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Monday, November 3, 2008

11/1 NWA Anarchy "Fright Night '08" Report

Courtesy of Larry Goodman:

Fright Night ’08, was the 10th rendition of an event that holds a special place in my wrestling heart. The 1999 version was the first big show I attended at the NWA Arena in Cornelia, and I’ve only missed one (2007 when it took place a full month before Halloween).

It was a good show. Given what has gone before in Cornelia, it was no better than middle of the pack as far as major shows go. No doubt, there were some memorable moments. None of the matches were bad. What it lacked was the truly epic match that these shows are known for. At least in part, that was a natural consequence of phase they're in with the booking. They blew a lot of stuff off at Hostile Environment three months ago at Hostile Environment. The new programs aren’t fully ripened yet. There’s a strong likelihood that Season’s Beating on 12/20 will be better.

Paid attendance was 210 for a gate of over $4000. I don’t have an attendance number from last year for comparison. Anarchy drew 235 for Hostile Environment ‘08.

Seated next to each other in the first row, was a guy in a McCain mask and another guy dressed as the Pope. There's a message there. I'm just not sure what it is.

(1) Dynamic Duo (Chad Parham & Seth Delay) won a 6 tag team gauntlet match for to become the number one contenders for the NWA Anarchy tag titles in a total time of 20:14. Each match would have a 5 minute time limit. Crowd was amped. It started with Chip Day & Caleb Konley vs. JT Talent & Andrew Pendleton. After a crash ‘n burn slingshot leg drop by Konley, the heels worked over his knee. Day took the hot tag and got a near fall on Talent with a standing moonsault. Talent came back to pin Day with an Orton style backbreaker at 4:54. Wild Bunch (Billy Buck & Chris King) were next. Immediate heat on King with the crowd behind him. King hit a tornado DDT on Pendelton and hot-tagged Buck. Buck unintentionally got dropped on his head, but got it together to superkick Talent for the pin at 3:50. The Technicians (Bob E & Tyler Smith) were entrant number four. Smith posted Buck’s shoulder and it was right to the heat again. Buck flapjacked Smith. Hot tag. Great fire from King. He hit a rocker dropper but no cover. Smith brought the bell into the ring for the DQ at 3 minutes. Technicians left Wild Bunch laying. The ref brigade came out to get Technicians out. Dynamic Duo were next. Perfect. Parham gave Buck a piledriver for the pin in 10 seconds. I can see variations of Wild Bunch vs. Dynamic Duo coming out of it. Hollywood Brunettes (Andrew Alexander & Kyle Matthews) were the final team. It started with the Dynamic Ones as the cowering, bumbling heels. Brunettes hit topes in stereo. Finish saw Delay pull out his trusty brass knucks. Parham kicked out of a reverse roll up, and sending Matthews within Delay's striking distance. Parham pinned Matthews for the win. Good opener. Very little dead time. It was laid out so each mini-match flowed smoothly into the action of the next one.

Bill Behrens did an inring interview with Alan Funk, who looked like Mr. Clean come to life. Behrens brought up the variety of personas Funk has assumed – Kwee Wee, The Funkster, Rainbow Express. Funk would break into a character, Behrens would laugh, and Funk would do the Dr. Jeckyl/Mr. Hyde thing and get mad at Behrens. They were dying out there. It was nothing these fans came to see. Behrens said Funk was coming in as a full-timer. He left 100% babyface. There was a spooky aspect to it, so at least it fit the Halloween theme.

(2) Truitt Fields pinned Shaun Tempers (with The Reverend) to retain the NWA Anarchy Television Title in 9 minutes. Fields was more cut that ever, if that’s humanly possible. They wrestled clean and traded holds in the opening minutes. The first key spot was Tempers sending Fields to the floor with a hotshot. Tempers in control until he missed a middle rope elbow drop. Tempers blocked the Killing Fields, so Fields switched to an overhead suplex. Both men down for a six count. They traded near falls. The crowd whipped up a “Truitt” chant. They each blocked big moves. Tempers got a small package and Fields reversed it for the three count. Story-wise it was fine. I really liked the way the match opened, but there was something lacking towards the end.

Post-match: Tempers shook hands with Fields. Reverend gave Tempers the evil eye and walked away from him. Fans were supporting Tempers as he headed up the ramp.

(3) Daffney (with NWA Anarchy owner Jerry Palmer) pinned Brodie Chase (with Melissa Coates) in 6:16. Some heavy duty soap opera in this one. This angle has made Chase into a heat magnet. He referred to Coates as “a delicious morsel of sexual goodness." It was supposed to be Daffney vs. Coates, but Chase was taking this. Palmer raised the stakes. If Chase lost, no contact with Melissa for 30 days - “…no texts, no My Space, no homing pigeons, boy.” Palmer called him a jackass, and the fans picked right up on it. Chase said Coates was his property. They did not go over well with the women. Coates backed Daffney into the corner and sniffed her. She tried to wipe off the slime. Daffney slid through Chase’s legs and popped the crowd with a pumphandle to the groin. Chase gave Daffney a gorilla press drop. He admonised ref Dee Byers for fast counting and refused to make the pin. Out of nowhere, Daffney headbutted Chase in the groin and got a near fall with a reverse DDT/elbow drop. Meanwhile, Palmer had Coates just about talked into walking out on Chase. Chase hit a sitout powerbomb, but saw Coates slipping out of his grasp, and grabbed her by the hair. Daffney rolled Chase up for the three count. Southern rasslin' at its best.

Post-match: Chase decked Byers. Palmer said there was no touching officials in NWA Anarchy and added a 30 day suspension to Chase’s woes. Fans sang the goodbye song to Chase.

Behrens displayed the bling that would symbolic of the Young Lion’s Championship. Instead of a belt, the champion would receive a medallion on a braided silver chain.

(4) Slim J beat Adrian Hawkins via submission to become the first Young Lion’s Champion in 10:45. The biggest babyface pop of the first half was for Slimmy’s entrance. J was pounding on the evil Hawkins right out of the box, like this was going to be real fight. He did a huracanrana off the top and teased an Asai moonsault, but Hawkins pulled him off the apron, and they slugged it out on the floor. Back inside, Hawkins pulled the tights to send J’s head into the turnbuckles. Hawkins zeroed in on J’s neck. J exploded and got the Roach Clip, but Hawkins got a ropes break. They went back and forth with their trademark moves trying to finish. J got a near fall with his flying reverse DDT. He went for Anger Management, but Hawkins countered with Extreme Makeover and J kicked out. J used a suplex combo and went for the cross armbreaker, but Hawkins made the ropes. Hawkins tried to spear J, but he stepped aside and Hawkins landed on the floor. J followed with a corkscrew plancha to the outside. Back inside, J blocked the Liger Bomb. Back and forth pin attempts ensued. Hawkins hit the Liger Bomb for a long two count. Hawkins had J set up for the killer finisher he debuted at the last show, but J countered with a cross armbreaker and Hawkins tapped. This was the only match with a lot of big near falls. They were well executed, but I never got the feeling the crowd thought Hawkins could actually win.

(5) New Wave (Steven Walters & Derrick Driver) beat Jeremy Vain & Mr. Rob Adonis to retain the NWA Anarchy Tag Team Championship in 10:29. Not technically bad, but dull and that almost never happened when Vain is involved. The Arena crowd has really cooled towards New Wave. It was obvious at the 10/18 show that fans were more fired up about Culture Shock as a babyface team. In any case, the crowd was dead for this match. Walters took heat. After a rally by Driver, New Wave had Vain set up for the Unskinny Bop, but Adonis derailed the move. The heels then went to work on Driver. Walters got the hot tag. Finish saw Adonis try a double chokeslam. New Wave escaped, knocked Adonis out of the ring and pinned Vain with the Unskinny Bop.

The postmatch saved it to some extent. Vain berated Adonis, who appeared to have reached his limit with Vain’s crap. The crowd was pleading with Adonis to let Vain have it. Vain got on his knees like he was having chest pains and shortness of breath. They made up, at least for the moment, much to the fans’ disappointment.

Don Matthews called out Jeff Lewis for an impromptu match. Lewis’ music played. Jay Clinton came out instead. Clinton said Lewis had better things to do, so Matthews could have “The All Star”, and have him Matthews did. Clinton tried to forestall the inevitable, but in the end, Matthew decapitated him with The Lariat. Matthews then did Lewis’ arrogant pose over Clinton’s carcass. Entertaining for what it was.

(6) Ace Rockwell defeated Kimo (with Jeff G. Bailey) in “The Five Minutes of Hell” match by surviving the five minute time limit. The most intense five minutes of the show. They had a time clock counting down on the big screen. Rockwell tried a series of leg kicks. Bailey yelled something in Korean, and Kimo took over. Outside the ring, Rockwell moved and Kimo chopped the post. Ace went after the hand. Kimo had to pop his finger back into place. Back inside, Rockwell potatoed Kimo’s head with stiff shots, driving “The Butcher of Pyongyang” to his knees. It looked like Kimo was going down face first, but he rose up with fire in his eyes. Rockwell hit his patented finisher, the Aces High, and Kimo kicked out at one. Kimo caught Rockwell coming off the top and put him in the Information Extractor (crossface variation). Rockwell hung on until the time limit expired. Kimo refused to break the hold. Three security guys hit the ring. Kimo laid them all out and killed the biggest guy dead with his martial arts chop to the neck. Great stuff. My favorite match of the show.

They did a Halloween contest during a second intermission to set up the poles for the Trick or Treat match. A little girl dressed like a 60s housewife was the winner over the Pope, McCain, King of the Bleachers, a gangster and a banana.

(7) Mikal Judas & Shadow Jackson beat Devil’s Rejects (Iceberg & Azrael) with The Reverend) in 13:43. Bags were mounted on poles in each corner. Two contained useless “tricks” and two had “treats” – i.e. weapons. The crowd had clearly saved up for this match. Judas and Jackson were greeted with explosive pops. Wild action. All four went at it Texas Tornado style. Bag #1 ended up in the hands of the Reverend. He reached inside and let out a blood curdling scream. His hand emerged from the bag with a mouse trap on his thumb. Azrael had to save the Reverend from the wrath of Judas. Jackson got Bag #2. Inside, was a pumpkin, which Jackson smashed over Iceberg’s head. Judas brought a coffin to ringside. He wedged Azrael’s head under the lid and whacked the coffin with chair. The crowd cranked up the “Shadowmania” chants. Iceberg fell off the ropes going for Bag #3. It looked unplanned. There was a bottle of baby powder inside, but it was sealed, and Iceberg had a devil of a time with it. Azrael sold a cloud of powder that missed him by a good three feet. So a trick turned out to be a better weapon than the treat. Or was the powder the trick? Azrael brought a table into the ring. Iceberg speared Jackson through the table. It looked sick. Jackson kicked out for a great near fall. In one of the most memorable and awesome spots of this or any other Fright Night, Judas gave Iceberg El Crucifijo (crucifix powerbomb). He took two steps with a 400 pound man on his back and tossed him. Azrael broke up the pin. Bag #4 contained handcuffs. Iceberg handcuffed Judas to the turnbuckle. Meanwhile, Jackson laid Azrael to rest inside the coffin. Judas somehow ended up with a wrench. Iceberg bled heavily after Judas clocked him with the wrench. Judas used the wrench to unscrew the turnbuckle. As Iceberg was preparing to finish Jackson, Judas nailed him with the cuff. Jackson hit the 1031 and they both piled on for the pin. Some memorable spots but not a classic of the genre, and there have been more than a few of those in this building.

The lights went out. When they came back on, a masked man was standing over the bodies of Judas and Jackson. Off came the mask to reveal Shatter. He picked up the Anarchy heavyweight title belt and dropped it on the coffin. Judas and Iceberg stared in disbelief. Bailey ran out to embrace his “Universal Soldier.”

NOTES: NWA Anarchy returns with a Christmas charity show on 11/29 and a television taping on 12/6…During the interview segment, Funk said he was fully recovered from the serious injury he suffered (in 2003 when an errant split-legged moonsault basically crushed his face), but he still had six plates in his face and no hearing in one ear…Kareem Abdul Jamar is booked for IWA Mid-South shows in Midlothian, IL on 11/29-30…Shatter will be back for the short term. He’s working indies with the blessing of WWE until there is a spot for him in FCW.