By Aaron Dodson, Cody Goodwin and Trevor Hass
The Baltimore Sun
8:45 AM EDT, June 9, 2014
Ripken Stadium — home of the Aberdeen IronBirds — was transformed into a wrestling arena Sunday night for the latest stop on TNA's Impact World Tour. In case you missed it, three dedicated and talented Baltimore Sun summer interns were there to provide a running, retroactive commentary of the event.
Aaron 5:22 A Jay Z song is playing that I can't remember the name of for some reason. Cody tries to Shazam it, but nothing comes up. 38 minutes until SHOWTIME!
Trevor 5:23 What is an IronBird?
Cody 5:24 We’re almost 30 minutes away from go time, and there’s literally 63 people here in attendance so far.
Aaron 5:28 There's an old guy ringside with long Michael Bolton-esque hair and a shiny gold wrestling belt. Two questions: How long has he been growing his hair? And where did he get that belt?
Trevor 5:29 They have tampons and napkins in the press box bathroom for 25 cents apiece. Not sure I’ve ever seen napkins sold in a bathroom before.
Aaron 5:31 Here comes the family of tge guy who looks like Michael Bolton. They have belts, too.
Trevor 5:32 I wonder if Cal Ripken Jr. is in attendance. Probably.
Aaron 5:38 Our ringside seats are next to (fake) Michael Bolton and his family.
Aaron 5:49 First Hulk Hogan paraphernalia spotted. A Hulk Hogan bandana with matching Hulkmania shades and Hulk Hogan t-shirt. #uberswaggy
Trevor 5:50 I don’t know what’s more impressive ... that fan’s dedication or your ability to spell paraphernalia.
Aaron 5:51 Uh-oh, the tarp is officially off the ring that’s sitting smack dab on home plate. There was a ladder standing in the middle. I sure am hoping that prop is involved in the show.
Cody 5:56 I’ve heard that this will re-air on Spike on Thursday. Here’s to hoping Trevor disrupts the action for his first wrestling cameo.
Trevor 6:00 I guess you missed my WWE debut the other night. Your loss.
Aaron 6:01 Boy, it got loud when the announcer said “I’ve got a fistful of backstage passes.”
Cody 6:02 A few initial thoughts before the action gets started:
1. I really, really, really hope the wrestlers use bats, seeing as we’re at Ripken Stadium.
2. Think any of the “talent” will use cheesy baseball puns when they talk trash on each other? I’m setting the line at 13 baseball puns — and will gladly take the over.
3. At this time, there might be just over 100 people here in attendance (and that’s counting the Ripken Stadium staff).
Here’s to hoping for an entertaining night.
X Division Title Match: Seiya Sanada (champ) vs. DJ Z
Trevor 6:03 One guy has multicolored streaks in his hair. It’s almost like someone took every snowball flavor (I’m learning my Baltimore lingo) and sprayed it all over his head. He just told the other guy not to touch his hair.
Aaron 6:04 Correction Trev, “Don’t touch my hair” and “Don’t touch my headphones!”
Trevor 6:06 A kid to my right just yelled “Take the chicken down!”
Cody 6:08 These guys have been fighting for five minutes now, mixing a myriad of punches with random, unorthodox throws. My one question: Why haven’t they broken a sweat yet?
Aaron 6:10 Just heard the two words I couldn’t leave Aberdeen without hearing: “Finish him!”
Aaron 6:12 Sanada maintains his title and takes a victory lap around the ring, letting everyone touch his belt.
Cody 6:13 The crowd’s biggest response, so far, came when the announcer said he’d be giving out backstage passes. Nice.
Trevor 6:13 The crowd seems to hate the wrestlers when they’re wrestling, but they're excited to meet them backstage.
Knockouts Title Match: Angelina Love (champ) vs. Gail Kim
Trevor 6:16 The crowd seems more intrigued by the wrestlers’ aesthetic appearance than their wrestling ability.
Aaron 6:17 Wonder if Gail Kim wants to go with us to Greene Turtle after the matches?
Aaron 6:17 Five seconds into the match: “Finish Her!” Nobody seems to like Angelina Jolie, I mean Love.
Trevor 6:19 Where is the Love? On the floor! Gail Kim ain’t messing around.
Cody 6:19 Love keeps leaving the ring. I’m not sure why.
Aaron 6:20 “Kick the blonde bimbo’s ass, Gail!”, “Angelina looks like an over-sized Barbie doll” The sounds of sitting ringside. I have to say, though. Angelina looks like Pam Anderson’s stepdaughter.
Trevor 6:21 I think Angelina Love and DJ Z should get together. Both clearly in wrestling for the glamor. And they’d have a common interest to help break the ice on their first date.
Cody 6:21 I mean, to that fan’s credit, she DOES look like an over-sized barbie doll. On the flip side, though, Kim had a wicked suicide cradle, which she threw while on her feet. B-E-A-Utifully executed.
Trevor 6:22 There’s the first legit wrestling reference from Cody. Only took him 22 minutes. Although I do appreciate the Bruce Almighty reference.
Cody 6:22 People in the press box are thinking of ways to make this match better. So far, they’ve listed the following: “Make them wrestle in jello.” “They should be doing this on a trampoline.” “Instead of jello, make them wrestle in chocolate. Or nacho cheese!”
Aaron 6:23 Angelina wins. She gets booed as she walks off the field but hoists her title belt up high.
Trevor 6:25 Gail Kim looks rather upset. Has to be humiliating.
The “Cowboy” James Storm vs. Mr. Anderson
Cody 6:27 “Cowboy” James Storm’s walk-out song sounds a lot like an off-brand, country-esque version of Nickelback. I’m officially rooting against him.
Cody 6:30 Mr. Anderson was announcing that he was from, and I quote, “GREEEEN BAAAAY, WIISCONNSIIIN.” Somebody from the crowd booed him, and then his long-haired opponent came up and blindsided him. Yay action!
Trevor 6:32 Brett Favre is FINALLY doing something other than football.
Aaron 6:33 James Storm has a James Harden-esque beard. It’s pretty impressive. He doused it with beer to kick off the match, which was also pretty impressive.
Trevor 6:34 But does he have a killer crossover?
Trevor 6:35 Do you think he hides things in there? Storm is constantly drinking beer; that’s really not sending a good message to the kids watching who clearly idolize him.
Cody 6:35 This is nothing like the Olympic wrestling I grew up watching.
Aaron 6:37 The beer returns. Cowboy takes a swig before laying out Mr. Anderson on the mat.
Cody 6:37 Cowboy wins. But I’m pretty sure it was because Mr. Anderson cramped up. He could hardly move his leg in an attempt to break free from the pinning combination.
Trevor 6:38 LeBron would be proud. #pinning
Trevor 6:38 Mr. Anderson is kind of a cool name. I don’t know if Mr. Hass has the same intimidating ring to it.
Cody 6:39 It makes you kind of sound like a school teacher, Mr. Hass.
Trevor 6:39 If this whole journalism thing doesn’t work out...
Tag Title Match: “The Wolves” (Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards) (champs) vs. Magnus & Bram
Cody 6:40 Two quick thoughts. First, it looks like we’re finally getting some tag-team action going on in the ring. Secondly, is it bad if I say that the kid sitting front-row in the Ray Rice jersey looks like he wants to hit something?
Aaron 6:41 Best part about this whole thing is each wrestler is driven to the ring in a John Deere cart.
Cody 6:43 I think it’s really neat that these World Champions have decided to grace Aberdeen with their presence. What humble, down-to-earth people.
Trevor 6:43 Cody, you don’t need to turn to me and say “Ha!” every time you make a below-average joke. It really detracts from comedic value of your comment.
Cody 6:44 That’s only the second time I’ve done that. (Plus, somebody has to laugh at my jokes.)
Aaron 6:45 “USA” chants begin. For what reason? I don’t know. But the Wolves start playing their title belts like they’re guitars.
Trevor 6:46 They’re getting in the World Cup spirit.
Cody 6:48 I would’ve hit these guys with dual-stall warnings by now. They’re literally not doing anything but scoffing at each other … and as I type that, of course they start hitting each other.
Cody 6:50 Magnus has a wicked uppercut to the chin. He’s been killing Eddie with it for the last couple of minutes.
Trevor 6:50 I bet Dr. Evil’s favorite wrestler would be “Mag-nus.”
Cody 6:52 I’ve always wondered why they hadn’t started two separate fights until now. There’s one going on the ring, obviously, but now the other two guys are duking it out on the side. THIS is what we came here for.
Trevor 6:53 I came here for some minor league baseball. Boy was I surprised when I walked inside...
Aaron 6:54 Bram looks like a long-haired King Leonidas from 300. I’m expecting a THIS IS SPARTA when they win.
Trevor 6:54 Or a long-haired Bram Weinstein from SportsCenter. Maybe he’ll bust out a THIS IS SPORTSCENTER!
Cody 6:54 Eddie was getting the snot beat out of him, then the crowd started cheering his name. Somehow, that gave him enough power to perform a beautiful suicide cradle on Bram. We’ve got a whole new match, folks.
Cody 6:56 Eddie’s revival was short-lived.
Cody 6:57 I spy a guy in the crowd wearing an Orioles shirt with a cast on his right arm. I wonder if he was involved in the dugout-clearing brawl earlier today.
Aaron 6:58 Bram just took a vicious, I mean VICIOUS headbutt to the groin.
Trevor 6:59 From his own teammate! You can’t script that!
Cody 7:00 Eddie secures the win with another cradle. “The Wolves” remain World Champs.
Aaron 7:00 Cue music and the title belt guitar playing. The Champs are undefeated so far tonight.
Trevor 7:01 If I were a wrestler I’d go by the moniker Dropkick Murphy.
Aaron 7:03 A kid in a referee shirt with a whistle around his neck gets invited to the ring to practice slapping the mat. If reffing doesn’t work out, he already has the outfit to work at Foot Locker.
Trevor 7:04 The referee is named Earl Hebner. I wonder if he knows Hugh Hefner. If so, I’m surprised he didn’t ref Angelina and Gail’s match. This guy’s reffed more than 100,000 matches though, which is pretty impressive. #Legend
Gunner vs. EC3
Aaron 7:36 Gunner kicks off his match with EC3 by thanking all the country’s troops and having everyone join him in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. It looks like he’s been using the Navy Seal weight training program #jacked
Trevor 7:39 EC3’s hype man looks like Macklemore. He’s wearing a blue suit and has his hair parted over. Hopefully he leaves the tag popping to the wrestlers.
Aaron 7:39 According to the little man in blue, EC3 has noble origins going back to medieval times.
Cody 7:41 EC3 just pulled a baseball out of his “pants,” and his “pants” resemble a speedo. What.
Aaron 7:42 That ball wasn’t disinfected before the hype man threw it. That’s a dedicated hype man for you.
Cody 7:43 EC3’s “pants” sparkle. Why.
Trevor 7:43 Gunner’s back is so tatted up that the entire complexion of his skin is altered. He’s like the Birdman of Impact Wrestling.
Cody 7:43 Stalling, both guys.
Trevor 7:45 Cody just complimented Gunner on a “nice under hook!” I’m sure that’s what everyone in the stands was thinking, too.
Cody 7:47 The hype man, who’s wearing a neckbrace, just tried to get into the ring. For whomever called that prop bet, good for you.
Aaron 7:49 “That’s a nice full nelson” -- Cody. And he says he doesn’t follow Impact Wrestling.
Cody 7:49 For the record, it was a nice full nelson (which is illegal in collegiate wrestling, by the way).
Cody 7:51 Gunner nearly had it won with the pinning combination, but EC3’s hype man distracted Gunner. EC3 responded by beating Gunner, somehow. As I type this, Gunner is chasing down EC3, grabbed his hype man, and now has him by the hair, walking him back to the ring. The crowd is loving this.
Aaron 7:53 Gunner showed some speed there. At his size, I’d say he’s a 4.6 40 guy.
Trevor 7:53 But does he have the “it” factor? Is he the kind of guy you want to build a franchise around? Speed and size are key, but mental fortitude separates the elite from the not-so-elite.
Trevor 7:53 This feels like a 15-seed beating a 2-seed in the NCAA tournament. I have chills. The slipper fits!
Trevor, Aaron, Cody 7:53 #Mercer #LordHaveMercer #LamborghiniMercer #KidsAGunner
Cody 7:53 Update: Gunner walked the hype man back and forced him into the ring. He followed that by picking up the hype man and slamming him on the ground while the crowd cheered, “USA! USA!” It’s even funnier because the referee just watched it all go down and didn’t even try to stop it. #hashtag
Aaron 7:54 Gunner just took the baseball that started the night in EC3’s speedo and gave it to a little boy in the front row. Where are this kid’s parents?
Bobby Lashley vs. Samoa Joe
Aaron 7:56 Wait ... Samoa Joe is from Samoa? Of course, he throws up the hang loose hand signal. Fun fact: When you type in Samoa in Google, Samoa Joe is the second result. #HesThatGuy
Cody 7:57 Lashley looks like he was a mean, mean defensive end in another life. Maybe he’s DeMarcus Ware’s brother.
Trevor 7:58 Watch out. He looks like Me'Shell from Dodgeball. Had to look up the spelling on that one.
Cody 8:02 Game 2 of the NBA Finals is about to start.
Trevor 8:02 Oh, is that tonight?
Aaron 8:03 Yeah. Gail is meeting us at Green Turtle, remember?
Trevor 8:04 Your girl.
Cody 8:04 Y’all can have Gail. I’m taking Angelina — aka, the WORLD CHAMP — on a date tomorrow night.
Aaron 8:05 Rest assured, Me’Shell. You will not be going on a date with that bombshell.
Trevor 8:05 That bomb’Shell.
Cody 8:05 I don’t want to now after that comment.
Aaron 8:06 BREAKING NEWS: California Chrome did not win the Triple Crown.
Cody 8:07 Thanks for the update, “Breaking News Dodson.”
Trevor 8:07 Breaking Bones Dodson. Nobody makes that kid bleed his own blood.
Cody 8:08 Back to the action here, Lashley was really putting a beating on Joe, but just now, Samoa Joe put Lashley in a tightly-held tilt/lock and forced Lashley to tap out. Holy cow.
Aaron 8:09 Samoa Joe for President. U-S-A. U-S-A. Sa-Mo-A. Sa-Mo-A. Dodson out.
Cody 8:09 Drake’s new remix for “Draft Day” should start like this: Draft Day, Samoa Joe
Trevor 8:10 Samoa! Samoa! Samoa! Stole the show-a.
Cody 8:11 Can you imagine if Doc Emrick called one of these things? It’d be AWESOME.
Trevor 8:14 That’s all folks. Goodnight from Aberdeen.
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