Monday, May 11, 2009

Arena Report: NEW West Memphis, AR 5.08.09 - JR TITLE TOURAMENT!!

Dustin Ring setting up "Demon Wings" on Eric Wayne for win!!

----Even though the show did end in controversy over the Greg King Jr injury, I have to say that it was a really well booked show and a total 360 degree turn from the show I sent to last weekend. This show featured the top talent of the area – Austin Lane [#1 in RRO Top 10 2008], Dustin Ring [Gimmick of the Year 2008], Eric Wayne/Kid Nikels [Match of the Year 2008], Greg King Jr [Rookie of the Year 2008], Brian Thompson [Announcer of the Year 2008] and Greg Anthony [Booker of the Year 2008]. The show was presented with professionalism and the idea of the end result being that the US JR title would mean something again.

----The show opened with Brian Thompson in the ring with the US JR and introducing the four participants to the tournament – Dustin Ring, Matt Justyce, Greg King JR and Eric Wayne. I thought this was a nice touch and came off as a start to a legit tournament.

----Eric Wayne beat Matt Justyce in a good opener. Hold for hold. Wayne is stiff – Justyce is not as stiff with kicks and such. Finish had Wayne knee Justyce in the head for a KO. [**]

----Greg King JR beat Dustin Ring. Another good solid bout. Stinger splash from King. A beautiful dropkick from King. Ring missed from the top turnbuckle. King ended up hitting a flying press off the turnbuckle for the pin and win. [**1/2]

----Austin Lane beat Shawn Reed. A real good match. Lane is in the best shape he has ever been in. Reed is soooooooo good on the mic. They got a pop for a drop down. Reed hit a neckbreaker. Reed working the neck. Lane hit a TKO into a driver. Lane did a three combo move ending in a Russian Leg Sweep. Lane reversal into a pin. [**3/4]

----Back to the tournament with Eric Wayne beating Greg King Jr by KO. Good series of moves to open. King hits another dropkick. Wayne is playing a typical heel here. King forearm to Wayne’s face. King is then kicked in the face [LEGIT] and goes to the outside of the ring in agony. It was not much of a match. [*]

----Dustin Ring beat Matt Justyce to advance in the best bout of the show at this point. Ring hits a top rope legdrop on Justyce’s head [remember he just got KO’ed in the last bout – very smart] Justyce went to the top and Ring caught him in a beautiful overhead suplex. Ring beat him with “Demon Wings”. [**3/4]

----Kid Nikels beat “The Golden Boy” Greg Anthony in the second non-tournament bout. A real good solid bout with these two guys working well together. Good start with TGB coming out on top for most of it. Kid hit a big side slam. Big bearhug from Kid into a belly to belly. TGB went for “Golden Guillotine”. Superplex in there with TGB hitting an elbow from the top. They go to the top again with Nikels chokeslamming TGB off the top. Nikels ends match putting TGB in the “Kidmission” [formerly known as “Nikels Pickle II”] for the submission and win. Good build with some near falls. [***1/4]

----Brian Thompson comes to the ring with the US JR Title with Dustin Ring and Eric Wayne in the ring. He puts over the fact that Ring has to win two falls to win the title. At this point I am thinking there is no way he is going to win and I really think no one in the crowd thought he would.

----Dustin Ring defeats Eric Wayne in two straight falls to win the US JR Title. Good solid start with hold for hold. Overall a great bout with too many near falls and action to list everything. The storyline was that Ring was hitting a lot of big moves and never could pin Wayne and vice versa. After Wayne kicked out of what felt like the 1000 near pin, I actually yelled “Let him pin you!!” Markout moment. Wayne did two brainbusters on Ring building for a third one. As he went for the third one, Ring rolled him up for the pin and win. A huge pop for the win as everyone was surprised. Brian Thompson called for the bell as the second fall started with Ring/Wayne both having a loss. Whoever won this next fall was the champion. This fall did not last long with Ring catching him in a “Demon Wings” for the pin and win. Guys got a standing ovation from the regulars. [****]


----35 in attendance. Before anyone says anything like “BT put over that tournament and there was only 35 there?” Give me a break – it does matter about match quality whether there are 20 people there or 300 people – if the match sucks, it sucks. If the match is good, then it is good…“West Memphis” Wayne was in attendance and made the note that all NJPW JR Tourny always starts with everyone in the ring…King is such a small guy, but his body sculpture with the tan makes him look heads over the other guys. .. Lane/Reed – I think that match was like a prelude to what is to come, because I think they are going to program these guys together. I really liked their match and it was the first time they had ever worked against each other. That just shows you the level of talent of both guys. I could watch these guys work against each other 5 days a week. Why does Shawn not use “Juicy” as part of his gimmick??...King’s mom was very upset and even felt like an ambulance should have been called at one point. She was also vocal in saying, “He [Eric] just does this stuff all the time.” She was upset and you can’t blame her – it was her son. The storyline was having Ring beat King for Ring to advance against Wayne. King’s injury did not affect the actual booking of the show…King did come out and introduced to work Ring, but storyline had Ken Wayne stopping him from working…I have been told by other workers that the guys from Ken’s school do not work as good outside of the school. In the sense that the NEW building is their “comfort zone”. They also have their best matches against each other – that is all understandable because that is what happens when you train with someone. I have heard that criticism mainly about Eric/Nikels/Justyce with King being apart from them on this. I think all of them have had the best bouts of their careers in that building and the Justyce/Ring bout would probably have not been as good anywhere else…Both TGB and Nikels had good interviews before their matches. I love the Nikels style for his interviews and he even quoted Charles Manson… After the King incident, Wayne came out to the main event and had very little reaction. He also made some comment about, “I will do to you what I did to Greg King,” to Ring during the bout that just got a groan from the crowd…Ring/Wayne bout was so full of drama with the idea of Wayne never losing and him losing two pins being almost impossible. They also started this whole program and “Road to JR Title” on 3.06.09 with Wayne beating Ring. What other promotion you know that thinks that ahead of schedule??? This whole show will be a NEW DVD and it would be one that I recommend you get... Refs Greg Allen and Downtown Bruno both did good jobs...It will be interesting to see what they do with the US JR Title now. I have no “inside” word on if they have plans to do this – but it would be good to see them book Ring on various shows in the area on Saturday night defending the belt...I wrote “Eric Wayne wins the belt” in my notebook after Ring beat him in the first fall…Thanks to cast and crew for a good show. This was the next to last show on the “Book Tour 2009” and it felt good to know I had only one more show and then a couple of weeks home.

Dustin Ring with US JR Title
Photos by Vikki