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USA Independant Wrestling

New England Championship Wrestling

NECW Somerville, MA 8/9/02

There was about a six-week stretch between the last show and this one. NECW probably got a nice buzz going from the last one thanks to Doug Williams, Sumie Sakai, Jodie Fleisch and Johnny Storm. That got people to read the reports and see the show and hopefully this will increase the visibility of not just NECW but New England as a whole.

Match One: Slyk Wagner Brown & April Hunter v. One Night Stand (Edward G. Ecstasy and Ronnie D. Lishus)
This was the first semi-final match in a tournament to declare tag team champions. This was also a great choice for an opener because both teams are very popular and got the crowd hot right to start. (ONS, despite being heels, usually get more cheers than boos until the match starts and sometimes throughout the match.) Slyk and April have a bit where April holds open the ropes for Slyk by lying on the second so the mimic the missionary position when Slyk enters. Maybe Slyk holds the ropes and April enters, I’m not sure at this point.

Wagner played the face in peril and ONS cheated and double-teamed him relentlessly, getting the crowd to boo them in the process. The finish came when Slyk and Ecstasy tumbled to the floor while ONS were double-teaming Slyk. April came in to confront Lishus, who grabbed her and lifted her in a Gorilla Press. Slyk got back in the ring and clipped Lishus’s leg and followed it up with a quebrada for the pin.

This was a bit of an upset as I think most were expecting ONS to face the Egomaniacs in the finals. ONS then grabbed the mics and gave a profanity-laden promo claiming they got screwed. The mic got cut and they were thrown out of the building. They went back to the locker room and then left with their bags.

Match Two: Aaron Morrison v. Paul Tyrell
Paul Tyrell is NECW’s latest British import. For those who picked up the UWA tapes from the mid-nineties, you might remember Paul Tyrell as one half of 2 Far Gone. Before the match started, Ecstasy ran back in and grabbed the mic. He said that he had a big birthday surprise for NECW but he wasn’t going to say what it was and it would be revealed later tonight.

Tyrell started the match by controlling with some nice looking UK-style submissions, focusing mainly on Morrison’s arm. Morrison couldn’t outwrestle Tyrell so he turned to power moves and strikes. Tyrell did a good job of keeping the crowd into the match, at least during his hope spots. At one point Morrison spat on Jason Knight who was ringside doing radio commentary. This came in to play at the end of the match. The ref was holding Tyrell back from Morrison in the corner. Knight came into the ring and hit Morrison with an enzugiri. Tyrell then followed it up with an impressive ropewalk leg drop for the pin.

I could go for seeing some more Tyrell. He’s not Doug Williams, but he’s still good and seems able to inject an All-In style into a US match.

Match Three: Egomaniacs (Johnny Idol & Mike Steel) v. All Knighters (Joey Knight & Arizona)
Arizona was subbing in for Robin Knightwing who I believe was in the UK. I’ll refer to Joey Knight as Joey, to avoid confusion with Jason Knight.

The Egomaniacs attacked the All Knighters from behind to start, but the All Knighters quickly regained control and they had a bit of an all-out brawl in the ring to start. This ended when the Egomaniacs’ manager, Scott Dickinson, shoved Joey off the ropes and to the outside. The Egomaniacs then dumped Arizona and rolled Joey in to start the match. They focused on Joey’s leg and, instead of some of their double-team spots, used a lot of moves they don’t normally use in tag matches. Joey made the hot tag, but it didn’t matter as they got the win after a suplex/powerbomb double-team.

Melissa Coates came out for a promo. The ring announcer asked her why she was here in NECW. She said she was there to bring pain. The ring announcer asked her what she meant by bring pain. She said she was there to bring pain. This happened two or three more times. I think that her way of bringing pain was by delivering promos like these.

Match Four: Mercedes Martinez v. Phoenix
If you’ve read my reports before, then you know that I am very high on Martinez. I am also incredibly happy that NECW has decided to bring in new opponents for her. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Phoenix so I was looking forward to this match. Just before it got started, L. Spencer Greenwood, Esq., who does a heel attorney gimmick game down to the ring. He informed Martinez that the Japanese lost respect for her when she lost the North American Women’s Belt to Sumie Sakai at the last show and because of this, Scott Dickinson was able to purchase her Japanese contracts, making him her manager.

They had some really good chain wrestling to start and both sold the moves as painful rather than just shift from hold to hold. They built up from there with both exchanging some vicious slaps along the way. Phoenix, being the heel, was on offence most of the match. After Phoenix missed an elbow-drop, Martinez got her with a nice spinebuster and followed it up with a figure four. During the figure four, Scott Dickinson grabbed her hands despite her objections.

There were lots of near falls near the end including Phoenix reversing Martinez’s backdrop driver, one of her finishers, into a neckbreaker. Phoenix had Martinez in an abdominal stretch when Scott Dickinson came into the ring and hit Phoenix, causing the ref to DQ Martinez and give Phoenix the win.

The work in the match was really crisp and smooth throughout and the only one noticeable rough spot appeared to have been when Dickinson was supposed to pull the ref out to break a three-count but was out of position. Mind you, I wonder what the point of Dickinson being there was. The crowd was hot before the match as it always is for Martinez but the angle killed that since nobody knew whom to root for. Martinez was the face, but she was being managed by Dickinson and people didn’t want to cheer for her because of it. Meanwhile, Phoenix is a new person who has a whole lot of charisma who never did anything overtly heelish and was the victim of Dickinson’s cheating so people didn’t want to boo her. The ending did the two a huge disfavour as they were building up to something nice and that wasn’t it. I’d almost rather see Martinez fight nobody but Trinity again if her matches don’t suffer from booking like this. To be fair, NECW is starting a program here and I’m sure that they know where they are going. I just hope that when they get there that these two can have a rematch without the bullshit.

Match Five: Antonio Thomas v. Maverick Wild
Thomas is a young kid with a great look. He has a great, natural looking physique and a good deal of charisma. Wild is continuing his insane, sadistic heel persona and had new tights with a demon head on them

This was a fantastic match as Wild has the ability to get a lot out of limited opponents and make them look great. I don’t say this to take anything away from Thomas’s ability but he is inexperienced. Wild worked the leg like mad, hitting it with knee drops, kicks and all kinds of submissions. There was one great heel spot where he did the wishbone by dropping his legs on each of Thomas’s knees. When Thomas sat up in pain, Wild kicked him the chest back down. The end came when Wild got Thomas in a Texas cloverleaf. Thomas made it to the ropes, but Wild refused to let go and was disqualified. I could watch this match all night long.

Intermission

After the intermission they presented Sheldon Goldberg with a plaque commemorating NECW’s second anniversary. Goldberg gave a speech putting over the fans and the wrestlers as well as the future of NECW.

Match Six: Justin Powers v. Alex Arion (c) for the NECW Heavyweight Title
Powers came out with Greenwood who informed the crowd of legal actions that Powers has taken. The first played off of Powers’s comments from the last show about April Hunter calling him non-stop (and the subsequent attack on Powers by Hunter), as Powers has taken a restraining order out on Hunter. The second was that Powers brought an unsafe workplace complaint against NECW since Powers had to face Doug Williams who lacked a Massachusetts wrestling license (well, everyone does since no such thing exists, but shhh). The settlement was for a title shot.

Arion came out and went for Powers before getting a chance to remove his belt. (Let me say that I love how NECW champions wear their belts rather than just hold them. It makes the belt seem like less when a guy just dumps it to the side.) They brawled around ringside for a while with Arion firmly in control. Back in the ring, Arion continued to dominate but was caught trying to leapfrog Powers in the corner. Powers dumped him to the floor and returned the earlier favour before returning to the ring in control and keeping control by cheating. Powers hit five locomotion Northern Lights suplexes on Arion but because he was too dizzy to make the pin quickly he only got a two count. He sold disbelief at this and then set up Arion for a super-plex. Arion blocked the attempt and sent him to the mat, hitting him with a splash to retain.

This was a great match made all the better by the great crowd. The crowd was really into hating Powers and really into cheering Arion. ROH’s tagline of Arion being the most popular wrestler in New England might be true, at least in NECW. While the crowd may have popped louder at points during the Arion/Bob Evans title change, I think that the crowd was louder throughout in this match. A good crowd that isn’t afraid to boo the heel and cheer the face makes anything better.

After the match, Wild ran down and attacked Arion with Greenwood’s briefcase. Wild and Powers stomped Arion until Slyk Wagner Brown made the save.

Match Seven: Mark Briscoe v. Jay Briscoe
What’s really amazing is how the crowd went from a regular US wrestling crowd in the last match, to an ROH-style “pop when they pause after big spots” crowd. This was, in fact, billed as an ROH match under ROH rules. The only visible difference was that they shook hands before they started wrestling.

The match was a Briscoe brothers match. They had a big long stalemate sequence to start with a lot of submission reversals. They paused, got a pop, and then started the match proper. I was happy to see them go, at least a little bit, with the usual structure of the heel, Jay, controlling most of the match with the face, Mark, getting hope spots. Of course, for the crowds that they normally are in front of, it doesn’t much matter. However, the crowd here still showed its traditional tendencies by popping louder for Mark’s offense than it did for Jay’s. Jay was working Mark’s knee and Mark got a hope spot where he hit mark with a flying knee against the ropes and Mark went over. I liked that as a cut off for a hope spot, a desperation move taking too much. They had a lot of nearfalls at the end. Mark went up for a splash or something but Jay got up and kicked him in the knee and followed up with a muscle buster for two. He then hit some vicious lariats for two. He whipped Mark off the ropes but Mark got him in a rolling reverse cradle. They did a double pin here with Mark bridging back onto his shoulders and the match was a draw.

After the match, Jay offered a handshake, but Mark spit at him. The crowd treated this as a double-turn. Jay then grabbed the mic and said they’d have a rematch at the ROH show.

I was prepared for this to be one of the mat-based spotfests I’ve seen from these two in the past. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t and definitely enjoyed the match. I did find it odd that the same crowd who popped like mad for Arion kicking out at two was dead for a rope break from Mark but applauded Jay’s kicks.

Match Eight: Slyk/Hunter v. Egomaniacs
The first announcement made was that Scott Dickinson was barred from ringside. The second announcement was the revelation of Ecstasy’s surprise: ONS had stolen the belts on their way out. However, this was still for the championship, even if the belts weren’t there. Justin Powers then came down to enforce the restraining order against April by sitting at ringside.

The Egomaniacs returned to their normal quick tags and double teams that I never tire of seeing and Slyk once again played the face in peril for his team. The finish came when Slyk hit his finisher but Powers jumped on the apron. He held up a thong and shouted, “look what she gave me.” Brown got enraged and chased Powers to the back, allowing the Egomaniacs to get their suplex/power bomb on Hunter to win the belts.

Putting the belts on the Egomaniacs makes sense since they were the unofficial champs for so long, although they have an outstanding loss against ONS. Unfortunately, this ending felt like a foregone conclusion once ONS were eliminated. Putting the belts on the Egomaniacs also makes sense because I hear they’re the best tag team in New England, bar none.

Overall:
Despite some questionable booking (and, once again, this is going somewhere, I’m sure) this was a really good show. The only place where it hurt the crowd reaction was the women’s match and possibly the Tyrell/Morrison match but that’s a tough call since Tyrell was a newcomer. Even in the women’s match, if you’re able to separate it from the angle and ignore the finish, it was a good match. It felt heavy to me, but if it’s working and going somewhere, I can’t objectively complain. As long as NECW continues to deliver quality wrestling, I won’t.

Previous NECW Reports

6/24 NECW: The Brothers Springate (Zaquary & Kid Trance) v. The Egomaniacs (Johnny Idol & Mike Steel); Justin Powers v. Doug Williams; The Taylor Brothers (Mark & Tarzan) v. The All Knighters (Robin Knightwing & Joey Knight); Bob Evans & Antonio Thomas v. Slyk Wagner Brown & April HunterSumie Sakai v. Mercedes Martinez (c) for the North American Women’s Championship; One Night Stand (Ronnie D. Lishus & Edward G. Extasy) v. Brian Jury and Kevin Grace; Maverick Wild v. Alex Arion (c) for the NECW Heavyweight title; Johnny Storm v. Jodie Fleisch;