WARPED 91 - 1/24/15 - Dearborn, MI - Ford Community & Performing Arts Center
Results: Sometimes They're Not What You Expected
written March 5, 2015
I'll be honest with you - I never thought WARPED would return. The company was dead as far as I was concerned. The fact that WARPED even made any sort of a comeback is a testamanet to the fans and their desire and passion for the product. And in many ways, as was suggested by some talent when we returned, I wanted something to make me valid in this business again. I thought that being out of the game and having my freedom from it would be the best route, but I realized I was wrong, and threw myself back into the mix of things - a bit prematurely, I'll admit. I thought it was time. WARPED fans made me think it was time. WARPED talent made me think it was time. They all made me think it was the right decision.
I'll be honest with ya, straight shootin' here, I expected a hell of a lot more return than I got when we announced the Beautiful Pain Tour. And I mean that from the talent aspect as well as the fan response. You know me. I'm a fucking hype man. I will make it seem like we're the biggest thing and the best thing even when we aren't and there's nobody that can tell us differently. Truth is - there wasn't as much fanfare as I think there should have been. Here's another confession - there was no sold out event like we announced. Why announce the event as sold out if it wasn't? Bro, I've done more ridiculous things in my 15+ years in this business to even have to rationalize that to you. Thing is, I figured we'd get a ton of walk-ups and I could surprise everyone by giving them a discount rate on their ticket and getting them in the building. Hell, I even considered letting people in for free because I was SO excited for the return. How many people showed up? I haven't even bothered checking the number sheets, because I counted the fans in the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center that night, and I nearly threw up. It made me sick. Where was all the support we'd gotten when the news broke that WARPED closed? This isn't me crying. This is me being a realist and saying that if a company is to thrive in this business, you have to get results, and we obviously did something wrong because the results weren't there and its now taken me over a month to even comment on the results at all.
This isn't a pity party. I know that there are tough times. I've gone through them with Headstrong, with XPW, with WARPED in the first three years, and now is no different. Ya know, I kind of hoped it'd be easier. More fanfare. More ballyhoo. More excitement. But there wasn't. And it hurt me. But, I'm here to tell you that I'm past that now and I realize that if I continue to be silent I will only hurt this company more and more than I possibly could imagine.
So, here's what happened.
Yes, part of the ticket purchase for this event was that there'd be no cameras, cell phones, no video taping, anything of this event. And we had security guards checking for these products at the show. This turned some fans away. Why did I do it? I had people talking to me all the time about how they were losing money because people either pirate the shows or give away the results before the masses receive them. Never had I ever thought of telling the fans what they could and couldn't record, report, or capture at an event, and that was a mistake. So, that's why you saw nothing online about the event, except for complaints, I'd say.
The day started with me having to deal with two very egotistic and belligerent champions. There, I said it. Mr. Rottentreats, or how he desires to be known now by his real name, J. Ronie, seemed to be under the influence of SOMETHING. Then you have William Wallace who not only had issue with Ronie's assumed state, but didn't really like the fact that he had to defend his title. Oh, the title. He didn't have it. He literally brought me a piece of trash replica and I threw it against the wall. The rumor is that he sold it on eBay and I've yet to actually see my title. I forced J. Ronie to take a Urinalysis, which he somehow passed.. but later in the night, during his match with Wallace, he seemed fine, until a "slip" on the top rope that led to him tumbling to the outside. Now I can't exactly comment on much with J Ronie, but there's an investigation going on with that situation. Wallace allowed him to stay out of the ring and insisted the referee count him out, leading to a count out victory and Wallace retaining his title. Of course, you can't win a title via count out, so Ronie keeps the Evolution Title, even though Wallace tried insisting to the official that it was his belt. No. Oh, I should mention that he presented a brand new, custom made title, that night. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I swear - with J Ronie no longer Mr Rottentreats as the Evolution Champ, and William Wallace not actually HAVING the actual World Championship, along with everything else, I considered, and still am considering, stripping them both of the title. Nothing is right with either situation. One isn't who he was as champ, and the other doesn't have the title. What gives?
Do you see how all of this has happened? That was just part of the day and just the main event.
So, early in the show, something weird happened. The lights went out in the building and "WE ARE 138" came on the videoscreen we had set up, then the Misfits song "We are 138" starts blasting through the pa system. Then it cuts off and the lights come back on standing in the ring is a man wearing all black and a Misfits fiend lucha mask, who said something like "I am the spirit of Vengeance, I am the lost and forgotten. I am the killer of joy! I am the WARPED PHANTOM! SEVEN SOULS SEVEN SINS!!!" and then he dropped the mic, there was a scream and the lights went out, then they came up and he was gone. I know I book this stuff, but I really don't know what that was about.
Crowbar and Cameron MacNichol had a sweet match. Cameron had the hometown advantage, and his friends and family and fans were cheering for him. This apparently annoyed Crowbar, who did everything he could to cut off Cameron at every pass, but Cameron was quicker and he continued to out-wrestle Crowbar. So, Crowbar did what he always does, be an asshole, and he did some sneaky stuff that led to a low blow and KFO, and 3 count victory. The hometown crowd was not pleased. Cameron got his revenge by locking in the Stranglehold on Crowbar and the fans poppped for that, but his hometown return was spoiled by Crowbar. That said, for Crowbar, it's all about reaching the top again, and a win is what he captured on this night.
I got a lot of flack for this match and how short it was, but I can't help it if two guys show up and don't want to do business. Anton Chase picked up the 3 count farely easily and quickly on Jason Warren in his 3 way that also included the veteran, Jackson. It's good to see Anton return to WARPED, but can we not get new talent that sticks with us and goes at it 100% like Anton has been doing for YEARS?
Grendel, who was covered in green paint??? looking like it got thrown on him or perhaps he went digging through J Ronie's trashcan, came out and faced Leon Stone, but Leon Stone surprised us all with a QUICK roll-up schoolboy 3count victory. Grendel nearly lost his mind and chased after Leon Stone to try and get his revenge but Stone escaped and we didn't hear from either man after this for the rest of the night. I imagine there's more to come from these two.. and hopefully we can figure out what happened with that green paint?
The match I loved the most and consider match of the night was the #1 Contenders match between two newcomers - Sinc Mercier and Johnny Raike. These two men put it all out there and I want you to know that by not showing up for this event, you missed out. They wrestled for 20 minutes and that's when the referee called for the bell and announced the time limit draw. The fans chanted for "five more minutes" and so did I, and they were given five more minutes, and went to another draw. Both men tried their best to put the other away but it wasn't happening. I will render a decision regarding the #1 contendership when we announce the next card. Thank you to both of them for their hard work. I hope we see more of these two athletes in the future at WARPED.
So, that was the event. Going forward, we're back to normal. I should have known better, but hey, live and learn. And while I dwelled on the negative a lot in this write-up, I want you to know that I do appreciate those fans of you and the talent that have given their time, money, and attention to WARPED. You are the heart and soul of this company, and I must not - will not - forget that. Ever forward.
-Joey Matthew, President of WARPED Wrestling, Fan.
""All your base are belong to Gust!""
- Raging Dead