Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Comedy Parts 691-2: Helium Warmup

Location: Helium Comedy Club(garage)
Emcee: Chris Cyr
After: Kenny Warner
Before: Rafe Williams

Location: Helium Comedy Club
Emcee: Jon Venegoni
After: Gregory Mark
Before: Jeremy Essig

Having been at the Funny Bone the previous night, I went to Helium as the open-mic was catered to those who had entered that club's comedy contest.  I did the usual double-header with the "bucket mic" beforehand, trying out a handful of new bits.  I went with an all-around stronger set for the main show, doing one particular joke that J.C. Sibala said I should have done in the Funny Bone contest.  Thought about doing Joe Lancey's contest show in Highland tomorrow night, but next up for me will probably be the open-mic at Hey Guys Comedy on Thursday.

This week in wrestling

WWE(www.wwe.com)

Main Event this week has:
-Jack Swagger vs. Baron Corbin
-The New Day(Big E Langston, Kofi Kingston, & Xavier Woods) vs. The Social Outcasts(Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, & Bo Dallas)
-Paige Knight vs. Summer Rae

NXT this Wednesday has:
-Carmella Van Damme vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax
-Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano vs. TM-61(Nick Miller & Shane Thorne)
-"No Way" Jose Valenzuela vs. Johnny Vandal

Superstars this week has:
-Zack Ryder vs. Rick Viktor
-Natalya Neidhart vs. Summer Rae

Smackdown on Thursday has:
-Mike Mizanin vs. Antonio Cesaro - Intercontinental Title
-Alexander Rusev vs. Kalisto - U.S. Title
-Zack Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio - Money In The Bank Qualifier
-Goldust & "R-Truth" Ron Killings vs. Tyler Breeze & Johnny Fandango
-Natalya Neidhart vs. Dana Brooke

Money In The Bank is on Sunday 6/19:
-Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins - WWE Title
-Money In The Bank Ladder Match:  Sami Zayn, Antonio Cesaro, Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens

TNA(www.tnawrestling.com)

Impact next Tuesday has:
-The Decay(Abyss & Crazzy Steve) vs. Drew Galloway
-Bram Cameron vs. Bobby Lashley
-The Bro Mans(Robbie Eckos & Jessie Godderz) vs. Tyrus Clay & Rockstar Spud
-Gail Kim & Mia "Jade" Yim vs. Sienna Kay & Allie Dennis
-In action:  Eli Drake

RING OF HONOR(www.rohwrestling.com)

Next show is Friday 6/3 in Collinsville, IL:
-Jay Briscoe & War Machine(Todd Hanson & Raymond Rowe) vs. Jay Lethal & The Addiction(Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian)
-Roderick Strong vs. Stevie Richards vs. Moose vs. Silas Young
-Kamaitachi vs. Adam Cole
-A.C.H. vs. "Beer City Bruiser" Matt Winchester
-Chris Sabin vs. Adam Page
-Lio Rush vs. Alex Shelley
-Mark Briscoe vs. Jason Kincaid

ROH has a show on Saturday 6/4 in Indianapolis, IN:
-The Motor City Machineguns(Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) vs. Adam Cole & Adam Page
-Jay Lethal vs. Mark Briscoe
-Jay Briscoe vs. Moose
-Todd Hanson vs. Frankie Kazarian
-Raymond Rowe vs. Christopher Daniels
-Roderick Strong vs. Kamaitachi vs. Jason Kincaid vs. A.C.H. vs. Lio Rush vs. Will Ferrara

ROH has a show on Sunday 6/5 in Columbus, OH:
-The Addiction(Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) vs. War Machine(Todd Hanson & Raymond Rowe) - Tag Team Titles - No-DQ Match
-Jay Briscoe vs. Roderick Strong
-Lio Rush vs. Adam Cole
-Dalton Castle vs. Kamaitachi

NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING(www.njpw.co.jp/english)

Information on upcoming episodes will be posted when it becomes available.

LUCHA UNDERGROUND(www.luchaunderground.com)

This week's episode has:
-Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Brian Cage - Gift Of The Gods Title
-Mascarita Sagrada vs. Joey Ryan

-----

ST. LOUIS ANARCHY(www.slawrestling.com)

Next show is Friday 8/26 in Alton, IL:
-Gary Jay vs. Martin Stone

SLA has a show on Saturday 8/27 in Alton, IL.

DPW(www.dynamoprowrestling.com)

Next show is Saturday 5/28 in St. Louis, MO(Ready Room):
-High Level Enterprise(Jack Gamble & Jon Webb) vs. Brandon Espinosa & Elvis Aliaga - Tag Team Titles
-Brandon Aarons vs. Evan Morris vs. Kevin Lee Davidson
-The Bite Club(Rocket Mapache & Jackal) vs. Keon Option & Justin D'Air vs. Alpha Class(Danny Adams & Paco Gonzalez) vs. The Midnight Society(Billy McNeil & Jayson Khaos)

SICW(www.sicw.org)

Next show is Saturday 6/18 in East Carondelet, IL.

MMWA(www.southbroadwayac.com)

Next show is Saturday 6/11 in St. Louis, MO:
-Gary Jackson vs. Da'Marius Jones vs. A.J. Williams - Heavyweight Title
-Brandon Aarons vs. Tyler Copeland - Jr. Heavyweight Title

PWCS(www.pwcswrestling.com)

Next show is Saturday 7/9 in Granite City, IL:
-Appearing:  Arik Cannon, Darin Corbin

HIGH RISK WRESTLING(www.facebook.com/hrwstl)

Next show is Saturday 6/25 in Warsaw, MO.

PRO WRESTLING EPIC(www.prowrestlingepic.com/)

Information on upcoming shows will be posted when it becomes available.

METRO PRO WRESTLING(www.metrowrestling.com)

Next show is Saturday 6/4 in Kansas City, KS:
-Demolition(Ax & Smash) & The Commission(Evan Gelistico & Pierre Abernathy) vs. Davey Vega, Mike Sydal, Geek Singh, & Kiyoshi Shizuka
-Jake Dirden vs. Kraig Keesaman - Heavyweight Title Tournament Round 1
-Jon Webb vs. Kiyoshi Shizuka - Heavyweight Title Tournament Round 1
-Rory Fox vs. Mark Sterling - Heavyweight Title Tournament Round 1
-Jaysin Strife vs. Derek Stone - Heavyweight Title Tournament Round 1
-The Riegel Twins(Logan & Sterling) vs. The Kansas City Wolves(Graham Bell & Luke Langley)
-Ace Steel vs. Superstar Steve Fender - Central States Title vs. Kansas Title
-Nate Redwing & Jay Howard vs. The Killer City Kings(Jake & Ryan)
-Angelus Layne vs. "Miss Natural" Heather Patera

3XW(www.3xwrestling.com)

Information on upcoming shows will be posted when it becomes available.

WLW(www.harleyrace.com)

Next show is Saturday 6/25 in Bell, MO.

GATEWAY ELITE WRESTLING(www.facebook.com/TheGatewayElite)

Next show is Friday 6/3 in Camdenton, MO.

STRIDE PRO WRESTLING(www.facebook.com/Cmaprowrestling/)

Next show is Saturday 6/4 in Marion, IL:
-Ax Allwardt vs. Farmer Billy Hills - Heavyweight Title
-Cowboy Bob Orton & Bull Bronson vs. Cash Borden & Dalton Diamond

OUTLAW WRESTLING(www.facebook.com/outlawwrestling01)

Next show is Sunday 6/19 in Tullahoma, TN.

WRESTLING INVADES AMERICA(wrestlinginvamerica.wix.com/wrestlinginvamerica)

Next show is Saturday 6/18 in Swansea, IL.

CENTRAL STATES CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING(nwaccw.x10.bz)

Next show is Saturday 6/11 in St. Robert, MO:
-Deven Spade vs. Evan Morris - NWA Central States Title

WORLD POWERHOUSE WRESTLING(sites.google.com/site/worldpowerhousewrestlingstl/home)

Information on upcoming shows will be posted when it becomes available.

NEW BREED WRESTING(www.facebook.com/NewBreedMO)

Next show is Saturday 7/16 in Sedalia, MO.

NBW has a show on Saturday 7/23 in Eldon, MO.

CCW(www.facebook.com/CapeChampionshipWrestling/)

Next show is Saturday 7/16 in Cape Girardeau, MO:
-Leland Race vs. Trevor Murdoch
-Osby Tomlin vs. Chris Jones
-Sarge O'Riley vs. Brandon Barbwire
-Billy Hills vs. Jason Vaughn
-Jake Dirden vs. Tony Kozina
-Little Bit vs. Stacey O'Brien

-----

EVOLVE(www.wwnlive.com & www.dgusa.tv)

Next show is Friday 6/10 in Tampa, FL:
-Timothy Thatcher vs. Chris Hero - EVOLVE Title
-Johnny Gargano & T.J. Perkins vs. Drew Galloway & Ethan Carter III
-Drew Gulak & Tracy Williams vs. The Bravado Brothers(Harlem & Lancelot) - Tag Team Titles
-Matt Riddle vs. Cedric Alexander

EVOLVE has a show on Saturday 6/11 in Orlando, FL:
-Ethan Page vs. Drew Galloway - Anything-Goes Match
-Johnny Gargano vs. Drew Gulak vs. T.J. Perkins vs. Lince Dorado vs. ?
-Matt Riddle vs. Trevor Lee

PRO WRESTLING GUERRILLA(www.prowrestlingguerrilla.com)

Information on upcoming shows will be posted when it becomes available.

CHIKARA(www.chikarapro.com)

Next show is Friday 5/27 in Birmingham, England:
-Princess Kimber Lee & Eddie Kingston vs. Hallowicked & Icarus
-Mark Andrews vs. Ophidian
-Drew Gulak vs. Warren Barksdale
-N_R_G(Race Jaxon & Hype Rockwell) & Heidi Lovelace vs. The Batiri(Obariyon & Kodama) & Frightmare
-Fire Ant vs. Hermit Crab
-Stewie Scrivens vs. Lucas Calhoun

CHIKARA has a show on Saturday 5/28 in Manchester, England:
-Johnny Kidd vs. Mike Quackenbush
-Princess Kimber Lee, Heidi Lovelace, Fire Ant, & Soldier Ant vs. Hallowicked, Frightmare, & The Batiri(Obariyon & Kodama)
-N_R_G(Race Jaxon & Hype Rockwell) vs. Stewie Scrivens & Drew Gulak
-Eddie Kingston vs. Chuck Taylor(tm)
-Ophidian vs. Hermit Crab
-Icarus vs. Lucas Calhoun

CHIKARA has a show on Sunday 5/29 in North Shields, England:
-Princess Kimber Lee, N_R_G(Race Jaxon & Hype Rockwell), & Los Ice Creams(El Hijo Del Ice Cream & Ice Cream Jr.) vs. Hallowicked, Frightmare, Icarus, & The Batiri(Obariyon & Kodama)
-Fire Ant vs. Ophidian
-Heidi Lovelace vs. Lucas Calhoun
-Soldier Ant vs. Chuck Taylor(tm)
-Eddie Kingston vs. Hermit Crab
-Stewie Scrivens vs. Warren Barksdale

CHIKARA has a show on Monday 5/30 in Glasgow, Scotland:
-Princess Kimber Lee vs. Hallowicked - Grand Championship
-N_R_G(Race Jaxon & Hype Rockwell) vs. The Colony(Fire Ant & Soldier Ant) vs. The Batiri(Obariyon & Kodama) vs. Los Ice Creams(El Hijo Del Ice Cream & Ice Cream Jr.)
-Heidi Lovelace vs. Nixon Newell
-Ophidian & Eddie Kingston vs. Icarus & Frightmare
-Lucas Calhoun vs. Hermit Crab
-Warren Barksdale vs. Chuck Taylor(tm)

WHY WE WRESTLE(www.anarchy-wrestling.com)

Next show is Saturday 5/28 in Cornelia, GA:
-Stryknyn vs. Bill The Butcher
-Corey Hollis vs. Gunner Miller

HOUSE OF HARDCORE(www.houseofhardcore.net)

Next show is Friday 6/24 in East Burwood, Australia.

SHIMMER(www.shimmerwrestling.com)

Next shows are Saturday 6/25 and Sunday 6/26 in Chicago, IL.

SHINE(www.shinewrestling.com)

Next show is Friday 6/17 in Ybor City, FL.

IWA MID-SOUTH(iwamidsouthwrestling.webs.com)

Next show is Thursday 5/26 in Clarksville, IN:
-Reed Bentley vs. Joseph Schwartz - Heavyweight Title
-Randi West vs. John Wayne Murdoch - Dog Collar Match
-Kevin Lee Davidson vs. J.J. Garrett
-Alexandre Rudolph vs. Zodiak
-Amazing Maria vs. Thunderkitty
-Sugar Dunkerton vs. Teddy King

AAW(www.aawrestling.com)

Next show is Friday 6/17 in Merrionette Park, IL:
-Sami Callihan & Dave Crist vs. Eddie Kingston & Homicide
-Johnny Gargano vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
-Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett vs. The Hooligans(Devin & Mason Cutter) - Tag Team Titles
-Drago vs. Chris Hero

ACW(www.anarchychampionshipwrestling.com)

Next show is Sunday 6/26 in Austin, TX.

Missouri Wrestling Revival: http://www.missouriwrestlingrevival.com/
St. Louis Wrestling: http://www.saintlouiswrestling.com/
St. Louis Wrestling Community: http://community.livejournal.com/stlwrestling/

Leave a comment or e-mail: patrickab7@yahoo.com
Follow me on Twitter or Facebook at: @patrickab7

WWE Raw

-Commentators:  Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, & John Bradshaw Layfield.
-Money In The Bank Qualifying Match:  Sami Zayn d. Sheamus O'Shaunessy after the Helluva Kick (6:30 aired).
-An angry Sheamus attacked Apollo Crews during a backstage interview.
-Tag Team Champions The New Day(Big E Langston, Kofi Kingston, & Xavier Woods) d. The Social Outcasts(Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, & Bo Dallas) when Kofi pinned Slater after the Midnight Hour(Big Ending/second-rope flying DDT combo with Big E) (joined in progress; 1:57 aired).
-Money In The Bank Qualifying Match:  Antonio Cesaro d. Intercontinental Champion Mike Mizanin(w/ Maryse Ouellet-Mizanin)(non-title) after the Neutralizer (7:56 aired).
-Money In The Bank Qualifying Match:  Chris Jericho d. Apollo Crews via Codebreaker (7:46).
-Colin Cassady(w/ Enzo Amore) d. Buh-Buh Day Dudley(w/ D-Von Dudley) after the Empire Elbowdrop (3:16).
-Money In The Bank Qualifying Match:  Dean Ambrose d. Dolph Ziggler with the Dirty Deeds v2.0(double-underhook DDT) (8:38 aired).
-Money In The Bank Qualifying Match:  Kevin Owens d. A.J. Styles with the pop-up powerbomb (12:59 aired).

SLA Special Comment (Part 2)

Now, as promised, a special comment about Saturday's St. Louis Anarchy show at the Spaulding Hall Club in Alton, Illinois.

DISCLAIMER:  I'm biased.  Deal with it.

Went over the extracurriculars in the Friday commentary for the most part.  Attendance was about the same; the show was going against Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling in East Carondelet, which had its annual Wrestling At The Chase anniversary show with Barbara Goodish and Lee Warren in the house.  Also, Saturday evening festivities were competing with Blues playoff hockey AND PointFest.

Your ring announcer was Greg Jovi, who was vocally unhappy about being relegated to that role; Jovi promised to choose a new protege by the end of the night.  Your referees were Sean Orleans & Austin Blackburn.

Nick Cutler & "The Outlaw" Ken Phoenix vs. Team I.O.U.("The Down-South Dandy" Nick Iggy & "The Music City Mutt" Kerry Awful):  Cutler & Phoenix were the obvious fan favorites, though the fans didn't really see them having a legitimate chance of winning against the more established duo.  Still, they gave it the old college try and I.O.U. had to earn this victory.  Cutler & Phoenix hung in there, bu Cutler finally tapped out to Awful's Boston crab in 8:29.

"The Littlest Viking" Jake Parnell vs. Mr. (Danny) Adams(w/ Mr. (Evan) Gelistico):  This was a rematch of sorts from the recent elimination tag match with The Cause against The Hooligans and The Viking War Party; these guys were the final two remaining and Adams picked up the victory at that time.  While Gelistico wanted to play by THE RULES~!, Adams noted that they had beaten the Vikings at their own game and wanted an Anarchy Rules match.  The result was a wild hardcore-style brawl that also saw Alexandre Rudolph run off Gelistico with a metal French fry basket.  Lots of steel chairs were used, including a pileup on the floor that led to Parnell hitting Sliced Bread #2 onto the chair pile...then a swanton bomb off the apron with Adams laid out on the chairs.  A kendo stick came into play and Adams attempted to target Parnell's arm, but the smaller Viking fought his way back into the match.  Parnell won in 12:46 after a double-stomp off the second rope with Adams' head trapped in a set-up chair...yup, that would do it.  Strong showing by two of the newer Midwest talents on the block...well done, gentlemen.  Mr. (Everett) Connors hilariously tried to revive Adams with mouth-to-mouth...heh.

Roscoe East Lisa("Zesty" Zakk Sawyers & "The Big Mustache On Campus" Mikey Mcfinnegan) vs. The Hooligans(Devin & Mason Cutter), Tag Team Title Contenders Tournament:  R.E.L. defeated The Viking War Party on Friday to advance to this match; The Hooligans defeated long-time rivals Team I.O.U.  Shenanigans ensued early as Sawyers & McFinnegan convinced the ref to compare the size of their...members...and Orleans raised Mikey's hand afterwards.  After that, a lot of butt-grabbing ensued with each side demonstrating their case on the referee...I imagine Orleans didn't think that would be in his job description for the night.  The Hooligans were the obvious favorites here, though they seemed to be in heel mode for some odd reason.  McFinnegan somehow survived the Cutters' wheelbarrow/second-rope flying DDT finisher, which was a shock as that's usually the finish.  R.E.L. went on to score the huge upset in 12:48 when McFinnegan pinned Devin after the assisted/spike Air Raid Crash(with Zakk jumping off the second rope for the assist as McFinnegan hit the move).  Mutual respect ensued...the Hooligans' time will come again, but Roscoe Eat Lisa are now the top contenders to The Cause's Tag Team Titles.

Angelus Layne vs. Mr. (Everett) Connors(w/ Mr. Gelistico):  Conspicuously Mr. (Austin) Blackburn was the referee for this match and no others for the night(Orleans officiated the rest of the card).  He hung back for the most part and wasn't overly biased...it can really kill a match when the official is that slanted.  Layne nearly won the match after a corner cannonball, but Blackburn conveniently got a cramp in his arm before making the three-count.  The Rulebook came into play and Layne got a hold of it, bashing Connors with it despite repeated warnings by Blackburn...that drew a disqualification in 8:04.  Layne decked Blackburn with the book for good measure...all righty then.

Davey Vega vs. Jonathan Gresham:  These two met once before in SLA with Vega scoring the victory; since Vega lost to TJP on Friday, he faced Gresham here.  Despite my video gaming knowledge, I didn't make the Street Fighter connection until Vega pointed it out(thus the sash and occasional white mask)...I'm slipping.  I hereby dub the Vega-Cheeseburger ROH tag team the "Veggie Burgers".  This was fun to watch, Maggle...Gresham's gained a lot of momentum and popularity in this area.  Gresham got the surprise win in 24:57(!) with an octopus hold...big win for him, but tough weekend for Vega with two submission losses.

Intermission~!  Official Ben Simon Concession Count(tm):  Root beer and Mountain Dew.

Ricky Starks vs. Mike Outlaw vs. "The Lone Star" Curt Stallion vs. Jason Roberts:  Thankfully, Ricky's good friend Paul permitted his appearances this weekend.  I have trouble keeping track of indie wrestler's entrance themes, so it throws me off when someone uses different music(i.e. Outlaw not coming out to DMX).  Outlaw and Stallion have history in other promotions(which was briefly touched upon in Dynamo Pro), so they had an exchange in this matchup.  We had fan favorites Outlaw and Roberts, heel Stallion, and heel-who-people-still-like Starks in this one.  During the match, Jovi approached the ring area with a cellphone and told Starks "You got THE CALL!"  Ricky immediately left the ring to take THE CALL...apparently it was someone named "Vince".  As a result, Starks was M.I.A. for the remainder of the bout...Outlaw took advantage and pinned Roberts after the High Noon(top-rope elbowdrop) in 5:48.  Afterwards, Starks entered the ring and told the other wrestlers to "take a knee"...I took a knee and bugged nearby fans for not doing the same.  Starks told everyone that he wouldn't be around forever and that these other guys were the future of Midwest wrestling...of course, Ricky Starks is the future of wrestling everywhere.  He'll be back for the next set of SLA shows...tremendous.

Gerald James(w/ Dorian Victor) vs. "American Viking" Alexandre Rudolph:  Gerald and Dorian commented that Trik Davis couldn't make it to the weekend shows and issued an open challenge.  That brought out Rudolph and they gave us a history lesson about Rudolph being a fan, dating back to the days of the Lethal Wrestling Alliance and Gerald's earliest matches.  I was a bit too chatty during this promo segment as I commented on the history to a friend, so Rudolph turned and said "Shut the f*** up, Patrick".  Ak...my bad.  Gerald was sporting a "Caturday" jacket...I'm more of a dog person, but 'tis cool.  The match was really good, as expected from these two...pretty sure this was their first singles match with each other.  James won with the knee kick/sliding forearm combo in 8:12...well done.

Jojo Bravo & Paco Gonzalez vs. Mr. (Evan) Gelistico & Mr. (Austin) Blackburn(w/ Mr. Adams):  This was set up on the previous night's show; Paco had been scheduled to face "Dirty" Andy Dalton who was M.I.A. this weekend.  Jojo was hoping to build momentum after his win on Friday, seeing as how he had finally ended his recent losing streak...he even dubbed his team the "Midnight Pacos".  The already-banged-up Gelistico had Blackburn do the lion's share of the work in this one while Adams trolled ringside fans...apparently he asked one person for a slice of pizza and then threw it on the floor.  Ha ha.  Gelistico utilized the dreaded trapezius claw, leading to a moment where everyone in the match had the trapezius claw on everyone else...even the referee felt the pain of the devastating hold.  Sadly, Jojo's luck turned sour once again as the referee missed a punt to the Universal Weak Point by Blackburn...Paco attempted to intervene, but his superkick caught Jojo by mistake and Blackburn rolled up Bravo for the three-count in 12:59.

Paco apologized, but Jojo was inconsolable as he ranted about how it was an "accident" just like all of the other "accidents" that had gone against him lately.  Cooler heads seemed to prevail...but then Jojo attacked Paco from behind as he turned to leave the ring.  Jojo beat down his tag team partner, ending with the Samurai Driver(cross-legged Michinoku Driver)...ladies and gentlemen, we have a heel turn.

Before the main event, Jovi called Mike Outlaw to the ring and proclaimed him to be his new chosen protege...however, Outlaw declined his offer.  Jovi grew more and more insistent, prompting the fans to start a "No...Means No" chant(think "New...Day Rocks").  Outlaw's come a long way on the mic work...he told Jovi in no uncertain terms that he didn't want him as a manager.  Jovi blew his top in an epic tantrum, unleashing a string of non-PG verbage as he vowed to bring carnage to Circus Maximus weekend in August.  Hoo boy.

Mat Fitchett vs. T.J. Perkins for the Heavyweight Title:  TJP defeated Davey Vega on Friday to earn this shot.  Yes, the match was really good, why do you ask?  They had a really good false finish when Perkins blocked a Pele Kick attempt and got Fitchett in the heel hook that won him the Vega match, but Fitchett barely made it to the ropes.  (Fitchett gets ridiculous air time on that Pele, for the record.)  At any rate, Fitchett rallied to win with the cradle piledriver in 19:33...nicely done.

Afterwards, Fitchett acknowledged that there was a target on his back and contenders were coming out of the woodwork, but one name stuck out in his mind.  The last time that person was at a St. Louis Anarchy show, he expressed his desire to contend for the title...so Fitchett called out Chris Hero, saying he welcomed the challenge!

A lot is on the table for the next set of Anarchy shows...Fitchett vs. Hero seems likely, but the champion also has his pending issue with Christian Rose(who had to be postponed due to a schedule conflict on Rose's part).  Cause vs. Roscoe Eat Lisa is set up for the Tag Titles, Paco will likely seek revenge on Jojo Bravo...and what does Greg Jovi have in store for Anarchy?  The next pair of shows is set up as "Us vs. Them" with Gary Jay taking on recent indie rival Martin Stone...that'll be a hard-hitting affair to say the least.

My weekend wasn't quite over yet, but that's another story for another time...tune in next time.  Same Pat-Time, Same Pat-Channel.

That's my special comment for this, the twenty-third wrestling show I've attended in the year 2016.  Good night, good luck, and #yaywrestling.

-PB, Watching Wrestling Wrong Since 1991

P.S. We are all marks.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Comedy Part 690: Westport Contest Blues

Location:  Westport Funny Bone
Emcee:  Joe Murray
After:  Joe Murray
Before:  Christopher Williams

I drew the unlucky spot of number one, though I felt like I had a decent set.  It was a testament to the strength of the area's comedy scene that any four people could have realistically advanced on this night.  Congrats to those that did:  Reggie Edwards, J.C. Sibala, Rex & Echo Selix, and Shon Don.  As for myself, there's still the Helium contest ahead in a few weeks and I'll probably go to their open-mic tomorrow night.  Given my current budget situation, I'll probably scale back on the comedy schedule to save on gas...we'll see.

SLA Special Comment (Part 1)

Now, as promised, a special comment about Friday's St. Louis Anarchy show at the Spaulding Hall Club in Alton, Illinois.

DISCLAIMER:  I'm biased.  Deal with it.

I accept that I'm socially awkward to the point that I probably have some sort of undiagnosed autism or Asperger's.  That being said, I apologize if I've ever done anything to offend or put off someone in my vicinity.  I have far less common sense that you'd probably think...given our current Presidential election, common sense should no longer be a given when dealing with people in everyday life.

I've been on the receiving end of the question on a few occasions, but I was asking it to a handful of friends in attendance at the show:  Why are you here if you hate it so much?  Since the proverbial EYE DUBYA SEE is paintbrushed as hating everything and watching anyway, that's a question that gets thrown around a lot.  I watch just about everything at some point so I probably oversaturate myself to some degree, but there's a lot of good wrestling out there to watch.  However, there are people who decidedly dislike the style of groups like St. Louis Anarchy or Ring Of Honor, yet they still watch and, more importantly, pay money for a ticket to the shows.  I went five years between WWE shows because I lost interest (on top of my own financial constraints, but if I really wanted to go to a show, I would find a way to do it).  I try to take wrestling for what it is, for better or for worse...your mileage may vary as it relates to the current positives and negatives of the business.  My viewpoints are my own but I try to avoid wearing my opinions on my sleeve...nowadays people are very stubborn and argumentative, so it's not worth the bother.

With the weather getting nicer and the Blues lasting far longer in the playoffs than is tradition, live event attendance has suffered for both comedy and wrestling.  Anarchy's numbers were noticably down from their usual level on both shows this past weekend.  On top of that, the crowd's energy level was a lot more subdued than usual.  I don't know if it's an issue that needs immediate attention or if it's just a product of other factors, but it's something that I noticed all weekend.  (Reportedly Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling did fine in that department on Saturday, though it was one of their bigger shows with several special guests in the house.)

Your ring announcer was Sean Orleans; your referee was Brandon Tolle.

Jojo Bravo vs. Sammy Guevara:  Young Texas standout Guevara was making his SLA debut here.  Jojo had been frustrated in his recent outings as officiating miscues had led to several losses.  While the traditional face-vs.-heel structure often falls by the wayside in Anarchy(more on that in a bit), Sammy was decidedly the arrogant punk as opposed to the longtime favorite Jojo.  After a fine opener, Jojo won with a modified backslide in 9:33 and proclaimed "I still got it!"  Good for him.

Angelus Layne made her first SLA appearance in quite some time...she had been plagued by injuries in recent years, plus she recently got hitched so that took some degree of priority.  I'm a fan...she's a cool person with a unique look compared to a lot of female wrestlers.  Would like to see more women's wrestling in the area in general, but I seem to mention that approximately once a commentary.  At any rate, she said that her goal was to win the St. Louis Anarchy Title as she only had one prior title shot(when Gerald James was champion).  I'm somewhat conflicted on intergender wrestling and it depends HEAVILY on the context...I'll leave it at that.  That prompted an interrupted by The Cause(minus Adam Caster) and words were exchanged over who truly deserved a title shot(Angelus or Mr. Gelistico), setting up Angelus vs. Mr. (Everett) Connors for the following night's show.  Gelistico officially took up Heavyweight Champion Mat Fitchett on his open challenge for the evening.

"The Outlaw" Ken Phoenix vs. Kevin Lee Davidson:  Phoenix has made a handful of appearances on Ring Of Honor television and this was his St. Louis-area debut.  He had a rough time of it as he was attempting to be the fan favorite against K.L.D., who was decidedly the heel of the match but gets a lot of fan support in this area.  The match was good otherwise, but it had to suck for Phoenix as he did his best to play to the fans only to get a lot of boos from the K.L.D. supporters.  Davidson won with his signature spinebuster in 6:25; that move tends to disrupt ceiling tiles in low-clearance buildings such as the Alton venue.

Heavyweight Champion Mat Fitchett came out to set the ground rules for his title reign.  (Previous Gerald James had set it up that his defenses would be best-of-three-falls.)  Fitchett's rules were simple:  No countouts, DQs, or time limits so a decisive winner would be established.  Okay then...SLA has relaxed rule enforcement anyway, though they do have time limits(as established in the Gerald James-Davey Vega sixty-minute draw).

Paco Gonzalez, Mike Outlaw, Nick Cutler, & Jason Roberts vs. The Cause(Tag Team Champion Mr. (Evan) Gelistico, Mr. (Danny) Adams, Mr. (Everett) Connors, & Mr. (Austin) Blackburn):  I don't think co-Tag Champ Adam Caster was specifically advertised for the SLA weekend, but Blackburn probably saw more in-ring duty than anticipated.  This was advertised as Paco recruiting a team of "upstarts" to fight The Cause; Outlaw was the only other known quantity on that side.  I think I had heard Cutler's name in the past(central Illinois guy?) but hadn't seen much of him; apparently he and Roberts are both trainees of Michael Elgin.  The match was more competitive than I would have guessed and Blackburn tagged into the match out of a desire to prove himself...but that backfired as Paco pinned him after a Death Valley Driver in 10:40.  Paco's teammates left ringside as Paco confronted Gelistico, saying HE deserved a title shot(having given Gerald James a good fight recently)...that prompted a gang attack by The Cause until Jojo Bravo made the save.  Jojo and Paco challenged The Cause to a tag match for the following night's show.

Roscoe Eat Lisa("Zesty" Zakk Sawyers & "The Big Mustache On Campus" Mikey Mcfinnegan) vs. The Viking War Party("American Viking" Alexandre Rudolph & "Littlest Viking" Jake Parnell), Tag Team Title Contenders Tournament:  This was part of a mini-tournament to determine the next challengers for The Cause with four fan-favorite duos competing for that right.  While Sawyers has done week in recent months for both SLA and PWCS, he and McFinnegan were probably the underdogs in this matchup against the Vikings.  The Vikings were their usual rambunctious selves, throwing chairs into the ring before the bell...Parnell headbutted the top turnbuckle until the pad fell off, then he threw the pad into the crowd and they played keep-away with it...heh.  Parnell tried to hide the pad in his tights...um, no.  When he pulled the pad out of his tights, his driver's license fell out...har har.  (Do Vikings drive?)  The Vikings tried to bum a smoke from Zakk before things officially got underway, to no avail.  I've only recently seen more of the Sawyers/McFinnegan tag team, though they've been working together for quite a while now.  They had a lot of false finishes between them, ending with McFinnegan getting the surprise pin on Parnell after an assisted Air Raid Crash in 12:40.

"The Leader Of The Pack" Stephen Wolf vs. "The Lone Star" Curt Stallion:  Wolf was scheduled to face Trik Davis who was M.I.A. for the whole weekend as far as SLA was concerned.  (This wasn't directly addressed until the following night's show.)  All things considered, this show was pretty good about having face/heel matches as Stallion was in rulebreaker mode.  This was a solid bout, though fans weren't too familiar with either guy; Wolf won with a Blue Thunder Bomb in 12:40.

Gerald James(w/ Dorian Victor) vs. Jonathan Gresham:  This was a battle of fan favorites as James has effectively turned face in SLA.  Gresham has been getting a lot of attention in the Midwest in the past few years and also made a few appearances on Ring Of Honor television, upsetting Cedric Alexander and wrestling Roderick Strong for the T.V. Title.  This shaped up to be a good battle between two smaller strikers, with Gresham having a slight edge in the technical aspect of the game as he focused his attack on James' arm.  After the standard fighting-spirit exchanges and near-falls, Gerald got the win after a kick to the knee followed by a sliding forearm smash in 12:18.  That seemed oddly short, all things considered.  Cue mutual respect and all that.

Intermission~!  Official Ben Simon Concession Count(tm):  One root beer and one Pepsi.

Ricky Starks vs. Alex Castle:  Starks made a lone appearance on NXT several months ago(as an unnamed-on-TV enhancement talent), so he's gotten the big head and believes he's inevitably WWE-bound.  However, he competes on the indies FOR THE FANS~!...he's clearly disingenuous, but he's entertaining enough that the fans like him anyway.  That set him up as the fan favorite against the more traditional heel Castle.  Starks blatantly copped a few familiar-looking moves and sequences, even saying "I'm sorry, I love you" before a superkick attempt(which missed).  Starks won clean with a ropewalk DDT in 9:26, but the highlight was the post-match promo:  Starks told Paul, err, TRIPLE H that his return to NXT would have to wait because he wanted to wrestle FOR THE FANS OF ST. LOUIS ANARCHY!  He wants to continue to compete for the fans...wait for it...then, now, and forever.  Forever...forever...forever...forever...forever...etc.  Tremendous.

The Hooligans(Devin & Mason Cutter) vs. Team I.O.U.("The Down-South Dandy" Nick Iggy & "The Music City Mutt" Kerry Awful), Tag Team Title Contenders Tournament:  These teams have gone around the proverbial horn with each other on the Midwest independent scene, but this was my first time seeing one of their battles in person.  This was the all-out brawl that you would expect, complete with one of the Hooligans' favorite sequences:  They sit in chairs in a circle with the opponents and they just punch each other in the face as hard as possible.  I know some people look down on the fighting-spirit sort of exchanges("I'm going to let you hit me!"), so your mileage may vary on stuff like that.  The exchange took place on the floor, leaving poor Brandon Tolle in a quandary about whether to count them out.  I.O.U. have worked as rulebreakers in St. Louis Anarchy despite being fan favorites in other promotions(which was how they competed in High Risk Wrestling last year), but then the Hooligans are likely to get cheered either way.  I always joke that I lose track of which Hooligan is which, so I have to rely on the Bella System to figure it out:  Wait for one to yell out the other's name.  (This was before the Bellas became distinctly different-looking.)  This eventually got back into the ring and they traded the standard high-impact offense, ending out of nowhere as Devin pinned Awful with a sunset flip off the second rope in 11:31.  The Hooligans were set to face Roscoe Eat Lisa on the following night's show for the next shot at The Cause.

Mat Fitchett vs. Mr. (Evan) Gelistico for the Heavyweight Title:  Gelistico seemed to play it straight for a while, despite being the obvious rulebreaker in the match, but SHENANIGANS~! were afoot in the big picture.  Fitchett appeared to be on the verge of victory after a piledriver but Mr. Adams and Mr. Connors distracted the ref.  Brandon Tolle ejected them from ringside, to the point that he physically chased them out the front door!  In the meantime, Fitchett tilt-a-whirled into a DDT and went for a pin; that prompted Mr. Blackburn to make his entrance in a referee's shirt to count two before stopping short.  Gelistico decked the champion with the Rulebook and Blackburn nearly made the three-count, but Angelus Layne pulled him out of the ring and dealt with him in short order.  Evan brought in a chair, but Fitchett turned the tables and hit a cradle piledriver on the chair...OW.  Tolle returned to the ring just in time to make the three-count in 15:42...woo.  Fitchett would go on to face the winner of the night's main event...and he crossed paths with his longtime friend and tag partner Davey Vega in the aisleway.

Davey Vega vs. T.J. Perkins:  TJP's career has taken some interesting paths in recent years...he competed for Anarchy a handful of times, but TNA commitments took precedence as he held their X-Division Title as Manik(formerly Suicide).  Since departing from that company, he has competed for EVOLVE and recently qualified for WWE's Cruiserweight Classic...cool for him.  Vega currently holds the All-American Pro and Metro Pro Tag Titles with Fitchett and recently made his Ring Of Honor debut in a dark match.  However, the SLA Title has eluded him...he hasn't held singles gold in quite a while(he's been Lethal Wrestling Alliance Champion and NWA Missouri Champion in Dynamo Pro).  Vega's recent track record against national stars has been pretty good as he holds wins over such names as Chris Hero, Roderick Strong, and El Generico(whatever happened to THAT guy?).  It was a really good competitive battle between fan favorites and the audience wasn't as invested in the match as I would have thought...hmm.  In what came as a surprise to some in attendance, TJP got the tapout win with a modified heel hook in 16:14 and earned the title shot at Fitchett the following night...leaving Vega frustrated once again.

Quite a bit was set up for the following night's show, but that's another commentary for another time...tune in next time.  Same Pat-Time, Same Pat-Channel.

That's my special comment for this, the twenty-second wrestling show I've attended in the year 2016.  Good night, good luck, and #yaywrestling.

-PB, Watching Wrestling Wrong Since 1991

P.S. We are all marks.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

WWE Extreme Rules

-Baron Corbin d. Dolph Ziggler in a no-DQ match after a blatant low blow, followed by the End Of Days(mid-air Flatliner).
-Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows d. Jimmy & Jey Uso in a tornado tag match when Gallows pinned Jimmy after the Magic Killer(double-team elevated neckbreaker with Anderson).
-Alexander Rusev(w/ Lana Perry) d. Kalisto with the Accolade(camel clutch) to win the U.S. Title.
-The New Day(Big E Langston & Xavier Woods)(w/ Kofi Kingston) d. The Vaudevillains(Aiden English & Simon Gotch) to retain the Tag Team Titles; Kofi kicked Gotch behind the referee's back, allowing Woods to finish with a Shining Wizard.
-Mike Mizanin(w/ Maryse Ouellet-Mizanin) won a four-corner match with Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Antonio Cesaro to retain the Intercontinental Title; Zayn hit the Helluva Kick on Cesaro, but Owens pulled Zayn out of the ring and Miz stole the pin on Cesaro.
-Dean Ambrose d. Chris Jericho in an Asylum Match(cage with weapons) after dropping Jericho on thumbtacks, then finishing with the Dirty Deeds v2.0(double-underhook DDT).
-Charlotte Flair d. Natalya Neidhart in a submission match to retain the Women's Title; Dana Brooke distracted Natalya, allowing Charlotte to capitalize with the Figure-Eight Leglock(bridging figure-four) for the win.  Ric Flair(who had been banned from ringside) celebrated with Charlotte and Dana.
-Roman Reigns d. A.J. Styles in an extreme-rules match to retain the WWE Title.  Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows interfered on Styles' behalf, which brought out the Usos to even the odds.  Reigns countered a springboard forearm attempt with a mid-air spear for the win.  Seth Rollins returned to drop Reigns with a Pedigree after the match.