Date: June 8, 2019
Location: Old Ox Brewery, Ashburn, Virginia
Commentator: Jason Heat
Odds are you haven’t heard of this one but a colleague of mine works for the company and asked me to take a look at it. Since I have an issue saying no to anyone (I really need to work on that.), here we are. This is from CRAB Wrestling (Championship Rassling And Beyond) and they might want to change the name. Let’s get to it.
This show is available at Independentwrestling.TV, which is an indy wrestling streaming service. It costs to watch, but if you use the code UNCHARTED you can get 20 days free.
As usual, I have no idea what any of this is going to be or who these people/stories are.
We go straight to the graphic for the opening match with no intro video.
There is a crowd there. Not a big one, but there are people in the building and that’s what matters.
Jason Heat is on commentary with a host of different commentators moving in and out of the booth all night.
Capital Vices vs. Ugly Ducklings
That would be Sin/Money vs. Rob Killjoy/Lance Lude, with Coach Mikey. Sin and Money high five fans, which you don’t quite expect from people named SIN and Money. They’re wearing what seem to be bloody aprons so some violence would be expected here. Mikey is holding a sign that says QUACK and the Ducklings quack quite loudly. The Ducklings lead the fans in a QUACK chant with all the fans putting their hands in, though they wait for a kid in a duck mask for a nice touch. Hold on though as we have an issue with a lack of tag ropes.
Rob works on Money’s wrist to start as we hear about Lude and Sin being a former team. More wristlocking sets up an armbar and Money gets tripped to the mat. Missed dropkicks give us a stalemate and the fans seem to applaud. Lude comes in off a blind tag for a double Regal Cutter on Money but it’s off to Sin for the reunion showdown. Lude kicks him in the ribs and the fans don’t like that for some reason.
A leapfrog is blocked with a failed powerbomb attempt and Lude grabs a Black Widow. The Ducklings get smart and double team Sin down, setting up a series of splashes called Duck Duck Goose (I chuckled) for no count as the referee wants Lude out of the ring. That doesn’t happen though as Lude throws Killjoy at Money for a Stunner (Knuckleduck) into a standing shooting star. Money isn’t legal though so Sin throws the Ducks together for the eternally dumb DDT your partner spot.
The Vices pick Lude up from the mat and throw him onto Mikey and Killjoy in a big crash. Back in and Sin’s splash gets two on Lude but something like a Stundog Millionaire allows the tag off to Killjoy. A springboard middle rope dropkick puts Sin on the floor and a springboard moonsault takes him down again. The back to back dives take the Vices down but they’re right back in with a Downward Spiral/guillotine legdrop combination.
Lude makes the save so he gets crushed with an assisted running Liger Bomb out of the corner. Killjoy gets smacked in the face but comes right back with discus forearms to the front and back of Sin’s head. A monkey flip into a cannonball (Launchpad McQuack. I was expecting Duck Hunt.) crushes Money for the pin at 12:09.
Rating: C. The idea worked well here, though it went on a bit too long with the back and forth stuff in the second half going on a minute or so longer than it needed to. The other issue I had was with the names. I’m not sure what was so sinful or money focused about the Vices and the Ducklings don’t do anything that makes them seem or look ugly. Maybe those things are explained better in promos but I didn’t get the idea as well here.
That being said, the match was a good example of power vs. speed and the stuff from the announcers about Lude and Sin’s history together helped a lot. The Ducklings are a rather nice opening act match and could be some solid underdog challengers later. That crowd cheer at the beginning was a cool deal and works well in a small setting. It’s a good opener and the wrestling was completely acceptable, which is far from a guarantee in the indies.
Post match the Vices call them back into the ring because this isn’t over. The Ducklings get back in the ring as Sin talks about how great they are (I think, as it’s a little hard to understand). We get some handshakes and everyone poses until the Ducklings and Mikey are left in the ring to get some cheers.
Breaux Keller vs. Dame
Keller’s Prime Time Pro Wrestling Title isn’t on the line (so they probably shouldn’t announce him as the “reigning, DEFENDING champion”). Dame seems rather divaish and enjoys getting his picture taken. Actually hang on again because he needs to do his own intro. He’s here to steal your boyfriends, girlfriends and the show. Ring announcer: “Yeah what he said.” Keller is rather high energy and has some size to him. An early waistlock takedown gets on Dame’s nerves and Keller rips off the skirt to annoy him even more.
A bulldog onto the ropes sets up a running knee to Dame’s face and it’s time for a breather on the floor. Back in and Keller nails some Stinger Splashes in the corner, with the fans wanting one more. Since Dame is smart enough to listen to the chants, he rolls away so Keller can crash. A dropkick to the leg sends Keller face first into the buckle and a kick to the arm gives Dame two. The arm is fine enough that Keller can come back with chops in the corner so Dame cuts him off with a neckbreaker.
Dame’s chinlock lasts as long as a chinlock is going to last so he switches to a triangle choke over the ropes. That gets the fans worried in a hurry but Keller superkicks him out of the air. Dame dropkicks him outside but stops to pose for his personal photographer. Keller slaps the photographer in the back of the head to tick Dame off. A dropkick takes Dame down and a running X Factor gets two.
Back up and Dame’s springboard is countered into a Michinoku Driver for two more. Dame manages to sneak in a low blow though and a springboard Rear View knocks Keller silly (Apparently it’s rather hard. I don’t think I needed to know that.). The triangle choke goes on until Keller gets a foot on the rope. Dame goes up top so Keller pulls him back down with a super hurricanrana. The Gutter Butter (fireman’s carry gutbuster) finishes Dame at 11:34.
Rating: C-. I’m not sure on this one. The characters were good and I bought their mannerisms and such, but it felt like they were shifting from character mode to wrestling mode several times throughout the match. There were moments that felt like the characters were just gone and it was a match between any two wrestlers. It also felt like they were just trading spots at times instead of building towards something. It’s not like it was a disaster or anything, but it felt like a match that needed some more focus.
Dame quotes Bohemian Rhapsody and says he is real life and a fantasy. At the end of the day, he is still a star so nothing matters to him.
Lady Frost vs. Genesis
Frost has Victor Benjamin in her corner and Genesis is in a mask. We hear about Lady Frost’s thermodynamic powers, which I guess make her the reverse Kane. They trade rollups to start to no avail until Frost hits a clothesline. Some knees to the ribs have Genesis in trouble and a kick to the face makes it worse.
A PerfectPlex gets two as the jokes are strong on commentary (Jason: “Genesis not ready to make an exodus just yet.”). Frost hits a chop to the stomach before getting a rather dainty two. Hold on though as it’s time to smile at Benjamin, allowing Genesis to have a breather on the floor. Benjamin adds a trip to Genesis (Fans: “SHE TRIPPED!”), allowing Frost to choke on the ropes.
A front flip into a Cannonball connects, drawing snowballs from the crowd. Genesis wins a forearm off though and hits a running crotch to the face (commentary called it knees but I saw no knees making contact). Holy Death, which appears to be a hammerlock spinebuster, is countered with a stomp to the foot and a running flip neckbreaker (Icebreaker) finishes Genesis at 7:16.
Rating: C-. I was surprised by how well this went as commentary mentioned that both women only had about a year of training. It was smart to keep this one short but the women certainly didn’t embarrass themselves. Genesis has some size to her and they played into that a bit along with Benjamin on the floor, though neither played into the finish.
Dezmon King sounds nervous about facing Bobby Shields but insists he’s ready.
Dezmon King vs. Bobby Shields
Shields is called the Body and billed as “coming straight from the gym”. King on the other hand is from Space Station 27 (they have great pulled pork). Commentary talks about King being trained here before being sent on excursion to Tattooine after a trip to Krypton didn’t go well. Shields stalls for a long time to start and we get our first significant contact, a chop to Shields, about two minutes in. That means more stalling but this time King follows him out and chops away on the floor.
Back in and Shields goes head first into the buckle, setting up the cartwheel into a basement dropkick, ala Jay Lethal. Shields gets ticked off but gets dropkicked in the side of the head to cool him back down. A quick reversal lets Shields throw him outside and you can see the annoyance on Shields’ face. Back in and some jumping knee drops get two on King as the aggression is starting to pay off.
The chinlock lasts all of a few seconds so Shields pulls him down by the head. Shields’ jumping knee to the face and a hard clothesline get two. Another running crotch shot to the face in the corner (the knees were more together this time) gets two on King and a backdrop sends him outside in a nasty crash. Shields isn’t done as he slams King on the floor and throws a bunch of chairs on top of him.
That’s good for a nine and King is back with a space (spine) buster (Jason: “It’s out of this world!”) for a breather. A delayed gutwrench powerbomb gives King two but Shields is right back up with a boot to the head. That and a Lionsault get two more but this time it’s King right back with a spinning Rock Bottom. The referee gets bumped and grabs her ankle though, allowing Shields to hit a superkick. The Gory Bomb finishes King at 15:06.
Rating: C. Not bad at all here as Shields looked like a fairly seasoned veteran and King looked like someone with a lot of natural talent. Commentators suggested that he hadn’t wrestled long so some more experience will help him out a good bit. I liked the alien idea but King didn’t really do anything that would make it seem to apply to him. For the top positive, the match flew by and certainly didn’t feel fifteen minutes.
Team Prime Time Wrestling is ready to face Team CRAB. The manager (Mr. Gator) promises to end the war that CRAB started and one of the wrestlers talks about attacking CRAB from within.
Team CRAB vs. Team Prime Time
CRAB: Mack Buckler, Mikey Banker, Christian James, Ivan Ali
Prime Time: Derron The Artiste, Eel O’Neal, John Kermon, O’Shay Edwards
I’ve seen Edwards before as he had some nice performances over Wrestlemania weekend. Buckler and Banker are the CRAB Tag Team Champions. Edwards and Banker start things off with Banker running his mouth a lot. They take turns taking each other down and Banker hits the gyrations. A missed charge lets Edwards hit an Oklahoma Stampede to take over though and since Banker is done, Edwards drags him over to the corner.
Buckler tags himself in for a clothesline off with Buckler actually winning things. O’Neal comes in and commentary is right there to explain about Banker and Buckler beating him up in front of his girlfriend. That explanation took five seconds and tells you why he’s ticked off. Good job there. Ali comes in and gets headscissored, only to come right back with a heck of a clothesline for two.
We get a somewhat awkward exchange in the corner that looked to be mistimed, allowing Ali to knock all of the Prime Time guys off the apron. It takes a bit longer with Edwards but Ali charges into him by mistake. James and Kermon come in with the latter picking up the pace but hitting Edwards by mistake. Banker comes in and gets kicked in the back for two, allowing Derron to come in and strike away.
Derron’s charge hits Edwards AGAIN (third time in a row he’s been knocked down by his partners), allowing Banker to nail a Downward Spiral. Edwards is ticked off though and comes in for some rolling German suplexes to Banker. Buckler makes the save with a Sky High so Derron hits him with a heck of a clothesline. It’s back to O’Neal with the Baltimore crab as everything breaks down. Derron unloads on Banker in the corner but gets caught in a bad looking spinning full nelson slam.
Edwards is back up and decks O’Neal before walking away from Derron’s tag attempt. He flips Gator off and walks out (with Gator following him), making himself look like a star and leaving this as a handicap match. Derron is the only Prime Time guy left standing and the beatdown is on with O’Neal and Kermon watching from the floor. Kermon teases getting back in and is dropped with a single kick. Ali hits a belly to back faceplant and James steals the pin at 11:58.
Rating: C+. I liked this one better than most of the other matches on the show, which is rather surprising as the gimmicks were toned down here and it was a lot of guys in tights. However, they made the story clear and the commentary was right there to explain what was going on, making it a well told story. Edwards looked like the biggest star in the whole match and that seems to be by design. Good story here with a lot of little things adding up.
Post match the rest of the team isn’t happy at James but Banker grabs a rear naked choke on Derron. Buckler says they showed who they are tonight but James wants credit for the win. James didn’t stick to the plan but says he won by himself. He isn’t representing CRAB anymore because he’s now part of New South Pro Wrestling, which will be here to face CRAB on August 3. The brawl is on and they fight to the back.
Hang on though as here are Gator, O’Neal and Kermon. Gator will address Edwards at a later date, but for now he wants to talk about Derron. He just couldn’t get the job done so he is FIRED, which makes commentary happy because Derron jumped from CRAB to Prime Time. O’Neal and Kermon carry him out.
CRAB Title: Logan Easton LaRoux vs. Isaiah Frazier
Frazier is defending and comes out with two belts. Logan (best known as Race Jaxson in Chikara) seems to be a rich guy, who takes the mic from the announcer to do his own entrance. Feeling out process to start with Frazier flipping out of a wristlock, leaving Logan to flip the crowd off. The fans are split as Frazier takes him down into a front facelock and some rollups give Frazier two.
Logan chills in the corner and offers a handshake, but Frazier blocks a surprise cutter attempt. That’s enough for Logan to bail to the floor for a breather, but the distraction brings Frazier outside for a chase. Logan is fine enough to hit a dropkick and slingshot dive to the floor, meaning it’s time for some posing. Back in and a jumping enziguri cuts Frazier off and they slug it out on the floor as I want that woman’s Scooby Doo shirt.
Logan suplexes him onto the apron and it’s time for the chinlock. Frazier actually reverses into one of his own, which isn’t something you see too often. That’s broken up as well and Logan’s middle rope dropkick gets two. Choking in the corner ensues and the referee shoves Logan away off the break. A backsplash crushes Frazier as commentary argues about how Logan can have tricks up his sleeves when he has no sleeves. Frazier fights out of the corner until a double crossbody puts them both down.
It’s Frazier up first with a Blue Thunder Bomb for two and Logan bails to the floor to avoid a running knee. That’s fine with Frazier, who hits a big corkscrew dive. Logan manages to steal a beer but it gets spat out off a right hand to the face. They fight into the crowd where Frazier even lets a fan (I’m sure) get in a chop.
A kid gets to punch Logan in the chest but he’s right back with a jumping DDT as they go back inside. Isaiah slips off of Logan in a bit of a botch but Logan is right there with a brainbuster for two. Frazier smashes him with a running knee but one of Logan’s lackeys breaks up the cover. Commentator Josh Fuller runs in with a belt shot to give Logan the pin and the title at 16:36.
Rating: B-. This felt like a main event match with an angle at the end to set up the big title match. Logan felt like the rich guy he was supposed to be and came off as a snobbish heel. Frazier didn’t seem to have much of a character but he was easy to get behind and had some athleticism going for him. It was the best match of the night and both guys felt more important than the rest of the show, which should be the case for the title match.
Fuller says he and Logan don’t care about Frazier’s story because there is only one champion of the 1% to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. I was rather pleasantly surprised by this show. There’s nothing great or must see, but you get two hours of completely watchable matches from a lot of people you’ve probably never seen before. Nothing is close to terrible or even bad really and that alone is going to keep it as a positive show.
The other thing I liked here was the amount of characters that this show had. I was worried about seeing a lot of guys in board shorts and t-shirt with the same generic/non-existent gimmick that you seem to see at dozens of indy shows. What we had here instead was one gimmick after another and they stood out from each other for the most part. The eight man tag didn’t have them, but that’s fine for one match out of six. It was a very nice surprise and made the show roughly 285% easier to watch.
Overall, this show wasn’t too long, had some perfectly watchable wrestling and felt like a fun night. It’s nothing that came off as great and there are things they need to fix, but all things considered, this was a very fun show and something I’d check out again in the future. Considering what messes you can get with indy companies trying to be WWE on a micro budget, it was cool to see a company just doing their own thing without being ridiculous or going too far. This was to the point and worked well, which is a lot better than going insane and making a mess of things. Rather good show here and worth checking out.
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