Bar Wrestling 4 Autumn in LA
September 7 2017
I stuck this on because I wanted to watch Candice vs. Tessa for the Round Up column I do but noticed the show was 80 minutes long and thought ‘fuck it’. I’ll watch the whole fn show and see some new talent.
We’re in Baldwin Park, California. Bar Wrestling is an all-standing venue, which creates the same rowdy atmosphere you get at wXw shows. The fans on top of the ring. Beyond is also quite similar in set up.
Taya vs. Awesome Kong
Taya you might know from Impact Wrestling or Lucha Underground. Kong cracks me up before we even start by being introduced as weighing “none your bidniz”. Kong is the same Kong who worked for WWE, albeit briefly, as Kharma. She’s better known for her work in Impact Wrestling. She’s large and terrifying. Her best years are probably behind her at this point. She’d barely wrestled for the past two years. Taya, despite being out of position a few times, is the horse to bet on. It’s kinda sad to see someone like Kong who was devastating and exciting in the past to be reduced to being on jobber duty for someone who ain’t that good. Kong gives up on trying to put Taya over in the ring and bails to smash her in the head with a massive baking tray. Taya is dead but she has won on DQ. Swings and roundabouts. You win some, you lose some. One of the fans props her up while drinking a can of Modelo*. This is a classy audience folks.
Final Rating: **
*In all fairness I really like Modelo.
Chelsea Green & Ivy Quinn vs. Scarlet Bordeaux & Katerina Leigh
Ivy, also known as “Buggy Nova” is new on me. Chelsea I’ve seen before. You may know her from Impact but over the past two years she’s been all over the Indies. Scarlet I see every now and again. She barely has anything registered on Cagematch but I can only assume she’s been wrestling in between her sporadic dates. Leigh, you will either know as Nikita or Pirate Paul’s sister Katie or Winter depending on your age. I remember her as Nikita. I’ve not seen her wrestle in at least five years and I thought she’d retired. Chelsea Green absolutely hammers her with the forearms and tries to outwrestle her from the opening moments. This is challenge. Chelsea loses one of her extensions and she gets even madder! The match is pretty good when Chelsea is in there. The rest of the time; less so. Katie might be in good shape but her ring work is appalling at times. Chelsea gets taken out of the match by Scarlet and that results in an awful heat segment on Quinn. Chelsea reappears as Laurel Van Ness, her makeup a mess. Hey, that rhymes! The only good thing about Kat in this match is that her trousers keep sliding down and it’s a constant battle to prevent the crowd from seeing her thong. Crazy auld Laurel takes her out with the Unprettier and gets the win in a fucking mess of a match. Chelsea looked good, everyone else had a bad day at the office. Katie probably should have retired. She tries hard but yeah.
Final Rating: *1/2
Shotzi Blackheart vs. Christina Von Eerie
Shotzi has one of the best names in pro wrestling today. Von Eerie is a punk rocker but Shotzi is also covered in tattoos and has green hair. They have a level of punk rock comradery, which leads to them beating each other up for punk rock purposes. I’ve been in that sort of crowd, I get the mentality. There’s nothing like beating up your mates. The match has occasional communication issues and ‘this spot is too difficult for us’ issues where shit is abandoned in mid-move. Despite all the flaws it’s better than the first two matches. They manage some nice counter hold stuff on the mat and the strikes are ok. Von Eerie wins via submission. Both girls have a great look and would probably benefit from teaming up and touring as a tag team, if America wasn’t so unrelentingly huge. They are both from the same state so that’s a start. They certainly bond over musical choices.
Final Rating: **1/4
Heather Monroe vs. Ruby Raze
Ruby is the local girl, with a wifebeater and a trucker hat. Monroe is from Des Moines. She’s arguably in the top five most famous wrestlers from Des Moines already, along with “Sugarfoot” Alex Payne, and, erm. Yeah, not a lot of grapplers come from Des Moines. Ruby is bigger and dominates. The timing in this is abysmal. At one point Heather dodges in the corner and Ruby, seconds later, continues to run into the buckles. Suspend that disbelief! I’m all for women wrestling being showcased but let’s get better at it first eh? The DDT on the apron spot is way beyond both women and it looks terrible. The timing is way off. Both of them land the odd decent strike but that’s easier to do realistically. Just actually hit people and you’re sound. That’s how most rookies have good early career matches. Despite it being an absolute car crash it gets a very generous “this is awesome” chant from the Bar fans. Damn!
Ruby, the babyface, fishhooks the mouth to survive a near submission. There’s no shortage of hard work but it very rarely connects. If it was all strikes and submission attempts it would be fine and the submission teases are the best part of the match by a mile. Ruby finishes with a spear, which looked ok. The first half of this match was dogshit and nothing worked. It improved dramatically to ‘passable’.
Final Rating: *3/4
Brian Cage, Eli Drake, Joey Ryan & Hot Young Briley vs. Ethan Carter III, JTG, X-Pac & Luchasaurus
Briley is not Jon Briley, the Progress owner. He is in fact Ryan Nemeth, Dolph Ziggler’s brother. Luchasaurus is another NXT washout by the name of Judas Devlin. Eli Drake, Impact Wrestling Champion, is the kind of guy I couldn’t pick out of a lineup. There sure are a lot of Impact Wrestling wrestlers on this show. And former WWE guys. JTG is a sign of how wrestling has changed. He used to look really small in WWE but he’s the same size as the big TNA boys here. Has he piled on muscle, or have wrestlers gotten smaller and more athletic? Meanwhile X-Pac has his nWo gear on.
Say what you like about EC3 but he knows how to pose for the camera.
Luchasaurus amuses me by doing flips. Everyone else brawls. Carter lands on his neck but thankfully he is saved from life in a wheelchair by his sheer beefiness. The TNA (sic) guys wrestle a very TNA-ish match. It’s plodding and uninteresting and takes up the bulk of the match. Drake and EC3 manage to belt shot each other at the same time, so there’s that at least. Joey Ryan’s main aim in the match is to coordinate a mass dick-flip. Briley can’t manage his though. His dick just isn’t powerful enough. EC3’s look of disappointment at not being dick-flipped is sensational.
Can it get any sillier? Four Broncobusters you say? Oh, alright then! JTG pulls the Pedigree, complete with water spit, and X-Pac, when he finishes laughing about it, hits the X-Factor for the win. This was fucking hilarious at times. X-Pac grabs the microphone to put everyone over and point how tired he is after that. In particular he puts over Brian Cage. “This guy should be making $10 million”.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Candice LaRae vs. Tessa Blanchard
Two excellent women’s wrestlers, who both worked in the Mae Young Classic. Their standard is way above the standard of the earlier women’s matches and the crowd are electric (or drunk, or both!) The women live up to the hype after an early issue on an Irish whip. Tessa goes after Candice in a big way with superb aggression. Candice is a bubbly underdog so Tessa needs to bash her about to establish her position. Candice then has to raise her game to ensure she’s not overwhelmed. The pace is fast, the execution is slick and they have a tidy main event match up.
Candice wins Shoot Week by flipping off Shayna Baszler, who’s sat ringside, while slapping on a choke submission. Candice pulls out the win with Ms LaRae’s Wild Ride, her swinging neckbreaker of the top. Really good ten minute sprint. The execution was excellent throughout and this shows how far women’s wrestling has come in a very short space of time. Great performance from Candice and Tessa here.
Final Rating: ***3/4
Tempting though the show is at 81 minutes from start to finish I’d advise cherry picking and skipping to the final two matches. The main event is slick as hell and really well executed. It might even be….too short! How often does that happen in 2017 with truncated matches left, right and centre being the fad. Despite some of my criticisms here Bar Wrestling was a fun show. It had weird bookings and I like that. I like seeing weird combinations of guys that no one else is thinking about. Plus the atmosphere is great. One of the best crowds in America right now. There is genuine potential for Bar Wrestling to hit my regular rotation.