MILE HI PRO WRESTLING
June 22, 20002
Hello again, everyone. 'Tis me, Miguelito, your fearless guide through the wilds of Denver's independent pro wrestling scene. I have yet another new organization for you this week. Well, I should say that this organization is new to me. Tonight's show is sanctioned by Mile Hi Pro Wrestling, the group that's too cool to keep the "gh" in their name.
Our show tonight is live from the Aztlan Theater in Denver, CO. This is the first venue I've been in covering these events that I've been afraid would fall down around me. It's a little bit scary inside; the Aztlan has definitely seen better days.
Like the Gothic Theatre, where the IWF ran their show last Sunday (see my recap here), the Aztlan is a converted movie/play theater. The first five rows of seats in front of the theater, as well as ALL of the seats in the middle of the theater, were torn out to make a lot of empty room in the theater. It seems like there's more than enough room for a wrestling ring on the floor in front of the few remaining seats, but for some reason the ring is set up on the stage.
This creates a very annoying situation; the ring is high enough above those of us at ringside that we have a hard time seeing what is happening up there. People sitting on the balcony end up with a better view of the action, but they are further back from us. Basically, it means that NO ONE in the theater gets a good view of what's happening in the ring. Very strange.
Anyway, we get the show kicked off with some karaoke. Apparently, MHPW believes that fans of indy wrestling are also karaoke fans. Tonight's show includes a karaoke contest. Out to start things off is MHPW's own Wolf (who looks all of 17 years old). Wolf belts out Creed's "My Sacrifice" and does a pretty damned good job of it, too. That's all the karaoke I'm recapping, though. I'll just sit back and enjoy.
It appears that the wrestling part of tonight's program is going to get underway. First, ring announcer J. Todd (who does a hell of a lot of Colorado shows, apparently) is out to introduce MHPW owner SDV. Unfortunately, SDV mumbles so low that it is almost impossible to hear him. SDV tries to pick a fight with one of the security dudes. SDV is about 5'10" and weighs in at a good 350-375 pounds or so; the usher is about 5'10", maybe 200 pounds, and carries a wicked walking stick. I guess you could call this a tossup.
Before anything developes, however, SDV asks Matt Wylde and Serenity to come out. Wylde, who probably isn't old enough to legally drink in Colorado yet, comes to the ring. Wylde has a Lance Storm look about him, right down to his tights. Serenity is his manager, a brunette who is trying to be a cross between Dawn Marie and Lita. Wylde apparently represents the East Coast Connection, a group of wrestlers from the East coast who are here to prove that western wrestling is crappy. For some reason, the word "whatever" comes to mind. I just can't figure out why.
Wylde says he would like to bring out the rest of the ECC, music starts up, and here comes the Romper Room! Seriously, the oldest person in this group appears to *maybe* be 19. The youngest could easily pass for 16 years old. Apparently we are supposed to buy this group as deadly invaders from the east. To me, they look more like a group of high-school upperclassmen getting ready for a costume party. I can't believe that any group would actually put student-wrestlers this young out and try to push them as serious threats.
The Romper Room tries to intimdate the crowd, and manages to get a lot of laughter. In the ring, the security dude allegedly pastes SDV in the gut with his wicked walking stick, and the Romper Room gets to romping on SDV's backside. The Romper Boy with the skateboard wants to hit someone, but doesn't get a chance. The ring eventually gets cleared, as the Romper Room promises have an impact later in the show. Maybe they want to play cars?
Finally, everyone is cleared out of the ring, and we are ready for our first match: Champagne Tony Morales - vs- Billy V. Thanks to the IWF show I saw last week, I am familiar with at least one person in this match. Billy V put on a great match last week; I am looking forward to this match. Morales looks like he just graduated from the Romper Room. He just may be in his 20's. Maybe. On the plus side, wrestling Billy V should be a good opportunity for Morales to hone his skills. Billy is definitely good enough to be a trainer.
And we're off! Collar-and-elbow into an arm bar by Billy V. Reversal, kick by Billy, Morales hiptosses Billy V! Into the ropes, Billy takes Morales down hard with a superkick! Billy plays up to the crowd.
Back at it, Morales pulls Billy out of the corner and nails the X-Factor! Morales with a fisherman suplex. Again! Tries for a third time, but Billy blocks and hits a nice northern lights suplex! Billy with a standing surfboard variant! Billy drops him, then hits a Steiner-esque posing elbow. Billy V covers, 1 - 2 - kickout! Billy picks Morales up, SITOUT POWERBOMB! 1 - 2 - kickout!
Billy poses to the crowd again, allowing Morales to get back to his feet. Into the ropes, Morales nails a roundhouse kick! Whip into the corner, and Morales hits a nice bulldog. Morales covers, 1 - 2 - Billy has a foot on the ropes. Morales whips Billy into the ropes, Billy catches him with a nice drop-toe hold. Billy ties Morales up in a standard surfboard. The ref checks, but Morales isn't giving up. Both men up, Billy hits a sweet butterfly suplex. Cover, 1 - 2 - kickout.
Both men back up, Morales whips Billy into the corner, then follows this up with an alleged splash. Morales tries to hit a bulldog, but Billy throws Morales off. Billy picks him up, BIG press powerslam for 2. Billy goes for the triple-jump moonsault, but Morales moves. Morales locks on a head-and-arm scissors, then catches Billy in the STF! Billy ain't giving up, either, though. Morales tosses Billy into the ropes, but misses a clothesline!
Billy heads up to the top rope, Morales up and crotches (in slow motion) Billy on the top rope. Morales climbs the ropes, calling for a hurricarana! He took too much time, though; Billy pushes him off the top rope. Morales heads right back up, this time going straight for the hurricarana. Billy catches him however, drapes him down, PILEDRIVER FROM THE TOP ROPE! (Well, it was a cross between a piledriver and a powerbomb.) Billy covers, 1 - 2 - 3!! (7:42)
Billy V continues to impress me. He may be the best technical wrestler in Colorado. There aren't many better people to be matched up with for these younger wrestlers. This match can do nothing but help Morales improve in the ring.
And now here comes the MHPW owner SDV to confuse me some more. SDV wants Stone D to come down to the ring and explain why Stone D has the hardcore title belt. And out comes another 16 year old! MHPW = Neverland! Stone D plays a druggie/pot grower gimmick. Stone D said that Buddha (who I assume we'll see later tonight) set fire to Stone's miles of pot plants. The fire destroyed Stone's crops and burned up his arm. Stone says he wants a match tonight with Buddha; SDV says there's no way that Stone is wrestling tonight unless he gets a doctor's note saying he is medically cleared.
Stone D won't be in following match for the MHPW Hardcore Title, but Mongo the Madman, Demon Dawg and The Boogieman will be. Amazingly, all three wrestlers appear to be old enough to grow facial hair. SDV appoints The Gambler as special referee in the match. And here we go! While we await the Boogieman's entrance, Demon Dawg checks the referee for weapons. HA! Boogieman finally gets into the ring, Dawg and Madman agree to double-team Boogieman. And we are really off, as Dawg and Madman start clubberin' Boogieman. Double-whip into the ropes, but Boogieman ducks a double-clothesline attempt and dropkicks both men.
Madman and Dawg roll out of the ring. Both men blame the other for Boogie's dropkick, and they quickly start trading blows. While Madman and Dawg trade blows, Boogieman sets up a table in the ring. Madman tried to get away from Dawg; Dawg leaps off the stage to tackle him. Dawg finds a trashcan, trashcan lid to the head! Boogies leaves the ring and heads out to the floor. And I think I see why the ring wasn't set up down here. Apparently more action takes place down here than actually in the ring.
Boogie runs across Demon Dawg first, and nails him with a forearm. Madman nails Boogieman with a trashcan lid shot, however, then nails Dawg, too. And we are into the gratuitous violence part of the show, apparently. There's not a lot of point to this, except that this is a hardcore title match. Madman ends up between Dawg and Boogieman, who take turns nailing Madman with a trashcan lid. Major schmozz, and somehow Madman gets away from the other two.
Madman finds a couple of cookie sheets and begins a flurry on Boogieman. Dawg comes in behind Madman and smacks him a couple dozen times with the trashcan lid. Apparently, we aren't going to get ANY wrestling in this match. Madman is down, so Dawg covers. 1 - 2 - Boogieman nails Dawg with a chair. Boogieman with Undertaker's chair-to-the-throat move. Boogieman wraps the chair around Madman's neck, then runs the chair into the auditorium wall (putting one leg of the chair THROUGH the wall). Demon Dawg comes running in with a chairshot to Boogieman. Demon Dawg heads off to the other side of the auditorium to find a stop sign. And things are just getting worse here.
Dawg sets the stop sign onto Madman, then hits a nice standing senton on top of the stop sign. Dawg covers, 1 - 2 - kickout. Boogieman is back up, he hits Dawg with a trashcan, then puts the trashcan over Dawg's head. Superkick to the trashcan! Boogieman with a splash!
Somewhere along here, a table got set up. Madman chokeslams Dawg through it! Boogieman up and nails Madman in the head with a chair. Boogieman covers Madman, 1 - 2 - kickout. Boogieman realizes that Dawg might be easier pickin's, so he covers Dawg. 1 - 2 - kickout. Okay, THAT was pretty cool. It was just about the only good thing in this match so far.
Madman is leaving! Dawg is up, Boogieman nails a knife-edge chop. NO SALE! Headbutt by Boogie, Dawg again no sells. Dawg pulls out a trashcan lid and nails Boogieman with it! Boogieman down, Dawg sets the trashcan lid on Boogieman's groin. Dawg with a splash to the lid!
Both men finally back up, Boogieman nails Dawg in the head. And now the Gambler tries to get involved. Boogieman and Dawg double-team Gambler! Boogieman holds Gambler for a lidshot by Dawg. Boogieman takes the trashcan lid, Van Daminator by Dawg! This match has already gone on way too long. And we've had a whole 30 seconds worth of in-ring time so far. [yawn]
Boogieman brings Madman back to the ring (finally). Demon Dawg follows (slowly). Boogieman throws Madman into the ropes, then puts him through the table with a sidewalk slam! Dawg back into the ring, he sets up a ladder in the far corner while this is taking place. Dawg brings a chair back into the ring with him. Dawg with a chairshot to take Boogieman down. Dawg pulls Madman outside the ring and ties him to the ring post with a chain.
Dawg gets back into the ring, bringing a table with him. Dawg tries to set up the table, but the leg is already breaking on it. Dawg has it sitting slightly-steady, so he tries to put Boogieman on it. The table disintegrates, however. That's pretty much the way this entire match has gone. Maybe they should just pull the plug on this match right here?
Instead, Boogieman puts Dawg down with a right, then heads out to get another table. This one looks pretty steady. Once Boogieman has the table set up, Dawg taps Boogieman with a light right slap; Boogieman flies onto the table. How convenient!
Dawg is now climbing the ladder. He goes up about halfway, and this ladder seems almost as unsteady as the table that disintegrated 30 seconds ago. Dawg climbs a few more rungs, and this ladder is seriously swaying. Dawg asks the fans if he should go up higher; I'm yelling "Hell no!" but he ain't listening. Up two more steps, and the ladder is about to give out. Dawg asks if he should go up more; obviously he is planning on jumping from the top of the ladder. Dawg's already a good four feet higher than the top rope.
Dawg goes up another rung, then realizes he isn't going to be able to get to the top. Dawg tries to jump off, HOLY CRAP! The ladder just collapsed, and Dawg went crashing HEAD FIRST into the ring! Dawg isn't moving! Jesus Christ, are they trying to kill their people here? Boogieman quickly covers Dawg; the ref counts an extra-fast three (14:45) - Boogieman is the new MHPW Cruiserweight champ - then yells for medical attention. The ring fills up quickly as people are trying to see if Dawg is alive or not.
I can't begin to count the ways that this sucked. The worst part of this match is, of course, the fact that Demon Dawg almost ended up paralyzed (or worse!). But the rest of the match was crap, too! Hardcore matches shouldn't be just a contest to see who can hit who with what object. The trashcans and chairs and chains and tables aren't supposed to take the place of actual wrestling. And yet, that's exactly what happened here. Dawg just about ended up in traction for no reason. There was no reason to have him come off ladder; coming off the top rope would've been just as effective. MHPW needs to protect their wrestlers, and quit having them do this dangerous crap.
Look, I'll be the first to admit that I loved the Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches that the Hardy Boyz, Dudley Boyz and Edge & Christian put on. But there's a huge difference here. First, these three teams have been in the business for many, many years before the match. All six men spent years perfecting their craft, and wrestled on an almost nightly basis. Also, these matches were done for the enjoyment of 8 million people, not the 50 or so who were on-hand at the Aztlan Theater. There's no reason that wrestlers in these smaller shows should be doing this type of spot. Stick with the relative-safety of the ring, and forget the 12-foot high ladders. Protect your wrestlers!
But I digress. Dawg is finally removed from the ring. He is standing, but he doesn't look like he knows what planet he's on. Boogieman tries to celebrate his win, but out comes Dreemer (another young kid) who nails him with a kick off the top rope. Dreemer covers and gets a three-count. And we have another new MHPW Cruiserweight champion. (:03)
Gambler seems to be celebrating Dreemer's win, but then Gambler turns on Dreemer to get the pin (:03) and become the new MHPW Cruiserweight champ. Gambler grabs the mic and says that Dreemer needs to learn the correct way to do business. You know, I hate it when WWE does a half-dozen Hardcore title changes on a show, too.
On the plus side, it can't get much worse than this, can it? Matt Wylde comes down to introduce us to the Romper Room members, the East Coast Connection. I am hoping that these kids are older than 18, but they sure don't look like they are. The Romper Roomers try to look really tough, but they just look like a bunch of highschoolers trying to act like pro wrestlers. Finally, it looks like we are going to get a match.
Our next match will be Matt Wylde (with Serenity) -vs- Buddha (think of a teenage Konnan). SDV puts a new stipulation on this match: if Buddha loses this match, SDV will force him into rehab. (SDV is trying to get Buddha as psyched up as possible to keep him from losing to the Romper Room.)
Going for a collar-and-elbow, but Wylde pulls away. Around the ring we go, another lockup attempt, Buddha shoves Wylde away. Wylde complains that Buddha pulled his hair. Another lockup, Buddha shoves Wylde away again. Wylde takes Buddha down with a double-leg sweep. Wylde spreading Buddha's legs, make a wish! Wylde delivers a solid right to Buddha, then covers, 1 - 2 - kickout. Wylde whips Buddha into the ropes and connects with a leg lariat. Cover, 1 - 2 - Buddha tosses Wylde aside.
Buddha coming back with rights. He whips Wylde into the ropes and then hits his own leg lariat. Wylde heads out of the ring for a time out, but Buddha is following him. Buddha whips Wylde into the apron, but gets too close to Stone D. Flurry of rights by Stone D takes Buddha to his knees. Serenity comes over and nails Buddha with a cane shot, because EVERY match in MHPW is a hardcore match, apparently. The Romper Room starts working over Buddha. Stone D grabs a mic and says he isn't down with the Romper Room; he just wanted to get vengance on Buddha. Stone D heads back to the locker room.
Buddha is still getting his tail whipped by the ECC. Hard chair shot, and I really don't think it's wise to let these teens play with this weaponry. Shouldn't they be learning more important things, like how to fall without hurting themselves? How about learning how to protect the person they are in the ring yet? Surely hardcore wrestling shouldn't be taught to wrestling students until they've spent a few years mastering the basics. Or am I thinking about things too logically again?
Buddha gets tossed back into the ring. Wylde covers, but only gets a two-count. Wylde whips Buddha into the corner, but Buddha reverses. As Wylde is coming back out of the corner, Buddha picks him up, presses Wylde above his head, and then turns it into a powerslam. VERY cool move. Alaskan boy Tommy Tanaka (I think that's his name) gets into the ring to break things up, and Buddha makes the mistake of chasing him out of the ring.
And now they are back down here on the floor. Why does MHPW even set up a ring if all the action is going to happen out here? There's a table set up out here, so Buddha decides to sidewalk slam Tanaka through it. Only bad thing is, Tanaka lands in a VERY bad way. Holy crap, I think we just had our second near-paralyzation here tonight. And we are getting really close to the point where I can't take this crap any more.
The rest of the Romper Room is out to get vengance on Buddha. Cane shot, and now they are breaking fluorescent lights over Buddha? Well, that's enough for me. This isn't pro wrestling: this is backyard wrestling that just happened to be taking place in a theater. I'm not going to sit here and watch any more of this crap. I'm sure that, in the next match, we'll see someone thrown off the balcony or someone almost get decapitated or another near-paralysis. Let me rephrase that: the people who are staying will see that. I'm getting out of here.
I did walk out of the show in disgust at that point. I've had a couple of days to reflect on what I saw Saturday night, and I still think walking out on this show was the correct thing to do. I actually want to rant about this for a little bit.
It's my understanding that wrestling schools exist to teach people how to wrestle. The two most important lessons taught are how to avoid getting hurt, and how to avoid hurting someone else. Everything else that is taught should be an extension of those two rules.
Apparently, Mile Hi Pro Wrestling isn't down with that philosophy. They seem to want to get money from a bunch of high schoolers and then teach them how to hit each other with fluorescent tubes, chairs, skateboards and canes. They teach these kids to put each other into tables, but they don't teach them how to do this without practically killing each other. This is not right.
This show really wasn't anything but a glorified backyard wrestling show. There was nothing of value on the show except for Billy V's match, and the karaoke show (as sad as that is to say). There was a lot to be horrified by, however. As I said above, the hardcore title match was pure crap. It was senseless chair and trashcan shots that ended up with Demon Dawg almost killing himself when he fell off a ladder which didn't need to be used anyway. The last match I saw featured a (hopefully) 18 year old kid practically breaking his back getting put through a table; and he wasn't even supposed to be involved in the match!
I am not trying to say anything disparaging about the wrestlers. They are doing as they are taught to do. I am, however, seriously questioning the training the wrestlers are receiving from MHPW. I'll give MHPW the benefit of the doubt and assume that these wrestlers are at least 18 years old (though quite a few of the wrestlers look younger than 18). 18 is still too young for these wrestlers to be wrestling this hardcore style. Hell, 20 years old is probably still too young. The wrestlers need years working on the basics. They need to be wrestling standard, technical wrestling matches. They need to learn how to protect themselves and how to protect their opponents.
MHPW needs to keep weapons out of their younger wrestlers hands. I would suggest setting a requirement that their wrestlers need to be at least 22 years old AND have four years experience before they are allowed to wrestle hardcore matches. These kids might not be happy about these rules, but they aren't the ones in control. It is MHPW's responsibility to protect their wrestlers. Obviously, MHPW isn't doing a very good job right now of meeting this responsibility. Hopefully this will change.
It'll probably be a while before I am invited back to an MHPW show. But that's okay; it'll be a while before I am interested in going to another MHPW show. Until I see signs that MHPW is doing more to protect their wrestlers, I don't want to go back. I don't want to see someone fall 12 feet off a ladder onto his head. I don't want to see someone breaking flourescent tubes over someone else's back.Maybe someday MHPW will realize what they are doing wrong; until then, I won't be in their audience.
Anyway, enough of that. I am sorry to go two weeks in a row without a new Raw Thoughts, but I'm on vacation! I plan on leaving the desert and heading back to Colorado in time to give my thoughts on the July 1 Raw. Assuming, of course, that Vince Russo hasn't destroyed the WWE by then.
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