Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Cassette Review //
"Get Your Ducks in a Row With Facenag"

https://facenag.bandcamp.com/album/get-your-ducks-in-a-row-with-facenag //

This is definitely one of the weirder cassettes I've heard and not just in the sense of weird rock cassettes either.   Though it can be defined as "weird rock" it has that energy on the first song of a carousel with dueling vocals.    Those organ tones really set the mood and then the second song takes on more of a Deerhoof type of vibe with a blaring horn and what sounds like "Finish her!" being sung with such energy.

The vocals here are alternating between Ingrid Johansson and Peter Larsson on the first track, the second track is only Ingrid Johansson and by the third we get a TMBG type of song with vocals only by Peter Larsson.   But, to say this sounds like TMBG is mostly just a way of comparing this with something you might have heard before because the actual sound is pretty out there.

Sometimes this sounds like Be Your Own Pet.   There is a big discussion of "Who invented baloney?" and that's kind of fun but something I never really thought about.  The lyrics seem to be in that way though: they're nonsense when pulled out line by line, in some way, but when coupled together they make sense, at least possibly to whoever wrote them.   This reminds me a bit of Pollens as well.

On the flip side we open with more of a jive song about being, as the title says, "Dead in a Hole" and this is made quite clear in the lyrics as well.    It might sound strange but this sounds like the type of song you might have heard back during "School House Rock", in that way that as they're singing it seems like they should also be teaching.

By the second to last song, the voice of Peter Larsson begins to crack and it can remind me of Gir to some extent.    Also, this is another song where they say the title in it as the chorus of sorts and at the end of the song they even cry!    "Sleep In On The Highway" ends this cassette with a sound which feels like a lullaby floating around on bubbles.  I also hear this horn which sounds like a sax but the linear notes only say trumpet and flute so kudos on that masking as well.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Live Wrestling Review //
ICW New York
No Holds Barred Vol 1
@ White Eagle, Jersey City, NJ


More Photos can be found in a Facebook Album at this link :::


Originally, my plan for this show was to simply watch it on IWTV, as I do with most wrestling shows that I feel will be good.   After going to Beyond Wrestling's Heavy Lies The Crown I was also, seemingly, ready to take a break from driving around, state to state, to see profession wrestling every weekend (even though that was on a Tuesday)   This would be my second Saturday night in a row going to New Jersey.   So many signs pointed to "Stay home.  Relax.  Watch this on IWTV"

And then my grandfather died.   And I went to his funeral and heard stories about him.   About how much he loved life.  How much he loved to party.   And how his death, like all death, is a reminder that life is short and we really need to live it up every day.   So I said fuck it.   I bought a general admission ticket and prepared myself for the near three hour drive by myself, to think about life and the new year.

Now back when the year of 2019 was ending I created this list of wrestlers I wanted to see in 2020- a Top 10.   It's still my pinned tweet.  One person on that list was Mance Warner, who was on this show, so that was one of my reasons for going to this as well.   But the funny thing is, going to this show, I was able to meet Tessa Blanchard and one of the reasons why she wasn't on my Top 10 list is because I didn't think this would be possible.  I hadn't planned out a scenario where I saw Impact Wrestling live, so I didn't even consider it a possibility (Which is funny because Jordynne Grace is on my Top 10)

Driving to NJ feels so long because it takes seemingly forever to get out of CT and then you have to go through some of NY before you're finally into the state.   My maps took me through all of these weird backroads to "avoid tolls" but it's so funny when I choose the route without tolls and they keep telling me "Bear right toward George Washington Bridge" and I feel like I'm about to have to pay $15 that I don't want to pay.   Anyway, I made it to NJ in good time and the White Eagle wasn't difficult to find but parking was.   I need to start leaving earlier to plan for driving around for twenty minutes trying to find somewhere to park.

Knowing that this was streaming live on IWTV, I was expecting it to keep to a strict time schedule and doors were to open at 6:30 and the meet and greet with Tessa Blanchard was from 6:45 to 7:30 with the show starting at 8.  I showed up right around 6:30 but didn't park until almost 6:45 so I'm running blocks to the venue and no one is going in quickly so I'm kind of stuck in line for a bit anyway. 

After being patted down I asked the security guy where to go to meet Tessa Blanchard and he didn't seem to care but I basically got put into another line.   They gave us these cool No Holds Barred towels for the event, which I would later find out why, and it was a scene that when I walked into it I was glad I didn't bring Quentin, mainly because I knew he wouldn't have wanted to stand all night.  I kind of wished I had planned it better and dished out the money to sit on the stage but, fuck, I was just happy to be there even if I had to stand all night among the people.

Tessa Blanchard is really cool.  I paid $20 to take a photo with her and I don't care.   It was well worth it and one of those things of "Well, I'm driving to NJ so I might as well go all out" or whatever.   I told her how I had seen the Top 3 wrestlers in the world all in the same week- them being her, KrisStat and David Starr- and then I told her that as much as I like Sami Callihan I hope she takes that title from him.   She was all smiles and couldn't have been nicer meeting me and all of her fans.   She also fought in the first match and seemingly bailed afterwards, but hey, that's why they did the meet and greet before the show.

This show was one of the first times where I really felt like I was getting a different experience being there than watching at home simply because I had earlier in the day that Chris DIckinson was sick and wouldn't be there to fight Killer Kross, but I kind of wanted to know what was going to happen.   They had a table set up for Tessa Blanchard, but they were also selling photo opps and autographs with Killer Kross and I didn't see him beforehand so I wondered if he had dropped off the show as well since he didn't have an opponent now.  I also literally didn't find out Eddie Kingston wasn't showing up until Tony Deppen told us.

But this show was everything that I wanted it to be and more.   My first match of 2020 was technically Bear Country vs. Team Tremendous, but my first match of 2020 on a different wrestling show (One that didn't start in 2019 and end in 2020) was Nick Gage vs Tessa Blanchard.  How fucking cool is that?

One of the other reasons why I wanted to go to this show in person as opposed to watching it on IWTV is because the special No Holds Barred stipulation meant it was going to be a one of a kind fight experience.    The ring ropes were replaced with chains and this just had a feeling to it like some kind of underground fight club.   The atomosphere was crazy and the crowd was intense.   I just feel like there was something in this crowd on this night which couldn't translate through the tv, which is why I'd recommend everyone going to an ICWNY show (and why I'd go back to NJ to see them again)

I don't want to be a wrestling booker type because I have no idea how I would order matches on a card like this, a card where every match feels like a main event.   Right after the Blanchard-Gage match we go into Homicide vs. Casanova Valentine, which was perhaps the most violent match on the show.  I had not seen Casanova Valentine wrestle prior to this, but thanks to Twitter (and Tony Deppen) I knew of him by name.   Abudullah the Butcher vs Cactus Jack?  New Jack vs Balls Mahoney?  I've never really seen matches between them go quite this far. 

Also, I found out that the towel was because not only did I get blood on me I also got bleach on me.   This was just insane but so much fun to be a part of live.   If viewers at home were questioning whether or not the bleach was real... It landed on my glasses.   It was 100% real bleach.   And just wow.

So there was this one guy- and I want to watch the replay on IWTV to see if this translates there as well- who was not too far away from me.  If you look at the venue from the standpoint of entering as a wrestler then we would have been on the left side of the ring.   This guy kept yelling and getting mad that the wrestlers would fight on every side but not in front of us.

This funny moment happened after intermission when the same guy moved further into the corner of the side we were on and kept yelling about how he couldn't see and wanted the action to come to our side (which it did a few times)  Someone behind me said, rather loudly, "You could have moved during intermission.  That's on you"   And don't get me wrong, I'm not implying this guy was upset or anything- he might have still had a blast- but it reminds me so much of what many wrestling fans can be like online: never happy even if they have the option to be.

Jimmy Lloyd vs Alex Colon was unexpected and I assumed it was to make up for the Chris Dickinson-Killer Kross match not happening and it turns out I was half right.    Tony Deppen told us Eddie Kingston wasn't there because he was scared and this turned into a Tony Deppen vs Killer Kross match since neither of their opponents were there.  I was waiting for Deppen-Kingston and possibly someone else vs Killer Kross but I didn't know what was going on.

I've honestly never seen Killer Kross wrestle before and don't know a lot about him outside of him seemingly wanting to get out of Impact forever and not being able to, but if given a bit of grooming he could become a decent star but I don't think he's quite this big deal everyone makes him out to be.   Maybe I just need to see him in different circumstances, but this match still made Tony Deppen look more like a star because he's the one who flew through the ring and at times we even thought he might somehow win.

I keep thinking about how much I loved this card because of where everyone came from.   Nick Gage was in CZW but is more recently in GCW a lot, Tessa Blanchard is from Impact and perhaps Killer Kross is best known from being from there as well.   Mance Warner I relate with MLW and then you have guys like Low Ki who have just been seemingly everywhere.   From Impact to TNA to ROH to MLW to... really everywhere except WWE, it just felt like this card brought the best talent together in one room, such as it asked each promotion to send them their best fighter.

This was my second week in a row seeing Shlak (and Jimmy Lloyd for that matter) and seeing him against Necro Butcher was kind of sad.   When I watched wrestling in the early '00's, I wasn't really going to live shows in a way where I could see Necro Butcher, so I'm glad I got to see him because I never had before.   But during this match, I caught myself doing the math in my head like "When I saw Necro Butcher in the early '00's was he 40 back then?" because he looks like he's about 65 now. 

He's very skinny.   He's frail.   It didn't seem fair for Shlak to beat the shit out of him.   I felt legit concern for Necro Butcher and really hope this was his last match because I don't know how much his body can take (Though haven't we always kind of thought that about him?)

Mance Warner vs Dan Maff was great.   Seeing Dan Maff trade blows with a big man like Wrecking Ball Legursky is fun, but seeing him cave in the chest of Mance Warner is a different kind of fun.   This was my second favorite match on this show, easily, because even though these two used an array of weapons they also just flat out beat the shit out of each other. 

This show had the type of card that I don't know if it could be done again, but I fully put my faith into ICWNY and hope that when they return to NJ they will build an equally awesome kickass lineup which I will potentially view from a seated area at that time.   I just keep thinking over and over about how this felt like a fight club and I really like that vibe.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Live Pro Wrestling Review //
Beyond Wrestling
"Heavy Lies The Crown"
@ White Eagle, Worcester MA

Additional photos can be found in the Facebook album located here :::

Every time I write about my experience with professional wrestling I feel like I also type some version of this (and in 2020 I will try not to as much) but here goes again:

I didn't really get back into professional wrestling until September of 2019, which was when I purchased a monthly subscription to IWTV.   Since the weekend after Thanksgiving I have been to a wrestling event at least once a week and, yes, my life feels pretty crazy.   Watching IWTV means watching a lot of Beyond Wrestling, not just their big shows but also the weekly episodes of Uncharted Territory, which I absolutely love (and for my money is the best weekly wrestling show out there right now)  My work (foolishly) decided to close for New Year's Day so my choices were to stay home New Year's Eve and get blackout drunk by myself or go to this Beyond Wrestling show, Heavy Lies The Crown.

This show, this card, for me, is one of the biggest and best I have ever been to and I felt like that before I even went to it.   I think there were maybe five matches announced when I put down money for my VIP ticket and then they just kept adding matches which made me glad that I did.   Not to get too much into it, but my philosophy for the past several years (five or so) has been that I'd rather pay for experiences than tangible things because if I'm going to hoard, I want to hoard great memories.

Also something I realized when going to this show: I always think about how tickets cost x amount of money, but never do I think "Oh, and then it costs this much for gas, for tolls, for food, for merch" etc.   Maybe I am not the best at managing money but I'm having a fun time so who really cares, right?

On New Year's Eve I did have to work so afterwards I came home, changed my clothes, got gas and began my drive.   At one point it was predicted I would be at the venue at 6 pm (doors were at 6:30 for VIP) so I stopped at a rest area and then made it to the White Eagle closer to 6:15.   I was standing outside shaking I was so cold but then they announced VIPs could go in and I was literally the last VIP they let in. 

When they found my name on the list of having paid, the guy wanted to know if I was drinking and I told him yes.   He stamped my hand and I asked if he wanted to card me but he said "You look over 21 and I have to keep this line moving".   I felt so offended.  Do I really look that old?  (I do)

The first person I saw who I knew inside the White Eagle was Tam Tam Bigelow so I stopped to talk with her because in between the last time that I saw her and now (which was only a matter of days) she got engaged to WARHORSE so that was exciting.   As we were talking, I was blocking the tables and none other than Dan Barry came over to set up merch and had to ask me to move because I was in his way.  At first I was like "Sorry, sorry" and then I was like "OMG that's Dan Barry!!"

I've never really been one to celebrate New Year's Eve.   I think time is relative and a lot of it is commercial, but I do love wrestling and the idea that the last thing I would do in 2019 would be watch live wrestling as well as the first thing in 2020 really appealed to me.   Plus, have you seen these matches?  Every match on the card could be a main event with lesser matches somewhere else.   The card was just so stacked and so full of wrestlers I wanted to see wrestle in person.

Now, when someone reads this ten or twenty years from now they might not be able to go back and see the history records on Twitter but somehow- somehow- some angry fans got all bent out of shape because they claimed there weren't enough women on this show.  Beyond said that they had several women they wanted to book but they were busy, so it's just one of those things... I think this is... It's a situation where you honestly couldn't ask for a better card (Except Beyond said they wanted to book The Bird and The Bee vs. The Sea Stars, which would have been AMAZING) and the type of people who are going to complain about it are just never going to be happy.

This brought us into our opening, unannounced contest between Davienne and Addy Starr.   Holy shit, I got to see Addy Starr for the first time tonight.   This was so great.   Everything about this show delivered in the ring- and I hope that translated as well on IWTV- but you just don't understand the atmosphere of being there live until you are there.   After their matches, a lot of the wrestlers were out walking around.   At one point, I saw Erick Stevens and WARHORSE walk through the crowd together.

This place was full of way too much talent and it was crazy.   I can't promise you that all of these stories are in the correct order, but here are some of my highlights from the night.

During the first intermission, I noticed Davienne on the stage behind me.   She had been there since a little while after her match.   I walked towards her, and out from behind the commentary table came "Smart" Mark Sterling, so I shook his hand and told him I saw him wrestle VSK at that Blitzkrieg! show and it's like... You can't get to talk to a talented wrestler without passing through a few before them, right?   So. Much. Talent. Everywhere.

When I finally got to Davienne- who I have seen in both Blitzkrieg! and Chaotic now- I asked her if she had merch for sale.   Literally, she's sitting on a stage, playing the heel, getting greatly booed, and I come over like "I want to give you my money".    Now, to get a little sidetracked here, I follow Davienne on Twitter (AS YOU ALL SHOULD) and every time I watch a wrestling show I find a few new names to follow.

At some point, Davienne had posted to Twitter that she was selling Christmas cards with a photo of JT Dunn and herself in these red flannel pajamas, which was how we saw them dressed back on that Chaotic show, which was Quentin's first wrestling show.  So I explained that to her via Twitter DM and then made his day by him getting that Christmas card (WRESTLING!) and then when I asked her about buying her merch I also explained to her that I was *that* guy and wanted a shirt of hers to wear for the next Chaotic show which also happens to be on Quentin's birthday.

Now things began to boil out of control in a "Are you sure you're not on drugs?" way.    This is the pure magic of this night.  Davienne went to get her bag with her merch in it to sell to me and none other than Kris Statlander is sitting on the stage in full gear.    I've seen KrisStat wrestle in Blitzkrieg! and Chaotic (both shows with Davienne oddly) but I've never seen her outside of the ring to where I could talk to her.  I knew this was my chance.  I had to do it, so I did it.  I feel like no other fans really even knew she was over there to approach her.

My awkward conversation skills went something like "What's up KrisStat?" and she something like "What's up?" back.   I asked if I could take a picture with her and she was just the nicest like, "Yeah, of course" and as I'm getting my phone ready and looking forward with her I just blurted out what I was thinking "Could you boop my nose?" And she did.   And no amount of money could possibly account for the joy that brought me.   I felt so child-like.   So I talked with KrisStat about wrestling for a little bit before Davienne came back, and then I talked with Davienne some more again too and there's just something so fitting in the fact that Kris Statlander has had such a huge year in 2019 and a lot of people know her now.   Davienne has also had a huge year in 2019 and is a great, great wrestler... And I think in 2020  a lot more people are going to learn her name.

The intermission after the David Starr-Erick Steven match, I remember sitting down singing the Pennywise song and David Starr walked by, made eye contact with me and I gave him the thumbs up so he gave me the thumbs up back.   At different points in the night I talked with David Starr (Who, honestly, I would've gone to this show just to see him), Manders, WARHORSE, Tony Deppen and I told numerous wrestlers "Good match".   Win or lose, heel or face, I loved everybody there so much and it was just an experience like any other for me.

At one point, I went over to talk to Ava Everett, who I've spoken with before and she always brings the same energy.   We were talking a little bit about her birthday and I didn't even notice but none other than Addy Starr was standing there selling her merch and she says to me "Are you wearing an ISDub shirt?"- which I was- so I looked over like "Yeah" and then had that moment of "HOLY SHIT IT'S ADDY FUCKING STARR!!"  She gave me a pin because of my shirt and I just wish I had enough cash left to buy one of her shirts or I had thought to take a picture with her, but the fact that I did neither just feels like a promise that I will see her again in 2020. 

While talking with Addy Starr about death matches, ISDub and that one match she had with Nick Gage (which I thought was GCW but it was Beyond they were just in the same place) I noticed Ava Everett had turned her back to me and she was talking with Christian Casanova.   I spoke with him about how I keep seeing him.   I talked to Josh Briggs and how I keep showing everyone in wrestling his photo with Quentin.

And then during that final intermission before the main event, before midnight, I stood in the bar line talking with Erick Stevens.   I don't want to type the whole story but his leaving from the ring and my not watching wrestling- and then him coming back and my watching again are on similar timelines so it's funny.   But I said this to him and I will say it here too, on record, his match with David Starr was definitely match of the night.   It really felt like either of them could win it at any time and they just both left it all out there.  If it happened in April it would have easily been MOTY.

I am not a social person.   I don't feel like I have friends and that's by choice because I prefer to do things other than sit around and text or talk with others.   But I feel like the closest thing that I have to friends is these professional wrestlers- which sounds weird to say, but to be fair I pay to hang out with them on weekends while others spend their weekends with their friends so however you want to look at it I'm very happy to be part of this community and see the strides that professional wrestling has taken since I has an awkward teenager going to ECW shows.

This show was everything that I would have wanted it to be and so much more.   I went in with no expectations of meeting wrestlers or buying their merch and I had many great conversations and came home with a Nerder Death Kill t-shirt, a Davienne t-shirt and pin and an Addy Starr pin as well (plus some golfballs)   I talked with David Starr about wrestling and he's one of my heroes.   I just never expected this night to be as much fun as it was- and I really expected it to be a lot of fun- and so I just feel so fortunate to be a part of this timeline and to live within driving distance of such great wrestling shows.    There literally could not have been a better way for me to ring in the new year.

Tiny Moving Parts
Bayside (back)
The Hotelier (SoundCloud mixed)

Live Wrestling Review //
Synergy Wrestling
"Warhorse's Big Bad Bitchin' Christmas Party"
@ Polish Falcons Club, Hillsborough, New Jersey

One of the things I like about living in Connecticut is that I can drive to a lot of places to do a lot of different things.   I kept reading on Twitter about WARHORSE's Big Bad Bitchin' Christmas Party because I- like everyone else should- follow WARHORSE on Twitter.   At some point in time, maybe it was because of the poster, I googled just how far it was for me to drive to this place in New Jersey.   When I saw it was about two and a half hours, I thought "Well, I drove one and a half for Chaotic, so what's an extra hour?"   Being on a Saturday helped because there was no work/school beforehand so we could leave early and take our time.

The day that I decided to buy tickets, I picked Quentin up from school and we had one of our favorite exchanges.

Me: Quentin, guess what we're doing on Saturday?
Quentin: Going to see wrestling?

See.   I didn't even ask him if he wanted to go.   He was already into it.   If I had something else planned he would have been disappointed.   He also knew about WARHORSE via seeing him on IWTV with me and I showed him the photo I took with him, the t-shirt and trading card and all from Blitzkrieg's NOTAFINGAH event, so he was excited to see WARHORSE. 

I really will admit that I wanted to go to this show because it was being put on by WARHORSE but also because the entire card had at least one wrestler per match that I really wanted to see.    A lot of them I were seeing for the first time- like Bear Country (officially), Tony Deppen, Frightmare and even Pinky Sanchez.    This was just such a stacked card... it was the type of card you would drive two and a half hours to see.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, the Saturday in between Christmas and the New Year, I checked the maps and it said it was about two and a half hours to the show with tolls and two hours and forty five minutes without.   I figured what was an extra fifteen minutes without having to pay tolls, but I also knew we'd likely stop for food and such so I planned on leaving around 2:30-ish for a 6:30 doors.   I also knew in the back of my head that since this would be on IWTV it would likely start on time.

Closer to leaving time, the time expected to get there went up like crazy.  It was three and a half hours with tolls and four hours and change without.   I knew we had time so I tried to go without tolls at first.   We sat in traffic in CT for no reason for an hour.  I swear they had me at 45 miles on the highway and we went down to 41 miles to go in a half an hour.   It was such the opposite of what I wanted to do that by the time we got closer to NY the maps asked me if I wanted to save a half hour and go through the tolls so I said why not and did it.

Over the summer, the weekend of the Fourth of July to be precise, Quentin and I went to his first Mets game, so he's been to NY before but this was his first time in NJ.   I cannot even recall the last time that I was in NJ but it was definitely the early '00's, likely to see some band.   New York flew by and driving through NJ wasn't that bad either- it was just getting the hell out of CT that sucked for the drive.

We were on this sort of main road off the highway when we were almost there and we decided to stop at a Wendy's because I just had a white Monster.   Quentin wanted a kid's meal and a frosty, I figured he could eat it in the car when we got there, but we ended up taking an extra fifteen minutes driving in circles because the maps app wanted me to go to this apartment complex that was maybe 500 feet down the road from the actual place we were supposed to be. 

Somehow- somehow- we still made it there a little before 6:30.   We waited outside in line for a little bit while Quentin ate his frosty. 

I'm curious to go back and watch this event on IWTV now because I'm not sure how a lot of it came off on tv versus being there live.  Thomas Shire (who I really like and was really looking forward to seeing) was getting called Spider-Man by this group of fans behind us and I thought that was kind of funny but also, like, what's so bad about being Spider-Man?  It was still funny how they'd pull out references like "Look out for Harry Osbourne!"

As these things tend to go though, I felt like I was in this bubble of my own with the wrestlers and the crowd had their own ideas of who to boo and who to cheer.   I know the history of WARHORSE and Gary Jay.   I've never heard of Eric Corvis before tonight, but I've watched enough IWTV that I refuse to boo Gary Jay- especially when I'm seeing him for the first time- because that man is tough as shit.

Two of the highlights which stood out for me were during Serpentico's match, he came over and sat in a chair next to Quentin.    This was a nice touch and I feel like even though he was trying to play the heel (though his opponent called out Homicide so who knows) I think Serpentico got that idea of trying to win over the kids (and Quentin is a sucker for masked wrestlers, like me)

My other highlight was during the Tony Deppen-Frightmare match when they came flying out of the ring and everyone jumped to move except for Quentin and me.   They landed on Quentin (mostly Deppen) and everyone around us was kind of asking Quentin if he was okay.   Even after the match it felt like Frightmare was a little concerned.   But Quentin no sold it and just told me "They kind of landed on my legs, but it didn't hurt"

I'm jumping around a lot to tell this story, but that's okay.  It flows better than if I do it in an actual chronological order I think.   When the show was over and we were driving home, I asked Quentin what his favorite match was and he said it was the main event with WARHORSE.    That was actually my favorite match too (Though it's hard to pick just one) because as much as you think of WARHORSE as being this gimmick, like the Ultimate Warrior, you forget just how tough and strong he is.   He can pull out moves that it feels like he shouldn't be able to and he's just such a great all around wrestler.  (Probably why he's the IWTV Champion)

If I had to guess though, I think Quentin was also a fan of the hardcore match between Bear Country and Shlak and Jimmy Lloyd.   It was just carnage and after the match, Quentin went and grabbed some of the items used in it.   We ended up leaving with two busted ornaments (one much more destroyed than the other), a candy cane and a bunch of Legos.    They had intermission after that match so while cleaning out the ring Quentin was just picking up Legos.

During intermission, I found Bear Boulder and asked him if it would be possible for Quentin to take a photo with both members of Bear Country and he said yes.   It's funny (not haha) to me though because Bear Country is this huge, scary tag team that... Let's just put it this way: If I was in wrestling somehow, as a booker or whatever and someone said to me "Hey, pick a tag team to go up against my tag team" I would pick Bear Country every time.   And I love that they take the time to take a photo with Quentin because I feel like most kids would be afraid of them (yet my kid loves them)

Through the merch tables at intermission, we also found Tony Deppen.   People like to boo Tony Deppen because he's such a great heel but he's this combination of Bob Backlund and Daniel Bryan to me and I don't think anyone will ever realize how much of a compliment that truly is.   I talked to him about how I was supposed to see him in Blitzkrieg! and didn't, but that he's one of my favorites and we took a picture and I bought his shirt (Even though I tend to like rules)

After all was said and done, I could tell Quentin was tired and ready to sleep, but I just kept telling him "Five more minutes, five more minutes" we'd wait for WARHORSE to come out.    I want to give a special shout out to Synergy's food stand because I love that I can send Quentin over there by himself with $5 and he can come back with all of this stuff.   I'm used to going to baseball, for example, where what you want for food is five times the price of what it is on the outside.   So thank you professional wrestling for keeping my son fed on the cheap.

You can watch this show on IWTV and see the action from inside the ring.   You can see Pinkie Sanchez get robbed by Jordan Oliver.   But being there live is just something so different that I cannot stress enough how if you're in the area and can drive to a Synergy show you really must.    The wrestling- what happens inside the ring (and outside of it)- is solid and if you look at the talent on the show you would easily realize that you're in for a treat.

But this was Quentin's second wrestling show and it was a big one.   It was my fifth in a row since getting back into wrestling and I had so much fun.   I felt for so long like wrestling had become such this negative thing in my life, but now I'm realizing that there is so much positivity to it you just have to look in the right places.   Tony Deppen would have been on my list of wrestlers to see in 2020- a lot of these wrestlers would have been- had I not seen them on this night. 

My point is, you can watch on IWTV (and you should, you really really should) but if you show up, you get to meet Bear Country.   You get to meet Tony Deppen.   You get to meet WARHORSE.   You get to take home Legos and Christmas decorations.   You get to buy shirts that confuse your co-workers.    And, to me, that's more than worth it.   To me, that's why I will continue to take Quentin to wrestling shows and build these memories with him.   So thank you, WARHORSE.   Thank you, Synergy.   Thank you everyone on this show for letting us be a part of this. 

Smashing Pumpkins
As Cities Burn
Sorority Noise
All Get Out
Math The Band (back)

Live Wrestling Review //
Northeast Wrestling
"Holiday Havoc"
@ NEW Arena / Bethany, CT

On Saturday night, I went to my first ever Northeast Wrestling (NEW) event and there are a lot of crazy stats for this one.   It was my fourth wrestling event since getting back into the scene and my fourth show in as many weeks as well.  It was the first show I've been to in this four show stretch where DL Hurst didn't wrestle and it was my third week in a row seeing DangerKid.   I also somehow thought that Bethany was maybe 45 minutes to an hour away but it was actually only a half hour from me so this was also the closest wrestlng show I've been to possibly ever.

My maps app took me through Route 42 which was full of backroads and houses.   It was those weird twists and turns with trees where you wouldn't want to be driving too fast or hit some black ice and wipe out.  Luckily it was cold out but there wasn't really ice or even rain.   This show had a 6:15 doors and 7 pm bell time and nothing ever seems to start on time so I planned on getting there at 6:30, thinking I might be able to get in, but I still somehow got there at almost exactly 6:15 and people were being let in!

I walked through merch tables first and saw DangerKid.   It's good to have the merch tables near the doors.   It's like how when you go to museums and such you exit through the gift shop.   "Before you go, just buy this shirt or two".   When I got to the doorway for tickets I showed the woman I had purchased a ticket online and she said "You're in Section E, Row 1, Seat 3- do you know where that is?" and I didn't but next time I will.

As soon as I sat down two realizations hit me: There was no guardrail between the ring and me and I was literally maybe five feet from the ring itself.   I knew right then this was going to be a wild night and if someone came flying over the top rope too quickly it could spell the end for me (which I was okay with because it's the risk you take)

The show started a little bit after 7 pm, but not too much after, and it opened up with the six man tag match which allowed me to see DangerKid again.   I don't know who any of these wrestlers are outside of the MSP and that's ok.    The match was high flying fun and didn't overstay its welcome.

A wrestler named Dexter Loux came out next and he had an injured elbow.   In the three shows I've been to before this, there haven't really been "in ring segments" unless it was to set up a match, but since NEW has their shows on demand and physical release I understand how this was done the same way you'd see in... I don't know ROH.   As someone who'd never heard of Dexter Loux before this segment bored me right up until Bear Country came out and nearly killed the guy.

It's funny because I didn't expect to see Bear Country on this show but it was a pleasant surprise.   The crowd booed them because Dexter Loux is a face and they were beating up an injured man, but seeing Bear Country on IWTV made me respect them and seeing how large they are in person made me fear them.  I wasn't going to boo them and in that way they remind me a lot of when I saw The Dudleys in ECW.   Not the guys you want all up in your face.

This took us into our woman's match of the night with Tasha Steelz defeating Angel Sinclair.   Tasha Steelz is part of that SZN faction I saw last week in Chaotic, with Christian Casanova and all though she wasn't there, and I think she was on an episode on NWA as well.  I don't know though because I can't really follow NWA because there just isn't enough time.    Angel Sinclair also may or may not be the woman Ava Everett called out at the last Chaotic show but I don't know. 

The match wasn't bad but I'd like to see Tasha Steelz in there with a known name.  Oddly enough, they announced during this event that NEW has a direct talent line with ROH now and NEW is the only company where ROH wrestlers are allowed to appear in the US outside of ROH.    At first I thought "Yeah, but ROH is trash now"- though I must never forget that ROH *booking* is trash-- the talent is still there.   Hey, whatever gets me to see Maria Manic, right?  (Please?)

In the third match "Cold Steel" Chuck O'Neil defeated "The Manscout" Jake Manning.   This was a great match because both of these guys can go and seem equally as tough as the other.   I remember Jake Manning from before he was "The Manscout" but this was my first time seeing him live and it was great.   Say what you want if you don't like his gimmick, but he can go in the ring and isn't that what's most important?

I've also been seeing Chuck O'Neil a lot on IWTV as even recently as this past Thursday when some idiot fan put their hands on him.   Chuck O'Neil just legitimately looks like he could hurt you- like he should be starring in action movies- and I love that about him.   As with most all of the matches, these guys worked right in front of me at one point and it was so rad.

Brian Anthony cost Jake Manning this match and this set up a match for I believe the February NEW show where Jake Manning will never wrestle in NEW again if he loses, but if he wins he gets Brian Anthony's crown (because Brian Anthony has a king gimmick and, yes, he even has wrestled Jerry Lawler about it)   It will be interesting to see, assuming Brian Anthony loses the crown and has to be reborn under a new gimmick.

Next we had a tag team match with the guys from SZN (I think I saw them last week at Chaotic) taking on Waves and Curls (who I think I also saw last week at Chaotic) and it was not my favorite match of the night.  I'm just not into either of these gimmicks.  I like Christian Casanova and I even like Tasha Steelz now, but these two other SZN guys don't do anything for me and Waves and Curls just make a mess with confetti (which I still have in my camera bag from last week)

At this point I was wondering if there would be an intermission and there was not.  Having that fifteen to twenty minute break to prevent your butt from hurting from being on the steel chair for so long is really something you don't know you need until you need it.

T.K. O'Ryan came out to cut a promo and he didn't get attacked.   This was a part of the night I could have done without but, yeah, I get it.   The fans love him, it's a tv show type of thing and it's an NEW thing as well.   Somehow, the fans of NEW love guys like T.K. O'Ryan and Matt Taven who... I do not love.   It might just be the way that ROH has presented them, but I don't know.  Imagine seeing your first NEW event and you hear this heartfelt promo about injuries and such... it's more meaningful if you have a connection that I was lacking here.

This took us into the No DQ/No Count Out match between Dan Maff and Wrecking Ball Legursky.   These are two huge guys who just beat the hell out of each other.   There were tables and chairs and this was a really fun fight that the crowd was really into.   I know Wrecking Ball Legursky is a mainstay in NEW and this was my first time seeing him live.   I remember Dan Maff from ROH and this was also my first time seeing him live.   

What I love about seeing pro wrestling live that I feel like doesn't translate as well on television is that not only is the ring louder when the wrestlers slam down onto it, but the hits are harder as well.  People who think "Oh, wrestling is fake, they pull their punches" but you could hear the massive *thud* sounds as these two punched and hit each other with forearms.   You can't fake that. 

I will call this the semi-main event but it was like the main event for me because I came to this show to see Brian Pillman Jr, who was able to defeat Mike Verna.   It's funny because if you had asked me two weeks ago I wouldn't have known the name Mike Verna other than being BPJ's opponent here, and in that time I have learned his name because he was announced for the next Chaotic Wrestling show and apparently he also has a tag team with Willow Nightingale, which I saw on Twitter because I love Willow Nightingale and will see her in 2020 somehow yet to be determined.

This match had some high flying spots, but also some grounded wrestling and it's one of those well-rounded wrestling type of matches you want to see on every show.   At one point, BPJ yelled at the fans to get up and move because he was planning on throwing Mike Verna into those chairs and then Verna put the brakes on so that was kind of funny-- everyone moved for nothing. 

Ever since I got back into pro wrestling around September (because I was watching bits and pieces here and there, NXT and 205 Live mostly, but now I watch way too much on IWTV and even go to live shows again) I've wanted to see Brian Pillman Jr because Brian Pillman is my all-time favorite wrestler and this night helped me accomplish that, so thank you NEW.

For the main event, Christian Casanova, Keith Youngblood and JT Dunn did battle for the newly formed NEW Live Championship.    This match was fun and the crowd was really behind Keith Youngblood, but with Christian Casanova winning thanks to help from Tasha Steelz now the chase begins for Keith Youngblood.   It was also funny that the majority of this match was obstructed viewing for me because Tasha Steelz was hanging out right in front of me.    Again though, it was just one of those things where you experience pro wrestling live and it's not like it is on tv.

After all of this went down, we of course had to exit through the gift shop.   I was waiting in a line to get through the doors and could see through the crowd the bright yellow mullet and thus knew Brian Pillman Jr was out there.   This made me feel like my reason for coming to this show was complete.   This was why I was wearing the shirt that I was wearing.   As the people pushed through, there was one guy and two women who were in line in front of me.

Brian Pillman Jr came out from behind the merch table to take a picture with the two ladies and I asked him if he'd stay out there for a photo with me, rather than going back behind the table and coming back out, and he said that he'd only do a photo if I bought something and so I told him I'd buy stuff because he had this loot crate type of figure I knew I needed and didn't know how else to get.    I also bought an 8x10 and he signed everything-which was really nice of him as well.

It's funny (and I say that a lot, but not always about things that make me laugh) because after I got my photo quite a crowd had formed around Brian Pillman Jr.  He said something to the effect of how many people there were, but also that it wasn't a bad thing.   After I got my photo and merch, I left but I feel like Brian Pillman Jr stayed there for as long as it took to take every picture and sign every piece of merchandise.   He just seems so genuinely appreciative of the fans and it's something every wrestler should share but you never tire of seeing.


"Throwing Copper" by Live (there)
"Dude Ranch" by Blink 182 (back)

Wrestling Review //
Inter Species Wrestling
"Fight Of The Living Dead"

http://interspecieswrestling.com/ //

Twitter :::
https://twitter.com/ISDub //

This was my first time watching Inter Species Wrestling and it definitely delivered on what was promised.    If I had to sum up ISW in as short of a sentence as possible I would basically say to think of it as being a bit like CHIKARA but not family friendly (They swear.  A LOT)  But there was also a death match of sorts on this show, so that's kind of out of the norm for CHIKARA, right?   I think this is like CHIKARA, to me, because of the characters involved in here.   It's one of those rare times in wrestling when you're able to put the idea of wrestling aside (Though it's there) and focus on the characters.

Case in point, this show opened with the Werewolf of Wallstreet taking on LSG and it was pretty much what you would expect from a guy (LSG) who is kind of like this hunter (like Kraven) and he's going after a werewolf.   There was biting, scratching and... bellyrubs.    Yes, on his way to the ring even the Werewolf of Wallstreet let a fan scratch him behind his ear.   It just puts you into that mood whether you're either in or you're out, but this is one of the aspects of professional wrestling I truly enjoy seeing.

The GLAAD Boys lost to Los Dumbfucks (There is that profanity) and if it needs explaining the GLAAD Boys are a couple who got a lot of "Gay Stuff" chants and Los Dumbfucks remind me of those crash dummies.   You know the ones.   But this was apparently their first win and it was a big one. 

Tony Deppen took on "The Millenial" Chance Rizer and though I've never seen Chance Rizer before it seems like Tony Deppen is on every show I watch now (which is not a bad thing)  Chance Rizer started this show on his phone and he did some spots without looking up from it, but Tony Deppen really had his chance (no pun intended) to shine here and I wouldn't be surprised if Tony Deppen became a household name in the next few years.

In a weird mixed tag match Jeff Cannonball and Terra Calaway (who are married) took on Sexxxy Eddy and Addy Starr.  I keep seeing Sexxxy Eddy and Addy Starr everywhere too, so this was a nice pairing.   Sexxxy Eddy got into this conversation with Jeff Cannonball which upset Addy Starr and this turned into a battle of the sexes as they changed partners and then at the end of the match they had to try and make nice.   Much sexual innuendo here and at the end, it did this weird skipping thing where it showed Sexxxy Eddy leaving the ring, cut to the introduction of Pinkie Sanchez and then went back to Sexxxy Eddy.   Maybe my wi-fi is just weird.

Pinkie Sanchez introduced me to Billy Brash and Boris the Bear had an open challenge and took on Scuzzy Dead Guy who didn't look like a zombie.   I went to this wrestling show once when I was in my early teens and they had this wrestler come out fourth or fifth on the card under a mask and I swear he was the same guy from earlier in the night unmasked I just couldn't ever prove it.   I think they do that kind of thing in CHIKARA though, right?

The tag team titles were defended by the Gym Nasty Boys against Team Tremendous.  A few years ago when I tried to get back into wrestling I saw Team Tremendous a lot, but seeing them now as heels seems cooler somehow.   I'm also a fan of the Gym Nasty Boys now and anyone who hasn't seem them wrestle should go out of their way to see them wrestle.  I know this may sound simple but they hit a lot of innovative double team moves, which can't be said for a lot of tag teams, and it's aspects like that which make the difference for me and make me love tag team wrestling.

"Bulldozer" Matt Tremont (who is also everywhere, since I recently saw him take on Orange Cassidy) defended the King of Crazy Title against Sean Henderson.   There was a nice promo cut by Henderson before the match (in his bedroom?) where he talked about how he was the first student of Tremont and they had this bond but he was still coming for the title.  The thing is, I knew nothing about Sean Henderson prior to this match but that promo made me believe he could actually win it.   I want to say it's "that easy" to sell wrestling but it's really not.   ISW just makes it look that easy.

The main event had weapons including off brand Legos and it just fit that perfect bill of a little bit of everything on the card, which is how I tend to best enjoy my professional wrestling.   This is available on Blu Ray and they said during the show to buy their t-shirts but I'm not sure how to go about ordering such things (I really want a shirt) but their website does say they want to return to Connecticut in 2020 and I'm so ready for that. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Live Wrestling Review // Chaotic Wrestling 12/13/19 @ Hudson Elks Lodge

@ Hudson Elks Lodge / Hudson, MA

Last weekend as I was leaving for the Blitzkrieg! Pro event, my son was upset that he wasn't going with me even though when I had asked him if he wanted to go when I was ordering tickets he said no.    Via Facebook and DL Hurst, I found out about this Chaotic Wrestling show and since it was on a Friday and also was close enough to drive to, I asked Quentin if he wanted to go and the plan was set.

I'm one of those people who likes to prepare and would rather show up somewhere an hour early than an hour late.   It's roughly a two hour drive to Hudson, MA and Chaotic Wrestling told me doors would open at 7:15 (Have doors ever opened on time in wrestling though?) so with the combination of rain and ~rush hour traffic~ I decided it was better to leave and plan on getting there at 6 than plan for 7 and end up stuck in traffic.

On the way, Quentin was playing Luigi's Mansion on the 3DS while I was listening to "Blue Sky Noise" by Circa Survive and then I went back to "Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge" by My Chemical Romance.   We made only rest stop before the Mass Pike (which I haven't been on in forever) and then we were about ten minutes away at 6:00 (made excellent time) so we found a Shaw's (which is apparently still a thing) and went there before also going to a Dollar Tree.

Friday also happened to be the Christmas party at my work, so I wore my new DL Hurst shirt because it was red and festive.    Once we got to the Elks Lodge, it was almost 7 and we saw people outside but then they started going in so we went in but we were stuck in the lobby area.   I saw Ava Everett come out and grab some boxes and I didn't know she was on the show but she had mentioned on Twitter she had a new Ava Taker shirt and I was hoping she would be there tonight so I could get one from her in person.

Around 7:30 we were finally let in and our first stop for Quentin's first wrestling show was the bathroom.   I must say now as well that I was pleased there were other children at this show, some younger than Quentin, so I didn't feel like I was being that guy bringing his kid to a show where kids shouldn't be. 

We went over towards the merch tables and saw none other than Josh Briggs standing there.   As large as this man comes across on television, he's even bigger in person.   Quentin took a picture with him and the size difference is just so great. 

When the show started Rich Palladino came out to do the ring announcing and I'm familiar with him from IWTV as well, so, you know you're pretty far into this scene when you feel yourself popping for the ring announcer (and refs). 

The thing about Chaotic Wrestling that I should say before I start talking about the show is that they have a weekly show online plus these events on demand, so their shows have continuity to them.   People have been going to these shows for years now and it's just incredible to me.    There is that balance of keeping the product true to the fans who have been there all this time, but also being able to bring in new fans.   It's one of those things where you couldn't just start reading a comic book series on the fifth issue and expect to know what's going on, but Chaotic has this way where even though this was my first time seeing them I just felt like it didn't take anything away from the experience.

I also must note that I wanted to come to this event to see a number of different wrestlers (mostly Josh Briggs) and I felt like going into this there would be at least one wrestler I really wanted to see in each match.    That's a solid card for me.

The show opened with this group that has Christian Casanova in it and when he said there was no man in the locker room who could defeat him it brought out Kris Statlander for our first match.   With some shenanigans, Christian Casanova picked up the win and I'll just say now that once again Kris Statlander went missing after her match.    She's super over but isn't even selling t-shirts.   I can't explain it.

The second match saw "Retro" Anthony Greene defeat Jason Cade and though I wanted to see the real AG entrance he came out with Ava Everett instead to a holiday song which everyone sang along with.   Jason Cade is a decent heel and has some athleticism that should be watched.   I feel like I knew his name before this match, but yeah, I was partly here to see AG as well and him having Ava Everett by his side was a lovely surprise.

This is when things get interesting because that was announced match and I knew Kris Statlander would appear, but out came this wrestler I don't know named Chase Del Monte and he's been their champion before, but he basically called out Charlie Cashew, who I saw in Blitzkrieg! Pro and feel has a great gimmick.    The next Chaotic Wrestling event is called "Pandemonium" and there's going to be this six person match for a shot at the title and this was basically a match to try and get into it.   Even though Charlie Cashew lost, he got put into the match anyway or maybe he got put in instead of Chase Del Monte... I'm not sure.  It was a little confusing.

Before intermission there was a tag team gauntlet match with the winner getting a title shot later in the show.   It started with the Maine State Posse, which is funny because I saw Dangerkid last week for the first time.    I didn't know a lot of the people in this gauntlet match, so I'm not going to try and mess up their names but CJ Cruz was in it and I've seen him on IWTV and the last tag team to enter was JT Dunn and Davienne, who I saw for the first time last weekend as well.   I was hoping for the JT Dunn/Davienne team to win but someone called the Logan Brothers won by cheating.   It was a fun gauntlet though afterwards I did feel like we needed a breather.

Also, during the first match, Dangerkid pointed and yelled at Quentin to sit down in his seat and be quiet.    So, Quentin did sit down and got quiet but then he kind of laughed about it.   It was a funny moment, and it was a heel thing to do (this is wrestling) but it's also just one of those little things that makes the overall experience that much more personal and memorable.    Even though it goes against kayfabe: thank you, Dangerkid. 

During intermission, I went over and bought tickets for the next Chaotic Wrestling show because it was announced that they would be on sale then.   This is such a great business move, because you already have your fans there (hopefully) having a good time-- get their money!!   I also asked Quentin if he wanted to go because it's his birthday so it's going to be pretty fun.   It's in Lowell, MA so it's not close but not as far as Hudson.    I'm really, really excited for it though and I feel like Quentin is as well.

We also made our way to the merch table (again) as we saw both Anthony Greene and Ava Everett out there.   I asked Ava Everett if she remembered me from last week and she said yes (If she didn't really though, it's okay- I'm sure she meets so many people) and we talked for a little bit about the Power Rangers, how they should bring back the Girls Room for the Blitzkrieg! Pro show on 2/1 and how this was Quentin's first wrestling show and his next one would be on his birthday.   I also bought the Ava Taker t-shirt because I do not have enough wrestling themed shirts still.

I also ran into CJ Cruz and said "Hey, it's the little brick shithouse!" and he seemed genuinely happy that I called him that and told him I enjoyed seeing him all over IWTV recently.    He's someone to watch in 2020 for sure.

Following intermission we came back to DL Hurst defending the New England Championship against... I don't remember his name and don't want to look it up on Twitter but he had this yoga gimmick, like a more annoying/updated Simon Dean.  It was decent for what it was, but it could also get really old really fast.    Now, with this match I need to make a point and it's not about the other guy in it (Sorry, his name is out there though) but rather about DL Hurst.

In the world of professional wrestling, it's one thing to create a gimmick for yourself and then just be that gimmick everywhere.   But to do what DL Hurst is currently doing is not what every other wrestler is but shows how talented he truly is.   What he is doing being the fact that in Blitzkrieg! Pro he can play the heel and in Chaotic he can play the face.   There are certainly wrestlers who will be cheered or booed wherever they go, but to be able to get that reaciton out of the crowd depending upon where you're wrestling... that's rare.    I don't know how many people can pull that off, but that really impressed me with DL Hurst on this Friday the 13th.

The second to last match (pre-main event?) saw the Logan Brothers get screwed (kind of how they screwed the team I wanted to win earlier in the night) and Christian Casanova and his partner retained the tag team titles.   They were then attacked by JT Dunn and Davienne, who got the best of them so hopefully on 1/10 we'll have that tag team match signed and ready to go. 

The main event really needs a review in itself.   They showed this video package (Which I also watched before the show) of what lead to this fight and it's one of those things I instantly love about Chaotic Wrestling.   You could be a fan who has gone to every show and seen all of this unfold, but if you're like me and tuning in for the first time, this video package tells you all you really need to know about these two guys just wanting to beat the hell out of each other.

It took quite some time before the match ever even got into the ring and officially started.    Brian Fury was on the guardrail at one point with Josh Briggs running for the big boot when Fury just dumped Briggs over into a few rows of fans.   That was crazy.   They brawled through the crowd and the thing I kept repeating to Quentin before this show was: If the action seems like it's coming your way, move.    Thankfully as well, Chaotic had security people around to help out.   At one point, one of them did tell us we should move a few steps back and so I did make Quentin slide over a few chairs.

We were sat near the merch area and so as they came over there I literally was within arms reach of them both.   Josh Briggs hit Brian Fury with a cash register and the cord to plug it in whipped around and hit me.   That's how close I was.     They just wrecked the place.   This was the fight I wanted to see and if he isn't considered to be so already, Josh Briggs is going to be that breakout star in 2020.

Once they did get into the ring it became a battle of wills.   Two guys just giving each other all they had and neither surrendering.   This is wrestling.    Josh Briggs beat down the bald ref who reminds me of the ref from Celebrity Deathmatch but he's also been on Uncharted Territory.   The other ref came out and when he tried to count a three at one point, the first ref woke back up and stopped him.   This lead to the bald ref trying to attack Josh Briggs which just felt stupid because he's the size of one of his legs.   I thought that would give Brian Fury a cheap win but it didn't. 

Constant ideas of "What do these two have to do to beat the other?" made this one of my favorite matches to ever see live.   If this does come onto the Chaotic website and I can view it again, I'll pay whatever to watch it again because I enjoyed this show so much.   Sign me up for the buying the blu ray or whatever, this was just such a great experience and I am just excited and very ready to do it all again soon.    If you haven't been watching Chaotic Wrestling, my best advice is to start now.