On February 10th, 2017 in Moorpark, CA, at the Millennium Wrestling Academy, Millennium Pro Wrestling held a Gauntlet Match featuring six competitors trying to become the new MPW Champion. I had the chance to watch this match and decided to take a look at some of the ups and downs of the match, and I also discuss the potential of some of the guys in the match.
Running weekly events at their training facility, MPW puts on shows that aren’t marketed or geared towards fans of the type of style of wrestling PWG produces. They don’t have big names, the building can possibly hold 40 people max, and the production values are very minimal. Oh, and the entry way is a door. Needless to say, this was INDY WRESTLING to the core. A total bush league and cheesy presentation, but that’s just part of the charm of this match, as these shows are doing a lot to offer the students of MPW some much needed experience and various wrestlers in SoCal another place to work. On February 10th, 2017, MPW streamed this match on their Facebook page, giving people a chance to view what they have to offer and a chance to showcase some of the guys coming up, as well as to get their product out to more people, something not a lot of other promotions in SoCal are doing a good job of doing.
Before the match, the ring announcer/sound guy went over the rules of the gauntlet match for the illustrious MPW “World” Championship. I put the term “world” in quotations because honestly it’s really more like the MPW Openweight Championship Of Moorpark.
First Fall: Bulletproof (w/ his manager) vs. Clubbin’ Cody
The first two entrants in the match were Clubbin’ Cody, a guy who has a somewhat entertaining gimmick, against Bulletproof, a short Hispanic guy who is a bootleg Romain Reigns with a fat, middle aged manager who has a cheap jacket with the letter “E” all over it, and they make “E” hand signs cause they’re in some group call the Echelon. Bulletproof did a funny roll into some shitty attempt at a parkour attempt. We’re off to a great start, and the action hasn’t even started! Bulletproof’s gear looks like it was purchased at a Military Surplus store, as he was wearing a bulletproof vest (get it? His name is Bulletproof, and he’s got a bulletproof vest! Haha! *barfs*) and tactical clothing.
These guys didn’t really have the smoothest performances, and there were some moments where I flat out laughed at how bad some of the action was. Bulletproof trying to work an awful looking spinning toe hold was hard to watch, and seeing him do Roman Reign’s Superman Punch along with the signature floor punch pose Roman does before Cody moved out of the way. The match fell apart towards the end, but thankfully it ended quickly when Cody hit a superkick on Bulletproof to eliminate him. While this was very sloppy, I honestly appreciated the fact that these guys were ambitious enough to TRY shit that was obviously out of their comfort zones. They didn’t rely on the lazy “Punches, kicks, restholds, character work” formula a lot of shitty workers do, and they went for some different shit. I give them kudos on that. Still, this wasn’t well executed. Both guys came off as really green, and hopefully they improve in the future.
Second Fall: Clubbin’ Cody vs. Daniel Moon (w/ valet)
The third entrant in the match was Daniel Moon. Duh, you knew that cause I wrote it there. Stupid Andrew. He had a valet with him who had a name that sounded like it could be a pronstar name. They had a cool spot early in the second fall that saw Cody hit a Double Chickenwing Facebuster on Mooon. Moon worked over Cody’s leg and his valet, Aurora something, got involved a bit. The way Moon worked over Cody’s leg was pretty bad, but he was a decent heel and his valet got heat from the kids in the crowd. There were moments where these guys looked pretty green, but both showed flashes of potential at some points in the match. Daniel Moon attempted to hit a springboard move, but botched it. One guy in the crowd tried to start a Botchamania chant. Sadly for him and Maffew, this wasn’t the type of show where people would get that reference. He hit a nice Michinoku Driver though after it. Moon eliminated Cody after getting a rollup and grabbing the ropes. Like the last fall, both guys appeared to be very green, but they were ambitious and put effort into their match. Again, kudos to them.
Third Fall: Daniel Moon vs. Logan X
Next participant was Logan X. Daniel Moon got lots of heat from SoCal Beavis. Logan X was the most experienced wrestler in the match, and is trainer at the Millennium Wrestling Academy. The opening portion of the match saw some sloppy chain wrestling, but this ended up having some decent spots showcased. Daniel Moon went for the springboard move he tried in the last fall again, and was countered by Logan X into a powerslam for a really cool looking spot.Moon also hit a nice springboard Sunset Flip variation on the corner to Logan X. Moon was eliminated when Logan X hit a superkick to counter a springboard move from Moon like the Shawn Michaels/Shelton Benjamin spot from Raw in 2005 or 2006. Again, this was sloppy, but these guys went for shit that a lot of guys in SoCal don’t have the balls to do. Decent stuff.
Fourth Fall: Logan X vs. Hellkid
Oh God. Hellkid. For those who’ve never seen him (and chances are a lot of you haven’t) he’s a guy in his 40’s that wears face paint, a shirt with the Cross of St. Peter since he’s supposed to be antichrist or some shit, gloves, and red pants.This part of the gauntlet match was really bad. Logan X didn’t have the greatest of performances, but Hellkid was just awful. He threw the worst punches and no-sold a dive by Logan X. Someone made a comment that someone farted, and it resulted in people saying Hellkid smelled like shit and was stinking up the ring. They were sorta right. Hellkid looked like he could’ve broken his leg several times by delivering sloppy basic vertical suplexes. All he did in this match was throw shitty punches, those shitty suplexes, and shitty character work involving a bunch of grunting. He even delivered an awful Heart Punch on Logan X that got no heat for a near fall. Hellkid was mercifully eliminated after Logan X hit a superkick on him.
Fifth Fall: Logan X vs. Dan Joseph
The final participant in the gauntlet was Dan Joseph. Dan Joseph hit a Northern Lights Bomb and an Oklahoma Stampede on Logan X early in this portion of the gauntlet for near falls. Joseph was in control for the better part of the match and eventually won after hitting a Superplex before transitioning into another Northern Lights Bomb to get the win and to become MPW Champion. Despite this portion of the gauntlet being quick, it was well done and the best worked part of the gauntlet. After the match, Dan Joseph walked around ringside trying to get heat. He didn’t really get much of a chill.
This was an interesting look at what MPW has to offer and what type of talent they’re producing at the Millennium Wrestling Academy. The tiny venue, small crowd full of kids, and the overall ragtag vibe of the show gave it a feel as if this was the very bottom of the wrestling world. While that might come off as bad, it was genuinely nice to see a crowd full of kids reacting to various things while some guys were trying to go beyond their comfort zone and trying things they probably aren’t ready to be doing. Hellkid was really bad, but aside from his awful performance and sloppy moments throughout it, this was a fun match.
The effort put in by Daniel Moon and Clubbin’ Cody were admirable. They aren’t the best workers in the world, they’re not even at a point where they can be judged fully on their talent, but they show potential to be something decent. Another upcoming talent showcased by MPW in the past, Danny Divine, also shows signs of potential in videos of his that I’ve seen. Logan X, Bo Cooper, and the rest of the trainers at the Millennium Wrestling Academy seem like they got a decent group of guys on their hands who could turn out to be a solid core of talent in the future. Now obviously a lot of these young guys need more work, but if they put in the work I can see them being a great addition to the scene. Dan Joseph also showed a little more of what he could do here compared to what we see from him in Championship Wrestling From Hollywood.
I don’t see myself making the drive out to Moorpark for one of these shows, but I’m definitely interested in seeing how guys like Clubbin’ Cody, Daniel Moon, and Danny Divine progress and improve in the future.