Southern Underground Pro: Nice Night For A Neck Injury

Nice Night For A Neck Injury
Date: December 21, 2019
Location: The Basement East, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Dylan Hales, Steve McCash

This is from Southern Underground Pro, which I have seen in a co-promoted show over Wrestlemania 37 weekend and it went fairly well. I’m not sure what to expect here but there are some names that I recognize on the card. Granted I don’t know what they are going to do, but at least I won’t have to look everyone up. Let’s get to it.

As mentioned, I don’t follow this promotion so please bear with me on storylines and characters.

A rather sweary ring announcer welcomes us to the show and tells the fans to get as close to the ring as they can. Well just not in these spots so commentary and the cameras can see.

The commentator (who is already getting on my nerves) brings out Violence Is Forever (Dominic Garrini/Kevin Ku), who have a trophy (seems to be the Tag Team Titles) and issue an open challenge.

Violence Is Forever vs. Bazooka Horses

Non-title and that would be Graham Bell (who has a bazooka which shoots fireballs) and Warhorse. To make it better, the referee is wearing a Santa hat. Garrini and Bell go to a test of strength to start before taking turns on each others’ limbs. Bell gets the better of things by cranking on the wrist before they trade chops. Garrini gets knocked back by one but goes to the leg to cut him off.

That doesn’t work for Bell, who is right back with a series of forearms to take over. Ku (in a Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animals sweater) comes in to face Warhorse, who seems rather intense. A wrestle off goes to Ku, who pats Warhorse on his head for some mind games. Warhorse even gets down in referee’s position for some Greco Roman wrestling so Ku kicks him in the leg in a smart move.

Back up and Warhorse slides on his knees (like Kevin does in the Home Alone video games) before ripping off Ku’s sweater for some chops of his own. A powerslam plants Ku again so it’s back to Bell, who seems to be kicked low. Garrini comes back in and it’s a German suplex/running elbow combination to drop Bell hard. A spinebuster gets two on Bell and a hard curb stomp knocks him silly for the same.

It’s back to Garrini for a knee to the ribs and Warhorse is drawn in so Violence Is Forever can bring in some crowbars, ala the Wet Bandits. They get caught ripping at Bell’s face and somehow that isn’t a DQ, apparently because of the season. With nothing else working, Bell grabs Garrini’s bare toe and twists it around but gets German suplexed for his efforts….right into the corner for the tag off to Warhorse.

That means house can be cleaned but Garrini saves Ku from a powerbomb. Some Kawada kicks rock Garrini again and Bell hits an F5. Bell is fine enough to, with an assist from Ku, climb the ropes for a moonsault out to the floor onto both of them. Back in and Bell fires off some YES Kicks but Garrini says bring it, setting up a slap fight. A tiger suplex gets two on Garrini but he’s right back with a heel hook.

Garrini makes the mistake of mocking Warhorse though, meaning it’s a top rope double stomp to break it up. Now it’s Warhorse vs. Ku in another slugout until a snapdragon suplex drops Warhorse hard. Warhorse snaps off his own hard suplex on Ku (who had a previously broken neck).

Ku and Warhorse slug it out again with Warhorse getting the better of things, setting up some rotating running shots in the corner from both Horses. Something like Total Elimination puts Warhorse on the floor and a Gotch style piledriver plants Bell for two. Since this is modern wrestling, Bell pops up and strikes away until a shot to the head cuts him off. A package piledriver into a doctor bomb finishes Bell at 17:27.

Rating: B-. This was a hard hitting fight that got some time and the champs wound up winning, even though it was a non-title match. I liked what we got here and they started well, as the opener was entertaining. Warhorse is a bit over the top, but he kept it in enough check here to not be a distraction. Solid match here and I’m interested in what else they have, so well done.

Here is Dr. Daniel C. Rockingham, who speaks on a headset and has a rather glittery coat, to say his scheduled debate opponent isn’t here tonight, so he wants the biggest disappointment available in the locker room.

Dr. Daniel C. Rockingham vs. Bradley Prescott IV

Prescott has a beer in both hands and dances to the ring. Hold on as Rockingham offers Prescott a brochure with hints about how to make his life better. Prescott does stop to read it, even managing to avoid a charging Rockingham at the same time. Rockingham runs again but Prescott drops to the mat, while still reading the brochure. Back up and Rockingham rips it up, blames Prescott for it, and gets hiptossed for his efforts (complete with screaming into the headset).

We settle down to the two of them missing a bunch of chops in the corner, leaving both of them gasping for air. With breathing restored, Rockingham gets sent over the top to the apron and then knocked down onto a beer can. Back in and Prescott misses a dropkick and gets his neck snapped across the top rope. A kick to the back puts Prescott down as Rockingham yells about going to Yale. Prescott hits a running corner clothesline but he gets run over to give Rockingham two.

They slow down a bit and exchange some stomps until Prescott….gets caught on the ropes while trying a sunset flip. Rockingham takes him down again and gives Prescott a paper cut with the brochure, then spits beer into the cut to make it worse (that’s painful). Prescott fights back and slugs away, with commentary thinking he has been watching Rock movies to throw punches like that.

A whip into the corner crotches Rockingham against the post and a step up backsplash gives Prescott two. Rockingham is back with an over the back backbreaker slammed down like a reverse Samoan drop. The ensuing rollup gives Rockingham two but Prescott grabs a bridging German suplex for two of his own. Back up and one heck of a tilt-a-whirl powerbomb gives Rockingham the pin (with commentary sounding shocked) at 9:15.

Rating: C. This was more a battle of the gimmicks than anything else and it worked out well enough. The smarter than you heel will always work and Prescott….well he was kind of a frat boy style guy and that might not have the longest shelf life. Not exactly a great match, but at least the fans seemed into everything.

Post match Rockingham says this is his first win in THREE YEARS. I’d be surprised too.

Alan Angels vs. Ryder Reid

You probably know Angels from the Dark Order in AEW and Reid is a skateboarder. They slap it out to start until Angels gets the better of a slugout. A running hurricanrana takes Reid down and he grabs an armdrag into an armbar. Despite having the hold on, Angels has the referee give him some beer for a nice boost. They roll out to the floor though and Reid gets posted to keep him in trouble. Angels chops the post though and it’s time for Reid to go after his fingers. Back in and Angels manages to kick Reid’s leg in the ropes and it’s a slingshot faceplant onto the apron to plant Reid again.

A moonsault gives Angels two but Reid is back with a wheelbarrow faceplant. Reid puts Angels on his shoulder and spins him over into a DDT for a big crash and another near fall. Back up and Angels kicks him in the head, setting up a suplex into the corner. The Wing Snapper (a Backstabber with feet instead of knees) finishes Reid at 5:39.

Rating: C. This was a rather indy match with both guys doing their moves until one of them got a pin. Angels banging up his hand was the only way to give Reid a chance but it was all downhill from there. The rest of the match wasn’t too bad, but it didn’t exactly build to anything and they were in and out before it made much of an impression.

Zack Cooper vs. Brett Ison

The fans certainly seem to like the rather large (and seemingly violent/angry) Ison. They trade shoulders and chops to start and an exchange of suplexes have both of them bouncing up. The threat of Ison’s spinning shot to the head sends Cooper bailing into the corner and things slow down a bit. Ison hits a heck of a Saito suplex for two, followed by the running boot to the face in the corner for the same.

Street Justice (whatever that is) is broken up and Cooper hits a running dropkick out to the floor. For some reason Cooper tries a handspring on the apron and gets forearmed down for his efforts. Back in and a Shining Wizard gives Ison two but Cooper is back with a Roode Bomb for the same. Cooper goes up and, after shrugging off some headbutts, he knocks Ison off the top and into the corner. Coast To Coast connects for a very delayed two but Ison is back up with a spinning forearm. A hard knee to the face sets up Street Justice (Jay Driller) for the pin at 7:34.

Rating: C+. Ison is every “I’m big and angry and snarling” heel that you’ve ever seen and that wasn’t exactly inspiring. At the same time, this match suffered from a bad case of indy style, as they made it clear that it wasn’t going to end until someone hit their finisher, which made the near falls a lot weaker. Commentary hyped up Street Justice so much that it was the only way Ison was winning and since he is big and angry and snarling, it was hart to imagine him losing. The action was pretty good, but it wasn’t the best presentation.

Post match, respect is shown.

Aaron Williams vs. Shawn Dean vs. Lee Johnson vs. Nolan Edwards vs. Patrick Heeter vs. Silas Mason

Here’s your required Scramble match. You can tell Heeter is a heel because he’s bald and flips the crowd off a lot. Mason is the Thrillbilly, which just makes me want to watch a Mickie James match. Heeter gets in the middle of the ring and yells about how he is taller than everyone else (he isn’t). With that out of the way, Heeter bails out to the floor (where he points to his head) as commentary puts over how important scramble matches can be around here.

Mason, by far the biggest guy here, cleans house and grabs Edwards low. Williams superkicks Mason down to accidentally save Edwards but it’s Dean getting up to clean house. Johnson gets back up for the battle of AEW jobbers and blocks Dean’s DDT, setting up Swerve Strickland’s running kick to the back of the head. Heeter is back up but Edwards takes everyone down, only to get kicked down by Williams.

Edwards strikes away to stagger Williams, including a pair of kicks to the head. Heeter blocks Edwards’ dive so Williams dives onto him with a….I’m not sure what that was. Dean is right there with a big flip dive to take a bunch of people down so Johnson tries one of his own, only to land on the apron (EGADS). Thankfully he’s fine and everyone but Heeter gets back inside.

With everyone else in a corner, Johnson hits a bunch of running shots until Mason switches places with him and does the same thing. Heeter plants Johnson with a sitout F5 but Dean is back in with a Project Ciampa to Edwards. That leaves Dean and Williams to have a rather awkward exchange, capped off by Edwards hitting a neckbreaker.

Johnson hits a standing corkscrew moonsault on Edwards but Mason makes a save with a legdrop. Mason gives Williams a VERY swinging Boss Man Slam but stops to pose instead of covering. Heeter plants Mason, only to have Johnson come in off the top with Spiral Tap to steal the pin at 8:59.

Rating: C. I have made no secret about the fact that I do not like this kind of match. There are WAY too many people doing WAY too many things and they don’t allow anyone to really shine. I was worried that they were going with the Heeter win, but thankfully they went with anyone else here. The match was all action, but it was such a mess that it was hard to get much out of it.

Adam Priest vs. Gnarls Garvin

Garvin, billed as Big Beef, is from a trailer park in Louisville, Kentucky and Priest is a guy who got some buzz over at least one Wrestlemania weekend. Priest jumps him before the bell and knocks him to the floor, setting up a heck of a suicide dive. They get inside for the opening bell, with Beef hitting a backdrop to take over. Some chops in the corner don’t do much good for Priest, who gets launched into the corner to cut him off.

Beef gets his jacket off and makes me think I’m watching a Husky Harris match. Priest catches him with a German suplex and a dropkick staggers Beef again, setting up a middle rope moonsault for two. With that not working for him, Beef hits a heck of a powerbomb and a running crossbody against the ropes. A rather big top rope splash finishes Priest at 3:17.

Rating: C-. They kept this quick and that is not a bad thing. Beef is a bigger guy who can move around, but I’m not sure how long he would be able to keep that pace up. At the same time, I was surprised by the ending as Priest seemed to be a bigger deal than Beef coming in. The splash looked good too and it would have been a bit much to have Priest kick out.

Jaden Newman vs. Big Twan Tucker

Twan is indeed big and seems rather proud about staying woke. Apparently Newman has new gear (it’s a onesie) and is wearing an unidentified title. Jaden is an extra evil villain by stomping on the referee’s Santa hat, making me want to see him massacred. Twan powers him down without much effort to start and then does it again for a bonus. With the on the ground stuff working, Jaden goes up top and gets pulled down onto his face.

The onesie is ripped open so Twan can fire off some chops, including a double hand version that leaves Jaden in shock. They head outside where Twan chops him the rest of the way out of the onesie and then smacks him upside the head. Jaden finally wraps the leg in the rope to take Twan down and a running knee cuts him down inside. A bit too much trash talk lets Twan Pounce him for two but Jaden goes old school evil with the eye rake. Jaden ties up both arms and fishhooks the jaw but has to let go because it seems to be illegal. I’m not sure if that is the case, though I didn’t read the updated rule book.

A kick to the head sets up a hard slap but another just wakes Twan up. More strikes rock Jaden and a swinging Boss Man Slam gets two. Jaden’s shot to the face, including a top rope punch, only get one but a running flip neckbreaker drops Twan. That’s good enough for a victory lap (McCash: “Is your goal to win the match you dumb f***???”) which takes way too long, allowing Twan to spear him out of the air back inside. The chokeslam is countered though and Jaden hits a pair of running forearms to the back of the head for the pin at 9:08.

Rating: C. Tucker looked good for a big guy and Jaden was a decent enough heel. There might have been a few too many big spot kickouts but you kind of have to expect that. The other interesting thing is that they kept this clean, even with the villain winning in the end. Not a great match, but sometimes a completely watchable match is all you need.

Bonestorm Title: AC Mack vs. Mr. Brickster

Mack is defending and insists that the referee hold up both of his titles (because he has another one too) so he can handle his own entrance. On the other hand, Brickster has a small saxophone and seems to be a bit of a party guy. Mack tries a chop block (as he did before, putting Brickster on the shelf for six months) but Brickster is ready for him.

The bell rings and Mack misses a charge in the corner, allowing Brickster to start chopping away. A big boot gives Brickster two but he telegraphs the heck out of a missed clothesline in the corner. Mack goes smart by going after the bad leg and the cockiness goes up rather quickly. The fans get behind Brickster but are quieted down when the knee is slammed into the mat.

We pause for Mack to glare at the fans, allowing Brickster to hit a powerslam (from his knees) to send Mack into the corner. Hold on again though as someone throws Brickster a bag containing….a stuffed set of male genitalia with Mack’s face on it. The crowd has various chants as Brickster takes Mack outside so fans can hit Mack in the face with it.

Commentary gets in various jabs of their own and Brickster hits an ax handle to the back for two. Brickster hits a standing Iconoclasm for two (with commentary SCREAMING at the near fall) but here is Shawn Dean for a distraction. Alan Angels crotches Brickster on top and a hanging Pedigree (or something close to it) retains the title at 8:34.

Rating: C+. I’ve seen Mack before and I like almost everything that I’ve seen from him so far. He feels like a seasoned veteran and someone I could see wrestling on a bigger stage. Brickster had a bit of a Brutus Beefcake vibe to him and that is not a bad thing, as he had charisma and the fans got into what he was doing. Nice main event, with Mack feeling like a star.

Post match commentary screams that all of these guys are from Atlanta (including the other title Mack had). Mack yells about how if you invade them, they’ll invade you. Brett Ison and Violence Is Forever run in for the save. Brickster talks about being glad to be back and how we can do great things when we come together. He tells us to never stop believing and Don’t Stop Believing plays, with the fans singing along. Commentary shouts a lot to wrap it up.

Overall Rating: C+. This was a weird show, as it had talented wrestlers and a very modern feel, but it also felt like it belonged in the early 2000s. For every good thing, there was a lot of the IN YOUR FACE feeling with the swearing (I lost count of the number of wrestlers who was introduced as FIRST NAME F****** LAST NAME) and over the top nature. The positive is that mainly stayed between the matches, which did have high energy and felt fun without any of them being close to bad. Overall, it’s clearly a promotion that has been established, but turning it down a notch would be a nice idea.

 

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