The third time out was a charm for Resistance Pro Wrestling (the new wrestling federation on the block co-founded by Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins) as they put on as show that was a huge bump in quality compared to their previous two outings that resulted in an incredibly fun and very solid wrestling show from top to bottom.
Legendary sports caster, Chet Coppock, served as the ring announcer for the evening. He made the introductions and the first match featured Matt Cross vs. Mr. 450 vs. Ricochet in a “pot luck” three-way match. All three guys went from zero to 60 about three seconds after the bell rang to start the match and it was non-stop action for the entire match. The three guys really clicked and there was a lot of great action that started with Matt Cross and Ricochet forming a makeshift alliance to do a lot of double-team damage on Mr. 450. After seemingly getting the upper hand, Cross told Ricochet to pin 450 and when he tried, Cross attacked him for his troubles and that ended their brief alliance. Mr. 450 had a chance to get his wits about him when the other two started to tangle and then got back in the mix. Cross eventually won the match which gave him the right to choose a partner to join him in the tag-team tournament. The crowd wanted him to pick Ricochet so naturally he chose Mr. 450 instead. This match featured so much action it was exhausting and all three competitors carried their portion of the match beautifully. It was as exciting of a first match as it gets and got the night off to a great start.
Steven Walters took on The Almighty Sheik in the second bout. The Sheik came out with his manager, Rinaldo Piven and Sheik pulled out his little rug and prayed before his match started. Rinaldo then pulled out the American flag and told the crowd that Sheik will prove his love for America by kissing the flag. Once the action got started Walters got the upper hand early on the Sheik which served to infuriate both him and Piven. Sheik turned the tables and locked Walters in a Camel Clutch. Walters was able to fight long enough to get to the ropes and grabbed one to break the hold. The Sheik refused to break the hold and the referee had no choice but to disqualify Sheik and award the match to Walters. All this did was piss off The Sheik even more and he gave Walters a beating he’ll likely never forget that included tossing him out to the floor, removing one of the steel barricades and pummeling him with it. Not satisfied with that violence, he added insult to injury by tossing the barricade into the ring and then powerbombing Walters onto it.
D’Arcy Dixon came out and spoke to the crowd once again about how she likes to be on top and wanted to show off her physique. She had a guy named Tommy Else with her this time and the two of them removed their shirts and started posing. D’Arcy was wearing an even skimpier outfit than she was last month. No one cared what Tommy was wearing as he may as well been invisible during this pose down as the mostly male audience was fixated on D’Arcy. After a couple of minutes of posing and flexing, Robert Anthony came tot he ring stating he had enough of this time waster and that he was ready for his match. He played the part of egotistical heel beautifully as he insulted the two in the ring and shooed them out. His opponent, John Skyler quickly came to the ring once the other two were gone and they got to work on trying to get the better of each other.
Anthony was so entertaining as a heel that it was really hard not to like him. He often taunted the crowd and mocked them while getting the upper hand on Skyler and often put him in head locks just to get a rise out the crowd who wanted something else. Skyler was no slouch and he had plenty of moments of controlling the match as well. The two went back and forth in what was a very nicely paced match that mixed traditional mat holds with some exciting high spots. Eventually Robert Anthony got the win in what was a really solid match by both opponents. The match was well done in that it elevated Robert Anthony at the same time as making Skyler look good despite him losing and both men are guys that will hopefully be regulars in Resistance Pro and Robert Anthony especially has a bright future ahead of him.
In another match in the tag-team tournament, Lock Up took on Heaven and Hell. Lock up is two prisoners who are forced to wrestle to make money for their manager. The team is cheered as babyfaces but their manager is clearly a heel. Heaven and Hell had one glam rocker type of guy paired with a GG Allin sort of character however the GG Allin character worked a traditional wrestling style instead of being a wild brawler like you’d expect. The two teams worked a good match with a lot of double teaming and Lock Up was easily the more exciting of the teams to watch. There was some cool double-team spots in the match including the finisher Lock Up used to win the match. After the won, a cop came out and handcuffed them and escorted them out with their manager who was clearly pleased with the fact that his team just made him some money and will advance in the tournament to crown new tag team champions.
Women’s champion, Melanie Cruise defended her title against Sassy Stephie. Melanie came to the ring with her assistant and Matrix (and a dog) and Melanie had a bandage on her knee saying she couldn’t work because she was hurt. She was forced to work anyway and Stephie did her best to try to take advantage of her weak spot by working on the legs and trying to keep Melanie off her feet. Matrix and the assistant both interfered in the match and then at Serenity came diving into the ring off the top rope and attacked Matrix (presumably to get revenge on her for the post-match liberties Matrix took with her after her match with Melanie last month). This distraction allowed the assistant to spear Stephie which softened her up enough for Melanie to get her up into the cruise control (where her bum knee didn’t seem to keep her from hoisting Stephie up over her head for the move). After she pinned Stephie, Melanie went back to favoring her “bum knee” and limped out of the ring with the help of her two cohorts.
Lonesome Jay Bradley destroyed Chris Castro in about ten seconds. It was “one and done” as Jay floored him with his giant clothesline. After mocking Castro and saying he was unsatisfied having not even broken a sweat, he challenged anyone in the back or anyone in the crowd to challenge him. He didn’t care who it was, he just wanted someone to give him a challenge. Chris Hall, claiming to be Castro’s uncle (which made no sense seeing as Hall was a big white guy), came out in a poncho and sombrero and answered the challenge. He actually proved to be a challenge and put up a good fight, at times getting the upper hand but after a struggle, Bradley persevered and floored him as well with his clothesline. Bradley did break a sweat in that one and it was a hard-fought victory. Bradley looked good in both matches and the second one finally showed that he’s more than a one-trick pony in the ring and that he’s more than a giant clothesline. Bradley’s mic work was good too.
The Rock and Roll Express, a legendary tag team from the 1980s NWA region, took on Kentucky Fried in another tag team tournament match. Upon first appearance, the Rock and Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) looked OLD (and they are) and there was probably some doubt among some of the audience whether or not they could still go. Once the bell rang, however, any doubts were quickly erased as those two veterans could still go! The match started with the Rock and Roll Express taking the lead and getting in their staple spots like the double leg whip/somersault until Kentucky Fried found an opening to turn the tables on Ricky Morton who was on the receiving end of some Kentucky Fried punishment. Ricky got the crowd to start chanting for him and was able to slip out for the hot tag to Robert Gibson who cleaned house and that led to some more of their staples including the double drop kick. The Rock and Roll Express got the pinfall and got a nice reaction from the audience who seemed to really appreciate seeing a couple of legends one more time. The match was a good mix of action and warm nostalgia and came off really well.
In the main event, Rhino challenged Harry Smith (son of British Bulldog, Davey Boy Smith) for the Resistance Pro world title. Rhino looked as big, as fit, and healthier than ever and Harry Smith is every bit the talent his father was and then some and there’s a reason why he’s the champion, he’s that good. The two guys really clicked in the ring and put on a great match that had the crowd divided on who they were cheering for. Rhino was an early fan favorite going into the match but soon the crowd was pretty evenly split on who they were cheering for. Rhino started overpowering Harry and working his midsection in an effort to soften him up for a big Gore. Harry fought him off every chance he got and then Rhino tossed Harry outside the ring and used the ring post and outside to weaken Harry and then tossed him back into the ring. It was looking like Rhino was going to get the better of Harry, especially when he nailed him with a Gore, however when Rhino connected with it, Harry grabbed his arm and hung on. He then was able to tie up Rhino into a sort of Triangle Choke submission hold and Rhino, being locked up in the center of the ring with nowhere to go, had no choice but to tap out. It was a really smart and unexpected finish.
Rhino couldn’t accept the defeat and demanded that they immediately go again to make it a best of three falls match. That didn’t go over with anyone with the authority to sanction the match so Rhino said he wanted a rematch at the next show. He said he would put up the most important thing in the world to him and that was the belt he’s had in his possession for the last 12 years and never lost (Rhino was the last ECW champion before the company folded and he never lost the title so essentially retired champion from that company in its demise). He never said where the belt was from but all the fans knew its origin and Rhino’s history. He said if he lost the rematch, Harry gets to keep his pride and joy and if he wins, then he will have a new belt to go in his collection. He asked someone to come out and make it official and Billy Corgan came to the ring, grabbed both belts, stared at them for a bit, then held them both up and gave it the nod, making it the official main event for next month’s show.
The overall presentation of Resistance Pro’s third event was a marked improvement over the two that preceded it. All the matches were a big step up in quality and it helped elevate the product itself, along with the workers in the each match. It looks like they are finding their groove and hopefully they’ll keep up the momentum in the coming months. Wrestling fans who attended this show certainly got their money’s worth and those that missed out will definitely want to check out a future show.
Check out additional photos from this event here!