What a weird and crazy day this was. Started with me meeting a girl who lost her shoes in a Macy's Black Friday Mob and ended with former WWE Diva Victoria making the googley eyes at me. Don't think I didn't notice Victoria. But I'll get to that later.
The Excalibur is a club in downtown Chicago. It's down the street from the Hard Rock Cafe, where I auditioned to be on that game show IDENTITY once. Remember that show? With Penn from Penn and Teller. I think it was canceled before my audition was over.
Anyway, the club kind of looks like a castle if Bam Margera built his own castle. The inside is pretty nice with plenty of space to move around in. The actually area where the wrestling was held.... was crazy. Think of a prison movie. On the first floor is the ring and a stage that leads right up to it. From there you take the stairs and can go up to a second or third floor to watch the show OR just stand around on the first. Your call.
I went all the way up to the top. The problem? I was literally leaning over a rail and watching the show from over head. You know that Ladder Match Camera they use for replays when Jeff Hardy does something ridiculous? That was how I watched the whole show. Which had pros and cons that I'll cover as I get to them.
LET'S START THIS MOTHER
The show kicked off with a ring announcer guy who was eventually interrupted by Joel Gertner. Gertner did his Joel "Jizz Rhymes" Gertner schtick which was.... cute? I dunno what to call it really. Then they brought out the four men who'd be participating in the tournament for the Resistance Pro Heavyweight title, Kevin Steen, El Generico, The Sheik, and Harry Smith. Each wrestler actually walked behind me(I gave Harry Smith and El Generico high fives, man) and then walked around a spiral staircase to the first floor to enter the ring.
The Sheik was accompanied by Rinaldo Piven, who played his annoying mouth piece. It was declared that Generico would be facing Sheik, in the first match, while Smith and Steen would fight later. YAY WRESTLING.
SEMI-FINAL MATCH FOR THE RESISTANCE PRO TITLE
EL GENERICO vs. THE SHEIK
Fact: Generico is crazy good. He's a brilliant face. Like a modern day Ricky Steamboat... or more aptly, Tito Santana. I think he was the perfect guy to pair with The Sheik, who I think they're trying to position as their top heel. They put on maybe my favorite match of the night, with some solid pacing and crisp work. I think my one gripe about the Sheik is that he feels kind of phony. Sabu and The Original Sheik both had an aura that made you believe they practically other worldly. This new Sheik, sadly, comes off like a guy play acting a Sheik character. He's not bad, he's just kind of mediocre.
The finish here was creative, as The Sheik pulled out a spike from his boot and applied what looked like a cobra clutch, driving the spike into Generico's throat. It was so well hidden that the ref couldn't see it and thought it was just a regular old hold. Generico eventually tapped out to a spike to the throat and The Sheik was advanced on.
A bit of a downer to start the show... but we've only just begun.
MATT CLASSIC & HALLOWICKED vs. TEAM AMBITION(Tony Kozina & Kyle O'Reilly)
Originally Hallowicked was going to team with his buddy Frightmare. I'm not sure what happened and I don't think anyone told us. This was essentially a handicap match, with Matt Classic doing his schtick on the apron while Hallowicked got his ass beat.
I was getting pretty irate at the ref at this point. He was just letting Kozina and O'Reilly run a train on the poor guy. I mean, what are the rules here, man.
Also this was the first match that really exposed the flaw with the upperdeck seats. Some of the guys really need to work tighter. It may look good to the people on the floor, but I was seeing so much daylight in just about every strike delivered in this match. It was really distracting. I didn't remember having this problem in the first match, but it started to happen here, and through out the show I saw more and more of it from some of the weaker roster members.
Hallowicked, of course, lost the match, because he was pretty much by himself. Another downer, and a forgettable match, sadly.
JAY BRADLEY vs. ICARUS
Forget the match, this was the battle of two of the WORST TATTOOS EVER. I couldn't even pay attention to what was going on they were so bad. Thankfully it didn't last long, because Jay killed Icarus dead with a lariat-o. Poor Icarus stayed folded up with his asshole pointed right at me, for the entire post match promo with Jay. It was uncomfortable.
DEM BRISCOES vs. TEDDY HART & GRAN AKUMA
Before the match, some lady came out as their manager and talked. No one could understand her. She was booed heavily, and then the Briscoes came out and got a great reaction. Why these people are together, I don't know. What I do know is that Mike Fucking Adamle was in the VIP section for this one. MIKE. ADAMLE.
So this match is probably the match you're going to hear about. It was pretty much a spot fest with all kinds of crazy ass moves. Teddy does a moonsault off the balcony to the floor. It was insane. I saw about a dozen or so moves that should really just kill people dead, but are really only used to stun people in these kinds of matches.
I'm not a fan of the Briscoes and they didn't change that here. I still can't get into their matches, which feel like just a bunch of stuff. And while I give props to Teddy for doing what he did, it all came at the wrong time. He took a suplex off the top of the balcony about half way through the match, and was later hot tagged by Akuma and cleaned house. Where do you go from coming back from a Balcony Suplex? What can actually when a match at this point? After the insane moonsault he was selling his knee pretty hard like he blew it out and he vomited while Akuma got pinned by the Briscoes.
It looked pretty damn gross. The Briscoes manager almost stepped in it.
VICTORIA WANTS MY BODY. OR NOT. PROBABLY NOT.
But none of that mattered because this was the match that Victoria was making the googley eyes at me. She was trying her ass off to get a Teddy chant going and was failing miserably. She actually looked to me for support, but in the end it was maybe five people chanting "Teddy" against 50 chanting "BRISCOES". We lost. I laughed at her. She laughed at me. We had a moment. A connection if you wheeeeeeel. But I am a married man, and I'm a little wigged out by tarantulas.
THE WOMEN'S GAUNTLET FOR THE TITLE
STARRING: CHEERLEADER MELLISSA AND OTHERS
Oh my, this match. THIS MATCH. So, I had no idea what the rules were, but all the women, and one guy in a cheerleader outfit, stood on the stage and entered ever...I dunno.... couple of minutes. I think you could get eliminated by getting thrown over the top rope. BUT you could also pin people. But if you pinned one person, you won the match. So you didn't want to let anyone pin people. I THINK.
Anyway, the only person people knew was Cheerleader Mellissa and a girl named Serenity. She was smart and put her name on the ass of her tights. The other's should have thought about that. I actually started to dig Serenity, who was anything but serene, but it may be because I at least knew what to call her.
Oh and there was a dude in this. He had a misshapen balloon titty. He came in and asked for a circle jerk. The women thought about it and opted to beat the crap out of him instead.
This match went on. FOR. EV. ER. Which meant a lot of the crowd reaction was people trying to amuse themselves, like by looking down their cleavage. Not that I know anything about that. I was watching some wrestling.Women wrestling, you know what I'm sayin'.
Anyway, it ends with Melissa and Serenity, who started this thing, and just when it looked like Melissa was going to win Melanie Cruz just strolled in and pinned her to take the title. What kind of rules are these?
THE KING OF THE NIGHT TIME MATCH
COLT CABANA vs. THE CANADIAN DESTROYER vs. NECRO BUTCHER
|Just go listen to this guy's podcast instead.|
It is never once explained what the hell a King of the Night Time is, or what this person is to do with their crown. Petey Williams was playing like he wasn't Petey Williams the whole night. He was this masked man known as the Canadian Destroyer, and he had aligned himself with Team Ambition. When people would chant Petey, he'd respond, "I'm not Petey!" Colt Cabana responded, "Right, you're not Petey Wiliiams like I'm not Matt Classic."
Really fun stuff in the opening minutes with Cabana being utterly bewildered by Butcher not wearing any boots and him trying to avoid getting punched in the face. Really funny bits, that really showcased why Colt Cabana should be a star. For real.
Necro took a nasty little bump when he over turned the guardrail and attempted to suplex Petey onto it from the apron. Petey reversed it and did a sunset flip power bomb on to the fallen guardrail. It didn't look pleasant. Colt eventually had Petey locked up for a submission but Kyle O'Reilly hit him with a metal bucket, setting up Petey for the win.
Then things got funky. Petey, realized that Team Ambition helped him win. He then beat them up for doing that, as he didn't want to win that way. Then Colt Cabana smacked around Petey for being a cheater, to which Petey replied "I won fair and square" even though he just broke up with his buddies after finding out the opposite of that. I don't fucking get it. Alls I know is that the biggest name on the card jobbed to Petey Williams in his home town. And it doesn't stop there.
SEMI FINAL MATCH FOR THE RESISTANCE PRO TITLE
HARRY SMITH vs. KEVIN STEEN
Most of this match was Steen jawing with Victoria who was trying to get a "Harry" chant started. This was mostly Steen goofing off for 20 minutes. Then the bell rang. And they said, "20 minutes up, it's a draw." Crowd was pissed, I didn't even know there was a time limit. The announcer heard word from the back that they were getting FIVE MORE MINUTES. They wrestled for five more minutes and still no winner. Then the announcer said the owners would make this a "No Time Limit" match. Steen responded with, "Fuck this I wrestled my match, get Billy out here and pay me more if he wants more." This got a "Billy Corgan" chant.
So how to resolve this?
3 Way Dance at the next show for the title, Sheik vs. Harry Smith vs. Kevin Steen. That's right, Kevin Steen, who literally QUIT the match, gets to be in the title match at the next show. The Sheik came out irate and he and Steen beat down Harry who then whipped both their asses to... I don't know. Send everyone home happy? I guess. And with the heels high tailing it, Harry stood triumphantly with the crowd chanting "COLT CABANA." No I'm not kidding. It was ridiculous.
OVERALL SHOW THOUGHTS
Yikes. Not a good first start. What are the positives? What were the feel good moments? Generico lost to start it off. Hallowicked and Matt Classic lose. The one woman that could get any reaction lost in a dumb finish. Colt Cabana was pinned by Petey Williams. And we got a non-finish in our first ever main event.
Nobody I wanted to win won. And some of it was over so much dumb stuff, that I don't care if they ever get their win back. I'm not looking at January 13th thinking, "Man, I hope Colt comes back to face Petey Williams. I'll pay to see that." or " I hope Cheerleader Melissa gets to fight that Melanie Cruz" because I don't care.
This show took people we all know(Briscoes, Cabana, Generico, Steen) and put none of them in situations that were new or interesting. They said they were going to give us something that no one else is giving us, but they failed. Nothing differentiates this company from any other Indy. Same talent. Same matches.The only thing different was the venue, and really, I don't have a desire to lean over a railing for two and half hours watching Kyle O'Reilly not actually hit people with a fucking forearm.
I did have some fun, and the atmosphere is really something else. But if you look back over this roster, and the results given, you can't really come to a conclusion other than Resistance Pro's first show was an egregious mishandling of talent and resources. I'm still going to go to the next show, just because I'm optimistic that they can learn from their mistakes(Book Colt better next time, for one). But without some major changes, it'll be hard for me to even justify parting with 20 bucks.