IHWE Old School Hustle 2014-9/28/2014

I’m trying to put in perspective my night with the IHWE. It was a really long wrestling experience but that’s ok (unless you are my wife). It opened up with a Jim Cornette Q&A. And just wow. Jim Cornette could have held us captivated for hours. After the Q&A session, there was a meet ‘n’ greet. All the wrestlers were great and enthusiastic to be there. Before the actual show began, we had two, I guess, dark matches.

First match: Joey Garcia vs. “Too Much Metal” Gregory James

Imagine Mark Wahlberg wrestling like Chris Benoit. That is Garcia. I don’t use the Benoit name a lot, and he’s not exactly Chris Benoit yet. But he has a lot of the same mannerisms and ring style. I’ve had the chance to see Garcia before but this time it was a lot different. He was looking more ripped and crisper. I’ll make no mystery that I had the chance to see Greg ever since his career began. He has probably come the farthest of anybody I’ve seen. As for the story of the match, they went with the crescendo from the friendly back and forth to the really loud slap from Garcia. It was a very nice opener to get the crowd going.

Winner: Gregory James

Second match: Old School Assassins (“Bad” Brad Michaels & Striker) w/Ken Kelly vs. Ruben Rivera & Tex As Red

I remember watching a Bad Brad match around 10 years ago in an NWA Southwest ring. I honestly had not seen him since. Tex As Red is probably one of the most over wrestlers in the company. I love seeing him because he’s such a good character. These guys knew their role. They weren’t going to be all flippy-floppy and crazy. They let Red do his comedy. He was great. He also bumped and sold like crazy. He took a lot of punishment. The Assassins attacked the official and were disqualified.

Winner: Rivera & Red

After the match, Team Extreme came out to the rescue. Kit Carson was unable to compete tonight but they were going to have a match against the Assassins. So Khris Germany had to pick between Red or Rivera. Since Rivera took a less amount of punishment, Rivera was going to join Team Extreme later on. The real show then began. Jim Cornette came out to introduce this match. He was dressed carrying a racket. 1996 Justin died of excitement. It was billed as a battle of Texas vs. Missouri.

Third match: Submission Squad (Pierre Abernathy, Evan Gelistico & Gary Jay) vs. Team Texas (Thomas Shire, “The Unholy” Gregory James & Ashton Jacobs)

James Beard was the ref. It is so great to see the Submission Squad in person rather than DVD as I’m usually forced to. Pierre looks like he’s lost some weight since I last saw him. And yes, “The Unholy” Gregory James is the same as “Too Much Metal” Gregory James. He is a Dude Love away from being the next Mick Foley. The Submission Squad was everything you’d want from them. They were crisp and stiff (just ask Thomas Shire’s chest) and got the crowd to hate them. They were great at crowd engagement with the people around me. Greg did a lot of the selling and bumping in this match. He was one of the night’s unsung heroes. The finish was incredible. Shire picked up of the SS members in a fireman’s carry takeover and spun him around a few times and then a few times without using his hands.

Winner: Team Texas

It was a huge emotional exclamation point. And as a wrestling fan since 1996, I’ve gotta say it’s something I have not seen before.

Fourth match: Seth Shai vs. Jiggle-O James Johnson

Rick Manning was the referee. (I don’t often list the refs. I do when it’s Manning or James Beard.) So Shai was in total heel mode. That meant that Johnson was going to bump and sell like crazy, which he did. I think he’s one of the best in Texas at bumping and selling and making people look good. There was a crazy dive from Johnson onto Shai. Mike Foxx came out and interfered in the match causing a dq.

Winner: Johnson by dq

Franco d’Angelo came out to his rescue and cleaned house. Next was the ladies match. We were introduced to Karen Merritt who would present the award to the winner.

Fifth match: Delilah Doom & Peyton Gates vs. Miss Diss Lexia & Jessica James

I had the chance to meet both Gates and James earlier in the night. Both ladies were lovely and great. I have previously described Doom as “sunshine in human form.” She reminds me a lot of Leva Bates. I could see those two having a nice tag team. Gates is a gorgeous, stunning blond. I haven’t seen her work much yet, but she has a look that could take her very far. James is a few months removed from her tour of Japan. There is a difference of focus and presence in her work. And Miss Diss Lexia is probably the most improved wrestler in Texas for the past year, male or female. She recently got a chance for WSU/CSZW and hopefully will continue on their level. A name who comes to mind is Melanie Cruise.

Now onto the match. The stipulations were that the winner of the tag match would face their opponent. So you think that Miss Diss Lexia would stand on the apron and make Jessica do all the work. But no. Lexia did all the work. She was showing off and that confident. It was pretty creative. Delilah did a lot of the bumping here. Finally Jessica tagged in while Lexia wasn’t looking. She came in and got the roll-up pin. It was now Miss Diss Lexia vs. Jessica James. And this is where the match got good. Both of these ladies wrestled a match that was as good as anything you’d see on a SHIMMER, Shine or WSU show. These two ladies tore the house down.

Winner: Miss Diss Lexia

Sixth match: Tim Storm w/ Miss Tiffany vs. JT LaMotta

For those counting, this is the second LaMotta match I have seen since his retirement. He was wrestling Tim Storm. Both of these guys have wrestled each other in so many places it was old hat for them. They knew what story to tell and exactly how to tell it. The crowd was really into this match. LaMotta was super-over, lots of “Mind of Wrestling” chants. The highlight for me was the stiff chops. I don’t know whose I’d have rather taken.

Winner: Storm

There was a Hall of Fame Ceremony for “The Grappler” Len Denton (wearing his mask of course) and Jim Cornette who was a surprise inductee. The ring was a who’s who of Texas wrestling history: James Beard, Rick Manning, Team Extreme, Todd Diamond, Barbara Goodish (the widow of the late Bruiser Brody), Stan Hansen, Gorgeous Gary Young, Black Bart, members of the Cauliflower Alley Club. It wasn’t an angle. Everything turned out well and it was an extraordinary moment.

After the intermission, they brought out Lance Hoyt. Hoyt/Vance Archer has wrestled in Texas for the greater part of 10+ years (give or take a few years). He talked about his long, storied career, some of the places he’s been and talked about what a wonderful night of action we were getting. He said he wanted the champ, didn’t matter who it was.

Seventh match: Old School Assassinsw/Ken Kelly vs. Ruben Rivera & Khris Germany w/Kit Carson & Tex As Red

I used to watch Team Extreme back in the old NWA Southwest days. They were one of the top tag teams there. I remember them because they came out with a barb wire baseball bat. My mother used to tell me they shouldn’t carry that around, that it is dangerous. (I’ve always said my mother needs her own blog or podcast about wrestling. It would dwarf everything.) Watching this match I was back in the Texas Indoor Arena in North Richland Hills all over again. If you wanted technical beauty, this was not your match. This was a crowd brawl, plain and simple. I loved Kelly as the manager. He spent a lot of time jawing with the crowd around me. They went out into the crowd and it’s not very often, but I moved. This was my nostalgia. Khris Germany did a huge DDT to walk away with the victory.

Winner: Rivera & Germany

David Fuller came out with The Grappler to honor him. The Empire (Matt Riviera & Tim Storm) came out to interrupt them. “Why are you honoring the old people? Why not honor your present?” After a back and forth, the Empire attacked both of them. James Beard came in for the save but was quickly put away. That brought out Black Bart and then Gorgeous Gary Young for the save. After The Empire came out, Hoyt, Shire, Kyle O’Reilly, Charlie Haas all came out for the save. Fuller announced that champ Matt Riviera would face Thomas Shire that night. Jim Cornette came out and said that since he was guest commissioner for the night, he was going to be in Shire’s corner to counter-balance The Empire’s manager Boyd Bradford. Cornette was given a mic. The Peanut Head and Elmer Fudd chants began.

Eighth match: Franco D’Angelo vs. Mike Foxx

This was the big match. For those who have never followed the story of Franco D’Angelo, he suffered a life-threatening car wreck and was never expected to survive, much less walk, run, competitively body-build or wrestle in the ring. This is my first time to see him wrestle live since the wreck. And Franco looked great. He refers to himself as the Bionic Beast. I call him the Human Cyborg. It was great seeing him back in the ring. And it was great seeing him back in the ring against Mike Foxx. These two guys have faced each other so much it’s old hat. Foxx worked over the shoulder. I wrote down that I felt a lot of emotion here in this match. Franco had him in the Boston Crab and Foxx was one tap away from losing. Then Seth Shai ran in to interfere. Then Jiggle-O came in to even the score.

New Eighth match: Mike Foxx & Seth Shai vs. Franco D’Angelo & Jiggle-O James Johnson

Now referee Rick Manning could have disqualified him, but no. In honor of the great Theodore Long, he made a tag match. So the four of them beat the stuffing out of each other. Foxx and Franco went to the back. Johnson climbed up the top rope and was about to hit the O-Face on Shai. Shai pushed Rick Manning into the ropes and Johnson lost his balance. Shai did a Northern Lights Suplex off the top rope to get the win.

Winner: Foxx & Shai

Ninth match: Mat Fitchett vs. Kyle O’Reilly

I have never gotten to see an active Ring of Honor champion in action so I marked out for this a little. Fitchett was the perfect guy for this match. To be honest, I didn’t write down notes on the actual match. Sometimes you get so involved in reviewing that you forget to enjoy the match. And I definitely wanted to enjoy this. I remember that O’Reilly kept going back to the armbreaker. DDP could make the Diamond Cutter come out of nowhere. But that was no submission hold he put on. I counted the chants. We had one “This is wrestling,” one “Awesome match” and THREE “This is awesome” chants.

Winner: O’Reilly

What the fans neglected to do was a “Please come back” chant. Hopefully he will.

Tenth match: Americos (c) vs. Charlie Haas for the DFW Championship

I was really worn out by this time. So forgive me for not taking good notes. You have an established top name talent going up against a kid who is on his way to being one. I also had a hard time rooting for a person. I like Americos and his family. But Haas is one-half of one of my top 3 favorite tag teams of all time. It was hard for the crowd too. There were dueling “Americos” and “Haas” chants. Haas ended up with the win.

Winner and new DFW champion: Haas

I was wanting Americos to have a long reign, but Haas with the belt adds some prestige to it.

Main event: Matt Riviera (c) w/ The Empire vs. Thomas Shire w/Jim Cornette for the IHWE championship

I don’t think there’s a single person in that arena who thought Riviera was walking out the champ. Cornette was out there to equalize the threat of Boyd Bradford. I remember a Survivor Series when CM Punk beat Alberto del Rio for the belt in Madison Square Garden with Howard Finkel as the ring announcer. This was the feeling I got from this. My inner 1996 Justin was totally marking out for Shire getting to have Cornette in his corner. I’m sure there was a match going on inside the ring. I’d be lying if I wasn’t waiting for the Empire’s manager to interfere so I could watch Cornette whoop up on him. As the match reached its climax, Riviera gave him every move and Shire kept kicking out. Every dirty belt shot, every finisher, I said this is it. But Shire was able to pull off the upset win and win the belt.

Winner and new champion: Shire

All in all: 11+ matches. Not bad for what we paid. I’ve seen wrestlers look like there is any other place they want to be. None of those wrestlers were out tonight. Everybody was cordial and appreciative. It’s not every day that you get yesterday’s superstars like Stan Hansen, Gary Young, Black Bart, Len Denton, Karen Merritt & James Beard on the same card as top talent like Kyle O’Reilly, Charlie Haas & Lance Hoyt and wrestlers on the cusp like Mat Fitchett, Miss Diss Lexia, Jessica James, Gregory James & Thomas Shire. And did I mention Jim Cornette with a mic?

If this isn’t one of the best events top to bottom that I’ve seen live, I’d really have to examine myself to see what was better. Thank you to all the wrestlers and talent who contributed to making this an incredible night.

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IHWE Showdown 2014 8-30-2014

These are my thoughts on a recent show I went to in Fort Worth. I’d like to give my thoughts on the pre-show ambiance but due to my mistiming and the wrong address appearing in my phone, that didn’t happen. I came in right as promoter David Fuller was introducing former champ SB1. The two of them put over their past. Then SB1 put over Fuller’s passion.

Fuller announced they were scheduled to have a match between Peyton Gates and Miss Diss Lexia. However Ms. Gates suffered an injury to keep her out of the match. Her opponent Miss Diss Lexia came in to the ring to cut a promo talking about how she wished her to get better and then when the crowd believed her, she attacked Gates. Delilah Doom (who is like sunshine in human form) came out to try to rescue her and got attacked too. Miss Diss Lexia looked imposing, threatening and oh, yes, very stunning. If there is a vote for Most Improved Wrestler of 2014, she has my vote.

First match: Li Fang w/ Nigel Rabid vs. Kyle Hawk

Everybody involved in this match was really firing on all cylinders. While I’ve seen highlights of Hawk, this was my first time to see him do an entire match. And wow. I was really blown away by him. And dare I call Nigel Rabid one of the best things in Texas wrestling? He keeps the crowd engaged the entire time. Li and Kyle’s work was very good. It was a beautiful athletic contest. You had all the flippy-floppy stuff that sparked the crowd. The crowd seemed to be pretty hot and into it most of the night. Li, Nigel, Kyle, legendary referee Rick Manning, all 4 were reading off each other. It was a very good opener.

Winner: Li Fang

After the match they introduced HOFer Black Bart. Wow, this man can cut a promo and keep a crowd’s attention. Sit down at that man’s feet and learn from him.

Second match: Kevin Cross w/Nigel Rabid vs. Crusher Mark

Cross is huge, like legit 7’1″. I think his nickname should be the One Man Tag Team. Crusher Mark was the ultimate babyface. He came out with the American flag, giving it to a kid to hold during the match, gave his dog tags to a kid to hold. He stomped his feet and everybody said, “Hoo-rah.” Everybody knew they were supposed to do this but me. At first I thought the match would remind me of a Giant/Big Show match from ’96. But it was a lot more competitive than I thought it would be. You had the big guy taking on the little guy with lots of fire behind him. I actually thought Mark was going to win at one point. But out of nowhere we got the Kevin Cross chokeslam and he walked away with the pin.

Winner: Cross

Third match: Jiggle-O James Johnson vs. Bryan Ryder

I’m not sure where I heard that this was going to be Ryder’s last match, but I knew it somehow going into this. Johnson has has a really good year this past year. I call it the “Johnsonnaisance.” It was a beautifully laid-out match. Johnson bumped and sold like Dolph Ziggler. There were so many bumps where you were sure he died and so many near-falls where you thought this was it. But Ryder had a really last match to end off his career with. Jiggle-O walked away with an O-face and the victory.

Winner: Johnson

This really could have been a main event anywhere. It was nice to see Ryder go out on a high note. After the match, David Fuller came out with Khris Wolfe and talked about their past together as being founders of IHWE. It was a nice moment.

After the intermission, we had Thomas Shire come out to face an unknown opponent. It was the retired Mind of Wrestling JT LaMotta.

Fourth match: Thomas Shire vs. JT LaMotta

I’m liking what I see from Shire every time I see him. His look is so different. He doesn’t look like he belongs in this decade. He’s what you would see in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s in a territory. Or you could find on a high school wrestling team. The name that comes to mind in Jack Swagger. I was there for JT LaMotta’s last match in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Strange. Here he is wrestling a year later. Needless to say, it was a nice match. LaMotta is such a capable veteran. At one point, Shire extended his hand, and LaMotta told him he’d shake Shire’s hand if Shire could beat him. LaMotta didn’t need the victory. He put over Shire as he should have.

Winner: Shire

Fifth match: Mike Foxx vs. Seth Shai

These two have been around for forever, have wrestled in all parts of the globe. Both of them know what to do so I just sat back and watched the show. Foxx was not happy and was done and began to walk to the back. Rick Manning, the greatest referee of all time, was trying to get Foxx back in the ring. Foxx laid a hand on him and and Manning dq’d him.

Winner via disqualification: Shai

Black Bart came into the ring to threaten Foxx and Jiggle-O James Johnson came out to the rescue when lo and behold, Seth Shai joined forces with Mike Foxx. They introduced Charlie Haas and announced he was going to face the winner of the main event at the next show on 9/28.

Main event: Americos vs. Gregory James vs. Ashton Jacobs in a Best of 3 Falls Match with David Fuller as special guest referee

Jacobs looks a lot like 1996 Chris Jericho. I’ve been watching Greg ever since he first began in the business so I never ceased to be amazed by how far he’s come. And Americos is strangely familiar for some reason, like I’ve been watching him wrestle for forever too. This was a rematch of the opener at the last IHWE show. No surprise. These guys are talented and brought a good main event. I had one problem with the booking. It was very obvious each wrestler was going to win a fall each. Sure enough, Greg got the first, Ashton the second and Americos the third. We were all tied at the top. Fuller announced they were going into Sudden Death. And of course the winner of the 3rd fall got the final pin. It just made good booking sense.

Winner: Americos

After the match the Rabid Empire came to attack the main event competitors. Thomas Shire came to the rescue, Charlie Haas told Americos to hold on to that belt for him, and we ended on a high note.

All in all… It was a pretty decent show. The overwhelming MVP of the night was Rick Manning. He refereed all but one match. The first half of the card was really good and the second half served to further some storylines for the 9/28 IHWE show.

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IHWE Experience

This was my first time to see this company live. I LOVED the venue. It’s difficult to find a wrestling company that runs in an air-conditioned building. I really liked the setup. We were introduced by Travis the ring announcer, one of the best in the business. They introduced Sarah Morgan of a local morning show and David Fuller. She looked nice and professional. I would have liked to see her talk more through the night as she was a host. As they were about to announce the first match, we were interrupted by Matt Riviera and Tim Storm, a faction known as The Empire. I really like the promo that Riviera cut. He started out complimenting the arena and the fans and then as he handed the mic back to Fuller, he paused to say, “Just remember who got you there.” And like that, the crowd turned on him. Perfect.

First match: Ashton Jacobs vs. Gregory James vs. Americos for the DFW Championship

Chico Torres was introduced. He was the last DFW champion and a legend at the time of the 80’s. This was originally supposed to be Barrett Brown but he got injured before the event. This was my first chance to see Ashton Jacobs & Americos. Greg, I’m quite familiar with. Ashton had lots of enthusiasm. I still haven’t figured out who he reminds me of. I hadn’t seen Greg without his face paint for a while. And as soon as Americos walked out, a d-bag not too far from me said, “Now we know you’re going over. Just go ahead with it.” This bothered me as a fan. Yes, I will do a report on it where I may talk about the business but I’m not going to yell out inside terms during a match. (Of course they showed how much they knew when they said later on that Gargano was under the Americos match. Spoiler alert: He’s not.) So, about the match. I could have watched Americos and Greg wrestle all day. They have such amazing chemistry. And Jacobs was fine with his work. I called this work excellent. I would put this up against any other Dragon Gate USA opener.

Winner: Americos

Second match: Li Fang w/ Matt Riviera vs. Seth Shai

I am very familiar with Li’s work. I’ve seen Seth a few times but don’t know him probably like I should. This was not a flashy, flippy-floppy match. This was about the stories. Riviera, who was accompanying Fang to the ring for some reason, cheated like it was going out of style, and Shai had to overcome. I’m not sure why Riviera was down there with Fang. It was nice that Li had somebody down there to help him get heat, but why him? Riviera never appeared with him anywhere else on the show. There were many legendary managers that night that could have helped out Li (cough, cough, Nigel Rabid). We also had Rick Manning as ref. He is just such a legend. I’d probably call him my all-time favorite ref. The finisher was pretty cool. Shai did a Northern Lights Suplex off the top rope.

Winner: Shai

Third match: Prince Al Farat w/ Ken Kelly vs. Apoc

In the movie “The Wrestler,” Randy the Ram played by Mickey Rourke asks The Ayatollah played by Ernest “The Cat” Miller what they’re going to do in their match. Miller’s character says, “You’re the face. I’m the heel. What else?” (This is my Ruff paraphrase.) This reminded me a lot of this match. I didn’t see Kelly do a lot but I think he was on the other side of the ring. Apoc and Farat have done this many times, and you could tell they were doing the dance. There was the story of the spike. Any time the referee was distracted, Farat would use the spike. As they were trying to flip each other over to get the pin, Farat got the most leverage and won.

Winner: Farat

Fourth match: Matt Riviera w/Tim Storm vs. Ashton Jacobs

So after Ashton Jacobs lost in the opener, he is now qualified for a title shot? Not sure I see the logic there. I was expecting a squash match. I got more than that. There wasn’t a person in the crowd who thought Jacobs was going to win, but the crowd was into it. Riviera put Jacobs in a killer submission hold and Jacobs gave up.

Winner: Riviera

Jacobs either got seriously hurt or they seriously sold it. They asked for a doctor in the house. It was a bad night for my wife the nurse to not be there. Of course, being 9 months pregnant, she probably wouldn’t have taken too kindly to waddling up there to take care of an injured wrestler. But I digress. Black Bart came out and spoke briefly. A lot of the wrestlers were out signing autographs. I enjoyed getting to meet all the guys I did, especially Farat, Storm & Gargano.

Fifth match: Terry Gordy Memorial Battle Royal

We were introduced to Craig Johnson, an announcer from the days of the Sportatorium. They brought out Terry Gordy’s widow. That was pretty awesome to see Gordy treated like a legend. Battle Royals are always really hard to cover. I know each wrestler contributed but I’m not entirely sure I saw how they did. I will talk about some of the highlights. Dave Dunnings’ weight was listed as “too damn much.” Tex As Red was over like a bone in a dog pound. I dare call his pop the biggest of the night. I’m pretty sure Randy Wayne destroyed Americos’ chest with a few chops. Here is the order in which they were eliminated: Chris Richter, John Famous, Dragon King, Tex As Red (thought the crowd was going to riot on that one), Gregory James, Randy Wayne (looked like he might be the winner early on), Americos, Dave Dunnings, Kevin Cross (whose size has to be seen to be believed) and then the winner Thomas Shire.

Winner: Shire

It was pretty cool moment watching Mrs. Gordy hand the trophy to Shire. They introduced Kody Kox who had a special interview with Franco D’Angelo. Franco talked about what he’d been through in the last few years, about how he was the last champion and his struggles with the car wreck that should have taken his life. Then Franco announced his retirement. Long-time foe/friend Mike Foxx came out to discuss the situation. He raised Franco’s arms and then, like anybody who’s ever watched Mike Foxx over the past 10 years was expecting, he turned on Franco and did his finisher. Out came Randy Wayne for the rescue and challenged Mike Foxx to a match.

Sixth match: Randy Wayne vs. Mike Foxx w/Katie Foxx

This was a pretty big opportunity for Randy Wayne. Mike Foxx is appropriately nicknamed “The Main Event.” So Randy Wayne essentially got to fight in the main event. And Wayne really brought it. This was the sleeper match of the night. Wayne isn’t a flippy-floppy guy. He’s more like a Texas tough MMA fighter. In a lot of ways, he is the new evolution of the cowboy character- tough, country, pain-giver. Wayne really knew how to shine. Foxx ended up doing his finisher and walking away with the victory.

Winner: Foxx

Wayne may not have won, but he looked like he belonged in the main event.

Seventh match: Tim Storm w/Miss Tiffany vs. Spoiler 2000

Later on in the night, Tim Storm referred to himself as the “Benjamin Button” of wrestling. With respects to Rain & Amber O’Neal, Storm is one of those guys that seems to get younger with time. I had seen Spoiler 2000 wrestle once a long time ago. Somehow these two had never wrestled each other. Miss Tiffany was good, jawing with the fans at ringside. There was two that looked like they were ready to kill her. We had Spoiler get on top of the ring at one point and go all the way across the rope to the other turnbuckle. What I loved most here was the drama of the claw. The claw is perhaps the most sacred move in Texas wrestling history. And here we got to see why it was. Storm would try to put it on Spoiler. Spoiler put him in the claw at one time.

Winner: Storm

No flashiness. Just two classics telling a story.

Eighth match: Johnny Gargano vs. Thomas Shire

Yes, it stills feels great to see myself having written that I got to see this match live. And quick warning. I’m a huge Johnny Gargano mark. Aside from the earlier battle royal, this was my first match of Shire’s. I found him to be a nice throwback to the days of the 60’s and 70’s. He’s like somebody you would find on an amateur wrestling team, much like a Bob Backlund or a Jack Swagger. This was not a very “smart-to-the-business” crowd (aside from the one d-bag near me who thought he was) so I’m not sure anybody was there to see Gargano other than me. I think Gargano might have noticed that too. So he took a crowd that had no idea who he was and gradually began to win them over. By the end of the match, people knew the name of Johnny Gargano. There were quite a few “Holy s***” moments for me. There was a great dive onto Shire that moved the guardrails back a few feet. I wrote down that it was an incredible match. The fans agreed with me, chants of “This is awesome” and “Awesome match” sounding through the match. Reflecting now, I’d call it Top 5 I’ve ever seen live.

Winner: Gargano

Shire hung with Gargano. I’d like to see more of him in the future. The Code came out to introduce JT LaMotta. Code was in total heel mode. Brilliant. LaMotta thanked them all for his time in the ring and like any retirement speech (aside from Edge’s for some reason), it was very quickly interrupted. He was interrupted by Tim Storm and Matt Riviera because I guess we hadn’t seen them enough tonight. They reminded LaMotta that he couldn’t anymore, he was a quitter, etc. LaMotta walked away.

Main event: The Empire (Tim Storm & Matt Riviera) w/ Miss Tiffany vs. Seth Shai & Americos

Not sure why we got to see these wrestlers again after having them wrestle a match earlier each. Tired from the work he’d put in all night, Riviera offered Seth and Americos the chance to forfeit the match so they could go to McDonalds (right, because wrestlers who spend that much time working on their physiques eat at McDonalds). It was a no-go. Poor Americos took a lot of the punishment in this match. He took a killer back body-drop from Tim Storm that made the crowd cringe. And if that wasn’t punishment enough, they gave him a wedgie. Storm just kind of looked like a gorilla man-handling an attacker. Riviera scoop-slammed him onto the floor. Eventually the hot tag was made and Shai came in and cleaned house. They rolled up both and got the pin.

Winner: Shai & Americos

The victory was short-lived as The Empire began to clean house. Gregory James came out and was promptly choke-slammed. LaMotta was attacked by Storm. Promoter David Fuller was attacked and the night ended with the Empire victorious.

All in all… This was a different kind of card for me. I have a tendency to like more of the flippy-floopy guys and girls. But it was interesting to watch story-tellers like Tim Storm, Mike Foxx and Al Farat do what they do. It’s not surprise I’m going to name Shire-Gargano the match of the night. But I have to give Randy Wayne-Mike Foxx a very honorable mention. Randy Wayne is a guy I like more every time I see him wrestle.

Some of the booking was a little off, like Ashton getting a title shot while losing the first match or why more than one of these guys had to pull double-duty. And WAY too much Empire. I’d like to see that dialed back a little.

What I see here is the best mix of the legends with the workers of today. I feel like there is something going on here.

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Inspire Pro Wrestling-In Their Blood

I’m going to be honest here. I got to go to this show as part of my early birthday present. I took a road trip with my mother to see a few of my favorite wrestlers. I’m probably going to “fan-boy” a little so please go easy on me. When we got there, the line was huge. There was barely any standing room left in a standing room only crowd. My seats were so incredible. We were greeted by Brandon Stroud the ring announcer. Brandon has just the right amount of quick wit and dorkiness that go well with the crowd. We were introduced to Matt Palmer. Palmer showed he could cut a promo. Is there anything this guy can’t do? Palmer wanted and deserved a title shot. The authority figure Greg Symonds let him know that he could have a title shot as soon as he defeated Raymond Rowe at the next show.

First match: Matt Palmer w/ Samantha Anne & Franco D’Angelo vs. Jiggle-O James Johnson

This was originally supposed to be Palmer vs. Jake Dirden but Dirden was not able to show up. Amazing. They actually announced this to the crowd unlike other places that advertise wrestlers they have no intention of producing. In the acting world Matthew McConaughey has had a little something they call a “McConaissance.” Well, I think Jiggle-O is experiencing one of those I will term the “Johnsonaissance.” He is a totally different wrestler than the one I see in Dallas. It’s like Austin is rediscovering Johnson for the first time. Palmer and Johnson had a match where they just went in and kicked the snot out of each other. This would have been an acceptable main event in some places. There were so many really cool-looking spots.

Winner: Palmer

The highlight of the match was Palmer going up to Franco’s shoulders for a splash onto Johnson. The beatdown continued, and an American Eagle came out to Johnson’s rescue.

Second match: Paige Turner & Miss Diss Lexia vs. KC Warfield & Kat Green

I was really excited to see this match. I like all 4. Well, it turned out that KC Warfield turned on her partner and it turned in to a 3-on-1 match.

Second match: Paige Turner, Miss Diss Lexia & KC Warfield vs. Kat Green

So it went from a match I really wanted to see into a yawn-fest. I like how Paige has her own faction (called the “Bookends” by the fans). Kat is extremely hot. I think she could go very far. She’s gorgeous, ridiculously athletic and has a great look. This got an ironic “This is awesome” chant from the crowd. (I love you, Austin!) There wasn’t anything wrong with the work. Nobody wants to watch a mugging at a wrestling match. All of a sudden, a lady wrestler came out of the crowd and joined Kat in her corner. She got in there and gave Kat what she needed to get an upset win.

Winner: Kat & mysterious woman

I believe Brandon Stroud announced her as Serena Mercury. This was really bizarre but watchable. They salvaged it.

Third match: Jodan & Eric Shadow vs. Hollywood Knives

Not really sure why Jodan & Shadow were a tag team. Both hate each other. Made no sense for them to be out there wrestling. The Knives are two guys in Rockers tights wearing Egyptian headdresses. The member not named Thomas got hit in the head or something and laid down on the ring apron for most of the match. I really didn’t think the hit was that hard and it was nothing compared to the ladder match later on. Eric Shadow was great. And Thomas pretty much wrestled a handicap match. Towards the end, comatose guy recovered, Shadow got tired of trying to work with Jodan and left him to the match.

Winner: Knives

Honorary member of the Robertson Duck Dynasty clan, Chris Trew.biz came out to the crowd to remind us of his newest charge Cherry Ramone (who needs a manager like I need redder hair). Then he announced a lady member of his stable. It was none other than Delilah Doom. They issued an open challenge to anybody in the back who wanted to answer it. Bad idea. Out came the returning Jessica James, fresh off her tour of Japan.

Fourth match: Delilah Doom vs. Jessica James

I really like Doom. She is like the love child of Leva Bates and Addy Starr. She is little and cute and bubbly. And as I said previously, Jessica was returning from Japan and this was one of her first matches back. She was so focused and so intense. It was kind of like Austin’s present facing Austin’s future. When Trew.biz interfered, James grabbed him by his beard and put him in a killer hold. Her repertoire is filled with killer holds. She put Doom in a hold that hurt me to watch. Doom VERY quickly tapped out.

Winner: James

Fifth match: Jojo Bravo vs. Tadasuke

Jojo is the world’s largest sumo wrestler and one of Texas’ best in-ring workers. Tadasuke was making his last stop on his tour of the US. I’ve never seen a Japanese wrestler on tour in the US so this was pretty awesome. On paper this would have been off-the-charts. This match was even better than it looked on paper. This was the match for smarks for the night. There were some people handing out streamers. They were launched like rockets for Tadasuke. Tadasuke was kind of the heel but kinda wasn’t. If/when this match is put on Youtube, you have to see this. Some of the highlights for me. Tadasuke was wasting time outside the ring and Jojo said, “Tadasuke, it’s 10 here, not 20 like Japan” and then Tadasuke scrambled to get back into the ring. The other highlight was Tadasuke had Jojo and told Side 1 to get up so he could throw them at their seat. Then he swerved and took him to Side 2 making sure all the fans got up and moved away. Then he swerved and took him to Side 3 making sure all the fans got up and moved away. And then to cap it all off, he threw him back into the ring so there was no brawl in the crowd at all.

Winner: Bravo

I don’t think I have ever given a match a standing ovation. This was the first I have ever seen a crowd do so for. During the intermission, I went to support Miss Diss Lexia by getting an 8×10. Me and the guy in front of her both had 20’s and she was short of change for that. He purchased mine for me so Lexia didn’t have to figure out change for both of us. If you are that person reading this, thank you.

Sixth match: Gregory James vs. Carson

I was pretty sure I would call this the sleeper match of the night. What I got from this match is that earlier Carson had urinated in Greg’s coffee. Because Greg put a LOT of punishment on Carson. There was a DDT onto the ring apron that the entire crowd groaned over. I was seriously concerned for Carson. I’ve seen guys get concussions from hitting that part of the ring before. Greg just pretty much killed him for a bit. Then Carson overcame and ended up taking the win.

Win: Carson

On any other card, this would have been match of the night. That is the kind of card these guys put together.

Seventh match: Veda Scott vs. Athena

If anybody’s wondering, this is where I go fan-boy. I love Veda Scott’s work. She is one of my favorites to watch in the ring. Not only is she excellent in the ring, she has an amazing personality, great on the mic, and can sell a story. I put down my notebook because I wanted to enjoy this as a fan. I live in Dallas and don’t get to see top women’s wrestling talents every show like somebody would in the Midwest or Northeast (aside from Athena). Veda has such an amazing arsenal of holds, much like the Woman of 1,004 Holds (Jericho reference for the win). And Athena is just a powerhouse of stiff kicks (where even my mother turned to me and said, “I’ve never seen that before”), athletic moves that humans should not be able to do and LOTS of fire. The finish was a little weird. Amanda Esquivel (my favorite referee) counted to 3 and it just looked like it wasn’t supposed to go down that way.

Winner: Athena

We saw very quickly things didn’t go right. Amanda gave a very visible X sign. People came out to check on Veda and she still took the time to have a stare-off with Athena. She said she didn’t need their help and hobbled off.

Eighth match: Barrett Brown vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Ricky Starks in a ladder match to determine the J-Crown champion

Sammy Guevara came out first. After some “Bieber Fever” chants, he let the crowd have it. Barrett is huge over with the Austin crowd. And I love getting to see Ricky Starks whenever I can. These 3 delivered. A few months ago, I saw a Last Man Standing match between Gregory James and Matt Palmer that I called the greatest match I’ve ever seen live. Well, this might unseat that as the greatest match I’ve ever seen live. I cannot describe this match accurately or mention every spot that stood out to me. Ricky put Sammy in a surfboard with a ladder separating them while Barrett chopped Sammy. This made the Austin crowd pop. Not everything does. There was a moonsault off a ladder from Sammy onto Barrett and Ricky. I can’t describe that moment. What I can do is show a picture Staci Brown took of the moment. It’s not the moonsault that I posted this for. It’s the reaction of the crowd that is the best part.

Sammy Guevara doing a moonsault onto Barrett Brown and Ricky Starks.

Sammy Guevara doing a moonsault onto Barrett Brown and Ricky Starks. (courtesy of Staci Brown)

There was a huge DDT by Barrett onto Sammy. Sammy threw Barrett onto a ladder and broke it. Barrett and Ricky were both climbing up adjacent ladders and did a Side Russian Leg Sweep onto the mat. (Ouch) The finish was incredible. Ricky was climbing up the ladder and Barrett came up behind him and put him in a sleeper. Sammy found another ladder and climbed over them to climb up to the top and grab the belt.

Winner: Sammy

After the match, Sammy shot on River City Wrestling in San Antonio. Well, that bridge was burned… or was it?

Ninth match: Great Depression w/Red Scare vs. Honkey Kong

This was my first time to see Honkey Kong. I loved the tribute to Kamala. And I’m still not sure what to think of the Great Depression. I’m just slightly bothered by the fact that Red Scare manages the Great Depression. Those were two separate eras in history. It was a short match.

Winner: Great Depression

What we needed was a chance to come down from the ladder match for the Barbi Hayden-Portia Perez title match. That’s exactly what they got. They announced Tony Brooklyn and Joshua Montgomery, Justin Bissonnette and Max Meehan went to the ring. Tony Brooklyn introduced himself and talked about the history of the NWA. AND then he announced that Inspire was the newest member of the NWA. Biss cut an amazing promo about how he was going to bring in the best women’s wrestlers in the world to give that belt the prestige it deserves. Brandon Stroud the ring announcer grew up near the Greensboro Coliseum so you could tell what an incredible moment it was for him to be an official NWA ring announcer. I am intrigued to see what the NWA can do for Inspire Pro.

Main event: Barbi Hayden (c) vs. Portia Perez

Barbi Hayden used to be the best-kept secret in women’s wrestling. I have proof that I said so in early 2013. And then Drew Cordeiro gave her a shot on a national stage in WSU. She hasn’t left yet. And now she’s NWA Women’s Champion. Also, being the SHIMMER mark I am, this was a huge moment for me to see Portia Perez live for the first time. And forgive me for swooning. but she’s even prettier in person. Now onto the match. This match had a big-match feel. And it’s not every day a crowd piles into a building so thick, there was barely any standing room to see two ladies main event. I put down my notebook because I just want to enjoy the match as a fan. I was getting to watch Barbi Hayden face Portia Perez. It was time to be a fan.

Winner: Barbi

All in all… What an incredible show from top to bottom. Without a doubt, this is the best show I have ever seen live from top to bottom. Veda-Athena, Barbi-Portia, the ladder match, Carson-Greg, Jojo-Tadusake, could have all been main events. Even a few changes to the Palmer-Johnson could have been a main event. If I were to choose a match of the night, I’d have to go with the ladder match. That picture with everyone’s reactions wins it on everything. There were so many different aspects to point out. Watch Kat Green & Delilah Doom. Give them time and they’ll be main eventing here, maybe a national promotion. If Sammy Guevara or Eric Shadow are not on your show, find a way to book them. With respect to Andy Dalton, I am calling Sammy Guevara the most underlooked talent in Texas.

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

Texas Outlaw Promotion-5-17-2014

Not really sure where to begin with this one. I drove with my mother a little out of the way to get a different promotion. This was held in a civic center that must have doubled as a place where they hold 4H competitions. There was no air circulation aside from a few large fans. Thankfully the heat was tame for late May. I still do not understand why wrestling companies in Texasare incapable of finding buildings with air conditioning. When the festivities began, the crowd was greeted by a professional-looking, enthusiastic ring announcer. We had a pre-show match.

Pre-show match: Sinister Mr. Goodbody (?) vs. The Rake (?)

Please forgive me if I get the spelling wrong. Their names weren’t written down anywhere. Mr. Goodbody wore a mask and a full-body covering. So hopefully I got his name wrong. The Rake was a hometown guy who looked like he was a face. He was enthusiastic and tried to get the crowd behind him. And then the match happened. This was a theme throughout the night. Half the crowd was into it. And the other half didn’t know there was a match going on. The wrestlers didn’t do a lot to engage the crowd during the match. He did get a huracanrana.

Winner: Goodbody

The champion came out with his manager. It was nice and crowd-engaging. Then Paul London came out. The champion was an embarrassment to Texas. Paul London was going to take that belt from him.

First match: Angel Blue vs. KC Warfield vs. Paige Turner

I actually taped this whole match which is available right here. This was advertised as a 4-way match with Delilah Doom. There was no Doom. No attempt was made before the show to say she wouldn’t be able to appear. Nor was there any acknowledgment that this 4-way they advertised was suddenly a 3-way. Now granted the crowd wasn’t going to riot for no Delilah Doom (other than me) but at best they just felt like insulting my intelligence. At worst it was bait and switch and Doom had no idea she was scheduled.  Now onto the match: I’m a huge AIW fan, and KC Warfield has been wrestling for their Girl’s Night Out since their early shows. We don’t get many Cleveland wrestlers down in the Dallas/Fort Worth area so I was really excited to see her. I’d put Angel in my top 5 female heels in wrestling (below Saraya Knight out of fear of Ms. Knight). She is just so good at making an entire crowd hate her. And Paige gets better every time I see her. This was my first time to see her as a face. I just love that she’s a character. Mother Ruff loved the fact that she was a librarian too. Paige eliminated KC, who was promptly eliminated by Angel.

Winner: Angel

Second match: Sebastian Envi vs. Big Sed

I’ve seen Envi before and am familiar with Sed. Sed has an good ring presence and entrance. He walks to the ring like he owns it. Envi walked out like he knew what to do with the live crowd. He is an amazing athlete. You had an interesting dynamic of the huge beast in Big Sed and the high-flying finesse wrestler in Envi. Not to mention, you had legendary Rick Manning as referee. Not gonna lie. He’s one of the few refs I mark out for. Sed had an amazing finisher.

Winner: Sed

Seph Annunaki attacked Sebastian Envi after the match. So not only does Envi who is not the champion lost to his opponent. And we expect him to beat Seph for anything?

Nobe Bryant (c) vs. Shea Wright

I am familiar with Nobe so I was happy to see him out there. This was my first time to see Wright. You could tell these two had issues with each other. There was a lot of fire between these two. Nobe is such a physical specimen. And he has some of the best chops in wrestling. Wright’s chest reflected this too. There lots of elements, and the crowd was into this one. There were brawls all over the ring and arena. Nobe had just won this belt so I was pretty sure he wasn’t going to lose. Sure enough he didn’t.

Winner: Nobe

Fourth match: Southern Outlaw Society (SOS) w/Venom (c) vs. Bad Boyz (Seph Annunaki & Lil’ Tony) w/their valet

Little known fact: I used to watch Seph very early on in his career and always found him to possess a lot of talent. I have known who Tony is for a long time but this is somehow my first match I’ve ever seen of his live. This was also the first match I’d ever seen from the SOS as well. There were two managers here. Venom and the Bad Boyz’ valet. I didn’t get her name but she was a well-dressed, stunning redhead. It was nice to see how much Seph has grown since I’d last seen him. I liked Tony’s work. He was agile for his size, did a lot of things right. And this SOS team is very over with their crowd.

Winner: SOS

Based on emotion and crowd reaction, I’d probably call this the match of the night. I would have liked to see the managers do more in the course of the match.

Main event: Justin Vincible (c) w/Marshall Law vs. Paul London

Where to begin here? I had no problem with Vincible’s work. He just needs help with the look. He’s tall, looks cut and could have a nice size. I hate the name, and the gear, or lack thereof. I’m not the POS who humiliates wrestlers for not having gear on social media. I just want people to not look like they’re wearing paintball gear. The same with his manager. Why does a manager wear a mask? His scepter-thing even broke during the course of the match. That being said, he engaged the crowd and got them in the match. I think the guys could be legitimate contributors, and they’re over with the crowd. They just look so indy. Paul London is always fun to watch. He went all the way through the crowd. He’s such a positive charismatic wrestler. With 150-200 fans in the crowd, he still gave it all. It was a fun match to watch. London held Vincible and let all the fans hit him. The work was pretty good, and I found myself enjoying it.

Winner: Vincible

I love that Paul London came in to put over Vincible. London put over the crowd and talked about how much he loved them and would come back.

All in all… I really like the work they all put into this. There are some things I really like here. Their ring announcer is very professional and enthusiastic. The crowd is attached to a few wrestlers, and they understand how to use them. They also flow very well.

There were some matches that didn’t click as well as they should. I don’t know if it was maybe they had an off-night. Or maybe the crowd just didn’t react the way they should. I would go back for another show in the future. And as long as you don’t expect Dragon Gate USA, you might find yourself enjoying the show too.

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

Metroplex Wrestling-My 10 Favorite Moments

I remember the first time I went to MPX. I was at a point in my life where my little girl was just over a year old and I wanted to give myself a hobby, something to look forward to on weekends. I went to a Facebook friend asking where he was working that weekend. He gave me this place where he had started working that the boys were pretty green but I could come anyway.  I went with my sister-in-law who knew some of the boys. I wasn’t watching Guerrero-Malenko or anything, but I saw a lot of fire there.

I got to watch several evolutions. I got to see Gregory James blossom into a wrestler who’s wrestled New Japan stars and has no limit to where he can go. I watched the Incredible Shrinking Bellies of Ben Wylde & Steven Kirby (the latter of which was a sight to behold). Kristopher Haiden, Frankie Fisher are totally different guys than I remember seeing the first time. Not to mention, there was lots of Matt Palmer, Barrett Brown & Andy Dalton.

I got to see some pretty big names-Athena (who has got to be one of the biggest stars on the planet in women’s wrestling, and perhaps, all of wrestling), Su Yung (empasis on pretty), Lance Hoyt (NWGP tag champ and always seemed to be happy to be there), Jimmy Jacobs (worked an opener), Colt Cabana (total class act), Jerry Lynn (wrestled his last match in Dallas area and gave everything), Paul London (no ego, gave everything), Funaki (Indeed!).

So in honor of MPX’s 5th year anniversary, I have decided to compile a list of what are my 10 favorite moments throughout its lengthy history. Of course I’d list the two segments I was involved in, my Hot Topic Segment where Kyle confronted me in the ring and Haiden saved me, and the night I managed the man now known as Orion Taylor to the Prospects championship (I am still undefeated as a manager). My ego, however, forbids me from including those.

I named the top 10 off the top of my head. This is my list, and I invite anybody else to create their own. I did not list these in any kind of order. These were just 10 special memories I have.

Matt Andrews Appreciation Night

This is one of the first things that hooked me to MPX. There have been many questions they’ve always raised, questions to keep us coming back to the next show. The main story when I first started attending was Genesis (Kristopher Haiden, Carrion Arcane, Frankie Fisher & Kyle Davis) vs. The MPX locker room. MPX put up a match for control of MPX where Matt Andrews turned on MPX to join Genesis. The next month they had a night of celebration dedicated to him. That was Matt Andrews Appreciation Night. It was the first time I would ever see Nigel Rabid. I said to my sister-in-law, “Matt Andrews Appreciation Night. How could I ever miss that?”

Kyle Davis is Ben Wylde’s brother

This is one of my favorite storylines. They announced that Kyle Davis had a relative on the roster. So when it got time for the announcement, Kyle brought out Kenny Steele to tell them he was his father. (Spoiler alert: Kyle isn’t that old or that African-American.) Kate Carroll, announcer and later GM, informed Kyle that he was NOT the father (in total Maury Povich mode), and instead, he had a brother, Ben Wylde. It brought more meaning to Ben Wylde’s character, and they ended up with a nice run there with Kyle as manager.

The first All on the Line ladder match

Rather than find a new way to describe this, I found my original blog here:

What can you say about this match? I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a better match than this live. All ten guys gave everything live. I always praise this company for the little things. The wrestlers came out of the dressing room to watch. It reminded me a lot of old ECW when the boys all used to watch from the aisle. The only negative is that at the beginning of the fight, there was too much action going on.

I counted the number of “Holy s***” moments for me. I had 9. There were a few that happened on the other side from where I was sitting, so I think there were a few more. At one point, we had dueling Van Terminators with ladders. There was a different spot where the two Kyles were climbing up the ladder at the same time, made it to the top and both threw baby powder at each other. It was awesome. We had Gregory James do the lucha libre plancha spot onto the 5 or 6 guys. He also did a conchairto on top of the ladder to Frankie Fisher. Haiden was already bleeding and took an insane bump onto two tables. Being that we know him outside of the business, it was difficult for my wife and some other people who knew him. It’s one thing to watch the Dudleys on Monday Night Raw back in the day; it’s another thing to watch our friend go through the tables. All I know is that my buddy took a table bump that would have made Sabu smile in approval.

There are very few things in this business that surprise me still. I will admit I got worked when Bryan Danielson was the 7th member of Team WWE. That’s probably the last time somebody worked me that I never saw coming. Matt Andrews took the belt and the briefcase. He asked for the mic and thanked Genesis for getting him to where he was, but now that he was the champion, he was done with them. He fired all of them, climbed down the ladder, threw the briefcase on Seph and said, “I don’t care about this. You can have it.”

Little-known fact. This was the night my sister-in-law introduced her new boyfriend she had started seeing. That man would go on to be my brother-in-law. Afterwards at the Chili’s, he asked, ” Do they do this every month?”

Gregory James vs. WASP in a Last Man Standing Match

Greg had just won the belt from Matt Andrews. This was his first major defense. To me, what made this match was the crowd. This was one of the first moments where they went from the crowd simply consisting of family to being an actual wrestling crowd. This was just a really special match between these two. And if I am correct, this was the first time aside from the ladder match that we got a “That was awesome chant.”

LaMotta’s last match

JT LaMotta had been wrestling all around the globe for a very long time. But this was going to be his last match in Dallas/Fort Worth, an area laced with his blood. They went all-out. It was LaMotta vs. Palmer vs. Andy Dalton. Dalton was 100% nasty (or as he would say, #dirty) mode for this match. Palmer was his usual lyrical, poetic beauty. And LaMotta had nothing left to take with him. The emotion was overwhelming. I was part of a moment.

Colt Cabana-Frankie Fisher

Anybody who knows indy wrestling knows Colt Cabana. For him to be in an MPX ring was a very special moment. He’s one of the best comedy wrestlers out there, hands-down. Frankie is the best in MPX when it came to comedy. Put those two together, they had a really great match. Plus, there were so many emotions in being able to see Colt Cabana live in our ring.


Having Texas legend Mike Foxx in there was a big deal to begin with. But what made this feud between these two so special was that Foxx married Arcane’s sister. So you had brother-in-law vs. brother-in-law. And to cap it all off, Katie, sister to Arcane, wife to Foxx was the special guest ref. There was so much emotion. Very little was left on the line. I don’t even remember who won, but I remember how much I felt during this match.

Gangam Style-Li & Nigel

In late 2012, after the Fang-Johnson version of the Asian Nation broke up, Li Fang, then managed by Nigel Rabid was going on a singles tear. Jiggle-O had briefly paused from in-ring competition to be GM. (By the way, who HASN’T been GM in MPX?) Jiggle-O introduced Li Fang’s new entrance video. They had photo-shopped Li’s face on rapper Psy’s face and Nigel’s on any two-faced frames. It was so funny, I actually texted my wife to tell her how funny it was.

Palmer-Greg feud

MPX has had their share of great feuds. Frankie-Hawke, MPX-Genesis, Foxx/Kanoa-Kirby/Murdoch, Dalton-Palmer, Dalton-Greg, Barrett-Greg, Barrett-Haiden, Arcane-Haiden, Fisher-Kirby. But if I have to name a greatest feud, I’d have to say Matt Palmer and Gregory James’ feud was at the top. When these two fought, I put my notebook down because I became a fan again. There was a war out in the crowd for these two. Then the final was a Last Man Standing Match. This is what I wrote that night after seeing the end of their feud.

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.

Jerome Daniels’ debut

I have never been part of a riot before. I’ve seen the worked riot from Ring of Honor’s early days. I’ve heard the old stories of wrestlers being involved in crowds rioting. But I’ve never seen one or been part of one. I think tonight was the closest I’ve ever been.

For a few weeks, we’ve watched Jerome Daniels talk trash about Frankie Fisher and MPX on Facebook. He and WASP had a very “spirited” discussion on WASP’s personal Facebook account. Other wrestlers got involved in what was a very intense and personal thread. I even posted this on my Facebook account last night: “I’m not hating or choosing sides, but does anybody know what’s up with the Jerome Daniels bs? If it’s a wrestler-only thing, I’m ok with that. But does anybody know the reason for his insanity?” Tonight I got an answer.

What began as a Facebook thread turned into a story about Frankie being good enough to be champion.

This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive look at the past 5 years in MPX. I also didn’t attend every show. I’m sure I forgot some really great moments. What are yours? Feel free to post below.

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

Metroplex Wrestling-Mayhem at Midcities 5 4-19-2014

I cannot believe that MPX has made it through 5 years. I have been with them nearly since the beginning, and they have been through so much. We opened up with Keith Roberts. He carries such an enthusiasm and a genuine happiness to be there. Kody Kox previewed the night saying that James Hawke would have a surprise for us.

First match: BC vs. LLP

BC does his own ring announcing which is really good. LLP is just so fluid and so good. Every move he did reminded me of Orion Taylor. I would say he’s becoming one of my favorites to watch. This was a short match, wish we could have had more.

Winner: BC

The crowd started cheering for BC. He needs to fix that. Kyle Valo (new GM) came out to greet the fans. In his own little heel way, he recapped the 5 years MPX has been through. Matt Palmer came out. Kyle told him he couldn’t compete tonight. Considering Palmer was posted everywhere on the posters, it would have been bait and switch, right? Palmer wanted him NOW. He actually cut a promo. It sounded intense, strong and powerful.

Second match: Matt Palmer vs. Kevin Cross w/Nigel Rabid

Cross is such an impressive sight to see. He’s got to be legit 6’7, 6’8. The two fought a really good match between a big man and a little man. Cross also knew that Palmer’s knee was injured so he worked on the knee. When the ref was distracted, Nigel went after the knee as well. There were a few really great-looking chokeslams. Matt Palmer did a dive onto Cross where he caught Palmer by the throat and chokeslammed him.

Winner: Cross

So Cross has now pinned a former champion. The ending surprised me, but we’re building Cross up to be a monster.

Third match: Barrett Brown vs. Gregory James

Have these two ever had a bad match with anybody? Put them together, and it’s lyrical brilliance. It was just absolute lyrical perfection. I’m not entirely sure Greg would agree with me. There was a kick that went wrong and we had a bloody lip. It was accidental, but it made for a good visual. I could sit and watch these two guys wrestle all day. Barrett did a killer move and put Greg down for the count.

Winner: Barrett

The crowd loved seeing Barrett back.

Fourth match: Kristopher Haiden w/Nigel Rabid vs. Jerome Daniels in a Submissions Match

I assume that this was a good match. The problem with Submissions matches is that unless you are sitting on the front row or poorly-angled, you miss a lot of the drama. The strategy and story was really good. You had a strategy of working on the leg. Even with the ref’s back turned, Nigel concentrated on that one part of the leg. So intense. Both guys really stepped it up.

Winner: Jerome

This was one of those matches where you felt things had changed afterwards. After the match, Jerome offered his hand to Haiden. They teased a face turn, and then Haiden spat at him.

Fifth match: JD Kros vs. “Outlaw” Randy Wayne w/ Jessi James & James Hawke

Kros came out enthusiastically like WCW’s The Gambler about to take on Kevin Sullivan on WCW Worldwide. Out came James Hawke to the biggest heat of the night. Hawke cannot get two words out of his mouth without a chorus of boos. He introduced “The Outlaw” Randy Wayne. I liked Wayne’s look. My summary of his look is “country tough.” I hated the “Goldberg” chants because his tights were similar but I didn’t see that much of a Goldberg look to it. I’m pretty sure Kros died. At least twice. Wayne squashed him.

Winner: Wayne

Jessi adds to the overall country look. But what does Hawke add? Couldn’t Wayne get some major heel heat without Hawke? I will give it time.

Sixth match: Frankie Fisher vs. Steven Kirby w/Nigel Rabid in a Three Stages of Hell match

The first match was a ladder match to get a chain to use on your opponents. This was the feud to end all feuds. As predicted, this was not the lyrical beauty of Greg-Barrett. This was about two guys beating the s*** out of each other. The in-the-crowd stuff was great. It was not too far from me. One of the great moments for me was the crowd chanting “Flaccid Empire” at Nigel Rabid. Nigel, in his witty British self, turned around at them and said, “I’m surprised you even know what that word means.” Wrestling fans never cease to surprise me. While both wrestlers were passed out on the floor, Nigel tried to get the chain. Livi La Vida Loca returned (formerly attacked by Steven Kirby) to neutralize the threat of Nigel. Frankie won the first fall by ascending the ladder. There was an amazing visual of Steven hanging off the opposite side of the ladder.

The second fall was First Blood. I remember this one was a lot shorter. There was still lots of plunder and violence for the sake of violence. I remember there being an amazing suicide dive from Frankie. After that something must have happened with a water bottle of doom or something. It made Frankie bleed first.

The third fall was a Tables match. The detail was that you had to put your opponent through a table. So then you had the drama of the tables. Kirby was trying to go through Frankie on the table, and Frankie moved thinking he had won because Kirby went through the table. But Frankie did not put Kirby through so the match was not over. They fought more and more and then Frankie found Kirby near the table and went off the top rope outside the ring and put him through it.

Winner: Fisher

I think this might be one of my favorite feuds in MPX history, if not the best. Very well-done.

Main event: Scott Murdoch (c) & Mace Malone (c) w/Carlos Esquivel vs. Asian Nation (c)

I wasn’t too thrilled with this match from the time it was announced. I knew how it was going to end when it was announced. I hated it ever since they did it with Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold in the then-WWF. There was no logical reason for Murdoch to want to get in there and wrestle. That being said, the work from the wrestlers themselves was really good. Mace came out first and it looked like Zero the Antihero and Carlos Esquivel were going to attack him and then Carlos attacked Zero. The heel turn was so well-done. The crowd was silent, like Brock Lesnar beating the Undertaker at Wrestlemania silent. Mace is such a physical specimen. Sometimes I’m not sure Mace is entirely human. Asian Nation did a nice job with the match. Murdoch and Mace did the world’s stiffest tags to each other.

Winner and new tag champ: Mace & Murdoch

Predictably they won. So now we have tag champs who don’t get along. The next part wasn’t very predictable. Mace beat him down. Then Orion Taylor came out to stop Murdoch. Turns out he was part of Mace’s new faction. He joined the beatdown, and they put Murdoch out. THEN Mace cashed in his title shot.

Real Main Event: Scott Murdoch (c) vs. Mace

We were waiting for the 3-count. Murdoch still kicked out. But Mace’s beatdown continued. He made the pin.

Winner and new champion: Mace

It was an amazing visual watching Mace, Carlos & Orion celebrate after the match. I can’t help but think that this is the beginning of a new chapter.

All in all… I am very proud of MPX for making it 5 years. I have another blog that I’m working on for later this week. There were so many good, strong matches on this card. I’m also intrigued to see where we are going in the new Era of Mace.

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