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Today is the 9th anniversary of the greatest moment in TNA history.
Dave Meltzer wrote:On TNA, they had promoted, starting on 7/26, that there would be a mystery August surprise who would debut on the 8/1 show. Why they chose to announce it on the Internet as opposed to on their own television show the night before is one of life’s great mysteries.
During the show, Taz, who didn’t announce, was shown outside the arena, and opened up a door to the van to find out who was in it, and acted shocked when he opened it. But when the cameras went in, it was just a computer playing the video.
At the end of the show, with the Main Event Mafia and Aces and 8s brawling, the lights went on. Suddenly, walking down the ramp was Ortiz. Unlike when Jackson debuted, which had been promoted, and there was a huge live reaction and it came across like he was a superstar, for Ortiz, arguably a bigger star in MMA, there was no reaction at all.
Part of it was that with his shaved head instead of his trademarked dyed blond hair, most people likely had no idea who he was.
The angle got an immediately and almost universal negative reaction. MMA people didn’t like the idea of a pro wrestling storyline-created MMA match, even though many MMA storylines are also created. Pro wrestling fans resented another MMA fighter with no pro wrestling background on the show. Whether TNA, which does have 1.0 to 1.5 million people watching weekly but hasn’t been able to convert all but a minuscule percentage to buy its own PPVs, will be able to create a storyline that will help an MMA show is questionable.