Friday, October 28, 2022

Music Review //
LL Groove Band
"Mister M"

As this artist name suggests, this song is very much into a groove.  It's almost spoken word, somewhat of horns in it and then you can just hear the bass.  The notes come through like jazz at times, but overall as the name suggests it just hits that groove.

There isn't really a lot for me to compare this with because even on the level of a traditional jazz song, I think this has this guitar solo and just some other elements which make it not quite the same.   It's almost like a radio friendly version of a jam band song, but it's long and doesn't really have a hook (which is not bad) so I don't think radio would play it.

"Mister M" does also take on more of an instrumental feeling over the words and singing.  It just seems to showcase instrument by instrument how this sound flows together.  There is a little bit of P.M. Dawn in here and a little bit of De La Soul as well.   That hip hop backing behind everything else just seems to hold it together.

Hearing this song for the first time I ever heard the artist Us3 on the radio.   There is definitely that quality which makes it feel like it's beyond another level- such as in the traditional sense of sound- but it also comes back to it and still exists there.  It has that groove, it has that rhythm and if you're into music of that nature then this one is for you.  

Music Review //
"Save Me"

The song "Save Me" begins with these big guitars which feel like they could fill a stadium.   The singing comes out with soul but also very deliberate.   In this way it makes me think of someone such as P!nk singing with a band such as Evanescence, but there are different combinations you could put here and this song just overall has these dark undertones where it could be on the soundtrack to a movie such as "The Crow".

One of the aspects of this song which really help set the mood is the music video for it.   The majority of the music video is spent in the dark.   There is dim lighting and it is just difficult to see what is going on.   This, in a lot of ways, mirrors what it is like to live with mental health issues because you don't ever feel like you see things clearly and you're always just kind of off in the corner by yourself.

Then there comes a point in the song when Lindsey sings about her demons: "Cause I found out there's no truth in their lies" and lights a match so that the house she is in catches fire.   This might seem destructive but it also adds a lot of light to the video so it has that symbolism of coming out of the dark and seeing the light.   And once you do realize that the demons in your head are lying, life does become a bit brighter.  

Anyone who has ever had to face these demons knows that a lot of it comes from fear- fear of not being good enough, etc.  Once you can find that way to crush your fear, you can silence the demons and live your fullest life.  This could be done because someone helps you along the way, or a song such as "Save Me" might influence you as well, but as with most things I think it needs to come from yourself.   Once you figure it out, you can set fire to the prison you're in and see the light.  

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Wrestling Preview //
Pro Wrestling GRIND
Celebration Day
October 28th, 2022
Easthampton, MA

Celebration Day marks the one year anniversary of Pro Wrestling GRIND and is their tenth event overall.    The first show was definitely interesting on paper with matches such as Alec Price vs Cabana Man Dan, Davienne vs B3CCA and Logan Black vs Merc announced, but the wrestling itself, that in ring work and the way the crowd reacted just brought this promotion to a whole other level.    From there, every show has just felt like their best show and as they crown their first ever GRIND Grand Champion this show does not look to disappoint either.  It should ultimately go above and beyond.

Joseph Alexander vs Nolo Kitano

Joseph Alexander only has one win in Pro Wrestling GRIND- over Mike Skyros in a do or die match- and Nolo Kitano is 0-1, losing to Perry Von Vicious.   This puts both of these wrestlers in an interesting position because Joseph Alexander is going to be looking for that all important second win, while Nolo Kitano will be looking for the first.   Joseph Alexander has proven that he is bringing his A Game to GRIND with submission holds, mat based wrestling and suplexes for all.   Nolo Kitano has the speed, high flying and strikes to make this an interesting match just because of how these styles might clash but also work so well together.  

Covey Christ vs Mike Skyros

Say what you will about Mike Skyros and his pairing with Travis Huckabee at Electric Crown, but he definitely has the entire GRIND community talking about him.   Good or bad, at least you have his name in your mouth.   And whether you like it or not, you have to at least admit that this decision for what happened at Electric Crown was smart by both Travis Huckabee and Mike Skyros.   It was mutually beneficial.   

Travis Huckabee made his way into the finals while Mike Skyros secured a roster spot even though he still has yet to win a match in GRIND.    And now, should Travis Huckabee become the first ever GRIND Grand Champion, it feels like Mike Skyros would be one chairshot away from getting a title shot of his own.    Again, you don't have to like it, but it's smart by both parties involved.  

Then we enter Covey Christ, who is making his GRIND debut.   Some people either may not know this or have simply forgotten (Editor's Note: I never forget) but back before the debut show of GRIND one of the names announced was Covey Christ.  Then, without really mentioning it again, it just sort of quietly didn't happen, likely because Covey Christ is based out of Canada and with Covid I have no idea what the rules are anymore.  

To say this has been a year in the making for Covey Christ feels like an understatement.   You can watch Covey Christ have a great match with Alec Price at Let's Wrestle Volume 19 back in June of this year, but Covey Christ is also this gateway drug to an entire promotion in Canada known as Kaizen Pro Wrestling and having that behind you, as a resume, is quite intimidating.   

Covey Christ has not spent the past year thinking about this very moment just to show up and lose.   But at the same time, Mike Skyros is still looking for that ever-important first win and showed us at Electric Crown that he is willing to do whatever it takes to get it.  This one isn't going to be pretty.

Anthony Henry vs ???

Originally it was announced that Anthony Henry would take on Ryan Mooney in what was sure to be a show-stealing level match.  However, Ryan Mooney tested positive for Covid and did the right/safe thing by informing everyone and saving the match for a later date.   This leaves Anthony Henry without an opponent and the idea of who it could be really seems to be anyone's guess.   There are at least two other shows running in the area on this same night, so some names that might seem like good choices are seemingly off the table.   I looked at the Limitless card for the next night and hoped maybe Anthony Henry vs Anthony Greene would be possible, but AG is otherwise committed.  

One of the perhaps wildest options would be if JD Drake was also able to make this show to put the Work Horsemen together to face the Death Threat Army, who are coming to Maine on Saturday to face MSP.   But, in terms of singles matches and who is available... this might just become a huge opportunity for someone who has only had a match or two in GRIND- someone such as a Handsome Max ZERO.   But regardless, we all know that Anthony Henry is out there right now, this year, doing his best work ever and so whoever is in that ring with him is going to be taken to their limit and quite possibly have the best match of their career.  

[Note: At the time of posting this there was no opponent announced to face Anthony Henry and personally I hope we don't find out until Friday night when their music hits]

Perry Von Vicious vs Rip Byson vs O'Shay Edwards vs Logan Black (Number One Contender's Match)

Following the events of Electric Crown, all four of these wrestlers can make a case for being first in line for a shot at the GRIND Grand Championship.   Both Rip Byson and Perry Von Vicious were eliminated in the Quarter Finals but still had such solid records up until then (Rip Byson was undefeated) that they could certainly be in that title match.  OShay Edwards defeated Joseph Alexander at Fear Of The Dark but had to miss Electric Crown, so had he been there he might have gone all the way.

The only wrestler in this match with more of a chip on their shoulder than anyone else is Logan Black.  Logan Black made it to the Semi Finals and only lost to Travis Huckabee because when the ref was down, Mike Skyros interfered and hit Logan Black with a chair.  Had that match gone fairly, we might be looking at a Jay Freddie vs Logan Black Finals tonight, but we can't live in a world of what could've been.

Perhaps the truly fun aspect of this match is that all four of these wrestlers have faced each other one on one in some capacity in GRIND.   Rip Byson vs Logan Black hasn't happened in GRIND yet, nor has Byson vs Edwards but every other combination is there.  Perry Von Vicious vs Logan Black was even the Quarter Final match just last month.  Having all four of these wrestlers in the same ring at once is going to feel like the 1969 film "All Monsters Attack".  

Trish Adora vs Delmi Exo

Trish Adora is making her GRIND debut and if you somehow happen to not be familiar with who Trish Adora is she will soon be making her debut in MLW, she's been on AEW and perhaps most importantly she was my Wrestler Of The Year in 2021.   Every match, whether it was against Darius Carter or Jordan Blade, just felt like it had this importance.   Trish Adora, just as a name and presence inside of that ring, makes every match have that big fight feel.

Outside of her recent tournament loss to Travis Huckabee, Delmi Exo remains undefeated in GRIND and is likely looking to get into that title scene as well.  Imagine Travis Huckabee becoming the first ever GRIND Grand Champion and Delmi Exo trying to avenge that Quarter Finals loss by challenging Huckabee for that Championship.   But Trish Adora knows about gold herself, as she is still the reigning and defending Pan Afrikan World Diaspora Champion, which is perhaps one of the most prestigious championships in independent wrestling today.

This match is going to be so big for both of these wrestlers, but since this is that first year anniversary show it has to be.  You're taking one of the best wrestlers in the world today in Trish Adora and putting her up against an undefeated Delmi Exo.    This is what dream matches are made of and this one is sure to deliver.  

BEEF vs Andy Brown

When thinking of wrestlers who are perfect for not only GRIND but just what a wrestler should look like, my mind always goes to wrestlers who look like BEEF.    Though BEEF has only had one match in GRIND, this just feels like that type of place he'd go to do the most damage and most feel like he was at home.    But then you have Andy Brown, who also has only match in GRIND, and he also looks like what a wrestler should look like to me and he has that power as well as the quickness.

Perhaps the only thing which can make this match feel even more even is that both of these wrestlers are 0-1 in GRIND and will be fighting for their first win.    A win over BEEF might feel like an upset, but Andy Brown is someone who could be seen as getting in line for a title shot as well, so this is going to be a tough contest for both of these wrestlers.   It's a battle of BEEF vs THICCC and it might just steal the show.  

The Mane Event vs Shook Crew

The Mane Event are the only tag team in GRIND who remain undefeated and have the most matches as well.   This match also actually happened back in November of 2021, almost a year ago, at You Better Run, when GRIND was at the Elks Lodge in Northampton, MA.    So to say that these two teams know each other feels like an understatement.   They've faced each other before outside of GRIND and they've even met in GRIND.  

This match feels different though because back at Come And Get It, the Shook Crew (plus Dante Drago) held their own against the Saito Brothers (plus Jay Freddie)   Team All Japan might have won that match, but it definitely felt like a sign that Shook Crew was reborn tougher than before.  It definitely feels like The Mane Event will be facing a different Shook Crew than the one they did almost a year ago and this match is going to feel special for that.   

Travis Huckabee vs Jay Freddie

From the very first match in GRIND up until this match here, the importance of the wins and losses just felt so focused that it shows whoever wins this match to become the first ever GRIND Grand Champion will definitely deserve it.   Because to win this match isn't just for Travis Huckabee to say he beat Jay Freddie, but to also have beaten all of those who came before him.  Jay Freddie has a win in GRIND over Gary Jay.   Ryan Mooney has a win over Gary Jay.   So all of these pieces fall into place here.

Perhaps the biggest question going into this match is whether or not it will be fair.  Travis Huckabee tried to hit Logan Black with a chair when the referee was down, but Mike Skyros did the deed for him.  Will a similar situation occur here?  Mike Skyros has his hands full with Covey Christ but Logan Black is also in a match of his own so should Mike Skyros try to interfere it feels as if he can be stopped and this will be a fair match with the winner being undisputed.

Jay Freddie is consistently having the best matches of his career while being ignored and looked over for far too long.   GRIND really feels like a promotion that appreciates Jay Freddie (especially their fanbase) and for Blue Thunder, it feels like home.  Jay Freddie would be a great and honorable Champion in any promotion but most importantly it would be such a fitting chapter in this part of the career of Jay Freddie.

On the other hand, we have Travis Huckabee who may not always be cheered by the crowd but is still out there consistently having the best matches of his career in GRIND.   Travis Huckabee is one half of my Match Of The Year right now and many of my other favorite matches also have that one common factor: Travis Huckabee.   If Travis Huckabee can win this one fairly then he will certainly be worthy of becoming the first ever GRIND Grand Champion.

From a personal stand point, one of my favorite aspects of Pro Wrestling GRIND is that the fans will treat you with respect and acknowledge your skill so long as you give them reason to, but if you flip us off or otherwise insult us you will get booed.  Everyone comes in with a blank slate though and few who have come out of those doors have been booed.    This past year has felt like such a wild ride, but as much as we've seen those matches and moments that have made people take notice of GRIND, I still feel like somehow the best is yet to come.  

Friday, October 21, 2022

Music Review //
PrYmary Colours
"I'm Here Now"


The story of this song by PrYmary Colours comes out in both the lyrics and the video itself.  The artist states they are "English born, Jamaica is my second home, moved to Ireland" and with that comes a lot of diversity for being in a place that can treat you differently for being different.   The lyrics even say "Experienced hate, prejudice, ignorance".

"I'm Here Now" has that anthem vibe of not backing down conforming to what someone else expects you to be but rather fitting into your own mold.  Growing up, finding yourself and who you are is difficult enough.  Adding that layer of people trying to force you against your culture just seems even more cruel.

This music video follows the main character around a school and it can feel like, in many ways, what school was like for a lot of us in our youth.  It's that idea of acting out or just not being what the teachers want us to be.  It's kind of funny too because especially in high school you can read a book and still the answer they want on the test is their answer not how you interpret the writing and I've always thought that was dumb.

There is a very dance/model/vogue type of feeling to this song as it's beats, synths and speaking more than singing.   But when you think about the roots of this artist combined with the adversity they faced this feels like the sound is cultivated from that.  It makes it a truly unique and special song because such is their journey.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Music Review //
King Falcon
"When the Party is Over"

Distorted guitar riffs and thumping drums make this song loud but also radio friendly.  It's kind of like if you had a radio rock band that might play a little bit softer for that mass appeal, but then kicked it up a few notches and yet somehow still feels like it could be a big radio hit.  It's that idea of a band such as Jet or The White Stripes combining with Maroon 5 or Imagine Dragons.  This song has an infectious hook but is definitely more rock than pop.

The lyrics behind this song are a telling part of it, but they also set the mood for not only the song but the entire music video.  Not since the glory days of MTV have I seen a music video and song tell a story so well together.   In the chorus of this song, King Falcon asks "Where do we go when the party is over?"  This is less about where the after party is or going home to sleep it off before work the next day because to me it feels more like a question of the afterlife.  A less straight forward version of where do we go when we die- what happens to us.

One of the most fascinating things in life is not death itself but what happens afterwards.   We know what can kill us, but no one has ever died and come back to life to tell us what happens for certain.   There is no scientific proof that when we die we go to some sort of afterlife or are just bones rotting in the ground.   In this way, the music video sets the tone as we meet a woman who is drinking alcohol, a different woman in a mascot type costume and a doctor who is distraught. 

At one point in the music video, the costumed woman puts her head into the trash and walks off.  This later is found by the doctor, who puts the head on.   These two characters meet in a "it's a small world" way but they both kind of realize what has happened and that connection they make just seems to help them feel better.  For me, this represents that idea of not dwelling on the future or the pain and just focusing on the now and happy thoughts because we might not know where we go after this but that doesn't mean we shouldn't enjoy getting there.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Music Review //
"Heartbreak Season"

As the bass starts this song off, there is way about it which reminds me of those soulful singers from the past.  I imagine this song being performed on a giant stage with many lights hanging above, everyone dressed in the most expensive of clothes- from HAPPIE to the backup singers- and it just resonates that feeling of when musicians used to come out like Marvin Gaye and James Brown, they'd be dressed to impress.

Through the soul and whispering-like vocals we can wonder which season is the "Heartbreak Season".   We are currently in Autumn here and are quickly approaching winter.  In Autumn, leaves die and fall from the trees so is this also the time of year when relationships begin to die and thus the heartbreak?  Or is it just something in your mind and not really related to a season based on weather- like March Madness or a holiday season.

When HAPPIE sings "You never mine" it makes me think about how love can be fleeting.   It's that way that you can want to be in a relationship with someone- you can want to love them- just to say that you did or just to see what it is like but you know that eventually it's going to end.   This feels like a much more classy way to approach a subject sometimes covered in hip hop with words I'd rather not use.

Perhaps the most important part of this song is the experience and ability to look back.  No matter how old you are, if you've had past relationships, past loves, you can look back at them and just know they were going to end up in heartbreak because of who the other person was.  Sometimes it doesn't make sense until after it's all said and done and, in that way, I suppose it's a matter of waiting for the season to turn.   Like so much else in life it's about hindsight but this is a mellow song you can listen to right now.

Live Music Review //
Moving Targets / George Hakkila / Malcolm Tent
/ Tim Holehouse / electric dawn

October 15th, 2022
Willimantic Records, Willimantic CT

Additional photos can be found in a Facebook album here :::

After visiting Willimantic Records the week prior, I had seen something about this show on their IG story and it started as knowing that Tim Holehouse would be coming here from the UK.  That was enough to make me want to go, but then as the show got closer there was a flyer and I fond out more about it, which meant knowing that the quite legendary Moving Targets would be headlining and Malcolm Tent would also be performing.   That just made it feel like with every new thing I found out about the show it just became better and better.

Somehow, in the middle of October it felt like it was near 70 outside and a lot of that was due to the bright sunshine.  Last weekend we were in the alley and this weekend we were in the parking lot so there was more room and a mural for a backdrop.  It put us right out in direct sunlight too.  I had my hoodie on and thought about bringing another layer, but by the time the second artist went on I was down to my t-shirt and jeans, somewhat wishing I had worn shorts.  

The first artist to play this afternoon was electric dawn.  At one point during the set she said this was the first time she had performed live since the pandemic and the weekend before was my first time going out to live music prior to the pandemic, so I was thinking about how if this was my first show back it would've been for both of us but I missed it by one weekend.   The music of electric dawn is just this guitar that fills the entire space you're in, like a flood, and there are vocals as well.  

Growing up, I always was to listen to traditional music and so you'd always think of music as being "guitar + bass + drums + vocals" when you'd have a rock band.   So I'm always impressed when I hear musicians who are able to use less instruments and really just be solo in that "guitar + voice" way and create a sound which in a lot of ways can be bigger than that traditional band sound.  Though it felt like the set was cut short, I do hope that the next time electric dawn plays somewhere live we are able to experience it as well.

Tim Holehouse was up second and he came through with this guitar and his voice only.  Toward the end of his set he actually did a song that was just his voice, which he helped the crowd sing along with.   To me, Tim Holehouse is one of those once in a generation types of voices who can just pick up a guitar and sing and it's powerful.   A lot of people (like my dad) will think of Bob Dylan in that way, but I always think of someone like Johnny Cash and Tom Waits.   And it's not to say that the music of Tim Holehouse sounds like them as much as they have a similar presence.

There was one part his set where Tim Holehouse did four songs in a row, each one about a different season.   This was particularly interesting to me at this point in time because here we were in Autumn- in New England no less- and it felt like Summer but sometimes during mid October it could feel like Winter so we really lucked out with the weather.  I'm also one of those big believers in music sounding good when recorded but also bringing out something special when live- so people have a reason to go out and experience a show- and Tim Holehouse is a live show you don't want to miss.

Next up was Malcolm Tent, who used an electric guitar and a looping pedal to recreate the sounds of Devo.   Now, for this set... there would be no "Whip It".   This set consisted of the least popular songs of Devo and not because people didn't know they existed but the type of songs that people knew existed but they hated them.  This was where music went art because as much as you could consider this a musical performance (because it was) there was as much art in the way which it was prepared and delivered.

For me, I know Malcolm Tent from ANTiSEEN (they have a song about the wrestler Sabu called "Sabu") and this was not like that, but it was definitely one of those experiences where you come out of it feeling glad that you got to be a part of it.  Some of these songs- especially "Jimmy"- you would hear Malcolm Tent play and think "No way is that an actual Devo song", but alas, it is!   I don't always look to music to be educated but if it can teach me something then I will gladly let it and this set did just that.

George Hakkila was the co-main event, strumming songs on a guitar somewhere between folk and sea shanties.   Though they weren't really about the sea, per se, they just had that certain grit and bass to them that made me feel like they'd be a song a sailor would sing or someone who was singing about a sailor.  It was a different kind of folk and rock, but I definitely enjoyed it.  I also thought back to Johnny Cash during this set because of how you could go into an old booth and pay a fee to put your song onto a 45 record.  

The music of George Hakkila felt like it was coming from that time and though he mentioned songs he wrote twenty years ago it still isn't that far removed so it feels like he was from a different time- a time travelling musician in some way.   And there are times when modern musicians play old styles of music and you can tell but this just felt so genuine, like he was here through Quantum Leap or something.

The only artist to not be solo on this show, legendary punk rockers Moving Targets, closed out the afternoon with a loud set.   Moving Targets are still every bit of what they were back then as they are now.  One of the things that I really enjoyed about this show is that the first four artists were all solo and this was the only band, but yet each artist still brought their own sound to their set.  Though they sounded different, each artist still had that distinction where you could tell the music was an extension of who they are as a person.

Every artist also did a cover song and Moving Targets closed out the whole show with "Youth of America" by The Wipers.   This song feels as important (if not more so now) as it did all those years ago.   And to think about it as being in our youth back then but not as much now, it's up to a new generation to take back control and I hope that they can do it even if they didn't make it out to this show.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Wrestling Review //
Rhode Island Stage Ensemble
Presents Raucous Wrestling Ruckus
October 14th, 2022
Woonsocket, RI

Photos from this event can be found in an album on Facebook here :::

Like most people, I feel like my first exposure to professional wrestling was through WWE although when I saw characters such as Kamala and Doink the Clown back in the early 1990's it is a far stretch from what that company has become today.   Much like my other favorite forms of art can evolve and create new genres- such as music and comic books- so has professional wrestling.  Some fans stick strictly with death matches and some just flat out do not like comedy in wrestling but I've always felt like I've enjoyed it all if it's done right.

The way this show was presented to me was as a mix of many things, but when I read that the description said there would be a strong man, for example, I thought we'd actually have some circus sideshow type attractions and I didn't realize it meant that these would be the wrestlers.  There were a lot of characters in here for sure and it just somehow seemed to all come together to work in the best possible way.  

I found out about this show because of Isana (and used promo code "ISANABABY" for discounted ticket prices) but there were also only a few matches listed here and there, throughout social media.  In the week leading up to the show, I saw CPA post that he would be facing Trigga The O.G. and I also saw The Lumberjake post that he'd be facing Logan Black.  Had we known this beforehand, we might've gotten Jess to take the night off and come with us.

Fun Fact: This was our first time ever seeing a live wrestling show in the state of Rhode Island.

Perhaps my favorite part about this show is that it had that feeling to it of being performance art- because it was in a theater- but it also still had wrestling, just maybe not as much violence as you'd see in other places.    It felt more like the wrestlers were characters in the sense that they went into the ring and talked with each other and played out a scene, which resulted in the match, rather than just "ring the bell and let's lockup".   The matches all told a story and I love that about them.

Since we did not know where we were going, we parked a bit away and as we were walking towards where we hoped the venue was we saw Ryan Fraust walking in the opposite direction.   He essentially pointed us in the right direction and so, once again, we are saved by a wrestler.   The show had a very prompt start time and I enjoyed that as well.

There was a tag team match and then a seven person gauntlet which Ryan Fraust started.   Ryan Fraust came out and said that he had done theater and began doing a scene from Shakespeare, which was quite impressive.  In the last few weeks, we've seen Ryan Fraust at PAPW and Planet Pro Wrestling but neither of those matches were anything like this.   The gauntlet had Theodore J Liftington in it, who is a strong man that has the crowd chant "Hoist! Hoist! Hoist!" because he lifts many heavy things.

Ryan Fraust and Theodore J Liftington had this great verbal exchange about doing a test of strength because do you really want to engage in such things with a strong man?  The Mighty Bosch was also in this gauntlet as well as ZPB, who came out with his face painted and a bottle of wine.   I said ZPB looked like a mime but Quentin said that since he talked he was not, so he labeled him as a drunk clown.   ZPB also faced The Mighty Bosch in this great sequence where Bosch wore the wig.  It's these little things that entertain the crowd and are part of the show and are still wrestling, yes, but aren't, say, a wristlock.

Elle Valentine was on this show as well and she had the best match I've seen her in so far.   She was announced as being fueled by Monster so that got a good reaction from her and the fans were chanting for her as well.  If you're curious about having Elle Valentine on your show (and you should) go out of your way to find and watch this match and then take what steps need to be taken next because Elle Valentine just makes every show she is on infinitely better.

Logan Black took on The Lumberjake in a hardcore match which was supposed to be Halloween themed I think but kind of wasn't.   The Lumberjake had two rubber chickens stapled together that he called his nun-clucks and that was great.   This match had perhaps the most violence of any match throughout the night and it had been a while since we had seen The Lumberjake so I was definitely happy to see him again.  Logan Black is also good to have on all of your shows, as evidenced by the fact that we keep going to shows which Logan Black is on.

At this point in the show, we went to intermission.   However, unlike your normal intermission this one featured a live performance of a few songs by The Smoke Breaks.  It was loud and it was rock n roll, but the thing is, it didn't really seem to hinder the otherwise feel of buying food/drinks/wrestling merch during intermission.   Quentin took pictures with the wrestlers during intermission just the same as if there wasn't a live band playing.  So I really, fully, believe now that this should become a norm for wrestling shows.

I have seen wrestling live and I have seen musical artists perform live, but I've never seen them come together quite like this.   Now I'm just wondering why everyone doesn't do it.

After intermission we came back to CPA vs Trigga The O.G. and this was how I found out that Trigga is from RI because he was somewhat of a local favorite in that sense.  Look, I don't care if Trigga is facing my least favorite wrestler.  I have learned that The Unit sucks and I must boo them at all costs.   Plus, we must cheer for CPA as well, who still had more of the crowd than just me on his side, and yes, CPA did pick up the win.

Sean "Vegan" Keegan took on AJP next and this was my first time seeing AJP but I really enjoyed what he did in there.   Sean Keegan was an easy heel just for being vegan and someone in the crowd asked him if chicken was vegan.   AJP has a great rockstar type gimmick and he comes out to "Home Sweet Home" so he's aces in my book.

A tag team match was up next where The Losers took on Steven Lust and Isana.  Is naming your tag team "The Losers" a spoiler?  If they win, would they have to change their names?  This was one of the best matches on the show and not just because Isana was in it (though that helped) but because of the way all four wrestlers interacted and also how they connected with the crowd.  

In the main event, Tim Kilgore took on a literal Mummy in an "I Quit" match and there were several times when I thought either wrestler would quit but they didn't.    This match was fun as it involved a lot of different ways to try to make each other say those two magic words and one of those ways was singing!

The Smoke Breaks came out to play a few more songs after the wrestling and, again, everyone should be doing this.   One of my favorite parts of this show was that I asked Quentin if he had fun afterwards and he said yes.  I said he got to see some wrestlers who he already knew and he said "And see new wrestlers I like now!"  I thought that was neat because isn't that really what it's all about?

There were cameras at this show so if it is something you can buy on DVD or stream somewhere then be sure to do that.   This is worth going out of your way to see for sure.  On paper, you could look at these matches and get an idea of what the show will be like.  But it truly will not prepare you for what actually happens in the ring.   This was one of my favorite shows so far this year as well and I want to see it again and again.  

Friday, October 14, 2022

Wrestling Review //
Blitzkrieg! Pro/Limitless
Blitzkrieg! Vs. Limitless 2 - Night 2
October 8th, 2022
House of Pierogies, Enfield, CT

Photos can be found in a Facebook album located here :::

For Night Two of this two night war, Jess and I watched the Tryout Show (which was a lot of fun) at 4pm and then ate some pierogies before this show started.   Going into Friday night, there were nine matches announced and I knew them all.   Going into this show, Saturday night, I knew three things and that was fine by me.   I knew there would be the big 5-on-5 match, plus an Ace Romero Open Challenge and I had a hunch Dr Redacted would be in action as well.   Some wrestlers had told me on Friday they'd be back on Saturday but I kind of put that out of my mind and went into this show knowing very little- and that made me happy.

One thing about going to a live wrestling show versus watching it at home is you see someone come out and then see their opponent and in that moment you process that match up.  On Friday night, I'd see someone come out and know who was next because of the matches announced but not on Saturday.  I really liked that feeling of not knowing and then putting it altogether in my head on the spot.  It worked quite well for most of these matches.

The show opened with Channing Thomas who is cheered by the fans in Maine but since everyone in CT hates Maine for some reason he gets booed.  Channing Thomas is such a natural heel, but he's also just such a natural athlete that I find it very hard to boo him.   Regardless of what the rest of the crowd is doing, I'll never boo Channing Thomas.   So Channing Thomas talks about the Tryout show that happened prior and this brings out Diego El Trabajador.

One of the many things Diego El Trabajador believes in is "safety first" and this made for quite the fun match because Channing Thomas just feels super serious all the time and this was, much to the delight of the crowd, a comedy match.  Channing Thomas won to make a statement, sure, but hopefully this leads to more of Diego El Trabajador in Blitzkrieg! Pro going forward.  Limitless can book him as well, but again, I'm typing from that biased CT standpoint.

J George is perhaps one of the greatest heels of this modern generation of wrestlers not just because he can immediately get the crowds to boo him but because in his mind he believes what he is doing is right and therefore he is not the villain in his story.   Many heels will come out and insult the crowd or the other wrestler, but J George just connects in a different way and it's definitely an experience worth having in person at least once in your life.

The team of Locked And Loaded + BRG defeated J George, Aaron Rourke and Angelo Carter.  What's funny about me is I'm an old man and I'm very stuck in my ways.   As easily as I can say that I'll always cheer for Channing Thomas, I am a bit more hesitant and reluctant to cheer for BRG.  I know he is also a "face" in Limitless now, but I'm just so used to booing him everywhere I've seen him that cheering for him just feels wrong and I couldn't bring myself to do it.   So while 50 Cal or Dan Barry were in the ring, I had no problem cheering but BRG brought out those mixed emotions.  

Perhaps one of the biggest thoughts in my mind during the Tryout show were how did we qualify someone as a "tryout wrestler".  Someone such as Dante Drago has been in Blitzkrieg! Pro about as many times as Dr Cool Jay Klang, Delightful Dan The Goddamn Candy Man or ABBS, right?  So how one becomes main card and another on the Tryout show is not up for me to decide.   However, the fact that Jojo Collins has never been in Blitzkrieg! Pro before and gets to skip the Tryout show felt a bit weird to me.

Also, can someone ask Jojo Collins why he came out wearing a Noah Syndergaard New York Mets jersey?  At first I was like "Ah, a fellow Mets fan!" but then realized it was Syndergaard who not only hasn't been with the team for a few seasons but also upset a lot of the Mets fanbase after leaving.   I still like Syndergaard but just thought it was an odd choice to kind of embrace the Mets fans but then also not at the same time.   

When it was announced on Night One that MSP would defend the Tag Team Titles against Bussy, I kind of thought they'd win their title defense on Night Two.   Sure, having The Haven or CDC win the titles could've thrown the show into chaos or MSP-Bussy could've just been non-title, but I still think that The Haven are future Tag Champs.  Though, I also kind of want Bussy to win the Tag Titles because then we'd see them more.

A while back when I went to Blitzkrieg! Pro shows, they had Brad Cashew on them.   But since Cashew spends time in Limitless now I suppose there isn't enough time to be a Blitzkrieg! Pro regular still too.   But if you're looking for an opponent to bring out the best in you, Cashew can do that and that is what happened against Andy Brown.  

One of the things I love about Andy Brown is that he's not really a heel and he's not really a face, he's just doing his thing.   After the match, Andy Brown talked about how the fans have embraced him and he got chants and applause.   But then he said he wanted that Bedlam Championship, to which the crowd reminded him that CPA was next in line.   This brought out the idgaf side of Andy Brown because he wants that gold more than he wants your cheers.  (And I hope he gets his title shot)

Knowing Dr Redacted was on this show and having him come out first felt like "Okay, now who's going to die?"  When Mike Anthony's music hit it felt perfect because who else on this card could've been in this match and yet even I won't argue that Mike Anthony should've been on the Tryout show because after this match maybe he would've rather been.   This was just brutal and though it's happened before, some of the fans just still don't know what to think.

There was one point when they were outside the ring and Mike Anthony was positioned in a chair.   Dr Redacted was going back to get the running start when a fan stood in his way and wouldn't move.  Dr Redacted had to yell at him "Get the fuck out of the way old man!"  Now, I don't think Dr Redacted would have just plowed over that fan if the fan didn't move, but I wouldn't take that chance.  It comes with the price of buying the ticket and all.  

Deep down inside of me and based upon the poster I thought that the Limitless Title Open Challenge would be answered by B3CCA.   Where was B3CCA?  On the poster, but did not appear!  That was weird but I'm sure she was off doing Pop Star things.   So Ace Romero had the Open Challenge answered by Ichiban and the place went nuts.  Ichiban is one of the most over wrestlers you will ever see and being at an event where Ichiban wrestles just feels special because the whole crowd is on the same page.   Even if you don't know Ichiban: you quickly start to chant along.

As soon as Ichiban came out though, my thought was- and I said to Jess- "Ace is going to pounce him to Maine!"  That wasn't that far off.   Even though we were in CT it still felt like since this was an official Limitless show and it was live on IWTV that the title could change hands.  Ichiban had some moments of hope as well but I just don't know who can beat Ace Romero, if anyone, for that Limitless Championship.

The Elimination Match was fun mixed with a bit of chaos.  I told Jess that my strategy would be to try and eliminate the tag teams because they know the most about teaming together, in theory, and Shook Crew went out of the match first for Team B!P.   VSK and CPA had their own issues teaming during this match and that really makes me think that they will face each other on the next show.  Whether CPA wins the Bedlam Championship or VSK retains, odds are Andy Brown is putting the hurt on one of them after the match.

This felt like such an odd night because much like that one row of fans at every Blitzkrieg! Pro show, we were all cheering for Travis Huckabee.   Huckabee almost battled off nearly all of Team Limitless by himself, but the numbers finally added up and Team Limitless was able to win the war on Blitzkrieg's own turf.

I'm really excited for the next Blitzkrieg! Pro show because MSP vs Bussy is just this huge dream match I don't think any other promotion would dare to book.   Other possible matches feel too vague to predict now, but a CPA Bedlam Championship match might also be around the bend.   What will happen with the CDC, who from the Tryout show will get a shot at B!P and likely just so much more feels like it could unfold over these next few weeks as we lead up until "Mercy Me".

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Wrestling Review //
Blitzkrieg! Pro / Limitless Wrestling / Pro Wrestling GRIND
Tryout Show
October 8th, 2022
House of Pierogies, Enfield CT

Photos of this show can be found in a Facebook album here :::

Night Two of the Limitless vs Blitzkrieg! Pro show was interesting because it started with a tryout show at 4:30pm where wrestlers were showcasing their skills for a potential spot on an upcoming Blitzkrieg! Pro, Limitless or GRIND show.   This was a concept which I enjoyed enough to spend the $10 and go see but was somewhat confused by the execution behind it.  

To start things out of order, let me just say that "Dr Cool" Jay Klang, ABBS, Delightful Dan The Goddamn Candy Man and one half of Even Stevens were on this show.   That confused me because all of these wrestlers have appeared in Blitzkrieg! Pro before- more than once in most cases- and so it felt strange to think of them as not having a spot here.  Though, in all fairness, I do see it as a chance for them to get their names out there for Limitless and hopefully they take notice.

This show featured both wrestlers I knew and have seen before as well as wrestlers I had only ever heard about and of course wrestlers I'd never heard of and were seeing for the first time.  Those who I've never really heard about and after this show I wish I still hadn't- or those who I don't want to see back in Blitzkrieg! Pro, Limitless or GRIND are the ones I will simply ignore in this review.  I'm not going to say bad things about them, I'm just going to say nothing at all.

The first match was Ben Rutten vs "Sweet Cheeks" Joey Silver.   Both of these wrestlers have a presence.  I've seen Ben Rutten before and so to have him in any of these three promotions would be a smart choice.  I could even see him getting that build in GRIND, which is not something I feel like about a lot of the wrestlers on this show.  But "Sweet Cheeks" Joey Silver has this infectious way about him as well.  Chanting "Sweet Cheeks" is quite fun.

On a side note: "Sweet Cheeks" Joey Silver was handing out candy when he came out, which if you don't know is also something Delightful Dan The Goddamn Candy Man does, so one of these three promotions (please Blitzkrieg?) not booking these two against each other in a match would feel like such a wasted opportunity.

"Dr Cool" Jay Klang had a really cool match with Shotgun Adams and here's the thing about Dr Cool:  Back at "Shoulder To The Wheel", Dr Cool was in a match against CPA and as such he played a bit more of the heel because everyone loves CPA.   During this match, Dr Cool got cheered and the fans seemed to embrace him more, just showing that he can work either side and that's not something every wrestler can do.   Shotgun Adams also has this intensity where I'm not 100% sold on him yet but I'd be interested to see more.

Pedro Dones had a tag team match and for his heel work alone I wouldn't mind seeing Pedro Dones again.  There was a fatal fourway which had Delightful Dan The Goddamn Candy Man, ABBS, Stephen Azure and Diego El Trabajador in it.  All four of these wrestlers were insanely over.  Three of them have been in Blitzkrieg! Pro before, and so the fact that we got to see this match was just so much fun for me.   ABBS also at one point knocked over the candy basket, spilling candy in front of us, and the crowd really booed for that because you do not disrespect the candy.

The Sweeper was a wrestler that I really enjoyed because it felt like he was connecting with the audience.   You have to understand, I live in CT so I go to Blitzkrieg! Pro quite often and have only made the drive to Maine for Limitless once, so I might seemed bias in the "I'd like to see this wrestler do this in Blitzkrieg" and that's why.  The Sweeper would be great in a scramble at Blitzkrieg while his opponent was... umm... I know I said I wouldn't say anything bad, but this Stetson guy is a fake ass cowboy and I hope to never see him again.  If you want to book a real cowboy who is currently residing in NJ, Manders is right there.

The main event saw "The Cure" Lucas Chase take on "Fancy" Ryan Clancy.   I've seen Lucas Chase in so many different wrestling promotions and I just feel like he would be an asset to any promotion who wanted to book him.  Lucas Chase is my, overall, pick that I feel should be used in Blitzkrieg!, Limitless and GRIND.  These three promotions tend not to run on the same days anyway, so why not all three.  And if you need further reference, Lucas Chase recently became the Champion in Blood Sweat and Tears Wrestling (BST) by defeating the then Champion Dustin Waller in an incredible ladder match that you can watch on YouTube for free.  

One of my biggest theories about professional wrestling for a few years now and really since coming back from the pandemic, one of the ways to really look at and judge a wrestler is by their merch appeal if they are a heel.  There are wrestlers out there who play that heel character inside the ring and you boo them, but after their matches, after the show, you're not going to them to take pictures or buy their merch because they're a heel and your response as a fan is "Ah, they suck".

Lucas Chase is that type of wrestler that can play a heel so well that you can feel like you're booing him one minute but still you respect him.  Plus, his merch game is pretty on point.  So, for me, it's really a no brainer that Lucas Chase should be made even more busy than he already is in professional wrestling.  I'm not going to fantasy book him in matches, but there is definitely a place for him in these three promotions as well, I can see opponents and matches where he just shines.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Live Music Review //
Zipper / A Paramount, A Love Supreme / Doom Beach
October 9th, 2022
@ Willimantic Records
Willimantic, CT

Photos can be found in a Facebook album located here :::

Right away I feel the need to point out before I even get into the music that I haven't been to live music on purpose since before the pandemic.  I've been to places that have had live music along with something else, but to go out of my way just to hear bands play is something I haven't done literally for years and nearly 100% of that reason is because of the pandemic.  

This show was outside at Willimantic Records and the only other time I've been to Willimantic Records was when they lived across the train tracks.  They have a new set up and what this comes down to is being set up in an alley.   So it's kind of fun because you go out a door after going inside of the building and you feel kind of like you're in a cage.

The noon start time for this show also sold it for me because what better way to spend your Sunday afternoon than listening to these heavy bands play their music.    Willimantic Records is close to an hour away, but after you get on 384 you take these sort of backroads and the whole drive just looks so pretty in Autumn, so knowing that we would also see that made this feel like it was worth the drive.

One of the best parts about this show was that it consisted of three bands and each of them had their own heavy sound.   It all started with Doom Beach, a two piece from CT, and their sound is somewhere between hardcore / grindcore / metal and it's just heavy.   With the screaming and loudness of the guitar, Doom Beach might have been the heaviest band on this show but, again, the others were heavy in different ways.   

Doom Beach made me think of a band from the early 2000's on Black Market Activities and while A Paramount, A Love Supreme also had similar screaming and destruction within their songs they would take moments to just play these beautiful little bridges that were full of melody.  It's that sound like Doom Beach, but A Paramount, A Love Supreme just felt like they were breaking down in math rock patterns at times, which made me feel like I Kill Giants or Tiny Moving Parts had an influence on the sound.

A Paramount, A Love Supreme is a three piece band from Delaware that was on tour and just that idea of being able to hang with the hardcore sound but also crossing over into something more intricate and melodic showed their range.   If you come out and just feel like you're going balls to the wall (as they say) then you're going to be more like Doom Beach.  But the contrast in styles within their own songs, the breaks-- it's just not what a lot of bands (if any) are doing or have ever done and that's what makes A Paramount, A Love Supreme so special.

The third and final band of the afternoon was a four piece from CT called Zipper.  I should note now as well that behind where the bands were playing was a fence and that was facing the street.  We could see the parking lot where we parked through there.  So people would be walking, riding their bikes or whatever and just stop because they heard the music.  

Without naming names or locations, I've walked through cities that felt like Willimantic and you might pass by a cafĂ© that has someone playing an acoustic guitar and it could be folk or maybe blues but nothing this abrasive.  That seemed to add an extra layer of enjoyment to the show, knowing that not just those who chose to hear it would be listening.

Zipper has more of a traditional hardcore punk sound.    It's tough to place them within relation to other bands because in a lot of ways bands today are either punk or hardcore (unless they've been around forever) and so to hear someone playing this type of music still was refreshing.   And, as with the way the show went, Zipper still had that heavy quality where you're at this show because you like heavy music and all three bands showed that.

Doom Beach on Bandcamp :::

A Paramount, A Love Supreme on Bandcamp :::

Willimantic Records on Facebook :::

Wrestling Review //
Blitzkrieg! Pro/Limitless
Blitzkrieg! Vs. Limitless 2 - Night 1
October 7th, 2022
House of Pierogies, Enfield, CT

Photos from this show can be found in a Facebook album here :::

It had been a while since we had been to the House of Pierogies, but I was watching this show and card somewhat closely so I knew if the right pieces fell into place I'd be working out how to go somehow.  What those pieces were exactly were not all related to the wrestling itself, but when the question was posed on Twitter what matches we wanted to see in a Blitzkrieg! Pro vs Limitless way, I answered with Travis Huckabee vs Channing Thomas and a week or so later it was announced, I then bought tickets for Quentin and I.

One of the only problems I had with this show, going into it, was the fact that it was two nights in a row and that just felt like a lot of wrestling.  I knew Quentin wouldn't be able to do both nights, so he went with me on Friday only, and once I kind of realized that I didn't mind doing it all then it became easier to go and see it as fun and not for the length of the two shows, but for the quality of the matches.

My second pick for match I most wanted to see on Night One opened the show.  Anthony Greene vs Andy Brown.  It is nearly impossible to have a bad match against AG because he is just that damn good and brings the best out in every opponent he faces.   Andy Brown is someone who has been in Blitzkrieg! Pro a few times and at the Beer Bash I really became a fan because, to put it simply, Andy Brown is a big boy who can move.  

I also enjoy the attitude of Andy Brown because he feels like a heel in the sense that it feels like he should be booed but the crowd just loves him and refuses to boo him for the most part.  It's that reluctant hero type of vibe that also just makes it so much fun to see Andy Brown wrestle because whether you like him or not, he's just so much fun to watch wrestle.

In a fun tag team match, Shook Crew defeated Waves & Curls.  While I realize that there are Trios Titles out there, if anyone ever had a similar deal for a foursome I think these two teams could hold it because they just seem to be on the same page in terms of having fun and yet wrestling serious when the time comes.   We've seen Bobby Orlando team with Waves & Curls before too, so this felt a little bit conflicted for me on who I wanted to see win, but it really came down to just wanting both teams to have fun and I think they did.

Travis Huckabee vs Channing Thomas was Match of the Night from where I sat.  Channing Thomas wrestles different styles depending upon where he is, but in this match he really had to break out all of his technical skills to match Travis Huckabee.   This was another case of the opponents bringing out the best in each other and I think people are slowly starting to see that Channing Thomas is one of the best wrestlers in the world today.   Is anyone really surprised my MOTN had Travis Huckabee in it?

MSP defending the Tag Team Titles against Locked And Loaded was a lot of fun because of how much the crowd is behind both teams.   Everyone loves both 50 Cal and Dan Barry, but there were also a lot of MSP chants.  MSP didn't seem to know if they would choose the Blitzkrieg! Pro side of things or the Limitless side, but my idea is that since Limitless doesn't have Tag Team Titles still, why not let MSP defend the Blitzkrieg! Pro Tag Team Titles that they have in Limitless?

The Circus Ninjas taking on Miracle Generation and Sammy Diaz was a lot of fun because it was chaos.  There were just people everywhere and this was the first match of the night where people really got their seats wrecked.  I think the rivalry between the two promotions really showed during this match too, as the crowd seemed to more heavily favor the team representing Blitzkrieg! Pro.  Circus Ninjas weren't booed, but not really hearing "Mane Event" chants was odd.

Alec Price vs Tracy Williams was a match that happened.   I love Alec Price and the crowd was definitely behind him during this match.  Some of the fans even told "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams that he was mild- which I thought was funny.   Look, there is a lot of wrestling out there and as such there are a lot of wrestlers so it's foolish to think that someone would like all of them.  Tracy Williams is just one of those guys that I've never been a fan of and I've never seen one of his matches that made me think others should go out of their way to watch it.

One thing I think everyone in the Blitzkrieg! Pro fanbase and the Limitless fanbase is that it's "Fuck You Mac Daniels".   I'm glad CPA won this match because it meant we were less likely to see Mac Daniels on Saturday.  The scramble was quite wild and I wonder what happened to Kirby Wackerman and how he's doing because he was supposed to wrestle back at the Beer Bash as well and didn't then either.   I hope Kirby Wackerman is okay.

The scramble featured a lot of people who could've won it and gone onto their team but Rip Byson going onto Team Limitless just felt right.   It's funny because the winners of the matches went onto a Five-On-Five elimination style match the next night and I was not paying attention at all to who was on what side.  What if Blitzkrieg swept and it was ten on no one?   Granted, we were talking about that with VSK after the show and it just seemed a little too convenient it ended up the way that it did.  Someone should question those refs!

VSK closed out the night defending the title against Dezmond Cole.   I know Dezmond Cole is one of those names that's up next and if you watch this match with him against the Bedlam Champion you will see exactly why.   He took VSK to the limit and nearly beat him, which is not something a lot of other wrestlers can say they have done.   Da Big Boofa is a real one for this and I'd love to see him back in Blitzkrieg! Pro as well.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Wrestling Review //
Planet Pro Wrestling
October 2nd, 2022
Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT

Photos from this event can be found in a Facebook album located here :::

There is a lot to be said about professional wrestling and social media, but this is one of those times that something positive came out of it.   After seeing Nakoma Tala just one week prior to this show, I saw a post from her on Instagram about this show and knew it looked like a good idea.   East Hartford is not too far and it was for a good cause, plus we'd be seeing a few of the same wrestlers we saw the week before as well as some others we hadn't seen for a bit but do enjoy seeing.

The second thing I want to say about this show (after the fact that we found out about it because of Nakoma Tala, so booking Nakoma Tala on your show = us coming to that show!) is that this poster has Marcos on it who is perhaps best known for making my wrestling experiences less than enjoyable in other promotions but knowing we'd be booing him was not enough of a reason to keep us away.  Long story short: He didn't show up!  And no one in the crowd cared or noticed.  Sorry, Marcos, you will only be remembered as an afterthought in the history of professional wrestling.

The funny thing about this show was that I knew it was at a baseball field and I thought it would be inside the stadium but it was outside of it like a block party and though I knew there would be wrestling I didn't know there would be everything else.  There were bounce houses, cosplayers for Star Wars and Disney princesses, live music, A COW!, monster trucks, food trucks, arts and crafts for the kids and just so much more.   This wasn't so much going to a wrestling show as it was going to a party that had wrestling as part of it and I really enjoyed that.  

Over the course of seven matches, Quentin and I saw wrestlers we knew and loved as well as some we saw for the first time.   Stevie Legend opened the show with a win and it's always great seeing him wrestle.   Ryan Fraust took on Yoosaf Odinson in the second match and before it started he was outside of the ring.  I told him "You can't win out here, Frausty!" to which he replied "How do you know my name?"  Forgot all the times I've seen him in <redacted> and Tough and Talented- and the fact that I saw him the week before- but I just told him: "It's on your shirt" and he said "That's fair".

I like the look and speed/power combo of Yoosaf Odinson so hopefully we see more of him down the line as well.   Jay Baker and Ken Powers teamed up to take on The Mighty Bosh (w/ Syd Morgan) and TKO, which was a match that the crowd really got behind but so did the kids.   There were people walking around with the other things going on, but especially during this match I think a lot of families seemed to come over and take interest in what was going on.  What can I say: Kids love the superhero appeal of The Mighty Bosch and TKO and I must agree with them.

There was a singles match between two wrestlers that I do not remember the names of but will likely see them again down the line and remember.   What you have to understand about this show is that off to the side of the ring there was entrance way with curtains.  It was somewhat cool out but also breezy so if you watched that entrance way you could catch a glimpse of who was behind it which would give you an idea of who was coming out for the next match.  

Right before the women's match, you could see Nakoma Tala waiting to make her entrance.   A fan behind me said to the kids near her that she could see a woman wrestler back there and she seemed genuinely excited to know that a women's match was coming up next.   Hearing that made me happy because it validated my belief that every show should have at least one women's match and they do attract casual fans.

Nakoma Tala and Big Juicy had the match of the day and though I might be a bit biased this was the most hard-hitting and exciting match on the show, not just for me but I feel like all of the fans really got into it as Big Juicy passed out juice to the kids.  Something I really liked about this match too is neither wrestler really did anything to be booed- they both played to the crowd to be cheered- and so thinking about this in the spirit of competition as well, instead of a battle of booing versus cheering, just added that extra layer to it.

There was a tag team match between two teams we'd never seen before but Southern Discomfort seems like fun.   I'd definitely enjoy seeing them in NCW against Da Hoodz.  That would be a good match.   And then the main event saw Bobby Ocean- who was managed by John Cena Sr- become the new champion defeating Bull Dredd and Foxx Vinyer.   This was the feel good moment the crowd needed to go home with and it just topped off a great show that was well worth going outside for on a Sunday afternoon on the second day of October.

Not too long after the wrestling ended, the sun came out and it was a little bit warmer.  Quentin spent time in the bounce houses, making sand art and we met a cow before all was said and done.   Aside from this being really fun it was also all done to help raise awareness and fight cancer, so knowing that this was all for a good cause and all of these people came out to support that cause just made this feel that much more special.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Wrestling Review //
Paradise Alley Pro Wrestling
Wild Wild Wrestling II
September 25, 2022
@ The Cadillac Ranch, Southington, CT

Photos from this event can be found in a Facebook Album here :::

Though Paradise Alley Pro Wrestling is from Connecticut, I had never been to one of their shows before.   I saw a flyer that said there would be a 15 woman battle royal and inside that graphic was Isana, Jessie Nolan, Elle Valentine, Big Juicy and Sazzy Boatright, which quite frankly was enough for me to immediately decide to go to this show.  The sad thing I want to get out of the way about this show is that it was 21+ so Quentin couldn't go with us, but I truly feel like a lot of the heel work would've went over better if they were yelling at children (and the kids were yelling back)

The Cadillac Ranch is such an interesting place that I felt like I wanted to also go to this show just because of the venue.   But, if there wasn't any women on the show I wouldn't have gone and if all the women I listed weren't on it I might have also stayed home.  But if you bring any of those names up there within a half hour of me I'm going to feel obligated to go to that wrestling show because I've driven more miles than that to see them before (and will again!)

One of the biggest things about this show is that there were a handful of wrestlers I knew from seeing on other shows, but then there were also just a lot of wrestlers I didn't know.  I think going to a wrestling show every once in a while outside of your comfort zone is nice because it introduces you to new wrestlers.   And you may not always like them all, but at the same time you might find someone who you've never seen wrestle before and become a fan of them.

Much of the time Jess and I were there we were debating when the women would wrestle.  It felt like it would be a middle of the show match, but then we kept thinking about how it was really one of the only advertised matches and so it could main event.   Match after match after match it became more apparent that we had to wait until the very end to see who we came to see but that was actually really smart by PAPW because had they put any match on after that one I wouldn't have cared as much about it.

Most everything leading up to the main event was fun though.   We saw Battle Academy, who we've previously seen at Tough and Talented Wrestling, and now they're seemingly everywhere on my Twitter timeline.  Lucas Chase was doing his thing, holding it down, while Ryan Fraust and Bull Dredd were a tag team.   It was also great seeing Vlad just flat out destroy someone.  

The women's battle royal was where it was at and when my favorites started getting eliminated I got sad though.  Sazzy Boatright was eliminated by Elle Valentine, but Elle Valentine did this cool move of jumping onto the middle rope and dropkicking Sazzy Boatright out of the ring.   If you're going to go out, at least go out with style!

When it came down to the final four I wanted any of them to win except for the one who eventually did.   Skylar Grey picked up the win and title and I understand this idea because she is a student of PAPW but a good way to get me back to a PAPW show would've been to put the title on literally anyone else in the match.  What I don't understand is why after the match we were supposed to cheer and congratulate her on winning when she is part of Battle Academy who I'm pretty sure are heels because one of them just kept yelling "Fuck you!" at everybody else.

I'd like to say something like "This show was only twenty minutes away and had it been two hours away I wouldn't have gone to it" but that would be a lie.  I would've drove two hours just to see this main event match.  Not only was it seeing all of these wrestlers I love but I got to see Nakoma Tala for the first time live.   

Before the show started and throughout the show a few wrestlers were selling merch but Nakoma Tala had, in my opinion, the best merch table set up.   And when I walked by I couldn't help but stop and notice it but then also notice she had a Slam Buddy.   I was thinking I wasn't going to buy merch at this show but as soon as I saw that Slam Buddy I told Jess "I need that".   

One of the things I love about pro wrestling and the state of it right now is that no matter what you love about it, you can find what you love about it and embrace that.  If you love death match wrestling, you could likely find a death match show to go to at least once a month.  Same for lucha libre or very technical wrestling- whatever you're most passionate about.   For me, it is women's wrestling and PAPW definitely delivered on that front with this battle royal.

It was nice to sort of explore the local scene of wrestling in CT- to go to a local promotion we've never been to before but has been around a while- and also just to see wrestlers we knew and love as well as one we hadn't seen before or even heard of.  From that dude that looked like Ricky Schroeder to Bloodsaw, from The Mighty Bosch to Blade Bandit, there was just not a dull moment on this show and if even one of these names comes back I'll likely visit PAPW again.  

Cassette Review //
Itch Princess
(Crass Lips Records)

One of my favorite aspects of music is that you can hear two somewhat completely different sounds and not only enjoy them both but some artist out there will find a way to make them work together.   While there is this distinct rock sound to the music of Itch Princess, which at times can feel like either Metric or Slothrust, there is also just this other part of it which seems to draw more influence from music which tends to be instrumental only.

With horns, these songs can be a little bit psychedelic and yet also indie rock.  The vocals twist and it feels magical at the same time.   There is this overall feeling on this cassette of the music being a controlled chaos: it feels random on some level but also rather deliberate.   It can turn into the very sound of destruction or even have that Transformers synth feel.  Ultimately, you could call this "noise rock" but there must be a heavy emphasis on the noise.

Guitar riffs and drums, this is very loud with starts and stops as well.  There is this guttural scream that just needs to be heard, though by the end it just sort of slows down and drifts off into space.  In some ways, I think a band such as Sonic Youth might have been trying to create a sound such as this.  But creating this sound, as Itch Princess has, is about not just ripping off other artists- which is not easy to do- and also not just putting vocals over an otherwise instrumental sound.  There is some sort of formula for it and Itch Princess seems to have found it.  

Cassette Review //
Terrie Ex & Jaap Blonk
(Eh? Records / Public Eyesore Records)


This cassette begins like an alarm going off, as if to wake us up.  It drops down in tone and then other sounds can be heard coming through as well- some which sound like guitar notes.   Whirrs come whooshing through and sonic blasts take us through space and time.   Vocal sounds come through now but not quite as words.  One part definitely sounds like Donald Duck.   The vocals can tell a story and then string scratches come through with banging.  It has a bit of an R2D2 feel to it here.

Everything now drops off into distorted electronics and then those vocal patterns return.   Squeaking like mice now.  The guitar seems to tune higher and higher.   A more traditional singing sound comes in now and it feels like we're in an Italian restaurant.   Fast-speaking frustration comes out now and the music becomes frantic with it.   This shifts to a sound of either explosions or horses.  Some heavy growling now.   Once again, the guitars and vocals descend into chaos.   The sounds of saws now take us into a nice groove which slowly fades out.  It sounds now as if "grunge" is being said and there is a definite "grr" sound to it.

Right now it feels both like rain and Donald Duck as the sound then fades out.  Electronics come back in sparingly.   A horse is galloping now and someone is gagging.   Quieter strings now come through one at a time and then the sound shifts to magic glass.   Not quite words come through fast now, like an auctioneer, as the strings are slowly plucked.   The vocals and guitar sound really begin working together, as if they are morphing into the same sound.  Percussion electronics shoot in some beats now.  

On the flip side, guitars slowly start things off before it sounds as if glass bottles are breaking.  It can be rather quiet, but then get quite loud and fast.   It sounds like a swarm of insects now.   Computer electronics, somewhat like a modem, but still that guitar sound as well.   It grows a bit intense but then you can hear the speaking in the background of it all.   The guitar chords come through and the vocals reflect that.   The notes do their thing as the scratches make their way across the sound as well.

A more traditional singing sound returns now as the notes come through like Smashing Pumpkins.  It's fairly dreamy, and then it goes quiet.   Saws and other sounds once again make it louder and more chaotic.   The singing is in this almost crooner way now as the glass is being scraped.    The vocals begin to whisper but then the guitar just pierces through violently.   Growling now like a rabid dog.  Knocking on the door and those robotic sounds return once again, as the guitar chords start and stop.

Vocals come through now as if they are being barked and the music itself is getting hollow and ominous.   A loud zapping sound comes through as the guitars slide and feel like they've won at a pinball game.  Quieter now and it feels like everything is trying to go to sleep.  The singing has almost turned to screaming and the guitar notes come through louder to accommodate that sound.   These sounds are buzzing through and yet somehow mellow.  One tone blasts like an alarm on a submarine.   The vocals appear to be both speaking and laughing as the robotics return.  This all breaks down with the guitar and voice as you'd expect it to finish.  

IMG_7299 IMG_7300 IMG_7301 IMG_7302 IMG_7303 IMG_7304

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Wrestling Review //
Pro Wrestling GRIND
Electric Crown
September 30, 2022
@ Pulaski Club, Easthampton, MA

        Though it had been almost three months since the last Pro Wrestling GRIND show at the Pulaski Club in Easthampton, MA once we got there it felt like it hadn't missed a beat.  The atmosphere inside of Pulaski is just something different and on this night, knowing that tournament matches were happening just made it feel so much more special.  Those wins and losses are crucial in GRIND (it's how we got to where we are now) but this night would start with eight competitors and when it was over it would come down to the final two.

The quarterfinals of the tournament were the first four matches on the show and then following an intermission there was a tag team match and then the semifinals.  I feel for purposes of writing this though it's just easier to look at each side of the tournament in itself and then the tag team match.   This all started with Rip Byson vs Ryan Mooney and in what set the tone for the entire tournament The Rabid Honey Badger picked up the win in what some might call an upset.   But if you've been paying attention to GRIND, you know Mooney will do whatever it takes to get that win.

Jay Freddie and Joseph Alexander had a great wrestling match, just using submissions and doing the chain wrestling with working various body parts to wear each other down.  I know GRIND really puts the pedal to the metal in the sense that it's hard hitting, but the high flying and technical aspect of it as well is not to be overlooked and this was every bit of that mat classic that I hoped it would be (and more).

I think the same thing about Joseph Alexander and Ryan Mooney can be said, after losing to Jay Freddie: It's okay, don't feel too badly, a lot of wrestlers lose to Jay Freddie- he's one of the absolute best.   Now, this could be said about a number of different wrestlers perhaps and it lives in the world of "what ifs" when the tournament is designed the way it is and everyone knew that going into it, but I truly believe if Ryan Mooney vs Jay Freddie happened a month after Mooney vs Byson, Mooney could've beaten Jay Freddie.

The experience of Jay Freddie though, I believe, is what helped him defeat both Joseph Alexander and Ryan Mooney in the same night.   And while those might feel like younger names to you, if you see the matches you'll wonder how anyone could've survived even one of them.  Jay Freddie is just built different.  He has that heart that you just can't learn but can only gain through years and years of experience.

On the other side of the tournament we had what could have been the finals in Perry Von Vicious vs Logan Black.   This whole tournament was fun because of so many possibilities for what the finals could have been and how they all could have meaning.  Logan Black and Rip Byson statistically had the best records in GRIND.  Perry Von Vicious vs Rip Byson would've been a battle of friends.  Even Rip Byson vs Travis Huckabee would've been a callback to the first show.  And then you just have something out of left field like Ryan Mooney vs Delmi Exo- which would've been a great match (and one I still want to see)

Logan Black had the crowd behind him but so did Perry Von Vicious so this was a very even match with Logan Black eventually getting the win.  Unfortunately, this meant Logan Black went onto face Travis Huckabee next.   Travis Huckabee had a hard fought win over Delmi Exo but he cheated to get into the finals, which I don't want to feel like we're just going to glance over the match between Huckabee and Delmi Exo.

There was one point in their match where it felt like Delmi Exo was going to win because Travis Huckabee hit these two brutal moves back to back that should've been the end of it but Delmi Exo kicked out and Huckabee barely got the one count.   It would have definitely also been interesting to see a semifinals with Delmi Exo vs Logan Black.  

The only way to describe the Logan Black vs Travis Huckabee match was in the closing moments of it.   With the ref down, Travis Huckabee looked like he was going to take out Logan Black with a chair.   However, Mike Skyros came into the ring and took the chair from Huckabee.  It looked like Skyros would hit Huckabee but instead he hit Logan Black, which allowed the ref to then wake up and give Travis Huckabee a tainted win.   This was a lot of steps when they could've had the same result if Skyros just let Huckabee use the chair in the first place.

I will say though there is one positive about Travis Huckabee cheating his way into the finals of this tournament.   If Logan Black had won it was Jay Freddie vs Logan Black, I would've felt conflicted on who I wanted to win.  The crowd would have either been split or behind both wrestlers for sure.  But now... as loved as Jay Freddie is, that is how much Travis Huckabee is hated.  So there is no confusion or crowd divided: it's simply cheer Jay Freddie, boo Travis Huckabee.

Taking a step back from the tournament for a moment, this show also featured The Mane Event (still undefeated!) vs Brick City Boyz (still without a win) and while everything is going on with the title tournament, if GRIND was having a tag team titles tournament this felt like it could have been the finals of that.  Both of these teams knew the other matches were elimination and so very important, so they turned it up as well.   This was the best Brick City Boyz match I've ever seen and one of the top The Mane Event matches I've ever seen as well.  

The crowd was also very much into The Mane Event.   The crowd was very much into Ryan Mooney as well.  It's really great seeing wrestlers who are popular in other places get the same treatment in GRIND but also seeing someone like Ryan Mooney come in as a lesser known name but really making that connection where the crowd loves him now.   After the Mooney-Freddie match there was this moment of respect and I really feel like if Jay Freddie wins it all his first title defense might be against The Rabid Honey Badger.