SoCal Pro has always felt like an unofficial continuation of CCW to me, and that’s a good thing. I have fond memories of CCW, it was the first independent wrestling promotion I ever went to in Southern California, and it is where I got my start in wrestling working behind the scenes. It always feels good to go out and see fans that you remember from CCW shows 17 years ago, still attending shows and still being as vocal as ever. It really brings you back to why you fell in love with indy wrestling to start with.
The scheduled bell time was 7:00 pm, but about 15 minutes before the show it was announced there would be a special bonus match.
Dirty Doug over Big Jack [4’43] in a special bonus match
When the match was first announced my first thought was that both wrestlers should think about new names. Big Jack just seems too generic to stand out on the indy wrestling scene, and Dirty Doug… well, you can check urban dictionary on that. Big Jack is a big man, easily the biggest guy on the show, Big Jack is probably going to be the biggest guy on most indy shows he works, and he should play up being “big” more and not be trying to pull off superkicks. Use the size to your advantage. The match itself was fairly basic, and they kept it simple. It was a little sloppy at points, but overall it was OK. It wasn’t a bad match by any means, but it wasn’t good either. I assume that both wrestlers are fairly new, and both have potential and should improve with more experience.
Damage Control (Duke & Destro) over Wildsiders (Andre Machiveski & Dark Usagi) [8’55]
This was another OK match, nothing too memorable about it, but nothing too bad. I thought Duke looked really good in the match; he certainly stood out as the most polished. No one looked bad, but other than Duke no one really stood out. The match was fine for the opener and it got the crowd into the show, so it did its job there.
Mike Camden over Chris Kadillak [8’17]
This match started out really good. I mean steal the show good. Early on there was a sequence where both guys were trying to pull off a kick on the other wrestler, while the other guy managed to avoid it that came off really crisp and worked really well. There was a sequence where Kadillak was delivering slaps to Mike Camden, but Camden’s chest is so hard apparently Kadillak was selling his hand being hurt from the slaps. At one point the crowd was doing the “this is awesome chant,” which was the only time it came out during the show. While the match was developing to be really good, and a serious match of the night candidate, something happened at the end and the finishing sequence came off really sloppy and brought the match down. It was a good match with a bad ending.
After the match Mike Camden cut a promo and said he wants another shot at SoCal Crazy.
Anthony Idol over Devin Dalton in a non title match
I’m not sure why this was a non-title match. I didn’t manage to get a time on this match as I accidently stopped the timer after about four minutes. Anthony Idol looks like a guy if you ran into him on the street and he told you he is a pro-wrestler, you wouldn’t be surprised. It was your typical smaller guy in Devin Dalton trying to use his speed and high flying to counteract the power of the much bigger Anthony Idol. Dalton tries to go to the top rope and dives at Idol, but Idol catches him mid-air, slams him, and gets the pin. The match was a bit of a styles clash, but pretty decent for what it was.
Andy Brown & Adrian Quest over The Ballards (Shannon & Shane Ballard) to retain the SoCal Pro titles [13’24]
When the Ballards came out, the USA chants started. They are really good at turning the crowd against them. There were several people in the crowd that seemed legitimately angry at them. They have been one of the backbones of the SoCal scene for almost 20 years, and I have a ton of respect for them. At this point it is clear that they most likely won’t be in the WWE or big stars in Japan, etc, but they still are driving all over the place to work indy shows for a small payday because they truly love wrestling. As far as the match itself goes, for whatever reason Adrian Quest looked really sloppy, which was unfortunate because he was focused on for a good portion of the match. There was a sequence when he went for a huracanrana off the top rope, but the move was completely botched, yet for some reason the Ballard still sold it. When a move is blown that badly, selling just draws further attention to how badly the move was botched. The Ballards took turn beating on Quest, as he desperately tried to get to the corner so Brown could tag in. At one point Quest dove too far towards the corner and was easily within Brown’s reach, but since he was supposed to be pulled away before he could make the tag, Brown had to pretend he couldn’t reach and it didn’t come off good. When Brown finally did get in, the match really picked up and he looked crisp with the Ballards. Quest didn’t really look bad the rest of the match either, it was just that middle sequence where he was singled out was so bad. Take away that part, and it would have been a good match. People have told me that Quest is usually pretty good, so maybe this was an off night.
Ju Dizz over Ricky Mandel to become #1 contender for the Golden State Championship [12’50]
Ju Dizz was super over, easily the biggest crowd reaction of anyone on the show. This is one of the matches I was looking the most forward too, with Rickey Mandel being a pretty good wrestler that has been really under the radar for awhile (hopefully that will change with him being on Lucha Underground) and Ju Dizz is up for 2015’s SoCal rookie of the year. This was a pretty good match, with lots of back and forth. The crowd reaction really added to it as well. Towards the end Ju Dizz pulled off a nice looking pumphandle backbreaker and eventually got the rollup for the win. I was really impressed with Ju Dizz in the match, and he further proved that 2015 looks to be a really strong rookie class.
Post match Ju Dizz’ wife (at least I think it was said to be his wife) got in the ring to celebrate with him, which lead to Anthony Idol coming out and destroying them both, her via kiss. Afterwards Ju Dizz requested that next month is match versus Idol would be no-holds-barred, a request that was granted.
SoCal Crazy over Ray Rosas by DQ [20’06]
I thought this was the match of the night. If there was one negative, it was all the stalling. SoCal Crazy is being established as sort of a 80s Honky Tonk man who will win and keep the title by any means necessary. For a good portion of the match it seemed his tactic was to get a win via count out. Both guys are really good wrestlers, and of course I would have liked to have seen a more technical match, but what they were doing was working. The crowd was going crazy for near falls in the match. I know SoCal Crazy was wrestler of the year a few years ago, but I still don’t feel he gets enough credit for how good he’s become. Hopefully Rosas becomes a regular in SoCal Pro. A match between him and Camden would have a ton of potential. The match ended when SoCal Crazy, who was behind the ref, and out of his vision, grabbed Rosas’ arm between the ref’s legs and pulled it up giving the ref a low blow. The ref thought it was all Rosas so he was disqualified. Normally a match ending in a DQ feels a little cheap, but it worked within SoCal Crazy’s gimmick.
Overall I thought it was a good show. While there were no matches on the show that I would consider great, there really weren’t any bad matches either. The main and the semi were pretty good, with Camden and Kadillak also being really good minus the ending. I was really impressed with SoCal Pro’s production as well. Having a video screen is a nice touch. The atmosphere at the shows is great as they have a really good, passionate fan base.
Their next show is scheduled for March 19th, once again at the Oceanside Boys & Girls Club.