Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lawler vs Riviera Report from Texas by Steve Crawford

----Steve Crawford was live at the big event last night, 

On Saturday night, New Millennium Wrestling presented “Royal Pains” in Balch Springs, Texas, featuring WWE Hall of Fame member Jerry  “The King” Lawler.  It was my first trip to Balch Springs.  It’s like my hometown of Rector, Arkansas.  Without the glamour.

Approximately 200 people at the event, including the WWE “Sign Guy” and former World Class Championship Wrestling referee David Manning.

Opening bout was for the Tag Team Championship.  The Apocalypse (not Mike Boyette – whew, how inside is that joke?) and “Mr. Saturday Night” Michael Barry defended against “The Big Time Playaz” – Scott McKenzie and Danny Matthews ( I always worry about a nickname like “Mr. Saturday Night.”  It seems to portend bad luck from Sunday morning until Saturday afternoon).  Match started off too choreographed and spot oriented, but developed into a good bout.  McKenzie did the extended selling/ Rick Morton/”can I get a hot tag” portion of the match.  Apocalypse threw some brutal chops.  Match ended with a superkick and frog splash on Barry; Playaz became new champions.   Not great, but probably the best match of the night.

Next came the obligatory WWE influenced extended skit.  Jerry Lawler and Matt Riviera came out to plug their match.  Lawler called Riviera “the who’s who of who cares.”  In reference to manager Rich Rude, Lawler plumbingly stated, “The last time I saw something that look like that, I flushed it.”  New Millenium’s General Manager, Kyle Davis, then entered the ring.  Davis said that Lawler cost him a lot of money by not winning the WWE title.  He said that Lawler wouldn’t be in the main event and that he was sending him out to the parking lot.  Lawler asked the crowd if they would all go to the parking lot with him.  Yes, indeed, the crowd replied.  Lawler then asked if everyone would ask for a refund.  Another affirmative response.  A brief melee ensured with an angry Davis leaving the ring.  I pondered whether these two gentlemen’s paths would cross later in the evening. 

Franco “The Beast” D’Angelo over Wally Darkman.  Big man/little man match with Darkman (our little man) hitting “The Beast” with a cane before the bout.  D’Angelo hit a brutal looking powerbomb for the pin.  Other than that, not much to see here, folks.

The “Texas Legend” Action Jackson pinned Danny Saint.  Long time fans may remember Action Jackson from the dying days of WCCW and a brief run in Memphis.  Jackson got a big pop for his entrance.  Pretty much a squash match with Jackson working extremely stiff.  Danny Saint took a vicious body slam onto the thin mat outside the ring.  After the match, Action Jackson was attacked by manager Lance Romance and his entourage, including several chair shots to Jackson’s arm.

Double count out between Brandon Collins and Mace Malone.  Brandon must have overslept in the tanning bed this week - the crowd’s best moment of the night was chanting “you need sunblock” at him.  Both of these guys have good athletic builds, but the match was a series of spots with no psychology.  If Mace never throws a worked punch again, the world will be a better place.  Spot of the night was a 180 flip off the top rope by Collins.

Jerry Lawler over Matt Riviera.  Matt came out wearing the old school, flashy robe with “Lover Boy” on the back.  Pretty much a comedy match with liberal interference from manager Rich Rude.  At one point, Lawler did the 10 punches on the turnbuckle routine.  Matt then stumbled to the next corner, where Lawler again did 10 punches.  Repeat, wash, and rinse this spot until all four corners are covered.  Riviera’s offense was limited to kicks/punches and he did a lot of posing, overselling, and the coward heel routine.  G.M. Kyle Davis came out after a ref bump (the ghost of Jerry Calhoun’s wrestling shirt invades DFW) and Riviera hit Lawler with a briefcase for a three count.  That pretty much stunned the crowd.  Then the second ref came out, restarted the match and Lawler won quickly with a schoolboy.  After the match, Mr. Davis received a well executed pile driver from the royal visitor.

Wasn’t a great wrestling card, but the crowd had a good time.  Lawler was extremely over and these events are nice little slices of Americana.

Next month, the Iron Sheik will be wrestling for New Millennium in Balch Springs.  Look at USA now.