RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Thursday, May 8

12-Pack Review: CWF 09/28/02

BEER ONE: Man oh man, have I been slacking on finishing this tournament of reviews of things. Then again, it’s basic modus operanid de Confederate Mack to have a million great ideas and never completely execute any of them. It’s why I’m sitting in front of an old computer in a shitty room with no heat (stupid baseboard heat), wearing a fuckin’ jacket and an Uzbeki terrorist crocheted contraption on my fuckin’ dreadlocked head. Keepin’ it real, baby. (“Keepin’ it real” is a way many folks justify how fuckin’ pathetically stupid their life is, and count me in.) Anyways, I got a couple of tapes of the Carolina Wrestling Federation out of North Cackylacky from Statmark Video today. Statmark is the shit, nice nice viewability, and the dude is cool. It took me two or three tries to finally get my money together and put the right name on the check or whatever, but the man came through. If you’ve ever wanted to dip into the seedy indyness of North Carolina, from the glory days of the Hardy Boyz getting out of their backyard, all the way up to now, Statmark is the man for it. Remember now, before ECW’s rise in the mid ‘90s, which gave a rebirth to the northeastern indys, North Carolina was the preeminent indy place in America. Back when WCW and WWF were strong, relatively speaking, in the early ‘90s, and indys were few and far between, North Carolina would have a couple of indy shows EVERY FUCKIN’ WEEKEND! But that’s to be expected, because wrestling is religion, with Ric Flair the Jesus figure of true believers, and North Carolina is God’s country, wrestling-wise, dirt track-wise, and otherwise. Anyways, the CWF, I think was started up by Don and Rocky Kernodle, the latter being a Mid-Atlantic jobber and the former making it all the way to NWA World tag champion back when those straps actually meant a shit. When I think of Don Kernodle, I always think of those shiny tag belts, and Ricky Steamboat tricking Kernodle into tearing his own jacket to shreds. Man, that was some great TV back in the day. Anyways, we have a wonderful card entitled Triumph from the CWF, in wonderful Graham, North Carolina, where if the pattern holds true, the factories have wonderful plywood windows and there are a lot of check cashing joints on the main strip. Pawn shops, too. And strip mall churches. There is nothing more impoverished American than the strip mall church, because only old half-empty strip malls become cheap enough for a church to afford, or resort to, and that means sharing a strip with a mom-and-pop video store, some sort of five-and-dimer with “Dollar” in the title, and, if you’re lucky, a Mexican restaurant with Atlanta Braves posters on the wall. Your ref looks like Thalmus Rasulala’s little brother, and comes out to the theme to Good Times. Automatic class, which brings drinking, which makes the review better on the measuring stick we use here.

BEER TWO: Ahh, sweet delicious beer. It’s snowing LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER outside, which means no work tomorrow, though it is payday, so maybe I’ll wreck my car again trying to pay the electric bill. The United Nations of Devastation, which is a fat black dude with a Canadian flag and weird hair and a blonde kid with a Swedish flag, and their partner is a really fat white dude with an evil redneck beard and electrical tape around his wrists called Corey Edsel. The Southside Playas, who spell their name $outh$ide, but I won’t, because I never bothered to give Too Short the same credit, so why should they get it, come out. Their music gets glitched on the cheap CD player and everybody has a laugh. Then their partner, The Bounty Hunter, musclefies his way out to Mystikal, and we have a six-man tag match featuring four black guys and a Swedish dude and some fat white guy. Man, I love North Carolina indy wrestling. Some hick in a farm hat is holding up a piece of construction paper that says “$outh$ide Playas is the best. We love you.” And the Playas hold it up and motherfuckers who always say the South is racist need to recognize that where different races have been together, and poor a lot of the time, for a long time, they get along a lot better than they do in fucked-up sterile white places like Ohio and Indiana and south Jersey. I would assume the UN team and the big guy are bad because any red-blooded country fellow is gonna distrust a UN type. Remember John Birch, brothers and sisters. Yep, The Bounty Hunter gets love from the crowd in the top turnbuckle, arms outstretched position. Edsel throws in the Swedish kid and The Bounty Hunter calls says, “Looks like some lunch meat to me.” My grandma would understand, which is something most wrestling can’t do for her anymore. When wrestling turned it’s back on old ladies who wanted to believe, it started to suck. The Swedish kid is outclassed by The Bounty Hunter, who is pretty good thus far. One Playa press slammed by Bounty onto heels outside, no one budges, heels smile, second Playa is press slammed and the walls come tumbling down. I love that bit. The fat black guy from Canada tries to call a 20 second time-out using the NCAA ref signal for it, which is a nice touch on the heel calling a time out thing. The Playas take the fat black guy and flapjack the fuck out of him,and I wonder how he found a Raptors shirt in his size. Evil redneck foreman Corey Edsel is in now. Actually, upon closer look, I’m not sure if the fat redneck is a redneck at all, him being of a PN Newsish complexion. He is big as fuck. This is a fun opening match, with not much incredible seriousness about it, preparing the crowd for a family night of wrestling fun. I can’t complain. Wow, Bounty Hunter got a rocket launcher style bodyslam of Edsel from the corner; even if Edsel launched his own 300 plus lbs. into the move, Hunter was strong enough to hold the weight long enough for it to look convincing. That’s a big dude that evil Corey Edsel. The black Canadian half of the UN of Devastation has some of the weirdest hair I’ve ever seen, wispy curls just on top, shaved clean on sides and back, giving him this weird garden patch on top of his head. Bounty ducks an errant Swedish elbow off the ropes and the Swede almost kills himself in the ropes. The Southside Playas are calling the ref Dolomite now. We’ve got six-man chicanery going on now, and I imagine this will end in some dastardliness. Bounty ducks! Fat black guy hits fat other guy with Canadian flag! And Bounty Hunter scores the pinfall over Edsel! Good wins! Good wins! PA plays Mystikal! The Man Right Here! The Man Right Here! Okay, enough exclamations. The UN tries to explain it was all an accident, so Edsel beats them down, I guess turning face since the crowd cheers. Wow, I just watched two really big fat guys do a sit-down powerbomb sequence. Props to the black Canadian and Corey Edsel on that athletic prowess. BOOO! Fuck the United Nations of Devastation. BOOO!

BEER THREE: Some little dirtbike racing kid comes out and grabs the mic, and he has a Carolina twang, and this little dude is calling somebody out. The show won’t go on, he promises, until they get to confront each other. Ahh, the dirtbiker is Mikael Yamaha, who rules, I’ve seen him before. His nemesis is Sexton Tyler, accompanied by the lovely Brandi Alexander, who awakens the milfhunter in me. The commissioner is called out, and you can always tell an indy commissioner because they wear dark dress shirts with ties and are fat. Yamaha says, “And speaking of high, I’m fixing to put my foot high up in your rear end,” and the crowd OOOOHs. God, I love North Carolina. Yamaha and Tyler have a locker room emptying pull-apart. You see, they absolutely hate each other. The only way to settle their differences is a grudge match, inside the squared circle. Your second red comes out to “Welcome to the Jungle” and is short and smiley. Whoa! El Hijo del Willow the Whisp exists! He’s got some guy in a shirt that says Slacker as his partner. Their opponents are a pair of volleyball players. I kid you not, that’s their gimmick. They have glasses and a volleyball and come out to “California Love”. Willow Jr. and his partner are heels, and I am so fuckin’ prepared to root for Willow Jr. Wait, wait, I just rememberied I looked up the match listing. Ahh, the volleyball players are the California Swat Team, Zack Lee and Ben Black. Kenny James is the slacker, and the Kamikaze Kid is the son of Willow the Whisp. I hope Kamikaze spikes these California boys into the fuckin’ concrete, motherfucker. I hate the California Swat Team. I hate them. They look like the bad guys of every skating movie made in the 1980s. Wow, these guys are working on a speed three times as fast as that first match. The volleyball players aren’t too bad, but I still hate them. NO ONE HAS TAGGED IN THE KAMIKAZE KID YET! Tag! So far, he’s gotten tossed around and done some Mulkey-ish flips to sell things, which is great. Here we go, he takes control after some comedy shit. He tags out, though. Fuck that, don’t come in the ring wearing some Ultimo Dragon Fear This Style mask and not flip on your fuckin’ brain. The volleyball guys are wrestling in those new-fangled velcro sneakers that look like robot socks. I hate those fuckin’ type of shoes. Everything was better in my day, even when I was wearing Rose’s brand bobo Jordan knock-offs. And Rustler jeans. I hate Kid Rock for even pretending that Rustler is cool. That shit caused many a fight back in the day, having to wear fuckin’ Rustlers. Hey, Kenny James hit an actual arm around the head bulldog on a volleyball fucker, but only got a two-count. Fuck, volleyball team does a double roll-under-the-clothesline off-the-ropes, then jump and superkick the fuck out of a guy move. It was double tough. Thalmus Rasulala’s brother is back out, followed by Slick Ric Converse, complete with shiny jacket, Nelly band-aid, gold chain, hooker girlfriend in punk rock style studded belt, and goofy manager in a Hawaiian print shirt. His name is Special K, and he works at a video store for shitty pay because he thinks he makes up for it in free rentals of video games, which he plays at the house he shares with his girlfriend and they smoke a lot of weed. Sometimes he works construction, too, if times get tough. Converse’s Carolinas Cruiserweight belt is very stiff, like many indy titles, and leads me to believe they should be buried in the back yard for a while to get that used looseness that a good title belt has. American Steel Ninja had me for a second, looking like a ninja, and while I drank beer, he took off his head thing, so now he’s just a white guy in a black karateman suit. How can Converse win, when the other guy is trained in the motherfuckin’ Stealth Art of Invisibility, which is not so much actually being physically invisible, as it is misdirecting your enemy combatant’s vision. I know this, because I train ninjas. No shit. Let’s see, one guy has a Nelly band-aid and pleather shorts on, the other is a fuckin’ NINJA. I guess I’ll root for the ninja. He’s actually not bad, either.

BEER FOUR: I think I accidentally drank two beers without changing the bold lead-in, but there’s no way to truly tell. It’s just my word vs. his word, so I’ll leave it as is. Evil Ric Converse is in control at this point, thrust chopping the ninja in the throat. The ninja’s shirt is now undone, so he looks like a guy fighting after a high school dance in the parking lot now. Being a ninja, he does a lot of kicks. Perhaps I’d like Low-Ki more if, instead of being some pouty-faced little Mongoloid he was a Puerto Rican ninja. I imagine Puerto Rican ninjas could fuck some shit up, and have little tiny PR flags, complete with tiny gold tassles, hanging from their rear view mirrors. The crowd is chanting, “Ninja! Ninja! Ninja!” This match is competent enough, but it lacks that something extra, namely excitement. It’s like going through the emotions. Both guys are good and all, but the crowd’s not into it seuper-heavy…wait, the Ninja is doing the Karate Kid kick. He got him! Botched ending as ref has to break at two on a kick-out even though he was supposed to go over to interfering manager. Chick is on apron. Converse hits some crazy running lucha thing, and wins the match. But Converse makes a point to go around the ring and talk shit to one fan in particular, a black kid in the first row. That’s quality heelmanship, and I’ll drink to that. Some fat chick in stylish clothes comes out with that same pot-smoking video store manager. Wait, she’s talking shit to a volunteer firefighter in the front row, and the PA speakers are crackling. The fat chick is named Gee Star. This match is for the FWA World Women’s Title, a 3-way. Brandi Alexander is the mother I’d like to fuck who was with Sexton Tyler earlier. She is very hot, like Sherri Martel without all the weird major wrestling corporation plastic surgery, a real look and real hot. I love her. Amber Holly is your defending champ and has on motorcross style pants and a cut-off top. I might love her more than Alexander, but I’m not sure. It’s like partying at some place, and the cool friend of the mom and the hot daughter. The hot daughter is probably hotter in a purely physical sense, but she’s not gonna “party” like the friend of the mom. The Commish guy in the dark shirt comes out again to kick Hawaiian print shirt dude from ringside, and Sexton Tyler too. Alexander and Gee Star have formed an evil moon alliance against Amber Holly, who’s breast are natural and bouncy like a real women should be. There is something to be said for a woman in motorcross pants and a cut-off top. You know, I’m trying to not make this completely sexual, but I am a human male, and pretty much all I think about when I see human females is sex. It’s really true. Women sometimes think they can guilt men into not thinking sexual shit all the time, but it’s our nature. Women would be better off accepting that and instead of trying to brainwash us into stifling it, accept it and encourage us to control it. That old “you can’t contain it, you can only hope to control it” shit. Man, Amber Holly just threw some of the worst punches I’ve ever seen on Gee Star. Gee breaks up her evil alliance with a clothesline on Alexander. They just had an awesome thing where Brandi never got tagged in, Holly rolled up Gee, got the two-count when Brandi broke up with a roll-up on Holly, and the ref didn’t count, saying she never got tagged in. That’s quality three-way refereeing right there. Sexton Tyler sneaks in, accidentally KOs Gee Star, Holly kicks him, all sorts of shit is going on. Brandi Alexander hits the spinebuster and legs pulled over the shoulders ultra-sexy pin on Amber Holly, and that was great for a women’s match, which unfortunately to me, is like being a great special ed teacher. I’m a pig, but it’s all good, because I can cook and I treat my wife like a queen, orally pleasing her regularly, and my daughter’s bed has a “IN GODDESS WE TRUST” sticker on it. Sexton Tyler comes out, with a shiny shirt over his black tank top. Shiny shirt syndrome, plus DMX theme music, it’s the dark side of North Carolina.

BEER FIVE: Mikael Yamaha comes out, full throttle, full motocross style, and he’s very good. The great thing about North Carolina indys is these guys look MTV cool, then you hear them talk and it’s straight Carolina. I wonder if Vince ever sent the Hardys and Hurricane Helms and Shannon Moore to speech classes? Matt Hardy still has that twang slightly, if you listen. The one thing that always amazes me about wrestling is a good guy can tolerate the barely bearable pain of an abdominal stretch when stuck in it regular style. But when the bad guy reaches over to grab the ropes for extra leverage, it causes immense pain and the good guy screams like a little girl having a dream about a monster building a brick wall in the doorway to her parent’s bedroom. Hahaha, Tyler goes in the first row and throws some dude in a camo shirt off his chair, and while he grabs it, the chick sitting next to him grabs the chair too to cause difficulty. That’s Carolina. Brandi Alexander is out, and she smashes Yamaha with her title belt. The groggy well-bumped ref comes out and counts, but they don’t get all the way. Where is Amber Holly? Then Tyler gets a clean victory, which is weird for a bad guy to get in a grudge match. HEY! Here comes Amber Holly, and she’s throwing more bad punches onto the lovely head of Brandi Alexander. “That’s alright. You got something comin’ to you,” yells Holly in the sweet twang of the Southern girl that makes me fuckin’ crazy in the mind. Holy fuck, it’s Otto Schwanz, who is a personal favorite of mine. He was the best Dupp brother ever, and I’m glad he’s a fake German again. He’s big and scary and muscular and probably has weird personal problems that have held him back, “politically”, in the wrestling business. And holy fuck again, it’s Pat Cusick working as a good guy. He’s always been the perennial heel in Virginia, maybe a tweener at best. Now here he is against the ultra-evil Otto Schwanz, shaking hands with old ladies in the first row. Cusick is good, I’ve always thought him to be quality wrestling entertainment, even with his shiny cargo pants. They do a great collar-and-elbow, great enough to remind me how nobody really does a good collar-and-elbow start to a match anymore, with guys dropping to one knee, back up, dropping, pushing around, in the ropes, breaking, do it again type shit. This is a great slow building match so far, with Cusick staying on top for the most part. Of course, Schwanz can’t make a clean break in the corner, and he takes the lead, long enough to get it turned in a high backdrop off the ropes momentum turner. This is a very old school match. Wait, fat volunteer firefighter pushes Schwanz ringside and Otto does a complete roll backwards. Either that was worked or Otto’s a fuckin’ champ for putting the fan over like that.

BEER SIX: Some chick in the crowd keeps yelling, “Otto! You like Frito’s?” Schwanz can sell like a motherfucker. By the way, whatever the fuck happened to Joey Abs? He used to be Venom in Carolina and had these awesome singlets that said “GOD FEARS VENOM” which is something I always knew, from the first time I heard “Black Metal”. Shit, I found that other beer, over by the stereo, half-finished.

BEER SEVEN: I really don’t understand why Otto Schwanz is not bigger in wrestling. He’s a great seller, a great offensive guy, great at working with the crowd to get some cheap heat, which is something most people can’t do. Guys tune out the crowd a lot of times, but when you incorporate the crowd, it just makes them feel more a part of things and get even more psyched to boo or cheer you. Umm, this match is great, but Cusick powerbombs Schwanz and his trunks come down and he’s got a g-string style going now, no shit, and he finishes the match that way. I’m sure he wanted to, to show off his physique, as he came out with his straps down like a pissed off Jerry Lawler to start the match. No, he pulled his trunks back over his ass cheeks as confronted Thalmus Rasulala’s brother over slow counts. Cusick controls the thing now, as I pay attention. Otto Schwanz and Dirty Money would make the perfect indy heel team; all they’d need is a hot valet/manager. Hey, fuck, Schwanz stole a victory real quick, using the damn ropes for leverage. Schwanz is also great at selling how tired he is after his struggle of a match, which is something most workers overlook. Make the shit seem exhausting, motherfuckers. The final event is the Indy Rumble – 30 dudes coming out at 45 second intervals. Slick Ric Converse is first; and Brad Bain is number two, or at least I think that’s what they said. I saw this guy on the worst wrestling show I’ve ever seen a month back or so. I think the next guy was Brad Attitude, which would be a terrible name, so I hope I made it up. Somebody has an airhorn, giving things a Puerto Rican feel. I expect El Bronco to be next out. Instead it’s the Kamikaze Kid. I got a better look at Converse’s finisher as he just dropped Kamikaze on his brain, and it’s a nice finisher. Kenny James is out at the #5 spot. He fights his own partner, and nobody has been eliminated yet. #6 in: one of the Southside Playas. Holy shit! First guy out is the Kamikaze Kid, who tries a ho train into the corner but gets flipped and takes an insane bump to the floor. He just earned his fucked up mask, and I apologize for my earlier negative comments. #7 in: American Steel Ninja, who apparently has some unsettled business with Brad Attitude. Fuck, I think Attitude just broke Ninja’s knee. Man, this is probably the best indy royal rumble I’ve ever seen, already, with like 23 guys still to come. #2 out: Karate Kid kick by the white ninja eliminates Brad Attitude. #8 in is the Swedish guy. People are getting eliminated and shit, so forget my whole who’s coming in and out attempt. I’m gonna just try and hold on till the end. Wow, Iceman somebody or another cleared the ring. Nite-stic Eddie Brown comes out next, with only Converse and the Iceman guy in the ring. Nite-stic rules. My sister’s ex-boyfriend is in next, in his baggy pants, and I’m sure he’s got Yngwie Malmsteen CDs in the back to psyche himself up to. Hey, Gee Star, that fat chick, is in next. This adds a new dimension to this nonsense.

BEER EIGHT: Some dude comes in, and Converse holds him while Gee Star lays a couple of bows to his face. Very nice. Wow, some hard-punching uber-redneck comes out next – a Dutch Mantel for the indy year 2002, complete with confederate flag tattooery. He punches the chick and eliminates her. It is a battle royal, even by royal standards, so all sorts of shit is going on that one camera can’t follow, much less a drunk man watching the viewpoint of one camera on tape. Carolina Mantel is grizzled and thirtysomething and screams at the camera. Corey Edsel is in the ring, destroying everybody. When will the indy stars stop coming out? Hey, it’s Amber Holly, she can battle my royal any day. Seriously, all sexism aside, she’ s cuter than fuck. Nite-stic leaves Edsel and Carolina Mantel to each other, and he goes for Amber Holly, with much lamping. Wait, no, they both stand there as Edsel and the Uber-redneck smack the loving shit out of each other, center-ring. Now, they punch each other, and it’s beautifully perfect. Edsel drops some little dude on his brain, and I realize that the six-man match was not a good place for Edsel, as he’s pretty fuckin’ good for a Big Pun-sized motherfucker. Sexton Tyler enters, and we’re up to six men at once, though he immediately tosses Amber Holly, so now it’s five. I hate to be the Gorilla Monsoon of this thing, but there’s no way any three of these guys are gonna toss Edsel over the top rope. I’m sure the black Canadian isn’t in this thing because he couldn’t take an over-the-top toss. Mikael Yamaha enters, and springs off the Uber-redneck’s shoulders to destroy Tyler, getting his come-uppance for his earlier shenanigans in their one-on-one match. The little dude is the perfect Spike Dudley bumper to Corey Edsel’s immenseness. Johnny Blaze, not the Method Man, is in next. Little dude is tossed. And people still come out, some little spitfire redneck to “Brass Monkey”, looking like Henderson, North Carolina’s answer to Jamie Dundee. Most importantly, the Uber-redneck is still in there. THE LUMBEE WARRIOR! NORTH CAROLINA’S ETERNAL INDY INDIAN! You can tell he’s a Native American because he wears lots of tassles on his ring gear. “Crazy Train” brings out a big, fat guy with a mullet. Yamaha gets gorilla-slammed by the big mullet guy. God, he chops the fuck out of some small dude; this big guy is mean and vicious and would murder me in a bar fight. I love small-town North Carolina, with signs on all store windows saying you can’t take guns inside. Shit, the black Canadian comes out. Now we’ve got 3 immense figures in the ring, tow of which will have to get tossed. Lumbee Warrior is tossed, just the latest chapter in the sad sage of his people. The black Canadian has a mighty boot to the neck of the Uber-redneck. That fuckin’ Canadian, he tossed the Uber-redneck through the second rope to the outside. Fuckin’ cheatin’ ass Canadian. Wait, no, he’s not eliminated. This ain’t Toronto, fat boy. Wow, the big mullet guy hits a clothesline on the fat Canadian black guy and he does this nifty sideways Mulkey spin to sell it, pretty nifty for a giant guy. The Bounty Hunter is out, and he has to be the last guy, he has to.

BEER NINE: YES! UBER-REDNECK BODYSLAMS GIANT BLACK CANADIAN IN A HULK HOGANESQUE MOMENT! And he does a redneck stink face, and guides the big man from north of the border over the top rope. Some tall skinny guy enters in a 1000% Guapo shirt, so he’s got to be good people. Enough time has passed that I think this is it for participants. We’ve got seven or eight guys left. Shit, Uber-redneck and the big mullet guy are both tossed in rapid sequence, leaving me little to root for in this thing. I guess I’ll pull for the skinny fucker in the 1000% Guapo shirt. Nite-stic kicks the fuck out of The Bounty Hunter, who is very Booker T-ish in a good way. Eddie Brown and The Bounty Hunter against each other is great, and deserves to be on my TV more in-depth. Bounty Hunter gone, leaving skinny guapo guy, Corey Edsel, Eddie Brown, and the fourth guy just got tossed, so three guys, yeah. Eddie Brown was tossed as well, so it’s just this skinny guy in a 1000% Guapo shirt and the behemoth Corey Edsel. Oh hey, that’s the Gemini Kid, who should not be trying a reverse rana from the corner off the apron because, yep, Edsel flung the Gemini legs from around his neck and the Gemini Kid goes brain first to the floor and Corey Edsel is your Carolina Rumble champion. Pot-smoking video store manager comes out to hype him, and Edsel slobbers him with a boot to the face. That was pretty fuckin’ cool. And I’ve got half a beer left.

EPILOGUE: FIRST STAR OF THE TAPE: I gotta get Statmark to tell me who that old school Uber-redneck guy was, because he fuckin’ ruled, and I think I’d drive at least a couple hours if I could see him and Preston Quinn knock the shit out of each other in a town that had a bar next to the hotel. SECOND STAR OF THE TAPE: Otto Schwanz. The motherfucker is good, and has the steroids physique, complete with acne on his back. Why can’t he get another shot at the big time? Goddamn that Paul Heyman and his stupid Dupp brothers gimmick. Mike Maverick, Otto Schwanz, and Cham Pain were all Carolina superstars, with their choice of nubile young rats, and Heyman’s northern ass was threatened by that, so he turned them into inbred nose-pickers and ruined it all and put a scar on all three’s wrestling resume for the rest of their lives. And now Trevor Rhodes is getting caught up in it as well. It’s a fuckin’ shame. THIRD STAR OF THE TAPE: The American Steel Ninja. Though he should wear some face-concealing swankness, the Karate Kid kick, twice in one night, is fuckin' dope.

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