RD: Rev Ray Duffy, blah blah blah blah blah Worst
PP: Pogo Pete Stein, AKA Mr. Punctual
RD: Prior to the show I meet up with Pete in Jersey City and we head over to Bayonne to meet up with our ride. Pete gets the Christopher Street Connection finisher name waiting to happen called a "Slurp'n'Gulp" which is the combination of the big gulp and a slurpee. It's quite the thermodynamics experiment. The ride is pretty uneventful except for the debate about what was the last name of the sisters in Heart which resulted in a phone call to someone to confirm it.
PP: I bring the puro mags as well as a Japanese baseball magazine going over the history of Japanese baseball uniforms, including the STUPENDOUS Yakult Atoms jersey with Astro Boy on the sleeve. I'm all about the latest advances in Slurpee technology, especially when I can wash them down with a couple of snack sticks. Mmm, supreme pizza in a breadstick... The ride down is fun as we all take turns bumping our CDs. Mary-Kate becomes our hero(ine) as she IDs the Wilson sisters over the phone after our collective brainfart while listening to "Barracuda."
RD: I opt to see my grandparents instead of hanging out at the boardwalk. Due to the arrival time, I got to see them for a half hour before I had to head back to the show. Well, it's the thought that counts. I try to find where the show is hidden on the FunTown Pier. I tried to call up Pete to figure out where he was on the Pier and they asked me to put $5 into the phone for the first minute. Like I've got $5 in quarters laying around. I finally figure out where the show is and we end up with 2nd row seats.
PP: I hit the boardwalk and immediately run into one of my co-workers. Trust me when I say that I did NOT see that one coming. The boardwalk's fun in a dopey, honky tonk townish way as you've got a couple of theme parks on the pier plus a million eateries and bars along the way. I plunk down a buck for one of those games where you shoot a water pistol into the target and win a stuffed dog wearing a derby, a gold chain and smoking a ceegar whom I promptly dub J-Traincito. I get all the way to the end of the pier and walk back along the beach to get my feet wet a bit before I go into the show. I eventually get to the outdoor bar where JAPW is set up and grab a couple of second-row seats opposite the hard camera. These seats are also opposite a giant Ferris wheel and some other carny rides, making this easily the most surreal setup I've ever seen for a wrestling show. It's also right on the beach maybe 50 feet away from the ocean, making for a very pleasant atmosphere. There's a good crowd tonight (about 300), and we all get our money's worth for the visual of the Bald Guy climbing a ladder to the ersatz Crow's Nest. Ray: "I didn't know they tie-dyed the Goodyear blimp!"
RD: At the start of the show they announce that the Shane Brothers had been stripped off the tag belts. Well, so much for the impending dick jokes and match up against Christopher Street Connection.
MATCH 1: AZRIEL vs. EXPLOITED
RD: Azriel is not the Lost Boy from Wildside, he's one of the LIWF/NY guys. I had seen him one time before at one of the JAPW Student shows. He was a lot of more high spot oriented in that match, which is odd since it was in the hall. In the mean time, it looks like he got a Minoru Tanaka tape in the mail as Azriel was busting out the cross armbreaker-centric offense. This was pretty good. There was one or two rough spots, but overall both guys looked good. Azriel did a moonsault press from the top to the floor and Elax hit is tope which was good. Elax suprises the hell out of all of us by continuing his win streak at 2 by hitting his DDT move for the win. The finish sort of looked weird and for some reason, like Azriel really got driven on his face. Post match, Boogalou ran in and gave each of the guys some big suplexes. He also hung someone, I think Elax with the chain post match.
PP: Fun opener. Azrael has a cool gimmick and he looked good working the mat. Elax was Elax.
MATCH 2 : "EXPLOSIVE" EDDIE THOMAS
& TONY LAZARO vs. THE CHRISTOPHER STREET CONNECTION (Buff E & Mace
Mendoza) w/ Allison Danger
RD: I think this is Eddie's first match back from his car accident. I'm not sure why Allison was with the CSC. Mace was wearing quasi football pants which have an obvious case of VPL. Buff hit on guys in the front row, including licking the railing in front of the guy and flipping off the guy's girlfriend. They did their pop confetti bottle thing from the ring too. For the most part, Lazaro takes the pounding for the rookies team. Lazaro and Thomas both looked respectable in this and did hit a nice knee clip/jumping blockbuster move at one point. The CSC did a bunch of their stuff including the clothesline from Idaho in the corner Lazaro by Buff E, the slide across their face with your area by Mace. Eventually, Lazaro gets caught and gets a variation of the Veg-O-Matic where Buff E holds Lazaro out with the low bear hug and Mace jumps off the top over Buff E and onto Lazaro with a vertical splash. I'm leading towards calling that the TeabagTotter or Teabagger Vance. I yelled at Lazaro to close his mouth once I saw Mace going up top. Post match Mace and Buff E tease and then deliver the in ring kiss.
PP: Alison's managed them in the on the odd occasion so I didn't think anything of it. There's a couple of throwbacks giving CSC a ton of heel heat for the gimmick, but they're in the vast minority here as it's impossible to boo them no matter how over the top they go with the gimmick. Buff has everyone dying on our side of the ring as he comes onto the guy and licks the guardrail. The postmatch kiss is hysterical just for Brian XL and the SATs (hanging out at the show) reacting to it.
MATCH 3: JAY LETHAL vs. LOW RIDA
RD: This was originally supposed to be Lethal against Ghost Shadow, which I was really looking forward to. Instead I got Low Rida. This had the look and feel and of something that was sprung at the last moment as there was a bunch of rough spots during this. I've been told that Jay's a big Benoit fan and he busts out the snap suplex and the huge diving headbutt in the match. This was probably the worst Jay match I've seen so far, and not the worst Low Rida match I've seen. I was looking forward to the other match, so maybe that's talking. Lethal won with with something that was sort of like the viagra driver. First he caught Low Rida with Rida's own arm ala Regal's arm trap neck breaker, he bent him down and hooked his other arm through his leg before picking him up and giving him a Michinoku Driver type move. Looked cool.
PP: What I saw of this looked decent, but then again this was the first of two "meal break" matches as I spent this one waiting on line for dinner. Jay looked good from what I saw and I don't hate Low-Rida as much as most other folks for some reason.
MATCH 4: SHANE DOUGLAS vs. BAM
RD: Shane does his usual cursing, taking credit for the business promo. If you've watched any ECW or Indy appearance of Shane Douglas in the last 5 years, you've heard it. Bam Bam has lost a shit load of weight. He's probably under or around 300 pounds now. Hey, Shane's got a cast on his hand. You know, I didn't want to watch an uninjured Shane Douglas 5 years ago. I really don't have any desire to see him in the '02. Hey, the Hit Squad run in and attack Douglas. Bam Bam goes in and the Hit Squad offer him a piece of Douglas, but Bam Bam then knocks the Hit Squad together. Post match, Johnny D says that Bigelow was brought in to take out Douglas for running down the company and that he failed. Shane then all of a sudden has good things to say about Bigelow and seems to be setting up a tag match down the line with the Hit Squad.
PP: Bigelow's dropped so much weight that while I was bumping around the boardwalk taking pictures before the show started, I inadvertently took two pictures of him and didn't even notice him until after I uploaded and enlarged them. He looks like a normal guy now... even with the tattooed head, which of course looks like hair from a distance. Shane essentially tells everyone in the audience and within listening range on the pier that his dick doesn't suck itself with his promo. I decide at that point that I'm in no hurry to get back to my seat, so I enjoy a leisurely dinner as this was the scheduled "break match" all along.
MATCH 5 : STR(I/Y)KER vs. XAVIER
RD: Stryker has gone to regular wrestling tights. At this point, it was getting pretty dark out to the point it was pretty noticible. This was probably my favorite match of the night, aside from one rough armdrag spot, these two worked well together. They also really took it too each other with some stiff elbows. This was a fun match, Xavier was the victim of his usual "AC Slater" chants, I tried to counter with a "Greg Luganis" chant as Mario also did a tv movie as him. I figure you've got to keep it fresh. Xavier hit his pumphandle face first slam move for a 2 and got the win with the 450.
PP: I give up on taking pictures at this point as the sun is down for the night... at this point either the owners of the bar or the JAPW crew do the amazingly great thing of lighting a bunch of tiki torches surrounding the "arena." This was OK, although the non-push of Stryker continues to mystify us.
MATCH 6 : SKINHEAD IVAN w/ The
Sheik vs. AXL ROTTEN
RD : Hey, Ivan's back. And he's with Sheik'n'Play, despite the fact all their promo stuff on their website before Ivan left the fed and after he returned mentioned that Ivan wanted nothing to do with the Sheik. There he is, right in his corner. Yup. Hey, fried cheese sticks, Mmmmmmmm.... artery clogging good. Oh yeah, Axl won with a chairshot. And one for the Sheik. And a bleeding Axl with a profanity laced promo before trying to start a JAP chant. Post match the ring announcer and Hanson try pretty unsuccessfully to wipe Axl's blood off the mic.
MATCH 7: RAINCHILD vs. DIXIE
- JAPW Light Heavyweight Title
RD: Dixie debuted new tights during the show, which was sort of generic light blue with a white stripe down the side. He gets ragged on by the other students to fix his tights so the stripe is lined up right and also gets a "Granny Panties" chant as they appear to be a bit too big as well. This was ok. Rainchild did the really insane shooting star off the post to the floor on Dixie at one point. I'm drawing a blank on this as I was never really in the mood to write this road report. I remember Rainchild trying a shirui type move where he had Dixie set for a neckbreaker and he tried the run up and over to do a DDT that looked really rough looking. Dixie hit some elbows. He hit one Dixie Driver and the fans were chanting for him to hit it again. Dixie set it up again, but dropped Rainchild down and pinned him with a jacknife hold to retain the light heavyweight title.
PP: Rainchild's SSP to the floor was 18 different kinds of crazy, but Dixie does a good job of reeling him in afterwards. You can tell he's having fun with the crowd out there as at one point he starts working over Rainchild's legs to ground him while loudly explaining to the fans that he's "using psychology!"
MATCH 8: SLYK WAGNER BROWN w/
April Hunter vs. HOMICIDE for the JAPW Heavyweight Title
RD : Homicide is still sporting the Shadow WX paint. I've noticed he's also picked up a lot of the little Japanese style things, like the Japanese clap- clap-call for applause move. This was pretty good. Homicide teased the dive on one side of the ring early on, but April pulled his leg to prevent it. Later in the match, Homicide hits the dive on our side of the ring. The finish to the match is Slyk going for a moonsault and missing it, as he was getting up, Homicide hit him with the Shining Wizard. Post match, Slyk lays out Homicide with a few plastic chair shots before J Train runs in for the save. Slyk tries to cut a promo but the mic/speakers kept getting cut off. Post match, J Train and Homicide do the J Train dance.
PP: This was probably my favorite match of the night. For a moment we get transplanted to Arena Mexico as Homicide dumps Slyk on our side and yells for everyone to clear out, at which point the first 5 rows part like the Red Sea for Homicide to do a tope on Slyk. His Shining Wizard (Shining Gangsta?) totally smokes Mutoh's at this point.
MATCH 9: THE HIT SQUAD (Monsta
Mack & Mafia) w/ Johnny D vs. WASTED YOUTH (Insane Dragon & Deranged)
vs. JAY & MARK BRISCOE - JAPW Tag Team Titles (vacant)
RD: They had a local DJ do the intros for this. He had two girls with him to hold the belts and Pete makes jokes about them being the JAPW equivalent of the NJPW Belt girls. Johnny D has his pic taken with the girls and the belts. I think Deranged grabbed one of their asses. This started out with one of the Briscoes and Wasted Youth in ring. Both sides go back and forth for a bit before Monsta or Mafia says "enough of this wrestling" and then run in and attack both guys, leading to the literal Peir 6 brawl. I remember one spot with I think Dragon and I think Mark fighting against I think Monsta. Each hit an enzugiri on Monsta from opposite sides, but he didn't go down, so they hit a double one. They fight into the crowd and use the rental truck to throw each other into a few times, trying to insure they lose the deposit on the truck. Wasted Youth climb up the truck and both dive off onto both guys. In ring, they set up some stuff. At one point, Jay hit the J-Driller on Deranged for a near fall, but I'm pretty sure someone made the save. Jay sets up the move again, but as he's holding Deranged upside down, Mafia charges and spears Deranged knocking both guys down. The finish has Hanson taking a bump, with Hanson down, Monsta Mack hits all 4 guys with the Fire Thunder/Greetings from Asbury Park. After doing it, Bam Bam Bigelow runs in and hits Monsta and Mafia with the move, laying them both out. Referee Paul Turner ran in at some point during this, with the Hit Squad down, Jay Briscoe and Insane Dragon roll over and both pin one of the Hit Squad as Turner and Hanson both count a pin. We get the refs arguing over who the winner is before they declare the champs to be Jay Briscoe and Insane Dragon. I don't think anyone was happy as the crowd was chanting "Let them fight." Mark Briscoe argues with Jay as Jay leaves, Deranged and Dragon get into a shoving match before Dragon leaves and the Hit Squad recover and beat up Deranged some more before leaving. I really don't know what putting the titles on Jay and Dragon accomplishes. Wasted Youth, for the most part are a new team (I think they offically formed in Feb) and they're breaking them up. Plus, the Briscoes are just back on the scene. Judging from the website, it's Jay and Dragon v. Mark and Deranged on the next show, which I imagine will result in the Hit Squad running in and beating up the whole lot of them. I really think they should have just had them go to a final fall to get the belts on and established team.
RD: Post matches we hang around waiting for our ride. I play some old school video games and boy, am I out of practice. I really sucked at Paperboy, I didn't get past Piston Hurricane on Punch Out, but I did blow up the Death Star twice on Star Wars. It's back to pinball for me. And I got to add to my NASCAR Collectors cups as Checkers brings me the Ricky Rudd cup. Overall thoughts, the show wasn't terrible, but it wasn't really spectacular either. The next show is August 10th with Corino v. Lawler, which sounds interesting if Jerry decides to be Memphis beating up Dundee Jerry and not horny old man Jerry. Ah, who am I kidding, I'm probably going to see anyway.
PP: This was an OK show... nothing really stood out, but there was nothing bad on it either. Post-show we hit the arcade after we get our group together for the trip back. I see J-Train talking with a friend, walk up behind him with J-Traincito and mime the similarities to his friend who loses it. J-Train turns around, sees 'Cito and cracks up as well. Later I cut my pinball chops on an old-school "Hercules" pinball, which at SEVEN FEET TALL was the largest table ever produced for the mass-market. How big is this sucker? Well, the pinball in the game is a CUEBALL. Nevertheless, I pick up a couple of free games on this bad-boy and give the credits away as we're getting ready to take off. It should be noted that with all of the JAPW crewmembers hanging out this was almost like JAPW FanFest. "Look, there's Kimberly running around looking for Dixie! Hey, Bald Guy's kicking ass on that Tapper game!" We finally get the show on the road and I can already see Ray formulating plans to get the Kyle Petty cup at the next show. I eventually get dropped off in Newark by the tube and head down to the first platform... at which point I realize that the trains are all stopping and departing from the other platform. AND THERE'S MY TRAIN NOW! I hit Mach 2 running up the escalator, across the hall and down the other escalator to make it by .065473154 seconds, and somehow I get home before 2 in the morning.