Santino Bros. Wrestling: !Kaostrophe! Review
This past October, the Santino Bros. Wrestling Academy held an event in South Gate, CA featuring Kaos vs. Brian Kendrick as the main event, along with Joey Ryan vs. Brian Cage, an excellent MOTYC between B-Boy, Eli Everfly, & Famous B, and several matches featuring the trainers and students of the Santino Bros. Wrestling Academy.
I was actually thinking about going to this show when I saw it advertised one day on SCU, but because of various reasons I couldn’t make it out. Thankfully, the Santino Bros. Wrestling Academy posted the full event on Youtube, giving people the chance to watch what they have to offer. Great move by the Santino Bros. brass and giving the fans free content. You can see this event and plenty of other matches and clips on the Santino Bros. Wrestling Youtube channel.
Match 1: Alpha Santino (Guy Cool & Heather Monroe) vs. The Study Buddies (Chaz & Darwin)
This was a fun, decent opener featuring students of the Santino Bros. Academy. The team of The Study Buddies are a pair of nerds and Alpha Santino are an inter-gender team of a douchey party boy frat bro and a bitchy co-ed. The match started off with some good technical wrestling mixed with amusing comedy. Heather Monroe reminded me of Candice LeRae with her in ring work, and showed potential to be really good in a few years. This was a really solid and fun opener. Good way to start the show.
Match 2: Douglas James vs. Ryan Ramos
Before the match, Douglas James cuts a promo explaining how his trainer and original opponent for this event, Robbie Phoenix didn’t make it. He called out anyone for a match and the challenge was answered by Ryan Ramos. The crowd was really behind Douglas James, who continues to impress me. That guy deserves to win SoCal Rookie Of The Year for 2015, I was really impressed with his takedown at the start of the match, as it was a legitimate technique that was done well in a pro wrestling match, something we rarely see in wrestling. Ramos was decent, didn’t have as good of a performance as James, but was able to put on a good match with him nonetheless.
Match 3: Joey Ryan vs. Brian Cage
I don’t know when Joey Ryan started the whole giving his lollipop to a fan gimmick thing, but it’s pretty fucking gross. You people don’t know where that mouth has been, nor do you want to know. Joey played a chickenshit heel who used cheap tactics to cancel out Brian Cage’s size and skill advantage. Joey kept things slow for awhile until Cage made a comeback to get back into the match. They trade moves for a few minutes before Joey got the win with a roll up in a nifty finishing sequence. This match was alright, nothing great, but nothing bad, and the crowd enjoyed it.
Match 4: Ruby Raze & Tyler Bateman vs. Hudson Envy & Brody King
The match started off with a feeling out process with Raze and Hudson Envy that included shenanigans such as Hudson holding onto Raze’s leg like a child and then punching her in the boob a few moments later. It’s those little things that make me laugh. Hudson was pretty entertaining and amusing during this, and solid in the ring. The opening interactions between Tyler Bateman and Brody King was hard hitting and stiff. After that, we had inter-gender action as the men and women did some sequences together, with Raze having a really good showing with Brody King. There was apart of the match where there looked to be miscommunication between King and Bateman, but they were able to keep the match from falling apart. This was a solid, entertaining match with cool headrops and decent looking strikes that were stiff. Another good match on this show with a good showing from all four in this match.
Match 5: Russian Chain Match: Sasha Darevko vs. Che Cabrera
This match is a Russian Chain match that has a chain hanging above the ring, which both competitors could easily grab if they stood on their toes, so they have to climb a small ladder to get it. The commentators made a funny comment about it being an Ikea ladder. I’ve never really been a fan of Sasha Darevko and his dated-gimmick. He wasn’t really entertaining to watch in the ring, and kinda sucked at selling. There was a part of the match where Che Cabrera hit him in the face with a ladder several times, and Sasha got back up like nothing happened. Che wasn’t bad in this match, and he’s got a cool gimmick, but he seems like he’s reserved when it comes to showing character and charisma. He had a good performance here though. Sasha fucked up the finish and hit a terrible looking Curbstomp to win. Up until that point, this match was decent, but that ending was bad.
Match 6: B-Boy vs. Famous B vs. Eli Everfly
This match got a standing ovation, and for a very good reason. These guys tore down the house and put on a high-quality match that epitomizes what a “Match of the Year” candidate should be. Lots of crazy spots in this and a hot crowd to make this an entertaining match from start-to-finish. Eli Everfly looked like a middle school kid in the ring with two guys like B-Boy and Famous B, and also came off as a little prick throughout the match, resulting in him getting tossed around and destroyed. This Eli kid really shined with his performance. He’s got an early Rey Mysterio Jr. meets TARO vibe. B-Boy and Famous B also both had good performances here, as they both hit some sick moves on Eli and each other, as well being being able to take Eli’s offense.
Watch this match. It’s worth it. Had this taken place in front of a PWG crowd, this would be getting huge praise from lots of people. These guys take some sick bumps and pulled some off lots of cool, innovative stuff. I can’t recommend this enough.
Match 7: Los Luchas (Phoenix Star & Zokre) vs. Los Bandidos (Rico Dynamite & Bad Dude Tito)
This match started off hot with Los Luchas flying around the ring and hitting cool double team offense. Los Bandidos controlled the match after for awhile by slowing down the pace and utilizing double team moves to slow down Los Luchas before they made a comeback. The finishing sequence was cool, and both teams displayed some cool double-team offense. This was another solid match on the show, and I’d really like to see a rematch between both teams because I believe they have the ability to top this match.
Match 8: Santino Bros Wrestling Championship Match – Brian Kendrick (c) vs. Kaos w/ Jezebel
This was a special match, as both men are head trainers at the Santino Bros. Wrestling Academy with Kaos being a founder and Brian Kendrick running his school out of Kaos’ academy. The opening portion of the match was intense with both guys having heated exchanges between each other. The fans were really into this with dueling chants erupting during the match. Kendrick’s heel work during the match started to show more and more as it went on, with Kendrick talking shit to the crowd, being a bastard in the ring, and aggressively attacking Kaos’ injured knee. This really added to the match and the story. Kaos had a great showing in this, and it was great to see him putting on a entertaining performance. Both guys deserve credit for putting on a great match and telling a great story to go with it.
Post match interview with Kaos cur an emotional promo about his career and how much his students and school means to him. He puts over their work ethic and emphasizes how in order to be great, you need to put in the work. He has an open moment where he talks about the things he never got to do and how he would change things in his career, but was proud of the school he founded and runs and wouldn’t change that for anything.
Final Thoughts: This was a show that gave me hope for the future of SoCal. The young talent showcased on this event all showed tons of potential to be really good in the future. The vibe of the show reminded me of a Revolution Pro event that featured a good mix of students and established stars on one event. This was, top-to-bottom, a really good show with a legitimate MOTYC on it. I highly recommend checking this show out if you can.