Getting ready to rumble in BarreApril 18,2013
By CHARLES ACEBO
BARRE — Let the rumble begin — again.
For the first time since May 2008, the superstars from Total Nonstop Action wrestling are coming to town.
And this is their weekend.
On Sunday at 5 p.m. at the BOR in Barre, TNA Impact Wrestling will host an evening of wrestling as part of The Road to Slammiversary World Tour.
Current TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray leads the list of Imapct Wrestling Superstars, along with Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle, the champion's Aces & Eights cohort Devon, “The Blueprint” Matt Morgan, British powerhouse Magnus, Knockouts Division Champion Velvet Sky and many more.
The road ends at the annual live, anniversary pay-per-view event “Slammiversary,” scheduled for Sunday, June 2, in Boston.
TNA Wrestling offers “the world's most innovative experience in professional wrestling.” It was founded in 2002 after the purchase of World Championship Wrestling by World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. and the bankruptcy of Extreme Championship Wrestling. TNA's weekly event “Impact Wrestling” airs on Spike TV Thursday at 8 p.m., averaging 1 million viewers across the United States.
Historically, the contenders have had names like “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan, “The Icon” Sting, Bully Ray, “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles, Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode, Brooke Hogan, the TNA Knockouts, as well as the no-limits X-Division.
Today's wrestlers grew up watching many of the greats, like Hogan and others.
Two-time Knockouts Division Champion Gail Kim has wrestled in every state except Montana. She was a pro wrestling fan as a child. Hailing from Toronto, Kim said she loved wrestling growing up.
“Tito Santana was my favorite wrestler as a kid,” she said during a recent interview. “He was a fast-paced and high-flying wrestler.”
Kim was the first-ever Knockout Division Champion, winning a 10-women gauntlet match at the pay-per-view event “Bound For Glory” in October 2007. “It was such a long road to get the women's division going. … When I won the belt it was so surreal. It was a blur.”
Kim has also held the WWE Women's Championship belt and the Knockout Tag Team belt twice in her career. She was also named Knockout of the Year in 2007. Her most recent accolade? Being ranked No. 1 in Pro Wrestling Illustrated's 2012 edition of top women's competitors titled “The Female 50.”
Despite these achievements, Kim's goal remains the same: the Knockout Division belt.
For the complete story, see Friday's Times Argus.
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