Ground Zero held its third show, titled Phase Three, on March 31 in Imperial Beach. The show featured a first ever meeting between Douglas James and “Uptown” Andy Brown in the main event, and a surprisingly rare meeting between two previous Southern California Wrestlers of the Year in the semi.
While waiting for the show to start, there were a couple things that stood out to me. First, the promoters from two other San Diego promotions, SoCal Pro and Baja Stars USA, were there. It has been a rarity in the San Diego wrestling scene for promotions to get along for lack of a better word. The current cooperation between all of the San Diego promotions has been a nice touch. When there is only four or five promotions in an area, it never has made sense to have feuds between the feds and shows running against each other.
The other thing is the constant increase in attendance from show to show. While fans were entering the building the promotion had to add additional chairs. Despite that, there was still people standing during the show.
Chris Samuels and Gerl Hebner from Seattle’s 321 Battle along with Jeremy Marcus were referees for the night.
Ju Dizz over Karl Fredericks [11’04]
This was billed as an invitational match. I thought these two matched up really well. Ju Dizz has really increased his intensity over the last year and shows a lot of charisma. Karl Fredericks is really getting good. He has always been solid on offense but recently it seems like his selling and facial expressions have really gotten better too. Ju Dizz hit his modified Rock Bottom finisher for the win. This was a really good opener with both wrestlers getting to showcase what they can do. Hopefully both come back at some point.
Terex over Dicky Mayer [7’38]
Before the match Corey Jackson came out with his Most Awesome Iconic Wrestler in SoCal trophy and complained about not having a match despite being undefeated. Terex came out and sent him from the ring. This seemed like it would be a styles clash going in, but Terex really held his own with Mayer’s technical wrestling skill. Terex eventually hit his standing moonsault to get the pin. This was good and showed a side of Terex’s skills that we normally don’t get to see.
True Grit (Jesse James & Hoss Hogg) over H.A.T.E (Che Cabrera & Rico Dynamite) [8’52]
Originally Los Luchas were supposed to face True Grit, but they couldn’t make it so True Grit had an open challenge. This was pretty much a back and forth brawl. This was pretty good, but felt rushed towards the end and didn’t seem to be much build to the finish, but it was a nice change of pace from the rest of the show. Jesse james hit a lariat on Che Cabrera for the win.
Rating: ** 1/2
Owen Travers over Jorel Nelson [13’46]
I was surprised at the reaction Owen Travers received, as I believe this was his first time wrestling in the San Diego area, and he doesn’t have a whole lot of matches in SoCal as a whole. I thought both Nelson and Travers looked really good in this, but the pacing felt a little off and it could have been condensed some. This was billed as an invitational match like the first match, and hopefully both wrestlers come back. Travers won with a cutter.
Rating: ** 3/4
B-Boy & AK Rambe (KC Douglas & Michael Hopkins) over Aerial Instinct (Jake Atlas & Lucas Riley) & Matt Vandagriff [22’08]
Jake Atlas injured his hip at last week’s PWG show and still wasn’t back to one-hundred percent for this.Because of his injury, there was none of his regular high flying offense, but he was used smartly in this. Lucas Riley and Vandagriff really stepped too. KC Douglas and Hopkins both looked really good here too. One thing that was really highlighted with B-Boy being in a tag match with a bunch of younger wrestlers was just the difference in ring presence. Any time B-Boy was tagged in there was a noticeable change in energy, despite him not being as flashy as the rest. There was a really cool spot where Vandagriff went for a 450 off the top rope and B-Boy caught him in a cutter. B-Boy’s team won when they hit an assisted chickenwing piledriver.There was a couple of miscues but this was really good.
Rating: *** 1/2
SoCal Crazy over Adrian Quest [13’07]
This was a pretty fast paced match that was more lucha based than anything else on the show. SoCal Crazy won with a crossface. This was good.
Rating: ** 3/4
Delilah Doom over Heather Monroe [14’33]
This is actually the first women’s match in Ground Zero’s history, though both Delilah Doom and Ruby Raze have been in intergender matches. I really liked Heather Monroe’s new gear. Monroe does some really good heel work, and Doom has so much natural charisma and energy this match easily had the best heel/face dynamic on the show. The biggest issue with the match is I always get Doom’s entrance music stuck in my head for the rest of the night. In fact its in my head now because I’m writing about it. I thought the match itself was a lot of fun, and both wrestlers work well together. Doom got the submission wiin with a Fujiwara Armbar.
After the match Heather Monroe attacked Doom and was beating her up until Ruby Raze made the save. This sets up a match between Raze and Monroe at Ground Zero’s next show.
Tyler Bateman over Eli Everfly [11’43]
This was only the fifth time the two previous Southern California Wrestlers of the Year had met in a singles match since 2009, an only the fourth time the match actually took place in Southern California. Bateman and B-Boy met last year, and before that you have to go to 2014 when Kevin Steen and Adam Cole met on a Ring of Honor show. Bateman was delivering a lot of punishment to Everfly, while Everfly would try to take the advantage with high risk offense. This was really good, though I wish it had more time to really develop. Bateman won with a Death from Above.
Rating: *** 1/2
Andy Brown over Douglas James [16’48]
Despite this being the ninth match on the show, the crowd was still really hot. Andy Brown has been having some really good matches lately. Douglas James is really good too, so I had high hopes for this match. It didn’t disappoint. This had a ton of acton, with almost no slowing down. The match was fairly even with them trading off on offense. There was a pretty crazy sequence where James got tossed into the chairs. Brown kicked out of James’ frog splash finisher late and hit his package piledriver for the pin. This was excellent and easily my match of the night.
I want to add that the promotion is keeping win-loss records for matches within the promotion, which is something no one else in the area is doing. It will be interesting to see where this leads, because sometimes that puts a promotion in a corner creatively. It also takes some measure of patience because you need people to have a lot of wins for their records to truly seem impressive. If done right the concept can add an extra dimension to storylines that helps sell the match.
From top to bottom this was probably Ground Zero’s best show to date. I thought every match was at least good and the main event was great. Ground Zero really seems to be on the right track.
Their next show is on April 28 at the Imperial Beach Sports Complex again.