Bar Wrestling 5: This Is Halloween
October 12 2017
We’re in Baldwin Park, California for Bar Wrestling’s fifth show. I enjoyed the fourth one so much I’m back for a second bite of Bar. Plus their shows are sub two-hours, which is so refreshing. I’ve gone from wanting six hour shows to wanting two hour shows. Just get me in, get me out and let me have fun.
Rey Fenix vs. Rocky Romero
Hell of an opening match!
The crowd immediately jump onto the fence with a “both these guys” chant. Get off the fucking fence lads. This is definitely a cruiserweight bout with the associated fast pace and excitement. Rocky is up to his usual antics, being supportive of the style before turning heel in cheeky mid-match fashion. Is it really heel if it’s Rocky though? It gets a little more intense with some chops and they even head into the crowd for a few. When Rocky lands one with no sound the crowd chant “fuck that chop”. It’s a really fun match with a really fun atmosphere in the building. Fenix doesn’t get a lot of press because he’s in Penta’s shadow but he’s great at what he does.
— Arn Furious (@ArnoldFurious) October 26, 2017
Fenix is so ridiculous he wipes out the decorations this Legion Post has on the ceiling. They were asking for trouble! That doesn’t finish and the kick-out has Rocky wrapped in fairy lights!
It’s quite the moment, taking a good match to another level of insanity. Those ceiling decorations have always looked on the low side so it’s not a surprise but this is only the first match! Fenix does a bunch of flips off the ropes even after that moment, showing no fear and no shits given about destroying all of the ceiling decorations in this fucking building. Fenix ends up getting the win, with Rocky hanging with him and exchanging near falls throughout. This was tremendous fun, amplified somewhat by the vandalism.
Final Rating: ****
Taya Valkyrie vs. Super Panda
Bar have a pleasant habit of bringing in Mexican wrestlers who normally wouldn’t have a chance in the US. Although Panda speaks fluent English with no hint of an accent.
“In here your ass belongs to Panda”. Panda claims it’s not intergender match, it’s just a match so Taya calls it “interspecies”. The ceiling decoration remains down during this. Taya’s ring attire is rather small in the bottom department, giving Panda nowhere to get purchase on a suplex, but he’s able to grab the top of her boot instead. Psychology! Panda also busts out one of the shortest German suplexes I’ve ever seen, where he slides under Taya and out of the ring while doing it. Fuck it, here’s the GIF:
— Arn Furious (@ArnoldFurious) October 26, 2017
Never seen that before! Super Panda wins me over with his combination of repeated mundane activities (like a mass of elbow drops) and surprise innovation. I love that he goes for the rope German again and this time Taya knows about it and holds on. I love stuff like that. Not content with the low ceiling of the ring Taya takes the fight onto the bar. It is Bar Wrestling! Some of their sequences are a little sloppy, either down to Panda not jumping or Taya not being strong enough but on the whole it’s an enjoyable little contest. Taya gets the win.
Final Rating: **3/4
Luchasaurus vs. Brian Cage
Oh shit! Well this is going to rule. Brian FN Cage looks like a Marvel comics character with the overdone muscles. Luchasaurus is Luchasaurus! I’m kinda shocked he’s not over in more places. Maybe his failed NXT run has people bothered but the gimmick is nifty and he’s fun to watch. They deliberately have Luchasaurus dominate the early going because Cage is “The Machine” and you need to establish a threat to him. They go from there to lots of big spots and last gasp kickouts. It’s all a bit much for the third match! I get quite irritated by Cage slapping his thigh and he doubles down by slipping on the ropes. “Missed a move? Doesn’t matter. Get your shit in!” – this is commentary but it’s what is happening. There are two huge examples of ‘get your shit in’. It’s kinda fun to watch but should they be having that match? I’m torn. The match peaks when Cage throws Luchasaurus up and he hits his head on the ceiling, dislodging a tile! Holy shit, that’s awesome. Naturally Cage wins from there. He literally threw his opponent into the roof. That’s another delightful bit of cosmetic damage to the building that remains there for the rest of the show. Like when Chairface Chippendale wrote his name on the moon.
Final Rating: ***
World’s Cutest Tag Team vs. Abyss & Rosemary
Impact Wrestling in the house! Joey Ryan spends a few minutes dishing out lollipops and oiling himself up. If there’s a match I have no interest in it would be Ryan vs. Abyss. Oddly enough, I’m really excited to see Candice vs. Rosemary. Although Abyss brings a level of seriousness that’s a contrast to Joey walking into the middle of the ring and yelling “touch my dick”. The question is; will Joey Ryan dick flip Abyss? The crowd, into Joey’s antics, chant “trick or treat”.
They tease Rosemary touching Joey’s dick for a while. This is a weird promotion. Abyss selling Joey’s dick strength, after an atomic drop, is something that’s for sure. Joey Ryan’s cock is the real monster. While I don’t care about all the Abyss/Joey stuff Rosemary vs. Candice is a very good little match. The match continually breaks down and we get a bunch of spots around Joey’s dick. Did you know Joey Ryan’s penis has magical powers? Because it might not have come up. Abyss hits a shitty Black Hole Slam on Candice, where he rotates a half dozen times then stops and drops. Not content with all the other bullshit Joey pulls out a bag of LEGO.
Abyss is forced to touch Joey’s dick and naturally dick flips him into a pile of LEGO. Rosemary mists Joey though and hits the F5 for the win. This was a weird mess. It certainly escalated but it escalated from nonsense to yet more nonsense. This is the pre-intermission match so it’s the last contest with the falling ceiling decorations.
Final Rating: *
Gangrel vs. Willie Mack
This company. Gangrel, now in his late 40s, does still work regularly and retains the exact same look he had in WWE. Gangrel is intent at getting a repeat booking and goes after Willie Mack like that motherfucker owes him money. They beat the shit out of each other in this one. You’d think that someone in their late 40s would want to just play the hits and chill out but Our Dave is not that man. Gangrel hasn’t lost a step, although in all fairness, he wasn’t particularly good to begin with. He has not deteriorated at all.
Gangrel’s ‘no fucks given’ approach includes taking a flatback bump on the floor. Why would you even do that? It’s like Mickey Rourke in the Wrestler. This is all he’s got left, brother. If he’d put this level of effort into his career when he was younger he could have been a huge star. Instead he relied on the entrance and let himself get badly out of shape. Willie Mack is up for the challenge. It goes surprisingly long with them developing a battling storyline in a war of attrition. Mack ends up downing Gangrel with a Stunner but Gangrel was the eye-opener here, battling and holding his own with a guy eighteen years younger than him. This might be the best Gangrel singles match I’ve ever seen.
Final Rating: ***1/4
The Killer Baes (Heather Monroe & Laura James), Peter Avalon, Ray Rosas & Hot Young Briley vs. Tyler Bateman, Sinn Bodhi, Funny Bone, Nurse Ratchet & Sage Sin
This is elimination rules. There are a lot of new faces out there for me. Bodhi used to be Kizarny in WWE. Laura James is with Joey Ryan. Everyone else is new to me. Tyler Bateman has to be nuts for having that name. I’m aware he’s had that name for a very long time but Tyler Bate becomes really famous so you switch gimmicks, surely? If another guy came along called Arn Fury and started writing better than me, with greater frequency for more important websites I would seriously consider changing my name. The Bateman team is all scary Halloween characters. Bodhi is wearing a butcher’s apron to wrestle in, which is the level of the horror team. And he’s not the weirdest looking guy on his team. Here’s Funny Bone;
Bodhi jokingly does a ‘dive’ off the apron, while selling vertigo. Funny Bone makes up for it by hitting a double stomp onto everyone else in the match. The, I guess they’re the babyfaces, normal team do very little and get routinely creamed by the comedic horror boys. Funny Bone, my favourite wrestler in the match by some distance, is naturally first out.
Ratchet’s unsavoury latex glove antics take the match down another notch with the useless Avalon and Rosas doing crappy comedy spots with her. Killer Baes get rid of her with double teams. “What a walking nightmare” says comms. “This match?” asks comms. Yes. Heather Monroe does a scream queen bit, deliberately falling over repeatedly. The match drags on and on and on. They do a nice role reversal thing with the Killer Baes being unpleasant to the monster Bodhi and then Thriller kicks in and they all dance. In the opposite direction to the hard-cam. Both Killer Baes get rolled up and they’re out. The volume was too low on the music, the dance looked completely unplanned and the execution of what could have been a killer comedy spot was totally off. Bodhi gets rolled up and we’re down to all the wrestlers nobody gives a shit about. Bateman gets a spell of popping off his Indie high spots before Rosas is dumped. Avalon puts Bateman out. So it’s Sage vs. Avalon & Briley. The latter two do a stupid miscue spot on a pendulum DDT. Why would you carry on hitting the DDT? That dumps Avalon and Sage beats Briley with a Code Red. What a mess this was. Briley turned his ankle right before the finish.
Final Rating: *
The crowd lapped up the matches on this show despite a couple being an absolute mess. The atmosphere alone makes these shows worthwhile. If I lived in California this would be my local Indie I reckon. Mainly because PWG is impossible to get tickets to.