Larry Goodman sent this report in:
Historic Purks International Championship Wrestling drew the largest indie wrestling crowd in Georgia this year last night in Cedartown.
Over 1000 people turned out to see the Steiner Brothers reunite for what was billed as possibly their last appearance as a tag team. A solo appearance by Scott in November had drawn almost as many, giving Purks the distinction of drawing the top two crowds for independent wrestling in the state this year.
It was a fascinating experience, which had relatively little to do with the quality of the wrestling, and everything to do with the vibe. Epic stuff. Like time traveling to Georgia wrestling shows from 25 to 30 years ago, but not as violent. The wrestlers were treated like stars. It was the epitome of less is more. Uncomplicated. Light-hearted. No blood, few spectacular moves, plenty of hokey comedy and virtually everything worked.
Purks was the old high school gym in Cedartown. WCW used to run there. They’re going with a retro look that is in harmony with the venue – dark except for the ring lights. With 600 seats crammed in tight on the floor, and all but the last rows filled, the heat was off the hook.
SAW’s recent events at the Nashville Fairgrounds were far better in the ring. Cedartown get the nod for atmosphere. Nashville fans are more jaded, overexpose is partly to blame. I think it has more to do with how Nashville has changed. The folks in Cedartown still have the hunger for pro wrestling. One of the few things I didn?t like was the show running over three hours long. It mattered not to these fans.
The people in charge of Purks wrestling, promoter Byron Slaughter and booker Air Paris, are doing the right things. It helps that a lot of things have fallen into place – a rare but exquisite occurrence in indie wrestling. Cedartown is small enough and far enough off the beaten path that pro wrestling can still be a big deal, but large enough (population 10,000) to support it. Slaughter owns the building. Slaughter owns the building. They?re promoting heavily in a market small enough where advertising can penetrate and actually make a difference. They?ve partnered with the only radio station in town (WGAA 1340AM) to broadcast live play-by-play of the matches.
Paris took over the booking when Phil Hefner flew the coop just prior to the July show. Hefner drew some impressive crowds early in his run, but attendance had tailed off. Paris hadn?t fared much better until he brought Steiner in for the November show. He appears to have hit on a winning formula, and bringing in a name a month is the plan going forward.
(1) Alexander the Great pinned Lamar Philips. I didn?t see all of this match — zigged when I should have zagged coming into Cedartown. Then, I ran into Paris. He was one elated guy. Philips has filled out. Alexander has a stock wrestler build and dreads. Philips hit a baseball slide to the outside. Inside, Philips stood like a statue for Alexander’s enzuigiri. Philips made a failed attempt to fly from the top. Alexander hit a full nelson slam/Lionsault combo for the pin. Finish looked good.
(2) Shaun Banks beat Simon Sermon in 10:30. Best match of the night. Both guys were on, and they did just enough at just the right times. Being conditioned to seeing Banks work as a heel, I was unprepared for his sheer awesomeness as a babyface. No question that he has the physique and athleticism for the role. Sermon was in Adrian Street mode. He was introduced as hailing from Queens. A simple lariat over the top by Banks got a major pop. A missed charge left Sermon dangling from the ropes. Banks helped him to the floor. Banks chased Sermon around the outside of the ring, and Sermon cut him off on the reentry. Sermon hit a Saito suplex and used a folding press for two. They traded punches. Good ones. Sermon hit a tilt-a-whirl pancake for another near fall. Sermon took the Flair flip bump of the top. That also got a great pop. Banks mounted the ropes and rained down the 10 punches of doom. Sermon double legged Banks and pinned him with his feet on the ropes. Ref Spanky Emerson caught it and called for the restart. Banks immediately rolled Sermon up. The restart deal got a tremendous reaction. Such an easy crowd.
(3) David Young beat Mystic Warrior in 11:44. Young was really over. He’s dropped over 20 pounds. It needed to happen. They didn?t do a whole lot. No need with this crowd and a main event that would be easy to overshadow athletically. Warrior worked on Young’s knee. A variation of the Muta lock was the extent of his Oriental arsenal. Warrior got the figure four and used the ropes for extra leverage. Nice selling by Young, who was limping when Warrior shot him into the ropes. Crowd chanted ?David?. Warrior ducked a spin kick but Young’s enzuigiri connected. Comeback time. Superkick for a near fall and the patented spinebuster for the pin.
Intermission. Line a mile long for photos with the Steiners. Everybody that wanted one got one. It went on for 45 minutes.
(4) Tracy Taylor beat Nigel Sherrod in 4:44. Highly entertaining. Taylor is in her best shape since her WWE development days in Deep South Wrestling. The hula dancing is back. Quite delightful. And her wrestling has improved markedly since then. Sherrod’s gimmick is a tribute to Andy Kaufman. It’s a perfect fit for the crowd in Cedartown. He was wearing tiny tights that fully exposed his far from flawless physique and acting like a complete dick. His mic work got a ton of heat. Sherrod had previously worked a program here with Bambi. He claimed to have retired her and said Taylor didn?t deserve a shot at his Intergender Championship. Instead of embarrassing her in the ring, Sherrod offered to take Taylor out for a night on the town. ?I think you?re embarrassing yourself just by coming out here,? she said, and the crowd popped for the line. Sherrod bumped huge for a shoulder block. Taylor surfed on Sherrod’s back. Sherrod took over with a neckbreaker. He used Taylor’s hair for beel throws, choked her with her lei and with his wrist tape. The hope spots worked great, The crowd bought one of them as the finish. Emerson got bumped as Sherrod was giving Taylor a body slam. Sherrod brought a chair in. Too Tall Shortts hit the ring and got into a tug of war with Sherrod for the chair. Visually, this was hilarious. Sherrod gained control just in time for Taylor to dropkick the chair into this face. 1..2..3.
Sherrod and Shortts went back and forth on the mic to set up a match for January 2.
(5) Thunder & Lightning (Chris Ganzer & Chris Lightning) beat HardCore Properties (John & Adam Arden with Jackie Rosedale) via count out in 12:38. HCP retained the tag team titles. Adam Arden is a damn good worker. The undersized babyface team opened up a can of high energy offense on Adam. John did the running the ropes comedy deal where the heel stops and gets slapped. He’s amazingly nimble for a guy that goes 350. John bumped for Ganzer’s dropkick. Lightning did a tope where he caught his foot on the ropes and took a nosedive into the floor. Scary but he was fine. HCP got heat on Lightning. Highlights were a top rope headbutt by Adam and an overhead release suplex by John. Lightning hit a variation of Jimmy Rave’s Move That Rocks The World to set up the hot tag. Ganzer hit a reverse flying heel kick to take out John. T & L had Adam beaten after a Hart attack style missile dropkick, but John pulled him out of the ring, and the champions took the count to save their titles.
Ring announcer Josh Hayes announced a 5 minute intermission. It went over 20.
(6) The Steiner Brothers (Scott & Rick) defeated Air Paris & Bobby Hayes (with Jackie Rosedale) in 15:45. Steiners were incredibly over. The set up was Paris interfering in Scott’s match with Purks Heavyweight Champion Hayes last month. I would have never known Hayes was the champion. It’s an aspect of the presentation that needs work. Scott said he had brought the Dog Faced Gremlin to town to take a bite out of Paris? ass. Rick, who wrestled in a t-shirt, was biting any heel that came into his vicinity, and the crowd was loving it. Rick was in most of the way. Scott’s contribution was mainly chops that threatened to cave in the chest of Paris. Rick cleared the ring with clotheslines and the brothers did their signature pose. Hayes confused Rick with clean breaks. Rick accepted a handshake, and Hayes sucker punched him. Rick took one bump ? off a lariat. There never was a hot tag. Scott just barged into the ring and it broke down to four way action. Paris used brass knucks on Rick, but Scott made the save. Scott hit a big move on Paris, but Hayes broke up that pin. Scott tossed Hayes out. Rick hit the bulldog off the top to pin Paris, and all was well in Cedartown.
Postmatch, Paris shook hands with the Steiners. Hayes took exception to it and turned on Paris, laying him out with a Liger bomb. Steiners made the save. Paris said he shook hands with them because they had just whipped his ass.
Paris announced that Diamond Dallas Page was coming in for the next show on January 2. It got a much bigger pop than I would have expected. Scott closed out the festivities by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.
NOTES: Pam and Robert Allyn were in the house pushing Solie Chronicles?Wrestling at the Purks is broadcast on WGAA 1340AM with live streaming at WGAA.com. Hayes and station owner Frank Burgess Jr. handle the commentary. Burgess had interviews with Sermon, Alexander and Paris on his Friday morning show?Purks is producing individualized merchandise for the wrestlers and giving a cut of the sales to the workers.