I’m so booked this week I almost forgot about homework! It reminds me of when I worked at a mall myself. Taking public transportation to get there, or walking sometimes too. Working doubles when people called off. Getting involved in mall drama and gossip. It’s an interesting microcosm of the larger world that can only be understood from being on the inside. Much like pro wrestling! Each and every week without a major PPV, the At Odds with Wrestling podcast will assign a homework assignment featuring some wrestling event from the past. This week in preparation for the next LVAC show we’re going far back to August 17, 2019 from Philipsburg, New Jersey for Mall Madness.
This show is only an hour and a half?! I’m so happy right now. I have a to-do list going. It snowed a ton here, right after Easter. I’m miserable and depressed and want some damn sunlight. So in the words of Robin Sparkles, let’s go to the mall. Today!
Johnny Moran and Christina Marie with Lucky 13 and Juan Francisco de Coronado vs Green Ant and the Batiri.
Hey, it’s former Hellions Talks podcast guest Johnny Moran! Didn’t I just see Lucky 13 on a recent AIW show? Which was recent and this takes place years ago but I saw that first. Wibbly wobbly timey wimey. Bryce checks in on a little girl that Lucky 13 upset. Poor kid, it’s just the start too. The Batiri are faces here? What else happened since where we are in Chikara history as part of the other homework assignments? Joe Sposto and Missile Assault Man are the commentators for this match. Kobald and Juan start out but LUcky has an amazing cheap shot that immediately gives them control of the match and pisses off the entire crowd. Obarion with a haircut since last I saw him. First I saw him. Time travel. This is a mostly standing room only and I’m sure all of those standing are glad this isn’t a four hour show. Oh damn. Christina has some power to her. She picked up and dropped Green Ant over the top rope. I’ve seen her better half many times but I’m not as familiar with Marie so that surprised me. Other than some of the kids, I don’t think anyone is here as a casual fan. They’re reacting well to everything. Green Ant has taken a good beating and every one of the heels looked good. Green Ant with a double hot tag and the Batiri are in. Triple whoopie cushion from the Batiri! Everyone dives to the outside on top of everyone else! What a hot match for this crowd and they are loving it. Everyone hits Attitude Era finishers until all eight wrestlers are down. Lucky in the end hits a Swanton onto Green Ant to get the win for the heel team.
What a fun opener.
Callux vs Billy Avery.
Callux came down with some barbed wire on his arm. Callux destroys a vintage Lionel Richie album! Ok, I take dumps bigger than Billy. I’m concerned for him. Who starts singing a new theme for Billy calling the play by play? Holy shit this is hysterical. Love seeing Joe laughing in the background. Dammit, I’m going to have to drive to an LVAC show aren’t I?
Why are people walking in this mall? Is there an anchor store still open?
Callux is just tossing Billy around like tissues close to but not quite in the basket. How did Callux spit through the mask? Of course this show takes place pre COVID. How does Billy kick out?! Callux with maybe the longest delayed suplex in wrestling history. Billy moves out of the way before Callux can crush him in the corner. Billy hits a Victory Roll but there’s too much mass moving to keep Callux down. Billy with head scissors on the outside and Callux is laying on the ground. He’s too big so Billy calls the fans over to help get the big man back to the ring. Billy sneaks under Callux like a monkey and wears him down to the point where he can use the momentum to power bomb Callux from the turnbuckles. Callux fights back from a submission and smacks Billy around before hitting a Black Hole Slam for the pin. Good effort by Billy.
Legit Leyla Hirsch and Gran Akuma vs Ashley Vox and Boomer Hatfield.
I don’t know if there was a merch table but Leyla would have gotten my $20 for the photo and 8×19 autograph combo.
I know her heel turn in AEW was a slow build but it’s obvious here that Leyla is a more natural heel. She’s so damn strong and has a great body awareness too. She’s like a female Taz with that low center of gravity and her hip and feet movements. The existence of Boomer Hatfield implies there is also a Millennial Hatfield. Boomer and Ashley work much better as a team than Akuma and Leyla. Leyla takes Ashley out from the outside and now we have some heel double team moves. Akuma popping his hips too. I bet these two can do more squats in ten minutes than I’ve done in my life. I know she’s had injuries and works against bigger women, but Leyla looks great here. Boomer is no slouch but Akuma is just taking him to school. Once the heels start working together, it’s all uphill. Together we rise. Akuma works the leg and Leyla works the arm of Boomer. Ashley’s fish hook move is crazy for a face to use. Boomer picks up Leyla and Ashley hits her with a dropkick but still only gets a two. All four fight it out. Akuma hits a falcon arrow on Ashley, Leyla follows it up with a great moonsault, I think that’s it but somehow Ashley kicks out. Boomer takes out Akuma on the outside. Ashley locks the fish hook on Leyla and she tries to fight but ultimately has to tap out. Real fun.
Krist Worthless vs Dick Justice.
Dick is a regular in the upstate NY independent scene. Don’t take him lightly. Great gimmick. Dick finds a stolen DVD on Krist. Krist is stealing from children! Now there’s CDs as well. As someone who has explored an abandoned mall, there’s a good chance these things were left behind. Is it really stealing then? Dick chases Krist but it was all a lure. Dick fights back like the son of a mall cop. What the hell kind of rana take down did Krist hit? That was two big guys going flying. Where are Krist’s boots?! Big chops on the polo shirt clad chest. Dick Justice with the hand gun. I hope that’s not loaded. Krist kicks the gun loose! A boy in the front row holds out an imaginary gun. Is that whose kid I think it is? Big clotheslines from both men and neither will go down. Justice with a huge splash but only gets a two. Krist ducks a clothesline and returns with a huge elbow. Another. Now Dick is out but he’s so huge, Krist needs help. Some kids in the front row to the rescue, rolling over Justice so Krist can get the pin. Another fun match. Krist steals Justice’s belt and leaves through the store front.
Mr X, Tony Deppen, and Missile Assault Man vs The Spectral Envoy.
The fight starts right away before the Envoy is introduced. Huge six men fight inside and outside of the ring. Was there a falling out from the Envoy? I’m so behind on all of the stories. Holy shit Danny Havoc is so funny on the mic. It takes a special wrestler to hang with Mantis, but Mr X is very good. Alright, I need to hear this entire Nigel story. Missile Assault is indie big and Tony Deppen is Tony Deppen, but really Mr X is getting the majority of work for the heel team. Hope the check isn’t split three equal ways.
Agree with Joe, Frightmare was right in the corner and should have made that tag. Mantis gets the hot tag and easily puts up every single heel that runs in. He has the strength of ten human sized, not ultra mantises. Mantisi? X and Mantis are nose to nose and mask to mask. I don’t know what Mantises and masked men eat, but there’s nothing but chops on tonight’s menu. All three members of the Envoy dive over the top onto the heels. Frightmare does a double pump to get even higher. The fight goes out into the dead mall. The merch table is the busiest store in the venue. Why are there random people in the mall? LVAC gets a whole show inside a dead mall. I take some pictures and get thrown out. Check out my YouTube for that story! They close the gate! Frightmare and Hallowicked along with the cameraman – Smart Mark Gary – are stuck in what was once a Claire’s or Hot Topic. Mantis is alone and facing a three on one beat down. Mr X hits Mantis with a chair and Bryce calls for the DQ. Spike assisted DDT onto the chair! Fans chant for Mantis and I’m sure this story isn’t over.
Dan Champion vs Orange Cassidy.
Mr X joins Joe for commentary and Joe sells the actions from the previous match. Dan looks massive. Maybe the biggest all around guy on the card. Dan takes a sign away from a kid. The sign falls and the kids take the sign back! These kids are over. Bryce raises the kid’s hand for the win. Dan takes a breather and comes back to finally get in OC’s face. There’s a missed sunglasses spot. OC with the hands in pockets mind games. Indie OC might be more over than AEW OC. “Scoop slam baby” but Dan is too large for OC to pick up. Dan responds with a big boot and the sunglasses may have never been seen again. “Dan believes Cody Rhodes is hiding somewhere in this building right now.” That line is even funnier now. OC takes his hands out of his pockets to block a chop. Dan is in shock. Now it’s time for a barrage of OC signature chops. Damn, that Superman punch was amazing. OC with a suicide dive onto Dan. OC takes too long to come off the ropes with a splash and that allows Dan to catch OC and follow up with a back breaker for a two count. OC keeps trying for the scoop slam but it’s not happening. Dan gets another two count, but the three isn’t happening. Dan shoves Bryce down and now there’s no ref to count OC’s pin attempt. Dan tries to cheat to win the match, but OC puts up his shoulder at the last possible moment. Bryce is getting sick of Dan. Dan shoves Bryce. Bryce ducks, Dan runs into a Great Muta esque orange juice mist from OC, and a second from Bryce! OC finally hits that scoop slam, great match long booking, for the pin. And the sunglasses have been found and returned to Orange Cassidy!
What a great show. Shows like this are making me wish for more free time, and more disposable income. Maybe soon.