The following will contain adult language:
I now face the unenviable, self-imposed task of trying to put Inspire Pro Wrestling in Austin into words. This was my birthday present to me. My wife let me get a hotel room, rent a car and eat Fazoli’s in Waco without her. So a big thanks and shoutout to her for an incredible present. I got a huge ticket hook-up that gave me the opportunity to sit front row and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience (Thank you, Luke). Brandon Stroud thanked everybody and hyped up the crowd and gave the warning about if you have to be a garbage human, go be one at home, don’t do it here. He has this great boyish charm that Austin loves. He was interrupted by his arch rival Lance Hoyt. And all people when they see Lance Hoyt, especially when Hoyt has tried to hurt him in the past, shy away from getting near him. Lance wasn’t going to hurt him. He just came tonight to do some commentary.
First match: Thomas Shire w/Nigel Rabid vs. Mr. B vs. Keith Lee w/Chris Trew.biz & Roxie Castillo
I think I got everybody. Some of the storylines and personalities are new to me. If I miss anybody I apologize. This is my first time to see Mr. B who has a very interesting story from my research. I liked Trew.biz and Roxie. She’s the most adorable thing in Inspire not named Delilah. So Shire had stolen the belt rather than winning it. It belonged to Keith. There is a list of people you do not mess with. Keith is very high on that list after Chuck Norris and Saraya Knight. He was announced as being from “the desert planet of Tatooine.” I counted the “Holy shit” chants. We had 3. One came from Shire colliding with Keith Lee and learning why Keith Lee is an immovable object. B, Shire and Rabid were recovering ringside when Keith Lee did like a 450 plancha onto them. Shire took a lot of punishment. His back was very red.
Winner: Keith Lee
Nigel tried to take the belt but Chris and Keith apprehended them. My jaw hit the floor about 5 times during this match.
Second match: Pump Patrol (Jared Wayne & Curt Matthews) vs. Erik Shadows & Matt Riot
I love Pump Patrol’s gimmick. They are a good tag team character. They have a common purpose, matching tights. Sometimes that’s missing in the bigger companies. These guys also do the comedy really well. Shadows and Riot are incredible to watch. There was good crowd interaction. The finish was a double moonsault from Shadows & Riot onto the Patrol.
Winner: Shadows & Riot
The winners took the mic and said that coming would be a tag team belt and division. When it came time for that, they were going to be ready.
Third match: Mike Dell vs. Barrett Brown
I was pretty intrigued by this one. Mike is a well-traveled veteran. He knows what reaction to get out of a crowd and how to get it. Barrett has so much natural talent. When I first saw Barrett he was so stoic. Now he is developing more of a personality with his experience in front of crowds. Hopefully he finds that balance between personality and his mystique. There was plenty of technical goodness. And then it deteriorated. Right into my chair. This was a crazy brawl that moved away from me. That place was so packed you weren’t moving. Dell threw down the ref, and more chaos ensued.
Winner: No contest
There was a crazy pull-apart where they had to just about bring in The Texas National Guard to separate them.
Fourth match: JoJo Bravo vs. Thomas Munos w/a representative of the Tom Tom Club
This is my first time to see Munos “Ultimo Sex Symbol” and the lovely member of his Tom Tom Club. From what I understand it’s a different one every time. That is how Triple H got started if anybody remembers it. JoJo thanked the one person who had been faithfully supporting him: Nigel Rabid. Interesting. I’m not sure if the young lady had any wrestling training, but she did a wonderful job of selling and taking the scoop slam. JoJo put Munos in a crazy submission hold, and he submitted.
Nigel came out to celebrate. I see that being a good pairing.
Fifth match: Delilah Doom w/ Chris Trew.biz & Roxie Castillo vs. Athena vs. Jessica James
I was really looking forward to this match. With Delilah and Roxie there was just way so much more cuteness than is humanly possible. Chris talked about Delilah’s start and how far she’s come. And then out of nowhere came Angelus Layne with the attack. It was brutal. Yeah, um, Delilah was out of the match. Keith Lee came to the rescue. And Angelus did not back down from Keith Lee!
Real Fifth match: Athena vs. Jessica James
They were ready to get started when out of nowhere came Veda Scott. THE Veda Scott. The Unadvertised Surprise Veda Scott. She was accompanied by her lawyer whereby she announced she was in that match.
Just Kidding, Here’s the Real Fifth Match: Athena vs. Veda Scott vs. Jessica James
Being the huge mark I am for women’s wrestling, you had 3 women who have competed for SHIMMER AND Shine Wrestling. I was in heaven. I was so blown away by the fact I was sharing oxygen with Veda Scott, I have no idea what happened in the match. The finish was incredible and everything you’d expect from Veda. Athena hit her O-Face and goes for the pin. Veda pulls her off and throws Athena outside the ring. Veda goes for the pin, and 1-2-3, first ever Women’s XX Division championship.
I died. I didn’t expect her to show up, and the finish was so Veda.
The intermission was incredible. It was a who’s who of indy wrestling from Ray Rowe to Ricochet to Athena to Joey Ryan to Angelus Layne (who is even prettier in person) to Donovan Danhausen to Franco D’Angelo.
Sixth match: Steve O-Reno (c) vs. Donovan Danhausen vs. Ricochet vs. Jiggle-O James Johnson w/Chris Trew.biz & Roxie Castillo
I don’t know if Inspire Pro makes DVD’s, MP4’s, wooden engravings, however the kids are watching these days. If you get a chance to, find this match. Actually, watch this whole show. This match alone was worth the drive. Brandon Stroud, as he was announcing the match, said, “Ladies and gentlemen, holy shit, this is happening.” Jiggle-O is loved in Austin because he’s just the right amount of energy for them. Steve O-Reno is so ridiculously over with the crowd. I had never seen Danhausen before but had heard about his work at Dreamwave in IL. Holy crap. Learn this name. Before too long, he will be tearing up the Midwest and now Texas and expanding outward from there. And Ricochet. I have never seen a ring so covered in streamers. All 4 of these guys delivered. I’d like to say I kept detailed, copious notes. You try taking notes of the 4 of these guys doing their technical acrobatics. All I know is that my jaw cracked the floor several times. I kept on telling myself humans should not do this.
Winner: Steve O-Reno
The guys must have been doing Rock-Paper-Scissors for who had to follow this. Because this was like following Robin Williams at The Comedy Store. So Franco D’Angelo took on the unenviable task of following that match. He explained why he threw in the towel for Matt Palmer. Nobody was missing Matt Palmer. Out came his real-life lady Athena. They had a back-and-forth on the mic. And then Franco accused her of riding Palmer’s coattails to the main event. And Athena unloaded verbally. She challenged Franco to a match at the next show. The next show has so many potential “match of the nights,” but this one could steal the show.
Seventh match: Ray Rowe vs. Ricky Starks
This match was as good as it looked on paper. Ray Rowe is quickly becoming one of my favorite wrestlers. Ricky Starks is so charismatic, so full of energy, so entertaining. These guys really brought it. We started off in the ring in what was a really entertaining technical wrestling match. And then a magic button went off, and Ray turned to the crowd, “Ladies and gentlemen, the technical portion of this match has ended.” And then the brawl started. At some point they were out fighting. Rowe was in a chair, and Starks ran off and charged at him only to slightly slap him in the face. It was so Starks. This could have main evented any show in the world. Lance Hoyt looked like he was going to interfere so Brandon Stroud went to stop him on the ramp by holding his leg. That was extremely brave. As Hoyt was going to attack Starks, Starks moved with Rowe getting the attack and Starks getting the pin.
This set up two matches: Starks vs. the winner of Dalton/ACH and Ray Rowe vs. Lance Hoyt. Wow.
Eighth match: Tim Storm & Angelus Layne vs. Joey Ryan & Delilah Doom
Due to a personal family emergency, Candice LeRae was not able to be there. So Inspire made due with this situation the best they could. Being the SHIMMER mark I am, I popped for seeing Angelus. Joey did the Blow Pop thing and had some fun with the crowd. So if you’ve never seen Delilah, imagine cuteness in human form. She has so much fun and personality. So if you can’t have Candice, if you’re The World’s Cutest Tag Team, Delilah is a pretty good substitute. And Tim Storm is so old-school and classic. One of the highlights for me was the Boobplex which Joey did twice. After that he told Delilah to do the Ballsplex on Tim Storm. Spoiler alert: She couldn’t pick him up. Not with that dislocated shoulder. I got a little starstruck so I didn’t write down or remember the finish.
Winner: Storm & Layne
I know that Tim Storm had to physically move Angelus to the back. Now that Jessicka Havok is tearing up TNA, I think Layne fills the void of that totally unhinged monster. Also I watched Joey Ryan wrestle twice this weekend on a losing team. You don’t have to be buried every time you lose. Great talents always work their way through the losses.
Main event: Andy Dalton (c) w/Tim Storm vs. ACH w/Ricky Starks
Before the match, front row got to go bang in the ring as they do in CHIKARA and PWG. I’d never gotten to do that before so I died again. This match. What I write will be unable to capture the emotion, the story, the struggle these men faced. Andy Dalton was at his heeliest. More than anything, they wanted the belt. They were going to do every move they knew how to do to pin the other guy or make him submit. I just sat back and watched these two tell their story. Actually sitting is not a very accurate word as they fought everywhere and I was front row so I was standing in the aisles desperately trying not to block everyone’s view. As a fan, I watched these two guys give everything they could. I’ve seen some pretty incredible matches live. But I think I daresay this has to be the greatest match I’ve ever seen live. The finish was screwy but was so Dalton. With the ref out, Dalton did a low blow, did his finisher and picked up the win.
At the next show, Steve O-Reno announced he would be cashing in his title shot. The June 21st Clash at the Bash show looks pretty incredible.
All in all… There were 6 matches on this show that were main event quality. Inspire puts on one crazy, incredible show. I dare call them the best promotion in Texas.
Andy Dalton needs to be on a national stage on a regular basis. So do Ricky Starks and Keith Lee. Donovan Danhausen was a huge surprise. Let’s see this guy get more opportunities. Lance Hoyt was great, “encouraging” Brandon Stroud on the mic, ringing the bell and even leading the crowd in a stirring rendition of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”
Thank you to everyone who worked to bring about this show.