Monday, October 22, 2012

Guest Review: ACW Beyond Good and Evil '12 by Brandon Stroud

ACH giving Matthew Palmer the what-for
Photo Credit: Brandon Stroud
Brandon Stroud is a cool guy who is lending his immense writing talents to give me (and by proxy YOU MY READERS) live reviews of the best independent wrestling promotion that exists south and west of the Northeastern United States and east of the Pacific Coast, Anarchy Championship Wrestling. Please read this review, click on the pertinent hyperlinks below referring to B's work and then also buy ACW shows because they're great. Here we go!

As the most visible Internet Guy who always goes to the shows (thanks for moving to Japan, Leslie!), I was supposed to start sending Anarchy Championship Wrestling show reports and results to The Wrestling Blog back in August. I ended up missing two straight shows -- the August show for SummerSlam, the September show for Chikara's King Of Trios -- but last night's Beyond Good And Evil Halloween show at the Mohawk in downtown Austin was my return to form, and as such, here's what happened.

If you read my stuff at With Leather (i.e. the weekly Best And Worst Of WWE Raw column or the 85 other posts a week I do about Not Hockey), you'll know that I tend to be really verbose, and write three-to-forty paragraphs about whatever crosses my mind. Because this is not my website, I'll try to keep it brief, and just hit you up with some results, and a few sentences (okay, a paragraph) about what I thought. I apologize in advance to anyone from ACW who reads this and doesn't like it. I'll be at the next show, so just throw somebody into my chair during the pre-show and make me squat for five hours.

- Miss Maulie defeated Drew Lucid. This would've been a lot better if Maulie had been rocking the Molotov Cocktease Venture Brothers costume she wore later in the night. (ED. NOTE: Miss Maulie is now probably my favorite person in the world for the moment at least -- TH) You've got to love ACW for opening the show with a lady squashing a guy. Drew Lucid is probably (probably) the worst professional wrestler I've ever seen in my life. This is his best performance ever, in that it was like three minutes long and only gave me severe secondhand embarrassment instead of making me want to wander into the bathroom and stand there pretending to pee until it was over. He switched out his normal gear (white trunks that look like he's wearing a shitty diaper, not a joke) for a shirt that says "I'M BRINGING RETARTED BACK". Yes, he spelled "retarded" like that.

- Young Guns U-30 Title Match: Carson (c) defeated Ricky Starks. You may remember Ricky Starks as one of the guys Jinder Mahal beat in a handicap match on Smackdown to prove he could hang with Ryback. He came to the ring in a Brazzers shirt, which gave the match a pretty weird undercurrent. Like, you can't put a guy in a front facelock and start humping the back of his head when 5 minutes earlier he'd confirmed how much he likes watching porn stars get slapped in the face.

- Anarchy Televised Title Match: Shawn Vexx defeated Davey Vega (c) to become the new champion. Davey Vega is the truth. Now that ACH has become a popular thing for independent promotions to do, Davey Vega needs to be the next nationally popular guy. Vexx got the win when Athena (seconding Vega) accidentally hit Davey with the title belt. Not what I wanted to see. At one point Vexx started yelling about "faggots," which is still the worst thing about any non-televised, non-Chikara wrestling promotion, and he didn't once stop to think that he was the only one in the building wearing plastic Thundercats shorts with no cup.

- Tag Team Championship Match: Jojo Bravo and Angel Blue (c) defeated Ricky Romida and  Jack Jameson; Killah Kash and Jeff Gant; and Darren Shires and Lil' Tony. This match started the onslaught of amazing Halloween costumes on the night. Ricky Romida and Jack Jameson wrestled as Samoa Joe and Bryan Danielson (Jack Jameson even corrected the ring announcer, announcing that he would now be known as "James Jack"), Darren Shires pretended to be Mr. Perfect even though he's way more like Jack Swagger and my girlfriend's favorite wrestler LIL' TONY dressed as Tommy Dreamer. Jojo dressed as JOJOZUNA and won the match with an absolutely beautiful looking tiny-man Banzai Drop that should absolutely become a part of his regular match arsenal. Jojo's manager Chris Trew Dot Biz debuted new ACW tag straps and ushered in former Joshi champion Angel Blue (dressed as a devil, because jokes) as Jojo's new partner, replacing Jordan Jensen, who has been banned from the company because of BACKSTAGE BULLSHIT NOBODY CARES ABOUT.

- Cowboy James Claxton defeated Pierre Abernathy, Evan Gelistico, Athena, Bolt Brady and JC Bravo in a scramble match. Again with the costumes. Athena dressed as "Centerfold" Matthew Palmer (and did his intro taunts, which was amazing) and JC Bravo did a Gangnam Style dance entrance and dressed as Heihachi from Tekken, but COSTUME OF THE NIGHT awards went to Mr. Bolt Brady for dressing as the goddamn Freakazoid. A "Kids WB" chant happened. Claxton won the match, last eliminating Bolt, then cut another in a string of terrible, terrible, terrible work-shoot promos about how some wrestlers are real and some aren't, culminating in a challenge to Jerry Lynn.

- Robert Evans defeated JT Lamotta, I think. I don't remember this match. Robert Evans is the biggest heel in the world, but everyone continues to cheer him because they know who he is and he comes out to Journey. Up on the balcony you could see Portia Perez and Pierre Abernathy doing commentary on the match, so the juxtaposition of my two favorite ACW wrestlers against my two least favorite was pretty hard to overcome. JT Lamotta's Halloween costume was Ric Flair, which was made way better by the fact that he was wearing Angel Blue's old Ric Flair robe.

- Dog Collar Match: The Dream Warriors (Darin Childs and Khris Wolfe) defeated The Lost Boys (Sky de Lacrimosa and Jason Silver). This was a bloody, brutal match that featured a lot of cool stuff (Jason Silver getting for-real thrown off the balcony and hung by his neck with the chain, for example) bookended by some weird violence-against-women stuff that looks bad for ACW. Machiko came out dressed as Jason Vorhees to do the costume contest, but she got jumped by the Lost Boys, who trapped her to the ground and poured "blood" on her. So Darin Childs makes the save, then HE starts pushing Machiko around and shoves her into a corner. She sits there the entire match, and when Darin wins, everyone else but them leaves, and he drags her to the middle of the ring, threatens to stab her in the heart with a Freddy glove and talks about a lot of backstage interoffice romance and breakup stuff that is probably really important, but isn't necessarily important to our wrestling show or a good reason to slap a lady around. It's all part of the show, but it's one of those "parts of the show" that I'd rather forget about in favor of good wrestling and/or people dressed like Freakazoid. Khris Wolfe wrapping a chain around his elbow and going all Danielson/Morishima on Sky de Lacrimosa was pretty boss, though.

- ACH and "Centerfold" Matthew Palmer fought to a no-contest. Twice! Pretty Obvious Match Of The Night honors to go these guys, who followed up their outstanding first match that didn't have a clean finish with a rematch that had TWO unclean finishes. The first one involved a German suplex with both wrestlers' shoulders being down at the same time. Mohawk did NOT like that, and I don't think i've heard a more furious RESTART THE MATCH vibe/chant in my life. ANGER!~. The match was restarted, then ended abruptly several minutes later when ACH jumped to the top rope, jumped to the outside (bringing Palmer with him) and into a pyramid of piled up chairs. Any negativity the crowd had about the match STILL not ending with one guy beating the other was erased when Palmer announced the third (and assumedly final) match between the two at January's Guilty By Association. That's going to be boss. If you are in the same country as Texas, come to that show.

Photo Credit: Becca Bayer
- Costume Contest. I don't like to brag on the Internet, but I'm good at Halloween. I'm also good at in-ring wrestling-related costume and impression contests, and followed-up my 2012 WWE Axxess-winning John Laurinaitis impression by dressing as Chris Trew and going 2-for-2 in competition. My prize was a dozen cupcakes (which I couldn't eat, so I handed them out to friends) (and Barbi Hayden), a cupcake gift card that I hopefully CAN use, and two front row tickets to the next show. Yeahhh! If you need a side-by-side comparison of Chris Trew and my interpretation of him, here's this:

- Gary Jay defeated Jerry Lynn. Jerry Lynn's Halloween costume was Randy The Ram from The Wrestler, which was (as someone on my Twitter responded) the same costume he wore when he won the ROH title. Jay got the pin to further the beef between Lynn and Evan Gelistico, but the major thing we should take away here is that "Metal Health" is an awesome song and should be used as someone's actual entrance theme. ACW does that to me all the time. They use a great song as somebody's entrance theme once and then I miss it forever. I'm still waiting for Palmer to come out to "Take Me Home Tonight" again like he did at the prom.

- American Joshi Championship Match: Barbi Hayden (c) and Portia Perez wrestled to a no-contest. This was one of the best matches of the night, and not just because of how much Austin loves Portia Perez. Barbi's improved so much since she showed up it's hard to explain. She also dressed as a cat, which is the A-1 worst possible Halloween costume for an attractive female. At least be a mouse. This was great until Robert Evans showed up to ruin his 77th consecutive Portia Perez match, Portia dogged the shit out of him and they fought to the back. Rachel came out to instruct Portia on the ass-beating and check on Barbi, which led directly to the next match:

Rachel Summerlyn, looking fine as all get out
Photo Credit: Markita Shannel Harris
- Jessica James defeated Rachel Summerlyn. Rachel's 1950s pin-up haircut is the best thing in the entire world and needs to stay that way forever. This was more about story than action, as Rachel's quest to either figure out what the hell is going on with Jessica or beat her to death continues. Jessica randomly broke out the Lady Poison kiss near the end and got the victory in a match that seemed way too short. Because there isn't a lot to talk about, I'll share this picture of Rachel dressed up at the show, because JESUS.

- ACW Championship Match: Jaykus Plisken (c) defeated Showtime Scot Summers. OH AND SPEAKING OF WORKED SHOOTS, the Jaykus Plisken match started off with an excruciatingly long rant about how he and Summers are REAL wrestlers as opposed to everyone else on the show, and how he'd been in WWE and TNA and ROH (in 1999, which is super funny to me) but fuck those guys because they are all fake wrestlers and THIS SHIT IS REAL. They had a match where they hit each other as hard as they could, and Plisken got the win when Summers ran headfirst into a chair and got choked out. I will probably be happier when a fake wrestler is wearing that belt. The highlights of this were 1) the aforementioned Molotov Cocktease costume, 2) a drunk guy who has apparently never been to a wrestling show trying to get a barely conscious Scot Summers to fight him, which is sorta like sticking your dick in a bear cage.

All in all, it was another great show. I've been missing ACW for a while and had gotten kinda down on it in my head (King Of Trios 2012 Night 3 will do that to anybody), but Beyond Good And Evil was a great reminder of how uniquely fun an ACW show is, how important these guys are to my wrestling ecosystem, and how important it is to share cupcakes with people when you win them. I'm looking forward to the next show (Fun Fun Fun Fest!), and then every show after that one.