I decided to make the long drive to Burbank to catch this past Saturday’s Maverick Pro show, Killing Time, and I was pretty glad I did. The show ended up being really strong, especially the first half. The promotion has really been bringing in some top tier talent lately and hasd really evolved from what it was a year ago.
This was my first visit to the Burbank Moose Lodge. It was a pretty nice venue, though really small. I can’t imagine they’d ever be able to fit more than 150 in there if they added more chairs and sold standing room only. It doesn’t matter though; their June 23 show is going to be at a different, larger venue. The promotion also announced an August 11 date in Las Vegas, which seems odd as they are finally starting to build some momentum in the Los Angeles area.
The show opened with Donovan Troi, who is the commissioner, cutting a promo, and he wanted to know why Killer Kross wasn’t getting a rematch for the Maverick Pro title. AG Bernard, apparently had the answer but he kept going over other matches on the card.
Laynie Luck over Dick Justice [4’46]
Laynie Luck obviously had a leg injury going into this and could barely walk. They tried to do some comedy with Dick Justice falling on her, and shooting someone with his finger. I’m not sure who the guy who got shot was, he was just wearing street clothes and wasn’t wearing anything to identify him as Maverick Pro staff or security. Unless the idea was that Dick Justice shot an unarmed minority. Anyway, this was bad. I hate to be too critical because it was clear they had to work around the injury, but the match happened. Luck won with a roll up.
Rating: 1/4 *
Fred Yehi over Daniel Moon and Keita Murray [9’59]
This was great. Yehi went all out in this and looked fantastic. Everything he did looked so quick and impactful. I thought Keita Murray and Daniel Moon looked great too. Murray looked really crisp on offense. Moon took a beating in this. His chest began to bleed from the chops he was getting. Last week at Ground Zero I though Moon’s kicks looked a little loose, but I didn’t see any of that here. Yehi won by pummeling Moon till he submitted.
Rating: *** 3/4
Sumie Sakai & Deonna Purrazzo over Kylie Rae & Amber Nova [9’09]
This was my first time seeing Amber nova live, and my first time seeing Sakai live since she wrestled at UPW in the early 2000s. Nova was taking the brunt of the punishment for her team it seemed, and she did a great job of selling it to the point she was able to get heat on the popular Purrazzo. They kept this fast paced, with a lot of action. All four wrestlers looked great. I wish they had a little more time to develop it further, but this was still great. Purrazzo got Rae to tap to the Fujiwara Arm Bar. I should note that Yoshi Tatsu was in the audience and helped Sakai and Purrazzo at one point as well.
Rating: *** 3/4
Killer Kross over Simon Grimm [14’12]
This was Simon Grimm’s first non-WWE match in Southern California since probably 2008. Early in his career when he wrestled as Ryan Drago he was in the area pretty regularly, and was even on the first PWG show. Grimm controlled a lot of the match, with Kross getting offense in spurts. They matched up really well. Kross eventually hit the Doomsday to get the pin. After the match he beat up Grimm some more, including putting a chair on his head then hitting it with anotyher chair. This match was really good.
Rating: *** 1/2
Gym Nasty Boys (White Mike & Timmy Lou Retton) over WorkHorsemen (Anthony Henry & James Drake) [16’18]
Before the match these teams cut promos on each other. There were a lot of promos on this show. I had never seen the Gym Nasty Boys wrestle before, and only seen WorkHorsemen a handful of times. I know these teams have met a few times before in the South, but this match should be booked everywhere. They played off each other perfectly and had such intensity. This was fantastic. It is worth tracking this match down on video.
Rating: **** 1/4
Andrew Everett over Austin Theory [12’49]
This match was a victim of the low ceilings, limiting a lot of what they could do. Before the match Everett went to the top rope and realized he couldn’t do anything off it, so Theory said “you have to do stuff off the second rope.” Theory did a moonsault off the second rope and his feet still hit the roof, breaking a ceiling tile. Everett wins with his feet on the ropes. They cut promos after the match. Hopefully there is a rematch at some point with a higher ceiling.
Rating: ** 3/4
Rachael Ellering over Katarina Leigh and Chelsea Green to win the Maverick Pro Women’s title [5’58]
Joshua, leader of The Promised Land, and Katarina Leigh’s manager, cuts a promo to start. Donovan Troi comes out and adds Chelsea Green to the match. Green came out with her Laurel Van Ness character, but was still called Chelsea Green. That is always fun. It says a lot for Green that she can have two different personas and be equally great at both. All three wrestlers looked good in this, it was just way too short to really build anything up. Joshua went to throw salt in Ellering’s eyes, she ducked and Katarina was hit. Ellering then pinned Green to win the title.
Rating: ** 1/2
Chris Bey over Adam Brooks to retain the Maverick Pro Heavyweight title [21’42]
It felt like this match was a little limited by the low ceiling as well, but they managed to put together a really nice match. Bey is going to be a star. It is amazing how good he is at this point in his career. Brooks is really starting to break out as well and has been in PWG somewhat regularly. This was really good, but there were some points late that they slowed down a little and kind of paused the action when it seemed like they should have been building to the finish. Bey won with a springboard cutter. After the match Bey cut a promo about Kross, and after some time Kross came out to the ring and they had a stare down to setup a future match (Kross had earlier been ringside for part of Bey’s match, but left before the end).
Rating: *** 1/2
One thing that could have been improved was the number of promos. There doesn’t need to be a promo for every match. The flow of the show would have been better, and the show would have been shorter.
In terms of match quality, Killing Time was a great show, and probably the best non-PWG or NJPW show in Southern California this year. The Gym Nasty Boys and WorkHorsemen match should be a strong match of the month candidate.