You’ll know that I rather like Memphis Wrestling. They just book so well, create an atmosphere so well, entertain so well. And they’ve done it again this week.
Three Weeks To The Rumble
Sounds simple, but Dustin and Maria Starr just create such excitement in their product. They make it seem so important. The programs aren’t just there through routine, there’s a reason.
And this week? The first of three weeks of action, culminating in The Nightmare Rumble. Three weeks that will end some feuds, keep some bubbling and make some mayhem with special guests. Next week? Bret Michaels v Mike Anthony for the Memphis Wrestling Heritage title, the well-worked angle which has delighted so many because of the slow burn and the charisma of the participants. This week? The Hollywood Horror Show settling differences with that 80’s US cop show pairing Walker & Warsaw. But with a huge wrinkle. As this week relied on already established angles, the spotlight shone on Wrestling. And it never disappointed.
Good Matches Abound
Big Swole Justin Cole was facing Martin. He went with a Martin leap off the top, rolled through, muscled him up, and hit the Swoll Slam for the pin.
The Elements Of Wrestling (Cole/Pyles/Van Viciousssssss) v Country Rock & Big Jack
Tell you what, Big Jack, Memphis Wrestling’s Scott Norton alternative, doesn’t look happy to be with Country Rock. I feared for them in this match.
Cole, Pyles, Van Vicioussssssss now have a name, unless I missed it before; which Elements of Wrestling are we talking about? Matches with bears? That would be terrible. Anyway, CR worked well together with an atomic drop and flying elbow combo looking good, but Cole had a good moment and then not so good. He executed a nice pull out of the corner powerbomb, then tried it again with Chris James, seemed to pull too hard and James landed on his side. Ooh, painful!
But James showed no after-effects in a shooting star over the top and the Big Jack falcon arrow for the pin looked very fine – he still didn’t seem happy though. A nice short but very sweet match. Not a patch on the main event though.
The Hollywood Horror Show v Walker & Warsaw
One’s a hard-assed Eastern European by-the-book cop, the other’s a detective who’s risen from the dead. It’s a crazy idea, but it just might work. I’d have loved to see that at 9 on a weeknight! It doesn’t work badly on a Memphis Wrestling Saturday morning though.
Over the last few weeks, a Jimmy Blaylock seemed to have enjoyed strapping his team. Jacksyn and Otis Crowley seemed to enjoy being whipped by the belt. Walker Hayes, less so. He left.
And yet here he was complaining about the strapping shenanigans. Oh, I see, the main event will be a strap match. But more than that. Selected fans will be lumberjacks with belts.
Letting fans strap the wrestlers could be;
A. Fun to watch
B. A very bad idea
Thankfully, it was mostly A here. And the main event was hard-fought entertainment. Moments like, Jacksyn getting thrown out early, immediately stalking towards a fan with a strap, who seemed to think better of using it. The fans became braver and all the participants got a whipping, but no one sold it better than Jacksyn, who screamed as if it was a JR Kratos hammer fist. A Crowley’s sling blade and immediate cutter combo is a thing of beauty.
Maria Starr telling us she’s going to laugh uncomfortably through this match was oddly correct. Warsaw in the tree of woe having his head pulled back by Jacksyn with the belt, then tasting a cannonball from the spindly star. A brutal-looking Walker black hole slam. Both Crowleys picked up and bashed together in the middle of the ring like rock ’em, sock ’em robots. An elbow off the top as the powerbomb crashes down on Otis for the pin.
Warsaw was dripping with sweat after and not surprisingly, so much happened here and the fan interaction was so unexpected in a warm program like Memphis Wrestling. What a way to end.
Stuff To Look Foward To
Amber Rodriquez, surely a future Memphis Wrestling Women’s champ, had her false eyelashes and nails back after they were ripped off by Skylar last week. She’s good on the promo, is Amber, and I for one can’t wait for their confrontation. Skylar was too busy telling us that if the mid-South weather is bodyslamming your roof, Pro Shingle can help, then showing us them working on a roof – aerial shot, ooh, fancy! We saw the Posse ruining Christmas by attacking the Yung Goats and smiling while they did it.
They did seem more settled as nasty gents but didn’t seem to understand that to have the belts you have to win them, not just put them into a Santa Sack and take them home. Well, next week, Yung Goat Zay Washington will speak for the first time about this and I bet it won’t be ‘can we have our belts back, please?’ And for those who liked the reality TV Tiger King angle a while ago, it’s back! It was good vertical integration for Memphis Wrestling and Mr. Tiger or T.King’s nervy energy made it kinda work.
There he was, reminding Derrick King about the piledriver he laid on him, which was subsequently banned in Memphis Wrestling. He was wearing a sort of soft neckbrace – hang on, it was months ago! It does add to the story though and his feeling of wounded pride in the telling of it was good. Derrick’s disbelieving stare was great as well, with more Memphis Wrestling action to look forward to.
Quality As Standard
Memphis Wrestling is consistently good. Very often great. They have the roster Maria and Dustin can trust to push the feuds and angles. The wrestling is entertaining, no 5-star matches but they sometimes come close. The guests have always succeeded in making the right noise. Some of their wrestlers are over. The Desk is best. 80’s nostalgia, but with a family twist. What NWA Empowerrrrrrrrr would like to be. It’s hard to be good, week in, week out and Memphis Wrestling will take a dip at some point, surely. But it hasn’t yet.