2014 has come and gone and since September, my wife and I have been enjoying the Indie Wrestling scene thanks to WXW Wrestling out of Minneola, Florida. This awesome brand is run by Afa the Wild Samoan and is staffed by members of his wrestling school and even some people who have been in the pro-circuit already. Some people may scoff at the idea of going to see the students wrestle, but I can tell you that student and alumni both of this wrestling school have put on some great shows for the few that we have been able to make it to so far this past year, and it wouldn’t surprise me if you see some of these people moving up to NXT in the next couple of years. While last year impressed, 2015 has already started out with a bang and promises to be a great year with the reintroduction of the WXW Hardcore Title! On January, 10th we saw the crowning of the new Hardcore Champion and it was one hell of a ride that night to get to that champion. From two awesome Triple Threat Hardcore Matches to a Table Match to finish things off, we once again had a great time, maybe even the best time since we started to go to these in september. So onto a rundown of what the show contained!
We got to the ring and went right to the front row of seats as usual, we love being so close to the action and I have to say this time we were REALLY close to the action at times. We knew this was going to be hardcore tonight as they had announced it’s return in December so we were paying close attention to anything we saw around the ring. It’s kind of funny the things you start to notice if you’re looking for a specific thing. For instance we saw a pink spray bottle that had been left out and we noticed that out of all the turnbuckle covers only one of them seemed to be easily untied as we could see the string for that one but not any of the others. However before things started the spray bottle disappeared and throughout the night all the covers stayed on the turnbuckles…. unfortunatly. Once we saw people removing the spray bottle a couple of officials came out and started moving things into the ring which turned out to be a plastic folding table and one of the ball hoppers like you would see in Bingo Halls everywhere. Commissioner Santana comes out and enters the ring with the Hardcore Championship placing it on the table. He starts by thanking us for coming and letting us know that as promised hardcore is now back and he was about to pick the six names that would then compete this night for the title. The first ball seemed to jump out at him hitting the chute within a half turn of the hopper and it was announced that Irish Jack would be the first entrant in the matches. Next came the Puerto Rican Hounddog, followed by Mikey, Sean Maluta and then the Beast. Finally they came up with the last name and it was one of the wrestlers from the women’s division Callista. At this point Lynn Anoa’i would make her way into the ring. She reminded Ricky that they both had daughters and would they really want their daughters taking part in a match like what was scheduled for tonight? Santana said she had a point and told Callista that she was now out of the match which led to a LOT of high pitched screeching from Callista as she was led forcefully backstage. So to replace her they drew one more ball which ended up being Jorel Ganzy. The ring was then cleared and the wrestlers slowly left keeping an eye on each other as though fearing someone may start something early.
They didn’t need to worry much about how long they would be waiting though as the first match was the first of two Triple Threat Hardcore matches. This match would have Jorel Ganzy, the Beast and Mikey competing for the first chance at getting the Hardcore Title. As they came out earlier it was my first introduction to the wrestler Mikey and I have to say he reminds me of the old WWE wrestler Eugene. He seemed to be a crowd favorite and I have to admit he had me laughing a good bit during the calling of the names segment earlier in the night and in the beginning of this match. We also saw Beast being led out on his typical leash by Callista but he decided to bring a large tree branch into the ring along with his usual slab of meat hanging from his mouth. The match started with a great laugh as Jorel wastes no time with looking for weapons under the ring and tosses two chairs into the ring. So why the laughter? Because Mikey grabs them and sets the chairs up back to back and then grabs the Ref and yells “Start my music!” At this point Beast is trying to reach Mikey around the Ref so he gets pushed back and both Ref and Beast are pushed around the chairs as the music plays, finally it stops and Mikey shoves the Ref into one seat and takes the other himself. He then gets rid of a seat and does it again while Beast looks on like “What the hell is going on?” This time though when Mikey wins Beast is ready and nails him with a kick to the face sending him toppling backwards. The rest of the match was very action packed seeing the chairs used as actual weapons, a round pizza sheet slamming over someone’s head and even the tree branch got used at one point to start choking someone. There was even a metal trash can introduced into the ring and, well by the end of the match, the trash can was flattened. In the end though the Beast came away the winner heading onto the main event to contend for the Hardcore Title!
The second match was the quickest match of the night at maybe 10 seconds. Jaxen Blade came out to tell off Hans Schulz who had taken Jaxen’s Cruiserweight belt from him in December. Jaxen was ranting and raving saying something about how he had attacked Hans in the parking lot before and had kept slamming his head on the ground and how he was going to do even worse to him in the ring. So, while he is ranting and raving, Hans’ music starts to play and this guy comes out from behind the curtain and kneels down in a hoodie where you can’t see who it is. He is making a show of trying to get the crowds cheers. So Jaxen is focused on this and to me something just wasn’t sitting right…the guy coming out was taking too long and making too much of a commotion. So I start looking around and I see Hans sneaking into the ring area from out among the crowd. I start snickering because the Ref had just looked over and seen Hans and Hans motions for the bell to be rung. He had to call for the bell a few times but finally the Ref does and when it rings Jaxen turns around to angrily ask the Ref what he’s doing. At that point he gets a kick to the gut and Hans’ rendition of an RKO and the 3 count ensues for a very short match that had a “30 minute time limit”.
After that very quick match it was on to the next one. We then see Andrea come out to take on Dynamite Didi for the Women’s Championship with the added stipulation that the loser gets 10 lashes with the Bo staff that Andrea carries with her. Andrea came out as her normal mean old self and then Didi came out and just about every guys jaws dropped as she proved why they call her Dynamite! Didi had on some short shorts and a bikini top which was covered by a black fishnet shirt and she looked damn fine. She and Andrea put on one hell of a match with some great back and forth, but I couldn’t help but notice that since the beginning of the night Regina, the camera girl who caused such trouble last month, was at ringside taping again. Eventually, Didi got the upperhand and the win and it looked like everything was going to be played cleanly by Regina this time. We all got ready for Didi to cane Andrea with the staff after Andrea had her little hissy fit about losing (who can blame her considering what was about to happen) and just as Didi raises the staff for the first hit Regina rolls into the ring and slams into Didi from behind giving Andrea time to escape with the staff. Personally I am looking forward to this next weekend as Didi gets to take a shot at Regina because right now I do NOT like her character at all. So far, without knowing anything about her, she just seems like a spoiled brat who is pissy because she got caught not doing her job the month before. So as far as I am concerned, Regina is due to have her butt whupped on the 17th.
And now at this point in the night. Nick Nero comes out from the back and into the ring with his 3 sign bearers in tow. He has a Mic and is calling for ERA to come out and face him for what he did last month but instead of ERA we have the next 3 Hardcore combatants come out and invade the ring telling Nero to get lost. So we’ll come back to Nero later!
This time in the ring we have Sean Maluta, who did have the WXW Heavyweight Championship but had to vacate it due to injury, against Irish Jack, and the Puerto Rican Hounddog! Irish Jack starts things off by holding up his flask and offering a toast to the other two competitors but quickly spits the whiskey or whatever was in it into their eyes staggering them back. Jack was quick to try and take advantage of this but pretty soon it becomes a case of everyone getting a bit of time in the limelight. We saw some interesting weapons introduced into this one, Irish Jack had a baseball bat that was used a few times and a crutch, a plastic broom handle was bent/cracked over one person’s back and Sean Maluta wielded one mean trash can lid with devastating effect. When all was said and done though Sean Maluta came out as the victor.
A bit of an aside but related to that match. When we got there, we noticed a warning on the WXW tickets that basically says if a falling wrestler lands on you, WXW isn’t liable and you take a risk by sitting where you do- especially if in the front row. So as we waited for the night to start we kinda skooted our chairs back a few inches, and we noticed after the two Hardcore matches – where bodies DID end up flying our way – that the guardrail was a LOT closer to us than before we scooted the chairs back. So it was probably a good thing that we did that, or we may have gotten a guardrail to the foot!
And now…. back to the action!
Now the match from earlier was on and ERA, your girlfriends favorite wrestler (blech), comes out and enters the ring. Nick Nero is then introduced for the second time and as is normal for him he enters this time through the crowd with his Bull Horn and the Sign Bearers. Unfortunately I’m not sure what Nick said in the bull horn because they were still playing his music so I think they should have stopped that a minute or two earlier so we know what he is saying. Anyway ERA tries to apologize to the girl sign bearer who does not accept his apology and then Nero rushes the ring to attack ERA. For a good few minutes Nero beats the snot out of ERA outside the ring even lifting him and ramming him balls first into the ring post. However Nero takes his eyes off of ERA for a few seconds too long and when he unwraps himself from the ring post he grabs Nero’s bull horn and slams it into Nero’s skull when he turns around thus shifting the tide of the fight. ERA beats on Nero outside the ring for a bit the entire time telling the female sign bearer that this was all her fault to which she would say it wasn’t and he was to blame.
Finally ERA rolls Nero into the ring and the match truly begins as the ring bell is sounded. Due to the bullhorn shot, ERA keeps firmly in control as the match progresses though Nero does start to make a few comebacks. Each time ERA is in control, he yells down to the girl that its all her fault and finally one time when ERA was firmly in control the female sign holder made her way up onto the ring apron and ERA being the loser he is smacked her to the floor. Well we certainly know one girl who does not have ERA as their favorite wrestler. In fact, once she was able to get up, she climbed back onto the apron and onto the top turnbuckle near us and took to the air in a very impressive flying crossbody to ERA. Once she had him on the mat she proceeded to smack the living hell out of ERA until Nero was able to pull her off. This of course made the Ref call a DQ on Nero and ERA fled to the outside of the ring to gloat on his “win”. Personally I don’t see why he was crowing so much, I mean he only won because a slim little girl kicked his ass, not something to brag about if you ask me.
Next we saw Ace Radic and Ryan Phoenix once again taking on the team of the MM’s. This was for the Tag Team Title again but with the added two stipulations that if there was a DQ against the MM’s that Ace and Ryan would win the title and that if the other MM’s got involved they would have to unmask. So for once we never saw the other MM’s come out to help but we did see Brian Rubright out at ringside. I was hoping that since he was all the way across the ring from us I wouldn’t be able to hear his annoying high pitched voice but I was wrong and I heard him. Mr. Rubright just rubs me wrong I have to say. The whole time I’m hearing him complain when the Ref counts to two for the MM’s, then everytime Ace or Ryan get a two count on the MM’s he had to scream “thats only 2!” as though the Ref was going to change his mind or something. Then when Ace and Ryan do a double team he had to yell “One in one out ref!” yet when the MM’s do the same thing I hear the screech of “They have a five count, a five count!” If this had just been once or twice I would say it was a case of being a good if not annoying manager but it was EVERY single time any move happened that he had to screech a comment. This did cause a lot of people to use the Oompa Loompa chant against him, however he just reminded me more of a Gerbil on Crack. The match was pretty good and it was nice seeing the MM’s go through the match without finding a way to totally cheat. It was a good back and forth match that ended up with the MM’s winning. Though the MM’s did not cheat there was still a bit of controversy over the win as Ryan had his foot on the ropes when pinned but the Ref didn’t see it. As the MM’s left much to Rubright’s annoyance Commissioner Santana came out with one of the members of the old Tag Team champs Sweet Rhythm and let the MM’s know they had a new challenger stepping forward.
Next we saw the Heavyweight Champion come out and get ready for his match. I have to admit sometimes this is my favorite part of the night because of a young lady we have seen every time we have been in Minneola who just does NOT seem to like Mark Silva at all. This girl is no more than 12 or 13 years old I would guess and she mocks this wrestler horribly. It is so much fun to watch this tiny little girl get under the skin of the HUGE Silva, who has to weigh about 5 times what she does – if not more. She tends to shadow his movements, but since he is the Outback Silverback she mimics him more like an ape than human. She and her friends (maybe family) also tend to yell out “we can’t understand you!” after he says something since he has a very thick accent or the other common chant is “learn to speak english!” The greatest thing with this is he will actually stop and try to stare down this girl and she doesn’t back down! I think she may be one of my WXW fan heroes!
Back to the ring… this night we saw Silva grunt his way through some sort of challenge to Gariston Spears. It truly was tough to understand him with his thick aussie accent but he seemed to say that the only one who might be a real challenge on the roster was the self proclaimed Champion of the Universe, I can only assume there was some sarcasm in this caveman like grunting. Gariston Spears comes out singing his own theme song, as per usual, and holding his title belt that looks like it came from Toys R Us and entered the ring. The rest well it really isn’t worth repeating. You see Spears has some moves but it’s hard for them to affect someone twice your size. It’s like if Rey Mysterio tried to take on Brock Lesnar without his high flying innovative moves. It just doesn’t work very well and soon that was proven as Spears goes down for the three count. However, Silva seemed to be in a foul mood and got into the Hardcore action by grabbing a chair and tossing it into the ring. As Silva made a move to go after Spears again we saw Sugaa come running out… to the rescue? Well not really as he did come out and chase off Silva with the chair in his hands but as Spears finally stands up and looks like he is about to thank Sugaa, we see the chair in Sugaa’s hands bounce off of Spears head with a very loud and sickening clang laying spears out once more. Sugaa kept trying to coax Silva back into the ring and when that didn’t seem to be working he started to unfold the chair to sit in the ring however the chairs legs were broken off of the seat after being used so much this night and so the chair would not unfold right. This caused Sugaa to just toss the chair aside.
The next match was the main event which turned out to be a Tables Match for the Hardcore Title. For those of you who do not know what the specifics of a table match are here you go, no DQ and first one to put your opponent THROUGH a table wins. In this match we saw Beast square off against Sean Maluta. The match was pretty exciting, with both men giving it their all and truly beating the heck out of each other. I only had 2 real problems with this match and honestly I think these were the only problems I had with the whole show that night. My first problem came when they went out of the ring and into the crowd to fight. The fight carried over into the area where they sell the T-shirts and such and ended up bumping around those tables quite a bit. This is nice and exciting for the crowd since they get to see things up close but in a small venue like this it also hindered a lot of us from seeing things. After all, in this case, unlike with WWE, there isn’t a titantron to show everyone what’s going on as the cameras zoom in. A lot of people moved to try and get a better vantagepoint but in my mind all that does is make it harder to see and get back to where you were when the action moves back to the ring. It did eventually go back to the ring but this is where my second problem came into play. There was a LOT of action on the side of the ring opposite me, in the area where there is no audience, so only the camera really got to see things. To me this should have been thought out better especially since this is where the match ended with Beast on the Table and Sean Maluta doing a nice diving Elbow Drop from the top rope to I assume drive Beast through the table. I say assume because I couldn’t see the table (though I did see them remove pieces of it), I also didn’t see Beast since the table that I assume was there isn’t as tall as the ring. What I did see was a nice elbow drop from the top rope to the outside of the ring accompanying some splintering sounds (another reason I assume said invisible table is real) and then being followed by the bell signalling the end of the match. It was great to see Maluta getting another title, but to be honest I would have rather SEEN it fully. I know the place was probably perfect for the camera and I know that the Elbow Drop to the outside is more impressive than say an Elbow Drop to the inside since there is a further drop, however in my mind I felt kinda empty with that ending. It felt kind of hollow to me because I couldn’t see that table crack into 3 huge chunks. The way I see things in this sort of situation is that the WXW should be putting the show on for the fans that are paying to go and sit in the seats not for those that will be watching at home. Yet this ending was geared specifically for the at home viewers. With the table in the middle of the area on the floor instead of in the ring itself they have effectively made it where only about 1/5th of their audience could truly see the ending in it’s full glory. I don’t know about everyone else that was there that night, but I was most looking forward to the Hardcore Title matches and to me only 2 out of the 3 matches truly provided for the people who were at the event. So that was a little disappointing but still not enough to ruin the night for us by any means- just something maybe the WXW team can work on!
One other thing I was thinking of when we were there was this. I don’t know how many bloggers go there or press really, but at least in Minneola in the city hall I think they may be missing out on a good idea of a press area. From where we sat, we noticed that to the right side of the ring on the other side there is a whole 1 table used for the bell and for the tv announcer and on the left side there is nothing (this is if you were on that side looking to the ring). So my idea for them (I know I know I seem to have a new one every blog) would be to move the ring bell/announcing table to the left side of the camera hallway then on the right side make a small area for the local press or bloggers that are known to come. This way since some things are played for the camera because they kind of have to be the bloggers/press can have a better view of things and will be able to get some good pictures for their blogs or wherever they are reporting from. I would think that for someone to get in these seats you would need some sort of ID proving where you write for and writing down your main web URL so that they can keep track as to whether you actually post something or not. Something like this may help get the news about WXW out to more bloggers and websites and bring them more publicity. It would be a great way to get more publicity for these amazing wrestlers and get even more attention and support for WXW!
So that was our thoughts on this past Hardcore Title event- leave a comment and let us know what you think and we hope see some of you at the upcoming WXW events!