OOC: Many thanks! (You know who you are ;))
(Star scale is the same as the Torch', which I can't find ANYWHERE, but is basically * so-so, ** average, *** good, **** very good, ***** MotY candidate.)
Yo... Danny Maynard, wrestling journalist extraordinaire, here. Been out of the biz for a while, doing... well, you won't be interested in that. What you may be interested in, though, is a bunch of tapes I just got sent from Kenzer Empire Wrestling.
I remember KEW opening up back in August or so - caught the first show or two, thought they were pretty good, but wasn't expecting them to last too long with a roster of pretty much unknowns. At least unknown to me, that is. Pleasantly surprised to see they're still around, so I thought I'd do this properly, go back to the beginning, and watch straight through to see how they've developed. With 8 shows under their belt (more than most feds manage in 3 runs these days!) this may take a while, but hopefully it'll be worth it.
Okay, we start off with War Cries 1, as the guys we'll come to know and (hopefully) love introduce themselves.
Up first, Danny 'Your Hero' Daniels. He's facing a guy called Rook, and gets a few digs in about the name. That's about it. (5/10.) By no means a bad promo... but by no means a good one, this was strictly average. And for your first promo in a fed, especially the fed's first EVER promo, you really don't want to be average. To be fair, have seen much worse arrogant heels, but with so many around, I hope he's improved to stand out.
Next, Gamma Ray. Except it's actually just a series of news reports on the superhero. (7/10.) This is actually entertaining stuff, and superheroes aren't seen that often in wrestling these days. Potential to be a good gimmick, and will look forward to seeing him in the flesh.
3rd, Grim Jim. Who speaks about his miserable life before beating up the psychologist he's talking to when he tells him "time up." (5/10.) Hmm... was getting into it, but the whole attack on the psych loses marks for being cliched. Still, could be one to watch out for.
Finally, Legion/Firewalkers joint. I like joints, this should be fun. Dam and JRollins, the Firewalkers, kick us off. Rollins has been injured by the Legion, who've sworn to take Dam out as well. But speaking of the Legion, here they are... and they brawl with the Firewalkers until the sheriff's deputies turn up and arrest everyone, including interviewer Big Al. (4/10.) Their hatred is so strong it can't be contained to the ring! Blah... I'm not saying you should never see enemies confront each other on promo shows, but it should be rare, and this didn't seem like the time for it. So the nasty Legion attacked the babyface Firewalkers - try giving us a reason to care about either team first, THEN run it. Less than impressive first showing from these two.
So now onto Lion's Den, the first ever wrestling show... and it's Dam being interviewed by Al. And THIS is the promo he should've cut on War Cries! He hasn't spoken much about the situation with the Legion (I'm assuming this angle's carrying over from another fed, or that there were some non-televised shows before War Cries, by the way), because he prefers to let Rollins do the talking, but he's always got J's back. Except when Rollins got injured, he didn't have J's back, because he wasn't expecting the Legion to stoop that low and attack a guy out of the ring. Rollins will be back, though, and he'll be mad. And the revenge will start tonight as Dam takes on Brimstone. (7/10.) Nothing original about the promo, but there didn't need to be. Realistic, the needed intensity, and just moved Dam/Brimstone from a possible fast-forward for me to a must-see match. Marginally edging out Gamma Ray from War Cries as best promo so far in the fed.
Commissioner Katie White turns up, and gives an extremely brief intro. Not worth rating, but much applause for keeping the emphasis on the wrestling.
Gamma Ray spot, again too short to be rated, but keeps him fresh in my mind, which is good.
First ever televised match sees Danny Daniels take on luchador Rook, with Phil Anderson getting in a zinger that Rook's mask is probably a way to smuggle more illegal immigrants into the US. Let's hope there's no plans to expand to Mexico soon.
Rook tries to shake hands but Danny flattens him with a clothesline, and Daniels does seem to have the heel moves down, taunting the fans. Rook gains control, much to the delight of the crowd, and these two are doing a good job of getting the crowd into the show right from the off. Rook takes a moment to give a cute girl his phone number - and who can blame him? - before going back in the ring, and Gamma Ray comes down a few minutes later. Gamma Ray trips Danny, seemingly unseen by Rook, and Rook picks up the win with a DDT. Mixed reactions from the crowd, to Rook's confusion. **1/2 on a ***** scale. Too short to be much over **, but VERY good for what it was, and the screwjob finish can be forgiven if it leads somewhere with Rook and Gamma.
Backstage, Al interviews Gamma, who announces he's found a new sidekick in Rook. We get a classic line from Ray "Every day I save people while the biased media, corrupt authorities and remorseless villains try and chase me down! And for what? To make sure some senile old bat keeps her handbag?", then Rook turns up. Suggestion of a name change to Rookie Boy doesn't go well, as Rook doesn't want to be a sidekick. Gamma Ray's lines here REALLY have to be heard for full hilarity, the best one being "that ridiculous luchador garb makes him look like a pinata." Rook is upset to see the footage of Gamma's unwanted assist, and we have a match for next week - if Gamma wins, Rook becomes his sidekick. Possibly called Pinata Boy. (9/10.) Absolutely awesome promo, and part of me wants Rook to lose just for the comedy that will ensue if he's Gamma's sidekick.
Grim Jim sets his sights on Night Druid. (6/10.) VERY short, but good for what it was.
Night Druid vs Grim Jim up next. Grim Jim with a surprise attack to kick us off. Mixture of brawling and technical wrestling follows, with a few teases of Jim's trashcan full of weapons being used. Jim's partner, the Brown-Eyed Slayer, makes his way to ringside. Slayer decides to attack Druid, and this gal looks pretty good. Duelling chairs, and double-DQ. (**1/2.) Another decent match, although we'd better get a clean finish next. Slayer and Grim Jim make a chairshot/baseball bat sandwich of Night Druid, and Brimstone saves. Officials chase off the competitors, apart from the Slayer, in action next against Arikku Belathiel. Who's an elf. Really.
Instead of a T-shirt gun, this girl has a T-shirt bow and arrow. Scarily, this may be the coolest thing I've seen all year. Akiruu is Jrollins' sister, by the way. Slayer kicks things off with a flying body press, then fakes a test of strength in order to headbutt her opponent. Slayer is incredibly dominant, bleeding Akiruu as she slams her face into the ringpost, before a brutal piledriver, but Aky won't give up. First big offensive move comes for Belathiel as she reverses a powerbomb with a rana. BES ends the comeback quickly, rakes her eyes, and hits the Nightfall belly-to-back suplex for the win - assisted by a handful of tights. (**.) Too one-sided to amount to much, but did its job in getting Slayer over as a dominant heel.
And the carnage continues, Grim Jim joining in the beatdown with his baseball bat. He hits a Havoc Bomb on the poor girl, much to the crowd's disgust, but Rook tries for the save. Gen Next continue to have the upper hand... until Jrollins, out of hospital, turns up to save his sister. Grim Jim and Slayer run off, Jim staring daggers at Rollins. Rook thanks J, but his sister seems less than happy - maybe she was hoping to bond with the cute lucha over a shared trip in the ambulance?
Brimstone tells a mysterious female he's gonna tear Dam apart. (5/10.) Distinctly average, but ok.
Dam vs Brimstone is fairly short for a main, with Dam getting the (clean!) submission win after Brim misses a diving headbutt. Night Druid attacks post-match, Rollins is nowhere to be seen, but a mysterious figure clad in a pink mask and bodysuit makes the save... and we fade.
All in all, a good card, with seeds sown for plenty of interesting storylines.
Performers of the night:
1. Rook - very good (if short) match, and excellent work in the promo with Gamma Ray.
2. Gamma Ray - awesomely funny.
3. Dam - proving me wrong on his promo-cutting abilities with a great start to the show, then wrestling well in the main.
Match of the night:
Rook vs Danny Daniels - very good TV bout to get the crowd into things.
I'd like to thank Danny Maynard, wrestling journalist extraordinaire, for the reviews.
Knowing that there's at least one person not directly involved in the e-fed who reads the shows is a good source of motivation.
Besides, I've written some adequate stuff, and some pretty crappy sh*t too. Having a 3rd party perspective on what works and what doesn't (and why) is a great help for future offerings!