There wasn’t one result that I couldn’t justify as being important to a story down the line..
Wrestlelution IV Review | From J-Hawk’s Beak – Smartasses Magazine
I’m back! Well, not that I really went away since I’m Pro Wrestling Weekend virtually every week, but this is the first time I’ve written a legitimate review in close to six years. I will have to go back through some of the stuff I used to write on another site that will remain nameless (mostly because it resembles a ghost town right now) and try to archive it here. But first, some original material.
Normally I make the hour or so drive to Cleveland for Pro Wrestling Ohio’s annual Wrestlelution event. This year I couldn’t make the trip, but thanks to gofightlive.tv, Wrestlelution 4: Overdrive became PWO’s first internet pay-per-view broadcast. So, thirty bucks for a front row ticket, twenty bucks for gas, six bucks for parking, plus food and drink? Or fifteen bucks to stay home and eat food I’d already bought. I probably still would have preferred the former, but the latter ends up being a good deal. Let’s review the show.
After the national anthem, we’re treated to a fantastic opening video package highlighting the key workers of the show. That is followed by a band called Groove Pipe playing one of the Wrestlelution theme songs. Eh, it’s time killer.
Normally I’d try to push the backstories of these matches, but honestly, we previewed the entire show for over an hour on July 31, 2011 so check out the archive for the preview.
Portia Perez vs. Veda Scott
Perez is a semi-regular with PWO, which does not have a regular women’s division. This is Scott’s PWO debut, and she is a graduate of the Ring of Honor Wrestling Academy. These two didn’t click as their timing seemed just a little bit off, particularly a drop toe hold into the corner spot that felt like I was watching it in slow motion. Perez gets the win by submission to a crossface in 5:35.
Old School Challenge: Nicki Valentino vs. Tito Santana
Santana looks in incredible shape for a man his age in what is probably his first match in Cleveland in close to twenty years. Before the match, Valentino demands the introductions be redone “the old school way” which leads to Valentino being given height, weight, color of trunks, and description of abilities, while Santana’s intro talks about it being his last match. Great heel move. Santana pins Valentino with a small package in 7:55 to nobody’s surprise. Okay match, about as good as can be expected given Tito’s age.
Three Way Dance for the PWO Television Title: Jason Gory vs. Michael Façade vs. Bobby Beverly©
This was originally scheduled as a four way dance also involving Shiima Xion, but Joe Dombrowski is quick to inform us that Shiima is unable to compete due to other contractual obligations… and yet he hasn’t appeared on an Impact Wrestling spoiler that I’ve seen as of this writing. Pretty solid opening match with some innovative spots. The finish comes when Façade takes Beverly down with a German suplex, but as referee Jake Clemons counts, Gory kicks Façade well below the belt, stealing the pin by cradling Beverly at 13:17 to win the title. The underlying story of Krimson’s Dead Wrestling Society needing a sweep to gain control of PWO starts with Gory making them 1-0.
For the Wrestlerama Trophy: Bobby Shields vs. Ben Fruith
One gripe about PWO: There are at least three guys on the roster who have multiple nicknames, leading to Shields being announced as “True Talent Beautiful Bobby The Body Shields” by ring announcer Pedro DeLuca. This, while solid, was a bit of a letdown from the opener. Shields has Fruith pinned on several occasions but picks him up once, makes an arrogant cover another time, leading to Fruith pinning Shields with the Fruith Roll Up in 7:47 to retain the trophy.
Kirst vs. Corey Winters
Former partners collide in part two of the Dead Wrestlers Society’s fight for power. Short match, with Kirst pinning Winters in 4:37 with a flying double stomp he dubs “The Blessing”. Okay match. The Dead Wrestling Society is now 2-0 with one match to go.
Full Circle Three Way Match: Josh Prohibition vs. Matt Cross vs. Johnny Gargano
This match is why I’m not doing in-depth backgrounds, as Prohibition and Cross have a history dating back ten years and Gargano has had history with Prohibition and Cross for at least five years. The advantage is they all know each very well. This is the most intense match of the show up to this point. The finish comes when Prohibition attempts to hit Gargano with the Drunken Driver (double underhook piledriver) through a table and the table breaks under their weight. Cross follows up by hitting a shooting star press onto both men, pinning Gargano in 23:18. I sat through Hardcore Justice after watching this show, and this was by far the best match of the six and a half hours of wrestling I sat through on Sunday.
After the match, Josh Prohibition grabs a mic and puts over the late J.T. Lightning, saying if it weren’t for him, nobody would have seen this match. Lightning had a hand in training all three men at various stages of their careers.
They took a 25 minute intermission (announced as being 15 minutes) and while we saw a wide shot of the ring, we were treated to more music from Groove Pipe. Luckily I couldn’t hear the music well at all.
Four Way Elimination Match for the PWO Tag Team Championship: Brian Bender & Bryan Castle vs. The Homeless Handicap Connection vs. Aeroform vs. The Sons of Michigan
The first part of the match was played for comedy, as Castle, playing a simpleton gimmick (think baby face Norman the Lunatic with a Mohawk) hip tosses everybody, including his own partner and referee Tom Dunn. Dunn even hip tossed somebody in response. Gregory Iron (the one put over by CM Punk a few weeks ago) pins Castle with a sunset flip at 4:30, and the match turns more serious and gets better as a result. The second elimination comes at 8:21 when Flip Kendrick pins Hobo Joe following a shooting star senton (which looked sweet as hell but does require some suspension of disbelief). Aeroform then comes close to winning the titles on several occasions, but after Kendrick hits a flying body press on Benjamin Boone, Boone rolls over the momentum and pulls the tights to retain at 13:18. Good stuff once the comedy ended.
No Disqualification Match for the PWO Championship: Krimson vs. Jason Bane ©
Krimson attempts to make it 3-0 and gain all the control in PWO. They brawl all over the Pavilion and into the bleachers. As soon as they get in the ring, Kirst and Gory interfere to make it 3-on-1. Bane eventually takes Kirst and Gory out, leading to the last several minutes being one on one. Bane finally takes Krimson out with a Baneline for the pin at 19:24, giving Krimson his first pinfall loss since entering PWO nearly two years ago. The match was a fun brawl, which I was pretty much expecting, but may have gone a few minutes too long.
Marion Fontaine & Brodie Lee vs. Aaron Draven & Kevin Nash
Major gripe here (and really my only major gripe of the entire show). They mention repeatedly during the show about an altercation between Fontaine, Lee and Nash at the pre show party the night before, but we get no footage of said altercation. I normally wouldn’t care about this had it not been for the fact that they were advertising that PWO cameras would be at the part filming for television. Going in knowing that Brodie Lee had been fighting an injury and Nash is Nash, I fully expected this match to be largely Fontaine vs. Draven. Surprisingly, it was actually Nash playing face in peril with Draven making the hot tag. The finish sees Nash taking Fontaine down with the Jack Knife, then Draven coming off of Nash’s shoulders with a splash for the pin at 8:46.
Overall, I felt this show was a step down from last year. Last year’s show felt more epic coming in and wound up being very good. This one didn’t strike me coming in as this huge must-see show, and after intermission it felt like an ordinary indy show. However, this show as a whole was still better than a lot of offerings from WWE in the early part of the year and was whole lot better than Hardcore Justice, and… it was a smartly booked show in that there wasn’t one result that I couldn’t justify as being important to a story down the line. Thumbs up overall.