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.

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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.

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VIP Wrestling presents “HOSTILE TAKEOVER” 11-6-2015

After taking a 5-month break from live shows, I made a return with mother and daughter (aka, a wife’s mini-vacation). I LOVED their new venue.

First match: Lou “Gotti” Sterrett vs. Orion “Payday” Taylor

I remember watching Taylor earlier in his career. He’s come a long way since then. Now that he has a base for the basics, he’s starting to branch out and do more of the fancier stuff. Sterrett is a good person for him to work with. The crowd was pretty engaged in this match. They chanted “You need sit-ups” at Sterrett. He then laid down to try and do it and was rickety and played up the crowd. Of course, in his defense, pretty much everyone looks like they need sit-ups when next to Taylor. They did some more intricate moves than I’ve seen Taylor do. During the match, “Vet Club” members Scott McKenzie and Kristopher Haiden came out to distract Taylor. Sterrett took advantage for the win.

Winner: Sterrett

After the match Kenny Steele came out to the rescue and GM JT LaMotta made a tag match but the only tag team was going to be McKenzie and Haiden.

Second match: Scott McKenzie and Kristopher Haiden vs. Kenny Steele

I hate handicap matches. Kenny definitely keeps improving. This was pretty much just a mugging, but they didn’t kill Kenny.

Winner: McKenzie & Haiden

Third match: 8-man Scramble: Nobe Bryant vs. Jaxon Stone vs. Ashton Jacobs vs. Steven Kirby vs. Chase Malone vs. Jamie Holley vs. Ty Wilson vs. Graham Bell

I recognized 3 of these 8. They weren’t introduced. I just threw the notebook down. There was no way I was going to be able to take accurate notes. Everybody pretty matched up with their person, sharing time going into the ring. At one point we had 4 eliminated with a spontaneous backslide. Then the leftover 4 went at it. Kirby was the last man standing.

Winner: Steven Kirby

Lou Sterrett attacked him afterwards.

Fourth match: Bree Ann vs. Pink Girl

So Pink Girl is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s “Green Man.” Except a girl and pink. PLUS her entrance theme is “Barbie Girl.” That is enough to make her my daughter’s new favorite wrestler (Sorry, Bayley, Athena and Leva Bates). Out came Bree Ann. There was too much of a size difference for Pink Girl as she was dominated to “Bree’s gonna kill you” chants. Then Jessica James’ music played. Bree looked for her to come out. Pink Girl came out for the roll-up pin.

Winner: Pink Girl

Fifth match: The Dark Circle (Tim Storm & Apoc) vs. Unholy Complex (Gregory James & Jason Silver)

There were many candidates for match of the night. This was one of the most profound. McKenzie and Haiden were out there with their fellow Vet Club members The Circle. And then they named legendary referee Rick Manning (who has gone rogue) as special guest referee. This was the old school match. McKenzie and Haiden interfered without Manning noticing (of course). Out came Orion Taylor and Kenny Steele to minimize the McKenzie and Haiden factor. The Complex had a pin imminent when Manning count 1… 2… and then stood up and said it was 2. Upset, the Complex gave him a DDT. They went for the pin and a ref came out for the 3-count.

Winner: Unholy

Later during the night we were informed that due to it being an illegal referee, the decision was reversed.

Winner: Dark Circle

Sixth match (?): Jerome Daniels w/Jamie Oller vs. Bolt Brady

Bolt is so talented. Jerome, before he had his match, had a list of demands: green M&M’s, a new Ricky Starks t-shirt and that Bolt be suspended for the match. GM JT LaMotta agreed.

Winner by forfeit: Jerome

Seventh match: Keith Lee vs. MASADA in a First Blood Match

What do you say about this match? My first words were to my mother to take my daughter out to the lobby for a walk. This was no place for my little girl. Keith Lee is such a force. He looks like Fantastic Four’s The Thing. He had some matches earlier this year for ROH. He needs to return there again. And this was my first live MASADA match. I knew this was going to be interesting to say the least. He had plenty of plunder and weapons. We had the stuff you change tires with, sticks, a cinder block, a chair, the baseball bat and the dumpster with which they arrived. This was wild, insane, violent. It was everything you expect from MASADA.

Winner: Keith

This made Keith look like an unstoppable monster.

Eighth match: Absolute Arrogance (Ricky Starks & Houston Carson) (c) vs. Barrett Brown and Americos

Just before Americos arrived, they had a video showing Americos being attacked by Joe Angelo Garcia & Nigel Rabid. And then it was Bolt Brady to the rescue.

Eighth match (revised): Absolute Arrogance (Ricky Starks & Houston Carson) (c) vs. Barrett Brown and Bolt Brady

All 4 of these guys have wrestled all over this state and others. It was a thing of beauty. It was 4 incredibly talented guys wrestling each other. You just sat back and watched “the dance.” And though all 4 are incredible talents, are you booking Ricky Starks? If the answer is no, make it yes. Jerome Daniels came out during the match (wearing his new Ricky Starks shirt) and interfered with Bolt. Arrogance was able to get the win.

Winner: Arrogance

After the match Nigel came out with Garcia. I just love Nigel on the mic. He went on about Garcia’s greatness until Americos came back out for the save.

Ninth match: Brian Cage vs. Ray Rowe

Yeah, so that happened. Two 800-pound gorillas (You know, the joke about the 800-pound gorilla. “Where does the 800-pound gorilla go? Wherever it wants to.”) one on one. I know Brian Cage’s name and reputation, but haven’t seen him as much as I want to (hint, hint, cough, cough, Netflix, Lucha Underground). These guys put on a classic. Rowe is my favorite male wrestler. He just looks like he’s going to kill you. At one point we had Cage about to do a 619. People with that body type do NOT do 619’s. But nobody’s going to tell Cage that, I guess. This match alone would have been worth the price of admission.

Winner: Ray Rowe

Both men put each other over on the mic. No idea what possessed them to do this, but Absolute Arrogance attacked Brian Cage. Next event, Cage said he’d be back with his tag partner Michael Elgin (!). There was also a faceoff with Rowe and Keith Lee. Irresistible force meeting the immovable object much?

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

Have I mentioned that Fox is one of the top unsigned wrestlers in North America? The guys has abs that look like they were drown on, incredible athleticism, and still has never had a bad match that I’ve seen. Shouldn’t he be main-eventing NXT shows with Apollo Crews? Dalton was his most Dalton could be. He was at the top of his heel game. There was an insane 720 (I think. I was too amazed to count degrees.) splash by Fox that Dalton still kicked out of. And then Fox did a moonsault thing to Dalton on the outside, injuring himself for Dalton to get the countout.

Winner by countout: Dalton

As Dalton celebrated, co-owner Keith Roberts came out to let LaMotta know he was challenging him to a street fight. Keith may not be trained wrestler but he can fight him. And he had one more challenge for Dalton. Just Ray Rowe.

Real main event: Andy Dalton (c) vs. Ray Rowe

Ray Rowe got a very quick pin.

Winner and new champion: Ray Rowe

Roberts asked him who he wanted next show. And Rowe said Keith Lee.

All in all… It was tough to come up with a match of the night. Vet Club/Unholy Complex, Keith Lee/MASADA, Cage/Rowe, Dalton/Fox were all really good and worth the price of admission. Now we have some feuds that should be interesting: Steele Money/McKenzie & Haiden, Brady/Daniels, Bree/Jessica, Kirby/Sterrett, Rowe/Lee, LaMotta/Roberts, Barrett/Garcia. It was a very good show and well worth my money.

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VIP Wrestling “This Means War” 6-12-2015

Another night of professional wrestling is in the books. My mother, little girl and I got a wonderful front row seat. During the night we would find ourselves in the crossfire, escaping just about every match. So if I did not take good enough notes, self-preservation and my daughter’s preservation were chief priorities. Matter of fact, when the action got close, my mother would move to protect me, like I’m not 35 and bigger than her. But I digress.

Ring announcer Keith Roberts introduced two guys who have been behind the scenes in Anthony Mercer and Chavez. They said they were the greatest tag team. They were wanting an opponent. Note to self: Never issue an open challenge when War Machine is in the back.

Bonus match: Anthony Mercer & Chavez vs. War Machine

What? You thought this was going to be a technical masterpiece. Really great story about my mother-when War Machine came out, she got up and moved out of the way. The wrestlers were on the opposite side of the ring. That was just the power of their presence. They were walking to the ring, and she felt like she needed to move.

There are two ways of looking at this. The story was that War Machine was put over as an unstoppable force. Also Mercer and Chavez were guys who are learning the wrestling business. They got the chance to step in there with two guys who are big names in one of the Top 3. It was a really good learning experience for them.

Winner: War Machine

We had a 10-bell salute for Dusty Rhodes and the wife of our color commentator who had passed away earlier that morning. We went right to the action.

First match: Barrett Brown vs. Scott McKenzie

I missed McKenzie’s initial run, but he was one of the biggest things in Texas from what I read. He turned heel recently on Randy Wayne at MPX. He came out tonight first match against Barrett. Last year Jiggle-O James Johnson had a little bit of a career rebirth I called the “Johnsonnaisance.” This year I think we might be on the cusp of a “McKenziesance.” He’s not a flippy-floppy guy necessarily. He’s just big, tough, Texas type of guy. One of the highlights for me was Barrett trying for a rana where McKenzie caught him and powerbombed him onto the ring apron. Ouch. It was a very good opener. If you got the DVD, this would be worth watching again. Barrett is so good at selling every move and making it look important.

Winner: Barrett

They brought out a table, everyone thinking it was a match contract signing. The crowd chanted, “This won’t end well.” GM JT LaMotta came out introducing his top signee Jerome Daniels. Unfortunately in the crowd was Keith Lee, whom I believe is classified as a dwarf planet by NASA. Jerome signed his contract.

Second match: Bad Boyz (Seph Annunaki & Little Tony) vs. Flying Jackasses (Frankie Fisher & BC)

Bad Boyz are two guys who complement each other really well. You have Seph’s finesse, and Tony’s toughness. I didn’t see the usual comedy out of Frankie. He was a bit more serious. He spent most of the match taking the Bad Boyz’ punishment. Everything you would expect out classic tag team wrestling. We had a double bionic elbow from the Jackasses. Dusty tribute #2. BC hit the spear for the win.

Winner: Jackasses

Third match: Tim Storm vs. Apoc

Both these guys were part of the same tag team The Dark Circle. These guys are local legends. When Tim Storm wanted to have a match with Apoc, you knew it was going to be good. We started off with good old-school wrestling. Then Jason Silver’s music hit, and he started on the mic. This was now a triple threat match.

Real third match: Tim Storm vs. Apoc vs. Jason Silver

So Jason Silver brought in the flippy-floppy that Storm & Apoc were hoping to avoid. I had kind of just wanted to watch Storm and Apoc do their thing. Maybe that was the point of this match. I’m not sure. Silver won outta nowhere with at least a 450 splash. Geometry was never my strong suit.

Winner: Silver

After the match, Apoc was really upset with Silver for getting involved. Storm looked like he was going to calm him down. And then Tim Storm did what every one in the crowd knew he was going to do but still popped for it anyway. He attacked Silver and put the beatdown on him. Apoc and Storm put an old school beatdown on Silver. Then Silver’s tag team partner Gregory James came to the rescue. It did not last long as Apoc and Storm started the beatdown on Greg. The babyfaces came out of the locker room and we have a Dark Circle reunion!

Keith Lee was introduced and asked about who he wanted at the next match. Keith said he wanted Lou Sterrett.

During the intermission we got to meet a lot of wrestlers. Roderick Strong was very classy, as were War Machine. Franco D’Angelo had t-shirts in youth sizes and was so great to my daughter. And ignore what I said about Storm and Apoc earlier. They were total class acts and great with the fans.

Fourth match: Lou Sterrett vs. Franco D’Angelo (c) with Keith Lee as the special guest referee

This was for the Texas Outlaw Promotion Championship (a company that runs out of Mineral Wells). This is how good this was done. For a few minutes I felt that Keith Lee wouldn’t turn heel on Franco. If you’re buying this DVD, this will be one of those that you will want to watch. Mostly to see Keith Lee’s size. And Franco’s. Sterrett has worked for some top-tier indies (it took me a while to realize who he was). He moves through the air a lot more than you would expect somebody of his size to. Knowing his background from the Midwest, it’s no surprise. These guys had pretty good chemistry together, and Sterrett kept the crowd in it. Sure enough, Keith Lee attacked Franco for the pin.

Winner and new TOP champion: Sterrett

Fifth match: Andy Dalton (c) vs. Roderick Strong

Yeah, um, so I got to see Roderick Strong live. I remember first seeing him on an ROH tape (Yes, I said tape) as a tag team with Austin Aries. This match was contested under “Strong Style Rules,” whatever exactly that means. Dalton is one break away from having the great discovery of his talent. I dare say he is where ACH was 3 years ago. He took a lot of punishment from Strong, but he gave it back to Strong too. I didn’t write down too much. Just get the DVD. This match alone would be worth the price. Roderick Strong got the pin, and we celebrated. But then… JT LaMotta announced that since it was under “Strong Style Rules” and you could not win through pinfall. Then Strong got distracted long enough for Andy Dalton to get the pin. (I think. I got distracted.)

Winner: Dalton

I’m so confused but we all know that this was Dusty Rhodes tribute #3. The Dusty Finish.

Main event: Simply Irresistible (“Jiggle-O” James Johnson & “The Show Stealer” Matt Palmer) vs. Steele Money (Kenny Steele & Orion Taylor) vs. Absolute Arrogance (Ricky Starks & Carson) vs. War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe)

That was a mouthful. Yeah, you try to write in detail a high-paced, action filled with these 8, especially when you are forced to evacuate a chair because Hanson is about to moonsault from the top rope onto 7 wrestlers where your chair is. Get the DVD. I cannot describe this with justice. Steele Money was out first once they were attacked by Storm and Apoc. (That oughtta be a really good feud.) Simply Irresistible was eliminated next. Then it was War Machine vs. Absolute Arrogance. All 8 of them brought it. But it was the heels that walked away with the inaugural tag championship.

Winner: Absolute Arrogance

With my little girl’s help (kind of ), they announced the next show we would see a main event of ACH & The Young Bucks vs. Andy Dalton & Absolute Arrogance.

All in all… This was a very action-packed show. Of course I’m going to call the 4-way tag match “match of the night.” All 8 delivered. Strong-Dalton would have been match of the night on any other card. I popped majorly for The Dark Circle reunion. I am going to love the feud between Dark Circle and Steele Money. And my little girl had a nice birthday’s eve present.

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IHWE Old School Hustle Night 2 6-7-2015

First match: Barrett Brown vs. Tex As Red w/ his stuffed puppy

These matches were for TV and were pretty short. So my notes here are going to be here too. I’m loving “Evil Barrett.” I haven’t seen him work much as a heel, and I’m liking what I’m seeing. Tex As Red’s gimmick is that he’s, um, simple. He had his stuffed puppy. Barrett took it during the match and threatened him. Barrett gave him a low blow with the ref’s head turned and got the pin.

Winner: Barrett

Second match: Kristopher Haiden w/ Kenny Steele vs. Rodney Mack w/BiG ramp Kenneth Wade

I used to watch Redd Dogg, who would later become Rodney Mack in the WWE, with my mom back in the NWA Southwest/PCW days. It was cool to be able to pass along the Rodney Mack love to my daughter. It was a nice, short match, exactly what it needed to be. Kenny & Haiden surprisingly have a good chemistry together. No surprises about who was going to win.

Winner: Mack

Third match: Brian Breaker & Jake O’Brien vs. Drake Gallows & One Man Sam Stackhouse

I liked what I saw from Drake in this match. He had a pretty cool moonsault from ringside. This is not the match I expected the high-flying from.

Winner: Breaker & O’Brien

Fourth match: Joe Angelo Garcia vs. Kenny Steele vs. Jason Silver vs. Moonshine Mantell

This was probably my favorite match of the tv taping. I really like all 4 of these guys. Kenny was the only heel, still selling the loss from Mack to his tag partner. Each of the 4 guys got to shine here. I loved the huge dive from Silver. Moonshine won with the big power move.

Winner: Moonshine

Fifth match: Jiggle-O Johnson (c) vs. Ashton Jacobs

This was one of my daughter’s many bathroom breaks. 5 hours of wrestling + 5-year-old + lots of matches with no Athena=lots of bathroom breaks. The crowd seemed to be in it & loving it.

Winner: Johnson

The DVD portion of the night began.

Sixth match: Mike Foxx vs. Franco D’Angelo with Rodney Mack as the special guest referee

I guess with Mack as the guest referee you had the only guy who could control the two? I thought it was interesting that these two guys would be the main event anywhere in Texas. Yet here they were in what was basically jerking the curtain. What I wrote down is that nobody told these guys they weren’t the main event.

Winner: Franco

After the match, Li Fang & Kevin Cross along with Nigel Rabid went in for the attack with Rodney Mack coming in for the save. Commissioner Matt Avery made a match- Li Fang, Kevin Cross & Nigel Rabid against Foxx & D’Angelo.

Seventh match: Nate Andrews (c) vs. HBQ for the IHWE California Championship

This was cool to see a little bit of talent exchange. This was bathroom break #2. Poor HBQ bares a resemblance to Kofi Kingston so had to hear “New Day sucks” chants the whole match. We had a really cool splash onto HBQ by Andrews onto the floor. Andrews pinned HBQ but his legs were entangled in the ropes. Rick Manning listened to the crowd and restarted the match so HBQ could walk away with the pin.

Winner and new champion: HBQ

Eighth match: Barrett Brown vs. Gregory James vs. David Fuller

Barrett & Greg have such an incredible chemistry together. Tag Team, opponents, taking tickets, whatever these guys do, you know they will bring it. Greg is usually the heel when they have feuded in the past. It was interesting to see Evil Barrett and Good Greg (BTW, would “Good Greg” be the most generic indy wrestling name of all time?). Barrett wanted Fuller who didn’t show up at first. Fuller showed up, punched Barrett a few times and told Barrett he booked this match so Greg could give him the beating he deserved. At first I saw Andy Dalton and knew what everybody knew. Andy Dalton was going to turn on Greg. There are just some things you know in this world. Death, taxes and an Andy Dalton heel turn.

Winner: DQ

Ninth match: Delilah Doom vs. Jessica James vs. Barbi Hayden vs. Athena

This was one of the matches of the night. These are all 4 incredible athletes. Plus they put together a very entertaining match. The most important person in the crowd loved this match. And that was my little girl. She loved all 4 and was very much into the match. And I would put this up against anything you’d see on SHIMMER, Shine or WSU. These are some of the top indy talents in the world. And they did a lot with the amount of time she had.

Winner: Jessica

Tenth match: Dexter Hard Times, Gary Tool & Canyon w/Steve Moody vs. Rodney Mack & The Blackbird Posse w/Todd Diamond

I can’t remember seeing the Posse before but I swore I did. In addition to the Mack, I watched Canyon at the same time. He was such a good heel in the area. I also used to yell Mr. Bean at Steve Moody. Dexter still looked great. It was hard not to yell “Todd has Herpes” at Diamond which I couldn’t since I was right next to my 5-year-old. This was the nostalgia of the night. It was great seeing everyone again.

Winner: Mack & Posse

After the match, Canyon talked about he and Mack’s long history together. Everybody shook hands. I was 20 watching them again in NWA SW or PCW.

Eleventh match: Carson vs. Americos

I blinked and I missed it. Carson super kicked Americos and he was done.

Winner: Carson

Twelfth match: Carson vs. Steve Anthony

This match went from Baron Corbin squash to match of the night contender. Steve Anthony came out to Americos’ rescue. Then these guys put on what is one of the matches of the night. Though I’m familiar with the name, this was my first time to see him live. This match delivered. I could tell it was going to be a good match because my daughter had to go to the bathroom. When I got back, the crowd was still really into it. It didn’t rely on flippy-floppy to get the crowd. They were chanting “Awesome match” at one point. The finished happened when I was away. But Carson used the belt on Anthony.

Winner by dq: Anthony

Thirteenth match: Ray Rowe vs. Cherry Ramons

Rowe is becoming my favorite male wrestler. This is what I knew had potential to be the match of the night. Not a lot of people were familiar with Cherry’s work up to this point in DFW. I know him from his work with Inspire Pro in Austin. So he surprised a lot of people, except me. I knew these two guys were going to really bring it. Rowe is well-known in DFW for his work in VIP and of course through this thing called ROH. Excellent match, worth buying the DVD when it comes out.

Winner: Rowe

Fourteenth match: Rabid Empire (Kevin Cross, Li Fang & Nigel Rabid)  (c) vs. Mike Foxx & Franco D’Angelo

As this match began I wrote down somebody was going to turn heel. I mean, it’s Foxx. Death, taxes, an Andy Dalton heel turn and a Mike Foxx heel turn. You can set your watch to it. But no heel turn. Nigel went in there exactly when he should. I think the swerve here was that there was no heel turn.

Winner and new tag champs: Foxx & D’Angelo

Main event: Thomas Shire (c) vs. Charlie Haas

The stipulation behind this match was that if Charlie Haas he would retire from wrestling. Not just here but every other promotion. Black Bart was going to hand the winner the belt. At one point legendary referee James Beard was taken out. Carson & Barrett Brown came out to interfere. Black Bart got in the ring, the crowd popping over the legend laying down the law. He stood next to Shire with his branding iron facing off against Carson & Barrett. And then Black Bart did what everybody expected out of Black Bart. He attacked Shire. James Beard was revived to do the 1-2-3 for Charlie Haas.

Winner and new champion: Haas

After the match Ray Rowe came out to clean house but he joined this group. Haas, Carson, Barrett, Rowe, Andy Dalton and Black Bart created a group called “Outlaw Inc.”

All in all: It was a very enjoyable night. This will be out on DVD. When it does, I would get it for the Ladies’ 4-way, Carson-Anthony, Ramons-Rowe and the Black Bart heel turn. Also if you are wanting some nostalgia, I’d take the Old School 6-man.

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Inspire Pro-In Their Blood 2

The following will contain adult language:

I now face the unenviable, self-imposed task of trying to put Inspire Pro Wrestling in Austin into words. This was my birthday present to me. My wife let me get a hotel room, rent a car and eat Fazoli’s in Waco without her. So a big thanks and shoutout to her for an incredible present. I got a huge ticket hook-up that gave me the opportunity to sit front row and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience (Thank you, Luke). Brandon Stroud thanked everybody and hyped up the crowd and gave the warning about if you have to be a garbage human, go be one at home, don’t do it here. He has this great boyish charm that Austin loves. He was interrupted by his arch rival Lance Hoyt. And all people when they see Lance Hoyt, especially when Hoyt has tried to hurt him in the past, shy away from getting near him. Lance wasn’t going to hurt him. He just came tonight to do some commentary.

First match: Thomas Shire w/Nigel Rabid vs. Mr. B vs. Keith Lee w/Chris Trew.biz & Roxie Castillo

I think I got everybody. Some of the storylines and personalities are new to me. If I miss anybody I apologize. This is my first time to see Mr. B who has a very interesting story from my research. I liked Trew.biz and Roxie. She’s the most adorable thing in Inspire not named Delilah. So Shire had stolen the belt rather than winning it. It belonged to Keith. There is a list of people you do not mess with. Keith is very high on that list after Chuck Norris and Saraya Knight. He was announced as being from “the desert planet of Tatooine.” I counted the “Holy shit” chants. We had 3. One came from Shire colliding with Keith Lee and learning why Keith Lee is an immovable object. B, Shire and Rabid were recovering ringside when Keith Lee did like a 450 plancha onto them. Shire took a lot of punishment. His back was very red.

Winner: Keith Lee

Nigel tried to take the belt but Chris and Keith apprehended them. My jaw hit the floor about 5 times during this match.

Second match: Pump Patrol (Jared Wayne & Curt Matthews) vs. Erik Shadows & Matt Riot

I love Pump Patrol’s gimmick. They are a good tag team character. They have a common purpose, matching tights. Sometimes that’s missing in the bigger companies. These guys also do the comedy really well. Shadows and Riot are incredible to watch. There was good crowd interaction. The finish was a double moonsault from Shadows & Riot onto the Patrol.

Winner: Shadows & Riot

The winners took the mic and said that coming would be a tag team belt and division. When it came time for that, they were going to be ready.

Third match: Mike Dell vs. Barrett Brown

I was pretty intrigued by this one. Mike is a well-traveled veteran. He knows what reaction to get out of a crowd and how to get it. Barrett has so much natural talent. When I first saw Barrett he was so stoic. Now he is developing more of a personality with his experience in front of crowds. Hopefully he finds that balance between personality and his mystique. There was plenty of technical goodness. And then it deteriorated. Right into my chair. This was a crazy brawl that moved away from me. That place was so packed you weren’t moving. Dell threw down the ref, and more chaos ensued.

Winner: No contest

There was a crazy pull-apart where they had to just about bring in The Texas National Guard to separate them.

Fourth match: JoJo Bravo vs. Thomas Munos w/a representative of the Tom Tom Club

This is my first time to see Munos “Ultimo Sex Symbol” and the lovely member of his Tom Tom Club. From what I understand it’s a different one every time. That is how Triple H got started if anybody remembers it. JoJo thanked the one person who had been faithfully supporting him: Nigel Rabid. Interesting. I’m not sure if the young lady had any wrestling training, but she did a wonderful job of selling and taking the scoop slam. JoJo put Munos in a crazy submission hold, and he submitted.

Winner: Bravo

Nigel came out to celebrate. I see that being a good pairing.

Fifth match: Delilah Doom w/ Chris Trew.biz & Roxie Castillo vs. Athena vs. Jessica James

I was really looking forward to this match. With Delilah and Roxie there was just way so much more cuteness than is humanly possible. Chris talked about Delilah’s start and how far she’s come. And then out of nowhere came Angelus Layne with the attack. It was brutal. Yeah, um, Delilah was out of the match. Keith Lee came to the rescue. And Angelus did not back down from Keith Lee!

Real Fifth match: Athena vs. Jessica James

They were ready to get started when out of nowhere came Veda Scott. THE Veda Scott. The Unadvertised Surprise Veda Scott. She was accompanied by her lawyer whereby she announced she was in that match.

Just Kidding, Here’s the Real Fifth Match: Athena vs. Veda Scott vs. Jessica James

Being the huge mark I am for women’s wrestling, you had 3 women who have competed for SHIMMER AND Shine Wrestling. I was in heaven. I was so blown away by the fact I was sharing oxygen with Veda Scott, I have no idea what happened in the match. The finish was incredible and everything you’d expect from Veda. Athena hit her O-Face and goes for the pin. Veda pulls her off and throws Athena outside the ring. Veda goes for the pin, and 1-2-3, first ever Women’s XX Division championship.

Winner: Veda

I died. I didn’t expect her to show up, and the finish was so Veda.

The intermission was incredible. It was a who’s who of indy wrestling from Ray Rowe to Ricochet to Athena to Joey Ryan to Angelus Layne (who is even prettier in person) to Donovan Danhausen to Franco D’Angelo.

Sixth match: Steve O-Reno (c) vs. Donovan Danhausen vs. Ricochet vs. Jiggle-O James Johnson w/Chris Trew.biz & Roxie Castillo

I don’t know if Inspire Pro makes DVD’s, MP4’s, wooden engravings, however the kids are watching these days. If you get a chance to, find this match. Actually, watch this whole show. This match alone was worth the drive. Brandon Stroud, as he was announcing the match, said, “Ladies and gentlemen, holy shit, this is happening.” Jiggle-O is loved in Austin because he’s just the right amount of energy for them. Steve O-Reno is so ridiculously over with the crowd. I had never seen Danhausen before but had heard about his work at Dreamwave in IL. Holy crap. Learn this name. Before too long, he will be tearing up the Midwest and now Texas and expanding outward from there. And Ricochet. I have never seen a ring so covered in streamers. All 4 of these guys delivered. I’d like to say I kept detailed, copious notes. You try taking notes of the 4 of these guys doing their technical acrobatics. All I know is that my jaw cracked the floor several times. I kept on telling myself humans should not do this.

Winner: Steve O-Reno

The guys must have been doing Rock-Paper-Scissors for who had to follow this. Because this was like following Robin Williams at The Comedy Store. So Franco D’Angelo took on the unenviable task of following that match. He explained why he threw in the towel for Matt Palmer. Nobody was missing Matt Palmer. Out came his real-life lady Athena. They had a back-and-forth on the mic. And then Franco accused her of riding Palmer’s coattails to the main event. And Athena unloaded verbally. She challenged Franco to a match at the next show. The next show has so many potential “match of the nights,” but this one could steal the show.

Seventh match: Ray Rowe vs. Ricky Starks

This match was as good as it looked on paper. Ray Rowe is quickly becoming one of my favorite wrestlers. Ricky Starks is so charismatic, so full of energy, so entertaining. These guys really brought it. We started off in the ring in what was a really entertaining technical wrestling match. And then a magic button went off, and Ray turned to the crowd, “Ladies and gentlemen, the technical portion of this match has ended.” And then the brawl started. At some point they were out fighting. Rowe was in a chair, and Starks ran off and charged at him only to slightly slap him in the face. It was so Starks. This could have main evented any show in the world. Lance Hoyt looked like he was going to interfere so Brandon Stroud went to stop him on the ramp by holding his leg. That was extremely brave. As Hoyt was going to attack Starks, Starks moved with Rowe getting the attack and Starks getting the pin.

Winner: Starks

This set up two matches: Starks vs. the winner of Dalton/ACH and Ray Rowe vs. Lance Hoyt. Wow.

Eighth match: Tim Storm & Angelus Layne vs. Joey Ryan & Delilah Doom

Due to a personal family emergency, Candice LeRae was not able to be there. So Inspire made due with this situation the best they could. Being the SHIMMER mark I am, I popped for seeing Angelus. Joey did the Blow Pop thing and had some fun with the crowd. So if you’ve never seen Delilah, imagine cuteness in human form. She has so much fun and personality. So if you can’t have Candice, if you’re The World’s Cutest Tag Team, Delilah is a pretty good substitute. And Tim Storm is so old-school and classic. One of the highlights for me was the Boobplex which Joey did twice. After that he told Delilah to do the Ballsplex on Tim Storm. Spoiler alert: She couldn’t pick him up. Not with that dislocated shoulder. I got a little starstruck so I didn’t write down or remember the finish.

Winner: Storm & Layne

I know that Tim Storm had to physically move Angelus to the back. Now that Jessicka Havok is tearing up TNA, I think Layne fills the void of that totally unhinged monster. Also I watched Joey Ryan wrestle twice this weekend on a losing team. You don’t have to be buried every time you lose. Great talents always work their way through the losses.

Main event: Andy Dalton (c) w/Tim Storm vs. ACH w/Ricky Starks

Before the match, front row got to go bang in the ring as they do in CHIKARA and PWG. I’d never gotten to do that before so I died again. This match. What I write will be unable to capture the emotion, the story, the struggle these men faced. Andy Dalton was at his heeliest. More than anything, they wanted the belt. They were going to do every move they knew how to do to pin the other guy or make him submit. I just sat back and watched these two tell their story. Actually sitting is not a very accurate word as they fought everywhere and I was front row so I was standing in the aisles desperately trying not to block everyone’s view. As a fan, I watched these two guys give everything they could. I’ve seen some pretty incredible matches live. But I think I daresay this has to be the greatest match I’ve ever seen live. The finish was screwy but was so Dalton. With the ref out, Dalton did a low blow, did his finisher and picked up the win.

Winner: Dalton

At the next show, Steve O-Reno announced he would be cashing in his title shot. The June 21st Clash at the Bash show looks pretty incredible.

All in all… There were 6 matches on this show that were main event quality. Inspire puts on one crazy, incredible show. I dare call them the best promotion in Texas.

Andy Dalton needs to be on a national stage on a regular basis. So do Ricky Starks and Keith Lee. Donovan Danhausen was a huge surprise. Let’s see this guy get more opportunities. Lance Hoyt was great, “encouraging” Brandon Stroud on the mic, ringing the bell and even leading the crowd in a stirring rendition of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”

Thank you to everyone who worked to bring about this show.

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MPX 100-May 30, 2015

Once every 5-6 years,  I get the opportunity to experience my birthday on a Saturday. So since my birthday was actually on a Saturday, I took my daughter to wrestling. It was still a sweltering pit of a humid Texas May. But there was a lot of excitement and energy in the crowd. I splurged for front row seats because The World’s Cutest Tag Team was there. I got to meet the World’s Cutest Tag Team who were wonderful. We opened the night up with a pre-recorded interview with Matt Palmer and Athena. This was a big opportunity for them, and they were going to rise to the occasion. The MVP of the night was Kody Kox because he wore a suit.

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

Since the Trust Fund is a bunch of rich brats, the Flying Jackasses did a Robin Hood video package where they were going to beat them, effectively stealing their belts. Then they came out dressed as Robin Hood and Little John. It was nice, creative and went well with the crowd. Frankie is a good entertainer. You’re going to get a different type of match out of him than flippy floppy. He also pays tribute to Eddie Guerrero well. He tripped around Jamie Oller and blamed it on him. The ref made him leave ringside. Highlights of the match: BC had Garcia up in a vertical suplex for a 16-count, which I counted with my daughter. (See, wrestling can be educational.) Tadlock had BC in his version of The Razor’s Edge, but BC reversed it and turned it into a GTS. With Tadlock and Garcia dazed, BC went for the double spear.

Winner and new champions: The Flying Jackasses

The crowd was very happy. Good moment.

Second match: Kristopher Haiden vs. Kenny Steele

Steele came out with a lot of fire and energy. This guy has come a very long way in the past 5+ years. (I remember when he was training & working security.) Haiden worked as the momentum killer in this match. Any time Kenny would come out fighting with any fire, Haiden would do a power move to halt his progress. The highlight for me was Kenny gliding over the top turnbuckle onto Haiden. Kenny is such a crazy sick athlete. And I know he’s only begun to crack the surface.

Winner: Haiden

Third match: Jerome Daniels vs. Mike Foxx in a Street Fight

My little girl was ringside and got a five from Mike Foxx. I guess she’s a second generation Foxx fan. Both guys came dressed and ready for a street fight. This was a wild plunder fight. The craziest move of the match was a back body drop from Foxx where Jerome went through the cords and unplugged the main lights for filming. It was really fun watching everybody scramble to fix it while the match went on. We had a sidewalk slam on a chair that bent. We had a snap suplex ringside right in front of us. Mike Foxx went through a ladder. We had a kendo stick, cookie sheet, trash can lid, tons of plunder. We had another powerbomb that broke the ladder. We had tons of nearfalls. Foxx won with his version of the Stunner.

Winner: Foxx

This was such good plunder match. It reminded me a lot of a bunkhouse match.

Fourth match: Franco D’Angelo vs. Lance Hoyt

2 DFW legends going at it. You just sat back, and let the story tell itself. I’ve never seen this side of Franco before. He was a cross between cowardly heel and human game of chess player. (I’m not calling Franco a coward because his arms have the same circumference as my head.) The highlight of this match for me was Franco bashing Lance Hoyt into the guardrail right in front of me. I never saw a TNA/WWE/NJPW/GFW superstar get bashed in front of me when I was 5. My daughter is so spoiled. Franco took a chair from the front row. With the referee taking a ref bump, Franco was about to use a chair and Hoyt punched him through the chair. The ref looked up at him and saw a chair and Franco laid out. So the ref dq’d Hoyt.

Winner by dq: Franco

Didn’t like the finish, but it was a nice clash of titans.

Fifth match: Randy Wayne w/James Hawke (c) vs. Steven Kirby in a bullrope match

Some matches get better when you realize everything that went along with it, like Mankind-Undertaker Hell in a Cell or Shawn Michaels-Stone Cold at Wrestlemania 14. We knew there would be blood, and I saw blood pretty early on. I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. I later saw the gash in Randy Wayne’s head. I’m not sure if he needed stitches, but it looked bad. These two hosses didn’t need any help beating the stuffing out of each other. But they had all the help they needed in a bullrope. The phrase I always hear is “violence… for the sake of violence.” The finish was Wayne pretty much hog-tying Kirby for the pin.

Winner: Randy Wayne

Loved the finish, loved the violence, loved Melanie (Wayne’s lady) being involved (She does the scorned woman thing very well as we learned when Frankie feuded with her brother.). The new referee looked familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it. Somebody mumbled something about Scott McKenzie, who I know has done a lot in Texas, my fandom just never overlapped with his stardom. He reffed a few matches of the night, raised Wayne’s hand and then… beatdown. He ripped off the ref shirt. It is on…

Main event: The World’s Cutest Tag Team (Joey Ryan & Candice LeRae) vs. The World’s Hottest Tag Team (Matthew Palmer & Athena)

When I first heard TWCTT was going to be here on my birthday, this is the match I wanted but didn’t tell anybody in case it didn’t happen. When this was announced, I got really excited. I’d been telling my daughter about Candice for months so she would be excited about seeing her in addition to Athena. (She once threw a legitimate fit because Athena was not booked.) Joey Ryan had the Blow-Pop exchange with a fellow on the row behind us. This is how close we were. That is through the guardrail from our seats.

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I had one of the most embarrassing moments as a wrestling fan. My daughter likes throwing streamers but is too shy to actually throw them so she had me throw them at the two ladies, Candice and Athena. The streamers I threw for Candice did not unroll. So this perfectly round roll of streamer rolled right to Candice’s feet. Oh, the embarrassment. Athena/Palmer’s entrance was incredible. She had full banner entrance with both wearing masks painted up.

And of course since I’ve waited a long time for this particular match so as soon as it began, my daughter turned to me and said, “Daddy, I have to go to the bathroom.” Thankfully from where I was I could still see it. This was a very fun match to watch. We did a chicken fight. And then Candice and Athena tried to do real wrestling moves on top of their respective guys. And then the match got more serious. I’m not sure if this match was filmed in its entirety, but I recommend finding it on Youtube or wherever the kids are watching this stuff nowadays. Palmer got the superkick on Candice. Athena did the O-Face on Joey for the pin.

Winner: Palmer & Athena

After the match, the Trust Fund came out for the opportunistic attack on Palmer & Athena. Candice & Joey came back in the for the save and, as ACH would gleefully yell, “Sportsmanship.”

All in all… A great birthday present for me. My daughter was really into this most of the night. I got to meet Candice and Joey which was incredible for me. Forgive me for being biased, but the main event was the match of the night. The tag title change was great to see live, plus the Robin Hood thing was really creative. Wayne-Kirby and Foxx-Daniels were insane brawls. It was a wonderful birthday present.

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