MPX Presents Mr. MPX 5-16-2015

We had a very solid night with a lot of good stories told. This was a very full night of wrestling. We had an entire 8-man tournament, a title match, a surprise and a tag team ladies match. The action started very quickly.

Round 1 First match: Kristopher Haiden vs. Barrett Brown

I hadn’t seen Haiden in an MPX ring for a while. It was nice to see him back there. My daughter is quickly becoming a huge Barrett Brown fan. It’s fun to hear all her “whoa’s” when watching. Haiden knows what to do when you face Barrett. He acted as a frame for Barrett to do his flippy-floppy stuff. Barrett also made Haiden seem larger than life. In a very nice short match for these two, Barrett won.

Winner: Brown

Haiden made the win look believable.

Round 1 Second match: Jerome Daniels vs. Viktor Tadlock w/ Jamie Oller

My daughter wanted food in this match. By the time we were done sitting down, the match was over. Jerome had him in a hold and refused to let him go.

Winner: Jerome

Jerome has lost it over losing the title. Tadlock had to go to the hospital and even checked in on Facebook from the hospital. I haven’t seen that before. Now he is taking it out on those closest to him. Randy Wayne arrived with James Hawke. They announced Randy was there. He flipped everybody off to a large pop. Could it be that he has tapped into a Stone Cold vibe?

Round 1 Third match: Steven Kirby vs. Mike Foxx

I was really looking forward to this one on paper. If I remember correctly, Foxx was who Kirby was facing when Kirby tore his ACL. I was pretty happy with this match. Kirby kept the crowd in it. As somebody who has watched Kirby’s career from the beginning, he has always understood he is in front of the crowd and knew how to keep them engaged. We also had Kirby jawing with Randy Wayne. Our heckle section kept on chanting, “We want Randy.” It was a good, decisive win for Foxx.

Winner: Foxx

After the match, Randy Wayne attacked Kirby for the beatdown. Something tells me this will be a good feud. And there is no question who the crowd will be behind.

Round 1 Fourth match: Moonshine Mantell vs. “Unholy” Gregory James

Before this match, Mantell and Greg tried to do a promo or something. My location last night, the crowd making too much noise, who knows what it was, but I couldn’t hear everything. Mantell was apparently trying proselytize The Unholy, which was comical because he brews moonshine. I was really uncomfortable by it. The crowd was not uncomfortable. They took an enormous dump all over it. The match was good. Greg and Moonshine have different styles so there was something different. Moonshine comes from a different school than a lot of guys so he provides a different experience. He’s not going to flippy-floppy. He still knows how to work with the flippy-floppiers. But he’s a hoss, in this case, a bully. The possibilities of guys I’d like to see him fight are very big (no pun intended)-Scott Murdoch, Keith Lee, Tadlock, Alex Reigns, Eddie Kingston, Luke Gallows, Michael Elgin, Ray Rowe. Moonshine grabbed the referee in front of Greg during one of his high-impact moves. Greg could have pinned him but no ref available. Moonshine got his move in, woke the ref and got the 3-count.

Winner: Moonshine

Round 2 Fifth match: Jerome Daniels vs. Barrett Brown

My daughter was binge-watching Frozen videos on Youtube by this point. So she did not enjoy this match as much the last Barrett match but loved her Youtube videos. Welcome to 2015. Jerome is mad, angry, his world is crumbling around him. He lost the belt and now wants it back and will do anything to regain that. Barrett did a huge rana onto Jerome on the floor. You know the RKO outta nowhere? Jerome can apply the submission hold outta nowhere. The crowd had a little fun with this match. They have decided that Jerome looks like Will Smith. So they started doing the Fresh Prince theme song from memory. I was impressed. I wish people thought that I looked like Will Smith. The only celebrities people think I look like are usually Seth Rogen or Sami Zayn.

Winner: Jerome

Out came Kristopher Haiden saying he built this company (pretty much truth) and it was embarrassing he wasn’t even originally asked to be in the Mr. MPX tournament. He was angry and wanted anybody. He forgot the most important rule. DON’T SAY YOU WANT ANYBODY UNTIL YOU KNOW WHERE KEITH LEE IS!!!

Sixth match: Kristopher Haiden vs. Keith Lee

My first thought was Oops. So imagine Fantastic Four’s The Thing. Take off the rocks. That’s what Keith Lee looks like. Not only does he look like “The Thing,” he moves like a cruiserweight. There are a very small group of wrestlers that size who can move like he does. I invoke the name Uhaa Nation, which is not a name I use lightly. At first I was thinking Haiden is going to die. Keith is going to kill him. But… I was surprised. It was a much more competitive match than I thought we were going to have. Haiden got in some offense. But this was a vehicle for Keith.

Winner: Keith

Round 2 Seventh match: Mike Foxx vs. Moonshine Mantell

By this point, Jerome was going in the finals. So we all knew Mike Foxx was going to win. The only question was how was he going to get there. And the unrelenting magic of the 5-year-old reared its ugly head again. She had to use the bathroom. So I did not have the chance to take detailed notes like I thought I should have. Foxx finished it off with what I call the Foxx-KO.

Winner: Foxx

I know I call it the Foxx-KO after Randy Orton’s RKO. But if I remember my Texas wrestling history, Foxx has used it longer than Orton. Hopefully somebody will correct me if I’m wrong. Moonshine went after a post-match beatdown. He went after Foxx with a chair. Bad. But Gregory James came out to the rescue. After their match, I wouldn’t mind seeing Greg and Moonshine feud. Who is next for Moonshine? Greg? Foxx?

Eighth match: Baby Dumplins & Barbi Hayden vs. Livi La Vida Loca & Athena

This is the match my daughter most wanted to see. We had streamers to throw at Barbi AND Athena because she watches way too much SHIMMER and couldn’t decide which one to throw it at. (Sorry, Livi) If I am correct, Baby Dumplins’ career is still in its infancy. She is still finding her identity. We’re still working on who her gimmick is. Personally I’d turn her into Amy Lee. She is way too friendly and bubbly to be the baby face she is. Livi has a lot of energy and can convey a lot of emotions. The match had its strengths. Athena and Barbi can do their SHIMMER strong style all day. Livi can tell her story well. Baby is a work in progress. I think she’ll get there. But the biggest problem: the crowd was not in this match. The match was well-put-together. There just wasn’t a crowd behind it.

Winner: Baby & Barbi

Finals Ninth match: Jerome Daniels vs. Mike Foxx

I wrote down after the beatdown, “Foxx is really injured. There’s no way he wins this… right?” That was the story of this match. Jerome was vicious. He was like a shark who smelled blood. He went after all of Foxx’s weakness from the Moonshine Mantell beatdown. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before. He took off Foxx’s boot and went after the injury. Jerome gave him everything and Foxx found a way to kick out. Foxx went for his Foxx-KO, and Jerome pushed it away, doing the thinking finger. He turned around and Foxx did it again. This is the ending, right? No, Jerome kicked out. Out came Tadlock fresh from his hospital stop. He’s angry at Jerome so he’s going to hit Jerome with the belt, right? Nope, he hit Mike Foxx to give Jerome the pin.

Winner: Jerome

Main event: Matt Palmer (c) vs. Carson

The main event was a guy named Carson taking on Palmer. I’m sure there’s an Ochocinco or Heisman Trophy joke somewhere in there. The crowd, hot, tired, fatigued at this point, had a little fun. They chanted “Barbi’s better” and “Cowardly Lion” at Carson (“The Texas Lion”). It went through a nice crescendo, from the jockeying for position into the offensive explosion. My daughter was still engrossed in her YouTube videos, but I found myself saying, “Whoa” a few times. The finisher was Carson doing a stunner with Palmer immediately jumping back up, super kicking him in the face for a 1-2-3 count.

Winner: Palmer

All in all: I’m not much of a fan of tournaments. But this one juggled a lot of complex storylines and even started some new storylines. I got 1o matches. So with tickets for me and my daughter, it was $1.50 a match. It’s a better deal than other companies in the area. The work was pretty good. Randy Wayne is getting an INSANE crowd reaction. The guy could ritualistically sacrifice kittens to the evil deity of your choice, and the crowd would chant, “One more kitty! One more kitty!” To repeat, I’m looking forward to Moonshine-Greg or Moonshine-Foxx and Wayne-Kirby. Palmer is a very believable champion. There were some things I had never seen before. The company is trying new things. Some will work. Some won’t.

The heat & humidity need to be addressed. They’ve needed to be addressed ever since we started going nearly 6 years ago. But things are changing in this area. There are going to be 7 promotions running a show in DFW before July 1st: VIP, BTW, TOP, VIP, NWA Smash Mouth, IHWE and of course MPX. And that’s not including Austin’s promotions, the Lucha promotion in Dallas, NWA Texoma in Sherman or ones I don’t even know about. Used to MPX WAS the only game in town. Now we’re coming into a time of competition. I’m going to pay my hard-earned money to sit in a sweltering gym with no air circulation in a Texas May? Is it time to find a new venue?

Of course I’ll be back next show. I’ll see Candice and Joey, the World’s Cutest Tag Team.

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VIP Wrestling-Mundo vs. ACH: Good for Business 5-1-2015

Seems like I just did this a week ago. It’s because I did. Interesting and unpredictable. That’s a good description of this show. I had my wife and sister-in-law with me in addition to my favorite wrestling-watching buddy-my daughter. Both have been in love with Johnny Mundo for years.

First match: Barrett Brown vs. Curt Stallion vs. Bolt Brady

My apologies to these 3. They wrestled a very excellent match. And you can either take meticulous notes or watch the match. This was my first time to see Stallion. I believe he’s a West Texas guy. I’d be interested in seeing him again. And who wouldn’t want to see Barrett vs. Bolt? Brady did an insane suplex onto Barrett. The finish came from a Swanton bomb from Barrett for the 3-count.

Winner: Barrett

Second match: Graham Bell vs. Matt Palmer

Graham Bell was making his debut. He was one of the people cutting promos wanting ACH. He impressed them so much that they brought him in to give them an opportunity. My daughter wanted me to throw my streamers at Palmer. Palmer did what Palmer did. He went out, bumped & sold like crazy. I think this is a match worth trying to watch again. I’d also like to see Bell against somebody other than Palmer to figure out if he’s good or was just facing Palmer. I apologize there’s not more to write about this match. My daughter took my notebook to write down her own “notes” on the match, which are largely unintelligible.

Winner: Palmer

JT LaMotta retired for the second time that I’ve seen.

Third match: “The Gangster” Lou Sterrett vs. Raymond Rowe

This to me was the sleeper match of the night. Sterrett is becoming one of my new favorites. He is very versatile. You can see him dive, technically wrestle, whatever you would like to. He keeps the crowd engaged. And Rowe looks like he just stepped out of a MSNBC weekend prison documentary. When I’m watching Rowe he is so mesmerizing. He’s so focused and a word I don’t use very often-“believable.” After I’ve been a wrestling fan for 19, I don’t use that word very often any more. Sterrett has such a good reaction, getting “You suck” chants followed by “That’s Not Gangster” and “Still Not Gangster.” Rowe had his share of fun during the match, asking the fans, “Who sucks?” and then getting a huge reaction. During the match Shane Taylor came out to interfere. Rowe and Taylor had a stare-down. Rowe had it outside the ring. So Sterrett stayed in the ring and received the countout.

Winner by countout: Sterrett

After the match Guest GM Matt asked Rowe if he might want to bring his friend War Machine next show to get their opportunity for the tag titles. My apologies to the tag team who gets that draw in the card. Also he brought in Kristopher Haiden to get another shot. Haiden said he was here to “punch bitches in the face.” Apoc who was sitting close to me said, “So he’s going to be wrestling girls now?” Then once Haiden got out of hand, he was fired faster than Vince Russo.

Fourth match: Flying Assholes (Frankie Fisher & BC) vs. Unholy Complex (Gregory James & Jason Silver)

(Sorry, Mom.) We all throw toilet paper in the ring as we would streamers for the A-Holes. A young lady in the crowd saved a roll for my daughter, which was wonderful. My daughter is so beloved there. Since there was no Athena or Barbi Hayden, my daughter wanted to throw her pink streamers in for the A-holes. Frankie does the comedy so good. He and BC know how to differentiate themselves from the rest of the card. While everybody else is flippy-floppy-ing around, they are providing a break. I enjoy their matches but for different reasons than I enjoyed-say-the main event. The match did transition into a place where Greg and Silver got to do their thing. I thought we were going to have a break-up of those two but it didn’t happen. During the match the Bad Boys isolated BC leaving Frankie alone.

Winner: Unholy Complex

Fifth match: Shane Taylor (c) vs. Tim Storm w/Miss Tiffany

Round about this match my daughter began her meltdown because neither Athena nor Barbi Hayden were scheduled. I’m not kidding. There were actual tears. I like Taylor. He is a thick, imposing hoss. And Tim Storm is an ageless wonder. I swear the guy gets younger every time I see him. Out came Ray Rowe to interfere.

Winner: No contest

It was an awesome pull-apart between Taylor and Rowe. I think I will REALLY enjoy these two feuding. After the match Tim Storm put over this company and pointed out Apoc in the crowd (who I market out for getting to sit close to). They talked about the long history they have in Arlington and challenged him to a match next show. Yes, please.

Main event: ACH (c) vs. Johnny Mundo/Morrison

I can’t believe I wrote that. Funny story. My daughter’s meltdown culminated in my wife having to escort my daughter out to the lobby for some water and then came in just after Mundo’s entrance. The funny part is that entrances are her favorite. So she missed her favorite part of the wrestler she attended for. But it got better for her. Much better for her. I’ll get to that.

How do you describe a match between ACH and Johnny Mundo? You have two of the most naturally-gifted athletes, charismatic balls of energy in all of wrestling today. So I put down the notebook and enjoyed the dance. What were some of the highlights I remember?During the introduction, they introduced Mundo by his many names, and not to be undone, ACH announced several of his nicknames, including Fresh Prince and The Carlton Banks of Wrestling followed by him doing the Carlton. Yes, that happened. Both had such amazing chemistry. There was some aerial action that had Johnny laid out on the row in front of us. My wife and sister-in-law turned into teenage girls meeting Justin Bieber for the first time. My sister-in-law took a picture uttering the phrase, “You’re so hot.” (I told you it got better for her.) There was also a nerf basketball hoop ACH held over Morrison’s head & had a fan alley-oop the ball while he hit Morrison. After nearfalls galore, ACH walked away with the win.

Winner: ACH

After the match John Morrison extended his hand yelling out, “Sportsmanship.” Just like ACH would. Awesomeness. Out of nowhere came Andy Dalton attacking him. Dalton said he had a title shot. He was going to cash it in right now.

Main event #2: ACH (c) vs. Andy Dalton

This was a short match. Dalton went for the pin and ACH kicked out. Then he went for the win.

Winner: ACH

It was announced we were going to get a TLC match between Dalton and ACH next show. In the aftermath JT LaMotta announced he was going to take the vacant GM position. However Dalton’s rematch started… now.

Main event #3: ACH (c) vs. Andy Dalton

During the surprise Andy Dalton walked away with the pin AND the belt.

Winner and new champion: Dalton

All in all…What an excellent show. This has at least 3 matches that are must-sees: the opener, Rowe-Sterrett and Mundo-ACH. Stallion and Bell had decent showings. I’d be interested to see more of what they have. I kind of groaned a little at LaMotta being heel GM. Just like I groan for The Authority in WWE and Kyle Valo in MPX and anywhere else I see it. LaMotta’s an excellent heel, and I know the money is always made in the babyface’s pursuit. I’m just a little fatigued of this in wrestling in general. My daughter was not happy over no ladies matches, but this isn’t Pennsylvania or Ohio where you can throw a stone and hit 3 ladies wrestlers. Again, an excellent show that gives fans a very full card with wrestlers we don’t see everywhere else.

I am really looking forward to June 12th. Chris Sabin, War Machine, hopefully ACH-Dalton in a TLC match.

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VIP Wrestling-One Shining Moment 4-24-2015

One of the wildest, most unpredictable wrestling shows I have ever been to is in the books. One of the things that made it wildest had absolutely nothing to do with the show or wrestling. Right at the moment we got in line to check in, everybody’s phones started going off with the Emergency Broadcast system. Unfortunately it was not “only a test.” A tornado warning happened. So we were all evacuated to some conference room. I’ve had shows start better. Of course this is no fault of theirs, but it was quite annoying.

We got out of the room towards the last so we didn’t get a first row seat. My daughter was not pleased. I was happy that we would not take our lives into our own hands. At least not as much. As a wrestling fan, have I mentioned she’s spoiled? The night began with a recording of Bobby Williams talking to Claudia about how the Bad Boys were not going to show up. So we all knew that at some point they were.

First match: Simply Irresistible (Matt Palmer & James Johnson) vs. The Manliest Men Ever (Larry Canis & Michael Shafer)

So we had a face vs. face opener. Palmer and Johnson have matching tights and look like a tag team more than they have before. The Manliest Men are quite over with this crowd. I think they should be known as “Team Needs a Shave and a Haircut.” Shafer is a very agile big man. You don’t expect some of the moves that come out of him. This was everything an opener should be. There was some great stuff outside the ring, lots of innovation, stuff I haven’t seen before. The biggest compliment I could give this match was that I thought either would win at any time.

Winner: Simply Irrestistable

Second match: Lou Sterrett vs. Moonshine Mantell

Before the match Lou cut a promo on Mantell, putting over his training and background, but that because Lou was a veteran, Mantell needed to shine his boots. This was the sleeper match of the night. Mantell is one “shining moment” away from a developmental contract with one of the big 3. He is probably the person on the show who most looks like he’s ready to start in NXT tomorrow. Both guys gave some devastating chops to each other. Sterrett’s facials were great and he did a great job of listening to the crowd. The Gutwrench Suplex from the top rope was a pretty cool visual. At one point, Sterrett did a dive onto security where best I can figure out somebody died.

Winner: Sterrett

Third match: Steele Money (Kenny Steele & Orion “Payday” Taylor) vs. Flying Jackasses (Frankie Fisher & BC)

Well, this was supposed to be SM vs. the Bad Boys. Well, we were taken to a vignette showing Frankie & BC having been attacked by-you guessed it-The Bad Boys. Well, guess who came through the crowd finding their seats having just bought a ticket trying to find seats. Again, you guessed it-The Bad Boys. As they were trying to find their seats, Kenny got on the mic. Since The Bad Boys were in their street gear, why not have a street fight?

Revised third match: Steele Money (Kenny Steele & Orion “Payday” Taylor) vs. Bad Boys (Anthony Black & Seph Annunaki) in a Street Fight

I’m going to be honest. I didn’t take very good notes. When you have your mother and 5-year-old on the second row of a street fight, your thoughts are not taking copious notes. Your thoughts are survival. We had some crazy stuff happening. As the match progressed of course it left the ring and main room. And since we’re in a hotel, it ended up in the pool. No surprise, once they were laid out before the match, the Flying Jackasses came back in for the save. I didn’t catch the finish but I do know it was a wild crowd brawl.

Winner: Steele Money

Fourth match: Absolute Arrogance (Ricky Starks & Houston Carson) vs. Unholy Complex (“Unholy” Gregory James & Jason Silver)

It has been way too long since I’ve seen Ricky Starks. He was one-third of the greatest match I’ve ever seen live. He is probably one of the best natural talents in the state and perhaps-the country? Carson has one of the best physiques out there. Greg and Silver had good chemistry together. This was a fun, entertaining match. At one point with a distracted ref we had from AA what WWE Hall-of-Famer Dusty Rhodes would have referred to as “Clubb’rin’.” I think the team of Dick Murdoch & Dusty Rhodes would have approved. Silver did some amazing “face in peril” stuff. I didn’t write down how the finish but Arrogance walked away with the win.

Winner: Absolute Arrogance

Fifth match: Barbi Hayden vs. Jessica James with Livi La Vida Loca as special guest referee

Before this match, my little girl was invited to the ring to be recognized as the Extreme Hardcore Princess. (Sorry, Jewells Malone.) Announcer Keith Roberts reminded the crowd that they were nowhere near as hardcore as my daughter. Thank you Keith and thank you fans for making that a special moment for me. This was the match my daughter had waited for. We threw streamers. Last week when we went shopping for streamers we couldn’t decide between Barbi or Jessica for which one to throw streamers for. So we got one for each.

I put the notebook down and wanted to enjoy the match with my daughter. So sorry I didn’t take very good notes. But all I could think of was that this match was every bit as good as anything that you’d see on a SHIMMER, Shine or WSU. And being a tad bit biased, I think this might have been the match of the night. Add Delilah Doom, Su Yung, Angel Blue, Kat Green, Serena Mercury, some chick named Athena, we have a hotbed of women’s wrestling in Texas. These are two of the best ladies on the independent scene in North America.

Winner: Jessica

After the match, Barbi attacked Livi and then Absolute Arrogance came out to help. Out came the Jackasses for the save. A sign of matches to come? And of course as the match was over my daughter turned to me and asked, “Dad, can we go home now?” We all know who she thought was the main event.

Main event: African American Wolves (ACH & AR Fox) vs. Dirty Minds (Andy Dalton & JT LaMotta)

Yeah, so who WASN’T looking forward to this match? You have two of the top stars in the world, the incredible, one-of-a-kind, ROH star ACH and matchless, talented, without equal former Evolve champ AR Fox. Andy Dalton is being recognized more and more on a national stage. And LaMotta is a very versatile veteran. He can do anything and everything. So this was poetry. And with these 4 guys you just sat back and watched the story. The highlights for me are anything Andy Dalton does to get the crowd disgusted. Fox was an amazing “face in peril.” And ACH and AR Fox had a little bit of dissension and then started pushing each other. Then ACH yelled out, “Foooooooooooxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!!! Get the tables!!!!!!!!!!!” And then Andy Dalton had one of the biggest moments of his career. He pinned AR Fox.

Winner: Dirty Minds

After the match ACH took the mic and talked about his future match against Johnny Mundo (Morrison on May 1st).

All in all… It was a very nice start to their tag team tournament. All the booking choices made sense. My daughter loved it. This is how I know. She never wanted to play any of the games on my phone. The ladies match was match of the night. Andy Dalton really got the chance to shine. If you are not booking him yet, get with the program. The match that surprised me most was the opener. I didn’t expect that out of those 4.

Lots of things were against the promotion, like a tornado warning. I think they still found a way to bring about a very entertaining show.

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Metroplex Wrestling-Grand Theft 3-7-15

Warning: this will have lots of gratuitous stories about my daughter you will not care about.

Pre-show match: Thomas Shire w/ Jamie Oller vs. “The Unholy” Gregory James

So I was in the concession line during the beginning of this match. (Gotta have her chips and water bottle) This was an interesting match. In a state full of flippy-floppy guys (which is not a knock on the style, as I love flippy floppy wrestling), Shire stands out as something different. Shire must have an amateur background or something. It’s like Jack Swagger or an old guy from the 70’s. But he can also go toe to toe with the high fliers. The match was well-paced and well-thought-out. The crowd gave them an “awesome match” chant. And how do you make a crowd hate you? End the awesome match with outside interference.

Winner by dq: Greg

The Trust Fund came out and got the beat-down started on Greg. The babyfaces of Mike Foxx, Steele Money & Matt Palmer came out to the rescue. Do I smell a 10-man tag match? Or perhaps… War Games? Just putting that out there. The show began with Mike Foxx (usually words I do not type as he is known as “The Main Event” for a reason). He wanted Murdoch, and he wanted him now.

First match: Scott Murdoch vs. Mike Foxx

Scott Murdoch. Mike Foxx. What more could you want? There was no collar-elbow tie up. They went right into the violence. This was overall a great night for violence. Into the match I realized how I wasn’t taking notes. I was getting caught up in the match. There was good psychology, and they kept the crowd involved. Mike went for his version of the Diamond Cutter/RKO, Murdoch moved away and speared Foxx into-um-Louisiana, I guess. After a recovery Foxx hit it out of nowhere.

Winner: Foxx

It was a good story.

Second match: The Lost Boys vs. Flying Jackasses

Before you read about this match, you must watch this video. I recognized it immediately. At the beginning of the match the Jackasses called for the music and they danced to the song from the Fresh Prince with the same exact choreography. I popped majorly for that. The Lost Boys tried to interfere and got pushed away for the Jackasses to get started again. The comedy was really fun for this match, and The Lost Boys played good straight men. Of course then they went to the real wrestling. The Jackasses brought out a Twilight book to tease the Lost Boys. Post-ref-bump, Frankie threw the Twilight book and then laid down and pretended the Lost Boys threw it at them.

Winner: Jackasses by dq

I hated the finish. And I hated it (please forgive me for saying this) when Eddy Guerrero did it too. It just makes the referee look like an idiot. After the match came Jamie Oller who tapped out to Livi La Vida Loca last show. He wanted to make it up to her. He had her Robin bear repaired and offered to hug her. She did and he wouldn’t let go. She was attacked by a mysterious woman we now know as Baby Dumplins. I’m not familiar with her so I’m intrigued where this could go.

Third match: Trust Fund (Viktor Tadlock & Joey Garcia) (c) w/Jamie Oller vs. Steele Money (Kenny Steele & Orion Taylor)

This match was divided into two halves. You had the finesse and beauty of Garcia & Taylor. Then you had the smash mouth hoss style of Tadlock & Steele. Both teams counter-balanced each other well. Again I noticed that I wasn’t taking good notes. I was watching the match. Taylor did a standing shooting star press. List of guys who can do that is not very long. Dare I say this guy has to be the potential to be the next ACH? During the big plancha spot, my daughter nudged me and said, “Look, they’re flying.” The finish was a Razor’s Edge (the move that Chris Dickinson did on Kimber Lee but Tadlock did it right) from Tadlock followed by a top rope move by Garcia.

Winner: Trust Fund

Fourth match: Kyle Hawk (c) vs. Randy Wayne w/ James Hawke in a “Chairly” Legal Match

So Hawk is one of the most exciting flippy floppy guys in Texas right now. He is the most natural babyface I’ve seen since Ricky Steamboat. The match began with James Hawke attacking Kyle Hawk from behind a few times with a chair. James Hawke celebrated with his back turned to Kyle and didn’t notice that Kyle had recovered enough to attack. Brutally. This was pretty intense. Wayne bled. Big time. We had the clashing chairs that Balls & Tanaka made famous. We had a suplex onto a bed of chairs. Then we had an “off-the-top-rope” suplex onto a bed chairs again. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say they’re setting Wayne up for a face turn. If not, based on the crowd reaction, one would be possible, and he’d make a really nice challenger for Jerome in the future. And the finisher had to have about 5 steps to it, but it’s got to be one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen.

Winner: Wayne 

It was a pretty emotional win for a heel beating a very popular babyface.

Fifth match: Athena vs. Delilah Doom

This was the match I brought my daughter for. We were excited to see Athena, who is one of my daughter’s favorites. And Athena is a lot more positive role model than a Katy Perry or whatever Disney starlet is going to be twerking on Alan Thicke’s kid like a wrecking ball next. And I love Delilah. She’s like someone morphed sunshine into human form. The ladies behind me loved Delilah. They said she was so adorable. It was a pretty good match. Delilah has really stepped up her game. I could see her wrestling on a national stage in 2-3 years. And how has somebody NOT put her and Solo Darling together in a tag team? The second half of the night my daughter was not very with it, but this match she was into. Also props to the ladies for getting a “Better than Divas” chant (though I think Athena would pull off a really close resemblance to Naomi if they wanted to bring her “cousin” in).

Winner: Athena

Very nice sportsmanship afterwards. In a world that prizes people (and I use that term loosely) like the Kardashians, it’s nice to have some positive role models for girls.

Sixth match: Moonshine Mantell vs. James “Jiggle-O” Johnson

I have seen Mantell before. He is a total hoss. The guy has a look to where he could sign with any major promotion if all the pieces come together. And Jiggle-O is a total chameleon. I’m not sure if there’s something he could NOT do in the ring. His job was to make Mantell look killer. There was a back-body drop that I’m pretty sure Johnson was up in the air long enough to read War and Peace. The story here was that Mantell wanted Matt Palmer, Johnson’s tag team partner. Palmer kept on not responding. Mantell put Johnson in the Lex Luger Torture Rack.

Winner: Mantell

After the match Palmer came in for the rescue. There was a pull apart. Several times. Poor security took their share of bumps. Matt Palmer was laid out for all intents and purposes. Out came the champ for the easy victory.

Main event:  Jerome Daniels (c) vs. Matt Palmer

So Jerome wanted the match started and the countout victory. Palmer made it in by the 10-count. Palmer just will not die. Jerome did everything he could to put Palmer away, and Palmer kicked out every time. After ref bump #1, Tadlock & Garcia came out with their finisher. Palmer kicked out. It was almost very Sami Zayn-like. Mantell came out during ref bump #2 (next ref bump I was going to look around for a TNA logo). We were out of referees so GM Kyle Valo counted himself.

Winner (?): Daniels

Valo superkicked Palmer in the face to end the show.

All in all… I dislike the Austin-McMahon thing with Valo-Palmer. We’ve seen it plenty of times since 1998, and it’s going to be nowhere as successful as it was with Austin & McMahon. (I think this is a “wrestling in general” problem more than just MPX.) Give me Jack Tunney once a quarter. Just my opinion.

Delilah and Taylor are really upping their game to a next level. Matt Palmer should be wrestling for a major company, and so should Athena. It was a really pleasant night of wrestling. I got to distract myself from what is a very crazy world and have a night with my little girl, which is exactly what we needed.

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VIP Wrestling-Love Hurts 2-13-2015

Trying to wrap up this wrestling show a few hours after. I’d be lying to not call this night one of the greatest nights of my life. Is it the greatest show I’ve ever seen live based on wrestling alone? I’d say it’s tied my Inspire Pro from last May. But it wasn’t what happened IN the ring that made it so great for me. It was my little girl being with me that made it so great. I’m sure somebody somewhere will do a straight recap. This won’t be one of those. My daughter is my “SHIMMER”-watching buddy, and I’m very proud of her and will talk about her constantly.

We began the night with a meet-n-greet with the performers. I got to meet Raymond Rowe, Shane Taylor, AR Fox & Nicole Savoy. Athena signed the sign we made for her. We walked in and found our seats. I let her choose where she wanted and she went for smack dab middle of the front row where the wrestlers had the most room to dive. We’ll try to remember that for next time.

The show began with Keith Roberts, ring announcer extraordinaire, introducing GM Claudia. Wrestling shows everywhere begin with talking but we’re not about that. Let’s have wrestling.

First match: Lou Sterrett vs. “The Natural” Michael Shafer

So I thought this was going to be a collar-elbow tie-up, confined to the ring wrestling contest. It might have been at first. This was bathroom break #1 for my little girl. Well, when we got back, two guys that I don’t naturally (No pun intended) think of as being high-fliers were like AJ Styles-Low Ki. Well, Lou Sterrett ended up at ringside and fell in my lap. He whispers to me that I might want to move. Being that I’ve never heard a wrestler tell me to move before, I got up stat. I was very glad because about 2 moves later Sterrett’s foot would have gone right through my head. My daughter was fearless and didn’t really move out of the way like she should have. She became the star of the night because Daddy moved out of the way quickly and she was happy in her seat not wanting to move. This was a crazy, insane match I did not expect. Nikki Bella would have called her “Fearless.”

Winner: Sterrett

I didn’t see this from start to finish but because of how this exceeded my expectations, this is my choice for match of the night. There was good sportsmanship between the two afterwards. In honor of Claudia celebrating a birthday, they brought out a cake, which my daughter had her eyes on like a hawk. Of course no birthday celebration is complete without a Dirty Minds interruption. And to counteract the Dirty Minds we got Simply Irresistible. I thought we were going to have the match there. I couldn’t hear everything as there seemed to be audio problems all night. But we did have Jiggle-O introduce us all to… “The Crotch {dramatic pause} of Wrestling” which is a play on JT LaMotta’s “The Mind of Wrestling.” Claudia announced that the winner of their tag match would be in the main event.

Second match: Davey Vega vs. Orion “Payday” Taylor w/Kenny Steele

I’d like to see Taylor get booked a little bit more through Texas. He is a high-flyer that can stand toe to toe with people who are known on a national level. And he proved that tonight with Vega. I have never seen him look crisper and more complete. I wrote down that this match was exactly what I thought it was going to be. You had two high-flyers going out and doing their thing. And again they ended up in front of us. It was a struggle to get both guys into the ring. Taylor was the only one who made it by the 10-count.

Winner: Orion Taylor by countout

After the match Taylor and Vega shook hands and then… Vega turned on him. Out came Kenny Steele to his rescue. Then they were attacked by the Bad Boyz (Lil Tony & Seph Annunaki). Seph and Taylor came up together so I hope they play on their history. Claudia announced the next show would feature tag teams. Kimber Bombs, Made in Syn, please?

Third match: Dirty Minds (Andy Dalton & JT LaMotta) vs. Simply Irresistible (Matt Palmer & “Jiggle-O” James Johnson)

You remember the Smackdown 6? It was Kurt Angle, Edge, Rey Misterio, Jr., Eddy Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero, Jr. and He Whose Name Must Not Be Mentioned. Well, I am coining a new term. The Arlington 4. And that is these 4 guys in this match. All 4 of these guys have fought in all different kinds of matches. This was old hat for them.

So how over are these guys? One of the fans stocked up on pink loofah sponges to throw at Andy Dalton as he is #dirty. And of course Dalton sold everything like crazy. One of the sponges hit him, and he sold like it was a clothesline. The same fan also stocks up on streamers for Palmer & Johnson. She gave one to my daughter so she got to throw it in the ring. The hardest part was telling a 5 year old to wait on throwing streamers.

Of course they made it ringside and LaMotta barked at the front row to move. And once again, we found out seats the epicenter of the action. Thankfully we moved so we were not in them. These 4 guys knew how to put on a great tag match and did exactly that.

Winner: Dirty Minds

Fourth match: “Notorious” Shane Taylor (c) vs. Charlie Haas

For anybody unfamiliar with Shane Taylor, he is the champion of a promotion in the New Orleans area called WildKat, which is run by Luke Hawx. Dude is a total hoss, not to be confused with his opponent, who is an actual Haas. Somebody made a joke about him being overweight. And then since one person said it, the whole audience took on the fat jokes. The man was very thick, not fat. He reminded me a lot of Bam Bam Bigelow. He came out in this hoodie, most intimidating ring presence since Lance Hoyt. I said to my daughter, “Ooh, he’s scary isn’t he?” Totally unfazed, “No.” This was originally supposed to be Taylor vs. Gregory James but he did the job to an abscess tooth. So not only did they provide a replacement for Greg, they provided a former WWE champ. Now I have to apologize for this match was my daughter’s bathroom break #2. When we came back the two hosses were slugging the spit out of each other. What happened during the match from my perspective was one of the highlights of my life.

Of course they ended up in the crowd with my little girl who I had to call away from our seats. The crowd loved her all night for her fearlessness. Some of the chants for her included “Little Girl,” “She is awesome,” “Sign her up,” “She’s hardcore” and once Keith asked her name to assist in the drawing, they chanted it too. Well, during this match, after I escaped with her, I got the chants. “Father of the Year.” Charlie Haas, whose career I’ve followed since he was in WWE developmental, watched him debut in Team Angle, morph into The World’s Greatest Tag Team, become one of my three favorite tag teams of all time (LOD & the Dudleys are the other two), be part of a legendary tag division in ROH, THAT Charlie Haas, took a second out of the match to walk over to me, shake my hand and raise my arm. I died. That moment meant so much to me. Then the crowd chanted, “Don’t tell Mom.” (Sorry, Beautiful.)

This was a very nice hoss match or Haas match as the case may be.

Winner: Taylor

Fifth match: Athena (c) vs. Nicole Savoy

This was (I believe) Nicole’s first match in Texas. So it was my first chance to see her except for the Youtube matches we pre-watched. She is very similar to Athena so I was really looking forward to this match. This match was contested for the AIW Women’s (@aiwrestling) & ACW Joshi Championships (@ACWWrestling). So we all knew who was going to win, right? A Cleveland & Austin promotions are going to let their title change hands before a different crowd than their home crowd? This is how good the match was. I found myself thinking that Athena was going to tap out. They kicked the stuffing out of each other several times. And then we got to see Nicole shine. She put hold after hold on Athena. I went through scenarios. Maybe Nicole beats her tonight and then Athena beats her Sunday at Inspire Pro in Austin. That’s how good the match was. I knew how it was going to end but I doubted it.

Winner: Athena

Main event: ACH (c) vs. AR Fox vs. Raymond Rowe vs. Andy Dalton

I know what you’re thinking. One of these things is not like the other when it comes to Andy Dalton. For a long time I’ve been saying he’s Texas’ biggest kept secret. This match really didn’t have a clear-cut heel. Fans are going to boo ACH or AR Fox? And they’re going to boo Ray Rowe? Out of fear, only if he gives me permission. So they needed a heel, which is Andy Dalton to a tee. As the match began, AR Fox left the ring apron to tell me I was probably going to want to move. So I was over the side and not taking notes. And sometimes when you’re watching guys with so much talent, you just put the notebook down and be a fan. Highlights I remember: AR Fox did a killer moonsault onto where I would have been sitting. This was Ray Rowe’s first match since his motorcycle accident. I can tell you there was no ring rust at all. AR Fox did a running leap onto Ray Rowe who was head off the ring apron. Andy Dalton proved he could hang with national ROH and DGUSA talent. And ACH was ACH. He shone like the star he always is.

Winner: ACH

After the match Andy Dalton was about to shake ACH’s hand. Then JT LaMotta came in for the attack. They announced AR Fox & ACH vs. LaMotta & Dalton for the next show.

All in all… Sorry for not much of a recap. My little girl was kind of the center of my universe, and it’s hard to experience all of the wrestling when you’re being dad too. What I will say that I usually never say is that you need this DVD. That can be found here. As a wrestling fan I was very happy with the night. I got to see nationally recognized wrestlers I don’t usually get to see. My inner survivalist loved the thrill and exhilaration of never knowing what wrestler was going to attack me or my seat next. And as a father, I was very proud of the night I had with my little girl.

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

Metroplex Wrestling-Do or Die 1-24-2015

This story will be told through a lot of different perspectives. I will have the wrestling fan. I will have the wrestling reviewer. And for the first time, I will have the father. This was my daughter’s first wrestling event. So if all you’re wanting is a straight recap, this is not it. This is my reflection of the night as a whole, which will include details of her night as a wrestling connoisseur for the first time. For reference, she refers to all of wrestling as “SHIMMER,” which is probably the top women’s promotion in North America. More information can be found here.

Exclusive dark match: Asian Nation w/Matt Andrews vs. Rabid Empire (Kevin Cross & Steven Kirby) w/Nigel Rabid

So we had the Asian Nation come out first. It was Jiggle-O James Johnson & Li Fang who introduced their special guest former champion “Secret Asian Man” Matt Andrews. My daughter loved the Asian Nation. She got to hold up her “RANCID EMPIRE” sign, and any time action happened, she held it up. We started the night off with a plancha from Johnson. One of the coolest spots of the night was when Kevin Cross was dazed in a corner, Li & Johnson both did a double-kick to Cross’ head. Ouch. The Empire also wrestled a strong heel tag match. The highlight for me was when Nigel and Andrews got into it in the ring. Nigel did a suplex or something. He just had this really satisfied look on his face. Then Andrews did a low-blow. I wrote that this seemed like a main event as a pre-show match.

Winner: Rabid Empire

When I went to my first wrestling show in 1997, I’m pretty sure Howard Finkel didn’t single me out, ask my age and who my favorite wrestler was. (17 and Arn Anderson) Keith Roberts, ring announcer extraordinaire, knew it was my daughter’s first show and went over and asked her if she was excited, how old she was and who her favorite wrestler was. The only catch is that my daughter is incredibly shy and made Roman Reigns look like Ric Flair on the mic. After we sat down, I asked her who her favorite wrestler was and we decided on Sasha Banks on NXT. But thank you Keith for making my daughter’s first wrestling show better.

“The Unholy” Gregory James came out first and wanted Mace Malone NOW.

First match: Gregory James vs. Mace Malone

I wrote down that this match was a battle of the men with intense ring presence. For chapter one, in what should be a very long feud, they really brought it. I know I said this already, but I felt this watching this match too. It felt like a main event match. I wrote down, “Looks like they fought their main event tonight.” Where do they go from here? I always find myself asking that with Greg, and somehow he always proves me wrong. Every near-fall looked like, “Ok, this is the one.” Nobody could put the other away. Finally Mace did.

Winner: Mace

I think the people of MPX are in for a really big treat with this feud. Kyle Valo came out and introduced local MMA/wrestling promoter/reality star Thomas Bussey. I’m not really sure what everybody said but Bussey did a lot of push-ups.

Second match: Scott Murdoch w/Jamie Oller vs. Kenny Steele

This is the match where my daughter had to go to the bathroom. So I didn’t have the chance to take very good notes here. I liked Murdoch as a smug sell-out. I’ve seen him be a heel where he destroys you, well, because Murdoch smash. Here it was an entirely different situation. Kenny went out with a lot of fire. I wanna say this is probably the best I’ve ever seen Kenny. And I remember his in-ring debut. There was no surprise here. Murdoch put him through a very painful powerbomb for the win.

Winner: Murdoch

It seems the “Hoss” world is becoming more popular in the North American wrestling scene. If that happens, I see Murdoch becoming very successful (along with Tadlock and Randy Wayne).

Third match: Kyle Hawk (c) vs. Jason Silver vs. Andy Dalton

Of course my daughter waited for the most exciting match on the card to want to play with my phone (which would later reveal some adorable results but we’ll get to that). Andy Dalton  was greeted as everybody threw pink loofas at him. I think that’s how you know you’re over as a heel. I’m sure there are some old veterans who would have just dismissed this as a spot monket fest. It very well might have been. But one thing is for sure. This match was non-stop action. All I could write was “Wow.” My words could not do this justice. They received a well-deserved “This is awesome” chant from the crowd.

Winner: Hawk

I wrote that this was a nice decisive win to make Hawk look like a credible champion and maybe a possible contender for the big championship later on?

Fourth match: Trust Fund (Viktor Tadlock & Joey Garcia) w/Jamie Oller vs. The Flying Jackasses (BC & Frankie Fisher)

This was another multi-layered, multi-dimensional match. Frankie & BC really surprised me on how well they work together as a team. Frankie was firing on all cylinders when it comes to comedy. I do say he is one of the best in Texas when it comes to comedy style. It also transitioned from comedy to heel beatdown really well. Tadlock would also fit very well in somebody’s Hoss division. What I liked about Garcia here is that he wrestles a completely different style as a heel than he will at other promotions as a face. Jamie Oller used a chairshot to steal one for the Trust Fund.

Winner: Trust Fund

After the intermission we introduced Jerome Daniels who said he was going to see if Mike Foxx showed up. Foxx’ music hit once. No appearance. Well, let’s try it one more time. No appearance. Well, since Mike Foxx wasn’t there, he was going to offer a title shot to anybody in the back. And the person who took him up on that was Zero the Antihero.

Fifth match: Jerome Daniels (c) w/Trust Fund vs. Zero the Antihero

So there isn’t a person who thought for a second Zero was winning this. Like most Zero matches. The crowd still loves every single thing about him though. We got to hold up our “If Zero loses, we riot” sign, which looks a lot cuter when my daughter holds it than me. The crowd started doing the Baron Corbin NXT thing by counting until the match was over. They stopped after about 22. Maybe they got bored or didn’t know what came next. Either or. This turned out to be a really competitive match. But Jerome walked away still champ.

Winner: Daniels

After the match, the Trust Fund beat down poor Zero in a 5-on-1 mugging. Out came the babyfaces for a rescue. They set up a 10-person elimination match later on that night.

Sixth match: “Outlaw” Randy Wayne w/James Hawke vs. Matt Palmer with Thomas Bussey as ringside enforcer

Well, Hawke had the crowd against him. The fellows next to me were convinced he had bought his shirt at Goodwill. He also received a “Bald Spot” chant. Since I’ve been gone a few months, best I can figure out GM Valo has a vendetta against Matt Palmer and it trying to screw him over (because I guess we haven’t seen heel authority figure go after high-level babyface since 1997 enough). Palmer got a streamer, which is a big deal for our crowd. Wayne would also make somebody’s Hoss division a nice fit. He’s just so country tough. Palmer injured his knee in the match, and Wayne turned into the shark that smelled blood. There was a ref bump, and Bussey, who had been seeming to favor Wayne went into the ring and with the staredown, Bussey attacked Hawke and Wayne. Bussey had Hawke in a triangle choke, Palmer put Wayne in his hold and the referee woke up just in time to see Wayne tap out.

Winner: Palmer

Main event: Kyle Hawk, Flying Jackasses, Livi La Vida Loca & Kenny Steele vs. Trust Fund in an Elimination Match

There were so many elements to this match. This is the stuff Teddy Long dreams of. A 10-person tag match? By this time, my daughter was bored with her phone and back into this match. So she kept on wanting to hold up the “RANCID EMPIRE” sign. But at least she was into it. The 5 faces each did huge dives onto the Trust Fund. The crowd went insane over this and rightfully so. Livi came off looking really strong. I got to show my little girl that somebody as small as Livi can stand toe to toe with somebody as big as Scott Murdoch. I forgot exactly who was left last but it was someone from the Trust Fund.

Winner: Trust Fund

We had a run-in from Mike Foxx after the match set up something in the future.

All in all… What a night. I learned that you should never give your daughter your phone while at a wrestling event. You might end up with this:

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I know what you’re all thinking. Delilah Doom’s dream opponent. I also saw my role transition from wrestling fan to wrestling fan’s dad. I would hold the Velvet Sky action figure she brought, the M & M’s, the water bottle, makeshift necklace that didn’t work very well. It was still a very special night I will cherish forever.

So about the wrestling. We had several main-event caliber matches all throughout the night. Asian Nation-Rabid Empire, Mace-Greg and the actual main event could have been main events of any other show. Kyle Hawk. Joey Garcia. Remember those names. Kenny is taking more bookings and it is showing in his work. Also somebody with a “Hoss” division needs Scott Murdoch, or your division is not legitimate. Thank you all for work and giving us all something to bond over.

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

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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