Monday, August 22, 2011

Guest Blog: Vegetarian Pig Slop and Heat Wave Rasslin - ACW's Distrust, Dismay and Antisocial Behavior '11 Review

Brandon Stroud needs no introduction, but I'm going to give him one anyway. He's the managing editor at With Leather and is a huge supporter of indie wrestling, especially Chikara and in his current hometown of Austin, TX with Anarchy Championship Wrestling. He went to their latest show, Distrust, Dismay and Antisocial Behavior '11, and here's his live report, complete with pictures!

Portia, pre-slop, taunting Lillie Mae
Photo Credit: Brandon Stroud
Texas is currently experiencing a heat wave that has taken us into 700+ consecutive days of 100+ degree heat. High school football coaches and players have died from exposure to the sun. Sprinklers are getting installed everywhere because it's rained like 3/4th of a time since March. I don't know what's going on with the world's climate, exactly, but I thought it would be a good idea to attend Anarchy Championship Wrestling's Distrust, Dismay and Antisocial Behavior 2011 and sit for four and a half hours in an open-roof bar in direct sunlight to watch professional wrestling.

TH already posted some basic results for the show, and if you're interested in that sort of thing I urge you to head over to their home page or their roster page to find out more. I've been to nearly every show since I moved to Texas last August with a few exceptions (including one with Paul London I missed for King of Trios... but that worked out all right) so I value myself as an increasingly-learned perspective on the promotion.

That, or I'm semi-popular on the Internet and write about them a lot.

- The pre-show started with a battle royal to determine the third participant in a triple threat elimination match for the ACW Championship, and I am confidently in full-on child mark mode when I tell you how much I love cheesy, shitty over-the-top-rope battle royals. Battle royals are like NBA games: you don't have to start watching them until they're almost over, and any fun you have before that is made for yourself.

The show featured an absolute gaggle of people I (and the ACW Superfans who usually sit in front of me) had never seen or heard of, and a few of them made appearances here. That's one of my favorite parts of an independent wrestling show, the "okay, so who's THIS guy" thing. Sometimes they're terrible, sometimes they end up being your favorites. I had no idea Picture Perfect Portia Perez would make me wobbly-kneed trying to get a picture with her when I was watching her wrestle literally nobody in Cleveland half a decade ago.

Jessica James won the battle royal and is four feet tall and adorable, but she ate it pretty hard in that title match, gotta say.

- The selling point of the show for most was the return of the "Godfather of Anarchy" Jerry Lynn. I wasn't around when Lynn ran in ACW, but TNA-be-damned if Lynn doesn't look and move exactly like he did 15 years ago. Maybe he was having fun. Maybe it was the fact that ACH (who I again will talk up here as the craziest and best athlete I've probably ever seen in a wrestling ring) entered to "Walk" by Pantera with a fake Bill Alphonso and did Rob Van Dam's taunts and intro posing. Regardless, Lynn is on point, and this show was one of those little reminders that if Impact could understand that 1) wrestling is supposed to be fun and 2) we're supposed to LIKE the people we're watching, they could be something more than they are.

The match also featured Rachel Summerlyn, who continues to be progressively more beautiful every time you see her and a great conversationalist about both David Otunga and vegans in wrestling, and Shawn Vexx, who enters to Jay-Z's "Public Service Announcement", and if you don't instantly think that's the best indy wrestling entrance theme ever, you are a pleeb.

- I'm not doing a Best and Worst format for this, but I have to give both a Best and a Worst to the Angel Blue vs. "Five Star" Amanda Fox match. It came right in the middle of the show, and despite plastic cup of water after plastic cup of water I had to go into the bar part of the bar and not roast myself for five minutes. The Best part is Amanda Fox, who looks like she probably shouldn't be a thing but ends up being really kinda great, and the Worst goes to Angel Blue, who got the win. Her butt still looks like toilet paper.

See, I'm getting so into it that I'm even saying affable things about the people I shoot don't like.

- The selling point of the show for ME was a Texas Bullrope Match between Lillie Mae and Portia Perez. I'm a fan of both -- Lillie always puts on a good match, and anybody who has read four sentences of wrestling talk from me has seen Portia in two of them. This match stemmed from ACW's Queen of Queens tournament when Portia bashed Lillie in the face with a wrench during the opening ceremonies and took her out of competition. Lillie challenged Porita to a bullrope match, and while the rope wasn't exactly tight around their wrists (which sucked a little, but hey) they still beat the shit out of each other. Lillie got the win when she hogtied Porita's legs and dumped pig slop on her head. Well, a backslide won it, but that was the actual win.

Portia is always getting stuff dumped on her head when I'm trying to meet her. The first time she wrestled Lady Poison and got green poison gland goop all over her face. The second time she got Gory Bombed into a birthday cake by Rachel. Last night, it was pig slop. Vegetarian pig slop, at least, as confirmed later by Lillie.

But sometimes things work out for the best. ACW Superfan Anna just said "come on" and dragged me backstage (upstairs) and asked Portia to take a pic with me. I told her I was sorry for all the stuff that kept getting thrown on her. She sorta shrugged and rolled her eyes at me, and it was the coolest wrestler interaction I've had since Arn Anderson yelled at me. Here, want to see how happy my face can get?

B's cheesin', Portia's all like "I AIN'T CARE"
Photo Credit: Anna Pineda
A few more quick observations so this doesn't turn into an essay:

- ACW Champion and fellow Cleveland Indians fan Davey Vega got the win over Jaykus Plisken (who is like the Pit Boss by a gigantic man) when Darin Childs interfered, and outside of me going OH OH GOD when Jaykus murdered poor little Jessica James with a backbreaker it was fun. Vega's cool because the things he does have weight, which is something missing from a lot of indy wrestlers. There's a big difference between stiffness and weight, I think. Sorta like the jump mechanics in a video game. Without weight, you don't know where the hell you're jumping.

- I got to shake Mat Fitchett's hand before he goes off to CHIKARA and become a thing, with the added bonus of telling him he's my girlfriend's favorite guy there.

- Matt Palmer and Lady Poison teamed up against Pierre Abernathy (who reminds me of a Raticate from Pokémon, although he's pretty goddamn funny and starting to win me over) and Athena. Palmer is always a favorite and if you don't like a woman with literal poison in her blood I don't know what to tell you. Athena's normally gorgeous diving top rope Stunner turned into a horrifying looking neckbreaker thing, and it wasn't a good night for seeing small female wrestlers walk away unscathed.

- Awesome Andy looks like somebody's not-great Create-A-Wrestler attempt at Low Ki. This was my first time seeing him in action, and he seemed pretty good. He was having some trouble with the ropes, though. Thankfully the Mohawk isn't a bar prone to chanting YOU FUCKED UP at everything, so that's a plus.

- On the same tip, another debuting Anarchist, Christian Rose, looks like a not-great Jon Moxley. Or the guy from Nip/Tuck. But HE turned out to be good, too, and it's nice when a guy from an indy scene I don't get to know about comes around. St. Louis is full of guys I need to learn more about.

- Bolt Brady's going to be a star somewhere, probably sooner rather than later.

- And... that's probably it. But I want to take every posted Internet opportunity I can to say thank you to Darin, Rachel, the lady at the merch table and pretty much everyone involved with ACW for giving me an awesome thing to do with some of my Sundays. I get to spend a good chunk of my Monday going through the Queen of Queens DVD. Good times.

The next show is at the Mohawk in Austin on the 18th of September, "The Evolution of the Revolution", and you should go. I'm not going to be there because I've got a Dodgers game to catch in L.A., but Darin Corbin and Mia Yim are already announced, so if you're anywhere in theoretical driving distance, make it.