We’re just three days away from Wrestling On Fire’s first appearance in my great home state of Maine in almost a year and their first show period in almost two months.
The show opens with the return of Wrestling On Fire hosts Ken Reedy and winner of the 2013 Regional CM Punk Lookalike Contest, Ray Ray Marz. Reedy and Marz make awkward small talk and then announce that Wrestling On Fire and East Coast Professional Wrestling have OFFICIALLY merged and that they’ll be putting on shows and TV Tapings together. This was sort of obvious after the past few shows and reading the columns on Wrestling On Fire’s website but it’s good they made it official, at least.
“The Cuban Crippler” Ricky Reyes Vs Papadon Vs Sebastian Cruz
I THINK this is a rematch of a bout we saw a few months ago on the show but I can’t say for sure. The commentary on this match is practically incomprehensible with the only thing I’m able to make out is Ken Reedy talking about how he had all of these guys on his online radio show. And it’s not until the finish that I realize that this is a replay of the match that we saw a few months ago (June 15th, to be particular). It was decent-ish then and decent-ish now. B-
Ray Ray Marz and Ken Reedy
read off cue cards hype up the Wrestling On Fire/East Coast Professional Wrestling merger and say that while the negotiating is still going on, they’re going to showcase some of ECPW’s talent for the viewing audience. What the heck have they been doing for the past 3-4 weeks!? Marz wears the same facial expression that MarShon Brooks did at the press conference announcing his trade to the Boston Celtics. I guess this ain’t WWF buying WCW. Reedy says we’re going to see a match from one of East Coast Pro Wrestling’s most dynamic young personalities, a gentlemen by the name of Salvatore Sincere Frankie Flow.
Frankie Flow Vs Sam Shields
Flow is a bald, jacked up Puerto Rican dude wearing Ultimate Warrior tassels. For a second, I get Sam Shields confused with TNA also ran/Gut Check Winner Sam Shaw and get mildly confused before I realize the two look nothing alike. Flow and Shields to the extended pose to the fans, WWF house show opener bit. Before they can lock up, we cut to to commercial break. Man, I feel like if I had taken ONE video editing course during college, I could edit these shows instead of recapping them. Oh well. Even trade in my book. Anyway, we come back and Shields and Flow are in the middle of a PUSH UP CONTEST and Shields has decided he’s stalled for long enough and tries to hit an elbow drop on Flow but hits the mat instead. This is from the same show as the Tommy Dreamer and Little Guido matches that we saw a few weeks back so there’s a pretty rockin’ crowd by this show’s standards. I guess people still want to see half assed ECW Reunions. Charlie Savoldi uses this match to hype up East Coast Pro Wrestling’s Wrestling School. Flow seems to be the bland but somewhat charismatic powerhouse that the big leagues seem to love so I can see why he’s being “showcased”. I’m more impressed with
Shaw Shields who does a good job of bumping around for Flow’s rudimentary offense. Anyway, as I mentioned this was basically a WWE house show opener. It wasn’t anything to write home about but it did its job of revving up the crowd without doing too much to distract from the rest of the show. C+
Even though it’s obvious that something has been in the works for weeks if not months since they’ve been pretty much exclusively showing ECPW matches for a number of episodes, I’m glad they’ve officially acknowledged a “merger”. It seems kind of silly just to randomly show a bunch of matches from another promotion (and not show your own stars) without any sort of concept. From the little I’ve seen over the past month or so, ECPW doesn’t seem like the type of promotion that I’d go out of my way to recommend but it also avoids a lot of the negative stereotypes about small time indy shows. They draw fairly respectable crowds and have a solid, meat and potatoes, family friendly product that makes a lot of sense for Wrestling On Fire to latch onto. Plus they’re able to afford the occasional name. I’m cautiously optimistic about the merger but with this company, every week is different from the last. They don’t say “Card subject to change” on the posters for nothing!
That brings another edition of Wrestling On Fire to a close. Until next week, keep clear in the Culture Crossfire and remember not to feed your dogs chocolate. Doot Doola Doot Doo!