Monday, August 24, 2015

I Went To A Free Pro Wrestling Show In Florida

Coming from the Midwest, the best thing about Florida is probably the weather. I hate the cold, so being rid of it is a very nice feeling. The second best thing about living in Florida is that is a great state for pro wrestling fans. NXT has their tapings near Orlando, and they have house shows throughout the state, so it's pretty easy to see great wrestling for $10. Despite the great value that NXT provides, this weekend, I found an even better value as there was a free pro wrestling show in Tampa this past weekend.

It was something called Ring Warriors, and although I had never heard of them, they totally exceeded my expectations. It was a taping, as the ring announcer stated that they air in multiple countries worldwide. Good luck finding out what those countries are/if they exist, as their webpage isn't exactly chock full of information.

Still, they had a solid setup with professional video cameras and everything. As for the talent, I would call it a mixed bag. There were a lot of guys that were just your run-of-the-mill independent wrestlers who were sometimes quite old, often out of shape, and fine at best in the ring. But mixed in were actually guys who I had heard of like Sonjay Dutt, Michael Tarver, and Wes Brisco. Sure, those aren't big names, but those are guys who had runs in WWE and TNA respectively. Still, the best wrestler there was just hanging out as Ring of Honor Champion, Jay Lethal was taking pictures with fans. As for the biggest star who wrestled, that would be Simply Tremendous Dude, better known as STD, best known as Mosh from The Headbangers. I'll admit, I got pretty pumped when I recognized him, but then he got beat in like three minutes, so I don't think he'll be getting that Ring Warriors title push anytime soon.

The biggest highlight of the night was being seated next to one of the wrestler's fiancee. She was super drunk and could barely string thoughts together. The one thing that she made clear is that she was shocked that my wife and I were in attendance despite not knowing any of the wrestlers personally. That probably says more about me than it says about her, but shit dog, it's free pro wrestling; it's not like I needed a hookup for tickets. Her shining moment came later in the night as she repeatedly put her hand on my knee. It was some super drunken awkwardness, and shortly thereafter, her friends escorted her out of the building.

The biggest wrestling highlight was Maxwell Chicago. For a reference point, this is Maxwell Chicago:
Mr. Chicago had to face off against some really fat dude, who managed to have maybe the worst in-ring interview in history. It went something like this.

Interviewer: Maxwell Chicago has challenged you to a match. Do you accept his challenge.
Fat Dude: (Long Pause) Man, what do you think?

And scene. That was seriously it. Then Chicago came down, tried to cheap shot the guy, and fat dude just started crushing him. Finally Maxwell Chicago tried to mount a comeback by punching him in the gut with the limpest punches you have ever seen. It was the stuff of six-year-old girls, but it was entertaining. The part where I laughed way too hard was where Maxwell Chicago got the ref distracted and then nailed fat dude with a low blow. This low blow inexplicably knocked the fat dude into a state of unconsciousness, and Chicago got the win. I'm usually a cheer for the good guys, boo for the bad guys at small shows, but that deserved a cheer in my opinion, wrestling tropes be damned.

This free pro wrestling event was scheduled for three hours, but unfortunately, we only made it through a little over two hours, as we learned one incredibly valuable lesson: If you're putting on a free pro wrestling show, you don't exactly get the best smelling people in attendance. I would say 50% of the smell can be attributed to people smelling like their cigarettes after a smoke break, but the other 50% was just some good ol' fashioned BO. My wife has the nose of a bloodhound (in her smelling abilities, not literally; otherwise, that would have been a really weird plastic surgery procedure), so she's very sensitive to smells, and since we had definitely had our money's worth, we decided to call it a night.

 I'll probably never know whether Sonjay Dutt won the Hiro Matsuda Invitational or, more importantly, whether the fat dude recovered from the low blow to pass his concussion tests.

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