I have already made it through Day 1. It’s going to be a huge challenge to put the emotions into this show. We began with Keith Roberts welcoming us and then JT LaMotta, his eventual opponent, getting involved, and we had a pull-apart with security. The replacement for this night’s ring announcing was Eamon Paton who recently located here from Austin where he works for Inspire Pro as play by play commentator. The crowd began to eat him up a little. There were some people that were wannabe PWG crowd members and were more worried about getting themselves over. But he turned them around in no time.
First match: Andy Dalton vs. Steve Anthony
For my overall thoughts on Andy’s career right now, check out Night 1. I had the chance to see Steve Anthony Wrestlemania weekend against Gregory James in what I think was the match of Greg’s career. I love the pink poof sponge the crowd throws at Dalton. And of course he knows exactly what to do with it and the crowd loved it. I found myself drawn into the match and didn’t take very good notes. So, sorry, guys. All I wrote down was “awesome match.” This match would main event any promotion in the US.
Steve Anthony was showered with “Please come back” chants. He took the mic and thanked everybody for the chants and then went total heel. It was glorious, a thing of beauty.
Second match: Big Sed & Lou Sterrett w/Diamond Icee vs. “Killer” Brent McKenzie & MASADA
I like what they’re doing with Diamond Icee, like a Lady MacBeth, Gemma Teller thing going on. This match surprised me. I guess mostly because you have 3 brawlers, and the match stayed mostly in the ring. I pointed out to my mother how good Lou is wih the live crowd. He kept them going with the “You suck” chants. If ever the crowd was out of it, Lou got them back in. We had a “killer” dive on Sed & Sterrett from Brent. We also teased a little bit of tension from Brent and MASADA. I think it’s pretty funny that MASADA has a reputation as a death match competitor. However he is so underrated as a technical wrestler. They teased a little “Battle of the Titans” between Sed and Brent. I know I’d love to see that. We had a “killer” spear and a “killer” moonsault (even if the latter was not on anybody). And Brent is a big boy to be doing that moonsault. But MASADA left him. And Big Sed and Lou proved to be too much.
Winner: Big Sed & Lou
A lot of questions that need to be answered. Can we see Sed v Brent? Are we going to see Brent v MASADA? I’m not sure how you’re going to have a feud between those two. 1. How do you boo MASADA? 2. Brent is one of the best-liked and well-respected men in the state (unless you’re Hernandez). And I’m pretty sure the crowd would reject any move to boo him. So I am very interested to see where they go here.
I forget where this comes in the order of the night, but Jason Silver was out there and cut a promo that now Gregory James has become important, Greg forgot about Silver.
Third match: Keith Roberts vs. JT LaMotta in a Street Fight for control of the company
Keith Roberts is not a trained wrestler that I know of. So LaMotta literally carried him in this match (and probably has the bruises from the sidewalk slam on the chair to prove it). Roberts bled. And bled. And bled. The crowd was really into this, but there was one thing missing they pointed out. Where were the weapons? How do you have a street fight without weapons? Then they got their wish. As the late great Dusty Rhodes would say, “They got plunder, Baby.” As LaMotta was about to move in for the kill, Zero the Antihero came out of the crowd, playing the Miss Elizabeth role, giving Keith enough distraction to get the victory.
So it wasn’t Malenko-Guerrero. It was a fun match the crowd was into.
Fourth match: Vet Club (Tim Storm, Apoc, Kristopher Haiden & Scott McKenzie) vs. Flip & Flash Club (DJ Z, Sonjay Dutt, AR Fox and Gregory James)
So let me tell you a little story. It was 2001, and I discovered I could get video tapes of indy wrestling companies from this new-fangled Internet Ebay thing. I sat through hours of IWA-Mid South, Ring of Honor and this particular one called Combat Zone Wrestling. This for me was a glory era of wrestling. There were guys like the Backseat Boys (RIP Trent Acid), “Sick” Nick Mondo, Mad Man Pondo, Messiah, Matt Cross, Chris Hero, CM Punk, Josh Prohibition, Ruckus (still one of my favorites) and a guy by the name of Sonjay Dutt. Sonjay has found quite a bit of success for himself, with TNA, Global Force, etc. I had the privilege of meeting him Wrestlemania weekend. But this was a new level of emotion. I was getting to see one of my favorite all-time in-ring workers LIVE.
Let me tell you another new story. In a little bit of a wrestling rut, I tried this wrestling company that was on Twitter and pretty active. This company was AIW out of Cleveland. I fell in love with this company almost immediately. The big villain at this time was a Filipino wrestler with a big fro by the name of Shiima Xion. Within a matter of weeks after I discovered him, he debuted with TNA as Zema Ion and evolved into DJ Z. This was my first chance to meet him and see him live.
Now onto the match itself. The Vet Club brought out their own personal referee-Rick Manning. (Rick Manning is probably Texas’ most legendary referee, with respect to James Beard. AND he’s a heel here.) As I said previously, “You try taking notes on an 8-man match with DJ Z, Sonjay Dutt & AR Fox.” Sonjay and Tim Storm had really great chemistry. Somebody should book this feud. The story was 4 of the traditional “old school” wrestlers taking on the high flyers.
So I’m just going to go over the highlights: Sonjay put one of the guys in a bulldog and kicked all the other 3 while doing that. AR Fox did a double RKO on 2 Vet Club members. And the 3 high flying guests did a 3-man superkick on Rick Manning. There was so much here. Get the DVD.
Winner: Vet Club
Also, most importantly I’ve been watching Gregory James since the beginning of his career. Tonight he looked like he belonged on a team with those 3 guys.
The biggest compliment I can give this match? My mother looked at me after this match and said, “That was a really good match.” My mother has been to dozens of shows with me and has never commented on a match being good.
Fifth match: Jessica James vs. Crazy Mary Dobson
If you want a good women’s match, book Jessica James vs. Crazy Mary Dobson on your show. These two have tremendous chemistry. I believe they go back to tours of Japan. One of the best parts of this match was at the beginning of the match, somebody tried to do a “Crazy” chant. She gave this guy the death stare. He didn’t speak again the entire match. This was the best I’ve seen Jessica look in a while.
If you love women’s wrestling, this is definitely the match you want to see.
Sixth match: Sammy Guevara (c) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. for the Smash Mouth Bull of the Woods Championship
Yes, I just typed Zack Sabre Jr.’s name on a live show I went to. Where do I begin? Sammy is young, brash, cocky, unpredictable and oozing talent. On paper this match was gold. In actuality it was platinum (the next step above gold). Fifteen years ago, everybody wanted to be the Hardy Brothers and Edge & Christian. I think 15 years from now, the kids are going to grow up to be Zack Sabre Jr. Jrs. There is just nothing like him out there. They traded back whose style they were going to wrestle, Zack the submission specialist, Sammy the high flyer. I was predicting a Dusty finish or something. I mean, Zack Sabre Jr.’s not going to do “the job” at some indy show in Arlington, TX. But then again, he’s not going to win a championship of a local promotion in Texas. When is he going to be back again? So I literally could not figure out the outcome of this match beforehand. And I’ve been a wrestling fan 20 years. It’s not easy to work me. But the unbelievable happened.
Main event: Ray Rowe (c) vs. Keith Lee
This match. Both worked an incredible match. We had seen so much through all the previous days. I think by this match we were all spent. At least my note-taking muscles were. This was like watching a “coming of age” story where a star ascends into super-star. Seared into my memory is Ray Rowe doing a Canadian Destroyer on Keith Lee, only to have him kick out. Lee won to an incredible pop.
Winner and new champion: Keith Lee
All in all… What an incredible 2 days through so many emotions. Dalton-Anthony, the 8-man, Sabre-Guevara, Rowe-Lee, James-Dobson, would all be worth the DVD price alone. All the wrestlers they brought in were so nice and such class acts.