Tonight was a new night for MPX. The faithful were already there in line as I arrived. I honestly haven’t seen a line that long in a while. I’m not sure if it’s Lance Hoyt or the weather or Kate’s Princess Leia bikini, but the house was decently-sized.
Dark match: Frankie Fisher vs. Livia la Vida Loca
Frankie came out first and said since he wasn’t booked he wanted to offer an open challenge. Out came this tiny little female thing in brand new tights. Frankie laughed but he agreed. This match had a lot of comedy. Livia was little but found a way to use her strengths in her match. She reminded me a lot of Jennifer Cruz. Very well-put together.
The lights went on and Kyle Valo came out with Kristopher Haiden and ran down the night. While trying to find an opponent for Haiden, Barrett Brown came out and offered his services. The pop Barrett got wasn’t a “Oh, it’s a good guy. We’re supposed to cheer for him.” It was a “Hey, this guy is a star. We like this guy.” Gregory James got the title match. And then Lance Hoyt came out. This is his first appearance in Texas since coming back from New Japan. Lance Hoyt cut a great promo and had the crowd eating out of his hands. They made a triple threat match for the title.
First match: Joshua City & JD Kross vs. Tad Wylde
I really see something in Joshua City. He has a lot of character and personality. There was one moment where his rookie chops showed. He was trying to tell Kross to come back out with his new music. The mic wasn’t up far enough to his mouth to hear him well. Kross came out and started Hammer dancing. The crowd loved it. It reminded me a lot of an odd couple. You had the guy with lots of personality with the more serious of the two, like Al Snow/Steve Blackmon or Buff Bagwell/Scott Norton. (I would like to apologize for my reference to Buff Bagwell.) Tad Wylde really have a lot of chemistry as a tag team. When it came to the match, Tadlock did a lot of the work and bumped and sold a lot to make them look good. Now they even have a tag match finisher.
Winner: Tad Wylde
While they are still rookies, City & Kross are coming along nicely.
Second match: Claudia vs. Matt Andrews
So, the second intergender match of the night. Not really sure how Old Cranky White Man feels about that. That might be a different topic for a different blog. Best I can figure out, Andrews is channeling Gollum, except his “My precious” is his left hand. I’m sure there’s a joke somewhere in there. The match itself was pretty decent. Her femininity was never as issue. She is a pretty decent high-flyer. Andrews choked her until he was DQ’d.
Winner by disqualification: Claudia
Third match: Zero the Antihero vs. Kenny Steele
The crowd once again loves Zero. The crowd still boos Kenny, but there just seems to be something missing. I think he’s not doing enough to stay over as a heel with the crowd. The only thing worse than being booed is no reaction. Zero did his video game spots and the crowd loved him. He also had new awesome-looking graphics. During the match Franco D’Angelo came out, which raised a lot of questions. One of the best things I can say about this match is that I thought Zero actually had a chance to win. However it was not to be after a low blow.
Winner: Kenny Steele
After the match Franco D’Angelo got in the ring. Kenny saw him and ran just as fast as he could. If Franco works a program with Kenny, they are going to have some work to do. Looking at aura, Franco comes off like a pro football team. Kenny comes off like a junior high football team. So I’d be interested to see what Franco could do for him but Kenny is really going to need to step it up. Franco then told Zero something in his ear. He shook his hand and gave him a rub. Judging by Zero’s reaction, I can only guess that Franco told Zero his gaming tag.
Fourth match: Barrett Brown vs. Regrub
Regrub had to be one of the early highlights of the night. He sat ringside and kept interacting with the fans to try and keep the heels over. Barrett has begun to wrestle more at Anarchy down in Austin. Also as a tag team partner of Greg, you can see a lot more innovation. Barrett is a year or two away from having a spot on a national stage providing everything goes well. Kate helped distract long enough for Barrett to get the pin.
So Kate helped her boyfriend’s tag team partner win the match. This is looking very Hogan-Savage to me. During the intermission, the wrestlers did a lot of mingling. Of course, how could Lance Hoyt turn down the little kid who had his action figure still in the box for an autograph?
Fifth match: Carrion Arcane vs. Frankie Fisher
I was a little disappointed by the build-up for this match. You have two former members of the same faction meeting for the first time in MPX (that I remember). How do you not advertise this or give it some build-up? When the match began, Arcane started to leave and the crowd started singing, “Na na na na/Na na na na/Hey hey/Goodbye.” The crowd really was one of the MVP’s of the night. The highlight of the match for me was Arcane, a rather large wrestler, doing a Rolling Thunder-type move.
After the match Arcane teased a face turn. I think the crowd wants it, but Arcane is such a good heel. Kudos to Frankie for having two different matches that were completely different. The Frankie Fisher I see now is completely different than the Frankie I saw last year. He’s not blown up by the time he walks to the ring and has put so much work into perfecting his physique.
Sixth match: Danny Saint vs. Nobe Bryant w/Ms Davi vs. Dax Daring vs. Li Fang w/Nigel Rabid
How do you not advertise Nobe Bryant? Guy has a lot of good will with the people in the area. Why is he a heel now? Wasn’t he face last time? Dax is majorly over after the last time he wrestled here. Saint is quite over at the start of the match, but the fans for got they were supposed to cheer for him. Li Fang is over as always. If there are any lulls, he just starts speaking in Chinese to the crowd. After a 2-count, he starts speaking to the ref in Chinese. (I say Chinese. I’m not entirely sure it is.) Plus, with Nigel in his corner, he makes for a pretty good heel. The Saint-Nobe interaction was good. Also, the interaction of Li-Dax was really good. “I want to be chopped by Nobe Bryant,” said no one ever. I’d like to see Josh Prohibition go one on one in a First Blood chopping contest with Nobe. Nobe still has the best chops I’ve ever seen live. (Sorry, Murdoch.) This match had a lot to it. The finish was Kenny distracting Saint so Nobe could get the pin.
Seventh match: Steven Kirby & Scott Murdoch vs. Kanoa & Mike Foxx
Kanoa/Foxx really have a good chemistry together and make pretty good heel pairs. I think Murdoch’s been working in the gym a little. When it came to the match itself, Kanoa did a lot of bumping and selling. And while they are no Nobe Bryant, being on the business end of a chop contest between Kirby and Murdoch is no picnic. The flow was nice. After a rep bump, Mike Foxx brought out a leather strap and proceeded to hang Kirby. The other refs came out to his rescue. But a groggy ref counted to 3 for Foxx & Kanoa to get the win.
Winner: Foxx & Kanoa
A leather strap will always be followed by a leather strap match. I’m looking forward to that.
Main event: Kristopher Haiden (c) vs. Lance Hoyt vs. Gregory James
Lance Hoyt came out to the ring with the IWGP tag title he holds. Seeing that live, I died several deaths. The last time this match happened, my wife said it was one of her favorite matches. The night had lacked a certain “Wow moment” for me until this match. The layout was spectacular. You had a moment when Hoyt & Haiden were ringside. Hoyt yelled out, “I think he needs some chops, Greg.” So Haiden took him to a young lady in the front row who chopped him. And then several other people in the crowd let him chop them. Kudos to Haiden for giving the fans some nice interaction. Then there was the Hoyt-Greg stuff. Their interactions were really good. You had the self-destruction of two guys who got along really well together. Lance Hoyt could phone it in but never does. You can tell he legitimately likes working in front of our crowd. The finish happened when Barrett Brown went in the ring with a chair and Haiden moved out of the way and got Greg by mistake. Haiden took the pin.
All in all… I can tell some of the guys have been working on their physiques. Haiden looked a lot skinnier than I’ve seen. According to my sources, he’s lost about 30 pounds and is looking great. Murdoch is also looking trimmer. Also, Frankie looked great and had some good cardio going.
I don’t feel there was as much advertising or build-up behind what could have been. There were a few matches and appearances that meant something that I’m not sure got the emotion that they needed to.
But they did what they always do. They left questions that need to be answered. What did Franco tell Zero? Why did Kenny run off? What will happen when Kenny & Saint face off? Will Greg forgive Barrett for the chair shot to the head? Will Matt Palmer return? Has Carrion Arcane had enough of Kyle Valo? And a leather strap is never used without a leather strap match.