For The Culture 2021
Date: April 8, 2021
Location: Cuban Club, Tampa, Florida
Commentator: Big Perc
We continue the Wrestlemania weekend run with our first offering from the Collective. This is from Game Changer Wrestling which has some rather unique options at times. They have a rather solid collection of talent from what I’ve seen so far, which could make for a pretty awesome show. Let’s get to it.
No intro video (as expected with an indy show) and we’re already on the ring.
AC Mack vs. Mysterious Q vs. D-Rogue vs. Rob Martyr vs. Alpha Zo vs. Troy Hollywood
Scramble match, meaning one fall to a finish. Mack isn’t happy with not getting to do his own entrance so he handles it himself and we starts in a hurry with only Mack being named. Mack gets knocked down to start and Q takes nails a running hurricanrana. We settle down to Mack not being able to hit his weird Pedigree on Martyr. Instead he elbows Martyr to the floor but Q is back in with a German suplex.
Zo comes in to suplex Q for a change as I keep trying to figure out who all is in this. Rogue starts to clean house with a bunch of slaps and the big dive takes everyone out on the floor. Commentary gets in the eternal debate over whether the apron or the post is the harder part of the ring (it’s the post) as Zo and Martyr get inside on their own. Martyr German suplexes Zo down but Rogue is in with a heck of a clothesline to take Martyr’s head off.
Rogue loads Martyr up in an electric chair but here is Q with a springboard cutter, which mostly makes contact. Hollywood is back in for the running knees in the corner, followed by a frog splash for two on Q with Mack and Zo making the save. Zo blasts Mack with a rolling forearm but Q is back up with a torture rack airplane spin before changing directions to powerbomb Zo for another near fall. Hollywood gives Q a fireman’s carry gutbuster for the pin at 8:22. Commentary is STUNNED at the result.
Rating: C. What are you supposed to say here? They had six people flying around all over the place and it isn’t like anyone really got to showcase themselves. To be fair though, it was not supposed to be anything more than a bunch of spots with one person after another getting to do their thing. It might not be the highest quality, but it was an entertaining match and that’s all it was supposed to be.
Thick N Juicy 2.0 vs. Fire N Flava
Fire N Flava’s Impact Knockouts Tag Team Titles aren’t on the line and this would be Willow Nightingale/Brooke Valentine vs. Kiera Hogan/Tasha Steelz. Before the match, Fire N Flava insult the other two, including Faye Jackson, who is injured and planning to retire. Actually they’ll even do us a favor and make this a title match.
Knockouts Tag Team Titles: Fire N Flava vs. Thick N Juicy 2.0
Fire N Flava is defending and jump Thick N Juicy before the bell. Some big boots put the champs down and Hogan is slammed onto Steelz for two. Nightingale grabs a front facelock on Steelz as we hear about how strong Nightingale is. Commentary: “The hood version of that: she will f*** anybody up.” A very delayed suplex gets two on Steelz but she is back up with some chops in the corner.
Nightingale kicks her in the face for two more and some running hip attacks in the corner crush Steelz again. Hogan comes in and rakes the eyes to take over and a neckbreaker gets two on Valentine. A running basement dropkick in the corner hits Valentine for two more and we hit the chinlock. That’s broken up so Steelz tags herself back in, allowing Valentine to fall away slam Hogan into her. Steelz catches her and since Valentine is laying down on the mat, Hogan gets dropped onto her for a splash.
Valentine powers out of a camel clutch into an electric chair and the hot tag brings in Nightingale to clean house. A Pounce sends Steelz outside and gives us a record for Monty Brown references in a five second span. Valentine spears Steelz in half but Hogan is back with a kick to the head. A Death Valley Driver plants Hogan but Steelz is back with a cutter for two on Nightingale. Hogan superkicks Nightingale and the fisherman’s neckbreaker is enough to retain the titles at 10:00.
Rating: D+. This was pretty messy and that should not be such a problem with a team from Impact. It doesn’t help that Fire N Flava are only so good in the first place and were in there against two women who have never teamed before. The match wasn’t terrible but they really needed to cut out about two minutes to make it work a good bit better.
Fire N Flava dance A LOT to celebrate.
PB Smooth vs. Jon Davis
Smooth is about 6’9 and a playboy while Davis is a monster and formerly part of the Dark City Fight Club a LONG time ago. They shove each other around to start as commentary puts over a battle of the generations, which is a lot more than you would expect to get out of a one off indy show. Davis gets the better of things and stomps him down, setting up the big clubbing shots to the back.
Smooth manages to get in a heck of a big boot to drop Davis and some kind of slam gets two on Davis. Some big shots to the head rock Smooth and Davis grabs a heck of a spinebuster (with commentary quoting Batista’s theme song for a nice touch). Smooth can’t hit a chokeslam but he can hit a claw STO for two, followed by a sitout chokebomb for two. Back up and Davis slugs away, including a stomp to the head to break up a sunset flip. A piledriver finishes Smooth at 8:17.
Rating: C. It wasn’t meant to be anything more than a power brawl and that’s what we got. They even told a story with Smooth being too cocky to deal with the much more seasoned and serious Davis. The piledriver at the end was a bit scary as Davis didn’t have him incredibly secured, but it was a nice change of pace after everything else they have been doing for the rest of the show.
Calvin Tankman vs. Andy Brown vs. Myron Reed vs. Jah-C
Tankman and Reed are both from MLW. The rather large Tankman shoves people around to start but some triple teaming puts him down. Reed dropkicks Brown to the floor and Jah is back in with a dropkick to Brown. That gives us the staredown between Reed and Jah with Reed missing a double stomp but hitting something like a reverse Sling Blade. Tankman is back in to clear the ring in a hurry but Jah manages to superkick him down.
Two more superkicks have Tankman in trouble so he rolls to the floor for a breather. Brown is back in with a Superman forearm to Jah but Reed knocks him to the floor. Reed’s suicide dive drops Brown again and he brings Brown back in for an F5, with Brown’s feet (intentionally) getting caught on top to make it a hanging drop.
Brown is right back up with an AA into a backbreaker for two on Reed but Jah spears Brown to the floor. They head to the apron with Brown hitting a piledriver but Reed is back with a slingshot cutter. Back in and Reed misses the 450, leaving Tankman to spinebuster Brown, setting up the spinning backfist to the back of the head. The Tankman Driver (something like a Steiner Screwdriver) finishes Brown at 8:43.
Rating: C. I can see why Tankman would get this much of a push as the guy is a monster who can move and you will always see someone like that get pushed. Reed is going to get a job somewhere a lot bigger than MLW one day with the potential he has and that was on display here. Fun match, but again you’re only getting so much out of a four way like this.
Bryan Keith vs. Darius Lockhart
Keith misses a big right hand to start and Lockhart waves his finger no. Lockhart takes him down into an armbar and they go to an exchange of submission attempts on the mat. Back up and Keith blasts him with a kick to the chest to take over. A Rock Bottom backbreaker gives Keith two as we hear about the wrestlers these people have faced before.
More kicks have Lockhart in crumbling in the corner but he comes back with a chop. A heck of a clothesline drops Keith again and the comeback is on in a hurry. Back to back t-bone suplexes send Keith flying and a high crossbody gets two more. An enziguri sends Keith into the corner but he comes out with a DDT. Lockhart hits a running knee in the corner into a belly to back flipped into a faceplant for the pin at 11:28.
Rating: C+. Nice stuff here and probably the best match of the night so far. Lockhart is rather smooth in the ring and Keith looked rather good as well. It was nice to see a run of the mill and much more traditional match after all of the fast paced stuff so far and that is what we got here. I could go for a bit more of both of these guys and that is after seeing Keith twice today.
Post match, Keith won’t shake hands but he will give the black power salute, a Lockhart signature.
Tre LaMar vs. Eli Knight
LaMar starts in on the arm but gets knocked down, allowing Knight to load up a superkick. Said superkick doesn’t actually launch though as Knight pats him on the head instead. LaMar is ready for a dropkick so Knight enziguris him to the floor again. Back in and LaMar kicks him down, setting up a quick splash for two. A seated abdominal stretch has Knight in more trouble but he counters a crossbody into a gutbuster.
An exploder suplex puts LaMar down again but Knight is favoring his back. They strike it out until Knight hits a springboard moonsault press. LaMar sends him outside for a suicide dive but Knight is back in with a springboard dropkick from the bottom rope. That sends LaMar outside again and there’s the running flip dive. Back in and Knight hits a moonsault for two and he doesn’t seem sure what to do next.
LaMar nails a Pele kick for another double knockdown and they both seem a bit banged up. They go up top with Knight being backdropped down but sticking the landing, allowing him to hit a running enziguri. A super poisonrana doesn’t work as LaMar lands on his feet (mostly) and hits a running Mushroom Stomp. LaMar puts him in a torture rack into a backbreaker, setting up a Liontamer for the pin at 11:50.
Rating: C+. These guys were working hard and putting in the effort, which worked out rather well for both of them. They are both rather young but they did their things well enough and the ending with a submission was kind of a surprise. It was nice to see them mix it up a bit, even if most of the match was your usual indy fair.
JTG vs. AJ Gray
You probably would not recognize JTG here as he is in regular gear and has put on all kinds of muscle. This is Gray’s show and he starts fast with a heck of a clothesline for two. JTG needs a breather on the floor because he does not seem to know what he got himself into. Back in and JTG takes him down to hammer away with right hands to the face. A hard whip into the corner drops Gray again and JTG drives in some shoulders to the ribs in the corner.
There’s the reverse Sling Blade for two and JTG starts hammering away. The chinlock doesn’t last long so JTG tries it again, only to have Gray jawbreak his way to freedom. Gray is back with a few right hands to set up a nice moonsault for two more. Back up and JTG hits a ripcord lariat for two of his own but Gray slips out of a Razor’s Edge. An enziguri sets up a leg lariat and Gray nails a superplex for two more. Another lariat blasts JTG for one so Gray hits another. That’s not enough for a cover as Gray grabs an Emerald Flosion for the pin at 13:55.
Rating: B-. I’m sorry what now? JTG could do this and looks like that? I’m not sure I can get my head around something like this and I’m rather confused by the idea that the only thing they could do with him is the Cryme Tyme stuff. His employment was a running joke for years and then he can pull off a match like this while looking like that? I really don’t get it and that’s a nice feeling to have.
Post match, one of the commentators named Billy gets in and chairs Gray down. They’re facing each other at another show this weekend so Billy yells about Gray disrespecting him by not being in some match. Billy rants about Gray not paying attention to the right talent and wants to prove that the Truth (Gray) is a lie. This was a fine way to set up a match, but it’s 2am and we have two matches left so can we pick up the pace a bit?
Lio Rush vs. Lee Moriarty
Moriarty is a heck of a technician. Feeling out process to start and they take their time to get going here. Moriarty grabs the hammerlock and Rush can’t spin his way to freedom. Rush makes the rope instead and heads outside for a breather. That makes Moriarty give chase and they change places, with Rush hitting a dive. Back in and Moriarty starts going after the arm but Rush starts doing his rather cool dodges.
Moriarty manages to get hold of the arm and ties his legs around it for some cranking. The cranking continues with Moriarty using his own arms for a change and then bending backwards to pull on the arm even more. Rush comes back with some shots to the face and a belly to back suplex puts Moriarty down again. An ax kick has Rush in trouble but Moriarty hits a sliding kick to the face to break up a handspring.
Rush uses a Tajiri style kick to send him to the floor though and a VERY fast suicide dive connects (which scaring the heck out of a fan on their phone). Back in and Rush’s springboard Stunner is countered into a rear naked choke, which is broken up again so Rush can hit a cutter. Back up and they slug it out, with Rush looking very frustrated that he can’t put Moriarty down.
Moriarty grabs the arm and pulls him into a mousetrap for…..well about seven or eight but the referee says no. You can hear the fans booing as Rush goes up top and kicks Moriarty down, setting up the Rush Hour frog splash for two. Moriarty is right back with a rather aggressive rollup for the pin at 16:50.
Rating: C+. This was a match where you could see both guys being at a higher level than most wrestlers on the show. Moriarty winning is a good idea as it isn’t like Rush is going to be hurt by losing a competitive match on a show like this. Rush is someone who has been a star on the big stage and will be fine in the future. On the other hand, Moriarty needs some attention and given how talented he is, odds are he will be getting it sooner than later.
2 Cold Scorpio vs. Rich Swann
The entrances involve a lot of dancing, as you might expect. Scorpio drives him up against the ropes and dances away a bit. They settle down again and Scorpio spins around into a cravate as commentary tries to figure out why Scorpio doesn’t have a coaching job somewhere (fair question).
Swann is sent outside and the hip swiveling begins from Scorpio, which has commentary rather excited. Back in and Scorpio works on a headlock to grind Swann down a bit. Swann sends him outside for a change and it’s time for some Alex Wright style dancing. Back in again and Swann grabs a DDT to take over, followed by the required armbarring.
Scorpio fights that off and nails some German suplexes to send Swann flying, followed by the two count. One heck of a clothesline drops Swann again and there’s a spinwheel kick to put Swann down again. The flipping legdrop sets up a middle rope Tumbleweed for two. Swann is back up and manages to knock Scorpio outside, setting up something like the Phoenix splash to the apron.
Back in and a frog splash gives Swann two more but Scorpio knocks him down again. The Tumbleweed, with Scorpio landing on Swann’s face, only gets two. Swann has had it and kicks him down, setting up a middle rope 450 for two. The Phoenix splash to the back finishes Scorpio at 17:45.
Rating: C. This was a good main event in a battle of the generations but there is something to be said about matches that start before 2:30AM. You could tell that the crowd was completely done, even though they were seeing something special. I have been a fan of Scorpio for the better part of thirty years and it is always cool to see him, especially when he can still go pretty well in the ring. The match was longer than it needed to be though and that hurt things a good bit.
Overall Rating: C+. I had a better time than I was expecting with this show and there was some good stuff throughout. You had cool stuff like Scorpio to the downright bizarre like JTG looking like/having a good match and that’s a nice mixture for any show. Again though, starting it at midnight was a bit too much, as things didn’t wrap up until nearly 3AM and that’s a bit late to be having a match. Good show though, and I had some fun with the whole thing.
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