MR. 450 vs. RICOCHET vs. MATT CROSS
There was an added stipulation in this match that whoever wins gets to take the last slot in the tag tournament AND pick their own partner. This would be extra beneficial to Mr. 450 who competed in it last time around and came up short. In that match 450 really made an impression on the fans with then partner Robert Anthony, and despite being in the ring with one former Tough Enough star and one of the best fliers in the world, he still managed to stand out and impress. This was a really good sprint, with 450 starting out as the lone heel until Matt Cross double crossed Ricochet gaining the ire of the fans in attendance. Matt played it up too, which added a fun twist in the story half way through the match.
The big moment in this match is probably a historic one for me. Some of you who have kept up with my blog know that I've seen Mr. 450 around town a lot. You also know that it's become a running joke that Mr. 450 NEVER does the 450 when I watch him. That changes ladies and gentlemen. I finally witnessed Mr. 450 perform his name sake in a match. I flipped out.
Finish came when Matt Cross capitalized on a Ricochet mistake and hit the Shooting Star Press for the win. After the match Matt Cross asked the fans who they wanted him to pick for his partner. Everyone chanted "Chet" for ring announcer and CHICAGO SPORTSCASTING LEGEND Chet Coppock, who is now surpassing Bryce Remsburg for biggest fan reactions for non-wrestlers. Cross picked.... MR. 450! I love this. I think Mr. 450 may be the person who has really made the most of their opportunity. I can see him getting a lot more work after these shows.
THE SHEIK vs. STEVEN WALTERS
The Sheik came out and his manager Rinaldo Piven ran down the fans and said that their was some racial prejudice going on and that the Sheik deserved to be in the title match tonight, not Rhino. They were then going to have The Sheik kiss the flag to show how much he loves America, but Walters came out to interrupt this horrific scene. Then they wrestled some uninteresting wrestling untill....
At some point Walters got his bell rung and turned into Hacksaw Jim Duggan. No joke. He fell out of the ring came up with a 2x4 and started yelling "HO!." When he got in the ring he kind of, I don't know, zonked out, and did the ol' Marx Bros. Mirror routine with Piven before The Sheik blindsided him. It was...strange. Sheik locked on the camel clutch but Walters made it to the ropes. Sheik wouldn't break the hold and got DQ'd. Then it got nasty. Sheik didn't want to stop beating on poor Walters so he too the guardrail I was leaning on and powerbombed Walters on to it. It was painful looking.
Darcy came out and said she'd gotten a new trainer named Eric St. Vaughn to work with her Darcy Dynasty, which will rule the Resistance Pro roster. They then started to do some body builder poses until Robert Anthony came out. For those who don't remember Robert Anthony was the funny bastard that said he would "Punch you in the penis." He kicked them out of the ring because he had a match. The crowd loved him for this. I dig Darcy's act though. She's pretty confident on the mic, gets straight to the point, and can be a little entertaining. Hope this "Dynasty" that she's putting together is good group.
ROBERT ANTHONY vs. JOHN SKYLER
Now both of these guys, I guess are heels. And they both have some of the worst looking gear in wrestling. But none of that matters, because Robert Anthony was killing it all match. He kept pretending like he would got for a big move and then deliver a headlock instead. Then we all just started chanting for headlocks. Robert Anthony got the headlock over as a move to look forward to in 2012.
The highlight would have to be Anthony's top rope hurricanrana which he does by running across the ring and leaping onto the guy's shoulders from the mat. It's pretty impressive and he should make more of a show of it. It happens so quick that I think some people don't realize how fucking awesome it was that he can do that. Kind of a dud, saved by Anthony's antics. Keep this guy.
TAG TOURNAMENT MATCH
SUGAR DUNKERTON & AARON EPIC vs. DANY ONLY & EDDIE GRAVES
You're probably going to hear quite a bit about this one. Sugar Dunkerton (who you guys probably know I'm a big fan of) and Aaron Epic started a new act and it's...a little different. Dunkerton and Epic are essentially prisoners. They're lead to the ring in shackles by a security guard and a Warden, unbind them and allow them to wrestle.. Read that again and think about it.
I'm not sure what I think and I don't think the crowd did either. Are they good? Are they bad? Why are they prisoners? So many questions. The match itself kind of suffered from it. It's such an over the top kind of thing that I think the crowd needed more to go on before they could get behind it. It wasn't a bad match by any means, Graves and Only are scuzzy guys and easy to hate. They're not incredible or anything but they don't have to be. Dunkerton worked hard and got the crowd firmly on his team's side, which one convincingly, and really his performance is what made the gimmick work after the match.
So they're celebrating and then the security guard comes in with the cuffs and the look on Sugar's face tells the audience the whole story and it's almost like you could hear it clicking into place for people(myself included). The Warden is using them to get the tag titles for his personal trophy case. They do the work he gets the glory. The only time they're free is in the ring but when that bell rings it's back in the chains. All it took was that look of total disappointment from Dunkerton at the end to make something kind of ridiculous... work. I don't know if this kind of gimmick has long legs, but I'm intrigued to see where it can possibly go from here, which is good enough for me.
RESISTANCE PRO WOMEN'S TITLE MATCH
MELANIE CRUISE vs. SASSY STEPHIE
If you remember Stephie beat Cheerleader Melissa to get in this match after Cruise intereferred in the match. Cruise played up a knee injury, saying she didn't want to wrestle but the ref made her anyway. This was... not so great. There was some sloppy work and the crowd didn't seem to really care one way or the other. there was some interesting moments, like when Serenity dove into the ring after sneaking in from the balcony to take stop some of Cruise's entourage from interfering, but for the most part it was kind of forgettable. Cruise won with Burning Hammer kind of move. I'm a little disappointed as I was hoping for the story with her and Mellisa to be furthered a little, but nothin'.
JAY BRADLEY vs. A COUPLE OF GUYS.
Jay Bradley came out and issued an open challenge. The first guy out was Chris. Chris was like a little Samoa Joe, but Latino and less scary looking. Basically if the Manny from Modern Family became a wrestler. This never even really started, as Bradley pretty much blasted him with a Lariat for the win right off the bat. After the match Jay berated the crowd and Billy Corgan for not giving him anything to do. He said he wanted another match. Out came this thick white guy in a poncho and sombrero. Chris said it was his uncle but I think he wasn't in the right mind to speak.
I wish I knew this guy's name because he gave Bradley a pretty good match. Easily the best performance for Bradley since this company started. It was just two dudes brawling around and being stiff as hell. It's totally worth looking for. Bradley's opponent kind of had this low-rent Hijo Del Vader thing going on that I LOVED. Lots of intensity between two heavyweights beating the snot out of each other. One of the better matches of the night that ended with Jay squeaking out the victory with a surprise Lariat..
THE ROCK N' ROLL EXPRESS vs. KENTUCKY FRIED BUFFET
THE MOTHER F'N ROCK N' ROLL EXPRESS, MAN! This match was awesome. The crowd was nuts the whole time and the guys in the ring deserved it. Ricky Morton can still bump and work a crowd, brother. It never slowed down, they did some really fun spots and the Kentucky guys were perfect foils for the older and wiser RnRs. I screamed like a mad man the whole match. I can't even believe they WON. Which means they're coming back for another match in the tournament. This one is worth looking for if you want to see a couple of legends who aren't embarrassing themselves when they step in the ring. Really fun.
RESISTANCE PRO HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
HARRY SMITH vs. RHINO
Harry Smith is like the John Cena of R-Pro, except I think he's actually really good. But no matter what he does he can only get a certain section of fans to cheer him while the dudes cheer for whoever he's up against. They did it for Steen and they definitely did it for Rhino. This match was really good and didn't disappoint. Rhino looked to be in great shape and they cut a pretty decent pace for two bulkier heavyweights. It's been a while since I've seen Rhino wrestle but he can still go and honestly should still be on National TV. He was beaming with this bizarre intense charisma the whole match and a lot of the crowd was eating it up. There was no stopping him.
The finish was pretty nifty with Harry reversing a pin attempt into a Triangle Choke for the tap. It caught some folks off guard, and felt a little abrupt for my tastes. I think some of that feeling may come from the crowd not really feeling it for Harry's comes backs in general.
After the match, Rhino said that it was supposed to be 2 out of 3 falls and challenged Harry to keep going. Harry wasn't feeling it. Then Rhino challenged him with something near and dear to him, something he said meant more to him than life itself. His ECW HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE. Billy Corgan came down and made the match for next month Title vs. Title.
OVERALL SHOW: Easily the best show so far. Only a couple of matches were clunkers but there was a lot more quality than on past shows. R-Pro has a good mix of heavyweight guys and juniors, comedy and serious. And with this show it seemed like it was hitting on nearly every cylinder.
The tag tourney is really a highlight right now. We're getting a large variety of people that all seem like fun candidates to win and the matches are usually the best ones on the show. I wish they'd create a bracket or something for people to follow and get excited about, because right now it seems kind of made up on the fly, which hurts the stakes in a big way.
The title feud is really fun. Rhino is killing his promos and I feel like their first match delivered and I have high hopes for the second. Harry is a legit good wrestler. Great technique. Great pacing. Solid selling. I don't know what he has to do to get the crowd over to his side. Face the Sheik 1 on 1, I guess. No one wants to cheer that guy.
There's still some weirdness, but it's more apart of the midcard stuff than the main attractions, so it's easier to live with. The good news is that I think after three shows it's pretty clear what wrestlers they should keep around and which ones should be phased out.
If you're going to check out Resistance Pro, so far this would be the show I recommend you watch. This is the show where you can really see the potential for something awesome.