Welcome back for another Angry Andy indy wrestling review. In May, NYWC presented Fusion…and I missed it. Pesky job. From all accounts, I missed a pretty good show, too. I’ll try not to make that mistake twice.
In June, NYWC presented “Going The Distance,” LIVE at the NYWC Sportatorium in Deer Park, New York. Before the show, the anti-NYWC gang of Vitko, Jamie Van Lemur and Casanova Valentine were drinking and heeling on fans in the parking lot. Nice touch. Once inside, they’d continue to heckle the NYWC roster, until getting involved in the show. More on that later.
Anyway, the building looked pretty full, the crowd was pretty loud, and most of the action was pretty good. Let’s get started, shall we?
The show starts with Reckless & Wasted coming to the ring for a promo. Their manager, Forge, points out that they’ve never gotten a fair shot at the NYWC tag team titles. Fair point. They’re quickly joined by the teams of Bill Carr & Apollyon, Athletic Inc’s Matthew Justice and Jesse Vane, and Milk Chocolate, and we have ourselves a four-way tag team match, to determine the number one contenders to the NYWC Tag Team titles.
Milk Chocolate d Athletic Inc, Reckless & Wasted, and Bill Carr & Apollyon
(#1 Contendership, NYWC Tag Team Championship)
This one started hot, and didn’t slow down until the bell. Lots of stiff shots, and some really great spots, made this a really fun way to open the show.
What worked: This was a really great way to get the crowd hot, right from the get-go. The action was good, the crowd was good, and the story-telling all made sense. You could reasonably see this same match, with these same competitors, in much bigger promotion, and see the match get the same type of response. I’m REALLY looking forward to Milk Chocolate’s title shot(s). More on that later in the review.
What made me angry: I liked this match a lot, and I like all of the acts involved. Nothing here pissed me off, BUT… This match featured two of NYWC’s biggest babyface acts, in Reckless & Wasted and Milk Chocolate. I feel like the crowd was split, and not sure which team to get behind/chant for. Just an observation. Also, there was an apron bump that made me cringe, and well, I hate apron spots. I feel like they’re needlessly dangerous, in an age where we know the risks of needlessly dangerous spots. It looked killer. Hopefully, it didn’t feel too bad.
DJ Hyde d “The Higher Flyer” Kevin Corcoran
Corcoran is the ever-underrated Grim Reefer, with a more TV-friendly moniker. Crowd was quiet at the start of this one, after the super-hot opener. They wouldn’t stay quiet, though.
What worked: I’ve always loved Reefer (tee-hee), but I was really impressed by DJ Hyde. He played to every camera as he made his way to the ring, and worked smart to get the crowd back into the match. When DJ picked up the win at the end, what had been a quiet crowd BOOED, loudly. Well-done. Besides smart heel work, these guys meshed better than I expected. Reefer bumped and sold well for DJ’s hard-hitting offense, making it look BRUTAL. And Reefer’s stuff always looks solid, too.
What made me angry: My iPhone notes don’t include anything negative about this one, and I’m not going to force it. I’ll gladly watch the rematch, assuming this wasn’t a one-off.
Anthony Nese & Papadon d Drew Gulak & “Chainsaw” Joe Gacy
Another NYWC vs CZW match, and I shouldn’t have to tell you how excited I was for this one. Nese and Papadon are pretty much THE GUYS for me in NYWC. Drew Gulak is one of my favorite guys on the indies, regardless of which gimmick I see him under. I’ve only seen Gacy in one other match, but I like his look, and his style. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t go into fanboy mode on this one.
Anyway, this was a great match. Period. It started with a good technical display, which broke down into a brawl, which continued into a pretty awesome indy wrestling tag match. It was hard hitting and well-executed. Nese wins with a 450, and I’m a happy wrestling fan.
What worked: Everything. Give me any combination of these four guys, on any show, and I’ll be a happy wrestling fan. Every time.
What made me angry: This has NOTHING to do with the action in the ring, but this is the match where I noticed it. NYWC has 3 cameras taping the action. One hard cam, and two handheld cameras at ringside. Maybe it’s just because I work in TV, and studied production, but it’s mindblowing to me how often the ringside cams are RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER, getting the exact same shot of the action. Number one, you’re in each other’s way. Number two, you’re guaranteeing one less shot for the director to work with, when it’s time to splice this together for a DVD/TV release. Camera A is shooting the submission attempt? Camera B doesn’t need to get the same shot. Shoot the tag partner desperately reaching for the tag. Shoot the crowd cheering on the babyface. Shoot something. If you’re both getting the same shot, one of your shots is GUARANTEED to die on the cutting room floor.
Francis Kipland Stevens hits the ring, to address the anti-NYWC crusaders in the crowd. They launch beer cans at him, and heckle him until he makes his challenge for a match. “The Hipster Heartthrob” Casanova Valentine hops the guardrail to accept the challenge, while Vitko and Jamie Van Lemur are escorted out by security.
Francis Kipland Stevens NC Casanova Valentine
This was more of an angle than a match. Stevens had Valentine beat…when the ref refused to count, and attacked Stevens. “ALL HAIL VITKO!”
What worked: I really liked this, for what it was. This angle really pushed the Vitko storyline ahead, by raising one very simple question. If Vitko had referees in his pocket, who else does he have? More refs? Other wrestlers? NYWC officials? There are a lot of possibilities, and I’m really excited to see where this goes.
What made me angry: Nothing, really. Not the best action, but the story-telling was solid.
Chrissy Rivera DDQ Marti Belle
(NYWC Starlet Championship)
And here’s the part of the review where I try really hard to be nice, and probably fail.
What worked: Special referee Ricky Cataldo was just perfect. Between the outfit and the antics, he drew some pretty great heat from the crowd. Cataldo is early-model Goldust, pushing the crowd’s homophobic buttons in the best way possible. The goal is to get a reaction and Cataldo does it really well. The finish, with Cataldo attacking both women and embracing the Starlet title, builds towards next month’s three-way.
What made me angry: We keep seeing this match, and it just doesn’t work. At all. It grinds the show to a halt every time. The action looks like it’s in slow-motion, and nothing looks like it actually hits. I feel bad trashing this match. I respect the hell out of anyone who gets in the ring, especially considering I never had the balls to do it. But please, I’m tapping out. After next month’s three-way, I don’t want to see these two women work together, for a long, long time.
Rex Lawless d “Flawless” Blake Morris
(NYWC Fusion Championship)
I was excited for this match. Both of these guys are destined for some pretty big things in the world of professional wrestling. I’ve said it before—Rex is going to end up in WWE. He’s got the look, and just needs the NXT polish. Blake doesn’t quite have Rex’s size, but he definitely has the look, talent, and charisma to do well for himself, too. I’ll always love the “You’re not flawless!” chants, imaginative as they are.
Side note – Rex’s gear featured a New York Rangers ripoff logo, which would make for some pretty excellent t-shirts.
What worked: These guys had great chemistry, and had a good match with good action. I’d like to see this again.
What made me angry: This wasn’t for the NYWC Championship.
Sammi Pickles d Debbie Kane and Aria Cadena
This was originally a handicap match, but Sammi refused to team with Kane, after Kane dropped her on her head last month. Pickles wins by stealing the pin, after a double Samoan Drop from Cadenza.
What worked: Cadenza continues to be a good powerhouse heel. Kane and Pickles work well with her, although this wasn’t as good as the last match I saw them in, but it wasn’t bad.
What made me angry: It’s obvious these girls are still pretty green, so I won’t be too harsh here. They need some work with basic psychology and storytelling. Example: Sammi refused to team up with Kane…then immediately teams up with Kane to double-team Aria. It’s a minor gripe, though. They’ll get better. If this is how these three are working after just a few matches under their belts, there are good things coming down the line.
Jabali Jr. d Ultimo Maya
I really dig the repackaging of Ultimo Maya, and I like the presence of lucha characters in NYWC. There’s serious potential to introduce fans to more styles of wrestling, colorful characters and, ultimately, sell tickets and merch.
What worked: This match was decent, but the crowd was quiet. If you gave me this same match in front of a more enthusiastic crowd, it would probably have been over, huge. Maybe the NYWC crowd needs more time to adjust to characters they’re really not used to seeing.
What made me angry: This was a match with two lucha characters, with no real lucha action.
Anthony LaCerra, Stockade & Mega d Alvin Alvarez, J-Redd & Justin Toxic
Alvarez cut a promo before the match, introducing himself and his teammates as “The A-Listers.” I didn’t catch Toxic’s TV-friendly new name, but I liked the promo and gimmick change a lot. It allows Alvarez to improve in the ring over time, while being highlighted on the mic. J-Redd and Toxic can carry the work, and Alvin do their talking. It’s very reminiscent of ECW: “accentuate the strengths, hide the weaknesses.”
On the babyface side, this was all about highlighting LaCerra. Stockade was keeping busy, since the guy he’s been feuding with, J-Ro, was booked with Chikara. Mega is still fun – especially as a babyface.
What worked: This was a pretty good six-man, and the stories made sense. The A-Listers were well-featured in their new gimmick, while building LaCerra as the hot new babyface. I’d also be willing to assume that LaCerra had a lot of friends and family in the crowd, based on how loud the response was for him, but it helped, and it worked.
What made me angry: On this one? As long as the follow-up makes sense, nothing. There are a lot of places they can go with what they set up here, and I’m curious to see how it turns out.
Big O d Latin Dragon
Big O wins convincingly, killing Dragon with power moves. Dragon got some offense in, but the crowd didn’t really seem to buy it. This is a pro-O crowd, and they didn’t seem interested in watching him sell—especially for someone MUCH smaller.
What worked: O looked good, especially coming off of an injury. It was nice to see CZW’s Latin Dragon in action, even if he didn’t get to do much here.
What made me angry: This match was probably twice as long as it needed to be. This would have been more effective as a squash, followed by a quick promo.
The Juicy Product d Rack & Sack
(NYWC Tag Team Championship)
The Juicy Product walked into the Sportatorium with the CZW and FIP tag team titles. They left with the NYWC tag straps, too.
What worked: This was a really good match. Juicy Product wins clean, with a sick combo into a rolling elbow. Lots of sexually-based offense, lots of trash talk. Lots of good wrestling. I cannot wait to watch Juicy Product defend against Milk Chocolate. Two fast-paced, super-charismatic, hyper-athletic tag teams, going wild for the tag titles. I see these guys having more than one match for the titles, and they’re going to be really, really good.
What made me angry: Nothing to complain about here, though I wonder what’s next for Nikki and Dickie.
Mikey Whipwreck d Mike Mondo
(Tables Match, NYWC Championship)
Mikey is once again the NYWC Champ. This was a fun brawl. It spilled into the crowd, into the locker room, out of the office, and back to the ring…eventually. That’s when things broke down, with most of the locker room interfering, before Mondo went crashing through a table.
One run-in worth noting was the Big O, who went after Mondo…and got the green mist from Mikey instead.
What worked: Whipwreck is always good for a fun brawl, even if it’s a lot of the same stuff we’ve seen before. Mondo is a great heel. He’s so vocal, probably from his time with WWE, that he really stands out, in a really good way. The run-ins, while a bit much, were fun. The O-Mikey angle, I hope, will lead to an O heel turn, and a heel O taking the title back. With his size, compared to the rest of the NYWC roster, Big O should be a dominant heel. Here’s the beginning of that push.
What made me angry: In the beginning, I really disliked the big schmozz ending. Looking back, though, I think it worked, putting a colorful spin on a match between two NYWC mainstays. My only complaint, in hindsight, was the decision to use Milk Chocolate as one of the teams running in. Their current direction was set in the prior segment, and they really don’t fit here. Reckless & Wasted or Rack & Sack would have been better suited for that spot, since their directions seem a bit more unclear after their losses.
There are exciting things ahead at NYWC. They return Thursday, July 24th, at the NYWC Sportatorium in Deer Park, NY. Matches announced so far include:
Mikey Whipwreck vs. Mike Mondo (NYWC Championship match)
The Juicy Product vs. Milk Chocolate (NYWC Tag Team Championship)
Chrissy Rivera vs. Marti Belle vs. Ricky Cataldo (NYWC Starlet Championship)
Stockade vs. J-Ro (Last Man Standing, Grudge Match)
See you on the 24th!