MPX-London Calling 3-8-14

There were a lot of fans that were there in the rain and the cold (including my poor, freezing wife that I somehow convinced her to join me). We began the night with Keith Roberts, James Hawke & Kody Kox hyping up the night.

First match: Lou Sterrett vs. “Jiggle-O” James Johnson

This was my first time to see Sterrett. I believe he’s been around a while. He has a nice, simple persona that differentiates himself. Johnson works great as a face and was in his element here against Sterrett. Sterrett had some nice stiff chops to start the night. It was an engaged crowd most of the night. Sterrett impressed me, good facials. Johnson really had some exciting work. It was a nice solid opener.

Winner: Johnson

“The Jersey Jackass” BC vs. Frankie Fisher

The previous show BC lost a hair vs. career match. So he had on a long blond wig in the vein of Molly Holly after she lost her hair vs. hair match at Wrestlemania XX. This was the comedy match. BC carried himself well in it. Perhaps he has his place as a comedy wrestler. Frankie is so good at comedy matches. He realized his role and kept the crowd in it. My wife even laughed at the wig. A boy in the front row got to slap BC. The story was nice as the story was BC trying to not be revealed as bald. The crowd really loved it, and Frankie got the pin.

Winner: Frankie

Frankie keeps on stepping up his work.

Third match: Angel Blue vs. Delilah Doom

I’d call Angel Blue one of the top heels in women’s wrestling, and probably one of the best in all of Texas, male or female. A teen fangirl got up to cheer her on her way in, and Angel crushed her with words I can’t say because my mom might read this. This was my first time to see Doom. First impression is that she is really cute. I totally swooned, probably my biggest new crush (Sorry, Machiko) in wrestling. (For anybody thinking I’m creepy, you haven’t seen my wife watching Arrow.) She reminded me of a cross between Addy Starr and Veda Scott. The crowd really got into her, chanting for her and supporting her. It is difficult to shine when you are working against such a bright star as Angel.

Winner: Angel

I’d like to see more Delilah as time goes on. Her look is just distinct enough to differentiate her from everyone else. And to all the major companies: SHIMMER, Shine, WSU, AIW, it’s time to give Angel a shot.

Fourth match: Mace (c) w/Claudia vs. Kenny Steele

Kenny looks enthusiastic and so athletic. Should he ever harness all his raw talent, there should be no stop for him. Mace and Claudia came out so focused and so intense. Before the bell, Zero the Antihero and Carlos Esquivel attacked Mace while Kenny laid on the top turnbuckle. They finished and wrapped him up for Kenny. But Claudia interfered with the ref while the crowd counted til about 16. Mace was able to kick out. Then he killed Kenny, the crowd summoning one of my favorite chants, “You killed Kenny.” Either Mace is really great at making his moves look really stiff or he brutally destroys his opponent.

Winner: Mace

I would have liked to have seen Kenny get more offense. Mace is looking strong for Murdoch, but I think Kenny didn’t look very credible as a contender for a belt he’s already held.

Fifth match: Diamond Dave w/”The” Code Greyson vs. LLP

The Code is incredible on the mic. Last time I heard him, he was doing announcing. Tonight he introduced his wrestler Diamond Dave. He looks generic and there is really nothing to separate himself from any other wrestler in the world, especially with his name. But then he starts in the ring. He is an incredible feast of the eyes to watch. (Reminds me a lot of how I feel about the Young Bucks) LLP didn’t really get a showcase but he held his own. There was all kind of flippy floppy stuff.

Winner: Dave

The best reaction was Code’s after the match, like “I told you all how awesome he was.” Mrs. Ruff let me know I needed to put in my blog about space heaters. We really should have tried bringing our own. It was really cold that night. At least inside the building the wind was neutralized.

Sixth match: Steven Kirby w/Nigel Rabid & Kevin Cross vs. Jerome Daniels

I love this Steven Kirby heel transition. He is such a totally different character, persona, ring style, facials, everything. My wife even remarked that Cross was huge. Jerome has such a calm coolness. This match had no flippy floppy stuff. It was a slugfest between two guys who had no love lost. Great drama with the arm breaker. Frankie Fisher came out to neutralize the threat of Nigel and Cross. Nigel is one of my favorites to watch because he understands the crowd dynamics and works so hard to get them back into it. This match was better than it was on paper. It turned out to be one of my favorite matches of the night.

Winner: Daniels

After the match, Haiden came out and started a beatdown. Matt Palmer came to the rescue. Looks like we might have a feud building between the Rabid Empire and Frankie, Palmer and Jerome possibly.

Seventh match: Scott Murdoch (c) vs. Ben Wylde w/Viktor Tadlock

I’m really liking Murdoch’s title reign. He’s really taking on all comers and comes out of them looking like a believable champ. It was great to see Ben in a semi-main event role. This match didn’t have the length I felt it deserved, but Ben held his own in there. Props to Tadlock who did great in his corner. Murdoch looks ready to move to the next level in a worldwide company. Mace and Claudia came out to interfere, distracting Ben. Murdoch’s powerbomb came out of nowhere to get the pin.

Winner: Murdoch

After the match, Mace teased cashing in his prospects championship (which works a lot like the WWE’s Money in the Bank). Murdoch got on the mic and said that even though he had a match, he was willing to take him on now. Mace acted like he was going to, but as he backed away, Murdoch “triple dog dared” him, starting a “Triple Dog Dare” chant. Mace got in the ring, Murdoch speared him and there was a skirmish. But as soon as Mace could, he got out of there. Then Claudia got in there and Murdoch gave her a powerbomb. Ok, this is where I have a problem. I’ve seen Claudia have competitive matches against guys in that very building. So intergender matches have been ok. But tonight Claudia takes a powerbomb and all of a sudden, MPX does not condone violence against women. Decide what role you want women to play and stick with it.

Main event: Matt Palmer vs. Gregory James vs. Paul London

Matt & Greg have had a series of matches that is legendary. I’ve seen wrestlers phone it in in the indies (let’s just say the biggest offender’s name rhymes with Maven). Paul London is not one of those wrestlers. He came in through the crowd, shook everybody’s hands who wanted to. Then he really brought it strong. Greg did the heel sit-outside-and-let-the-faces-fight thing. Greg and Palmer would do their thing followed by London getting in the mix. There was a series of stiff super kicks all three traded that hurt to watch. That was probably the best part of the match for me. As soon as the fans started chanting “Awesome match,” Nigel, Cross & Haiden came out to interfere. Greg took the interference and stole one of the biggest victories of his career, a pin over Paul London.

Winner: Gregory James

Greg snuck out of there like the snake he is. After the match, Jerome came out to save London and Palmer. Paul London took the mic and put over Palmer and Jerome and the crowd. He legitimately looked like he loved being there and would be back.

All in all… As I said earlier, I’ve seen wrestlers look like there’s any other place in the world they’d rather be. Then there are the good ones: Athena, Funaki, Ophidian, Jerry Lynn, AJ Styles, Jazz, Su Yung. I’d definitely put London in the good category, probably near the top of the nicest former WWE guys.

Consequences was a really killer show. It was really hard to top that overall. But tonight was about starting their new mini-story lines for their next big show. They are doing a sensational job of building up Mace for a feud with Murdoch. Angel Blue reminded me incredible she was in the ring. Diamond Dave really blew me away in the ring. Kirby-Daniels was a really good match that became bigger than I thought it was going to be. And of course the main event totally delivered. The best praise I can give it is my wife, who loves wrestling because it gets me out of the house, enjoyed it tonight.

Posted in Indy Wrestling, Pro Wrestling, Uncategorized, Women's Wrestling, Wrestling | 1 Comment

Inspire Pro Wrestling – The Ecstasy of Gold

To follow along, you can click here. The ENTIRE SHOW is available for free online.

We opened up with Gary Jay being a big egomaniac. Not a lot of build-up. It’d be nice to a have a promo montage like some companies do. Just an introduction of who these characters are, why we should care about them.

First match: “Untouchable” Alex Reigns w/ Carson vs. Scotty Santiago

Reigns is one of the best wrestlers you’re not watching. I saw the last Santiago match and was really blown away when I didn’t expect much out of him. Reigns is such a technician. I think he’d make a good fit in the Midwest, like a Beyond Wrestling. Santiago is no slouch himself. He needs some experience, but I see a lot of potential in him. What I thought is brilliant is that the booking has given us a reason to care about him. He beat Carson and now has beaten Reigns.

Winner: Santiago

I’m really loving the storyline here. Santiago is someone the fans are getting a reason to get behind him. After the match, there was a beatdown by Reigns, Carson & Moonshine Mantell.

Second match: Pump Patrol w/ Shane Taylor vs. LEGION (Morbidus and Blasphemer)

Pump Patrol looks very cohesive as a tag team. They have a nice look and coordinate well. They were introducing their new member Shane Taylor. Holy crap, Taylor is massive. LEGION is the Satanic element led here by Gregory James. Blasphemer (Jeff Gant) is an amazing bumper. If you want to sell somebody as a beast, the guy you put him up against is Gant. The Pump Patrol remind me of an old school tag team. They’re two guys who fit well together and respect the tradition of tag team wrestling.

Winner: Pump Patrol

Third match: Claudia vs. Paige Turner

These are two ladies out of the Dallas area. Paige is just such a good character and seems to have a lot of fun doing this. Claudia is a very experienced wrestler who has helped to build up some of Dallas’ names. Turner cut a REALLY good promo at the beginning. The more experience she gets in front of a live crowd, the better she will be. Claudia has a really lovely moonsault (that’s even lovelier when she hits it).

Winner: Turner

This was a nice showcase for Turner. Claudia took on her role of supporting player well. Turner is not a flashy wrestler but she will tell a good story, has great facials and draw reactions from the crowds.

Fourth match: The Great Depression vs. Alexander Rudolph vs. James Claxton

This match is two guys who like to pound the stuffing out of each other and whatever exactly The Great Depression is. Rudolph and Claxton are total hosses. This was going to prove to be a total slugfest. In addition to being a monster, you also don’t see anybody that size do a cross-body block like Rudolph’s. Or a plancha. Or a huracanrana. Now THAT was impressive. The Great Depression won with The Claw.

Winner: Depression

The star in this match was Rudolph. I know he won me over. A subtle thing I noticed about this match. There were no heels and faces. This was just 2 men and whatever Great Depression is having a contest. This guy who tried to recruit Rudolph came out again with the tall man now wearing a pink shirt. While the pink-shirted man had Rudolph in an arm breaker, the man on the mic introduced Budge (sp?). No idea where this is going.

Fifth match: “The Texas Prodigy” Carson & Moonshine Mantell w/Alex Reigns vs. “Jiggle-O” James Johnson & Frankie Fisher

Carson begins by calling out the Dagger Brothers. But since they weren’t there, he’d take whoever was there. He got two of Dallas’ finest. Johnson is like a little sparkplug, always full of energy and excitement. In the nearly 4 years that I’ve watched Frankie, I’ve seen him transition into one of the most dramatic improvements I’ve ever seen. I liked how Carson & Mantell were nasty heels and Johnson & Fisher were nice faces. They existed to put over Carson & Mantell and did exactly that but not look too out-of-their-league.

Winner: Mantell & Carson

Sixth match: Sammy Guevara & Low Rider vs. Barrett Brown & Bolt Brady

I can’t remember if I’ve seen Rider before. The other three I am familiar with. And the talent in that ring is a sight to behold. Guevara did a tope that you have to see to believe. I almost invoke the name PAC. Almost. Then there was a missed 630 splash that was a thing of beauty. Low Rider has some great hang time too. Barrett did a lot of the bumping with Bolt doing the hot tag. Low Rider stole one for the win.

Winner: Sammy & Low Rider

Sammy took the mic and said he was better than everyone, the boys in the back and even better than you, ACH (who happened to be in the crowd). ACH was given a mic. ACH in front of an Austin crowd is huge, like Stone Cold in Dallas or CM Punk in Chicago. Out came Franco D’Angelo, who has one of the best human interest stories out there, going through a life-threatening car wreck and not only walking, but getting back to a wrestling ring and actively wrestling.

Seventh match: Franco D’Angelo vs. Jojo Bravo vs. VOID vs. Gary Jay in a #1 contender’s match

Bravo is another immense talent on the cusp of something huge. The first show I saw VOID was Mike Dell in disguise. No idea who it was here, but I would find out at the end of the show. I’ve been familiar with Gary Jay’s work for about 4 years now. Jay didn’t show up so Bravo had to go get him. One of the most impressive feats was Franco lifting up Jojo with one arm. There was such a beautiful fluidity when Jojo and Gary were at it. This was an elimination match, and Jojo pinned Gary to eliminate the one. VOID brought in the ring bell to hit Jojo, disqualifying himself. Franco took advantage and went after the pin.

Winner: Franco

So we have questions that need to be answered. Why did VOID do that?

Eighth match: Takaaki Watanabe vs. “Unholy” Gregory James w/Morbidus

From somebody who first saw Greg in a sweaty, non-air-conditioned gym in August of ’09, this is a huge moment for how far he’s come. I do not follow Japanese wrestling as well as I probably should being the smark that I am, so this is my first time to see Watanabe. If you like the hard-hitting, stiff Japanese style, this is your match. This was just excellent wrestling. Morbidus distracted Watanabe to give Greg the advantage.

Winner: Greg

Overall, the biggest win of Greg’s career. He was able to hang in there with a New Japan star AND get a win. That’s pretty awesome.

Ninth match: Andy Dalton vs. Ricky Starks

On paper this one should be awesome. Ricky Starks as a face? I guess there’s a first time for everything. ACH did commentary which added a lot. He brings such an energy to the mic. I liked Starks’ show-off style. I love the spot where the face takes a selfie with a fan’s phone. It was a good, multi-layered match that went from the fluid high-flying to street brawl. Two of the most underrated in Texas went all-out. Ricky Starks lost his temper and wouldn’t release the 5-count.

Winner by dq: Dalton

Something tells me these two could have one epic feud. After the match Ricky did what he does even better than wrestle-he took the mic.

Tenth match: Chris Hero vs. Raymond Rowe

Yep. Sometimes you gotta just stop writing and just watch the match. Watch it for yourself here.

Winner: Rowe

The true winner was the fans. What a great match. Hero put Rowe over in a major way. Then he took the mic and put over Rowe, suggested a new team called He-Rowe (Yes, please). He asked what other wrestler’s [expletive deleted] he should kick. There were chants for ACH, Dalton, Starks, Mike Dell. On the mic Hero made the company he was wrestling for seem important. I’ve seen big-name wrestlers phone it in like this was the last place they wanted to be. Hero came off as a class act. Out came Davey Vega for the next match. Yes, please? Davey Vega cut a promo about how Hero wanted Starks and not him.

Main event: Davey Vega vs. Jordan Jensen vs. Mike Dell for the first ever Inspire Championship

So you had the athletic flashiness of Davey Vega. You had the heat-magnet heel in Jensen. And then you had the awesomeness that is Mike Dell. One of the strengths of the night was Eamon Paton’s play-by-play. He did a really great job of giving us reasons to care about the wrestlers and the storylines. Plus he did this with a variety of color commentators. There was an incredible spot with the referee. Before the match, they announced that if Andy Dalton showed up ringside, then not only would Jensen be disqualified, he’d be fired. Ricky Starks carried out Andy Dalton against his will. Therefore Jensen was eliminated. Dell won with an elbow off the top rope.

Winner and first ever champion: Dell

It was a great moment. The crowd popped for it huge and Dell thanked them all. Out came VOID to lay out Dell, and then VOID unmasked himself to be none other than Matt Palmer. Out came Franco D’Angelo and James Claxton to stop Palmer when Franco D’angelo turned on Claxton, one of the people Franco had thanked for supporting him through his life-threatening car wreck. We had the image of D’Angelo over Mike Dell setting the build-up to their next show.

All in all… Wow, what an incredible show. This show is so stacked with talent. Some guys are ready to main event locally. Some are ready to be seen on a national stage. And some are ready to main event on a national stage. I cannot name the talent standing out from this show because there were few who didn’t. This is Texas’ best-kept secret.

Posted in Indy Wrestling, Inspire Pro, Pro Wrestling, Uncategorized, Women's Wrestling, Wrestling | 1 Comment

Metroplex Wrestling-Consequences 2-22-14

MPX is really working hard on expanding their product and brand. Their crowd is so packed. What I compliment them for is building their product without having to bring the big names in. I knew this was a really stacked card when SHIMMER superstar Athena is taking tickets. (No ego there at all)

The before-the-bell match didn’t happen. We had a really nice video package at the beginning. It reminded me of a UFC event. We have a 3-man booth with Code Greyson, James Hawke and Kody Kox. Usually I skip over this part. But I was VERY impressed with Code. Scott Murdoch came out first. You know the joke about the 800-pound gorilla? How he sits wherever he wants to? Well, that 800 pound gorilla checks with Scott Murdoch for where he wants to sit. He’s been working a lot on his physique. The gut he had is almost gone. I think he is becoming a good fit for the Midwest scene. He’d make a great fit against Jock Samson or Alexander Rudolph or The Cutter Brothers. Instead of Haiden, he got Nigel Rabid and the greatest Fu Manchu to ever exist. Haiden wasn’t even there yet. Then Mace’s music hit.

First match: Mace Malone vs. Li Fang for the Prospects Championship

I like the long-term booking they showed, but they spoiled this match the moment Mace and Murdoch faced off. They had a really nice intensity facing each other. Mace is so jacked and has such a great look. The end had a lot of good near-falls. Even though I knew what the outcome was going to be, I found myself doubting. Mace did his finisher and put out Li for the count.

Winner and new champion: Mace

Li sold the finisher. Then Mace finished him off by looking for a chair and then pounding the stuffing out of the chair over Li’s face. The entire crowd cringed. Lance Hoyt was introduced to a really nice pop. He talked about how great it was to be back there and then we was interrupted by Tad Wylde. Ben came out talking about how he was supposed to be on the card but was bumped off because of Hoyt. My favorite part was Ben telling Hoyt that Ben was the best big man in MPX. Hoyt laughed and then Tadlock got in Ben Wylde’s face. It was a brilliant promo. The Ruff Paraphrase is that he’d been trying to hold Ben back and make him try to do what’s right but now after he saw all this disrespect, he was sure that Ben was right. It was a glorious heel turn. As the two beat him down, out came “Irresistible” Eric McDonald to what scares me to say is possibly the pop of the night. GM Kate Carroll channeled her inner Teddy Long as only she could. She made a tag match.

Second match: Tad Wylde vs. Lance Hoyt & Eric McDonald

As the match began, Hoyt gave us a name for his team-the Creepy Killers, which drew out a nice chant from the crowd. First of all, I love how Lance Hoyt is able to put aside his ego and be in the second match. When he comes in, he is just happy to help the company in any way he can. I love the turn from Tadlock. They’d been teasing a Tad vs. Wylde feud for a few months now. I had a hard time concentrating on this match. You see, I remember Ben Wylde from the first time I saw him wrestle James Hawke almost 4 and a half years ago in a sweaty August gym. There’s a lot of the MPX originals that I’ve watched grow into real wrestlers. Tonight was the night I really felt like Ben belonged in there with the big boys. It was just a prime example of how far he’s come. Then Lance Hoyt gave a low-blow and there was a DQ. He asked for the match to be restarted and Kate did. The match was ended when McDonald rubbed Tadlock’s face on his chest hair. (And for the record, John Cena would have still kicked out at 2.)

Winner: Creepy Killers

BC vs. Jerome Daniels in a hair vs. career match

Before the match, they announced that instead of Daniels’ career, it was going to be he was banned from MPX for a year. I thought for a moment that BC might actually win there. I know both of these guys are comic book fans, so when the bell rang, they ran at each other and had a collision reminiscent of The Thing vs. The Hulk. There was some spit that went on. For a while there was a story that BC was trying to get Jerome to dq himself. There was some spitting and BC threw him out trying to go for a countout. Some idiotic fan yelled out, “You’re not a real man until you do an Iron Claw.” So then the fans started an “Iron Claw” chant. Jerome did one to one of the pops of the night. There was a ref bump, and I thought I was watching a Jeff Jarrett title match. Thankfully the ref recovered and Jerome made him tap out to his armbreaker.

Winner: BC

BC really needed a haircut. As they were cutting his hair, they went to intermission and gave fans the chance to get their picture with him. It was fun. They made a huge announcement. Paul London will be at the next show. Not gonna lie-I might cry meeting him.

Fourth match: Steven Kirby w/Nigel Rabid & Kevin Cross vs. Frankie Fisher in a Taped Fist match

This was a slugfest. Two guys who hated each other in a taped-fist match. This was no beautiful technical match. This was brutal, painful and dirty.  Then it became bloody. Poor ring announcer Keith Roberts ended up with a bloody shirt somehow. Nigel kept the fans engaged by his jaw-jacking and interference. There was some really great drama with the near-falls at the end. Kirby took the win in Chapter 1 in what should be a long, devastating feud.

Winner: Kirby

Kristopher Haiden came out to join the post-match beatdown which was followed by Scott Murdoch coming out and the title match was on now.

Fifth match: Scott Murdoch (c) vs. Kristopher Haiden

This was another brutal slugfest. I also liked the timing of the match. It gave it an old ECW feel. Haiden had a very good lariat, one of my favorites. New champion Mace teased that he was about to cash in his Prospects Championship. Before he could, Zero the Antihero and Carlos Esquivel came out to attack him. Yea!!! Zero and Carlos have something to do other than get killed. Murdoch beat Haiden decisively.

Winner: Murdoch

Haiden played his role well. He made Murdoch look like a strong champion.

Main event: Matt Palmer vs. Gregory James in a Last Man Standing Match

These two had already torn down several houses down with their matches. I would like to say I kept copious notes on this match. But there’s something about when these two wrestle, I put down my notebook and become a fan. So I may not get all the details right or remember all the incredible moments. What I can say is that it is perhaps one of the best matches I’ve ever seen live, if not the best. I’ve seen some good ones (most coincidentally had either Matt or Greg in them), but I think this one might take the cake. Every time they did a spot, it looked like it was it. There were chairs. Lots of chairs. There were trash can lids. There was a table that drew a “Holy s***!” chant out of the fans (which was a reminder why I don’t take my daughter). And then when you think there wasn’t any more plunder that could be used, they brought out cinder blocks.

Winner: Palmer

All in all… What an excellent show. Tonight was a night where they showed a lot of maturity. The main event was something that bordered on perfection. Murdoch looks like a very strong champion going into a feud with a very strong challenger in Mace. Chapter 1 of Kirby-Fisher was a nice start.

Posted in Indy Wrestling, Pro Wrestling, Uncategorized, Wrestling | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Inspire Pro-The Quick and the Dead

For a long time Austin, Texas has been a hotbed for professional wrestling. A new company has started in Austin within the past year called Inspire Pro. I had the chance to witness their debut show live, but I haven’t been able to return recently. Thankfully they have put entire shows up on Youtube (which can be accessed here).

We open the show with Paige Turner, who is one of my favorite characters in women’s wrestling. She would be a good fit for NCWFF or another character-driven promotion. She is a librarian who plays her part expertly.

First match: Pump Patrol (Jared Wayne & AJ Summers) vs. Reign or Shine (Alex Reigns & Moonshine Mantell)

This is my first time to see Pump Patrol as a team. They are some jacked-up guys. I have seen Jared Wayne before. He is a great story of a wrestler who has really toned up his body. I’ve heard lots about Summers. Wayne opened it up with a nice, quick promo. They antagonized the crowd and had some good zingers. ROS look to be some jacked-up wrestlers doing a kind of redneck trucker thing. I’ve seen Reigns before, and he is a very good technician. This is my first time to see Moonshine. We open it up with some comedy and an arm wrestling contest. ROS is composed of two beasts. The more I see Alex Reigns, the more I see a believability in him. This match was worth a watch. All 4 got a chance to showcase their talents with some good innovation. The win happened when Moonshine did a frogsplash, which that is a big boy to be doing a frogsplash, especially as fluid as it was.

Winner: Reign or Shine

After the match “The Texas Prodigy” Houston Carson comes out to congratulate the winners. If you have not had the chance to see Carson wrestle yet, he exudes such a cocky arrogance yet he makes you want more.

Second match: Carson vs. Scotty Santiago

I thought The Gambler facing the Giant in WCW on Worldwide had a better chance of winning this than Santiago. I thought we were going to have Goldberg-Rick Fuller, and instead Santiago kind of blew me away. I kept watching this thinking, “Okay, when is Carson going to do his finisher and get the pin?” But the match ended with Scotty doing a quick backslide for the pin.

Winner: Santiago

During the match I thought, “For a squash match, they sure aren’t burying this guy.” Turns out it wasn’t a squash match after all. After 18 years of watching wrestling, not a lot surprises me. This did.

Third match: Cherry Ramóns vs. Alexander Rudolph

Cherry is a really good heel, much hated by the fans. Rudolph does a huge Viking thing. He is an enormous hulk of a man. If he works on toning himself, I could see him going very far. During the match a manager came down to ringside to antagonize Rudolph. Apparently facing Cherry wasn’t antagonism enough. While this guy was distracting Rudolph, Cherry attacked from behind with a roll-up pin.

Winner: Cherry

This brought a lot of questions. Who is this man antagonizing Rudolph? Will he be there in the future? Will Rudolph joins this man’s tutelage? A good wrestling company gives you reasons to return.

Fourth match: James Claxton vs. The Great Depression

Words do not describe The Great Depression. It’s a large man in a burlap sack for a mask. I have no idea where this is going. It’s just so bizarre I got to see where it’s going. The Cowboy James Claxton is about 6’6″ of Texas toughness. I would have like to seen more of this match before it disintegrated. Rudolph stayed ringside during this match. Depression went outside to fight Rudolph and then Claxton went to join in on the festivities. This was not a match so much as an angle to set up a future match.

Winner: No contest

Fifth match: Legion (Gregory James, Morbidus and Blasphemer) vs. Downfall/Erick Shadows/Danny Chance w/Kat Green

I’ve had the chance to watch Gregory ever since he broke into this business. Blasphemer was formerly known as Jeff Gant, a very excellent little guy. I remember Downfall standing out to me the first time I saw him. This was your 6-man you’d see on a AAA show or a CHIKARA-type show. This was so well-put together. It was like a smooth, flowing lyrical piece.

Winner: Legion

After the match, Kat Green was confronted by Jessica James. James on my screen is always a positive thing. Looks like she’s part of the Legion faction? In comes Paige Turner to cut promos on the crowd.

Sixth match: Dagger Brothers vs. Barret Brown w/Bolt Brady & Sammy Guervera

I am not familiar with the Daggers or Sammy. At first impression, what I like most about them is that they look like a tag team. I’ve known Barrett’s work for about 2 years. The kid is nothing but spectacular. For those unfamiliar with his work, I use two names to compare him to in intensity: Davey Richards and Chris Benoit. And those are not names I use very lightly. The story here was Brown dealing with Guervera’s cockiness. Guervera is not going to be in a tag team. He left Barret in the ring to take the Daggers’ finisher.

Winner: Dagger Brothers

Now that is how you begin a feud.

Seventh match: JT Lamotta vs. Andy Dalton in a street fight

Dalton is perhaps the most underrated talent in Texas. The guy can do whatever is asked of him, whether it is heel or face. And the only thing rarer than a unicorn is a bad Andy Dalton match. This was also near the end of Lamotta’s very extensive career. He was saying good-bye as only wrestlers know how to do… tearing the house down with their swan song. The ring announcer began a disclaimer that if these men fought on the floor, get the hell out of the way. Dalton and Lamotta can wrestle beautiful technical matches. This was not one of them. This was an all-out, brutal brawl. I like how they spent some time building toward the table. There was a fork used as plunder. Terry Funk-Abdullah the Butcher would have been proud. There was a spot that BENT the chair and Lamotta kicked out, eliciting a “Holy s***” chant from the crowd, which should count for extra points for drawing that out of the Austin crowd. Out came Jordan Jensen to attack LaMotta with a plastic bag. Dalton hit the 3-count.

Winner: Dalton

That’s the match to beat for match of the night.

Eighth match: Mike Dell vs. Ray Rowe

Dell came out to the Halloween music and Michael Myers mask. Mr. Dell has found a way to make himself appear out of nothing and pop the crowds. I’ve had the chance to see him wrestle a few times. And being the fan of AIW, I know well Mr. Rowe from his time up there. Cleveland’s loss has definitely been Houston’s gain. This was two big powerful guys systematically dismantling each other for fun. Mike Dell has some great facials and charisma. This wasn’t finesse. This was mutilation.

Winner: Rowe

Dell was still very over with the crowd. Post-match, he was antagonized by Ricky Starks. I’d put Ricky as one of the best on the mic in Texas and perhaps one of the top all-around heels.

Ninth match: Robert Evans vs. Jojo Bravo

Robert Evans came out to a huge pop. Before he was RD Evans, Archibald Peck, Mixed Martial Archie and all his many incarnations, he was Robert Evans in Texas, one of the most charismatic heels. Gotta love a crowd that sings along to your theme song. Jojo is a star on the rise. It will just be a matter of time before we see him on an indy national stage. This was an excellent match filled with everything you could want, whether comedy or technical wrestling. This elicited a “That was awesome” chant from the crowd, also no small feat in an Austin crowd. The match was paused when Evans was deemed unfit to continue. The refs came around to help and all checked to make sure Evans was ok. It was all a great moment of sportsmanship and then you know what happened. Robert Evans attacked everybody and threw Bravo outside. The only time I’ve ever seen that done better is Rebecca Knox-Allison Danger at SHIMMER 3. Then the match kept continuing. I found myself asking, “Is this going to be it?” every near-fall.

Winner: Bravo

What a match. Definitely worth a view.

Main event: “Showtime” Scot Summers vs. “Absolute” Ricky Starks vs. Jordan Jensen

Summers is one of the top all-around wrestlers in Texas. I already previewed Starks. Jordan is a really good heel who concentrates on story rather than flashiness. Summers is just so brutal (in a good way). He will kill you with a headlock. He reminds me a lot of Bruiser Brody. Somehow Starks was able to pull off the major upset and pin Summers. Then Jensen, being the weasel-y heel that he is, pulled a surprise pin over Starks.

Winner: Jensen

I wanted to see Starks win, but this was well-done.

All in all… For more information on this company, you can go here. I was completely blown away by what I saw here. In many ways we are witnessing the future of Texas and quite possibly, the US. There’s so many things going right here. There are so many names worth watching: Starks, Summers, Bravo, Dalton, Guervera, Carson and especially Reigns (Spend some time watching that guy). And that’s just a few of them. All of this on Youtube for free.

I was really pleased with the production values. For a dark theater in an obscure corner of Austin that is the place that natural light goes to die, they do a pretty good job of lighting it up. I’d put it up against any other company not under a Smart Mark Video or a Highspots banner. Commentary is Eamon Paton and Rachel Summerlyn who I think do a good job discussing each wrestler and the goings-on in the match.

This company does a lot of right. Bring in big names (Chris Hero appeared in January, I saw Chuck Taylor for their first show), put guys out there who know how to wrestle and leave lots of unanswered questions that need to be answered at future shows to make the people come back. If you are in Austin, they are definitely worth a visit. If your appetite is missing something wrestling-wise, this may fill the void in which you’re missing.

Posted in Indy Wrestling, Inspire Pro, Pro Wrestling, Uncategorized, Wrestling | 1 Comment

MPX-Tearing Down the House

I had to take off a few months creatively, but I needed to return. Life feels better when I go out and watch some wrestling. I came back to a very different wrestling promotion. The crowd was packed. This was without a doubt the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen, like bigger than the night there was Colt Cabana, Jimmy Jacobs and Athena. Professional Championship Wrestling, a defunct but long-running company in Arlington, TX recently did a reunion, and I think a lot of people needing their wrestling fix tried them out. Whether they keep coming back is an entirely different thing altogether. Not only was the crowd huge, they were on fire.

First match: Andy Dalton vs. “Jiggle-O James Johnson

I walked in as the match was beginning. I’m not sure if they’re doing the “before-the-bell” match as they were previously. You had both firing on all cylinders. Dalton has been working really hard on his physique. The tights were quite loose. Evil Dalton is one of the best things out there. It is hard to describe it, but Johnson has this weird combination of determination and focus that only he can do. It was what you would want in an opener.

Winner: Johnson

We introduced Lance Hoyt who got an incredible reaction. My inner smark never gets over the fact we are looking at a former IWGP tag champ. He cut a great promo about how he was going to win the belt and make it a world title, taking it to South America and Europe and Japan. Out came Scott Murdoch to respond and said that when Hoyt traveled, he would give them the name “Scott Murdoch’s bitch.” This caused a mini eruption, in many ways, a clash of the titans. Out came Franco D’Angelo and the GM’s enforcer. There was a tremendous pull-apart with Murdoch and Hoyt.

Second match: Kristopher Haiden (c) w/Nigel Rabid & Kevin Cross vs. “Irresistable” Eric McDonald

I think this might be my first time to see the mass of humanity known as Kevin Cross accompanying Nigel. The guy is huge, like a building with hair. He has to be legit 6’5 at the least. Haiden came out getting out in the face of fans. McDonald is one of my favorite things in MPX. It is so original, so entertaining and so over with the crowd. It was a nice, full match. McDonald did his standard spots but what was great was Haiden’s reaction to it. Haiden won it with a nice lariat.

Winner: Haiden

Third match: BC & Michael Shafer & JD Kros vs. Tad Wylde & Jerome Daniels

Do Kros and Shafer have a tag team name yet? I believe they were Glamour Hammer, but that worked a lot better when Joshua City was the other member. The first team I would refer to as “Team I Need a Haircut.” BC began with by announcing his arrival. 6’5 my a**. When I think about how far these guys have come since MPX started, one of the guys who’s come the farthest is Ben Wylde. The other tore down the house quite literally later on in the show. Kros has been working on his physique. The crowd was kept in and engaged. The story that happened during this match was Ben Wylde didn’t want to be tagged in but Viktor Tadlock did. The two began to argue. Are we going to have a break-up and feud? And, wow, this isn’t the guy I thought would be heel here. Jerome was left all alone against the 3. I’ve got to give credit to the match that I thought there was a chance Jerome might actually win.

Winner: Team I Need a Haircut

Fourth match:  Carlos Esquivel & Zero the Antihero vs. Mace

I remember seeing Mace from his PCW days. A lady near me asked if this was fair. I let her know that Zero has more testicles than wins. Zero and Carlos sold this spectacularly with lots of fear. It was a great classic squash match, something you would have seen on WCW Worldwide. I just HATE handicap matches.

Winner: Mace

Fifth match: Jason Silver w/Sky de la Crimosa vs. Wally Darkmon

On paper this looked like a really good match. You had two junior heavyweights going at it. Part of me wondered if these two held back for a future event. It was a nice strong style match mixed in with Wally’s trademark psychosis (not to be confused with WCW luchador Psicosis). At one point Wally licked him which I have to admit I haven’t seen too much. Wally did not hold back on the chops though as Silver’s chest was quite red. Sky jumped in and attacked Darkmon

Winner by dq: Darkmon

Silver and Sky proceeded to do an awesome beat-down on Wally. They beat Wally with his iconic cane and mimicked his psychotic laugh. Then Jiggle-O came out to his rescue. They had a face-off followed by a PCW chant. I’m not entirely sure why. PCW is dead company. These people should move on. Now if you need me, I will be chanting “ECW” at Tommy Dreamer.

Sixth match: Steven Kirby w/Nigel Rabid & Kevin Cross vs. Larry Canis

The crowd was delighted to see Canis’ beard. This was our first chance to see the new Steven Kirby after joining the Rabid Empire. Kirby has a very naturally gifted face. He can show off a variety of emotions on his face without resorting to hamming it up. This was a different side of Kirby, slow, methodical. There was never any doubt who was going to win this.

Winner: Kirby

I like the idea of Kirby as a tortured soul, forced to turn this new leaf. I’d like to see more of Nigel taking the role of jaw-jacking with the fans. Kirby doesn’t need that. Matt Andrews and Li Fang came out to talk to the crowd. Li explained his tear and injury. Somebody near me said, “Hey, Li speaks English?” Mace came back out to menace the two. Claudia came out to possibly soothe Mace. GM Kate Carroll came out to make a match between Matt Andrews and Mace for the next show. Gregory James came out for his match and did a lot of complaining. She responded by giving him Matt Palmer.

Seventh match: Gregory James vs. Matt Palmer

Palmer is getting a little bit more recognition on a national stage at Beyond Wrestling. He is now being billed as “The Show-Stealer.” He has earned that name through every show he’s ever done. I put the notebook down for this because I just wanted to sit back and enjoy this as a fan. This match was no dq. I really can’t describe this to perfection because I didn’t take notes but this match was slightly epic. They tore down the ring barriers, fought into the crowd, used lots of plunder. I had to move around a lot to see it. I found myself being caught up in it. It’s nice when I am able to lose myself in a match at this point in my fandom. What really made this match was the near-falls. Every pinfall seemed like that was it. This night the match fell in Palmer’s favor.

Winner: Palmer

Main event: Scott Murdoch (c) vs. Lance Hoyt

This was a great opportunity for Murdoch. There really isn’t a bigger name they could have brought it to establish Murdoch as a legitimate champ. This in many ways was a clash of the titans. These were two guys who beat the snot out of each other. Hoyt can go in a technical match. But he can also go in a brawl and boy did he. This was really wild insane brawl. It just had the unfortunate curse of following Matt Palmer. Both pushed the referee causing him to dq the match.

Winner: Double-dq

Kristopher Haiden came out to cash in his Prospects Championship (which functions a lot like the “Money in the Bank” concept.

Real Main Event: Scott Murdoch (c) vs. Kristopher Haiden

Angry Hoyt took out Haiden before he began this match. The referee started the 10-count and Haiden was able to cover Haiden first and then Murdoch kicked out. Haiden kept on doing every finisher he had and then Murdoch kept kicking out. The story was so good. Murdoch was able to power out and get the win.

Winner: Murdoch

Kirby came out to get involved and then Frankie Fisher came out to attack him. Something tells me this will be one explosive feud. Ring announcer Keith announced that there will be a rematch of Palmer and Greg the next show.

All in all… It was nice to be back supporting some indy wrestling. Palmer-Greg was epic. I’m just curious if two weeks from now is going to be too soon for their rematch. Keith is coming along nice as a ring announcer. Kate is good in her role as GM and Franco as her enforcer. This in many ways is their Season Premeire. I’m intrigued to see where they can go from here.

Posted in Indy Wrestling, Pro Wrestling, Uncategorized, Wrestling | Leave a comment

My MVP of 2013 in the Indy Wrestling World

Yep, I’m pretty sure there’s still a little bit left in the year so maybe this is a little premature. And by my MVP, I’m not talking about in-ring work. I’m not talking about mic skills. I’m not talking about overall look or presence or anything else. This wrestler is very good in the ring, better on the mic and has charisma that can take her very far. My MVP of 2013 is Veda Scott.

I’m sure there were wrestlers who wrestled better technically. I’m sure there were some who cut better promos. I’m sure there were some wrestlers who received better reactions from crowds. So please, before you take me apart in the comments, I have a reason for calling her MY MVP for 2013. Hear me out.

My reason for making her my MVP has to deal with her work in Absolute Intense Wrestling. For the past year or so, she worked in a heel tag team with Gregory Iron (you know, the “crippled” guy with cerebral palsy who is the most natural babyface in the world). Being in a heel tag team with a more natural babyface than Ricky Steamboat is not the easiest thing on Earth. But they pulled it off. Well. They had a very successful run as a tag team called Hope & Change. They were tag team champions is one of the best tag team divisions in wrestling (Sex Bob-Bombs, Submission Squad, Youthanazia, The Batiri, The Jollyville F***-Its, #NIXON). Their tag division is so deep, they had an entire iPPV dedicated to it. This tag division was championed at one point by Gregory Iron and Veda Scott.

Now I know that the line between male and female in wrestling is not as pronounced as it once was. Companies like Anarchy Championship Wrestling, CHIKARA (and its many splinter factions), Beyond Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerilla, they are working on blurring those lines more and more. It’s not like when Disco Inferno or Chavo Guerrero lost to Miss Jacqueline and were considered jokes. Our world is changing and, with it, the world of wrestling.

But here’s why this is different. Veda isn’t the tallest wrestler and can look kind of tiny against somebody like a Rickey Shane Page or Evan Gelistico. She’s also a wrestler who held her own against some very stiff competition. During the aforementioned tag team tournament, there was a moment when Veda was abandoned by her tag partner Gregory Iron, and she was on her own against a tag team known as The Hooligans. And they earn their name quite honestly. She suffered what looked like an epic beatdown from both these wrestlers in a two-on-one mugging.

It’s not that Veda won. She didn’t. But I have a 4 year old daughter. My little girl watches wrestling with me from time to time. She calls it “Shimmer,” regardless of gender, company or wrestler. If there is something going on in a wrestling ring, it’s SHIMMER. If you haven’t glanced around the world of teen idols for little girls, things aren’t looking too good. Dora the Explorer takes 22 minutes to accomplish a simple task and can’t do it alone. Miley Cyrus is riding a wrecking ball naked or twerking on Jason Seaver’s son. Within the morality play that can often be a synonym for women’s wrestling, I have some real life lessons I can pass on to her. The lesson here with this match against the Hooligans is that it doesn’t matter how big you are, how strong you are, or even if you win. What matters is the size of your heart. Veda had the most fight I’d seen displayed that night. That’s one of the best lessons I can teach my daughter. It’s not about your size; it’s about the size of your fight. As a dad, what matters to me most is that once my daughter watches this (when she’s old enough), she sees that she has a legitimate chance to stand toe-to-toe with whatever obstacle is placed in her way. Veda gives her one more reason she can.

That’s why Veda Scott is my 2013 MVP. Her theme I got from her matches this year is that it’s not your size; it’s the size of your fight.

Posted in AIW, Indy Wrestling, Pro Wrestling, Uncategorized, Women's Wrestling, Wrestling | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

BLOW-Bombshell Ladies of Wrestling Event 3

We started immediately with the action. I really didn’t find a reason to care about any of the action.

Mia Yim vs. La Rosa Negro

My fandom of Ms. Yim is easily documented on this site. I think she is probably the best wrestler not with the Big 2. My inner Spanish major is losing it over Rosa Negro (Proper Spanish would be Negra.), but she has a nice enthusiasm and look. After a little research, she goes by Rosa Negra. Just an eff-up by the production team. Mia started it off in pure heel mode. She looked like an accomplished veteran having fun with the rookie. Rosa was able to give it back so she didn’t look like a chump. Watching Evil Mia Yim is a thing of beauty. She just has so much knowledge and does so many little things. It is a great showcase to make Rosa look great after overcoming it. This turned out to be a really good match. While Rosa didn’t win, I still felt like she gained something. I really feel there is some talent within her.

Amber O’Neal vs. Shelly Martinez

Amber O’Neal is a stunning, ageless beauty. Watch early SHIMMER. You will see this woman hasn’t aged a day and has possibly even gotten younger. And yes, I was in love with Shelly from the first time I saw her in WWECW. This was a bra and panties match. I could go on a long, sanctimonious rant about bra and panties matches, but that’s a topic for another time and place. Plus, O’Neal and Martinez agreed to do the match. I would like to concentrate on their work in this match. O’Neal is really good at wrestling in such a way to accentuate her opponents’ strengths to make them look good. I could have done without the announcers acting like they’d never seen women before in their bras or panties. Don’t a lot of wrestlers pretty much wrestle in their bras and panties? There isn’t too much of a difference between what Mia & Rosa wore the first match. Amber and Shelly also wrestled in a way that showed they knew what the crowd wanted. I’m sure Amber doesn’t do the rump-shaking or stink face in a SHIMMER/SHINE/CHIKARA crowd.

Amy Lee vs. Amazing Kong

On paper, I would have to consider this a dream match. You have two legendary behemoths of women’s wrestling going one on one. This match was everything you would expect. There were no side headlocks. There were no spinning toe holds. This was pure unadulterated violence. It wasn’t the fastest-paced match, but it was a nice brawl. It met my expectations.

Starman vs. Nikki Nitro

It really bugs me when I watch an all-women’s show and some man shows up to wrestle. That’s a really talented female wrestler who couldn’t get a payday. In their defense, this was supposed to be Silvie Silver, but it didn’t happen, so I’m sure they used whichever wrestler was in the back. Starman seems to be very over with this crowd. Nitro is kind of bad girl hot. We had a dance-off that turned into Nitro attacking Starman and the match starting. I think this match was perfectly placed. After the carnage of Lee-Kong, the comedy helped this match come down. I found myself liking the match. I just thought it was odd.

Becky Bayless vs. Miss Adiva

Bayless came out in a really smokin’ outfit, good crowd engagement. Miss Adiva is a perfect Barbie. I’m surprised one of the big two has not snatched her up. There was lots of hotness in this ring. Becky gave the crowd lots of reasons to hate her with her promo. I got a reason to want to see Adiva win. This was a short match. Not really sure what it did except for give Bayless heel heat. I would have liked this match to be given more time.

Missy Sampson vs. Katarina Leigh vs. Sumie Sakai vs. Sienna Duvall

Sampson is a wrestler who’s been around for a while and has lots of respect. Ms. Leigh I’ve liked ever since she was Katie Lea in the WWE. The name card was spelled “Samie,” and the announcers couldn’t decide if she was Japanese. The announcing was pretty good but this one they s*** the bed on. Sumie Sakai is a well-traveled, well-respected wrestler. If I’m a PWS fan or somebody not familiar with Sakai, I have absolutely no reason to care about her. Needless to say, I’m a huge Sumie fan. She makes everything better. Then Sienna came out and joined the match. I’d never seen her before so it was a nice introduction. It was a 4-way with lots of well-respected competitors. It should have been 25-30 minutes. We got 15 minutes. It was a rushed cluster. Plus, Missy won, which struck me as an odd choice.

All in all… What follows is not meant to be any slight against the workers. Most of them gave the fans the most of what they had. I liked seeing Rosa Negra for the first time. Anytime I see Mia Yim, Amber O’Neal, Amazing Kong or Sumie Sakai, that is a good thing. I liked Nitro, Duvall and Adiva for a first time. 

It was a 75-minute DVD, which I paid my $15 + shipping for, which comes to about $3.50 a match. Nor was this event worth the $21 if you include shipping. Is $3.50 a match really cost-effective?  If you look at the comparison of costs, WSU provides you about 60 total shows you can stream at http://www.streamWSU.com. SHIMMER will give you a good 2 1/2-3 hours of wrestling. AIW will give you 2 discs of really good action. Anarchy Championship Wrestling gives you entire tournaments. The same with Femmes Fatales up in Canada and and ICW-Fierce Females from Scotland. Can you justify spending $21 for this DVD with all the other choices available?

It’s one thing to get a wrestler’s name wrong as a ring announcer the first time you’ve ever done it (true story), but getting the wrestler’s name wrong twice in the name cards as they enter (sorry, I don’t know the technical term for that), I’m sorry, you should have people proofread the text, possibly the wrestlers themselves. This was an example of the prevailing unprofessionalism I saw. The announcer didn’t know if Sumie Sakai was Japanese or not? He also had to stop himself from laughing every time he used the word “BLOW.” 

It felt like a 13 year old was in charge of the show. You can tell that from the name of the company. And a bra and panties match? It’s 2013. If I wanted to see women in all stages of undress, I could google lots more explicit images (of even Shelly Martinez). It struck me as a night of “Divas” matches. When you expect SHIMMER and you get a night of Divas matches, it really doesn’t cut it.

I have never done this before. This is the first show I have ever seen that I would recommend you NOT buy. The only exception is if you are a rabid fan of one of these wrestlers. Even then, go watch one of their other matches with another company. Highspots offers lots of really great women’s wrestling DVD’s. This is not one of them.

Posted in Indy Wrestling, Pro Wrestling, Uncategorized, Women's Wrestling, Wrestling | 3 Comments