Photos of this event can be found in the Facebook album here :::
My maps app took me through Route 42 which was full of backroads and houses. It was those weird twists and turns with trees where you wouldn't want to be driving too fast or hit some black ice and wipe out. Luckily it was cold out but there wasn't really ice or even rain. This show had a 6:15 doors and 7 pm bell time and nothing ever seems to start on time so I planned on getting there at 6:30, thinking I might be able to get in, but I still somehow got there at almost exactly 6:15 and people were being let in!
I walked through merch tables first and saw DangerKid. It's good to have the merch tables near the doors. It's like how when you go to museums and such you exit through the gift shop. "Before you go, just buy this shirt or two". When I got to the doorway for tickets I showed the woman I had purchased a ticket online and she said "You're in Section E, Row 1, Seat 3- do you know where that is?" and I didn't but next time I will.
As soon as I sat down two realizations hit me: There was no guardrail between the ring and me and I was literally maybe five feet from the ring itself. I knew right then this was going to be a wild night and if someone came flying over the top rope too quickly it could spell the end for me (which I was okay with because it's the risk you take)
The show started a little bit after 7 pm, but not too much after, and it opened up with the six man tag match which allowed me to see DangerKid again. I don't know who any of these wrestlers are outside of the MSP and that's ok. The match was high flying fun and didn't overstay its welcome.
A wrestler named Dexter Loux came out next and he had an injured elbow. In the three shows I've been to before this, there haven't really been "in ring segments" unless it was to set up a match, but since NEW has their shows on demand and physical release I understand how this was done the same way you'd see in... I don't know ROH. As someone who'd never heard of Dexter Loux before this segment bored me right up until Bear Country came out and nearly killed the guy.
It's funny because I didn't expect to see Bear Country on this show but it was a pleasant surprise. The crowd booed them because Dexter Loux is a face and they were beating up an injured man, but seeing Bear Country on IWTV made me respect them and seeing how large they are in person made me fear them. I wasn't going to boo them and in that way they remind me a lot of when I saw The Dudleys in ECW. Not the guys you want all up in your face.
This took us into our woman's match of the night with Tasha Steelz defeating Angel Sinclair. Tasha Steelz is part of that SZN faction I saw last week in Chaotic, with Christian Casanova and all though she wasn't there, and I think she was on an episode on NWA as well. I don't know though because I can't really follow NWA because there just isn't enough time. Angel Sinclair also may or may not be the woman Ava Everett called out at the last Chaotic show but I don't know.
The match wasn't bad but I'd like to see Tasha Steelz in there with a known name. Oddly enough, they announced during this event that NEW has a direct talent line with ROH now and NEW is the only company where ROH wrestlers are allowed to appear in the US outside of ROH. At first I thought "Yeah, but ROH is trash now"- though I must never forget that ROH *booking* is trash-- the talent is still there. Hey, whatever gets me to see Maria Manic, right? (Please?)
In the third match "Cold Steel" Chuck O'Neil defeated "The Manscout" Jake Manning. This was a great match because both of these guys can go and seem equally as tough as the other. I remember Jake Manning from before he was "The Manscout" but this was my first time seeing him live and it was great. Say what you want if you don't like his gimmick, but he can go in the ring and isn't that what's most important?
I've also been seeing Chuck O'Neil a lot on IWTV as even recently as this past Thursday when some idiot fan put their hands on him. Chuck O'Neil just legitimately looks like he could hurt you- like he should be starring in action movies- and I love that about him. As with most all of the matches, these guys worked right in front of me at one point and it was so rad.
Brian Anthony cost Jake Manning this match and this set up a match for I believe the February NEW show where Jake Manning will never wrestle in NEW again if he loses, but if he wins he gets Brian Anthony's crown (because Brian Anthony has a king gimmick and, yes, he even has wrestled Jerry Lawler about it) It will be interesting to see, assuming Brian Anthony loses the crown and has to be reborn under a new gimmick.
Next we had a tag team match with the guys from SZN (I think I saw them last week at Chaotic) taking on Waves and Curls (who I think I also saw last week at Chaotic) and it was not my favorite match of the night. I'm just not into either of these gimmicks. I like Christian Casanova and I even like Tasha Steelz now, but these two other SZN guys don't do anything for me and Waves and Curls just make a mess with confetti (which I still have in my camera bag from last week)
At this point I was wondering if there would be an intermission and there was not. Having that fifteen to twenty minute break to prevent your butt from hurting from being on the steel chair for so long is really something you don't know you need until you need it.
T.K. O'Ryan came out to cut a promo and he didn't get attacked. This was a part of the night I could have done without but, yeah, I get it. The fans love him, it's a tv show type of thing and it's an NEW thing as well. Somehow, the fans of NEW love guys like T.K. O'Ryan and Matt Taven who... I do not love. It might just be the way that ROH has presented them, but I don't know. Imagine seeing your first NEW event and you hear this heartfelt promo about injuries and such... it's more meaningful if you have a connection that I was lacking here.
This took us into the No DQ/No Count Out match between Dan Maff and Wrecking Ball Legursky. These are two huge guys who just beat the hell out of each other. There were tables and chairs and this was a really fun fight that the crowd was really into. I know Wrecking Ball Legursky is a mainstay in NEW and this was my first time seeing him live. I remember Dan Maff from ROH and this was also my first time seeing him live.
What I love about seeing pro wrestling live that I feel like doesn't translate as well on television is that not only is the ring louder when the wrestlers slam down onto it, but the hits are harder as well. People who think "Oh, wrestling is fake, they pull their punches" but you could hear the massive *thud* sounds as these two punched and hit each other with forearms. You can't fake that.
I will call this the semi-main event but it was like the main event for me because I came to this show to see Brian Pillman Jr, who was able to defeat Mike Verna. It's funny because if you had asked me two weeks ago I wouldn't have known the name Mike Verna other than being BPJ's opponent here, and in that time I have learned his name because he was announced for the next Chaotic Wrestling show and apparently he also has a tag team with Willow Nightingale, which I saw on Twitter because I love Willow Nightingale and will see her in 2020 somehow yet to be determined.
This match had some high flying spots, but also some grounded wrestling and it's one of those well-rounded wrestling type of matches you want to see on every show. At one point, BPJ yelled at the fans to get up and move because he was planning on throwing Mike Verna into those chairs and then Verna put the brakes on so that was kind of funny-- everyone moved for nothing.
Ever since I got back into pro wrestling around September (because I was watching bits and pieces here and there, NXT and 205 Live mostly, but now I watch way too much on IWTV and even go to live shows again) I've wanted to see Brian Pillman Jr because Brian Pillman is my all-time favorite wrestler and this night helped me accomplish that, so thank you NEW.
For the main event, Christian Casanova, Keith Youngblood and JT Dunn did battle for the newly formed NEW Live Championship. This match was fun and the crowd was really behind Keith Youngblood, but with Christian Casanova winning thanks to help from Tasha Steelz now the chase begins for Keith Youngblood. It was also funny that the majority of this match was obstructed viewing for me because Tasha Steelz was hanging out right in front of me. Again though, it was just one of those things where you experience pro wrestling live and it's not like it is on tv.
After all of this went down, we of course had to exit through the gift shop. I was waiting in a line to get through the doors and could see through the crowd the bright yellow mullet and thus knew Brian Pillman Jr was out there. This made me feel like my reason for coming to this show was complete. This was why I was wearing the shirt that I was wearing. As the people pushed through, there was one guy and two women who were in line in front of me.
Brian Pillman Jr came out from behind the merch table to take a picture with the two ladies and I asked him if he'd stay out there for a photo with me, rather than going back behind the table and coming back out, and he said that he'd only do a photo if I bought something and so I told him I'd buy stuff because he had this loot crate type of figure I knew I needed and didn't know how else to get. I also bought an 8x10 and he signed everything-which was really nice of him as well.
It's funny (and I say that a lot, but not always about things that make me laugh) because after I got my photo quite a crowd had formed around Brian Pillman Jr. He said something to the effect of how many people there were, but also that it wasn't a bad thing. After I got my photo and merch, I left but I feel like Brian Pillman Jr stayed there for as long as it took to take every picture and sign every piece of merchandise. He just seems so genuinely appreciative of the fans and it's something every wrestler should share but you never tire of seeing.
"Throwing Copper" by Live (there)
"Dude Ranch" by Blink 182 (back)