MPX-Treme 2-18-2017

This was kind of a must-attend event for me. MPX brought in the Innovator of Violence within driving distance. I could write an entire blog of a 17-year-old kid discovering ECW in an Apter mag and wondering who this Tommy Dreamer fellow was. I was somehow first in line to meet Tommy Dreamer. Not only was he so nice and took the time to meet with me, but he took time to meet with every person in line and was very talkative, a true ambassador for the industry.

First match: Jason Silver vs. Richter 5-0 w/ Magnum JA

This was not a very long match. They teased a Richter/Magnum break-up. Poor Magnum took a beating in this match. Silver served as a backdrop to the story at play here. Richter threw some chairs into the ring, recalling us all the #1 rule in wrestling. If you bring a chair into the ring, it will be used against you. Good comedy, nice first match of the night.

Winner: Silver

Later on in the night, we find out Richter 5-0 had passed away. If it weren’t for the Swedish Terror Attack or the Bowling Green Massacre, this would be the #1 story.

Second match: Kyle Hawk vs. Americos

So we have Native American Hawk up against star-spangled patriotic Americos. Knowing my history, not sure why Hawk is the heel. (#justsayin) You’re going to hear me use the word “chemistry” a lot tonight. These two guys have excellent chemistry together. You had 2 high-flyers just going at it and doing their thing. I wrote down “We doing the main event now?” Excellent showing from these two guys.

Winner: Americos

Third match: Frankie Fisher vs. The Jersey Jackass BC

This is the Texas equivalent of Hawk fighting Animal, Ax fighting Smash, Edge fighting Christian. These guys have been a long running tag team, probably one of the top based in the Dallas area. And this is them dissolving. What a brutal match. As lyrical and crisp as Hawk and Americos was, this was savage. I wrote down the words, “Now it begins.” This match could have been the main event.

Winner: BC

Only thing is who am I supposed to be going for. My time is not generous enough to be able to afford every week at MPX. I think Frankie is good, but maybe this is one of them progressive thingies where neither are faces or heels.

Fourth match: Baby D vs. Machiko

Speaking of chemistry, these two have worked together plenty so they knew exactly how to have their short match to further their feud. Baby D is such a tough lady and can hang with anybody in Texas, male or female. Plus I know she continues to work through her injury so I have mad love for her. And I’ve had the biggest crush on Machiko since I first saw her. Not taking anything from her work inside the ring, but she is totally hot and to me is one of the top unsigned wrestlers in Texas. Baby D is a great comedy wrestler and Machiko played a great straight woman for the comedy. Good face, good heel.

Winner: Baby D

Fifth match: Franco D’Angelo vs. Steven Kirby

Sometimes it’s easy to forget how far Franco has come. Remember that 4 years ago, Franco had a debilitating car wreck that should have killed him. For him to be walking, much less in that ring is a small miracle. Also it’s easy to forget how far Kirby has come. Somebody chanted “You lost weight at him.” No s***. I used to attend shows when he was 400 pounds +. Now he’s got to be half that size or better (or at least looks it). It was such a good big man match. And you could really feel the drama. Well-done.

Winner: Franco

The loser of this match is taking the #1 spot in the Texas Rumble. So Kirby has the Ric Flair role of early in the Rumble and does most of the work.

Sixth match: James Johnson vs. Barrett Brown vs. Marcus Rose

Marcus Rose is a heat magnet, and he sure has found a way to parlay it into some bookings. He’s not even in the same galaxy as these two yet, and I think that was the point of this match. Barrett and Johnson have-you guessed it-really good chemistry together. Johnson is now calling himself “The King of Texas Cruiserweights.” He is always somebody who finds a way to reinvent himself. Speaking of reinventing himself, I think Barrett’s hair and beard is one of the best things to happen to his career. I’ve been watching him since he was 16. As he’s grown out the beard and hair, it’s given him a new edge and doesn’t make him look like you need to take him home and feed him. Rose is a slimy, despicable bad guy.

Winner: Johnson

Main event: Tommy Dreamer vs. Michael Shafer

There has been a few times I’ve marked out over entrance music. 1997, seeing the Undertaker. A few weeks ago, hearing Bobby Roode’s “Glorious” live at an NXT show. Hearing “Radioactive” for Cherry Bomb at SHIMMER Vol 80. And last night hearing Alice in Chains’ “Man in the Box.” It took me back to the 17-year-old kid wanting Tommy to beat “Mr. Monday Night” Rob Van Dam. ECW songs always embodied the wrestlers, whether Tommy or Sandman’s “Enter Sandman” or Balls Mahoney’s “Balls to the Wall.”

Now of course Nigel Rabid wasn’t going to let Tommy have a hardcore match. That would be unfair to Shafer. So we had an actual wrestling match. And then Nigel Rabid made the mistake of interfering in this match. Tommy took the mic. “Yeah, you know this crowd wants to see a hardcore match. I’m tired of wrestling owners not giving the fans what they want. We’re doing this my way.” (Ruff paraphrase) Then the match we wanted to see began. They brawled through all the crowd. Tommy used the trash can on Shafer. One of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen at a wrestling event-after the action moved on, the fans picked up the trash to put it back in.

When the action moved back to the ring, Tommy got out his kendo stick. You couldn’t help but smile at the fact you knew what was about to happen. They did the Irish whip and stop just before you went through a table spot. But Tommy used the kendo stick for a Side Russian Leg Sweep followed by a Spicolli Driver (It’s original name before John Cena re-appropriated it as an Attitude Adjuster.) through a table.

Winner: Tommy

After the match, Tommy thanked the fans. He mentioned he was 46, which my first thought was has anybody told HIM that? Of course if you know one of his principal mentors Terry Funk, you know that moment’s not coming for a few years.

All in all… There is an old saying “Never meet your idols.” That is NOT true. I’ve had the chance to meet a few: Dusty Rhodes, Jerry Lynn, Mick Foley, Animal, Dudley Boyz, Cherry Bomb, Nicole Savoy, Athena/Ember Moon (some of those my daughter’s too). With the exception of a few (not mentioned here) they have been rewarding experiences and wonderful people.

Great matches from Hawk-Americos, Brown-Johnson, good matches from Franco-Kirby, Frankie-BC and Machiko-Baby D, but you know I only have one match of the night and that was Tommy Dreamer. Thank you for a very fun night.

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VIP Wrestling Love Steel Hurts

A wonderful night of professional wrestling is in the books. We began with the pre-show match. VIP put out a poll and these two finished the highest so they were given the opportunity.

First match: Jaxon Stone vs. Jastin Taylor

Jaxon Stone is close to being the complete package. He pretty much has everything. He is fresh off his stint in wXw. You think he’s a face until he demands silence to take off his coat. Jastin has great athleticism and moves like he’s smaller. (He also looks like Gordon from Sesame Street so I pop for him from an inner toddler level.) You can see the European influence in Jaxon. Not overwhelming but enough to see some changes. The guys really took the most of their opportunity. I wrote, “We doing the main event already?” The story was that neither could beat the other.

Winner: Draw

After the match, ring announcer Keith Roberts asked the guys if they were willing to go into OT. Jaxon refused as he was only being paid for 10 minutes. Perfect. I’d love to see these guys go at it again.

Second match: Steve Anthony vs. Jerome Daniels

We all know that Steve Anthony is one of the most talented complete workers in the South. He looks kind of like Buff Bagwell, but with talent and without calf implants. But he’s even surpassing my expectations in this new incarnation. (BTW, I’m in the living room writing this wearing my Pretty Boy Killers tee, not in my mother’s basement in my underwear.) Anthony was announced as being from “Anywhere but Arlington, forget that, anywhere but the Dallas area, never mind, you all suck.” (Forgive me for misquoting anything.) Jerome is super-over in the area. It was a good match-up to start the night. Both guys were very evenly matched. Something else I didn’t foresee. This match had comedy spots. The Steve Anthony match was the comedy match of the night. I repeat, the Steve Anthony match was the comedy match of the night. Props to the fans when Jerome’s trunks were pulled down and the crowd chanted to fan of CW’s The Flash Jerome “That’s a real flash.” Unfortunately Anthony proved to be too much and took the victory.

Winner: Anthony

Third match: Extr Talent-ED (Ricky Starks & Aaron Solow) vs Vet Club (Tim Storm & Adam Asher) w/ Kristopher Haiden

I liked the mix here. You had Tim Storm with Rick Manning as referee. Tim Storm reminded everybody that he is NWA World Champion, whereby, Ricky Starks said the NWA is about as relevant as a floppy disc. And most wrestling fans fit into these two groups. The story here was “Is Rick Manning corrupt or not?” And they told the tale of “old school” vs “flashy.” Solow had a surprise roll-up pin.

Winner: Extra Talent-ED

Not very happy, the Vet Club took it out on Manning and several security guards. (Poor Michael)

Fourth match: Fuego del Sol vs. Barrett Brown vs. ACH

You have 2 guys who are where ACH was about 10 years ago. Fuego has a lot of buzz around him. Barrett is one of the finest talents in Texas. And ACH was announced as “The Guy Who Pays His Bills With This Shit.” ACH had a heckler (which is really funny because he’s a legend and a god in Texas), and paused to handle her. After he took off his shirt, he made eye contact with her and said, “See, this right here? This is more action than you will get this entire month.” So you had three incredible high flyers going at it. They began with trading superkicks. I literally wrote down “I give up.” This was a recapper’s worst nightmare. One of the things I wrote down was we had 3 simultaneous superkicks. I was just blown away by the work these guys put in.

Winner: Barrett

It was a surprise moment and pin. ACH belongs on a national stage (*cough, cough, 205 Live). I see this as a kind of passing the torch locally. It’s time for Barrett to reach that next stage, whatever it may be.

Fifth match: Delilah Doom vs. Thunder Rosa

I had the chance to meet Rosa before the show. What a wonderful ambassador and representative for her industry. Also you can tell that she puts a lot of work into her physique. And I’ve said this before, but I’d rather my daughter emulate a Thunder Rosa than some Disney starlet who’ll be in and out of rehab for a decade. Also, watch the California independent scene. There is so much talent contained in that one little area. And speaking of things to watch, keep an eye out for Delilah. No lie, I am a huge fan of hers. She is like sunshine in human form. Things are beginning to come together for her on a larger stage. RISE (which is kind of like NXT for SHIMMER) has built a company around her and some other names. This is one of the best matches I’ve seen Delilah have. Both ladies delivered a match of the night contender. Nothing I can say here. Might I say “The Best Women’s Match I’ve Ever Seen Live”?

Winner: Rosa

After the match we had sportsmanship and “Please come back” chants for Rosa. I forget at what part of the night this was, so I’ll just put this right here. The Hip Hop Express came out and we got to hear Kenny Steele spit out some bars. And then when it was Orion Taylor’s turn, we got to hear the secret confession. Taylor is not into Hip Hop that much. He likes country. This was not acceptable for Kenny and BC (the manager). They put the beatdown on Taylor. These two have such a long historic past (some of it which even includes me), I am all about seeing these two go at it in the future.

Sixth match: Sammy Guevara vs. DJ Z

Sammy has all the talent and ability in the world. He is one right audition from signing with a top company. His youth has gotten him in some trouble in the past. But now you can see some more maturity in him and in his work. This was originally supposed to be Matt Cross. But because of an injury, Cross was out and if you can’t deliver Matt Cross, DJ-freaking-Z is a pretty good replacement. I have been a fan of DJ Z ever since I discovered AIW (and he had the huge fro). These two clicked. I wrote down it was like seeing a fight in zero gravity. During the match, DJ Z looked right at my area while he and Sammy were fighting outside and told us to move. Note to self, when he says do that, DO IT. Sammy and DJ Z were fighting right where my chair was. ANOTHER Match of the Night contender.

Winner: Guevara

Yes, that’s right. In the span of a few months, Sammy has defeated Zack Sabre Jr. and DJ Z.

Seventh match: New Jack & Action Jackson vs Certified G’s w/The Thug Syndicate

Okay, so this was a New Jack match. No 450 splashes or anything. But first the Certified G’s put out a challenge. This match was going to be on their terms. They were going to have a real wrestling match with AJ & New Jack. If they could last 10 minutes, they would have a falls count anywhere match. So some poor security guard had to take New Jack’s trash can o’ fun from him. That has got to be in the list of “History’s Worst Jobs.” To nobody’s surprise, this match went the 10 minutes. But the greatest part was the crowd was behind it every second. At the end of the 10 minutes, the match got a “This is wrestling” chant. I repeat a New Jack match got a “This is wrestling” chant. Once the 10 minutes were over, the match deteriorated and went outside. I did not go out there because I didn’t feel like fighting a crowd to see all the goodness.

Winner: Certified G’s

This was the perfect match placement. While that quartet was participating in carnage, the ring crew got to work on the steel cage assembly.

Main event: Pretty Boy Killers (Shane Taylor & Keith Lee (c) ) vs. War Machine (c) (Ray Rowe & Hanson) in a steel cage

I don’t use the word epic very often. This is about as close as I get. The two teams took forever to get in the ring. And even then, it took a while for all 4 to get into the cage. Ray Rowe was the smallest guy in this match. Think about that for a minute. So many “Holy —-” moments. 4 incredible men giving everything. An epic match, an epic feud, 4 epic talents. Hard to take notes when you’re watching a match of this caliber.

Winner: PBK (and new tag champs)

After the match, the 4 had a moment and hearing Ray Rowe on the mic yelling, “Hey, you, stop leaving, you are not going anywhere” was great.

All in all… What an incredible night. So much talent on this card from top to bottom. 4 must-see matches: ACH-Barrett-Fuego, Delilah-Rosa, Sammy-DJ and of course the main event. The MVP of the night was ring announcer Keith telling the guys yelling Sweet on every 2 count that they would be escorted out.

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MPX Wrestling-Evolution 9-24-2016

This was my first time to enter the new MPX arena. It is completely night and day compared to the old one. There is this weird new advancement they have at this place called air conditioning. AND they have a new advancement called “family seating.” So you’re in a couch, they bring you some chilled adult beverages (depending on your age) and you enjoy a front seat in style. I dare call it best package wrestling deal in the Dallas area. This is MPX’s building and you can tell they are right at home there.

Kody Kox welcomed us all, hyping the night. The night got off to a rocking start.

First match: Franco D’Angelo w/ James Hawke vs. Nobe Bryant

There is a faction of the more traditional old school wrestlers managed by Hawke. I’ve seen Hawke since the dawn of his career. To see him right now the mouthpiece of a top faction makes me very proud of him. He has turned his heat from X-Pac heat to genuine heat where you boo him with a smile. Between Franco and Nobe, they’ve both wrestled each other so many times. They knew exactly what to do. I’ve seen Franco as heel, face and “it’s complicated.” What I liked about this one is that he had a different heel style than I’ve seen elsewhere. Nobe is a total athletic stud. Nobe usually has the best chops in Texas, but tonight I think Franco might have bested him. This was about them setting up the two of them as qualifiers for the Prospect title. Neither could best the other. It got really intense and they ended up outside too long for the double countout.

Winner: Double countout

Second match: The Faithful (James Johnson and Scott McKenzie) vs. Team FIP (Donovan Danhausen & Jason Cade)

If you are unfamiliar with Full Impact Pro, part of the WWNLive family, here is their site. I would say it’s the place you go to before you go to EVOLVE. Johnson & McKenzie have been in the area forever. They were a good match-up for these guys. I’ve seen Danhausen since his time in DREAMWAVE when they brought him down to Austin to wrestle for Inspire Pro. Guy is insanely good. Danhausen did the face in peril really well for a long time. Cade has a certain fluidity. There is something there to where he would have some good matches with our high flyers here.

Winner: Faithful

Third match: Randy Wayne w/ James Hawke vs. Kenny Steele w/Nigel Rabid vs. Baby D

Intergender matches are really delicate, but handled correctly, they can work. Apparently last week Kenny had some injury where Nigel kept telling everybody he was okay. And it was played to death and then went viral. So after Nigel was done he gave Kenny the mic and Kenny cut one of the greatest promos I’ve ever heard. “I’m ok.” Pop of the night. Baby D has come a long way with her work. This was also a very interesting story on paper. You had country-tough, former marine Randy, gifted, natural athlete Kenny and then Baby D. At first the boys just kind of ignored her. Then she made them acknowledge her. She looked like she belonged in there. Now she was facing the opposite direction. So I’m not sure what exactly happened. Some say she might have kissed Wayne for the 3-count. I’d be more terrified of the repercussions from Mrs. Wayne.

Winner: Baby D

After the match Nigel talked and gave Kenny the mic to reproduce the greatest promo I’ve ever heard, “I’m ok.”

Fourth match: Low Rider vs. Steven Kirby

So Kirby has recently lost the belt and is trying to work his way back up to the top. I’m sure I’ve had to have seen Low Rider wrestle before. Nevertheless I liked what I saw there. Low Rider at first didn’t want to face Kirby. I mean, he had a partially drunken bottle of something alcoholic. I want to say Jack Daniels, but that is not where my specialty is. So Kirby did all his moves while still holding on to the bottle. I liked the match’s concept. Here is the guy on his way back up. He goes against the luchador rudo.

Winner: Kirby

Fifth match: Douki vs. Jerome Daniels w/Jamie Oller

I tried googling the name Douki to translate it. Turns out it’s complicated to translate. Turns out it’s also pronounced “dough-key” and not “doo-key.” However thank you wrestling fans for chanting that at him after we found out that was his name. This is my first time to see Douki. He’s billed as the “Japanese Luchador.” Jerome has reinvigorated his career by adding the MMA moves arsenal. This match had really good mat wrestling. If you like watching mat technicians, this was your match. I’d go so far to call this the sleeper match.

Winner: Jerome

We found out that next week Jerome gets Jigsaw.

Sixth match: Frankie Fisher vs. Kevin Cross w/ Nigel Rabid

Frankie is angry and wanted the 7′ Cross. The story was about trying to take down the massive 7-footer. Angry Frankie means we don’t get to see the comedy, which is one of my favorite parts about him. The climax of the match came when Cross was finally toppled. However when he toppled, it was onto the ref. As expected, the referee was motionless. Then came out Kenny to interfere and cause Cross to win the match.

Winner: Cross

It was then announced we would be seeing Frankie vs. Kenny in a hardcore match, where if Frankie wins, he gets 7 minutes in the ring alone with Nigel.

Main event: Brandon Collins (c) vs. Matt Palmer

This match had so much good one-night build-up. We got to get our pictures with champion Collins in the pre-show. Palmer came out to join him as a surprise because they’re friends, right? Then later on, they were interviewing Collins and Palmer approached him, asking him how he’s doing, how his knee was, which was it again. And then the action began. Palmer was cold, calculating. He took some advantages and was ruthless, going after the bad knee. The onslaught continued. We had a crazy crowd brawl (btw, MPX, a few security guards wouldn’t hurt) where somebody was back body-dropped onto the couch behind me. But whatever Palmer gave Collins, it was not enough. Collins retained.

Winner: Collins

All in all… First of all, I LOVE the new building. A lot of MPX’s problems have been resolved with this venue. I liked Douki & Low Rider. And of course, I loved seeing the guys from FIP. And they raised more questions I need answering. What will become of Frankie vs. Kenny, Jerome vs. Jigsaw? It was great to be part of the family again.

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VIP Wrestling Setting the Bar 3 Night 2 9-9-2016

I have already made it through Day 1. It’s going to be a huge challenge to put the emotions into this show. We began with Keith Roberts welcoming us and then JT LaMotta, his eventual opponent, getting involved, and we had a pull-apart with security. The replacement for this night’s ring announcing was Eamon Paton who recently located here from Austin where he works for Inspire Pro as play by play commentator. The crowd began to eat him up a little. There were some people that were wannabe PWG crowd members and were more worried about getting themselves over. But he turned them around in no time.

First match: Andy Dalton vs. Steve Anthony

For my overall thoughts on Andy’s career right now, check out Night 1. I had the chance to see Steve Anthony Wrestlemania weekend against Gregory James in what I think was the match of Greg’s career. I love the pink poof sponge the crowd throws at Dalton. And of course he knows exactly what to do with it and the crowd loved it. I found myself drawn into the match and didn’t take very good notes. So, sorry, guys. All I wrote down was “awesome match.” This match would main event any promotion in the US.

Winner: Anthony

Steve Anthony was showered with “Please come back” chants. He took the mic and thanked everybody for the chants and then went total heel. It was glorious, a thing of beauty.

Second match: Big Sed & Lou Sterrett w/Diamond Icee vs. “Killer” Brent McKenzie & MASADA

I like what they’re doing with Diamond Icee, like a Lady MacBeth, Gemma Teller thing going on. This match surprised me. I guess mostly because you have 3 brawlers, and the match stayed mostly in the ring. I pointed out to my mother how good Lou is wih the live crowd. He kept them going with the “You suck” chants. If ever the crowd was out of it, Lou got them back in. We had a “killer” dive on Sed & Sterrett from Brent. We also teased a little bit of tension from Brent and MASADA. I think it’s pretty funny that MASADA has a reputation as a death match competitor. However he is so underrated as a technical wrestler. They teased a little “Battle of the Titans” between Sed and Brent. I know I’d love to see that. We had a “killer” spear and a “killer” moonsault (even if the latter was not on anybody). And Brent is a big boy to be doing that moonsault. But MASADA left him. And Big Sed and Lou proved to be too much.

Winner: Big Sed & Lou

A lot of questions that need to be answered. Can we see Sed v Brent? Are we going to see Brent v MASADA? I’m not sure how you’re going to have a feud between those two. 1. How do you boo MASADA? 2. Brent is one of the best-liked and well-respected men in the state (unless you’re Hernandez). And I’m pretty sure the crowd would reject any move to boo him. So I am very interested to see where they go here.

I forget where this comes in the order of the night, but Jason Silver was out there and cut a promo that now Gregory James has become important, Greg forgot about Silver.

Third match: Keith Roberts vs. JT LaMotta in a Street Fight for control of the company

Keith Roberts is not a trained wrestler that I know of. So LaMotta literally carried him in this match (and probably has the bruises from the sidewalk slam on the chair to prove it). Roberts bled. And bled. And bled. The crowd was really into this, but there was one thing missing they pointed out. Where were the weapons? How do you have a street fight without weapons? Then they got their wish. As the late great Dusty Rhodes would say, “They got plunder, Baby.” As LaMotta was about to move in for the kill, Zero the Antihero came out of the crowd, playing the Miss Elizabeth role, giving Keith enough distraction to get the victory.

Winner: Roberts

So it wasn’t Malenko-Guerrero. It was a fun match the crowd was into.

Fourth match: Vet Club (Tim Storm, Apoc, Kristopher Haiden & Scott McKenzie) vs. Flip & Flash Club (DJ Z, Sonjay Dutt, AR Fox and Gregory James)

So let me tell you a little story. It was 2001, and I discovered I could get video tapes of indy wrestling companies from this new-fangled Internet Ebay thing. I sat through hours of IWA-Mid South, Ring of Honor and this particular one called Combat Zone Wrestling. This for me was a glory era of wrestling. There were guys like the Backseat Boys (RIP Trent Acid), “Sick” Nick Mondo, Mad Man Pondo, Messiah, Matt Cross, Chris Hero, CM Punk, Josh Prohibition, Ruckus (still one of my favorites) and a guy by the name of Sonjay Dutt. Sonjay has found quite a bit of success for himself, with TNA, Global Force, etc. I had the privilege of meeting him Wrestlemania weekend. But this was a new level of emotion. I was getting to see one of my favorite all-time in-ring workers LIVE.

Let me tell you another new story. In a little bit of a wrestling rut, I tried this wrestling company that was on Twitter and pretty active. This company was AIW out of Cleveland. I fell in love with this company almost immediately. The big villain at this time was a Filipino wrestler with a big fro by the name of Shiima Xion. Within a matter of weeks after I discovered him, he debuted with TNA as Zema Ion and evolved into DJ Z. This was my first chance to meet him and see him live.

Now onto the match itself. The Vet Club brought out their own personal referee-Rick Manning. (Rick Manning is probably Texas’ most legendary referee, with respect to James Beard. AND he’s a heel here.) As I said previously, “You try taking notes on an 8-man match with DJ Z, Sonjay Dutt & AR Fox.” Sonjay and Tim Storm had really great chemistry. Somebody should book this feud. The story was 4 of the traditional “old school” wrestlers taking on the high flyers.

So I’m just going to go over the highlights: Sonjay put one of the guys in a bulldog and kicked all the other 3 while doing that. AR Fox did a double RKO on 2 Vet Club members. And the 3 high flying guests did a 3-man superkick on Rick Manning. There was so much here. Get the DVD.

Winner: Vet Club

Also, most importantly I’ve been watching Gregory James since the beginning of his career. Tonight he looked like he belonged on a team with those 3 guys.

The biggest compliment I can give this match? My mother looked at me after this match and said, “That was a really good match.” My mother has been to dozens of shows with me and has never commented on a match being good.

Fifth match: Jessica James vs. Crazy Mary Dobson

If you want a good women’s match, book Jessica James vs. Crazy Mary Dobson on your show. These two have tremendous chemistry. I believe they go back to tours of Japan. One of the best parts of this match was at the beginning of the match, somebody tried to do a “Crazy” chant. She gave this guy the death stare. He didn’t speak again the entire match. This was the best I’ve seen Jessica look in a while.

Winner: Jessica

If you love women’s wrestling, this is definitely the match you want to see.

Sixth match: Sammy Guevara (c) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. for the Smash Mouth Bull of the Woods Championship

Yes, I just typed Zack Sabre Jr.’s name on a live show I went to. Where do I begin? Sammy is young, brash, cocky, unpredictable and oozing talent. On paper this match was gold. In actuality it was platinum (the next step above gold). Fifteen years ago, everybody wanted to be the Hardy Brothers and Edge & Christian. I think 15 years from now, the kids are going to grow up to be Zack Sabre Jr. Jrs. There is just nothing like him out there. They traded back whose style they were going to wrestle, Zack the submission specialist, Sammy the high flyer. I was predicting a Dusty finish or something. I mean, Zack Sabre Jr.’s not going to do “the job” at some indy show in Arlington, TX. But then again, he’s not going to win a championship of a local promotion in Texas. When is he going to be back again? So I literally could not figure out the outcome of this match beforehand. And I’ve been a wrestling fan 20 years. It’s not easy to work me. But the unbelievable happened.

Winner: Guevara

Main event: Ray Rowe (c) vs. Keith Lee

This match. Both worked an incredible match. We had seen so much through all the previous days. I think by this match we were all spent. At least my note-taking muscles were. This was like watching a “coming of age” story where a star ascends into super-star. Seared into my memory is Ray Rowe doing a Canadian Destroyer on Keith Lee, only to have him kick out. Lee won to an incredible pop.

Winner and new champion: Keith Lee

All in all… What an incredible 2 days through so many emotions. Dalton-Anthony, the 8-man, Sabre-Guevara, Rowe-Lee, James-Dobson, would all be worth the DVD price alone. All the wrestlers they brought in were so nice and such class acts.

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

VIP Wrestling Setting the Bar 3 Night 1 9-8-2016

The hardest part of the past 2 days is knowing I was going to try to put words to them. This is by no means an easy task. My apologies to the wrestlers ahead of time. I took ok notes. But you try taking notes on an 8-man match with DJ Z, Sonjay Dutt & AR Fox. All I will say is both of these events will be out on DVD. Both of these will be worth your money.

First match: Jerome Daniels w/ Jamie Oller vs. Davey Vega

I’ve had the privilege of following Jerome’s career for a while. I’ve noticed that he has begin reinventing himself as an MMA hybrid. It’s nice having that extra dimension as the MMA world and pro wrestling world are a lot more alike than they admit.  Davey Vega is one of the most underrated workers in North America. If you want your guy to look good, bring in Davey. He bumped and sold like crazy. At one part Davey turned a rana into an armbreaker. I hope the commentators capitalized on that. Davey using a submission on a submission specialist. A little bit of an insult. Jerome reversed it and then got Davey tapping out.

Winner: Jerome

Good sportsmanship afterwards. BB&J of Bam Bam Malone and Jaxon Stone came out for a quick segment. Bam Bam was injured and would not be able to compete tonight. Because of Jaxon Stone’s heart, Raymond Rowe offered him a match.

Second match: Nobe Bryant vs. Curt Stallion vs. Jastin Taylor

This was one of the sleeper matches of the night. You had Nobe, who has the hardest chops in Texas. He is one of the Dallas area’s finest and has been for a long time. Jastin is an amazing athlete. I’d like to see more of him. And Curt Stallion had some amazing heel work. He did a crazy suicide dive (so crazy his mom got up to see if he was okay). This was a nice surprise.

Winner: Nobe

Third match: Bad Boyz (Tony Black & Seph Annunaki) vs Radikal Athletes (Dontae Smiley & Ty Wilson)

So I think this was for the Big Texas Wrestling tag championship (Imagine that. Two wrestling promotions in the area working together. You don’t find that often in other regions.) in Cleburne. So how do I describe the Radikal Athletes? Ty Wilson reminds me a lot of Xavier Woods. And Smiley looks a lot like Michael K. Williams (Omar from The Wire). And best abs in Texas? I’d have to give that award to Smiley. If you feel yours are better, I’m sure my wife would like to set up a contest as a judge. We had an insane double plancha from the Athletes. But with the referee’s back turned, Tony gave a knockout punch giving Seph the pin.

Winner: Bad Boyz

Then the referee figured out the interference (which I HATE this logic), and awarded the match via disqualification to the Athletes.

Fourth match: Americos vs Joey Garcia w/ Nigel Rabid in a TLC match

This is the culmination in a long feud between these two. I’d call this two of Texas’ finest Cruiserweights. Americos, or “Americo,” as Michael Cole renamed him, fresh of his Monday Night Raw debut, and being the catalyst for the epic match between Braun Stroman and Sin Cara, looked great out there with Joey. And Nigel was at the peek of his Nigel-ness. We had some pretty crazy spots. If you like these types of matches, this will be a highlight for you. We had a table set up. (By the way, NEVER set up the table. You ALWAYS go through it.) And Joey and Nigel both ended up going through the table. Americos was about to win and out came 7′ tall Kevin Cross (and if I’m correct, being 7-foot tall, is something you can’t teach). He choke-slammed Americos through the table.

Winner: Garcia

Does this lead to a Big Show-Mysterio feud between Cross and Americos?

Fifth match: Raymond Rowe (c) vs. Jaxon Stone

I had the opportunity to sit next to Jax’s mom for this match. Those are always the most fun matches. Jax has so much raw talent there. He’s one half of a really good tag team. They are really riding a wave of success. I’d like to see them continue this path for now. But eventually the time will come for Jaxon. There was some fun comedy at the beginning. And then Rowe did one of my favorite things. He turned to the crowd and said, “Now this concludes the technical portion of this match.” I think we all knew Rowe was winning. But even then there were a few moments where I thought “Just maybe…”

Winner: Rowe

The thing I wrote after this match was that Jax looked like he belonged there. I forgot where this showed up in the sequence. They introduced Cody Rhodes’ better half Brandi. Brandi thanked the fans for coming out tonight. And then Crazy Mary Dobson interrupted. She was one of the weekend’s unsung heroes. She cut a promo about how Brandi was not a wrestler. Pretty good build-up.

Sixth match: Hip Hop Express (Kenny Steele & Orion Taylor w/BC) vs. Pretty Boy Killers (Shane Taylor & Keith Lee) vs. Sons of Texas (Andy Dalton & Moonshine Mantell)

I don’t think this match was a surprise. I knew it was going to be good as is. And then you added in the dynamic of the PBK. This is one of the reasons to get this DVD. The Hip Hop Express is a brilliant gimmick. The PBK should be taking over Ring of Honor any time soon. Keith Lee has recently debuted with Beyond Wrestling. That’s usually a big milestone with being discovered in the greater indy world (see ACH). Dalton is fresh off his first tour of NOAH. And Moonshine is fresh off his debut on Smackdown! as Heath Slater’s doctor. Keep your eyes on all 6 of these. There was a Shane Taylor splash on Kenny that involved him being first which drew a “You killed Kenny” chant. One of the “Holy s***” moments of the night was Moonshine lifting up Keith Lee (who is like a much prettier version of “The Thing”/Ben Grimm) and then Dalton doing the Doomsday Device. But that was not enough. The PBK won by a powerbomb followed by a splash.

Winner and #1 contenders: PBK

Main event: Chris Hero vs. Cody Rhodes w/Brandi Rhodes

Somehow, I am going to have to find words to put this match to. When Cody Rhodes left the WWE, he made a list of accomplishments he wanted to achieve. One of them was facing Chris Hero. I had the chance to see Hero a few months ago for the first time live. And I had been a fan of his since his CZW/IWA Mid South days. When Cody Rhodes was a kid, I remember him getting an Apter mag featurette about what his name was going to be as a wrestler. (Are you ready for this? It was “The Stardust Kid.”) I also had the chance to meet Dusty when I was 19. It was the first time I ever had the opportunity to meet a wrestler and it was then (and still is) one of the highlights of my life. And here was Cody Rhodes, once a WWE superstar, guest star on Warehouse 13, the guy who fought Stephen Amell at Summerslam, here in my line of vision.

Chris Hero came out to an enormous pop. PLUS he had Dallas Mavericks-style tights made and a customized Mavs jersey. You know what I’m thinking. He’s planning on coming back here regularly. Brandi did the ring intro for Cody. He was announced as “The Grandson of a Plumber” (which got us all in our feels and drew a huge “Dusty” chant, as this is his home state) and announced as fighting out of Denton County (the county north of where this match took place, about a 30-minute drive-or 90-minute, depending on traffic) to an enormous pop. You could feel the emotion.

Now onto the match itself. The crowd started off with a “Both These Guys” chant. Cause really, how DOES one choose between those two? Some fans chanted “test of strength” at Hero. He went over to the fans and to have one and then went away. Cody then got into the crowd and had one with the fans. And then he found adorable Alex who is about 4’10” and lost a test of strength to her. Also during the match, Crazy Mary interfered and we had a ladies’ brawl between Brandi and Crazy Mary. When that match happens it is going to turnt up af.

When you’re watching a match between these two talents, you put your notebook down and watch it. So I don’t have a lot of notes on this. Get the DVD. Trust me.

Winner: Rhodes

After the show Cody and his wife Brandi spent time talking to every fan and signing whatever. AND do you know how much they charged? $0. I prepared to spend some major cheddar and they didn’t charge. By doing that I was able to support more wrestlers and not get in so much trouble with my wife.

All in all… A very fun show with a dream match. A very emotional night for me. The matches that stood out were the two triple threat matches. If you haven’t seen the Radikal Athletes yet, find a reason to. Cody and Brandi were so nice and personable as were Crazy Mary, Rowe, Hero and all the others. Definitely worth the DVD.

Posted in Indy Wrestling, Pro Wrestling, ROH, Uncategorized, VIP Wrestling, Wrestling | 1 Comment

VIPX Blood, Sweat & Scars 7-8-2016

Sorry it’s been forever since I’ve blogged. Lots happened in our world over the past week.

First match: Lou Sterrett w/Big Sed vs. Cherry Ramons

I was a little confused at this match. Who am I supposed to be cheering for? Lou and Sed are bad. Cherry is a natural heel. He does the male stripper type moves. I don’t know that he’s there with this crowd where he does the same things he does as a heel and gets cheered. Cherry began the match with a dance-off. Lou attacked him, starting off the action. Lou is so good at keeping the crowd engaged and active. Big Sed had lots of interference. The more I see Lou, the more I see him changing the face of DFW wrestling out of the era of “good ol’ Texas rasslin'” to the 21st century. We had a Snap Suplex onto the ring apron, which got a unison ouch from the crowd. We also had a springboard into an RKO. Lou won after Big Sed’s interference. This could have been a healthy main event.

Winner: Sterrett

Second match: Already Dead & Dangerous (Seph Annunaki& Johnny Solo) vs Radikal Athletes (Ty Wilson & Dontae Smiley) 

I’ve been watching Seph since the dawn of his career. It seems like he has found a way of aligning himself with a much bigger wrestler. So you have the combination of the monster and high-flyer. I like their name. And the Radikal Athletes are such natural talents there is no limit to how high they can go. Smiley specifically could be the next Ricochet (especially with those abs). There were a few cringes, but you’ve got some guys working on their crafts. As long as they improve that’s what we look at.

Winner: Radikal Athletes

Third match: JT LaMotta w/Killer McKenzie vs. MASADA w/Christi Jaynes

Fresh off his viral performance outside the ring, The Killer (introduced for the first time as SuperTex) was going to be in LaMotta’s corner. So to even everything out, MASADA had somebody in his corner-wrestler Christi Jaynes. This is my first time to see her. She’s got quite the look about her. I could see her going pretty far in the business should everything align. McKenzie was going to make sure that LaMotta was going to fight a real wrestling match against MASADA. Keith Roberts (co-owner) reminded LaMotta over the mic that when they talked about bringing in McKenzie and LaMotta said he was trash. Well, McKenzie’s countenance changed and left LaMotta behind. Then Christi went after LaMotta with the skewers.

Winner: MASADA

Fun hardcore match with a great crowd brawl.

Fourth match: Nicole Savoy vs. Jessica James vs. Ruthless Lala

This match had pretty decent build-up. I’m going to warn you. I’m very biased for Nicole, who is such a great ambassador for the wrestling industry. For what little I’ve seen of Lala’s story, she’s worked through a lot of challenges to get back in that ring. You had two of Texas’ finest going against one of North America’s finest. We had some awesome kicks and strikes. For the finish Nicole had Lala in the armbar. The drama was so good here.

Winner: Nicole

After the match in the locker room I heard that they needed to be separated. And the best part? Lala and Nicole even sold merch at different times. It’s the little things.

Fifth match: Anthony Mercer & C.T. Jones vs. Hip Hop Express (Orion Taylor & Kenny Steele w/BC)

If/when BC’s in-ring wrestling career is over, he will always have a role in wrestling. And that is because he can talk. We have the new gimmick for these 3 which is a throwback to old school 90’s rap. So perfect. It was a total squash match.

Winner: HHE

Sixth match: Sammy Guevara vs. Laredo Kid vs. Americos vs. Joey Garcia w/Nigel Rabid

So let me tell you a little story.

In the mid-2000’s While going through my Spanish major at UT Arlington I would watch Mexican wrestling also known as lucha libre in a promotion known as AAA. One of those wrestlers I used to watch was a man by the name of Laredo Kid. Well tonight I got to greet this Laredo Kid in Spanish and meet him.

This was for the Smash Mouth Bull of the Woods championship. There were two parts to this match’s story. There was the action from Sammy and Laredo Kid. Then there is a blood feud boiling between Garcia/Rabid and Americos. Let all 4 of these loose on each other? It was lyrical. If you choose to go back and watch this match, you will notice all the “oohs” the crowds had with this match. It was impossible to touch on every person and their roles. Just watch the match. That’s all I can say.

Winner: Sammy

Seventh match: Lance Hoyt vs. Keith Lee

This was in many ways a battle of the titans. You have Lance Hoyt. And if there was a person I would cast in the role of the Incredible Hulk, it would be Keith Lee. The man is a beast. He recently debuted for Beyond Wrestling, and hopefully this begins a bigger journey for him. They began with a shoulder block which neither could overcome the other. So they backed a farther distance. No win yet. Then they went to opposite ends of the bar and met head-on. They collided right in front of me, which was really cool. The story was that the two could not beat each other. This match definitely needs to be seen.

Winner: Lee

After the match, Hoyt took the mic and told Lee he was “there.” And in a truly horrific week, Hoyt acknowledged everything that’s gone on and reminded us all to love each other. Somebody get this man a podcast or something. Keith Lee responded saying that he’s been in the wrestling industry since ’05. This was the first time he’d ever beaten Lance Hoyt. Next he’s coming for Ray Rowe in September. That, folks, is what you call a build-up.

Eighth match: Shane Taylor vs. Chris Hero

Yes, I just wrote the name Chris Hero. Let me tell you another story.

In the early 2000’s there was a young 20-year-old tape trader who discovered a wrestler having a one-shot at CZW by the name of Chris Hero. Then I began to see him elsewhere: a Ted Petty Invitational tournament in IWA MidSouth, a 94-minute ironman match between him and CM Punk, and a Kings of Wrestling tag team with current WWE superstar Cesaro. Well, tonight after watching him on tape, DVD and finally iPPV, I got the chance to meet Chris Hero.

So this is one of the biggest matches of Shane Taylor’s career. Taylor is one Louisiana’s finest. And I feel he is becoming one of the South’s finest. He’s a big man, and I’d place his agility up against many other big men his size. These guys hit hard. Really hard. It was excellent, brutal and proved Taylor could stand toe to toe with somebody of Hero’s caliber. Chris Hero was going to win. Of course? Right? I found myself doubting who was going to win. I was lost in the story of who was going to win. In the end there is only one Chris Hero.

Winner: Hero

After the match, Hero put over Taylor on the mic.

Main event: New Jack vs. Action Jackson in a Fans Bring the Weapons Match

What are you supposed to say about this? This actually had quite the build-up. New Jack is dating Diamond Icee, who is coincidentally AJ’s sister. AJ doesn’t like that his sister is dating New Jack. I had some older fans who were next to me. My #1 priority was their safety. So during the match as they were brawling past me, New Jack touched my arm. Getting in New Jack’s way? Crossed off wrestling fan bucket list. During the match, Diamond low blew her brother. So she’s made her decision. Right? Then she low blew New Jack. Then they were attacked by a configuration of Lou Sterrett, Big Sed and two guys I did not recognize.

After some promo-cutting, AJ & New Jack announced they would be teaming up the next time in September.

All in all… A very excellent show. I loved getting to meet Laredo Kid and Chris Hero. May I also say that Chris Hero is one of the nicest big names I’ve ever met? So, must see matches? Lou-Cherry, the women’s triple threat, the 4-way, Hoyt-Lee and Taylor-Hero. The Radikal Athletes are also worth watching. And if you like hardcore matches, those were fun to watch. And the Hip Hop Express are money waiting to print. This should definitely be a owned DVD.

Here is where it gets real. Dallas and its surrounding area have been through hell this week. We needed a release. We needed an escape. We needed, for 20 minutes, the most important thing in our world to be whether Keith Lee was going to win. Thank you, VIP, for giving us that.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

IHWE New Year Knockout (or maybe Blackout) 1-30-2016

-Crowley, TX

Sometimes wrestling shows start as one thing, and then we see it mold and transform into something else. This was by far one of the most interesting, unforgettable wrestling shows I have ever been to or will go to. But I’ll get to why in a bit.

The night began with Jiggle-O welcoming the crowd. He was not medically cleared to wrestle so he would do commentary with legend Rob Moore.

First match: Orion Taylor w/ Kenny Steele vs Dontae Smiley

Taylor hasn’t been a heel very much before as he’s more of a natural babyface. Thankfully Kenny was there to help get the crowd going. I helped him out but going after his beloved Hurricanes. Smiley is an incredible athlete. With Taylor I get an ACH vibe. With Smiley I get an AR Fox. Could we be looking at the next incarnation of the two? The work was smooth and fluid. With Smiley about to suplex Taylor, Kenny held down the leg, enabling Taylor to move and put a Shooting Star Press on for the win.

Winner: Taylor

My first exposure to Smiley is I want to see more of him. And I would love to see these two feud.

Second match: Scott McKenzie w/ Steve Moody vs. John Allen

I may be the only person in the arena, but I popped for Steve Moody. I used to yell “Mr. Bean” at him going back to the days of the NWA Southwest. This was in contrast to the first match. This was a “catch as catch can” match between two storytellers. We had quite a bit of interference from Moody. Just when you think McKenzie had him down, Allen came from behind to get the pin.

Winner: Allen

Third match: Tag Team Turmoil

I’m going to do my best to try to recap this. There were some workers I was not familiar with. The first two were the Bad Boyz of Tony Black & Seph Annunaki vs Jerry Brown & Devin Durham (who were new to me). During this match the unthinkable happened. There was an accident in Crowley, TX that knocked out power for the entire city. All of a sudden, in a crowded rec center in a crowd of approximately 300, it went dark. The wrestlers continued as everybody expected them to. The show went on. And then something happened. There was still enough light from the photographers/cameramen. And then one cell phone flash light went on. And then another cellphone flashlight went on. It was like a Bray Wyatt entrance. The people lit up the match with their flashlights. In all my years of attending wrestling I’ve never seen anything like it.

Out next were Kristopher Haiden and Kenny Steele. Our family knows Haiden from a long time ago, and my daughter calls him Uncle. She wanted to come see this so she could watch her “uncle” wrestle. She wanted him to win, or it would hurt her feelings. (It’s awesome being 6, right?) They won their first match. Chase “Bam Bam” Malone and Jaxon Stone were next. These guys are both studs, especially Jaxon. Give them time. They’ll be at the top. Unholy Complex (Gregory James & Jason Silver) were next. The Oklahoma Guys of Doberman & John Famous were out next. And if I remember correctly, it was Unholy Complex and the team of Barrett Brown (who is slowly becoming Matt Cross, I believe) & Andy Dalton in the finals. When I saw Barrett & Greg wrestling, I just thought about Steen-Generico, Rock-Austin, Sting-Flair, how these guys are destined to battle each other forever. After a beatdown from the Oklahoma boys, Barrett & Dalton won.

Winner and new tag champs: Barrett Brown & Andy Dalton

Tex As Red came out to talk to Jiggle-O. Out to his rescue came Louisiana-area talent Shane Taylor. Shane Taylor is like a way more agile Viscera. He’s worked for some ROH tapings in the past. If the wrestling industry evolves to value a hoss division, he’s going to be at the top of your list.

Fourth match: Ashton Jacobs (c) vs. Joe Angelo Garcia

This is still in the dark with two very underrated talents. Joey is quickly becoming one of Texas’ most underrated talents, and Ashton is in a place where he’s still one of DFW’s most underrated talents. It’s a little hard to come up with highLIGHTS when there are no lights.

Winner: Jacobs

Fifth Match: Jessica James (c) vs. Miss Diss Lexia (c) vs. Leva Bates

So many things to say about this match. Lexia won this a few years ago and then ended up moving to the East Coast to try to make a name for herself out there. She’s done us very proud, sprinkling her name all over highspots.com. Leva was the only one without a trophy prompting her during the match yelling out, “But I want a trophy too.” While Leva wore her Blue Pants outfit, Jessica dressed up like Rogue from X-men fame.

I’m going to go into Dad mode and not blogger for a while. I have a little girl who is incredibly shy. We got our picture with Athena once, and that was a miracle. You have to catch her and she is okay. I explained to Leva my daughter was way too shy to talk to her, and Leva sat down in front of us doing the match. It was awesome seeing a wrestler go out of her way to interact with my daughter.

Winner: Jessica

All 3 celebrated with a selfie after such a crazy, insane, dimly-lit match. Sentimentally this was my choice for match of the night.

Main event: Charlie Haas & Ray Rowe vs. Rodney Mack w/Kenneth Wade & Jax Dane

It was a little unfair to the rest of the matches that this one had the fortune of existing when the power came back on. So sorry to the wrestlers-the pop of the night went to the power coming back on. Charlie Haas took credit for it. He had ECW Bubba Ray Dudley heat. It was really funny how Ray Rowe had the same kind of heat without having to say much. We enjoyed barking for Rodney, and I got to explain to my daughter why we were barking for him, and that I used to do that with her grandmother. And this was my first chance to see Jax Dane. He looks like King Kong Bundy but with muscles. The match ended with Charlie pinning Jax the NWA Champion.

Winner: Haas & Rowe

All in all… This is probably one of the most incredible shows I have ever seen in my life, and it had nothing to do with the work put on by the wrestlers. It was the spirit shown by the fans. The only thing illuminating the ring was the lights from photographers and camerapeople, but the fans used their own power to illuminate everything. There was a spirit I cannot describe.

Match of the night… My personal favorite was the ladies’s match. I remember saying at one point that my little girl (an NXT junkie who can name everybody on the NXT roster) would love to see Leva live and said what a good match she would have against Jessica or Delilah Doom (hint, hint) or Athena (who was still not signed then). The next thing I knew she was booked and on her way. The main event was a good match but had the bias of power. So I will say Ashton-Garcia. I want to see more Smiley, Jaxon, Bam Bam and Garcia.

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