I wrote previously about the local indy promotion New Moon Rising Wrestling. Looking back on my blog, I felt bad that I didn’t really go in depth about the wrestlers that performed. The issue was threefold. First, I couldn’t pick up the names of the wrestlers when the announcer said them. I appreciate that he was trying so hard, but he was lost on me after the opening promo (more on that later). Second, there was no program. I’m new to the promotion, and besides the Nigerian Nightmares, I didn’t know anyone on the card. I know it cuts into costs and revenue to have a program, but I think a small promotion needs it. Last, I was not diligent enough to research further. I feel I didn’t give the guys a fair shake because I didn’t go through the effort to find out more about them. I sincerely apologize.
Looking very objectively at New Moon Rising, my expectations were low. It’s simply a stigma that is unfairly placed on independent wrestling. However, after going to a few independent shows this year, the stigma couldn’t be farther from the truth. While I have seen my share of dud matches, botches, and questionable booking, for the most part the fact remains Independent Wrestling is where the future stars all start out. For every Adam Cole or Sami Callihan that is on the cusp of greatness, there is a Jake Bishop, Eric Deshields, or LJ Cruz ready to step up and make an impact on the indy scene.
I’m not going to go through each match and recap all the action as that’s not my intent. What I wanted to get across is just how much passion each and every guy showed. It was a joy to see guys that put all their effort into the matches.
The guys that stood out:
LJ Cruz – While he’s a bit underweight (billed at 190 lbs), that in no way takes away from just how good he was in all facets of his game. The kid oozes charisma. I like that he uses self-promotion and came up with the #MrVIP as a twitter hashtag. The biggest thing against him is his size, but that’s more of an industry stigma. Wrestling should look at boxing and especially MMA to see that there’s a lot of excitement to see in the smaller weight classes. Frankie Edgar vs. Benson Henderson was a classic. Jose Aldo is a dominant fighter. Wrestling has always had this “bigger is better” mentality. Times have changed. Besides, look what the crusierweights did for ECW and WCW in the mid to late nineties.
Mike Reed – Simply put, he was a no nonsense, straight up, old school wrestler.
Harold Boyer – Or should I say, Mister Boyer. I like the idea of a guy coming out and saying he doesn’t need a gimmick. All he needs is a ring and an opponent.
Mozart Fontaine – This is a guy that knows how to entertain a crowd. Fontaine has been around for a while on the East Coast scene, but this was my first opportunity to see him in action. The way he works a crowd with all his various comments and comedic approach is something a lot of the young guys could learn. Fontaine is also a member of the ECWA Hall of Fame, and deservedly so.
The Nigerian Nightmares – Simply put, they are my favorite tag team in independent (actually all of) wrestling. I love the gimmick. In addition, the guys can actually wrestle. It’s one thing to be a combined 900 pounds and not be able to go when it matters. But, these guys are amazingly agile for their massive size.
Jake Bishop and Luis “The Punisher” Martinez
– I lumped these two together because they both put on a hell of a main event. It was a quick paced, action packed affair that saw the crowning of a new NMRW Heavyweight Champion. Martinez has the look and the energy (A LOT OF ENERGY) to make it in this business. And, Jake Bishop is no slouch either in the ring. While I wish it was booked for more time, that doesn’t really matter because they still put on a PPV quality match. I was quite impressed with both of their in ring performances.
Eric “Blackie” Deshields – Wow! This kid is so good and crisp in the ring. Even though he was limited by the low ceiling at the American Legion, he still managed to impress this jaded fan with his all-out performance. Again, he’s undersized, but as I said, that’s a problem of the industry. Someone with this much talent should have the opportunity to achieve his goals. And, I feel he has the talent to do so.
These were just the guys that impressed me. It’s not to say that if a wrestler wasn’t mentioned by name that they were garbage in the ring. As I said, I think everyone on the show wrestled top notch. There were a few misfires. The opening segment turned the crowd against the announcer. It seemed like they realized this and attempted to get the crowd back on his side after intermission. I just don’t think that wrestling promotions, especially indys should have non wrestlers involved in the angles (unless a manager or some such). It’s reminiscent of the Lawler/Cole angle. The opening promo was confusing and lacked direction. It was far from a show killer, but it was overbooked. The promos later on were better, and served their purpose.
Overall, it was a fun show. I’m intrigued to see what happens on April 14th when New Moon Rising returns to the Woodbury American Legion at 2pm. For ten dollars, you can go see the newest Hollywood flop, or you can support the stars of tomorrow and support independent wrestling where the future of the business lies. New Moon Rising is definitely worth another look.
- Random Thoughts While Attending A CZW Show (hellinacell.wordpress.com)