Tagged in: Randi West

The Ladies Steal the Show at Heroes and Legends

First things first: Heroes and Legends is a fantastic promotion. Based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, this independent wrestling group puts on a heck of a show. Heroes and Legends VIII took place today at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. If the very name of the building doesn’t remind you of the old territory days, the guest list will. Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, and Jerry Lawler were the headliners, and the King even stepped into the ring, giving the fans a classic strap-dropping performance against Dru Skillz.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The day began at noon, when the doors opened and fans came through to check out the vendor tables. Vendors included toys and collectibles, an artist, a few promoters from other area shows, a podcast, and the US military. Wrestlers for the show were sprinkled throughout the vendors to ensure that both wrestlers and vendors got some traffic.

Girl Fight put on a show that started around 1:30. The GF show was depleted due to several last minute cancellations, including Su Yung. The young competitors worked their hearts out, but could not get the attention of the crowd.

Enter Mickie Knuckles.

Mickie and Dementia D’Rose took on Amazing Maria and Samantha Heights in a tag match for the main event. Mickie tried to get the crowd’s attention and pump them up. The crowd gave her nothing, right up until the moment she said, “No Holds Barred, No DQ, Falls Count Anywhere.”

The fans popped, and the ladies literally tore the house down. Samantha Heights was duplexed down a set of bleachers steps and later tossed into a trash can. Amazing Maria was squashed beneath a steel chair. Maria and Samantha were dropped onto a table that refused to give. Fans swarmed, phones held high, to follow the action, with Sugar Dunkerton leading the crowd and the cheers in the front. It was sensational match that set the bar ridiculously high for the main show.

The Razor Ramones punk band played a brief  set mid-afternoon, then proceeded to sell cassettes – yes, I said CASSETTES – to the fans. (More on them later this week.) A battle royal took place at 4:30, with a surprise appearance by Bushwhacker Luke, and then it was show time.

The War Memorial Coliseum proved a great venue for wrestling. The main lights dimmed, and spotlights illuminated the ring, giving the whole room an old school feel. Once again, the ladies rose to the occasion, as the best match on the first half of the card was a Falls Count Anywhere battle between Randi West and Paloma Star, with Hardcore Heather Owens acting as guest referee.

Sugar Dunkerton and the former Adam Rose were an entertaining tag team in the second half of the night, and their match ended with a parade of Rosebuds, including the bunny. Their match was followed by Lawler and Dru Skillz from Indianapolis, in which Lawler gave the fans exactly what they wanted.

The main event pitted local hero Kongo Kong against Ryback, and it proved to be a phenomenal way to end the night. Kong dwarfed Ryback, who is not normally the smaller man in the match, and both men exhibited their power and agility. Ryback had no trouble powerlifting the monster Kong, while Kong brought the house down when he super-plexed Ryback from the top rope. The match became a triple threat when the masked “Ginger Dragon” entered the fray. The Dragon turned out to be Dru Skillz, who won the belt from Ryback, but Ryback and Kong teamed up on the duplicitous new champ – including two top rope splashes from Kong.

A few other thoughts on my first experience at Heroes and Legends:

Rob Conway is as good a guy as everyone says he is. The two of us graduated from New Albany High School in the early 90s, and it was great getting to meet him and hear some of his stories.

Shannon Moore shook hands with everyone in the vendor area when he arrived, even the non-wrestlers. A class act. Mickie Knuckles did the same just before she left.

I got to meet Tyger Smith, who helped train my friends Marc Hauss and Eric Emanon. Nice guy with some funny stories.

There’s nothing more cruel than teasing that we might get a Ninja (Hy Zaya) vs. Demon (Shane Mercer)  showdown at the end of a battle royal – only to see both eliminated by the masked man who won the match. So close!

Did I mention the ladies stole the show? Seriously, the WWE does NOT have the market cornered on women’s wrestling. Mickie, Heather Owens, and Randi West deliver every time. Dementia D’Rose and Paloma Star held their own with the hardcore veterans and dished some serious violence. Samantha Heights and Amazing Maria are stars on the rise.

If you’re in Northern Indiana, you owe it to yourself to check out Heroes and Legends. Jayson Maples and his crew do everything right, creating the perfect mix of classic stars with independent talent. Kudos to everyone who made today such a memorable event.

Remember Who Started The Revolution

11882266_1060478073985571_1326424868613623308_oThe WWE deserves credit for changing how they book women’s wrestling. Instead of looking solely at women’s bodies and looks, they are now signing women who have dedicated their lives to becoming wrestlers. Kimber Lee, Heidi Lovelace, and Evie continue a trend that will, in time, produce a women’s division that rivals the men’s in terms of star power and quality matches.

That said, we must be careful not to let the WWE rewrite the narrative of this women’s revolution. As much as I know they hope to take credit for changing the face of women’s wrestling, what’s happened to the WWE is an effect of what already happened at the independent level.

The women’s wrestling revolution belongs to the fans who demanded more. It belongs to every man and woman who ever attended Shimmer, Shine, Girl Fight, WSU, or any number of women’s shows. It belongs to the people who did not go to get popcorn when the women came out at their local indie show. It belongs to the people who chanted “Let’s go Heidi!” “Kim-ber Lee!” and my personal favorite, “Mary’s gonna kill you!” (WWE fans take note – this must follow Crazy Mary Dobson to the WWE!)

The revolution also belongs to the trainers who were committed to creating wrestlers and not divas, legends like Lance Storm, DJ Hyde, Danny Davis, the Dudley Boys, and others too numerous to mention. It belongs to promoters who gave women the chance to shine not only against one another, but against men. It belongs to the men and women who put women in the main event and put their most prestigious titles – including the Grand Championship of CHIKARA – on women who had earned it.

Most of all, it belongs to the women who chose wrestling not because it was a stepping stone to acting or modeling, but because they could not see themselves doing anything else. It belongs to the rising stars of the WWE and NXT. It belongs to women like Veda Scott, LuFisto, Mickie Knuckles, Kelly Klein, Tessa Blanchard, Randi West, Su Yung, Taeler Hendrix, Britt Baker, Rachael Ellering, Amazing Maria, Leva Bates, and Samantha Heights, who are grinding it out night after night in the hopes of filling the spots that have just opened at the top of the independent ranks. It belongs to the young women now taking their first bumps in the hopes of following a trail that now stretches further than it ever has in the business of wrestling.

The WWE deserves credit, not for changing women’s wrestling, but for recognizing that it has already changed. Yes, it is a revolution, but the revolutionaries are not in an office in Stanford. They’re in the ring, every night, putting their bodies on the line for a sport they love.

Thanksgiving Night Wrestling Anyone?

Thanksgiving used to be one of the biggest nights of the year for the WWE. That’s the night they used to hold the Survivor Series Pay-Per-View. The WWE may have done away with Thanksgiving night show, but for fans in the Louisville area, you can still catch some non-stop action thanks to IWA Mid-South.

IWA-MS has a killer card lined up this week for your post-turkey entertainment, starting with the legendary Chris Hero facing the IWA-Mid South (or is it the D1W?) champion Tracy Smothers.

Rachael Ellering will also be in town Thursday night facing Randi West.

Other matches on the card include:

 

Ian Rotten vs. “The Chairman” Joey Owens;

The Rejects (John Wayne Murdoch and Nick Depp) and JC Rotten VS “Marvelous” Mitch Ryder, “Legendary” Larry D and “the Real Deal” Derek Neal in a Triple Dog Collar Six Man Tag;

A Lone Survivor match featuring Team Cole Radrick (Cole Radrick, Andrew Hunter, Brother Reed, Tripp Cassidy plus one more member) VS Team Johnathan Wolf (Johnathan Wolf, “Category 5” Corey Storm, Mickey Muscles, Aidan Blackhart plus one more member);

“Hybrid Monster” Zodiak vs. “The Mouth of the Mid South” Mance Warner;

Malcolm Monroe III vs. Travis Titan

Bell time is 7:30 at Jammerz Rollerdrome in Clarksville, Indiana.

For more information, visit the event page on Facebook!

A New Belt for the Ladies

A great promotion needs a champion to lead it. This Friday, Girl Fight will give this belt to the winner of their first ever championship tournament.

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Mad Man Pondo is the mad genius behind Girl Fight. For the last couple of years, he’s been bringing the best of the best together to show the world that anything boys can do, girls can do better. Santana Garrett, Leva Bates, LuFisto, Crazy Mary Dobson, Samantha Heights, Randi West, Mickie Knuckles, Cheerleader Melissa, and Tessa Blanchard are just a few of the amazing stars to appear on cards across the Midwest. Rebel, Su Yung, Khloe Belle Smothers, Slady Wilson, Amazing Maria, and more are scheduled for Friday’s big event.

Friday marks not only the crowning of a champion, but the first ever Girl Fight show in Kentucky. For more information on Friday’s show, visit the event page on Facebook.

King of the Deathmatch 2016

13882399_909037079242294_2072948225721408746_nKing of the Deathmatch is one of the most beloved tournaments of its kind. IWA Mid-South’s signature hardcore event has become a show case for rising stars and legends, including recent winners Drake Younger, Matt Tremont, and J.C. Bailey.

This year’s field of sixteen looks to be as brutal as any year with the following first round matches already announced:

The Duke of Hardcore John Wayne Murdoch VS The Wrench Conor Claxton VS Deadly Dale VS “Old Timer” Jeff King in a Fans Bring the Weapons Match.

Matt Tremont VS Jeff Cannonball VS Brad Cash VS Bryant Woods in a 100 light tubes match

Dale Patricks VS Josh Crane VS Markus Crane VS Rickey Shane Page in a barbed wire board / pits of gusset plates/ pits of alcohol match.

Devon Moore VS DJ Hyde VS Reed Bentley VS Joseph Schwartz in a four corners of pain carpet strip and fishhook ropes match. (The four corners will be a pit of glass, pit of mouse traps, thumb tacks, and fiberglass insulation.)

Earlier today, Ian Rotten broke the news that Randi West will be unable to compete in this year’s event due to a foot injury. As much as I know fans are disappointed at her withdrawal, they can’t be too disappointed with her replacement: CZW owner DJ Hyde.

King of the Deathmatch begins August 6th at 3 PM at Pride bar + lounge, 504 State Street in New Albany, Indiana. Front row is already sold out, but seats are still available for $25. Email BestMistyEVER@gmail.com for ticket information.

If you’re a fan of hardcore, this is a must-see event!

Just got back from a Girl Fight

If you are in the Midwest and you haven’t seen a Girl Fight show, you’re missing out.

Tonight’s show at The Arena in Jeff played to a packed crowd of 165 plus. It was standing room only in the back, and the crowd got their money’s worth and more.

The Jeff show featured 19 wrestlers from across the US and Canada, and the ladies brought it. Crazy Mary Dobson and Cheerleader Melissa put on an intense, stellar match while Taeler Hendrix and Truth Martini earned the ire of the crowd with a delightful heel performance in the main event.

The biggest surprise of the night had to be the weapons match between Heather Owens and Samantha Heights. It felt like a mismatch to me at first; I’ve seen Samantha Heights on a number of occasions, and while she’s always been a big talker, she didn’t strike me as the hardcore type. Heights proved she belongs by taking an end-over-end stunner from Heather Owens. She’s come a long way in the past few years, and from the crowd reaction, tonight felt like a star-making moment for her.

Mad Man Pondo took to the ring at intermission to announce the April 12 show will be a first ever in Louisville inter-gender show, Gender Wars, and the card for that show could not be more stellar:

Randi West vs. John Wayne Murdoch

Samantha Heights vs. Ron Mathis

Thunderkitty vs. Tracy Smothers

Crazy Mary Dobson vs. Aaron Williams

Heidi Lovelace vs. Shane Mercer

And your main event…

Mad Man Pondo vs. Jessica Havok – falls count anywhere.

Inter-gender wrestling isn’t for everyone. To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan. But Pondo’s put together a promising, entertaining card featuring a number of my personal favorites. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next show is even more crowded than tonight.

Bravo, Pondo, and bravo, ladies.

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Ready for a Girl Fight?

Sasha Banks and Bayley were the first two women to main event a WWE show when they had their Iron Woman Match.

Women’s wrestling is gaining a following and a respect it has not seen since the early 1950s. Now is the time to see what all the fuss is about.

Girl Fight returns to the Midwest in February with two huge shows in Westland, Michigan and Jeffersonville, Indiana. Some of the best names in the business – Crazy Mary Dobson, Taeler Hendrix, Cheerleader Melissa, Thunderkitty, Allison Kay, Samantha Heights, Amazing Maria, Randi West, Ashley America, Amber Gallows, and many more. Ten ladies are on the card for Michigan, and twenty ladies will be in action in Jeff!

If you enjoy what NXT has given you over the last two years, you’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg.

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