By Ryan Clark on August 14, 2012
Credit Larry Goodman and Pwinsider.com
NWA Rampage Pro Wrestling presented “Renaissance”, their first event under Murder One (creative) and Ben Masters (promotion), the duo replacing Jimmy Rave at the helm. Owner Dr. Johnny Gayton pulled the trigger on replacing Rave as booker after the July 22 taping. Some of those familiar with the situation believe that Rave sealed his fate by opting not to be present at the July 22 taping, however legitimate his reasons may have been. Others take the view that the die was already caset, because the winds of change were blowing prior to July 22.
Whatever the deal was with Rave’s situation, by almost any measure, this show was a success for Murder and Masters. They immediately had their work cut out for them, because this was the “go home” show for Sizzling Summer Bash. It was a more angle-driven presentation, with more talking and less emphasis on the wrestling. The notoriously blasé RPW fans actually woke up a bit. The crowd was up from recent tapings (115) and the heat was better, though that aspect still has a long way to go. As TV tapings go, this appeared to run quite smoothly.
The new announce team of Dan Masters and Bill Behrens taped the opening from ringside. The crowd wasn’t used to this and it showed. Dan replaced Ben as co-commentator.
Ben replaced Miss Alllie as the ring announcer. For whatever reasons, the angles RPW started with Allie never went anywhere. I will say this: any wrestling promotion that can’t or won’t incorporate a female presence is missing the boat.
(1) CB Gibson defeated Leon McMichaels in 8:10. The fans heartily approved of referee Dustin Robinson’s new buzz cut. McMichaels could use a Rick Michaels do over of his gear. Orange vinyl pants falling off one’s ass is not a flattering look. Leon engaged in playful banter with fans. Wrestlers at McMichaels’ level would be better served developing that elusive larger than life quality. Match was was babyface vs. babyface with the crowd not strongly behind either wrestler. Gibson’s offense looked good. McMichaels got a close near fall with a springboard roundhouse kick. Gibson got the pin with a rolling prawn hold.
Ben introduced Doc Gayton, wearing a snazzy suit befitting a world renowned eye surgeon. Gayton said last time he got carried out after Murder One’s piledriver onto a steel chair, but it was J Rod’s fault. Doc said the NWA had barred him from wrestling, but things had changed in the NWA, and he was putting himself in a match with AJ Steele as his partner vs. Murder 1 & J-Rod at Sizzling Summer Bash on August 26.
That brought J Rod out. J Rod said Doc made a lot of money off him and he wasn’t doing the work no more. J Rod demanded that Doc let him out of his contract. J Rod is holding to the delusional belief that “New York” will give him more money.
Doc introduced a new twist to the story — he would let J Rod out of the contract, IF J Rod paid back the money he owed.
J Rod said he didn’t know what Doc was talking about, and threatened to leave pieces of Doc’s old goat carcass all the way to New York, where he would be making the BIG MONEY. Doc said no way that was happening. J Rod punched Doc. Murder One intervened and reminded J Rod that this was not the plan.
Doc made J Rod an offer he couldn’t refuse — if he won the match at the Bash, Doc would let him out of the contract, but if he got pinned, he would have to stay, and if Murder got pinned, his former partner AJ Steele could have Murder in any type of match he desired.
(2) Murder One defeated Chris Jacobs in 7:38. Cop meets cop hater. Jacobs missed as spear and fell to the floor. M1 beat his ass. A Jacobs dropkick got the first solid pop for a wrestling move. The crowd got behind Jacobs, but M1 had a cheering section as well. Jacobs got a near fall with an Olympic slam, but M1 dodged Jacobs’ finisher, the Mr. Wrestling II kneelift, and smoked him with the Ether. M1 could have pinned Jacobs right there, but he sent a message with a piledriver for the 1-2-3.
J-Rod ran out with a taser and a bottle of water. He handed the taser to Murder, then doused Jacobs with a bottle of water, but before Murder could do the deed, Doc Gayton and Micah Taylor made the save.
Next up was the first installment of the Gospel According to Rob Adonis – the truth according to Rob, so help him God. Adonis introduced Charlie Cash (with Bobby Moore) as the boss of the Cash Vault and his best friend. Adonis maintained that after today, Cash Vault would possess all of the titles in RPW. They already had the tag titles, Judge had a shot at the TV title and Moore had a shot at the heavyweight title. Cash said after that, he might change the sing out front from Johnny G’s to Charlie C’s. Kyle Matthews entered the ring. He said that what Cash never did for him, he did for himself by becoming the RPW Heavyweight Champion. Cash said Matthews owed him the title belt for making him a tag team champion (along with Frankie Valentine). Cash told Kyle he still loved him, so he was going to give him a rematch at Sizzling Summer Bash after he lost to Moore, but if Matthews was able to defeat Moore, he would accept a match against any member of Cash Vault at the Bash. Matthews signed the contract.
Dan Masters did a ringside hype segment for Sizzlin Summer Bash. Dan has burned many bridges, but he as a ring announcer and ringside/backstage interviewer the man is gold.
(3) “Adorable” Anthony Andrews (with “Marvelous” Michaels Stevens) defeated the debuting Steven Stiles. When his acrobatic offense wasn’t getting the desired reaction, Stiles yelled “C’mon!” which comes across as a desperation move. Stiles fell for distraction by Stevens. On the comeback trail, a Stiles dropkick sent Andrews rolling into the waiting arms of Stevens. Andrews caught Stiles with a messy looking hotshot and won it with a short powerbomb.
Afterward, a mystery man (CJ Awesome) came to ringside and handed an envelope filled with something smelly to Stevens. The BFF’s puzzled over the contents.
(4) The Judge (with Charlie Cash) defeated RPW TV Champion Mike Posey via count out in 5:33. This was heel vs. heel. Posey was giving away a lot of size, and Judge was giving the champion fits with his strength and power advantage. Judge hoisted Posey into a vertical suplex position and heaved him over the top rope, and Posey took the count out to retain his title.
Afterward, Posey sprinted from the back like he had seen a ghost and ran out the front entrance. Bent (the twisted alter ego of Patrick Bentley, who Posey and company screwed out being their partner in Rave Approved) emerged through the curtain in search of the TV champion. Call me crazy, but the Bent character does nothing for me.
Ben announced the new ticket pricing policy – $10 first row, $8 general admission, folks with church bulletin $1 off. Bens said Drew Adler and Steven Stiles would be signing autographs after the show. The promise of an autograph from Stiles was enough to take my breath away.
Dan and Behrens taped a ringside open for week #2 of TV. The crowd was more lively than they were for the first hour open.
(5) Drew Adler pinned Tommy Daniels with the Drew Drop in 5 minutes.
At ringside, Ben Masters welcomed Micah Taylor. Taylor reminded the fans that he was more than a one time heavyweight champion and he was excited to threw his name in the hat for the number one contender’s match vs. Johnny Swinger at Sizzling Summer Bash. These fans didn’t seem to remember Swinger, who wrestling for RPW in the early days of the promotion (2008-2009).
Ben called J Rod out to the ring to talk about what is being billed as the Double Jeopardy match at the Bash. J Rod was accompanied by Murder One. Now these dudes get heat. J Rod gave Ben a ridiculously difficult time, At one point, he ordered Ben to lie down in the ring, which Ben refused to do. The fans tried to shut J Rod down with “boring” chant. J Rod said the only thing boring is your lack of a dental plan while you wait for Obama to solve your problems. J Rod said old eye surgeons don’t make good wrestlers, and continued to push the envelope with Ben. Murder told Ben he was a big fan of his work in Tropic Thunder. “If if was a 5th we’d all be drunk,” Murder said. Murder also said Steele would history after August 26. J Rod said he would be history too. “I hit the gym, I hit the tan, and these lucky ladies, I hit them too.” This segment had the edge of danger that was everything that pro wrestling should be, and these days, usually isn’t. J Rod is such a delusional dick that he’s even better as heel than as a face.
They taped a ringside segment with Dan hyping Sizzling Summer Bash and Taylor vs. Swinger.
(6) Hot Like Lava (Cru Jones & Shaun Banks) defeated Corey Hollis & Chip Day to become the number one contenders for the RPW Tag Team Championship in 12:56. Moore laid Day out in the entrance way before the bell, so Hollis had to go it alone, and he took a severe beating. Banks gave Hollis a taste of his own medicine with a wicked back elbow. Hollis has been a Rave Approved heel so the fans had sympathy for him no matter how much abuse he took. When he kicked out of the Lava Drop, Jones said Hollis was on steroids. Hollis made a tremendous comeback and almost had Banks choked out, but in the end, he was pinned by Banks after a double team strangle slam.
The crowd was pretty dead during the match, but I guess it dawned on them that Hollis had given one hell of an effort, because they applauded him afterward.
(7) Kyle Matthews defeated Bobby Moore (with Charlie Cash) via submission in 12:53. Moore had to endure the “Barney” chants but nothing compared to the heat he gets at NWA Anarchy. Matthews worked on Moore’s leg, using a figure four and a variation on the Indian deathlock. Matthews got strong fan support once Moore took over. The story down the stretch was that each guy had the other’s guy big moves scouted. Matthews went for the Hidaka lock, but Moore came back with a Boston crab and speared Matthews clean out of the ring. Moore said it was over, so of course, it wasn’t. Matthews went for the slurpee kick. Moore ducked and it caught referee Robinson flush.Moore hit his running kick and second ref Dee Byers slid in to make the count, but Matthews kicked out. Moore loaded his elbow pad, but Matthew tied him up on the Hidaka lock. Good match.
Gayton said he was sick of J Rod’s garbage and ordered a match vs. Taylor, which will NOT air on television.
(8) Dark match – Micah Taylor (with Doc Gayton) defeated J Rod in 2 minutes. Micah owned J Rod, who was still in his street clothes. J Rod tried to escape but Doc threw him back in. J Rod missed a mad charge into the corner and Micah rolled him up.
NOTES: Tracy Taylor and former Georgia referee of the year Jeff McGowan and Jonathan Williams from the Georgia Wrestling Now radio show were attendance…The elimination of Day from the tag match was a necessity. Day could barely walk, much less wrestle, due a hyperextension injury suffered in his PCW match on August 4. Day said he would be ready to go for the August 18 PXW show in Charlotte where he and Hollis defend the tag titles vs. Grizzly Redwood & Jake Manning …Behrens is no longer formatting the television show as was the case when Rave was the booker…Jeremy Vain was Matthews’ scheduled opponent in the main event. He canceled due to a family obligations…Zane Riley would like to continue as a member of Cash Vault but it may not be practical due to the travel time (8 hours each way).
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