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!

No comments:

Post a Comment