Bar Wrestling held their debut show in Baldwin Park and had a large crowd waiting outside when I arrived. I previously purchased tickets for this and settled into the paid line. I saw a ton of familiar faces, even some I’ve seen at the previous PWG show I had been too. They finally let us in, and Joey Ryan is doing the ticket counter, putting bracelets on people and also meeting and greeting all the fans when they come in the door. This was a large crowd that showed up, so props to Joey for seeing them all. I had a rough estimate at around 350 people for the show.
Brian Cage vs. Penta El 0 M
This match started off the show and was a wild affair. These wrestlers know each other pretty well and the action was fierce. Cage had an impressive standing moonsault, Penta nailed a sling blade and had a ref bump with Rick Knox. Cage nailed Penta with a pump handled reverse sit out power bomb. Penta turned it around with a lung blower and some stiff kicks. Cage had a great looking buckle bomb into a Samoan drop that looked painful. Penta managed a canadian destroyer before getting put into a package piledriver by Cage that finishes the match. Great opener, hot crowd.
Eli Drake vs. Scorpio Sky
Scorpio came in as the fan favorite, and Eli worked the crowd masterfully. Eli looks in great shape as well, drawing quite a few comments from the women in attendance. The match started off fast paced into a stalemate. A couple of moves that stood out was a nice cartwheel to drop kick on Sky by Eli, a jumping neckbreaker and a good spinebuster to jumping elbow combo. Scorpio had a fearless Tope, a nice Hurricanrana and a jumping neckbreaker. This was followed by a great looking belly to belly by Eli. Scorpio nailed a cross body only to get samoan dropped. Eli hit his finisher to win. This was a fun match, especially the crowd interaction and action in the ring.
Taya vs. Shayna Baszler
This was the lone women’s single match on the card, and it did not disappoint. Taya had really gotten over as one of the top heels in women’s wrestling, and she was over hard here as well. Early disrespect by Taya, Shayna shrugs off a few shoot kicks and they start early and often with stiff strikes. Taya had a slight advantage early, but Shayna started catching kicks and applying single leg boston crabs, I counted at least three of them. There was a nice looking spear by Shayna, too. I also saw multiple submission attempts that I didn’t recognize. It must have been some old school catch stuff. Taya got back into it with some nice moves, double knee strikes in the corner, and a smooth as silk neckbreaker. Shayna hit a belly to back, Taya answered with a Northern lights suplex and a devil stomp by Taya. Overall, it was a pretty solid match. These two probably need another match or two together and then we’ll really see something special.
Ryan Nemeth vs. EC3
Ryan cut a promo and started a cum drunk chant. EC3 confirms it as true. The guys then battled it out and Briley took a hilarious reverse atomic drop. EC3 had a funny moment where he announced a scoop slam and obliges the crowd with quite possibly the longest scoop slam I’ve ever seen. Also of note, EC3 is possibly one of the tannest individuals I’ve seen in person, and it wasn’t any creams or sprays. EC3 started a dick attack chant and they took it outside (I didn’t see what happened other than them beating up each other). The action then came back into the ring and Ryan caught EC3 with the ropes and an elbow to the groin. There were some good moves by both: a fireman’s carry into a cutter by EC3, three direct ball shots by EC3, and a nice wristlock to drop kick by Ryan. Ryan also did some good aping of his brother’s moves, which really seemed to amp the crowd’s noise up even farther. EC3 won this with the 1 percenter. EC3 later grabbed the mic and said he was there to “kick ass, get drunk and fuck.” I like watching/doing all those things, so I felt like I’d made a new friend. Good, funny match by both workers.
Peter Avalon vs. Pinky Sanchez
This was an unexpected match as it wasn’t advertised. I’ve read about Pinky Sanchez, but hadn’t seen more than a match or two live. Pinky didn’t take long to win over the crowd, however. This might have turned into one of the sneaky best matches on the card. This was a match that had pretty good pacing, and really went back and forth: an ass-attack by Sanchez, a dragon screw with a ball tap by Peter, and other really well sequenced events. Really good looking back rake and some heel work by Peter. Pinky had a really impressive looking DDT onto a turnbuckle which was an jaw dropper. Sanchez missed a moonsault and got rolled up by Peter for the win. Like I was saying before, sneaky good, and I believe this will look even better on Highspots when it is released [Editors note: The show is available on the Highspots Network now].
The “World’s Cutest Tag Team” Candace LeRae and Joey Ryan vs. Ivelisse and Matt Cross
One of the world’s most famous intergender tag teams vs. a team that should be famous, or already is. The match started off with dueling chants, and the crowd was so hot Joey even mentioned to Cross, “I don’t even think we have to wrestle” The match started off with Joey’s antics, blow-pop, touch his dick (Cross declined). A “no means no” chant started immediately. Cross then taged in Ivelisse, who smacks the shit out of Joey to start off the match. Cross and Candace got it going early with some nice head scissor attacks by Candace, a good looking back elbow by Cross and a drop kick by Candace. Joey then got in and they get a nice double team suplex in for a loud pop. Ivelisse then took it to Joey pretty hard for a bit and then Cross does. Candace got tagged in and just beats on Cross for a while with a nice Frankensteiner and a black widow submission that got broken up by Ivelisse. Candace and Joey then hit a double team tornado DDT that looked really good. The fans thought so too, as a “this is awesome” chant started and stayed going for a while. This match had good women action, lotta strong style kicks and action going on. Also a nice looking sidewalk slam by Candace, and a smooth looking suicide dive in for good measure on the outside by Candace. Joey also managed to get in his boobplex, but he ended up tapping to Ivelisse’s guillotine choke finisher to end it. This was one of the hottest matches on the card, with some of the best women’s wrestlers today really showing why they are called that. This was probably one of the better inter-gender matches in the last few years.
Jeff Cobb vs. Willie Mack
This match started off pretty evenly with some of the most athletic wrestlers in the world. Both of these guys are over 260 lbs, but wrestle like luchadors. Each time these guys wrestle, they’ll usually do something to either amaze you or get you involved emotionally in their matches. There was a lot of brawling outside, and some heavy chops given to both men. A particularly funny part was when they were trading chops, Willie would lick his hand, to put a little “more” on it. Each guy nailed some of their signature moves, Willie with his stunner, Jeff with his moonsault, shooting star combo while standing. Jeff threw some Olympic style wrestling moves in there that simply overpowered or surprised Willie. Willie managed to counter with a handstand and then a tripod to get out of one hold. This carried on for about 10-15 minutes, each guy trading moves and strikes until Wilie hit the chocolate thunder driver for the win. This was a good solid match
The Luchasaurus ended up breaking up the party though and attempted a chokeslam on Cobb, but both he and Willie managed to fight him off and then the show ended.
This was a solid show. I did get some confirmation that the attendance was 350. The quality of the card really was worth the price, so it made for a packed house and lively crowd. I’d say that this show was a success. Joey did mention that they’ll try to fit a few more in due to demand being so high. Their next show will be at the same location, tickets go on sale tomorrow at 12 noon. Tickets are $20 for VIP and $10 for General Admission. Names listed to be at the next show are: Cody Rhodes, John Hennigan (Johnny Mundo/John Morrison), Taya Valkyrie, Kikutaro, Yoshitatsu, Luchasauras, The Killer Baes (Laura James & Heather Monroe), Rey Fenix, and Rocky Romero.
More information on that can be found here.