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Thank You, Axl Rotten (And R.I.P.)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

7/19 Deep South Wrestling Report

Courtesy of Larry Goodman:

Joe Hamilton’s Deep South Wrestling ran the third in their series of weekly shows at the W. L. Carter Auction Company in Locust Grove, Georgia on a muggy Thursday night.

During the 20 months DSW was affiliated with WWE, their weekly Thursday night shows were the place to see the stars of tomorrow and on occasion, the random WWE Superstar from one of the major league rosters. For three bucks admission, it was a phenomenal bargain.

At this point, DSW is just another indie show in search of an identity. The booking leans on the ability to tell the story with inspired ringwork, as there isn’t any mic work or vignette type stuff to clue the people in about the characters, to give them something to care about. They’ve got some appealing babyface talent in Austin Creed, Truitt Fields and Caleb Konley, but the heel side is in sad shape. Murder One is about the only bright spot.

It’s a tough sell. Attendance was down to 50 after drawing roughly 85 the first two weeks. There are a lot of familiar faces in the crowd from the old building, but these revival shows are nothing like what they were used to seeing in McDonough.

Referee Rob Russo, a DSW mainstay got the “Chuck” (Norris) chant from the Hooligans, a group of hardcore fans from the McDonough days. They supplied what little heat there was.

(1) Adrian Hawkins pinned Kid Ego Jr. with the Unprettier at 7:49. Two cruiserweights, 175 at the most. Nobody much cared about them, although it wasn’t a bad match at all. Ego used ropes and bailed out to show he was the heel. But once he took over, Ego’s offense was pure babyface stuff. He worked on Hawkins’ back and applied a bow and arrow hold. It was both men down after a Hawkins missile dropkick. Hawkins scored a near fall with a springboard back elbow. Ego got a near fall with a bridging german suplex. Hawkins reversed Ego’s back suplex attempt and hit his finisher. This would have worked better babyface vs. babyface.

(2) Scott Blaze pinned Jay Clinton in 8:12. Blaze (as Scott Fantastic) was the first wrestler to appear in Locust Grove who had worked for DSW when it was WWE affiliate. He’s improved his physique and his wrestling since then, but there’s something missing character wise. Clinton was wearing sunglasses and a feather boa, although he wasn’t flaunting the flaming gay gimmick. Blaze thwarted Clinton’s attempt to take the shortcut and dominated. Clinton hit a divorce court and did some nice work on the shoulder. Unfortunately, Clinton looks out of shape and he blew up bad. Blaze didn’t sell the shoulder on bit on his comeback. Oops. The climax was a top rope battle for control. Clinton took the bump and Blaze won it with an impressive guillotine legdrop.

(3) Caleb Konley pinned Harley Wood in 6:43. This match got the best response of the evening. Konley showed a lot of spunk working against his surly and much larger opponent.Wood acted all bad ass and questioned the appropriateness of Konley’s undie-like attire. He’s probably not the first. Konley used quickness and agility to neutralize Wood’s power advantage. When Wood went to the eyes, Russo told him to “be nice.” Wood had other ideas. Konley answered Wood’s nonchalant sitting pin attempt with a swift kick in the mouth. Wood’s frustrations mounted. He raked the eyes. Konley pinned Wood with a rolling leg grapevine cradle. Not a real smooth finish there.

“The Original Chosen One” Rick Michaels entered the ring and said his scheduled opponent, Sal Rinauro was a no show. Michaels issued a challenge to anybody in the building, which was answered by Blaze.

(4) Rick Michaels pinned Scott Blaze in 7:23. Michaels took some big bumps for Blaze before taking over. Blaze kept kicking out at one. Michaels used gutshots and chokes to cut off Blaze’s comebacks not to mention his air supply. Blaze made the full-fledged comeback and was trying to fire up the crowd when, out of nowhere, Michaels pinned him with his feet on the ropes. Michaels is a solid wrestler and a very good heel when his heart is in it. I’m just not sure that it is.

(5) Phil Shatter & Truitt Fields beat Murder One & Alexander the Great (with Mr. Donnie) via DQ in 12:24. Shatter and Fields got the band back together again for DSW. They’ve been on opposite sides of the fence for a while now in NWA Anarchy. They make an imposing team, but this crowd wasn’t familiar with them. M-1 is a menacing heel. Donnie has about as much body fat as Tammy Faye Baker. He got a reaction from the crowd. M-1 felt the power of Shatter early. The tide turned when M-1 distracted Fields with knee in the back, allowing Alexander to club him from behind. Alexander hit a gutwrench. From there, it was Fields doing a fine job selling as the face-in-peril for the typical heel chicanery. With a ring as small as the one DSW is using, I was finding it hard to suspend disbelief about the heels being able to prevent the tag. The finish saw Shatter cleaning house on the inside, while Fields had Donnie’s malnourished presence in his sights at ringside. Pretty Boy Floyd attacked Fields for the DQ. It was 3 on 2 against Austin Creed joined the fray for a little babyface triumph.

(6) Austin Creed beat Pretty Boy Floyd (with Mr. Donnie) via DQ in 8:16. Creed’s entrance got over about as much as anything. Floyd did the gutter heel stuff. He ate a lariat and poked Creed in the eyes. Creed connected with a dropkick and Floyd went to the eyes again. Creed was mounted on the ropes delivering the 10 punches when Donnie upended him. Floyd distracted Russo and Donnie posted Creed. M-1 and Alexander made it a three on one beatdown for the DQ. Shatter and Fields made the save. This appeared to be a screw up. It made no sense to book back-to-back heel DQ finishes.

NOTES: DSW returns to the W. L. Carter Auction Company on 7/26 with a tournament to crown the DSW Tag Team Champions…Hamilton and former DSW television announcer Nigel Sherrod were seated at ringside throughout the show…Ted Guinness handled the ring announcing…Rinauro was indeed a no show. All of the undercard matchups differed from what was listed on the DSW website.