Powerbomb.TV Break The Barrier 2017 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Powerbomb.TV.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez


May 15, 1999 was a historical day for independent wrestling as the former ECW Arena hosted an event called “Break The Barrier.”

BTB I was put together by Al Isaacs, Remy Arteaga and Barbi Bistrowitz of “Scoopswrestling.com,” as a way to showcase the best independent wrestlers as the card represented 12 different promotions.

Talent like “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush, Lou Marconi, Joey Matthews, Christian York and Nick Gage appeared and made names for themselves.

History repeated itself this year on Jun. 11 in Old Forge, PA., as Powerbomb.TV – a streaming service that provides 267 hours of content from 41 promotions as of press time – hosted “Break The Barrier 2017” in a similar supercard that included the likes of Colt Cabana, John Silver, Dasher Hatfield, Ophidian and Desean Pratt.

With Bryce Remsburg back and forth between commentary, pre-show duties and officiating, the broadcast had a CHIKARA-esque feel with a logical edginess.

Without much further ado, we’ll assess just how “Broken” this “Barrier” was nowadays.




(Aired 6/11/17)

The Pre-Show Breakdown 

– Consistently branded as an “Indie Wrestling Festival,” we were immediately taken to a shot of the new Powerbomb.TV Championship on a display. Details would later be announced for how the belt would be inaugurated in the future. Well, at least there’s that to look forward to.

– The Eight-Man Tag between The Abominable CPA/Tyler Murphy/Mike Sciros/Jacob Riddicks and Kevin Cartwright/Pat Scott/Sully O’Sullivan/Mick Moretti was brought about in impromptu fashion, as the heels flustered past Remsburg as he hyped the show up. Off the bat, we recognized CPA of Pro Wrestling Syndicate/WrestlePro fame. O’Sullivan/Scott started things off before Moretti/Murphy battled once they were tagged in next. Moretti had a unique Sami Callihan-esque look to him, with wild standing black hair and a goatee. Sciros/Riddick were then in it, as we didn’t get much of a story, just action designed to get a rise out of the crowd. CPA broke out his classic “Scared of the top rope” spot while the crowd chanted for him and “Let’s do taxes,” respectively. Commentary noted that a lot of the talent featured came from New York. CPA executed a flawless DDT on Moretti and made a double tag to Cartwright/Riddicks. Moretti countered a forearm as he did a hopping headstand to make the crowd gasp. Maybe he was channeling his inner Bray Wyatt, who knows? A double flapjack set CPA up for his second rope splash to get the pin. CPA was the most over, so glad he got his moment here. That was impromptu if we ever heard of it. As a side note, we really hope that guy in the crowd got his pizza.

– Another plus was the attention paid to Stokely Hathaway’s first row presence as he was accompanied by a female. Loved how Remsburg played off Hathaway’s cold stares as he worked the crowd for reactions.



The Breakdown 

– The Grand Slam Wrestling match for the GSW Adrenaline Championship between “The Cinema” Stevie Shields and Champion “The Beast From The Northeast” Bruce VanSlyke already interested us. Shields was 180 and VanSlyke was 355. An indie rendition of “David Vs. Goliath” because why not? Shields ran around with forearms against the ropes. VanSlyke performed a cartwheel to avoid an Irish whip. Shields was tremendously slow with a handspring sequence, but they covered that nicely as he was powerbombed onto the Powerbomb.TV logo in the ring. #PowerbombCeption. Shields knocked VanSlyke down with a knee for a two-count. He hit a corner bulldog for another two. Shields was pumped as he hit Daniel Bryan’s signature kicks before VanSlyke dumped him over his head with a suplex. Shields hit a top rope elbow drop for a near-fall, which was played up as a surprise since it won him a recent match. In another moment that teased a fatal mistake for the Champ, VanSlyke hit a spinning chokeslam and didn’t go for the cover. Instead, he hit a jackknife powerbomb, a corner powerbomb and another one for a two. That played up Shields’ underdog fight since the Champ’s three biggest maneuvers didn’t get him the win. Things picked up with a dramatic exchange of forearms before VanSlyke hit his finisher to get the win. A slow start, but we were impressed enough by that. Bigger than VanSlyke’s dominance was Shields’ “Never Say Die” ways. Both guys came out of this better. Sadly, that’d be the only belt defended on the show, but the day was far from an end.

– The Beyond Wrestling match between John Silver and Tracy Williams was set up as the “Grappler’s Bout” and that was perfectly fine with us. We were already familiar with Silver as a talent whom had more potential on a bigger stage. Williams was known for stints in Absolutely Intense Wrestling and EVOLVE. It was noted that this was their third time meeting in singles competition. Essentially a mat-based affair with submissions galore. Silver struck a stiff dropkick on Williams. A random horn went off briefly, which was about right. Silver resorted to the “ground and pound” technique as he also unleashed some painful kicks to the mid-section. A two-count for Silver’s running kick to the back of the head combined with a German suplex with a bridge. Plenty of kicks here too. Williams landed a German suplex off the top and a Lariato for a two. Silver got caught in a sideways crossface before he countered with a cutter and running knee to the head. One sit-out powerbomb (or Batista Bomb) later and Silver emerged victorious. Great match there, as the two gelled from the get-go.

– The C4 Wrestling match between Buxx Belmar and Joey Janela was anticipated headed in. Belmar looked like something within the gothic vampire catalogue, while Janela’s goofball “Bad Boy” persona was also established. An “Eat His Flesh” chant roared, which referenced Janela’s pre-show interview where he reacted to a tweet that hoped he’d get eaten. Belmar did weird things. It was his thing apparently. He reached into his pants and smelled his hand. Yup. Guess this was all about embracing the weird. Both men utilized the outside area and the steel support beam. Belmar kicked Janela off the beam as they climbed both sides like it was a ladder in a ladder match. Something different. Nice Jack Tunney reference on commentary. Belmar performed a monkey flip while Janela was seated in a chair throughout. You have to respect the originality there. The match being under C4 rules (“Anything Goes”) probably helped this too. Janela did a DVD onto the apron, which looked ouch. Belmar threw Janela off the top rope and onto a seated chair. He followed with a gutbuster for a two. Damn. Both men were at a laid stalemate before Belmar found himself in a Boston Crab before he was able to get out. Janela hit a double stomp with two chairs on Belmar for a two. Belmar countered with his finisher on a chair with a questionable three-count finish to end things. It did go through successfully.

– The Women’s Wrestling Revolution match between Renee Michelle and Penelope Ford was a chance for the ladies to show what they could do. Props to whoever spaced this card out as it gave each match an opportunity to shine. It has been something thus far. Michelle was the heel and we got some physicality mixed with mind games. Ford hit a double handspring into the corner. Ford answered with a handspring backflip stunner to win. It was pretty short, but it didn’t feel like it overstayed its welcome either.

– The “Osirian Portal Collides” match between Ophidian and Desean Pratt (formerly Amasis) already contained bad blood. CHIKARA’s former Osirian Portal changed their dynamic from a friendly challenge to something more. Guess this was the show’s Sami Zayn-Kevin Owens “rivalry” match. Pratt fired up machine gun-speed corner kicks. Ophidian slapped Pratt on the back. They each teased Tombstone Piledrivers before Pratt pulled off an inverted Lumbar Check. He followed with an impressive slingshot Falcon Arrow. A very sound and competitive contest, reminiscent of their past tight encounters. Ophidian hit an Egyptian Destroyer for a two. Apparently, Ophidian hypnotized the Referee into making it a No Disqualification match as he low-blowed Pratt, a dark turn for the worse. To add to that, he applied an armbar while he choked him with a pipe. Why would security take back the pipe if it’s now legal by the match rules? Ophidian set up a table and hit the Egyptian Destroyer off the top rope and onto the table below, as it didn’t give. Easily the bump of the show. Pratt replied back with a flipping DDT onto the table laid down after a low blow. Pratt hit a 450 Splash after that to finally win. That was very good for what it was.

– The Olde Wrestling match between Dasher Hatfield and Jeff King was almost a certain “First Time Ever.” Hatfield was well-known from CHIKARA for his throwback 1940’s-era baseball gimmick and had a baseball for a mask. If anybody personified OW’s old-timer spirits, it was him in spades. The camera effects were also another cool aspect as they switched to a fuzzy black-and-white picture. The match’s rules also included no closed fists or piledrivers, another cry to the throwback era. They also put a couple of haystacks in each corner for visual pop. This felt like more of a slower match with comedic timing. Hatfield hit a Tilt-A-Whirl Slam for a two. King executed a piledriver and threw Hatfield out of the ring. Remsburg assumed the role of Referee Bronko Lubich Jr.. With him distracted, Hatfield hit a pilderiver for a case of “Turnabout’s Fair Play.” King turned it around as he scooped Hatfield up with a handful of tights to get the win. That was what we figured it’d be.

– The New South Wrestling match between The Carnies and The Monarchy was a meet-up between fancy team names. An intense pre-bell exchange of insults made this one feel personal. The Carnies had wrestled in AIW. Carrie Awful smooched Baron Black briefly as a taunt. Nick Iggy stood out early as he spoke enthusiastically. It was described by commentary as “heated” and that was a fair assumption. Some nice near-falls on both sides with pin attempts broken up at the last possible moment. Carnies did a wicked double team Tilt-A-Whirl Assisted Destroyer. Carnies won when Iggy landed a top rope knee on Prince Apollo as Awful had him in a Boston Crab. Great finish. Makes us want to check more of them out.

– The Puma King/El Felino-Skayde/Guerrero Maya Jr. match was designed as the card’s “Lucha Libre” representative. Three of the four competitors came from Mexico City, Mexico, which made the introductions repetitively funny. Apparently, these guys were well-known in Mexico. Hatfield joined the booth as he referenced Leonard Chikarason to Commentator Joe Sposto. Tongue-in-cheek stuff. Shows of respect came about early on, as it was also discussed how Felino/King were a father/son tandem. Eventually, it went to a stretch as King was denied a handshake and that led to some lighting-quick exchanges. The father/son duo took a double tope suicida. Felino got the pin after some scuffles and high-impact aerials. Nice showing. To add to the moment, Felino took off his mask after the bell.

– The Orange Cassidy-Colt Cabana match continued the show after a shot of Jonathan Gresham next to Hathaway was shown as his “special guest.” Cabana was his classic comedic babyface self as he showed off a cut on his picky and used it as an excuse of how he “loved this business.” On the other side, Cassidy was smug and confident. He kept his hands in his pockets while Cabana rolled around him amateur-style. He wasn’t interested in wrestling early on, but the first mutual grapple drew a big pop. Cassidy flipped Cabana over and he put his hands back in his pockets. Cassidy performed a nonchalant shoulder tackle. Entertaining chemistry as they exchanged Irish whips into the ring for as good four minutes. Cassidy accidentally slapped Remsburg on the chest. Remsburg accidentally chopped Cabana. Remsburg/Cabana double-chopped Cassidy. Funny. Cassidy walked the “Old School” spot like The Undertaker and did a long huracanrana. True to his “Freshly Squeezed” moniker, Cassidy spit orange juice into Cabana’s eyes and took off his elbow pads and put them on himself. Cabana eventually recovered enough to drop Cassidy from a fireman’s carry position as he stood on the top rope and dropped him onto the turnbuckles to get the win. Pretty much the expected comedic fiesta.

– The Main Event Fatal Four-Way match between Jigsaw, Chuck Taylor, Fly Warrior (sleepiest theme music ever) and Kenbai was big enough on paper to intrigue us. Kenbai performed a tope onto Taylor/Jigsaw outside. Warrior kept up the aerials as he performed a tope con hilo onto the others. Each competitor did things that stayed true to their characters, which made this a fun ensemble. For example, Taylor broke the rules under the radar when he saw fit. In a cool spot, Jigsaw broke up a pin made from a double stomp with his own double stomp. Eventually, Warrior won with the Michinoku Driver on Jigsaw. Certainly ended faster than expected. The fun came with the post-match angle where Gresham approached Warrior and appeared to congratulate him before he savagely attacked. Even better, he unmasked Warrior and took Jigsaw down with a German suplex. Such heels. Hathaway held up the PBTV Title and ran away from Jigsaw before he could get his hands on him. Cool finish, as it points to an obvious Gresham/Hathaway alliance that can only help Gresham further establish himself. All in all – BTB17 was a success, with enough of an organic taste of the indies to please any judgmental fun out there. Silver-Williams and Ophidian-Pratt were easily the best, but everybody impressed some more than others.







  • Pre-Show – Eight-Man Tag – The Abominable CPA/Tyler Murphy/Mike Sciros/Jacob Riddicks def. Kevin Cartwright/Pat Scott/Sully O’Sullivan/Mick Moretti via pinfall 
  • Grand Slam Wrestling – GSW Adrenaline Championship – Brute VanSlyke (Champion) def. Stevie Shields via pinfall to retain 
  • Beyond Wrestling – John Silver def. Tracy Williams via pinfall 
  • C4 Wrestling – Buxx Belmar def. Joey Janela via pinfall 
  • Women’s Wrestling Revolution – Penelope Ford def. Renee Michelle via pinfall 
  • “The Osirian Portal Collides” – Desean Pratt def. Ophidian via pinfall 
  • Olde Wrestling – Jeff King def. Dasher Hatfield via pinfall 
  • New South Wrestling – The Carnies def. The Monarchy via pinfall 
  • Margarita Azul – Puma King/El Felino def. Guerrero Maya Jr./Skayde via pinfall 
  • Colt Cabana def. Orange Cassidy via pinfall 
  • Margarita Azul – Fatal Four-Way – Fly Warrior def. Chuck Taylor, Kenbai and Jigsaw via pinfall 

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on June 16, 2017, in Misc and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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