Aro Lucha

Aro Lucha is a new Nashville based wrestling promotion that per their social media accounts is defined as High-Energy Lucha Libre for the entire family. They hosted their first show tonight at the Nashville State Fairgrounds, in front of a sold out crowd. The event was taped, but according to an article posted in The Tennessean it will be used for marketing and external use. So it is unlikely that anyone who wasn’t there will actually see the event in its entirety, but for those of you with a few minutes to kill, I’ll do my best to do a quick review of tonight’s show. Reminder, Lucha Libre style wrestling is not my forte, and I would like to preface this review by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed the event and have a newfound respect for their art.

To start the show, they play a video from earlier today showing Rey Mysterio getting attacked by John Morrison and Rush. Mysterio comes out to address the situation and calls out his attackers. Not very smart, because they come out and proceed to use the numbers game to their advantage and beat down Mysterio. Then out of no where Penta El Zero M steps in to stop the beating and the segment ends with the two luchas standing tall and challenging Morrison and Rush to match later tonight.

 

The Mecha Wolf Mr. 450 vs Willie Mack

Cool entrance look for Mr. 450 with a fur shawl that was very John Snow esc and a wolf mask with glowing eyes. He takes the mask off to reveal a legit grill. All right then.

The two lock up, and Willie is throwing down on the chops. The crowd immediately gets into it and starts chanting one more time. When Mr. 450 regains control of the match and throws Willie into the corner, he starts delivering some chops of his own. Then in true heel fashion he turns to the crowd and yells, “one more time is that what you want.”

As the match continues the athleticism of both wrestlers is really highlighted. Despite his size Willie is extremely quick and agile. It reminded me a bit of a taller KO. Willie seemed to fully embrace the Lucha wrestling style despite his size, because he was all over the ropes. The ropes are not always kind to big guys, and Mr. 450 gave him a quick lesson in that. Willie received a leg sweep from the top rope and a kick to the back on his way down courtesy of Mr. 450. The crowd gets behind Willie, and their enthusiasm helps him avoid a beautiful moonsault by Mr. 450.

Willie gains control of the match. He hits a huge leg drop, traps 450 in the corner, and delivers what I can only describe as a crazy variation on a rolling sinton. He followed it up with a Samoan drop, but it’s only good for a two count. 450 manages to knock Willie out of the ring, and in true lucha fashion goes diving through the ropes to drive Willie into the barricade. After getting Willie back in the ring, 450 lands a tornado DDT, but Willie kicks out. 450 heads to the top rope, and Willie recovers enough to stop the attack and knock 450 out of the ring.

The big man embraces the lucha and launches himself over the ropes with a front flip to take out 450.

The two lock up some more. 450 hits Willie with a nice super kick, but Willie recovers quickly. They exchange some more great chops before Willie delivers a stunner like move and heads to the top rope. Willie drops a huge Five Star Frog Splash to get the pin-fall victory!  This was honestly one of the best most complete matches of the night.

 

Demus vs Mascarita Dorada

Out of nowhere a juggalo looking wrestler begins chasing a tiny luchador through the crowd directly in front of us. The juggalo tosses the luchador over the barricade and into the ring and a match ensues. I find out that the juggalo wrestler is actually Demus, and the tiny luchador is none other than Mascarita Dorada, aka El Torito.

This match was extremely short, but it was exciting while it lasted. Mascarita Dorada hit his highflying lucha moves, and it was very reminiscent of him working with CM Punk in the 2014 Royal Rumble. Dorada even landed a huge hurricanrana on Demus from the top rope to outside the ring. Despite Demus having the size advantage, he was ultimately no match for the speed and highflying of Mascarita Dorada.

Maybe I’m in the minority, but seeing this match really reminded me how much I enjoyed seeing El Torito on WWE. I wish that they could have found a way to continue utilizing him, because it was always a fun and entertaining segment when he was on. I’m glad to see that he is still wrestling and that his athleticism is being better highlighted.

 

Keyra & Lacey Lane vs Vanilla Vargas & Taya

A glammed up Reby Hardy makes her way to the ring and announces that she is essentially running the women’s division. The following tag team match will determine who will compete next week for the women’s championship, but there are some weird stipulations on this match. According to Reby, the person who lands the pin-fall will compete against the person from the losing team that avoids the pin-fall for the title. There was no official announcement made after the match to say who would be competing for the title, so I don’t really know. Is this a normal thing? I thought it was odd and worth noting obviously, because you’re reading it here.

There was solid work in this match, even though it was not very long. Taya’s size made her look more dominant than the other girls initially. Despite not being able to point out a single thing specifically, Lacey Lane stood out the most to me, because she just looked comfortable and extremely agile in the ring. Vanilla had a big spot where she used the ropes to go over the top and deliver a nice elbow drop. Keyra was the only female in the match rocking a Lucha libre mask, and for some reason it made me more drawn to her than the other girls. I think it made me anxious to see how much lucha style wrestling she would use. While there wasn’t anything to note on that, she did hit Vanilla with a massive suplex that resulted in Vanilla landing a little high on her neck. It was one of those bumps that make you suck in your breath and wait for the person to move before you can let out the breath. Right after that Keyra and Lacey both covered her for the victory, and she appeared to be fine after the match.

 

Surprise Match: Trey Miguel vs James Strom (Neither star was billed for the event)

The Fresh Prince of Mid Air, Trey Miguel came out and issued an open challenge to anyone in Nashville as he proclaimed that there was no talent in Nashville. He could beat anyone put in front of him. Little did he know, local boy James Storm was within earshot and happy to oblige Miguel’s challenge. The crowd immediately went crazy for the hometown guy, and a Cowboy chant erupted before he could even make it to the ring. Miguel did a great job selling his frustration with the situation he found himself in.

Right away Storm uses his size to his advantage and begins manhandling Miguel. Storm maintains control of the match until early, but Miguel breaks free long enough to show us why he is known as the Fresh Prince of mid air. After knocking storm out of the ring, Miguel flips over the corner turnbuckle and tackles Storm into the barricade. Once back in the ring, Miguel if I may quote The Great Jim Ross, began stomping a mudhole in Storm. He even through in an elbow drop and a standing back flip for good measure before going for the pin. Storm kicks out, and Miguel throws a bit of a tantrum at not getting a three count.

An injured Storm finds it difficult to keep pace with the quickness of Miguel, and he finds himself at the wrong end of double knees from the top rope. The crowd begins chanting for their “Cowboy” to save the day, and with the crowd behind him he musters the strength to fight back. Storm lands a spinning Razor’s Edge, but it only warrants a 2 count. He continues to attack Miguel and delivers a little sweet chin music to the Prince before covering him for the win. This was a solid match, and I look forward to seeing more of Trey Miguel in the future.

 

Sammy Guevara vs MVP

MVP makes his way to the ring first, and he attacks Sammy as he stands on the apron before entering the ring. Regardless, the bell rings and the match begins. Sammy makes his way to the ropes to gain some leverage on the big man. He then delivers a nice Pele’ kick to gain a momentary advantage. The size of MVP will be hard for Sammy to match, and MVP uses it to quickly slow the pace of the match. As I watch, I’m thinking Sammy is doing a great job selling this match. Not too over the top, but still reflecting the beating he’s taking.

MVP delivers a massive clothesline that results in Sammy turning a one and a half flip. The crowd rallies behind Sammy, and he finds his way back to his only chance for a win, the ropes. Sammy delivers four highflying flips over the ropes one right after another to take control of the match. MVP is reeling as Sammy heads back to the ropes, and in a last ditch effort MVP shoves the ref into the path of Sammy’s flying double knees. The bell is rung immediately, and Sammy wins by disqualification.

There wasn’t anything wrong with this match. It was a very typical heel and face matchup, and both guys delivered accordingly. I personally would have preferred a pairing that allowed Sammy’s athleticism to be better highlighted, but what do I know about booking wrestling matches. I think I just wanted more Sammy and less MVP.

 

6-Man Tag:  Jack Edwards, Hurricane Helms, & Maximo vs Garza Jr., La Mascara, & Daga

This match was entertaining, and I was honestly too distracted watching it to take many notes. All the wrestlers were given an opportunity to display their talents, and it maintained a good rhythm throughout. I am a fan of good striking, and La Mascara was delivering some awesome kicks. Edwards was selling like crazy, and he took a massive kick to the face as he was flipping off the ropes. He did manage to land a double neckbrecker from the ropes to subdue his opponents long enough to manage a tag.

For those of you that don’t know, Maximo is currently portraying a flamboyantly out character rocking a shirt that said kiss me over his onesie. All members of the opposing team pleaded for Maximo not to be tagged in, but it was no use. Maximo was tagged in, and he pranced around the ring after his foes looking for a kiss before his attack. Despite the silliness of this gimmick, Maximo is a good wrestler, and he hit a beautiful hurricanrana along with some other lucha inspired moves. The match ends once Maximo delivers a loving kiss to Daga followed by a roll up. I know it sounds silly, and I didn’t do it justice. Maximo even got a kiss from a lady in the crowd afterwards.

 

Main Event: Rey Mysterio & Penta Cero M. vs Rush & John Hennigan

I want to start this match review by apologizing for it. Immediately after the match started, the ref seemed to lose all control. There was fighting in the ring and outside the ring at the same time for the first 5-10 minutes of the match. Obviously this makes it hard to see everything and even harder to take notes while watching.

All four guys lock up. Rush tosses Rey outside the ring, and they continue to fight there while PCM and Hennigan duke it out inside the ring. Rush and Hennigan are dominating the early part of the match. The two then switch dance partners, and Rush takes a chair to PCM. At this point it becomes clear that they want to take out PCM, and focus their combined efforts on the destruction of Rey Mysterio.   Lucha chants ring through the crowd, as PCM and Mysterio try to gain control of the match. PCM delivers a nice forearm that Mysterio follows up with a hurricanrana. Both heels find themselves outside the ring, so PCM launches Mysterio over the ropes to take out both Rush and Hennigan. PCM joins everyone outside the ring, and he brought along a chair to introduce to both his foes.

Rush and PCM make their way back into the ring, and they have a nice round of chop swapping as Mysterio is trying to recompose himself outside the ring. Rush finds himself on the receiving end of a couple sling blades before Hennigan rejoins the fight. Mysterio takes him out and tries to finish the match with a leg drop, but Rush breaks things up. Hennigan hits Mysterio with a beautiful standing back flip. A sí chant erupts from the crowd, and the luchas make their move. A pair of standing double drop kicks put Rush and Hennigan in perfect position for a 619. They both manage to move out of the way, but Mysterio must follow through on his earlier promise to the crowd that they would see a 619 tonight. He pulls Hennigan into position and delivers on his 619 promise. Not to be outdone, PCM hits what I can only describe as a sunset flip power bomb off the top rope, and Mysterio lands a frog splash on Hennigan to get the win. (You can see the final sequence here.)

 

Wrap up:

Mysterio grabs the microphone and goes to thank the crowd, and he mistakenly says Memphis instead of Nashville. He genuinely seemed to feel bad about that, and joked that he was hit in the head too many times in Memphis the night before. Penta Cero M. comes out and interrupts to announce to the crowd that its Mysterio’s birthday. Everyone from the back enters the ring and everyone joins in to sing happy birthday.

I had a great time at my first Lucha show, and I sincerely hope that Aro Lucha is a success. Maybe its because I had no emotional attachment to the performers prior to the show, but I had no issues with the show. Nothing about it was disappointing, unless maybe you were one of the people that got turned away, because it sold out. It was full of content and never really a dull moment. I look forward to my next Aro Lucha Show!

Cam’s Sexist Comments……?

As a female sports podcaster, who is trying desperately to make it in the world of sports broadcasting I feel compelled to speak up about the circumstances surrounding the Cam Newton incident yesterday.

Do I think it was wrong of him and that he should know better?  Yes, Absolutely!  Am I mad at him or do I feel disrespected by what he said? No.

Jumping to judgments and being angry at things does not solve the problem. Lets separate the fact that he is an NFL QB from the fact that he is a man making a perceived sexist comment.

I have been doing my podcast for well over a year now, and guys are still surprised and even somewhat dumbfounded by my passion for and knowledge of sports. I hear a lot of “Wow” “That’s so cool” and even the occasional “I’m impressed by how much you really know about sports.” Here’s the thing, it has become common place for women to be interested in sports, but there are still plenty of women that are just content wearing a jersey and cheering for a particular team without knowing what’s actually happening on the field, court, ice, etc. Instead of being mad at someone who is surprised or finds it funny that I as a woman probably know more about sports than they do, I realize that a lot of the time it is simply a lack of experience or just naivety on their part.

It is absurd to believe that the world will grow and evolve all at the same time. What happens is that while some of us (men, women, black, or white) have decided to break away from gender roles and societal norms, others have not. It creates pockets of ignorance due to a lack of exposure to a world that has evolved beyond black and white, and is now a constantly changing color wheel of options and choices for everyone in it.

It should not be surprising that not all men or women for that matter have been exposed to women that feel compelled to report and analyze a sport that has predominantly been ruled by testosterone and where any sign of estrogen means weakness. We as a society have to become open to the idea of acting instead of reacting. Instead of addressing this as sexism and reacting with anger, realize it is a learning opportunity. It is a chance to expose more people to something that might be out of the norm that is their life.

I realize I made this vague, but I did it intentionally, because like sexism, racism will obviously not end over night. The answer to ending both is eliminating ignorance through education and exposure. Moments like this present us with opportunities to expose the next generation to the ever-evolving world around them. Take the opportunity to educate the person by exposing them to other things outside of their comfort zone. It requires a willingness and acceptance from both parties involved. Removing the anger is the first step to creating a bridge that opens communications. The first question should be “why is that funny?” If the response to that is sexist, you have my blessing to get frustrated, but if it is one of ignorance, make the most of this learning opportunity.

Now to Cam Newton, the NFL quarterback. He has no excuse to make such a comment to any reporter that has the credentials to be in the pressroom at an NFL stadium.   Jourdan Rodrigue is a credible journalist who has earned the right to be there and ask practically any question she so desires. Now maybe Cam has not been exposed to women that take such an interest in sports in his personally life, but he most definitely has in his professional life. Cam is in his 7th season in the NFL, and women reporters and analysts are an integral part of NFL coverage on a daily basis. Ultimately he is not a bad guy. He is just a guy that said a dumb thing, and unfortunately for him, his celebrity means he will get crucified for it.

Since it does not appear that anyone asked Cam, why a woman asking him about routes was funny, I do not know if he is sexist or just ignorant.

NFL Protest

I do not like to make things political, and I can honestly admit that I’m first in line when it comes to wanting politics to stay out of my sports. They are my source of entertainment, and I simply want to relax from the stress of the world and enjoy them. However, we have reached a point where there is so much hatred and bigotry in the world that sticking strictly to sports is simply impossible. So I would like to provide an honest perspective on my change of emotion regarding the NFL protests.

Personally, do I think kneeling during the National Anthem is wrong? Absolutely! A year ago when Colin Kaepernick first decided to make a stand by sitting on the bench during the national anthem, I like many could not understand why a young man with the privilege of making millions of dollars by playing the game he loves be so disrespectful to the country that allows him that privilege through the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women willing to risk their lives for this great nation. However, President Trump’s comments this weekend prove why athletes and celebrities must use their power, platform, and voice to speak up for what is good and right in the world (Choose wisely).

At a rally in Alabama, President Trump made the following remarks, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!” (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/22/donald-trump-nfl-national-anthem-protests). Most of us are at the mercy of our employers in regards to the amount of social and political activism we can display on company time, and many are even limited in regards to the social media posts they are allowed to make on their own time. So, I can understand where President Trump is coming from, but as a leader he should be asking, “Why sir are you kneeling?”

Colin Kaepernick felt strongly enough about the social and racial injustice in this country that he was willing to use his platform (The NFL), likely the largest platform in the country, to make a statement about what he felt was right. Last year in an exclusive interview with NFL Media he said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder” (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000691077/article/colin-kaepernick-explains-why-he-sat-during-national-anthem). Mind you, he agreed to stand for The National Anthem if signed this year, because he already brought a voice to his cause.

One has to be ridiculously narrow minded and short sighted to not see that social and racial injustices are still major issues in this country, and Colin decided to take a stand to help bring this issue to the attention of a greater audience. Unfortunately for him, many of us chose to be short sighted and protest his lack of patriotism, when in fact he is probably more patriotic than all of us whom have not enlisted to fight for this country. “Patriot: a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion; a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government” (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/patriot).  By definition he is a patriot, (I am not even going to get into his charity work) because he risked his livelihood to bring a voice to the beliefs he was passionate about.

It serves the values of The United States of America for individuals with influence and power to stand up for those without it, and while I did not agree when he did it, I recognize why Colin Kaepernick had to use his platform to bring attention to this. It has been over a year since he decided to sit for his beliefs, and our government refuses to acknowledge and discuss the issues he and others have brought to their attention. Instead the government has used the peaceful protests of Kaepernick and other NFL players to redirect attention away from their cause and slander their names.

Were the acts of protest displayed this Sunday anti the President and the government? I cannot say that for a fact, but how could they not be? Any one of us would want to take a stand against a person or group that used such derogatory language about us, and as Americans we have the right to peacefully protest that, just as the NFL players chose to do. Ben Franklin under the pen name Silence DoGood said, “Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech; which is the right of every man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or control the right of another. And this is the only check it ought to suffer, and the only bounds it ought to know” (http://www.ushistory.org/franklin/courant/issue49.htm). It would serve us all well to remember that, as our great nation is as divided as ever.

So whether you agree or not with what the players did and do moving forward, the purpose of a protest is to express disapproval in something, and as Americans we should listen to what our brothers and sisters have to say and work together to build each other up instead of being hateful and divisive. Since the NFL started this stand, I leave you with the words of the man himself, Vince Lombardi, “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society” (http://www.vincelombardi.com/quotes.html).

Written with Love,

Melody

NFL Week 1 Reaction

Even though two teams have yet to play a regular season game, week one of the NFL season is officially in the books. Let the overreactions and wild assumptions begin! Week one saw some anemic offenses, explosive defenses, and surprising standouts, but what is the biggest overreaction takeaway from the week? No one was surprised that the Seahawks offensive struggles from last year are still and issue, and everyone including Chuck Pagano knows that the Colts without Luck (both literal and figurative) are probably the worst team in the league.   Yeah Sam Bradford looked good, but the Vikings did start the 2016 season 5-0 only to finish the season 8-8. Shout out to Dalvin Cook though!!! 👏 👏 👏   However, Cincinnati getting shut out by the Ravens and the Giants total lack of offensive productivity without Odell Beckham were definitely a bit surprising, but the most surprising and over reaction provoking event from week one, was hands down Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs 42-27 upset of the reigning Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. The take: Alex Smith will lead his Kansas City Chiefs deep into the playoffs and win the MVP.

While the Chiefs did have an extremely impressive showing against Belichick and the Patriots, the idea that a QB in his thirteenth season with an average QBR of 85.8 is going to be the MVP of the league seems like a bit of a stretch after only a single week of play (ESPN I). First things first, we know that the MVP is notoriously awarded to a QB or RB on a team that is a serious playoff contender, so do I think this could be the year of the Cheifs? It should be, but they do play in this year’s most competitive division, the AFC West. They have been a playoff team the last two years, and despite the loss of Jamal Charles and Jeremy Maclin this could be their best team to date. With weapons like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, Chris Conley will have room to shine, and it showed in his two receptions for 43 yards on Thursday. After losing Charles this offseason the running game became a point of concern for the team, but some kid out of Toledo named Kareem Hunt, who fumbled on his first career carry, squashed any concern by redeeming himself with 239 total scrimmage yards in his debut (ESPN II).

The offense seems primed and ready, but on defense, with Eric Berry out for the season it could provide foes with a chink in their armor to pick away at. On Sunday we see if they can derail the Eagles’ Wentz Wagon and if Smith can repeat his performance from week one. Remember this is the same Alex Smith that has delivered spotty performances his entire career. So spotty in fact many were hoping/expecting the rookie Patrick Mahomes II to take the helm after his impressive preseason performance. I do think the Chiefs could be the real deal, but I question if Alex Smith has evolved beyond “game manager” status. Yes, he was good, but I really put the weight of the win on Hunt’s shoulders. The first quarter ended with a 7-7 tie. In the second and third quarters the Chiefs managed a touchdown in each, and the Patriots put up ten points in each to make the score 21-27 going into the fourth. Anytime a team puts up 21 points in the fourth, it is a sign that the defense has worn down, and the best way to do that is running the ball, i.e., Kareem Hunt. I am in no way discrediting the throws that Smith made, but a good running game is a QB’s best friend.   With that said, we all get lucky from time to time, so I reserve my judgment on Smith until he proves that his performance Thursday was not a fluke. Breakdown: Are the Chiefs a playoff team? As it stands, yeah they are. Is Alex Smith getting my MVP vote (I know I don’t have a vote yet, but let a girl dream ok)? Yes, if the vote was today, but its not.

Basically we are all Jon Snow, because we know nothing!!!! Its week one folks, and with preseason play being so limited for key players it takes at least one if not two regular season games to knock the rust off and better evaluate what is actually going on with these teams. I mean come on man! No one really believes the Bills or Jaguars are winning their respective divisions, yet there they sit alone at the top. To assume that we should hand the MVP to Smith or Bradford out the gate is just as ludicrous of a suggestion. We still have two teams that have yet to see regular season action. If your team did not perform up to your expectations, take a breath, because things might not be as bad as it seems (unless you’re a Colts or Jets fan). If your team did well, have yourself a toast and enjoy it while it lasts, because there is a lot of football left to play.

by: Melody Murphy

Stat Sources:

ESPN I; http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/stats/_/id/8416/alex-smith

ESPN II; http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/_/id/3059915/kareem-hunt

And we’re off….

As it stands I’m five weeks away from completing my MBA.  I really wanted to wait about starting the podcast until after I finished that, but there is just too much happening in the world of sports next week to miss out on the opportunity to start now, right in time for the start of the NFL season!  Next Saturday September 10th is also UFC 203 (Miocic vs Overeem), which could also be CM Punk’s UFC debut, but currently reports are saying he is still well above the 170 he needs to hit for welterweight status.  Sunday is the real kickoff for the NFL with our first full Sunday of games, and two games coming on Monday night.  The WWE has a PPV on Sunday as well, and Backlash marks the first Smackdown Live PPV since the brand split back in July.  Its just too much for a true sports fan not to be excited about.  I can’t wait to share my predictions with you guys and hear what you have to say!!!!