Happy Major League Opening Day everybody and welcome to your favorite Monday tradition. I say it’s Opening Day because I’m an AMERICAN and I don’t count those games played in Australia last weekend! We’re not here to talk about jakked up big league ball players. We’re here to talk about (sometimes) jacked up small time rasslers. Yes, Pro Wrestling doesn’t need no opening day. It’s a 365 days a year sport! It’s not just a big week for fans of the Great American Pastime, it’s a big week for fans of the Real American Sport(s Entertainment). Of course, we all know WWE has its big day on Sunday with WrestleMania XXX but many smaller promotions have big shows this weekend too. ECPW On Fire is no exception, with a big show on Friday that’s main evented by a Triple Threat Steel Cage Match for the vacant Wrestling On Fire Heavyweight title. Even though the Parsippany P.A.L. is almost 1,300 miles away from the New Orleans SuperDome (home of WrestleMania this year), it just shows you that everybody gets rasslin’ fever as well as Spring Fever come the first week of April!
Let’s get this WrestleMania Week party started by recapping some ECPW On Fire!
Luka (With Vincent Valentine) Vs The Punisher Martinez
Our show starts with ECPW On Fire resident madman Vincent Valentine vamping it up. He’s with Luka The Sideshow Freak. We saw Luka the other week. Luka has an Elephant Man gimmick. He’s going up against The Punisher Martinez. Punisher seems more animated than usual. Joey G says “This is going to be brutal.” several times during the opening seconds. Hope that’s not an omen. Luka really flies around the ring for a dude his size. He gets fed up and tries to hit Punisher with a chain. Referee has none of this and takes it away but Vincent Valentine runs in and hits Punisher with what looks like a foam sword (the kind used for LARPing…no, I don’t LARP, honestly!) to draw the DQ. Match only went maybe two minutes so I’m going to have give it an Incomplete. What we saw was actually surprisingly not too bad though. After the match, The Punisher tries to choke slam Vincent Valentine but Big Bad John waddles down to save his manager. John, The Punisher, and Valentine deliver a 3 on 1 beatdown on The Punisher. This whole Punisher/Valentine’s stable of freaks reminds me of The Undertaker’s mid ’90s feuds. I hope it’s more Undertaker Vs Mankind and Goldust than Undertaker Vs Mr. Hughes and Giant Gonzalez but only time will tell.
We get a replay of Vincent Valentine’s promo from last week’s show. Something tells me that was a production goof and that was meant to be played before the match? It doesn’t make sense to see Valentine hyping up Luka Vs Punisher after we saw the match.
Non Title, Four Corners Match: “The Cuban Crippler” Ricky Reyes Vs Dan De Man Vs “Irish” Matt MacIntosh Vs Sonny Kiss
We haven’t seen any of these guys in a few weeks! ECPW Light Heavyweight Champ De Man, MacIntosh, and Kiss make their entrances first and I think we’re going to see another Triple Threat for the Light Heavyweight Title between these three, which we saw a solid half dozen times in the last few months of ’13 and first month or so of this year but De Man insists that he will NOT be defending the title tonight. De Man, also says, they might as well make this match a four corners match, which is an odd move for a cowardly heel but I guess it’s so it’ll be easier for him to hide. The fourth man is ECPW Unified Television Champion Ricky Reyes. Neither title is on the line here. Flamboyantly gay babyface Sonny Kiss twerks as Ken Reedy makes a dated “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” joke.
This match is actually pretty well laid out. Kiss is really agile but fairly green so he spends most of the match brawling around ringside while occasionally getting in to display his athleticism and to twerk. Little kids in the crowd really like Sonny Kiss twerking. WELCOME TO OBAMA’ S AMERICA! De Man plays a good weaselly heel, picking his spots and Reyes is a solid workhorse veteran. MacIntosh is really starting to impress me. He’s starting to work some of the bigger indies and rightfully so. Not much to complain about here although Reyes takes maybe the most ginger thrown into a guardrail bump I’ve ever seen when he gets tossed into it by Kiss. MacIntosh wins with a modified F5 on De Man. Fun match. B
We close the show with Tommy’s Corner, another thing that we haven’t seen in a month or two. Tommy’s guest is ECPW On Fire color commentator Joey G. Joey G waxes nostalgic about the history of the Savoldi Family but Uncle Tommy cuts him off and says he has a lot on his mind. ECPW On Fire lead announcer Ken Reedy pops in to bug everybody. Uncle Tommy still hasn’t let it be known whether he’s on Team ECPW with Gino Caruso and his brother Mario or on Team WOF with Ken Reedy and his nephew Mario Jr. Uncle Tommy teases a heel turn (!?) by saying he felt stabbed in the back by Mario Sr and Gino when they didn’t include him on their secret meetings and he likes that Team WOF is all about the future! Uncle Tommy says he’ll make his final decision on which side he’s on THIS FRIDAY April 4th at the Parsippany P.A.L. Somehow, I feel that this is all a “swerve” and Tommy won’t actually be turning heel but who knows/cares? At the end, Tommy says out of nowhere that he doesn’t want to do Tommy’s Corner anymore and tells Joey G that he can have the segment. OK then. That’s it for this show/Tommy’s Corner.
They did as good of a job as they could of hyping the April 4th/WrestleMania Weekend “supercard” with a 30 minute show. I liked both matches that we saw last night and they both effectively built to future angles. This week also showed the limitations of a 30 minute show. You can only showcase maybe 4 or 5 guys with just twenty two minutes of airtime. And for some reason, ECPW On Fire insists on showcasing the same 3 or 4 guys for weeks at a time (I was shuddering at the prospect of this show being a showcase for Valentine’s stable and the Flow Family feud for a third week in a row). Wrestlers and their feuds/angles wander in and out of the show with little rhyme or reason. Tonight’s main event angle is a perfect example of that. The storyline of Tommy Savoldi being torn between WOF and ECPW seemed like it was supposed to be a big deal two months ago but then they didn’t mention it for weeks and weeks. When Uncle Tommy reappeared tonight, the mark in me wasn’t demanding answers but saying “Oh…this was a thing that’s still happening.” For the first time ever, I kind of wish my local station got the hour long show again and that’s no early April Fools joke!
I hope everybody enjoys baseball season and while it’s fun to go out to the ballpark and play in the grass, you don’t want to hit any foul balls. Please remember to wear condoms. And remember that while creatures, great and small, enjoy some ballpark treats. You should never, ever feed your dogs chocolate. If I don’t get hit by a bus or attacked by a vampire, I’ll see you back here same time (ish) next week!