Sunday, June 29, 2014

AAW The Chaos Theory 2014 Review

A Titanic Collision for Tag Team Gold headlines AAW's first show of 2014!

AAW The Chaos Theory 2014
Berwyn, Illinois 1/24/14

1.) Fatal Four-Way - DC Dynamite vs. Ty Colton vs. Knight Wagner (with Truth Martini) vs. Marek Brave: ***

We start things off with a Fatal Four-Way featuring a variety of competitors. Pretty solid opener. Lots of fast paced action from start to finish. DC Dynamite is just a ball of energy. He was all over the place! The returning Marek Brave is eventually able to pick up the win.

2.) Dan Lawrence & Marcus Crane vs. Zero Gravity: **1/2

Zero Gravity came up short last month in their Tag Team Title Match, and are now looking to bounce back against The Dance Lawrence Project & The Marcus Crane Experience. This was solid for what it was. Fine tag team action here. Zero Gravity are able to get the win.

3.) We Are Here (Keith Walker & Tweek Phoenix with Kevin Harvey & Nikki Mayday) vs. Colt Cabana & Juntai Miller: **3/4

These two teams had a match several months prior at Point Of No Return 2013. This match was significantly better than their previous match. Not exactly sure what it was, but it was just more entertaining. Colt Cabana & Junthai Miller are able to score the win over We Are Here in a very solid tag team affair.

Before the next match, Eddie Kingston cuts a promo on what he did to Val Malone, Silas Young's wife/valet, at One Twisted Christmas 2013, and how Silas didn't show up tonight because he has to tend to his wife. Kingston then introduces his own valet, Jordynne Grace, who Kingston says is much better than Val Malone.

4.) Eddie Kingston (with Jordynne Grace) vs. Jonathan Gresham: ***1/4

This was a really pleasant surprise. Pretty solid match here. I've never really heard of Jonathan Gresham before this, but he really impressed against Kingston here. The War King is able to pick up the win in this very entertaining match. I hope we get to see more of Jonathan Gresham in AAW.

5.) Team Ambition (Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reilly) vs. Kung Fu Manchu (Louis Lyndon & Marion Fontaine): ***1/2

So his match with Jimmy Jacobs at One Twisted Christmas 2013 wasn't Davey Richards' last match in AAW after all. This would indeed be his last match with the company, as he was on his way to TNA. Only in AAW will you see the likes of Lyndon & Fontaine mixing it up with Richards & O'Reilly. This was a pretty good tag team match. At the same time, there were a number of rough spots, most notably Fontaine botching a dive off of the top rope. Despite the sloppiness, it was still pretty good. Kung Fu Manchu are able to get the surprise win over Team Ambition.

After the match, Richards cut another goodbye promo, thanking the crowd. He also says that he's looking forward to facing Kyle O'Reilly one-on-one in AAW one day. O'Reilly responds by laying Richards out!! He cuts a short promo bashing Davey Richards.

6.) AAW Heritage Title - Matt Cage vs. ACH: ***1/2

Back at Windy City Classic IX, Cage dethroned ACH to win the AAW Heritage Title. This is ACH's rematch. This was a very good match. ACH was as great & entertaining as he always is, but Matt Cage was also very impressive. Solid back & forth action in here. Eventually Matt Cage is able to retain his title with a roll up while holding onto the ropes.

After the match, Matt Cage goes to beat up ACH, but Junthai Miller comes out and makes the save!

Before the next in ring segment, we have a promo in the back that sees We Are Here arguing amongst each other. Kevin Harvey breaks things up and attempt to refocus their attention. He orders them to come out to the ring with him.

Next we have an in-ring promo from Tony Rican. He says that after the punishment his body went through during the Fans Bring The Weapons Match at One Twisted Christmas 2013, he's decided to go back to just being AAW's Matchmaker. This brings out We Are Here. Kevin Harvey looks like he's going to respond, but Keith Walker & Tweek Phoenix quickly attack Rican. The two then hold Rican while Harvey throws a fireball in his face!!! This brings out The L.O.S.E.R.S. (Moondog Bernard & Sea Man), who try to fight them off, but they are ultimately unsuccessful. 

7.) AAW Heavyweight Title - Shane Hollister (with Scarlett Bordeaux) vs. Jimmy Jacobs: ***1/2

Back at Windy City Classic IX, Jacobs won the AAW Allegiance Tag Team Tournament with Silas Young. By winning, they got to book themselves in whatever match they wanted. While Young chose a match with Eddie Kingston at One Twisted Christmas 2013, Jacobs chose to challenge for an AAW Heavyweight Title. This was a very good title match, but it suffered from two issues. Firstly, it went a bit longer than it needed to. It was just over 25 minutes, but it didn't need to go that long. A shorter match (15 or 20 minutes) would have made for a better match. Secondly, the crowd was pretty quiet for a good portion of this match, which is pretty disconcerting, because both guys put forth a ton of effect. Jimmy Jacobs especially put on a very good showing, even after getting busted open after hitting his head on the guardrail while spearing Hollister to the outside. He deserves a lot of credit. After a good bit of back & forth (and the crowd had gotten into it by the end), Hollister is finally able to put a bloody Jacobs away to retain his title.

After the match, Hollister, along with Scarlett Bordeux & Marcus Crane, started putting the boots to Jacobs, but Colt Cabana comes out and chases them off with a billiard cue.

8.) AAW Tag Team Titles - Men Of The Year ("Unbreakable" Michael Elgin & #ALLEGO) vs. The Monster Express (Ricochet & Uhaa Nation): ****1/4

It's time for the Main Event, which had A LOT of hype coming into it, as it was the first ever meeting, of any kind, between Michael Elgin & Uhaa Nation. This was a really great match! Their was a lot of fantastic action (especially towards the end), and it told a good story with Elgin & Uhaa Nation trying to go at each other every change they got. Ricochet & #ALLEGO looked great in here as well. Just a great match all around. Elgin & #ALLEGO are eventually able to score the win and retain their Tag Team Titles.

After the match, Michael Elgin cuts a promo and thanks AAW for putting this dream match together against Uhaa Nation, who likewise agrees. #ALLEGO then steals the mic and ruins the moment by calling Ricochet & Uhaa Nation losers and celebrates the Men Of The Year's victory to close the show.

Overall: 8.25/10

This was a really good show from AAW. One thing that I really like about this show compared to One Twisted Christmas 2013 was the consistency. There really wasn't a bad match on the card. You had some pleasant surprises with the opening Fatal Four-Way and Kingston vs. Gresham. Despite their own separate issues, the Team Ambition/Kung Fu Manchu and Hollister/Jacobs matches were relatively solid. Matt Cage & ACH put on a very good showing for the Heritage Title, while the Main Event was fantastic, and will probably be one of the best matches you'll see from AAW in 2014. A very solid outing from AAW without a doubt.

AAW One Twisted Christmas 2013 Review

Shane Hollister looks to regain what he believes is rightfully his!

AAW One Twisted Christmas 2013
Berwyn, Illinois 12/28/13

1.) Marcus Edwards vs. Moondog Bernard: DUD

These two have very....interesting gimmicks to say the least, especially Bernard. The match doesn't last long as Keith Walker makes his way out with Kevin Harvey & Nikki Mayday. Walkers lays out both guys and Harvey demands that Michael Elgin come out and have a rematch with Walker, after their first meeting ended with Elgin winning in controversial fashion. Elgin is quick to answer the challenge.

2.) Keith Walker (with Kevin Harvey & Nikki Mayday) vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ***1/4

This was a pretty good big man match. It's not often that you see Michael Elgin wrestle somebody that's bigger than him, but he worked pretty well with Keith Walker. Elgin is able to overcome interference from Walker's returning We Are Here stablemate Tweek Phoenix to score the win.

3.) AAW Heritage Title - Matt Cage vs. Mallaki Matthews: **

Matt Cage won the AAW Heritage Title from ACH at the previous show. Tonight he's defending against a relative unknown in Mallaki Matthews. It was an ok match. This was more of a showcase for Matt Cage if anything else, and it helped get his character over. Not much else besides that.

Before the next match, we get a promo from MsChif. She was originally scheduled to be in the Fans Bring The Weapons Match, but she announces that she has to pull out due to her recently becoming pregnant. This brings out The House of Truth and Truth Martini talks about MsChif being pregnant (Truth Martini & MsChif have a long history in AAW). He then has Heather Patera & Knight Wagner hold MsChif back and it looks like he's going to hit MsChif in her gut, but Heidi Lovelace & Tony Rican make the save and our next match is underway!

4.) Fans Bring The Weapons Match - The House of Truth (Heather Patera & Knight Wagner with Truth Martini) vs. Heidi Lovelace & Tony Rican: **1/4

This match is a Christmas Tradition for AAW. We saw so much variety in this when it came to weapons. Smurf Dolls, Ironing Boards, Plastic Guitar Hero Guitars, Trash Cans, and a lot more. The match itself was fine, but it just didn't come off as a very interesting hardcore match. Knight Wagner scores the win for the H.O.T. after hitting Rican with a sick move onto some thumbtacks.

5.) Colt Cabana vs. Tweek Phoenix (with Kevin Harvey, Nikki Mayday & Keith Walker): **

For some reason, I feel like I've seen this match before. Anyway, there's nothing much to say about this one. It was ok. Cabana gets the win with The Billy Goat's Curse.

6.) Davey Richards vs. Jimmy Jacobs: ****

These two have met occasionally in ROH but their encounters have been few and far in between. This was a great match. We all know how good Richards is, and Jacobs was great in here as well. We usually see Jacobs as a heel in most promotions he wrestles in, so it's refreshing to see him work as the underdog babyface, which Jacobs plays very well. After great back & forth action, Jimmy Jacobs gets Davey Richards to tap out to the End Time.

After the match, Jimmy Jacobs cuts a promo putting over Davey Richards, saying he is without a doubt, one of the best wrestlers in the world (Richards was on his way out to go to either WWE or TNA at the time). Richards returns the favor to Jacobs. He then says it was all the years busting his butt and honing his skills on the independent circuit that got him to where he is about to go.

Before the next match, Marcus Crane has a gift to give to Dan Lawrence to help cheer him up after the crappy Christmas he had (in fact, the whole group of Lawrence, Crane, Shane Hollister & Scarlett Bordeaux all had a crappy Christmas after Hollister lost the AAW Heavyweight Title to Kevin Steen the month before). It ended up being a bottle of some alcoholic beverage and wants to throw a party. Of course, the mere mention of alcohol and a party brings out Arik Cannon. Lawrence says Cannon isn't invited and Cannon smacks him with a beer bottle. Lawrence & Crane double team Cannon until Ryan Boz comes out and we have a match.

7.) Dan Lawrence & Marcus Crane vs. Arik Cannon & Ryan Boz: *3/4 

Not really much to say about this one. It was there. Cannon & Boz pick up the win.

8.) Eddie Kingston vs. Silas Young (with Val Malone): ***1/4

These two have been feuding ever since Eddie Kingston made his debut in AAW earlier in the year. By virtue of winning the AAW Allegiance Tag Team Tournament with Jimmy Jacobs, Silas Young got to book himself in any match he wanted, so it was no surprise that he wanted a match with Eddie Kingston. The match itself was a pretty good brawl. A Ladder & the Steel Steps all became involved, and Young was eventually able to pick up the win.

After the match, Kingston attacks Silas. He uses duct tape to tie Young to the ropes. Kingston then takes Young's wife/valet, Val Malone, and gives her a brainbuster onto a chair!! After Kingston exits, Malone is quickly attended to by a number of people, as well as Silas once he is cut free from the ropes. Powerful stuff.

9.) AAW Tag Team Titles - Three Way Elimination Match - Kung Fu Manchu (Louis Lyndon & Marion Fontaine) vs. Zero Gravity vs. Men Of The Year (#ALLEGO & "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin): ****

#ALLEGO had a tag title shot, but was without his usual Monster Mafia partner, so he chose Michael Elgin to take his place. This is Elgin's second match of the night. This was a pretty great match. You had a really good mix with the smaller guys in Kung Fu Manchu & Zero Gravity against the larger team, which #ALLEGO had dubbed The Men Of The Year. Lyndon & Fontaine were eliminated first, meaning that new champions would be crowned! Eventually, Elgin & #ALLEGO were able to put away Zero Gravity, and captured the Tag Team Titles!

10.) AAW Heavyweight Title - Kevin Steen vs. Shane Hollister (with Scarlett Bordeaux & Marcus Crane): ***3/4

At last month's show, Windy City Classic IX, Kevin Steen defeated Shane Hollister, in what was Steen's first match in AAW, to capture the AAW Heavyweight Title. This is the rematch. It was a pretty solid Main Event. It's wasn't quite Match of the Night, but it was still very good. Kevin Steen is always entertaining and never fails to disappoint. Hollister got to show a lot of stuff in here as well, and he is finally able to put away Steen to recapture the AAW Heavyweight Title! He celebrates with Scarlett Bordeaux & Marcus Crane as the show goes off the air.

Overall: 8.0/10

Even though the rating would seem to indicate otherwise, this show was a relatively mixed bag. You have several really good, even great, matches on here. Richards/Jacobs and the two title matches were well worth the purchase. You also had a very sold match with Michael Elgin & Keith Walker along with a good match with major storyline advancement in Eddie Kingston vs. Silas Young. Then you have a lot of stuff that was ok/average at best. You had a number of matches that hovered around the two star range, and honestly weren't that entertaining. This show had a lot ups and downs, but the stuff that was good definitely out-weighs the stuff that's not so good. A solid outing for the most part from AAW.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WWE WrestleMania XXX Review

Laissez les bons temps rouler!!

This is the first major WWE PPV to be held on the WWE Network, so a lot is riding on this show.

WWE WrestleMania XXX
New Orleans, Louisiana 4/6/14


1.) WWE Tag Team Titles - Four-Way Elimination Match - The Usos vs. The Real Americans vs. RybAxel vs. Los Matadores: ***1/2

The Usos won the Tag Team Titles (a well deserved victory) a few weeks prior, and now they're defending the titles in a Four-Way Elimination Match. This was originally going to be on the PPV itself, but got pushed to the Pre-Show a few days prior. To quickly sum up the eliminations, Los Matadores were eliminated first, followed by RybAxel, and then finally, The Usos eliminated The Real Americans to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles. This match was just a lot of fun. Great tag team wrestling from start to finish. I'm kind of questioning why this was on the Pre-Show, because it could have easily been on the main show. 

Following the match, there was a big angle involving The Real Americans. For weeks, there had been tension between Cesaro & Jack Swagger. They would nearly come to blows, but Zeb Colter would always be able to bring them back in and calm things down. This time would be different. Cesaro finally reached his breaking point and hit the Giant Swing on Jack Swagger! The crowd was really into this. Cesaro storms off afterwords and The Real Americans are seemingly no more.

Main Show

75,000 fans have packed The Superdome for WrestleMania XXX!! Before we get to the matches, the host of WrestleMania XXX, Hulk Hogan, comes out. Hogan talks about the show, while getting heat from the crowd after referring to The Superdome as "The Silverdome". LOL. Then, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin came out! Shorty thereafter, The Rock came out!! They went over their WrestleMania Moments and ended the segment with a beer bash. This was just so great. Seeing Hogan, Austin & The Rock in the ring together, at WrestleMania, was a super special moment.

1.) Winner Advances To The Main Event - Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon) vs. Daniel Bryan: ****1/2

So whoever wins this match will be added to the WWE World Heavyweight Title Match in the Main Event. This is a story that's been building for months as Daniel Bryan has had to fight against The Authority so he can regain the title that was taken from him. Triple H is introduced by Stephanie McMahon and comes out on a massive throne decked out in "King of Kings" garb. It's really a sight to see. Daniel Bryan doesn't get a special entrance, but he is wearing furry kick-pads in tribute to Bruiser Brody. This was a fantastic match. They told a good story with Triple H working over Daniel Bryan's arm/shoulder (which was taped up following a previous attack on RAW). The crowd was really into this as well. Everything in this match just worked. Daniel Bryan won cleanly (that's right, he pinned Triple H in the middle of the ring, no shenanigans) with his running knee. Awesome stuff.

After the match, Triple H attacked Daniel Bryan, going after his previous injury. Bryan advances to the Main Event, but his chances just got slimmer.

2.) Six-Man Tag - Kane & The New Age Outlaws vs. The Shield: **

The Shield recently turned face against Corporate Kane, who in turn recruited The New Age Outlaws to help take them out. Road Dogg tried to do his usual shtik during his team's entrance, but was quickly interrupted by The Shield. This was essentially a match that went about three minutes, where The Shield pretty much destroyed & dismantled Kane & The New Age Outlaws. This was just greatness. The Shield went over strong, which is exactly what needed to happen.

3.) Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal: ***1/4

The winner of this match gets a huge Andre The Giant Memorial Trophy. Like most battle royals, this was just kind of there for the first part (hard to do stuff when there are thirty guys in the ring), but once the field got cut in half, it got good, and it just got better from there. The last two men in the match were Cesaro (a last minute entry into the match) and Big Show. In an INSANE moment, Cesaro picks up Big Show for a bodyslam, holds him in position, and throws him over the top rope. An amazing ending. Very entertaining battle royal, especially the second half.

Cesaro is presented with the Andre The Giant Memorial Trophy and poses with it.

Before the next match, we get a video package covering the Cena/Wyatt feud that features Eminem's song "Legacy". It's a really great video. You just have to go to WWE's Youtube Channel and see it for yourself.

4.) John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt (with The Wyatt Family): ***1/2

For Wyatt's Entrance, he gets some voodoo dancers, and then the band that performs his theme song is out there to perform it live!!! That was very cool. Cena, oddly enough, doesn't get a special entrance. This was a pretty good match. There were a lot of great spots in this match, from counters, to Cena diving from the top rope to the floor onto Luke Harper & Erick Rowan, and more. Just a lot of cool stuff in here. The ending was a little flat, with Cena winning in his usual fashion, but there was nothing wrong with the match itself.

Up next we have the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014. This year's class features The Ultimate Warrior, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Lita, Paul Bearer, Carlos Colon, Mr. T, and Razor Ramon.

5.) The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman): **3/4

Here we go. The match that everyone will remember this WrestleMania for. Firstly, I should say that I don't think the build to this match was good at all. Basically you had Undertaker beating up Lesnar every time his was on TV (or Paul Heyman when Lesnar wasn't there) until the RAW before the PPV when Lesnar actually got one over on The Deadman. The match itself was ok, but very underwhelming when we take into consideration the matches that The Undertaker has had at WrestleMania in the last couple of years. Now there a few reasons for that. Obviously The Undertaker was a lot older (which is understandable), but he was also able to work with someone who he'd be able to put on a great match with in his aging state (Shawn Michaels, Triple H, CM Punk). Lesnar wasn't that guy. If they were going to do this match, it should have been the year before in New Jersey. They waited a bit too long on that. Then there is the fact that The Undertaker got a concussion during this match. There were concerns many had going in about the ability of The Undertaker, at his age, to work against a guy like Lesnar, who has an extremely physical style (they've feuded before in WWE, but this was before Lesnar went to the UFC). Obviously that was kind of proven here with The Undertaker suffering a concussion, and it definitely affected the match. Finally, there was the big shock. Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker. He ended The Deadman's WrestleMania Undefeated Streak. There are so many people who have argued both sides, in regards to if The Undertaker should have lost or if Brock Lesnar was the guy to end The Streak. I'm personally going to not put down my opinion here, as I myself am still conflicted on it, because both sides of the argument make valid points.

On the plus side, The Undertaker's Shocking Lost provided us with this great gem...

Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman celebrate as the entire Superdome is in shock. Undertaker gets a standing ovation as he departs.

6.) WWE Diva's Title - The Vickie Guerrero Divas Invitational: **1/2

As you can tell by the name it was given, this match was made by Vickie Guerrero. It's essentially AJ Lee defending the Diva's Title against the ENTIRE DIVA'S ROSTER, in a massive one fall to a finish battle. At times, it was kind of a clusterfuck, but at other times, it was surprisingly good. The Bella Twins hitting double suicide dives was a definite highlight. They would have gotten better crowd reactions, but there was no way they were going to be able to follow the shocking events that came before it. Still, it was fine for what it was. Despite everyone and their mother predicting otherwise, AJ Lee was somehow able to retain the Diva's Title.

7.) WWE World Heavyweight Title - Triple Threat Match - Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan: ****1/4

It's Main Event Title!! Randy Orton & Batista come into this match fresh, while Daniel Bryan not only went through a grueling match with Triple H, but had an injury that was further aggravated by Triple H's post-match attack. This was a very good match that was made even better by the drama. At one point, Triple H & Stephanie McMahon came out with their own referee to try & screw Bryan over, but it didn't work. Bryan hit a suicide dive on Triple H & Stephanie, and was even able to take Triple H out with his own sledgehammer!! Then there was a brutal spot where Randy Orton & Batista hit a RKO/Batista Bomb combination, putting Bryan through one of the announcer's tables!!! Orton took a big hit there as well, as he landed back first onto one of the monitors. They tease taking Bryan out on a stretcher, but he is able to fight through it and get back in the ring. He eventually makes Batista tap out to win the WWE World Heavyweight Title!!! Bryan celebrates as the entire Superdome chants "YES!" to close the show.

Overall: 8.75/10

I don't think people were expecting this WrestleMania to be as good as it ended up being. A lot of that had to do with the first hour (including the pre-show). The WWE Tag Team Title Match was extremely entertaining, the Hulk Hogan/Steve Austin/The Rock was every wrestling fan's dream come true, Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan was the Match of the Night, The Shield squashed Team Attitude Era, and Cesaro won the Battle Royal. That first part of the show was fantastic. Despite the fact that Cena/Wyatt didn't have the outcome everyone wanted, was still a very good match, and even the Diva's Match was decent. Finally, the Main Event delivered everything you would want in a WrestleMania Main Event. The only real point of controversy was The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar, both in the quality of the match itself and the end of The Streak. On the whole, this was a very good WreslteMania, and certainly one that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Wrestling is Fun!: 2014 Tag World Grand Prix: Night 1 Review

The 2014 Tag World Grand Prix begins!

This year, the Tag World Grand Prix is being hosted by Wrestling is Fun! The tournament is spread across three shows that would be held in the span of two months. The field was split into two blocks: Block A & Block B. The first round & quarter finals of each respective block will be held on the first two shows, while the semi-finals & finals take place on the third show. This show has the first round and quarter final matches from Block A.

Wrestling is Fun! Tag World Grand Prix 2014: Night 1
Easton, Pennsylvania 4/5/14

1.) Tag World Grand Prix 2014 – Block A – First Round – The Devastation Corporation (Max Smashmaster & Blaster McMassive) vs. The Spectral Envoy (Hallowicked & Frightmare): ***

These two teams (and their larger trio variations) have been feuding for quite a few months in Wrestling is Fun! A pretty solid opener here. The match was slow to start, but by the end of it, the action picked up a fair deal. The Devastation Corporation pick up the win and advance to the Quarter Finals.

2.) Tag World Grand Prix 2014 – Block A – First Round – The Batiri (Obariyon & Kodama) vs. Old Fashioned (Jervis Cottonbelly & Marion Fontaine): **1/2

It has to be said that Old Fashioned is the greatest tag team ever!! They came out on a bike built for two. Seriously, how can you not love these guys. This was a decent match. It was more about the comedy of it all, with Old Fashioned trying to be gentlemanly towards The Batiri, who didn't know how to react. So funny stuff ensued. Eventually, The Batiri were able to pick up the win and advance to the Quarter Finals.

3.) Tag World Grand Prix 2014 – Block A – First Round – The Heart Throbs vs. 3.0: **3/4

Interestingly enough, The Heart Throbs are absent their usual ridiculousness, and come in normal wrestling gear. I guess they're taking this tournament seriously. This was another decent match. They got in some more comedy here as The Heart Throbs started wrestling each other in the middle of this match. This would play a role in their downfall, as 3.0 would pick up the win and punch their ticket to the Quarter Finals.

4.) Tag World Grand Prix 2014 – Block A – First Round – The Colony: Xtreme Force (Arctic Rescue Ant & Missile Assault Ant) vs. The Osirian Portal: ***1/2

The Colony: Xtreme Force are not accompanied by Orbit Adventure Ant for this one. These two teams put on a really good match. Amasis & Ophidian were great as they always are, but The Colony: Xtreme Force were very impressive. It seems like they've improved a good deal in the past few months. The Osirian Portal get the win and advance to the Quarter Finals, but Ophidian comes out of it with an injured knee.

5.) Juan Francisco de Coronado vs. “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti: ***1/2

Before the match, JFDC cuts a promo talking about how great he is. He says that if he was in the Tag World Grand Prix, he could win it all by himself, without any partners. This was another really good match. I feel like both JFDC and Mr. Touchdown have really grown as performers, and it certainly shows in this match. Solid back & forth action from start to finish. After a good exchange, JFDC uses typical rudo chicanery to steam the win from Mr. Touchdown.

6.) Tag World Grand Prix 2014 – Block A – Quarter Finals – The Devastation Corporation vs. The Batiri: ***1/4

This one got started really fast as the two teams brawl very quickly. Very solid match here. These two teams just went at each other right from the opening bell and seemingly never let up. It's a very interesting matchup as well since both these teams have never faced each other before. I thought they worked together pretty nicely. Despite The Batiri's efforts, Smashmaster & McMassive are able to pull out the victory, and advance to the Semi-Finals, which will be held on Night 3.

7.) Tag World Grand Prix 2014 – Block A – Quarter Finals – The Osirian Portal vs. 3.0: ***1/2

The Main Event features two of CHIKARA's most well known teams. Like the previous match, the action got started right at the opening bell and never let up. Very good match here. When you get two teams as good as The Osirian Portal & 3.0, you know it's going to be a solid match no matter what. Much like the match before it, we saw a lot of back & forth action with pretty entertaining spots. Eventually, The Osirian Portal were able to score the victory. They advance to the Semi-Finals on Night 3, where they will take on The Devastation Corporation.

Overall: 7.5/10

This was a pretty entertaining show. Looking at how the tournament was set up, you could easily tell that Block A had a lot of depth in terms of great tag teams, and it shows. All of the tournament matches were good to very good wrestling matches, and were at least entertaining. Coupled with the fact that you have a really solid match between Juan Francisco de Coronado & Mr. Touchdown, and you have the makings of a pretty entertaining show.

Monday, June 23, 2014

WrestleCon 2014 Super Show Review

WrestleCon puts together an independent wrestling Super Show!!

WrestleCon did things a little differently this year. In 2013, they hosted shows from companies like Dragon Gate USA, Evolve, CHIKARA, SHIMMER, CZW and more. This year, they're on their own, and decided to put on a Super Show of their own, featuring a vast amount of talent. Let's see how this show goes.

WrestleCon 2014 Super Show
New Orleans, Louisiana 4/5/14

1.) Triple Threat Match - Cedric Alexander vs. Andrew Everett vs. Trevor Lee: ****

This match was a late addition after these three stole the show at PWG Mystery Vortex II the week prior. About the same match, but it was just as good (though I would put the PWG match slightly ahead  because the crowd in Reseda is amazing). Much like their first match, Andrew Everett gets the win.

Up next we have Bad Influence coming out for a promo. They basically hype themselves up (in great fashion) and introducing the Bad Influence Tag Team Invitational. I should note that I don't think these next two matches are on the DVD Release because Daniels & Kazarian were still under contract to TNA at the time, though they are on VOD Release (which I purchased). 

2.) Bad Influence Tag Team Invitational - Bu Ku Dao & Bolt Brady vs. Country Jacked (Adam Page & Corey Hollis) vs. David Starr & Timothy Thatcher vs. OI4K (Dave & Jake Crist with Navaeh): ***1/4

We have a variety of different teams in here. Two of them are from CZW (OI4K & Starr/Thatcher), one is from PWX (Country Jacked), and I'm assuming the fourth (Bu Ku Dao & Bolt Brady) are locals. This was a good match, though there was no real attempt to actually do tags. Guys just came in, hit double team spots, did dives, and so on. OI4K get the win.

Daniels & Kazarian come out post match to congratulate them. They said they got an urgent call and need to go induct The Ultimate Warrior into the WWE Hall of Fame, so they said they want their match now and here we go!

3.) Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) vs. OI4K (Dave & Jake Crist with Navaeh): ***1/4

This was another pretty solid tag team match. OI4K got their stuff in while Daniels & Kazarian looked like their usual entertaining selves. Navaeh gets involved and at one point Bad Influence teases hitting her. In the end, Daniels & Kazarian are able to score the win.

4.) Jake Manning & Sojo Bolt vs. Joey Ryan & Candice LaRae: **3/4

The World's Cutest Tag Team get a great reaction. Sojo Bolt looks different since I last saw her in TNA. This was a solid match. The crowd really got into it towards the end which helped a lot. Joey & Candice pick up the win. 

After the match, Joey Ryan puts a shirt on so he can reveal his chest and get beads. Fans then start throws a ton of beads in the ring, because why not? It's New Orleans!

5.) Kimber Lee vs. Kellie Skater: **1/2

These two have become well known in the Women's Independent Scene. I've actually heard a good deal about Kellie Skater, who is from Australia. Pretty decent women's match. There were rough spots here & there, but the match itself was fine. Kimber Lee gets the win via submission.

6.) Jeff Jarrett (with Karen Jarrett) vs. Colt Cabana: ***

Before the match, Karen gets on the mic and runs down New Orleans. This match had decent wrestling, but it was also good from an entertainment standpoint, which is something you should always expect from a Colt Cabana match. They shenanigans were fun, but in the end, they caught up to Cabana, and Jeff Jarrett was able to pick up the win.

7.) Arik Royal vs. Tommy Dreamer: **1/2

Really haven't heard much of Arik Royal, but Dreamer gets a big reaction as you would expect. This was a decent match. Royal got some offense in, but it turned into a bit of a Relaxed Rules Match and became more about Dreamer hitting some hardcore spots on Royal. He eventually is able to pick up the win over Royal.

8.) Six Man Tag - Steve Corino, Adam Pearce & Matt Striker vs. Shane "The Hurricane" Helms, Cassidy Riley & Luke Hawx: ***

Whoever decided to put Corino, Pearce & Striker together as a team deserves an award. They're so great together. Pre-Match, they play rock/paper/scissors and Corino wins, but it's for who gets to talk first. They all take turns cutting promos. Corino makes an awful Hurricane Katrina joke involving The Superdome. Pearce yells at the crowd, while Striker talks about Pizza for some reason, and asks the crowd to call him Pizza....uh....I don't know. They have a match. Much like the Jarrett/Cabana match, it was pretty entertaining. This was almost like an R-Rated CHIKARA Match, in many ways. The team of Hurricane, Riley & Hawx won the match, but the Old School Trio of Corino, Pearce & Striker, with their crazy (some would say sexual) antics, were the real stars.

9.) Kevin Steen vs. Masato Tanaka: ****1/4

This was billed as an "International Dream Match", and boy was it ever! Steen & Tanaka definitely delivered. Great hard hitting action from both guys. These two are so good (especially Tanaka for his age) that there was no way this wouldn't be awesome. Tanaka is finally able to put Steen away and win the match.

Afterwords, Steen shows respect towards Tanaka after what was arguably the Match of the Night.

10.) Triple Threat Match - "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Evolve Champion Chris Hero vs. CZW World Champion Drew Gulak: ***3/4

Here we have two champions representing two different promotions, and a third guy who is arguably one of the best in the world. This wasn't anything spectacular, but it was really, really good. Of course you can't go wrong with any of these guys, as they're all awesome in there own right. It was actually pretty exciting to see interactions between Gulak and Elgin, as they've never faced each other before (that I can recall). After what seemed like a questionable count from the referee (it might have been botched, I'm not sure), Gulak scores the win.

Afterwords, Hero & Elgin are upset about the questionable pinfall. Gulak goes to attack Elgin, but he counters, and lets Hero lay out Gulak with a Roaring Elbow. Hero then pins Gulak and Elgin counts to three. He then gives the referee in question a spinning backfist, and pins him with Hero count the fall. I have to admit, that was pretty entertaining.

11.) Ultraviolent Match - DJ Hyde vs. MASADA: **1/4

This is the main event? Really not sure why this was on last. I mean, even by Hardcore Match standards, it wasn't that good. Both guys worked relatively slowly, and the crowd didn't seem that into it. The only real moments that were entertaining involved two table spots and DJ Hyde getting busted open by MASADA's signature skewers. MASADA gets the win in a forgettable Main Event. 

Overall: 7.75/10

WrestleCon put on a pretty good show here. Steen/Tanaka was a really great dream match, and they were smart to capitalize on the buzz surrounding Alexander/Everett/Lee from their recent PWG Match. The Gulak/Elgin/Hero Triple Threat Match was also really entertaining. The rest of the card was, for the most part, average. There was nothing that really stood out in the big middle portion of the shows, though the comedy matches with Jarrett/Cabana and the Old School Trio were highlights. The decision to put the CZW Ultraviolent Match in the Main Event was questionable at best. If it had been on earlier in the show, and a different match was the last match on the show, then my rating would go slightly up.

Dragon Gate USA Mercury Rising 2014 Review

One of the most controversial shows of the year!

In light of the lack of Dragon Gate Talent from Japan, it was decided that the annual Dragon Gate Six Mag Tag would get changed around a little bit. It would now be a mini-Trios Tournament (much like the one ROH held many years ago). There would be six teams entered, and whoever wins the three qualifying matches will advance to the Triple Threat Main Event. Whoever wins the whole thing will get to book any matches they want in Dragon Gate USA/Evolve.

Dragon Gate USA Mercury Rising 2014
New Orleans, Louisiana 4/5/14

Main Show

1.) Trios Tournament - Qualifying Match #1 - The Inner City Machine Guns & AR Fox vs. Evolve Champion Chris Hero, Roderick Strong & Masato Tanaka: ****

The reason why a match filled with this much star power is the opener is because both Chris Hero & Masato Tanaka needed to leave so they can make it to the WrestleCon SuperShow (which I will be reviewing as well), which they would also be wrestling on. This was a very good match. The only real complaint I can make is that it was nearly a half hour match, which I think was a bit too long. Still, it's hard to not have a great match when you have these six guys involved. Rich Swann scores the pin on Chris Hero and his team advances to the finals.

Up next, we have Chuck Taylor coming out for an interview. He looks visibly upset after The Gentlemen's Club disbanded after Orange Cassidy walked out on Taylor at Evolve 28 and Drew Gulak attacked Chuck Taylor at Open The Ultimate Gate. Maxwell Chicago comes out and wants to cheer Taylor up, so it looks like we have a match...

2.) Chuck Taylor vs. Maxwell Chicago: *

This was pretty much a nothing match. Taylor didn't do much because he was so sad that he didn't want to wrestle. We got some comedy for a few minutes until The Premiere Athlete Brand come out and attack both guys. The Gentlemen's Club were supposed to face The Premiere Athlete Brand in the Trios Tournament, but with the group disbanded, that was in question. Su Yung says that Taylor can face The Premiere Athlete Brand in a 3-on-1 Match or forfeit. Taylor accepts the challenge.

3.) Trios Tournament - Qualifying Match #2 - The Premiere Athlete Brand (with Su Yung & Mr. A) vs. Chuck Taylor: DUD

Unbelievable.......Essentially, his was a complete clusterfuck. Trent Baretta, Anthony Nese & Caleb Konley spend a few minutes beating up Chuck Taylor. Then, Biff Busick comes out. He jumps on the apron and wants to be Taylor's partner. Taylor tags in Busick and he comes into the match. Then, all of a sudden, it's Larry Dallas & Teddy Hart. Once again, Hart has his cat with them. It seems like Hart is the third man for Taylor's Team, as he takes out The Premiere Athlete Brand. But then, he inexplicably attacks Taylor & Busick. I should note that Hart did botch some stuff and he hit some Project Ciampa's (Tommaso Ciampa does it better). The Premiere Athlete Brand finally score the win in this abortion of a match. This whole thing was just incredibly stupid. Nobody benefited from this at all. It really makes Dragon Gate USA looks bad. Absolutely terrible. I think at one point we got "End This Match", "Fire Russo" and "This Is Stupid" Chants. Just so dumb.

4.) Trios Tournament - Qualifying Match #3 - Open The United Gate Tag Team Champions The Bravado Brothers & Moose vs. The Colony (Fire Ant & Green Ant) & Lince Dorado: ***

It'll be hard to go forward after the last match sucked the energy out of the crowd. Despite all of that, this was still a good match. You have five guys in here who always put out good performances, and then you had Moose, who I thought worked well against the smaller guys. The Colony & Lince Dorado pick up the win and advance to the finals.

After the match, Green Ant says that, since they beat The Bravados tonight, they should get a shot at The Open The United Gate Tag Team Titles. The Bravados agree, and I guess we have a future title match. This was the most positive thing to happen to Dragon Gate USA's tag team division this weekend.

5.) SHINE Title - Ivelisse vs. Mercedes Martinez: **1/4

This is my first taste of a SHINE Match of any kind (I would really like to watch some SHINE eventually). The match was, for the most part, decent, which is surprising given that these are two of the better women's wrestlers out there. There were some sloppy spots, and the crowd was still out of it after the Teddy Hart/Larry Dallas nonsense. Ivelisse retains the SHINE Title, and Martinez needs help to the back, as it looked like she got hurt at the end.

6.) Low Ki vs. Johnny Gargano: ***1/4

Gargano comes out to a massive reaction. Essentially the crowd was giving Gargano thanks for an amazing title reign. He then cuts a promo where he turns all delusional and thinks he's still the Open The Freedom Gate Champion. He reminds Low Ki that he lost to Trent Baretta last night, and says he's putting his title on the line. As they start off, the crowd gives them "Save This Show" Chants. The match was good, but not really anything special. After losing to Baretta the previous night, there was no way that Low Ki was losing, and he eventually picked up the win. Gargano's delusional character was kind of lame here. Again, the match was at least good. 

7.) Trios Tournament Finals - Three-Way Elimination Match - The Inner City Machine Guns & AR Fox vs. The Premiere Athlete Brand vs. The Colony (Fire Ant & Green Ant) & Lince Dorado: ***1/2

This is the finals of the Trios Tournament, where the winner gets to book any match they want in Dragon Gate USA/Evolve. We get some good action in the first part of the match, when all three teams were involve. There were some pretty good spots in here as well. Though after The Colony & Lince Dorado were eliminated, the crowd seemed less interested. The last half was fine, until Trent Baretta pins AR Fox to score the victory for The Premiere Athlete Brand. The fans chant "Fire Russo" almost immediately. I thought the match was perfectly fine by itself, but after everything that preceded it, this was a let down of a Main Event.

Bonus Main Event

1.) Open The United Gate Tag Team Champions The Bravado Brothers (with Moose) vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian: ***1/4

Here we had another make good for the lack of Dragon Gate Talent. Since, at the time, Daniels & Kazarian were still under contracts with TNA, they couldn't appear on the actual iPPV. As you see above, it was eventually released on Youtube later on. It was a good, yet basic tag match. I don't think it was as good as one might think, mainly due to the crowd. They were mostly not there, again due to all the nonsensical BS that occurred earlier. Still, it was fine for what it was. Daniels & Kazarian pick up the win.

Overall: 6.75/10

Thank God for that opening match!! It saved this show from being a compete disaster. The whole Teddy Hart/Larry Dallas fiasco, and that entire match in general, is one of the worst things I've ever seen in any independent promotion. It was just so incredibly stupid, and it pretty much killed the crowd for the rest of the show. At points, the crowd even turned on the show. You know you're in deep trouble when you're getting "Fire Russo" (and Russo isn't even involved with your company), "This Is Stupid", "End This Match", and "Save This Show" Chants. Everything else following that abortion of a match suffered immensely. For all the high points Dragon Gate USA had in its first few years, this definitely has to be the lowest point in the promotion's history. Especially when you consider that this took place on WrestleMania Weekend. I don't even know what to say. Honestly, I can't believe I paid for this. Simply put, watch ONLY the opening match, and if you really want to, the Main Event. Otherwise, stay away from this at all costs.