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Santa Maria Sun / Sports Lead

The following article was posted on March 2nd, 2010, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 10, Issue 51 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 10, Issue 51

Have Hart, will travel

A professional wrestling group turns the Radisson into a concrete cage

By HENRY HOUSTON


Swing, batter
“It was painful,” Sunami said on getting hit with the chair. “I’ll get him back, though.” Cooper doesn’t think so: “He’s a coward, and his surfer attitude won’t get him anywhere in a street fight.”
PHOTO BY HENRY HOUSTON
Sure, I could have stayed home to watch the final night of the Olympics, but when it comes to revivals of old-time entertainment, I’ll always go with the Romans.

Today’s gladiators, however, aren’t armed with Neptune’s trident, but with a steel chair.

I kicked the night off by standing in line and reminiscing with someone behind me about the old, glory days of wrestling. The conversation revolved around the “Hart Foundation,” a group of wrestlers related through Canada’s prestigious Hart family. We were about to witness a member of the famous family faction: Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, a two-time Tag Team champion alongside Bret Hart.

A half-hour after the official start time, security ushered us in. The smell of overcooked hot dogs and ecstasy filled the hotel, sending me back to my childhood.

 My seat was close to the action. The minute I sat down, the crowd began jeering when they found out Gangrel “The Vampire Warrior” was going to be absent.

To raise the crowd’s morale, Neidhart came out with his tag team partner and brother, Bobby Hart. The Anvil informed the younger fans of his legacy in the Hart Foundation and that he’s wrestling with his brother.

The event kicked off with a tag team bout: Dos Perfectos (Jimenez and Hernandez) versus Sudden Impact (Dave “Double D” Dutra and Matt Carlos). The crowd favored Sudden Impact, and Dos Perfectos waited until the referee counted to seven before they jumped in. A count of 10 brings disqualification.

The match began in Sudden Impact’s favor, but the duo’s stamina ran low very quickly. Dos Perfectos caught a second wind, upsetting the crowd, but their chants fueled the weary Sudden Impact. It was only a couple of minutes before the five-minute warning when Carlos, hearing the encouragement, got pumped up and started to take advantage. It was out, out, brief candle for Sudden Impact, however, and, through a dirty move, Dos Perfectos took the win.

Within seconds, the announcer introduced the next fight: Sunami versus Jaysin Stryfe. Sunami, who seemed to be Hawaiian, came out and struck fear into Stryfe. He threw Stryfe around like a rag doll and, courtesy of a hard-driving fireman carry-drop, took the win by pin fall. After the fight, Sunami didn’t get the rest the audience wanted him to have because “Brawlin’” Bo Cooper hit him with a steel chair. With the unconscious Sunami at Cooper’s feet, security had to confine the brawler before any more mayhem was unleashed. Sunami did stand up, and the audience clapped and cheered.

   Following Sunami’s exit, Rik “Wrestling Personified” Luxury entered the ring and immediately insulted the audience. To defend the crowd’s honor, Tyler Bateman ran out with his female escort, Raze. Then, Luxury saw Raze: “When I first came here, there was a buffet, but then Bateman brought his pet hippopotamus and she ate all of the food,” he said.

The bell rang within seconds, commencing another match. Luxury, however, ran outside the ring to belittle Raze, Bateman, and the referee. During the match, Luxury had complete control over Bateman, but Raze jumped onto the side and slapped Luxury while the referee was distracted. The audience chanted, “You just got slapped!”—though it didn’t seem to hinder Luxury’s performance. He won, but the audience wasn’t happy. They threw trash and papers at the cocky wrestler on his way out.


Only men wear pink
Jim “The Anvil” prepares to bodyslam Billy Blade.
PHOTO BY HENRY HOUSTON
“Brawlin’” Bo Cooper returned to the ring. The audience, remembering his earlier atrocities, booed him. He wouldn’t quietly take the punishment, though, calling them “a bunch of filthy, Mexican lovers.” On that cue, Nathan Graves emerged. The crowd began to chant: “U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

Cooper controlled the match from the start, though not always in a legal manner. With the referee distracted, Cooper lifted both of Graves’ legs and kicked him between, making Graves squirm in writhing pain like a defenseless worm. A few moments later, Cooper threw Graves against the turnbuckle, where he collapsed. Cooper ran over, and, with all of his weight, planted a foot choke on Graves, who had a huge size disadvantage.

The crowd’s chants couldn’t help Graves muster any stamina—but miracles can happen. Sunami’s opening song played, which diverted Cooper’s attention toward the entrance.

It was the perfect distraction for the downtrodden Graves, who swept Cooper in a pin and got the three count. Cooper was angry and kept fighting, even though the match was over. That’s when Sunami finally came out, wielding a chair, and chased Cooper out of the ring.

After a 10-minute intermission, the matches continued with the Hart Corporation versus the tag-team Rock of Love. Yes, there was one person who looked like Bret Michaels, and the pair entered to “Poison,” escorted by Jenna Lynn. The Harts were dressed in traditional “Hart” pink and approached the ring, staring down their opponents.

Billy Blade and Bobby Hart started the match, which began in Bobby’s favor. Blade couldn’t get a hold of Hart, but his partner could—illegally—turning the tables. But the match didn’t last too long once The Anvil tagged in. The Rock of Love wrestlers couldn’t curb him. Jenna Lynn came into the ring with a chair, ready to hit an unsuspecting Jim Neidhart while the other half of “Rock of Love,” Kadin Anthony, was distracting the referee.

No one can fool The Anvil, though, and Lynn was shaken once he caught her. She curled up beside the turnbuckles in fear. Anthony saw his damsel in distress and ran to her rescue, and The Anvil moved out of the way. Anthony landed face-first on the chair.

The rest of the match was in the hands of the Hart Corporation, who finished the match with the “Hart Attack,” a family special. 


Pismo isn’t a place for Magnum PI
Brandon Bonham finishes delivering a stunning suplex to Magnum.
PHOTO BY HENRY HOUSTON
The night ended with a triple-threat match. Competitors included a Tom Selleck look-a-like called Magnum; Pismo Beach native Brandon Bonham, who came out to Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker” (an ode to the late John Bonham); and Nightclaw.

Magnum came close to a victory by giving Bonham a high kick to the chin, but Bonham won it for his home region by pinning Magnum for a three count.

The night ended for the fights, but all of the wrestlers came out and signed autographs for the kids. Even the villains (or “heels,” as they’re called in the wrestling business) were greeted. I stopped to talk to “Brawlin’” Bo Cooper, and while I was waiting, Sunami’s mother and cousins were getting Cooper’s autograph.

She didn’t yell at him for what he did to her son. Instead, the two laughed about it.

Henry “Dallas” Houston is gearing up for his first big fight against other interns. Contact him at intern@santamariasun.com.




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