(An Indie Pro Wrestling Audience Member’s Notes)
This past weekend, because I’m a glutton for pro wrestling, I consumed three heaping portions of it on the indie scene. That was Five Borough Wrestling in Flatlands, Brooklyn on Friday the 17th, House of Glory in Jamaica, Queens on Saturday the 18th, and, well, Sunday the 19th featured Entrar En El Circulo Del Dragon, presented by Tier 1 and Lucha Libre Promotion NY. I’m going to try and keep this positive, so I’ll bury my grievances at the bottom of the notes I took away:
Five Borough Wrestling: Back 2 The Legion in Flatlands, Brooklyn – 2/17
- For those unfamiliar with one or both of them, Fire Ant vs. “Croatian Sensation” Mario Bokara was much better than it sounds on paper. I’d seen Bokara before (in a gauntlet match at Battle Club Pro in The Bronx) but this was the first time he wowed me, as he benefitted from the 1-on-1 focus.
- Dude was the angry, arrogant heel who couldn’t believe he wasn’t able to put Fire Ant down, and did work with the audience when we taunted him for being a failure.
- Lucha Underground’s Matt Striker was a fun performer that night, acting as some sort of general manager and doing a lot of interaction with the kids in attendance. Then some verbal sparring with Tier 1 World Champion Darius Carter before actually going toe to toe with him. The match wasn’t a show stopper, but gave them both a chance to connect with the audience.
- Carter, though, is solid, solid heel. I saw him at both FBW and the Lucha show, and I look forward to seeing more of him going forward. Not only is the guy a natural smug villain, but he also works that chicken-shit heel angle. I’d like to see more reason to take him seriously as a threat.
- “Pro Wrestling Savior” J.T. Dunn vs. “The Rogue” Anthony Gangone was probably my favorite match of the weekend, and if you don’t know these guys already, you will soon. Dunn’s a protoge of Chris Hero and works an appropriate style, while Gangone (pronounced Gang•Own) feels like CM Punk with Serj Tankian’s hair.
House of Glory Wrestling: With Glory Comes Pride, in Jamaica, Queens – 2/18
- Wrestling is silly nonsense, and when it’s done right, I love it. Take for instance the team of Super Savages, which pairs Caveman who doesn’t quite understand (but loves) shoes and Mantequilla, a knockoff version of Hurricane Helms. They faced EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik) who I don’t really ‘get’ … as I think I’ve just got to see their other stuff. They’re a part of the faction Team PAZUZU with the Chris Dickinson and Jaka, who I’ve come to enjoy in Evolve.
- I’m not the biggest fan of mixed-tag matches, but Sonya Strong and Big Daddy Cruz vs. Violette and Sasha Jenkins was beset by a lack of anything. Sonya Strong was the only person in that match who seemed to deserve to be in it. The rest of them seemed like jokes and just gyah.
- I’d heard the name Ken Broadway on Trina and Damien’s Indie Pop podcast, but damn his defense of the HOG Crown Jewel Championship in a Fatal Four Way Match proved why he’s carrying the title. Dude can GO and I love his look, which seems like something out of Smash TV.
- Also in that match was Rudeboy Riley, who really needs to figure his gimmick out. He’s athletic and had some fun moves, but Hype Bro Zubaz-esque ring gear plus tons of tattoos and blonde tips doesn’t add up.
- Anthony Gangone had another strong outing, carrying a segment where he attacked my buddy, HOG Management Representative, Rob Blatt. The segment featured Gangone creating his own House of Gangone stable, again, this guy’s got a lot of attention on him and earns it. His match with Matt Sydal (fka Evan Bourne) was fun, but the damn crowd almost ruined it by heckling Sydal with weed jokes (he was kicked out of NJPW for possession). The match ended with tons o’ shenanigans with the House of Gangone beating Sydal down. And to be honest, I can’t stand Sydal as an angry tweener, as he’s too much like my least favorite wrestler: Face!Ziggler.
Tier 1 Wrestling & Lucha Libre Promotion NY Present: Entrar En El Circulo Del Dragon – 2/19
- Don’t go to a show just for the main event. As cool as it was to see Pentagón 0M and Rey Horus (Lucha Underground’s Pentagon Jr. and Dragon Azteca Jr.) and they were dope their match was too short by at least a third of its length. I had the same issue with Low-Ki vs. Alberto El Patron the night before at House of Glory. Feels like these promotions book those names to sell tickets for the short term, but don’t pay enough to ensure returning audiences.
- While a plethora of injuries can sink a show, an announcer can make all the difference. I had lowered my expectations going in because Matt Cross and Drago weren’t on the card, but grating, ambivalent and unprepared-sounding announcer just completely tanked my interest. I need to see a different Lucha show soon, so that’s not the sole live experience I have tied to the industry.
- Also, there was a laptop giveaway that preceded the intermission. I get doing both at the same time, but to spend that much time wasting time just killed me. I doubt I’ll see something else from this promotion again.
- Well, also, some of the matches were just meh. The soccer-playing Team España bored me to death, and felt like a lazier stereotype than Los Matadores.
- Sonny Kiss vs Sebastian Cruz was trying to be some edgy shit with Kiss’s drag-esque gimmick and Cruz not tolerating it, but … this isht made me yawn. Not sure why. It was just as botchy as any other match I saw.