J.R. and Andrew team up to give their take on Maverick Pro’s May 13th, 2017 event, “Remember The Name,” in Los Angeles, CA. J.R. gives his perspective having seen the show in person, and Andrew gives his after watching it online.
Click the video below for a playlist of the show, or just watch the individual matches below.
Dark Match: Ruben Iglesias vs. Alonzo Alvarez
J.R.: This was a fun opener, with the match starting off with some technical wrestling. Ruben did pretty long vertical suplex. He is over with the crowd here, even more than he is in his own promotion. Alonzo throws a good looking Northern Lights Suplex and a variety of suplexes in this contest. This was finished out by Ruben doing a tilt a whirl codebreaker (Scott Chandler, anyone?) for the win. This was a good opener.
Andrew: I have no idea who Scott Chandler is. Alonzo was taking a lot of the offense early on in this one. Ruben was, well, Ruben. While my esteemed colleague has stated that Ruben is a “good wrestler” in the past, I’m gonna politely disagree with him. Alonzo, who is a rookie I believe, was able to carry him to a watchable match in this with this performance. Still, Ruben isn’t very good. Good on Alonzo for this one though for making it watchable.
Damien Smith vs. Biagio Crescenzo (w/ JOSHUA)
J.R.: Biagio comes out with Joshua and his Holy book holding a “Promise Land” sign with “We Are The #Truth” on the back. Damien Smith comes out as Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz,” basket included. This match had some crisp technical wrestling and went back and forth for a while. Damien’s been training over on the East Coast recently and it shows. Biagio hits a ridiculous theatrical elbow and a super flatliner, Damien hits a nice missile drop kick, and somehow convinces the ref that he was hit by ol’ toss a brick and fall like you were hit with it trick. He then hits Biagio with the brick post match. Fun match showing two younger wrestlers who really know how to wrestle.
Andrew: Why is JOSHUA (CWFH’s Hideaki Shibata aka former SCU contributor Joshua Shibata) doing the Drew Gulak sign gimmick? Also, Damien Smith’s gimmick probably won’t get him far, but it’s a step up from him being just some random dude who makes angry faces. He busted out some good spots in this. Biagio nearly fucked himself while taking a Tornado DDT. This shit went on way too long honestly, and it hurt the match overall. The finish was sorta funny, but we’ve seen it a million times before in wrestling since Eddie Guerrero made the faking a hit from a weapon spot to get a DQ popular in WWE. Again, a little too long, but Damien Smith had a good showing here.
Super Crazy vs. Chris Kadillak
J.R. : This was one of the matches I had an eye out for. I wanted to see if Kadillak could keep up with ECW legend Super Crazy in a good match. I wasn’t disappointed in any way with this match, and was impressed at times. Real back and forth match with hard hitting action. There was a funny spot where Crazy is begging Kadillak to hit him, which Kadillak obliges, and knocks Crazy so hard he lands face first on the mat. Crazy had Kadillak in an awesome looking tarantula hold on the ropes. There were also Multiple Surfboards, some sit out power bombs and more by Crazy. Kadillak has a great springboard backwards flip from the turnbuckle on the ropes. Crazy hit a wild deadlift suplex over the ropes on Kadillak to set him up for his Triple Moonsault spot, but missed on the final attempt. Kadillak got up and surveyed the scene, then Crazy grabbed Kadillak by the foot and rolled him up for a three count.
This was an excellent match. It really showed that Kadillak is back and in top form. Crazy is still an elite level athlete, and was exciting from start to finish.
Andrew: Going into this, I expected it to be a showcase of Chris Kadillak’s skills, and that Crazy wouldn’t go all out, not that I would expect him to in a setting like this. He had some highlights though, and Kadillak did a good job taking his offense. I’m amazed he didn’t hit the ceiling when he went for the third moonsault. This match was good. They didn’t do too much, and Super Crazy did more than expected. Plus it wasn’t a pointlessly long match, which I really enjoyed.
Katarina Leigh (w/ JOSHUA and Biagio Crescenzo ) vs. Sienna
J.R.: The bell rings and the action started off fast and fierce with a great looking Northern lights by Sienna. Katarina escapes outside for a bit to slow things down. Katarina tried to escape again, but got beat up some more with some chops on the outside. Katarina ran around the outside of the ring until Biagio nailed Sienna from behind, cheap shotting her. Katarina then worked over Sienna for a while in the corner and attempted a pin, but couldn’t get the three. Sienna hit a discus forearm for two. Sienna looked like she was getting some momentum with a couple of attacks on Katarina, but Biagio distracted Sienna, who hit Katarina with a Samoan Drop, but couldn’t finish her as Katarina rolls out again. Biagio got into the ring, and Sienna hit a Stone Cold Stunner on Biagio (complete with middle fingers). Sienna would then get sprayed in the face by Shibata, which leads to a roll up victory for Katarina.
This match had some good action, and was one of the better women’s matches I’ve seen lately. Both of these women can wrestle, so it came down to numbers, as Sienna was able to overcome two distractions and interference, but not the third.
Andrew: My favorite moment of the show was when JOSHUA got on the mic to point out the stupidity of ring announcer Mike Oropeza. His joke about nobody watching Impact Wrestling was great too. The crowd gave Josh some really good heat in this. He and Damien Arsencik are the two best managers in SoCal right now. Most of the match was sorta basic and boring. Like, I get it people who are going to say it wasn’t, they were “telling a story” and “working the crowd.” That still didn’t make this match interesting or good. The stalling really took me out of it too. Unlike my colleague, I didn’t really care for this one.
The FeeLyons (Osiris Mittens & Señor Buttons) vs. Koto Hiro & Lucas Riley
J.R.: Lots of Meow chants in this one, with the FeeLyons getting one of the bigger reactions of the night. Like or hate ‘em, they are wrestling cats. Koto and Lucas made for a pretty good pairing. Lucas is so good, especially considering how long he’s been doing this. Lucas wasn’t good enough to get out of the Windsor Knot though without help from Senor Buttons, or his brain buster. When Koto Hiro came in, he looked crisp and sharp when he was out there. He performed some stiff strikes and did some technical wrestling, while also doing a stiff devil stomp. Lucas had a nice running Shooting Star Press, and some nice turnbuckle spots. Koto had a nice snap suplex, and controlled the match for a long time by beating Osiris up, culminating in a Superplex. The action got fierce with all four people hitting crazy moves until a double team Suplex was turned into a Tornado DDT. The Feelyons manage to roll both Koto and Lucas for the win.
I liked this match as well, a good amount of technical wrestling which showcased all four wrestlers. Koto also wrestled earlier in the night at another promotion so props to him for doing both.
Andrew: This match went a lot longer than it needed to be. The cat gimmick got pretty tired really quick for me as I’m more of a dog person. This should’ve just been a sprint that went under 10 minutes. Nobody cared about the hot tag either, which hurt things. Lucas Riley had a good showcase, and was the best performer in the match. Koto Hiro wasn’t bad, but still, I wasn’t into this match. I know, the kids liked it, but I think kids have terrible taste.
Chris Strong vs. Jorel Nelson
J.R.: Jorel Nelson looks bigger than the last time I saw him in a few months back. Chris Strong was good in his SoCal debut. Strong did a spot involving a smooth escape into some slick kicks, and really showed off his athleticism with a standing Moonsault. There was also a really nice overhead released belly-to-belly suplex by Jorel. Strong is so smooth in the ring and has a really nice spinning heel kick. The guy can move. Jorel hit a nice pop up Samoan drop. This match had a lot of heat and energy in it. Another highlight was the cutter by Strong on Jorel as he was flying off the top rope. The power bomb into deadlift sitout Powerbomb combo by Jorel was nice. Chris Strong hit a great looking swinging reverse STO for the finish. This looks like it could be the start of a good feud if they decide to go that way with it
Andrew: This was my first time seeing Chris Strong and I was really entertained by him early on in the match. He was able to hit some athletic moves very smoothly. I’m usually not a fan of Jorel Nelson’s work, but he was better here than in matches I’ve seen him in before. He also became entertaining when he was talking shit to some lady at ringside. Dude showed more personality and felt more genuine than he does as a shuffling babyface. He should just be angry shit-talker guy instead of Ali-shuffle goof. I’d really like to see more of what Chris Strong can do. SoCal promoters should look into him.
Martin Casaus (Marty The Moth) vs. Suede Thompson vs. Douglas James
J.R.: Tough match for the fans in a way, because they loved all three competitors out there. Marty pops out the worm in a dance off before the bell even rings. Slaps were abound and mockery was everywhere. Marty was really getting up there with his dropkick and his overhead released belly-to-belly suplex. Suede looked really good in this match, Marty had a great looking double suplex and a kip up that shows you what kind of shape he’s in now, which is pretty damn good. DJ’s cross body and dropkicks were on point, clearing the ring until he did a tope suicida onto both men on the floor that was impressive. There were lots of superkicks from DJ, and some flying knees between DJ and Sued, leading to Marty hitting a double clothesline that got a “This Is Awesome” chant going. Suede had a nice GTS but couldn’t get the three. Some good battles near the end of the match with all three guys really going at it and trying to get a three count. There was a Fireman’s Carry into a cutter by Marty. Suede hit a double devil stomp (Andrew’s note: or a Tree Of Woe Double Stomp, or Low Ki’s Warrior’s Way) on both guys and hit a GTS on DJ for three.
This was one of my favorite matches of the night. Action, comedy and some of the more charismatic wrestlers in the area in a three way. Can’t ask for much better than that with a hot crowd and good wrestling.
Andrew: I usually hate Triple Threat matches, as they usually have the same formulas and often times get very repetitive. This was sorta more of the same. in that sense, but wasn’t bad Two guys team up on one, then two guys go at it, and then you get triple threat spots thrown in. The triple-German Suplex was cool. Douglas James’ Tope Con Giro was cool. Douglas James had a pretty good showing here, and Suede wasn’t bad. His corny white guy gimmick is a bit lame, but whatever. Again, not a fan of Triple Threat matches, but this was good.
Maverick Pro Championship Match: Ricky Mandel (w/Lacey Von Porter) (c) vs. Scorpio Sky
J.R.: Ricky Mandel came out with his Valet/Manager, Lacey Von Porter, and the action started off with both guys getting a feeling out process. These two have wrestled quite a bit lately on TV, but with the roles reversed, so it’s an interesting take here. The “Mandel Effect” was in full effect, getting the loudest boos and chants of the night. These two really know each other so there were a lot of counters and reversals between them. Sky got some offense in and tried to go for his finisher early but Mandel rolled out. Lacey Von Porter distracted Sky until Mandel nailed him with a back body drop on the apron. Lacey Von Porter also got involved later on, choking Scorpio while the ref was distracted. Scorpio mounted a comeback, but a nice dropkick by Mandel stopped that. Several pin attempts and generated more crowd heat. Either Mandel’s really good at this, or the fans hate him. Maybe both? Scorpio got a nice facebuster that he then transitioned into a jumping Neckbreaker that looked really good. Mandel hit a pancake to DDT combo that was nice as well. Mandel hit his finisher but only got a two count. Scorpio nailed his finisher after some offense and got the three count. A new champion was crowned for a moment, but the finish was waved off by the referee after discovering Mandel’s foot was under the bottom rope. Mande thenl rolled up Scorpio for the win to retain his title. Scorpio had a funny bit in the end where he mocked the screwjob and traced his fingers in the air ala’ Bret Hart by tracing “WCW” in the air.
Good match, the addition of Lacey Von Porter added another layer of intrigue, and the action was crisp. Scorpio is great in the ring, period. This was a nice debut for him, and he certainly had plenty of fans backing him. I think this Maverick Pro run has done something with Mandel, as his wrestling has been top notch these last few months and he’s getting booked at a lot more promotions lately. I felt like it was one of their better matches. Not a huge fan of the finish, but it served its purpose.
Andrew: I’m not a fan of Ricky Mandel. I think he’s pretty boring. I know he’s a heel and that traditionally, heels aren’t supposed to be exciting, but I think that’s an excuse. Mandel is just boring and a pretty generic heel. Sky really did all the work here. He’s one of the top performers in the area, and has been for so long now.
Jeff Cobb vs. Kevin Kross
J.R..: This was a “First Time Ever” match between these guys. I was stoked. The crowd was really split for this. Real great display of pure wrestling from both guys, Cobb showed his quick takedown ability, while mixing in a gator roll. Kross wasn’t intimidated though. This was a very technical match at first. I’m a sucker for realistic wrestling, Kimura locks, Triangles, Armbars, it’s all here in this match. There was a nice belly-to-belly by Cobb that he transitioned into a head and arm. Cobb’s submission game is really underrated. Kross was really laying the wood on his strikes, and hit a nice suplex combo. Cobb then started throwing out suplexes, and Kross started striking. It was a pretty impressive sequence of events. Kross was telling Cobb to stay down, but you know that wasn’t happening. There was a late rush of suplexes by Cobb, but Kross got back up and started striking. Kross hit an Angle Slam, which fired Cobb up. Cobb got caught in a Rear Naked Choke by Kross, giving Kross the victory.
This was a hard hitting match, and then some. This was as advertised. Great match by Cobb. Kross continues to tear through Maverick Pro. I enjoyed the back and forth in the match and had as good of a time as I did when I saw a similar match at AWS/QPro involving Cobb and Josh Barnett. Kross is a believable wrestler. At first I didn’t care for all his squash matches at FSW, but I’ve been turned into a believer. He also scares me, something I wouldn’t admit to most folks. Jeff Cobb had an explosive debut for Maverick Pro and I hope he comes back, as he’s such a solid wrestler and unique talent. He must be seen live to believe some of the things he does.
Andrew: This was my first time seeing a full Kevin Kross match. I was impressed by how he worked a Heel Hook early on in the match. The first 2/3’s of the match weren’t bad, and there was a lot of build up towards the match. The grappling exchanges in the opening segment were fun, but once they moved away from that, the match seemed to have gone down in terms of pace. Things picked back up though in the closing stretch, and the finish with Cross getting Cobb in a RNC was well done. Event hough this was pretty good, I feel like there is probably more these guys could do with each other.
J.R.: This was a good show, probably the best one Maverick Pro has done to date. I’m digging seeing these different wrestlers that you usually don’t see in other promotions, and new people making their debuts. The crowd was hot and really added to the atmosphere. There weren’t any especially weak matches, even the dark match was entertaining for an opener. The only thing I’m not a huge fan of is the Weed Suit Wearing GM that makes sure Ricky’s on top. The talent level from Alonzo all the way up to Sky shows how good the local talent is as well, thanks to the local schools in the area. I’d definitely think about purchasing a DVD to see how it looks from something other than a fan cam. This made me want to check out their June 24th show even more.
Andrew: This was an alright show. I enjoyed seeing Chris Strong and Kevin Kross for the first time. Super Crazy vs. Chris Kadillak was also better than expected, and the Triple Threat was good for what it was. Aside from that, I wasn’t really feeling the show. Damien Smith, Alonzo Alvarez, and Lucas Riley are guys who give me hope for SoCal’s future. Maverick Pro has a long way to go before they can be considered a solid promotion, but they’re taking steps in the right direction. Their show structuring needs work, as there’s no reason why some of the matches should’ve gone over 10 minutes, or even five for that matter. Prior to this event, Moose of Impact Wrestling went on FaceBook and sorta trashed them for how they did business. Part of me feels like the people in charge still have so much to learn. They brought in several outside names like Super Crazy, Sienna, and Marty The Moth along with guys like Cobb, but their draw wasn’t very good. The crowd looked bigger here than in footage of past events, and they enjoyed a lot of the show, but I doubt Mav Pro can sustain putting too much money and not drawing in a lot of people. I’m interested in seeing what Mav Pro can do in the future. I’m not optimistic about it, but I’m curious nonetheless.