MH: This was a long day. Up at 8 AM to get the oil change and assorted other stuff done to the car so that it holds up for another foray into Richmond, then catch the first half of Arsenal/Southampton and ManUre United/Newcastle, then off to see a friend play her last club match of the season (She’s a D-Mid. They lost. The ref was utter shit.), *then* heading back to the pub for Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, before getting underway to Chez Dean. This presents a domino-esque bottleneck as the Barcelona Soccer Hooligans hold up the match for a good 20 minutes by deciding to throw bottles filled with half-consumed soft drinks and God knows what else at Luis Figo. So, this hold-up translate into my getting underway later than planned, which plops me right into not one, but TWO traffic jams on I-95 on the way down. On a Saturday night. Dammit. I finally get down there and all the guys are nice enough to wait up for me. Aw, shucks. I climb into SatanPro’'s truck and we are off.
PP: I decide to cement my status as a mutant by FLYING down to Richmond for the show... the fact that US Airways was offering a flight for $50 LESS than Amtrak held no small sway in the matter. Ironically, I go out of my way to pack light and just take one carry-on bag... which leads to me getting searched at the gate. We're an hour late getting out of LGA as there had been "mechanical difficulties" (gulp) on the previous trip, but the flight is quick and uneventful. Just the way I like 'em. Dean meets me at the gate with his girls and we make the quick jaunt to his place to drop my bag and so I can gawk at his youngest Rodney, World's Largest Infant. I finally get the McLean's treatment for brunch as we both gorge ourselves on food, then we pass the time by hitting a couple of indoor flea markets and go "thrifting" as Dean put it. Lots of tres cool stuff at both places (including a swanky "Funhouse" pinball machine)... and some things of a questionable cultural nature at the first one we went to. I mean the framed picture of Hattie McDaniel from GWTW was actually a very nice photo and I would've ponied up the money for it if I wasn't trying to limit myself. Then you had the old mementos like the "WE CATER WHITE TRADE ONLY" sign, but even that didn't bother me so much as there are plenty of black people out there who collect that type of stuff. But then you have the military dude selling the old Virginia Air National Guard patches (falcon in the foregroud, stars-n-bars background), which were "removed by Virginia's first BLACK GOVERNOR, Douglas Wilder." The sign didn't describe him as "one of them uppity nigras," but I guess it could've been implied. We eventually meander back to the house, watch cartoons on the couch with the girls and Angie sets us all up with a fajitas dinner until [mul]DOOMSTONE shows up and we head outside to wait. The Pro shows up in the Otakumobile and we wait until Cel finally shows up at belltime. Which is all well and good, except we're still at Dean's house and the rassling is across town.
DR: Pete is the FUCKING KING by flying from New York to see an indie card and I am stoked to pick him up. Me n the younguns watch the planes land. My 5 year old is very excited at seeing all the planes while my 3 year old gets really into spitting on whatever she can see. Including daddy. At McLean's, I tell Pete about the history of me -n- the grease-coated diner- you useta go there after you drink yourself to death and if you wanted to sleep with your waitress, your blood alcohol level is probably fixing to explode your heart. They now have hot waitresses and it ruins the allure. I had the Biggest Breakfast In Town (dubbed Biggest By-Pass In Town by young Mr Stein.) and Pete had the fabulous Broad Street Special. We spend the rest of the trip to the Thrift Store District wondering what the fuck is going on in our collective stomach and if the action in the ring could be any faster and more furious than what ate trying to escape our digestive tract. The second thriftstore had the awwwwwwwesome bookstore that I could have wasted an entire paycheck on old NFL books alone. The first thrift store had the White Aryan Nation vibe to two of it's stores and I forget to say to Pete, "Welcome to the South, Motherfucker." That's just peckerwoods stuck in the past. The second thriftstore was the REAL New South with a gay annoucer on the PA announcing sales in English and Spanish.
MH: We arrive at the school and there’s no ticket-taker. This could present a problem. Turns out to be Kim, who I had not yet had the opportunity to meet. I surprisingly manage to have exact change. As Pete, SatanPro and I get our tickets, Tommy Logan ambles over for a chat, glowering at us whilst asking about 500 positioning and Preston Quinn. SatanPro quickly points at Pete and I and then scrambles under a table. We let Tommy know that that'’s why we'’re here, as Dean needs another set of eyes watching this stuff sometimes. Another set of eyes unclouded by medicine, that is. We run into Zhixel and Mack, who always adds to the occasion.
PP: I was amused as Tommy *and* Preston Quinn were both kibitzing away with us here, ignoring the egregious breach in Southern kayfabe. Jim Crockett would not be pleased.
DR: Me -n- mulDOOMSTONE pick up Steve who has never been to a wrestling match before and he keeps saying what a big old time he had. We get to the community center just in time to have Tommy Logan browbeat me for leaving him off the 500. I saw Tommy Logan lean into an unpulled stop sign shot from Magic in Harrisonburg so imagine my chagrine. Luckily, I realize he is mostly just working me and not going to actually punch me in the throat. He talks shit about Preston Quinn so I know he isn't going to rip my eye out or something. Sean Lei walks by and they loudly make fun of PQ by calling him "PU" and I know this will be a fabulous night of Southern wrestling as the kayfabe is in full effect the way it should be.
ROBERT ROYAL vs. CHINO MARTINEZ
MH: Well, we missed this, due to my getting to Richmond late. I am normally loathe to miss any parts of shows, but this was unavoidable. However, I take no blame for this - blame the Barcelona Soccer Hooligans. Actually, blame Luis Figo for moving to Real Madrid from Barcelona, thus pissing off said Hooligans. Yeah. It’s all Figo’s fault.
PP: Having seen Chino on many an occasion, I question Cel's assertion that we "missed" any of this. Cel continues to drop as many soccer names as possible to disguise the fact that a year ago he couldn't tell Figo from Hido.
DR: I've seen the other two of the best of seven match and I wanted to see as many as I could. Royal is getting weirdly improved over the last couple months. Chino Martinez is perfectly fine.
TOMMY LOGAN vs. IDOL X
MH: Early on, a slingshot spot goes wrong, and I wonder about Tommy’'s back. He seems to get it back together pretty soon thereafter, though. Idol’'s a fine enough worker, but this match isn'’t quite there for some reason. Actually, maybe the ref is making me think this, as he could have been better in a couple of spots in this match, leaving himself in position to see Tommy’'s brass knucks showing that leads to the pin. Tommy Young would have found a way to be knocked out before the knucks came into play. But I digress. After the slingshot spot, this become a fine vehicle to get Logan installed as the #1 contender to Quinn'’s NWA-VA titles. He is quite the cheating bastard, though. I should note that Pete and I began our ritual of exchanging witty banter at wrestling shows here.
PP: The entrances are funny all night long- as the wrestlers have to share the same entrance as the fans since they're apparently using one of the side rooms as a locker, so I think every match had an instance of a fan inadvertently walking out to someone's theme music. Here, Tommy gets introduced and who "comes out" to his music? Dean, Super Heel. Tommy did himself no favors at the start of the match with the aforementioned monkey-flip spot gone awry, but both guys recovered nicely and this turned into a fine little match before Tommy used the Power of The Punch to get the victory. Postmatch Tommy calls out Fighting Commissioner Rob Hoffmann, but nothing comes of it.
DR: Hoffman is such a pansy. WHERE WAS THE LARIAT? Ref ruined this as Cel said. X crushes Logan's head by overshooting on a second rope legdrop and seemed the whole match was off. I'm far more excited about Logan back in a deathmatch as I hoping that Phil Brown vs Logan can approximate the fun that was Magic vs Logan.
PHIL BROWN vs. CHRIS ESCOBAR
MH: Dean was excited about this, telling me to just wait until Escobar starts throwing punches. He eventually got a nice punch off, but his overall performance was the story here. He bumped his ass off and made Brown look like a million bucks. Not that Phil is bad or anything, and he does have the “Cheer for me or I’ll kick your ass” look down cold, but Escobar was the story here as the bumping, conniving heel. Cheating does not prosper here though, as Brown catches Escobar with a top rope Rydeen Bomb to retain the VCW Heavyweight title. Dean says that this is like Escobar’s seventh match. If so, I’m even more impressed.
PP: Escobar is awesome as the pint-sized heel who mortgages his career to make Phil Brown look like a total kingpin. Phil is fine here, but Escobar totally makes the match as he bumps and sells like a fiend, particularly on the finish.
DR: Man, if Escobar would follow me n Cel n SatanPro's training and eating routine, he could gain that 100 pounds he needs to totally take over wrestling. He is SOO fucking good for a guy just out the gates. His punches rule, his ability to piss off an entire community center is light years ahead what you would expect. Plus, he will go the extra mile to die for your pleasure- especially here at the finish where he is fucking ANNIHILATED by a toprope Rydeen Bomb. The cool part about the match is that when Escobar was on offense he worked over Brown's knee with fun elbow drops and what have you. Brown sold it all the way to the back and you got to love that. Escobar is the US Rookie Of The Year so far, I'd say.
SONJAY DUTT vs. STEVE PEREZ
MH: Dutt gets on my good side from the jump by using a Rakim song as his theme music (remix of “Addictive” because I knew you were curious). And then he starts working. He looked good here as the fired-up babyface who jumps around a lot. Perez is a good heel, as he gives off “Sleaze” quite effortlessly. Nice back-and-forth match which Dutt wins with a Red Star Press? Bombay Star Press? Red Sitar Press?
PP: Cel steals the Red Sitar Press joke from me like a THIEF IN THE NIGHT~! Both of these guys look good as Sonjay does most of the pitching with Perez doing the catching. Sonjay has all of the flashy offense a guy can love with the RSP as well as a hot tope atomico to the floor on Perez.
DR: Perez I've seen a few times and he is PROBLEMATIC, usually. Here he looked fine and pretty fired up. Dutt was the key to the match though as he kept the crowd in it with Old School Southern Techniques of getting the crowd behind him and worked well off Perez being a dick. Dutt started off the festivities right with the ENOURMOUS somersault plancha off the Ringpost (OH! The Atomico up there...). I think they kicked out of a few too many things but Dutt is 2 for 2 live in Community Centers and I wanna see more.
MH: We stretch our legs for a bit while the workers sell Polaroids. Ryan goes off to get (even more) shitfaced, I go for a snack. Let’s see, nope, don’t eat pork anymore so no hot dogs - and they’re out of cheese for the nachos, which is probably just as well, as the cheese was probably left over from the arena concessions when Blackjack Mulligan worked Greg Valentine in the Richmond Coliseum in 1978. So, I go with an apple pretzel. Basic stuff, I just wanted something in my stomach that wasn’t going to fuck me up too much. I get back and the boys are talking to Commisioner Hoffman. I give Rob my idea for a sure-fire angle, but no one takes me up on it. I’m tellin' ya, Dean would be over huge as Rob’s Evil Twin Brother, Dutch Hoffman.
PP: Rob no-sells my angle as well, that Rob is the secret DVDVR czar and that there is no Dean Rasmussen. C'MON! You mean it's mere coincidence that Hoffmann is hitting Western Lariats on Tommy Logan while at the same time, "Dean Rasmussen" extolls the wonders of Preston Quinn to the world? That angle is BUTTER. I have an orange soda from the concessions stand and consider the apple "pritzle" (as it was spelled on the ersatz menu), but Cel beats us to it. Steve Perez zeroes in on Zhixel and heels away on "Goth Boy" everytime the poor lad tries to walk by him. "Hot Topic! Gadzooks! Hot Topic! Gadzooks!" Perez does my ICSC-employed heart proud by pimping the hot Gen-X fashion retailers. Logan comes over and chats us up some more to the point where I wish I'd gone to the NWA-NY shows before they went out of business.
DR: I'm far too old to understand Perez's insults to young Zhixel and I weep inside at my utter unhipness. mulDOOMSTONE was sooo not drunk when we got there and the two shots of JACK and the beer didn't make his belligerent wisecracks any less fun. I lament the fact that we weren't at a bar show so I could hear mDS scream those words I love to hear : "YOUR MOTHER IS A WHORE!" because it means we are drunk at a wrestling match at a bar En Lieu, we clean it up for the kids and groove to vibe of the wrestling. I have a hot dog and it is soooo no match for an angry, half-digested Biggest Breakfast In Town that raking it's hot dog face across the acid-coated inner lining of my stomach. I get a purple cold drank and fear for my continency. Me n Hoffman are both equally appalled at anyone suggesting that we are as much of a hideous looking freak as the other.
DIRTY MONEY/KORIE JAMES w/Kameo
vs. MAGIC/UNBREAKABLE GREG STEEL
MH: Shame Suba couldn’t get down here for the show. I think he’d have been a hit with the crowd of kids here what with the chewing shoes and whatnot. Dirty Money's a fine heel, and Magic works far better as a babyface than I’d have thought he would. Great Southern tag match. (I’'d have never bought Magic as a hot tag recipient, but there it was). The Untouchables cheat to win, as Dirty nails Steel with one of their tag belts to retain. I have to give extra praise to Kameo for managing to no-sell our sleazy asses. I think Ryan busted out a wolf whistle at some point while offering up his email address. With that short skirt, I was figuring that we'd get a look at her Members Premium Area at some point, but she thought enough to wear stockings, which concealed her naughty bits. Not that I was looking all that hard or anything. If nothing else, I would have been perfectly happy with her coming over and working for the dollar bills that Pete and I were waving at her, but no such luck.
PP: They shoot an angle before the match with Logan coming out to stalk Hoffmann some more over the #1 contendership, then to take out Phil Brown with the knucks as well as the female EMT Zhixel was lusting over throughout the show. Tommy does this great thing with his head as he's playing psycho that makes him look like a dog that's just heard a strange noise for the first time. Tommy takes a powder and Brown calls him out for some sort of gimmick match at the next show, then lights out after him as well... only to take a seat on the stage for the rest of the night. As for the match proper, I have no problem buying Magic taking the hot tag as he probably doesn't have Steele's cardio, and he's been a face in JAPW for as long as I can remember. JIMINY CHRISTMAS was that a short skirt on Kameo. I don't remember much of the match as this was the Lonely Hearts Dream Match on the card with her out there. The finish was really good as Kameo tried to go after Steele with one of the tag belts, but this was just meant to distract the ref as Money hits Steele with the other belt for the pinfall. The Untouchables heel on us like kings on the way out, threatening the five of us who were waving the dollars at Kameo. "If I see you in a dark alley after the show you won't have those dollars anymore!"
DR: I give Zhixel grief about the quiet time he will spend alone thinking about young Cameo and her butt. I kid the Youth of Amelia! The match was really fun because Qoree Jamez and Dirty Money are really great being complete dicks with Sean Lei in the prematch build-up. Greg Steele did lots of cool things to work out of them spindling and crimping his shoulder during the heel beatdown. I loved his comeback with the springboard thingy out of the armbar. I cannot remember the details but it was really cool- REALLY! James was funnest on offense as he would do all the keylock variations that fill the kids with hate as Steel struggles to escape. Cameo throws good forearms to Steel's teeth while Steel is on the apron. Nobody else in my section could bring themselves to look up that high.
PRESTON QUINN vs. SEAN LEI
MH: After the previous match, the Commish was understandably fed up with the cheating antics of the Unbreakables and bars them from the ring for the main event. This was either going to bring about a big batch of screwjobbage, or the result that we got here. Old school match, and great to watch. Lei was up for the match and took every bit of the shitkicking that Preston had to offer. And boy, he had a bunch of shitkicking to offer. Ryan’s simple plea, “PUNCH HIM IN THE FACE, PRESTON!” Dean’s simple reply, “"Don'’t worry.”" Lei looked good as the prettyboy heel here, although they confused me a bit when Lei worked face by getting his arm up on the third drop whilst in Preston’'s Cobra Clutch - which was fucking great, by the way, holding Lei in it, throwing him down twice while holding onto the clutch. Preston take mercy on him and ends the match with a painful-as-all-hell-looking Second-rope Piledriver. And yes, Preston did punch him in the face. But good. Good show, gentlemen.
PP: This was really, really great. About 20 minutes long and old-school as hell, only with modern moves- like PQ's Liger bomb and Lei's SHINING WIZAAAAAD. Lei has the look of someone who needs a beating, but he delivered the wrestling goods and was able to hang with PQ throughout They did a tremendous job of building to the finish, with PQ losing it and just punching the shit out of Lei in the mount. Lei kicks out of PQ's Liger Bomb before falling to the piledriver. I was dreading a giant shmozz with the Untouchables running in, James peeing on the Virginia flag, Kameo riding PQ around the ring wearing his daddy's saddle etc etc, but this was totally clean and both guys even did the "hail fellow well met" handshakes afterwards. PQ soooooo deserves his 500 spot based on this match.
DR: This was like SEVENTIES Old School- as they had a whole beginning section where Quinn does the Ring Generalship Of The Champion by beating down Lei who makes all the comebacks that Quinn cuts off with all of his cool ass takedowns and matwork- including the super BALLS OUT double suplex to keep the Cobra Clutch on. The middle section when Lei goes on offense was really cool because this was the first time I had seen a healthy Sean Lei and his offense is pretty cool (if his punches wilt in the light of day compared to Quinn's). Fat Ass Dave does the Gary Hart impersonation and stands in the way getting a picture as I try to see how much Lei's toprope Elbow looks like Savage's. I scold him afterwards and he says, "HAHAHAHAH! YOU GO TO HELL FATMAN!". The Quinn comeback after his shoulder goes out was fucking All Japan in it's worked shootedness and really fucking kicked it up a notch as he starts just beating the living dogshit out of Lei in the ropes to lead into the finish. The finish looked GNARLEY and I wanna see a rematch yesterday already.
MH: We mill about in the ringside area for a bit, and some of the guys come by. Preston clues us in as to his current condition and I appreciate his performance even more now. I dig in particular his explanation of his punches. "Now see, when I punch him *there*…..." We eventually amble out to the parking lot and I horrify Zhixel by giving him some of Dean’'s more horrible mental pictures. I then finally manage to accomplish my goal for heading down to Richmond - getting the shedload of tapes that Pete had prepared for me. I kid, of course. I stop by Dean’s to say hi to Angie and to meet Rodney. Aw, he’ll be dunking on Dean at age 12……... NWA-Virginia is fun for the kids and they do some good wrestling, too. You should check them out.
PP: This was a fun show with one really great match and some hot performances. My ticket cost $7... for pure money's worth, the only sporting event I went to this year that delivered more was the 67's/ Sarnia Junior hockey game we saw in Ottawa last month with tickets for $14 CDN (which comes out to something like $2.17 in real money). We crack wise in the parking lot for awhile and I pass Cel the boatload of soccer tapes (plus the AFL Grand Final) before spending the night at the House of Pro. Dean swings by the next morning and we start to look for a Richmond Renegades jersey before I get a bit under the weather, so we head back to Dean's place to watch Pinocchio with the kids until it's time for me to catch my flight. The flight home takes maybe an hour... I'm pretty sure I was in transit from LGA back home longer than I was actually in the air. I will say that if you're cheap and traveling light, nothing tops taking the M60 bus to 125th Street for $1.50 and catching the subway on a free transfer. =)
DR: After the match, I try to con Raven Mack into
getting liquored up with us but he has a long drive back. mDS yardpass
was fixing to expire and he wisely fears the beatdown so we finish giving
Zhixel good natured ribbing and say farewell to the MAN CALLED SATAN PRO
and head back. I love this quality indie wrestling 5 minutes from my house.
Hopefully, this same batch of fans will be at the Fredericksburg show.
C'mon Pete, don't be such a pussy. FLY DOWN AGAIN! The next day, I pick
up Pete and Satan Pro begs off to Stalking The Worst Dining Decision and
we head back. Pete turns three shades of green so we go back to the house
and my wife becomes Full-Blown Italian mother- overtaking the other 3/4s
of her ethnic make-up, and makes toast for Pete and makes him drink a warm
coke so he can eat something. It was adorable. My 3 year kisses Pete on
the cheek at the airport and it was all heartwarming and whatnot. It was