8/3 NEFW "Cruel Summer 3" live report: Johnny Gargano vs. JT Dunn, AR Fox vs. Anthony Stone, Chris Masters vs. Brian Fury, Fury fractures ankle
NEFW Cruel Summer 3
Boys and Girls Club in Chicopee, Mass.
Report by DotNet staffer Zack Zimmerman
I would say the attendance was in the range of 300-350 people. Not the liveliest group of "smart fans," certainly more families, kids, and adult male John Cena fans. The venue was good. Big, open, well-ventilated gymnasium with lots of vendors along the walls. Floor and bleacher seating were available.
1. Wulfgar beat Furio Falcone and Mark Shurman (w/Fenris Fortune) in a three-way match. Shurman walked out on the match before the finish, at the behest of his manager. Wulfgar then pinned the soccer-gimmicked Falcone with a full nelson slam. Of the three, Shurman definitely had the size and look about him (though I'd suggest that loitering outside of WWE events, as he's been spotted doing, isn't the way to get noticed).
2. Shady vs. Jim Nastic (w/ The Mac) in a loser must retire hardcore match. Nastic and Mac had some fun dancing, and the crowd had a laugh at Shady trying to get down with them. The heel group Defiant Inc. interfered, and their heavy hitter Jim Sullivan laid everyone out. Nastic took a hard lariat and Shady was thrown on top of Nastic for the win, forcing Nastic to retire. Shady was then carried away by Defiant Inc.
3. AR Fox beat Anthony Stone in a Beyond Wrestling rematch. Great showing by both guys which ended when Fox hit a 450 splash. Fox had his Evolve Title, the CZW TV Title, a Chilean Title, and stole some guy's WCW US replica belt. Funny. He played the slightly cocky, subtle heel and showed that he's starting to develop a character to go along with his athleticism and skill. Stone is quite undersized but from what I've seen, he's really impressive in the ring. Strong contender for match of the night.
4. Chris Envy beat a former referee-turned wrestler. Envy wears a shirt that says "Screw indie wrestling, I'm a pro." His gimmick is an indie guy who hates indie wrestling, get it? He spent some time berating his opponent as "indie trash" saying people like that give wrestling a bad name, before beating him pretty handily.
5. Nocturn beat Chris Marvel to become No.1 contender to the NEFW Title. I didn't catch all of this one, but what I saw was the weaker of two walking brawl-style matches of the night. Nocturne is something like Papa Shango and Marvel dresses like Robin. Slightly indie-riffic. Nocturne got the win with a package piledriver.
6. Mike Mondo beat Bobby Ocean. From what I've experienced at ROH shows, as well as at this show, Mondo has a near-impossible time getting the crowd into him. Matches like this don't help either. Mondo was on offense for 90 percent of the match as the babyface, his opponent made a brief comeback without selling the effects of the prior 10 minutes, and Mondo put him away with a double-arm DDT. No psychology or story whatsoever. Disappointment of the night.
Intermission. Shorter than usual, a welcome occurrence.
7. JT Dunn beat Johnny Gargano in a Beyond Wrestling rematch. Excellent indie-style match from two guys who can work their stuff. Lots of superkicks, elbows, and great near-falls. Dunn got the win after a rolling elbow that crumpled Gargano. They put each other over after the match and agreed that since they're 1-1 against each other, they want a rubber match. It'll likely take place at the same venue around the end of the year. This was another strong contender for match of the night.
8. Anthony Gangone won a six-way freestyle match. A HoG student that I was only able to identify as Quinn was very impressive. His charisma stood out above everyone and he showed great athletic potential in the pre-show seminar as well as in this match. Otherwise, there were some badly blown, very dangerous, and all-together too many spots. A case of students and green talent trying things they shouldn't be trying. I lost it when El Generico's top rope brainbuster was used as a transition move. Things in this match are what make some smart fans cringe at indie wrestling.
9.NEFW Champion Jeremy Leary beat Dave Cole in a tables match to retain the title. This was the better of two walking brawl-style matches on the show and a really pleasant surprise. Neither guy has great name recognition on the scene, but they put together a very entertaining match with good spots all over the gymnasium (and in the ring). Leary won by putting Cole through a table with a diving splash on the outside. This got a tired crowd really amped and into the action. Dark horse third candidate for match of the night.
10. Chris Masters beat Brian Fury. After the previous match, lots of people left and those who remained were likely put to sleep by this relatively boring, WWE-style match. Masters got a good pop initially but the lack of action lost the crowd. Masters got the win out of nowhere with the Masterlock. It was revealed afterwards that Brian Fury had been legitimately injured in the match. Fury confirmed on Twitter that he had suffered a fractured ankle and would likely be out for eight weeks.
Notes: Overall, this was a solid indie show with some great matches and some not-so-great matches. My biggest critique would be that at about three and a half hours, the show ran too long for the average wrestling fan. Some people left at intermission, and more left after each match thereafter. Some of the talent they brought in did a lot to bring the quality of the show up, and some probably didn't help as much as they could've. There are still names out there that are draws independently, that I would like to see brought into NEFW. All of that said though, NEFW runs fun shows that have a loyal fan base in the area and I'm looking forward to checking out more down the road.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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