UPW ran the biggest show in their history, as they held their fifth anniversary
show on February 20. The Grove is probably the nicest venue for wrestling in Southern California. It almost seems wrong to have a wrestling show in a place that nice. The venue was pretty packed; as there were about 1,500 people there I’d estimate. The show was scheduled to start at 7:00, and actually started around 8:00.
Havana Pitbulls (Ricky Reyes & Rocky Romero) & Puma over The Outlaws (Mike Knox, Marshall Knox, & Derrick Neikirk) [5’56]
This was a really good match, and probably the best technical match of the night. The crowd was really hot for this match, and the whole show in general, but they really seemed to love Puma. All six guys in the match looked really good, especially Mike Knox and Puma. I’m surprised the WWE hasn’t signed Knox yet. This was my match of the night.
Erica Porter over Ivory to retain the UPW Women’s title [10’04]
This was a really ambitious match, as I’m sure a good portion of the crowd isn’t
used to a women’s match that goes this long. The match started out with Ivory
and Porter taking turns working each other’s arms. I was surprised when they
were doing matwork that there wasn’t any catcalls or boring chants, at least
none that I could hear. Maybe with the increased workrate in WWE women’s matches over the last couple years fans have become more accepting of female wrestlers having a real match. Anyway the match was pretty good, my only problem with it was while they seemed to take their time building the match at the start, the ending seemed a little more rushed. Babi Slymm, who was ringside with Porter and Big Schwag took Ivory out with a lariat when the ref wasn’t looking and Porter got the pin. Both Ivory and Porter looked really good, and this is one of the better women’s matches you’d see in the US.
Ma’koa, Navajo Warrior, Solo Snuka, Skulu, Sabbath & King Dababa over Shawn Riddik, Tommy Wilson, The Miz, Lil’ Nate, Andrew Hellman, & Tony Stradlin
With 12 guys in a match, as you’d expect there was a lot of stuff going on.
The crowd popped huge when King Dababa got in the ring. Dababa looks like a
younger Abdullah the Butcher. No one in the match really had much time to stand out, but Sabbath looked pretty impressive. The match itself was OK. There was too much going on to really keep track of, but Skulu hit his finisher on Lil’
Nate and got the pin.
Jimmy Snuka over Adam Pearce [3’36]
Pearce looked good and sold like a champ for Snuka. At one point Snuka was climbing the ropes and got a face full of powder from Schwag, who was ringside as Pearce’s manager, and Pearce was able to hit a piledriver and get the pin. Unfortunately for Pearce Snuka’s foot was on the rope and the match was restarted. Snuka was able to knock Pearce down right away then hit the splash for the three count. The match was better than I expected a Snuka match to be.
Rick Bassman over Pete Doyle for control of UPW [7’02]
Prior to the match they showed clips of Rick Bassman training for the match,
with I thought was a good touch because it put across how much this match means to Bassman. Then they show a clip of Bassman in the back and he gets hit over the head with the metal clipboard he gave Doyle a few shows back when Doyle took control of UPW. Pete Doyle then came to the ring and announced he just took care of the last bit of red tape standing in his way of controlling UPW
and started to go over his new rules for UPW. Bassman then came on the jumbotron and said that “he has the advantage because he knows where Doyle is, but Doyle doesn’t know where Bassman is” and that UPW “used to be called
the ‘jungle’ and that they are about to call it that again.” Guns and Roses’
“Welcome to the Jungle” then started playing and Bassman came through
the audience to the ring. This was another match that was better than I expected, as Bassman actually looked decent in the ring. During the match they went through a table on the outside, which resulted in a “holy shit” chant, and
even some “UPW” chants. Bassman got the win when Doyle missed him with a shot with the clipboard and Bassman was able to knock it back into Doyle’s
head and get the pin. Once the match ended the jumbotron came back on and Vince McMahon appeared. Vince wished UPW a happy fifth anniversary and then proceeded to fire Pete Doyle with the “you’re fired” the only way Vince can, then lead the crowd in the “Na Na Na Na Goodbye” song. The crowd popped huge for Vince.
Tom Howard & Chris Daniels over Scott Hall & Kevin Nash [11’10]
Kevin Nash and Scott Hall came out and said since Scott can’t drink, they are
getting bored in the back and they have flights to catch and want their match
now. That brought out Howard and Daniels. This was a pretty fun match, with
the crowd eating up everything the Outsiders did. Howard was made to look like
a million bucks, as every time he was in the match he was in control it seemed,
and would always be the one to get the hot tag and save the day. Evan Marriott,
AKA Joe Millionaire was the special ref for the match, and at one point he and
Hall got into a shoving match. Howard and Daniels pinned both Outsiders at the
same time and got the win. The crowd wasn’t happy with the Outsiders losing.
After the match Hall and Nash goofed around with ring announcer John Ian, then Nash hit Hall with a low blow and left. Hall then got on the mike and said “There’s not enough money to get our fat asses off the couch and wrestle, but for kids we’ll do anything.”
The Ballards (Shannon & Shane Ballard) over Hardkore Inc. (Hardkore Kidd & Al Katrazz) to win the UPW Tag Team titles
This was a tables, ladders, and chairs match. Even with the gimmick match, it was going to be very hard to follow up the Outsiders’ match, which was the main
draw to the show. Also, I don’t think there is anything more that can be done in this type of match, that hasn’t been done in the WWE TLC matches, and this match didn’t come near that level of insanity. A lot of matches like this don’t
have much logic, such as setting up ladders next to the ropes, which just happens to have a stack of tables on the outside of the ring, and the belts in the middle of ring being nowhere near in reach. The match just didn’t seem to go that well, as it didn’t have a good flow and things seemed way to forced. A funny thing happened before the match, as the belts were hanging above the ring, but they showed Hardkore Inc. backstage, and they had the belts with them.
Ken Shamrock vs. Sylvester “Predator” Terkay went to a double
Prior to the match Shamrock called out Tank Abbott who was in the audience,
and said something along the lines that if Tank is a man he’ll sign the contract to fight in July in UFC. Tank yelled for the rest of the match, stealing heat from what started out to be a really good match. Predator was being built as a huge monster throughout the match, as almost nothing Shamrock would do could
take him down. They worked a sort of shoot and American style mix, but it came
across real well. Shamrock had a few really good reversals into submission holds. At one point Shamrock had an arm bar on Terkay, and Terkay gave Ken a sick looking powerbomb to break it. Predator pulled out a chain and started to use it on Shamrock, then Shamrock began choking Predator with the chain. The ref tried to break it up and Shamrock choked him out too. The match was ruled a double DQ.
Frankie Kazarian over Jerry Lynn and Evan Karagias to retain the UPW Lightweight
-Karagias eliminated at 10’05
-Lynn eliminated at 18’11
This was a pretty good match, and a surprising choice for the main event. Kazarian and Lynn worked really well together in the match, and Karagias looked decent, but didn’t seem to be up to par with the other two. I’m not sure how much he’s wrestled lately because it could just be a little ring rust? This was my second favorite match wrestling wise of the night.
After the match Bassman and all the UPW champions came to the ring and thanked the fans for the last five years and said they look forward to the next five. Overall, like I said a very entertaining show from UPW. The crowd was really hot for the show and everyone I spoke to seemed to have had a good time. UPW seemed to have a problem delivering with their shows last year, but with the quality of their Mat Wars shows so far, and this show it looks like they are turning it back around in 2004.
I’d also like to mention that show was a benefit for the Orangewood Children’s
Foundation, which is a children’s foundation in Orange County. For more information on the Orangewood Children’s Foundation check out their website at http://www.orangewoodfoundation.org.
Expect the Havana Pitbulls and Iceman (formerly Iceman John Black) to be added to the New Japan Inoki Dojo Toukon show in Hollywood on March 6. Also, The Heat vs. American Dragon match on the show has been made into a IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship match. It will be the first time the title has been defended in the United States.
I’d expect Ebessan to be on March 6th’s Rev Pro show and March 7th’s PWG show.
PWG has dates booked at the Santa Ana Elks Lodge in April, May, and June already.
MWF, which stands for Mexican Wrestling Federation, is a local lucha promotion that runs every Sunday at 6:00 PM in Los Angeles. The shows are located at Arena Mexico at 6707 S. Broadway Ave. For more info on their weekly lineups be sure to check out the upcoming events section of SCU.