After taking a 5-month break from live shows, I made a return with mother and daughter (aka, a wife’s mini-vacation). I LOVED their new venue.
First match: Lou “Gotti” Sterrett vs. Orion “Payday” Taylor
I remember watching Taylor earlier in his career. He’s come a long way since then. Now that he has a base for the basics, he’s starting to branch out and do more of the fancier stuff. Sterrett is a good person for him to work with. The crowd was pretty engaged in this match. They chanted “You need sit-ups” at Sterrett. He then laid down to try and do it and was rickety and played up the crowd. Of course, in his defense, pretty much everyone looks like they need sit-ups when next to Taylor. They did some more intricate moves than I’ve seen Taylor do. During the match, “Vet Club” members Scott McKenzie and Kristopher Haiden came out to distract Taylor. Sterrett took advantage for the win.
After the match Kenny Steele came out to the rescue and GM JT LaMotta made a tag match but the only tag team was going to be McKenzie and Haiden.
Second match: Scott McKenzie and Kristopher Haiden vs. Kenny Steele
I hate handicap matches. Kenny definitely keeps improving. This was pretty much just a mugging, but they didn’t kill Kenny.
Winner: McKenzie & Haiden
Third match: 8-man Scramble: Nobe Bryant vs. Jaxon Stone vs. Ashton Jacobs vs. Steven Kirby vs. Chase Malone vs. Jamie Holley vs. Ty Wilson vs. Graham Bell
I recognized 3 of these 8. They weren’t introduced. I just threw the notebook down. There was no way I was going to be able to take accurate notes. Everybody pretty matched up with their person, sharing time going into the ring. At one point we had 4 eliminated with a spontaneous backslide. Then the leftover 4 went at it. Kirby was the last man standing.
Winner: Steven Kirby
Lou Sterrett attacked him afterwards.
Fourth match: Bree Ann vs. Pink Girl
So Pink Girl is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s “Green Man.” Except a girl and pink. PLUS her entrance theme is “Barbie Girl.” That is enough to make her my daughter’s new favorite wrestler (Sorry, Bayley, Athena and Leva Bates). Out came Bree Ann. There was too much of a size difference for Pink Girl as she was dominated to “Bree’s gonna kill you” chants. Then Jessica James’ music played. Bree looked for her to come out. Pink Girl came out for the roll-up pin.
Winner: Pink Girl
Fifth match: The Dark Circle (Tim Storm & Apoc) vs. Unholy Complex (Gregory James & Jason Silver)
There were many candidates for match of the night. This was one of the most profound. McKenzie and Haiden were out there with their fellow Vet Club members The Circle. And then they named legendary referee Rick Manning (who has gone rogue) as special guest referee. This was the old school match. McKenzie and Haiden interfered without Manning noticing (of course). Out came Orion Taylor and Kenny Steele to minimize the McKenzie and Haiden factor. The Complex had a pin imminent when Manning count 1… 2… and then stood up and said it was 2. Upset, the Complex gave him a DDT. They went for the pin and a ref came out for the 3-count.
Later during the night we were informed that due to it being an illegal referee, the decision was reversed.
Winner: Dark Circle
Sixth match (?): Jerome Daniels w/Jamie Oller vs. Bolt Brady
Bolt is so talented. Jerome, before he had his match, had a list of demands: green M&M’s, a new Ricky Starks t-shirt and that Bolt be suspended for the match. GM JT LaMotta agreed.
Winner by forfeit: Jerome
Seventh match: Keith Lee vs. MASADA in a First Blood Match
What do you say about this match? My first words were to my mother to take my daughter out to the lobby for a walk. This was no place for my little girl. Keith Lee is such a force. He looks like Fantastic Four’s The Thing. He had some matches earlier this year for ROH. He needs to return there again. And this was my first live MASADA match. I knew this was going to be interesting to say the least. He had plenty of plunder and weapons. We had the stuff you change tires with, sticks, a cinder block, a chair, the baseball bat and the dumpster with which they arrived. This was wild, insane, violent. It was everything you expect from MASADA.
This made Keith look like an unstoppable monster.
Eighth match: Absolute Arrogance (Ricky Starks & Houston Carson) (c) vs. Barrett Brown and Americos
Just before Americos arrived, they had a video showing Americos being attacked by Joe Angelo Garcia & Nigel Rabid. And then it was Bolt Brady to the rescue.
Eighth match (revised): Absolute Arrogance (Ricky Starks & Houston Carson) (c) vs. Barrett Brown and Bolt Brady
All 4 of these guys have wrestled all over this state and others. It was a thing of beauty. It was 4 incredibly talented guys wrestling each other. You just sat back and watched “the dance.” And though all 4 are incredible talents, are you booking Ricky Starks? If the answer is no, make it yes. Jerome Daniels came out during the match (wearing his new Ricky Starks shirt) and interfered with Bolt. Arrogance was able to get the win.
After the match Nigel came out with Garcia. I just love Nigel on the mic. He went on about Garcia’s greatness until Americos came back out for the save.
Ninth match: Brian Cage vs. Ray Rowe
Yeah, so that happened. Two 800-pound gorillas (You know, the joke about the 800-pound gorilla. “Where does the 800-pound gorilla go? Wherever it wants to.”) one on one. I know Brian Cage’s name and reputation, but haven’t seen him as much as I want to (hint, hint, cough, cough, Netflix, Lucha Underground). These guys put on a classic. Rowe is my favorite male wrestler. He just looks like he’s going to kill you. At one point we had Cage about to do a 619. People with that body type do NOT do 619’s. But nobody’s going to tell Cage that, I guess. This match alone would have been worth the price of admission.
Winner: Ray Rowe
Both men put each other over on the mic. No idea what possessed them to do this, but Absolute Arrogance attacked Brian Cage. Next event, Cage said he’d be back with his tag partner Michael Elgin (!). There was also a faceoff with Rowe and Keith Lee. Irresistible force meeting the immovable object much?
Main event: Andy Dalton (c) vs. AR Fox
Have I mentioned that Fox is one of the top unsigned wrestlers in North America? The guys has abs that look like they were drown on, incredible athleticism, and still has never had a bad match that I’ve seen. Shouldn’t he be main-eventing NXT shows with Apollo Crews? Dalton was his most Dalton could be. He was at the top of his heel game. There was an insane 720 (I think. I was too amazed to count degrees.) splash by Fox that Dalton still kicked out of. And then Fox did a moonsault thing to Dalton on the outside, injuring himself for Dalton to get the countout.
Winner by countout: Dalton
As Dalton celebrated, co-owner Keith Roberts came out to let LaMotta know he was challenging him to a street fight. Keith may not be trained wrestler but he can fight him. And he had one more challenge for Dalton. Just Ray Rowe.
Real main event: Andy Dalton (c) vs. Ray Rowe
Ray Rowe got a very quick pin.
Winner and new champion: Ray Rowe
Roberts asked him who he wanted next show. And Rowe said Keith Lee.
All in all… It was tough to come up with a match of the night. Vet Club/Unholy Complex, Keith Lee/MASADA, Cage/Rowe, Dalton/Fox were all really good and worth the price of admission. Now we have some feuds that should be interesting: Steele Money/McKenzie & Haiden, Brady/Daniels, Bree/Jessica, Kirby/Sterrett, Rowe/Lee, LaMotta/Roberts, Barrett/Garcia. It was a very good show and well worth my money.