I know it's almost a month late, but I promised you guys. Never let it be known that I welch on a promise :)
Anyway, NAPW, the little regional Western Canadian fed that could, celebrated their one year anniversary on Halloween with Anniversary Assault. My anniversary gift to the home of the first ever TEAM Champion of Champions will be a full, flagship review of the contest. Here goes...
Good intro. It did its job very well, getting over NAPW and the many faces who've gone in and out over the last year. As always, the banter between Hewson and Jones is amusing. Gotta love the Leisure Suit Larry get up too.
TV Title Match
Wasting no time getting to the action, as The Yellow Chicken, the wrestler formerly known as Carter Owens, defends his TV Title against Jeff Jones of the Royal Foundation. We start with a flashback from earlier in the evening where Jones tells his stablemates to lay off because he wants to beat Owens himself... I smell a swerve?
Chicken's Halloween costume is Jeff Jarrett, replete with his theme song. Brilliant if done for humor, bad if done as a tribute :p Great match action, they did a good job of opening hot with a match that has heat behind it. Great to see the curtain jerker not be a throwaway match. The finish... I would have liked to have seen Yellow Chicken win because of the tarring and feathering in the previous week, but James earned his title win, no need to let needless angling get in the way of a good RP contest ;)
Pure Honor Division #1 Contenders Match
First we get a video promo for the return of Technique. Pretty neat to see that. One of the many things I like about NAPW, they're very old-school.
The next match is for #1 contendership to the Kiniski Cup (ie, Pure Honor Division Championship). Dez Carter and David Banks. Some pretty good action, although I don't know how a shining Yakuza kick is physically possible. Then again, this is e-fedding; we don't have to obey Newton's laws! (MBE faithful will remember a simultaneous Gilkimission/Web of Deceit in a v. 1.0 writeup.) The finish... it's the crooked ref angle! Good execution here, I like how it was subtly played up at first (Hewson mentioning how it looked like the ref intentionally moved into Carter's path). I'd have to say this is a great way to pile heel heat onto Banks in the Pure Honor division. Good, creative booking.
Ring of Prestige Induction: Chris Casino
Next up, a retrospective of Black Thursday 2005. Afterwards, more nod to history as it appears Chris Casino is getting inducted into NAPW's variant on the hall of fame. My thoughts on e-fed HoFs are well known (I hate them), but I guess this is a good way to honor an integral member of the fed.
Good mic spot, mixing in some of his heel schtick with respect towards the fed and thanks for the opportunities.
Dudes Meet Tiffany
Another segment featuring NAPW HoF inductees, this time, the Dudes, who are meeting up with former manager and current squeeze of Bruce Richards, Tiffany MacIntyre. Wistful segment, looks like it might set up something between the Dudes and NAIDX. Stay tuned...
Coming back from the break, and Jones is lavishing us with the tail end of one of his many tales. Ah, my favorite part of any NAPW show :)
Hewson thinks we're going to see the Casino match, but instead, we've got two totally different one-time-only alums going at it, Crusher and JC Cook. Good, short match. No need to take away time from the guys on the roster now with alumni matches. Cook wins, but then gets waylaid by another alum, Misery. Cook gives Misery his comeuppance for that attack and the one that put him out months ago with an impromptu victory. The tying up of loose ends was a good touch.
Flashback from Joker's Wild into the Dudes' induction into the RoP. Nice, short segment. Didn't come of as well as Casino's though. Looks like the Dudes wont be back, which kinda negates my feelings from their meeting with Tiffany. Thus is life.
Tag Team Title #1 Contenders Match
SAD vs. The Celtic Assassins vs. Stiff Competition... and Stiff Competition starts things off by mocking the Freebirds. That would have gotten nuclear heat in a real life setting (maybe not for an average WWE American crowd, but a smart crowd, which is what Canada is known for, would have torn them a new asshole!).
Match was good for a tag affair. Celts win, and they'll challenge NAIDX. Should be a good feud (or should have been a good feud if it's already blown off in the gap between posting and the review :p).
Sole Survivor flashback into Caliber's induction. A little vanilla for my taste, but it still gets the point across. Hewson reminds us that evil owner R. Joseph Winchell drove him out of the fed. Could be a beginning for a comeback. Who knows, since no one ever really stays retired in this game anyway.
Royal Foundation/Bruno & Mr. Canada
Mr. Canada! Any relation to Kid Canada? ;) Total rehash of the Hogan/Mr. America angle it seems, with the aforementioned Rex Caliber being strongly hinted at being Mr. C. Rehashes are okay if they're well-played out, and this one seems fun so far.
Match action's pretty good, and the end is how a feud should be paid off.
Kiniski Cup Match
Onto part 2! Kiniski Cup holder Simply Beautiful is dressed up as the least Pure Honor-esque wrestler of all-time, Hulk Hogan. Amusing. Action starts off with the crooked ref from earlier in the night standing in the ring. Hewson is indignant, but Johnston Rawk, North T. Gunderson's (the challenger) partner in crime, lays him out. Nice way to get a nuisance out of your hair, eh?
Gunderson comes out as a Killer Klown, and of course, SB comes out as Hogan. Like the schtick for both guys. As an aside, I like the Halloween stuff. I think it adds to the aura of the show. I like how the crowd is split down the middle for this one. It's a refreshing change from heel/face for every match. Good finish too. I like how these guys run their Pure Honor division. They don't fall into the trap of letting it get boring.
Static Induction, Static/Casino
Another flashback, and then Static comes out for his induction into the Ring of Prestige. Seemed a little ho-hum... Casino's induction speech was the only good one thus far.
Swerve as we find out fan favorite Lobo will officiate the match between the two heels. Nice match with the face getting heat on both of them at the end.
Another flashback, and our next induction is interrupted by Dextro, who cuts one hell of a "why not me?" promo. He gets interrupted himself by the original honoree, Sick Billy Kryenik, who cuts a mean promo himself and announces he's coming back. I sense this is a huge coup for NAPW. Good segment, so far, it's the best of the HoP ones.
Great matchup. I have to say, usually, I don't enjoy the mixed narrative/script style, but I think it worked well here. Props to whoever wrote it for making it look smooth despite the clusterfuckage nature of it. I especially enjoyed the finish, great way to start a title program in that scenario. I would have gone with Cartwright attacking Bickle, but the handshake works too.
Next up we have an amusing segment with Winchell and Mr. Canada. I like this angle, no matter how bad it "pays homage" to the Hogan/Mr. America angle. The writing is fun, and that's all that matters.
House of Horrors
The match itself, like the title match, flows very nicely. I like all the stories being told here, and I thought the emphasis on NAIDX as a team was really nice. There's no surprise in NAPW sending 6 teams to this MCW tag team tournament (more on that in a later entry!). Ravager wins here, but the real story is what happens afterwards, which was one of the best finishes to a PPV I've ever seen.
The D! heel turn floored me. Absolutely floored me. It's a shame he's retired now, because him as a heel has some salivatory possibilities. I liked how the scene with the Dudes and Tiffany actually was leading to something in this segment too. Wow, all I have to say is great cap to a great show.
Of all the shows I reviewed this year, this perhaps had the best matchwriting. For a supercard/PPV, that's very, VERY important. The segments were a bit off, but that's because most of them were shortish HoP inductions, and only two of them (Casino and Kryenik) were noteworthy. Very solid show though, and this definitely is one of the favorites for Card of the Year.