Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Platinum Champ... Um, Empire Wrestling 4/26/2012



Before we get started I want to point out that I have no idea if I’m going to keep Needless Things on schedule this Summer. I have a trainee at work and am not sure how much opportunity I am going to have to write or how much I am going to be able to write. We’ll see. Things look okay right now, as I’ve got a few minutes to get started on my recap of the excellent Empire Wrestling show from last Thursday night.


I went with Rescue John and Angry Matt, a nice old-school PCW group. I saw Corey of Team All-You-Can-Eat as soon as we walked in. He was keeping an eye on Dany Only’s son for the night. The Human M-80 was doling out punches to Corey while we were talking and the big man mentioned how solid they were. I was curious to feel the impact of an Only family fist, so I told him to lay into me. I think he was concerned about punching a stranger the first time, but after I told him I knew Dany Only’s kid could hit harder than that he let me have a real one. Corey was right. It was a solid punch. If his son’s power is any indication I do not ever, ever want Dany Only punching me. Or even flicking me.

I headed for the bar and ordered the first beer of too many while Angry Matt and Rescue John secured a table. The adorable little bartender was not there Thursday night. In her place was a somewhat surly bartender. Even my massive charm – and I am pretty charming – could not bring a smile to her face.

Before we knew it Grant Case was in the ring announcing out first match for the night! It was as close to on-time as I’ve ever seen my favorite fed. Stephen Platinum was back at the announce table accompanied by a guy whose name I’ll probably remember after two or three more shows. He was the ring announcer at the PCW Arena last time I was there.

Also, I took much better pictures this time thanks to the brilliant idea I had to move around and try to find a better spot to take pictures. Sometimes I am a damned genius. This worked to my benefit in another way, as well, but we’ll get to that.

Sylar Cross & Master Jae w/Jonathan Malick of Empire
Vs.
The Washington Bullets

So Sylar Cross has finally clicked with me. I already respected his dedication, but only last Thursday did I finally get him as an in-ring personality. He’s a solid big man, but he is a very good douchey heel. He has a lot of important little things down like clapping for his manager and giving the ref shitty looks when the guy actually does his job for the babyfaces. He really irritated me Thursday night – in a good way.


All four men really kicked it out for this one. PCW tends to have strong openers and this match was no exception. Team Empire utilized the typical tactic of isolating one of the faces. Trey Williams plays the Face In Peril extremely well and I honestly think Jon Williams’ mutant ability is to project his emotions onto others because when he is straining across that top rope trying to tag his beaten and battered brother you can feel his frustration.


Jae and Cross took turns competently beating the Bullets down until we finally got the Hot Tag and Jon Williams came in and took control. After a couple of double-team moves the brothers hit the Marion Barry and got the win. This was a fast-paced exciting match that started the night strong. The Bullets are always a tough act to follow.


YOUR WINNER – The Washington Bullets

The Vandal
Vs.
Tommy Daniels

Apparently Tommy Daniels has decided the key to winning matches is being a dick. He used not every but an awful lot of the dirty tricks in the book and still lost. The match was brief but satisfying, as both men were on it and kept my interest throughout. This was a case where action could have taken a backseat to storytelling but didn’t.

YOUR WINNER – Vandal

Daniels stomped off to the back afterwards and Vandal did a sort of “I’m great, what are you gonna do?” pantomime. There was a quick “Ashy!” chant, but no powder was thrown.

We Are 3 (Brian Blaze, Aisha, and Geter)
Vs.
Fred Yehi, Pandora, & “Demigod” Mason

Geter was replaced by Jagged Edge in this match. It was a last-minute change, because earlier in the night it had been announced that Jagged Edge would be facing somebody else entirely. I found Fred Yehi, Pandora, and Mason to be an odd combination, but it worked. Especially given the bizarre rules of the match. Here’s the deal, as best I could understand it:

There were two teams of three. You eliminate your opponents by throwing them over the top rope. Once eliminated, you can return to the match by pulling somebody from the opposing team out of the ring. If a team has all three members eliminated at the same time, that team loses.

On the one hand, matches with somewhat inscrutable, Raven-style rules annoy the shit out of me. But on the other, they can be a lot of fun and honestly, the rules don’t matter if the match is entertaining enough and the competitors know what they’re doing.


Pandora and Aisha certainly know what they’re doing. They eliminated themselves early by brawling over the top rope. Naturally, being the two toughest, craziest broads in wrestling; they just kept beating on each other pretty much the rest of the night. As a matter of fact, I bet they’re still fighting now.

Mason got taken out and Jagged Edge and Blaze double-teamed Fred Yehi for a while. Actually they tried to double-team Yehi. The sometime DamNation member held his own quite well until Jagged Edge hit a big body slam and Brian Blaze followed up with a wicked elbow from the top turnbuckle. But then Mason pulled Blaze out of the ring and he and Yehi went after Jagged Edge.


Meanwhile, Pandora and Aisha continued beating the shit out of one another.

Mason and Yehi worked on Jagged Edge together for quite some time but just could not eliminate the big man. Some chain of events led to Pandora, Aisha, Mason, and Brian Blaze being in the ring. Yehi was eliminated but refused to leave the ring, so the ref disqualified him and sent him to the back.


Blaze caught Mason in some kind of wild modified leg lock that looked extremely painful, but the PCW champ started to make his way to the ropes. But then all of a sudden Jagged Edge shows up at ringside with a little kid in a crossbody hold!


WHAT THE FUCK!?!

I knew Jagged Edge was a heel, but this act was beyond despicable. He gestured menacingly towards Mason, making it clear that if Mason didn’t tap out the child was going to be BROKEN IN TWO! So Mason did the only thing he could and tapped, losing the match for his team (which proves I was wrong about the rules, but also proves I was right about how little they matter). Pandora and Mason checked on the terrified tot while Jagged Edge, Aisha, and Blaze celebrated their ill-gotten victory.


Stephen Platinum – ever the PCW Paragon of Virtue – stepped out from behind the announce table to condemn the actions of We Are 3’s temporary member. But just as Platinum was spitting hot fire into the mic, Jagged Edge slipped a bill of undetermined monetary value into the greasy paw of the child he had so recently been threatening!

THE KID WAS A PLANT ALL ALONG! SONOVABITCH!

Platinum changed tactic and voiced the hope that the child’s parents had stopped after one rotten kid and would procreate no more. Meanwhile, the victorious team made their way backstage, only to be jumped by the pissed-off pair of Pandora and Mason. THIS ISN’T OVER!


I think it was during that match that something totally uncomfortable for me happened. This dude came up and asked if he could get a picture with me. Obviously I'm standing around wearing a mask and I am a "personality" of sorts, but people should be watching the wrestling, not paying attention to my goofy ass. I don't ever want to take attention away from the actual athletes that are in the ring working their asses off. But I also didn't have any good reason to be rude to this guy. So I posed with him and he moved on.

But then he came back a minute later while I was trying to take pictures and watch the match and wanted another one. I told him to wait a minute and took another one. This sort of thing is just going to happen, but I kind of wish the guy had waited between matches.

The next match was the professional wrestling equivalent of El Niño, or what Henry Rollins would call a “motherfucker”.

Do or Die” Chip Motherfucking Day & “The Attraction” Hayden Young
Vs.
Human Hand Grenade” Dany Only & The Phantom of DamNation

Putting Dany Only up against Chip Motherfucking Day is like asking me to choose between Batman and Doctor Who. Adding Phantom and Hayden Young is like throwing Leatherface and Firefly (the Cobra saboteur, not the show – a TV show can’t wrestle; stop being ridiculous) in as their partners.

This match gave me serious allegiance problems.


But I cannot break with tradition, and seeing as Chip Day is the Official In-Game Avatar of the DCW Hooligans, I had to support the Young & the Reckless. Even once the Young portion of that duo started heeling it up to the apparent protests of his partner.


After Only maintained control of the opening portion of the match, Young tagged in and gained the advantage. Once he had it, however, he kept pressing by throwing Only out of the ring and hitting a few legal but shady maneuvers. He followed up by choking the Human Hand Grenade on the middle rope.


The Young & the Reckless maintained the advantage with some quick tags and double-teaming followed by a series of leg drops from Young. Only finally managed to tag Phantom in and the DamNation Duo hit one of the sickest (and slickest) double team moves I’ve ever seen:


Phantom grabbed Hayden Young and fell back, hitting a kind of sideways lungblower while Dany Only hit Young in the chest with a lariat. IT was totally unreasonable and amazing that it worked. Phantom went for the pin (which was completely reasonable), but Day broke it up.

Correction - Dany Only let me know that the double-team move was him performing an urunage while Phantom hit a backbreaker, which is actually even more impressive. It's a move Only uses with all of his tag partners. I would know this if I were a better fan.


Young tagged in Day who went on a tear and knocked Only out of the ring where Young went to work on him again. Day took the advantage over Phantom and went for his knee drop from the top turnbuckle. Platinum said the name of the move, but I can’t remember what it’s called. I just know it isn’t “The Living Daylight”, which is a shame. Maybe it’s “Daybreak”? I dunno. I love puns.


Only and Young made it back into the ring and Only picked Young up and tried to kill him (In a good way, not an “oops” way). The Human Hand Grenade put the Attraction over his shoulders and hit what was less a Cop Killer and more a reverse Piledriver. Either way it was sick.


The match ended after Phantom hit a move that I believe was a springboard Diamond Cutter and Only got the pin.


YOUR WINNER – Dam Nation

That match was OUTSTANDING. If I had been in a seat I would have been on the edge. The four competitors each gave their all and put on a match I would watch multiple times if I could. I hope very much to see this combination again. In a night full of awesomeness, this one was the Match of the Night. And not just because my two favorite PCW wrestlers were involved.

Of course, all good things must come to an end, and after the men from the previous match exchanged gestures of Good Will and Sportsmanship this happened:


Like somebody taking a shit on top of a perfect slice of Key Lime pie, Jeff G. Bailey followed up that beautiful match with some ill-intentioned blathering. Proving once again that he is the master of douchery, he cut an amazing heel promo and never even gave me the chance to yell, “SHUT THE FUCK UP” like I wanted to. It was amazing. You could tell the Masquerade crowd was waiting on tenterhooks (whatever that means) to give the Empire mastermind a “what?” or two, but he never even paused in his amazing three minutes of delivery. It was a hell of a promo from Jeff G. Bailey.

I hate him so much.

Curry Kid w/ Jonathan Malick
Vs.
Supernatural
Mask versus Mask!

This match was set up back at the 3/30 show at the PCW Arena. Curry Kid made some ludicrous claims about being the modern progenitor of Lucha Libre and challenged Supernatural to this match.

This bout was also amazing and admittedly got me more fired up than the previous tag match. Curry Kid opened up with dastardly deeds and ripped Supernatural’s mask off as soon as he had the smaller man down. As Platinum pointed out, this would have been a disqualification on Mexico, but WE’RE NOT IN MEXICO! THIS IS PCW (or Empire, whatever) AND THE MATCH MUST GO ON!!!


So the ref recovered Supernatural’s hood and passed it out of the ring, but the tiny dynamo had already recovered and reemerged wearing the signature mask of Mexican legend and former World Championship Wrestling Chairman La Parka!

He hit Curry Kid with a missile dropkick off the top turnbuckle and mostly maintained the advantage for the rest of the match. Curry Kid had a couple of reverse hope spots (what do you call heel hope spots?), but Supernatural pretty clearly had it in the bag. The only unknown was how much impact Jonathan Malick’s presence might have.

The action spilled out of the ring at one point and Supernatural hit a move that lived up to his name. He grabbed Curry Kid by the head and ran up the stomach of one of the members of Team All-You-Can-Eat to hit a Sliced Bread #2.


Okay, I don’t think he actually ran up Corey’s stomach, it was probably a chair. But I couldn’t quite tell from my angle and I’m just going to pretend it was the former.

There was a lot more action:


But in the end, Supernatural hit an impressive (look up this driver) on Curry Kid and got the pin. The crowd rejoiced and I even jumped up and down a few times. The ref declared Supernatural the winner and the small wonder reached down and pulled off Curry Kid’s mask, and it turned out that the man underneath the mask all that time had actually been… um, this guy:


YOUR WINNER – Supernatural

This, too was an amazing match that paid off a relatively brief story big time. I suppose the payoff wasn’t so much Supernatural’s victory as it was Curry Kid’s comeuppance for being such a jerkbag the past few months.

Oh, goody. It’s Screamin’ Marty Freeman.

At least his jacket only made me mildly nauseous Thursday night. And it almost matched the gear of his charge, Zach Daniels.

Apparently something happened with Daniels’ tag partner Zackary Blaine because Freeman made a big deal out of the fact that Blaine was not in attendance and introduced Daniels’ new partner, Corey Hollis. Hollis is super-tiny, but that means nothing in the world of professional wrestling and less than nothing in PCW.

Zach Daniels & Corey Hollis w/ Screamin’ Marty Freeman of Empire
Vs.
Daisho
Oh, hell.


Daisho hit the ring and for a second it looked like it was going to be another squash for the dominant tag team of Kyle Matthews and Vordell Walker. They hit their signature moves, but then the Empire guys got some momentum and hit just enough offense to stop Daisho’s assault and turn this into a competitive match.


I returned to my spot on the other side of the ring to make sure I got good pictures of the action. I was not going to miss the first full tag match featuring Daisho.


A few minutes into the action I faced a dilemma. I was standing there with my camera, enjoying the match when somebody walked up and tapped me on the arm. I turned to my right and none other than Dany Only was standing there, holding out a hand. I shook it and he told me he enjoyed my recaps and reiterated an earlier offer to link to them through the Dany Only page, where you can also by the way read Only’s insights on the sport.

From Joey Belladonna to the random dude at the comic show to O'Rourke from Fifty Two Ways to Dany Only, anybody telling me they enjoy my writing is awesome.

The dilemma came from the fact that I have been interested in talking to Dany Only for a while now. He’s a great wrestler, a dad, and appears to have good taste in music. I guess I’m just curious to know how he does what he does. I can barely find time to put these blogs together. This guy trains, works out, works a job, takes care of his kid, and even finds time to sew patches onto his shorts. I can only imagine that kind of work ethic. So it was a cool opportunity to talk to the guy.


But Daisho was having a wrestling match. I had been waiting months to see that. And who knew when I was going to be able to see it again.

Before I could totally decide which route to take, Only went backstage again.


I can't remember how this damn match ended. I want to say Daisho got counted out. There was some kind of indecisive finish.

YOUR WINNER – Daniels & Hollis. I think.


But the awesome is far from over, as the Washington Bullets appeared on stage to challenge Daisho to match! And not only that, the match is going to take place on May 11th, which just so happens to be the day I am celebrating my birthday with a night out at Savage Pizza followed by the live show at the PCW Arena! Happy birthday to me!


And as is always the case, the flow is followed by some serious ebb, as Empire accompanies Mr. Eric to the ring. Jonathan Malick talks about how great Mr. Eric is and claims that it’s a shame nobody in the back is up to the task of taking him on.

That’s when the Magic Mangina hits.


Led by Quasi Mandisco in some damn white jeans and the inimitable (female valet), the Marvelous One, Marko Polo made his way to the ring to answer Mr. Eric’s challenge.


There wasn’t a whole heck of a lot of match, but it was entertaining. Polo got the win.

YOUR WINNER – Marvelous Marko Polo

And with that ladies and gentlemen,

Your Platinum Championship Wrestling Main Event!

Stryknyn
Vs.
Shane Marx
For the Empire Championship

I was very curious to see this match. I had only ever seen Stryknyn in tag matches where he was a chickenshit heel, so it was going to be interesting seeing him wrestle as the fan favorite. Because going against the massively heelish Shane Marx makes one a babyface by default. You could put Marx in the ring with Sean Waltman and the man who never let DX go would get cheered.

Side Note: It’s funny how X-Pac was the sole member of D-Generation X for like five years after everybody else moved on but had nothing to do with the eighteen different reunions they had a couple of years ago.


Dany Only came out to the stage to watch his Hate Junkies tag team partner compete, adding a “big deal” vibe to the match.


Stryknyn started the match by Greco-Roman whooping the piss out of Marx. He got the champ down in the corner and whaled on him, then put him on the middle rope, took off one of his studded belts, and whaled on Marx with that. The ref jumped in and took the international object away from the kilted warrior, but Stryknyn simply took the second belt off of his waist and went to work on Marx with that one. That was a funny fucking spot.


From there the match turned fairly standard, but I mean that in the best way possible. Both men hit some big moves and the momentum teetered back-and-forth enough to keep the crowd fully invested. Every match on the card last Thursday had great pacing.


Sadly, ladies and gentlemen, I did not catch the final move and have no idea what happened. I just managed to get this shot of Marx getting the pinfall before my camera died. Bastard.


YOUR WINNER – Shane Marx

I do believe there was some business after the match, but of the promo variety, not the fighting variety.

This was easily the best PCW/Empire show I have been to. Every single match on the card was at least very good, with most being great. Of particular note were the tag matches and the Main Event. Actually, the solid Main Event was the most impressive, as I usually have issues with the way PCW shows end. I’m not a big fan of the locker room emptying every time. I get it, I just don’t care for it.

If I felt I had any business rating wrestling shows I’d give this one a 4.97 out of 5, but I don’t do that sort of thing.

If you'd like to see a TON more pictures from the event, go check out my album on Photobucket.

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