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These are my thoughts on a recent show I went to in Fort Worth. I’d like to give my thoughts on the pre-show ambiance but due to my mistiming and the wrong address appearing in my phone, that didn’t happen. I came in right as promoter David Fuller was introducing former champ SB1. The two of them put over their past. Then SB1 put over Fuller’s passion.

Fuller announced they were scheduled to have a match between Peyton Gates and Miss Diss Lexia. However Ms. Gates suffered an injury to keep her out of the match. Her opponent Miss Diss Lexia came in to the ring to cut a promo talking about how she wished her to get better and then when the crowd believed her, she attacked Gates. Delilah Doom (who is like sunshine in human form) came out to try to rescue her and got attacked too. Miss Diss Lexia looked imposing, threatening and oh, yes, very stunning. If there is a vote for Most Improved Wrestler of 2014, she has my vote.

First match: Li Fang w/ Nigel Rabid vs. Kyle Hawk

Everybody involved in this match was really firing on all cylinders. While I’ve seen highlights of Hawk, this was my first time to see him do an entire match. And wow. I was really blown away by him. And dare I call Nigel Rabid one of the best things in Texas wrestling? He keeps the crowd engaged the entire time. Li and Kyle’s work was very good. It was a beautiful athletic contest. You had all the flippy-floppy stuff that sparked the crowd. The crowd seemed to be pretty hot and into it most of the night. Li, Nigel, Kyle, legendary referee Rick Manning, all 4 were reading off each other. It was a very good opener.

Winner: Li Fang

After the match they introduced HOFer Black Bart. Wow, this man can cut a promo and keep a crowd’s attention. Sit down at that man’s feet and learn from him.

Second match: Kevin Cross w/Nigel Rabid vs. Crusher Mark

Cross is huge, like legit 7’1″. I think his nickname should be the One Man Tag Team. Crusher Mark was the ultimate babyface. He came out with the American flag, giving it to a kid to hold during the match, gave his dog tags to a kid to hold. He stomped his feet and everybody said, “Hoo-rah.” Everybody knew they were supposed to do this but me. At first I thought the match would remind me of a Giant/Big Show match from ’96. But it was a lot more competitive than I thought it would be. You had the big guy taking on the little guy with lots of fire behind him. I actually thought Mark was going to win at one point. But out of nowhere we got the Kevin Cross chokeslam and he walked away with the pin.

Winner: Cross

Third match: Jiggle-O James Johnson vs. Bryan Ryder

I’m not sure where I heard that this was going to be Ryder’s last match, but I knew it somehow going into this. Johnson has has a really good year this past year. I call it the “Johnsonnaisance.” It was a beautifully laid-out match. Johnson bumped and sold like Dolph Ziggler. There were so many bumps where you were sure he died and so many near-falls where you thought this was it. But Ryder had a really last match to end off his career with. Jiggle-O walked away with an O-face and the victory.

Winner: Johnson

This really could have been a main event anywhere. It was nice to see Ryder go out on a high note. After the match, David Fuller came out with Khris Wolfe and talked about their past together as being founders of IHWE. It was a nice moment.

After the intermission, we had Thomas Shire come out to face an unknown opponent. It was the retired Mind of Wrestling JT LaMotta.

Fourth match: Thomas Shire vs. JT LaMotta

I’m liking what I see from Shire every time I see him. His look is so different. He doesn’t look like he belongs in this decade. He’s what you would see in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s in a territory. Or you could find on a high school wrestling team. The name that comes to mind in Jack Swagger. I was there for JT LaMotta’s last match in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Strange. Here he is wrestling a year later. Needless to say, it was a nice match. LaMotta is such a capable veteran. At one point, Shire extended his hand, and LaMotta told him he’d shake Shire’s hand if Shire could beat him. LaMotta didn’t need the victory. He put over Shire as he should have.

Winner: Shire

Fifth match: Mike Foxx vs. Seth Shai

These two have been around for forever, have wrestled in all parts of the globe. Both of them know what to do so I just sat back and watched the show. Foxx was not happy and was done and began to walk to the back. Rick Manning, the greatest referee of all time, was trying to get Foxx back in the ring. Foxx laid a hand on him and and Manning dq’d him.

Winner via disqualification: Shai

Black Bart came into the ring to threaten Foxx and Jiggle-O James Johnson came out to the rescue when lo and behold, Seth Shai joined forces with Mike Foxx. They introduced Charlie Haas and announced he was going to face the winner of the main event at the next show on 9/28.

Main event: Americos vs. Gregory James vs. Ashton Jacobs in a Best of 3 Falls Match with David Fuller as special guest referee

Jacobs looks a lot like 1996 Chris Jericho. I’ve been watching Greg ever since he first began in the business so I never ceased to be amazed by how far he’s come. And Americos is strangely familiar for some reason, like I’ve been watching him wrestle for forever too. This was a rematch of the opener at the last IHWE show. No surprise. These guys are talented and brought a good main event. I had one problem with the booking. It was very obvious each wrestler was going to win a fall each. Sure enough, Greg got the first, Ashton the second and Americos the third. We were all tied at the top. Fuller announced they were going into Sudden Death. And of course the winner of the 3rd fall got the final pin. It just made good booking sense.

Winner: Americos

After the match the Rabid Empire came to attack the main event competitors. Thomas Shire came to the rescue, Charlie Haas told Americos to hold on to that belt for him, and we ended on a high note.

All in all… It was a pretty decent show. The overwhelming MVP of the night was Rick Manning. He refereed all but one match. The first half of the card was really good and the second half served to further some storylines for the 9/28 IHWE show.

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