I got to this show a bit late, 20 minutes to be exact, and missed two matches. Who ever heard of an indy starting at the announced bell time? It was good to see, just not on a night I sat in traffic on the 5. I had thought that the show would not have started, due to the fact that the PA and its owner were in my car. Oh well, I guess the show really must go on. Props to Luna for putting the fans first, despite circumstances.
I walked into the hall only to see a match in progress featuring Funky Billy Kim and Shawn “Camel toe” Riddick against Bobby Lance and Lucky. As I walked in, FBK was kicking the hell out of Lance. He tagged in Riddick, who continued the onslaught using everything in the late Davey Boy Smith’s arsenal. After Lucky made the tag, he made my day by busting out the Polish Hammer on Riddick. Only low point of this match was when Lance did an off the rope save, the smarties felt the need to chant, “You fucked up,” although he clearly pulled off the spot he intended. More on this later. Good, even match, ending with Lance taking the pinfall for his team. Though Lucky was upset, he noticed me sitting at ringside and said hello. Very weird, but cool
Next on the card was the match I came to see, Ballard Brothers vs. Hardkore Kidd and Misterioso. Kidd came out in a hockey jersey which said, “Ballards suck” across the front and “Hardkore Inc.” on the back where the name should go. Very funny, as the Ballards obviously had no idea this was coming. As much as I looked forward to this one, it was a bit flat. A lot of basic Lucha sequences, but not the barnburner it had the potential to be. By the numbers match ending with Hardkore Kidd getting pinned with a rollup. During the rollup, I had the 2nd scariest moment of the night. Misterioso jumped off the top onto Shannon Ballard on the floor, standing a foot in front of me. I moved in the nick of time, and a split second later both men were where I had just been sitting. At this point I moved my chair and sat next to Philly’s own Aaron Proctor, as well as SCU poster Da Bean. Both cool folks to watch wrestling with. After the match, D ran in and challenged the Kidd for his title at the next show. That’ll put butts in seats.
The next contest was Joey Ryan vs. Rising Son. Joey was wearing a wizard’s robe, complete with stars on the purple backing. Joey’s #1 fan was there, and he even inspired his whole section of marks to chant,” Joooeeeyyooooohhheeeeohhh” each time he was in control. I dogged this guy in a previous column, and now he has disciples. I just can’t figure this shit out for the life of me. An important thing to note at this point was although the PA was now at the venue, there was no music, as some jackass in the locker room stole the power cord to the system, rendering it useless. I know some wrestlers dislike other wrestlers, but just because the sound guy is friends with a worker you don’t like, it is no reason to jack part of the PA he worked hard to bring to the show to help make it better. I’d like to send a big SoCal “F you” to who ever did this. Anyway, back to Son/Ryan, this was a good match. Son looked crisp as ever, and Ryan continued to show why he’s a big time up and comer in the indy ranks. Ryan won the match and demanded respect, but was greeted with indifference, other than the fan club. He called for Son to shake his hand, but then beat on Son some more. Joey Ryan is just a bad mamma jamma.
The Stepfather and Supa Badd took on Furious George and Mase. Not really a match, and Al Katrazz ran in and beat them all up, clearing the ring. He put Stepfather on a table, and then power bombed his hot looking valet onto Stepfather, failing to break the table. As the valet rolled away in pain from hitting the base of her spine on the table’s corner, Katrazz did moves on ‘Father until he went through this industrial strength table.
After this non-match was an intermission, and a few things pissed me off. First, this is where I heard about the PA sabotage. Then, as I stood outside, I saw two families with children leaving the show, complaining about the crowd’s use of language. This made me mad, as only like 20 fans chanted the obscenities, yet this drove away customers, who I doubt will ever attend an Indy show again. We are, for the most part, a crowd full of adults. Shouldn’t the novelty of yelling, “Fuck” have gone away about the same time we were getting laid for the first time? If this scene is ever going to move past being a stupid clique, we need not drive away new fans. There used to be a guy at the Galaxy every UPW show with a family, he had long red hair and a red beard. Fans jokingly called him, “Big Daddy Ballard,” as he looked like he could be their dad. He stopped coming because of the profanity and the hostility at an essentially family oriented show. This was a downer, too. He used to also support UIWA.
My point here is, as a community, SoCal has to make new fans feel welcome. It shouldn’t matter who they are or who they bring, all fans should leave shows wanting to see another. Everyone should want the scene to grow, not fade like the popularity of XPW. Hence my objection to the use of the former talent of that fed. They drove families away in droves, why should they appear on shows the very families driven away might give a chance to? This brings us to the appearance of Steve Rizonno. What a super dude to have as a surprise. As guy so crappy, even XPW called him a monkey. Any guy not up to Rob Black’s standards has no place in a real fed, IMHO. The former lackey who picked up heroin for GQ Money lost to Al Katrazz.
Jardi Franz beat Tony Kozina. This match was superb. There was a lot of mat wrestling, and the spots were great, as well. At one point Kozina was sitting atop the top turnbuckle, and Franz jumped all the way up to deliver a sick rana. Good wrestling by both men, a contender for MOTY, however, not a close contender. I liked Kozina a lot more in this match than I liked him in his bout with B Boy at the first Epic show. Another note on the smarties in the crowd, there was a move Franz hit and everyone yelled that it was stolen from Gallinero Tres. Does anyone seriously think that Jardi stole a move from that man? Jardi was wrestling Super Dragon at the same time Gallinero Tres was wrestling under a swing set as Blade’s partner. That’s a fact, Jack.
The semi main event was my favorite Revolution Pro wrestler of all time, Taro, vs. my favorite WPW performer, Lil’ Cholo. Great match. Taro is so entertaining that when recalling this match; all I remember is how superb he was at working the crowd. He threw Cholo into a corner, and then actually did 10 pushups before following it up with a body block. As the crowd longed for the button to be pushed, Taro finally gave in and pushed it. Unfortunately, on this day the power of the button did not last long, and after a piledriver, Taro fell victim to a Lucha style backbreaker at the hands of Lil Cholo. I’d love to see a rematch in the near future, as these two were great in the ring together.
Main event time: Super Dragon vs. Bobby Quance. Well, in the boards of SCU I have frequently been critical of the Super Dragon, but on Saturday I was forced to shut the hell up. Dragon was awesome. This in no way takes away from Mr. Quance, who was quite awesome in his own right. This match started off with a ton of great mat work, holds and reversals dominated the early going. I know that mat work is very exhausting, and my hat is off to both men. Soon, Dragon, playing the cocky heel, ended up on the ground at my feet. Some jerk off yelled,” The mark is gonna kick him” but I had no such plans. I might be a dick in my articles, but I never interfere in a match. I’ve attended probably around 5000 live matches, and it’s never happened. At this point, Dragon and Excalibur were in front of me, and Quance was climbing the ropes to the top turnbuckle. After moving away, I looked up, and Quance was about 12 feet above my head mid moonsault! He landed on Dragon a foot away from me, and I’ve never seen a ‘sault from that perspective, and it scared the shit out of me.
They goy back in the ring, where Dragon hit his patented butterfly kick, and received a wacky ass move I’ll describe here. Quance was up top, attempted a moonsault type maneuver, and instead of catching the standing Dragon in the chest, he landed to the side, grabbing SD’s head into a DDT. This 20-minute plus match was off the charts, and when Dragon finally hit the Psycho Driver 2000, I was drained. There was a ton of near falls. While it was a bit strong style for my taste, it nonetheless made the 70-mile drive worth it. Dragon wins this stiff contest, and proves he is worthy of the trip to Japan.
It was a great night of wrestling. I had a blast, and aside from small complaints, it was cool. I just hope the smarts will understand that it’s all just sports entertainment, and treat it as such. Being a fan only requires a respect for the business, and a respect for the other fans. Here’s to hoping the atmosphere at the next show, Feb 1, will top this one.
Thanks for reading,