Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I wish more people could read a story like this.

I wish more people could read a story like this.

If more people could read this, I bet there would be less stress in the world, more laughs and smiles, and maybe more people would just live longer.


It was a little more than a year ago that I was having a crummy day. In fact it was so crummy that part of it ended up in a pictorial blog:
http://www.myspace.com/codenamesailorearth/blog/531115833
Oh yeah. Nothing quite wraps up a shit-tastic day like seeing a wrestler you like stepped on by Khali AND Big Show.


So I was just in a fowl mood, and I logged onto my Gaia account.


Well who should be on, but a very nice girl that I hadn’t emailed in months. To protect her identity, I’m going to call her “Lucy”. Lucy was one of many people who used to role-play with me on one of Gaia’s many forums, and she is just slightly younger than me. Her avatar is mostly Gothic, but she’s very cheerful.


At first we talked a bit about Sailormoon and Inuyasha. Then we talked about life.
Lucy was patient with me as I told her about my shitty day. Then I asked about her day, hoping to hear good news.


“Well remember that guy that I told you was my friend? ^_^” She started. Let’s call him “Schroder”.


“Yeah! The guy who role-played as Miroku in the Inuyasha-Sailormoon cross over story we did.”


“Well Schroder and I are getting married IRL! Turns out we’ve been going to the same schools since we were kids.”


“MOZELTOV!! That’s fantastic news!! :D” I reply.


“And that job I always wanted? I GOT IT and a promotion the SAME WEEK!”
“That’s fantastic! :D”


“And I’m finally able to move with my mom and Schroder to my favorite town in Ohio. OMG you should see my apartment!”


“OMG! I’m so happy for you!! :D” I’m getting excited for what seems to be my friend’s happily ever after.


“But there’s a problem.”


“O_o Huh? What’s the matter?”


“Well I’m getting concerned about the wedding plans.”
“Why? What’s wrong?”


And then Lucy says something I just can’t believe. In fact I even printed it out, and showed it to my mom, just to make sure that I wasn’t just imagining things.
Lucy puts up an angry-face emoticon, and then types this:


“My male fiancé’s younger ex-boyfriend is threatening to crash the wedding AND he (the ex) is sleeping with my mom.”


……..


“^_^ OK YOU WIN!! I feel TONS better now!”


The next time you’re having a bad day, please remember my friend, Lucy.

Wrestling’s Orwellian Cowboys

November 5, 2005 ~ I went to an ROH show. It was just two days after my 19th birthday and I remember Jim Cornette being in the ring. He was apologizing for his heeldom that prior February, and then he announced the entrance of a man I had just read about a day earlier. A surprise guest I didn’t know would be there. A man by the name of “Cowboy” Bill Watts.


Bill seemed shy at first. He didn’t seem to want to shake or slap the hand of any of the fans. I don’t think he expected the crowd to accept him as warmly as they did.


I held my hand out, and he looked at me. A slight tilt of the head and a gleam in his eye led me to believe he saw something in me. Something a little off track perhaps? To this day, I’m not really sure what he thought of me, but he just shook his head and went to the ring.


He cut a small speech, the contents of which I could barely hear as the speakers were too loud that day, then he went back up the ramp.


Again I held out my hand, but the legendary wrestler turned booker again shook his head and said “No”. He didn’t want to go near me.


Now at this point I was confused. This was my fourth wrestling show ever, and by the time this show occurred, I had already had wrestlers talk and/or yell at me. I had been landed on, sweat on, bled on, pushed, climbed over, I had made wrestlers laugh, react, but never had I had a wrestler act the way Bill Watts did. He just wouldn’t go near me.


I’m not sure what he thought of me and I haven’t seen him since. For years the DVD of this event had been in my collection, and many a time I’ve watched that little segment, puzzled. Trying to decipher the odd meeting. But maybe he saw something in me. Something that just hadn’t manifested quite yet. Maybe he knew… ?


I’ve been thinking about Mr. Watts lately. About something he used to do way back when. Something that I’m seeing all over again in the WWE. Read on.


So an event that I have labeled “Slurgate 2011” has been talked about on almost every wrestling site.


Recently, longtime WWE announcer Michael Cole came under fire for calling Josh Mathews a “faggot” a rather insensitive Gay slur, on his TWITTER.


Twitter, is one of several social networking sites, by which people micro-blog and communicate with people. It is usually used by people on their OFF-TIME.


Cole called Josh the insensitive word before he got to the arena for a WWE event. In a sense he was NOT “on the clock” and had thus tweeted on what is classified as his OFF-TIME.


The WWE ~ already under fire for John Cena’s having made Gay jokes on Raw the very same week ~ ordered Cole to remove the offensive tweet and apologize. They also arranged for Cole to go to a GLAAD seminar.


Cole did as he was told.


However…


It’s also known that Cole didn’t want the Twitter account to begin with, and that (in Cole’s own telling) the “suits” told him to open the account and act as heelish as possible on it.


Cole therefore got in trouble, for tweeting something HEELISH on his OWN PERSONAL ACCOUNT on his OFF-TIME, on a PERSONAL account that he had been forced into using.


This is hardly an isolated incident. Keep reading.


Last year, the WWE fired Serena.


Serena’s storyline was that she was a recovering alcoholic who kept falling off the wagon.


To cure herself, (in storyline) she joined C.M. Punk’s Straight Edge Society.


Punk would yell at her every week for falling off the wagon.


Serena was caught ~ on camera ~ and by fans ~ drinking at a bar OFF THE CLOCK.


The WWE fired her for not being straight edge in public, on her OFF-TIME.


They said they wanted Serena to act her storyline both in and out of the ring.


BUT her storyline was that she kept falling off the wagon.


So in firing her for not keeping the straight edge persona outside the ring, they in effect fired her for FOLLOWING HER OWN STORYLINE outside the ring.


These two stories are coupled with other tales I’ve heard over the last year and a half, of wrestlers whose Twitters are monitored, their Facebooks checked, their MySpaces compromised, and the WWE generally expecting the wrestlers to live the same storyline in and out of the ring. They’ve even gone so far as to dictate who the wrestlers can and cannot carpool with, and who they can follow on Twitter. The last time they had Vader, they even usurped control of his website! (When they took back Viscera.)


When you sign that contract with the WWE, you give up more than just the ability to choose your own name or pick your own moves, you essentially give over the reigns of your life to this massive, multi million dollar corporation. Your friends and your contacts are now dictated by the owner of a capitalist conglomerate.


Hang out with a wrestler from McMahon’s top rival, and you could end up being lobbed against the biggest and or baddest man in the locker room. Tweet back a fan that the WWE has already deemed a “risk” and you could end up BELOW the US Title line ~ and nobody has wanted that belt since WCW died. (Don’t be fooled by the story posted on the new wcw.com)


But what the WWE is attempting to do is nothing new. This very same mentality existed all the way back in a little place called the Universal Wrestling Federation.


(NOTE: The UWF on ESPN Classic belonged to Herb Abrams. This is an entirely different UWF.)


Once upon a time, Cowboy Bill Watts was a professional wrestler in the early 1970’s, working for a man named Leroy McGuirk, a blind man who ran NWA-Tri State Wrestling. Bill was a fan favorite, and battled across Louisiana, Oklahoma and Mississippi. But Bill wanted to do more than wrestle. He wanted something he could fall back on, just in case. So in 1979, he bought out Mr. McGuirk, and re-dubbed the promotion “Mid-South Wrestling” (MSW).


Bill Watts cut ties with the NWA, just as Vince McMahon Jr would do 3 years later. But unlike McMahon, Watts kept a loose connection to the NWA, if anything for the belt. Watts knew better than to completely walk away from the 10 pounds of leather and gold that brought a hush to the crowd and awe to the locker room. From there, Watts began adding more and more states to MSW’s schedule. Arkansas and Texas would see Watts’s men battle it out.


And boy did they! Bill Watts was touted as being one hell of a promoter. He believed in a novel concept, known as episodic storylines. Each wrestler had his/her own storyline with an opponent, and each soap opera like story would last a specific number of weeks before ending in a colossal finish at a larger event.


In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a negative thing about the stories that were developed! Crowds as big as 22,000 were not unheard of for the MSW, especially not with such names as The Junkyard Dog, The Fabulous Freebirds and eventually an energetic little rookie by the name of Sting.


By 1985, everyone knew about MSW, including cable mogul Ted Turner. Tired of the repeated clips and sloppy low card matches Vince McMahon’s promotion was offering his network (Think a 1980’s version of Superstars.) Ted gave Bill Watts’s company a good timeslot on “The Superstation” TBS. MSW was becoming national.


But one thing that was talked about more than the stories told in the ring, were the ones told out.


First and foremost, Watts detested “smart marks” ~ arrogant fans who know everything from how a match has already been booked to the real last name of the man under the mask. The magic “K” word was deemed sacred, and anybody who broke it was as good as dead to the Cowboy.


Once, when a snarky newspaper “journalist” leaked that Jake “The Snake” Roberts was to leave Watt’s promotion after jobbing out another wrestler, Watts had the whole thing changed last minute, so that Jake would exit with a solid win.


To combat snarky little fun-killers like that reporter, Watts came up with a plan. A plan originally devised at the start of his promotion, but by this point had become law.


Initially, it is in my opinion that Watts just wanted to throw off smart marks and loudmouth journalists. I would like to think Watts in the beginning had the best interests of the locker room in mind. But the scheme Watts cooked up to protect the integrity of his wrestlers, took a sudden, Orwellian dip.


Watts, just like Vince McMahon today, expected his wrestlers to act their story even off the clock. Legends have been told about wrestlers who paid the price if they were caught disobeying their act. For example, if a heel was caught high-fiving a face, he could very well expect an epic beating followed by a quick and quiet demotion to the low cards. A wrestler wasn’t safe, not even at the supermarket. The locker-room was divided between the Heels and the Faces. Carpools were arranged, even after party events were choreographed to throw off fans deemed “too smart” for their own good.


Now granted, other promotions already had run like this, and this was by no means anything new, but Watts took it to an extreme. If a wrestler copped out in the public eye, EVERYONE would hear about it, and the shame a wrestler would endure would never stop short of firing and even blackballing. And everything he said was watched too. If a wrestler was caught doing or saying something deemed scandalous, it could have been the end of the world for him, or so go the tales.


Can you imagine what would have happened, if the early GeoWorks, DOS and Macintoshes of the day had the ability to grant us access to the social networking sites we have now? What do you suppose could have happened, if a brash loudmouth named Michael Hayes had operated a Twitter back in the 1980’s? OH YEAH, think about that!


Everything a wrestler did in public was being quietly monitored, like a scene straight out of 1984.


MSW was one of the largest wrestling companies in the land, and incredibly well known. They were making a lot of money and were HUGE in the public eye, so the tales of a wrestler’s unhappiness at his monitoring, were greeted with naysayers. “At least you’re getting paaaaaaaiiiid. Just shut up, Dude!” Was the sentiment he might have been greeted with. Fans who sympathized with the wrestlers were less than affectionately greeted with “HEY! He’s making more there than he would on the Indies. You’re just being negative.


But the Big Brother plan ~ was not a fool-proof plan. Eventually there were some wrestlers who left the promotion, and found it much easier to breathe. They still had to deal with the naysayers calling them names and questioning their want to leave a nationally televised juggernaut like MSW, but those wrestlers let it slide off of their backs. They wanted Big Brother to ease up.


But a shrinking roster wasn’t Watt’s only problem. A hidden danger would take the form of a man by the name of Jim Barnett, who made a sudden deal Ted Turner wouldn’t dare dream of refusing.


Barnett brokered a deal between Turner and Jim Crockett Jr. The new deal forced both the WWF and MSW the hell OFF of TBS.


Watts made an attempt to go all out. He re-christened what was left of MSW as Universal Wrestling Federation. Tapes of the old MSW went to Watts’s ex-wife, and Watts did whatever he could to disassociate UWF from it’s Southern heritage.


But one more SNAFU was waiting around the corner. One that would devastate the newly crowned UWF right to the core.


The Economy.


Reaganomics wreaked havoc on America, giving Americans the false belief that life would be prosperous. Instead, the Reagan administration saw to it that only MAJOR corporations and credit companies would reap the benefits, while the middle and low class would struggle and die before ever being able to afford the luxury of paying their utility bills or buying bread and water for their budding offspring. (My Generation.)


One area that took a pummeling in the Fall of 1986 was Oklahoma ~ where UWF’s main base of operations was.


Wrestling fans no longer had the funds needed to afford the ever growing ticket prices of the UWF, and by now the promotion was more storyline based than anything else. The fans wanted more.


Despite a partnership that brought in WCCW talent, and the fact that the UWF tried to merge back into the NWA, The damage had been done, and the Southern Juggernaut that was the UWF, began bleeding money.


In April of 1987, Watts sold the company to Jim Crockett, after losing more than half a million dollars. The roster was split into several directions. Over the course of that year, the remaining roster would be split. Some wrestlers went strictly NWA. Some went to the WWF. Others went to WCCW for a time and the remaining men stayed with Crockett, where the legacy of MSW-UWF was buried on weekly television. But by 1990, Crockett’s promoting was largely forgotten, as his company would be bought out by Ted Turner, the very same man who allowed these people to fight on TBS.


Watts would spend the early 1990’s back on TBS as the president of the WCW. Wrestlers were still intimidated by the Cowboy, who could still whip your ass if he felt like it. He even brought in his son, Erik, though many felt he wasn’t ready for TV yet. Watts also saw to it that his reign would not end without at least one, Black champion, in this instance, Ron Simmons in 1992. But in 1993 Watts was mysteriously off the roster. Whether he was fired or quit has been under hot debate ever since. And in 2001, WCW also folded, with their roster being buried weekly by the WWF in the Invasion storyline.


Fast-Forward. It is now 2011.


Just like the UWF/MSW in the past, the Big Brothers at the WWE monitor it’s wrestlers, and snarky fans dismiss the many YouShoot interviews by disgruntled ex-employees, trying to share their tale as a caution to younger, more naïve wrestlers, venturing into the same Big Top promotion they just left.


They say that history has a nasty habit of repeating itself. And those who do not learn from it, are the first in line to relive it.


McMahon is proving that tale to be correct.


When WWF became WWE, they distanced themselves from their former image. Just as MSW had done when it became UWF.


For MSW ~ It was the Southern image that was dropped.


For WWE? The Wrestling image.


The WWE uses Orwellian tactics on it’s wrestlers.


Just like MSW.


Some of the wrestlers have been looking forward to their releases, despite what money might be there.


Just like MSW.


The ticket and merchandise sales are dropping because of the economy.


Just like MSW.


The turnover rate is astounding.


Just like MSW.


And the naysayers in the crowd still believe that this company is doing just fine, and that you should shut up as long as a guy is getting paid what they think he is.


Just like MSW.


And the ratings are still wavering.


Just like MSW.


And McMahon is starting to bleed money.


Just like…. Uh-oh.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Youth Movement?

"NXT 5 starts on Tuesday.

TE starts the day after Wrestlemania.

Diva Search starts after that.

They just signed Ryan Nemeth (Ziggler's baby brother) and they want Cyborg and a few other people.

WHY are they trying to bring in more people than they have room for? o_o

Think about it. The average WWE show can barely fit 10-15 wrestlers per week. (Raw/SmackDown) some weeks (like this one) we see fewer wrestlers than that.

The segments usually go lightyears beyond the matches themselves, and each segment only allots for 3-5 wrestlers per skit, unless we count Corre or Nexus, then that number goes up to 6-8.

Each roster typically has 30-33 wrestlers. Per week we barely see half of that.

This isn't even counting the low carders on SuperStars, or the overflow at FCW.

Soooooooooo why is McMahon trying to bring in all of these other people?"


So the above is what I posted on the Wrestling Roundtable message board. And right away err'body jumped on my ass with "Damn you're negative" comments, since I've been known to blow the whistle on WWE more than my fair share of times.

Now one theory I've heard was that this is all part of the great "Youth Movement" which promises fresh wrestlers and storylines.

"Why the Youth Movement has brought us SO MANY NAMES, why the youth movement has brought us new ideas, new storylines, why the WWE "knows" what they're doing. You're just negative, dumb Kori. You're not in the business, so what would YOU know, woman?" Is the sentiment I've been picking up.

For the record, a girl doesn't spend her entire life watching wrestling and paying attention to wrestlers' interviews without picking up at least SOMETHING.

And true, I tend to champion the guys in the background. You know, the Regals and Malenkos who never saw their overdue title shots when they were new to the Stamford Princess Company. Why do I bring them up? Because while the rest of you are pining for the skinny loud mouths on TV, wailing about how awesome they think they are, and drooling over the walking Welness Policy violations duking it out with the cripples and the soon to be on-the-shelfers-AGAIN, I'm paying attention to the grapplers and mat technicians that remind me why I used to love watching the Old Schoolers on my Mama's lap.

And as for the Youth Movement? Reality check time. Let's look back at the youth movement of 2010-11 thus far:

NXT 1 Cast : 2 went back to FCW, 1 is in a storyline nobody cares about ~ with a belt nobody has wanted since WCW folded 10 years ago, and the remaining 5 are split between Corre and Nexus ~ Two factions nobody cares about because they lack direction and they're NOT nWo!

NXT 2 Cast : 3 guys were FIRED ~ one of whom "won" the fake competition, 1 was just yoinked from television this week, 1 is about to be yoinked for a DUI, another got yoinked from TV a few weeks ago, and whomever is left is in FCW right now.

NXT 3 Cast : Oh bwa ha ha.

NXT 4 Cast : Err'body already got sent back to FCW. It may be too early to tell, but I'm not holding my breath on the cast making it.

Ted Dibiase Jr : Was slated to have a feud with former Legacy stablemate Randy Orton, is now on SuperStars with a girl he doesn't like.

Dolph Ziggler : Has been off of TV for 8 days now and won't quit tweeting that he's seeking employment elsewhere.

Drew McIntyre : Apperantly hates the world and is lacking a consistant and coherant storyline.

CM Punk : Mid cards with Nexus.

Evan Bourne : Mid Carder who just got back EARLY from injury.

Miz : Only where he's at because McMahon thinks his legs are smooth and sexy. And WHO first said this? Miz himself!! (It was in an interview where he apologized for the man panties.) I'll give him this, he's HONEST.

Sheamus : About to be sent to SuperStars to feud with the man who holds the title nobody has wanted since WCW folded.

Jack Swagger : Stuck between SuperStars and Michael Cole's asscrack. I'm starting to feel sorry for Rocky Horror here.

Yoshitatsu : SuperStars

Primo : SuperStars

DH Smith and Tyson Kidd : Yoinked from the tag title picture to feud with each other (against my will) then yoinked from their own storyline! DH got sent directly to SuperStars, and then Tyson had a 10 minute feud with the man who holds the title nobody has wanted since WCW folded, only to be shipped to SuperStars himself!

Mason Ryan : Batista-chan stands behind Punkles, right?

Jackson Andrews : Blink and you miss him. His ass got sent right back to FCW for NO REASON!!

Is it any wonder that I'm skeptical about the WWE bringing in more people?

Sure I want a DIFFERENT roster of names heading for the belt, but if y'all can't handle what'cha got right now, then WHY should I trust you to book the next brood properly, WITHOUT making them look like whores and clowns?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ring of Honor iPPV

Ring of Honor iPPV
Saturday, February 26th, 2011.
Frontier Fieldhouse, Chicago Ridge.

Saturday was the ROH iPPV. This marked my 6th year as a Ring of Honor fan, and ROH’s 9th year in operation. If you haven’t seen it, please check the replay: http://www.gofightlive.tv/Events/Fight/Wrestling/ROH__The_9th_Anniversary_Show/920 for just $14.95 you can see one hell of a show!

We saw a fun show in front of a borderline sell out crowd. Before the first match, we ran out of seating! Some things were certainly done differently. There was no pre-show, and the silver bleachers had been set up. Before the show, there was a meet and greet with Haas, Benjamin and Mr. and Mrs. Cornette. (The Mrs. had on a GORGEOUS cheetah print coat BTW.)

1. Davey Richards vs. Colt Cabana ~ Davey storms in, clearly not in ANY kind of mood. Crowd was mostly behind Colt Cabana, though Davey got a few cheers himself, when he locked on his first of many submission holds. Davey targeted Colt’s shoulder during the onslaught. Colt was able to twist one of Davey’s moves into the Billy Goat’s curse, but Davey twisted out of it, and moved Colt into another submission. Colt got out of it, and later used the turnbuckles in a move against him, but the finish saw Davey suplex Colt into a pin for the win.

2. Mike Bennet vs. Grizzly Redwood vs. Steve Corino vs. Kyle O’Rielly ~ The crowd was LOUD for Corino. The first two things he did elicited a chant of “UNCLE STEVE UNCLE STEVE!!” Corino seems generally shocked that the Chicago crowd loves him. Grizzly gave it his all in this fight, delivering hard chops to Bennet. Grizzly has a broad move set, ranging from Lucha Libre to Brawler to Mat Technician, he’s always a joy to watch. Kyle got a good reaction as well. Bennet dominated much of this match, much to the chagrin of the crowd. He’s still very rough around the edges, so nobody was quite sure how to accept him. At one point in the match, all four men were on their knees in a circle, punching the man on his left. The spin the bottle punching was fun to watch. ^_^ The whole match long, “Uncle Steve” was teasing the thumb, but each time it looked as though a wrestler’s behind would be subjugated to it, another wrestler would come up and nail Steve in the back. Corino almost scored a pinfall, but was surprised by Bennet, who himself scored a 3-count over Uncle Steve.

3. El Genericho vs. Mike Elgin with Truth Martini ~ Truth came out in a very classy, brown fur trimmed coat. Elgin is a very strong brawler with an old school physique. El Genericho was back in his usual, colorful outfit, a breath of fresh air considering that the current HDNet cards still have him with the dower, black mask. This match started off even, but soon Elgin tipped the odds into his favor by nailing Genericho with a lariat, sending the Generic Luchador spinning 180o in the air. To prove how tough Elgin is, he even used Truth Martini’s body as a weapon against Genericho! But the Generic Luchador is a feisty one, and he soon scored an upset victory.

After the match however, Roderick Strong came tearing down the ramp, and beat the hell out of El Genericho, smacking him in the back of the head with the title. After a lengthy beat down, Roderick attempted to cut a promo about how he would go on to beat Homicide.

Homicide wasted ZERO time in hunting Roderick down. He then proposed that they have the title match right away. Roderick couldn’t have a greed more, and then bell rang.

4. Roderick Strong with Truth Martini vs. Homicide ~ Heavyweight Title No Holds Barred Barrio Street Fight ~ An odd placement for a title match, but neither Homicide nor Roderick seemed bugged by it. Right away, the fight went to the crowd (I hope my pictures come out ok) and the two snatched up chairs where they could. The battled back to the ring rather quickly though, where Roderick then started taking chairs, and pushing them between the turnbuckles. He had planned to send Homicide into each of them, but Homicide got his second wind. Roderick shocked Homicide with the 3 Amigos! 2-count. Homicide bounced back and clocked Roderick. He then sent Roderick into each of the chairs, sending the crowd into a cheering fit. Homicide brings up a table, and stations it in the corner. Truth tries to attack Homicide, to with the Notorious 187 kicks Truth in the nuts. Roderick and Homicide go through the table, breaking it at the bottom, but due to more interference from Truth, Roderick scores a surprise 3-count.

After the match, Truth walks Roderick up the ramp. Homicide lays waste to the table and debris in the ring. Intermission starts.

During intermission, Kevin Kelly and Jim Cornette make their way to the ring. Cornette announces that Ring of Honor is doing TWO back to back iPPV’s on April 1st and April 2nd in Atlanta, while they are set to return to Chicago Ridge on May 21st.

5. Sara Del Ray with Shane Hagadorn vs. MsChif ~ Unusually SHORT match, only lasted 3-4 minutes. Sara came out in a black trench coat. MsChif was gorgeous as usual. Sara hoisted MsChif onto her back, turned around slowly, smiled and waived at the crowd, then dropped MsChif for a 3 count.

Sara then tried to start shit with MsChif. MsChif misted her!! Shane Hagadorn carted Sara up the ramp.

6. Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli with Shane Hagadorn vs. Rhett Titus and Kenny King ~ Tag Team titles on the line ~ The fight opens up with an eerie “CLAAAAADIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” from the crowd, as he opens up against Kenny King. These two teams solidify why the tag team division is so important to preserve. Claudio played to the crowd with a cartoonish appeal, as every one of his moves elicited a “HEEEEEEY” from the audience. Kenny and Rhett were evenly matched against Claudio and Hero. Both teams couldn’t keep the action to the ring only, as they frequented outside by the barricade. Rhett has come a long way these last few months, and he took every ounce of his training to Hero, who was more than ready to keep up with Rhett’s strength. Back and forth the two went, and it certainly looked as though Kenny and Rhett would walk out with the tag belts, but Hero’s loaded elbow pad awaited the two, and KOW would score another victory.

7. Eddie Edwards vs. Christopher Daniels ~ 2 out of 3 falls match ~

The best laid schemes of bookers and writers go often askew, and leave wrestler’s heads nothing but grief and pain, for promised title defense. Still you are blest, compared with me! The present only touches you. But oh! I backward cast my eye, On contracts TNA! And forward, though I cannot see, I guess and fear!

If Robert Burns had written his poem in 1785 about wrestling in 2011 instead of his original topic, I could guess that more than a stanza would be written like this. And certainly I was thinking of this writing when I saw the finish of this match.

Eddie Edwards began by unleashing Bob Holly-esque chops to Christopher Daniels, and attacked with great fury. Both men would wrestle as though the first fall was the only fall that counted, and they wasted no time in trying to top the other’s submission attempts. Christopher attacked Eddie with much passion, and the two trades chops and blows. There was only a 30 minute time limit, and they made each minute count. Christopher scored a pin-fall in the first 20, but then Eddie’s second wind hit and he shocked Christopher with a 3 count himself. By now, we were heading into the last several minutes, and both men stepped it up. The fight continued in and out of the ring, but that’s where things got dicey. Eddie flung Christopher into the turnbuckles, then himself took a SICK landing onto the Fallen Angel… who slumped over.

The bell rang. The 30 minute time limit had expired, and neither man had scored a 3rd victory. Eddie realized that his opponent had not gotten back up, and he crawled over with referee Paul Turner to check on Christopher. Christopher tried to get up on his own, but could not. He was in and out on consciousness.

Cornette ran down with wrestlers from Pro Wrestling Respect. The wrestlers, ref and Cornette agreed that the match had to stop. So Cornette made the announcement that the final decision of both ref and time keeper would stand. This match ended at an even draw. Christopher was rushed to the back.

8. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin vs. Jay and Mark Briscoe ~ Though it’s highly unusual that a non-title match would close out the iPPV, nobody was complaining. Shelton wrestles like he’s always been in ROH, though he still has fewer than 10 ROH shows under his belt at this point. Haas was able to adapt to The Briscoes’ stiff style. The two teams brawled, and the WGTT seemed shocked at the resilience and sharp blows that Jay and Mark have been known to deliver. The two teams kept most of the action in the ring, save but for a short segment on the outside, where Haas’s endurance was tested as Mark Briscoe front flip splashed onto the WGTT and inadvertently, Jay. The crowd was HOT for the fight, and I ended up missing some spots, due to fans leaping to their feet in front of me. The Briscoes by this point had Haas and Benjamin under control, as they were setting Haas up for The Doomsday Device, when from out of nowhere, Haas reverses the move! Jay attempted a Jay Driller, but Haas reversed that too! Benjamin leaps in and helps Haas deliver their own Doomsday Device, which lead to a stunning 3 count for Haas and Benjamin.
Before leaving the Frontier Fieldhouse, I had the rare chance to say hi to Angel Armani, who was there visiting friends. Angel used to do shows for ROH in 2008, and is a PHENOMINAL legend in Milwaukee. And an absolute joy to talk to as well. ^_^ I had last seen him at PWKrush back in November.

The after party was a more quiet affair, as only a few people showed up. Still, I got a thrill when I presented Eddie Edwards with a cartoon I had made him:
© Koriander Ake
Eddie seemed very happy to see it. :D He shared the cartoon around with everyone. This is the kind of reaction that makes me want to draw more.

Christopher Daniels made an appearance, though he asked everyone to lower their voices because of his head. He was already sporting stitches, and had to be very careful, though I’m happy to say that he was cleared by his doctor. Not even a concussion! Christopher, Kenny King and Rhett Titus sat at my table and had pizza with Mama, Orion and I. ^_^

Dave Prazak snapped a pic of me with MsChif. I thanked her profusely for defeating Screech at AAW two weeks prior. She has such a sweet smile!

Haas and Benjamin also attended, though they both were somewhat shy. They both had to be reminded that it’s OK to speak with Homicide and Christopher Daniels. Poor guys.

This was a fun experience, and I recommend that you purchase the event either by http://www.gofightlive.tv/ or by DVD when it comes to http://www.rohwrestling.com/ .