Dark match: Livi La Vida Loca vs. Matt Andrews
Livi began by giving a hug to Athena, who was sitting in the crowd. That’s right, girl. Without Athena, you would not be in the place where you are. The match layer-outers have found creative ways of utilizing her strengths. It had a cute little start with some nice comedy. It was a fun match to watch. There was a moment in the match where I felt the crowd made it into a lull and there was no effort by either to get the crowd back into it. The Following came out to interfere and end the match.
Winner by disqualification: Livi
Out to her rescue came Zero the Antihero & Joe Angelo Garcia. Then Nobe Bryant came out and said he’d found his partners teased a face turn. Then Matt Palmer’s music played to a MONSTER pop. Jiggle-O James Johnson came out and made an 8-person tag match later that night. Jiggle-O is so good on the mic and is one of the most entertaining things about MPX. I like them using the dark match to mean something.
Kody Kox came out to start the show. So is Kody a good guy now? He introduced his broadcast partner in James Hawke. Hawke didn’t kill the crowd as much as he usually does. And we had some vocal botching. And of course they introduced Kate, who is the most over person in that company. Out came Jiggle-O who was going to make an announcement and was interrupted by Li Fang & Nigel Rabid. In one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen there, Johnson gave Li brand new music: It was Gangam Style with Li’s and Nigel’s faces superimposed over Psy. It was utter greatness. Johnson informed Fang that he would have a match to earn a title shot. Fang’s opponent was Claudia. Fang completely celebrated… and then Johnson introduced her partner-Prospect champion Danny Saint.
First match: Li Fang vs. Danny Saint & Claudia
Both Saint & Claudia are quite over. I admire Claudia a lot for wanting to be on equal footing with the guys. She has some great athleticism and high-flying. She moves like a female Rob Van Dam. The match had the good “back-and-forth” that was needed. The crowd was engaged and stayed in the match. It was a good opener for just the right length that got the crowd into it.
Second match: Kanoa vs. Jerome Daniels
This would have been a great surprise had his music not played earlier in the night by accident. I grow to like more of Kanoa every time I see him. I believe the sky can be the limit with him. Jerome got a huge pop. It is so nice to see Jerome back. He brings such an element of charisma and does the little things so well. There were some spectacular bumps. I also loved the drama of the arm-breaker. Frankie came out during this match but never got involved physically. Frankie had last feuded with Jerome but feuded with Jerome before Frankie’s face turn. My only complaint with this match was the countouts seemed to go on forever. I think I might have yelled out, “Enough with the countouts.”
Winner by countout: Jerome
I’m thinking I could like this direction of this triangle feud. Franco D’Angelo came out and cut a nice promo with the crowd. He’s very honest and humble about who he is and where he’s been. He is also very good about listening to the live crowd. Haiden of course interfered in the promo and cut his own. What came next was really good. Rather than Franco get mad and start hitting him physically, he teased it. He unbuttoned his shirt. He looked great under there. He reminded me of a Joey Styles quote about Big Dick Dudley, “He’s got arms like legs and legs like… people.” And Franco just stood there and communicated rage.
Third match: The Following & Nobe Bryant vs. Matt Palmer, Livi La Vida Loca, Zero the Antihero & Joe Angelo Garcia
I kind of thought this was opposite from what it should be booking-wise. The faces all came out together and had the smart tag team wrestling. Nobe & The Following came out separate and didn’t work well together. Garcia & Nobe worked really well together. We had a huracanrana & a moonsault. I can say this is the first time I’ve seen something in Garcia. This is only the second match I’ve ever seen him in so that’s not bad. He’s usually in the crowd as a fan so I respect that he’s always there. This was an elimination match so that made it a much longer match than it should have been. Zero was first eliminated followed by Livi. Gregory James looked really good as a heel. Nobe was next eliminated so it was 3 vs. 2. Garcia was next eliminated and it was Palmer vs. all three of the Following. Of course the numbers got to be too much for Palmer who was pinned by Greg.
Winner: The Following (Matt Andrews, Regrub & Gregory James)
After the match, Greg presented Kate a present, which was a stuffed horse that looked like it had been dripped in blood. Now, a decapitated stuffed horse would have been better. Barrett came out her rescue with a chair.
Fourth match: Kenny Steele vs. Frankie Fisher
I think the more I see of Frankie as a face, the more I like his persona. What is Kenny’s direction? Where is he going? Why should I still care about him? He just came off as a red-shirted ensign in Star Trek. The match had some really cool spots and did impress me in some respects. I just can’t help but think that this match was a little too advanced for Kenny’s skills. There were some moments (especially the finish) that looked really bad. Like, if Botchamania featured it, people would have accused them of being a work. What I wrote down is, “Let’s learn our times tables before we start graphing parabolas.”It had some cool moments, but they were crapped on by the awful finish.
Fifth match: Glamour Hammer vs. Tad Wylde
Again, I love the chemistry from both teams, but I really like GH’s. I know I talk a little about how great Joshua City could be so forgive me for continuing. MPX has churned out one great homegrown talent-Greg. But I think that City could be next. He does a lot of the little things so well. Tadlock gave City the chops from Hell. GH had some great, smart tag wrestling. Tadlock did the face in peril for what seemed like forever. I’m not sure Ben Wylde did enough to keep the crowd in it during the face in peril. There wasn’t enough emotion from him to get the crowd wanting him to tag in. I also thought that when Kros had Tadlock in the Boston Crab, he had the perfect opportunity to get in Ben’s face and create some heat. The finish was great. Forget baby powder. City used a glitterbomb in the face of Tadlock (I think). This enabled Kros to do his finisher on Ben Wylde and earn a title shot.
Winner: Glamour Hammer
I thought the glitter bomb was great. GH is developing along nicely.
Main event: Steven Kirby vs. Kristopher Haiden vs. Scott Murdoch vs. Mike Foxx w/Kyle Davis vs. Andy Dalton vs. Barrett Brown in a jailbreak match
The previous two years at All on the Line, they have main-evented with a ladder match, the first of which is in my Top 16 matches of all time. This was different. It had elements of a low-budget Elimination Chamber. Four of the competitors were hand-cuffed at ringside. Two men started out the match. Every five minutes a new wrestler would be un-cuffed. The major deviation from the Elimination Chamber was that it was one fall to the finish. The keeper of the keys was Sign Guy, which I thought was a great honor for a guy who’s done so much for Texas indy wrestling. The match started off as Dalton vs. Barrett. That was some great stuff. Barrett was out after the first five minutes. They either had Barrett’s mom (who works as a photographer at ringside) worked or they worked me by having her freak out over her son. Had she not freaked out, there would have been no doubt who would have won. Next was Murdoch-Dalton. Murdoch has transitioned more into the Incredible Hulk this year. At one point, Arcane used the phrase, “If there’s any problems, we have a Murdoch.” Murdoch, as a a way of self-motivation, was also using the phrase “#Murdochsmash.” And smash, he did. Dalton’s chest looked like a scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I saw a picture he posted online. the ink from his tattoo has now faded from the Murdoch chops. Haiden came in next, then followed by Kirby. The true entertainment was that I was behind Mike Foxx who stayed into it and was committed through the whole match. He and Kyle kept the crowd in it. My recap here cannot do this justice. Barrett came out, most everybody telling him not to compete. He broke free and got back into the ring. 3 seconds before Mike Foxx was scheduled to be unlocked, Barrett took the pin for the win and new champion.
Winner and new champion: Barrett Brown
I’ve seen plenty of title changes there at MPX and other companies before. But that was the first time I think I’ve ever given one a standing ovation.
All in all… What a brilliant main event finish. Barrett looked great and the fans there really wanted to see him as champion. There are so many possible contenders now. Mike Foxx didn’t get to compete in the match. Barrett still hasn’t had “the match” with Gregory James. Kanoa, Dalton, Haiden, all those guys look pretty credible and ready. The night was full and had a lot happen. There are still some things that need some work (and those things I’ve already gone into detail about). It was great seeing Jerome and Palmer back. 2013 is in place for them to have a great year.