PWR Naito Takes Dayton review (2.16.18)

PWR Naito Takes Dayton review (2.16.18)

PWR #NaitoTakesDayton


February 16 2018


We’re in Dayton, Ohio and this is a pretty big deal. A deal garnered for Tetsuya Naito to appear in some North American promotions while NJPW didn’t need him. Fresh eyes on one of the wrestling’s biggest talents. Pro Wrestling Revolver is Sami Callihan’s promotion. I’ve only seen one of these shows and it pretty bad. This is a much larger crowd in a much larger building though so hopes are higher.


Trey Miguel vs. Jason Cade

Cade is from New York and works WWN as his main deal. Miguel is a young local lad. This sets up a natural heel/face dynamic. Two guys who people generally don’t know opening the show means they have to bust out a bunch of flips and such. It’s a tidy little match. It could easily become something bigger but they don’t rock the transitions that they could. Instead they throw out big spots and well-timed desperation kick-outs. The kick-outs are especially good. It does feel generic but the execution of everything is nice and smooth so it’s fine. Trey gets the win. Fair play to him.

Final Rating: ***


PWR Scramble Championship

Matt Palmer (c) vs. A Bunch of Guys

Seriously there are like ten challengers here. I’m not typing them all out. Samantha Heights is in there but the rest are all dudes. The match is just a big mess. They take it in turns to work and most of the time I’m not into the work. There are weird looking bumps, to set up follow-up spots. It’s a load of cool-looking stuff tacked together with no rhyme or reason. It’s like watching Sami Callihan. Big fat fuck Kody Rice hits a big dive off the apron and nobody catches him. I don’t blame them to be honest. If you’re that big and you can’t get any height on a dive then don’t do it in the first place. He was lucky not to get badly injured. A bunch of dives follow, including a big old botched one. Chainsaw King is probably the worst wrestler in the match. Stumbling around, tripping over stuff and falling in directions that make no sense compared to the impact he faces. Even Myron Reed, the super-exciting youngster, isn’t able to avoid the horrors of the match. He comes up short on at least one diving attack. And the match never fucking ends. It just goes on and on and on.

Some of the spots absolutely rock but it is a car crash of a match. Matt Palmer, who was hardly involved all match, sneaks back in to roll up Sam Heights for the pin. I’m sure this sort of chaotic match appeals to some people but it’s just a bunch of crazy shit thrown together.

Final Rating: *1/2


AAW Women’s Championship

Jessicka Havok (c) vs. Shotzi Blackheart


I like “Ballsy Badass” Shotzi Blackheart, which is a wonderful name. I don’t like Havok. She’s always struggled to work with wrestlers of different sizes and during this women’s revolution she’s been one of the dinosaurs who won’t step aside for the new generation of talent coming through. She’s only 31 years old but I’m writing her off. Perhaps unsurprisingly the crowd love her. They tell a tidy size storyline, because Havok is so huge.


Both ladies like a good scream. Havok’s almost destroys my hearing. Havok then destroys Shotzi with a Tombstone off the top. Fffffff….

Final Rating: **1/2


Brian Cage vs. Clayton Gainz

There’s a lot of muscle in the ring right now.


The Swolverine vs. Mr “Too Swol to Control”. Gainz is fairly new to the business but he certainly looks the part and has incredible athleticism. Cage is an incredible wrestler but no one seems to want to give him The Push because he’s everywhere. This is Vince McMahon’s wet dream by the way. Two muscle monsters with personalities. But we’re on the Indies so they have to do chops and dives too and my god they do that with aplomb. What Gainz is capable of doing in the match stuns me.

He’s come out of nowhere and he’s quite happily going back and forth with a guy like Cage, who’s been an Indie staple for 12 years. They fly around in this one like cruiserweights. It’s all kinds of fun. Next generational shit! Discus lariats abound and Cage finishes with the Steiner Screwdriver. I know Gainz survived taking that because he retweeted that tweet up there but if he hadn’t I’d be sure he was dead.

Final Rating: ***1/2


PWR Tag Team Championship

Zero Gravity (c) vs. The Besties in the World vs. The Night Ryderz

Both challengers have dreadful team names. “Ryderz”? what? Zero Gravity are two very small lads. Esparza is listed as 5’6”. I spend most of the match trying to come up with a more ridiculous spelling of Night Ryderz. I came up with kNyghtt Rydazzz. Pretty badass huh? The trouble with doing one of these daft three-way tag spotfests is it comes on the back of that big old 10-way spotfest earlier. I generally find multiple team tag matches a turn off as it is. It’s really not my graps. Some of the double teaming is fun but I’m just completely sick of seeing contrived spots where someone has to be in a very specific position and if they don’t naturally fall there they feel the urge to move. It looks so unnatural. Gakiya, one of the two champs, gets thrown on top of his head in one of the more reckless spots of the match. The Besties take back the belts with a brainbuster over the knee on Esparza. This was another car crash. Plus I have to listen to the Besties shit entrance music (“Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden for fuck’s sake) twice because of the outcome.

Final Rating: **1/4


Shane Strickland vs. Trevor Lee

I skip ahead to the start of the match, because the intermission happened here, and had to rewind because Shane Strickland came out to Chaka Khan and I had to listen to that.


Lee plays the defined heel and it works for me. Shane is one of my favourite babyfaces because everything he does is so nifty. Looks like Lee forgot his gear as he’s wrestling in shorts here. He basically just wears pants. How hard is it to remember pants? UK pants, not American pants. Strickland is an interesting case study because his floor is fairly high but he really, really delivers when he runs into a high quality opponent. Someone who can bring the same level of flash and sizzle. Like Ospreay, or Mark Andrews. Not like Trevor Lee, who has an old school style that’s very methodical and relies on crowd heat. His lack of gear makes him look even worse than usual (I’m not a fan of his look) but luckily the work here is very solid. Lee lands some tremendous offence, including a deadweight German suplex and a stiff lariat. The match really gets going when they start going after submissions and then targeting body parts on the back of that. Lee gets double stomped through a chair off the apron and another double stomp back inside finishes. Strickland winning means more Chaka Khan! Fabulous news.

Final Rating: ***1/2


Rockstar Pro Championship

Jon Murray (c) vs. Jake Manning

“Man Scout” Jake Manning is a decent gimmick. Although the misogyny is typical of wrestling in some places.


Jon Murray is a “fat stupid piece of crap” (Comms). They do a lot of comedy around Manning reading his scout manual.


This includes him running the ropes while reading, which I tried to GIF but it goes on forever. Also, on a close up Murray is revealed to be a Kevin Smith lookalike. Manning, who appears to be an idiot on the surface, is actually a huge daredevil; hitting a trust fall off the top to the floor. That’s an insane spot. The comedy overwhelms everything else. So at one point Manning is attempting a mandible claw when Murray sticks his thumb up Jake’s butt. Chokebomb finishes but Manning was done as soon as the thumb entered his rectum. This was a nice comedy aside during a hectic show, full of high spots. I appreciate the change of pace and some of this worked.

Final Rating: NR


Moose, Ace Romero & Maxwell Jacob Feinstein vs. OI4K

While the prospect of MJF working the crowd is inticing but I have no interest in Sami Callihan in the year of our lord two thousand and eighteen, thank you very much. Especially as babyfaces. “OI4K ain’t shit” – MJF. Who’s your favourite wrestler Arn? Anyone but Sami Callihan mate.

Final Rating: NR


Tetsuya Naito vs. Michael Elgin

Elgin is greeted by a chorus of boos. Good.


Apparently he thinks it’s good heel heat to be booed. Of course manipulating yourself into bookings that no one wants to make because your brought Naito over is typical of wrestling bullshit. Not that Sami cares whether you’re a horrible piece of shit, being a horrible piece of shit himself.


Luckily the match is more about Naito and how Ingobernable he is. Every time Naito pulls out any of his shtick it’s cheered to the rafters. The problem with Elgin is that now everyone legitimately hates him it’s very difficult to put a match together. All his offence isn’t booed, it’s almost ignored. Naito’s response to the crowd is huge beaming smiles because he’s so beloved. I’m not sure if the Elgin scandal has translated to the Japanese guys so he may just be assuming he’s really well liked in America, which to be fair, he is.


The frustrating part of all this is that Elgin was a tremendous professional wrestler and he’s ruined that by being a dickhead away from the ring. Now you can’t watch his matches without mentally recalling his misdeeds.


Naito has a few issues with the ropes, which allow the crowd to turn on the ring. Elgin continues to be met with disdain and the potential barnburner they could have had here it utterly ruined. I don’t blame the fans. Chanting “go away” is perfectly acceptable. The crowd do eventually come around to the quality of the match but the “this is awesome” chants alternate with “fuck you Elgin”. At it’s core the match is pure pro wrestling. One guy everyone hates versus one guy everyone loves. It’s tough to distinguish between the wrestler and the real life man. It’s the same guy but it’s not. Anyway, Naito wins with Destino and receives the adulation of the crowd for it. This is a tough one to rate because it was an excellent wrestling match but the issues with Elgin take away from it a touch. Naito is quite the charismatic figure isn’t he?


Final Rating: ***3/4



This was better than the last Revolver show I watched but I think that might be because I skipped Sami’s match to stop myself getting all enraged. Elgin did that job for me and generally I don’t endorse the idea of him being booked places. He can still go, and it’s hard work for him to overcome the crowd like he is, but fuck him. He made his bed. The show has some decent little undercard bouts, even if a couple of them are just car crashes. Cage-Gainz was really good. Gainz is one to watch in 2018.


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