May 21, 2011 "Anniversario & His Amazing Friends" - Easton, PA
1. Hieracon vs. Brodie Lee - 4
2. Frightmare vs. Archibald Peck - 4
So you pit these two against each other and you know you're going to get something that's at least a fun match. Brodie's dominating presence in the ring was made that much more intense by Gresham's bumping for the big man. Lee hit a sick lariat that spun Greesham like a cat stuck inside a washing machine. I was happy to see Gresham show some of that intensity when he delivered a thundering headbutt to the skull of Lee, who came back by hitting Gresham with a Yakuza kick followed up by a powerbomb. A bit too short -- could've been better with more time.
Peck's a showman. There's no doubt about it. What he lacks in in-ring skill he makes up for with his charisma and presence in the ring. He played up the "scaring" thing that Frightmare does very well, cowering in fear and shaking worse than a leaf in Hurricane Katrina. I dug his selling of a dropkick in the corner that Frightmare delivered. Speaking of Frightmare, he busted out his usual solid offense and looked like his usual self. Peck sold an ensiguiri on the apron like with a flop, followed by a resounding thud of his head hitting the wood and steel. Accompanying his performance were two delish gut busters that looked painful as hell. A lot better than I had expected.
3. The Throwbacks vs. The Batiri - 3
4. UltraMantis Black vs. Chuck Taylor - 5
Yep. A Batiri match that I gave a three. I never thought it would happen either. The first minute or so were taken up by Dunkerton making fun of Kodama's height. Oh, let's talk about minutes. This match went six. SIX MINUTES. Why? Damn, that's frustrating. Kodama hit a really nice looking neck breaker on the apron that was sure to have left a mark. The Batiri's double-team maneuvers are getting to be more solid and their cohesion as a team is becoming more evident as time goes by. The Throwbacks, while their performance wasn't "bad" was still underwhelming. That mixed with a six-minute -- really like five-minute -- match really left a bad taste in my mouth.
This match was too much fun. I loved it. Taylor's comedic timing is some of the best not only on the independent scene, but in all of American wrestling. The two battled back and forth in the ring, but go nowhere... that is until they decided to take the fight outside. It was really weird seeing Mantis outside for some reason. They battled onto the playground where Mantis slipped on the slide, and Chuck, in an attempt to out-coy his opponent, slid down the slide only to be met with a chop by Mantis. Back inside, Chuck tried to hit the Awful Waffle, only to be met with a Praying Mantis Bomb for the pin. Not a really good match by technical standards, but fun as all get out.
5. Eddie Kingston vs. Sinn Bodhi - 3
6. The Colony & Madison Eagles vs. Die Bruderschaft (Ares, Pinkie Sanchez, Jakob Hammermeier & Daizee Haze) - 6
Bodhi attacked Kingston's arm early on, which would come back to haunt him throughout the match. In normal Eddie fashion, the arm selling was choice. We moved on to a more submission-based match, featuring Bodhi going back and working over the arm, putting King in a Fujiwara, only to find himself clutched in a guillotine. Just like that,the match was over. I just don't know what to say right now.
Madison Eagles and The Colony? Oh helll yeah. By now you may have realized that I love Pinkie Sanchez. Well, I love Pinkie Sanchez. His performance here was on par with everything he's done. He plays that insane mental patient so well and he plays it into his bumping, which wins me over. We got a really unique multi-man/woman-submission that reached into the crowd. Ah, CHIKARA. Green Ant spent quite an amount of time getting worked over in the BDK corner, which worked well in the match because it made me wonder just when the hell Eagles was going to get in the match. Eagles came in and the match got turned up a notch, featuring an 4-person dropkick on Sanchez in the corner. Oh yeah, Fire Ant KILLED Pinkie with a Beach Break. GAHHHH! Loved the break-down, but I think some time could've been allocated a bit more to divide the match times up more evenly, as this one got quite a bit more than the others thus far.
7. Hallowicked vs. Mike Quackenbush - 7
8. Losing Team Must Break Up: 3.0 vs. The UnStable (Vin Gerard & STIGMA) - 5
I was thinking about what I would write for this match, and decided that I'd let myself write freely.Going into this match, I have to say that I had high expectations. First of all, both are very well grounded in their mat game, second, this is a teacher vs. student match, so the styles should mesh together perfectly. This day marked Quack's 18th year as a pro wrestler, and what a way to commemorate it. Let's talk about the ground game: pure ecstasy. I could seriously watch this for hours on end. Both guys knew one another like the back of their hand, and it was obvious that we'd be in for a treat seeing how well they worked together. This was like a great mesh of Euro and Lucha styles combined. Quack hit some sick dives to the floor (one that almost took a kid out) and Wicked was taking everything he dished out. The multiple-pin spot is something that is easily the most overdone thing in wrestling, but these guys nailed it, moving fluidly from one pinning combination to another. This was just great. MOTYC for this company for sure.
The final match pitted two teams whose rivalry wasn't exactly the hottest in my eyes to start, but started to pick up steam as time went on. Let's talk about hot. How hot is Shane Matthews' girlfriend? Vin kept trying to lure her in as the match went on, and it provided a cool personal hate element to the match as it really got under Matthews' skin, as it would any red-blooded male's. The in-ring was solid, and Stigma's performance was a lot better than any in recent memory. We cap off the match with Stigma walking out on Gerard, who still had his eyes set on the brunette beauty in the crowd. Not all that great in-ring, but the story delved to a personal level, which made the match better than it would have been originally.
Match Average: 4.63
Recommended: Colony/Eagles vs. BDK, Quack vs. Hallowicked
May 22, 2011 "Anniversario: The Legendary Super Powers Show" - Union City, NJ
1. Dasher Hatfield vs. Jakob Hammermeier - 3
2. 3.0 vs. Ares & Claudio Castagnoli - 5
Jakob's offense is quite basic, but it works for him. Dasher, much to my enjoyment, was actually a bit stiffer than usual, hitting Jakob with a back-fist that look great right to the face. Other than that, it was a fairly generic opener that didn't go anywhere -- about what I expected. As much as I want to believe Jakob will get better with time, I can't help but think that sentiment is blind optimism. I like how he plays the crowd, but his in-ring is more bland than egg-whites.
If you can't say anything positive about 3.0, you at least have to give them credit for being able to work a crowd. Bursting with charisma, Parker and Matthews had the crowd behind them as they faced the BDK leaders. The ring work here was pretty good, as Claudio and Ares dominated the face team to start. Matthews' ability to entice the crowd is great, as he drew the fans in for the hot-tag to Parker, who exploded onto the scene. The strength and cohesion of the BDK team was no overshadowed by 3.0, as they still stole the match with an interesting roll up.
3. Hieracon vs. Grizzly Redwood - 3
4. The Spectral Envoy vs. Sinn Bodhi & The Batiri - 6
Oh God, not Redwood. Double axe handles and chops to the legs everywhere. I was actually caught off guard by how hard Griz was hitting Gresham - really clubbing him in the back for all of New Jersey to hear. Griz messed up a powerbomb that looked absolutely atrocious that the commentators tried to play off as an escape by Gresham -- don't think so, bro. Griz hit a bad-looking brainbuster for the win. Sigh.
I just had to post that. Kizarny did a great job of evading Mantis at all costs due to Mantis' insane preoccupation with Bodhi stealing the Batiri. This continued for a bit until Mantis found himself cut off from his partners. After finally making the tag, Frightmare came in like a ball of energy (similar to Ryu's Hadoken) and went nuts. His offense was executed well, and he hit everything. I love watching him and Obariyon square off. Hallowicked came in and hit some wicked kicks on the domes of the Batiri, who sold everything great. Kodama's execution is getting better and better, as he hit a neck breaker from the top rope that had a huge margin for error. A really great sprint towards the end accompanied by great in-ring makes for a really fun match.
5. Sugar Dunkerton vs. Archibald Peck - 4
6. Eddie Kingston vs. Chuck Taylor - 6
I can totally see people hating this match due to the comedy in the beginning. I, however, thought it worked well. Peck pretended like he had an invisible basketball and focused about three to five minutes of comedy in the beginning of the match around it. Peck is so over-the-top with this performing that it makes the comedy work. Is it the tall lankiness, his mannerisms, or his goofy attitude? Probably all three and then some. Everyone knows he isn't serious, and everything he does is so goofy that it allows for a more "fun" environment. Off my soapbox, but I enjoyed the comedy. Peck's upper-hand in the match, only to be met with Sugar's boot to the face that looked pretty stiff along with two nice lariats. Not a bad match.
This match was stiff, as you might imagine with King. Taylor, though, was the one who surprised me. There were a few kicks delivered that looked to have a little extra spicy brown mustard on them, leaving foot imprints on King's face. King walked around with that 'don't give a crap' attitude that he is so well known for, while Taylor mocked the fans by clapping for himself. These subtleties added to the match. Combining the subtleties with a really great striking game, the two went at it to a create a great match that unfolded very well.
7. Vin Gerard vs. Brodie Lee - 4
8. The Colony vs. Amazing Red & The Maximos - 5
Brodie was over huuuge here in NJ. He should be over huge everywhere because he's great. Brodie hit this dive that I'm pretty sure nearly decapitated himself on the guardrail, seeing as he's 6'7" and there's only about 5" of space between the ring and rail. Sick! Gerard took some big hits from Brodie, only to hit him with a 2K1 bomb -- surprised he could get him up so easily. I really dug the nearfall after Brodie delivered the Truck Stop on Vin. Short, but worked well.
I was laughing my ass off at the dude that brought the bug spray in the crowd. Genius. Will Maximo and Green Ant had a rocky exchange in the middle of the ring that was kind of glaring and staggering, and ended with a shoddy headscissor; it was quickly forgotten after Red and Fire had a nice exchange in the ring, culminating with a nifty submission by the SAT and a double stomp by Red on Fire Ant. SAT hit their power manuevers including a couple of really nice looking Germans. One of the Maximos slammed Solider into a puddle of bug spray that Soldier sold like his body was on fire. Nice. Overall, a fun match featuring the return of the SAT against the number one team in the company.
Match Average: 4.5
Recommended: The Spectral Envoy vs. The Dark Army; Kingston vs. Taylor
"King of Trios: Night 3" - April 17, 2011 (5.1)
"Creatures from the Tar Swamp" - March 13, 2011 (5)
"King of Trios: Night 2" - April 16, 2011 (4.75)
"Chaos in the Sea of Lost Souls" - January 23, 2011 (4.75)
"Anniversario and His Amazing Friends" - May 21, 2011 (4.63)
"King of Trios: Night 1" - April 15, 2011 (4.6)
"Caught in a Cauldron of Hate" - February 19, 2011 (4.5)
"Anniversario: The Legendary Super Powers Show" - May 22, 2011 (4.5)
"Clutch of Doom" - February 20, 2011 (4.25)
"Operation Big Freeze" - March 12, 2011 (4)
"Engulfed in a Fever of Spite" - May 14, 2011 (3.9)