I will never forget the moment I became a fan of the Razor Ramones. It wasn’t when I heard them on Colt Cabana’s podcast. It wasn’t when I saw them walk on stage at Heroes and Legends in their throw back, Ramones inspired punk gear. It wasn’t when I heard them blaze through the songs from their album Rocket to Rusev before a largely apathetic crowd. It was the moment I saw one of them walking through the crowd trying to sell copies of their new album on cassette.
That’s right. Rocket to Rusev is available on CASSETTE.
Everything about the Razor Ramones is fun. For crying out loud, they’re a punk band that has found a way to combine their love for old school punk and pro wrestling. They have T-shirts to satisfy the Ramones fans as well as the wrestling fans. They write songs with titles like “Obsolete,” “SAWFT,” and “Sami Zayn is the Only Wrestler We Like.”
The boys are true wrestling fans as well. They weren’t at the show to make a buck. They were there as an excuse to see some wrestling. When they settled down and started selling merch at a table, they took the spot right at the entrance to the vendor area – in clear view of the ring.
And in true punk fashion, they weren’t rattled by the lack of reaction from the crowd. When I told them I was sorry they didn’t have a more receptive audience, they just shrugged it off. “We’re used to it,” one of them said. One could almost hear the spirit of Joey Ramone himself in those words.
The Razor Ramones are based out of Columbus, Indiana, but if you’re no where near Columbus, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Louisville, or any of the other towns they frequent, you can also find them on Facebook and their Band Camp page.
First things first: Heroes and Legends is a fantastic promotion. Based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, this independent wrestling group puts on a heck of a show. Heroes and Legends VIII took place today at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. If the very name of the building doesn’t remind you of the old territory days, the guest list will. Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, and Jerry Lawler were the headliners, and the King even stepped into the ring, giving the fans a classic strap-dropping performance against Dru Skillz.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The day began at noon, when the doors opened and fans came through to check out the vendor tables. Vendors included toys and collectibles, an artist, a few promoters from other area shows, a podcast, and the US military. Wrestlers for the show were sprinkled throughout the vendors to ensure that both wrestlers and vendors got some traffic.
Girl Fight put on a show that started around 1:30. The GF show was depleted due to several last minute cancellations, including Su Yung. The young competitors worked their hearts out, but could not get the attention of the crowd.
Enter Mickie Knuckles.
Mickie and Dementia D’Rose took on Amazing Maria and Samantha Heights in a tag match for the main event. Mickie tried to get the crowd’s attention and pump them up. The crowd gave her nothing, right up until the moment she said, “No Holds Barred, No DQ, Falls Count Anywhere.”
The fans popped, and the ladies literally tore the house down. Samantha Heights was duplexed down a set of bleachers steps and later tossed into a trash can. Amazing Maria was squashed beneath a steel chair. Maria and Samantha were dropped onto a table that refused to give. Fans swarmed, phones held high, to follow the action, with Sugar Dunkerton leading the crowd and the cheers in the front. It was sensational match that set the bar ridiculously high for the main show.
The Razor Ramones punk band played a brief set mid-afternoon, then proceeded to sell cassettes – yes, I said CASSETTES – to the fans. (More on them later this week.) A battle royal took place at 4:30, with a surprise appearance by Bushwhacker Luke, and then it was show time.
The War Memorial Coliseum proved a great venue for wrestling. The main lights dimmed, and spotlights illuminated the ring, giving the whole room an old school feel. Once again, the ladies rose to the occasion, as the best match on the first half of the card was a Falls Count Anywhere battle between Randi West and Paloma Star, with Hardcore Heather Owens acting as guest referee.
Sugar Dunkerton and the former Adam Rose were an entertaining tag team in the second half of the night, and their match ended with a parade of Rosebuds, including the bunny. Their match was followed by Lawler and Dru Skillz from Indianapolis, in which Lawler gave the fans exactly what they wanted.
The main event pitted local hero Kongo Kong against Ryback, and it proved to be a phenomenal way to end the night. Kong dwarfed Ryback, who is not normally the smaller man in the match, and both men exhibited their power and agility. Ryback had no trouble powerlifting the monster Kong, while Kong brought the house down when he super-plexed Ryback from the top rope. The match became a triple threat when the masked “Ginger Dragon” entered the fray. The Dragon turned out to be Dru Skillz, who won the belt from Ryback, but Ryback and Kong teamed up on the duplicitous new champ – including two top rope splashes from Kong.
A few other thoughts on my first experience at Heroes and Legends:
Rob Conway is as good a guy as everyone says he is. The two of us graduated from New Albany High School in the early 90s, and it was great getting to meet him and hear some of his stories.
Shannon Moore shook hands with everyone in the vendor area when he arrived, even the non-wrestlers. A class act. Mickie Knuckles did the same just before she left.
I got to meet Tyger Smith, who helped train my friends Marc Hauss and Eric Emanon. Nice guy with some funny stories.
There’s nothing more cruel than teasing that we might get a Ninja (Hy Zaya) vs. Demon (Shane Mercer) showdown at the end of a battle royal – only to see both eliminated by the masked man who won the match. So close!
Did I mention the ladies stole the show? Seriously, the WWE does NOT have the market cornered on women’s wrestling. Mickie, Heather Owens, and Randi West deliver every time. Dementia D’Rose and Paloma Star held their own with the hardcore veterans and dished some serious violence. Samantha Heights and Amazing Maria are stars on the rise.
If you’re in Northern Indiana, you owe it to yourself to check out Heroes and Legends. Jayson Maples and his crew do everything right, creating the perfect mix of classic stars with independent talent. Kudos to everyone who made today such a memorable event.
This is going to be a busy spring for me. One week after Wrestlemania, I’ll be headed north to sign copies of Bluegrass Brawlers, Louisville’s Greatest Show, and other book at Heroes and Legends.
Heroes and Legends is an all day event at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, featuring legends of the sport and the best in today’s independent wrestling.
Headlining this year’s event are some of the biggest names in wrestling history, including legendary rivals Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat. And will also get the chance to meet WWE Hall of Famers Jerry Lawler, Bushwhacker Luke, and Ron Simmons along with Kevin Sullivan, Ryback, Hornswoggle, Kikutaro, The Sandman, Mr. Anderson, Mad Man Pondo, Marty Jannetty, Angelina Love, Matt Striker, Davey Richards, and Aldo Rose.
The Heroes and Legends wrestling show caps the day off with a stellar main event pitting Ryback against the monstrous Kongo Kong. Aldo Rose, Jerry Lawler, Sugar Dunkerton, Hornswoggle, and dozens more will also be in action.
As if that wasn’t enough, Heroes and Legends has partnered with Girl Fight Wrestling to present an all female card earlier in the day! Su Yung, Mickie Knuckles, and Samantha Heights will headline the show for one of the best female promotions in the country.
I was already excited to do my first wrestling convention this April. I’ll have a book table in the vendor’s hall with copies of Bluegrass Brawlers, Eat Sleep Wrestle, Lord Carlton, and the forthcoming Louisville’s Greatest Show on hand. But then my friend Mad Man Pondo unleashed this announcement today:
Per Jayson Maples of Heroes and Legends, “The fans asked for more ladies.” Good for the fans, and good for Heroes and Legends booking what will be a stellar card of entertainment. Mickie Knuckles is already an independent legend. Su Yung is one of the most talented performers today. And I can’t say how thrilled I am to see Samantha Heights on top of the card. She’s worked her butt off the last few years, and I’m happy to see her time to shine has come.