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?
Attribute Of The Strong
Date: June 29, 2019
Location: Bossanova Ballroom, Portland, Oregon
Commentator: Joe Dumbrowski
It’s another show from Independentwrestling.TV as I get everything I can out of a free trial. This is from Prestige Wrestling, a promotion out of the northwest with some names I’ve actually heard of for a change. I’m not sure what to expect from this but that can make it more fun at times. Let’s get to it.
As usual, I have no idea what is going on here with characters or storylines so I’m sorry if I miss anything in advance.
Sweet there’s commentary on this one. That was a major problem last time.
Ethan HD vs. Sonico
I’ve seen Ethan before and Sonico is your local luchador. The ring looks rather big, probably WWE size at least. The fans immediately go with a BOTH THESE GUYS chant as the lighting looks like one of those recreation scenes on Dark Side Of The Ring, complete with the handheld camera work. Sonico takes him down into a front facelock so Ethan crawls backwards to escape. A test of strength goes a little better for Ethan as he takes Sonico down but can’t break his bridge.
Ethan’s jumping stomp misses, with Ethan saying it was that close. Fair enough and a smart warning as grown men stomping down onto the chest can be damaging. Sonico’s mask comes unhooked so Ethan helps put it back together, meaning we need a hug. A quick victory roll gives Sonico two and Ethan has to duck a swinging kick to the head so we can have a standoff. Another hug winds up being some shoving, allowing Sonico to bounce off the ropes into a wristdrag.
Ethan tries the same and can’t get up to the middle rope for a funny bit. It’s Sonico picking up the pace and hitting a springboard shoulder to put Ethan on the floor. The suicide dive nearly sends Ethan into the corner of the small arena and the fans are rather pleased. Sonico chops him around the ring, even having Ethan sit on a chair for a rather big one. Back in and Sonico hits a basement dropkick in the corner for two, followed by a quickly broken Figure Four.
Ethan tells him to bring it on so Sonico drops him with a left hand to the face. To be fair, he did ask for it. Some running knees in the corner have Sonico in trouble and a Death Valley Driver gives Ethan two. Things get a bit more aggressive with Ethan stomping him down in the corner, meaning it’s time to head to the floor. A chop nearly attaches a poster to Sonico’s chest and a bottom rope superplex gives Ethan two more. Ethan clotheslines his head off for another two but Sonico sends him throat first into the middle rope.
That means a top rope double stomp to the back and a missile dropkick as Ethan is rocked for a change. There’s a Sling Blade into a suplex (called a brainbuster) for two on Ethan but he’s right back up with a springboard kick to the head. Sonico rolls outside so it’s a springboard moonsault to take him out as this is getting WAY more time than I was expecting. Ethan returns the top rope double stomp to the back and hits a running shooting star press for two more.
Sonico’s reverse hurricanrana plants Ethan but he can’t follow up. It’s Ethan up first and a shot to the head sets up a tiger driver for the next near fall. Sonico is back up with a lifting DDT and Ethan flips him off and spits at him after the comeback. That’s too much for Sonico, who knees him in the back of the head for the pin at 19:30.
Rating: B. That was FAR longer than I was expecting but it was a rather entertaining back and forth match. Ethan started off being respectful and having fun but eventually got a lot angrier and more disrespectful. That told a nice story for the match and I had a good time with this. That’s how you need to open a show and I’m looking forward to seeing what else they have for the rest of the night. Nicely done.
They shake hands post match.
Cole Wright vs. Mike Santiago
So a bit of a weird thing here: they show a graphic for every match, which is perfectly fine. What’s strange is that it shows all of the show’s information, including where to go for tickets. To the show that you’re already watching. Santiago seems to be the villain here as he has been saying that Wright, who is new around here, isn’t in his league. The wristlock has Santiago in some early control as we hear about the Prestige Championship picture.
The battle of wristlocks goes to a standoff and Santiago chuckles from the corner. They fight over a top wristlock until Wright hits him in the face to make Santiago go a bit more serious. A running clothesline gets one and a Codebreaker gets double that, so Santiago gets smart and knocks him outside. That means a kick from the apron before squeezing Wright’s head against the post.
Back in and the chinlock keeps Wright down and a big forearm gets two. The running knee to the face misses but Santiago is fine with a dropkick to take Wright back down. Wright is back on his feet for the slugout with Santiago getting the better of it for two. A missed crossbody out of the corner makes it even worse for Wright but Santiago is getting frustrated off the near falls. Santiago’s tornado DDT gets a slightly delayed two so it’s time to punch Wright in the face.
Another near fall means it’s time to yell at the referee, which allows Wright to roll some German suplexes. Santiago runs him over for two more, but walks into a spinebuster for Wright’s first big shot in a good while. Wright grabs him by the waist to send Santiago bailing to the ropes out of fear of something unclear. With that broken up, Santiago nails a knee to the face and grabs a fisherman’s buster into a small package to put Wright away at 14:46.
Rating: C. This was another one with a story though the action wasn’t as entertaining. Santiago wasn’t all that impressed by Wright to start but had to worker harder to beat him. The problem was that I didn’t quite buy that Santiago was in any real danger as Wright was more surviving than competing. The spinebuster was good but other than that, there just wasn’t much going on here. Not bad, but it only went so far.
Post match Santiago says cut the music. He told everyone that Wright didn’t have a chance, which has been the case with so many people around here. Santiago wants better competition and he’s tired of being up local guys.
Black Sheep vs. Drexl vs. Jaiden vs. Nick Radford
One fall to a finish. Drexl has been mentioned a few times and seems to be a bigger deal around here. Radford has glasses and a book, with the fans not seemingly that into him. This seems to be a new look for him and while he wants to say something, Drexl, with a huge beard, cuts him off as we’re ready to go. The bell rings and Radford gets the mic but the fans cut him off this time.
Radford has something to read for us: erotic fan fiction poetry, which seems to please Drexl. The poem is about the four way and how the four of them could have a bit of fun. Jaiden takes the book away and the double teaming is on (make your own jokes). Sheep and Jaiden hammer away on him but Drexl is more interested in reading the book. Jaiden kicks Radford in the face but gets hit in the face with the book for his efforts. More book shots from Drexl set up a nasty paper cut for Jaiden as we’re in Jimmy Havoc world.
Sheep and Radford are fine with watching as Drexl cuts Jaiden’s mouth as well. With Sheep remembering he’s in the match, Drexl and Radford fight over the book on the floor as Jaiden, seemingly fine from the cuts, flips across the ring. That doesn’t go well as Sheep catches him for a slam into the corner, setting up a toss over the top onto the other two. Back in and Radford has the book again, with Drexl telling him to finish the story. He even brings Radford a chair so he can read more easily.
Radford gets to the part about Jaiden, who tries to break it up and gets sent face first into the chair for his efforts. Then Sheep is sent face first into Radford’s crotch and Drexl pelts the chair at Sheep’s head. Another chair is set up in the middle and it’s a Tower of Doom to send everyone but Radford through them. As a result, Radford loads up the book again but gets pulled into the Tree of Woe and then a trashcan. Sheep spears the trashcan, leaving Drexl to hit a sitout Death Valley Driver for the pin on Jaiden at 11:22.
Rating: D+. I’m not sure what to make of this, but I know I’m not a big fan of comedy like this. The book deal was more bizarre than funny which made for a rather different match. Maybe this is a match where I need to know the people a bit better, but this didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t the worst and it didn’t last that long (remember that the reading went for over two minutes at the beginning), but this mostly missed for me.
Post match Drexl hits himself in the head with a chair. Various others leave annoyed.
Juventud Guerrera vs. TJP
This could be interesting. Juvy, in his mask again, streams his entrance in one of those things that always seems cool, no matter how common it might be. Before the match, Juvy does his Rock impression, which has been going on longer than Rock’s entire career now. He also puts over TJP as the first modern Cruiserweight Champion and then goes with a LET’S GET JUICY chant. Uh, yeah. Anyway they shake hands and we’re ready to go.
Juvy snapmares him down early on but doesn’t follow up in a show of respect. A battle over wristlocks means a lot of spinning and flipping away until TJP anklescissors him down. TJP has to bounce out of a headscissors and a basement dropkick puts Juvy on the floor. An exchange of leapfrogs takes us to a standoff and the fans are rather pleased with what they’re seeing.
That means another handshake but Juvy takes a breather by laying across the ropes ala Eddie Guerrero. TJP does his own Eddie pose, but Juvy says HE loves Eddie more. One heck of a chop drops TJP and the double arm crank is on. Some running shots in the corner rock TJP again with Juvy throwing in some swearing for flavor. Now we pause so Juvy can yell at a fan, allowing TJP (known defender of fans) to hit a springboard hurricanrana to put them both down.
There’s a tornado DDT to plant Juvy and a high crossbody gets two. Juvy gets two of his own off a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a Downward Spiral into the middle buckle makes it even worse. An over the shoulder backbreaker is spun into a DDT to give Juvy two more and it’s time for the Juvy Driver (I know this as Juvy makes a motion and shouts JUVY DRIVER). The shouting isn’t the best idea as TJP reverses into the kneebar with Juvy tapping….and then shaking his head no. The referee counts it as the submission at 13:34 in a weird ending.
Rating: C+. This is why you bring in someone with a reputation like Juvy. TJP is a bigger name in modern wrestling but Juvy was a big deal during one of the most important eras and a win over him means something for TJP. You have to bring in the veterans to give the younger guys (though TJP is a veteran as well) a boost. Good match too as the show has been rather entertaining so far.
There’s some confusion over what happened but Juvy definitely tapped. A guy with a camera who I assume is an authority figure decides we’re getting five more minutes because SLAPPING THE MAT OVER AND OVER while in a hold doesn’t count as a tap for some reason. They kick away at each other as commentary tries to explain that it was a controversial ending. The Juvy Driver and Detonation Kick are both countered and Juvy rolls him up for the pin at 15:10 total. That had to be a botched finish earlier because otherwise there is no reason to do something so messy and so fast.
Post match Juvy raises his mask and praises TJP again. Juvy didn’t tap (yeah he did) and would love to face TJP again at some point. TJP says he knows Juvy didn’t tap but he’d want five more minutes with him even if he had. He left WWE to chase his freedom and he’s honored to face another former Cruiserweight Champion. Hugging ensues.
Team C4 vs. Eh Team vs. Konami Code vs. 4 Minutes of Heat
Elimination rules and the Konami Code is the only one I’ve heard of. The Eh Team (Lance Pearson/Chase James) are Canadians, 4 Minutes of Heat (Eddie Pearl/Ricky Gibson (not Robert’s brother, who was also a wrestler)) are rockers, Konami Code (Julian Whyt/CJ Edwards) are in Castlevania cosplay and Team C4 (Cody Chun/Guillermo Rosa) are….well they’re the last to enter. There is currently a Tag Team Title tournament going on/still be seeded so there is some jockeying for position going on here.
Chun and Whyt start things off as the fans chant what sounds like “SALTY B******”. Whyt and Chun trade some legsweeps and they both miss dropkicks for an early standoff. It’s off to Rosa vs. James, with the first round consisting of getting the fans to cheer louder. Instead of going after James, Guillermo chops Gibson to bring him in.
The other teams bail from a Gibson tag attempt, leaving him to get kicked in the face. James hits some chops in the corner and it’s Pearl coming in for a save, earning himself a trip to his partner’s crotch. That happens two more times as this isn’t as funny as they think it is. A neckbreaker/powerbomb combination gets two on Gibson but a powerslam/neckbreaker combination finishes Pearson for the first elimination at 5:45.
It’s Konami Code coming in to double team Pearl with an assisted dropkick putting him on the floor. Pearl gets dropkicked off the apron and there’s the suicide dive. Chun dives onto both of them but Gibson slips on the ropes and crotches himself. More dives ensue until it’s another powerslam/neckbreaker combination to get rid of the Konami Code at 8:59.
Rosa slugs away at both of them and it’s a German suplex with an O’Connor roll for a double near fall. Chun comes back in and Rosa tries to use him as a launchpad into a Canadian Destroyer but Rosa can’t get over. Instead it’s a regular piledriver to Pearl, leaving Chun to roll Gibson up for the pin at 11:25.
Rating: C-. This had the dives and fast pace but it felt like it should have been a lot longer. The eliminations came rather fast and furious at the end and I was surprised by the final pin. In this case that isn’t the best thing in the world, as nothing really had a chance to be set up. The match wasn’t terrible or anything, but no one had a chance to stand out.
Post match 4 Minutes of Heat beat them down with the same powerslam/neckbreaker combination. Cue the likely authority figure to say he’s tired of 4 Minutes of Heat acting like this, so he’s bringing in someone they think they are: the Rock N Roll Express. Well that works, though the Express in Oregon feels weird.
Super Crazy vs. Chavo Guerrero
Chavo gets checked for weapons but just to be fair, he checks the ref too. Crazy likes the idea but doesn’t listen to the fans’ demands that he check the ref as well. We get a BOTH THESE GUYS chant and Chavo says that’s the first time he’s ever gotten one of those. Crazy takes him into the corner but gets snapmared down into an early chinlock. Back up and a wristlock seems to annoy Crazy so he takes it to the mat for a front facelock. That impresses Chavo and it’s another standoff.
An ECW chant lets Crazy get in a few cheap shots, as for some reason the fans don’t seem to remember Chavo being ECW Champion. Chavo gets beaten down in the corner and Crazy wraps the knee around the post. Back in and Crazy kicks at the leg to keep Chavo in trouble. It’s already time to head back to the floor with Chavo being thrown into some chairs.
They head back inside again for more kicks to the leg as you can’t say Crazy isn’t focused here. The chinlock switches the pace a bit but doesn’t last long as Chavo is back up with a dropkick. A headscissors into the slingshot hilo gets two and the knee is fine enough to hit Three Amigos. The Eddie chants are rolling as Chavo goes up but he has to knock Crazy back down. Something like a frog crossbody finishes Crazy at 10:49.
Rating: C. Chavo sold the knee near the end but there wasn’t much in the way of his offense changing because of it. That being said, a match between two guys far past their primes but still more than watchable in the ring is a good addition to have on the card. Having someone like Chavo makes the show feel a little more legitimate and adds some star power. He’s not the biggest name ever but he’s the biggest name on the show and he had a good match. It gives the place a little more legitimacy and that’s very important.
Post match Chavo talks about coming to Portland dozens of times for a bunch of companies Then he came back here for a show called Grimm and he loves this city. Chavo talks about all the things he loves about the place, including the coffee and the weed. This kind of a show is why someone leaves WWE because they love to interact with the fans.
Ask any big band if they have more fun playing in a stadium or a bar and they’ll pick the bar every time. Chavo puts over Crazy and the company, plus Prestige Champion Tom Lawlor. Nice speech, capped off with an EDDIE chant. Hang on though as Crazy wants to talk about how special this is as well.
Prestige Wrestling Title: Tom Lawlor vs. Simon Grimm
Lawlor is defending and that is Simon Gotch. This is a rubber match as they have split a pair of matches before this one. These two are feuding in MLW as well so there is potential here. Grimm heads to the mat to start with Lawlor not being able to do much. He can get out of Grimm’s armbar attempt but gets pulled down into a headscissors for a breather. Lawlor’s armbar has Grimm in a bit of trouble and a hammerlock puts him on the mat. Lawlor switches over to the leg and gets in a Sharpshooter, possibly becoming an honorary Canadian in the process.
With that broken up, Lawlor switches to a Figure Four as he’s certainly sticking with the grappling and submissions so far. Grimm pulls on the ankle to escape but Lawlor switches it over to a Regal Stretch while on his back. Some shots to the head get Grimm out of trouble and he goes with shots to the champ’s face. Lawlor is fine with the striking and knocks Grimm to the apron, only to suplex him back in. The guillotine choke keeps Grimm in trouble but they fall outside for the break and a crash.
Grimm finally manages to drop Lawlor onto the apron for a breather, breaks the count, and then goes back outside to kick Lawlor in the chest. Lawlor has shown he can hang in the striking so he kicks right back, has a drink, and keeps kicking. Another kick sends Grimm through some chairs as the fire is starting to come out. The referee’s requests to come back in aren’t well received as Grimm would rather hit a suplex on the floor to a big reaction.
That’s only good for two back inside so it’s bottom rope superplex time for two more. The Kimura attempt is broken up and it’s time to slug it out again. Just like the previous two times, Lawlor gets the better of it and we hit an airplane spin of all things. Lawlor puts him on the top for some running knees to the ribs, including one after three forward rolls. They slug it out again, with the low lights showing the sweat that much better. Yet again Lawlor gets the better of a battle of strikes but misses a top rope elbow.
Grimm STILL doesn’t get it with the strikes, though this time stereo big hits to the head give us a double knockdown. A German suplex drops Grimm on his head and a running knee rocks him again. The rear naked choke is broken up but Grimm can’t get the armbreaker. Lawlor is right back with the choke but Grimm uses the underneath arm to reach the rope.
Grimm gets up again and hits a cradle piledriver for two as Grimm is looking frustrated. This time Grimm goes for a rollup, which is reversed into a triangle choke for two arm drops. Lawlor flips over though and it’s a series of forearms to the head. Another triangle makes Grimm tap at 21:19.
Rating: B. Other than Grimm not getting it with the strikes, this was a very interesting and entertaining battle of two people trying to outlast the other. Grimm was good but Lawlor kept grinding him down and eventually winning when Lawlor was able to use the skills and experience. Grimm looked good here and has done a great job of making me forget what he used to be. Very good main event.
Lawlor wants to show respect but Grimm collapses to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. I wasn’t expecting anything here and I got a very good show with some good action, a few nice surprises and only one match I didn’t care for, which was more that it wasn’t my taste than anything else. This was a lot better than I would have bet on and that’s not something you can say from an indy company. Yeah it’s small and they are limited on stories, but this was a two hour and thirty five minute show with nothing bad and enough good that I’d watch another show. It’s one of the better indies I’ve seen and there are a lot of them to beat to reach that point.
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 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the History Of In Your House.
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