Friday, March 4, 2011

LIVE SHOW REPORT: LUCHA ALL PRO CHICAGO

WAR ARENA
PIERPORT BUSINESS PARK
FEBRUARY 25th, 2011

Went out to see Lucha Chicago All-Pro a couple weeks ago and figured I'd write up my experience, because that's what I do. I know I've got some Chicago readers that are wondering about the local scene and what to check out so I figured I'd hit up some places and see who's worth spending 10 bucks on.

This was my second time out to Pierport Business Park and I kind of dig the venue. It's not the hottest looking place, but it's cool enough for some rasslin'. I sat second row and there were four kids sitting upfront and a group of kids to my left. They all seemed really excited and I knew they were going to have a fun time. Nothing is better than watching wrestling with kids who like to boo and tell bad guys they stink. I can't wait until my own son is old enough to take to the shows. It's gonna be awesome.

Anway....WRESTLING!

TRIOS MATCH 
GATTO EL GUAPO, SENIOR GUAPO, EL HIJO DEL MASCARAS vs. DIEGO CORLEONE, COLLIN CAMBRIDGE, EL VERDE DIABLO
Diego Corleone is a guy a I really dig. He's perfect for the low end of the card because he gets the crowd warmed up and vocal. He was in rare form tonight. He came in and got in the face of one of the kids next to me. The kid started crying. No joke. CRYING. Nothing sadder or funnier than an overweight, Puerto Rican 11-year old boy crying at a scary wrestler with a bull rope and black make-up. Once the tears showed up, Diego set his hooks and kept coming back to him as the match kept going. "YOU WANT SOME OF THIS?!" Eventually the kid switched places with his parents and moved back a row. Brilliant.

Also one of the kids in the front row turned around and said, "Can I come sit with you?" because she was scared. It was just her and her three brothers, the eldest was probably 12. No clue where there parents were. I went into nice parent mode and told her that was fine, and was glad I did. She proved to be an AWESOME wrestling fan. And her brothers were cool as hell too.

The match wasn't very good and featured one of the worst powerslams I've ever seen. Diego whipped this little guy, Senior Guapo, I think, and was going to do a snap powerslam kind of like Randy Orton does now. But Diego just kind of fell on his back while Guapo did a stuttering front flip over him. Atrocious. No one in the crowd wanted to cheer on the good guys, mostly because no one knew who was who and also because they're not particularly good.

Moving on....

BRYCE BENJAMIN vs. JOEY MARX. 
I think last time I saw these two they were teaming up. I like them both. Bryce has some really slick gear and is working a "Sexy Mofo" schtick. It works. He had an awesome fat manager that was lobbing softballs at the crowd. "I don't want to hear any JOEY chants!" and the crowd would start them right on queue. Too easy and I loved it.

They work a solid match that really got the crowd going. Joey is a great face to beat up on. He's cute, he's charismatic, he bumps really well and he's just somebody you want to root for. The crowd was really willing him through the match as he got dominated a lot. It was a bit of a let down when he lost but it was such a good bout that I don't think anyone was to bothered about.

I hope to see them wrestle again in the future.

LUCHA CHICAGO ALL-PRO TAG TOURNAMENT ROUND 1:
VICTORIOUS SECRET vs. DA SOUL TOUCHAZ
I love Da Soul Touchaz. I saw them for the first time at the NWA CHICAGO show I reviewed and just can't stop talking about them. Since then they've been on a couple of CHIKARA shows and they were on the last DGUSA Chicago show getting beat up by Brodie Lee. Really cool group of people. Victorious Secret work an awesome gay gimmick. The trick to this match was that Da Soul Touchaz were playing heel and the gay guys were playing faces. And somehow it worked out. People resisted it at first because wrestling history has conditioned us to believe gay guys are usually bad guys. And the last time I saw the Victorious guys they were playing heel and it worked really well. They play faces just as effectively. Possibly more so because they have to overcome the stigma of gay wrestling characters.

The girl who sat next to me, was really hilarious. She broke her camera phone out and kept yelling "Pose for me, baby!" at the Victorious Secret guys. Her brother turned around and said "....um....they're gay." And she responded, "I know! WORK IT!" Highlight of the night.

The finish was a little clunky but they still put out some great work. Really good face-in-peril work by the Victorious Secret guys and the hot tag was awesome. Real fiery stuff and it had people getting excited. I love it when that Southern Tag Formula is executed well, and they got the job done here.

Really a big fan of Victorious Secret after this show. They're incredibly versatile and know how to work their gimmick on either side of the line. They can be cute and funny or raunchy and gross and they can actually tell what's the best choice to make. Really cool guys.

REMY RENZ vs.BRUISER SYXX -
No DQ Match
There was an angle earlier in the show in which Danny Nieves(da boss) and his guys Bruiser and Ace Martino were confronting the Champ Mr. 450 Hammet and Remy Renz. Remy cracked Bruiser with a chair and we got some blood. So this match was made a No DQ match. They did some really fun brawling. Bruiser works a kind of Brody schtick with a big chain. He does the Berzerker HUSS bark, except it's more like HUT. The whole match.

My problem with this match is the finish. There's a ref bump and a foreign object tossed in my Nieves. If it's No DQ why wouldn't they just have the foreign object ready to go? Why wait for the ref to get hit to toss it in? Kind of illogical.

Afterwards the declare a rematch which will be a DOG COLLAR MATCH. I really want to see it but I don't think I'll be able to make it out that night. Makes me sad.

DISCOVERY vs. ORIENTAL TIGRE JR.
This wasn't much and to tell you the truth I can't remember what happened. I know it went quick and folks weren't terribly interested. Some weak lucha.

LUCHA CHICAGO TITLE
MR. 450 HAMMET vs.ACE MARTINO
It wasn't nearly as fluid as it should have been. Mr. 450 is crazy over.. He carries himself like the champ and the crowd was never as loud as they were for his stuff. It wasn't a great match, as they don't seem to work very fluidly. Lots of stuttering and jittering around. the rhythm to their movements didn't feel nearly as good as something like Bryce/Marx earlier in the night. It was well booked though and I seriously thought Hammet was losing the title that night.

I will say this: I've seen MR. 450 TWICE now. He's won both times. Neither of those times did he do a 450 splash. He actually finished this match with a FROG SPLASH. If you're going to call yourself MR. 450 you better come through. Especially when you're going over with a  move off the top.

After the match their was some brawling that eventually lead to the enitre locker room spilling out and having a big throw down in the ring. The faces cleaned house to a bunch of cheers and posed for some pictures. I thought the show was over and almost left. I was actually at the door when the music for the next match started.


TRIOS MATCH 2/3 FALLS
EL GUARDIAN DEL AMOR, FURIA ROJA, & FUNEBRE VS. EMPERADORA AZTECA, GOLDEN, & DEMENCIA
People had actually left before this started and they were totally spent from the 450 match and the locker room brawl in the ring. That felt like the ending. I have no idea why this was last. And really no one cared. They tried hard to get people to clap and get into it but really it all fell flat. One of them did a tope and pushed his opponent into the kids that were up front. Which made me care about them even less. I honestly didn't think they were going to do it because they could clearly see these kids watching them. There's 4 sides to the ring and on one side there is no kids to run into. Why risk falling onto a 7 year old? Silly.

These guys may actually be good normally but they really were put in the wrong spot.

OVERALL SHOW THOUGHTS:
The crowd was better than the NWA Chicago show(run by the same people) but the wrestling wasn't quite as good. There was a couple of good matches but some real clunkers. Still, the atmosphere is so much better than some of the other shows I've been to. I've been ranting to folks about my distaste for crowds at the DGUSA show, and those kinds of fans but there was none of that here. And it's the crowd and atmosphere that makes up for any short comings in the ring.

I'll keep checking out the promotion though. They book some really cool people who bust their asses and the crowd and venue take me back to watching wrestling as a kid. I would say if you see Da Soul Touchaz, Victorious Secret, Bryce Benjamin, and Joey Marx on the card, it's worth going out to.

Their next show is March 25th, so give them a shot. The main event is supposed to be Samuray Del Sol(who's pretty cool) and Mr. 450. And since I won't make it I'm sure that's the night he does a 450. There's also the Dog Collar Match that I mentioned. So with just those two matches I'd say it'd be a good time to check out one of their shows if you haven't before.

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