Man…..it’s been too long since I wrote one of these reviews. I had planned on continuing to write for SCU in some capacity after moving to Texas, but sometimes life gets distracting. With that being said, I am super excited to be back writing this review for Bar Wrestling’s “Hold on to Your Butts” show (thanks to the Highspots Network)
Now before I get into the review, I wanted to get a little sentimental, since it the one year anniversary show. While Bar Wrestling hasn’t been around forever, I have a deep love for the promotion. I have a few theories as to why that is:
The venue – The venue that Bar uses is the venue that I started my journey with independent wrestling in (going to IWL shows). I saw the Bucks super kick my cousin in this venue (which went viral), I had my Joey Ryan lollipop moment in this venue at a Qpro show, and I met a ton of people who grew to be legit friends in this venue.
The talent – This one is self-explanatory. They bring in some of the best talent in the world, and give them to you in a unique, intimate setting for a fantastic price. I also saw Matt Cross live for the first time ever at Bar, and admittedly fangirled harder than a large bearded man probably should
The atmosphere – A lot of the more “hardcore” fans I know have a very special relationship with promotions like PWG and AWS, promotions they go to all the time, packed into small areas, interacting with wrestlers and fans and having an awesome time. I didn’t really have that with any promotion directly, I joined the scene while AWS was on hiatus, and I could never get tickets to PWG. There are a lot of shows I love going too, but Bar kind of provided that “PWG” like atmosphere for me personally. There is something about a ton of diehard fans, packed in standing around a ring on a Thursday night that just resonated with my soul, and for that I am grateful.
Now that all that is out of the way, let’s get to the review:
Christian Cole is ring announcing and Rick Knox is your official. Both of which automatically make any show better.
Match 1: Endangered Extinction (Super Panda and LuchaSaurus) vs. Stevie Knicks (Matt Knicks and Stevie Fierce) vs. Violence Unlimited (Brody King and Tyler Bateman) vs. The RockNess Monsters (Johnny Yuma and Kevin Martenson)
Stevie Knicks (who I have never seen before) got some heat during the intros and Violence unlimited got a great pop from the crowd. LuchaSaurus and Stevie Fierce start. Kevin Condron and Louden Noxious are on commentary, which is a thing that happens, and can admittedly be a little much at times. Ive mentioned in some past reviews that I am a pretty big fan of LuchaSaurus, and that hasn’t changed. He is super unique in his approach to Professional Wrestling, and at Bar he always looks like he is having an absolute blast, and he is super fun to watch in the ring. I have also always been impressed with how well the RockNess monsters work together, they have a really seamless flow through their tag team offense that is fun to watch. Back to the match itself, after some tagging in and out throughout the teams Violence Unlimited came in and started fighting everyone, including each other, which was super entertaining and led to everyone else beating them down. Kmart and LuchaSaurus had a really good back and forth that ended up with Kmart reversing a chokeslam into a DDT on the apron that got a “holy shit” chant from the crowd. Matt Knicks got a lot of heat for some reason, I think its because he is from Chicago, because that’s reason to boo. Endangered Extinction picked up the win, with LuchaSaurus pinning Matt Knicks. Overall this was a really fun match, exactly what you would expect from the opener of Bar wrestling, with a lot of high paced action, dives, fast exchanges and all around fun. I will also say I feel like Kevin Martenson is criminally overlooked in SoCal and is one of the best in the scene, and I would love to see a one on one with him and Brody. My biggest qualm with this match wasn’t the match at all, but how many times the announcers said “big hunky Kev”. It’s a good nickname, but they burned it out very quickly.
Match 2: Taya vs. Mia Yim
Since the first Bar Wrestling show Taya has established herself as the Queen of Bar. To my knowledge she has been on every one of their shows, and the crowd absolutely loves her. Tonight is no different as she got a great reaction. Mia Yim also got a huge pop. For some reason the ref didn’t pat them down until after the bell sounded, which seems out of order. Early dueling chants from the crowd, both girls getting shown some love. Mia Yim kind of botched a rope spot, but she did a killer job recovering and moving the match along, which is always great to see. We got some pretty cool crowd brawling around the ring and both of them landed a lot of solid chops. Mia hit a Canadian destroyer and went for the pin but Taya got her foot one the rope. Apparently rope breaks are a thing in Bar, although it seems like count outs are not. Taya got the win by rolling Mia up as she argued with the ref. Overall this match was okay, there was nothing super special about it. The crowd brawling was solid, and probably my favorite part of the match
Match 3: PPRay (Peter Avalon and Ray Rosas) vs. The Handicapped Heroes (Zach Gowen and Gregory Iron)
**Insert obligatory mention about how amazing PPRay is here**
But seriously, they are great. And I appreciated the duel “PPRay” and “Hate” chants they got. Before the match Gregory Irons got on the mic and cut a promo about being the only pro wrestler with cerebral palsy, and Zach Gowen beating cancer and having one leg which is heroic indeed. He then said they came to Bar to “kick the shit out of PPRay” which doesn’t seem very heroic. Peter and Zach Gowen start off the match. Zach Gowen got some pretty good reactions moving around the ring well before Peter tagged in Ray and Gowen tagged in Irons. Ray drew some heat by extending his hand to shake Irons, only to switch last second to Gregs..…less than functioning hand. Ray continued to draw heat by mocking both members of the Handicap Heroes. Although I did appreciate the few PPRay chants. Greg Irons hit a nice jumping hurricanerana on Ray and followed up with a jumping DDT on Peter that looked good. The announcers then talked about his “young, supple, explosive body” and then went on to Rays body, which I felt was weird for them to talk about but to each their own. The Handicapped Heroes got the win off an impress moonsault by Gowen on Peter. The match itself was alright, nothing too spectacular but not horrible, and the crowd really got behind Irons and Gowen which was cool to see.
Match 4: Douglas James vs. Andrew Everett
I am pretty hyped for this match. I expect them to match up well. Douglas is one of SoCal’s best and Everett is a PWG and TNA guy, and great in the ring. The audience seems to be anti Everett to start. Early on I am impressed by Andrew Everett’s selling and playing to the crowd, and his crazy athleticism. Pretty early on Douglas went for his back to back to back suicide dives. He connected clean with the first, kind of missed the 2nd and barely got him on the 3rd, luckily he seemed to recover quickly so I don’t think he got hurt or anything, but might be worth keeping an eye on. I feel like the commentator saying “ive never seen Douglas James get in there and not injure himself” does Douglas no favors, and at the very least was poor word choice from the announcers. Andrew Everett hit a nice Pele kick, followed up by a springboard dropkick and kip up that all flowed super smoothly. He then feigned the peoples elbow and went for a pin, which got a laugh from me…alone….in my bedroom…..in the dark…wrestling is weird. Anywayyyyyyy…..the competitors had a nice back and forth that ended with Douglas landing a patented dropkick that Everett did a full flip off of. The audience continued to show their disdain for Everett throughout. Everett climbed to the top rope but he was a little too tall and his head was basically in the ceiling, so he moved to the middle rope to hit a shooting star press. Douglas reversed it, kicked Everett’s head off and pinned him with a frog splash. I would definitely say this was the best match of the card so far, and I would recommend checking it out if you have high spots (and if you don’t, get it). The first time I saw Douglas was in what I think was one of his first few matches, for IWL, in this same arena. That night I thought he looked pretty good, and it has been awesome to see how he grown into one of SoCal’s best. I hope to see him continue to improve, and start to branch out to other regions and areas to really hone his craft. As for Andrew Everett, I thought he was phenomenal in this match. Everything he did was smooth and perfectly executed, and his selling and crowd play really kept the audience alive and intrigued. Again, check this one out.
Match 5: Shotzi Blackheart, Britt Baker, Kris Wolf and Rachel Ellering vs. Heather Monroe, Laura James, Tessa Blanchard and Miranda
There is a lot of people in this match. Kris Wolf and Shotzi were definitely hyped up before the match started. Team Killer Baes had a little pregame huddle, that felt a little awkwardly long and I am not sure the audience knew what to do during it. Once things kicked off we got brawling out into all four corners, with team Shotzi doing some Chinese fire drill around the ring, which was a pretty unique spot I don’t think I have seen before. Britt and Ellering hit a version of the 3D, that admittedly did not look fantastic. Britt Baker and Miranda also traded some pins that were kind of sluggish and rugged. I try not to be overly critical because I am not capable of doing most of what these people do, but I gotta call it like I see it. The Killer Baes had some good tag work in the corner that flowed pretty well. I have always felt like Heather and Laura worked well together, and tonight was no different, they are a great team. Kris Wold got the win by pinning Miranda. Overall, this match felt a little bit off. I feel like I have seen much better performances from all the ladies in this match, but this one was kind of sloppy, and I felt like the “face” team spent too much time taking punishment, which kind of killed the energy. I will say this was my first time seeing Miranda, but too me she was the high spot of the match and looked really good. I would like to see some more from her down the road.
Match 6: Jimmy Jacobs vs. Joey Ryan
Oh man….this match should be no less than extremely entertaining, both these guys are such characters, and are a ton of fun. Jimmy Jacobs is in full Zombie Princess gear, and looks like some kind of horror movie prom queen killer. Joey offers up his lollipop to tremendous reaction and a bearded man gets it, welcome to the club my brother. I don’t know what it is about Joey Ryan doing his prematch/earlier match ritual that is so intoxicating. No matter how many times I have seen it, and everyone else has, it gets incredible reactions every time and I get genuinely excited knowing its going to happen. Joey tried charming Jimmy Jacobs into touching his dick, to which Jacobs responded with “touch my zombie dick”. Joey Ryan, being the classy gentleman he is, offered to do some touch for touch, but Jacobs didn’t cooperate, how rude. Zombie Princess decided he wanted to get a little hardcore, introducing trashcans, baking sheets and other items into the match, which backfired immediately as Joey killed him with a baking shoot. Jimmy ended up regaining control, using a chin to choke Joey in the corner. Jacobs showed the kind of innovation that changes the world, using the chain to tie the trash can lid around Joeys stomach, chest and groin region which could hinder Joeys #1 offensive weapon. (although it did take an awkwardly long amount of time to get it secured, which I don’t think was accounted for). Once it did though, it proved to be very effective, as Joeys dick was rendered useless. I feel like a “free Joeys dick” chant would have been appropriate. Jimmy missed a senton from the top and landed on a trash can, completely crushing it and allowing Joey to remove the make shift chastity belt, effectively giving him a whole new life in this battle. Joey broke out a bag of thumbtacks and they had a good exchange that saw Jimmy hit a spear through a piece of wood and then a shining wizard onto the thumbtacks for the win. As expected, this match wasn’t the most technical or amazing on the card, but it was super fun to watch, and both guys are absolute crowd favorites. I’ve said this before and I will say it again, Joey’s dick might be the most over thing in wrestling.
Main Event: DoomFly (Eli Everfly and Delilah Doom) Vs. The Queen and the Machine (Brian Cage and Melissa Santos)
Eli is another one I first saw in IWL and initially I hated him (he does a good job making people do that). But man he is absolutely great in the ring, and I am glad to see he has been taking his talent across state lines. I have a taken a few non wrestling friends to shows since moving, and they have all been absolutely blown away with Brian Cages size, strength and athleticism. The match starts with Delilah and Cage in the ring, and Cage towers over her. The early story is Delilahs speed vs Cages power, and they have a fantastic exchange to start, and Cage eventually kills her with a clothesline. Seeing Cage and Delilah in the ring reminded me, I went to the last WrestleCircus show down in Austin and the main event was Cage vs Tessa in what was without a doubt the best intergender wrestling match I have ever seen. I don’t know if its possible to find that match anywhere, but if you can track it down watch it. Back to this match, DoomFly hit the double 619 in complete unison, only to have cage completely manhandle them right after. Cage tagged in Santos and I am curious to see her work, since she is normally an announcer. Early on I can say she definitely looks green, but she hit her first few moves pretty clean and you can tell she took training seriously. Eli went for a surfboard dragon sleeper on Santos that messed up a bit, but they recovered and made it look really good. Eli drop kicked Melissa’s head off while she was in camel clutch that looked great. Santos is doing an awesome job taking an absolute beating, which is slowly getting the crowd onto her side and they are hungry for some Brian Cage. Melissa hit a tornado ddt and got the hot tag to Brian Cage, who plowed through both members of DoomFly. Eli hit an awesome moonsault/sliced bread into a pin that looked great. And Doomfly had a Code Red/Meteora combo that was also fantastic. Man….the F5 Cage hit on Delilah was nuts, I thought she was going to fly through the roof. Cage kicked out of the sliced bread/powerbomb that DoomFly uses as a finish, much to Delilahs surprise. Eli hit a “Crazy Acai Springboard thingy” according to the announcer, which is by far the funniest thing they’ve said all night. I am trying to not just write everything that is happening, but all sorts of fun, insane stuff from all the competitors. Eli hit a really nice destroyer on Santos, and Cage looks ready to eat Eli. Cage got the win with an almost steiner screwdriver on Eli from the top rope. This match was absolutely nuts. Fast paced, hard hitting, good storytelling, and fun to watch, All 4 competitors had an awesome showing, even Santos who is still pretty new to in ring work.
It feels really good to write another one of these reviews, and to sit down and watch Bar Wrestling again. While this was not my favorite show they have put on so far, it was still an all around great show with a lot of action. The main event, Jimmy Jacobs vs. Joey Ryan and Douglas James vs. Andrew Everett were insanely fun to watch, and I would recommend checking out at least the latter 2 of those in your spare time, as well as previous Bar wrestling shows (some of which you can find old reviews I wrote on this very website). Bar has announced an increase in their amount of shows, and have announces some top tier talent. I definitely recommend checking them out, and I hope the next time I am in California they are running a show so I can experience it live again. Congrats on the 1 year anniversary, and here’s to many more!