The Wrestling Revolver joined forces with AAW and Fight Club: Pro for the second annual Pancakes & Piledrivers show.
We opened with… Matt Striker? He’s doing ring announcing, and isn’t exactly a wallflower doing so. Jake Manning and Rich Bocchini (formerly NXT’s Rich Brennan) and another guy whose name I didn’t catch is on commentary.
Shane Strickland vs. Jeff Cobb
It’s an 11am start on Friday here, so pity the poor sods who were up late the prior night, either at Walemania or that Beyond show.
Strickland tries to make a dent on Cobb with clotheslines, which didn’t go well, so he picks up the pace, only for his crossbody to get caught and turned into a suplex attempt. That’s aborted too, but Cobb nails the spinning back suplex, before whacking through Strickland with a chop as the camera showed us the gruesome scars of Shane’s recent flirtation with death matches. Cobb shrugs off some chops as Strickland tried to fight back, teasing fate with a German suplex, as Cobb got free and headbutts him instead. Strickland’s kicks give him a little bit of life as Cobb was trying to get him to quit, before he flew into Cobb with a double stomp for another near-fall.
Somehow Cobb’s gotten busted open as Strickland peppered him with kicks and knees, before he returned fire with a headbutt and a Tour of the Islands for the win. This was Strickland’s 5th and Cobb’s 6th match of the weekend – that and the 11am start time justified the rather lethargic feel to this one. ***
Joey Ryan & Martina vs. Colt Cabana & Marty DeRosa
If you’re wondering, one of these is a comedian. It’s the debuting DeRosa, who you’ll probably recognise from his ties to Colt. Matt Striker relocated Martina to Scotland, for… reasons, as the commentary crew didn’t have a clue who she was.
DeRosa at least had gear made, a la Colt Cabana’s singlet, and of course we open with the Joey Ryan spot. Marty DeRosa tags in and excitedly wanted to touch it, but Colt stops him, before Ryan offered a swap… his genitals for Martina’s. Colt wanted back in, but now he had to be stopped… comedy! Ryan and Cabana run the ropes for a bit, before Joey falls for a slap… DeRosa does the same thing with Martina, which draws boos, before Martina got some revenge with a Bronco buster. Cabana kicks away Joey’s lollipop as Marty gets a Stunner on Martina, which led to duelling Bionic elbows, before…
Marty DeRosa nailed a top rope ‘rana!
Sadly, it’s not the finish, as he goes to a Figure Four next as Martina’s trapped in the Billy Goat’s Curse, but she crawls into a compromising position on DeRosa, who willingly broke his hold as… music plays. Matt Striker tries to get the crowd going, but as Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer plays, Martina suckered Marty into a Penis Suplex, while giving Colt a Flap Trap, before duelling lollipop and condom claws led to superkicks and the pin. This was fun in places, as a comedy match it’s exactly what you’d have expected from the four names on the bill. **
Eddie Kingston vs. Juice Robinson
We’re in AAW’s universe here as Kingston’s out to David Starr’s music, since he’s sort-of under the auspices of the Product in that storyline.
Robinson’s all over Kingston early, taking him into the corner for a cannonball ahead of a crossbody for a one-count, as he tried to finish off with the Pulp Friction inside the opening minutes… only for Kingston to reply with an overhead belly-to-belly instead. Juice gets taken outside from that for a suicide dive, then some chops as they wandered around the ringside area. Juice somehow rebounds off the guard rails with a lariat, before he teased a piledriver on the floor that Kingston back body drops out of. More whips wrecked the guard railing as Juice was sent there, before they returned to the ring as Kingston wore down Juice with a waistlock, then with chops as Juice was in the ropes like Andre.
Robinson finally escapes and nails some Dusty punches, before another whip into the corner caused him to rebound with a lariat. A powerbomb followed for a near-fall, but Kingston responds with a wicked lariat to dump Juice on his head, then again with a back suplex, as the pair start to lay into each other with chops. Kingston’s had a lot of extra mustard on them as he aimed for the throat, but Juice comes back with a punch before snapping right into Pulp Friction for the win. A nice, competitive TV-style match, going a little under 9 minutes. Yep, I’ll have more of that please! ***¼
Fight Club: Pro Championship: Kimber Lee vs. Jessicka Havok vs. Meiko Satomura (c)
Meiko Satomura won the title at Fight Club Pro’s Dream Tag Team Invitational barely a week earlier, so it’s a bit wacky that her defence is something that FCP rarely do… all women’s matches! I sense this was the original plan before the title change?
A phantom coin toss determined that Jessicka Havok’s AAW title wouldn’t be on the line here, and she started by barging through Lee and Satomura with clotheslines, before Meiko got dumped with another one of those lariats. Satomura tries to stick and move as her and Kimber Lee were forced to double-team Havok, before turning their sights onto each other. Lee nearly wins with a German suplex, before the revolving door thing saw Havok come in and blast Kimber with a lariat for another near-fall. Havok keeps up with face-washing boots as Satomura was on the floor, but she rushes back in to drill Havok with forearms, before Havok just suplexes her with ease.
Kimber Lee’s back with a flying ‘rana, but Satomura broke up the cover, before taking down Havok with a DDK and a cartwheel kneedrop. Lee tries to capitalise with forearms, but she’s cut off and planted with a death valley driver as the match nearly ended there. A tiltawhirl backbreaker seemed to be all Kimber could do, as her delayed cover cost her the win, as Meiko finishers her off with a pair of kicks for the win. This was explosive at the end, but man, this felt like such an afterthought. Barely six minutes for a title match, “because women”, eh? Even the comedian got longer! ***
AAW Championship: Trevor Lee vs. ACH (c)
This was a champion vs. champion affair, but Lee’s Heritage title wasn’t on the line here… and he rolls to the outside as soon as the bell went. Lee forgets how mornings work, as he’s mad at wrestling at “11 o’clock in the afternoon”, and uses the chance to get all the cursing out that he can’t do on Impact. It’s a pretty ranty promo from Lee, who’s shut up via a kick on the apron from ACH, who rolls him to the inside for a 450 splash attempt. That misses, as Lee comes up and hits a head kick, only for ACH to snap back into it and quickly put Lee away with a brainbuster. Three minutes and change it was then!
oVe (Sami Callihan, Jake Crist & Dave Crist) vs. Joey Janela, AR Fox & Brian Cage
An early start for Joey Janela, who can’t have had more than a few hours’ sleep since he main evented his own Spring Break against Great Sasuke.
It’s a wild start as oVe dove onto their opponents in the aisle, as the brawl around ringside got us underway. We finally headed into the ring as Janela and Callihan swung and missed, until Callihan hit a short clothesline… and then spat at Brian Cage, who levelled him. Jake Crist gets a superkick too, but Jake fires back with some of his own before a tope to Cage is caught and turned into a suplex on the floor!
Callihan’s next with a lowpe, before Fox’s apron moonsault and a senton off the top from Janela looked to complete our dives… only for Penelope Ford to get involved as she superplexes Dave Crist to the floor! Sami adds the exclamation point as Penelope’s powerbombed off the apron into the pile. Back in the ring, Cage stops a superplex but oVe make a save as we broke into a parade of moves, with a flying lungblower from Fox keeping it going. oVe receive, then give superkicks as their game plan looked to backfire, as Callihan ate Lo Mein Pain and a 450 splash for a near-fall. Jake Crist comes in to hit a death valley driver to Fox, who’s then met with the Killing Spree spike tombstone… but Fox is up at one!
Death valley drivers and F5s follow as a triple pin forced oVe into a trio of kickouts, as they ended up 3-on-1 against Fox… but AR kicks away a pump kick before his frog splash onto Callihan was met in mid-air with a Jake Crist cutter, and that’s enough for the win. A fantastic finish, as that spot is finally more than just a pop… just a shame the match that built up to it was a little… eh? Maybe it’s the Sami effect? ***
Pro Wrestling Revolver Scramble Championship: Matt Palmer (c) vs. Jason Cade vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Caleb Konley vs. Myron Reed vs. Trey Miguel vs. Connor Braxton vs. Omari vs. Clint Margera vs. Ace Romero vs. Jake Manning vs. Curt Stallion
As the name suggests, this is a scramble match… as opposed to the stumble match that Braxton and Margera had getting through the curtain!
The match starts with the rest of the gang throwing Palmer out of the ring, but it’s not a battle royal – it’s just first fall to a finish. Cue a huge cluster with bodies flying around the place. There’s a wacky double stomp from Stallion to Reed that looked like he lost his footing, before Ace Romero just obliterated Curt with a dropkick. Cue the revolving door, which is apt! Once Palmer and MJF poked each other in the eyes, the Fight Club Pro pair of Omari and Margera come in for dives, but nobody seemed to get the FCP link, as Trey Miguel completed the set with a step-up senton. Ace Romero flies too, as we go from one staple to another – the Tower of Doom!
Curt Stallion, who still has his merch tucked into his trunks, manages to kill himself headbutting Romero… right as Braxton slammed the big guy! More bodies fly as around as folks rush into their big moves, including MJF’s pumphandle ushigoroshi, Miguel’s 619 Cheeky Nandos, and Omari’s O-Zone, before MJF throws out Omari. Friedman tries to score the win over Miguel… but Palmer rushes in to steal the pin with a cheeky roll-up on MJF. This… was too much thrown at the wall, to be honest. We railed on those Style Battle tag scrambles, but giving 12 guys eight minutes was asking for trouble. Way too much going on for any of it to hit. Forgettable. *½
Jack Evans & Teddy Hart vs. Lucha Brothers (Penta El 0 M & Rey Fenix)
Apparently the Lucha Brothers were so late, “they just came through the door”. Yeah, that’s one of the downsides to having so many shows on a weekend: travel woes!
Jack Evans is all about running his mouth, cutting his own intro on the way to the ring before demanding a test of strength with Fenix. Instead, he just runs – and falls over – as he kicked Fenix in the gut before the pair burst into a too-quick-to-call lucha series. In comes Teddy Hart, as he and Penta come in… with Teddy’s response to “zero miedo” being something about being a third generation Hart.
I feel like I’ve been thrown back about fifteen years in time on indys with this team, as Hart and Evans have been around forever, without ever truly becoming “top tier” stars on the indy scene. You can’t deny Teddy’s innovation, as he somehow gets an assisted double Bliss Buster to Penta and Fenix at the same time, as the former Matrats pair were firmly in control. Jack Evans backflips his way into an eye rake as he trolls us – and Fenix – as his ranting just about distracted us from Teddy Hart standing on Fenix’s back and turning it into a Code Red. That almost didn’t come off, but hey, risk/reward and all that. Evans’ 450 worked, as did Teddy’s moonsault, and now that brings in a mightily pissed-off Penta with chops.
Penta ends up with the same issue, as he’s double-teamed with a moonsault knee drop/backbreaker combo for a near-fall, and now we’re into the Lucha Brothers wheelhouse with more chops as things break down a little thanks to the style clash. There’s a nice sequence when the Brothers double-team Hart with a superkick, before Fenix stomped Evans into the corner, where the two of them ate a victory roll cannonball from Pentagon.
Problem was, this was one of those matches with so much innovation in so little time, you couldn’t take time to admire anything because they were onto the next move. It’s a common theme on these shows, unfortunately. Still, the Lucha Bros slow it down with a wacky double-team surfboard to Evans, only for Teddy to break it up and kill Fenix with a spiked DDT.
Penta’s back with a Slingblade, then a step-up Destroyer before we really do go back to early noughties indys, when Evans crashed and burned as he slipped on a springboard. Penta’s thankfully right there to stomp him, before Evans manages to get that springboard 450 anyway… it’s a sight of what we could have had, to be fair. Fenix comes back and nails Evans with a roll-through cutter for a near-fall, before Teddy crushes him with a Project Ciampa, leading to Evans 630 splash for a near-fall.
Fortunately the match ends a little after that, with the Pentagon Driver and Fenix’s equivalent of it getting the win. This was fun, but it felt massively disjointed – far beyond the initial style clash. Disappointing. **¾
Ladder Match for PWR/AAW Tag Team Championships: The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz) vs. Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. The Besties In The World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) (c)
Yeah, there’s two sets of tag titles on the line, luckily both held by the Besties. Matt Striker’s having a banner day as he forgets the concept of time (morning/afternoon) and Xavier and Wentz’s new team name. Ah well!
Mark Davis is in a happier mood as he’s high fiving like he’s back in Britain, and there’s folks here who know them, which makes a change from the Rev Pro show the prior day.
Just before the bell, Mat Fitchett wanted to make this a hardcore ladder match. Hey, extra stipulations for the hell of it! Just as well there was plunder already under the ring! We start with the kinda stuff you should be building up to: a shotgun dropkick through some wood, a back body drop onto a ladder… not to go all Jim Cornette here, but where do you go next?! Davey Vega’s left in the ring by himself as he tries to go for the titles instantly, but he’s quickly cornered by Aussie Open, who push him off into that last bit of wood. That didn’t look good. With the champions out, it’s the Rascalz and the Aussies slugging it out, with Kyle Fletcher showing his potty mouth at lunchtime!
The champions keep trying to climb for their belts as commentary clearly didn’t know anyone here, messing up the tag champions’ names, somehow confusing Kyle Fletcher for Mat Fitchett… they didn’t miss Wentz getting shoved off the ladder, only to rebound off the ropes into a cutter on Fletcher before launching into a plancha on the outside! There’s more dives, because of course there is, as the Besties looked to be taking the advantage until Davis hit an Arabian press as the cameras on the other side caught a wacky chair arrangement being set-up.
Xavier grabs a ladder but decides to dive, rather than go for the belts, as he hit a shooting star off the ladder for good measure. Davey Vega comes up to stop a flip from Wentz, suplexing Wentz through some wood that he’d placed across those chairs. Ow.
Back inside, we’re rushing through big moves, like Davis’ Alphamare Waterslide, then a wheelbarrow stomp into a wheelbarrow suplex as the crowd roared for the DTTI finalists. The pull-up piledriver is avoided by Xavier, but he takes a double underhook into a powerbomb as the Aussies showed off their stuff… but then came the ladders, and of course, they’re cut-off.
Davey Vega’s grabs a fallen ladder and wedges it against Mark Davis, then puts Fletcher on it as the Aussie x ladder sandwich ended badly… with a pair of spinning heel kicks from the champions. The Rascalz have another flurry, stopping Vega by superkicking a chair into him, before they decided to climb for the belts… but as soon as Xavier has a hand on the belts, Mark Davis pulls him down for a one-armed powerbomb!
Fletcher’s back with a sweary superkick amid a Parade of Moves, ending with the Rascalz trying to go for the belts, but Xavier’s again stopped as Davis pulls him down for the lawndart/assisted cutter from Fletcher. For some reason Dunkzilla left the ladder rather than go for the belts, allowing Wentz to chop the Aussies for dear life, only to get smashed with a Fidget Spinner onto the ladder!
With no ladder, there’s an ode to the Quebecers as the Aussies try to piggyback their way to the titles, but they just end up in prime position for a Doomsday device from the champions, who clear the ring with commission-baiting Gotch piledrivers and tombstone, before scaling the ladders to claim back their belts. The best thing on the show, while still being a little too frenetic and spotty, but I did like how Aussie Open were able to stand out here. ***¾
Once the commentators signed off, we had something unexpected: Davey Vega called out David Arquette, who just happened to be in the building. Arquette ranted about “big money” (or an oversized handkerchief with a dollar bill printed on it), before calling himself a “real champion”. This was very odd to see, especially as it seemed to lead up to David Arquette challenging the Besties for a match… if only so he could sell his new “Never Been Pinned” t-shirt. Huh.
Piledrivers & Pancakes 2 was an odd, rushed show. When you’re mashing up three promotions, it’s always going to be hard to keep everyone happy. Although it’s nice FCP had some exposure, it has to be a little disappointing that their involvement was a short title match, two folks in a scramble and the ladder match main event, but at least there was some good that came out of it with Aussie Open sticking out.
It’d be cynical of me to suggest that the only reason the AAW title match was so short was because the Fight Club: Pro match was over in a cup of coffee, but very little here got time, especially the multi-man matches. Nine matches, 42 wrestlers and a little over two hours? There’s a lot going on here, but as to whether it was “must see” probably depends on whether you’re a fan of some of the folks on here who perhaps weren’t plastered over the rest of the Mania weekend cards…