What’s that I hear you say? You want some more wrestling from this past weekend? How about this Sunday morning, pre-WrestleMania show from the small Florida promotion ACW?
This was the morning card from WWN’s BROKEN Tailgate party with the Hardyz. It’s an outdoor show held in a car park in the blazing heat, so those conditions are going to be tough on everyone on the show.
ACW Opportunity Knocks Rumble Royale with Cheese
We start with a slew of bodies coming out (30 it seems) to what I swear is an old wXw overdub, and unfortunately there’s no graphics, so I don’t have the damndest about a lot of these guys. Crazy Boy from the Joey Janela show is here, along with a monster of a man whose name I wish they gave us. We’ve also got Richard Delicious (going by his t-shirt), and somebody who’s stolen Scott Hall’s old nWo trunks. Apparently this opening battle royal is for a title shot in the main event against Parrow.
The commentators – Trevin Adams and MSL – admit from the start that they don’t have a good line of sight. Some guy in starry pleather pants starts doing a jig for some reason, whilst another’s doing Hindu squats outside the ring. Another guy with a “frat guy” gimmick takes a dumb as hell elimination – a press slam to the tarmac. WHY?! Hunter Law takes a clothesline of the apron for an elimination, with him flip bumping to the tarmac.
Mitch Mitchell, who’s popped up on some other WWN shows, tries to make a comeback but I’m just distracted by the stage falling apart in the background. We’re left with Mitchell, David Mercury and CJ O’Doyle, but Rhett Giddins holds Mitchell on the apron as he’s eventually knocked off, before David Mercury clotheslines CJ out for the win. Yeah… it was a battle royal. Not particularly memorable. **
After the match, CJ berates his valet, Stormie Lee, which gets someone else called Francisco Ciatso involved. Ciatso just gets riled as CJ makes his valet kiss his boot, and this just gets awkward.
Irish Jack vs. The Mysterious Movado
Jack was out with Mila Naniki, who was on crutches after apparently dislocating her knee on an ACW show earlier in the week. He’s facing a random masked guy called the Mysterious Movado. Jack has the early advantage, but the missed a massively-telegraphed elbow before Movado massively spammed those Tyler Bate punches. He worms out of the corner and hits a dropkick back into the corner, before Jack hits an enziguiri to the face for the win. Well, that was short and sweet. Not much of a match, but what they did was decent. **¼
Isla Dawn vs. Nikki Adams
Dawn may be better known to some of you who follow the Scottish scene as Courtney Stewart… Dawn starts with a leg trip as she lays into Adams with some ground and pound, but Adams manages to come through with a slide into a sunset flip from the apron as she mounted a comeback. A Yakuza kick misses, allowing Dawn to kick her knee further into the top rope, before a hair ‘mare gets Isla a near-fall.
Some kicks to the chest keep Adams down, but she catches a head kick, only for Dawn to swivel around and send her foe to the mat. Dawn keeps up with a snap suplex, but she can’t get in a Dragon sleeper, as Adams fires back with a series of chops before a Polish hammer almost snatches the win. In the end, Adams gets the deserved win with a bridging half-nelson suplex in what was almost a squash. **½
Saieve Al Sabah vs. Blanco Loco vs. Vertigo
With Blanco Loco, we’ve another non-Mexican luchador on this Florida indy!
Saieve slaps Blanco and Vertigo, so it’s obvious they’ll just go and attack him, as a back senton and standing splash sending Saieve to the outside, before an enziguiri from Loco leading to a tope con hilo. Thankfully, Blanco landed next to a table, rather than on the tarmac outside in the parking lot.
A somersault elbow drop from Sabah nearly gets him the win, but Vertigo comes back with a heel kick, then an Exploder to Loco. Vertigo pulls down his knee pad for a knee strike, but in the end he gets Blanco Loco powerbombed into him by Sabah, for a couple of near-falls, before Saieve hits a flipping neckbreaker.
Loco takes Sabah into the corner, then flies in with a top rope elbow to Vertigo, before he’s caught with a leaping Blockbuster neckbreaker as Saieve snatches the win. Perfectly fine for an exhibition show, but beyond brief flashes, nobody was able to get much in here. **¼
Bryan Idol vs. Adam Maxted
Yes, THAT Adam Maxted. The muscled-up Northern Irishman who made his name on ITV’s Love Island before focusing on wrestling. This seems to be the only show he did over the weekend, which is frankly bizarre. Perhaps this was a way to wrestle whilst saving on tanning?
Idol is the former Earl Cooter, who’s decided to go for a totally generic name. He’s also Larry Dallas’ lackey in EVOLVE, because that’s got to be a thing.
Maxted slams Idol, then leads back with a dropkick as he cycles through those two moves – with MSL on commentary kayfabing us that Idol’s hurting by being thrown onto a hot canvas. The Hardys arrive during this match, which distracts the crowd somewhat, but Maxted keeps the focus with some overhead suplexes back in the ring, then a missile dropkick for a near-fall. Idol comes back with a kneedrop to Maxted before he takes him into the ropes for a choke. A suplex gets reversed into a really awkward small package that the referee flat out refuses to count for, so an over-the-knee brainbuster leads to a top rope legdrop that Idol misses… Maxted comes back with yay/boo punches, then some clotheslines and a Slingblade?!
A springboard dropkick gets Maxted a near-fall, but Idol again takes over in the corner and hits a bulldog out of it. More dropkicks from Maxted get him into it, but Idol slips out of a suplex from the apron, then takes a superkick as a Jackhammer (wahey!) gets a near-fall that could have passed as a pin. From there, Idol tries a comeback and traps Maxted’s leg before swivelling into a Downward Spiral for the win. This was fine, but did look very clunky in places. Maxted looked good for what he had to work with, but he’s still very inexperienced. **
Jon Cruz, Snoop Strikes & Dominic Garrini vs. The Hierarchy (Chip Day, Murder-1 & Adrian Armour) vs. Wheeler YUTA, Travis Gordon & Mike Law vs. Daniel C. Rockingham & Four Star Heroes (Chris Castro & Matt Knicks)
Yes, a four-way trios match, and my brain hurts from finding out all of these guys names. Shows like these are no fun without graphics!
Travis Gordon starts out with a flip, because that’s his nickname, and we start with some head kicks as I have no idea who is who… and since MSL and Trevin Adams aren’t even trying to name them, I don’t care. They provide names as Cruz and YUTA exchange armdrags, and it seems this tag is suddenly under lucha rules as no tags are being made.
“Colossal” Mike Law – who really wasn’t, especially in comparison to that guy in the battle royal – hits some chokeslams to leave everyone else laying… including his team-mates. Stupid Law. He tries and chokeslams the referee, but instead the referee hits it instead and tags in Chris Castro… and now I’ve lost all track… oh hello, big guy Castro does a flip! More ill-advised flips follow onto the tarmac, ending with a cannonball senton off the top rope from YUTA.
Daniel Rockingham gives Gordon a “safety guide” as he went for a dive, but in the end Travis hits a corkscrew moonsault to the pile below. Garrini catches a 450 from Gordon and turns it into a triangle choke, but the hold’s broken… but perhaps Gordon had wished it hadn’t as he took a piledriver off the middle rope.
Snoop Strikes takes down Rockingham with headscissors, before DCR came back with a powerbomb as he then lawn-darted Strikes into a pair of superkicks. The Hierarchy take over as this breaks down, leading to DCR taking a trio of corner boots, before a knee drop off the top leads to the win. This was alright in spells – too many men flying around for anything to sink in, but this was decent for where it was. ***
ACW Cruiserweight Championship: Troy Hollywood vs. Johann Ramzes (c)
I think all Troy can say is “yeah”, as he elongates that word to an insane level during his entrance. Apparently this match was rescheduled from a few weeks back, as Ramzes was suffering from pneumonia, and again the set’s falling apart in the background!
After a leapover out of the corner went awry, Hollywood took over, hitting a Michinoku driver for a near-fall, before grounding the champion with a rear chinlock. Ramzes fights back with a dropkick then a bulldog out of the corner for a two-count, before Hollywood rolls up the champ for a near-fall… then breaks up the schoolboy for a powerbomb that gets him another two-count.
A DDT gets Ramzes a near-fall out of nowhere, before a series of kicks leave both men staggering, en route to a German suplex from Hollywood for a near-fall. The end’s not too much further away, as a Fireman’s carry gutbuster – called the Walk of Fame – sent Ramzes flying into the sky as Hollywood took the win! Pretty decent for a match of this length, and we finally learn that Troy can say more than “YEAH!” ***
Jason Cade & Candy Cartwright vs. Adam Brooks & Kellyanne
Kellyanne and Candy start us off, but it’s the Aussie who’s getting ahead early on as she works over Candy on the mat, before a waistlock takedown sees Candy scurry out to tag in Jason Cade.
It’s an intergender match, so we get Kellyanne chopping Cade as they start a lucha-inspired sequence that ends with an armbar from Kellyanne. Brooks tags in to make this slightly fairer, and Adam keeps the pressure on with a knee to the gut as Cade came off the ropes. Candy distracts Brooks on the top rope, and Adam comes down into the ring hard, which turns things around for I guess the bad guys in this match?
Brooks comes back with a Meteora after shoving Cade off the top, before a tag leads to Candy Cartwright taking a hard discus forearm. A tope from Brooks sends Cade into a table on the outside, before Candy blocks another forearm before hitting a Northern Lights for a near-fall. Candy keeps up with a 619, before Brookes makes the save as a top rope crossbody almost won it.
Kellyanne squashes Cade with a cannonball… Brooks adds the exclamation mark with a senton bomb, and the Aussies win! A pretty good tag match – Kellyanne and Brooks meshed well here, whereas Cade and Cartwright just felt thrown together. **¾
Tag Team Gauntlet: Gary Jay & Davey Vega vs. Aaron Epic & Tripp Cassidy vs. State Line (Eddie Taurus & Damien Angel) vs. Roscoe Eat Lisa (Zakk Sawyer & Mikey McFinnegan) vs. The Carnies (Kerry Awful & Nick Iggy) vs. The Ugly Ducklings (Lance Lude & Rob Killjoy)
You know what this show needs? MORE BODIES! Let’s have a six-team tag team gauntlet
Jay/Vega and Epic/Cassidy are the first two teams out, but it’s Jay and Vega who hit some topes at the start. It’s all fast-paced and very little sinks in as the Lacey Twins appear on the stage – the little and large ACW tag champs. Vega takes a front suplex, but Gary Jay comes in with an elbow drop to win the first phase. State Line are out next, and we get a springboard Ace Crusher from Angel before frog splash/leg drop combo eliminates Davey Vega. A nothing fall!
Roscoe Eat Lisa are out next, and they take the match to State Line, hitting a pair of kicks to the back of Eddie Taurus for a near-fall. State Line replies with some clotheslines, before a back senton from Taurus gets a two-count. A Stunner-assisted Destroyer almost gets the win over State Line, but a Falcon Arrow eliminates Roscoe Eat Lisa. None of this is sinking in. The Carnies come out next, and a discus lariat follows, before a Boston crab mixed in with repeated knee drops lead to the referee calling the elimination over Eddie Taurus. Blink and you’ll miss it! The final team is the Ugly Ducklings, accompanied by a man who I swear is a party czar in CHIKARA…
A huge back body drop sees one of the Ducklings hurl the other into the Carnies, as an Asai moonsault follows. Neither of the Ducklings or the Carnies have been identified here, and just as I say that, Nick Iggy takes a double-team move for a near-fall. Some nice tag team stuff from the Ducklings lead to a near-fall – including a wheelbarrow suplex into a moonsault – before Kerry Awful tags in and powerbombs one of the Ducklings, with a piledriver setting up for a ripcord Ace Crusher for a near-fall.
The Ducklings place the Carnies on top of each other before the Ducklings monkey flip each other into the pile in the corner. I wonder where that’s been viral before… Awful spits at a Duckling, then wipes him out with a lariat. A Doomsday Device is countered with a springboard Ace crusher from Iggy, a fantastic counter that just blended into the mush of this gauntlet match, as the Ducklings were forced into a Destroyer on each other as the Carnies take the win. Well, the Carnies’ last match was the best of the bunch, and they impressed me massively here… but there was a lot of guff in this match. **
So it looks like the Carnies are the top contenders for the ACW tag titles held by the Lacey Twins… they have a face-off, but first Papa Hales runs in to celebrate with the Carnies like an excited father!
ACW Championship: David Mercury vs. Parrow (c)
Poor David – having to deal with Parrow, who’ll have a point to prove after his somewhat disappointing result in the WWN title match the prior night.
Drennan pie-faces Mercury as we expected a promo… but in the end Parrow just takes advantage and clubs away on his challenger. Parrow charges Mercury into the corner as he breaks free of a sleeperhold, but Mercury keeps trying to come back with kicks, only for Drennan to get involved once more. With Drennen knocked down, Parrow lands a sit-out tombstone and that’s the win. A brutally short match, but decent for what they did. **
After the match, Parrow gives Mercury a fallway slam into the corner as Drennan picks his spot… but Sideshow and State Line makes the save as Parrow and Drennan leave with the belt… and then we have another match!
ACW Combat Championship: Sideshow vs. Romeo Quevedo (c)
Romeo looks to start out hot, but he’s sent flying early with a monkey flip and a spinning heel kick in this no-holds barred match. Quevedo heads to the outside, where Sideshow chases him, but that just suckers him in for an upkick.
Quevedo orders the front row to move as he takes Sideshow into a table with a tope, but Sideshow grabs some chairs from under the ring and hits a back cracker variation on the champion. Some chair shots look to have bloodied Quevedo, but he sidesteps a charge as Sideshow hits a chair he’d wedged in the corner.
On the outside, Sideshow lifts up Romeo in a double chicken wing then slams him into the apron, but the champion comes back with a superkick and a teardrop suplex for a two-count as things stay rather intense. Romeo goes outside for more plunder, and he finds a ladder underneath the ring, but a flurry of strikes and a headbutt from Sideshow takes him down again.
More chairs come into play from Sideshow, who sets up six chairs back-to-back for a landing zone, but a reverse ‘rana from Romeo cuts that off. The ladder’s set up now, and it looks like Quevedo has designs on something really stupid, as he lays Sideshow onto those chairs… but Sideshow gets up and whacks him with a chair! From there, Sideshow climbs up, but gets his ear bitten as Quevedo sent him back into the chairs where he joined him courtesy of a moonsault… but Sideshow moved away just in time, and scores the win after covering the fallen Romeo! A pretty good brawl headlined with an insane final bump for Quevedo as ACW closed out the show with two title changes. **¼
Well, it was a show. Nothing massively impressive, and nothing dreadful either. It was there to provide some wrestling action ahead of WrestleMania – a matinee, of sorts… but as a show, there were far too many bodies out there for anything much to sink in to all but the most hardcore of ACW fans. 11 matches, 72 wrestlers (plus a smattering of valets and managers)… unless they got paid in BBQ, that’s a hell of a payroll.