IWL on Roku Review: New Era X
Every promotion and sports league has their marquee events. For the IWL, one of their bigger events is New Era. This year they have Paul London, Joey Ryan, and B-Boy in headlining matches, along with a main event title match between Ray Rosas and Peter Avalon. While the last two events I watched were pretty awful, this one looks like it could be decent. Will it be? Let’s see.
The show starts off with IWL owner Vic Luna welcoming the crowd and talking about the history of the IWL. He even talks about how they started off as a backyard promotion. I know he doesn’t give a fuck about what people think, but he should at least have some sense to think that maybe it’d be smart not to mention IWL’s backyard past. During this, the sound guy played Johnny Saovi’s music, making it obvious that he’s now going to interrupt the promo. Vic introduces a retired backyard guy named Mike Gotch, who dug up his old gear the way Al Bundy would dig up his old Polk High Football jersey from time-to-time. So Saovi comes out with Devin Sparks and Biagio Crescenzo and cuts an unfunny promo.
Saovi beats up the retired backyard guy as Douglas James and Simon Lotto make the save to begin our first match.
Simon Lotto & Douglas James vs. Johnny Saovi & Devin Sparks w/Biagio Crescenzo
The match starts off fast with Douglas James and Simon Lotto hitting a pair of dives to start the match. Douglas James continues to impress and seems like he’d be a great pick for Rookie Of The Year in 2015. Everyone else was looked to be a step or two or seventeen below him as well. Saovi looks goofy inside the ring and is hard to take seriously. Besides that, I think Douglas James made this match decent with his performance. Sparks didn’t really seem to stand out so I can’t say much about him.
Post match shenanigans: Retired backyard wrestler Mike Gotch beat up Johnny Saovi, who just made Simon Lotto tap. That was some terrible, terrible booking. I get that Vic wanted to give his buddies a moment of glory, but he just keeps making his own product look bad with this kind of shit. Also, Tony Graziano is still unfunny.
Raze & Laura James vs. Steven Andrews & Kahmora vs. The Hive (Bee Boy & Mantis) vs. Tag Game Strong (Leo Blaze & Cedric The Hitman)
This was a four team elimination match. There was a mix of comedy involving The Hive to go along with the usual stuff you usually see in these types of matches. I really liked Kahmora’s Kimura DDT submission combo. It looked cool and didn’t look ridiculous. She had a really good showing in this match, and was better than her partner Steven Andrews who seemed to be lost when he wasn’t doing flips. This was my first time seeing Raze and I thought she was decent (I later reviewed a match featuring her and Tyler Bateman against Hudson Envy and Brody King from the Santino Bro’s October event “!Kaostrophe!”, which you can read by clicking this text) and also showed some potential to be a solid female heavyweight in the next few years like Awesome Kong. Besides that, the match itself was decent, but also pretty sloppy at times. Still, a solid showing from The Hive, Kahmora, and Raze in this one.
IWL Breakout Championship Match: The American Oni (c) vs. Joseph Knox w/ Pris
So at the last show, they did this angle where Joseph Knox kidnapped American Oni’s valet Pris while nobody made any effort to save her. This was to setup this rematch, as they had faced each other a few shows back in an abortion of a match. Knox came out with Pris, but before his entrance from the other side of the building, you can see American Oni standing by the curtain waiting to come out. This would be like watching a movie and seeing an actor in the frame before their character is supposed to appear in the scene. That’s some bad camera work and directing there.
This match, much like their previous encounter, sucked. American Oni does the worst Kenta Kobashi style machine-gun chops. Botched spots, weak looking strikes, a lot of the moves looked to have no impact, and the brawling sucked. This shit was just terrible. Again, MINUS FIVE STARS!!!!
Post match shenanigans: Joseph Knox did stuff and left a stuffed squirrel in the middle of the ring for some reason. Maybe he’s retiring. That’d be great. Tony Graziano does more bad comedy, this time utilizing “your mom” material. He’s the true definition of a hack. The guy in this video is more witty, has better material and has comedic timing than Graziano.
Joey Ryan vs. Eric Watts
The schtick where Joey Ryan sticks a lollipop in a dude’s mouth before his match is so gross. Thankfully that creepy shit didn’t continue throughout the match. Eric Watts controlled most of the match and played the dominant monster role, whereas Joey would be the babyface making comebacks and using his speed to slow down Watts’ momentum. They also do some brawling around the venue that gets the crowd into the match. Good match here with Joey having a really good performance that made Watts look like a decent big man style wrestler.
Shenanigans! A bunch of guys in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costumes come out to the ring with some kid who keeps telling them things. Some other kid gets in the ring, and that brings out Damon Divine. He cuts a promo on a megaphone, but you can’t hear it. The guys in the turtle costumes leave the ring. Turns out the kid that was brought out is Justin Ryke’s son. Ryke comes out, attacks Divine, and now we have this next match.
IWL Anarchy Championship – Kiss My Foot Match: Justin Ryke (c) vs. Damon Divine
So they have a shitty brawl to start. It’s not very good. The guy dressed up as Michelangelo attacked Damon Divine with a pizza box. That was great. That match wasn’t though. Slow, boring, and a lot of lame comedy. Ryke won and rubbed his foot on Divine’s face. At this point I’m just glad the match is over. Ryke’s son hit Divine with a spear.
Post match shenanigans: Turtles join Ryke and his son in the ring, do something to Divine, and Ryke gave a speech to his kid about chasing dreams or something. I’m honestly not a fan of these corny angles. No comment. A bunch of kids and some weird grown men dance with the guys in the Turtle costumes as we got o intermission. This feels more like a kid’s birthday party than an indy wrestling show.
IWL Tag Team Championship Match: The Mixtape Kings (LTP & Jacob Diez) (c) vs. The Black Parade (Eli Everfly & Pinky) vs. The Suburban Commandos (T-Rent & D-Unit
My new favorite tag team in the world is now the Suburban Commandos for “gimmick” along with their cool offense. The way they toss Eli Everfly around was crazy. Speaking of Eli, he continues to impress with his performances. He has good offense and does a good job at bumping for others. LTP also had a solid performance while everyone else didn’t really stand out. This match is one of the better matches of the show so far.
Mini rant: The commentators mentioned that Eli Everfly is an accomplished MMA fighter. Now, I don’t know what his background is, but I have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone who trains or competes in combat sports and/or legitimate martial arts. They mentioned they believe he trains at a UFC Gym but don’t say much else. I don’t know if he does, but I wanted to take this time to implore the readers out there not to train at any UFC brand gyms if you want to learn how to fight. Every UFC Gym is different, but you’re better off learning at an independently owned gym than a UFC Gym. Support small businesses and support your local fighters! End Rant.
B-Boy vs. Tyler Bateman vs. Ryan Kidd
I was looking forward to this match because of B-Boy’s involvement, as he’s had the best matches on the last two IWL shows. The story of the match centered around Tyler Bateman having never beat B-Boy, so it sorta seems like they’re subtly giving away the result of the match by having the commentators always talking about Bateman having never beaten B-Boy.
There’s two parts of this match. The first being the triple threat portion involving Ryan Kidd getting tossed around and having the shit kicked out of him. This was pretty entertaining, but I could’ve done without the stalling at the beginning. I wish they could’ve just gone all out with the action from the beginning. After Ryan Kidd gets eliminated, we have Bateman and B-Boy going at it. They take turns beating the shit out of each other with stiff strikes, head drops, and impact moves. Bateman gets the victory, which was pretty predictable. Despite that, this was the best match of the show so far, and B-Boy and Bateman both deserve lots of credit for their portion of the match.
Post match shenanigans: Bateman and B-Boy embrace each other and show respect to one another.
Now to take some time to talk about the commentary of this match here: I didn’t want to rant about this in the middle of my review of this match, as B-Boy, Tyler Bateman, and Ryan Kidd put on a really good match. So I’m doing it here. The commentators in this match were awful as usual, but really I got annoyed when that one guy wouldn’t shut the fuck up about his kid and getting superkicked by the Young Bucks at the last show. You give one insignificant person a spot on a show, and they never seem to shut the fuck up about it. Also, to whoever said it, B-Boy had a TRIANGLE CHOKE on Bateman, not a GOGOPLATA before the end of the match. Christ these people are not only unfunny, but also don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about when they call the action. They really are a Jocktober-like Morning Zoo radio crew with two unfunny white guys and a hole who sucks the fun out of things and is sympathetic towards people. It’s like listening to someone’s fucking lame ass parents having a conversation where they try to be funny with each other. It’s awful. Fucking awful.
Paul London vs. Eric Cross
This match starts off with Paul London going around the entire building and setting up his merchandise before the match. Eric Cross ruins Paul London’s comedy routine. Seriously, Eric Cross might be the least funniest wrestler ever. This becomes a Falls Count Anywhere match. They mostly do comedy, they go outside the blinding where you don’t know what happened, did a bunch of antics, and a bunch of other shit that wasn’t entertaining. Honestly this was bad. Outside of a shooting star press by London, this match was really boring. Meh.
Post match shenanigans: Eric Cross cuts a lame “respect” promo. Says he’s gonna retire at the next New Era. That’s the best career move Cross could make.
IWL Championship Match: Peter Avalon (c) vs. Ray Rosas
After four long hours, we finally get to the main event, and Justin Ryke is on commentary. He sucks at commentary just like he sucks at wrestling. Watching this show has been a chore.
Ray Rosas and Peter Avalon had a good opening sequence that featured a series of rollup pinning combinations and near falls. As the match went on, things were evenly matched between both guys with them doing various counters to their opponent’s offense. They did a chairshot tease, swerve, and false finish in one spot. The match continued with more near falls that had the crowd excited. The match would get heated towards the finishing stretch before Avalon pinned Rosas clean. This was a pretty good match, and the second best of the night behind the triple threat match. After the match they hug and get a standing ovation from the crowd as the show ends.
Thoughts on the show: This event was much more tolerable than the last two I saw, and the best IWL show I’ve seen so far. There were only three bad matches, and the rest ranged from decent-to-good. The commentary and Tony Graziano are still atrocious. The booking of these shows makes it hard to watch and enjoy. Still, despite the shitty parts of the show, this was better than Sicko Sircus and InsanoVision.
Thoughts on the Roku presentation: The audio levels still need work and the picture quality is still lacking. But technical bugs and fuck ups aren’t very common.
Final thoughts: Nothing great, some good stuff throughout the show, but there was still a lot of shit on the event. Too many multi-person or multi-team matches make it hard for people to stand out and get noticed, and the shitty angles and talent aren’t compelling because of how bad the booking is. Not only that, but the booking is almost the same type of booking WWE does to build main events between Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. It’s a shitty, unoriginal formula that really sucks.
Paul London vs. Eric Cross, American Oni vs. Joseph Knox, and Justin Ryke vs. Damon Divine were the worst matches of the show. The B-Boy vs. Tyler Bateman vs. Ryan Kidd match was the best on the show, and the main event between Ray Rosas vs. Peter Avalon was the second best. Overall, New Era X was a solid show