Thursday, March 31, 2022

Wrestling Review //
Blitzkrieg! Pro
Enfield, CT

It felt good to be back at the House of Pierogies and when we got there the doors were already open so that was even better.  After seeing the ticket-takers (who are always really pleasant and remember us) the first person we saw upon going in was Jack Purcell.  Since B!P has returned from the pandemic, I've managed to get every poster Jack Purcell has made (that I know of) except for if there was one for the Luau and Jess has the one for "Eat The Meek" because I wasn't there either.  (I also have two different posters for Mark It Zero though)

I was really excited for this show because the first match announced was Alec Price vs "Speedball" Mike Bailey and so I was also excited to see what the poster Jack Purcell was making would look like.   After getting the poster it became my goal to get it signed by the four wrestlers on it and Jack Purcell said "Two of them are right there!", so I went down the merch table line to Masha Slamovich and CPA who were next to each other.  I then noticed Mike Bailey was further down the tables but Quentin had left to get food so once he got back we went and met Mike Bailey, which got us three out of the four autographs.  

With the show about to start, we got into our seats and the first match was a dark match.  I'm not sure why, but I got it into my head that it was going to be a scramble so after Delightful Dan the God Damn Candy Man came out I was anticipating more music and competitors but alas the bell rang and the match started.  One thing I love about Blitzkrieg! Pro is they have this group of wrestlers who can feel ultra-serious like Travis Huckabee and VSK, but then they also can have King Crab and Bobby Orlando on their roster.  So I feel like Delightful Dan the God Damn Candy Man is such a perfect fit for B!P and I'd love to see him back.  Who doesn't love candy??

One funny thing about this show is that I kind of planned out with Jess what the match order would be and other than the main event I feel like we didn't get any of the order right.  The night started right away with Anthony Greene- who it is great to see back in B!P- taking on Travis Huckabee.  This was fun because it was one of those matches which really just brought out the wrestling side, that pure side, of AG that we don't always get to see.  Travis Huckabee got the win and what that means for him trying to get back into that title picture was revealed by the interim GM Matthew James.

Here is a little gripe I have about the show that probably only I care about because everyone else is probably just like "Relax, dude".   Matthew James came out, announced a Scramble for the next time B!P is in Enfield (in June) and then said that Travis Huckabee would be in it and the winner would get a title shot.  Cool.  Well, later on in the night, both CPA and J George announced that they were also entering the Scramble.  I get it, they won their matches, but why did Huckabee have to get approval then?  Could anyone who wins a match between now and then just put themselves in the Scramble until spots are full??

This brought out MSP for the Tag Team Championship Open Challenge and it was answered by The Haven.  The Haven are a local tag team and I'm not sure how much of the audience knew them but after this match they're definitely going to remember them.   I really do enjoy The Haven (we saw them in BST) and it didn't even bother me that they had merch out and that felt like it spoiled the surprise to some extent.  It was a really good match and at times I even thought that The Haven might win.

As the competitors made their way down for the Six Way Scramble, Bobby Orlando was out first and there was an empty seat next to Jess so he spent some time sitting there watching everyone come out.  J George is just the perfect amount of annoying that a heel should be.  He just literally has the fans eating out of his hands.  It's so great.  50 Cal came out, got a huge pop and also got chants going during the match and to the surprise of no one 50 Cal is super over right now.  So is Ichiban and that's pretty cool.  At the last TOS show it was neat to see everyone go crazy for Ichiban and this was like that but on a larger level since it was bigger venue with more people.

Jimmy Townsend is a newcomer from Australia who trains at the NEPWA with Gal Barkay, among others, and he certainly knew what he was doing in there.  It was my first time seeing him wrestle but he really impressed me.  And this match also marked the return of Veda Scott, who should just be booked to wrestle, do commentary or both a lot more than they already are.  Everyone in this Scramble is just so good though it was such a fun match that I want to watch back to see what was happening at times on the other side of the ring.

Something funny is that I don't always pay a lot of attention to entrance music (sorry, wrestlers) and aside from promotions such as Blitzkrieg! Pro I'm very much out of the loop when it comes to theme songs.  Having seen BEEF literally a week ago, I knew he was coming out when I heard that Kid Rock song.  I love CPA, I really do, but it's so hard not to cheer for BEEF.  BEEF is just that type of guy that screams wrestler.  I always imagine this scenario where I'm in a bar and someone sees me wearing a wrestling related t-shirt and they try to give me a hard time about it, putting me down for being a fan, and I just go "Hey, BEEF, this guy doesn't like wrestling" and when BEEF comes out the guy sees him and faints from terror.

In six person action, Miracle Generation plus Sammy Diaz took on the team of Mike Anthony and New Gore Order (Devin Blaze and Mike Graca)  I'd never heard of Devin Blaze before (sorry) but I had heard of Mike Graca so I was excited to see him.  There were a lot of times in this match where I just felt like one of these six competitors was doing something that I'd never seen before.  I also was chanting for Sammy Diaz at one point and that was a first.  After the match, Mike Anthony told me "That was cool... But you know what would have made it cooler? An appearance by Dr Cool!"  He's right you know.

Kirby Wackerman came out next with a dog collar but Bryce Donovan had been saying on Twitter he won't be back until 2025 so Dante Drago came out to start a fight and he got some good heat not only by being an insufferable frat boy but simply by going against fan favorite Kirby Wackerman.   This was a short match but it got the point across that Kirby Wackerman is still waiting for Bryce Donovan and Dante Drago perhaps should have brought his VBU partner along with him.

Masha Slamovich and MV Young had what felt like a short match but they both came outside of the ring and went onto numerous chairs in different ways.  As much as it feels like it should have gone on longer, it would have felt weird if it did since it also just felt like they were killing each other both outside and inside the ring.  This was one of those short and to the point matches because they didn't go through a feeling out process or try to play those mind games- it was right to the violence and destruction.

A Message To You won a three way tag team match which should put them back into contention for the Tag Team Titles, right?  Before the match started, Cypher brought me Cool Ranch Doritos and that was really nice of him.  This match was a lot about everyone just beating the hell out of everyone but as soon as it felt like Apostles of Chaos might have Leary pinned, in comes the CDC to break it up.   After the match Chris Benne turned on Logan Black and joined the CDC, which is interesting because he was screaming about how he was tired of being overlooked and not being a Champion, but don't you think Logan Black feels the same way?

The main event saw Alec Price take on "Speedball" Mike Bailey and holy shit.  I had expectations for this match and they were beyond exceeded.  There were times when it should have been over and it wasn't.  There were moves that Mike Bailey was doing that no human should be able to do.  I have a firm understanding of physics and gravity and I feel like Mike Bailey defies them both.  And to top it all off- he's doing all of this basically barefoot as well!  It's just unreal.

Then you really begin to think about it and it sets in.  This is the single best match not only that I have experienced live but the single greatest wrestling match that I have ever seen because of the athleticism of it all.  But for everything you want to say about it in a positive way, and seeing Mike Bailey and thinking he's the greatest wrestler alive right now (seriously, whatever his rate is it's not enough) the fact is that Alec Price still survived the match.  Alec Price won the match.   Which also says a hell of a lot about Alec Price.

After the show, after all of this, Quentin became committed to getting the poster signed by Alec Price and so we were waiting for him to see if he'd come out.  We weren't the only ones because a group of fans were also gathered near the bar and when Alec Price came down those stairs he got a huge round of applause.  First he hugged Quentin and then he went and hugged everyone else.  I've never seen that happen with a wrestler before and right before it Mike Bailey was going by me and I told him it was the best match I'd ever seen and I meant it.  It's only March and the rest of the year is going to have to live up to this one but really it's not just the rest of this year it'll be forever.  

Music Review //
(Alien Body Music)

To me, sick pay as a form of compensation has always been a big deal (perhaps even bigger than the salary) and more people should really be talking about it.  Especially with the global pandemic, we get to this point where we realize people go into work sick all the time because they simply cannot afford to take time off.  So one employee comes in with a head cold because they can't afford to miss a day's pay and what happens? Six to twelve other employees also get sick.  Everyone gets sick.   And the bosses don't care about the health of their workers.

This is actually addressed in the final song on this EP, called "Sick Pay", but I'm getting ahead of myself.  Sickpay has created a five song EP here which has sounds like some other bands but not a lot.   The first song, "Quiet As A Joke", has this slower, heavy on the distortion way about it which makes me think grunge.  It reminds me of They Might Be Giants mixed with The Flys.  Artists such as Pavement and Marcy Playground come out throughout this EP as well.  "How Many Times" is a faster bop that could have that underlying melody of that one Rob Thomas song that was on the radio briefly.  

As we get to the end the sound becomes more defined.  "Generosity" is a faster paced song full of distortion which reminds me of Campground Effect but I'm not sure how many people will get that reference.  "Sick Pay", the final song, begins with this ska/punk sound which makes me think of Operation Ivy but then it just kicks into that electronic distorted synth party which makes me think of Andrew WK.  The way it blends those two artists so easily is definitely worth the listen.  This song also has the line: "You don't need a job when you're dead", which I fully agree with and feel like needs to be discussed more.

Even if it only feels like it is on the last song, the artist being named Sickpay should bring to light a lot of the facts surrounding how corporations really want to work people to death.  This is certainly the type of sound that if you were alive to experience the radio change from Nirvana to Mighty Mighty Bosstones you will appreciate, but also with that not-so-hidden message about workers rights this EP becomes even more important.  

Music Review //

The entire idea of "Nixon-Manson" is fascinating to me because I wasn't yet born during the time which all of it was happening but it always has just felt like something within reach and so someone out there must know of the connections between Richard Nixon and Charles Manson.   It's one of those conspiracy theories that I'm fully invested in because it feels like someone who knows more than they are telling is still alive or maybe they've died and one of their next of kin will come out with some truth.

With darkness and distorted guitars, Cosmopolis creates a sound which is a little bit trippy and at the same time can bring out vibes of an artist such as Urge Overkill or perhaps someone from "The Basketball Diaries" soundtrack.  This is a really calm song in a way if you just put it on while not paying too close attention to the lyrics; you can just sort of space out.    But you really should be paying close attention to these lyrics.

Throughout the music video there are movements, such as going through a city with shots of a train and buildings as we travel down the road.  There are also scenes of musicians playing their instruments along with the song.  What is interesting to me though is that a portion of the video feels like it is just dark, with the shadows you just cannot see fully, and that feels like a reference to the fact that something about this conspiracy has left us all in the dark.

In that slow, almost shoegaze but also darkwave type of way, Cosmopolis has created a song which would be worth listening to even if it were about anything else.   The fact that it seems to pry and push for answers to unresolved questions- which should be within reach- just makes it that much more valuable to society while at the same time just being a kick ass song.

Music Review //
The Real J Israel
"For The Sake Of R&B"

When I first started listening to this album, I heard the acoustics, beats and vocals and my first thought was of R Kelly.  Then I wondered whether or not I should compare music with R Kelly because of the reputation which comes with that name.  Before I could decide whether or not that was a good idea, "When You Need Love" kicked in and I thought out loud "He's singing about fucking!"  This may seem like a bold statement to make but he literally is and even the lyrics support that.

Just on the first song alone we have the lines: "When you need love / I'll give you all the love you need / But tonight I need you to fuck on me".  This song also has one of those slowed down parts where The Real J Israel talks to us (which I think is like Boyz II Men) and within that he says his favorite view of you is from behind.   I think perhaps it is just this song, which is a somewhat abrasive way to begin an album, but with lyrics like "I swear I found heaven in between your thighs" on "I Need It" the album does not let up.

To be fair, a song such as "Missing" isn't as in your face but the overtly sexual content is still there.  I'm not sure why this album is called "For The Sake Of R&B" when it could have been called "For The Sake Of You Fucking Me".  Though the music is right now, due to the lyrical content of these songs this isn't something you're going to hear on the radio or really in that mainstream way.  Let's face it, this album has one purpose and one purpose only: to be played during sex.

This album is definitely too sexy for me but I also feel like it doesn't have an appropriate time to be played other than in the bedroom.  While that might benefit any number of people, it still limits the music as an artform the same way that putting out a holiday album can only be played during December.   This album isn't for me only because it is so overly sexual, but there is an audience for it and I hope that this album finds that audience.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Music Review //
Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz
"Variant Blues"
(Baggage Room Records) 

Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz have returned with another album and if there is any sort of positive to take out of the global pandemic we have been going through it has been the ability to find comfort in their music.   "Variant Blues" has less of a blues sound to it and more one that spans the genres of folk and Americana.   With a lot of acoustics it can feel like The Wallflowers at times, but also there is just that general feeling of something along the lines of Radiohead or Coldplay but in a different presentation.

To some extent, these songs could be thought of as being sad.  "Err On The Side Of Love" becomes slower and dreamy though, which makes it feel a bit more relaxed and just chill.  My favorite song on this album is "Bang Goes The Gun" because when you think of the speed and impact of a gun being fired, this song has the vibes of the opposite of that- just slower and drawn out.  The contrast there is really something special and needs to be heard.  "Beyond Silence" gets a bit darker and also comes out somewhat trippy.

On "Just A Game" they really break it down into just the strum of the acoustic guitar and vocals, with harmonies that are without compare.   Somehow I hear some Counting Crows in here as well, though one of the biggest influences I can really hear shining through all of these songs is Neil Young.  The one line from all of the lyrics on this album that really hits me is: "Nowhere to go if we cannot change" because I feel like every day we should try to be a little bit better and I just don't like the idea of being stagnant.

Overall "Variant Blues" just flies by and feels like the perfect soundtrack for any occasion.  There are elements within here which could put it on pop radio the same way you'd hear a Coldplay song, but it can also be on rock radio.   This really just also reminds me of a certain point in music in the early '00's where artists like Akron/Family made it felt like this modern folk genre was taking over and as long as music exists I hope music which sounds like this continues to persist as well.  

Music Review //
Chris Forte
"Backyard Astronomy"

"Backyard Astronomy" is interesting because it embraces the true form of an album, such as there would have been back in the 1960's or 1970's as a record that would be referred to as such.   This is just that heavy type of album because over fourteen songs we have just over an hour worth of music so it certainly feels like something you'd want to flip sides halfway through.  But don't let the weight of this one intimidate you, as it shifts from sound to sound and overall just creates something between blues, jazz and rock.

At first this reminds me of The Wallflowers, mostly because of the first song having these heavy acoustics.   "In A Funk" is a song which has more of a funk sound to it and the keys come out.  It's fun, like The Muppets, but then also somehow manages to end sounding a bit like The Doors.   "The Thrill Is Gone" is the first time we hear vocals and it's a really well done cover with the assist to LaShera Moore.   "Tranquillo" has that nice acoustic sound to it which reminds me of "Desperado" while "A Lifetime With You" has a sweet electric guitar riff and background organs.

"Quarantine Coronatones" brings about a more relaxed feel, like the desert which always makes me think of Chris Isaak.  As the song drops off into dark strings, we get into that nice groove with the keys on "Rehash Swagger".   "The Way We Love" has this bluesy type of jazz which makes me think about Isabell Mendes and this song also is the return of the vocals, as most of this album is instrumental.   There is a nice piano part on here and that piano and smooth guitar loops carry us through "The Swan".  "Messed Up World" has dueling vocals and it feels like a flat out country song.

The final four songs on this album just feel like different demonstrations of what the guitar can do.  "Covidy Blues" is just blissed out, like the guitars just echo and get lost through space.  "Rhapsody In Blue" is more of a riff while "Baby Steps" has that dreamy 90210 distortion to it.  The guitar notes finally just come piercing through on the final track, which also happens to be the titular track.    Between the guitar, keys and occasional other instrument this album never seems to overstay its welcome and once you get into it you'll feel like you never want to leave.

Music Review //
Aries Marquis
(Ageless Music LLC)

Aries Marquis has accomplished something on this "Experience" EP that many artists in this day and age simply cannot.  There exists two styles of R&B music.  When most people think of R&B in a modern sense there are artists who have a lot of studio made sounds, autotune and things of that nature.  Whenever I think of R&B music I always go back to my days listening to cassettes in the late 1980's and early 1990's.   Aries Marquis has created songs here which are worthy of being on cassette in 1989 but also fit right in with modern R&B you might hear on the radio.

The first song kicks off with bass synth and the flute.  Throughout this album there are elements of pop and it reminds me of artists such as P.M. Dawn, who remain grossly underrated.  "Nikki" has synths and feels like a song which might be made by Michael Jackson (or the entire Jackson 5) if they were making music in the present tense.  "Daydream" is just a really fun song while "Phases" makes me think this album could be synthpop.  The way the synth cuts does begin to feel somewhat like a carnival.

Modern artists such as Bruno Mars come out though "Ghost" perhaps has the strongest '90's R&B song of any on this EP.  "A Part of Me" has strong singing, like Michael Jackson again, and it just feels like a huge ballad based on the focus of the vocals.  Pop, synth and beats all come through on "Wanted" and it just shows that from start to finish any song on this EP could be the single you hear on the radio.

The biggest thing to hear in this album is how much it can sound like Jodeci or Shai- just an artist which I have a cassette for that was purchased back when it came out, far too long ago.  And yet at the same time, listening to the songs on the radio today and considering those artists like Justin Timberlake and Usher, this feels just as modern as them.  So for Aries Marquis to be able to flawlessly blend those sounds from different times together just makes this EP really stand out and everyone should hear it.  

Friday, March 25, 2022

Music Review //
Francisco Martin
"Nobody Listens To Me!"

Coming out of the global pandemic in 2020 (even though we're largely still in it) it was expected that it would cause this specific type of music because everyone was mostly stuck inside.  One aspect I hadn't considered, however, and something which I feel like even I'm still holding onto but didn't realize until hearing this song by Francisco Martin is the simple fact that there were a lot of emotions- a lot to process- in 2020 and it just feels like we didn't have that time to properly address that, which this song does.

Right away the line "Cause 2020 fucked me up" hits me like a ton of bricks, I just feel a heaviness in my chest.  At some point in time, you either have or will reach a point where the pandemic no longer feels as bad because you'll be asked to go back to work or to school, something closer to what was normal before.  We didn't really get a chance to stop and reflect, to vent and say "Wow, that time really did a number on me".  For the sake of all human kind I feel like we really need to all take a month or so off and just talk with each other so we can feel heard and in a way moving on feels like grieving.

The musical style of Francisco Martin on "Nobody Listens To Me!" ranges from pop to pop punk, somewhere in between Wheatus and the All-American Rejects.    Big guitar chords that start and stop, this song could be radio friendly if not for the lyrics going against the FCC.    The video stays still except for the face shifting in a blurry way and this is a nice effect because with lines like "I don't want to have to do this any more" it feels like a lot of people have come out of the pandemic with a new outlook on life, new priorities.

It's so weird to me to think that we've collectively gone through this event together, all of us, and yet now so many people just seem so content to get back to work, to do what they did before instead of finding a renewed sense of life.   Francisco Martin has the right idea with this song and it is something which I feel needs to be addressed not just through this song but on a much larger scale, to create some kind of day of reflection to remember the pandemic, how we felt in it and how we feel getting out of it.  But, alas, we can only go forward.  

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Wrestling Review //
Pro Wrestling GRIND
Price Of A Mile
Easthampton, MA

It felt good to be back at Pro Wrestling GRIND for their fourth show.   Leading up to the show, looking over the card, I realized that one thing GRIND does which a lot of other promotions don't really seem to do is make matches where you don't know who to cheer for or who to boo, but then at the same time you just kind of cheer everyone because in that way it feels more like a sport.  I also truly feel like any of these matches could have had the participants switched around and it still would have made for an amazing show.

Before going to this show, however, we stopped at the Holyoke Mall for dinner.  In the food court, they had the Easter Bunny set up to take photos.  He had these round, large Harry Potter glasses with a long coat and scarf which just made him look like Doctor Who.  It was pretty neat.  It was also hot in the mall, as the weather was really nice outside so we went to the mall to hide from it.

We got to the Pulaski Club with about ten minutes to spare and were let in on time.  When verifying our tickets at the door we were informed that our names would be on our seats, for front row, and that's one of those little touches for the fans that I really appreciate when promotions do it.  When you get to a show and are waiting in line, everyone always feels like they're kind of pushing their way in to try to find the best seats and such but this just eliminates all of that worry and they even put us next to Tim!  (Shoutout Tim!)

There are very few things that I know- or pretend to know- when it comes to professional wrestling behind the scenes.  But from my experience I'm under the impression that most wrestlers prefer to go on earlier so that way they can enjoy the rest of the show, however I also feel like Rip Byson has been opening shows so that way he can also make sure everything else is running smoothly without a pending match in the back of his mind.   So this show was opened by Rip Byson vs Brandon Williams, which I thought it would be and I'm guessing Rip Byson will open the show next month as well.

I have seen some Brandon Williams matches because I've watched promotions on IWTV such as New South, SUP and ACTION back when I had IWTV.   This felt like a different type of match for Rip Byson as well.  Typically, Rip Byson uses his power to win matches but here it felt more like they had to engage in a technical wrestling side of things, in an amateur wrestling way, and that just showed that Rip Byson can out wrestle you just as well as he can out power you.  Hats off to Brandon Williams though who just busted his ass out there.

Next up was an interesting match because it had Channing Thomas play the role of the heel and Jaden Newman come out as being cheered.   Before the match started, Channing Thomas got right up on the guardrail and began arguing with a fan behind us and that earned him some boos all night.  Though when they started chanting "He's not World Class" I had to chant back "Yes he is".   Jaden Newman has a lot of energy and just hits like a car wreck.  This was a great match where both of these wrestlers looked better coming out of it.

I'm not one to compare things in the sense that I think something such as a wrestling promotion should be awarded based on its own merits and not because it does something better than another promotion.   However, what I find interesting about that match as well is that the night before, at Wrestling Open, Jaden Newman faced Alec Price.   Alec Price- who has largely been booed in Worcester- was cheered when he won the title from Jaden Newman.   Jaden Newman was booed because he is... *checks notes*... from the South.

If this match- Channing Thomas vs Jaden Newman- happened at Wrestling Open I'm not sure the fans would know what to do.  Perhaps they would just boo both of them.  But Channing Thomas is so good and he gets the job done inside the ring.  Jaden Newman is also good and I was excited to see him wrestle in person for the first time, so I was more than pleased as well that in GRIND he was met with cheers rather than a negative reaction simply because of where he is from.  

Just further proving why GRIND exists in its own wonderful world, Willow Nightingale took on Delmi Exo next and both were simply loved.   Delmi Exo has kind of switched things up since coming back into the ring and in NCW and WWR+ she kind of played it cool, like a heel.  But in GRIND it would be impossible for Delmi Exo to be a heel and this was just one of those matches like when Hogan fought Warrior only with two people of higher moral fiber involved.   

This match was also really hard-hitting.  Usually, Willow Nightingale is all smiles and just having fun out there but this match showed just how tough she is and how if needed she can really do things inside of that ring that other promotions might not have seen yet.  On top of that, Delmi Exo is just really coming into her own in singles competition and now has become one of the most dangerous of weapons out there today.

Manders came out next and fans might not have known him but who doesn't love singing some Bon Jovi.  Jay Freddie is one of the single most underrated wrestlers in the world today and that same case can be made for Manders (because I feel like he's always overlooked in GCW) so I feel like these two just going out there and beating the shit out of each other just showed how tough both of them are and why wrestling promotions and fans need to stop having them as afterthoughts and start putting them in the main events.

After intermission, Perry Von Vicious took on BEEF in what was just a wild brawl.  I absolutely love BEEF because he is completely unhinged and at the start of the match he wanted the turnbuckle pad and who was the ref to argue with him?  This match had BEEF right in front of us with Perry Von Vicious, asking Quentin if he wanted a booger and I seriously hope someone makes a GIF of that.   

The thing I liked about this match is that it was a really brawl but it also showcased a side of Perry Von Vicious people might not be used to seeing as he not only won but just showed that he could hang in there with BEEF.  I'm not sure how anyone can ever beat BEEF because he's big, tough and just seems all around to not care (he's like the Tasmanian Devil) but PVV did it and I hope this match really makes people take notice and see Perry Von Vicious in a new light.

Speaking of seeing wrestlers in a new light, Ryan Mooney and Gary Jay had an absolute war.  Right after his introduction I yelled at Ryan Mooney "He's got rabies!", which the fans behind us thought was kind of funny until Mooney fired back "Damn right I do" and they just erupted laughing.  Gary Jay is literally one of the toughest human beings alive, sometimes I don't believe he's human, but I wish I could watch him wrestle live every weekend.

This was my third time seeing Ryan Mooney wrestle live but only the second in a singles match.  I enjoyed his last GRIND match against Alec Price but was still kind of on the fence about him.  If he came back it'd be cool but I wouldn't be sad if he didn't.   Let me tell you though, after this match, holy shit Ryan Mooney has all of my respect and he has a fan in me now as well.  Several times during the match I kept saying "Look at how red his chest is".    This was quite possibly the most violent match I have ever seen that didn't involve weapons.  The wrestlers were the weapons.

Growing up, I always loved tag team wrestling but I think that's because I was watching WWE in the time when tag teams really just felt like they had gimmicks.  It was tag teams like The Smoking Gunns, The Headbangers, The Godwinns, Body Donnas and even in ECW The Pitbulls and Eliminators.  It was just a time when tag teams felt like they belonged together.  And that really seems like the case with both The Mane Event and the Saito Brothers.  Both of these teams are teams and it shows.

The Saito Brothers... seeing them for the first time in person... they're BIG.  They have power, but they also just have this presence about them where they look intimidating.  On top of that, one of them got Midas Black in the corner near us and just started landing strikes so fast it looked like a video game.  If I saw it on television I might have thought it was sped up.   Both of these teams just went out there and showed why tag team wrestling can be great and GRIND has just been doing such an amazing job with that overall.

In the main event, the undefeated Logan Black took on the debuting O'Shay Edwards.  Now, I realize O'Shay Edwards has been in ROH but I still feel like he's being slept on because when ROH took a hiatus and AEW seemed to be bringing in some of the ROH wrestlers and signing them to deals, how do you look at O'Shay Edwards and not offer him the world?   But, Logan Black has also been doing this a long time and is rather underrated.

During the beginning of the match, Logan Black tried to chop O'Shay Edwards who moved and Logan Black hit the metal ring post.  This played into the entire match with Logan Black having a hand injury.   It was funny at times though because O'Shay Edwards was arguing with the referee and it felt like that was not something, as a referee, you wanted to be on that end of ever.   Logan Black had to channel all of his toughness here and this match should get a lot of people talking about both of these wrestlers.

The thing I love about GRIND is that not only is it this place for wrestlers who are either up and coming (like Ryan Mooney) or just have been overlooked for too long and need to remind the world how good they are, but it's also a place where the fans are super respectful and appreciative of the wrestlers on the show.  This show also had the most talent come in from outside of the Northeast area and that was also fun because there are a lot of those underappreciated and overlooked wrestlers everywhere.  

On top of the talent inside of that ring and how hard they bust their asses and the fans and the environment that creates, there's just something special going down in Easthampton and I can't explain it.  It's just a feeling.  When you walk into the Pulaski Club and that bell rings whether you're part of the show as a wrestler being paid or a fan who has paid for their seat, you're a part of it and you'll feel it too.