Ground Zero held their latest show, The Fourth Phase, on April 28 in Imperial Beach. The main event was set to feature a matchup between Eli Everfly, who won the 2017 Southern California Wrestler of the Year award, and Tito Escondido, who came in second by one point, in their first singles match since 2015.
As I was sitting there before the show began, looking over the lineup, I realized something that I somehow didn’t notice before. The entire lineup was made of wrestlers from Southern California. There wasn’t a single wrestler who was on the show who wasn’t trained in Southern California (technically Tyler Bateman is originally from Oklahoma, but he has been in Southern California for a decade and trained extensively at Santino Brothers). That isn’t an all together rare occurrence, but it is usually promotions that have schools backing them like EWF or Santinos where it happens. More on that after we take a look at the matches.
Sour Charm (Biagio Crescenzo & Donnie Suarez) over Dom Kubrick & Alonzo Alvarez [7’50]
This was a good opener and all four wrestlers looked solid. Donnie Suarez continues to be under rated and should get some higher profile matches. Alonzo Alvarez pinned Donnie Suarez, but he wasn’t the legal man and the ref wouldn’t allow it. That allowed Sour Charm to recover and hit double team powerbomb type finisher on Kubrick to get the win. Afterwards Alvarez attacked Kubrick.
Jake Atlas over Daniel Moon [13’15]
Jake Atlas won the 2017 Southern California Rookie of the Year award, Daniel Moon came in third. This was my first time seeing Moon, and his valet Aurora Star live. Atlas also had the Bomb Squad with him. I thought this was really good, and they worked well together. My one issue was I thought Moon’s kicks and leg lariats looked loose and didn’t come off as connecting a lot. If this match was in an arena it wouldn’t be noticeable, but in an intimate independent wrestling venue it is. Other than that I thought he looked great and has a ton of potential. I also thought Aurora Starr did a good job as a valet. Being a valet is hard. You have to know what to do to add to the match, without taking away from what the wrestlers were doing, and she did a good job. Atlas won with his handspring from the top rope into a DDT. This was really fun.
Terex over Corey Jackson by DQ [8’10]
This was a size versus speed match. Terex has been doing some of his best work in the last few years in Ground Zero. Jackson looked good too. The match itself was OK. It was solid but fairly basic. Jackson his Terex with his most iconic wrestler in Southern California trophy and got DQ’d.
B-Boy & AK Rambe (KC Douglas & Michael Hopkins) over Ray Rosas & The Brothers Divine (Danny Divine & Brendan Divine) [16’22]
Next we had a teacher and students versus teacher and students match. B-Boy trained Douglas and Hopkins at the former Battle U and Rosas is one of the Divine Brothers’ trainers at the Millennium Wrestling Academy. This was pretty even and seemed designed to show off the four students. KC Douglas had a stand out performance here. He looked really crisp and seemed like he turned his tempo up some. This match was a lot of fun, and did what it was designed to do in establishing the younger wrestlers.
Andy Brown over Adrian Quest [17’03]
Going into the show I figured this would be the match of the night, and it was. Both wrestlers have been really good over the last year plus. They built the match up really well, and had a lot of believable near falls late. The crowd had been somewhat quiet at times up till this match, but was really hot here. Brown won with his package piledriver. This was great. I didn’t write down any ratings, but I would have had this at ****.
Heather Monroe over Ruby Raze [10’39]
I happened to be out one day and decided to get my new passport photo and I was wearing a Heather Monroe shirt, with her riding a cat. So now Heather Monroe is in my passport for the next 10 years. Monroe is a heel here and this match was setup after she attacked Delilah Doom last show and Raze made the save. Raze and Monroe work very well together. Monroe was delivering some really stiff looking kicks throughout the match. Raze had Monroe on a chair on the outside and hit a pretty crazy cannonball on her. Monroe hit Raze with a chair when the ref wasn’t looking to get the pin.
Douglas James over Dicky Mayer [11’02]
There were some nice interactions in this but then at other times it felt like they weren’t on the same page. It was a strange match. It would start to get good then stall out. It wasn’t a bad match, but it never really developed. The ending came out of nowhere when James had Mayer in a guillotine choke and the ref called the match. James abruptly left the ring with no post match celebration. Mayer looked a little shaken up after, so there may have been an injury or he could have been selling the choke.
Tyler Bateman over Famous B [13’07]
Before the match Famous B said he wasn’t wrestling tonight, and he has a replacement. While Bateman was looking at the entrance for the replacement Famous B tried to roll Bateman up. The ref tried to get them to ring the bell so he could count, but it took forever to ring the bell so Bateman was just rolled up for a comically long time. Bateman is undefeated in Ground Zero so far and is being pushed as the top guy. Bateman eventually won with a Death From Above. I enjoyed this.
Tito Escondido over Eli Everfly [16’10]
The story of this match was pretty much Escondido destroying Everfly while Everfly was going all out to make a desperation comeback. There was a pretty crazy moment when Escondido went to powerbomb Everfly into the corner and Everfly flipped over the ropes to the floor. He also took a powerbomb from the ring apron to some chairs as well. Everfly did get in some offense as well, but Escondido controlled a lot of the match. Escondido won with the Fade to Black. After the match Escondido continued to beat down Everfly, bringing Douglas James out for the save. This was good, and did a good job making Escondido look really strong going into his match with Douglas James in June.
This was another good show from Ground Zero. I like that they have been giving time for matches to develop, but on the flip side the one negative on the show is the length. Late in the show the crowd seemed more out of it. None of the matches felt like they were too long, but they could probably have cut a match or two. Other than that, the show was good. I didn’t think there was a bad match, with Andy Brown versus Adrian Quest being excellent.
I think this show also did a good job of highlighting the strength of wrestling in Southern California right now. There were 24 wrestlers on the show (27 if you add the Bomb Squad and Aurora Starr) who are all from the area and they were able to put on a show of this quality. There were a lot of good local wrestlers who weren’t on the show too. I’ve been going to independent wrestling events in Southern California since 1998 and the talent pool has never been this deep. I know sometimes looking back the past seems like it was so good as the bad matches fade with time, but there has never been a better time to be a wrestling fan in Southern California.