The Fight Before Christmas reviewed on New Year’s Day! Brody King vs. Andy Brown, Eli Everfly vs. Jake Atlas vs. Matt Vandagriff, and more.
“Dirty” Dom Kubrick vs. Tyler Bateman w/ Sarah Wolf
This was a very character driven match. Bateman showed some comedic personality in this and was playing off Dom’s character. Dom Kubrick’s gimmick, for those who haven’t seen him, is that of a creepy fucking pervert. It’s like early Goldust meets modern Joey Ryan meets XPW’s Angel if he were bisexual. Dom’s gimmick also really isn’t as tame as those gimmicks either. I can see his gimmick possibly upsetting parents in the future if some Terry Rakolta-type mom (Google her) went to an indy wrestling show.
Joey Ryan’s character is doing spots that portray borderline sexual battery what with things like the Boobplex on chicks and him usually forcing dudes to touch his dick after they decline his advances. Dom’s character just straight up sexually assaults his opponents. Those two need o have a match ASAP in a place like FIST Combat, BrewMania, or some other adult-oriented promotion. Let them run wild in an environment like that and I’m sure they’d do some insane shit.
Most of the match centered around Bateman trying to have a wrestling match with Dom, only for Dom to make shit creepy. Dom’s character is also seems to be a sadomasochist, as he got some pleasure from getting chopped by Bateman. At one point, Dom stole a kiss from Bateman after he thought he was getting one from his Sarah Wolf. Dom got some decent offense in this, including a Blockbuster. He would eventually lose the match to Bateman though.
This was a really entertaining match based on the shenanigans, and the action was solid. Dom’s gimmick feels like something that could end up getting stale quickly, but he’s a very solid performer in the ring. I could see him developing into a really good worker in the future.
Robby Phoenix & Lucas Riley vs. Darwin Finch & Koto Hiro
Prior to the match, Robby cut a promo about Jake Atlas and their feud. He then talked about how he’s corrupting Lucas Riley. Lucas came out and said Robby should get over being caned by Jake. Robby then snapped back at him before Darwin and Koto came out. They tried to use some “Holiday Sprit” to cheer them up.
Darwin offered everyone cookies, but Lucas knocked them off the tray. This led to Darwin hitting Lucas with the tray to start the match. Darwin and Koto then threw a bunch of Christmas gifts in the ring that ended up being used as weapons. The match was full of brawling and weapon shots. This whole match was silly. The best spot of the match came when Robby and Lucas launched Koto into a Dartboard. Robby Phoenix and Lucas Riley eventually got the win in a match that turned out to be a silly comedy hardcore match.
Robby and Lucas’ angle felt like they were stars of a buddy movie where they’re two cops who don’t get along. There’s real potential here for a Netflix or Amazon Prime movie with Robby as the grizzled street cop vet looking to clean up the force, and Lucas as his partner fresh out of the academy but doesn’t want to be treated like a kid while on the beat. Meanwhile, Jake is the new mayor that is in cahoots with a local crime syndicate and dirty cops, and Robby is tasked with making sure his partner isn’t tainted after the two strike up a friendship after they responded to a disturbance call at Jake’s nightclub that is also a front for money laundering and drug/sex trafficking.
Rating: n/a (too many shenanigans for me to rate this)
Eli Everfly vs. Jake Atlas w/ the Bomb Squad vs. Matt Vandagriff
Prior to the match, Atlas and his posse, the Bomb Squad, interrupted someone in a Santa suit. They beat up the Santa guy cause they’re jerks. Atlas got on the mic, told some kids Santa isn’t real (that got a babyface pop from me), said he was “bomb,” and said some shit about Robby Phoenix. Atlas’ unnamed lackey guys yelled “bomb” a lot. Obviously they don’t care about living in a post-9/11 world.
This was everything you’d expect from these guys. Lots of flippy, choreographed sequences that looked like action movie sequences in this. You had your standard “one guy goes down while the others go at it” formula followed by spots involving all three guys. Atlas kept heeling it up during the match, while Eli and Vandagriff were working as babyfaces. The Bomb Squad got involved from time to time as well, adding a different dynamic to the match.
Overall this match was lots of fun. As I said before, this was full of flippy shit. The finish saw Eli Everfly hit a super reverse rana on Vandagriff while Vandagriff gave Atlas a Frankensteiner. This was followed by Eli hitting a running modified Ace Crusher. After the match, Eli hit Vandagriff with a Double Underhook Canadian Destroyer.
While Eli got the win, Jake Atlas came off as the star of the match, as things really centered around him. All three guys put on an extremely fun spotfest here though, and all deserve tons of credit for putting on an entertaining match.
Santino Bros. Wrestling Submission Championship Match: Douglas James (c) vs. Alonzo Alvarez
This was a really fun match, and probably the best singles match Alonzo Alvarez has had so far in his career. I was looking forward to this mostly because it was a match between two guys with grappling backgrounds. Alvarez played off the live commentary at times, including yelling “I HAVE A MEDAL!” after they mentioned him bragging about being good at wrestling.
The match had a nice blend of technical stuff with modern pro wrestling sequences thrown in. There was a cool spot where Alonzo countered a springboard arm drag attempt from Douglas James with a belly-to-belly suplex. They also had a nice striking exchange around 9:20 where they didn’t slap their legs. I’m adding an extra 1/2* to my rating for that. Douglas James would get the win after hitting a flying armbar from the top rope for the submission victory.
I really liked how this was a competitive match, with neither guy getting too much of an advantage. It kept things fresh, and I didn’t lose interest in the match cause of it. While Alonzo is still developing inside the ring, he is showing tons of potential to be a breakout star in the next few years.
Santino Bros. Wrestling Heavyweight Championship Match: Brody King (c) vs. Andy Brown
This was a match I was looking forward to seeing. Brody King was having a breakout year, and he’s on the verge of becoming a star this year. Andy Brown was also having a good year inside the ring as well, but hasn’t been getting the notoriety he should be getting. Hopefully 2018 will be the year more people take notice of Andy Brown.
This match consisted of Brody working over Andy, using his size advantage to neutralize Andy Brown’s offense. Brody had some really impressive offense in this, and did a good job at setting up various lariats.
Andy would mount a comeback and got some offense on Brody late in the match. He would even get a few near falls in the finishing stretch. Brody would eventually win after hitting a nice pop-up Samoan Driver. This was a solid match, and I really feel like these guys could produce an awesome series of matches if they were paired up more often.
While this wasn’t the best show the Santino Bros. put on in 2017, it was a nice showcase of what their students have been working on. The triple threat match was the best match of the show, and the main event was very solid. The show itself was solid overall. I recommend checking out the final three matches, especially the triple threat match.