On September 13th, my wife and I were privileged to be able to go to an indie wrestling event in Bushnell Florida (thank you mom for finding out about it and for baby sitting). What we saw was the WXW Wrestling, which is run by Afa the Wild Samoan who is part of the WWE Hall of Fame. The WXW is based in Mineola Florida, and the wrestlers are all part of Afa’s Wild Samoan Wrestling School.
The doors opened at 6:30 so we got there at 6:00. It was kind of interesting seeing the people who were showing up because, to be honest, Bushnell is middle of nowhere Florida. We expected a bunch of red necks to show up and we weren’t disappointed. We spent a few extra dollars to get ringside seats which honestly wasn’t too bad a price at only $15. Once we got into the hall to await entrance to the seats, I got to meet Afa in the hallway and shake his hand (my wife had gone to get some drinks for us and missed him.) I have to admit that while I was cool and just said hi and chatted a little, inside I did a little fan squeal of joy since I have been a fan of wrestling for as long as I can remember and have always loved the various Samoan wrestlers (most of which are related to Afa in one way or another it seems.)
I have to say the matches themselves were pretty good and I’ll discuss them a little further in just a bit. The whole show was almost 2 hours, though we did have a small intermission of probably 15 minutes part way through. A great part of the half-time intermission was the fact that some of the wrestlers who already had matches came out and chatted with the fans. The Tag Team Champs of Reggie Rhythm and Sweet Johnny Velvet caught my attention more during this time than they did in the ring. During their match I wasn’t sure who I wanted to win, but when I saw them during the intermission posing for pictures with the kids, I was glad that they had won. They were letting the kids hold their title belts when they took pictures with them and this just made the kids nights it seemed. I also got to briefly talk with them and shake their hands (which was again missed by my wife as she had gone to get us more drinks). Another nice thing was that they had a table set up and Afa was signing pictures of himself with various other wrestlers or with his family. I went over to find out how much it was and was pleasantly surprised to find it was only $5.00! Normally at Conventions and such I am used to people charging 30 or 40 dollars so 5 was awesome! I got a picture of Afa with Yokozuna, Mr. Fiji and the Head Shrinkers and my Wife got one with Afa and Sika as the Wild Samoans and of course we got a WXW shirt!
For those of you thinking that I got to meet all the cool wrestlers while my wife missed out don’t worry! At the end of the night as I was using the restroom before our trip back home she got to meet a creepy Voodoo looking wrestler named Nathan Vain and shake his hand so she didn’t miss out on everything. Now on to the show!
Everything was started off by the official WXW announcer Chris Russo (I am wondering if he has any relation to the notorious WWE/WCW script writer Vince Russo). Chris is a great announcer, he has a good voice and was able to get the small crowd there pumped up for the matches very easily. Each match we would see a ref make an entrance first and make sure everything form the previous match had been picked up or pushed under the ring and that the apron was good and just checking the ring for anything out of place. Before we talk about the actual matches, I just have to say this the refs for the WXW are AWESOME! The WWE needs to hire these guys. It seems like if a WWE ref even gets looked at wrong he falls and gets knocked unconscious. Not these guys though, they were getting in between the wrestlers and pushing them apart just like the refs did back in the 80’s and I loved it! These refs were actually able to keep order when need be and seemed to actually have a spine and some pain tolerance.
The first match was between Jorel Ganzy vs one of the members of the Maluta Militia. It was pretty obvious who the crowd favorite would be as you had a handsome charismatic black man in Jorel, against a black clad man in a very plain looking lucha type mask who just seemed disreputable. The match started slowly and my wife and I think that perhaps these were two junior members of the school and this may have been one of their first live matches of this type. But once they hit their stride the match progressed and picked up pace nicely. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that they may not have been the graduates or the fact that we were in the front row that we could tell the first few hits that were “fake” but they did get some good sound on their chops. With a few suspect moves and some help from some other Maluta Militia members the MM won this match.
There was also a match between Ryan Phoenix and the German Hans Schultz. I was quite impressed with how Schultz played the crowed. Within no time at all you found yourself rooting for Phoenix and booing the German. The match seemed to mostly be firmly in the Germans hands but by the end Phoenix got in several good moves to turn things around for a quick and surprising win.
We also had a match between a slim tall guy named Irish Jack and a Monster of a man named Marc Silva…this was no real contest. Shouts of Run Jack Run could be heard from the moment the crowd saw what a Mass of Muscle this guy was against. Pretty quick match, Jack got in some good moves and actually took the big guys legs out from under him for a bit, but there was no doubt in anyone’s minds that Jack was going to lose… and he did.
A very very quick match saw a spooky looking Voodoo like character named Nathan Vain get quickly pounded by an imposing figure named Sugaa. Nathan Vain was pretty cool with an undertaker like Eye Roll and a better Voodoo Priest impersonation than Papa Shango ever gave us in the WWE. My only complaint was his manager I guess it was. The prophet Alex G just did not impress me to tell the truth. All I saw was a black guy in black jump suit and a black hooded cloak from a Halloween supply shop. Nothing screamed manager of a voodoo priest character to me. Where as Nathan Vain had his creepy character nailed 100%. After the quick match, Nathan Vain and his manager attacked Sugaa, resulting in the refs running in to put a halt to things.
We also saw an interesting match between Noah Kekoa and Garriston Spears. Spears was an interesting character as he came out singing about being the champion of the universe. Of course all this singing and the self congratulations and such quickly turned the crowd against him. Kekoa then came out and he is at first sight a young man that should be on TV with his wrestling. He just has that “look” that screams superstar. Looking him up it seems he may have a developmental deal with NXT, I hope this is true because the kid can wrestle and he has a great look to him, he would certainly be a babyface fan favorite in a company that currently has way too many heels. The match started slow with Spears begging off to “stretch” and Kekoa laughing at him. I couldn’t help but yell at spears from ringside and ask if Universal Champions shouldn’t come to a match prepared like everyone else? Finally the match got underway and there was some great back and forth between these two. Kekoa did some big show like chops that echoed in the room which was very impressive considering this guy is built like Sami Zayne and not Big Show. All in all we greatly enjoyed the match until the end when Spears wins by low blowing Kekoa in the corner and then pulling his tights.
Right before the intermission we had an interesting tag team match with Big O and Ushaka going against the Tag Team Champions of Reggie Rhythm and Sweet Johnny Velvet. This was a pretty good match, but to be honest, this was one of the only matches where from the start the crowd was very much divided on who they wanted to win. The team of Big O and Ushaka didn’t really seem like a normal team but two guys just kinda thrown together to do a one time only tag match. So while they worked well at times, the closeness of a true tag team just didn’t seem to be there for me; however, I did like their (Ushaka’s) look so I was inclined to cheer for them. Reggie and Johnny came out and they were OBVIOUSLY a tag team. From matching speedo trunks to matching cowboy like hats and…feathered boas? While these guys screamed that they were an actual tag team we also think that at first they looked like a pair of gay black cowboys. Not that there’s anything wrong with Gay Black Cowboys but it didn’t instill our confidences for their winning the match. The match itself was pretty good there was some good double team moves and each person for the most part got to show off their stuff. The one thing that did kinda disappoint me was how many times the tag team champions had to have their partner come into the ring and break up a three count. I know this has a tendency of happening even in the WWE but never have I seen it to the extent that Reggie and Johnny did it. They must have done the breakup about 15 times during the match and every time the ref yelled at them and then in the next few seconds they were doing it again. That in itself made me cheer for Big O and Ushaka. However, as I said in the beginning of the blog, afterward when I saw them with the kids I was glad they won.
The main event was C.J. O’Doyle vs Sean Maluta. C.J. Was my immediate favorite since they billed him as being from Philadelphia and I’m a Philly boy raised. This was the one time I got to my feet to get a hive five from one of the wrestlers as they went past in the beginning and I was certainly cheering the loudest for him. Sean Maluta of course was the leader of the Maluta Militia, which saw one of their team during the first match of the night. We all enjoyed it when C.J. Taunted Maluta by calling him MaLoooser. The match was pretty fast paced though in the beginning, until the ref tossed out the 4 members of the Maluta Militia who had come out with Maluta were causing disturbances by grabbing a foot when the ref wasn’t looking and such. Finally the ref tossed all 4 of them out and made them go to the back. Everything then seemed to go C.J.’s way for the most part though Maluta did get in some good shots. However, when it seemed that C.J. was going to win the match, the 4 members of the Maluta Militia came running out to break up the match. While my guy did end up winning he was still a bit battered after the gang up though he did manage to hit some sort of finishing move on a Maluta militia member before they dragged him off and C.J. Stood tall as the winner by DQ.
I have to admit I look forward to going to Mineola to see some more of these events as they seem to have them about once a month there. While not on par with the WWE it was still great fun and a wonderful time was had by us both. Be looking for more reviews of future WXW matches that we attend!
You can find the WXW at http://www.wxwwrestling.com/
WXW Logo Courtesy of http://www.wxwwrestling.com/