I would like to thank AAPW for graciously sending me a copy of this DVD. They first showed the crowd, which was a good thing. They looked enthusiastic and happy to be there. The commentary had a good enthusiasm without extending into Mike Tenay shrill mode.
First match: Greg Anthony vs. Heath Hatton
I was really hoping for this guy, but alas, it was not. Anthony had a look and feel of one of the Texas Hangmen from WCW days. Anthony started off with a rather shrill promo. Not that it was bad, but there wasn’t a lot to differentiate him from every other wrestler out there. He would also be better-served to use his lower register for promos. He got the crowd nicely involved though. Hatton was pretty enthusiastic and made time for the fans. It seemed like it took forever for the first match to start. Hatton looks like a pretty impressive athlete. He had some nice vertical to his dropkick. Anthony wrestled a very good heel style. Hatton pulled a small package for the win.
This was a nice opener. The crowd was engaged, and it started the night off on a high note. We had a brief interview with Stacey O’Brien. It sounded like an interview with your local sports team player, which is exactly what it should be.
Second match: Pokerface vs. Matt Cross
Pokerface has an impressive look. And is there a better heel move than coming out to Lady Gaga? And whether I like him or not, Matt Cross has got to be one of the best in-ring workers I’ve ever seen. They told a nice story of Pokerface being frustrated by Cross having an answer for every move. Pokerface eventually pulled a victory out.
Matt Cross is just a once-in-a-lifetime athlete and is just a sight to behold. Pokerface is very solid, though I haven’t seen “it” from him. It will be interesting to see where he goes.
Pac and Generico were interviewed backstage.
Third match: “Playboy” Paul Rose vs. Billy Hills vs. Jay Spade vs. Justice vs. Bull Bronson
I hated Rose’s look which I think is the point. It fits a heel style really well. Billy seems to be the hillbilly element. Being the Texan that I am, I love hillbilly elements. Spade is a little guy. Bull Bronson looks like a building with hair. He is announced from Tarrant County, but the announcer mispronounced it. The announcer pronounced it like “tar.” It should be pronounced like “tear” as in “tear a piece of paper.” I know that sounds little, but I live in and am from Tarrant County, Texas. It’s the little things. Justice was kind of the middle-sized guy in the match. This was a 5-man Free for All so I really have no idea what happened. Bronson is a nice monster. If you went into the biker bar, he’d be the leader of the rival gang. Spade had nice aerial moves. If this were a Ring of Honor crowd, he would have gotten a “Please don’t die” chant. Justice was sent packing pretty early. If you didn’t know he would come back out again, you have never seen wrestling before. Spade sure can bump. Bronson ended up winning.
Of course I am the only person going for Bronson since he is from my home county.
Fourth match: Bull Bronson & Roscoe D. Harris vs. Money Makin’ Jam Boys
The announcers were asking why Bronson was coming out again. As far as I’m concerned, Bronson can be anywhere he wants to be. Harris’ gimmick is that he looks like he needs a bath. The MMJB are KC Jackson & Mississippi Madman. I’m pretty sure that the Madman has his own zip code. Mr. Zip Code makes Kevin Nash look like Usain Bolt. KC Jackson is a polar opposite so the two have a nice contrast. The more the match went on, Madman reminded me of George “The Animal” Steele sans body hair. I really found myself enjoying this match.
I really like these two as a tag team. Colt Cabana cut a very nice promo about who he is and what he does.
Fifth match: PAC vs. El Generico
Matter of full disclosure: PAC is perhaps one of my favorite wrestlers, perhaps top 3. I liked that the crowd had Ole chants for El Generico. There was a “That was awesome” chant about 3 minutes into the match. Insane. I can very easily call this the best match I’ve ever seen Generico have. These two are very familiar with each other. They just seemed to kind of release and do what Terry Funk described as “the dance.” I don’t use this word very often, but I dare call this a “great” match. They also earned a “This is wrestling” chant.
The fans gave a “Thank you both” chant. And I completely agree. At the beginning of Disc 2, Ax Allwardt cut a quick promo that sounded like he was lip-syncing Hulk Hogan promos. There is a “hit-by-a-car” storyline? If somebody hit me with a car, I would call the police, not wrestle them in a ring.
Sixth match: Stacey O’Brien vs. Rebecca Raze
If Sheamus ever wanted an Irish Catholic female buddy, it would be O’Brien (not because of her skin tone, just the Irish thing going). They were going to present O’Brien with a Female Wrestler of the Year award but Raze attacked her. I was very impressed with Raze’s ring style and power. I was impressed by O’Brien’s style and power too. This match turned out to be really good. O’Brien took the win with a bridge.
Stacey is a nice face of their women’s divison. And what guy wouldn’t love the green pleated skirt? Also, Raze is a very good heel to complement her. This was a good match I would let my daughter watch. Easily the sleeper match of the night.
Mike Masters cut a promo. I think he thought he was leading basic training.
Seventh match: Colt Cabana vs. 3G Eric Wayne
Matter of full disclosure. I’m an avid listener of the Art of Wrestling (which you can find on iTunes). He looked genuinely happy and enthusiastic to be there. I’ve never seen him “mail it in.” He did the AAA torreador spot with Wayne. Funny stuff. Nobody does comedy better than Colt. Plus I thought Wayne did a nice job of playing straight man to Colt’s comedy. It was difficult to see Wayne’s star amid Colt being Colt. But I did like his aerial style. Wayne pulled out a win with the Spicolli Driver.
Very entertaining match, well-booked. LiveWire cut a very nice promo. He’s a good “man of the people” type guy.
Eighth match: Mike Masters vs. Kevin Hunsperger
There was a nice video package leading up to this match. It looked like they were telling a nice story. Masters had a very nice crowd reaction (of hatred). Hunsperger was allegedly making his pro wrestling debut. So he gets a mulligan. There was a story to be told and he told it very well. It wasn’t PAC-Generico, but it was still very entertaining. Masters is such a good heel, I hated him.
I put this in the category of Vince-Shane Wrestlemania 17 as not the strongest technical match but really freaking entertaining. Good feel-good moments and Masters was such a vicious heel, it made the victory so sweet.
Main event: Livewire (c) vs. Ax Allwardt
The commentary was really good and made this match seem important. Livewire moves and acts like the champ. This was a brutal brawl with a lot of emotion. While this was no PAC-Generico, this was a very good brawl. There were some ref bumps, but it made sense in the context of the match. The crowd was very behind this. Livewire ended up hitting the superkick for the win.
All in all… I thought this was a very good DVD. Was it worth the $15? Did I mention PAC vs. Generico? You also get Matt Cross & Colt Cabana. There was enough to get me to tune in, but if it takes those 4 to tune in, it’s going to take those 4 to keep on tuning in. However I found some intriguing wrestlers. I liked Livewire, Mike Masters (as a heel), KC Jackson, Mississippi Madman, Rebecca Raze and especially Stacey O’Brien (possible swoon). All a company needs is a few fascinating characters and a few intriguing storylines.
The biggest strength by far is the crowd. They were genuinely happy to be there and were ready for a wrestling show. The wrestlers also had a lot of enthusiasm and looked like they were happy to be there. The commentary was also really good and helped to put over their talent really well.
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