By Rick Buttacavoli
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
How's that for a homecoming!
Brooklyn’s own TNA Wrestling star Rosita made a triumphant return last weekend, cheered by thousands as she performed inside the squared circle, defeating TNA Knockouts legend Gail Kim at MCU Park.
Kim and Rosita, who was joined at ringside by Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg, did battle as part of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s annual “Basebrawl” event. The Brooklyn show was the pro wrestling company’s biggest non-televised event of the year, according to TNA officials.
For Rosita, a former Bay Ridge resident, the victory was especially meaningful because she was able to share it with friends and family members in attendance.
“It was crazy,” she told the Eagle after the match. “To get to perform in my hometown and to come out and see so many people stand up. I couldn’t believe it!”
The match itself featured plenty of athleticism, as the Knockouts tortured each other with submission maneuvers before Rosita was able to hit Kim outside the ring with — fittingly — a baseball slide! When Kim’s attempt to cheat was foiled by Rosenberg, the distraction gave the homegrown star the chance she needed to snatch the victory over her older and more experienced opponent.
“It felt amazing to win against such a talented opponent like Gail,” she said afterward. “Especially here in my hometown!”
The Knockouts’ match was just one of a full slate that evening, as fans got to see favorites like Mr. Anderson, Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy and Sting perform. The main event was a Heavyweight Championship match between Bobby Roode and champion Austin Aries.
In the opening match, Mr. Anderson took on Robbie E., a “Jersey Shore” wannabe who stopped the match midway through and implored his opponent to dance rather than fight. Anderson, known for his colorful personality, played along, much to the crowd’s delight, and allowed Robbie E. to show him how to fist pump. Just when music had seemed to soothe the savage beasts, Anderson pumped his fist directly into his opponent’s face and scored the victory.
In other action, fan favorite Rob Van Dam defeated Kazarian when he nailed his patented frog splash from the top rope. Kazarian became instantly hated before the match, as he took the microphone and proclaimed, “The Jets suck, Giants suck, Yankees suck, Mets suck, Nets suck, Rangers suck and Knicks suck.”
In one of the most technically sound matches of the evening, “The Phenomenal” A.J. Styles returned to Brooklyn following his June 29 “first pitch” appearance to take on fellow high-flier Jeff Hardy. The crowd was split between the two fan favorites and even though Styles won the match with his patented Pele kick, both men greeted fans around ringside following the match.
Following an intermission, during which fans could receive more autographs from their favorite stars, TNA President Dixie Carter walked to the ring and thanked the fans for supporting the company in its return to Brooklyn.
“I’ve never seen a venue more beautiful than this,” she told the crowd.
Following her remarks, it was time for more action. New York’s own Bully Ray came to the ring and threatened ring announcer Christy Hemme, referee Earl Hebner and even Carter herself before daring anyone in the back to come to the ring and face him in a match. To the delight of the fans, “The Icon” Sting came out and agreed to a falls-count-anywhere hardcore match. As the action spilled onto the third base dugout, fans in other sections began to chant in unison, “Fight right here!”
When the two men made their way back to the ring, Sting landed his patented Scorpion Death Drop for the victory.
The final match of the evening pitted Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries against the man he recently defeated for the title, Bobby Roode. A technically sound, back-and-forth match kept fans entertained before Aries hit a brainbuster for the win.
But the interactive wrestling experience was not yet complete, as Sting returned to the ring to pose for photos with fans and families. For more incredible photos from this event, check out the Bay Ridge Eagle's new blog, www.bayridgelife.com!
TNA’s “Impact Wrestling” is cablecast Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Spike TV.