Credit King Tzipris and PWinsider.com:
The production for the show was really good. It was very similar to the sets ROH have nowadays. It was also the first time ever a show was broadcast live in Israel on a big channel, so that, to us, was a big deal.
There were three pre-show matches, with local wrestlers. All the matches were OK, but nothing stood out. 2 of the wrestlers went to the Dudleys’ wrestling school this year and one of them had a tryout in the WWE. They will have to improve if they want to be big stars, but you may hear about one of our wrestlers down the line.
The actual show started with a tag match: The Candy Club vs. the Leopards. These are the most over local wrestlers, and it is the first time Israeli wrestlers were on big stage so you could see they were a bit nervous. I saw these teams wrestle about a year ago and they had a better match but the crowd was hot all night long and they ended up having a good match.
The next match was match of the night with David Starr against Jurn Simmons. They have wrestled each other in the past, so you could see they were comfortable with each other. Jurn was a great heel, and Starr with his Jewish gimmick got over fast here, as you might imagine. In the end, Jurn won with a big piledriver. The crowd was hot, and gave Starr a standing ovation after the match, and he began crying because of that.
Next was Matt Sydal vs. Bad Bones. Crowd popped big for Sydal, who came out with his wife. Sydal injured his shoulder on Impact tapings, and because of that the match was not as good as you may have expected going in. Bones also did not hit all his big moves. They did some brawling in the crowd. Bones tried to work the crowd but this was just not clicking. Sydal did not do any high-flying at all, and the finish was Bones getting slapped, followed by Sydal hitting the running knee for the win. Biggest letdown of the night.
The next match was 2 old local guys. Two minutes into the match, Marty Jannetty, the booker of the show, umping Lee and the founder of wrestling in Israel, Gary Royf, beat both of them up. Everybody started cutting promos about the Von Erichs, as they are the team facing them tonight. Marty got a nice pop.
The Next match saw Tatanka against Hakeem Waqur. Hakeem is from Germany, and he had an Arabian gimmick. Tatanka got a huge pop, second only to the Von Erichs. This was a very good, old-school match. The crowd loved every second of it. Tatanka is much heavier than he was in his prime, but he still can do all his stuff very good. Hakeem played a nice heel with not too many flashy moves, and Tatanka won after a very good match This was the longest match of the night, around 17 minutes.
Next match was two TV stars trying to wrestle. This was short, and the crowd hated it and treated them with chants of “You look stupid”, “What””, and “Go away.” I went to buy some beer at this point.
Next match was the Main Event, the Von Erichs vs Jannetty team. Kevin was in the match for a little bit, and got a HUGE pop, but really, if we are being honest, did nothing special. He did look really happy though, and his sons looked good in the ring. They did some really cool moves, and they have huge potential. Hopefully, they will should get booked more. Jannetty also did nothing aside of rest holds and maybe some kind of kick. Most of the time it was Jumping Lee selling for Marshall and Ross. The crowd was very hot for the match and it was such a good throwback to what wrestling used to be in the ‘80’s. Some old fans were openly crying the moment they saw the Iron Claw. All three Von Erichs did it to win the match.
After the match, Kevin got a standing ovation, and thanked the crowd. He said it was the best experience he ever had in wrestling. Kevin was very emotional, as was the crowd. He said it was his last match, and the people here in Israel have a very special connection to him and his family.
If I am to be honest, I would say it was very sad to be at the show, as it felt like that is it for wrestling in Israel. Today, the only thing that draws people are retired old timers from a past era. Alot of older fans after the show said to me this was not the wrestling they used to love back in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s when wrestling was huge here at that time and they were disappointed by the lack of reality in the matches and how small the wrestlers looked.
I do think that wrestling can draw more people after this show, but I don’t think we ever would have a show with big arena and 1,000 + people again unless WWE would come over here.