So, I have been attending these Northeast Wrestling shows regularly now since about December. They run a monthly show only twenty five minutes away from me in the NEW Arena (Bethany Town Hall) with mostly local guys with some ROH talent mixed in. They run bigger shows every couple months with bigger names in bigger venues and Wrestling Under the Stars is their gala event of the year. This event is an hour and a half away, which is quite a haul for someone my age to be going to a wrestling show by himself, but the card got pretty loaded. Then they announced that Ric Flair would be there and I had to go. If ever there was a wrestler I wanted to get my picture with it's Ric Flair. So, I bought a $55 dollar field level (the event is in a minor league ballpark) ticket and I was committed. Btw I'm writing this on a phone during my lunch breaks, so we'll see how this goes.
Meet and greets started at 4, I got in around 4:30 and there was just one giant line that moved very slowly to back area. People that prepaid and people who didn't had to wait in one line just to get up to the circle of wrestlers. I couldn't just hop in the Flair line. By the time I made it up to him I had put down so much water and a beer all I really wanted to do was pee. He was nice, but he looked spent. This was the day after Piper passed and it was hot out. He said it had been a long day, but it was all good and then in true Flair form he smiled and looked like nothing was bothering him and I got my picture with the Nature Boy. I'd post it here but my track record of screwing up the board is pretty long.
The show was supposed to start at 7, but it was well after 730 because of the jammed up meet and greet line, which played a part in match times throughout the rest of the night.
Ten bell salute for Roddy Piper.
Ric Flair comes to the ring riding in a Mustang to start the show. He thanks the fans and the promotion. He mentions how great tonight's card is. Talks a little about Piper. Flair the hits the switch and goes into Ric Flair mode albeit a very toned down version and gives a wooh and a shimmy strut and he leaves. He clearly wasn't feeling it tonight, but he's Ric Flair and nobody seemed disappointed.
Mikey Webb vs Bandido Jr This was a solid opener between two of NEW's regulars and former tag partners turned enemies. Webb and Bandido fight next week in a loser leaves NEW for a year match. Good indy opener that got the crowd fired up. Bandido won with a springboard stunner. After the match Warbeard Hanson destroys Bandido. This is mostly done to line him up with local NEW manager Stevie Stamos who somehow always finds his way onto the card and hype Hanson's title match later.
Joe Aussanio, Big Ang and Randy Shawn vs 'Man Scout' Jake Manning, Daniel Evans and Mike Gallagher This was a nothing match. Aussanio is a former Yankee if his team wins everyone gets a free ticket to a minor league game. His team won in a ten minute slopfest.
Mickie James vs Mandy Leon was your standard Mickie James match. Leon tried, but she has a long ways to go. Crowd was sort of into it, but a few male hecklers and their sexist jokes took a lot of them out. Mickie won with a slightly botched spinning DDT.
Matt Hardy vs Caleb Conley was a pretty solid match. Hardy staggers around the ring so badly now it makes me wonder how long it takes him to get out of bed in the morning. Matt gave Conley a lot of offense in this one, but eventually hit the Twist of Fate for the win. This was fun and the crowd still loves Hardy.
Lanny Poffo read two poems one for Savage and one for Piper. His voice hasn't changed even if you couldn't spot him in a crowd.
In a battle of NEW mainstays Brian Anthony vs Ron Zombie fought all over the stadium in a garbage brawl. Anthony won after putting Zombie through a table. Anthony and Zombie are settling their feud next week as Anthony legit knocked out Zombie with an ax handle.
Quick intermission as we are sort of up against the clock and there are three big matches left.
Dijak vs Samoa Joe was a hard hitting match, but much shorter than expected. I was really looking forward to this one as Dijak has come a long ways the past six months and has had some great matches in NEW with Matt Taven and Mikey Webb. Dijak was game again in this match, but Joe looked like he wanted to get out of Dodge as quick as possible since he has bigger things on the horizon. Dijak bumps like a nut for a big man. The match was good, but I came in with high expectations. Joe made Dijak pass out for the win.
Matt Taven vs Warbeard Hanson for the NEW Title, which in a way was never in doubt as Taven is facing Dijak next week in a Texas Death Match in the third match of their series where Dijak has left Taven dead in two No Contests. The match didn't disappoint however and was right up there if not better than the matches these two had with each other in Bethany. Hanson had a series of near falls and hit Taven with some nice looking power moves. Taven used his speed won with the Frog Splash after Stevie Stamos interference backfired. The crowd was really into this.
The Young Bucks vs Alberto El Patron and Rey Mysterio Jr The Bucks started with a lot of smack talk on the mic and a bunch of suck-its, but then tried to show sportsmanship with handshakes that the crowd told Patron and Mysterio not to accept so the Bucks got kicked in the gut for their trouble. The match started hot but a little sloppy and mistimed as some of the moves were way telegraphed, but the match slowed down to a nice pace with Rey being the face in peril for much of it and then picked up for a good finish in the end. This was worked more like an oldschool tag match than the spotfest you might expect. The Bucks lost after receiving a double 619 that led to an arm bar from El Patron and a dive off the top from Rey. These guys all know what they are doing and put on an entertaining match to send everyone home happy.
This was really a fun night of wrestling, and even though the meet and greet was sort of a poorly planned mess the rest of the night went pretty smoothly. Larry Zybsko was there too as advertised. He was at the meet and greet but never showed up at the actual event. The show probably had about 3000 people which is slightly more than I was expecting. This is a real good promotion, but they do a terrible job advertising their product.
I'm looking forward to this weekend's show. I don't expect Taven to lose the title, but Dijak is his biggest threat yet. We shall see.
The following week they were back in Bethany for their August show, which featured mostly guys that you've never heard of, but here are a few quick highlights. NEW Heat Wave 08-08-15
"The One Man Thrill Ride" Jimmy Preston vs Lukas Sharpe
It was announced before the show that Preston would not be here, so Lukas comes out for action and usually they just sub somebody else in, but tonight was different. Now you most likely have never heard of these guys so why waste your time? It's not because Lukas is my favorite tough luck curtain jerker, even though he is. No, it's because this is the second show Jimmy Preston has cancelled on in a week. So what? Well, for god knows what reason Preston is hugely over in New England. He's Zach Ryder mixed with MoJo Riley on buckets full of steroids. He's obnoxious and he sucks in the ring, but has a large following due to his YouTube videos which are obnoxious and terrible. The WWE came calling recently and gave Jimmy Preston a tryout, and to the shock of at least Jimmy Preston they decided to take a pass. So, he decided wrestling wasn't worth his time anymore, said a couple of things on Twitter about WWE, and decided fulfilling his commitments and at the very least saying goodbye to his fans wasn't worth his time. So, instead of Lukas Sharpe wrestling someone else he claims Preston is here and calls him out. Music plays, no Preston. The ref is then ordered to count by Sharpe and of course he gets to ten and Lukas Sharpe celebrates his rare win. Sharpe then cuts a promo basically telling Preston to go screw and thankfully the book is closed on Jimmy Preston era.
Dalton Castle fought Warbeard Hanson This was good. I really enjoy Castle and Hanson is growing on me. I still think Warbeard is a little to soft in the ring for a guy his size. He looks like a hard hitting power guy, he should wrestle like one. I don't know where Castle finds the power to lift someone with the slow German Suplex like Warbeard, but he did and it was pretty sweet. Hanson won with a spin kick to the face in a bit of a shocker.
Mike Bennett vs Frankie Arion was okay. I'm not really buying the push they're giving Frankie. Bennett is solid enough to make it interesting. Frankie wins with a double stomp to the back.
Matt Taven vs Dijak for the NEW Title in a Texas Deathmatch. Okay, as far as indy deathmatches go this was tame, but that's fine it wasn't needed and it is not what NEW is about. It was a hard hitting match that went all over the arena and outside. Dijak pretty much kicked the shit out of Taven for most of this thing. Lots of belt whipping and some chairs. Taven was able to fight back and knock Dijack through a table then hit a Frog Splash on two chairs for the victory. This was a really fun, well done feud and it was so simple. Taven and Dijak both come out of this looking great.
After the match Arion comes back out and announces he's got the next title shot. Taven just got done with feuds against Warbeard and Dijak and even defended against Alberto El Patron, so tho is going to be a tough sell
Originally posted by griffThanks for posting this. I've never heard of this promotion before but I'll check them out. Sounds like you had a great time; you should post the Flair pic!
The old champions aren't drawing much these days either. It's a win/win situation--if Booker T or somebody works, the ratings go back up and everyone's happy. If not, they have a new scapegoat and the bandwagon jumpers get another "I told you so.