After taking the month of April off, Resistance Pro Wrestling returned with their biggest show to date at a brand new, and larger venue. This time out they left the small confines of Excalibur to venture a few miles south to the Teamster Auditorium which was a bigger and more traditional space to have a wrestling show, complete with actual seating and tons of free parking! This upgrade was perfect for hosting the main event which was held inside a steel cage. The usual array of top indie talent gathered for the show along with some new faces and an older big-name veteran. This was also the first TV taping for R-Pro.
There were two “dark matches” to start the night off. The first featured Thunderkitty facing Aida Marie. Aida Marie was a feisty Latino lady who was clearly the heel of the match and she quickly got heat with the crowd by bitching at them and saying she didn’t need their applause. Thunderkitty had a classic look about her that was a mix between the Fabulous Moolah and a roller derby girl. She wrestled a very old school style. The two ladies traded holds and blows which lead to a total old-school climax where Thunderkitty won with a sleeper hold! The only better finish would have been if she used an airplane spin instead. It was a fun little match and both ladies looked really good. The crowd really enjoyed it too so it did the job of starting the night off right.
The second match saw Da Cobra squaring off against big Chris Hall. Hall is a very large yet agile man and Da Cobra, who had snake-skin pants and white eyes, was a thinner, tall guy who was quick on his feet and generous with the kicks. Hall easily overpowered Cobra in the early minutes of the match until Cobra started using his speed and kicks to his advantage, countering some of Hall’s power moves to turn the tides on him. The two put on a solid match which did a great job of making Hall look very strong and impressive yet totally making the crowd believe that Cobra could still best him if he could keep up the pace. When the heat started picking up, Rhino charged to the ring and gored both wrestlers and the match was called a no-contest. Rhino was joined by Lou E Dangerously and the two cut a promo regarding the night’s main event. The crowd was hot during this match and both guys delivered the goods. Rhino got a good pop when he came out too and was very intense.
Number one contender, Lonesome Jay Bradley, came out to the ring in a suit looking very classy and demanded that the Baron Brothers (Resistance Pro promoters) come to the ring where he demanded his title match and called the brothers out on what he viewed was them screwing with him as he wasn’t even booked in a match, let alone given his title shot this evening. The Barons tried to put him at ease and gave him high praise and assured him that his shot was going to happen in the near future, then they declared that it was “Vader Time” and booked him in a match with Vader that night. This would be Jay’s biggest (literally) opponent yet in R-Pro and it would be no easy task facing off against the legendary monster tough guy.
In an interesting and unorthodox match, six ladies squared off in a “first come, last served”, every woman for herself match for the Resistance Pro woman’s title. Melanie Cruise had to defend her title against five other women and the rules were that whoever scored the first pinfall got to sit the rest of the match out until there was only one other person left who she’d then fight for the title. Nikki St. John, who aside from a spear during her interference in one of Melanie’s matches, hadn’t actually wrestled a match in R-Pro and was simply known as the girl in Melanie’s entourage who carried the dog and helped Melanie cheat to win, quickly took the first fall and got to rest while the other ladies beat themselves senseless. The other ladies were Serenity, Sassy Stephie, Shelly Martinez, and Matrix Taylor Made (another one of Melanie’s cohorts). This match was a no-brainer for being a total train-wreck but amazingly it went off really well. Shelly Martinez looked the strongest of the early combatants and was a favorite in the match but was eventually eliminated by Melanie Cruise. Melanie was, not-surprisingly, the last woman standing and had to face off against a now-rested Nikki St. John. Melanie demanded that she lay down for her and let her win but Nikki wasn’t having it and Melanie tried to make her the Zach Thompson of the evening by slapping the taste out of her mouth which only ignited a fire in Nikki and the two went at it. Nikki put up an impressive fight and kicked out of not just one, but two Cruise Controls which shocked everyone, especially Melanie. Nikki tried to rally but eventually Melanie managed to squeak out a victory. Nikki was easily the breakout star of this match and looked great and now can easily turn babyface and make a run at the title which she proved this night that she deserves. These two could have a great title feud after this match.
Two newcomers to R-Pro took to the ring next. Ace Hawkins, a cruiserweight sized wrestler who only had one pant leg, had the unfortunate job of facing the massive Jocephus Brody. Brody’s gimmick was truly a tribute to the late, great Bruiser Brody and he looks like he could be his son! He had the furry boots, the beard, the hair, and the crazy violent style. He squashed Hawkins in just a few minutes and tossed him around like a rag doll. Brody does the gimmick justice and looked good. He could be a great monster heel character in the federation and hopefully they’ll keep him around.
The tag-team tournament finally entered the second round and Da Soul Touchaz returned to face off against what was supposed to be the Daivari Brothers. Shawn Daivari was unable to make it to the show however as he was sick with the flu so that left his poor brother to have to fight alone against not just two, but five Soul Touchaz. Sure it was a standard tag-team match except there was three other Touchaz at ringside who took every liberty they could with Daivari every chance they got. He got beat down everywhere he turned (or everywhere he was tossed) and every time he tried to rally, another Toucha would interfere and kill his momentum. When one Toucha got a little too confident and left him an opening, Daivari got in a quick pinfall and quickly fled the ring to the safety of the locker room before the Touchaz could administer a revenge beating on him for winning. Da Touchaz looked better this time out and Daivari sold like a million bucks and got great sympathy heat from the crowd who popped big-time for his victory.
Chris Nowinski, who was a former WWE Superstar whose career got cut short from a serious concussion came to the ring to talk to the crowd about concussions in sports, specifically wrestling. Since his retirement from wrestling, Chis has made major strides in concussion-awareness and getting studies done on the effects of them on sports figures. He is legitimately trying to make the world of sports and wrestling a safer place for everyone. He announced that he would be the new commissioner of safety in Resistance Pro and then was interrupted by D’Arcy Dixon and Eric St. Vaughn. D’Arcy announced her newest protegé would be Mr. 450. They were soon interrupted by The Ego, Robert Anthony who once again proved he’s the heel that everyone loves. This set up a match between him and Mr. 450 that started once Nowinski left the ring, but not before The Almighty Sheik’s manager, Rinaldo Piven, came to the ring and protested Nowinski’s new “safety rules” which totally go against everything his client (Sheik) stands for.
Anthony and 450 put together a really great match that was the highlight of the entire evening. There was a lot of back and forth action and some impressive high spots sprinkled in that featured both members doing moves off the top rope. Neither guy had the upper hand for any length of time and eventually 450’s speed and agility gave him the upper hand and he nailed Anthony with his 450 finisher. When he was about to cover him for the win, D’Arcy came to the ring and stopped him and demanded he do another 450. After a couple of awkward minutes of her trying to tell him to do the move again, he finally attempted a second one but Anthony had enough time to recover and countered it and then hit 450 with his surfboard slam finisher and scored the win. The match was great and its only blemish was the long and awkward interference by D’Arcy which didn’t need to last as long as it did to tell the same story. A minor gripe though and it was a solid match by two of R-Pro’s brightest rising stars.
Lonesome Jay Bradley took on Vader in what was Bradley’s toughest match yet in Resistance Pro. Vader quickly took control of the match and planted himself in one section of the ring like a massive tree and just beat on Bradley as much as he could and tied him up like a pretzel. Vader punch and punched and chopped and twisted up Jay’s face and his clothesline arm and was overpowering Bradley for most of the match. Bradley finally broke free of Vader’s clutches long enough to try to make a comeback where in a very impressive display of strength, picked the mammoth up off his feet, held him for a few moments, then turned him around and body slammed him. This came completely unexpected to everyone in the audience and it got a great reaction. Vader limped back to his feet and Jay tried to hit Vader with his clothesline to finish the job but with his arm weakened by Vader’s punishment, he didn’t have enough behind it to take the big man down and he dumped Jay to the mat and then hit him with the Vader bomb to get the victory. It was a bummer that Bradley didn’t win, but his body slamming of the big man still made Jay look strong and that spot will be what fans will remember.
The Almighty Sheik and his new minion, Steven Walters, took on Lethal Weapon (John Skyler and Cedric Alexander). Sheik and Walters started off strong and took control of the match, keeping both of their opponents at any given time in their corner where they issued multiple beatings. Sheik and Walters tagged each other frequently and dominated most of the match. Eventually a hot tag saw the babyfaces start to come back which infuriated the Sheik who grabbed a chair. Before he could use it, Chris Nowinski blew a whistle and stopped him from doing it. This pissed off Piven who got up in Nowinski’s face and he got his clock cleaned by a big punch from Nowinski for his troubles. This distraction, however, was all Walters and Sheik needed to pull out a victory in a well-fought match from all the members. This was a classic tag match with great action, and classic heel interference. The crowd was pretty hot the entire match (as they were pretty much the entire night).
After an intermission where the steel cage was built around the ring, Rhino challenged Harry Smith once again for the world title in what was billed as their final encounter. The two put on a match similar to their first two and the cage played very little part in the story of their match. They only did a couple of spots where one would throw the other into the cage, aside from that it was a lot of trading holds and jockeying for control. Raven was the special guest referee and for the entire match seemed quite neutral and pretty much just stayed out of everyone’s way. That is, until it looked like Rhino was going to win. For some reason the cage door wasn’t locked and Lou E Dangerously came inside the ring with Rhino’s ECW title belt (Rhino’s most prized possession) and held it up. Raven walked over and grabbed it from him and clocked Rhino in the head with it which allowed Harry Smith to get the victory and retain his title. At this point, Raven put on the ECW belt, gave Harry the R-Pro belt, and grabbed a microphone where he spent a great amount of time explaining why he did what he did to Rhino. This was supposed to be Harry Smith’s heel turn, but because Harry did none of the talking, the focus on him was lost and it somehow came off as being more about Raven, who also declared himself Harry’s new manager. Harry Smith as a heel could have a lot of promise, especially if done in a way similar to his uncle, Bret Hart as Harry is a super talented, strong worker, who would benefit from a run as a heel who is so good in the ring that he can easily back up being arrogant. He should do it sans-Raven however so the spotlight can be solely on Harry. The match leading up to this was very enjoyable and it was a good ending to a good feud and it will be very interesting to see where a heel Harry Smith goes from here.
Resistance Pro’s first TV taping was a huge success. It drew a big crowd that was hot for the entire show and the talent went above and beyond to out-perform all their previous outings. It will be as strong of a TV debut as you could ask for in a wrestling show and they proved once again that they are rapidly becoming the best indie federation around. The show will air June 10th on WCIU TV in Chicago (and likely available in other cities via cable providers who carry that station).
Check out tons of additional photos from this event here!