RWA (16 April) 5th Street Gym; West Newton, PA
1) Jesse Skelton def. Chris LeRusso by pinfall (RWA Cruiser)
2) Angel Camacho def. Mr. RBI by pinfall
3) Nikita Allanov def. Patrick Hayes by count-out
4) Jay Ice & Josh Emanuel def. Chris Arcadian & Ryan Reign by pinfall
5) Stryder def. Joe Brooks by submission (RWA PA)
6) Brandon K & Scottie Gash def. Jimmy Nutts & JT Williams by pinfall
7) Chris Taylor def. Ryan Mitchell by pinfall
8) Calvin McGrath & Shane Valentine def. Jon Burton, Ryan Reign & Patrick Hayes by pinfall.
I was scheduled to square off with Patrick Hayes, of the Feelbad Five, in order to gain a measure of revenge for my loss to Hayes back in January with the help of Jon Burton. However, Hayes decided to make his presence known early in the evening, as he attacked his trainer and mentor Lamont Williams after a match showcasing two of his trainees. Williams, who was unable to compete himself due to an ankle injury, was brutally attacked by Hayes, and had his injured leg hit with a chair that was provided by RWA Promoter Dr. Feelbad. I ran in to make the save for Williams, and challenged Hayes to have our match right at that moment. After a couple of quick suplexes, Hayes bailed out, and Feelbad rushed him out of the building, so I was awarded the match by countout. Afterward I asked the fans if they felt cheated by Feelbad, and they started to chant "bullshit". I promised that I would make Hayes tap out in the middle of the ring.
Awesome, awesome crowd all night long. Back from 2000-2006 when I wrestled in Pittsburgh, we always had loyal die-hard fans at the shows, but they were always very quiet and reserved. While they would cheer and root for their favorites and boo the wrestlers that they hated, it was always a very hard crowd to work, no matter where it was at. The boys always likened it to a hybrid Japanese/Philadelphia crowd, where the fans just liked to sit there and watch, but would pop for finishes, and when guys did ridiculous things and almost killed themselves.
Wrestling in RWA has been very very different from that experience. The first time I wrestled there, about a year ago, I was given a good reception by the crowd; even though I hadn't wrestled in the area for four years, and never before for that company. Over the course of the time I have been there, the RWA crowds have gotten bigger, louder, more excited, and knowledgeable about what they are watching. Last night at this event, the crowd was cheering and into everything from the beginning of the show, until the end. Fans get chants started directed at wrestlers. Fans cheer for their favorites. Fans listen to the wrestlers when they are on the mic. At intermission wrestlers are out there with fans taking pictures, signing autographs, and talking about the show.
Last night, when Eric Extasy's music hit and he walked thru the curtain, the building just about exploded. For all the jerkoffs and detractors on the messageboards and other lockerrooms in the area, RWA has become the place to be in the Pittsburgh area. In the short time that I have been with the company, I have personally experienced wrestlers in the Pittsburgh area tell me how shoddily RWA is run, how no one attends shows, and how bad the wrestling is. Less than a year later, RWA is the top drawing promotion in the Pittsburgh area on a consistent basis. The talent base is amazing, because the roster has been built around a small handful of local Pittsburgh veterans, young rookies looking for an opportunity, and solid veteran wrestlers from outside of the area, specifically northern PA, WV, MD, and OH.
Now, I have wrestlers asking me if I can hook them up with a spot in RWA, and how much do they think that I could get them for a payday there. A lot of these guys just do not get it. RWA is a fun and exciting place to work, it has a great atmosphere, and the roster is full of talent and growing. A lot of the local Pittsburgh guys have been blindly loyal to places where they get no paydays and wrestle in front of no crowds. They want to slam RWA because it was a new company. Meanwhile, the company has been built around dedicated loyal wrestlers, and now that word is getting out about how good the shows are and how much money that the boys are making, all the detractors want a piece of the pie.
A lot of the Pittsburgh boys are getting more and more upset that they are not getting booked in RWA, and outside guys from other places are. No one is "entitled" to anything at RWA - it is a business, and the boys are all expected to contribute and draw fans to buy tickets. That is a great example of the mentality among the wrestlers in Pittsburgh. To most of them, wrestling is a social club where they come and pull ribs and politic for their spot with their buddies, and at the end of the day go home with $5 in their pocket.
I enjoy working in Pittsburgh again for RWA, and I am disappointed that I will not be able to make the May 7th event. However, I will be back in action for RWA on June 4th!