Date: March 30, 2023
Location: Ukranian Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Jack Farmer, Slice Boogie
This is from Santino (not Marella) Brothers Wrestling, which I have at least heard of, making it worthy of a look this weekend. That could make for a variety of possibilities here, though I have no idea what to expect coming in. We could be in for almost anything here and hopefully that makes for a good show. Let’s get to it.
Note that I do not follow the promotion so I’m coming in blind. I apologize in advance for anything I miss involving backstory, character details etc.
The ring announcer welcomes us to the show and runs down the card.
Eli Everfly vs. Kidd Bandit
Everfly wears a fly mask to the ring and Bandit is the Techno Witch. This is teacher vs. student with Everfly (teacher) jumping Bandit to start. The big dive to the floor drops Bandit but a DDT plants Everfly back inside. Everfly is fine enough to kick Bandit in the face but charges into a kick to the head as well. Sliced Bread on the apron drops Bandit though and a jumping knee gets two.
An exchange of kicks rock each other inside until Bandit’s Angel Killer (something out of an electric chair) is countered into a tiger suplex for two. A double underhook destroyer (ouch) gives Everfly two more but Bandit gives him a spinning kick to the head. The Angel Killer (One Winged Angel) onto the knee finishes Everfly at 7:24, despite the referee stopping for some reason between two and three.
Rating: C. Pretty standard independent style match here and that’s all it needed to be. Having a bit of a story with the student vs. teacher thing worked well, but it was more about two people doing moves to each other until one of them won. Bandit is booked all over the weekend so there might be something there, though this was just an ok showcase.
Big Dick Hoss vs. Koto Hiro vs. El Primohenio vs. Alec Tomas vs. Richie Coy vs. Ray Rosas
For an Inner City Title shot. Hoss is a monster cowboy, Hiro looks like Ultimo Dragon if you deflated him to about 80% size, Tomas is proud of being Armenian, Coy is flamboyant and Rosas is a former champion (and a replacement for the injured Rob S*** (yes I said Rob S***)). It’s a brawl to start with Hoss planting Rosas and tossing Tomas for a bonus.
Hoss is sent to the floor though and Coy comes in with a high crossbody to Primohenio. La Mistica into a Fujiwara armbar has Primohenio in trouble but Rosas makes the save. Hiro sweeps Rosas’ leg out and a springboard spinning bulldog makes it worse. Tomas plants Hiro though and adds a tiger bomb for two. Primohenio comes back in with a top rope Sling Blade and a dropkick hits Tomas for a bonus.
Hoss has to pull the referee out (no DQ in a scramble) so Rosas goes after him for a change. Hoss cleans house until everyone goes after him one after another. Five stereo knees to the face has Hoss knocked silly before it’s time for the parade of suplexes and drops on the head. Tomas Blue Thunder Bombs Coy for two with Rosas making the save. Rosas moonsaults onto almost everyone else at ringside, followed by a spear to Primohenio. A top rope elbow connects to give Rosas the pin at 7:55.
Rating: C+. I’m not big on scramble matches but it is nice to see one where you could see people standing out a bit, with Rosas feeling like a star. Other than that, Hoss felt like a monster but he only had one rush of dominance. That left four people who didn’t really make an impression, but at least Rosas, who felt like the most complete star here, got to look good.
Raunchy Rico vs. Tyler Bateman
Rico has his manager Damien Arsenick in his corner. Before the match, Arsenick does an Andy Kaufman bit of introducing the fans to soap and deodorant. This goes well with the water that Arsenick keeps spraying on Rico so they have a gimmick! Rico says that he respects Bateman and goes into Spanish, seemingly saying he’ll win. Thankfully commentary gives us a quick backstory (Rico cost Bateman a title shot) to give us a reason for this to be taking place. A lot of places don’t do that so well done on the important touch.
We get the Big Match Intros and Arsenick DOES NOT want to be called the water boy. They go to the mat to start (commentary is surprised) and Rico needs a breather on the floor. Back in and Bateman knocks him to the apron for a strike off, with Arsenick offering a quick leg trip.
Bateman is fine enough to chop away in the corner but Rico hits a running shoulder to the ribs. A neckbreaker keeps Bateman down but we do pause for a quick water break. Bateman grabs a suplex for a breather and an elbow to the face puts Rico down again. This Is A Kill (Tombstone) gives Bateman the pin at 8:50.
Rating: C+. They beat each other up well enough, with the Water Boy stuff being a cute enough bonus. Bateman feels like a monster and the Tombstone was good enough to look like an appropriate finisher. Rico didn’t exactly show much, though he hit hard and had enough of a presence. Nice slightly more violent match here and it worked.
Bomb Squad vs. Lucas Riley/Dom Kubrick
The Squad is Cameron Gates/DKC, with Gates talking about how special it is for him to be back with his best friend. Riley and Kubrick come out to Dancing Queen so they’re already awesome. DKC goes with the grappling to Kubrick to start but Kubrick takes him into the corner for some chops. Gates comes in and misses a charge at Riley, who dropkicks him down without much trouble.
It’s back to DKC to take Riley down and crank on the arms, only to have Riley slip out fast. Kubrick comes in and is promptly double flapjacked and dropkicked as the Squad is way ahead on continuity here. Another tag brings Riley back in and some kicks start to work on DKC’s arms in an effort to slow down the chops. DKC gets flipped into a faceplant but Kubrick can’t decide to cover or tag. Instead Kubrick goes up and misses a moonsault Swanton (that looked cool, minus the crash).
Gates comes in to pick up the pace with a wacky double takedown, meaning it’s already time to go back to DKC. Everything breaks down and DKC gets monkey flipped into a sitout powebomb (that was sweet) for another near fall. Gates has to save DKC on top and it’s a powerbomb/top rope Rough Ryder combination for two on Riley. Kubrick and Riley fire off superkicks to Gates but DKC takes a big one himself, taking the bullet for Gates in a way. The Cutter 99 (assisted springboard cutter and I believe that’s the name) finishes DKC at 14:11.
Rating: B-. This was an interesting dynamic as Riley and Kubrick weren’t full time partners (though they did have a history) while the Squad was trying to get back on the same page after time apart. It was good action throughout and that assisted cutter was a good looking finisher. Nice match here with Riley and Kubrick having a chance to move up the ladder to a bigger stage at some point.
Post match Gates and DKC are upset but ok, only to have Big Dick Hoss (Gates’ former stablemate) come out for a distraction. Gates decks DKC from behind to end the team again.
Matt Vandergriff vs. Bad Dude Tito
Tito certainly has charisma as they roll around to start, with Vandergriff getting two off a rollup. The smaller (but still tall) Vandergriff snaps off a hurricanrana to send Tito outside, where the big dive connects as well. Back in and Vandergriff’s dive doesn’t quite work and bangs up his knee. Tito unloads with chops and a cannonball gets two, leaving Tito a bit frustrated.
Vandergriff is fine enough to start striking and flipping away, including knocking Tito down. A top rope dive is speared out of the air though and Vandergriff is down again. A hurricanrana and brainbuster get two on Tito but he’s back up with an enziguri. Vandergriff is sent outside for a dive, followed by a heck of a lariat back inside. The Low Down gives Tito the pin at 8:54.
Rating: C+. This was power vs. speed and both of them looked good throughout. Vandergriff is a nice flier and Tito is someone who can run you over with straight power. Power vs. speed is something that has worked forever in wrestling and it works here too, with a pair of guys who might get another look from someone slightly higher up after some more matches like this one.
We recap the Inner City Title match, with Delilah Doom defending in a triple threat. As well as I can tell, Doom won the title and two other women (Heather Monroe/Johnnie Robbie) want to take it from here. Simple yet effective enough.
Inner City Title: Delilah Doom vs. Johnnie Robbie vs. Heather Monroe
Doom is defending and Monroe earned her title shot before the Coronavirus pandemic so this is a long time in the making. Everyone tries a rollup to start and Robbie is sent outside fast. Monroe sends Doom throat first into the rope though and a neckbreaker gets two. Robbie is back in to send Monroe outside as we’re in the two in/one out formula. Monroe comes back in and gets dropped just as fast, leaving the other two to slug it out.
Everyone is back in now with Robbie hitting some double knees on Doom in the corner. Monroe gets back up and is taken down by Doom’s springboard Codebreaker to put everyone down again. They slug it out from their knees with Doom getting the better of things as they get back to their feet. A double Stunner drops both challengers and it’s a double 619 to send Monroe and Robbie outside.
Back to back suicide dives send them into the chairs, followed by a double missile dropkick back inside. Something close to a Widow’s Peak hits Monroe but Robbie is up with a neckbreaker for two on Doom. Monroe is back up and gets German suplexed back down to give Robbie two.
Doom goes up but gets caught in a Tower of Doom, with Monroe slamming Robbie onto Doom for a double two (which would have given Robbie the title as she was covering Doom without the shoulders being on the mat). Robbie knocks Monroe off the top so Doom takes her place, setting up a super victory roll to retain the title at 13:03.
Rating: B. This was a hard fought match with some rather strong action throughout. All three of them stood out and there were times where I wasn’t sure who was going to win. All three of them got to show off a bit here and I could go for seeing more of all three. Best match of the show so far and it was a rather nice surprise.
Post match Ray Rosas comes out to hold up the title….and then lay Doom out. The fans are NOT pleased but Rosas says it’s all their fault. He gives them everything he had and then when he took some time off to heal up, the fans moved on. Rosas puts on a seated full nelson (kind of like a Crossface) until security breaks it up.
Che Cabrera (Santino Brothers Champion) and Damien Arsenick are ready for Willie Mack.
Santino Brothers Title: Che Cabrera vs. Willie Mack
Mack is challenging and Cabrera has Damien Arsenick. Feeling out process to start with Mack moving around until Cabrera works on a wristlock. That’s reversed into a headlock, which is reversed into Cabrerea’s hammerlock. Back up and an armdrag sends Cabrera into the corner, followed by a middle rope armdrag to put him down again. They fight outside with Cabrera getting some water, earning himself some hard chops into the crowd.
Back in and Cabrera jumps over Mack to set up a heck of a running shoulder. An eye poke has Mack in more trouble but he sends Cabrera outside again. The suicide dive sends Mack flying into a chair though and we pause for more water spraying. Back in and Mack starts getting fired up and drops Cabrera with a spinwheel kick.
Mack’s spinning back elbow sets up the swinging slam and there’s the running reverse cannonball (which didn’t seem to make much contact). The Samoan drop into the standing moonsault but the Stunner is countered into a Death Valley Driver. Cabrera drapes him over the top for a swinging neckbreaker and the kickout means it’s time for the frustration.
A nasty slingshot DDT plants Mack for two more (with the referee’s hand hitting the mat as Mack’s shoulder was up at the very last second). Mack manages a high collar suplex and sends Cabrera outside for the running flip dive. Back in and Arsenick sprays water in Mack’s eyes, allowing Cabrera to snap off a super hurricanrana. A Jackhammer retains the title at 16:20.
Rating: B-. This was a hard hitting match with both of them working hard, though it went a bit longer than it needed to as they had gotten the point across. Arsenick interfering wasn’t exactly a hot finish, but I do like Cabrera having to do his own big moves after the cheating to retain. Cabrera didn’t exactly let the world on fire but for a tough champion, I’ve seen worse options.
Post match the beatdown is on with Raunchy Rico coming in for the beatdown. Matt Vandergriff and Tyler Bateman come in but get taken down as well. Arsenick yells about how no one can hang with Cabrera, including Slice Boogie on commentary. Boogie’s bad leg can’t help him but he grabs a chair and runs in to piledrive Arsenick. Boogie says he had to vacate the title because of his injury so on July 29, he’s coming for Cabrera.
Overall Rating: B-. It’s cool to see a promotion with so many of its own unique stars and only a handful who have been around in any prominent spot. Outside of Mack, there were only so many names who have been around elsewhere and that made things more fun. There wasn’t anything bad on the show and some of the matches were quite good, so well done on a showcase from a promotion that doesn’t get a lot of attention. The women’s triple threat was especially good and they even set up something for their next big show. Nice job all around here.
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