With numerous pro wrestling events taking place throughout the New Orleans area on WrestleMania weekend, it wasn’t easy deciding what to do before the Super Bowl of sports entertainment got underway. Although I wanted to catch a Ring of Honor (ROH) event for the first time, I ultimately chose Traditional Championship Wrestling (TCW) Battle Lines. I watch TCW on local television and its Mid-South Wrestling theme made it a must-see event.
I’ve followed every major wrestling promotion (and a few minor ones) throughout my 42 years and Mid-South is still my all-time favorite. However, my parents wouldn’t let me attend live wrestling shows as a child. So I missed out on what many others in the New Orleans area remember as the magic of Mid-South in the Municipal Auditorium, St. Bernard Civic Center, and the Superdome. I hoped to catch a glimpse of that old magic at Battle Lines.
I couldn’t get out of work for the Mid-South Legends Fanfest. But most of the Mid-South legends were at TCW’s Battle Lines that night either to meet the fans or to wrestle. It was great seeing my heroes from childhood such as Jim Cornette, Bobby Eaton, Ricky Morton, and The Fantastics. Even Mr. Olympia and Porkchop Cash were there. However, the greatest Mid-South wrestler, Junkyard Dog, was only there in spirit. But TCW had a plan to honor JYD and send his fans home happy.
Even if TCW hadn’t booked anyone who wrestled in Mid-South, Battle Lines still would have been a great show and definitely worth the price of admission. TCW’s wrestlers have charisma, they know how to entertain the fans, and they are technically sound. My brother couldn’t stop laughing at Boyd Bradford, TCW’s evil heel manager. I was excited to see Kincaid in person for the first time. And Steve Anthony, who is one of the most underrated wrestlers in the business, had an incredible match.
With all the competition during WrestleMania weekend, TCW knew it needed famous wrestlers in their primes to draw a big crowd, as well. Former WWE and TNA wrestler Elijah “The Pope” Burke stole the show in his amazing match with Steve Anthony. TNA Knockout Angelina Love of The Beautiful People won her match. Chris Adonis (formerly Chris Masters) and ECW legend Tommy Dreamer also wrestled. And Mickie James, who is rumored to be pregnant, took pictures with fans.
The first main event featured perhaps the greatest Mid-South tag team in history, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. Most wrestling fans know The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express has continued to wrestle regularly all these years. I was pleasantly surprised at how well Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson could still work. But I was stunned when they won the TCW Tag Team Championship on their patented double dropkick over Genetic Perfection.
The final match of the evening was the JYD Memorial Cup Battle Royal. If that sounds familiar, you should know that Battle Lines was promoting this match long before the WWE was promoting the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal for WrestleMania. Elijah Burke won the JYD Battle Royal by eliminating Lance Hoyt on a fantastic move.
It gave me chills seeing Elijah Burke win this match as he wore tights in the exact same style as JYD did in Mid-South. They were white with “Thump” on the back and had stars just like JYD wore in Mid-South. The PA system even played “Another One Bites the Dust” as Elijah Burke celebrated. I never thought I’d hear that music again at a live wrestling show in the New Orleans area. I can’t thank TCW enough for letting me experience what I missed 30 years ago.
TCW is producing a DVD of the Mid-South Legends Fanfest, Q and A sessions, and Battle Lines wrestling matches. Click here for more information.
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