Courtesy of Larry Goodman:
Season’s Beatings was as good as any show in Cornelia this year with the exception of Hardcore Hell. The quality of the wrestling was better than at Fright Night. Every wrestler on the show busted ass. And the stories have jelled considerably since then. For emotion and drama, you couldn't have asked for more than the twin main events delivered. Top to bottom, it was the best of the four annual Christmas spectaculars NWA Anarchy has done.
But this has been a different type of holiday season, the result being a crowd of 150, the lowest attendance ever for a major show in Cornelia. Georgia’s woeful economic condition has whittled the crowd down to the hardcores willing and able to part with $20. Try as they might, there was no way to produce the heat and electricity of a packed house. It certainly wasn’t the fault of the pacing – the sequence of matches peaked the crowd at all the right times and the show was done in less than 3 hours. The lone intermission was the break to set up the cage.
NWA Anarchy owner Jerry Palmer introduced an emotional Shadow Jackson for an update on the condition of his newborn son. Jackson said the good news was his son was 100% better because of the fans’ prayers. Jackson dedicated his match to his son and the Anarchy fans, who responded with a “we love you, Shadow” chant.
Next up was a special “Season’s Beating” video courtesy of Executive Producer Kevin Marx.
(1) Hayden Young beat Adrian Hawkins to become the number one contender for the Young Lion’s Title in 7 minutes. The crowd took a wait-and-see approach. None of that Pavlovian first match heat. Young came out flying. Hawkins took over after instigating a nasty bump off the top for Young. Cool lead into the double down spot with Young causing Hawkins to miss a springboard back elbow and then connecting with a springboard enzuigiri. Young got a near fall with a back cover, which always strikes me as more a of heel move. Young hit the Snap Driver, and Hawkins got a foot over the ropes. Hawkins his spinning Liger Bomb, but Young blocked Hawkins’ new finisher and got the pin with the Flying Squirrel. We were off to a solid start. They've made all the right moves with the booking of Young's return.
(2) Wild Bunch (Billy Buck & Chris King) beat Technicians (Bobby Moore & Tyler Smith) in a Texas Tornado match (9:10). A really good match that was one edit away from being outstanding. Technicians showed Anderson-like psychology. Smith did a number on Buck’s shoulder to take him out of the match. Technicians doubled up on King. Buck finally clawed his way back and ran wild for a bit. King tried to use Buck’s back as a springboard, but Moore speared him midair. That spot looked killer. Wild Bunch got Technicians in a double submission. Crowd was going nuts for the tap out. Technicians somehow escaped. There was an extra near fall here that took the edge off the heat. Finish was nice. King leapfrogged another spear attempt by Moore, who then ate Buck’s superkick. This was a match where nobody really lost, as both teams emerged stronger than they were going in.
On the WrestleVision screen, we saw Melissa Coates fretting about Jerry Palmer missing their prematch rendevous. A person sight unseen dumped a bucket of water on her head. Coates was fuming and assumed it was Palmer’s doing.
(3) Brodie Chase beat NWA Anarchy owner Jerry Palmer (with Melissa Coates) in 1:35. Palmer came out asking “Where’s Melissa?” Coates came out humiliated and pissed off. They had words. Palmer pleaded innocence. Palmer was clearly disturbed as the match got underway. He didn’t even get a chance to remove his ring jacket off. Coates slugged Palmer. Oh yea of little faith. Chase pinned Palmer after a DDT. Coates walked off on her own. To be continued.
(4) New Wave (Steven Walters & Derrick Driver) beat Dynamic Duo (Chad Parham & Seth Delay) and Talent & Money (JT Talent & Drew Pendleton III) and Jeremy Vain & Rob Adonis in a ladder match to retain the NWA Anarchy tag titles in 17:57. A shameless spotfest – two 6 foot ladders, two 8 foot ladders, one 10 and one 12. The belts suspended from the ceiling could easily be reached with a 6 or and 8 footer, so the others were there with some other purpose in mind. An inherent problem with ladder matches are those times when it looks like somebody could get the belts if they really tried. This match had its share of them. New Wave is back to being way over. Dynamic Duo and Talent & Money have their fair share of fan support. Vain & Adonis were the only full blown heels. All eight guys were going at it. The stuff between Parham and Talent stood out. They need to put them in a singles. The first big spot saw Talent dive from the ladder over the top rope onto five guys when he was upended trying to climb for the belts. Dynamic Duo both tried to climb and were knocked off a ladder by New Wave’s somewhat mistimed stereo missile dropkicks. Walters ran up a ladder, using the stacked bodies of T & M as a stepping stone, and brought Vain off the top with a monkey flip. Driver got one hand on the belts but Vain cut him off. Vain ran up a ladder to hit the VKO on Pendleton, but Talent hit the Talent Enhancement off the ladder on Vain. Adonis is big man to be doing this ladder s***, and he’s hurtin’ for certain from the bumps he took here. New Wave nailed him with a double springboard ladder shot. Delay tried to climb and got hiptossed over the top of the ladder by Walters. Pendleton brought Walters off the ladder with a side effect. At ringside, they formed a scaffold by bridging an 8 foot ladder from the top of the 10 foot ladder to the rungs of the 12 foot ladder. This was completely illogical in the context of the match (there was no way to get from the scaffold to the belts), but pretty damn unique as a platform for crazy spots. Pendleton took a bump off the makeshift scaffold into the ring (the scaffold was about 2 feet higher than the top rope). Driver did a moonsault off the scaffold onto Pendleton for his half of New Wave’s Unskinny Bop finisher. They didn’t hit it clean, but given the degree of difficulty it was a victory that nobody got killed. New Wave got the belts with Adonis and Vain nipping at their heels. As Anarchy ladder matches go, this one will be remembered more for the uniqueness of the scaffold spots than the overall quality of the match.
(5) Azrael (with The Reverend) beat Slim J to win the Young Lion’s Championship in 10:12. Match of the night. It had the best wrestling and the best sustained heat. They know each other well, so all the counter moves made total sense. Having had the pleasure of seeing these guys square off in this building on countless occasions, to me, this was the best of any of their encounters. In typical fashion, J opened with a punishing side headlock and started working on Azrael’s neck. Azrael hit a sick spinning implant neckbreaker to take over. When J tried for a moonsault, Azrael picked him out of midair with an Ace crusher. Azrael zeroed in on J’s neck. Both men were injured when Azrael landed on J’s leg. Azrael’s ribs took a beating from J’s leg, and J’s ankle was messed up. The gutted it out. A roundhouse kick to the temple sent Azrael down for a two count. J hit the Screwdriver on the Rocks for another near fall. Azrael dropped J on his head with a brainbuster. J hit the flying inverted DDT for a close near fall. Azrael blocked the Detox Driver and hit the Ted Bundy but J miraculously kicked out. Azrael then hit a vicious cutthroat piledriver to pin J clean in the middle. It’s about time Azrael got a push as a singles wrestler. It’s no problem for J to lose, as he’s utterly bullet proof at this point.
With the crowd still applauding J for his efforts, he was jumped by Todd Sexton. This had awesome heat with the Bleacher Bums chanting “Thank you, Todd,” and the rest of the crowd being completely disgusted. Sexton nailed J with a very Ortonesque running knee. The ref brigade came out to force Sexton out of the ring. J was carried to the back unconscious.
(6) The NWA Anarchy TV Title match between champion Truitt Fields and Shaun Tempers ended as a 10 minute draw. They had brutally tough act to follow. Smartly, they went in another direction. Tempers is pure babyface now. He looked like was auditioning for the Power Rangers in the blue and white gear. They traded holds until Tempers knee went out. Fields offered to call off the match. Tempers insisted he was OK. Fields work over the injured knee. The Reverend came to ringside just in time for Tempers’ comeback. Fields kicked out of the Temperpedic. Tempers blocked the Killing Fields. Tempers got a near fall with a backdrop driver just before the time limit expired.
Tempers put the belt on Fields’ shoulder. He said Fields was a man of his word and it was an honor to face him again. The Reverend gagged at the sight of it.
(7) Shadow Jackson beat Iceberg (with The Reverend) and Mikal Adryan to win the NWA Anarchy Heavyweight Title by pinning champion Iceberg at 13:13. “Shadowmania” chants abounding as usual. Why is Mikal Adryan still in Cornelia? What are TNA and WWE looking for if not a guy that stands 6-8, 265 and can wrestle? However, Iceberg was the standout performer on this night. Jackson and Adryan attacked Iceberg. Iceberg’s frustrations mounted as he repeatedly took huge bumps trying to get back into the match. Judas and Jackson broke up each others pin attempts. When Judas hit a fallaway slam on Jackson, Iceberg pounced on Judas with an elbow drop. It was pretty much a three-way free for all from there to the finish. While Iceberg and Judas are both willing bump takers, Jackson’s offense doesn’t look all that devastating against such huge men. Jackson gave Iceberg a basement dropkick to the scrotissimus region. Judas used a double noggin knocker, but that just woke Jackson up. He hiptossed Iceberg onto Judas, then powerslammed Iceberg. Iceberg kicked out of the one arm cover. Seeing Judas preparing to choke slam Iceberg, the Reverend jumped up onto the apron. Jackson clocked the Rev and Judas hit the choke slam on Iceberg, but Jackson jumped into the ring to break up the pin. Jackson mounted the ropes for the 10 punches of doom on Iceberg. Judas hooked Jackson’s arms and sent Jackson flying across the ring with El Crucifijo As Judas covered, he was squashed by Iceberg’s Ground Zero splash. Jackson pinned Iceberg with the 1031 and got the monster pop. As much as I despise switching a singles title in a three-way, it was probably the best way to do this one.
Postmatch: Jackson was confronted by Judas. Jackson put up his dukes. Judas put the title belt on Jackson’s shoulders and slid out of the ring, leaving “The People’s Champion” to share the special moment with his fans.
(8) Ace Rockwell beat Kimo (with Jeff G. Bailey) in a cage match in 9:40. The match could be won by pinfall, submission or escape. I can’t recall another cage match in Cornelia that allowed winning via escape. The cage has usually been employed to prevent outside interference and/or keep the heel from running, neither of which applied here. In this case, the monster’s manager requested the cage in order to destroy the babyface, and the babyface owner inserted the escape stipulation to level the playing field. Much to the delight of the crowd, Wes Grissom returned from a being beaten bloody by Kimo as the referee inside the cage. Rockwell attacked Kimo before he could remove his mask. He went for broke with the Aces High, but Kimo kicked out at one. Rockwell hit the Codebreaker and tried to exit through the door. The outside ref, Jacob Ashworth got bumped and Bailey slammed the cage door on Rockwell’s head. Ashworth was helped to the back, so Bailey had control of the cage door. Rockwell was bleeding from the forehead. Kimo unleashed his martial arts attack on Rockwell. Bailey was loving it. The crowd was chanting their hearts out for Ace. Kimo chucked Rockwell face first into the cage. Kimo destroyed Rockwell with a barrage of rapid fire blows in the corner. Bailey issued instructions to “The Butcher of Pyongyang” in Korean. Rockwell delivered a series of three low blows. Kimo may be indestructible but those balls aren’t made out of steel. Rockwell hit the Aces High. Kimo got up from it. Rockwell charged at Kimo, who boosted him overhead with Rockwell landing on the top turnbuckle. Rockwell skinned the cat to the outside of the cage. Kimo was going wild trying to get at him, but there was no way. It was a matter of Rockwell finding a way to drop to the floor without breaking his neck. Great drama. Terrific finish. It was one of the most believable escape finishes I’ve seen, because Rockwell’s skin the cat was legitimately quick enough to evade Kimo. And Kimo was able to maintain the aura of invincibility despite losing.
NOTES: Jackson said he expects his son to be out of the hospital within a week…Tank was visiting backstage. He's taking a break from pro wrestling to enjoy home life. Imagine that...The NWA Anarchy nominees in the annual best of the year in Georgia voting conducted by Georgia Wrestling.TK include: Wrestler of the Year: Iceberg and Phil Shatter, Heavyweight of the Year: Iceberg, Shatter and Mikal Judas, Cruiserweight of the Year: Slim J, Rookie of the Year: Bo Newsome and Wes Grissom, Tag Team of the Year: Wild Bunch, New Wave and Devil’s Rejects, Referee of the Year: Ken Wallace and Dee Byers, Female Wrestler of the Year: Melissa Coates, Fed of the Year, Manager of the Year: The Reverend and Jeff G. Bailey, Most Improved: JT Talent, Chip Day, Kareem Abdul Jamar and Adrian Hawkins, Gimmick of the Year: Judas and Jamar, Fans of the Year, Promoter of the Year: Jerry Palmer, Babyface of the Year: Shadow Jackson, Heel of the Year: Jeremy Vain, Announcer of the Year: Greg Hunter, Website of the Year, Mic Worker of the Year: Reverend and Bailey, Show of the Year: Hardcore Hell and Hostile Environment, Storyline of the Year: Jackson & Slim vs. Concrete Gorillas, Match of the Year: Ladder match at Hardcore Hell and War Games at Hostile Environment…J and Azrael were both hurting after the show, but not seriously injured. Amazingly, there were no other injuries of note.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Courtesy of Larry Goodman: