Well, I took my sister-in-law and her friend (the lovely Mrs. Eagle) to a night of MPX Wrestling. After the last time, how could I NOT witness Matt Andrews Appreciation Night? Is it worth the $8? Absolutely. This is a fun company to watch. And what they lack in experience, they make up for in characters and storylines. Again, I will praise this company for “the little things.” This is important to me, because the little things are important to me (Like why didn’t Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart shave his goatee after Summerslam ’97? Yep, I still remember.). So to see a company pay attention to little things means a lot to me.
It was not as humid as it was the last time. And the company opened its doors at nearly 7:30. Props to them, as that is a little thing, but it is very important to me. The worst wrestling show I’ve ever been to was mostly because it was late. The company looked like it had prepared for Matt Andrews Appreciation Night. There were balloons in the ring and streamers everywhere. If the place had been big enough, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see JBLs limo driving to the ring.
The show began with Kate Carroll announcing the card for the night. Her “character” as a ring announcer reminds me of Jeremy Borash or a Lillian Garcia (minus getting seduced by Viscera and nachos). She is very good about getting the crowd going. Like a Jeremy Borash, she is the face of the franchise yet kind of the “everyman” (or in her case, “everywoman”) character. She had not been going very long before she was interrupted by Genesis. Kyle Davis (who was sporting a Jimmy Hart-type Genesis jacket) gave Kate a verbal beatdown and made her put on a Genesis t-shirt and then sit down. Then they introduced an English fellow named Nigel. Nigel must be a big fan of Chris Jericho, as he used every big word he could think of. I’m still not entirely sold on him being from England, but he did what he was supposed to and that is make the crowd hate him. My only concern is that the promo went on a little too long. There’s a fine line between “Rock” heat and “X-Pac” heat.
Then Matt Andrews was introduced. He came out to the ring walking on a red carpet. (Again, it’s the little things.) He had on his sunglasses and strutted and walked that aisle. So then we had the celebration and promo. At this point they introduced Melody, his new valet. I’m going to say this as honestly and tactfully as I can. Melody looked trashy and hoe-ish. (Now, I am not saying anything about who she is in real life. For all I know, she teaches Sunday school at her local church. So please understand I am just referring to her character.) But her character worked. So now the wrestler who turned on his locker room gets this woman to accompany him. The lovely Mrs. Eagle thought she looked 12 and her and my sister-in-law very quickly pointed out her hair extensions. But it made sense for the evil faction.
Then we saw the first match of the night. And this part I thought was different. They brought out Lucha Lucha and Kris Haiden read some of his Facebook posts, mocking him for some of the things he said. At first it looked like Kris was going to read off a script. But then when he started reading the posts, they made more sense. This was something different and I liked it. And then he announced the opponent for Lucha Lucha which was Viktor Tadlock.
First match: Lucha Lucha vs. Viktor Tadlock
I’m not going too hard after the guys’ work. I’d love everybody to wrestle like Bryan Danielson, Kurt Angle or Ricky Steamboat. It’s not going to happen and it’s not going to happen overnight. Lucha Lucha wears a Cibernetico mask, so my idea to get the crowd going was to lead them in a AAA Cibernetico chant. (“O-e, o-e, o-e, o-e, Ci-ber, Ci-ber”). Turns out the crowd is not into Cibernetico or El Generico. Viktor Tadlock is a great natural heel. He’s very interactive with the fans, which makes it enjoyable. And he did a good job of working with Lucha Lucha. Lucha Lucha took some brutal knife-edge chops and had the red chest to prove it.
Winner: Lucha Lucha.
There are a few little things that I feel could improve Lucha Lucha’s “overness” with the crowd. Let’s give him a segment where he talks about what Lucha Libre means to him. Talk about the luchadors he grew up watching (Eddy Guerrero, Konnan, Rey Misterio, Psychosis, Super Calo, Chris Jericho, Ultimo Dragon, La Parka and an El Canek thrown in there to get me to pop). I’m not sure how financially feasible this would be, but every month, he wears a different mask as tribute. One month, he wears the La Parka mask, next month, El Santo, etc. The reason I’ve said this is because Lucha Lucha seemed to be speaking English. If his character speaks English, I need to know why as a fan.
Then we were treated to a Kyle Valo vignette. I am hard of hearing (especially when my wife asks me to pick up milk on my way home from work), so I can’t vouch for its entertainment value. I do like MPX’s attempt to add something different to the show. We are a post-modern generation and need a variety of mediums. This was a nice break. Apparently, he was asking Genesis for a chance to do an interview segment called “Hot Topics.”
So then Kyle Davis (There was a lot of Kyle Davis, btw. While he is very entertaining, they do need to be careful he doesn’t get overexposed.) offered a match to a “man off the street” to take on the monster Regrub. Regrub has to be seen to be believed. He has facepaint that makes him look like a cross between Papa Shango and The Boogeyman. His outfit kind of looks like a clown outfit, reminiscent of Pogo the Clown. I believe the phrase is “indy craptacular.” But the guy comes out and works and puts on a lot of facepaint. I was at an indy show. You know you’re going to have some indy craptacular-ness.
I hate “man off the street” matches. Like when Steve Blackmon came out of the crowd and then started fighting and then Vader bailed him out of jail. I don’t think it sets good expectations about what a fan’s behavior should be. A wrestler came in and walked to the ring. He wasn’t wearing a shirt and had his name on his pants, so I guess he wasn’t so “off the street.” Kyle said something about this new wrestler (Ryan Nichols) being on MySpace and then the match began. I am going to try and be as nice and sensitive as I can. Ryan Nichols needs a look makeover. His hair has the dark roots and is blond about six inches down. He needs to lose a hair vs. hair match and quick.
Match #2 Ryan Nichols vs. Regrub
This was Ryan Nichols’ first match. So I will concentrate on what he did well. The point of this match was to get over Regrub as a monster. (I think) Nichols sold really well and paid his dues. That was about it. It was a squash match. But I’m looking forward to seeing Regrub built up as a monster to put some of the younger guys over.
We were then treated to Kyle Galo’s segment “Hot Topics.” Since his character is quite nerdy, I would have loved to see it be named on some nerd-type aspect. But his guest was “Headbanger” Gregory James. And then out to the ring came Frankie “The School Boy” Fisher dressed as Gregory James. This was pretty funny and served a purpose. They played a vignette of “James’ new single,” which was Frankie playing a stuffed guitar. Fisher liked it and Galo liked it (so much that he was on the floor rolling laughing). Then I’m not really sure what happened next. But they booked $Payday$ in a match against Valo & WASP. And then they introduced $Payday$’s opponent who was the referee.
Third match: WASP & Kyle Valo vs $Payday$ & Ryan Gauge
WASP is a very large man. That being said, he should be booked like a monster. One comment I need to say is that he shouldn’t wrestle in his wedding ring. It could be dangerous for his opponent or the ring itself. One of my favorite characters in MPX is Kyle Galo. He plays the cowardly heel SO well. (The word McLovin comes to mind.) Of course $Payday$ tries so hard to get the crowd going. And he does win the “Best Body at MPX” again. Ladies, you don’t know what you’re missing. And then Ryan fought in his first match. (I’m assuming he’s going by his real name. If he’s not, I’m sorry.) Ryan showed a lot of fire in his debut. The match was fun and, as it should be, WASP got the pin and ended up with the victory.
Winner: WASP & Kyle Galo
During the intermission, there were some more shenanigans. Kris Haiden needed to use the bathroom. So Genesis came out in character and made sure security was there to “protect” him while using the bathroom. This is another “little thing” that they did so well.
Fourth Match: Kris Haiden vs. James Hawke in a submissions match where if Hawke tried to put Haiden in a submission hold he would be fired
I understand what they were trying to do here. They wanted to create the “unwinnable” situation. He was pretty much walking into a screw job. The wrestlers’ work was fine. It was just the booking. Kris Haiden is such a good heel. He knows how to get down to business and “do work.” James is improving greatly and has a great babyface persona. As a fan, I just knew that there was no chance. I was maybe three moves away from turning around and chanting “Bingo.” (Sorry, really obscure old ECW reference.)
Hawke’s music started playing and Kris walked off. Not sure if there was a winner.
Fifth Match: Carrion Arcane vs. “Headbanger” Gregory James
Gregory James had something that night I haven’t seen from the wrestlers there yet- fire. Now I’m not saying that the other wrestlers lack fire or heart or anything. You need to have a base before things mean something. We have the base of what “Headbanger” Gregory James is and this past Saturday, we saw “angry”Gregory James. It was nice to see this evolution. Seph Annunaki, right now, is the champ. But I see James being the “Tommy Dreamer” of MPX.
Winner: Carrion Arcane by interference
After the match Ben Wylde ran in with a chair and went after Genesis. I was two steps away from saying “Here comes the heel turn.” But it never did. Then Genesis announced that Wylde was going to face Frankie “The School Boy” Fisher with Wylde tied one hand behind his back.
Sixth match: Ben Wylde vs. Frankie “the School Boy” Fisher with Wylde’s hand taped to his side
So this match was what it was. I have to say that Wylde got a lot of offense and impressed me quite a bit with what he showed. I don’t know that much about the Ben Wylde character. I think I would like to. Why does he wear the tie-dye shirt? I want to support him; I just need to hear why. Frankie Fisher hit an eye poke and ended up getting the win.
Winner: Frankie Fisher
Then came the main event. This made for some pretty cool effects, but Andrews now comes out to a strobe light. Maybe it’s cause I’m sensitive to people who may go through this, but I do think a word of warning should have been given for those who might be epileptic. A heel can get away with “Ladies and gentlemen, avert your eyes if you are sensitive to the brilliance that is Matt Andrews.”
Final match: “The Choice” Matt Andrews w/Melody vs. Seph Annunaki (c) for the Title with Kyle Davis as the special guest referee
This had the feeling of a build-up. It was nice. Seph Annunaki has a kind of “champion’s swagger” to him. He fights with the RVD attitude of “No problem.” This match was a little short, but it was a match that meant something. Davis was knocked out and Ryan Gauge ran out and counted the three-count for the pinfall victory. I’d like to see Melody get involved more in matches. A lot can be said about the wicked female valet. (Nancy Benoit, for one)
Winner and still champion: Seph Annunaki
I really liked the booking of this match. With Ryan counting the pin, Kyle can always claim he wasn’t the legal referee. I can see that going a few places.
After the match, Genesis began their beatdown on Seph Annunaki. The MPX locker room tried to run in but were closed off at the back door. Then they ran around and went through the front door. The crowd chanted MPX and the MPX locker room celebrated.
So now that the show is over I wanted to reflect on what I liked. The wrestlers were very interactive. Maybe it’s because I was on a roll, but I had fun heckling the heels. I had a few of them stopped in their tracks. Like when Kyle, decked out in his Jimmy Hart jacket, walked past me, I said, “Hey, Jimmy Hart, where’s your megaphone?” Or when the announced that Frankie Fisher would be doing the “one-hand-tied-behind-his-opponents’-backs” match, I said, “Wow, Frankie, you’ll finally have a chance now.” I sound like a total mark for myself here, but when the wrestlers interact and give it back to you, that is so fun. They definitely did that night.
Also, one thing I think the company needs to be praised for is the female referee. I think the only time I ever saw a female referee before was Miss Jackie with the flotation devices she called breasts, and I think WWE did that mostly to be sexist. This was a referee who happened to be female. No female characters being referees. This was nice.