Tuesday, Aug. 5, is a day Jeff Hardy superfan and Middlesex, England resident Tom Trussler will forever remember.
With the help of UK wish granting charity Starlight Children’s Foundation and TNA Wrestling, Tom, a 12-year-old who has been diagnosed with a rare progressive congenital disorder, was granted his wish of meeting TNA superstar The Charismatic Enigma Jeff Hardy.
“The thing that caught my eye about Jeff is his determination, and I like that,” Tom said. “Ever since I first saw him on TV, Jeff Hardy has been my favorite wrestler.”
Determination is something Tom knows a lot about. In July 2013, Tom, who lives in Feltham, underwent a bone marrow transplant, which forced him to be homebound for six months. During his recovery, Tom spent much of his time watching professional wrestling, in particular matches of Jeff Hardy on IMPACT WRESTLING.
Tom and his parents, Mark and Lesley, made the 3,500 mile trek from the United Kingdom to New York City to meet Hardy and participate in the IMPACT WRESTLING live event at the Manhattan Center on Tuesday, Aug. 5 and Wednesday, Aug. 6. Prior to the sold out Aug. 5 show, Hardy spent the afternoon hanging out with Tom as the two talked wrestling and took photos. Hardy also introduced Tom to dozens of fellow TNA superstars like MVP, Lashley, Bully Ray, The Wolves and Mr. Anderson.
Before the start of the event, Tom was invited backstage to Hardy’s dressing room where his face was painted by Hardy to match the Charismatic Enigma’s own face paint in signature IMPACT WRESTLING colors of black, blue and white.
“It was an honor for me to spend the day with Tom and his parents,” Hardy said. “He is an incredible kid, and I am happy to now call him my friend.”
Following an afternoon of activities with Hardy and a VIP meet-and-greet autograph session with other TNA superstars, Tom and his parents were escorted ringside to watch the IMPACT WRESTLING televised event from the sold out Manhattan Center. The episode, which was taped, is scheduled to air in late August in the United States on Spike TV (Thursday nights, 9/8c) and in the United Kingdom on Challenge (Sunday nights at 9).
The Aug. 7 episode of IMPACT WRESTLING, TNA’s flagship program airing Thursday nights at 9/8c on Spike TV, drew 1.6 million viewers (P2+, +3 Rating), the largest audience since mid-February. The episode was also up against six nationally or regionally televised NFL pre-season games, the first of the NFL season.
Historically, IMPACT WRESTLING ratings are highest during Q1, however in Q3 2014, IMPACT WRESTLING has experienced a steady increase in total viewership and key demos that are exceeding ratings from Q1 2014, and rivaling Q1 ratings from previous years. To date, Q3 2014 ratings have attracted more viewers in the highly sought after Men 18-34 demo since Q1 2012, and the highest ratings for P2+, P 18-49 and Men 18-49 since Q1 2013.
The roster features Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, MVP, Lashley, Eric Young, Bully Ray, Magnus, James Storm, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, Gail Kim, Mr. Anderson, Samoa Joe, The Wolves, Abyss, Robbie E, Brittany and more.