Life Outside The Big Time: Volume One
By the fall of 2005, Abyss had been wrestling for Total Non-Stop Action for two years and had established himself as a dominant heel for the company. Considering TNA didn’t run house shows, at that time, many times wrestlers would venture out and wrestle on the independent scene. That was the case on October 29th, 2005.
On that date, Abyss traveled to Rochester, New York to compete for Upstate Pro Wrestling. He’s signed to compete against UPW local star, Brodie Lee. Lee has since gone on to become WWE star Luke Harper.
A personal story from myself regarding this match. I was sixteen years old at the time and I was looking for other sources of professional wrestling. After a brief search, I came across Upstate Pro Wrestling, which held shows and hour and half away from me (living in Syracuse). However, it was a show that I couldn’t attend. I’m a sucker for cage matches, if you couldn’t tell from previous writings/reviews and the show also featured Kanyon, whom I’ve always been a fan of. I figured at some point I’d be able to check out Abyss vs. Brodie Lee. Sure, at the time I had no idea who Lee was, but he was a big guy and working a cage match with a monster like Abyss had my interest.
It only took thirteen years for the match to be readily available on the internet. I figured it was a good opportunity to start a new series for the blog focusing on guys working either before, during, or after their time working for the “big time.” Whether you’d consider TNA to ever be considered in that category is up for debate. Regardless, here we go…
Abyss vs. Brodie Lee (Luke Harper) – Upstate Pro Wrestling – October 29th, 2005
In the corner of Abyss is the “boss” Hellcat, so it should be interesting to see if he gets involved. The crowd is solidly behind Lee saying that he’s going to kill Abyss. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the fans chant that the local guy was going to kill a top name being brought in. Lee starts off with a few jabs and comes off the ropes with a few clothesline attempts. Abyss only staggers but is knocked off his feet after coming off the ropes. Lee comes off the ropes to yank Abyss down by his hair. Brodie pummels Abyss in the corner with right hands. Lee goes towards the corner but is decked by Abyss with a clothesline of his own. Abyss continues to work over Lee in the corner with basic strikes.
Abyss tries to send Lee face first into the cage, but Lee is able to get his hands up to block that from happening. Abyss drives Lee face first into the cage as Lee charged towards the ropes. It would appear that this is where Lee does a blade job and sure enough he has. Abyss opens up the cut some more with strikes to the forehead. Abyss sends the bloodied Lee into the cage face first. Abyss tosses Lee into the cage again head first with Lee having his arms down to his side taking the cage directly on his head.
A chair is wedged in the corner by Abyss, but Lee fights back with right hands only to be met with a big boot from Abyss. Abyss lays a chair onto the body of Lee and taunts the crowd. Abyss comes off the ropes and goes for a sit down splash, but Lee uses the chair to low blow Abyss. Lee fights back sending Abyss head first into the cage several times. Lee nearly wins the match with a rollup. Abyss signals for the chair in the corner but Lee counters and sends Abyss head first into the chair for another two count.
Abyss recovers first and proceeds to smash the chair over Lee’s head a few times to lay him out. Abyss goes for the cover but Lee powers out at two. Lee is a crimson mask at this point, really. Lee is able to stop Abyss with a low blow and grabs the chair. Lee tries to hit Abyss with the chair but instead hits the referee on accident. Abyss plants Lee with a chokeslam. Abyss tells Hellcat to go backstage to get something and he comes back with a bag of thumbtacks. Abyss has the tacks on the mat but Lee low blows Abyss and chokeslams Abyss onto the tacks!
Lee attempts a cover, but Abyss is able to kick out at two. Lee begins to climb up the cage looking to escape for the victory. However, Lee instead decides to climb to the top of the cage and leaps off to hit a diving headbutt!
Lee tries to leave the cage, but Glenn Spectre and Hellcat close the cage door on Lee’s head. Abyss goes for the cover but Lee still has life as he kicks out at two. Abyss tosses the referee into the cage with a chokeslam because he doesn’t agree with the count. Spectre enters the cage, but Lee fights him off with right hands. Lee runs into the Black Hole Slam, but the referee isn’t awake. A second referee enters the cage and counts the three count. (***)
After the match, Lee continues to be beaten up by Hellcat and Spectre. Kanyon ends up coming out to the cage and makes the save for Lee. Kanyon ducks a double clothesline to hit clotheslines of his own. Kanyon takes both men out to the floor. Kanyton turns around and trades right hands with Abyss in the middle of the ring. Kanyon comes off the middle rope with a clothesline but Abyss slides to the floor to escape further damage.
I actually enjoyed the cage match more than I was expecting to. Brodie coming off the top of the cage was something I was not expecting to see. The crowd atmosphere also helped the viewing experience as they were eating up what they were doing. The finish was not ideal, but I’d assume that it led to a feud or continuation of a feud between Brodie and the duo of Hellcat/Spectre. They didn’t go over the top with high spots, and kept it fairly violent for a cage match. It was worth the fifteen minutes or so of action to check out.
If the full match is embedded into this post below. Feel free to leave your thoughts on the match if you check it out.
Thanks for reading.