Arena Reports CALDWELL'S LIVE REPORT - 7/12 Lone Star in Houston, Tex.: Alberto El Patron no-shows, Dreamer vs. Hoyt new main event; plus Duggan, Snitsky, Cabana vs. Mahal, Joey Ryan, Rowe vs. Hernandez, Ivellise, Catrina, Houston Carson, one title change, more
Jul 12, 2015 - 11:35:15 PM
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Lone Star Championship Wrestling
"Bustin for Austim" Live Report
July 12, 2015
Pasadena (Houston), Tex. at the Pasadena Convention Center
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Lone Star and Clutch City Productions presented a wrestling benefit show raising awareness for autism research, drawing a solid crowd of 550-650 on the outskirts of Houston on a Sunday evening. Actual attendance ended up being 648.
The main story was the absence of Alberto El Patron (the former Alberto Del Rio). Alberto was the top advertised star for the advertised charity show and he was scheduled for the main event, but Alberto did not make the booking.
The promoters say they were last in contact with Alberto on Saturday night, then did not hear from him on Sunday. Alberto has also been silent on Twitter, last tweeting on Saturday about an upcoming hair vs. hair match for AAA in Mexico. We tried reaching Alberto's management team for comment, but there has not been a reply at the time of this report.
Until information from Alberto surfaces, the promoters are under the assumption that Alberto simply no-showed. Lone Star promoter Chris Ronquillo said Sunday that they believe every booking request and requirement was fulfilled prior to the show.
Wrestlers were made aware of Alberto's absence prior to and during the event. Tommy Dreamer especially stepped up, vowing to send the crowd home happy in Alberto's absence. This led to Lone Star re-arranging the line-up, detailed below, trying to make up for the top star not appearing.
And, by the end of the night, the crowd did go home happy. It was especially noticeable when swarms of people returned to the autograph area after the show to spend their remaining cash on merchandise and 8x10s.
Also affected was Alberto's scheduled opponent, Houston Carson, one of the top independent wrestlers in Texas. Lone Star ended up running an angle with Carson and Gene Snitsky, who was in attendance for the pre-show autograph signing presented by Clutch City. Carson then injured his knee at the end of the match that followed the angle with Snitsky. Carson was noticeably favoring his knee after the show, but he said that he hopes the injury is not serious. He was mainly disappointed by not being able to face Alberto, who he trained for several weeks to compete against.
Around the perimeter of the arena were autograph tables to snap photos and buy merchandise. Alberto was scheduled for the pre-show session at a table next to "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, who entertained fans throughout the session.
Joining Duggan for the session were Colt Cabana, Joey Ryan, Dreamer, Hernandez, Snitsky, Scott Norton in his NWO gear, Raj Singh (Jinder Mahal), Ivellise, Karlee Perez (Maxine/Catrina on Lucha Underground), Ray Rowe, and local stars including the area's top female wrestler Barbi Hayden, Cherry Ramons, the Sons of Texas, and more.
The audience was mainly family and kids there to see "WWE stars," plus hardcore fans who attend the monthly Lone Star shows on the other side of town at the VFW Post in Cypress, Texas.
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan kicked off the show leading the crowd in the National Anthem and plenty of "hoooo!" chants waving an American flag.
(1) Lone Star cruiserweight champion Cherry Ramons beat Joey Ryan at 8:55 to retain the CW Title. This was a "mirror images" match since Ramons's gimmick is similar to Joey's "Sleazy" gimmick. It made for an entertaining opening match drawing in the crowd. The second-half featured strong back-and-forth sequences, including Joey getting a nearfall following a Mustache Ride from the top rope. Cherry then won with a forearm into the Codebreaker. There was a post-match show of respect between the mirror images.
(2) The Empire (Matt Riviera & Greg Anthony w/Karlee Perez) beat Lone Star tag champions Sons of Texas (Moonshine Mantell & Andy Dalton), Real Nigeria (Chaz Taylor & Hambone w/Prince Kanu), and "Super" David Duperon & Americos at 14:36 in a four-team elimination match to capture the Lone Star Tag Titles. Rivieria & Anthony captured the Tag Titles thanks to outside interference by Karlee, who celebrated with the new tag champs after the match. Real Nigeria, which is a gimmick based on Chaz and Prince being duped by an email from a "Prince from Nigeria," were eliminated first at 2:55. The tag champs were out next at 10:38, guaranteeing new champions.
(3) Colt Cabana beat Raj Singh (Jinder Mahal) at 14:13. Classic Colt Cabana match. The crowd loved Colt's act and Jinder was a good foil playing a version of his heel foreign terror character. The finish was very smart. While Colt was selling on the mat, Jinder went for a top-rope splash, so Colt slowly rolled across the ring to the other side to get as far away as possible. (Why hasn't every other prone wrestler in the history of wrestling thought of this?) So, Jinder ran to the opposite turnbuckle, but Colt slowly rolled back to the other side of the ring. Jinder, frustrated, decided to approach Colt this time, but Colt schoolboyed him for a three count.
(4) Lone Star Hvt. champion John Saxon beat Ricky Starks at 15:15 to retain the Lone Star Hvt. Title. Saxon is an old-school, rough & rugged, older male heel. He does not care about being a "cool heel." Meanwhile, Starks is a babyfaced babyface who looked like no match for Saxon if this were a real fight. So, Saxon just played a heel being a prick to even out the match and build sympathy on Starks. Starks showed babyface fire to engage the crowd, but ultimately succumbed to an armbar and the referee stopped the match. Saxon cranked the hold after the referee stopped the match to put the focus on him being a prick and not Starks, the babyface, losing the match. Just a real professional match that showed why Lone Star put their top title on Saxon. Refreshing.
Before the Women's Title match, it was announced that Candice LaRae was unable to make the show due to an injury suffered on Friday, which was the AIW show in Cleveland. After Women's champion Barbi Hayden and challenger Ivelisse were introduced, authority figure Tony Brooklyn added new signee, Kenzie Sykes, to the match. Kenzie came over from Booker T's Reality of Wrestling promotion.
(5) Lone Star Women's champion Barbi Hayden beat Ivellise and Kenzie Sykes (replacing Candice LaRae) at 7:28 in a three-way match to retain the Lone Star Women's Title. The match did not seem to gel. Ivellise took the lead like a pro, especially working with Kenzie, who is inexperienced. Meanwhile, Barbi played up her heel persona, including sneaking in the decisive fall after Ivellise did the work.
After the women's match, Lone Star decided to announce to the crowd that Alberto was not at the show. Houston Carson delivered the news via promo, saying he trained for two months and watched tapes to prepare to face Alberto. The crowd was initially bummed, then Houston tried to win them over with a babyface promo. Gene Snitsky then interrupted from the back of the arena at the merch section. Snitsky, dressed in street clothes and a kneewrap, entered the ring to talk up Houston, adding that it's "not my fault." He raised Houston's arm, but turned on him, drawing a pop from the vocal males excited to see a "swerve."
(6) Houston Carson beat Snitsky at 2:47. An impromptu match started, with Snitsky beating on Carson to get sympathy on Carson. Carson eventually made a comeback and went for a lariat, but seemed to injure his knee. He then scored the pin on Snitsky. Snitsky left the ring and heeled on the ringside fans while Carson sold a knee injury at ringside, which added to the sympathy on Carson to distract from Alberto's absence. The crowd went from bummed about Alberto's absence to excited to see Snitsky do something to sympathetic toward Carson in one segment.
Tommy Dreamer then came out and asked for a mic. Dreamer noted Alberto's absence, then went for the local angle of ECW coming to Houston about 15-16 years ago. He said the fans are hardcore and want to see a fight. So, he vowed to make sure the fans got what they wanted to see in the main event.
(7) Hernandez vs. Ray Rowe (of War Machine in ROH) went to a No Contest at 5:37 in the semi-main event. The two big men stalled and went through a feeling-out process in the opening minutes, with Hernandez from TNA & Lucha Underground playing stunned that he was getting booed in his hometown. Rowe eventually tossed Hernandez out of the ring, then the duo of Shane Taylor and Keith Lee stormed the ring to attack Rowe from behind. After the match was tossed and order was restored, Tony Brooklyn returned to ringside to demand a tag match.
(8) Hernandez & Ray Rowe beat Shane Taylor & Keith Lee at 11:36. This was a battle of super-heavyweights with the four men in the ring. Rowe got one of the biggest pops of the night with a t-bone suplex that rattled the ring. Rowe had the crowd in his hands at that point, taking a beat down until hot-tagging Hernandez. After four-man chaos, Rowe hit an electric chair into Hernandez coming off the top with a Superfly Splash for the pin and the win. Lone Star has a big future main event on their hands of Hvt. champion John Saxton vs. Rowe when the time is right.
Before the main event, Lance Hoyt/Archer stormed to the ring and demanded the mic. Hoyt accepted Tommy Dreamer's challenge for a Hardcore match, which brought out Dreamer.
(9) Tommy Dreamer beat Lance Hoyt/Archer at 19:03 in a Falls Count Anywhere hardcore match. After Dreamer tributed Dusty Rhodes with a bionic elbow, the match moved to the floor, where it turned into a crowd-pleasing walking brawl. Dreamer dragged Hoyt past the merch area into the back of the arena and threw him into a parking garage chain-link stall. They moved into the bleacher seats, down to the floor, and back to the bleacher seats, where Hoyt reversed an attack to crotch Dreamer on a barrier. Back in the ring, Hoyt worked over Dreamer, who sold to the point of kids crying out for Dreamer to fight back. He had them. Hoyt also helped by taunting the crowd and yelling back at them, including a classic line in response to catcalls about his famous tattoo: "It's not a tramp stamp, it's a champ stamp!"
Dreamer made his first comeback, then left the arena to the back and returned with a chair. Hoyt turned it on him, but Dreamer made another comeback. This time he grabbed some fans, went backstage, and had the fans carry a table for him to the ringside area, almost like paul bearers escorting the poor table to its demise. Hoyt cut off Dreamer, though, and teased putting Dreamer through the table. But, Dreamer shoved off, Hoyt crashed into the chair wedged in the corner, and Dreamer caught a recoiling Hoyt for a DVD through the table. Dreamer covered for the win. [ Video HERE ]
Post-match, Dreamer took the mic and cut a babyface promo talking up the fans for their support to end the show, putting a bow on the promotion doing what it could on the fly to make up for Alberto's absence. The fans left happy or moved on to the merchandise tables to spend money, so those were good signs.
- Announced for the next VFW show in Cypress, Tex. on August 15 is Barbi Hayden vs. Kenzie Sykes for the Women's Title and Ray Rowe vs. Shane Taylor. [ Event Info HERE at LoneStarWrestling.com ]
- Overall, a good night of wrestling with a solid mix of national names, legends, and local wrestlers. It's a well-organized, well-run promotion looking to do more big shows in the area partnering with Clutch City. The hard part about promoting in Houston is that WWE is really the only draw in town. Houston's wrestling fans are scattered all over the fourth largest city in the U.S., so it's difficult to rope everyone in unless it says "WWE" on the marquee, which means you're running Toyota Center, or there is a big name in a big venue. Alberto's absence could have been a setback for a promotion with eyes on expansion, but they made the most of the situation and wrestlers rallied together to make the show work. It was an example of strong teamwork.
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