Category Archives: Indies← Older posts
It is a new year in the wrestling world. After a week that goes so beyond killer it should be called “zombie,” I needed two things: I went to an SMU basketball game and see Larry Brown coach & I went to my local indy to see my wrestling. It was cold & rainy, but that would not keep me away, nor would it Mother Ruff, my wrestling watching companion.
Dark match: Dax Daring & Dave Dunnings vs. Regrub & “The Left Hand of God” Matt Andrews w/Kyle Valo
Dunnings was looking a little trimmer. The crowd loved Dax as always. I believe this is the first time I have heard Matt Andrews described as “The Left Hand of God.” Mother Ruff leaned over to me and asked, “Does his hand still hurt?” I still think that woman needs a wrestling podcast. She would put Colt Cabana to shame. It was a nice, short match. It warmed up the crowd, and Dunnings looked back in good condition.
Winner: Regrub & Andrews
We opened up with the actual “live portion” of the night. ”The Crowd Killer” James Hawke was getting more of a reaction. But the true measure of a wrestler is not what you get the front row to do. It’s what you get the back row to do. Jiggle-O James Johnson came out first and then was promptly interrupted by Kanoa. There was some good comedy going on, but I’m confused with the direction they’re taking Kanoa. He’s no longer making sense with his promos. He called out Frankie Fisher who came out and they had a stare-down. Then Jerome Daniels came out to join the three-person staredown. I would have loved to see them build up towards a Triple Threat match. Jiggle-O cut a great motivational promo. I think I would like to call up Jiggle-O when I’m at work and hear him give me motivational speeches.
First match: Tad Wylde (c) vs. Glamour Hammer
I think Glamour Hammer’s big title shot might have been a little too premature. The outcome of this match was killed for me when Nobe Bryant came out and said he was still looking for a tag team partner. Obviously heel Nobe isn’t going to be feuding with heel Glamour Hammer. Ben Wylde’s outfit looks like something out of my nightmares. He had a hard time keeping both cheeks in the tights and was more embarrassing than anything. That being said, I think that Glamour Hammer is doing some really innovative things and should really be on more radars. As soon as they get some more matches under their belt, they should be ready to start branching out from just MPX. Also to me, one of the highlights of the night was Tadlock doing a springboard moonsault. I found myself being caught up in the match.
Winner: Tad Wylde
Nobe Bryant came back in with his new tag team partner-Kenny Steele. This is brilliant for so many reasons. Nobe has so much to teach Kenny, both from a storyline standpoint and from a “behind the scenes” standpoint. With one quick segment, I had a reason to care about Kenny once again.
Second match: Zero the Antihero vs. Gregory James
I has streamer duty as did Mother Ruff. She was quite excited that her streamers made it into the ring. The crowd loves Zero as always. There was a “Level up” chant for him. He got to do all his crazy video game spots. Greg is now evil and very deep into his character. He and Zero played a strong “good vs. evil” dynamic. At first I thought it was going to be the usual match where Zero gets killed and sells. Greg gave him more offense than usual. Zero looked pretty good during this match and looked like it wouldn’t be a fluke if he won. I noticed something during this match. The crowd is so invested in Zero that every move, the crowd reacted to, one way or another.
Winner: Gregory James
We had a vignette with Kristopher Haiden talking about how Franco D’Angelo had a setback. Haiden was ridiculing him for being old and crippled. Joe Angelo Garcia got in Haiden’s face as D’Angelo was a mentor of sorts. Looks like we’re setting up a Haiden-Garcia feud.
Third match: Athena vs. Livi La Vida Loca
Usually I just tell you what I think. But thanks to joining the 21st century and now having a smartphone, I bring you the entire match.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gU2MsG6Ra4Q]
Now onto my thoughts on the match. Athena was spectacular as always. What I thought was interesting was that the crowd seemed to be favoring Livi. The thing about the MPX crowd is that a lot of them just watch MPX and maybe the WWE and TNA. They don’t know that Athena is one of the best unsigned women on the independent scene. They don’t know that the woman calls herself a goddess but is treated like a goddess wherever she wrestles. They didn’t know that a prestigious wrestling promotion took in more than $50o in a campaign just to fly to her wrestle for them. They knew Livi. Livi was who they wanted to cheer for. Athena won for chop of the night. She also won what was a match between two athletic gymnast types.
Fourth match: Li Fang w/Nigel Rabid vs. Kanoa
This whole segment was all kinds of crazy and confusing. Kanoa made no sense in what he said last night and at one point said just the word “pudding” which prompted “Pudding” chants the rest of the night. I can only guess that he is doing the Perry Saturn thing where he has taken too many chair shots. (Please no return of Moppy.) We did have some pretty good action and lots of stiff kicks. At one point Kanoa began to no-sell. I didn’t like that. People who should be able to no-sell in MPX: Lance Hoyt. That’s it. I think Li was killed in this match. We did have some funny stuff with Nigel. Kanoa should not be invincible, and that’s how he came across. Li looked like a high school football team playing the New England Patriots.
During the intermission, they made a huge announcement: Indy journeyman legend Colt Cabana will be appearing in MPX on Feb. 23. There will definitely be “Mark Out Face” aplenty that night.
Fifth match: Frankie Fisher vs. Jerome Daniels
This was one of last year’s hottest feuds. Frankie and Jerome had such great chemistry. When Jerome is out there, he isn’t just a guy wrestling his match. He is one with the crowd and knows exactly what they need. This one told a story. It was about Frankie trying to prove that he had the heart and desire to be strong enough. When Jerome felt the crowd slipping, he reached out to them and got them back emotionally engaged in the story. It was a strong, powerful match that told a great story.
One of the best matches I’ve seen both have. And dare I spoil it, but this is an early Match of the Year contender.
Sixth match: Mike Foxx w/Kyle Davis vs. Steven Kirby in a #1 Contender’s match
This match was a painful reminder how real wrestling can be. There was some really good intensity here in this match. I’m not sure if it was storyline or not, but Kirby’s knee went out several times. Foxx spent the rest of that match working over the knee. The great thing about Kirby is that he never forgets he’s in front of a live crowd. He kept the crowd engaged and in it. The match ended with some great drama. Foxx had Kirby in a Boston Crab. He had to work it over for about 2 minutes before Kirby tapped out.
Winner and #1 contender: Foxx
I am very much looking forward to the Foxx-Barrett Brown match. If they do it right, it could be epic and a passing of the torch, much like Chris Adams did for Foxx more than a decade before.
Main event: Barrett Brown (c) vs. Kristopher Haiden
If I’ve said this before, I apologize. But these two remind me of wrestlers with similar body shapes who always had good chemistry-Rey Misterio Jr. and Kurt Angle. Both guys on paper don’t look like they should gel but they somehow do. Barrett is over like crazy with the crowd and Haiden is equally hated. I just sat back and watched these two guys do their thing. It was a strong title defense that made Barrett look strong yet Haiden lost nothing.
After the match, The Following came out to attack Barrett. Joe Garcia came out to take care of Haiden. A bunch of the boys from the back came out to do a pull-apart with Barrett & Gregory James.
All in all… It was a tough night health-wise. There was one severe injury and I’m sure there were probably a few others. Jerome-Frankie was great. Kirby-Foxx, Zero-Greg, Livi-Athena, Barrett-Haiden were all pretty good. There were a few segments I could have done without. There is some really strong build-up. I am excited about the direction they are taking with the title.
Here’s to hoping 2013 will be a banner year.
Well, I’m in Day 5 of no caffeine, and I warned everyone about it. So if Old Cranky White Man comes out here, I apologize.
Dark match: Dax Daring vs. Steven Kirby
I was a little confused at first. Who was I supposed to go for? When I say “A Star is Born” I think that was the theme throughout the night. However, mostly I refer to Daring. He looked great in this match. He had a certain methodical intricacy to his moves. The first time I saw him, he served as a backdrop to Kanoa. The other time I saw him I was ring announcer and had no idea of what was going on in the ring. Tonight was his chance to shine, and boy did he. Later on in the night, he had the whole crowd chanting he was awesome.
I wrote down this is the greatest dark match I’ve ever seen. After the match, Steven grabbed the mic and had the people give it up for Dax. Then Kenny Steele came in the ring and attacked Dax. Before you knew it, Kanoa & Mike Foxx were in there attacking Kirby. And as if Liam Neeson had said it himself, they released the Murdoch. Kyle Valo came out and announced there was going to be a 6-man.
First match: Zero the Antihero vs. Andy Dalton
Zero is crazy over. He’s never won a match. He’s our underdog. We want to see him win but never do. He cut a promo on his video-gaming. I had no idea what he was talking about. Andy Dalton is on fire here. The previous show, he had what I’m calling the match of the year so far. And tonight he was on fire. Zero & Dalton clicked. I saw a lot from Dalton tonight. As a heel, he kept the crowd in it. I like it when a heel encourages the crowd to keep cheering for their favorite.
We were treated with an appearance from Franco D’Angelo. I feel bad for him because the crowd didn’t know who he was. I’ve followed his story of the awful car wreck and then his miraculous recovery. The fact the man was breathing, much less standing in the ring, much less planning a return to the ring, was great. What I give him credit for is changing the flow of his promo to where the crowd was behind him. And if I may take a moment, welcome back, Mr. D’Angelo.
Second match: Jordynne Grace vs. Claudia
Claudia is insane over with the crowd. This was my first time to see Grace as a heel. My previous match I’d kinda seen her in was a 3-way match where she was kind of the tweener. I like her work. The match was pretty decent. The crowd was in it the whole time, engaged. Just like Athena (who was in the crowd) is becoming the new “It girl” on the national stage, I think Grace is becoming a new “It girl” in Texas. Everything clicked well and the crowd stayed in it.
MPX needs more women’s wrestling, and they have a perfect person to build their division around who is always in the crowd. There are some great name in Texas to bring in: Barbi Hayden, Miss Diss Lexia, Rachel Summerlyn, Reyna Pink, Starr Venus (who is one of the legit nicest people I’ve ever met in wrestling) & Angel Blue. And there are some great names on a national stage I’d love to see come in: Jessicka Havoc, Allysin Kay, Mia Yim, Veda Scott, Marti Belle.
Third match: The Modern Movement vs. Regrub & Matt Andrews w/The Following
This was another match where everything seemed to be firing on all cylinders. Regrub was pretty good with the live crowd. And Andrews is so committed to his character. Regrub & Andrews wrestled good, smart tag team wrestling. And then there was TMM. They are such a good tag team. And I can’t help but feel that when I watch those two wrestle, that I am watching something on the verge of something special. This was such an emotional match, I kept finding myself caught up in the emotion. After 16 years of watching wrestling, not a lot catches me up in my emotions. The match ended when Carrion Arcane walked out and grabbed Kate and took her to the back. Greg of TMM was distracted and Choice got the pin.
Winner: Choice & Regrub
After the intermission, Arcane and Kyle Valo walked out with Kate being led in chains. Since Kate had not pre-approved her outfit, she had a new outfit to wear. It was Princess Leia’s bikini. In the world of “Pic or it didn’t happen,” here is visual proof.
Fourth match: Dax Daring, Steven Kirby & Scott Murdoch vs. Kanoa, Mike Foxx & Kenny Steele
Kanoa & Foxx started before their match with promos. They were going to humiliate the derby girls. The derby girls have become ours now. You don’t mess with them. Kenny took a lot of punishment in this match taking the chops of the night which went to Scott Murdoch. Every time I see Kanoa, I see more and more from him. But the real star of the night was Dax. He had such a great showing. He’s flashy and the crowd was chanting, “Dax is awesome.” During those two matches, Dax went from “Hey, it’s that one guy” to a full-fledged star. Kenny won the match with the Snow Plow.
Winner: Kanoa, Foxx & Steele
Fifth match: Viktor Tadlock vs. Joshua City vs. Danny Saint vs. Carrion Arcane vs. Frankie Fisher vs. Ben Wylde
Last night, I heard one of the competitors refer to this match as a cluster. There were some parts of it that came off as a cluster. But the match itself wasn’t one. Instead of a cluster, I will say “complicated” & “multi-layered.” They did the plancha onto 7 guys with Frankie which looked pretty cool. I hate it when every match has this on the card. But only once per match makes the move seem special, which it did. I see a lot of potential to this Joshua City. He has a lot of natural charisma and some X-factor stuff you can’t teach. The more I watch Arcane, the more of an unsung hero I see him being. The drama to end the match was great. Saint had Arcane in an arm hold and they milked it.
After Saint won, there was a great face-off with Steele. I am now sold on their match. The main event was supposed to be Kristopher Haiden and Matt Palmer in a rematch of the last show where Haiden snuck in to win the title. Haiden walked out wearing his Smackdown suit. Then he announced he had the night off. Instead of the title match we thought we were going to get, we got Matt Palmer vs. Andy Dalton.
Main event: Matt Palmer vs. Andy Dalton
Matt Palmer. Andy Dalton. That is all. You had the two guys deliver an epic match. With one match, Dalton elevated himself in a whole other category. He established himself as an elite heel in this company. This match was filled with near-falls. The story was that Haiden was doing commentary and kept on getting frustrated by Dalton’s inability to beat Palmer. Eventually Haiden went in and interfered.
Winner by dq: Palmer
All in all… A very strong outing from the MPX locker room. Between Dax Daring, Kanoa, Jordynne Grace & Andy Dalton, we are witnessing some very fresh faces doing some great stuff. If you have any of those 4 showing up near you, it is definitely worth watching. It had the right dose of comedy (Kate’s bikini) and drama and intensity. This was a great wrestling product.
I’m going to have a hard time convincing people I’m not a smark if I use a derivative of the first ever Ring of Honor show. While a far cry from being perfect, I think this is perhaps one of the best shows I’ve seen from MPX. It’s like they’ve been waiting a long time for tonight and everything clicked. This whole night was about Kyle Valo taking over and what the effects would be.
First match: Frankie Fisher & Steven Kirby vs. Joe Angelo Garcia & JD Kros
I was quite pleased with Frankie’s work as a face. To me, Frankie is one of the most natural heels I’ve ever seen. But he does the babyface quite nicely. Steven has so much enthusiasm and natural charisma. Between him and Frankie, they both are great pros at listening to the crowd and reacting. It was Garcia’s first match so he gets immunity on his in-ring work. He looked professional and had a nice look. The crowd decided he looked like Mark Wahlberg, but I thought he looked more like Adam from HBO’s hit show “Girls.” The major thing is if you are a heel, tell your family to boo you. This is pretty much Heel 101. The match itself was fun and the crowd was into it. I didn’t see any botches or anything.
Winner: Kirby & Fisher
Kirby & Fisher have good chemistry together. Garcia walked back like nothing had happened. Sell, sell, sell.
Second match: Danny Saint w/Claudia vs. Kenny Steele
It took the crowd a little bit to warm up with this match. Saint is a good person to pair Steele with. I think he will be good for building up Steele and giving him legit experience. The crowd was weird during this match. They seemed to not care about the chain wrestling/catch-as-catch-can stuff. I liked Claudia in her role with the dynamic she added. At one point Saint had him in a Boston Crab and the crowd was riveted.
Since this was the first time these two had wrestled, it’s hard to build up a chemistry naturally. Andy Dalton came out without music. Dalton was ON FIRE with his promo. He called Kate Carroll (the heart and soul of the company) every name one could call a lady in a PG world. Out came Kate’s boyfriend, Gregory James, to defend her honor. They play Macho-Elizabeth so well. Greg and Dalton traded some pretty intense promos. Dalton’s dad was brought up. I wanted more of the dueling promos, not from the dueling promos, which I think is pretty nice praise.
Third match: Kristopher Haiden vs. Barrett Brown
Well, according to Kyle Valo’s rules, Barrett could not go off the top rope or do anything outside the ring. Barrett might have well been tied with both hands behind his back. I was really impressed by what I saw by both of these guys. The momentum was good. I was able to see Barrett have another type of match. Based on in-ring work alone, (aka, no car hood) this is one of the best matches I’ve ever seen Haiden have. The ref was knocked out and when he came to, Barrett was outside the ring at Haiden’s hands. (I think. The night was difficult for me to take notes). Haiden convinced him that Barrett was cheating and the ref disqualified him.
I hated this finish. I hate it any time in wrestling somebody decides to do this. I hated it when Kevin Nash did this on Sid at Starrcade. In football, if you tell a ref there was pass interference, he doesn’t just throw the flag like an idiot. It was insultingly bad.
Fourth match: Andy Dalton vs. “Headbanger” Gregory James in best of 3 falls
Wow. These two guys really brought it. Both guys were firing on all cylinders. There was really nice back-and-forth. I gotta admit I didn’t take too many notes as my chair ripped during the last match and I was standing and it was hard to take notes. Dalton won the first fall. The back-and-forth continued. There was a DDT onto the ring apron that was insane to take by Dalton. Greg went back into the ring and there was a countout. The referee was going to do another 10-count. Dalton crawled back in at 9 and a half. He was also showing off a bloody forehead. And then the match got more stiff and more brutal. There were near-falls galore. But Greg came away with the win.
Winner: Gregory James
If you do not know the name Gregory James, learn it. This is my choice for “Match of the Year” so far. The crowd was into it, there were lots of near-falls and blood happened. I would have just liked to see this match have maybe a month or two more build-up. Zero the Antihero came out, and talked about how he’d never won a match. He was ready to finally win a match. It was easy to see his influence when he sat down legs crossed in the ring. He did a great job of listening to the crowd and cutting a promo in his character. The crowd loves Zero. I think one of the reasons why is that he’s a video game geek and has that connection with the crowd. Zero and Kyle Valo had a dueling promos segment. The crowd loved it. Valo made a match with Zero and James Hawke.
Fourth match: Zero the Antihero vs. James Hawke
I think I’m about to call Hawke “The Crowd-Killer.” I keep on trying to rack my brain on what it is that cools a hot crowd quite like he does. I guess it’s that they just don’t buy him. What I would have him do is take a few months off and then come back fresh. We are at a point where they are shoving him down our throats and with every shove, it makes him harder to come back and the audience care about him. The actual match itself was fine. The two meshed well together. The crowd even popped for the Mortal Kombat spot. Zero looked unable to compete and Frankie came out to his rescue. Kyle Valo ruled him unable to compete.
Fifth match: Kanoa vs. Scott Murdoch w/ Steven Kirby
I’m really liking what I see from Kanoa. You can also tell Murdoch has been working on his physique. Kanoa did a lot of bumping and sold like crazy. Murdoch has a lot of commitment behind his moves. I really like this new chapter of Murdoch’s work here. He is very focused and really brings it. He and Kanoa clicked really well.
Sixth match: Asian Nation (c) w/Nigel Rabid vs. Tad Wylde
Both teams have connected with the crowd. Tad Wylde is great for the crowd, and the Asian Nation is equally good at keeping them engaged. One thing that I love about Li Fang of the Asian Nation is that his face is so expressive that he doesn’t have to say much. And when he does, it’s in Chinese (or a foreign language I don’t recognize) so it keeps the crowd hating him (because Heel 101 says to speak in a foreign language). One of my favorite spots of the year was Ben Wylde giving “Just” James Johnson what looked like an Atomic Wedgie. It was so entertaining. There was another really awesome looking spot with Wylde doing a double suplex with both members of the Asian Nation. The finish came with Johnson doing his finish on Li by mistake.
Winner: Tad Wylde
I’ve watched Ben Wylde from the beginning of his career, so it’s nice to see how far he’s come. He’s worked really hard to make it to this place. After the match, the Asian Nation were in the ring and Kyle Valo verbally berated them on the mic. Johnson began to fire back on his mic. I dare call Johnson one of the best on the mic in MPX. He kept on going on the mic that he didn’t notice that Li & Nigel had both left the ring. When Johnson turned around to call on their support, Li was standing right at the curtain. He bowed and left. It reminded me of what St. Francis of Assisi once said- “Cut your promo. And if necessary-use words.” (Maybe St. Francis said “Preach the gospel” instead of “Cut your promo” but you get the gist.)
Main event: Matt Palmer (c) vs. The Following in a Gauntlet Match
Palmer was total bumping machine in this match. First up was Matt Andrews. While their match was short, the actual wrestling part of it was very nice. Choice suffered victim to Palmer’s signature maneuver. Then in next was Regrub. Palmer bumped and sold more. Regrub stopped during his match and pointed me out. So in response, Hi, back to you, Regrub. And then Palmer made pretty short work of Regrub. Then it was between Palmer and Carrion Arcane. Palmer still had no quit in him. Arcane is such a professional and carries so much intensity in and out of the ring. Palmer had Arcane in a submission hold and they just worked the drama. I loved what they did there with the hold.
Winner: Palmer (or so we thought)
After witnessing the carnage and retaining, Kristopher Haiden came out and did a clothesline that best I can figure out, decapitated Palmer. Kyle Valo counted to 3 for Haiden to get the win and win the title from Palmer.
All in all… As a matter of full disclosure, my sister- and brother-in-law are very close to Haiden and his girlfriend. Haiden was usher at her wedding. He’s also the person telling me about this new place he had just started wrestling at 2 years ago, which was MPX. I also thought it was rather odd that he’s been wrestling forever and this was the first time I’d ever seen his parents there. So forgive me for a moment when I say to Haiden congratulations. You have worked your tail off for the past few years. You not only have worked on your game, but you’ve helped make those around you better. You truly deserve this moment.
The reason for my personal disclosure is that I am excited with the direction they can go with Haiden on top. There’s a lot of really credible challengers waiting for him: Greg, Barrett, Frankie, Kirby, Johnson. A lot of feuds were blown off tonight, and some new directions were introduced. Oh, and Jerry Lynn on November 10th.photo courtesy of Staci Brown[/caption]
MPX’s Back to School is in the books. (See what I did there?) Thanks to the characteristic awful traffic, epically torrential weather and WTF side-road configuration, I ended up getting there late and halfway into the dark match. So sorry to Tad Wylde & Kros/City for missing it.
It took me a while to sit down and get my bearings. I sat down just in time to see the intros. Kate looked gorgeous and leggy as usual. We were treated to the title match being first.
First match: Frankie Fisher (c) vs. Matt Palmer
The match started, Matt did his finisher on Frankie and pinned him in Sheamus/Daniel Bryan time.
Winner, and new champion: Matt Palmer
Then Frankie started complaining and they restarted the match. I yelled out, “Dusty Finish” (and I usually try not to get involved). However, they did the exact same thing and Palmer walked out as champion. If you read my writing, you know I’m a huge Matt Palmer fan. Having him as champ adds a certain credibility outside the company. If you do not know the name Matt Palmer, please learn it.
I’m a little mixed on the next segment. There was a trivia contest between the two members of Tad Wylde and the Asian Nation. The build-up was a little different than Guy A beats up Guy B. So it was refreshing that the creative team is trying out new things. However, as I go into cranky old white man mode, I do not go to pro wrestling to watch trivia contests. But they had a little girl come in and clinch the trivia contest. It was about the kids and that’s what mattered.
Second match: James Hawke vs. BC
Hawke is beginning to get a bigger crowd reaction. And BC is great. He understands the crowd and has so much charisma. He has no character; he is just himself. I liked the decision of putting BC here in this match, because as a heel, all you have to be is contrary to him. The work looked a little clunky in places. But BC’s role was to make Hawke look good, and that went well.
They showed a video of Haiden attacking Barrett Brown. Best I can figure out, somebody needs to call the police.
Third match: Kanoa vs. Steven Kirby in a Lumberjill Match
This match was joined by special guests: The North Texas Derby Revolution, whom can be found here. Between the Europa Expo and MPX, they are on an all-out publicity blitz. The match was Kanoa fighting Kirby with the ladies of the derby skating around the ring. Steven Kirby, formerly known as WASP, is going through a transition to being himself. His “self” is apparently very Irish-American. Kanoa showed a little bit of his comedic range. My only thing is was this out of character for him? But the match was pretty decent. When Kanoa got knocked out of the ring, the derby girls would make sure to hit him as they skated by. My major complaint was that this match did not fit the intensity their current feud. It was a showcase for the girls and might have better fit Tad Wylde facing a tag team. I’m not sure who else I would have put in the match with the roller girls. It’s like watching an episode of Mad Men and then one episode of Mad Men is the Harlem Globetrotters playing the Washington Generals. There were some stiff chops and some good work. Mike Foxx interfered followed by Scott Murdoch to force it into a “No contest.”
Winner: No Contest
Everybody wanted it to be a tag team match. I’m glad that it didn’t. They are willing to wait and let the story play out naturally.
Fourth match: $Payday$ (c) vs. Kenny Steele for the Prospects Championship in a Last Man Standing Match
This was a big blow-off to their feud. The guys really brought it in their intensity. They beat the living s*** out of each other. $Payday$ got his first ever “That was awesome” chant with his moonsault off the ring apron onto Kenny. They brawled and ended up at the tires for the crossfit training. Kenny put $Payday$ in the tire and rolled him back to the ring. One thing I liked is that $Payday$ was able to have a different type of match, yet he still found a way to include his athleticism in it. There was a sunset flip onto the ladder that drew $Payday$’s 2nd “That was awesome” chant of the night. At another point there was a spinebuster onto a ladder. For the finish, Kenny did a powerbomb onto the crossfit tire. That drew a first for me: a heel getting a “That was awesome” chant.
Winner, and new Prospects champion: Kenny Steele
For both guys fighting their first Last Man Standing Match, it was a pretty good brawl. I would have liked to seen more drama and focus on winning the match. But end to a very nice feud.
Fifth match: Scott Murdoch vs. Mike Foxx
I love that Mike Foxx is being used as a gatekeeper to build the next generation. I loved Murdoch’s intensity and focus. It was almost Lesnar-like. Foxx had his patented scowl. The first time these two met together, it somewhat lacked in the intangibles. This match did not. Both were firing on all cylinders. There were some chops where I was pretty sure somebody was going to get decapitated. It ended when Kanoa came back in followed by Kirby.
Winner: No contest
Really loving the feud going on with these four. As part of the main event, Zero the Antihero came out and asked to be on the main event team. Now if Mike Dolenz did not have a team ready, should have really been deserving of staying GM? Haiden walked out and beat up Zero, incapacitating him. Since Headbanger and Saint came out to Zero’s rescue, they were asked to be part of his team.
Main event: Gregory James, Danny Saint, Claudia & Frankie Fisher vs. Kristopher Haiden, Matt “The Choice” Andrews, Regrub & Carrion Arcane in an elimination match for control of the company for 90 days:
I was surprised by the choice of Claudia, but it made sense. Frankie didn’t. He had just lost the title. Why was he out there seemed to be a little off to me. This was perhaps one of the top matches of the night for me. There were lots of complex stories going on here. Claudia held her own and even pinned Choice. She also did a moonsault on Regrub earning a “That was awesome” chant. Frankie looked good in the match and even got some chants. I liked how even though he was on the face team, he still wrestled like a heel. It ended up with the last two being Greg & Arcane. Haiden, who had just been eliminated, attacked Mike Dolenz with a chair. It distracted Greg enough to where Arcane was able to get the pin.
Being that he won control of the company, Kyle Valo took the mic and announced the changes that would be happening.
All in all… I’m liking Valo taking over as lead of the company. He’s better on the mic and entertains the heck out of me. I liked the $Payday$-Steele match. I loved the crossover of the derby girls (my kind of eye candy), even if it didn’t make sense in the bigger picture. And of course Matt Palmer being champion means nothing but good things. Not everything clicked, but they are focused and concentrating on letting the stories play out naturally rather than giving us too much too early. I am very intrigued to see where they go from here.
Here we go! Two guys established going face to face. The tournament becomes more meaningful. Jobs apologizes for his “hissy fits” and “rage” moments promising they will never happen again. Sure buddy. Aren’t you out of the tournament via loss? Will these questions be answered? And the twins continues their tension? Yes, that is what the prelude tells us…
In all fairness, I reviewed both of The Underground and NXT: Full Sail Series (or whatever they call it). And I never promised to review all of these shows… but I decided to at least give a little love to the best internet-only web-series about wrestling. This project deserves more recognition. It’s like a video game (e.g. Mortal Kombat) meets independent wrestling in cinematic form (e.g. Bloodsport). Kayfabe… and this series looks to go long down the stretch. Awesomeness TV is your hook up, and if this description sounds cool to you, you have like a 141 2/3rd chance of winning. Brief descriptions and videos after the jump… let’s hop to it, shall we?[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320"]This is not a meme. The dude’s name is “Jobs.” Gamer rage is awesome![/caption]
In a secret warehouse… they come to fight… for cold hard cash… and control of…. The Underground. Like something out of the cabinet era of fighting video games a la Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, The Underground kicked into high gear today with it’s debut episode. We’re introduced to the concept by “former” champion “King.” King earned his title fighting in the elite fighting circle of this alternate wrestling universe. He opens the show walking towards the camera with his promo, and strolls towards an above level overview of the pit and ring. Our combatants make their way out to do battle.
The Underground, (aka Wrestling Revolution Project) created by Jeff Katz debuts officially tomorrow (June 22, 2012) online on the Youtube Awesomeness TV channel.
I still remember when I decided I wanted to support indy wrestling and sent a message to my buddy and told me about this new place he had started working. I remember how small and “work-in-progress” this company was. But they concentrated on their strengths: great characters and storylines that kept you coming back. Tonight they had Funaki. Like, THE Funaki. Smackdown Announcer #1. Indeed. That Funaki.
They opened it up with Funaki coming out to speak to the fans. He was interrupted by the Asian Nation who invited him to become a junior member. Good stuff. And of course it went into fisticuffs. I think everybody was involved except for Kate.
First match: Barrett Brown vs. Kristopher Haiden
I of course would like to congratulate Barrett on his recent graduation from high school. This kid is already one of Texas’ best and he JUST NOW graduated high school. Barrett has improved a lot over the past year. He’s adding more and more different kinds of offense into his matches. If you have never seen this guy wrestle before, go look him up on Youtube. Haiden does a great job being the bully. When it comes to being the bully, I think he’s the best in MPX and one of the best probably in Texas. He gave Barrett a clothesline from Hell and got the pin.
Haiden asked to be announced as “The Cruiserweight Slayer.” I like Cruiserweight Crusher better. It’s alliteration. We had angry Headbanger come out because he didn’t have a match. He wanted an opponent. He was given Frankie Fisher AND Jason Silver. I liked angry Headbanger. These past few months, he has gotten to show off his range.
Second match: Tad Wylde vs. Regrub & Matt Andrews w/The Following
Masked Guy (I still haven’t figured out what his stage name is.) is looking a little skinnier. The classiest thing all night was when Tad Wylde thanked the military. What I thought could have added a nice dimension was asking all the military people to stand, but no biggie. They can do that in November. What Choice lacks in size, he makes up for in personality and commitment. He is a good storyteller and somebody you want to get over your story. Tad Wylde is a pretty good tag team. They work well and did some cool double-team moves. Ben played the face in peril very well. One of the biggest moves of the night was Tadlock doing a plancha. For those unfamiliar with Tadlock, that’s like Rhino doing a plancha. Good, fun match with Tad Wylde getting the victory.
Winner: Tad Wylde
I like how they are building up Tad Wylde.
Third match: Scott Murdoch vs. Danny Saint
I like both these guys and they were quite entertaining in this match. I’m going to love a Saint-Murdoch feud. The fans win. The chests of Saint and Murdoch do not. These guys were brutal (in a good way). I wrote down I was really happy to not be either. I also wrote down one word at one point, “Wow.” These guys really laid it on the line. I watched a DGUSA DVD yesterday that had some of the best in-ring work I’d ever seen. This was not that type of match yet still kept just as engaged in it. It was still just as intense and emotional and brutal.
Winner: Double Countout
Can we already name this MPX Feud of the Year? Kyle Davis interviewed Kanoa. “I’m going to beat people. Who’s next in line?” Not a lot of depth to it, but we’ll see where he goes from here.
Fourth match: Bling & Sting vs. Asian Nation
It was nice to see tag team wrestling that meant something. $Payday$ had a great plancha. He’s becoming more smooth and more fluid. There was good comedy. WASP & “Just” Johnson both do comedy really well. I wonder if Nigel might be a little wasted on this tag team. I think James is really good on the mic and doesn’t need any help. I do think Nigel works as an “outside-the-ring” presence. But then again, I’m not sure where you use Nigel if not with the Asian Nation. Anything that keeps Nigel in front of the crowd works for me. I wrote down that it was a fun match with lots of intricate stories. Kenny Steele walked out and stole $Payday$’s belt. $Payday$ went to tag in WASP while he was still recovering after being in the ring for a while. $Payday$ went after him. The two-on-one advantage proved to be too much for WASP.
Winner: Asian Nation
Well, with Tad Wylde, The Following, Asian Nation, Bling & Sting, a possible Cash & Carry return, Dunnings & Red, I believe, MPX, you have a tag team division.
Fifth match: Joshua City vs. Jerome Daniels
This was Joshua’s debut match so he gets “First Match Immunity.” However, I don’t know if it’s Jerome, but this was actually a pretty good match. Joshua has a lot of personality and kind of understands that it’s due-paying time. As I have learned, it’s not easy cutting your first promo. It takes something to listen to the crowd and be reacted to. I’ve seen a few debuts in MPX. Some I wish I could unsee. This is probably the best debut I’ve seen at MPX.
Jerome is supposed to be built-up to be fighting the big match against Frankie and took a little longer than he should have to beat Joshua City, making his MPX debut. James Hawke came out after the match saying that the people were supposed to love him were booing him now. He listened to the crowd and followed them where they took him. This is the John Cena heel turn we’ve all been waiting for.
Sixth match: Nobe Bryant vs. Kanoa
I’ve had the chance to see Nobe since back in the day. The man is a great athlete and has an amazing look. Kanoa has a good arrogance to him. Both guys are really good athletes and had some good agility for their size. Nobe tried to keep the crowd engaged (which sometimes really needs to happen with this crowd). And with respect to Murdoch and Saint, Nobe won for chop of the night. I wrote down that it was a good, decent match. Kanoa won unexpectedly.
Looks like they are giving Kanoa a nice push. I’m intrigued to see what he has for us.
Seventh match: Frankie Fisher (c) vs. Gregory James vs. Jason Silver
Well, who wouldn’t want to see James-Silver? I wrote down that I liked the beginning. Frankie is a good smarmy heel. There were some good dynamics. You had James and Silver who are friends but Frankie used that to his advantage. The action was very fast-paced. I was surprisingly able to keep up with most of it. Greg is becoming quite the storyteller. Storyteller + Agility = ∞ limits. Frankie submitted Jason Silver while Greg was outside the ring.
This is definitely the strongest I have seen Frankie looked. He looked like a credible champion.
Main Event: Carrion Arcane w/The Following vs. Sho Funaki
I’m going to try to see how many times I can fit the word “Indeed” into this match. Seriously, it was fun. We had Funaki live before our crowd. Arcane got in a lot of offense. Funaki did what he did best and one of the reasons he was kept around in the WWE for so long. He sold. The match was very well laid out. After a good night of wrestling, we got to see Funaki get a pin out of nowhere.
All in all… The night was pretty decent. The crowd was packed and lively. Some people were worried about it being BYOB for the first time. As Arcane said, “We have a Murdoch.” They left us with some nice questions. That is what a wrestling company needs to be, especially with a lot of people who normally wouldn’t be there. Special props need to go out to Daniel and Anthony the refs. These guys were active and engaged in hot weather doing a very athletic activity for several matches. Joshua had a nice debut. Murdoch and Saint tore down the house. Frankie looked like a real legitimate champion. And I do believe we have the development of a tag team division.
I’m going to be honest. They did not draw as well as they usually did. So I think I wasn’t expecting that great of a show. But I learned it’s not the size of the crowd. It’s how “on-fire” that crowd is. Less than two weeks ago, we saw how one crowd could carry an entire show at a WWE Monday Night Raw. Tonight, the MPX crowd made the show.
We began with Kyle Davis and Kody Kox who introduced Kate. She was called the “heart and soul” of MPX. Even MPX’s naysayers say she’s great.
Kate introduced Frankie Fisher who walked out and looked intimidating and jaw-jacked with the fans. And then Jerome Daniels’ music hit. He walked out with a purpose carrying a kendo stick. He has a nice voice and cuts a nice promo. But the promo he cut tonight… I would have to put this up at the top of MPX’s greatest promos: “Just” James Johnson’s heel turn, the Haiden-LaMotta back-and-forth, the promo I cut on Kenny Steele (ok, so I threw that one in there for the fun of it). The promo centered around how he and Frankie were going to have “a moment.” It reminded me of the promo R-Truth cut on Miz on Raw in December. (“I’m going beat you up every night and unwrap this present cause Little Jimmy said it’s okay.”) But this promo was coherent and did not set black people back 20 years.
First match: Matt Palmer vs. Gregory James
Now you’re probably wondering (as was I) how in the Blue Hell this was the first match. So I spent some time thinking about this. The MPX crowd is one boring match away from dying. I believe this match was put here to wake the crowd up. Palmer has some nice new ring gear. He is also looking a little bulkier. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting. But the match I got was very story-centered. You can’t fight the same match here that you would at Anarchy down in Austin. Palmer had some huge chops. The crowd took a while to get there but they were engaged in this match. I wrote down that there was lots of emotion in this match. And the best part about the emotion was the crescendo it took to get there. Palmer is so expressive that he carries every emotion on his sleeve.
After the match, they shook hands. I liked the sportsmanship. They had a cute vignette with Viktor Tadlock and Ben Wylde playing putt putt. I love them introducing different characters.
Second match: Dave Dunnings vs. Regrub w/The Following
My main goal as this match started was to not gouge out my eyes. I do like the work of Dunnings plus I get to chant “Double-D.” He’s country and I love the country element. Plus, he’s such a good character. The crowd loved him. The crowd also loved to hate The Following. Regrub did the forearm to the chest. The only problem with that is that Sheamus does it very well and very loud. At first I was expecting a squash and then it wasn’t. It kept going on a little more.
If Dunnings and Regrub are having a feud, that’s fine. But he’s a tag champ. I’m a stickler for protecting champs. Kyle Valo was well-received with a “Shut up, Kyle” chant.
Scott Murdoch came out to say there was no competition. He worked the live crowd well. You can always tell when somebody has experience with live crowds because he had quite the fun with them in a sadistic “kid torturing an ant with a magnifying glass” kinda way. He sat down in the chair and waited for competition. His back was turned and James Hawke snuck an attack but he did attack him from the front. It was a brutal brawl. Security had a hard time separating them. Hawke was ON FIRE. I’ve done my share of mocking him for being John Cena. This was not John Cena. One angle and MPX fixed him. WWE, why can’t you fix your Cena?
Third match: Kristopher Haiden vs. Danny Saint
One of my favorite guys to watch in wrestling is PAC. I love his high-flying, aerial moves. There were no PAC moves in this match. This was a hot feud. They weren’t fighting from the get-go. Saint crouched in the corner as Haiden walked out. Then when the bell hit, Saint was on fire. I hate it when guys have feuds and they start off with a side headlock. There was none of that here. This was a good feud match. This was simply violent. Two guys who hate each other beat the s*** out of each other. Haiden won with a clothesline from Hell.
After the match, Haiden took the microphone and set up Haiden vs. Headbanger for the next show. During the intermission, the faces came out and mingled with the crowd. It was a good family atmosphere.
Fourth match: Viktor Tadlock vs. Ryan Gauge w/The Following
I’ve never seen Tadlock as a face and I was kinda blown away. He is quite versatile. He can do the angry heel but he can do that monster babyface too. The comparison that comes to mind is Batista, except Tadlock wants to be there and will not injure himself walking to the ring. At first Tadlock was supposed to get Arcane, but Arcane decided that Tadlock wasn’t fighting him. He was going to get Ryan Gauge. Poor Ryan. Tadlock started telling him he wanted no part of him. Gauge slapped him. So Tadlock took him to the turnbuckles and slapped his chest a little. And by little, I mean hard. He got squashed.
After the match, Arcane told Gauge he was out and then The Following beat on him until he was saved by Tadlock & Wylde. Do I smell a 6-man?
Fifth match: ”Just” James Johnson vs. Jerome Daniels
This match had a nice enough premise. Johnson wanted the belt and why should Daniels come in and get a title shot? You can tell these two are veterans who have wrestled each other many times. There were so many “little things” and nuances these guys got right. Johnson spit or something thereby prompting a “That’s disgusting” chant. I told you it was a pretty awesome crowd. The two guys really brought it. Nigel Rabid came out and interfered in full British mode.
Winner by dq: Daniels
Li Fang came out to the rescue. Both Daniels and Johnson were laying down in the ring. Li Fang went up to the top rope. Fang should come to the rescue of Daniels, right? But he attacked Daniels, turning heel. And thus was introduced “The Asian Nation.” I’m not seeing Nigel in it yet, but I will see how it transpires.
Main event: Bling & Sting vs. Kenny Steele & Frankie Fisher
Bling and Sting ($Payday$ and WASP respectively) had matching tights so they looked like a tag team. $Payday$ tried some new moves out. While they did not come out as smoothly or fluidly as he probably would have liked, I like that he’s working on finding himself a wider repertoire. The big knock on John Cena is the “5 Moves of Doom” (or as I say about Davey Richards, the “25 Moves of Doom”). $Payday$ is not content to do the same moves in every match. And the more opportunities to try his moves in front of different crowds, the more successful he will become. One spot I think he nailed was the suplex into the Stunner. WASP was pretty strong with the crowd reaction. He kept them engaged. Somebody in the crowd (or security) started chanting “WASP is gonna kill you.” It caught on. The high moment of the match (and the night, quite frankly) was when Frankie and WASP were fighting over by the merchandise table. I couldn’t see what the move was exactly from where I was sitting but Frankie went through the table. It was a total “Holy s***” moment. It wasn’t like the Spanish announcers table at a PPV where you take bets on which match destroys the table. It was the sacred merchandise table, which is the only table MPX uses. It got a “That was awesome” chant. With those two doing that on the outside it was between Kenny and $Payday$. $Payday$ made the pin.
Winner: Bling & Sting
Frankie sold his table bump like a pro. All the fans had to walk past him on his way out.
All in all… This show was perhaps the best I have seen from MPX. Top to bottom, this was a really good show. There were about 4 good matches. Even the ones that didn’t knock my socks off weren’t bad. There was a really great promo, decent heel turn and a really awesome table spot. While still not perfect, I’m really looking forward to the major show in two weeks.