Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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.

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