Monday , 1 September 2014

“A Wrestling Odyssey” 04/04/14 Live Results and Review

AWO
Hello everyone. Pro Wrestling Ponderings’s coverage of Wrestlemania weekend continues today with a huge doubleheader. Beginning in just a couple of hours, A Wrestling Odyssey will showcase six championship matches from both the WWN Universe and elsewhere. Let’s just hope that despite some of the issues last night with pacing and finishes, we get a good first show today. Ryan Rozanski will be manning the PWP Twitter account during the show.

-Taped from New Orleans, Louisiana

-Commentators: Lenny Leonard and Ron Niemi

WILDKAT Heavyweight Championship Match: Mike Dell (champion) vs. Steve Anthony

PBP: I have never seen either one of these two men nor have I even heard of this promotion. Therefore, I’ll have little to add to the contest itself. Anthony, the challenger, is the babyface. Dell, the champion, is the heel. Feeling out process as there are no commentators for these proceedings. That’s just great. Dropkick by Anthony leads to a one count. Armdrag into the armbar. Right hand by Dell into a hammerlock. Knees from Dell. Anthony counters into a fujiwara armbar. Hotshot and neckbreaker followed by a legdrop across the throat. The announcers are back. Snap suplex by Dell. Back suplex. Middle rope elbow drop. Chinlock. Elbows by Anthony. Kick in the corner. Another one. A third one. Whip across. Dell with a headscissors that sends Anthony face first into the turnbuckle. Choking along the middle rope. Dell gets some heat from the crowd and stomps Anthony in the neck. Double underhook suplex. Neckbreaker by the champion. Into a cover for two. Kicks by Anthony. Whip across. Powerslam for two by Dell. Back suplex but Anthony lands on his feet. Boot and elbow out of the corner. Forearms. Leaping back elbow by Anthony. Kick to the upper body. Back drop. Anthony plants the champion down and gets two. Right hand. Dell blocks a German suplex. Superkick by Anthony. German suplex gets two. Bodyslam by Anthony. To the top rope. 450 splash misses. Dell hits a top rope elbow and gets three.

Analysis: Dell was said to be a 15 year veteran. This was reflected in the match quality. Not something worth running out and seeing but a technically proficient contest that won’t take anything away from what it to come on this card. No major botches. They didn’t try to do much. With more context and familiarity with the product, I could have seen liking the match even more.

Winner (s)/Rating: Mike Dell/**1/2

The Bravado Brothers (Harlem and Lance Bravado)(Open the United Gate Champions) vs. Joey Ryan & Candice LeRae (Maxwell Chicago As Guest Referee)

PBP: This is the only match on the show where a championship is not on the line. The idea behind this match is that funny equals money. See it’s funny because Jim Cornette said funny did not equal money. Moose is not at ringside, so that means this at least won’t have interference. I expect shenanigans. Ryan and LaRae want the Bravados to dance…and they do! I’ve got a classless joke which I won’t make here. Chicago sings. Bravados start the match off quickly by attacking Ryan and LaRae. Bravados are sent into each other. Ryan uses LaRae as a battering up. Off the ropes. Ryan just runs back and forth and gets quite a work-out. Is this a rib on Bryan Alvarez for calling out Divas who can’t run the ropes. We get the old asthma gimmick. He hasn’t done this in years. Clothesline by Lance. Bravados work Ryan over  now. Small package by Ryan. Elbow from Harlem. Bravados fake tag. Chicago is distracted by LaRae. Double elbow drop on Ryan. Ryan rolls under and hits a pumphandle fallaway slam. LaRae hot tag. Harlem in. Spinning rana off the top rope. Headscissors into the octopus. Chicago takes a picture. That’s got to be a rib on the perverted male fans who do that. Lance spears his own brother on accident. Some sexual harassment. Some might even call it a Tower of London. Ryan tosses Lance out of the ring. Harlem pokes Ryan in the eye. Ryan responds in kind. Back and forth with pokes to the eyes. They start going off the ropes. Chicago lectures them. Of course, it’s a double poke to the eye. Exchange of low blows. Ryan accidentally headbutts Chicago in the balls. Lance goes low on LaRae. Doesn’t work. Ballplex by LaRae. Tornado DDT. LaRae covers and gets two. Harlem tosses Ryan out of the ring. LaRae with forearms on Harlem. Series of stomps. Chicago takes her out of the corner. Harlem gets on the microphone and talks about not hitting a woman. Lance with a northern lariat. Gentlemen’s Agreement. Chicago reluctantly counts three.

Analysis: I like Ryan and LaRae being booked as a team because of the work they’ve done in PWG, but clearly whoever booked them on this show and Wrestlecon haven’t been paying attention to how they were getting over. The tone of the match was very inconsistent as this straddled between being serious and trying to wrestle well. Chicago barely played into this at all. I would have honestly preferred a straight match between these two. Ryan may not be my favorite wrestler of all-time, but his role with LaRae makes me almost enjoy him.

Winner (s)/Rating: The Bravado Brothers/**

 Ryan and Chicago clear the Bravados after an attempted beatdown on LaRae. Chicago declares Ryan and LaRae the winners.

FIP World Heavyweight Championship Match – Champion vs. Champion
Trent Barreta (champion) vs. Lince Dorado (Florida Heritage Champion)

PBP: Some early stalling from Baretta. Feeling out process. Chop by Dorado. Shoulder block by Baretta. Dorado leapfrog. Running rana and a dropkick. Baretta takes a seat in an empty chair. The stalling is much less annoying here given the lack of a 45 minute intermission. Boot and chop by Baretta. He rakes the mask. Forearm as both men come out of the corner. Knee to the midsection. Running boot by Dorado. Headscissors. Legsweep. Standing moonsault. Into the corner with a chop. To a chop for another corner. Some biting and a chop. Whip across. Baretta takes him to the apron. Enziguri by Dorado. Off the rope but Baretta catches him with a dropkick. Baretta with a chop. back elbow. Leaping knee strike. Baretta rakes the mask once again. Bodyslam. Baretta dances on the apron. In the ring and a rake with the boot. Sunset flip. Dorado dropkicks Baretta in the face. Chinbreaker and enziguri by Dorado. Baretta whips him off the ropes. Handspring elbow by Dorado. Sliding dropkick. Baretta rips Dorado off the ropes and sends him head first into the apron. Chop. Baretta with a boot. Chop into the post. Tope suicida connects. Cross body gets two. Charge misses. Back kick. Reverse rana blocked by Baretta. Wheelbarrow slam gets two. Running elbow by Baretta. After a two count. Baretta places Dorado on the top rope. Dorado with headbutts. Back elbow sends the world champion down. Baretta leaps up and hits a release German suplex. 1-2-NO! Kick by Dorado. Springboard reverse rana. 1-2-NO! Slap exchange. Forearm by Baretta. Slap by Dorado. European uppercut. Back and forth with strikes. Back kick by Dorado. Yakuza kick. Baretta follows him and hits a knee. Pop-up powerbomb by the champion. Dudebuster and three.

Analysis: Baretta really brought that WWE polish and character to this match. Dorado got to do his flippy stuff on a bigger guy. Good, clean match that wasn’t much see but showcased the brand pretty well. Baretta showed off his skills well. I didn’t really but Dorado having a chance at any point, but I’m honestly okay with that given the match positioning and who Baretta is going to be facing later tonight.

 Winner (s)/Rating: STILL FIP World Champion-Trent Baretta/***

SHINE Tag Team Championship Match The Lucha Sisters of Mia Yim & Leva (champion) vs. The S-N-S Express of Nevaeh & Sassy Stephie

PBP: Some fan tells the women to make him a sandwich. This is why we can’t have nice things Bates usually comes out dressed like a cosplayer, but no dice tonight. Bates is just dressed like a wrestler. Bates and Yim defeated Made in Sin to win the tag team title tournament. Navaeh and Yim start. Exchange of arm work. Feeling out process continues. Yim hits a nice running rana. Navaeh heads to her corner and tags Stephie. Drop toe hold by Yim. Bates enters the ring. Double team by the champions. Bates with a kick to Stephie. Navaeh suckers Bates into the corner. Heat segment. Neck snap and diving lariat by Navaeh. Snap suplex for two. Rolling bridge for two. Choking by Navaeh along the bottom rope. Bates can’t quite come back with weak forearms. Bates roll-up but Bryce Remsburg is nowhere to be found. Bates makes the tag, but Remsburg misses it. Heat segment continues. Bates with boots and then a seated senton. Hot tag. Yim dropkicks both challengers. Boots for both. Spin kick on Stephie. Release German suplex. Death valley driver by Navaeh. Superhero kick by Bates. Kiss my Sass. All four women are down. Yim and Bates hit double dropkicks. Assisted slice bread. Yim hits a quebrada for three as the champions retain.

Analysis: These women worked hard in the time given, but it felt like they were holding something back. This was a great chance to showcase the Shine brand, which honestly may be the most underrated and best bookers brand on WWN, and this felt just okay. This wasn’t bad by any means but just like everything else on the show, just sort of there.

Winner (s)/Time/Rating: STILL Shine Tag Team Champions-The Lucha Sisters/**1/4

SHINE Championship Match: Ivelisse (champion) vs. Jazz

PBP: I hope they give this time since these are two of the best women in the country right now. Code of honor is followed. Feeling out process. Ivelisse takes Jazz down by the arm. Jazz with an armwringer of her own. Roll-up gets two. Test of strength. Jazz brings Ivelisse down at first, but the champion counters into an armlock. Headlock. Roll-up gets two. Jazz hammerlock. Side headlock takeover. Roll-up by Ivelisse gets two. Ivelisse cranks down on a headscissors. Jazz leaps over and applies a cloverleaf.  Float over into a cover by Jazz. Both women roll through. Ivelisse applies a crossface. Jazz counters into a two count. Dragon sleeper by Ivelisse. Knees by Jazz. Clubbering blow to the back. Stomp to Ivelisse. Choking along the middle rope. Fans boo her as they see the challenger taking a shortcut. Crossface elbows by Jazz. Jazz covers and gets two. Ivelisse elbow. Leg kick. Forearms. Lariat ducked. Ivelisee loses her balance on a springboard. Jazz improvises and covers her. Forearms in the corner. Cross body by the champion. Ivelisse kicks the middle rope and then covers Jazz once again. Ivelisse with forearms. Whip to the corner. Ivelisse to the apron. Dropkick off the top rope hits. Rear naked choke. Both women back to their feet. Boot from Jazz. Chop. Boots and chops. Ivelisse with a chop of her own. By far the most physical match up to this point. Jazz whipped. Out of the corner with an elbow. Then a boot. Forearms by Ivelisse. Ivelisse elevated to the apron. Jazz with a leaping boot. Right hands to the prone champion. Powerslam driver gets two. Fists from Jazz. Ivelisse wth an enziguri and three.

Analysis: Finish came way out of nowhere. Some very good technical wrestling early appeared to be leading us to an extended battle where both women would get a chance to… you know…shine. Instead, this came off as rushed as everything else on the show. Not a bad match, but their first match at Shine 9 was significantly better and more meaningful than this one.

Winner (s)/Time/Rating: STILL Shine Champion- Ivelisse/**1/2

CZW World Heavyweight Championship Match – British Rounds Rules: Drew Gulak defends (champion) vs. Timothy Thatcher

PBP: Daffney’s microphone wasn’t working because of course it was. I was better able to understand her just screaming as opposed to speaking into the microphone. Daffney explains the rules again much to the delight of the crowd. At least we’re actually making good time tonight and I don’t feel like my bed is calling me while this is going on. This will be six five rounds. Three public warnings with no fists among other nuances. This is a rematch from a recent FIP show where Gulak successfully defended his world championship. Thatcher takes Gulak into the corner and breaks clean. Lock-up and taunting slaps. Thatcher takedown and he maintains a hold of the leg. Gulak forearm. Test of strength. Gulak rolls out of an arm hold. Hammerlock by Thatcher. Gulak takes him down by the leg. Gulak with a spinning toe hold. Thatcher counters into a small package. Round one ends with both men going for a lock-up. Round two starts with some locking up. Thatcher front facelock. Gulak brings him down and locks an armbar. Thatcher front facelock. Gulak counters. Divorce court. Bryce Remsburg quickly counts the man down. Gulak controls the leg next. Thatcher works the arm. Gulak tries to extricate himself but gets tossed down. Gulak sells the arm. Gutwrench suplex by Thatcher. Side salto suplex immediately into the armbar. Gulak taps. Thatcher wins a fall. Thatcher maintains control of the left arm and even stomps it down. European uppercut. Into the corner for a second one. Remsburg counts. Thatcher can’t attack. European uppercut. Gulak stands up and eats another uppercut. Sunset flip. Exchange of nearfalls. Backslide by Gulak gets three. Nice series of counters so I’m much more accepting of the ending. Intensity picks up in the third fall. Gulak works a headlock to slow Thatcher down. German suplex by Thatcher. Uppercut sends him down. Gulak gets up at eight. Thatcher nails an uppercut. If it works, why change the strategy? Vertical suplex. Gulak bridges out. Key Lock. Gulak goes under the legs and hits a dropkick. Snapmare into a two count. Thatcher bridges out of the covers. Gulak with a clubbering blow to the back. Cravat. Thatcher elbows out. Front facelock. Butterflies the arms and takes the champion down to the mat. Gulak counters and grabs an ankle lock. Abdominal stretch. Into a nearfall. Bell rings. Round five starts with a test of strength. Thatcher with knees to the chest. Gulak has trouble getting to his feet. Thatcher goes back to the knees but is caught. Gulak applies an ankle lock. Thatcher tosses Gulak into the ropes. Clubbering blows to the back. Thatcher gets a public warning for going after a downed opponent. Uppercut. Gulak takes him to the ropes. Sunset flip. Gulak works his way around and applies the most vicious side headlock ever. Thatcher floats over with knees to the gut. Judo throw into a cross armbreaker. Gulak gets to the bottom rope. Uppercut. Gulak rises up and gets uppercutted again. Gulak rises like a zombie. Regalplex. Both men are down. Both men get up at nine. Forearm by Gulak. Thatcher goes for an armbar, but the bell rings to end the contest. Remsburg gives Thatcher a second public warning. Biff Busick of all people calms Thatcher down in the corner. Thatcher continues using the European uppercut and yells at the champion. Gulak begins firing back with slaps. Uppercut. Gulak holds on. Uppercut. Slaps by Gulak. Thatcher with some of his own. Legal slaps. Judo throw into the ankle lock. Thatcher goes for a counter and finally taps out in an unbelievable match.

Analysis: One of the best technical wrestling matches you’ll ever see. Some great counters and psychology employed. It made total sense for Thatcher to get two public warnings as the younger opponent. Of all the companies to deliver on A Wrestling Odyssey, who would have thought it would be CZW? I didn’t see the FIP match, but this was great. You even had psychology being employed (and paid off) with Gulak working the left leg while Thatcher worked the left arm. No way will there be a better mat based match in North America this year. Outstanding.

Winner (s)/Rating: STILL CZW World Champion- Drew Gulak/****

EVOLVE Title Match – First Ever SPRINT (Match Goes For 20 Minutes, Whoever Wins The Most Falls Is The Champion, If There Is A Tie There Will Be A Sudden Death Overtime): Chris Hero defends vs. AR Fox

PBP: We know this is going 20 minutes regardless. Anthony Nese comes out for whatever reason and puts himself in the match. Hero and Fox agree for whatever reason to make this a three way match. This is about the dumbest possible way to get a title match. So a guaranteed four star match is now going to be imperiled by having to worry about a third man. Nese…leaves the ring and leaves Fox to wrestle Hero. Feeling out process. Why are they technical wrestling? Was no one paying attention to the previous match. Hero shoulder block. Fox hits a dropkick. Nese breaks the count and boots Fox. Big boot but Nese ducks out of the ring. Fox rolls Hero up for two. Headlock by Hero. Shoulder block. Hero covers. Nese interrupts. Forearm. Three way strike battle. Fox whipped in the corner. Boot by Hero to Nese. Nese whipped into Fox. Charge misses. Nese and Fox whip Hero up and over to the stage floor. Nese chops Fox in the corner. Fox boot out of the corner. Nese pulls Fox out of the corner drops him. Pair of  leg drops. Vertical suplex by Nese on Fox. Chinlock. Fox jawbreaker. Nese misses a clothesline. Forearms. Nese charge misses. Fox clothesline. Skins the cat and hits a dropkick. Cannonball to the corner. Hero comes back in the ring and release suplexes Nese into Fox’s knees. Hero knee drops Fox. Chop. Fox back elbow on Hero. Springboard acecrusher. German suplex by Nese. Jack knife cradle by Fox to break the pin up. Nese hits a springboard moonsault. La Maestral cradle on Hero. Big left hand from Nese. Choking in the corner. Boots out of the corner by Hero. Clothesline on Nese. Neckbreaker by Hero. Running forearm on Nese. Boot. Rolling forearm to Fox. Hangmen’s elbow on Fox. Nese steals a pin after tossing Hero away. Nese goes for a second pin and gets two. Knee drop by Nese on Fox. Hero shoulder block. Sunset flip. Nese kick to the head. Hero forearm. Nese rolls under the legs and hits a pumphandle slam. Nese 450 splash misses. Fix hits a springboard 450 0n Hero. Nese steals a second pin on Hero and gets three. Fox with a chop for Nese. Spin kick. Kick and then a superkick. Hero leaping boot on Nese. Rolling forearm on Nese. Nese DDTs Fox in the process. Hero covers both men but cannot get three. Fox and Hero go back and forth. Hero with a series of chops. Fox bicycle kick. Rolling elbow. Hero lifts Fox up. Victory roll. Fox gets three on a roll-up. Rolling elbow. Fox backslide gets two. Hero stomp and rolling elbow. 1-2-NO! Stretch plum by Hero. Nese with running kicks on Hero. Hero big boot on Nese. Double stretch plum. Hero gets both men to tap out. Fox placed on the top rope. Hero and Nese are tied at two falls a piece. Fox placed on the top rope. Swanton into knees. Hero boots Nese. Fox matrixes out and hits an enziguri. Gotch lift and Fox sent into the corner. Boot by Hero. Chop by Hero for Nese as Daffney announces there are five minutes left. Nese sent into Hero’s foot. Knee strike in the corner. Nese enziguri on Hero. Hero gordbuster. Fox hits Lo Main Pain. Double pin but only two. Fox knees Nese in the midsection. Waistlock escaped. Small package by Hero gets two. Hero goes for a powerbomb but gets blocked. Straight forearm. Nese hits a German suplex and gets two on Hero. Nese stomps Fox. Straight punch. Nese brings Hero out of the corner. Fox boots Nese in the midsection. Exchange. Short knee strikes. Leaping knee strike. Hero and Fox fight over who gets to cover Nese. Fox gets a two off a roll-up. Straight boot by Hero to Nese. Nese and Hero with a chop exchange. Fox gets involved. 30 seconds. No one even tries going for a cover. Hero lifts Fox up. Rolling forearm. Hero forearms Nese and gets three to win the match. The announcers have no idea what’s going on.

Analysis: Anthony Nese looks like a jobber/loser once again as he picks up two cheap victories and then not only taps out to Hero but gets pinned with no time left to lose.  The action was as good as it could possibly be with these three. Hell, it was at least better than the match from Evolve 28, but this was again a case where the booking and stipulation took away from a potentially great match. Also, to see Nese, who hasn’t been winning a whole lot lately, just get a title shot at random, speaks to the quality control of the booking. If they didn’t want to give away the Hero/Fox rematch on this show, they should have announced it as a three way from the start. WWN again did not deliver on something they promised this weekend.

Winner (s)/Rating: STILL Evolve Champion-Chris Hero/***1/4

Overall Thoughts: Pretty pointless show up until the last two matches. The CZW match is arguably the first must see match of the year contender for the weekend, but otherwise, there really wasn’t much for me to sink my teeth into. Everything felt very rushed, including parts of the main event. Not as actively frustrating as Evolve 28 because the show didn’t even go two hours and twenty minutes, but this still didn’t meet my expectations. I like the idea of the show, but the execution needs to be thought out more and give matches like the FIP world title and Shine title more time to work with.

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About Jerome Cusson

Jerome Cusson has been a professional wrestling fan since late 1994. Having started out as a fan of WWF, he eventually expanded his horizons into WCW and ECW. After the unfortunate deaths of these two companies, Jerome's interest in wrestling nearly came to an end before he discovered independent wrestling. Let the love/hate relationship with wrestling continue.

One comment

  1. Was Evolve 28 not any good? I paid for On Demand, and keep waiting for it to go up.

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