IWL on Roku Review: InsanoVision
IWL’s previous event, Sicko Sircus, was a pretty terrible show. The presentation on Roku wasn’t very good as there were loads of technical difficulties and lots of video quality issues throughout the show. But I didn’t want to just write off IWL’s product and wanted to see if whether it was just one bad show they had. Their next event, InsanoVision continues the Ray Rosas and Eric Cross feud and features matches with The Young Bucks and B-Boy. Whether this event is an improvement from the last will be seen.
The show starts with a segment where one of the ring announcer’s kid is celebrating his birthday. The kid’s favorite wrestlers are The Young Bucks and his wish is to meet them. Bucks come out, they cut a promo, hit Superkicks on the kid’s dad, the kid attacks the Bucks and the Bucks lay the kid out with a pair of Superkicks. This was honestly fucking hilarious. The kid threw better kicks than most of the workers on this show too.
Anyway, the Mixtape Kings come out for the save and we have our opening match now.
IWL Tag Team Championship Match The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) (c) vs. The Mixtape Kings (LTP & Jacob Diez)
This match was alright. LTP looked pretty solid here, and the Bucks seemed to be spot on without really going all out in this. Jacob Markus Riot Diez was a level or two (or four) below everyone else in this match. There were times where he looked ok, but for the most part he just came off as he was trying to keep up. Also, his strikes looked like shit. The kid threw better kicks than him. No joke. Seeing guys like him trying to do SPINNING SHIT is just bad. Besides that, this was an ok match. Nothing to complain about, but at the same time nothing to really praise.
One thing that was stupid about this match was that the dad who got Superkicked by the Young Bucks went back to doing commentary. Pretty stupid idea to have a commentator no-sell getting kicked in the face by the tag team champions by having him get back to do commentary. It makes your wrestlers and product look stupid and weak.
Johnny Saovi vs. Simon Lotto
This match sucked. Lots of sloppy spots. Nothing really looked good or cool. Johnny Saovi is really terrible in the ring. He also looks like a pudgy crackbaby. These guys also do SPINNING SHIT! There was some spot that featured a plant in the crowd that Saovi was fucking with, and was later catching dives. There’s really nothing else to say about this other than this was bad.
Now we have SoCalUncensored.com’s Mike Draven to present The Young Bucks with the award for 2014 SoCal Tag Team of the Year. It’s so fucking weird to see SCU presenting an award in an IWL ring. Seriously, I don’t know what else to say. Bucks say stuff. Crowd claps. More stuff is said. Tony Grazino continues his shitty masked comedian schtick. He seriously fucking sucks. I know IWL owner Vic Luna wants his promotion to be “different” and shit, but having shitty, unfunny ring announcers calling matches doesn’t make your shows better.
The Black Parade (Pinky & Eli Everfly) vs. Tag Game Strong (Leo Blaze & Cedric King) vs. Kahmora & Steven Andrews
The story of the match was about the tension between Kahmora and her tag team partner Steven Andrews. It really wasn’t interesting. Eli Everfly was the best performer in the match. He showcased some really cool high flying offense as well as some neat submissions. Leo Blaze took some decent bumps in this too. Besides that, there wasn’t really anything about the match that stood out or was interesting. The one thing I took away from this match was that I felt that Eli Everfly is good enough to be working for a company like PWG right now.
IWL Breakout Championship Match: The American Oni (w/ Pris) (c) vs. Blake Grayson
Last time I reviewed IWL’s Sicko Sircus, I said The American Oni is the worst wrestler not named Mr. California. This guy is really, really bad. Blake Grayson had a decent showing in this, but he wasn’t working with much here. Pris is annoying and not good at, well, anything. They had a match. Oni sucked. That’s really all I can write about this shit.
Post Match Shenanigans: Pris got kidnapped by Joseph Knox after a shitty run in. The angle was so terrible. As Knox was grabbing Pris and walking away, Oni casually walked behind them with his entrance gear as his valet was being kidnapped. None of the staff or security tried to make an effort to save Pris. Really, what a terrible angle. This is Wrestlecrap level garbage booking. It’s hard to tell if this is an actual bad indy wrestling show or a sketch comedy bit that’s a parody of bad indy wrestling shows.
IWL Anarchy Championship Match: Justin Ryke (c) vs. Damon Divine
Before the match started, Damon Divine cut a shitty promo. It wasn’t good or creative. Riki De La Paz was at ringside doing commentary. This match sucked too. There was an angle that setup a match at the next event. Seeing Ryke trying to do a running cannonball made me feel embarrassed for him. The angle at the end was also stupid. I’m really being honest here when I say this match isn’t even worth reviewing. Fuck this shit. Next.
B-Boy vs. Che Cabrera
Finally, a match that doesn’t suck. A vast improvement from the last two matches, and the best match of the night. B-Boy dished out lots of offense to Che Cabrera, who was able to hang with B-Boy. Solid match between the two. As someone who does Jiu-Jitsu I really appreciate B-Boy trying to utilize techniques and transitions from that martial art into pro wrestling. The finish where he transitioned a Triangle Choke into an Armbar was cool, but it could’ve been smoother. Still, I enjoy the fact that there’s someone actually trying to incorporate different things into pro wrestling from combat sports.
IWL Championship Match: Peter Avalon (c) vs. Chris Evans vs. Eric Watts
This was a decent triple threat match. Peter Avalon was the best performer, and Chris Evans was decent at times. Eric Watts seemed sluggish and clumsy at times, and was the weak-link in the match. Outside of having a presence, he really didn’t add anything to the match. Nothing overly terrible, but nothing really good. They hit each other’s finishers on each other and the crowd didn’t seem to understand or care. Just a really, really bland match.
Title Shot vs. Career Match: Eric Cross vs. Ray Rosas
So at the last event, Sicko Sircus, there was an angle going between Eric Cross and Ray Rosas which led to Ray costing him a title rematch after Cross cheated to win a battle royal. There’s more to it, but there’s too much to explain and it’s just a dumb clusterfuck of an angle. It set up this match where Rosas put his career on the line for Cross’ shot at the title. Ray Rosas was pretty good in this, but Eric Cross was hard to tolerate. He’s got a shitty presence that makes me not want to watch his matches.
They did an angle where Peter Avalon tried to save Ray from a chairshot from Cross while the referee was down, but Cross faked getting hit by Avalon, causing Ray Rosas to get DQ’d. IWL owner Vic Luna came out and re-started the match with a No Disqualification stipulation. Ray Rosas eventually won. Honestly, the booking was too contrived and killed the match. It’s like they took the Eddie Guerrero spot, mixed it with a Dusty finish, and had Vince Russo book the angle by throwing in a bunch of swerves. It’s obvious that whoever is booking things in this promotion doesn’t know how to build angles, stories, or matches very well.
Post Match Shenanigans: Eric Cross showed Ray Rosas respect. Ray and Peter had tension between them to setup their match at the next event as the show comes to an end.
Thoughts on the show: This was better than Sicko Sircus and all, but that’s not saying much. B-Boy vs. Che Cabrera was the best match of the show. The booking in IWL is really terrible and doesn’t do anyone any favors as their wrestlers and staff always end up looking like idiots. A lot of the wrestlers that are booked on these shows aren’t really good. The commentary continues to be atrocious. Middle aged white people humor is the last thing I want to hear during a wrestling match. Also, Tony Graziano continues to be painfully unfunny.
Thoughts on the Roku presentation: This show didn’t see as many technical fuck ups like the last show. The audio mixing is terrible though. It’s hard to hear the crowd, the commentary team (who suck) are hard to hear, so you have to turn up your volume, and when someone gets on the microphone the audio is way too loud causing you to adjust the volume on your TV several times during the show. The picture quality isn’t great, but it was better than last time.
Final thoughts: This show didn’t suck like the last one. The presentation on Roku was better too. Again, I’m trying to be fair with IWL here, but to be completely honest, I’ve been extremely underwhelmed by their product. Lots of bad wrestlers, shitty booking, and too many cringe-inducing moments. This was better than the last show though, but the IWL has a long way to go if they’re gonna be serious about becoming a better, more respectable promotion in the eyes of the fans. I am looking forward to the Ray Rosas vs. Peter Avalon at the next event, but I don’t really care about the angle behind it.