Posts Tagged ‘Inwood’

Why I Love Pro-Wrestling: Local Indy Show

February 24, 2020

WILPW

So almost two weeks ago, I was invited by my mother to a local indy pro-wrestling show out in West Virginia where she lives. It turns out that an acquaintance of my mom and stepfather was involved in a promotion. They knew I might enjoy it and they needed a guide in their first foray into going to a live wrasslin’ show. I was immediately excited. I had been to a few live shows but Ring of Honor’s Best in the World 2012 was the smallest show I had been to. That was still national television. The show was this past Saturday so let’s run it down.

We traveled to Inwood, WV and got there well before bell time so that we could settle and take it all in. We got ringside seats (second row out of three) and we watched the ring ropes go up. We were at a National Wrestling League show at the Randy Smith Rec Center. I went in with pretty much no foreknowledge of any characters or storylines. The only performer I kind of knew was The Patriot from his brief 1998 run in the WWF.

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Show Open

The show opened with a young lady whose name I did not catch who was singing the national anthem. She briefly mentioned an attack she had suffered previously which had injured her eyes. This brought out a villainous British manager (the KR Superstar) who threatened to have the girl injured again. He was accompanied by his Tongan client Asaafi. The two villains were headed off by the appearance of The Patriot who sent the two heels retreating to the back.

First Match – Reggie Collins (face) vs. Sean Denny w/KR Superstar (heels)

Apparently, Sean Denny (one half of the Geordie Bulldogs) is the guy who injured the young lady in the first segment by spraying green mist in her eyes. He is a stocky guy working a British Hooligan gimmick. He was tough and great at working with his manager (KR Superstar again) to cheat. He was facing the tall and skinny Reggie Collins. Reggie was out of his element as the scrappy underdog unable to really get much going against the tougher man. In the end, Denny sprayed mist into Reggie’s eyes behind the ref’s back and Reggie had to get helped to the back by his tag partner Wes Rogers.

Second Match – “Safety First” Wes Rogers (face) vs. “Chesapeake” (I didn’t catch his name) (heel)

I was immediately struck by the heel being booed as he walked to the ring with the Maryland flag draped across his back. The West Virginia crowd was ready to let him have it. He hailed from Ocean City, MD and was working a lifeguard gimmick. He was up against Wes Rogers who was very focused on safety, a tall nerdy looking dude who looked kind of like Danny Sexbang. These two worked so well together. They were both working comedy gimmicks which led to a lot of great moments. The best was when <> went for his lifeguard whistle and Wes started beating the crap out of him with the whistle still in his opponent’s mouth. With each blow, the whistle sounded over and over. So great. Wes was able to put away his opponent after a competitive match.

Third Match – LA Starr (face?) vs. Willie Radical (heel)

This was the first match without obvious alignments. I figured out at some point during this match that these two are cousins. Apparently, they were tag team champions together until Radical betrayed his cousin/partner. This was a pretty heated match that went back and forth and Radical attacked before the bell. Starr seemed to regret having to hurt his cousin but Radical was not as hesitant. Sadly, I cannot remember who won but really nobody wins in these sorts of grudge matches. I liked both of these guys’ styles and enjoyed the match immensely.

Fourth Match – The Patriot (face) vs. Asaafi (w/ KR Superstar) (heels)

This was when I learned that The Patriot is a native of Inwood, WV the very place we were at. They did this bit at the beginning where The Patriot stole the Tongan flag. I never really bought into the nationalist stuff. At first, I thought Patriot was going to subvert expectations because he got the ref to help him fold the flag up neatly and respectfully. Then he rubbed the flag against his taint. He’s supposed to be the good guy. Once we got past that, The Patriot showed that he still has it and he is in phenomenal shape even in semi-retirement. Asaafi played the cowardly yet sadistic heel well and worked well with the KR Superstar to cheat at every opportunity. The match ended weirdly with The Patriot accidentally hitting the ref with a Stinger Splash in the corner which caused a disqualification … in favor of the Patriot? Wes Rogers came back out and helped The Patriot fight the KR Superstar’s two present clients.

Intermission

There was a raffle in support of pro-wrestler Andrew Staley, a young kid who is fighting cancer. We bought several tickets (it’s a good cause) and I ended up winning the drawing! I won an NWL t-shirt (my size!), a Jon Moxley/Tyler Black DVD, an AJ Styles DVD, a mug, signed photos of Kylie Rae (with AEW logo) and ACH. It’s funny that I got pictures of two wrestlers who famously left companies with globally televised shows who quit under mysterious/shady circumstances. I also won four ringside tickets. I can’t wait! I hope Andrew Staley gets all the help he needs fighting this thing and that he recovers.

D.A.D. Rules

Daniel Allen Dabrowski came out to the Family Matters theme song and chose to lecture the audience on their fitness. He recommended we drink Diet Coke and do about six assisted pushups a day. During his hilarious promo, he mixed up the names of social media terms and grounded his daughter who was ringside. Good stuff.

Fifth Match – “The Steel City Sex Pistol” Shane Malice (heel) vs. “The Red Prince” Tiberius Sykes (heel)

Getting me to boo a heel from Pittsburgh is a no brainer. Also, Malice reminded me of a young AJ Styles (before he was flat earther and a homophobe?). Seeing Sykes was great because it was the first person of color I saw at the event. He hailed from Baltimore and had the best gear of the night. The two were pretty much at the top of their game but Shane had an answer for pretty much anything Sykes had. Sykes posed too much and paid for it. In the end, Shane got a pair of brass knuckles confiscated only for Sykes to pull out a pair of his own. In the chaos, Shane hit Sykes with his own brass knuckles to end the fight.

Sixth Match – Antony Atom (face) vs. Doug Delicious (heel) – NWL Heavyweight Title Match

This was a really good match and obviously, these two guys are experienced. Delicious had a really, really good look as an arrogant and gruff pretty boy heel. He played a cowardly and devious heel who got so much reaction for very little work. Antony Atom is the current heavyweight champion working sort of a Spartan gimmick. He ran up against the muscular and intelligent Doug Delicious but refused to quit. He pulled out the victory and also fought off the post-match attack by Shane Malice who might be his next challenger. There was a really great story to this match that was so easy to follow and the crowd was hot for Atom and absolutely hated Delicious.

Seventh Match – Deuce Donatelli, Shorty Smalls, and Jimmy Cicero (faces) vs. Ethan Cross, El Maton Cizzko, and Cory Bush (w/ Humphrey J. Dupont IV) (heels)

Apparently, there was a gag where the faces replaced the heels’ entrance song with Baby Shark which led to the heels being furious and getting taunted. The Dupont Family obviously represented money and privilege and at the last minute, Humphrey substituted hired gun Cory Bush in for himself in the match. The blue-collar faces tried their best to fight against blatant cheating at every turn. I was impressed with how good Jimmy Cicero looked and he was obviously the faces’ top dog. In the end, the match broke down into chaos and Deuce was knocked out by a blow from Humphrey’s briefcase and then pinned. This set up a match between Cory Bush and Deuce Donatelli for the NWL Vista Championship.

Overall, I loved the show and our whole group definitely went home happy. I will be going back since I won those tickets but honestly, I would probably go back at some point anyway. The company has a lot of heart and apparently a lot of it is on YouTube.


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