One of the wildest, most unpredictable wrestling shows I have ever been to is in the books. One of the things that made it wildest had absolutely nothing to do with the show or wrestling. Right at the moment we got in line to check in, everybody’s phones started going off with the Emergency Broadcast system. Unfortunately it was not “only a test.” A tornado warning happened. So we were all evacuated to some conference room. I’ve had shows start better. Of course this is no fault of theirs, but it was quite annoying.
We got out of the room towards the last so we didn’t get a first row seat. My daughter was not pleased. I was happy that we would not take our lives into our own hands. At least not as much. As a wrestling fan, have I mentioned she’s spoiled? The night began with a recording of Bobby Williams talking to Claudia about how the Bad Boys were not going to show up. So we all knew that at some point they were.
First match: Simply Irresistible (Matt Palmer & James Johnson) vs. The Manliest Men Ever (Larry Canis & Michael Shafer)
So we had a face vs. face opener. Palmer and Johnson have matching tights and look like a tag team more than they have before. The Manliest Men are quite over with this crowd. I think they should be known as “Team Needs a Shave and a Haircut.” Shafer is a very agile big man. You don’t expect some of the moves that come out of him. This was everything an opener should be. There was some great stuff outside the ring, lots of innovation, stuff I haven’t seen before. The biggest compliment I could give this match was that I thought either would win at any time.
Winner: Simply Irrestistable
Second match: Lou Sterrett vs. Moonshine Mantell
Before the match Lou cut a promo on Mantell, putting over his training and background, but that because Lou was a veteran, Mantell needed to shine his boots. This was the sleeper match of the night. Mantell is one “shining moment” away from a developmental contract with one of the big 3. He is probably the person on the show who most looks like he’s ready to start in NXT tomorrow. Both guys gave some devastating chops to each other. Sterrett’s facials were great and he did a great job of listening to the crowd. The Gutwrench Suplex from the top rope was a pretty cool visual. At one point, Sterrett did a dive onto security where best I can figure out somebody died.
Third match: Steele Money (Kenny Steele & Orion “Payday” Taylor) vs. Flying Jackasses (Frankie Fisher & BC)
Well, this was supposed to be SM vs. the Bad Boys. Well, we were taken to a vignette showing Frankie & BC having been attacked by-you guessed it-The Bad Boys. Well, guess who came through the crowd finding their seats having just bought a ticket trying to find seats. Again, you guessed it-The Bad Boys. As they were trying to find their seats, Kenny got on the mic. Since The Bad Boys were in their street gear, why not have a street fight?
Revised third match: Steele Money (Kenny Steele & Orion “Payday” Taylor) vs. Bad Boys (Anthony Black & Seph Annunaki) in a Street Fight
I’m going to be honest. I didn’t take very good notes. When you have your mother and 5-year-old on the second row of a street fight, your thoughts are not taking copious notes. Your thoughts are survival. We had some crazy stuff happening. As the match progressed of course it left the ring and main room. And since we’re in a hotel, it ended up in the pool. No surprise, once they were laid out before the match, the Flying Jackasses came back in for the save. I didn’t catch the finish but I do know it was a wild crowd brawl.
Winner: Steele Money
Fourth match: Absolute Arrogance (Ricky Starks & Houston Carson) vs. Unholy Complex (“Unholy” Gregory James & Jason Silver)
It has been way too long since I’ve seen Ricky Starks. He was one-third of the greatest match I’ve ever seen live. He is probably one of the best natural talents in the state and perhaps-the country? Carson has one of the best physiques out there. Greg and Silver had good chemistry together. This was a fun, entertaining match. At one point with a distracted ref we had from AA what WWE Hall-of-Famer Dusty Rhodes would have referred to as “Clubb’rin’.” I think the team of Dick Murdoch & Dusty Rhodes would have approved. Silver did some amazing “face in peril” stuff. I didn’t write down how the finish but Arrogance walked away with the win.
Winner: Absolute Arrogance
Fifth match: Barbi Hayden vs. Jessica James with Livi La Vida Loca as special guest referee
Before this match, my little girl was invited to the ring to be recognized as the Extreme Hardcore Princess. (Sorry, Jewells Malone.) Announcer Keith Roberts reminded the crowd that they were nowhere near as hardcore as my daughter. Thank you Keith and thank you fans for making that a special moment for me. This was the match my daughter had waited for. We threw streamers. Last week when we went shopping for streamers we couldn’t decide between Barbi or Jessica for which one to throw streamers for. So we got one for each.
I put the notebook down and wanted to enjoy the match with my daughter. So sorry I didn’t take very good notes. But all I could think of was that this match was every bit as good as anything that you’d see on a SHIMMER, Shine or WSU. And being a tad bit biased, I think this might have been the match of the night. Add Delilah Doom, Su Yung, Angel Blue, Kat Green, Serena Mercury, some chick named Athena, we have a hotbed of women’s wrestling in Texas. These are two of the best ladies on the independent scene in North America.
After the match, Barbi attacked Livi and then Absolute Arrogance came out to help. Out came the Jackasses for the save. A sign of matches to come? And of course as the match was over my daughter turned to me and asked, “Dad, can we go home now?” We all know who she thought was the main event.
Main event: African American Wolves (ACH & AR Fox) vs. Dirty Minds (Andy Dalton & JT LaMotta)
Yeah, so who WASN’T looking forward to this match? You have two of the top stars in the world, the incredible, one-of-a-kind, ROH star ACH and matchless, talented, without equal former Evolve champ AR Fox. Andy Dalton is being recognized more and more on a national stage. And LaMotta is a very versatile veteran. He can do anything and everything. So this was poetry. And with these 4 guys you just sat back and watched the story. The highlights for me are anything Andy Dalton does to get the crowd disgusted. Fox was an amazing “face in peril.” And ACH and AR Fox had a little bit of dissension and then started pushing each other. Then ACH yelled out, “Foooooooooooxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!!! Get the tables!!!!!!!!!!!” And then Andy Dalton had one of the biggest moments of his career. He pinned AR Fox.
Winner: Dirty Minds
After the match ACH took the mic and talked about his future match against Johnny Mundo (Morrison on May 1st).
All in all… It was a very nice start to their tag team tournament. All the booking choices made sense. My daughter loved it. This is how I know. She never wanted to play any of the games on my phone. The ladies match was match of the night. Andy Dalton really got the chance to shine. If you are not booking him yet, get with the program. The match that surprised me most was the opener. I didn’t expect that out of those 4.
Lots of things were against the promotion, like a tornado warning. I think they still found a way to bring about a very entertaining show.