Willie Mack vs. Brody King and Douglas James vs. Eli Everfly in a Deathmatch. Nothing else to say except enjoy the GIFs!
To watch this event, head to the Santino Bros. Facebook. No word on if the show will be on their YouTube channel but you should subscribe to it anyways. This event took place on Halloween night. I wanted to head out, but the Dodgers were playing in Game 6 of the World Series and Downey is a tough drive for me on a weeknight. It’s ridiculous that it takes nearly an hour to get to Downey from the Valley. Enough rambling. Let’s talk about the show.
Now onto the show.
We open with a video package going over the show lineup. This was really well put together. The Santino Bros. have been putting out some great video packages on YouTube and Facebook. They’ve really set the bar for other promotions in SoCal in this department.
After the opening package, we get a promo with Heather Monroe in the Santino Bros. Wrestling Academy having two male students take notes about being a woman and what it takes to be a champion. It touched on Suede Thompson’s involvement in her match with Delilah Doom at the previous show. One of the male students asked “wasn’t Suede trying to stop you from cheating?” This resulted in him being slapped and emasculated by Heather. She then looked into the camera and cut a promo on Suede, saying she’s going to make mockery of him (as if he wasn’t already).
We then get a promo with Suede wearing a giant cat mask trying to do comedy. Then he cut a promo. This was about as funny as watching a video of a parent crying over the casket of their deceased baby at its funeral.
After that abomination of a comedy promo by Suede, we go to the Elks Lodge in Downey where he enters the ring wearing the cat head. He’s hosting a costume contest. I groaned cause this meant he was going to be doing mic work. Someone in the crowd was probably wearing a Super Dragon mask, since there was a “Super Dragon” chant. Suede made a joke about trying to get booked in BOLA. I’d rather see Mr. California or the American Oni in PWG than Suede.
He brought in a woman in a Darth Vader costume and a woman in a pirate costume. The regular ring lights were dimmed, and neon lights were turned on. This resulted in the ring ropes glowing. Heather Monroe, dressed as Suede Thompson, ran in to deliver a low blow before the contest could start.
Lucha a Oscuras: Heather Monroe vs. Suede Thompson
A “Lucha a Oscuras” is a match with the main ring lights turned off and neon lights being turned on, giving the ring a glowing effect. This was popularized by Antonio Pena’s AAA in Mexico years ago. Not a lot of promotions use this gimmick. In SoCal, Lucha VaVoom has probably used the gimmick before, but this is something you don’t usually see on other shows.
The match started off with Heather in control of the match. Suede mounted a brief comeback before Heather cut him off. Suede hit a German Suplex and got a bunch of offense in. Heather tried to get the win by grabbing Suede’s tights, but the referee broke the pinfall attempt. Eventually Heather won after hitting Suede with a title belt when the referee had his back turned. Heather had a good showing in this match. Suede isn’t bad in the ring, but he’s got a really annoying personality that makes his matches unwatchable. Still, this was okay.
A promo video for Jake Atlas vs. Robby Phoenix. Robby cut a promo about being disrespected by Jake Atlas. After that, a commercial for the Santino Bros. school. Then there was a promo by Jake Atlas. He talked about using Robby Phoenix as a stepping stone.
Loser Gets Caned Match: Robby Phoenix vs. Jake Atlas
The stipulation of this match was simple. Loser gets lashed ten times with a Singapore Cane.
Both guys started out brawling in the ring. The majority of the match was pretty back-and-forth. Eventually Jake brought a Singapore Cane into the ring and started hitting Robby with it. Robby then got the cane and started using it on Jake before Jake took it back and used it on Robby again. They did some spots after a lot of brawling, including one where Jake did a Cartwheel on the top rope into a DDT. Robby eventually got the win with a German Suplex. This match was okay for the most part, but it felt like it dragged at some points.
Post match shenanigans
Before he was about to be caned by Robby, Jake Atlas begged for mercy and said he learned his lesson. After pleading with Robby, the two patched things up before Jake hit Robby with the cane from behind. Watch the swerve gimmick, bros. He hit Robby a few times with the cane, and then went to town on some staff members.
Loser Leaves Santino Bros. – First Blood Match: Tyler Bateman vs. Ruby Raze
Before the match, Ruby got on the mic and cut a visibly emotional promo about Bateman. She talked about meeting him and learning from Bateman, and then talked about training with Kaos. At first this was a Loser Leaves Santinos match, then she made it a First Blood match.
The match started out with both Ruby and Bateman exchanging strikes. Later in the match they started to brawl around ringside before going back in the ring for more brawling. Both kept having long periods of time where they would be on offense, allowing things to be pretty even for most of the match. At the midway point of the match, Bateman tried to escape. Ruby would go after him, but he tricked her into falling into a trap where he would get an advantage on her.
Once they were back in the ring, they brawled some more. Most of the match was mostly strikes and them trying to scratch or bite each other to make the other person bleed. Ruby eventually hit a twisting suplex with Bateman hanging off the apron onto the floor. Raze would bring in a chair and started hitting Bateman in the head with it multiple times. During this, a random woman ran out to ringside and threw Bateman’s walking cane into the ring. As Ruby chased this unnamed woman, Bateman grabbed the cane and hit Ruby over the head with it when she got back in the right, causing her to bleed, and costing her the match.
For the most part this wasn’t a good “wrestling” match, but it was an interesting brawl that told a story and had some raw emotion in this. The way the match was structured was logical. Both performers went for blood, not pin falls or submissions, so it worked.
Post match shenanigans
Bateman embraces his new valet with affection as Ruby laid in the ring bleeding and crying. After Bateman and his new valet leave, Ruby continued to cry in the ring with blood pouring down her face as the fans chanted “Thank You Ruby.” This was such an emotional moment and you can tell Ruby was genuine when giving a symbolic goodbye to the crowd.
After the segment, a promo video for Luchafer, the Santino Bros’ Lucha themed entertainment troupe, is played.
Santino Bros. Heavyweight Championship Match: Brody King (c) vs. Willie Mack
Both these guys, along with Tito Escondido, are the best heavyweights SoCal has produced since Samoa Joe. I was really looking forward to seeing this match.
They started off struggling to get the upper hand with collar-elbow tie ups and lucha exchanges. The pacing and structure was really good in the opening portion of the match. Willie ended hitting a nice Tope Con Giro and the two brawled around ringside. Later in the match, Brody would go for a Tope Con Giro on Willie to the outside, and seemed to have landed partially on the floor. They started to brawl on the outside for awhile again, and Brody hit a body slam on Willie onto the ring apron.
As the match progressed, both guys started to pull out more spots. At one point, Brody hit a belly-to-belly onto Willie into the corner after Willie charged at Brody. Moments later, Willie hit an Exploder Suplex into the corner after Brody charged at him. Later, Brody would go for a double jump reverse cross body splash, but Willie would roll out of it, held onto Brody, and hit a Samoan Drop on Brody. He then hit his kip up into a standing moonsault combo for a near fall, followed by a top rope moonsault. Brody eventually got the win after hitting a Samoan Driver on Willie.
This was a really good match. Both guys worked hard and had a really good modern heavyweight-style match. Brody really deserves to be in PWG next year.
Post match shenanigans
Willie showed Brody respkt by raising his hand. Brody showed respkt back by bowing cause respkt.
A video package of the feud between Eli Everfly and Douglas James is played. Then a promo by Douglas James driving to the Santino Bros. school was played where he talks about Eli talks shit about him, his friends, and his family. After he parks, he popped his trunk to reveal he has a bunch of lighttubes and weapons in his trunk. Despite being in Douglas James’ promo, there were no lighttubes in this match.
Santino Bros. Submission Championship – Deathmatch: Douglas James vs. Eli Everfly
The opening sequence between the two was really fun. There were some nice grappling and lucha style sequences before they started brawling around ringside. After several minutes of wrestling, weapons began to get involved with chairs being the first weapon introduced into the match and used in a few spots.
Douglas James would bring in a barbwire wrapped chair and hit a coast-to-coast dropkick onto Eli as he was holding the barbwire wrapped chair. After that, a door, a kendo stick, and thumbtacks were introduced into the match. Eli would hit a Frankensteiner on Douglas into the thumbtacks. As the match went on, Eli set up plywood on some chairs to make an elevated surface. The finish would see Douglas James doing the deal when he hit a Super Falcon Arrow onto Eli off the top rope into the plywood with thumbtacks on it. After that, Douglas James would put Eli in a crossface to get the submission victory.
This was a great match. While it wasn’t as violent and bloody as most deathmatches are, it was well worked and structured really well. There were also several cool bumps throughout the match. They also built up the spots and used the weapons in the match wiselyl. This was better than their previous match in September. I highly recommend people check this out.
Another commercial for the Santino Bros. school is played, followed by a promo by True Grit to hype the Mexican Deathmatch with Los Luchas.
Mexican Deathmatch: True Grit (Jesse James & Hoss Hogg) vs. Los Luchas (Phoenix Star & Zokre)
There were two barbwire boards in the ring when the match began. Things started off hot when Los Luchas hit several dives onto True Grit to open the match, including one off the stage by Zokre. Inside the ring, Los Luchas hit several tag team on True Grit. Eventually the match started to spill outside the ring, resulting in brawling around the Downey Elks Lodge.
This match had a nice blend of spots and brawling. Phoenix Star, who had his mask ripped open at this point in the match, speared Hoss Hogg through a barbwire board that was set up in a corner. After that, he and Zokre hit some moves on Jesse James with a chair. It appeared as if Los Luchas were going to win until Hoss took out the referee.
Midway into the match, Supreme’s music played. He came and helped Los Luchas. Jesse James brought in a box of thumbtacks into the ring. After that, he and Hoss planted Supreme face first into them. Supreme, who was in street clothes, stared bleeding and had tacks in his head. Los Luchas eventually made the save, and then Supreme tossed Jesse James through a barbwire board. Los Luchas then counted three after Supreme pinned Jesse James and proclaimed themselves the winners somehow.
This was another match that was built around spots involving the weapons, more specifically the barbwire boards. The spots were fun and the match was built up well. Really good stuff here, although the finish was really weird.
Post match shenanigans
Jesse James was helped out of the barbwire by the Santino Bros. staff. After that, a video recap of the show is played.
This show was completely different from your usual Santino Bros. show. Most of the matches had some type of gimmick attached to them. and every match had a purpose to it. For deathmatch fans, the two headlining matches might be a mixed bag. Modern deathmatch wrestling in America usually has a heavy emphasis using things like glass, lighttubes, and having tons of blood in matches. Both deathmatches on this show had no glass, but there was barbwire and thumbtacks involved. They also felt like Japanese style deathmatches where spots were built up and there was a heavy emphasis on ring physiology. If you’re okay with not seeing a lot of blood or broken glass, you’ll like the deathmatches.
If you’re not a deathmatch fan, you’ll still enjoy the deathmatches. Douglas James vs. Eli Everfly was a great match and the best on the show. Brody vs. Willie was right behind it as well. The Mexican Deathmatch was a fun spotfest, but the finish was weird.
Overall, this was a solid event with the last three matches being worth watching. I’d also like to point out that Santino Bros. bringing in a lighting rig for their events at the Downey Elks Lodge really adds to their presentation. Their events look more professional now that gives their shows an atmosphere nobody in SoCal aside from Lucha VaVoom is providing. Everyone in SoCal needs to take note of how the Santino Bros. are stepping it up in the area in so many ways.