8/10 Big Time Wrestling results: Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Carlito, Chris Masters, Matt Hardy, Shane Douglas, R.J. Brewer, and more
Big Time Wrestling
Report by Dot Net reader William Wellek
I was reading some results that somebody posted from the BTW show in West Virginia from Friday night and they did change the Altoona, PA show a bit, which is good sign that they just don't run carbon copies from show to show. Well...I didn't make the meet and greet like last time and pulled into the parking lot about ten minutes after the show was about to start. My friend and I could hear audible "whoooos" from inside the building while still a long distance away. Upon entering some people passed us covered in sweat and warned us about the incredible heat and lack of air conditioning and that the show was running late. They weren't lying.
Let's get into a few complaints first (one in particular) that should have been fixed after the last time through. The heat was unbearable and sucked the life out of the crowd from time to time. I would estimate there were around 600-700 at the Jaffa Shrine which I LOVE as a wrestling venue. It really harkens back to the days of beer hall and VFW wrestling shows. Now, I don't think BTW has anything to due with the comfort of the hall's temperature, BUT...they do have control over their biggest problem.
The sound system is horrible. The music is too loud for the building and the ring announcer simply CAN'T be heard when he's making the ring entrance announcements over the music. If you don't know the wrestlers, there's no way you can hear the names. So, be warned, when I give the results, there is definitely some names that I couldn't make out and am just putting the best version of what I could decipher. Now, with that said...on to the show, which wasn't that bad except for a few things I'll get into later.
First out, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, who received a several minute standing ovation. He began by apologizing for missing the last show he was scheduled for and talked about how it was only the third time that he ever missed an appearance he was scheduled for. The other two times were for wrestling tournaments that his son Reid was involved with and the third was due to the death of Reid. Flair had tears rolling down his face and quite a few members of the audience was right there with him.
After getting that out of his system, Ric told a few stories about being in Altoona before and even went a bit heelish when it seemed like he was getting on our beloved on Pittsburgh Steelers a bit and started talking about Michael Vick playing for the cross state rivals the Philadelphia Eagles the night before. Anyways, he thanked us, told us to enjoy our evening, walked out to another standing ovation and wasn't seen again the rest of the night.
On to the matches...and keep in mind, the names of some of the unknowns and lesser knows aren't exactly correct because there was no way to make them out.
1. Slyck Wagner Brown beat John Sampson. Sampson has a redneck gimmick and gives off a bit of a Dick Slater vibe. He's pretty entertaining, but lost the match to Brown due to a school boy roll up. Fun opener.
2. The Patriot and Lone Star beat Russian Hammer and Ben Junx(?). Both teams had managers in their corners who interfered from time to time. The Patriot got the pin on Junx. Both teams tried hard, but the crowd wasn't really into it. Later in the evening I passed a man who was talking to The Patriot, who was still in his mask and the man called him Rich. So, I have no clue as to who was portraying the character last night.
3. TNA Knockouts Champion Mickie James beat Reby Sky and Jessie Belle in a three-way match. Belle is quite the attractive newcomer. Reby and Jessie came out as a team at first and then kept interrupting pinfalls the other had on Mickie, so they could win the match. Not a bad match at all with only a few missed spots. Mickie pinned Belle after a chick kick. I can see Belle moving up in the business. She's that hot and does seem to have some talent.
Up next was an appearance by Virgil, who spent a few minutes talking about past times in Altoona and how the fans were the best in the world. It was nice to see him.
4. Matt Hardy beat "The Arizona Patriot" R.J. Brewer. This turned into the match of the night so far. Both guys worked hard to get the crowd into the match and put on a very good 12-15 match with Matt winning with the Twist Of Fate. TNA or ROH wouldn't do themselves any harm by giving R.J. Brewer a decent tryout. The guy has something about him that works.
Intermission...Mickie James and Terry Funk showed up in the ring to take pictures. Twenty dollars for a photo with just one of them or thirty dollars with both of them. The line was incredible and stretched out the intermission in that sort of heat to over a half an hour...probably closer to 45 minutes. It was way, way, way too long, but I know...that's how they make their money. I felt a bit bad for Terry, because it seemed like Mickie was getting most of the photo action, but he did get his fair share.
5. "The New England Patriot" Bam Bam Delfanzo over Todo Loco. I'm guessing Loco was pretending to be Lucha Libre. Ten minutes of nothing special and Delfanzo won with the power slam.
6. Six-Man Tag Match. This was the most frustrating match of the night because not a single name could be heard over the Quiet Riot entrance music. Three bad guys vs. three good guys. One of the bad guys (Shorty Smalls) did have his name on the back of his shirt. Well, after ten minutes of a mess of a match, Shorty got the pin with a frog splash off the top rope on one of the good guys.
7. Carlito beat Chris Masters. And, yes, they used the name Masters. For some reason, Carlito didn't use his last name. This was a very fun match which started out with some sportsmanship and then turned into Carlito working as the heel after some questionable tactics. A nice chant of "we want apple" broke out a few times. It seemed as if both guys were having fun and created an enjoyable match that went pretty close to fifteen minutes. At the end, Carlito got his apple, spit it at Masters and missed and nailed the referee. With the ref blinded, Masters locked in the Masterlock, but received a back kick to the groin and caught Masters with the Backstabber for the pin. Not a very logical finish since the ref saw him spit the apple into his face...but hey...it was what it was. A decent match and both men hugged and took in some of the crowd adoration together before they left the ring.
Before the main event, there was one more intermission with Matt Hardy coming out to sign autographs while the cage was being constructed by what looked to be like a middle school shop class. At first, it seemed as if not very many people was coming down for the photo opportunity after the steep price of the one during the first intermission. Matt took the mic and said, "these people have spent enough money tonight. Let's give them a break and cut it from twenty to ten." That's all it took and the line grew and grew. So, what should have been a brief break to build the cage turned into another half hour intermission and the crowd was grumbling pretty good by this point. The signing was a good idea, but not right before the main event with the crowd already tired from a long show in an incredibly hot building.
8. Flex Armstrong defeated Shane Douglas in a steel cage match to retain the BTW Heavyweight Championship with Terry Funk as special referee. Douglas had to try and play the heel in this one despite being from a reasonable distance from Altoona. He called Terry out the ring and laid some pretty good insults into him. Funk and the ref took their places outside of the cage with the only way to win by climbing through the door or over the cage. Wow...after eleven and the main event just ready to go.
The match started out with the typical stalling, and built up steam the longer it went. Shane bled a few minutes into the match after what appeared to be from Terry Funk slamming the door on his head while trying to get out of the cage door. Another wrestler came to ringside and threw a steel chair into the ring to help out Shane. Armstrong took advantage of the situation and tried to walk out the door.
Funk wouldn't let him in what appeared to be some sort of heel turn, but all he wanted Armstrong to do was climb to the top of the cage, which he did. Instead of climbing down to the floor, Flex turned around and did the Superfly Snuka cage leap onto Shane. After a few minutes of both men crawling around in pain on the mat, Armstrong crawled out the door to retain the championship in approximately twenty minutes or so. Not a bad match at all.
Most of the arena had cleared out when Shane got on the mic and gave props to Terry Funk for being the toughest SOB he ever met and then gave a speech about some of his late ECW buddies like Bam Bam Bigelow and Chris Candido. Shane was really into the moment and then called Flex Armstrong back into the ring and gave him some excellent compliments and finally left the ring to let Flex say a few words to the hundred or so people left in the building who had all gathered around the cage. Flex was at a loss for words and didn't say much, but people were invited into the cage with him for photo opportunities.
It was nearly midnight when we left the building and the pictures were still going on. You had to have your own camera person with you to get a pic taken, and neither my lady friend or I thought it was a smart idea to try and get into the cage because we're both over fifty and probably couldn't make it through the ropes. Oh, well...another life opportunity lost.
Notes: Overall...the wrestling was entertaining and BTW puts on a good show. On the down side, the autograph signings were both WAY too long and they HAVE to do something about fixing the sound system problems between the loud music and the ring announcer's mic. I highly recommend checking out their show if they make it to your area. The package deals are a bit steep, but the general admission and seats further back on the floor are well worth the price. Fifteen dollars each for where we were sitting...fantastic deal. I wish I had somebody to go with to the show in Belle Vernon, Pa. on Sunday - Shane Douglas vs Matt Hardy in a rematch from their Extreme Reunion match from last year when Matt took his nasty tumble from the top rope to the floor and the crowd had to be evacuated.
Finally, the next return date...March 2014. Wow...start planning now! Seriously, great show from the people of Big Time Wrestling. Keep up the great work.
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