TNA Impact WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 10/7: Complete "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV's live broadcast [updated]
Oct 7, 2010 - 10:35:15 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: What with Jewish holidays and all I haven't recapped TNA in over a month. When last I wrote, they kept promising that we would find out why Sting turned heel in March, but didn't seem to have any plan, and Abyss kept talking about "them", but we didn't know who "they" were. Today...hell. They've explicitly said that the Abyss reveal will be Sunday, and heavily implied that the Sting reveal will be as well, so the optimistic among us might think that there's a plan. Particularly given that they're coming out on the same day, one might hope that some grand unified scheme is in the works. What plan could justify seven months of ambiguous blather is beyond me. The only things I can come up with that would even come close to worth it would be 1) HBK or 2) a real invasion storyline—does anyone know if Roderick Strong has plans Sunday? I will not be holding my breath for either.
On to tonight's live show.
Hmm...Abyss, sporting Janice in one hand, seems to have kidnapped Dixie Carter. Her wrist is handcuffed to his. How do they justify his still being employed again? I think Taz actually asked that same question last week, and I didn't hear anyone answer. Abyss says he's taking her where "they" have instructed him to take her. She's yelling for someone to call security. If this episode doesn't end with him getting fired I riot. He brings her out to the Impact Zone, where the crowd is ticked. I hope someone can tell the difference between good heat and what we used to know as "X-Pac heat". He asks whether she can smell it. It's the smell of power. For months he's prophesied about "their" arrival, and in 3 days "they" will arrive and take total control of TNA. "They" wanted her to answer one last question—does she prefer Janice or Bob (his two weapons)? Out for the save comes...Eric Bischoff with TNA security? That's a bit of a letdown. Abyss holds them at bay by threatening Dixie. This is not fun to watch. I can't tell if the discomfort is disgust or boredom. Bischoff is trying to talk Abyss down, and apparently succeeds. Abyss unlocks the cuffs, and D-Lo Brown slips up and pulls Dixie away. The crowd cheers. One enterprising fan tries to start an "Eric Bischoff" chant. Bischoff yells to cut the feed, but before it happens Sting's music hits. Bischoff backs into the ring. Sting hits the ramp, flanked by Nash and Pope (who joined their cause a couple weeks ago). Tenay wonders what conspiracy theories they've cooked up this week, which would be a more interesting question if Jarrett and Bischoff hadn't cut them off the last two times they tried to tell us.
Pope, Sting, and Nash are in the ring with Bischoff. Pope has a mic. He says that maybe it's time Pope retracts his statement from last week. He pauses to take off his shades. Last week Pope looked us all in the eyes and said that Eric was a no-good son of Bischoff. But he can't be that if he's running things the way he is, so maybe he really is good. But the black hats and the white hats are going to come off. Abyss might not be the smartest monster under the bed, but he's right about one thing—at 10/10/10 everything will be revealed. The walls are gonna come down, and they're gonna come down on Bischoff. That gets a really mixed response, but I'd say mostly cheers. Bischoff says that he respects Pope but he (Pope) doesn't know what he's talking about. Pope says that maybe this is bigger than him, but Bischoff needs to tell him about it. Bischoff says that this is indeed bigger than Pope, as Pope's been letting Sting lead him around like a dog chasing his own tail. Bischoff says that this is really all about Sting and Hogan. Pope's sick of talking, so he gives Sting the mic. Sting says that Bischoff is damned right it's about him and Hogan. It's about two men who took diverging paths 10 years ago, and those paths have finally come to an end. The best way to settle this will be for Hogan to come back to the ring. Is Hogan ready to give it all up? At Bound for Glory, when Hogan's very soul is revealed, will he be ready to walk away? Bischoff has nothing more to say. Jarrett and Joe run down to the ring. Seeing Joe, the crowd finally knows who to cheer for. But Bischoff tells them not to enter the ring, since he's got this covered. Those three want to come out and intimidate him, and what Sting wants is something to fill his ego-driven heart. Well Bischoff's gonna give Sting some answers, since maybe he doesn't know what the rest of the world knows, which is that Hogan is in intensive care. He goes to video of Hogan being operated on. Is that who Sting wants to fight? Are they man enough to take him on between the three of them? A quick reaction shot from Pope reveals what appears to be shame. Some doctor says that Hogan's out for at least six weeks. Bischoff says that if they wanna kick his (Bischoff's) ass, they can go ahead and do it, since he really doesn't care anymore. But if they want a fight, these two men at ringside will give them one, and since they seem to feel like they need an advantage we can just make it a handicap match.
A limo pulls up, and holy shit! That's Mickie James! She says that we'll just have to wait find out what she's here for.
Up next The Beautiful People will face Tara and Madison Rayne for the rights to "The Beautiful People".
We hype Sunday's title match. Angle says that Jeff Hardy has a lot of ability, but he's not a champion. Kurt's a champion. Jeff says that he's never fought anyone like Kurt Angle. Words cannot describe how fast and tough he is. We see shots of the punishment Kurt took in their pair of matches. We recap how they both got into the title match. I would have left that embarrassing bit of booking in the past myself. Anderson says that he's worked eleven years to get here, and he knows the others have done the same.
Earlier this week Team 3D cut a promo from Times Square. Ray explains that New York "Mother Truck'n" City is where they're from. And this Sunday, they'll be making the biggest announcement of their careers, and it'll change tag team wrestling forever. I don't know what that had to do with NYC either.
Rayne's sporting a new, dark haired look.
(1) MADISON RAYNE & TARA vs. ANGELINA LOVE & VELVET SKY Rights to "The Beautiful people" Name and Music Rights Match
I wonder who'll win? The Beautiful People or the other team? Sky and Love are sporting matching pink. Tara and Rayne jump them as they do their entrance, knocking Sky out of the ring and pulling Love to the corner. Rayne yanks her to the mat, but barely gets one. Tara tags in, and they hit a double-team Russian Leg Sweep. A cover gets two. Love gets a Small Package, but the ref is distracted by Rayne and Sky bickering in a neutral corner on the apron. Sky tags in and hits a series of clotheslines, followed by a Facebuster. Rayne pops her from the apron. Ms. Tessmacher is watching from the top of the ramp, taking notes. Tara thrusts a shoulder at Sky in the corner, then tags in Rayne. Sky reverses an Irish Whip. Rayne attempts to float over, but Sky catches her and drops her to the mat. She makes the tag, and Love comes in firing. She nails a Botox Injection on Rayne, but then inexplicably lets her tag in Tara. Love hits her side Jaw Breaker on Tara, and Sky comes in to assist with simultaneous round kicks to the knee and abdomen. That's enough for three.
WINNERS: The (original) Beautiful People in 3 minutes.
Ms. Tessmacher calls for all the women's attention. As she mentioned last week, in three days the four of them will meet for the TNA's Knockouts Championship. She reiterates that it will not be a tag match. To insure that each one of those skanks plays by her rules, she's appointing her own special guest referee. James comes out to what I assume is her own music, in full country get-up. She looks unbelievably good. I have no idea what Vince's issues are. She wants to know if they're glad to see the newest TNA Knockout. Everyone knew she'd be making an impact, but who knew she'd be bound for glory? She'll be happy to raise the winner's hand on Sunday, but then after that she'll be happy to take that title and become the first woman ever to hold every prestigious title known to womankind. Umm...the Diva's Championship really doesn't count. It's pink.
Mick, in an awkward close-up, plugs his book. He's taking nothing for granted, but he's planning to be the last man standing tonight. He reminds Ric of his vow to kick Mick's ass if he loses.
Bischoff is in the back with Dixie, who wanted to see him. She says that he needs to fire Abyss, and he needs to do it tonight. He should have handled this ages ago. Bischoff asks for a little more time to calm Abyss down, but Dixie quite sensibly points out that that's bullshit. She wants him to handle it tonight. And she wants him to do it in the ring, to humiliate him like he humiliated her. He says he'll "handle it", which seems conspicuously ambiguous.
Okay, mad props go to someone for finally noticing that little plot hole.
(2) RIC FLAIR vs. MICK FOLEY Last Man Standing Match
Foley comes down sporting the Cactus Jack flannel and sweats. The crowd is entirely behind Foley as they lock up. Flair nails a straight right hand on the break, then unloads with chops. He rips the bandage off Foley's face (from where he busted himself open last week) and busts him open yet again. Flair flings Foley from the ring. He follows him out and slams his head against the guard-rail a couple times. Mick Foley nails a low blow back-kick, then rolls Ric into the ring. Foley flips the steps upside down, as he's hidden a barbed wire wrapped baseball bat underneath. He rolls into the ring and plants Flair in the face with the barbed wire. He does it again, and Flair is seriously busted open. Mick unloads with rights, so Flair flees the ring. He goes up near the broadcast table, where Foley catches him, driving his head into the table. Flair tries to chop back, and they fight up to the top of the ramp. Foley runs the barbed wire over his face, but Flair creates just enough distance to fling Foley off the stage and through a handy table. The crowd tries to express the holiness of this shit, but they keep getting bleeped. It's good to see Foley back to his old absolutely crazy self. They somehow know that Foley will answer a ten count, so we might as well cut to a
Flair is laying in with elbows to the cut in the ring. He drops an elbow on the mat. During the break Flair beat Foley with his own book before destroying it. By now the crowd's split. I'm not sure what changed. Flair kicks Mick in the mid-section, then rolls out of the ring. He grabs a tacks-like bag from under the ring, and, sure enough, spreads some thumb tacks around the ring. He hits Foley with a couple more punches and chops. Mick blocks one and unloads with a series of rights, backing Flair into the corner. Flair tries to charge out, but Mick Back Body Drops him into the tacks. Why does he still do this? Foley goes under the ring to get a board covered in barbed wire, which he slides into the ring. He hits a series of forearms that take Flair all the way down to the bottom turnbuckle. Foley charges with the barbed wire board, and rams his knee into the board into Flair. Foley has the ref count, but he doesn't get far. Flair comes up chopping, but Foley punches him back down. He gets a table from under the ring and slides it in. Foley might be limping a bit. The crowd chants for fire as Mick sets up the table. Flair begs off in the corner, then nails a low blow. He lays Foley out on the table. He grabs the barbed wire board and slams it into Foley. Flair goes to the top rope, and HOLY SHIT Flair just splashed Foley through the table and sort of onto the tacks. What the hell is he thinking? The ref counts. Foley crawls up the corner. Flair starts to get up, but then Flair Flops face first into the tacks before ten. I would have thought Flair getting to two feet would break the count, but that's a small quibble.
WINNER: Mick Foley in 15 minutes (4 during commercial). This was clearly Foley's best match in TNA (at least that I remember), and a hell of a crazy effort by Flair. Also, oddly enough, there were no head shots. Why they're putting this much energy into two people who aren't wrestling at the PPV I don't know, but that is not my problem. ***1/2
Flair is not happy, and starts to storm off. We recap the match. When we come back Mick is in the ring with a mic. He believes Ric added a little stipulation to this Last Man Standing Match. Mick would have been content to shake his hand, but a deal is a deal is a deal, (whoo!), so Ric needs to come back to kiss his ass. Taz says that if you're ever gonna reneg, this would be a good time. Flair slowly saunters back to the ring. The crowd is happily saying how awesome this'll be. Mick says that he won't be pulling his pants down, but Flair's still gonna kiss his dimpled ass. Before Flair can do much of anything Fortune storm the ring and beat down Foley. EV 2.0 run down to scare them off. Flair says that that's what's called "kissing [Mick's] ass", and on Sunday their gonna kiss all their asses. Flair stops to spit blood. Taz emphasizes that Flair and Foley will both be around the cage during the Lethal Lockdown match. I guess there was a point to that match from the perspective of the PPV.
Bischoff comes out to the ring, passing EV 2.0 on the way. He looks around the broken objects in the ring. He says that he's seen wrecks, but this is one hell of a train wreck right here. He whispers something to a stage hand. He says that they don't have much time—he just checked—so he just calls Abyss down to the ring.
In the ring, Bischoff says that he's waited long enough. It's time for Abyss to come down. RVD's music hits. Bischoff shakes his head "no". Can't they fire Abyss and still have an "unsanctioned match", like HHH and HBK did that one time? Rob says that there's no way he's gonna be screwed out of the opportunity he has Sunday. After Sunday Rob doesn't care, but he's fighting Abyss, or else he won't be here. He'd leave over this. They have a code in the back, where you handle your issues yourself, not invoking management. Rob's 1010% serious about this. Bischoff needs to go to the back and tell Dixie that she's either got to let Abyss wrestle through Sunday or else lose the Whole F'n Show. Can't they fire someone effective Monday?
Dreamer and Rhino hung with their fans in Philadelphia earlier this week.
Orlando Jordan is teaching Eric Young how to throw a ball to win carnival games. Young's excited, but not as excited as he is about their being a tag team. Jordan agrees. It's like EY is ice cream and he's caramel. EY can't wait to move up the PWI rankings. Can I say that on Torch? But tonight they need to take out their old arch-nemeses. Remember when EY was leader of the group that finally defeated the Main Event Mafia? No?
(3) ORLANDO JORDAN & ERIC YOUNG vs. INK INC.
Jordan is going to start with Jesse Neal, but EY tries to tag Neal out and lock up with Jordan. The crowd chants for EY—he's just that damned good, no matter what stupid garbage they give him. Neal nails a couple of dropkicks. He goes for a waist lock, but Jordan slithers sensually and he breaks it up. Jordan comes back with a couple quick shots, some stomps, and a Shoulder Breaker. The crowd says that they want Eric. Jordan works a wrist lock on Neal. Neal powers out, but walks right into a nice Spine Buster. Jordan actually has a decent move-set when he isn't just stomping. He covers Neal, putting his crotch to Neal's face. EY tries to run in, and while Jordan is distracted Moore tags in. He hits a leg lariat, a Wheelbarrow Kick, an Inverted Atomic Drop, and a Twisting Leg Scissors. Jordan tries to come back with a clothesline but Moore ducks beneath it, freezes Jordan with a kick and comes off the ropes with a Moonsault for two. EY runs in to help with a double team on his own partner, and a confused Moore lets EY whip him into Jordan. Jordan gets an elbow up and then gets a cover with added leverage from the ropes, but EY points out the cheating to the referee. The ref escorts EY from the ring, but while his back is turned Jordan nails a low blow. The ref turns around and makes the count.
WINNERS: Eric Young & Orlando Jordan
EY runs in and pops the referee—it's not clear whether it's intentional. Jordan tries to get him, but he slides out, slides back in with a mic, and shushes the ref again. He tells Jordan that this is for his own good. As the leader of this team, and a card carrying member of the World Wide International Tag-Team Coalition—that's official—he and Orlando want to forfeit this match. It would never have held up in a court of law—lots of misdemeanors and fines levied. Here's what Eric Young will do for Ink Inc., since he's kinda a big deal—he'll make some calls, and pull some strings, and come Bound for Glory they'll do it again.
Jay Lethal shows us his childhood home. We see the balcony where he made his first flip and got yelled at. Here's why he moved to Tampa—he shows his long driveway, which of course they always had to dig out when it was covered in snow. He introduces us to the Lethal-mobile, which took them everywhere. One time a promoter was going to fly him out to Ohio, but his dad waved it off and said they'd all make a road trip out of it. He shows us his hiding spot in a big tree. No matter where he goes, this is where he's from—this is Jersey. These hometown segments are growing on me.
Dixie is telling Rob that she understands about this code thing, but win, lose, or draw, Abyss is out of here after Sunday. Bischoff brings her Abyss's termination notice, which is effective as of 12:01 AM on October 11th. She signs it. She knows that she said he's gone win, lose, or draw, but she wants him to do her a favor and win, for both of them. He says that won't be a problem.
Robbie E. and Cookie, "The Shore" come out. How much overlap is there between Impact and Jersey Shore? Whatever there is, I'm not in it, so I doubt I'm going to follow this. Robbie E says that The Shore is here, dude. Cookie says its party time. Before he fist pumps up and down this whole roster—the crowd tells him he sucks—he and Cookie want to everyone that there are zero hot girls in Florida. Seriously, when he looks around, all he sees are a bunch of grenades. She yells at him to duck. She wants to know what she should do about her needs? She hasn't seen one filthy gorilla since they've been in this town. (They're really just awful actors, but I don't know if that's part of the joke somehow.) She doesn't know if they stay in their houses all day, since no one here has a tan. He says that they all live in their parents' basements. Their posers, just like the people on MTV. They yell something about Jersey. The crowd informs them that they're boring—see my earlier point about real heat vs. X-Pac heat.
We hype the PPV. Kurt reminds us that he's vowed to retire if he loses. Nash talks about what will be revealed. RVD says that with extra eyes on them (that's optimistic), they need to up their game. They need to show what the new TNA is all about, and since he brought in the new era he knows what to do. Pope says that we all know this event comes just once a year, but this one's so big it's once in a century. Anderson, sounding sincere, says how much it means to him to have earned a spot in the top match of this company he loves, that has reignited his passion for this business. Jarrett says that everything all year builds to Bound for Glory. Flair says that TNA is the company to watch, as it's growing. Foley thinks that 10/10/10 sounds like the perfect day for a perfect storm. He knows what it's like to work in a big-money atmosphere, and that's what it is. Joe says that there are moments that focus on the greatness of athletes, and moments where people transcend; Bound For Glory has produced those moments every year. Dixie Carter predicts that this will be the biggest PPV in company history. The tag-line is that this is the night that changes everything.
(4) $100,000 (GAUNTLET STYLE) BATTLE ROYAL
Anderson and Angle start things off. We're told that entrances will be every 45 seconds. Angle barely gets in a shoulder block when Jeff Hardy hits the ring. Hardy gets between Angle and AJ, but they barely get one shot off when AJ's music hits (thankfully it's back to his real music again, after some weird remix the last few weeks). In the ring Hardy comes off the ropes with a double clothesline on both Angle and Anderson.
Sabu, Max Buck, Sabin, and Douglas Williams seem to be in the ring now too. Anderson and Angle tee off on AJ as Dreamer runs down. Sabu and Williams have paired off. Lethal's out next. He goes right after AJ, taking him down with a Twisting Leg Scissors. Dreamer tosses Max Buck, but he lands on the apron and clings to the rope. Jarrett comes out next. He flips out Williams, but Williams lands on the apron. Jarrett tries to toss AJ, but AJ catches him with Head Scissors, so Jarrett gives up. Here's The Pope. He tries to take Jarrett out, but Jarrett slips back in through the ropes. Sabin almost gets Hardy out, but then Hardy remembers that he's Jeff Hardy and Chris Sabin is Chris Sabin. Robert Roode comes out next, and nothing much happens for 45 seconds till Sting's music hits. All 13 men are still in the ring. Kurt takes Hardy over, but he catches one leg on the steel steps and slides back in.
During the break Jeremy Buck, Raven, Stevie Richards, and maybe Kazarian came out. My TV's not big enough to be sure. Abyss comes out and immediately eliminates Douglas Williams, Sabu, Jay Lethal, Stevie Richards, and Chris Sabin. Everyone piles onto Abyss in the corner. Sting nails a Stinger Splash on the pile. He goes for another on straight onto Abyss, but Abyss catches him and takes him out. Nash is out next. Nash goes right to Abyss, but can't get him over. Matt Morgan is out next, with clotheslines for all around. Morgan goes eye to eye with Nash. Right when they start trading blows Joe's music hits. I would have given him the monster push. As Morgan and Nash brawl Abyss takes them both out and over. Dreamer decides to go after Abyss, and actually gets him over the rope. Abyss lands on the apron as Storm comes down. Angle tries to finish Abyss off, but he can't. Generation Me try, but Abyss goozles both of them and flips them out and over. Shelley is out next. Abyss knocks Kazarian out with a Big Boot just as Rhino comes down. The Man-Beast goes right after Abyss, which Taz points out isn't a good idea (I would add: "unless you're RVD"). They don't even bother to show Abyss eliminating him. Jarrett looks for The Stroke on Pope, but Abyss comes up behind him and tosses him out. Pope tries to knock Abyss out, but gets taken out and over himself.
Technically we're into Reaction, but I'll stick with this match. Shelley goes for a Sliced Bread #2 on Abyss, which is really dumb in a Battle Royal. Sure enough, Abyss just tosses him out. Joe tries for Abyss next, but Abyss low bridges him and he goes flying out over the top rope. Beer Money nail the Beer Money Suplex on Dreamer, but before gloating the decide to nail one on Abyss. Now they do their schtick. Roode tries to quickly toss Storm, but Storm Skins the Cat. Roode explains that it was just about the money. They shove each other, then share a hug. Abyss comes up from behind and tosses them both. Abyss looks to toss AJ, but gets knocked back by a Pele. Dreamer hits a DVD on AJ, but Abyss quickly comes and tosses him. He then Military Presses AJ and tosses him out onto Dreamer. Hardy nails a Twist of Fate on Angle, then nails the Swanton Bomb. Abyss tosses him from the ring. We're down to Abyss, Anderson, and Angle. So far Abyss has had every elimination. Anderson kicks him in the face, but Abyss comes back with a Choke Slam. Finally RVD's music hits. I'm not sure why he got more than 45 seconds. He's still limping. He thrusts a shoulder into Abyss from the apron, then takes him down with a side kick off the top rope. He takes himself and Abyss out with a Cross Body Block (though Abyss needed to help a bit with eliminating himself). We're down to Anderson and Angle, who are both still on their knees. They get up brawling. The crowd sides with Anderson for now. Angle shoots him into the ropes, and Anderson comes back with a shoulder block. Kurt tries to leapfrog him, but Anderson catches him. Kurt escapes and looks for an Olympic Slam. Anderson slips out and tries for a Mic Check, but Angle elbows out of it. Anderson charges, but Angle catches him with an Olympic Slam straight to the floor.
WINNER: Kurt Angle in 27 minutes. There was a very good story told with Abyss, even if the ending was eminently foreseeable.
Where We're Going: The Abyss thing was actually done really well tonight. Even the horrible first segment made sense in context, as it needed to be different enough to justify this being the moment someone realized they could just fire Abyss. The whole thing builds interest in the PPV—for the first time I'm actually curious who "they" are, cause there's really no one who could obviously overrule Dixie Carter and keep Abyss around. This is extremely late to make me care about a three month old plot, but they did still have three days to spare.
Star of the Night: Ric Flair. Whoooo!
Overall: This was a pretty good show in its own right, and built to the PPV very well. Pope sold me a bit on the Sting plot, and Dixie Carter finally sold me on Abyss. The women didn't get much time, but the injection of Mickie James more than makes up for that. EV 2.0 vs. Fortune hasn't really merited the screen time it had gotten before now, but that was not a problem tonight as Flair and Foley left everything in the ring (at least given their age). The Shore and Orlando Jordan were the only real missteps of the night, and Eric Young's natural charisma kept his tag match from being a total waste. The main event told a good story, but the problem with keeping the ring that full for that long is that the whole thing was a bit more of a mess and less exciting than it could have been. I enjoyed this show, and it makes me want to get the PPV more than I did 3 hours ago, but it had its slow droughts. B+
Daniel is a graduate fellow at The Ohio State University. This is his first column back since his birthday. Birthday wishes can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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