Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Guest Post: My Top 8

I was supposed to write an open letter to TNA, but I’m having a problem of organizing my thoughts.  Mainly because there’s so much to say due to my frustration level being so high and I want to keep the letter PG.  Since I told Kevin I’d have a blog for him, I decided to write a placeholder.  The problem was figuring out a topic. Since I couldn’t think of anything really interesting, I decided to do a top 10 list.  So without further ado,

Top 8 Matches I Saw In Person

This list was quickly thrown together.  Basically I tried to pick one match from every different promotion I’ve seen seen live.

8. Knight Eye for the Pirate Guy/Allison Danger vs. Larry Sweeney, Roarshach, Sharecropper.  Chikara: Speaking in Tongues, Reading, PA 2005

Back in 2005, I discovered Chikara when they were promoting their Tag Team World Grand Prix tournament.  I was quickly hooked on the wackiness of the promotion.  After seeing a few shows, I knew I had to witness this spectacle in person. As fate would have it, my original vacation plans got cancelled so I found myself with a week off from work at the same time Chikara was running their monthly shows. I made the 15 hour drive from Herrin, IL to Reading, PA by myself eagerly anticipating what I was going to see. Chikara had only been around for 2 or 3 years at this time and hadn’t yet built much of a fan base. I think there were maybe 25 fans in attendance.
The show was everything I hoped for. I chose this match simply because it has my favorite female wrestler, Allison Danger and the greatest wrestler of the 2000’s “Sweet and Sour” Larry Sweeney. WWE fans may remember Sweeney from his appearance on Raw portraying Nick Hogan during the buildup to the Hulk Hogan/Randy Orton match at SummerSlam. Hoping we’ll see the return of
Sweet and Sour International in two aught one one.

Deliriously good times

7. Rickey Reyes vs Delirious vs Flash Flanigan vs Shane Hagadorn, ROH: Supercard of
Honor, Chicago, IL 2006

Wrestlemania 22 was the first Geek Weekend for Kevin and me.  Part of the weekend festivities was a Ring of Honor show.  This match wasn’t anything special, and if I was being honest, the Necro Butcher/Samoa Joe brawl later in the show was more entertaining. But this match makes the list simply because of the post match beat down Delirious received from Rickey Reyes.

I am a huge Delirious mark and have a homemade Delirious mask.  Reyes was beating Delirious up screaming that Delirious didn’t belong in ROH and was nothing but a joke. Kevin and I were in the third row. I was wearing my mask and booing Reyes. Reyes continued his verbal smackdown, looked in my direction and said something along the lines of, “you’re not wanted here. No one likes you. And that &*&$#* right there doesn’t mean $#&@!”  Kevin said that was worth the price of admission alone.  

Editors note:  I had tears in my eyes from laughing at this tirade. KH

6. Ric Flair vs Harley Race. Pittsfield, IL 1983 or ‘84
This was the main event of the first ever live show I attended.  I don’t remember what organization put on the show. Don’t remember who fought on the undercard. And as you can see, don’t really remember what year it was. But I remember Ric Flair being Ric Flair and making me a fan for life. Harley Race was no slouch either.

5. AJ Styles vs Christopher Daniels vs Chris Saban vs Petey Williams, IWA:Mid-South, Autumn Armageddon, Evansville, IN 2004

Much like the Chikara show, this was my first introduction to IWA: Mid-South and there were probably only 30-40 fans in attendance.  Looking back, this entire show would be a solid PPV offering. I think only 3 or 4 of the guys who wrestled haven’t gone on to be major players on the Indy or National scene.  This match was originally a #1 contender’s match, but Champion Arik Cannon suffered a broken collarbone in the match prior so this became a title match.

4. Masato Tanaka vs Mike Awesome, ECW: Heatwave ’98, Dayton, OH

Hands down, the best show I’ve attended. It was hard to pick a match from this show because any match could be on the list.  Chose this one simply because of the beating both men delivered.  Tanaka power bombing Awesome over the top rope through a table was insane.

3. Chris Hero vs Human Tornado, PWG: Life During Wartime, Reseda, CA 2008
A wild and crazy cage match.  The Reseda Legion Hall is so small, they had the fans exit the building while the cage was set up so there would be no chance of someone getting injured.  During the match, Claudio Castagnoli and Necro Butcher did run ins. Claudio to try and help Tornado. Necro to chase Claudio out of the building. A few minutes after chasing Claudio out of the building, Necro came back in through the main door and watched the rest of the match from the crowd talking to fans about
the match. 

2. Syxx vs Eddie Guerrero, NWO: Souled Out, Cedar Rapids, IA 1997

It was either this or Rey Mysterio Jr./ Jushin Thunder Liger from Starrcade 1996.  Went with this one because the coin landed on heads.  A motivated Syxx and a rising star in Eddie Guerrero.  What more needs to be said. Probably a lot, but it’s late and I’m tired.

Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair
1. Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels,  WWE: Wrestlemania 24, Orlando, FL 2008
I said earlier, Ric Flair made me a fan for life. Seeing his “retirement” match was an emotional event. While the match outcome was never in doubt, Ric and Shawn told a story through ring psychology that is often missing in most of today’s wrestling matches.  While I wish Ric would have stayed retired, I don’t think Ric is made to simply sit at home and watch wrestling on television. He has to be a part of the show. 

There you have it. The top 8 matches I came up with in 5 minutes. Now back to that letter to TNA.

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