This was kind of a must-attend event for me. MPX brought in the Innovator of Violence within driving distance. I could write an entire blog of a 17-year-old kid discovering ECW in an Apter mag and wondering who this Tommy Dreamer fellow was. I was somehow first in line to meet Tommy Dreamer. Not only was he so nice and took the time to meet with me, but he took time to meet with every person in line and was very talkative, a true ambassador for the industry.
First match: Jason Silver vs. Richter 5-0 w/ Magnum JA
This was not a very long match. They teased a Richter/Magnum break-up. Poor Magnum took a beating in this match. Silver served as a backdrop to the story at play here. Richter threw some chairs into the ring, recalling us all the #1 rule in wrestling. If you bring a chair into the ring, it will be used against you. Good comedy, nice first match of the night.
Later on in the night, we find out Richter 5-0 had passed away. If it weren’t for the Swedish Terror Attack or the Bowling Green Massacre, this would be the #1 story.
Second match: Kyle Hawk vs. Americos
So we have Native American Hawk up against star-spangled patriotic Americos. Knowing my history, not sure why Hawk is the heel. (#justsayin) You’re going to hear me use the word “chemistry” a lot tonight. These two guys have excellent chemistry together. You had 2 high-flyers just going at it and doing their thing. I wrote down “We doing the main event now?” Excellent showing from these two guys.
Third match: Frankie Fisher vs. The Jersey Jackass BC
This is the Texas equivalent of Hawk fighting Animal, Ax fighting Smash, Edge fighting Christian. These guys have been a long running tag team, probably one of the top based in the Dallas area. And this is them dissolving. What a brutal match. As lyrical and crisp as Hawk and Americos was, this was savage. I wrote down the words, “Now it begins.” This match could have been the main event.
Only thing is who am I supposed to be going for. My time is not generous enough to be able to afford every week at MPX. I think Frankie is good, but maybe this is one of them progressive thingies where neither are faces or heels.
Fourth match: Baby D vs. Machiko
Speaking of chemistry, these two have worked together plenty so they knew exactly how to have their short match to further their feud. Baby D is such a tough lady and can hang with anybody in Texas, male or female. Plus I know she continues to work through her injury so I have mad love for her. And I’ve had the biggest crush on Machiko since I first saw her. Not taking anything from her work inside the ring, but she is totally hot and to me is one of the top unsigned wrestlers in Texas. Baby D is a great comedy wrestler and Machiko played a great straight woman for the comedy. Good face, good heel.
Winner: Baby D
Fifth match: Franco D’Angelo vs. Steven Kirby
Sometimes it’s easy to forget how far Franco has come. Remember that 4 years ago, Franco had a debilitating car wreck that should have killed him. For him to be walking, much less in that ring is a small miracle. Also it’s easy to forget how far Kirby has come. Somebody chanted “You lost weight at him.” No s***. I used to attend shows when he was 400 pounds +. Now he’s got to be half that size or better (or at least looks it). It was such a good big man match. And you could really feel the drama. Well-done.
The loser of this match is taking the #1 spot in the Texas Rumble. So Kirby has the Ric Flair role of early in the Rumble and does most of the work.
Sixth match: James Johnson vs. Barrett Brown vs. Marcus Rose
Marcus Rose is a heat magnet, and he sure has found a way to parlay it into some bookings. He’s not even in the same galaxy as these two yet, and I think that was the point of this match. Barrett and Johnson have-you guessed it-really good chemistry together. Johnson is now calling himself “The King of Texas Cruiserweights.” He is always somebody who finds a way to reinvent himself. Speaking of reinventing himself, I think Barrett’s hair and beard is one of the best things to happen to his career. I’ve been watching him since he was 16. As he’s grown out the beard and hair, it’s given him a new edge and doesn’t make him look like you need to take him home and feed him. Rose is a slimy, despicable bad guy.
Main event: Tommy Dreamer vs. Michael Shafer
There has been a few times I’ve marked out over entrance music. 1997, seeing the Undertaker. A few weeks ago, hearing Bobby Roode’s “Glorious” live at an NXT show. Hearing “Radioactive” for Cherry Bomb at SHIMMER Vol 80. And last night hearing Alice in Chains’ “Man in the Box.” It took me back to the 17-year-old kid wanting Tommy to beat “Mr. Monday Night” Rob Van Dam. ECW songs always embodied the wrestlers, whether Tommy or Sandman’s “Enter Sandman” or Balls Mahoney’s “Balls to the Wall.”
Now of course Nigel Rabid wasn’t going to let Tommy have a hardcore match. That would be unfair to Shafer. So we had an actual wrestling match. And then Nigel Rabid made the mistake of interfering in this match. Tommy took the mic. “Yeah, you know this crowd wants to see a hardcore match. I’m tired of wrestling owners not giving the fans what they want. We’re doing this my way.” (Ruff paraphrase) Then the match we wanted to see began. They brawled through all the crowd. Tommy used the trash can on Shafer. One of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen at a wrestling event-after the action moved on, the fans picked up the trash to put it back in.
When the action moved back to the ring, Tommy got out his kendo stick. You couldn’t help but smile at the fact you knew what was about to happen. They did the Irish whip and stop just before you went through a table spot. But Tommy used the kendo stick for a Side Russian Leg Sweep followed by a Spicolli Driver (It’s original name before John Cena re-appropriated it as an Attitude Adjuster.) through a table.
After the match, Tommy thanked the fans. He mentioned he was 46, which my first thought was has anybody told HIM that? Of course if you know one of his principal mentors Terry Funk, you know that moment’s not coming for a few years.
All in all… There is an old saying “Never meet your idols.” That is NOT true. I’ve had the chance to meet a few: Dusty Rhodes, Jerry Lynn, Mick Foley, Animal, Dudley Boyz, Cherry Bomb, Nicole Savoy, Athena/Ember Moon (some of those my daughter’s too). With the exception of a few (not mentioned here) they have been rewarding experiences and wonderful people.
Great matches from Hawk-Americos, Brown-Johnson, good matches from Franco-Kirby, Frankie-BC and Machiko-Baby D, but you know I only have one match of the night and that was Tommy Dreamer. Thank you for a very fun night.