It’s night two of HighSpots’ Wrestle Reunion convention. Tonight’s show promises to be a lot of fun, bolstering such legends as Mick Foley, the Steiner Brothers, Tommy Dreamer, the Great Sasuke, and more. Plus, Davey Richards and Harry Smith will be competing against each other, which should be a match for the ages.
Mick Foley and Mike Tyson come out to start the show. Foley talks about how he’s going to catch a red-eye flight to St. Louis after the show to compete in the Royal Rumble. He says that, because of that, he can’t afford to get hurt tonight. He has Tyson promise he’ll watch his back while Foley referees tonight’s legendary tag match.
1. The first match of the night was really just a backdrop for Vader to hit the ring and be a monster. The crowd reacted very strongly to him. Vader and the two guys already in the ring start to go at it, with the two ganging up on the big man. Vader mounts a comeback, hitting his Vader Bomb and release powerbomb on them. He makes to leave but delivers a chokeslam for good measure.
2. The Steiner Brothers vs. The New Age Outlaws with Mick Foley as special guest referee and enforcer
Road Dogg took the microphone and did his typical Outlaws shtick. He hands the microphone to Billy Gunn who pretends to flub his lines and use other wrestlers’ catchphrases.
Scott Steiner reminds everybody that his team is indeed the heel team by insulting Los Angeles.
Scott knees and chops Gunn. Scott hits a shoulder tackle and sends Gunn into the turnbuckle. Gunn takes Scott down and stomps him. He tags into Road Dogg. Scott tags into Rick. Rick bites Road Dogg on the ass and they tease throwing the match out because Road Dogg “did not sign up for tongue in the ass.” Foley announces he’s authorizing “tongue in the ass” because “it’s Los Angeles, after all.”
Rick puts his finger in Gunn’s ass to continue the comedy. Gunn sends Rick into the turnbuckle. Scott comes in and hits right hands and kicks. Road Dogg jabs Scott and eventually takes him down with a right. Scott hits a belly to belly suplex for 2. Foley calls out Mike Tyson but he doesn’t show. Scott goes for a cover but instead does his patented pushups.
Rick hits an elbow drop for 2. Billy gunn kicks rick in the head before Scott tags back in. Road Dogg boots him in the head and tags in Gunn. Scott delivers a belly to belly overhead suplex before he shoves Foley. Foley teases using Mr. Socko, but he ends up throwing it out. Gunn pins Steiner and Foley counts the fall quickly.
This was a lighthearted match with some fun spots. The crowd thought it was fine and that was it. Nobody went into the match expecting it to be a clinic or anything like that, so it was fine.
Winner: The New Age Outlaws
3. Fit Finlay vs. Colt Cabana in a world of sport rules match.
The match consisted of three five-minute rounds.
Round 1. Cabana wants a hug but Finlay will have none of it. Finlay goes for a single leg but Cabana holds on to the top rope. Finlay takes down Cabana and cranks the face. He knees Cabana in the back. Finlay tries to rake the eyes. Cabana takes over but Finlay’s careful to keep his shoulders off the mat. The first round ends.
In between rounds, Cabana does some comedy with his corner man, who won an auction to receive the honor.
Round 2. Finlay with a European uppercut takes Colt down, who gets right back up. Finlay hits an elbow drop for 2. He stomps on cabana’s hands. Cabana retaliates with open palmstrikes. Cabana fires with arm wringers and Finlay responds with forearms. They brawl on the outside.
Finlay gets a Kimura on Cabana but the round ends. He refuses to let go of the hold.
Round 3. Finlay attacks Cabana before the bell can sound for round 3. Finlay gets a rear chinlock and knees Cabana in the back. Finlay sends Colt chest first into the top turnbuckle. Cabana rolls up Finlay for 2.
Cabana goes into the ring post twice. Finlay drives Cabana into the mat for three.
Winner: Fit Finlay
4. Caleb Konley and Cedric Alexander vs. Tajiri and Mikey Whipwreck (The Unholy Alliance).
Konley takes a shoulder block from Whipwreck. We see a tilt-a-whirl head scissors takedown by Whipwreck and the crowd is impressed. Alexander tags in and so does Tajiri. Tajiri goes for the windmill kick but Alexander backs up. They trade holds for a while until Alexander comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. Tajiri lands three strong kicks to the body, taking Alexander down. Whipwreck tags in, leapfrogs over Alexander, and Tajiri baseball slides and kicks Alexander. Konley intervenes and gets a spine buster for his troubles.
Whipwreck goes up and performs a springboard plancha over the top. Tajiri goes up but then decides otherwise. Whipwreck hits some strikes. Alexander comes off the ropes with an enziguri. Konley applies cravat. Tajiri spits at his opponents and the fans want the green mist.
Tajiri hits big kicks on both opponents, followed by a springboard back elbow and two superkicks. Alexander breaks up the cover. Whipwreck comes in and lands a standing hurricanrana. Tajiri kicks Alexander in the back of the head. Tajiri uses the green mist, and Whipwreck hits the cutter off the top. Tajiri covers for 3.
Winner: Mikey Whipwreck and Tajiri (The Unholy Alliance)
5. Demus 316 vs. Mascarita Dorada.
Dorada ducks a clothesline. He follows up with a series of hip tosses. Demus gets a double leg takedown. Dorada hits a head scissors takedown, moves into an armdrag and an armbar. We see a moonsault by Dorada, but Demus gets the boots up. Demus swings Dorada by the feet before dropping him to the mat. Demus tosses Dorada into the steps. Demus powerslams him. Springboard shoulder block from Dorada. They exchange tilt-a-whirl takedowns in an excellent sequence. Dropkick to the outside.
They exchange tilt-a-whirls again. Dorada rolls up Demus for 3.
This was a very fun, fast-paced match.
Winner: Mascarita Dorada
6. Tommy Dreamer vs. Kevin Steen in a streetfight
Steen jabs Dreamer for a while. He yells at Dreamer and bites him. Steen frontflips into a legdrop. Dreamer hits a sentan off the ring apron. Dreamer spits water in Steen’s face. They brawl on the outside. Steen crotches Dreamer on the guardrail.
They brawl into the crowd. Dreamer hits Steen in the head with some unidentified object. Dreamer slams Steen in the head with a trash can. They fight back to ringside.
Dreamer brings in a trash can lid and slams a pole into Steen’s head.
Dreamer goes headfirst into something lodged between the turnbuckles.
Steen hits Dreamer in the back with a kendo stick. Sunset flip by Dreamer for 2. Steen locks in a sharp shooter but releases after a while. Steen rips off Dreamer’s shirt and chops him full in the chest. Dreamer charges into the ringpost. Steen hits a sentan on a stopsign which hits Dreamer in the head. Steen gets a nearfall.
Dreamer lands a superplex to Dreamer.
They exchange rights in a “boo, yay” spot. Steen with a low blow follows up with a DDT for a nearfall. Steen goes up but Dreamer crotches him. He sends a kendo stick into Steen’s crotch.
Dreamer almost suplexes Steen over the top onto the exposed guardrail.
Dreamer gets a hammer from ringside. He clocks Steen in the head with it. Steen drops Dreamer onto the guardrail. Steen hits a swanton bomb for the win.
These guys came out and worked very hard to end the first half of the show. I’m not a big fan of streetfights, but these guys knew what they were doing and just how much to do. Steen’s interaction with the crowd in all of his matches is great.
Winner: Kevin Steen
Raven attacks after Steen commends Dreamer on a great career.
Back from intermission.
7. Roderick Strong vs. “the Manscout” Jake Manning
Strong starts off going for an armbar but Manning hits a head scissors. Strong takes a shoulder block from Manning. Strong leapfrogs and dropkicks Manning. He stomps Manning in the back of the head. They exchange chops until Strong gets the better of them. Strong applies a rear chinlock and rakes the eyes. Manning hits an elbow drop for 2. They exchange chops again. Strong rolls up Manning for 2. Manning sunset flips for 2. They exchange nearfalls for a while.
Strong hits a rolling elbow. Manning gets Strong in an airplane spin and drops him for 2. Strong backdrops Manning. Enziguri by Strong. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker into an STO by Manning in a great combination. Strong sunset flips off the second rope for 2. Strong goes for his Stronghold but Manning avoids it. Strong hits a double knee gutbuster and a running knee to the chest for 3.
The match quality really picked up during the second half. Manning and Strong were both solid in the ring. This was my first time seeing Jake Manning wrestle live, and I have to say the “man scout” gimmick is the best thing ever.
Winner: Roderick Strong
8. Harry Smith vs. Davey Richards
Smith reverses a head scissors takedown. They both catch each other in modified surfboards. Smith catches Richards in a full armbar. Smith moves into a full nelson. Richards bridges, and Smith wheelbarrows. Smith reapplies the full nelson with the same result. Smith locks in a kimura. Richards counters, but Smith gets a modified armbar.
Smith takes Richards again while in a hammerlock. He goes for a quick pin but Richards kicks out at 2.
Richards charges Smith out of the ring and hits a running kick to the head. Richards hits a suicide dive through the ropes.
Smith rolls Richards up for 2. Richards gets a half crab after the dragon screw. He stomps the knee of Smith. Richards runs into a scoop slam from Smith for 2. Davey executes a dragon screw on the apron.
Richards can’t take Smith off his feet after a few clotheslines. Smith hits a superkick and gets 2. He hits a gutwrench powerbomb for 2.
Running kick to the chest by Richards followed by a double foot stomp from up top. Richards gets an ankle lock on Smith. Smith rolls through and sends Richards into the ringpost. Smith takes over and gets another armbar, but Richards gets another ankle lock. Smith uses a drop toehold to get an ankle lock of his own.
Richards gets to his feet and puts Smith in a sharpshooter. Smith gets out and puts Richards in a sharpshooter of his own.
They roll each other up, but Richards gets the deciding cover in a great final sequence of back and forth pinfall attempts.
Richards takes the microphone and takes a jab at WWE for letting Smith go. He thanks him for the great match. Harry thanks the fans and says pro wrestling will always be number one compared to MMA.
This was by far my favorite match on the card. It was a grappling showcase, and it worked very well.
Winner: Davey Richards
9. The Young Bucks vs. El Generico and the Great Sasuke.
Generico takes off a mask to reveal a second mask to start. Nick cranks Generico’s arm, but Generico performs a side headlock takeover before tagging in Sasuke. He hits a shoulder block and generico tags in. Nick rakes the eyes and tags his brother Matt. Generico springboards, lands on his feet, and hits three armdrags in succession. Nick dropkicks Generico to the outside. Matt stomps away at Generico. Nick tags in to continue beating on Generico.
The Bucks have Generico completely isolated. Generico fights back with forearms. He tries to tag Sasuke but Matt won’t let up. Generico hits a belly to belly on Nick and tags in Sasuke.
Sasuke hits double boots to the Bucks. He misses a frogsplash and Matt kicks the leg before tagging out. Generico lands a sit-out powerbomb for 2. Matt charges right into an enziguri from Nick. Nick gets a missile dropkick from Sasuke, and Generico gets a nearfall.
Matt hits a standing moonsault and Nick a slingshot, and they still only get 2. Sasuke hits a powerbomb, but Matt hits a superkick. All 4 men are down.
Double piledriver by the Bucks, but Sasuke breaks up the pin.
Nick misses a moonsault. Sasuke does a crazy dive to the outside. Generico hits the swanton for 2. Yakuza kick from Generico, followed by the toprope brainbuster for 3.
This match was very well-done with some very good spots. I know people are going to have a hard time choosing between this match and Richards Smith for the best match on the show.
Winner: El Generico and the Great Sasuke
10. Wrestle Royal.
Here are the entrants and eliminations. I tried to keep up, but do forgive me if I miss a couple. There’s no rewind feature for live pro wrestling.
Entrant 1. Matt Classic
Entrant 2. Lanny Poffo
Matt Classic starts with repeated sledge blows. Classic goes for a frogsplash from the bottom rope. Poffo hits a moonsault.
Entrant 4. Carlos Colon
Colon with a side headlock on Poffo and right hands to Classic.
Entrant 5. Gangrel
Gangrel bites Classic.
Entrant 7. Jesse Hernandez
Entrant 9. Kevin Sullivan
Sullivan hits everyone with a kendo stick.
Entrant 10. Piloto Suicida
Entrant 12. Tommy Dreamer.
Lanny Poffo is eliminated.
Entrant 13. Robby E.
Robby E. is almost immediately eliminated.
Entrant 14. Virgil
Carlos Colon is eliminated.
Mando Guerrero is eliminated
Entrant 15. Greg Valentine
Entrant 17. Konnan
Entrant 18. Dan Severn
Entrant 19. Jimmy Hart
Entrant 20. The Godfather
Gangrel is eliminated.
Entrant 21. Brutus Beefcake
Jimmy Hart is eliminated.
Entrant 22. Some guy who won an auction.
Kevin Sullivan is eliminated.
Suicida is eliminated
Virgil is eliminated
Auction Guy is eliminated, after having his hair cut by Beefcake.
Entrant 24. Raven.
Dreamer eliminates Raven, and then himself. Matt Classic is eliminated.
Konnan is eliminated.
Severn is eliminated.
Greg Valentine is eliminated.
Godfather eliminates Beefcake. Godfather wins.
Godfather does his “hoe train” shtick afterwards and thanks Wrestle Reunion for allowing him the opportunity to step in the ring again.
This was a fun match that allowed for some fond reminiscing.
Winner: The Godfather
This show did not compare with the prior night’s Dragongate USA show, but it wasn’t supposed to. This was more for fans of the old days to sit back and reminisce with their fellow wrestling fans. It wasn’t quality; it wasn’t “”blow-you-away” good; it was just a lot of fun.
There’s one more day of Wrestle Reunion in Los Angeles, and I’ll be posting about the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla show tomorrow night right here.
Can’t get enough Wrestle Reunion? Keep an eye out for the latest PWP podcast, featuring myself and Patrick Wright of Pro Wrestling Evo talking about all sorts of fun things for close to an hour. Plus, tune into The People’s podcast tomorrow night for a full rundown of the WWE’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view.