It is a new year in the wrestling world. After a week that goes so beyond killer it should be called “zombie,” I needed two things: I went to an SMU basketball game and see Larry Brown coach & I went to my local indy to see my wrestling. It was cold & rainy, but that would not keep me away, nor would it Mother Ruff, my wrestling watching companion.
Dark match: Dax Daring & Dave Dunnings vs. Regrub & “The Left Hand of God” Matt Andrews w/Kyle Valo
Dunnings was looking a little trimmer. The crowd loved Dax as always. I believe this is the first time I have heard Matt Andrews described as “The Left Hand of God.” Mother Ruff leaned over to me and asked, “Does his hand still hurt?” I still think that woman needs a wrestling podcast. She would put Colt Cabana to shame. It was a nice, short match. It warmed up the crowd, and Dunnings looked back in good condition.
Winner: Regrub & Andrews
We opened up with the actual “live portion” of the night. “The Crowd Killer” James Hawke was getting more of a reaction. But the true measure of a wrestler is not what you get the front row to do. It’s what you get the back row to do. Jiggle-O James Johnson came out first and then was promptly interrupted by Kanoa. There was some good comedy going on, but I’m confused with the direction they’re taking Kanoa. He’s no longer making sense with his promos. He called out Frankie Fisher who came out and they had a stare-down. Then Jerome Daniels came out to join the three-person staredown. I would have loved to see them build up towards a Triple Threat match. Jiggle-O cut a great motivational promo. I think I would like to call up Jiggle-O when I’m at work and hear him give me motivational speeches.
First match: Tad Wylde (c) vs. Glamour Hammer
I think Glamour Hammer’s big title shot might have been a little too premature. The outcome of this match was killed for me when Nobe Bryant came out and said he was still looking for a tag team partner. Obviously heel Nobe isn’t going to be feuding with heel Glamour Hammer. Ben Wylde’s outfit looks like something out of my nightmares. He had a hard time keeping both cheeks in the tights and was more embarrassing than anything. That being said, I think that Glamour Hammer is doing some really innovative things and should really be on more radars. As soon as they get some more matches under their belt, they should be ready to start branching out from just MPX. Also to me, one of the highlights of the night was Tadlock doing a springboard moonsault. I found myself being caught up in the match.
Winner: Tad Wylde
Nobe Bryant came back in with his new tag team partner-Kenny Steele. This is brilliant for so many reasons. Nobe has so much to teach Kenny, both from a storyline standpoint and from a “behind the scenes” standpoint. With one quick segment, I had a reason to care about Kenny once again.
Second match: Zero the Antihero vs. Gregory James
I has streamer duty as did Mother Ruff. She was quite excited that her streamers made it into the ring. The crowd loves Zero as always. There was a “Level up” chant for him. He got to do all his crazy video game spots. Greg is now evil and very deep into his character. He and Zero played a strong “good vs. evil” dynamic. At first I thought it was going to be the usual match where Zero gets killed and sells. Greg gave him more offense than usual. Zero looked pretty good during this match and looked like it wouldn’t be a fluke if he won. I noticed something during this match. The crowd is so invested in Zero that every move, the crowd reacted to, one way or another.
Winner: Gregory James
We had a vignette with Kristopher Haiden talking about how Franco D’Angelo had a setback. Haiden was ridiculing him for being old and crippled. Joe Angelo Garcia got in Haiden’s face as D’Angelo was a mentor of sorts. Looks like we’re setting up a Haiden-Garcia feud.
Third match: Athena vs. Livi La Vida Loca
Usually I just tell you what I think. But thanks to joining the 21st century and now having a smartphone, I bring you the entire match.
Now onto my thoughts on the match. Athena was spectacular as always. What I thought was interesting was that the crowd seemed to be favoring Livi. The thing about the MPX crowd is that a lot of them just watch MPX and maybe the WWE and TNA. They don’t know that Athena is one of the best unsigned women on the independent scene. They don’t know that the woman calls herself a goddess but is treated like a goddess wherever she wrestles. They didn’t know that a prestigious wrestling promotion took in more than $50o in a campaign just to fly to her wrestle for them. They knew Livi. Livi was who they wanted to cheer for. Athena won for chop of the night. She also won what was a match between two athletic gymnast types.
Fourth match: Li Fang w/Nigel Rabid vs. Kanoa
This whole segment was all kinds of crazy and confusing. Kanoa made no sense in what he said last night and at one point said just the word “pudding” which prompted “Pudding” chants the rest of the night. I can only guess that he is doing the Perry Saturn thing where he has taken too many chair shots. (Please no return of Moppy.) We did have some pretty good action and lots of stiff kicks. At one point Kanoa began to no-sell. I didn’t like that. People who should be able to no-sell in MPX: Lance Hoyt. That’s it. I think Li was killed in this match. We did have some funny stuff with Nigel. Kanoa should not be invincible, and that’s how he came across. Li looked like a high school football team playing the New England Patriots.
During the intermission, they made a huge announcement: Indy journeyman legend Colt Cabana will be appearing in MPX on Feb. 23. There will definitely be “Mark Out Face” aplenty that night.
Fifth match: Frankie Fisher vs. Jerome Daniels
This was one of last year’s hottest feuds. Frankie and Jerome had such great chemistry. When Jerome is out there, he isn’t just a guy wrestling his match. He is one with the crowd and knows exactly what they need. This one told a story. It was about Frankie trying to prove that he had the heart and desire to be strong enough. When Jerome felt the crowd slipping, he reached out to them and got them back emotionally engaged in the story. It was a strong, powerful match that told a great story.
One of the best matches I’ve seen both have. And dare I spoil it, but this is an early Match of the Year contender.
Sixth match: Mike Foxx w/Kyle Davis vs. Steven Kirby in a #1 Contender’s match
This match was a painful reminder how real wrestling can be. There was some really good intensity here in this match. I’m not sure if it was storyline or not, but Kirby’s knee went out several times. Foxx spent the rest of that match working over the knee. The great thing about Kirby is that he never forgets he’s in front of a live crowd. He kept the crowd engaged and in it. The match ended with some great drama. Foxx had Kirby in a Boston Crab. He had to work it over for about 2 minutes before Kirby tapped out.
Winner and #1 contender: Foxx
I am very much looking forward to the Foxx-Barrett Brown match. If they do it right, it could be epic and a passing of the torch, much like Chris Adams did for Foxx more than a decade before.
Main event: Barrett Brown (c) vs. Kristopher Haiden
If I’ve said this before, I apologize. But these two remind me of wrestlers with similar body shapes who always had good chemistry-Rey Misterio Jr. and Kurt Angle. Both guys on paper don’t look like they should gel but they somehow do. Barrett is over like crazy with the crowd and Haiden is equally hated. I just sat back and watched these two guys do their thing. It was a strong title defense that made Barrett look strong yet Haiden lost nothing.
After the match, The Following came out to attack Barrett. Joe Garcia came out to take care of Haiden. A bunch of the boys from the back came out to do a pull-apart with Barrett & Gregory James.
All in all… It was a tough night health-wise. There was one severe injury and I’m sure there were probably a few others. Jerome-Frankie was great. Kirby-Foxx, Zero-Greg, Livi-Athena, Barrett-Haiden were all pretty good. There were a few segments I could have done without. There is some really strong build-up. I am excited about the direction they are taking with the title.
Here’s to hoping 2013 will be a banner year.