3-2-1 Battle Battlemania 2019
April 19 2019
I’ve been wanting to watch a show from this promotion for some time. They air shows on Twitch but you can also watch some of their better matches on YouTube.
Team Officer Cooper vs. Team Migs
This is a Survivor Series style elimination tag. The cops are heel and the crowd chant “fuck tha police”, especially when they threaten to shut down the show. Migs is over because he’s not a cop.
One of the babyfaces appears to be Jesus. Well, it is Easter. He’s dubbed “Jesus Christ Jr”. I’m into it. This is not the prettiest of matches. Migs is over and enthusiastic but, like most of the other guys in this, he’s untidy. Jesus goes on a bit of a tear but he’s jumped from behind and given the Crucifix Bomb. Oh the humanity! There’s a lot of telegraphing going on, which is probably better than being dangerous. The heels don’t do well. Mama Shango puts a voodoo curse on one of them, convinces him he’s a baby and them puts him to sleep with a baby bottle. Cooper finds himself all alone and here comes the voodoo doll! Cooper gets pinned by Migs and the babyfaces win it 4-0.
Final Rating: **3/4
42 minutes in and we finally break through the pre-show.
Solid Steel Championship
Steve West (c) vs. Dave Turner
West comes out to “Simply the Best” and deafening chants of “fuck Steve West”. He has sunglasses with CHAMP on the front of them in LED’s.
Dave Turner has quite the entrance too. Under the mask he’s heavily made up. Turner’s gimmick is that he beats people and he beats them quick. He smashed Jesus Jr in about two minutes last time. West starts fast; beating Turner up in the corner but Turner smashes him with a spear and wins the belt in about two minutes. Turner is the 16th champion and he’s now their Goldberg. Be interesting to see what they do from here.
Final Rating: Squash!
3-2-1 Battle Tag Team Championship
Six teams in action here under staggered entry rules. Four Minutes of Heat start with the Hall Sisters. Bambi was the Solid Steel champ until losing to Steve West in January. They do a couple of really dumb spots. The tag team wrestler DDTs his partner spot is horrible. I have seen it too many times. And yet I have no issue with a wrestler staggering and falling on his partner’s groin. Third team in is the Strays and they make Four Mins of Heat do a Canadian Destroyer on themselves. The Strays do amuse me by yelling “play dead” and then lying around pretending to be hurt. The Romantic Nerds are in next. They have a great gimmick but are hugely uncoordinated. They sneak a team of ghosts in there and this is one of those times where I wish I was more clued into a promotion’s ongoing storylines. Next in is Friends with Medical Benefits. Tommy Lawless and Nurse Black. Lawless is a scary looking dude. The Battle Rangers are in next and apparently Lawless is completely immune to any of their antics. Lawless throws just about everyone out but the Nerds and the Halls. Last team in are Mint Conditioning, the tag champs. The Hall Sisters are the only ones left when they get to the ring. Christian Andes is really popular. Look at all the signs!
The chant of “fuck you Andes” to “We Want Candy” is great. Totally going to steal that. Bambi kicks Mr Fitness into a struggling Andes and they both topple out. Tag team Champs!
Final Rating: ***
Ashley Dunn vs. Alex Zayne vs. Flip Kendrick vs. The Whisper vs. Zachary Wentz
The Ashley Dunn wrestles literally everywhere narrative continues.
The Whisper should have no theme music. Just the sounds of silence. Whisper and Flip fuck up one of the first spots of the match and that can’t be good news.
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) May 9, 2019
This is fairly typical for a five-way. It’s fast-paced and they do a lot of spots, especially dives. Flip does a wacky flip and he’s very over for his flippydos. It’s definitely a match that doesn’t quite land 100% of the time but when it does it’s a lot of fun. The crowd is typically loud and receptive to what they’re being presented with. Especially when everyone starts spamming flying knees. I never knew I wanted to see a match with this many flying knee strikes in. Dunn does a double underhook Canadian Destroyer and that’s awesome. We’re not even in Canada! Zayne comes flying off the top to break one pin and then kills Ashley Dunn with another of his wacky powerbomb variants. Holy shit, this fucking ruled! It was shaky as fuck at the start but then they started landing all the crazy shit they were attempting and Alex Zayne lads…killed it.
Final Rating: ***3/4
Jonathan Gresham vs. Daniel Makabe
While this is technically very good it doesn’t have the feeling of struggle that made Makabe/Yehi such an outstanding match at Pizza Party over Mania weekend. When Gresham starts tying Makabe in knots it is a nice callback to how Makabe has had his way with various 3-2-1 Battle competitors. Makabe is gifted in the art of selling. He’s sure to inform everyone that his arm is bad and there’s the struggle! Makabe trying to keep his injured arm away from Gresham’s assaults. The thought process that goes into Makabe’s matches is always fun to watch. So here he messes with Gresham’s laces, points out his boot is untied and then dropkicks him while he tries to fix it. Wrestling is a deep pool and so many indie guys are swimming in the shallows with their approach.
Some of the mat countering in this is sick and both men look to dominate on the canvas. Makabe making a point of still selling the arm, while Gresham sells the back. An area exposed by Makabe drilling his knuckle into a vertebrae. Makabe busts out the cross-legged version of the Cow Killer for the submission. It’s the move he uses when he’s got an opponent good enough to take it. I would love to see another match between these two where they could go longer and develop more depth. This one was a virtual sprint. 14.24 was the official time.
Final Rating: ****
Allan Jepsen vs. Dante Smythe vs. Sage vs. Tony Baroni vs. Desi Derata vs. B-Boy
B-Boy is the big name guy in here but Desi Derata is the one 3-2-1 want to push. She comes across like a huge star in the early going. This suffers horribly for having to follow the early five way, which had a lot of the same kinetic energy only with way better spots. In an attempt to be positive; Baroni’s tope is pretty. Baroni is the stand-out in many ways. The bumps he takes look better for example. B-Boy’s creativity is welcome. He pops spots off from all manner of angles. The run of Diamond Cutters is great. B-Boy finishes Baroni with the Jay Driller. This was fine but the five way was so superior to it.
Final Rating: **3/4
Eddie Van Glam (c) vs. Pitfall Jones
This is quite literally “Indy Wrestling” as Pitfall has that Indiana Jones gimmick. Rock star Eddie Van Glam has a great gimmick too. I mistakenly read the “Battalion Medallion on the line match” as “Battalion Medallion on a pole match” and start to bemoan the lack of good pole matches. It’s only when the near falls kick in that I realise it’s not a pole match at all. Why would it be? You’ll have to forgive me I’ve got a cold and the world is a little hazy. Eddie Van Glam’s trouser snake (it’s a Mr Socko/Santino snake gimmick) is what Pitfall Jones fears the most. They’re doing a fine job of telling a story with some silly asides until the ref bump. This leads to Pitfall using the Medallion. That belongs in a museum! Van Glam survives the plunder but gets planted with the Temple of Doom. Jones captures the Medallion and it breaks my heart to hear John Williams being booed.
Final Rating: ***1/4
The Fur Horsemen (Scott Henson, Kaiden Talbain & Sarian Soft Paws) vs. Kimber Lee, Kris Wolf & Shotzi Blackheart
I dig the Horsemen gimmick. Also Shotzi coming out here to “I’m Ballsy” by Arnocorps (the only good Arnold Schwarzenegger concept metal band) makes her a goddamn hero in my book. We also get the pure joy of Kris Wolf here. She’s almost retired at this point and I’m sad. Wrestling didn’t deserve someone like Kris Wolf. There’s a lot of animal comedy in this. Shotzi hits a Stunner on Soft Paws tail for example. Everyone looks like they’re having fun here. Sometimes that’s all you need from wrestling. Some of the attempted spots fall apart and the camera manages to linger on the mistakes, like Henson trying to boost Wolf onto the top rope.
Shotzi is the stand-out from a pure work perspective. She’s energized, in position and nails everything. Plus she poses in a way where you can take stills of her. The match rumbles on too long and is sorely lacking in structure after a while. Wolf eventually captures the win with a double knees through a box. She is the Boxbreaker after all! This was a lot of fun with loads of funny spots but it probably ran five minutes past its best. There’s clear love for Kris Wolf in victory. Kris Wolf got to use wrestling to have a nice time and go out on her terms. She chose love over the business.
Final Rating: ***
3-2-1 Battle Seattle Underground Championship
Rook Kelly (c) vs. Cole Crazy vs. Jacub Soumis vs. Sonico vs. The Bird
Soumis, which means “submissive” in French, has a bear gimmick. This also marks the first Seattle sound in the entrance music as Sonico uses Alice in Chains before switching out to something happier.
The Bird is a late fifth addition to this match.
The Bird is the “master of the middle finger”. Everyone throws themselves into this. The execution is mixed but the effort is consistent. An issue with ladder matches, and similar types, is creating that logical selling so someone can climb and yet having the other three guys not be involved in two men battling over a ladder. It’s very rare that it’s ever done well. So you have to look at a ladder match as a bunch of spots, more often than not, and hope they’re good spots. Again, the result is mixed. Even when the spots are impressive; like the Spanish Fly off the ladder, the execution isn’t great. Points for effort and everyone tries hard though. Rook Kelly and Sonico stand out in terms of their effort and their execution. Every cracking bump in this comes from one or the other. The longer the match goes the more convinced I am that Rook Kelly is the star of the match. Just as I type that they blow a neckbreaker on a chair, although Cole Crazy has a big hand in that not working. The match quite often collapses under the weight of ambition, which isn’t a bad thing necessarily. Aim for the stars, for sure. When a match has a very high difficulty level it’s hard to hate on botches happening.
There are certainly big spots in this that create storylines due to injuries and comebacks and whatnot. Does all of it land? No but I’d rather they tried rather than just went out there and did a greatest hits of basic ladder matches. The match also suffers from stuff being set up and lots of overselling to compensate. It’s also really, really long at nearly 30 minutes. So all of the issues are exacerbated by the sheer length of proceedings. Soumis pulls the belt down for the win after a bunch of weird near finishes where dudes just bump off the ladder. There were aspects of this that worked but way too much that missed. Plus it never peaked. Some of the more dangerous spots were just randomly in the middle of the match.
Final Rating: ***
3-2-1 Battle is always a fun show. I’ve watched a lot of individual matches from them and it was nice to see an entire show from start to finish. Some of it dragged a little and more experienced heads may have took matches home earlier than they did here. The Twitch feed for this is over 4 hours, which is a big time investment. A major positive here is that 3-2-1 Battle sold 700 tickets for this show so the grind is paying off. They’re a promotion worth keeping tabs on. This may be my first time watching a full show from them but it won’t be the last. I would love to watch this promotion live. That’s a major take away; the atmosphere is fantastic.