Saturday, October 16, 2010

It was one of *those* nights (or Adventures in the World of Wrestling)

So this story starts with my decision to go to the ROH show in Dayton last night.  I've been to every ROH show in that building over the past seven years with the exception of two:  the first one that took place before I was a fan, and this past April's show.  This was about seven months after ROH had stopped using me to make their DVD trailers and a couple of months after I officially parted ways with SHIMMER.  So I skipped the show because I just didn't want anything to do with wrestling at the time.  But last night's show featured the Dayton returns of Homicide and Christopher Daniels since they've come back to the company and my longtime friend Daizee Haze was wrestling on a Dayton show for the first time in almost three years, so I wanted to go.

A couple of months ago, I got back into watching ROH and starting getting the itch to do something again.  Around this time, Delirious, who used to wrestle in opening matches when he first came into the company six years ago and has since become one of the biggest creative minds in the locker room, was promoted to booker, which is sort of like the equivalent of being an executive producer on a television show.  He comes up with storylines and angles, yes, but he also books new talent and basically helms the direction of the company.  He's also one of only a few people in ROH that I know personally, and by that I mean he actually recognizes me on sight.  He knows me through his wife, Daizee, because she's the one who "discovered" me back in 2006 and gave me my first opportunity in the business, which was making a music video for her DVD of best matches.  (Many indy wrestlers make so little on their bookings that merch like this is a great way to supplement their income.  These DVD-Rs are cheap as hell to edit and put together, and they can sell them to fans at shows or on the Internet usually at $20 a pop.)  I also did one for Delirious later that year, and it wasn't long after that I got the opportunity to do SHIMMER, which led to FIP, which led to ROH.  The whole chain reaction started with Daizee, and we've become pretty good friends over the years.  Since she's a top star at SHIMMER, I've hung out with her many times at afterparties and such.  Delirious not so much since ROH hasn't really had official afterparties until recently, but he's someone who definitely is familiar with and appreciates the video work I've done.

All of a sudden, I have friends in high places.  D basically runs the company, along with owner Cary Silkin.  So I figure this would be a good way to get my face seen again and maybe get something going.  I went to the show, and the first half was really excellent.  Daizee had a good match with Lady JoJo (aka Josie aka TNA's Sojourner Bolt).  Colt Cabana had an awesomely funny match against Andy Ridge and Kevin Steen and Steve Corino had a great match with two young guys full of potential, Kyle O'Reilly and Adam Cole.  This match was even funnier than the previous one, not because of the antics in the ring, but because Steen and Corino's characters are such dicks and they make a great team.  Before the match, Corino grabbed the mic and railed at the fans and his opponents.  "Hey O'Reilly, I'm talking!  If you've been paying attention to Steve Corino for the last 17 years, you know this is going to be the best part of the match!"  He started picking out fans in the front row to rag on, and settled on one guy in a Cabana shirt and just would not let up on him.

Now, throughout the night, I had noticed some extra filming going on and not from the ROH crew.  There was a lady with a camera filming the security guy, Zack, right in front of where I was sitting.  I read previously that a crew from TruTV had been following Zack around at ROH shows documenting him for some reality series, but that was months ago and I didn't know that was still going on.  Anyway, they start filming this fan getting punked to hell and back by Corino and I start realizing this is a plant for the TV show.  The fan knocks over the corner chair and kicks the guardrail, then marches over to Zack and starts bitching about Corino saying all these disgusting things to him.  It was really over the top and so obviously a work, and Zack ended up escorting the "fan" out of the building.

After the match was over, they went to intermission.  I figure Daizee is probably out back behind the building smoking, so I make my way back there and I was right.  Her ring tights practically glow in the dark, and I could see her from fifty feet away.  Hell, the guys in the air rescue chopper circling Miami Valley Hospital probably saw her.  She was talking to some others who had come to the same conclusion as me, but stopped to give me a big hug.  I was excited to see her, since it had been almost a year since the last time.  That's what I've missed most about my participation in wrestling; the friends I never see anymore.  I told her what I'd been up to since then, and told her a little about the book I just finished.  Unfortunately I didn't get around to telling her that the next one in the series will be wrestling based and two of the characters I modeled after her and D.  But somehow this segued into us talking about the ending of LOST for the next ten minutes.  Eventually the second half started and she went back inside, and I went back around front.

...And walked right into the shot of the TruTV cameras.  Now Zack had a different "fan" down on the ground as if he'd just kicked the snot out of him and is telling him that he'll let him up once he's calmed down.  Wondering if I'd accidentally wandered onto an episode of Cops, I carefully stepped around the cameras and the boom guy and went back inside.  I missed most of the Metal Master (Chad Collyer) vs. Ricky Reyes match, but the rest of the show definitely delivered culiminating in Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli defending the tag titles against Davey Richards and Christopher Daniels.  This match was off the charts, with Claudio doing that no-hands airplane spin he always does with Davey, and at one point Hero was on the floor with Davey on the apron, and he gave Hero the LOUDEST KICK I've ever heard.  That fucker echoed off the walls.  After the show was over, I walked around the building again to see if D and Daizee were going to the afterparty and walked into the TruTV camera shot AGAIN.  Now they were filming the first "fan" from before, who was staging a one-man assault on the backstage area trying to get to Corino, with Zack and a couple of other wrestlers fighting him off.

This was an episode of Boston Public now.  If this were real, this would have been the worst wrestling crowd in the history of the world.  There were about five different incidents of Zack having to accost someone during the show.  Like I told Daizee, I've been going to wrestling shows in Dayton for twenty years, and I've never seen one incident that required interjection from security, let alone five in one show.  Not in ROH, WWE or even ECW (though it was a close call at Heatwave '99 when the Dudley Boyz almost started a riot.)  I told her these "reality" shows are just as much a work as any wrestling event.  She said that's even true moreso, and that TruTV had such a great experience filming at ROH shows that they basically want to spin Zack off into his own show, and that as the new booker, Delirious had to have meetings with these people for potential "storylines."  And people still have the gall to look down on wrestling because it's staged.  I saw D too, and he was wearing a mask even though he hasn't wrestled for ROH since being promoted.  I'm not sure why, since he was maskless outside the afterparty and with his beard it's not exactly a mystery as to who the guy in the hoodie is.  That was actually the first time I've seen his face in all the time I've known him.

We went to the bar, Blind Bob's, for the afterparty, but D decided to blow out of there since they have a show in Chicago tomorrow.  I did get his email address and will definitely see if I can get him to put a word in for me with Cary toward getting something going videowise.  I went into the bar, which is definitely not my comfort zone.  For one thing, I don't drink.  I can't talk to the wrestlers I want to talk to because of all the other fans there.  The women in the bar aren't looking my way because let's face it, I looked horrible.  I haven't had a haircut in forever, I'm wearing my dorky glasses so I can actually see, and tomorrow is laundry day so I'm literally wearing the only clothes I have left that are clean and are warm enough to wear outside on an October night.

I went back outside and talked to Colt Cabana, who I've met a couple times in the past, and denied ever making love to him.  (I'll let you wonder about that one.)  Then there arose a clatter right there on the sidewalk with two drunk gangsta wannabes, who were getting in Kenny King's face.  King, ever being a worker, decided to start antagonizing them and these drunken idiots are getting ready to fight.  I say idiots, because now they've got the attention of everyone outside, which amounted to King, Colt, Kevin Steen, Steve Corino, Rhett Titus (who climbed over the gate separating Blind Bob's veranda area from the sidewalk so he could get a piece), a group of fans and two heavies who I believe were part of the TruTV crew.  And then there was me.  I don't know about you, but if I've got to take off my glasses and get down with these guys, I'm on Team ROH.  Just as I'm thinking, "This is great!  Someone's going to get thrown through a fucking window!" a cop saddles up and diffuses it.

UPDATE 10/16:  The show is called "All Worked Up."  I had to look that up, since I asked the boom guy and even he didn't know what the show was called.  He was finally able to remember and told me, but then I forgot.  So I guess it's not a very good title.

Thinking that this night of oddly fantastical happenings couldn't get any better and probably could get a lot worse, I decided to bolt.  But not before I got this picture with a former TNA Superstar:

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