Monday, November 24, 2008

DVD Review: NWA Anarchy Hostile Environment 2006

NWA Anarchy Hostile Environment 2006
NWA Anarchy
July 22, 2006
NWA Arena
Cornelia, GA, USA

Available at NWAAnarchy.net and NWA-Worldwide.com.

Disc 1
Menu
The text is miniscule. Luckily, there’s only four chapter breaks and they correspond to the match listing on the back of the case.

Chapter 1
Introduction
After a couple of in-house ads there’s a “Please don’t try this at home” PSA that opens with a head stabbing and ends with a pair of honky hangings. No shit, you shouldn't try that at home. Go to a friend’s house instead.

Show open features a nutty professor (looks like play-by-play man Greg Hunter with an afro) pointing out the definitions of “wrestling” and “anarchy” and then mixes some liquids together to symbolize what would happen if you mixed them together (You get exploded, don't try this at home.) which kicks off into a video set to Mötley Crüe's version of "Anarchy In The UK."

In the arena, we start off with a special in-ring presentation to a retiring employee. He says it’s his first time inside a ring. NWA representative Bill Behrens presents him with a couple of plaques, one from the National Wrestling Alliance and another from the folks at Anarchy. No one came out and attacked him which was classy.

Next, a skinny fella with an electric guitar is introduced to play the National Anthem but first, Team Anarchy (Ace Rockwell, Slim J, The Urban Assault Squad, NWA Anarchy owner Jerry Palmer) is introduced. Their full entrance video plays, the same the people in the arena see on the big screen above the entrance ramp. This is in addition to the actual entrance. Every ring entrance for the rest of the show follows this pattern. It’s a bit superfluous really. They all come out wearing matching Team Anarchy robes and desert camouflage. Cow pattern camo probably would’ve been more appropriate for Cornelia. Piggly Wiggly pattern would also work. People chant “Anarchy, Anarchy” after the National Anthem which was funny.

Jason Blackman vs. “The Attraction” Hayden Young
Color commentator John “The Body” Johnson states that this match was a last minute addition to the card made when just 7 days prior, Young returned to save Austin Creed from a post-match beatdown from Blackman. Both men are recently returned from injury, Blackman from an orbital bone injury that forced him to surrender his half of the NWA Anarchy Tag Team Championship. Young, according to Johnson, from a landscaping accident with a runaway lawnmower; his return to wrestling motivated by financial need to get the rest of his hair cut. Good little fast-paced opener as Young is a smaller guy who does a bunch of high flying stuff off the ropes and Blackman is a thick fireplug built guy who can catch. Not black though.

Post-match, Blackman’s tag team partner Jeremy Vain runs in and they lay Young out.

Chapter 2
Strap Match
Alabama Attitude vs. Patrick Bentley & Seth Delay

Alabama Attitude consists of Adam Roberts and T.C. Carnage, a pair of big angry country boys. “The Human Action Figure” “Precious” Patrick Bentley and “Kool” Seth Delay are a pair of smaller pretty boys and two of The Three Guys Who Totally Rule. At least they used to be. I’m not sure if Sal Rinauro was still part of this group at the time as their entrance video just proclaimed the duo “The Guys Who Totally Rule.”

Loser of the fall has to take five lashes. Bentley comes out looking all emo since he got whipped by Alabama Attitude and used to get whipped as a kid or something. Alabama Attitude attacks before the bell and spend the majority of the match working over Bentley. I think Bentley and Delay only got two tags in the whole match. Roberts takes the losing fall but Carnage attacks the babyfaces from behind allowing Roberts to whip Bentley some more before he finally stands all he can stands and just snatches the belt away causing Roberts to run off. Roberts, of course, was supposed to take the lashes since he lost the fall. As Carnage tries to leave, a herd of security suddenly shows up to stop him and referee Speedy Nelson informs him that since his partner left he has to take the lashes. Where was all this security when Roberts left? Carnage goes ahead and accepts Roberts’ punishment and gets the shit whipped out of him. Even though Bentley was the one that got whipped before, Delay takes the belt out of his hands and takes the first shot and got the last one too so Delay got three shots while Bentley only got two. That’s not going to cheer Bentley up any.

Post-match, we go to a backstage promo from Carnage who shows the results of getting beat like a government mule and explains that the strap match was Roberts’ idea and proclaims that if he ever shows his face in Anarchy again he’ll learn what an “Alabama Ass-Whooping” is.

Chapter 3
Onyx w/ Jeff G. Bailey vs. Sal Rinauro
The announcers explain that Onyx has already submitted Rinauro twice prior with the full nelson. Rinauro comes out to "Go For It!" by Hot Sundae from Saved By The Bell and his entrance video has clips of him interspersed between the video of Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa aerobicizing complete with TBS Superstation bug in the corner. The entrance lasts a lot longer than the match which consisted of Jeff G. Bailey distracting Rinauro on the apron as Onyx procures the full nelson lifting him into the ring to start the match, Rinauro quickly slips out and rolls Onyx up for the win. Onyx re-procures the full nelson and applies a body scissors as well while Bailey gives Rinauro the business until former NWA Elite member Kory Chavis shows up and makes fun of Onyx for losing in 20 seconds and challenges him to a match, right now! Which leads to...

Onyx w/ Jeff G. Bailey vs. Kory Chavis
Another good match that lasted quite a bit longer than Onyx’s first bout of the evening. Told a good story of Chavis using technique to counter Onyx’s power. Onyx locks in the full nelson but Chavis kicks off the ropes to get the pin. Post-match, Onyx keeps the full nelson locked in and again locks in a body scissors while Bailey puts the boots to Chavis until Rinauro makes the save with a chair.

Chapter 4
NWA World Television Championship
Brandon Phoenix vs. Adrian Hawkins

Hawkins became the youngest NWA World Television Champion in history at only 19 years of age winning the vacated title in flukey fashion in an 11-man Mega Rumble. A title vacated by then newly crowned champion “Krazy K” Kirby Mack after being injured by Phoenix then known simply as Brandon P. who at the time was in attendance as a spectator and would earn himself a barring from the NWA Arena because of his actions. Brandon P. under the hood as “The Phoenix” defeated Hawkins to win the title and renamed himself Brandon Phoenix to symbolize that he is risen again. According to Johnson, Hawkins held the title for a week or how long his acne takes to clear up.

Match is alright. Probably, the weakest of the show so far. I just never got the feeling that Hawkins had a chance. The announcers stated that Hawkins has only had one singles win in his career. The finish didn’t really come off well either with Hawkins hitting a bulldog off the top rope but Phoenix got his foot on the rope because he’s more experienced. Hawkins kinda put his hands up like he thought he won but then put his hands on his head knowing he didn't. Phoenix charged, Hawkins ducked, Hawkins charged, Phoenix hit a Hot Shot and covered Hawkins next to the ropes for the win after he pulled Hawkins’ leg off the rope before the ref could see.

Brandon Phoenix’s entrance video featured several closeups of the “NWA World” Television Championship belt with some form of computerized chicanery to place the initials “NWA” over the noticably inscribed “ACW” initials.

Disc 2
Menu
A little bit easier to read than Disc 1. Probably because there’s only two options so the text is a little larger.

Chapter 1
NWA Anarchy Heavyweight Championship
Chad Parham vs. Jeff Lewis w/ Jeff G. Bailey

NWA Anarchy Technical Advisor Todd Sexton is the special referee for this match. He’s also defending champion Chad Parham’s best friend. “The Feature Presentation” Jeff Lewis’ entrance video proclaims him to be a "20th Century Champion", "A LewisFilm Ltd." production, a “2 Time, 2 Time” TV Champion, and the future Heavyweight Champion. Lewis has enough tassles on his gear to make even Shane Douglas jealous.

This match didn’t do much for me either. Parham at this point in his career was more than a bit charismatically challenged. They do a little brawling on the floor including Lewis hitting a belly to back suplex onto the top of the wooden ring steps. Sexton kept Bailey from getting involved including stomping on his hands when he was trying to help Lewis escape a really loose “Texas Cloverleaf.” He actually got more of Lewis than Bailey. Johnson mentions that Sexton was trained by Shawn Michaels and Michaels teaches all his students how to screw people. Finish had Bailey strategically place the championship belt in the corner and then distract Sexton so Lewis could use it but Parham avoided him and hit Lewis with the belt just in time for Sexton to turn around and see him for the DQ. This led to an argument between the two friends. When ring announcer Eddie Rich announced Jeff Lewis as the winner, Bailey kept mouthing “and new champion” only for Rich to follow up with the qualifier that the title can’t change hands on a disqualification. Bailey stamped his feet in frustration.

Chapter 2
Same commercials and PSA from Disc 1 plus a viewer discretion warning for the...

War Games: The Match Beyond
The Devil’s Rejects (Azrael, Iceberg, Tank, Shaun Tempers) w/ Dan Wilson
vs.
Team Anarchy (Ace Rockwell, Slim J, Shadow Jackson, Nemesis) w/ Jerry Palmer

If The Devil’s Rejects win, "The Reverend" Dan Wilson gets the keys to “The Church Of Southern Wrestling” aka ownership of NWA Anarchy. If Team Anarchy wins, Jerry Palmer gets five minutes in the cage with Dan Wilson. Those stakes don’t seem remotely even to me but babyfaces aren’t exactly known for their smarts.

Pre-match promos behind the cage! The Rejects promo is perfect as Wilson explains in a nutshell their motivations for wanting to destroy NWA Anarchy: Bill Behrens sold everybody out to work for the man (WWE), Jerry Palmer’s a fireman with no business in wrestling, etc. While Wilson was talking, Azrael was gnawing on his own bleeding arm.

Team Anarchy’s promo featured Shadow Jackson stealing old Dusty Rhodes lines and Nemesis going crazy being in a cage again. “Phone check, fool! Phone check!” and then declared that he had to use the bathroom and turned around to take a piss on the ring apron. Palmer took an apple and grinded it into the cage. “Dan Wilson, lookee here, boy!” That’s your head, son!”

Greg Hunter explains the rules and stakes to the people and then spotlights start ballyhooing like nobody’s business. Two men start for a 5 minute period. Teams then alternate entry every 2 minutes until all eight men are in the cage and then the only way to win is SUBMIT or SURRENDER! One ring, one cage with no roof setup by the way.

“The Son Of Satan” Azrael starts things out for the Rejects. He’s carrying a meat cleaver and a sword. The teenyboppers at ringside don’t seem too impressed with his armament as they aren’t afraid to get into his face. The refs are letting him take both into the cage. C’mon, now. Ace Rockwell starts for Team Anarchy and he’s got a broken arm with a cast on it, carrying on the Ace family tradition according to Greg Hunter. Alright. The Rejects have the man advantage by virtue of Tank beating Nemesis a week prior. Johnson questions sending an injured man out first knowing they will be a man down early. Hunter states that the team with the man advantage has never won War Games. Maybe in the NWA Arena but the Four Horsemen won in 1991 and the NWO beat WCW in back to back War Games in 1996 and 1997 with the man advantage.

Rockwell’s former tag team partner “The Sleeper Cell” Shaun Tempers is in next. Slim J in next to even the odds for Team Anarchy and he comes in by jumping off the top of the cage hitting an inverted DDT on Azrael. Slim enters wounded as well with a burnt eye from an Azrael fireball.

Tank in next and he brought the indyriffic whiffle ball bat covered in thumbtacks. Slim J’s ear gets cut at some point and Azrael starts digging the meat cleaver into it. That thing looks pretty dull but really dirty. Probably got a better chance of getting tetanus then getting his ear cut off. Nemesis in next for Anarchy. While Nemesis has him down, Tank pulls a fork out of his boot and jabs him right in the junk. Rockwell gets a hold of the thumbtack bat and starts whacking Tank in the head. Tacks are flying everywhere.

Iceberg is the final entrant for The Rejects and he comes in looking under the ring and finally puts a table in the cage. Y’know, cause it’s easier to kill someone with a table than with a sword. Hunter proclaims that Iceberg is the largest competitor in the history of War Games at 600 lbs. That's a billed 600 lbs. He doesn’t even look close to 600. Tank looks just as fat, really. Shadow Jackson comes in as Anarchy’s last man and he brings the noose. He powerslams Iceberg for a massive pop.

Tank is trying to put Nemesis through a table off the turnbuckles but Nemesis gets a little payback from earlier with a low blow. The UAS put Tank through the table with a double-team side Russian legsweep. Iceberg climbs up to the top turnbuckle to yell at Jerry Palmer for some reason and becomes the recipient of a double-team superplex from Rockwell and Slim. While this was going on Wilson had passed a claw hammer into the cage to Tempers, the same hammer that was used to break Rockwell’s arm. Slim J starts digging the cleaver into Azrael’s head. Meanwhile, Tempers attempts to hit Rockwell with the hammer but misses and is countered with the "Aces High" (RKO). Rockwell then takes the hammer and fish hooks Tempers with the claw end and starts pulling, getting the tap out and the win for Team Anarchy. The crowd goes banana! Seriously, there’s people jumping up and down and hugging.

The Rejects exit the cage but security catches Dan Wilson before he can escape and he gets tossed into the cage where he cowers in the corner as Team Anarchy gathers around him and Nemesis yells in his face. Palmer enters and sends Team Anarchy to the back. No, Palmer, you fool! Before he can get his licks in, “The 7 Foot Freak” Dominous hits the cage and the rest of the Rejects follow shortly and lock themselves in. The locker room empties and security is trying to bring the cage down. Dan Wilson gives Iceberg the “Implement Of Mass Destruction” (pretty sure that’s a potato peeler) and Iceberg stabs Palmer in the top of the head. The crowd starts throwing garbage into the cage. Iceberg hits the running “Ground Zero” splash. The audio dips out for a bit. Iceberg hits a second rope splash. Wilson puts one foot on Palmer’s chest while Iceberg counts to three. The door is finally opened but Dominous is swinging the meat cleaver around looking like something straight out of a horror movie. Satisfied with the carnage, the Rejects finally leave on their own volition.

The ring is covered in blood and debris. Palmer is laying on the mat shaking one hand in the air like an old black lady in church getting filled with the Holy Spirit while having an epileptic attack. Todd Sexton gets on the mic and asks someone to call an ambulance. I wonder if someone in the crowd actually called. I mean, there’s people in the audience crying. The paramedics are there pretty quickly nonetheless. The crowd, none of whom have left are chanting, “Jerry, Jerry” as Palmer’s getting wheeled out to the ambulance. We then ride to the hospital with Jerry. “Ughhh, I gotta get up...ughhh...can’t breath...ughhh...my ribs...”

Show closes with a Rejects backstage promo. “I told you to be careful what you wished for, Jerry.” Azrael is rubbing his blood on Tank’s thumbtack filled head while flicking them out of his head. Communicable diseases for all!

Additional thoughts:
NWA Anarchy’s production values are weak. The picture is old VHS tape quality if that good. The hard cam angle is lit too bright making shots from that vantage point look a bit washed out. It's certainly watchable and the camera work is solid with no shaky cam but there's no real excuse to still be using Wildside's old video equipment in 2008, well, 2006, but still.

During the nutty professor open, the definition of “anarchy” is defined on-screen as “A state of lawlessness to due an absence of authority” with “due" and "to” inverted. I only point that out because it’s still used on their television and has been wrong forever.

I’m not a big fan of weapons being used in War Games, at least not brought in freely with no resistance from the referees. With the company on the line and in essence, their jobs, you’d think the refs would want the playing field as even as possible. The sword, the most ridiculous weapon of them all, played no role at all and just laid on the apron during the match. With that said, the weapons used were used smartly and I liked that the finish came from a weapon passed in from the outside in addition to it having history between the two parties involved.

Jerry Palmer’s trip to the hospital could’ve been clipped. At least once they got him strapped up and shipped out. The trip to the hospital was pretty quick actually but felt like it lasted forever since it’s nothing but a prone Palmer mumbling about what hurts between going “Ughhh....”

No bonus material unless you count Jerry’s ride in the meat wagon. The match for War Games man advantage between Nemesis and Tank would’ve been a nice addition.

Props to the commentary team of Greg Hunter and John Johnson. Far too often in pro wrestling (hell, all sports, really) the commentators are babbling idiots that are just talking to hear the sounds of their gums flapping. Hunter and Johnson kept their focus on the action in the ring while adding little tidbits about any past issues between the wrestlers and Johnson would occasionally add a little levity with some comedy.

Final recommendation:
Buy it.

From top to bottom it’s a good show. The title matches didn’t do much for me but they aren’t bad. The main event along with the post-match angle is an emotional spectacle of violence that needs to be seen and is worth the purchase price alone.


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