With a wrestling ring on the altar, WWE stars on the show, and pastors in the front row, Power Wrestling Alliance (PWA) made its Long Island debut on Veterans Day in front of a packed house of over 2,000 fans.
Headlined by Shawn Michaels and Kane, fans eagerly flocked to witness what would be a historical night of independent wrestling at the Upper Room Christian World Center. In retrospect, this was no ordinary night of wrestling, this was a night built on emotion and heart.
While it was a wrestling show in form, it was much more than that symbolically. The main event featured wrestling greats Tito Santana and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan taking on The Dream Team of Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.
After a back and forth battle, Valentine found himself pinned to the mat and counted out. Beefcake, upset with the loss put the boots to Valentine, calling out Doink The Clown, Johnny Ova and Bobby Reidel to help him. The music hit and out came Shawn Michaels to the rescue, fending off the bad guys and chasing Beefcake out of the arena.
With Valentine alone in the ring, the lights went out and eight demons descended upon him. They hit the ring and shoved him around before throwing him to the floor and chaining him up. Once chained, they threw pills, alcohol and pornography at him, representing all of his personal demons.
When the lights came back on, Valentine was down on the ground chained up and beaten. Michaels made his return to the ring and helped Valentine through a prayer that helped break the chains around him. Beefcake, Kamala, Ova, Reidel, Duggan and Luna Vachon then made their way back on stage to tell their stories.
Beefcake talked about his parasailing accident, while Duggan talked about his battle with cancer. Everyone involved discussed their changes as human beings, and asked the fans to join them and change their ways, just as they did.
There was a re-enactment of the crucifixition by the drama club, followed by “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase who led the church in prayer, capping off a night that showed fans a different side to some of the icons in the wrestling business.
PWA Main Event Results:
Fans were directed to the video screen, where Big Show had a message for the fans. He talked about how he was supposed to be on the show, but due to other contractual commitments, he could not make it. Ted Dibiase made his way out and said that although he could not make his original purchase, he made an equal one. The lights went out, the ring went red and Kane’s music played. Dibiase promised that he would make an impact later on.
Match One – Doink The Clown w/ Dink vs. Kamala
An entertaining match geared towards the kids in the crowd. Doink was in his evil role, encouraging Dink to squirt some water out of his flower at Kamala. Doink continued to taunt the big man, kicking him in the rear end and using his quickness to his advantage. Demolition Blast made his way to ringside, providing the proper distraction to allow Doink to get the rollup and win.
Winner Via Pinfall – Doink The Clown
The Barber Shop w/ Shawn Michaels
Brutus Beefcake hosted the famous Barber Shop segment, all the while trying to egg on Michaels. Beefcake asked Michaels if the whole “Christian thing” was just a gimmick. Michaels replied that it wasn’t, and that he was a changed man. Beefcake showed Michaels footage from the last time he was on The Barber Shop, where he put Marty Jannetty’s head through The Barber Shop window. Michaels told Beefcake that he was a changed man, setting up his return for later on.
Match Two – First Ever PWA’s Womens Match – Three Way Dance – Luna Vachon vs. Mercedes Martinez w/ Mike Trash vs. Cindy Rogers
Entertaining three way match. Glad to see PWA give the women grapplers a chance to shine. These three women played off each other fairly well, and kept the crowd interested. In the end, Vachon overcame the odds and scored a big victory.
Winner Via Pinfall – Luna Vachon
During intermission, they announced that the next show at Upper Room Ministries would be on February 4. Matches already signed include, Hair vs. Hair match between Jaimie Van Leamer and Chris Forza, Joe Sloan vs. Johnny Ova, the Semi-Finals for the International Championship and the wrestling return of Demolition Blast.
Match Three – Three Way Dance No Disqualification Falls Count Anywhere PWA Cruiserweight Championship Match – Johnny Ova w/ Bobby Reidel vs. Teddy Hart vs. Harry Smith
Easily the match of the night. Hart used his acrobatic skills to execute some amazing moonsaults and corkscrews that really spoke for themselves. Smith used his technical skills to keep a more mat based game intact, while Ova mixed in a little of both. One of the highlights of the match was when Ova set up a 20 foot ladder on the stage, a table on the floor, placed Hart on the table and dropped a leg off the ladder on top of him, in the process injuring Hart. While ringside attendees were tending to Hart, the match continued in the ring with Smith and Ova duking it out. Eventually Hart made his way back into the ring, executing a huge spinning corkscrew on Ova for the win.
Winner Via Pinfall and NEW PWA Cruiserweight Champion – Teddy Hart
– Match Four – Jim Duggan and Tito Santana vs. The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine)
Winners Via Pinfall – Jim Duggan and Tito Santana
After the show was over, all the wrestlers, Kane included, came out to sign autographs for a line that was about an hour and a half long.
Chris Sokol is from Long Island, NY and enjoyed checking out his first PWA event.