Those that often watch ACTION Wrestling know. Those that watch Southern Underground Professional know. Nearly anybody who watches these promotions with any regularity is aware of that they’ve the flexibility to alter that adverse feeling many people have towards wrestling in 2021. Of their little nook of Impartial Wrestling TV, each promotions current a wrestling product that takes the sum of previous promotional influences and turns them right into a cohesive, comfy, related product for wrestling followers. The 2 promotions share plenty of the identical expertise, they share the identical announcer, AC Mack used to carry each titles concurrently, however they’re additionally their very own distinct promotions.
I wrote in my preview that for myself and lots of wrestling followers “within the know” that this was probably the most anticipated present of the weekend. The cardboard that was introduced to followers had a logical foundation that was primarily based on reveals that have been launched within the lead-up, featured just a few “exterior expertise”, and introduced matches that many have been lengthy ready for. And that’s why each ACTION and SUP are nice. The wrestling is strong, usually excellent and even nice. Lots of the wrestlers that wrestle for these promotions do their absolute best work for these promotions—possibly due to the environment of the sensation of significance, and even the good reserving, however it’s unlikely that both promotion goes to have the ability to compete with one thing just like the top-tier of NJPW, Dragongate or AEW on a purely in-ring foundation. However we get reveals that inform easy tales, matches that don’t overstay their welcome and an opportunity to see new expertise stand up and turn into one thing. It’s basic wrestling and truthfully, at any time when both promotion releases a present, they’re the one ones on this planet proper now that I’ve to observe as quickly as doable.
So did Have Enjoyable, Be Unhappy ship? Sure. Discuss to anybody who watched, and they’ll in all probability inform you that entrance to again, it was probably the most strong, full and general gratifying present of WrestleMania weekend.
*be aware* I haven’t reviewed something for the location shortly. Not all matches may have star scores on the finish. I solely publish a score if it will get 3.5 stars or above for me, which implies virtually nothing to you! It’s value saying that there isn’t a single skippable match on this present.
SUP Bonestorm Title
AJ Grey (c) def. JD Drake
What a approach to begin a present. It appears commonplace as of late for unbiased promotions to offer that first match on a card to the young-guns, ideally high-flyers, that may actually get a crowd to return alive with some massive strikes and bumps, however right here – we began with an enormous title match as two of the very best unbiased wrestlers on this planet squared off and simply beat the piss out of each other. By this level, most individuals studying this are nicely conscious of those guys, with AJ being one of the seen wrestlers on the scene and JD Drake being a former WWN Champ and up to date AEW expertise. Drake has a protracted historical past with independents within the South and I wouldn’t be shocked if this was his final massive match for awhile – and it completely delivered. This match was constructed round nasty chops, shoulder blocks, and large boots, however since each of those massive males transfer as fast as many cruiserweights, you had your share of working dives, cannonballs and moonsault makes an attempt. One factor I like about each of those guys, is that whereas they’re undoubtedly “BIG MEN THAT CAN FLY, that isn’t their gimmick. They nonetheless work matches the place their power and energy is an important half in a real hoss sense, however use flying strikes as these final “dying knell” moments. AJ Grey retained his title after a monster lariat, which is what he has been utilizing to complete individuals off these days, regardless of the close to fucking up from the referee. Actually enjoyable opener for followers of hard-hitting, easy wrestling. ***1/2
The Good Hand (Kevin Ryan & Suge D) def. Brett Ison & Cabana Man Dan
The work that Suge D is placing in on the indies proper now’s at an especially excessive stage. Realizing that plenty of these wrestlers have handed him by within the ring (although he isn’t a slouch), he’s utilizing his title, his expertise and his potential to chop actually biting promos to create this close to cult-like persona and has turn into maybe the highest heel within the two promotions proper now. He took younger wrestler Kevin Ryan underneath his wing after completely dominating him at an ACTION present and the 2 have been brutalizing individuals since, from AKIRA to Nolan Edward to their opponents right here. Ison and Dan are two SUP OG’s, having many matches collectively however actually each being two of the faces of the corporate. The story right here was whether or not they had the expertise teaming collectively to tackle a cohesive unit in The Good Hand. In singles competitors, you’ll anticipate each Dan and Ison to have the ability to beat both wrestler, however as a crew, the communication issue restricted their potential. All 4 wrestlers regarded strong, although there have been a few sloppy spots right here and there. For his half, Ryan was maybe the standout, actually filling within the gaps and dealing his younger, shithead character completely. The match ended with an errant backfist from Ison to Dan, knocking him out chilly. A extremely enjoyable match that instructed story and will result in elevated tales from right here on out, particularly with Cabana Man Dan’s “bitter and indignant” character work these days.
Damyan Tangra def. Adrian Alanis, Liam Grey, Bobby Flaco, Rob Killjoy, Jaden Newman & Graham Bell
Pay attention, I’m a complete sucker for any competently labored scramble and with the wrestlers concerned right here, this was greater than competently labored. This specific mixture of SUP & ACTION undercard guys gelled extraordinarily nicely, with every wrestler enjoying their half and the fitting wrestler getting the win ultimately. Jaden Newman performed the annoying, sneaky shithead and continued his streak of enhancing character work, however in the end bought his comeuppance all through the match. Flaco and KIlljoy took insane bumps and dives as they usually do, sacrificing their our bodies for the sake of the followers. Alanis and Grey of The Skulk continued to point out why they’re one in every of my favourite younger tag groups and busted out some really large double teamwork, whereas sustaining the truth that this match isn’t about them, since they have been heels. Bell and Tangra have been the focal factors for a lot of the match, with Bell type of being the scary muscle, and attempting to kick individuals’s heads off whereas Tangra, a relative newcomer continued his meteoric rise in my view, someway making a “shooty/technical” gimmick work in a high-flying scramble match. This was simply plenty of enjoyable, neatly booked and gave Tangra an enormous win with this wonderful European uppercut counter and DISGUSTING flatliner/ddt to Liam Grey. Anticipate to begin seeing him an increasing number of within the coming months. ***1/2
— 1 Known as Scottyda78ERS (@scottyda78) April 9, 2021
AC Mack def. Myron Reed
A enjoyable exhibition match with some insane spots right here. Mack is in an attention-grabbing holding sample proper now, as soon as the face and champion of each promotions, and possibly the very best true heel on the whole lot of the indies, apart from RSP, since shedding the titles and turning SEMI-babyface, he’s placing in work that’s extra wrestling-centric, however it is going to be actually attention-grabbing to see the place he goes storyline-wise. Turning him into the man that wrestles “outsiders” in ACTION or SUP can be a enjoyable approach to go, as a result of he can get serviceable to excellent matches out of most individuals and present of his underrated athleticism, like he did right here in opposition to one of the athletic wrestlers in the complete nation in Myron Reed. Now, I’ve mentioned it one million instances, and so has everybody else – however I hate Reed’s look. I perceive it’s a part of his character and storyline in MLW and elsewhere, and I don’t need him to only be one other character-less high-flyer, however it actually stops from considering he’s the world-class expertise that he completely is. That mentioned, this was an actual enjoyable match, with each guys giving and taking the very best from the opposite. Plenty of reversals, numerous kicks, some insane stuff from Reed, together with leaping cutter excessive rope to the ground. Mack bought the win with a reversal into his cross-armed Pedigree, the Mack 10, in a little bit of a shock. It wasn’t a match of the evening, however was the right match to place in the midst of the present, that includes an enormous title and large strikes—actually good card placement right here.
Alex Kane def. Logan Creed, Manders & Derek Neal
Alex Kane is the one to observe. He didn’t have the highest-profile matches coming into the weekend, however he delivered for each single one he was booked for and has individuals who had by no means seen him actually taking discover. He took the weekend critically, as I anticipated and is somebody that you’ll undoubtedly see in additional locations and in larger spots popping out of this weekend. This match was 4 of the largest regulars in these promotions simply going at it. Creed, an enormous of a person, hasn’t dropped a fall in ACTION, Kane is the quickest up-and-comer and has bought some actually massive wins just lately, Neal is the New South champion and has been beefing with Manders in SUP, each of them costing one another wins. My prediction was for Neal and Manders to go at it actually aggressively and cancel one another out, which they did a bit, however additionally they labored collectively early within the match, which I didn’t look after storyline-wise. Creed, a wrestler who has an incredible look, was a step behind the opposite 3 wrestlers, although he did have some spectacular chokeslams. Kane was the star although, suplexing everybody, together with all 3 wrestlers without delay, hitting dives and simply showcasing his abilities. This was a enjoyable match and offers a glimpse at 4 wrestlers it’s best to take note of, however actually this was the Alex Kane present.
Arik Royal def. Daniel Makabe
There’s a contingent of US unbiased wrestling followers that had been ready for this match for years. By way of the dissolution of Nova Professional, by way of journey restrictions and the COVID-19 pandemic, this can be a match that has been scheduled a handful of instances for 2 large wrestlers from reverse corners of the continent, which can be each massive followers of the opposite, that we lastly bought.
And it delivered.
I’m an enormous fan of each guys, out and in of the ring, as I discover them to be two of the extra considerate wrestlers with their character work and ring-work going. Each guys have their signature spots, but in addition clearly suppose by way of their matches and their skills to inform compelling tales, which was on full show right here. Makabe, the technical wrestler, is used to tying his opponents in knots and delivering imply strikes whereas on prime, however he not often has an opportunity to face an opponent as massive as Arik Royal, one of many true hosses of the indie scene. Royal is used to being the larger, stronger wrestler, however Makabe is extra sneaky than his ordinary opponents, and greater than you’ll suppose, himself. What we bought right here was a match that felt like a wrestle, it felt like a match between two individuals who had watched the complete profession of the opposite wrestler and doing all they might to keep away from the pitfalls most opponents face. Makabe frequently tried to get nasty headlocks and higher physique submissions on Royal, however Royal was ready to make use of his sturdy base to suplex Makabe off him a number of instances.
Finally, it transitions to Royal with the ability to exploit the knee of Makabe, after which dodge a prime rope knee drop, inflicting much more injury. Royal adopted that up by clipping Makabe on the knee and sending him excessive in an excellent sequence. The end had Makabe in management, nearly to lock in his cattle mutilation, earlier than Royal bought the angle to smash his knee another time, breaking the maintain and springing of the ropes for a HUGE springboard Kobe (his end) for the win. The match had excessive spots, however greater than something it’s a match of wrestle and smarts and must be on the watch checklist of any seasoned fan. Hopefully, we get to see these guys go at it once more sooner or later. ****
Adam Priest def. Matt Makowski
I wasn’t offered on Adam Priest for months, however because the flip of the brand new yr, the dude has been delivering as constantly as any wrestler that I watch and has gone from “yeah, he’s superb” to “should watch”. For these unfamiliar, Priest is a brief, muscular, throwback wrestler. A dude from the South who likes to combat and really appears like a throwback to a kind of unheralded, however nice staff from WCW Saturday Night time. He’s good on the mat, he throws good strikes, he has frogsplash, and so on. He additionally gained the New South Wrestling HOSS event, so it made sense for him to go up in opposition to the person who simply gained Past Wrestling’s “Best Rivals” Spherical Robin in Matt Makowski, one other wrestler who has improved within the ring fairly a bit within the final yr. This was simply two powerful, technical wrestlers going AT IT for 10 minutes and I cherished each minute of it. The place Makabe Vs. Royal felt like they have been actually attempting to outsmart the opposite wrestler and had this calculated nature about it, this match was two excellent athletes utilizing their power and quickness to only outdo the opposite, an ideal complement to the prior match. This match was virtually a dash with it’s tempo, however it was labored as extra of a technical match with Makowski attempting to seize armbars out of nowhere, Priest transitioning into sharpshooter mixtures and suplexes in all places. If you happen to love good smash-mouth wrestling, you’ve got to test this one out. It hasn’t been probably the most hyped match of the weekend, however was as nicely labored as absolutely anything I’ve seen. Priest bought the sneaky win with a rollup, so I’m hoping that we are able to get these two going at it once more quickly. ****
O’Shay Edwards def. Jon Davis
Following up two technical matches with a whole bomb-fest is wise reserving and that’s what occurred right here. Two big dudes busting out EVERYTHING. That is one other match that has been constructed up for a while and was canceled prior, and these two massive dudes actually delivered. For a enjoyable experiment, in case you watched each obtainable present that occurred this weekend, you wouldn’t be flawed in considering Jon Davis is likely one of the true MVPs of the weekend. The veteran wrestler actually got here again with a bang right here and in all places he was booked, showcasing that he hasn’t misplaced any of his power or spryness and really shocking me. He doesn’t work throughout the nation anymore, however man, I wouldn’t be upset if he did. O’Shay is somebody who has been actually enjoyable to observe enhance over time. When he first got here on the scene, you may get actually into the look and the scale and the power, however the footwork and the storytelling wasn’t fairly there, however he’s been in a position to actually embrace all of it and study from match to match to steadily be the spotlight of nearly any card he’s on. If the opening hoss match from this present between AJ Grey and JD Drake was instructed by way of chops and shoulder blocks and lariats, this match was a hoss combat instructed with insane throws, drivers and extra. If you wish to see two massive dudes drop one another on their heads, that is one to observe. Davis’ particularly had actually spectacular kicks and strikes, but in addition nailed O’Shay with a powerful pop-up powerbomb/sky excessive. O’Shay was in a position to counter the veteran wrestler together with his personal power and hit massive strikes like an Air Raid Crash. The end got here out of a flurry of strikes when O’Shay was in a position to shortly raise Davis up for a Hearth Thunder Driver proper onto his head for the win. The third match in a row the place you suppose “hey, these guys must go at it once more” – which Jon Davis says on the microphone. For VOW followers, this can be a true “Dumb Jock” match, and I completely cherished it. ***3/4
Nolan Edward def. Angelus Layne
This match wasn’t BAD, however for me, it was the particular low-point of the present. Story-wise, it was match to have and does lots to maintain Nolan Edward sturdy in these promotions, in addition to showcase the toughness of Layne, however the execution of the random “deathmatch” right here, 2.5 hours right into a present simply didn’t fairly work. The match was actually constructed round thumbtacks, as Edward dumped a full bag of them out onto the ring to begin the match and each wrestlers frequently taking bumps and being dragged by way of the tacks for the match period. Seeing tacks caught in one another’s arms and bodyparts was a gnarly sight, and whereas this match did have some blood and warmth, the work simply by no means fairly bought there. It was alleged to be a combat, and it was, however with a weekend stuffed with tremendous gnarly deathmatches, this one simply didn’t reduce it. Once more, story-wise this may hopefully make sense for each wrestlers sooner or later, however on this card, it was the one misstep within the ring.
FinJuice (Juice Robinson & David Finlay Jr.) def. Violence is Perpetually (Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku)
The announcement of FinJuice working this present was an enormous deal. Two standout abilities in NJPW and IMPACT coming into this little US Indie Scene and dealing a single match in opposition to probably the most constantly nice tag crew of the final couple of years was and is tremendous cool. And the match delivered. Coming in, I feel most individuals would’ve anticipated FinJuice to win, because of their larger standing on this planet of wrestling, and with VIF being the “bookers” of the present, it is smart for them to get shine and an incredible match, however they don’t essentially should win for any storyline goal. This match was enjoyable, the longest match on the present and featured plenty of sizzling interactions. I haven’t seen any of FinJuice in IMPACT, however their baseline of wrestling matches is fairly excessive, so even when they’d an off evening with Garrini and Ku, the match can be fairly good. This wasn’t the very best match I’ve seen both crew have, however it was actually capper to an incredible present. Juice’s measurement was overpowering, the double-team strikes of each groups have been crisp, Ku got here out of the match wanting like one million bucks and like he might be wrestling for almost any firm on this planet and yeah—this was only a hard-hitting match that went backwards and forwards, featured good work and allowed all 4 guys to look good ultimately. It’s not my favourite match of the present, however it’s one thing that everybody ought to watch to only show that Violence is Perpetually isn’t any joke and when individuals embody them within the dialog of finest tag groups on this planet (like I do), they belong there. ***3/4
As anticipated on my own and lots of others, entrance to again this was not solely one of the strong wrestling reveals of WrestleMania Weekend, however of the complete yr at this level. Virtually each match was VERY good, nothing was outright dangerous, and although the best factors don’t fairly attain match of the yr stage, the general consistency with the work within the ring, storytelling across the matches and the final stage of pleasure make this a present that must be within the working for “present of the yr” when it comes time for awards. It’s uncommon for US Impartial Wrestling to have reveals the place every thing is strong. That is the exception. Bravo to the ACTION crew, the SUP crew, Violence is Perpetually and all of the expertise concerned, this was a very nice two and a half hours of wrestling.