Tito Escondido and Douglas James had an “Unsanctioned” Empty Arena Match. It was awesome.
The last time I watched Championship Wrestling From Hollywood, it featured David Arquette in a match. There were a lot of people at that taping. This taping though? Not so much. Obviously that attempt at getting attention from people didn’t work for CWFH. Oh well. On to these two episodes.
Championship Wrestling From Hollywood Episode 391
We started off with Todd Keneley and Dan Joseph going over the lineup for the show. This was a really good way to start the show. They talked about the main matches and created some energy going into the episode. Todd Keneley is still pretty awful on commentary, but he did okay here. I’ve mentioned many times how this should be the way CWFH starts off their shows. It’s about time they listened to me. I could produce and write this show better than whoever they got doing it now.
Vinny Pacifico vs. Adrian Quest
This was a solid opener. Adrian Quest hit his usual spots and had a good performance. This was my first time seeing Vinny Pacifico. He wasn’t really impressive, but he didn’t suck. There were moments where it seemed like he was a step behind Quest, but he still seemed solid overall. Todd Keneley compared Vinny to a linebacker and referenced how they tackle guys after Vinny did a running dropkick. Yeah, that makes sense. Quest got the win in a five-minute match. It wasn’t boring and was pretty entertaining, which is a huge positive.
After a commercial break, Howdy Price (Dino Winwood) and Rogelio (Che Cabrera) made their way tot he ring to the sound of two fans booing insincerely. Howdy got on the mic and sang a stupid jingle.The same two fans booed insincerely while everyone else in the crowd gave no fucks. Che Cabrera deserves better than this shit.
Rogelio (Che Cabrera) w/ Howdy Price (Dino Winwood) vs. Robert Baines (formerly The Hobo)
I haven’t been watching CWFH regularly since January. I’d catch some matches here and there, but for the most part I’m not aware of what is going on in CWFH. During this time, The Hobo became Robert Baines and is now a “prepper” or something. I really don’t care enough of find out more about his character development. This match itself was pretty bad. While Rogelio (Che Cabrera) is a good performer and wasn’t terrible here, this was still a mess overall. At one point, there was a kid in the front row who was clearly bored by the match. He seriously couldn’t two fucks or half a shit about it.
Baines had a terrible performance in this match. The stuff involving Howdy (Dino Winwood) causing a distraction was done poorly. Todd Keneley made another stupid football reference during this match. He also treated a body slam from Rogelio onto Baines like it was Hogan slamming Andre at the Pontiac Silverdome. You know a match is boring when a body slam is sold like a crazy highspot. Baines won after Howdy distracted Rogelio with the shittiest looking submission I had ever seen. I can’t believe someone actually agreed to lose to that shit. The bored kid int he front row could not be bothered to care one bit. This sucked. During the match, Todd Keneley and Dan Joseph mentioned something about Jervis Cottonbelly trying to get Baines to revert back to The Hobo. Oh boy.
Backstage, Tito Escondido is interviewed by a John Roberts. Tito cut a promo on Douglas James. I guess they have issues with each other. Tito then challenged Douglas James to a match at the WrestleCenter on the next episode.
Handicap Match: Double Platinum (Chris Bey and Suede Thompson) vs. Eric Watts
At the beginning of the show, there was a brief mention of Chris Bey and Suede Thompson forming a team after being in a rivalry. There was also a quick mention of how Watts challenged them to a handicap match. Suede came out trying to look like a low-rent mumble rapper wearing cheap jewellery he probably got at his local swap meet. His cubic zirconia really shined like rusty nail. He doesn’t dance like an idiot anymore, so that’s a positive I guess. Double Platinum were the heels in this match, and Watts was the face I guess. I’m assuming this was the case because Double Platinum came off as unlikable heels. That kid in the front row who was bored during the Baines match tried to hide his face during this match.
As for the match, it was dumb. The in-ring work wasn’t bad, but the booking and structure was really stupid. That really made for a great visual on TV. Double Platinum goofed off during the match, which made them come off like a comedy act. When the match began, Double Platinum would tag in and out. In the final minutes, the referee wasn’t enforcing that shit. Watts was in control for a bit, but Double Platinum mounted a comeback and ended up beating him clean with a pair of superkicks. Well, that was a waste of time. The booking of this match really made Watts come off like an idiot.
Zaida vs. Ayoka Muharah
Heather Monroe was on commentary for this match. It was mentioned that Heather and Ayoka had two matches recently, with each woman each having a win against the other. No footage was shown to recap this. Viewers will just have to use their imaginations as to what happened. This match itself wasn’t bad when it came to the ring work, but it had some sloppy moments and was really dull. Ayoka got the win after a running powerslam. The audience didn’t care about the match and were silent for the most part, making for a very heatless atmosphere. Thankfully there wasn’t any fake crowd noise. I’d rather hear a dead crowd than a fake one.
Backstage, Kathy Campanelli interviewed Ray Rosas. He’s facing Royce Isaacs in the main event. Unless you saw the opening segment of the show, you’d have no clue it was happening. It took 30 minutes for it to be mentioned again. This should’ve been done earlier in the show, and Royce should’ve also had a promo on this show. Ray cut a promo about Royce and some guy named Jamie Iovine. I have no fucking clue who Jamie Iovine is, and I don’t care enough to find out who he is. I’m not gonna lie, I like Ray a lot, but his promo sucked.
After a commercial break, John Roberts interviewed Sarah Wolfe and Tyler Bateman. Bateman is facing Peter Avalon on the next episode. John Roberts asked if Sarah would be a factor in his match. Sarah talked about Peter’s rude words and a “disrespectful touch” from the fake Marquez son and that they’re going to fear her. As a non-regular viewer, I’m just going to assume that Peter said fucked up shit and that Sarah Wolfe was touched inappropriately by Dave Marquez’s on-screen son since CWFH doesn’t want to inform me of what happened. Bateman finished the segment with a threat for Peter and the fake Marquez son.
United Wrestling Network Television Championship Match: Royce Isaacs (w/ Jamie Iovine) vs. Ray Rosas
Todd Keneley talked about a bunch of stuff that happened in the past. New viewers or people who don’t watch regularly will have to take his word for it. He also called Royce Isaacs a “two-division” champion, which was stupid. The correct term should actually be “double crown” champion if anything. It sounded like there was a weird, creepy white noise playing over the speaker with a pitch that went from high to low. This match started out with Ray going after Royce to get an early advantage. Then Royce gained control and the pace of the match slowed down. Midway into the match, Ray went for a tope suicida but was caught with a punch by Royce. After that, Royce hit a stalling suplex on Ray to the floor and they teased a count out finish. Ray would make it back into the ring and mounted a comeback.
The pace of the match picked up in the later stages of the match, making things a little more interesting than it was before. The end of the match saw Royce ask Jamie Iovine to hand him one of his titles to hit Ray with. Ray would avoid this, and hit Royce with a superkick as Royce had a belt in his hands, sending it into his face. After super kicking Royce, Ray went to the top rope to hit an elbow drop. Royce held up the belt he still had to hit Ray with it, leading to a disqualification. Overall the match was a mixed bag. The opening moments were pretty boring, and the match wasn’t really spectacular. It wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t entertaining.
The episode ends with Royce celebrating and an upset Ray standing in the ring.
Championship Wrestling From Hollywood Episode 392
We started off with Todd Keneley and Dan Joseph going over the show lineup. The Tribe will face Reno Scum, and it was implied Douglas James and Tito Escondido were going to have an “unsanctioned” main event.
Peter Avalon w/ fake Marquez son vs. Tyler Bateman w/ Sarah Wolfe
Before the match, Todd Keneley and Dan Joseph spoke briefly about what has happened with Avalon and Bateman. Once again, this was another moment where video clips would’ve been helpful. Supposedly Sarah Wolfe was called a “hussy” by the fake Marquez son and Peter Avalon. What the fuck is this, the 1920’s? Who the fuck says “hussy” these days aside from the elderly?
There was some weird noise playing over the speakers during this again. This was a very boring match. The pace was really slow and the action was basic. Sarah Wolfe and the fake Marquez son got into an altercation towards the end of the match before Bateman put Peter away with Death From Above. Like I said, this was very boring “old school” type match and was very uninteresting. The in-ring work itself wasn’t bad, but I just didn’t get into it since I’m just not into low-volume style, strike-heavy based matches.
Backstage, Kathy Campanelli interviewed the Reno Scum. Adam Thornstowe and Luster The Legend talked about their match against The Tribe. They made a bunch of cereal references and plugged Kathy’s Instagram.
After a commercial break, John Roberts interviewed Ryan Taylor. He has a tag team match against the Rocknes Monsters on next week’s episode, but Tomaste had gone missing. I’m not sure when this was filmed, but this could be an explanation to cover for the injury he suffered in October. Ryan Taylor said he found a partner for the next episode, and in walked Joey Ryan, who is currently injured.
Unsanctioned – Empty Arena Match at the United Wrestling Network WrestleCenter: Tito Escondido vs. Douglas James
Even though this was an “unsanctioned” match, there were still rules explained by a referee. I thought having rules and a referee for this match really killed the “unsanctioned” aspect of the match. Then during the match, Todd Keneley said this was a sanctioned match. I’m also surprised this was put in the middle of the show instead of the main event. The build-up and presentation for this match were also pretty terrible too, but I’ll get into that later.
The match itself was great, and possibly the best thing CWFH has ever produced. It had a lot of grappling and felt realistic. I’m going to be upfront, this is what pro wrestling should be. Actual fucking wrestling! Tito Escondido was crossing his ankles when he took Douglas James’ back, which is something that would’ve made him susceptible to being submitted if this were a competition match. Never cross your ankles after taking someone’s back. I’m not sure if these guys planned out the match or just did a flow-roll at a fast pace, but either way, it was really fun. They both busted out some good techniques and transitions that made for a very believable match. As the match went on, it became more of a modern pro wrestling match that featured some brawling around the WrestleCenter.
The match would come to an end after Tito ran into an exposed turnbuckle, leading to Douglas putting him in a Guillotine Choke. Tito lost consciousness and Douglas was declared the winner by the referee. Like I said, this was a tremendous match. Tito and Douglas put on a great performance that helped the match overshadow the booking flaws. Both guys deserve a lot of credit for their performances here. I highly recommend everyone check this out. Usually I don’t give star ratings to CWFH matches, but this will.
After a commercial break, Kathy Campanelli interviewed Willie Mack. She talked about how the wrestling world was “buzzing” about the NWA 70th Anniversary event in October. The production values were certainly worth buzzing about. I loved watching backstage interviews where the wrestlers couldn’t be heard. The miscues were also tremendous. Willie said he’s going to defend the NWA National Championship against Andy Brown on next week’s episode.
United Wrestling Network Tag Team Championship Match: Reno Scum (Adam Thornstowe & Luster The Legend) (c) vs. The Tribe (Hawaiian Lion & Navajo Warrior)
I had no idea that The Tribe were back in CWFH. They were around in the early days of the show back when it was NWA Championship Wrestling From Hollywood and was actually taped in Hollywood. They were pretty terrible. The Tribe also had former pornstar Olivia O’Lovely as their valet for some fucking reason back in those days. She wasn’t with them for this match though. I remember one of their matches was so bad, that this was my review of it.
As for the match itself, it wasn’t very good. The first part of the match was mostly Reno Scum getting heat on Hawaiian Lion. Hawaiian Lion spent the majority of the match doing the work for his team. He looked both exhausted and uninterested in being there. At some points, he looked like a drunk dude who was about to puke. Navajo Warrior didn’t really do anything in the match outside of a nice German Suplex on Luster The Legend. This was a really bad match, and it was mostly due to The Tribe not being very good. Reno Scum did their best to put on a good performance, but The Tribe worked as if they were stuck in quicksand. The match ended up being a mess as a result.
After the match, John Roberts interviewed Reno Scum at ringside. They then called out the Rocknes Monsters to a match because the Rocknes Monsters were afraid of them, and the show came to an end. This made no fucking sense. Champions should never pick or call out their challengers
BONUS MATCH REVIEW
NWA National Championship Match: Willie Mack (c) vs. Andy Brown
This match is scheduled to air this week I think, but the official NWA YouTube Channel posted this a few days ago. The video had 13,661 views at the time I wrote this, which is probably 13,000 more viewers than CWFH’s show gets.
The match itself was pretty solid. This was a pretty back-and-forth match with both guys getting a good amount of offense. They were both evenly matched, and Andy came off as a legitimate title contender for Willie. The pacing was pretty good, which made for a fun match to watch. I really liked the finish, as Andy went for a rolling cutter only to have it countered by Willie with a Stone Cold Stunner. It was a creative ending to a solid match.
I mentioned in past reviews about how CWFH needed to change the way they opened their shows. Thankfully they did, and it made for a better program. There are still a lot of improvements that need to be made though. Things like footage recapping angles and moments from past shows are crucial, as it would get the audience to become more emotionally invested in a story. Let’s be honest, nobody is going to give a fuck about a conflict if they don’t know what’s going on. It also hurts the storytelling a lot.
Speaking of the storytelling on this show, it’s still awful. One of the biggest things CWFH sucks at is building up their matches. Episode 391 did a terrible job of focusing on the main event, while Episode 392 had no mention of it. How can a story get over if it ends up being forgotten the next week? On top of that, how is a double champion like Royce Isaacs supposed to get over as a champion if they’re not mentioned the week after? They can’t be booked as afterthoughts. They need to be pushed and featured as your main star every week, even if they aren’t wrestling.
The “unsanctioned” match itself was great, but CWFH fucked up the presentation. It should’ve been the main event of the show. It also should’ve had various segments leading up to the match such as Tito arriving, a promo from either man, Douglas James pulling up to the WrestleCenter before entering, and then the match. Despite that, the match was still really amazing. Skip everything else on these shows and watch that. I really feel like Tito vs. DJ might be a dark horse MOTYC.