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.