A great match with Douglas James vs. Eli Everfly, Tyler Bateman vs. Famous B, Heather Monroe continues to shine, and the students of the Santino Bros. Wrestling Academy continue to give me hope for the future of SoCal. Click for the review. NOW.
Before I start, I just wanted to say that after reviewing OCCW’s Cage Match on YouTube and the last episode of Championship Wrestling From Hollywood, I was starting to kinda hate wrestling again. CWFH was boring, and the OCCW show, while not terrible, was honestly depressing to watch at times despite me sugarcoated my words in that review. But thankfully the Santino Bros. released their April 28th, 2017 event on YouTube, so I decided to pass this week’s CWFH review duties to Steve and watched this instead. Let’s give this a look! Click right below to watch the show in a playlist, or just watch the individual matches linked below. Your choice. I don’t care to be honest. Just read this review.
Koto Hiro vs. Darwin Finch (w/ Chaz Herrera)
This was an interesting styles-clash between these two, with Finch bringing a more technical base to the match, and Koto Hiro working a cruiserweight style. The opening sequence was mostly built around Finch doing chain wrestling, including some nifty British-style holds and techniques. There were some awkward moments in this portion, but they were the same awkward moments you’d see in a submission grappling match, so it didn’t look awful. The pace eventually picked up, and Koto Hiro threw some pretty stiff strikes and hit a bunch of high flying moves, including a really cool looking springboard monkey flip into a standing double stomp. Darwin Finch got the win when he countered a standing Shiranui from Koto into a Fireman’s Carry Neckbreaker. This was a good match and both guys showed tons of potential in this.
Robby Phoenix vs. Alonzo Alvarez
This match started out with a bunch of shenanigans, with Robby Phoenix playing to the crowd and Alonzo Alvarez mouthing off a lot. He reminded me a lot of a young Kevin Steen with his trash talking and yelling. All he needed was to rock a cutoff t-shirt and he’d pretty much be a mini-Kevin Steen. Unlike Seville Alvarez, Alonzo is actually good and entertaining. He’s got some solid grappling skills and doesn’t overdo it with his character. The story was pretty simple, with the student, Alvarez, trying to prove himself to his teacher, Phoenix. The wrestling itself was very solid, and both guys had a pretty good performance. There was a cool spot where Phoenix went for a rope walk, but Alvarez countered it with a belly-to-belly suplex. The finish saw Robby Phoenix fake an injury to get a submission hold broken, and then knee him to set up a Tiger Driver ’98 for the win. This was a pretty solid match. Alonzo Alvarez is another Santino student with huge potential.
Heather Monroe vs. Lucas Riley
Anytime I watch Heather Monroe, I always end up being entertained by her antics and shit talking. In this match, she started things off by emasculating Lucas Riley and calling for his parents. Her crowd work was really great in this. Lucas Riley had a good performance in this too with some nice Lucha shit and high flying stuff, but Heather Monroe pretty much stole the show in this match by continuously mocking Riley, even calling him and getting the crowd to chant “little boy” at him. One of the best spots of the match was when Heather looked as if she was going to hit a dive on Riley on the outside of the ring, but instead did a baseball slide and bitch slapped him. Lucas Riley got the win after he countered a sunset flip attempt from Monroe and pinned her for the victory. This was a very solid match, but Heather Monroe’s antics were amazing.
Match Rating: **
Heather Monroe’s Antics Rating: ****
Zokre vs. Jake Atlas
When the match started after the first exchange, Zokre told Atlas he’d “break his leg” after going for a leg lock. Atlas would then say he’d “take his mask” right after, and Zokre kept taunting him, saying “take my mask” to establish a nice and simple story. Zokre worked over Atlas with several submissions in this, and Atlas showcased his athletic, high flying style while also going after the mask of Zokre in this. Atlas is another student from the Santino Bros. Academy that I’ve been high on lately, and I really believe that he’ll be a breakout star someday on the indy scene if given the chance. The finish was pretty clever, with Zokre unmasking himself while the referee was distracted, threw it at Atlas, and got the DQ victory when the referee saw Atlas with Zokre’s mask. This was another fun match. As I said, Jake Atlas has huge potential.
True Grit (Hoss Hogg & Jesse James) vs. Violence Unlimited (Ruby Raze & Brody King)
Time and time again, Brody King continues to impress me. True Grit have also become recent favorites of mine, as they’re putting on really solid performances. Ruby Raze is also enjoyable to watch. Brody hit an awesome looking running standing rana on Hoss Hogg, and later in the match Ruby Raze hit an awesome looking tilt-a-whirl head scissors. Both those spots were really well done. Eventually the match became a standard tag match, with the heels, True Grit, working over Ruby Raze who was the face in peril here. True Grit worked really well as a tag team here, and it helped get some heat for the hot tag spot with Brody King coming in with some BABYFACE FIRE type shit by cleaning house. The finish saw Brody accidentally hit Raze with a boot, then True Grit hit their finish for the win. This was a really good match. Aside from Ruby Raze’s knee strikes (which could use some work honestly), this was a fun match. Everyone performed well in this. True Grit continue to win me over.
Santino Bros. Wrestling Submission Championship Match: Eli Everfly (c) vs. Douglas James
Man, this match was awesome. The match started out with Eli trying to start the match by pulling half-guard, and they went into a nice grappling sequence early on. Then in the next sequence, they turned things way up and had a fast paced sequence where they kept countering each other’s moves. Douglas hit some really nice spots and threw some stiff kicks on Eli, and Eli had a really fun showcase of his high flying abilities. They did a sequence in the middle of the match where they threw a lot of stiff chops at each other, which was honestly one of my favorite moments of this show as it was just really entertaining. Eli was saying some funny shit in this too by talking about his head hurting and not being able to hear after Doug would hit him with strikes. This match was so good, and what made this better was the ending of the match being a a time limit draw, which will hopefully set up a rematch between this two. Great match here. Everyone should check this out. Hopefully the Santino Bros. book a No Time Limit match between them. That wold be awesome.
Santino Bros. Wrestling Heavyweight Championship Match: Tyler Bateman (c) vs. Famous B
This match was built up after the last event when Famous B challenged Bateman to a match after Bateman defeated Brody King to retain his title. Bateman hit a really nifty looking front face slam on Famous B after picking him up for a body slam. The story eventually became about Famous B possibly inadvertently poking Bateman in the eyes, which Famous B would eventually go after throughout the match. Famous B had a pretty funny interaction with the referee as he was questioned about raking him in the eyes, to which Famous B said it would be impossible for the referee to know since he was behind them. The story of the match began to center more around Bateman’s eye problem. This is the sort of match I wish Bateman could be having in CWFH, where there’s a strong story behind the match with solid action, rather than just basic stuff like strikes and rest holds. The finish saw Bateman accidentally knockout the referee, thinking he was Famous B. Bateman would end up pinning the referee with Famous B making the count, momentarily tricking Bateman into thinking he won. Famous B would take advantage of this and get a Dusty Finish win over Bateman after a second referee counted a pin fall on Bateman after Famous B did a school boy roll up to set up a super kick. This was a good match. This also felt like they were being built up for some type of rematch in the future.
Post match shenanigans: Famous B is celebrating with the title before the referee of the match decides to reverse the decision, resulting in Famous B winning the match via DQ, and also resulting Bateman retaining the title.
I truly believe the Santino Bros. Wrestling shows are some of the best shows being put on in Southern California today. The Santino Bros. Wrestling Academy produces the scene’s top prospects, and their students continue to grow and grow the more they train there. When it comes to producing new talent, there is no other school in SoCal that is doing a better job than the Santino Bros. Academy. Douglas James and Eli Everfly had a spectacular match that would’ve gotten over in a PWG ring, True Grit and Violence Unlimited put on a wonderful tag team match, and everyone on this show all did very well. Joey “Kaos” Munoz, the head of the school, has really shaped Southern California wrestling’s future for the better, and his students continue to give me hope in this area. Once again, the Santino Bros. Wrestling Academy delivers. They’ve truly set the bar now for SoCal schools when it comes to talent.
Whoever is running their YouTube channel has also done a great job at getting footage up for people to see, which not only is a huge benefit to the fans, but also for the workers as they’ll be able to present themselves better to promoters who might be interested in booking them. Kudos to whoever is doing their online video stuff, as they also posted matches from the May 6th, 2017 La Bulla event, which is also available now on the Santino Bros. Wrestling YouTube channel.