-Taped from Chicago, IL
-Your hosts are Danny Dominon and Joel Gertner
-We begin the proceedings with Joel Gertner. After working through some mic problems, he has a dirty limerick to tell on this day after Thanksgiving. If I could type faster, I’d give you the whole bloody thing. Jason Hardy is clearly enjoying it though. The ring announcer goes through both semifinal matches that will be taking place tonight. Each man comes out to really cool music. The name graphics sort of look like they would on a Nintendo game but very creative as compared to a lot of indies. I only wish someone would tell the editor to quit cutting like a 13 year old boy on Red Bull number three. Rinaldo Piven wants respect for the Sheik. Good luck with that dude. You’re much better trying to get Kevin Steen into therapy, Generico an English coach, or Harry Smith another chance in WWE. Steen buries Piven and then his opponent in the main event. All the cutting on this DVD is already driving me nuts. They’re going way too hard for the underground feel. Gertner announces the first semifinal is on now!
-Resistance Pro Heavyweight Championship Semifinal: The Almighty Sheik (w/Rinaldo Piven) vs. El Generico
Match in Five Words or Less: Really? Really? Really? Really? REALLY?
Match Highlights: So the lighting. Picture a ring with a flashlight pointing down on it. And that’s how we have to watch these matches. Sheik takes control right away with strikes. Generico hits his trio of armdrags. Chop in the corner. 9 punches in the corner. Low blow by Sheik. Generico no sells and hits a leg lariat. Kick and a backbreaker. Open hand chop. Sheik blocks the DDT and swipes his legs. Back on the attack. Bodyslam. Running elbow drop. Neckbreaker. Chinlock (called a front facelock by Danny Dominion) Elbows by Generico. Sunset flip over for two. Punch to the head and another elbow drop. Sheik grabs a hold, but Generico holds onto the bottom rope. Piven chokes Generico. Choke in the corner. Choke on the bottom rope as the smoke machine goes off. Choking along the post. Knee to the gut. Whip to the corner. Generico comes out with clotheslines. A boot to the gut doesn’t deter him. Knee by Sheik. Generico low bridges him. Dominion says Generico should be disqualified, this after Sheik used multiple low blows and tried to choke Generico with part of his outfit. Tope suicida (called oh!!!!!! By Danny Dominion). Cross body gets two. Elbows by Sheik. Blue thunder powerbomb (called a backbreaker by DD) gets two. Yakuza kick in the corner. Piven gets on the apron. Sheik has a spike. He takes the object and chokes Generico out. Yes, a screwjob finish in the opener.
Match Analysis: Where to start? Well, Danny Dominion clearly only lasted one show for a reason. Unfortunately, I have to deal with him for this entire first show. He literally added nothing to the match. He didn’t explain the tournament at all. He didn’t explain the rules, the venue, or even use the promotion’s name. I have no idea if he’s ever announced before, but regardless, Resistance Pro should have found someone who actually knew what they were doing to get the product over. If you’re trying to get established, the announcing is important aspect of the product. As for the match, well at least El Generico knows how Colt Cabana feels. The Almighty Sheik is apparently so almighty, he doesn’t wrestle for any other worthwhile independent promotions. Generico tried hard but even he can’t work miracles.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: The Almighty Sheik/8:19/*1/2
- Resistance Pro Tag Team Championship Qualifier: Matt Classic and Hallowicked vs. (Team Ambition)Kyle O’Reilly and Tony Kozina(w/Canadian Destroyer)
Match in Five Words or Less: I Got Nothin
Match Highlights: Minor note but the referee really needs to tuck his shirt in. It’s a sign of professionalism man. Hallowicked and Kozina start on the mat. Gertner makes age jokes about Classic. Dominion believes this is a Resistance Pro tag team tournament match. Would be nice if we had some confirmation on that, wouldn’t you say? Classic is clearly distracted and has no interest in tagging in. Rana by Kozina. O’Reilly with some kicks. Forearm. Another forearm. Running rana by Wicked. Arm twist. Dropkick by O’Reilly. Ambition double teams. Good stuff from them. O’Reilly works the left arm. Now is as good a time as any to point out Petey Williams is in a mask on the outside with no explanation whatsoever. O’Reilly applies a cross armbreaker and even makes fun of Matt Classic. More double teams. Running kick from Wicked. A flying leg lariat. Classic is still amusing himself on the apron. Wicked makes his own comeback. Miscommunication. Go 2 Sleepy Hollow gets two on O’Reilly. Shoulder tackles by Kozina in the corner. Wicked takes up and over. Bulldog. DDT and a guillotine choke. Wicked finally taps.
Match Analysis: Clearly, Mr. Classic didn’t want to do any additional work. O’Reilly and Kozina looked perfectly acceptable as a team with fine double teams throughout. O’Reilly is very crisp, and it’s easy to see why he’s such a rising star in the world of wrestling.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Team Ambition/6:57/**
-Wicked speaks gibberish and leaves. Team Ambition brags about being victorious.
-“Lonesome” Jay Bradley vs. Icarus
Match in Five Words or Less: Least He Got Paid
Match Highlights: Icarus not coming out to the F.I.S.T theme just seems wrong. Bradley makes ridiculously short work of Icarus, almost to the point of mockery. Violence party in the corner. Beel toss. He no sells a dropkick. LARIAT! Icarus is folded up. Bradley gets three. Icarus continues to sell the lariat long after three has been counted. Well, that’s mighty big of him.
Match Analysis: Bradley could have squashed any schmuck dragged off the street. Why Icarus? I understand building people up, but Icarus is a heat machine and talented in his own right. Plus, he’s a 15 hour car ride.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Jay Bradley/1:50/*
-D’Arcy Dixon nearly trips coming in the ring, but she’s a muscular girl. The crowd jeers her and calls her boring. That’s rude. She mentions the Briscoes. Apparently, she’s going to manage them. Cause they sure need one judging by the fact they’ve won all those ROH, FIP, and CZW world tag team titles. Some V.I.Ps are introduced. My God, Mike Adamle is in the house! Dixon continues talking. The look on Jay Briscoe’s face says it all. Jay then implies they’re going to win their match and “double team” Ms. Dixon in the locker room area.
-Resistance Pro Tag Team Championship Qualifier: The Briscoes (Jay and Mark Briscoe) vs. Sweet Leaf (Gran Akuma and Teddy Hart)
Match in Five Words or Less: Good Wrestling… YAY!
Match Highlights: Akuma looks around for his partner in what was a shoot. He gets on the mic and asks where he is. Hart finally walks down. Match is on. Jay and Akuma start things off basic. Akuma hits a nice spinning rana to end the sequence. Mark and Hart now. Quick series of strikes. Headbutt. Slap to the face. Snap powerslam by Hart. Dominion can’t tell the brothers apart. Not shocked. Double team superkick. That was sweet. Hart with elbows. Powerbomb into his knees (called a neckbreaker). Kick in the face by Jay. Akuma with a strike and kick of his own. Briscoes bring Akuma down before he can dive. Brawl around ringside. Jay hits Akuma with a garbage can. The quality of the video is noticeably worse. Hart climbs up one of the balconies. Mark joins him. SUPERPLEX OFF THE BALCONY! OH…MY…GOD! Stomps by Jay. Briscoes double shoulder block. Fist drop by Mark. Teddy dragged in the corner for a hard chop. Hart fights out of the corner. Here comes Akuma. Series of kicks. Reverse whip. Running forearm. Snapmare and a spin kick. He looks crisp. Hart is on the stage. Elbows by Jay. Kick exchange. Snap German suplex (called a belly-to-back suplex by DD). Falcon arrow gets two as Mark breaks the count. Akuma hits a rolling death valley driver. Now Akuma heads up top and hits a frog splash. 1-2-NO! Mark catches himself on a back drop. From behind with a full nelson. Big kick from Jay. Heat segment on Akuma now. Akuma rolls out of the ring and hits an enziguri. Cross body for one and he’s gotta make the tag. Tag to Teddy and he hits a spinning DDT. Another modified DDT on Mark. Double underhook Canadian Destroyer (the move, not the wrestler) He sends Mark down again, and much like Danny Dominion, I have no idea what to call the move. Leaping DDT on Jay. Hart climbs back to the balcony. MOONSAULT TO BOTH BRISCOES ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE RING! DANGEROUS! Akuma whips Mark across. On the top rope. Akuma explodes him over. Jay dropkicks him. He puts him on his shoulders. Mark hits the Doomsday Device (called correctly!) to get his team the victory.
Match Analysis: By far the best match of the night so far. The Briscoes are one of the best tag teams in the world for a reason. No matter who they’re wrestling or where, they find a way to deliver. Akuma looked crisp and spectacular in one of his first matches back. For all the things negative that can be said about one Teddy Hart, he’s a hell of a performer and athlete.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: The Briscoes/14:27/***1/2
-Gauntlet Match-Resistance Pro Women’s Championship: Cheerleader Melissa vs. Miss December vs. Sassy Stephie vs. Simply Luscious vs. Arika Cannons vs. Taylor Made vs. Serenity
Match in Five Words or Less: The Gong Show
Match Highlights: There is so much that’s going to be said about this match. I’m not even sure where to begin. I’ll attempt with an explanation of “Arika Cannons.” So Arik Cannon was advertised to be a part of the show until the week of, but for whatever reason, he decided to continue with AAW indefinitely. In response, Resistance Pro thought it was then fair game to dress another male wrestler up as a female cheerleader and give him a name remarkably similar name. This and giving away someone’s cell phone number are tied for the most unprofessional thing an indy wrestling company can do. Regardless if what Cannon did was right or wrong, he’s earned the right to not be mocked by a start-up wrestling company. And really, is “Arika Cannons” going to draw a single dime? Don’t think so. Therefore, not worth doing. Then, there’s the match. The ring announcer says the rules are simple, but they’re not. In order to win the match, a pinfall must be executed. But someone can be eliminated by being tossed over the top rope. Got it? Good. Now for the best part. Every time a girl enters, a gong goes off. A GONG! Lisa Marie Varon is the guest commentator and immediately provides more insight than Danny Dominion has in the first four matches. Still, she’s not very good. Melissa wrestles circles around Serenity. Serenity drags her down by the hair. Headlock. More hair pulling to keep the headlock. Why does the smoke machine go off during matches? Shoulder tackle by Melissa. Huge bodyslam and an elbow drop. GONG! Luscious attacks Melissa. She double teams Serenity. Double clothesline. They start fighting over who gets to eliminate Melissa. Melissa fights back. Series of punches in the corner. Luscious chokes at Serentity. GONG! Stephie hits an immediately series of clotheslines. Stephie and Melissa each apply submissions. GONG! Taylor Made breaks up the submissions. Another GONG! Miss December comes in. Now it’s just a big old brawl between the girls. Cannons makes his way inside. He shoves the girls down one at a time. The others gather around him. Beatdown. Beatdown. Beatdown. And he is tossed over. Girls go back to fighting amongst themselves. Babyface girls work over the heel ones. Cannon tosses December over. Stephie sent over. The wig comes off. Luscious dropkicks him in the face. Boots by Cannons. Elbow. Luscious tossed over. Melissa and Cannons stare each other down. Slap across the face by Melissa. Forearms. Clotheslines. Back drop. Serenity attacks for whatever reason. Melissa kicks her in the face. Cannons prevents a pinfall. Running kamikaze splash. Out of the corner with a short clothesline. 1-2-NO! Kick misses. Beautiful German suplex. NO SELL! Lariat! Melissa eliminated Cannons. Serenity from behind. Samoan drop. Melissa hits a curb stomp. Running driver out of the corner. So the referee is counting. The gong goes off and a mystery entrant goes off. Melanie Cruz, who literally is dressed as a bartender and was hanging out on the V.I.P. floor comes in and hits one splash for the win and the title.
If this wasn’t enough, Melanie Cruz called all the girls “the drizzling shits.” Way to bury the entire division in one fell swoop. Look. If Cruz said this on her own, she should have been fired immediately. If the booker told her to say this, he should have been fired. If this was the owner’s decision, they need to watch more wrestling or read Chris Jericho’s book to find out why having Cruz say something like that was bloody stupid.
Match Analysis: For a promotion that talked about wanting to create a women’s division that wasn’t done “WWE style,” they actually found a way to further insult both the competitors and the fans. The gong was pretty stupid on its own. Having all these women, some of whom aren’t nearly as good as you could find on the average Shimmer or WSU show, just randomly wrestling did them no favors. Having a man dressed as a women, despite how well he bumped and portrayed the character, was a borderline disgrace. But that worst thing of all? Having someone who didn’t wrestle for any of the match win the belt in street clothes and then trash her competition. This was a blueprint for how to make a championship irrelevant.
Winner(s)/Time/Rating: NEW Resistance Pro Women’s Champion-Melanie Cruz/15:13/
-King of the Night Time World: Colt Cabana vs. Necro Butcher vs. The Canadian Destroyer (w/Team Ambition)
Match in Five Words or Less: Comedy!
Match Highlights: I have no idea what the significance of this championship is, and the announcers don’t seem interested in explaining it either. Cabana accuses Destroyer of Petey Williams and makes a Matt Classic reference. I love inside jokes. Cabana steps on Necro’s foot but gets kicked away. Destroyer poses. Necro does some of his own and pads his stomach. Cabana comes back in the ring and does the same. Cabana steps on Destroyer’s foot. He takes another shot at Necro but gets kicked away. Shoulder tackles go nowhere. Necro slams Destroyer. Cabana fails to slam Necro and gets covered. Violence party in the corner. Destroyer meets the same fate. Cabana brings Destroyer back in so he doesn’t have to get punished. Necro hits a bulldog for two. Right hands and a clothesline by Cabana. Destroyer chokes Cabana. Running dropkick. Necro tries bringing Cabana outside. Cabana with right hands. Destroyer hits a kick to the chest. Necro drags his opponents outside. Brawl extends to ringside. Necro rams Destroyer’s balls into the post. Cabana rammed into the gong. Destroyer blocks a suplex. He helps Cabana to suplex Necro over. Destroyer applies a sharpshooter on Cabana. Jabs from Cabana. Elbow on Necro. Destroyer gets a Russian legsweep and rolls Cabana up. Face plant but Necro breaks the count. Boot by Destroyer. Necro hits a short chokeslam. He transitions into a tiger driver. Necro begins breaking the guard rails down. He lifts Destroyer up. Destroyer blocks a suplex. Sunset bomb. Jesus H. Shoulder block and lungblower by Destroyer. Charge misses. Flying apple by Cabana. Destroyer countered into Billy Goat’s Curse. Kyle O’Reilly comes from behind and hits Cabana with an iron bucket. Canadian Destroyer gets the Canadian Destroyer the victory.
Match Analysis: This about the fourth or fifth BS finish of the night. Not exactly the way you should be starting your promotion. Why would you want to establish a new wrestling company with this kind of chicanery IN EVERY SINGLE MATCH? These three guys had a very basic and okayish three way. Nothing special. Cabana and Necro tried to keep things entertaining, but that finish just completely killed the match dead.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: The Canadian Destroyer/8:50/**
-Williams beats up Kozina and O’Reilly for absolutely no reason. Necro stops the fight. Cabana goes after Destroyer one more time.
-Resistance Pro Heavyweight Championship Semifinal: Harry Smith vs. Kevin Steen
Match in Five Words or Less: Stop Chanting, Tara
Match Highlights: Feeling out process. Steen has a punch dodged but then cowers between the top and middle rope. Steen puts on Smith’s vest and then tosses it away. Smith works out of a headlock. Shoulder blocks for Steen go nowhere. Smith teases going off the ropes but clotheslines him instead. Boots in the corner. European uppercut. Elbow by Steen. Whip across misses. Armdrag by Smith. Leg drop on the left arm. Version of a kimura. Cross armbreaker. Steen works out of the hold. Boot and blow to the back. Elbow. Another European uppercut. Boot by Steen. Back to the uppercuts and he shouts at Tara. Smith gets a belly-to-belly suplex. Uppercut sends Steen into the gong. Smith tosses Steen in the ring. Steen tosses Smith back in the ring. Running senton to the back. He gives an up yours to Tara. Camel clutch. Headbutt to the back. Crowd gets behind Steen. Elbow drop to the back by Steen. Crossface. Headbutt to the back. Knee strike in the back. Some Bret Hart mockery. Smith gets some shoulder tackles. Steen fires a forearm. Boot by Smith. A follow-up and an uppercut. Steen rakes the face. Smith rammed into the outside rail. Steen directs another comment at Tara before ramming Smith into the post. Modified chinlock as Steen continues his dialogue with Tara. A shot at TNA is taken. Bodyslam. Steen heads to the top rope. Smith forearms Steen. HUGE superplex. Ten punches in the corner. Whip to the corner and a back drop. Big boot off the whip. Leg drop. Smith can’t lift Steen for a piledriver. Sunset flip. Steen has a sharpshooter blocked. Running clothesline in the corner. Steen prevents Smith from going up top. Vertical suplex back in the ring blocked. Steen hits a sort of draping DDT. Cannonball hits flush. Cover for two. Smith gets boots out of the corner. Seated powerbomb. Sharpshooter. The bell rings. Apparently, the 20 minute time limit has expired. I call complete hooey on that. That match didn’t even go 15. I know cause I was timing it. Five more minutes are called for. Steen immediately goes after Smith’s knees. He even uses a foreign object on the left one. Half crab. Smith reaches the bottom rope. Stomps on the left knee. Smith kicks Steen away. Figure for but Smith kicks him away. Roll-up gets two. Small package can’t end Steen’s night either. Smith gets a powerslam. 1-2-NO! Smith slaps his injured knee. Northern lights suplex but the left knee gives. Steen out of a bodyslam and kick to the knee. Sharpshooter! Smith reverses. Bell rings. Time limit expires again. The ring announcer than says the match will go until there is a winner.
Steen says his back and knees are hurt. His contract says he had to work the match and he did. The match is over. The ring announcer says it’s a draw. Instead of Smith or Steen wrestling The Almighty Sheik at the next show, it will now be a three way dance. Steen laughs like a little child. Sheik and Piven come out. Piven says there shouldn’t be a triple threat match because his man actually won. He calls for Sheik to be given the belt. Sheik attacks Smith. Steen helps him and mock cries. Smith battles back with a clothesline to both men. Forearm and a right hand to Sheik. Heels run away.
Match Analysis: These two were having a great back and forth match, something that was completely different from Steen’s usual fare while also being worthy of main event status. Smith is not the traditional indy worker, but he’s an underrated wrestler to be certain. The way he was able to bring the crowd into things and sell the knee was fantastic. Steen was also his usual self. Great personality and back and forth. It was nice to see Steen match up with someone bigger than him and put himself in a situation where he just played pure heel. Despite this, a lot of the crowd still got behind him.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: No-contest/N/R/***1/2
The Verdict: I’ve talked a lot about “Black Friday” in two previous articles about PWP. You can find my straight analysis right here. I’d strongly recommend reading that if you have not done so since it will give you a really good idea about my opinions of the show. What I want to focus on here is the DVD elements of the show. It goes without saying that Danny Dominion put on one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen on a legitimate independent wrestling show as far as announcing. He was a major detriment to the show as he provided useless analysis and did nothing to get the storylines or wrestlers over. Get a competent play-by-play man in the booth and maybe some of the poor booking wouldn’t have come off so badly. The DVD production was a mixed bag at best. There were some cool graphics, but the camera work and editing were pretty shotty. The lighting and atmosphere of the Excalibur didn’t help them in this regard. Combining the booking problems with some of the DVD issues, I cannot recommend R-Pro’s first show.
Let’s hope for significant improvement from their second show, entitled Rise, which will be reviewed in a couple weeks.
For more information on Resistance Pro, including event information and the opportunity to purchase this and all other DVDs, please check out their website.
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