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The Wrestling Revolver: Pancakes and Piledrivers
by Samoa Rowe
April 1, 2017
So NXT Takeover: War Games II is on tonight, but I don't feel like watching it. However, I do feel like reviewing something, so I settled on this particular show despite it being extremely self-indulgent and knowing full well that no one will read it. I acquired this DVD as a throw-in on a Highspots special some months ago, and it features a bunch of people who went on to work for two little companies known as WWE and AEW (and a bunch more who will go to either one once ROH is finished imploding).
From Orlando, Florida, I suspect piggybacking on Wrestlemania 33. I didn't get to review anything that weekend, as my daughter was only 3 weeks old, so I was somewhat busy. The venue looks like a hotel's function room, but it's pretty full.
David Starr vs. Jeff Cobb
Starr makes a lot of noise on social media, but this is the first time I'm actually seeing him work. They feel each other out with a chain wrestling exhibition, which endears them to the fans. Tempers flare for a shoving contest. Starr snapmares Cobb into place for an "FU" knee to the face. Cobb almost slips while blocking a flying bulldog and slams Starr across the ring. Starr blocks a dive with a DDT onto the ring frame and delivers rapid fire suicide dives. Cobb blocks a third dive and slams Starr onto the apron before hitting him with a promotional sign. Starr counters into a tilt a whirl slam, followed by a neckbreaker onto the knee. Crowd chants for Cobb as he counters with a fancy gut wrench powerbomb. Starr answers with a crucifix bomb for 2. Starr's straight jacket German suplex gets 2. Starr springboards into Cobb's Tour of the Islands slam for the pinfall at 7:15. Lively opener that sets a great tone for the evening, ***.
Winner: Jeff Cobb
5 Way Mash Up:
Dezmond Xavier vs. Palmer vs. ACH vs. Michael Elgin vs. Moose
This is quite the random collection of talent, which I guess is the point. The ring introductions include lots of shots and jokes about the bank accounts of the participants. Elgin makes more than ACH, but Moose has NFL money left in his pocket book. Bell rings and Elgin and Moose work together to clear the ring before slugging it out. Elgin hits Moose with a German suplex and chops the life out of ACH, who retaliates with a blatant chop to the groin. ACH low blows Palmer, but Moose blocks him with his thighs. Moose gets caught with double superkicks from Xavier and Palmer. The ring gets cleared. Moose's top rope moonsault to ringside is something to behold. The match spills into the IHOP catering area, and the show lives up to it's name as pancakes get tossed around. Xavier dives off a bleacher to wipe out the field to "holy sh!t" chants. Back to the ring, Palmer catches Xavier with a brainbuster, but Moose saves the match. Moose's pop-up powerbomb sets up a senton on Palmer, but ACH saves. ACH kills Moose with a flying double stomp to the shoulders and manages a slam, but Elgin breaks it up with a rolling Germans! Elgin Germans Moose and ACH together! Elgin buckle bombs Moose, but Xavier interferes with a flip piledriver, but Elgin recovers for another suplex. No time to sell in this one. Xavier hits Elgin with a 619 around the ring post, but Elgin answers with a pop up cutter for 2. Palmer pulls Xavier away from Elgin's top rope position and steals the win with a piledriver at 10:46! You have to turn your brain off to enjoy this shameless spotfest, but if you can you'll enjoy yourself, ***½.
Eddie Kingston vs. Krugar
Krugar is the wrestler formerly known as Adam Rose, but now he's back to playing his Leo Kruger persona. Bell rings and they begin swinging wildly, and Kingston quickly hits a suplex into the buckles. Kingston wastes no time filling the ring with plunder, bridging a can lid on two chairs. Krugar blocks via low blow and puts Kingston through the plunder with a bulldog. Krugar follows with a somersault senton to the floor! Back to the ring, Kingston hits an STO and hits a sick lid shot to the head, followed by an unprotected chair shot. This is startling stuff for 2017. Right on cue, Kingston hits a unprotected trash can shot to the head, and Krugar has been busted open. Krugar dares another unprotected can shot, which Kingston is happy to oblige. Krugar counters with a bump onto the lid and hits a diving headbutt. Looks like Krugar plans on retiring this weekend. Kingston then throws Krugar off the top rope for a hideous landing onto the guard rail! Kingston orders fans to clear out for a DISGUSTING powerbomb onto the seating! Kingston hits a second powerbomb into the seats, and I'm seriously worried about Krugar's health now. Kingston takes a moment to boast that he "kills people" and continues the onslaught. Krugar defiantly pops up from Saito Suplexes but runs into Kingston's back fist. Kingston pins Krugar at 8:57! I honestly didn't know Krugar had this sort of match in him. Vicious garbage brawl, though a bit one sided, **½.
Winner: Eddie Kingston
Bull James arrives on the scene to knock out Kingston. The former Bull Dempsey tries to cut a promo, but gets "no one cares" chants from the fans. James responds by taking a seat and threatening to ruin the "f*cking show" and unleashes a profane tirade against the crowd.
Fans Bring the PRESENTS:
Jack Evans and Angelico vs. Ohio Is 4 Killers (Dave and Jake Crist)
The Crists interrupt a birthday celebration and rip open a present to find toy swords inside. Angelico and Dave Crist fence with the swords, and they sell the weapons as if they really hurt. Evans and Jake duel with lightsabers, and Evans impales him like Darth Maul vs. Qui Gon Jinn. I'm surprised this match didn't cause Jim Cornette to keel over from a brain aneurysm. THEY'RE KILLING THE BUSINESS! The crowd is kind of dead, so they resort to bumps on the ring frame to bring them back. Evans puts a Crist through a pair of chairs with a chokeslam, and this is feeling a bit disjointed with "haha" comedy juxtaposed with hardcore violence. Evans follows with a moonsault off the apron. A Crist shoves pancakes down Evans' throat, which I'm sure the good people at IHOP are proud sponsors. Evans hits a low blow with a kaleidoscope, and another with the plastic sword. Evan's assisted 450 splash gets 2, with a Crist save. The Crists suffer some serious miscues, which allows Angelico to pants on Crist for a stink face on the other. Ew. That's enough for the win at 8:22. This aimed for post modern hilarity and fell a bit short, *½ .
Winners: Jack Evans and Angelico
Shane Strickland vs. Ricochet
Both guys are with WWE in 2019, but were still trying to get noticed here. Ricochet shakes off a shoulder tackle and cartwheels out of a head scissors, and they sprint to a stalemate. They restart with wristlock reversals, and Strickland scores a side kick. Strickland hits a backbreaker over his shoulder. They exchange chops and Strickland hits an enziguri into an armbar, but Ricochet gets the ropes. Ricochet answers with a modified 619 and springboard clothesline. Ricochet stretches Strickland over his back and repeatedly rams his head into the buckles. Strickland comes back with a knee strike to the head and somersaults into an Ace Crusher! Strickland botches a tilt a whirl backbreaker, resulting in Ricochet's head hitting his knee! Strickland quickly follows with a flying rana to ringside. Ricochet answers with a cutter and standing SSP for 2. A series of counters results in Strickland hitting a wheelbarrow suplex into the buckles! Strickland absorbs a bicycle kick to hit a flurry of offense complete with a DDT off the buckles for a great 2 count. They trade knee strikes but Ricochet rebounds with a sick lariat and they both go down. They duke it out until Ricochet hits a Northern Lights suplex for a close nearfall. A top rope battle results in Ricochet hitting flying double knees to the chest. Strickland answers with a Death Valley Driver on the apron. Strickland's flying double stomp to the face gets 2. Ricochet elevates Strickland for a Pele kick for a good nearfall. Strickland counters Ricochet in a back handspring to lock on an armbreaker. Ricochet counters into a dead lift powerbomb! Ricochet's high angle DDT finishes at 16:44! Great athleticism on display here, but it fell into the "finisher, kick out, and repeat" trap down the stretch, ***¾
Ricochet and Strickland hug it out afterwards. I wonder if there'll be any hard feelings that Ricochet will keep his name in WWE, but Strickland will fall to the random name generator to become Isaiah Scott.
Battle of the Sexes:
Jake Manning vs. Su Yung
Su Yung is the wife of Rich Swann, who lost his WWE gig due to an alleged domestic violence incident against her. I remind you of this, because I find it a bit awkward that now we get to see her in some man vs. woman violence here. Manning is wearing a Boy Scout uniform and is playing the character of a chauvinistic tool who never outgrew the He-Man Women Haters Club. Yung enters as a demonic bride, weilding a kendo stick, to a rocking Deftones theme. Bell rings, and Yung aggressively takes control early on, applying a figure four! Manning consults the Man Scout manual while trapped, but Yung takes it away. Yung rips pages out of the book and eats some of it. Yung grapples Manning at ringside and allows fans in the front row to hit him (that's totally not cool). Yung kicks Manning into a chair for a somersault senton off the apron! Manning comes back by powerbombing Su onto the ring frame! Manning pulls and steps on Yung's hair to wear her down. Su throws a pancake to gain an opening and rana's Manning into the buckle.s Draping DDT by Yung gets 2. Yung applies a mandible claw, but Manning puts a sock on his hand for a potential counter, but Yung isn't scared of it. Yung gets a stack of pancakes but has to knock Manning's valet off the apron. Manning piledrivers Yung onto the pancakes for the win at 8:29. This was yet another comedy match that didn't quite land with me, **.
Winner: Jake Manning
Manning stands tall and taunts his fallen opponent, but Yung catches him off guard with rest mist to the face. I guess a moral victory will have to be good enough. She uses her kendo stick to get back to her feet, and I have to wonder why she didn't use it during the match.
Twins (Brian Cage and Sami Callihan) vs. Lucha Bros. (Penta El Zero and Rey Fenix)
Cage catches Penta with a dive during entrances, so Fenix storms the ring for retribution against Callihan, hitting a superkick. Cage catches Penta with a Death Valley Driver, but he rebounds with another superkick. Penta misses a charge on Sami, allowing running knees to the face. Sami hits a dive, but Fenix answers with a top rope somersault plancha! Penta cuts off Cage's dive with a superkick, but Cage suplexes him off the apron onto their partners! Twins counter with a double superplex for 2! Fenix blocks a powerbomb off the apron and hits a guillotine leg drop. Meanwhile, Cage powerbombs Penta into the buckles and hits the F5. Fenix saves and counters Cage into a tornado DDT for 2. Sami's Michinoku Driver kills Fenix, but Penta saves. Lucha Bros regain some momentum with stereo superkicks, but Cage clotheslines them down. Penta catches Cage with a falling backstabber and everyone is down! Match continues with Lucha Bros hitting double stomps and piledrivers on the apron! Lucha Bros' wheelbarrow slam sets Cage up for double thrust kicks. Lucha Bros hit Sami with stereo superkicks, but he just flips them off, so they hit him again. Penta's Package Piledriver sets up Fenix' destroyer and Sami is finished at 9:34. Just an absurd sequence of beautiful high spots and finishing moves. Or, you know, killing the business, ****.
Winners: Lucha Bros.
All four guys drop any pretense that they hate one another and celebrate their successful stunt show together for the fans.
Open Invite Ladder Match:
AR Fox vs. Joey Janela (with Penelope Ford) vs. Jason Cade vs. Davey Vega vs. Trey Miguel vs. Arik Cannon vs. Zachary Wentz vs. Caleb Konley vs. Trevor Lee vs. Serpentico vs. Lio Rush
The DVD doesn't list any participants, so I'm surprised by any and all of the guys during their entrances. I don't know who Cade, Vega, or Miguel are. Bell rings and the ring immediately clears out in an opening brawl. Janela gets some shine, connecting with a tope. Rush follows suit with a springboard moonsault, followed by Serpentico's somersault plancha. The dive sequence continues until everyone is down, with Fox hitting a beautiful inverted SSP. Lee and Cannon both fake a dive and set up ladders. Lee climbs both and gets split as they're pulled out from under him. Janela climbs but Rush meets him at the top. Cade dives through the ladder to destroy it. Ladders are cleared out as guys hit rapid fire finishers in the ring. Rush avoids a double team ladder attack and counters with a dropkick. Lee ambushes Rush and spends too much time celebrating, but still hits a reverse whip into the ladder. Lee climbs, but Janela cuts him off, as other ladders get stacked around them. Just about everyone climbs at once and bodies fall until Rush is alone, but Konley tips him over. Janela leg sweeps Konley off the ladder. At ringside, Lio and AR Fox play wack a mole with attempted chair shots over a draping ladder. Cade breaks it up with an ill advised dive and goes through the ladder. Janela stand a tall ladder and sends Ford up on his behalf. Ford settles for a high crossbody off the ladder through a pile of guys at ringside! Vega pulls Janela off a ladder and hits a low blow. Meanwhile, Fox takes a bump through a piece of wood. In the ring, Vega stacks some guys in a tree of woe for a flying double stomp! Janela cuts Vega off and drapes a ladder on it's side, but Vega tosse Janela onto it in disgusting fashion! Cannon throws a chair into Vega's face and hits a DDT. Wentz catches Cannon with a Canadian Destroyer! Miguel springboards off the ropes to hit Wentz with a rana off the top! Serpentico climbs but gets swarmed at the top and takes Rush' Spanish Fly that just misses a wooden board! Konley powerbombs Cade over the ropes and through another board! Fox avoids Konley's springboard can shot and drapes Konley onto a ladder for a 450 splash! Lee seats Fox for a running double stomp! Lee climbs but has to kick an interfering Ford away. Ford saves herself from Lee with a roundhouse kick and climbs, but Lee then puts her through the wooden board with a Death Valley Driver! Rush then tosses Janela through a giant pile of plunder! There's too much happening at once. On the stage, a tower of doom through a table would have been the highlight of almost any other match, but hardly gets a reaction here. Fox and Cade both climb and get their hands on the title, but Cade pulls it away and collapses for the win at 25:51! Cade wins the Open Invite Championship! This might be the highest effort stunt show I've ever seen for an audience this small. Insane train wreck match that no one has ever heard of before, ****½.
Winner: Jason Cade
Final Thoughts: Considering this was basically a freebie that was thrown in on a Highspots order, I went into this not really knowing what to expect. What I got was a breezy, entertaining show with a ton of variety. The comedy matches did not land, but they were far from my mind while I was gasping during that bonkers ladder main event. This show can be yours at Highspots, potentially for free or virtually free, if you play your cards right, check it out if you get the chance.
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