Sunday, December 17, 2017

WWF at the LA Sports Arena December 17, 1988

I had to urge to watch some 1980's WWF but didn't want to watch a PPV so I headed over to the Old School section in the Vault of the WWE Network.  I quickly found this show and noting that it was exactly 29 years ago this day it was a no brainer and I fired it up.

WWF Live at the LA Sports Arena December 17, 1988

Commentary: Rod Trongard and "Superstar" Billy Graham
Live on The Z Channel

Boris Zhukov  vs. "Leaping" Lanny Poffo

Boris opened with the Soviet National Anthem and Poffo countered with a poem:

That Great Big Ugly Russian
Thinks he's worth a million bucks
He had better stick to wrestling
Cause his singing really sucks

Zhukov jumps him before the bell by Poffo quickly gains control before Zhukov takes a powder to the floor.  They worked side headlock spot where Boris had one on Poffo and held the hair to prevent from being wiped off and then Poffo used Zhukov's beard to do the same.

Poffo worked the left leg and knee during the match using a step over toe hold and standing ankle lock to wear the big Russian down.  Zhukov got the pin in about 13 minutes with a clothesline off the second rope.

Winner: Boris Zhukov

Greg "The Hammer" Valentine vs. Tito Santana

Valentine is wearing the shinguard and Trongard referenced that it was to be called the Heart Breaker.  They spoke about it in great detail actually.  These two had some serious wars over the Intercontinental Championship just a few years before.

A really good and stiff back and forth match that went the 20 minute time limit.  I'm positive that after this match these guys felt this match.  It started slow and built and built leading to an exciting finish Tito slapping on the figure four just as time expired.

I think the WWE could benefit by returning to time limits in matches and have a draw once in a while to continue a feud.

Winner: 20 minute time limit draw

Bad News Brown vs. Jim Powers

I thought that this was going to be a squash match but surprisingly it wasn't.  Bad News tried to jump Powers at the bell but Power side stepped him.  Bad News left the ring a couple times threatening to walk to the back.  Powers managed to keep staying just ahead of News until he was bodyslammed on the floor.  News then worked him over for a few minutes punishing him with strikes and chokes until the ghetto blaster ended it at just about 11 minutes.

Winner: Bad News Brown

In Ring: While Powers was still in the ring Mr. Fuji came out annoucing that he had a new tag team The Powers of Pain.  He then kicked Powers then dropped kicked Fuji.  The Powers of Pain ran out and attacked Powers laying him out.

World Tag Team Champions: Demolition: Ax & Smash vs. The Powers of Pain: Warlord & Barbarian with Mr. Fuji

The match started after the commercial break with all four men starting until it ended with Ax and the Barbarian.  Typical big man match, except tag team edition.  Powers of Pain cheated a lot as they aer new founded bad guys, Demolition was on the unusual end having to sell as they are the baby faces.  Match was halted after six minutes when Fuji and his cane got in the ring and the referee disqualified both teams.

Winners: Double Disqualification

"Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase with Virgil vs. Hercules

DiBiase jumped Hercules as he slid in the ring which didn't end up well with Herc sending DiBiase to the floor.  Hercules got quite the pop, which just goes to show how over the Million Dollar Man was as a heel.  DiBiase took over control of the match wearing the big man down but couldn't put him away.  Hercules made a comeback after DiBiase missed a series of elbow drops and then took a series of clotheslines and a powerslam.

Herc then stood over DiBiase talking trash and then paintbrushed him with several slaps to the face just like DiBiase is known for and the crowd ate it up.  Hercules locked in the full nelson, but DiBiase made it to the ropes and on the break Hercules accidentally hit the referee.  Hercules put DiBiase in the torture rack backbreaker and with the referee still down Virgil hit Hercules with his own chain in the abdomen.  DiBiase scored the pin at about nine minutes for the win.

Winner: "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase

Backstage: Rod Trongard is with Slick and the Big Boss Man for a promo about their match.

Backstage: Rod Trongard said he was with Hercules Cortez who cut a promo about Ted DiBiase and Virgil.

Akeem the African Dream with Slick vs. Koko B. Ware

This match was 11 minutes of garbage.  Just terrible.  Koko didn't have Frankie, his offense was stick and move.  Akeem's offense was lumbering wear down holds like a long bear hug and slowing plodding around the ring.  Finish came when Koko went to dive at Akeem in the corner, he moved, and Koko ate the turnbuckle landing on his back where he was crushed by the 747 splash.

Winner: Akeem the African Dream.

Women's Champion: Rockin' Robin vs. Sensational Sherri

Sherri did a lot of jaw jacking with the fans before the start of the match.  I really enjoyed this match, it wasn't a five star classic by any means but you got to see the veteran in Sherri leading the rookie Rockin' Robin who had only been wrestling about a year at this time.  One of my favorite moments was when Sherri was being pinned and instead of kicking out she pointed to her foot that was on the bottom rope.

These two girls beat the crap out of each other and Robin got the pin in just over ten minutes with a wicked vicious looking bulldog.

I was pretty excited to see this match on the card.  I haven't seen a lot of Rockin' Robin matches in the WWE as most of her them were on house shows and not television.  Typically the match of hers I've seen the most is her title win over Sherri from Paris.

Winner: Rockin' Robin

Main Event
Hulk Hogan vs. The Big Boss Man with Slick

Boss Man tried to hit Hogan with the nightstick as he was getting into the ring so Hogan pulled him to the floor and proceeded to slam him into the ring posts repeatedly and even hit him in the head with a steel chair.  He rolled Bossman back in the ring and took the night stick to him before Slick jumped on Hogans back.  Bossman then accidentally splashed Slick in the corner leading to Hogan handcuffing Slick to the bottom rope outside the ring.  I guess this is no DQ?

Back in the ring Hogan would beat up Boss Man and then go to the floor and open hand slap Slick a couple times.  The fans were going insane for Hogan through all this.  Boss Man took control and uncuffed Slick.  Boss Man nailed Hogan with a piledriver and only got a one count.

Boss Man hit his finish, but it was awkward and the commentators called it a double clothesline that Boss Man got the better of Hogan on.  Boss Man hit a splash, Hogan kicked out on two Hulking up.  The big boot sent Boss Man to the floor who then pulled Hogan out posting him and handcuffing him with a cuffs that had a two foot chain.  Hogan rolled back into the ring with his hands cuffed still, Boss Man continued the offense, which the referee allowed.  Hogan eventually broke the chair and a clothesline and leg drop later Hogan won in about 13 minutes.

The pop when he won shook the hard camera.  And of course Hogan must pose.

Winner: Hulk Hogan

Except for the Koko and Akeem match this was a very good show and a good audience that got into it.  If you haven't watched it it's worth your time.  I've always been a fan of Rod Trongard not because he's a fantastic commentator, but because his voice is amazing.  Also when I think of him it's his time in the AWA that comes to mind.

Checking with The History of WWE it appears that WWE ran five shows this day with two matinee shows including one in Oakland that featured the same exact matches as this show with one change in that Demolition won via pinfall.

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast Podcast of 1,000 Holds on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Later Readers!

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Last Match: AWA World Champions

In this post we take a look at The Last Matches of former World Champions of the American Wrestling Association.

Verne Gagne

June 29, 1986 AWA Denver, Colorado
with Greg Gagne & "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka defeated Boris Zhukov, North The Barbarian, & Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie

Ten time AWA World Champion for a combined reign of 4,677 days

Gagne was a celebrated amateur wrestler including being an alternate for the 1948 US Olympic Wrestling team.  He turned pro in 1949 founding the AWA in 1960.  Gagne awarded current NWA Champion Pat O'Connor the AWA World Championship stating that if he didn't defend it against Gagne in 90 days he would be stripped of the title.  O'Connor didn't so the AWA awarded the championship to Gagne.

I recommend watching the WWE's documentary The Spectacular Legacy of the AWA for a detailed history of the Gagne and his promotion.  Gagne passed away April 27, 2015 at the age of 89.

Nick Bockwinkel

May 23, 1993 WCW Slamboree 1993, Atlanta, Georgia
wrestled Dory Funk Jr. to a 15 time limit draw

Four time AWA World Champion for a combined right of 2,990 days

To me Mr. Bockwinkel is the most sophisticated wrestler there has ever been.  His dress, his demeanor, his promo style, and even his in ring style displayed this in all footage I have ever seen of him.  Trained by Lou Thesz he debuted in 1955 and traveled around the country including feuding with Dory Funk Jr over the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

In 1970 he joined the AWA teaming with Ray Stevens being managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.  He won his first AWA World Championship on November 8, 1975 holding it for 1,714 days and during this title run he wrestled WWF Champion: Bob Backlund to a double count out in a unification match on March 25, 1979 in Toronto.  Bockwinkel passed away on November 14, 2015 at the age of 80.

The Crusher

February 15, 1988 WWE, Omaha, Nebraska
with Ken Patera defeated Demolition: Ax & Smash by disqualification

Three time AWA World Champion for a combined reign of 122 days

The first blur collar wrestler and arguable to most famous wrestler from Milwaukee The Crusher began his career in 1949.  The Crusher started as a heel, but in the mid 1960's became a babyface for the remainder of his career achieving a level fandom few do.  He had a very unique and entertaining promo style.  If you're not familiar take the time to YouTube some of them.  The Crusher died October 22, 2005 from a brain tumor at the age of 79.

Dick The Bruiser

February 4, 1988 AWA, Minneapolis, Minnesota
defeated Sheik Adnan Al-Kassie by disqualification

AWA World Champion November 12 - 19, 1966.

The Bruiser wrestled for thirty years starting in the mid 1950's primarily known for his tag team with The Crusher the duo are 12 time tag team champions.  The Bruiser also ran his own Indianapolis based  World Wrestling Association promotion from March 1964 until his death November 10, 1991 at the age of 62.

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page and while you're at it check out my weekly podcast Podcast of 1,000 Holds on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network. 

Later Readers!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Wrestlecade 2017 Recap – The SuperShow (Part 3 of 3)

Saturday night’s SuperShow is the biggest event that happens during WrestleCade and arguably the biggest yearly wrestling event in North Carolina. Many of the guests from the FanFest gear up and offer fans in North Carolina an amazing opportunity to see one of the most loaded wrestling cards put on all year long.

This year’s card was very good and provided a great night of wrestling entertainment. Here is how it all went down:

The Extreme Horsemen (CW Anderson and Damien Wayne) defeated The Heatseekers and 
The Boys and The Spirit Squad (Kenny and Mikey)

I love a big tag match and I thought this was a great way to start off the show. All four teams have very different styles and seeing them all interact was great. The match was short and didn’t linger too long, which is always good for an opening match. I can’t say anything was memorable about the match, but it was a solid opening match.

The Extreme Horsemen won the match after Damien Wayne slingshot a member of the Spirit Squad into a superkick delivered by CW Anderson.

Billy Gunn defeated Carlito

This was my second time watching Billy Gunn wrestle in the past three months and I gotta say, the guy hasn’t lost a step. He looks fantastic and still puts on an entertaining (although predictable) match. I don’t know if there was a better opponent in the building for Billy than Carlito and the two put on a predictable match with a few comedy spots. The biggest shocker to me was that Billy Gunn came out to his DX music. With this event streaming live on FITE TV, I was a little surprised they could get away with that.

Billy got the win with the Fameasser after Carlito accidently spit apple in the referee’s face.

Zane Dawson defeated Tommy Dream and Luke Hawx

I was pretty excited for this match, only because I’d never seen Tommy Dreamer wrestle live before. Tommy spent several moments in the match paying tribute to Dusty and of course, things got a little extreme. A chair was brought into the ring and of course, Dreamer was on the bad end of it most of the time.

Zane Dawson got the win after Dreamer gave Hawx the Death Valley Driver, and Dawson hit Dreamer with a clothesline. Following the match, Dreamer said some kind words to the crowd supporting wrestling in North Carolina and Dusty’s dream of having high quality wrestling on Thanksgiving weekend.

Jerry Lawler vs. George South

Once both participants in the ring, George South began cutting his promos and you know how I feel about that. It was nice to see someone actually get a chance to fight back with words, but Lawler was cut short and South dominated the mic. The most frustrating part was George South kept promising to defeat Lawler with a piledriver. This wouldn’t be much of an issue had we not been subject to watching the same ten minute collection of promos/ads for an hour and a half before the match began and on that loop was a promo with George South saying the piledriver was banned, so Lawler couldn’t use it.

Once the match began, things went well.

I’ve seen both guys wrestle in August, but this match was way better than anything either one of them did then. They actually put on a classic wrestling match and kept a good pace and kept things interesting. It’s flat out amazing to see Lawler hit a dropkick a few days shy of the age of sixty-eight and the crowd was very appreciative.

George South kept roughing up the referee and he actually laid out the referee after the referee caught South attempting to pin Lawler with his feet on the ropes. Around the time the referee came to, Lawler actually attempted the exact same pin, with his feet on the ropes and the referee noticed, paused for a second, and then went ahead and made the three count.

This was a very entertaining match and a true testament to how both wrestlers still got it when matched up with an appropriate opponent.

Veterans of War (Mayweather (Crimson)/Wilcox (Jax Dane) defeated America’s Top Team (Bobby Lashley/King Mo)

I’ve never seen either of these tag teams face-off, although I’m quite familiar with Jax Dane’s work. It was a hard hitting big man match where King Mo looked very out of place. I never realized how huge Bobby Lashley is until seeing him in person. He is a flat-out beast and it was wonderful seeing him square up against a guy similar in size like Jax Dane.

VOW got the win after Lashley charged Dane and was side stepped and went through the ropes to the floor. King Mo got a double team cutter by VOW and that was all she wrote.

Caleb Konley, Juventud Guerrera, and Super Crazy defated Willie Mack, PJ Black, and Jason Kincaid

This was my second favorite match of the night. Growing up I was a huge Juventud and Super Crazy fan. Today, Willie Mack is arguably my favorite wrestler. These six guys put on a great show that was highlighted by Super Crazy’s moonsault off the top turnbuckle to the floor, and Willie Mack giving everyone (including his own team) stunners. Mack was in such a groove, he attempted to stun the referee, who reversed it and stunned Mack himself.

Konley/Guerrera/Super Crazy got the win after a dog pile occurred following a big splash by Guerrera.

WOW Match:
Jungle Grrl defeated The Beverly Hills Babe (Amber O’Neal) with Lana Starr via DQ 

Holy hell was this a mess.

I was excited to see my first WOW match. It looked like they had put some major money into their recording equipment, their FanFest booth was well organized, and they had been hyping this match all weekend long. I know Amber O’Neal can put on decent/below average matches, so I figured this match was made to highlight Jungle Grrrl’s abilities in front of a familiar face here in the Carolinas. Well, they struggled with A/V issues right off the bat with the music cutting in and out and playing music while people were trying to talk and then not playing music while the wrestlers were walking to the ring. It was a bit of a technical nightmare, but something they could easily fix in post-production before the match airs.

Then came the actual match which cannot be salvaged. A mirror was broken over The Beverly Hills Babe’s head, one ref was knocked out so another came into the ring. The first ref woke up and stopped the second ref from making the three count. Then Lana Starr argued that the second ref was the only active ref. Then Beast (who really should have been facing Jungle Grrrl) came down to the ring and attacked Jungle Grrrl, then O’Neal, and then Starr. Jungle Grrl got the win (and the title shot) because Beast touched her first, so technically she won via DQ.

During this disaster of a match, David McLane keeps picking up the mic (with either his voice or the mic going out) and starts calling in the action. My god was it terrible. Had they let Beast actually into the ring and started a second match with Jungle Grrrl I think all would have been forgotten, but this was not a good showing for WOW and did not inspire me to ever check out their TV show.

Dan Severn with Jim Cornette defeated Josh “The Goods” Woods 

Jim Cornette got on the mic and made a prison rape joke. Yep… that happened and it was awesome.

Dan Severn and Josh Woods wrestled a technical mat based match that had a few spots in it where they started off the match in an amateur wrestling position. I thought it was a fun way to change things up and I was excited to not only see Dan Severn wrestle, but Jim Cornette’s final managed match. Well, after following up the disaster of the last match, and occurring halfway through the card, the drunks began heckling and it was pretty bad.

Jim Cornette snapped back at the first heckler, but that didn’t stop him. Chants of “Boring” and “We Want Wrestling” occurred and I really felt bad for everyone involved. I think they should have announced beforehand what type of match this was going to be and that might have prepared the fans for the slower pace, but it also really hurt being put on the card where it was following the WOW disaster.

Severn got a quick pin just as Woods was trying to lock in an armbar. After the match, Jim Cornette thanked the fans, put over both Woods and Severn, and told the fans wasn’t done with wrestling, but he was done with managing. It had been thirty-five years of managing and he wanted to end it in the Carolinas where he really built his career. He thanked Dusty, Jim Crockett Promotions, and The Midnight Express for allowing him to work with them.

Hurricane Helms won the Top Rope Belts Battle Royale

I wish I had a listing of all the participants, but I assumed it was going to be full of local wrestlers and not any stars, so I didn’t attempt to keep track of who came out. I was surprised at some of the participants once they started making their way to the ring. Bobby Fulton, Tracy Smothers, Kevin Thorne, Crazzy Steve, Swoggle, Matt Striker, Mr. Hughes, D’Lo Brown all wrestled alongside some local wrestlers like John Skylar, Darius Lockhart, White Mike, Axton Ray, and Timmy Lou Retton.

Ryback defeated Joey Mercury

I know on the internet fans like to take shots at Ryback and some of things he does and says, but I’ll tell you this, at Wrestlecade Ryback was crazy over. He got one of the biggest pops and the crowd was fully behind him.

I’m not really a fan of Ryback or Mercury and thought the match ran way too long. Mercury dominated the match with Ryback only getting minor spots of offense in before Mercury beat him back down. The match ended after Ryback hit the Shell Shock after bouncing right up after a pedigree.

So, following this match, they changed out the ring skirt from blue to black. At first I thought they were changing out the apron to an IMPACT apron in order to film the next two matches for IMPACT, but it was just the ring skirt. I’m not exactly sure why they did this; my guess is they didn’t want blood showing up on the ring should the next match get out of hand.

Ivelisse defeated Taya Valkerie in a No DQ Match

Match of the night, no questions about it.

This was originally scheduled as a cage match, but it was changed to a DQ a few days before the show. I was alright with that, as long as it was truly a DQ match, and not just someone getting hit in the head with a trash can. It was so much more than that, and I take my hat off to those two ladies, who put on a fantastic show for all those in attendance.

I could never do the match justice trying to describe all the spots, but let’s just say they fought in the crowd and on one of the tables at ringside. A trash can, kendo stick, baking sheets, chairs, and tables were all used to inflict major damage.

Ivelisse got the win after wrapping a chain around Taya’s neck and almost bending her over completely in half.

Eli Drake defeated Jack Swagger with Catalina Swagger and Johnny IMPACT 
to retain the Global IMPACT Championship

Some of the same issues that plagued the WOW entrances seemed to affect this match as well. Music was being played when it shouldn’t and mics weren’t working when they should have been. It took a while, but Dutch Mantell introduced Jack Swagger, then Johnny IMPACT made his way to the ring, followed by Eli Drake who cut a promo right in front of me.

This match looked good on paper and came off very ho-hum. It was decent, just nothing special. Drake got the pin (with his feet on the ropes) after Johnny IMPACT hit Starship Pain on Swagger.

The most memorable moment of the match is where Catalina Swagger got involved. Eli Drake picked her up and pressed her, causing Jack Swagger to come in and make the same. Johnny IMPACT used Drake as a lever which hit Swagger straight in the nuts causing Catalina to become upset. She slapped Johnny and Taya Valkerie came out to carry Catalina to the back.

Best Matches of the Night:
1. Ivelisse vs. Taya Valkerie – No DQ

2. Caleb Konley/Juventud Guerrera/Super Crazy vs. PJ Black/Willie Mack/Jason Kincaid

3. Jerry Lawler vs. George South

Things I Didn’t Like:
1. I feel bad for anyone sitting more than a couple rows back, because the venue is not well designed to watch wrestling in.

2. There was a major issue with fans rushing from the back to the entrance barrier trying to touch wrestlers. One of the gentlemen at the table in front of us eventually found a staff member who got a profanity laden rant about this behavior and had this person sit at the table with him to help deal with this situation. The staff member said they were allowed to run over to the barrier, but had to leave once the match started which was a little helpful. But this still meant that a lot of people who spent good money to sit close were unable to get to the ringside barrier and take good pictures, because a swarm of grown women were constantly running over. I actually stood up to take up some space and try and prevent this from happening and instead the women climbed over our seats and all over our coats and bags.

Of course, we had no problem with kids coming over, but these women quickly pushed the kids away and they eventually stopped coming over. This is the type of thing that happens when you have a four foot gap against the guard rail because you have tables as your front row. Children don’t get to greet their heroes.

Final Thoughts:
This was my third year attending Wrestlecade and I had a lot of fun. The wrestling matches were great and it’s wonderful walking into a room with all your favorite wrestlers. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves wrestling.

There is still quite a bit of work that needs to be done organizing and executing the event, especially as it continues to grow. I had planned on attending all of Sunday’s events, but after spending so much time frustrated at not knowing where to line up, not entering events on time, and not being able to find any staff members to help with anything, I decided it was best to just call it a weekend and go home. I figure I’ll watch the Smokey Mountain Panel and skim through the other events once they make their way onto the AML Network or onto DVD.

I hope Wrestlecade returns next year and some adjustments are made to make this the best wrestling convention in the country!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wrestlecade 2017 Recap – Saturday’s Fanfest (Part 2 of 3)

Wrestlecade’s Saturday is broken into two parts: the morning from 10:30 AM-3:00 PM is the FanFest where all the vendors and wrestling personalities set up tables to interact with fans, and in the evening the Wrestlecade SuperShow takes place.

We arrived at 9:30 AM and found a line of several hundred fans already snaking across the lobby and down the tunnel leading towards the hotels. Since we had already picked up our tickets the night before, we hopped in the long line to wait until the doors opened.

I mentioned in the last post my displeasure at the lack of staff and directions, and Saturday was more of the same. Two lines existed, one for will-call and one to actually get in. Neither line was labeled nor was there anyone out to help direct people into the correct lines. Lots of the fans were voicing their displeasure for there not being a separate line for everyone who had passes for early admission. Confusion ran rampant and there was a lot of frustration at people cutting in line because there was no one there to manage it. You’d see groups of five to ten people joining up with their friends and it really wasn’t necessary. I’ve seen much bigger conventions handle way more people; all it takes is some man power, some barriers, signs, and a little initiative.

As 10:30 approached, someone finally came along the line and told those with early tickets to separate into another line and prepare for our bags to be checked. Things went rather smoothly and we were in the doors within ten minutes. But right before we made it inside, I noticed a large man with a rolling suitcase behind me, and it was none other than Dan “The Beast” Severn. He asked me where everyone was entering and I explained that all of the doors led to the same place. He jokingly remarked back, “But yea, will they open the doors for me in those other places.” I laughed and told him I didn’t think of that and he thanked me for the help before moving towards the same entrance us fans were funneling into. He seemed like a really nice guy.

As we approached the door, I looked for a staff member to ask my one question, “How do I redeem my Terry Funk/Mick Foley photo op?” No staff was around, so I went inside figuring I’d find someone to ask. Of course, I couldn’t find a staff member inside either, but that wasn’t nearly as frustrating as the room layout.

The Fanfest room is 18,300 square feet but a good portion of that is taken up by a wrestling ring, an entrance, twenty feet on two sides for seating and ten feet on the other. That means only a set path can be followed throughout the FanFest floor. This makes for some massive traffic jams and it’s not unusual to get stuck in a crowd for three or four minutes with no moving. It also doesn’t help when the organizers place Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard across from Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express with no more than eight feet between the two tables. It’s not fan friendly nor wrestler/vendor friendly. It’s hard to stop and talk, or to even look at things because there is constantly a massive crowd of people trying to get by you. Lines for the wrestlers become confusing because people are lining up two different directions, and no one can tell who’s in line and who is stuck in the crowd just trying to get through. I said it last year and the year before, the ring has to go. I love wrestling and I was introduced to AML through the FanFest matches, but they do not have enough room with the ring and entrance taking up so much space. It also isn’t fair to the wrestlers and vendors because if you are located near the entrance to the ring, you are constantly doing battle with the announcers and speaker system.

Here is an incredibly crude layout I made in Paint of what the layout looks like. The brown represents tables, the black lines are barriers that you cannot cross, and the arrows represent the traffic flow.

Because of the lack of space, it becomes incredibly hot quickly. We were inside for under an hour and the doors were already being held open by security trying to cool things down. The ring has to go next year. They have to move the matches into another room for the fans who want to watch them or move the vendors and tables into the lobby. Something has to give. It’s not comfortable, safe, or fun when you spend almost all your time just trying to navigate through the crowd.

So, we make it inside and immediately get stuck in the crowd of fans visiting with The Boogeyman, Tatanka, and Curtis Hughes. Once we manage to make our way all the way around to the backside of the ring, we decided to redeem our Jerry Lawler photo op. 

I introduced myself to Mr. Lawler and took a photo with him. I was expected to be shooed along, but he took a couple of minutes to talk to us. I was shocked, because the only other wrestler I’ve ever had actually take time and not push me along was Cody Rhodes. I told him I grew up in Memphis and we discussed the various malls in Memphis as well as that show I met him first at since it was held in a mall and was memorable because they put the ring on the ice skating ring. He was incredibly cordial and only confirmed that I had made the right choice in favorite wrestler.

When coming out of the line, I heard a fan say that Terry Funk was not coming. I decided to check the Wrestlecade Facebook page and sure enough, Funk had to fly home after his wife fell ill. I was bummed, but a sick family member is way more important than a bunch of fans. I hope she recovers quickly and maybe I’ll catch Terry the next time he comes to North Carolina.

One of the best parts of Wrestlecade is just standing there and taking it all in. You glance around the room and you see nothing but legends and memories. Everywhere you look there are so many amazing people it’s hard to contain it all or even process where to go next. I ultimately decided to go see how much Jake the Snake was charging for pictures. He wasn’t at the table, but his handler told me twenty bucks and I decided to go get my Brutus the Barber Beefcake photo while waiting for Jake to return.

I mentioned it briefly in the last post, but I didn’t grow up a Brutus fan. In fact, I really didn’t care for the guy. The set sold me on the photo op and once I came over to him, I found Brutus to be very fan friendly. I watched as he made a special effort to make sure everyone got great photos and he took his time and gave hugs freely to fans. He made sure I was comfortable in the chair and that I posed with the clippers properly. I was holding them the opposite way and he told me that was blasphemy and you always had to hold them the other way. I never imagined he’d be so friendly, and it was just another amazing wrestler interaction at Wrestlecade.

Jake came back to his table after he obviously had left to take a smoke break. He was sweating bullets, but looking healthy. I paid his fee, shook the man’s hand, told him how much I enjoyed his documentary, and he smiled and sent us along. It was by far the shortest wrestler interaction, and Jake didn’t seem up to interacting with the fans, but he wasn’t a jerk or anything like that. He just wasn’t overly friendly.

We fought back through the crowd when I pointed out Ken Shamrock to my wife. She immediately jumped in line and informed me that I was getting a photo with him. I was a huge Shamrock fan in both the UFC and his WWF run. Ken Shamrock, like almost everyone else I interacted with at Wrestlecade was very friendly and seemed to enjoy interacting with his fans.

We cut back through the crowd and back towards the entrance taking time to look through the booths to the best of our ability. I noticed Highspots was selling a New Japan ringer shirt that looked similar to the one I saw on ProWrestlingTees. The cool thing about the Highspots booth is many times local wrestlers, who I guess are employed by High Spots, will be selling their merch as well as running the booth. When I walked up “Man Scout” Jake Manning was working the booth so I asked him about the shirt and he mentioned it was long sleeve, but they did have my size. I ended up picking a new copy of Memphis Heat, since I’ve somehow misplaced my original copy, and later that night at the SuperShow I purchased the NJPW shirt.

The matches had begun by this point and things went from loud to super-loud in the FanFest area. The sound of the ring, yelling wrestlers, cheering fans, and a huge speaker system does not mesh well with the whole wrestler/vendor interaction. I noticed Kevin Kelly was watching the action and decided to swing by and get a photo with him.

Like Jerry Lawler, he took a few minutes to chat wrestling with me, and I told him that I was a huge fan of his work with Memphis Championship Wrestling. He seemed to get a kick that I brought that up, especially since he was sharing a table with Kevin Thorne who he met in MCW wrestling under the name of Seven. We both agreed that had HD cameras been around that footage would have been highly sought after considering the roster at the time.

I grew frustrated trying to talk with Mr. Kelly having a speaker blasting in my face during the entire exchange. The temperature in the room had gotten even hotter and by this point the room was even more crowded. We decided to make our way ringside to watch a couple of matches, but it was so uncomfortable we were both ready to go.

I wanted to snag one last photo this time with Katarina Winters now known as The Temptress over at the WOW booth, but it was crowded, so we made our way out the doors to the much cooler lobby and decided to call it a day. I’m not going to lie, I was a little bummed. There was plenty more to see and more wrestlers to chat with (I’d only gotten a split second to tell Super Crazy how much I enjoyed his work at House of Hardcore the weekend before) but I could tell my wife was as done as I was. There was not nearly enough room for the people, vendors, and ring.

We walked a block over to Mellow Mushroom and then swung by the Mast General Store to kill some time before the SuperShow. We made it back to the convention center around 2:30 PM and decided to peek inside and see if the crowd had died down some. It had, not by much, but it gave me time to meet Katarina Winters and browse some more booths.

After the final match, which saw Zane Dawson defeat White Mike, the announcer mentioned that the SuperShow would be opening up at 4 PM for those with early passes and 4:30 for general admission. This was not the same time advertised on the website and Facebook page, so I decided to go talk to the ladies handling will call to see what time we needed to line up. Neither one of them knew, and instead they just kept guessing times, so we decided to get back near 3:30 PM just to be safe.

When we got back to the convention center it was even more chaotic and confusing than it was before. Two giant lines lined both sides of the convention lobby and every person you talked to told you something different. One line was supposedly for food (it was not), another line was for early admission (it was not). I know I’ve said it before, but I just want to convey how confusing and frustrating it is to walk into a massive lobby with hundreds of people everywhere and have no idea where to go or what to do nor have anyone near to ask.

Luckily, we picked the line that they let people in first and the security guys at the door were sending away anyone without an early admission pass. We were guaranteed a seat in rows 1-4, but by the time we made it in, most of the seats had been taken. We picked the best row four seats and our view was this.

See, Wrestlecade also sells table seats that surround the ring. So row four is more like row ten. It also doesn’t help that the flat rectangle room makes for absolutely horrible angles and there is no live video to watch from. I was not happy, not happy at all. I would have been even more upset had I been in the other line that got let in after us.

Luckily for us, the guys in front of us did not have Superstar/Legend passes and once security made a second announcement that they were checking passes, they decided to move out of the seats. So we moved into the third row which was better. Then right before the show started, a group that had empty table seats came over and fetched their friends in the front row and that gave us a chance to move to the front row which was WAY better. We went from being pretty miserable and upset about horrible seats to being very satisfied.

I hope I’m not giving the wrong impression with my recap of the day’s events. It was a lot of fun and I loved being around the wrestlers and around wrestling in general, but the execution and organization of the FanFest and the event as a whole needs some major work. Wrestlecade has grown and they cannot continue to run this event the same way they’ve run it every year. This is not a slightly larger AML event, this is a whole other beast. I realize they do not have the budget nor the staff of a Wizard World, nor do they have enough content to solicit volunteers, but maybe they need to contract a temp agency because the in-ring content and FanFest content is amazing, they just need more staff and more thought given to the fan experience.

With that being said, I do not want to discredit the large amount of hard work that it takes to plan an event like this. It is part convention, part pay per view, and part independent wrestling show. They are managing guests, ticket sales, a locker room, booking matches, managing audio/visual equipment, dealing with building/equipment issues, and I’m sure quite a few egos. I’m sure its stressful just putting on one wrestling event, let alone three, including one that is a live iPPV for the first time with new cameras. It’s amazing that the folks at Wrestlecade manage to put all this together and make it work and they deserve some major kudos for that. I’m also very appreciative that each year they come back and offer us fans here in North Carolina an incredible opportunity to interact with our heroes and watch some amazing wrestling. I just wish they’d stop making the same mistakes each year and improve the fan experience in some areas.

In my final post, we’ll cover the actual SuperShow and why I skipped out on Sunday’s events.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Wrestlecade 2017 Recap – The Showcase of Champions (Part 1 of 3)

My wife and I spent this past weekend in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, home of Wrestlecade. This was my third year in a row attending the annual event and as usual I got to meet some great wrestlers and watch some fantastic in-ring action. Not everything about the trip was positive, but for the most part I had a blast and am really glad I spent my weekend around my fellow wrestling fans.

Wrestlecade runs the Friday after Thanksgiving through Sunday evening each and every November. This year, some additional shows and events were added to Sunday’s lineup to keep fans in town for the day. I had intentions on being there all weekend, but some issues came up and I went home early Sunday morning, but more on that later. Let’s start off where it all began, Friday afternoon.

I purchased the Superstar Pass for Wrestlecade weekend which entitled me early access to the shows on both Saturday and Sunday, but did not include Friday night’s Showcase of Champions. I had to purchase a separate general admission ticket for that, but it was only thirteen dollars. We arrived around 4:15 PM to stand in line for will call and then lined up for the event that began at 7:00 PM.

It took thirty minutes or so to make it to the front and we were given a ziplock bag containing our two Superstar Pass lanyards and our regular tickets for the Sunday events (The Smokey Mountain Wrestling panel, Queens of Combat event, and AML: The Day After). We were told that we’d be let in at 5:30 PM (which was early admission) because of our Superstar Pass.

The next forty-five minutes went by fast. We grabbed a couple drinks at the concession stand and found a seat at one of the large tables filled with wrestling fans. Seemingly out of nowhere a line began snaking along the wall, so we decided to hop in line since we figured it was for the early admission people.

One of the Wrestlecade attendees was WOW (Women of Wrestling Superheroes). Founded by the creator of GLOW, David McLane. WOW operated from 2000-2002 but went on a long hiatus until 2014. Thanks to the growing popularity of women’s wrestling, and the GLOW Netflix series, earlier this year MGM partnered with WOW to create new unscripted content to be released across a variety of platforms. WOW was in attendance at Wrestlecade to get the word out and shoot footage for the upcoming season.

While standing in line, David McLane helped pump up the crowd to create the opening shot for the TV show, and host Gabby Loren made her way through the crowd interviewing fans and creating scenes for the new show.

Everyone was really nice from WOW and it was nice to see an all-female staff. All the camera people were females and the only males I saw in attendance were David McLane and a few handlers, which was funny since a few of the wrestlers were bigger than the guys handling them.

The WOW production helped the time go by and as 5:45 PM rolled around (fifteen minutes past our time to enter the convention), they started separating the line. One person yelled down the line of hundreds that only rows 1-3 should be in the line that we were in and the rest needed to move to the other side. Fans became upset, because like us, all the SuperStar Passes were told we’d get in early at 5:30 PM, but that was not happening. Fans were yelling back up the line trying to figure out what was going on, but the lack of staff really made things difficult. I didn’t really care, I just wanted to get inside and watch some wrestling, so I happily moved across the lobby and got in line.

We all made it inside and I was delighted to see that some of the talent had already set up tables and were selling merch and honoring photo ops passes. We made a bee line for Caleb Konley since he’s my wife’s favorite wrestler and she was hell bent on buying a shirt. We ended up buying two shirts for her, and she got a picture from the very nice Caleb Konley. I mentioned to him how much I enjoyed the Highspots documentary Caleb Konley vs. Everybody, which I recommend everybody check out. Caleb’s day job is working at Highspots making turnbuckles and ring gear. He told he me actually made all the turnbuckles we’d see this weekend at Wrestlecade, which I thought was some fun trivia. I feel like Caleb channels the work ethic and ability of AJ Styles and just needs a better platform to showcase those skills on. Three minute matches on IMPACT is not where he should be.

From there we went to check out the barber shop set for the Brutus the Barber Beefcake photo ops. I was on the fence about getting a photo with Brutus, because I’m not his biggest fan. But the idea of having a barber shop set fascinated me and I was thrilled to see a high quality display that was perfect for photos. I knew on Saturday I’d be lining up to meet the Beefcake.

WOW had a fantastic set up with all of their wrestlers standing by to take photos with fans. I was only familiar with two of WOW’s roster that was on site for Wrestlecade, Amber O’Neal and Katarina Waters. Sure the WOW ladies were nice, but I wanted to take a picture with David McLane. He was very accommodating and happily put down some stuff he was holding to take a few photos with me.

The convention room was filling up fast, so we decided to go find ourselves a couple of seats.

Wrestlecade rents out the entire bottom level of the Benton Convention Center, which is over 46,000 square feet. Rooms 1-3 where the convention takes place and all of the matches (other than the SuperShow on Saturday night) is 18,300 square feet. The SuperShow takes place in room four which is 27,708 sq feet. Needless to say this is a lot of room for wrestling. However, when you take 18,300 square feet and stick a wrestling ring in the middle of it and then put six rows of chairs on two sides and three rows of chairs on one side, you don’t have much room for anything else. You also don’t have room for a lot of fans, so the chairs were small and packed as tight as possible which made for a very uncomfortable night of wrestling. Luckily, when the lady sat down next me, she apologized for being wide. I told her that was alright because I was wide too, and we sat with our shoulders and knees touching for the next three and a half hours.

Of course, right as I got as comfortable as I could get, I noticed Rosemary was at her table and I decided I wanted to cash in my pre-paid photo op tonight because I knew it would be a madhouse on Saturday. I found my way out of seating and made it over to her table where she was casually chatting with Andrew Everett. I said hi and she signed a photo for me and took a photo op with me as well. She was very nice and it was a joy to meet one of my favorite wrestlers. 

As I made my way back to my seat I noticed The Gymnasty Boyz (White Mike and Timmy Lou Retton) chatting with Willie Mack. I’m a huge White Mike fan, so I made my way over to their circle and politely asked if I could get a photo with White Mike. He was happy to oblige and we took a few selfies and I told him how much I appreciated his in-ring work and how all year long I’d been trying to get a photo with him but things just never worked out right. After the photo, I made my way back to my uncomfortable seat and got ready for some in-ring action. 

The Showcase of Champions is an event where every match is a title match. Independents from across the country send their wrestlers to the Showcase of Champions to battle for the various titles. This year’s participants included: Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling (Texas), West Coast Wrestling Connection (Oregon), House of Glory (New York), AML Wrestling (North Carolina), Modern Vintage Wrestling (North Carolina), Resistance Pro (Illinois), and Wildkat Wrestling (Louisana).

Before the matches began, the commentating team was announced and it included New Japan’s own Kevin Kelly, a late addition to Wrestlecade, but a very exciting addition.

Gino (C) defeated Rex Andrews
 Reality of Wrestling Championship Match

Our opening bout featured two Reality of Wrestling competitors going at it. I was unfamiliar with both participants and found the match to be sufficient, but there was nothing memorable about it. Gino showcased small flashes of lucha, while Rex is an old school down on the mat grappler. I felt like a fourth of this match took place on the mat with Rex attempting to win with an armbar and well… it wasn’t all that exciting.

The Heatseekers (C) with George South defeated The Masons 
AML Tag Team Championship Match

I’ve seen The Heatseekers wrestle a ton in AML, but I’ve never heard of The Masons before. They came out in flashy robes, some royal music. They were such babyfaces it came off corny. Before the match started, George South cut a promo offering to let The Masons leave the ring before they were embarrassed. Too late!

Okay, so a quick sidebar. Since this is my first post here on The Wrestling Insomniac, I feel like I need to explain who George South is and his connection to AML Wrestling/Wrestlecade (which is owned by the same person). George South is a journeyman wrestler who spent most of his career as enhancement talent in the NWA/WWF. He’s a very good worker, even at the age of fifty-five, and from what I’ve heard an amazing trainer. He’s the guy that Ric Flair brought his son Reid to train to. Tessa Blanchard, Cedric Alexander, Caleb Konley, etc. were all trained by George South. He helps with ring set up and runs AML’s wrestling school. George South is no doubt a vital part of AML and Wrestlecade’s success.

With that being said… it’s time George South to get off the mic. His promos are fantastic for first time fans, but once you’ve heard it once, you don’t need to hear it again. They are old school heel promos where anyone in the crowd may be subject to insults. Of course, he’s doing this while wearing an I Love Jesus shirt and trunks, which sends mixed messages. I’ve heard George South cut the same promo half a dozen times this year and it’s really gotten old. He’s got go away heat with my wife and myself and after dropping some borderline racist comments at the Wrestlecade Supershow I think it’s time for Mr. South to stick to training, working backstage, and helping the younger wrestlers develop promo skills. Alright, back to the matches.

So, naturally The Masons refused to leave, and a match began. This was another decent match that ended when Elliott of The Heatseekers nailed on The Masons with the belt. George South jumped into the ring and got some kicks in, and of course, The Heatseekers retained because of the DQ.

I was not impressed with The Masons at all. They are very green and need a new gimmick. I hate that they spent so much money on nice robes, because it just isn’t working for them.

Rosemary vs. Kacee Carlisle
Modern Vintage Wrestling Women’s Championship Match

This was one of my most anticipated matches and it did not disappoint. Kacee Carlisle is a former NWA Women’s World Champ and Rosemary has held the IMPACT Knockouts Title. Both women came to fight and that is exactly what they did. It was a very hard hitting match that featured some fantastic near falls. My wife hates women wrestling, but this match made her a fan. I’ll be honest, I didn’t take a lot of notes, because I was just enjoying the heck out of this. Rosemary got all her stuff in, but ultimately Kacee Carlisle came out on top becoming the first Modern Vintage Wrestling Women’s Champion.

J. Spade (C) defeated Caleb Konley
Wildkat Wrestling Heavyweight Championship Match

These two guys looked like they were made to wrestle each other. Both were built well and have very similar wrestling style. I wouldn’t call it high flying, but it definitely is fast, somewhat air based, and intense. This match was perfectly placed on this card, because it followed up an amazing match and kept the momentum going.

It was at this point in the card that I realized none of these titles were going to change hands. I considered that beforehand, but I just thought something unpredictable might happen and make for an interesting night, but it wasn’t meant to be. There was no way a wrestler based in North Carolina like Caleb Konley was going to win a title for a company located in Louisiana.

Jeff Boom (C) defeated Dickie Mayer
West Coast Wrestling Connection Championship Match

The fun thing about Showcase of Champions is that you get exposed to all sorts of wrestlers you’d probably never see. West Coast Wrestling Connection is based in Salem, Oregon and I had never heard of either Jeff Boom or Dickie Mayer. Boom has a fantastic look and a very respectable set of skills, while Mayer played a perfect overconfident heel. Both guys worked hard and Mayer got the win after using brass knuckles on Jeff Boom following a ref bump.

Kevin Kelly had a ringside view of the rule violation and helped alert referee Jeff Bunton to the foreign object still sitting in the ring. Once the referee put two and two together, he restarted the match which gave Jeff Boom ample time and energy to recover and retain his championship.

Evander James (C) defeated The Human Tornado
House of Glory Crown Jewel Championship Match

The Human Tornado was announced as being the only black cast member of Nacho Libre. I barely remember that movie, so I did a quick Google search and sure enough, The Human Tornado was in it. He’s tall and lanky and has a comedy based character complete with dancing that had everybody laughing. Evander James came out and announced that he is what a true champion looks like, and he was correct. James has an amazing look that is only tarnished by carrying around one the ugliest belts I’ve ever seen, House of Glory’s Crown Jewel Championship. Despite its hideous appearance, when the ref showed the belt to Tornado, he attempted to grab it and run which gave us all a big chuckle.

The match got underway and it was perfectly placed on the card. There was no intermission, and despite the Boom/Mayer match being good, but not great, I was getting a little sleepy. The comedy and skill set that The Human Tornado brought energized myself along with the rest of the crowd as we rooted for the unlikely contender.

Sadly, this got derailed when it seemed as if The Human Tornado injured his leg. The match was cut short and a rather large wrestler came out and carried him to the back. (The Human Tornado was back in action the following day during FanFest.)

Zane Dawson (C) with George South defeated Bu Ku Dao
AML Wrestling Heavyweight Championship Match

George South came out and did his usual shtick, before the match began.

This was a fun match. Zane Dawson is a huge mountain of a man. Over the weekend I heard him weighed in at 270 lbs. and 350 lbs. Either way, he’s a massive guy who I’d have to guess is probably 6’4” while his competitor Bu Ku Dao is 5’0”. Bu Ku Dao came out in Pokemon tights with an anime style hair-do and displayed a high flying offense against the hard hitting big guy.

This was your typical David vs. Goliath match with the crowd firmly behind Bu Ku Dao, which ultimately could not compete with the size and power of Dawson. At one point Dao managed to get a ten count on Dawson, but George South was interfering and the referee missed it.

Brandon Scott (C) defeated Pentagon Jr.
AML Wrestling Prestige Championship Match

Ahhh, the match I was most excited about. Brandon Scott is a real talent. Earlier this year, he had a match on 205 Live and he’s been putting on some fantastic matches against the likes of Axton Ray in AML. The crowd was clearly behind Pentagon and well… he took a beating most of the match.

Of course, he managed to get all of his stuff in, but this wasn’t Pentagon’s night. Brandon Scott kicked Pentagon squarely in the nuts after the ref had taken a bump and Pentagon couldn’t kick out in time, so Brandon Scott retained. Having a bad attitude and all, Brandon Scott decided to kick Pentagon while he was down and this brought Fenix out to defend his brother’s honor. Scott grabbed a mic on his way to the locker room and challenged Fenix to face him for the title at next month’s AML event, which Fenix accepted on the spot.

John Skylar (C) defeated Hurricane Shane Helms
Resistance Pro Championship Match

I haven’t seen Helms wrestle in several years, and wasn’t really sure how this match was going to go. Helms isn’t in fantastic shape, but ring wise he hasn’t missed a beat. Skylar worked a great match against Helms, and the crowd was fully behind The Hurricane. Skylar mentioned beforehand that the last time he was at Wrestlecade he lost to Helms due to interference from his buddies in 3 Count, and despite being aligned with The Extreme Horsemen he would not need their help to beat one man. Of course, he lied, and CW Anderson and Damien Wayne hit the ring just as Helms looked to have it in the bag.

Chet Sterling with J.J. Dillon defeated Rey Fenix, Andrew Everett, and Jason Kincaid (C) Modern Vintage Wrestling Championship Match

This was my first time seeing Fenix and Everett live, and the first time seeing Sterling in a singles match. I figured this might be the second best match of the night, but I was wrong. This match was amazing and by far the best match of the night. These four talented individuals put together a wonderful high flying showcase. I didn’t think Sterling could keep up, but he surprised the hell out of me. Of course, what surprised me the most was him coming out with JJ Dillon, who stood in the entrance way with a smile on his face as these four men redefined what professional wrestling is all about.

This match was building up to be the best match I’ve ever seen live. It was high spot after high spot and the crowd was loving it. Then something happened that cut the match short.

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Earlier in the night, my wife pointed to a lady in the front row across from us who didn’t look like she was happy to be there. She was a little older and looked as if she had been dragged to Wrestlecade by her husband. A couple of times a wrestler hit the barricade in front of her and she looked offended and really upset. Well, as fate would have it, Sterling made a wonderful dive onto Fenix and bounced off him into the front row, where he nailed that lady. The action spilled out into the crowd and away from the front row, but from my vantage point, it looked like that lady became a bit of a drama queen and security and police came over and helped escort her out and you could see officials run to the ring and cut the match short.

Almost in unison, people in our area turned to each other and started saying the same thing, “If you sit in the front row, those are the risks you take.” Hell, the guys in front of us got spit on by Pentagon twice and we were in the fourth row! Of course, it’s up to the wrestlers to keep the fans as safe as possible, but after watching the way this lady overreacted all night long, I don’t believe things were as bad she was making them out to be. She got up and walked out unassisted and well, the fans were pretty pissed off that this amazing match came to an end when it seemed to just start firing on all cylinders. Don’t get me wrong, the match was still great, but another five minutes would have blown the roof off. More than anything, this match made me want to see a Fenix vs. Everett singles match in the upcoming future.

Chet Sterling got the win in the only title change of the night. JJ Dillon cut a promo putting over the amazing show that we had all just witnessed and that was the end of night one of Wrestlecade.

Matches Worth Watching:

1. Jason Kincaid vs Andrew Everett vs Rey Fenix vs Chet Sterling

2. Rosemary vs Kacee Carlisle

3. Brandon Scott vs Pentagon

Final Thoughts:

The first night of Wrestlecade was a huge success. There wasn’t a bad match on the card, although only three really stood out as listed above. All of my interactions with wrestlers were positive and it’s never a bad night sitting four rows back watching wrestling.

Every year Wrestlecade puts on a fantastic convention and several cards of matches that are only tainted by the lack of staff, directions, and organization. This year was no different. There were no signs, no one to manage lines, nor is there anyone around to ask questions. We didn’t get in early with our Superstar Passes despite being told that we would. The inconveniences were only minor on Friday night, but those grew on Saturday which we will get to in the next post.