USA vs. The World 2022
April 2, 2022
Fairmont Hotel
Dallas, Texas

Watch: FITE

Warrior Wrestling Lucha Championship: Sam Adonis © def. Golden Dragon, La Hiedra, & Mr. Iguana

This show kicked off with a title bout, with Sam Adonis making his third defense of the Warrior Wrestling Lucha Title, which he won back in January. Ian Riccaboni and Veda Scott mentioned on commentary that La Hiedra was a late substitution in this one, though I don’t recall who she was replacing. These four put together a fine opening contest that served its purpose well. There was some fun action throughout, and all four competitors got the opportunity to shine. Adonis eventually scored the winning fall after hitting a 450 Splash on Golden Dragon. At just around eight minutes, this was perfectly solid for its spot on the card. ***

Rachael Ellering def. Jessica Troy

The lone women’s match on the card saw Rachael Ellering go up against Jessica Troy from Australia. Now I didn’t know much about Troy going into this, but after doing some research, I noticed that she was a regular in SHIMMER for a few years before the pandemic. In fact, this was actually her first time wrestling in the states since the pandemic started two years ago, from what I can tell. Anyway, these two were given a fair amount of time (just about fifteen minutes), and they managed to have a really good match. There were definitely some noticeable rough points, but I thought the rest of the bout was able to make up for it in a big way. The action from start to finish was very good, and they also told a pretty solid story. Ellering definitely had the size and power advantage, though Troy was able to work over the arm throughout (with Ellering did a good job selling), and came close to winning on a few occasions. Ellering ultimately caught Troy in a flash pin to give the United States a 2-0 lead in the series. ***1/2

Mike Bailey def. Davey Richards

Now when this card was first announced, this was the match that pretty much everyone had circled. It’s been so cool to see Davey Richards back on the independent scene after some time away, while Mike Bailey has definitely been making up for lost time since returning to the United States. For those keeping track, this was Speedball’s eighth match of the weekend, and he definitely seems to be the lead contender for MVP of the weekend (out of those who’ve wrestled multiple times over the course of the weekend). I was super excited to see how this one would play out, and when the dust settled, it definitely lived up to expectations. This was an awesome contest that was easily the Match Of The Night. It started off with a nice opening exchange before Richards started working over Bailey’s limbs (first the arm, then the leg). Once Bailey started to fight back, the match really kicked into high gear. The second half of the bout saw some incredible action as the two went back and forth. At one point, there was a wild kick exchange that saw the mouthpiece of Davey Richards go flying. In the end, Bailey managed to connect with his shooting star double knees from the top (which I believe is called The Ultimate Weapon) for the win. Just an awesome match between these two. While it probably won’t be a contender for Match Of The Weekend (it wasn’t even Speedball’s best match across these last few days), it’s definitely a match worth checking out, especially if you’re a fan of one or both of these wrestlers. Bailey’s victory also put The World on the board for the first time. ****1/4

Team Mexico (Aeroboy, Aramís, & Arez) def. Team USA (Caleb Konley, Flip Gordon, & Gringo Loco)

Now I could be totally wrong here, but I feel like it’s pretty rare that you see Aramís and Arez on the same side of a trios match. Meanwhile, Team USA is made up of an eclectic mix of talent, including Flip Gordon, who I haven’t seen in a match since Final Battle. Team Mexico needed to pull out a win here to even out the series for The World, and they did just that, as they scored the victory over Team USA. I’m someone who always enjoys a match that’s filled with nonstop action, so this type of bout was right up my alley. All six guys had chances to shine throughout, and it was pretty entertaining to watch. Everyone was going crazy with dives near the end, and I felt it peaked at the right time. While I’ve certainly seen trios matches on a variety of different shows this weekend that were better than this one, these six guys still put together a match that I found to be super enjoyable for the time that it got. ****

Bandido & Extreme Tiger def. The WorkHorsemen (Anthony Henry & JD Drake)

Originally, Rey Horus was scheduled to be in this match as Bandido’s partner, but he was unable to make it to the show. Was he injured? With the sheer volume of matches that some wrestlers are having across this weekend, that wouldn’t surprise me. Horus was replaced by Extreme Tiger, who I haven’t seen wrestle since his Impact days. The early portion of this match was more lighthearted, as it revolved around JD Drake not wanting any part of Bandido’s lucha, only to pull off some lucha of his own a few moments later. Once it really got going, the bout was actually pretty good. The WorkHorsemen are a great tag team, and while Bandido and Extreme Tiger are a makeshift pair, they definitely help up their end of things here. Entertaining action down the stretch, though the moment that was easily the highlight was when Bandido managed to lift JD Drake above his head for a Gorilla Press into a Falcon Arrow. For all the attention that Bandido gets as a great luchador, his power is severely underrated. He would follow up moments later with a 21-Plex on Drake to score the win. That result would give a 3-2 advantage to The World. A fun tag team encounter overall. ***3/4

Calvin Tankman def. Big Damo

For whatever reason, the number of empty seats was particularly noticeable during this particular match. While this was far from the best match on this card, what I liked about it was that it was totally different than everything else on the card. This was a hoss fight with two massive dudes just going at it for nine minutes. It didn’t set the world on fire by any means, but it was a nice change of pace. I guess the biggest negative was that the crowd wasn’t that lively for this match, and that combined with the visible empty seats (again, the empty seats seemed way more visible here compared to the other bouts on this card, for whatever reason) certainly didn’t help the atmosphere. Tankman ultimately got the win after hitting the Tankman Driver on Damo, which evened up the US vs. The World series at 3-3. I honestly don’t have much else to say about this one. If you can picture in your mind what a Big Damo vs. Calvin Tankman match would look like in 2022, that’s pretty much what we got here. ***1/4

RevPro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship: Michael Oku © def. Rich Swann

I really enjoyed how this show was bookended with title matches. A title match kicked off the show, and here in the main event, Michael Oku was putting up his RevPro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Title against Rich Swann. Now the one downside to this being a title match is that it did take away some of the drama from the US vs. The World series, as I don’t believe anybody went into this expecting Oku to lose his title. Even with the result being a predictable one, these two managed to put together a very strong match to close the show. After the opening exchange, Swann managed to gain control, and nailed a big running kick to Oku on the floor that sent him through the barricade near the announcer’s table. Oku fired back with a kick of his own after Swann tried for the running kick on the floor a second time, and from there, the pace started to pick up. The second half featured some very good action between Oku and Swann, though in the end, Oku scored the victory after forcing Swann to tap out to the half crab (earlier in the bout, Swann had tweaked his leg, and that helped to set up the submission by Oku). This wasn’t quite as good as Davey Richards vs. Mike Bailey, but it was still a worthy main event. Oku racked up his 12th defense of the RevPro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Title, and the two men cut emotional promos to close out the show. ****

Final Thoughts

This was the second USA vs. The World show put together by WrestleCon (the first one took place in 2019), and as a whole, I thought the 2022 edition was a very solid show. Even though there wasn’t any bout that would be a contender for Match Of The Weekend, there were a number of really strong matches. I would absolutely recommend Davey Richards vs. Mike Bailey if you haven’t seen it, and if you’re someone who either follows RevPro or is into Michael Oku’s progression, then I would also recommend checking out the main event. As far as the concept itself is concerned, it’s definitely something I’d like to see again next year (as it does provide a more serious wrestling card), though I would hope that we can get a stronger lineup in 2013. Of course, WrestleMania Weekend is in Southern California next year, so given the location (and hopefully, the world will be more fully opened up) we can get an even better card with more international talents. Crossing my fingers that we’ll get Japanese talents on the show next year, but time will tell on that one.