Wrestling On Fire gets (mildly) EXTREME as former ECW superstars Tommy Dreamer and the Full Blooded Italians make a guest appearance on this week’s episode!
The weather might have cooled off here in the Northeast but the action in Wrestling On Fire is just starting to heat up! With its return to my home state of Maine going down in two weeks, let’s see what the wild and wacky crew of the hottest indy promotion today (according to the Savoldi Family) is up to!
We open with the ad for the shows at the Topsham Fair on August 6th and the Farmington Fair on September 17th. I’m sure they’ll play this at least once every commercial break, if not twice! Also, I believe I’ve pointed this out before but two shows, six weeks apart from each other in the same state does not constitute a “summer tour”, Wrestling on Fire!
This week’s show culminates from that same East Coast Pro Wrestling Show in the Hudson Valley area of New York State. The crowd is actually really big for a non-retro Wrestling On Fire show. This high school gym they’re taping in is surprisingly fairly packed and the fans are ready for freddy.
ECPW World Heavyweight Title Match: Andrew Anderson (c) Vs Tommy Dreamer
If you didn’t think things could get lower for Dreamer after his TNA run, here he is, making his Wrestling On Fire debut. I’m not sure to compare Anderson’s looks to a fatter Michael P.S. Hayes or a much shorter Big John Studd but he definitely has an ’80s heel look to him. Anderson stalls but Dreamer fires away with some Dusty Rhodes-esque elbows and punches. The announcer talks about Dreamer’s extreme background but since the audience is 75% kids, the most hardcore we get is Tommy Dreamer grabbing a fan’s Sprite and spitting it in Anderson’s face. ECW! ECW! ECW! Anderson works over Dreamer with some heel tactics. Anderson shoves the referee and grabs a Singapore Cane. Dreamer wrestles it out of his hand and whacks Anderson in the dome with it. The referee calls for the bell but nobody is sure who is being DQ’d until he raises Tommy Dreamer’s hand. Anderson and Dreamer get into a brief scuffle before Anderson huffs and puffs away with his belt.
This match is a perfect example of why I rate on a sliding scale. Technically, not a great match as you can imagine a 2013 Tommy Dreamer match would be but him and Anderson were able to get the crowd really into the match without doing much of anything at all. So as far as a Sneaky Heel Champ Vs Major Star from the Past doing a guest shot match goes, this was perfectly fine. Plus I got a laugh out of Dreamer getting confused as to which ex ECW star he was and doing a PG rated impersonation of Sandman sporadically during this match. B
The Full Blooded Italians (Little Guido and Mario Zuto) Vs Mike Donovan and Eric Alvarado
Guido looks rather emaciated here and is wearing a huge knee brace. I’ve never seen Zuto. It looks like Guido wanted to get Big Vito to do the show with him but they ended up settling for some random skinny bald dude. Guido and Alvarado start off with some chain wrestling. Some goofy comedy wrestling. Commercial break and we clip to the match to Mike Donovan and Alvarado working over Zuto. Usual tag team formula bullshit. Guido makes the hot tag, hits the Sicillian Slice on Alvarado but heel shenanigans break up the pin. Guido ducks Donovan’s finisher and rolls him up for the win. This was somewhat less impressive than the last match. Guido looks like he’s 50 (Wikipedia says he’s 41) and has lost a step since his last WWE run in the mid ’00s (but is still better than most of the guys on these shows). I don’t know where they found Zuto but he sure didn’t make me forget Tony Mamaluke or Big Vito. Alvarado or Donovan were fine and didn’t really stand out either way. C
This show wasn’t nearly as dreadful as ECW Stars make a guest appearance on Wrestling On Fire would seem but I have to wonder…what actually happened to the stars of Wrestling On Fire? While Wrestling On Fire’s connections with other promotions like East Coast Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Syndicate, etc has improved the work rate quality of the show exponentially, it’s done so at the expense of their own stars. When was the last time we even saw Wrestling On Fire Champ Brian Fury? It has to be at least a month. I know I’ve mentioned how rarely they do their own shows but it can’t be that difficult or expensive to do a pre-taped promo with him saying “Hey! This is Brian Fury! I’m going to bash so and so’s brains out at the Topsham Fair on August 6th!” Then again, I don’t even know if even the promoters of Wrestling On Fire have much interest in promoting their shows. It seems like they’re just more interested in putting together a decent hodge podge of a TV show. And hey, as I mentioned, the show is a lot better than it was six months ago even if it has lost a significant amount of that low rent, cheesy indy charm.
Anyway, until next week, stay caught up in the Culture Crossfire and don’t feed your dogs chocolate, kids!