Search for Joy Review: NWA Wildside Fright Night 2003
By Jay Doring
May 26, 2004, 16:26
I'd like to start off by apologizing to my wide audience (hi Gabe Hollingsworth!) for not writing anything in over a month, and I'm actually going to give a reason this time. The past few weeks I've been working two jobs in order to save up money for a trip abroad to England in February, both for a college internship and to train at the NWA-UK Hammerlock training center. Consequently, columns and reviews will be very sporadic throughout the summer- however, I do have a lot on tap for TSM in the coming months, including a new and expanded interview with NWA Wildside/Ring of Honor star Rainman, a review of Nick Mondo's "Unscarred" documentary, a new "6 Playas" article (focusing on 1 Playa, actually), and a critique of PWG "88 Miles Per Hour" (my early choice for Major Indy Show of the Year.) Heck, I might even review some Big Japan wackiness (OMG PURORESU~!) and some backwater E-level indy stuff just for shits and giggles, because if I had to review Very Serious Wrestling every single time out this gig would get really old, really fast.
I've also decided to switch things up a bit in my little slice of heaven. The name of the column is now different, in order to reflect what I think wrestling, or any hobby for that matter, should be about- the search for joy, finding something that moves you emotionally and makes you happy that you experienced it. Wrestling matches are really just like movies if you think about it- they can make you laugh, make you angry, make you cry (remember Savage/Elizabeth from Wrestlemania 7?) and make you go crazy as if your team won the Super Bowl. The best matches are the ones that can pull that off convincingly, make you get up out of your chair, forget that "it's all fake." Too often on the Internet, I see these reviewers robotically assessing matches, looking for little minute flaws in its technical performance like the Russian judge in women's figure skating. I don't do that; I'm the reviewer who's not afraid to say "OH MAN THAT WAS FUCKIN' COOL!" This is the column for Joe Indy Fan to be introduced and exposed to other small promotions doing great stuff around the country instead of the over-exposed (and too often overhyped) wrestling in the Northeast. If you want the hypercritical, "oh man the leg psych was forgotten during the last 30 seconds of the second comeback and he relied on chops too much **" review go somewhere else, there's plenty of places for that. This is all about the Search for Joy.
I also decided to switch my rating system up a little bit, forgoing the Cornette-Dooley star system in favor the McGovern-Green grade system. The reason for this is that I think the star system is a little too narrow. There are some ***1/4 matches that are better than other ***1/4 matches and there are some five-star classics that are better than other five-star classics. With the grade system, I have a bit more to work with. Here's a quick conversion primer.
One last thing, a lot of the feedback on TSM's messageboard suggests that the play-by-play of matches be cut down in reviews in favor of more detailed thoughts. I'm going to pare the PBP down a bit more in this review than usual, but if you still think things should be modified feel free to email me at the link at the bottom of the page.
Okay then, now just so you don't think the title of this piece was TOTALLY misleading, here's coverage of NWA Wildside's annual fall spectacular, "Fright Night 2003." This one actually got a lot of press (well, more than the meager press that Wildside usually gets) because of a controversy revolving around the NWA World title. During a TV taping, Rainman won a Mega Rumble to receive a shot at the champion AJ Styles at this show, but 3 days before Fright Night, Jeff Jarrett went over Styles on TNA PPV to win the title. It was agreed that the match would then become a three-way-dance with Jarrett defending against Styles and Rainman. However, Double J decided he wouldn't defend the title in Wildside (a violation of NWA bylaws, actually) and pulled out of the show, screwing Rainman out of his title shot and Wildside out of an NWA World championship match. Also, Wildside Heavyweight champion Hotstuff Hernandez was scheduled to defend HIS belt against Iceberg, but an injury to Iceberg cancelled that match at the last second. With both of their main events cancelled mere days before the show, could Wildside recover and pull out something memorable? We shall see.
Taped 10/25/03 from the Wildside/NCW Arena, your hosts are Dan "The Dragon" Wilson and Steven Prazak.
The show opens with Bill Behrens announcing the aforementioned cancellations, complete with video footage of Jarrett backstage at TNA blowing off Wildside. Out comes Jeff G. Bailey questioning Behrens' competency as NWA President, but Behrens responds by announcing that Rainman will take on AJ Styles 1-on-1 for #1 contendership to the NWA title, and that Hernandez will defend the Wildside championship in the main event against the winner of the Onyx vs. Mikal Adryan match.
Now Al Getz shows up (oh joy), stating that the Dobbins brothers ALSO aren't around (thank G-d), and won't take part in the Bunkhouse match against Tank and Bulldog Raines (who had split from Al Getz Enterprises a month earlier.) However, never fear, because Getz has found two suitable opponents for Tank and Raines- Rome, GA-based NAWA wrestlers Nemesis and Mike Pittman.
Nemesis and Mike Pittman vs. Tank and Bulldog Raines
This was basically just an angle progression match, as Tank and Raines no-sell a bunch of the newbies' stuff and basically beat the living shit out of both of them. Raines is all like "I'm Rick STEINER bitch" and slams them and barks a lot and Tank is all like, "I'm STRONG STYLE D00D~!" and stiffs Nemesis and Pittman with kicks. In conclusion, Pittman taps to a Tank STF, they both say "lick my balls" and threaten the Dobbins brothers. This was nothing particularly special, but was an entertaining enough time filler squash. This match however, does illustrate a problem I occassionally have with Wildside. As far as the undercard goes, they don't always treat their "big shows" as BIG SHOWS, sometimes using them to advance angles that are blown off at TV tapings, which a much smaller fraction of the potential audience sees. Wildside only has 4 major events (Fright Night, Christmas Chaos, Hardcore Hell, Freedom Fight) and 1 semi-major show (Anniversary show) so use them to either blow off or kick off *everything*, not just the main event feuds.
Winner: Tank/Bulldog Raines
Onyx vs. Mikal Adryan
Adryan at this point was a part of the loosely-affiliated "Dark City Soldiers" stable, along with Murder One and Shadow Jackson. Adryan, a huge guy of about 6'6", was originally set to feud with fellow monsters Stone Mountain and Kevin Northcutt respectively, but they both left Wildside before the programs even started. So Adryan, in Justin Credible fashion, claimed to "run them off" from the promotion. Onyx has always had a problem with the Dark City crew, hence the booking of this match-and as mentioned above, the winner will get a title shot at Hernandez in the main event.
Adryan jumps Onyx at the entranceway to start the match, ramming him into the ring apron. More brawling around ringside follows as the announce crew put Onyx over huge as a franchise player and "founding father" of Wildside, foreshadowing the outcome of the main event. They head into the crowd now after Adryan crotches himself on the rail, and Onyx blasts Adryan in the head with a chairshot. Suplex by Adryan on the floor, and he takes advantage of Onyx's dazed state by crotching him into the ring pole. They finally head into the ring, with Onyx stun-gunning Adryan on the ropes. Cover gets two, and Adryan quickly turns the tide with a Mafia kick. Adryan goes for the Assisted Suicide (pumphandle slam) but Onyx turns into into a schoolboy for the flash pin!
Again, nothing about this match was particularly memorable, as it was basically a standard 80's WWF house show-type brawl. The heavy crowd fighting dragged this down for me too, since I've never ever found that facet of wrestling exciting. This was basically put on to get Onyx in the main event, nothing more. However, this match did kick off a long, and extremely boring, main event feud between the two men, as the only guy who loves hosses as much as Vince McMahon is Bill Behrens.
The Texas Death Club (Masada and Todd Sexton) vs. The Carolina Connection (Jeremy V and Brandon P) (c) -Wildside Tag Team Title Match
Brandon P, formerly one-half of the dominant tag team Future Shock, was left to fend for himself after his partner Jay Freeze went down with a serious back injury. Rather than enter into singles competition, Brandon went searching for a new partner, finally finding success with fellow Carolinas native Jeremy V. V and P unseated Tank and Bulldog Raines for the titles at a TV taping, and immediately ran into trouble in the form of the Texas Death Club. Originally part of the Dark City stable together, Masada and Sexton decided to split from the group and form a regular tag team. You probably know Masada better as the Carnage Crew's "bag shitter" in ROH, and Sexton as part of TNT with Tony Stradlin. Jeremy V will also be taking part in CZW's "Trifecta Elimination" challenge this year, in an attempt to earn a spot in Best of the Best 4.
Sexton immediately hammers away on P, but P takes the momentum away from Sexton with a headscissors after a lightning-quick whip sequence. Sexton whips P into the corner, and Masada smartly clotheslines him from his spot on the apron, and Sexton takes advantage with a dropkick. Masada in now, powerslam, blind tag by the champs though, and V comes CHARGING in with a leg lariat! V slows things down with a side headlock takeover, but Masada reverses to a drop toehold. More matwork counters ensue, before V tries for a sunset flip, which is turned into the Malenko/Guerrero sequence for two. Monkey flip by Masada- V lands on his feet! SMACK with a slap- double bulldog by the champs! SPRINGBOARD SIDEWINDER by the Connection, Sexton tries to come into, charges- springboad back elbow by P!V comes in- but gets caught! Double reverse suplex by the TDC, and there's a spinal tap by Masada. Another quick tag by the challengers, and Sexton gets a nearfall off a snap powerslam. Here's the part of the match I love- BAM! Double boot. BAM! Dropkick! BAM! Northern Lights, in the blink of an eye. V tries to fight out of a side headlock, but takes an Edge-O-Matic for another two count. Double roundhouses! The TDC utilize the FOOT TAG~! and there's a brainbuster. V comes back with a NASTY high-angle German suplex and makes the hot tag! LA CASA DI FUOCO TIME! Top-rope double clothesline! Ultimo Dragon's finisher! (the name escapes me right now). Doomsday Device! ROCK N' ROOOLLL dropkick! Stereo top rope moves fail though, and Masada catches V with the Masadamizer (DVD) Sexton Superkick! KICKOUT! TDC look for their finisher- P ROLLS THROUGH FOR THE PIN!
Wow. One of the most unorthodox and well-worked tag matches I've seen on the indies all year. This was the Southern formula mixed in with a pure sprint, and I LIKED IT! There were tons of really subtle touches that made this match for me, such as Masada taking advantage with cheapshots from the apron when V was in a neutral corner, proving that the heels were desperate for title gold. The rapid fire sequences were a breathtaking display of tag chemistry, a refreshing change from the thrown-together teams in WWE. I also really enjoyed the homages to the LOD and Rock 'N Roll Express in this match, it's minor stuff like that makes wrestling fun to watch. The only two problems I had in this match were the repetitive chinlock by Masada, which disrupted the acton of the match a bit, and the kickout of the Sexton superkick, which was sold as a killer move all summer in Wildside. Overall though, this was a tag MOTYC for 2003, and all four guys involved deserve way more props than they get.
Winners: Carolina Connection
Murder One vs. Slim J -2/3 falls
Murder One is best known as one-half of the greatest tag team in Wildside history, Blackout. In fact, Murder One is best known currently for shooting on the CZW stable “Blackout” (Ruckus, Joker, Sabian) for copping the name from him. Gimmick infringement seems to be a big pet peeve of M1’s since his beef with Slim J is that J had been ripping off his lifestyle (smokin’ the reefer, pimpin’ ho’s, poppin them thangs, that sort of thing) and wanted to take it out on him… IN ANGER~!
Slim J, being the arrogant snotty punk that he is, gets in the much bigger M1’s face. Slim tries for a lockup, quickly reversed by M1. Slim gains the intial advantage with highflying armdraggy, kicky stuff. Irish whip, M1 tries a hiptoss, Slim lands on his feet…but reaggravates a knee injury. M1 DESTROYS him with some kind of cravate powerslam, and there’s fall number 1.
Murder 1 gets cocky and goes for the Zoolander…but there’s a rollup! 1-2-3! Well, that was quick. Time for fall #3.
Slim immediately tries another rollup for a second two count, but Murder One attacks the knee injury again to take control. Delayed vertical suplex gets a nearfall, and M1 dumps Slim to the outside. Back in, Slim weakly tries to fight back but gets pounded into submission. Murder One annihilates Slim with chops as J looks like he’s about to keel over. More legwork follows, with M1 cranking on a kneebar. Murder One goes to the TOP, cut off by Slim J, but M1 turns into a TOP-ROPE KNEE BREAKER! Another kneebar leads to several nearfalls. Both men back on their feet, Murder One with a throat thrust and Slim is in deep, deep shit. Wait, second win! SLICED BREAD 4:20! Crossbody gets two! MOONSAULT…NOBODY HOME! DECAPITATED by the Blazing Lariat! POWERBOMB! Another one-REVERSED TO A SUNSET FLIP! 1…2…3! SLIM WINS! Postmatch, M1 gives Slim some respect.
I’m going to preface this by saying I’m not really a fan of either guy’s overall work, but this match told a fantastic story, and was by far the best outing of either guy’s career. While the first two falls came quickly, the cardinal rule of any type of television is “start late, end early.”-aka make your point as fast as possible, and they did. The first fall established Slim’s knee injury and Murder One’s overpowering size advantage. The second fall taught Murder One not to take Slim lightly. The third fall was an excellent use of the “little man vs. big man” formula, with Murder One just destroying Slim, with Slim perfectly timing his hope spots and keeping his selling of the beating (specifically the leg) consistent. Murder One’s relentless attack on the leg kept the psychology extremely tight. I also really liked the ending- not only was it reminiscent of Bret Hart vs. Diesel from Survivor Series 1995 (one of my alltime favorite matches), it was really the only conceivable way Slim could win. The last two matches were Wildside MOTYCs –not bad at all.
Winner: Slim J
“Kool” Seth DeLay vs. Ray Gordy © -Wildside Junior Heavyweight Title match
Former Pro Wrestling NOAH competitor (and son of Terry Gordy) Ray Gordy made an immediate impact in NWA Wildside, engaging in a series of increasingly spectacular time limit draws with Seth DeLay and winning the junior title in an excellent ****1/4 six-way elimination match at the 4th Anniversary show. Since dropping the belt, Seth DeLay has been on a quest to regain it- but Gordy stacked the odds against DeLay by enlisting his former tag partner and nemesis, Sal Rinauro, as his manager.
Seth and Gordy unload on each other with forearms to start-irish whip, Seth takes him over with a rana. Gordy immediately bails to the outside to regain his composure. Back in the ring, Gordy works a top wristlock, countered by Seth to a hammerlock schoolboy for a quick pin attempt. Gordy tries for some amateur wrestling, which Seth manages to hang with. Off the ropes, and Gordy finally gets a decisive advantage with a spinning fisherman’s buster. Gordy GOES TO TOWN with bodyslams and a reverse DDT, for a close two. Power drive elbow by Gordy, who presses his advantage with roundhouse kicks to the chest and back. Seth gets a sunset flip, but no dice there. Dropkick by Seth, but Gordy comes back with a standing enziguiri. Kool Krusher (Edge-O-Matic out of the corner) is blocked, and Gordy gets a German Suplex for 2.9. Whip to the corner, and Seth turns the tide with a BEAUTIFUL step-up rana. Cue the comeback, as Seth gets a satellite headscissors from the apron. Gordy blocks the Overnight Sensation(Fisherman’s DDT) is blocked, but Gordy eats another rana instead. Seth takes forever to set up the Kool Krusher, and Sal stops it, but the Overnight Sensation hits! NO! Sal put Gordy’s foot on the rope. Seth gets revenge on Sal with a tope con hilo to the outside, and sets up the Kool Krusher again. This time it hits, for TWOOO! Seth tries for the Ultimate Back Bump…Gordy moves, Seth lands on his feet! SECOND OVERNIGHT SENSATION! The ref is pulled out by TRACY BROOKS! Seth’s back is turned, and THERE’S THE ASIATIC DRIVER FOR THE WIN!
This match started off well, with both men establishing familiarity with each other, and Seth showing he was getting closer and closer to besting his rival at his own game. The middle portion was the standard good high-impact cruiser match between these two. However the ending left a lot to be desired. Seth’s taking forever to set up the Kool Krusher TWICE took me out of the match emotionally and contradicted the familiarity storyline, and the copious interference, especially Tracy’s involvement, was not needed. It did do a good job of keeping Seth strong as a challenger- however, Seth never did get his big win over Gordy, as he was stripped of the belt for non-defense prior to Christmas Chaos.
Winner: Ray Gordy
ODB vs. Tracy Brooks
Yeah, like I'm gonna waste precious minutes of my life and yours reviewing this crap. You know Tracy from TNA, you know ODB as the worst women's wrestler on Earth. Tracy gets the win after Sal Rinauro shoves ODB off the top rope. This got waaaaay too much time.
Winner: Tracy Brooks
Rainman vs. AJ Styles
AJ Styles, former Wildside TV and Heavyweight champion, left the company in early 2002 to become the international superstar he is now, making only two appearances in the company since- against David Young at Christmas Chaos 2002 and against Ron Killings at Hardcore Hell 2003. AJ was expected to make his triumphant return as the NWA World Champion at this show, but the Jarrett shenanigans ruined that. Rainman at this point had been the Wildside TV champion for about 8 months, and this was regarded by many as his chance to become a national star himself. Of course, the presence of Jeff G. Bailey is also a storyline point, as AJ split from his NWA Elite stable early in his Wildside career and had been opposed to the group since then.
Lockup to start, and Styles takes control with some quick matwork. Styles grabs a waistlock, Rainman escapes and hits the ropes- big dropkick by AJ! Rainman takes a powder, by Styles VAULTS OVER THE TOP ROPE WITH A FLYING FISTDROP! Styles whips Rainman into the guardrail, sending the Soul Assassin into the crowd. Styles DIVES into the crowd with a senton onto Rainman! Back into the ring, AJ gets a quick nearfall. Backbreaker by Styles, followed by a spinal tap. Nagasateru, and Rainman turns it into the Dark City Bomb! Spinning dropkick by Rainman and the heat segment has begun. BIIIG spinebuster gets a two count. AJ fires back with a REVERSE NO-LOOK enziguiri! That’s always really fucking cool. Rainman tries a sunset flip, but AJ turns it into an anklelock, transitioned into the Mutalock. Rainman recovers and wipes out AJ with a sitout powerslam. AJ comes back with a David Young-style spinebuster and a pumphandle backbreaker. More kicks to the ribs by AJ and he hits the chinlock. AJ hits the flip out of the corner, quebrada DDT attempt- but Rainman sends him to the outside with a dropkick! Rainmain tries to whip Styles into the guardrail- Styles tried to jump off, caught! Rainman RAMS AJ into the rail! AJ comes back in the ring with his vertical suplex-neckbreaker, into a SWEET brainbuster! Both men fighting on the top rope now, and AJ manages an awkward top-rope hurricanrana. Slugfest now, and there’s the double-dropkick spot. AJ emphatically takes control with the SCHOOLBOY BUSTER~! 1-2-Rainman’s hand on the ropes. THERE’S the Quebrada DDT! STYLES CLASH! NOPE! Tornado DDT attempt- nobody home there either. Rainman grazes AJ with a climbing wheel kick, Dark City Street Cutter…NO! SPIIIIIIINESPLITTA? YES! KICKOUT! Rainman gets shoved into Bailey, and takes two germans and a Styles Buster for, TWO! AJ hits the ropes, Bailey trips him up- powerbomb by Rainman! Off the ropes, Styles gets a sunset flip into the Styles Clash- NO! REVERSED…TO THE DARK CITY STREET CUTTER! BAILEY SHOVES AJ BACK! 2ND DARK CITY STREET CUTTER! RAINMAN WINS!
While this was a fun match to watch, this really didn’t live up to the high expectations I had for it. AJ in particular seemed really off his game, either due to nerves or laziness, because his normally extremely crisp technique was pretty sloppy in this match. Also, the offense in the match was fairly disproportionate, with AJ dominating most of the match. These factors contributed to making the flow of the contest awkward at several points. However, Rainman busted his ass, and a hot nearfall sequence and AJ’s usual spots made this one enjoyable. And hey, a subpar AJ Styles match is still way above most of the crap that permeates the majority of indy wrestling. This was a smart booking decision, because it gave Rainman major rub now that AJ had nothing to lose, and was probably the match that got Rainman his Ring of Honor gig.
Altar Boy Luke and Gabriel vs. Azrael and Slash
During the ladder match at Freedom Fight 2003, Azrael turned on his longtime Lost Boyz partner Gabriel and joined Jeff G. Bailey’s NWA Elite. Azrael immediately went to work for the Elite, throwing a fireball at Altar Boy Luke’s face at the 4th Anniversary show, to demonstrate that there were no other gods besides the Elite. Gabriel and Luke teamed up against the Elite, but Bailey decided to put more odds in his favor by going to Father Jim Mitchell, the original corrupter of the Lost Boyz. Mitchell agreed to send one of his New Church disciples, Slash, to destroy the “G-d Squad” at Fright Night.
Luke and Gabriel immediately take out the evil dudes and send them to the outside. Luke goes to work on Slash while Gabriel dazzes Azrael with a running rana, and dosey-do armdrag, and an enziguiri. Springboard double stomp by Gabriel onto his former partner, and the G-d Squad nail a double pump kick. Slash finally end the onslaught with a hangman’s neckbreaker and a nice side suplex. Nice martial arts kick combo by Azrael, and Slash continues the punishment with a press slam. Gabriel tries to come back with chops but Azrael cheap shots him from behind. Azrael charges, but he takes an ugly “suplex headfirst into the turnbuckles” spot. Slash tags in to regain the advantage…small package by Gabriel. But guess what, the ref isn’t looking and Slash takes down Gabriel with a clothesline. More Southern beatdown offense by Slash, and Azrael NAILS a bootscrape! Double teaming, but Gabriel FINALLY gets an opening with a Ligerbomb. HOT TAG BABAY! Luke IS IN FOR THE FIRST TIME. Spinning roundhouse kick! HALO (Lionsault from the apron) CONNECTS! Bailey breaks up the fall with a Gucci shoe, and Slash gets the WHIIIRLYBIRD! However, Gabriel connects with the MOTHERFUCKING CRADLE TO THE GRAVE~! (A CUTTHROAT Burning Hammer!) The faces clothesline Slash out of the ring, and they hit the Holy Roller (the Lost Boyz’ old finisher) for the win! However, winning doesn’t really matter to Jeff G. Bailey, and they beat the crap out Gabriel and Luke. Slash pulls out his sword, but Bailey wants to tazer him, which I disagree with. To me, a sword would hurt way the fuck more than a tazer. Medics attend to Luke as the Elite bail.
I really love matches like this: a good old-fashioned Southern tag match with a really strong storyline behind it. The G-d Squad storyline was the best thing Wildside had done in ‘03/early ’04, and the crowds gave all the matches surrounding it great heat. The heels made excellent use of their heat segment, making the ref distractions not seem so cliché, and giving Gabriel some really good hope spots. I loved the finish of this match too, with Azrael tasting the pain of the finisher he helped invent. The tazer was also a great old school way of getting more crowd heat on Bailey (as if he needed any). This feud eventually culminated in one of the best matches in Wildside history at Hardcore Hell 2004, Night 2: a six-man tag pitting Luke, Gabriel and AJ Styles against Azrael, Rainman, and Christopher Daniels. (BUY THE TAPE!)
Winners: Altar Boy Luke/Gabriel
Onyx vs. Hotstuff Hernandez © -Wildside Heavyweight Title Match
Shortly after finally winning the Wildside championship from Iceberg at the 200th TV taping, Hotstuff Hernandez turned heel and joined the NWA Elite. Hernandez, at this point, was still undefeated in singles competition.
Hernandez quickly overpowers the “genetic speciment” Onyx with a side suplex, but Onyx is unfazed. Shoulderblocks are no-sold, but Onyx takes Hernandez down with a flying shoulderblock! Hernandez regains his composure on the outside, and goes to work on the challenger. Skull toss suplex by Hernandez, and he keeps the punishment up with a dropkick. Delayed vertical suplex by Hotstuff, and he goes to the camel clutch. Onyx fights out of it with an Electric Chair drop, and drives the champ into the corner with shoulderblocks. Powerslam by Onyx gets two. Hotstuff catches an Onyx crossbody attempt and turns it into a spinning spiral bomb for a CLOSE nearfall. Onyx tries for a Stinger splash, but gets hung up in the ropes and Hernandez gets a Jericho-style springboard dropkick. Hotstuff Missile (suicide dive over the ropes) wipes out Onyx, but Onyx sends the champ into the rail. Off the top, clothesline takes down Hernandez, and the Angry Man Slam gets 2.9. Hernandez ducks a clothesline off the ropes and DESTROYS Onyx with a spear. Hernandez hits the Megabomb (a dangerously uncontrolled Awesomebomb) and ANOTHER one…but Onyx gets his shoulder up! Hernandez goes for a third…but ICEBERG has arrived. This distracts Hernandez long enough for Onyx to hit the Blackout DDT (which Hotstuff horribly blows his end of) for Onyx’s first-ever Wildside Heavyweight title win! The locker room empties out to congratulate Onyx on his victory, in a nice sentimental moment (Wildside seems to be pretty good at those.)
Onyx basically did the impossible and dragged a nice back-and-forth power match out of Hotstuff Hernandez. Hotstuff has always suffered from Goldberg Syndrome. The victim of too much too soon, Hernandez stopped improving and became more concerned with making himself look good than selling and helping out his opponent. There are still traces of that here, with Hernandez jumping up too fast from some of Onyx’s offense and a couple of highspots, almost killing Onyx with the Megabomb, being distracted way too long, and blowing the finish. Onyx looked really good here though, timing his comebacks well, selling Hotstuff’s offense excellently, and busting out some neat power offense. Onyx’s good outweighs Hotstuff’s crap, so this match gets a solid rating, plus some extra points for his emotional title victory.
Final Thoughts: Once you move past the filler crap in the beginning and FF through the women’s match, the rest of the card is extremely solid all the way through, with two excellent matches in the tag title match and Murder One vs. Slim J. Rainman’s big victory and Onyx’s title win are also extra incentives for a Wildside fan to pick this tape up. Out of all the Wildside tapes I’ve reviewed, this is probably the best introduction to the product possible, as all the regulars are in top form and there are a bunch of ROH and NWA-TNA guys to make the tape more palatable for newer fans to the product.
Overall recommendation: Screw Jarrett, the show was better without him. Recommended buy.
I got this copy of "Fright Night" from Highspots.com, but Wildside videos can also be purchased at their official site and The Wrestling Superstore.
Wrestling training advice, discussion of sword vs. taser, and possible places to engage in public sex without being caught can be sent here.
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