Rocky Romero vs. Tyler Bateman, Brody King vs. Tito Escondido, Douglas James vs. Mano Roja, and more!
The video started off with footage of Kaos training with Eli Everfly to advertise the school. After that we got a video package to help build the show. This was a really nice touch, and the Santino Bros. did a good job with their presentation here. Before the matches, we got promos from various workers on the show. There are also video packages during the matches to give the show some good flow. This was also a really good touch to the video.
Santino Bros. #1 Contender Tournament First Round Match: Tito Escondido vs. Jake Atlas
Prior to the match, Guy Cool brought out Mongol Santino. Mongol welcomed the fans to the show before he was interrupted by Tito Escondido. Tito confronted Mongol about how Tito left the Santino Bros. He got in his face and asked him to apologize for things he did before Jake Atlas interrupted him. He kept yelling about working hard to the crowd, and then Tito told him to shut up and get in the ring.
The match started out with Jake rolling around the ring before he spit in Tito’s face. Jake lost after Tito knocked out Jake with one punch. for the win. That was the match.
Post match shenanigans: Jake got on his knees and cut another promo. He talked about how Kaos said he wasn’t good enough in a training session. Jake ended the promo by saying he’ll be back stronger and better. It honestly felt more like a monologue than a promo. Even though I thought it was sorta corny, it was a decent way to help develop a character for him.
Santino Bros. #1 Contender Tournament First Round Match: Brody King vs. Robby Phoenix
This was built by the commentators as a Teacher vs. Student match. The match started out with both guys going at it early on with strikes. Robby Phoenix hit some Lucha spots on Brody, and Brody worked a modern American heavyweight-style. I thought this was going to be a solid match, and it turned out better than I expected. Aside from a moment of what looked to be miscommunication, the action looked really good. Brody King is quickly becoming SoCal’s best prospect, and performances like the ones in this match show you why. The coolest spot of the match came when Brody transitioned from a Gut Wrench carry into a Gonzo Bomb (not to be confused with a Ganso Bomb). Brody got the win after hitting Robby with a Samoa Driver. This was a good match, and a great showcase for Brody.
Alonzo Alvarez vs. Hoss Hogg w/ Jesse James
There were two promos from Alvarez. One pre-taped, and the other in the ring. The story here was Alvarez was upset of not being in the tournament, and that he was too good for it. He also promised to send whoever stepped foot in the ring with him to the hospital in his pre-taped promo. In his in-ring promo, he called out anyone in the back.This resulted Big Dick Hoss coming out
This was pretty short. Alvarez kept talking shit, which was entertaining. The story was pretty simple with Alvarez trying to use his speed to wear Hoss out, but Hoss kept getting the better of him. Jesse James got involved for a brief while as well, and distracted the referee as Hoss was tapping out to a Crossface by Alvarez. Hoss got the win with an Inverted Exploder Suplex followed by a Lariat. This was a well worked match. Nothing much to write about, but overall it was enjoyable. After the match, True Grit hit Alvarez with a Powerbomb/Neckbreaker combo.
PCW Light Heavyweight Championship Match: Douglas James (c) vs. Mano Roja
This was originally supposed to be Douglas James vs. SoCal Crazy., but things changed I guess. Douglas’ promo to SoCal Crazy was kept in the full length version of the show. I wasn’t sure who Mano Roja was under the mask. He’s part of the Luchafer performance group that the Santino Bros. are behind. Part of me thought it was Kaos, as some of the mannerisms were similar. Then I read this article posted on this site a year ago and was like “stupid Andrew.”
So this match. This was really good. Both guys worked a Lucha/American-style hybrid type match. Douglas James is really coming into his own as a performer. You can see how well he’s progressing every time you see him inside the ring. Mano Roja did really good. I’ve seen Joey “Kaos” Munoz perform so many times since 2000, but I’ve never seen him work the style he worked in this match as Mano Roja. He had a good performance at Viva La Lucha last year in San Diego, and after watching this match I can honestly say I’d really like to see Kaos/Mano Roja perform more. Douglas James got the win after hitting a Frog Splash. Good match.
The Study Buddies (Chaz Herrera & Darwin Finch) vs. The Killer Baes (Laura James & Heather Monroe) with special guest referee Koto Hiro
There was an angle going into this. Darwin got an invitation in the mail to a party at the show hosted by Guy Cool. Chaz wasn’t invited, and Guy told Darwin not to tell him about the party. While Darwin was showering, Chaz snuck into his bathroom and stole his invitation to the party. Dastardly! On the night of the show, Guy Cool and Koto Hiro hosted a party inside the ring. They brought out Darwin. Chaz shows up during the “party” and tries to prove he can party by doing stuff, including downing Prune Juice. The Killer Baes came out and were upset that nerds were at the party. They ended up having a Dance Off, with the Study Buddies going over after dancing terribly.
The match itself was mostly comedy, with the Killer Baes beating up on Darwin before he got a hot tag to Chaz. It wasn’t really interesting overall, but there were some comedic moments that made me laugh. Since this was mostly a comedy match, quality wasn’t a big deal. The finishing sequence was pretty funny. Darwin grabbed Heather Monroe and said they could resolve their conflict with words before hitting a Spicoli Driver on Heather to get the win. After the match, the Baes attacked Koto Hiro.
El Cheetah vs. Jesse James w/Big Dick Hoss Hogg
Prior to the match, El Cheetah introduced himself to the crowd. He said he was from Mexico and is trained by Los Luchas. True Grit came out, and Jesse James challenged him to a match. I don’t know if Cheetah is a new student or someone under a mask, but he had a solid showing here despite the match being really short. El Cheetah did a nice running step up rana here. That’s really all it takes to get a compliment from me. The match ended when Hoss attacked Cheetah outside of the ring, resulting in a DQ loss for Jesse James. After the match, True Grit hit Cheetah with chair shots.
Santino Bros. #1 Contender Tournament Finals: Tito Escondido vs. Brody King
This was a great match. Both guys put on really good performances and blended well with each other. They had a well worked modern heavyweight-style match. There were lots of stiff strikes, a good amount of power moves, and some really awesome spots. Brody busted a nice double jump cross body press on Tito at one point in the match. Later in the match, Tito hit Brody with an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle that looked pretty brutal. Brody got the win after hitting Tito with a Samoan Driver to become the #1 contender for the Santino Bros. Heavyweight Championship. After the match, Tito shook hands with Brody but said this shit wasn’t over. Once again, great match here between these two. Brody should be in PWG.
Santino Bros. Heavyweight Championship Match: Tyler Bateman (c) vs. Rocky Romero
One of the most interesting performers in SoCal today is Tyler Bateman. He’s a guy who is capable of having really good matches, but is also prone to having very lackluster ones too. One of the reasons why I think this is the case is because Bateman is usually working guys in SoCal who don’t really compliment his style well. Rocky Romero is not one of those guys.
They seemed to have some natural chemistry here inside the ring, and it produced a good match. These two had a really well worked technical wrestling match that featured some nice striking exchanges. They also worked at a really good pace, so things didn’t drag in this match. There was a cool moment where Rocky countered a Death From Above attempt from Bateman into an Armbar attempt. Bateman would eventually get the win after a bunch of strikes, followed by Death From Above.
After the match, Brody entered the ring and had a confrontation with Tyler Bateman. They exchange words. The two have an intense stare down as the show comes to a close.
This was another solid show from the Santino Bros. The main event Tito vs. Brody, Mano Roja vs. DJ, and Brody vs. Robby Phoenix were all really good. The presentation of the show was also really well done. The Santino Bros. are really putting together something special over in Bell Gardens,. SoCal is lucky to have these shows in the area.