Children's Benefit Show
Tom's River, NJ - June 3, 2006
Description: Tom's River was the location for a great night of wrestling featuring some of the top stars in wrestling's past, present and future taking the stage to raise money for the local Children's Hospital. By purchasing this DVD, not only do you get an entertaining wrestling show, but you will be helping to make the lives of many sick children a lot better. See www.childrensbenefitshow.com for more information.
Petey Williams vs Josh Daniels - This was a good solid opening match with a nice mix of action and high-risk acrobatics between one of TNA's top X-Division wrestlers and one of the independent circuit's best kept secrets. John Daniels is one of those hard knocks wrestlers who patterned themselves after the style made famous by guys like The Dynamite Kid & Chris Benoit.
Crowbar vs The Prophet - It had been a long time since I saw Devon "Crowbar" Storm in action. He sure has changed a lot physically and in his demeanor. His opponent was a guy I had heard of many times but had never had the opportunity to see - in The Prophet. Prophet is a mix between Waylon Mercy and Woodstock, and he's a larger-than-average guy for the indy scene. Decent match.
The Heart Throbs vs Rob Eckos & Damian Adams - Former WWE Superstars Antonio Thomas & Romeo Roselli brought their highly entertaining act to the Children's Benefit Show and did not disappoint the fans. Their opponents, Rob Eckos & Damian Adams, are both very well known on the independent wrestling scene. They had a great tag team match after having a brief comedy bit before the match with a dance-off with the Throbs clearly superior in both aspects. I would like to take a moment to say Romeo & Antonio are both great guys and the "Heart Throb" characters fans saw on WWE TV are a pale comparison to the unlimited talents that each men possess in reality. As someone who has seen them thrive in an open environment and also watched them hit the glass ceiling in WWE, I strongly urge each and every wrestling fan to go out of their way to see these two in action as it will expose the WWE for what it is --- a horrible judge of TRUE talent! If we're lucky, Antonio & Romeo will be getting a chance in TNA soon - cross your fingers!
Alex Shelley vs Sonjay Dutt - This was probably match-of-the-night. These two men were feuding in TNA at this point over Kevin Nash's involvement in the X-Division. They pulled out all the stops and put on a 4-star match for the fans in attendance and the people as lucky as me to get to see the DVD. Alex Shelley is the next Chris Jericho and Sonjay Dutt is the one and only Sonjay Dutt!
Battle Royal - It was a really weird match, the only two guys I knew were Larry Sweeney and Afa Jr. -- Afa Jr. won the match, and the funny thing was the announcers didn't even know the name of the runner-up (It was actually ROH student Rhett Titus). I figure they invited any wrestler in the area to show up and compete and get their face on a high profile DVD. Mana The Polynesian Warrior came out after the match to help Afa Jr. beat down Rhett Titus. TNA's Abyss showed up and had a brawl with Mana and it somehow turned into a hardcore tag team match..
Abyss & Rhett Titus vs Afa Jr. & Mana - The announcers still didn't know who the 4th guy was, except they did say he was "somebody from ROH" - way to do your homework guys! This was just a brawl with lots of chair-shots and choking, no semblance of a wrestling move.
Cheerleader Melissa vs Mercedes Martinez - Women's wrestling has never been more prevalent on the independent circuit as it is these days. With companies such as APW ChickFight, SHIMMER Women's Athletes, IndyGirlz and NECW's World Women's Wrestling there are a whole lot more places for Women wrestlers to work with a variety of opponents and it is really starting to show, with a huge crop of extremely talented female performers in the United States. Cheerleader Melissa (west coast) and Mercedes Martinez (east coast) are arguably the top two Women wrestlers on the U.S. indy circuit and they put on a beautiful match on this show. Even more impressive was the fact that these two ladies had already performed once as a PW Elite Women's Show earlier that day a few towns over. This was the biggest reason I wanted to get this DVD and I was not disappointed with the finished product.
Christian Cage vs AJ Styles - The main event was a first time ever dream match between two of TNA's most popular wrestlers, "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles and "Captain Charisma" Christian Cage with the NWA World Heavyweight title at stake. This was undoubtedly the major selling-point for the DVD for good reason -- just the idea of these two facing each other sparks a joyous curiosity. They had a 15-minute match and finished off with some tension after the match that had to be scene to be believed!
Rating: 7.5 / 10 -- The only complaint I had about the production of this DVD would be the announcers not knowing the names of 90% of the Battle Royal participants. That just came off as sloppy and irresponsible. The action in the ring was solid from the first match to the last match. Styles and Cage should have gone another 10 or 15 minutes but they did what the wanted to do.
Reviewed by Brad Dykens on August 28, 2006.
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