Home > Uncategorized > Blown spots, awkward fans, and a small crowd – it must mean INDEPENDENT WRESTLING IN ALBANY!

Blown spots, awkward fans, and a small crowd – it must mean INDEPENDENT WRESTLING IN ALBANY!

Hey, remember when I promised an update about the weekend? Well, I thought about it, and really only Friday was worth writing about. No offense to dreg4life or svexsal, whom I had a fantastic time with on Saturday watching TV (especially svexsal and I having home fries at the Circle Diner beforehand), but…alright, know what? You two just pretend I can’t put it into words. Oh, and dreg4life has a girlfriend now, and that’s totally gay.

So instead, I’ll just write about the MXW show I attended at The Armory on Friday. Those of you who hate when I write about wrestling might still enjoy it.*

On Thursday evening, McLocks called my cell phone with a stunning announcement – he had heard on the radio that there was going to be an independent wrestling show at The Armory. He was driving, so he had me check out the website. They had some decent names for the card – Frankie Kazarian, Azriael, El Generico (BRAINBUSTAAAAAA), Eddie Kingston, and most importantly…Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli.

Well, Hero and Castagnoli showed up anyway. Oh, and so did Azriael. It was announced at the beginning of the evening that Frankie Kazarian and El Generico wouldn’t be able to make it. I was kind of pissed until I remembered it was Frankie Kazarian and I honestly couldn’t care less. Would’ve been cool to see El Generico, but oh well.

So we go into the Armory, which is hosting its first wrestling event in over twenty years. Being a pathetic ROH mark, my first reaction was to say almost out loud “this would be PERFECT for a Ring of Honor show.” The show that night was put on by MXW, which is owned and operated by former ECW announcer, heel manager, and color commentator Joel Gertner. MXW, which doesn’t stand for anything, markets itself as “next school” as opposed to “old school” or “new school.” Thankfully I took that statement on their website exactly for what it was – lip service that didn’t mean anything in practice.

The promotion for the show was inadequate to put it kindly. Anyone I’d talked to had heard about the show only from radio spots that had aired during the previous three or four days. That’s not to say no radio spots appeared before that or no other promotion existed, but nobody seemed to have an advanced heads-up concerning this show. I estimated an attendance of about 250, and maybe ten of us weren’t socially awkward.

The epitome of social awkwardness came in the form of a fan seated in the 1st row directly in front of Ryan and I. He showed up by himself and attempted to engage the people around him in conversation. In doing so it was revealed that he was a little slow. He was about 5’10”, slightly chubby, had near shoulder-length dirty (in terms of both color and hygiene) blonde hair, glasses, and carried a one-subject notebook with him. He also wore a button-down “Naruto” shirt. If a police sketch artist got bored one day and said to me “describe the most awkward person ever and I’ll draw him,” the result would be an eerily accurate drawing of this guy. Unfortunately, in talking to some of the other fans attending the event during intermission it was par for the course.

But enough of my cynical ramblings concerning people who attend indy shows in the Capital District, let’s get right down to my cynical ramblings concerning the show presented.

The night started off with a guy named Dan Barry taking on Javi Air. Barry, despite looking like a full-grown version of the dwarf from “The Station Agent,” had a ton of charisma and was fantastic in the ring. Really good, hot opener that featured flyers that weren’t too spotty – a rarity for independent wrestling.

They followed that up with a triple threat match between Ricky Sanchez, Bobby Flamingo, and some guy named Kage. Sanchez came out on fire, running through the crowd, being goofy, and announced as from “downtown New York” which got a chuckle out of McLocks and I. Unfortunately, he promised charisma in his entrance and didn’t deliver in the ring. Flamingo’s gimmick was that he wore clothes he shouldn’t wear, I guess. McLocks and I laughed even harder at his love handles than at Sanchez’s entrance, though I’m not sure if that was intentional. Either way, it was funny. Kage was just a big dude who wasn’t in great shape but boy, was he big. He wore a Hot Topic necklace that he used as a foreign object to win the match. Literally nothing of note happened. Fairly deflating considering the really hot opener they provided.

Next was a Women’s Match between Mercedes Martinez and “The Navajo Sensation” Alere Little Feather. I really wanted to start a “you’re offensive” chant towards Little Feather, who was dressed as the most stereotypical Native American wrestler you can imagine. Think Tatanka but a lot worse. The match was okay, if nothing spectacular. It was still a lot better than any women’s match you’d see on any of WWE’s television programs. As always, a statement like that should be automatically prefaced with “even though it’s not that hard to do,”. They did a spot where Martinez tied up Little Feather in the ring and then went to take a seat in the front row and laughed at her. The crowd went crazy for it, but she left her tied up in there for a full minute resulting in me going “okay, enough” after about twenty seconds. By the way, Mercedes Martinez is absolutely gorgeous and I want her for my bride.

The next match was yet another three-way dance, this time with “Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney (a guy whose gimmick is that he’s a wannabe Adrian Adonis complete with pink feather boa), Player Uno, and Eddie Kingston. Sweeney and Uno are from Chikara Pro, and some of you might recognize Kingston’s name from CZW. Short and somewhat sloppy match, with nothing too exciting going on. I was the only guy in the place who recognized Kingston even though there were a ton of self-professed Chris Hero marks in the joint. Go figure. Kingston really had an off night, and you could see it on his face after the match. Uno promised a lot of fun with his gimmick – he came out to that obnoxious System of a Down-like version of the theme from “Legend of Zelda” and was announced as being from “Mushroom Kingdom.” Unfortunately, he wasn’t too much fun in the match.

Up in Smoke (Cheech & Cloudy) took on Beef Wellington & Sexxy Eddy in a tag team match. Cheech and Cloudy are every bit as boring as they were with Special K, and Beef Wellington and Sexxxy Eddy were every bit as indy with their gimmicks and ringwork as their names suggested. Eddy’s gimmick was particularly obnoxious – when he came out, Val Venis called my cell phone and told me to tell him he wanted his gimmick back. Then, right after, Shonie Carter called and asked for his tights back. The kids that were in attendance (and there were more of them than I thought) freaking LOVED Beef Wellington. He was okay, I guess. Not sure exactly why the kids were all ga-ga over him, though. Maybe it’s the hand doing “the shocker” on his t-shirt that did it. You wish I was joking.

Another singles match followed with Romeo Roselli (formerly of the WWE tag team “The Heart Throbs”) taking on Slyck Wagner Brown. Roselli didn’t do much in the match, but while over the top with his persona was the only guy on the entire card up until that point who actually knew how to work as a heel. Seriously, he made the rest of them look like amateurs, and it still amazes me that WWE couldn’t find anything for him and tag-team partner Antonio Thomas. The highlight of this match was me singing “da da da da-da-daaaa da da-da-daaaaa da SLYCK WAGNER BROWN” to myself, even though I was the only one who could hear it and/or was amused by it. Pretty solid.

Archadia then came out to face Shockwave in a “Lightning Match” where the rules were that the match could only go ten minutes. No reason for this stipulation was given. Guys, is it THAT HARD to have someone cut a promo explaining this? Jesus Christ, at least pretend you’re booking this thing. Shockwave has the same gimmick he’s had since the late 90s in the Schenectady-based World of Hurt Wrestling (WOHW) – he’s from Cybertron City. Yes, as in Transformers “Cybertron City,” even though his ring apparel suggested it was more like “Cybertron SHITTY.” OHHHH HO HO HO HO. McLocks correctly noted that he wore a robot outfit to the ring but had on a Dr. Doom mask. The fuck? The match could’ve been good, but Shockwave kept inserting “the robot” into his spots, including doing it while Hulking up during an attack from Archadia. The match ending in a draw didn’t help matters much.

At intermission they brought out some of the workers, including Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero, to take pictures and sell merch. I went out for a cigarette, then Ryan and I just hung out at our seats.

Back from intermission, Claudio Castagnoli (EYYYYYYYY) took on Antonio “The Promise” Thomas, who was the other half of “The Heart Throbs” in WWE. He’s dyed his hair black, and man is he ever better in the ring than his work in WWE indicated. Seriously, nothing? Creative could find NOTHING for those two to do? I hope poor Claudio had a talk with them about the developmental deal he just signed. Decent match, but unfortunately the crowd just wasn’t into it. Amazingly, only me and three or four (at best) other people knew who Claudio Castagnoli was. Again, this despite the fact that the crowd was FULL of Chris Hero marks. Very, very odd.

Next up was “The Burden” Bobby Fish taking on John McChesney. I thought McChesney looked familiar, and in talking in passing with one of his buddies who drove him up (he struck up conversation with me while we were both outside having a cig during Azriael’s match), he was one of the guys that got squashed by Umaga on RAW a few months back. The match was fantastic, and the crowd was really into it. It helped that he was from Colonie and had a small pocket of friends in the audience. Unfortunately, his friends are fat obnoxious drunks who left right after the match. You know, the kind of guys who go to indy shows and randomly perform fake elbows and headlocks on each other during the matches while giggling like idiots. Yeah, those guys. The match itself, however, was FANTASTIC. Fish has a good look and potential up the wazoo, and boy does he love him some Japanese wrestling. This guy’s going straight to WWE Developmental as soon as someone spots him. Really good match. Why’s Bobby Fish called “The Burden”? Good question. Just one of those silly indy monikers that doesn’t make any sort of sense but sounds cool because IT’S ALLITERATION BABY.

The semi-main event was Azrieal taking on Some Dude From Montreal Whose Name I Didn’t Catch. I went out for a cig at one point, but what I saw wasn’t bad. It was all Azrieal, who worked as a heel including getting on the mic pre-match and saying he would obliterate the evil Canadian. Azrieal looked a LOT more comfortable in the ring than he did in any of the ROH appearances I saw him make. It was like night and day. He still wore that black doorag with the damn goofy horns on his way to the ring, though.

The main event came as Josh Daniels took on Chris Hero. Since the match started past the 4 hour 15 minute mark, they kept it short. Hero got cheered despite his best efforts, but still lost the match. Hero’s work was really entertaining (including screaming “I’M SORRYYYYYY” during a backdrop), but Daniels was another story. Maybe the guy just had an off night, but nothing he did looked crisp and his transitions were awkward as all get-out. On all the DVD-Rs they sold at the merchandise table they kept billing him as “Josh Daniels from Zero-1,” as if working in Japan automatically gives someone credibility. Kenzo Suzuki is an actual JAPANESE wrestler and he still sucks.

All in all, an entertaining night and second row seats for $22. It was more than worth it, and McLocks and I vowed to attend another show. As long as we don’t have to talk to that kid in the Naruto shirt again.

More later…

* That was a total lie.

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  1. November 18, 2006 at 8:08 am

    Man, I need to road trip up for one of those. The indies around here suck.

    • November 18, 2006 at 5:54 pm

      I hope it represents a change of pace around here, because the indy scene in this area has always alternated between beyond awful and non-existent.

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