March Mat Madness

I drove up to Creedmoor tonight, solo, to catch my third GOUGE show. I estimate there was a crowd of about sixty, spread thin on either side of the ring in a high-school gymnasium. I loved the show. I did my best to get some good shots of it, but Blake Arledge has got nothing to worry about from me and won't have until, years from now, I figure out the flash system on my Nikon D3100.

Two of the sexiest wrestlers in GOUGE, bodybuilder Mike West and beefy Italian badboy Mickey Gambino fought. Gambino is the light heavyweight champion. Heel manager The Grogfather beat up on poor hunky Mike when Mickey threw him out of the ring, but Mike (whom the crowd rooted against the first time I saw him, in a January show in Roxboro) had the fans solidly behind him tonight. He got in some licks against the charismatic Gambino, but even with the people of Creedmoor on his side, he could not avoid getting pinned by Mickey G in an exciting finish.

Knowing nothing about them, I expected to be the only guy there to cheer on the team of Pink Pride Nation, but happily, in what just might be a sign of the times we live in, everybody was on their side as they went up against Tank Lawson and pseudo-gladiator Gluteus Maximus. Pinkster Fabulous Frankie Fontaine even planted big wet kisses on Lawson's and Maximus's lips, and though the kisses put the bad guys off, nobody in the crowd blinked. And nobody blinked either when Frankie pantomimed buttfucking the Teutonic heel manager Baron Von Fox.

A title of some sort was on the line as Gambino's mob confederate Lou Marconi fought goofy strongman Seymour Snott. Snott took an early lead with lots of Three Stooges-inspired tweaking of Marconi's nose. Marconi was fun to boo, a great heel in the whiney tradition. Lots of interference from mob manager The Grogfather in this bout, but ultimately Snott came out on top (yeah, I know how that sounds).

In the best match of the evening, two old-school (but young) brawlers put their belts on the line in a title-versus-title main event. GOUGE champion Jimmy Jack Funk Jr fought a grueling, sweaty, brutal match against North Carolina champ Damien Wayne in and out of the ring. Lots of forehead bashing against metal, raking of fingers across the face, leaps off the top ropes, illegal use of the ropes, and choking filled the battle with thrill after thrill, which you'll just have to take my word for, since my camera and I managed to be at the wrong place at the wrong time during the show-stopping bits of business. Ultimately Funk won, but by DQ after Gambino and his Italian mobster friends attacked both Funk and Wayne (on the pretense that Marconi had previously earned the right to a shot at Funk's belt). Funk and Wayne joined forces to expel the bad guys. Since the fight ended in a DQ, Funk's win did not result in any change of titles.

I shot over 300 pictures, but, since most were duds or repeats, I had no problem whittling them down to these twenty-four. The thing is, though, that I'm keeping my new year's resolution to go to these shows every chance I get. It crossed my mind to blow off this show, not too thrilled about having nobody to go with me, but I'm glad I went on by myself. This was a show I would have hated to miss.

Mike West on top of Mickey Gambino with the masked ref looking on

West fights his way out of the corner, against an energetically aggressive Gambino

Gambino beats down West

Gluteus Maximus and Tank Lawson (in the bandanna) confer with  manager Baron Von Fox

Pink Pride Nation's Fabulous Frankie Fontaine attacks Tank Lawson 

Jimmy Jack Funk Jr poses for my camera during the intermission

Frankie and Bobby Savage during intermission

West during intermission

Seymour Snott makes his entrance

Lou Marconi consorts with The Grogfather

Marconi runs to The Grogfather for sympathy after Snott tweaks his nose

Marconi chicken-wings Snott

The Grogfather interferes, grabbing Snott's tie

Marconi chokes Snott on the bottom rope

Damien Wayne gives Funk's boot a good twist

Wayne on Funk

Funk and Wayne exhausted and sore outside the ring

Young fans are shocked when Wayne bashes Funk's forehead against the metal rails of the bleachers

Wayne on Funk

Wayne readies himself to leap on top of Funk

Gambino and Handsome Frank Stalletto attack Funk

Funk and Wayne join forces to expel the interfering mobsters


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