Saturday, January 20, 2007

HWA World War III: War Games 2006

After holding this event the last three years at the spacious Montgomery County Fairgrounds, they moved to the super small Dayton Gym Club this year. I had a seat in the balcony and my friend chatted for a bit with Jimmy Yang. As is the norm for an indy show, it was very hit or miss. As for what hit and what missed … I suppose you’ll just have to read on.

1) Déjà Vu vs. Quinten Lee – 3
2) Robby Starr vs. Jeff Cannon vs. Christian Vaughn – 4
3) Ala Hussein vs. Tack – 2
4) Ric Byrne vs. Gotti – Naughty or Nice Match – 1
5) Brian Beech vs. Kimera – Hardcore Match – 3
6) 100-Man Two Ring Battle Royal – 3
7) Matt Stryker vs. Jon Moxley vs. Brian Jennings vs. J.T. Stahr – 5
8) Andre Heart vs. Josh Rafferty – 4
9) Heather Owens & A.J. Sparx vs. Naveah & Lexi Lane – 1
10) The Mavericks & Scottie Murray vs. Irish Airborne & Ganger – War Games Rules Match – 5

Lee and big Vu had a match that was a bit better than I was expecting it to be. Vu showed some agility for a big man and Lee worked as a standard heel. Afterward, Lee started a slow face turn on manager Patrick Black and partner Ala Hussein. The three way dance was from the OCW (Ohio Championship Wrestling) promotion and, unlike matches from other promotions in the past, was suprisingly good. I didn’t know who any of the guys in the match were except for Starr because the house mic was a bit muffled. Hussein, who I mentioned earlier, needs to be killed just as quickly as his namesake was. Tack showed some signs of brilliance but mainly came across as a mini-Bryan Danielson. The naughty or nice match looked like something that would be dreamed up in Vince Russo’s head and came across as something that came out of his ass. The object to this clusterfuck of a match was to grab an item from a box and use it on your opponent. The funniest part of the match was were Gotti teased doing a cross body from the top turnbuckle into the crowd and then apparently had a quick case of vertigo and jumped down. The hardcore match was advertised as thumbtacks and barbed wire. I think only the wire was used, albeit very briefly. The rest of the time was spent fighting basically a regular match. There really wasn’t much to it and I was pissed afterwards because they had advertised tacks but didn’t deliver. Closing out the first half of the show was the traditional “Super Indy” battle royal. Aside from the HWA guys, I had no idea who any of these guys were because not only was the house mic muffled like I mentioned before, but there was a really crappy scream-o band playing all 100 guys to the ring. The match itself was better than in years past because they didn’t drag it out and kept it, I believe, under ten minutes.

During intermission, the crappy band played once again as I wondered who was in charge of booking the musical talent. Here’s a quick note to the HWA promoters … rock bands and pro wrestling do not mix! They’ve had bands at every one of these shows except for the first one and every single band has sucked major donkey dick. Now then, the four way match kicked off the second half of the show. I was actually amazed at how good everyone seemed to work together. Moxley returned from Puerto Rico to regain the title and give the match the fire that it needed. The weakest link of the match was Jennings as he was the only one who didn’t really seem to fit in with the rest of them. The match was also advertised as an elimination match but ended up being a sudden death match in the second false advertisement of the night. Rafferty’s match was an elongated squash that furthered his feud with Stryker by making Heart tap out to the ankle lock or, as Rafferty called it, the Stryker lock. The women’s tag match was a sack of shit. The only person who looked like they actually came to work hard was Sparx. Lane looked like an anorexic beach bunny and needs to go back to ramming bums on the street corner for fun. I have nothing good to say about Naveah either because when we tried to have a quick chat with her after the match, she was a total asshole. The main event was good except for the fact that they only used one ring. The thing about war games matches is that they are designed for two rings, because honestly, trying to fit that many people in one ring would be absurd. Anyway, the match progressed rather smoothly but then only five guys came out. I was totally confused because apparently they were trying to sell the fact that one of the Mavericks got beat up backstage, or got stuck in traffic, or some other thing. The missing member, who happened to be Aaron Williams, appeared near the end of the match selling the fact that he got beat up backstage. He came through the crowd and hit a sick cross body from the top of the cage onto the opposing team.

Overall Thoughts:
Like I said in the opening, large indy shows like this are really hit or miss, and this one had its fair share of both hits and misses. The three way from OCW was a pleasant surprise as was the four way match and the main event. Everything else was either just above average or downright terrible. This was an entertaining show and drew a good sized crowd for being up against the giant UFC show. Much like a Ring of Honor show, I would recommend seeing big HWA show like this live but just avoid the DVD release because it really takes away from the environment of being there and witnessing it for yourself.

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