TNA Wrestling returns to Show Me Center for first time since '08

Friday, July 19, 2013
Kurt Angle tosses Jeff Hardy in a TNA wrestling match. (TNA Impact Wrestling)

Cape Girardeau will be the site of total, nonstop professional wrestling action when the TNA Impact Wrestling World Tour returns to the Show Me Center on Saturday.

The TNA tour, which last entertained local wrestling fans in 2008, boasts a championship card that features Bully Ray, the TNA world heavyweight champion, matched against five-time champion and Olympic gold-medalist Kurt Angle. In the tag-team title bout, champions Storm and Gunner will face challengers Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff.

"It's going to be entertaining," said Josh Hanlon, marketing director at the Show Me Center. "There's going to be great title matches and plenty of wrestling favorites for the fans to see."

The tour also will present a "Bound for Glory" series match, part of a larger tournament in which 12 wrestlers compete to determine who receives a title shot for the TNA World Heavyweight championship at Bound for Glory, TNA's premiere pay-per-view event. In Saturday's series match, Jay Bradley will meet Bobby Roode, a former TNA World Heavyweight champion and a five-time co-holder of the TNA World Tag Team title.

In scheduled matches that will energize as well as entertain, Jeff Hardy, popular with wrestling fans since his days in World Wrestling Entertainment, will square off against Devon, a two-time holder of the TNA Television title. Samoa Joe, known as the "Samoan Submission Machine," will battle Chris Sabin, two-time TNA Division X champion.

"I'm looking forward to getting in the ring in Cape Girardeau," said Samoa Joe in a telephone interview from Florida. "TNA is bringing an awesome card."

Samoa Joe, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 280 pounds, was born in southern California where his family founded a Polynesian dance troupe, one of the largest in the country.

"We took part in the 1984 Olympic ceremonies in Los Angeles when I was 5," he said. "It was my stage debut."

Before becoming a professional wrestler, Samoa Joe established his athletic credentials as a California State Junior Judo champion and an all-league football player in high school. He began his ring career in 2000 with the developmental Ultimate Pro Wrestling, where he feuded with future WWE star John Cena, before joining other wrestling promotions like the Japan-based Pro Wrestling Zero and Ring of Honor Wrestling. He joined TNA Wrestling in 2005 and quickly became one of the promotion's centerpieces when he captured the TNA World Heavyweight championship along with other titles.

"Pro wrestling makes you pay your dues whether you want to or not," Samoa Joe said. "I've had a laundry list of injuries in my career, but I'm having a lot of fun in TNA."

The TNA Impact Wrestling World Tour action is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $17.50, $32.50 and $67.50 and may be purchased at the Show Me Center box office, at showmecenter.biz or by phone at 651-5000. Fans who purchase a $67.50 ticket are eligible to attend an autograph session with the wrestlers beginning at 5:30 p.m.

klewis@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent address: Show Me Center, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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