(All pictures courtesy of Headlocks and Headshots unless otherwise noted. All video courtesy of me.)
I got to live a dream this past Friday night.
Granted, I sort of got to live it once before last year, but on Friday night it was the real deal. I had the honor of standing in a real wrestling ring in a real venue in front of real fans, holding a real microphone to introduce real wrestlers and essentially MC a legitimate professional wrestling event. It was one of the greatest nights I’ve ever had.
WrestlingWithPopCulture.com’s Jonathan Williams contacted me a little over a month ago to see if I wanted to be the ring announcer for Monstrosity Championship Wrestling on November 16th. Of course I did. I was off work, so it was a no-brainer. I was beyond excited, but I didn’t mention it to anybody other than Mrs. Troublemaker because I didn’t completely believe it would happen. You never know when stuff will change, you know?
But eventually everything seemed concrete enough and I let myself get excited and start practicing intros while I was driving to work. Not that I don’t do that anyway, but I had a pretty good idea of who would probably be working the show so I started to get specific.
A couple of weeks ago Jonathan contacted me about doing some Q&As here to promote the show. Of course I was willing to do that. I came up a little short when a few never got back to me, but that’s always a possibility. I still feel like I had a pretty solid week of MCW coverage, even without a Friday post.
Angry Matt and Rescue John met me and Mrs. Troublemaker at the house Friday night so we could head down to beautiful Club Famous Pub (or whatever). There had been a note for the talent to enter in the rear (which I’m sure was unnecessary for Dragula), so I asked Angry Matt to drive around behind the strip mall that houses Club Famous. We went way, way back around only to hit an obstruction right before where Club Famous’ backside would be. I told him to just drop me off beside some stairs I had spotted in the front. I wasn’t sure what the backstage area would be like, so I didn’t want to go bringing my three companions in. They were cool with going up front to get something to eat anyway.
Once I got to the bottom of the stairs, I was faced with something unexpected. I thought if there were large, open, public stairs they would lead down to some sort of back shopping area. Instead, they led down to a rape hole even more intimidating than the one we encountered at Days of the Dead in Peachtree City, GA. And this time I was alone. In a big, purple pimp suit.
There were a couple of abandoned storefronts, and then what basically looked like a utility access walkway that went back about sixty dark, narrow feet to an open doorway. Like, it literally had a door attached. If the area beyond that doorway hadn’t been well lit I would have gone back upstairs. But I had received instructions to enter in the rear and darn it, that’s what I was going to do. Plus, I didn’t have my mask on yet and I do still make a bit of an effort to stay sort of anonymous. And there would be no mistaking me in the get-up I was wearing. So I ventured on through the doorway.
On the other side there was a set of steel stairs leading up to a door with no handle. Beside that was a sort of drainage culvert leading all the way to the back of the building. If I hadn’t been carrying stuff I would have gotten pictures, but this was not a place where I particularly wanted to be fumbling around with Instagram. I made my way down the culvert and actually had to hop across a couple of gaps over a creek. But I made it to the back of the building and saw the ring truck outside of an open door. I hung my jacket on a nearby hinge and put my mask on, then headed up the stairs, hoping I wasn’t going in the wrong place.
I walked through the door and found a wild-haired, hook-nosed ghoul airbrushing a half-naked man. Good. I was in the right place.
Professor Morte was applying Dragula’s makeup in a backstage area that was about three feet wide and maybe twelve feet deep. I waited until Morte got to a stopping point and then made my way out into the actual room. There was a black curtain doing its best to separate the backstage area from the ringside area and the bar. On the other side was a room full of wrestlers doing their pre-show thing.
I actually really like the setup at Club Famous. If you’re entering from the Famous Pub – as you should be – there is a large, open room with a decent-sized stage at the far end. A bar runs along the right side of the room. There is just enough width for an indie-size wrestling ring in the middle with plenty of room in front of the stage and between the ring and the entrance for a crowd. Also, the ceiling is high enough that it isn’t a hazard for your high-flying wrestlers.
I chatted with a few of the guys and set up a special future post with Johnny Danger – stay tuned! Everybody seemed pretty excited and ready for a special show. I found Jonathan after a while and he gave me my notes for the show. I already knew what was going on, but I was super-nervous about screwing up somebody’s gimmick. I knew everybody that was competing, but a lot of guys were using different names for MCW. I didn’t want to call the Kentucky Wolfman the Iowa Toadboy or anything.
I had decided that I was going to have exactly one drink before the show to calm my nerves and that was it. I had a Black Pearl (rum and root beer – Captain Morgan’s Black Spiced and Diet A&W, to be exact) at the house. But by the time I got to the show any effects of that modest beverage were all but gone. And I also felt like I wanted a hook for my announcing. I mean, other than being awesome. We had always joked that PCW Masquerade ring announcer Grant Case was soaked in bourbon while he was announcing. I don’t think this is true, but Case always had such a laid-back approach that it struck us as funny. So I wanted to actually be that guy. I decided I would always have a glass in my hand when I hit the ring to announce, even going so far as to point its emptiness out to the crowd when appropriate. The trick was, it was the same drink for most of the night. Don’t tell anybody.
Side Note: I don’t think this is going to be my standard recap. I was witnessing events in an entirely different way Friday night, so I don’t think I got the matches like I normally do. I was trying to pay attention to stuff I was going to need to know rather than just watching. Fortunately, I do have Headlocks & Headshots photographic record to supplement things. Thanks to Mr. Harold Jay Taylor for providing images far superior to what you’re used to seeing here. For an amazing gallery of everything that happened, visit Headlocks and Headshot's Facebook Page.
Professor Morte gave an introduction to the event, then kicked it over to me to announce the first match.
It was exhilarating. Standing in the middle of that ring, speaking into a mic to a room full of people. It was just awesome. As much as I loved doing the panels at TimeGate and Dragon*Con, this was a whole other kind of experience. I was THE focus of attention. And I kicked ass. Except, of course, for the fact that I totally blanked on the names of the very first guys coming out to the ring, Ethan Case and Eli Evans – Worst Case Scenario. I mean, I remembered the Worst Case Scenario part, thank goodness, but their names just fell right out of my head. They weren’t on Jonathan’s notes and I haven’t seen them compete enough to be as familiar with the team. So I just introduced them as “Worst Case Scenario” and left it at that. To balance things out I only introduced The Washington Bullets by their team name even though I have been familiar with Jon and Trey probably longer than any of the other guys. Also, I reverted to my old ways and assigned Duke Korey an MCW name – Milky White. I can’t even explain that one.
Worst Case Scenario
The Washington Bullets
This match barely had a chance to get going before Papa Marko – zombie king extraordinaire – emerged from the backstage area and ordered his undead minions to attack the Bullets and WCS. Thanks goodness he overlooked me and MCW Head Referee Milky White, who had no choice but to rule the match a no-contest as a result of zombification.
YOUR WINNER – Papa Marko and his Zombie Horde
Me and ol’ Milky looked on in horror as both tag teams were bitten by Papa Marko’s zombies and then dragged to the backstage area and who knows what foul ends. Fred Yehi, Curry Kid, Mason, The Phantom, and Supernatural ran out of the back to try and stop the foul villains, but they were too late.
El Monstro Asesino
I don’t think the story in my head matched up with what the wrestlers or the bookers had in mind, but I wasn’t privy to those conversations.
While Asesino is a heel in PCW, I saw him as a valiant monster slayer in MCW. And Von Reaper was basically Connor from Angel, except evil. Well, intentionally evil. He was a dude that was raised in a hell dimensions and has escaped to Earth to wreak havoc on pretty much everything. And Asesino must stop him. But it seemed like Asesino was the heel and Reaper was the face. Oh, well.
This was probably the best straight-up wrestling match of the night. There was no interference or shenanigans. These two just went at it and did a great job of it. I’m no workrate wank – I like my entertainment, too – but it was nice to have at least one serious match on the card.
Asesino managed to lock in a brutal hold on Reaper, making the demonic grappler tap out almost instantly.
YOUR WINNER – El Monstro Asesino
After the match it was time to give away some prizes. This was a little bit of a mess. We got it ironed out by the end of the night, but there were some communication issues at first.
Team Good Guys came back out to the ring to declare war on Papa Marko and his zombies.
Papa Marko accepted, so the Main Event was set as a Survival Series elimination match. If Team Good Guys won Papa Marko would release the Bullets and WCS from his control. But if Papa Marko’s team won, the whole world would be zombified. Or something.
And then The Casket Creatures rocked it out. The sound was pretty good in the place and The Casket Creatures were definitely solid. Plus, I finally got to introduce them. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but my work schedule just hasn’t lined up with their gig dates. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I hope it was good.
After the Casket Creatures’ set, Marky Dreamer made his way to the ring. I didn’t know what he wanted, but I attempted to do an interview. Rather than cooperate, he just snatched the mic from me and started babbling about how he doesn’t like monsters and the whole thing was an insult to wrestling and blah, blah, blah. Marky Dreamer is a douchebag.
Thankfully, Zombie Bruiser Brody shambled to the ring and beat the shit out of him. Unfortunately, Zombie Bruiser Brody’s victory was short-lived. A very large, very black dude carrying a Bible hit the ring and said he was going to rid Club Famous of all zombie and monster filth.
Zombie Bruiser Brody
Zombie Bruiser Brody got in about as much offense as you would expect from a dead guy and Dark Mon pretty much just squashed the legendary corpse. But I think in the context of MCW’s long-term storytelling this one made sense and both guys definitely put on an entertaining match.
YOUR WINNER – Dark Mon
Dark Mon handed me his Bible before the match started. I stood there awkwardly holding it through the match. It occurs to me now I could have stood there reading it or something.
I was pretty excited about seeing this one, but it didn’t quite take off. It felt like one of those slow-motion type matches. Just not firing on all cylinders. There was a crucifix that didn’t happen and one of the ugliest clothesline attempts I’ve ever seen. Don't get me wrong - the match was as brutal as you'd expect from these tough broads, I just know it could have been awesome. Sometimes the chemistry just isn’t there and this was one of those times. I have no doubt these two will produce some awesome matches given the chance, but this wasn’t the night.
YOUR WINNER – Mambo Monet
The after-match action was great, though. Mambo Monet went straight for Pandora’s throat while Papa Marko and his undead legions emerged from the back. Monet left a slaughtered Pandora on her back in the middle of the ring. Papa Marko climbed the steps, approached the corpse, and started to work his magic. Right before the eyes of the horrified MCW fans, Pandora’s corpse started to writhe and rise. She finally returned to her feet and followed Papa Marko and Mambo Monet to the back, clearly under their evil influence.
Speaking of evil, the next competitor was on his way to the ring accompanied by his cousin. Yes, none other than the xenophobic, homophobic, ablutophobic lycanthropic cousins – the Kentucky Wolfman and the Alabama Wolfman. They had with them a jar of Full Moon Shine (so named by commentator DeWitt Dawson) and a whole bag full of ill will. I once again attempted an interview, only to have the Alabama Wolfman yank the mic away from me and start howling on about how much he and his cousin hate the gays. Clearly a couple of self-loathers.
My drink ran out around this time. The Wolfman Cousins’ jar looked pretty full, so I held my glass out and gave Alabama a little nod to see if maybe he’d share. He walked over and it looked like I might get lucky, but just as he started to unscrew the lid Kentucky stomped over and put a stop to it. Then he spit tobacco on my five hundred dollar shoes. My immediate reaction was to reach down and wipe it off, which left me with spit on my hand, so I casually wiped it off on Little Bastard’s sleeve.
Side Note: The fact that I got to do a little bit of business with Rick Michaels and Matt Sells was not only unexpected but absolutely amazing. I’m still pretty pumped about it.
Just as the Cousins’ ranting hit a fever pitch, some familiar music hit and I announced it was time for Dragula to hit the ring. I said he was from “Mansylvania”, something I am particularly proud of. Also, I said “Ladies and gentlemen” way too many times over the course of the night. I’m going to try and avoid that next time.
The Kentucky Wolfman w/ The Alabama Wolfman
Dragula got to the ring and was up to his usual antics – strutting about, shaking his sweet moneymaker, and molesting Little Bastard. The crowd loved it, but the Wolfman Cousins were revolted. Well, they acted revolted anyway.
Then the bell rang and the match got underway. Dragula got in some offense to start, but Kentucky Wolfman took control and laid in a beatdown. Any time it looked like Dragula might gain the advantage, that mangy little whelp the Alabama Wolfman would pull a dirty trick.
But then Kentucky hit the mason jar one too many times. Dragula was finally able to get in some offense. Just as Alabama was about to interfere, he suddenly started flailing about uncontrollably. I thought maybe he was changing back into his human form, but commentator Chuck Porterfield cannily pointed out the real reason for Alabama’s sudden incapacitation – he was being attacked by the Invisible Man!
Without the direction of his cousin, Kentucky quickly drank himself into oblivion and Dragula was able to get the pinfall!
YOUR WINNER – Dragula
Once the ring cleared I called the Invisible Man in for an interview. He was the most polite of the night, as he didn’t snatch the mic away from me. I put my arm around his shoulders and asked about his motivations for attacking the Alabama Wolfman. Unfortunately, that night the Invisible Man was also the Inaudible Man. He must’ve stuffed a bunch of marshmallows in his mouth before hitting the ring because nobody could understand a fucking word he said. Then I realized he was naked.
I think the gist of the whole things was that the Alabama Wolfman will be facing the Invisible Man sometime in the near future.
Time for more Casket Creatures!
I want to mention our commentators for the night - Chuck Porterfield and DeWitt Dawson. I don't think you could have gotten a better pair for the event.
Paper hit the ring and was also quite polite. I asked him what he wanted and he held up a shitty cardboard title and said he was champ, so I announced him as Paper Champion of the World.
Naturally Rock came out next.
Followed by Scissors.
Scissors started the action by snatching the Paper Championship and cutting it to shreds. Paper was mortified and Rock took advantage to attack them both.
The match was a very solid three-way affair. As you might guess, Scissors got very little offense on Rock and Rock just couldn’t quite seem to take control of Paper. As silly as the premise was, the match was good.
YOUR WINNER – Scissors
Now it was time to give away the last of the raffle prizes, including the legendary Box Of Meat. I think my proudest moment of the night aside from the business with Michaels and Sells was the fact that I started a “Box Of Meat” chant, closely followed by a bunch of people telling me they really liked the way I announced the stipulation for the Main Event.
I said that if Team Good Guys won Papa Marko would release their friends. Then I told the crowd that if Papa Marko won they were all fucked. That got a lot of laughs.
Papa Marko, Zombie Washington Bullets, & Zombie Worst Case Scenario
“Bona Fide” Fred Yehi, The Phantom, “The Demigod” Mason, Curry Kid, & “The Undead Luchador” Supernatural
The Main Event was the perfect spectacle to top off Monstrosity Championship Wrestling’s first night at Club Famous. Team Good Guys was on fire, but the invincibility of their zombie foes was an almost insurmountable obstacle. Every time TGG would hit some amazing offense, Papa Marko’s zombies would simply shrug it off and shamble to the corner to tag in a fresh corpse… er, competitor.
I couldn’t pay as much attention to this match as I would have liked. There were a few things going on outside of the ring – closing details, nobody picked up the Box Of Meat from the last drawing, a couple of other things. I was doing my best to keep up with eliminations and mostly got it, but my only big error of the night came when the third member of Team Good Guys got eliminated. I thought there were still three of them left and four members of Papa Marko’s team, and I announced it as such.
Then this filthy little douche nugget with a crusty baseball cap and a three-dollar haircut – who I’m sure I will hear from because I almost always hear about it when I call somebody out in one of these – turned around from taking pictures and told me I couldn’t count and that it was five-on-two. He was only half right and he was all dickhead. I don’t know why he felt the need to be so rude about correcting me, but fuck that guy. I mean, I was half-wrong too, but even the people actually working in the match and for MCW weren’t all that worried about it. Not sure why he was so vocal.
Also not sure why I devoted two paragraphs to it when this awesome match was happening. This match really surpassed my expectations. I thought we would be getting a very entertainment-heavy bout, but all ten men put it out there. It felt like the epic clash it was intended to be. In the end it came down to Mason and The Phantom versus Papa Marko, who had spent the entire match on the apron. This whole bit was actually really well done, with Papa Marko believably dominating the remnants of Team Good Guys. But eventually The Phantom was able to gain the upper hand and defeat Papa Marko.
YOUR WINNER – The Phantom for Team Good Guys
Papa Marko returned to the backstage area and shortly after that Jon and Trey Williams, Ethan Case, and Eli Evans came out from behind the curtain along with the rest of Team Good Guys and Pandora. Everybody celebrated.
Then we finally gave away the coveted Box Of Meat.
This was one of the best nights ever. I got to work with a bunch of people that I respect a whole lot, I got to entertain a crowd, I had some friends come out to support me, and most importantly Mrs. Troublemaker was there to enjoy it all with me. Well, actually the most important thing was that she got video of my amazing performance this time.
The next day Jonathan called me and told me he thought I did a great job and wanted me back for the next show. I told him I’d be there any time I could, job allowing. He made a point of saying that I was Monstrosity Championship Wrestling’s ring announcer. Like, the official ring announcer.
That’s fucking rad.
Side Note: I am now owed a total of three t-shirts – a PCW Sacred Ground 3 shirt, a Wrestling With Pop Culture shirt, and a Fred Yehi shirt. I am suspecting I need to be more stern about t-shirts.