EXW Adrenaline Rush 06.07.2011 — Frenchy Riviera, Val Venis, Andrew Hellman

This particular Adrenaline Rush will forever live in my memory. Maybe because it was the first time I wore my brand spankin’ new GFY shirt. Maybe it’s because I ditched my father on his birthday to be there, and will have to live that down for the rest of my life. Or maybe, it was because we had to say goodbye to an amazing, talented, Freak-tastic man.

My guess, is the latter.

Adrenaline Rush – June 7th
(watch it here)

Dark Match
Lucha Star
vs
Adan Reyes

Adan Reyes kind of came out of his shell in this match. Where most others were basic and okay, this week his personality came through substantially. It kept your focus, as did the fight that Lucha Star put up. Although it appeared to be a decent opened, it did nothing to rev the crowd up, which I’m not convinced is the fault of the two wrestlers. It was entertaining.
Winner: Lucha Star

After that, the show began. And it started off right, with all three members of the Freak Squad waltzing out, dressed awfully dapper. Right as Dom started talking, the mic was ripped out of his hands, as Frenchy Riviera decided he had something to say. He was longing to prove that he has what it takes to be in this business, and wanted to be sure that Dom knew it wasn’t personal. He called the champ out, challenging him for the title around his waist. I waited for the verbal beatdown to arrive, but it never did. Instead, Dom professes his adoration for his tag team partner, and graciously grants his request.

Match #1
JB Bad
vs
Cutler Wright

With a surprisingly quick start, I was impressed. It was a strange match up, one I wasn’t quite sure about once the entrances were made. Wright was incredibly sharp, and impactful, commanding the attention to fall on him. But Bad was impressive as well, more so than he has been in recent weeks. Not a single moment dragged, yet it wasn’t too much to handle, aesthetically. And it built up into a spectacular finish.
Winner: Cutler Wright

Match #2
Mosh Pit Mike
vs
Kyle Hawk

This was perhaps the most delightful match of the night. I was chuckling right off the bat, with Kyle Hawk’s subtle taunting of his opponent. Even though it might have gone on a bit too long, it was worth the trip. Especially when the action finally began. They took the brawl outside of the ring, forcing me to grab my beer and hold up in, for fear of losing it to a table nudge. They tore each other apart, with an alarmingly quick offense I didn’t expect from Mosh. The entire match was go, go, go, but the finish fizzled for me.
Winner: Kyle Hawk

Familiar music began, and I thought for a moment that Steve Osborne might be alive after the vicious GFY through a table he endured. But alas, it was not. Instead, Woodrow Santanelli and Cedric the Hitman emerged. We quickly learn that Cedric has indeed aligned himself with “The Business”, and would be taking over as GM while Steve is recuperating. Moments later, Tyson Tyler was marching his way out. Cedric informs Tyson that he will be facing Woodrow later in the evening, before revealing that he has granted himself a shot at the Elite Division Title.

Match #3
Andrew Hellman
vs
Ray Basura

That Basura guy…kills me. His campaigning has gotten out of control, in the very best way. He’s still shaking hands with all the patrons, but this time, he put on a glove to do so. As a germaphobe, and someone who likes offending people, I thought it was genius. Anyway. Hellman’s anger got the best of him when Basura started mocking him, and he charged. What followed was something I can only describe as Chopfest 2011, with Hellman undoubtedly turning Basura’s lungs into dough. The pace sprinted ahead from there, as we watched Hellman make quick work of his opponent.
Winner: Andrew Hellman

Match #4
Tyson Tyler
vs
Woodrow Santanelli

Tyson begins chatting once he’s in the ring, but Woody is impatient. He grabs a chair, and swats at Tyson like a bug. For the first time, I was incredibly impressed by Woody. He dominated the ring, and Tyson, but also had such a tangible aggression that was absolutely decadent. His jaw was clenched tight, his eyes were nearly burning, and you could feel the rage. It was incredible, and took the attention off of the fan favorite, Tyson Tyler. He never let Tyson get on his feet, smashing his face into the mat, one submission at a time, before forcing him to tap out.
Winner: Woodrow Santanelli

Match #5
Shadow Fox
vs
“CM Punk”
(Johnny Manson)

Manson has been Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, and Matt Hardy. This is steadily becoming one of my favorite gimmicks in EXW, just for the sheer lightness of it. Most of the time, it’s humorous. But this time, he was personifying a serious Super-Heel like CM Punk, and his behavior adjusted accordingly. We had a more serious Johnny Manson JM Punk, and it was refreshing. Especially, when paired up with the young, talented Shadow Fox. Fox is very cunning, and despite a small boo-boo, impressed once more.
Winner: Shadow Fox

Match #6
Cedric the Hitman
vs
Willie Mack
Elite Division Championship

Cedric is very interesting to watch. Little things that would otherwise be taken for granted, really stand out with him. The ref held the belt up, like most do before a championship match, and Cedric stole it. Right out of his hands. That kind of stuff is instant heat, that is difficult not to love. This was yet another matchup that sounded strange, but ended up working really well, which is a testament to both men. Mack hit his spectacular finish, and retained his belt with ease.
Winner: Willie Mack

Sidebar: After the match was over, it was clear that Cedric had been legit injured during the finisher. Some details have surfaced, but not much is known at this time. We here at Pulse want to wish him a speedy recovery.

Moving on, Val Venis took to the ring. He discussed the betrayal of someone he considered a friend at Xtreme Measures the week before. This betrayal, of course, was that of A-Train turning on him during the tag team main event. He promised to take those titles, but moved on to a similar topic. This time, discussing another person who betrayed him mere months ago in a tag team match, and called that person out for a match.

Match #7
Val Venis
vs
Gabriel Gallo

I have an issue with this match I would like to get out of the way. During the fight, some fans started to chant “boring, boring”. It may not have been high velocity from start to finish, but it was building. The tension was rising, and they were working their way up. In my opinion, Val and Gallo performed admirably, with good, old fashioned, wrestling. To hear chants like that pissed off my already intoxicated self, as it ruined my enjoyment momentarily.

ANYWAY.

Like I said, the tension rose. From very MMA-like takedowns, but Gallo had a firm grip on the control for most of the start. It was a good game of cat and mouse, where they both took turns playing each character. Gallo was very verbose, but it only made the crowd boo harder, as Val wiggled his way back to the top. I was, however, thoroughly disappointed when the time limit was exceeded and it was forced to end in a draw, but with the valiant effort put forth by both, it was fitting.
Winner: Draw

Match #8
Frenchy Riviera
vs
Dom “The Bomb” Vitalli
EXW World Heavyweight Championship

This match was very strange, and difficult, to watch. Watching these two go against each other was tough, as they were always brothers. They always had each other’s backs. But neither faltered when the bell rung. Both wanted the belt, and would do anything to get it. That much was clear. The brawl moved all over the place, with Frenchy dominating for a large portion of the contest. But ultimately, Dom would retain his belt against his brethren.
Winner: Dom Vitalli

Details are a little fuzzy at this point, as I prepared for what was coming. Frenchy revealed that this would be his last match for EXW. He claimed he would be heading back to the South to rediscover his passion for the business he had worked so hard for, for the last twenty years. Each member of the Freak Squad took turns expressing their sadness for his departure, honoring him with their strangely kind words. At that point, the locker room emptied, and “Thank you, Frenchy!” chants echoed so loudly, they could be heard from miles away. The Freak Squad member and beloved wrestler said goodbye, and walked away from the EXW ring for the last time.

 

I’ve  known Frenchy since the second show I attended. He’s an incredible human being, as well as very wise. I’m convinced no one knows as much as he does, or cares about people as much as he does. EXW will never be the same without him.

THANK YOU, FRENCHY.
Arrivederci.

 

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