2 FYIs. A slew of the matches on this thing are randomly-compiled pairings a la the glorious WCW BattleBowl. Plus I am sick with the blacklung today, so this might be even more badly-written than usual. Sorry about all the Reddit references.
Ken & P.O.N.G. vs. Lucha Magnifico & Peanut Butter Banana
Ken is of Street Fighter II fame and is accompanied by Kammy. Massive commentator interest in Kammy's ass, which apparently has its own Facebook page. "Everybody has an ass, but very few asses have a Facebook." Hoodslam's ass-centric sexual universe should keep anthropologists of the future busy for at least some weeks. We like legs in Appalachia. If you don't remember Peanut Butter Banana, this should assist. There's a really particular nostalgia in Hoodslam, which we'll discuss more later. P.O.N.G. stands for "Pissed Off Nerdy Gamer", so it's a given that he's going to turn on Ken, but they sprinkle the turning throughout the match instead of making it a one-and-done. This was fine, although nothing special.
The virulent reaction to James C makes me smile. "Go back to the 1920s!" is a heckle that I'm glad I got to hear. If James loses this match, he retires from Hoodslam forever, which might telegraph the ending a little bit, but we'll see. In what must be an old in-joke, Charlie Chaplin is invisible and Disco Inferno's dream come trues, as the opposing team wrestle themselves during the Chaplin control segments. Preposterous, but fun, in small doses. It's worth noting that the actual wrestling in this match with an invisible competitor is a little more adventurous than lots of Hoodslam's stuff. If I get to see Charlie Chaplin vs. Davey Richards one day, all the time I've wasted on wrestling will have been worth it. Bat Manuel picks up the win, saving James's career and Hoodslam's ratings.
The self-congratulatory commentary is v v amazing: "What an EnterTania moment!" I didn't dig Virgil Flynn so much last go-round, but he picks up the pace a lot here. The opening is hot as hell, with lots of strikes and punches. There's a nice facebuster to counter an attempted top-rope flippity-do and then they make the top-rope cutoffs a recurring motif for the early goings. They eventually do get to the top rope and then blow something, which just goes to show you. Drugz Bunny is really good at power stuff for a guy who is probably half my size. The blown dropkick here won't be the only blown dropkick of the night, fans. I don't get as salty about messed-up moves as some wrestling evaluators. If wrestling were 100% real (which it is, verified by the mods), moves would get messed up all the time. The difference for me is what happens afterwards and the two guys here do a nice job of averting disaster. Virgil Flynn eventually does a top-rope complicated flippy move, but actually seals the deal with an old-timey cannonball senton. Hopefully, he'll incorporate a lot more of the striking in other Flynn matches I see; he's really convincing at that stuff. I suspect this match won't be surpassed.
Thanks, fate! You put the cute girl together with the big Russian who has already been established as perpetually horny. But da real MVP is Big Van Faber, who appears to have plucked his ring attire from a storage facility's dumpster. There is duct tape on the headwear. Splendid. If this is an allusion to famous knockoffs like Big Slam Vader, then good job, Hoodslam. I love how the commentators pronounce Zangief's name in a different way every show. They should start putting the syllables and stresses after the fighters' names during entrances. Behemoths Faber and Zangief hit the ring and start doing hiptosses and armdrags and shit. LOLs abound and then Cabra and Wonder engage and the pace picks up. The ending is telegraphed here, as Brittany Wonder rejects Zangief's advances because she is, like all women, icy-hearted and intolerant of nice guys. Zangief bails, Brittany's pinned, and Big Van Faber continues to look swag as hell.
Doc Atrocity vs. El Flaco Loco
Loser leaves town...for 90 days. Atrocity's entourage of freaks rivals Adam Rose's by a country mile. I don't think Flaco is a seasoned wrestler and consequently the match needs saving. The commentators do their best, ginning up a backstory for Flaco that involves being born in a CMLL ring and spending years doing amateur lucha libre. Forever the sickest: "You can't do krav maga without the double axehandle!" Flaco loses when a robot(?) with oven mitt hands gets involved. Then Doc Atrocity gives a speech that ends in "You're all gonna die...and I'm gonna fuckin' kill you!" So I guess if anyone who attended this show ever dies mysteriously, we know who to arrest. No one died during this match and it didn't rain, so...
Anthony Butabi & Jesus Kruze vs. Johnny Drinko Butabi & Rick-Scott Stoner vs. Prawn Cena & F.O.N.G. vs. Ryu & Scott-Rick Stoner
The show was starting to drag, so I'm glad they condensed things here. Mastodons collide as F.O.N.G. and Rick-Scott shoulder-block. Then F.O.N.G. shows the effects of a clothesline by wobbling. Johnny Drinko says, "That's too basic!" and does a standing hurricanrana about it. Jesus Kruze is kind of the odd man out here, he seems to be a straightforward B-Boy/Homicide-style urban wrestler. Weird to see him amidst all this gimmickry, but his strikes and stuff look cool. Plus he has his full name on the back of his work shirt, which helps. This proceeds at a pretty nice clip, but then cheerleader valet Missy Hiasshit executes a sort of rana in a very herky-jerky way. I'm sure it takes practice to get it down, so no worries, but it does muck up the flow of the match a little. But then Prawn Cena (and I was disappointed that he was not a prawn like in District 9) does the same sequence of moves over and over again, which is one of my huge complaints about WWE big matches, even though Joe Brody is yelling, "Don't duck the clothesline!" on the house mic. Match salvaged. Okay stuff overall.
The Dixie Carter Memorial Lethal Lottery Battle Bowl
This is a battle royal and, at one point, Scott-Rick Stoner hits his head and promptly starts vomiting. Hope that dude's all right! I saw Matt Sydal do the same thing after missing a top rope move, so you are in good company, Scott-Rick. I was all set to commend Hoodslam for a clever title since the true Dixie Carter is indeed dead. But they never even mention the erstwhile Julia Sugarbaker and, since battle royals are boring, I started thinking about whether a show like Designing Women would even air in California. It seems too rural, too immersed in Hee-Haw culture. Like, would Missy Hiasshit or Anthony Butabi know how to react if they saw Reba or a Moon Pie? Or would it be like showing a smartphone to a cannibal tribe in the Amazon? Anyway, James C wins and voices a splendid, boo-seeking halting promo.
Main event time and this was apparently the first match on the first Hoodslam show as well. History! A (drunk?) fan hits the ring shortly after Dark Sheik and is promptly ejected by a horde of folks, giving us this show's Kevin Douglas moment. The early portions did not win my heart, mostly because Juiced Lee seemed off. Stoned? Mesmerized? Whatever, he shruggingly sold punches and his offense was also pretty exposey. Things got better as the match progressed, although botches were never far away. No less than three different refs show up to ref this thing during its long life and one even bleeds, which I don't think I've seen before. I feel like this was similar to the Drugz/Virgil match in structure, but a lot less effective in execution. There was far less energy here, although I did like some parts of this match.
I gotta get off the Hoodslam for a while, so maybe we'll discuss Chikara or joshi next time we meet.