A live report on EPIC Pro Wrestling WAR’s 10/20/07 event featuring Necro Butcher Vs. Bo Cooper, Bryan Danielson Vs. Joey Ryan, Davey Richards Vs. LTP and more.Planes, Trains and Automobiles Report Vol. 12: EPIC Pro Wrestling WAR 10/20/07
by Paul Newberry and Jay Doring
Welcome to the 12th edition of the “Planes, Trains and Automobiles report” celebrating a whole dozen of these reports (It only took me three years to do it too!) This time on the PT&A, we will be taking a look at EPIC Pro Wrestling WAR’s October 20th 2007 event. Joining me for the report once again will be Jay Doring.
We arrived at the Legion Hall shortly before the advertised bell time of 8 pm to find a very small line outside. During the wait, someone walks up to Jay and tells him “Gangrel is here!” Wow. Say you don’t think he will be on the show later or anything right? Nah.
After a bit more waiting and being informed a million times to keep our ticket, we are let in. Oh and of course the first thing Jay does when he enters is lose his ticket. Did you not hear that endless speech on the virtues of keeping your ticket, Jay? That ticket is your new god for the next three hours.
I also have to mention that the ratio of people waiting in line to people already inside is almost laughable. Not even close. Plus despite the much stronger card, the overall attendance appeared to be down from last month (although I am told that it was actually up from the last show) I had always heard these tall tales of BiGPro (where the hell did the “i” in BiGPro come from anyway?) having these standing room only crowds in this venue. I guess this hasn’t translated over to EPIC WAR just yet.
After finding our seats, the endless waiting continues. But hey guess who is drinking over at the bar… Gangrel! Ain’t that something. Finally around 50 minutes late the show finally starts. There were a few wrestlers driving in from the ROH show in Las Vegas the night prior, so the late start was understandable.
Kyle O’Riley Vs. Mike Santiago
Paul: Once again, EPIC launched the show with a student showcase. First out is Kyle O’ Riley. A young wrestler/Irishmen out of Vancouver, Canada. He regularly competes for Pinnacle Wrestling and Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling (where he recently won their annual Pacific Cup tournament) His opposition here is Mike Santiago, who also competes for Pinnacle Wrestling in Washington. This will be Santiago’s second appearance in EPIC Pro Wrestling WAR (he picked up a win in a tag match over Aaron Scott and BOLO at the first show).
Our referee is for this opening contest is HRW’s Steven Andrews, who still insists on wearing jeans when he referees. Well, at least they were black jeans this time.
Jay: A decent short match, that had a bit more structure and flow than the match from the debut show due to the combatants having more experience than the previous student offering.
Paul: All I really remember from this one is they did several of those “standoffs” seemingly just to draw to applause from the crowd. Unfortunately for them you’d have to be named Bo Cooper, Johnny Walker or Captain Morgan to get this crowd interested in clapping for you.
The match ends very abruptly when someone who appeared to be Former “Full House” star Dave Coulier after several stops at Krispy Kreme ran in and stopped the match by order of the State Athletic Commission. I’m assuming this was due to the referee’s non-regulation pants.
Winner: No Contest
Jay: Yes you read Paul correctly, the match was stopped midway by this guy, who was “a representative of the California State Athletic Commission” I’m not really going to dignify the ensuing angle by recapping it, because self-indulgent crap like this is what left a bad taste in many people’s mouth with Pro Wrestling WAR. Here’s the thing: the show had maybe 120 people there. Maybe 10 of those people understood this long, muffled, pointless skit. Maybe 2 of those 10 found it funny. Why spend 20 minutes entertaining two people, when you can have WRESTLING?
Paul: Why don’t you tell us what you really think Jay?
Jay: I thought I just did.
Paul: Oh ok… just checkin. Anyway, the aforementioned Dave Coulier guy orders EPIC WAR to shut down tonight’s show. Then get this… Gary Yap enters the ring and READS A PIECE OF PAPER live! But I couldn’t hear a damn word he was saying thanks to the drunken sounds of disapproval coming from all around me. Seriously, Bo Cooper reading off the bingo numbers would have garnered a better reaction.
Then enters Commissioner Diablo and his merry band of random people in black. He grabs the mic and basically says “This is adult themed entertainment and we will do what we want when we want and to who we want. Welcome to EPIC Pro Wrestling WAR” Then some guy in a suit (later named “Johnny Soavi”) made Dave tap out to a Tequila Sunrise type submission hold (even though he didn’t have the hold locked in at all) Then the “Creepy guy” (officially named “Sinner”) follows that up with a cobra clutch, finally suit guy barely connects with a swanton bomb to finish off the former star of Full House.
You can actually see most of this segment on EPIC WAR’s blog right now. Although I would suggest not doing so. Not with so many high quality Small Wonder episodes available on YouTube right now.
Okay, let’s put that unpleasantness behind us as quickly as possible and move on to our next match.
J.T. Hyatt Vs. R2K
Paul: At EPIC Pro Wrestling WAR’s September show, R2K used underhanded tactics in order to defeat Ryan Drago. After the match R2K continued his assault, until JT Hyatt ran in from the crowd to save Drago. So in the grand spirit of Pro Wrestling, Hyatt wasn’t arrested or banned from the shows for life, but rather given a match with R2K at the next show. Wouldn’t it be great other sports worked that way? Think about it.
Jay: This is my first time seeing JT Hyatt, and apparently his gimmick is that he likes milk, passing out Milk Duds to the audience as a Halloween treat and being as kid-friendly as can be. R2K was announced…but did not arrive, as instead someone in a skeleton costume who was clearly NOT R2K arrived to beat on Hyatt. Following 20 seconds of awkward brawling, the skull mask was taken off to reveal RYAN DRAGO!….who no one remembered. Drago spit red mist in Hyatt’s eye, then locked Hyatt in an armbar. Hyatt fought to the ropes, but Drago refused to break the hold which resulted in a disqualification. But instead of leaving afterward, Drago stayed in the ring until Hyatt recovered to cut a promo explaining his actions in classic Bond villain fashion. Drago claimed Hyatt robbed him of his chance at revenge on R2K last month by intervening on his behalf. Drago had been robbed of his MANHOOD and will be taking that anger out on the entire EPIC roster.
Paul: Not really a match. Just another extended angle that didn’t quite hit the mark with the fans. I did find Drago as the WCW Halloween Phantom pretty entertaining though.
Winner: JT Hyatt
LTP vs. Davey Richards
Paul: Okay, so this show is off to an incredibly slow start so far. But hey, LTP is next! That guy rules. LTP is someone that I have been very impressed with this year. I consider him to be the most entertaining SoCal wrestler that is not currently wrestling for PWG. Earlier this year, LTP had also impressed officials with Japan’s Zero One MAX, and earned himself a tour with them. There he received the opportunity to both train and wrestle with some of the best in the business. He apparently did well enough to have been asked to come back to Zero One MAX sometime in the future.
Tonight, he returns from the fabled land of the rising sun to face his biggest test in Southern California to date, Davey Richards. Who should need no introduction to anyone who would possibly ever be reading this (and I’m sure most people stopped reading this after the 1st match report)
Jay: I’m definitely a big fan of both LTP and Davey, and while this ended up being an enjoyable, hard-hitting match, I had a major issue with it, and it falls on Davey. Davey I’ve noticed, both in this match and the Fergal Devitt match from PWG Giant-Size Annual #4, is a VERY hard person to showcase yourself against. When he faces an unknown, rather than mug for the crowd which he’s been doing recently, he’ll take over 75% of the offensive load (as he did here) and not really allow his opponent to look good. Richards controlled nearly this entire match, and by the time LTP turned it around for his nearfall attempts (after a sick tope to the outside) he had already been hurt during the course of the match and he didn’t look as crisp as he normally does. Regardless, I look forward to future LTP matches in EPIC and Davey is someone who always enhances shows.
Paul: After the match, Davey grabs the mic… but the mic doesn’t work. Robbing us of the “good job kid” speech. So they just shook hands instead.
While this will not go down as LTP’s big breakout match, I still found it to be an enjoyable contest. But I would have liked to have seen LTP play to the crowd more. That is one of his main strong suits, and he did very little of it tonight. Thus the crowd was more in to calling him “tiny” and making jokes about a guy announced as being from Compton coming out to Green Day then they were his wrestling. Still this is far from the last we have seen of LTP. Keep an eye out for this kid, he is going to be something.
Winner: Davey Richards
Tony Kozina Vs. The Kaos Machine
Paul: At last month’s show, Tony Kozina dropped a close contest to Lil’ Cholo. After being damn near unbeatable in the old Pro Wrestling WAR, Tony Kozina was rather PO’ed after losing his first match in the new promotion. Going as far as to spit on Lil’ Cholo rather than accept his hand in friendship. His opposition tonight will be Kaos. Who also came up short last month, falling to Davey Richards in a competitive match.
So tonight both men are looking to establish some much needed momentum by scoring their first victory in the new promotion. Or are they? I actually just made that last part up. It sounded good though, didn’t it?
Jay: Kaos arrived to the ring with Jezebel in a generic black lucha mask paying tribute to the old WWF Machine gimmick. Which made him only one of two people who dressed up for Halloween at this show (after we were told to last month, no less!) This prompted the drunk teenage girls we were sitting next to (of course) to yell at him to take the mask off THE ENTIRE MATCH. There are generally two kinds of indy fans, I’ve noticed: those who think Tony Kozina sucks and those who think he is awesome. I’m one of the few who fall somewhere in the middle, but this may have been the most boring match I’ve seen all year. Kozina worked the arm, then the leg, very slowly, for a VERY long time. Kaos actually did a solid job of selling the limb work, but it still didn’t make it exciting. He surprised Kozina with a sunset flip for the three count, giving Kaos his first win in EPIC.
Paul: After the match Tony Kozina throws a tantrum the level of which is usually reserved for children entering their terrible twos. While inside the ring, Kaos celebrated his victory… that is until ghosts from his BiGPro past came back to haunt him and the STEPFAMILY ran in from the front entrance. They beat down Kaos like he had just asked John Kerry a long drawn out question, and then grabbed his valet and dragged her away caveman style. Have we seen the last of this issue? I sure hope so.
As for the match itself, I will have to echo some of Jay’s statements. While it was technically a fine match up, it was… well boring would be the best term I can think of to describe it.
Paul: Next Biggie Biggz comes out for his big grudge match with Joey Ryan. Then Joey Ryan’s manager (MTV superstar Lizzie Valintine) comes out alone. She says… something. I honestly couldn’t hear anything over the loud alcohol fueled banter going on behind me. So… hey, did you know Lizzie has opened up a business selling organic dog treats? Well you do now. The ingredients are even human grade… unlike certain offerings at Arby’s.
She has with her a written statement from Joey Ryan. Now back by popular demand Gary Yap returns to the ring to read yet ANOTHER PIECE OF PAPER live! This is riveting stuff. You have to be there for live for moments such as these, the DVD just will not do this one justice folks.
Again, it was hard to hear but the gist of it was that Joey Ryan didn’t feel Biggie Biggz was worthy of a match with him, so instead Biggie will have to get by a wrestler handpicked by Joey Ryan (He also called EPIC Pro Wrestling WAR “PWG Sunday Night Heat” which I found funny)
I fully expected Joey’s wrestler to be Karl Anderson who I believe was booked on this show, but instead it turned out to be Eric Watts (no, not that Eric Watts) from the LA DOJO and scattered other area promotions.
Eric Watts (no, not that Eric Watts) Vs. Biggie Biggz
Jay: While no one expected this to be a technical classic, obviously, I surprisingly enjoyed this match quite a bit. While awkward at point, both guys did their best to keep this match fast and moving along, trading big shots. Watts even managed to bodyslam Biggie which was pretty impressive. Biggie nailed a vicious spear on Watts and looked to have the win, when LIZ returned to distract the referee, along Joey Ryan to sneak in, hit the Super ’70’s Super Kick and screw Biggie again.
Winner: Eric Watts (No, not that Eric Watts)
Paul: After the match, Joey Ryan runs down Biggie and on the mic and offers up a open challenge to anyone in the back. His challenge is answered by the “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson! Who gets a big reaction from the drunken Newhall faithful. With that, we have our next match!
Joey Ryan Vs. Bryan Danielson
Paul: This is actually the third time these two have met, once on the old NJPW-USA TV show in 2004, and once in PWG this past May. Both matches were commanding victories for Danielson. Will this time be any different?
Jay: I really enjoyed Dragon and Joey’s previous encounter during PWG’s DDT4 weekend, and this match was worked much the same way. Danielson wrestled circles around the “Technical Wizard” at the outset, forcing Joey to bail on the match. Danielson ran to the back and retrieved Joey, but luckily LIZ ran interference for him and allowed the former PWG champion to take control of the current PWG champion. Danielson regained the advantage, but when he caught a Joey superkick, he made the crucial mistake of throwing it into Rick Knox’s face. Joey used the opportunity to grab a steel chair, but Biggie Biggz returned to snatch it from him, and Danielson used the opening to KICK JOEY’S HEAD IN and slap on the Cattle Mutilation for the submission victory.
Paul: You forgot to mention the most amazing thing about this match…. JOEY ACTUALLY HIT THE MUSTACHE RIDE! I swear that is the first time I’ve seen him hit that move in SoCal since maybe 2005. Anyway, this was a great match (as you would expect from these two). I’m blanking on details here, as I was too occupied in enjoying the match to take any mental notes… but believe me, the match was real good.
Jay: This was a fun elite-indy-level match. Danielson is someone who I never fully believed the hype on, but he truly has grown into his role as “The Best Wrestler in the World” and now I look forward to seeing him live more than any current indy wrestler. Joey is also SO underrated as a competent wrestler and it’s fun to see him bust out the “technical” chops on top of his heel antics.
Winner: Bryan Danielson
Intermission time!: I wanted to pick up the DVD of the last show, but shockingly they did not have it for sale. Why? Would there ever be a better possible place to sell it than right here?
Beside that not much happened, beside the bar raking in the dough. OH wait… I did notice that Dave Coulier guy out of his suit and mingling with the crowd. Somewhere a bell tolls for kayfabe…
Ryan Drago Vs. Chimaera
Paul: Drago returns for his originally scheduled match of the evening. A group of Bo Cooper fans in the back really got on Drago’s case during the early going. Calling him “Tits McGee” I believe. To which Drago responded: “It doesn’t matter what your body looks like when you have a cock this big.” I’ll have to take his word on that.
Jay: Drago looked really good here as a pissed-off, frustrated heel, and thankfully knocked the annoying drunken teenage girls down a peg by leaving the ring to dump water on them.
Paul: That was great! Drago completely ruined that girl’s “I <3 Bo Cooper” sign. Now how is the world supposed to know that she <3s Bo Cooper? Well, thankfully for her, her t-shirt was also decorated in the Bo Cooper <3
Jay: This match ended up basically being a one-man show, with Drago displaying his new presence and demeanor, whereas Chimaera could never really get going, looking sloppy whenever he got offense. This match didn’t go too long because JT Hyatt came out for the third non-finish of the night. The booking of Drago in EPIC has actually been pretty frustrating to me over these two shows. As mentioned, he’s a solid technical wrestler with obvious personality, but instead of getting a chance to showcase himself he’s shoved into feuds or angles with green rookies and low-rent lucha heels. While I’m not going to complain about seeing American Dragon/Joey, putting Drago against Danielson (where there’s history, as Danielson helped train Drago) could have been a major breakout match for his career.
Paul: Decent enough I suppose. Like last month, Ryan Drago far outshined his opponent. After this JT Hyatt thing is finished, I hope EPIC WAR gives Drago some established “names” to work with. I think that would lead to some really good matches in the future.
As for Chimaera. I haven’t seen that many of his matches, but he doesn’t seem quite ripe to me. He does have potential, but right now he can come off as pretty awkward in the ring. His overcomplicated video game move set isn’t helping matters much either. I think taking it down a notch would help him out in the long run. Why should he listen to me? I’m some guy on the Internet, it’s impossible for me to ever be wrong.
Winner: Ryan Drago
Charles Mercury and The Young Bucks Vs. Markus Riot
Paul: Okay, so the setup for this match doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Charles Mercury, the #1 contender to the WAR title before WAR closed, brutally attacked champion Markus Riot at the September show. A six-man war with Riot, Jack Evans, Lil’ Cholo vs. Charles Mercury and the Young Bucks was made for this show, and was easily one of the most anticipated matches of this event. But Jack and Cholo canceled and the excuse was given that because Riot took Yap’s underaged girlfriend on a trip to Northern California, Yap was pulling them as “punishment.” So instead tonight we have this 3 on 1 handicapped match.
Jay: Markus deserves a lot of credit in this match, because in the early going because he wrestled as if his life depended on it, which was exactly what you need to do in a 3-on-1 handicap match. He literally flew around the ring like his pants were on fire in the early going until the inevitable caught up to him. The dastardly trio annihilated Riot in front of Yap and his entourage until I guess Gary had a change of heart and the SUBURBAN COMMANDOS came to the rescue! You gotta love the valiant face run-ins. The rest was an enjoyable spotfest with some interesting back-and-forth exchanges. The Commandos finally made a tactical (get it?) mistake and Mercury and Riot were left alone. Charles piledrove Riot THREE TIMES, in front of Yap, to get the message across. Riot vs. Mercury is easily EPIC’s best angle and this match did a great job of moving it along.
Paul: Very entertaining match up here. While the Commandos did a good job of coming in and cleaning house toward the end, I can’t help but think of how good this match would have been had Jack Evans and Lil’ Cholo had remained in the match. Regardless, the whole segment came off really well. Charles Mercury in particular looked more motivated than I have seen him look in a while. The title match next month should be something else.
Winners: Charles Mercury and The Young Bucks.
“Brawlin’” Bo Cooper Vs. The Necro Butcher
Paul: Recap: At the last show, Matt Jackson (with the help of his brother, Nick Jackson) cheated in order to score a pinfall over hero town hero, Bo Cooper.
After the match the livid Cooper demanded a handicapped match with the Bucks for the next show. However since the Bucks they weren’t going to be at the next show (even though they were…) they threw out a challenge of their own. If Bo could get past their “Crazy Uncle Dylan” (aka The Necro Butcher) at the next show, Bo would get his match. Which sets the stage for tonight’s Main Event.
Jay: Necro matches, as a general rule, defy standard reviewing. You know what you’re going to get when you see Necro Butcher, you’ll either love it or hate it, and if you hate it, well you’re a shitty wrestling fan, sorry. It really cannot be overstated how valuable Necro is on the independent scene, someone with a unique aura who practically guarantees entertainment. He doesn’t just deliver a match, he delivers an experience. Here, against Newhall legend (what that says about Newhall, I’m not sure) Bo Cooper there was flying furniture, the barfight standoff punches, thumbtacks and a Death Valley Driver through a table (brought into the ring by Diablo and his crew)…and that’s a TAME Necro match. Cooper, to his credit, did not back down from Necro and gave as good as he got. Great way to close out the show.
Paul: Good brawl, although it was pretty much a night off for Necro. He didn’t even bleed, which is very rare in one of these Necro brawls. Still a Necro brawl of any kind is a great live experience, even more so in an environment such as this one.
Winner: Bo Cooper
Paul: After the match, Bo puts over Necro as being a tough son of a bitch. Then some old guy hits the ring with three beers in hand. He handed both Bo and Necro a beer. I guess he expected there to be an Austinesque beer bash between the three of them. Rick Knox gave the guy a “get the fuck out of the ring” look and guided him out. Good timing too, as just then The Young Bucks came in from behind and attacked Bo Cooper. The lights go out, and some familiar old WWF theme music hits….
Oh my god it’s GANGREL! Who knew that he was here? Surprise of the decade at least. Oh there was also Billy Blade (who’s entire career seems to be comprised of following Gangrel around like a lost puppy) and a Punk rock Nazi girl (who honestly blended into the rest of the crowd) with him. Gangrel grabs one of the Bucks and gets him in position for the DDT… but then doesn’t (at least I don’t think he did, but it was dark and I couldn’t really tell). Then they leave as suddenly as they arrived. Leaving Bo Cooper alone in the ring with a confused look on his face (a look that shared by half the audience).
Jay: I’m pulling out all my hack writer cliches – if you looked up “uneven indy wrestling shows” in an encyclopedia, you’d find EPIC Pro Wrestling WAR’s October 20th show. This show had some top-notch action in some places (Joey vs. Danielson, Cooper vs. Necro, the seven-man tag) and stuff that laid a HUGE egg (nearly everything else.) EPIC, with the roster it has, really has amazing potential, but between misusing talented guys like Drago and (to a lesser extent) the Bucks and doing fan-killing angles like the CSAC stuff they continue to shoot themselves in the foot. I won’t be at the next show due to travel plans, but the card so far looks like a MAJOR step in the wrong direction. Hopefully January, when they aren’t running against ROH, will be stronger.
Paul: The show was a mixed bag. You had REALLY good matches and then you had a few dull matches and bad angles. But if you put it all into perspective, this was about as good of a SoCal Indy show as you will ever find for $10. I’ve paid twice that amount for shows in the past and didn’t get half of what I got tonight.
So yeah while it clearly is still a work in progress and I can’t say I’m entirely excited about some of the stuff in the fed, any promotion that spotlights talents like LTP, Ryan Drago and Chuck Mercury is cool by me.
Like Jay, I will also be unable to attend the next two EPIC WAR shows due to holiday related garbage. But I do look forward to seeing what they have in store for us in 2008. So we’ll see you all next year, happy government observed holidays and what not.
EPIC Pro Wrestling WAR returns to the American Legion Hall in Newhall on November 24th
EPIC Pro Wrestling WAR Championship Match
Markus Riot (c) vs. Charles Mercury
Bo Cooper, Gangrel, & Billy Blade vs. The Suburban Commandos vs. The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) & Teddy Hart
JT Hyatt vs. Ryan Drago
Tony Kozina Vs. Mike Santiago
Johnny Soavi Vs. Justin Phillips Vs. Virgil Flynn
Dana Lee defends the APW Internet Title
Biggie Biggz answers Joey Ryan’s challenge
PLUS more! (and remember “plus more” can mean anything!)
For more information on EPIC WAR please visithttp://www.artoverlifestudios.com
We would like to thank you all for taking the time to read this. Until next time, remember to keep it locked right here on SoCalUncensored! Who knows, maybe Steve will have another view again someday! Till then Happy holidays everybody!