April 7, 2006
â€“ Larry Goodman
Samoa Joe defeated Christopher Daniels to become the number one contender for the Alabama Heavyweight Title in the main event of
last nightâ€™s NWA Wrestle Birmingham show.
But it wasnâ€™t Joe/Daniels that got the â€œThis is awesome!â€� chant last night, it was the performance by Dennis Condrey.
Wrestle Birmingham drew a crowd of roughly 400 to the Zamora Temple in suburban Irondale.
They couldnâ€™t have gotten a worse night for getting walk up sales. The weather forecast threatened thunderstorms so severe that
area schools let out early. It was a smallest crowd the promotion has drawn, which was a crying shame, because this turned out to be an
The first half was nothing special, but they kept things short, and for the most part, it had good heat. The second half had the best overall
ringwork of any Wrestle Birmingham show yet.
(1) Bubba Cagle & Bill Franklin beat Rivers Dâ€™Angelo & Will Owens in 7:11
The presence of Owens made this match watchable. He works like and old school veteran and did everything possible to get Cagle over.
Dâ€™Angelo busted out Muay Thai knees at the opening bell. That was scary. When Cagle got off a burst of early offense, a fan taunted
him about his willow arms. Owens leveled Cagle with a lariat for a great heat spot. The heels did a no tag switch. Owens carried the load
on offense. Owens gave Cagle three near falls, raked the eyes, and got pinned with an inside cradle.
(2) Scott Armstrong and Lash LeRoux wrestled to a 10 minute draw
They had a good back and forth match, but it had the least heat of anything on the show. Although not quite at 100%, Scottâ€™s recovery
from knee surgery appears to be coming along just fine. They told the story that LeRoux seemed to have Scottâ€™s number. Scott won
the battle of top wristlocks, but LeRoux got a quick two with a roll up. Scott scored a shoulder block knockdown. LeRoux came back with
two of his own, and Scott was feeling the effects. LeRoux used a series of shoulder blocks to the gut. Scott responded with an atypical
brawling style of offense. LeRoux hit a side Russian legsweep and floated over for two. Scott used a Wrestling II kneelift for a near fall.
Armstrong ducked and LeRoux went over the top. Armstrong followed LeRoux out to put the boots to him. LeRoux was getting the best of
it as the time wound down. Scott connected with a superkick at the bell. It didnâ€™t come easily, but they ended up shaking hands.
Armstrong brought up their days in WCW, saying LeRoux always showed respect and had come a long way.
LeRoux made a classy speech honoring Scott and the Armstrong family. LeRoux talked about growing up in Oxford, Alabama. Said he
drove to the Power Plant in Atlanta for 10 months and paid WCW to train him. LeRoux recalled watching the Armstrong family wrestle at
Boutwell Auditorium. LeRoux said that when he came to WCW, he didnâ€™t emulate a Buff Bagwell or a Kevin Nash, he want to be like
an Armstrong because they had fed their family on wrestling for 25 years, and that wasnâ€™t an easy thing to do. LeRoux said that
tonight he had the opportunity to wrestle one of his idols.
(3) Brad Armstrong beat Butcher Hayes in 6:08
Hayes had another unique hairstyle, a tuft of hair towards the back of his head with a long ponytail shooting out of it. After a brief shine
segment for Armstrong, Hayes dominated the body of the match. At one point, Hayes set the ringsteps up on end, but Brad reversed the
whip and Hayes went flying over the the steps. Brad telegraphed a backdrop, ate a knee, and sold it beautifully. Hayes dumped Brad and
got a crazed _expression on his face. Hayes brawled like a madman. Hayes used a lot of headbutts. Brad got an inside cradle out of
leftfield to score the three count.
(4) Jimmy Powell & McNasty (with Robert Fuller) beat The Bullet & Jimmy Golden in 6:32
Powell has at least one thing in common with Vince McMahon. They are both such tremendous performers as egotistical heels that it
totally transcends their lack of wrestling skills. Bulletâ€™s entrance still gets a great pop. He was outfitted in spring green gear for the
occasion. McNasty couldnâ€™t make a dent in Golden. That set up the anticipated confrontation between Bullet and Powell. Bullet put
Powell in the Shattered Dreams position and chopped him. Powell sold it like his groin muscles were about to snap. But Powellâ€™s
chicanery gave McNasty the advantage on Bullet. Bullet teased a comeback, and Fuller had to wipe his brow with the hanky. Hot tag. The
heels fed Golden. Finish saw Golden clothesline McNasty over the top and go for a suplex back to the inside. Fuller tripped up Golden
and hung on the leg, while McNasty fell on top for the pin.
Golden demonstrated what happened for the ref, but it was to no avail.
Bullet started jawing at Fuller, who was standing near the dressing room. Fuller made a big production out of taking off his coat and hat,
and rolling up his sleeves, like he was ready to get down to business. Bullet charged. Fuller grabbed his stuff and ran. Hilarious.
(5) Dennis Condrey and Lee Thomas had another awesome all-over-the-building brawl that ended as a no contest
This match contained a classic mark out moment, the kind that become instantly etched into memory. You would think it was overkill to
do the same deal two shows in a row. That would be underestimating Condrey, who once again stole the show. The â€œBattle of the
Loverboysâ€� program has been running for almost a year, and it just keeps building. Condrey has become the babyface in this feud by
popular demand. How can any old school fan resist a legend that is still convincingly kicking asses in his 50s? But Thomas earned a
measure of respect here. The previous brawl was all Condrey. Thomas got some comebacks this time. Wild action right from the get go.
The crowd was so amped that they busted out an â€œECWâ€� chant. Condrey threw Thomas through three rows of chairs. At one point,
Condrey was wearing a chair as a necktie. The action spilled into the lobby area with a mass of fans following the action. Condrey
dragged Thomas up the stairs into the balcony. Condrey tried to throw Thomas off the balcony. Thomas was hanging on for dear life.
Condrey pried one of Thomasâ€™ hands off the edge. Thomas was able to switch hands to maintain a grip. Credit Thomasâ€™ athletic
ability. He looked like Spiderman up there. In as stroke of pure genius, Condrey sunk his teeth into Thomasâ€™ hand to send him to the
floor below. Fortunately, it wasnâ€™t a long drop. Injury risk wasnâ€™t what made this memorable, although there was an element of
that for sure. This was all about creating a dramatic visual with the illusion of severe danger. They continued to brawl on the floor. Refs
were flying in all directions. They needed help from back including Roy Lee Welch to break it up. Condrey acknowledged the crowd as
they chanted his name. He left the people buzzing about what they had witnessed.
(6) El Mexicano beat Mike Jackson to become the new NWA Wrestle Birmingham Junior Heavyweight Champion with the help of
Daffney and â€œThe Tennessee Studâ€� Robert Fuller in 14:41
This was way better than it had any right to be. They had a helluva tough act to follow, and with Jackson facing a total unknown, the match
figured to be a ho-hum title defense. It was anything but that due to Mexicano, a young, athletic cruiserweight with a major league body
and a world of potential. I wouldnâ€™t be surprised to see him get a shot in Deep South down the line. Before the match got underway,
Daffney and Fuller confronted Jackson. Jackson called Daffney a â€œCyndi Lauper wannabe,â€� made fun of her K-Mart shoes, and
said she had her legs up in the air a lot of times. Jackson said he was taught to respect women, but if Daffney slapped his face like she
did at the Attalla show, she was in for it. Mexicano jumped Jackson from behind. Jackson made the comeback and did his mean face.
Jackson pulled out a tope. Mexicanoâ€™s bumping looked green, but he was a solid base for Jacksonâ€™s geriatric aerial attack.
Jackson went for a springboard move, and Mexicano met him in midair with a dropkick. That was nice. With the immigration issue fresh
in their minds, the fans did dueling chants of â€œUSAâ€� and â€œMexicoâ€�. Mexicano hit springboard twisting crossbody. Jackson
came back with an enzuigiri. Jackson did his ropes walk spot, but Mexicano gut-punched him when he went for the arm drag. Mexicano
punched Jackson in the gut with a set of knucks. Mexicano hit a big DDT for a long two count. Mexicano used the knucks on Jacksonâ
€™s skull, but he still couldnâ€™t put him away. Mexicano missed with a swanton bomb. Jackson hit Mexicano in the groin. Ref Mike
Pedey ate a clothesline. With the ref down, Jackson hit a hangman neckbreaker and pulled the knucks out of Mexicanoâ€™s trunks.
Fuller and Daffney reappeared. Jackson decked Fuller, but Daffney was waiting for him with a handful of powder to the eyes. The ref
came to. Mexicano pinned Jackson with a fallaway slam. A portion of the crowd popped for the title change.
(7) New Age Outlaws (BG & Kip James) beat Diamonds in the Rough (David Young & Elix Skipper with Robert Fuller) via DQ at 14:20
(Diamonds retained the NWA Wrestle Birmingham tag titles)
Solid match. Big pop for New Age Outlaws. BG was wearing a Maryland Championship Wrestling t-shirt. He did the â€œwelcome to the
doghouseâ€� thing introducing Outlaws as the soon-to-be NWA Tag Team Champions of the world. Kip acted like he couldnâ€™t
remember his line because it had been too long. He teased Rock and Austinâ€™s tag lines before doing the two words for ya. Skipper
showed his athletic ability and got all puffed up about it. Kip hit an impressive tilt-a-whirl slam. Young took a major charging crotch bump
into the corner. Diamonds didnâ€™t get the advantage until almost 10 minutes in, when Skipper clubbed BG from behind. BG took heat
from Diamonds. Fuller interfered liberally. Young draped BG over the top rope and Skipper flew from the top with a guillotine legdrop.
Young missed a moonsault and sold it huge to set up the hot tag. Kip hit the Famouser on Young and Skipper saved with a belt shot for
the DQ. BG said â€œEbony and Ivoryâ€� had to cheat their asses off.
(8) Samoa Joe beat Christopher Daniels via submission to earn a shot at the Alabama Heavyweight Title in 13:48
They worked a safe match that built well and told a good story. It didnâ€™t have the heat of Styles/Joe in February. I thought that one was
the better of the two matches, mostly because of the heat. Daniels bounced off Joe with a shoulder block. Joe leveled Daniels with a
shoulder. Daniels used a drop toe hold to set up a shoulder block that knocked Joe down. Joe took a timeout. Joe fired a series of right
hands. But Daniels avoided Joeâ€™s charging knee and took control with a side headlock takeover. Daniels used a roll up and a
backslide but couldnâ€™t get more than a one count. Daniels opened up with a leg lariat and a jumping knee. At 6 minutes in, Daniels
went for a leapfrog and Joe dropped him on his face. Joe went into to his stiff striking attack. He got a two count with a jumping kneedrop.
Joe gave Daniels the facewash and an ungodly looking running knee to the face. Daniels started a comeback. Joe cut him off and hit a
senton backsplash for a near fall. Daniels hit an enzuigiri and Joe staggered to one knee. Daniels put Joe down with a shoulder block off
the top and covered for two. Joe stopped Daniels dead in his track with a Nodowa for a near fall. Daniels answered with a jawbreaker,
but Joe hit his high velocity powerslam for another near fall. Daniels hit an STO to set up the BME, but Joe kicked out. Daniels set up for
Angels Wings. Joe escaped. Joe donkey kicked Daniels in the groin, followed with a lariat and choked Daniels out with the Kokina
Clutch, same way he beat Styles in February.
Joe cut a great promo to close the show. Short, to the point, and extremely effective. He grabbed the mic out of Michael St. Johnâ€™s
hand and referred to the fans bucktoothed, inbred SOBs. Joe said he was the baddest man on planet earth. He told the fans to enjoy
Roaddog all they could, because there was going to be a new champ come June. â€œAnd buy a suit for once in your life, punk.â€�
The date for the June show has not been finalizedâ€¦Last nightâ€™s show marked the companyâ€™s one year anniversaryâ€¦Ring
announcer Dan Masters didnâ€™t make the show. Masters has also given up his position as ring announcer for Deep South Wrestlingâ
€¦Wrestle Birmingham television airs on WB21 in Birmingham Saturday nights at 12:30amâ€¦Robert Fuller our guest this week on
Wrestling Informer Weekly. The show is archived at http://www.wrestlingradionetwork.com/wiw.
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