1) Eddie Kingston v. Marek Brave- 2
2) Colt Cabana v. Larry Sweeney v. Darin Corbin- 3
3) Claudio Castagnoli v. Ian Rotten- 4
4) Josh Abercrombie v. Tyler Black- 6
5) Team Underground v. Iron Saints- 4
6) Chris Hero v. Trik Davis- 6
7) Arik Cannon v. Jimmy Jacobs- 3
8) Necro Butcher v. Samoa Joe- 5
I'm going to be honest- I purchased this show solely because of the main event match, which sounded quite intriguing. Let's find out how the show as a whole stands up:
First off, Kingston is a complete prick. He jives with the fans for quite a while before doing a bad job making Brave look like a rookie kid who can make it with the big boys. Kingston picks out a tall brunette with a slight hint of chest hanging out and prances around the ring with her to make himself look cooler- some advice, Eddie- ditch the very unflattering one piece. Brave is greener than the wart on Rapahel's back (hope I don't have to explain that reference.) There's an emptiness of spots and/or good psych which makes this the worst thing on the show. Our next 3 way is dubbed "Battle for the Belts' as Sweeney puts up his "Texarkana" Title, Corbin puts up his "Boardwalk belt" those ones that have the buckle where you can put a digital readout of whatever you want to say, and Colt grabbed a fan's leather belt for ringside just for kicks. This was your comedy match but call me crazy, I don't enjoy staring at two men's asses for 10 minutes solid, which Sweeny and Corbin proudly displayed throughout the match. They got their tights pulled down in a spot and never bothered to pull them back up.
Ian working armbars and rollthroughs? Huh? Yeah, that's what you had here- Ian Rotten working to Claudio's strengths and it backfires on him- neat little story and it was kept so simple that even the hardcore freak couldn't botch most of the ground work. Some good forearms were thrown too. Tyler Black is a name gaining exposure in ROH but i haven't seen much from him. Here he takes on vertically challenged greaseball Abercrombie. Early on Black does an insane front flip over the top rope and crashes into 2 rows of steel chairs in a true "Holy Shit!" moment. The rest of the match works under that context as Abercrombie works the back and Black sells it like a veteran. Everything works right up to the finish which is satisfying and comes off well as Black uses the guys own finish on him. The line of the night came from I believe Colt Cabana who was doing color for this match when he quoted Abercrombie's catchphrase of being "21 and underapprecaited; well, wait till next year when he's 22 and apathetic." After the last few days of dealing with a pinched nerve and the giant windstorm that killed our power, this match isn't really sticking out in my mind. I do remember Team Underground were the Thomaselli Brothers, who were part of an everincreasing faction that involved Larry Sweeney. The other team was solid, but not uniformly good. It was pretty basic tag match with some other team interfering in the finish from another promotion. Then, Ian Rotten (which would become a trend) came out with notebook in hand, and booked for the next show. Exciting stuff.
Wow, this is a much different Chris Hero. He's taking on a really small guy named Trik (that's an insult where I come from) who I guess looked up to him at one point but now was turned on and he wants revenge. The story of the match works so well and it's one WWE tries to pull off so many times to a failed attempt- Hero is stronger, bigger, and a better wrestler, so all Trik has is his heart and areial moves. In WWE, they will make the bigger guy a moronic brute who couldn't wrestle his way out of a wet paper bag, so the good technical wrestler looks like shit. Here, Hero already is the better man, so you really get to see Trik improve as the match progresses. And Hero really takes his time and works the guy over, and every short burst of comeback he gives him is stiff and he sells it big time. The finish is a pretty nasty Boston Crab and this is the most fun I've ever had watching Hero work. Cannon I recognize from an FIP show Brian had earlier this year- the announcers are putting him over as the best thing since sliced cantalope, but somehow the pudgy mohawk look isn't making me believe it. He can pull off a hurricanrana, but come on? Is that supposed to make me think this joker is a wrestling ....(dramatic pause) god? Jacobs wasn't fully developed yet, as there's some aspects of his game still missing here such as aftersell and follow through on some moves but he seems to have potential. Funny thing, is height is always a knock on him but he's nearly as tall as Cannon. There's some interference and Ian Rotten decides to give us more classes on how to book indy, week to week.
I originally went with a 6 on the main, but that would be handing over and telling YOU that YOU need to seek this out, when honestly you don't. The whole appeal of Joe v. Necro is to see how much pain and punishment Joe can dish out to Necro and who will tire first. Well, the announcers were grinning ear to ear and putting over the first match so much, they couldn't help but let their disappointment for this one shine through in their voices. Within the first few chops, Necro had blugeoned Joe's chest worse than Kobashi did and they went right out to the crowd. Necro took a couple floor bumps but that was about it for his self-masichism portion of the match. Joe brutalized his face with some kicks and they had a pretty realistic forearm exchange at one point, but this was simply a vehicle for Necro to get huge face pops from an interfering referee and Chris Hero. Rotten waddles out again, notebook in tow and takes up another 10 minutes at the end of the show, laying down a challenge, as someone in the crowd screams "Hurry up, motherfucker, i got work in the morning!" Now, that's class. The constant booking on the fly and announce team changeups (which seemed to happen every other match) were pretty annoying and the meager crowd watching on made this feel truly indy. While I did enjoy this show much more than some old time IWA Mid South garbage wrestling, it's importance wasn't of any greater value.