BONUS MATCH NUMBER THE FIRST
KENNEDY KENDRICK vs. MARVELOUS MATT NICKS
This is the first time I'd ever seen Kendrick. He's got what looks like Detroit Lions on his tights so I automatically hate him with a fiery vengeance. I don't care if he actually is from Calgary....
Alberta, Canada. My Lion hatred is strong, and you'll get no support from me. Matt Nicks looked good here. He got to show off some nice bumping and showed some decent fire on his comebacks. Kendrick won with something or another, I missed it because the group in front of me were sitting in the wrong seats and when they stood up they took up as much of my sight line as they possibly could. It was a move though. I know that much.
BONUS MATCH 2: BONUS HARDER
RYAN "SKIDMARKS" HOWE vs. CHRIS CASTRO
Poor Ryan Howe. He's got a fun rocker gimmick, and him coming out and shredding his guitar was a serious highlight for me and the crowd enjoyed it, I think. But once that bell rang he became Skidmarks and couldn't get much out of the crowd. It's not like he's bad. People just couldn't care for him. It probably hurts that he was working face against Chris Castro who's a home town guy. At two different points in the match, Howe tried to bait the crowd into "clapping it up" by slamming his leg on the mat while he was getting worked over, but no one did. Twice. It's going to take him a lot of work to get over his Tough Enough stint.
Castro looked better in this than in last month's effort with Matt Nicks. Yeah, he does some Samoa Joe-lite stuff, but it's not really a bad thing, just an easy comparison. He also seems like the kind of guy who's genuinely excited to be in the ring and that kind of excitement translates to the crowd. It's too bad he lost to Howe but hopefully he gets to keep coming back.
So they kick off the show with Raven, Harry Smith, and Lou D'Angeli addressing the crowd. Raven felt the need to explain to the crowd that he was suspended for his actions at Small Deadly Space(read about it: HERE) and that he's... I dunno... he just said a bunch of stuff about himself, okay? Lou got on the mic and talked some smack about Jay Bradley being a generic wrestler and ripped on Chicago some more. Harry continued be a smarmy dick, and I love it. The only bad side is that Raven throws the balance of the act off. Smith and Lou E. worked GREAT together at the last show, and the rhythm gets thrown off with Raven in the mix.
They then brought out KYLE who was that kid who got beat up in the Harry Smith tutorial last month and then helped him out at the end of the show. Kyle is now a wrestler and they want to see how he's progressed under the tutelage of the great Harry Smith.
KYLE vs. MR. 450
Raven actually started doing commentary over the house mic during this, but thankfully stopped. This was a really good match. Kyle is small but he's really good in the ring and him and 450 worked really well together. It's a little weird that Kyle was a jabroni fan last month and now he can beat up Mr. 450 for the bulk of a match. It either means Mr. 450 is a weak dude, Harry Smith is an amazing trainer, or Kyle is a Kurt Angle/Brock Lesnar level natural.
Eric St. Vaughn, who's D'Arcy Dixon's man toy was at ring side and he had a big fan club in my section and they chanted his initials for a good chunk of the match. Kudos to him for turning around and getting them to chant for 450 instead. Classy, says I.
450 made a big comeback and decimated Kyle with his namesake splash. Afterwards he and St. Vaughn kind of celebrated together, so I guess they're working the kinks out in their awkward relationship. No D'arcy Dixon though, which bummed me out. She's been genuinely entertaining in the past.
NO DQ WOMENS TAG MATCH
NIKKI ST. JOHN & JESSI BELLE vs. THE MATRIX TAYLOR MADE & SERENITY
Nikki looked utterly perplexed as to why she was with Jessi. And I had no idea why Serenity was with Taylor Made. I thought they hated each other. In my brain I made up this story that they were holding a one match Lethal Lottery between the four of them and the winner would get free training lessons with Harry Smith so they could get better like Kyle.
The teams broke down midway through the match, and since it was NO DQ that meant they could just beat each other up with a chairs. None of them looked comfortable swinging a chair at all. Nikki St. John, who was probably the best looking wrestler of the bunch, had to swing it just looked awkward. She looked a lot more formidable last month when she was beating up Taylor with the Kendo stick. Not a good match at all, and I truly don't know why it existed. Nikki looked good when she was wrestling, and I'm hoping they're building her back up to face Melanie, but the chair stuff made everyone look bad.
ASHTON VUTTON vs. JOHN SKYLER
These guys were actually tag partners in the tag tournament and I wonder if anyone remembered that. They lost to Lince Dorado and Samuray Del Sol back in March. Those were the days when I spelled Skyler's name with an "a". It's not that it matters really, but it would have been cool to have a little history played up.
They were actually having a solid match until Rinaldo Piven, Lawyer Man Ponzo and Jesse Corgan interrupted. Corgan came out throwing money in the air and they just waltzed in the ring and start cutting a promo. Yeah, in the middle of the match. They said that if anyone touched Jesse, they were going to be sued for hate crimes. Then Skyler got in the ring and said, "Um, hey, are we still having a match?" And Ashton Vutton, who you may remember was managed by Piven at the last show, answered by blind siding him from behind. Skyler tried to make a comeback but was distracted by Jesse and eventually succumbed to a well-applied Dragon Sleeper.
I really wish the Jesse/Piven stuff could have happened before the match, and not during it. It really mucked up the flow of what was developing into a good bout.
AND THEN THINGS GOT MESSY
After the match, Jesse and Ponzo left, but Piven got on the mic to talk some more. He started to address Billy through the camera, but Jocephus Brody came out and grabbed him by the throat. Then the Sheik came out and started talking some shit to Piven. Basically Brody and Skiek are together and Sheik doesn't like Piven anymore. Piven's face while being choked by Brody was PRICELESS. He was red turning purple by the time they finally kicked him out of the ring. This should have just been the end. But it wasn't.
|I told my friend Justin about the angle and this was his reaction.|
THE SHEIK & JOCEPHUS BRODY vs. DA COBRA & SOME GUY
Then as they're beating up Da Cobra, another guy comes out, who has the words Ruff Crossing on his tights and saves them. Then they have a tag match Brody and Sheik win. No one knows who the guy with the Ruff Crossing tights was or what he had to do with any of this, just a good Samaritan I suppose. Nor do we know what the hell was going on with Da Cobra and his disciple status with Brody and Sheik. Match wasn't bad, but everything surrounding it was so stupid that it was hard to get into it when everyone is looking to the person next to them going, "What the fuck happened here?"
The team of Sheik and Brody sounds awesome though. They get angry and smack each other and then beat people up. It's perfect. I don't know what that other bullshit was, and based on their faces I don't think the wrestlers did either. I feel bad for them because I think everyone liked the pairing and Brody and Sheik played off of each other perfectly, but I guess someone felt they needed more gimmicky shit. VINTAGE RESISTANCE~!
JOHN MORRISON vs. "THE EGO" ROBERT ANTHONY
This was a perfect storm. First it followed the previous debacle, so people were ready for something not stupid. I mean the atmosphere was maybe the closest thing to "electric" in the short history of R-Pro. Robert Anthony came out first and got a great reaction. Then Morrison came out and got an even bigger one with everyone standing. Then when Morrison's music went off, it's like everything clicked and the crowd looked back at Robert Anthony and said, "THAT'S OUR GUY." And the "Ego" chant became bigger than the Morrison reaction. It just felt organic and special.
I've got nitpicks about the match, like some of the spots being set up in awkward ways and dragging here or there. but none of it matters. It was a very good match made AWESOME by the crowd's response, kind of like Cena/Punk from Money In the Bank. The celebration for Robert Anthony applying a headlock was akin to your favorite team scoring a goal in the World Cup. And the finishing stretch was fun and creative with some great counters. My favorite part may be Morrison jumping out of Robert Anthony's surfboard finisher and hitting him with a knee to the face.
Morrison eventually won, but no one cares. The story was these guys kicking ass and Robert Anthony cementing himself as the most over guy in the company. No body has it going on like this guy does. He hasn't had a bad performance yet, and he should be getting booked EVERYWHERE.
I want a rematch. For two guys that have never wrestled each other, they clicked really well in spots, but I think they can tighten it up and do better than this. Start the rematch petition, I'll sign it. I think John Morrison vs. Robert Anthony II would kick all kinds of ass.
MELANIE CRUISE vs. THUNDERKITTY
Wrong time, ladies. These two worked well together but everyone was still buzzing about the last match and just couldn't focus in on it. The kid behind me could though. He was great. He kept yelling stuff like "NO ONE LIKES YOU MELANIE" or "DON'T YELL AT THE REFEREE MELANIE." Brilliant. Cruise won when she escaped Thunderkitty's sleeper and hit a Ron Simmons style spine buster. I hope to get a rematch of this two, because they were just in an impossible spot to have a good reaction from the crowd.
RESISTANCE PRO HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
HARRY SMITH (c) vs. JAY BRADLEY
I don't think anyone agrees with me, but I dug the ring work in this one more than in the JoMo/Ego match. Yeah, I know, I'm weird. I just love watching Harry Smith wrestle. He moves really clean and he makes his submission work look legit. The crowd was still coming down from the big match from before and I thought Smith did a great job of getting the crowd into his match through some heel tactics like stalling.
I think my favorite section of the match was when Harry started working Bradley's arm, to nullify the lariat. It just looked nasty and Bradley sold it really well. This lead to him going for a lariat, Harry kicking the arm down, and Bradley just coming back with a flying LEG LARIAT. I love stuff like that.
Bradley almost got to hit his Boomstick Lariat, but KYLE came in and took the bullet for Harry instead. He got MURDERED. Then there was some distraction from Lou D'Angeli that lead to Bradley getting a boot the nuts. Harry then finished him off with a sit out power bomb. Kind of a flat finish, but understandable.
After the match Raven and Lou E. got on the mic to talk about their guy some more. Then Raven DDT'd Kyle, before they all stood with their arms out ECW style. Poor Kyle. Then they celebrated with Champagne. Harry Smith giving himself Champagne showers after title wins could be one of the funnest bits in wrestling if they play it up more. I think he's great heel champion, and the eventual Robert Anthony/Harry Smith match(HAS TO HAPPEN) is going to be OFF THE CHARTS.
OVERALL SHOW THOUGHTS
Broken record time: Good wrestling, stupid angles. You've heard this before. The flow of the under card was a mess until Morrison and Ego came out to save the day. And it's not like these guys couldn't just have good matches. Brody, Sheik, Skyler, Vutton, 450, EVEN KYLE, all put in solid work, but they're just put in bad spots. I don't think they know what to do with half of them, like 450 and John Skyler, and the other half they give stupid stuff to do that the wrestlers can barely execute with a straight face.
But, there was plenty of stuff you should check out. Definitely watch Morrison/Anthony and Bradley/Smith. Also track down the Kyle/450 match, which is a solid opener style match. I'd recommend Vutton/Skyler, but it gets all kinds of muddled up from the angle, so go search for them on youtube and see if you can find something else, because you should be checking them out regardless.
OH AND WHILE I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION:
A friend of mine was brutally attacked in her home. He nearly beat her to death with a hammer and left her for dead. Thankfully she survived and is now on the hard road to recovery. She's an incredible artist, a great chef, and an all around kick ass person. Sadly she's not rich and a fundraiser is underway to help get her money to pay off the debt she will incur during her rehabilitation. Please, if you've got a couple of bucks go here
and throw some good will her way. Thanks.