Stadium Series – Night 3
September 26, 2020
Marian Catholic High School
Chicago Heights, Illinois
Here we are, the final Warrior Wrestling show of their three-part Stadium Series. I’ve reviewed the previous two with mixed results as I was really into the first show, and my interest dropped off in the second show. This third show could be interesting. COVID-related issues changed things up as Lance Archer, Alex Zayne, and Ethan Page all had to drop out of the show shuffling things a bit, and I got to admit some of the stuff added and shuffled ended up making for a more interesting card than I previously thought. So kudos to them for taking a negative and potentially making positives. I’ve introed long enough, let us see how show three ends up!
Moose def. Suicide
My interest level in this match is low but I’ll give it a fair shot. I love saying MOOSE to Moose’s theme here. It’s a potential guilty pleasure, I don’t feel guilty about it. Well, they went right at it to start which goes a long way to helping me get into the match. For the most part the match kept moving along and paced well, and did a better job of keeping me watching than I anticipated, kudos to them for that. They worked well and despite my cynicism and lack of initial interest, this turned into a solid opening contest. Moose isn’t nearly one of my favorite, but he has a good look and had ample chances to showcase some of his strength and power in this match
Suicide got some moments to shine as well and turned out to be a pretty good opponent for Moose. In order for someone to give someone has to receive after all. This went a bit longer than I was expecting. I figured Moose would dominate, Suicide gets a few hope spots, and then Moose would put him away. Instead, we got a nice little contest although the result was never in doubt and never succeeded in convincing me there be another result. Suicide got some attempted near fall attempts, but I didn’t bite on a single one but they were nicely done. As expected though Suicide gets cut in half with a gnarly spear and that will end the contest. That showed me. I could possibly be rating this a little high, but I had fun with that, and sometimes in wrestling fun is just dandy.
Mike Bennett def. “World Famous” Cheeseburger
I find the phrase “World Famous” highly dubious, but I like Cheeseburger so he can have it. Just like the last match, my interest level was low but the last match has already taught me my lesson so we’ll see what goes on here. Cheeseburger comes out to “High Voltage” by Electric Six so I’m already on his side. Cheeseburger is fun. He moves pretty well and does basics real good. Bennett as long as he doesn’t leave his wheelhouse can be solid in the ring. This led to us having some solid moments and a match that while never got to an elevated level, did well enough on its own that I didn’t dislike it.
Cheeseburger did arm work at points in this match and was very consistent about it never giving up on it or just moving on and pretending the arm work never happened. I respect that, he even attempted an arm submission at some point (it didn’t last). Maybe I’m just settled into easy to please mode right now, but I liked this as well! Kept things simple, didn’t do anything over the top, and stuck to what they knew how to do well and it came off solid. Bennett nails a piledriver and “World Famous” Cheeseburger gets downgraded to “Regional Favorite” with the loss. What? I don’t make the rules! ***
Isaias Velazquez def. Travis Titan
First look at Travis Titan, so interested in seeing what he brings to the table. The match was at a slow pace at first (not necessarily a bad thing at all) but when it got going it stayed going. Travis Titan has promise, he showcased himself well in this match and did well as far as first introductions to him go. He gets some good height on a frog splash that’s for sure. Putting him in there with someone like Isaias Velazquez was a good idea as Velazquez is a talent growing in his own right and did well with making Travis Titan looking good.
I don’t think the winner was ever in doubt in this match, but I don’t think the point of this match was trying to convince me Titan could/would win, as much as it was giving Travis Titan a bit of a spotlight to show what he can do. He has a lot of room for growth and improvement, he feels incomplete but that’s not a negative. Where there’s room to work there is room to build, and I hope he continues to do so. Isaias Velazquez though puts him away with the hammer of dawn (I hope I heard that name right) and they have a show of respect after the match. Another ***
Rhino def. The Beastman
I was hard on Beast Man the last review, I’ll keep an open mind and give him a chance to win me over this second go around. 2020 Rhino isn’t exactly something I’m enamored with but I’ve been in easy to please mode so far so who knows what can happen right now. I will say if you are going to come to the ring with a giant bone like Beast Man does, that bone better come into play at some point. They tried. That’s the nicest thing I can say. There was a spot where Rhyno got thrown face-first into some fan’s drum set which was admittedly amusing, but when that’s the highspot there’s not much more to talk about.
Back Scratches, eye rakes, foot stomps, slow-moving action, Beast Man being average at best, you name it, it didn’t do anything for me at all. I will give points because I said the bone should be used, and it was, so kudos to that as Beast Man tried to choke him with the bone. That small bit of amusement aside I didn’t click with any of the content of this match, and once the dreaded nerve hold (one of my least favorite things) got clamped on Rhino I personally tapped out. I’m in easy to please mode, and they still manage not to entertain me. The Gore not surprisingly wins this. Moving on. **
Air Wolf def. Angel Dorado, Jason Page, Sam Beale, Davey Bang & The Savage King
Last weekend’s scramble did nothing for me, so went in hoping this one would be an improvement. Being introduced to quite a few wrestlers for the first time. Well, it was okay. I didn’t dislike it as much as last weekend’s scramble, but it couldn’t quite get a hold of me either. The match, in the beginning, did make me wish I got to see Air Wolf and angel Dorado perform as a tag team on this show, but alas circumstances. I also enjoy The Savage King instead of doing a dive just throwing an opponent over the ropes onto everyone else. No one really stood out overall though, (With Air Wolf and Angel Dorado coming the closest) and some of these guys really need to work on being less generic/create a wrestler looking.
The end of the match comes with Air Wolf and Angel Dorado being left in the ring and finally getting some time against each other with Air Wolf getting a nice pin on Angel Dorado after some maneuvers I wish could’ve been extended quite a bit, I feel like a longer sequence between the two would’ve been a lot of fun. This won’t make it to three stars, but it definitely was an improvement over last week, and I must also say Jason Page has a nice spinning driver in his arsenal. **3/4
Zachary Wentz def. Blake Christian
Now this, this I like.
This has high potential. When they made this addition to the show I became a bit more interested in the proceedings. This had a chance to be really entertaining. This ended up quite fun and is the most I’ve enjoyed Wentz in the three shows that he’s been on. He worked hard, came off well and this is the best effort and match he had in these shows. This match had quite a bit of life to it going on, and the agility and speed of both men were in display throughout it. Christian is good for what level he’s at right now and as long as he stays on the indies and continues to develop his craft we’ve got something here.
The match kept moving and didn’t bother with much downtime, yet never felt fast forward or as if it was just going spot to spot without any thought or meaning. At one point Blake hit a big springboard crossbody to the outside that just looked awesome. I appreciate we got to see glimpses of the submission game both men have which shows they can bring more to the table than just high flying and speed. Wentz ends up getting the victory but the real winner was this show able to put this together as a do good for the changes they had to make. This was a welcomed addition and I’d love to see these two go at it again in other venues. ***3/4
No Holds Barred
Joey Janela def. Robert “Ego” Anthony
I made a vow to myself going into this match. If Frank The Clown went through a table I wouldn’t label this match anything less than good. Despite myself groaning and griping about all things Frank The Clown the past few shows I went into this thinking it could be very good. I appreciate they got down to business quickly. No feeling out, no locking up, just started swinging. Plunder started getting used early as well. This match felt like two men who didn’t like each other and was treated as such. Nothing worse than a match where there is supposed to be legitimate beef and that dislike and hate isn’t felt or impactful at all. These two men didn’t bother with any wrestling. Plunder, brawling, and they used the football field to their advantage and it allowed for a, dare I say, great match.
Independent Joey Janela is best Joey Janela, as long as he’s not trying to have over long epics that lose steam (his match with Lio Rush for example) and he just felt so in his element in this match. One negative would be a bit too much Frank The Clown for my taste, as in any amount of Frank The Clown. He even got to put Janela through a table so Robert can have a near fall. I get he’s part of the story/angle but just not what I was into. My personal dislike for Frank The Clown shenanigans aside both men worked hard and brought the plunder to each other and then FRANK GOT TOMBSTONED THROUGH A TABLE which means I will not rate this match anything less than good.
It doesn’t need that handicap though, this match is fun, great, and one of the main highlights of these three stadium shows. Robert “Ego” Anthony who I haven’t watched much of is fun to dislike and does well with Janela in this environment, swinging broken doors, kendo sticking nearby photographers for standing too close, and being an unlikable jerk I just want to see get his in the end. The finale of this match might have taken a bit long to set up and pull off, but it was worth it to watch Janela JUMP OFF THE GOAL POST AND SWANTON BOTH FRANK AND ROBERT THROUGH TABLES! That ends the match as it should and I had a blast with that. Not perfect but one of my favorite things about these shows. That’s worth ****
Warrior Wrestling Women’s Championship
Kylie Rae (c) def. Madison Rayne
This is being billed as Madison Rayne’s last Independent match. Never been the biggest fan of Madison Rayne’s work but was willing to give this match a chance. The match was barely keeping it’s grip on me and almost lost me completely with a heel wanting to rip up the fan’s supportive sign spot that just was devoid of heat or energy. Madison was in control for the majority of the first part of this match and I could feel a yawn attempt to escape my body watching the proceedings as nothing was inspiring or exciting to take in. Things pick up a slight bit when Kylie starts getting on the offense but still it was an uphill battle for me to get into.
Commentary tried to hype this up as more dramatic than it actually was at times and that disconnect and disjointness didn’t help me get into the match. Kyle started showing some attitude sticking the title belt into Madison’s face and saying she wouldn’t take it from her, but it felt very forced. The match ends with Kylie and Madison riffing off the Flair/HBK superkick finish at WM 24, and it did absolutely nothing for me other than lead us to the only result that was going to happen this match. I like Kylie Rae quite a bit, and I was willing to give Madison Rayne a shot to win me over here, but this match just fell flat to me. **1/2
Warrior Wrestling Championship
Trey Miguel def. Brian Pillman Jr. (c) & Brian Cage
Here we are, the main event! Where it will now all come to an end. Brian Cage was originally scheduled to face Alex Zayne but COVID had other plans. So he’s now in this match to try to reclaim his world title, I’m not disappointed. I’m interested in seeing how well of a triple threat these three men can have. Brian Cage is a machine, and he had an ample amount of time and spots and prove it this match. He was definitely the monster factor and he had two good competitors to throw around, catch, and just torture in certain holds. What I appreciate is while the two men in one man out formula are used, it’s never overextended. The odd man out usually comes back in shortly and mixes things up instead of taking a nap outside and letting the other two go at it for a good chunk of time. Made things a bit more exciting.
I really enjoyed this. All three men clearly were motivated to put on a high note of a main event and they succeeded. This is the most I’ve enjoyed Trey Miguel in these Stadium Shows, Brian Cage’s addition to this match was a definite boost and added a monster element to the match, and Brian Pillman Jr continues to perform, continues to better himself, and while he still has a ways to go I keep getting more confident he just might get there. With three ways things can come jumbled and discombobulated at times, a tangled mess. I’m not going to say this match was always crisp and clean. I don’t think there was any real instance of miscommunication or things breaking down due to multiple people in the ring performing.
The match kept the pace going, kept moving, all three men got in good moments to shine and perform their stuff. I think Brian Cage stood out the most in the match, although I don’t think anyone ended up being forgettable, it was a three-way match and all three men put in the effort to make the match work and click. The match ends with Pillman going for the small package and Trey reverses it into a package and gets the pinfall and wins the title. Good ending which could lead to a one or one match between the two in the near future, and I would be interested in seeing what they can achieve in a one-on-one environment. The addition of Brian Cage helped this match (even if he was a nonfactor in the end) and while the circumstances for why he got added to this match stinks, I think we were all better off for it. ***3/4
Two matches approaching ****, one match hitting ****, and an undercard littered with threes I wasn’t expecting to give. I had way more fun with this show than I did their second one. I love pro wrestling, and I genuinely don’t like being down on it, so I thank Warrior Wrestling for ending their three shows on a high note and putting a good taste in my mouth. This was fun, and sometimes that’s all I want.