The Main Event Mafia
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|The Main Event Mafia|
Mafia members Booker T (left), Sharmell (next to Booker), Nash, Sting and Steiner
|Name(s)||The Main Event Mafia|
|Debut||October 23, 2008|
The Main Event Mafia (occasionally abbreviated to MEM) was a heel stable in the professional wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). The group included leader Kurt Angle, Sting (who had temporarily led the Main Event Mafia before being ousted), Kevin Nash (with Survivor: The Amazon winner Jenna Morasca), Booker T (with his real-life wife Sharmell), Scott Steiner, Samoa Joe, and Traci Brooks. All the male members of the stable were multiple time world champions of multiple companies, TNA included, with extensive experience in main event matches. The MEM at one time held all the male titles TNA had to offer, with unsuccessful aspirations to acquire TNA's women's championships as well.
The group formed in late 2008 and had since been largely successful, with Sting and Kurt Angle being TNA World Heavyweight Champions, Booker T introducing a new championship into TNA called the TNA Legends Championship and declaring himself the first official champion with Kevin Nash going on to win the belt as well and Booker T and Scott Steiner holding the TNA World Tag Team Championship. The group's formation was the result of TNA introducing a new storyline in which the veterans began a rivalry with younger talent within the company (who call themselves The TNA Front Line); with the MEM being the villains of the storyline as the veterans modelling themselves after the Mafia, portrayed as being upset at the disrespect being shown by the younger wrestlers.
In the summer of 2008 at TNA's July pay-per-view Victory Road during a bout between the fan favorite Samoa Joe and villainous Booker T for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, Joe went on a storyline rampage and attacked referees, security, and Booker T without on-screen mercy. Sting, who was also a fan favorite, then entered the arena and stopped Joe's assault, however, Joe gave Sting the middle finger and continued his assault on Booker T. This angered Sting to a point in which he grabbed Joe and hit him with a baseball bat, which he held in his hand thus, turning Heel in the process. Following the event, Sting did not appear on TNA's primary television program TNA Impact! in a wrestling role or to explain his actions at the event, instead he was only seen standing in the rafters on each episode. As a result of Sting's actions at the event, a storyline within the company began that saw a possible alliance between Booker T and Sting.
It began on the July 31 episode of Impact!, while Joe was brawling with Booker T, a baseball bat fell from the ceiling hanging by a wire; Booker T grabbed it and smashed Joe over the back with it. At TNA's August pay-per-view Hard Justice, Sting attacked A.J. Styles, an on-screen ally of Joe's, after Styles had just attacked Kurt Angle following their encounter. The reasons Sting's actions were eventually revealed on the August 14 episode of Impact!, in which he stated that he attacked Joe and Styles because they were not showing respect for veterans such as Angle and Booker T by doing what they did at the events. Sting being a veteran of the sport himself went on to say when he was Styles' and Joe's age, if he had a match with a veteran, he pinned and walked away, not adding insult to injury by trying to end their careers, like Styles and Joe were trying to do. This sparked a rivalry between the three, which later involved Angle and Booker T.
At TNA's September pay-per-view No Surrender, Sting announced that at TNA's October pay-per-view Bound for Glory IV, he would challenge Joe for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship; later in the event during a match between Christian Cage, Angle, and Joe, Jeff Jarrett made his on-screen return to the promotion after not being seen in TNA since late May 2007, by siding with and helping Joe retain the World Heavyweight Championship. Jarrett went on to Bound for Glory to defeat Angle in a standard match with Mick Foley as Special Guest Ringside Enforcer. Also at Bound for Glory, Sting defeated Joe after Kevin Nash struck Joe with a baseball bat while the referee wasn't looking to allow Sting to take the advantage and pin Joe after a Scorpion Death Drop. Nash's actions were explained on the October 16 episode of Impact!, when he said that Joe disrespected him and his long-time real-life friend Scott Hall in late 2007 when Joe insulted Hall for not showing up at TNA's December pay-per-view Turning Point.
Feud with TNA Frontline (2008–2009) 
The group officially joined together on the October 23 episode of Impact!, in a segment between Nash, Booker T, Angle, Sting, and Jeremy Borash, where Angle announced that the four had joined together to form a group of legends called "The Main Event Mafia". The goal of the group was to start a "war" against the younger talent to take what they deserved: respect. The following week, they added Scott Steiner to the Mafia as he made his return from an injury and attacked Joe, Styles, and their allies. Steiner notably spared using his lead pipe on his protégé, Petey Williams, who backed off as soon as he saw him.
At Turning Point, Booker T successfully defeated Christian Cage to retain the Legends Championship. As per the stipulation, Cage was forced to join the MEM, however, the MEM attacked Cage and kicked him out of the group because they believed he was leaving TNA (later proven to be true). MEM proceeded to go on a rampage, assaulting Brother Ray, Samoa Joe, Petey Williams (Steiner doing the deed, finally severing the ties between the two), B.G. James, Rhino, Jeff Jarrett and A.J. Styles, injuring all in their "hits." At Genesis, Kevin Nash could not make it to the event due to a legitimate staph infection in his left elbow. When it came time for his tag team match, Booker T announced that they had found a suitable replacement in Kip James. Kip was not intended to be a long-term addition to the team, as he quickly disappeared from the main event scene as the original five members of the Main Event Mafia resumed their positions. At Destination X, Booker T lost the Legends Championship to A.J. Styles while Sting retained the TNA World title against Angle with Jeff Jarrett as the special guest referee and Mick Foley was the Special Guest enforcer. At Lockdown, Sting lost the TNA World Heavyweight title to Mick Foley and the rest of the Main Event Mafia (Nash, Steiner, Booker T and Angle) lost to Team Jarrett, which consisted of Jeff Jarrett, Samoa Joe, A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels. At Sacrifice, Sting pinned Angle in an Ultimate Sacrifice match also involving Mick Foley and Jeff Jarrett to become the new Godfather of the Main Event Mafia. Sting immediately made his new leadership felt, as on the May 28, 2009, edition of Impact!, he dismissed Sharmell, Jenna Morasca and Angle's security men Big Rocco and Sally Boy from the alliance as part of his new leadership. Rocco and Sally promptly signed on to be Mick Foley's security the following week.
Heading into Slammiversary, Matt Morgan expressed his wishes to join the Mafia. This would lead to Angle facing Morgan in a singles match on Impact! which Angle would win. After the match Angle shook Morgan's hand showing that he would want him in the Mafia. On the following weeks Impact! during a King of the Mountain qualification match between Angle and Sting, Morgan interfered helping Angle win. After the match Angle gave out to Morgan for helping him win. Morgan would go on and ask Sting to let him become a member of the Mafia. Sting agreed to a match at Slammiversary between Morgan where if Morgan won he could join the group. Sting went on to defeat Morgan at the pay-per-view. In the final match of the pay-per-view, Angle won the King of the Mountain match to win the World Title after Samoa Joe helped him, thus rendering Joe a heel and the newest member of the Mafia, also betraying the TNA Front Line. On the June 25 edition of Impact!, it was explained that Joe was invested into and paid by the Mafia to join them due to being unable to defeat him. The Mafia as well as Morgan attacked Sting in disapproval of his leadership, with Angle claiming to once again become the leader of the Mafia. The following week, Sting saved A.J. Styles from a beatdown from his former stable mates, attacking each member of the Mafia with his baseball bat and stealing Angle's TNA World Heavyweight Championship. The following week, Sting confronted Samoa Joe, claiming to unveil Joe's mystery adviser before Victory Road, where he would be facing Samoa Joe. Later on in the show, Sting disguised himself as Joe and nearly dragged out Joe's adviser from his car, before Joe stopped him, choking him out with the Coquina Clutch and his signature tribal knife. Joe then took back the World Championship, returning it to Angle during the beatdown on Mick Foley at the end of the show. At Victory Road, The Mafia gained all power in TNA as Nash won the Legends Championship from A.J. Styles to bring the title back to the Mafia. At the same event, Booker and Steiner defeated Beer Money, Inc. for the World Tag Team Championship, Angle defeated Foley to retain the World Heavyweight Title and Taz was also revealed to be Joe's adviser; Taz would later state that he was just an ally of the MEM. On the July 30 episode of Impact! Kevin Nash lost the Legends Championship to Mick Foley in a tag team match with Kurt Angle against Bobby Lashley and Mick Foley.
World Elite and dissolution (2009) 
On the August 6 episode of Impact! it was revealed the Main Event Mafia (M.E.M.) would join forces with World Elite, a stable consisting of Eric Young, Sheik Abdul Bashir, Kiyoshi, Brutus Magnus, Doug Williams and Rob Terry to form a super faction. At Hard Justice the Main Event Mafia further solidified their dominance with Kevin Nash regaining the Legends Championship, Samoa Joe winning the X Division Championship, and Booker T, Scott Steiner, and Kurt Angle retaining the World Tag Team and World Heavyweight Championships. By Hard Justice 2009, the Main Event Mafia controlled every male championship in TNA. At No Surrender Angle lost the World Heavyweight Championship to A.J. Styles. On the October 1 edition of Impact! the alliance between Main Event Mafia and World Elite came to an end in an all out brawl between the two factions. The following week Joe lost the X Division Championship to Amazing Red after Bobby Lashley interfered in the match. Main Event Mafia's Championship match losing streak continued at Bound for Glory where Nash lost the Legends title to World Elite leader Eric Young and Booker and Steiner lost the TNA World Tag Team titles to Doug Williams and Brutus Magnus, also of the World Elite. At the same PPV Angle narrowly defeated long-time foe Matt Morgan and afterwards shook his hand. On the following edition of Impact! the stable's future was thrown into question, when Booker was announced as having left the company and Angle admitted that he had been wrong all along about the younger talent of the company and praised the likes of A.J. Styles and Matt Morgan, thus becoming a face. However, Scott Steiner still wore the Main Event Mafia clothing and said that the group was still alive as long as he was involved and that he did not take orders from Kurt Angle. He still maintained that the young talent did not show respect to the veterans of the professional wrestling business. However, in February 2010, Steiner left TNA, effectively ending the Main Event Mafia.
Abandoned return (2011) 
In January 2011 TNA started a storyline aiming to bring back the Main Event Mafia as a face group on the February 3, 2011, edition of Impact! to feud with Immortal. Scott Steiner returned to the promotion on the January 27 edition of Impact! and aligned himself with Kurt Angle, but on January 30 Booker T and Kevin Nash instead made surprise returns to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to compete at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, forcing TNA to change their plans and abandon the storyline.
MEM members were:
- Kurt Angle (Original leader and again became leader after expelling Sting from the group)
- Sting (Became leader after he defeated Kurt Angle at Sacrifice 2009)
- Kevin Nash
- Booker T
- Scott Steiner
- Samoa Joe
- Traci Brooks (TNA Knockout representative)
- Sharmell (Booker T's valet)
- Jenna Morasca (Kevin Nash's valet)
- Taz (Samoa Joe's advisor)
- Sally Boy (Security guard)
- Big Rocco (Security guard)
- Cute Kip (One night member; replaced Kevin Nash at Genesis)
In wrestling 
- Double-team finishing moves
- Bearhug (Steiner) / Jumping calf kick (Booker) combination
- Double chokeslam (Booker and Steiner)
Championships and accomplishments 
- Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
- TNA Legends Championship (3 times) – Booker T (1), Kevin Nash (2)
- TNA World Heavyweight Championship (2 times) – Sting (1), Kurt Angle (1)
- TNA World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – Booker T and Scott Steiner
- TNA X Division Championship (1 time) – Samoa Joe
- King of the Mountain (2009) – Kurt Angle
See also 
- Kapur, Bob. "Main event mars Victory Road". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
- Caldwell, James (2008-08-01). "Caldwell's TNA iMPACT Report 7/31: Joe shouts, screams, and hollers his way through fruitless show". PWTorch.com. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
- Keller, Wade (2008-10-31). "Keller's TNA Hard Justice PPV Report 8/10: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of event - Samoa Joe vs. Booker T in cage". PWTorch.com. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
- Hamlin, Jeff. "Jeff Hamlin reviews TNA Impact". Wrestling Observer.com. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
- Clevett, Jason (2008-09-15). "No Surrender a bore". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
- Sokol, Chris; Sokol, Bryan (2008-10-15). "Sting takes title at Bound for Glory". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
- Sokol, Bryan (2009-10-02). "Impact: Elite Mafia meltdown". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- Wilkenfeld, Daniel (2009-10-08). "WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 10/8: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast". PWTorch. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
- Parks, Greg (2009-10-18). "Parks' TNA Bound for Glory PPV Report 10/18: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of the pre-game and first hour of the show". PWTorch. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
- Caldwell, James (2009-10-18). "CALDWELL'S TNA BOUND FOR GLORY PPV REPORT 10/18: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of the second-half of the show with Styles vs. Sting". PWTorch. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- Wilkenfeld, Daniel (2009-10-22). "WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 10/22: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast". PWTorch. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- Caldwell, James (2010-02-05). "TNA News: Update on Scott Steiner apparently leaving TNA". PWTorch. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Caldwell, James (2010-02-09). "TNA News: Scott Steiner now taking independent bookings after TNA departure". PWTorch. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
- Meltzer, Dave (January 22, 2011). "Jan. 24 Observer Newsletter: Rumble preview, 40 men, 10 years ago in history,Japan awards, tons more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter (Campbell, CA): 19. ISSN 10839593. "The big news is that "They" are going to be the return of the Main Event Mafia. The idea is to be Sting, Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner and Booker T. I've also heard Bobby Lashley's name mentioned by those in the company."
- Caldwell, James (2011-01-27). "Caldwell's TNA Impact report 1/27: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Team Angle vs. Team Immortal, Anderson vs. Hardy, Flair goes nuts, Steiner returns". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
- Caldwell, James (2011-01-31). "Caldwell: Nash & Booker at WWE & TNA's crossroads - creative change needed in TNA, will WWE look to WrestleMania 28 rather than 27?". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
- Boutwell, Josh (2009-09-03). "Impact Results - 9/3/09". WrestleView. Retrieved 2009-12-21.
- "Emergence". Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-11-13.
- "TNA Legends Championship history".
- "TNA World Heavyweight Championship history".
- "TNA World Tag Team Championship history".
- "TNA X Division Championship history".