Monday, December 2, 2019

Wrestling Review // Blitkrieg! Pro Wrestling Presents "Notafingah!" [11/30/19, Westfield MA]

Photos can be found in a Facebook album here :::

Official B!P site :::

As I like to do with most things, I did the math on the last time I went to a professional wrestling show and it had been since December, 22nd 2006 when Ring of Honor was in Connecticut.   I did go to a series of matches since then, at the North Haven Fair, where I met Matt Hardy, but I don't really consider that the same because I paid to get into the Fair and didn't specifically buy a ticket for professional wrestling, as I did here.   I also tried to go to a professional wrestling show before this one but it fell through for reasons I won't get into here.

Over the past few months (since September) I have watched events on IWTV, which if you read along you already know, and so that has renewed my interest in professional wrestling enough to the point that Blitzkrieg! Pro announced an event with WARHORSE and Tony Deppen, two of my favorite wrestlers, and so I mapped it out and it's about an hour from me to Westfield so I decided to take the drive.

When I mapped out my address to the Moose Lodge in Westfield it told me that I could either drive one route at 58 minutes and pay a toll or take an hour and one minute with no toll, so I optioned for no toll.   I went up 91 then got off the exit for the airport and took these backroads all the rest of the way there.   It was so weird because it was dark and looked like it might have been nice farm country if I could see it and I even crossed into the MA border without even realizing it.

On my drive up, I was cranking "The Illusion of Safety" by Thrice on 91 but when that ended and I got off the highway I was listening to "There Existed An Addiction To Blood" by clipping. 

It was right around 6 pm that I got to the Moose Lodge without any trouble.   Only a few others had shown up, but I parked near someone else who seemed to be there for the wrestling show.   We waited outside until almost 6:30 and then finally were let in.   There were no tickets (which is environmentally friendly) but rather I just showed my PayPal email on my phone and they let me in, putting an "s" on my hand so I could sit on the stage.   There were a handful of chairs (maybe 25 or 30) on the stage to sit if you paid extra, but otherwise you had to just stand around the ring which took up most of the room on the floor.

Some mech tables were set up but not for anyone I recognized so I went and sat down in a second row seat.    The show started promotly at 7:05 and I have never taken pictures at a wrestling show like this before, so it was interesting to try and catch shots when the wrestlers weren't moving.   I'd need a much more expensive camera lense to get better still photos or just learn to use mine better.   My camera also kept wanting me to open my flash, which I did not want to do. 

One thing that surprised me (but not really) is that there were some kids there.   I didn't know if this was going to be a family friendly show or not and since the flyer talks about beer I thought maybe not, but the kids seemed into it.    The opening contest saw DL Hurst vs. CPA and I feel like I've seen both of these guys on IWTV before.   When you get this close to the ring, in this type of space, you realize how hard the wrestlers hit it.   And that's not their boot stomping on it- it's their backs, it's their whole body just making it sound as if it will fall apart and collapse underneath them (which, if it did, might somehow hurt them less)

I'm not going to go through and describe every match to you, but there was a tag match with the tag partner that wasn't really wanted and so the one guy ended up just walking out on him at the end.   I do believe the wrestler's name was Kirby Wackerman and he got stood up, basically, which is what you could have expected.   The team that they faced though came out in spikes and seemed to work really well together so keep your eyes on them. 

Perhaps my favorite match of the night was Travis Huckabee vs. Nick "The Kid" Curry.   I know very little about Nick Curry (other than that he doesn't look young enough to be called "The Kid") but this was the first match signed for NOTAFINGAH! and I had seen Travis Huckabee in CHIKARA so it was one of those signs where I felt like I had to go to this show before they even signed WARHORSE to it.   But this was some great chain and mat wrestling that ended with Huckabee doing the low blow for the DQ loss.   Perhaps we can see this again some time with a proper finish? 

The main event of the first half saw WARHORSE defending the IWTV Championship against Scotty Wild and Hermit Crab.   I've seen Hermit Crab not just in CHIKARA but all over IWTV and he was getting some great chants from the crowd.    It somehow felt like of all of the wrestlers in this match, WARHORSE was getting the least crowd support and yet he's the reason why I came to this show (Well, one of the main reasons)   WARHORSE took the time to help Scotty Wild learn to headbang and ultimately WARHORSE got the win in what was a title match but I didn't think would be.

During intermission I went over to buy a t-shirt and trading card from WARHORSE.   I asked him if we could take a picture together and he asked if I had someone to take it and I pointed at Scotty Wild and said "That guy" and he kind of looked at us both like "What?"  But we ended up getting the photo- I think a woman who ended up interviewing WARHORSE for her podcast took it- but yeah, it kind of made my night. 

I went to the bar area, passing all sorts of the wrestlers who had already wrestled (including Travis Huckabee, who I wanted to talk to but didn't) and so I bought a beer from Two Weeks Notice because that was the local brewery advertised before the show.   The beer was good though.   I need to look up how to get more of it or if they sell it at my local package store (You know, the one I could literally throw a rock at from my porch and hit)

At some point in the night it was also announced that Tony Deppen would not be there, probably due to the drive he had.    This made me sad but they booked him for a February card so that's kind of the lure of professional wrestling- the "to be continued" factor to bring you back.

After intermission there were four more matches.   I don't remember the names of everyone in them, but there was a match with "Evil" Kip Stevens, Jeremy Leary, Aaron Rouke and Charlie Cashew.   Aaron Rouke didn't seem to get recognized, but he recently took the crown of the Beyond Discovery Gauntlet.    Charlie Cashew was a definite standout in the match though, as he would yell out "Let's get nuts!" or "Let's go nuts!" and it just seems like something that would be easily played in a promotion like CHIKARA or going forward in B!P. 

I imagine a scenario for Charlie Cashew where someone has to tag with him or face him in a match but that wrestler can't because he has a nut allergy.    Maybe I'm overthinking this, but it would be some good long term booking. 

Bobby Orlando (who was recently on Uncharted Territory) defended the Bedlam Title against Skylar, which was fun because even though it was my first time seeing Bobby Jr. I will pay admission to shows going forward just to see Bobby Jr.   Skylar was impressive though and as one of two women on the show I just kind of wish that there were more.     Erica Leigh was in this four on four match and she really shined.   Would love to see her back in B!P, even as soon as this coming Saturday!

In the main event, VSK took on Manders which was an odd match for me because when I've seen VSK on IWTV he's always been a heel but the crowd loved him.   Manders said something about how he wasn't getting a reaction because no one knew who he was, but I think everyone was just mad he jumped WARHORSE on Thursday.   (Side Note: I saw WARHORSE as part of that big four on four match on Uncharted Territory on Thursday on IWTV, then on IWTV as part of Limitless Wrestling and now in person on Saturday.  What a crazy life!) 

I enjoyed VSK vs. Manders as a match, even if they took the time to stop and drink a beer with referee Gina, and at the end of the night, the thing was I didn't feel like I had been sitting through the show for however many hours it was.   That's the true accomplishment in professional wrestling, to me, is putting on a show that's three hours and doesn't feel like three hours.    The night just flew by.

On my drive home, I put on a little Lana Del Ray before I got on the highway and I saw a sign that said I had entered Connecticut.   Once I got near the airport I turned the maps off.   Isn't it great when the maps lady says to drive seventeen miles so she goes quiet and then you're singing along and all of a sudden she just says "In two miles stay right" and it scares the shit out of you? 

I'd end with this paragraph about how "This was fun and I'd like to do it again some time" but they literally are having their next show this Saturday in Enfield, for which I already have a ticket.  Kris Statlander will be there as well as Raven (and maybe WARHORSE?) so I'm already excited.   And as soon as they say when, I'll be buying a ticket (maybe two) for their show in February. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Music Review //
Jonas Brøg
"That Feeling"

"That Feeling" is the latest single from Jonas Brøg and when I first listen to it I hear these rock influences that I can't quite put my finger on exactly.   It's along the lines of something like Blue October (who I think I've compared with Jonas Brøg before) but there's this kind of upbeat quality like fun. or AWOLNATION.   It's not quite the same as either of those two bands, but just along the same lines where you could imagine fitting into a rotation of songs and just flowing.

As I listen to this one lyrically I'm not fully sure what to make of it until I see the video.   The images are of people, but more to the point they feel like family.   You see older people and children and in that way it makes me feel like it's a lot about life but also love.   Isn't it funny how love and life seemingly go hand in hand?  Isn't it funny how this song can bring up different emotions at the same time?

On one hand, you want to think about love, so you want to be happy.  There is that idea of making every moment count, smiling as much as you can and just being measured by how much you loved (not how much you were loved)   But at the same time, this song makes me think of the inevitable end as well.   It makes me really think about how some day it all comes to a close and we lose that feeling.

If you asked me what this song was about- what feeling would be "That Feeling"- I would have to say it's that combination of being both happy, because you're living and loving, but sad at the same time because you know it all will eventually end because life is finite.   I don't believe there is a word for it ("bittersweet" would come close but isn't quite it) and so I can only really think of it as being "That Feeling".

Music Review //
Zeb Samuels
"First Written"
(Deep Heads)

"First Written" is a slow, smooth song.   For the most part, the lyrics seem to be spoken, as if someone is telling a story of giving instructions and there is this cool strumming of a guitar behind it all.   It reminds me of a cross between that one acoustic album Sublime had and that song they play at a lot of graduation ceremonies but I can never remember by name but it is spoken words of advice.

This music video is animated- which I really enjoy- and it has a face speaking along with the words.   It changes shapes and feels somewhat trippy as a visual, like something you would have seen late at night on MTV back in the day (a combination of "120 Minutes" and "Liquid Television")   I don't think enough people explore the power of animated videos, but this is a great example of how one can be done so well. 

At the end, the song kind of fades out lyrically and turns into this guitar riff.   The animated face is gone and you can see birds flying, among other images, which just make you feel like you are being transported to another plane.   This whole song has that other-worldly vibe to it, where you can listen to it and just feel like you're up in the clouds or at the very least don't have your feet on the ground.

A perfect blend of visual and audio, "First Written" could be described as "chill hop", a mellow sort of hip-hop, but all the same Zeb Samuels could bring out another song after this which plays into that guitar riff and becomes more of a rock number.  It's one of those simply wonderful things about music: you don't always know where it might take you, but you should just be open to take the journey.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Music Review //
Autumn Helene
"You Won't Regret a Thing" //

When this song, and Autumn Helene, was first introduced to me it had the distinction of being a twelve year old's response to bullying.   I'll be the first to admit that I was skeptical because twelve is still a young age, but Autumn Helene has a voice which could be much older than her years.   There is a video for this song, she plays along as she sings, and in some ways I think that is done just to prove that it is really her singing, if you have any doubts.

I try to think back to my childhood, though I don't want to do so.  I think back to when I was twelve years old and what life was like for me.   Was I bullied?  Sure.  But bullying is much different now than it was when I was a kid.  On one hand, bullying was more of a "rite of passage" when I was growing up and these days there is zero tolerance for it.   That, of course, isn't to say that it's by any means easier for children now because I never had to deal with cyberbullying, for example.

While I hope this song will grab at the internet in its intended use and turn a negative (bullying) into a positive (this girl can sing!) I think it should also inspire others.   If you feel like you're being bullied, stand strong and do what makes you special and that will kind of connect everyone in some weird way.   It's the power of the internet.   Yet, oddly, as I listen to this song, as an adult who isn't really bullied (In the workplace, we call it harassment) it still appeals to me. 

There is this quote about how it is better to regret the things you've done than the things which you did not do and I feel a lot of that in this song, to the point where it might not be the intended message but it just speaks to me in the way of saying: this is life-- this is your life-- and you have to live it.   So do what you think is right at the time, do what makes you happy, and maybe six months or ten years from now you'll look back and wonder "What was I thinking?"   But sometimes I feel like I spend too much time thinking and not enough time living, so this soulful song is great to listen to because it's easy on the ears but it's also still teaching me and guiding me on the right path. 

Wrestling Review //
"No Sleep"

CageMatchdotNet results here :::

My first time watching GCW was their show with Black Label Pro and that was like Wrestlemania meets Christmas.   Now, GCW is standing on their own and it's time to see the star power shine.   I feel like in the opening match I've seen a lot of these names before but don't remember.  I know I saw John Silver in a kicking war with Kimber Lee at the Beyond Wrestling event "All Hands On Deck" and I know I've seen KTB as well.   But this was just such a fun way to start off this show, with all of these guys flying around the ring and a lot of power in it as well.

In the second match Tony Deppen defeated SHLAK and the funny thing here is I've seen Tony Deppen a number of times- he's one of my favorites- and I just saw SHLAK for the first time in the first Unsanctioned Pro event.   So that feels kind of like a happy coincidence.   The third match had me very impressed with Jake Atlas, who I believe I was seeing for the first time, and he defeated Ophidian, who is seemingly everywhere I want to be.   After the match, Jake Atlas asked for a handshake which Ophidian did and Joey Janela on commentary said (RE: the code of honor) "Ring of Honor in 2019 fucking sucks" and I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking that.

Chris Dickinson and EFFY had a hard fought contest.   I've seen EFFY once before in his war with Nick Gage and for the handful of times I've seen Chris Dickinson lately, I feel like I keep seeing him on the losing end so it felt refreshing to see him pick up a win here while nearly killing EFFY in the process.   Still, Dickinson put EFFY over after the match.   We went to intermission at this point and I thought about two things:

First off, there is this group of people who believe that anyone who is anyone in wrestling is either signed to WWE, AEW, Impact or maybe ROH, I don't know, but here are a bunch of names that aren't signed to those big type of promotions and can still put on a hell of a show together.   This is the crowd I love.   And secondly, I was around during the glory days of ECW I feel like GCW has such a similar style to it because it's not just "Hey, here's a lucha style match", it's about making the styles mesh and blend together.  GCW does that and it might very well be the best promotion going today.

Following intermission we saw Alex Colon (who has appeared in CZW and isn't related to *that* family) took on Rich Swann.   Joey Janela took a shot on commentary towards 205 Live but I actually like 205 Live.   I'm a huge fan of Brian Kendrick, Drew Gulak and so many more on that show-- it's my favorite thing WWE does.   I sometimes watch NXT (but not every week) and I don't watch their other shows, but I always watch 205 Live because I enjoy it that much.  So I guess I'm talking about it to myself at least.

Listen, I feel like Rich Swann had a lot of hype around him before WWE and even when in WWE I just never really saw his appeal.  But, seeing him get choked out with a chair by Alex Colon was pretty cool.   Maybe I just really am bummed on Rich Swann because his song in WWE was about not being able to handle this and then I always think of that scene in "The Lego Movie" where Shaq was like "Are y'all ready for this? ... Oh no! They were ready for this!"   Maybe I'm just too high.

Is the title "No Sleep" because there is just so much wrestling out there now that you should choose to watch it instead of sleeping?  I know I tend to do that now.

Alex Zayne took on Zachary Wentz in a semi-main event and it's funny because I saw one of the other Rascalz in the event I watched before this (Unsanctioned Pro's first show) and now I see another member of the Rascalz taking on the Taco Bell wrestler.   You know, I feel like Alex Zayne is out of his Taco Bell gimmick now- with me- and I just see him as this great high flyer now.   He's that good.

Orange Cassidy- who I love- took on a certified death match king in Matt Tremont in a match which really had me intrigued.   I say this every time I see Orange Cassidy, but he's one of those rare talents where you see him versus anyone and think "That could be something really special".   He just has that unique quality about him and I think that's what makes him such a star and one of my favorites out there right now (if not my overall favorite)  And seeing Orange Cassidy in a match with Matt Tremont was an experience.   I wish there was a "Best Of" type of Blu Ray for Orange Cassidy but at the same time, you should watch all of his matches in their context because so far none of these events have let me down.

In the main event, Nick Gage took on Matthew Justice in what was just a brutal match.   I honestly don't remember seeing Matthew Justice before, so I looked him up on Cage Match and it seems like he's in GCW a lot.   He actually was also in that big nine man match from "2 Cups Stuffed" but there were too many new names for me to remember.  But now I will remember the name Matthew Justice.    There is also this match where he is versus Mance Warner on an AIW show and I have to watch that now.

But how good is Nick Gage?   This guy is everywhere and he's beating everyone.  He clearly has to be one of the biggest stars not signed to a "major promotion", right? (I put that in quotes because people consider ROH to be a big signing but I think so many promotions are better that those fans might not even watch)  This was my first full GCW only show and I'm watching Nick Gage on Beyond Wrestling's Uncharted Territory as well.   So, yes, this just seems like such a perfect match to end just such a great, great show.

Wrestling Review //
Unsanctioned Pro
Don't Try This At Home

CageMatchdotNet Results :::

This was the first event for Unsanctioned Pro and when I saw it on IWTV I watched it because a) it has names I love on it like Mance Warner and Space Monkey (plus a lot I don't know) and b) the main event is a Lego Death Match which I felt I needed to see.  I also spend a lot of time adding a lot of events to my watchlist on IWTV (you can really look this up if you work for IWTV) so sometimes I just have to press play on something so I don't feel like I'm wasting all my time not watching something.   There are also a ton of shows I want to watch which just aired and so why not instead go back to 2018, a little over a year ago.

I actually saw Everett Cross for the first time on Pizza Party Wrestling, so this was like going back in time again to see him in an even earlier match, which he also won, to open up the show.    It's nice how so many people feel connected by these events and then you have a name like Conor Claxton, which I recognize but can't quite place as to why.    I looked him up on CageMatch and it just seems like he's been in a lot of CZW so I don't know. 

Ace Austin vs. Dave Crist vs. Trey Miguel is a weird match because all three of these guys are in fairly big promotions right now and I say *promotions* because Ace Austin is somehow in both Impact Wrestling and MLW.   During this match I thought it was weird that you'd book one of the Crist brothers and not both of them but oh well.   It was still a solid, fast paced match.

Speaking of MLW, The Rejects took on the team of Dale Patrick and Mance Warner and this was Mance Warner in a singlet so I feel like it's a little more vintage than how he looks now but Mance Warner is one of those names I'd want to see on every card I watch so this was definitely a lot of fun.  Looking them up on CageMatch, The Rejects seem to still be around in Unsanctioned Pro, GCW and even PPW, so that's something to look for when I watch more of those shows.  [Side Note: Apparently PPW is Paradigm Pro and not Pizza Party]

Space Monkey and Myron Reed really had the match of the night for me.   I love Space Monkey.   There is simply no other like him.   And Myron Reed is out there doing good stuff in MLW right now, so seeing these two in the ring together was quite the treat and, yeah, I'm kind of surprised Space Monkey isn't in a more prominent role in professional wrestling today, but as Taz would say he's no slouch either, so at least he has his bananas.

Markus Crane and Eric Ryan are two wrestlers I had not heard of before this show but now I will always remember them for this Lego Death Match.   Interestingly enough, there was this giant plastic tub of Legos brought into the ring which Eric Ryan went into head first via brainbuster by Markus Crane and that resulted in the pin to end the match but the way that tub just cracked and all the Legos started pouring out is an image I will never forget as long as I live.   Just crazy stuff.

This was the first event from Unsanctioned Pro and I really enjoyed it.   Everything in my world goes together: If I like an album by a musician, I will listen to more of their albums.  If I like an issue of a comic book, I will read more comic books in that same series.  And with wrestling, if I like a wrestler or a promotion I will watch more of their matches.   Unsanctioned Pro is going into my watchlist in full after this one.

Wrestling Review //
Ground Zero
Mama Said Knock You Out

CageMatchdotNet Results :::

Follow Ground Zero on Twitter :::

While this may not be traditional, I will start this review at the end instead of the beginning.   I was searching for a photo for this event- a poster if you will- and my search took me to the official Twitter of Ground Zero, which I then started scrolling through.   I found a photo for their next event called "Hysteria!", which is October 26th, and I thought "You know what, I better just save this poster too because I'm going to watch that eventually too".   Yes, that is how I feel about Ground Zero.

I feel like I might have watched this simply because it was listed as new in the IWTV stream, but I also see names like Orange Cassidy and Tony Deppen in here, and as they seem to be my go-to in wrestling names these days (along with like five others maybe) I'd say this show is close to 80% of names I don't know and I love that about it.   Back in the early '00's when I watched a lot more wrestling I used to watch IWA-MS and I loved how they'd have wrestlers join in on commentary when they weren't in matches and Ground Zero does this as well.

Speaking of when I used to watch more wrestling (I feel like an old man "Back in my day" every time I mention that though) I used to watch a lot of B-Boy and I seriously even made custom action figures back then and I had a custom B-Boy figure I made.   Seeing him in this opening threeway match was amazing not just because it felt like my connection to my pro wrestling past but also because he's still got it.   This was such a great opening match and I'll be bold enough to say that if you watch the first match on this show and aren't hooked then you must not really enjoy pro wrestling.

Along with Orange Cassidy (who we will get to later) this was the final Ground Zero show for Peter Avalon who I am willing to admit I do not know who he is.   He apparently started wrestling when I stopped watching and now he's going to AEW to be a librarian or something (thanks, Google!) but I'm not entirely sure.  I watched the first episode of Dynamite and that's the only AEW I've seen and I haven't seen him there.   I'm not that far in yet that I have all this knowledge others probably do, but yes, this was the last time PPRay was tagging together and yet my first time seeing them.

So this guy Halston Boddy came out with Mike Camden and kind of issued an open challenge.   To those who say there aren't enough managers in pro wrestling anymore, they need to just look around because I feel like I see one or two on every show I watch on IWTV.   Anyway, this brought out Raze (or is it Ruby Raze?) who is absolutely fantastic.   I have never seen a Raze match before (Though she is on commentary quite a bit during this show, which is also a reason to watch it) and now I want to watch all of her matches. 

There was a five way match to find a new contender to the title which was a lot of fun and multi-person matches seem to be the norm on wrestling events these days, right?   Then in a tag team match I saw True Grit for the first time and these guys are big hosses.   I also watched the first episode of NWA Powerrr and I feel like True Grit could be a good tag team to blend in with that scene.   They're just big, hard-hitting dudes like The Blackjacks.

Hunter Freeman and Terex had one of those "I don't know either of these guys but you should go out of your way to see this" matches.   Then we got into the semi-main event where Orange Cassidy took on both Peter Avalon and Ray Rosas.   Apparently this is also Orange Cassidy's last Ground Zero match because he's joining AEW, which means once he starts showing up on Dynamite I'm going to have to start paying more attention to it.    This was a good match for me because a) I usually see Orange Cassidy vs someoneone I know (like Su Yung or Gangrel) and b) I don't think I've seen Orange Cassidy in a non-singles match before either.

Ray Rosas went over in the triple threat, which makes sense because he's the one not going to AEW, and then we went into the main event.   How do I describe this match?  First off, the challenger is Tony Deppen.   If you've still not seen Tony Deppen, you're really missing out.   He's a guy that I learned by name because of other wrestlers I follow on Twitter promoting him.   He's parts Ricky Steamboat, parts Daniel Bryan, parts Zack Sabre Jr.    Seeing Tony Deppen in the ring, you just know you're seeing a star. 

And then you have Andy Brown.   Andy Brown is this monster of a man and he used his power and size against Tony Deppen to his advantage, even though Deppen had the match won while the ref was acting slow and then Andy Brown only eventually won because of a low blow.   But, this match had that smaller guy versus bigger guy dynamic I like to see.  It was like watching Bam Bam Bigelow fight Spike Dudley in ECW without the crowd throw and if Spike Dudley (no offense to him) had the pure wrestling technique of Daniel Bryan.   Imagine Daniel Bryan vs. Bam Bam Bigelow?

Through these many wrestling reviews I enjoy writing I seem to reveal more about my past but back in the day when the internet first started (I'm talking AOL Chat days) I was in a lot of roleplay e-feds and if you don't know what that means that's okay.   I remember that a lot of promos there always started with "Don't call it a comeback" whenever a wrestler would come back, so tying that with the "Mama Said Knock You Out" title here just makes this cool on a personal level for me.   I'm definitely going to watch the next Ground Zero show and you should definitely be following them as well.