Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Platinum Championship... Um, Empire Wrestling 8/10/2012

In an absolutely amazing turn of events it has been less than a month since my last visit to the PCW Arena. I’d like to get out there more. I’d also really like to make it to one of the Porterdale shows, as that venue looks really cool, but I’m not sure that’s likely to happen.
There is one important news item to cover before I start the recap proper:
Human Hand Grenade” Dany Only has been banished from Empire Wrestling.
            On Saturday August 4, 2012 Only faced Jagged Edge in a “Loser Leaves Town” match and lost. Clean. I wasn’t there for it, but the match is on YouTube and it is pretty awesome:
Jagged Edge has proved himself to be The Dominant Force in Empire Wrestling by beating one of the very best the company had to offer. I found out about the situation from the Human Hand Grenade himself last week. I was asking him about doing a Q&A for my upcoming week-long feature on Dragon*Con Wrestling and told him I was planning on being at PCW Friday.
He said, “I won’t be there,” and sent me a link to the above video.
I really hate to see Only go. He has – like every other PCW wrestler – done nothing but get better ever since I became a fan of the company almost two years ago. The man is consistently a good match and almost always a focus of storylines.
However – this does create an opportunity for somebody. As I just mentioned, every single wrestler on the roster seems to do what Only’s t-shirt suggests – “Get Better Or Get Out”. I can’t think of a single PCW wrestler who hasn’t improved – and markedly – since the first time I saw them. And now one of those men can step up and take Only’s place. Every single man in Empire Wrestling needs to recognize that there is a big spot wide open and ready to be taken. But it is going to have to be taken. And if last Friday’s show is any indication, there are already some wolves circling.

Johnny Danger
Vs.
Eric Walker
Walker started off by telling Danger his recent wins meant nothing. Walker did not, however, comment on what his own recent losses meant. Danger responded by breathing atomic fire all over Walker for a good five minutes. After a series of clotheslines Danger hit one final big one to knock Walker from the ring. Then, rather than getting the recovery time he expected, Walker found himself still under attack by the atomically charged Danger.
Once the pair got back in the ring, Walker took the advantage. He ran through a series of moves ranging from questionable to downright dirty, then whipped Danger into the corner to go for a big move. Then, just as Walker approached the smaller man at full speed, Danger threw a foot up and caught him square in the jaw.
A series of clotheslines and a couple of big moves followed and 1-2-3…
YOUR WINNER – Johnny… DANGAAAAAAAAAAA!
As Johnny Danger soaked up the well-deserved adulation of the crowd, a recovered Eric Walker crawled up behind him and delivered that most dreaded of moves from the heel arsenal – the Low Blow!
Danger went down like a ton of bricks, clutching the Danger Balls and howling in pain. Meanwhile, the dastardly Walker reached up into the rafters of the PCW Arena and brought forth an International Object – the dreaded Singapore Cane!
But before Walker could deliver a single blow to the downed and defenseless Danger, De La Vega hit the ring and made the save. He proceeded to whoop the piss out of Eric Walker in a most satisfying manner. Just as Vega was really firing up, the Empire team of Sylar Cross and Master Jae emerged from the locker room, seemingly to make the save for Walker. But after a moment of hesitation they decided the formerly Dynamite One wasn’t worth the effort and left Walker to his fate.
Vega helped his fellow Surrealist to his feet and claimed that he was sick of Empire and their collective douchbaggery. From now on, anybody in PCW that finds themselves under attack by Empire can count on De La Vega to have their backs.
Trey Williams
Vs.
Marvelous Marko Polo w/ Quasi Mandisco & Pump Yo’ Brakes
Allow me to comment on the weird phenomenon that is “Pump Yo’ Brakes”.
First of all, that is a name. As Angry Matt pointed out, it shouldn’t be a name, but it is. That guy’s name is “Pump Yo’ Brakes”. It’s just awful. Which is what makes it a great name. This guy is a heel the second he’s announced simply by virtue of his name being so fucking ridiculous. I’m not quite ready to call it the best heel name ever, but damn – it’s got to be close. I suppose Dwight Power is still the winner.
So anyway, Pump Yo’ Brakes is a member of the Crown Jewels alongside Marvelous Marko Polo and Mr. White Jeans Quasi Mandisco. More on PYB later. For now, we’ve got another high octane match featuring one half of the Washington Bullets and the… um… Crown Jewel of the Crown Jewels.
As usual, Polo started the match off by being a big pussy. He hung out in his corner and ducked under the top rope and posed a lot while Mandisco and PYB looked on adoringly.
The younger Bullet finally managed to hook it up with the Marvelous One and the shit was on like Donkey Kong. This match was much more balanced than the opener, with both men gaining and losing the advantage. Trey Williams would be hot fire for a few moves, but then Polo would pick his spot and gain the advantage.
Things really took a bad turn for Williams when Polo dumped him on the outside. It was funny because he landed right on top of Quasi Mandisco, but not so funny because Pump Yo’ Brakes stepped in and laid a beatdown on Trey while Marko Polo distracted the ref. The Marvelous One stayed in control for a good while after that, until Williams rallied with a series of clotheslines and a sharp super kick.
As soon as Polo was down, Trey leapt over to the corner and grabbed a handful of Mandisco’s blouse (because I cannot call that thing a shirt) and made an attempt to wreak some vengeance on the Crown Jewels’ pusillanimous patrician. Naturally the Marvelous One recovered and took advantage, giving him the win.
YOUR WINNER – Marvelous Marko Polo
As the Crown Jewels celebrated their victory, John Williams hit the ring to check on his brother.
Tommy Daniels
Vs.
De La Vega
This was a quick but very good match. Daniels sulked out to the ring like he normally does, and De La Vega danced out, his earlier seriousness put on hold for the time being. Once the bell rang, it was on.
Vega hit a series of arm drags while Daniels tried to hit his heavy offensive moves. The smaller man’s quickness served him well for a time, but once Daniels got a hold of him it was all over. After a beautiful Fisherman’s Suplex, Tommy went for the pin and got it.
YOUR WINNER – Tommy Daniels
Tommy Daniels is a bad little motherfucker. I’m not sure I’ve heard him talk a whole lot, but I could see him doing really well with a manager.
Devlin Valek
Vs.
Supernatural
I still like the way Valek sticks to his gimmick. Same goes for Supernatural.
Before the match, Supernatural played at being intimidated by Valek, biting his nails through his mask. Funny stuff. Once the match started both men got serious, though. Supernatural hit a series of quick moves, but was grounded for a bit when Valek hit a backbreaker, followed by a couple of moves meant to wear the smaller man down.
Side note: I want to call these submission moves:
But they’re not, really. Valek wasn’t looking to make Supernatural tap out at this point, he was just trying to weaken his opponent. I think my hazy, old brain used to know the term for this, but I can’t remember right now. I don’t want to say, “Rest Hold” because that seems insulting. These guys were most certainly not resting.
Supernatural got back into things and both men got whipped into corners. The tiny luchador lost his advantage when Valek hit him with a running boot to the face. He recovered, though, and tried to hit the King Diamond lookalike with a bulldog. Valek countered and pulled Supernatural into a Gory Bomb position, then converted it into a true submission hold. Supernatural escaped and fled to the corner, where a top rope standoff resulted in Valek hitting the mat flat on his back. Supernatural then jumped feet first down to the mat. Unfortunately for Valek, he was in the way and received an abdomen full of Lucha feet.
Just as Supernatural was about to crawl over and pin Valek, another masked warrior appeared out of the locker room accompanied by none other than that villainous fink, Screamin’ Marty Freeman. I will give Freeman credit for wearing a suit that didn’t make me want to vomit my eyeballs out this week, but he is still a heinous stain on the world of professional wrestling.
This new masked menace hit the ring and attacked both Valek and Supernatural. Once the ring was cleared, Freeman minced his way inside and introduced his new charge – Asesino something-or-other. He was pretty fancy-looking aside from some admittedly tough guy tattoos. The Empire manager went on to say that Empire Wrestling seemed to be chock full of freaks and masked misfits and that Asesino was there to eliminate them.
Um… isn’t your guy wearing a mask?
I guess the idea is fighting fire with fire, but the whole thing came off kind of weird, especially since Supernatural and Valek just kind of wandered off afterwards, clearly not overly inconvenienced by Asesino. Valek did look really sad, though.
YOUR WINNERS – Screamin’ Marty Freeman?
But wait! We’re not done yet! Grotesque came shambling out of the locker room, being just barely restrained by Calm Like A Bomb Pandora! Pandora opined that Freeman’s new little boy toy wasn’t long for the world of Empire Wrestling and that Grotesque had a hankerin’ to beat down a masked heel.
They set a date for a match between Asesino and Grotesque. I can’t remember if it’s this week or three weeks from last Friday. There were two matches booked that night and this was one or the other of those. We’ll get to the other match in a minute.
Najasism
Vs.
Brandon Cage
Najasism is one of my Dragon*Con Wrestling favorites and Brandon Cage is really growing on me. He’s just such a fiery butterball of babyface-ness.
The match was short and sweet. Cage got his share of offense in, but just couldn’t match Naja’s speed and newfound viciousness.
YOUR WINNER – Najasism
After the match it was Extended Asshole Promo time.
Naja got on the mic and said it was about time he got a fair shake in a match. You see, referee Duke Corey has counted a few pinfalls against the painted warrior lately and Najasism has decided that Corey has it in for him. So he called the Undefeated Duke Corey out to the ring for a little confrontation and intimidation.
To his credit, Corey came out and didn’t take any of Naja’s shit. He stood his ground in the face of the smaller man’s irrational rage. Finally, the inevitable happened and the referee found himself challenged to a match. Sigh. I hate angles involving officials. Unless the end result is Corey becoming a full-time grappler I just do not care. I’d just as soon see Jim Ross give birth to a shoe.
De La Vega came out to do his best to save the segment, but ended up volunteering to train Corey. Najasism and the Undefeated Duke Corey will hook it up in three weeks’ time. Great.
Oops – they actually scheduled three matches Friday night. One more to come.
Chip Motherfucking Day
Vs.
Hayden Young
Chip Day limped out to the ring, immediately creating concern amongst his loyal fan base. He made his way into the ring and grabbed a mic, saying he was there to fight that evil dickwad Hayden Young, injured knee or no. Chip proclaimed that his nickname wasn’t “Do or Maybe Do Sometime Later On,” it was “Do or Die”, and he was by God gonna Do! Everybody recognized Chip’s toughness and testicular fortitude and cheered loudly.
Young’s music hit. Nothing happened. I poked Angry Matt and told him Young was probably going to come out of the far curtain and attack Chip from behind, but Chip kept moving and making that seem unlikely. Young’s music started over, then cut out. The n Empire’s music kicked in and Screamin’ Marty Freeman came out to louse the joint up.
Freeman said that he had just been talking to his close, personal friend Hayden Young and that Hayden was holding out for a big match with Chip Day at the Biggest Event of the Year – Dragon*Con Wrestling! Just kidding – Young wants a match with Chip at Sacred Ground 3 on September 29th in Porterdale, GA. So tonight Freeman has another opponent for Day; at which point the Empire goon immediately launched into the long-winded introduction that precedes the entrance of
The Jagged Edge.
Shit. Chip Day is a tough son of a gun and truly lived up to his “Do or Die” nickname, but Jagged Edge is a motherfucker. Who just put Dany Only out to pasture. Not to mention Day’s bum left knee.
Just as Jagged Edge hit the ring and looked like he was about to eat Day for dinner, the opening chords of (DamNation’s music) hit and Fred Yehi appeared with Pandora in tow. Oh, shit. It is on now.
Yehi cut a passionate promo about Jagged Edge putting Only out and said that if Empire was going to switch matches up than DamNation was sure as heck going to as well. Yehi proclaimed he was going to be the one fighting Jagged Edge. Then Chip Day just kind of dipped out of there.
I had kind of a problem with this transition. Day had just cut this promo about being all Do or Die, but then he just lets Yehi take his match. I mean, I understand that Jagged Edge wasn’t Chip’s match, but it kind of felt like he just laid down after cutting that great promo. I think maybe just a few words from Chip – telling Yehi he owed him one or something – would have fixed this. Or maybe there’s another story at work that I’m not aware of. Either way I didn’t feel like this scenario made Chip look good.
But then we got
Jagged Edge w/ Screamin’ Marty Freeman
Vs.
Fred Yehi w/Pandora
This match.
Man.
This match was fucking killer.
Yehi was an animal right out of the gate, assaulting Jagged Edge like he caught him cheating at Monopoly. I’ve never seen Empire’s MVP on the defensive for so long. It was like watching a baby tiger get batted around by a lion. Yehi hit clotheslines, corner elbows, and a brutal series of knees to the face on Jagged Edge before things got too volatile and spilled out of the ring. The brawling pair threw each other around in the limited space around the PCW ring, tearing the mic right out of the ring announcer’s hands. Marty Freeman had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and got shoved right off the seating platform and through the side curtain by Yehi.
Jagged Edge finally gained the advantage and threw Yehi back in the ring, but the ass-whooping he had just taken had clearly taken a toll. The big man just wasn’t as crisp and quick as he normally is. But a combination of strength and deviousness allowed him to keep Yehi down for a time. He threw the DamNation member in the corner for a choke, hit a big powerslam, and set to work on his trademark vicious shoulder clamp. Yehi simply could not regain the ground he lost outside the ring.
The assault continued until Yehi got whipped into a corner and landed on the outside apron. Jagged Edge went to follow up, but Yehi hit him with a quick stunner.
I think this is where Yehi slapped Screamin’ Marty Freeman in a way that was so satisfying as to be almost orgasmic. Freeman stuck his pointy, little head just a wee bit too close to the ring and Yehi – quick as lightning – reached out and just slapped the ever-loving fuck out of him. It sounded like a whip cracking. I bet Mrs. Freeman didn’t get any sugar last Friday night.
Jagged Edge pulled Yehi back to the center of the ring and set up for a big move, but Yehi countered and pulled the bigger man down into the Koji Clutch. Holy fucking shit – it really looked like Jagged Edge was going to tap and lose his first match.
But he managed to work his way out of the hole and then… just left.
The undefeated, undefeatable monster just walked away because he was getting his ass beat. This was a huge moment – not only for Fred Yehi, but for Jagged Edge as well. I am so glad I was there to see not only that outstanding, five-star match; but the ensuing aftermath as well.
YOUR WINNER – Fred Yehi by count-out
But then Screamin’ Marty Freeman returned to state that the match had been unscheduled and unsanctioned and therefore did not count against Jagged Edge’s clean record.
What a butthole.
Fred Yehi did not receive this news with grace.
Next up:
Platinum Royal
Sylar Cross vs Nina Monet vs Mr. Eric vs Brian Blaze vs Master Jae vs John Williams vs Pandora vs Pump Yo’ Brakes
I am running up against a deadline here, so I’m gonna make this one short and sweet.
In a Platinum Royal, once all but one competitor have been eliminated the person that eliminated the most people returns to face the last person standing in a straight singles match.
This was a very good Platinum Royal (and not all of them are). Some key moments:
-Nina and Mr. Eric teamed up on Pandora
-Jon Williams looked great
-PYB also (sigh) looked great
-Master Jae and Sylar Cross whooped the shit out of each other, got eliminated at the same time by John Williams, then continued to whoop the shit out of each other
-Jon Williams eliminated Brian Blaze with a sick super kick over the top rope
-The final pairing was Jon Williams and PYB. They had a brief but totally kickass singles match that ended with the rest of the Crown Jewels pulling shenanigans and helping the idiotically named Pump Yo’ Brakes get the win. This means a man whose name is a phrase has a shot at a title in the future. Seriously, you guys – “Pump Yo’ Brakes” is even dumber than “The Rock”.
Oh, I also need to give a shout-out to new ring gear – Sylar Cross and the Washington Bullets were sporting some great-looking new gear.
And with that ladies and gentlemen,
Your Platinum Championship Wrestling Main Event!
Jacob Ashworth w/ Miss Rachael
Vs.
Demigod Mason
For the PCW Championship
This match was in the unenviable position of having to follow one of the best nights of wrestling I have seen in a very long time. Especially when you throw in the Yehi/Jagged Edge match, which is probably the best match I have seen this year.
Mason is a consistently entertaining competitor and a great champ, while Ashworth is just a big, technical monster. I knew we were going to get a solid match, but I wasn’t sure it would feel like a proper Main Event after what had gone before.
But it so did. Mason’s title defense against Ashworth succeeded in that it felt Big Time. And it wasn’t the fact that the Championship was on the line, it was that the two men in the match just had a certain amount of gravitas. Even the most brutal of the earlier matches had a certain amount of fun and entertainment to them. But Ashworth and Mason had an air of two men who were not fucking around. You could feel what was at stake. I can’t quite explain how those two projected that atmosphere, but Friday Night’s Main Event was definitely Serious Fucking Business.
Mason hooked Ashworth into a mean-looking guillotine early on and it almost looked like things might be over. But Ashworth got out and proceeded to go to work on Mason’s arm – a theme he would continue for the rest of the match. It was a smart strategy because once Mason had the opportunity to clamp on his signature chokehold, he didn’t have the strength in that arm to hold it.
Ashworth instantly saw his opening and unleashed a barrage of brutality on Mason. Here:



And as if Ashworth’s beatdown wasn’t enough, once Mason got thrown into the corner the piece of eye candy that Satan dropped on the ground - Miss Rachel - grabbed his head for a choke on the rope.
Mason whipped out a few quick moves, visibly throwing Ashworth off his game. After he regained the advantage briefly, the challenger went for a full nelson bomb, but Mason slipped out and locked in (his chokehold). A few more moves occurred that I was too caught up in the match to capture, but finally Mason hit a (whatever) on Ashworth and scored the pin!
YOUR WINNER and still PCW CHAMPION – Demigod Mason
Naturally the Crown Jewels came out at this point. Pump Yo’ Brakes said he was going to challenge Mason for the title next week (I think). Saints preserve us.
Every single person on the card Friday night should be damned proud of themselves. They put on a better, more cohesive, entertaining show than any televised wrestling promotion has this year. I guess the booker should maybe get a little credit, too. Maybe.
I also want to call out Marko Polo and De La Vega. They came out enough times during the night that I could have gotten sick of them and I didn’t. I was interested to see what they were going to do every time. That speaks volumes.
Phantomaniacs – if you get the opportunity to see Empire/Platinum Championship Wrestling, you absolutely must go. I personally guarantee you will be entertained.
Check out my Facebook page for all of the pictures. They were surprisingly decent this time.
-Phantom

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