PWR Catalina Wrestling Mixer review (8.4.17)

PWR Catalina Wrestling Mixer review (8.4.17)

Pro Wrestling Revolver Fn Catalina Wrestling Mixer

 

August 4 2017

 

We’re in Dayton, Ohio. I’ve never seen a Wrestling Revolver show. They started out last year, under the pen of Sami Callihan. They run sporadically and this is their sixth show. In an attempt to familiarise myself with the booking I looked at the previous cards;

 

The Debut:

Headlined by Billy Gunn and Rhyno was in the opening match. Also featured were Tommy Dreamer, Bob Holly and Scotty 2 Hotty. I guess the former WWE names are a draw.

 

Iowa Goes Lucha:

Main event was Brian Cage vs. Sami Callihan so things are immediately looking up. The only former WWE guy on the show was Chavo Guerrero. The luchadores on show were few, suggesting names don’t always mean anything for PWR. More Indie darlings were on show; AR Fox, Trevor Lee, Caleb Konley and luchadore Triton included.

 

Pancakes and Piledrivers:

Their ‘Mania weekend show. Obviously there was a lot of talent available in Orlando so this was stacked. Jeff Cobb, David Starr, ACH, Eddie Kingston, Angelico, Jack Evans, Ricochet, Pentagon, Fenix, etc. They also debuted their first belt the Scramble Championship, won by Jason Cade.

 

Midnight-Ish After Mania:

This was a joint show the night after ‘Mania with Wrestle Circus. AR Fox claimed the promotions Scramble title and then defended it against Moose.

 

Plead the Fifth:

Their last show was in early May and started to establish a regular roster of talent for the company. The likes of AR Fox, Ethan Page, MJF, Jake Manning, the Crist brothers and Callihan consistently appearing. Tonight they have a tournament entitled the “Catalina Wrestling Mixer” and a scramble match for the PWR Scramble title. Plus a battle of the sexes. All wrapped up in two hours. You lucky ducks Dayton!

 

CWM First Round

Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Shane Strickland

MJF gets toilet papered and falls over. Strickland has three belts. There is a definite gulf in talent between the two. Although MJF can draw a tidy amount of heat.

CatShane

Shane backdrops MJF into the crowd to get everyone into the opener. MJF’s response is to work the arm and yell at the rubes. Seeing as I’ve seen a host of shit venues in the US it’s nice to see this one is good. Low ceiling, decent lighting. It’s a little small but there are few decent buildings that have wrestling in America so I like it. MJF keeps on the arm and that’s the focus throughout with Shane having to find ways out. The finish is bizarre with Strickland kicking out MJF’s arm and tapping him with an armlock. Why have one guy work the arm all match and then tap out to an arm hold? That’s just weird. Match was ok. The work was crisp enough but Shane held a lot back knowing he has to wrestle again later.

Final Rating: **3/4

 

CWM First Round

Ethan Page vs. Simon Grimm

Grimm was, until recently, was Simon Gotch in WWE. He’s already wrestled for eight promotions since his WWE departure and it looking to rebuild his career.

CatPage

Page addresses where the tournament title comes from; Step Brothers. He calls Step Brothers the “worst movie ever”. It turns out Grimm didn’t like it either so they become instant best friends and start to quote from Step Brothers. Well, this is surreal. They do some back and forth before Page threatens to teabag Grimm’s moustache. Grimm catches Page with a cross armlock and gets the tap out. That was brisk!

Final Rating: **1/2

 

Dayton Street Fight

CWM First Round

AR Fox vs. Alex Colon

Fox clonks various fans with a trash can. He was originally supposed to face Matt Tremont but Matt is injured so it’s Alex Colon, coming out here to music from Rocky. AR Fox is a pretty big dude but he’s incredibly graceful for his size. The added garbage stipulation is strange, as if the booker has a problem concentrating through a tournament without throwing a wacky match out there for his amusement. They could easily have wrestled a building-wide brawl without throwing out a stip. They do a lot of garbage stuff, including AR Fox going coast to coast with a Van Terminator, which is less impressive than in WWE because this ring is tiny. Colon impresses more when they hit the mat and actually wrestle. Colon then outdoes Fox on the high spots by hitting a double stomp off the top to the apron. There’s less star power on show so they need to up the ante over the two openers. Colon has the temerity to kick out of a pair of Package Piledrivers, which is just daft.

Catboard

Then the match goes completely to hell as AR Fox builds a table with some board he found under the ring. Colon is healthy enough to kick out of a piledriver but not healthy enough to stop this nonsense. Colon ends up leaning gingerly on the edge of the ‘table’ in case it collapses and AR Fox hits a 450 Splash for the win. All the nonsense with the ‘table’ was unwelcome. The arena traversing brawl was ok but the match was far better when they just wrestled. I’m clearly not in line with the locals as they give this a standing ovation.

Final Rating: **1/2

 

Promo Time: John Murray

He’s out here to dish out free DVD’s in the middle of the first round of the tournament. He’s interrupted by Jeremiah. However seeing as Jeremiah is in the tournament and Murray is a fat wannabe pirate I’d say Murray interrupted him.

 

CWM First Round

Jeremiah vs. Rey Fenix

“The Juggernaut” refers to himself as “wrestling’s best kept secret”. He’s the heel. Fenix plays babyface. Jeremiah isn’t quite as toned as he should be, as the ace of Rockstar Pro. He is a capable wrestler though. Fenix is the one who lets the match collapse because the ropes are too loose for him. Jeremiah has some decent ideas regarding counters and how one thing should logically lead to another. Which plays well against Fenix’s scattershot flipz ahoy tactic. They suffer from horrible communication issues unfortunately and the match is sloppy. Jeremiah, while a decent worker, wears his flaws on his sleeve. His positioning results in issues. Mainly due to telegraphing the forthcoming spots. He’s not used to operating at the level Fenix lives on. Sometimes he uses his peripheral vision and is in position but more often than not he doesn’t. Fenix beats him with a submission giving me Shane vs. Rey in the semi’s. I’m so glad it’s not Jeremiah. He has promise but this match was riddled with errors.

Final Rating: *1/2

 

PWR Scramble Championship

Jordan Len-X is the defending champion. He comes out to DMX’s “X Gon’ Give it to Ya”. A classic piece of entrance music for anyone with an X in their name. Dezmond Xavier and Zachery Wentz are the first challengers. “Boats and Hoes”. Also invited are Trey Miguel, Cole Radrick, Space Monkey, Jake Manning, Clayton Jackson, Aaron Williams, Ron Mathis, Myron Reed, Sami Callihan and Matt Palmer. The latter jumps Sami in the entrance and fucks up his knee, thus eliminating Sami. “I’m gonna fuck kill you bitch” yells the fallen owner. The match is two guys wrestling while the other hang around at ringside. Wentz is an early highlight because he thinks he’s an alien crab. It’s hard to get a read on everyone else because it’s a constant stream of dudes doing spots. The fans throwing bananas at Space Monkey is incredible daft. They are slippery! Why would you throw something notoriously slick into a wrestling ring? Jake Manning makes me smile by reading a manual on dives while on the top turnbuckle. Everyone does dives to increasing apathy. So many flipz. There’s a random ladder out in the audience and it allows Xavier to swing flip off the roof beams from it. To call the match ‘spotty’ would be an understatement. There are so many guys. I find it hard to get invested in anyone but it’s a lot of fun. Some of the workers are good, some are not. It doesn’t really matter. It’s just a bunch of spots tacked together. I come out of it liking Wentz and Xavier even more as they stand out amidst a field of spots. The match would be way better if it was just Wentz, Xavier, Reed, Monkey and Manning. The latter two bringing character. The others bringing the flipz.

 

As it stands there are too many guys and the match goes on for ages. Sami Callihan reappears and Matt Palmer takes out his knee (by dropkicking Callihan’s ass but hey) and wins with a Sharpshooter. Matt Palmer is the new Scramble champ. The crowd are vaguely familiar with him and chant “fuck that guy”. Callihan’s boys chase Palmer through the audience and that’s the end of this messy segment. It was fun, for the most part, though.

Final Rating: ***1/4

 

CWM Semi-Final

Shane Strickland vs. Rey Fenix

This is like a continuation of the last match, which makes it even sillier to have a spotfest ahead of a match featuring two spot-capable workers. However they’re so good they absolutely blow everything in the last match away for the first few sequences. Fenix then hits a Canadian Destroyer on the apron and another in the ring. That’s it. Game over. This was only five minutes long, culminating in two huge head-drop spots. I’m surprised this got given so little time as it followed on from a match that was given an eternity and felt like filler.

Final Rating: ***

 

CWM Semi-Final

Simon Grimm vs. AR Fox

Grimm brings a solid ground game with tidy suplexes and such. AR Fox brings the flying. Fox is a thrilling watch providing he sticks to the in-ring and doesn’t go rambling around the building. Lots of credit to Grimm for hitting the Indies with this much force too. He’s clearly eager to re-boot his career outside of WWE and that takes hard work and a determined mind. The match is slightly longer than the other semi but is again surprisingly short. Fox takes it with the 450 Splash and both semi’s were a missed opportunity.

Final Rating: **1/2

 

Jake Crist vs. Jessicka Havok

Catvok

If you’re unfamiliar with Havok, she’s quite big. The idea being that she’s forced to wrestle men because all the other women are too small to be competitive. I saw her work for Fight Club Pro and was distinctly underwhelmed. Jess mangles Jake while the other Jake, Manning, commentates and preaches about the domination of the male gender and how it should long continue. Even if he’s joking it’s not my bag. Having it on commentary makes it feel like it’s the opinion of the promotion, rather than a heel being a heel. Manning’s voice has been all over the show. Crist has been wrestling for 14 years in the heartlands. He’s wrestled for 18 separate promotions in 2017. I have nothing against intergender matches but this one isn’t good. It occasionally has moments that are intriguing but I never feel invested. Havok wins with a chokeslam thus justifying her spot. I didn’t particularly enjoy it.

Final Rating: **1/4

 

Catalina Wrestling Mixer Final

AR Fox vs. Rey Fenix

PWR have painted themselves into a corner by rushing the semi-finals. Now this has to deliver or the show will have been a disappointment.

Catfinal

There are twelve minutes left on the show.

 

They throw out the 450 Splash and the Destroyer immediately while the crowd chant “USA”. That’s…upsetting. They do some dives, which the crowd is completely immune to because of all the dives in that Scramble match, which I increasingly believe has ruined the entire show. The lads try hard, bouncing off the ropes and countering in mid-air. They keep going to the well (450, cutters) but also slip into crazy spots like the Greetings from Asbury Park, although Rey Fenix uses the same move twice to win the match.

CatFenix

Final Rating: ***1/2

 

Summary:

This was not a particularly good show. I enjoyed bits of it and it was all easy to watch but there were so many missed opportunities. The Scramble match wrecked the atmosphere of the show because it was undisciplined and overly long and spotty. This resulted in underwhelming crowd response for three truncated late tournament matches. The trouble with booking a promotion around wacky high spots is that the wackiest need to be last, or you risk burning the crowd out. That happened here and the structure of the card was bad. It hasn’t put me off Revolver for good as there is definitely potential here but it needs work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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