ON THE ROAD: USA PRO (11/29/03)
[Michinoku Playaz] USA Pro 11/29/03, Road Report
RD: Rev Ray Duffy, “find hungry samurai”
PP: Pogo Pete Stein, FEE-RO-SHUS
RD: I’ve been on a weird sleep cycle lately, which has resulted in me catching a lot of late night/early morning movies on cable, like Mother, Jugs and Speed one night and a few Kurosawa samurai movies the night before the Elk’s lodge show. So after being up til 10am, I woke up at about 3:30pm to get ready for the show. I met up with Pete relatively close to 5:30 at the KFC. Simply Luscious was nice enough to let them take my order rather than fixing something with hers before the show, only for them to not have any chicken pot pies. SAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNDDDDDDEEEEEERRRRRSSSSSSSSS! We head across the street pretty close to 6pm, when the doors are supposed to open, but of course, they don’t open on time. We finally do get inside and the place is pretty packed. As packed as any show I’ve been to since ECW ran the building. Not all the seats were filled, but there were a ton of people sitting in on the window sills on both levels. Supposedly they got in 1,400+ for the show. Despite the doors opening late, the show actually started about 45 to 30 minutes early. I guess it was an unadvertised showcase.
PP: I make my way over to the Lodge KFC after doing some holiday shopping reconnaissance in Manhattan and then at the Queens Center… thankfully no subway shootings leading to me getting stuck in lockdown this time after my adventure in Far Rockaway the previous day. Simply Luscious hits the KFC while I wait for Ray and I immediately try to figure out which Muppet she had put to death and flayed in order to make her pants. Never mind the lack of pot pies… far more comical IMO was the number of people asking for the popcorn chicken and getting denied. Ray shows up and the 500 tape shuffle begins in earnest.
MATCH 1: FRED SAMPSON vs. TOMMI TROUBLE
RD: I actually got the names for these guys off the USA Pro site. Note for the ring announcing crew: DO NOT INTRODUCE GUYS OVER THEIR THEME MUSIC. It’s hard enough to hear people over the shitty speakers, it’s not any easier when you’ve got DJ Anthony playing music further imposible to figure out who they are. Sampson is pretty well built for an indy guy. The fans start chanting “Maven” at him. Trouble kind of looks like Nise Paul London. This was pretty decent for the opening. I don’t think they really did anything to embarrass themselves in this, of course, this is USA Pro, so there’s 6 hours of other things to make me forget. Who needs booze when you can have 6 hours of wrestling to make you forget things. In the case of guys I’ve never seen before, if you don’t do anything really horrible that makes me remember you, you’re probably doing something right. The finish was Sampson catching Trouble in a tilt-a-whirl and then turning it into a running K-Driller type move.
PP: We had no idea who either of these guys were so we went with “Nise Maven” and “Nise Paul London” for the balance of the match. Trouble botched something fierce at one point and the crowd let him have it, but otherwise this was an entirely serviceable opener. The crowd was WHITE-HOT for this which helped immensely.
MATCH 2: KING OF THE ELK’S Match featuring : JOHNNY TNT w/ Mr. Big, JAV, JAY STATIC, JUSTIN CAGE, SABOTAGE, CHRIS DANGER, TRAVIS BLACKCHURCH w/ Penny Dreadful, J-KRONIK, AFATO, POPPALICIOUS, ANGRY YOUNG MAN, REMY & KEN SCAMPI
RD: This was your usual multiple person rookie/ticket sellers type match, which means you’re up the creek again due to how the guys are announced and the fact that only certain guys obey the rule about having your name clearly on their tights or t-shirts. I’m going for the USA Pro site again for the results, I have no idea who Afato and Remy were and I don’t even remember them hitting the ring. Then again, I think Mr. Big was announced as being in the match and never actually got in the ring. TNT and Jav were the first two in; well, TNT was in and I’m guessing Jav was the second guy, though he changed his look. TNT and Jav are the guys I’ve written a bunch about in past road reports. They’ve got a lot of spectacular spots but like no transitions at all. So TNT’s first move is like a suplex where he drops JAV and lands his back of the neck on his knee. The second move is a superplex. So they have the cluster of the rumble style and when they got down to the last 6 guys, it turned into 6 man 4 corners elimination match. I’m pretty sure the last six were TNT, Jav, Cage, Kronik, Poppalicious and Scampi which eventually comes down to Scampi and Poppalicious, Poppalicous went over with a DDT out of a Canadian backbreaker/powerbomb set up. Scampi probably looked the best of everyone in the match as he has a real goofy kind of a charisma.
PP: Dammit, we really need to put that law on the books in New York. I also demand that Frank get with the program and debut the USAPW Clusterfuck Title at the next show in February… hell, it could be defended in a battle royale, elimination match, Gauntlet style or any other way they could think of. BECAUSE IT’S A CLUSTERFUCK~! Travis and one other guy pull off the best unintentional comedy spot I’ve seen in a long time as Travis gets whipped to the ropes while the other dude runs in from Travis’ right and both guys collide in mid-ring. We laugh because we care. For those of you that care, Travis’ second Penny Dreadful apparently designed the Second City Saints ROH logo. Poppa Lishus goes over at the end which was a shame as Scampi’s gimmick is a riot.
MATCH 3: THE SOLUTION (Papadon & Havok) w/ Miss Michelle vs. THE CHRISTOPHER ST. CONNECTION (Buff E. & Mace Mendoza)
RD: This was a quasi-rematch from the last show where it was a 3 Way between these 2 and the DRS. I save the guy next to me from getting pegged in the head by a confetti container that was fairly large. As always, the CSC’s antics are great. It was also pretty funny watching Havok try not to crack up during his time in ring. He’s trying to play pissed off, but you can see he’s smiling. Buff E was pretty hilarious on the apron. Like at one point when Papadon got some hold locked on to Mace and Buff E strolls down the apron to check out Papadon’s ass. The finish to this was Michelle trying to throw in her purse as a weapon and Buff E getting it, KO’ing both guys, Buff E getting the pin on Havok as Papadon ended up the way 2 Live Crew liked it, face down, ass in the air with Mace behind him. Fun match.
PP: Not the best CSC/Solution match I’ve seen as it was a little too stalltastic for my taste, but still fun. Havok was thisclose to totally losing it “selling” for the CSC shtick. Postmatch the CSC suck face a couple of times for each side of the building to everyone’s delight/disgust
MATCH 4: ENVY/ROB FURY/JIMMY HUSTLER (w/ Mr. Big & Drago) vs. THE ELM ST. KIDS (Pyscho/Rayza/Danny Yams) w/ unknown manager vs. TRAILER PARK TRASH (Nuke/Southern Vinny Stylin/Tony Burma) vs. LOS LUNATICS (Eddie Guapo/Lo Ryda/Boogalou) – USA PRO TRIAD TITLES
RD: I’m going off the USA Pro site for the name of the belts. Odd they’d be Triad titles since I don’t think any of them look like asian gang members. The ESK’s manager had a brief case which they ended up opening up and throwing out stacks of fake money. It was actually a pretty neat idea as it was a double sided fake bill which they photoshopped, but they put like all the dog house wrestlers on the front, so most of the bills were actually different, which was neat like they were trading cards. Pete ended up getting a fat stack while I ended up with 2, one of Louie and one of the ESK. I missed the very start of this, but when I got back, Pete told me the ESK were looking pretty good and that Yams for fan for a heavier guy. Of course, with them getting a lot of ring time early on, that means they were the first to go. I think Fury’s first segment with the ESK was his first set up blown moves as he tried for some sort of move out of a torture rack but ended up slipping and dropping either Psycho or Rayza before hitting the move later. Hustler ended up putting out one of the ESK with a fishermanbuster. Later in the match, Fury was in working against Boogalou and seemed to do something to piss off Lou, I think landing on him wrong or something which ended up him getting pounded by Lou and by the other Lunatics when he tried to run away on the floor. I’m not sure how much of it’s worked, but Lou strikes me as a guy you really don’t want to piss off, as I’ve seen him work stretch someone and look brutal and I’ve also seen him beat the piss out of Danny Demanto which I don’t think was worked. At any rate, it looked like Fury paid a price for fucking up. Trailer Park Trash tag in and sort of put a mercy killing on Fury to at least get him out of there, with Nuke and Burma hitting a neat double team with Nuke picking up Fury for the powerbomb, as he’s going up, Burma headlocks Fury’s head and they hit a running powerbomb/reverse bulldog combo to eliminate them. Los Lunatics end up putting away Stylin as they bust out their Face Eraser/Diamond Cutter finish on him for the win and the belts. The belts actually turned out to be the regular tag belts and the US title belt. So your Triad belts don’t actually match, unless it was intended to have the Captain have a bigger belt. Of course, Lou might have said he wanted a bigger belt and I probably wouldn’t have said no. Of the titles that seem to come and go in USA Pro, I don’t think Six Man belts are such a bad idea. There’s a few guys who seem to be embracing triple team spots, and since USA Pro seems to love multi-ways, maybe they’d keep the matches down to 12 people and they’ll get knocked out quicker.
PP: The ESK gimmick with the money is hysterical… clearly, whoever did this is a real pro and went totally balls-out on the money design. The Louie funbuck went on my office wall first thing Monday morning. Early portion of this was fun as the ESKs have some nifty double teams and Danny Yamz is on his way to replacing Don Montoya on my “Fat boys who can go” list. Mr. Big’s team was… problematic. And lord knows if you’re going to fuck up a spot, DON’T DO IT AGAINST LOU. Ape Law, my friends. Lou and Guapo just go apeshit on Fury and his partners for the rest of the night, although sadly the rubber chicken was nowhere to be seen. ESKs go out first and proceed to toss the remaining funbucks to the crowd on the way out; Rayza pegs me with a stack from 20 feet away like Derek Jeter and I help spread the wealth throughout the balcony as the match proceeds. Rednecks looked good in this for the amount of time they were in although the footwear-less Burma was the victim of a “GO TO PAYLESS” chant from the crowd.
MATCH 5 : “M-TIZZLE” MIKE TOBIN w/ Tony Lo & Bobcat vs. PRINCE NANA
RD: This was an impromptu match as I think Nana was supposed to be teaming with Monsta Mack who I could have swore I saw earlier in the show, but wasn’t used at all for some reason. Bobcat was back and surpasses the lifts of ridiculousness set by Rocksha awhile ago as she had the huge platform shoes. Anyway, I guess she’s back with Knight Life, though I don’t know if she was here just for the last show or to sub for Becky being at ROH or what. DJ Anthony screwed up Nana’s music, which resulted in him getting made fun of by Nana on the mic. We kind of jinxed this match as Tobin came off a real impressive showing at the LXW show against Smoke Dawg and we started thinking this could turn out to be pretty good. But it ended up being pretty short and there was a bunch of screwiness with Lo and Bobcat interfering. The finish had Nana getting knocked down and Lo holding his leg down on the side of the ring so he couldn’t kick out. Post match, Lo gets left behind and Nana hits him with the avalanche running ass attack combo on Lo. I think Danny Drake ended up hitting Lo with something from the balcony while he was down in the corner.
PP: Probably the biggest disappointment of the night as we were stoked for Tobin coming off the LXW show. Nana is his usual riotous self as he singles out various fans he’ll never have to see again at the Lodge, including one white guy who looked EERILY like Michael Jackson. Nana leading a “Michael Jackson” chant for the dude is probably the most surreal moment of the night. This is the highlight of the segment as the match proper goes maybe 3 minutes before the screwiness takes over. Nana did get to hit the Ghanador on Tobin so it wasn’t a total loss.
MATCH 6: SONJAY DUTT vs. LOW KI
RD: Ki got a pretty positive reaction except for some of the ROH crew who were yelling “Where’s your Honor?” at him. If he had his Honor, he probably wouldn’t have even been on the show. The beginning of this was great as Ki hits a low kick early and Sonjay fires back with one. Ki just smiles at him and knocks him down with another low kick. This was easily the best match of the night. Ki controlled a lot of the match, but Sonjay got a bunch of hope spots with him trying to make the come back. Ki went for the Phoenix splash at one point but Sonjay got out of the way with Ki doing the roll through and Sonjay dropping him with something. I’m pretty sure Sonjay hit the hindu press for two. I forget if he hit it or if he landed on Ki’s knees. Ki tried for the Ki Krusher but Sonjay kicked off the top rope and turned it into a big DDT for a near fall. Eventually, Ki nails the Ki Krusher for the win. Good match. The crowd gave Dutt a pretty good ovation when he got up. I would say it’s one of the better matches overall that I’ve seen him.
PP: This was an easy MOTN and one of the better singles matches I’ve seen this year as Sonjay was totally on fire. Ki’s no-sell at the start is hysterical as Sonjay kicks him back and Ki gives him a big, toothy “oh, so you wanna go THERE” grin. Ki controls the first half of the match to the point where we figured Sonjay was going to win at the end, but Sonjay eventually starts getting more and more offense in to the point where it’s going back and forth. Sonjay hits this freaked-out move that starts out like a springboard Shiranui and he turns it into a sitout powerbomb. Ki eventually hits the KK99 for the pin after Sonjay had countered out of it twice earlier. Match totally stole the show, although sadly this would turn out to be more petty larceny than grand theft as the night dragged on.
MATCH 7: “CROWBAR” DEVON STORM (w/ Serena) vs. MIKE KRUEL (w/ Simply Luscious) – USA PRO US TITLE
RD: I don’t know, I wasn’t really feeling this one and I like Kruel. As the match went on, there was some manager interference with Storm going for a pin and Lucsious going for a dive off the top, only for Storm to get out of the way and Kruel to get hit low. Serena got involved at one point. They did the spot where Storm back flips her via a back suplex to moonsault onto Kruel. I forget if Kruel got out of the way or not. But with Storm’s back turned, they do a switch-a-roo as he goes for the asai moonsault and lands on Serena. Storm attempted the Death Valley Driver, but I think Kruel escaped and hit the whiplash, which I don’t think I’ve seen him do before, for the win. After the match, Luscious got on the mic and was apologizing repeatedly to Mike for hitting him, but he was trying to walk away, but as she kept pressing her, he slapped her. This resulted in Luscious saying that she liked it and said she wanted the old Mike Kruel back, the one who was in Knight Life. This resulted in the active Knightlife people who were present, Tobin, Lo, Bobcat, Striker and Diamond to come out. They do a long segment talking about getting tail and doing struts, which results in Kruel doing a strut. So I guess they’re putting Kruel back with Knight Life. This is a whole weird angle. First off, Kruel’s been feuding with Knight Life for close to a year now. Luscious got kicked out of the group earlier in the year. Now they’re back in the group? Now, mind you that Kruel just won the title that Reil gave up because he couldn’t make the show because his wife is pregnant. I?m not sure if Becky’s coming back or not, but she was behind the whole turn against Kruel in the wedding angle. It’s just weird timing. Then again, this is USA Pro, where Mafia turned heel on Monsta Mack to join Balls Mahoney only to have Balls Mahoney turn on him on the next show. Who really knows the logic behind it. Maybe they recognized the fans weren’t buying into Kruel doing babyface mic work.
PP: I missed this as I was downstairs talking shop with Heavy Metal Mike of APPLLE fame. Without going into too much detail, if half of the stuff he said was true it looks like the NYC lucha scene will be HOTTING UP~! in the months to come.
RD: Up next we have the piss break of the evening, I mean, Masked Maniac segment. Masked Maniac comes out and talks about this possibly being the last show in the building. I forget what he exactly said, but I know some people in the crowd were chanting “Fuck the gooks”, which makes me wish they don’t get the building back. Anyway, Maniac eventually calls out Dana Dameson. Maniac says that women get into the business two ways, either by going to wrestling school or being a rat. Since Dana didn’t go to wrestling school, she must be a rat. Anyway, this ends with him making fun of her and then giving her a body slam. Why is this a segment on the show? I DON’T KNOW. During this Ken Sweeney runs out to start the match.
MATCH 8 : MASKED MANIAC vs. KEN SWEENEY
RD: Stop booking yourself in matches. Seriously. Maniac won, who gives a fuck.
PP: Say it with me, people: “SHOOT ME.”
MATCH 9: “LOW LIFE” LOUIE RAMOS vs. “BISON” JOHNNY BRAVADO vs. NEW DYNAMITE KID vs. DANNY DEMANTO (w/ Amanda Violet) – Four Way Death Match w/ The Motivator as the referee
RD: Demanto came out sporting the Kobe Bryant jersey. New Dynamite Kid might want to consider a new name in wrestling. New Kid Dynomite might work since Jimmy Walker doesn’t have a great reputation as a professional wrestler. Louie brought out a trash can full of weapons which included a bat with small glass Christmas balls on them. I think they missed the boat by not having Louie come out to Christmas In Hollis for the match. I think Bravado or Demanto had a bat with Thumbtacks on it. This was your typical stabby, stabby death match. Violet interfered again. Since she was wearing a black outfit, was a little on the heavy side, did a rolling senton from the second rope and got a dollar bill stapled to her head again, she can double as Victoria Grimes. Motivator tried to stop someone from using a weapon at one point and ended up taking a shot to the head, I think with the thumbtack bat and may have bled as well. I ended up getting hit with a thumbtack and I was in the balcony during this. NDK was the first to go as Demanto hit a fat man frog splash from the post to the floor, putting NDK through a table. Bravado and Demanto started double teaming Louie. Louie had either his lip or tongue stapled to the turnbuckle at one point. They also got his boot off and stapled a dollar bill to it and hit it with the thumbtack bat. I forget how Demanto got eliminated, but Bravado did it while Louie was in the corner. It might have been at the point where I was distracted looking for the tack that hit me. With Demanto gone, someone passed Louie a lighter, he lit up one of the bats and nailed Bravado (the fire went out quickly) and then hit him with the Death Valley Driver for the win. Post match, the other three continue to beat on Louie until Grim Reefer comes out and makes the save, only to turn around and nail Louie in the head with a chair. They did a little mic work where Reefer challenged Louie to a match and Louie promised to rip his heart of his chest on Valentine’s Day. This is followed by the usual clean up, though I think that Reefer ended up using the brooms as weapons, thus making clean up more difficult. With all the glass and thumbtacks, they are never prepared for clean up. Buy some new brooms already… or get a shop vac.
PP: I thought this was better than the usual USAPW hardcore match as they did some neat/sick garbage spots with Louie’s foot and tongue getting stapled… his girlfriend was in the front row selling the abuse as well so it the weapons usage was also a bit more compelling than usual. With Amanda Violet’s look she really needs to do a “Big Fat Greek Valet” gimmick. Fire spot at the end had us scared shitless but it went out immediately and turned out to be the safest use of fire I’ve ever seen at these matches. Axl Rotten hits the stage to shake hands with Louie on his way to the back, which I thought was a neat touch as the ECW legend “passes the torch” to the local guy.
MATCH 10: DERANGED vs. JOHNNY OVA vs. DAN BARRY – USA PRO XTREME TITLE
RD: Deranged came out first and apologized for everyone since he wasn’t going to have a match tonight as Reefer was injured, apparently a broken foot as he was limping during his run in during the previous match. As Deranged is apologizing, Ova and Barry hit the ring. Ova says since they don’t have a match, they challenge him for the title. I’m having trouble remembering, but it was kind of goofy with him challenging him 2 on one, then saying “Or a 3 way match” and then super kicks Barry. You’d think partners would work together long enough to make sure one of them wins the belt. You’d think that… but you’d be wrong though. This was kind of thrown together. Eventually Ova and Barry get Deranged down. Ova convinces Barry to go for the Irish Car Bomb, the moonsault blockbuster suplex move. Barry goes up for the move, only to have Ova sneak in behind him and powerbomb him down, which resulted in Deranged landing on his chest and Ova jackknifing his legs, eliminating Barry. Ova and Deranged went a little longer with Deranged going over via the high speed sunset flip bomb. Not a terrible match, but not a great match as it really had the feel of something put together on the fly.
PP: It had the feel of something put together on the fly because it WAS put together on the fly, as they apparently put this match together with something like 10 minutes to spare. With that in mind it was entirely servicable if not a classic. Deranged came out sans doo-rag and was letting his giant hairdo fly which was probably the most notable part of this.
MATCH 11: THE DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELZ (EC Negro/KC Blade) vs. THE FLOCK (Mikey Whipwreck/Wayne) (w/ Tara Charisma) – USA PRO TAG TEAM TITLES
RD: The DRS came out as baby faces shaking everyone’s hands. Pete noticed how weird it was seeing them as the Shiny Happy Scoundrelz, of course, once they get the mics, they talk about looking at themselves and hating what they’ve become, and then turning heel again. They mention the S.A.T., which ends up with their music being played. Mikey and Wayne came out as the Maximos and Tara came out as Red if Red had junk in the trunk. Mikey and Wayne try to start up “FAT” chants. At this point, the match is pretty much fading from memory. I know it felt like it took forever to get going with everyone’s antics. Mikey and Wayne tried to set up a few of the SAT spots, including them trying the double boston crab/camel clutch. I think they teased the Spanish Fly at some point too. Tara ended up hiting a diving rana at some point. The finish was all four guys in the ring. Whipwreck went for the sunset flip on Blade who fights it and calls over for Negro for help. Negro grabs Blade’s arms so he won’t go over, but Whipwreck does a mist spray from his back that hits both guys in the face, allowing him to roll up Blade and score the win.
PP: DRS set up the turn like champs as they start off with the hand-slapping and proceed to putting over the fans, the Lodge and the Doghouse (to accompanying crowd woofs). Then it all goes pear-shaped as they immediately turn back heel and are back in their element. They bury the SATs which magically leads to Mikey, Wayne and Tara coming out in full SAT gear, and I immediately dub Tara “Big Red” for obvious reasons. All three work the gimmick well as Mikey/Wayne do some Maximo double-teams while Tara hits a sweet diving Frankenstein to the floor on (I think) Blade later on. Finish comes down to Negro trying to prevent Mikey from sunset-flipping Blade, which leads to Mikey misting both guys at the same time for the pin.
MATCH 12: AXL ROTTEN vs. BALLS MAHONEY
RD: Pre-match, both Balls and Axl did mic work putting over the building and the crowd. Axl also put over NY for continuing to do hardcore wrestling getting the ever popular “Philly sucks” chant going. I would like to point out again, Balls looks to be in phenomenal shape. Both guys promise to beat the shit out of each other, but say they’re going to be friends when it was done. And they did do that, they jabbed and stabbed each other in the head, both guys tore into each other’s arms. Both guys bleed. At the end, either balls or Axl pulled out thumb tacks. Balls ended up winning with the Nut Cracker Suite onto the tacks for the win. This was kind of shorter than I expected it to be, but given the length of the card, I’m not complaining. Both guys hugged after the match, but Ken Scampi came out. Scampi said that they promised a hardcore match, but the match they had wasn’t. He wondered where the thumb tacks where, which Balls replied “Here they are” as he headbutted the tacks on the mat, sticking a bunch in his head. Anyone, Scampi continues to go on about how they’re phonies. He then asks where the chairs were, which results in him taking a chair shot to the back from Axl and a shot to the head from Balls. Post match, they try to play “Big Balls” but the cd is either skipping or DJ Anthony just sucks. So Balls ended up singing it acapella.
PP: We keep waiting and waiting for Balls to have that straight wrestling match now that he’s lost all that weight… we weren’t expecting one here, but the bell rang and they literally went straight to juicing each other with assorted paraphernilia. Feh. I bail out to hit the facilities and missed most of this, including the finish, though I caught most of the angle with Scampi on the floor level.
MATCH 13: SIMOND DIAMOND/MATT STRIKER (w/ Bobcat) vs. CHRIS CANDIDO/BAM BAM BIGELOW (w/ Tammy Sytch)
RD : I forget if Striker and Simon had mic work calling out a team, but I do know that the Triple Threat got mic work. Candido called for Douglas to come out and they played “his music”, which for some reason was Thunderkiss ’65 and not Perfect Strangers. I was half expecting Gary Wolfe to be coming out. Anyway, Douglas talks about the Triple Threat coming back and again thanks the crowds and the building, he also tried to get the fans to chant USA for the promotion rather than ECW. This was slightly different then the usual promo putting himself over. Of course, he has to set things clear that they’re heels, which he does before going to the back. I’m not sure why they announced Bam Bam as being over 300 pounds because he certainly doesn’t look like it. This went a bit. Striker played Ricky Morton for a pretty extended period in this. To the point I was wondering if Diamond was going to walk away from the tag, but he didn’t. From what I can remember, this wasn’t really anything to write home about. Candido and Bigelow tried to set up the double diving headbutt once, but it was broken up by either Simon or Bobcat. They had a cat fight on the floor which was mostly Bobcat getting stooge slapped by Tammy and going down for a bit. Candido hit the standing on the top rope superplex at one point. Eventually, they taped Diamond’s arms around the ring posts so he couldn’t make the save and they hit the double top rope diving headbutt on Striker for the win.
PP: Bigelow gets announced at “300 pounds” and I remark to Ray that they must’ve gotten Bammer’s weight confused with Tammy. Yeesh. I have no problem with women that might be a little zaftig (I AM ZHIXELESQUE~!) but Tammy’s the exception to the rule being that she was soooooooo smoking hot maybe 5 years ago. It’s really at the point where you can’t even compare her to Anna Nicole Smith now that Smith has dropped all that weight. And all of my blathering about Tammy’s plunge should be an indication of the match quality here. I give Shane some credit for putting over USAPW as opposed to himself, although him trying to start a “USA” chant was way up there on the Bizarrometer.
MATCH 14: SHANE DOUGLAS (w/ The Triple Threat) vs. THE SANDMAN
RD: Directly after the match, Candido called out Douglas again who did more mic work, this time running down NY for getting all the sympathy for 9/11, asking what about Pittsburgh? Anyway, after a while of this, Sandman came out. I remember joking with Pete about them figuring out how to do the perfect Shane Douglas match as a good part of the start of this match was Sandman fighting with Candido and Bam Bam on the floor. In his defense though, this was actually pretty watchable once Douglas started wrestling. As I’ve said in the past, I Shane Douglas Anti-Fan #1, this was fairly good. I mean, the footage of him I saw on the NWA TNA penny ppv made me want my penny back, this certainly wasn’t that bad. Douglas was feeling it and at one point even busted out a pescado onto Sandman, Candido and Bigelow on the floor. There was a lot of Douglas in the ring distracting the ref as Candido and Bigelow did the dirty work on the floor. At one point, Bigelow did a piledriver onto a table leaned on the steps. The table mostly bent, it didn’t really break. I was also distracted at several points in this watching Tammy jaw with some of the front row fans and threaten them with Sandman’s cane and them daring her to hit them so they could sue her. Sandman hit some decent looking belly to belly’s which Sandman kicked out of and Douglas did a good job of being pissed off because “THAT’S HIS MOVE, TONEH!” Eventually, Bam Bam sneaks in the ring and hits a headbutt to Sandman’s groin leading to the finish.
PP: Douglas’ 9/11 promo was pretty much the epitome of cheap heat, but he made up for it once the bell rang as this was the best I’ve seen him look in recent memory, including busting out the Flight 93 Pescado at one point. Having been to shows with Ray that included Shane in some capacity dating back at least 7-8 years, it’s always fun watching smoke billowing out of his ears on those rare nights when Shane chooses to rip it up. (For those of you with copies of Cyberslam ’99 and good eyesight, you can see me in the bleachers turning to Ray and yelling “HELL OF A MATCH!” at the conclusion of the Shane/Justin Credible match. ) He was fine and there was enough mishigas going on with the Threat running interference that this turned out OK.
MATCH 15: RAVEN (w/ Wayne, Mikey Whipwreck & Tara Charisma) vs. AL SNOW (w/ Head) – USA Pro Heavyweight Title
RD: So I think it was near or after midnight by the time this got to the ring. Boy, this felt like it went on forever, but then again, it went at least 30 minutes, so it did go on forever. Pete pointed out how it was kind of neat to watch Raven do his little things and work the mat, the problem is, after 6 hours of being at the show, you just want it to be over, and this was how it felt. Fans were booing when someone would kick out of a pin attempt because you really just wanted this to be over with already. I was joking that they wanted to send out the Elk’s Lodge with a 60 minute time limit draw, thankful I was wrong. The Flock interfered at various points in this, eventually with Snow hitting 3 of them with the Head and eventually giving Tara the Snow Plow, taking her out for the rest of the match. She must have been selling being KO’ed under the ring for like 10 minutes. Raven kicked out of two moonsaults, one regular and one through a table. Raven survived a Head shot mostly because Snow was distracted fighting off everyone else before he could go for the pin. Snow kicked out of at least one DDT before Raven eventually hit another one to retain the title. As we were trying to get out of Dodge, the Triple Threat hit the ring and attacked Raven, I guess setting up Raven v. Douglas at the very least for the next show. We missed out on people throwing garbage in the ring at the Triple Threat during this. Well, I would say I really missed it.
PP: So so so so so so not the Ki/Xavier ladder match in the “final Elk’s Lodge match EVAR” pantheon. I appreciate the thought of them wanting to go out and do a classic and the match itself was OK, but the execution here was less than perfect coming as it did FIVE HOURS into the show. This wound up going 35-40 minutes by my estimation.. dunno where the “48 minutes” speculation came from although it certainly felt like 48 minutes. Fuck it… this felt like it went like 18 hours. Raven kicks out of the moonsault through the table and Ray screams “ARE YOU SHITTING ME, PYLE?!?!?!” I spend the rest of the match looking for a drink to “accidentally” spill onto Sugaa Boy sitting below us (AKA “GIVE IT TO HEEEEEEEEM”).
RD : This was your typical USA Pro show that never ends. Ki v. Dutt was good, but there wasn’t really anything stellar on the rest of the card. Then again, they were missing Homicide and a few other people who were working for ROH. Apparently USA Pro is going to be nice enough to offer shuttle service out to their Long Island shows from the Lodge, but I seriously doubt I’d be jumping on that action. I mean, it’s about 30 minutes to an hour to get out to the Lodge from my house, who knows how long it would take to get from the other show to Queens, though I can’t imagine there would be a whole lot of traffic into the city at 3am . This really wasn’t the best “Last Ever Card” I’ve been to at the Lodge, and I’ve probably been to about 4 of them. The very nature of the fact USA Pro goes so long makes it really, really difficult to be into the main events, taking out the fact I’m usually more interested in seeing the indy talent than I am seeing ex-ECW/WWF names. Unless they get another venue in the city, this will probably be the last USA Pro show for me in a while.
PP: I’ll give their lineup a look-see and decide if it’s worth the jaunt out to Bethpage, although the fact that they’re offering a free bus to the show from the Lodge is a ncie touch. After tonight I really hope this wasn’t the last show ever at the Lodge as there has to be a better way to send the old gal out, and Frank sort of left the door open when he said this was the last show ever… “unless the Koreans let us come back.” Then again, the giant “FUCK THE GOOKS” chant that ensued may have put paid to Frank’s thought.