ON THE ROAD: NOVA Pro Wrestling (11/25/16)



NOVA Pro Wrestling has been running shows for a little over a year now. Using a hybrid model of Northeast and Southern Indy feds – NOVA is a welcome new addition on the scene. For those not familiar with the geography of the area – NOVA runs their shows in Northern Virginia so roughly 20 minutes outside of DC proper, 90 minutes North of Richmond and 2 1/2 hours South of Philly. This allows a nice blended card of regulars along with allowing “names” to come in a do a shot while also hitting other shows in the area with too much trouble.

The more recent NOVA shows have been held at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. The JCC is 10 minutes from George Mason University (in fact some of my students do programs for the members of the JCC) and it is 5 minutes from where my Father-in-law lives so it is all up in my hood (am I allowed to say hood? Or even claim to have one?). I had hoped to catch an earlier show but I have had to work every time. The combination of this show being on Black Friday allowed me the freedom to attend AND blow off attending a third day of Thanksgiving family functions (though we did sneak in Lazer Tag with the kids earlier in the day). Wrestler of the Year Chris Hero working Arik Royal in the main event was just the added bonus.

Based on some tweets – I knew I would probably get to run into some of Wrestling Twitter. Most specifically – I knew that Mike Hales – patriarch of the Hales Family was flying in for the show. Everyone else would be a wonderful surprise.

Mingled inside the lobby of the JCC while waiting for them to start letting folks inside (7:30 doors open, 8 bell time). Saw a nice mixture of wrestling shirts (someone had a Heath Slater “I Have Kids” shirt which still makes me laugh), the most popular one with both fans and the workers was the Papa Hales shirt – including nearly getting run over by Rachel Ellering as she made a bee line to say hello to Papa Hales. After picking up my ticket, I scoped out the scene. The JCC gym is surprisingly big thus allowing amble room for the ring, merch tables and seats with out feeling claustrophobic but it also was small enough to feel like an intimate setting. (All told I think the crowd was just north of 200 people with almost all the seats filled.)

Walked around – realized that if there was going to be one merch table that was most assuredly have shirts in my size, it would be Chris Hero’s. His table was busy most of the night (not surprisingly) and I tried to realize the last time I saw him live (My guesstimate was 15 years ago – I am old). Introduced myself to Papa Hales and learned that not only was he there but Dylan had flown in for the show too. Since he was engaged in conversations with other folks – I put a pin in that meeting and went over to say hello to Wrestling Photographer extraordinaire Dave Layne. It was great seeing Dave again and he was telling me how much he enjoys doing the NOVA shows as it isn’t far at all (the aforementioned 90 minutes) and he often can work more than one show a weekend as they tend not to conflict with each other. We both agree that we will need to convince Dean to come to a show when his life isn’t chaos.

As I finish up with Dave and try and figure out where I am going to sit – it is announced that there is going to be a “pre-show” match (There was a fancy name for it that I missed). This was at 7:45 pm so I was already happy since we were getting right to the action.


Most folks will remember Pickard from the CZW Dojo. Mikey Webb gives me deja vu as I feel like I just watched a young Shannon Moore hit the ring. Well the most ripped Shannon Moore ever. Entertaining match that went around seven minutes (I think I described it as a hoot and a half). Got the crowd fired up for the show. There was a rolling DVD into the turnbuckles that was terrifying and a powerbomb that was slightly less terrifying but everyone survived so we are all good in the hood (please let me be able to say hood).

They immediately started the show so I already was in love with this promotion


I have seen conflicting reports on if it is “Sandwich” or “Sammich” – I am going with “Sandwich” because that is NOVA has on their own page. Yup – that is the crack research you will get from me in this road report. Biggs and Mecha Mercenary clearly live their gimmick as they are some big boys. Mecha Mercenary has a long ass beard and wears a mask and until I see them in the same place – I am positive it is Dean.

Meanwhile – Juke Joint Lucas is doing an Elvis gimmick while Ethan Alexander Sharpe is the poorest man’s vaudevillian ever. For reasons unbeknownst to me – Sharpe and Lucas are doing partners who can’t get along. That clearly costs them. It also lead to my best joke of the night (which was completely unintentional)

Honestly – all of that alone was worth my $20


Kermon used to work Vanguard Championship Wrestling (mainly the Norfolk/Hampton Roads area of Virginia) back in the day. I haven’t seen him in a month of Sundays and looking at his match results – he took some time off/was injured/something for over a year until he started back on these NOVA shows. He is doing a shooter gimmick. Brandon Day is coming off his feud with Tim Donst over the last few NOVA shows. I remember being entertained through the match especially by the various ways Kermon would find to apply his submissions. I also know Kermon won via submission but the details are sketchy for me because I was distracted since…

Yup – when Day/Kermon ended, I decided to get up and just stand against the back wall for the rest of the show (Man – was that a good decision).


Okay – Blake was advertised as facing Jordynne Grace but with Grace being out injured and Ellering having been announced for the show but no opponent – well look at what we have here. In what you can see is a theme – Blake is another product of the CZW Dojo and now you are starting to see the benefits of a successful indy in this area. More opportunities for folks to go out and work in front of crowds. It is also funny that most would think of Ellering as the more “seasoned” wrestler but in actuality – she has been at it for really only a year so Blake is actually the “veteran”. Blake is also tiny. I mean she is listed as 5’2″ and I am thinking that is generous. I mean I am fairly positive my 11 year old is taller than her (that really isn’t an insult since he is 5’3″ and taller than my wife.) And yes – I spent a portion of the night comparing wrestlers sizes to myself. I am weird.

I totally forgot the name of the mermaid girl who became the special ref for the match. She clearly was getting heckled by some Hollywood Cibernetico type as at some point she yelled “I am 21!” at them. She looks really familiar so I have convinced myself she must be a student at Mason. That is as far as I will go with that as any sort of Mermaid related Google search will be bad news.

ASPYN THE MERMAID! God Bless you Twitter. (I am guessing she was supposed to work Ellering pre-Grace injury).

Only other thing I remember (besides Blake winning by submission) was Ellering being the first (but not the last person) to tease a Roaring Elbow on a show with Chris Hero in the Main Event. That seemed… odd. Of course – it isn’t like most indy shows have agents laying out the matches either. Yes – I am rambling.


Gresham is still the CZW World Heavyweight Champ right? I don’t remember him being billed as such (not that really matters either way). Just suddenly remembered that as I was typing this up. Dijak is as every bit of big as he appears on camera. Just a giant of a man. And yes – he really should be billed a Nord and carry a battle axe.

This would have been match of the night and probably every other show held Friday except its own show. It was a great little guy/big man battle. Gresham is a superstar that no one talks about… okay, okay… no one but Dylan talks about

I feel like opinions are split on Dijak for some reason which confuse me so (granted I haven’t seen a TON of his work). But man, did he and Gresham have some magic working Friday night.

TEAM CHET STERLING (Chet Sterling, Chuck Tayler, Dan Barry and Cutie and the Beast (Innocent Isaiah & Beau Crockett) vs. TEAM LOGAN EASTON LAROUX (Logan Easton Laroux, Bobby Shields, Alexander James and The Carnies (Kerry Awful & Tripp Cassidy)

Point of order – Kerry Awful moving from Team IOU to the Carnies is still so weird to me. Mainly since I haven’t caught up on all the Team IOU I want to see. Anyway, this was a better survivor series match than the WWE Men’s Survivor Series match so based on that it was at least 5 stars. It had its flaws – namely the pacing – but it was still good and most importantly it set the table for a lot of future matches. (Cutie & the Beast vs. the Carnies, Sterling/Laroux, etc…). I think my problem with pacing is more of a personal preference thing. I really don’t like rapid fire eliminations – so after going like eight minutes without one, there were three in a minute. And then the final four eliminations happened in less than two minutes. Still – they resisted the urge to do other Elimination Match troupes…. the big one being not having the faces be down 3-1 at the end (which they teased but didn’t do).

Headed off to put some more faces with names. Introduced myself to Dylan and Stuttsy and John Philapavage. (I missed Rob Barry apparently). Always amused when there is that double take after two seconds when someone realizes they kinda sorta know my name. And then I get to go “Nope – I am not Dean. Nope – not Schneider. I am the other Phil”.

Considering I still feel like Dylan is like 23 – this is very depressing.

The common consensus reached during intermission is that I am going to have to find my way to a CWF Mid-Atlantic show.


This is supposedly an “All or Nothing” Match. I am not quite sure what that means as I missed the introductions as I was headed back in from the bathroom. (Searching around – Rayo is contracted to Greene and if he wins this match, he gets his freedom. Or at least that is the story I am going with.) Rayo is a Peruvian TJ Perkins. Meanwhile – Greene is another man with a hipster mustache and more importantly

I resist the urge to check the parking lot for his question mark covered Volkswagon Bug.

God – I remember at some point Greene gives Rayo a draping butterfly suplex to the floor. The splat against the gym floor was amazing though judging by said splat on gym floor it had to suck for Rayo. I then somehow blacked out the rest of the match. God I suck.

Oh wait… I did find this

Yeah – maybe that is why I didn’t remember.

So I had seen DJ Hyde walking around all show (DJ Hyde is the owner of Combat Zone for those of you that don’t know). For some reason – my spidey sense never went off until suddenly Hyde is in the ring and has THE STICK~!

Long and the short of it is that the advertised tag match is now a 6-man


This was way better than I thought it was going to be because it immediately broken down into a wild brawl. Chairs, traffic cones, garbage pails were all used. I especially liked how thoughtful everyone was to remove the trash bag from the garbage bag neatly so as to not make a mess before brawling.

Match fell apart late as it definitely went on too long. The heels beat on George Gatton forever as Cannonball and Tremont get taped to the ropes.


The Duke jersey in NoVA doesn’t get as much heat as one would assume. Now if this had been in College Park – they would have been lighting couches on fire… mainly because they couldn’t get into Duke.

Anyway – Royal is undefeated in NOVA Pro Wrestling and Hero is Chris Fucking Hero. This was awesome. It can’t be said enough how effortlessly Hero can change his style based on who is opponent is. In this case – since it was Royal, it was the strongest of the strong style. But what really makes Hero special is all the effort he puts into the little things. For example.

The struggle to apply the Gotch Piledriver might have been my favorite moment of the match (and watching it again it reminded me that it was super close to being a Gotch stuff piledriver.) The basic story can be summed up as

Royal survived everything Hero dished out and won with a running chop block (which, in my opinion, is a safer version of the POUNCE~! as the guy taking it has much more control of his landing AND can make sure his leg doesn’t get hit at all). I am not sure what they are going to do about Royal’s undefeated streak though since the theory is that if he can beat Hero who can stop him.

This was so good.

Show ended at 11 pm so at three hours it was the perfect time. Y’all should definitely make it a point to watch Gresham/Dijak and Hero/Royal.