Maverick Pro ran their latest show, “I Wanna Be Sedated” on June 24th in Los Angeles. JR and Steve team up to take a look at the show and give their thoughts on the promotion.
Steve: Having heard good things about the recent direction of the promotion, I was looking forward to my first time checking out Maverick Pro. One of the first things I noticed when I arrived is the venue is actually a lot bigger in person than it looks in pictures and video. From what I had seen it looked like the ceiling was pretty low, but in actuality it wasn’t. It was hot in the building, but that is true of most SoCal venues in the summer time. At one point I counted the crowd and there were 55 people in the audience. A few more came in as the show started, so there were probably around 75 in attendance. More on that later.
JR: Maverick Pro has been holding their shows in Highland Park for the last few months, this being their third show at the location. This was one of their hotter shows, card wise and temperature wise. I was looking forward to the diversity of matches on tap, with the tag team match, two women’s matches(yes two!), two rising stars, an emerging superstar versus a SoCal legend, A brutal hard hitting match, and a championship match.
Kikutaro & Ruben Iglesias over Study Buddies (Chaz Herrera & Darwin Finch) and FeeLyons (Osiris Mittens & Senor Buttons) in an elimination match [12’00]
Steve: This match had its moments, especially when Kikutaro was involved, but overall I wasn’t really a fan of it. Comedy wrestling is hard to pull off, and when it doesn’t work, it can turn out bad. There was a few funny spots with Kikutaro, where he had Darwin Finch screaming at a high pitch, so the FeeLyons had to cover their ears, and another time when he went for an atomic drop, but since he was shorter his knee didn’t connect. The rest of the match had a lot of sloppiness and stuff that just didn’t work. I hate to single any one person out but some of the stuff with Ruben Iglesias was cringeworthy. I thought Darwin Finch did a pretty good job in this too. Like I said, it had its moments, but I didn’t think this was good. While the match wasn’t good, we did get to meet a new friend, Alicia Ford, who was attending her first ever wrestling show and was hilarious to watch the show with. She even brought snacks.
JR: This match opened things up, and it was fun in parts, and ugh in other parts. The spots with Kikutaro and the Studdy Buddies were outstanding with Darwin’s allergy to cats. Kikutaro’s innovative comedy was the bright spot of the match, especially his way too short knee for the atomic drop spot. Completely hilarious. The FeeLyons looked pretty decent in this, with some good tandem offense and playing into their gimmick. I’m going to suggest one thing to Ruben for this match. He needs to get stronger to get that rougher stuff out of his game. Study Buddies, and Kikutaro are the stronger parts of this match. FeeLyons were okay but it wasn’t their best showing. I got some laughs out of this, so there’s that.
Adrian Quest over Jake Atlas by submission [10’02]
JR: A couple of highly athletic young and talented performers that are going to be stars. A lot of technical arm work that transitioned into some impressive agility moves by Atlas. Quest showed some comeback submissions and pin attempts, and it seemed like Atlas then turned it up a notch with some chops and corner offense. Quest really worked in a submission based game here and it worked well with his air stuff. Jake had a good comeback with a double suplex combo that looked smooth. I think Jake makes for a good type of bad guy, one of those guys that will bully you and intimidate but doesn’t really think of himself as a heel. Good spot where both guys hit kicks on each other to knock them down. Jake had a cool looking half n half to a sitout facebuster that looked great. Quest nails a tilt a whirl DDT and then transitions into a dragon sleeper for the win. This match was a little rough at first when these guys were feeling it out, but it turns the corner and gets a good sequence to submission finish. Definitely worth watching.
Steve: I’ll admit I was a little disappointed in this match, which means I probably had my expectations set to high for it. I mean, the match was good, and if I’m disappointed by a good match then it is on me not the wrestlers. There was some sloppiness to start the match, but after the first few minutes it picked up and they put together a good match. I’d definitely like to see them paired against each other again in the future, especially now that they are a little more familiar with each other.
Katarina Leigh over Ivy Quinn [8’11]
Steve: Katarina is part of a heel group called The Promised Land lead by Joshua. In the interest of full disclosure, Joshua is played by Joshua Shibata who used to do interviews for SCU and has helped out on some recent videos. I’ll try to be as unbiased as possible when reviewing his part in the show. So anyway, Joshua and The Promised Land was the best part of the entire show and he should be given a raise, his own dressing room, and a masseuse. Joking aside, I thought this match was a lot of fun. Buggy Nova seems to be having a lot of fun with the Ivy Quinn gimmick and it comes across in her matches. I thought her and Katarina Leigh worked really well together. Katarina did a good job as one of Joshua’s disciples and really sold the role well. Joshua got involved in the match, and even went to throw powder in Ivy Quinn’s eyes, but missed and got Darwin Finch (I think the idea is Ivy Quinn is a nerd, so The Study Buddies are on her side) instead. While the ref was distracted Katarina hit Ivy with Joshua’s “good book” and got the pin. I thought this was a lot of fun.
JR: The Promised Land is one of my favorite factions in Socal lately. Joshua Shibata is working his role as the leader and Katarina is working well as a disciple. Katarina’s record is unmatched in women’s competition in Maverick Pro so Ivy Quinn had her work cut out for her. Ivy Quinn was really out there to have a good time and it showed. Shibata took the mic and gave the Promised Land sign to the ring announcer Mike Draven. He then cut a scathing promo and the match started. Ivy’s arm drags looked really good and Katarina really worked her over for a while with kicks and strikes and a nice spinning backbreaker. Shibata got some chokes in as well when the ref wasn’t looking. Ivy had three nice roll ups in a row until she ate a big boot from Katarina. Ivy had a nice sequence ending in a spinning sidewalk slam. She also had a beautiful northern lights for two later in the match. A ref bump causes a non count off a nice spinning shoulder carry into a flatliner by Ivy that should have been three. Darwin comes out to help but gets powder in the face by Shibata. Joshua slips Katarina the book and it’s used while the ref is distracted. This match came to a fun finish and it really showcased Ivy’s strengths in the ring. Winter was solid. I think she keeps getting better and better. I liked this match, and wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch down the road.
Jorel Nelson over Chris Strong [17’16]
JR: This was the second match of three series, with Strong taking the first one. Jorel came in painted up in black and gold to commemorate Buddy Wayne. These two had a great match before and they had another good one here. Strong has a smooth athletic build and a seamless offense. He tossed out a Michinoku driver early that gets Nelson outside where they brawl for a bit. Nelson dominates for a few minutes, keeping Strong down for a while, he had a nice, powerful whip into the turnbuckle that simply buckles Strong. A Death Valley Driver onto the apron looked painful for Strong to take. Strong had a nice reversal of the DVD into a cutter that was unpredictable. Nelson had some nice powerful moves, but the one that stood out to me was Strong’s lariat to facebuster chain into the ropes and a nice action kick to a kneeling Nelson. Strong goes to the top and hits a springboard five star splash on Nelson but can’t get the pin because Nelson grabs the rope. Nelson with an explosive spinebuster, but Strong gets some nice corner action on Nelson on a few turnbuckles until Nelson powerbombs Strong. Strong hits an angled Pele kick, but then runs into a pop up sitout powerbomb by Nelson that takes it. I enjoyed the intensity of this match and the powerful moves by both guys. This would be one of those matches that promoters and fans should look at it they want to see what these two are about. This also made me want to see the finish of this three match series to see who is better.
Steve: I heard a lot of good things about their first match, so I was looking forward to this. It didn’t disappoint. Jorel Nelson has been pretty solid in the ring, but I think he’s really turned a corner over the last six months and is showing a lot more speed and intensity in his matches. I was really impressed with Chris Strong as well, who matched up really well with Nelson and had a lot of fire. This was my second favorite match on the show.
Whirlwind Gentlemen (Remy Marcel & Jack Manley) over H.A.T.E (“Pretty” Peter Avalon & Ray Rosas) [8’57]
Steve: I thought this was a quick, fun match. PPRay doesn’t team together all that often in Southern California anymore, but are always pretty good. This was my first time seeing the Whirlwind Gentlemen but I thought they looked good and had a lot of charisma. The finish saw Whirlwind Gentlemen do sort of a punt kick into a Canadian Destroyer. After the match they teased a breakup between Ray Rosas and Peter Avalon, but they hugged it out.
JR: This was a fun match, with two teams that have a ton of charisma. As I think has been mentioned, PPRay haven’t been seen together a bunch lately. The Whirlwind Gentlemen looked crisp and fast in this one. Their Kick to Canadian Destroyer finish was cool to watch. PPRay had a good match with these guys. This was a good showing by both teams, and even though they teased a breakup, I’d love to see a PPRay or WG team contending for some gold at this promotion at some point, whenever the promotion decides to get belts made for that. Hopefully not the same guy who did belts for SCWA. Anyone hear from that guy yet?
Dicky Mayer over B-Boy [16’15]
JR: This match had a big time feel to it, and didn’t disappoint. Dicky is on top of his game right now and B-Boy has been really showing an edge lately. The most impressive spot to start off was watching Ed Heckle B-Boy with a “Socal legend Killer” chant and then taking a loud chop from B-Boy for his efforts. I enjoyed this match quite a bit and both guys looked really solid. The match was a showcase of Dicky’s technical skills early and B-Boy brawling him to make up for the difference in approach and technique. Really nice looking work in the corner by B-Boy with foot washers across the face and a B-Boy boot wash in the corner. Dicky with some nice smooth looking reversals into pinfall attempts and submissions. This went from a clash of styles to a physical affair quickly and got more and more intense as the match went on. A tiger driver couldn’t get Dicky, so B-Boy transitions that into a nice knee bar. Beautiful German to deadlift German by Dicky. B-Boy nails a brainbuster tiger bomb combo that was impressive. This had a great inventive finish too, as Dicky was getting counted out after B-Boy got to his feet and B-Boy waves off the ref to finish him. Dicky rolls him up for the win, catching the overconfident B-Boy. This match was fun, and told a great story. Both of these wrestlers put on a show. Props to Maverick Pro on getting this match together.
Steve: Over the last couple of years B-Boy has seemingly made it his mission to wrestle a lot of the younger talent in the area and have break out matches with them. He and Dicky matched up really well, sort of in the same way he and Douglas James did. Dicky has really had a breakout year. He’s actually heading to Japan shortly to train at the Kaientai Dojo, and won’t be back till the fall, but hopefully we get a rematch in the future. This was really good and I’ll likely put it in my top five SoCal matches for June.If there is one match worth seeking out on video
Kevin Kross over Tyler Bateman [11’08]
Steve: You have to give credit to Maverick Pro for having a nice mix of match types on the show. This was the “two guys who are going to smash each other in the face” match. This did a good job of showing the viciousness of both wrestlers. Kevin Kross is a wrestler more promotions in the area should look at bringing out. He has this super intense persona that matches his wrestling style perfectly. These two really worked well together. Bateman worked over Kross’ eye a lot of the match, trying to blind him. Kross was able to see well enough though to hit a few impressive looking suplexes on Bateman, including a backdrop suplex for the pin. I thought this was really good.
After the match Kross called out Penta El 0M.
JR: This match had my attention since my last encounter with Kevin Kross, which scared the shit out of me. This happened again but in a different way, (more on that later) This match had slugfest written all over it, and we got it. The match started off with a lot of technical wrestling until Kross finally backed off Bateman into a stiff lariat to send Bateman outside. An impressive overhead suplex sends Bateman outside. Bateman grabs me as a human shield and then uses my chair to set up a drop toe hold into it, attacking his eye. I seriously thought for a second Kross was going to kill me in my Bateman shirt. I felt bad for a second after he ate my chair, but that lasted about a second since it’s funny to watch people get hurt. Bateman then worked over Kross and his eye hard. Kross counters with a nice choke and some great suplexes, showing that you don’t need both eyes for that. Kross looked challenged for the first time at Mav Pro and was pushed by another hard striker with good technique. A hard lariat, kick, and nice neck angle slam takes this. Hard hitting, intense match.
Su Yung over Christina Von Eerie [12’26]
JR: Su Yung making her debut was a treat as I consider her one of the best women’s wrestlers in the country, and she came in with both of her current belts. Christina Von Eerie has been doing some of her best wrestling, some of it on TV for Impact. Both women looked pretty evenly matched at first, countering each other until CVE knocks her to the outside. The match had some crazy stuff in it, including a suplex on the hardwood floor and a springboard attack off the ropes by CVE. Su Yung counters with a suplex of her own right in front of the entrance onto the floor. CVE hits a super pedigree off the middle turnbuckle that was jaw dropping, along with a twirling sidewalk slam with at least 7 rotations. CVE really looked strong during this match for a good portion of it. Su Yung gets out of a straightjacket in the corner and tosses CVE from the top turnbuckle , but then gets hit by a back suplex by CVE. CVE goes for a pedigree on the apron but it’s reversed and Su Yung gets her into an airplane michinoku driver for the three count. This was a brutal match with all the outside work on the hard floor. It really showed that CVE can hang with just about anyone and that Su Yung is dangerous at any time.
Hudson Envy then crashed the party and attacked Su Yung. Envy is restrained but Su Yung rises and sprays mist all over the rest of guys as Hudson ducks. She then tails it out of there. Su Yung then scared off her help.
Steve: Christina Von Eerie looks to be in great shape. When Su Yung came out, our new friend Alicia Ford figured that she was a zombie and wondered why a zombie would care about wrestling and wouldn’t just want to eat brains. It’s a fair question. I thought the pacing of this was a little slow and really wasn’t that exciting. It was technically solid and it wasn’t bad, but I’ve seen better from both wrestlers.
Ricky Mandel over Suede Thompson by DQ to retain the Maverick Pro Heavyweight title [10’49]
Steve: Real estate prices in Southern California are so crazy Ricky Mandel apparently was forced to move from Sexy Beach to Chiseled City. The crime rate in Chiseled City is much higher, and frankly the schools there aren’t that good. Ricky Mandel was accompanied by Lacey Von Porter. Early in the match Suede Thompson said the ground was lava, and Lacey jumped into the crowd. I think Suede Thompson is normally a lot of fun to watch, and Ricky Mandel is under rated, but a lot of the offense in this came across slow, and the match got pretty boring.
JR: Ricky Mandel came out with Lacey Von Porter Or LVP for short. She’s been his insurance the last couple of matches he’s had. Mandel gets his near nuclear heat per usual at MavPro. Suede is really over at Mav Pro. This one was fun, Suede is really good, when he gets his singles chances he’s fun to watch. He’s also great at multi-man matches so a championship one on one match was fun. They brawled in the crowd for a while, and finally when the action comes inside, Mandel hits Suede with an axehandle smash fromt he top rope. The pace really slowed in the ring as Mandel took control for a while. Suede stalls on a comeback until he gets Mandel with a side step kick and a springboard X=factor Suede gets his stomp in the corner attempted, but LVP interferes so Mandel can throw the superplex on Suede. Nice looking Broski style boot by Suede. A distraction of the Ref gives Mandel a chance to hit Suede with the Belt, but Mandel Misses and Suede superkicks Mandel. The ref comes to, and sees Mandel down with the belt on the ground. Ricky Mandel wins by DQ. Mandel and LVP gloat and the match is over. Good, but not great match,
Steve: I’m not sure why the promotion isn’t drawing more fans. It could just be an issue with there being so much wrestling available in the area coming up with WWE, NJPW, monthly PWG shows, etc. that Maverick Pro is ending up as the odd man out. The interest in the promotion is there. I can see the web traffic to results from their shows, reviews, and the events page. With these lineups they should be drawing better. Other than the opener, nothing was bad. There was some pretty good stuff on the show, notably B-Boy versus Dicky Mayer and Jorel Nelson versus Chris Strong. I have to commend Mav Pro for putting together some unique matchups and bringing in wrestlers we don’t normally get to see in the area.
JR: This event had some good variety to it, from the comedy match to the young guys, two women matches, some must see non title matches and of course, their championship match. I’m not sure who they have planned to win the belt off Mandel, but the fans are just begging for a guy to knock him off, so I guess Maverick Pro is doing their job on that route. Kross calling out Penta was cool. At least three of the matches were really good. Other than the opener, which was hit or miss, there wasn’t any bad matches on the rest of the card. I’ve been impressed at the versatile cards and the talent they’ve brought in for Southern California debuts before most other promotions. I’d suggest seeing some of these people before they really blow up in the area and see them in an intimate atmosphere. Fan access is really good there to meet with some talented wrestlers, and since the space is so large, merch tables get spread out well with plenty of space. This is a show that’s becoming one to watch simply for the different matchups they throw out there and the unique debuts. For a twenty dollar ticket, you’ll def get your money’s worth.