----Goodman with a report.
Eight days into the new year, NWA Anarchy held Season’s Beatings, traditionally the major show for the fourth quarter of the year. The calendar was one of many things that didn’t go Anarchy’s way in 2010, a year that many of those closest to the situation would just as soon leave behind in so far as wrestling at the NWA Arena in Cornelia, GA.
An owner stretched too thin to have a moment to breath, much less the time it takes to be a pro wrestling promoter, the loss of many talented members of the roster, haphazard booking, particularly after the departure of Bill Behrens from the creative process, combined to really do a number on Anarchy this year. Truth be told, it’s my belief that the malaise permeating pro wrestling in general is a bigger culprit in Anarchy’s state of affairs than any of the above.
At the show three weeks ago, Palmer announced that the company was up for sale. He expressed high hopes of securing a buyer, but either way, as of Hardcore Hell 2011, he was done as an owner.
Attendance at last night’s show was 105, the lowest for a major show in the building’s 12 year history.
There are reasons for optimism, however. For one, Behrens is back to head up creative. If this the next three months is the last hurrah, well, it’s a lock to be a major improvement over the recent past. Behrens’ presence translates to an instant upgrade in the talent level, and the booking is bound to reflect attention to detail, focus and consistency. Already, there was more forward thinking evident in things being explicitly announced for the next show.
Getting back to last night, the circus was definitely in town – two title changes, an earth shattering turn by a major heel, and no less than seven acts made unadvertised returns including a minor RPW invasion. The work in the ring was as good as it’s been in a while.
The crowd showed mad passion for a few big moments, but only one match that had truly sustained heat. The electric atmosphere that for me is so much a part of big show night in Cornelia was absent. It’s a senior crowd, in the sense that the fan base has dwindled down to the longtime, hardcore fans. They’ve seen all the tricks, and they are not easily moved. The vitality seems to have been largely sucked out of them.
Speaking of heat, it’s a well known fact that the NWA Arena isn’t equipped with any. With temperatures in the 20s, the chill factor in the building certainly didn’t help matters as the night wore on. And it was long show ending after 11pm. There were at best 90 in the crowd when the main event went into the ring.
Palmer opened the show by advising the crowd not to sweat his departure as promoter. He then introduced the excellent video David Marquez put together as a tribute to all the wrestling great that passed away during 2010. Palmer gave props to the NWA Anarchy folks that were voted winners in the 2010 Georgia Wrestling Awards (see notes below).
Out came Jeremy Vain wearing the Rampage Pro Wrestling TV title belt. Vain said he didn’t miss a damn thing about the place and was glad to be free from Palmer and with a real company with real talent. Vain offered Palmer $1 for Anarchy. Palmer noted the gold that Vain was wearing, and introduced the man he’s been avoiding at RPW as his opponent. Enter the returning Adrian Hawkins to an impressive pop.
(1) Adrian Hawkins beat RPW Television Champion Jeremy Vain in a non-title match (8:10). Vain jumped the bell. Hawkins recovered quickly, though, and busted out an Asai moonsault. Vain spit on Hawkins and used his anger against him to get the advantage. The crowd, which was hot at the start, got quiet as Vain worked the neck. Hawkins hit his patented springboard back elbow and nipped up. Hawkins got a near fall with a german suplex. Hawkins was ready to pounce with the Unprettier, but Vain blocked it and hit the VKO. Vain announced he was going to end it with the DDT, and Hawkins hooked him with an inside cradle. A solid opener.
The Reverend Dan Wilson and his Hate Junkies joined Greg Hunter in the ring. The Reverend had been lobbying to make the Anarchy tag title match a three way affair. Announcer Greg Hunter said the NWA Board of Directors had agreed to give to give the Junkies a title shot…just not tonight. Junkies faked leaving, then attacked the champions and challengers. Junkies left Dustin Knight for dead with a massive superbomb.
(2) Andrew Alexander & Billy Buck beat Youth Gone Wild (Anthony Henry & Dustin Knight) in a 2 out of 3 falls match to retain the NWA Anarchy Tag Team Championship in 9:05. The story of Alexander and Buck as an odd couple championship team has become one of the best things Anarchy has going for it. They’ve stepped up their games as have YWG and Junkies, and the tag matches among them have been have been a Godsend in a promotion struggling to find talent to carry main event spots. Unlike his partner, Alexander has no qualms about doing whatever to win, which he demonstrated by pinning the fallen Knight in 22 seconds. The champions continued to work on Knight. He finally managed a tag, and Henry surprised Alexander with a jackknife cradle to win the second fall at 4:35. The action picked up in the third fall. Henry ended a hot sequence with a sweet bridging german suplex on Buck. Henry then hit a top rope double stomp on Alexander only to find Buck waiting with a Samoan drop. Knight used his flying neckbreaker to drop Buck in his tracks, only have Alexander put the Kibosh (Zig Zag) on him. Alexander covered but ref Dee Byers ruled Knight wasn’t legal. Alexander went for the piledriver on Henry who reversed into the Texas Cloverleaf. Alexander was on the verge of tapping when Buck had his fall from grace, a superkick to the mush that made Henry easy pickings for Alexander. YWG begrudgingly gave the champions their due. Good match. The dynamic between Alexander and Buck needed to spelled out more clearly though.
Hate Junkies vs. Alexander & Buck was announced for January 22.
Rave Approved showed up in the form of Mike Posey & Corey Hollis. They put a still of the entire foursome (add Jimmy Rave and Chip Day) up on the big screen. They explained how Rave had saved them and he could save them as well. They issued on open challenge, which was answered by New Wave. Nice pop. Derrick Driver is now sporting a Jesus Christ like beard. Posey tried to put them under Rave’s spell. Walters said they didn’t need saving, but they were going to save Cornelia from two of the biggest jackasses ever.
(3) New Wave (Steven Walters & Derrick Driver) beat Rave Approved (Corey Hollis & Mike Posey) in 14:55. New Wave dominated until Walter made the mistake of turning his attentions to Posey on the apron and got hotshotted by Hollis. Rave Approved got heat on Walters. Driver took the hot tag and hit a split-leg moonsault for two. New Wave tried for the Unskinny Bop, but Posey broke it up. Rave Approved hit a top rope combo on Driver, but Walters made the save. Hollis attempt at Rave’s Dusk ‘Til Dawn was a no go. New Wave then hit the Unskinny Bop for the win.
(4) The Dog Collar match between Shadow Jackson and Seven (with Attorney Jeff G. Bailey) ended as a no contest at 12:20 when Nemesis attacked Jackson. Seven looked the like the real deal as the latest of Bailey’s indestructible monsters. He advanced dramatically under the Reverend’s tutelage in Nashville, and the pairing with Bailey has taken him to another level. Bailey insisted on being the one to put the collar on his guy, but it proved to be just another of his sly diversions. Seven attacked Jackson. Bailey then wrapped the chain around his fist and punched Jackson in the face before applying the collar. Seven gave Jackson a brutal beating. Jackson bled a little. Bailey was ecstatic. The crowd was relatively quiet. That’s when Bailey worked his magic. He’s not the seven time Georgia manager of the year for nothing. He got under the people’s skin something fierce, and majorly picked up the crowd intensity without taking the focus off the match. Jackson’s comeback attempt ended in a complete collapse, but a series of low blows severely slowed Seven’s momentum. Jackson hit the 1031 and was just beginning to hulk up when he was jumped by Nemesis.
Bailey’s men decimated Jackson. Bailey said there would be some slow singin’ and flower bringin’, because Jackson was going to an early grave. Out came the guest of honor, NWA National Champion Phil Shatter. As Shatter was about to deliver the death blow, he attacked Seven instead. The place exploded with the loudest pop of the night by far. Shatter and Jackson drove Seven and Nemesis out of the ring, and capped it off by clocking Bailey, who took a bump off the apron, producing a pop almost as large as the first. Shatter relished the moment. He said the truth came to him during his two months away and he didn’t need Bailey. Shatter said it was he who Bailey and Bailey was nothing without him. Unquestionably, this segment was the high point of the evening.
Jackson & Shatter vs. Seven & Nemesis was announced for January 22 per Palmer’s orders.
(5) Todd Sexton won the Lucky 7 Rumble in 12:50 to earn a title shot of his choosing. Johnny Dangerous won a 20 man Higher Ground Battle Royal at the December 20 show to earn the final spot in the Lucky 7. The goofy thing was that participants that were presumably already in the Lucky 7 wound up doing the Higher Ground match anyway. Jacob Ashworth, Dangerous, and Jacoby Boykins (give him a pair of pointy boots and he could pass for Abdullah the Butcher Jr.) were the first three to be eliminated. At this point, the returning Sexton became the last man to enter. Skirra Korvus pulled the ropes down on Lane Vasser. The spot was botched, so Andrew Pendleton III gave Vasser an assist. What is up with those gloves Vasser wears? Sexton got Korvus in the Texas Cloverleaf (Henry’s signature submission) and APIII saved. APIII duped Korvus into thinking they were going to work together and dumped him out. Down the final two, it the match became victory by pinfall or submission only. Sexton submitted APIII with the Lebell Lock. There were a good 10-15 people that loved this finish. The rest could not have cared less. Sexton looked sharp in the ring. That wasn’t the issue. For a promotion that desperately needs to build new stars, putting anybody else over would have made more sense.
(6) In a match with both singles titles on the line, Shaun Tempers & Young Lion’s Champion Bo Newsom beat NWA Anarchy TV Champion Brodie Chase & Slim J when Tempers pinned Chase to win the Anarchy TV Championship at 15:10. Interesting to note that Chase and J came out to Chase’s entrance music, when J’s music always gets one of the best pops. Tempers “Temptation” persona continues to be most awesome. J’s star was shining brightly early on. J fought off Tempers interference, but the lag time gave Newsom a chance to duck under his flying reverse DDT. J became the babyface-in-peril. Bo hit a cool move where he countered J’s tornado DDT with a brainbuster suplex. A Screwdriver on the Rocks set up the hot tag that the ref didn’t see. J finally made a leaping, diving tag. Chase hit the Thunder Fire Powerbomb on Bo for a near fall. Tempers hit a bridging Northern Lights suplex on Chase for a near fall – uber impressive because it was textbook execution on a very large man. Referee Byers got distracted by J’s corkscrew dive onto Bo. At least that’s what was supposed to happen. Time stood still. Tempers sprayed Chase in the face with “Temptation” to become the new TV champion. Really good match except for the timing on the finish.
Postmatch, Tempers and Newsom struck a pose holding both belts. J vs. Newsom in a no DQ match for the Young Lion’s Title was announced for January 22. In addition, Young Lion’s Division wrestlers will serve as lumberjacks.
(7) Tank beat Mikael Judas (with Cid Istic) to win the NWA Anarchy Heavyweight Championship in 9:40. Heavy “Bozo” chants directed at Istic. Regardless of the merits or drawbacks of Istic’s British clown gimmick, I always came away feeling like his presence took something away from Judas as champion. Tank got the first blow in. He didn’t get many more. Judas kicked him in the back of the head and tried to concuss him with his fists. Tank absorbed enormous punishment. Judas mocked him. The crowd wasn’t feeling it much. They had been down this road many times before. The big spot was Judas hitting El Crucifijo (crucifix powerbomb). Good God, Judas is strong because he launched a 350 pound man. It was not a pleasant landing. Tank kicked out. That got the crowd going. Judas was in shock. He paced the ring. Judas went for a choke slam. Tank went for the chokebreaker. Tank won the battle of goozle holds to hit his finisher and win the top prize for the first time in his 10 year career in Cornelia. I wished it had taken place in front of larger, more enthusiastic crowd. Fans tortured Istic with a “Bozo sucks” chant that sent him scurrying out the front door.
NOTES: To update the status of the sale of NWA Anarchy: The process is ongoing. There are already enough viable offers on the table to make a shutdown of the promotion highly unlikely. Palmer is distributing a folder with all the pertinent information regarding the sale to prospective buyers. Interested parties still have an opportunity to get a piece of the action via email at firstname.lastname@example.org…Notables in the house last night included Platinum Championship Wrestling owner Stephen Platinum, Jay Fury, UGA linebacker Chase Vasser, Murder, One, (one half of the best tag team in Georgia for 2010) and Josh Wheeler, M-1’s collaborator in Aktion ProWrestling Group, set to debut in Phenix City, Al on February 12…Anarchy talent honored in the 2010 Georgia Wrestling Awards voting included Jackson for Best Performer (2nd consecutive year), Bailey for best manager (seven out of eight) and Hunter (third straight) for best announcer…Hunter’s status as play-by-play announcer is uncertain at this point. He’s on the fence due to the crap that happens in life…Orion Bishop is taking time off from Anarchy. Bishop, Posey and Hollis are booked for Ring of Honor in Charlotte on January 15…of Profits of Doom (Dany Only & Andrew Pendleton III with Enoch Tsarion) are bookee for PCW at the Masquerade in Atlanta on January 27…Shatter defends the NWA National Title vs. former champion Chance Prophet for NWA Vintage in New Deptford, NJ on January 15…Slim J was our special guest on the January 3 edition “Phoning It In” along with the announcement of the 2010 Georgia Wrestling award winners (with the help of Bailey and Tank). Listen to the show [url= http://blogtalk.vo.llnwd.net/o23/show/1/450/show_1450419.mp3]here[/url]. And to recap matches already announced for January 18 at the NWA Arena: Champions Andrew Alexander & Billy Buck vs. Hate Junkies (Dany Only & Stryknyn with Reverend Dan Wilson) for the NWA Anarchy Tag Team Titles; Champion Bo Newsom vs. Slim J for the Young Lion’s Title – no DQ with Lion’s Division wrestlers as lumberjacks; Phil Shatter & Shadow Jackson vs. Seven & Nemesis (with Jeff G. Bailey).