Ok, so first off I was floored by the tremendous response I got to my last column which of course was about the awesome flea market rasslin' show I attended. Many emails, facebook adds/messages etc. were recieved and all were positive and I'm glad people were entertained by the column and got the message behind it. Now today's column will be about my most recent experience attending a live show and this was the complete opposite of my last experience.
Before I get to that though I would like to briefly mention that I picked up Mick Foley's latest literary effort last week, 'Countdown to Lockdown' and it was a very interesting and fun read.....even if your not a TNA fan and aren't all that interested in the build up for a match between Foley and Sting, the book is still quite interesting as it covers his exit from the WWE, views on steroids and the Chris Benoit murder/suicide, and all the questions and physical concerns he had preparing to step back in the ring in a pay per view main event in a World title cage match, could he pull it off? Would his injured body hold up? So many questions that get answered along the way.....I recommend giving it a read. Something else I checked out this week is the new 'Breaking the Code: Inside the Walls of Chris Jericho' dvd set from the WWE. A great collection of matches and interesting documentary, nothing much new here if you've read his book but still another solid effort from WWE home video.
Ok..so back to this past Saturday night. I promised Rosey after the flea market debacle that I'd take her to a good wrestling show to make up for it. I had read and heard good things about Ultimate NWA shows here in North Alabama so at the request of my old friend (and former IWF Southern Champion) Justin Envy we made the trip to Scottsboro, Alabama this weekend to see what Ultimate NWA had to offer. Well the differences were immediately noticable when we walked in the door after buying our tickets. There was a VERY nice looking ring (which I later heard was a highspots ring) with a metal guard rail around ringside and something you don't see often on non-televised shows (or even televised shows in these parts), a large video screen next to the curtain where the wrestlers come out. The ceiling appears to be kinda low so it may not allow for much high flying, but we'll see I guess. There were gimmick tables at the front with nice screen printed Ultimate NWA t-shirts and many other gimmicks and they seemed to be selling well as many people were walking around with merchandise and a large portion of the crowd were wearing the t-shirts, hats, etc.
The crowd wasn't the largest I've seen but quite a respectable sized crowd (I won't venture a guess cause I've been told I suck at estimating these things). At 8 o'clock the ring announcer made his way down and gave us a recap of the last show at the local fair which involved a confrontation with the tag team champions The Devil's Rejects with the 'Reverend' Dan Wilson and Tank which will result in tonight's main event, Ultimate NWA Champion Adam Roberts, Tank, and Adam Jacobs against The Devil's Rejects and their manager Dan Wilson who will be in the match tonight due to Seven of the rejects not being there. The crowd popped for the announcement of the main event and we move right on to our opening match.
MATCH #1- Corey Hollis vs. Matt Fortune
The referee came out for this one and it was a barely recognizable Justin Envy! Justin has dropped about a 100 lbs since finding out he's diabetic but hasn't been able to wrestle due to injury so he's recently taken to refereeing and did a heck of a job throughout the night. The video wall was cool as each wrestler had his own entrance video of sorts so it was easier to catch the guys names and such. The show is off to a good start as both guys have gear and look like wrestlers. Hollis is quite popular with the crowd who are very loud and into the match. Fortune was announced as being from Memphis but not sure if that's a shoot or not...trying to remember if I've seen his name on any results from the TN. area.....A very good fast paced match....everything looked tight and believable.....Hollis gets the win with a Pele' kick off the ropes, the crowd pops big for his win.
MATCH #2- Jared Tyler vs. Patrick Bentley
Bentley has a good look, I've seen him on some other shows in the area and he's sporting sort of a goth look now...it's surprising he's not part of The Reverend's stable..hmmm, anyway this is my first time seeing Tyler but he's quite impressive with a very fast pace and some nice aerial moves that got the crowd on their feet a couple of times including a nice spot were he shimmied across a beam on the ceiling and dropped a big legdrop in the midddle of the ring which was pretty sweet looking as well as a moonsault on the floor.....Bentley for his part was good as the heel and picked up the win with a 'Canadian Destroyer' as Tyler was charging off the ropes....nice quick finish that caught everyone off guard as it appeared Tyler was making a comeback, this was very easily could have been a X division match on TNA television, both guys were impressive.
We have our first intermission....Rosey and I talk about how good the show has been thus far and what a world of difference there is between this show and the last one we seen....as well as many of the shows we've seen together.....This group really does have one of the best shows in the state...if not the best as it just comes off FAR more professional than most of the shows that are out there right now. It's a whole package, the in ring work plays a big factor in how good a show is but presentation is also important and Ultimate NWA has the best I've seen in quite some time....you feel like your at a big time wrestling event rather than just another local 'rasslin show'. Ok, back to the show.
MATCH #3- Chrisjen Hayme vs. Kent Reznor
I know I've seen Reznor on at least one IWA Deep South dvd. I've followed Chrisjen Hayme's career for a few years now and while he's always had a good look and good in ring skills he seemed to lack personality early on but he's really brought that part of his game along recently as he was really all over this crowd who was eating it up and giving him plenty of "heat". During my time doing Cheap Heat Radio, I got to know several workers from here in Alabama and started watching a lot of FTW, IWA Deep South, and other such independents and in doing so I really became a fan of some of the local guys like Cabana Man Dan, Insane Lane, Freakshow, and Chrisjen Hayme. Hayme is a guy who I think has tons of potential and seems to be dedicated to "making it" and I think it's just a matter of time before Chrisjen has a job on tv somewhere......very good match here that seen both guys shine at various points but Hayme puts Kent away with the "Designated Driver" which is a variation of the "Omega Driver" made semi-famous by another indy favorite of mine Chuck Taylor.
It should be mentioned that there was only one in-ring promo, most of the promos were down backstage and aired on the video wall. This was another upside as everybody that walked out didn't grab the mic and talk for 10 minutes...the following match was more or less set up through backstage promos as it seems Jerimiah Flynt is claiming to be the Ultimate NWA 2009 Rookie of the Year but others feel it was Corey Hollis.....Flynt comes out to the ring carrying a trophy and wearing a sash proclaiming himself to be the Rookie of the Year....Corey Hollis comes out and takes exception to this and we now have our next match.
MATCH #4- "Rookie of the Year" Jerimiah Flynt vs. Corey Hollis
This was a fun match as Flynt was more about the "old school heat" that I'm used to.....however despite being a big guy Flynt is a quite capable wrestler who moved very swiftly and some nice moves and holds throughout the match.....once again the crowd was solidly behind Hollis in this one....Hollis held his own and looked to have Flynt in trouble when Jerimiah went to the floor and shoved the ring announcer to the floor, took his chair and came back in the ring seemingly to use it on Hollis.....referee Justin Envy saw this and took the chair away from Flynt who was obviously counting on this as Envy put the chair back out of the ring Flynt clocked Hollis with the trophy that was still in his corner and was able to pin Hollis for the 1-2-3! Lots of heat from the crowd on this finish.
MATCH #5- THE MAIN EVENT
The Devil's Rejects (Shaun Tempers/Rufus Black) & 'The Reverend' Dan Wilson vs. Adam Roberts/Adam Jacobs/Tank
Crowd loved the babyfaces in this match as well and popped huge as they made their entrances.....a lot of heat on the rejects. This was my first time seeing Roberts/Jacobs/Black. I've seen Tank on quite a few dvds as well as the Reverend and Shaun Tempers. Jacobs somewhat reminds me of Benoit in his in-ring style....This match of course centered around the babyfaces trying to get the manager Wilson in the ring...back and forth action with the Reverend slipping in here and there and managing to not get apprehended by the babyfaces.....that is until a hot tag on the Tank led to Wilson getting tagged in......who opted to just up and leave ringside instead of entering the ring....however he was met in the aisle by Jacobs who steered him back to the ring to the waiting arms of Tank who pulled him in by the hair of his head but right as the Reverend was about to get what was coming to him PATRICK BENTLEY hit the ring and attacked Tank....Bentley has in fact joined the Devil's Rejects and they procede to break the leg of their arch-nemesis Tank!
Ultimate NWA returns to Scottsboro on October 9th and we're planning on back again because we really enjoyed the show. Now I know I caught flack for trashing the last show and ironically I'll catch crap in some circles for putting this show over so much but I bought a ticket like everyone else and I have no alterior motives for doing so other than just being honest that as a fan I enjoyed the show and the fact that they've gone to great lengths to put on a professional well booked show for the fans and they deserve the recognition. While the wrestling landscape looks bad as a whole, there are some promoters out there getting it right, and they need to be supported so they don't get ran off by the crap that's out there. I plan to hit up some more shows soon including Piedmont, Alabama and perhaps Pell City soon as well as the big WrestleBirmingham show coming up in November at Boutwell Auditorium I believe.
Also, the "fans" on the "Bathroom Wall" will be glad to know that the "War Machine" Gene Jackson will be returning to the ring soon over in Mississippi so make sure your there to berate and hate on me! If you have a show you feel i need to check out either live or via internet television contact me on facebook or my email address email@example.com
Thanks for reading!
Cheap Heat is a randomly featured column here at RRO. Gene Jackson is a writer, former (and sometimes current) pro wrestler, radio talk show host, announcer, color comentator, comedian, and all around swell guy.....He has a loyal following of readers and fans but is generally disliked by most due to his smart ass, arrogant, sarcastic, and sometimes unnecessarily mean writings and rants on his bi-yearly radio show. if you would like to contact him to voice your displeasure or heaven forbid say something positive he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.