Bay Ridge Gets Barraged
– To start the show off, we saw highlights of the latest happenings in the adventures of “Shining” Edward Jackson and his darling family, as a chairs match between Reality Check’s Craven Varro and the newly turned Devon Moore occurred. This had obvious grudge match proportions and we saw some rough spots where high impact moves landed on chairs instead of the canvas. Things looked brutal down the stretch, but the real news came in the finish, where Varro had Moore laid out, but Jackson contested that his protege was injured, using the distraction to allow Moore to take advantage and steal the win. Going out of this, we see the EJFive gain another one over Reality Check. Where will it lead next?
2 Cocky Meets The Omega Man
– We started things off with the glistening “old school/new school” partnership of The Lifeguard Mike Del and Dylan Stiffwood. Obvious innuendo aside, Stiffwood’s presence gives us hope that a push for Lifeguard is in the cards, at least to upper midcard status. He can take Lifeguard where Ashley Massaro couldn’t. Lifeguard’s match against The Drunken Swashbuckler was a buffer bout for the bustling beach personality, along with the fun that only comes in Pro Wrestling Syndicate when a lifeguard battles a drunken pirate. We were surprised to see some unorthodox moves from TDS (a successful hurricanrana, for one) as he gave Lifeguard a run for his sandy dollars, but this is where Stiffwood made a difference – distracting TDS with a megaphone siren among other foolishness. Lifeguard gained the advantage with a swift eye poke and hit his Sun Block finisher to give this new team instant success. Will we see them become a tag team down the road? That approach could also be taken, but we’re interested to see just how far Stiffwood can get Lifeguard.
– The Devon Moore-Craven Varro match was a cool way to round off the opening minutes, as we finally had storyline progress to one of the longer-awaited angles – Moore turning heel on his Reality Check members and screwing Kevin Matthews over in the process, being revealed as Helmet, the guy who stalked and videotaped Matthews. At the same time, Moore joined the evil graces of “Shining” Edward Jackson and his family, making The Jackson Five much alive again in 2015, just in a different form. Loved Varro’s intensity at the start, charging the ring and blindly rounding off fists at his former partner, making it all clear this was about revenge. Commentary by Pat Buck and David Adams backed this all up well, explaining in detail just how Moore executed his dastardly plan and also helped talk up an eventual showdown with Matthews. That said, this should’ve been a “stepping stone” of sorts to that and we would’ve had Moore use dirty tactics to win, but it didn’t go down like that. Not exactly, anyways. Varro took a hellacious bump when he slammed his shin on the metal barricade on a top rope springboard moonsault attempt, then later having a gash near his eyebrow open up, giving us the element of blood to sell the fight. It’s amazing what a little blood can do to tell a story in the ring. Somebody should remind Vince McMahon, huh? There were some convincing near-falls towards the end as Varro never willingly gave in, also showing off more believable anger with a middle finger-fueled Coast-To-Coast maneuver. The DQ finish which saw Jackson pull the Referee out of the ring was more confusing than anything, but luckily, that set up the post-match actions that made us quickly forget it when Moore hit a shooting star press with the aid of a steel chair. We still walked away with the idea that Moore was stronger and we wanted to see Matthews kick his ass whenever he gets the chance.
Bokara Meets The Boricua Beast
– Nikos Rikos showed some good heel fire towards a rambunctious Rahway crowd, as he made it clear he was making moolah despite not wrestling because he sold his spot in the Suicidal Six-Way Championship match to The Big Deal Craig Steele, who came out with his Club Taboo entourage, including Sandy Mann. The crowd chanted along with his “My gear…” routine, so at least he was over. Interesting considering that Pat Buck mentioned on commentary that three-fourths of the crowd were “newbies” to Pro Wrestling Syndicate based on a survey done by General Manager Mick Foley earlier that night. The match’s other competitors included Champion Bobby Wayward (who has the best theme song ever), Starman, Brian XL, Johnny Howl and Ruthless Ray Smith. We had our six-way regulars like XL, Wayward, Starman and Howl, so we expected entertaining action and that’s how it played out mostly. Starman was over crazy with the crowd, while Wayward established himself early on with some stiff strikes and Steele took out his own entourage members when he tossed another opponent out of the ring, putting over his need for the belt. XL’s facial expressions sold a Starman “glitch” moment to be funnier than it should’ve been, but we would’ve never guessed that Starman was going to make a comeback and actually win the match. The pinfall on XL didn’t seem like a match-ending one as several guys looked to break it up, but failed. We’re happy Starman’s getting recognized as a Champion, but we were content with what Wayward was doing as Champ. The Title was the catalyst of his on-and-off conflicts with Untouchables stablemate Anthony Bowens and it’ll be interesting to see how things develop between them when the belt isn’t in play. The post-match angle that saw XL accept the New Jack/DelRoy offer to join them felt anticlimactic, but it’ll be interesting to see how XL develops as a character from it. So far, he has only been the guy who slaps fans’ hands and has a fondness for his ring attire.
– The Phillip Simon II-“Ruthless” Ray Smith match gave us another interesting personality clash – with the obedient religious amateur against the brash, in-your-face Smith, whom was also making his singles debut returning from injury. Jesse physically got involved in the match at one point, providing an obstacle. Short match, but it did what it had to in allowing Smith to establish himself in victorious fashion. We already know.
– The Heavenly Bodies-Reality Check match was a subtle way of continuing the Kevin Matthews-“Shining” Edward Jackson feud, since Devon Moore had turned on Matthews upon last check. Moore had no presence on this show either, pointing to “hiding out” from Matthews, who sought nothing but revenge from anybody associated with The Jackson Five. We saw some classic tag wrestling spots here – heel domination, slow build to the hot tag, which changed the momentum when it happened. There was an underlying theme of family the whole time that was smartly played up on by commentary. Jackson physically got involved when he “accidentally” yanked the referee out of the ring, which provided plenty of distractions throughout, as Matthews was too preoccupied with Jackson to fully focus on the match, which gave way to the finish that saw Craven Varro get pinned. The story was that even though Matthews knocked out Jackson, the heels continued to have his number no matter what. It has been a great build so far that is benefitting Matthews as far as making him a sympathetic babyface. We’re excited to see where things lead when Matthews and Moore finally butt heads.
The Dirtiest Martini In The Bar
– The opening video chronicled the much-hyped three-way hardcore PWS Championship rematch where Dan Maff finally completed his personal comeback and emerged the new Champion, in a match chock-full of chairs, blood, barbed wire, staple guns, a 2×4, thumbtacks, tables and a defining Burning Hammer through a door. It’s the era of Maff indeed. Would’ve been nice to have some follow-up promos on this since it was the only time mentioned in the show, but perhaps it’s for the future.
Breaking Down The Door
– Big Deal Craig Steele came out with his entourage Club Taboo, introducing Sandy Mann – who came down to the ring with style and class from the bleacher seats. Love the alliance of the two characters, as they’re a good “party” fit. Mann’s opponent was Johnny Howl. Okay, so the match wasn’t all that. Some rough spots with timing and styles, particularly the botched moonsault, but it served as a way to get Mann over with Steele’s help with the shot glass blast to get the win. Jake “The Snake” Roberts came out to deliver Steele some proper DDT-esque revenge. Is this going to lead to a tag match of some kind?
Quoth The Monsters, Nevermore
– Given last week’s shocking ending that saw Devon Moore turn on his longtime partner Kevin Matthews, joining the “Shining” Edward Jackson Family in the process, after Jackson revealed himself to be Helmet, it was good to see that covered in the opening video a la “fan footage” that sold the crowd’s reaction. Also liked the little flashbacks with all of Matthews’ interactions with Helmet in the past, building up to the turning point. What was disappointing here was that there were no follow-up promos or segments on this show. Something like Moore with The Jackson Family or Matthews vowing for revenge would’ve been perfect for this show. We’d imagine they’ll pick right back up on this angle, but they should’ve struck while the iron was hot.
Foley Turns 50
– David Adams and Big Deal Craig Steele did a solid job setting up the night’s matches, especially going in-depth in the longest PWS rivalry between Habib From The Car Wash and Matt Macintosh, which spanned two continents and a deportation angle.