Season's Beatings did way better at the gate. 250 -- standing room only the likes of which the Anarchy Arena hasn’t seen in several years. The final chapter of Jerry Palmer’s reign of terror (Hardcore Hell 2013) came in right at 200. There's something uniquely intoxication about a packed house in that tiny building.
The return of AJ Styles to his pro wrestling birthplace undoubtedly had a lot to do with the the attendance. This show had more starpower than Anarchy event in recent years. Gunner and Matt Striker were also on hand for a pre-show meet and greet, but the line of people waiting to meet Styles went on forever, such that the show started 30 minutes late.
There were four title matches on the show with one new champion emerging. Billy Buck defeated Bobby Moore to win the disputed TV title in an I Quit match that was the best match of the show and one hell of a conclusion to one of the epic feuds in the 15 year history of the building.
In a bold decision that led to a fair degree of second guessing the 10 man tag was placed as the main event. pitting a nostalgic dream team of Cornelia vets against the ultimate calculating bitch from hell, Miss Rachael and her crew of misfits. In so doing, giving a recent development precedence over a Last Man Standing heavyweight title match and the aforementioned Buck/Moore finale. That move worked out fine as did almost everything about this show, which presented a diversity of match styles and feeling tones that kept the crowd entertained all night long.
The decision to go without an intermission had no precedent, best as I can recall. The proof was in the pudding for the bookers Bill Behrens and Todd Sexton. The crowd showed no signs of burn out -- impressive for an event that ran 3 hours plus and didn’t end until almost 11:30. A brief loss momentum during the heavyweight title match proved to be a mere a blip on the radar screen.
Ring announcer Jonathan Feltner introduced Matt Striker as the special guest color commentator for the evening.
(1) CB Suave won a Battle Royal to earn the title shot of his choosing at 9:50. The 11 man field consisted of the participants in Matt Striker’s seminar conducted earlier in the day. This was pretty decent as battle royals go because the wrestlers made a legit looking struggle to stave off elimination. John Skyler was the standout here with multiple great looking close calls. The order of elimination was as follows: Kameron Kade, Jeremiah Plunkett, Shane Smalls (barely recognized him with the short hair), and Gabriel Croft. Brandon Parker eliminated Jackson James with an apron STO that also took him out. Heat of the moment I guess. It came down Skyler, CB Suave and his partner Tommy Penirelli beating on one babyface, Alex Averignos. Skyler dumped Penirelli for a trouble in paradise moment as Penirelli was pissed that Suave didn’t have his back. Skyler hit a slingshot spear on Suave, but got tossed out by Averignos. Suave and Averignos battled on the apron. In a moment of impaired judgment, Averignos clotheslined Suave back into the ring. Suave then ran Averignos into the buckle and he fell to the floor. Not much of a finish after all those great close calls.
Mike Posey vs. Anarchy owner Franklin Dove was next. Dove had finally acquiesced to Posey’s repeated demands to get in the ring with him. “You wanted me in the ring and I’m standing right here, “ said Dove, as he took off his warm up jacket revealing a ref shirt underneath. Dove introduced Posey’s tag partner, Corey Hollis as his opponent. This got a huge pop as a Posey has been screwing with Hollis for a while now, so thiss was the perfect spot to pull the trigger on the turn.
(2) Corey Hollis defeated Mike Posey in 10:23. Posey shoved Dove into the ropes to crotch Hollis on the top turnbuckle. Hollis rallied, hitting a falcon arrow for a near fall. They traded less than stellar near falls. There was some good stuff in the match, but it was inconsistent. Hollis crotched Posey on the top buckle to cut off the Alabama Jam. A great back and forth exchange ensued with Posey countering the airplane spin. Posey and Dove got into it. Dove faked a punch. Posey covered up and Hollis got the airplane spin but Posey kicked out. Posey hit the Alabama Jam and Hollis kicked out. Posey got in Dove’s face, and Hollis nailed Posey with that wicked back elbow to the mush for the pin. The argument between Dove and Posey wasn’t as heated as it could have been, but the elbow looked devastating.
Feltner explained that Brodie Chase and Dany Only weren’t there, so the four way tag title match was off, and their respective partners were teaming up to participate in a 3 way elimination match with the winners earning a shot at Urban Assault Squad later in the evening.
(3) Iceberg Slim (Slim J & Iceberg) defeated Washington Bullets (Jon & Trey Williams) and Jeremy Vain & Stryknyn in an elimination match at 17:42 to earn a tag title shot. Bullets were a late addition when Chase and Only canceled. Their presence made the match. If they don’t win for Tag Team of the Year, it’s a freaking crime. Their selling for Iceberg Slim was off the chain. The makeshift team of Vain and Stryk showed surprising chemistry. On second thought, maybe not surprising considering their APW connection. J hit a picture perfect moonsault to the floor from the top turnbuckle.Vain was romping and stomping on the Bullets when ref Ken Wallace got in the way to restore order. Bullets capitalized with the Marion Barry at 11:50. J was absolutely on fire for the next minute. He had Jon in the inverted STF but Trey broke it up, and the Bullets applied the pressure. J flew off the top directly into a double kick to the jaw that looked sick. Off the hot tag, Berg came back with a belly to belly on Trey and a running splash on Jon, but Trey made the save. Jon tried for the backcracker half of the Marion Barry on Berg. That wasn’t happening. The Bullets compounded their problem with another screw up, and Trey was pinned after a flying reverse DDT and running splash by Berg. Best match so far. It had great heat and great energy.
Postmatch, UAS attacked J and obliterated him. Berg cleaned house on UAS but was eventually overcome by the two-on-one.
(4) Urban Assault Squad (Nemesis & Shadow Jackson) defeated Iceberg Slim (Iceberg & Slim J) to retain the Anarchy Tag Team Titles in 6:40. UAS got heat on Berg. They busted out some Urban kung fu, and Jackson was being a real dick. He’s great at that. The finish saw Slim hit the flying reverse DDT on Nemesis, but Vandal ran to ringside to distract referee Ken Wallace. Jackson nailed Slim with the belt and he was pinned by Nemesis. The new as a UAS minion suits Vandal to a T. This was fine. The time wasn’t right to take titles of off UAS IMO.
Postmatch, Vandal celebrate with UAS.
Franklin Dove welcomed AJ Styles back to the Anarchy Arena. He got a standing O. Styles said it was an honor and privilege to come back home. Styles talked about how it was NCW when he started and then NWA Wildside after that. He talked about the great wrestler that had come out of this building – Matt and Jeff Hardy, Ron Killings, Abyss, and brought out Gunner, calling him one of the most intimidating guys he had ever been in the ring with. Styles proposed adding “and the Home of AJ Styles” to the sign out front that reads “Southern Church of Professional Wrestling”. That brought Posey back out to get some respect. Posey said Styles was a sacrilegious yuppie, and while the fans bowed down and kissed his ass, all he got was to be called mean names by stupid people. Cue up the “Munchkin” chant. Posey said he had been to Wrestlemania twice, so the building should be called the Mike Posey Arena and they could name the concession stand after Styles. Posey did the splits. Styles admitted he hadn’t been to Wrestlemania as a wrestler but neither had Posey, and he couldn’t do the splits because he had pair of nuts like all the other guys in the building. “I can’t do that but there’s something I can do.” Styles gave Posey the Styles Clash and Dove made another three count on him. Beautifully done by all and the crowd lapped it up.
(5) The Last Man Standing match between Mikael Judas and Se7en (with Jeff G. Bailey) was ruled a draw at 15:28 when neither man was able to beat the 10 count. Judas retained the Anarchy Heavyweight Championship. This was monster vs. monster. They beat the hell out each other and Judas pulled off some incredible offensive moves. Still, there was something missing. The crowd was quieter than for the other matches. My sense is that fans don’t see Se7en as the guy that will dethrone Judas. Right at the opening bell, Judas kicked Se7en in the head and it was on. Judas hit a great spear and did a dive over the top. They brawled on the floor. Se7en took several counts but was easily up before 10. Se7en kept blocking the chokeslam. Se7en heaved Judas off the rings steps into the rail. Judas went down for the first time and took an 8 count. Judas hit a spectacular superplex. Both down men down for an 8 count. Se7en took control with repeated spinebuster slam that didn’t look all that devastating. Judas barely beat the 10 count after the fourth spinebuster. Judas got the choke slam but Se7en was up at the count of 8. Judas hit El Crucifijo. That should have been it. Se7en made it to his feet at 8 and chokebombed Judas. Judas was up just before 10. They both went down after a clash of chairshots, and neither man was able to get up. There was no way they could have put this match on last with that finish, which was roundly booed. This was the only place where I had a quarrel with the booking. Unless Se7en is winning this deal, and I don’t’ think he is, El Crucifijo should have been saved for their final match, and the draw finish was lame. Better Judas loses via Bailey's ether rag or some such.
(6) Kevin Blue defeated Shaun Tempers (with Jeff G. Bailey) to retain the Young Lion’s Championship in 9:47. Blue has gotten louder entrance pops from much smaller TV taping crowds than he did from a packed house at the big show. Go figure. I suspect that many of the non-regulars weren’t all that familiar with Blue and naturally saw Tempers as the bigger star of the two. Tempers was being outwrestled, so he took a shortcut, clotheslined Blue over the top and did a number on his back. Blue dodged a pair of elbow drops and made his comeback, garnering a two count with a swinging neckbreaker. Tempers answered with a cobra clutch backbreaker for a near fall. Tempers’ cocky aggressiveness got the better of him, as he charged in and ate the turnbuckle, and Blue shocked him with a quick roll up. A solid match and a nice elevation for Blue.
(7) Billy Buck defeated Bobby Moore in an I Quit Match to win their best of three series and the Anarchy TV Title in 20:52. The crowd was amped for this. Poppa Buck came down the ram with Billy before assuming his position as timekeeper. The action quickly spilled to ringside where Buck used the ring frame, the post and steel chair to soften up Moore's knee. Moore moved and Buck ran into the post. Moore did the Cactus Jack elbow off the apron to the floor. That was insane and Moore paid the price for it. Back inside, Billy hit a Thesz Press and pounded on Moore's head until he bled. Moore ducked a superkick and caught Buck with a vicious discus elbow. Billy wouldn't quit. Camel clutch by Moore. Billy wouldn't quit. Moore said give up because these people don't care about you. That ignited a huge Buck chant. Billy responded with a figure four. Moore wouldn't quit and blasted Buck in the head with the mic. Moore with a running back elbow. Billy collapsed but wouldn't quit. STO from Hell. Billy still said no. Moore KOed Buck with the loaded elbow pad. Buck was knocked out. Moore claimed victory but referee Dee Byers said Buck had to say the words. Billy was dead weight. Moore finally got him up and went for another discus elbow. Billy ducked and hit Moore right on the button with the superkick. Moore refused to give. Both men used the ropes to pull themselves to their feet. Moore escaped from the Samoan drop and connected with the sick kick. Still no quit in Billy. Moore tied Billy's hands together with electrical tape, tied him to the ropes and whipped him with his own belt. Billy said he would never quit. Moore was about to split Billy's wig with a chair when Poppa Buck grabbed the chair from behind. "Not my son". Moore kicked Poppa in the gut and threatened to crush his skull if Billy didn't quit. As Moore wheeled toward Poppa, Buck kicked him in the groin. Poppa untied Billy, who dropped Moore on his head with a german suplex and starting beating on his leg with the chair. billy locked in the figure four and Moore quit. They've had a lot of great matches, and they ended it with a match that was great without doing crazy stuff (the Cactus Jack elbow excepted) because it told a more dramatic story than anything they had done before. One of my favorite matches of 2013.
Dan Wilson replaced Striker on commentary for the main event and got a warm welcome back from the crowd.
Miss Rachael said Dove knew she only had four guys for the 10 man match and was trying to set her up for failure. She had successfully petitioned Dove to pick the referee and had chosen Brent Wiley (Todd Sexton’s slimy brother). Rachael went on to say that Dove wasn’t the first conniving person at Anarchy and invoked the name of Consequences Creed (aka Xavier Wood). Rachael claimed that Creed stepped on his partner at Anarchy to make it to the top, and that partner migrated to PCW where he met her. She introduced Hayden Young as the fifth member of her team.
(8) Todd Sexton & Sal Rinauro & Ace Rockwell & Seth Delay & Steven Walters defeated Anthony Henry & BJ Hancock & Joey Rhymer & Bo Newsom & Hayden Young (with Miss Rachael) in 19:53. This match was great fun, a superb blend of wrestling and comedy. A few high points: Sexton’s giant beard swing on Newsom….Sexton and Walters dueling European forearms on Henry…Rhymer’s chest being shredded by a withering series of chops…Rinauro’s Sabu-like springboard legdrop… a hilarious parade of atomic drops by Rinauro sold to max effect by the heels…Delay and Rinauro busting out a Lost Boys double team. Rinauro is way out of shape, but his charisma is still intact. For a few stellar moments, Delay and Henry renewed their feud. Eventually, Hancock cheated to foil Walters’ suplex, and the heels dished out punishment. Rockwell took the hot tag to spark a wild and crazy sequence. It ended with Sexton giving Rhymer a superplex onto the other 8 guys, and they all went down like bowling pins. Sexton confronted Rachael. She tried to slap him. Sexton blocked it. Rachael tried to hit Sexton with her clipboard and bonked Wiley instead. Let it never be said that Rachael fears physicality, because she took a hard bump off the apron for one of the big pops of the night. Rockwell hit Aces High on Newsom and Dee Byers slid into the ring to make the three count. This match was the right way to end the show.
Postmatch, the victors helped Miss Rachael back into the ring and tortured her with a 5 way Sexy Party swivel hips dance much to the delight of the crowd.
NOTES: The next television taping at the Anarchy Arena is January 11 featuring a rematch for the tag titles between Urban Assault Squad and Iceberg Slim…Brodie Chase missed the show due to illness. Only canceled for personal reasons…Notable visitors included Jason Cross, JT Talent, John Phoenix, Worst Case Scenario (Ethan Case and Eli Evans), Shane Marx and Chad Parham….Referees Dee Byers and Ken Wallace both received nominations for best referee in the annual Georgia Wrestling History awards…Styles makes his return to Ring of Honor on January 4 at the Nashville Fairgrounds vs. Roderick Strong…Hollis is one of eight participants announced for the Top Prospects Tournament in Nashville.