Born To Be Wild: Weekly Twitch Stream ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ delivers local promotion to a bigger audience

By Chris Manley

Twitch started as a streaming site for gamers posting live streams. As it succeeded wrestling promotions across the country quickly recognized its worth and have repurposed the site to deliver local wrestling to an audience who wouldn’t normally see it. That’s what many local indie promotions have done including Heavy Metal Wrestling who’s weekly offering on twitch ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ can be seen Wednesday nights at 8pm @
If you don’t catch the stream live don’t worry you can go back and watch old episodes again @
My interest was recently peaked when I read on Facebook that HMT’s most recent stream featured a match with an interesting stipulation. Winner receives the last slice of pizza. Hilarious… I’m a big fan of comedy in wrestling. I love serious wrestling as much as anyone but I think comedy done well can be a breath of fresh air. This is the kinda fun matches I’d book when I’m goofing around playing WWE 2k19 with my son. This willingness to have fun gives HMT a Pro Wrestling Guerilla type vibe which is something seen often in Austin but is unique to the SA market. The last slice stipulation is fun because Not every fight has to be a blood feud but in all honesty if any food were worth fighting for…. pizza would be it.
The overall twitch experience was really good. The site streamed well and The production value itself really impressed. It features a multi camera set up and a hella skillful director as the show looks top notch. Slick cuts back and forth on action, getting in real close on several really cinematic moments during a few matches helped to make the show feel big. so often when u watch clips of a local show it’ll be a master shot from the back of the room… this was the opposite of that. This was polished and produced well.
The announcers Terrale Tempo and Beto Barragan are a fun duo. Barragan is a fine play by play guy and Tempo had some very funny moments as baby face commentator. Having an all face commentary team I found refreshing as occasionally a heel addition can bog down a show pulling focus from the in ring action. These two made the matches the star of the show. The only criticism would be Barragan referring to the gym as “the metal zone” which was a little too close to “the impact zone” for me. Perhaps “the Metal shop” would be a more original choice.
Here’s a run down of the action
Baby face vs Dyl Dempsey vs Sprita The Lemon Lime Luchadore
Grade B
This triple threat match started quick out of the gates and was well paced throughout. There was a fun spot where Dempsey hit a neck breaker on an opponent who simultaneously hit a ddt on the other opponent leaving all three dead in the ring. Sprita, who made good use of his Sprite themed gimmick, earned the pin with a twist of fate variant the announcers referred to as the twist of fruit. The star of this match though was Babyface who was so weird he was good. He wears a singlet that’s probably too small for him and a black trash bag over his face. In some pre and post match promos (that reminded me of watching WWE Superstars Saturday mornings as a kid) Baby face spoke with a digitally altered voice and was super imposed over video of trash being dumped in a landfill. If he had just one of these elements the babyface character might fall flat but the entire package in total made a character so cringeworthy he quickly become charming. He’s the kind of love able jabroni a crowd can get behind even though they know he’ll get destroyed like Cheeseburger or Dalton Castle’s boyfriends
Benny Bravo vs Johnathan Life
Grade C
This was a slow paced, technical match where Bravo earned the victory with a Samoan Drop. At one moment Bravo delivers a hard knee to the head followed by a kick to the chest. slick camera work here combined with good selling from Life made the spot look really painful. The story of good sportsmanship I thought might lead to a heel turn but didn’t. Perhaps later down the line?
Joe Demaro vs Steve O’Reno
Grade B-
This was a match of teacher vs student. Steve O Reno, a fan favorite across the state, versus Demaro, his ultra arrogant, selfie obsessed former student. Demaro took selfies in the audience, he took selfies on the ropes, he even took a selfie with the ref and his opponent before attacking him. This match featured some vicious chops and good action but came to a grinding halt after Steve was thrown out of the ring onto the mat. Either he was hurt or he was selling the shit out of it cuz the ref wouldn’t start the count until he had a chance to check on him. O Reno wins with a pretty off the top rope blockbuster.
Aaron Mercer vs Connor Crunk
Grade B+
This was a great match. Crunk, master of Crunk-Fu, tried early to match Mercer’s ground game which proved to be a mistake as Mercer quickly took to destroying his arm and hand. There was a particularly fun and gruesome spot where Mercer traps crunk’s hand in the turnbuckle and crushed it with a kick. This was another example of great cinematography. After Mercer traps crunk into a hammer lock with one hand and a half crab with the other that was totally shades of Zac Sabre Jr. Initially Mercer picks up the victory using his feet on the ropes as leverage for the pin but after a local tag team The New Horizons alert the ref of Mercer’s misdoings the ref restarts the match where crunk earned the quick victory with a backslide. Afterwards Mercer showed good character work as he angrily sulked unable to come to terms with what had transpired.
New Horizons vs Perfect Enemy
Grade A
Most times when watching wrestling you are hoping for a hard fought match with back and forth action between both opponents but then again it’s really fun see someone get completely destroyed by superior competition damn it. Perfect Enemy is a faction featuring former wwe and ecw stars Rodney Mack and Jazz with a powerhouse in Jakus Pliskin. The New Horizons made perfect victims here as their short stature made PE look like giants and their selling of the complete beat down delivered by their opponents served to put the entire roster on notice. Perfect Enemy are extremely dangerous.
Jeff Gant vs Luigi Primo
Grade B
Great Scott, an arrogant heel who donned black leather hot pants, served as guest ref in this brilliantly funny match for the last slice of pizza. Gant was a fine opponent who started the match with a surprise attack (With stakes this high who can blame him) but this match served as a showcase for the hilarious Primo, a pizza shop owner by day pro wrestler by night. He speaks with a super Mario style cadence and enters the ring spinning pizza dough. Luigi makes great use of his gimmick bringing laughs by renaming his chops “slices” and screaming out ingredient names to distract himself from the pain of a submission move. In the end Primo wins with a diamond cutter variant he calls the pizza cutter. The match brought just the right amount of comedy without over saturation and was a lot of fun.
Grade for the twitch experience of Heavy Metal Thunder: A
You can catch a new offering of Heavy Metal Thunder weekly on Wednesday nights at 8pm on Twitch and check their facebook to find dates on tapings which is a free to the public.
There next monthly live show ‘Fight Fire With Fire’ will be March 1st at The Guillotine 1816 N. Main feature AEW wrestler Penelope Ford and WWE wrestler Jazz get tickets at

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