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 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
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
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 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)
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.
Konley/Guerrera/Super Crazy got the win after a dog pile occurred following a big splash by Guerrera.
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
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
Ryback defeated Joey Mercury
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
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
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.
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!