As it is WrestleMania Weekend and I’m drunk, I’m bashing these reviews out and not really editing them (yes, I usually edit). If an incoherent ramble doesn’t interest you, don’t bother reading them.
WrestleCon kicked off the Friday of ‘Mania weekend with a show that was genius in its simplicity. USA vs The World allowed them to throw a bunch of random guys in the ring and start the day with some fun combinations. Why complicate it further than that?
Brian Pilman Jr defeated Emil Sitoci
I imagine every fucker says this and that Brian Pillman Jr hates it, but he looks a lot like his dad. Meanwhile, Emil Sitoci is a wXw regular, but he seems to have gone dark and edgy since I stopped watching. They had a perfectly fine match together. I have just seconds ago finished watching it, and I can’t think of anything else to say. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good. It was fine. That’s all I’ve got.
Verdict: Two And A Half Stars
MJF defeated Ethan Page
Ethan Page grabbed a mic and started singing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ in reference to the recent video of young MJF doing so on Rosie O’Donnell. He ended up handing the mic around fans to join in, a worrying amount of whom did not know the words to the song. How can you not know ‘You Are My Sunshine’? Anyway, that was genuinely funny. Wait, I’ve just noticed how ripped Page is now. When did that happen?
These two were never going to have a wrestling classic, that’s not what they do. However, it was one of the first matches I’ve seen this weekend which was built around a story. MJF cheated his way to victory, bending every rule he could as he went after the arm of Page before getting the win with a Heatseeking Missile (I think that’s what the Excalibur and Dan Barry who are on commentary called it). It was decent, but the laughs were better than the wrestling.
Verdict: Two And A Half Stars
David Starr defeated Daga
The work rate match is here as Starr and Daga instantly slid into a gear that nothing else on this show has hit so far. I’m not sure if I’ve seen Daga wrestle before, but he’s started popping up all over the place, so I suspect I’m going to see a lot more of him in the future. He and Starr were working at pace, but also stiff, throwing those strikes like they were pissed off.
There was a great spot where both men fired up at the same time only for the adrenaline to wear off causing them to hit the mat. It was ridiculous but in the right ways. It was also a perfect way to get over that this match was gruelling. They worked a violent sprint that ended with Starr hitting a Powerbomb, rolling into a pin and then transitioning from that into a fantastic looking submission hold. That felt like it was three minutes long, but all those minutes were glorious.
Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars
Black Taurus defeated Darby Allin
Black Taurus is a Minotaur while Darby Allin is a goth lunatic. God bless, wrestling.
It started surprisingly even as these two worked through some lucha style wrestling before Darby hit an insane Suicide Dive. Allin was controlling a lot more of the offence than I expected, but the kid has turned into a great wrestler. He and Taurus looked fantastic together. Plus, he’s still good at jumping off things as displayed by his Coffin Drop to the outside.
However, I kept waiting for it to explode. I wanted to watch the guy dressed as a Minotaur murder Darby Allin, and it never happened. He slammed him about a bit, and to be fair to Darby he bumped around in a way that only Darby can, but it was nothing particularly murderous. Perhaps it’s unfair to rate a match based on what I wanted to see, but when you go in expecting Black Taurus to commit a crime, it’s disappointing when it doesn’t happen.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Jiro Kurushio defeated Rich Swann
Jiro Kurushio recently left Wrestle-One to go it alone and has at the very least won Dan Barry’s heart. He might be in love. Sadly, he’s facing Rich Swann, and I’m not sure how I feel about him. The incident between Swann and Su Yung seemed hella complicated, and I’m not willing to accept that everything is alright now. I don’t know, I’m going to write about this match, but if anyone thinks I shouldn’t write about Swann in the future feel free to raise it with me.
Jiro’s gimmick is that he wrestles wearing his suit jacket. Although it’s not a suit jacket that you’d wear with any standard attire as it appears to be covered in whales. I can dig that. The jacket set the tone for the early sections of the match as they were having fun. However, it didn’t last too long as they started trading strikes in the ring not long after. From there they built to their various dives and proved to be equals in doing cool flippy shit.
If Jiro didn’t have people’s attention before, he should now. This was a fantastic performance from him as he was not only overflowing with charisma but delivered in the ring too. He got to show off a bit of everything as he flew through the air while also going after the leg of Swann. If I were a wrestling booker, I’d be asking for that guy’s phone number right about now.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
The Rascalz (Trey Miguel, Zachary Wentz and Desmond Xavier) defeated Australian Suicide, Robbie Eagles and Adam Brooks
I’m not even going to bother trying to describe everything that went on in this match. It was insane. Around the time that Adam Brooks started hitting Canadian Destroyers all over the place, I gave up trying to keep up. At one point Robbie Eagles ended up in the lap of Dan Barry’s Dad.
If you love insane clusterfuck six man tags (and if you don’t, you need to question what you are doing with your life), then you will adore this. Look at the names involved and imagine them going out to impress. Yea, that was this match.
Verdict: Four And A Quarter Stars
The Hart Foundation (Davey Boy Smith Jr and Teddy Hart) defeated LAX (Santana and Ortiz)
It’s not WrestleMania weekend without Teddy Hart turning up and being weird. He made his entrance with his cat, wearing an outfit that was incredible even by his high standards. The guy is a fascinating scumbag, and if that isn’t the embodiment of wrestling, I don’t know what is.
The Hart Foundation also successfully drained all the fun out of LAX. Santana and Ortiz are a team who benefit from working at speed. You want them flying around the ring doing cool shit. No-one needs to see Ortiz spend ten minutes selling as Hart and Smith run through their dull offence. Although Teddy releasing a submission because Ortiz told him to suck his dick was quite funny. Or maybe worrying? There is a decent chance Teddy thought it was a proposition and panicked.
Hart got the win after Smith helped him over with a Canadian Destroyer, and this sucked. Thankfully, Ortiz saved the day a bit by grabbing the mic post-match and promising that one day Teddy will suck his dick. That then inspired Teddy to grab a mic which, judging by commentary’s reaction, was not planned. Thankfully, he didn’t say anything too libellous.
Verdict: One And A Half Stars
Puma King defeated Sammy Guevera
The US is 4-3 up by the way. Does anyone care? Probably not. Meanwhile, Dan Barry got a big laugh out of me by pointing out that Puma King had to be careful in case Teddy Hart came out to adopt him.
Not long in, this became a battle of the Youtubers when Puma grabbed a microphone and invited everyone to subscribe to his channel. Sammy responded by doing the same thing. Unsurprisingly, Puma’s request was greeted a lot more politely.
In the end, King caught Guevera mid-Canadian Destroyer and hit a Liger Bomb. That finish was a lot cooler than the average action. Meanwhile, Puma King joined in the dick sucking fun with his post-match promo. It’s still early in New York, yea? These people aren’t drunk?
Verdict: Two And A Half Stars
Brian Cage defeated Masato Tanaka
Tonight Matthew, Brian Cage is going to be Mike Awesome. There’s a reference that won’t work for readers outside the UK. It’s funny, trust me. Let’s also hope it’s true. All Brian Cage needs to do in this match is try and murder Masato Tanaka, and we will all go home happy. I spend a lot of time advocating murder. Perhaps I should be worried about that.
Thankfully, Cage knew what he was out there to do. He played the big bad, throwing Tanaka around the ring and keeping his fancy shit to a minimum. Tanaka was taking bumps that a 46-year-old man should not be taking, and making it look easy. On top of that, he was brilliant at battling from underneath, firing up and bringing the fight to Cage. At one point he got that man mountain up for a Brainbuster which was hella impressive.
In the end, Cage got the win with the Drill Claw, sealing the victory for Team USA, but this was Tanaka’s match. For those that don’t pay attention to puro, seeing him this weekend and discovering that he’s somehow still the same wrestler he was twenty years ago must be a delight.
Verdict: Four Stars
That was a damn good show. We got a shitload of well-worked matches which played to people’s strengths. Sure, the Hart Foundation stunk the joint out, but even that had Teddy Hart being mental, so it wasn’t awful. You can put US vs The World alongside Bloodsport on the list of must watch shows.