There have been a number of times in recent years, dating back to 2011 when Jerry Palmer sold Anarchy to Franklin Dove, that I thought the best thing for wrestling at the old Mud Creek School Gym was to let it die or at least lie fallow for good while, before things got any uglier, before all the great memories were tarnished any further.
Last night was not one of those times.
Hope springs eternal at what is now known as the Landmark Arena, where Why We Wrestle drew a revved up crowd of 125, the largest crowd for a regular show since January 2015.
Rick Michaels has learned a thing or three about promoting from working with Shane Noles over the last six years.
The fact that Michaels, one of the founding fathers of pro wrestling at this historic venue, has returned to lend a heaping, helping hand is the second worst kept secret in Georgia wrestling (numero uno being the identity of the current owner).
The crowd energy is better, the locker room morale is way up, and cosmetic changes have b spiffed up the appearance. The building was actually warm. It was fun to be there and that hasn’t always been the case lately.
The running time was a compact 2 hours and 15 minutes.
The running time was a compact 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Dan Wilson’s deft booking clearly has the product moving in a positive direction. The stories are unfolding in ways that make fans care. While WWW doesn’t possess the deepest of rosters, the riff-raff has been weeded out and they have core members (Gunner Miller, Gladiator Jeremiah, Slim J, Billy Buck, Jacob Ashworth, Odinson) to build around.
(1)The Monarchy (Prince Apollo & Elijah Evans IV) defeated Stryknyn & Jacob Ashworth to retain the WWW Tag Team Championship in 9:07. Monarchy bailed out then attacked the babyfaces from behind as they played to the crowd. That always looks so dumb to me. Monarchy abused Ashworth until he made the tag. Strkynyn has added a nifty falcon arrow to his move set. He had Apollo in a Kimura but Evans broke it up. WWW Triple Crown Champion Gunner Miller came out of nowhere and clocked Ashworth with the title.
Stryknyn got distracted and Apollo rolled him up. Timing wasn’t the best so this also looked dumb. Everything in between the opening spot and the finish was fine.
As WWW personnel helped Ashworth to the back and held back an enraged Stryknyn, Delay called Miller out to answer for his actions. Miller gave Delay no respect and essentially called him a has been. Delay said Miller a disgrace to the men like AJ Styles that paved the way. No way Miller was going to punk him out because he was looking at him face-to-face. Miller pointed out (correctly) that Delay was looking at his chest. Delay challenged Miller to a match. Miller said Jeff G. Bailey did all his negotiating but since he was sick with a 103 degree fever – “Let’s see what you got, kid.”
The above flowed seamlessly as one continuous segment. Really nice way to open the show. Miller mic work was a pleasant surprise. He hit all the right notes with his dickish attitude.
(2) Dementia D’Rose defeated Aja Perrera to retain the WWW Women’s Championship in 11:38. Perrera was not intimidated by D’Rose’s fierce aggression. The crowd got into her as the underdog challenger. The champion took the majority of the match but the way D’Rose sold and bumped for Perrera’s offense majorly helped the match get over. D’Rose used the Earthquake Splash. She also took a german suplex from her much smaller opponent. Perrera sent D’Rose out of the ring with a handspring headscissors and knocked her down with a tope. Perrera with a plancha off the rail.
Back inside, D’Rose showed amazing agility for her size with a Gibson roll and a dropkick. D’Rose speared Perrera but she kicked out of the pin and did a cartwheel into a stunner for a close near fall. D’Rose ended it with a sick tree-of-woe variation of Damnesia. This was one of the better women’s matches I’ve seen in a building that is known for anything but women’s wrestling.
(3) Odinson defeated Billy Buck (with Kevin Blue & Chris Spectra) via DQ in 10:54. Huge chant for Odinson, who debuted a cool sequence of moves focusing on the neck. Outside interference gave Buck the opening he needed. Referee Dee Byers was wise to it and ejected Blue and Spectra from ringside. Buck was like a man possessed working on Odinson’s shoulder and elbow joint. Both down after a beautiful dropkick by the big man. Comeback time. Buck countered the F10 and went for the superkick. But Odinson blocked it and sent Buck into the rafter with the F10. Blue and Spectra attacked Odinson for the DQ. A close second for match of the night.
Odinson made his own save and was fixing to double DDT Blue and Spectra when Buck superkicked him. A beatdown by Team T.A.G ensued.
Intermission with WWW stars out for autographs.
(4) Team Approved (Bobby Moore & Adrian Hawkins) defeated Devil’s Rejects (Se7en & Brad Cash) in 9:53. Team Approved blindsided Cash and dumped him out of the ring. They squared off with Se7en. That did not end well for them. Se7en’s flying elbow drop was spectacular. Moore again nailed Cash from behind to set up the heat. The crowd chanted “Disapprove”. Combo moves and saves by both teams led to the finish. Hawkins picked up Cash’s barbed wire bat. Se7en cut him off. While referee Darryl Hall was busy dealing with that minor problem, Moore loaded his elbow pad and KOed Cash. Hawkins swooped in to make the pin. Se7en was no doubt the star of the match, which took on added importance by the end of the evening.
(5) Gladiator Jeremiah defeated Kevin Blue (with Chris Spectra) in 13:00. Blue attacked Jeremiah from behind with Spectra providing the necessary distraction. You would think the babyface would be on guard for being it was third time out of five matches. Jeremiah rallied furiously, unleashing an arsenal of signature moves. Spectra, however, repeatedly interjected himself in the match to hand Blue an unfair advantage. Jeremiah did his awesome inside out bump on Blue’s clothesline off the ropes. Jeremiah fought off Spectra’s interference to superplex Blue. Jeremiah kicked out of Blue’s Kryptonite Krunch. Blue kicked out of a Yoshi Tonic and Screwdriver on the Rocksm then referee Triston Michaels got in the way of a Jeremiah clothesline. Jeremiah had Blue tapping like mad. Spectra and Buck attacked Jeremiah. Odinson came out to help and battled up the ramp with Buck. Spectra hit a flying knee and revived Triston to make the count for a big pop when Jeremiah kicked out. Blue taunted Jeremiah with “What’s my name?” Jeremiah’s answer was a roundhouse kick to the mush and hangman’s neckbreaker for the 1-2-3. It’s always good stuff when these two lock up. Best match of the night.
Odinson joined Jeremiah in the ring. Jeremiah said he had been to war for a long time and always stood alone. The fans were all over it, breaking into a “tag team” chant before Jeremiah could ask if they wanted to see a team of gods. This could not have played out any better.
(6) Gunner Miller defeated Seth Delay to retain the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship in 7:49. The ring time Miller has amassed over the last year is definitely paying dividends. He exudes confidence and doesn’t rush. Delay has early success taking it to the champion. Miller’s snap powerslam sucked the wind out of Delay’s sails. Delay rallied with a double sledge off the ropes and the 10 punches of doom, but Miller exploded out of the corner with a decapitation clothesline. Best spot of the match saw Delay reverse Miller’s stalling suplex into a DDT for a near fall. Delay evaded the CTE and got another two count with a missile dropkick to Miller’s back. Delay kicked Miller in the nuts (as he had promised to do in the promo segment). Enough was enough. Miller planted Delay with a Rockbottom and blasted him with the CTE. Nothing at all wrong with the work. As much as the fans loves Delay, they knew he wasn’t winning so the crowd reactions were muted for a main event.
Miller said he was going to make sure this was Delay’s last match. He was about to piledrive Delay on a steel chair when Ashworth appeared on the ramp. They were nose-to-nose until security intervened. Ashworth picked up Miller’s title. Miller said the title was something he earned and something Ashworth was never going to get. Miller said Bailey had negotiated an obstacle in Ashworth’s path for February 11 – a match against Iceberg.
Matchmaker Only said it was only fitting that Miller have an equally tough night on February 11 – a date with “The Deadly Sin” Se7en.