Mike Reviews – Catalyst Wrestling “Steal This Show” (17th September 2021)

S’up everyone!

I discovered Catalyst Wrestling (Formerly Capitol Wrestling) during the first lockdown here in the UK as they had a slot on something called the Showcase channel. They sadly don’t seem to have a presence on UK telly anymore but you can watch their regular show over on YouTube for free.

I’m becoming quite the fan of Colby Corino and he does regular work for them, so I decided to check out one of their recent shows from September this year seeing as he’s in the Main Event and all. I think he’s been doing some stuff for the NWA as well and also had an appearance on 205 Live, so he’s definitely worth keeping an eye on, especially if you were a fan of his dad’s work like I am.

Some of the peeps at Catalyst actually reached out to me and gave me a promo code for this show for review purposes, so thank you to them for that, but I think the show was only £0.72 UK anyway, which isn’t a bad price to pay for 2 hours and 21 minutes of wrestling in all honesty.

If you like the sound of this show then I’ll post the link for YouTube channel as well as the link for this particular show below if you want to see some of their stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/c/CatalystWrestling/videos

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/stealthisshow

The event is emanating from Jersey City, New Jersey on the 17th of September 2021

Calling the action are Steven James, HC Loc and a rotating cast of third commentators

We get a nice video intro to start us out. Well put together.

Opening Match
Catalyst Sapphire TV Title
Champ: Steve Gibki Vs Homicide Vs KTB

Homicide I’m guessing most of you will know. KTB is a scary looking big bloke. Gibki is known as the “Jersey Muscle Jock” and comes out to “Break Stuff”, which instantly makes me warm to him because that song is perfect wrestling music.

This is fun action, with lots of triple spots and not a lot of the “two guys wrestle whilst another guy lies around outside selling” sections that sometimes make these three way dance style matches feel a bit too samey. Homicide appears to be the general holding it all together, with both Gibki and KTB getting a chance to show off their offence.

They do some clever spots in order to break up pin and submission attempts, such as Homicide having KTB in a Step-over Toe-hold Face-lock and Gibki being outside the ring and pushing the bottom rope towards KTB so he can grab it and break the hold because he doesn’t have time to get into the ring for the save. I like the little touches like that.

Homicide busts out his trademark suicide dive to the floor onto both guys, but O’Shay Edwards runs down and clamps a big bear hug on Homicide to seemingly take Homicide out of the running, leading to Gibki and KTB doing a nice finishing sequence back inside where Gibki picks up the win with a Lariat following some counters.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: STEVE GIBKI
RATING: **1/2

Solid opening bout there, with everyone getting a chance to do something and some storyline advancement in regards to Homicide as well

O’Shay Edwards cuts a profanity laced promo against Homicide backstage, saying he’s going to run the yard from now on. Short but to the point, unlike Edwards himself who is a very imposing looking dude. He should made the guy with the bleep machine earn his corn there!

Mike Law is backstage with Chris Faga. Law says that one of his students said a prayer for him because he’s wrestling O’Shay Edwards tonight, but we shouldn’t doubt him tonight because he’ll die before he gives in. That was a good babyface promo.

Match Two
O’Shay Edwards w/ Ron Starr Vs Mike Law

Edwards is known as the “Big Bad Kaiju” and is representing the Carter Group faction. As previously mentioned, he’s a hefty looking dude who you wouldn’t want to mess with. Law is a former two time Sapphire TV Champ and is over with the crowd. He looks a bit like Dean Malenko crossed with Masato Tanaka. His nickname is “Back To Basics”.

Edwards is significantly bigger than Law, so we get a lot of Big Vs Little spots with Law trying to stick and move, and it’s executed well. Edwards manages to catch Law on a dive attempt though and drives him back first into the ring post, leading to some heat back inside with Edwards targeting that part of the body. Law sells that well and the crowd gets behind him.

Law does eventually break free from a bear hug and makes a nice comeback on Edwards. He makes the mistake of going for a fireman’s carry though and can’t muscle Edwards up, leading to him taking a duo of suplexes and a big powerbomb for three.

WINNER: O’SHAY EDWARDS
RATING: **1/2

Another solid bout there, where both man played his respective role well and the crowd got into the story being told

Mike Law continues to be over with the crowd despite his defeat and he did well there in losing but still looking competitive. Classic underdog babyface stuff.

Match Three
HEAT (BLK Jeez and Griffin McCoy) Vs The Rep (Dave McCall and Nate Wallace) w/ Julius Smokes

BLK Jeez used to wrestle in CZW as Sabian, whilst McCoy looks like a cross between Chris Brookes and Ace Steel. The Rep are one of the companies top tag teams and were actually trained by Jeez. McCall looks like an amalgamation of both members of Harlem Heat, whilst Wallace looks like a slim downed version of Hall of Pain era Mark Henry.

The Rep get the babyface shine segment to start, with McCoy taking some nice bumps for them and selling well. Jeez ends up getting a cheap shot in to Wallace though, leading to the cut off. I honestly wouldn’t have pegged Wallace as the guy to take the heat, but he does a good job selling and I can picture McCall having the explosiveness to run wild on a hot tag segment.

Jeez does some good stuff in the heat, playing the Heel role well and knowing what to do in order to push the crowds’ buttons. Smokes also does some good work outside the ring in order to keep the crowd invested in the babyfaces making a comeback. McCoy ends up stupidly trading slaps with the heftier Wallace, which leads to Wallace getting the Karelin Throw before making the hot tag to McCall.

McCall has some pretty amazing athletic ability but the hot tag segment doesn’t appear to go quite how he wanted it to, with him seemingly going for some kind of jumping neck breaker type move pn McCoy and ending up having to settle on a sleeper, which he quickly breaks in order to go over and fight Jeez. Things break down following that and we get some near falls leading into The Rep getting The Flimflam, which is like a 3-D except McCall does a Complete Shot in place of a Cutter, which gets three.

WINNERS: THE REP
RATING: **1/4

Bit of awkwardness in the hot tag aside, this was a decent match where they worked the formula and hit all the beats. HEAT looked good despite picking up the L

The “Femivist” and overseer of the women’s division Portia Vaughn interrupts the ring announcer to cut a promo on the pandemic, by which of course she means toxic masculinity! That was a good line I must say. She’s going to drown Catalyst Wrestling in the tidal wave of the matriarchy. I guess I’ll have to invest in a dinghy then. She has a good riposte at one stage as a fan yells “where’s my dinner?” to which she replies “I think you’ve eaten enough, sir”. Two good lines in one promo, if she gets another one in then I think she gets to keep it. Good delivery on the promo overall there, although making the man-hating ultra-feminist the head of the women’s division could have the possible effect of making people resent the division itself if it’s played too forcefully.

Match Four
Valentina Vasquez Vs Kaia McKenna

Portia Vaughn joins in on commentary here. Vasquez is known as the “Baddest B—- on the Block” whilst McKenna is a “crystal enthusiast” who seemed to enter the ring in Statue of Liberty cosplay. The two wrestlers quickly show off who is supposed to be Heel and babyface here, with Vasquez being quick to try and turn it into more of a fight whilst McKenna tries to keep it as a wrestling match in the early stages.

Vasquez does traditional Heel spots of choking McKenna in the corner and tossing her around by her hair, and some in the crowd are actually cheering her on whilst she does so. McKenna eventually shows some good fire and makes a comeback, although her execution is missing a bit of snap. The match in general has been a bit slow paced and lacked some pizazz, but it’s told a fine story. Vasquez eventually slips out of a McKenna move and gets a spine buster for three.

WINNER: VALENTINA VASQUEZ
RATING: *1/2

I enjoyed the character work from both wrestlers but the wrestling was missing some pace and smoothness to it and there were a few moments where they didn’t appear to be on the same page

Vasquez celebrates with her boyfriend following the match, which of course annoys Vaughn on commentary that she’s sharing her victory with a man. This leads to a group of Heels called The Horror Show coming down to beat Vasquez’s man down. They all look suitably imposing and intimidating, and seem to kidnap the man in question. One of The Horror Show members, Devantes, remains in the ring and gets attacked by Matt Makowski to start the next match impromptu style. Hey, just like ECW, I can dig that!

Match Five
Best 4 out of 5 Series – Match 4
Devantes (2) Vs Matt Makowski (1)

Devantes is a stocky tattooed guy with a big bushy beard, whilst Makowski has more of an MMA look, complete with gloves. This one is a mixture of strikes and submission attempts and it’s mostly good action, although there are some sequences that look a little bit too pre-planned. Some of the throws and submission holds are executed very nicely though. Some of Makowski’s punches have a bit too much air on them, but his elbows and kicks generally look good.

Devantes sells well and takes some nice bumps, and we get the “Yay, Boo” forearm trade at one stage leading into the closing stretch. Devantes does some nice power stuff at points and both men use the TKO for two counts. Devantes’ manager distracts the ref, allowing one of The Horror Show to cheap shot Makowski so that Devantes can follow up with a Spear for the three count.

WINNER: DEVANTES
RATING: **

This had good energy to it and it was a decent match for the 7-8 minutes it lasted. Makowski probably just needs to focus on doing more of what he does well and doing less of what he doesn’t. Devantes looked solid there, with good execution on his offence and consistent selling throughout the match

The Horror Show beats Makowski down further following the match, with Lucas the intern refusing to join in but not helping Makowski out either.

Chris Faga is backstage with Hot Boyz International. KC Navarro seems to be the leader, and cuts a good cocky promo on his opponent tonight Brayden Lee. tHURTeen says we need to trust the science that Hot Boyz International will retain the tag belts tonight.

Match Six
KC Navarro w/ Bobby Orlando Vs Brayden Lee

Orlando looks like he could be Zack Ryder’s drunken malnourished younger brother. He has a literal goat with him, although not a real one. Navarro gives off some Floyd Mayweather vibes actually, whilst Lee reminds me a bit of Kevin Von Erich, except he’s wearing wrestling boots and isn’t going bare footed here.

Lee gets the babyface shine on Navarro to start, but Orlando distracts him and that allows Navarro to snap off a Sling Blade for the cut off. Navarro shows off some good star personality during the heat, whilst Lee sells well and Orlando gets the odd cheap shot in when the situation allows. Lee manages to make a comeback though, getting a nice springboard clothesline for two.

The closing stretch has some very nice stuff in it, including Navarro getting an impressive looking satellite DDT for two at one stage. Lee fires back with a Rainmaker Lariat and then counters a Code Red into a Step-over Face-lock kind of submission move. That looked very nice and the counter was slickly done. Both men trade roll ups for twos following that and Navarro manages to get The Destino for the three count.

WINNER: KC NAVARRO
RATING: ***

Good match, with some nice moves but also a story being told with Navarro being the cocky Heel and Lee being the talented babyface who almost managed to catch him out

Navarro sets a chair up in the ring and taunts following his victory.

Match Seven
Catalyst Tag Team Titles
Champs: Hot Boyz International (Lucky tHURTeen and Wrecking Ball Legursky) w/ Bobby Orlando Vs 2 Infinity and The Pond (Rob Killjoy and Infinity TIM)

tHURTeen has wrestled in places like CZW and sometimes does deathmatches. Legursky is a big bald feller who looks like a bearded King Kong Bundy. TIM gives off some Bad News Brown crossed with Alex Iwobi vibes, whilst Killjoy looks a bit like a more in shape Necro Butcher if he wore actual wrestling gear.

Killjoy is actually a pretty slick high-flyer, showing off some nice springboard moves in the opening shine segment with tHURTeen. TIM is light on his feet as well, and the challengers show off some nice tandem offence whilst shining on tHURTeen. Legursky ends up getting a cheap shot in on Killjoy though, leading to Killjoy getting cut off and worked over in the Heel half of the ring.

Legursky does some nice power stuff and moves well for a guy his size. tHURTeen keeps it mostly simple in the heat, focusing on punches and Heel tactics, and it works well. Killjoy sells well and they work the tag formula. Orlando takes control of the camera at one stage so he can showboat whilst his men work Killjoy over. He’s starting to rival Bill Alfonso in the “annoying manager” stakes for me.

Legursky of course goes for a pump splash at one stage, because to not do one at that size just wouldn’t be cricket, but he misses it and that allows Killjoy to eventually make the hot tag to TIM, who runs wild on the Champs and looks good doing so. We head into the closing stretch from that, with both teams getting some near falls.

Legursky turns both challengers inside out with a double clothesline at one stage, which looked great, as they’ve done a very effective job positioning him as the immovable object here. Eventually the challengers team up to hit Legursky with a couple of big tandem moves, leading to TIM coming off the top with a Frogsplash for two.

They protected Legursky very well there, with it taking two guys to even get him down. The only criticism you could really throw this match’s way is that there are long periods during the finishing stretch where there are more than two guys in there and the referee doesn’t try to stop it. It happens a few too many times and stretches the boundary of credibility just a little bit.

Aside from that though, this is a fun closing stretch, with the challengers hitting tHURTeen with a flurry of big moves and then sending Legursky out of the ring for a double baseball slide and a dive from Killjoy, allowing TIM to come off the top with a Shooting Star Press onto tHURTeen back inside to give the challengers the win.

WINNERS AND NEW CHAMPIONS: 2 INFINITY AND THE POND
RATING: ***1/4

This was a lot of fun, with some good tag formula stuff and then some hot near falls in the closing stages. They also did an excellent job of protecting Legursky even in defeat and he did his part by having believable offence and taking his bumps well when he was required to do so

tHURTeen yells at Legursky following that, leading to a shoving battle between the two that Orlando has to break up whilst the new Champs celebrate in the ring.

David Lee is backstage with Freestyle Champ Ghost Shadow. Ghost Shadow isn’t interested in talking to Lee though and Lee gets kicked out of the interview area by Shadow’s buddy Noel. Noel cuts a good promo on Shadow’s behalf, putting the Champ over.

Match Eight
Catalyst Wrestling Freestyle Title
Champ: Ghost Shadow w/ Noel Vs Myron Reed w/ Hakeem

Noel handles Ghost Shadows ring introduction for him. Ghost Shadow has been the Champ for two years. Both guys are wearing full body suits here, with Ghost Shadow going for green and Reed going for red. Reed works at a quick clip and also executes his high-flying in a really smooth manner, sending Ghost Shadow to the outside of the ring for a duo of big dives before putting him back inside the ring for a Matrix move and a big enziguri.

This one is all-action for large periods, with both men having very flashy move-sets, although Ghost Shadow does eventually slow it down with some Heel tactics such as choking Reed on the ropes, leading to the two seconds having words outside the ring with one another. They actually take it home during the heat segment, as Ghost Shadow comes off the top with a front flip leg drop whilst Reed is tangled in the second rope and Reed ends up knocked out legit, so the ref just counts three.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: GHOST SHADOW
RATING: **

Shame about the abrupt ending as it looked like they were on their way to having a good match, but safety has to come first in situations like that so they did the right thing

Colby Corino cuts a promo backstage, saying parts of him respects the qualities Darius Carter has, but he can’t be the one to take the Catalyst Title from him as he can’t carry the company on his back like he has.

David Lee is backstage with Darius Carter, who has O’Shay Edwards and Ron Starr with him. Carter says that he’s done so much for Catalyst Wrestling but has had to wait to get his shot at the Title. He has the best won/loss record in the company and that he’ll have all the power when he’s the next Champion.

Main Event
Catalyst Wrestling Title
Champ: Colby Corino Vs Darius Carter w/ O’Shay Edwards and Ron Starr

Colby is the son of Steve and seeing him as a fully grown man who has his own wrestling career just makes me feel super old. Carter is the head of the Carter Group faction and shows some good charisma as a loud mouthed Heel on his way to the ring. He continues talking trash as the match progresses and is very entertaining at doing so.

They build this one nicely, with some good stuff on the mat early on before the pace picks up with Corino getting a Samoan Drop, standing flipping senton and a Tornado DDT out on the floor. His Dad probably didn’t do the last two moves in that sequence at any point in his career I think. That was great to watch though. Corino tries heading up back inside, but Carter uses his long legs to kick the ropes so that Corino takes a tumble and then cuts him off for our Heel heat segment.

Carter throws some snug shots in the heat, including a European uppercut that reverberates through the building. Carter throws some more and Corino defiantly demands that he throws even more at him. Carter continues to be a good Heel, cutting off a potential Corino comeback with a sly throat thrust at one point, and he continues to talk a load of trash, drawing some good heat from the crowd in the process.

Corino eventually manages to counter a suplex into a Stunner and makes the comeback, coming off the ropes with a corkscrew press for two. Carter tries going to a sleeper to halt Corino’s momentum and that leads to him cranking the hold in for a submission tease, only for Corino to do the Bret Hart counter by kicking off the ropes into a pin, but Carter is able to kick out and goes for a cross arm-breaker. Corino manages to make it to the ropes to break the hold though.

Carter stretches Corino out on the ring post whilst Corino is sat on the top rope at one stage, which is a brutally simplistic spot that I don’t think I’ve seen before, but Corino is able to fight off the superplex attempt and gets a sunset flip powerbomb on Carter, although Carter made him work for it, which I liked. Corino follows up with a spinning back kick following that and that’s enough for three.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: COLBY CORINO
RATING: ***1/2

That was a really good match. They built it well and the offence from both men looked believable. Carter didn’t win but he worked Corino over quite a bit and looked like a deserving challenger in defeat, whilst Corino looked like a deserving Champion, so it was “job done” at the end of the day

Corino celebrates following the match, but this allows Carter to clobber him right in his Old School Expulsion, leading into the Heel beat down on both Corino and 2 Infinity And The Pond when they try and save him. Homicide joins us with a chair to chase off the Heels, even though he doesn’t like Corino, a point he makes clear by throwing the belt down at Corino’s feet. Corino does thank Homicide for his help at least, although his heart didn’t really seem to be in that thank you all that much. Homicide doesn’t seem to care regardless, and at this rate he’ll probably be wrestling one of Colby’s kids in 20 years’ time when he’s in his 60’s.

In Conclusion

This was a decent show when all was said a done, with both the Tag Title and Main Event matches delivering good action and the undercard matches featuring people working hard and showing off their characters. Considering you can either watch these matches on the YouTube channel or pay £0.72 for the convenience of having them all together for one long watch through, I’d have to say that Steal This Show more than represents value for money. Colby Corino really is someone to keep an eye out for as well, as he has all the tools to be a big star in one of the top companies if handled correctly. WWE probably wouldn’t know what to do with him but he could be a big star in the TNT Title division over in AEW if he ever went there.

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