Independent Wrestling TV Family Reunion
April 4 2019
This is my first live show this weekend and I am dreading the potential fuckery of stream failure but here we are. And Jon Gresham is in the ring! Commentary here comes from Dylan Hales & Kevin Ford.
Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Jonathan Gresham
The one side of the ring is empty and MJF is just sat in the middle of it, which is not a good look. Cassidy is somewhat confused by the rules he’s presented with here.
Orange goes from total goofball with his hands in his pockets to doing near falls sequences to freak Gresham out. Cassidy flukes a roll out, out of an armdrag of all things, and it’s 1-0 Cassidy.
Gresham gets a public warning for striking between rounds and Round 3 sees full pace Cassidy, which is quite a sight. It’s so easy to forget that Orange Cassidy is also known for his fast-paced masked work. He catches Gresham with another flash pin and it’s 2-0. Well played champ.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Post Match: “I still don’t understand what the rules are” – Orange Cassidy. He’s interrupted by MJF. He delivers an excellent heel promo while Cassidy nods off. Orange refuses MJF’s challenge in casual fashion and MJF drops him with the Blissbuster. MJF is going places. He’s so good. Likewise Cassidy who’s gone from comedy performer to awesome comedy performer to cracking wrestler who does bits of comedy.
Kody Lane, Justin Sane & Kobe Durst vs. The Space Pirates (Space Monkey, Shane Sabre & Brett Michael David)
I don’t know a lot of these guys. Space Monkey works for DDT so I’m quite familiar with his work. Of the others the worst name on show is Justin Sane. I feel like he needs to reconsider what he thinks is good about that name and ditch it for any other name. This is a very Indie match. Thighs are slapped a great deal. Flips occur. I feel like Space Monkey really stands out because he’s a monkey and everyone else are interchangeable. BMD with his tartan pants perhaps stands out but not for good reasons. Kody Lane is the most ambitious guy in there. He attempts some seriously hard rope moves. BMD kills him with a 450 Splash at the finish. Jesus fucking wept.
Final Rating: ***
Red Eagle vs. Mike Verna vs. Ethan Page vs. Arik Cannon vs. Mikey vs. Ophidian
Eagle is Portuguese. Verna is Italian.
Mikey is a loon. We’re at one fall to a finish here but tagging in and out. It’s an interesting mix of guys. Verna brings a lot of power. Mikey does a lot of unconventional stuff and body slams. Ophidian is great here. The way he breaks up a pin by flying in from screen left is superb. Red Eagle catches him with a bridging pin for the win. This was fun. Almost everyone proved they belonged in there and they mixed up the spots to keep me unprepared for the relatively gentle finish.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Jack Bonza, Mick Moretti & Bel Pierce vs. Caveman Ugg, Unsocial Jordan & Steph DeLander
“Weighing in at eight boulders”. This was originally featuring Robbie Eagles but he’s replaced, in a round-about way by DeLander. There’s talk about how Australian wrestling has improved so much over the past two years and having seen some of it, I can definitely say that’s true. Everyone is familiar with each other so the match flows nicely and there’s some clever stuff. Moretti’s head-stand in particular and in general his teaming with Bonza is top notch. Bel’s attempts to win Ugg over by throwing glitter at him is certainly a tactic and it does not pay off. The ref’s reaction to Ugg’s chops is amazing. He catches Bel at one point and throws her into a slam. It’s a fantastic performance from Ugg who I’ve only ever seen in squashes. Turns out he has that Goldberg presence about him. I’m not sure about the gimmick but he has freakish strength. The match lives on the raw edge with everyone clearly out to impress and the pacing is great too.
Final Rating: ***3/4
Isaias Velasquez & Kylie Rae vs. Robert Anthony & Shotzi Blackheart
Frank the Clown corners the heels while Kylie Rae reminds me strongly of Dakota Kai. I like Shotzi and the ladies start out with some excellent chain wrestling. Frank largely stays out of the way, thus denying my rage and desire to shoot him into outer space in a gigantic cannon. The match belts along at an excellent pace and the show is far, far better than the two shows that preceded it. Everyone is here to impress. Apart from Frank the Clown. He still stinks. He strolls in there to try and KO Isaias with his shoe, yes his shoe, but fucks it up.
Kylie Rae straps Anthony in a submission and the faces win against the odds. Although the heels had Frank on their team so they were technically at a disadvantage. I was really enjoying this but I’ll have to dock them points because of Frank.
Final Rating: ***
AC Mack (c) vs. Fred Yehi
Mack is trained by AR Fox so you know he has certain fundamentals down. Yehi is very good at what he does. I’m a little disappointed his European run was so weak. He was underused by European promoters. Yehi alternates between classy offence and classy selling. He takes Mack apart at times. The grounded abuse he dishes out is beautiful. Unfortunately they do a bit with the title belt and Mack kicks Yehi in the balls. A few big spots later and it’s over. Mack retains. This was good but the shenanigans at the end were not my thing.
Final Rating: **3/4
Kris Stadtlander & Solo Darling vs. Shazza McKenzie & Jessica Troy
Kimber Lee was tagging with Kris but she turned on her yesterday so she’s not in it.
Unfortunately she joins commentary and talks over everything here. When wrestlers commentate and just talk about themselves it’s a total waste of everyone’s time. That would be the second time Kimber Lee has been a complete waste of time (ask the Performance Center was the first one was). They have some borderline dangerous stuff in here. The Troy dive terrifies me. The Solo suplex on the apron likewise. There’s effort here and Kris looks genuinely great considering her experience but it lives on the raw edge. Kris dumps Shazza on her head for the pin. This was patchy as all hell but the effort level made up for it. Kris Stadtlander is one to watch. I think we’re all aware of that now.
Final Rating: **1/2
O’Shay Edwards, Mr Brickster & Cabana Man Dan vs. Brett Ison, Kevin Ku & Dominic Garrini
O’Shay Edwards is a killer. A big dude who throws people around. Not even remotely safely either. Like he’s auditioning for Japan by murdering gaijin beforehand. He runs out of steam after a couple of minutes and leaves the others to work. As with many spot heavy tags they don’t even pay common courtesy towards the rules of tag team wrestling. Brickster hits his finish and then fails to pin for reasons best known to himself. There are a lot of spots in this. Most of them completely random and not connected. Cabana Man Dan, after a flip flop assault, hits the Shiranui off the top on Ku. This was really, really spotty.
Final Rating: **3/4
Last Man Standing
Gary Jay vs. Jake Parnell
They start out a little slow but Parnell hits a tope through the corner of the ring and that wakes me the fuck up. Jake Parnell gets woken up by Gary Jay throwing a chair at his face. It hits sideways! They head out into the crowd with the idea that the floor is harder so that should get the job done. Gary Jay kinds reminds me of Biff Busick. In that he’s not attractive but is very scrappy. Meanwhile Parnell has a great combination of skills and his flying adds to the aggressive striking approach. I love the strikes in this. Both guys throw themselves into them. Having thrown Parnell through a door Gary Jay decides to take the ring apart and tear Jake to pieces with the remains. So he pulls the top rope off.
Even after this Gary takes a half and half suplex through a door. Neck first. Utterly sick. The ref throws up the X and I’m not surprised. That’s not the finish! Jay double stomps Parnell’s head on a chair. Then he smacks the chair back into his face as he staggers away from that. That’ll do it. Could have gone either way but they killed each other here.
Final Rating: ****
This was the best show of the weekend so far, albeit a low bar it’s one Family Reunion hurdled with relative ease. The main event was suitably brutal and everything on the undercard, even the matches I didn’t score that highly, were very easy to watch. If all the Mania weekend shows were as bright and breezy as Family Reunion watching everything would be a piece of cake.