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COMMENT





Sugey tops ChickFight, Grimes reappears
By DR. MIKE LANO - For SLAM! Wrestling


Melissa Anderson works over Princess Sugey in a cage.
-- photo by Dr. Mike Lano


HAYWARD, Calif. -- It's Night Two of the joint APW-PGWA ChickFight 2004 / Halloween Hell tournament, and seeing how it's October 30, no one was let into the show without a costume. And, in the spirit of the season, they presented two cage match main events.

Match 1: Tiffany wins 12-person elimination match

The match featued: The Rizzono Mafia (Tiffany, Vennis De Marco and Chris Cole-ioni) plus new heel Larry Blackwell, Tommy Angels and 10-year veteran Thor versus JT Hyatt (who does Kurt Angle's milk-drinking gimmick as Mr Wholesome), Dana "Drunken Master" Lee, Sanders, returning Kafu who's a former Brazilian MMA fighter, Nene Kimura (female), C-Flo. Only two were allowed in the ring at any one time and it was all-out action. Very fast, particularly when Dana Lee and JT were in with Vennis and former APW jr champ Chris Cole. It came down to Tiffany, Dana Lee and Tiffany pinned Lee when her Mafia cohorts destroyed Lee behind the ref's back. Lee may be teaming with heel Jardi Franz (who's in Mexico now) and turning fulltime heel himself.

Match 2: Billy Blade beat Ukihide Ueno

Ueno, who is from the JD-Star promotion, is out of this world. Billy used an innovative new finisher to get the pin. The new/green ref counted to three before the proper finish and got hell later. Great match.

Match 3: Christy Ricci wins All Female Lucha Libre Elimination Match

This match with no partners had all the semi-finalists from the ChickFight women's int'l tournament. Canadian Candice was ko'd by Christy Ricci who we told should do a shop-lifting gimmick in LLW/Luciano promotions of Monterey, Mexico. Christy, Princess Sugey, Nikki all work for this four-year-old, all-women's Lucha group down there, averaging 300 "because the crowds are still sexist and don't know what to make of an all girl show where we have hair vs mask, caged double juice, etc matches." And Halley Hatred (trained in part by Les Thatcher, Stevie R, Steve Bradley and others) is set to go down there, possibly with Melissa later this year. Former APW now Iron star Sara Del Ray is down there masked as American Angel. Heard she comes out with wings on her back like the Victoria Secret runway models! All the girls acted like tough heels pounding one another and it ended up being Ricci vs Hatred with Ricci going over. Good match and all four got their offense in and showed a lot, especially Canadian Candice who we didn't get to see much of in Friday's big tournament. She wrestles primarily in SOCal for Jesse Hernandez's EWF. Christy Ricci of Hendersonville, TN the winner and she was trained by LeiLani Kai partly by Tracy "it's too hot to wear my shirt in here" Smothers and was the PGWA 2002 rookie of the year and a good friend of Jimmy Hart. She says there's plenty of work in that state, plus Indiana so "I'm fortunate." Nikki Roxx, who was trained by Killer Kowalski and Steve Bradley (as was Hailey "world's biggest Jushin Lyger mark" Hatred) wrestles for Sheldon Goldberg and other New England promoters when she's not in Mexico and said she learned a lot about Japanese style by working with Sumi Sakai there.

Match 4: JJ Perez beat Asian Cougar to retain his APW Internet Title

Perez kept his title after 38 minutes in a total ***** match with Japan's Asian Cougar. Perhaps JJ's best title match to date and off the charts with the fans pounding the mat in support. Cougar laid at least eight chairs on JJ outside the ring and dove on him... later setting up a Raven-like mass of chairs, but when he dove, JJ moved out of the way and Cougar had to eat the chairs. So many highflying dives and innovative moves that were well laid out, made sense with great psych--JJ really knows how to put a great match together. Best technical match of the night and I'd love to see that again. Out-f'n-standing.

Match 5: Nate Rulez beat James Watkins to win the APW Universal title in a Lumberjack Match

APW commish Gabe Ramirez came out in his Lou Albano perfect costume (his wife helps sell gimmicks and tickets wearing her Wendy Richter outfit) told heel champ James Watkins he wasn't getting away with his months of interference and running away from contender Nate Rulez so he was making this a lumberjack match. Lots of chops, kicks, suplexes and pounding and Nate finally won the title he's sought for months. Super grudge match with nuances told all this year ala Thompson-Mathias. Nate wins the Universal title-APW's top heavywt title.

Match 6: Princess Sugey beat Melissa Anderson in the cage match finale of ChickFight 2004

Princess Sugey of LLF/Mexico escaped the cage and beat Melissa. They climbed all over the cage and destroyed each other with punishing leg submissions but Sugey narrowly escaped the cage and took the legit trophy that was made for her...and not broken nor destroyed. Melissa demanded a rematch, Sugey said it had to be in Mexico and possibly under hair vs mask rules and Melissa agreed. So Melissa, who's wrestled luchastyle in mixed tags in L.A. finally goes to Mexico since she's wrestled in Japan, Canada, Europe... the new Benoit of women wrestlers.

Main event: Killah Jay Orlando Mathias beat Robert Thompson in a cage match

Ramirez came out and said since this was APW's top annual show, the 7th annual Halloween Hell where anything can happen, he got a special ref to enforce that personified APW--Vicious Vic Grimes. When Grimes' Friday the 13th music played, the place went ballistic since the fans (biggest APW Gym Wars turnout I've ever seen with them outside, SRO) didn't know he was there. APW's top grudge war of the year was heel Robert Thompson against his former student Killah Jay Orlando Mathias who uses the ring name of Killah Jay to honor his father (Killer Joe Hemphill) who boxed under that name and is very ill. Both bled bigtime, and there were trashcans, kendo sticks, metal lids, a cassette player and other gimmicks inside the cage. Finish saw Orlando make Robert tap with an unusual variation on a half crab, Grimes called for the bell to ring, but then raised Robert's hand as if he'd won when he'd submitted! It then appeared that he was going to hug Robert, that the two were somehow connected but Vic clotheslined him to hell. Then he did the same to Mathias, and said this was his "house" the APW cage and that he was the king of Halloween Hell. Vic hasn't been in anyone's ring lately, so a great surprise and it's hoped he'll return, perhaps in a three-way with Mathias and Thompson?!

Next APW gym wars in two weeks. They will be releasing a DVD of the two days of Halloween Hell/Chick Fight 2004; APW has DVDs and tapes of all their gym wars and house shows. Their knockout timekeeper was dressed for Halloween looking exactly like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, top female ref Christina McGraw dressed as a leopard, their ring announcer was dressed as Bullox Malcom McDowell, the kids who won the costume contest dressed as old-style Dudleys, great costumes and spirit all around.

CAC's photographer Mike has shot wrestling, boxing and MMA worldwide since 1966 for nearly every wrestling magazine, book and documentary. And he's a dentist who's treated Mick Foley, Abby, Sabu and Madusa. His eight-DVD Bruno Sammartino legends series will be released soon.