TNA Road to Lockdown Tour: Impressions on the TNA UK Tour
As a rather new TNA fan I had never been along to the shows that the company has put on in my home country of England.
Their recent tour of the UK and Ireland took in Dublin, Glasgow and TV tapings at Manchester and London.
Last weekend I went along to Wembley Arena in London to watch two TNA tapings along with a fervent British crowd who was almost foaming at the mouth with excitement.
After the success of TNA's British Boot Camp last month, TNA have shown real intent to capture the audiences this side of the pond. Winner Rockstar Spud got his chance to debut, as well as other competitors on the show 'Party' Marty Scurll and The Blossom Twins.
The British stars all got huge pops and all showed themselves worthy of their place on the tour, and hopefully the remaining three will earn contracts with the company.
The girls carry an obvious physical threat in the ring and impressed with their impact in the ring and how well they took the attacks of those they faced.
Marty too made sure he stood out, with one particular spot, flying through the ropes to the outside, ending in a painful landing but a spectacular moment for the fans.
As with this week's Impact, the smartest move the company made was to bring Magnus back as a face. Like in WWE with Wade Barrett, who is a heel, the homegrown talent will always get positive reactions from the locals.
The reaction to Magnus may be the only one that could match how well two legends of the industry were received.
Some question Hulk Hogan and Sting being such a force on the TNA roster, but the crowd went nuts for them. If you were a TNA official watching that, you would be desperate to have those two in the company.
Longtime wrestling fans must find it hard to resist cheering for the legends whether they still like them or not. It's that realisation you may see someone you have watched from early ages.
Kurt Angle got a huge pop too, whilst the fans were desperate to see Samoa Joe kill someone.
However, it was former lawyer now TNA Impact Wrestling star Joseph Park who got a reaction comparable to the legends and the Brits on show.
His character is resonating with the crowd, whilst he will never put on legendary matches, his babyface character is getting over with some speed.
The crowd lapped up Roode and Aries, and surprisingly seemed to make some muffled boos for Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez.
It was intriguing to see a TV taping in action too. The commentary gone, the scenes from the back not in the middle of matches.
And TNA becomes a better product when the audience is screaming for the stars. The UK crowds are always loud, we have that in our blood from a history of sporting rivalries, and it will be great to see TNA spread its wings and fly from the nest of the Impact Zone more.
There's a whole load of cities in the US that are renowned wrestling crowds, and if TNA can tap them more the product will shine week in, week out.
Dixie Carter's announcement that TNA will be touring America is great news, not just for local fans but the regular Thursday night fans.
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