Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Championship Wrestling From Arizona TV
Date: March 20, 2018
Location: Nile Theater, Mesa, Arizona
Commentator: Joe Galli
I saw this promotion on Fite TV over Wrestlemania weekend and since I don’t do enough smaller shows like this, we’ll take a shot at it here. This sounds like the most regional show I can remember in a long time but that could make it rather fun. As you might have guessed, I have no idea what to expect here and this is the first episode that came up when I searched for the show. Let’s get to it.
The opening video (for the United Wrestling Network, the governing body) looks like it’s from a 1993 episode of American Gladiators. Well I’m sold.
Alex Salyers and Miracle Mike James are in the back (in front of a brick wall) and don’t like being called a team. Salyers has beaten the Agents of Chaos on his own twice in a row now but James didn’t like the cheating. Alex doesn’t want to hear it because he’s here to fight and get paid, either with or without Jones.
Regular opening sequence, featuring various shots of….wrestling and Arizona. You can’t say they’re misleading.
The logo looks almost identical to that of Championship Wrestling From Hollywood so I’m assuming there’s a connection of some sort.
Miracle Mike James vs. R-Three
R-Three is a big man and part of the Agents of Chaos. Salyers and Evan Daniels are the respective seconds here and it’s a four way staredown before the bell. We get going with James charging straight at Three and drives a shoulder in the corner. Three shoves him out of the air though and a hard slam sets up a splash. James gets tossed across the ring but a middle rope stomp misses.
Two flying shoulders stagger Three but a third is countered into a backbreaker. James’ springboard Downward Spiral is blocked as well and we take a break. Back with Three walking over James’ chest, followed by an Irish Curse for two. Something called the Fatality is broken up and James dropkicks him to the floor. That’s fine with Three, who knocks Salyers down with a single shot.
Back in and Three runs into a superkick for two as Salyers hits Daniels in the face. Three knocks Salyers off the apron but James starts in with the kicks. A big spinebuster drops James but Three can’t follow up. They take their time getting up so Salyers brings in a chair, which James takes away. The two of them fight over the chair so Three crushes them together with a running splash. Fatality (a running Death Valley Driver) finishes James at 13:19.
Rating: C+. I’m actually pretty impressed to start off here as they told a fine story and wove in the bigger story at the same time. That’s a lot more than you get in some mainstream wrestling and it worked well here. It’s nothing great but I got what they were going for and the match was completely watchable. Well done.
Post match Salyers walks out, leaving James to get beaten down again.
Galli tries to tell us about a match from Championship Wrestling From Hollywood (I knew it.) when a guy named Robert Baines (whose voice sounds like a bad Macho Man impression, which oddly works quite well) interrupts him. Baines says their conversations are always cut off but Galli says he’s being rather rude.
From Championship Wrestling From Hollywood from about a week earlier.
Andy Brown vs. Willie Mack
This is Mack’s return to the promotion, where he was quite the star before. They fight over a wristlock to start with Mack dancing his way….well he had the hold on so I’m not sure what he was getting out of there. Brown gets in some hip swiveling of his own and an armdrag puts Mack down.
Mack hits one of his own and stereo dropkicks give us a standoff. They tap fists for some sportsmanship until Mack walks into a dropkick. Mack is fine enough to hit a pump kick in the corner and the reverse Cannonball crushes Brown for two. Back from a break with Brown hitting a superkick on the floor but getting caught with a running kick to the face. A rolling kick to the head gives Mack two and it’s time to twist the nipples.
The Samoan drop looks to set up the standing moonsault but Brown rolls away and hits a forearm for two. Mack is right back with a Codebreaker for two and it’s time to run the ropes. Brown hits a heck of a spinebuster into a superkick for two of his own and frustration is setting in. A rolling cutter is countered into a Samoan drop and the standing moonsault but Mack doesn’t cover. Instead it’s the Stunner into a frog splash to finish Brown at 13:48.
Rating: C+. Oh yeah Mack comes off like a star around here and you can feel the charisma coming off of him. It shows up very clearly everywhere you see him and it’s no surprise that he’s become a bigger deal in whatever promotion. I can’t imagine he doesn’t wind up in WWE one day, as they certainly wanted to see him in the first place.
Back in Arizona, Baines is asking who pays Galli’s bills and does not stop talking the entire time Galli tells us to stay tuned.
Here’s Suede Thompson for a match. Suede has a trophy with him but a guy in face paint named Oliver Grimsley comes out and hits him in the knee with a crowbar. Security breaks it up and boss Peter Avalon wants to know what is going on. Grimsley says that Peter knows what he wants so Peter makes a match right now.
Oliver Grimsley vs. Chris Bae
Grimsley forearms him in the back of the head and says that this isn’t Bae’s fight. Bae comes back with shots to the head but Grimsley sends him into the corner and presses him into the corner. Apparently Grimsley wants a TV Title shot, which isn’t as cryptic as they made it out to be in the promo.
Bae comes back with some kicks but walks into a one knee Codebreaker for two. The announcer recaps Grimsley’s various assaults on people (including a previous one on Suede), getting us up to date on him in the span of thirty seconds. In other words, doing EXACTLY what he should do and doing it rather well. Some shoulders in the corner don’t do much to Bae as he’s right back with an enziguri.
Back from a break with Grimsley hammering away on the floor and dropping a knee on the chest back inside. Grimsley’s belly to back suplex gets two but Bae breaks up a superplex. A top rope European uppercut drops Grimsley and a quick cutter gets two. Bae’s spinebuster gets the same but Grimsley is right back with some running knees in the corner for two. A superkick completely misses Grimsley’s face but gets two anyway. Grimsley shoves him into the corner though and the Bed of Nails (arm trap Backstabber) finishes Bae at 17:40.
Rating: B-. Another good match which flew by here. The more important part though was the commentary, which summed up the Grimsley story in a quick and simple way. That’s SO much better than you get in WWE or in most promotions these days. The fact that the story is simple enough to be explained that quickly helps a lot too. Good match here too, with both guys working hard and having a nice showcase between the two of them.
Grimsley gets in a few more shots to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. I liked this a lot. They went on for about forty five minutes and covered a variety of stories with each one getting some solid attention. This was one of the better territory promotions I’ve seen in a long time and I could go for seeing more from them. I was actually impressed by this one and that’s not something I would have ever expected from this one.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
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