January 26, 2008
Ice Arena, South Lake Tahoe, CA
By Jason Ericks
Welcome back to Pacific Northwest Wrestling!! After a long wait of more than 18 months, PNW was back in action yesterday in South Lake Tahoe! I'm Jason Ericks, and I have the coolest job in the Milky Way galaxy. Officially, I'm the play-by-play man for PNW broadcasts, but c'mon -- Chris Colton is running this joint. I spend more time looking at scantily-clad women than anything else. This week it was the snow bunnies descending on Tahoe. We put on two shows during the first run, and the third was scheduled for Tahoe, so this was a natural place to relaunch. We were expecting upwards of 2,000 fans for the original Tahoe show, but the 1,000 we drew for this one wasn't bad considering the 18-month layoff.
At exactly 7 p.m., Crazy Town's "Revolving Door" blasted over the Ice Arena sound system, and the man himself, Chris Colton, came down to the ring along with his business partner, Dahlia Lincoln. Most of the details of the company's original collapse and return were revealed by Just The Facts this week, but Chris took a moment to apologize to the fans and promised nothing like that would happen this time around. As with before, Chris will oversee the men's division, Dahlia will run the women's side of things, and they will combine to run the tag team division, which is all mixed tag teams, of course. However, Chris did mention that his busy schedule might preclude him from making certain events, and that Dahlia would run everything in his absences. They announced that the tournament for the PNW Tag Team Championships, which was halfway through Round 1 originally, would start over to incorporate some new faces. They said they'd get to the details later, but for now.. time to start the tournament!
Match 1: TAG TEAM TITLE TOURNAMENT: ROUND 1, MATCH 1
Shelby Braddock-Burns and "The Sexiest Man Alive" Jason Tendo vs, "The Bollywood Bombshell" Amara Singh and "Blind" Hector Santiago
I was expecting a classic wrestling match here, because the three returning members of the roster -- Singh, Santiago and Tendo -- are all classic technicians, with Tendo and Santiago possessing the ability to mix in some high-flying action. Shelby Braddock-Burns was the one I didn't know, and she was clearly the outsider in this match, acting a lot like an F5 twister in an Oklahoma trailer park.
Tendo and Singh both wanted to let their partners start off the match, and Hector had no problem mixing it up with Shelby using PNW's unique tag team rules, which allow mixed genders in the ring for one minute or until a pinfall or submission occurs, whichever comes first. Hector caught Shelby's arm during a wild elbow strike and dropped her to the mat with a simple armbar before tagging in Amara. The contrast of styles came in then, with Amara keeping things on the mat and Shelby taking to the air for a variety of strikes, kicks and martial arts thrusts. Amara, trying to escape the bludgeoning, tagged in Hector, and Shelby immediately brought in Jason Tendo. The two men put on a spectacular display of technical chain wrestling, countering everything and ending up in a stand-still. Tendo tagged out to Shelby, who flung Hector into the ropes with an Irish whip. He blind tagged Amara back into the match, but Shelby got the upper hand quickly, eventually ending things with the L.D. 75, a powerbomb lungblower. Afterward, Tendo grabbed a mic and took credit for the win, despite spending less than 30% of the match in the ring. Shelby looked him up and down, scoffed, and grabbed his mic, calling him "pathetic." She then left the ring, leaving Tendo looking very perturbed. Never one to be down for long, Tendo smiled and made an off-color joke about it being Shelby's time of the month.
Winners: Shelby Braddock-Burns and Jason Tendo
We can't afford Jumbotrons just yet in PNW, but we had a few big screens in the arena, and after the tag match, they showed footage of PNW's second card, back in 2007, and the epic brawl "Wild Fantasy" Brandon Young and Shaun Covell had, which went from the ring, all the way to the parking lot and temporarily landed both of them in jail for vandalism after more than 20 cars were damaged. Brandon Young was one of the first stars re-signed by Chris Colton for this second run, and he was up in singles action next.
Match 2: Men's Singles Action
"Wild Fantasy" Brandon Young vs. "Irish Assassin" Ian Clarke
Young wrestled his first match in PNW, so we only knew him as a talented but inexperienced rookie. In the 18 months since our last show, Young has obviously gotten a lot of experience under his belt, because he looked like an entirely different man in the ring. He faced off against Ian Clarke, one of the new talents recruited by Chris to join PNW. As evidenced by his nickname, Clarke is a man with a past with more checkers than a Fort Lauderdale retirement home. Chris was impressed with his ability when he saw him in a small Indy fed in Ireland, but spent major dollars on background checks, making sure his involvement with the Irish mob is done.
Anyway, the two wasted no time going after each other. Clarke immediately took the match to the mat, and had Young locked in several compromising positions early on in the match. However, the talented all-arounder with a deep wrestling pedigree found his way out of every one, and once he got going, he was able to show off some of the power moves, speed, and aerial acrobatics that make him one of the best on the roster. Clarke continued to bring things back to the mat, however, and an STF seemed to drain Young's energy. Clarke dropped the move and got up. After making the classic "cross" sign toward Young, he bounced off one side of the ring then the other, and went to land a vicious elbow into the throat of Young -- but Young rolled out of the way. He worked on Clarke for a few minutes, then went to hit his patented finisher, the Young Blood. However, the crowd began stirring, and before Young could execute the lung blower manuever, Shaun Covell was in the ring and laying the boots to Brandon Young. He lifted the smaller man up and hit a devestating jackknife powerbomb. PNW uses pure-style rules, meaning no DQs and no count-outs, so the referee could do nothing but watch as Covell left the ring. Clarke dragged Young up and hit a move he calls the Assassin's Creed, a running cross powerbomb, for the win.
Winner: "Irish Assassin" Ian Clarke
Young was inevitably incensed, and following the match, he immediately headed to the back to track down Covell. Chris Colton had actively tried to re-sign Shaun Covell, but had been unable to locate him prior to tonight. The early rumors coming out of Chris' office are that Covell will sign a contract next card, only if he's guaranteed a match with Brandon Young.
Match 3: Women's Tag Team Action
"Hunter Killer" Hannah Kristian and "Rock n' Roll Girl" Holiday Rhodes vs. Mariko Shimada and "La Onza" Mariana De Leon
Three of these women are newcomers to PNW, with only Mariko Shimada returning from the first run. In this match, Dahlia paired her up with her former Vice Party stablemate in Mariana "La Onza" De Leon, who, let me just say, proved that she is about as bad-ass as they come in this business. Their opponents were a pair of newcomers, Holiday Rhodes and Hannah Kristian. Kristian is the sister of former PNW wrestler and now manager Andrea Kristian, and while we didn't know much about Rhodes prior to the show, the fans immediately took a liking to her bubbly personality and "girl next door" brand of attractiveness.
Mariana and Hannah started off the match, which was a very nice contrast of styles. Mariana turned it into a brawl early, but Hannah caught her off-guard with several springboard moves and a lot of martial arts. Mariana showed her aerial chops as well, diving over the ropes on top of a prone Kristian at one point. Hannah tagged in Holiday first, and not long after, Mariana tagged in Mariko first, and Shimada immediately went to the eyes of Rhodes. Mariko spent the next five minutes working over Holiday with a variety of power moves, but Holiday managed to get the upper hand with some good old-fashioned brawling, landing lefts and rights in flurries, which enabled her to tag in Hannah Kristian. The crowd went nuts upon Kristian's entry, and she went off on Mariko for a few moments, but when bouncing off the ropes, Mariana landed a kick to the back of Kristian's neck. Mariko picked up Kristian and headed to the top rope for her Sex Bomb, a standing top rope Powerbomb. Mariko then jumped off, and before she could go for the cover, Holiday flew into the ring with a vicious flying clotheline. At that point, the referee lost all control of who was legal and who wasn't. Mariana came into the ring and blindsided Rhodes, then hit the Tijuana Hot Shot on the bubbly redhead for the win.
Winners: Mariko Shimada and Mariana De Leon
The fans weren't happy with who won that match, but they had to impressed with the level of competition we're going to have in the women's division. I can't speak for Dahlia, but all four of those women, in addition to Shelby Braddock-Burns from the opening match, have to be considered favorites for the PNW Women's Championship.
Match 4: TAG TEAM TITLE TOURNAMENT: ROUND 1, MATCH 2
Mandy Ching & Grady Mitchell vs. "Nightshade" Sora Kawaii & Jax "Nightwolf" Havik
I suppose this pairing made some sense, with both members having the word "Night" in their nicknames, but it was clear from the beginning that they couldn't get along. It looked like the only reason Jax Havik didn't attack Sora Kawaii was because he couldn't win the match without a woman partner to deal with the other team's woman past the one-minute deadline. Havik had no such worries with Grady Mitchell, overpowering the smaller man immediately. Mitchell, the former starting quarterback at the University of Nebraska (before they started sucking hardcore), didn't back down, managing to hit a few judo throws on Havik, which really just pissed him off more than anything. Mitchell eventually tagged in the cheating cheerleader from PNW's first run, Mandy Ching, and having no doubt that Havik wouldn't waste a single second of his minute in the ring with her, she smartly slid to the outside and took advantage of the no count-out rules. Havik had no choice but to tag in his partner, Kawaii, but she did Ching no favors either, coming right at her with the strong style most of the best Japanese grapplers are known for. In industry terms, I believe the word is "stiff." Anyhow, she railed on Ching for a few minutes before Ching was able to make a tag to Grady Mitchell, who gamely put on an exhibition with Kawaii for their alloted one minute, with neither party causing much damage. Kawaii tagged Havik back in, and his bulk and power proved to be too much for Mitchell. He nailed a Decapitation top rope lariat, then followed with an F-5, a move he calls the Death Sentence, and Mandy Ching wasn't about to try to break the pin.
Winners: "Nightshade" Sora Kawaii and "Nightwolf" Jax Havik
Following the match, the official tried to raise Havik and Kawaii's hand, but Havik immediately clotheslined his partner. Kawaii snapped back to her feet, however, and nailed a dropkick to Havik's lower back. It wasn't enough to drop the bigger man, but it was enough to get his attention. He sneered at Kawaii as he left the ring.
It was time for some more footage to set up the main event, and we flashed back to the last Maelstrom, when Bruce "The Oni" Saotome lost a regular-rules match to Lex Talionis via DQ when Jason Tendo nailed Talionis with a chair shot. Tendo was almost back to the back when LA Jackson and Xander Keegan came out and nailed Tendo with twin crescent kicks, allowing Saotome to catch up and powerbomb Tendo off the steel ramp. Talionis is no longer with the company, but the other players in that equation are.
MAIN EVENT: MEN'S TAG TEAM ACTION
Lights, Camera, Action vs. "The Shit" Duke Thompson and "The Self Made Man" Kevin Alloy
We obviously don't have same-gender tag teams here in PNW, but Saotome and Jackson have formed LCA for years, and just joined MBC as a tag team. Colton handpicked the two of them to main event the first show back opposite two of the bigger men on the roster, for two very different reasons. Duke Thompson is a world-class body builder, and at 6-foot and 340 pounds, Kevin Alloy is just big. Bruce Saotome is also not lacking in size at 6-foot-8 and 279 pounds, so really, the odd man out was L.A. Jackson, at just 220 pounds.
Jackson started off with Alloy and ran circles around the big guy for a few minutes -- until Alloy caught him coming off the top rope. Alloy hit a series of backdrop drivers on Jackson, then tagged in his partner, who roughed up L.A. some more with good, old-fashioned back-alley brawling. Duke nailed L.A. with 10 fists to the skull in the corner, then whipped "Center Stage" violently across the ring. L.A. got a boot up when Thompson charged in, however, and rebounded with a running bulldog that left both men prone. Thompson managed to reach Alloy for the tag, but just a second after Alloy came in, Jackson reached Bruce Saotome, who got the biggest pop of the night when he came into the ring and began clearing house like nobody's business. "The Oni" was a one-man wrecking crew for roughly two minutes, and just when it looked like Thompson was going to catch Saotome from behind, Jackson caught the bodybuilder with a stiff super kick, making the crowd go that much wilder! The cheers turned to boos, though, as sure enough, Jason Tendo came down to the ring. He pulled Saotome off the apron and began laying into him with lefts and rights, all while L.A. Jackson executed a huge 360 shooting star press onto a prone Thompson, giving his team the win.
Winners: Lights, Camera, Action (Bruce Saotome and L.A. Jackson)
Jackson looked around for his partner, and only then did he see the beating Tendo was dishing out on Bruce. He went to join the fray, but the crowd exploded again as none other than "X-Caliber" Xander Keegan flew down the entry ramp. He headed directly for Tendo and Saotome, and launched himself at the "Sexiest Man Alive" sending Tendo crashing into the steel barricade nearby. Jackson then helped Saotome to his feet, and "The Oni" extended a hand to Xander Keegan. Xander looked down at it for a fleeting moment, then... turned his back on Jackson and Saotome. L.A. put a hand on Keegan's shoulder to get him to turn around, but Keegan just glared at the hand until L.A. removed it. The show ended as Keegan stalked up the ramp, and Jackson and Saotome looked after him, discussing something with each other.
That was it for the first show back folks, and what a grand comeback it was! Next week, PNW heads down Interstate 80 to Reno, Nevada for Maelstrom! Will Xander Keegan explain his actions? Will Bruce Saotome finally get his hands on Jason Tendo? Will Shaun Covell sign his contract? And what's next for our uber-talented women's division? You better get to Reno, Nevada, or check out PNW Online to find out!