After a surprisingly good event at “New Moon Rising” in Woodbury, NJ, my friends and I got right back on the road and headed to Newark, DE to watch my favorite indy promotion right now, the ECWA. ECWA has been around since 1967 and is one of the oldest wrestling promotions still in existence. They are also home to the illustrious “Super 8” tournament which is coming up rapidly on April 7th of this year. I’ve been to a few ECWA shows, and I was really looking forward to this one.
1 – Showcase Match: Alex Payne vs. Shane Strickland
The idea of a “Showcase Match” appeals to me. Basically, you have two up and comers on the indy circuit that are given 10 minutes to showcase what they have. Both of these guys are very talented, and both showed they have what it takes to succeed on the independent scene. Shane Strickland got the win in a hotly contested back and forth affair.
2 – Danny E & Ricky “The Model” Martinez vs. Azrieal & Bandido, Jr.
An awesome tag team match that got the crowd heated up. Az and Bandido are currently the CZW Tag Team Champions, and both are entered in the Super 8 coming up next month. They are absolute warriors in the ring. They combine a solid technical base with some unique high flying based moves. In the other corner were no slouches at all. This was another match that was on the proverbial pendulum. However, Bandido and Azrieal won with a very unique top rope finisher. And, Bandido is still undefeated in 2012.
3 – Kylie Pierce vs. Shazza McKenzie (Woman’s Match)
This was a short and sweet match. Shazza was making her American debut. The fiery Australian has a bright future ahead as she continues to ply her craft.
4 – Corey Blaze vs. Kid USA
I blinked and this one was over. Blaze won over the debuting Kid USA with a “Blaze Cutter” (a RKO variation).
5 – Tony Nese vs. Alex Reynolds
This was my match of the night, hands down. Nese was a last minute replacement for this match as Alexander James pulled out. It was great seeing Nese from TNA compete in front of the packed house. As far as the match, the psychology of the match, the near falls, and pacing were all great. Alex Reynolds is really a well kept secret on the indy scene. In January, he had a great match against ECWA Champion, Papadon, and here he continued to impress. Frankly, he has the look and the in ring skills to be on the roster of either TNA or WWE. I feel it’s just a matter of time before he gets a call. Nese is just a flat out great worker. When these two meshed, they created magic in the squared circle.
6 – Martial Arts Challenge Exhibition: Mr. Ohh La La w/ Coach Jim Shorts vs. “Sensai” Paul Lopresti
First off, in terms of pure enjoyment and entertainment, few can compare with Mr. Ohh La La. He is a comedic genius. Coach Jim Shorts (get it?) only adds to the act with the shenanigans he brings to ringside. The exhibition was Lopresti expertly showcasing his martial arts skills, and the wily Frenchman bumbling his turn. As I stated, Ohh La La has great timing. Sadly, he lost this encounter, but I feel Mr. Ohh La La will have his day in the sun very soon.
7 – ECWA Tag Team Title Match: The Midnight Sensations (C) vs, Fusion DS
I haven’t been too impressed with The Midnight Sensations, and they failed to do so again last night. I have always felt that the talented team of Matt Saigon and Damien Dragon were a far superior team, and they proved just that last night. After what some would call a controversial finish in which the legal man wasn’t even pinned, Fusion DS regained the ECWA Tag titles. It was a great sight to see them hoist the titles in the air finally victorious after a few months of setbacks. And, it’s been announced that at the next ECWA show this coming Saturday, there will be a tornado tag rematch.
8 – Blackheart vs. ECWA (ANYTHING GOES)
In the annuls of wrestling history, there are turns that have rewritten wrestling history. There was Hulk Hogan joining the nWo. There was Vince McMahon revealing himself to be the higher power which led to the Corporate Ministry. And, after “Spring Battle”, there is Michael Tartaglia (owner of ECWA) turning his back on his own fans and aligning himself with the venomous Blackhearts. Of all the despicable acts perpetrated in wrestling this was one of the worst.
After a chaotic match that saw most both Kekoa and Chris Wylde laid out, only AHTU was left for Team ECWA. Out of the back came Mustafa Aziz, an ECWA newcomer that made a definite impact by laying out “The Monster” AHTU and leading to Blackheart’s victory. As the team of Bobby Shields, Breaker Morant, and Josh Daniels continued to work over AHTU after the final bell sounded, ECWA’s own, Michael Tartaglia got into the ring to defend the ECWA’s honor. At least that’s what all the fans thought. Just moments later, he would stab every fan right in the back by attacking the cornerstone of ECWA, Chris Wylde, with a steel chair and allowing the nefarious attack to continue!
He even had this to say to me on facebook just hours after the assault:
What a piece of work…
9 – ECWA Championship Match: “Greek God” Papadon vs. #1 Johnny Silver
In a rematch of ECWA’s 2011 Match of the Year, Johnny Silver and Papadon fought in an instant classic, and another strong contender for match of the year. For over 30 minutes, the two put on an absolute clinic. I have to go on the record right now and just write that Papadon is one of the best workers in wrestling whether independent or mainstream. His psychology, his pacing, how he works the fans into a frenzy, just everything this guy does is an absolute joy to behold. There are few guys that bring a complete package to the table like Papadon, and it mystifies me how this guy isn’t a household name. Johnny Silver was the perfect foil for the dominant champion, but Papadon retained his title after an extremely competitive match.
Overall: It was a great night of action from start to finish. The Blackheart story is picking up some serious steam. The addition of Mike Tartaglia is an interesting dynamic that I feel no one saw coming. The beauty of an ECWA show is that it holds something for everyone. There was a Woman’s match, two 4 to 5 star matches, a comedic match, a hot opener, a brawl, and two good tag matches. ECWA continues to impress by playing to its strength. I really feel that last night’s packed house is just a sign of many great things to come.