I’m going to be honest. They did not draw as well as they usually did. So I think I wasn’t expecting that great of a show. But I learned it’s not the size of the crowd. It’s how “on-fire” that crowd is. Less than two weeks ago, we saw how one crowd could carry an entire show at a WWE Monday Night Raw. Tonight, the MPX crowd made the show.
We began with Kyle Davis and Kody Kox who introduced Kate. She was called the “heart and soul” of MPX. Even MPX’s naysayers say she’s great.
Kate introduced Frankie Fisher who walked out and looked intimidating and jaw-jacked with the fans. And then Jerome Daniels’ music hit. He walked out with a purpose carrying a kendo stick. He has a nice voice and cuts a nice promo. But the promo he cut tonight… I would have to put this up at the top of MPX’s greatest promos: “Just” James Johnson’s heel turn, the Haiden-LaMotta back-and-forth, the promo I cut on Kenny Steele (ok, so I threw that one in there for the fun of it). The promo centered around how he and Frankie were going to have “a moment.” It reminded me of the promo R-Truth cut on Miz on Raw in December. (“I’m going beat you up every night and unwrap this present cause Little Jimmy said it’s okay.”) But this promo was coherent and did not set black people back 20 years.
First match: Matt Palmer vs. Gregory James
Now you’re probably wondering (as was I) how in the Blue Hell this was the first match. So I spent some time thinking about this. The MPX crowd is one boring match away from dying. I believe this match was put here to wake the crowd up. Palmer has some nice new ring gear. He is also looking a little bulkier. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting. But the match I got was very story-centered. You can’t fight the same match here that you would at Anarchy down in Austin. Palmer had some huge chops. The crowd took a while to get there but they were engaged in this match. I wrote down that there was lots of emotion in this match. And the best part about the emotion was the crescendo it took to get there. Palmer is so expressive that he carries every emotion on his sleeve.
After the match, they shook hands. I liked the sportsmanship. They had a cute vignette with Viktor Tadlock and Ben Wylde playing putt putt. I love them introducing different characters.
Second match: Dave Dunnings vs. Regrub w/The Following
My main goal as this match started was to not gouge out my eyes. I do like the work of Dunnings plus I get to chant “Double-D.” He’s country and I love the country element. Plus, he’s such a good character. The crowd loved him. The crowd also loved to hate The Following. Regrub did the forearm to the chest. The only problem with that is that Sheamus does it very well and very loud. At first I was expecting a squash and then it wasn’t. It kept going on a little more.
If Dunnings and Regrub are having a feud, that’s fine. But he’s a tag champ. I’m a stickler for protecting champs. Kyle Valo was well-received with a “Shut up, Kyle” chant.
Scott Murdoch came out to say there was no competition. He worked the live crowd well. You can always tell when somebody has experience with live crowds because he had quite the fun with them in a sadistic “kid torturing an ant with a magnifying glass” kinda way. He sat down in the chair and waited for competition. His back was turned and James Hawke snuck an attack but he did attack him from the front. It was a brutal brawl. Security had a hard time separating them. Hawke was ON FIRE. I’ve done my share of mocking him for being John Cena. This was not John Cena. One angle and MPX fixed him. WWE, why can’t you fix your Cena?
Third match: Kristopher Haiden vs. Danny Saint
One of my favorite guys to watch in wrestling is PAC. I love his high-flying, aerial moves. There were no PAC moves in this match. This was a hot feud. They weren’t fighting from the get-go. Saint crouched in the corner as Haiden walked out. Then when the bell hit, Saint was on fire. I hate it when guys have feuds and they start off with a side headlock. There was none of that here. This was a good feud match. This was simply violent. Two guys who hate each other beat the s*** out of each other. Haiden won with a clothesline from Hell.
After the match, Haiden took the microphone and set up Haiden vs. Headbanger for the next show. During the intermission, the faces came out and mingled with the crowd. It was a good family atmosphere.
Fourth match: Viktor Tadlock vs. Ryan Gauge w/The Following
I’ve never seen Tadlock as a face and I was kinda blown away. He is quite versatile. He can do the angry heel but he can do that monster babyface too. The comparison that comes to mind is Batista, except Tadlock wants to be there and will not injure himself walking to the ring. At first Tadlock was supposed to get Arcane, but Arcane decided that Tadlock wasn’t fighting him. He was going to get Ryan Gauge. Poor Ryan. Tadlock started telling him he wanted no part of him. Gauge slapped him. So Tadlock took him to the turnbuckles and slapped his chest a little. And by little, I mean hard. He got squashed.
After the match, Arcane told Gauge he was out and then The Following beat on him until he was saved by Tadlock & Wylde. Do I smell a 6-man?
Fifth match: “Just” James Johnson vs. Jerome Daniels
This match had a nice enough premise. Johnson wanted the belt and why should Daniels come in and get a title shot? You can tell these two are veterans who have wrestled each other many times. There were so many “little things” and nuances these guys got right. Johnson spit or something thereby prompting a “That’s disgusting” chant. I told you it was a pretty awesome crowd. The two guys really brought it. Nigel Rabid came out and interfered in full British mode.
Winner by dq: Daniels
Li Fang came out to the rescue. Both Daniels and Johnson were laying down in the ring. Li Fang went up to the top rope. Fang should come to the rescue of Daniels, right? But he attacked Daniels, turning heel. And thus was introduced “The Asian Nation.” I’m not seeing Nigel in it yet, but I will see how it transpires.
Main event: Bling & Sting vs. Kenny Steele & Frankie Fisher
Bling and Sting ($Payday$ and WASP respectively) had matching tights so they looked like a tag team. $Payday$ tried some new moves out. While they did not come out as smoothly or fluidly as he probably would have liked, I like that he’s working on finding himself a wider repertoire. The big knock on John Cena is the “5 Moves of Doom” (or as I say about Davey Richards, the “25 Moves of Doom”). $Payday$ is not content to do the same moves in every match. And the more opportunities to try his moves in front of different crowds, the more successful he will become. One spot I think he nailed was the suplex into the Stunner. WASP was pretty strong with the crowd reaction. He kept them engaged. Somebody in the crowd (or security) started chanting “WASP is gonna kill you.” It caught on. The high moment of the match (and the night, quite frankly) was when Frankie and WASP were fighting over by the merchandise table. I couldn’t see what the move was exactly from where I was sitting but Frankie went through the table. It was a total “Holy s***” moment. It wasn’t like the Spanish announcers table at a PPV where you take bets on which match destroys the table. It was the sacred merchandise table, which is the only table MPX uses. It got a “That was awesome” chant. With those two doing that on the outside it was between Kenny and $Payday$. $Payday$ made the pin.
Winner: Bling & Sting
Frankie sold his table bump like a pro. All the fans had to walk past him on his way out.
All in all… This show was perhaps the best I have seen from MPX. Top to bottom, this was a really good show. There were about 4 good matches. Even the ones that didn’t knock my socks off weren’t bad. There was a really great promo, decent heel turn and a really awesome table spot. While still not perfect, I’m really looking forward to the major show in two weeks.