Trying to wrap up this wrestling show a few hours after. I’d be lying to not call this night one of the greatest nights of my life. Is it the greatest show I’ve ever seen live based on wrestling alone? I’d say it’s tied my Inspire Pro from last May. But it wasn’t what happened IN the ring that made it so great for me. It was my little girl being with me that made it so great. I’m sure somebody somewhere will do a straight recap. This won’t be one of those. My daughter is my “SHIMMER”-watching buddy, and I’m very proud of her and will talk about her constantly.

We began the night with a meet-n-greet with the performers. I got to meet Raymond Rowe, Shane Taylor, AR Fox & Nicole Savoy. Athena signed the sign we made for her. We walked in and found our seats. I let her choose where she wanted and she went for smack dab middle of the front row where the wrestlers had the most room to dive. We’ll try to remember that for next time.

The show began with Keith Roberts, ring announcer extraordinaire, introducing GM Claudia. Wrestling shows everywhere begin with talking but we’re not about that. Let’s have wrestling.

First match: Lou Sterrett vs. “The Natural” Michael Shafer

So I thought this was going to be a collar-elbow tie-up, confined to the ring wrestling contest. It might have been at first. This was bathroom break #1 for my little girl. Well, when we got back, two guys that I don’t naturally (No pun intended) think of as being high-fliers were like AJ Styles-Low Ki. Well, Lou Sterrett ended up at ringside and fell in my lap. He whispers to me that I might want to move. Being that I’ve never heard a wrestler tell me to move before, I got up stat. I was very glad because about 2 moves later Sterrett’s foot would have gone right through my head. My daughter was fearless and didn’t really move out of the way like she should have. She became the star of the night because Daddy moved out of the way quickly and she was happy in her seat not wanting to move. This was a crazy, insane match I did not expect. Nikki Bella would have called her “Fearless.”

Winner: Sterrett

I didn’t see this from start to finish but because of how this exceeded my expectations, this is my choice for match of the night. There was good sportsmanship between the two afterwards. In honor of Claudia celebrating a birthday, they brought out a cake, which my daughter had her eyes on like a hawk. Of course no birthday celebration is complete without a Dirty Minds interruption. And to counteract the Dirty Minds we got Simply Irresistible. I thought we were going to have the match there. I couldn’t hear everything as there seemed to be audio problems all night. But we did have Jiggle-O introduce us all to… “The Crotch {dramatic pause} of Wrestling” which is a play on JT LaMotta’s “The Mind of Wrestling.” Claudia announced that the winner of their tag match would be in the main event.

Second match: Davey Vega vs. Orion “Payday” Taylor w/Kenny Steele

I’d like to see Taylor get booked a little bit more through Texas. He is a high-flyer that can stand toe to toe with people who are known on a national level. And he proved that tonight with Vega. I have never seen him look crisper and more complete. I wrote down that this match was exactly what I thought it was going to be. You had two high-flyers going out and doing their thing. And again they ended up in front of us. It was a struggle to get both guys into the ring. Taylor was the only one who made it by the 10-count.

Winner: Orion Taylor by countout

After the match Taylor and Vega shook hands and then… Vega turned on him. Out came Kenny Steele to his rescue. Then they were attacked by the Bad Boyz (Lil Tony & Seph Annunaki). Seph and Taylor came up together so I hope they play on their history. Claudia announced the next show would feature tag teams. Kimber Bombs, Made in Syn, please?

Third match: Dirty Minds (Andy Dalton & JT LaMotta) vs. Simply Irresistible (Matt Palmer & “Jiggle-O” James Johnson)

You remember the Smackdown 6? It was Kurt Angle, Edge, Rey Misterio, Jr., Eddy Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero, Jr. and He Whose Name Must Not Be Mentioned. Well, I am coining a new term. The Arlington 4. And that is these 4 guys in this match. All 4 of these guys have fought in all different kinds of matches. This was old hat for them.

So how over are these guys? One of the fans stocked up on pink loofah sponges to throw at Andy Dalton as he is #dirty. And of course Dalton sold everything like crazy. One of the sponges hit him, and he sold like it was a clothesline. The same fan also stocks up on streamers for Palmer & Johnson. She gave one to my daughter so she got to throw it in the ring. The hardest part was telling a 5 year old to wait on throwing streamers.

Of course they made it ringside and LaMotta barked at the front row to move. And once again, we found out seats the epicenter of the action. Thankfully we moved so we were not in them. These 4 guys knew how to put on a great tag match and did exactly that.

Winner: Dirty Minds

Fourth match: “Notorious” Shane Taylor (c) vs. Charlie Haas

For anybody unfamiliar with Shane Taylor, he is the champion of a promotion in the New Orleans area called WildKat, which is run by Luke Hawx. Dude is a total hoss, not to be confused with his opponent, who is an actual Haas. Somebody made a joke about him being overweight. And then since one person said it, the whole audience took on the fat jokes. The man was very thick, not fat. He reminded me a lot of Bam Bam Bigelow. He came out in this hoodie, most intimidating ring presence since Lance Hoyt. I said to my daughter, “Ooh, he’s scary isn’t he?” Totally unfazed, “No.” This was originally supposed to be Taylor vs. Gregory James but he did the job to an abscess tooth. So not only did they provide a replacement for Greg, they provided a former WWE champ. Now I have to apologize for this match was my daughter’s bathroom break #2. When we came back the two hosses were slugging the spit out of each other. What happened during the match from my perspective was one of the highlights of my life.

Of course they ended up in the crowd with my little girl who I had to call away from our seats. The crowd loved her all night for her fearlessness. Some of the chants for her included “Little Girl,” “She is awesome,” “Sign her up,” “She’s hardcore” and once Keith asked her name to assist in the drawing, they chanted it too. Well, during this match, after I escaped with her, I got the chants. “Father of the Year.” Charlie Haas, whose career I’ve followed since he was in WWE developmental, watched him debut in Team Angle, morph into The World’s Greatest Tag Team, become one of my three favorite tag teams of all time (LOD & the Dudleys are the other two), be part of a legendary tag division in ROH, THAT Charlie Haas, took a second out of the match to walk over to me, shake my hand and raise my arm. I died. That moment meant so much to me. Then the crowd chanted, “Don’t tell Mom.” (Sorry, Beautiful.)

This was a very nice hoss match or Haas match as the case may be.

Winner: Taylor

Fifth match: Athena (c) vs. Nicole Savoy

This was (I believe) Nicole’s first match in Texas. So it was my first chance to see her except for the Youtube matches we pre-watched. She is very similar to Athena so I was really looking forward to this match. This match was contested for the AIW Women’s (@aiwrestling) & ACW Joshi Championships (@ACWWrestling). So we all knew who was going to win, right? A Cleveland & Austin promotions are going to let their title change hands before a different crowd than their home crowd? This is how good the match was. I found myself thinking that Athena was going to tap out. They kicked the stuffing out of each other several times. And then we got to see Nicole shine. She put hold after hold on Athena. I went through scenarios. Maybe Nicole beats her tonight and then Athena beats her Sunday at Inspire Pro in Austin. That’s how good the match was. I knew how it was going to end but I doubted it.

Winner: Athena

Main event: ACH (c) vs. AR Fox vs. Raymond Rowe vs. Andy Dalton

I know what you’re thinking. One of these things is not like the other when it comes to Andy Dalton. For a long time I’ve been saying he’s Texas’ biggest kept secret. This match really didn’t have a clear-cut heel. Fans are going to boo ACH or AR Fox? And they’re going to boo Ray Rowe? Out of fear, only if he gives me permission. So they needed a heel, which is Andy Dalton to a tee. As the match began, AR Fox left the ring apron to tell me I was probably going to want to move. So I was over the side and not taking notes. And sometimes when you’re watching guys with so much talent, you just put the notebook down and be a fan. Highlights I remember: AR Fox did a killer moonsault onto where I would have been sitting. This was Ray Rowe’s first match since his motorcycle accident. I can tell you there was no ring rust at all. AR Fox did a running leap onto Ray Rowe who was head off the ring apron. Andy Dalton proved he could hang with national ROH and DGUSA talent. And ACH was ACH. He shone like the star he always is.

Winner: ACH

After the match Andy Dalton was about to shake ACH’s hand. Then JT LaMotta came in for the attack. They announced AR Fox & ACH vs. LaMotta & Dalton for the next show.

All in all… Sorry for not much of a recap. My little girl was kind of the center of my universe, and it’s hard to experience all of the wrestling when you’re being dad too. What I will say that I usually never say is that you need this DVD. That can be found here. As a wrestling fan I was very happy with the night. I got to see nationally recognized wrestlers I don’t usually get to see. My inner survivalist loved the thrill and exhilaration of never knowing what wrestler was going to attack me or my seat next. And as a father, I was very proud of the night I had with my little girl.

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