I've never made any bones about my love of professional wrestling.
I grew up in Mid-South land and it stuck.
I've also never been shy about expressing my feelings about the mainstream product. I've never cared for the E (or the F), but to the victor go the spoils.
The boys and I are hardcore Lucha Underground fans, but they don't tour.
So, it was very excited when we moved to Austin, because that meant WrestleCircus was going to become our home promotion.
I'd been following the company via social media for a while and sharing it with the boys. They were excited to check it out too.
Circumstances prevented us for taking the June show, but I bought us pre-show and show tickets for the July event, The Squared Ring Circus, and off we went.
We staked out some seats near the wrestler entrance so we'd be in good shape for hand slapping and picture taking.
Then we ventured out to the VIP Meet and Greet. We chatted with the Lucha Brothers (Fenix and Penta) as well as Taya and John Hennigan. Boys bought merch. I bought snacks. Then we settled in for a night of squared circle action.
First things first, the venue was terrific. The ballroom at 800 Congress in downtown Austin was perfect for a show of this size.
Next? How about the crowd. It was full of regulars. The kinds of regulars who become friends and drive a promotion to bigger and better things. A hot crowd like this one can make or break a show and this crowd made it. They were into the show from the tryout match all the way through the final fall of the evening.
The show had a real old school/territory vibe. That's exactly what I was hoping for. I wanted to show the boys that a wrestling show didn't need giant monitors or pyro to be fun. All it needed was that classic interaction between the wrestlers and the crowd.
What about the matches?
Here's the rundown:
Lance Hoyt def. Steve Reno
MJF (c) def Lio Rush for the CZW Wired Championship
MechaWolf def Ethan Page
Scorpio Sky def ACH
Sammy Guevara def Flip Gordon
Jordan Len-X retains the PWR Scramble Championship in a 12 person scramble match
John Morrison def Donovan Dijak
Ropongi Vice (c) def the Lucha Brothers for the Big Top Tag Team Titles
Gentleman Jervis & Christi Jaynes def Colt Cabana & Delilah Doom
Shane Strickland (c) def Sami Callihan in a No DQ Match to retain the RingMaster Championship
Tessa Blanchard def Rachael Ellering in a title-v-title match to win the Sideshow and Lady of the Ring championships
That's a lot of wrestling kids and if I had one complaint it would be that it was too much. Throw in an intermission and the show went nearly 6 hours. Since Saturday, WrestleCircus has announced they are going to 8 match cards. I think that's a good idea.
There was something to like about every single match.
Be it MJF's classic old school heeling, MechaWolf's Aquaman inspired ring attire, the sheer spectacle of a 12 person scramble match, the comedy stylings of Jervis and Colt, the fluid tag team work in the tag title match, the brutality of the No DQ match or the inspired work of the main event, there was something for everyone.
Even the Raven fan on the wall.
The big buzz of the evening came when Sami Callihan dropped a pipe bomb promo after the Scramble match. He was cut off by Shane Strickland and that led to the No DQ stipulation in the main event.
They were my favorite parts of the night too. Callihan and Strickland have amazing chemistry, in ring and on the mic, and their verbal jousting and title match took me back in time to some of the classic between JYD and Ted Dibiase. Nothing works better than friends who have turned on each other.
Now that my Geeks-in-Training are a bit older I don't worry about some things so much anymore. Parents shouldn't go in expecting PG-rated sports entertainment. This is still independent wrestling. The language gets salty. The action spills out into the crowd. There is innuendo. If you're comfortable with that then you'll be fine. Just know what you're getting into.
All in all, our WrestleCircus outing was a huge success. Our first trip definitely won't be our last. If you are a wrestling fan and are in the Austin area, do yourself a huge favor and check out one of their upcoming shows.
You'll love it.