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
The Hotelier (SoundCloud mixed)