This past Saturday Rival Pro was holding their first anniversary show and their second show at Finish Line in Pomona. As luck would have it I was free that day and with a half dozen pro-wrestling events in Southern California that day I decided that a visit to Pomona’s Hacienda Park Heritage Area was too much to pass up.
This was actually only my second time making it out to a Rival Pro event. I had been to their January event, which was at a different venue, and I thought they had a really good show, but I wasn’t really a fan of the venue. The new venue was so much better. It was still an outdoor venue, but it was in a large enclosed area with a nice canopy roof. It was certainly one of the nicer outdoor venues you’ll ever find for an independent wrestling show. The weather was perfect for the show, as it was a hot day but by show time it was very comfortable. Cold weather would still be an issue for this venue, but if it was one of those rare rainy days I think everyone would stay dry.
Adrian Quest won an elimination gauntlet match over Keegan Brettle, Rocketboy Wilson, Dirty Ron McDonald, Human Tornado, Dicky Mayer, and Steve Pain. [24’12]
The first match was billed as a gauntlet match but it was held under Royal Rumble rules where a new wrestler would enter every 90seconds no matter if another wrestler was eliminated or not. The match started out with Keegan Brettle, who is from Australia, going for some cheap heat by wanting to sing the Australian national anthem. No one hates Australians. Adrian Quest’s music interrupted Brettle’s singing and the match was underway. The first couple minutes was probably the weakest part of the match, as Brettle really struggled to keep up with Quest’s speed and it felt like there was a delayed reaction anytime he took a move. Rocketboy D’Marco Wilson was out third and it picked up from there. Dirty Ron McDonald came out fourth, Human Tornado fifth, Dicky Mayer sixth, and Steve Pain came out last.
When Pain came to the ring he hit a few high angle cutters on some of the other wrestlers and cleared the ring. With all seven wrestlers out at once there were a few times where action was going on in different parts of the arena, but for the most part they kept it compact. There was a good amount of crowd brawling and no one was eliminated until 18:08 into the match when Steve Pain eliminated Brettle after taking him and his valet out. That opened the floodgates. Pain then eliminated McDonald at 18:24. Rocketboy was eliminated by Dicky Mayer at 19:10. Steve Pain was eliminated by Adrian Quest at 20:31. Then Dicky Mayer was eliminated by Adrian Quest at 22:34 leaving Human Tornado and Quest. Tornado is on his farewell tour after announcing his retirement earlier this year, and looked really good here. He went all out in the match and it was like getting a glimpse of the mid-2000s Tornado again. Quest looked really impressive as well. I thought this match was a lot of fun, and even though it went almost 25 minutes it never felt like it was long or dragging.
Ruby Raze & Tito Escondido over H.A.T.E (Pinky & Che Cabrera) and Royce Issacs & Jorel Nelson in the semi-finals of the Rival Pro Tag Team Title Tournament. [15’15]
The Rival Pro Tag Team Tournament has been going on all year and now we are the semi-finals. The kids in the front row were sure giving Jorel Nelson and Royce Issacs a hard time. At one point Pinky and Cabrera picked up Ruby Raze over their heads and threw her out of the ring into the crowd. I thought Issacs and Nelson worked well as a team and interacted well with everyone. Raze pinned Issacs allowing her team to advance. This was really good.
DoomFly (Eli Everfly & Delilah Doom) over Stoner Brothers (Scott Stoner & Rick Stoner) and Luchasaurus & Super Panda in the semi-finals of the Rival Pro Tag Team Title Tournament. [9’38]
I thought DoomFly versus Luchasaurus and Super Panda at last Thursday’s Bar Wrestling was better, but this was still fun. Everfly looked like he was limping for a lot of the match, but still managed to climb the steel beams holding up the roof to moonsault off them. The Stoners had some nice double team offense and I’d like to see them in a singles versus either of these teams. Both Luchasaurus and Super Panda are underrated and should be getting more bookings. Luchasaurus has quietly had a fantastic 2018 and has been one of the MVPs of Bar Wrestling. DoomFly advanced after Doom hit a destroyer and pinned Super panda.
Andy Brown over Jake Atlas in 2 out of 3 falls. [21’38]
This was really good, but I’m not sure why it was two out of three falls. I missed the last Rival Pro show, so I’m not sure if something was setup there, but it seems weird to do a two out of three falls match for no real reason. Three falls matches are hard to get into because they always go three falls making the first two falls meaningless. Andy Brown has been having a great year, and it’s still early but he’s making a case to be a SoCal Wrestler of the Year candidate. Jake Atlas just keeps getting better. His progression reminds me a lot of TJ Perkins but with a better attitude. Andy Brown took the first fall in 3:25 and then Atlas took the second in 9:49. These two matched up really well. This was really good, and my match of the night, but I think it could have been better as a standard match.
Killer Baes (Heather Monroe & Laura James) over Joey Ryan & Douglas James. [11’40]
This was originally supposed to be Joey Ryan and Laura James versus Douglas James and Heather Monroe, but when they got to the ring the Killer Baes couldn’t be kept apart, changing the match. Killer Baes have great chemistry together. I hope they are under consideration for Stardom’s tag league later this year, as they deserve a chance to be on a bigger stage. As you’d expect there was a lot of comedy in this. There was a funny bit where Joey Ryan called for a double elbow on Heather Monroe, and Douglas James went to do a double team move but Ryan hit Monroe with both of his elbows. Douglas James tried to do Joey Ryan’s dickflip on Monroe, but he didn’t have the power. Luckily Joey Ryan put his hand on him and transferred some power, allowing him to flip Monroe. Later Joey Ryan tried to dickflip Laura James, but his power didn’t work on her. The Baes hit the Dooms Bae Device to get the win. This was fun.
PJ Black over Rey Horus. [13’51]
This was originally supposed to be Willie Mack versus Killer Kross but both were out of the country. It took a little while to get the crowd into this, but the crowd was hot by the end. This was pretty even, with both getting a chance to showcase. I thought this was really good.
Overall I thought this was a really good show. Every match was good, and the show was paced well. I don’t know what the promotion’s plan is to get content out for people who weren’t there to see, but they did appear to be filming. They really should get the footage out, as both of their shows I’ve been to have been good. They are certainly worth checking out if you’ve been on the fence about it.
Rival Pro is scheduled to be back in November.