The Furious Flashbacks – OMEGA: Uncommon Passion
The Furious Flashbacks – OMEGA: Uncommon Passion
A look back at the Hardy Boyz Indy promotion. Sadly, sans matches.
I felt like doing something entirely random so I let Lovefilm send me something randomly from the wrestling world. Here’s what it came up with. For those who don’t know OMEGA was the promotion set up by Matt & Jeff Hardy in 1997 simply because they wanted into wrestling but work was slow. They just founded their own promotion and did everything down to Matt making costumes. This is the 2007 documentary that Highspots did but its now being marketed by Big Vision. Both brothers were in the WWE at the time and on the verge of a big push. Since being released by WWE Matt has mentioned starting the promotion up again.
I’ve seen some OMEGA matches before when I reviewed a Hardyz best of. They had some decent flying stuff. Some of the footage from the opening montage reminds me how entertaining the spot work was.
We’re in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Host is OMEGA ring announcer Ted Hobgood. He introduces us to…
• Matt Hardy. So naturally they go to OMEGA co-promoter Thomas Simpson instead. Confusing. Simpson says that Matt made every single decision from top to bottom. Marty Garner says that Matt knew every spot and would remind Marty of his spots as well as the ones he was going to do. Matt gets some talk time and says Jason Ahrndt (Joey Abs) had the most potential in OMEGA, Jeff had the best showmanship but he was the organisational force. Steve Corino gets a word to say Matt was really smart and doesn’t get credit for that. Matt says the first company was ECWF then the NFWA but they lost their investor who owned the name and became OMEGA. Simpson was his backer; buying the ring and helping him get set up. He says Matt sold all the advertising so that the gate was profit. Matt says the name OMEGA (Organisation of Modern Extreme Grappling Arts) came to him in a dream.
• Thomas Simpson. He says he was working elsewhere and had seen the Hardys do jobs for WWF. When they were hired he found out how good they were in the ring. Matt says they were building a name for themselves but the Indy promoters wanted them to job because they were jobbing for WWF. So they refused to work for them. Thomas left because of the short-sighted booking and teamed up with the Hardy’s on OMEGA.
• Jeff Hardy. He’s out of his mind. He does a forward roll and recites a poem about OMEGA. All the workers say he’s nice and kind but he’s different. Joey Mercury talks about Jeff doing things no one was doing. Matt tells a story about Jeff moonsaulting onto the barrier…and walking away despite hitting both shins on it and bending the solid metal. Jeff says he remembers it clearly and “sucked it up” to come back and do the main event. If you’re looking for a DVD that makes you think more highly of Jeff Hardy; this could be it.
• Shannon Moore. I love how the clips show him fucking up a quebrada. He started out as a kid selling programs. Matt calls him the third Hardy, the little brother. Shannon talks about taking bumps when he was 12 and couldn’t take them because he was so small and had to be a cameraman for a year instead.
• Steve Corino. He says he met the Hardyz when they were all jobbing in WWF. Matt says Corino was well known from working in the North-East but he’d moved down South to work Memphis and OMEGA was nearby so he wanted to work there too. Matt says Corino isn’t about moves or physique. He was old school and a good talker. Corino was working for NWA 2000 and Matt thought he could do a company rivalry thing by bringing them in. Simpson tells a nice story about Corino hitting him 3 times with a baseball bat and he stiffed the shit out him. Corino says he couldn’t half-ass it. Corino says he couldn’t make a living in North Carolina so he moved back to Pennsylvania. Corino puts OMEGA over as being a real alternative to any of the “big 3” saying there should have been a big four.
• Serial Thrillaz. Shane Helms & Mike Maverick. Matt calls Shane “a skinny militant thug” who “danced like a queer”. Matt relays a story about an army truck being parked in the armoury when they’d hired it and the army wouldn’t move it. So he figured they’d just use it. He asked Shane to jump off it and Shane said “sure”. We get footage of it and Shane landed awkwardly. It helped sell tapes. Matt says he and Shane shared a passion for wrestling. Mike Maverick has disappeared. Joey Abs stops off to say he got fucked up (if Joey Abs thinks you’re fucked up then…damn). Corino says he moved to Florida with Lawler’s wife but that didn’t last. Matt claims Jerry Lawler had him killed. Haha. He really is shooting from the hip on this DVD and he was working for the WWE at the time!
• Otto Schwanz (Murray Happer). Simpson says he was huge so they had him as a bodyguard. Corino says he’s the dumbest motherfucker in the world but he’s also a genius. Joey Abs calls him an “idiot savant without the savant part”. He’s a school teacher. Matt says he was too goofy in the ring to be taken seriously. Corino wishes Vince McMahon would take another look at him because he’s got that old school vibe and he’s funny without even trying.
• Christian York & Joey Matthews. Corino compares them to MNM (which Joey was in too). York says they came up together so they had that brotherly bond. He says Joey has a mind for wrestling. York says he would leave the business if he’d not made it by the time he was 27. He came back because wrestling is in the blood. Matt says ECW shut down just when they were getting great. He says they would have gotten into WWF if WCW hadn’t shut down when it did. They were in developmental at the time and WWF needed to free up space. Corino says he was happy for Joey Matthews making it because he took unnecessary beatings from the likes of Axl Rotten and looked after his Mom.
• Cham Pain (Marty Garner). He had a gimmick of an exotic dancer from Vegas. Garner says that the Hardy’s hated his gimmick to start with especially the name. He formed a stable called the House of Pain. His managed was called M. Pressive. Otto Schwanz was in there too as the bodyguard. His valet Desiree cut everyone’s hair. Garner talks about wrestling Matt for the title where all of his Entourage interfered one at a time and Matt took them all out. Matt tells the story of what happened afterwards with Shane coming out. “You love nothing more than being the centre of attention and throwing a party in your honour” – Shane @ Matt just after he’d beaten NWA 2000. Matt says that all switched round because they’d just signed for WWF and they did a show in Shane’s home town where they both turned. It was MOTY on the Indies that year. Simpson says he felt that was the end but it was a great match.
• I hope that’s on the extras (its not). For those who are looking at the name Marty Garner and you’re sure you’ve heard it somewhere; you probably have. He was the jobber that Triple H head-spiked with a botched Pedigree.
• Marty offered to be the Hardy’s manager and call himself Lance E. Drew. Haha. He loves those gimmick names. Thomas Simpson looks genuinely touched about the Hardy’s getting contracts and OMEGA ending. He believed in them and they made it. Matt says they missed the team effort and building to matches and doing whatever they wanted.
• Will O’ the Wisp. That’d be Jeff in a mask with a gay accent. I think he was aiming for something else (Australian?) but he sounds gay. Matt says the fans knew it was Jeff but that meant they could see him work twice a night. Jeff says he tried to keep the personalities separate. They ran the gimmick until there were multiple Will O’s. Jeff unmasked himself because he felt he was no longer in Matt’s shadow. Matt says the reveal promo where he said he became Will O to get out of Matt’s shadow was one of Jeff’s most emotional promos.
• Jason Ahrndt. He wrestled as Venom mostly. Corino says he can’t believe he wasn’t WWE champion. He was huge, looked great and could talk. Garner says that Matt did all Jason’s tapes and such. He was just too lazy. That hype got him hired by WWE and he got to be in the Mean Street Posse as the talent. Garner says his push got derailed and he couldn’t figure out why. Jason says Matt called him to tell him he had a tryout. “So he ruined that for me”. Matt then trashes him; saying Jason thought he was better than he was. He says they had a fight over a girl and suggested they both let her go but he just moped during their talk and said nothing. Jason went out with the girl and his relationship with Matt was shot from then. And Matt had been his driving force. Simpson says that Matt told him what to do, so as soon as they stopped talking Jason’s work got worse. Matt says Jason’s friends were drug addicts so he went downhill. Matt relays another story about Jason getting a couple of teeth knocked out by Ron Simmons. Jason “did something fucked up, I can’t talk about it” but went to leave the locker room with Vince McMahon & Jim Ross stood outside and Matt had to stop him. I’m guessing he was really high because Matt says he’d have been fired. Matt says he was so fucked up he had to put him on a plane or he’d have never have made it. They were on their way to get another flight when Jason passed out. Matt just about managed to talk American Airlines into letting him fly. The airline contacted WWE and 2 weeks later he was sent to Memphis. Matt says Jason could have had it all, but threw it away because of stupidity. Jason says he felt betrayed by the WWE. 18 months later he was released. Matt says he could have gotten his shit together and got his job back but his spirit was broken.
• Something Left Behind. Marty Garner thought it’d carry on after the Hardy’s left until they wrestled their last match. They were allowed to do Indy shows for a while but by September 1999 they were too busy working full time for WWF. Matt did everything so with him gone the company couldn’t carry on. Garner goes on to talk about the Dupp’s where he played with names again. His girlfriend was called Mae Dupp. Hehe. Nice. He sent the tape to ECW and Tommy Dreamer said it was the most entertaining tape they ever saw. Garner says they all went up there but he didn’t get signed. The Dupp’s went on to wrestle for ECW, WWE developmental and TNA.
• The Reunion. It was 2000 and Corino was ECW champion but the company was screwed. Corino felt it was nice to get away. Garner says he was disappointed with his work but he was running the backstage area. Corino says Paul Heyman was worried because there were WWE guys there and he thought his guys were going to jump but calmed down later. Matt couldn’t make the reunion because he was booked in England. Garner got in trouble for not booking some people because he didn’t like their psychology. Shannon/Shane (WCW) Vs Joey/Christian (ECW): no one wanted to lose. They argued about it and it ended up as a double DQ. Simpson thinks it might be company issues between WCW & ECW. Joey Matthews thinks it was exaggerated and he doesn’t remember it being a big deal. Simpson had to go to an ATM to pay the wrestlers because the money wasn’t right. So that’s why OMEGA is still dead.
• Legacy. Simpson talks about how many of them have been successful. He talks about being backstage at WWE shows and getting complements on OMEGA. Matt talks about OMEGA wanting every match to be good and have crazy moves. Corino says it was the start of the X division. Simpson says they had the best people, so doing good shows was easy from there.
• We head out with clips from Matt Hardy’s 2006 Xmas party. Shannon Moore is even more irritating in person.
• Faye. She was a short, fat fan who used to try and attack Al Getz.
• I Know the Rock. Marty Garner used to be Rock’s personal assistant when he went into movies. The Rock kept quoting Cham Pain at him. Marty starts name-dropping saying he got to meet Britney Spears. The Rock got him into Wrestlemania in his limo. Rock paid him $2,500 a week because he wanted a friend around him. He was originally signed up for one movie but got to hang out for longer. He was credited as the Rock’s PA on Walking Tall.
• Mamma’s Boy. Matt talks about a guy called Ice whose Mamma hadn’t been smartened up to the business. Sweet Dreams was beating him up and Mamma comes over the rail! Matt thought about writing her into the storylines.
• ECWF. Hobgood talks about his first Indy show and how bad it was. It was incredibly cheap looking. Everything was low rent. Then Matt & Jeff came out for the opening match and were great. He says the announcers were horrible and he’d done radio so he felt he could help them out.
• Cham Poo. Rock introduced Garner to Vince Russo and got him a tryout match but Russo didn’t watch it. They wanted to have him do a gay gimmick called Cham Poo where he used to be a hairdresser. So he would have been Rico to Brian Christopher & Scott Taylor’s marriage thing. But both guys didn’t want to do it and it never happened. Until someone talked Billy Gunn into the same angle.
• Sleepover. Simpson tells a story about hanging out with the Hardy’s and how they didn’t drink or smoke or swear (then). He goes on to talk about Joey Matthews smoking pot and drinking his Mom’s Absolut. They talk about Marty Garner trying to sleep and Shane & Matt would go and wake him up again and again and again until dawn.
• Marty & Jason. Garner tells a story about Jason getting kicked out of somewhere for being rowdy.
The 411: The documentary is ok. It has better structure than some more professionally made documentaries. But I wish they’d put some matches on here. They must have had the rights to them because there’s clips everywhere on the DVD. At least put the Hardyz-Serial Thrillaz match on here. I was begging to see that after they hyped it on the documentary and I’ve heard good things about it before. But the extras are just bits that didn’t fit into the DVD. I almost booed when I saw the extras menu. Disappointing. Nice to get a look inside the promotion though and especially at the career destruction of Joey Abs. A warning to any potential WWE Superstar.
|Final Score: 6.5 [ Average ] legend|