thecubsfan.com

School of Roc finale predictions

Apr
22

This has been fun.

Trash vs Vintage Heidi: It’s not that Heidi apparently was cleaning house on the other trainees on last week’s episode, it’s that she was just training at all. Trash appears to be focusing on complaining about not having any matches, watching matches, and disappearing (into some alternate dimension with different tastes in fashion?) Trash has spend so much time demanding to have a match that she can’t possible be actually ready for one, but is still somehow totally overconfident about her chances. Heidi wins.

Logan Williams vs Luis Rojas: Not a great matchup for Williams, giving up a lot of experience in this fight and probably has to deal with Jeremy Hadly getting involved in some way. Logan’s armbar is sudden enough to sneak out a win if Rojas takes him lightly, but this just seems like a situation where a veteran uses his tricks to take the win. Rojas wins.

Dale Patricks vs Jeremy Hadley: The Uprising likes to push people’s buttons, but it’s blowing up in their faces with Patricks. Rojas had Patricks beat until Luis incited him and Hadley might’ve defeated Remi if not for them continuing to mess with Patricks and Dale stopping their interference. Hadley appears to be more talented member of the team and should have the same edge Rojas has over Williams, but Patricks has the extra motivation and the track record. Patrick wins.

Nate Stone vs Reed Bentley: This one looks like an easy pick for Bentley. It’s a street fight, anything goes, and the rest of the League is right around to help. Even if Sue is busy getting ready for his title match, Tripp Cassidy has been lurking around for weeks with a suspiciously slow healing wrist (it’s been three months and he’s still wearing a cast! I call shenanigans!) Bentley on his own drew Remy in their first match and narrowly lost in their rematch while Stone went out much easier; he shouldn’t need any help, but just the presence of tilts the odds strongly in his favor. Still, it’s a street fight, Nate Stone is a bit out there, and the safe money is always on a crazy guy in a street fight. Even they don’t know what they’re capable when allowed complete anarchy. Stone wins.

Remi Wilkins vs Big Sue Jackson: Remi’s had the harder path thru the tournament, and really harder matches before the tournament. He’s done well all the way in matches, and he’s come from behind to take them at the last second. Remi would be the favorite over almost everyone else in this tournament, but just not Sue.

Sue’s just been killing dudes. The only time Sue’s gone over three minutes was when he wanted to put the fear of Sue into everyone and kept picking up Nate Stone so he could drop him back down ever harder. Remi’s 10 minute draw with Bentley was longer than all of Sue’s matches combined on Class Wars. Total complete dominance.

Remi’s best chance is to use that lack of ring time against Sue. Make Sue walk, make Sue run, just make him move for ten minutes and see if exhaustion can do more damage to Sue than any of the wrestlers have done some more. (Remi’s gotta pick 1 round/10 minutes too if he gets the choice – his best chance is a flash pin, it’s hard to figure him winning two rounds.) Sue’s a big man, the size has to work against him at some point.

The thing is – that was Dale Patricks’ best chance too, he seemed to know, and he still got flattened in under 3 minutes. Remi’s a bit farther along than his friend. Maybe that means here he can go five minutes, or six minutes, but I can’t imagine it can go as far as to get his hand raised. Sue wins.

(also, Sue is following me and I’m still a little concerned about that. This should keep me safe in Lafayette.)

indy wrestling Comments Off on School of Roc finale predictions

Resistance Pro, 11/25/2011

Nov
26

We’ve been lucky, here in the Chicago area, to get a lot of really interesting wrestling shows this year. It takes more to get me out to live wrestling of late, because of the crazy amount of lucha libre I’m watching on tape each week, but there’s been no short supply of shows I’d been thrilled to check out. Both the SHIMMER and DGUSA shows made the trip worth it based on just good wrestling matches. CHIKARA and Money in the Bank one up-ed the others, events you just had to be there for, because DVD or PPV wouldn’t truly capture the experience. Friday night, at the debut of Resistance Pro, I was really only expecting the second part; great matches would be a nice bonus, but the unpredictable names involved had me hoping this show would be memorable. And it was! I was also hoping Teddy Hart and the Briscoes would be crazy! And they did! On that criteria, this show was a success.

Unfortunately, it was also a terrible debut show. The wrestlers generally seemed to work hard and the production seemed fine (and maybe better than average for a debut show of a promotion), but their efforts were utterly betrayed by whoever was responsible for booking the show. It was an amazing night for poor finishes, mortally wounding any goodwill for this project. It was a failure as any regular show for a promotion, but as a tone setting premiere, Resistance Pro was a disaster.

But, then, I did see Teddy Hart superplex a Briscoe from the second floor, and that was cool.

The site of the debut show – and the announced location for the second show in January – was the Excalibur Night Club. Should you ever find yourself with time to kill and desire some laughs, please check out the Yelp reviews of the Excalibur Night Club. They make this review seem kind. The area used for the wrestling ring was in the second floor, tightly packed in what most normally be a dance floor. The three feet ringside area was blocked off by barricades, with fans standing behind them. There are also two floors of balconies, wrapping around the small area, where more fans could stand and peer over to watch the action, craning their necks to see around hanging items. There were few chairs to actually sit in, most borrowed from tables which sat empty near the wall, which meant most people were stuck standing and leaning on ledge for two hours. Those were the lucky ones; there seemed to be a good 30% more tickets sold than places to actually watch the show from a decent position, and some were attempting to watch the show over the shoulder of someone who was leaning on a ledge. Those people checked out early. The venue will likely look come off a unique and different on video, but it felt particularly user-unfriendly live. Not really sure it would’ve made a difference in an easier place to watch, but I’m sure the experience of the show was vastly different depending on what space you happened to grab.

Opening segment was not a match, but an introduction of Joel Gertner, who did the Joel Gertner bit. From there, the four wrestlers in the semifinals of their initial title tournament were brought down: the Sheik, El Generico, Harry Smith, and Kevin Steen. They each took turns explaining why they would win – except for Generico. The Sheik and his manager were generic indy foreign heels who drew a USA chant (until the fans remembers the other three guys were Canadian and/or Mexican), Harry Smith was generic face (“I’d rather speak thru my actions, then my words” – kind of in the wrong business then, aren’t you?), and Kevin Steen was Kevin Steen. Steen and Smith walked off, while Gertner decided Generico vs Sheik would now be our opener.

1) The Sheik beat Generico to advance to the Resistance Pro Finals. The Sheik is a old school evil Arab character – wears a headdress, “prays” before his match, does a lot of forearms, may not actually be Arab. The devout Muslim was wearing black and yellow (instead of green) and a star (instead of a crescent moon.) This is like a Buddhist wearing a cross; it’s not opposing the gimmick but doesn’t make much sense, and made me wonder if Sheik was supposed to be a Phony Muslim. It’d give him a second dimension. Fans, largely the same mix of people who turn up for niche wrestling events with a few interlopers, saw indy darling Generico as a big star and Sheik as some guy. Match was nothing at all to write about, something in the ten minute area with Generico getting a big move, being distracted by Sheik’s manager, and then walking into Sheik’s finish. Now Sheik was some guy who wasn’t that good but got bailed out by his manager to get to the final. This was a sign right here.

2) Kyle O’Reilly & Tony Kozina (w/The Canadian Destroyer) beat Hallowicked & Matt Classic – O’Reilly and Kozina are Team Ambition, I think. The Canadian Destroyer is Petey Williams under a maple leaf flag pretending not to be Petey Williams by choosing a name that everyone would realize is Petey Williams. I could not ascertain why, except perhaps someone had decided they wanted more mask guys on this show. That’s generally what the losing pair appeared to be here for; this match was a bit better than the opener, with Hallowicked a large part of the reason (and Matt Classic not being in much – or at all?), but they were treated as largely incidental. Classic might have turned on Hallowicked for the finish; I could not actually tell from where I was standing, and this is also why I’m apprehensive of using finite match ratings. Winning team was not particularly memorable. After the match, the winning team was announced by Wacky Post Match Interview Guy for their thoughts on the win. This was a definite attempt at MMA style – O’Reilly: “I had a really good fight camp coming into this” – but it came off as just silliness whenever they tried it.

Here, I should mention that part of the ring was overlapped by two balcony mini booths, swooping over the hard camera side ringposts and looking sort of like umpire chairs at a tennis event. You could climb to the top rope off that side, and you could even pull guys off, but you had to be a bit careful not to hit the underside. One of the booths had a cameraman, and the other sat a man in a Resistance Pro t-shirt making copious notes thru the show. Around here, special VIPs in the crowd were announced – Mike Adamle was booed vociferously – and the man taking notes was revealed to be Shane Douglas! I was happy Shane was still with us.

3) Lonesome Jay Bradley beat Icarus – while the previous matches had face/heel matches you could suss out, this was loathsome heel Icarus (in his CHIKARA jacket) versus lonesome Bradley, who the crowd had no particular feelings about. Match lasted no more than two minutes, Bradley taking off Icarus’ head with a lariat. Thanks for coming out. Bradley shooed the post match interviewer away, and explained he was Lonesome by choice, he wanted to have everything for himself. This was a good NXT promo. 3 for 3 on heel wins

4) The Briscoe Brothers beat Teddy Hart & Akuma – The Briscoe Brothers were introduced/accompanied by Some Fitness Model. She came to the ring to explain why she was with the Briscoes. That reason will forever stay a mystery. The crowd turned on her in a half minute, her soft spoken voice, her lack of presence and her tight outfit giving people plenty of ammunition. We did get to here the Briscoe’s reasons for teaming with her – they were planning on having lots of sex with her after the show. Someone certainly was, or had, because there didn’t appear to be any other reason she was booked on this show. Akuma & Teddy Hart (“from Mexico City”) were introduced as a team, but only Akuma appeared. It’s tough to tell what really is Teddy Hart and what is Teddy Hart playing Teddy Hart (if such a thing exists), but Akuma gave a great impression of an annoyed man when he asked the crowd if we had seen Teddy somewhere in this smokey room. Teddy was immediately hustled from the lockerroom, still fixing one of the million buckles on his boots as the match was beginning. (Teddy also was checking one of his wrists – I think his left – a few times during the match.) No cats.

Opening segment was Briscoe dominated, before Teddy got a tag and chaos took over. Teddy had seen that mini booth, about the height of the top of a normal ladder, and there was a 100% chance Teddy Hart was going to do spots from it. The Briscoes are not that different. Teddy and one of them climbed a corner, and climbed up to where Douglas had been peacefully watching. He smartly backed away, watching as the two lunatics figured out their footing, and Teddy superplexed the Briscoe from maybe 12 feet up, throwing him across the ring and knocking them both out of action for a while (but not as big turning point in the match, just a random spot.) Later, when Teddy got the hot tag after Akuma was beat on for a while, Teddy returned to the balcony, and moonsaulted off all the way to the floor. Those were two biggest reactions of the night, as I’m sure he knows. The rest of the match largely went as you’d expect; Briscoes did their stuff and Akuma fit pretty well here for a guy who was obviously just around to take the pin. Teddy Hart made sure to get in all his moves when he got the opportunity, including the double underhook Canadian Destroyer on a show where there was a guy named the Canadian Destroyer. Briscoes gave Akuma took the Doomsday Device to get the win. This was, if not the best, the most memorable match of the night. Also, the first match where a side the fans liked actually won, so that was nice.

5) Melanie Cruz beat Cheerleader Melissa, A Man Dressed As A Female Cheerleader, And Six Or So Random Indy Women in a gauntlet match for Resistance Pro Women’s Championship – This is where it turned. The first three matches were disappointing and boring. The fourth redeemed it, but we were all at a bad indy show and knew it. This match is where the show crossed the line into memorable horrendous. All the participants were introduced at once, with only the Man Dressed As A Female Cheerleader getting interview time to explain for the crossdresser to make his it clear that he was a man (if we were too slow to pick up on the giant, misaligned breasts), for the interviewer to mistake the crossdresser for a woman and invite him back to her hotel room, and for both to comment on the idiocy of the fans for giving money to a promotion so interested in entertaining themselves rather than the paying customer. (Parts may have been implied.) As for the actual women, they had Cheerleader Melissa, recognizable indy darling like Generico, and a fleet of complete unknowns who did little to change that. Maybe a couple had been at the last SHIMMER show as jobbers and maybe they’d come off well individually, but they were here together as a indistinguishable mess who were not near Melissa’s level.

Also a mess: the rules of this match. While they had time to say everyone’s name, hometown and weight, they never actually said how this match would work. Melissa and Generic Girl #1 (who’s name might have been Serenity – or I might have changed it to protect the innocent) started. And went, and went, and went. I didn’t time matches, but I believe this part lasted approximately the same length as the most painful dentist appointment you’ve had in your life. Finally, Melissa had GG1 beat, covered, got the one count, got the two count…

GONG!

Generic Girl #2 dived in to break the pin. That had actually been counted three, but was ignored because it wasn’t supposed to happen and it was direly important to have Generic Girl #1 around for the remainder. See, this was actually a Royal Rumble match (though one where eliminations occurred both over the top rope and by pinfall, depending on what the participants remembered at the time), and the time for the third participant to enter magically happened during the pinfall. There was a gong on the stage, and a gong banger (?), to announce people added to the match. I believe the time between gongs was designated as “whenever the gong banger felt like it”, random intervals that rapidly sped up by the end. No one appeared to be eliminated before everyone came in – so all the woman could attack the man-in-bad-disguise at once – rendering the whole entry bit to be pointless. First people in were last out too, just to add to the illogic. First person out might have been Shane Douglas, who gave up taking notes as the women meandered on, walking to the locker room and hopefully yelling at whoever had this idea.

Even if this match wasn’t bad – it was bad – it was a terrible idea. It seemed obvious either Melissa would win, making this whole match a joke for not having any decent competition, or the Cross Dresser would win, making this whole promotion a joke for putting it’s women’s title on a man on it’s first show. If they wanted to just demonstrate Melissa was much better than the rest – what the fans already believed – they could’ve saved a lot of time and just had her Jay Bradley each woman one by one. Instead, we got a crappy battle royal that went forever. Hooray.

Cross Dresser – who people around me thought was Icarus, but didn’t seem to have the back tattoo as far as I could tell – was actually third out. Melissa was left with GG1, and they resumed having their cold match. Melissa had her beat

GONG!

Many minutes after the gong had last rung (but explaining why the banger was still standing there), a random woman in street clothes attacked Melissa from behind and beat her. It was not totally clear to me that GG1 was ever beat, but I’m okay with her being gone. Random Woman was announced as Melanie Cruz and given the belt for winning the match she wasn’t ever actually in, then mocked Melissa for being a future legend while she was currently a legend. No one had any idea who this woman was, though she did get cheers when she pointed out how much that match sucked. Four for five on unhappy endings

This match went longer than my recap of this match.

6) The Canadian Destroyer (w/Team Ambition) beat Colt Cabana & Necro Butcher in a King of the Night Time match. Please do not ask me what that name actually means, I could not tell you. I did not look at the card before the show, but I think at some point there were people in this match that would actually make sense for that prize. What we had instead was Colt being Colt, Necro being Necro, and Petey Williams doing mask comedy. And a crowd that was dead from the last match. Any singles combination of the three might have worked – maybe not Petey/Necro as much – but it didn’t work as a three way at all. It felt like they each took sections doing the kind of match they wanted to do, with no real melding and little flow to the match. This match was one of the better ones of the night but not something I’d ever need to see again. Of note, the Gong remained on the stage, and the remaining wrestlers were as dead set at ramming someone in to it as Teddy Hart had been on that balcony. I think Colt took it here. Finish, after a shorter time than the last match, was Necro out of commission outside, Petey & Kozina distraction the ref, O’Reilly hitting Colt with a metal spit bucket, and Petey finishing with the Canadian Destroyer. Crowed loved Necro, loved Colt, and didn’t really care about the Destroyer outside of chanting Petey at him early. Five for six on unhappy endings.

The ref teased overturning the finish, but never seemed to do so. Weirdly, Destroyer acted as if he did, bizarrely turning on Reilly and Kozina for interfering in the match. It did not come off as Destroyer was becoming a face, more than he was angry that it could’ve cost him a match, and heels fighting heels for a while. I have no idea what this was about and could not care.

7) Harry Boy Smith drew Kevin Steen to advance to the Resistance Pro Finals. After the run of horrible finishes so far, I was sure this show would end with generic face Harry Boy Smith getting the win. I was so wrong. Steen tried in this match (and took the shot into gong), getting a burn out and checked out crowd into reacting at points. Screaming “Bret Hart can’t get you pushed now” and doing Bret’s pose was a nice moment. Smith is just so devoid of personality that there’s not much for Steen to work with. Smith reminds me of CMLL’s Metro – similar size, some of the same spots – but Metro is able to express intensity and fire even with a mask that obscures his face. Smith seems emotionless. Crowd was behind Steen, for the same reasons as others, even though he was clearly meant to be the heel in this one. Smith did have a chanting section, they just all happened to be in the VIP area, and not at all in the paying customer places. Douglas was at ringside for this match, and was there when Harry Smith dropped Steen with a sit down powerbomb. He got one, he got two, and –

DING!

The ring announcer explained the match had reached the twenty minute time limit. The unannounced twenty minute time limit. (This did not feel nearly as long as the women’s match, too.) This was hysterical, the booking clobbering even my most cynical predictions. Crowd hated this, but did chant for five more minutes. The ring announcer quick explained he had received a message from “the ResistancePro owners, backstage” (many times zones away) to give the match five more minutes. And so they they went.

After about three minutes of action, Steen put Smith in a sharpshooter. And held it, and Smith didn’t move, and the crowd yelled for him to tap, and the VIP Smith fans yelled for their guy, and it felt like a real match, sort of, for a bit. Then, they announced one minute to go (Douglas visibly timing on his watch), Smith got out of the hold, put on his own sharpshooter, and both men just sat there. Waiting. Moving Steen to the center. Waiting. Waiting. Finally, they signaled five seconds to go, and suddenly Steen was in mortal danger. Steen thought about, reached to tap and

DING!

Time’s up, again. The tap out was perfectly time to be late, if you ignore them giving up on actually wrestling well before hand. Crowd hated this even more. The ring announcer immediately started to transition into the plug for the next show, and someone must’ve grabbed him and stopped it. Instead, he quickly made something up about those same ResistancePro owners wanting to continue the match Until There’s A Winner (which makes one wonder why these owners put in time limits.) Steen, tasked with taking the blame for a crappy finish, refused – management had promised to take care of wrestlers with injuries, and he was hurting from that sharpshooter, so he wasn’t going to wrestle injured. The Ring Announcer quickly moved on to his announcement – at the next Resistance Pro show, we’d get a three way between Sheik, Steen and Smith. Sheik arrived to argue he should’ve just been given the title – people were walking out at this point, so it was harder to pay attention – and heroic Smith cleared out both heels by himself.

That’s six of seven unhappy finishes to close the show. Almost every match ended with a finish designed to make the fan feel cheated for having cared about it. I’m not even sure you can do that on a regular show, but on a debut show, it was suicidal. First impressions last forever, and the first impression Resistance Pro made was a show of unremarkable matches backed by tremendously unsatisfying finishes.

It’s was a complete misunderstanding of what the ticket buying people wanted and had paid for. People go to wrestling shows because they want to have fun. It’s important to have hooks to get people to come back to, but this was a show of nothing but those hooks – nothing that resolved itself here, and only the tag match worked based on this show alone. Instead, we got a show of advertisements for future shows, banking on us believing they’d tell entertaining stories in the future, even while they could not manage to do so at all here.

Even as bad as it was, I think it might have salvaged a bit by having the Briscoes/Teddy/Akuma match last. At least everyone would’ve left happy. I’m just not sure the people who put this together had realized how unhappy everything else was going to make people, or even that their favorites might not be everyone’s favorites.

This was terrible and disappointing and just plain bad. They can fix whatever they want, and I expect the reaction to this show will be so poor that they’ll try to make it clear they’re doing exactly that, but any goodwill this promotion had is gone and so are most of the people who came to this show. I’ve been to shows that have been more boring, with less experienced talent, but this was the worst booked show I’ve seen.

(don’t) believe everything they told you

Apr
01

Bryan Danielson defends against Roderick Strong: What time will this start? 11:15 ish? What time will it end? 5:40 Tuesday evening. I mean, I’m sure this is going to be a fine fine match, but I’m also sure I will hate everything by the time I get to my car and figure how I’m going to stay awake for the ride home.

I was so wrong.

It started at 11:50 pm.

The hating everything, that’s oh so true. I’m thinking only Danielson could’ve worked an old school 60 minute draw style match in front of that crowd at that time (and even then, 25% of the crowd went home during the match)

Brian will be happy to know that the DG guys were not only good, but they were great and awesome and match of the night and worth the price of admission and a million other superlatives. Even in a smart crowd, I’d say 2/3rds of them had no idea who they were and by the end, they figured out they were number one and the best.

If I was any smart, I would’ve just gone home at intermission.

Could someone buy the good people at ROH a map? Chicago is not Trenton. Chicago is not West Philadelphia. Chicago is not Plymouth, Mass. Chicago is Chicago, and I’m not sure why in Chicago we’d care about Over Glorified East Coast Indy Group hating Over Glorified East Coast Indy Group, much less want to see THREE SKITS OF IT (complete with subtle and possibly unintentional lucha bashing – that touches me right here). Homicide pointing his NY Yankees wristband once was far more compelling and a far better heat getter than CZW and ROH.

If you buy, say, 8th row and back tickets at ROH, don’t expect to actually see the mat at any time and get ready to stand up and look thru people when things get going – make sure you get bleachers. It’s annoying and like not bothering to indicate row/seat numbers (or even line up the chairs in a reasonable fashion), it’s a little thing they’re not going to bother with.

Other things that made my day
– BJ Whitmer NOT wrestling
– Jimmy Yang doing the Rock pose. What an extra special tag team, him and Claudio. (So of course they lose.)
– Danielson grabbing the rope on abdominal stretch, getting caught, and teasing repeating the whole bit from scratch.
– other stuff I can’t remember now.

I’m done. Maybe I’ll recall something tommorow.

NWA Midwest – 11/12

Nov
13

Instead of doing an article, I think I’m just going to type my notes up here. Or there, after the link.

Thank to Rob for hanging out. Thank to Feely for supplying the (i)tunes for the trip back and forth. Thanks to jtron for shaking my hand. Thanks to chiprowrestling crew for trying to stick me with another one of their ads – I say NO. Thanks to the cars for not hitting me as I crossed the street. Thanks to the rain, for being around more in the last three weeks than all of summer and spring combined. Am I forgetting anyone? Good.

(more…)

indy wrestling Comments Off on NWA Midwest – 11/12

ROH 11/05

Nov
06

I don’t know if Scott is writing something. I should’ve asked. I should’ve done a lot of things.

– Delirious & Steele b Collyer & Nigel
– Jacobs b Sal
nearly completely pointless waste of time with Cornette, Watts, and Pearce. You mean the guy Scheduled To Appear is going to wrestle? Hot diggity.
– B J WHITMER b Claudio – clean sweep by the ex-champs over the champs
– Samoa Joe b Daniels
– Cabana NC Homicide; fork attack post match, Steele makes save. Didn’t get over near as well as they hoped.
intermission.
– Pearce b Davey Andrews
– Dragon b Strong [ROH]; 40+ min? Maybe. Probably MOTN
– Embassy b GenX; don’t even recall who beat who.

Big angle of the night: Daizee Haze turns heel. Yea. She didn’t turn particularly on Sydal nor aligned her with a particular person on the heel side (maybe Alex?); the storyline is more her versus the other GenX valet who’s name I’m blanking on, and not her versus Matt.

Felt like a lesser show. Crowd was significantly down from Matt Hardy & Punk’s Farwell, but really back to normal levels.

No show date was announced besides the 03/31, 04/01 double header, so they’ll be going the better part of 5 months without running a show in the area before running a double shot.

No one talked me into SHIMMER. But I get $5 off. So I dunno. Let’s see if I wake up.

IWA-MS Part 2

Oct
08

In which, I get to the point!

(more…)

TPI Day 2

Sep
25

Sydal.
Steak N’ Shake.
Rain delay.
Super Generico’s brainbuster
End of year sale
Start of evil Chris Hero
bucket hat
MISSED SKAYDE/QUACK!!!

This was some day – I would go as far as to say Completely Fricking Insane. And now I read I didn’t miss a chance to mourn Heat and Velocity, because they’re kicking around for a while longer. They can thank me for the idea later.

I assume you’re not waiting for me for the pure results – they gotta be elsewhere by now. I’ll try to pull it together for something actually coherent later today, but sleep now.

Well, sleep as soon as I can get Teenage Dirtbag out of my head.

TPI Day 1

Sep
24

I apologize for bad spelling and general bad writing. Tired, and in a hurry to get in sleep soon, since I’ll have no time tomorrow. At some point, I may go back and add details and actual non-match talking to people stuff, but not now.

As you came in, there was a sign saying AJ Styles was off the show; Ian says he has a strep throat, bad enough he scrapped plans for AJ to call in and apologize. He did display AJ’s unused unrefundable $300 plane ticket, as proof that he was supposed to be here. Tank was his replacement.

Tracy Smothers also did not show; Ian said Tracy claimed “personal problems” and explained personal problems could mean the obvious, or it could mean Tracy didn’t feel like making that long of a drive with gas prices this high. Smothers was a replacement for a replacement, and I couldn’t tell you who replaced him without looking at a chart. Too tired for a chart.

1) Kevin Steen [painful looking package piledriver] Nate Webb [TPI 1ST]
Steen got his character over pretty well.

2) Josh Abercrombie b James Gibson Jamie Noble [TPI 1ST]
Noble was wearing the John Deer James Gibson tights, but turned heel with the old name and being announced as from WWE; normal heel Josh was a face by relation. Abercrombie reversed a second attempt at a Tiger Bomb into a ‘rana for the win. Post match, we got the standard “thanks for supporting me, I hope you keep supporting me and these great indy groups as I go back to WWE” speech. Gets old the second time in a month from the same guy, but what can you do?

3) Brad Bradley b Tank
Multiple hard clotheslines for the win. Punishing match.

4) Mike Quackenbush b Reckless Youth Alex Shelly
Alex Shelly wore a Reckless Youth shirt, and – from what I’m told, I didn’t see Youth – came out to Youth’s music, and wore the same basic gear as Youth did. Pretty good match, with Mike doing lucha and Alex responding; both pulled out Rocking Horses at various times. I wrote down “Iron” and I don’t know that’s the finish or I wanted to remind myself to pick up my dry cleaning or what. Crowd was very into this match.

5) Arik Cannon b Joey Ryan
Cannon won with two exploders into the corner (the first one didn’t go right or look impressive, so they changed corners again) and maybe his finisher? I can’t remember now. Crowd had the least interest in this match – suffered for being after the last one and lacking a storyline besides “Cannon drops Ryan on his head a bunch.” Both were presented as heels and neither did anything to clarify the situation.

6) Skayde b Puma
LUCHA! This was great. The crowd wasn’t with it early, but got into it the last half. Crummy finish for a fun match, though – pinning predicament is similar to a German Suplex with both people’s shoulders pinned. Puma’s right shoulder doesn’t stay down, I’m not sure about Skayde, the ref counts three – and awards the match to Skayde, making a lame finish lamer. Puma’s shoulder was very obviously up (I’ve got the photo) and the crowd and the wrestlers tried to get a restart, but nope.

7) Chris Hero b Rainman
To start the show, Ian introduced all the people in the tournament, and when 23 were out there, he went to his big finish – having forgotten about Rainman until someone told him. Ain’t gonna forget him now – he had a great match with Hero, with quite a few near falls where people genuinely believed Rainman could beat Hero. Hero won with two top rope moves – stomps? knees? I didn’t get a good look.

Intermission. I’d been nursing the dying batteries in my camera thru the first half of the show, but they finally died out here. So when I finally post them, that’s why it’s like that. I got more batteries on the way home, so we’ll see if I can work it tomorrow.

8) Tyler Black b Vito Thomaseli (ah, that’s the other replacement)
Lots of Sal interference. Horrible ref bump (telegraphed, bad position, bad sell, oversell of something minor – all the bases covered), but Black won anyway with a fisherman’s buster. Post match, Ian set up a tag title match for tomorrow, and said, for the Midlo show, the Iron Saints would be facing Justin Credible and a ECW partner to be signed (implied to be New Jack.)

9) Chris Sabin b Marek Brave
Good match. Sabin powerbombed Brave into the corner in a cringe spot, and gave him the future shock for the win in about 15 minutes.

10) Matt Sydal b El Generico
Probably match of the night. Outstanding match from start to the finish, with some incredible near falls for the last five minutes. I guess it don’t pay well to be El Generico because that boy is Kate Moss thin; just waiting for one of Sydal’s chops (and there was a great chop battle here – even if I’m convinced Generico is doing something Tajiri-like to amplify them) to break a rib, because they’re so easy to see. After about a half dozen “crowd counts along because they’re sure that’s gotta be three” near falls, Generico teases his super brainbuster all the way to the floor, but Sydal blocks and, while both are standing on the top rope, gives him a belly superplex to win.

11) Delirious b Brandon Thomaseli
Delirious won with the split legged powerbomb dealio, but the story of the match was Delirious biting Brandon’s leg to break a hold, and not play biting – he drew blood. Brandon had a big looking red bruise on the inside of his leg from the bite. Delirious spit (Brandon’s blood?) onto Brandon post match, Brandon spit back at him, and that set off the only post match brawl of the night. Brandon either did a good impression of someone legitimately pissed about the wound in his leg, or, well, you know.

12) Brian Danielson b Claudio
Claudio managed a 42 second vertical suplex, and American Dragon countered with a 21 rotation airplane spin. Match played out like Brian was out of Claudio’s leg and was kinda screwing around with him – Claudio got in shots when he could, but Brian still could end the match when and how he wanted. Plenty of people were comparing Brian to Bob Backlund (and not always in positive fashions), so it’s no wonder he used the cross face chicken wing for the win.

13) Jimmy Jacobs b Colt Cabana [IWA MS HEAVY]
Extended comedy match, which worked well until the finish. Jacobs brought a chair in, the ref threw it out, repeat till Jacobs throws a lot of chairs in the ring, and the referee is so busy cleaning it out, he misses Jacobs using the belt.

Matches for Saturday’s show (announced as starting at 6PM as to get people home before 1AM)
1) Kevin Steen vs Brad Bradley [TPI QTR]
2) Skayde vs Mike Quackenbush [TPI QTR] [!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]
3) Tyler Black vs Matt Sydal [TPI QTR]
4) Josh Abercrombie vs Chris Sabin [TPI QTR]
5) Arik Cannon vs Delirious [TPI QTR]
6) Chris Hero vs American Dragon [TPI QTR] [!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]
7) TPI SEMI 1
8) TPI SEMI 2
9) TPI SEMI 3
10) TPI FINAL
11) Iron Saints vs Rainman & Tank [IWA MS TAG]
12) Joey Ryan, Claudio, Alex Shelly and Super Dragon vs Puma, Brandon Thomaseli, El Generico and Marek Brave
13) Jimmy Jacobs vs Mickie Knuckles [IWA MS HEAVY]

Why I’m going to TPI

Sep
23

* They booked Skayde vs PUMA! LUCHA LIBRE! Sorta. What an awesome matchup though; I don’t think they could’ve matched those guys up any better, and I’m kinda looking forward to it.

* Who knows if we’re getting another chance at 24 person 2 day indy tournament. Actually, I’m taking a pretty estimate and saying we won’t. I don’t know the finances of MS, but even if Ian didn’t make that announcement of financial problems, you can just look at the cards and notice all the out of territory guys that aren’t being brought in anymore.

I’m thrilled IWA-MS brought in the guys no one else in the area were bringing in when they did, and I’m thankful for the good shows they’ve put together. I hope they’re able to keep it going, not just next year, but for a long time to come. I just don’t think anyone should count on that happening. It’s not just them – the people who run quality US indy wrestling and make money doing it over the long run appear to be rare. Everything comes to an end at some point; you’d be dumb not to enjoy it while it’s around.

This may be your last chance for this sort of event. It certainly feels like the end.

* It’s a weird sorta social gathering. It’s good to put faces to names (and try to remember them) and, you know, actually talk to people (in short incoherent bursts but whatever) who have a similar interest to you face to face.

There was a point in life where if you, fake internet person, thought I was an interesting person, there’s no way I’d want to meet you, because it could only go downhill from there. Not that I’ve gathered any self confidence or anything since then, but I figured out along the way, these posts are so completely insane, nothing I can do will wreck your image of me.

* Last year’s show – or at least the three-fourths of a half I went to – was pretty darn cool. Even if I was sure Samoa Joe was going to run me over and kill me at one point. I paid $20whatever, missed the first three matches, tried to fall asleep during an intermission, and still got my money’s worth. I expect no less this time, even though I’ll be trying to both show up on time and stay awake.

I got to see people I’d never seen (like Quackenbush) and ended up digging a lot, and I got to see people I like to see and don’t see much (Dragon.)

I got to see pretty good matches throughout; they had a great selection of wrestlers last year, obviously better than this year, but I think the desire to live up to last year’s standard is going to push them.

* I don’t know how you got interested in IWA-MS. Maybe a tape? A favorable review on a message board?

I got interested by reading Scott’s recaps.

Following a promotion closely and writing about it, you run a risk of becoming some sort shill. That’s was not and never has been the case with Scott; if something sucked, he told you so, and if he thought something was super, he made sure you knew. He was consistent, he was honest, he made you understand why he thought so, and everything held true.

I wouldn’t even be considering going to these shows if it wasn’t for Scott. I dunno how many indy shows at all I’d be going if it wasn’t for Scott – and others like them – convincing me some were worthy my time and money.

They’re no longer worth Scott’s time or money, because, among all things (all valid and fair and nothing really deserving of a week of mocking) is he really doesn’t care about wrestling anymore.

And this is where we get to the true core reason why Scott sucks. Scott loved – or at least liked greatly, I don’t want to put words in his mouth – this promotion, this is their biggest show, and he doesn’t care. He knows WrestleMania’s coming to Chicago this year, something he was going semicrazy about trying to get to for WrestleMania XX and even last year, and I don’t believe he’s going to bother with that either. He’s done.

In isolation, this isn’t weird. People lose interest in hobbies all the time. People always change. But, at least among my circle of people who were hardcore wrestling fans, he’s far from alone. He might be in the majority – people done with it few years ago, people getting bored with it now. Less and less people caring one bit.

They’ve got their reasons. Wrestling is boring now. Wrestling is stupider now. It’s not worth the money. Wrestling isn’t as good as it was and it won’t be any time soon, so why bother. The guys I like are gone, so I’m not staying.

Sometimes, I think about those points, and I don’t think any of them are wrong. These very reasonable and rational people have made a completely sensible case, and I should have an equally compelling case about why you – or at least I – should keep watching wrestling.

And I don’t. Not a shred, not a clue, not a start, not an end, not a single good reason. Either I’m missing the obvious right in front of me, or…

maybe I’ve got a permanent blind spot about wrestling – and who knows where else
or low and bad standards without the ability to fix them
or I’m dumber than I give myself credit for
or the inability to grow up pass a stage where nothing’s cooler than a well done plancha and what does say about me
or I’ve got some horrible mental deficiency that doesn’t allow me to realize what’s obvious to others
or a 100 horrible other concepts

I’m a person very much in love with logic, and honestly, too often affected by other people’s opinions. This is a puzzle driving me insane: reasonable people making a reasonable argument for which I have no counter argument, and yet I continue on the opposite path. It makes no sense and I reach no answer.

That’s the true reason Scott Sucks. Scott’s a reasonable sort, I’m a reasonable sort, Scott loves wrestling, I love wrestling, Scott no longer loves wrestling because it sucks, I still watch wrestling because – well, I can’t say it doesn’t suck, can I? Instead, Scott much suck for making me think about this.

I’m hoping, just a little bit, some of what I see Friday and Saturday will answer my questions and maybe give me the defense I’m looking for.

(and that’s what you get when I’m on three hours sleep)

Related: IWA-MS index – unfinished because someone never sent recaps they promised (ha!)

deader money

Sep
22

Assuming anyone hasn’t dropped out today! I was too busy with 8 hours!!!! of driving today to check. (You talk about your gas expenses right THERE, man.)

to win their first round match

If you’re betting the over, you’d be betting that number to win a 100. If you’re betting the underdog, you bet 100 to win that much. It’s not like I’m actually taking money on this, so god knows why I made this complicated.

Favorite Bet Underdog
A. J. Styles 600 Tyler Black
American Dragon 600 Claudio Castagnoli
Skayde 101 Puma
Mike Quackenbush 104 Alex Shelly
Chris Hero 250 Rainman
Arik Cannon 300 Joey Ryan
Matt Sydal 250 El Generico
Chris Sabin 250 Marek Brave
Josh Abercrombie 110 James Gibson
Brad Bradley 111 Tracy Smothers
Delirious 105 Brandon Thomaselli
Kevin Steen 102 Nate Webb

to win it all

American Dragon 2:1
AJ Styles 5:2

Chris Hero 4:1

Matt Sydal 6:1
Alex Shelley 6:1
Josh Abercrombie 6:1
Chris Sabin 7:1
Delirious 7:1
Mike Quackenbush 8:1
Arik Cannon 10:1

James Gibson 18:1
Tracy Smothers 19:1
Tyler Black 20:1
Marek Brave 20:1
Joey Ryan 20:1
Brad Bradley 20:1
Skayde 21:1
PUMA 21:1
Brandon Thomaselli 21.5:1
Kevin Steen 22:1
Nate Webb 22:1
Claudio Castagnoli 25:1
El Generico 30:1
Rainman 30:1

obNothing: If I figured out a way to post semi-live, semi-consistent results from the show, would anyone care? Are you already taken care of in that manner by your DVDVRBoards and you’d just rather me pay attention to the show and/or take pictures of Skayde?

One more post in our hater marathon to come before the show (assuming I get my act together and don’t pass out.)