Have Fun Be Sad
Date: April 9, 2021
Location: 81Bay Brewing, Tampa, Florida
This is from Action Pro Wrestling and Southern Underground Pro Wrestling coming together for a show. I have no idea what that is going to mean as I don’t know anything about either promotion, but there is always the chance that they could pull off something good. It’s certainly a different kind of show title. Let’s get to it.
Someone from Southern Underground welcomes us to the show and wants us to be loud.
Bonestorm Title: AJ Gray vs. JD Drake
Gray is defending and this is from Southern Underground. They chop it out to start and trade shoulders to no avail. Gray’s powerslam has more avail and they fight to the floor for another slugout. This time Drake gets the better of things and takes it back inside for a quick Vader Bomb. They trade snapmares into kicks to the back, followed by Drake hitting a quick splash for two.
A dropkick knocks Gray backwards but he is right back with a flurry of strikes of his own to even things up. They strike it out again until Drake kicks him into the corner for the Cannonball. The middle rope moonsault misses though and Gray hits a lariat….for the pin at 8:31, even though the referee stopped counting after two, then counted three, then didn’t call for the bell immediately.
Rating: C. Seemingly confusing ending aside, this was a completely acceptable hoss fight with two guys beating each other up. That is something that is always going to work and it worked well here. Drake is someone who has been around forever and Gray has quite the reputation of his own. Good choice for an opener here and a nice match.
Good Hand vs. Cabana Man Dan/Bret Ison
Before the match, Suge D of Good Hand (with Kevin Ryan) says he’s good to die today but Dan and Ison are going to have to earn it. It’s a huge brawl to start as commentary explains that Good Hand has attacked/tortured both Dan and Ison, because they are competent at their jobs.
We settle down to Dan working on Ryan’s arm but Suge snaps Dan’s throat across the top and takes him to the floor for a ram into a chair. Back in and Dan gets caught in a Gory Special, setting up a Gory Special for two. Suge comes in to hammer away and then Death Valley Drivers Ryan onto Dan for two more. A Swanton gets the same but Dan is back with the Kevin Owens swinging superplex.
That’s enough for the hot tag off to Ison and the pace picks up. Everything breaks down as Ison wrecks everything in sight. Dan is knocked to the floor though and Good Hand strikes away at Ison but can’t put him down. With Dan coming back in to take care of Ryan, Suge’s springboard…well it mostly slips but he hits Ison anyway. Ryan is back up with a knee to the back to finish Dan at 11:08.
Rating: C. There was definitely a story here and it was nice to have commentary explain what was going on. I got the story they were telling, but it was nice to have someone there to give me a bit of a backstory. It wasn’t much in the way of a match but they played the formula and kept it simple with energy, so well enough done.
Post match Suge gets in some WE TOLD YOU’s but Ison grabs him and takes him to the back. Dan chases Ryan off as well.
Adrian Alanis vs. Rob Killjoy vs. Graham Bell vs. Jaden Newman vs. Damyan Tangra vs. Liam Gray vs. Bobby Flaco
From Southern Underground Pro and one fall to a finish. I know they need to get people on the show but GOOD GRIEF STOP HAVING ALL THESE PEOPLE IN ONE MATCH. Alanis and Gray and Flaco and Killjoy are regular tag teams. Bell has a bazooka which shoots a puff of fire. Newman talks a lot of trash to start and says he is here to beat every one of them, earning himself a superkick to the floor.
Killjoy and Tangra are left alone in the ring and trade rollups for two each until Tangra hits a running uppercut. Alanis comes in for a running elbow in the corner and he suplexes Flaco into Tangra in the corner. Bell comes in to strike away and clean house but Grey is in with a top rope flip dive. Newman gets his turn to beat up whomever is in the ring with him until Killjoy catches him with a pop up Codebreaker.
Flaco has to fight off Alanis and Newman on his own and manages to clear the ring despite being rather small. Gray comes back in and hits a huge dive over the top onto a bunch of people. Killjoy adds a springboard flip dive but Bell is up with his bazooka….which is out of ammo. That’s fine though as he sends Newman outside and hits a springboard flip dive to take out a bunch of people.
Back in and Tangra gets a hold on three people at once (just go with it) until Gray makes the save. The ring is cleared again and we get a quick Killjoy vs. Flaco fight. The tower of doom is loaded up but falls apart, leaving Flaco to hurricanrana Gray into everyone else. Killjoy tosses Flaco at Newman for a DDT and then gets two off a brainbuster. Flaco hits a poisonrana on Killjoy but gets caught in electric chair Backstabber for two from Bell. Gray and Alanis team up on Newman but Tangra elbows Alanis out of the air. A scary looking jumping Downward Spiral gives Tangra the pin on Alanis at 11:29.
Rating: C+. Yes it was entertaining and yes it was all energy but egads I can’t stand this kind of match. It’s just a collection of spots with no real flow or anything to it and that gets annoying in a hurry. I’m not going to remember anything out of this because it is so all over the place until someone wins. It isn’t bad, but it is the kind of thing that comes and goes and doesn’t stand out whatsoever, just because of the calamity involved.
AC Mack vs. Myron Reed
Mack handles his own intro, taking credit for the entire show taking place at all. Mack takes him to the mat for an early hammerlock but Reed is up with a wristlock of his own. That’s reversed into an ankle crank but Reed is in the rope in a hurry. Back up and Reed misses a charge into the corner, allowing Mack to hit a hard dropkick to the back of the head. Reed is back with a boot to the face to send Mack outside, setting up a heck of a suicide dive.
Back in and Mack gets dropped throat first across the top, setting up a neckbreaker for two. The sleeper doesn’t last long as Mack fights up, where he gets caught in a Stundog Millionaire. Mack kicks him in the head though and hits some clotheslines to set up a spinning DDT for another near fall. They slug it out until Mack nails a leg lariat for the double knockdown.
Mack powerbombs him for two but can’t follow up and they’re both down again. Another Stundog Millionaire rocks Mack and the running slingshot cutter to the floor (despite Mack’s face not getting close to the floor) sets up a 450 to give Reed two back inside. Back in and Reed can’t hit a powerbomb but Mack can hit the Mack 10 (Pedigree) for the pin at 10:10.
Rating: C+. Reed is someone who has gone from pretty much a goof in MLW to someone who looks sharp every time he is in there as his reputation continues to grow. That is rather cool to see and I could go for seeing more of him. The same is true of Mack, who I believe I remember seeing two years ago and liking then as well. Nice match between two talented people here.
One Called Manders vs. Logan Creed vs. Alex Kane vs. Derek Neal
Sure why not. Neal and Creed knock the other two outside at the bell, followed by the much bigger Creed chopping Neal outside. Kane comes back in to suplex Creed outside, followed by another belly to belly to Manders inside. A Warrior splash hits Manders’ raised knees though and a powerslam puts Kane on the floor. Creed comes back in to beat up Manders and Neal at the same time but a heck of a lariat puts him down.
Another double team puts Kane on the floor, leaving Manders and Neal to strike it out. Creed chokeslams Kane onto the apron but let’s get everyone in the corner for the Tower of Doom. You know, just for fun. Creed is back up for the huge no hands dive onto Manders and Neal but Kane is back up with a German suplex. Kane suplexes Manders down again for the fast pin at 6:29.
Rating: C. It was less hectic than the seven way match earlier and they were able to showcase themselves a little bit better, because, again, we didn’t have seven people in the match at once. Kane has been impressive in the two matches I’ve seen him in and it worked well here too. Creed it big and athletic but his left handed chops and chokeslams are a bit weird. Neal looked better in a singles match yesterday and Manders seemed more about his cowboy deal than anything in the ring.
Daniel Makabe vs. Arik Royal
Royal’s Action Pro Title isn’t on the line. Apparently this has been teased for years now so it is kind of a big deal. Royal bails to the floor to start before heading back inside for the lockup. Neither can get anywhere with a grappling exchange so Makabe takes him to the mat to no avail. Royal gets a headscissors on the mat but Makabe bounces away to grab a headlock.
That’s reversed into a choke from Royal, who is right back up with a dropkick for two. Makabe tries a waistlock but gets hit in the head to cut him down again. They fight over a small package with neither being able to get the shoulders down so let’s get back up with Royal hitting a spinebuster instead.
Frustration is starting to set in and Makabe makes it worse by hitting his Big Unit right hand. Royal is back with a hard lariat to put them both down and we need a breather. A running dropkick staggers Royal again and Makabe snaps off a Saito suplex for two more. Royal pops up with a sitout powerbomb for a delayed two but Makabe is back with a German suplex for the same.
Makabe gets Cattle Mutilation so Royal has to get a foot over the rope for the break. That leaves Royal mostly done so Makabe goes up top and pulls the knee pads down. The exposed knees only hit mat though and Royal Pounces him (aiming at the knees) to knock him outside. That’s good for a nine and Makabe goes for the arm but Royal punches him in the knee. The claw STO finishes Makabe at 17:24.
Rating: B. This did feel like the kind of big match that they were hyping it up to be. Royal is someone who seemed like little more than a rather confident heel but he looked like someone worth seeing here. Makabe was rather good as well and they had a good match on a fairly big stage. The time helped as well, as you don’t get to see many matches get this kind of time on a show like this more often than not.
Adam Priest vs. Matt Makowski
Feeling out process to start with the smaller Priest not seeming scared to go after him. Makowski sends him into the corner and Priest has to bail to the rope to avoid an armbar attempt. More mat grappling has Priest in trouble as he can’t get away from someone as big as Makowski. A choke is broken up and Priest nails a clothesline, setting up a frog splash to the back. Priest steps on his head in the corner for a bit and hits an elbow to the face for two.
Something like a Scorpion Deathlock has Makowski in trouble but it starts breaking down so Priest ties up one of the arms for a bonus. Back up and Priest grabs the arm but Makowski snaps off a suplex. A hard collision puts both of them down and the referee starts the rather slow count. Makowski flips him into an attempt at a cross armbreaker but Priest stacks him up for two. That’s broken up as well so Priest stacks him up again for the pin at 9:30.
Rating: C+. They were working hard here and it is nice to see Priest get a win given how much they had hyped him up over the last two days. I’m not sure how much of a difference this is going to make for either of them but at least they had a good back and forth match here. That alone should get them some attention, which is kind of the point of a weekend like this one.
O’Shay Edwards vs. Jon Davis
I’ve liked Edwards every time I’ve seen him. Davis isn’t wasting time here and kicks him in the face, setting up a German suplex. A Jackhammer gets two on Edwards and Davis can’t believe the kickout. Edwards gets knocked into the corner and Davis unloads on him with one heavy shot to the head after another.
Back to back slams make Edwards pop up so a sliding lariat gets two on Edwards instead. Edwards is back up with an Oklahoma Stampede for two, followed by some big forearms to the face. Davis grabs a Rock Bottom backbreaker into a Downward Spiral for another near fall but a quick spinebuster gives Edwards two more.
Back up and Davis hits a pop up powerbomb but Edwards counters a piledriver into an Air Raid Crash for two more. A torture rack powerbomb plants Davis for two more and they’re both banged up. Edwards flips him off so Davis kicks him in the chest, only to have Edwards tell him to bring it. Davis does just that but Edwards picks him up for a fire thunder driver and the pin at 10:06.
Rating: B-. Take two hosses and have them beat the fire out of each other for ten minutes. This is a formula that has worked for years and it always will. They knew exactly what they were doing with a match like this and it was fun to see how much both of them could take. Edwards continues to impress and hopefully someone notices that sooner rather than later.
We get the post match show of respect.
Nolan Edward vs. Angelus Lane
Unsanctioned. Nolan brings some friends with him and they have their weapons in hand. That would include barbed wire boards, chairs and let’s throw some thumbtacks in there before the bell too. They lock up to start and take turns rolling the other into the tacks. Back up and they trade forearms to the face until Edward suplexes her onto the tacks. Lane does the same to him and a Russian legsweep puts them both into the tacks.
They head outside to slug it out and let’s beat up security for a bonus. Lane gets in a posting and throws a chair at his head to bust him open. It’s time to go to the bar, where Lane pours water on his face for some waterboarding. With Lane off to find something else, Edward finds a chair to knock her silly again. Now Lane is busted open so Edwards goes after the cut and takes it inside.
Edward drags her through the tacks and slams her onto them for two, with commentary wondering why she would kick out. A door is set up on the bottom rope but Lane is back with a low blow. Something like a Stomp onto the tacks makes it worse for Edward and there is a suplex through the door. The barbed wire board is bridged over two chairs but Edward sends her into the tacks again.
That doesn’t do much good as Saito snaps off a Saito suplex onto the tacks. Lane picks up some wire and wraps it around her knee for a running knee to the head and a near fall. They fight up top but Edwards gets in a few shots to the face. One big one is enough to knock Lane through the barbed wire board and the pin at 11:28.
Rating: D+. I think I’ve made my thoughts on the extreme/this kind of hardcore stuff known before and it is the same today. I’m not big on seeing people doing this kind of thing over and over and it gets old seeing such similar spots over and over. It wasn’t the worst thing and they did a few impressive things, but I really don’t like this kind of thing and it absolutely was not for me.
FinJuice vs. Violence Is Forever
Both are champions but this is non-title and the latter would be Dominic Garrini/Kevin Ku. Garrini and Finlay feel each other out to start so Finlay headlock takeovers him down. That’s reversed into a headlock and Garrini switches into a triangle choke, only to slide over to tag Ku with the hold still on. Robinson comes in and scores with a belly to back before glaring at Garrini. A headlock takeover puts Robinson down for a bit but it’s quickly back to Garrini vs. Finlay.
Garrini hiptosses him into a cross armbreaker attempt but Finlay blocks the full thing. Robinson comes back in and gets slammed onto Garrini for two. It’s time to start in on Garrini’s arm and a double bulldog gives Finlay two. Ku gets knocked off the apron and a double suplex gives Robinson two on Garrini. Back up and Garrini is sent into the corner for some clotheslines and a side slam gets two.
An attempt at a heel hook doesn’t work either as Robinson comes in off the tag and drops an elbow. Robinson’s snap jabs connect but Garrini nails an enziguri, setting up the hot tag to Ku. Everything breaks down as house is cleaned, including Ku hitting a jumping knee off the apron. Garrini comes back in a bit too early and gets caught in something like a Magic Killer for two. A hiptoss sends Robinson into Finlay in the corner and Total Elimination gives Ku two.
FinJuice is back up to send Garrini outside and it’s a PowerPlex for two on Ku. Garrini shoves Robinson off the top though and it’s a jumping knee into Chasing the Dragon for a close two on Finlay. The slugout it on with Garrini sending Finlay outside and kicking Robinson in the head. Garrini chops FinJuice but Robinson gives him the big left, setting up a Dudley Dog into a Stunner to give Finlay the pin at 17:40.
Rating: B-. The match was pretty good but I’ve never been a fan of either team and it came at the end of a fairly long show. Garrini and Ku were the faces here so it was kind of a surprising result, though I can get why you wouldn’t want the bigger names losing here. They beat each other up rather well, but it just didn’t feel like some kind of dream match like they seemed to hype it up as being.
Respect is shown to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. The action was good for the most part and while I wasn’t big on the hardcore match, most of the show worked out rather well. It was an entertaining event, but a show like this probably shouldn’t be going on for ten matches over three hours. Above all else, this show felt long and that is not the kind of feeling you want with a show like this one. It’s good, but cut out a scramble and another match somewhere in there to make it work better.
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