WrestleCon: The Mark Hitchcock Memorial Supershow
April 4, 2024
2300 Arena
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Watch: Highspots.TV

Traditionally one of the staples of WrestleMania Weekend, the 2024 installment of the WrestleCon Mark Hitchcock Memorial Supershow took place at the iconic 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. With commentary from Veda Scott and Kevin Gill, the main event saw actor Paul Walter Hauser face Sami Callihan in a Street Fight.

Nic Nemeth def. Joey Janela

During this match, and throughout the entire show in truth, I had to check my laptop audio settings to see if it was my machine that was making the crowd seem so quiet. In the end I settled on it being a low-energy audience rather than a production snafu but to be fair to the people in the 2300 Arena, this match didn’t give them a ton to be excited about.

Nic Nemeth threw in a couple of Greco-Roman style takedowns, clearly still feeling the buzz from his Bloodsport outing earlier in the day, and he took a great Death Valley Driver on the apron, but otherwise there wasn’t much else memorable. For a match that ran 18 minutes, that’s not a great sign. ***

The Full Blooded Italians (Little Guido, Tommy Rich & Deonna Purrazzo) (w/Tony Mamaluke) def. Los Boricuas (Miguel Perez Jr, Savio Vega & Nathalya Perez) (w/Huracan Castillo Jr & Jose Estrada Jr)

In my preview for this show, I was unabashedly excited about what might transpire in the eight-man Turf War between these factions and who The FBI’s mystery partner would be.

Well, none of my guesses for the partner were right – clearly JT Smith, Sal E. Graziano and Chuck Palumbo weren’t available – but the match changed structure too with AEW’s Deonna Purrazzo coming in to make this a mixed six-person tag.

The mixed tag element made this a bit less fun than a plunder brawl would have been, especially as the combined age of the four male participants is 235. Guido, the youngest man, took most of the bumps before making the hot tag to Rich. The men eventually cleared the ring, leaving Purrazzo and Nathalya Perez to settle things. Perez showed some potential but was promptly tapped out with an armbar. **1/4

Rob van Dam (w/Bill Alfonso) def. Mike Bailey

I will admit that the volume issues were solved in this match by virtue of me watching it on mute – I couldn’t face the spectre of Alfonso’s whistle.

If you imagine what this match looks like in your head, it’s probably what you got. RVD got all of his big spots in, and Bailey did pretty much the same although without unloading the tank as this was his third match of the day.

The finish came when special guest referee Jerry Lynn missed Alfonso chucking Van Dam a chair, which allowed him to hit a Van Terminator and a Five-Star Frog Splash for the win. **3/4

RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship
Michael Oku (C) (w/Amira) def. Titan

I had quite high hopes when this match got announced because Oku has grown on me over the past 12 months, and this was one of my first times seeing Titan since his excellent showing in last year’s Best of the Super Juniors.

In the end, and not for the first time on the show, my hopes weren’t quite met. That wasn’t because of the work or the story though, as I thought the match was logical and well-constructed. The pair were evenly matched early on, with the turning point being when Titan tweaked his knee on a dive. Oku pounced on that and eventually tapped him out with the Half Crab.

The main issue for me was that there were a couple of spots where Oku wasn’t in the right place and had to very noticeably manoeuvre himself on the mat. While those things happen in most matches, seeing how the sausage is made invariably affects your immersion. ***

Matt Riddle & Mustafa Ali def. The Rascalz (Trey Miguel & Zachary Wentz)

A late addition to the card, this had more energy to it than any of the show’s previous four matches.

I particularly loved the initial exchanges between Riddle and Wentz. Rather than the mirror sequences or tests of strength you’re bombarded with during Mania Weekend, these two rolled and grappled and there was a genuine sense of struggle and worked resistance to everything they did.

Riddle then impressed again down the stretch, getting the hot tag after the Rascalz had worked over Ali, and running wild with a series of big spots. His counter of Miguel’s backflip kick spot was neat and more than made up for the ugly (and silly) double cutter used in the finish. All in all, a very good match and one of Riddle’s best showings this year. ***1/2

Josh Alexander def. Masato Tanaka

This is what I’m talking about. This is what gets Mr Sinclair pacing in his living room.

Tanaka’s facial expressions in the early going were great, as he was visibly frustrated by just how good an opponent Alexander was proving to be. He then started laying it in and Alexander responded in kind, delivering the sort of hard-hitting, high-energy bout that this show needed.

Alexander is a huge personal favourite of mine and that means I recognise most of his key spots. It also means that when those spots get subverted, it pops me a lot. Here, instead of his headguard getting knocked off, he took it off voluntarily as a precursor to another great strike exchange with the Japanese veteran.

Coming in at a tickle over 12 minutes, this was the Hitchcock show at its best – a unique match that delivered everything you’d want it to. Give this a watch. ****

Team CMLL (Averno, Barbaro Cavernario, Mistico, Star Jr & Villano III Jr) def. Team Dragongate (Dragon Kid, Kota Minoura, Kzy, Shun Skywalker & YAMATO)

On paper, this was the match putting bums on seats for the 2024 SuperShow. In the sea of mediocrity that is Mania Weekend this year, this 10-man tag was an island of excitement. An oasis for the wrestling purist.

With the show seeming to have picked up with the last two matches, I was hyped when these men made their entrances.

Sadly, this was unable to deliver on the high expectations that I’d bestowed upon it. At almost 25 minutes the match was too long for this crowd and this point of the show, particularly when most of the match was just sequences of guys doing stuff. Functionally the work was fine but it was dull.

The CMLL guys worked particularly hard to engage the crowd but they didn’t get a ton back. Shun Skywalker and Kzy, who was a late sub for Ben-K, had some miscommunication in the finish, which led to Star Jr putting Skywalker in a submission hold and Kzy awkwardly wobbling around the ring until Mistico trapped him in La Mistica for the submission win. ***

Philly Street Fight
Paul Walter Hauser def. Sami Callihan

Unfortunately, the 2024 SuperShow didn’t finish strong as this main event absolutely stank.

This was my first time seeing Hauser work and he was pretty much what I expected. He’s someone inspired by ECW and now he’s playing at being a pro wrestler. He tries hard, don’t get me wrong, and he bladed and took some big bumps in this match, but he’s not much of an athlete and he’s not got a great look.

Callihan did make me laugh at the start of the match by telling them to ring the bell when it had already gone off about 10 seconds before but other than that, he was what he is at this stage of his career. You’d have a full house if you got your Callihan Bingo card out – spitting, tick, paper cuts, tick, thumbtacks, tick, pizza cutter, tick, doors, tick, chairs, tick – let’s put it that way.

You knew there’d be some sort of ECW nostalgia in the finish and it came courtesy of The Sandman. After a couple of ref bumps, his music played and the crowd made the most noise of the night as he made his way to the ring and shared beers with everyone. It was a cool moment for sure but it took several minutes for him to get to the ring and when he did, he fell over the guardrail.

More annoying was the fact that Callihan stood there waiting for him the whole time, only to then take two kendo stick shots, one from the Sandman and one from Hauser, and then an awful-looking White Russian Leg Sweep to lose. Not for me at all. *

Final Thoughts

Lacking energy for the most part, the 2024 SuperShow was one of the weakest in recent memory.

Aside from the main event, most of the work on the show was good but a lot of the matches struggled to click with me at a level beyond just existing. If you’re looking for match recommendations, Josh Alexander v Masato Tanaka is probably the one must-watch match, but I thought the Riddle & Ali tag was a lot of fun as well.

WrestleMania Weekend 2024 Coverage at Voices of Wrestling