WWN SUPERSHOW MERCURY RISING 2017
APRIL 1, 2017
ORLANDO EVENTS CENTER
Drew Galloway kicked the Supershow off, interrupting Lenny Leonard’s “welcome to the show” promo. He was cut off by Matt Riddle, who’s hatred for Galloway has only increased since EVOLVE 80. The two brawled outside the ring for a hot minute before Galloway caught Riddle and hit him with a devastating snap piledriver. Before Galloway could get to the back, Keith Lee confronted him. Galloway said Lee is someone that could find great success if he followed Galloway. Lee had none of it. He hit Galloway with his signature Spirit Bomb, then Ground Zero, then a moonsault, before claiming that the wrestling world was his. Hard to argue with that. Galloway was helped to the back. I have no idea why this segment needed to take place, but it made Keith Lee look like a million bucks, so I’m for it.
KEITH LEE DEF. AUSTIN THEORY, JASON KINCAID, & GATEKEEPER A
Timothy Thatcher was originally scheduled to be in this match. Stokely Hathaway came out and informed us that he would not be in this opening match, his Night of Appreciation had been cancelled, and he was now in the main event. Okay? Darby Allin came out and said he hadn’t been cleared to compete by EVOLVE doctors, but that wasn’t going to stop him. Ethan Page & The Gatekeepers attacked him from behind. One of The Gatekeepers (they don’t have names, if you haven’t noticed) put himself in this match. It was 8:33 when the bell rang for the first match. This show has already been overbooked.
The match itself was fun. Kincaid did nothing of note, which left Theory and Gatekeeper A to team up and attack Lee, which ultimately failed. This show has been a mess, but everything so far as made Keith Lee look great, so it can’t be that bad. Keith Lee pinned The Gatekeeper with a Spirit Bomb. Impressive showcase for Lee, but a rather nothing match other than that. **1/2
LUFISTO DEF. TONI STORM
This is Lufisto’s second defense of the SHINE Championship. This was originally supposed to be Lufisto vs. Su Young, but Su Young was not there.
Toni Storm made a big impression on me in this match. I do not keep up with STARDOM as much as I should, and she’s only wrestled twice in PROGRESS this year, both on shows I haven’t seen. Her offense looked tremendous against the bigger, more powerful Lufisto. Lufisto dominated the first half of the match, but Storm made a rocking comeback. She’s someone that I look forward to seeing more of, if this is how she normally performs. Her comeback was all for not, however, as Lufisto was able to put her away with a brutal looking Burning Hammer. ***
EVOLVE VS. PROGRESS MATCH #1
ETHAN PAGE VS. JIMMY HAVOC
Oof. This started off fine as the two quickly left the ring and brawled throughout the crowd. Normally, I roll my eyes at crowd brawling, but these are two guys that are more than capable of doing it. The fact is, these are two guys that often need plunder or shortcuts, and once they stopped brawling, they were both pretty badly exposed, Page more so than Havoc. The Gatekeepers distracted Havoc, giving Page the opportunity to hit the Spinning Dwyane. This match was painfully flat. The finish came across horribly. **1/2
After the match, Page decided to cut a promo! Perhaps the fifth of the show. Page wanted to kill the EVOLVE and PROGRESS relationship right now. He stepped on Havoc’s hand, only for Darby Allin to run in moments later. I have no idea why Allin and Page are still at each other’s throats. The feud should’ve been blown off yesterday. Havoc and Allin shared a cool moment in the ring before heading to the back.
EVOLVE VS. PROGRESS MATCH #2
TRAVIS BANKS & TK COOPER DEF. JAKA & CHRIS DICKINSON
TK Cooper is a godsend. Really, the entire SPPT act is. The trio of Banks, Cooper, and Black are as major league as it gets. Jaka and Chris Dickinson are two guys struggling to get over in EVOLVE, despite their Catch Point affiliation. This match might have done it. Chris Dickinson, who I have been very vocal about not liking, absolutely killed it in this match. He finally channeled his intensity into something that didn’t feel cheesy or overly contrived. His passion and drive came across the screen finally, all in an effort that wasn’t enough to put away the PROGRESS standouts.
The last five minutes of this match was far and away the most exciting thing on this show up to this point. Banks and Cooper bombarded Dickinson with a series of Superkicks, only for him to kick out at one. It took Banks spiking Dickinson on his head with a DDT to pick up the victory.
Incredible match. SPPT are absolute superstars and they deserve to be treated as such from here on out. Hopefully more people take note of them now. ****1/4
EVOLVE VS. PROGRESS MATCH #3
PROGRESS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
PETE DUNNE (c) VS. ACH
This is Dunne’s seventh defense of the PROGRESS World Championship.
Sometimes I feel like ACH has nothing. No material. He’s going out there on a hope and a whim that he creates magic. For the first fifteen minutes of this match, ACH looked so dry and so bored. Both guys are charisma machines, but neither of them had any juice. The crowd certainly didn’t help matters. Everything about this match was exhausting. The wrestlers looked exhausted, the fans sounded exhausted, and as a result, this became exhausting to watch.
The last five minutes picked up as the two finally picked things up. The two began trading bombs, eventually leading to ACH shrugging off a low blow and connecting with a huge lariat and a brainbuster. He went up top for a 450, but Dunne moved out of the way and applied the Regal Stretch for the victory. Very disappointing affair. ***
EVOLVE VS. PROGRESS MATCH #4
ZACK SABRE JR (c) VS. MARK HASKINS
This is Sabre’s second defense of the EVOLVE Championship.
This match had its ups and downs. I loved the early exchanges of matwork with Haskins and ZSJ both going after each other’s legs and trying to cripple one another. Both guys are so smooth on the canvas. The leg work lacked meaning, though. Not in the sense that they didn’t sell it, but it just felt like wasted time after awhile.
The two found themselves in my good graces after a series of vicious strike exchanges and some exciting submissions. I think with a different crowd, whether it be La Boom in NYC or any wonderful ballroom across the pond, this match would’ve come across as the epic they were hoping for. It didn’t, however, with this tired Orlando crowd. This was fine, but both men are capable of so much more. ***1/4
MATT RIDDLE VS. FRED YEHI VS. TRACY WILLIAMS VS. PARROW vs. TIMOTHY THATCHER
This match is to crown the inaugural WWN Champion. Drew Galloway was supposed to be in this match, but he showed up at NXT instead. “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams is one-half of the current EVOLVE tag team champions, Fred Yehi is the other half, as well as the FIP Champion, Matt Riddle is a former Style Battle champion, Parrow is the current ACW Champion, and Jon Davis is representing FIP as he is a former FIP Heavyweight Champion and a two-time Style Battle winner, and Timothy Thatcher is in there because they needed a body in there. Does that make sense? Not really? Good. We’re on the same page.
I was very nervous going into this match. I had no idea how it was going to work, and I had no idea what the end product would look like. I’m far from the biggest Drew Galloway fan, but losing him and having Thatcher step in is a brutal replacement. This ended up being a smartly worked content with more psychology than I could’ve ever imagined.
Parrow was eliminated in minutes via a choke from Thatcher, which is a bummer, because I enjoyed Parrow in the third Style Battle. Thatcher was quickly taken out by the three members of Catch Point, who then focused their attention on Jon Davis, who was tremendous in the little while he was in this match. I wish Davis would pop up in EVOLVE.
That left the three members of Catch Point – Yehi, Williams, and Riddle. Hot Sauce and Yehi teamed up on Riddle. It looked like they were going to eliminate Riddle, but in the blink of an eye, Hot Sauce rolled up Yehi.
That left Riddle and Hot Sauce, both of whom were completely exhausted. Riddle was dominated again. His neck, which had been targeted by Galloway all weekend, was now being attacked by his Catch Point ally. Multiple times, it looked like Riddle was going to lose, either via submission, knockout, or exhaustion. However, Drew Gulak’s protegee could not put him away. No matter what he threw at him, Riddle survived. Riddle entered that next gear and caught Williams in a Bromission for the win.
Although this match wasn’t the greatest, it accomplished what it needed to. Matt Riddle is officially the face of the WWN Universe, and that’s how it should be right now. Riddle stood tall and thanked the fans. ***3/4
Thumbs in the middle for the WWN Supershow. The show didn’t deliver the way it should on paper, and the dead crowd made this show feel like it went on for three days instead of three hours, but SPPT delivered big time, and the main event accomplished what it needed to. If this was a run of the mill EVOLVE show, it would’ve worked. The main event was satisfying, there was a ****+ star match, and Keith Lee was officially elevated into the main event scene. That being said, some of this show fell flat, and most of the EVOLVE vs. PROGRESS were disappointing. In the end, the main event was satisfying, and that certainly helped.