Welcome back for another Angry Andy indy wrestling review. Last month, I checked out Psycho Circus XII (available here on DVD for just $15). If Psycho Circus is NYWC’s Wrestlemania, Aftermath is Raw the night after. It’s the night where NYWC sets the tone for the rest of the year, so for regular fans, it’s a really important one.
It should be noted that WWE was in town tonight, running a house show just 20 minutes away at the Nassau Coliseum. As a result, tonight’s attendance took a big hit, clearly much lighter than last month. The crowd was also shockingly quiet throughout the night.
RECKLESS & WASTED and GREG EXCELLENT d MILK CHOCOLATE and J-REDD
Match goes 20 minutes or so. Excellent pins J-Redd after a double underhook piledriver.
What worked: There were a lot of strong, popular gimmicks in this match, making it a fun way to start the show. Even though the crowd was light, and unusually quiet, these guys did a good job trying to get the crowd pumped up. They worked really hard. Greg Excellent was a fun and fitting surprise, too.
What made me angry: While it didn’t make me angry, it’s worth noting that there was unacknowledged interference here, as Bill Carr attacked Milk Chocolate toward the end of the match.
JABALI JR. & PAPADON d GRIM REEFER & ALVIN ALVAREZ
Reefer and Alvarez are teaming up for the first time, after squaring off last month. This is Jabali’s first “real” main roster match (that I know of) after winning last month’s Jokers Wild Battle Royal. Papadon is back as a babyface, which works for me.
There was one very scary bump in this match, when Reefer was knocked off the apron, either into the guard rail, or into the front row. It was hard to see from my vantage point. Moments later, Jabali pinned Alvarez with a top rope splash.
What worked: Some fun action, with the vets leading the work in the ring. Alvin’s ring presence continues to improve, and he’s well-suited in the “aggressive but inexperienced” heel role. Jabali got a chance to shine. Papadon and Reefer are super-talented. Papadon is fun as a babyface.
What made me angry: Alvin and Reefer showed each other respect in a nice babyface moment last month, so it was kind of confusing that they were the heels here. It worked better this way, though.
REX LAWLESS d “CHAINSAW” JOE GACY
For those of you who don’t know Rex Lawless, get ready. If he’s not signed to WWE or TNA within the next 2 years, something has gone HORRIBLY wrong. He’s got a GREAT look, and has a lot of fire as a babyface. Gacy is another CZW guy, apparently filling for DJ Hyde in this Rex/NYWC vs CZW feud. I’m happy to see him here. Rex wins with a TKO.
There’s something to be said about guys who have “the look.” Rex has it. I brought a non-wrestling-fan-friend to the show (Hi Dan!), and Rex was the first guy who REALLY got his attention. Guys who look like they can tear you apart (like Rex) immediately bring a feeling of legitimacy to matches for wrestling fans. He needs a little bit of polish in the ring, but nothing he can’t pick up in the WWE Performance Center. I think he’ll get there sooner than later.
What worked: These guys are good opponents for one another. I like that Rex is seemingly taking on all-comers, regardless of where they’re coming from, in his big babyface build. I wouldn’t mind future appearances by Gacy.
What made me angry: Nothing offensive here. That said, Aftermath is the show where you set the tone for the rest of the year. A quick post-match promo by Rex, challenging whoever, could have been effective here.
NYWC TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
ATHLETIC INC. d RACK & SACK
What worked: Justice was excellent, working the crowd as Ric Flair, complete with struts, woos, and a figure four attempt or two. Vane is SOLID in the ring. Rack & Sack are fun together. While the crowd may have wanted the title switch, I think this was the smarter booking choice.
What made me angry: There were a few spots that could have been a lot tighter, or sold a bit better, but there really wasn’t’ anything offensive here. Nothing worth complaining about. I’d like to see these teams wrestle again… but not until Athletic Inc. drop the titles to another babyface team. Preferably Reckless & Wasted.
TONY NESE d DREW GULAK
As I’ve mentioned before, Nese is my favorite NYWC star. Drew Gulak is my favorite CZW star. These are two of the best wrestlers on the indies. And Nese was the second guy on the show that Dan reacted to as having the “pro wrestler look.” Nese pins Gulak with a 450 splash.
What worked: These two guys are amazing. Honestly. Everything looked good. The selling, the meticulous working of Nese’s arm, the way it built to Nese’s trademark spots… This was pro wrestling 101. This match could have easily been the main event, and both of these guys would be credible champions, capable of leading the company forward.
What made me angry: The crowd. As I mentioned earlier, the crowd was light and quiet for the whole show. That was still the case here, and it brought the match down a little bit. Not enough to make it unenjoyable, though.
INTERMISSION. Buy a t-shirt. I understand that most of the boys are probably selling shirts on their own, but as someone who doesn’t carry enough cash to buy $20+ shirts from a dozen different workers, it’d be nice if the shirts were available online.
MEET THE STARLETS
NYWC Commissioner Brian Vitko comes out to start the second half. Mr. Entertainment says 2014 is a year of new talent. He says some familiar faces will be leaving, and some new ones will be debuting. That leads to the introduction of three new NYWC starlets, who made their debuts in last month’s Jokers Wild Battle Royal.
Moments later, evil manager Crusher Doogan appears. His distraction allows Aria Cadenza to attack Sammy Pickles and Debbie Cain. Doogan and Cadenza leave together.
What worked: Cadenza is established as the heel, apparently joining Doogan’s stable with Bill Carr and Apollyon.
What made me angry: One of the girls totally no-sold the beating, walking out RIGHT BEHIND HER ATTACKER LIKE NOTHING HAPPENED. These girls should have either a) crawled to the back, like they were on the verge of death, or b) been carried out by refs/officials.
Anyway, Vitko is still in the ring. J-Ro comes out and throws a profanity-laced fit about getting bumped off the show, for what he calls a BS segment introducing girls no one cares about. His words. The crowd cheered. Oh, and he’s the heel here. Vitko says if he wants a match, he’ll get one, and calls out Stockade, who he tells to kill J-Ro.
J-RO d STOCKADE
What worked: This match was MUCH better than J-Ro’s Psycho Circus match. Maybe it’s just the level of opponent, but what a difference a month makes. All the action was pretty decent here. Stockade is always solid.
What made me angry: The countout finish. No one wins here.
NYWC FUSION TITLE MATCH
“FLAWLESS” BLAKE MORRIS d FRANCIS KIPLAND STEVENS
Blake is the third and final guy to get the “oh wow” reaction out of Dan. I agree with him. Morris has the look, attitude and workrate to be taken seriously elsewhere, whether it’s in Evolve/Dragon Gate USA, ROH, or elsewhere. Stevens has been doing the same “Hip hop nerd” gimmick, with no evolution or updates, for a solid 6 years now. Granted, the kids still love it, but I heard a lot of groans from adults. He’s like NYWC’s Rey Mysterio. The gimmick doesn’t need to die – it just needs some updates.
Finish saw Blake “win by submission.” He was choking Kip with his own suspenders. He was trying to point it out to the ref, who thought he was tapping. This one saw Joe Gacy interfere on behalf of Morris, who has been paired with CZW owner DJ Hyde.
What worked: The story of this match was pretty good. Blake bullied Kip and challenged him to fight back. Blake also went for a suicide dive but ate guardrail, when Kip moved out of the way. Sick spot that looked DEADLY from where I was sitting.
What made me angry: The interference was unnecessary. There were also a couple of very noticeable botches that disrupted the pace of the match.
NYWC STARLET TITLE MATCH
CHRISSY RIVERA d MARTI BELLE
This was a street fight. If Jim Ross had called this match, he’d say it was bowling shoe ugly. Chrissy wins the title, by dropping Marti into thumbtacks.
What worked: I’ve complained at length about hardcore and death match wrestling, where guys and girls kill each other with weapons, with no payoff. Well, in this one, you could tell the girls were trying not to hurt one another. So there’s that.
What made me angry:: Remember the ECW Barely Legal match between RVD and Lance Storm? Remember the two chair shots Lance Storm gave RVD? Imagine 10 minutes or so of women hitting each other just like that, with everything from a steel chair, to Legos. And when they’re not gently caressing each other with weapons, they’re taking awful bumps and botching moves. The tacks at the end added nothing, especially considering the quality of the move and bump into them.
NYWC TITLE MATCH
MIKE MONDO d KING MEGA
Mondo is former WWE Tag Team Champion and Spirit Squad member Mikey. Hopefully, you remember him from his ROH run, or his pre-WWE NYWC stint instead. Mega is a mountain of a man. These two competed last month in the Psycho Circus match, with Mondo escaping with the then-vacant NYWC title. He does the same here, beating Mega with interference from Blake Morris. Mikey Whipwreck interfered too, evening the odds for Mega, and building to a tag match next month.
What worked: Good match here. Mondo is money. Mega is a big guy, who knows how to wrestle as such. Both are also great at interacting with the crowd. They had to work hard to get the crowd back after the women’s match, and did so successfully.
What made me angry: Another run-in finish. I’m glad Mondo won, but a clean win would have gone a lot further to establish him as THE GUY. If he can’t win clean, but guys like Nese win clean every month, why isn’t Nese competing for the title?
This was a decent show. Lots of good action, but there were some serious, noteworthy exceptions. It’s nice to hear that there will be some roster turnover this year. I’m looking forward to seeing some new faces. I’m also happy to see veteran workers like Papadon and Grim Reefer being used in mentor roles, to aide and legitimize newer workers.
It’s essential that some of the folks on this show receive some very honest, constructive criticism. First impressions are important, but so is the ability to learn from mistakes. Here’s hoping that no one loses too much sleep on botched spots or under-sells, and use the experience to learn and improve.
NYWC laid some groundwork tonight on things to look forward to. It looks like Mikey Whipwreck & Mega vs. Blake Morris and Mike Mondo next month, along with Milk Chocolate vs Bill Carr & Apollyon, and maybe a tag title shot for Reckless & Wasted (though that one may just be self-serving arm-chair booking.) I’m thinking J-Ro will continue his crusade to be taken seriously. It’ll be interesting to see what other CZW stars show up. BLKOUT would be fun.
There were some notable absences tonight. Alex Reynolds, John Silver, and Apollyon were all MIA. Here’s hoping they had a tryout at the Nassau Coliseum, and that they’re not the “old” making way for the “new.”
Anyway, this show wasn’t exactly a homerun, but really, it didn’t need to be. The point was to set the stage for the next few months, and they did that here. I know I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next, and so is Dan, who doesn’t even care about wrestling. Based on that alone, I’d say this show was successful.
See you at the shows!