Front Row Recap
A New Era In American Championship Entertainment
by Hank Zipper
Welcome everyone to another edition of Front Row Recap on ACEProWrestling.com. I’m Hank Zipper, the one and only, and as a representative of the ACE Nation, I am here to talk big business about what happened at ACE’s last show A New Era Has Begun. As I ended my last column based on ACE’s Collision Course, I was getting ready to talk about the impending Overdrive and Rise 2 Power tapings with JL Rivera and CARLITO against Danny Maff and Savio Vega. However, something serious happened that changed not only those two cards, but ACE as well: the closing of the ACE Arena.
The ACE Arena closes down; ACE forced to look for new buildings – At the end of September, ACE was looking forward to setting up for not only ACE shows, but other independent promotions as well within the ACE Arena. All of a sudden, word trickles out online about the fate of the ACE Arena. Building management, not Mike Morgan, let things get out of hand and thus, the “House That Morgan Built” closes down and sends the entire independent wrestling scene into a bit of a tailspin. Automatically placed in a bind, Morgan has no choice but to cancel Overdrive tapings and sadly, Rise to Power.
At this point, however, Morgan decides to take his time and rebuild the playing field for ACE. Knowing it’s an uphill battle to find another home venue so close to Union City in a few month span, the Boss decides to officially take ACE on the road and announces that on December 10, 2011, in Wallington, NJ, ACE will present a New Era Has Begun. After listening to all the hype-up on ACE Radio for a few months, you could really see all the ACE staff was really looking to make this their make-or-break show. And I can personally attest that ACE definitely went all out on 12/10/11.
Andrew “Tiny” Johnson wins Diamond Division championship; Stockade makes an impact in ACE championship match – One of the main marquee matches on December 10 was the possible last chance for Andrew Johnson. The man affectionately known as Tiny had come back to ACE at Crossroads VII, winning the Chance of a Lifetime Rumble match with the chance to become Diamond Division champion. At Anarchy in August, Diamond Division champion Stockade used interference from Rodz to gain the disqualification loss against Tiny, however was successful in retaining his Diamond Division championship. At A New Era Has Begun, ACE management decided to give "Tiny" one last shot at ACE Diamond Division platinum, and what an epic encounter it was. The two big men went hot and heavy at one another in Wallington. Stockade used every attempt imaginable to retain his championship, but Tiny kept kicking out. Nicki Syx climbed on the apron to interject herself into the match, but Mike Donovan came out to the ring and carried her to the back, neutralizing the match-up once again. Finally, Tiny took advantage, hit the Johnson Stampede and nailed Splash Mountain out of the corner, becoming the NEW ACE Diamond Division champion and finally culminating in what Tiny’s projective in ACE was meant to be: become a singles champion. Personally, after that match happened, I was upset, as Stockade, one of my personal favorites, was out of title contention, however within 20 minutes, my mood would immediately change.
ACE Heavyweight champion Jorge Luis Rivera and “the War King” Eddie Kingston did battle for the ACE Heavyweight title the match after the Diamond Division championship battle. Kingston, the predominant brawler throughout the tri-state area, and Rivera, the grizzled warrior from Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, took their battle all over the Wallington Knights of Columbus, which I might add, is a beautiful venue. The story basically was Kingston keeping the pace quick on the champion, while Rivera kept trying to slow it down by working on the injured left knee of Kingston, which was hurt back in September at Collision Course during a post-match attack. Ultimately, Kingston had the upper hand and was about to set up for his Backfist to the Future, when STOCKADE ran in and jumped Kingston, causing a disqualification. Rivera, frustrated on the loss, went for revenge on Stockade when OUT OF NOWHERE, VINCE STEELE ran in and attacked Rivera. After both competitors in the contest had been laid out, Stockade and “the Remix of Pro Wrestling” shook hands and stood tall. Stockade then grabbed the microphone and stated that now, a New Age Wrecking Crew was looking to take over ACE and that the additions to the ground were not over. It was such an insane hour for Stockade; being from the lowest of lows to becoming a new threat to the ACE Heavyweight championship. Great to see for Stock, however I did feel bad for Kingston and Rivera, as it truly was a great encounter that was cut short, marred by interference.
Mike Lewis debuts the All Star Sensations; cost the Movement and Quiet Riot the ACE Tag Team championships against the ACES – At A New Era Has Begun, a lot was riding on William Wyeth and Tom Scanlon. Wyeth, on ACE Action Zone Radio, stated that he and “the ACE of Hearts” were the team to BEAT in 2012. However, at that particular time, it was still 2011 and ACE management decided to place the ACES against two up-and-coming teams for their ACE Tag Team championships. Both the Movement and the team of Chris Cayden and Hush Holiday, collectively known as Quiet Riot, were looking to gain revenge on the ACES. The Movement felt slighted that because of Mike Lewis, they lost their Tag Team championship opportunity against Wyeth and Tom, while on the other side of things, Cayden personally wanted revenge on Wyeth, since they have had a legit, raging hatred towards one another since a rivalry in Middle Village Wrestling. Regardless, the ACES had their backs against the wall.
Throughout the match, the ACES made it a point to isolate a member of each team, specifically with Wyeth playing mind games as Scanlon used his pure brute strength and amateur wrestling ability to dominate. However, nearing the end of the match, both challenging teams made their stake to become champions, ultimately with Jackson and FNB looking to win it all. Suddenly, the wrestling world’s greatest manager, Mike Lewis, came out to the ring and starting ranting and raving at the Movement, who turned down his services as a manager and decided to keep that Anton DeMonico character, introduced his ALL STAR SENSATIONS, who turned out to be “the Playboy” Lou Torres and “the Sexx T-Rexx” Stan “the Man” Stylez, which I immediately loved, for the distraction and once again cost the Movement the Tag Team silver, as Wyeth and Tom took out Hush, who was the legal man, and retained their belts. The ACES left 2011 with the Tag Team championships, now we in the ACE Nation need to see if they can go through the entire year of 2012 will them. Meanwhile, Mike Lewis might have built a new Sensational type team with Stylez and Torres. Let’s see where it takes them in 2012.
Big moments and matches happen in ACE; several wrestlers truly show that a “New Era Has Begun” – A New Era Has Begun also really established a lot of new and old faces into the fold on December 10. Neeno Capone really stepped up his singles game once again in ACE with a 3 count pinfall on Mike Donovan in the opening contest. Thomas “the Gate” Rodriguez won Aerial Assault and firmly established himself as the “King of the Multi Man Match” in ACE, which has started with a big BANG to say the very least. Also, Bill Carr, formerly known as Bobby Dutch in FCW, made an awesome impact in ACE, pinning former training mate under Tony DeVito, Tony Fatu. Hell, the 53 year old JL Chico came in and defeated the returning Rade Ravello, who despite the loss, really showed that he is more than just a manager in the game of wrestling.
The big shocker had to come within the war between La Casa Italiano and Ed Scanlon. With Lucky Zaccone recruiting Giovanni Marranca during the time off period from ACE, you could see that Zaccone was dead serious about getting revenge on Ed Scanlon. However, once Scanlon picked up the big win on Marranca in their one-on-one encounter at A New Era Has Begun, you could see that the war only begun, as Zaccone and Il Padrone jumped Big Ed after the match and really laid in the boots, until DAN MURDOCH made the save for Big Ed. Murdoch, a former redneck racist from 2008’s ACE and actually training buddies with Big Ed under the tutelage of Jay Lethal, made his return and made his impact felt. However, during Aerial Assault, where Murdoch was stealing the show, La Casa Italiano came out and definitely made their presence felt, attacking Murdoch and letting Marranca nail the finishing touches with a Roaring Elbow, knocking “the American Nightmare” out cold. The war has only begun with the Italiano clan (who I absolutely dig) and Big Ed and Murdoch (who I absolutely detest. Murdoch, not Ed) and ACE will feel the ramifications.
Jay Lethal defeats Jack Gallow; Mo Sexton the new ACE Commissioner – The big match that was made back in September came to fruition on this night, as Jack Gallow, the NEW ACE of Diamonds, went one-on-one with Jay Lethal, who many people consider to be the “golden boy” in ACE, as everything Jay has wanted has turned to gold. Lethal had a lot riding on this contest, with if Lethal loses, Jay would have to join the ACES, however if Jay won, he was able to name a new Commissioner for ACE. And with the added stipulation of no interference from the ACES, Gallow had to go it alone. Coincidentally, since Jay felt the “Wallington Screwjob” was impending, he decided to bring his #1 student, Thomas “the Gate” Rodriguez, out to the ring with him, just in case Danny Maff or William Wyeth decided to get involved. Right before the contest started, Mike Morgan came out and said via the microphone that if Jay Lethal not only lost, but went to the TIME LIMIT DRAW, Lethal would have to join the ACES. Jay really needed the win and needed a practically perfect performance inside of the squared circle against “the Protector of Pro Wrestling”.
And what a match it was in the Wallington Knights of Columbus, as Gallow and Jay took each other to their absolute limits. However, the referee Big Jose was taken out during a schmozz in the corner. Of course, the ACES bit on their word, as William Wyeth came out with his patented chain and went to swing at Jay, but “the Gate” got Wyeth off the apron and brought him back to the locker room, however the chain was still at ringside. Gallow picked it up and CLOBBERED Lethal with a right hand. Brian Young, another ACE official, came out to the ring, but only counted TWO, stunning the ACE Nation and myself in disbelief. Gallow kept the offense going, but practically out of nowhere, Lethal handsprung into the ropes and hit an Ace Crusher, calling that the Lethal Knockout, and getting the three count! Jay Lethal got to name a new Commissioner and after stalling and building the anticipation for minutes, finally introduced the man to be…
MO SEXTON! “The Workhorse” came out to the ring and shook Jay’s hand and announced that he was Jay’s selection as Commissioner of ACE. Mo promised to make quite the impact on ACE’s future, and he indeed he already has, as he has announced multiple matches for ACE’s Redemption, this Saturday night in Wallington.
ACE Heavyweight championship: JL Rivera © vs Eddie Kingston vs Stockade
ACE Diamond Division championship: Andrew “Tiny” Johnson ©vs Winner of the Diamond Division Invitational Battle Royal earlier on in the evening
ACE Tag Team championships: The ACES vs Quiet Riot
Ed Scanlon and Dan Murdoch vs La Casa Italiano
Jack Gallow vs BOBBY FISH
The Diamond Division Invitational Battle Royal
This card is already stacked! I’m happy to see Mo Sexton as new ACE Commissioner, as ACE has taken steps to the next level of independent wrestling. Wrestling is still alive and well in American Championship Entertainment, and as a member of the ACE Nation, I can honestly say that ACE is in good hands. For Front Row Recap, I’m Hank Zipper. HAPPY NEW YEAR ACE NATION!!!