April 2, 2016
From Eddie Deen’s Ranch in Dallas, TX
Your hosts are Rob Naylor and Lenny Leonard
This show took place during WrestleMania weekend and featured a few of the promotions (EVOLVE, FIP, SHINE) that are shown on the WWN Live network.
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Chris Hero
This is the final match in Sabre’s “Best in the World Challenge Series.” They start off fighting over a lockup then Sabre hits uppercuts after blocking a cheap shot attempt. Sabre ducks out and Hero follows but Sabre takes him down with another uppercut. Hero comes back with a jab but Sabre ends up catching him with an octopus hold as he bends back Hero’s hand. Back inside, Sabre twists Hero’s leg after catching a kick attempt then goes back to working the arm. Hero gets out as he now works over the arm of Sabre while using his weight to his advantage. Sabre then gets out of that as he is twists Hero’s leg. Sabre avoids a senton and catches Hero in a cross armbreaker but Hero makes it to the ropes. Hero then forces Sabre to the apron and knocks him off as he takes a breather in the ring while stretching out his leg. Hero heads out and knocks him into the guardrail with an elbow smash then looks at the crowd as they applaud. They head back inside where Sabre gets slapped down as he tried to fight back. Sabre gets up but Hero boots him down. Hero tries to put Sabre away with a senton but fails so he hits it again then panders to the crowd. However, he took too long as Sabre twists his arm. Hero then fights back and tosses Sabre into the guardrail. Hero takes his time as he roughs up Sabre before tossing him back inside. Hero kicks Sabre in the face then taunts him to get up as he knocks him down again. Hero toys with Sabre but ends up getting decked. Sabre fires away until Hero catches him with an enziguiri. Hero kips-up but Sabre knocks him into the corner before hitting a pair of running uppercuts. They trade strikes then Sabre hits a tornado DDT before the Penalty Kick gets him a nearfall. Sabre stomps the hand of Hero before working a some sort of modified stump puller in the ropes. They are outside where Sabre keeps attacking the arm, even putting it between a chair and kicking it hard. Sabre attacks the arm with a chair then kicks a seated Hero a few times in the chest. Back inside, Hero boots Sabre to the floor then takes a breather in the ring. Sabre is on the ring as he eggs Hero on to kick him. Hero lands a few bicycle kicks but Sabre keeps yelling. Hero then hits an elbow but charges as Sabre gets inside and takes Hero down. Sabre uses a bridging rollup for two but gets caught with a boot to the face. He places Sabre on top and twists his neck before hitting a cravate driver for two. The crowd starts up a “this is awesome” chant as Hero looks down at Sabre before attacking the neck. Sabre blocks a suplex and tries for a hanging kimura but Hero deadlifts him for a suplex as that gets two. Hero gets pissed over fans chanting for Sabre as he starts drilling him with kicks. Hero sets up for a rolling elbow but Sabre turns it into a cross armbreaker. Hero makes it to the ropes then catches a kick as Sabre lands a bunch of slaps. Hero takes him down then after Sabre dodges a ripcord elbow, Hero snaps off a short piledriver for two. Hero roughs up Sabre for a bit then he allows Sabre to get up and they end up trading moves after that until both men are down. The crowd is going nuts as Hero is up first and tries for a Gotch Piledriver but Sabre pulls himself up and takes Hero down where he works the arm. Sabre uses a few rollups for nearfalls but gets caught with a bicycle kick coming off of the top rope. Hero then hits the Cyclone Kill before he elbows Sabre in the back of the neck three times for the win (26:55) ****1/4. After the match, Hero grabs the mic as Sabre gets helped off. Hero tells us that the “best in the world” is played out and he is the greatest of all-time before dropping the mic after he put everyone on notice.
Thoughts: Excellent match. The story of Hero taking Sabre lightly at first and being sick of the whole “best in the world” concept was great. One small nitpick was that Sabre’s selling was a little spotty at times but overall, this match is definitely worth seeking out. Hero has been fantastic in 2016.
Fred Yehi vs. Drew Gulak w/ Catchpoint
These two go at it aggressively until they are tied up in the ropes. They end up in a stalemate after some matwork then Gulak chops Yehi before hitting a cradle suplex. Gulak now stretches out Yehi and uses a cradle for a nearfall before he stretches him out again. Yehi fights back and chops Gulak down as he keeps kicking and chopping as he is grabbing the arm. They start trading slaps as Yehi wins that battle. They use some counters on the mat until Yehi hits a back suplex then puts on the Koji Clutch. Gulak escapes and tries an ankle lock that Yehi breaks with an upkick as both men are down. Gulak takes Yehi down with a spinning back fist for two then starts stomping away until Yehi blocks a stomp and gets up to hit a cradle suplex for two. Yehi hobbles around and hits a few suplexes but cannot put Gulak away. Yehi’s knee is giving out but he tries to fight through it until Gulak takes him down and locks on a Dragon Sleeper for the win (9:27) ***1/4. After the match, Gulak grabs the mic and puts over Yehi’s potential, stating he can do great things for Catchpoint. Gulak offers a handshake and Yehi accepts. Yehi then hugs the rest of the group as he is their newest member. Gulak then tells us how he first muttered the word “catchpoint” one year ago at the Supershow and now everyone is saying the word. He tells us that catchpoint is a philosophy and the future, stating that its all about competition. Tracy Williams then grabs the mic and talks about seeing competition as he challenges fellow Catchpoint member Matt Riddle to a match.
Thoughts: Good match. Both guys showed a ton of intensity here as the younger Yehi continues to impress in the ring. I liked the story afterwards with Catchpoint offering Yehi a spot then Williams going ahead and challenging Riddle to show how Catchpoint is ready to go at all times. Yehi is a guy to keep an eye out for the future.
“Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams vs. Matt Riddle
Williams works the legs to start. They are both on their feet as Riddle takes Williams down and starts kneeing him in the ribs. Riddle gets dumped outside as Williams flies out with a plancha. He rolls Riddle inside but gets taken off of the apron with a jumping knee strike. Riddle slides out and slaps Williams as the crowd chants “bro” over and over. Back inside, Riddle hits a German Suplex but Williams fights back with chops. He blocks a kick before taking Riddle down with a rolling elbow as he stays in control. Williams gets two with a missile dropkick before applying an octopus hold. He then works it on the mat as Riddle screams. Riddle is able to reach the ropes then Williams lands a few kicks to the chest and gets two with a falling clothesline. Riddle fights back but Williams cuts him off and gets two with a backbreaker. He heads up top but Riddle catches him with a knee strike then hits a fisherman’s buster for a nearfall. Riddle then hits a knee smash from the top but runs into a clothesline as Williams almost puts him away. Riddle counters a piledriver with a sitdown Alabama Slam then locks on the Bromission. Williams kicks Riddle in the face a few times to escape as both men are hurting. Williams ties up Riddle in the ropes and chops away but Riddle starts smiling. Williams charges and hits a dropkick as Riddle remains in the ropes. He hits another dropkick then charges again but Riddle catches him with a cross armbreaker in the ropes. Riddle breaks free then heads up top where Williams cuts him off and hits a DDT for two as Williams cannot believe that did not put him away so he locks on a crossface and that gets the win (12:41) ***3/4. After the match, they both shake hands as Catchpoint celebrates.
Thoughts: A damn good match. The way Riddle has picked up pro wrestling in such a short amount of time has been incredible. As long as he keeps his head straight, he should be a star. Williams is another underrated talent, who I like much better as a singles wrestler than I do when he teams with Gulak.
Anything Goes Match: Ethan Page vs. Tony Nese
Nese taunts Page by flexing his bicep and gets slapped across the face as a result. Page then pulls out a chair from underneath the ring as Leonard puts over Page’s work with an anti-bullying group out of Canada. Page puts a chair around Nese’s neck and rams him into the guardrail then hits a draping backbreaker. Back inside, Nese fights back and hits a draping DDT onto a chair. Nese then hits a quebrada as he chokes out Page with the chair. Nese then slams Page onto a pile of chairs in the ring but Page fights back and hits an enziguiri. Nese bounces a chair off of Page’s face then heads out to bring in a ladder. He uses it to hit Nese in the ribs as he now chokes him out. Nese wedges chairs into three corners of the ring, as a ladder is in the other, then whips Page into one of the corners but the chair falls over before he gets there as the crowd boos. Page takes Nese down then slingshots him into the ladder before using it as a weapon. Page then tosses Nese into the corner and into a chair with a fallaway slam as that gets two. Page stands on two chairs as he attempts a package piledriver but Nese is able to escape. Page then tosses Nese onto the chairs as that gets two. He then hits an RK-Ego off of the chair but that only gets two. Page lays into Nese in the corner but Nese slips out and hits a leaping uppercut before nearly getting the win with a Death Valley Driver onto the chairs. They are now swinging chairs until Page hits a tilt-a-whirl slam. Page then turns Nese inside-out with a chair shot as that gets two. Page then drapes the ladder across two chairs and attempts a suplex but Nese escapes. They have a reversal sequence that leads to Nese hitting a super kick then he places Page up top. Page escapes and ends up Powerbombing Nese onto the ladder then finishes him off with the package piledriver (13:09) **3/4. After the match, the fans start a “that was awesome” chant and want them to hug it out as they do before Page celebrates in the ring.
Thoughts: The match was a bit plodding at times but the action was solid. Nese has a good look and is smooth in the ring but there is just something missing about him. Page is overpushed but trying hard to get to the level he is being portrayed at and is showing some improvement. It got better as it went along and Page at least tried to get the crowd into this.
Next, we get a segment for “Terry Funk Appreciation Night.” Funk comes out to a great response then Sabu comes out with a chair and teases hitting Funk with it but puts it down and gives him a hug. Then, someone dressed up as I Dream of Jeannie heads in the ring but the crowd is going nuts because Mick Foley is here to give Funk a plaque. He then tells us all how he could have been at the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony and asked Vince McMahon for the night off because his heart is here with Funk. After that, Funk puts Sabu and Foley over and it ends with him raising his plaque as the crowd applauds. After that, Earl Cooter (wrestler from FIP) and Larry Dallas (manager in FIP)come out and say they are out here to congratulate Funk while the crowd chants for Foley to “fuck them up.” Cooter tells Funk that he is not booked as Funk agrees that he should not be booked while Foley points out how no one is wearing their shirts as he puts over everyone else on the card. Cooter then attacks Sabu but Funk knocks him down. Funk takes down Dallas then Foley takes out Mr. Socko and uses that on Dallas. This ran about ten minutes and a fun way to get Funk cheered.
Originally, Ivelisse Velez was supposed to be challenging for the SHINE title but is out with an injury. Lucious Latasha come out and state why she should get a title shot but Andrea takes her out. Latasha is out on the floor as So Cal Val tells us we are not getting a title match because the contract was only for Ivelisse. However, Trevin Wade comes out and tells us that the title will be defended tonight as he welcomes the challenger, Nicole Matthews.
SHINE Championship Match: Taylor Made (c) w/ So Cal Val & Andrea vs. Nicole Matthews
These two start trading blows to start. Matthews takes control and sends Made into the corner. Made tries to fight back but Matthews kicks her and hits a suplex for two. Made gets tossed outside as Matthews follows but Made reverses a whip as he flies into the guardrail. Matthews takes control again and kicks Made against the guardrail then stares down Andrea before rolling back inside, where she takes them both out with a tope. Back inside, Made catches Matthews with a knee smash then hammers away. Made stays in control until Matthews catches her with a short-armed clothesline. Matthews lights up Made in the corner after getting two with a bridging suplex but Made comes back with a jumping double knee smash to the back. They work a reversal sequence then Matthews gets two with a German suplex. Matthews takes Made down and uses a Liontamer but Andrea runs in and breaks up as Val distracts the ref. Andrea the boots down Matthews as Made hits an Ace Crusher for the win (7:57) *1/4.
Thoughts: Bad match. These two were not on the same page and most of what they did looked clunky. Matthews showed some potential here but I cannot say the same for Made. I did not care for the finish either. Crowd was not into this one.
FIP World Title Match: Jason Cade vs. Gary Jay vs. Maxwell Chicago vs. Caleb Konley w/ So Cal Val & Andrea (c)
Cade and Jay star things off. Jay takes down Cade but Konley knocks him to the floor. Chicago tries to float over in the corner but his gimmick is that he is afraid of heights and cannot jump but he ends up jumping off of Conley’s back when he approached. Cade flies in to take out both guys with a dropkick then Jay knocks down Cade and Chicago until Konley pulls down the ropes. Chicago ends up taking out all three guys with a dive from the apron as the crowd starts up a sarcastic “holy shit” chant. Back inside, Chicago gets more serious as he takes down Cade. Konley sweeps him off of the apron as Jay flies in with a dropkick. The crowd starts chanting how Caleb sucks as he beats on Jay. The action picks up now as Cade stomps Konley after hitting a Northern Lights Suplex. Cade then takes out Chicago with a tope before hitting Konley with a tope con hilo. He then hits Jay with a 450 plancha on the outside as the crowd is starting to wake up. Back inside, Cade hits Jay with a frog splash but Konley breaks up the pin. Konley then tosses Jay out with a powerbomb on top of Cade & Chicago then drags Jay inside and covers for two. Jay fights back and tosses everyone onto the corner then covers each man but is unable to get the win. Everyone trades strikes as Chicago busts out a spin kick then a Tiger Driver on Jay for a nearfall. He places Jay up top and gingerly climbs up but is afraid as Cade is able to take him down with a powerbomb for two. Cade gets up top but Andrea shoves him off then Konley takes Jay off with a top rope Michinoku Driver for the win (13:30) **1/4.
Thoughts: The first few minutes of this was terrible but it got better towards the end. Cade showed the most potential out of anyone. Chicago seems like an entertaining opening match comedy act in smaller Independent promotions. Konley does nothing for me at all and Jay seemed okay but that’s about all I can say about him.
EVOLVE Title Match: Sami Callihan vs. Timothy Thatcher (c)
The announcers are stressing the fact that Thatcher had his arm injured earlier today at EVOLVE 60. Thatcher takes down a charging Callihan with an elbow smash after a staredown. Thatcher uses a chinlock but Callihan escapes as they struggle in the corner. Callihan regroups outside before heading in and taking Thatcher down as they also struggle on the mat. Callihan starts beating on Thatcher outside before heading in and working a front facelock. Thatcher tosses Callihan then clutches his arm before landing a few knee strikes. They end up outside where Callihan gets whipped into the guardrail. Back inside, Thatcher stomps Callihan in the head as he keeps clutching his arm. Callihan dodges a charge and ends up face-washing Thatcher in the corner. They end up kicking each other down as the ref starts counting. They get up and charge at each other again and go down then trade clotheslines before Thatcher hits a Saito Suplex then clutches his arm as soon after that they trade headbutts until Callihan hits a powerbomb. Callihan works an armbar as Thatcher struggles to make the ropes and he eventually does, getting a polite response from the crowd, who seemed burned out at this point. Thatcher fights back but runs into a boot then Callihan hits a package tombstone for a nearfall. Thatcher no-sells a few boots to the face so Callihan spits at him as Thatcher responds with a headbutt then covers for the win (16:30) **.
Thoughts: This match was paced way too slow and the finish was terrible. I appreciate those who sell an injury but all Thatcher did here was hold his arm after each move, which is fine in a brief TV match but this went over fifteen minutes. These guys styles clashed as Callihan wrestled a dull style to match Thatcher, who really had a poor showing during WrestleMania weekend.
After the match, Catchpoint enters the ring. Gulak tells Thatcher that he has no friends and the EVOLVE Title deserves to be coveted but as a champion, he is a disgrace. Thatcher then says he is the champion and will defend it against every member of Catchpoint. He then leaves the belt in the ring, stating he will reclaim it after beating every member of the group. It at least set up an interesting story, which continues today.
Will Ospreay & Marty Scurll & Tommy End vs. TJP w/ Stokely Hathaway & Johnny Gargano & Kota Ibushi
Both teams stare each other down before the bell. The crowd starts honoring Kris Travis, who recently passed away, as the wrestlers show their appreciation. Scurll and Gargano start off the match going back-and-forth working the arm. Gargano rolls through a chicken wing attempt but Scurll uses an eye poke. Gargano then hits a rolling enziguiri and tags TJP as he hits a dropkick for a nearfall. End tags and catches TJP with a knee before tagging Ospreay. The crowd wants Ibushi and TJP makes the tag as they are jacked. They go back-and-forth until Ibushi hits a dropkick. TJP tags in and puts Ospreay in a Boston Crab after a double-team move. Gargano is in and chops Ospreay and that leads to End knocking down Gargano, who is trapped in the opposing corner. Gargano gets worked over as Ospreay & Scurll knock Ibushi & TJP off of the apron. Gargano knees End in the head to break up a suplex then hits a tornado DDT while hitting both Scurll & Ospreay with enziguris in a fun spot. Gargano then makes the tag to Ibushi as he starts kicking everyone. All six men are inside and trading strikes as the European guys all fake super kicks and hit them low. The other teams knocks them out with super kicks then fly out with topes. Back inside, Ospreay hits a double handspring kick as they all hit Gargano with crazy moves at a rapid pace and they all look great. TJP hits End & Scurll with a missile dropkick but Ospreay places him in the corner and up top and tucks his head underneath the turnbuckle as he and Scurll hit super kicks. End & Scurll then hold up TJP for a double press slam as Ospreay takes him off with a fallaway Ace Crusher as Ibushi ran in for the save. A “this is awesome” chant breaks out while the Europeans talk strategy before approaching Ibushi, who takes them all down. Ospreay springs off of Scurll’s back to hit Ibushi with an enziguiri then Gargano spears both Ospreay & Scurll before taking End out with a tope. Back inside, Ibushi hits Ospreay with a moonsault then TJP follows with a 450 splash as Scurll breaks up the pin attempt. They all take each other out with kicks and that ends with End taking out everyone on the outside with a moonsault. The crowd chants “jump again” as all six men are down. They get up and start brawling and spill out into the crowd. Ibushi & Ospreay climb up onto the rafters and start brawling as the crowd chants “please don’t die.” They then stop and look down before hitting stereo moonsaults in a crazy spot. They start heading back towards the ring as Ibushi and Ospreay are face-to-face. They trade kicks then Ibushi gets two with a German Suplex. Gargano puts End in the Gargano Escape as Scurll gets dumped outside then Ibushi hit his killer powerbomb for the win (22:59) ****1/2. After the match, they all shake hands. Gargano then grabs the mic and asks the crowd if they enjoyed the show. He talks about working the EVOLVE show at noon, then said that he wrestled at the NXT TV tapings before heading back here to wrestle again tonight. He then puts over the crowd as we learn Gargano will face Galloway at EVOLVE 61.
Thoughts: What an awesome match and a great way to close the show. Everyone involved in this match was great, with Ospreay and Ibushi standing out the most. Their stereo moonsaults off of the rafters was completely insane. I think I did like the six-man from RoH 14th Anniversary a little bit better in terms of in-ring action but this had more of a big-show feel with the inclusion of Ibushi. This also capped off a great weekend for Ospreay.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this was a pretty good show. It did drag a bit after the Funk appreciation segment but the main event more than made up for that. The WWN Live family really stole the show WrestleMania weekend with this and EVOLVE. The opening match and main event are definitely worth seeking out and I recommend this show, which you can purchase
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Diamond Dallas Page
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 10/9/88
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 1/21/82
Sunday: WWF Boston Garden 10/10/88
Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 10/15/88
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 10/16/88
Wednesday: EVOLVE 64 7/16/16