As some of you may know, Wrestlezone has a started a new working relationship with Pro Wrestling Syndicate, an independent wrestling promotion based out of Rahway, New Jersey. If you didn't, we will be on site for each of PWS's monthly events in Rahway, providing live prematch commentaries, interviews and other content. Before anyone gets all riled up and says this is a fluff piece and I was paid to write it, neither statement is true. I wanted to go to a PWS show long before the Wrestlezone announcement was made. I live less than an hour away from their location, and I always saw their match cards and thought they looked pretty entertaining. They always have a mix of newcomers, free agents, and legends, but I never got a chance to see a show due to other monthly commitments.
The first impression walking in was like any other indy show I have been to: it's a small arena with a decent sized crowd, and there will be someone signing a few autographs. That was the first impression. I immediately began to scan the room, and I was amazed at what I saw. Former WWE Diva Ashley Massaro and "The Total Package" Lex Luger were sitting on one side of the room, New Jack and WWE Tag Team Champions Demolition were on the other. There were tables set up for meet and greets all over the room, and there was a ton of merchandise tables. Tons. Matt Hardy and Velvet Sky were in the ring meeting fans, as was PWS Champion "2 Cocky" Kevin Matthews, and Dennis Haskins. Yea, that's right, Mr. Belding from 'Saved By The Bell' fame was the guest commissioner for the evening. Haskins wasn't just making an appearance, he was having fun. You could tell by the way he was talking to both fans and wrestlers that he wanted to be there. He did a great job making some matches and enforcing the rules, and I hope to see him return to future shows. He may have been on Z True Long Island Story a few times (he might have even called Zack during the show) but watching him drop a guy with a Stone Cold Stunner was an awesome sight to be seen.
As far as the show went, it was very entertaining from top to bottom, and it featured fast paced action, hardcore brawls, mat wrestling and old school fights. Demolition faced the Powers of Pain in the opening bout, and it was a nice nostalgic feeling match to get the crowd into it. They didn't take alot of crazy bumps, but they worked a good old school type match with alot of strikes and dirty tactics. Big O and QT Marshall are at different parts of their careers, but they still put on a very good match that saw Big O pick up the win. Marshall works like an old school heel and pulls it off well, and he should do really well moving forward with a full-time deal with Ring of Honor. Big O got his start by being featured on Z! TLIS, but the guy is putting in the work and has really gotten better. If you have watched some of his matches you know what I'm talking about. He has the personality, and his in-ring skills are catching up, and although Zack may have opened the door, Big O kicked it off the hinges and is he getting better and better with every match.
The top of the card featured a few matches featuring guys you should already know, like former TNA star Tony (Anthony) Nese and WWE/TNA star Matt Hardy. I liked what Nese brought to the X Division and I'm glad I got to see another match of his; he's like a new version of Dean Malenko, which is always a good thing. Hardy showed he can still work a match like always, and both of them worked really well together. They both tried to weaken each other with focused attacks and ground moves, and broke out high flying and impact moves when they counted. Another name you should know is Sami Callahan, from Dragon Gate USA and Ring Of Honor, and a name you'll want to know is Kevin Matthews, the PWS champion. To say they beat the shit out of each other would be an understatement; I knew once they went through the barricade and into the stands that I was in for a good fight. Velvet Sky worked the match as Matthews' valet, and she reminded me why she was a good heel after being a babyface for so long. Matthews plays a very convincing cocky heel (as eveidenced by his nickname) and Callahan has grown from his time starting in ROH and can sell like the best of them.
All of the participants in the show deserve alot of credit for putting on an entertaining show, but the best thing to remember was that top to bottom it was fun. I think too many people forget to have fun while they watch wrestling, and I get the 'it's still real to me' insults, but I just ignore that garbage. The whole point of watching is entertainment. I had a good time, saw some good matches, talked to a lot of people, and started a new working relationship with some good people. There's nothing negative about that. If PWS continues to put on solid shows, they will grow by word of mouth. They got a bunch of positive media coverage this week from outlets like TMZ, and it's cool to say I was actually. How many times can you saw that you were part of an indy show like that? The last time I remember an indy show getting coverage like that, Scott Hall left a hospital to make a show and had to be carried into the ring, and it was part of an E:60 segment on ESPN. (Not good.)
The 'Belding' coverage was a nice thing to have because it showed that positive things do happen in a world outside of WWE-branded entertainment. I was already talking to Frank and Joe of Wrestling Reaction that night, and we all said we couldn't wait to come to the next show. (Listen to and follow those guys. They are damn smart, and they have the best show on Long Island) We got to meet Demolition, which was my favorite tag team of that era, and we had some conversations with most of the guys backstage. PWS granted access to people that most companies won't do, but should start doing. There are a ton of good things I can say about that evening (driving 'Dylan' to the bar was a highlight) but the theme to remember is that PWS is there to make fans of all demographics happy, and they do a damn good job of it.