Road Report - QUAKE THAT LAKE!
PREFACE: The Night Before
And so our journey begins, not with a whimper but with a misread text. The night before I was an extra hour later at work (long story) making sure derps are set for the week (I was taking Wednesday-Friday off). I’m kind of a savior figure where my hard work and sacrifice redeems the soul of the company and I’m a hero to those who benefit from the cross my tentacles are nailed to. If not, me being under-appreciated as my inky blood drips out of the punctured holes in my forehead, caused by the crown of thorns pressed against my oblong skull-less forehead by non-believers who shall eternally be damned by not liking my zingers. My wife texts me asking when I’ll be home because her brothers are coming over and she’s trying to make a homemade hormel dip and lil-Octopus is making it difficult she hasn’t started yet. She probably told me and me being a great listener totally heard and a great rememberer totally remembered. I quickly finish scheduling a skid to be picked up and delivered tomorrow. I head home to a family enjoying the presence of my smiling baby. Wife (for privacy reasons we’ll call her by her name, Jasmyne) asks if I can run to the gas station to grab juices and waters. I ask my brother in laws what type of drinks they would like. They politely say anything is fine. I tell “Jasmyne” (for those who didn’t read the previous parentheses, “Jasmyne” is “my wife”) that I’ll get some ice teas and “Jasmyne” (again, “Jasmyne” is “my wife”) says only I like ice teas. Ok, what should I get? “Jasmyne” (“my wife”) says I should see what her brothers want. I tell “Jasmyne” (“wife”) that they don’t have a preference. So “Jasmyne” (see previous few parentheses for character description) says just get whatever. I find ice teas to be whatever but I guess ice teas are among something else, as opposed to whatever. So I go to the gas station to get whatever and myself something else. I’m in the mood for something else so I’ll get myself something else, but “Jasmyne” (woman I married) says only I like something else but I can still get myself something else as long as I get others whatever. So as I’m going to the whatever section of the gas station, I get a text from my work friend (who is going to the show with me. My other friend, we’ll call him by his name “Ryan”, got COVID. So work friend, again we’ll call him by “work friend” is going to the show with me) says sorry something came up and logistics and something something running late got held up. I can’t read this fully, I’m focused on getting the right whatever so “Jasmyne’s” (my wife’s) family can have something to drink with the dip “Jasmyne” (wife) is making. As I grab some whatever I text back “work friend” that it’s totally cool if it’s too busy right now he doesn’t need to go because I know I asked him short notice. I’m now walking to the something else section to get myself ice tea and “work friend texts back that he’s excited to go but totally understands if someone who knows the product wants to go and he’ll not go if that’s what I want. What? I say he should go if he wants and we’ll make whatever work if he’s running late. “Work friend” is confused, I’m confused. But I got to focus on quenching the thirst of “Jasmyne’s” (wife’s) brothers. Long story short, “Jasmyne’s” (wife’s) dip is other worldly. I get a tear in my eye thinking back to that dip. It was cheesy but not over powering. I felt satisfied but not full. I read “Jasmyne” (the women I have a child with) the confusing text from “work friend” and realize it wasn’t confused all. He was talking about at the shift he was gonna hit me up before I left but got pulled away in a meeting and we couldn’t go over where we’d meet before the event. I apologize for my poor reading comprehension and we’re ready for a day of fun.
CHAPTER 1: The Journey to Fun is Paved with Good Intentions
Lil Octopus is dropped off at my brother Giraffe’s house. I’m in the car ready to decide what to eat before the fun. I know I have a few quick chores I’d like to get done at home before wrestling, but I should eat first. I’m leaning toward Taco Bell because it’s quick and easy. But that’s not fun for a write up. My friends on the internet don’t want to read about me biting into a Doritos Gordita Crunch w/ Extra Nacho Cheese, slurping it down with an ice cold Baja Blast, and then devouring both a Spicy Cheesy Beef Burrito w/ Creamy Jalapeño sauce wrapped in a Chicken Quesadilla AND a soft shell beef taco w/ avocado ranch. They would think I’m basic. The last thing I want is @Curt McGirt to find me uninteresting.
I need good thinking music. So I turn on Who Shot Ya by Notorious BIG. I start to imagine I am a wrestler and entering the ring in the big blowoff match in my feud with Eddie Kingston. The stipulation up to this point after I brutally sneak attacked him is that we couldn’t touch each other or we’d be banned from wrestling for life. So he comes in all mad. I enter (sadly I can’t use the name Octopus because that spazzy Gresham-fucker has it. So I go by my @Matt D approved CHIKARA name, Auteur OctoRock) and the music playing is Who Shot Ya. The titantron is footage of me attacking Kingston and I am in a Ric Flair robe. My entourage of El Satanico and Toshiaki Kawada are all waving flags that say “Death to the Mad King” and I have on a shirt that says “Fuck Derek Jeter” (this is at Grand Slam so it’s causing a lot of heat). Kingston loves Jeter and is pissed off as I dance. The bell rings and he punches me in the face.
The jolt of the punch wakes me up from my day dream where I am in an athletic sport with a sexier body and slightly taller. I see I am parked at El Lorito. I’m ready for Mexican food. I meander up to the bar and Georgio is working. Nice lad. He gives me chips and salsa and asks what I’m having. I get a tall Pacifico. The tap and the mug is a little frozen, so the top portion is like an icy. Not ideal, but I use the lime to mix that ish in and it was cold and delicious. I know what I want food wise and Georgia sees it in my eyes. At the same time we say it. We utter it. We announce it. Chori Polo.
Then there she is. The waitress that the other waiter last time said had a crush on me. She looks at me longingly, pain in her eyes. I say his and she smiles. Smiles longingly. She then walks by me. Walks by me longingly. Takes the order of other patrons. Takes their order at me longingly. It’s really tough being me because every time I go to a restaurant or a store or traffic or anywhere there usually ends up being a woman that totally wants me because I’m so awesome. With grace and humble care I have to regularly let them down. None of this is said out loud but everyone knows what’s going on and I handle the situation smoothly like a gentleman. It’s tough being a good guy and having to break this many hearts. But I’m a great husband and despite their being a market for me, I have to remain a limited edition and be faithful to “Jasmyne” (my wife) even though it’s clear her brothers wouldn’t have mind it if I just fucking got ice tea.
CHAPTER 2: Return to Form
Fast forward to me at home. I trim up my neck and my cheeks. Keep the beard long but taming it. Lots of loose hair cut and I shower. I lather up my neck and cheeks with soap. I make the dumb move of overly soaping and I rub up my beard. It’s due for a good cleaning. I get out and I just feel my beard is so much drier. I cleaned out the man juice that keeps it from overly frizzing. I regret this and need to shower again with a new cream. I grab all I can find is “Jasmyne’s” (the love of my life’s) conditioner. It helps a little but my beard is slightly drier that usual. I know my skin will be itchy later and I’m less likely to do a selfie now that my beard isn’t up to snuff. Should I cancel? What’s the point of going to a show if I can’t take a picture of myself watching it? I would cancel, but “Work Friend” is excited. I must brave forward, dry.
And forward I go. “Work Friend” is ready. We are going to meet at my old work (a camera shop) that’s not too far from his place (North East Minneapolis) and not far from Target Center. The original plan was to meet at a brewery, but honestly the parking wouldn’t have been as nice and there has been some carjackings the past year, so I was feeling more something I’m familiar with. The drive itself was uneventful. Fiona Apple was the music of choice, specifically the song Every Single Night is worth mentioning.
I go into my old work and see they are understaffed today (a few people sick) and it is busy. So I start helping a few people on the sales floor. Get a guy a box and start selling him on some old super 8 film cameras. Pretty junky, but cheap. Talk about a Pelican case with another guy and grab a film order for a gal. Then go in the film cooler and grab a beer (they were always well stocked) and chill in the inventory room. A few old buds go back there as the shop is winding down and we all share a laugh and tease each other. Good fun, if there was more money I’d probably never have left. But honestly, I needed the change and the world became different during the pandemic.
“Work Friend” shows up and we load up his bike in the back of my car. We decide we shall not Uber but march the mile and a half to the show. It’s hot out but not too hot. I fear sweat but I think we will be fine. I need the movement and fresh air. We joke and talk life on our journey. Tossing the Hennepin bridge and making our way to the heart of the city. It’s a strange feeling walking through there. Areas I loved have either been gentrified and friends forced to move or have broken down. This isn’t the part of the city that had the riots/ demonstrations. But it’s a part that has been hit hard economically. Right before that, especially on the North East side has been changed to expensive high rises. A mix of wealth and struggle. After the bridge we hop from Hennepin and go to 1st. Honestly, no need to pass the library and the area surrounding that. By the time we get to the Target Center, I am just the right kind of ready to sit. The heaviness of the beer and the heat has left me thirsty and prepared for the show.
CHAPTER 4: Inside the Belly of the Beast
Get ready for wrestling. I want an overpriced drink and a shirt to remember the fun by. The line isn’t bad before the show so I scope out the options. I’m not feeling a shirt with heavy back designs. Plus, I don’t know if I really want a specific wrestler shirt. I would do BCC, but I opted for a purple AEW shirt. Purple is a Minnesota color (Prince and the Vikings) so I feel it would be a good memory of the fun to come.
(picture taken the following morning)
I’m thinking about overpriced Nachos. I tell myself I’ll do that once I find my seat because Dark is starting up.
We get to our spots and I realize how dumb I am. We are in the middle of a section so I’ll likely not grab food until just before Dynamite. Fuck, I want food but I already sat. Directly in front of me sits two dudes and both have nachos. The portions look big. Wet sauce, yet crispy chips. I really fucked up. We have Serena Deeb kicking the shit out of some poor jobber and I can only focus on the Jabaroni’s crunching on chips and slurping the dripping cheese sauce. Oh how I wish I was slurping that cheese. Why do I make the decisions I make? Then it happens. They both finish. They are done. And they awkwardly keep the paper bowls on their laps. Those dumb fuckers, I’m the genius! They hang on to the carcass of yum. Fearing putting it under their seat due to the wet, I realize my decision to hold off was the right one. I proudly sip my overpriced but heavy Jameson Ginger.
Dark was neat. I won’t spoil because I’m not sure when their posted. 2 notes, Cinnabon Man got a big pop and people stood to clap for him before his match. Heartwarmingly, local talent Free-Range Kara was a jobber and surprisingly got a good cheer. People were chanting and cheering for her and I’m fairly sure she wasn’t even really announced as her gimmick name. Hopefully that comes across on YouTube. Dark ends and we go to pee before the start of the show. We walk to a farther bathroom with no line. Peeing goes without a problem. Totally normal average urination. I decide on overpriced Buffalo Tenders with fries. Easy eating and less wet then nachos. Show starts up and I hear Darby’s music. Oh snap, they’re starting with the Coffin Match?! Fun will happen indeed.
CHAPTER 5: Boom Goes the Dynamite!
COVER YOUR MOUTH WHEN YOU’RE COFFIN:
The Coffin match was beautifully violent. Both men allowing themselves to be so bruised and battered. People started freaking out over the tables being grabbed. When the second table didn’t cooperate, people chuckled. But the moment Brodie climbed the ropes it got intense again. Everyone erupted when Darby moved. On tv, I’m sure the ending half was overbooked, but it was very exciting live. When HoB showed up I was pumped up. There was an adorable kid behind us that kept yelling “I SAW THE COFFIN MOVE. THA COFFIN IS MOVING” the crowd started chanting “We want Sting! We want Sting!” He comes out of the coffin and everyone starts shouting. Sting and Malakai have a stare down on the ramp and Darby wins.
Allie’s thin floppy body and visual lack of protection of his body is just mesmerizing. Having him be tossed around by Brodie is just a smart matchup. It’s hard to cheer against him. Plus he has such a unique look and demeanor that he really is one of a kind. He gets compared to Jeff Hardy for being young and art-rock-hip and even Foley for his wild bumps. But he’s his own monster. I fear for the kids inspired by him to go crazier but love what he is doing now.
Fun note - I called the singer of his theme song CC Allin and “Work Friend” laughed and corrected me.
Very likely up until this pint the best match I’ve ever seen live. I’ll pray on it, because that also includes Austin Aries vs Takeshi Morishima and Claudio Castagnoli vs Mike Quackenbush. I explained to “Work Friend” that internet people don’t like Penta’s taunts but Penta’s taunts are actually neat. Everyone in the stadium nodded in agreement.
This was fun. Each person fits my test of greatness which is, “Do your eyes follow a specific worker the entire match?” It sounds silly, but I wish I could have focused on everyone. I heard an explanation of enjoying hockey is gradual development of being able to see more. You start following the puck when you’re new. Then you can start noticing specific players or positions as well. Then you get to a spot where you’re noticing things being done away from the puck that actually helps develop the play. Then you can see the rink and the game that happens within it. A good tornado tag match is like that.
Andrade is a fucking star and I wish I had white pants like him, Rush is a spectacular wrestler who just breathes doing the little things great even when the camera probably isn’t on him, Fenix is a spectacle and effortlessly does mind blowing feats, and Penta has so much charisma he is like a lucha James Brown. I hope they fight every show. I’d love to rewatch this and see what the camera saw, it was wonderful.
People chanted “throw it back” for the mask but obviously that didn’t happen. Good ending, arguably overdone of losing a mask but it still hits when it happens to a luchadore. For me, at least.
Andrade and Rush are just so good. I can’t express enough. Rush has great looking punches and strikes. Everything he does is believable.
Fun note - At the end of the event, “Work Friend” said this match was his favorite part of the show.
Luchasaurus is cool and everyone likes him. I spent a long time explaining the Jungle Boy vs Christian Cage feud to “Work Friend” and the match is a squash. Which is good! But funny with how much backstory I put in.
CUTE BACKSTAGE CUTE:
I just told “Work Friend” I’d send him a long video or two. All in all, I’m pumped for what’s to come.
HEY RICKY YOU’RE SO FINE, YOU BLOW MY MIND:
Starks is a star. He has it. I won’t ramble about this match, but I will say I loooooooooved Starks running away after the match and celebrating in the crowd. So much more realistic than a super beat down of the Factory. Not everyone needs to be super human.
TBS? CARGILL, YES!:
Jade. Jade is great. I’m sure Madison Reign is too, but the crowd didn’t really know her. But they knew and loved Jade. Jade is money.
But importantly, ATHENA IS MONEY. I knew when she was hired the cocky, petty, fun personality I loved on UUDD was going to be unleashed. If she stays healthy she is going to be so big. If I ran a wrestling company (Derp Elite Wrestling) she would be one of the faces of the company. I’d put her on Conan or whatever late night talk show is big and watch me make money off the likability of other people.
THE LONG HOLD:
The entrances to the main event were magic. Lionheart with old footage on the titantron. I was ready to sing Judas like a douche but instead enjoyed the unique experience of the match. Mox going through the crowd and standing among them to lift his title looks just as cool live as it does on tv.
In the back of my head I was skeptical. I knew it would be good but I had a feeling this would be putting Jericho over as a technical wizard and Mox selling the entire match. For the most part, that’s what it was, but a really good version of that! Good stretching and fighting for positioning. Mox sold wonderfully and Jericho looked great.
The earring getting ripped out was sick and I loved it. You can’t go wrong with ear blood. The long Walls of Jericho (Walls of Lionsomethingsomething?) was interesting. I felt it was to not over work Jericho but the longer the hold was in and the more Moxley sold that he was in and out of consciousness and in absolute agony people went from the edge of their seats to slowly a buzz to an insane fever pitch. People were yelling for Mox. Just brilliant crowd work! I didn’t think about it being picture and picture so that’s now funny to me. I was watching it happen and went from ok this is cool to holy shit I’m pumped and the whole arena is going apeshit. The guy next to me that I didn’t know asked if I thought Jericho could win it. I told him because how much Mox was selling early I didn’t think so. But in that moment I thought Moxley would pass out. He got to the ropes and I was ecstatic. Then Sammy tosses in the bat. I don’t know if this came off on tv but he way over tossed it and went out of the ring and a stagehand sneak handed it back to Jericho. When he used that I thought it was over. Then I thought it was over with the Judas Effect. I never been emotionally worked this much in a match live before. Maybe this is the greatest match I’ve ever seen live? It’s at least better than a drunken Sandman stumbling against local ICP Foley hybrid, Horace the Psychopath. When Jericho tapped we all exploded. A definitive win against Stretch Armstrong, the favorite Hart graduate.
Post match fight. When Kingston was out there was loud “Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!” Chants. I thought it was going to be Danielson making the save. They had a promo picture for him speaking at Rampage earlier, so they twisted me!!! I brought my phone out and I was all excited. Oh snap, Punk! I’ll post that video later. Stare down good fun. Claudio made me smile with how pumped up he was with Mox on the ramp. Punk hops around on his leg and does his famous leg Chris-cross-applesauce.
Show ends. Kahn says thanks. Derp derp derp. I won’t go into Rampage but fuck, I was so tired by that point. Only thing I’ll mention is that the biggest pops of the night all together was local guy Dante Martin. We all chanted “612! 612!” Which is the area code. Then a lot of people nearby talked about wrestling graduates from Robinsdale Highschool. Good fun.
CHAPTER 5: This is the End, my “Work Friend”, the End
Good event. Walking out was easy peasey. We were tucked out but decided to walk back instead of Uber. It’s a nice night out. Not too dark but very late. We know the derp roads to derp. I’m going to get some slices on the way back and surprise “Jasmyne” (my wife) with one. We would go there after late night derpin around or dancin or derpin downtown. There’s two different spots a block away from each other that are pretty much the same in terms of quality. Very good. Just depends what angle you’re walking closest to. We chose Pizza Vista and I almost didn’t recognize it from one of the doors being boarded up with wood over the glass. The sitting area was taped off and oddly enough it looked like broken stacks of wood piled on top of everything. Meh, the world ending. I went basic today (sorry Curt) and got 1 sausage pepperoni and 2 pepperoni. “Jasmyne” (wife) will get 1 of the peps. We walk back to the car and eat our pizza (I just eat the sausage pep) and talk with a Target Center worker was was on the floor for the show and had fun but we all agreed it was loooong. Especially how early they have to get there to set the building up. Long story short I drop “work friend” off at his place so he doesn’t have to bike late and I ramble about how the industry went from George Hackenschmidt to the Monday Night Wars. He had a fun time and we’re friends. “Jasmyne” (my wife) asks if I want to pick us up Taco Bell on the way home and I tell her about the pizza. She’s happy and we quietly eat the pizza while lil Octopus is asleep in the other room. I talk about the show and she tells me about her day. A good way to end a fun night.