MPX’s 1st full year is in the books. Somewhere along the way, this promotion grew to be one of Texas’ most vibrant. There was a lot of build and anticipation tonight. There were some nice creative ideas that translated well for the live crowd. The crowd was new, which was a great thing to have, but they may not have been that well-acquainted with the characters and the storylines. I’m sure the rain kept some of the usual fans out. This was not their strongest show, but it was still well-worth the $8 still and still a pretty solid show.
When you arrived, Cash & Carry were there with a tent set up doing “Occupy MPX.” BC the Moneyman, known affectionately to me as “Cash,” had a megaphone. There aren’t a lot of people who could essentially cut a 30-minute promo. He was probably the most entertaining thing of the night. Also, not to be looked over was the Zach T emotionless, intimidating scowl that lasted about 3 hours.
It began the night with a 10-bell salute for “Killer” Karl Kox from his son, Kody. The crowd didn’t know what to do for him afterwards which was kind of awkward. Even though he was a Texas legend, I don’t think the fans knew who he was. So there were no cheers afterwards or chants. Then Kate was introduced and the night got started.
First match: Cash & Carry & Viktor Tadlock w/Claudia vs. Live, Fly & Die & Zero the Antihero
You had kind of an odd couple thing with C&C & Tadlock. Tadlock looked nice with his haircut. And Claudia’s hair looked very nice as always. This was a good match. I had a “Holy s***” moment when Zero did a huracanrana-type thing on Tadlock. We started off with some good, smart wrestling from the faces. When the tide turned, the faces did a very good job engaging the crowd. The crowd was very involved in this match. I was impressed when Tadlock hit the moonsault. Tadlock got some mist from Claudia, and I think BC got the pin. Good opener.
Winner: Cash & Carry & Viktor Tadlock
The best part was that Cash & Carry kept on doing their Occupy MPX for the rest of the night.
Second match: Athena vs. Claudia vs. Su Young
This was Su Young’s MPX debut. She is a former FCW diva and really quite hot. She also has lots of charisma and has “the look.” (I had the chance to meet her during intermission. Very nice too.) Athena is also so good. I gotta admit I mark out for SHIMMER women. It began really well with some cool 3-way spots. Plus there were some interesting stories of the serious women’s wrestler Athena and the I’m gorgeous Su and I’m evil Claudia. Some of the work was clunky, but you had 3 women who had never worked with each other. Athena got the big pin on Claudia.
Third match: Kristopher Haiden vs. Kenny Steele
This was a match I was looking forward to. I was looking forward to showing my mother Kenny Steele, as he’s now become one of my favorites. There was some good comedy at the beginning of the match where they brawled into the crowd and went into the bathroom. They came out and Kenny had some toilet paper hanging out. Kenny showed that not only can he play the “bad-a**” but he can also allow himself some humiliation. This shows his range. The story was very good. Kenny worked over Haiden’s arm very well. Kenny won with the Snow Plow.
I wrote down that Haiden did a good job of building Steele. I think that by the end of next year, we will see Kenny Steele as a champ.
Fourth match: Keith Lee vs. Matt Palmer & Andy Dalton
First of all, my inner Old Cranky White Man does not like handicap matches. That being said, I thought they did a good job with their match. Second of all, Matt Palmer paid a nice tribute to the late wrestler Spiro. Respect to him and condolences to those who lost him. Keith Lee looks like the boxer from The Wire but bigger. He has tremendous size and a very nice look. I tried to start a “Keith’s gonna kill you” chant, but alas, the crowd was not smart enough or not having it. The comedy was really good in this match, Palmer being hesitant about getting in there. There was (as Dusty Rhodes would say) lots of “clubberin’.” There was a really cool rana from Palmer that saw Keith doing a flip too. Awesome-looking effect. The “Holy s***” moment from this match was Keith Lee doing a 2-man Belly to Belly Suplex. I watch a lot of Ring of Honor and Chikara and AIW. I can safely say I have NEVER seen that done before. And it was even crazier live. Dalton & Palmer took the win.
Winner: Dalton & Palmer
During the intermission, Cash & Carry continued their Occupy movement. The highlight of my night was Athena telling me I could fit in a large. I bought a DVD instead and got an autographed picture from Su. Then we had a vignette with Kyle Davis not being medically cleared to be involved in the kendo stick match. The only problem is that he’s a manager. But not only is he not cleared to be involved in the match, he wasn’t even cleared to be in the building. So apparently, he has the ebola virus. I certainly hope MPX is going somewhere with this.
Fifth match: Frankie Fisher w/Daniel Theman vs. Ben Wylde in a kendo stick match
This was a hot fight. The guys really slugged each other out with the kendo sticks. There was a lot of emotion behind the fight. I wrote down two words during this fight-“great violence.” Oh, and Frankie Fisher looked great. You could tell he has lost a lot of weight and looked in really good condition. Ben came out in a cast and Frankie did everything he could to work on that injured hand. I don’t know if Ben was really injured, but he did a great job of selling it. Daniel snuck up behind Wylde with a kendo stick. He totally no-sold it and proceeded to kill Daniel (or at least Daniel sold it like he was dead). I tried a “Wylde’s gonna kill you” chant with no luck. For me the highlight of the night was Ben doing a suicide dive onto Frankie. It was a total “Holy s***” moment. Frankie put him in a submission and Wylde tapped out.
After the match, Frankie cut a nice promo and then turned on Daniel. So Frankie looks like he’s going to be getting a main event push, which is fine by me, since he’s really stepped up his work.
Sixth match: WASP & $Payday$ (c) vs. Team Kyle (“The Choice” Matt Andrews & Regrub) w/Kyle Valo & Ryan Gauge
I was happy not to see Ryan as referee as Cranky Old White Man hates heel refs. The whole Team Kyle faction is pretty entertaining. I personally think that Choice should stand on his own, but they all are entertaining together. WASP had some new trunks and looked great. He and $Payday$ have worked well on their chemistry and are playing off of each other better now. One of the highlights for me was when WASP did the Fireman’s Carry Slam on Regrub. Through some double-team shenanigans, and Team Kyle got the win.
Winner and new champions: Team Kyle
Team Kyle had a great post match celebration. There was a video (I didn’t get to see) that they played for the winners. It was to “Eye of the Tiger.” During the video, the members of Team Kyle, sung Eye of the Tiger loud and off-key. I really liked it.
Seventh match: Carrion Arcane vs. Mike Foxx with Katie Foxx as referee
This was a really intense match. You had the ref’s husband vs. the ref’s brother. I don’t know how a match gets more intense than this. It was also no dq, so I was ready for the plunder. We had a chair and a tire iron and a table. Foxx went under the ring to look for Hornswoggle, I think. Instead he came out with the tire iron. Foxx had Arcane in a hold and Katie called for the bell. Foxx took the mic and said it wasn’t done. She restarted the bell and Foxx had him in a submission hold and Arcane passed out.
It is possible that this was Foxx’s swansong. If it was, the man has given us many years of great matches, promos and is by all rights, a Texas legend. Let me take a quick moment to say thank you.
Main event: “Headbanger” Gregory James (c) vs. “Just” James Johnson in a ladder match
My mother went with me last night. After seeing James enter, she leaned over and said, “He has ring presence.” He keeps on getting better, too. Johnson had new tights that drew “Barney” chants from the crowd. Classy. This is definitely the best match I have been Johnson do, and one of the best I have seen Headbanger have. This was also quite intense and killer. There is no way to put this match into words. It was just sooooo on. The highlight for me when Johnson went through a ladder.
I added a picture for effect. At first I thought we were going to have a screw job finish, but Headbanger got to keep the belt when the referees saw him with it.
All in all… This wasn’t MPX’s strongest showing. There were some botches and some illogic in the storylines and a little kid who kept on deciding to turn on the houselights. Botches happen. We see this up at the highest level with Sin Cara. And MPX has proven they are usually spot-on with booking, so they get a few mulligans every now and then. And little kids like light switches, so sometimes stuff happens. But…
It was still a very solid show. Happy to see Headbanger turn into one of Texas’ best workers. I’m liking the Frankie Fisher push. BC was excellent on the megaphone and Zach was spot-on with his menacing scowl. The handicap match was still pretty good for handicap matches. And I liked Team Kyle’s celebration. My mother and I went last night because we needed something to do to distract us from our everyday life. It gave us the chance to do exactly that.