Your Trip to Space Mountain
by Brian “Flair” Kelley
I am back with a new “Your Trip to Space Mountain”. In this edition we find out if an independent show can be a lot of fun without a past or current superstar. Last time, you heard about an ICW show I attended that had TNA Superstars James Storm and Eric Young along with former WCW star Disco Inferno. For All American Pro Wrestling in Chester, IL at the Daniel Colbert Gym, though, there were no past or present superstars in sight.
The weather was beautiful as we arrived to the gym. We were among the first to enter the building to purchase two tickets for the 50/50 drawing. We sat in the middle of the front row so that I could get pictures of the show. While we waited two AAPW wrestlers, Edmund “Livewire” McGuire and The All American J.T. Calhoun, hung out with the fans, signed autographs and snapped pictures. I am sure the fans are bragging to their friends and family about what they missed. This was a positive in another way because when the show started the fans already knew that J.T. and Edmund were nice guys and were people who they should cheer for.
I always feel that it is important to start the night off with a solid match to set the tone of the whole evening and AAPW gave us two wrestlers that could be in the main event as the Cocky Shawn Shultz took on Brian James. Shultz can draw heat with ease and the crowd was thrilled to see James get the win as he upset Shultz with an inside cradle.
I have seen Mark Sterling and Darrien Sanders many times before, but this would be the first time that I would see them in person as The LONRS. These two have been making a name for themselves in the Midwest tag team division lately. The crowd was hot for The LONRS to get what was coming to them before the match even started. The fans were excited to see All American J.T.Calhoun and his partner Mike Masters enter the ring, with chants of “USA! USA!” ringing throughout the gym.
The LONRS dominated Masters with tag team perfection, beating on him and not allowing him to get a tag for nearly five minutes. Finally, Masters made the tag and had words with J.T. before stunning the crowd by walking away. J.T. fought with all his heart, but with The LONRS were on top of their game. It was too much on this night, even for the All American. Needless to say, the fans were not happy after The LONRS collected their victory. Darrien Sanders taunted the crowd with his air guitar skills to add insult to injury.
The next match seemed to be a mismatch, at least on paper, as MWR wrestler of the month for April 2008 “The Future” Donovan Ruddick faced “Playboy” Paul Rose. Rose was accompanied by his manger, Gaylord Stevens. Stevens is one of the best managers I have seen in the indies, because as soon as he walks through a curtain the fans know that they want to see his guy lose. “Playboy” Paul Rose, whom I had seen in action before, has a ton of charisma and can really move for a guy that looks totally out of shape. This may have been the hardest hitting match of the night, and it received my girlfriend’s favorite match award for the night. “The Future” would go on to win the match, but not without a fight as Rose and Stevens gave him fits throughout.
Intermission was here and “The Atomic Dogg” Ali Stevens, who was trained by Harley Race and had a short stint with WCW, was at the top of the stairs selling videos and all along smiled towards the fans. For the wrestlers out there, I may not be able to tell you how to wrestle but I have one small bit of advice: if you want to sell your merchandise, a smile goes a long way. A smile will leave a good taste in the fans mouth when they leave. Fortunately, this is not a problem most of the time and it wasn’t this night in Chester, IL. AAPW’s wrestlers were very professional.
As my girlfriend returned from smoking, they announced that “Serial Thriller” Shane Rich was going to be taking Polaroid’s inside the ring for $3.00. It looked as if nobody wanted to go first for the first five minutes, so I thought that maybe I could help them out by getting in line. I thought I’d try to make it look like it was the thing to do. I got up for my picture and introduced myself to Shane Rich, and as I asked for him to check out MWR I noticed that all because of me the line had become huge!
Hey, I am just joking! It was easy to see why they would want their picture taken with the champ. Shane looked to be in awesome shape and though this was my first time to see him live, I was excited to see him in action.
Intermission was over and AAPW had the card set up perfectly as they re energized the crowd with another good match. Edmund “Livewire” McGuire hooked up with Ax Stevens, who was accompanied by his manger Gaylord Stevens. Edmund used his speed to cause Stevens all kinds of problems, but just when you thought McGuire would get the win, Gaylord would interfere, allowing Ax to bring the pain for Edmund. “Livewire” has been on a roll as of late, but when he went up top for a leg drop, Ax moved and then used a piledriver for a victory that stunned not only myself but the entire crowd.
“#1″ Brett Young and K.C. Jackson entered the ring to demand some action, but had to belittle the Chester natives, too. K.C. and Brett let them know that they were all number two, which made them the first losers. This went on for some time before the intimidating promoter Sean Chambers had had enough. He called the Atomic Dogg to the ring. I am not a fan of a 2 on one contest because I feel as if it makes the wrestlers that are teaming up look weak, but on this occasion the wrestlers had a very entertaining match. It made sense and the Dogg was very over with the crowd. The Dogg would able to with stand the double teams and pin the two wrestlers for the victory.
In the main event of the evening former AAPW Champion, “Homicidal” Steven Davis received his 1 on 1 rematch with the current champ, “Serial Thriller” Shane Rich. Davis entered the ring with his manager, and I think AAPW has the use of managers down to a science. The managers had the right “bad guy” look and really knew how to work the crowd. This was a great match, and the girls in attendance were clearly on Shane’s side. They screamed every time Steven Davis got the upper hand.
Steven Davis was pulling out all stops to regain the title. The match was a back and forth affair, and the fans were really into it when Rich went for a moonsault off the top turnbuckle. Unfortunately for Rich, Davis moved out of the way. Rich landed on his feat but could not avoid a vicious spear from Davis which got Davis the win and his title back! I must admit I did not see that one coming.
AAPW then thanked the crowd for coming and the night was over. My only complaint during the evening was a common problem in independent wrestling, and that is the sound system. The reported 163 people in attendance witnessed what, in my eyes, was a top notch show. Although they did not have TNA stars on the card, I will say that this show was better than most I have seen with one. The storytelling was excellent and the wrestling was very very good.
All American Pro Wrestling was professional and very fan friendly. If you have a chance to check them out, I highly recommend it. I know that in the future that AAPW will be in my wrestling schedule. You can check out AAPW on the net at http://www.myspace.com/allamericanprowrestling.
Till next time, Support your local independent wrestling promotion by attending a show. Be sure to let us know what you thought about it .