Arena Reports 4/27 NWA Pro in Houston: Near-riot erupts in front of packed house, El Hijo Del Santo, LA Parka, Waltman
Apr 29, 2007 - 9:55:00 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
NWA Pro Showcase
April 27, 2007
Plaza de San Miguel in Houston, Texas
Report by: James Caldwell, Torch columnist
It's not everyday that wrestlers can generate enough crowd heat to cause hundreds of kids to riot at a pro wrestling show. Before the semi-main event match, trash, bottles, dirt, and various forms of debris covered the ring at the NWA Pro show on a hot Friday night in Houston after Joey Ryan, Karl "Machine Gun" Anderson, and C. Edward Vander Pyle incensed the predominantly Hispanic crowd by telling them to leave the country and return to Mexico. This came before their scheduled match against Ultimo Dragon and T.J. Perkins (Puma).
Adults erupted into a loud chorus of boos and shouted at the few security guards on hand that they were personally insulted by the wrestlers. Kids then filled the ring and jumped on the turnbuckles as referees and security tried to clear the ring. An adult male grabbed an American flag brought to the ring by Anderson and ran around the ringside area until security pulled him aside. One quick glance toward the stage above the arena showed Houston police department officers simply sitting in a chair, even after the wrestlers warned each officer ahead of time that things could get out of control in a hurry. Their explanation was that they could only act if they saw someone breaking the law.
With minimal security, hundreds of pounds of dirt surrounding the ring to turn the venue into a virtual playground, and no guardrails, the scene was chaotic to say the least. The raw heat in the venue was unlike anything I had ever seen before at a wrestling show. The match was then cancelled by building management. After the show, Ultimo Dragon was telling wrestlers that he had never seen a match cancelled before during his entire career.
Before the match was officially cancelled, Joey, Anderson, and Vander Pyle left the ring to seek shelter. Ultimo Dragon and T.J. tried to sign autographs in the ring to calm the fans down, but even the babyfaces were nailed by dirt and debris. Sitting ringside, my only damage was being covered in dirt as rocks flew by my shoulder toward the ring.
After the show, building management told me they weren't prepared for the size of the crowd. They weren't expecting a large turnout to the 6,500-seat outdoor covered arena, but over 4,000 fans turned out for the first wrestling event held at the venue. They marketed the show at local supermarkets and took out local ads on Univision and Telemundo during soccer, boxing, and wrestling programming to advertise the show, which generated a stronger response than the building expected, but was consistent with the big crowds NWA Pro has drawn in Texas this month.
The return date is Father's day weekend, on June 15, and based on the crazy crowd heat and line-up of pro wrestling stars being booked by NWA Pro, they could easily sell out the venue in June. A simple poster hung up in the local supermarkets with Joey Ryan and Karl Anderson's face staring at customers could generate enough interest to draw a sell out. After all, fans will come out to see the red-hot heels get their comeuppance.
In the main event, after the riot match, El Hijo Del Santo teamed with LA Parka to defeat Pentagon and Super Parka in 12:00 to send the crowd home happy. Santo received the biggest pop of the night, surpassing Sean Waltman's earlier in the show. Rey Mysterio, Sr. was booked for the show, but travel problems prevented him from making it to the venue.
(1) Icognito def. Mortiz in 7:00 with a springboard splash off the ropes. Icognito was impressive in the opening match. Good size and he was in shape.
(2) "Roughneck" Jay Ryan & The Skullkrusher def. Babi Slymm & David Stahr in 13:00.
(3) NWA Texas champion Chaz Taylor def. NWA Oklahoma champion Slam Shady in 6:00 in a title vs. title match. Chaz is the son of Tugboat Taylor and Slam Shady fits the description of a WWE mid-card wrestler with the right size and look. He was the first of the white male American wrestlers to insult the audience on the evening.
(4) Solar & Ultraman & Super Astro def. El Cobarde & El Cobarde Jr. & Mona Negra 2-1 falls in 15:00. Lucha rules match, with plenty of comedy mixed in with flying moves to the outside.
(5) Sean Waltman (wrestling as 6-Pac) def. Sicodelico Jr. in 8:00. Waltman came out to DX's theme music, but the crowd didn't pop initially for the music. It wasn't until he actually came out that the fans responded with strong cheers. During the match, Waltman worked as the babyface, but the crowd was split. Afterward, Waltman signed autographs for 15 minutes during intermission.
(6) Amazing Kong & El Espantito def. Sexy Chino & Candice LaRae in 9:00. Fun comedy match that made Amazing Kong look huge, since she was teamed with a smaller wrestler and faced off with Chino, who's gimmick is that he's a super-skinny dancer, and Candice, who has the body size of Ashley Massaro. One of the strongest crowd reactions of the night was when Kong teased a flying splash onto all three wrestlers on the floor and the crowd reacted with horror as she set up the move.
(7) Joey Ryan & Karl "the Machine Gun" Anderson vs. T.J. Perkins & Ultimo Dragon was cancelled due to fan rioting. Disappointing that the building was forced to cancel the match, as I saw all four men working out some innovative spots beforehand that would have made for a great semi-main event match.
(8) El Hijo Del Santo & LA Parka def. Super Parka & Pentagon in 12:00. Santo put Super Parka in a Camel Clutch (La de a caballo) for the tap out victory. Parka's command of dance moves at the beginning of the match put the crowd back in a wrestling mode after the crazy riot scene. Good main event to send the fans home happy.
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