Thanks to for their badass righteous free counters

Millenium Pro Wrestling "Version 4.0" 9/1/01
by Digable James Cobo

For a fed that's only been around for four shows (hence the title "Version 4.0"), MPW's made a name for themselves, largely on the basis of bringing in the big freelance names - like Christopher Daniels, Psichosis, Low-Ki, Little Guido, Chris Chetti, and so on. Even more impressive, they managed to run three shows featuring talent that I know and love - guys like Super Dragon, Rising Son, B-Boy, and so on - while I was in North Carolina, a damn near spooky feat. But even the forces that surround the fed couldn't keep me from making it out there for this card, which featured NOT ONLY Super Dragon vs. Jardi Frantz, but Excalibur vs. Rocky Romero and B-Boy vs. Ricky Reyes as well. On paper, it was the non-Super 8 show of the year by a WIDE berth.

But really, it was an interesting matchup beyond the card. The last few months, while I was languidly damning my existence by doing nothing in North Carolina, the vivrant SoCal indy scene has started to eat its own tail. People started getting injured in freak accidents - notably Super Dragon's leg (on a powerbomb, the physics of which defy me) and Rising Son's collarbone (a cautionary tale: if a certain wrestler looks like he's going to miss his moonsault, DON'T try to roll over to cover the distance), both of which happened within a month of them having allegedly the greatest indy match in history. Outside wrestlers brought in as surprise guests - such as Perro Russo at the last RevPro show - proved to be vastly inferior to the regional talent who elected to ply their trade elsewhere (yes, Perro Russo is worse than Tom Howard). And the wrestling itself allegedly took a turn for the simplistic - or rather, the bad kind of simplistic where a match isn't simple because the wrestlers' individual strengths make a simple match more logical and, as a result, better (find a tape of Mr. Excitement vs. Rocky Romero from last week's RevPro - third-grade simple, but compelling as all hell), but rather simple because nobody wanted to put forth the effort to make a complex match (UPW, I'm looking at YOU).

In short and colloquial terms, someone dropped a bucket of water on the campfire.

That's why I was excited about this MPW show; it seemed to have an answer to all of those criticisms, and a bunch more besides. There was the potential for talent new to the area - Jardi - to make a name; there was a chance to show how good a simple story could be (Rocky vs. Excalibur); there was a chance to show that with proper precaution and communication, freak injuries don't have to happen...there was basically a chance to remind the whole SoCal wrestling community of why it was so great.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a single card try to grab lightning by the scruff of its neck and shove it back in the bottle.

1. Rudos vs. Tecnicos And a great big thank-you to MPW's website for providing me with the names of the teams (actually, there was a bigger lie there, but all in due time). The six guys in the match were from WPW, a lucha promotion located somewhere in LA that I can never seem to remember to find. Watching these guys come out, I remember thinking "Aw, hell - this is gonna SUCK" due to the fact that all six guys looked to have a combined age of less than seventy-five, which usually means a spotfest with minimal selling and strikes looser than Mariah Carey.

Ah, the joy of being wrong. This match fucking RULED. HARD. A LOT. It may well have been the fastest-paced match I've ever seen live; all six guys were just going at a million miles per hour, hitting all their spots cleanly, and best of all, adding those little touches to their spots that made them unique and a billion times cooler. Don't get me wrong; it was spotty as a cheetah and over in about eight minutes - the very definition of the Nitro warm-up-the-crowd match - but it wasn't pretentiously trying to pretend it was any more than that. It was just six guys going out there to show off what they could do, a la the 6/8 CZW six-man. But it sure was a whole shitload of fun with the added attraction of having one of the guys take a powerbomb on the gym mat on the floor which reached Wildbomb levels of velocity. That was pretty much Spot of the Night right there, although there would be stiff competition later on. I'm convinced that in a year, I'll be able to say "I saw those guys back when nobody knew who they were". And I bet I'll know their names, too.

I'd call it a ** match. Like I said, it wasn't a "good" match; it was just a shitload of fun. But it was a crisp shitload of fun, and right at the very end it was a clutch-your-back-in-sympathetic-agony shitload of fun.

2. Crayz/Demento vs. King Faviano/McBain The best workers in this match were Demento and Favi - Demento because he's eager to die to get your attention, and Favi because he's comprised entirely of "funny". But they aren't good wrestlers. That's why I spent the bulk of this match talking to Doron and Jon and the arriving people showing up from RevPro. And you know what? If the minute and a half of stuff I saw (up until about ten seconds after Crayz got in, due to his offense consisting of weak strikes and yelling) was representative - and I've got no reason to believe that it wasn't - then I'm of the opinion that I made the right choice. Although I do regret having missed the opportunity to hurl Rainer Wolfcastle jokes at McBain, come to think of it.

3. Jason Allgood vs. Pinoy Boy I've seen a bunch of Jason Allgood matches, and this was better than any of them. Last time I saw Pinoy Boy, he was wrestling basic matches very competantly and screwing up highflying moves very spectacularly. I think that was about seven months ago. In between then and now, he's learned that it's better to wrestle a very simple match very smartly than to go for the spectacular stuff, and the end result was this match, held together by the glue of his stiff strikes and selling. He was even able to do some low-level flying stuff, which made contextual sense - if he's not wrestling a flashy game anywhere else, why should he be breaking out huge moves in the air? Allgood was definitely the weaker of the two, mostly because he plays to the crowd a little too much. He's like Lazz, in that they both wrestle a Britney Spears-centered gimmick (Lazz "is" Britney, Allgood either idolizes her or wants to ride-ride-ride the pony with her, a distinction which I can't quite make), but he's unlike Lazz in that while Lazz will do stuff geared towards the crowd, he won't actively stop to play to them - or at least not after a certain point. Allgood takes a good number of opportunities to try to get the crowd behind him, which has the effect of not only coming off like the dad from American Pie using the phrase "homies", but disrupting the flow of the match. Still, he seems like he loves wrestling, and that'll get him a good long way.

The match itself was pretty unfocused - just basically the two guys going out there and throwing stuff out there. There wasn't any long-term selling, and it wasn't trying to tell a story, but at the same time, like the first match it wasn't really going for that. This was one of those matches that was just kinda "there" - it was what it was, sound but unspectacular, and once it's over, you don't feel cheated, but you're ready to see something else. But Pinoy Boy really has gotten decent, and could turn out to be quite the little worker once he gets the tricky shit down. Meantime, call it * and move along.

Unfortunately, the next match was preceded by the World's Longest Indy Promo, the gist of which was that Pearce and Hardcore Red used Nefarious Tactics (i.e. runins - foreWHATowing?) to retain their respective belts, so in punishment, MPW was going to bring out a Mystery Guy to challenge. Now how long did it take you to read that sentence? About four seconds, right? Because it sure did take them EIGHT MILLION YEARS to go through it live.

But all was forgiven, as it led up to:

4. Adam Pearce vs. A Mystery Guy On MPW's website, they advertised Pearce vs. Christopher Daniels, which sent me into a proverbial frenzy of bliss - I've never seen Daniels live, and I kinda want to. But no; pre-show I ran into the Rev, who informed me that Daniels wasn't there, but someone else, whose identity he couldn't disclose, WAS.

As it turned out, he couldn't disclose his identity legally, since Mr. X turned out to be The Artist Formerly Known As Messiah, recently of XPW. I find this out not because they announce him as such, but rather because of the fans chanting "Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus...Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus" at him, which made ME laugh. My first impression of Messiah was that he's got a ton of understated charisma; he carries himself like a cool wrestler, kinda like Goldberg or Raven used to. Unfortunately, he doesn't WRESTLE like a cool wrestler; he seems to have a weak grip on timing, doesn't strike very well at all, and couldn't sell water in the desert. Fortunately, his opponent is Adam Pearce, a guy about whom I had heard many things, all of which turned out to be relatively true. Pearce instantly became a personal favorite when he not only unleashed a hellish Hansen lariat, but then proceeded to stiffshot the FUCK out of Messiah for the large part of their match, and somehow proceeded to cast aspersions on the referee's sexual predilection and bellow "WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT?" when Messiah had him in position for a top-rope crucifix powerbomb.

Unsurprisingly, the problem with this match lay in the lack of transitions and selling. I think they were trying to make the match dramatic instead of logical, since the flow of the match was essentially "Messiah takes a beating from Pearce, one move turns the tide, Pearce takes a beating from Messiah, one move turns the tide, wash/rinse/repeat". It played pretty well at first - Messiah's first offensive flurry was REALLY well recieved - but by the end, it was just old hat. It's part of the reason why I'm struggling to recall the closing part of the match, despite remembering Pearce so favorably; the whole match just felt like a see-saw. In a way, the ending they DID go with - Pearce and Hardcore Red's enormous valet runs in for the DQ - was the only way they could have salvaged any heat-gathering from the whole affair; the pacing of the match had killed the momentum of the crowd. It was a poor ending to a sloppily worked match that I can't say was any better than 3/4*, but seriously - if Pearce puts his mind to it, he could be something special this time next year.

And because one more is twice as nice, we get another Hardcore Red promo, this time s.l.o.w.l.y. getting to the point of that he hasn't really been challenged for his title, warranting YET ANOTHER surprise guest challenger in the form of:

5. Hardcore Red vs. Big Haystacks Yes, Big Haystacks. FUCKING GOD ALMIGHTY, Big Haystacks. When the most entertaining thing about this match is the fact that it looks exactly what Danny Bonnaduce vs. Phineas I. Godwinn would look like if Danny had long hair, you know what kind of match it is. The first part was all uninspired brawling, followed by uninspired spots (note: a suplex off the second rope to a non-set-up table doesn't look cool at all), followed by an uninspired DJC turning to talk to Jon and Doron for the remaining eight decades (or however long this match went). And...yep, that's about it. Pretty much the wrestling equivalent of searing gas pain.

Following the conclusion of that match, we got an intermission - ostensibly so they could clean the debris out of the ring, but probably more so that the crowd could rest up from the five matches they'd already seen for the five remaining ones they had left to see.

6. Tech IX vs. Jim Irons Tech IX warms the waning remnants of my anarchist soul by coming out waving an American flag put on upside down and drenched in anti-Americana (ironically, at the conclusion of the match, one of the fans goes NUTS when they put it aside on the ground, apparently because they're disrespecting it. HUZZAH FOR PAYING ATTENTION). Jim Irons...I don't know who Jim Irons is, but he sure wrestles like someone from the Power Plant getting their first aired match on WCW Saturday Night back in 1999. Fortunately, Tech's got a flashy/cool enough offense to warrant Irons doing nothing but selling, which is pretty much all this match is - Tech doing a cool move with little/no buildup, and Irons staggering around from the effects. It was a nothing match, but hey, some of the moves were cool, so I'd call it somewhere in the 1/4-1/2* range. Tech's finisher, a STO-DDTish thing, was almost worth a quarter-star by itself. Tech seems like a less-ready Pearce, in that they've both got to learn how to actually put a match together, but could both turn out to be something special.

7. Phenomenal Phil vs. XTC vs. Prodigy Pre-match, Phil, who can't be any taller than I am, gets on the stick with his manager and basically calls the audience fat, toothless rednecks, which would make a lot more sense in NC than it would in SoCal. XTC's pretty non-descript, and Prodigy mystifies me by coming out to music not performed by the band Prodigy. The match itself isn't an elimination match, which irritates me even more; it's first-elimination wins. As a result, it's set up like every three-way ever put on ever - two guys team together, break up pins, cycle through the combinations, brawl on the outside, one guy gets knocked out, pin, bada bing. But actually, aside from XTC, the World's Most Vanilla Wrestler, it was pretty good - Phil took 2 bumps over the rope straight to the floor and a couple of really stiff strikes, and Prodigy was more than willing to break out the flashy bits of the match as well as the nearest thing to selling in the match (one thing this card made me do was appreciate the level of selling on the average RevPro card - there was so much bad selling [if it was present at all] on this card that it'd make you puke).

Well, until they broke the wall, that is.

See, MPW runs its shows in the Bernard Milliken Jewish Community Center, a *REALLY* nice place that has to be among the top five places in the world to watch indy wrestling. You half-expect Tom Jones to come rappelling down into the middle of the ring and start bellowing "What's New Pussycat". The lighting's cool, the PA hasn't been blasted to death (although at the rate that they were playing the music last night, it shouldn't be too long), and the walls are in pristine shape. That is, until XTC and Prodigy were brawlin' on the outside, and one of them (I had a bad angle, so I couldn't tell) took the Ultrataro Jr. Memorial Bump, taking on the wall with his head. Of course, at the old Dojo, that's fine; if the wall should, say, get a nine-inch crack, it's doubtful that anyone would even notice. But at the BMJCC, the moment that crevasse appeared in the wall, MPW promoter Logan X (who Certain People mistook for Myaki Frantz with a haircut...over and over and over again) fucking CHARGED XTC and Prodigy, shoving them really hard into the crowd. He was all kinds of pissed, and with good reason; if he lost the JCC, that's the end of MPW. Doron blackly predicted that the show would get shut down before any of the RevPro matches came up, which WOULD have been just my luck.

Fortunately, the show went on, and so did the match. Aside from the wall incident, it really wasn't anything spectacular; Prodigy hit some nice moves, Phil died died died, and XTC had a temperature of 98.6. Eventually, Phil got the pin, and ended the very definition of a * match. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good - it just *was*.

Somewhere in here, Dr. Mike Lano (who's apparently a regular at these shows) threw out small tubes of toothpaste. BECAUSE HE'S A DENTIST, SEE?

He also looked exactly like Tom Selleck. If he was parked right in front of the door, I'd still be laughing now.

8. Excalibur vs. Rocky Romero One week ago, I saw Rocky Romero and Mr. Excitement have the stiffest match I've ever seen in my life. It literally looked like a fight. So naturally, I was about three notches about "thrilled" to see him taking on Excalibur, who's as willing to take a beating as anyone else in the known universe. And just to remind me of that fact since I'd been absent for the whole summer, he takes a HELLISH lariat to the MOUTH about thirty seconds in. It set the tone for the whole rest of the match - stiffness in all things. Late in the match, Excalibur reportedly took a slap to the side of the head so hard that his eardrum popped...and by the time I saw it, it was like the ninth-stiffest strike in the match.

But it wasn't just a beating, oh my no. This match was Rocky's time to shine. I'm willing to bet that in a year, he'll be getting praise for the same things as Low-Ki, but unlike Ki, he was the one supplying the psychology in this match. Rocky endears himself to me forever by working the ribs and stomach, a strategy which just doesn't happen often enough today. Excalibur, who at first I just thought was slightly off his game, actually did something else that doesn't happen in the indies - get Rocky's entire offense over. He'd sell moves like he was being shot; he'd slow down due to his stomach being severely hurt; and the strikes - I mean, I doubt it was too hard to sell those strikes like CRAZY (hell, I was overselling them and I was in the audience), but Excalibur just nailed it. Not to mention he had the craziest dive of the night - a tope where he had to dive straight down once getting WAAAAAAAAAAY up in the air. It looked deadly both for Rocky and for Excalibur, who had to have done the Swan Dive Onto Concrete In G Minor.

The problem with the match actually lay in the psych - it didn't get tied into the ending. I really loved how it was sold as a unique, unexpected way to take a beating, but in effect, it could have been replaced by arm work or back work or whatever. Of course, considering that the logical ending with the belly-welly psych would have been a tapout on a rope-assisted ab stretch, that may be a blessing in disguise.

Nevertheless, this was a ridiculously fun match to watch - there was obvious stuff to drop your jaw for (lariat to the MOTHER FUCKING MOUTH), slightly more subtle stuff to watch for (the variety of ab attacks used by Rocky), and ridiculously well-done stuff (Excalibur's selling). Mostly, watching this match I got the feeling that I was watching two guys who are going to get a LOT of talk VERY soon. Excalibur's come a long, long way in nine months; he's probably six months away from being Daniels/Modest/American Dragon/Super Dragon/Quackenbush-level good. And Rocky Romero's going to be something special too. I guarantee you, as good as this match was (I'd call it somewhere in the **1/2-*** range), they'll have one down the road that'll make me forget all about it.

9. The Lost Boyz vs. Cruel Intentions This match couldn't get fair shakes. It was just a spotfest, but after something like seven spotfests (and Excalibur/Romero) in a row, it just didn't have any impact. Of course, outside of the Mariposa done by Rufio (the victim of Five Star Fans Jimmy, Scrub, and Adair, whose commentary consisted of hurling "RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRUFIO!" at Rufio all night long - think Mike Sullivan at the Super 8), the most interesting thing about the match was how much "setup" there was compared to "spot", possibly a victim of the elevenish minutes this match got. In contrast, the WPW six-man that opened the show went about a billion times faster and was wrestled a million times more crisply. It pains me to say that I stopped paying attention after a certain point, so I stoppedAt the next MPW show, they'll be taking on the Cubanitos (Romero and Ricky Reyes), so if nothing else it'll be spots and a beating.

10. B-Boy vs. Ricky Reyes Speaking of the Cubanitos, here's Reyes. And B-Boy, who I haven't seen since he was one-quarter of the single greatest indy match I've ever seen (that being said, the SotR finals shall be seen anon). And HEY HEY HEY! They both ROCKET up my list by taking it DIRECTLY to the mat and have a legit counter-based amateur style opening five or seven minutes. It was GREAT; all the moves made contextual sense and they seemed to be building to something really spectacular. It was depressingly silent, though - Jon, Doron, and I were clapping like circus seals for the keylocks and the ropebreaks, but nobody else made a peep. I guess that's why they didn't incorporate it into the rest of the match, since the rest of the match essentially followed this pattern:

1. B-Boy goes on a LOOOOOOOOOONG offensive run.
2. Reyes fucking CLOBBERS him for three or four moves
3. Repeat.

Seriously - in the last ten minutes of the match, I'd be surprised if Reyes got more than ten offensive moves in total. He did hit a tombstone piledriver that neared Owendriver proportions, though, and there was a definite moment where the whole crowd went "ooooooh" after B-Boy fucking DROPPED Reyes on his head with this likely Accidental Driver '01, and Reyes got this look in his eye like "Whoa, you done fucked up but GOOD now. You're about to get MURDERED". Sadly, it was B-Boy's match, much like Excalibur was just a warm (yet extremely talented) body in Rocky's match, and so naturally he took the win. I would have preferred some more back-and-forth action, or at least for the sweet, sweet amateur stuff to play into the finish, but that's the way the cracker crumbles, so I guess I've got to reroute my dreams. In the meantime, a **1/2 match sure isn't bad.

11. Super Dragon vs. Jardi Frantz When Super F'n Dragon, a man who has wrestled Excalibur, Ult...I mean TARO, and Rising Son - three guys who actively demonstrate their lack of plans to live past thirty - says that Jardi will take ANYTHING (specifically mentioning the sitout piledriver off the TOP F'N ROPE that he once took), I become an Exciteable Southerner. And when I see Super Dragon's new outfit, I go haywire all over again.

But in the end, I went most nuts for the match itself. After ten matches, nine of which were essentially exhibitions, I was ready to see a story being told, and that's just what I got. Jardi, for those of you who haven't ever heard of him, works APW, which is up in Northern California; this was essentially his first big trip down south. The cool thing was, if you watch some of his Clickmovies (which I highly reccomend), you'll see that he's pretty wild, but not really a fighter - APW's website likens him to a young Billy Kidman, which sounds about right if you amp up the flashiness a million times. But this match wasn't about flash - although it was sure there in spades (witness the Inverted Shooting Star Legdrop) - it was about Frantz proving that he could hang with Dragon, the progenitor of the psych-heavy AJPW-meets-MPro style that helped make RevPro what it is today, in just about every aspect of his game. It was about Frantz earning the respect of a crowd that had booed the ring announcers, called for one ref to get chopped, hurled homosexual slurs at the next, and in the blink of an eye named one ref "Super Mario" for the rest of his life. And boy howdy JESUS did he ever earn it.

The opening five minutes of the match were, like the B-Boy/Reyes match before it, all matwork, with neither guy really getting any huge advantage - but noticeably, Jardi was able to get to the countermoves faster than Dragon was, casting early doubt over whether Dragon would be able to dominate like he had in the past (remember that he beat B-Boy on 3/30/01 with a jujigatami after a significant chunk of matwork). Then they went to a standup game, and again, it seemed pretty even - although Dragon had a slight edge, if I remember correctly (again, which makes sense - you don't expect a spot wizard like Jardi to be willing to throw bombs). And from there, the match went into overdrive, because Jardi managed to shift it to the one area where he had a definitive edge over Dragon - suicidal spots.

Usually, I'll be protesting loudly at the fact that a wrestler has to use huge spots to get over with a crowd, but in Jardi's case - especially since he was introduced as "suicidal" - it made sense in his character. He saw the opening he'd found in the matwork game, and he hung with Dragon and avoided his game-over lariats, and most importantly he KNEW that if he could take it to the air and hit the big spots, it'd be his match to lose. So he did; he threw around the aforementioned inverted legdrop, the 450, and about three other MASSIVE dives that Damned, Damned Memory has caused me to forget.

Dragon, meanwhile, had some proving of his own to do. This was his return match from another knee injury, and, thanks to a combination of Jardi being very, very good and him taking it easy to avoid getting injured again - all in-match, mind you - he found himself in very real danger of losing this match. So naturally, he just tried to weather the storm, take every opportunity to stick Jardi with some REALLY stiff forearms, and wait for Jardi to miss something big, then do the best he could to put it away.

And then Jardi missed something big, and Dragon hit his leg lariat. It's essentially Hansen's Western Lariat, only delivered from a springboard and coming down on the back of the neck from a near-perpendicular angle. It's a thing of beauty; I could feel my eyes bug out in my head when I saw it hit. But knowing that Jardi was too good to be put away by just one flash move, he seized the opportunity to LEVEL him with a WICKED lariat, and then threw Jardi in the meat locker with a Psycho Driver. One, two, three, standing ovation.

It was a really, really good match, but it wasn't perfect. Story-wise, it would have made a lot of sense for Jardi to supplement his highspots with more submission work, since that's the other place where he had a clear-cut advantage, but it just didn't come into play. And the finishing sequence, while retardedly impressive and emphatic, was really out-of-the-blue; I was wondering "if that's all it took, then why wasn't Dragon looking for a way to hit the combo earlier?"

Overall, though, it was easily Match of the Night. I'd rate it anywhere from ***3/4-****1/4, depending on how I feel about the ending sequence at the moment I'm asked. The match actually reminded me a lot of Kobashi vs. Akiyama from 12/23/00, with Dragon playing Kobashi, Jardi playing Akiyama, and highspots replacing the NOAH match structure. Both guys just played their roles to perfection, and I shudder to think of how great it might have been with five more minutes.

The other thing to think about, though, is that all year, one of the major knocks on Dragon's been that he's had great matches...but largely with the same guys. This match proves that wrong. Jardi and Dragon have never, to the best of my knowledge, worked together before; I know Dragon was up in APW early in his career, but back then he was a totally different wrestler - to say nothing of Jardi, who used to be all spots, no substance. But in the span of 18 minutes, Dragon and Jardi had a match that not only played off of their unfamiliarity with each other (Jardi knew what to expect, Dragon didn't), but off of puroresu match structure (with Kobashiesque "fighting spirit" being the difference-maker in the match), the crowd (make no mistake - Jardi got O-VER with the crowd), and the individual history of both wrestlers (Dragon thought he could just use his neo-puro-style offense to get the easy win, but Jardi's NOAH experience had him ready). A really, really good match. I can't say that it's essential and you need to run out and find a copy of it like the 4/13 tag or the SotR final, but it's certainly worth seeking out (I'd put it on the same level as Dragon/Excalibur 4/28/01). And really, that's more a comment on the level of indy matches this year than on the quality of this match - when an indy match this good is something like sixth-best on the year, that's really, really impressive.

Following the match and the mutual-respect handshake, B-Boy charges the ring, drops the F-bomb, and starts insulting the RevPro fans (singling out Steve, who gets "held back" by the other fans) and Dragon (notably saying that he has alleged five star matches, but only with the guys who he trained with - which has everyone saying "oooooooooh" and Adair screaming "He [Dragon]'s a dancer! He's just dancing!"). The eventual point is that B-Boy wants a rematch with Dragon next show, and then to prove just how badly he wants it, he goes after Dragon's injured knee with some WICKED dropkicks, as well as wasting both Dragon and the ref with some unprotected chairshots. Wild, wild stuff once it eventually got running.

The show being over, we all exit stage left. Adair starts threatening everyone with toothpaste, and demonstrates precisely how he'd counter the Bronco Buster. And I'm sure some stuff happened after I left, but I was ass-tired (due to being up since the ass-crack of dawn shooting the World's Worst Student Movie Ever), so I went home to sleep instead of going out to eat. Note to self: food > sleep.


I'd say it was a show that simultaneously proved a lot of regional indy assumptions wrong (Dragon CAN work with other people; there's a LOT of talent not necessarily located in the RevPro Big Five; it's possible to have a simple match and have it be really good) and a lot of other ones right (the selling and psychology was largely absent, thanks to most people being overeager to show off their own flashy moves; and there's some SHITTY garbage wrestling HOOO-WEE). But it was a fun show, with two good matches (B-Boy/Reyes and Excalibur/Rocky), two fun matches (WPW six-man and Pearce/Messiah), and one really, really good match (the main) that's almost reason enough to pick up the card on its own.

I think a big problem with the show was the lack of identity it had - only Dragon/Jardi really managed to overcome the "exhibition" nature of most of the rest of the matches. And that's a problem that's traceable right to the source; MPW's essentially a clearinghouse fed, where matches happen largely without rhyme or reason. Doron called it the "Zero-One of the indies", and that's about as apt a description as can be said. I think the talent's there - Pearce really could turn out to be something, the RevPro guys seem to like to work there, and what with the recent talent exoduses (exodi?) from CZW, XPW, and the evaporation of MCW and Power Pro, there's almost too much talent.

There's also the issue of how MPW booked the show. Eleven matches is just too many; the show ran three hours, and by the time the Lost Boyz match rolled around, the crowd was worn out. Whoever's in charge needs to take a close look at whether or not everyone on the card really needs to be there. And while they're at it, it wouldn't hurt to ask beforehand what kind of matches people are planning to run; like I said, the fans were all spofested-out by the time the Lost Boyz match rolled around. I think a good six matches - seven, TOPS - of varied styles would be able to fill up a bunch of time and keep the crowd into it.

But overall, that's really just opinion, and I can't argue with fact - this was a good show. Dragon/Frantz is DEFINITELY worth your time, and the rest of the card isn't too offensive, especially if you fast-forward through Red/Haystacks.

And in the end, it was worth ten bucks to go see it. I can't imagine that if you dropped ten bucks on a tape of the event, you'd feel cheated.

Digably Yours,
Digable James Cobo
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