I also went up with the SCU bandwagon of SteveSCU, Justin Crast, Racist Ruben, DeltaEarHole, Scrub, Travestiles and Ultimo Steve. We left early Thursday morning/Wed. night around 1 AM and arrived in Vallejo around 9.
-Maxx Justice, Moondog Moretti, Sean Patrick, Billy Bricks vs. Robert Thompson, Chico Alvarez, Tommy Blaze, Bobby Quance
Not much to this match, aside from Moondog Moretti, whom I confused with Boom Boom Comini, yelling “I’m gonna slap the mexican out of you!” eventhough I’m not even Mexican nor have Mexican blood in me. Kind of a useless match as it really had no heat or nothing really sufficient in the match that impressed the crowd.
-Introduction of legends and wrestlers
I thought the intros were well done. APW’s production is very impressive and whoever is handling it is doing a great job. On APW tapes, the dark arena effect during intros doesn’t look too great. After being there live, I can see why they use that effect during the intros. It really added to the drama of certain wrestlers entrances, and looked very professional overall.
-Adam Pearce vs. Doug Williams
This was an excellent way to start the tournament. DOUG WILLIAMS IS GOD! My god..the way he countered certain holds of Adam Pearce had me creaming in my pants. And those European uppercuts! HOLY SHIT! THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL! I loved Pearces’ heal work as well, and how he acted so surprised when Williams would counter some of his moves. This was the best match i’ve seen him in and shows that he could hold his own against Williams as the match had a little bit of stiffness and matwork thrown in.
-Tony Jones vs. Bison Smith
I really didn’t expect much from this match partly due to my dissapointment with Jones being the replacement for Modest. I guess I got a little more then expected. Bison threw a few good lariats at Jones but my only complaint is that Jones didn’t sell them as good as i’d wanted. Jones suplexes look great but that may be due to the fact he probably throws them legit, considering how Favi was injured taking his Dragon Suplex. The stiffness level wasn’t really there considering the guys in the ring but it was decent.
-Donovan Morgan vs. Scoot Andrews This match was really dissapointing. I actually expected Morgan in the finals of the tournament as I thought Big Baby Ro would put one APW guy up there. The highlight of the match was Scoots hair. It appeared as if he had run an iron through the middle of it. Probably more entertaining then the match itself. -Samoa Joe vs. Frankie Kazarian When Joe threw those first couple kicks at Frankie in the match I marked like a bitch. It was obvious Frankie was doomed for Joe’s stiffness and that’s exactly what happened. I liked how Frankie hit his springboard back elbow once and then he went for it again and Joe countered. THAT’S WRESTLING THOUGH! OH!
-American Dragon vs. Spanky
GOD DAMN! What I expected from this was a spotty match just like they had at the super 8 this year. Boy..was I wrong! They did a tremendous amount of mat work and American Dragon was stiff as fuck, and Spanky held his own. I liked his selling to the ref ala Ohtani. Both guys went for their moves more then the once and the second time countered. There was an excellent set where Spanky went for his moonsault flip in the corner and American Dragon moved and got him up in a backdrop suplex. I don’t agree with Jermz that it was a 5 star match but that is his opinion. Don’t hold it against him though..it was a super match that got a standing ovation.
-Chris Daniels vs. Super Dragon
Great heat going into the match as people expected a good one. Unfortunately the match wasn’t as good as I expected. Dragon seemed to be working differently from his current work. He hit a couple of dives in the match including a flip through the ropes and A FUCKING PESCADO! Dragon got chants over Daniels throughout the match surprisingly and they weren’t even initiated by Team Dragon or any of the SocalUncensored crew. One thing I hated the most was Daniels’ playing to the crowd in this match. He’d literally be talking to the crowd while he had Dragon in a hold or while Dragon was selling a move he just took. I really didn’t take it as a squash at the time but it seems like that’s the way others have approached it.
-AJ Styles vs. Jardi Frantz
This was my third favorite match of the night. It had great spots but didn’t end up being a total spotfest. I dug Jardi Frantz over the post super tope that I think only Blitzkrieg has done. Rolo paired these two nicely.
-Vinnie Massero vs. Lo Ki
I was pretty tired by the time this match rolled around, but the level of stiffness kept me awake. Vinnie Massero held up best next to AD against Lo Ki’s stiffness, giving Lo Ki some hideous looking and audible forearms. I had heard before that Vinnie was only a big move wrestler, but I doubted that after this match. Very good performance by both of them. Lo Ki’s finish of the phoenix was kind of ugly but then again it’s not something the average joe blow could make perfect.
Night 1 of KOTI had come to an end and I was more then ever pleased with the matches. Price of admission couldn’t have been more worth it.
-Donovan Morgan vs. Bison Smith
GOD! I felt really bad for Bison but for a guy his size and with an injury he really shouldn’t be doing stuff like that at any time before or during a match. I don’t know what he was trying to prove. I commend however for trying to work throught the match as it appeared Donovan was going to work over his leg with the first takedown in the match. When Donovan whipped him to the ropes and Bison stumbled I knew it had to be over. Best wishes to Bison
-American Dragon vs. Doug Williams
This stiffness level on this shizzle was off the fucking charts. GOD! American Dragons chops and forearms combined with Williams deadly uppercuts made for a solid stiff match. Of course they dished out the matwork as well which Williams is king at and Dragon is not so bad himself. My only complaint was that AD seemed to be working the leg in this match and then finished it off with his bridging submission which apparently works the back and upper body.
-Samoa Joe vs. Lo Ki
I expected a really fucking stiff match in this one and wasn’t too dissapointed. It seemed like Lo Ki had the edge in stiffness throughout the match as his kicks and strikes came off more lethal as Joes. Joe also seemed behind Lo Ki on the mat as he didn’t appear as fluid then he usually is. I dug the knockout finish eventhough it seemed like the ref screwed up something as Joe was in his face after. Joe also did the Samoan elbow which was a tremendous plus in my book!
-Chris Daniels vs. AJ Styles
As Schnieder covered, this was a spotfest with both guys exchanging moves one after another. I really dug AJ’s work throughout the tournament for the most part. I liked his kipup rana and Styles Clash off the second rope. I’d definitely like to see more stuff of his. Again, I felt Daniels played to the crowd too much in this match as at one point he had AJ in headlock and was conversing with the audience. Maybe it’s part of being an entertainer but I felt it took away from the downplay of the headlock for what its worth. Enjoyable match though.
This was really fun. Our group chose Spanky as a favorite to win and he acknowledged it by selling so dramatically when he was about to be thrown out. Spankys an excellent showman and a great wrestler to add to that. A lot of guys took some mean bumps in this one as well. Robert Thompsons reverse brainbuster which was hit on Spanky looked brutal as fuck. For some reason, an unkown assailant in the crowd was chanting for an “indian burn” throughout the period of this battle royal.
-American Dragon vs. Donovan Morgan
YIKES! This was dissapointing. There had to have been politics behind this one as the shoulder down double pin fishish was totally out of place. Dragon guardrail bumps showed that he didn’t win the match too easily though, and worked to advance. I’m guessing Donovan had a problem jobbing due to circumstances in his Noah contract or something.
-Chris Daniels vs. Lo Ki
This other semi final match made up for the previous match and was Daniels best match of the tourny. These semis were well set up as it had the APW KOTI 2000 finalists against the Super 8 2000 finalists. Lo Ki kicked the shit out of Daniels and Daniels didn’t seem to be holding his own in comparison to Lo Ki’s stiffness. Good selling by Daniels taking Lo Ki’s kicks. Lo Ki’s selling was really good for the most part as Daniels worked his arm big time. Like Phil Schneider mentioned in his report though, Lo Ki should not have done his handspring kick. Daniels also didn’t sell as much to the crowd this match and stuck a lot of the match to doing matwork and working over Lo Ki’s arm, rather then doing spots.
-Massero/Frankie/Jardi/Pearce vs. Super Dragon/Jones/Spanky/Scoot Andrews
Spanky was way over in this match probably due to our group going nuts for him after the battle royal. This match wasn’t the greatest but it was fun as fuck. I liked Super Dragons set with Jardi, and Pearces’ selling of Tony Jones’ suplexes. The dive sequence was cool as well with highlights of Jardi hitting a top rope moonsault to the outside and then Dragon finishing the dives up wtih the skytwister to the outside. There was an apparent heal/face structure in the match as Spanky, Dragon, Scoot all got chants and were over as faces. And Pearce manages to draw heal heat wherever he goes Massero had a good set with Dragon where they exchanged elbows and Massero eventually hit his stiff ass “BITCH SLAP” move on Dragon. The ending kind of came out of no where with Scoot finishing it off. Chants for the psycho driver were heard throughout the match.
-American Dragon vs. Lo Ki
Their selling going into the match was off the charts, legitamate or not. American Dragon seemed to limped to the ring and sold the leg in the opening parts of the match while Lo Ki sold his arm after Daniels worked on it in the previous match. I think I seriously creamed in my pants at least twice if I hadn’t already before. They did alright at working the sore spots throughout the match. One problem I had was Lo Ki consistently going for his handspring kick in the corner when is arms supposed to be fucked. There was this one hot moment in the match where they both locked eachothers legs and bridged up so both were standing on their heads, and continually chopped eachother while they were in this position. I think i’ve seen this in a Juvi/Rey Jr. match and it was just as awsome seeing it live. One complaint I have is Lo Ki’s phoenix splash and dives. I think someone else mentioned this as well that he should take the dives and highflying out of his offense. His phoenix really didn’t look too great and the mariposa like dive takes away from a lot of the selling in the match. American Dragons suplex also isn’t very crisp a lot of the time; I guess the drama of the sound impact adds a lot more too it. I also noticed they taunted the Dragon Suplex off the top rope, but they really didn’t follow through. That would have been an excellent finish considering they set up and taunted it throughout the match as AD threw about 3 normal Dragon suplexes. The finish was still fucking hot. Lo Ki had gone for his handspring kick in the corner twice in the match already. He hit it the first time and the second time was dropkicked by American Dragon in the arm, where Lo Ki appeared to be injured. ALONE THAT WAS FUCKING HOT! But the setup to the finish was far greater. Lo Ki went for his handspring kick and AD caught him and threw a mean Dragon suplex..followed by making Lo Ki submit with his bridging submission which he worked a lot in the match. FUCKING FUCKING FUCKING GREAT!
The crowd was really hot the whole show. There was various groups of fans that would be really into the match and then casual wrestling fans scattered around. The heat for the matches was good as fans were getting into the nearfalls and other transitions.
I think the main standouts in the tournament included American Dragon, Doug Williams, Lo Ki, Spanky and also AJ Styles. Low points in the tourny were obviously Bison Smith getting hurt, and Donovan Morgan and Scoot not working up to full potential. I really didn’t like the way Daniels would play to the crowd throughout his matches. It worked well at certain times but it got ridiculous otherwise. Daniels has seemed to change his style as well. He appeared to be working the WWF punch, move, highspot style.
Overall, easily the best two fucking shows i’ve been two. The funnest shows and the shows which had the best compilation of matches i’ve seen live. I don’t really understand how some people did not think so highly of the show and got on Jermz’ case for rating the matches so high. Most of the tournament seemed to be a worked shoot style which mixed stiffness and matwork which I love.
My favorite matches in order included:
American Dragon vs. Lo ki
American Dragon vs. Spanky
American Dragon vs. Doug Williams
Doug Williams vs. Adam Pearce
You can tell who my favorites in the tourny were.
BATBOY AND SONNY BONO OWN YOU!