Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. 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?
Texas Till I Die
Date: April 3, 2022
Location: St. Jude Hall, Arlington, Texas
Commentators: Chris Russo, Sammy Cassel
This is from New Texas Pro, which as you might guess is a local Texas promotion which ran some events over Wrestlemania XXXVIII weekend. I’m not sure what to expect from this show but there are some talented names on the card. Shows like this can go in a few different ways and hopefully this one works out well. Let’s get to it.
As you might have gathered, I don’t follow the promotion so I apologize for not knowing plot or character points.
Hyan vs. Billie Starkz
For the #1 contendership to the Women’s Title. They hit stereo pump kicks to start and that means it’s already time for a standoff. Starks sends her outside and yells at a lot of empty seats, allowing Hyan to get back up for her own dive. Back in and Hyan rolls her down into a cravate for some knees to the face. A half crab with a boot on the back of Starkz’ head makes it even worse and it’s off to an armbar.
Back up and Hyan plants her with a Wasteland for two and we hit the chinlock. Starkz fights up and hits a kick to the head of her own. They slug it out for a double knockdown but Hyan blocks a third Amigo. Hyan hits a running knee in the corner to set up a Falcon Arrow for two but Starkz rolls her up for the same. A Gory Bomb and Swanton give Starkz two each, only to have Hyan pull her into something like a crucifix with both arms cranked back for the tap at 9:35.
Rating: C. Not bad for a starter and Hyan seems like a fairly polished star. Starkz is someone who has been around the indies for a bit now and has potential but still needs some work and experience to sharpen the edges. Not a great match, but they didn’t do anything horrible and it had enough energy.
Respect is shown post match.
Tag Team Titles: Fly Def vs. JJ Blake/Cam Cole
Fly Def (Warren Johnson/Zack Mason) is challenging. Mason drives Blake into the corner to start and it’s quickly off to Cole. Johnson dropkicks him down for two but Cole grabs a headlock takeover. Back up and Cole gets his neck snapped across the top to put him back in trouble, setting up a slingshot elbow for two. Cole gets launched into the corner, where Blake is fine enough to not tag in.
Blake is willing to come in for an assist on a double clothesline and a neckbreaker gives Cole two. Back up and Mason grabs a German suplex on Blake, who cuts him off with a quick front facelock. As you might have guessed, Mason powers over for the tag but the referee is distracted, meaning the beating continues (that will always work and I love it). A Demolition Decapitator (with a knee instead of an elbow) gets two on Mason and we hit the one arm camel clutch.
Mason finally fights out and kicks Cole away, allowing the hot tag off to Johnson to start cleaning house. A sitout bulldog gives Johnson two but Cole comes in to cut him off. Cole hits a frog splash for two and a not very good looking Big Rig gets a delayed two. Everything breaks down again and a pair of running shots in the corner rock Blake.
A spinning high crossbody into a top rope splash gets two with Cole making a rather last minute save. What looks to be a Tower of Doom winds up as a sitout powerbomb to Cole, leaving Blake to get caught in a Gory Bomb/middle rope Codebreaker (doesn’t work so well but nice concept) for the pin and the titles at 13:16.
Rating: B-. I like Fly Def, but this one went on too long and the champs were in over their heads. This needed to wrap up a few saves earlier and the extra stuff didn’t really make it better. The title change is nice and Fly Def was a good enough young team, but the lack of audience noise is making this show a bit weird to watch, especially in a longer match like this one.
ASF vs. Stephen Wolf
That’s short for Antonio San Francisco. Feeling out process to start as Wolf takes him down in a front facelock with commentary talking about Wolf recovering from a horrible neck injury/surgery. ASF slips out of a rollup for two and we’re up to a standoff. Another takedown attempt is cut off by a standing backflip flip from ASF so Wolf tries a springboard wristdrag….which gets so high that he gets his feet caught in some of the drapes above the ring.
You don’t see anything like that happen very often and since Wolf is fine, ASF slips out of a powerbomb attempt and kicks him to the floor. There’s the big running flip dive to drop Wolf on the floor but he’s fine enough to avoid a 450 back inside. The Death Valley Driver into the corner gives Wolfe two and we hit the chinlock. ASF slips out and hits a springboard Sling Blade, with commentary possibly implying that was a bit more flippy than necessary.
Back up and Wolf kicks him in the face, setting up a running shooting star press for two. ASF isn’t going to be outdone with a Death Valley Driver of his own into a basement dropkick. A series of strikes from ASF looks to set up a handspring but Wolf grabs a sliding cutter (cool) for two more. Wolf misses a moonsault though and the 450 gives ASF the pin at 10:03.
Rating: C+. They had a bit of time here and while this was a very indy feeling style match with a bunch of flips and dives, it was entertaining enough to keep me interested in two guys I have barely heard of before. For a ten minute match on this kind of show, it worked out perfectly well.
Commentary compliments ASF’s…..cover. That’s a pretty rare one. Respect is shown as well.
Cole Radrick vs. Aaron Mercer
Radrick has been decent in the few matches I’ve seen from him before. We get a bit of a tentative handshake and we’re ready to go. Feeling out process to start and they trade some chops, with both of them standing still to maximize the shots. Mercer chops him so hard that blood is trickling down Radrick’s chest (dang) and a running kick to said chest gives Mercer two.
They head outside with Radrick being sent hard into the barricade to keep him in trouble. Back in and they strike it out with Radrick knocking him down for two of his own. Mercer gets knocked to the apron and grabs a triangle choke over the ropes. With that broken up, they slug it out again with Radrick getting the better of things until a running shot to the face cuts him off. Radrick gets caught with another right hand on the top and it’s Nigel McGuinness’ old Tower of London to give Mercer the pin at 8:10.
Rating: C. I’m still not big on the “you hit me and then I’ll hit you” stuff and there wasn’t much here besides that. I don’t know if Radrick was a bit tired after wrestling so much this weekend, but this didn’t exactly catch fire. Granted it doesn’t help when you are having a cold match in front of a small crowd so there is only so much that you can get going.
Post match Radrick grabs a mic and puts Mercer over. He thanks the fans for coming out and shakes Mercer’s hand, apparently finally getting to meet him.
Heather Monroe vs. Shazza McKenzie
This is McKenzie’s New Texas Pro debut. Monroe has a large fan (as in one she holds in her hand) and quite the feather boa so she’s more than a bit over the top. McKenzie cranks on the arm to start and takes it to the mat with an armbar. Monroe can’t get a Figure Four so McKenzie headlock takeovers her down. A running dropkick puts Monroe in the corner and a running shot to the face makes it worse.
Monroe is able to take her to the floor by the knee (egads) and makes fun of McKenzie’s face, which was damaged by Maven (yes that Maven, because there can be only one) over the weekend. Back in and something close to a dragon sleeper keeps McKenzie in trouble, setting up a running hip attack in the corner to make it worse. A double stomp to the back out of the corner gives Monroe two but McKenzie manages a knockdown of her own.
They’re both down for a bit, followed by a strike off. McKenzie ties her in the ropes for the rapid fire kicks to the chest and a high crossbody gets two. Monroe is fine enough to grab a half dragon suplex and a basement superkick connects for two more. They strike it out again until McKenzie hits a splits Stunner and goes up. The middle rope sunset flip is countered though and Monroe sits down and grabs the rope for the pin at 10:48.
Rating: C+. McKenzie is someone who feels like she should be ready to become a top star but never breaks through for whatever reason. You could definitely tell she had some more polish here than a lot of the other stars on the show and she did a nice job of putting over Monroe. Nice enough match here, and McKenzie still feels like she could have a lot of potential.
Six Shooter Challenge
This is a six person match with timed intervals, but a pin or submission can win the match at any time, even if everyone isn’t in yet. There is a two minute interval for the first two entrants and one minute intervals after that, with the winner gets a future title match. I’d assume six entrants but you never can tell with these things. At least it isn’t everyone at once though, with Max Heights (whose Lone Star Title isn’t on the line) in at #1 and Izzy James is in at #2.
Heights gets rolled up to start and bails to the floor for a quick breather. Back in and Heights gets some rollups of his own until he drops James pretty hard onto his shoulder. James pulls a springboard dive out of the air and grabs a Sharpshooter but Rudy Garza is in at #3 for the save. Garza snaps off Three Amigos on Heights, who is right back with a high crossbody to take both of them down. Sky de Lacrimosa (the Texas Chasinsaw, who has no chainsaw) with Cousin Otis, is in at #4 and knocks Garza out of the air.
There’s a Rock Bottom out of the corner to take out James but all three get on the monster. That doesn’t work very well and it’s Jerome Daniel Griffey (Dr. Sleep, who looks like an MMA fighter) in at #5 to go after Sky as well. Griffey gets to clean house and it’s a quadruple sleeper until T Ray is in at #6 to complete the field. It’s Griffey getting in Ray’s face, earning himself a quick T (F) 5 for two, with a group save needed.
Ray shrugs that off and sends them into the corner for some running clotheslines. A running hurricanrana drops Sky and a powerbomb gets two on Heights. Ray is knocked outside for a big flip dive from Heights, leaving Griffey to muscle Sky over for a suplex. Garza takes Griffey down but Ray is back in with a T5 to Garza….but Heights comes in to steal the pin at 10:17.
Rating: C. I liked the staggered entrances deal but yeah this was just another scramble match and nothing more. Heights seems like a good villain, but there is only so much to be gathered from a match with six people over ten minutes. T Ray felt like a good monster and Sky is probably going to be a threat to multiple people around here, but find a better way to showcase them than throwing everyone in at once.
Heights immediately runs off in a smart move.
Women’s Title: Raychell Rose vs. Willow Nightingale
Rose is defending and gets powered away to start. Nightingale’s headlock is broken up and they go to the grappling for a change. Back up and Nightingale flips to the middle of the ring for some quick dancing. Nightingale manages Two Amigos before the third is countered into a small package for two.
A fisherman’s buster plants Rose for two but she’s right back to work on Nightingale’s leg in the corner. The leg cranking stays on in the middle of the ring before a running knee in the corner rocks Nightingale again. Nightingale quickly fights out of a chinlock and scores with a heck of a clothesline for a double knockdown.
The clothesline comeback is on, setting up a spinebuster to give Nightingale two. There’s the Pounce into a Cannonball in the corner for two but Rose knocks her off the top. Rose’s spear connects for two but Nightingale knocks her off the top as well. Rose goes right back to the leg and a running knee to the back of the head (ala Adam Cole’s Last Shot) retains the title at 10:12.
Rating: C+. Nightingale is such fun to watch but she didn’t get to do as much of her thing here. She has so much charisma and it is so easy to like her so having her around helped a lot. Other than that, Rose was fine as a champion for Nightingale to go after, making this a perfectly fine title match.
Mysterious Q vs. Davey Richards
For a future New Japan Pro Title match. Feeling out process to start with Richards getting him down by the arm. An exchange of cradles gets two each and Richards takes a quick breather on the floor. Richards comes back in and kicks him down to set up the chinlock. With that not working, Richards kicks away at the arm before cranking away at it in various painful looking ways.
They head outside where Q cuts off the big kick to the chest, only to have Richards take out the leg again back inside. A running dropkick to the knee sets up the Figure Four, which Q turns over to send Richards to the rope. Richards is fine enough to kick him down again as commentary wonders why Q can’t get anything going. Back up and Q grabs a release German suplex, followed by the Q Cutter for a delayed two.
A dragon screw legwhip over the rope lets Richards go up, where he misses the double stomp. Richards instead grabs an Indian Deathlock to send Q bailing to the ropes again. They slug it out until Q’s handspring kick to the face is countered into an ankle lock. That’s broken up so Richards kicks him down and hits the top rope double stomp for two. A brainbuster gets two more so we hit the ankle lock again, which Q reverses into a cradle for the pin out of nowhere at 15:48.
Rating: B-. In case you were wondering, no, Richards has not gained the ability to show emotion or do much beyond striking people rather hard. I know he has an audience and some people are into this stuff, but I’ve never been a fan and Q didn’t get in much here, with even commentary acknowledging it. Q has a good look and some size, but this wasn’t a good showcase of him because of all the Richards dominance.
Respect is shown post match to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This was a show where the wrestling was pretty good for the most part but it was such a dry event that I was dreading watching most of it. Maybe it was the small crowd and venue, but there was almost nothing on here that would make me want to watch more from the promotion. There was no emotion here at all and it felt like a show that could be done better by other promotions. That doesn’t make it feel special, but rather just kind of there.
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