Cheap Heat by Gene Jackson
First off, thanks to everyone who has contacted me so far about the documentary, I will be getting in touch with folks and setting things up for it after the first of the year so sit tight, I think it will be a very interesting project.
Ok, so Rosey and I opted NOT to go shell out $40 or $50 on WrestleBirmingham tickets and from what I've read and heard, we weren't the only ones.....300 people showing up for a show with that many "names" cannot be considered a success by any stretch. I'm sure a lot of money was lost last Friday night and I really hate that cause I hate to see anyone flop these days when they try to put on a decent show but you just can't invest that type of money in an indy show and expect people to afford those types of ticket prices....hopefully WB will recover and be back to run another day.
So having decided to not to go to Birmingham yet already having our minds set to go to a wrestling show we decided to finally go check out ProSouth Wrestling in Piedmont, Alabama especially since I heard Cabana Man Dan would be wrestling Chrisjen Hayme and since I've seen so many of their matches on dvd, I figured it would be fun to see one live for a change. Besides them being there I really didn't know much about the show other than having been invited by one of the wrestlers (Ace Haven) to come check it out after reading my article about the Snead show, so I honestly didn't know what to expect but I knew that he must be confident in the show having just read the burial of the flea market show.
Upon arriving I have to say I really like the set up, they've really put a lot of time and effort into making the "ProSouth Arena" into a nice place for the fans to come out and see wrestling (even though my shitty camera-phone pics don't do it justice). There were pictures of the wrestlers on the walls, a nice guard rail around the ring, both chairs and bleachers to sit on. Now....I promised myself that when doing these reviews I was gonna be completely honest and give my shoot opinion on things...(I know a few people thought I was "too nice" with my Ultimate NWA review).....Now, it's not always easy to do that because.... A) I don't wanna hurt anyone's feelings, I have people I consider friends working and running some of the shows I go to B) I'm hoping to do some more wrestling myself in the future so I might be killing my chances at getting booked some places. However, I don't think I'd be doing my readers or the promoters themselves any favors by bullshitting my opinions on their shows so i'm gonna be honest and hopefully I don't make too many enemies along the way writing these reviews....Now I'm not saying all this to lead into a burial of the ProSouth show...far from it....I thought it was a good show and they have a lot of good things going on....however with that being said I'm not gonna gloss over some of the things that I thought could be improved (IMHO).
The show had a respectable sized crowd as it goes for shows these days with I'd say between 75 and 100 there by the time the show started and they were VERY loud....lots of kids in the audience and lots of regulars as they seemed to be familiar with most of the wrestlers...even if we weren't. The first noticeable thing was the sound system was kinda low but you could understand the ring announcer for the most part. The show opened with the announcer and from what I gathered throughout the night, the promoter talking about a local charitable organization and a toy drive they will be doing leading into Christmas and talking to the director of it......we then have the national anthem....and we start the show.
Music plays and a wrestler comes out to the ring and we encounter what I felt was problem #1 as it was REALLY hard to understand the names of the wrestlers when the announcer talked over the music....so a guy comes out but I'm not sure of his name....the jist of it is that he and his co-horts who came out next, injured Ace Haven last week thus leaving him unable to compete in tonight's advertised 6 man tag match. This all went on for a while but that's the key point....Haven is unable to wrestle....nothing wrong with any of this but with all the talking at the beginning with the charity drive, followed by this personally I would have preferred a match first and THEN this angle but that's just personal preference, it got over with the crowd so harm, no foul.
MATCH #1- Chrisjen Hayme vs. Cabana Man Dan
Hayme got a lotta heat with the crowd and CMD is very popular as always. A nice solid match with both guys "laying it in"....a couple of Hayme's kicks to the chest of CMD were especially hard to watch with it sounding off throughout the building....CMD would pay this back later with two of the loudest "flip flop chops" I've ever heard...for the uninitiated CMD has an "islander" gimmick and he wears flip flops out to the ring which he eventually brings into the ring and smacks his opponents across the chest with (and sometimes in the face), never fails to pop the crowd. A good "strong style" match back and forth match which eventually saw CMD win by submission with a move I can't even describe but was quite effective.
Ok forgive me cause my memory sucks but I'm PRETTY sure this was next.....
So...a guy comes into the ring....I didn't hear an announcement and if I did I probably wouldn't have understood it...but the fans apparently knew him well..he was wearing a leather trench coat and a scarf and I jokingly told Rosey he looked like the love child of Tazz and Mickey Henry...and later I heard the fans chant "Taz" so I guess that's what he's going for I think he may have been that "Damon Taz" guy I've read about here and there......anyway he gives a speech about the fact that he's been out injured for a while and lists off all his injuries and mentions something about doing MMA fighting....and starts to trail off about personal problems he's been having when a guy whose dressed to wrestle comes out to the ring and takes the mic and starts cutting a random promo with his back to the "taz" guy....well needless to say he caught a beatdown and was tossed out of the ring......then some rap music started playing and this dude starts dancing like a cracked out chippendale which shockingly got a big pop from the crowd.... Again, you can't knock it if it gets a pop but so far there's been a LOT of talking and angles that seem more suited for tv than just a regular show....we're hoping that changes when they announce we're about to have our first intermission after one official match....and during the intermission they set up a table in the ring.....I have a feeling there's gonna be more talking....(I know this is sounding really negative but I REALLY liked the wrestling portions of the show.....they just needed more of it)
We return for intermission and the we're told we're about to witness a contract signing for next week's Heavyweight title match. First we bring out the ProSouth Heavyweight Champion......Stupid.......Yes, the champion's name is Stupid......I'm willing to overlook that but for whatever reason Stupid and his female manager are in the ring bantering with the crowd for a long time.....A VERY LONG TIME.....Rosey is getting restless as am I as we're an hour in and we've seen one match....Finally the challenger comes out......not knocking the guy but the only way I know to accurately describe him since I didn't take a pic is think Wolfpac Sting with a mohawk.....he has a trenchcoat....cool looking gear and his face painted...now having listened to reaction STUPID got...and now the reaction the challenger got...Stupid is the heel...and this guy is the babyface...which would be fine except for the fact the guy's name is COLLUMBINE?? Your #1 contender top babyface is named after a place where one of the most famous SCHOOL SHOOTINGS took place?? Ok, that's cool....whatever.....Rosey decrees that all will be forgiven if one or the other goes through the table.....doesn't happen.....a good bit more talking setting up the fact the chick will be handcuffed to the ring announcer and we finally get some action when Stupid attacks Collumbine and handcuffs him to the ropes...which causes an old lady in the crowd to completely lose her shit and nearly come over the guard rail....which was pretty awesome....AGAIN, to me it's too "TNA IMPACT" like for a house show...but you can't argue with the fact the rest of the crowd is into it so ....there ya go.
FINALLY MATCH #2-
The six man match.....now again not trying to be an asshole here but I didn't get the names of any of the heels involved and I didn't catch the names of the babyfaces cause of all the folks screaming but I do know one guy's name was Scott cause this guy who had to be drunk screamed it NON STOP for most of the match.
Now...I know I seem to be down on this show but it's merely a difference in booking philosophy...when it came down to the wrestling it was excellent....all the guys had nice looking outfits and were very professional and the matches were quite good with a good mixture of some high spots and some old school psychology such as this match were the two babyfaces came to the ring without their injured partner....they got in some good looking high spots early on that popped the crowd but then were overwhelmed by the odds and the heels got heat on them for a good while before their partner Ace Haven made his way out to the apron for the hot tag.....he came in a "house of fire" and bumped around the heels and looked as though he might win it for his team before getting hit in his "injured" neck by the illegal man and getting pinned. Really good match.....would liked to have seen more like this on the show....but I also understand it's a weekly show which thrives on angles and thus that's why the "regulars" were more into the other stuff than we were.
INTERMISSION #2 while they set up the cage for the MAIN EVENT.
Main Event was a four way #1 contender's cage match....Generally I think cages should be reserved for the blow offs of angles and feuds but I don't know all the back story here so their may be good reason for using it here. Again, didn't get all the names here.....there was Chip Day who I've seen a good bit and is a really good worker...he was accompanied by Jimmy Rave (who some of you may remember from TNA and Ring of Honor.....then there was a guy with dreads who got a good pop from the crowd....a large heel named '13'.....and a guy had a get up on similar to MVP name 'The Bull' or something another.
The cage match was good and I was quite shocked at the outcome as the two I thought would be there at the end were the first two gone and the guy I thought would be out first won....which isn't a bad thing...I like to be intrigued so that was a good thing......The crowd went home happy as they popped big when the 'Bull' won...so all's well that end's well.
Again, I really hope this doesn't come off as all negative cause I would recommend for anyone to go check out the show and we plan to go back again, I just would have preferred to see more wrestling matches on the show as you had 10 guys involved in just two matches and then 4 guys on the show that didn't actually wrestle at all....but again I also understand that a weekly show thrives on angles and the crowd was up for everything all night so they have to be doing something right in their eyes and that's all that matters......like I said before if we had been there week to week I'm sure the other stuff would have been more entertaining for us....but to each their own......everyone has their own preferences and ways of doing things....I would love to get a chance to be the booker of a weekly or bi-weekly show someday to see if I could do it.....or if perhaps my likes and dislikes don't match up to the average rasslin fan......again I would strongly recommend if your ever in the area on a Friday night to go check out ProSouth Wrestling in Piedmont, Alabama.