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

Monday, February 16, 2009

NWA Charlotte "Thorns & Roses" Show With Kong, Raven, Nikita Koloff, Baby Doll And More

Courtesy of Larry Goodman:

Last night’s “Thorns & Roses” show was a terrific follow up to NWA Charlotte’s auspicious debut.

The first NWA Charlotte show was heady stuff – a hot packed crowd in a brand new building featuring the top talent in the region.

“Thorns & Roses” couldn’t reproduce that opening night buzz, but in a many ways it was a better show. Hopefully, this show created a different kind of buzz via the element of surprise, the feeling anything could happen and you never know who might show up.

The show drew 600 to the NWA Coliseum. OK, calling it a coliseum is a stretch, but the people running NWA Charlotte are in advertising, so you’ve got expect hyperbole, and it is a great building. My report of 400 for their first show was an underestimate. I’m thinking it was closer to 500. The paid attendance for last night was probably in the same range as the first show because ladies were admitted free. In any case it was another hot crowd. They got the show done in 2:30, so there was no crowd burnout factor whatsoever.

Heather Brocklebank sang the National Anthem. It’s a beautiful way to open a wrestling show when it’s done well as it was here.

They kicked things off with “NWA Rewind,” a video recapping the results from their debut event. It’s touches like this that separate NWA Charlotte from your typical independent show.

J.D. Costello, the president of NWA Charlotte, informed that crowd that Ivan Koloff was physically unable to defend the legends title, now known as the Mid-Atlantic Heritage Title. Jeff Lewis rudely interrupted Costello and started ripped Ivan. Costello told him to shut the hell up. Costello said Nikita was there with a surprise replacement and the belt would be up for grabs. Costello rewarded loudmouth Lewis by moving his match up to first on the card.

(1) New Wave (Derrick Driver & Steven Walters} beat Jeff Lewis & Zack Salvation when Driver pinned Salvation at 7:55 . The crowd was popping for New Wave’s offense, as they gave Salvation a whipping. He was there to do the job and take his lumps in a comedic way, and he excelled in that role. Lewis ducked and Driver spilled over the top rope to set up the heat. Driver hit a one-on-two combo and hot-tagged Walters. Solid house cleaning segment with spot on feeding by the heels. Walters ducked a superkick from Lewis, and New Wave sent him packing with a double dropkick. They used the Unskinny Bop as their finisher. Very good opening match.

(2) Kimo (with Jeff G. Bailey) beat Manscount in :48.Kimo’s entrance looked awesome. Manscout has to be the gayest gimmick ever –a guy in a scout uniform except with skimpy tights. Manscout foolishly tried to attack. Kimo destroyed him while referee Ace stood by looking horrified. Bailey told Ace to call for the bell. Kimo dished out more brutality and locked in the Information Extractor for a quick tap out.

NWA National Champion Phil Shatter was interviewed by Lodi. Shatter carries himself like a world champion. They guy is beyond ready for the big time. His contempt for the people got heat. Shatter said he planned to make the NWA Charlotte title another notch on his belt.

Costello introduced Chaotic Agony. Costello said he was behind them despite the critics saying they didn’t belong. He said he rescued them from that horrible promotion in Hendersonville and put them over as common men that the fans could relate to. That brought out Team Ego, two big old boys in black. Abel Adams said Agony were punks that treated pro wrestling like a hobby. That lead to…

(3) Team Ego (Abel Adams & Will Snapp) beat Chaotic Agony (Joey Agony & Ryan Chaos) in 8:43. Early on, Chaos connected with a tornado kick to the mush of Snapp, who has an unfortunate case of man boobs. Snapp gave Agony an Alabama Slam. Team Ego turned Agony into hamburger meat. The crowd did get behind Agony as the huge underdog. Chaos didn’t get much with the hot tag. Adams speared him for the pin. Snapp then left Agony in agony with a Black Hole Slam.

Jay Joyce announced the first of several unadvertised surprises - an inaugural Thorns & Rose Match was up next and it would be Tables, Ladders and Chairs.

(4) Josh Magnum beat Malachi and Caleb Konley in a Thorns & Roses (TLC) Match (12:24).. With the exception of a couple of problems with the gimmicks and the inherent contrived spots, this was a very good match because it had quality wrestling, not just TLC spots. Malachi was the lone heels. The faces doubled up on him and tossed him out. Malachi reentered with a chair. He couldn’t get it properly wedged between the ropes and it fell on the floor. He then leveled Magnum with a chairshot to the head. It looked vicious. Thank God, he got his hands up. Magnum was busted open. Malachi pounded the cut. NWA Charlotte doesn’t shy away from a little bloodshed when the situation calls for it. They did a series of impact moves into one of the ladders. At ringside, Konley put Malachi through table number one with a huracanrana off a ladder. Malachi put Konley through table number two with a spinning powerbomb. Magnum made the save at the last split second. Malachi hit a combo move on Magnum and got this crazed expression on his face. He covered and pulled Magnum up at two to get another table. Logic be damned. Magnum nailed Malachi with a cool handspring spin kick and tried to set up the table for the finish, but one of the supports was broken. Magnum audiblized nicely with a 450 from the top of the ladder to score the pin.

Costello put the TLC match over huge, saying all three competitors had earned permanent spots with NWA Charlotte. Costello said the NWA Charlotte title was being renamed the US Title in honor of Jim Crockett. One by one, the five contenders for the US Title – Ryan O’Reilly, Shatter, Truitt Fields, Mikael Judas and Timber joined Costello in the ring. Judas got the biggest pop. He’s here and Brutus Magnus is on PPV. Go figure. As each wrestler tried to get on the mic, the next wrestler’s music would hit to cut them off.

The spotlight zeroed in on an unadvertised sixth competitor standing on top of the entrance structure. It was Raven. He cut a great promo saying the other guys were pretenders and he was the only defender (being a former NWA World Champion). He said not inviting him was a major faux paus and the dynamics had just changed. The whole Raven thing got over great. It really made the most of his starpower.

Nikita was introduced for the legends match. He got a respectable pop. Not as much as I expected probably due to the young age of many fans. Costello said that Nikita doesn’t wrestle any more and introduced the special guest substitute --- BABY DOLL. In spandex and heels no less. Nikita gave her a high five. Costello gave her a dozen roses.

(5) Baby Doll (with Nikita Koloff) beat Barbarian (with Jeff G. Bailey) to win the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heritage Title in :47. Barbarian shoved Baby Doll to the mat. The crowd was hating on him. With Nikita providing the distraction, Baby Doll produced a tire iron from the bouquet of flowers and clocked Barbarian with it. While Bailey was complaining to Young, Nikita gave Barbarian the Russian Sickle. Baby Doll covered for the 1-2-3 and the mega pop. Young found the tire iron, but Nikita pointed the finger at Bailey. Barbarian was going nuts about being pinned by a woman. This was an awesome way to make up for the late cancellation by Ivan.

Raven was interviewed by Lodi. They played off their relationship in The Flock from back in WCW. Lodi was so shaken by being in the presence of greatness that Raven asked him if he had Parkinson’s. An entertaining segment, but it was clear a large percentage of the fans were either too young or too new to wrestling to get it.

(6) Awesome Kong beat MsChif (with Daffney) via disqualification for using the green mist as Kong hit the Awesome Bomb. MsChif retained the NWA Women’s World Championship on the DQ at 12:04. Daffney was yet another unadvertised surprise. I liked this match a lot despite the weird psychology. Kong got the bigger pop, as the kids clearly knew her from television. So you had this huge, cold-blooded monster cast as the outnumbered babyface. MsChif couldn’t get anything going against Kong’s massive size advantage. Kong’s chops made a sick thudding sound. Kong squashed MsChif in the corner and applied a camel clutch. Kong was throwing MsChif around like rag doll. MsChif hit a tornado DDT counter, then a huracanrana from the apron to the floor. Kong took over, slamming MsChif on the floor in the “Rockstar” seating area. Daffney got involved. Kong gave MsChif a snap suplex on the ramp and powerbombed Daffney on top of her. The crowd chanted for Kong. Back inside, MsChif sent Kong’s head into the turnbuckle to get the advantage. She gave Kong three double stomps to the back with Kong’s head resting on the bottom turnbuckle. If Kong has a back problem, you wouldn’t have known it from this match. MsChif needed Daffney’s help to haul Kong to the center of the ring so she could make a cover. Kong missed with a splash, and MsChif hit a standing moonsault for a near fall. Kong connected with the spinning backfist, but MsChif kicked out of the Implant Buster. Kong hit a chokeslam. Kong brought a chair in and was fixing to brain MsChif with it, but Daffney snatched it away on her backswing. The finish was well executed and about as good as they were going to since it had to be inconclusive.

Joyce explained how the inaugural US Champion would be decided. One man from the starting field of six would be eliminated at each show until the champion was decided on 4/11. Tonight’s match would be a six man tag with the winner of the fall earning a bye on 2/28. The loser would get a chance to get back in the tournament by defeating Larry Zbyszko on 2/28. I love the concept. It sets the top guys apart, they all get the rub from Raven, and in the end, the title is decided the only way it should be, one-on-one.

(7) Raven & Timber & Truitt Fields beat Shatter & Mikael Judas & Ryan O’Reilly in 12:56 when Raven pinned Shatter with the Evenflo. The six made individual entrances to Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” The way the rules were laid out, it made sense for teammates to fully cooperate. Match had the major league feel with everyone getting a chance to shine. Raven looked revitalized. This was my first time seeing Timber in a number of years. I was impressed with how well he gets up and down for such a big, stocky guy. Fields hit the Killing Fields on Shatter, but O’Reilly pulled him out and bashed him into the announcer’s table. As the white meat babyface of the group, it was only right for Fields to take a major beating. At one point, Raven walked into ring and brazenly whacked one of the heels with his kendo stick right in front of the ref. Judas’ offense had some extra zip on it. Fields locked a guillotine choke on O’Reilly and got suplexed into the turnbuckles for his troubles. Raven took the hot tag and superkick Judas out of the ring as things were breaking down. His first attempt at the Evenflo was blocked. Timber used his barbed wire bat on Shatter to set up the Evenflo.

Raven closed the show by thanking the fans – “Without you people, there would only be one brand of wrestling, and one brand of wrestling isn’t quite enough for me.”

NOTES: The DVD of the 1/24 show will be available at the show on 2/28…All of the women including Kong were available for autographs and photos after the show. They drew quite a crowd. Krissy Vaine was also at the gimmick table. The women’s match got over well. With Team Blondage (Vaine & Amber O’Neal) and Daffney all in the area, doing more women’s matches is a direction they should consider…Damien Wayne was in the house, as were JT Talent and TK Cross from NWA Anarchy… Last night's show was advertised as a TV Taping. It was a four camera shoot.