Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Live Report: Limitless Wrestling 2/22/2020

For those of you that don't know, two days after this card I had surgery that laid me up longer than anticipated and also left me with some anxiety and depression that I am still battling.  In fact when the renewal notice to register the domain for this blog came up a couple weeks ago I almost didn't renew it.

The blog doesn't get tons of traffic, I don't monetize it, this is just for fun.  I started this because I was working midnight shift and I could work on this while at work between calls and it helped me get through the night.  Now I'm on day shift and I find that I just don't have time.  But I love professional wrestling with all my heart, and I love sharing that with others.

So if you've read a post on here, shared it with someone, or left a comment, thank you.  Thankfully my good pal Brandon has posted a few things keeping the blog alive.


Limitless Wrestling returned to the Amvets Post 2 in Yarmouth, Maine for Practice What You Preach!

Once again the venue was sold out, something that I see Limitless Wrestling continuing to do after we get through this pandemic.  I attended with my cousin Paul, Mikey, Roy, Carolyn and we met many other friends and wrestling associates there.

You'll have to forgive me as this show was a month ago so my memory may be a bit off.

Christian Casanova vs. Myron Reed

Outstanding match to open the show, better than their first encounter a couple months back.  The fans were solidly behind Casanova as he continues to climb towards that one on one contest for the Limitless Wrestling championship.  Casanova got the pin with dirty diana.



MSP Invitational
Maine State Posse: Danger Kid & Aiden Aggro vs. Demorest & Oswald Project vs. "Smart" Mark Sterling & VSK vs. Kevin Blackwood

Blackwood couldn't find a partner so he went at it on his own, which would ultimately prove to be his downfall.  My first time seeing Demorest in person after watching him for years.  He's got some wicked cool backyard wrestling videos on the YouTube.  I'll tell you what, he didn't disappoint and I want Randy to bring him back every show. 


This is the best I've seen out of Oswald, truth be told I haven't been a fan of his like others.  However this reluctant tag team of Demorest and Oswald was great, and the double team moves these two did, which was just Demorest using Oswalds body to abuse both Oswald and their opponents were fantastic.


Everyone looked really good in this match but the finish came when Smart Mark stole the pin on Blackwood.

Trevor Murdoch vs. Atticus Cogar



I was so excited to see Murdoch in person, got him to sign a couple cards and got my picture made with him before the show.  He's such a throwback to a 1970's wrestler in the vein of Harley Race and Dick Murdoch.  Sadly I don't think the Limitless faithful appreciated the opportunity to see him in person.


I was also very happy to see Cogar in person, he has such a cool entrance with that face mask.  I wasn't sure how these two would mesh, but it went well.  One of my favorite parts of the match was when they were on the floor near us and Murdoch said "I told you if your gonna hit me then fuckin' hit me" before leveling Cogar.  I told you, old school.


Murdoch pinned Cogar with a flying bulldog.  I really want both guys to come back.  More importantly though I want to see Murdoch vs. JD Drake in person!

Daniel Garcia vs. Ashley Vox

Great match!  The crowd loves Ashley and hates Garcia.  Garcia really beat the crap out of Vox through out the match, hard slams on the floor, tying her in knots in the ring.

Ashley fought back through and sunk in her fish hook finisher, but Garcia rolled through some how and rolled her up for the pin.


Kris Statlander vs. Jody Threat



Two of my favorite ladies on the indies mixed it up for the second night in a row, but the first time in Limitless. This was a really fun match and I really enjoyed it.  Kris Stat picked up the win, pinning Threat.



Post match Statlander challenges the winner of the main even to a title match at the next show.
Independent Wrestling Champion: Warhorse vs. Rip Bison

I recall first seeing Rip as Tomahawk, who I enjoyed, but Rip Bison is somehow tremendously better.  This was a hard hitting competitive match but in the end Warhorse retained his championship extending his reign.  

JT Dunn & Alex Hammerstone vs. Josh Briggs & CJ Cruz

Hammerstone is huge!  Dunn is very hated by the fans, especially after what he did to Rich at the last show.  Briggs and Cruz worked together well at times, but it seemed like Briggs just wanted Cruz to stay in the corner and let him to all the work.


Cruz went for his Best Dropkick Ever but Dunn sidestepped him hitting him with death by elbow for the pin and the win for his team.

Post Match: Briggs walks out leaving Cruz on his own blaming him for the loss.  Brian Fury saved CJ Cruz from a continued beat down by Dunn & Hammerstone.  Fury challenges Dunn to a match at the next show.

Jake Something vs. "The Prize" Alec Price

I'm a huge fan of Price!  Once again he put on a very entertaining match with an opponent that is much larger than him.  

It looked for a moment that Price might get the win but Something hit the bossman slam for the three count.

Limitless Wrestling World Champion: Retro AG vs. "Dirty Daddy" Chris Dickinson




The Dirty Daddy jump started this match when he nailed AG with a missile dropkick during his entrance.  It looked like Dickinson was going to win the Championship but AG reversed a lateral press into one of his own for a quick three count. 


Post match Dickinson hits AG with the Pazuzu Bomb and Kris Stat cut a promo on AG about challenging him next month. 


Several matches were set up for the what was supposed to be the next show on March 21st, however a few days before it was cancelled.  The next Limitless show is scheduled for April 18th, and sadly I'm guessing that, that show will be cancelled as well.  Schools here in Maine are closed until April 27th.  I would say at the earliest the next show would be sometime in May.  Hopefully.


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 The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network.

Until next time!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Signed Trading Cards: Kris Statlander, Ashley Vox, The North, and more

In this post but you can look at the cards that I got signed at Limitless Wrestling Flirtin' With Disaster on January 24th in Yarmouth, Maine.  Most of the cards are from Limitless Wrestling series 2 card set.  The cards were made by Todd Graham of Proving Ground Brand where you to can get your own custom trading cards made.  Following the link above of catch him on Facebook.


Kris Statlander

Kris Statlander was a surprise unannounced participant in the match.  I bought this pack of Limitless Series 2 cards after I say that she was there.  This card was in the front of the pack.  I was happy to get it signed, with her under contract with AEW I wasn't sure if she would be back with Limitless Wrestling.  I thought last month would be the last month, but she is advertised for February.  YEAH!

Ethan Page

I bought a pack of Limitless cards at the show because this card was on the front of the pack.  I got two of the cards this night as there was one in the pack with the Kris Stat card.  I gave that one to Page and he was very excited to have it.  

Josh Alexander

I bought this card from huskerhavs wrestling cards, it's part of the Jim Lyman Memorial Tournament card set.  These are great cards well designed, however, not a great picture as Josh Briggs is more visible than Josh Alexander is on it.

Alshley Vox

The last couple months Delmi Exo, Ashley's sister has been at the Limitless shows watching.  I bought this card from huskerhavs, it's part of the Sabotage Wrestling card set featuring the Sea Stars. The day before this show I read on Twitter that Delmi is on her way to Japan for a two month stint at the Stardom Dojo, great for her, but not for me as I now have to wait a few months to get her to sign this.

Brian Pilman Jr

The first card I bought from Pillman for $5, the other two I had.  The middle card is from the Starrcast II card set and the third is from 4 Corners Cards.  

Christian Casanova

This card is also from the Limitless Wrestling Series 2 card set.

Team Limitless...a work in progress

This card is from the Limitless Wrestling Series 2 card set, it features team Limitless from the December 2018 Limitless Wrestling vs. Blitzkrieg Pro show that was held in Connecticut.  I got it signed by Ashley Vox, Danger Kid, & Ava Everett. I need to get it signed by Anthony Greene, Aiden Agro, Alexander Lee, and Angel Sinclair.  It'll be pretty bad ass when it's all signed. 

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 The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network.

Until next time

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Empty Arena Matches

Last Friday, Smackdown aired without any fans in attendance which was a sight to be seen.


As of right now, we are on a path to see a lot of empty arena matches with this coronavirus on a rampage. It’s wild to think that Wrestlemania will be held with no fans when WrestleMania is always associated with such a massive audience. But this is the current state of the world that we live in.

With all these upcoming empty arena shows, I got to thinking about all the empty arena matches that have occurred over the years. I went online for a complete listing and was shocked that I couldn't find one. So, this is my attempt at collecting all the empty arena matches that have been held in the United States by major promotions. This is by no means a complete list as I'm sure there are other matches I just don't remember or didn't run across in my research.

Jerry Lawler vs. Terry Funk – April 21st, 1981
Continental Wrestling Association
Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis Tennessee

This is the match that I think about when I think of empty arena matches. It was the first (as far as I know) and the most memorable. It's not as much of a match as it is a brawl, but it was iconic and had two of my favorite performers putting on an incredible show. Let's not forget to give Lance Russell credit for his amazing commentary during this match.




Terry Funk vs. Bruce Walkup Empty Arena Bunkhouse Steel Cage Match - 1982
Championship Wrestling from Florida

A year after the epic Lawler empty arena match, Terry Funk found himself in Florida facing off against Bruce Walkup in an Empty Arena Bunkhouse Steel Cage Match.

First off, who is Bruce Walkup? Well, Bruce Walkup was a wrestler who was in Championship Wrestling from Florida for a month or two in 1982. He did some referring, but his career seems to consist just of those few months in 1982. He is, however, remembered in pro wrestling history as Terry Funk's adversary in this unique matchup.

The match is brutal, with Terry Funk destroying Bruce Walkup.





The "New" AWA  – 1989
Pilot Taping

Considered lost for thirty years, this gem of a show was added to the WWE Network in late 2018. This taping was a reboot for AWA in it's dying days that was created in hopes to revitalize interest in the fledgling company and cash in on the popularity of other competition shows such as American Gladiators and Roller Games.

The AWA intended on using this pilot to launch the Team Challenge Series, which did actually occur, but not as part of this new AWA presentation.


What makes this show so unique is that it was filmed without fans in the audience. To make things a bit stranger, they actually used green screens to display video of fans from other shows to give the illusion (and I use that term loosely) that fans were in attendance. As far as I know, this is the first complete wrestling show filmed without an audience in attendance.

Be sure to check out Michael's complete review of the The "New" AWA.




AWA Team Challenge Series – October 28th, 1989
KITN Studios, Minneapolis, Minnesota

AWA revamped and launched the Team Challenge Series with a series of tapings at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minnesota. I've heard mixed reports but either a very low attendance or damaged footage caused another taping to occur in what has been dubbed the "pink room."

Basically, an entire show was taped in a studio with pink walls with no fans in attendance. Security surrounded the ring to prevent interference and hypothetically ensure that the One Million Dollar Prize would be fairly awarded.

This taping is probably best known for having a Turkey on a Pole Match.


Here are the complete results from the taping:

AWA Tag Team Champions Destruction Crew Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom beat Scott Norton & Tommy Jammer
Great American Turkey Hunt Match
Jake Milliman beat Colonel DeBeers
Pat Tanaka & Magnificent Mimi beat Paul Diamond & Candi Divine
Tommy Jammer beat Doug Somers by DQ
Paul Diamond & The Trooper & Mike George & Candi Divine beat Pat Tanaka & Doug Somers & Unknown Soldier & Magnificent Mimi
Scott Norton & Tommy Jammer & The Trooper beat Larry Zbyszko & Destruction Crew Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom
Colonel Debeers & Pat Tanaka beat Paul Diamond & Jake Milliman
Candi Devine drew Magnificent Mimi
Press Slam Match from Team Challenge Series
Wayne Bloom beat Unknown Soldier



The NWO Saturday Night Matches

When the NWO won the 1996 War Games they were awarded a series of segments on WCW Saturday Night, that they dubbed NWO Saturday Night. The matches were held in an empty arena with NWO members providing commentary and the use of canned audience reactions to break up the silence. All of the matches were against jobbers, which shouldn't surprise you considering the way the NWO acted at the time.

None of the matches are all that memorable or good, but the commentary makes them worth a watch.

The Outsiders vs. The Starbucks Twins – October 12th, 1996
NWO Saturday Night 




Syxx vs. Johnny Accabella – October 19th, 1996
NWO Saturday Night 




The Outsiders vs. Tony Washberg and Bud Greene – October 26th, 1996
NWO Saturday Night



The Giant Vs. Pat Tanaka – November 2nd, 1996
NWO Saturday Night




The Outsiders Vs. Brian Costello & Jack Shane – November 16th, 1996
NWO Saturday Night




The Outsiders vs. Pez Whatley & Big Buck Brezner – November 23rd, 1996
NWO Saturday Night




Buff Bagwell Vs. Pez Whatley – December 7th, 1996
NWO Saturday Night




The Giant Vs. KC Sunshine – December 14th, 1996
NWO Saturday Night





The Outsiders Vs. Alan Storm – December 21st, 1996
NWO Saturday Night




The Rock vs. Mankind – January 31st, 1999
WWF Halftime Heat
Tucson Convention Center

Arguably the most famous mainstream empty arena match, The Rock and Mankind faced off in a brawl during Halftime Heat back in 1999.

The match is more akin to a hardcore match than an actual wrestling match, but it made for good enjoyment and a very memorable night of wrestling.




Sting vs. Kurt Angle - February 19th, 2009
TNA IMPACT

In 2009, Sting and Kurt Angle faced off with no referee in an empty Impact Zone. Kurt Angle and Sting were facing off due to a disagreement regarding the Main Event Mafia and this match (more like a brawl) quickly was forgotten after it occurred.




Motor City Machine Guns vs. Generation Me – November 18th, 2010
TNA Reaction


The sleeper empty arena match of this list is The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Generation Me (The Young Bucks) that aired on TNA Reaction back in 2010. I didn't know this match existed between two of my favorite tag teams and it's definitely worth a watch. It's a very entertaining match presented in a more realistic fashion. It gives me a lot of hope to see what AEW pulls off this upcoming Wednesday on Dynamite.


Rockstar Spud vs. Braxton Sutter – Exposed Turnbuckles Empty Arena Match – September 15th, 2016
IMPACT Wrestling



Another forgotten empty arena battle saw Braxton Sutter face off against Rockstar Spud in an empty arena that featured exposed turnbuckles. This match ended the several months long feud between the two opponents.



Tim Storm vs. Jocephus – January 14th, 2018
NWA
Impact Zone Orlando, Florida


When Billy Corgan relaunched the NWA the series focused on Tim Storm and Nick Aldis. One of the earliest feuds for Storm was with Jocephus that cumulated in an empty arena match. The match was not very good, but was way more hardcore than anyone expected out of the fifty+ year old Tim Storm. He took a crazy bump onto the ladder and that made the match memorable for me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Ultimo Dragon vs. Randy Savage (1/30/1998)

When I first heard of Ultimo Dragon vs. Randy Savage, I immediately thought to myself, where has this dream match been my entire life? These two amazing in-ring performers must have faced off at least half a dozen times, and why have I not seen these matches? Well, I never saw these matches because in fact, Ultimo Dragon and Randy Savage only faced off once and that was on an episode of WCW Worldwide in early 1998.

I set out to learn as much about this match as possible and discovered this isn't all that much to learn. The match aired in the middle of an episode of WCW Worldwide, which at the time was WCW's fourth tier show behind Nitro, Thunder, and Saturday Night. Worldwide was syndicated and aired on different stations and at different times which made it hard to keep up if you moved around a lot like I did.

I always loved the lower tier WCW shows because they were taped in studio (at Disney or Universal Studios) and had a very different feel than the larger arena shows like Nitro and Thunder. They typically featured lower card guys with the occasional mid-carder main eventing an episode of Worldwide. The main event of the episode where Ultimo Dragon and The Macho Man faced off was Scott Norton vs. Lex Luger.

This particular episode of Worldwide was taped at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida and saw Macho Man and Ultimo Dragon wrestle for just under three minutes. Still, in those three minutes they told a cohesive story that well... is sometimes lacking in today's wrestling world.

I wish I could say it was a barn burner or a twenty minute classic, but it wasn't. Instead, we got to see to of the greats for just a couple of minutes on a fourth rate show during WCW's prime. I guess, if there is anything to blame WCW for its not giving us more matches like this and instead letting Hulk Hogan babble on for way too long on Nitro.

Check the match out for youself and see what you think.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The Rock N Roll Express Matches I've Seen Live

The first match I saw The Rock N Roll Express in was at the Memphis Throwback Night III. The Rock N Roll Express tagged with Jerry Lawler in a losing effort against Stan Lane, Jackie Fargo, and Memphis announcer Cory Maclin. Maclin was not a wrestler and Jackie Fargo was 73 years old so needless to say this wasn’t a barnburner. I don’t remember much other than Morton taking the pin and being frustrated at the result.

The second match I saw The Rock N Roll Express wrestle in was against their rivals The Midnight Express at the NWA Legends FanFest in 2007. Sure, all the members involved were past their prime, but it was a fantastic match! I remember turning to my buddy Jimmy and saying, “This is what’s wrong with tag team wrestling today” and he misunderstood me and was like, “This certainly is NOT what is wrong with tag team wrestling.” I then clarified that these guys were putting on a clinic of hot tags and excitement, and despite having lost a step, they kept the audience engaged and it was amazing. It was arguably the best tag team match I’ve ever seen live, even thirteen years later.

The third time I saw The Express in action, it was in Clayton, North Carolina at NCWA’s Ivan Koloff Memorial Tag Team Tournament. The Expressed tagged with a very high energy Bobby Fulton to take on Demolition and George South. Demolition doesn’t wrestle much and to be honest, they don’t move all that well, but I was thrilled to say I’ve seen them in the ring wrestle. Ricky Morton and Bobby Fulton dominated the ring time along with George South on the opposing time. It wasn’t a great match by any means, but still very cool to see two legendary tag teams in the ring at one time. 


In one of my dream matches, I saw Terry Funk tag with The Rock N Roll Express against Jerry Lawler, Doug Gilbert, and Brian Christopher at Big Time Wrestling at Dorton Arena in Raleigh, NC. This was more of a brawl than a match with Terry Funk going crazy and anybody in the ring or nearby being beaten to a pulp. There was no real timing to the match or reason for it, but it was a lot of fun. The Express were mainly in the ring to provide some stable action while Terry Funk and Jerry Lawler beat the hell out of each other.


In 2019, I saw another site I never thought I’d see and that was The Rock N Roll Express competing in a NWA Crockett Cup in Concord, North Carolina. The Rock N Roll Express had a first round match against The Briscoes, that went about how you would have expected it to. Ricky Morton was bleeding and he managed to get a nice offense that you just wouldn’t expect at his age. Outside of the match against The Midnight Express this was the second best match I’ve seen The Rock N Roll Express in, even if it was nearly a squash.


Then recently at New Japan New Beginnings in Durham, NC, I saw The Rock N Roll Express tag up with Alex Zayne to take on Rocky Romero, Colt Cabana, and Toro Yano. After seeing the amazing show Ricky Morton put on at the Crockett Cup (and recently on NWA Powerrr) this match was a bit of a letdown, but considering The Express are in their sixties they need to save those big spots for the bigger shows. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Signed Cards: James Drake, Manders, and Brian Milonas

This batch of cards were signed in person at local wrestling events here in Maine.


James Drake
Call him the blue collar bad ass or the new age enforcer either way James Drake is excellent in the ring and I'm glad that Limitless Wrestling brings him in a few times a year.  This card is from the Limitless Wrestling Series 1 card set and I got it signed at Limitless Wrestling Twilight Zone


1 Called Manders
I bought the card from Manders and got it signed at Limitless Wrestling Twilight Zone.  This was first time seeing Manders live and he's a cross between Dr. Death and Stan Hansen and I hope he comes back.


Brian Milonas

My buddy Roy picked these up for me at the IWE Anniversary show on January 4th in Brewer, Maine.  The cards were made by Todd Graham of Proving Ground Brand where you to can get your own custom trading cards made.  Following the link above of catch him on Facebook.  Milonas was selling a 9 card set for $10.


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 The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network.

Until next time!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Signed Trading Cards: Baron Von Raschke, Ron Simmons, Eric Embry

We are going to dive into some more through the mail success that I have had, it's been a good few months.


Baron Von Raschke
These two cards are both from the 1986 Monty card set.  I mailed them to the Baron on November 23rd and go them back on December 5th.  The Baron charges $5 for an autograph, which is very reasonable.



Ron Simmons
This was a huge success for me!  I mailed Mr. Simmons four cards from different times in his career and I got them all back signed plus he sent me a custom made card.  I mailed them on November 23rd and got them back on December 7th.
The first card is from the 1988 NWA Wonderama set, I love getting cards signed from this set!  The second is from the 1991 WCW Championship Marketing set.  The thirds is from the 1997 WWF Cardinal Trivia Game.  The fourth card was released in 2007 by Topps and is part of the WWE Heritage set from that year.


This card is the one that I was given by Mr. Simmons.  I've included both the front and the back of the card so you can see the release information.


Eric Embry

I mailed this card on December 13th and go them back on the 21st!  An eight day turn around, talk about fast!  This card is also from the 1986 Monty set.

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 The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network.

Until next time!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Signed Trading Cards: Ivan Putski, Jerry Lawler, & Bunkhouse Buck

This batch is also about some recent through the mail success


"Polish Power" Ivan Putski
This card is from the 1985 Topps WWF card set, it is number 46.  I mailed this card to Mr. Putski on October 26, 2019 and got it back November 8, 2019.


Jerry "The King" Lawler
I mailed these cards to Mr. Lawler's BBQ restaurant in Memphis on October 26th and got them back on November 15th.  The card on the right is from the 1997 Cardinal WWF Trivia game and the card on the left is from the 2003 Fleer WrestleMania XIX set.


Bunkhouse Buck
This card is from the 1995 WCW Cardz set, and I believe that this is the only trading card featuring Jimmy Golden aka Bunkhouse Buck.  I mail it to him on November 16th and got it back on the 27th.

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 The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network.

Until next time!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Live Report: NJPW New Beginnings (Durham, NC) - 1/27/2020

This past Monday night, I attended my first NJPW event as part of the US New Beginnings Tour. New Japan promoted the event as being held in Raleigh, NC but it was actually held in Durham, NC a nearby city and home of Duke University and the Durham Bulls. The event took place at the Durham Armory, which is the same location I saw NXT Live last January which is a nice small venue for wrestling.

I must say, New Japan is really organized. Their website is full of great information like what merchandise will be on sale, how much it will cost, whether or not there is an intermission, etc. Once at the arena, the lines were well managed and organized and they even had lines set up for merchandise which I wish more wrestling organizations would do.

I looked at the tickets the morning of the event and saw that over half of the front rows were still not sold. The $200 price tag was ridiculous, as were most of the ticketing prices. Luckily, the Armory is a small venue and doesn’t really have a bad seat, but I would not have glowing things to say about the show had I spent $200 or even $80 on a ticket. Luckily for me, I purchased $30 tickets which were listed to be in the balcony, but NJPW moved seats around to fill in all the gaps. Our seats were actually on the stage, which gave us an elevated view and it was unobstructed so that made me happy.


My fiancé Brandy accompanied me to New Beginnings and we found our seats quickly and shortly before 8 PM Colt Cabana and Toru Yano made their way to the ring to throw out some t-shirts and introduce a young child who was struggling with some health issues. After tossing a few shirts, Tanahashi came out with a signed t-shirt from the locker room for the child.


The card changed quite a bit from the initial announcement with Ibushi getting the flu and then Karl Fredericks suffered a shoulder injury. New Japan didn’t add any wrestlers, but they did move the card around some. I was pleased with the way the matches were laid out, so let’s take a quick look at them:

Yujiro Takahashi defeated Misterioso


This was a decent opening match, running just over nine minutes. I can’t honestly remember anything much of note about the match other than Misterioso’s cool costume and how amazing it was to see New Japan Pro Wrestling in North Carolina. It was cool watching two wrestlers face-off in a New Japan ring with announcements in Japanese.



Yuji Nagata and Satoshi Kojima defeated Alex Coughlin and TJP



I saw Nagata and Kojima last year at the Crockett Cup and they were just as entertaining this year. This was my first time seeing TJP in the ring and while he was smooth, I wish he had a little more ring time. Alex Coughlin took a beating for the majority of the match and ended up eating the pin in the end.



Toro Yano, Colt Cabana, and Rocky Romero defeated Alex Zayne and The Rock N Roll Express



This match went about as you’d expect with Ricky Morton taking a huge beating for the majority of it. I was surprised to see that The Express didn’t get in any of their usual moves like the dive to the outside or Ricky Morton’s new Canadian Destroyer. Instead, this was a pretty basic match with the crowd firmly behind The Rock N Roll Express (we’re in Crockett Country after all). Alex Zayne was pinned and the crowd still cheered for The Rock N Roll Express.



Following The Rock N Roll Express leaving the ring, a familiar tone hits and I look up and see the video screen is showing Marty Scurll’s video. I’m sitting there stunned and confused and wondering whether or not this is an advertisement or what. Then all of a sudden, he emerges and luckily I had my camera ready. You can watch it for yourself. He came out to challenge Jay White at Supercard of Honor and this was by far the coolest surprise I’ve ever experienced live. Brandy had even mentioned on our way to the event that she hoped there would be a cool surprise and I told her not to hold her breath for a NJPW house show in America.





Jeff Cobb defeated Clark Connors


I feel like the event really started to pick up pace with this match. This was my first time see Jeff Cobb live and he is a beast. These two guys put on a heck of a fight with Clark Connors getting in more offense than I expected and showed off some impressive strength on several occasions. Cobb got the win with The Tour of The Islands.



Lance Archer defeated Ren Narita




This was probably my favorite match of the night. I expected it to be a squash match, but instead, this was one of those matches where Archer controlled the crowd so much and got so much heat, that everyone was rooting for the underdog and Ren Narita put on one heck of a show. Archer got the win in the end, but not after Narita got in some flashes of offense and almost had the crowd buying he’d get in the win. Kudos to both of these guys for putting on a very entertaining match.



Yoshi-Hashi, Tanahashi, David Finlay, and Juice Robinson defeated Jado, Chase Owens, Tanga Loa, and Tama Tonga







Everyone came out hitting hard and the action poured out into the crowd for the first few minutes of the match. This was the match I was most looking forward to and I don’t want to say it disappointed, but it was very mediocre and not very memorable. Action went back and forth, chaos erupted a few times, and The Bullet Club did Bullet Club things. In the end Tanahasi managed to pin Jado and the match was over. Afterwards, Tanahashi and his team performed an air guitar concert for the crowd and we all made our way out the door.



Overall I was very happy with the show. I had great seats, it was a great price for the tickets that I bought, and a fun way to spend a Monday night. That’s not to say there aren’t some issues that will no doubt hurt NJPW’s expansion in to the US.

First, the show began at 8 PM on a Monday, which is great for people traveling and I didn’t mind it. However, it was listed to last till 11 PM which makes getting to work a bit difficult on Tuesday. Despite this, the show only lasted till 9:30 PM with a total of an hour and six minutes of actual wrestling in the three hour advertised show. So, let’s say you paid $200 to sit front row for a three hour show and you got half a show, I’d be rather irked.

Second, releasing the cards after tickets going on sale is a shady move and it really sucks for us having to take a chance on New Japan providing an adequate talent pool to come here to the US.

Third, the pricing needs to be adjusted if you aren’t going to bring in all the top stars.

The railing was really close to the ring and I think this prevented much action outside the ring. There were little to no dives and while it was nice to provide such an intimate setting for the event, I think providing the wrestlers a little more room to work out have benefited the show.

Those are my only complaints, which are rather limited to be honest. It was well run, fun, and I’m glad I can say I’ve seen New Japan Pro Wrestling live.