Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Live Pro Wrestling Review //
Chaotic Wrestling
"Road To Cold Fury"
@ Game Time (Lowell, MA)

More Photos can be found here :::

We're on the road to Cold Fury!   So after the last event in Hudson, Josh Briggs, Mike Verna, Ava Everett and Davienne all got suspended.   This means this was our first Chaotic show without The Girls Room and it just kind of messes up our whole overall average of who we've seen the most because maybe DL Hurst is going to get closer to the lead now.  I need to make so many spreadsheets. 

We went to this show to see two different matches- which ended up being the first and final matches on the show.   DL Hurst vs. JT Dunn is a showcase of two wrestlers who really need to be talked about more and their match just delivered.   Somehow, it also went on first- which I had this feeling it might but also thought it could main event.   Before the match started, JT Dunn told the ref something like "Nah, she won't be here.  She's suspended" and I thought that was funny.

Then we get into the whole idea of what happened in between the first and final match.    I've read all these things on Twitter about how great TJ Crawford is, but I have yet to see it.   I just know that he had me cheering (kind of) for Tyler Cintron and I don't like that.  It's also funny that during this match there was a "U-S-A" chant going, as if both men aren't from the United States. 

Christian Casanova was in the house with the former tag team champions and I usually am not a fan of the talking segments, but this one turned into a tag match (minus the champ) with Bear Country and any reason to see Bear Country is a good reason for me.  This show was about two hours away and that's definitely a reasonable driving distance just to see Bear Country, so I was pleased with just this match itself because it was hard-hitting and yet it came after the great opening contest as well as Crawford-Cintron which delivered on some level as well.

In "Things That Bother Me (But I Said This Last Time)" Christian Casanova defended his title against Scotty Slade after Scotty Slade simply... walked out and... asked for the match?  So, you have this main event for Cold Fury.   Christian Casanova defending the title against Mike Verna (who had to defeat Brian Pillman Jr to get into the match, after everything which happened at Pandemonium), Anthony Greene (take what I said about Verna and substitute BPJ for Hammerstone) and Josh Briggs if he can defeat Nick fucking Gage...

And then somehow... Scotty Slade just walks into a title match. 

I know, I know we have that whole thing where we must suspend disbelief- like in comic books why doesn't Iron Man just make an army of suits and then he can protect whoever he wants and he'd be unstoppable- but sometimes I'm just... If I don't question why, who will?

I feel like intermission was in here but I don't remember.   During intermission, we went over so Quentin could take a photo with Christian Casanova because that guy holds gold pretty much everywhere he goes.   He's the champ in Chaotic, he won the title when I saw him in NEW, he's been picking up huge wins in Beyond and I think he was even on a Blitzkrieg! show once.  I feel like I see him everywhere but he's just that damn good.

There was a triple tag match with Chase/Cashew vs. CJ/Ricky vs. Logan Bros and that was a lot of fun.   I think some of the Logans family members were behind us.   But with the team of Chase/Cashew picking up wins perhaps they might be next in line for a tag team title shot, which would be pretty nice to see.

I don't remember the names of the wrestler in the squash match before the main event, but the one guy who lost (badly) walked by the row in front of us (we were second row) slapping hands and when he went by this one kid he pulled his hand back and the wrestler was all disappointed like "Awww" while the fans to the left of us popped.   It was one of those moments I hope makes it to the YouTube but if it doesn't, it happened and it was great.

During the main event you kind of knew that Anthony Greene would be winning but it was still a really good match.  I've seen a handful of things that Hammerstone has done because I kind of pay attention to MLW but I kind of don't (I think I remember a match he had with BPJ) but, yeah, Hammerstone had a great match here and he's a great heel.   Although I must also say that as someone who *isn't* from MA, it's great to go see wrestling in MA because of hearing everyone yell with their Boston accents.   Hammerstone got boos by pointing this out, but it is one of those fun variables about wrestling.

While intermission was fun, after the show we got kicked out.   I guess if you don't meet wrestlers during intermission or before the show, you won't meet them at all during Chaotic although when the show was over someone said to stay and meet with the wrestlers.   When I told some Chaotic employee though we were waiting to meet Hammerstone he told us we had to leave, the ultimate heel move.   Ah well.  Life goes on.   I'm sure we'll be seeing Hammerstone again somewhere.

Live Pro Wrestling Review //
Pioneer Valley Pro
"PVP 2020 Kickoff"
@ Pulaski Club
Easthampton, MA

More Photos can be found in a Facebook Album here :::

Professional wrestling is so rad.  I found out about this show on Facebook and it was either because it was recommended to me because Facebook likes to recommend me a lot of wrestling (it's one of the only reasons why I go on there these days) or because it was posted about by Wrecking Ball Legursky who is my Facebook friend.   Anyway, I saw that this was a nice Sunday afternoon show, about an hour away from me in MA, and I decided to give it a go.   What's funny is, I thought there would be one or two wrestlers there that I knew and it turned out I saw a few more than that. 

Quentin and I made good time and I feel like he was upset it only took us an hour to get there because when I was ready to get out of the car he wasn't done playing his DS.   I read on Facebook that the show started at 3 with the doors opening so we could get our seats at 2:30.   We went in at 2:30 because for some reason I thought I had bought the general admission seats.  I buy so many tickets so far out in advance (I currently have seven shows I've purchased tickets for) I don't always remember where we're sitting.

When we got up to the table the woman informed us that I had in fact purchased reserved front row seats, which was a nice surprise to me (Thanks, past me!) because there were already people filling in and I didn't want to have to search for seats in the other rows.   Every few seats had a number on it, so that was how you determine where to sit because we were, for example, numbers 18 and 19.   Chair 19 had a number on it too and the woman working there pointed us in the right direction.   I actually asked her if our names would be on the seats (like Chaotic) but alas they were not.

Also, super special shout out to Pioneer Valley Pro Wrestling because upon entering the show at the table where tickets are paid for and taken not only did they have a free event poster printed out but they also had a program.    Every wrestling show should have a program at least, but yes, this was a nice touch that made me quite happy (And between Quentin and I, we only took one of each because we didn't need two- see, and that's what helps to make it work: don't be greedy)

As the show was starting we learned that this was, in fact, sold out and the crowd was wild.   I recognized some of the fans from Blitzkrieg! Pro and I don't pretend to know where anyone lives but I suppose if you're in the general area of where Blitzkrieg has their shows you could be close to this as well.   Though you could argue the same for Chaotic and I didn't really see Chaotic fans there.  But then again, people might think I live in NJ or NY so who really knows, right?  I mean, this was an hour from me but maybe someone else drove two or three hours to it.

This show opened with talking (which you know I love) and this was our first time at a PVP show so I have no idea what's going on but apparently they have a feud with Western Mass Wrestling and it's a serious thing.   Scotty Wylde was out here and so was someone called "Big Bacon" and it was a little bit of a mess because I feel like it accomplished something for a later show perhaps but it didn't seem- at the same- to do anything for the show that night.

The first match though saw Slade (Yes, SLADE) take on someone named Chris Benne, who everyone called "Beanie Baby".    It's always fun to see Slade and if you can go out of your way to see him you really should.  I had no idea who Chris Benne was- and the crowd was giving him shit- and on some levels I feel like Slade is a heel but he's also one of those guys where you're afraid to boo him or talk badly about him, so he comes off as this face by proxy.   Throughout the match though, Quentin realized he was supposed to be cheering for Slade, regardless of what was going on in the match Quentin just became a fan and that's how it should be, right?

Jiggie Sosa is a guy who came back from injury recently and he was supposed to be on this show but couldn't make it.   So instead the scheduled triple threat match turned into a one on one match between Dan De Man and The Strategist JustNeph.    Dan De Man has this size to him and he can move.   When he first came out, people cheered him but after a quick promo the crowd turned on him.   The Strategist, however, has this pretty cool looking gimmick and can also go in the ring so I think he's going to really be someone who catches on soon and more people will start talking about him because he has that look.

We then witnessed a war between Logan Black and Chuck O'Neil.   Something about Chuck O'Neil just oozes heel vibes.  I respect what the guy can do in the ring and I'd never be stupid enough to try and fight him (like that one fan in Beyond) but something about him just makes people want to boo him.  Even Quentin got into telling him "You suck Chuck!" which I thought was great.   This match also somehow saw the middle rope break during it.   I thought there was six matches on the card, so if this wasn't the spot for an intermission before it would be now because they'd have to fix that.

There was also a tag team match in between those last two matches with "Smart" Mark Sterling- I remember now as I consult my pictures and what happened during intermission.   Pretty much every wrestler on the show came out during intermission to sell their merch and/or talk with the fans and I love that about this as well.   No one really seemed to be hiding in the back.  Quentin got to take pictures with Slade, "Smart" Mark Sterling and Wrecking Ball Legursky.    I bought a Wrecking Ball shirt and Quentin bought a lucha mask from Logan Black, who also gave him a sticker.   They kept saying "Five more minutes of intermission" but we kept somehow talking to everyone (including Davienne) without it ending.

I also enjoyed that this Pulaski Club had a bar with food.  Quentin wanted to go get something to eat at one point so I sent him over there with money and he came back and said  he had to wait because they were making him mozzarella sticks.  I saw people with burgers and fries, you know, this was a good place to eat your lunch/dinner while watching wrestling as well I suppose.   So shout out to the venue for being awesome as well.

Also worth noting is that (and you can see it to some extent in my photos) there was this hallway you would go down to come in and out of the main room- where you would stop at the ticket table.   From where we were sitting there was a staircase on the right hand side and up those stairs was where the wrestlers were when they weren't wrestling.  So to come out to the ring, they'd go down the steps and come in through the way where we did when we paid to get in.    It was fun to see everyone entering that way *but* I will also say that the two wrestlers I saw there watching the matches the most were Logan Black and Slade.

Following intermission, Davienne was supposed to have a women's title shot but her opponent wasn't there so she fought this guy called Aaron Bradley.   It was a good match and I must note that when I purchased tickets for this show I didn't even know Davienne would be on it, but yet, I somehow end up only at shows where she is also there.   I guess I have to keep that streak alive, right?

In the main event, "The American Sumo" Mike Gamble got added to the match so Wrecking Ball and Sumo started off outside of the ring, fighting everywhere, and they really had quite the battle before Dexter Loux even made it to the ring to join the match.    One of the things people overlook about professional wrestling these days is whether or not the characters should be faces or heels.   People want to be ~cool~ they want to break the rules but get cheered, you know?

But sometimes- sometimes- there is a character (like how I mentioned Chuck O'Neil before) who just seems like such a natural heel.   To me, this is how I feel about Dexter Loux.  Now, back in December, I saw Dexter Loux come out during a NEW show and cut a promo about his broken arm or elbow or whatever and then Bear Country beat the hell out of him.  I love Bear Country.  I don't like in ring promos.  But the crowd at NEW were cheering for Dexter Loux and sympathetic to him getting beat down.  So for this match, for this show, it felt good to actually be able to boo Dexter Loux and I wasn't the only one doing it.

This show ended with a big angle between PVP and Western Mass and it just felt intense even if you were like me and weren't really sure what was going on.   Whenever Pioneer Valley Pro has another show because this was one... I didn't know what to expect, you know?  I thought maybe it'd be this little show with a small crowd and they'd maybe have a few vocal fans who were the diehards, but wow did the fans turn out and help make this show feel like such an experience.   I keep saying and it remains true: pro wrestling in 2020 is on another level.

After the show was over we went back over to the merch table for JustNeph because he had this small plush toy that was like the keychain one we got from Holidead but he also had this larger plush toy as well- which looked similar but wasn't a keychain- and so Quentin wanted both of those plus a sticker that I wanted where JustNeph looks like Bart Simpson.    It's always nice to meet at least one new wrestler to follow at every show and I definitely know we will be back at the next PVP show.

Music Review //
Thomas Charlie Pedersen
"Daylight Saving Hours" //

"Daylight Saving Hours", as a concept not an album, is a funny thing to me because farmers used it and now it's just something that comes around twice a year to disrupt our sleeping habits.    Thankfully though, this album by Thomas Charlie Pedersen is only here to disrupt your life in the best possible way, which in some ways feels like taking the idea of "Daylight Saving Hours" back to mean something positive.

Right away this starts off with pianos and it reminds me of the opening track from that one Waking Ashland album I always go back and listen to after all these years.  There were quite a few bands that could be considered rock with the elements of emo in them, back in the early 2000's, who had that one piano song or even someone like Sherwood, and I feel like this is what that sound might come out like some twenty years later.

Melodies flow through acoustic pop but by the third song it's more of a dark folk.  For some reason these songs make me think about both swimming and John Lennon.    There are also these overlapping vocals on "Green Plateau", which can put you in a trance.   Aspects of the album such as that show that as much as you can think of this as being "voice + piano" or "voice + acoustic guitar", there are still elements which make it so much more than that simply stated.

"Sad To See You Go" has words and comes in at just under a minute (43 seconds to be precise) whilst "The Witty Moniker" is just over a minute long and instrumental- showcasing those different skills of Thomas Charlie Pedersen.   "Stay True" is a lot lighter- it's higher somehow- than the other songs, but it is also my favorite song on this album.   As we get towards the end, the songs can bring in strings and just kind of seem to reach that end in a perfectly fitting manner.

No matter how long you've listened to music or how you feel about different genres, the fact is that this album will likely throw you for a bit of a loop at first.   It took me a good number of times- it wasn't really until the fifth listen through that I feel like I got it.   And it's not just put it on in the car and then tune out and back in at random times, but it's actually paying attention to each note and not having your focus on anything else (often in the dark) It needs that kind of attention and if you're willing to give it you can see how special of an album this truly is.

Music Review //
Mark Renner
"Seaworthy Vessels are in Short Supply" //

When I first started listening to "Seaworthy Vessels are in Short Supply" (which, as a title, I love) I was a little confused.   The first few songs- while hearing Mark Renner for the first time- make me think of something that you would call "light rock" or "easy listening".  It's that Paul Simon feel or maybe "adult contemporary".   Regardless, it's a lot of labels I don't typically go for because it seems too soft and quiet for me, but as Mark Renner sings about going north I think of John Denver and am happy after listening to the whole album through that I stuck with it.

By "Ones To Come" there is a dark feeling like Phil Collins and the electronics come in.   It's strange that this never really happened to me before in such a way, but yes, I was not a fan of these first few songs the first time I heard them but after listening to the album in full several times, it all sort of clicked and now I am a fan of them because I don't hear them the same way as I described in that first paragraph.   Music has that strange power over us where at first it can be such a stranger but then once it becomes so familiar it can take on a seemingly entire different life.

So what is the music of Mark Renner exactly?  I feel like defining it would help shape your idea of it all and you should listen to it and have those ideas form on your own, much like how I wouldn't want someone to tell me this sounded like something I didn't want to hear and then have me either be stucking hearing that or just pass it up.   There is an atmospheric sound on "Cloud Journal", which makes me think of both nature and space, while "Corollary Currents" shifts into dark acoustics. 

"The Heart Is A Wounded Furnace" has these drum machines which make me think of electronic rock and it's also instrumental.   Sad strings open up "These Were The Things" and there are guest vocals- a duet if you will- on "Namesake For The Northern Sea".    By the end of the album I hear bells and begin to think that even with more sad strings and pianos this has that holiday feeling, which I don't mind because at least he's not singing about Christmas and rather just has that vibe to it.

How do you describe this music?  Dark, electronic and acoustic don't seem to fit into one genre together that I would use to describe Mark Renner but I often think about the ideas of nature and space while listening to these songs.   Isn't it strange how in nature, in the woods, you have plants and trees which rely on factors to grow and live which you cannot find in space.   I think perhaps describing music in a word or two (a genre) is a statement of fact, such as land or air.   The music of Mark Renner on "Seaworthy Vessels are in Short Supply" feels more like an idea- something you can't quite put your finger on but have to think a lot about- and I like that.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Live Wrestling Review //
Weekend At Sean's House
Night 2
(H2O Wrestling Center, Williamstown, NJ)

Additional Photos can be found here :::

Last weekend- for my birthday- I was in NJ on a Friday night and MA on a Saturday.   This weekend, I found myself in MA on a Friday night and NJ on a Saturday.   This show was much further into NJ than I drove last weekend though.  Last weekend once I got into NJ it felt like I was there.   This weekend, once I got into NJ I spent about two hours on the Jersey Turnpike.    We somehow made it quite a while before having to stop to use the bathroom but then we went to that rest area called Vince Lombardi where you have to walk to a trailer and I just wanted to see this time if the Starbucks truck was open (it was)

There are many things that make me want to go to a wrestling show.  Most of the time, it's the lineup.   You put a wrestler or two on your show that I really want to see, and I'll be there.   This show, though, had at least one person I wanted to see in every match.  It also felt like this strange crossover event because some of the talent was that National Pro Wrestling Day show earlier in Philadelphia (We were so close to Philly!) and some of the talent went to the CZW show later that night.   In one instance, yes, there was a match where it could have been thought of as CZW versus CHIKARA, which is pretty rad.

A lot of my reasons for wanting to go to this show were also to want to see 2 Cold Scorpio.   I likely saw him, when I was younger, in his WWE days, but to be able to actually say I saw him in a match I remember is the type of memory I want to create, not just for myself but for Quentin as well. 
When we first got into the show we went to the bathroom and then saw a merch area set up nearby.   They had a few different event posters for sale and one of them looked like a comic book cover and featured Davienne vs. Steve Sanders on it.   It had been signed by both wrestlers and so I told the person doing the merch table I had to have it.  He went to go find a price and I was ready to pay more, but $15 it was.   Davienne is my favorite wrestler but even if you were just sort of a fan of her- or Steve Sanders, or the match or just wanted a nice souvenir from the show- this poster is so rad.   It's one of those things where I wish more people would do posters like this, but I only have so much wall space.

The highlights of the night- for me- included seeing Big Callux, Molly McCoy & Billy Avery, KTB vs Boomer Hatfield and Pinkie Sanchez.   This was another one of those shows where you see wrestlers you know and I'm never really sure whether or not I'm supposed to cheer or boo them.  Pinkie Sanchez attacked both Davienne and Steve Sanders in the first match, to set up the later match between Pinkie and Steve, but I will almost always feel the need to cheer for Pinkie Sanchez regardless of what he does.   I mean, I knew he was evil last weekend but I still cheered him.

But this is what I love about professional wrestling right now.   You might not be watching these characters on forty hours of television every week, so you might not know them- or maybe you do know them but just don't know who to boo or cheer for in a specific match.   And this is something I really see and think about through Quentin's eyes as well.  A match like KTB vs. Boomer Hatfield told a story and there was really no doubt in anyone's mind there of who should be cheered and who should be booed.  (It is also okay to boo someone in the ring and still be a fan of them outside of it)

For Quentin, I would say that the highlight of his night was seeing Ava Everett.   During her match- a triple threat- she got knocked to the outside near us and when she saw Quentin she sat in an empty chair next to him, which prompted me to take a photo of them (I asked permission first) and after Quentin gave her some encouragement she got back in there and won the match.   That's what BBFs are for (I wish I had a BFF like that) But these are the types of things you can't buy.   These are the reasons why you should go to see professional wrestling in person because even just that one singular moment was worth all the time spent in the car.

Before the main event, they had to set up the ring and Quentin somehow got in this power nap.   I thought "Well, if he sleeps through this match, maybe it's best for him to not see the violence" and then at some point early on in the match I looked over at him and he was wide awake again.   Quentin has seen some pretty brutal matches, but he hasn't quite seen anyone bleed like this before.   I'm not saying I'd take him to a TOD or anything, but I think him watching this is a lot like him seeing similar violence in a movie or video game and overall it's better for me to know what he's watching as well.

Wrestling is a weird thing for me because back when Tim Donst first started as this scrawny kid he was in CHIKARA a lot and I wasn't as into wrestling then as I am even now- I wouldn't have driven four hours to see CHIKARA at that time because I didn't really see wrestling live a lot in general- and then once Donst became this badass character that I wanted to see live and he was raising hell in CZW, I was in Texas.  So this was my first time seeing Tim Donst in person but he's someone I've been following since the turn of the century.

This whole show had a little bit of everything on it and that's what I like to see in wrestling.    Sure, I'd go to a show that had a lucha theme, but to have it mixed up like this is what I really want to see because then all of the matches stand on their own unique merits.   After the show was over, I was waiting to see if maybe 2 Cold Scorpio or anyone would come back out but Quentin was ready to go.   There was a fork in the ring that was used during the match and I told Quentin to take it but he said no.  I asked him why not and he said "It has blood on it".    (Spoilers though: I took the fork)

On the drive home, our first stop was at a Wawa.   This really was some kind of nostalgic weekend for me.   The night before, I had been to Papa Gino's for the first time in I don't know how many decades.   Tonight, I went to Wawa for the first time in I don't know how many decades.  I think the guy pumping my gas at Wawa was a little freaked out by this though.   And then Chase thought my card was stolen, but to be fair I usually can make it to NJ and back without having to get gas.   Pretty much my drive to MA the night before- there and back- was equal to less than one way to this show.   But, like I said, I'm never going to look back and say "Oh, remember how long that drive was".   I'm going to look back and remember Brandon Kirk having a dildo in his mouth.

This also isn't the end of this review.   It's more like a "To be continued..."- which is another reason why I love going to live wrestling shows.   While at this show, I saw a flyer for Stan Stylez's Intergender Bonanza 5 and who was on the poster but Su Yung, Jamie Senegal and MAX THE FUCKING IMPALER.  Needless to say, once I found tickets the day afte I bought them and am now ready to make this trip, about a month later, to see some familiar faces and make some new friends.

Live Wrestling Review //
Chaotic Wrestling
Hudson, MA

More Photos can be found here :::

This was our second time in Hudson, MA- the place where Quentin saw his first wrestling show- and it follows the destruction that was Pandemonium- which I have spelled wrong far too many times.   The idea going into this show is that something will be said about what happened last month with the main event and who gets the title shot for "Cold Fury" and all of that.   There is also a tag team titles match and Brian Pillman Jr vs. Mike Verna, so just an overall solid looking card without even having it all announced.   I definitely enjoy that Chaotic Wrestling has that way where you can randomly show up to a show and have fun, but also if you go to all the shows you can follow along and become invested in that "soap opera" way.

Before this all happens though it is worth noting that we started this day off by going to the first rest area on the Mass Pike, which allowed Quentin to get McDonald's for dinner and I got three slices of pizza from Papa Gino's.   There might be a Papa Gino's in CT somewhere still, but there used to be one right down the road from me (It's a Boston Market now) and I remember having a birthday party there as a kid where I got to make my own pizza.   We also had some time before the show started so we went back to that Shaw's plaza we found last time but instead of spending a lot of time on that side I took Quentin to Game Stop where he got a new DS game to play in the car.

For me, the thing I find confusing at times about Chaotic Wrestling is that sometimes the heels are cheered.   When we got to the show, people were being let in, so it didn't take us that long to go in and start the show.   Anthony Green and Ava Everett were out first to talk with Brian Fury, but this brought out Josh Briggs and people both cheer but also boo him.   People booed when he said he destroyed everything last month and we loved it, but I really did love it.   It was destruction unlike I've seen before and that's kind of what I'm here for in seeing wrestling live.

But then I think of a team like the Logan Brothers.   They try to cheat to win.  They seem to have those typical heel tactics.   But they get cheers because they're veterans in Chaotic Wrestling.   I'm still not 100% sold on them but CJ Cruz and Ricky Archer are a great tag team.   I'm hoping they get into a position to go for a tag title shot soon enough.   It's also funny to me that there was a row of little kids in front of us and one of them was wearing that CJ Cruz shirt after intermission, because on the back it has an edited version of "Little Brick Shithouse".

Before intermission, the first half main event saw Mike Verna defeat Brian Pillman Jr.   Earlier in the night, Brian Fury made the announcement that there would be a Fatal Fourway at "Cold Fury" between Christian Casanova (the champ), Mike Verna, Anthony Green and Josh Briggs *but* each of the three challengers had to earn their way into the match.   So, basically, with this match, if Mike Verna lost he was out of the main event at "Cold Fury" and it wasn't even like BPJ would replace him so that, in some ways, kind of gave away the winner to me.   Still, this was a great match and something about these two just clicks.   I saw their first match in NEW and BPJ won that one so I suppose it's time for someone (near me) to book the rubber match.

Intermission.   Ava Everett was one of the first to go near the merch tables, so Quentin went over to talk with her and I didn't push through the crowd of people just yet.  Somehow, Brian Pillman Jr came through the crowd right by me to get to the merch area where he had 8x10's for sale and if you bought one he'd take a photo with you.   So, of course, I paid for the 8x10 (had it made out to Quentin) in order to get a photo of the son of my all-time favorite wrestler with my son.    That was a lot of fun.   As people cleared out a little bit, I went over towards Ava Everett because Quentin had been talking to her- she gave him a sticker- and I noticed she had DVDs for sale.

Excuse my awkwardness but our conversation (and this is someone I've spoken with before on more than one occasion) went something like "Why do you have DVDs?", and she told me they were for Zero 1, and then I think I kind of looked confused or said something like "What are they?" but she understood and told me they were $10 each.  So instead of saying something normal like "Ok, I shall buy them" I said something like "Yeah, I'll watch them" and gave her money.   Why am I like this?

The second half of the show taught me that a) We were seated next to Charlie Cashew's parents and b) There were drunk fans in front of us who were in love with the guy with the Randy Orton tattoos.    This got rather wild and by the end, the team of Death By Davie won the tag team titles.    In our first Chaotic show- Quentin's first wrestling show- DBD wore flannel pajamas.   On the last show, they earned the title shot by defeating MSP.   So this just felt like it was going to happen and I would've been really upset if it didn't.   Davienne is also the first woman to hold these tag titles, so she's breaking barriers everywhere.

I feel like I always say "I'm only going to go to one or two wrestling shows per month" and I try to limit it to just Chaotic Wrestling and Blitzkrieg! Pro.   But then I find all of these other shows and end up going to two during the same weekend.   It's so much fun though, and Quentin is having so much fun with it all as well.   But even if you don't want to go as crazy as I do, just go to Chaotic Wrestling when they have shows if you're in the area.  Pick one promotion in your local area and follow it.   It's never too late to get into it and you'll have more fun than the money you spend.

There ::: The White Stripes / He Is Legend / Tiny Moving Parts
Back ::: STP / The Hotelier

Live Pro Wrestling Review //
Blitzkrieg! Pro Wrestling
"Stinks On Ice"
@ Moose Lodge, Westfield, MA

Additional Photos can be found here :::

This is where it all started.  Back at the end of November, I started going to see pro wrestling again and my first stop was here, for Blitzkrieg! Pro's "NOTAFINGAH" event.   Somehow, after three months I've hit my tenth live even, second night in a row and I'm just... I want to do this every night somehow.  That would be the dream, right?  Can "wrestling fan" be a profession somehow?

We caught up in some things and last time I remember the doors not opening on time, so by the time Quentin and I left for this event we ended up not making it there until almost 7, at which time the doors were already open and the sold out crowd was nearly all in there as well.   As we went to the stage, a group of three was nice enough to move over to give us seats together although Quentin spent a decent amount of time standing and sitting on the edge of the stage to watch the show.

Tonight, in MA, there was something magic in the air.  Was it the sold out crowd?  Was it the talent on the show?  I don't know exactly.  But this place was wild.  And it just seems like these events keep getting more and more wild with every time I go to them.   This was a different kind of rowdy but it was very much a fun kind of rowdy.

Back when we went to Chaotic near the beginning of the month, Davienne and JT Dunn took on the Main State Posse and it opened the show.   So here, it was weird seeing Davienne and Ava Everett take on MSP and open the show but you want a hot crowd to start it off, right?  I feel very much like the first match sets the pace, like "Follow that" and this was just such a fun match that I feel like even though I always see them in situations where I boo them I'm becoming a fan of MSP.

This was also our second night in a row seeing Davienne and Ava Everett, which if I could watch them wrestle every night I would.   DL Hurst- who I've also seen a lot- came out to rub the loss in their face and I still hope some day that The Girls Room collects the debt which is owed to them by him.   It's also funny to go from heel to face with DL Hurst, but man can he do it.  (There were actually two people with DL Hurst shirts in front of me as well.  I, of course, had my Davienne shirt on)

We saw Travis Huckabee take on Nick "Kid" Curry and this time I talked to Travis Huckabee when he was behind the merch table.   I still feel like Travis Huckabee kind of cheated even though there was a stipulation where if he got DQ'ed then he'd be suspended but I feel like this is turning into an ongoing thing for Nick Curry where once he finally gets that win, it's going to be huge.

Quentin had to use the bathroom and so I went with him during the start of a tag team match which spent quite a bit of time outside of the ring.  Mutually Assured Destruction and AOC are both teams I've seen before but they're all four big guys just beating the shit out of each other and it's fun to see.   I enjoy two big men fighting and I enjoy a tag match, but to have four guys in there that are big and fighting is just something special.   If Blitzkrieg! booked this match on every card I would not complain.

Before intermission we had our first half main event which saw Jeff Cannonball take on Joey Ryan.   There were a lot of "Touch his dick" chants and at one point I might have yelled "This is your bachelor party!" but I just need to say... for all the people who say Joey Ryan is "killing the business"... I just wish they could work a crowd like he does.   And props to Jeff Cannonball because this was a match I was uncertain of going in but it turned out to be really entertaining and if you can somehow find it to watch, you must.

During intermission, Joey Ryan went straight from the ring to the merch table and so Quentin and I went from our seats to the merch table as well.  I paid $20 for a photo of Quentin with Joey Ryan (which is fair and also included a signed 8x10) and then another $20 for a plush toy of Joey Ryan which I really thought was cool.    We met Hermit Crab and then went over near the ring to see The Girls Room. 

When I went to Blitzkrieg! the last time- which was the beginning of December- Davienne and Ava Everett were dressed as Power Rangers, so them being in those outfits tonight made Quentin want to take a photo with them because he loves the Power Rangers.   I also got an 8x10 of them together signed for Quentin and an 8x10 of just Davienne signed for me because she's my favorite.

One thing I want to say about the shows so far I've taken Quentin too as well is that I always feel weird like "Is it okay to bring a kid to this?" and then I always end up seeing other people with kids there, so yes, people keep bringing your kids to shows so it's never just one kid there feeling like maybe this isn't the proper show for them.   Wrestling is for everyone and in some ways it's less violent than what Quentin watches on YouTube.

Thinking about this show, I knew three things in my mind: Joey Ryan would appear, Davienne and Ava Everett would wear their Power Rangers gear and DL Hurst vs. Pinkie Sanchez.   So when we came back from intermission and Anthony Greene came out it was one of those "Oh yeah, he's here" moments because I knew he was scheduled to be- he's on the poster- but there's just so much wrestling sometimes I forget things even though they are important details which make me want to go to a show.  (Side Note: I'm so stoked for the next show, and D-Lo Brown vs Hermit Crab as well as the title match I forgot for a moment both Nick Gage and Tony Deppen are on it as well.  There is just so much packed into one show!)

Anthony Greene vs. Scotty Wild turned into a title match, as AG is the Limitless Wrestling Champion.   I actually googled where the next Limitless show is and it's about three and a half hours from me, through both New Hampshire and then in Maine- two states I've never been to before- so perhaps this summer that might be a fun roadtrip to make.   Scotty Wild lost this match but we also got to see Anthony Greene's bare butt so it was kind of, um, wild.

There was a scramble match with Hermit Crab in it and Charlie Cashew won it.    This is my fourth time seeing Charlie Cashew now- twice in Chaotic and twice in Blitzkrieg!- and I honestly believe he's going to have a breakout year this year because of not just his gimmick really being something fun and easy to connect with but also that he's so athletically gifted.   He's one of those wrestlers you should watch now if you have the chance because he's on his way up.

One thing I love about Blitzkrieg! is that they do a lot of tag team and scramble matches and that helps to get more talent onto a show.   I do believe I saw Kody Lane the last time I was here- in A ROOM WITH A MOOSE- but this time he brought his girlfriend- Juicy- in a match which they won and, yes, I'd certainly like to see more of this tag team please.    Everyone on this show just has their own unique gifts to offer and the way it all comes together is what makes it so fucking special.

In the main event, Pinkie Sanchez and DL Hurst went to war.   At one point they came onto the stage and DL Hurst yelled at everyone to move- which they did- and then they were really close to me still so I told him I wasn't going to move.  If I get hit by a wrestler or a chair or whatever I won't sue.  I don't care.  There were also these kids down near the entrance area that were giving DL Hurst a hard time all night and it was hilarious.   They even did the Pinkie "SUCK ME" bit at random.

This show was wild.  It was something different than what typically happens at a wrestling show.   I'm not sure what it was.   My only guess (and it's a dumb one) is that last time I saw Blitzkrieg! Pro it was over the course of back to back Saturdays.   This was also the beginning of December, so we've gone about two full months without a Blitzkrieg! show.  I suppose the fans were ready.   But it was something in the air where you couldn't be quiet.  I only drank one beer throughout the entire show but I felt drunk on the energy. 

This is the way professional wrestling should be.   This is that combination of wrestling and punk rock.   This was part of my birthday weekend- my first official show as a 40 year old- and I just keep thinking that every show is the best show.  I just keep thinking how I want to consume as much wrestling as possible because if you experience it properly (a show such as this, for example) there is no better feeling.   And we still totally need a show with Davienne and Ava Everett called "I See You More Than I See My Family".

There ::: Tiny Moving Parts / Alk3/HWM split
Back ::: Nirvana

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Comic Book Review //
White Widow # 2
by Jamie Tyndall
(Absolute Comics Group)

So as you may or may not have read from my review of this first issue, I felt a lot of ways about this series but mostly I felt like this was going to be a make or break type of issue for me.   The idea of someone having spider powers just made me feel like this was ripping off Spider-Man and, well, even within the very pages of this issue there is some reference to the fact that there aren't a lot of comic book heroes based on spiders (like that whole "Into the Spiderverse" movie didn't exist)

Look, it doesn't matter whether or not it was done tongue-in-cheek, like, "Have a sense of humor about it, guy" because if you're closely related to some other concept where it could be said you are almost a ripoff of it, you probably shouldn't poke fun at it or mention it and just kind of stay away from it as much as possible, right?  I think I'm right.  I mean, I don't name drop other websites in my reviews.

Aside from that one line in the newest issue, this story just seemed to bother me as it unfolded in this second issue.   First off, there was this one moment where our main character decided to be naked (and drawn almost fully naked) and to me it just felt like nudity for the sake of nudity and without a real purpose which I thought we were better than in 2019 but I guess not.   Whatever moves the plot along (or doesn't)

Then, we have this villain sent to try and defeat White Widow after a bunch of technical facts are laid out during the issue (Which just seemed to overcomplicate things, if you ask me) and so this villain drops an EMP which could do millions (or even billions) of dollars in damage and then... somehow White Widow survives... and takes out this most powerful villain... with a... dropkick... ??  Yes, that really happened.   I had to re-read it a few times to figure it out, but that was a thing that happened.

Now, I'm not saying I won't go to the comic book shop, see the third issue of this and buy it because of the shiny cover, but-- BUT-- I really feel like I gave this one enough of a chance now, after the second issue, and it's just not for me.   Maybe someone out there who is like "Hooray! Almost full comic book nudity!" (And don't get me wrong, I love Vampirella) or just doesn't mind these whacky stories...

I'm going to say this in the nicest way possible, but have you ever watched a "b movie", you know, a bad movie so bad that it is actually good?  Yeah, those exist and I tend to like comic books in a weird and often times seemingly bad way along the same lines.   But, to me, this is like one of those movies that isn't so bad it's good, it's just bad.   And I don't know who exactly this will appeal to, perhaps someone out there, but not me.   This isn't for me.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Live Wrestling Review //
Brii Combination Wrestling
"Queen of the North 2"
1/31/20 @ Knights Of Columbus (Ridgefield Park, NJ)

Additional Photos Can Be Found in a Facebook Album here :::

When my sister turned 40, she got some friends, co-workers and family together to celebrate in what was one of the biggest parties of our adult lives.  For me, there was no better way to celebrate turning 40 than by going to see live professional wrestling and when I found out about this BCW show being themed around women I knew I had to be there.  To be quite fair, I watch a lot of wrestling promotions primarily to see the women (Such as how I watched the first two episodes of NWA "Powerrr", gave up, but came back when I saw Tasha Steelz was on it) so having a show with all women is something I would go to but for it to be on my birthday it felt like someone was reading my mind.

This show had what I consider to be the perfect mix of wrestlers I knew, wrestlers I wanted to see and hadn't yet, and wrestlers I hadn't heard of before.   Before I get too far into these words though, let me just say that everyone on this show- everyone- is a natural born star.   I would recommend following them all on socials and going out of your way to see them whether it be live or on the internets.

Google Maps told us it would take about two hours to get to this venue and I had a lot of anxiety for the weeks leading up to it because I feared we'd get stuck in traffic and arrive late.   We made really good time though (especially getting out of CT) as I listened to the album "Some Nights" by fun. and then later on "Where You Want To Be" by Taking Back Sunday.   We made one bathroom stop, found the Knights of Columbus fairly easily and got there before doors with enough time to wait outside for a little bit.

Sometimes it's the little things, but with everything being digital now it was nice for the woman who let us in to give us paper tickets as well.   It makes for a nice souvenir and reminder of the fun time you had at the show (Unless you just left yours on your chair, like some people did) and I wish everyone would do it, don't fault them because they don't but have to point it out when I see it.

There was merch set up before the show but not really anyone there selling it so we basically stayed in our seats as Quentin ate snacks waiting for the show to start.    I feel like I'm going to forget something so if I jump around a lot I apologize in advance.   The show opened with talking, which had me thinking like "Oh good, everyone is coming out to talk" and I was not really hyped for it.   Faye Jackson (who is the champ here) announced she isn't cleared to compete, so even though she's on my list of "Top 10 to See Live in 2020" and she was technically there I'm not crossing her off until I see her in ring gear.

Without going into too much detail about this, I feel like I'm one of those people that can be emotional and that's okay, but it's always at the strangest and most random of times.  If I'm in a situation that is seriously sad, like a funeral, and the social norm is to cry, I feel empty inside.   If I'm doing something where maybe I'm not supposed to cry or feel so emotionally invested, I feel like I want to cry.   That being said, all the talking ended with the BCW Heavyweight Champion Darius Carter and Riley Shepard in this pull apart brawl which had me fighting back tears because I just hadn't seen something so intense since- if I'm being honest- the days of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart.

So even though I started the night thinking "Ugh, talking", it all ended up being worth it and I became hugely emotionally invested in the story right then and there, which as a fan was very important as well.    In ring action is good, but it's so much better when you're emotionally invested in and I think that's what I love most about professional wrestling. 

The matches throughout the night ended up being for the Women's Title where they all fought at the end in a big five way and you can likely stream this somewhere (I will buy this on demand, blu-ray, etc for sure to watch again) so I don't feel like those details are as important as what happened in regards to Quentin and myself throughout the course of the show.

It was amazing to see Marti Belle live, as I've followed her since before she was in TNA really- back when I was into wrestling more- and I enjoy seeing her in NWA now.   This was one of those shows where it brought wrestlers in from various promotions to create a supershow of sorts.    And Marti Belle fought Dani Jordan, who I was seeing for the first time but was aware of due to Twitter, so it was a nice introduction to see her and if you put Dani Jordan on a card near me I'll try my best to be there.   She has this "Mean Girls" gimmick and it just works.   Plus she can just go.

In an unadvertised match Rae Lyn defeated Vicious Vicki and it was one of those things where I feel like people were cheering for Rae Lyn because they knew who she was but maybe Vicki was supposed to be the face.    So I feel like people were treating Vicki like the heel even though she was trying to portray the face but, yes, I would definitely go see Vicki wrestle again as well.    She had such a great showing in this match.

What some could call the match of the night (Though they all were in their own ways) Brandi Lauren defeated Ava Everett to go to the final match.   I've seen Ava Everett a lot and her being on this show was one of my reasons for going to it, but this was my first time seeing Brandi Lauren (who I later learned is also in EVOLVE) and she was quite impressive.    She has the look and in ring ability where I don't expect her to be not in WWE or AEW for much longer.   Brandi Lauren is literally like looking at the future of wrestling and the future looks good.

This took us into a fourway match which was a Queen of the Monsters brawl and it featured Ruthless La La (who I'd never heard of but she really impressed me), Savannah Evans (who I also had never heard of before but is apparently everywhere), Holidead (who I've never seen but wanted to see so she was a factor in me going to this show) and Davienne (who is currently my favorite wrestler)   At one point during this match, Davienne rolled outside of the ring in front of us and I asked her how she was doing and if she wanted to sit and so she took an empty chair next to Quentin, which was great.

We were maybe four seats away from when a fan got kicked in the head by Holidead and my favorite part was afterwards Holidead walked past me and I said "You killed that guy" and she responded "I didn't do anything".    Ruthless La La also put Davienne through a door (I was legit concerned for Davienne after that) and I made Quentin picked up a small piece of the broken door, about the size of my thumb, which we now have as a memento as well.   (These are the things I value and you can't buy them at Walmart)

This took us into intermission, which is often when the real stories start.  We first found Ava Everett and Davienne outside of the ring with their merch so we talked to them for a little bit.   It's so weird to think we hadn't seen them since Quentin's birthday and now we're seeing them again on my birthday.    There were tables lined up against the wall and you could kind of make your way through in a line but we jumped around a bit because rules are for idiots (*copyright Tony Deppen) and outside of the tables we found Faye Jackson first.   We took pictures and talked with her and she's super nice.  Again, the next time we see her  I hope it is when she is back in the ring.

We went over to Marti Belle first in the tables line and took photos with her.  She was really nice as well and I don't know why I didn't expect her to be (I thought she'd be less social) but she just has such huge energy and it was so rad.   But more on her in a minute... We went to the next spot for Holidead, who had this plush keychain Quentin had seen before and wanted.   I told him if he wanted it he had to take a photo with Holidead because prior to the show I asked him if he would take a photo with her and he said he was scared (I also told all of this to Holidead, who was extremely nice but a little scary) So Quentin faced a little bit of his fears and took a photo with Holidead, who I also hope to see again one day soon (I feel like I'll keep typing that because I want to see all of these women wrestle every weekend)

Though we had to wait a little bit, we went from Holidead to Riley Shepard.   Quentin broke his normal glasses, so he's wearing his backup pair which are purple so of course everyone had to comment how much they love them because there was a rather purple theme to the evening.   Riley Shepard also has purple hair and in that opening segment just sold me more on a match than maybe anyone has in the last twenty years.   Riley Shepard also has these foam swords for sale and of course Quentin wanted one.  I also bought a trading card from Riley Shepard because I'm a sucker for trading cards.   Apparently, if you have odd merch (outside of the t-shirt and 8x10) I will also buy that.  So just have something for sale I haven't really seen before and if it's cool you'll get my money.

Going out of line (and having intermission last longer than ten minutes) we backtracked to the beginning of the tables line to meet Brandi Lauren.   I bought an 8x10 of her, which I later realized was Halloween themed, and when I was talking with her about it she asked who to make it out to.  I was going to say Quentin but he had gone back to our seats to put stuff down, so I said something like "Why not me? It's my birthday"  Marti Belle was seated next to Brandi Lauren and was like "It's your birthday? OMG Happy Birthday!!" and yeah.   She's the nicest.

Quentin took a picture with Brandi Lauren where she picked him up.   I then took a picture with Dani Jordan, where she just looked like every other woman who has ever had to take a picture with me, and I bought a Dani Jordan sticker because I felt like I wanted a piece of merchandise from everyone but there wasn't enough time (Again, why we should do this every weekend, so I could go back and do this all again but with Savannah Evans, Ruthless La La, Rae Lyn, Vicious Vicki, Vanity... whoa, so many talented women)

After intermission we went into the three main events.   First was Jordynne Grace versus Kimber Lee, which Kimber Lee won with a cheap rollup.   On my "Top 10 Wrestlers to See in 2020" list is Jordynne Grace so I am at least pleased I got to see her live for the first time and on my birthday.   What a crazy life.   I won't complain about neither of these women selling merch though because, well, see the ending of the previous paragraph.  There were so many talented women there it was overwhelming in the best possible way.

This took us into our co-main event in which two funny things happened.   First off, Quentin was really invested in this match and I completely thought we were going to see a new champion.   At one point, someone behind us yelled something like "Get the fuck away from her!" to try and protect Riley Shepard and Quentin just parroted it-- he said the same thing.   The woman sitting next to us made this priceless face and... I don't know.  This was the first time Quentin said the word "fuck" and we talked afterwards about why you don't say it in school, but yeah, pretty much since he's been in school he's been in speech therapy so the fact that what he said was so clear made me weirdly happy.

Now Darius Carter is a true heel in the sense that he's not someone who is supposed to be booed but is trying to act cool still so he gets some cheers.   He's a true heel in the sense that he gets massive heat.    He's just booed and jeered like no one else.   At one point, he took a chair from under the ring to try and re-injure the knee of Riley Shepard.   This was right in front of us, so as he kind of has it to his side and back, holding it with one hand, Quentin grabbed the other side of it.   This was so perfect because a) he's not touching a wrestler (he's touching a chair) and b) Darius Carter just stared him down because what could he do to a kid?  Eventually, after a staring contest that Darius Carter LOST, he was able to kind of pull the chair away and go into the ring with it though.   There was also a woman who came from behind us and vowed to protect Quentin which was awesome.

The main event-main event had five women enter and Vanity won it to become the new champion, which was such a great moment.   On her way to the ring though, while running around outside slapping hands, Marti Belle said "Happy Birthday" to me and that really made my day.  Vanity has this look where she's intimidating and not because she's a heel (because we cheered her) but because she's just built like a powerhouse.   I recently got into it with a Twitter troll (I know, I know) who said that there was no way any woman could ever beat up a man and Vanity just has that look of... I wouldn't want to be on the opposite side of the ring from her (Though that's probably true of everyone on this show)

I love, love, LOVE that this show felt like so much of seeing friends I already knew, seeing friends I wanted to finally meet and making new friends.   It was everything I could have possibly asked for in a wrestling show and more.   It was the best possible way I could have ever spent my birthday- I don't think I'll be able to top it.   And if you are reading this, wherever you are, when Queen of the North 3 happens around a year from now (I assume), book your flights because it's one of those rare occasions where if they did it in a place where I couldn't drive I would absolutely fly to it.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Live Wrestling Review //
Chaotic Wrestling
@ Gametime (Lowell, MA)

Photos Can Be Found In a Facebook Album Here :::

Back when Quentin and I went to our first Chaotic Wrestling show, also Quentin's first wrestling show overall, we decided to buy tickets to this one during intermission because it's on his birthday.  I knew we saw signs for Lowell while going to Hudson, so I figured it was closer to us but it was actually a little bit further away.  Still, it wasn't that bad to get to and driving to MA never seems to give us the same problems that we have trying to get out of CT the other way into NY.

On our way to this show we stopped at a 7-Eleven but they didn't have a public bathroom.   Way to go, CONVENIENCE store.   So we found this place called Market Basket (which is a grocery store) and we wandered through a lot of backstage areas it felt like we weren't supposed to be in before finally getting some spicy ramen and reusable bags from there to commemorate our first time visiting such a store.   7-Eleven lost them about a nine dollar sale there.

We got into this plaza which was right next to Gametime but the maps app kept telling me we were there so I had to keep driving to try and find it which took extra time.  Gametime has indoor batting cages and stuff like that, which was a nice atmosphere to see wrestling in- very different and unique.   We were all kind of in this waiting room area as well at first, which was better than having to wait outside in the cold that's for sure. 

This show was called "Pandemonium" and it definitely was.   It opened with this most excellent tag team match between Death by Davie and Maine State Posse (which got a "This is awesome" chant) and then it kind of blurred until the end.   First off, we had these front row seats but were right on the corner so I put Quentin on the inside so he could see better.  This put my right near a ring post and a bright light was in my eyes as well, so photos didn't really go as well as they could have.

Partially, I wanted to wait to see if I was still as upset about this now as I was then- I didn't want to type in the heat of the moment- but here goes the calmer version of it.  There were quite a few talents advertised that weren't there, and I get it, that's fine, card is subject to change.   But Christian Casanova showing up by himself was disappointing to me.  I really wanted to see Tasha Steelz again.   Anyway... that's not really a gripe, it's more of a "it happens, we move on" type of thing.

My only gripe with this show was the booking of Christian Casanova.  So if you didn't know, if you were not aware going into this, you have six competitors in the main event match, where they're basically killing each other and for what?  A title shot.   Against Christian Casanova.   So why not have a segment before that where Christian Casanova issues an open challenge and out comes one of those Logan guys to accept it.

This whole idea just made me feel like what was happening in the main event wasn't as important because you're taking someone who would win it and say "This person beat these five others to earn this shot" which seems less smart than just walking out and accepting an open challenge earlier in the night.

But I fast forward to the end now because Josh Briggs was very quickly eliminated in this match only to return and destroy everything.  I mean it was... pandemoneum.   He beat up everyone and left them down, motionless.  He tore apart the ring.  No one was safe.  I mean, he didn't hit the fans so I guess we were safe, but if you were on the other side of the guardrail you were fair game.   And yes, this was one of those times where I thought "I'm glad we're front row now".

Just for those sort of fun facts I enjoy, this is the 8th show I've been to since the weekend after Thanksgiving with little pause in between each (It's been something like eight shows in seven weeks) and it's Quentin's third show overall.   Of these eight shows I've been to, the competitor I've seen the most on them is Davienne.   To be fair, I've seen Ava Everett on every show Davienne has been on *but* she didn't wrestle on Heavy Lies The Crown.   I feel like that will be a special trivia question one day about my life: "She didn't wrestle, but what role did she play?" (Of course, she was the ref for Anthony Greene vs Josh Briggs)

Quentin and I both took pictures with Davienne, were excited to see Bear Boulder and DL Hurst again and after all was said and done we talked to Ava Everett who is just the nicest because her birthday is the day after Quentin's so that's kind of this cool thing that they share.   I'm also writing this a few weeks after the show and it's been two weekends without wrestling.   I wanted to go to Philly for CHIKARA but it snowed.   But I feel like now I'm ready to go to wrestling quite a bit more.   I don't know.  I always say I want to limit it to one or two wrestling shows per month and then I end up not wanting to miss out and we go to more than that.   I'm just really excited for what this year could bring and all the amazing talent we can see.

Cassette Review //
101 Notes On Jazz
(Suite 309)

$7 //
Edition of 50 // //

If you've ever listened to jazz on the radio then you will know exactly what this cassette is.   I actually took an Uber to Palmer Field once, for a GHTBL special exhibtion of games, and my driver was playing a Sunday morning smooth jazz brunch program so I gave him an extra tip. 

The thing about this cassette is that it's all the talking (and some of those commercials) but none of the music!   Is there not enough jazz music out there that this couldn't have been put in between some actual jazz?  I would have been much more into that.   I've often wanted to recreate old time radio programs (like "The Shadow") and I feel like this brings us closer to that dream somehow.

On one hand, I think this is supposed to be funny, and I get that it's a parody but I didn't find myself laughing at any of it, which is a shame because it could have easily been a comedy cassette in that way- a truly missed Dr. Demento opportunity.   It's possible though that I'm either listening to this while high and that is hindering my opinion of it but I also might just need a lot more pot.

I don't really listen to podcasts- if I wanted to hear people talk I'd go to work- and this is only 60 tracks according to Bandcamp so that's not even equal 101.    Whacky.

Cassette Review //
"Only Attitude"
(Blacktop Records)

$5.99 //
Edition of  100 // //

This cassette starts off like grinding hardcore with bits of punk.   I'm reminded of bands like Shut Down and Warzone- that era of Victory Records.   At first, the song is about being blue (which is sad) but then they take on the idea of having a positive attitude.  If this was the year 2000 or so I'd definitely call this one posicore and want to see BLUE tour with Good Clean Fun.

In some ways this also reminds me of old AFI, back when their songs were under two minutes and most people who hear them like that wouldn't recognize them.    I miss the days of bands hitting this hard but also just feeling so tightly knit, where every note hits like a single bullet.   It's one of those things where people think punk and hardcore is just playing as fast and as loud as you can, and yet here is where you can break it down and hear all of the talent it takes to create.

On the flip side you can hear a more melodic side of hardcore and I'm reminded of the band Outline, who I haven't thought of in at least ten years.   It's also this reminder of how we went from emo and hardcore being different genres to sort of combining themselves over time until we got to a scene I no longer wanted to be a part of.   But anyway, this hits hard enough that you should be playing it loudly and if experienced live getting in the pit.