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Fans flock to see Total Nonstop Action Wrestling

January 16, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • Jeremy Buck of Generation Me is about to feel the full force from a flying Chris Sabin of Motor City Machine Guns Sunday in a TNA wrestling match onstage at The Maryland Theatre.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — All the classic moves were there.


Kicks to the head, choking over the ropes, slams to the mat and leaps off the corners of the ring to deliver punishing blows.

And the sold-out crowd of 1,300 fans loved it as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling made its debut at The Maryland Theatre Sunday night.

Spectators pumped their fists into the air and chanted unpleasantries in unison as one of the wrestling representatives onstage said backstage visits by fans would not be allowed Sunday night.

But after some coaxing by another official onstage, the representative finally gave out some backstage passes.

It was all in the name of fun during a night of wrestling at the historic theater, which was to feature a World Heavyweight Championship match with Mr. Anderson and TNA’s founder, “King of the Mountain” Jeff Jarrett.

The other scheduled fights were a tag-team match between Motor City Machine Guns and Generation Me; a TNA Knockouts Championship match featuring the Dames of TNA, Madison Rayne and Mickie James; plus a three-way match among Kazarian, Brian Kendrick and Robbie E.

David Smith of Hagerstown said he has been following TNA Wrestling for about five years and said he likes the organization for its action.

“Its better than WWE anymore,” said Smith, referring to another well-known wrestling group.

Smith said he also likes TNA Wrestling because it allows more interaction with the fans.  

Some fans paid more than the $25 ticket price to attend a meet-and-greet session with TNA stars.

Smith said he hopes to do a meet-and-greet session at a TNA Wrestling event scheduled for the end of February in Richmond, Va.

“This was just a last-minute thing,” Smith said of Sunday’s show.

John Newlin of Winchester, Va., another spectator at Sunday’s show, said he follows TNA Wrestling a lot.

Newlin said he likes the TNA brand of wresting because there is more wrestling than talking.

Newlin said he has been a fan of wrestling since he was 4 years old. The proof of his passion is reflected in his son’s name, Hogan, after wrestling star Hulk Hogan.

The day before the Hagerstown appearance, TNA Wrestling staged fights in Upper Marlboro, Md., as part of a tour, according to the organization’s website.

After Hagerstown, TNA goes overseas to Lyon, France.

Jay Constantz, director of The Maryland Theatre, said TNA Wrestling representatives contacted him about doing Sunday’s show. The organization rented the theater, which also makes money through the sale of concessions, he said.

“We’re hoping they come back. It’s a big success here,” Constantz said at the back of the theater before Sunday’s show began.

Three Hagerstown Police Department officers were stationed at the theater Sunday night and things were going smoothly, said Sgt. Ben Lyncha.

“Everybody’s loud, but they’re calm,” Lyncha said.

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