I was on the fence about ordering Matt Riddle’s Bloodsport. While wXw’s Ambition was enjoyable, I didn’t love it, and Bloodsport was a similar shoot style show. Then Suzuki stepped in after Low Ki Googled Riddle (joke stolen from Voices of Wrestling) and I slapped my money down. I have no idea what to expect from a card that has Nick Gage vs Timothy Thatcher on it. God, I love this time of year.
One final note before we start, I plan to be drinking while I watch a lot of these shows and writing the reviews as I go. If they get even more incoherent than usual, that’s the reason. Let’s dish out some stars.
They started late so treated us to half an hour of the same highlight package from WWN’s 2014 tour of China. Twitter during that period was better than the feed.
Dominic Garinni defeated Kyle The Beast
As part of the gimmick, the ring doesn’t have ropes and what the fuck is Kyle The Beast? Sorry, those points were unrelated. What a bizarre match-up. Garinni looked ready for an MMA fight, while Kyle was fighting out of the woods and looked like that’s where he got his gear. I love him already.
Amazingly, KTB’s ‘mauling’ style didn’t do him much good on the mat with Garinni. Although, he did have a hell of a lot more offence than anyone called Kyle The Beast should do.
In the end, Garinni got him in a triangle choke, grabbed the arm and it was over. I had fun, not because of the action, but because one of the men involved called himself Kyle The Beast. It’s the Kyle that makes it.
Verdict: Kyle The Beast
Eddie Kingston defeated Tracy Williams
Eddie Kingston wore a singlet which is a sight I’ll never get out of my head. Some weird ass things were going on around that crotch area.
The crowd reaction made it clear that this was closer to what they’d expected from a show called Bloodsports. While these two did go to the mat, they spent more time slugging it out. At one point Eddie was mounted on Tracy slapping him across the face. Who doesn’t want to see that?
They did a better job at combining MMA style with wrestling and were popping off suplexes alongside all the submissions and strikes. Eddie Kingston also looked tough as old boots as he got the win with a huge spinning backfist. I enjoyed that.
Verdict: Kingston’s Crotch
Masada defeated Martin Stone
An NXT wrestler vs a CZW garbage boy. WrestleMania weekend everyone!
Stone controlled the early going, taking Masada to the ground and rolling around with him. Masada looks like every backyard wrestler from the early noughties. He’s a Drowning Pool soundtrack away from dragging us all back to those more innocent days.
Honestly, this one kind of sucked. We got a bit of wrestling, Masada threw a few strikes and then when they were on the mat got a few elbows at which point the official called for the bell. Why? Unless Stone was injured why not let them go a bit longer? It’s not an actual fight, guys. It’s wrestling.
Verdict: Let The Bodies Hit The Floor
WALTER defeated Filthy Tom Lawlor
Tom Lawlor had a proper MMA style entrance including condom sponsorship. WALTER stalked to the ring like the fucking badass he is and got the best reaction so far. He’s my bet as the guy to breakout with the casual crowd this year.
And like a big bear, WALTER used his size to bully Lawlor. Throwing him around the ring and chopping him at every chance he got. If you were to look at these guys and take a guess who the legit fighter was, I don’t think many people would have plumped Lawlor.
They ended up chopping the shit out of each other which is always going to be fun. Annoyingly my stream chose that moment to decide to play funny buggers and it won’t let me rewind. When it came back, WALTER chopped Lawlor out of the air before lariating him into next week. Lawlor tried to do some of his MMA crap but The Ring General is out there to represent wrestling and he ain’t having none of that shit. He won by chocking the prick out.
That was great. WALTER is great. Can we all just talk about WALTER? I would like nothing better than to sit and have a bear with him while he told me about professional wrestling. We can invite Big Tim along too. Make it a party. Not a crazy party, we’d only have a few each, and I’d just listen while those two geniuses discuss the thing they do best.
Verdict: WALTER Chop!
For some reason, they had an intermission despite being 45 minutes in and starting late. The commentary team were as surprised as me. They’ve been crap by the way. Not that I’m listening to them that closely. The stream, after starting well, has also started playing up.
Dan Severn defeated Chris Dickinson
Chris Dickinson is an angry young man. Dan Severn has a magnificent moustache for a man his age. I think that’s reason enough to fight.
Dirty Dicky was taken to the mat which led to them doing the whole MMA thing. I know that’s the style of the show, and it’s Dan Severn in there, but the best matches have been those that have mixed wrestling storytelling in there. It wasn’t until they got back to their feet and Dicky started dishing out kicks that the crowd finally woke up.
There was a weird moment when the ref stopped Dickinson from elbowing Severn in the head for no apparent reason. They don’t quite seem to have figured out what the rules are or perhaps the refs are meant to be incompetent. Fuck knows. The commentary team certainly don’t.
Anyway, it was fine. It’s cool seeing Dan Severn saunter down to the ring looking like your da and still being able to go. While I’m not that bothered about them rolling around, when they were hitting each other, I had a lot of fun.
Oh shit, Dirty Dicky has gone for Severn after the bell. We’ve got a street fight and Riddle is out to break it up. Are they starting the build-up to next year’s ‘Mania early? Wait, Janela’s Clusterfuck, that makes sense.
Verdict: Dan Severn’s Moustache
Nick Gage defeated Timothy Thatcher
Nick Gage is legit scary and having him stroll down to ‘From Whom The Bell Tolls’ makes him look like a total badass. He has an aura that is perfect for a show like this because there’s a part of you that thinks he might decide to smack Big Tim in the face. If he does that he’ll no longer be my friend, not that I’ll tell him, he might hurt me.
The story here was written before they began. Gage wants a fight Thatcher wants a wrestle, the one who gets what they want will win. Early on that was very much Tim. Gage couldn’t compete with him on the floor and while he got a few digs in it wasn’t much. Things changed, though, when Thatcher accidentally dumped Gage onto the floor. Nick spotted his chance and we’ve got a brawl.
For the first time, this was living up to the Bloodsports moniker. It was two big fuckers, beating each other up. Even when they got back to the ring that continued, with the fans cheering every Gage strike and booing every Thatcher one. Apparently, it’s an Evolve crowd rather than a European one which means they’re all bastards. Big Tim is the boy.
The finish came when Gage got Thatcher on the ground and punched him repeatedly in the head. There was nothing subtle about it. It was strike after strike until the ref called for the bell.
Again, these matches are succeeding when they’re melding wrestling with MMA. This was a wrestling brawl set in a shoot world.
Verdict: A Big Old Punch To The Head
Minoru Suzuki defeated Matt Riddle
We’re somehow already on the main event. When you take out the China highlight packages and the intermission, this has been a short show. Ah fuck it, here comes Suzuki. KAZE NI NARE! My stream threatened to freeze before the big moment and if that had happened something would have gone out the window. Although the crowd is disappointingly subdued, do they not know who Suzuki is? Are they heathens?
For some reason, Matt Riddle has gone all Kill Bill both in outfit and music. Is that something he has done before? Am I being dumb? I need to piss, but I don’t want to miss any of it.
The commentators floated the idea that Low Ki is actually in New Orleans and that the neck injury that took him out deserved some inverted commas.
The grappling between these two was ten times more interesting than everything that came before. They were screaming in each other’s faces as they bounced from counter to counter. Both men work this stuff into their matches all the time and know how to make it exciting for a wrestling crowd.
Holy shit, they are now just slapping each other. I love this. We’ve ended up on the floor and Suzuki is dealing with the crap refs by ignoring everything they say. He’s in a wonderfully demented mood and clearly having the time of his life.
In the end, he choked Riddle out because he’s Minoru Fucking Suzuki and he doesn’t care if your name is on the marquee. FUCKING HELL! He just hugged Riddle. I didn’t know Suzuki had that in him. I’m crying. It’s beautiful, just cancel the rest of the weekend nothing will be better than that.
Verdict: A Big Old Suzuki Hug
That was a big old clusterfuck and not in the Janela sense of the word. Some of it was awful, some of it was brilliant and the organisation was all over the place. However, I had fun. I reckon only 40% of that is down to the Jack Daniels. Would I recommend it? Nah, it was very much an in the moment thing.