And now I realize me saying doughnut instead of donut here and there is acceptable.
Reviewing can be educational.
1) I'll be gone a week for break.
2) This has been one hell of a mistrial. If anybody knows enough Japanese to get me a link to the DDT episode in question:
TOKYO JOSHI PRO
“LET’S GO! GO! IF YOU GO! WHEN YOU GO! IF YOU GET LOST JUST GO TO YOKOHAMA!”
Yokohama Radiant Hall
...then I will do it ASAP. Spring break is upon me and I won't have wifi for a week (spending time with grandparents that live out in the woods). Because I'm having difficulties, I'll download and review the most current Urban Wrestling Federation I can find (2017) and one other promotion. I'm skipping PROGRESS for now because I can't find an episode to watch it and I'm saving National Wrestling Alliance for a large compilation. NWA does their videos bit by bit so I want to get that all down pat with a certain saga that is brewing over there lately.
I think some of you may be interested in my thoughts with what is coming after UWF...
Click for Spoiler:
Also I'm still taking suggestions. Have to skip over a few but that doesn't mean I won't look at what you guys are tossing my way. As long as I can get to it and understand it, then sweet.
And before I forget since it's been asked to me before, I'm not into any amateur backyard "feds". I see how they have a place on the independent scene, but I need something more than two guys beating the shit out of each other while one man records.
UWF on Youtube
UWF – Urban Wrestling Federation
Thug Assassins (Running Time: 58:41)
Current Champions via CageMatch:
Click for Spoiler:
Click for Spoiler:
Cold opening to a “Previously on UWF Street King” Rasche Brown speared [no name given] to become the UWF Heavyweight Champion. He’s surrounded by his posse. “1 Hour After UWF SK” grainy sideways view of the new champ entering a room where a guy offscreen is clapping. Rasche Brown handed the clapping man the title and walked off. “4 Hours After UWF Street King” Rasche walked into a dark hallway and gets jumped…and I kid you not they shot him with a gun several times before running away. I don’t know what to say here.
Intro is a rap song with various clips of wrestlers coming to the ring and fighting. Quality is 10x better than their “Previously” clips.
Larry Legend is the ring announcer and hyped the place up. It’s full of mostly older guys pushing 30-40.
Triple C’s/ Carol City Cartel Have Something To Say
Gunplay, Torch, Young Breed, T-Mizzle, Ellement, and Slymm are introduced via text graphic. While they talk themselves up, guys named Brisco and Beast Ortiz are on the upper deck watching down on them. Slymm is the UWF Heavyweight Champion (commentary is all ??? guess he was the clapping man). Brisco took exception to what Slymm was saying about being the champ. Fans seem to be getting aggressive so Slymm throws one into the ring. He gives the guy a spinning Gunnslinger and looked up at Brisco, asking if he wants some. Brisco & Beast Ortiz take offense and ask where Brown is.
Another gang comes to the ring, Uncle Murda (Seriously? That’s what they’re going with?) Raze, Riot, Lowlife Louie, and Uncle Murda himself come out. Slyck Wagner Brown is here too, and he got on the mic asking why the fuck did Beast Ortiz get a title match and he didn’t. They both lost their fights. Beast Ortiz called him a transvestite that needs a toothbrush (somehow the bar is lowered after the on-screen killing. Fuck me.) Beast Ortiz comes down and the fight starts outside the ring.
Slyck Wagner Brown vs. Beast Ortiz
S Dott of LEP Bogus Boys (from Chicago) involved himself and aided Beast Ortiz and…several others called the Phat Pack by commentary came in and start beating up Riot and Raze. A very obese one does a Top Rope Atomico sloppily on one and so the first flip of the night is by a Big Daddy V looking dude. This isn’t a match I guess. Side note – one guy on commentary legit called a few kick spots an “ultimate toe jam” and that’s the worst way to hype these guys ever. And I have no idea where the crews from before went.
LEP Bogus Boys’ music hit and text graphic showed us the really obese one was named Big Baby Daddy. I’m fucking lost in all this, help me. Beast Ortiz was by the entrance and is smacked by a trash can by T-Mizzle. Beast almost got out of dodge.
We’re introduced to a 3-Man commentary. Julius Smokes, Shawn Credle, and Robbie Mireno. Robbie is a Sicilian who “can catch a ho like catching the cold”. Julius Smokes said Rasche Brown is Swayze in Ghost – “pop pop”. No one knows who killed Rasche, and no one really seems to care all that much. This is a ridiculous setup, readers. It’s crazy enough to go with a homicide angle, but I’m all for suspending my disbelief in the name of narrative. Guess what doesn’t really factor in or get any more screen time in this event? Go on, guess.
They talk while we get muted clips from only minutes ago. Weird. Legend is far behind the table in the ring and is legit lost, waiting on his cue and for commentary to stop talking.
Big Baby Daddy V is with the LEP Bogus Boys backstage. S Dott was sitting with them on his phone and they tell him to get off of it. One guy, Kage, just walked on by and they ask him if he wants to join their crew. Rap instrumental played and he accepted. Big Baby Daddy & S Dott beat him down par the course for initiation. They take his jacket and checked his pockets.
40 Glocc talks to Sun in the back of a limo. Notice that I’m not cutting these segments down like I usually do for my reviews. That’s because there are no breaks, just segment-segment-segment-segment. If they don’t care to mix it up and put wrestling in, why should I care to format this all prettily? They’re pushing what I assume are drugs together and he has noticed shipment has been light lately. They need to double down and tighten up and lock it down and every other gangster platitude.
Back to that LEP Bogus Boys initiation. Big Baby Daddy V took his little weed baggie and the other has Kage’s boots. The leaders tell them the boots stay there with them. “Can we keep the tree?” Ha nope. They do keep the wallet though.
Slick talking to Uncle Murda. Murda doesn’t want his people taking the “L” or otherwise he’ll find new members. Glad Murda reminded them they’re wrestlers. For a minute I forgot.
Billy Blue of NMB is with Jeez of NMB loitering outside and talking about hoes. 40 Glocc, Sun, and holy shit Famous B of Lucha Underground meets up with them. Famous B is here to fight Jeez one-on-one. It appears they were in a Five Way match and need to see how things go in a Singles. This is the closest we’re getting to real heat here, so buckle up.
Back to Murda hyping his posse (20 minutes in, and there hasn’t been a wrestling match yet). Main Event has money on the line it seems.
Jeez w/Billy Blue vs. Famous B w/Glocc and Sun
Julius Smokes does the opposite of what a good commentator does, and it became clear in this fight. He does nothing but shit on every wrestler’s appearance, and nothing he says is funny either, so it has no redeeming quality. Even the Sicilian, a hybrid of every white homie stereotype imaginable, dissed Jeez better by saying “this guy so small he could do push-ups under my door.” Commentary – “chop that cocksucka”…there are so many flips in this fight. Jeez Up, Hoes Down aka Missile Dropkick gets Jeez the win. Announcer claims him to be the survivor of the battle. Steve Mack runs in, and gives Jeez a spear. Commentary lets us know Jeez was fucking Mack’s girl so voila. Mack went into the crowd where there’s a small bar full of alcohol.
Quick note in case I forget: There appears to be no real reason for these wrestlers to have their gangs with them. I get having them there in case someone interferes, but it’s obvious now that that doesn’t help. Sometimes they’ll beat on a guy on the outside, so just imagine every match from here on out to be a lazy Lumberjack Match. Only way to describe what this is. Why the fuck even do the turf wars shtick if you're not going to follow through with it? Infuriating.
Girl is with Torch from Triple C’s and she wanted to get out of there. I don’t blame her. They’re waiting on some money.
A shot outside (camera shot) of Bestia with Billy Blue. Blue asked for his money but was interrupted by Brisco from Opa Locka.
Cuts to DJ Self saying a lot of money is coming in. Yeah don’t expect any of these characters to have range. Joker is talking with him. All the wrestlers are rappers, it’s stated.
Façade, some white guy with dreads, greeted Torch. Façade’s crew is out, being old timers and all, so he’s looking for a new group. Torch will give him a chance. No initiation and I’m laughing. Torch’s lady friend still wants to leave.
Bestia gets in Masada, Brisco’s boy’s face for no discernable reason.
Grim Reefer has an envelop of money for DJ Self. Joker checked envelope to see if the bread is in there. He said it was. For a lot of money, that envelop looked empty.
It passed 35 minutes, so 15 minutes after the first bout we get the second match.
Masada vs. Bestia
UWF plugged their free mixtape and this is the funniest thing commentary has said all night. The wrester rappers both have valets with them who probably aren’t paid enough to stand around. So this fight has no heat to it except a random square up. Alrighty. “Ref’s a retard” chants. Masada goes for an Electric Chair Drop, but Bestia reverses into a shit hurricanrana that is good against a trash can lid (though it completely missed) for the 3.
Money from the Atlanta boys came up short.
Grim Reefer with Ruckus about the money being short.
Main Event: Ruckus vs. Slyck Wagner Brown
At least there was some precedent with Masada and Bestia fighting. No clue why these two are. Ruckus is called “The World’s Stonedest Man”. Lowlife Louie interferes, slamming Slyck. Murda fights Louie. Murda got slammed. Murda got right back up and gave Louie the Box Cutter (regular Cutter). The brawl spilled to the outside. Slyck executed what looked like the BK Bomb Billy Kidman used to do and it was good for the win. Announcer said East New York takes it and I’m just more confused.
Back to that 90s style filter and cuts from at the beginning of this show as Murda and Lowlife brawl into an alleyway. Credits roll as they throw random shit at each other. Lowlife bleeds. They pass out as it fades to black.
Venue: Almost exactly like Hoodslam, but with seating, minus the comedy, but it had an upper floor. This place has the smallest ring I’ve seen so far. Logo on the canvas. Upper deck is used to show attendees and Brisco/Beast Ortiz.
Crowd: I couldn’t tell if they were all that into it half the time. They were an older crowd, older than me by quite a bit. I imagine they were fans of the original ECW crazy from back in the day and came to see how this stacked up. From how they reacted to a majority of this show, they didn't seem impressed.
Characters: There was a drug dealing gangster rapper, some arm candy, and a corpse.
Wrestling: Does this droid speak Botchy? Even Famous B was a little off his game here. This wasn’t really a wrestling show, was it? No real stakes, the heat is either ice cold or killed-a-guy volcanic. No one to root for and the commentary was putting itself over the performers. Stiff with no real story.
Production: Camerawork worked on two levels: solid at times giving us overhead shots that really made it seem different and sometimes we'll get a ridiculous dirty lens. Music was a mixtape of rappers who I think are much better at that then they are at wrestling.
Flippy Counter: 22
All in all, I survived. More than I can say for Rasche Brown. This does answer the question I’m most interested in with these indie promotions: Is This an Alternative to WWE? Of course it is, but I think it is for all the wrong reasons. Segments were more about running some drugs and money behind the scenes than it did for aiding the overall narrative, you know, being a wrestling show. Gangster Soap Opera with no clear direction with wrestling tacked on. I get it, they’re all thugs. But they were the most vanilla, dullest, most uninspired ballers I’ve ever seen. The big angle should have been “Who Killed Rasche Brown?” but that’s not what they gave us. I got more from the dead character from the Previous clips than I did for guys like Slyck Wagner Brown who took up a lot of screen time. The show was offensive without being provocative. I don’t recommend it even for fans of hardcore wrestling, especially if said fans want to see something besides generic thug #1-14.
#12: Final Show Before Lights Out - Running Time: 59:04 (Youtube)
Current Champions via WhatCulture Wrestling Wikia:
Click for Spoiler:
Click for Spoiler:
Defiant title screen right before a hype video for The Road to No Regrets.
Camera fades into Austin Aries arriving to a building with Stu Bennet (Wade Barret) giving him a round of applause. I never realized how much I wanted these two to share a segment until now. Austin is the Defiant Champion. Great snide remarks here with Aries telling Stu how exhausting it is being champion in different promotions, something ol’ Stu wouldn’t know anything about. Stu wants to squeeze into that busy schedule of Aries’s – Newcastle, England will see a title match at No Regrets. Aries accepts but asks who he’s facing. “You’ll find out.”
Rapid fire clips of previous episodes that has led up to the go home show, and the Lights Out (pay per view. Yeah, that title match isn’t happening at Lights Out, but something called the Magnificent Seven is. More on that later. This is what plays in a few minutes time:
We get the intro and it has an annoying white falling speck filter. It would have been so cool without that unnecessary addition. A small fire pyrotechnic gets the crowd going and we’re here with commentary Dave Bradshaw and James R. Kennedy. They tell us that Jimmy Havoc and Primate will defend their tag titles against Aussie Open. Also a little hype as tonight we figure out who the last two entrants will be for the Magnificent Seven.
No Fun Dunne vs. “The Indian Dream” Prince Ameen
An Anti-Fun Police Logo from Dunne and that’s hilarious. He kinda has an RTC thing about him, and he’s also apparently a lackey for Aries. Sweet Jesus Prince Ameen has a turban and is carrying around a magic carpet. We’re totally going there with this comedy jobber. Commentary gives a nice juxtaposition here between the characters, as Prince Ameen is all about having fun and being a crowd pleaser and No Fun Dunne is the antithesis. “We Want Fun” chants. Ameen points at Dunne’s crotch that has that “Anti-Fun” logo, then his own logo-less outfit. “He’s got the logo on his dick” is sung by the crowd in the tune of “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” Creative. Funny spot with Ameen climbing the top turnbuckle, gets the crowd hyped for the leap, stops, goes down to Bret’s rope, repeats, bottom rope, repeats, apron, repeats, then climbs down to the floor. That fucking carpet says “A Whole New World” as he attempted to jump with it at one point. Misses. Dunne kicks it out of the ring. “You Want Fun?” Dunne mocks the crowd. “That’s What She Said” is their reply. He yells “Ameen is Done” and reacts super early to the oncoming interference.
Kirby is out poking fun of the sirens in Dunne’s theme. He rolled out in a little kids Paw Patrol car. Fucking losing it watching this. Enormous pop when Kirby started singing “Keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin’”. He circles around the ring on the toy, and the camera stays on him. He “drives” back to the ramp and, I shit you not, raises his fist in the air a la Biker Taker. Good enough for a roll-up from Ameen for the win and a place in Magnificent Seven.
Zack Gibson Complains to GM Stu Bennet
Just now realized Stu is the acting General Manager, and that fits like a glove. Gibson felt cheated in his match with Primate. He didn’t even get the chance to take off his jacket and the referee rang the bell too early. He’s all pissed and addresses the whiteboard saying how Stu pissed away the budget on some American yank no one knows (Daniels). He goes as far as to say everyone in Mag 7 are nobodies. Stu replied that he’ll give him another opportunity as long as he doesn’t speak to Stu for a week. “Just nod.” Gibson leaves. Stu writes on the whiteboard…making the Kidd vs. Jurn match Kidd vs. Jurn vs. Scouse Monkey.
“The Gimmick Killer” Drake vs. “Bangera Bad Boy” Amir Jordan
Amir is also from India, but he wears colorful Bollywood style garb complete with an exaggerated sash. Drake is wearing a “Kill All Gimmicks” tank and I want it. Story here is Drake beat Amir at Chain Reaction, but it appears Amir’s gimmick didn’t die (wrestling is nuts sometimes). Amir flipped into the ring and does a back roll, counting that as two flips before the match began. Before referee called for the opening bell, Amir gets his music to play again and wants a Dance Off. Drake played along, even getting on one knee for the Spinnerooni, but misses with the obvious sucker punch. Jordan jumped off the top rope, hitting his leg on the canvas. This legit looked like his leg was messed up and the crowd died instantly. Drake honed in on the leg. Great selling here but the crowd is so quiet now and I figure because the selling is that effective. Made for great TV with the audience unsure if the match was blurring the lines of kayfabe, but whatever momentum this had was completely gone even after Amir stole the win be getting his feet propped up on the top rope of all things. Again, wrestling is nuts. Amir points at the temple of his heads, saying how he outwitted Drake, but he’s also limping so that kayfabe is forever blurred.
No Regrets hype image. It’ll be in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Main Event – “The Marquee Player” Jurn Simmons vs. Gabriel Kidd vs. “Liverpool’s #1” Zack Gibson
This is not technically the Main Event, but was billed as one. There’s a reason why and I’ll get to that later. Jurn is a Viking from the Netherlands and gets that fire pyrotechnic that opened the show. Kidd is a former Internet Champion who is changing his attitude. All I know about him is that he’s wearing a new speedo that says “Life Boat Man”…commentary has no clue what that’s about either. Scouse Style Jacket Zack on the mic. “A Joke I have to qualify. Primate jumped me before the bell rang.” Kick knocked Gibson out cold Kidd vs. Jurn. They fight all around the ring. Gibson gets back up. “Simmons Gonna Kill You” chants, so apparently he’s the favorite in this, and if you took a look at him you’d think the same thing. Gibson pleads with Simmons for a 2 on 1 with Jurn. They shake hands, and Jurn lays him out. Kidd piledrives Simmons and it’s a clean win.
Walter will make his debut against Travis Banks and David Starr for the Internet Championship. Starting to see the pattern here.
The Joe Hendry Show
There are two chairs on the ramp instead of the ring. Hendry does a decent heel promo as he brings Rampage out as his guest. Hendry even danced a little to Rampage’s theme (cocky heels should do this more). “Can I call you ‘Page?” Hendry said he won’t be patronizing like other hosts, and immediately goes straight into the vanilla line of questioning – “How long you been a wrestler?” tells him he doesn’t have to answer that, and it’s it on “A long time”. “Who is your favorite wrestler?” Hendry answered it himself, telling Rampage he looks up to the Prestigious One, who is Joe Hendry. “How does it feel to know Hendry is something you’ll never be?” Hendry told him to bow out if he needed to. Rampage grabbed his shirt and telegraphs “Joe…you talk too much!” ha Botchamania reference. Gets him to the ring. Almost piledrived but El Ligero gets Hendry out of there. El Ligero is piledrived. Hendry low-blows him and ran off. Not sure I like Rampage as he looked like he was corpsing out there a bit, but Hendry was money.
Another plug for No Regrets. Weird. Shouldn’t they be promoting Lights Out?
Not The Main Event: Aussie Open (Matt Davis & Kyle Fletcher) vs. The Primate & Jimmy Havoc
I haven’t really shit on a segment here in my reviews. Sure, some of them I thought were ehhh but I’ve tried to stay neutral to it, as I can see how some would like it even if I thought it wasn’t good. I can’t imagine anybody enjoying the series of events in this match, and that’s a shame, because it started like a wake up call. Both Primate and Jimmy Havoc looked like big deals for this fight, both getting a red light show with their music. Havoc is out with a steel chair in one hand, the tag title in the other, and the Hardcore Championship around his waist. Cool visual as being a WWE fan for years we don’t really get many dual champs, so he looked like a star. Jimmy Havoc taunted Aussie Open with the chair…and then hits Primate with it! Fuck that was a surprise. Havoc asked for a mic. “I’m sick of you riding my coattails” and goes on to deliver a fantastic speech about how he’s tired of everyone calling themselves hardcore. They’re low rent Jimmy Havocs. He’s dissolved this tag team. And…and then Jimmy Havoc lied down. He’s pinned and now Aussie Open are the champions.
Know how something starts off awesome but quickly turns to shit right before your eyes? Well, that’s what happened here, but we’re not done just yet because logic is going on a smoke break. Mark Haskins runs in with his own steel chair and lashes out at Aussie Open. Seems they all were teammates at one point. Havoc is back, and there’s a staredown between him and Haskins that has the crowd going nuts. But then they work together, bringing Aussie Open down and keeping Primate subdued. Havoc is back on the mic and states that just because he’s done with Primate as a partner doesn’t mean he’s done with someone he can trust (???). “We get injured and companies like this force us to compete…so there’s safety in numbers but also dominance. “Next time – Aussie Open vs. Havoc/Haskins. Even commentary is quiet, just asking “What is this?” My thoughts exactly.
I’ve made a list of grievances for this angle.
1. It’s clear as day Primate is a big deal. Last week he made history with winning in record time. Havoc claiming he’s riding his coattails doesn’t make sense even on the most basic of levels.
2. I can buy Havoc dissolving his partnership with Primate on the grounds that Havoc is above Primate, that’s a heel’s power move. But why did Havoc lie down? Wouldn’t it have been more strategic for a guy his level to just feed Primate to the wolves? It made him look stupid.
3. Havoc just showed how disloyal he is to a tag team partner. Why would anyone want to immediately work with him? More could have been covered on why Haskins will work with a guy that only a minute earlier betrayed his tag team partner.
4. A tag team champion intentionally lost the titles, formed a new partnership, and will challenge for the tag titles all in less than ten minutes. That’s madness. The booking here hurts. Havoc looks even more stupid. Fuck this angle.
Defiant Access plug.
Sure, Three's A Crowd
Stu Bennet was on the phone but got off when BT Gunn and Joe Coffey greeted him. They made a proposal. Since it’ll be Aussie Open vs. Havoc & Haskins (Jesus news flies fast here), and they already beat Aussie Open, they want in on the action. They’ve noticed how every other match is a Triple Threat. Stu said it sounded like a good idea to make this one a Triple Threat as well.
Commentary with Breaking News: at Lights Out it will be Martin Kirby vs. No Fun Dunne. Hey Lights Out getting noticed on the last show til then. Good on Lights Out. That bit of news closed the show.
Venue: Small arena similar to CWFH and it had that same steel frame entrance that has made an appearance quite a bit in these reviews. Defiant logo on turnbuckles. Lots or red and white that don’t mesh well for my tastes, but it is a combination I don’t often see, so it does have its own look. I'll give them that.
Crowd: Almost fratboyesque. They had jokes but grew quieter as the hour went on with the exception of Havoc’s betrayal. They were clearly into the show though.
Characters: Everyone played to their strengths. Standouts for me were Kirby, Stu Bennet as GM, Joe Hendry, that ten seconds of Austin Aries, and the star-studded visual of Primate/Jurn Simmons as well as Jimmy Havoc’s mic work. Everyone had their specialty and it was used almost perfectly here. A fair example of getting the most out of a roster.
Wrestling: This didn’t feel like a wrestling show most of the time, but that’s to be expected for any show that’s right before a big pay per view event. I didn’t mind it. The characters played well against one another and that’s what mattered here. It was all about filling last minute spots and they did decent enough.
Production: Lighting was superb, doing as it should to hide the number of attendants while also giving the ring the spotlight. Camera work was good, even travelling with wrestlers here and there or stayed static in the obvious places they should be. Video packages were awful and hype videos were just pictures on a screen. Audio was good by Youtube standards. Commentary was fine. Booking was fine up til Havoc, which really brought the mood down a bit. Aren’t the people behind this the same guys that rip on bigger companies pulling shit like that?
Flippy Counter: 3
This is what you’d expect from guys that love wrestling, even the dumb parts. Do I recommend it? Yeah I’d say it was a good endeavor even though it bugged me that one good time. It does have charisma, which is really what makes it stand out from places like Championship Wrestling From Hollywood and WCWC. Defiant Wrestling is worth a look if you're interested in seeing what guys like Wade Barret are up to these days. I didn't hate it.
Up Next: WHAT! Wrestling
"No Regrets hype image. It’ll be in Newcastle upon Tyne." <3 No Regrets is actually tonight funnily enough.
It looks like it gets attention. Could make for a fun night, and you'll already be up to speed now.
I forgot to mention that WCPW is Defiant, in case that is news to somebody.
Wrestling Has A Tomorrow
Debut Show (Youtube Running Time: 2hrs 49 mins)
No Current Roster At This Time
No Promotional Champions At This Time
Yeah, like UWF I'm cheating a little bit here on my definition of what current means. So far there are two shows up for this promotion, so I figured I'd give the first one a chance. The show is live with the cool logo plastered on the screen. A purple and green shaded Roman numeral “I” appears to signify it’s the first show and we’re given text of “1-14-18 Fete Music Hall Providence, RI” and a catchy club ditty. As it hits its crescendo, “The Voice of New England” Rich Palladino comes out from the entrance tamp (with “Top Shelf” Tray Nelson with him). Palladino is our ring announcer this evening. The crowd is literally swarming the ring and it’s a damn sight. Nelson is at the broadcast table. Palladino announced the referees tonight as well: Jack Hill, Tony P, and senior official Rich Bass. Nice touch. He’s here to start the night off with the first WHAT! Scramble – a Five Way Match.
Bear Bronson vs. Anthony Stone vs. Danny Miles vs. “Riot” Kellen Thomas vs. Little Guido
Everybody has pretty kickass music. Kellen Thomas came out to a remix of “Go Getter”. Hey, Nunzio is here with the Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive” remix. Commentary remained silent as the five came out. That’s refreshing, but I have no idea what kind of guy any of them are except Guido. So it’s a pro and con, fingers crossed commentary helps me out when the match starts. Palladino introduces each man and where they’re from for the audience. Guido is even called an ECW Original here. They all square up, but before the match officially starts, Volbeat’s “Warrior’s Call” played. The Owner of XWA, Mike Antonucci, is here to say a few things. Crowd knows the guy, chanting his last name. He tells everybody that’s in the ring that their resumes are impressive, but he wanted to raise the stakes. Winner will receive an XWA Fire Brand Championship Match. Wait that’s not all…because another song is played. Some Eminem tune is heard and…Teddy Hart comes out! He wants to make the Five Way a Six Way. Also reminded Antonucci not to forget Teddy’s Cage Match (I take it that’s for XWA, not here, and that’s solid continuity but now I’m sorta confused to how much XWA is WHAT).
Now we get Nelson on commentary, and he has some fire to his voice. Said he had to fight back from talking with all the things going down. Palladino joins him to make this a 2-Man affair. The match is a gigantic brawl with the classic Toss These Guys Out So The Remaining People Inside Can Have A Match. All these guys were trained in different parts of the world, mostly Danny Miles is hyped for this as he has been touring Japan. Anthony Stone is nicknamed Hardcore Jesus and I can see why with his appearance. Got a high-flyer vibe to him. Bear Bronson legit has that hoss aesthetic yet gave the crowd a Suicide Dive (there were a lot of these on this show). Teddy Hart is the real talk of the town here though, as he took the ref’s hand and walked the ropes for a well-balanced Moonsault (never seen a ref assist anybody). Of course for those that didn’t know, Teddy Hart was the last “survivor” of the famed Hart Dungeon. Guido’s history as a WWE Cruiserweight Champion is mentioned. Underhook Canadian Destroyer by Teddy Hart and good God what a killer move. Teddy pinned Kellen Thomas right after. Fine opener with Teddy being the odds on favorite since he came to the ring. It will be Teddy Hart vs. Fire Brand Champion Ace Romero in the future.
He took the time to celebrate, helping Thomas back up to his feet, and they hug. Teddy bumped fists with the crowd and the XWA Owner. Even gave a kid in the audience a photo opportunity. Good opener.
Richard Holiday Is Here
This was shot on a cheap Go Pro, and is the low, low point of production. Just ugly looking. Holiday isn’t in the event today and is trying to withhold his anger. He’s the most marketable man in wrestling. Kellen Thomas, still in pain, walked behind him…and Holiday stopped what he was saying to attack him. “I won’t be disrespected!” he lets the interviewer know, and he is off to talk to management.
”All Ego” Ethan Page vs. Simon Grimm
Again, commentary is quiet and give the wrestlers time to show us who they are. Page is ego-centric, and his speedos let us know it’s the Era of Ego. Grimm had a cool red-eyed mask that lit up and he does have a nutty presence about him. Page is dubbed “The Hottest Free Agent” and…wait…Simon Grimm took his mask off and I can’t believe it. He’s Simon Gotch of Vaudevillain fame. Why on earth would he wear a mask that covers that exceptional 'stache? Grimm stretched his legs out on the top rope impressively. Page imitated him and fell on his ass. Commentary announced that JT Dunn and Tommy Dreamer will fight later tonight. Page was on the apron, dived between the ropes, and delivered a Cutter to Grimm and it was nice. Sambo-style suplex, otherwise known as a Book End, gets Ethan Page the win. It’s clear Ethan Page isn’t popular here, like “crowd doesn’t care” unpopular. They went quiet when they revved up his theme. He mouths the chorus to his own song. Grimm needed help getting up the ramps for his exit.
This Guy Wants to Get Violent
Go Pro is back with an unnamed man sitting down (this is when the show decides to forget giving us a text graphic, because they gave one for Holiday but nobody else backstage). Guy says the “Bayoum Badass” Dan Maff and Bulldozer will collide in a violent fight tonight. I don’t know which one he is.
My Name Isn’t Triplelicious
Triplelicious, a pimp looking bloke, was asked by Go Pro about he it feels to make his debut here. First, he is calling himself Trigga Da OG here in WHAT. Second, give him twenty seconds and he’ll show us what he has to say.
Trigga Da OG vs. Sully Banger
Trigga grabbed the mic and delivered a great heel promo. “Can we start by having everyone from ringside taking their disgusting dick beaters off my canvas, then we can get this started!” Crowd banged loudly on the apron in response. “What I would like right now is for all you basics to shut your mouths because the OG of New England got something important to say. Claims he’s from Providence State, and the fans rip him to shreds on this botch with a “Trigg Can’t Read” chant. He dubbed himself 100% native to Providence, the Face of 2018, and he’s Trigga Da OG. Blue Oyster Cult’s “Godzilla” played for Sully Banger. Banger is an aged rocker type with a mullet and winged tiger jacket. Trigga is a 20 year veteran but doesn’t look it. Banger’s ankle gets fucked, and Trigga took immediate advantage of this with a Spinning Wheel Kick for the pin. Glad they didn’t blur kayfabe too long here like they did in my Defiant review, as the crowd was still into it with only a fraction getting quiet as part of that dissension. Trigga back on the mic telling us there’s no competition. “Ina-Gadd-Da-Vida” played, and you’re damn right I marked out for the music before seeing who it was. It’s Dan Maff who looks like he decapitates kittens for fun. Trigga ran away quick, fast, and in a hurry.
”Bayoum Badass” Dan Maff vs. “Bulldozer” Matt Tremont
“Separate Ways” by Journey started for Bulldozer, and he’s the guy that did the backstage interview. The crowd is unplugged for him. A long intro gives the camera time to glide around the audience and not a single person looked bored here. Tremont does as the camera did and he goes all the way around the crowd, high fiving the world. Fantastic visual as it’s apparent that he’s a ring veteran. Has a crazy “Ha!” shout he does with fans.
An hour has passed in this program, but it doesn’t feel like it. Show hasn’t dragged and I think that’s magical since there are no commercial breaks here.
(Quick note: Judging by appearance and mannerisms, both of these men are obviously more at home with cheese graters and flaming prosthetic legs than they are in a normal match.) Dan Maff is hyped as an indy icon – ½ of Hit Squad. I’M LOSING IT…they started using technical moves like wrist locks, and I thought okay these two are gonna surprise me. Bulldozer shouted “C’mon Maff! Nobody wants to see that shit!” and now we’re getting a brawler’s fight. Commentary tells us Matt Tremont shed blood with an old running mate of Maff’s, Lowlife Louie, and that’s a hell of a coincidence due to me reviewing UWF before this. They said Tremont is the King of Deathmatch Wrestling (ha, called it) and oh shit he jumped off the top rope and was met with a Cutter. Burning Hammer (!!!) is good for the 3 and Maff won.
Shockingly these two weren’t gassed halfway through this thing and there was no blood to speak of. Surprisingly athletic bout. Maff gets a mic. “Give a round of applause for Tremont!” They do. “Goddamn, it’s good to be back here.” Him out of breath actually helps this speech. Hypes the crowd up with where they’re at. “We know what Hit Squad can do…now it’s time to see what Danny Fuckin’ Maff can do!” Out with the old, in with the new is uttered just like it was in Tremont’s backstage segment. Wrestling has a tomorrow. This was a heartfelt moment for sure.
Guy I’ll Figure Out Later Wants AR Fox
Another ??? on-screen and he wants AR Fox. This doesn’t look like the old Go Pro style (Yes!).
AR Flips Around
Captured on a cellphone here, but it kinda works with this guy. He leapt into an empty practice ring with a flip, and exited the ring via somersault. He said he heard Ace screaming about how he wanted him (I take it this is Fox and ??? was Ace Romero). “Wrestling may have a tomorrow, but you may not be so lucky.”
Still image of Ace and Fox from a previous match. They’re up next. This bit of news is happening with lightning execution, and I’m not a fan. I hope commentary gives a reason for this, like maybe it the last couple of segments were a social media splicey or whatever. I doubt it though.
”Acey Baby” Ace Romero vs. “The Highest Flyer In The Game” AR Fox w/Ayla Fox
Damn Fox and his valet are pure energy. AR flipped into the ring. “Hey!” chant from AR. “I Just Wanna Use Your Love Tonight” is Ace’s theme, and even the Foxes are reacting to it, with AR dancing to the beat. This had me in stitches and the crowd is clapping for it. (Aight minor note: there’s a huge weight difference between these two men. AR Fox has exactly what the Cruiserweight Division would kill for. He’s very fit. Ace is a walking plum. Dual chants for both combatants. Fox legit has that star quality look to him. Repeated Suicide Dives aren’t enough to knock Ace down. He goes for a third but slides over to Ayla for a kiss. Eye poke here in front of the ref isn’t called. Ace can go for a guy his size honestly, doing dropkicks left and right that would have gassed me out in a few minutes flat. Ayla got up on the apron and it helped AR for a moment. “I’m gonna kill him!” Ace shouts. Oh nice AR caught him with a Diamond Dust variant. 450 Splash…and it isn’t enough to get the W (This bout is way, WAY longer than the last ones, and I’m skimming through the big moments here). Ace HITS A FUCKING CANADIAN DESTROYER and it still wasn’t the end. Another kayfabe blur here as the referee checked AR’s shoulder. Ayla snuck in and low-blowed Ace. This was good enough for the pin. Both men did look like money by the end of this. AR favored his shoulder after the fight as refs come down to aid him.
Fox’s theme is still heard as Go Pro gets JT Dunn’s attention. He’s clutching a kendo stick. “Tommy Dreamer can’t fucking TOUCH me. Tonight I end Hardcore wrestling. Tonight I end Tommy Dreamer.” I can smell the money from here, too.
We get an emotional hype video about JT Dunn’s journey on the indy circuit. He is a New England favorite, and feels it’s his responsibility to make New England THE place for independent wrestling. It’s clear Dunn is a heel, but this added a new depth to him that you really don’t see much in mainstream wrestling. It wasn’t something that mocked anybody. No typical heel attitude anywhere here. Just Dunn legit having a reason to fight Dreamer and does have it in his mind that he’s the good guy here. He’s doing us the favor. “Tommy Dreamer…Death By Elbow.”
Fatal Four Way for the WWA4 Internet Championship: Tommy Maserati vs. Leon Ruff vs. Bobby Flaco vs. “The Street Fighter” David Ali
Ruff is this lunatic headbanger hypeman. Flaco wore two baseball caps and I loathe him for it. Maserati is what you imagine when you think vanilla midget. “Last Resort” by Papa Roach is heard throughout the arena and you can feel the teenager in your soul orgasm. “No he didn’t!” one bloke says audibly. Ali is fired the fuck up.
So I tend to leave individual fans out of these reviews. They never really serve a purpose, but sometimes they’re just so noticeable. There’s an old white guy sitting a few feet away from the entrance and he’s been nodding his head to most of the performers’ music. Dude is in another universe when Papa Roach played.
Ref held the title and allowed the wrestlers to touch it as a sign of respect. Cool little moment. Commentary states that each man in this match was trained by AR Fox, so that should give you an idea of what style they all share. It was a high-flying, flipping madness. Leon suplexed Masarati into Flaco’s pin attempt and ooouch. “What Just Happened?” chanted. Flaco got into a complicated stretch submission called the Run Him and Ali submitted!!! We have a new champion in WHAT! From another promotion. Odd, but kinda cool. The crowd gave us more of that meh attitude as they didn’t feel for Flaco just like they didn’t feel for All Ego a while ago. The clear favorites were Ali or Leon Rush.
Cashflow Killanova Give Themselves A Name On The Spot
A team debuting want to beat the piss out of Private Party, get money, and go to “The Strippy”. “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.” Solid catchphrase.
Cashflow Killanova (Ken Broadway & Christian Cassanova) vs. Private Party (Marquin & Isaia Cassidy)
Cashflow Killanova are hustlers tossing their fake money around and they came up with that name just before the bout. Private Party got silly string and the cure for all my problems with their “Shots!” theme. I want to party with these gents. They’re billed from “A Location Where You Need An Invitation” and they’re here at a combined weight of “4 Ounces of Red Bull and Vodka”. One animated guy in the crowd recognized Private Party from GCW so Cashflow got a one man chant of “Get The Fuck Out”. Broadway grabbed the referee while Cassanova smacked Cassidy with a chain. Commentary said that chain blended well against Cassidy’s tights and they’re not wrong. Falcon Arrow is only get for 2. Cassidy springboards from the middle rope to the outside and that was gorgeous.
So that one GCW shirt guy was clearly drunk during this match and tried getting a “Rhode Island” chant in by slapping hard against the apron. Said “Get Him!” a lot close to the final minutes. Sorta added to the fight, sorta annoyed the shit out of me. Unprettier + 450 Splash combo is good for the W as Private Party took the W. They celebrate by dancing with various people in the crowd. This team is over like Jordan’s basketball career.
Go Pro in The Gorilla Position
Here’s low quality again to get their thoughts. They can’t wait for more competition, and they’ve partied all over the world, from Spain, to Atlanta, and now to Rhode Island.
Sonya Meets Go Pro
I get what their doing with Go Pro. It’s different. Never seen it executed this way before, and quite honestly I think there’s a place for it in this production. But the quality is terrible. They need to put more money in this thing if they’re going to use it this often. Anyways Sonya is shadow boxing with headphones in. Go Pro gets her attention and she tells us that she is here to represent Wrestling Has A Tomorrow, today.
Sumie Sakai vs. Sonya Strong
Commentary lets us know this should have been Alisha Edwards (Eddie Edward’s wife) up against Sonya Strong, but she had to back out, so now it’s Sakai, another indy veteran, against a young upcomer. Sakai’s music is what you’d expect for a Japanese superstar in the indies, but I’m just glad it wasn’t “Turning Japanese” here. Sumie wanted a handshake and, for the first time as a wrestling fan, I’m witnessing the crowd chanting for that handshake. They do, Sonya turned around, and Sumie took advantage with a club to the back. Match here is some classic young vs. old thing – Sakai has been around since the millennium and Strong is hot and hungry. Strong wanted to go for the Suicide Dive (They should really all have a pow wow backstage about this move. Yeah, it’s an easy crowd pleaser, but not everybody should be doing this tonight), but Sakai kept grabbing random fans to hide. This was awesome as Sakai played dirty with that old school prowess and Strong is just a bomb ready to blow up here. Strong kicked out of Sakai’s finisher, a Fisherman Suplex. Sonya got the best of her with a Vicious DDT. Great contrast in styles here.
They shake hands again…and Sakai planted a long, wicked kiss on Strong, shoving them both down to the mat. Nice, I don’t blame Sakai here. Sonya is a goddess. “Sumie Sakai kissed me, and that’s legendary,” Strong said, heading back to the entrance.
Ring announcer Palladino said they’ll be back February 11th. Tenille Dashwood, formerly known as Emma, will also be there. Fucking sweet.
Dreamer’s time with Go Pro
Dreamer respects Dunn. Dunn has been undergoing sobriety, but Dreamer took exception to Dunn for no-showing his House of Hardcore bookings. That doesn’t fly with Dreamer, and that was disrespectful. So we got several reasons for these two to fight, which I’m a HUGE fan of and I’d love seeing this deployed more in wrestling. Wrestlers can fight over more than one thing at a time. Fighting for the sake of fighting is not how I envision future wrestling, so good on WHAT for seeing that too. Also kinda cool to see WHAT give companies like XWA, WWA4, and how HoH a stage for their feuds that benefits WHAT greatly I think. It’s not ready to have its own identity juuuust yet but it has an idea of what it is while in the meantime other promotions are flocking to it. I dig that.
JT Dunn With the Promo of the Night
JT Dunn said if Tommy thought he was disrespectful before, he’ll want to stop the video now. So the video legit pauses itself before playing again. House of Hardcore sucked and it reminded JT of ECW and that makes him sick. He’s mad that this was his hometown and the first person WHAT announced for the show was Tommy Dreamer. He said Tommy killed ECW twice and now he wants to kill what’s JT’s. F*** Dreamer, F*** Sabu, F*** Sandman, F*** Raven, F*** Rob Van Dam, F*** Nunzio, F*** Super Cra- and it’s cut back to the ring, leaving Dunn on a tirade of shitting on ECW off-camera that was FANTASTIC. Took me a minute to realize part of Dunn’s gimmick is that censor so when I type asterisks instead of saying fuck, that’s because those words were bleeped out while everyone else saying fuck backstage goes unfiltered.
Main Event: Tommy Dreamer vs. JT Dunn
Tommy came out to the song we all know him by, “Man In The Box” by Alice In Chains. So..."Enter Sandman" played right after and everybody in the arena did a double take. Get this: JT Dunn parodied Sandman’s entrance from One Night Stand. He walked around the upper deck with a kendo stick in hand and a EC F’N W shirt on, but the letters were crossed out. Strummed the kendo stick like a guitar. Back of shirt says “F*CK ECW”. He’s also the XWA Heavyweight Champion and has the title around his waist. He got on the mic. “Shut the fuck up! Don’t get it twisted – that fucking song sucks! ECW fucking dies tonight in the Fete Music Hall motherfucker!” Stellar.
Tommy asked for his own mic mid-match. JT was on the outside, and the ref was going for the 10 count. He asked the referee to stop counting JT (Can…can wrestlers do that?). Said wrestling, just like comedy, the great ones don’t need to curse. Besides, children are here. He told the ref that JT pulled his hair, and it’s for things like that that he has a bald spot. Glad they’re in a bar, because without bars there would have been no ECW. Gives them the nostalgia talk. Spike Dudley is in the upper deck. “They never chant WCW because that shit sucked (damn shots fired)!” He cuts to the chase and requested that they go old school tonight. Oh yeah. Made the match a Hardcore. Falls Down (lol) Anywhere Match. Crowd ate it up and give him the “YES!” chant. “This ain’t Smackdown, but it’s Daniel Bryan Rules…Extreme Rules Bay-bay.”
XWA members dressed as fans shove JT back inside the ring. Dreamer spat water in Dunn’s face. Took him for a walk…and let a kid slap JT on the chest, the whole place went nuts. Kid’s name is Chris and his father was The Wolverine, dammit (no shit? This is Mike Sanders’s boy? Get out). Tommy goes to the back…and he has a chain in one hand and a chair in the other. Set chair on JT’s abdomen and whipped him with the chain. Fairly safe spots visually. JT is back up, grabbed the Kendo stick, and whops Dreamer in the legs, shoulder, back, etc. Tommy snatched the stick and gave Dunn a White Russian Leg Sweep a la Sandman. Hit JT a few times, winded up for a strong smack, JT dodged, and the referee is knocked down. JT gave Dreamer a Cutter (I’m making a list of most used moves and this is on it). Tommy low-blowed JT, and DDT’d him into the chair. Not enough for the new referee to count the three when he was pinned. Dreamer goes out to the crowd and gets…a table that had cloth over it…oldest table I’ve seen in a wrestling match. Dreamer propped it up against a corner post but Ethan Page interfered, low-blowing Dreamer. “The Biggest Elbow in The Smallest State”, a running Elbow Smash, puts Dreamer away for JT Dunn to pick up the victory. The table was left unused. MEGA HEAT as JT rested his back against the table, clutching his kendo stick. See, this is how to get a crowd to hate the villain. Every other heel that won the crowd couldn’t care less. Meh reactions galore. But Dunn winning was an interesting turn. That’s the sweet spot – get the fans to care about the villain but not to the levels of liking the villain. JT got up, high-fived Ethan, and together they stomped the holy hell out of Dreamer. Fans chant for Spike Dudley, whose been offscreen this entire time, but commentary reminded viewers that he’s retired.
But Bulldozer came in and knocked them both out of the ring. Tommy’s music played. Tommy got back on the mic and told production not to play his music because he didn’t earn that right. He lost, and that’s how it is sometimes. He’s doing Cena better than Cena here, with a natural gracious loser thing going for him. He said he’d fought 9 times this January already, and needs to recuperate…but he’s not booked February 11th. He wanted JT Dunn again, and asked him to find a partner (umm…) and Tommy will find a partner (…like… I wonder who…). He does clear up this obviously silly speech by stating that he will be back February with a partner voted on from his website. Phew that makes things a bit easier to digest.
JT’s Jaw is Broken
Backstage JT is selling a broken jaw and Ethan is there with the Go Pro man to claim it’s called Wrestling Has A Tomorrow because of guys like JT and himself, not Tommy Dreamer.
Commentary is on-screen to thank us for checking them out. That’s rather nice of them.
Venue: Fete Music Hall had a few iron chandelier-looking things around the ring and a beam that was used in a few matches. From the static cam, there didn’t look like there was any standing room, with the crowd swallowing up the outside of the ring, but other cameras cut to the stage, which had several rows of steel chairs, and other parts of the arena there were seats. The steel frame makes another appearance here.
Crowd: Well, they were definitely their own entity on this show. Probably the best range of people I’ve seen on an indy show yet, with children, seniors, and twenty-somethings all invested in this show. Didn’t feel a moment of boredom from these guys, and yeah one or two got annoying close to the end but they were harmless. It was a three hour show, so I think that sort of thing was to be expected. When the crowd were heated, they were straight fire.
Characters: So many people with so many styles and mannerisms, but a few I will remember as they were definitely stars. AR Fox, Private Party, JT Dunn, Trigga, Grimm, and even Sonya Strong had some prescence to her. Ethan Page and Leon Ruff have massive potential, but they didn’t shine like Fox and Dunn did. Even the vets had their moments here, with Sumie Sakai and Dan Maff being that exceptional old guard. Tommy hasn’t lost his touch, but he just seemed to drone on a little for me. There was a bit of everything for everybody here and I can’t do a 3 hour show justice.
Wrestling: A chore at times, honestly. Not because it was shit – this was probably the best display of athleticism I’ve seen on the independent scene yet. Even behemoths like Ace Romero surprised me here. It’s not that the wrestling was bad, but there were so many moves repeated through the night and that does bug me. I keep a Flippy Counter to see how true the stereotype of that is, but I should have kept tally of all the times I saw a Suicide Dive, Cutter, 450 Splash, and even the Canadian Destroyer was deployed more than once. It’s a three hour show and if I notice these moves done over and over again, there’s a problem. Shame too because this was good wrestling, but they need to mix their maneuvers up a bit more.
Production: Solid commentary, phenomenal choice in music, lighting was a problem not because it did a bad job hiding empty space, but because it did a good job hiding how many were in attendance. Ringside camera work was good, if not a little shaky. Go Pro needs to die a horrible death or upgrade, because Jesus that got on my nerves. No pyrotechnics but in this venue there was no room for it.
Flippy Counter: 28
They kept segments super short and matches fairly long. If you’re interested in the fight more than what is going on anywhere else, then WHAT does seem to veer in that direction. Obviously this show is in its infancy, so it’s probably a good idea to have partnerships with XWA, WWA4, HoH, etc to help it along. All in all, I enjoyed this product. The lead-up to the Main Event was a terrific example of what I’d want from a narrative and I want to see where each character goes from here. It’s a show that is building its own personality from the ground up and I dig that. Only time can tell with something like WHAT, but the debut was fun so I hope it keeps that up.
Up Next: NWA - Tim Storm vs. Jocephus (Special Feud Review)
NWA Special Feud - Tim Storm vs. Jocephus
Since the next review is a feud and not a show, I'm breaking the videos down piece-by-piece with what I'm looking for. This particular feud has more than ten videos and this site won't go passed that number, so the videos I show will be of particular interest.
For simplicity, I'm only watching the videos that are in the Jocephus playlist. Including the match itself, there are 13 short videos. This seems reasonable enough for me.
Things I'm keeping my eye on:
Threat Factor. How bad do I want the face to win? How dangerous is the villain? There should be a steady progression here, where we see the growing threat build. It's basic storytelling - the antagonist should become a greater threat as the narrative unfolds.
The Stakes. Often this is where something can be lost, such as a title. But there could definitely be more on the line depending on the characters involved and what they do by the time the match rolls around. Will someone have to defend their honor? Their love? Their job? This is what can be gained in the end.
Character. Goes without saying, really. How is the acting? It's all about how engaging the two(+) come off in promos, video, etc.
Backdrop. Sometimes the background is just as important as the foreground. Undertaker's Funeral Parlor, The Hardy Compound, etc are examples of how environment helps make characters all the more interesting.
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