(Note: Classes resume this week and it's my senior year in college and I've got a bigger workload than ever previously. While I'm watching as much wrestling (possibly more) as ever, my output will at least in the meantime be slowing down considerably. I'm considering doing some sort of "video blogs" with random thoughts on stuff I'm watching in the interim though. I'm also still participating in the bigger projects we've got going, like the forthcoming ranking of every match in Clash of the Champions history, etc.)
1. The Lifeguards vs. Club 305 - 2
2. Kenny King vs. Sedrick Strong - 3
3. Kory Chavis vs. Eddie Taurus - 5
4. Jon Davis vs. Jaison Moore - 1
5. Jack Evans vs. Jerrelle Clark - 3
6. Bruce Santee and Sideshow vs. Francisco Ciatso and Rod Steel - 1
7. Chasyn Rance vs. Joshua Masters - 2
8. Mister Saint Laurent vs. Fetish - 1
9. Roderick Strong vs. Erick Stevens vs. Ray Beez - 4
If FIP is Ring of Honor's developmental territory, then, Pro Wrestling RIOT is the breeding ground for FIP--got it? I would try to set the scene, discussing the venue, crowd, appearances of lesser known performers, etc. but I think it's in all of our best interest I focus squarely on the work itself.
Club 305 have a good enough heel gimmick, two prick club hoppers, and did enough to keep my invested in this. Scott Commodity does Zach Ryder better than Zach does. I was less impressed with the Lifeguards, Wade seemed malnourished which I suppose could work for him, he ate a sternum-first bump into the turnbuckles which I liked, but Darren had a poor physique and looked the greenest of the bunch. Lifeguards did a double-team finisher called the "Baywatch Bomb" (a powerbomb/back suplex combination) that somehow ended up looking like it hurt Wade more than the guy receiving it. Next match sees Sedrick looking like Matthew Lillard in camo shorts and getting outclassed by King throughout. Kenny does a one-handed headstand to escape a wristlock, the Randy Savage spot where you jump over the top rope while holding your opponent's arm, etc. This match isn't much beyond a King showcase, albeit all of his work on the arm goes nowhere, and all Sedrick did was make me want to watch Wing Commender again--not!
I liked the next match a lot. It was pretty standard, in the grand scheme of things, but both guys had a good outing. Chavis, I'm a fan of as one-half of the Dark City Fight Club, his strikes were crisp, and he did a good job inciting the crowd without having to dial it up obnoxiously like a lot of heels at the these small shows do to get responses. Eddie looked like the long, lost chubby Colon brother, did good in the face battling back role, showed some nice fire, etc. A good, compact match without a lot of flare but that was sound. The next match, featuring the other half of the Dark City Fight Club in Jon Davis was the complete opposite. This is largely due to Jaison Moore who just looked plain awful. His strikes, especially his forearms, were just weak sauce. He looked like one of the pudgy metal kids that populated the dark recesses of the high school hallway, complete with Hot Topic wardrobe, and came off looking real bush league and brought Davis down in the process. They mentioned Moore once worked Juventud, wow, I'd love to see that steaming serving of shit souffle.
Sometimes less is more, and, when working for a crowd of 50 people, mostly still in elementary school, doing dozens of gymnastic and breakdancing moves probably isn't the best route to get heat. But, Clark and Evans go through the motions, performing with flash but little substance. The following tag felt like a real bad Jarrett-era TNA pay-per-view main event, sloppy, uninspired brawling, random referee bumps, random "surprise" run-ins (here in the form of Mike Shane of Gymini), etc. These guys should be ashamed of themselves. Masters is a member of a face fraternity faction but rather looks like a burnout that collects A Perfect Circle b-sides and would be the type of dude real frat boys would make eat a plate of semen-doused crackers. He shows fire during one brief spurt but his look is so bush league it's hard to take him seriously. Rance shows little of the slimy pandering that makes his FIP work so good and this is skippable.
Saint Laurent is a globulous, obese slob, here he works a couple minutes with Fetish, a chick who bought hair dye from Hot Topic and probably claims to like Motley Crue although couldn't quote a single line from "Kickstart My Heart". I give this one pity point because Laurent was a believable sexual deviant. The main event, albeit not top-shelf Strong or Stevens, was still easily one of the more solid things off this show. Ray Beez clearly looked out of his league, he's like a third-rate "Dirty" Ernie Osiris, as he looks like a guy who works at Best Buy and just put on a gray polo, splashed some water and dirt on it, and is calling himself "homeless". Beez ate a real sick back suplex on the apron from Roderick, but later, in a strike exchange with Strong the difference in quality is unmistakable as Beez's punches looked schoolyard recess-level bad compared to Strong drilling him right in his fucking face. Beez should probably stick to flipping burgers, he might not be the worst guy on a real low-level show populated by fellow nobodies, but in there with real talent he sticks out like a square white guy at a Temptations (was going to go with Martha Reeves and the Vandellas but didn't want to alienate my audience too much) show or Hillary Scott in a blowjob giving contest.