A beauty of a Ballpark Brawl
CHRIS SOKOL - SLAM! Wrestling
BUFFALO, NY -- Moonsaults, chair shots, ladders and baseball? Where does that all fit together? Promoter Chris Hill took the idea of having a wrestling show following a baseball game, all on the same field. On Saturday, fans flocked to the Buffalo Bisons stadium in Buffalo to witness some of the most spectacular wrestling in the world today.
This year, Chris Hill has gone beyond the call of duty. For BallPark Brawl III, Hill had a lot of 'Hart.' He had Bret "Hitman" Hart and his Hart Foundation partner Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and their manager Jimmy "The Mouth of the South" Hart, as well as Hart nephews Teddy Hart, Harry Smith, and Jim's daughter Nattie Neidhart. Then throw in Christopher Daniels, Sabu, AJ Styles and many other TNA and independent workers and it came together for one phenomenal performance.
Prior to the wrestling portion of the day, a whole crew of wrestlers came together for an autograph signing. Fans lined up and down the many flights of stairs in Bison Stadium, just to get an autograph.
Being at the ballpark was an interesting experience. I had never been to the Bisons Stadium, much less for baseball and wrestling so I didn't know quite what to expect. I walked in and it was beautiful, a clean and wonderful atmosphere. You had all the ballpark smells and sights. Watching the wrestling on the field reminded me of the days where Andre The Giant and guys like Hulk Hogan would do battle at Shea Stadium in Queens, NY or when KIller Kowalski would beat the crap out of an a oppenent at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. Needless to say I was excited.
Here's a rundown of what went down at the third BallPark Brawl "Canadian Carnage":
Match One- Johnny Puma vs Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart
Jimmy Hart walks out with Johnny Puma and offers to give Puma a contract that states that Jimmy Hart is his manager. Puma issues an open challenge and out comes "The Anvil". Jimmy Hart takes Puma's contract, runs over hugs "The Anvil" and runs out. Neidhart makes short work of Johnny Puma and gets the win.
Winner Via Pinfall- Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart
Match Two- NEO SPIRIT TITLE- "Dangerboy" Derek Wylde vs "Completely" Cody Steele
Fantastic match between two up and comers. These guys went out there and gave it everything they had and really put on a show. Jennifer Blake comes out and slaps Steele leading to a win and title change for Derek Wylde. Afterward Wylde asks Blake to marry him and she said "Yes."
Winner Via Pinfall- "Dangerboy" Derek Wylde
Match Three- DJ CHALLENGE- Jimmy "The Mouth Of The South" Hart w/ Abyss vs Dave Blezard (Toronto's Z 103 DJ)
Entertaining match which featured a low blow and a Hogan belt whipping. Dave's efforts fell short when Abyss came out and gave Dave a monster sized backbreaker. Jimmy picked up the pieces and got the pinfall.
Winner Via Pinfall- Jimmy "The Mouth Of The South" Hart
Match Four- SEMI FINALS FOR THE NATURAL HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE TOURNAMENT- Ron "The Truth" Killings vs Abyss
These two hit their signature spots and put on a good match which ends when both men take the action to the outside and the ref counts both men out.
Final Decision- Double Count Out Draw
Match Five- SEMI FINALS FOR THE NATURAL HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE TOURNAMENT- Harry Smith vs Petey Williams
Yet another great contest. Harry Smith looks so much like his father at a young age, its unbelievable. Harry will get the win after a spinning back breaker.
Winner Via Pinfall- Harry Smith
(Teddy Hart comes out and cuts a promo. Later on in the night its going to be Teddy Hart vs Harry Smith to crown the first ever Natural Champion)
Match Six- Traci Brooks vs Nattie Neidhart
Interesting notes about the competitors are that Traci grew up on a pig and chicken farm and that this match was Nattie Neidhart's first U.S. appearance since returning from a tour of the UK. These two go at it and Nattie wins with a beautiful German Suplex to a bridge.
Winner Via Pinfall- Nattie Neidhart
Bret Hart Promo- It's so great to see Bret. Jim Neidhart and Jimmy Hart are out there with him as The Hart Foundation brings everyone to their feet.
Match Seven- NATURAL HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH- Harry Smith vs Teddy Hart
Terrific Match. Teddy and Harry have a lot to live up to and they understand that. They went out there and put forth a great effort and the fans loved it. Teddy Hart comes away with the win in this encounter.
Winner Via Pinfall AND FIRST NATURAL HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION- Teddy Hart
Match Eight-Christopher Daniels vs Red
Spectacular match-up, these two never throw in a bad match. Daniels gets early heat with the Buffalo crowd. Daniels does however pull through and get a big victory of The Amazing Red.
Winner Via Pinfall-Christopher Daniels
Match Nine-TRIPLE THREAT NATURAL HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE TLC MATCH-AJ Styles vs Sabu w/Bill Alphonso vs Teddy Hart
Excellent main event. Way to cap off the entire day. These guys did some things you won't find done anywhere else. Some tremendous action and a new champion already.
Winner Via Pinfall-AJ Styles
After the match, Teddy Hart stayed out signing autographs for 37 minutes. Yes, every fan who approached him on his way to the lockeroom got an autograph. Say what you like about the guy, but in my book he should be given more praise than he already receives. He could have packed up and left, but instead he stayed out and sent the fans home happy.
I ran into a few fans in the parking lot who were really pumped up as they had caught the baseball bat Sabu had broken in the ring. The joy and excitment they expressed made me feel good. Other fans left shaking their heads in disbelief. Had they seen what they thought they did? The answer, is yes. They saw one of the best damn shows in 2004. I can't wait for Ballpark Brawl IV.
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The Mouth of the South: The Jimmy Hart Story
Chris Sokol is from Long Island, NY and is the youngest member of the SLAM! Wrestling staff. Look for more stories from Chris and Bob Kapur stemming from the Ballpark Brawl in the coming weeks.