NOVA Pro Wrestling: Cool for the Summer Review

August 18th, 2017

Opening Match:  Brittany Blake vs. Allie Kat
They managed to pack a good amount of action into a short duration and delivered a decent opener.  I think as Kat gains more in-ring experience, she will become a better base for smaller opponents such as Blake.  I think it’s worth reiterating the importance of having more than one women’s match on a show if you’re a promotion that wants to showcase women’s wrestling.  There is nothing “token” about women’s wrestling in NOVA Pro – it actually feels like a division at this point.  Blake won in 6:20 with a rollup.  **

After the opener, Angelus Layne appears and throws Blake out of the ring.  Layne calls out her long-time fan Papa Hales and informs him that he cannot both support her and the promotion.  They are kind of fundamentally opposed at this point.  Layne announces that her match against Keith Lee tonight is now no disqualification.  Lee comes to the ring and expresses his understandable concern with Layne throwing a fireball into the owner of the promotion’s face.  Lee offers Layne a chance to get out of the match, but she refuses.

Match #2:  Faye Jackson and Innocent Isaiah vs. Veda Scott and Chuck Taylor™
I don’t know if I’m being the fun police, but it’s at least worth noting that Chuck Taylor™ is Stokely Hathaway.  This match was mostly played for comedy and I’m not quite sure how to rate it.  The crowd LOVED Jackson and Isaiah, so they had no problem getting invested in the action.  The crowd involvement made the eventual involvement from Beau Crockett to be that much more of a buzzkill, so I’d say everything worked well.  Scott and Taylor won in 7:31 after interference from Beau Crockett.  *½

Match #3:  John Kermon vs. Chip Day
Although I think this match likely deserved more time than six minutes, Kermon has shown through this open challenge series that he’s proficient in these shorter matches and can usually deliver something worthwhile.  Additionally, while these showcase matches have made Kermon look great, I do hope that something interesting storyline-wise happens with him in the near future.  We’ll see what happens when he wrestles Tim Donst at the next show.  The short duration and third consecutive rollup finish limited what was otherwise a solid exhibition.  Kermon won in 6:33 with a rollup.  **½

Match #4:  Fred Yehi vs. Tim Donst
There was some early comedy revolving around a potentially unstable ring.  It made Donst hitting a german suplex into the turnbuckles ten minutes later a little more suspenseful.  Yehi and Donst are two examples of well-known talent who have garnered special meaning among NOVA Pro fans just by appearing on so many shows in their two-year history.  The story of this match was Yehi being the first to market in regards to working over a body part, effectively neutralizing a substantial portion of Donst’s offense.  Donst then had to get resourceful (much like in his Commonwealth Cup first round match against Donovan Dijak) and use a rollup to put away Yehi.  I felt as though the finish was abrupt and I wish the three preceding matches didn’t end in a rollup.  Still, this was a good match between two crowd favorites.  Donst won in 15:34 with a rollup.  ***

Match #5:  Arik Royal and Chet Sterling vs. The Ugly Ducklings (Lance Lude and Rob Killjoy)
This was great.  The Ugly Ducklings made a strong first impression in EVOLVE and they continued that trend here.  This was a ten-minute sprint consisting of Royal and Sterling mercilessly throwing the Ugly Ducklings around the ring while the Ugly Ducklings found openings to land some of their unique offense.  Royal and Sterling had good chemistry together as a team and everything just clicked.  With Cool for the Summer being the event right before the anniversary show, the booking tried to keep enemies away from each other for the most part.  The booking allowed for some interesting matches and this one certainly paid off.  Royal and Sterling won in 10:11 with a doomsday blockbuster.  ***½

Match #6:  “The Progressive Liberal” Daniel Richards vs. Brandon Greene
I’m now certainly going to be the fun police.  Given the nature of politics right now, it’s pretty much everywhere.  I know many fans who view pro wrestling as an escape and I’m not a huge fan of injecting politics into pro wrestling shows.  With that said, this was all in good fun of course.  I was actually surprised by how much the match itself focused on the wrestling over the comedy.  It’s safe to say that mileage will vary when it comes to this one, but I think we can all agree that naming your finishing move the “Liberal Agenda” is funny.  Richards won in 5:01 with the Liberal Agenda.  ½*

Match #7:  The 1% (Logan Easton LaRoux, Bobby Shields, and Alexander James) vs. The Carnies (Tripp Cassidy, Kerry Awful, and Nick Iggy)
In theory, this match could have been a disaster.  You have the two heel groups in the promotion battling against each other while also being in feuds with the promotion’s top babyfaces (Arik Royal and Innocent Isaiah).  In practice, however, this match was tons of fun and is a testament to how enjoyable NOVA Pro has been over the past year.  The live crowd was super invested in the action and so was I.  We all could be invested because we knew exactly who these groups are and what they stand for.  As a viewer, I understand how diametrically opposed the 1% and the Carnies are to each other.  Since the groups have never been at each other’s throats before, I understand as a viewer how novel it is for Iggy to put the fishhooks in LaRoux’s mouth.  Not only was the action entertaining, but this was the type of contest that rewards long-time fans of the promotion.  Very cool stuff happening here.  The Carnies won in 13:06.  ***¼

Match #8:  Anything Goes: Angelus Layne vs. Keith Lee
I don’t think I’m telling any tales outside of school when I say that Keith Lee is a monster.  Whenever someone takes the fight to Lee, I always ask the question of whether or not the competitive nature of the match was believable.  I asked that question when he wrestled Matt Riddle in EVOLVE and I ask that question again right now.  In this situation, I think it’s undeniable that Layne posed a legitimate, credible threat to Lee.  Half the fun of watching this match was witnessing the fans’ reaction towards the nearfalls down the stretch.  There were people literally jumping out of their chairs and putting both hands on their head in shock.  This main event was a pure spectacle and the less details I give away about it, the better.  Ending the match about two minutes earlier would have captured the crowd at their peak excitement level, but that’s a small nitpick.  Check this one out.  Lee won in 19:10 with Ground Zero.  ***¾

-Show Grade: B+
You Need to See: Lee/Layne
You’d Enjoy Watching: Royal & Sterling/Ducklings, 1%/Carnies, Yehi/Donst
You Should Avoid:

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