Photograph courtesy of Unda Ground Wrestling
Unda Ground Wrestling
Back to School Fairground Beatdown
Summit County Fairgrounds
September 17, 2016
Reviewer: Zep the Bear
The event is being held in one of the smaller buildings at the Summit County Fairgrounds. A photographer is set up in one corner and is taking promotional shots of the wrestlers. There is a female model posing with some of the performers. A DJ is playing music in another corner. A group of kids in the audience is dancing and doing the “Whip/Nae Nae,” which is pretty entertaining.
The ring announcer came out shortly after the advertised start time. He announced that an election will be taking place in the near future to determine a president of Unda Ground Wrestling. He called the two candidates to the ring to make campaign speeches, Duchess Mrs. Supa Bad and GI Sanders. The Duchess went first. She stated, “You can get with this,” gesturing to Sanders, who, in his suit, vaguely resembled LBJ. “Or you get get with THIS,” pointing at herself. Sanders then responded that he could run the company better because he is from Lima, Ohio and was trained by Al Snow.
Wolfman (a local police officer) and “Ran the Man” made their way to ringside. Wolfman howled into the microphone while it cut in and out. Ran the Man was dressed in an American flag shirt and bandana. For some reason, he was doing a vocal impression of “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
Then, UGW owner and lead/only heel manager, Bounce came out from the locker room accompanied by his charge, Doc LeRoux. LeRoux is basically doing a riff on the “Papa Shango” witch doctor character that was popular in the WWF in the mid-1990s. His face paint design and costume are nearly identical to that of the voodoo master.
Bounce, who is African-American, cut a promo in which he reiterated that he doesn’t like “crackers.” It is then off-handedly mentioned that former WWF star Grand Master Sexay would not be appearing on the show.
The microphone continued to cut out as Bounce talked. To make matters worse, the DJ doesn’t lower the volume of the house music during promos so they are very difficult to hear.
Doc LeRoux (w/ Bounce) v. The Butcher
I recognized The Butcher when he came out. I saw him for the first time a couple years ago at a 605 Championship Wrestling card in Marietta, OH. He is a basic brawler who wears a muzzle and a blood-splattered white tank top shirt.
LeRoux gets the early advantage. He suplexes and chokes The Butcher before back splashing him in the corner.
Bounce chokes The Butcher on the bottom rope while the referee is distracted by LeRoux.
The Butcher attempted a boot to the face but missed it by an easy 12 inches, if not more. LeRoux still sold it.
The Butcher hit a Baldo Bomb for the pin.
Winner: The Butcher
B.A.D. (w/ Bounce) v. Mr. Fitness
B.A.D. works a boxer gimmick. (In fact, he bears more than a passing resemblance to former Heavyweight Champion of the World, Jack Johnson.)
Bounce to a child in the front row: “I fight kids your size and smaller.” Ha!
Mr. Fitness is announced. He came out wearing purple and green spandex. He wore a backpack (emblazoned with a giant hamburger) that contained exercise equipment and a box of Twinkies.
B.A.D. wanted to know why Fitness’ second, Pinky Shortcake, wasn’t present. Fitness stated that she wasn’t going to be there.
While the crowd chanted “shut up” to Bounce, Fitness threw Twinkies out to his fans.
Even though the referee signaled him to do so, the DJ didn’t ring the bell to indicate the beginning of the match.
B.A.D. begs off after he is slammed by Fitness. On his knees, he grabs Fitness by the tights and launches him into the corner turnbuckle. Once again, Bounce chokes an opponent on the bottom rope.
At this point, Bounce is thrown out of the match by “Wildman” Johnny, the referee. Wolfman physically drags him to the back.
I couldn’t exactly see the action from my angle but it looked like B.A.D. attempted to stuff a Twinkie in Fitness’ mouth while they struggled on the apron…but when they came back into view they both had the tasty Hostess treat on their faces.
Fitness fired off some chops.
He exuberantly yelled, “Twinkie Power!”
The two brawl around some more before making their way back into the ring. Once inside, Fitness hits a Bionic Elbow and a spear to score the pinfall.
Immediately, Fitness is jumped by Ox Baker, Jr. Baker does a number on him. Bounce is back out clapping and encouraging the beatdown. Baker gives Fitness a pair of Heart Punches.
The announcer then announces Mr. Fitness the winner by disqualification. But hadn’t he just pinned B.A.D. clean in the ring?
B.A.D. then intimidates the announcer who in turn declares HIM the winner. Ugh.
Photograph: Zep the Bear
Irish Strong v. RBI
Both appear to be babyfaces.
RBI came out wearing a catcher’s mask and chest protector. One in the ring, he dropped to his knees and deemed himself “safe.”
RBI worked the headlock. This would turn out to be a match highlight.
Strong botched getting shoulder tackled. Strong botched getting clotheslined.
Hiptosses RBI and gets a two-count.
RBI returns fire with a Stinger Splash, suplex, and a headbutt off the bottom rope.
Strong does a Hogan-esque leg drop.
Both guys appear to be gassed.
RBI gives Strong a crossbody in the corner. He attempts to do some sort of a slingshot splash from the outside but instead lands on his head.
Both fighters botch a hip toss.
Strong wants to shake hands with his opponents.
Baker runs in and demolishes both combatants.
Macho Ran, backed by Wolfman, demands that Baker vacates the ring. Baker announces that he wants to fight Fitness at the October event.
Announcer: “That was a…nobody won!”
Winner: No Contest
Some of the boys are out from the locker room to press the flesh with the fans.
Bounce interviews one of the show sponsors. He points out to the sponsor that a wrong address was included on advertising but they would try to get it right next time.
Bounce then interviews his “nephew” Kano. He gives “Supa Bad” Kano grief for being friendly to Wolfman and Macho Ran. They are clearly hinting at a face-turn for Bad.
After a few minutes, the announcer grabs the microphone to announce that it’s time for the main event.
Unda Ground Wrestling Ohio Championship
“Supa Bad” Kano (w/ Bounce) v. Akuma
Bounce stretches out the introductions by instructing the announcer how to properly pronounce “Supa Bad.”
Akuma has a great look. He has a professional physique, nice gear, and an interesting entrance.
Bounce yells at Bad for shaking his opponent’s hand.
The two have a good match. Bad leaned in heavy with some credible kicks and knee strikes.
Later, Akuma walked the top rope (a la Undertaker) and rode Bad to the mat driving his knees into his chest.
Supa Bad caught Akuma in an airplane spin. Dizzy himself, he climbed to the second rope but Akuma avoided his dive.
Thankfully, Bounce is laying off with the interference during this match.
Akuma hit a hanging neckbreaker for the pin…but Bad’s foot was on the rope. The fall is negated.
Bad hit a belly-to-back followed by a knee strike and pinfall.
Bounce pushed Bad off from shaking hands with Akuma. He presented his nephew the Unda Ground Wrestling Ohio Championship belt.
Super Nerd, who looked suspiciously like B.A.D. dressed in different gear and a hood, emerged from the back to choke out Bounce. The unconscious manager is dragged to the locker room by Wolfman to conclude the event.
Winner: “Supa Bad” Kano
The announcer pushed their next show, a free event on October 8.
This show was, from front to back, terrible. It was poorly organized, haphazardly booked, and dreadfully executed.
General admission tickets were $12. Upon arriving at the venue, I find out that parking is an additional $5. This additional cost is not mentioned on the flyer. That brings the total to $17. For that amount of money, I got four matches. FOUR. The show began at 6:10 pm and ended at 7:40. And that is INCLUDING an intermission.
The second to last bout was one of the botchiest, inadequately performed matches that I’ve witnessed in a long time. I’ve seen RBI do better. I know nothing about his opponent. Maybe he had a bad night. Maybe he is green. I don’t know. I do know that the match was a mess.
The issue of no-shows. Brian Christopher, Chad Hart, Buddy the Bulldog, Kyd Mack, and Eddie Insane and his valet were advertised names that did not appear. I get that a promoter can’t control talent missing an event but this was ridiculous. I went to a show the following evening in Cleveland. Three advertised performers were unable to make the event. The promoter came out, apologized, and announced suitable replacements. He also offered refunds to any fans who had specifically come to see a particular wrestler that was unable to make it. He didn’t just ignore a gaping hole in the show.
Too much Bounce. I get that the roster was thin but Bounce was out chewing up the scenery for every segment. I’ve seen Bounce on shows years ago. He isn’t a bad manager. He has a lot of energy and a generally good schtick. But on this night, 90-minutes of Bounce was 85-minutes too many.
I get that wireless microphones are unreliable. However, music being played loudly over every promo only ensures that no one will hear what is being said. If Unda Ground continues to promote, lowering the music is a simple fix that will drastically improve the presentation of events.
I review these shows for no reason other than a love of wrestling. I’m not looking to be mean or nitpicky. The September 17th Unda Ground Wrestling show was overpriced and it underproduced. It was a bad show. I left feeling ripped off. Maybe Unda Ground owners should consider lower profile events in the future that are in the $0-$5 ticket price range. Events at those price points downgrade the expectations of the consumer and lessen the pressure on green performers. There are too many quality wrestling promotions in Northeast Ohio for them to be otherwise competitive.
To be fair, the group of kids in the front row seemed to have a blast.
Check out Unda Ground Wrestling here.