Monday, November 12, 2012

Guest Review: ACW's Lone Star Classic

Poor ACH, he doesn't know what's about to hit him
Photo Credit: Brandon Stroud
Brandon Stroud, when he's not going to vegetarian chili cook offs or judging air-sex competitions, writes about sports and RAW for With Leather and about the Internet for Progressive Boink. He is also more than gracious enough to take time out of his schedule to write about Anarchy Championship Wrestling for TWB when he can. Last night, he attended the Lone Star Classic Tournament, and here's what he had to write about the whole thing:

It looks like I'm officially Tom Holzerman's Anarchy Championship Wrestling sideline reporter (thanks for not fielding my application, Dirty Dirty Sheets) so I'll skip the perfunctory opening paragraph and get right to the results and show thoughts. Oh, before I start I will mention that I spent the Sunday afternoon before the show at our 24th Annual Veggie Chili Cook-Off and note that Austin is the best place ever to eat tempeh and watch pro graps and you should be here.

Anyway, the 2012 Lone Star Classic. Predictably, I was there!

- Thomas Shire defeated Lil' Tony in a quick, unannounced thing. Shire called out Destiny's favorite ACW wrestler, Lil' Tony, and the two brawled for a minute or so before Shire put him away with a fisherman suplex and counted the pin himself. Shire is deceptively good. Keep in mind that he's the only guy on the ACW roster who has ever toured All Japan and wrestled Kojima. So OF COURSE he could beat Lil' Tony. (p.s. we love you, Lil' Tony)

- Jack Jameson/Ricky Romida defeated Ricky Starks/Kyle Hawk, Sky de Lacrimosa/Killa Kash and JC Bravo/Stan Summers. I missed Kyle Hawk during one of the August/September shows, but if you've never seen him, he is Cruiserweight Tatanka. That's ... almost as great as you're imagining. Jameson and Romida got the win in a pretty by-the-numbers ACW pre-show scramble tag elimination thing, with two important notes: 1) Jack Jameson entered to Kenta Kobashi's theme, which, especially after dressing as Bryan Danielson at last month's Halloween show and entering to 'The Final Countdown,' is the most amazingly fun/presumptuous thing ever. 2) At one point near the end the action spilled to the outside, and in ACW it's a pretty common sight to see entire sections of fans just hop up and scurry away to avoid chair death. Ricky was about to toss Sky (I think it was Sky) into our seats, but stopped, picked up Destiny's leftovers from dinner, handed them to her politely and then did his thing. Big Ricky is our new gentleman hero.

- Gary Jay defeated Pierre Abernathy. Roughly six minutes of wrestling bliss. The Submission Squad guys obviously know each other really well and could work a good match with one another with their eyes closed (shut up, Chikara fans, that was three years ago) (EDITOR'S NOTE: I agree with this, shut up or else I will beat you, SO HELP ME GOD I WILL BEAT YOU), but when Pierre's in there with Gary it just goes to another level. Pierre transforms any ACW match he's in into this weird, heightened reality thing where comedy and violence are same, and where he can throw the worst imaginable punch at Gary and have us laugh about how awesome it is instead of booing. Gary's an abrasive, violent guy, but he hits the perfect note when he's wrestling Pierre, where he'll go for a shitty moonsault on purpose but still kinda look like he wants to cave in Big Daddy's head. I don't know. It just works. Gary got the win with a roll-up (with the tights I'm assuming, I wasn't at the right angle to see) and Pierre continues his totally unnecessary losing-almost-always streak.

- Lone Star Classic first round match: ACH defeated Jojo Bravo and Barrett Brown. HOLY SHIT, this match. If you want to be good at namedropping independent wrestlers who aren't just Kevin Steen, learn who these three guys are and namedrop them to every wrestling fan you know. ACH is already blowing up everywhere now, but the other two guys are outstanding. Jojo's a tiny guy with monstrously large offense who makes sword noises when he does his Samurai Driver taunt and has a seated senton from the top where he starts jumping up and down on you when you land. It's rad. Barrett Brown came out of nowhere (Houston) to be a guy everybody in the building loves, as he's like a proto Low Ki without all the backstage jerky stuff and angry faces. He is absolutely going places. This match was the best of the night and the best I've seen at the Mohawk in a while. At one point ACH did a dive through the ropes and flew headfirst into the side of a staircase. Top shelf. Treat these three as nicely as you can, ACW. My only complaint is that Jojo used his Godzilla dubstep entrance theme instead of that FOCUS UP rap song they used at Fun Fun Fun Fest.

- Lone Star Classic first round match: Jerry Lynn defeated Cowboy James Claxton and Bolt Brady. Everybody was wondering why Jerry Lynn was wrestling in a shirt, but we figured it out pretty quickly when this match went by a little faster than you'd expect and Jerry revealed he'd F'd up his back. More on that later.

- Lone Star Classic first round match: Evan Gelistico defeated Khris Wolfe and Angel Blue. Khris Wolfe singles matches (or at least wrestling with fewer than four opponents) are a thing that need to happen more often. Special note: I have to give Angel Blue a lot of credit for last night. She was funny at ringside during the Jojo Bravo match -- she told me she hated my face and that I looked like a "grizzly bear on crack" instead of the normal, ridiculously offensive slurs she normally calls me -- and she played an epic chickenshit here, dodging every bit of offense she could, then running back in to add stomps when Gelistico had Wolfe grounded. That all built up to the moment when she stops paying attention and Wolfe lays her the fuck out with an elbow, and she gets carried away by her The Business stablemates. It was ... it was really good, I'm not going to front. When she was heckling me, she told me I was starting to like her. Ugh, she's totally right.

- Lone Star Classic first round match: Darin Childs defeated Jaykus Plisken (c) and "Showtime" Scot Summers to become the new ACW Heavyweight Champion. That's one of the most interesting things about the Lone Star Classic ... in ACW, if you're the champion and you're wrestling by yourself in a match, the belt is on the line. That means that if you're in a one night tournament, your belt is on the line in every match you have, and you've got to win them all to keep it. That's nearly impossible. Jaykus got eliminated first, and Summers got rolled up and pinned after he got slapped by Machiko and decided to brain buster her to death. Let's never let Jaykus Plisken be the champion of something again, okay everybody?

- Hardcore Title Match: Matthew Palmer (c) defeated Jason Silver. Silver getting a hardcore title shot explains why Other Lost Boy Sky de Lacrimosa was teaming with Kash in that pre-show tag. Silver's a great opponent for Palmer, because their styles are similar, and they're both really into jumping off of things and hurting themselves. Silver pulled off a ridiculous senton over the top to the floor early on, and things went back and forth until a TV set (!) got involved. Palmer picked up the win with a well-placed Snapmare Driver. I'll say it in every report I write here, but it's Super Dumb that promotions around the country aren't sending Palmer "hey, come work for us" e-mails on the reg. Get on this, Beyond.

- American Joshi Title Match: Barbi Hayden (c) defeated Rachel Summerlyn and Jessica James. The issues between Rachel and Jessica continue (and continued after the match, with Rachel accidentally bumping Jessica in the face with a chair and getting it kicked into hers), but the real story here is that Barbi Hayden is suddenly an ace. Seriously, she gets better every time you see her. Here, she took out both women at the same time, and not only did she pin them, she pinned them by LYING ACROSS THEM AND POSING. It was the most baller thing ever. We tried to get a FEED ME MORE chant going, but her music was too loud. Barbi should keep Rybacking folks, I'm totally on board with it. Just Meathook them and pose on them like an asshole. Love it.

- Lone Star Classic round two match: Rachel Summerlyn defeated ACH. Remember when I said Jerry Lynn got hurt? His replacement was Rachel. The match was built like a lot of Rachel's matches against top-tier ACW guys ... some early sportsmanship, followed by them either underestimating her or not wanting to fight her, then her goading them into beating the shit out of her and them DOING it until she goes Beast Mode and gives it right back. Beast Mode Rachel is something you have to be there live to appreciate. She gets hit with a thousand stiff elbow strikes and gets put down with authority, then just bridges out of a pin and starts SCREAMING and MURDERING DUDES and it DOESN'T STOP. The picture at the top of this report is of Rach in Beast Mode. She got the win when she got up her knees to block ACH's frog splash and rolled him over in a cradle for the three. These two are everything good about Texas wrestling, but you know that already. Additional note: Rachel's hair is now Extra Blonde, and she deserves high fives for it.

- Lone Star Classic round two match: Evan Gelistico defeated Darin Childs (c) to become the new ACW Heavyweight Champion. Remember what I said about how hard it is to keep your belt in a one-night tournament? I remember two major things about this match: 1) Evan Gelistico wearing the world's most unflattering ring shorts, and 2) Gelistico giving Machiko a straight-up gruesome tombstone piledriver when she tried to interfere. Machiko should really invest in a football helmet.

- Athena defeated Davey Vega, Shawn Vexx and Carson to earn a shot at the ACW Heavyweight Championship. Vexx's ACW Televised Title wasn't on the line, and unlike most of ACW's multi-person matches, this was one fall to a finish. The highlight of the match was Athena getting HARDCORE~, wrapping herself in chains, using a staple gun on people and hitting Vega in the face (by accident) with a barbed wire bat. Athena got the pin on Vega to pick up the win and earn a future shot at the ACW title, a win that Vexx stood by and allowed to happen. That furthers the Vexx/Vega/Athena issues, and I'm interested to see where it all goes. Also, scoring update: Barbi Hayden > Ken Carson

Anarchy's Ace, with Anarchy's prize
Photo Credit: Brandon Stroud
- Lone Star Classic finals: Rachel Summerlyn defeated Evan Gelistico (c) to become the new ACW Heavyweight Champion. Portia did it first. The end.

I'm kidding. For the second year in a row we got three title changes in the Lone Star Classic, and just like last year's ACH victory, this year's Rachel win is wonderful. This one featured ladders, trash can shots, Brandon getting splashed with trash can residue (blargh), Gelstico trying to choke Rachel out with the ladder, balcony fights and ultimately a Gory Bomb onto the same broken TV from the hardcore title match. She's really earned it, and I couldn't be happier for her. Now we've got a Rachel vs. Athena ACW title match happening in the future, as well as a shit-ton of gravity added to the Rachel/Darin match at Guilty By Association in January.

I've gotten into a vibe where I meet somebody new at every ACW show, so if you read this and are anywhere near Texas, a car or an airplane, get to Austin and support this promotion. Even Angel Blue.