On March 18th, 2017, Maverick Pro held their third event at the Clela Arena in East Los Angeles. In this review, I take a look at the matches and segments that took place at this event, and talk about the promotion a bit at the end. There’s solid matches, but there’s also, well, other stuff.
Before I start, I’d like to give a huge shout out to FanDeLucha on YouTube for hitting up local events and filming the matches to upload. A lot of promoters in the SoCal area fucking SUCK at getting their footage out there. What FanDeLucha is doing is really a huge benefit for the local scene, and people should thank him and spread the word about his videos. Plus his heckling is fucking hilarious.
To watch the event on one playlist, click this video below.
The JOSHUA promo
“¡Cálmate Mortal Kombat!” might be my new favorite heckle ever. For those who don’t know, JOSHUA (also known as Josh Shibata, as well as Joshua Shibata and J. Shibata) is a longtime friend of SoCalUncensored.com, past contributor, and currently portrays Asian reporter Tricia Takanawa on Championship Wrestling From Hollywood. In Maverick Pro, he’s some type of evil preacher like the “Sinister Minister” James Mitchell was in ECW. This gimmick doesn’t work for Josh though. In fact, these sorta “savior” and “evil preacher” gimmicks always suck in indy wrestling. Josh’s monologue was honestly not that bad. He was a pretty decent actor here, it just sucks that his gimmick doesn’t work on shows like this.
Airon Skye promo
This started out wonderfully as some girl came to the ring, and the music guy played her entrance song after she almost in the ring. Then he just let her music play on as she stood in the for a few awkward moments instead of fading out. She started to talk over her loud entrance song and invited Airon Skye to the ring. Skye comes out to the ring, and she tries to interview him while his music was still playing. Airon Skye cuts a really bad promo. He said he wants a rematch for the title, which leads to some fat dude with a lackey in a cheap dress shirt and tie coming out with some folders. The music guy allowed his music to play on for a while once he was in the ring. Holy shit, this might be the worst music guy ever. So the guy named Shawn (who has a brother, father, and sister named Shawn as well) talks about how the owner of Maverick Pro is handling business in Russia. They did a bunch of jokes about the name Shawn, and a fan mentions how he knew a Shawn (Hot Tub Shawn) and that he was at PWG that same night. Hilarious. This entire segment was fucking awful. I’d feel so bad for someone if this was their first experience at an indy wrestling show. The fans even got tired of the segment and were saying “WE WANT WRESTLING” during Shawn’s promo. FanDeLucha and his friends’ commentary was funnier than everything in this shit segment. They were able to get more laughs than the guys in the segment. It is really fucking sad when the audience is upstaging the performers. Whoever said “what is this, 205 Live?” during this segment deserves a gold medal.
Handicap Match: Biggie Biggz vs. The Feelyons (Senior Buttons & Osiris Mittens)
The referee for this match was the assistant for that Shawn guy in the opening segment. He officiated the match in a baby blue dress shirt. What a very professionally run operation here at Maverick Pro. I’ve heard before that Biggie Biggz doesn’t like SCU because we don’t talk about him, acknowledge his work, or something along those lines. Well, I’m gonna do Biggie a huge solid and not talk about this match.
Daniel Torch vs. Lucas Riley
As the match was starting, the sound guy played the sound of a school bell ringing. That’s some top-notch production from Maverick Pro. This was my first time seeing Daniel Torch, and I came away impressed by him here. Riley is a product of the Santino Bros Wrestling Academy and has had some decent performances. Both guys had some good chain wrestling stuff to start the match with nifty shit thrown in to add excitement to things. Eventually the pace picked up and the guys started to get flippy. There were some weird and awkward moments in this, but these guys were able to have strong enough performances that make you forget it. Torch seems like he could have some really fun matches with some established local talents. Good match here from these guys.
Human Tornado vs. Desi de Rata
So this, this was something. Desi got on the mic before the match and cut a promo about how her opponent cancelled. She issues an open challenge to anyone, and her challenge is answered by the Human Tornado. The match started out with Human Tornado trying to seduce Desi with a lap dance. She wouldn’t go for what he was trying to put out there and he ended up giving her a legit backhand Pimp Slap after she tried giving him a low blow. She would answer this slap by hitting a German Suplex onto the chair she was sitting on. She started beating up on him, even countering a double leg takedown and rolling into mount. The match started to get sloppy after this. At one point, Desi looked as if she fell on her head on a dive from the ring apron. Things got really awkward around the 13:40 mark, when Human Tornado went for his trademark corner kicks where he ends with a kick tot he crotch. This didn’t work on Desi. As Tornado was realizing this, it sounded like someone said the n-word, which got a reaction front he crowd. My friend who was at this show told me he thought it someone was saying “mine’s bigger.” I’m sure if more people attended this show, we’d have a clear answer. Desi got the win on a botched spot where she pinned Tornado after hitting him with a clothesline as he went for a spin kick. Following the pin, Desi implied that Tornado farted. This match really was something else.
Chris Kadillak vs. Jake Atlas
First off, I started to lose it when FanDeLucha and his friend started naming random WCW stars form the late-90’s. It might seem stupid, but they were hilarious. Kwee Wee! These guys should do commentary on shows. This was a fun match. Both guys started off trading holds, and eventually the pace picked up and both guys started to do more flippy spots and sequences much like the opening match between Torch/Riley. There was a sequence that saw Kadillak hit Atlas with a standing reverse rana spot that got no reaction from the crowd, and Kadillak couldn’t help but comment on that. It’s really not his fault the crowd is dead considering they sat through two bad matches and two boring promo segments. Despite the dead crowd (well, it wasn’t a crowd, more like a group of people attending a wrestling show), these guys had a fun match. Atlas hit a nice standing shooting star press in this. Kadillak got the win after applying a Crossface after Atlas missed a standing moonsault. Good stuff here.
Post match shenanigans: Kadillak continued to beat up on Atlas after the bell. He got on the mic saying he deserves a title match and sat in the ring until that Shawn guy came out and cut a shitty promo. He says if Kadillak beats Super Crazy at an upcoming show in May, he’ll give him a title shot. This segment dragged on way too long.
Beautifully Charming (Brian Jace and Biagio Crescenzo) vs. Louie Louie and Marty Jannetty
Poor Marty. Poor, poor, poor Marty. The guy deserves so much better than to be booked on shitty indy wrestling shows that draw 30 people. Like, I hope he was able to get paid well for this, but I really can’t help but to feel bad for a guy who went from working in places like Madison Square Garden in New York City and SkyDome in Toronto to teaming with fucking Louie Louie in a small venue in East LA. Marty didn’t really do anything in this match aside from an arm drag and a bunch of slaps to the side of Biagio. There was a ref bump, and Brian Jace made sure his financial investment in booking an icon didn’t go t waste when hit Marty with a low blow and rolled him up for the win, despite the fact that Jace wasn’t even the legal man. He probably thinks having himself go over a WWF legend would give him a rub, but it really won’t. Either way, I was extremely thankful when this goddamn awful match was over.
Post match shenanigans: Biagio teased hitting Sweet Chin Music on Marty. He instead hit a terrible looking one on his manager before getting one from Marty himself. Oh yeah, Jace and Crescenzo had a manager. His gimmick was that he was a skinny black pimp (with two guys who are playing weird/flamboyant gimmicks, making things pretty suspect) or something. He had no charisma though, and added nothing to the match. Dude was a waste of space.
B-Boy vs. Peter Avalon vs. Airon Skye
Prior to the match, B-Boy and Peter Avalon fucked around by taking each other’s entrance jackets, and B-Boy bumped Peter’s shit in a trashcan. Once the match started, a hotdog chant broke out. The match was your typical three-way match. The opening portion of the match saw Skye hit a double jump springboard somersault to the outside before it became Peter vs. Skye with B-Boy on the outside for a bit, then it became B-Boy vs. Peter for a bit. Desi de Rata got involved a bit when she left the merch table to throw Skye back int he ring. There was a Tower Of Doom spot, which is standard in pro wrestling matches that have more than two competitors in it. Skye had some decent offense in this, but also appeared to be a little sloppy at times. B-Boy and Peter looked solid as usual, which is to be expected as they’re very consistent with their performances. Airon Skye did the deal and got the win after countering a brainbuster attempt from B-Boy with a Falcon Arrow to get the win. Ring announcer Mike Oropeza’s voice cracked when announcing Skye as the winner. This match wasn’t bad. Solid, decently put together, but the crowd (uh, group of people) were super flat for this. Of course, it doesn’t help when there’s like 30 people in attendance.
Maverick Pro Championship Match: Ricky Mandel (c) vs. Tyler Bateman
Both guys brawled around the ring and venue to start the match. They eventually got in the ring and had a very slow-paced match with a bunch of basic spots like restholds, dropkicks, strikes/punches, and crowd work from Ricky Mandel. This was really boring, and there was a ref bump that prevented Bateman from getting the win. Mandel won with a neck breaker after hitting Bateman with a low blow. What a terrible main event, and a terrible waste of Bateman’s abilities.
Man, Maverick Pro is a mess. First off, the non-wrestling segments were all pretty brutal. Aside from Josh Shibata (who has a really dumb gimmick), everyone was terrible on the mic. The “Shawn” guy was especially atrocious. Second, the basic production fuck ups (such as the sound guy not getting anything right and not knowing how to fade in and out of songs at the right time) and bad matches made this show such a rough watch. During the event I hit up my friend while he was in attendance at asking how things were going. He wasn’t enjoying the show very much based on his replies. Then again, I could’ve been messaging him during the Biggie Biggz match, so who knows? Well, he does, but you get my drift.
This event showed that Mav Pro can put on some good matches, but it also showed that those matches just end up being overshadowed by the bad matches and painfully awful segments. Daniel Torch vs. Lucas Riley and Chris Kadillak vs. Jake Atlas were good spotfests, and the triple threat with B-Boy vs. Peter Avalon vs. Airon Skye was good. The other matches on the show simply weren’t very good, and the interview segment with Airon Skye was an embarrassment. From the sound guy fucking up and missing his cue several times, to the female interviewer being awkward because she doesn’t really know what she’s doing, to Airon Skye’s awful mic skills, and to that Shawn guy trying to be funny only to overshadowed by some of the members of the crowd, it was just all bad.
The poorly put together show highlights a common problem with SoCal in that anyone can just rent a ring, venue, book talent, and put on a show without having enough knowledge of the business to run a successful show. The promoter of Maverick Pro from what I’ve been told is supposedly the worker known as Brian Jace. From what I was told by a few sources, he had some training at a local school but decided to start booking himself in matches while starting his own promotion despite not being ready and started this promotion to get himself bookings. Now I don’t know if those allegations are true, but when I was watching his match with Marty Jannetty, it became obvious that these things I was told could have some merit. This is independent wrestling after all. Guys booking themselves on shows and putting themselves over bigger names is nothing new. Especially here in SoCal. I mean, we’ve seen Mr. California doing it for 13 years now. It has become the norm here with bookers/promoters booking themselves to go over stars or promoting events just to get bookings when no other promoters are using them. There was even a show put on by Ruben Iglesias at a church earlier on the same day of this event. It has been a problem in SoCal, but it seems more common now than before. This doesn’t benefit anyone really, and ends up hurting SoCal in the long run.
Maverick Pro’s show also had the misfortune of running against more prominent events across SoCal like Pro Wrestling Guerrilla show, SoCal Pro with D’Lo Brown, and various Lucha shows. Maverick Pro was dealing with a lot of competition for people’s money. Given that the card didn’t have a lot of star power and with an advertised price of $20 for an adult ticket, it should’ve come as no surprise that this event wouldn’t have drawn well. Maverick Pro seems to be trying to carve their own niche in SoCal, but I doubt they’ll be successful at what they’re trying to achieve unless they make drastic changes. After three shows, they’ve drawn around (or less than) 100 fans total. The first event promoted by this group (when they were promoting under the name “Movie City Wrestling”) drew a reported 40 people with Chavo Guerrero Jr. vs. Paul London in the main event, which is really bad. Their show before this with Chris Masters reportedly drew 20. Their upcoming event in Highland Park on April 22nd looks like a solid card, and with the addition of Kikutaro it could be more interesting than this show was, but I highly doubt it’ll be strong enough on paper to draw many people. The promotion is also bringing in former ROH star and TNA wrestler Moose on May 13th. Hopefully he doesn’t get booked in a match with Brian Jace.