Mercury Rising 2019
Date: April 5, 2019
Location: La Boom, New York City, New York
Commentators: Lenny Leonard, Ron Niemi
So about a year ago, I decided to try and do twenty Wrestlemania weekend shows. As usual, it takes me a little while but I’m trying to knock out the last four of them (to make it twenty one total) before this year’s Wrestlemania starts. This is the WWN Supershow and I have no idea what to expect on this one. Let’s get to it.
As usual, I have no idea what is going on storyline wise so if I miss a detail or eighteen, I apologize in advance.
The commentators (I think) are in the ring to welcome us to the show and run down the card.
FIP World Title: Absolute Andy vs. Anthony Henry
Henry is defending and Andy is from WXW in Germany. Andy backs him into the corner to start so Henry does the same, complete with a few pats to the jaw. They battle over wrist control and we’re off to a quick clean break. Back up and Henry’s shoulder block attempt is a mistake as he bounces off of the much bigger Andy. A big boot to the face drops Henry and Andy’s shoulder works a bit better. Henry sends him outside but the suicide dive is cut off with a drop onto the barricade.
Back in and Andy hits a heck of a running backbreaker, followed by the chinlock. The announcers talk about the former FIP World Champions who have gone on to success elsewhere but Henry cuts them off with some kicks to the leg and head. More kicks put Andy on the floor and that means a running kick from the apron. Andy’s apron powerbomb is escaped as Henry stomps on his chest, meaning the second suicide dive can work a bit better.
Back in again and Henry grabs the ankle lock to stay on the leg, and because every modern show requires one wrestler who uses an ankle lock. Andy gets out and puts Henry on top, only to miss a super hurricanrana. A spinebuster works a bit better for two but Andy misses a top rope splash. The ankle lock is broken up again so Henry tornado DDTs him for two more. Andy is back up but his TKO is countered into a Crossface. Since that doesn’t make a ton of sense, it’s back to the ankle lock to make Andy tap at 13:57.
Rating: B-. This felt like a well enough done indy match with the dives, kicks and holds. As usual though, there was no major story of note and that brings things down a bit. There was no reason to boo or cheer either wrestler here and it kept me from getting that far into it. It was a good enough match though and the leg work tied into the finish, so it gets enough points to be an acceptable opener.
Cyrus Satin vs. Barrett Brown vs. Anthony Greene vs. Colby Corino vs. John Silver vs. Harlem Bravado
Elimination rules with the winner getting a title shot. Silver is now in AEW….and hang on as here’s Shotzi Blackheart. She thinks there should be a woman in the match but Satin doesn’t seem to agree. That starts a fight with Shotzi hitting a jumping DDT, the bell ringing, and Shotzi getting the first elimination at 3 seconds. Colby throws Blackheart outside and it’s quickly Greene and Bravado making each other miss a bunch. Corino comes back in to take Bravado’s place and sends Greene outside in a hurry.
Silver takes his place and starts launching the smaller Corino all over the place with some nice power. It’s quickly off to Barrett vs. Blackheart with Shotzi hitting a good looking springboard hurricanrana. Shotzi goes up top for a backsplash onto everyone but Barrett, who hits his own running flip dive onto everyone else. Back in and Silver slugs it out with Barrett, who gets kicked up against the ropes and in the corner for a bonus.
A modified Backstabber gets two on Barrett, who is right back with a sideways pumphandle powerbomb for the same. Corino comes back in for a half nelson suplex for two on Blackheart but Barrett knees Corino in the face. Greene gets Barrett and Corino in a double fireman’s carry…..so Silver German suplexes the entire pile in a pretty crazy power display (Corino is small but that’s three people at once. Who does that?). A TKO plants Shotzi and it’s Silver running all over the place to take everyone down. Corino staggers to his feet though and rolls Silver up with trunks for the elimination at 7:48.
Barrett clotheslines Corino but Shotzi comes in and demands Barrett fight her. He can’t do anything so Shotzi slaps him in the face and sends him into the corner for a 619. The top rope backsplash gets rid of Barrett at 9:19 to get us down to four. Bravado and Corino get back in to double team Blackheart, including a backbreaker into an elbow drop for one. Greene comes back in for the save and sends Corino outside, only to get the same treatment from Bravado.
A springboard Code Red plants Bravado and it’s a Texas Cloverleaf to Corino. That’s broken up as well and Bravado hits Straight Cash Homey (Angel’s Wings) for the pin on Blackheart at 12:48. Greene sends Bravado to the floor and chops away at Corino in the corner. Corino’s small package with trunks gets two but Greene is right back with a Dudley Dog style Unprettier (that’s a new one) to get rid of Corino at 14:12.
That leaves Greene vs. Bravado with the latter jumping Greene from behind and hammering away. A lot of trash talk lets Greene get in a few shots to the jaw but another running Unprettier is countered. The Tower of McGuinness gives Bravado two, followed by a leg trap suplex for the same. Greene is right back up with the running Unprettier for the pin at 17:36 (it’s as sudden as it sounds).
Rating: C+. The action was decent and I liked that running Unprettier from Greene. It still isn’t my favorite style of match though as it’s a bunch of mini matches in a row with little in the way of flow or storytelling. That being said, the point of this show is a big showcase and that’s what we got here with a variety of wrestlers getting a little time.
Post match Greene signs his contract for a nice moment.
Shine Title/Tokyo Princess of Princesses Title: Allysin Kay vs. Miyu Yamashita
Kay is the Shine Champion, Yamashita is the Princess Champion and this is title for title. Hold on though as here’s Mercedes Martinez to accuse Kay of ducking her. Last month, Kay claimed to miss a flight but next month, Kay can’t run away any longer. Mercedes leaves and it’s a feeling out process to start with Kay taking her to the mat. Yamashita gets into the corner and we get a well received clean break. A leglock has Kay bailing into the ropes and it’s time for more mat grappling.
Back up and they strike it out until Kay pulls her into a rear naked choke. Yamashita reverses that into a leglock and some kicks to the leg keep Kay in trouble. Her leg is fine enough to hit a heck of a chop though and it’s time to forearm it out until Kay grabs a Samoan drop. The crossarm choke has Yamashita in trouble but Yamashita is back up with more kicks to the leg. They both crank on the leg at the same time, with Kay kicking her in the face to get the better of things.
The chinlock goes on as we hear a long and rather impressive list of people Kay has fought. Back up and an exchange of kicks to the head gives us a double knockdown as they keep trading shots. Yamashita’s running clothesline gets two but Kay is back with another kick to the head. A sunset driver gives Kay her own two and the kickout doesn’t sit well with her. An AA gives Yamashita her own two and a bridging German suplex is good for the same. They’re both down again so Yamashita grabs something between an Anaconda Vice and a cobra clutch for the win via stoppage at 13:26.
Rating: B. Match of the night so far as they beat each other up for a good while until Yamashita, who was billed as a striker, won by changing gears. I always love it when someone switches their game like that to win in a bit of a surprise and the ending likely gives Kay a setup for a rematch. Good stuff here.
Post match Kay freaks out because she never gave up or passed out (fair point). Kay charges at her but gets taken to the floor, leaving Yamashita to tell Kay to come to Japan. That’s what Kay would do and she would win the title back in about a month.
Austin Theory/Brandi Lauren vs. Darby Allin/Priscilla Kelly
This one would be a lot different a few months later and Theory is the Evolve Champion here. It’s a brawl to start, which makes sense as this was billed as a grudge match. Allin suicide dives Theory into the barricade and Kelly hits a Bronco Buster on Lauren. That leaves Allin to hit a Code Red for two on Theory and Lauren gets tied in the ropes for a running dropkick to the back. Theory gets back in with a dropkick to Allin and the fans are not pleased with the knockdown. A gutwrench toss sends Allin flying and a belly to belly gets two.
As Kelly seems to have fallen into a hole somewhere, Lauren chokes in the corner, setting Theory up to chop Allin down. Kelly gets kicked off the apron but Darby starts striking away, only to get hit low by Lauren. Allin is knocked down again so here’s Kelly with a double missile dropkick to drop both of them. A Cannonball off the apron takes Theory down and Allin adds a flipping Stunner. The STO gives Kelly two and she kicks Theory off the apron. Allin nails a suicide dive but Lauren is back up with a middle rope flip neckbreaker for the pin at 8:36.
Rating: C+. This felt like it had the longest story so far and that made it feel different. You can see the star power in Allin and the natural tools in Theory so it was an easy match to watch. Kelly and Lauren were fine as well and the whole thing worked out well, even in a match that was shorter than anything else so far.
Post match the beatdown stays on until Josh Briggs runs out for the save. Allin tells Briggs to go win the Evolve Title.
Unwanted vs. Team WXW
That would be Eddie Kingston/Joe Gacy/Shane Strickland with Colby Corino (and some snappy music) vs. Alexander James/Jum Simmons/Marius Al-Ani. We get the Big Match Intros (including Kingston and Gacy, the Evolve Tag Team Champions) and we’re ready to go. It’s a brawl to start with three brawls breaking out at ringside, including Kingston poking Simmons in the eye.
An armdrag and a dropkick have Gacy down but Strickland clears the ring. James comes in and pulls Strickland off the ropes though, setting up a gutwrench suplex. We settle down to Al-Ani cranking on Kingston’s arm and a step up elbow onto the back drops Kingston again. Colby offers a distraction though and Strickland comes in for a running dropkick to Al-Ani’s’ knee. That means Gacy can come in for two off a suplex and it’s Strickland stomping away in the corner.
Some finger bending keeps Al-Ani in trouble and Kingston bites Al-Ani’s face to make it even worse. Gacy’s forearm gets two but Al-Ani is back with a dragon whip and a DDT. That’s enough for the hot tag to Simmons so clotheslines can abound. Simmons throws Strickland at Gacy and Kingston, followed by a trio of double chokeslams to all of the Unwanted. A running dropkick gets two on Kingston as everything breaks down.
Strickland knocks Al-Ani down for two more but a parade of clotheslines puts everyone down. Kingston gets sent into Gacy and a spinning back elbow takes him down again. James grabs a complicated armbar on Gacy but the referee breaks it up because Gacy isn’t legal (well done). The Swerve Stomp off the apron takes Simmons down and Strickland snaps Al-Ani’s arm. The JML Driver finishes Al-Ani at 13:16.
Rating: B-. I can see the appeal of the Unwanted as they work well together and have the gimmick of being rejected by everyone else (or so it seems). The match was the kind of six man tag you would expect on this kind of a show and I had a good time with it. Sometimes you can have a match with no story and make it work, which is what they did here.
WWN Title: JD Drake vs. Kazsada Higuchi
Drake, a country boy, is defending and the WWN Title is the governing body’s title, as opposed to the Evolve Title which is the promotion’s title (it would be retired in about three months in favor of the Evolve Title, as it should have been). Higuchi, from DDT in Japan, slaps the hand away before a lockup goes nowhere. Drake gets the better of a running shoulder block off and it’s time to head outside.
That means a chop exchange, with both of them standing still for the chops. In a smart move, Drake finally goes with a clothesline and a splash gets two back inside. The second chop off goes a lot faster and Drake gets the better of it again but can’t hit a suplex. Instead Higuchi hits his own suplex but Drake is back with a Shining Wizard for two. That means another exchange of chops and this one gets some time, going on for about a minute until Higuchi knocks him into the corner for two off a running charge.
Back up and they trade standing clotheslines until Drake gets the better of things, setting up the Drill Bit (spinning suplex) for two. Higuchi headbutts him into a doctor bomb for his own two but Drake counters the second with a hurricanrana. Three straight stunners put Higuchi down and a Cannonball in the corner crushes him. A moonsault retains the title at 12:00.
Rating: B-. They beat the heck out of each other here and while I’m not wild on having the match stop for an exchange of chops, it worked out well enough here. This was a hoss fight and the two of them were hitting each other rather hard. Drake is someone who probably wouldn’t work in most places but he works for this crowd and that’s all that matters here.
Post match, respect is shown and Higuchi leaves. Cue the Unwanted to go after Drake and snap his arm, with no one making the save.
Team DDT vs. AR Fox/The Skulk
That would be Daisuke Sasaki/Soma Takao/Tetsuya Endo (who seems to be the DDT Champion) from DDT and Adrian Alanis/Leon Ruff for the Skulk. The other five or six members of the Skulk do their dancing in the ring before the match and one covers another for a pin. With that out of the way, we’re ready with the Big Match Intros. Fox and Endo lock up to start and they trade some early one counts. A double nip up gives us a standoff and it’s off to Ruff vs. Sasaki in a hurry.
This gets a little more physical with Sasaki allowing him to forearm away, followed by a multiple springboard hurricanrana. Alanis, the biggest man in the match by far, comes in for a swinging Rock Bottom backbreaker and a running basement kick to the chest gets two. Sasaki wants a time out and even his partners try to get the same thing until Endo trips Fox in a smart move. Takao comes in to stomp away at Fox in the corner but he’s back up with a double cutter.
Ruff gets the tag and hits some running forearms on Takao, setting up a standing moonsault for two. Everything breaks down and they all wind up on the floor, with Fox missing a dive off the stage onto the apron. Ruff gets sent ribs first into the barricade and we settle back down to Ruff failing to get over for the tag. A pumphandle backbreaker gives Sasaki two and Takao stomps away at the ribs. Ruff grabs a quick cover for two, earning himself a bunch of right hands to the face.
The chinlock is broken up before it even goes on and it’s time to slug it out. Ruff fights up and gets the tag off to Alanis, who beats up all three of them in a hurry. Alanis gets pulled into a Crossface from Sasaki and it’s a reverse Rings of Saturn to Fox and a Figure Four to Ruff. Alanis powers up and makes a double save, followed by a sitout powerbomb for two on Sasaki. A Swanton gets the same with Endo making a VERY last second save.
Sasaki hits a Codebreaker to Alanis and holds him in place for a top rope double stomp from Takao for two. Sasaki can’t torture rack Alanis and it’s time for the exchange of kicks to the head. Fox and Ruff hit stereo suicide dives three times in a row, with the barricade going down every time. Alanis wants in on this but takes out his partners by mistake, leaving Endo to hit a corkscrew Lionsault onto everyone.
Back in and Endo hits a spinning rack bomb for two on Alanis, followed by a middle rope AA onto the top rope (better than the apron that I was expecting). Endo is right back up but springboards into a sitout powerbomb from Alanis by mistake. All of DDT gets back in for a double X-Factor/reverse powerbomb combination on Alanis. With Ruff and Fox getting knocked to the floor, it’s a shooting star press to give Endo the pin at 24:22.
Rating: B. This was a fun match and that’s how you should end a match like this. Fox and the Skulk are a good mixture of power/speed/athleticism vs. a trio who wrestle similar styles, giving us a good match between the six of them. I haven’t seen much (if anything) from DDT before so it was cool to see them having this good performance. Solid stuff here and a good way to close the show.
Post match Fox thanks everyone who put this together, including the staff, his opponents and his WWN family. Most importantly of all though, he thanks the fans for supporting him for ten years. A lot of dancing ends the show.
Overall Rating: B+. Rather strong show here with a little bit of everything up and down the card. They hit some high points and nothing was bad on the entire card, which is one of those requirements to have an awesome show. I’ve only seen a bit of this group and while there are some things I don’t care for that much, what works does work rather well and they have enough unique talent to make me like what I saw. Good show here and I’d watch more from WWN.
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