Friday, January 31, 2020

Music Review //
A Permanent Shadow "Radical Change"

"Nobody called 
And nobody came
To wish you a Happy Birthday"

Sometimes music has a way of finding us when we need it the most.   I'm somewhere between the idea that fate is real and everything happens for a reason and the notion that reality isn't real and is some sort of dream state because of how it can play out at times.   This line from this "Radical Change" stands out to me because this, the fourth single from the new album by A Permanent Shadow, is being released on January 31st, 2020- which happens to be my birthday.   If someone releases something on your birthday, such as a song, and that song sings about your birthday isn't that a little more than mere coincidence?  Aren't we now somehow permanently bound by the universe?

I'm not sure how you would describe the sound of A Permanent Shadow in a specific way.   There is this new wave quality to it- it's retro like something out of the era of Devo- but it's also not obnoxious about it and in some ways feels like it's dark and depressive.   The best way for me to describe the sound is through an analogy and this is, of course, only based upon this one song.

Back in the early 2000's, there were a lot of bands coming out that were "emo" but they were being fronted by members of former "hardcore" bands.   It was like "This guy used to be hardcore, but he got too old to scream, so now he's emo" or something and it became something that I would joke about with others as being that "post hardcore" before that was a genre.   I feel like A Permanent Shadow has that idea behind them in the sense of taking a band like Devo and thinking about them twenty years later settling down and writing songs that were less about dancing and closer to being sad.

If that doesn't make sense just know that this song is rocking and has a ton of melody.   It's difficult for me to imagine someone not wanting to listen to it but I also have no idea what artist or artists to compare it with because it just doesn't sound like anything I've heard before (and that's saying something because I've heard a lot)

This video is in mostly greyscale, kind of between something like "Sin City" and "The Umbrella Academy".   There are colors but it also seems to be raining during it a lot, which has that black and white effect more than anything else.   It is the type of visual that you want to see because it's not quite animated but it's close.   If it was the prime of MTV this would definitely be a video everyone was talking about (and really we should all be talking about it anyway)

Typically, I'll say in a review "You should listen to this at least once", but I'm going to say that with this one you need to experience it twice.    Both the title of "Radical Change" and the band name A Permanent Shadow are within these lyrics.   So you need to spend time just really experiencing the music at first, but then go through and give it another listen and soak in the visuals.   This is one of those songs too which when I listen to it in my car, for example, I still see the visuals even when they're not there, like most Tom Petty videos.   That is how you know something is truly legendary already.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Music Review //
Lumiere Tales

There exists a lot of uncertainty in music and for me one of the aspects which I find to be most certain is that electronic music and acoustic music are opposites of each other.    Taking something like an acoustic guitar and trying to mix the sound with something electronic such as a keyboard or synth can often prove to be challenging.   However, on the EP "Lunarium", Lumiere Tales seems to find that balance rather well and just makes it work to a way in which I begin to wonder what the sound truly is.

This one opens up with beats, acoustic guitar strums and ahhhh's singing not any words and there is just an overall mystical quality about it.   A nice pulsating beat comes from underneath it all and I'm left thinking about how much this sounds like something you would find out in nature, the middle of nowhere with no big city sounds around for miles, and yet you can also just hear the certain levels of technology in here as well.   It truly is electronic and ambient at the same time.

"Evening Star" begins with this hissing like crickets or some sort of insect and there are these darker acoustics coming through mixed with the lighter cloud tones which remind me of some kind of fun song but I can't think too deeply upon it as every time I'm just taken aback by how well this light and dark seem to mix here.   It kicks in faster paced and gets a little bit lighter before going into the titular track which introduces the flute to this EP.   For some reason, this song really reminds me of an instrumental/electronic cover of "My Heart Will Go On" at first, but with more listens that notion fades.

That flute can also be heard in the song "Morning", which has beats that pick up and somehow this makes me feel like I'm listening to chiptune music but in an acoustic way.  I'm not sure how that's possibly or what it means (How do you unplug the digital?) but it's what I'm hearing and it's left me in awe and wonder.

Those ah's come through almost like laughing to begin "Precious Memories".   Between these last two songs I begin to think of the holidays and am not sure why until I make the connection that this kicks in with the guitar and begins to resemble Trans Siberian Orchestra on some level. 

Overall this music is calming, but by the end you can feel a sense of urgency.   It's dark and it's light at the same time.   It's loud and it's soft.  It's electronic and it's acoustic.   These are things that, by being opposites of each other, should not be possible and yet here we are.  Somewhere between being lost in the woods and "The X-Files", but such a pleasant place to be nonetheless.

Cassette Review //
Cop Funeral
(Already Dead Tapes)

$6 //
Edition of 150 // //

The record touches the needle and we begin with a sound of operatic singing.  (That is the record on the cassette, don't get confused)   Deep drone comes through in waves.    It crackles and builds.    Slowly, the distortion begins to sludge, like we're stepping our boots into muddy puddles.   A faster pulse now ties it all together.    This turns into a whirlwind of distortion now, a real storm.    The distorted beats somehow calm and fade.

A soft gallop starts now.   This has become this sort of lullaby now, a slow back and forth, rocking out at sea.    Notes come through now like doom.    It kind of sounds warped now, like the soundtrack to an indie film that went through the ringer.    For some reason this reminds me of the airport now, being out on the tarmac with the planes. 

Urgency brings out lightning crash and we're into a scary movie now.   This is when it gets real and everyone kind of realizes they're in trouble.   This distortion just cuts through in its drone form, like wave destroying everything in its path.   It feels so somber yet somehow so destructive.
As frequency changes come twisting through there are solemn piano keys to accompany them.    The chaos and the still.   Beats take over now and this has an instrumental hip hop vibe to it which makes me want to drive at night.    Everything feels like it's taking off now.   Just... floating and flying away.   This engine feels like it revs and revs and revs until it just stops.

A warped sense of a dying symphony kicks things off on the flip side.   Then this gentle lullaby type tone comes into the background before a soft engine purr.    As it begins to drone, it begins to glisten and it can feel as if we're floating either in the ocean or the sky (and we are left to ponder what is the difference)    A distorted flow now is covered by notes which can sound like piano keys to some post rock indie film soundtrack.    As it winds up, it then winds down and becomes some sort of video game synth like "Pole Position".

The tones whirr in and out now, driving and sounding more like Doctor Who.    There is this siren-like feeling to it which makes it when played loudly enough something you would get out of the way for.   Louder distortion, coming through as this cloud, quiets everything down now and we're at minimal beeps, tings even.   Scratchy and sharp now, I'm beginning to hear a little bit of that Jay Peele glass in here.   It's just becoming so harsh in the sharpness.    It all just builds and then just ends abruptly.

Singing comes through now with ominous whirrs behind it.   A little bit of sharpness.   The singing subsides and we're into this dark and wavy place now.    There exists this wavy trance and then these solemn beeps come through and this whole ride right now just feels so hypnotic.    As it feels like someone is going to speak, it has these almost hidden tones come through as it reaches the final end of the cassette in such a peaceful yet destructive way.

Cassette Review //
The Illiterates
(Poop Stick Records) //

I never know what music is going to do to me when I hear it and that's one of the things I like about it.    Listening to this cassette by The Illiterates took me back to some place I haven't been in quite some time.  It was the dawn of the internet and there were no rules yet so a file sharing company took to the world wide web under the name of Napster.  Yes, I used to try and discover new music on Napster by searching for cover songs.  I'd search for something like "punk cover" and see what came up.

This, somehow, took me to a song by a band called the Emotional Fartz, which was a cover of a Richard Marx song.   Somehow this cassette reminds me not just of that song but of all of those raw, unfiltered type of punk rock songs I heard back then.   It's not something that can easily be explained, but times were different back then.   Recording wasn't what it is now.  You could have such better quality creating a song now with your phone and back then, well, I didn't even have a cell phone.

At its punk rock core, this is the perfect type of music to experience on cassette, as I imagine it being sold at shows when CDs were too expensive or we just didn't have the means to duplicate them yet.    Hints of early Epitaph band (like the first few Punk-O-Ramas), early versions of songs by The Offspring and even some Lookout Records bands come to mind here.   It's somewhere between The Mr T Experience and Operation Ivy, but not exactly like either of those bands.

Though there is a slower, ballad type of song at the end, this has that punk quality that so many bands seem to lack these days.   It's not about being the best quality in terms of sound and in some ways I feel like this goes against the norm in that way, in the way that punk rock would have wanted to, because it does somewhat bother me when an album wants to be punk but has this polished studio quality sound to it.    Play this one loud and experience punk rock the way it was meant to be.

Cassette Review //
German Army
"Year of Solitude"
(Castle Bravo)

$6 //
Edition of 50 // //

Beats start things off funky like that one song from "Ferris Bueller" that everyone pretty much knows from that movie.   The drums echo as they hit in rapidfire succession.   Whispers behind it all.   Bigger, darker beats make this one wild.   It's a thrashing and banging scene.    The beats feel like a bouncing ball now and it has a nice way about it that moves.     Steel drums feel almost acoustic as we are in what could be some video game form of "The Crow".    Imagine if back when "The Crow" was released it had a video game?  That would have been rather fun, and this song could have been part of it, which is great.

Definite video game beeps and blips come through now as there are these almost haunted sounds behind them.   This eventually turns triumphant and has a big sound which makes me want to drive faster even though it keeps the same pace.    The next song brings on more of a drive, more of a sound of drumsticks banging and it can also feel tribal at its roots.    The next song twists and turns around the corners of some desert road which has no end and yet somehow can still produce a change from just staying straight. 

Briefly some screwed sounding vocals come in and then we're back into the digital electronics.   It beeps its way through what sounds somewhat like a video game but could also be one of those old television theme songs from either the 1980's or more likely the 1990's.   It's not quite "Law & Order" but it reminds me of something along those lines, mixed with a little bit of Doogie Howser of course. 
On the flip side we open with these great morphing and shaping tings which have some screwed singing behind them.   It's like a laserbeam bursting through a distorted atmosphere.    This winds up with this cool sort of country guitar twang sound.   Beats come through now like Stomp.   Scattered, like the keys on a typewriter.    It slowly makes this little beeps and then fades into a fog.    The slow strumming of a guitar can be heard, as deeper strings come into the picture.

It winds through like an old western town.    A buzzing like a lightbulb brings out this clanking, the way metal meets metal.    It creates a hypnotyzing rhythm by which I could ride out of town.    This takes us into a different type of beeping, almost like crickets, as it grows darker, more eerie like a haunted film score.    Some droning sludge is behind this and it just grows and makes me feel like we're grinding through some synth- somewhat like NIN or an industrial artist that is similar.

Guitars cut through now, somewhat country but more like 90210.    Skip beats take us to that place where we go when we reach the next plane of existence.    It gets quieter now, like chimes and a field recording.    This brings out a louder track of distorted electronics, with those changes in the frequency and all as well.   As the electronics do that mixed up thing this cassette comes to an end, not with a whisper but with a bang.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Interview # 219 ::: Step Stool Sarah

Follow Step Stool Sarah on Twitter ::::

1) How did you become a ring announcer / IWTV VJ? 

 I started going to a couple local indies around the Saint Louis area and eventually started bringing my camera and shooting shots from my seat. Eventually was recognized and started making acquaintances through my photography. One day i posted a status on Facebook about possibly wanting to be more involved in wrestling. And Matt Jackson fka Pierre Abernathy who ran Saint Louis anarchy message me asking if I’d want to ring announce for them. Knowing i had never done it, he let me know I’d get some training before the show. I was nervous but said yeah sure why not. And since then I’ve grown and excelled in this role for a few different promotions. 

As far as becoming an IWTV VJ it came after being used for the IWTV family reunion show that was had mania week this year. I was originally going to be used for interviews then it was realized that wouldn’t be possible so I was asked to split ring announcing duties with Rich Palladino. Thanks to me being a known ring announce and having a presence with anarchy and black label pro on IWTV Gerry had me become one of the VJs. 

2) You use your public spotlight to promote aspects of not just professional wrestling but also life which I think everyone should embrace.   What made you decide to use your platform in such a way?

 Being a woman and panseux puts me in a different light, especially in wrestling that’s always been made for men. It’s been so important for me to make it known that wrestling needs to be for everyone. Between fans and anyone involved in the business alike. Whether it’s women, non binary, LQBTQIA+ or anyone of color. 

3) You have some really great wrestling photographs.   How did you get into that?

I’ve been doing photography over 10 years, went to college for it and knew once i started going to wrestling shows I needed to photograph them and as mentioned before I eventually brought my camera to shows, shooting from my seat. Once I strated making friends with wrestlers and promoters at local shows I got to shoot ring side at pwcs and it eventually grew from there 

4) You also take great photographs of bands.   Who are some of your favorite bands? What are some of your favorite albums from 2019?

The Cure. Fall Out Boy. Title Fight. Hatebreed are some mains. 

I don’t really have any specific favorites. I’m just all over the place super random with what I listen to lol 

5) I have this idea where music and wrestling could crossover to where you could see a few bands play during wrestling matches.   Why do you think this hasn't really happened yet? Having H2O play during the intermission of GCW just seems so natural to me.

Maybe cost and finding the right time/show/bands. One of the first anarchy shows I went to had a band open the show and it wasn’t a good band. I think it’s a sick concept though. 

6) Just isolating it to how much wrestling is available to watch on IWTV, I feel like sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming (not enough hours in the day)  How do you handle watching everything you want to watch?

Oh goodness. I try and make time and narrow down to what I like and know I need to watch. What friends I need to support. And then of course having to keep up with the women’s wrestling I need to keep an eye on for my podcast is super tricky. 

7) Who are some of your favorite wrestlers right now that you don't feel like enough people know about?

Lee Moriarty. Levi Everett. Devon Monroe. Adam Slade. Chase Holiday. Bradley Prescott IV. Billie Starkz. Mikey Montgomery. Davey Bang. Camaro Jackson. 

8) Is it better to one day work for a large promotion like WWE or AEW or would it be better to have IWTV reach the same level as them?

I of course would love IWTV to reach that level even though it’s not a promotion it should become huge. I would never work for wwe for obvious reasons. Hopefully once AEW figures out what they are doing I’d consider working for them one day if ever possible. 

9) If you could pick any wrestlers to form a band with (who are not currently in a band) who would you pick and why?

WARHORSE. Kevin Ku. Danhausen. Kevin Blackwood. Willow Nightingale. 
Because they all have great taste in music and are aesthetically pleasing. 

10) Final thoughts, shout outs, etc... ??

Don’t be an asshole. Being kind and genuine will get you so much father in life. 
Shout out to my podcast It’s Evolution Baby! 

Wrestling Review // C*4 "Snowpiercer" (IWTV)

Sometimes, all it takes for me to want to watch a wrestling show is one match.    For me, for that match, it was LuFisto vs 2 Cold Scorpio.   I don't care who you are or what your thoughts are on wrestling on a whole, but LuFisto vs 2 Cold Scorpio is one of those must see matches and that's even before I watched it.   Just knowing it is out there in the universe and can be watched... I must watch it.

This show had a lot of different styles of wrestling, but it was mostly fighting.   It's weird because when I think about the wrestling promotions I watch the most, C*4 seems like it combines those wrestlers into their own with some talent I don't know (which I assume is their own)  A good example of this is eight person tag match on this show because I knew who Sexxxy Eddy, Puf and maybe Alexia Nicole were going into this, but I didn't know their partner James Stone or anyone on the opposite team (Though Pretty Ricky is like if Anthony Greene and Brian Kendrick had a baby somehow)

Perhaps a more apt example is the threeway between Kobe Durst (who I keep seeimg everywhere), Brian Pillman Jr and Stu Grayson, the last of those names being the only one I didn't really know going into it.   But I got to see Maine State Posse, which was a lot of fun, as they challenged for the tag team titles in their debut with the promotion.   I've also seen Mike Bailey here and there, not a lot, but I do really enjoy the Prince Charming gimmick of Aiden Prince.   I suspect I'll be seeing a lot more of Aiden Prince this year.

This show didn't have a bad match on it.  I was entertained from start to finish.   I always like to try and pick out that one match that is "match of the night" and you have to think back on later as possibly being "match of the year".   With "Snowpiercer", not one, not two, but THREE matches fit that title for me.

Obviously, LuFisto vs 2 Cold Scorpio delivered in ways I couldn't have possibly imagined.  It was everything you could have hoped for and more.   2 Cold Scorpio can still go so seeing him didn't feel as nostalgic as much as it did like he had never left.   And I'm not sure why LuFisto isn't someone I see more in my every day wrestling.  There are these women divisions in WWE, AEW, ROH, Impact, etc. that would all benefit from having her there but it remains a mystery to me.  Hopefully- hopefully- she'll come somewhere near me in 2020 so I can see her wrestle live this year.

Now let's talk about Space Pirates vs Bear Country.   This is everything that tag team wrestling should be.  Bear Country is a much larger tag team than Space Pirates.   Watching the match, I felt like Shane Sabre and Space Monkey combined could maybe equal the weight of Bear Boulder.   But somehow, you felt like Space Pirates had a chance to win.   It was never the squash it looks like on paper.    And because of that this was just one of those rare perfect tag team matches (with little weapon use) and of course it contains two of the best tag teams in the game right now.

To me, the term "main event" is funny because people often debate whether or not the final match is the "main event".   For me, going into this, I wanted to most see LuFisto vs 2 Cold Scorpio, which ended up third on the card.   But the final match on this show clearly was the main event as the C*4 Champion Daniel Garcia defended his title against Evil Uno.   This was a match where these two guys just threw everything they had at each other and it felt like it was never going to end because they wouldn't be able to defeat the other.

I've seen "Red Death" Daniel Garcia here and there in Beyond Wrestling and if you're like me or if you've never seen him and want to know what makes this wrestler so special, go watch this match.   Also, I feel really badly for all those chops Evil Uno missed and hit the ring posts on.   I felt that in my hands.

Overall, this show had everything you could ask for on it.   I knew maybe 75% of the wrestlers going in, but some of them I knew only a little made me more of a fan than I was before.   I made some new friends in the way of wrestlers to go out of my way to see (Hi, Alexia Nicole! Hi, Aiden Prince!) and from start to finish there was just never a dull moment on this show.   Definitely worth a watch.

Wrestling Review // Black Label Pro "Nobody Puts BLP In A Corner" (IWTV)

You have to imagine- and I'm sure I'm not the only one- but I went from watching Isaias Velazquez fighting Arik Cannon in Freelance to Isaias Velazquez fighting Alex Shelley (who recently appeared in NXT) in Black Label Pro.    I really feel like Black Label Pro is one of the few promotions out there creating cards where every match just feels so special- even if only because I usually know everyone on their cards.

From Alex Shelley and Isaias Velazquez this went into Violence Is Forever taking on Corn Beef, the team of Manders and Big Beef.   So, three of those IWTV Awards winners are in the ring here.   This was a great tag team hoss fight and if you somehow got Bear Country involved for the triple threat (elimination style) it would be the best possible tag team match I could think of right now.

I feel like I've only seen bits and pieces of Hammerstone in MLW (I can't remember a match I've seen where he wrestled but I'm sure I've seen it) and AJ Gray is just becoming one of the most consistent in the ring in terms of putting on great matches.   Rocky Romero is always a pleasure to watch and this match against Ophidian was no different.   I want to see Ophidian live this year. 

From seeing Kylie Rae in Freelance to BLP here, it's fun to watch her challenge Warhorse for the IWTV Independent Wrestling Title.   This was one of my two picks for match of the night and one of those matches you need to go out of your way to see in January 2020 because it just felt like these two threw everything at each other.    There were times when I swore Kylie Rae was going to win and at times it even felt like the crowd was turning on Warhorse (maybe because of that missed Dirty Dancing spot)

The other contender for match of the night- which you need to go out of your way to see- is Erick Stevens defending the BLP Heavyweight Title against Tom Lawlor.   This match was insane and just two dudes beating the shit out of each other.   What more do you really want to see?   I really hope Erick Stevens sticks around past April because I feel like there is still so much he can do and so many more wrestlers he can face which he may not between now and then.

In the main event, we saw a number of familiar faces and some new ones in The Greatest BLP Rumble Match.   Kobe Durst seems to be everywhere these days and he was in this along with Gary Jay.   There are just too many people here for me to say "Yeah, I've seen Graham Bell before" and "This was my first time seeing Nolan Edwards" so I'll just say that some of the highlights in this match to me were Wheeler Yuta's lasting for so long, Danhausen eliminating himself but still smiling, Austin Manix being in this along with Project MONIX for that Manix on MONIX violence (Now I just want to see Project MONIX vs Oswald Project) and Shane Sabre coming out as Ethan Page.

There was a bazooka and a unicycle in here.    Billie Starkz, Hawlee Cromwell, Alice Crowley and Blair Onyx all stood out in this match in their own ways.   I think the one wrestler I've never really seen before but now must follow based on this match though is Joshua Bishop (Hello, fellow Joshua!)  He's just this ass-kicking dude and I want to see him fight in so many potential matchups now.

My only complaint with this match was that Gary Jay and Kobe Durst went through a door on the outside and then stayed out there for quite some time recovering.   Since they spent so much time outside the ring, I felt like they should have been eliminated because it wouldn't have been fair for them to be able to come back in after all that time and win it, but neither of them did win (Though Gary Jay came close) and now we are about to enter the era of Jake Something.

Wrestling Review // Freelance 2020: A Freelance Odyssey (IWTV)

Following that amazing match between Kylie Rae and Ethan Page last year where Kylie Rae won the Freelance World Title, I instantly became a fan of Freelance Wrestling to the point that every time an event comes onto IWTV I will watch it (if I am unable to stream it live, which I'm usually too busy for live streaming these days)   This was the second show I streamed this year (after SUP Stay Cold) and it had a... dark feel to it.    I feel like I'm getting to know a lot of these wrestlers, but maybe it's just in their names.   Maybe it's because if I actually sat down and thought about what promotions I watch the most consistently Freelance would definitely be on that list (I'm just writing about them all this year)

There is a story in this show which comes full circle- from the opening contest until the end- but I'm going to talk about the other matches first because they need attention as well.   Laynie Luck is one of my favorite wrestlers right now (For reference: she usually comes out wearing a unicorn head) and seeing her versus Elayna Black just felt perfect.   Effy defended the Legacy Title against a different type of daddy in Dan The Dad, who I really enjoy as of late as well.

Seeing the Space Pirates is always a good time and then this wrestler named Isaias Velazquez defeated Arik Cannon.   I feel like I've seen Isaias Velazquez before but I can't be sure.  All I know is I had to google his entrance music and found out it was Drake.   Dammit, I wanted Jimmy to stay on Degrassi!   But this was a solid match and as you would expect, this show just had action from top to bottom that was worth going out of your way to see.  I don't like ranking promotions with numbers, so just know that Freelance Wrestling is one of those I go out of my way to watch and so should you.

Now, the real story here.   This show opened with Kobe Durst defeating a number of other competitors (including Danhausen) to earn a title shot against Kylie Rae at the end of the show.   The next match had Frank The Clown and Robert Anthony defeat The Yardy Boyz (Rickey Shane Page and Alex Ohlson) and this was an interesting match to me because Frank The Clown is such a natural heel.  Who is Frank The Clown?  He's a fan who tried to get himself over on television and if you ask the people who watch wrestling about him they'll mostly tell you that he's annoying.   He's a distraction.   He takes away from what's going on in the ring, so might as well put him in that ring.

At the end of this show, after a great match between Kylie Rae and Kobe Durst, Frank The Clown came out with Robert Anthony and cut this massive heel promo on Kylie Rae.   It was actually really effective and it makes you hate Frank The Clown, as you should, but also you kind of feel like he's got a point in what he's saying.   You wonder whether or not Kylie Rae could defeat Robert Anthony.   And Freelance just set up what could be the match of the year.   This segment to close the show just has me hooked and that much more hyped for their next show, which is something every promotion should be doing these days (and sadly they are not)

Perhaps my favorite part of all of this- and this just might be me or maybe it's what was intended all along- is how well this all played out in terms of Frank The Clown becoming this foe for Kylie Rae.   Kylie Rae is known as "Smiley Kylie".   Clowns are known for their smiling and happy demeanor as well.    I wouldn't call Kylie Rae a clown, per se, but they both bring joy wherever they go.   They are both, in theory, to be cheered and adored by children of all ages. 

And yet Kylie Rae and Frank The Clown are so different.   I don't like to use cliches, but I feel it is the only way here to say that Kylie Rae and Frank The Clown are simply different sides of the same coin.    And this match is set for the next Freelance Wrestling show- Kylie Rae vs Robert "Ego" Anthony.   And I'm concerned Kylie Rae's title reign might already come to an end.   There is awesome artwork for a poster of this already (I'd buy a print signed and shipped to me) and I think this might be the year of Freelance Wrestling if things keep going this way. 

Wrestling Review // SUP Stay Cold (IWTV)

In many ways, this was the first big event of 2020 that wasn't something I experienced live (such as ICW New York's No Holds Barred Vol. 1 the night before this) and it did feel a little bit odd to be watching wrestling on IWTV again as opposed to in person.  As with most things, when you are there in person you see it through your eyes but when you are watching on television it's through the eyes of the cameraman/producer/whoever.   Sometimes that isn't a bad thing though.

This was also one of those cards that was about half full of names I knew and then there were those names I either didn't know or just saw maybe one time before.   One of my judgments now for wrestling though is whether or not I'd pay and go see it live if I could.  If this show was three or four hours away from me, would I drive and see it in person?  And the answer is simply: Yes, yes I would.

"Stay Cold" checks a lot of boxes for me, and the first one is obviously Manders.  I think I'd go to this show just to see him.   Then you have him versus this legend in Jon Davis and that was just a hard-hitting contest as any you want to see.   This match just delivered what you would have hoped for (and more) and Manders is such a star.

I've only ever seen Curt Stallion on IWTV so I'd like to see him live one day.  The same can be said for Daniel Makabe though, who I think is one of those wrestlers who will just have a huge year in 2020.   Case in point, his match against Kevin Ku on this show is in that early contention for match of the year.   If I was going to make a list of matches I really enjoy every month (and I might) Daniel Makabe vs. Kevin Ku would be the first one on it.

I love Violence Is Forever.   My dream tag team match would be to see Violence Is Forever vs. Bear Country live at some point.   You can sometimes forget how dangerous these guys are on their own, as Dominic Garrini put Logan Stunt to sleep on this card. 

Admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan of all of these wrestlers though.  Kung Fu Janela seems like a weird gimmick.  The Mason Dixon Line seems outdated, like something you'd see Jim Cornette come up with a hundred years ago.    And I'm not really left with any impression of Alan Angels- I almost completely forgot about him after I watched his match.

I did however really enjoy seeing Cole Radrick, AC Mack (who I think I've seen before), Cabana Man Dan (who I know I've seen before), Brett Ison and IFHY (though I still say Shawn Kemp played for the Supersonics)

As with most promotions though, I feel like SUP has their roster and it just takes the time of watching them perform before you get used to all of them.   I never really had any issues with the action as I was watching it- the show entertained me from start to finish- and I think that if you watch it you'll likely feel entertained by at least four of these matches if not all of them. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Cassette Review //
"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
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All Get Out
Math The Band (back)