I too wish I could have made this show, but unfortunately life dictates other wise. I will have to dig out all my old photos of all these guys. I am sure it would be a blast going thru them as the stories would never stop. Best wishes to all involved.
IWA used most of the people ROH was using at the time. For some reason they, IWA, never drew well. They had great matches with guys like Claudio, Hero, Quack,& The Iron Saints. I enjoyed shooting those shows. The TPI's at that time showcased great wrestling. Other shows had Death Matches & such so every show had something for everybody, I thought. But still few thought as I did as few people showed up.
I won't comment on individual matches but I just witnessed & photographed two days of great wrestling. If you throw in AAW on Friday three days of great wrestling. Those Shimmer wrestlers put on an absolutely tremendous performance from Saraya to Hamada to Athena to everyone on the show, they held nothing back. On top of all that they laid the groundwork for matches at WrestleCon next year. I am exhausted but would not have traded it for the world. Ladies, Dave, & all involved, Thank you.
This was a really great show. Everyone seems to step it up a notch when in DGUSA. Jacobs vs Moxley was promoted as a "Chicago Street Fight" & it lived up to it's name as the combatants fought throughout the crowd. Mike Quackenbush never ceases to amaze me. His ability to blend a lucha style with a catch as catch can style. It's as if Lou Thesz & Mil Mascaras were rolled into one. It was also nice to see Ricochet get a winning pin in such a high profile match. This is one of the few times I got to see Kyle O'Rielly & he seems to be improving with every match. He incorporates an MMA style into his wrestling which makes his moves look that much more painful for his opponent. The Japanese wrestlers seem to push the others to new levels. CIMA, Shingo, BxB Hulk & the rest bring a different style with them that is appreciated by the fans in attendance. With DGUSA bringing in new faces & mixing them in with Indy staples like Chuck Taylor, Johnny Gargano, Arik Cannon, & Drake Younger it has the potential for some great match ups down the road. It was also a pleasant surprise to see Chicago's own "The Soul Touchaz" get a shot in DGUSA. They were well received & I personally have always enjoyed their matches. C Red must have watched tapes from when managers meant something in wrestling as he brings out the best in the rest. He knows when to get involved & when not too, a true professional. Bryan Danielson vs YAMATO was another hard hitting match that allowed Bryan to use all his signature moves. I hope the WWE uses him well. Someone should send them a copy of his match. If they let Bryan be Bryan everyone will benefit. All in all I enjoyed both watching & shooting the show.
What a grand idea. Since it is the fans who pay money to see your shows it is a good idea to find out what they want to see & are willing to pay for. So simple yet no one seems to have figured it out. Give people what they want & for the most part they will come back.
Del Rey v Hamada was one of the BEST matches I have ever seen. Having seen Hamada only once prior & that was just a few hours before she put on quite a performance. But thinking back there were a lot of very good matches at this taping. Cheerleader Melissa v Nicole Matthews & the three way with MsChif v LuFisto v Kong were both spectacular displays of everything you look for in a match. Athleticism, intrigue, & just great wrestling kept all who attended on the edge of their seat. And even after 4 or 5 hours of wrestling the fans did not seem to tire of what these athletes were doing.
Who is going to see Ox Baker/Johnny Starr? Joey, you may disagree with some of the things Ox Baker has done but he ALWAYS gave a hell of an interview & had great matches. Johnny Starr was a great bump man similar to Heenan in his prime who also had great interviews.
This was a really great show. Hades v Frightmare was the kind of match I enjoy. Lots of wrestling & more wrestling. Acid proved he can still go by hanging in & matching Lince Dorado move for move. The Osirian Portal showed the fans a lot of things they never saw before. Judging by the fans reaction I think it would be a good move on Elites part to bring them back. Keith Walkers surprise appearance really got a reaction from the fans. I was surprised most recognized him right away. Every match offered something different for the fans to enjoy. All in all a very good well run show. The Meeting of The Minds was great. Joey Eastman's talent shined thru.
After attending both nights I have to say the 2008 TPI was great. Being there in person to see The Soul Touchaz perform to a whole new audience was terrific, as I remember when they started out in WCPW years ago. They have truly mastered their craft. I have always been a fan of Claudio Castagnoli, & if I remember correctly he was in the finals of the last couple TPI's. People used to say that Ric Flair could have a match with a broom & it would be a four star match. I believe so could CC. If he works with someone with less talent he makes them look good. When he works with some one good he makes them look great. And when he works with some one great, you have the kind of match he had with Sara Del Ray, & then again with Sami Callahan & Drake Younger. The six man tag starring Joey Eastman was fabulous. EVERYONE in that match made it I thought the most entertaining match of the night. I am not a fan of 6 or 8 man tags. I feel there is too much going on at one time & both the fans & the cameraman miss some of the action, but this match was the exception to that rule. Having the best seat in the house enables me to see the action up close. I was not to familiar with Sami Callahan but after seeing his performance & seeing the beating he took I'm sold. He showed such emotion that when he got hit, & he got hit a lot, I felt it. After his matches I don't see how he was able to stand up much less continue wrestling. Love him or hate him I think a lot of credit should go to Ian as he really knows how to use what he has available to him. A lot of promoters (WWE, TNA) do not use the wrestlers as they should, to the best of their ability. Ian lets them be who they are, thats why the matches were so good. Dave Taylor is a great example. I think he was better in the TPI then he ever was in WCW or WWE. Ian gave him the opportunity to do what he does in his own way, & the fans seemed to enjoy it. The show had everything you would expect great mat wrestling, high flying action, all over the building brawls, surprises, & emotion. It was truly two great nights of wrestling. I could go on & on but if you didn't see it you will have to buy the DVD. If you did see it I don't need to say any more.
The IFL will hold it's World Grand Prix at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates on Saturday November 3, beginning at 7:30 PM. The Official Weigh-in is on Friday, Nov. 2, at 3PM at Buffalo Wild Wings 2540 N. Sutton Rd. , Hoffman Estates. Should be a great show.