They say that time flies when you are having fun and it feels like it was just yesterday that Resistance Pro Wrestling had started and held its first event but it actually was two years ago already! This brainchild of Smashing Pumpking Billy Corgan along with the Baron brothers has really grown over the past two years and the company celebrated its second birthday in Chicago with their latest event, Caress of Steel. This not only featured three title matches but it also featured appearances by former WWE and WCW superstars Kevin Nash and Raven. The former having never been part of an RPro show before and the latter being a somewhat regular part of the company.
Two pre-show “dark matches” got the crowd warmed up. The first match featured a return of two newcomers. Eddie Graves and Jacob Black faced each other in a singles match. This was short on time but long on action and they got the crowd warmed up easily. Graves was the heel and the crowd took an instant disliking to him and they were a little bummed that he got the win.
Team I.O.U. took on The Painkillers (with their manager, Eryn) in a tag-team match. I.O.U. were the crowd favorite with their over the top flamboyance and high energy, hard-hitting moves. They took the early lead but some interference from Eryn tipped the scales for her team temporarily until I.O.U. regained control and got the win. This match was fast paced and very entertaining which only made the crowd even more excited.
C-Red came out to the familiar music of Da Soul Touchaz and was accompanied by Marshe Rockett and Da Cobra. C-Red informed the crowd that in the main event, Da Cobra would be outside the ring to help keep the odds even for Da Soul Touchaz as they once again challenge Lock Up for the tag titles. This time it would be in a steel cage! He said Cobra would be an honorary Toucha for the evening (which made the crowd’s inner Beavis laugh) but that there’s no gain without a little pain and that first he was going to have a match with Marshe. The two shook hands and the bell rang and they got to work. Both of these wrestlers have a flashy style and do some exciting moves and the two put together equaled one exciting match that was very balanced and had the crowd cheering for both combatants even after Marshe got the win. A little friendly rivalry could easily spawn from this match up and seeing some repeat matches featuring these two would be most welcome.
It was time for some ladies action when Thunderkitty and Crazy Mary Dobson teamed up against Camron Star and Lylah Lodge. This was a fairly quick match with your typical back and forth action that ended with Crazy Mary hitting her split-legged moonsault to get the win (and a big pop from the crowd). Mary and Thunderkitty made for a good team and while short, it featured nice work from all four ladies.
Good feuds in pro wrestling can often last many months without getting stale. Freebirds/Von Erichs and Midnight Express/Rock and Roll Express are two great examples and Tajiri and Super Crazy fought each other at every ECW show for about 20 years and it never got boring. That same formula is working for Scotty Young and Jake O’Neill who once again tangled to determine who the better man would be. This time, however, the stakes were much higher as the loser of the match would have to be the winner’s man-servant for 100 days! This match was another very exciting wrestling clinic put on by two very solid workers and this time Jake got some sweet revenge as he won via submission and took great delight in putting Scotty to work immediately as he ordered him to raise his hand in victory. Scotty did so begrudgingly and then stormed out of the ring. Life is going to be very unpleasant for Mr. Young for the next few months!
Six-man tag action quickly followed in the form of 2 Star Heroes and Mad Man Pondo vs. Love/Hate and Ashton Vuitton (accompanied by Eric St. Vaughn). This was a very chaotic match that had action happening both inside and outside of the ring. At one point during the match Matt Knicks did a moonsault off the top rope onto his opponents on the floor, followed by Castro jumping off the rope to the floor, followed by Ashton, followed by Pondo! The crowd was on their feet as these guys all risked their necks (literally) jumping off, or over the ropes. The chaos never was fully contained but the match did have a decisive pinfall which went to Love/Hate and Ashton. After the match, Zach Thompson came to the ring to interview Ashton Vuitton who started insulting everyone and called out Raven, who he still had issues with dating back to the first anniversary show. When Raven came out to the ring, Ashton started insulting him which Raven answered by lighting a fireball and throwing it in Ashton’s face! The male model quickly fell to the mat and Eric came rushing to his aid and carried him to the back to seek medical attention (and likely a plastic surgeon).
Colonel Jesse Corgan brought his new client, The Almighty Sheik to the ring with hopes of him disposing of his former employee, Vector A once and for all. Sheik and Vector thew each other in and out of the ring for about 10 minutes as they pounded relentlessly on one another without either one gaining a clear advantage. The match was ruled a double count out when the referee couldn’t get either man to come back into the ring and follow any sort of rules. After he rang the bell the Sheik put Vector A in a camel clutch that doubled as a choke hold using Jesse’s metal staff. Jesse left proud of his violent client’s work and Vector A was left beat up but pissed off and this only served to fuel his want of revenge even further. The fans clearly got behind Vector A during this match and it worked very well as a babyface turn for him.
Mickie Knuckles’ relentless quest for the women’s title continued next as she once again tried her hardest to not only win the title but end D’Arcy Dixon’s career once and for all. Every time these two have faced each other they have elevated women’s wrestling to better heights and helped fans see that the ladies can be taken as seriously as the guys. These two got off to a bit of a slow start but then things soon clicked and they put on one hell of a good fight. These two threw everything they had at each other and neither one of them would quit. They were battered, bruised, and exhausted by the time the match came to a close and D’Arcy managed to retain her title once again which infuriated Mickie even more. There’s no way Mickie is giving up on her quest and she stormed out of the ring looking like she wanted to kill someone (and that someone is D’Arcy).
The Ego Robert Anthony has been the Resistance Pro champion for over a year and he has successfully defended it at every show since winning it. Jocephus has pummeled every person who has stepped in the ring with him and his recent quest was to become the RPro champion and has been chasing Ego for a couple of months now. These two did battle once again and what a battle it was. They battled inside and out of the ring and right into the audience. Ego planted Jocephus on a chair and then launched himself up and over the crowd to deliver a flying elbow to Jocephus and then he took him over near a rock climbing wall where he climbed up to deliver a giant splash from about two stories up onto Jocephus! The crowd lost it during that spot and the screaming and applause shook the walls of the building. The action finally returned to the ring and Ego started wailing on Jocephus with a chair to keep him down. Once he had him prone, Ego started asking the audience to come hand him more chairs which he used to build a pyramid. After the pyramid started taking shape, he kept asking the crowd, “do you want to see something stupid?” which was answered in applause and then he’d ask for more chairs. Once he build up a stupid enough metal hazard he planted Jocepus on the top turnbuckle with the idea of superplexing him onto the steel structure but Jocepus reversed him and dumped Ego through the metal pyramid and covered him for the win. The crowd truly witnessed something stupid as Ego cost himself the world title with these shenanigans! It was one hell of a good match and pretty much exactly what a memorable world title match should be. This match was more than worth the ticket price alone.
In a steel cage match, Lock Up defended their tag titles against Da Soul Touchaz. This feud has been going on for months now and every time Da Soul Touchaz look like they were going to win the titles, Lock Up or the Warden would cheat to keep from losing them. This led to this final showdown in a steel cage where no one could interfere and the only way to win was to get out of the cage and have both feet touch the floor. WWE/WCW legend Kevin Nash was out there as the special referee/enforcer and no one was bout to mess with him as the man is a giant. The action was fast and furious with a lot of interaction with the cage which kept fans (and the teams’ respective managers) on the tips of their toes with fear and excitement. The Warden slipped some handcuffs inside the ring with the idea that Lock Up could use them to help win the match but that plan backfired and they instead aided Da Soul Touchaz to victory as they handcuffed one member of Lock Up while big Willie held down the other one which left Acid Jazz free to scale the cage and get out to the floor to become one member of the new tag-team champions! The Warden was furious with this outcome and got in Kevin Nash’s face which got him choke slammed through the announcer’s table for his troubles which got another huge pop from the crowd.
Caress of Steel was one of the most exciting shows in RPro history and it was an amazing way to celebrate the company’s two-year anniversary. Every match was enjoyable and it really did a great job showcasing the amazing talent the company has amassed in its short existence. It can only get better from here and with new champions there’s some really great new opportunities ahead for some new feuds and story lines. It was a great way to end the year for the company and the January show promises to be one to really look forward to.
To see additional photos from Caress of Steel click here!