This incident occurred on August 13, 2006, about nine months before I started STATter911.com. It is described as “the opening match between Eric Young and Johnny Devine at TNA’s Hard Justice pay-per-view”. I haven’t been a professional wrestling fan since elementary school when our family friend D. Chester O’Sullivan, who was the long-time head of the Maryland State Athletic Commission and a wonderful human being, would give my grandfather tickets for the monthly events at the Baltimore Civic Center. The first time we went Chester took us back to meet a very sweaty Bruno Sammartino.
I am not getting back into wrestling or changing the focus of this site, but this video is quite interesting. It reminds us how slowly the public and event organizers can react when fire strikes. In this case a burlap bag above the ring caught fire, apparently from pyrotechnics shot off a little bit earlier in the telecast. The fire suppression system kicked in, but I don’t see any quick effort to get people out of harm’s way. In fact, the match continues.