It’s been a HUGE news week in the world of wrestling. I’m gonna cut to the chase and get right to recapping this little half hour rasslin show for you.
Our show opens with the ring announcer giving instructions on how to behave around Luka The Sideshow Freak as he heads to the ring. This is a nice little touch to really put over a “psycho” gimmick. Too bad the P.A. system made half of the instructions inaudible but I like the thought behind it and I’m surprised I haven’t seen this move done more to help sell a “crazy” gimmick.
And this goes right into a match that we saw two weeks ago on this very show. Hrm. So much for finding out the results of ECPW On Fire’s WrestleMania Weekend Show on this week’s episode!
Luka The Sideshow Freak(With Vincent Valentine) Vs The Punisher Martinez
(Originally on the 3-29-14 show)
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.
(This match was a little bit better on rewatch. I’m really starting to dig the Luka The Sideshow Freak and Vincent Valentine gimmicks. It’s kind of cheesy and over the top like ’80s Memphis gimmicks but it’s something that seems different from anything than WWE, TNA, and ROH are doing. ECPW On Fire can’t come close to replicating the workrate of those promotions so I like to see them embracing the cartoonish and campy (but still fun) side of pro wrestling to set them apart. That’s why I started following the promotion 4 or 5 years ago. I don’t mind a bit of cheese in my pro wrestling…I just hope it’s more Brie than Velveeta!)
Ricky Palmer and Tony Vega Vs “Fireball” Ray Ray Marz and Nick Graeber
Oh phew! A new match! I thought this would be an all recap show. We’ve seen Ricky Palmer once or twice before in singles competition. He’s the athletic, blandly handsome type of wrestler that WWE would have bent over backwards to sign to a development deal in the early-mid ’00s. Smart idea to stick him in a tag team though at this stage of his career. He’s got good presence but looks green so having him in tags kind of accentuates the strong points while de-emphasizing the weaker ones. This is basically an extended squash match for Palmer and Vega. Ray Ray Marz’ new “Fireball” drunken louse character is an entertaining undercard comedy heel gimmick. His partner Graeber doesn’t even get named on the broadcast and I have to go to the website to find out his name. Both heels do a fine job of bumping around like pinballs for the faces. Palmer wins with a spear. C+ After the match, Vega and Palmer call out ECPW Tag Team Champs Shields and Revello. Good! They finally might be building some semblance of a tag team division.
Bandido Jr Vs Junior Flow
(Originally seen on the 3-22 show)
This is a grudge match. Bandido is Frankie Flow’s tag team partner and Junior cost them the titles. The announcers put over the fact that unlike Frankie, Bandido has no problem beating the pulp out of Junior. You’d think that would set up an intense brawl but not really the case here outside of the last few minutes. Couple side notes: The audio levels on commentary, especially Joey G, are really messed up (alternating between indecipherable and REALLY LOUD) and I have to watch the match almost on mute to protect my poor, little ears. Also, crowds at the Paramus Elks Lodge have been pretty decent the past few shows. Definitely becoming the home venue for this promotion. Back to thoughts on the actual match Junior Flow is a guy who can pull off some neat spots but also messes up a lot of simple stuff. This is one of those matches that is just there to set up a rematch. The finish comes when Bandido Jr gets fed up with Junior Flow’s heel antics and grabs a chair. Frankie Flow runs down to ringside and takes it away from Bandido and tries to reason with him. While this happens, Junior sneaks behind Bandido and low blows him to draw the DQ. I haven’t seen a low blow earn a disqualification in years. It’s a cheap finish but I kind of like it for nostalgia purposes. Does a good job of building to the rematch. C+ (Like Luka/Punisher, I liked this match a little bit better on rewatch. I gave it a C three weeks ago. I also might have been a bit harsh on Junior Flow, who while sloppy is developing into a decent brooding heel. Also something I noticed on the second watch is that the referee was horrible, accidentally counting three on multiple occasions. I’d like to give them/him the benefit of the doubt and assume it was intentional to make this a more “controversial” match but I have my doubts…)
After the match, Frankie pulls apart Bandido and Junior with Junior eventually scampering to the back. Bandido Jr challenges Junior to a No DQ match at the next show at the Paramus Elks Lodge. Junior accepts and Papa Frankie looks distraught that his tag team partner and his son will be fighting again.
This ends another week of ECPW On Fire action. Thanks everybody for reading this week! Enjoy Spring everybody and remember while the Easter Bunny will come around next week, remember to tell him not to put any chocolate in your dogs’ Easter baskets! See everybody next Monday morning. Conn Man out!