Monday, 16 September 2013

Austin Aries Interview by Phil Allely

Austin Aries Interview
By Phil Allely

In a few short years Austin Aries has already done it all in TNA. He has held the X Division and Team Team titles and of course raised the world Heavyweight belt.

Fame's Phil Allely caught up with A Double this past week to discuss his inclusion on the upcoming UK/Ireland tour and much more. Here are some highlights.

On the upcoming Maximum Impact tour in 2014.

'I'm really happy to be on the UK/Irish tour again. We all want to be a part of it. I'm looking forward to being out there in front of the fans and feeling their energy. They really love and appreciate what we do in the ring and the TNA product.'

'The reason the fans there embrace us so much is (I feel) because they only get to see us live once a year and are not spoiled by seeing us too often. They get to see our calibre of wrestling and feel more passionate about coming to see us.'

'That dedication and passion carries over to us in the back too. We always step it up in the ring during these tours.'

'I enjoy meeting fans and the fan interaction events are great ways for them to get up closer to us. But what I will say is that some fans need to be more respectful to us and show some more manners. It does not hurt to say please and thank you. I know that means a lot to me and I am sure the boys feel the same way.'

On World Title dreams.

'Do I want the World Title back of course I do!. I don't care who has it I'll get it from them. I've beaten Bully, Roode and countless others. I have the skill-set and drive to do it. All I need is the opportunity and shot at the belt.'

On why he has not joined a group or faction in TNA.

'You know I've never ran with the crowd. I don't subscribe to things like that. In college I never joined fraternities or gangs etc. so why start now. I do things my way and the benefit of that is that I know I can trust myself and my career is most important to me and not others.'

On morale backstage.

'There have been so many rumours about us (TNA) since the start and they never come true. People online and in many so-called 'dirt sheets' love making up stories. I think most of us just want to turn up and go to work, not have those things flying around us. This is a business and things like this (talent releases) happen. I believe things need a shake-up regularly and that leads to fresh match-ups and storylines, it is a natural part of the business.'

His favourite TNA match.

'That's a tough call, but my favourite match so far has been my ladder match against Jeff (Hardy). What I don't think people realise is that I was suffering from some serious injuries then. I had herniated discs in my back and it was for the title, so I had to work through the pain and deliver on the night. We all have to work through an injury (it's part of the business), but you know I am very proud of that match and that I was given the opportunity to carry the company for a while too.'

On possible future feuds.

'I would love to step back in the ring with Kurt Angle, when he comes back he will be a lot stronger and a match with him would be awesome. Sting is a guy I'd like to wrestle him too. I like a physical challenge and am happy to work with anyone. I see some great young talent out there as well. The likes of Garrett (Bischoff) and Wes (Brisco) get knocked a lot, but they work hard and have great potential. They are solid dudes and fans should watch out for them. I guess I am happy to work with the top guys and maybe even help the younger ones improve their game and move up the ladder.'
By Phil Allely

Phil Alle

Friday, 13 September 2013

TNA Live Review: One Night Only - Knockouts Knockdown

TNA Live Review: One Night Only - Knockouts Knockdown

TNA's latest One Night Only PPV event was an all Knockout division affair and saw the return of some old faces, new talent and a final glimpse of some recently departed ones as well.

The concept was that the wining participants throughout the night's matches would progress to a 'gauntlet' style encounter, here they would battle it out for the title of 'Queen of TNA'.

Throughout the night we got to see some of the best highlights from the KO divisions glory days (when their matches often stole the show and proved to be real ratings winners) and recent high points too.

The returning Alissa Flash kicked things off against Gail Kim in a very decent opening scrap. The Shimmer Champion (better known as Cheerleader Melissa) fared well against Kim and put forth some great offence. Gail won with a 'eat defeat' to progress to the gauntlet main event.

Gut Check participants Lei'D Tapa and Ivelisse Velez had a hard act to follow and couldn't really pull it off unfortunately. Tapa won the short encounter with a slam.

The much-missed Tara was up next against Mia Yim. Yim worked hard here, but was never really allowed to shine. Veteran Tara nailed a 'widows peak' to advance after a spot of interference from her beau Jesse.

Miss Tessmacher may now be aligned with Aces & 8's, but here she was still an active KO roster member. Her opponent Santana Garrett tired her best, but lost this short TV style bout without impressing too much.

Trinity was a member of the division in its formative years and looked well for her age (42). The match against ODB was not as good looking though, ODB won with relative ease.

Veteran grappler Jackie Moore (TNA, USWA, WCW, WWE) faced off against newcomer Taryn Terrell put together a well-paced match next. Moore carrying the talented Terrell to a match that was an improvement over some that preceded it. Moore nailed the win after a dropkick.

British Bootcamp star Hannah Blossom showcased her talent well in a fast-paced three-way encounter next. Here she overcame the might of Sojo Bolt and Taeler Hendrix. This would ave been so much better with a few more minutes of time given to it.

The following battle really didn't impress I am afraid to say. Velvet Sky and former WWE star Jillian Hall could not gel and the match seemed to drag an awful lot. Sky's quick win was a godsend here.

Things picked up next as Mickie James stood toe-to-toe with the returning Serena Deeb. Here we had a crisp, well-paced and highly physical match, that perfectly highlighted what the KO division can achieve when talent is used correctly. The pair offered up a blistering series of exchanges before James pulled off the win.

The 'gauntlet' finale was a typical over-the-top affair, where the action slowed at times when too many bodies were in the ring. The start worked well and the finale between James and Kim worked very well indeed. Kim faked an injury to get a sneaky roll-up pin on James to be crowned 'Queen of TNA'.

Knockouts Knockdown was a PPV that promised so much, considering the talented female roster that are currently available (in TNA and on the indy scene). However the shortness of the matches and some sloppy efforts made it an event that felt more like a series of TV filler scraps. It was nice to see some old faces return to the fold and to see what may be the last in-ring appearances by Madison Rayne, Tara and Brooke Hogan as well. The One Night Only events suffer from being pre-recorded many months before transmission, but otherwise they are a welcome addition to TNA programming.

By Phil Allely

Monday, 9 September 2013

WWE DVD Review: ECW - Unreleased Volume 2

In its heyday US wrestling promotion ECW was one of the hottest products on the market and it gave grapple fans something different to what the 'big two' company's were offering. That something was violence, enthusiasm and energy. These were things the company had loads of.

Paul Heyman (who is now back in the WWE) was the main man behind ECW and whilst the company did fold, due to money issues he created a very special thing here.

It is nice to see the WWE utilising the back catalogue of ECW footage (ECW was bought over by WWE) and letting the many fans of the promotion gain access to some of its older footage.

Here in one very nicely compiled DVD/Blu-ray package we have a wonderful snapshot of some of ECW's finest match-ups. The great thing here as well is that we have not seen these matches before and that makes this release all the more special.

ECW had a unique aura around it and this is captured perfectly here. The arena's were small, yet filled with energy and that transferred to each and every wrestler's performance.

From a match point of view we are presented with some superb lost battles involving Sabu, Mick Foley, Tommy Dreamer, Sandman and many more ECW names. There are also some surprises for even the most die hard fan, these feature such well known talent as The Steiner Brothers, hardcore legend Terry Funk and WCW stars Arn Anderson and 'Beautiful' Bobby Eaton. There are also some imported Japanese stars and much more thrown into the mix as well.

ECW - Unreleased Volume 2 is an above average DVD set and one that certainly adds to the legacy of Heyman's company. The match quality is amazing and the violence levels are through the roof. If you like to see bloodshed, people being hit by weapons (of all shapes and sizes) and enjoy seeing wrestling as it used to be before the PG ratings took over, then this is the package for you.

The image of Terry Funk and Mick Foley amid a ring full of metal chairs (thrown by the fans) is a sight to behold.

ECW - Unreleased Volume 2 is available now from and all good retailers
DVD RRP £24.99/Blu-ray £29.99
Blu-ray extras include a number of additional matches.
By Phil Allely

Monday, 2 September 2013

WWE DVD Review: The Best of In Your House

In the mid-1990s the WWE created a new concept in pay-per-view programming. This idea was to make a number of PPV's that were of the same quality as the 'big four' Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series. Entitled In Your House these events were cheaper in price than the main events we were used to and yet they often featured some high quality bouts.

The concept did not last forever, but during its duration there were a number of excellent encounters between many WWE superstars, who were at the very top of their game.

This 3 disc set takes a nice look at the IYH franchise and documents the best it had to offer.

There were 28 IYH events in total over a five year period and whist the original premise (a real-life fan won a house) became a thing of the past, the match quality did not. There were often better battles on these events than those appearing on the main shows.

So what can you expect here then? Well first up mid-90s on air WWE presenter Todd Pettengill returns to host the DVD and that certainly makes proceeding special for more long-term fans. Pettengill is perfect for the role and does have some nice anecdotes as well.

From a match point of view you get a reasonable mix of impressive scraps, near classics and all out exceptional encounters here.

Stand-outs for your reviewer are the 'No Holds Barred' war between Shawn Michaels and Diesel, Shawn Michaels versus Mankind, Steve Austin v Bret Hart v Vader v The Undertaker, the ten man tag from 'Ground Zero' and to be honest a great number more.

The Best of In Your House is a wonderful DVD release and one that has been long-awaited by many. The extras are pretty good too.

Available now via and all good retailers this release is available on DVD (RRP £24.99) and Blu-ray (RRP £34.99).
By Phil Allely

TNA announce 2014 UK Tour fan Interaction Events


  • Fans can meet the superstars of TNA IMPACT WRESTLING before live events in Glasgow, Manchester, London and Birmingham

Fan Interaction tickets for the TNA 2014 MAXIMUM IMPACT VI UK Tour go on sale on Friday September 6 at 9am, allowing fans to meet some of their favourite wrestlers before each event.

The highly sought-after tickets are available for the TNA live shows in Glasgow (Jan 30), Manchester (Jan 31), London (Feb 1) and Birmingham (Feb 2). Strictly limited in number, they cost £32.50 each, or £35 for London, plus booking fee. There will be eight TNA superstars at each meet and greet. Each wrestler will sign a maximum of two items per fan.

TNA President Dixie Carter said: “The annual MAXIMUM IMPACT Tour is one of the best times of the year for everybody in TNA IMPACT WRESTLING - when nobody does it better than us and we get the chance to get up close and personal with the fans.

“This is our time to say thank you. Thank you for being the best fans in the world, for giving us great audiences and for watching our show every Sunday night on Challenge TV.”

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING also today announces the first 10 wrestlers who will appear on the MAXIMUM IMPACT VI Tour, which will include the first ever live wrestling television broadcast from Glasgow and a TV taping at London’s Wembley Arena.

TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray, British superstar Magnus, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, Chris Sabin, Austin Aries, Manik, James Storm, Gunner and Gail Kim will perform at all four events. More worldwide wrestling stars will be added to the roster shortly.

Fan Interaction tickets are available via,, or direct from the tour venues. Those purchasing Fan Interaction tickets must also have a regular event ticket, which are sold separately, in order to gain access. Full details of the UK events are:

Thursday 30 January 2014 Glasgow The SSE Hydro 0844 811 0051
Friday 31 January 2014 Manchester Phones 4u Arena 0844 847 8000
Saturday 01 February 2014 London Wembley Arena 0844 815 0815
Sunday 02 February 2014 Birmingham NIA 0844 338 8000

The TNA MAXIMUM IMPACT VI Tour also comes to the Dublin National Stadium, Ireland, on Wednesday January 29. Tickets can be bought from