Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Wrestling Review //
Northeast Championship Wrestling
Big City Rumble 2021
8/20/21
@ Jacob Jones VFW, Dedham, MA


https://thencw.com/


Whenever I go to a show for a promotion I've never been to before I always wonder "How did I find out about this?"   The reasons why I found out about
(and love) Northeast Championship Wrestling are because they have a YouTube show called "Behind Closed Doors" (which you can and should watch for free) which features such wrestlers as Love, Doug and they also have Becca as their reigning Women's Champion and she just happens to be in a great feud with Little Mean Kathleen.  

One measuring stick which I use for all of professional wrestling is how many women you feature on your show.  There is just too much wrestling out there right now (even in a live sense, if you can believe it) for me to go to a show where there is only one women's match and it feels like a ~special attraction~.   I should clarify though that this show, the Big City Rumble 2021, only advertised one women's match *but* it happened to feature five of the best women in the Northeast and more importantly, NCW has prominently featured women in their "Behind Closed Doors" series, so I feel like we're on the same page.

On a completely random note, on the drive here Jess and I were discussing places in MA and how you pronounce them, mainly because I kept saying "Dedham" as "Dead-ham" and it became this running gag which would come back into full effect during the show, but as a joke only Jess and I would get.   As we pulled into the downtown there was a pizza place and I wondered if their specialty was bacon pizza because, you know, dead ham.

As far as getting to the show, being let in and having it start I felt like it all ran rather smoothly.  I wasn't paying that much attention to the time but I didn't feel like we were ever waiting around forever so I can say it was rather timely, which is important to me but not as important as the quality of the show.

The first match saw Armani Kayos take on "Riot" Kellan Thomas.  I've only ever seen Kellan Thomas before in Lucky Pro but Armani Kayos is everywhere.  This was a fun match with me telling Armani early on that he was basic and Paris Van Dale kind of cost him the match here as well.  Kellan Thomas had gear on that looked like the yellow version of Wolverine and I do feel like there should always be more comic book and wrestling crossovers.

Though the second match ended up being the Women's Gauntlet match, I was both excited and disappointed when Isana and Jessie Nolan were to start the gauntlet together.  I was excited because the concept of Isana vs Jessie Nolan is a match which should be a main event somewhere and go for however long it takes (30 to 40 minutes?) but being in the Gauntlet changes how you wrestle because you're not just focused on a single opponent.  I was disappointed though because this being the first match meant that one of these two wasn't going to get the title shot and that would be determined rather quickly.

Both Sarah Teller and Paris Van Dale had impressive showings, but it was at the end when Little Mean Kathleen came out last and took a count out victory over PVD to get the win.   Something I forgot to mention was that Becca had come out and was watching this whole match as well.  When Becca came out, she did so to absolutely no music which was just awkward.  I'm not sure if her music makes her feel too much like not-a-heel but the uncomfortable silence did work as she played the heel, yelling at the crowd.

What can I say about this match, Jessie Nolan and Isana?  If I was going to start a wrestling promotion, Jessie Nolan and Isana are both wrestlers I would want to build that promotion around.  Both not only look like they could kick some ass, but when you see them in the ring they prove that they can kick some ass.   One of them having a championship and then the two of them feuding over it for a solid year would just seem to print money.   Like most things in life though, I just need to be patient.

The Women's Gauntlet also turned into an immediate title match, as Becca got into the ring and said the match would happen right now.   Becca used the ropes for leverage and defeated LMK, so it appears that despite LMK winning a whole Gauntlet match to get a shot at Becca their feud is still far from over (and they say long term storytelling is dead)

At this point the show got a little bit weird because it took some detours off course, but hey, that's fine.   Love, Doug was out for a Last Chance For Lover's Match where he took on Randy Rivera, with the winner being in the Rumble.   Well, this match broke down when Trigga The OG came out and beat up both guys.   This somehow lead to JT Dunn making a surprise appearance and then this turned into a tag team match where Love, Doug and Randy Rivera were both allowed to be in the Rumble but if The Unit won then they'd be in it as well.

It was a little strange to go from cheering Love, Doug because we wanted him in the Rumble and these two were fighting against each other for a spot to them both being in it and then we're booing The Unit because, well, they just seem to be booed everywhere that they go these day because of the choices they make.

Next up there was supposed to be an Open Challenge with NCW New England Champion Mike Montero, but six men came out to answer it and so it all broke down into a six man tag team match, which was nice but I kept feeling concerned that too much else was happening when there was still a Rumble to be had!  Anyway, there are 21 episodes of "Behind Closed Doors" on YouTube right now and you should watch them all to learn the story of Alexander Lee and a puppet because it's really one of the best things happening in wrestling right now.

In an Anarchy Rules Hardcore Grudge Match, The Lumberjake defeated Tim Lennox.  This was a wild match that broke down with chairs and Legos.   One of my favorite parts of this match though was that The Lumberjake brought a trash can out with him to the ring.   At one point, none other than Grogan jumped out of the trash can and was used as a weapon to help The Lumberjake.  Just when I thought I'd seen it all, it got crazier as at one point Grogan also went after Tim Lennox with a hatchet and if you don't believe me there are photos on Twitter.  (@heygrogan)

Right before intermission there was an incident with Jess, an unnamed fan and myself.  It's not really something which needs to be discussed but it should be noted that it was handled and I am forever grateful to those who went out of their way to see that it was.  

Back from intermission we had the Tag Team Titles Match with The Big Boys defending the titles against The Little Giants.   This is one of those wrestling paradoxes because pretty much wherever you go now, Ricky Smokes is playing the heel.  But when we've seen Brad Cashew (who is Chaz Cashew here) in Chaotic and Lucky Pro, he has been a good guy and cheered.   So it was weird to have to boo him but that's what comes with hanging out with Ricky Smokes I suppose.  

The Tag Team Title Match was good and it seemingly spilled over into the Rumble, as did a lot of the events from the evening, which made it feel like a true tribute to the old WWE Royal Rumbles without copying them exactly.   One of the stories going into the Big City Rumble was that BRG would enter at # 1 and Channing Thomas would enter last.   Well, during the Rumble itself BRG was eliminated, which was a bit of a shock because I thought he'd stick around to fight Channing Thomas, but then BRG came back at the end and took Channing Thomas' spot.   Let me tell you the way the entire crowd stood up and cheered when BRG was eliminated (twice) was just special.

What I liked about the Big City Rumble match was that there were a lot of people in it from earlier in the show, like Alexander Lee, Perry Von Vicious and The League Of Excellence, but there were also some surprises and it was used to showcase some newer talents.   We were a few wrestlers away from Ichiban showing up, I just know it!  In the end it came down to The Lumberjake and BRG.  It looked like BRG was going to win because he had the advantage of The Big Boys at ringside and he had somehow been able to enter twice.   But The Lumberjake pulled it off and sent the crowd home happy!

Overall, I look at this show from the perspective of numbers.   Any match on this show felt like it could have been a main event.   So if you only came to see one person (or the appearance of JT Dunn was a happy surprise) or match, you got your money's worth and so much more because tickets were only $10 each.   To me, the Women's Gauntlet alone was worth the $10 (and more) but to someone else perhaps the match between The Lumberjake and Tim Lennox was worth their price of admission.  

There just wasn't a bad match on this show and everyone wrestled like it was their first match back in front of fans in seventeen months.  When this show is hopefully streamed (on YouTube perhaps) you should definitely check it out.  If you are in the MA area then NCW is a promotion that you should be watching!

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