Monday, March 29, 2021

Music Review //
"Sharing the Light"
(BigWhoop! Records)

When you first press play on the song "Sharing the Light" you will hear a piano.   This comes in kind of slow with vocals that have grit to them like Tom Waits but the overall feeling I get from the song when it first starts is one of Billy Joel.   There also exists this holy, powerful sort of vibe to this song within the verse which can make me think of Hozier.   Rather than the idea of Billy Joel (which I just think of more in the way of someone singing while playing piano) I do like thinking of Hozier because there is this darkness in this song as well.

The song opens with the line: "Sorrow fits you like a cheap suit" which can just express any number of types of pain.   As we move into the lyrics "A love that leaves you cold / Winter will be my bride" the tone of the voice gets higher which makes me think of a band such as Muse.   But then it all kicks in while singing the title in the biggest of ways.   This crash of acoustics and melody makes me think of the band Murder by Death and I really do enjoy that I can find someone to compare with them even if they don't fully sound the same.

We're treated to a guitar-focused part which really shows the range of Mosa and then we go into a breakdown where it is mostly just the sound of the drumbeat with the vocals layered over each other.  This is also something which I've heard Murder by Death do, but I've heard other bands do it as well and it's something which I appreciate because I feel like it isn't overused.   I'm also not sure this song exists in a verse/chorus/verse way because it seems more to me like it has a beginning (where there are the most lyrics), a middle (when the hook starts) and then the guitar just drives us on until the end.

There are many ways which one could find meaning in these lyrics.  Based upon the music which accompanies them I would hope you think of them in more of a spiritual way than in a literal way.   I think light comes from the sun, which keeps us warm and in that sense with the chorus that takes through the second and third parts of this song, I think that to share that light is to share that warmth.   And the opposite of light is darkness, so if you think about the darkness as being all of the bad inside of you then the light would be all that is good.  So I see "Sharing the Light" as being an idea of spreading happiness and just lifting others up instead of putting them down.  That is something also which I feel the world could always use.  

Friday, March 26, 2021

Music Review //
The Cold Stares
"Hard Times"

When I see the name "Hard Times", to me, being my age and my upbringing I will always be taken back to professional wrestling and think of "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.    Why this feels so appropriate here is because growing up watching professional wrestling as well as listening to music, there is this crossover between the two.   Whether it be the theme song for an entire pay-per-view or simply a song which is played over a highlight video, I think this song by The Cold Stares would fit in rather well with the wrestling crowd.  (The NWA actually held a pay-per-view back in January of 2020 called Hard Times and this would have been a perfect theme song)

The Cold Stares have a guitar-based rock n roll sound which makes me initially think of The White Stripes.  It's the type of sound that you'll hear in a lesser capacity from bands on the radio such as The Black Keys, but it's what I like to think of as some good old fashioned rock n roll with a little bit of the blues built into it (Though, in my opinion, if you research the history of rock n roll, in all of its truest forms there is some blues within)  I'm reminded of when Marty McFly goes back in time and sort of invents rock n roll in "Back To The Future"-- it's that sort of sound.

While the music video consists of mostly shots of the two band members, the reason why I find this to be so fitting is that you really get to focus on the guitar as it is being played.   If there was a different story being told- a little movie- or even if the camera just panned out a little bit, I think it wouldn't have the same effect.   Those close ups of the guitar solos and just the way the guitar is being played is important and on some broader level it just makes me feel like we're seeing the music being played, which gives us the greatest visual benefit.

Without naming names, I can tell you that I've listened to a lot of songs that wish they sounded this good.  This song is just so well put together, it's so solid from start to finish.   As if it wasn't made clear by the title, the song is about being down on your luck and I just feel like, especially after the year 2020, we can all say that we are either there or have been there at some point in our life.  Music is a lot like therapy in the way that you don't have to have fallen on hard times to enjoy this song, but if you have then it does make you feel better somehow and even when things are going good the energy in this song will just get you out of bed and going.  

Monday, March 22, 2021

Music Review //
The Ladles
"Nobody Knew"

The Ladles full length "Springville Sessions" is out April 16th

One of the things which I enjoy about the year 2021 is that it seems like we're slowly making our way back to some sense of normalcy and we don't seem as badly confined as we were in the year 2020.   Maybe I'm just getting used to being on lockdown.   But now, in 2021, regardless of when you might have recorded your music there will always come this part in the back of my mind that thinks it might have been recorded in 2020 or at least about that specific year and the events which happened during it.

"Nobody Knew" offers up the line: "Nobody knew it would hit this hard" and I feel like this is largely related to the global pandemic of the year 2020.  I don't think anyone ever expected something like this to happen and even my dad who is 70 years old said in his lifetime he's never seen anything like this before.   It was a special year, 2020 was, but I can't help but also read into these lyrics as being about the mental health of an individual as well.  Maybe it's just where my mind goes because I'm me, but this song feels like a wellness check, as if perhaps someone is struggling with reasons to live.

When the global pandemic hit, I remember one thing being discussed was what would happen with groups like Alcoholics Anonymous- could they still meet because if they didn't the members might face relapse.  I feel like the pandemic brought about feelings of isolation, fear, worry and overall what a lot of people made it out to be was a very bleak situation, where at one point it just felt like we were all doomed.   These are not good feelings to have in general, but as someone who struggles with mental illness they are even worse.   In that sense, I do feel like "Nobody Knew" doesn't have to be about the pandemic or mental health  but rather it could be about both.

As the strings come into the background of this acoustic song I am reminded of Delta Dart.  It's funny because Delta Dart always had this dark way about this music and though The Ladles feel a bit more upbeat or neutral on this song, it still has a certin gloom to the lyrics of it.  I feel it is important now more than ever to discuss how other people are doing because of the state of the world.   Rather than the title suggests that "Nobody Knew", we need to reach out so that we know how each other are doing.   We have the time now, let's make the most of it.  

Wrestling Review //
Pro Wrestling Magic
"The Ides Of March"

Order the replay here :::

This was my second time watching Pro Wrestling Magic on FITE TV and once again when I purchased the event they gave me a dollar credit.  I think the way that FITE does that is fun because it's kind of like when you buy so many shows you'll get one for free, sort of a frequent customer special, and it kind of rewards you for watching.  Though, not to play spoiler, but I'm cashing in my credits for The Collective weekend coming up.   

There are several stories going into this, which is what I like most about Pro Wrestling Magic perhaps: In just the one show I watched before this I am already invested in their characters and they seem to have a sense of purpose.  Yes, I enjoy putting on a wrestling show and seeing two wrestlers I recognize have a match and then seemingly disappear for months, but to have that quality which makes you want to come back for the next episode not just to see Wrestler A vs. Wrestler B because you think it will be a good match but because there are stories you want to see resolved as well.

"The Ides Of March" opened up strong with Darius Carter defending the Dark Arts Championship against Erica Leigh.   Pre-match, Darius Carter is being interviewed about his win over Billy Dixon and gets upset because he is asked about Erica Leigh.   Erica Leigh comes out and asks Darius Carter why he had to get involved in that match between her and Jordan Blade because it didn't even involve him- and that's a good point.   This really makes you feel like Erica Leigh is justified in wanting her revenge against Darius Carter and you really want to see her beat him.

The thing about the Dark Arts Championship is that Darius Carter picked the rules for it.   There are five rounds and you only get one rope break.   As was pointed out on commentary during the match, this does seem to favor Darius Carter (which is likely why he chose it) because rather than actually defending his title all he has to do is survive.  This was a strong match with too many underhanded tactics by Darius Carter (such as not stopping at the end of a round) and I truly believe someone is going to have to be able to play Darius Carter's game better than him in order to take that title and I'm not sure anyone can do that.

We went right into another title match with JGeorge taking on Sebastian Cage.   While I've seen Sebastian Cage in [redacted[ I feel like he's simply playing the character of champion here, while JGeorge has this whole Hollywood thing going on where he sits in a director's chair and turns his matches into his own little movies.   This was a nice match and it really helped develop the character of JGeorge.   

A flashback to Sonya Strong vs. Jordynne Grace for the vacant women's championship had Jordynne Grace coming out to The Offspring (and not old Offspring either) and then we got to see a little bit more of John Tella.   Perhaps the sleeper match of the night saw Everett Cross taking on Matt Vertigo.   From the few matches I've seen of Matt Vertigo, specifically in [also redacted], I feel like he has that factor which is going to make him a big star some day.  I'm really glad he's appearing in Pro Wrestling Magic.

Billy Dixon picked up a win over Steve Peña and it was good to see Billy Dixon back on the winning track.   Wrecking Ball Legursky and Adam Payne successfully defended the tag team titles in a wild brawl.  Before the fight though (It was really more of a fight than a match) Wrecking Ball and Adam Payne were ordering from the bar and Adam Payne made fun of Wrecking Ball for ordering Dr. Pepper and even asked him if he was a commie.   Why does drinking Dr. Pepper make you a commie?  This also felt surreal, as I look back at it now, because this was Saturday night and on Sunday night I got to hear Necro Butcher spew a Communist Manifesto about flowers and hammers (Yes, really)

I did wonder with the promotion of this show and the poster and everything why Erica Leigh vs. Darius Carter would start things off as opposed to main event, but when it came time for that last match it was The Meadowlands Monster defending the Pro Wrestling Magic Championship against Saieve Al Sabah and it became clear that this match was the main event for a reason.  I was first introduced to The Meadowlands Monster at the last show, but I've always been a fan of the characters in wrestling.  In some ways he reminds me of The Carver, for example.  This match is just one of those matches you need to go out of your way to see.

There was no DQ so these two battled outside of the ring a lot.  They also were in the ring showing off what they could do as well.   This match really just had everything in it that makes a wrestling match special which made me feel like, yes, it should be in the main event spot but it also is a title match and it lived up to that as well.   If you're a fan of professional wrestling, this match is worth the price alone for this show.  Luckily for you, there is also a lot of other great wrestling which just makes what Pro Wrestling Magic is doing can't miss.  

Friday, March 12, 2021

Music Review //
"This Place ft. Trevor Hall"

"This Place" is the second single from Satsang's upcoming album "All. Right. Now." out June 4th and available for pre-order here.

When you title a song "This Place" you're going to have to explain to the listener what exactly that place is in reference to or else they might get upset.   Someone might want to know whether this place is in California or Australia, or maybe it's more specific like a national park or historical monument, you know how some people take trips to various places throughout the world such as The Grand Canyon.   But the fact that Satsang doesn't really give an exact place in this song- not one that GPS could use- somehow makes me feel better than if it was revealed to be somewhere specific because that place (Even if it is extraordinary) could feel underwhelming.

Through the cool pop sounds of "This Place", Satsang (along with the help of Trevor Hall) takes us to a place which might be physical but it also might be mental.   As the video pans through scenes of outside farmland- you know, how the Earth looked before we put up all these buildings and roads- it really makes me want to go outside and explore nature more.  I know we're still in a pandemic so traveling isn't as easy as it used to be, but even just to go within driving distance and see nature in all its beauty is something I feel like I should be doing more than sitting inside watching movies.

At the same time, the idea behind the lyrics in this song makes me feel like "This Place" is not just physical but could also be mental.   There is a very spiritual aspect to this song in that regard.  Though I still fully support the idea of going outside, I do also believe that maybe "This Place" can be found by staying inside on your couch if it means you're reaching some key point in your life- whether you find some sort of peace in silence or just reach a life changing realization.  I do feel like we also need to take time in the quiet to reflect even if it's just ten minutes a day in our car.

Perhaps my favorite part about this song is that it really just challenges me in the way that I think.   Sometimes I listen to music and hear the lyrics of other people and something which I've been thinking about for a long time finally makes sense.  But I think instead of trying to find this clarity in the ways I have been, it would be beneficial to go out into nature and try to find it there: with the emotional and physical "This Place" coming together as one.   This song is fun to listen to, as deep as the message is, and at times I think of that "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" song from "Lilo & Stitch" as it just puts me in that mood which is bright.  

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Music Review //
The Ladles
"Sunset Pink"

To describe the sound of The Ladles is to combine an existing idea which you might have about music and take it to another level.   Right away you'll hear those folk acoustic plucks in here and think about artists like Fleetwood Mac.   But as strings, such as that of a violin, enter there seems to be this faster paced feeling to this song.   This is where I get confused.  It's easy enough to think of this as being an acoustic folk type of ballad, but the way it moves just isn't on the same speed as something like that typically.

During this music video you will see someone dancing both in the city on the sidewalk and by the end in front of a sunset, which seems only fitting for the song.   Only because I am watching this video in the year 2021 am I somewhat mad to see this person moving so freely and openly in public, as we have spent almost a year now on lockdown.   It's not so much anger as it is jealousy and since the music is able to calm me, I feel like it eventually shifts to a feeling of comfort in remembering how we once were and shall hopefully be again one day.

Sometimes I think about an artist who would normally play electric guitar and how if you took their sound and made it acoustic then they could compare with The Ladles.   Someone like Slothrust or Metric could be similar if their sound was stripped down but kept that pace.  And I know folk punk exists but to me The Ladles just have a more natural flowing sound where as folk punk feels more rough around the edges to me.   The way that the dancing moves so gracefully and seemingly without effort is the same way that the song flows, which is not something I've heard a lot of in my time.

While I would suggest listening to The Ladles if you are a fan of folk type music- music which you can imagine being set up and played in a park, for example- I will also say that this song should leave you pleasantly surprised.   Yes, you can be a fan of folk like Simon & Garfunkel and enjoy this song, but it is in the way which it moves, the timing and flawless perfection, which makes it stand out from any number of musicians who have ever picked up an acoustic guitar.  With The Ladles full length "Springville Sessions" out April 16th, I do believe this to be that glimpse into what makes them so special.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Cassette Review //
The Musical World of Chris Carlone
"Shit's Fucked"
(Crass Lips Records) //

To describe the music of The Musical World of Chris Carlone is like attempting to describe a car crash as it happening and you are inside one of the twenty cars involved.    There is a lot happening within these songs, but I'm going to try and type about it all.   First off, these songs have that home recording way about them which make me think of Daniel Johnston.  Let's just get that right out of the way.    There is this aspect of what I like to call circus madness within these songs as well because it can feel like you're taking that ride on the carousel but it's just out of control-- it's in a way which the ride just isn't supposed to operate.

"Having a Good Time at the End of the World (fuck yeah!)" is just one of the songs where the music scrambles on through but I wouldn't call is skramz.   This is just pure chaos.    "Chimi Changa Saturday Night" (shout out Deadpool) has these dark, driving blues guitars.   There are laser shots and air ride sirens as well.    After the year 2020, I think we can all agree that shit's fucked, but also the song "Cabin Fever" becomes so catchy and so relatable.

In perhaps the biggest twist of this cassette the song "Ice Cream Dreams" (featuring Rita Braga) sounds like what I imagine "Adventure Time" might be like if it was owned by Disney.    This is a little bit of calm in the insanity, but at the same time it is still just off the walls.  I like that no matter how grounded you might feel like a song is (based on the songs which came before it) there will always be that feeling of it being completely unhinged when compared with other songs by other artists.

On the flip side we have horns and what sounds like Minions singing.  "You Can Not Be Destroyed" features Borts Minorts paying us compliments, just dropping words about how great we are and this song is the positive guidance perhaps we all need in our lives.   Sometimes the instruments being played sound so fast and punk but other times they're slowed down and just feel broken, not in the way that they're being played badly but in the way that they were found on the side of the road as trash and are being played like an orchestral concert, which is perhaps the best way overall to describe this cassette.  


Music Review //
Talia Londoner
"Get It Out"

Though it might be a bit silly to think of (or it might already exist) I always thought it would be beneficial to society if someone out there was to create a show which felt like the 1980's/1990's of MTV- when they used to play music videos-right down to the style and everything-- just to make it feel like you flip on a switch (whether it be a tv channel or YouTube) and you're right back to that place when I was a kid.    In many ways, the music video for "Get It Out" reminds me a lot of that.  There is just this look to this video where it could have aired during the 1980's or early 1990's and fit right in.  

The song and style of Talia Londoner are a reminder of several things.  First off, there is what was called at the time "mall pop" coming out at the surface.   Artists (who I still love to this day) like Debbie Gibson and Tiffany would go around performing at malls, appealing to the teens, but in such a large way this music has become timeless.  I still listen to my Debbie Gibson and Tiffany cassettes to this day.  At the same time, there is something to be said for pushing the boundaries and this video/sound could also make you think back to when Madonna was doing "Like A Virgin" and that era of sound.   What I'd give for a solid Madonna tribute album.   But I also think about Charli XCX, so this does pull me back to the present.

While this can be thought of as a pop song based on the sound, the one way in which it might throw you for a curve is that the lyrics are actually inspiring and unlike a lot of pop songs from the 1980's this song actually has some depth to it.   The idea of "Get It Out" is to not keep your emotions bottled up.  It's that idea that if we keep things inside, one day we'll just explode and maybe it won't be for the right reason either- that anger could be misdirected.  But as the lyrics remind us that we also only have one life to live, it's important to remember to get things out that aren't just emotional in a "bad" way.   Tell your loved ones you love them.  Take that chance and say what you've always been meaning to shout.

"Get It Out" is a song that moves.   In some ways it does remind me of being a child and my mom going to Jazzercise.   But then again it also takes me back to when my grandma used to babysit my sisters and me so that my parents could go out rollerskating and this song does have that end of rollerdisco era feel to it. (You can skate to it, but I wouldn't call it rollerdisco)   Pair that with lyrics that actually send a positive message and you've got yourself a hit.   Talia Londoner could create an entire EP (due oue this fall) of nostalgic sounding songs such as this and I wouldn't complain.   But the beauty within this single is that it could just as easily shift to a futurewave collection of songs and that just leaves the future wide open and bright.  

Cassette Review //
Magick Show
"Dark Night of the Soul"
(Hand'Solo Records)

$12 //

Edition of 50 //

I will always listen to good hip hop and I will always appreciate hearing it on cassette because as a kid I joined Columbia House and my featured selection always came as rap.  "Dark Night of the Soul" opens up with loud screaming and then someone says that God is dead before we go into some just lovely singing.   Rapping comes over the soul of the music.  The first song is the titular track and the hook is: "I was so alone / Going through my dark night of the soul".  I think we've all been there.

"Goetia" is just hip hop and I think of artists like 2 Skinnee J's, Naughty By Nature and Onyx.     It's fast rapping but not mumble rap, which is also something we don't hear enough of these days.   There are record scratches and, rightfully so, a lot of talk about magic and death.  I particularly enjoy the line: "It's all a magic show so do what thou wilt"  I think sometimes we've all felt like life is a dream and what is a magic show but an elaborate dream?  When we wake up, we'll regret the things we didn't do more than the things we did.

As we are told "this EP is just a prequel" the lyrics feel as if they get a bit more evil on "Black Mass".   "Nightmare" is a song about nightmares that could literally give you nightmares.   If you want to know the mindset of this cassette it is something like "Act like you didn't fucking know / we're already in Hell" and I think based on the way the year 2020 went a lot of people would agree with this statement.

Musically, "Dark Night of the Soul" is everything that is right about hip hop.   It has that "Judgment Night" soundtrack thing going on, which I feel like more artists should be exploring.   At the same time, I feel like a lot of what is going on within these songs is channeling the dark arts.   It's refreshing to see something like this in music, as it does feel like the cassette itself could put a curse on you or one of your enemies.    Probably not since the days of when rock n roll first started has music been this real and if enough people listen to this, the masses are going to get scared.  

Monday, March 8, 2021

Wrestling Review //
Take Kare

Watch Take Kare here :::

Buy GCW Merch here :::

Though I had seen different match graphics floating around for Take Kare, it wasn't until the Sunday before that I put together that it was the Saturday night that it was.   After a Saturday of ICW NHB and a Sunday of PWM and NPU, I thought that this weekend seemed a little bit empty of wrestling so I purchased the show via FITE TV for $13.99 (and they gave me a dollar credit!)  If I had to pick one match which really sold me on the show it would have to be Jimmy Lloyd vs. G-Raver No Rope Barbed Wire match because you don't see those that often.   

Little did I know, that match would open up this show.  These two really went all out and made great use of the barbed wire.   At one point, Jimmy Lloyd had G-Raver up and it looked like he was going to dump him onto something in the ring but instead just went running to the outside of the ring.  The way they both landed outside of the ring looked like it hurt enough if this was a normal match but the fact that they were both tangled up in barbed wire as well just went to show you how far these two went to win this match.

While the ring was being put back together, Charles Mason came out to cut a promo and this was only my second time ever seeing him- the first being just a few hours earlier.  During this promo, Charles Mason insulted the crowd by calling them fat and poor, but he also took a moment to tell a female fan that she was both a whore and a tramp.   I feel like I have to say this almost weekly now, but it is the year 2021.  The things which made ECW cool in the 1990's don't feel as cool now for a reason.   What little respect I had for Charles Mason after his match with Cole Radrick was quickly erased by that promo.  

Calvin Tankman returned from the Hybrid show to take on Brayden Lee and it was my first time seeing Brayden Lee.   This was a good showing by Brayden Lee, but what do you expect when you're up against Calvin Tankman.   I also must point out that I love the fact that Calvin Tankman is being prominently featured in MLW but also is showing up on so many shows I watch outside of MLW.   This is the way wrestling should be.

In what was at that time the shock of the night, Atticus Cogar defeated Effy and then Effy seemingly joined 44OH.   I haven't really missed 44OH in ICW NHB but the way that they've been not featured as much just makes me think it's because they have too much going on over here to be concerned with The Rejects right now.   Alex Colon defeated Nolan Edward with SHALK on commentary.   Post match, SHLAK (who is injured) came into the ring and said during 'Mania weekend it'd be Nolan Edward vs. SHLAK.   

I want to take this opportunity to tip my hat to Nolan Edward.   He was in the ICW NHB shows last Saturday.  He did No Peace Underground the next day.  And then he was also doing the Hoss Tournament which was happening on IWTV as this PPV was on FITE TV.   I realize he went up against Tony Deppen last Saturday, but he really feels like he's becoming Tony Deppen in the sense that he's on all the shows I'm watching.   

Speaking of Tony Deppen, we had an intermisison where they replayed the tag team match from Hybrid with Ironbeast winning and then Tony Deppen kicked things off against Ken Broadway.  I know Ken Broadway from his work in VxS, though I will no longer be watching VxS shows after I was really, really turned off by their "Stay High" show.   These two put on a solid match though and Ken Broadway is one to watch so I hope he sticks around in GCW.

Jordan Oliver and AJ Gray had what I consider to be match of the night here.  It was such a great representation of what wrestling is in 2021.  Jordan Oliver is just blowing up everywhere.  I know during 'Mania weekend AJ Gray is going to go up against AKIRA, but now Jordan Oliver has made the challenge to Lio Rush and I'm going to have to see all the schedules and prices of what shows to purchase because that's a match I really want to see happen live.

It's kind of weird that last weekend SHLAK was injured and pulled from NPU on Sunday but then was expected to face Allie Kat less than a week later.   Allie Kat came out to say that SHLAK is faking an injury because he's afraid of her and she issued an Open Meowange.  This brought Levi Everett back out (he was also on the Hybrid show) and these two had a good match even though I think everyone just wanted to see Allie Kat vs. SHLAK, which seems like it will still happen one day down the road.

The main event was wild.   Rickey Shane Page wasn't allowed to have any of his 44OH guys help him out.   Effy came out with them, but eventually turned on them and revealed he wasn't really part of 44OH after all and sort of chased them all to the back.   This brought out Chris Dickinson, who seemingly helped Joey Janela at first but then ended up costing him the match.   So the big thing going on at this point was: Effy is not really 44OH, RSP is going to run Spring Break and we're likely going to see Dickinson vs. Janela.   All things which I am, strangely, cool with happening. 

Then the music hit.  It was the return of the king.  Nick fucking Gage is back.  He took 44OH out until it was just RSP and him standing in that ring.   Rickey ran because it's what he does (There's a whole show about it) but Nick Gage said it was time for them to face off.   So it looks like, in April, we could see Jordan Oliver vs. Lio Rush, SHLAK vs. Nolan Edward, Chris Dickinson vs. Joey Janela and now Nick Gage vs. RSP (though not all on the same card probably)   This is going to be so much fun and so wild.  

Speaking of wild, I know this show was titled after a song but whenever I saw it or thought about it I only could go back to the old Cat Stevens song, "Wild World", which in the 1990's was covered by a band called Mr. Big.   This is because of the hook: "But if you want to leave take good care / Hope you make a lot of nice friends out there / But just remember there's a lot of bad everywhere" which also just somehow seems so fitting.  If I could do music videos I'd edit a Take Kare video package to that song but maybe someone will.  

Wrestling Review //
Hybrid Wrestling
Let It Ride

The Sunday before GCW "Take Kare" I purchased that show on FITE TV.  If not the next day it was very soon after when I saw this show circulating social media.  My first thought was "But that's when GCW is", but then I figured out it was a pre-show of sorts for GCW- the two were working together- and so I could watch both as this started at 3pm on YouTube for free and GCW was later on at 8pm.   Once I figured out that I was able to watch this live and have a day of wrestling it made me quite happy.   

Let It Ride has this card on paper that you cannot deny.  The first match I saw was Manders vs. Calvin Tankman and I thought "I'll sit through a free show just to see that".  Then I saw Willow Nightingale vs. Faye Jackson and just knew we were in for a treat.  Then I saw Matt Makowski vs. Wheeler Yuta and was like "Why is this free?"  Finally, I saw Holidead vs. Masha Slamovich and really wondered if this show might be better than Take Kare.  There isn't really overlapping talent between Let It Ride and Take Kare but if you're worrying WWE is signing everyone, here are two shows to prove you wrong.

To prove me wrong, this show opened up with JJ Garrett defeating Yoya, two wrestlers I had not seen prior to this match.   JJ Garrett looks like a young Scott Steiner (in the singlet/mullet days) and Yoya is on the small side but he moves so quickly and he just has these effective strikes.  Both of these guys put on a good showing and even in defeat, I am a fan of both Yoya and JJ Garrett after this match.   Put them on your shows and I will watch them.

The second match was Willow Nightingale taking on Faye Jackson and this was a dream match and really just a main event in many other promotions.   Willow Nightingale got that technical wrestling to come out with something which looked like an stf but I don't even know what it was.   I've been seeing Willow Nightingale recently in Enjoy Wrestling "Canned Heat" and she's doing the Beyond Signature Series as well, but let's see some more of Faye Jackson.  Both of these women deserve the world.

Speaking of the Beyond Signature Series, Matt Makowski took on Wheeler Yuta for the second time this week.   What I love about this match is both of these wrestlers have this style of wrestling which makes me think more of the wrestlers I watched growing up in the 1990's.   It's that idea of Bob Backlund (Makowski) vs. Bret Hart (Yuta) which just makes this such a great match up.   I've seen Wheeler Yuta a lot this year (ROH, Lucha Memes) but I've also been watching Matt Makowski in Camp Leapfrog, so the way these two come together is just such a good pairing I hope we see on cards for a long time to come.

While I am familiar with Cole Radrick and have seen some of his matches before, this was my first time seeing Charles Mason, I believe.  Charles Mason came out in a full suit which he then had to take off to show his Phoenix Suns inspired gear.  In terms of wrestling I really liked this match and Charles Mason can go in the ring.  Speaking of going in the ring, the next match saw Conan Lynch defeat Levi Everett.   I've seen Levi Everett before but this was my first time seeing Conan Lynch and the guy is a beast.  I give him a year or two before WWE wants to sign him.  

Ironbeast is the tag team of KTB and Shane Mercer.  Shane Mercer has appeared in ICW NHB, so when can we get KTB in there?  We should seriously have more tag team matches in ICW NHB.  I've never heard of Charlie Tiger or Ellis Taylor before but commentary was right to question why this tag team would call themselves Young Dumb N Broke.  Broke can mean without money, but it can also mean that Ironbeast just rips you in half.

In what can only be described as a fight, Holidead defeated Masha Slamovich.   I've seen Masha Slamovich in various promotions recently but I really think Holidead needs to be on more shows as well.   This match really told a story and that story was these two women beating the hell out of each other but neither really giving in and letting the other take an inch.   This was co-main event and much deserved as these two women easily had match of the night, which is saying a lot since all of these matches were so entertaining.

Calvin Tankman defeated Manders in the main event and this was just two big dudes beating each other up.  Power moves are fun and when fans of WWE think of independent wrestling they tend to think of smaller guys who do a lot of flips, but the fact that this show had such a variety of wrestling on it, closing out with this huge main event, just makes it seem like a show everyone should go out of their way to watch.   There's a little bit of something for everyone on this show or if you're like me you'll just love the whole thing.  Either way, I hope these Hybrid Wrestling shows keep coming.  

Wrestling Review //
New Texas Pro Wrestling

While I feel like I say that I watch a lot of wrestling shows just based on one match, I don't feel like a lot of people believe that.   I saw a graphic floating around for this show which had Lee Moriarty vs. Bryan Keith and even though I don't know who Bryan Keith is, I wanted to see this match because of the fact that this show is called Astroworld and I spent eight years living in Houston.   Texas has always been a hot spot for wrestling and so I'm glad to see it getting some shine here.

The show actually opened with Lee Moriarty vs. Bryan Keith and though I didn't know him prior to this match, Bryan Keith defeated Lee Moriarty and now I'm going to be keeping my eye on him.    Aaron Mercer defeated Muerte Infernal in the second match and I don't know either of these competitors but I now want to see Aaron Mercer vs. Shane Mercer.   In the third match Rok-C defeated Dani Jordyn.   I love Dani Jordyn but I've also seen Rok-C because I've watched some of those Booker T shows on YouTube.   This was a great match and both of these women should be booked everywhere after this.

In what gets my laugh of the night, there was a tag team match between a team called Larger Than Life (who came out to the Backstreet Boys song) and a team called Thoracic Park, which commentary told us that one of the two Cruz brothers was a doctor so he knew about the human anatomy but also that this was a play on words for Jurassic Park.   The match was nice, but I liked the names better than the action.   

New Texas Pro has a LoneStar Title (which I prefer to think is named after the beer) and Max Heights defended it against T-Ray.   New Texas Pro also crowned a Women's Champion as Raychell Rose defeated Billie Starkz.    Masha Slamovich defeated Vert Vixen and every time I heard commentary say "Vert Vixen" I thought they were saying "Nerd Vixen".   I'm not sure who Prince Adam or Johnny Badgate are but as commentary wondered about Prince Adam's name I thought it was a MOTU reference.

Mysterious Q successfully defended the New Texas Pro Title against both Calvin Tankman and Gino Medina.   There was supposed to be a match with Chris Bey but he faked an injury and Texas really loves Gino Medina.   This was a great triple threat match and I liked how commentary would refer to Calvin Tankman as "Tank Man" because he really does seem like he hits like a tank though he moves much better than one.

This show was really hit or miss for me.  When the matches had wrestlers in them that I knew, I liked the match.   When I didn't really know the wrestlers I didn't really get as into the match.   I feel like it went every other match too where it was someone I knew versus matches where I didn't know anyone.   But overall I enjoyed the show and feel like if I continue watching New Texas Pro, I'll learn who the characters are that I don't know and that will make the shows seem so much better.  But, yes, I would recommend getting into New Texas Pro.  

Wrestling Review //
ACTION Wrestling
Eyes On The Throne

Sometimes all you need to sell me on a wrestling show is one match.  For "Eyes On The Throne", that match was Fred Yehi vs. Kevin Ku.  When I saw the graphics for that one floating around Twitter I knew I'd be watching this show.   This was my first time watching an ACTION Wrestling show, however I have seen their champion AC Mack in Beyond Wrestling's "Uncharted Territory" series, so it didn't feel too unfamiliar.  

This show opened strong with AKIRA taking on Angelus Layne and one of the commentary team didn't know AKIRA's dog is named Kota and that makes me sad.  Many of the names on this show were names that I didn't know.   Adam Priest, Robert Martyr, Alex Kane and Matt Sells were all new to me.  I've heard the names Chase Holliday and Jaden Newman before but wasn't sure if I had ever seen them wrestle or not.  Sometimes you get those scrambles or shows from years past and you might see someone and forget about them if they don't make an impression on you and in some ways that sucks but it's part of seeing a lot of wrestlers in a lot of matches.

If you're coming into this show like I was though- not really knowing a lot of the talent but being sold on Fred Yehi vs. Kevin Ku- then you will see some great matches and hopefully become a fan of some of these wrestlers in the three other matches which happened on this card where I wasn't really familiar with everyone involved.  I hope to watch whatever the next ACTION show is and that can hopefully bring out some character development and then I can say "Oh yeah, I remember him from the last show".   Sometimes it just takes seeing someone multiple times before they really catch on, but I'll put ACTION in my playlist now.

Fred Yehi and Kevin Ku went out and had the type of match you would expect from two who are just so gifted in the craft of professional wrestling.   Fred Yehi has been tearing it up in many matches so far this year- it seems like I'm seeing him now more than ever before and that's not a bad thing.  Kevin Ku is also out there having some of the best matches on the show, so for all of the professional wrestling which I watched in February 2021, as much of it that actually took place during that month as well, this could easily be my favorite match from the month.

I'm willing to admit that the main event left me a little bit underwhelmed and confused.   There was a strong emphasis on how many days AC Mack had been ACTION Champion- as it was almost 800 days- and whenever that type of thing happens you feel like it's setting up for the title to change hands.   This was a solid back and forth match, which I really enjoyed up until the end.   So, from what I can figure out as an outsider looking in, Graham Bell came out first with a chair in an attempt to crush AC Mack and cost him the title.  But then, Alan Angels came out and took the chair from Graham Bell, seemingly making the save, only to then use the chair himself.

So this was some kind of big double cross where Alan Angels looked like he was going to be the good guy and work against Graham Bell, but then he ended up being on the same side and also paid off by Graham Bell.   Does this seem overcomplicated to anyone else?  Why would Graham Bell come out to try and cost AC Mack the title if he had paid Alan Angels to do it?  Why would Angels then take the chair from Bell, as if they weren't on the same side?  This just felt like a lot of unnecessary steps for Alan Angels to just come out and hit AC Mack with a chair, ultimately costing him the match.  

While I am interested in where this goes- and that's why I'll watch the next ACTION Wrestling show- I think having Alan Angels simply come out and do the deed then have Graham Bell come out afterwards to reveal he paid him off would have been much more effective, to the point and less confusing then the mess which ended this show.   But they got me to watch and they got me wanting more so they definitely were more successful than all of my critique.  

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Cassette Review //
Carnivorous Plants
(Aphelion Editions)

 £6 //
Edition of 20 //

The guitar comes screeching through and then drones in static.   Sharpness comes through in small bits and it feels more like moving now.   When the drone first started it could have been heard as standing still, but now it does feel more like we're a train going down the track.   It's screeching now, as if trying to stop by slamming on the brakes.    Eventually, we just drop off and crash into the abyss, which also brings the end of the song like a hollow explosion.

Distorted guitar riffs come in once again now and these feel heavy, like a bomb.   There is a bit of that Hendrix feel within here though it is slower paced but not quite drone.   Notes now join in behind the initial distortion and it feels like the guitar is singing.   This has truly become a harmony of guitars.   There is a sliding, almost scraping sound, through this guitar work and it just adds to the song when other aspects of it might just feel like a slow rock jam this enhances that level of soundscape in a visual way.

Slowly now, the guitar notes  build back up a little bit at a time as this new song emerges.   As hues slice through I'm picturing this sound as being underwater, as we are some sort of deep sea diver combing the bottom of the ocean for buried treasure.   There is a mechanical way about this and in that sense it does feel like we're watching a video where some sort of machine is searching the bottom of the ocean- a giant claw type of machine which is able to sift through the sand.    The guitar notes come back, blistering through.  

On the flip side the distortion hits like a wave.    You can really hear the notes come through now, more distinctly than at any point on the first side of the cassette, and it just has the sound of a guitar-based song which can tend to wander.  I'm thinking about taking a walk in the woods as I hear it.    There is also a certain way which notes can strike down like thunder during all of this.   It can feel like a guitar storm, which is pretty neat.  Sometimes I feel like there's this distorted loop rotating while notes scramble to pierce on through.

We're grinding and driving through all of this and it just feels like we're stuck in a hole but digging ourselves out from it.   In some ways it can also just feel as if we are crawling.   Each note is telling its own story as it cuts through the distortion, sometimes is distorted and just falls in line in what can sometimes feel like an intentional pattern while at other times it can feel more like a freestyle.   The way it just unfolds into destruction is also something worth noting, as it could seem as if everything was held together before this eventual falling apart.    It takes its time unraveling though, and you can begin to hear vocals come through in the background, as if to signify that this is indeed the end.  

The final song on here might sound familiar because it is a Microdeform remix of the song which closed out the first side.   There are lasers bursting through here and the guitar work is being taken to the next level of space.   The way this brings the cassette to an end is interesting because without this final song you just feel like the world has ended, everything is gone and blank.   Adding this remix though leaves me with some sense of hope, like a flower growing out of the concrete.  

Cassette Review //
Aaron Troyer
"Trappings Of A Golden Myth"
(No Coast)

$5.99 //

Edition of 75 // //

Recently, I watched the movie "Adventureland" again for maybe the fourth time in my life.    While I obviously enjoy the movie since I keep watching it, I also really enjoy the soundtrack to it.   Though it might just be a connection that I make, after listening to this cassette by Aaron Troyer enough times and then having that movie play at some point during my listening (There was actually a day where I listened to this cassette during the afternoon then watched the movie at night) I feel like the two are somehow connected, if only musically.  Which is weird because I've never really thought about "Adventureland" as a soundtrack before.

Throughout these songs there are several variations of rock music but the one I didn't really hear a lot of was modern rock.   Elements of these songs can be traced back to names like John Fogerty, Blue Oyster Cult and CCR.    Somehow, I can even hear a little bit of Jimmy Buffet in here.   There are some folk vibes throughout this cassette as well though- which can lead to the songs being acoustic.   This makes me think of The Get Up Kids, which is probably about as current as this sounds to me.

And then we get into that 1990's scene of rock n roll which was headlined by The Replacements.   That sound is in here and as it mixes with the Americana driving sound of someone in the classic rock genre such as Tom Petty, this just seems to touch all of the right rock bases.   At times, it can even feel psychedelic.  But I also like to think of this as being the soundtrack to another movie- "Juno"- as it goes from those different levels of rock music (and has the folk/acoustic parts) but it amazes me to think how many different artists are on that soundtrack and yet this is all being made by one artist.

The only fault with this cassette is that it might not be rock enough for some folks and others it might be not folk enough.  I'm not sure if there is a lot of crossover between the listeners who would want this to be louder or softer, but I'm hoping that in the year 2021 people can listen to different levels of music by the same artist and not feel so exclusive.  In the 1960's, for example, this could create a real conflict where people would say "I like this song but that other song is for squares", but again, being in modern times I feel like the world is ready to experience this one and it is just so easily accessible to the ears that everyone should be playing it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Cassette Review //
(skrot up)

$6 //

Edition of 32 // //

Electronic laser blasts kick in right away as this one starts off fast and hard.   Some ambient tones come in behind this which make me feel like we're in space, but the overall vibe here is still so fast paced and dance like.   I feel some "Resident Evil" vibes, but it feels lighter than that somehow- like it's not about fighting.  It has that idea of like when you watch the first "Blade" movie and all the vampires are dancing but you don't know they're vampires yet and then the blood comes down and that one guy is like "Oh shit" and then Blade shows up to crash the party.  But it just feels less... gothic... than when you think of "Blade" or "Resident Evil".

Into the second track we get some break beats as it does lighten up even more than from the start and it just feels fun.  I'm thinking of the movie "Go" and the label Degenerate Trifecta right now.    The third track has a similar urgency but there are moans behind it which sound almost haunted and it makes me feel more like my original thought of "Blade" being true.   This spreads out as it comes to a slow end and just feels so spatial.  

When the next song comes on there are some vocals but they aren't saying words.  As the speed increases, I just think about those games they have in arcades where you have to dance and when you see them in cartoons they just tend to go too fast for reality but the cartoons pull it off.   I want to think about exercising with the pace of this one, but I'm just drawn to the Dance Dance Revolution image.   We have some blissed out synth now in the next track as the tempo slows a bit but the feeling of energy remains.    This also brings the first side to an end, as it feels like we just danced out of our socks.

On the flip side we open with electronics coming through almost like screeches.   Beats come in quickly behind them, but this does feel like something out of Transformers.   If Soundwave was trying to create an electronic album, this might be a song on it.   But it also just breaks down to where it can almost begin to feel like instrumental hip hop.   Tones in the back now give me strong vibes of being on a carousel ride.  This single song just undergoes so many different changes that it's quite the trip-- some sort of trip that entire albums of music sometimes cannot even take.

Blissed trill tones now bring in much more mechanical sounding beats, like the stomping of machines.   I think this is the first time I ever heard a song and thought of the movie "Extract".   This continues to drive and just feel like a video game with a steering wheel.    We're speeding down the freeway now, top down, the sun is shining and this is our soundtrack.   

Sirens raid now as the beat comes in like a glitch of sorts.   This feels like less of a song now and more of a war cry.   We're readying the troops and are about to take on some kind of enemy.   Beats come in which skip a little bit and this one would be fun to dance to if I didn't feel like we were going to battle.   The beats and ringing tones behind them now make me feel like this next song is definitely set in space.    This can feel like Doctor Who on some level as well, but throughout this whole cassette it definitely serves as a fitting end, as it feels like we've just blasted off into space and beyond.  

Cassette Review //
"Is This Really Happening?"
(Fuzzy Warbles Cassettes)


$6 //

Right away I like the name OOF because it's such a small word that can mean so many different things yet is often times the perfect response.  I feel like that idea is reflected in the music as well: it can feel like a simple concept of rock or punk on the surface but underneath it you can pull many influences out depending upon your own influences and there is just a lot to hear within these songs if you listen closely.

Every time I listen to "Is This Really Happening?" I come back to note that it has elements of ska in it, but then by the time I'm done listening to the cassette I think "Is that really the best genre reference to make?"  So I felt it needed to be noted.  I also hear some of the Blue Meanies in here, which adds to that kind of ska but kind of not sound.   There are vocals by at least two different people and at times they can remind me of Tom Waits, which is never a bad thing.   Other musical influences I hear can include The Slits and X-Ray Spex, as this can just sound like a band you would have seen perform at CBGB's.

With a saxophone coming out during these songs it just puts a new twist on what you generally might tend to think of as being this weird/experimental brand of punk rock.   Within that though are a lot of lyrics which really might seem less significant on the surface (and you can sing along at times as well) but I hope in your listening you eventually begin to take these words to mean something more.  On the song "Take A Walk In The Graveyard", for example, it is suggested that we do this "when we miss our friends", which can just open up a discussion as to why so many people are dying so young.

Side A ends with a song called "Too Many Emails" and I don't think anyone has ever thought they don't get enough emails.  Some time last year, the USPS was under fire where they wanted to defund it or something and so this viral campaign was going around to "Text this to this number to help save the USPS!", which I did because I love the mail and then I got constant email updates from my senator or whoever.  I ended up unsubscribing from his email list and blocking his address because it just became too much.   

It also just reminds me of when holidays come around and companies will say "Hey, remember when you bought something from us five years ago?  Well, guess what! We're having a sale now in honor of Take Your Dog To Work Day!"  It's a down side to buying online, but then I go into stores like Big Lots and every time they ask me if I'm a rewards member and I say no and I don't want to sign up.  You know what happens if I sign up?  Tons of unwanted emails.  I just wish we could create a system where you can add people to your contacts and so it's cool for them to send you emails, but if it's someone you don't approve they have to pay to email you.  And then some of that money goes to the recipient.  

Aside from all that, the flip side opens with a song called "Country Song" which is about thinking it's easy to do things which are not really that easy.   One of them is writing a country song, but another one is throwing a perfect pitch and so I like that because it's about baseball.  There is a line in here I like that goes: "It's hard to be this bad / Imagine being good", which I think reflects the notion that people take things like punk rock for granted.  You can't just go up and play a guitar without any knowledge of how to play and become the Ramones or even Frank Zappa.

Perhaps my favorite line on this cassette though is from "Country Song" as well and it says: "Everybody eats / Not that many cook".    This is something which I think a lot about and maybe I even think about it too much.  As someone who writes about music, is it fair for me to critique something that I can't do?  People will say "Oh yeah, well if you think it's so bad I'd like to see you do better".   But then at the same time, music is made for listening to by everyone and not just musicians so if you're presenting art to be enjoyed by not just artists then you shouldn't have to be an artist to decide whether it's good or not but the whole thing is just a debate that I still struggle with internally.

"Is This Really Happening?" is a question we never really answer and that's okay.  This all might just be a dream.   But I like this cassette by OOF because as much as you can just listen to it because it has an energy about it and can be played loudly, there is also a deeper layer when you can get quite philosophical.  And how much you want to take from these songs is really up to you, as the listener.    Having that option though, being able to write essays about some of these lyrics, just makes this a special and essential cassette.  

Monday, March 1, 2021

Wrestling Review //
No Peace Underground
Horrors Of Survival

My weekend of watching live wrestling on the tv (four shows in two days!) concluded with No Peace Underground.   Look, I watch a lot of the shows on IWTV and not WWE or AEW because I feel like there is more emphasis on the dirtsheets when it comes to those companies.  So I don't know a lot about behind the scenes stuff (and I don't really care) but it was nice to Larry Legend on this show because I feel like ICWNHB has some beef with GCW but this means (I think) that ICWNHB and NPU are at least cool.  

In the opening match, Tony Deppen said that he was going to wrestle because he's from ROH and Parrow just shoved him through a table.  I'm dating myself here, but there was this time when TNA had a great working relationship with ROH.  Then someone (Samoa Joe) got injured in an ROH ring and was unable to compete in a big match TNA had planned for him, so TNA said no more to that partnership.  I was there live (the only time I saw ROH live) when Samoa Joe cut a promo about it and seemingly made it so TNA took him (and others) away from ROH, so I kind of felt like that was happening here- like Tony Deppen might get in trouble with ROH, but I think things are cooler now.

For the second match of this show, Ruben Steel was to take on SHLAK but apparently SHLAK was injured during ICWNHB and out comes Neil Diamond Cutter.  These two had a crazy, bloody match, which followed up that Parrow-Deppen match which went outside and onto a car, and this was just pure chaos and it was only two matches into the show.   That Florida crowd still seemed a little bit crazy but when Joey Janela and SHLAK got on commentary, they explained that it was because most of them were on meth.

To me, Joey Janela and SHLAK should be on commentary for every show.  They were just so inappropriate together but in a funny way.   SHLAK said that Wolfe Taylor looked like a Vietnam War veteran and then they both came to the conclusion of him being Lt. Dan.   Just the whole banter between the two was funny and way more entertaining than it had any right to be.  But yes, please let them do commentary more often together.

As the show poster said Jordan Oliver was doing whatever the fuck he wants, so he inserted himself into the Nolan Edward-Wolfe Taylor match, which then also saw him somehow pick up the win.  This was crazy, but it went along with the overall feeling of the show anyway so it just worked.   

AJ Gray (whom I love) took on Shane Mercer in the next fight and these two just beat the shit out of each other.   AJ Gray got the win, but then The Rejects came out and beat him up.  They had Mittens in there trying to hold back JWM and it was great.   I think this was done in response to GCW (and that Alex Colon show) announcing AJ Gray vs. AKIRA.   I think we're on our way to a GCW vs. ICWNHB show.   At one point, I thought that The Rejects were going up against 44OH in ICWNHB, but I think that's been put on pause.  By summer, I think we'll see The Rejects (representing ICWNHB) taking on SGC (representing GCW)  If you're not WWE, you can work together.

There are a few NPU shows on IWTV that I haven't watched yet (but I plan on it) but when I did watch them there was always this weird guy in between matches being tortured or something.   During this show, a lot of the in between matches was old black and white videos from probably the 1950's or earlier.  There was one about how to survive an atomic bomb going off.  Then there was one about how you shouldn't swim right after a big meal or you'll get cramps and die.  And I liked the whole idea of "Safety is for sissies" and then the guy crashed his car and died.   It might have been because of the funny of Joey Janela and SHLAK rubbing off.  Or the Twitter feed.  Or both.  But these were really funny to me.

The Rejects defeated the team of Conor Claxton and Lucky 13 when both men pretty much went through enough light tubes to kill a normal man.   This was a bloodbath and if Claxton and Lucky 13 come out of this without being seriously injured I will be surprised.   There is that point of the death match- to push yourself as close as you can to death without actually dying- and I think we saw that here.

In the main event, G-Raver defeated Atticus Cogar.   Cogar was able to go 2-0 the day before for ICWNHB, but he could not stop G-Raver.   After the match, an undead bride came out and offered a rose to G-Raver.  This brought the Sinister Minister onto the screen to say that in April (I guess it's 'Mania weekend) G-Raver will face Su Yung.   I honestly didn't see that coming but holy shit take my money.   I think that GCW is doing "The Collective" again, which means a lot of shows (too many for me to watch, unfortunately), but whatever show this match ends up on, whether it's IWTV or FITE TV or YouTube-- I'm watching.   This feels pretty must see and after watching the insanity unfold during "Horrors Of Survival", I'm ready.  I just wish April didn't seem so far away.  

Wrestling Review //
Pro Wrestling Magic
The Roaring Twenties II

Follow Pro Wrestling Magic on Twitter here :::

Order the replay here :::

One thing which I think people don't talk about enough when it comes to wrestling is that often times you can sell an entire show based just on one match.  Fans might not be willing to admit it right away, but if you really think about it no one says "Well, I really want to see these two fight but the rest of the card looks weak so I'll pass".  No.  You watch and hope for the best for the rest of the card and buy the show for that one match you really want to see.   Luckily, Pro Wrestling Magic has a stacked card for The Roaring Twenties II, even though I did initially decide on watching this show because of the Erica Leigh vs. Jordan Blade match.   This show is $9.99 on FITE TV and when I bought it they gave me a $1 credit.

Right away, this show is different from the rest as you can see it is set in black and white.   There is a line going down the screen as if we're watching some kind of old timey movie like out of that Buster Keaton era.  I know I might be jumping the gun here a little bit but imagine a match (or an entire show) which is silent like Charlie Chaplin.  You could even put those cards in between moves and pinfall attempts with text on them like "Only Two!" if there was a kick out.  

The first match on this show saw The Meadowlands Monster defend the PWM Championship against Sebastian Cage, who is the PWM Jr. Heavyweight Champion.   I believe this was only my second time seeing Sebastian Cage- as I remember watching him recently on VxS "In Too Deep", which was a loss to Treehouse Lee.  I've not seen The Meadowlands Monster before but he looks kind of like a lost Briscoe brother (the Jay and Mark ones in ROH) rather than having the appearance of an actual monster.  Still, this was a good match and there were a few times when Sebastian Cage hit moves which would have taken a lesser man down.  Consider The Meadowlands Monster one to watch by me.

PWM took us to the vault for a scramble match which featured Solo Darling, Sonny Kiss, John Tella, Tony Rush and Payne, who was at the time the Dark Arts Champion.   I honestly only really knew Solo Darling and Sonny Kiss going into this match and it was not easy for me to tell the other wrestlers apart.  I felt like I only really knew what was going on when Solo Darling was on the screen, but then Sonny Kiss also spent a bit of the beginning of the match not being seen.  Shout out to commentary though for giving updates on where these wrestlers are now and this was a fun match even if it left me a little bit confused.

Darius Carter is the PWM Dark Arts Champion right now and the deal with the Dark Arts Championship, to kind of make it simple, is that there are rules which can change based upon who is holding the title.  This is, I suppose, the magic of it.  So in the previous match Payne was the champion and the rules might not have been the same for defending the title as when Darius Carter is now champion.  There are also five rounds in this match, which I do enjoy seeing to some extent because it makes the timing of everything feel more important.  There are fifteen second breaks in between rounds.

Darius Carter has a challenge in front of him in the form of Billy Dixon, who, sadly, spent most of this match tied up in the ring post getting his leg worked over.  Darius Carter hit an illegal eye poke after a round ended and then made quick work of Billy Dixon after that.  I'm not sure why Darius Carter felt the need to cheat there, because it felt like he was winning, but big news coming out of this match was announced that Darius Carter and Billy Dixon would have their rubber match at the Cassandro Cup on March 28th only on IWTV and it's 2/3 falls!

There were four non-title matches before the main event.   I'm not sure who either the Dream Master or J-Heru are, but I know J-Heru had a tough time just getting his entrance gear off.  I enjoyed the Wrecking Ball Legursky vs. Chris Ryan match because it felt like Chris Ryan didn't stand a chance.  The stipulation was that if Chris Ryan could last five minutes with Wrecking Ball, he could have a tag team title shot.  So once Wrecking Ball pinned Chris Ryan it was 5:02.  Really, I just see this as being more punishment for Chris Ryan so I don't know if this is the wisest decision for him.   

Ace Romero and TJ Crawford had a great match with a lot of nearfalls and you just felt like you were watching something special as these two went at it.   American Murder Society also took on Brick City Boyz in a match which spilled out of the ring and then it ended in a double countout.  I saw one half of the American Murder Society once in person, but this was my first time seeing everyone else.  The Brick City Boyz look like they should be in a stable with Wrecking Ball Legursky because of how they dress with the bricks and all.

The main event saw Erica Leigh vs. Jordan Blade for the vacant PWM Women's Championship and it was on its way to being a Match of the Year contender.  Jordan Blade really just punished Erica Leigh during this match, hitting her with everything she had.   The story though is that even though Jordan Blade seemed to do the most damage during the match, it wasn't enough to put away Erica Leigh and give Jordan Blade that win.   It wasn't until the end of the match when Darius Carter came out and provided a distraction for Jordan Blade to get the win.   I truly feel like if Jordan Blade kept at it she could've won fairly, but maybe she couldn't have and that's why she saw her spot and took it.

Overall, I was really impressed with the work done by Pro Wrestling Magic.   On the production side they went out of their way to create a visual which felt unique and not like just another wrestling promotion.  The commentary was on point and I've said this perhaps too much but I feel like commentary can really make or break a show.  But the in ring action delivered with a perfect combination of names I knew going in and new faces I saw for the first time.   I also really enjoyed (and perhaps I can't stress this enough) how PWM kind of made notes about Paris Is Bumping and Camp Leapfrog.   

At least once a week I feel like I see someone tweet "Who is your favorite wrestler not signed to a contract" or some variation of that.   People tag maybe twenty or thirty wrestlers in response.  But that's always annoyed me because I don't want to tag a bunch of people.  I want to go back to feeling like instead of just watching the wrestlers we're watching promotions.  It's just easier for the collected talent.  I really enjoy all I've seen from Camp Leapfrog, so I'd use them as an example rather than listing each wrestler one by one.  And now I think Pro Wrestling Magic has to go into that list of promotions I enjoy.   For ten dollars, this is more than worth.