I remember the first time I went to MPX. I was at a point in my life where my little girl was just over a year old and I wanted to give myself a hobby, something to look forward to on weekends. I went to a Facebook friend asking where he was working that weekend. He gave me this place where he had started working that the boys were pretty green but I could come anyway. I went with my sister-in-law who knew some of the boys. I wasn’t watching Guerrero-Malenko or anything, but I saw a lot of fire there.
I got to watch several evolutions. I got to see Gregory James blossom into a wrestler who’s wrestled New Japan stars and has no limit to where he can go. I watched the Incredible Shrinking Bellies of Ben Wylde & Steven Kirby (the latter of which was a sight to behold). Kristopher Haiden, Frankie Fisher are totally different guys than I remember seeing the first time. Not to mention, there was lots of Matt Palmer, Barrett Brown & Andy Dalton.
I got to see some pretty big names-Athena (who has got to be one of the biggest stars on the planet in women’s wrestling, and perhaps, all of wrestling), Su Yung (empasis on pretty), Lance Hoyt (NWGP tag champ and always seemed to be happy to be there), Jimmy Jacobs (worked an opener), Colt Cabana (total class act), Jerry Lynn (wrestled his last match in Dallas area and gave everything), Paul London (no ego, gave everything), Funaki (Indeed!).
So in honor of MPX’s 5th year anniversary, I have decided to compile a list of what are my 10 favorite moments throughout its lengthy history. Of course I’d list the two segments I was involved in, my Hot Topic Segment where Kyle confronted me in the ring and Haiden saved me, and the night I managed the man now known as Orion Taylor to the Prospects championship (I am still undefeated as a manager). My ego, however, forbids me from including those.
I named the top 10 off the top of my head. This is my list, and I invite anybody else to create their own. I did not list these in any kind of order. These were just 10 special memories I have.
Matt Andrews Appreciation Night
This is one of the first things that hooked me to MPX. There have been many questions they’ve always raised, questions to keep us coming back to the next show. The main story when I first started attending was Genesis (Kristopher Haiden, Carrion Arcane, Frankie Fisher & Kyle Davis) vs. The MPX locker room. MPX put up a match for control of MPX where Matt Andrews turned on MPX to join Genesis. The next month they had a night of celebration dedicated to him. That was Matt Andrews Appreciation Night. It was the first time I would ever see Nigel Rabid. I said to my sister-in-law, “Matt Andrews Appreciation Night. How could I ever miss that?”
Kyle Davis is Ben Wylde’s brother
This is one of my favorite storylines. They announced that Kyle Davis had a relative on the roster. So when it got time for the announcement, Kyle brought out Kenny Steele to tell them he was his father. (Spoiler alert: Kyle isn’t that old or that African-American.) Kate Carroll, announcer and later GM, informed Kyle that he was NOT the father (in total Maury Povich mode), and instead, he had a brother, Ben Wylde. It brought more meaning to Ben Wylde’s character, and they ended up with a nice run there with Kyle as manager.
The first All on the Line ladder match
Rather than find a new way to describe this, I found my original blog here:
What can you say about this match? I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a better match than this live. All ten guys gave everything live. I always praise this company for the little things. The wrestlers came out of the dressing room to watch. It reminded me a lot of old ECW when the boys all used to watch from the aisle. The only negative is that at the beginning of the fight, there was too much action going on.
I counted the number of “Holy s***” moments for me. I had 9. There were a few that happened on the other side from where I was sitting, so I think there were a few more. At one point, we had dueling Van Terminators with ladders. There was a different spot where the two Kyles were climbing up the ladder at the same time, made it to the top and both threw baby powder at each other. It was awesome. We had Gregory James do the lucha libre plancha spot onto the 5 or 6 guys. He also did a conchairto on top of the ladder to Frankie Fisher. Haiden was already bleeding and took an insane bump onto two tables. Being that we know him outside of the business, it was difficult for my wife and some other people who knew him. It’s one thing to watch the Dudleys on Monday Night Raw back in the day; it’s another thing to watch our friend go through the tables. All I know is that my buddy took a table bump that would have made Sabu smile in approval.
There are very few things in this business that surprise me still. I will admit I got worked when Bryan Danielson was the 7th member of Team WWE. That’s probably the last time somebody worked me that I never saw coming. Matt Andrews took the belt and the briefcase. He asked for the mic and thanked Genesis for getting him to where he was, but now that he was the champion, he was done with them. He fired all of them, climbed down the ladder, threw the briefcase on Seph and said, “I don’t care about this. You can have it.”
Little-known fact. This was the night my sister-in-law introduced her new boyfriend she had started seeing. That man would go on to be my brother-in-law. Afterwards at the Chili’s, he asked, ” Do they do this every month?”
Gregory James vs. WASP in a Last Man Standing Match
Greg had just won the belt from Matt Andrews. This was his first major defense. To me, what made this match was the crowd. This was one of the first moments where they went from the crowd simply consisting of family to being an actual wrestling crowd. This was just a really special match between these two. And if I am correct, this was the first time aside from the ladder match that we got a “That was awesome chant.”
LaMotta’s last match
JT LaMotta had been wrestling all around the globe for a very long time. But this was going to be his last match in Dallas/Fort Worth, an area laced with his blood. They went all-out. It was LaMotta vs. Palmer vs. Andy Dalton. Dalton was 100% nasty (or as he would say, #dirty) mode for this match. Palmer was his usual lyrical, poetic beauty. And LaMotta had nothing left to take with him. The emotion was overwhelming. I was part of a moment.
Colt Cabana-Frankie Fisher
Anybody who knows indy wrestling knows Colt Cabana. For him to be in an MPX ring was a very special moment. He’s one of the best comedy wrestlers out there, hands-down. Frankie is the best in MPX when it came to comedy. Put those two together, they had a really great match. Plus, there were so many emotions in being able to see Colt Cabana live in our ring.
Having Texas legend Mike Foxx in there was a big deal to begin with. But what made this feud between these two so special was that Foxx married Arcane’s sister. So you had brother-in-law vs. brother-in-law. And to cap it all off, Katie, sister to Arcane, wife to Foxx was the special guest ref. There was so much emotion. Very little was left on the line. I don’t even remember who won, but I remember how much I felt during this match.
Gangam Style-Li & Nigel
In late 2012, after the Fang-Johnson version of the Asian Nation broke up, Li Fang, then managed by Nigel Rabid was going on a singles tear. Jiggle-O had briefly paused from in-ring competition to be GM. (By the way, who HASN’T been GM in MPX?) Jiggle-O introduced Li Fang’s new entrance video. They had photo-shopped Li’s face on rapper Psy’s face and Nigel’s on any two-faced frames. It was so funny, I actually texted my wife to tell her how funny it was.
MPX has had their share of great feuds. Frankie-Hawke, MPX-Genesis, Foxx/Kanoa-Kirby/Murdoch, Dalton-Palmer, Dalton-Greg, Barrett-Greg, Barrett-Haiden, Arcane-Haiden, Fisher-Kirby. But if I have to name a greatest feud, I’d have to say Matt Palmer and Gregory James’ feud was at the top. When these two fought, I put my notebook down because I became a fan again. There was a war out in the crowd for these two. Then the final was a Last Man Standing Match. This is what I wrote that night after seeing the end of their feud.
These two had already torn down several houses down with their matches. I would like to say I kept copious notes on this match. But there’s something about when these two wrestle, I put down my notebook and become a fan. So I may not get all the details right or remember all the incredible moments. What I can say is that it is perhaps one of the best matches I’ve ever seen live, if not the best. I’ve seen some good ones (most coincidentally had either Matt or Greg in them), but I think this one might take the cake. Every time they did a spot, it looked like it was it. There were chairs. Lots of chairs. There were trash can lids. There was a table that drew a “Holy s***!” chant out of the fans (which was a reminder why I don’t take my daughter). And then when you think there wasn’t any more plunder that could be used, they brought out cinder blocks.
Jerome Daniels’ debut
I have never been part of a riot before. I’ve seen the worked riot from Ring of Honor’s early days. I’ve heard the old stories of wrestlers being involved in crowds rioting. But I’ve never seen one or been part of one. I think tonight was the closest I’ve ever been.
For a few weeks, we’ve watched Jerome Daniels talk trash about Frankie Fisher and MPX on Facebook. He and WASP had a very “spirited” discussion on WASP’s personal Facebook account. Other wrestlers got involved in what was a very intense and personal thread. I even posted this on my Facebook account last night: “I’m not hating or choosing sides, but does anybody know what’s up with the Jerome Daniels bs? If it’s a wrestler-only thing, I’m ok with that. But does anybody know the reason for his insanity?” Tonight I got an answer.
What began as a Facebook thread turned into a story about Frankie being good enough to be champion.
This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive look at the past 5 years in MPX. I also didn’t attend every show. I’m sure I forgot some really great moments. What are yours? Feel free to post below.