There are many things you can point to as evidence that the IWC isn’t very bright. One of my favorites has always been the assumptions some people make. For example, if you don’t like something TNA is doing, a lot of people will assume you love WWE – and vice versa. One of the other assumptions some people like to make is that you must LOVE independent wrestling.
Ring Of Honor was very cutting edge about a year into it’s existence, until about late 2005 or 2006. At it’s height, people who didn’t like or understand it would make fun of it by saying that it’s all restholds and people kicking out of finishers over and over again for matches that go way too long. Now, it’s 2010, and Ring Of Honor has more or less become exactly what people used to make fun of it for. I’m not trying to rip on Ring Of Honor – while I may not be a fan of their current product, at least it delivers what it promises.
My point is, there hasn’t been much going on for the indy scene for the last few years. Not that I’m aware of, anyway. Ring Of Honor, until recently, had been putting shows on a service called GoFightLive that was pretty handy. Just recently, I discovered mirroring on my iPad, which means that I can stream to my TV flawlessly. I started looking around at some upcoming MMA shows, and noticed that some wrestling promotions streamed their shows for free to advertise their product. 4 different promotions in particular.
I thought it might be fun, during my time off from writing regular articles, to cover a few of these shows. I’ve never heard of any of the four promotions in question before, so I don’t know what to expect.
I’m also going to try to get some familiar faces to cover these shows with me. This week, I have my man Martin Shaw, to help me cover…
Disclaimer: I know absolutely nothing about this promotion, it’s wrestlers, or what is going on. I am going in as a new viewer. This show was from February 18th, yet didn’t make it to GoFightLive until mid-June. It was their 10th anniversary show (it’s been around for 10 years?!?!) and was billed as Fan Appreciation Night, sponsored by Coors Light, if you can believe it, and brought to us by SEED FIVE entertainment.
And here we go.
A dude in a suit walks through the door – I later find out that this is Brandon Bishop. He walks through a hallway full of wrestlers. Some suit, who it turns out is named “Richard G”, says “what’s up boss?” to him. And Bishop slaps him in the chest.
For some reason, Richard G hits the wall like he’s been shot in the chest with a cannon.
Then we get the intro video package for Asylum Championship Wrestling. It shows disturbing video footage of a mental hospital paired with wrestling clips. It gives the show a real “snuff film set to a wrestling background” feel.
We get our first shots of the crowd – and let me tell you, this is a REAL indy show, I’d say there’s easily less than 100 people in that crowd. Not going to rag on them for that though, ROH and ECW started out in smaller arenas. It’s literally in a high school gym.
Brandon Bishop, the guy slapping his employees, comes to the ring. He’s the owner of the show - and recently he walked out on the company, but is now back. The mic is so rough that I can’t understand a lot of what he’s saying, but the gist is that some guy named Michael Titus, who was running this show… is now gone. He explains that they have new owners, are new to GoFightLive, and… it was these new owners who asked him to come back and manage the show. I think that’s what he said – he’s holding the mic way too close to his mouth. The crowd is not doing anything, they’re just kind of sitting there listening to them like he’s their teacher. Fuck, maybe he is.
He then says doesn’t want to be running anything, he wants to go back to being just a wrestler. He makes a main-event tonight – a 30-minute iron man match for the title. He goes over the sponsors for the show. And then he starts to close it out, and some music hits. Richard G comes out – he’s the guy who got slapped in the hallway. He’s clearly not a wrestler. Apparently he’s some sort of management figure in Asylum too. He also holds the mic way too close to his mouth. Bishop says something about kicking Richard’s ass. Richard says something about not being a wrestler. Brandon laughs at him. The fans are now chanting for Brandon to kick Richard’s ass. Eventually, Bishop goes outside and gets a chair from under the ring. He tells him to take off his glasses and get ready for a fight. Richard takes off his glasses, then begs Bishop not to hit him.
Bishop says that if Richard beats HIMSELF up, that he won’t use the chair on him. Richard then starts to kick his own ass by slapping himself, pulling his own hair, and throwing himself into the turnbuckle. Bishop then hits him in the ass with a chair anyway, and then “riles up” the crowd.
Commentator: “Richard G is going to town on himself.”
Backstage, some skinny guy is talking to the “new owners” of ACW. He gets off the phone and tells a bunch of guys and one girl that they’ve got to prove themselves tonight. He is irritated by this. The rest of them seem excited to prove themselves.
Now we get a commercial for the Asylum Championship Wrestling University. The selling point is apparently that it’s affordable.
Now another guy gets off the phone, says “fantastic” and leaves. Segment over.
10-Man Elimination Tag-Team Match
The Real Joshua Todd, Sweet Johnny Zuto, Thomi Lacroix, Caleb Crush, & Teila .vs. Rob Ryzin, Johnny Crash, Arik Angel, Jo Jo Dancer and Sierra Rose
The second team are the babyfaces. Caleb Crush was apparently on Tough Enough, but had to change his name for legal reasons – yet he comes out to the Tough Enough theme song. A lot of these guys look like they jumped out of the crowd to take part in the match. Johnny Crash is about 400 lbs, and not the good kind of 400 lbs. He’s much, MUCH fatter than Brodus Clay. Rob Ryzin looks kinda cool. The interesting thing is that one person on each team is a girl, which is kinda cool.
I’m not going to pretend to be able keep up with who’s who here. A heel jumps a baby face and they fight to the ground. They fight up to the entrance, but keep looking up to the ring. Teila, the heel girl, jumps off the top rope and hits both guys less than 30 seconds into the match – the funny thing about this is that the cameraman had a few seconds where they were staring awkwardly at the ring waiting to get jumped on to change the camera angle so that we could see the dive – he didn’t. Anyway, the 3 of them slowly get up, and all stare at the ring for ANOTHER five seconds before Zuto dives on everyone as well. Once again, the camera only catches the landing, but doesn’t dare miss them staring and lining up neatly the break the guy’s fall. Then they all get up again – and start brawling until another guy dives off the apron with a hilo into them. At least the cameraman’s sense of pattern recognition kicked in, and we actually got to see it this time.
Jo Jo Dancer goes up to the rope, but gets beat from behind before he can join the party on the floor. Then Caleb Crush steps on his balls on the rope, and then Caleb does his OWN hilo off the top rope onto all the wrestlers that previously dove onto the floor. Jo Jo is tied up upside down from the rope, and a guy jumps all the way from the OTHER side of the ring, and lands on his face. Ow. Then the baby face girl does some crazy spin-thing onto the increasing number of wrestlers still stupidly brawling on the floor.
Then Rob Ryzin does a giant cartwheel out of the ring onto the same crowd. Almost everyone in this match has done a dive so far. On the bright side, on the way down, he did manage to kick the girl in the face. Even worse, it was the girl on his own team.
Then shit gets funny. The giant fat Johnny Crash guy decides he’s gotta get in on this, and then everyone on the floor just IMMEDIATELY no-sells everything, and they all get up and leave before he can jump. Okay, THAT was pretty funny – a couple of the heels even helped some of the babyfaces get out of the way. That’s fucking awesome.
Caleb Crush then jumps Jo-Jo Dancer and pins him with the Miz’s finisher. This is elimination, so he is out. Then Caleb is in there with Sierra Rose. Caleb laughs at her… so she grabs his balls, slaps him, and then tags Ryzin, who hits a piledriver and pins. Caleb Crush is out. Arik Angel and Johnny Crash double team one of the heels. Johnny Crush misses a dive, and gets rolled up for a pin. Then Sierra, the girl, hits a really good neck breaker and eliminates Johnny Zuko. Then Teila jumps Sierra from behind and eliminates her. Ryzin hits a rollup and eliminates someone else.
It’s hard to keep track of what’s going on. But it’s down to Ryzin and the heel girl, Teila. She tries a rollup, but he doesn’t go down. He laughs at her. He gets up, and decides to leave and not fight her. He walks out. The ref counts him out. Girl wins.
Winners: The Real Joshua Todd, Sweet Johnny Zuto, Thomi Lacroix, Caleb Crush, & Teila
Only survivor: Teila
Well that was pretty crazy. Kind of impossible to keep up with, given that I have no idea who these people are. The beginning part where EVERYONE did dives was silly, but people no-selling everything and getting out of Crash’s way was pretty funny. There were a couple good spots, but mostly just the dives and some rollups. The girl doing the neck breaker on the dude and pinning him was cool, as was watching the girls mix it up with the guys.
A guy in a suit talks to his buddy, and then Johnny Crash asks Rob Ryzin why he walked out. Ryzin says he doesn’t have to prove anything, and if they want him to prove himself, they need to give him a title shot.
ACW / UCW Tag Team Title Match
Zack James & Junior X “Salt City Masquerade” (UCW Tag-Team Champions) .vs. Jason Noal & Mikey Madoff (ACW Tag-Team Champions)
This match is for the ACW Tag-Team Titles, as well as the Tag-Team Titles from another fed called UCW. Mikey Madoff is the guy in a suit, a suit which he will be wrestling in, and a hat. Noal and Junior start off, and do some mat wrestling, jockeying for control. Junior in control with a headlock. Mikey tags in, and undoes his shirt and takes off his hat. He’s pretty bald. He charges at “Uncle Mikey”, as the announcers call him, and then James & Junior Double team him with a toss before Zack hits a standing moonsault fora two count.
He spears Mikey a couple times in the corner and hits an enziguri. Junior tags back in, and hits a dropkick. Junior tags James back in, and they double team Uncle Mikey some more. He then kicks him right in the fucking face, and gets a 2-count. He knees Mikey in the face a couple times before hitting a high knee, which doesn’t faze Mikey, but Junior rolls him up anyway for 2. Tag back to James, and they hit a double-drop toe-hold. They tag Junior back in, and he hits a slingshot for another 2.
Uncle Mikey is in trouble, until he reverses an irish whip into a belly-to-belly. This gets him a 2-count. Mikey finally tags out, and Noal comes in and stomps on Junior. He hits a body slam and a nice elbow drop, but James comes in to break up the pin. Back-body drop gets another 2. Uncle Mikey comes in and hits a very nice sit out power bomb, but the pin is broken up again. Noal comes back in, and hits a back breaker for 2. Dragon sleeper. Uncle Mikey tags back in, and his suspenders have come loose. He looks like Roadkill, but more sexual-predator-y. Mikey picks up Junior into a suplex, and Noal suplexes him off Mikey’s shoulders, but also appears to knee his own partner in the head while doing so.
Then, while already being in control of the match, Uncle Mikey and Jason Noal go outside to get chairs, and beat the shit out of James & Junior for no reason at all. And they get disqualified. So basically this entire thing was pointless. Awesome.
Winners: Zack James & Junior X
(No Titles Change Hands)
Backstage, and by “backstage” I mean a grade 4 classroom, Teila from the 10-man match comes and makes fun of Sierra Rose. Then they start to brawl. Then Richard G from earlier comes in, and makes a match with them in it – except it’s going to take place in a kitchen, and they’re both supposed to bake him a pie. That’s fucking awesome. They protest. So he says they can have a “kiss-off” with him instead, so they leave, but not before Sierra slaps him. Again, all of this took place in a grade 4 classroom.
Another commercial for ACW University.
A gentleman named Chris Van Luhr comes out with a microphone. He doesn’t hold the mic close ENOUGH to his face, so I can’t hear him at all, as opposed to not being able to understand what anyone’s saying, which was the case earlier. He apparently has a guaranteed ACW World Title shot.
Patrick McDaniel comes out, and he has a microphone. Now HIM, I can understand. So it’s not the mic that’s the problem, it’s the monkeys holding the mic. He says he has a guaranteed title shot for the ACW “Institutional” Title whenever he wants it. Apparently these two now have a match.
Patrick McDaniel .vs. Chris Van Luhr
So the idea here is that this is a match between the two #1 contenders for two different titles, which is a kinda neat idea. Patrick tries to get control but can’t, but manages to hit a nice dropkick and a botched tornado DDT. Chris rolls out of the ring, but Patrick hits a dive onto him. Chris pushes him into the ring post to take control. Chris takes him into the ring and hits a body slam which hits a 2-count. Sleeperhold by Chris.
Patrick backs him into a corner and Chris must break the hold. Nice touch – Patrick slowly fights back and gets 2 with a cross-body off the second rope. CVL hits him with a big boot to stop a charge, and then a powerslam which gets 2. CVL then hits a running Vader-bomb for a near-fall. Fallaways slam by CVL gets another near-fall.
CVL then goes to the top rope, and misses a FIST-drop, which is an odd-thing to risk a top-rope move for. McDaniel takes control, and hits a flying forearm. CVL is up quickly, and McDaniel goes for an irish whip, which is funny because CVL has reversed every single irish whip in this match… and that is the case here as well, and CVL hits a delayed suplex. McDaniel then hits the weakest cross-body in the history of cross-bodies, then hits a springboard hair-pull. I didn’t make that up, he sprang off the ropes, grabbed the guy’s hair, and fell awkwardly to the ground. McDaniel then hits a hurricanrana, and a monkey-flip, and both of those weren’t bad compared to most of McDaniel’s offence.
CVL tries a big boot which misses, but then CVL appears dazed for no reason. McDaniel then chokes him over the top rope before hitting a springboard neck breaker which gets 2. CVL catches him and goes for a chokeslam, but McDaniels fights out, hits the ropes, then runs right into another chokeslam and a pin.
Winner: Chris Van Luhr
CVL mouthes off some fans, one old man in particular, and leaves. Reasonable match, but most of McDaniel’s moves look really weak. Some biker-looking guy comes in to help McDaniel up, but then CVL comes back and grabs McDaniel by the throat while the biker dude stands there and does nothing. Then he lets go of the choke and tries to shake his hand. McDaniel does. That was odd.
Some guy in a mask enters the “arena”.
The ACW Tag-Team Champions talk about how awesome they are before beating up a skinny crew guy.
Then, another guy starts to talk for about 2 seconds before he gets cut off. Then they show the arena and Von Luhr coming back out… but he gets cut off as the credits roll. You’d think the show was over, but no, they then cut to a different match. That was odd.
30-Minute Iron Man World Title Match
ACW Institutional Champion Andrew Titus .vs. ACW Champion Danger Dean
Apparently Titus has been the “Institutional Champion” (another stupid name) for 15 months. The crowd really likes Danger Dean. The ref goes over the rules with them.
A leapfrog botches immediately, and Titus’ leg gets clipped. Titus rolls to the outside, and eats a dive from Dean. Dean puts Titus in front of a girl fan, who slaps him and Dean high fives her. He then tosses him over the rail and on top of a fan, who doesn’t seem to mind. They then fight among very few fans, and Titus fights back with a chop and a suplex on the floor. Then he smashes his face into a chair, but not like a metal folding chair, one of those plastic ones that doesn’t fold up. Ouch.
Danger Dean tries to fight back, but eats a kick to the face. Titus goes for a piledriver but this gets reversed. Some kids are in the background, awfully close to the action. Not too many other people are standing around. Danger then tosses Titus into the merchandise table. Now more adults, each with a confused-looking child on their arm, get closer to the action.
This is weird. I feel like at any moment these kids are all going to get glowing eyes and converge on the wrestlers.
Titus hits a rake to the eye, and beats him with some more plastic chairs. He then puts Danger Dean on a dolly, and rolls the dolly through a pile of some more plastic chairs.
At no point during this does any part of Danger Dean come anywhere close to hitting any one of the chairs, yet he acts like he was just put through a car-crusher.
At least, he does until Titus rolls him into the ring, and then Dean immediately gets up and hits a suicide dive and Titus collapses into the same bunch of chairs.
Dean puts TItus on the second rope and goes to a superplex, but Titus ducks down under him and hits a power bomb. That was a nice touch, but he only gets a 2-count. Dean ducks a high kick and rolls him up and gets the first fall. 1-0 for Danger Dean. Titus gets pissed off and starts kicking him in the gut in the corner. He hits a nice snap suplex for a 2-count. Dean fights back with some chops, but Titus rolls him up with his foot on the ropes and gets a fall for himself. We’re tied 1-1. Now Danger Dean is pissed, so he suplexes Titus for a near-fall and a fan loudly tells Dean to go fuck himself.
CRAZY Rock-Bottom from Danger Dean, where Titus actually hit Dean’s knee on the way down. This gets 2. Dean then ties him up to the ropes, and works his foot into his back, and Titus’ eyes are rolling back in his head. Titus then hits a DDT for another fall. 2-1 for Danger. Titus hits some kicks and a powerslam, but only gets a near-fall. Titus stomps him for a bit, and hits an elbow drop.
Then shit gets weird. Titus goes outside to get his belt, which doesn’t seem wise as he can get DQ’d and lose a point… but then Patrick McDaniel from earlier comes in, hits a sliced bread, and pins Titus despite not being in the match, and a DIFFERENT referee counts it. Apparently this Patrick kid just won Titus’ Institutional Title. I suppose it’s 24/7 rules or something? I don’t know.
Winner? And apparently new ACW Institutional Champion: Patrick McDaniel
Either way, the Iron-Man match continues, Titus is pissed off about losing his title and hits a double-arm DDT for another pin. 2-2 now. Titus continues to work over Dean, trying to get another fall, but doesn’t succeed. Danger tries to fight back with a clothesline, but Titus slingshots back at him with a great missile dropkick to keep control. Titus with a sleeper hold. Dean eventually fights back when irish whipped into the turnbuckle – he flies back at Dean, grabs him mid-turn, and finishes a swinging DDT. He then puts Titus in a sharpshooter. There’s a girl in John Cena gear at ringside (ringside is the entire crowd) going crazy for Danger Dean. Titus makes it to the ropes for the break.
Danger hits a bear hug, which he actually manages to turn into a nice sit-out power bomb for another near-fall. Dean measuring Titus as he slowly gets up, and hits a great spear for another fall. 3-2 for Danger. Danger stalking Titus again, as he slowly gets up, presumably for another spear. 5 minutes left in the match – Dean charges, but Titus leapfrogs him, and hits a super kick for a pin of his own.
3-3 now, with only a few minutes left. Both men slow to get up, and they hammer each other until Titus hits a body slam. He goes up for a moonsault, but Dean chops his ankles and crotches Titus on the ropes. Titus knocks Danger off the ropes with some elbows, then goes back to the top until Danger crotches him on the ropes for a second time. Titus then pushes him off AGAIN, as they’re clearly killing time – this becomes all the more apparent when Dean gets up and crotches Titus on the ropes a third time.
Commentator: “3 times, with just two testicles!”
Superplex by Danger, and both men are down. Now the only people I can hear yelling are kids, which means they’re either really into this all of a sudden or there’s a basketball game happening on the other side of the gym. Titus isn’t moving, but Danger can’t get up in time to pin him and time expires.
Winner: No One
The announcer calls it a time-limit draw.
After the match, Chris Von Luhr comes to the ring and puts a choke slam on both guys at once. Then another referee hits the ring and I hear a bell. Wait, what?
ACW Championship Match #2
Chris Von Luhr .vs. Danger Dean
Von Luhr pins.
Winner and new ACW Champion: Chris Van Luhr
Well, that was odd. So apparently all the titles are 24/7? Or something?
Well, all in all, I have to say, this show actually wasn’t terrible. Keep in mind, I wasn’t expecting much – and it looked pretty damned bleak around the beginning. Me and Shaw weren’t sure we were going to make it through – but it definitely got better as it went on. The 24/7 title changes were strange… but I can’t rag on them for that, because it’s probably some stipulation from a past show that I couldn’t have known about… or maybe they went over it in the opening where I couldn’t understand a word they were saying.
I was expecting something a lot crazier, given that the opening was spliced with footage of a mental hospital and, you know, the fed having the name “Asylum” in it’s title. Still, not bad. I don’t know that I’d be a regular viewer of this show or anything, but was it better than watching John Cena fight The Big Show? Yeah.
Let’s hear what my man Martin Shaw had to say.
Martin Shaw: I had never head of Asylum Championship Wrestling before this, I’m guessing most of the readers are in the same boat.
This show, from February, which was free, has been viewed by 157 people.
The show wasn’t amazing, but neither is Raw, SmackDown, iMPACT or whatever ROH is shitting out right now. After settling for mediocre with the big names, I wasn’t exactly going into this expecting Wrestlemania III.
When I watch a lot of these indy feds, I tend to think “This is quite sad, I can’t believe these guys are putting on this kind of show for 100 people. Early Chikara is a great example: The cards were flawless; the wresting was perfect; the crowd was 75 strong. At the start of this Asylum show, I was like “That’s not the fucking case with these guys, Blair! What the fuck have you talked me into?” but the show got better as it went on. Regardless of the booking, those guys were doing well in the ring.
I’m not saying ACW is on par with Chikara, not by a long shot, but these guys deserve to be seen by way more than 157 people.
It’s true. 157 views – including myself and Mr. Shaw. Whatever you have to say about this show, they’re DEFINITELY better than that. And given that they just unexpectedly entertained me, I’m going to throw you some links before I say good day.
Asylum Championship Wrestling Official Website: http://www.asylumchampionshipwrestling.com
Asylum Championship Wrestling Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/AsylumChampionshipWrestling
Watch this iPPV for Free here: http://www.gfl.tv/Events/Fight/Wrestling/Asylum_Championship_Wrestling/1576
This has been “That Being Said”. I’d like to thank my man Martin Shaw for joining me – this is actually the second article this week I’ve done with Martin, the first one being a retrospective article on *WRESTLER NAME CENSORED BY INSIDE PULSE*. Make sure you check that out, and I will see you next month for another GoFightLive indy experiment. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.
I’ll be in my trailer.