Arcade Anarchy

As most of you know, I am something of an arcade junkie. Indeed, prior to starting, I was trying to decide what type of website I was going to create and it came down to the worst of pro wrestling or the worst of videogames. For better or worse, y’all know the decision and nearly 23 years (!!!) later, here we are.

But my love for gaming has never died. If anything, it’s actually grown, specifically in the realm of pinball and arcade machines. It started with a Popeye arcade machine, followed quickly by a WWF Superstars upright. Pinball came next and once that happened all bets were off. I became a true junkie, to the point that I currently have four pinball machines in my house and two standup arcades (one of which is an original Pac-Man machine that was home use since no joke 1984). If that wasn’t crazy enough, I also help stock both Rupert’s Kids Arcade (a charity arcade started by myself and Rupert Boneham of the tv show Survivor) and The Skyline Drive In (an honest to goodness drive in theater that is 70 years old!!!) with machines. For the sake of this induction, I’ve done something I haven’t in years, and that is count the total number of machines: 41 arcade machines, 7 pinball machines, a skill crane, and some wacky thing that tests your hand strength.

Reading that, I think, nay, KNOW I have a problem. I may schedule my OWN intervention.

With all this in mind, you’d think a match with a promotion I enjoy (AEW) and some wrestlers I like (I’m a huge Orange Cassidy mark) featuring arcade machines (LOVE!) would be right up my alley. But things ain’t always as they seem!

One half of the this tag team battle would feature Miro and Kip Sabian, the latter of whom is accompanied to the ring by his wife, the lovely Penelope Ford. I know a lot of folks feel that Miro has been misused in the promotion and the fact that he was paired with Kip for months on end makes that hard to argue. Kip is fine, don’t get me wrong, but in my estimation Miro should be featured as a killer, a guy who if not at the top of the card would be within at least spitting distance of it. Consider this: Miro and Samoa Joe are in the same promotion and we’ve not gotten a battle between these two? Or Miro and Powerhouse Hobbs? C’mon man.

But yes, the two are hanging out together here, as Miro was brought in as the best man for Kip’s wedding. Of course this being a wrestling wedding, things went awry and we saw Miro handcuffed (well, footcuffed) to the ropes and Orange popped out of the cake. Having watched it again in preparation for this one, I’m not even sure if it’s induction worthy – it was just kinda meh. (You want a total trainwreck awesome wedding? Check out this one, in Impact no less but featuring AEW’s Bunny and Blade!)

The fiasco at the wedding led to Arcade Anarchy, which took place on the March 31, 2021 episode of Dynamite. Yep, it’s one of those pandemic era shows. Not sure about you, but I’d honestly be ok never watching anything from that timeframe ever again. I’m sure there were some good matches, but I don’t remember any off the top of my head and I doubt you do either.

In the first warning shot, this match doesn’t take place in an actual arcade, but rather the same Daily’s Place that housed almost every show from this era. The difference between this and a normal tag is here we get arcade machines around the ring. I spy with my Q*Bert eye the following machines – Space Invaders, Primal Rage (owned one of those), Mortal Kombat (have an MK2 at Rupert’s), and a Killer Instinct 2. I’m also seeing what appears to be a Pac-Man in the background. There’s an air hockey as well that Miro is giving a nasty look. Before I start ranting, I will note that Kip stopping to get some coins so he could sneak in a game (I’m betting he was Johnny Cage!) caused me to chuckle. That might be the best thing he’s ever done.

With one obvious exception, of course.

As noted, Orange is in this one along with Chuck Taylor, who had just been doing a stint as Kip’s butler, whom Sabian rechristened Charles. I’ve never had a butler of course, but if I did I hope he’d be open for me to call him Egbert. That was Alfred Pennyworth’s brother in the Batman 1966 television show. Have I ever mentioned Vince Russo and I do a weekly show called Joker’s Mustache? *Cheap plug, thumbs up!*

So the match starts and it’s just a wrestling match. Nothing all that exciting. Of course, that doesn’t last too long as we head outside the ring and the crap begins with…

…Kip getting rammed headfirst through a Whack a Mole “machine”. This is the most ghetto looking contraption you ever did see. Like I get it – you don’t want to actually hunt down one of those things to wheel out for a site gag, but making one out of styrofoam is just a wee bit low rent for my taste.

Apparently for Miro’s as well, as he decides to forgo the goofiness and slams OC head first into the barricade then gives Chuck a suplex onto a tipped over guard rail. That looked super nasty.

Back into the ring we go with a chair between the turnbuckles. Orange blocks it, then Miro is like, “You ain’t no selling this ya geek, in you go!” Said it before, will say it again – Miro is a beast and this is really how he should always be portrayed.

Miro continues his hunting, taunting ringsiders who are doing everything in their power to protect those machines and with good reason – KI2‘s are anything but common! But here comes Chuck to even the odds, flying off the top of MK. Or should I say flying off of something else and over the top of MK as that machine has a slightly slanted cabinet that would make such a move flat footed impossible.

Yes, I know too much about these games.

Over to the ‘prize area’ we go, where you can cash in your tickets for Signapore canes and trash can lids. I’m so glad no arcades I work with participate in kiddie lottery crap, especially stuff like this!

Sure enough, the good guys dump all that junk onto Miro, following it up with the Whack a Mole as well. That thing looked horrible enough earlier, last thing I needed to see was the backside of it.


A stuffed animal comes into play next, with Chuck popping it open to reveal Lego pieces. I…I don’t even understand the logic of how such an item would ever exist.

Deciding that things are not going her men’s way, Penelope decides to take off her belt and give Orange a good lashing. Unfortunately, she goes by the skill crane where Kris Statlander has taken up residence. She slams the ‘glass’ off right into Penelope’s face. Won’t lie, that made me laugh.

Statlander then takes Penelope up to the ring apron, dropping her off there and through the air hockey machine. You can tell that’s one of those crappy ones made for your house – ain’t no way a legit Ice Fast Track (play mine at Rupert’s!) would collapse like that!

For his part, Miro decides to avoid this crap and promptly hurl OC about 27 feet through the air with a giant toss. Seeing these two work together is so fun. Screw the hoss battles Tony, get Miro back for a feud for that AEW International title, won’t you?

Miro sets up another table and looks to be doing some massive damage next. Such upcoming misery has Chuck and OC crawling for the exit when who should appear but…

…their other Best Friend Trent, being brought to the arena by his mom Sue in the mini van!

Despite a loving kiss from his mother, Trent is mauled by Miro and is quickly on the ground. This leaves Miro open to realize that…

…Sue is all alone in the mini van! He goes after her like a movie monster villain, nearly yanking off the windshield wipers in the process.

Chill out dude – Jiffy Lube charges like $40 for those!

One last bit of arcade nonsense follows, as Miro grabs an MK2 machine and hurls it at Trent in a mighty feat of strength.

Well, at least that’s what Tony Schiavone would have us believe.

In reality, that there is an Arcade 1Up that weighs maybe – maybe – 80 pounds or so. I’m fine with those machines for what they are, but trust me, there are hardcore arcade collectors who would celebrate if that happened to every one of those in existence. Wrestling nerds ain’t got nothing on arcade nerds when it comes to angry fandom fetishes.

The goofiness comes to a close as Chuck goes to the stage and powerslams Kip through a table on the outside and picks up the pin. Hey – that’s not arcade related at all! I expected the finish to at least feature a guy in a monkey suit throwing barrels!

The show ends with the classic Best Friends pose and Excalibur claiming “you gotta give the people what they want” with the Arcade Anarchy logo on the big screen. Interestingly enough, this was the first and only one of these matches to appear in AEW. Should Tony ever decide to bring it back, rest assured I’ll be at ringside.

And I’ll be carrying a giant sign of this in protest!

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