Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Top 5 Wrestling Shows as of February 13, 2012

This is something I wrote and posted on the wrestling forum The Burning Hammer back on February 13, 2012 and as it's on my computer I thought why not post it here.

The top 5 greatest wrestling shows I have ever been to. (As of February 12, 2012)

            After going to Joshi Mania night 2 in Everett, MA I made mention to my buddy Jay that, that was one of the greatest wrestling shows I have ever been to, easily in the top 5.  After telling both friends and family alike how great a show it was and continuing to mention that it was in my top 5 I started to wonder what exactly my top 5 favorite shows were.

            This task proved to be much more daunting then I originally planned.  In my life, starting in 1989, to current I have been to well over 200 shows, and those are just the ones that I have managed to record once I started keeping a detailed list of all the shows I have ever been to.  This includes WWF/E, WCW, TNA, and all things Independent. 

            Then I had to decide the criteria of what makes a show go in the top 5.  Name recognition alone wasn’t enough.  If that was the case then WrestleMania’s 14 & 24 should be in there, it’s WrestleMania right?  Plus I’ve been to Monday Nitro, Summerslam, Survivor Series, Raw, Royal Rumble, and Backlash.  While all these shows were great, they were all in big arenas and I was sitting a good distance from the ring.  Save Nitro which I had second row.

            The deciding factors became the entire show as a complete package. Intimacy of the event became a big factor, quality of the matches of course, and how much fun was had at the show.  This became a lot harder then I ever thought it would be. 

            Honorable Mentions:

            These events as a whole didn’t make the Top 5 for various reasons but had a defining moment that made the show awesome.

WWF House Show
June 4, 1989 Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, Maine
This was my first live wrestling even ever!  I attended with my Dad and Cousin Chrissy.  The show featured “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, Demolition, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Champion Hulk Hogan, and more.  Best match on the show by far, a 20 minute time limit draw featuring Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Mr. Perfect.  Even at 10 years old this match made and unbelievable impression on me and stands out as an awesome match.

Eastern Wrestling Alliance
March 16, 1997 Edward Little High School, Auburn, Maine
My first Indy show featuring a who’s who of New England talent at the time, Maverick Wild, Tony Rumble, Vic Steamboat, Knuckles Nelson, Rick Fuller, also the Power Twins and The Public Enemy.  Featured match was a bloody encounter of Tony Atlas vs. Abdullah The Butcher

Maine Event Wrestling
March 16, 2003 The Expo, Portland, Maine
The Expo used to host WWF until the Civic Center was built so it was cool being in a building that was the place to go to wrestling in Maine back in the 60’s & 70’s.
Mike Quackenbush defeated Reckless Youth in a best 2 out of 3 falls in 40 minutes of awesome.

Big Time Wrestling
July 14, 2006 The Armory, Lynn, Massachusetts
In a return match from the April 15th match, Xavier defeated EC Negro, Jay Lethal, & Antonio Thomas in 4 way elimination Steel Cage match that featured a sunset flip power bomb from Thomas onto Xavier from the top of the cage to the floor through a table and Xavier hitting the 450 splash off the cage onto Lethal through a table for the win.

Big Time Wrestling
April 21, 2007 State College Athletic Center, Framingham, Massachusetts
Two great matches, Champion Jay Lethal defeated “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels and John Walters defeated AJ Styles by DQ when Daniels ran in.  I cannot find enough accolades to describe the Walters vs Styles match.

UXW Pro Wrestling
March 29, 2008 Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando, Florida
Simply crazy, bloody battle 2 out of 3 Falls Match: The Heartbreak Express: Sean & Phil Davis w/ Amy Vitale defeated Jon Davis & Bruce Santee 2 Falls to 1.  Fall 1: Double Dog Collar Match, Fall 2: I Quit Match, Fall 3: Last Man Standing.  Jon Davis required 16 staples to close a wound on his head. 

WrestleMania XXIV
March 30, 2008 Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida
Shawn Michaels vs. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair in Flair’s “Retirement” match.  No explanation needed.

WWE Raw Brand House Show
December 30, 2008 Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, Maine
Main Event was Champion: John Cena vs. Randy Orton, it was a great match and the crowd was electric.  In all my time going to this venue for the WWE I have never felt the electricity that was in the building that night.  It was really a, if Cena doesn’t win we will burn this mother down! feeling.  Also a 25 minute mat wrestling exhibition featuring Intercontinental Champion: William Regal defeating CM Punk.

Pro Wrestling America
September 5, 2009 The Community Center, Fairfield, Maine
Jerry Lynn pinned Heavyweight Champion: Mark Moment with the Cradle Piledriver in a non-title match and a Falls Count Anywhere: Cameron Matthews pinned Sonjay Dutt after a piledriver both great matches, honestly the rest the show sucked, it was just terrible.

Independent Wrestling Entertainment
June 4, 2010 The Community Center, Fairfield, Maine
ROH Television Champion: “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards battled Heavyweight Champion: Mark Moment to a 20 minute time limit draw.  I had a feeling that this match was going to be good, but I was not prepared for just how good this match was.  Eddie Edwards is amazing and Mark Moment more then carried his share of the match, it was just awesome.

NWA On-Fire July 23, 2010 Le Club Calumet, Augusta, Maine
Vacationland Pro Wrestling August 21, 2010 Lincoln School, Augusta, Maine
Ind. Wrestling Entertainment September 10, 2010 The Community Center, Fairfield, Maine
Ind. Wrestling Entertainment November 5, 2010 The Community Center, Fairfield, Maine
Mistress Belmont battled Barbie in a series of matches that just got better and better with each encounter.  Including trading the IWE Women’s championship.

Ind. Wrestling Entertainment April 8, 2011 The Community Center, Fairfield, Maine
Ring of Honor World Champion: “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards pinned Mark Moment in a match that was somehow better than their first encounter

IWE & NWA-On Fire Supershow    
June 10, 2011 The Community Center, Fairfield, ME
BWO Heavyweight Champion: Sebastian Cruz pinned Cameron Matthews & NWA On-Fire Heavyweight Champion: Julian Starr pinned Brian Fury the opening and closing match on the card both got well deserved standing ovations

The Top 5 Shows, by date of occurrence;

WWE RAW Brand House Show
February 27, 2005 Agganis Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
            This was a matinee show that was followed by a Triple H book signing at Barnes & Noble down the street.  We had 3rd row and each match was excellent with great hard hitting action.  And of course we got a bloody Ric Flair in a cage!

Included a special appearance by WWE Hall of Famer Superstar Billy Graham in which he hit Jonathan Coachman after Coachman insulted him
Intercontinental Champion:  Shelton Benjamin pinned Christian with the Exploder suplex at around the 15-minute mark; Tyson Tomko was in the challenger's corner until he was eventually sent backstage by the referee
Chris Masters defeated Val Venis via submission with the masterlock
World Tag Team Champions: William Regal & Tajiri defeated La Resistance:  Rob Conway & Sylvian Grenier when Regal scored the pin with a running knee to the head
Rhyno pinned Tyson Tomko with the Gore after avoiding a boot to the face
Women's Champion: Trish Stratus defeated Victoria and Molly Holly by pinning Victoria with a roll up after Victoria hit the Widow's Peak on Molly; after the bout, Christy Hemme came out and tripped the champion which brought out Gene Snitsky
Hardcore Match: Kane pinned Gene Snitsky with a chokeslam onto a garbage can
Chris Benoit defeated Muhammad Hassan w/ Daivari via disqualification when Daivari interfered
“Heart Break Kid” Shawn Michaels pinned Edge with the sweet chin music Edge attempted the spear
Steel Cage Match:  Batista & Randy Orton defeated World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H & “Nature Boy” Ric Flair Batista pinned Triple H with the spinebuster and the sit-down powerbomb; mid-way through the bout, Flair and Orton were helped backstage after they were deemed unable to continue

NWH/AWA North Atlantic
February 21, 2007 The Community Center, Fairfield, Maine
            This was the biggest show to date for this now defunct league with the biggest crowd I had ever seen in the Fairfield Community center, until a recently promoted show.  The crowd was loud and into every match.  All the workers stepped it up to levels most of them had never reached before.  The Main Event was one of the best matches I had ever seen live to date and since them Matthews has just gotten better and better.

Black Jack Wild defeated “Finley Tuned Athletic Machine” Luke Robinson
Scotty “By God” Vegas battled Robbie Ellis to a no contest for the vacant Cruiserweight Championship
Makua defeated “Hot Stuff” Paul Hudson, “Canadian Moondog” Mark Moment, & John “The Bomb” Bryar for the vacant Television Championship
“Enforcer” Larry Huntley pinned “Boston Bad Boy” Jason Rumble for the vacant Heavyweight Championship
Three Way Dance: Osirus defeated Legion Freakin Cage & “Mourning Star” Marcus Hall
American Muscle: “Too Fit” Eric Atlas & “Heartbreaker” Chase San Antone defeated The Dangerous Alliance for the vacant Tag Team Championship
AWA World Heavyweight Champion: “King of Old School” Steve Corino pinned Cameron Matthews with the Lariat in a 26 minute match

Front Row Wrestling
November 17, 2007 American Legion, Rochester, New Hampshire
            This show was plain and simple fun.  I was drawn to this show based on the hype that Maverick Wild posted on the www.theburninghammer.com in regards to his match with Shayne Sharp.  The mangers challenge was hilarious and introduced me to the awesomeness of Joey Eastman.  Every match on this card was excellent with the stand outs being Christian Angers defeated Thomaso Ciampa and the often times barbaric street fight where Sharp and Wild literally took the ring a part and stripping the canvas and foam mat off bumping on the plywood.

Tommy Mack, Tommy Lidell & Scott Reed defeated “Duke of Elegance” Don Chesterfield, Matt Spectro & Mike Nice w/ Steven Marriott
Managers Challenge:  Vanity Vixxxen defeated Joey Eastman in a Tug of War
Vampire Setheron w/ Vanity Vixxxen defeated “Celtic Crippler” Guthrie O'Dwyer w/ Joey Eastman Managers Challenge: Vanity Vixxen defeated Joey Eastman & Steven Marriott  in a swimsuit contest
Panther Martin defeated Master Flesh
All-Star Champion: Christian Angers defeated Thomaso Ciampa
Managers Challenge: Talent Competition won by Steven Marriott,  Musical Chairs & Overall competition winner: Vanity Vixxen
Dr Reginald Heresy defeated Scott Reed
DJ Barron & “Strutting” Sonny Goodspeed defeated Tag Team Champions: Johnny Vegas & Justin Shaype w/ Steven Marriott to win the titles
Street Fight: Granite State Champion: Shayne Sharp defeated Maverick Wild

TNA Wrestling House Show
December 4, 2009 Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, Maine
            First and currently only time TNA has been to Maine.  We were sitting second row on the aisle.  TNA delivers a very fan friendly environment with wrestlers making themselves available for photo’s and autographs.  The crowd was small, but very lively and appreciative of the product.  Kurt Angle vs. Desmond Wolfe was excellent and AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels was PPV quality. 

X-Division Champion: Amazing Red pinned Suicide with sunset flip power bomb
Hamada & Awesome Kong defeated The Beautiful People: Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne when Kong pinned Rayne following an implant buster.
Abyss pinned Dr. Stevie with a black hole slam
Kurt Angle pinned Desmond Wolfe with Angle Slam
Beer Money Inc: Robert Roode & “Cowboy” James Storm & Matt Morgan defeated World Elite: Tag Team Champions: The British Invasion: Brutus Magnus & Doug Williams and Sheik Abdul Bashir when Roode pinned Angel
World Heavyweight Champion: “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles pinned Daniels after a styles clash
After show meet & greet, several autographs and photo’s with Desmond Wolfe & Ayako Hamada

Chikara presents Joshimania Night 2
December 3, 2011 The Recreation Center, Everett, Massachusetts
            This truly was a once in a lifetime experience.  Twelve of the top Joshi talent with hard hitting matches busting out moves I’d never seen before.  Unlike the other shows I have this on DVD and can’t watch it again and again.  Match of the night was Del Rey vs. Kuragaki followed closely by the 8 Person Tag. 

Toshie Uematsu & GAMI defeated Cherry & Sawako Shimono in 14:10 with when Uematsu pinned Shimono following a Tiger Suplex
Ophidian made Gregory Iron tap out at 9:54 via a modified rolling cobra clutch
Kaori Yoneyama pinned Hanako Nakamori with a top rope knee to the head at the 8:23 mark
Mayumi Ozaki beat Mio Shirai at 9:33 with a variation of the Shining Yakuza Kick
“The Queen of Wrestling” Sara Del Rey defeated Tsubasa Kuragaki with the Royal Butterfly in 14:45
8 Person Tag Team Atomic: Mamami Toyota, Mike Quakenbush, Fire Ant & Soldier Ant defeated “Canadian Ninja” Portia Perez, Icarus, Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano at the 17:49 mark when Toyota pinned Perez with the Ocean Cyclone Suplex
Aja Kong pinned Ayako Hamada in 10:10 with a spinning back fist

Follow these links to my Facebook photo albums for this great event Album 1 & Album 2

            This ended up being much longer then I planned it to be.  I would love to read what everyone else has on their list. 

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