Prestige Wrestling Championship
Alex Shelley vs. Bandido
May 29, 2022
Prestige Roseland 3

Heading into the match I was extremely excited. Those who listen to the You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me Podcast know that Alex Shelley is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time. I find him to be one of the most compelling products of the early 2000s indie boom and trust him with almost any opponent. Not to say that I find Bandido to be slouch, either. Bandido is someone who I have been a vocal proponent of. Before AEW finally decided to sign him to a contract. I was shouting to anyone who would listen that this guy is a can’t miss marketing opportunity and that I found it to be a crime that he wasn’t signed to a major promotion. I am ecstatic that Tony Khan finally locked him down to a deal.

Now, despite my skepticism around a 2022 United States indie match. As well as not knowing anything about Prestige, other than their penchant for bringing in name talent and their super indie booking style. I was confident that these two would put on a show stealer no matter the location. My first takeaway from seeing the Prestige setup was that it was one black and white ring mat away from looking like a 2013 PROGRESS show. Some may take that as an insult, but I assure you that I mean that as a massive compliment. No matter the questionable decision of PROGRESS later on in its life. I did love the atmosphere and general aesthetic of the promotion when I was an avid consumer of their product.

The opening third of the match shows two technical maestros exchanging a variety of holds. Shelleys shows his domination in this style by often getting the better of the exchanges. A match that very much starts with respect shown by the champion eventually turns sour. As Alex Shelley realizes that Bandido may be too much for him. Shelley begins to act with malice by targeting Bandido’s knees, hair, mask and eyes. The Prestige crowd showers their champion with boos but they should know. Alex Shelley is a vicious man.

I love the story of a champion’s realization that they might actually lose their title and seeing them adjust during the match. It’s a very human moment during such an over the top performance.
At one point Shelley is able to counter the 21-plex by just holding onto the ropes. Which actually makes a lot of sense, while also exposing the move as being kind of dumb. Bandido and Shelley continue to go back and forth during the final stretch. Both going for their big match ending moves. Shelley eventually hits the Shellshock. Bandido kicks out but it’s immediately turned into the Border City Stretch for the submission victory.

The match itself was a fun, if not essential, viewing. But it’s always cool to see Alex Shelley, especially as a singles champion. He’s still one of the most compelling pro wrestlers that I have ever seen. I don’t necessarily have the interest in investing a lot of my time into the U.S. independent scene moving forward but if Prestige books more matches with quality talent like this, I’ll consider giving it a chance.

As far as my secret santa, I want to thank you for sending me this match. You could have been a LOT more mean than you were. I’ll guess as my mysterious gift giver, Andrew Sinclair. They mentioned giving out a cool match which I like to think this was.