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Thursday, February 12, 2009

NWA Main Event TV Review With Lawler

Courtesy of Larry Goodman:

NWA Main Event TV - Episode 43
Airing January 31, 2009 in Nashville on ION affiliate WNPX 28
Taped on January 24, 2009 in Portland, Tn at the Richland Park Gym

Jason James and NWA Main Event promoter Mike Porter at ringside.

1 – KYLE MATTHEWS vs. SHANE MATTHEWS (with Charming Charles)

Porter said Kyle was from NWA Anarchy. James said “Superstar Shane” was a regular during Main Event’s TV run in 2003. Kyle was doing the clean, crisp, athletic wrestling moves, while Shane mainly used cheap heel tactics. Off camera, Charles caned Kyle. Shane kept cutting Kyle off. Lots of kids in the crowd of 450 and they were amped for Kyle. Shane took a flying crotch bump on the middle turnbuckle. Kyle fired up with a comeback and went for a frog splash, but Shane maneuvered out of the way and rolled Kyle up using the ropes for extra leverage.

Winner: Shane Matthews in 6:45. Crowd was way hot and Shane was really worked them. Crowd connection has been Kyle’s weak point, but he did a good job here. Both of these guys would be good additions to the roster.

2 – LARRY COOTER & WHITE TIGER vs. LUCKY CHARMS (Chris Cain & Dyron Flynn)

James said Lucky Charms were dominating the tag team bracket (what tag team bracket?) in Main Event. Cain tried to psych out Tiger. Tiger started to fight back and Cain kicked him low. It looked accidental. The faces started working on Cain’s arm. Cooter busted out a corner lariat-bulldog-rolling elbow sequence. Tiger bamboozled Cain with a trio off up-and-over moves. Cain kicked him in the man region on the third one. That did not look accidental. Tiger took heat. Flynn tagged for some slow motion double teams and another rendition of the worst stomp in pro wrestling. Tiger did a spinning headscissors for a hope spot near fall and got cut off by Cain’s powerbomb. Cain is too short for to make that sequence look good. Double lariat and both men down. Cooter not a bad house of fire here. Some stiff chops being traded as they went four way. Cooter and Tiger scored a double pin with twin sunset flips. A thing of beauty it was not.

Winners: Cooter & Tiger in 8:50. Cain was in almost the entire way, which at least made it passable. There was some good stuff between Cain and Cooter. Flynn has somewhat improved his look. Can’t say the same about his wrestling. Doing a finish that calls for precision timing was asking more than these guys could deliver.

3 – “Malibu” MATT BOYCE vs. “The Prince Polynesian” LANI KEALOHA

The prince was feeling the power early, and Boyce couldn’t cope with it. Boyce did a set of push ups and gave Kealoha a taste of his own. Kealoha bailed. James called it game of anything you can do, I can do better. After using short cuts to win a test of strength, Kealoha tried to stomp Boyce’s fingers. Boyce moved and stomped Kealoha’s bare feet. Kealoha failed on three attempts to stomp Boyce’s feet and got his bare feet stomped again. As stupid as it sounds, Kealoha made it funny. Kealoha took over. He used a headbutt for a near fall and applied the Coconut Crush (a type of head squeeze). Crowd got hot for Boyce to make a comeback, which he did when Kealoha missed on a middle rope diving headbutt. Boyce’s offense just wasn’t smooth at all here. Boyce won it with a flying crossbody off the top.

Winner: Boyce in 7:30. The crowd was into this match, partly because they told a clear story. One that was similar to the Lawler match as things turned out. Boyce is a geeky version of Tommy Rich - platinum blonde but none of the charm or charisma, although the crowd in Portland liked him. I haven’t seen much of Kealoha. He’s obviously a good athlete, and his act was pretty entertaining.


Smalls kept getting the better of the wrestling exchanges, turning Steve-0 into a whiny, loudmouth brat. O tried to brawl, and Smalls kicking it into high gear with a standing shooting star press and a springboard backflip into a dropkick. O took an extended TO. Smalls chased him back into the ring. O tried to cut him off. Smalls fired back with stiff chops. O shut him down for good with a field goal kick to the nuts. O took over with Smalls fighting up from underneath. A collision of flying clotheslines left both men down. Comeback time. Smalls with a release northern lights suplex for a near fall. Smalls with the climbing kneelift and down goes O. Smalls hit the moonsault. Ferrari was about to count three when Dominique somehow caught his attention. He must have eyes in the back of his head. They argued. Smalls got involved. Dominique tossed knucks to O, who clocked Smalls for the pin.

Winner: Steve-O in 8:30. This match wasn’t supposed to happen. O’s scheduled opponent, Pat Tanaka, was working a double shot and wasn’t going to be able to make it before the ending time dictated by Lawler’s schedule. Yoshi Kwan (Chris Champion) was set to face Smalls and ended up in the hospital. For the wrestling, it turned out to be the best match of the show, though it had less heat than the Boyce. Smalls did a nice job as the babyface-in-peril. He showed life without doing anything flashy to overshadow O. Not a good finish. Dominique’s run in looked late and the ring positioning was wrong.

5 --JERRY “The King” LAWLER vs. JEFF “The Crippler” DANIELS (with Dominique)

Porter said this match would settle the feud between Lawler and Daniels. He said Daniels never locked up with Lawler in the match they showed last week from Mule Days 2002. The story early was Lawler showing he wasn’t going take any crap from Daniels. Lawler took a couple of bumps, but anything Daniels dished out, Lawler would pay him back double. Crowd really got behind Lawler. There was this great moment where Lawler had Daniels cornered, and Daniels was glancing at the crowd and looking all nervous like a trapped animal. Dominique passed a foreign object to Daniels. They passed it back and forth for a full two minutes before Daniels actually used it, which really whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Daniels clocked Lawler with the unidentified object. Dominique interfered liberally. Commissioner George Gulas had been billed as being there to check Dominique, but Porter said Gulas was at the concession stand eating those two-for-one hot dogs. Daniels took a flying crotch bump on the turnbuckles (same spot as match number 1). Lawler started throwing the short jabs and pulled the strap down before decking Daniels with the haymaker. Ref Jamie Ferrari got bumped. Lawler set up for the piledriver. Dominique interfered. As Lawler focused his attention to Dominique, she tossed the object to Daniels, who clocked Lawler. 1..2..Lawler put his foot on the bottom rope. Daniels complained to the ref, and Lawler schoolboyed him for the three count.

Winner: Lawler in 14:05. Match was fine for this crowd. It was typical of the matches Lawler is doing these days. I’ve seen too many of them live to get excited about seeing another one on TV. Daniels added a few extras that gave it a little more pizzazz.

Random Thoughts: The one area that Main Event has the edge on SAW, the promotion they see as the competition, is the ability to deliver with a big match that exceeds the hype (see Daniels/Hayes from Tennessee Homecoming and Smalls/Shultz from Christmas Chaos). With SAW, it’s often been the other way around – the build up turns out to be better than the match. This show didn’t have one of those pleasant surprises. It was an OK house show. As promised, Main Event brought a bonafide legend to a town he hadn’t visited in 30 years and treated him like a star. The match was about what I expected and not much more. The crowd was a great asset on this show. The wrestling was generally decent. They could have used more variety in choice of spots and stories. The finishes weren’t particularly imaginative or well-executed. The best match was one that wasn’t part of the advertised card – Steve-O vs Smalls. I really like the way the Richland Park gym looks on TV. Unfortunately, the picture was on the fuzzy side because they were using a substitute camera. There were some good use of facial expressions, but any subtleties were lost with only the hard camera. It was yet another case where a handheld at ringside would have made the show much more watchable.