Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 PWI 500 Project: Johnny Adams (#499)

499. Johnny Adams

Johnny Adams vs Gabreal Saint (ESW, 2/3 Falls)

This is from June 4 in North Tonawanda, N.Y., at the St. Johnsburg Fire Hall, and is for the ESW (Empire State Wrestling) Interstate title. Adams' nickname is "Inferno" because he's ON FIRE! I made the last part up. It's inferno because he kinda sorta looks like he's related to Bobby Blaze.

This ESW has some pretty impressive production for an indy. Gabreal Saint is (1) the heel and (2) a black guy, the latter being something of a rarity in the indy wrestling world, and some older-ish white lady is vigorously clapping for him. I suspect she, you know. ... you know where I'm going here. At some point she went black.

Johnny Adams is not bad at all. He starts quick and then takes his beating, as expected. Some fuzzy camera work and interesting through the ropes handheld angle make this a bit queasy to watch, though. Saint takes the first fall with a move I used to know the name of (or at least its reverse) but no longer know the name of. I don't even remember who did that move. Saint goes for another immediate three count because why wouldn't you?

I remember back when I was going to a lot of IWA Mid-South shows in 2004-05 and it was a Hot Indy, but looking back now and not being a Big Supporter of the company, I can say matter-of-factly that a great number of those matches on those shows sucked a dick, and outside of the name indy star guys like Punk and Joe and Hero and Danielson and Styles, etc., there weren't many guys any better than Johnny Adams. The indies are interesting because you have your popular Smart Mark Video guys and the ROH boys, but then you have tons of guys like this who don't reach that level of dorky fame who can work a fine professional wrestling match themselves. Also the draw for this show is better than 90% of the IWA shows I went to.

Adams evens it up at one after Saint misses a flying maneuver and leaves himself vulnerable. So you've got Saint having largely dominated, and cleanly, the first fall, and then basically beating himself with a mistake in the second fall, and he's fresher going into the third fall still, and you've got Saint taking back over on the good guy Adams, and it all lifts the drama and makes things a little bit better than maybe they really are.

But then both are selling exhaustion. Saint makes another mistake and it leads to a near-fall for Inferno Adams. A few children are angered. Ace Crusher off the ropes from Saint, and both are back down. This isn't long enough to have been this grueling a contest, but that's modern sports for ya, right, never like it was in the old days, right. I tell ya. Tim Horner could worked this match four times over and been fresh as a daisy.

Adams gets him up in a torture rack, and then flips him over in an inverted DVD, so Adams retains the Interstate championship. THESE TWO MEN GAVE YOU OF THEIR SOUL HERE IN NORTH TONAWANDA, NEW YORK.

No but for real this was pretty good and I enjoyed watching it.

Related: Inferno Johnny Adams on Facebook / ESW Official Site

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