I’m going to be honest here. I got to go to this show as part of my early birthday present. I took a road trip with my mother to see a few of my favorite wrestlers. I’m probably going to “fan-boy” a little so please go easy on me. When we got there, the line was huge. There was barely any standing room left in a standing room only crowd. My seats were so incredible. We were greeted by Brandon Stroud the ring announcer. Brandon has just the right amount of quick wit and dorkiness that go well with the crowd. We were introduced to Matt Palmer. Palmer showed he could cut a promo. Is there anything this guy can’t do? Palmer wanted and deserved a title shot. The authority figure Greg Symonds let him know that he could have a title shot as soon as he defeated Raymond Rowe at the next show.
First match: Matt Palmer w/ Samantha Anne & Franco D’Angelo vs. Jiggle-O James Johnson
This was originally supposed to be Palmer vs. Jake Dirden but Dirden was not able to show up. Amazing. They actually announced this to the crowd unlike other places that advertise wrestlers they have no intention of producing. In the acting world Matthew McConaughey has had a little something they call a “McConaissance.” Well, I think Jiggle-O is experiencing one of those I will term the “Johnsonaissance.” He is a totally different wrestler than the one I see in Dallas. It’s like Austin is rediscovering Johnson for the first time. Palmer and Johnson had a match where they just went in and kicked the snot out of each other. This would have been an acceptable main event in some places. There were so many really cool-looking spots.
The highlight of the match was Palmer going up to Franco’s shoulders for a splash onto Johnson. The beatdown continued, and an American Eagle came out to Johnson’s rescue.
Second match: Paige Turner & Miss Diss Lexia vs. KC Warfield & Kat Green
I was really excited to see this match. I like all 4. Well, it turned out that KC Warfield turned on her partner and it turned in to a 3-on-1 match.
Second match: Paige Turner, Miss Diss Lexia & KC Warfield vs. Kat Green
So it went from a match I really wanted to see into a yawn-fest. I like how Paige has her own faction (called the “Bookends” by the fans). Kat is extremely hot. I think she could go very far. She’s gorgeous, ridiculously athletic and has a great look. This got an ironic “This is awesome” chant from the crowd. (I love you, Austin!) There wasn’t anything wrong with the work. Nobody wants to watch a mugging at a wrestling match. All of a sudden, a lady wrestler came out of the crowd and joined Kat in her corner. She got in there and gave Kat what she needed to get an upset win.
Winner: Kat & mysterious woman
I believe Brandon Stroud announced her as Serena Mercury. This was really bizarre but watchable. They salvaged it.
Third match: Jodan & Eric Shadow vs. Hollywood Knives
Not really sure why Jodan & Shadow were a tag team. Both hate each other. Made no sense for them to be out there wrestling. The Knives are two guys in Rockers tights wearing Egyptian headdresses. The member not named Thomas got hit in the head or something and laid down on the ring apron for most of the match. I really didn’t think the hit was that hard and it was nothing compared to the ladder match later on. Eric Shadow was great. And Thomas pretty much wrestled a handicap match. Towards the end, comatose guy recovered, Shadow got tired of trying to work with Jodan and left him to the match.
Honorary member of the Robertson Duck Dynasty clan, Chris Trew.biz came out to the crowd to remind us of his newest charge Cherry Ramone (who needs a manager like I need redder hair). Then he announced a lady member of his stable. It was none other than Delilah Doom. They issued an open challenge to anybody in the back who wanted to answer it. Bad idea. Out came the returning Jessica James, fresh off her tour of Japan.
Fourth match: Delilah Doom vs. Jessica James
I really like Doom. She is like the love child of Leva Bates and Addy Starr. She is little and cute and bubbly. And as I said previously, Jessica was returning from Japan and this was one of her first matches back. She was so focused and so intense. It was kind of like Austin’s present facing Austin’s future. When Trew.biz interfered, James grabbed him by his beard and put him in a killer hold. Her repertoire is filled with killer holds. She put Doom in a hold that hurt me to watch. Doom VERY quickly tapped out.
Fifth match: Jojo Bravo vs. Tadasuke
Jojo is the world’s largest sumo wrestler and one of Texas’ best in-ring workers. Tadasuke was making his last stop on his tour of the US. I’ve never seen a Japanese wrestler on tour in the US so this was pretty awesome. On paper this would have been off-the-charts. This match was even better than it looked on paper. This was the match for smarks for the night. There were some people handing out streamers. They were launched like rockets for Tadasuke. Tadasuke was kind of the heel but kinda wasn’t. If/when this match is put on Youtube, you have to see this. Some of the highlights for me. Tadasuke was wasting time outside the ring and Jojo said, “Tadasuke, it’s 10 here, not 20 like Japan” and then Tadasuke scrambled to get back into the ring. The other highlight was Tadasuke had Jojo and told Side 1 to get up so he could throw them at their seat. Then he swerved and took him to Side 2 making sure all the fans got up and moved away. Then he swerved and took him to Side 3 making sure all the fans got up and moved away. And then to cap it all off, he threw him back into the ring so there was no brawl in the crowd at all.
I don’t think I have ever given a match a standing ovation. This was the first I have ever seen a crowd do so for. During the intermission, I went to support Miss Diss Lexia by getting an 8×10. Me and the guy in front of her both had 20’s and she was short of change for that. He purchased mine for me so Lexia didn’t have to figure out change for both of us. If you are that person reading this, thank you.
Sixth match: Gregory James vs. Carson
I was pretty sure I would call this the sleeper match of the night. What I got from this match is that earlier Carson had urinated in Greg’s coffee. Because Greg put a LOT of punishment on Carson. There was a DDT onto the ring apron that the entire crowd groaned over. I was seriously concerned for Carson. I’ve seen guys get concussions from hitting that part of the ring before. Greg just pretty much killed him for a bit. Then Carson overcame and ended up taking the win.
On any other card, this would have been match of the night. That is the kind of card these guys put together.
Seventh match: Veda Scott vs. Athena
If anybody’s wondering, this is where I go fan-boy. I love Veda Scott’s work. She is one of my favorites to watch in the ring. Not only is she excellent in the ring, she has an amazing personality, great on the mic, and can sell a story. I put down my notebook because I wanted to enjoy this as a fan. I live in Dallas and don’t get to see top women’s wrestling talents every show like somebody would in the Midwest or Northeast (aside from Athena). Veda has such an amazing arsenal of holds, much like the Woman of 1,004 Holds (Jericho reference for the win). And Athena is just a powerhouse of stiff kicks (where even my mother turned to me and said, “I’ve never seen that before”), athletic moves that humans should not be able to do and LOTS of fire. The finish was a little weird. Amanda Esquivel (my favorite referee) counted to 3 and it just looked like it wasn’t supposed to go down that way.
We saw very quickly things didn’t go right. Amanda gave a very visible X sign. People came out to check on Veda and she still took the time to have a stare-off with Athena. She said she didn’t need their help and hobbled off.
Eighth match: Barrett Brown vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Ricky Starks in a ladder match to determine the J-Crown champion
Sammy Guevara came out first. After some “Bieber Fever” chants, he let the crowd have it. Barrett is huge over with the Austin crowd. And I love getting to see Ricky Starks whenever I can. These 3 delivered. A few months ago, I saw a Last Man Standing match between Gregory James and Matt Palmer that I called the greatest match I’ve ever seen live. Well, this might unseat that as the greatest match I’ve ever seen live. I cannot describe this match accurately or mention every spot that stood out to me. Ricky put Sammy in a surfboard with a ladder separating them while Barrett chopped Sammy. This made the Austin crowd pop. Not everything does. There was a moonsault off a ladder from Sammy onto Barrett and Ricky. I can’t describe that moment. What I can do is show a picture Staci Brown took of the moment. It’s not the moonsault that I posted this for. It’s the reaction of the crowd that is the best part.
There was a huge DDT by Barrett onto Sammy. Sammy threw Barrett onto a ladder and broke it. Barrett and Ricky were both climbing up adjacent ladders and did a Side Russian Leg Sweep onto the mat. (Ouch) The finish was incredible. Ricky was climbing up the ladder and Barrett came up behind him and put him in a sleeper. Sammy found another ladder and climbed over them to climb up to the top and grab the belt.
After the match, Sammy shot on River City Wrestling in San Antonio. Well, that bridge was burned… or was it?
Ninth match: Great Depression w/Red Scare vs. Honkey Kong
This was my first time to see Honkey Kong. I loved the tribute to Kamala. And I’m still not sure what to think of the Great Depression. I’m just slightly bothered by the fact that Red Scare manages the Great Depression. Those were two separate eras in history. It was a short match.
Winner: Great Depression
What we needed was a chance to come down from the ladder match for the Barbi Hayden-Portia Perez title match. That’s exactly what they got. They announced Tony Brooklyn and Joshua Montgomery, Justin Bissonnette and Max Meehan went to the ring. Tony Brooklyn introduced himself and talked about the history of the NWA. AND then he announced that Inspire was the newest member of the NWA. Biss cut an amazing promo about how he was going to bring in the best women’s wrestlers in the world to give that belt the prestige it deserves. Brandon Stroud the ring announcer grew up near the Greensboro Coliseum so you could tell what an incredible moment it was for him to be an official NWA ring announcer. I am intrigued to see what the NWA can do for Inspire Pro.
Main event: Barbi Hayden (c) vs. Portia Perez
Barbi Hayden used to be the best-kept secret in women’s wrestling. I have proof that I said so in early 2013. And then Drew Cordeiro gave her a shot on a national stage in WSU. She hasn’t left yet. And now she’s NWA Women’s Champion. Also, being the SHIMMER mark I am, this was a huge moment for me to see Portia Perez live for the first time. And forgive me for swooning. but she’s even prettier in person. Now onto the match. This match had a big-match feel. And it’s not every day a crowd piles into a building so thick, there was barely any standing room to see two ladies main event. I put down my notebook because I just want to enjoy the match as a fan. I was getting to watch Barbi Hayden face Portia Perez. It was time to be a fan.
All in all… What an incredible show from top to bottom. Without a doubt, this is the best show I have ever seen live from top to bottom. Veda-Athena, Barbi-Portia, the ladder match, Carson-Greg, Jojo-Tadusake, could have all been main events. Even a few changes to the Palmer-Johnson could have been a main event. If I were to choose a match of the night, I’d have to go with the ladder match. That picture with everyone’s reactions wins it on everything. There were so many different aspects to point out. Watch Kat Green & Delilah Doom. Give them time and they’ll be main eventing here, maybe a national promotion. If Sammy Guevara or Eric Shadow are not on your show, find a way to book them. With respect to Andy Dalton, I am calling Sammy Guevara the most underlooked talent in Texas.