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Monday, November 10, 2008

11/9 Rampage Pro Wrestling With Ron Simmons - Live Report

Courtesy of Larry "Man, Myth, Legend" Goodman:

Rampage Pro Wrestling ran their biggest show to date featuring an appearance by Warner Robins’ most famous athlete, Ron Simmons.

The appearance by Simmons drew an SRO crowd of 250 to RPW’s weekly Sunday afternoon television taping at Johnny G’s in Warner Robins.

Similar to my previous trip here two weeks ago, RPW put on an excellent show in front of an ultra hot crowd. The mix of talent is unparalleled in the state and includes talent working opposites sides of the fence in the wrestling war in Columbus.

(1) Frankie Valentine beat Kyle Matthews in 8:30 to become the number one contender for the RPW Cruiserweight Title. Matthews is over as a babyface based on the precision of his wrestling more than his personality. Valentine shoved referee Koonce (can’t call him “Billy White Shoes” any more) into the ropes to crotch Matthews on the top and brought him off with a superplex. Matthews started his comeback, so Valentine bailed and got nailed by a tope. The great thing about Matthews’ comeback was that the near falls came across as believable finishes. After a midring collision of high crossbodys, Matthews went for a hurancanrana, and Valentine rolled through using the tights.

(2) Sal Rinauro beat J-Rod via count out in 10:52. Hot match. They’ve done a great job of getting this feud over with the fans. It was slugfest from the get go with J-Rod getting the better of it. The action spilled to ringside where J-Rod sent Sal sprawling across the announcer’s table. As J-Rod was reentering the ring, Rinauro kicked the ropes into his groin. Rinauro put his mean face on for some pond scum type offense. J-Rod fed off the crowd, but his comeback was quickly cut off. Rinauro hit a slingshot springboard elbow drop for a near fall, and got bigtime heat with his swivel hips dance. J-Rod took a wicked looking shot into the post. J-Rod’s comeback started with a series of atomic drops, and 10 headshots into the buckle. Rinauro took this ridiculous flippy bump on number 10. J-Rod hit the TKO, but referee Koonce got clipped in the process, so no ref to make the three count. Rinauro clubbed J-Rod with his can of aerosol spray and left him laying on the carpet. J-Rod recovered to where he almost beat the 10 count and made it a controversial decision by the ref. For an inconclusive finish, it worked great.

(3) The Diamond Mine (Vordell Walker & Kodiak with Ace Diamond) beat Jason Cross & Lance Christian in 12:45. Fun match - fast-paced, crazy, and chock full of big spots. Cross opened with a flip dive. Cross and Christian hit some nice tandem moves on Walker. Walker, who looked like a man on a mission during this match, violently suplexed Christian’s crotch on the top turnbuckle. The heels gave Christian quite a beating. At one point, Christian was twitching on the mat. Walker got his knees up on Christian’s top rope splash attempt. Walker hit a snap powerslam that was shades of Buzz Sawyer, and Cross had to make the save. Cross ran wild with the hot tag. He hit his flip guillotine legdrop, but missed with a Shooting Star Press. Walker did a belly flop on a 450. Cross had Walker pinned with the Crossfire, but Diamond put his foot on the ropes. Cross grabbed Ace, but got bulldozed by Kodiak. Walker hit a Tiger Bomb for a near fall. Christian dropkicked Walker into Kodiak for a near fall. Walker immediately gave Christian a killer lariat for another near fall. The ring positioning was off kilter for the finish but it worked OK. As Cross suplexed Walker back to the inside, Diamond tripped up Cross and held on to the leg while Dustin Robinson made the three count. The Diamond Mine gave Christian and Cross a beatdown after the match.

(4) Orion Bishop (with Ace Diamond) beat Bull Buchanan to retain the RPW Heavyweight Title in 12:12. You had two powerhouse wrestlers doing a Japanese-influenced style, which would be an acquired taste for this crowd. They had a good match, but the heat was down compared to the rest of the card. Bishop wasn’t making any headway against Buchanan, and bailed out in frustration. The key spot was Buchanan catching the post with a lariat when Bishop moved. Bishop did a number on Buchanan’s arm and tried to submit him with a cross armbreaker. Buchanan got a ropes break. Buchanan used a modified STO. He couldn’t get all of it due to the weakened arm, and Bishop kicked out at one. Bishop hit a fallaway slam, which was a hell of strength spot, and then a Vader Bomb for a near fall. Buchanan sacrificed his arm to make the comeback. Buchanan hit an axe kick for a good near fall. Diamond got up on the apron. Buchanan tried to knock Bishop into Ace, but they escaped the collision, and Bishop speared Buchanan for the three count.

Time for the main event. Simmons was given a separate entrance and got a huge pop. The man is still a big deal in Warner Robins. Micah Taylor said this was a family show, so none of Simmons foul language would be allowed. Crowd naturally started yelling “Say it!” but Taylor grabbed the mic away from Simmons.

(5) Ron Simmons & Dr. Johnny Gayton & A. J. Steele defeated Hot Like Lava (Cru Jones & Shaun Banks & Micah Taylor) in 18:05. Jones is now bleached blonde with fire engine red highlights. The faces destroyed Banks’ knee. When you have a guy that sells like Banks, you have to go with it. Buddy Roberts as a Freebird came to mind. It figured to be Steele working most of the way, but Gayton was in more than I expected. The crowd went nuts when Simmons briefly tagged in. Gayton did a Samoan Drop and actually applied a decent looking Figure Four, but Taylor dropped an elbow on him and Banks was able to reverse it. The heels beat on Gayton a bit before he made the tag to Steele. Jones tripped up Steele to start the heat. At one point, Steele stripped Jones down to his undies on a sunset flip. At another, Steele went for a gorilla press, but Jones clipped his knee from behind. Steele fought his way out of the heel corner to make the hot tag. Lava bumped for Simmons and it turned into a 6 man melee. Simmons gave Banks a spinebuster slam from hell –really drove his ass through the mat. Simmons gave Gayton the honor of making the pin after a feather light elbow drop. The fans ate it up.

Simmon got on the mic to deliver the feel good moment of the show. He teased it big, and invited his partners to join him for a show closing “DAMN!” Let the good times roll at Johnny G’s.

NOTES: Rampage will have their training school open at Johnny G’ by December with Taylor and Rinauro as the instructors…John Phoenix make his return to wrestling on the 11/30 show…Announced for next week: Gayton vs. Banks for the RPW Cruiserweight Title. Rule number one: The owner always get first dibs on title shots ahead of the number one contender…Television commentary was handled by ring announcer Rob Russo and Katie Mayo with Rinauro and Taylor each having a hand in…Simmons signed autographs and talked with fans for 30 minutes after the show.