Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Show Review - Pro Wrestling Phoenix
OK, so I though I would do something different for this post. As you know I usually rant and post about the local punk and hardcore scenes and some of the underground art events, but last weekend I experienced something that I felt is worth talking about. That something is in the form of independent professional wrestling. Yeah I know what you are thinking... what the fuck, dude? Independent pro wrestling? The sport chock full of mouth breathing, tibal tattooed clad, toothless trashy fans? Yes!... that exactly. My long time friend and guitarist of local melodic hardcore band Ties fame; Cody Murphy is the founder and partial owner of the Pro Wrestling Phoenix and has been inviting me to events for the past few months but have never accepted his invitation. Well, there finally came an opportunity where I had the night free and decided to check out what PWP is all about. First, a brief background of what independent pro wrestling is: Independent pro wrestling is just as the name would imply... professional wrestling down at a local and often grass roots level featuring local and regional talents. Most of these talents being entry level wrestlers and/or former stars who just can't quite hang it up. The events are often very small and intimate. But don't mistake the small presentation for poor entertainment. With that said, here is my review of Pro Wrestling Phoenix:
The event was to start at 6:30pm, Saturday afternoon at a local Jr.high school in Council Bluffs, IA. Being a native of CB I knew exactly where the school is, and arrived there a few minutes before the stated show time. When I got to the doors, there was a small group of people waiting. This was your standard fare of die hard wrestling fans: Groups of young teens, older 20-something die-hard fans, and a fair amount of stereotypical white trash people waiting to get in. I was honestly expecting a larger crowd being that PWP has recently celebrated 5 (!) years running in the local independent wrestling scene. Eventually the doors open, and I saw Cody and asked him what side of the ring is the better side to sit at and he mentioned I sit on the far side near where the wrestlers enter the ring. This would be beneficial later in the matches since I brought my digital camera to take pictures of the ring action. The side I was sitting at also had the rowdiest of the fans... the die-hard 20-somethings. In the center of the small gym, there was an authentic wrestling ring was set up, while 3 sides had metal folding chairs and one side featured the announcers table. There was also a large table where the wrestlers sold their merch and PWP had some pretty nicely packaged dvd's for sale as well. I found the merch table to be similar to that of hardcore shows. Each wrestler makes/brings in their own merch and sells their own brand. It was pretty impressive how into it the wrestlers really are. A lot of the wrestlers were more than happy to sign autographs and take photos with the young fans. Eventually the bell would ring and the wrestlers would do entrances from behind a curtain complete with their signature music. Even though the presentation was pretty simple, it was effective and really fun. As each wrestler would come in and give high-fives to all the fans, I had to ask someone next to me who was "good" and who was "bad" ha, like I could tell. For this evenings event there was only 5 matches: 3 singles, 1 tag team, and a royal rumble as the finale to see who gets a shot at the belt next month... yeah some heavy duty stuff going on. Anyway, I had really no idea what to expect from looking at the wrestler when they made their entrances. Most weren't in what you would call very athletic looking, but once the matches started it was easy to see that they were trained in their craft well. Every one of the matches was really entertaining to watch and lasted for a good amount of time. Often the action gets taken outside the ring really close to the fans. There was some moments that were quite potentially dangerous with all the bodies flying into the audience seating areas, but everyone managed to get out of the way. It was obvious that the wrestlers were trying to give the small audience a very good value for their money with the punishment they were taking. After 2 and a half hours and a royal rumble... and some plot twists near the end, the event was over. After the event most of the wrestlers came out to meet fans who stuck around after the event. Being at this event was a really fun time for me and I plan on checking out more matches in the near future. I would recommend checking out PWP if you are a fan of professional wrestling, or just want to have a good laugh and see full grown men beat the shit out of each other for a few hours.