I originally hadn’t planned on reviewing September 29th’s Ground Zero’s Phase 8 as I didn’t think I was going to have the time. As such, I didn’t really keep much in the way of notes. However after talking to some people about the show over the last couple of days I decided I wanted to go over it somewhat, as the show seemingly did a lot to setup the next couple of months in the promotion.
I didn’t get the final crowd number, but it was bigger than the last few shows. There were a lot of people wearing Joey Ryan shirts, and I’m fairly certain Juan Mattioli signed up to Ancestry, did a DNA test, and invited every person on his family tree to the show as well. The crowd was lively throughout, and the show had good pacing which prevented burnout by the main event which has happened in the past. Ground Zero has done a good job making adjustments each show to improve the fan experience. Except for the recent lack of Up Skewerz. I guess B-Boy expects people to eat dinner before going to the shows.
I’ll include theie wrestlers win/loss records in the promotion as Ground Zero keeps track of that and the records will play into future matches.
Jorel Nelson over Mantequilla [9’46]
This was my first time seeing Mantequilla, and I thought he did fine. Jorel Nelson looked good in this. Nelson won with a springboard cutter. This was Nelson’s first win in Ground Zero, bringing his record to 1-2. Mantequilla is 0-1.
Corey Jackson vs. Terex goes to a double count out. [6’31]
These two have been feuding for some time, and it looks like they will be doing some sort of gimmick match soon. Not a lot happened here aside from Corey Jackson’s most iconic wrestler trophy getting further damaged. It was a short match that ended in a double count out. Corey Jackson is 2-1-1 and Terex is 2-0-1.
AK Rambe (KC Douglas & Michael Hopkins) over SoCal Crazy & Mike Camden [15’45]
This was a battle of wrestlers representing San Diego, with AK Rambe as the relative newcomers versus the veterans in Mike Camden and SoCal Crazy. This felt a little long at points but was fairly good. Camden and Hopkins had some really good interactions and I wouldn’t mind seeing them in a singles match. Camden is really good and hopefully becomes a regular.
Douglas James over Ryan Kidd to retain the AWS Light Heavyweight Championship [12’37]
This was only the third time the AWS Light heavyweight Championship, a title that is actually older than AWS as it used to be the GSCW Lightweight Championship. Ryan Kidd is really good but I think he needs to lose the mask shtick. He comes out in a mask, is constantly messing with it, always removes in the match, sometimes puts it back on. Why? It’s just weird. Luckily here he removed it early on and didn’t mess with it too much. I thought the match was really good. Both Douglas James and Kidd (minus the mask stuff) looked really fluid with a nice speed to everything. The San Diego area loves Douglas James and he always gets a good reaction. James won with a frog splash and improved his record in Ground Zero to 4-1. Ryan Kiss is 1-2.
DoomFly (Delilah Doom & Eli Everfly) & Matt Vandagriff over Jake Atlas & The Bomb Squad (Cameron Gates & Dylan Kyle Cox) [13’07]
This was a fun sprint that had a few miscues in it. Jake Atlas and Matt Vandagriff had a really fun sequence together towards the beginning of the match. It reminded me of the match between Ricochet of Will Ospreay in the Best of the Super Juniors a few years ago, though it wasn’t quite on that level. DoomFly is always fun and The Bomb Squad had some nice sequences too. Like I said this was fun, but a few miscues brought it down somewhat.
Joe Heiken over Juan Mattioli [11’22]
Joe Heiken was making his return here after a long time off due to injury. Juan Mattioli has had a few matches at FIST Combat, but his friends and family came in droves for his Ground Zero debut, making the crowd really hot for this. The match was fine early on, but you could tell Mattioli got tired late and he slowed down considerably as the match went on. Heiken won with a springboard splash. As this was both wrestler’s debut in the promotion Heiken is 1-0 and Mattioli is 0-1.
Dom Kubrick over Joey Ryan [9’35]
This match will likely be most remembered because of Joey Ryan dick flipping Dom Kubrick by the mouth, but outside of that they had a really nice match here with more wrestling than comedy. This was really good and Kubrick held his own with Ryan. This was my second favorite match on the show behind the main event. Kubrick moved to 3-1 and this was Joey Ryan’s Ground Zero debut so he is 0-1.
B-Boy over Andy Brown [24’06]
Going into the match B-Boy was 3-0 in singles matches and Andy Brown was 4-1, so the winner would be in a good position to be in the title mix at December’s Ground Zero show. These two have met a few times over the last year, and I thought this was their best match, slightly better than a match they had at SoCal Pro earlier in the year. Brown controlled a good part of the match, but when he claimed Ground Zero was his that seemed to wake B-Boy back up and B-Boy was able to get a submission win. After the match B-Boy called out Tyler Bateman, who is 7-0. The win put B-Boy at 4-0 and Brown at 4-2.
Going into Ground Zero’s October show, which is the last show before they crown a champion in December, Tyler Bateman is 7-0. Even though he’s facing B-Boy at 4-0 in October, at worst his record will be 7-1, so you have to figure he’ll be in the title picture in December. That leaves the other strong contenders to be B-Boy 4-0, Douglas James 4-1, Andy Brown 4-2, Eli Everfly 4-3, Jake Atlas 3-1, and Dom Kubrick 3-1. Though, the promotion hasn’t announced how the title will be decided so it’s unclear if all of these guys are really contenders.
As for Phase 8, I thought this was a good, fun show that was highlighted by really good main event. The semi and the AWS Light Heavyweight Championship match were also really good, as were parts of the trios match.
Ground Zero will be back on October 27 with NINE.