout the match, and Mickie milks the crowd perfectly as the sympathetic face in peril. Very fun match, technically sound, and Mickie scores the pin with the Chick Kick to retain the title after Angelina knocks out Winter by mistake. Match Time: 14 minutes **1/2

Match 3: Jeff Jarrett vs. Crimson

–Jarrett comes out to pretty solid heat. Then, TNA actually shows continuity by announcing Crimson’s hometown as Brooklyn. This makes sense with Crimson being Amazing Red’s brother in the storyline, but they aren’t actually brothers, so that’s a nice touch here.

–Recap: Typical JJ match you’ve seen for the past few years. A mild “Let’s Go Jarrett” chant breaks out so Cor(e)y Yuen must be in the house! Crimson URGH, ROARS (credit: Blair A. Douglas) his way to victory after barely any wrestling. Match Time (with little action and limited movesets): 12 minutes DUD

–Jarrett stays in the ring to sell the loss, then Borash announces that JJ will be going home to Mexico and never coming back to Brooklyn again … Adios!

–Borash announces we are now live on Spike TV for the Bound For Glory Series, and RVD’s music hits to a huge pop, BUT…

–Bully Ray interrupts, shoves Borash down hard, and calls out Devon, which leads to…

Match 4: Bound For Glory Series: Bully Ray (Immortal) vs. Devon, new stipulation added by Devon: Brooklyn Street Fight

–TNA Red Flag Alert: TV cameras are rolling for this BFG match, yet the loudest chant of the night breaks out, and of course, it’s “ECW! ECW! ECW!”

–Recap: Bully Ray and Devon are just as fun against each other live at these house shows as they are as a tag team, and with Ray extremely over as a strong heel character right now the crowd was REALLY into the build towards Devon’s comeback after Ray dominated early. The ref even helped Devon do a “What’s Up” to Ray, then the ref asked Devon to “get the tables!” Devon scores the pin in what is shaping up to be a very feel-good show. Best crowd involvement of the night so far, with two known veterans doing their thing but without mailing it in at all. Emotional investment has been hard-earned by Ray and Devon over the years in NY, so this was a real treat. Match Time: 18 minutes **3/4

INTERMISSION

–Don West is at it again. At one point I thought he was going to try and sell me 20 Mark McGwire Rookie Cards like he did on the Home Shopping Channel at 4 in the morning back when I was in college.

–FYI: Crowd is now hopping and approximately 3/4 full. Solid turnout.

Match 5: Bound For Glory Series: A.J. Styles vs. RVD

–Crowd is simply ELECTRIC. Dueling chants of “AJ Styles! RVD!” were just AWESOME, and then those were followed up with dueling chants of “ECW! ECW! ECW!” for Van Dam and “TNA! TNA! TNA!” for AJ.

–Recap: I love the Bound For Glory series, as it makes matches like this actually mean something even more than “putting on a good show.” Anything to emphasize the importance of wins and losses — especially when house shows are included — is a great idea. Seeing the ‘usual’ offense from RVD and Styles is just plain cool — especially the Pele from AJ. RVD wins with a Five Star Frog Splash in what is the easily match of the night so far. Match time: 15 minutes ***1/4

Match 6 / Main Event: TNA Champion Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle, non-title match

–Mr. Anderson comes out and looks for a mic to drop from the sky. Nope. He talks. Stops mid-sentence to play up the heel champ not wanting to interact with the crowd. Then, Kurt Angle makes his entrance. The crowd is a little worn out from the electricity of the Styles – RVD back and forth, which just goes to show you that the real main event already happened in the live crowd’s eyes.

–Recap: Match starts off slow and plodding. AJ and RVD had the crowd hooked from the moment their music hit all the way to the finish. Very interesting to see the lack of energy for these two, especially Angle. It really is like the air was sucked out of the place and we’re outside. Cor(e)y Yuen must have gone home to hang with The FUJ or something. People are just waiting for the finish, can’t believe the crowd was rocking minutes ago and for this they / we just don’t care. Finally some life after angle hits three suplexes and the Ankle Lock. Anderson rolls out and rolls up Kurt. Two-count. Angle kicks out sharply, then Anderson goes right into the Angle Slam for the 1-2-3. Fireworks go off. Chants of “USA!” are very apropos for this weekend, but what a letdown. Match Time: 12 minutes *1/2

Post-Show Thoughts

–Yup, the opening match and the main event got the same rating, that’s how poorly Anderson and Angle came off. Everything in between ranged from DUD to ***1/4, with RVD-Styles and Ray-Devon clear highlights.

–And here’s the WORST thing TNA could do: NO RIC FLAIR. I know cards are subject to change and Flair must really be in some legal trouble, but the fact that the main attraction for many folks was a NO-SHOW, coupled with the fact that they DIDN’T replace Flair with anyone else (Hogan or Sting if you want a marquis name … or Samoa Joe or Beer Money for the real TNA faithful … or SOMEONE INTERESTING … hell, even get Scott Steiner here and let him loose with a live microphone if you want real fireworks), is just LUDICROUS. Yes, it was a fun, feel-good show, but to not deliver something that was advertised and to not make up for it is simply disappointing and truly shameful.

Final TNA BaseBrawl Rating: C+ at best, C- at worst, with the Ric Flair no-show and lack of a replacement inexcusable.

That’s all from me — CB.

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