Saturday, March 21, 2015

Gauntlet For The Gold 10!

First I want to preface this by saying, holy god Tyler Black/Seth Rollins is going to find me and kick my ass. Secondly I'd like to thank whoever linked to me in that forum for getting me all those hits, but if Tyler/Seth does find me, I'm finding YOU.

Anyhoo, remember when I used to be a reporter? Did you know AIW had a show this past weekend? Wanna hear about it?

Friday March 20th marked AIW's tenth annual Gauntlet For The Gold, or AIW's Answer To The Royal Rumble. Here's what happened.

Match 1: 6 Way Scramble: Tyson Dux, "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams, Flip Kendrick, Eric Ryan, Nikki Storm and Tyler Thomas.

Tyler Thomas and Tracy Williams are some newcomers to AIW (although you may have seen Tracy Williams at Beyond Wrestling) and I have to say, I like what they're bringing. I firmly believe that Dux and Williams need to tag team, but more on that later.

Good opening match with a lot of strong spots throughout. I found it rather obnoxious that Nikki Storm elected not to wrestle,  just stood around and fluffed her hair, until Eric Ryan bounced Tyler Thomas off of her and she came in with a vengeance. I like her and I think she's great (and her accent is also great) but you're there to wrestle, so... wrestle.

Best Part of the Match: Probably the last spot, with Flip Kendrick on Eric Ryan's shoulders, who was on Tracy, who was on the turnbuckle, and everybody splattered all over the ring.

Winner: Flip by pinning Eric Ryan

Gave it a good 3.5 out of 5, for some awkward spots but on the whole a strong match and very fun. Tyson and Tracy need to tag team and that's all there is to it. They look great together, they work great together, we need some tag teams, let's get on this.

2. Woman's Grudge Match: Alexia Nicole vs. Jasmine (AKA Team Barely Legal)

So what happened was these two tagged with Veda Scott at the last show, and they lost, so they fought each other for what felt like twenty minutes, and then this time they had a whole match.

I like women's wrestling. I want women to wrestle. I want women to wrestle other women, and also dudes, and do big strong powerful moves just as bad-ass-ly as any guy wrestler.

This was not that match, I am sorry to say.

It was just sort of slow and eh and nobody really seemed to care much. I don't know these girls, I don't know why they're fighting, and I don't really care.

Best Part of the Match: When Alexia put Jasmine in a figure four, or when Jasmine powerbombed Alexia.

Winner: Alexia Nicole after a neckbreaker

1/5, not impressed. They were friends at the end of it, so whatever, they worked it out. (I have a kindly anon tell me Jasmine is going to NXT, which is pretty awesome for her, I hope she does well.)

3. Tag Team Match: Colin Delaney and Cheech (Team Infinity And Beyond) Vs. BJ Williams and Jimmy Jacobs (The Forgotten)

Can I just remind everybody for a second that BJ Whitmer BROKE HIS GODDAMNED NECK not that long ago, and here he is wrestling again? Can we for just a second? Because holy balls.

These guys have been feuding for a while and this match was not particularly different from any of those other times (except for one thing which I'll talk about at the end). It was approximately 90% Colin Delaney getting the crap whooped out of him and 10% Cheech being total bad ass machine of awesome.

Best Part of the Match: Cheech helicoptering Jimmy Jacobs around, when he powerbombed Jacobs and Colin splashed him.

Winner: Colin Delaney pinning Jimmy Jacobs

Worst Part of the Match: Technically it was after the match, but it was when Jimmy got on the mic to have a very quick but very brief goodbye speech... after 16 years on the indies, he's decided to retire. Thank you Jimmy, it was fun.

3.5/5 Very solid, could have used less Colin Delaney getting his ass whooped.

4. 4-Way for the Intense Title: Chris Sabin, Candice LeRae, Louis Lyndon and Davey Vega (C)

Spoiler alert, I'm really biased about this match. I love that Davey is a fighting champion but he's held that title for a while now and sooner or later he's going to have to drop it and that makes me nervous.

But anyhow, let's talk about Candice LeRae, what do you think? She's one of the strongest women wrestlers I've seen in a good long while (and a breath of fresh air after that grudge match) so if she could just be in every AIW show from here until forever that would be great, thanks. There was a spot very early on where Candice leapt out of the ring and landed VERY awkwardly (I couldn't see, despite being in the bleachers I was still on the other side of the ring) and everything sort of stopped for a minute. I don't know if she was injured at any point or not, but she fought like a son of a bitch through the rest of the match, so either way I absolutely commend her.

Best Part of the Match: When Candice kept fighting at 110% despite possibly being injured and almost certainly in pain, when she had everybody by the balls, Louis Lyndon's double sharpshooter, Chris Sabin, Davey Vega.

Winner: Davey retained by pinning Lyndon

4/5 possible slight bias but also Candice LeRae is a beast.

5. Raymond Rowe vs. Johnny Gargano

Sort of a grudge match. Both are very strong competitors but I felt they were slightly mismatched together here. Heavy on the grappling which is not my favorite thing (if I wanted to watch dudes rolling around hugging I would watch MMA) but can be entertaining if done well. Johnny was very fast and wonderful to watch as per usual, Raymond Rowe was all about strength and trying to throw Johnny through the ring.

Best Part of the Match: Raymond Rowe holding Johnny upside down for 50 seconds (we counted), Johnny taking lot of serious goddamn bumps and still getting up.

Winner: Raymond, after accidentally kneeing Clemons, the ref, and then hitting Johnny with a bell before the new ref came out, and then kicking the crap out of him until he stayed down.

3.2/5 Solid throughout, if heavy on the grappling. Crowd dropped out in the middle but came back at the end.

6. Rickey Shane Page vs. 2 Cold Scorpio

I'm going to start off by saying that I have no idea who 2 Cold Scorpio even is, but I'd like to apologize for my ignorance and say that he was fucking great and I'm a terrible wrestling fan for not knowing him.

This match was a fun, awesome, great entertaining match. RSP looked so excited to even just be in that ring (and RSP is such a funny theatrical guy in the ring anyway so it was even more fun) and 2 Cold was holy shit I can't even. They tell me this guy is 49 and I don't believe it. This guy was doing motherfucking top rope shit like he was born doing it and in his prime. He was doing high kicks, he was doing moonsaults, he was doing MOTHER-DAMN-FUCKING REVERSE 'RANAS CAN YOU HANDLE IT. NO YOU CANNOT.

Best Part of the Match: Everything 2 Cold did, especially the reverse 'rana, RSP very clearly having the time of his goddamn life, the wrestlers backstage fanboying easily just as hard if not harder than all of us in the crowd (Davey Vega and Eric Ryan, I'm looking at you guys and it was hilarious.)

Winner: 2 Cold Scorpio, after a crazy moonsault-slash-leg drop combo that probably has a special name that I don't know because I suck. (It's apparently called Dropping The Bomb, so, if you know what that means, yeah, that's the thing he did.)

4/5 for awesomeness and humor and wrestlers being total fanboys.

7. AIW Title: Dick Justice vs. Josh Alexander (C) w/Veda Scott

So many dick puns. SO MANY. DICK. PUNS. Not since Johnny Cockstrong came to town with Beyond Wrestling have I heard that many dick puns. (Although nothing beats "Use your cock-strength") There was a "We love Dick" chant and a "Dick's gonna fuck you" chant which we couldn't even keep up because we were all just laughing too damn hard. Josh Alexander even took a second to call out "Looks like Dick's getting fucked" as he had the upper hand. Dick puns everywhere.

Best Part of the Match: Dick puns. The match itself was fairly standard in terms of fighting. More dick puns, when Dick Justice kissed Veda while she was trying to interfere.

Winner: Josh Alexander retains after beating Dick bloody (SO MANY PUNS) and Dick just sort of gave up. But he tried. And we love him anyway. Veda tried to get on the mic afterwards but I literally could not understand what she was saying because there were too many boos. Heel stuff I would suppose.

3.1/5 for dick puns.

8. Gauntlet Match

Here's a list of the entrants! Spoiler alert!

1. Marion Fontaine
2. Nikki Storm
3. Alessandro Del Bruno
4. Alex Daniels
5. Action Jackson
6. Raymond Rowe
7. Jerry, from the Iron Curtain
8. Bobby Beverly
9. Tyler Thomas
10. Rickey Shane Page
11. BJ Whitmer
12. Johnny Gargano
13. Flip Kendrick
14. Josh Prohibition
15. Tyson Dux
16. Davey Vega
17. Chris Sabin
18. Ben Boone, The Other Iron Curtain Guy
19. Joshua Singh
20. Greg Iron
21. Facade (who got a huge pop, from myself included)
22. Tracy Williams
23. Colin Delaney
24. Candice LeRae
25. Cheech
26. Ethan Page
27. Izeah Bonds, Mr. RBI (Who also got a pop and a "please come back" chant)
28. Louis Lyndon
29. Eric Ryan
30. Eddie Kingston

Best Part of the Match: When Marion "woo'd" Nikki Storm in the very beginning of the match by dancing with her (and then there was a chorus of Ric Flair Woo's to accompany it), when Flip moonsaulted like four people in a row, when Sabin hid under the ring and Fontaine dragged him out, Facade (although I wish he had stayed in longer, give him a real match next time!), Fontaine being in there for like six damn years, RSP and Ethan Page flipping Eddie Kingston the bird, when RSP's and Eddie Kingston's straps came down, RSP's victory water.

Worst Part of the Match: When Colin took a nasty hit on the back of his head as he was eliminated (seriously, are you okay? That looked awful), when RSP and Ethan Page eliminated Kingston when the ref's back was turned, and he snuck back in, and threw Ethan through the middle rope, but the refs thought he had been eliminated when he wasn't and Ethan was out but Kingston was still in. God damned refs.

Winner: Rickey Shane Page, who celebrated a little too hard with the water and fell down. But we love him anyway, bless his heart. He had a good night.

The show on the whole gets a solid 3/5 and I had fun. Should you buy the DVD? If you like 2 Cold Scorpio, I would go for it. But I wouldn't say it was anything you need to run out and tell your mother about.

AIW's next show is April 24th and their yearly gangster themed show, so that should be a good time. They say The Young Bucks and Mickie James will be there! Tix can be purchased on but if you're trying to get front row you have to pay extra and give 'em your email!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

AIW's JT Lightning Invitational Tournament and why you need to be there

This coming weekend, May 23rd and 24th, marks the third annual JT Lightning Invitational Wrestling Extravaganza which is not quite its official name but in all honesty it probably should be. It's two (two!) days of wrestling amazingness smack in the middle of Cleveland with afterparties and a Fan Fest on day two and everybody's staying in the same hotel -- that means you AND the wrestlers, should you decide to book said hotel -- and I haven't even told you about the matches yet.

The JLIT, as it's affectionately known, is (mainly) a bracketed series of matches where the winner gets a title shot (at the show) with a couple of other matches thrown in for shits and grins. Because what's AIW without shits and grins, am I right?

Here's just a couple of the opening bracket matches announced for Day One (which starts at 7:30, like any other regular AIW show):
  • Danny Havoc vs. Ultramantis Black (holy fucking shit on a stick)
  • Sonjay Dutt vs. Davey Vega (are you fucking serious?)
  • Heidi Lovelace vs. Rickey Shane Page (intergender matches whaaaaaat)
  • Jimmy Jacobs vs. Eric Ryan (you have to be fucking with me now)
  • Veda Scott vs. #AllEgo Ethan Page (MORE intergender matches!)
Not to mention an Absolute Title match with title holder Michael Elgin vs. Eddie Kingston. Also appearing in the bracket are: Tim Donst, Buff Bagwell, Matt Cross, Marion Fontaine, Louis Lyndon, Flip Kendrick, John Prohibition, and BJ Motherfucking Whitmer who you might recall just broke his fucking neck wrestling not all that long ago

Day Two (which starts at 6pm and is preceded by a Fan Fest at 3pm) will have the final matches of the bracket and

are you ready for this

no you aren't don't even lie

It's Chris Sabin vs. Johnny Gargano

Yeah. That Chris Sabin. One half of the Motor City Machine Guns, former TNA X-Division, heavyweight and tag team champion.

Versus Johnny Gargano.

Can you even? No, no you can't.

Now, if you've been following Johnny on Twitter, you've probably heard he's had to cancel a couple of appearances due to a minor jaw fracture. He hasn't said anything about being unable to make it to JLIT so let's all just cross our fingers and hope he's healed up by this Saturday.

And even if he doesn't make it, we still get to see CHRIS MOTHERFUCKING SABIN live in action, so there is that.

Also happening at the show:

  • Greg Iron open challenge!
  • He might fight a fan!
  • He will probably also continue to be creepy at Veda Scott!
  • Fan Fest! What's at Fan Fest? I don't know! Come find out!
  • Afterparties at the Tavern on Biddulph both nights!
  • Hotel parties with wrestlers? Maybe! 
  • Surprises!
  • Probable chaos!
  • The last two JLITs have had engagements, perhaps there will be a third! That's adorable!
  • Other additional shenanigans!
So yeah, you should probably be at this show or you will hate yourself forever and be resigned to buying the DVD which won't be the same.


Tickets are $20 per night individually or you can purchase both nights for $40 with a free Fan Fest ticket kicked in. (Otherwise the Fan Fest is an additional $5.) Doors open about an hour before the show starts and seats are general admission/first-come first-serve. 

The official JLIT hotel is America's Best Value Inn - Cleveland Airport on Brookpark Rd. Call them at 216-267-2350 to reserve a room and make sure to mention Absolute Intense Wrestling to get their special rate, which is $64 and some change with tax.

Coming from out of town and have no idea what to do when you aren't at the wrestling?
Do you like food? There's Melt Bar and Grilled or the West Side Market, which is pretty bad ass!
Do you like to enrich your brain? Try our Museum of Natural History or our Art Museum, which is free!
Are you a hipster and/or a hippie? Visit Coventry! They have a bunch of cool shops and also a delicious restaurant called Tommy's! It's vegan/vegetarian/gluten-sensitive friendly! But they also have cheeseburgers! 
Want to go shopping but you don't want to deal with hippies and/or hipsters? Try Tower City! It's a very nice mall with a cool fountain in the middle and also a movie theatre, so you can see Godzilla or the new X-Men movie! Plus it's underneath the Terminal Tower, which is our badass flagship skyscraper. (Shut up, we only have a couple, don't judge us.)

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask! Leave me a comment or tweet me @FindAStone.

Friday, August 16, 2013

In Which I Offer TNA A Critique and Some Helpful Advice

I've started watching TNA again. My reasons for which are mostly uncomplicated; I love Chris Sabin and I'm going to a show in two weeks. (So I'm going to be on TV. Look for the hat.)

My reasons for wanting to go to a TNA show are slightly more complicated, but we're just going to go with I love Chris Sabin for that one too.

I haven't watched TNA since probably 2009, 2010 at the latest. Actually the last one I watched was when Chris Sabin came back from a knee injury only to injure his OTHER goddamned knee.

I've heard rumors about TNA hemorrhaging money basically since I started watching in like 2009. They'd be bankrupt in a few years, they're losing $600,000 every house show (how that is even possible, I do not know), their checks to the talent keep bouncing, talents are taking paycuts, Dixie's dad is running the show.

TNA was like... my first real wrestling. I went to a ton of shows. I am extraordinarily fond of the roster. I think they have some great fucking talent there. Samoa Joe, Magnus, AJ Styles, Daniels, Kazarian, Chris Sabin, Eric Young, even Jeff Hardy, presuming he's got his shit together.

But watching TNA just makes me angry. It should be SO MUCH BETTER than it is. Why does it suck SO BAD?

I feel like a lot of the reasons were clearly illustrated on tonight's episode, which is supposed to be a "free pay per view" which isn't a half-bad idea, in theory.

The opening match was a four-man ladder match. Jeff Hardy, Kazarian, AJ Styles and Austin Aries. Generally solid match-up, plus a few weeks earlier AJ and Aries had what I considered to be an amazing match.

This one was just... boring. A lot of the spots were so weak you had to roll your eyes. They were flying all over the ring and out of it at the lightest touches. Hits and kicks were CLEARLY whiffed. I know; wrestling is "fake." I know. But I still think you need to put on a realistic, believable show. That's part of the THING, guys. I'm not saying that's their fault. I'm not really sure why that was choreographed the way it was. I just felt like that match was not very strong.

Then we had Dixie Carter make an appearance. I don't think we need Dixie to come around until she gets good at being on the mic. She sounded terrible. "So uhhh... Kurt Angle's in rehab... um... he'll be there for a while... he's still there now... um..." You know what? Get JB to be your voice. JB is fucking great. He can speak. he can speak WELL, and he can speak seriously and from the heart. Dixie doesn't need to be Vince McMahon. Vince McMahon is GOOD at what he does. Dixie Carter is not. And that's okay. You don't NEED to be the face of the company. You really don't.

Then two MMA fighters, Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz, talked to each other for a while.

I don't like MMA. I feel like by all logical means I probably should. It's still dudes beating each other up right? But I just don't like it. I find it boring. I like wrestling for the acrobatics. I love seeing dudes flying out of the ring.  MMA just looks like a lot of dudes rolling around hugging. If I wanted to watch shirtless dudes hugging, well... I'd watch something else.

Some wrestling fans DO like MMA, and that's totally okay. But I feel like that's why they're two separate things. If you want to watch MMA, watch MMA. If you want to watch wrestling, watch wrestling. Don't put MMA in my wrestling. If MMA dudes want to wrestle, great! Let them wrestle! Don't put them on the mic for fifteen minutes to TALK about either/both of these things!

Although admittedly I did find myself liking Rampage Jackson after that vignette. So that was OKAY... I guess.

I don't know why this MMA crossover thing is happening. Basically it sounds like those two dudes are shilling for this fight that I DON'T CARE ABOUT and I HAVE NO INTENT OR DESIRE TO SEE. Using MMA is not going to draw in WRESTLING FANS.

There were a ton of backstage vignettes. I don't have a problem with backstage vignettes; in moderation. I love backstage stuff. What goes on back there? What's it look like? What are they doing back there? I even like the way they're filmed. I love the handheld caught footage aspect of that. WWE doesn't have that. WWE's backstage scenes are always like "Oh there just NATURALLY happens to be a camera back here JUST IN TIME to film this TOTALLY UNSCRIPTED SCENE."

But when we have to talk backstage for fifteen minutes about a ten minute match... you know?

Moderation in all things.

The Knockouts match was okay. I like that they have A. Have a women's division and B. The women actually kick some ass. That's more than what I get from the WWE.  There COULD be more women, and they could be LESS like supermodel-lookin-diva-ladies (Hamada? Awesome Kong? Anybody?) but they're women and they're fighting and that's all I'm going to ask for. Maybe fight a dude every now and then. Intergender matches are the shit.

Then there was like a tag match with tables, and that was OKAY... and the cage match with Sabin and Bully Ray, which was probably the best but then again I'm kind of biased... it was just altogether not a very strong show.

If I had one piece of advice, one aspect to change on TNA wrestling, this is what I would offer.

1. Wrestling. Back to basics. You have a fucking amazing roster. USE IT. You are a wrestling show. You market yourself as TNA/IMPACT WRESTLING. You call the people working on your show WRESTLERS. You put on WRESTLING MATCHES. Do you see what I'm getting at here? You are a WRESTLING show. You want to attract WRESTLING fans. Fans of wrestling have STOPPED WATCHING YOU because your wrestling, the CORE OF YOUR SHOW, is so goddamn terrible!

This is your foundation. This is the thing that your show, your company, was BUILT on. Right now you have too many branches on too small a base. MMA! Phone apps! Action figures! Record albums!

We don't need any of this crap!

We want wrestling!

That's it! GOOD wrestling. Good, CONSISTENT wrestling. I want a solid match. I want a clean ending. I don't want interference from outside sources, I don't want illegal weapons, I don't want cheaty pins with feet on ropes, I don't want cheaty pins with tights being grabbed. I want a clean pin or a clean submission. I want two dudes (or two teams, or whatever) in the ring, who know what they're doing. I don't want gimmicks or surprises or interference or weapons or whatever. Two dudes, in the ring, one loser one winner.

I don't think I ask for that much.

I haven't been watching for long enough to get a long-term picture of what this show is doing, but the Heavyweight title has changed hands twice since I started watching. I don't like the sound of that at all. By slapping around your MAIN TITLE you devalue it. If it's changed hands two different times in the past MONTH, you're saying anyone can get it.

That's just a pet peeve of mine; WWE does that too occasionally.

But seriously. TNA, Dixie, Hulk Hogan, Bischoff, whoever is running the damn joint, please. PLEASE. I don't purport to know what you're doing or how you're doing it. I wouldn't know how to run a wrestling company if my life depended on it. But I really, truly, seriously think you cannot go wrong with buckling down and going back to your core basis, which is badass motherfuckin' wrestling.

I know you can do it. I have seen matches that PROVE you can do it. You don't need MMA and a hundred different factions and points and free-per-views and mobile apps and action figures and whatever else the fuck. Quit this fucking nonsense and go script some legit wrestling. Your show is two hours long. Try making at least an hour of that pure wrestling. You don't need to talk about it, just put this dude and that dude out there and let them duke it out. Do they need a reason? Fuck no they don't need a reason. AJ Styles and Austin Aries from a couple weeks back was fucking AMAZING. Why were they fighting? Who gives a fuck? It was great! And then you said "Now we have to finish up this amazing stiff as fuck match so we can have talking."

No. We don't need to have talking. I don't give a fuck about talking. I want to watch dudes beat the shit out of each other. You don't need to complicate things. You really don't. If you put on consistent, good, quality, not gimmicky wrestling... seriously, it will only help you. You cannot go wrong with building up your foundation, you just can't.

Seriously, TNA. You have SO MUCH POTENTIAL with your roster, and I have seen you do amazing, badass, brilliant motherfucking things. Stop trying to be every fucking thing at once. Just be wrestling.

You did this once.

You can do it again.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

In Defense of AIW

So this podcast happened, right?

As a rule, I don't really like podcasts. I don't know why, I just find them boring. I don't even like Colt Cabana's podcasts that much, even though I've found them hilarious when I've heard them, and I generally just adore Colt Cabana. (Who DOESN'T adore Colt Cabana though, am I right?)

But there was this podcast. I heard about it when I woke up to go to work at 5am yesterday and my twitter feed was just blown up with tweets about AIW. I was like "What the hell is this?" and then I went to work.

Over the past day or so I've learned a little more about what the hell happened and listened to some of this podcast, in the interest of fairness.

I didn't like it.

Danielle Matheson, the podcast... I don't know, owner? Host? goes into a rant about AIW and the fans in general. She basically called the fans shitty and bad and homophobic and racist and sexist and... stuff. Really strong stuff.

That's basically what I'm going to focus on here. There are some other things (Whether or not AIW is bad, whether or not someone used the N word in a chant during an ACH/AR Fox match -- I wasn't there, I don't know -- whether or not her personal information was given out and she received threats. If that's true, that's not cool, guys, come on.)

Let me tell you about myself.

I've been going to AIW since 2011.

I've gone alone to almost all of the shows. I've gone alone, to the west side of Cleveland, to an arena with a very large majority of men.

I have never felt unsafe there. I have never felt afraid or threatened, felt like my own personal safety was at any point a serious issue. I have had wrestlers come barreling through the crowd, over the barrier, throwing things in my near vicinity (like a table... and a garbage can) and I have had to move out of the way very quickly. I have never felt threatened or afraid.

In fact, when I took a personal hiatus, and I came back to AIW after being away for NEARLY AN ENTIRE YEAR, I STILL had people coming up to me and telling me they missed me, and giving me big squishy awesome hugs, and telling me they were glad to see me coming back to shows.

AIW... feels like home. Feels like family. I go to shows and I see the same faces every time. People say hi. People wave. People talk to you. When I first started going, I knew no one. And I made friends. It's not easy for me to make friends. Maybe it's something about wrestling. Maybe it's being misunderstood and then being in a group FULL of people like you, who all came together out of that misunderstanding. These people, for better or for worse, are my people.

In any case, I love my AIW friends. I love that so many people said "Hey, welcome back! We missed your face!"

Now, about the crowd at large.

Are we obnoxious? Yes. Are we vulgar? Fuck yes we are. To me, that's one of the best parts of AIW. We chant what we want, when we fucking want to, because we fucking can, and fuck you if you don't like it. One of my favorite chants of all time is "YOU'RE GONNA GET YOUR FUCKIN' HEAD KICKED IN" usually chanted at Johnny Gargano.

Now, are there some wrestling fans that are sexist, or racists, or homophobic, or generally just shitty people? Yes. Because when you put a large group of people together, you're going to get a mixture of things. You get people from everywhere, all walks of life. Have I heard people say shitty racist, sexist things while at an AIW show? Yes. Yes I have. But I've heard people say shitty racist things at the bar. Hell, I've heard my own mother say shitty racist things. Because one person in one place says a shitty thing, it doesn't make the whole group shitty. That's actually being prejudiced.

Like I said, I don't know if someone was shouting racist things at ACH and/or AR Fox. I wasn't there. I don't have that DVD. I don't know. If it's true, yes that person did set a bad example. That one person does not represent AIW, the company or the crowd.

People probably shouldn't chant racist or sexist things. I agree with you there.

But you can't tell people what to chant or not to chant. That's just not on. John Thorne and Chandler Biggins don't have to control us to make us more tolerable for the rest of the world. We are perfectly happy doing what we do. You don't like us? Go away. Controlling us for your own pleasure is not their job. They provide great wrestling. That's what they do. If anything I've heard is any indication, it's not very easy, either. Policing us like this is 1984 is shit that they don't need. And to what end? Because someone, somewhere, might be offended by something? Here's the thing. If you're out looking to find something to be offended by, chances are high that you're going to find it.

AIW works. Their last show, Absolution 8, sold out. People come from out of state to see AIW shows. Some of their highest draws are the Girls Night Out shows, shows featuring ONLY women wrestlers. Is that sexist? That's awesome, is what it is.

I don't like it when people say shitty racist or sexist things either. I really wish all that shit would go away. But people are just going to say shitty things, because people are always and only people. They are imperfect. There are always going to be assholes.

But I really, truly resent the implication that ALL AIW fans are shitty people. I don't think I'm a shitty person. I'm not racist, or homophobic, and I'm certainly not sexist. Because one person said one thing at one show ONE TIME, a show that I was not even AT, suddenly I'm a terrible excuse for a human being? I really don't appreciate that. I don't know who you think you are that you can make that kind of broad-sweeping generalization.

If you don't like AIW, fine. Then don't like it for the booking, for the venue, because it's in Cleveland, because the quality is bad, because the tickets or the DVDs are too expensive, whatever. Something. Don't hate it because of something that is literally out of its control, that makes it what it is.

(AIW fans, this is directed at you. I've heard that some of you threatened the podcast host lady. If you did, and I sincerely hope that you didn't, that's not cool. If someone accuses you of being shitty and bad, the way to respond to that is not to be shitty and bad. Threatening people is generally never the answer. Please don't threaten her. You can disagree with a person civilly.)

I love AIW. I will continue to love AIW and go to shows, and hang out with my buddies, and shout loud, vulgar things at wrestlers, because it is awesome. Because it is fun. It makes me happy. If you don't like AIW... don't come to a show. Don't buy the DVDs. It's that easy. You don't have to like us. We don't care.

Listen... we're all wrestling fans here, right? We all love wrestling? Instead of trying to divide into groups or cliques or whatever... let's all just... love wrestling, okay? We're all on the same side here.

Finally, in closing:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Spotlight: Michael Elgin

I recently returned to the land of independent wrestling after a rather long hiatus, because of reasons that don't matter because HI

Naturally my drug of choice is AIW, Absolute Intense Wrestling, otherwise known as The Only Wrestling In Cleveland That Matters. The show? Absolution 8.

Absolution is like AIW's answer to Wrestlemania, except with actual wrestling and less explosions and more mind-blowing twists. (Like last year, when #Nixon was revealed to be ERIC RYAN (And RSP, and Bobby Beverly, although you really kind of just expect Bobby Beverly to be involved with that sort of thing, and Duke) and then he threw a table at me. Well, not at me personally, he threw a table and I just happened to be in front of it. Admittedly it sure does beat having a GARBAGE CAN thrown at you, but I digress.

Needless to say, if you go to one AIW show, go to Absolution. (If you go to two, you should probably go to JLIT and save on your travel expenses.)

Anyway, the point I was trying to make here, is I went to AIW for the first time in the while and I'm a little bit out of the loop, because one of the most amazing, ridiculous, easily show-stealing matches of the night was between Michael Elgin and Josh Alexander, AKA two guys I had literally never heard of before that night.

I don't know what rock I was hiding under.

I really want to make a The Rock joke in there somewhere, but I'll refrain. I'm a professional, damn it. This post is supposed to be about Michael Elgin being badass.

Anyway, here I am at Abso8 and here is this match between dudes that I do not know. (Although I had been sitting in front of Michael Elgin as he was shilling shirts, and he definitely at one point said "Hey, those nachos would taste better if you were wearing an Elgin shirt" and I do not doubt the veracity of this claim.)

It looks like one of those matches that's going to be brawling and grappling, which is okay but not my favorite. After a while it's like "Okay if I wanted to watch MMA... I'd watch MMA!"

But here's this match. It's okay. Lots of grappling as I expected, but I'm not bored. Neither guy is really coming out as a heel or face so I'm not real sure who to root for. Then here is Michael Elgin, holding Josh Alexander upside down, straight up in the air. Which I've seen, we've all seen it. I'm not sure why being upside down makes it more effective but it looks pretty cool. It's impressive, I suppose, in the physical sense.

Michael Elgin held that move for something close to two minutes.

Any other time I've seen it, the guy holds it for ten seconds, maybe twenty if he's trying to be impressive (or if the opponent is smaller than he is).

But this guy, Michael Elgin, this guy right here, holds Josh Alexander, who is easily Elgin's size if not maybe slightly taller, upside down, straight up, over his head, for two minutes. Well, I didn't have like a stopwatch going, but I will comfortably say between a minute and a half to two. When the DVD comes out, we can time it.

(On an aside, kudos to you Mr. Alexander for being upside down for that long. I applaud you. His face was PURPLE, guys.)

And he suplexes Alexander and I'm like, "Welp! This guys has my vote."

The match goes on for a spine-melting thirty minutes of awesomeness. There were suplexes and powerbombs so massive I thought the ring was going to break. There were near-falls that had me clutching my hat in shock. There was at least one "This is awesome!" and "Holy shit!" chant. The room pretty much collectively lost its shit.

In the end they simply ran out of time. They ran down their thirty minute time limit, because that's how amazing they are. They each got on the mic, put each other over, and set a rematch.

Needless to say, I'm ready.

 Here's an MV of Michael Elgin vs. Davey Richards, because who doesn't also love a little Davey Richards am I right? It's not a match so much as it is a match cut and edited to music, but it's still pretty badass. Apparently Michael Elgin is in ROH which perhaps accounts for a bit of my cluelessness. I haven't followed ROH with any degree of consistency since they went off HDNet. It also turns out that Elgin is actually in contendership for the Heavyweight title.


Anyway, here is him vs. Brodie Lee. He does get the crap beat of him a bit but he puts on a heck of a good fight. Also, the announcer at one point uses the phrase "beating the cock out of", so there's that.

Here's one with him and Josh Alexander, from 2009, when they were but wee tiny babies. You can see a ghost of the awesomeness that will be them at Abso, especially around the 10 minute mark when Elgin goes "ALRIGHT I have had ENOUGH of your SHIT Alexander!"

A proper match between Elgin and Davey Richards. For whatever reason I enjoy these two together; I think it's because I find them to be similar. Not in movesets or anything -- Davey Richards is more like KICKS and FLYING, whereas Elgin is like "I WILL POWERBOMB YOUR FACE" -- but because you basically have to half-kill them to keep them down. Three-quarters in the case of Davey Richards. And maybe that aspect doesn't show so much in this match but in Abso8? Oh my goodness. I actually found myself rooting against Davey while watching this, which is rare, to say the least.

And one final time, here he is wrestling obvious crowd favorite Manabu Soya. In it you will find excellent of examples of Elgin just not staying the fuck down, and those massive powerbombs I mentioned earlier.

So, if you're a clueless noob like I am, apparently, I hope I made a good case for Michael Elgin and why you should definitely know who he is. I hope he does well in ROH with his title aspirations... just so long as he doesn't forget about AIW and the rematch he promised us!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Double Double, Toil and Trouble

On June 16th, Beyond Wrestling and St. Louis Anarchy are coming together to bring Cleveland the most mind-blowing wrestling event you can possible imagine and then some. Double Trouble.

I've been trying to write this release for about an hour now, and let me tell you the one singular piece of information you absolutely need to know.

The main event is ACH vs. Johnny Gargano. 

That's it. You really don't need anything else to want to come to this show. I don't care if you've never heard of St. Louis Anarchy, or if you could care less about Beyond Wrestling. I'm going to go ahead and tell you that you need to know about St.LA and that you need to care about Beyond Wrestling, but if you need to be further convinced about this show, I have no idea how you even got here. (You should probably go here instead)

'Well,' you might be saying to me, 'That's all fine and well, but that's only one match. It's a great match, but do I want to ship my ass up to Cleveland for one great match when the rest of the show is a bunch of asshats I've never heard of and don't particularly care to see?' 

My response is a sigh and this look -________-

But if you need something else to look forward to, other matches and appearances announced include:

*Dan Walsh, St.LA Champ vs. Rickey Shane Page

*Mark Angel vs. Drew Gulak

*Arik Cannon, Darin Corbin and Christian Rose vs. Pierre Abernathy, Evan Gelistico and Gary Jay (also known as the Submission Squad)

*Aaron Epic, Sugar Dunkerton and Pinkie Sanchez vs. KJ Crush, Jack Verville and Maserati Rick

Also scheduled to appear includes RD Evans. That's another one of those things I don't even need to elaborate on. RD Evans is going to be wrestling. Come on now. But also Mat Fitchett, Davey Vega, Chase Burnett, Zane Silver, Johnny Mangue, Matthew Justice, the Pitboss, Corvis Fear and Johnny Cockstrong. Among many others.

And that's just so far. We still have a little under a month for more fun and excitement to be announced.

But okay, enough TALKING about wrestling. Let's have some LOOKING at wrestling.

Here's Dan Walsh vs. Davey Vega from Metro Pro Wrestling, located in Kansas City. Now, imagine this, only with RSP instead of Davey Vega. Do you think the Danimal is going to get splattered all over Turner's Hall? Because I think the Danimal is going to get splattered all over Turner's Hall. Better not sit by any trashcans.

Here's a good bout between Aaron Epic and Drew Gulak from Beyond's Tournament for Tomorrow. It's pretty heavy on the grappling and the holds, but quite lovely just the same. It gives you a good feel for their characters, I believe. See also Pinkie Sanchez and Sugar D in the background. Those three will be wrestling. Yeah.

The Pitboss vs. dany only vs. KJ Crush vs. Eddie Graves. There's a lot going on in this matchup. There's a venue-spanning brawl between dany only and the Pitboss, there's chairs being thrown between KJ and Graves. It's pretty intense. And I would like to remind everyone that the last time Pitboss showed up in Cleveland with Beyond, he was forcibly ejected from the venue for being a douche. So. That should be fun.

Unfortunately, this whole match isn't available on Youtube, but you should have already bought the DVD. RD Evans vs. AR Fox, from the last time Beyond came to Cleveland, Back in Flesh. This match was exactly as brilliant as you would imagine. "Hey ref, count me out! Oh wait, it's no DQ!" I'm pretty sure this match cemented my love for both AR Fox and for RD Evans. I need to go watch it again. (Because *I* bought the DVD. I might also be in the background in this video *shifty eyes*)

Come to this show. Just do it. It's good wrestling. You like good wrestling. Hell, you love good wrestling. If you want to see it, I can guarantee it will be in Cleveland on June 16th.

St. Louis Anarchy and Beyond Wrestling come to Cleveland June 16th at Turner's Hall, 7325 Guthrie Avenue. Doors at 6:30, bell at 7:30. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here. Be here or you suck.