IWA-MS "Tryout Show #5"
June 25, 2010 - Bellevue, IL
Welcome to a co-review as Brian and Geo team up (for the first time not as a duo at the sushi buffet) to tackle one of the most insignificant, tiny shows on the American independent scene in 2010. To follow this up we'll soon be doing a review on the biggest independent event of the year.
Brian: This looks like it was shot with an old VHS camcorder from the '80's on a tripod. The thing I really loathe about watching wrestling when it's from one lone camera far away like this is the lack of details. You can't see any of the facial selling, etc. Imagine watching a film, say one of the pivotal scenes in Casablanca, but instead of having the camera right there capturing the moment its 15-ft. away and out of focus. There seems to be a few more people than normal on the bleachers so I assume that's family members and friends of the wannabes.
G-Yo: Well all I can say is at least they're not in an alley somewhere with homeless men watching them and shooting up at the same time. This is a step above the aforementioned. If you were to show me this footage without telling me when it was recorded, I'd probably say late 80s early 90s. Also it made a cameo on America's Funniest Home Videos with Bob Saget. You won't see me handing over. Oh yeah, thanks, SmartMark, for not providing any names with these assholes.
1. Scotty Keyes vs. Outlaw Jason Rose - B:1 G:2
Brian: Strike one against Outlaw is he looks like Mideon circa '99. Keyes at least realizes he has to play to the crowd. Rose sells Keyes' insipid arm-work like a guy at Subway upon realizing they forgot to put jalapeños on his six-inch. Keyes did some of the worst mounted corner punches I've ever seen. Rose demonstrated some decent power, catching Keyes off of a crossbody, dropping him down in two backbreakers, then finishing the sequence off with a fallaway slam. Keyes' "Frog Splash" looked like a child afraid to jump off a pier into a lake so finally an older relative gives him a little push and he flails off.
Geo: I'm glad Brian knows who these guys are, because I simply took my notes calling the "red pants' and "black shirt." So I think I might have liked this a tad more seeing Keyes at least trying. Outlaw tried this laughable backbreakers in which he didn't even genuflect. A priest wouldn't be caught dead here anyway. Outlaw carried Keyes around the ring like a sack of shit he just picked up from his Danish Pony after a severe bout with diarrhea, only to drop him half-heartedly on the top rope to a few boos from the fans. Oh yeah, Outlaw looks like the love-child of a Ballz Mahoney and Amazing Kong. I vomit in his general direction.
2. Corbin Blaze vs. Tyler Priegel - B:2 G:1
Geo: Ok so I'm going to assume Corbin is the one in the singlet. Match had as much heat as a night in Barrow, Alaska -- colder than an ex-girlfriend's shoulder. This Priegel fellow hit some decent backbreakers, but his forearms.. my God those forearms. Seriously, bro? An aborted pig fetus hits harder than that. Also, this Priegal guy can only do backbreakers. He's like Roderick Strong's adopted half-step redheaded brother that gets picked on at school all the time. Also, these backbreakers, Preigel, bro, you need to make them mean something. There was no other back psych to speak of. It was doing moves for the sake of doing moves. Blaze looked sloppier than Frosty the Snowman's schlong after a hot July day. No thanks.
Brian: Blaze attempting a hurricanrana from the top was ballsy. I noticed Priegel popping up from some clotheslines; only guy that gets away with that is early-'90's Undertaker. I noted that Tyler had clearly illegally downloaded way too much Roderick Strong, as his propensity to do bad backbreaker variants bordered on fetishistic. Poor Corbin's standing moonsault was an eyesore.
3. Donovan Ruddick vs. Wuha Nation - B:4 G:4
Brian: Ruddick looks like the younger brother of Strikeforce fighter Abongo Humphrey. Nation has a big, athletic build, I could actually see him as someone who'd make a good candidate for Tough Enough. Donovan showed promise with a nice vertical suplex and rebound lariat. At times Nation, built like a tank, would come off mechanical like Bobby Lashley, but then he'd surprise you with something super athletic like a kip-up or standing Shooting Star Press. This felt more like professional wrestling than the obviously amateur stuff that proceeded it.
Geo: This actually seemed like a wrestling match. Both guys had a presence in the ring and had obviously done this before. Ruddick has this swagger and dominance about him that is nice. His mafia kick halfway through the match was excellent. After he did it, he looked at the fans in the kind of way that you'd probably not want to fuck with him. Nation selling was decent, well, what I could see of it. God this camera sucks. Nation looked like he was a bit timid in all honesty. His German suplex was on the extremely safe side; however, he was definitely a power house that could go. I dug both guys.
4. Jonathan Gresham vs. Bucky Collins - B:4 G:4
Geo: Okay, these two guys are not slobs and are actually on the roster. Gresham is THE top talent for this company, bar none. His athleticism and in-ring ability far surpass anyone on the roster. What he lacks in height he makes up for in technical ability. He staggery legged selling of Bucky's offense was great. Gresham also hit a lightning spiral! Fuck YEAH! It looked great too. Bucky sell was none to shabby, either. Bucky is nowhere near Gresham's league, but he was able to keep up with his mat style and fast-paced offense. Commendable.
Brian: Gresham looks like CZW's Sabian but clearly is more competent in the ring. The crowd seemed more lively here. One botch saw Bucky run face-first into Gresham's ass. The fucking kid with the bad goth hair and Riddlebox t-shirt really needed to stop walking right in-front of the camera. They attempted a really ambitious suplex spot from inside the ring to the floor. Bucky doesn't have the courage of Captain America's sidekick Bucky nor the ingenuity of skateboarder Bucky Lasek. The best sell of the whole show was Gresham's after Collins' flipping neckbreaker from the buckles. He sort of bounced, ended up back on his feet, then fell back like a toppling tree.
5. Kaige Kuttler vs. Reed Bentley - B:1 G:0
Brian: Bentley looks like a guy that's likely very familiar with public transit. Bentley looked so stiff and rigid on a legdrop that you could do it more fluidly with one of those old rubber LJN wrestling toys from the '80's. I hated Kuttler's control segments. He was easily the guy I disliked the most all show. He's lanky and rat-like and clearly better suited stocking shelves somewhere. Bentley made a fool of himself at one point doing a clothesline that turned into a crossbody and then morphed into a bulldog. I wonder if blowing Dixieland Destroyer could help advance either guys' career?
Geo: Kuttler walks around the ring like a midly aroused orangutan. He almost looked more curious about just what the hell he was doing there. This was just a pathetic display by both men. They weren't even trying. No emotion? No job. Get the hell out. I see better shit at the asbestos-filled opera house filled with pregnant coke-addicts down the street than this.
6. Johnathan Napier vs. Temple Rain - B:3 G:3
Geo: These are two of the first guys to connect with the audience actively. Napier looks like Eminem if he had half the brain and twice the age. Rain looked like he was on a mission to get noticed. He looked alright. Fans actually seemed to give a shit when Napier was in a headlock by clapping for him, and only furthered his sympathy after selling well for a vertical suplex. The best part about this match was Rain connecting with the crowd in an arrogant way, thus getting himself out there as a heel, and Napier selling well -- vocally, too! Now he just needs a clock he can turn back.
Brian: I thought Napier looked like a 50-year old doing a Jack Evans impression. He had the bandana, the black tank top, baggy shorts, etc. and also crow's feet. Temple busted out a Masato Tanaka's "Sliding D"? I laughed out loud. This started dull but I liked the last act. I'd kill to hear alternate commentary on this by Triple H, Ric Flair, and Kevin Nash. A decent (for an octogenarian) Swanton Bomb by Napier.
7. 5 Man Battle Royal (Keyes, Blaze, Ruddick, Kuttler, and Napier) - B:2 G:1
Brian: There's really not a lot to say about this. I have no idea why it even happened. The beginning reminded me of a surveillance video I saw recently of a cruise ship rocking in the seas and everyone in the ballroom falling and sliding all over the place as guys bumbled and stumbled all over each other early. There was a moment where Ruddick was beating down Napier that felt uncooperative which I got a kick out of. Blaze won, this was short, and as disposable as the napkins Ian Rotten masturbates into during his lunch break at Taco Bell.
Geo: Well this was pointless. I mean, I know this means Blaze gets booked, but this was more incoherent than a DUI-charged prostitute looking for work. Nothing meant anything. I can't even tell you what happened. What a way to get booked, Blaze. Gotta make that impression. Bring back Ruddick!
8. Ryan Phoenix vs. Ric Brutal - B:3 G:4
Geo: Nothing screams indy wrestling than a fake ninja. Phoenix is also a mainstay on the roster and is a solid worker. Fake Ninja hit a senton to the floor that showed how nuts he was -- looked pretty damn good, too. His striking and mat-based work was evident that he had some training and had been around the block a few times. Phoenix was getting him over good, eating his strikes like an obese child eating chocolate cake and Pepsi. Not a bad match. I think despite Phoenix winning, Brutal got over with his martial arts style and solid offense.
Brian: This was baffling. I had a big conundrum buying this. Brutal, who's name really has nothing to do with his persona, was wearing a heinously generic ninja outfit. Usually I'd just write him off entirely. However, some of his martial arts stuff, while unconventional, actually looked as though he had some real training, and dangerous as a result. So while he was kind of an enigma to watch, the stock name and terrible get-up soured my enjoyment of this. Phoenix put more into his sell of an opening kick than most people had put into their entire matches earlier. I always thought Phoenix reminded me of a slightly scummier Scotty Vortekz. The flip to the floor Geo mentioned above was really insane. Ric exposed the business by spinning before a clothesline he was to be hit with had even connected. Brutal did a double-foot stomp and landed on his butt like a kid trying to roller skate for the first time. Phoenix wrapped things up with a running Death Valley Driver into the buckles.
We were discussing, this being a tryout show, what would we do if we were the bosses? So, here's our opinions of who'd we'd dismiss, ask back for another shot, or hire.
Brian's Hire/Come Back/Reject:
Hire: Ruddick, Nation, Gresham, Phoenix
Come Back: Blaze, Collins, Napier, Brutal
Reject: Keyes, Rose, Preigal, Kuttler, Bentley, Rain
Geo's Hire/Come Back/Reject:
Hire: Whuda Nation, Donovan Ruddick, Temple Rain
Come Back: Corbin Blaze, Tyler Preigal, Jonathan Napier
Reject: Outlaw, Keyes, Kuttler, Bentley