Those that commonly 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 power to vary that detrimental 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 quite a lot 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 plenty of wrestling followers “within the know” that this was essentially the most anticipated present of the weekend. The cardboard that was offered to followers had a logical foundation that was primarily based on reveals that had been launched within the lead-up, featured only some “outdoors expertise”, and offered matches that many have been lengthy ready for. And that’s why each ACTION and SUP are nice. The wrestling is strong, usually superb and even nice. Most of the wrestlers that wrestle for these promotions do their easiest work for these promotions—possibly due to the environment of the sensation of significance, and even the sensible 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 out to be one thing. It’s traditional wrestling and actually, every time 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. Speak to anybody who watched, and they’ll most likely inform you that entrance to again, it was essentially the most strong, full and total fulfilling present of WrestleMania weekend.
*be aware* I haven’t reviewed something for the positioning shortly. Not all matches could have star rankings on the finish. I solely put up a ranking if it will get 3.5 stars or above for me, which suggests nearly nothing to you! It’s price 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 nowadays for unbiased promotions to provide that first match on a card to the young-guns, ideally high-flyers, that may actually get a crowd to come back alive with some huge strikes and bumps, however right here – we began with a giant title match as two of the most effective unbiased wrestlers on this planet squared off and simply beat the piss out of each other. By this level, most individuals studying this are properly conscious of those guys, with AJ being some of the seen wrestlers on the scene and JD Drake being a former WWN Champ and up to date AEW expertise. Drake has an extended historical past with independents within the South and I wouldn’t be shocked if this was his final huge match for awhile – and it completely delivered. This match was constructed round nasty chops, shoulder blocks, and massive boots, however since each of those huge males transfer as fast as many cruiserweights, you had your share of operating 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 a very powerful half in a real hoss sense, however use flying strikes as these final “loss of life knell” moments. AJ Grey retained his title after a monster lariat, which is what he has been utilizing to complete folks 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 could be at an especially excessive stage. Realizing that quite a lot 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 means to chop actually biting promos to create this close to cult-like persona and has turn out to be maybe the highest heel within the two promotions proper now. He took younger wrestler Kevin Ryan beneath his wing after completely dominating him at an ACTION present and the 2 have been brutalizing folks 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’d anticipate each Dan and Ison to have the ability to beat both wrestler, however as a group, the communication issue restricted their means. All 4 wrestlers appeared 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 advised 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 properly, with every wrestler enjoying their half and the correct wrestler getting the win in the long run. Jaden Newman performed the annoying, sneaky shithead and continued his streak of enhancing character work, however in the end received 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 all my favourite younger tag groups and busted out some really super double teamwork, whereas sustaining the truth that this match isn’t about them, since they had been heels. Bell and Tangra had been the focal factors for a lot of the match, with Bell form of being the scary muscle, and making an attempt to kick folks’s heads off whereas Tangra, a relative newcomer continued his meteoric rise for my part, someway making a “shooty/technical” gimmick work in a high-flying scramble match. This was simply quite a lot of enjoyable, well booked and gave Tangra a giant win with this wonderful European uppercut counter and DISGUSTING flatliner/ddt to Liam Grey. Count on to start out seeing him increasingly within the coming months. ***1/2
— 1 Referred to 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 most effective true heel on the whole thing of the indies, aside from RSP, since shedding the titles and turning SEMI-babyface, he’s placing in work that’s extra wrestling-centric, however will probably be actually attention-grabbing to see the place he goes storyline-wise. Turning him into the man that wrestles “outsiders” in ACTION or SUP could be a enjoyable approach to go, as a result of he can get serviceable to superb matches out of most individuals and present of his underrated athleticism, like he did right here towards some of the athletic wrestlers in all the nation in Myron Reed. Now, I’ve stated it one million occasions, 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, but it surely actually stops from pondering he’s the world-class expertise that he completely is. That stated, this was an actual enjoyable match, with each guys giving and taking the most effective from the opposite. Plenty of reversals, numerous kicks, some insane stuff from Reed, together with leaping cutter excessive rope to the ground. Mack received 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 course of the present, that includes a giant title and massive strikes—actually sensible 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 significantly, 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, a large of a person, hasn’t dropped a fall in ACTION, Kane is the quickest up-and-comer and has received some actually huge wins 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 in addition they labored collectively early within the match, which I didn’t look after storyline-wise. Creed, a wrestler who has an amazing 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 the dissolution of Nova Professional, via journey restrictions and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a match that has been scheduled a handful of occasions for 2 super wrestlers from reverse corners of the continent, which can be each huge followers of the opposite, that we lastly received.
And it delivered.
I’m a giant 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 additionally clearly assume via their matches and their talents 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 high, however he hardly ever has an opportunity to face an opponent as huge 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’d assume, himself. What we received right here was a match that felt like a battle, it felt like a match between two individuals who had watched all the profession of the opposite wrestler and doing all they may to keep away from the pitfalls most opponents face. Makabe regularly tried to get nasty headlocks and higher physique submissions on Royal, however Royal was in a position to make use of his sturdy base to suplex Makabe off him a number of occasions.
Ultimately, it transitions to Royal having the ability to exploit the knee of Makabe, after which dodge a high rope knee drop, inflicting much more injury. Royal adopted that up by clipping Makabe on the knee and sending him excessive in an impressive sequence. The end had Makabe in management, nearly to lock in his cattle mutilation, earlier than Royal received 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 battle and smarts and needs to be on the watch listing 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 12 months, the dude has been delivering as constantly as any wrestler that I watch and has gone from “yeah, he’s high-quality” to “should watch”. For these unfamiliar, Priest is a brief, muscular, throwback wrestler. A dude from the South who likes to battle and really appears like a throwback to a kind of unheralded, however nice employees from WCW Saturday Evening. He’s good on the mat, he throws good strikes, he has frogsplash, and so on. He additionally received the New South Wrestling HOSS match, so it made sense for him to go up towards the person who simply received Past Wrestling’s “Biggest Rivals” Spherical Robin in Matt Makowski, one other wrestler who has improved within the ring fairly a bit within the final 12 months. 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 had been actually making an attempt to outsmart the opposite wrestler and had this calculated nature about it, this match was two very good athletes utilizing their power and quickness to only outdo the opposite, an ideal complement to the prior match. This match was nearly a dash with it’s tempo, but it surely was labored as extra of a technical match with Makowski making an attempt to seize armbars out of nowhere, Priest transitioning into sharpshooter mixtures and suplexes in every single place. In the event you love good smash-mouth wrestling, you’ve got to test this one out. It hasn’t been essentially the most hyped match of the weekend, however was as properly labored as absolutely anything I’ve seen. Priest received 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 an entire bomb-fest is wise reserving and that’s what occurred right here. Two large dudes busting out EVERYTHING. That is one other match that has been constructed up for a while and was canceled prior, and these two huge dudes actually delivered. For a enjoyable experiment, in case you watched each obtainable present that occurred this weekend, you wouldn’t be flawed in pondering Jon Davis is without doubt one of the true MVPs of the weekend. The veteran wrestler actually got here again with a bang right here and in every single place 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 through the years. When he first got here on the scene, you would 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 be taught 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 advised via chops and shoulder blocks and lariats, this match was a hoss battle advised with insane throws, drivers and extra. If you wish to see two huge dudes drop one another on their heads, that is one to observe. Davis’ specifically had actually spectacular kicks and strikes, but additionally nailed O’Shay with a formidable pop-up powerbomb/sky excessive. O’Shay was in a position to counter the veteran wrestler along with his personal power and hit huge strikes like an Air Raid Crash. The end got here out of a flurry of strikes when O’Shay was in a position to rapidly elevate Davis up for a Fireplace Thunder Driver proper onto his head for the win. The third match in a row the place you assume “hey, these guys have to go at it once more” – which Jon Davis says on the microphone. For VOW followers, it is 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 rather a lot 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 start out the match and each wrestlers regularly taking bumps and being dragged via the tacks for the match length. 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 received there. It was alleged to be a battle, and it was, however with a weekend filled with tremendous gnarly deathmatches, this one simply didn’t minimize 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 Without end (Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku)
The announcement of FinJuice working this present was a giant deal. Two standout abilities in NJPW and IMPACT coming into this little US Indie Scene and dealing a single match towards essentially the most constantly nice tag group 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, resulting from 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 awesome match, however they don’t essentially should win for any storyline function. This match was enjoyable, the longest match on the present and featured quite a lot of scorching 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 could be fairly good. This wasn’t the most effective match I’ve seen both group have, but it surely was actually capper to an awesome present. Juice’s dimension was overpowering, the double-team strikes of each groups had 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 forwards and backwards, featured sensible work and allowed all 4 guys to look good in the long run. It’s not my favourite match of the present, but it surely’s one thing that everybody ought to watch to only show that Violence is Without end is not any joke and when folks 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 plenty of others, entrance to again this was not solely some of the strong wrestling reveals of WrestleMania Weekend, however of all the 12 months at this level. Nearly each match was VERY good, nothing was outright dangerous, and although the best factors don’t fairly attain match of the 12 months stage, the general consistency with the work within the ring, storytelling across the matches and the overall stage of pleasure make this a present that needs to be within the operating for “present of the 12 months” when it comes time for awards. It’s uncommon for US Impartial Wrestling to have reveals the place all the pieces is strong. That is the exception. Bravo to the ACTION group, the SUP group, Violence is Without end and all of the expertise concerned, this was a very nice two and a half hours of wrestling.