WrestleCon: USA vs. The World
Date: April 2, 2022
Location: Fairmont Hotel, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Veda Scott
This is about as obvious of an idea as you can get: take a bunch of wrestlers from WrestleCon weekend and put them in a bunch of matches, one country vs. the rest. This show has a tendency to be one of the weaker of the WrestleCon offerings but there are some talented people on the card. Let’s get to it.
Warrior Wrestling Lucha Libre Title: Sam Adonis (USA) vs. La Hiedra (World) vs. Mr. Iguana (World) vs. Golden Dragon (World)
Adonis is defending and this is one fall to a finish. Iguana jumps on Adonis’ back to start, allowing Dragon to hit a superkick. Hiedra goes after Iguana, who fights her off using the magic of his hand puppet. Adonis is back in with a Death Valley Driver as Scott tries to figure out if an iguana is a reptile or an amphibian. Dragon comes back in to clear the ring so Hiedra armdrags him to the floor. Back in and Adonis shrugs off Hiedra chops before dropping her with one shot.
That just earns him a low blow into a DDT, setting up a low bridge to send Adonis outside. Using Iguana as a helping hand, Hiedra walks the ropes to dive onto Adonis for the big crash. Back in and Iguana headscissors dragon down but gets caught with a slingshot reverse suplex for two. Adonis comes back in but Hiedra breaks up a superplex by turning it into a Tower of Doom. Iguana catches Dragon with a spinning DDT but Dragon counters a super hurricanrana into a sitout powerbomb for two of his own. Adonis is back in with a kiss and punch to Hiedra, followed by a 450 to Dragon to retain the title at 8:03.
Rating: C+. This was the kind of lucha four way that you start a show with to crank up the energy and that is what they had here. Adonis is a rather good heel that you want to see get taken down but he escapes with the title while being quite the despicable person. Iguana seems to be quite the popular gimmick star and Dragon is a smaller luchador who should be fine. Hiedra did her stuff quite well too, making this a rather fun opener.
USA – 1
World – 0
Jessica Troy (World) vs. Rachael Ellering (USA)
They shake hands to start and we’re ready to go, with Ellering taking her into the corner without much trouble. With that not being to her liking, Troy takes it to the mat for an armbar and the grappling begins. With an assortment of cranking not working, they get back up, this time with Ellering casually tossing her with a release gutwrench suplex. Troy pops back up and hits a springboard wristdrag out of the corner, setting up some running knees for two.
Back up and Ellering snaps off some chops, which has the fans rather pleased. Troy gets sent into the corner for two as the beating is on. The backsplash gives Ellering two and she might be getting a bit frustrated. Back up and Troy avoids a charge and hits some running shots in the corner, setting up a top rope tornado DDT for two. It’s time to go after Ellering’s arm, including what looked to be a Shayna Baszler style stomp.
The cross armbreaker is blocked though and Ellering is back with a spinebuster for two as the pace is picking way up. Troy grabs a Codebreaker onto the arm and they’re both down again. They strike it out (with Troy wisely staying on the arm) until Ellering has to roll her way out of a Fujiwara armbar. Troy slaps it right back on and cranks even more but this time Ellering sends her outside. Back in and a swinging Boss Man Slam gives Ellering two, leaving her rather annoyed. A powerbomb is countered into another Fujiwara armbar but Ellering counters the counter into a cradle for the pin at 15:00.
Rating: B. Oh yeah this worked rather well and came off as a star making performance from Troy. Both women were working hard here and they had a story with Ellering as the powerhouse and Troy trying to take her down piece by piece. I got pulled into this one and it was a heck of a match which might even be hard for the rest of the show to top. Check out more Troy, as she seems rather good.
USA – 2
World – 0
Davey Richards (USA) vs. Mike Bailey (World)
Respect is shown before the match and they go straight to the mat grappling. The test of strength fight goes on with both of them being flipped over. Richards starts cranking on the arm and chokes a bit, with Bailey flipping backwards into a choke of his own. Bailey cranks on the arm until Richards gets to the ropes and kicks Bailey’s arm into it to take over. A kneebar over the ropes has Bailey in trouble, though the idea of Bailey selling anything on his knee is hilarious.
Back in and Richards grabs a modified Tequila Sunrise to stay on the leg, followed by the hard kicks to the chest. They slug it out until Bailey hits his rapid fire kicks (I knew it) and sends him outside for the dive. More kicks set up the running corkscrew shooting star press for two on Richards but he’s right back up with another leglock. The rope is eventually grabbed so they head to the apron for kicks to the chest.
Bailey gets dragon screw legwhipped in the ropes, but is right back up with a standing moonsault knees to the chest because MIKE BAILEY DOES NOT SELL KNEES EVER BECAUSE THIS IS FREAKING DUMB! Bailey goes up top so Richards joins him for an exchange of headbutts and a top rope superplex brings Bailey back down. Back up and they slug it out, with Bailey firing off more kicks.
Richards pulls one into an ankle lock, which is probably just going to recharge Bailey at this point. With that broken up, Richards hits a top rope double stomp for two, followed by a brainbuster for the same. The ankle lock is broken up and Bailey sends him into the corner for…..bear with me….a double spinning kick to the face, setting up the Ultimate Weapon (shooting star knees to the back) for the pin on Richards at 14:35.
Rating: D. That’s as high as I can go and yes I’m sure I’ll get a lot of eye rolls. I understand the idea of getting your stuff in and MOVEZ but this was a total waste of Richards’ time. He spent the better part of ten minutes working the leg and Bailey is literally up flipping and bouncing around with no trouble or issues whatsoever. Bailey was around multiple times during the week and this might have been the best selling job he did, at least in matches I’ve seen. This was dumb and I feel bad for wasting my time on it.
USA – 2
World – 1
Caleb Konley/Flip Gordon/Gringo Loco (USA) vs. Aeroboy/Arez/Aramis (World)
Gordon and Aeroboy start things off with Aeroboy taking him to the mat for a quickly broken headscissors. Gordon counters a headscissors but gets hurricanranaed down. Aramis comes in so Gordon bounces around with a series of nipups. It’s off to Loco for more flipping but he gets sent outside rather quickly. Arez and Konley come in for an exchange of takedowns and, believe it or not, flips.
A kick to the head drops Konley so it’s Loco coming in, only to get hurricanranaed. Aeroboy comes back in to grab a running cutter as everything breaks down. We settle down to Gordon suplexing Aramis for two and handing it back to Konley for a belly to back. Gordon grabs an STF (Submit To Flip) and his partners grab holds of their own. With that broken up, Aeroboy gets caught in the wrong corner for the triple teaming. Everything breaks down and the World team all hit dives to the floor.
Back in and a double stomp into a Swanton gets a triple cover near fall on Konley, with Loco making the save. The Americans are back up for their own series of dives, including Loco hitting a step up flip dive to the floor. Aramis hits his own flip dive to drop the pile but Gordon kicks him right back down. Back in and Gordon misses a 450, setting up a torture rack powerbomb to give Aramis the pin (as his partners get their own covers at the same time) at 14:56.
Rating: C+. This was the kind of six man insanity that you would expect from a lucha show. The World team looked great and were flying around as well as you could ask them to. Gordon continues to be someone who seemed ready to break through to the next level but it never exactly did. Konley is a good hand anywhere he goes and Loco is rather good as a high flier. Fun match and that’s what it was supposed to be.
USA – 2
World – 2
WorkHorsemen (USA) vs. Extreme Tiger/Bandido (World)
Tiger takes Henry down to start and gets a middle finger for his efforts, which will certainly help American and Mexican relations. Henry takes him down by the leg but gets pulled into a surfboard. That’s broken up as well and they spin up to a standoff. Tiger snapmares him into the corner and Henry is looking a bit frustrated. They go chest to chest before handing it off to Bandido and the bigger Drake.
Bandido gets shouldered down but he’s back up with a flip to annoy Drake a bit. Back up and Drake jumps over Bandido for a change, setting up a hurricanrana to stun the fans. Drake gets sent outside though and it’s Henry coming in to chop at Tiger. Back in and Drake grabs a chinlock for a bit before unloading with chops in the corner. A Shining Wizard gives Henry two but Drake misses the Vader Bomb, allowing the hot tag to Bandido.
That means a top rope twisting dive onto the Drake and Henry, setting up a running hurricanrana to Henry. Tiger comes back in and spins Henry around in a Tumbleweed for two but Drake runs Tiger and Bandido over with a double clothesline. Henry dropkicks Tiger into a belly to back suplex and Bandido’s 21 Plex is broken up. Instead, Bandido grabs a pop up cutter on Henry before chopping it out with Drake. For some reason Drake goes up and Bandido gorilla presses him down (because of course he can do that), setting up the 21 Plex for the pin at 16:08.
Rating: B. This was a nice mesh of two styles as you have the old school southern style team with Drake and Henry (or close to that style at least) against the lucha team. It worked well here, as Bandido’s strength continues to be nothing short of uncanny. Good match here and I was getting more into it than I expected by the end.
World – 3
USA – 2
Calvin Tankman (USA) vs. Big Damo (World)
This is a hoss fight, with Tankman from MLW and Damo being better known as Killian Dain. They go with the power lockups to start and neither get anywhere. The running shoulders don’t work either so Damo kicks him in the ribs for some more success. Back up and Tankman hits a flying shoulder to put Damo on the floor, meaning it’s time for a strike off. They head back inside, where Tankman forearms him into the corner.
Damo is right back with a running dropkick into another corner, setting up the neck crank. Tankman fights up for a slam into a splash for two but Damo hits a running crossbody for the double knockdown. Back up and Damo knocks him into the corner, only to miss another Vader bomb. Tankman scores with a spinning back elbow, setting up the Tankman Driver (over the shoulder piledriver) for the pin at 9:06.
Rating: C. They went with the simple and classic idea here of having two big men beat on each other until one of them couldn’t get up. Tankman is a huge guy but moves very well, while Damo is more of your big pounding brawler. It wasn’t a great match but it was a fun one and that is enough to work.
USA – 3
World – 3
Rev Pro Cruiserweight Title: Michael Oku (World) vs. Rich Swann (USA)
Oku is defending and the fans are split to start. Swann grabs a quickly broken headlock and sticks the landing on a hurricanrana for a standoff. Oku’s headlock works a bit better and he runs Swann over to take control for the first time. Some stomping in the corner sets up a chinlock, which is broken up just as quickly. Swann hits a running dropkick to rock the champ as a NEW CHAMP/OLD CHANT chant off begins.
A running kick to the back of the head gives Swann two and it’s off to something like a seated abdominal stretch. They head outside with Swann putting him in a chair and running around the ring for a boot to the face. Swann tries to do it again but this time gets cut off with a dropkick. Oku can’t follows up and gets chinlocked back inside, which of course triggers the comeback.
A jumping DDT drops Swann and a missile dropkick gets two. Swann kicks him back down and hits a rolling splash for two but the middle rope 450 misses. There’s a springboard moonsault to give Oku two and the half crab (his signature) goes on. Swann bails out to the floor so Oku is right after him with a running flip dive.
Back up and Swann kicks him down from the apron, followed by a spinning kick to the face back inside. They slug it out until Oku hits a spinning kick to the head into a Codebreaker. A frog splash gives Oku two but Swann is fine enough to pull him off the top. Swann loads up a missile dropkick but dives into the half crab for the tap to retain Oku’s title at 19:34.
Rating: B. Main event worthy match here between two bigger names. Oku is someone who has done rather well in the times that I have seen him, even if the half crab is a bit of a stretch as a major finisher. Swann is going to give you a good match no matter what he is doing so they set this up well and then paid it off even better.
World – 4
USA – 3
Respect is shown post match. Oku grabs the mic and thanks Swann for the match while getting the fans to thank him as well. Swann says if someone has heart like Oku, it doesn’t matter where you’re from because you can inspire people with professional wrestling.
Overall Rating: B. Mike Bailey’s no-selling nonsense aside, this was a rather good show and a lot better than I would have bet on. The previous USA vs. the World was little more than a “well, if I have nothing else to do” show but this had multiple matches that pulled me in and got me interested. They put on a good show here with a minimal concept behind it and that’s impressive, so nice job.
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