ACTION celebrated their fifth anniversary with some surprising returns amid a mystery show.
Rico Gonzalez pinned AC Mack in 12:43 (***¼)
Damyan Tangra submitted Kevin Ryan in 11:28 (***¼)
Suge D pinned Matt Sells in 9:09 (**½)
BK Westbrook & Arik Royal pinned Adrian Alanis & Liam Gray in 12:55 (**¾)
Erron Wade, Kody Manhorn) & Krule pinned Jaden Newman Carson Dilbeck & Noah Hossman in 9:45 (***)
Bobby Flaco pinned Alec Price in 13:20 (***¼)
Adam Priest submitted Daniel Makabe in 12:53 to retain the ACTION World Championship (***¾)
We’re off to take a look at the full show from ACTION’s fifth anniversary event… a mystery card, although you reading this far down’s given away who was on it! Commentary from the Roger Spencer Community Center in Tyrone, GA comes from Dylan Hales and John Mosley.
AC Mack vs. Rico Gonzalez
This one’s sponsored by Brandon’s Package. Ooh err. And the insane waviness that the bass of AC Mack’s entrance theme gave the hard camera…
Mack started ACTION’s first show five years ago – a loss to Joey Lynch – but he’s come a long way in those years. I’m still a little sour over how his IWTV title run ended, particularly given the promise that the South East vs. North East story had. Anyway, this one had Mack looking a step ahead of Gonzalez early on, almost throwing him out of the ring with a belly-to-belly overhead suplex.
That fired up Rico into a response, so Mack powders outside to take the sting out of things… only for Rico to follow him outside. It doesn’t go so well for Gonzalez as he got booted out of a chair, before he got thrown off the turnbuckles and onto the apron as he looked to make some inroads.
It looked smooth sailing for Mack from there, particularly as Rico looked a step behind the pace. Except when he scored with a flying stomp onto the apron, then a lap of honour kick on the outside. Mack tries to land the Mack-down… but the cross-armed Pedigree’s escaped as Gonzalez ends up cradling Mack for the upset. They painted this as the biggest win in Rico’s career, but I’d like to see ACTION build on this – particularly since it was a flash pin that caught AC. ***¼
Kevin Ryan vs. Damyan Tangra
Last time I was regularly watching ACTION, Ryan and Suge D were running roughshod as the Good Hand – that looks to still be a thing. Suge D demanded Damyan Tangra come out, since we’re not getting Alex Kane tonight…
Tangra refused to let Ryan (and his sweet No Mercy-inspired gear) stall it out, as they scrap in the crowd… but Suge D gets involved, and Ryan capitalises with a dive off the top as the Good Hand celebrate like they’d won a tournament or something. Ryan keeps control back inside, but a Sharpshooter’s countered out of… as was a Tower of London onto the apron before Tangra threw Ryan off the stage and into the side of the ring.
Tangra keeps going back inside with a couple of Bulgarian Gutbusters, then a fireman’s carry gutbuster… but Ryan snaps back in with a cross-armed piledriver. Suge D demands he be handed a chair, and eventually gets it, but of course it backfires on Ryan, who runs his knees into it in the corner before the trademark Tangra STF forced the submission. We’ve got Tangra vs. Alex Kane down the line, which should be a cracker, but Tangra manages to get one up over the Good Hand by a good margin here. ***¼
Post-match, Suge took the mic and confirmed Tangra would face Alex Kane on June 16… before the Good Hand double-teamed Damyan. Matt Sells makes the save, and we’ve got the ol’ Heyman special here.
Suge D vs. Matt Sells
Sadly they didn’t New Jack Matt Sells’ theme…
Sells had Suge on the back foot front he off, but a back suplex on the apron had Sells down and out on the floor. Right hands from Suge keep Sells in trouble, but Sells shrugs off some chops in the corner and returned with some of his own.
A cutter out of the corner gets Sells a near-fall – but with Kevin Ryan still hanging around at ringside, you always got the feeling the Good Hand would be leaving this one with a win. Suge eats a kick-wham stunner, then a clothesline, but Ryan pulls out the referee by the show to break up the count…
Ryan’s ejected, but an unknown dude in a red vest hits the ring to hit a big boot to Sells… then to the referee. Commentary doesn’t ID him, as a swinging side slam left Sells laying. Suge takes his time as we wait for a new referee, before opting to hit a kneeling facebuster just as the new ref came to count the pin. This one was more memorable for the new addition to the Good Hand, as they got that win… **½
Post-match, Suge gets the mic again and tells us the big guy’s name. HE’S THE WALL, BROTHER. No, not that one, but I’d pop if they found a building nearby for him to stand atop of… Suge reckons the Wall’s going to replace Matt Sells on the roster.
Out Of This World (Arik Royal & BK Westbrook) vs. The Skulk (Adrian Alanis & Liam Gray)
Okay, Arik Royal in a tag team threw me given he was just on his way out as champion when I was regularly watching.
The Skulk were the first ACTION tag champions, but have lost their way since losing the belts, having hardly appeared in 2022.Things break down early with the crowd being forced to scatter as the Skulk’s lap of honour ended up costing them big time. With things settling down, the Skulk had trouble against Arik Royal, who was the centrepoint… they had better luck against BK Westbrook, who got caught in the ropes, isolating him as a pair of backbreakers across Alanis’ knee almost put him away.
Royal gave his team a glimmer of hope when he pushed Gray off the top to stop a suplex/crossbody on Westbrook, before a back suplex/Kobe combination got the win to condemn the Skulk to another loss. This one didn’t quite land with me on first viewing, but I do kinda dig the Royal/Westbrook combination as a way to establish BK. **¾
Carson Dilbeck, Jaden Newman & Noah Hossman vs. Squatting Dragons (Erron Wade & Kody Manhorn) & Krule
Noah Hossman is such a wonderful name for a wrestler, isn’t it? The mystery show pretence allowed Jaden Newman to run his mouth after coming out, saying he kicked Erron Wade out of his “TWE PC” because he kept losing. Saying Wade had no friends kinda gave away he’d be on the other side, alongside Kody Manhorn.
We start this as a handicap match, with the Squatting Dragons isolating Carson Dilbeck… but it’s not long before the TWE lads created a distraction that allowed them to take over. An Earthquake sit-down splash from Hossman nearly puts Wade away, before he posted Manhorn… cue Jaden Newman tagging in to unload on Wade.
Newman breaks away from the match to get a mic so he could promo-during-the-match, and the “you ain’t got no friends” line led to the appearance of Krule (technically an ACTION debut, but the return of the guy behind Krule after 18 months away.) Newman throws his boys to the wolves, then saw a cheapshot fail as Krule damn near killed him with a snap sidewalk slam. From there, a full nelson facebuster lays out Newman, before Krule chokeslammed Wade onto him for the pin. This was a nice bit of comeuppance, with Newman in particular being made to pay – it’ll be interesting to see if Krule sticks around in any form. ***
Alec Price vs. Bobby Flaco
It’s an ACTION debut for Price – not counting the ACTION/SUP show he faced Adam Priest on in Worcester, MA as part of 2021’s Wrestival… Price doesn’t exactly endear himself down south.
After some playing to the crowd, Flaco’s able to catch Price off guard with armdrags and headscissors. A clothesline from Price turned it around, at least until he ate a stundog from Flaco… who followed up with a thru-the-ropes dropkick and a wacky flying hip attack to the floor.
Back inside, Price scores an inverted Alabama Slam into the corner, but a Gotch-style powerbomb begins a series of near-falls… a running neckbreaker slam keeps it going, before a flurry of offence from Flaco took Price into the corner. In the end, a DDT and a Ayo Driver – a Cop Killa turned into a Poison Rana – gets the win for Flaco in a match that had the crowd going, but for me never really hit a higher gear. I’d love to see them run this back mind you… ***¼
ACTION World Championship: Daniel Makabe vs. Adam Priest (c)
We’ve already done a full review of this match… so let’s give it another whirl.
This was Makabe’s first appearance in Tyrone since June last year – and while the crowd were initially happy to see him, Makabe became progressively more surly against Priest as the match progressed. A back elbow from Priest drops Makabe to the mat, where the ACTION champion looked to score a submission, but Priest playing keepaway from there eventually flipped a switch as Makabe did my favourite Owen Hart spot – kicking his leg out of his leg.
Makabe targets Priest’s legs from there, spinning the champion down with a helluva Dragon screw. Priest was able to hit a sheer drop brainbuster, but couldn’t follow-up as Makabe went back on him with a STF. Simply throwing Makabe over the top rope to the floor gives Priest an opening, as did a missed King Kong knee drop as Priest forced his way back in.
Priest goes tit-for-tat, focusing on Makabe’s legs as well, only to run into the Big Unit punch, before the Figure Four eventually forced the stoppage for Priest. Makabe gave this a good go, but Priest seemed to have been more effective in his leg work en route to the short-order win. ***¾
Post-match, Priest announced his entry into the upcoming Scenic City Invitational tournament – and vowed to win the whole thing.
Mystery shows can be a bit of a tough sell – but ACTION managed to piece together a show that looks to have set up a name for the future in Rico Gonzalez, paid off (or at least began to pay-off) a feud with Jaden Newman, while Adam Priest continued to solidify himself as champion. If you’ve not dipped into ACTION for a while, this is definitely a card worth checking out – if only to catch yourself up on the lay of the land.