Thursday, April 5, 2012

Platinum Championship... Um, Empire Wrestling - 3/30/2012

Mrs. Troublemaker surprised the heck out of me last week by asking if I wanted to go see PCW Friday night.

It’s not that she doesn’t like wrestling – especially live wrestling, it’s more that with a babysitter available and her choice of what to do I would have expected her to suggest something else. But she’s full of surprises and that’s why I still love her. Well, that and her sweet ass.

So we made our way to the Academy Theater to see the local heroes battle for supremacy.

As you can see from the pictures we got better seats this time around, but I forgot my camera. All of said pictures are from my phone. In a way they’re a bit better than the ones from my camera, but the quality isn’t as good if that makes any sense. That’s also the reason this took so long to post. I don’t know why, but it is a huge pain in the ass to transfer pictures from my Droid to the PC. I was finally able to get them all transferred this (Tuesday) morning so I could write my recap tonight.

Sylar Cross & Master Jae w/Jonathan Malick of Empire
The Contras

As always, I am not up on my Empire storylines so I thought that The Contras were a joke team being used to give Jae and Cross an easy win and advancement in the Tag Team Season. I was way wrong. I don’t know who is under those absurd camouflage bodysuits (and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to know) but they’re pretty darn good.

There was some basic action but the game changed when it spilled outside the ring. I believe the camo couple gained the advantage when Malick prevented Cross from utilizing that massive railroad tie as a weapon, fearing disqualification from the tournament. The Contras were able to keep Cross and Jae frustrated to the point that the Empire team got counted out.

YOUR WINNER – The Contras

After the match, the winners cut one of the funniest promos I’ve heard from PCW (and that’s saying something). They passed the mic back and forth, rhyming one another’s threats and promises and dropping a ”Tell ‘em, big man,” before the mic switch each time. You’d think that might overstay its welcome after four or five times, but it just got funnier. I like those guys, whoever the heck they are.

Jagged Edge w/ Screamin’ Marty Freeman of Empire
Phantom w/ Dany Only

Screamin’ Marty came out in another jacket that a bum threw out because it was too undignified. He got on the mic and gave Jagged Edge that intro that is annoying and yet so great because it just makes you long for the day when it will no longer be applicable. That’s why wrestling is great – the simple act of pointing out an individual’s undefeatedness (shut up – that’s a word) makes you just hate them. Except that I kind of like Jagged Edge. I think his name is stupid because he shares it with an R&B group that I am not particularly fond of and also because that group consists of multiple dudes and this wrestler is just one dude. So it’s a little weird. And don’t even get me started on Edge and The Edge. Is he like Edge but just not as smooth? I don’t get it.

But there’s no arguing the guy’s presence in the ring. He comes off like a badass and is certainly skilled enough to back that impression up. Jagged Edge just looks like a wall of doom.

Phantom, on the other hand, is tiny; but just as intimidating. I very much prefer the face paint to the mask because the mask was covering up the fact that Phantom looks CRAZY AS FUCK. Also, Phantom’s face paint is always good. I don’t know if the guy does it himself or if somebody else applies it, but it looks solid and professional every time. It’s one of those little things that lend a guy credibility. If you come out looking like a pre-schooler fresh from the county fair nobody is going to take you seriously.

This was a very solid match where size didn’t matter like you’d think. Phantom was the aggressor early on, but Jagged Edge’s size and wall-of-doom-ness won out in the end. After enduring a series of fast strikes and little guy moves, J.E. just unleashed and never really lost momentum. I can’t remember what finish the big man uses, but he hit it and got the pin.

YOUR WINNER – Jagged Edge

Phantom lost, but he certainly didn’t look weak. The smaller man definitely held his own and to me only looked better for it. The fact that he went toe-to-toe with a force like Jagged Edge and looked good doing it just means he is another one of those PCW guys I look forward to seeing every time.

Speaking of guys I look forward to seeing, Trey Williams made his way to the ring after the match and introduced his brother Jon. Jon came out to big cheers and Trey put over the importance of the Main Event (Jon versus Empire Champ Shane Marx) and also made a kind offer to Shane Marx. Trey pointed out that Marx is kind of a chickenshit and has had a pretty unimpressive string of easy victories since being handed the Empire Championship. The Bullet suggested that the Main Event should be a 2-out-of-3 falls match, just to make sure there was no doubt about the finish.

Eventually Marx came out of the back, accompanied by the once-lovely Miss Rachel (the Hooligans are experiencing some internal dispute over her new haircut – I don’t like it, others do). Surprisingly, Marx agreed to the stipulation.

Warhorse #2
Curry Kid of Empire w/Jonathan Malick

Curry Kid was sporting a variation on his standard rip-off of Christopher Dani… er, Curry Man’s mask. Judging from his shirt it was supposed to look like Sweet Tooth from the Twisted Metal video games. It did, I’m just not sure I would have picked up on that without the additional visual aid.

The match was about what you’d expect from a Warhorse match. It was quick, but interesting. A squash, but not a total waste of time.

YOUR WINNER – Curry Kid, who is apparently now Sweet more than Spicy

After the match Kid grabbed the mic and claimed that he was the most original wrestler in PCW. That made me laugh out loud. He also claimed that he had raised the entirety of luchador-dom to new heights while Supernatural was just an embarrassment in a mask. Curry Kid said that Supernatural shouldn’t be wearing that mask, and challenged him to a mask-versus-mask match at the next

PCW Masquerade Show

This was extremely exciting for me for a couple of reasons:

1) I like both of these guys and look forward to seeing them battle, especially when the stakes are so high, and 2) I can actually go to that show. Honestly, the latter was the one I was most stoked about.

Wild Child” Joey Kidman & Fred Yehi of DamNation
Vandal & De La Vega of The Avant Guard

While I’m never really happy to see Joey Kidman heading to the ring, Fred Yehi is one of my new PCW favorites – one of those guys you want to see more of because you can’t quite believe he’s as good as he seems to be.

Vandal has, of course, grown on me. So has De La Vega – especially now that he’s got some tights that fit.

This was just a good, solid match. Yehi wasn’t in as much as I liked, but it was because Kidman spent a good bit of time getting beaten up by Vandal and Vega. The teamwork was good on both sides and the match featured a lot of variety. Plenty of strikes, kicks, throws, and even a good variety of submission maneuvers – not just rest holds. I had a good time watching it and each guy did his part.

In the end, Vandal and Vega double-teamed Kidman and got the pin after a big splash off the top turnbuckle from De La Vega. Yehi just couldn’t make the save in time.

YOUR WINNER – The Avant Guard

After the match I stepped out for a minute. When I came back in, Najasism and PCW Champion Demigod Mason were in the ring having a chat. Apparently after winning a shot at the title of his choice a few weeks ago, Naja has decided to go for Mason’s PCW title next week in the PCW Arena. There was a decent intensity between the two wrestlers, but I still don’t think Mason is comfortable on the mic. It’s not that I think he doesn’t have it, I just think he needs a lot more mic time to get his flow down. Naja was pretty solid, especially for a guy that I can’t remember ever hearing speak before.

Basically it all boiled down to Najasism saying he’s going to bring it and Mason saying he should and the unspoken suggestion that we should all be sure and come watch.

Dynamite Soul” Eric Walker
Human Hand Grenade” Dany Only

This was also a very good match, and probably the best I’ve seen out of Walker. These guys beat the shit out of each other and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The action was fast and constant and, like the last match, rest holds looked like they were actually wearing the opponent down rather than looking like two guys taking a breather. Only and Walker’s styles meshed pretty well and gave us my favorite match of the night.

And it all ended when Only hit the Lariat and knocked Eric Walker out of his fucking boots.

Or at least, that’s what my picture seems to suggest. I suppose that could also be a choke slam. I’m not entirely positive. Maybe I shouldn’t have waited so long to write this.

Side Note: I hate to have to admit this, since I’ve been a wrestling fan for around thrity years now; but what the fuck is the difference between a lariat and a clothesline? I mean, I know “lariat” sounds cooler. But seriously – what’s the deal?

Well, I had to look it up. A clothesline is when the attacker runs towards their opponent with their arm outstretched, letting their movement and body provide the force and momentum. This is the stupid-looking thing that Randy Orton does.

A lariat is much cooler, as it is the same thing except the attacker actually adds force through forward movement of their arm. This makes the move not look lazy and stupid.

Actually, it seems like the clothesline should only be used by big dudes (by which I mean not Randy Orton) and regular-sized/smaller guys really need the added visual motion of the forward-moving arm.

Either way, Only’s lariat is sick.

YOUR WINNER – “Human Hand Grenade” Dany Only

So sick, in fact, that Eric Walker was left laying long after Only had finished celebrating and left the ring. Master Jae and Jonathan Malick had to come out and help him to the locker room.

Platinum Royal

(shouldn’t this be called an “Empire Imperial”?)

I can’t remember what this was for, but it should have been for the privilege of taking a shit on Screamin’ Marty’s ugly fucking jacket. Er, leaving a shit, I guess.

Anyway, our conspicuous first entrant is the birthday boy, Johnny Danger, in some spectacular Godzilla indie pants. I am not normally a fan of the indie pants, but if you’re gonna put the King of the Monsters on them I have no other choice but to approve.

Pretty much everybody in the locker room comes out for this one – Phantom, Pandora, Jagged Edge, Yehi, Wild Child, Master Jae, De La Vega, Sylar Cross, Brian Blaze, and probably a few others.

Of note was the return of Dwight Power. I haven’t seen Mr. Power since the very first PCW Masquerade show I attended and I have missed his hilarious name a lot. He got his ass beat pretty good by Pandora until they both eliminated themselves and Power got a hold of a STEEL CHAIR OF DOOM. He snuck up on the departing Mistress of Mayhem and fucking clocked her good right in the back of the head. Seriously – it was pretty sick.

That guy is a douche, but that guy is probably also in an awful lot of trouble next time he comes face to face with Pandora. I sure hope they have a match at the Masquerade.

Eventually it came down to Vandal, Brian Blaze, Marko Polo, and…


I do not think it has ever been more apparent that Mr. Danger is the very definition of “skinny little white boy”.

But! He quickly and stealthily eliminated Vandal and Blaze as the two were grappling near the ropes, meaning the last two men were the Marvelous Marko Polo and Jumpin’ Johnny Danger! Danger handled himself admirably in one-on-one combat with the Marvelous One and finally, quicker than a hiccup, was able to sling the fancy lad over the top rope, winning the Platinum Royal!

Except, of course, that the Platinum Royal is not actually over until the last man standing and the competitor who eliminated the most people meet mano-a-mano to determine the true Royal Winner. Brian Blaze returned to the ring and pretty much beat the piss out of the birthday boy. Blaze finished Danger with a sidewalk slam and that was all she wrote.

YOUR WINNER - Brian Blaze

I should mention that Danger’s wife and sisters were sitting right next to us and were pretty hilarious. I appreciate that they didn’t get offended later on when I yelled out to Jon Williams to give Shane Marx a minute to straighten out his vagina. Nice bunch of ladies. Mrs. Troublemaker liked ‘em.

After the Platinum Royal, none other than Mister Stephen Platinum made his way to ringside, followed by that reprehensible douche canoe Jeff G. Bailey.

It was announced that there will be another Platinum Royal on May 4th. It will feature the Top Five contenders from each faction – PCW and Empire. Each side will also pick a sixth man as some sort of special big shot representative. Smilin’ Steve SHOCKED THE WORLD by announcing that his extra-special surprise guest bro will be none other than DCW alumni Shadow Jackson! Jeff G. Bailey went all apoplectic at the mere mention of Jackson’s name and then spit right in Platinum’s face. Bailey took off like somebody lit his tacky fucking loafers on fire while the announcer – for some fucking reason – held an enraged Platinum back.

This little scenario was actually the only problem I had with the whole night up to that point. First, I was liking the announcer guy until that happened. Second, I did not buy for even a second that that announcer was physically capable of restraining a fightin’ mad Platinum. Third, I could not get to the aisle fast enough to trip Jeff G. Bailey as he ran away like Tom the cat after he just swatted Spike the bulldog in the head with a newspaper.

No, of course I wouldn’t actually trip a performer like that. But if I were going to, it would definitely be Jeff G. Bailey. That jerkface.

And with that ladies and gentlemen,

Your Platinum Championship Wrestling Main Event!

Jon Williams
Shane Marx
For the Empire Championship
In a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match

Okay, before I get too far let me make something absolutely clear – I have a tremendous amount of respect for both competitors in this match. They are both good, hard workers who belong in the Main Event. Shane Marx is without a doubt the crown jewel of PCW and Jon Williams has elevated himself to the level of being a believable contender for one of the main titles through sheer talent and hard work. And they both wrestled for sixty fucking minutes. I can't do anything for an hour straight.

I have never before seen a sixty-minute match live. It’s not something I’m sure I would have asked for, even though I am a huge fan of the old-school time-limit draws. I think the time limit finish is a great way to dramatically preserve the momentum of two hot competitors. I don’t think it’s in any way a cop-out unless the match in question is widely known as a feud-ender or a score-settler. I used the time limit finish all the time when I booked our video game fed. I know that sounds silly to compare, but the principle is the same. Take away the actual money and venue aspects of the business and I think I could be a darn good booker (of course, so does every other fan).

So my point is that I’m not so sure that this particular match was the best way to break Jon Williams out as a singles star.

This was not a bad match by any means, but it did tend to drag. A lot. There were a lot of rest holds and pauses in the action and I found my attention wandering a few times. Neither competitor did anything wrong in the slightest, but the match would have benefitted from being about twenty minutes shorter. If not for the AMAZINGLY hyped-up Trey Williams in Jon’s corner things would have seemed even slower.

Marx and Williams both displayed an impressive arsenal of moves and while the action slowed at times, the pacing was actually as good as could be expected. The slow spots were always just shy of being groan-inducing and when the action picked up, it really picked up. And there were plenty of spots where the drama got really intense and pinfalls seemed imminent.

Williams scored the first pinfall after a series of reversals that ended with the Bullet hitting his signature Lung Blower on Marx. After a minute recess the action continued. The psychology of the match was impeccable, as Williams worked Marx’ back and Marx absolutely brutalized Jon’s left leg consistently.

And then my phone died.

Marx got the second pin and I’m pretty sure it was a pin and not a submission, despite repeated attempts to get Jon to tap with various leg holds.

The original ref got knocked out at one point. I was very impressed that rather than jump in and call the match himself, Platinum fetched another ref from the back and sent him in.

The last twenty minutes were pretty intense, as it seemed like either man could win. They really hooked me at the end. And then the announcer called for the final ten minutes and I realized we were getting a draw. This actually made me happy, as it meant we weren’t; going to have any bullshit run-ins or questionable decisions from officials. That’s the thing about the time limit draw – it means both men did everything they could. There is nothing cheap or dishonorable about that.

After the match Stephen Platinum proclaimed that these two warriors would meet again and he guaranteed an outcome for that future conflict. I can only assume the lack of a concrete date means they’re keeping their options open with Williams.

I’m enjoying his solo work a lot, but I have no desire to see the Bullets split and I definitely don’t want an ugly break-up. I don’t mind brothers getting competitive, but in the world of pro wrestling the whole hatred between brothers thing always seems very forced and artificial to me. I can’t think of a brother-versus-brother feud that I really bought into.

Overall this was a great night of wrestling. After the event Team All-You-Can-Eat told me that a number of PCW regulars were out of town because of various WrestleMania-related events. That explains the necessity for the Platinum Royal and a sixty-minute match, and I’ve got to say – it was well executed. Now that I’m aware of the limited resources the fed was working with I am that much more impressed by a show that I already got a pretty good amount of enjoyment out of.

I’ve said it before and I’ll never stop saying it – if you live in the Metro Atlanta area you absolutely must get out and see Platinum Championship Wrestling. Whether it’s at the Academy Theater or at one of the (mostly) monthly Masquerade shows, I guaran-damn-tee you’ll have a great time.

-Phantom (the writing one, not the wrestling one)

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