Monday, July 14, 2014

Wrestling is Fun!: 2014 Tag World Grand Prix: Night 2 Review

Norristown hosts Block B of the Tag World Grand Prix!

Wrestling is Fun! Tag World Grand Prix 2014: Night 2
Norristown, Pennsylvania 5/3/14

1.) Tag World Grand Prix 2014 – Block B – First Round - The Wrecking Crew (Jaka & Oleg The Usurper) vs. The Baltic Siege: (The Estonian ThunderFrog & The Lithuanian Snow Troll): ***3/4

Much like The Devastation Corporation on the first night of the 2014 Tag World Grand Prix, The Wrecking Crew is without Sidney Bakabella. Estonian ThunderFrong & Lithuanian Snow Troll are the combination representing their trio in this tag team contest. I gotta say, I was really, really, really surprised by this match. It turned out to be pretty good, maybe even great. You had some funny moments (like referee Bryce Remsburg falling onto everyone after trying to move Estonian ThunderFrog's Hammer of Peace) but you also had a lot of great back & forth wrestling, This is definitely one of the better matches any of these guys have been involved in. Jaka & Oleg The Usurper are able to sneak away with the victory in this exciting opener, and they advance to the next round.

2.) Tag World Grand Prix 2014 – Block B – First Round - The Bloc Party (Mr. Azerbaijan & The Proletariat Boar of Moldova) vs. Knight Eye For The Pirate Guy (Lance Steel & Jolly Roger with Princess Kimber Lee): **1/2

Before the next match begins, we get a lengthy promo from Princess Kimber Lee. The idea here is that Lance Steel (being a knight) is smitten with her, while Jolly Roger was a bit more weary of her. Princess Kimber Lee says that her men are above fighting for pears, and deserve gold. She notes that she made a purchase last year, and brings out the CHIKARA Campeonatos de Parejas title belts. She awards them to Lance Steel & Jolly Roger! The former gleefully accepts, while the latter is uneasy about being handed a title belt without earning it.

As for the match itself, it was fine. I think both Mr. Azerbaijan & The Proletariat Boar of Moldova are getting better in the ring, while Steel & Roger work really well as a tag team. Pretty decent action in this one. Knight Eye For The Pirate Guy get the win (much to the delight of Princess Kimber Lee) and advance to the next round. 

3.) Tag World Grand Prix 2014 – Block B – First Round - Team Benchmark (Bill Daly & Will Ferrara) vs. Los Ice Creams: **3/4

Team Benchmark aren't full time on the ROH roster yet, but they are representing them in this match. This was a solid match. It's hard not to love Los Ice Creams, and they were as entertaining as ever in here. Daly & Ferrera looked good in here as well. Also, this match was a lot more competitive than I ever thought it would be. Both teams got to utilize double teams, especially Los Ice Creams who busted out some new stuff of their own. In the end, however, Team Benchmark is able to put Los Ice Creams away and advance to the next round. 

Despite losing, Los Ice Creams celebrate with some younger fans at ringside.

4.) Tag World Grand Prix 2014 – Block B – First Round - Haack & Slaash vs. The Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield & "Mr. Touchdown" Mark Angelosetti): **1/2

For those of you not familiar, Haack & Slaash are minions of the evil Dr. Cube. They wrestle for a few minutes before Milo Schnitzler of The BDK comes out. He distracts the referee while Haack & Slaash seemingly decide to back out and leave. They go through a doorway, and The Throwbacks intend to follow them. When they open the door, they find that more members of The Flood are waiting for them! N√łkken, 17, deviANT, Qefka The Quiet, Missile Assault Ant, Jaka & Oleg The Usurper join Haack & Slaash in beating up Hatfield & Mr. Touchdown, all while Schnitzler has the referee distracted. They then put The Throwbacks back in the ring and the match continues. Despite the surprise attack, The Throwbacks are able to fight back and score the victory against Haack & Slaash to get into the next round. This one was more about the story, but the action was still fine.

Before the next match, JFDC takes the mic for a promo. He puts over how much better Ecuador is than the United States. He then talks about how he's not looking forward to facing Ophidian, as well as the fact that he's still in pursuit of the Wrestling is Fun! Banana Championship, which is currently held by Ophidian's Osirian Portal tag team partner Amasis.

5.) Juan Francisco de Coronado vs. Ophidian: ***1/2

As far as the match itself goes, it was really good. We always knew Ophidian was a very capable singles wrestler, but JFDC has improved to the point where he's putting on very solid matches on each Wrestling is Fun! show he's on. Really nice back & forth action between both guys. Coronado is eventually able to pick up the win, and furthers his cause towards getting a future shot at the Banana Championship. 

6.) Tag World Grand Prix 2014 – Block B – Quarter Finals - The Wrecking Crew vs. Knight Eye For The Pirate Guy: ***1/4

Lance Steel & Jolly Roger come out with the CHIKARA Campeonatos de Parejas that Princess Kimber Lee bought for them. This was a pretty solid match here. Not as good as the opener, but definitely the second best tournament match of the night up to this point. Solid back & forth action from both sides. Eventually, Jolly Roger & Lance Steel are able to put away The Wrecking Crew and advance to the Semi-Finals on Night 3, and again, Princess Kimber Lee is very pleased with the result (I should note as well that Kimber Lee got physically involved in the match, which led to her team winning. Steel & Roger didn't see this interference).

7.) Tag World Grand Prix 2014 – Block B – Quarter Finals - Team Benchmark vs. The Throwbacks: ***

Much like the previous match, this Quarter Finals encounter was a very solid match. The story here was Dasher Hatfield & Mr. Touchdown attempting to fight through their previous injuries in an attempt to win. Once again, Team Benchmark looked good in here as well, and are definitely getting better in the ring. Lots of good action in this one, and eventually The Throwbacks are able to defy the odds and score the win, advancing to the Semi-Finals on Night 3!

8.) Fire Ant vs. Missile Assault Ant: ***1/4

We've seen a lot of tag team and trios encounters between The Colony & The Colony: Xtreme Force, but here we have a rare singles match. Pretty solid action here. They have a good back & forth match for several minutes. Then, much like Haack & Slaash did in the earlier match, Missile Assault Ant attempts to lead Fire Ant into a trap set by The Flood. However, this time Fire Ant has backup in the form of Icarus, Ophidian, The Throwbacks, The Baltic Siege and Knight Eye For The Pirate Guy! Their is a standoff but they don't come to blows. The Flood back off as Missile Assault Ant & Fire Ant resume their match. Again, this match had some good action, but the story here was important as well. Fire Ant eventually gets the win and celebrates with the fans as the show comes to a close.

Overall: 7.5/10

Much like Night 1, Night 2 was for the most part a consistent show. The opening match with The Baltic Siege & The Wrecking Crew was a real surprise and takes the award for the best first round match of the tournament. The other first round matches of Block B were fine, but they themselves were overshadowed by several storyline developments (the return of the Campeonatos de Parejas & the appearance of The Flood). The Quarter Final Matches were solid, while Juan Francisco de Coronado continues to put on good performances with a win over Ophidian. The main event was entertaining as well and was a good setup for CHIKARA's big return show that would take place later that month.

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