This past weekend I found myself in the Phoenix area for MLB spring training and decided to check out some local wrestling. I don’t know much about the Arizona wrestling and haven’t seen a whole lot of wrestlers out of that area recently, (with the notable exceptions are Alexander Hammerstone, Joe Graves, and Evan Daniels who are pretty good) so I was interested in seeing some wrestlers I’ve never seen before as well.
The first problem I ran into was actually finding out if a show was going on. As luck would have it however Mike Camden tweeted out that he was going to be on March 10th’s Party Hard Wrestling show in Mesa, AZ. I knew this promotion had also brought in Joey Ryan a few months ago as well. From what I was told there are a few more promotions running in the area as well, with Arizona Wrestling Federation being the biggest.
The venue was the Nile Theater in Oldtown Mesa, Arizona, which seemed like an interesting area. There were a lot of artists on the street, food trucks, and even people in costume like Hollywood Blvd. (I saw an awful looking Batman and Nightwing in front of the venue that looked like Batman and Nightwing would look if they just really let themselves go). There was also plenty of free parking behind the venue.
The venue itself was pretty nice. It’s a really old theater with brick walls and high ceilings. There was a bar inside that I believe only sold beer and soft drinks. Tickets were only about $12.00 at the door, and there was plenty of seating. I’d estimate attendance was around 125 or so.
The show started with the promotions champion, Nick Tendo (who’s gimmick was Nintendo themed believe it or not), cutting a promo about not having an opponent tonight. While a lot of indy promotions claim to have a “world’s” title, Party Hard is taking it a step further with their Multiversal title. Their champion is the champion of all worlds. I’m sure this allows for the eventual match with the Earth-3 version of Nick Tendo. Anyway, Daniel Sanchise came out to the ring and a match was made for later in the show.
Mike Camden over Kody Lane [6’00]
Mike Camden got a pretty loud ovation when he was announced. Mike Camden looked really solid when he was on offense on this but I didn’t think Kody looked as crisp. Still, it was a fun opener that got the crowd into the show.
EJ Sparks & Party Ranger over Dylan Dunbar & Rook Kelly [8’07]
Party Ranger looked exactly like a Power Ranger. Early on in the match Power Ranger looked like he was in slow motion on some of his offense, like he had to slow it down to pull off the moves correctly, but as the match went on he seemed to improve. EJ Sparks showed a lot of charisma and looked pretty solid. Dunbar and Kelly looked fine for the most part. Nothing bad but nothing great either. Party Ranger hit a shoot star press followed by a senton bomb by EJ Sparks to pick up the win.
Devin Sparks over Shigeyuki Kawahara [7’24]
Before the match Devin Sparks cut a promo about how he isn’t getting treated like he should at the promotion. I thought this match was pretty good. Sparks was in control the majority of the match and did a great job playing the heel. Kawahara also did a good job selling Sparks offense. Kawahara was able to make a comeback but it was short lived and Sparks won with a Boston Crab.
Cookies & Cream (Pete Petroselli & Jay Garland) over Game Sharks (Johnny Savoi & Adan Reyes) [8’01]
As you can imagine Cookies and Cream had one white guy and one black guy on the team. Game Sharks had a video game theme, making three wrestlers on the show so far with video game gimmicks. This match was OK. It was pretty basic and Savoi looked the most polished by far. Cookies & Cream won with a double team elevated DDT.
After this last match it was announced that it was intermission, except a wrestler was out interacting with the audience which lead to someone coming and saying that is Mosh Pit Mike wants a match he’s getting one right now. I didn’t catch the name of the person who came out, but they had a quick three minute match that Mosh Pit Mike lost. There was one spot in the match where the unnamed wrestler went for a tope on Mike, and one guy in the crowd didn’t move and of course that’s where the wrestlers landed. The fan’s chair was destroyed, but the fan said he was OK. The unnamed guy won with a frog splash.
Ray Basura & Oliver Grimsley over Neil Cutter & Shane Marvel [10’50]
Shane Marvel was hailed as being from Gotham City and wore a utility belt. I wasn’t a big fan of this match, though I thought Neil Cutter looked decent. Basura hit a powerslam on Cutter for the win.
Jack Jameson over Allie Kat [12’55]
Jack Jameson is the master of the wristlock and the early part of the match was built around him finding ways to put Allie Kat into them. Allie Kat made a lot of “pussy” jokes. There was a lot of comedy throughout the match. It did get pretty sloppy at times. There was one pretty bad botch by Allie Kat that caused her just to fall to the mat awkwardly when trying to execute a move on Jameson from the rope. The match definitely went on too long as well. Jameson won with a wristlock.
Evan Daniels & R Three over Mason Douglas & Jax [14’30]
This was a really fun match. Douglas and Jax did a pretty good job as the heels throughout the match while Daniels and R Three played cocky faces. The match had a lot of back and forth action and while it was clear Daniels was on a different level than the rest of the wrestlers in the match, everyone held their own. R three picked up one of the heels and Daniels did a double stomp off the ropes into a Death Valley Driver by R Three for the win. This was my match of the night.
Nick Tendo over Daniel Sanchise to retain the Party Hard Multiversal title [9’00]
Based on the promo to start the show both guys were faces, but Sanchise worked a heel style in this match. There was some crowd brawling, and Sanchise jumped off the stage at one point, going about 10 feet in the air to hit Tendo. The match was overall solid, and they were able to get a ton of heat, but it was pretty short for a main event.
There were no great matches, and I thought Allie Kat versus Jameson was pretty bad, but everything else was entertaining. Without any bias, I also thought the with the exception of Evan Daniels the wrestlers on the show who came out of Southern California (Camden, Sparks, and Savoi) looked a lot more solid than the rest of the roster. A lot of that likely has to do with the SoCal guys have a lot more opportunities to wrestle with 45 plus shows a month in SoCal plus a much deeper talent pool. Guys like Nick Tendo, Daniel Sanchise, and EJ Sparks showed a lot of potential though.
Overall I thought it was a pretty fun show and would definitely check out the promotion again if I was in the area when they are running. Their next show is April 14th in Mesa, AZ and features Colt Cabana and the great Kikutaro.