HOG/FTW asked “Who’s the Master”? Did the promotions prove they were?
After almost two weeks of wrestling filled action, I thought I wouldn’t want to see another ring for months. Well my friends, I was wrong. I was overly excited for this show because for weeks FTW and HOG were promoting “The Last Dragon” himself Bruce Leroy, well, at least the man who played “Bruce Leroy”, Taimak. Once I heard of this immediately my childhood began to resonate in my mind and I began to feel as though I was regaining “The Glow”. That’s right, just like The Shogun of Harlem and Leroy Green, I too was able to emulate a fluorescent aura by channeling my growing confidence. Okay, so maybe no else could see it for a brief second, when I was nine I glowed. To this day no one believes me. But on this night, the man who had a vanity in his arms and the music of the 1980’s pounding through the theater speakers was in Ridgewood, N.Y.
Speaking of music, as soon as the crowd entered the Guz Sports Lounge the soundtrack from The Last Dragon was blaring loud and clear. Although the show was almost an hour late I was still walking on the clouds of 7th Heaven (movie reference) hearing the soundtrack of my youth. The crowd wasn’t as big as the last show which was almost two weeks prior, but they seemed to be excited to see what the result of the challenge thrown down by “The Son of Shonuff” Earl Cooter to Bruce Leroy. If I were Earl, I would be careful what I would say because if many of us remember, Leroy catches bullets with his teeth.
Does Bobby Soar Over the Competition?
Our first fight on the card was Mr. Beautiful himself Bobby Bluejay versus the man with the massive mane Mayne Michaels. Usually, the opening match on the venue is a throw away match because honestly, there are too many variables which can disrupt the first card of the match. The crowd entering, the tempo of a match and the feedback from an entering audience can be unsettling for a wrestler. Bluejay and Michaels put together a solid opening match where both men were able to get the crowd behind them and kick off what would be a fun night of wrestling. Bluejay looked to have the upper hand throughout the match until a certain yellow fruit entered the building. Once Banana Man was standing ringside, Bobby Bluejay’s attention automatically turned to him which lead to the win by Michaels. Which leads to…
Bluejay goes Bananas (Man)!
After Bobby Bluejay’s minor tantrum in the ring, Bluejay called out Banana Man and demanded he enter the ring and finish the feud they apparently have. I must say, for a man in a banana suit and a guy who has a sensual relationship with his mirror the match was quick and pretty decent. Banana Man showed he is a comical gimmick but also has wrestling moves where Bluejay was able to take on another, ummmmmmm… competitor in back to back matches. In the end, Bobby was able to squash the poor banana, Banana Man that is.
Silver is Valuable
After watching a fruit battle a bird it was time to see wrestlers battle it out again with Johnny Silver and Anthony Gangone. Both men took to the ring and if you were looking for large oversized monsters this would not be the match for you. But, if you were looking for guys who can show their technical skills, then you could have pulled up close for this one. Seeing Johnny Silver for the first time, I expected a big, dominating presence. Then I saw him in the ring and although his stature isn’t large, his ring capability is. With his experience and the youth and ambition of Gangone these two were able to give the fans a match built on both classic and modern wrestling. Just when I thought Gangone was able to steal this one, Silver showed why his name matched the material he is named after. I was looking forward for Anthony to get on the mic and show off some promo work, but I guess I would have to wait for the next show to hear what the young man has.
When Candy is Bittersweet
For all the ladies who were enjoying the men in the ring, it was time to take a seat because the ladies of FTW/HOG were hitting the ring next. Candy Cartwright faced Adia in a return match up and tonight, Adia was going to open up her classroom and instruct the fans on how to wrestle. Adia was anxious to have her rematch and prove to the room she is able to not only beat Cartwright but also beat her badly. For most of the match, Adia was putting forth a solid attack on Ms. Cartwright, even letting the crowd know what types of moves and grapples she was performing. But one small slip-up and Candy was able to turn the tables and get the crowd behind her. Cartwright showed the crowd who was the sweetest lady in the ring and pulled off the win over Adia.
A Match Highly Incredible
The Gen X Championship was up next and I was not expecting what would result from this one. Former ECW Champion Justin Credible took center stage against the champ Grim Reefer and this match had more than I bargained for. Of course when you see Credible in the ring your first thought would be to watch out because there would be some furniture used, and sure enough there was. But this match had more to it and the ring work showed through in this one. Aa I mentioned, furniture was used in this match as a fan from the audience tossed Mr. Credible a ringside seat to use on Reefer. Also, food was a part of this match when Credible used leftover french fries to feed Reefer (enter munchies joke here). But with all the excitement which was happening outside the ring there was tons of action inside the ring. The Gen X champ moved swiftly in the ring against the veteran and was able to string together enough “high” flying action but the crafty veteran was able to counteract with signature moves and debilitating grapples. But in the end, the champ was able to roll up Credible and seal up the win. After a gracious contender gave praise to the Gen X champ and being the future of the business, the crowd thanked Justin with “you still got it chants” while both men stood in the ring in what I considered “Match of the Night”.
The Debut of a YouTube Star
IF YOU CAN’T STAND THE HEAT, GET OUT HIS O-ZONE BRO!!! Sorry, I got caught up in the moment but after watching countless hours of Zack Ryder’s “Z True Long Island Story” with the missus I was excited to see one of Zack’s sidekicks in the ring. The Big O, the highly intense and highly muscular comrade of the Woo Woo Woo Kid was in the House of Glory and his debut was going to be tested by the former FTW Heavyweight Champion the Rockstar. While the Rockstar was trying to handle business in the ring with The Big O, his faithful groupie was doing her best to draw attention from everyone around her. Her distractions during the match became an advantage for her man and the Rockstar was able to gain an early edge on The Big O. But, The Big O was able to turn up the heat and lock lips with the beauty at ringside which caused the Rockstar to become enraged and lose focus as The Big O fist pumped his face for the win.
The Showdown…or was it?
Before the break, the match we had all been waiting for had finally come. As the ring announcer began to present an award to Taimak for his work and commitment in martial arts, the crowd popped as the music hit. Unfortunately, Earl Cooter decided to crash the party and steal the spear which was to be awarded to Taimak. Out ran our hero who tried to stop Cooter from his dastardly deed when Earl called out for reinforcements. After Taimak did an impromptu martial arts demonstration, Cooter snuck away while Taimak gave chase. The bit was ever typical and a letdown rather a showdown.
A True Test for Tru Talent?
After a short intermission, we opened up the second half with a tag team match. HOG’s up and coming tag team of Tru Talent, “The Marquee Player” Alex Reyes and Marq Quinn, faced off against the faceless Smilez and Wes Draven. On paper this matchup looked like an easy draw. These individuals, with their high paced action and their sound technical skills would be a sure bet to amaze the crowd. For the most part the match definitely had high intensity moves and the “spot monkey movement” was in effect, but I felt the match was missing something. I’m not sure if it was lack of charisma which was missing or some miscues during the spots, although the crowd was into it I felt there was something not right especially in a True Talent match. The eye opener came when Quinn of True Talent nailed an 810 Splash. True Talent pulled off the victory and their stock is still rising, but on this night the match fell a little short.
Where Brooklyn At?
The next match really got the crowd motivated and behind the action in the ring. Alex Reynolds, and his long flowing locks faced off against one of the owners/resident trainer at House of Glory Brian XL. When XL’s music hit the crowd basically went into a frenzy. A usual walk into the ring became an all out party thanks in part to the crowd. (Shoutout goes to the group known as #regulars.) Once the party atmosphere slowed outside the ring, the action picked up in the ring. Both men showed their experience to bring the action through suitable gestures and high impact moves. The men also were able to bring the action to the crowd. The action was intense and both were able to show a battle which captivated the audience even after Brian XL was able to capture the win. Although technically we were in Queens, but we all knew in the end where Brooklyn's at.
A Mixed Bag of Tags
Another tag team match was on the card and I must say, I’m not sure if I was still woozy from the previous match or the confusion of what was about to hit the ring that caused me to ask myself “what’s next and why is this happening”? We had The Killers of the Community (well that’s the name I heard) against The Gods of Destruction. The last time I saw GOD I was not really sure what was going on in the ring and I must say, the same can be repeated for this one. First off, TKotC had a cool gimmick with their gothic, ghoulish garb which was similar to the villains in Batman: Arkham City. But what really confused me was I wasn’t sure if they were “heels” or if this was a throw-together match, or if there was a feud I did not know about. The match was okay but I still wasn’t sure, as well as some in the crowd who began chanting “Who's the Heel”. Oh by the way, the Gods of Destruction, who I think were the bad guys, won the match.
MUERTE'S GONNA KILL YOU!!!
The main event of the night was the newly crowned FTW World Champion Josef Von Schmit against the “Human Walking Mountain” Mega Muerte. Now, Von Schmit is not a small man himself but after Mega Muerte walked through the curtain, I felt Josef needs to sip milk for strong bones and bigger muscles or something. Out of the individuals in the building who were unaware of Mr. Muerte, the men were beginning to look at their gym registration while the women where snapping photos with their phone for later references. During the match, both men showed their test of strength which you would expect from a big man match but I did not expect a man like Mega Muerte to also show his agility. Muerte was able to go vertical, tuck and roll, and show a flare for ring work. Von Schmit was no slouch either and both men put together an exciting match to finish up the night. If it wasn’t for Von Schmit’s puny minions, Mega Muerte might have walked out the place with the strap that night. But in the end, the sidekicks got what they deserved while Josef walked away still the champion.
On this night, the show could have been much better than it may have looked on the outside. Maybe if it was booked on a Saturday or not so close after a huge wrestling week the show could have had a larger fan-based success. But regardless, I was entertained and with some minor dry spots the fans in attendance enjoyed the night. We felt “The Rhythm of the Night” and wanted to get “The Glow”. Man, was that cheesy. But that’s what I am when I am talking about my love for wrestling and The Last Dragon. WHO'S THE MASTER? Earl Cooter!
Photos from the event by Evan Arnow