Ground Zero “Phase 1” December 23, 2017 – review

Ground Zero held their much anticipated debut show on December 23rd, seemingly starting a new chapter in San Diego’s wrestling scene. Founded by B-Boy, the show had a pretty strong lineup, with all first time matchups. As is common in independent wrestling, the card that was initially announced didn’t end up being the final card due to a couple of injuries, but the lineup didn’t take a huge hit due to the changes.

While there were very few questions on what the quality of the show would be like with the scheduled lineup going in, there were questions on how the show would draw, especially with some fans getting burned on the way FCW ended. In the end the show seemed to draw well, with the crowd being bigger than the last few FCW shows at the same venue.

Another thing that was instantly noticeable was the video production. I have no clue how the final product will look, but they had a really professional setup with at least three cameras running, including the hardcam on scaffolding. I didn’t get a chance to ask for an update on how the promotion plans to make the footage available, but it at least looks like there will be high quality footage out at some point.

Vegan Superman Jacob Diez, Donnie Suarez, & Biagio Crescenzo over Rocketboy D’Marco Wilson, KC Douglas, & Michael Hopkins [13’27]

This was a pretty good fast paced opener. KC Douglas played the face in peril for a good portion of the match. I thought he did a great job selling the punishment he was taking. He was eventually able tag Hopkins in with a hot tag, and Hopkins really showed some innovative offense while cleaning house. All six wrestlers looked good in this, and it was pretty much non-stop action. Diez hit a lowblow on Wilson for the pin. I forgot to mention, a gorilla came out and stole Diez’ valet, Lois Grain during the match.

Corey Jackson over SoCal Crazy [15’02]

These guys never clicked and this match was all over the place. They’d have a few minutes where it seemed to be working, and then it would just fall apart again and they just didn’t seem to be on the same page. I’m not sure what the finishing move was, as it didn’t appear to come off right, but Jackson got the win. Someone (not involved in this match) told me after the show that it wasn’t the planned finish. This wasn’t good.

True Grit (Jesse James & Hoss Hogg) over Aerial Instinct (Jake Atlas & Lucas Riley) [8’17]

These two teams had been doing a lot of trash talk on social media to set up this match, with some pretty good promos. They started hot with Aerial instinct doing dives over the ring post as True Grit approached the ring. They did a lot of playing up the power of True Grit versus the high flying and speed of Aerial Instinct. Riley took a ton of punishment. There were a couple miscues, but overall this was really good. Hogg hit a lariat on Riley to get the pin.

H.A.T.E (Ray Rosas & Tito Escondido) over Delilah Doom & Terex [15’24]

This was originally supposed to be Delilah Doom and Raze teaming up, but Raze wasn’t medically cleared to wrestle. Raze came out to the ring and announced Terex as her replacement. This was Terex’s return match back after being in the hospital back in May for a few days. It was good to see him back and doing good. This was a lot of fun. Doom always shows a ton of fire and does such a great job as the underdog. She took a lot of punishment from Rosas and Escondido, even getting bent over Escondido’s knee and spanked at one point. Both Escondido and Rosas did a good job as the cocky jerks picking on Delilah as well. H.A.T.E managed to knock Terex out of the ring late and Escondido hit the Fade to Black on Doom for the win.

Alonzo Alvarez over Matt Vandagriff [11’46]

This match was being billed as “The Invitational” and featured two up and coming wrestlers. Alonzo Alvarez has been wrestling about a year and Matt Vandagriff only a few months. Alvarez is really solid and pretty polished for his experience level. Vandagriff has some really flashy offense, and a lot of it looks so effortless. There were times when the match got a little on the sloppy side, but overall it was a lot of fun. Both of these wrestlers are going to be fun to watch develop over the next few years. Alvarez won via submission with a leg lock.

“Uptown” Andy Brown over Eli Everfly [17’57]

If there is one match worth tracking down the video when it is released it is this one. This was excellent. This was really even with both wrestlers trading offense throughout. There were a few really crazy spots in this, with Everfly taking a hard hit from the ring apron onto the concrete at one point. Andy Brown won with a spinning package piledriver. I had this match at **** 1/4.

B-Boy over Famous B [10’28]

Originally B-Boy was supposed to face Brody King, but King was out with an injury. Instead B-Boy issued an open challenge and Famous B, who had been on commentary, accepted. This ended up being the only match that wasn’t a first time ever matchup, as these two have faced each other a lot over the years. It was a little short but I thought this was good. B-Boy won with a chickenwing piledriver. B-Boy quietly had another really good year.

Tyler Bateman over Dicky Mayer [19’27]

They started this match with a slow build but really picked it up in the second half. I thought Mayer and Bateman really matched up well together and they put together a match that wasn’t like anything else on the show. There were a few dives in it, but for the most part they worked more of a strong style based match with lots of strikes and submission based offense. Bateman got the win with a Death from Above. I thought this was really good.

It wasn’t a big deal to me, but one negative with the show was the running commentary. Nothing against the commentary itself, it was just the speaker setup they had going for it made it hard to make out what was being said on three out of the four sides of the ring. Other than the commentary issue, everything else seemed to run really smoothly.

Overall Ground Zero had a really good debut show and showed a lot of promise going forward. There was one bad match, but also lots of good matches with one great match too. The promotion will be back on February 3, 2018 with Brody King versus Kevin Kross headlining. Suede Thompson has also been announced for the show.

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