Monday, July 10, 2017

Freedom Pro Wrestling Report from Nashville on July 1

From Scott Hensley:

Better late than never right? I didn't take notes but wanted to give some thoughts on the last Fairgrounds show presented by Freedom Pro Wrestling. I'm sure there will be some mistakes so please correct me if I get something wrong. There was really something for everyone and despite a few technical difficulties - it really was an overall good event with quality talent, good matches, good visual production, good referees (Max, Adam, and Doug Markham!), and an insanely awesome crowd that I'd estimate around 700.

We got there at the advertised belltime and it was packed. We missed most of the first match, which was a 6 man tag between the Inner City Bad Boys and the Dirt Sheet Posse. I'm not sure which team was which but one of them was 3 guys in khaki pants and lucha masks with the La Marka guy. They did some fun spots and I'm pretty sure they went over. This review is off to a good start filled with exciting details, right?

1) "The Freak" Rhett Giddins d. Nick Nero

Nero didn't have a chance here. I'm a huge Giddins fan and I was really excited to see him here. He's a super athletic guy who is on top of most cards in Florida but is more than ready to branch out and start traveling. I believe he got a WWE tryout recently, as well. He murdered Nero in a quick and fun squash. I really hope they keep bringing him back if he stays available.

2) Logan Leroux d. Kevin Ku

Leroux looked pretty good here. He was obnoxious and that got the crowd behind Ku, who looked really good here as well. They had a really hard fought match and the crowd was super into it - which would be a theme throughout the night because everything in the ring was either athletic or entertaining. The crowd appreciated these guys. Leroux won with a neckbreaker.

Northern Agression (CJ O'Doyle, Teddy Fine, Greg Spitz, and Aramis) came to the ring and said Tommy Rich was too scared to face them, Vince Russo refused to come due to disrespect from Southern people, and they didn't care who LT Falk and Tracy Smothers get - they'd be on the losing end tonight in the main event.

Aramis had a match up next with Buff Bagwell and the referee wisely banned the rest of them from ringside.

3) Aramis d. Buff Bagwell

Bagwell is allegedly on a retirement tour. He still looks good physique-wise and got a great reaction here. They definitely worked a match around his physical limitations. Aramis was the Sports and Bagwell was the Entertainment and it worked. Bagwell introduced a young lady before the match that won a contest to sit at ringside and watch. Bagwell hit his finisher, which is like a DDT that he doesn't fall down on... and the contest winner rang the bell. Bagwell became distracted and he tried to explain to her that he still had to pin his opponent. Too late. Aramis clocked Buff with a chain as the referee was also distracted by the lady. Aramis with the pin. He then acted like he was going grab the lady...but he hugs her and kisses her instead. Really entertaining finish. Buff was hurting pretty bad after the match but the crowd once again showed him a lot of love.

4) Stevie Richards d. Johnny Swinger

Richards is the Freedom Pro National champion and if you haven't seen him in a while, he's still in phenomenal shape, if not even better than his ECW days. He was rocking some Red White and Blue boxing shorts here. Very patriotic. Swinger also still looks great and had a beard that made him look like Sandow & The Drifter's brother. They worked hard. Swinger heeled it up. Richards finished him off with a super kick. Everything it needed to be. Credible guys with credible work entertaining the crowd.

Erik C Jones came to the ring and they played Brian Christopher's music but Brian didn't come out. This was bizarre and awkward. Intermission followed.

5) Crazzy Steve d. "Golden Boy" D3

Steve has the "it" factor. His dark character is loved by the Nashville crowd and he doesn't give them any reasons not to. This was my first time seeing D3, who's a way more athletic Robbie E guy who appears to have some pretty high quality opponents out of the Northeast. There were some rough patches here but the train stayed on the tracks and it ended up being a competitive and (yet another) entertaining match. Steve proved once again that he can be that solid guy that can have a good match with anyone and D3 showed some glimpses of greatness in progress. Steve hit a 2nd rope DDT to finish off D3 after a missed moonsault.

6) Brian Christopher d. Erik C Jones

Jones was extremely obnoxious and unlikable, which is exactly the kind of opponent that the somewhat cocky but likable Christopher needs to play off of. This match was mostly shenanigans but it played out beautifully. Christopher had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand and Jones just kept milking it to keep it going. Christopher wins with a rollup in the corner. Jones left the ring with his butt hanging out.

7) MVP d. Jeremiah Plunkett

Plunkett brought the snarl out and was allowed to pose a good threat to the fan favorite MVP. Plunkett initially backed down from MVP and tried to buddy up to him when he realized what kind of odds he was up against. It didn't work. They fought in and out of the ring and at one point Plunkett took MVP's trademark nose strip off and tried to apply it to himself(for good luck?)... MVP didn't appreciate that and punched it right off his face. Plunkett kicked out of a Fisherman's suplex pin but was put away with the Playmaker. Good stuff.

I set my expectations low for the next match and I shouldn't have. At all. I'm not usually a big fan of women's wrestling but this women's match was really good. If fans took this as a popcorn match then they really missed out.

8) Rebel d. Nicole Pain

Rebel had a stint in TNA and is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. I've seen her have some really impressive moments in matches but in my brief viewing I'm not sure I have seen a whole match that I enjoyed from her until this night. Pain is out of the Tri-Cities Virgina/Tennessee area and is a small, lean athletic girl that brought the fight and the guts here. The crowd knew Rebel, so Pain had to win them over - and she certainly did. These ladies worked really hard in a back and forth match that had all kinds of good action. This is my token match of my write up that I'm not doing justice by writing about it. Would love to see more from these ladies and I rarely ever say that.

9) Freedom Heavyweight Champion CJ O'Doyle, and the Freedom Tag Team Champions Teddy Fine and Greg Spitz d. Tracy Smothers, LT Falk w/ Tony Falk, and their replacement partner: Doug Gilbert

The Northern Aggression team gets great heat and they're all perfectly capable workers. If you make gear, please contact Fine & Spitz because the letters on theirs were falling off during the match. I thought Gilbert was a great replacement partner for Tommy Rich. Gilbert and his family have so much history in Southern wrestling, which Doug & Tracy covered...before and during the match. This match was of course not a 5 star classic but it told a story. Lots of walk and talk, until a brawl broke out and Tracy Smothers was left with O'Doyle in the ring. That's when a plethora of crazy stuff happened. O'Doyle introduced a chair and put it in the corner. Tracy reversed him into it and it looked like that might be all but there was a ref bump and Aramis ran in to break up the count. Tracy started taking it to him and a masked man with a bat hit the ring and took out Tracy. O'Doyle gets the pinfall to win the match.

Northern Aggression continued the beatdown until MVP ran back out to make the save. He challenged O'Doyle for the Heavyweight title at the next event on August 19. That should be good.

Overall, like I said it was really entertaining. My only constructive criticism is they could probably save some money and make some money by cutting a match or two(and the talent involved) and adding another intermission. 3-4 matches had a heel jumpstart with an attack so maybe guys and girls need to watch the other matches more closely but that's really my only complaints.

The young guy in front of me was so excited that he didn't sit down the whole time. He chanted the whole time and ran up to the barrier when wrestlers would pass by. After they smacked his hand, he'd sniff it and make a face like he just won the lottery. If anyone got their money's worth at that show - it was this guy for sure! Haha

Jeff Jarrett's cousin Brennon Martin was there selling copies of his book about Christine Jarrett called "Teeny", which I picked up a copy of.

Also good to see vendor Justin Deshind(who gave me a great deal on a an old Continental Program), reporter Marlin Mealer, Jesse Butler from Southern Underground Pro and the Kick Out at Two podcast, and a host of other Nashville wrestling staples.

Questions? Comments? Corrections?
ScottCHensley on Twitter or Facebook

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