On March 17th, 2017, Santino Bros. Wrestling held a showcase event featuring Tyler Bateman vs. Brody King, Eli Everfly vs. Laberinto, two inter-gender matches, and more on this really good show. Click to read the review. Click it over and over. Give us all the hits!
Click the video above to watch the full event on one playlist. Otherwise, check them out individually below.
Darwin Finch vs. Guy Cool
Darwin was sporting some new gear, which really fit his gimmick and also the St. Patrick’s Day theme. The match started out with some technical wrestling from Darwin, which was a nice display of his abilities. There was some awkwardness midway into the match, but they recovered well. Darwin had a nice Banana Split variation that looked really cool. Nice to see some SoCal guys busting out some nice technical shit. Guy Cool was a douche in the match, as he threatened to spit on Darwin while in mount and gave him a purple nurple. Jerk! Darwin ended up snapping, took him down, and attacked him relentlessly. He was warned about using closed fists by the referee. He kept going after Guy Cool in the corner before pushing the referee as he tried to get Darwin off Guy Cool. The referee ended up awarding the match to Guy Cool via DQ. This was a fun match. I liked how it wasn’t too long, and the pacing was good.
Rating: ** (Mostly because it went under five minutes, so this was the most I could give this match)
Lucas Riley vs. Robby Phoenix vs. Alonzo Alvarez vs. Koto Hiro
Throughout the match, Alonzo Alvarez kept playing a loudmouthed asshole who wanted to fight everyone, including his trainer Robby Phoenix. The match started off with everyone doing a 4-way test of strength, and then broke down with all four guys going at it and exchanging holds to start the match, followed by a bunch of near fall roll ups. Riley and Phoenix had a nice sequence that was a really nice showcase of what Riley can do. The match turned into a series of one-on-one sequences with the various competitors in the match. There were some moments in the match that had some awkward moments, like some parts of Robby Phoenix and Koto Hiro’s exchange, but everything else was solid. There was a really cool spot where Alvarez hit Koto Hiro with a German suplex, followed by Lucas Riley catching him with a standing one-man Spanish Fly. The finish was also really cool, as Lucas Riley hit a standing Shooting Star Press on Alonzo Alvarez after he hit a German Suplex on Robby Phoenix, followed by Koto Hiro hitting a standing Shiranui on Riley while landing on Alvarez, followed by Robby Phoenix hitting a Fisherman Driver on Koto Hiro on top of Riley and Alvarez for the win. This was another fun match. Lots of good spots in this.
Jesse James vs. Hoss Hogg
I really liked this match a lot. It was a modern heavyweight-style match done right. Usually heavyweight matches are slow and boring, and full of restholds. This match wasn’t. This match had some stiff strikes. A lot of people these days misuse the term “Strong Style” and associate it with a style of wrestling that isn’t “Strong Style.” This was more like a “Strong Style” match than others as it developed a storyline within a pro wrestling match that evolved. All that was missing was some worked martial arts stuff and submissions. The story was simple; two partners having a match, loser buys beer, and Hoss Hogg wanted no punches to the face. There ended up being punches in the face, and both guys went at it. Hoss Hogg was really impressive here, and the guy could be a real star on the indy scene if he ever gets a chance to breakout of this scene. Jesse James was also solid in this. I really loved this match and highly recommend it to people. Hogg won after hitting a massive Lariat on Jesse James after hitting him with an Exploder Suplex into the corner. Goddamn this was really good. Everyone check this out.
Rating: *** (I couldn’t rate this match higher due to length, but this match still fucking ruled!)
Ruby Raze vs. Jake Atlas
The start of the match saw Jake Atlas getting upset over Raze stepping on his white shoes. That sorta shit gets people shot in some parts of the country. Atlas kept showing off and acting like a cocky heel throughout the match, while also busting out some nice flippy offense on Raze, and Raze worked over the leg of Atlas to add some good psychology and storytelling in the match. Atlas sorta stopped selling Raze’s leg work though, so that sorta hindered the match’s story a bit, but also was a good cover when for when Atlas slightly botched a springboard move. There was a cool spot where Raze countered one of Atlas’ running handspring moves off the ropes with a running knee. Raze got the win with a spear. This was a good match. There were some sloppy moments, but the match was pretty solid overall.
Douglas James vs. Heather Monroe
Things started out with Heather Monroe trying to straight up emasculate her boyfriend (and now fiancé) by demanding he lay down, followed by her committing multiple acts of spousal abuse by slapping and chopping him in an effort to prove she was better than him.Heather was pretty hilarious in this match, and she showed tons of personality along with some really solid in ring skills. Plus her straight up slapping him in the face was pretty hilarious and entertaining. She kept teasing Douglas for being known for doing dropkicks, and would always have a counter for when he’d go for one before he eventually got one. This was pretty clever. Heather hit a nice tilt-a-whirl head scissors into an armbar before Douglas hit a sit out powerbomb to counter, which was a cool spot. One of the funniest moments of the match was when Heather Monroe was on her knees, and Douglas James said “I’m sorry, I love you” before superkicking her like Shawn Michaels did to Ric Flair to retire him. The finish was hilarious too, as Heather was complaining to the referee about Douglas pulling her hair before he hit a running knee strike on her to get the win. After the match, Heather hit Douglas in the balls. This was a really fun match. Heather Monroe really shined in this.
Santino Bros. Wrestling Submission Championship Match: Laberinto (c) vs. Eli Everfly
For those who don’t know or can’t tell, the Santino Bros. Wrestling Submission Championship is a title that is defended in Submission matches where there are no rope breaks, which is really cool. This was another really good match. Eli is a great high flyer, but he’s also a really good technical wrestler who does an amazing job at mixing up high flying offense with various jiu-jitsu techniques such as a springboard into a Triangle Choke. Eli and Laberinto did some really cool Lucha Libre-style chain wrestling throughout the match and mixed in some really good spots mixed in. Laberinto was also really good in this and displayed some really cool submission setups. There was an awesome spot Eli hit a really cool running double-jump Tornado DDT and transitioned into a Guillotine Choke that Laberinto countered with a Northern Lights Suplex that he turned into an armbar. Eli got the wins in a finishing sequence that saw Eli getting a Triangle Choke on Laberinto that Laberinto tried to counter with a powerbomb, but Eli countered that with a variation of a Peruvian Necktie. Great match was went under 10 minutes. This was the sort of match that would’ve stole the show at a PWG event.
Rating: *** (Again, I couldn’t rate this match higher due to length, but it also fucking ruled!)
Santino Bros. Wrestling Heavyweight Championship Match: Tyler Bateman (c) vs. Brody King
The match started off with both guys in a feeling out process and had some stiff strikes throughout the opening portions of the match. Brody had a good display of offense in this before Bateman regained control. His clubs to the back of Bateman were really stiff and made cool sound. The pacing of the match was slower and more methodical than the rest of the matches on the card, as it was mostly, but when there would be bursts of offense, it was fun. Things picked up in the finishing stretch of the match. There was a cool spot where Brody caught Bateman as he went for a slash and hit him with a sit out Death Valley Driver variation. Bateman got the win after hitting several elbows on Brody to put him down.
Post match shenanigans: Brody and Bateman hugged and showed sportsmanship. Famous B came out after and got on the mic where he proceeded to diss Brody for losing the match, wished him a “Happy Birthday,” gave him a cake, and sang “Happy Birthday” to Brody before Superkicking it in his face. Bateman would come up behind B, and then B got on the mic asking if he had a problem with what he just did to Brody. Famous B would cut a very good promo on Tyler, saying he is not an “original Santino Brother” and accused him of using the school to build himself up. This was really good stuff and was a great way to build up a match between Famous B and Tyler Bateman.
This was a really fun show from top-to-bottom. The Eli Everfly vs. Laberinto and Jesse James vs. Hoss Hogg matches were both very, very good. I can’t say anything bad about this show. While the matches had moments that were awkward and sloppy, everything was still good. I highly recommend people give this show a watch. I also have to give credit to the Santino Bros. for uploading the full event on YouTube. I really like what this school is doing, and I think the students they’re producing are really good. The Santino Bros. have been a huge game changer here in SoCal and have boosted the talent pool really well here. This show was a good showcase of some of SoCal’s best prospects. Watch it.