TMZ is known for spreading tabloid news about the rich and famous while also satirizing some the big stories that come out of tinsel town, yet the one thing you'd never imagine TMZ doing is talking about professional wrestling.
The wrestling world has famously been looked down upon by many in the media, so you'd think that they wouldn't waste their time talking to wrestlers, expect the exact opposite happened with a number of current and former TNA/Impact stars interacting with the people of TMZ.
Some of these times has led to some strange and other times memorable moments on camera and in this article I'll be talking about ten examples of current or former Impact stars interacting with tabloid masses of TMZ.
10. James Storm's Bar Story
It probably wouldn't be a surprise to a lot of you to hear that TNA Original, James Storm is no stranger when it comes to fighting in bars as the "Tennessee Cowboy" most likely has over a dozen stories regarding the crazy stuff his seen or done in bars, but this story is the only one I could be able to find.
In 2013, a camera crew working for TMZ spotted Storm at the LAX airport, where they began asking the former Impact tag team champion questions on the rumors surrounding him possibly getting his own bar themed reality show but the conversation soon turns to Storm being asked if his ever gotten into a bar fight, to which the cowboy mentions that his been in a couple.
The highlight of this encounter comes when Storm mentions that during one of these bar fights he managed to 'rip out' a guy's eyeball out of it's socket by accident...I should make that keenly aware it was by accident.
The cowboy goes a little more into detail about what happened during the incident but James does mention that the guy got his eyeball put back in and that surprisingly there was no damage; Storm also hits a chop onto the chest of one of the crew members (with permission) and the chop much like the eyeball story certainly left it's mark.
9. Facetiming With My Family
While she's unquestionably one of the most talented females currently working in professional wrestling, many have also criticized third generation wrestler Tessa Blanchard over the years for things that don't paint the former Impact Wrestling star in a positive light, however Tessa has also had some of her great moments not just in the ring but behind-the-scenes as well.
In 2018, it was revealed in advance that Tessa Blanchard won the Impact Wrestling Knockouts Championship in a triple threat match against Allie and Su Yung on an episode of Impact.
It was wildly believed that Impact Wrestling themselves spoiled this news with many questioning the reasons as to why; The story has it that TMZ were planning to make Tessa's victory known to the general public before the episode even aired but instead Impact decided to beat them to punch and released the news of Tessa's win before anyone else.
While Impact may have let that news slip before any else, TMZ did reveal some footage that most fans have probably never saw:
After winning her match, Tessa can be seen in the backstage area hyperventilating while at the same time holding her phone as she begins face timing her stepfather, Magnum T.A. and the rest of her family over her tremendous title victory.
While the audio is a bit muffled you can hear the excitement from her family as well as see the excitement in Tessa's face as she realizes that she's going to be representing Impact's Knockouts Division now as it's champion.
8. Getting Assaulted During A Wrestling Event
If you don't recognize the name Gabriela Castrovinci then you might remember her as the purple haired valet and wrestler known as Raquel during her time in Impact Wrestling from 2016 to 2017, where she is best remembered for her work with fellow Impact stars, Jessie Godderz and Robbie E as part of a tag team called "The BroMans".
However in February of 2016, Raquel got the attention of TMZ after a vicious attack during an indy match. According to Raquel, she mentions how during a match for an indy event in Miami, her opponent got a little too physical with her as she bombarded Raquel with punches and kicks that resulted in her suffering amongst other things bruises on most of her body, a cracked tooth and a broken jaw.
In the footage they show of the match, you can see her opponent hitting her pretty stiff with blows especially with knife edge chops and the assault was so bad that Raquel almost considered filing charges.
Raquel also mentions in the interview that she believes that she was attacked so brutally was due to the fact that she was signed to Impact Wrestling so it could of been out jealously; Nevertheless Raquel would heal up and continue to wrestle for Impact Wrestling until her departure in January of 2017.
7. Zema Ion's Near Death Injury
Speaking of Impact wrestlers suffering horrific injuries we turn to Zema Ion, a former Impact X division and Tag Team Champion who in 2017 suffered an injury to his colon which looked to be fatality.
In a video where he sits down and talks about the ordeal, Ion mentions how he was wrestling in an event in Mexico for the CRASH promotion against Laredo Kid when during the match a 450 splash onto Zema and another wrestler led to the former X Division Champion looking white as a ghost and feeling immense pain on the inside.
After being brought to a hospital and being told that everything is fine, Zema would find out really quickly that he wasn't; As it turns out the future Joaquin Wilde in NXT had actually suffered a ruptured Colon and had actually fainted while in his hotel room and nearly could have died as the nearest hospital was about a mile away and he had to wait almost an hour for the ambulance to arrive.
Following a surgery that left a big ass scar on his body, Zema would work tirelessly to get back into the ring and by early 2018 DJZ would return to Impact and soon become Impact Tag Team Champions with fellow wrestler, Andrew Everett.
6. The Chest Waxing Incident
Former Big Brother Alumni and Impact Tag Team Champion, Jessie Godderz has become a fixture for TMZ appearing numerous times whilst making the lives of the TMZ camera people a living hell.
One such case, would have to be the time Godderz waxed off a cameraman's chest hair by using duct tape...while you let that statement slowly sink into your mind, I'll explain the context behind it.
While outside of the airport, Jessie Godderz asks a TMZ person a series of questions with the punishment being that if he gets most of them wrong then Godderz is going to use some duct tape that he has in his bag.
After getting two of the three questions wrong, Godderz proceeds to putting the duct tape on the guys lower jaw and chest area hoping to recreate that iconic waxing scene from that famous Steve Carell movie, unfortunately for Jessie the tape wasn't so successful but he did find some time to hit the guy in the chest with a knife edge chop so there's that.
5. Twerking In An Airport
Like his tag team partner Jessie Godderz, Former Impact X Division, Tag Team and TV champion Robbie E is no stranger to being interviewed by the cameramen of TMZ with one of the most memorable moments being that time he was forced to twerk in an airport.
In 2013 Impact stars: Brooke Tessmacher and Robbie E were seen leaving an airport when they where asked by a TMZ camera crew about having some matches at Universal Studios but soon the conversation takes a funny and unexpected turn when Robbie brings up the fact that he lost a bet with his former girlfriend Brooke.
The bet was according Tessmacher to see if the former TNA Television Champion could drink four shots of Tequila and not throw up in three minutes, failure to down those shots would result in Robbie E twerking at an airport...and seeing as you've read the title to this entry you can imagine how that bet turned out and also what happened next.
The guy behind the camera asks to see a 'Twerk Off' between both Robbie and Brooke, to which the former Knockouts Champion is more then happy to do. As if seeing the future Robert Stone in NXT twerking in an airport in front of on goers isn't strange enough, a random guy who ends up talking with both Brooke and Robbie also gets into the action for lack of a better word.
In this situation, Robbie E and Brooke Tessmacher really represented the A in TNA Wrestling.
4. Lacey Von Erich's Encounter With A Cameraman
Best known for being a part of the legendary Von Erich family, Lacey, the daughter of Kerry Von Erich wrestled for Impact Wrestling from late 2009-11 where she won the knockouts tag team titles and became an iconic member of the Beautiful People.
In 2016, TMZ caught up with Brooke Hogan and a friend of hers when the guy behind the camera ask about using any wrestling moves as defense in case of emergency to which Hogan mentions that Lacey put her in a headlock earlier that day and the guy behind the camera wants to see the headlock or headbutt as he mistaken called it at first.
Brooke then takes hold of the camera and mentions that she can't have the headlock put on her especially on camera because in her own words 'she's a mom'; This however gives Lacey enough time to put on a very tight looking headlock on the camera man an even applied the signature Von Erich Iron Claw while looking directly at the screen.
Lacey moments afterwards applies a few holds on Brooke Hogan including the headlock; Overall the event took around a minute, but it certainly was an interesting one.
3. Wedgie Time
Mr. Pec-Tacular Jessie Godderz appears once again on this list but this time his encounter with a TMZ camera person doesn't include duct tape.
While being caught on the streets, Jessie Godderz is challenged to a thumb wrestling competition with a TMZ cameraman, with the wager being that if Godderz loses then the camera guy gets all the money in his pocket but if he wins he gives the man a wedgie.
As you can imagine, the former TNA Tag Team Champion not only wins the thumb war but waste no time in giving his opponent one hell of a wedgie that is as hilarious as it probably was painful.
Moral of the story: Don't challenge Mr. Pec Tacular to any contestants if you work for TMZ.
2. Slamming Restaurant
Way back in Chicago Illinois in 2013, a wrestling inspired restaurant called "The Squared Circle" was created by former Knockouts Champion Tara and her then husband, Lee Varon; The Squared Circle was a good place for wrestlers to make special guest appearances and promote up-and-coming shows in the area.
In March of 2015, an 18 year old male by the name of Arnez Harper stormed into The Squared Circle for unknown reasons when Lee managed to apprehend the young man who apparently was carrying a gun with him in his pants; In the non audio CCTV footage, Harper can be seen carried into the kitchen by Lee who then proceeds to place him against the wall as the kitchen's Chef attempts to take what appears to be a gun away from the suspect.
The footage then shows Lee slamming the intruder right onto the floor where according to Lee, Arnez was scratching and biting him to be let go all while saying "I don't want to go to prison."
The police soon arrived and arrested the 18 year old who was charged for a number of offences with the main one being aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. While the incident certainly got the restaurant some media coverage, Lee Varon's heroism was enough to prevent the Squared Circle from shutting down in 2017.
1. The Baseball Bat Story
So we end today's list with another grim story about someone losing their vision, but this time the person almost losing an eye is a former Impact world champion, Eddie Edwards.
In early 2018, an incident occurred following a competitive match between Eddie Edwards and Sami Callihan in which Sami places a steel chair onto Eddie's face only to end up missing the chair and nailing Edwards square in his right orbital bone and breaking his nose in the process.
The incident was one of the most controversial and talked about wrestling moments in all of 2018, so much that even TMZ got into the action of reporting it. In an interview with a few TMZ crew members, Eddie discusses the feeling he was experiencing in that moment as well as the aftermath where he feared his eye open would be coming out but instead it was bleeding profusely.
In a different video, Sami can be seen expressing what his been going through for last couple of days following the incident and mentions how Impact Management told him to make things right so of course, Callihan does the complete and total opposite as he tells the fans, the journalists and critics alike that he doesn't feel sorry for what he did to Eddie Edwards with the baseball bat before saying that TMZ should be interviewing him 'The Most Dangerous Man In Professional Wrestling Today' before capping it all off by telling legendary wrestling manager, Jim Cornette to 'Kiss My Ass'.
Under normal circumstances this whole thing would have probably lead to a major lawsuit by Eddie and his wife Alisha against the company which would of led to more media attention and further backlash...But as we all know, there is nothing normal in the world of pro wrestling.
Instead, the media attention from this incident actually helped Impact in the long run as the company was beginning to rebuild itself under the new management and this whole ordeal led to the company getting the most coverage they ever had in quite some time and they used it to not only make Sami Callihan one of the hated men in wrestling but also to further hype up their soon to be PPV, Redemption which a major success for the company.
Considering this media coverage by TMZ helped to get Impact Wrestling's name out there to the public since the Hogan era and helped to make Sami Callihan into a big draw in pro wrestling since his exit from the WWE...How could these two moments not take the number one spot on this list.
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