Saturday night at St. Joesph Park in Joliet, Pro Wrestling Blitz held their third annual Wrestlefest event which is one of their biggest shows of the year. They packed the card from top to bottom with a good lineup of matches and even had two big-name stars come in to work matches at the event. The two stars were Jerry Lynn and Goldust, both of whom are household names to anyone who has followed professional wrestling for the past 15 years. A big crowd turned out for the event and they were all eager to see some good wrestling action.
To get the show started fan-favorite ring announcer Mr. Ricolo came out and introduced Blitz owner Tony Scarpone. Tony thanked everyone for coming and announced that one of the mainstays of Blitz was retiring from wrestling. Gilbert Lewis came to the ring and they showed a pretty hilarious highlight reel of his career that included a lot of goofy dancing and crazy high spots. When it was over, Tony thanked him for everything and gave him a hug. It was a nice moment and got the show started off on a very positive vibe.
The First match was a three-way between Zach Thompson, Hybrid and Mr. 450 (who made his Blitz debut with this match). The three started off with a three-way test of strength which was a nice change to the usual two guys temporarily teaming up against the third guy that this style of match typically uses. The action quickly elevated to a fast paced, high-action match that had a lot of trading of spots between the various combatants. 450 got in a lot of kicks and everyone did at least one high spot. Eventually the somewhat deranged and unpredictable Zach Thompson stole the win. This was a fun, energetic match that got the crowd pretty pumped up.
Next up was Jimmy Rockwell (with Kujo in his corner) vs Xavier Mustafa. Mustafa had the massive size advantage as he was about the size of two and a half Jimmy Rockewells. Rockwell unsuccessfully tried to take Mustafa off his feet by charging at him off the ropes and anything he tried to do in order to get the upper hand was quickly swatted away by the big man. When Mustafa hit the ropes, Kujo grabbed his foot and tripped him and with the big guy off his feet, Rockwell took that opening to start laying the boots to him and started to soften him up so he could keep an offense going. Anytime the referee wasn’t looking, Kujo took any liberties he could in order to help Rockwell keep the advantage and this handicap proved too much for Mustafa and Rockwell won the match and retained his No Limits title.
Pauly Thomaselli and Justin Dredd (with Billy Whack in their corner) took on Buddy Roberts Jr and Justin Reno. Reno/Roberts were the babyfaces in this match and the crowd was way behind both of them. Reno/Roberts were a solid team who did a lot of quick tags and got the early advantage early on Pauly/Dredd. Eventually the heels had their turn to deliver some punishment and Pauly moves around pretty quick for a bigger guy. After a lot of various double team antics by both teams and a fair amount of shady tactics by the heels, Roberts/Reno rallied and got the win to a surprised Pauly/Dredd. The crowd was into the whole match and popped big for the babyface victory.
Matty Starr took on Golddust in a one on one bout. The crowd popped huge for Goldust’s entrance and he came to the ring and waited out Starr who took his time entering the ring in an attempt to play some mind games on Goldust. They didn’t work out so well as Goldust took command early until a missed move gave Starr the opening he needed to work the leg of Golddust. Starr kept on the bad leg to try to keep the WWE legend off his feet and it worked for a while. When Goldust fought back to his feet to try to counter something, Starr would cut him off by kicking the injured leg and knocking him back down. Eventually after almost passing out to a tight headlock, Goldust made it back to his feet and mounted a nice comeback that included some of his staple spots. The crowd went crazy when Goldust regained control and stood and cheered when he pinned Starr cleanly in the center of the ring. This was a very solid wrestling match and the two put on the best match of the night with good pacing and good timing between the two. After the match was over it was intermission time where fans could get their picture taken and an autograph from Goldust.
Ashton Vuitton finally got his wish at Wrestlefest and had a match with manager Rinaldo Piven. Piven had been a thorn in his side for months leading up to this match. Ashton came out with a model friend of his named Calvin “Sugarfoot” Beckham and said that while he doesn’t need any help in his match, he brought out Calvin to make sure none of Piven’s goons come out and interfere in his match. When the bell rang, Piven jumped out of the ring and spent as much time as he could avoiding wrestling Ashton. When the referee was near the ten count, Piven would come inside the ring just long enough to reset the count and then hop right back out. A frustrated Ashton hopped outside to give chase. Eventually Piven came into the ring and didn’t see Ashton come in behind him until he backed up right into him. Piven turned around to receive a much-deserved beating. After a few shots, Ashton tossed Piven outside the ring and gave him some stiff chops. He then took the reeling Piven and turned him around and walked him around the barricade and let every kid in the front row take a free shot on Piven. The crowd loved this and the kids especially had fun with it and some of them threw some stiff potatoes that looked to be as hard as one that the wrestlers would give! After a lap around the crowd, Ashton tossed Piven back in the ring to beat him a little more. After giving Piven his big knee bash, Ashton went up on the top rope ready to finish him off when Zach Thompson came out to ringside and distracted the referee and Ashton (still perched on the top rope). While this was going down, Calvin stepped inside the ring and when Ashton turned around and jumped off the rope ready to land on Piven, he instead flew into the waiting arms of Calvin who dropped him with a Diamond Cutter. Calvin then took the prone Piven and put him on top of Ashton and hopped out of the ring. The referee turned around and counted three and Piven won the match. This was a fun few minutes that really entertained the crowd and was played out about as perfectly as you can when you have a match with a non-wrestler. The only thing missing was a post-match promo by either Calvin or a confused Ashton as to why Calvin turned on him.
Mike Horning and Jerry Lynn took on Vic Capri and Jay Bradley (making his Blitz debut) in a tag-team match. Jerry Lynn started the match and took control early before making the tag to Horning. It didn’t take long for the bigger Capri and Bradley to turn the tables on Horning and use him for a punching bag for a good length of time. Bradley/Capri gave Horning a good beating and made frequent tags and used the five second time to their advantage to put in some double team punishment. Every time Horning came close to his corner to try to tag in the fresh Jerry he would get cut off and beat on some more by the big men. Eventually when it looked like he was about finished, Horning managed to roll out-of-the-way and escape an attempted move and made the hot tag to Jerry Lynn. Jerry came in and cleaned house for a bit and eventually he and Horning were able to score a pinfall. As soon as the bell rang to signify the end of the match, the pissed off Bradley and Capri gave Jerry Lynn a post-match beat down. When they cleared out of there, a battered and bruised Jerry Lynn took the mic and challenged Capri to a one-on-one match at the next Blitz show and declared that it would be one with extreme rules! Overall this was a good match with only a couple of timing problems and the end set up next month singles match nicely.
In the main event, Ryan Slade defended his Blitz world title against fan favorite Ruff Crossing. Ruff was way over with the crowd this evening and they were chanting his name regularly during the match. When the match got started the star of the first portion of the match was a section of the audience who stood up and sang the star-spangled banner and some other patriotic song (in their entirety) while the match was happening. This infuriated Ryan Slade (who is Canadian) who constantly yelled at them to shut up, which only made them sing louder. When the singing stopped the two wrestlers picked up the pace of their match a little and they had a very nice back and forth match. Ruff started out strong until Slade was able to capitalize on a missed move to gain the advantage. Ruff rallied later in the match for a hot comeback that had the crowd really cheering. When it seemed like Ruff was going to win, Slade ran into the referee and knocked him out. With the referee down the two kept fighting and Slade had Ruff pinned but there was no one there to count. Eventually another referee came out and started counting but not until Slade started to get up. This was clearly a mis-timed event. They recovered the best they could and Slade re-covered Ruff for a two count but Ruff kicked out and formed a comeback. After some hot action, Ruff nailed Slade with a Tombstone piledriver and scored the three count. Referee One grabbed the belt and presented it to Ruff Crossing and the crowd was going crazy cheering for them. At this point Referee One came too, raised Ruff’s hand but took the belt away and handed it back to Slade. There was confusion in and out of the ring and the two referees were arguing about the decision for a minute. It was then declared that Referee One had disqualified Ryan Slade for hitting him and as he was the official referee for the match, his decision is the one that’s final. Ruff wins the match via DQ which means the title does not change hands and Ryan Slade retains the belt and keeping his year-long streak as champion going. The crowd was PISSED off at this. It will succeed however in setting up a rematch between these two guys who worked well together and Ruff Crossing came off looking very strong in this match.
Wrestlefest III was a big step up in overall show quality over the last couple of Blitz shows and was a fun wrestling show from top to bottom. They set up a couple of interesting feuds going forward that should be real crowd pleasers as well. It was a good night for wrestling in Joliet as the third Wrestlefest is now on the books.
Check out lots of additional photos from Wrestlefest III right here!