Don't act so surprised, Beloved. Your old pal, the Masked Man hisself, the Mayor of Parts Unknown, is back in the saddle with another column from the land where civil disputes are settled in the wrestling ring.
We're gearing up for a big summer in Parts Unknown, beginning with our annual Memorial Day BBQ for the entire community. Such an event requires months of planning. Oh sure, Joe Sixpack can just slap together a cookout in a couple of days when he's having the buddies over. But when you've got hordes of 300-pound men coming, it requires extra preparation. I haven't seen this much food hoarding since Y2K! Or was it the last time Y2J re-returned to wrestling?
Either way, we've been stocking up.
And, with all the hubbub going on, Yours Truly fell behind on his wrestling watching. This Elected Official didn't even have time to peruse the message boards and "news" sites to keep up on what was happening on the shows.
So, imagine my surprise when I leaned back in the Recliner of the Mayor of Parts Unknown, opened a tasty beverage and was able to watch wrestling with fresh eyes.
It's so hard to be legitimately truly surprised about, well, ANYTHING in this day and age. What with spoilers and camera phones and secret sources, not to mention the Meltzers and Kellers and other Internet reporters, plot twists are usually known weeks in advance, along with who's turning when, who's joining the roster and who's leaving.
If you ask any wrestling fan what era of wrestling was the best, they'll probably cite whatever was hot when they were in their Formative Years. Yours Truly still remembers with a twinkle in his eye watching Ric Flair and Greg Valentine run roughshod over the rest of the roster in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.
And there wasn't such a thing as spoilers on the Internet.
So, as a result, a No Spoilers Initiative has passed here in the Mayoral Abode. I won't be providing some ahead-of-the-curve dirt for my readers, but I'll also be able to watch and be pleasantly surprised when Skip Sheffeld returns to dish out some clubberin' in WWE or I get my hands on the next Chikara DVD without knowing ahead of time who won which match.
MEANWHILE, IN EAST TENNESSEE ...
--Longtime readers of this column may remember that this Masked Man has roots sunk, or at least firmly buried, in Northeast Tennessee. Dear Old Dad retired there after a long and storied career at the Parts Unknown spandex factory, and soon I was taking good ole Parts Unknown One into the Tri-Cities Airport, first to defend the PWF Hardcore Title and then to run the ship in that promotion as the CEO.
Those days have passed, as I've ceded the operational reigns to Jonathan "Bobby Hill" Drake. However, I've still got my eye on things there.
So, you can imagine my surprise when the PWF and NWA Smoky Mountain, two promotions in that region, began working together to run joint events. Why, it wasn't that long ago that those two companies and their rosters were at one another's throats!
Competitors from both rosters will be on hand this Saturday, at Collision Course 8 in Kingsport, Tenn., at the Civic Auditorium. In the main event, both the PWF and NWA:SM tag titles will be on the line in a four-team elimination match. Let's handicap this field.
The Illuminati, Chris Richards and Tony Givens, are the reigning PWF Tag Team Champeens. These two scalawags SHOULD have relinquished those titles a couple of months back when Josh Crawford and Beau James beat them inside a Barbed Wire Cage, but the Illuminati took advantage of a loophole since Crawford wasn't medically cleared to wrestle that night. Richards and Givens would be a dominant tag team even if they played by the rules. Factor in devois manager Rob Knight, and the newest members of this faction -- the powerhouse GQ Flawless and mysterious Disciple -- and they may be too much for any of the other teams to overcome.
The Party Boys, Keith Knox and Wayne Adkins, are the current NWA:SM Tag Title holders. This team was on the top of the heap in the area back in 2009, when these two promotions were caught up in a bitter inter-promotional feud. Then Adkins left wrestling for a while, only to reunite with his old partner last year and claim title gold once again. Adkins is kind of a crazy person when it comes to taking risks. Knox is no slouch in that area. He's got the build of a circus strongman, but can also fly with the best of them.
Maybe I'm biased since they call the PWF home, but I think Josh Crawford and Big Daddy Freddie are the sleeper team in this four-way match. Crawford's been at war with the Illuminati for months now, and survived getting chokeslammed off the top of a steel cage through a table, battling them in the barbed wire cage and a grueling Last Man Standing match against Richards. He's got some serious backup on his side in Freddie, who is the biggest man in the match. No small feat considering that Richards is 6-7 and 300-plus pounds. Yowzers! I would NOT be surprised to see these longtime friends walk out of Kingsport with both sets of tag gold.
Legit Dynamite, Derik Billings and Bryan Kyle, round out the foursome. The former NWA:SM Tag Champs, Billings and Kyle have aligned themselves with fellow West Virginian Jason Kincaid. Should we start calling them the Mountaineer Mafia? Kyle and Billings have been embroiled in a heated feud with the Party Boys as of late, and worked with the Illuminati from time to time. Might we see the two rulebreaking teams work together in Kingsport? I think so. I think it's just as likely to see one of those Teams Of Naughty betray the others. Honor among thieves and all that ...
For more info on NWA: Smoky Mountain, check out their website. You can visit the PWF website here. Be sure to check out the NWA:SM and PWF YouTube channels as well if you want to see some good independent wrestling that, unlike WWE and TNA, does not insult the intelligence of the audience.