Big Time Wrestling/OMEGA
Raleigh, North Carolina at Dorton Arena
Report by Dot Net reader Craig Green
The show started on time, right about 8:00 pm. Attendance appeared to be at least 400 (Editor’s Note: I was told the attendance was actually in the 1,500 range). Good turnout in my opinion for a northeast-based indy wrestling promotion in the old-school south. This was the first wrestling event in Dorton Arena since WCW was here in 1993. I’ve always thought ROH should run a show at Dorton but they never have.
The allotted general admission $15 seats were about 80 percent full, and the floor seats were about the same. The wrestlers’ entrance had a respectable look to it. It had a flat-screen attached to it with everyone’s names and pictures. The lighting looked good too from where we were in the sixth row. There were two lighting rigs on opposite sides of the ring so the house lights were turned out, minus two rows dimmed above the ring.
There were meet-and-greets from 6pm-8pm with Jim Cornette, Lex Luger (in a wheelchair), Road Warrior Animal, Scott Steiner, and Matt Hardy. Baby Doll was advertised on the website but I didn’t see her. She may have been there but I didn’t go out of my way to look. Merch tables aplenty. Cornette and Animal were two gimmick tables that I noticed, in addition to Luger sitting at the BTW table. I bought myself a NJPW baseball-style tee and got my girlfriend’s daughter John Cena and Undertaker figures from the Highspots table. George South even had a merchandise table. On to the show…
Before the opening bell, the ring announcer acknowledged Luger and that legendary Mid-Atlantic wrestling announcer Bob Caudle were in attendance. There was a nice ovation for both men.
1. Todo Loco pinned “The Man Scout” Jake Manning in 10 minutes after a top-rope splash. Yes, Manning is doing an adult Cub Scout gimmick with the handbook and all. He checked it mid-match to make sure he was on point.
2. NWA World Tag Team champion “Loverboy” Matt Riviera (w/Johnny Morton) pinned Michael Barry in 8 minutes. Riviera hits a flatliner after his manager Morton distracted Barry during a pin attempt.
3. Trevor Lee pinned Caleb Konley in 11 minutes to retain the TNA X Division Title. The finish came after a weak-looking small package driver.
Jim Cornette was out next in wrestling gear (T-shirt, jogging pants and visible elbow pads) to present a lifetime achievement award to “The Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant. Cornette, of course, felt as if he deserved it and offered to fight Valiant for it. Valiant obliged, hit Cornette with his own tennis racket, and sent him back to the locker room.
4. Bam Shaw and Shane Riley beat Mr. TA and George South in 9 minutes. South cut a heel promo before the match, then proclaimed to the crowd that he loved Jesus and even had it on his trunks. Awwwwwkwaaaard. The finish saw Bob Caudle (sitting in the front row) hit South with his metal cane, then Shaw and Riley hit the old-school Hart Attack on TA for the pin. South and TA looked like they could barely bump at all.
5. Scott Steiner beat Big Time Wrestling Champion Flex Armstrong by disqualification in 15 minutes. Armstrong’s female manager (whose name I’ve searched the internet for but can’t find) hit Big Poppa Pump with the BTW title belt for the DQ.
6. Jeff Hardy beat “Dynamite” Danny Miles by DQ in 8 minutes after a run-in by CW Anderson. Hurricane Helms makes the save and now we have a tag match because babyfaces apparently don’t like DQ finishes in their favor.
7. Jeff Hardy and Shane “Hurricane” Helms beat CW Anderson and “Dynamite” Danny Miles in 8 minutes. Hardy got the pin on Anderson after a Helms chokeslam(!) and big splash by Hardy. No Swanton Bomb tonight.
There was an intermission to set up the steel cage that lasted roughly 20 minutes. Several wrestlers helped set up the cage, including Shane Riley and Caleb Konley. Right before intermission the ring announcer pointed out that the referee had yellow polka dots on his pants as a Dusty tribute, which got a nice ovation.
8. The Rock ‘N Roll Express beat The Powers Of Pain (w/Jim Cornette) in a steel cage match in 10 minutes. Road Warrior Animal was the keeper of the cage key. It sounded as if the Powers Of Pain came out to their WWF music. Ricky Morton rolled up The Barbarian for the win after Animal slammed the cage door in his face.
9. Matt Hardy beat Ethan Carter III in 10 minutes to retain the TNA and OMEGA Championships in a Steel Cage Match. Matt cut a promo beforehand putting himself over as the only true world champion in wrestling and took playful jabs at Triple H, Jay Lethal, and Kazuchika Okada. Hardy also said Daniel Bryan retired to avoid coming to TNA to lose to him, and that he would beat EC3 like the Tar Heels beat NC State this past Wednesday. Matt escaped through the cage door after a ref bump allowed CW Anderson and Danny Miles to interfere on his behalf.
After the match three men in Willow The Wisp-looking masks with umbrellas in hand came out to save EC3 from a triple-team attack from Hardy/CW/Miles. EC3 and the masked men fought off the heel trio, then one of the Willow men inside the cage attacked EC3 when he opened the umbrella indoors. That’s bad luck! It seemed as if it’s an OMEGA angle playing out at a BTW event, but we left in the middle of it. I don’t think enough fans tonight follow OMEGA (I don’t) to know what was happening anyway.
Overall it was a nice show and a fun way to spend three hours on a Friday night. There was no color at all, not even in the two cage matches. I didn’t expect to see any five-star bouts due to the aging legends and what-not, but since my girlfriend and her daughter enjoyed themselves it was worth the $25 apiece I spent on three tickets. No return date announced.
1. Jeff Hardy
2. Scott Steiner
3. Lex Luger’s acknowledgement at the start of the show along with Bob Caudle
1. Matt Hardy
2. Mentions of the Duke Blue Devils (yes, for real). Dorton Arena is on the doorstep of NC State University but there’s a huge UNC fanbase here in the Triangle. I’m a Duke fan so that fact naturally makes me sad.
3. CW Anderson run-in stops a potential Swanton Bomb from Jeff Hardy onto Danny Miles.