• 06/03/2006 (9:27:11 pm)
  • Larry Goodman


Samoa Joe returned to action at the NWA Wrestle Birmingham show in
Irondale, Alabama last night and came within an eyelash of winning the
NWA Alabama heavyweight title from BG James. One unlikely new champion
was crowned, as Daffney became the WB junior champion with the help of
Robert Fuller.

Wrestle Birmingham drew a disappointing house of 350 to their home
base at Zamora Temple for an OK show. The undercard stuff featuring
the legends was kept short with plenty of story, so that worked out
fine. Unfortunately, the wrestling on top of the card did not compare
favorably to recent Wrestle Birmingham events, and realistically,
there was no way it could (Joe/Styles in February and Joe/Daniels in
April). On the plus side, they did a better job pushing angles to set
up matches for the return date of July 14.

Judging from the times on these matches, it doesn't look like a three
hour deal. Suffice to say, there was a lot of mic work (always a
strong point here) and two healthy intermissions.  

(1) Mike Jackson beat Patrick Bentley in 6:30. Bentley, a small
guy with an incredible body, is known as "The Human Action Figure" in
NWA Anarchy. He's better than he showed here. Jackson does as much
athletically as any 55 year-old wrestler around, but Bentley looked
tight, and his selling and bumping lacked pizzazz. Jackson did his
ropes walk spot. Bentley tried to play copy cat and ended up crotched
on the top rope. Jackson gave him a ride. Bentley used a powerslam and
an enzuigiri for near falls. Bentley dumped Jackson and brawled on the
outside. When Bentley telegraphed a backdrop, Jackson planted him with
a DDT to spark a comeback. Both down again on a Jackson neckbreaker
and again, on a reverse DDT. Jackson blocked a suplex and hit a
swinging fisherman suplex to score the pinfall.      

(2) Doug Gilbert beat Adam Roberts in 3:05. I'm not a big Doug
Gilbert fan, but I enjoyed him here, and he got over well as a force
to be reckoned with on the heel side. Gilbert got easy heat talking
about how Tennessee always stomped Alabama and Auburn in football.
Doug his brother, Eddie and his daddy, Tommy never liked a soul from
Alabama and he was no different. Gilbert said just because it was a
temple, that don't make it safe for his opponent. He threatened to
stick his baseball bat down the guy's throat. Roberts isn't what I
would call a natural babyface but it wasn't an issue in this
situation. Roberts got off to fast start with the 10 punches in the
corner, but he soon walked into a superkick. Gilbert hit a piledriver
and made a super nonchalant cover that gave Roberts time to get a foot
on the ropes. Roberts fired back. Not for long, though, as Gilbert
dropped him on his head with a Michinoku driver. Gilbert demanded some

(3) Adrian Street (with Miss Linda) beat "Wildthing" Will Owens in
On any given  wrestling road trip, there's usually a moment
of peak entertainment when I know it was worth the drive. Tonight, it
came during this match. They found the ideal opponent for Street in
the "Wildthing." His over-the-top reactions to Street's schtick were
off the chart. A fan tossed Street a baby bottle which he proceeded to
stuff into Owens mouth. Street stretched Owens with holds that the
current generation of wrestlers don't use. Owens resorted to a low
blow to get control. Owens used cheap, ugly short cuts. Linda
complained. Owens told her to stay out of this and went about his
business. Linda got on the apron. Owens brought her in the ring. Linda
used a low blow and bashed Owens with her purse. Ref Mike Pedey never
saw a thing. Street pounced on Owens for the three count. Owens broke
down in tears as he headed back to the dressing room.          

Michael St. John introduced his broadcast partner, Ronnie P. Gossett,
to the crowd. St. John mentioned that Gossett had managed Undertaker,
Shawn Michaels and Jerry Lawler and was once banned on ESPN. Gossett
hurled insults at the crowd. Gossett claimed that it took a lot of
money to lure him to "the sewer of the South" and said the fans were
all morons. Gossett has had a lot of health problems but he was
looking pretty spry here.

(4) Daffney (with Robert Fuller) beat El Mexicano to win the NWA
Wrestle Birmingham Junior Title in 7:09.
This match had some
twisted heel vs. heel psychology. Mexicano had won the title from
Jackson on the previous WB show with the aid of Daffney and Fuller.
Turns out he was merely a immigrant pawn in their grand scheme.
Jackson came out to do color commentary. Daffney outwrestled Mexicano,
including a snap suplex and a spinning headscissors. Mexicano was
automatic heel once he did an impact move on a woman. But Fuller
topped him, as he relished the opportunity to give Mexicano a fiendish
beating on the outside. Fuller gave Mexicano a piledriver on the
floor. Jackson got in Fuller's face. Fuller tossed Mexicano back in.
Daffney was waiting with a fistful of powder to Mexicano's face (same
way Mexicano beat Jackson). 1-2-3.

The postmatch was great. Jackson stooged off the finish. Stud's Stable
members Elix Skipper and McNasty hit the ring and all four of them
thrashed Jackson. Daffney planted one foot on Jackson's chest and
hoisted the belt over her head. Fuller cut a promo surrounded by
Stud's Stable to set up Daffney vs. Jackson for 7/14. Fuller called
Daffney his Million Dollar Baby.

Intermission numero uno.

(5) Butcher Hayes beat Loverboy in 2:58. Loverboy was wearing a
mask to hide his identity. Everyone knows its Lee Thomas, who lost a
Loverboy Leaves Town match against Dennis Condrey back in August 2005,
but the dude just won't take the hint. This match started in the
aisle. Once inside the ring, Loverboy was all over Hayes with rapid
fire kicks to the gut. A slingshot suplex by Loverboy barely made
contact. The action spilled to ringside where Hayes dropped Loverboy's
throat on the rail. Hayes charged into the corner and took a flying
crotch bump. The ref, who had the best bald mullet this side of Bob
Ryder, got bumped. Loverboy had Hayes in a half-assed roll up when
Condrey clubbed him from behind. Hayes covered for the three count.

Loverboy stormed the heel dressing room. The sounds of objects
crashing against skulls could be heard. Loverboy retreated with
Condrey stalking him and all of Stud's Stable backing him up.

(6) Ricky Morton beat "Mr. Motivation" Jimmy Powell via DQ in
The psychology behind Powell's gimmick is an awesome fusion
of old school and cutting edge. Powell told the people he loved them.
Powell said he was there to help Morton. He offered to repackage
Morton's tired teeny bopper image. Morton wasn't happy about it.
Powell tried to buddy up to Morton. "You don't get it. I like you."
Morton's body language implied that Powell was gay. Powell said, "I
want you to be more like me." With that, Powell clocked Morton with
his briefcase and senior official, Roy George called for the bell.
Powell thumbed Morton in the eye and dropped an elbow. The crowd got
behind Morton. Powell thumbed him again. Morton rolled away from a
pair of elbow drops. George got bumped. Powell used a foreign object,
but Morton kicked out. Powell climbed to the top rope. Morton cut him
off. Powell took a big bump and begged. The ref stepped in. Powell
threw a fireball at Morton and a good one at that. Morton was
clutching at his chest as George helped him to the back.    

(7) McNasty (with Robert Fuller) beat Tommy Rich in 9:24. Rich
wore jeans and a black, sleeveless t-shirt. He had his knuckles and
wrists taped. He didn't look heavier than the last time I saw him, but
he was more hunched over. The crowd popped when Rich did his "somebody
say something about fired up" catch phrase. McNasty laughed. Rich
responded with a fist in the face. When McNasty tried to cheat, Rich
spun him around (sorta) and delivered an atomic drop (sorta). McNasty
ate a lariat and backed off. McNasty decked Rich on the break. Fuller
choked Rich with a towel. Rich fired back as he sat on the apron. They
brawled into the seating area. The crowd, which had been pretty quiet,
started getting into it. Rich used a chair and McNasty was bleeding
profusely. Rich rammed McNasty's head into the bell and punched him
with the mic. Rich mounted the ropes for the 10 punches, but quit
after eight. Rich took McNasty down with the gentlest Thesz Press in
wrestling history. Fuller got up on the apron. McNasty went for a
schoolboy. Rich kicked out. While ref Mike Pedey was dealing with
Fuller, McNasty used a gimmick on Rich. Fuller called McNasty "The
Legend Killer."

Rich apologized to the fans. Rich said he was an ass kicker from way
back and vowed to bring everything but the kitchen sink next time.
Rich said he would wrestle a midget or a girl the next time if he had
to, but he warned McNasty. "You better be lookin' over your back,
because I'm coming."

(8) Dennis Condrey beat Lash LeRoux in 5:41. A good number of
ringside fans greeted Condrey with the "we're not worthy" bow. He's
earned it via some awesome performances in this building over the last
year. The thing that separates Condrey from most legends is that he
can still go. The crowd broke out the dueling chants. Condrey started
out like he was going to wrestle fair and square, but you just knew
that wouldn't last long. It didn't. Condrey beat up on LeRoux and gave
him a thumb thrust to the throat. They brawled at ringside. LeRoux
started getting the best of it, so Condrey got back in the ring.
LeRoux stayed on the attack with a pair of knockdown lariats and a
dropkick. LeRoux put Condrey in a fireman's carry. Condrey grabbed the
ropes to escape and rolled LeRoux up using the ropes for leverage.

The masked Loverboy jumped Condrey. They had a wild pull apart
involving four ref, Roy Lee Welch and help from the back. It wasn't as
effective as their previous brawls because the crowd had just seen
McNasty/Rich do much the same thing. Nevertheless, fans were chanting
for a cage match again, and this time they're going to get it on 7/14.   

(9) Elix Skipper & David Young (with Robert Fuller) beat A. J.
Steele & Cassidy Riley to retain the NWA Alabama Tag Team Titles in
Zero pop for Riley and Steele. This was slated as reunion of
the Hotshots, but Air Paris suffered an injury and Steele (a big black
guy from Great Championship Wrestling in Columbus) was a late
substitution. I doubt Hotshots would have meant much in Birmingham in
any case. Riley ran wild with hiptosses. He hiptossed the heels, his
partner, and ref Mike Pedey. That got a pop. Steele did an impressive
power move that like a mini-Black Hole Slam. Riley escaped from
Skipper's infamous kick to the spine. Skipper shut down the babyface
dominance with a springboard spinkick to get heat on Riley. Young
draped Riley's gut over the top rope and Skipper nailed him with a
guillotine legdrop to the neck. Young got a near fall with a basement
dropkick. Riley hit a handspring double back elbow and made the hot
tag. Steele hit a belly to belly suplex on Skipper and Young saved.
Steele hit a spiral uranage and Young saved again. Young hit the
spinebuster on Steele and Riley broke up the pin. Young took Riley out
with a hotshot. Skipper and Young hit a doubleteam faceplant on Steele
and Skipper made the pin.

Fuller cut a promo putting his team over as only he can do. Fuller
called them the greatest tag team in the history of Alabama, and said
there wasn't a team in the world that could take them. Fuller
mentioned the Armstrong family as the likely challengers for the tag

Intermission numero dos. There was a long line for autographs and
pictures with Rich.

(10) "Roaddog" BG James beat Samoa Joe to retain the NWA Alabama
Heavyweight Title at 8:24 when referee Roy George reversed his
decision due to outside interference.
James came out to the DX
theme music and did his "Welcome to the Dogg House" routine, closing
with two words for Joe. Whether by design or necessity, Joe was
clearly not at full throttle in this match. Joe brought James to his
knees in the knuckle lock but James used shoulder blocks to the gut to
get the advantage. Joe blasted James with a shoulder tackle, and James
took a time out to rethink things. Joe laughed like he knew this was
going to be a piece of cake. Joe gave a nod to McNasty, who was out at
the desk doing color commentary. James tried to get cute with the
Shake, Rattle and Roll, and Joe almost took his face off with a kick.
Joe whipped James into the corner and hit a climbing knee. James
collapsed onto his face. Joe applied a variation of the camel clutch.
Joe leveled James with a stiff back elbow. Joe made a back cover and
James grabbed the ropes. Joe hit a powerslam for a near fall. James
began to answer Joe's punches. Joe staggered. James landed the Shake,
Rattle and Roll. James hit the Crazy Legs Kneedrop for a near fall.
McNasty got up to complain. James ventured over to the ropes and
McNasty gave him a hotshot. Joe rolled James up for the pin. Joe held
up the belt and was announced as the new champion. NWA Official, Roy
Lee Welch came out and told George what had happened. George grabbed
the belt from Joe and raised James' hand. Joe threw a fit and accosted
Welch. James said he wanted McNasty on 7/14. "Your ass is grass, and
I'm gonna smoke it."  

NOTES: Wrestle Birmingham returns to Zamora on 7/14 with Condrey vs.
Thomas in a cage, James vs. McNasty for Alabama title, Daffney vs.
Jackson for the Junior title and Powell vs. Morton. Condrey vs. Jerry
Lawler headlines the Wrestle Birmingham show on 6/9 in Sheffield which
is right next to Condrey's home town of Florence, Alabama…Wrestle
Birmingham TV airs at 11:30 pm Saturday nights in Birmingham on
WB-21…Southern Championship Wrestling has a big legends show in
Anniston on 6/10 featuring Buff Bagwell vs. Lex Luger, Tito Santana
vs. Greg Valentine, Midnight Express, Larry Zbyszko, Demoltion Ax and
Rick Steiner…CWA also has a legends show on 6/10 in Selmer, Tn
featuring Rich vs. Gilbert and Lawler vs. Don Bass.


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