Team Whitewolf? In the US? Against the Lucha Bros? Sign me up!

A new year saw a lot of fresh opportunities for folks around the world… including one that was totally unexpected. On the back of his ***** match against Zack Sabre Jr., A-Kid had picked up some bookings around the world… including this one, which was scheduled to be a tag team match with Matt Sydal against the Lucha Bros. An injury to Sydal though meant that an opening came up, which was quickly filled by A-Kid’s regular tag team partner in the UK, Carlos Romo!

This was streamed live via HighSpots, from the Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Heck, the promotion’s GM is “Principal Steve”, just to keep the school thing going. Hey, may as well tweak the old trope a little. Elsewhere on the card, we had Jordynne Grace defending the PROGRESS Women’s Championship against Kylie Rae… and to keep up the long-running joke, it was also second on the card! Rich Bocchini and Nick Hausman are on commentary for this show, which had a packed crowd and a lot of air horns. Lucha!

Team Whitewolf (A-Kid & Carlos Romo) vs. Lucha Bros (Penta el Zero M & Fenix)
Whitewolf got crickets as a reaction, which was perhaps to be expected given their complete lack of name value in the States (apart from the few who’d watched them at King of Trios last year), especially compared to their opponents here. Let’s see if they win over Chicago by the end…

A-Kid started in there with Fenix, eventually grabbing hold of a leg, then a knuckle lock as commentary begins to talk about NXT UK and the European scene. Eh, it’s a change from the constant references to Impact! From a knuckle lock, A-Kid and Fenix dazzle, switching around, kipping up and generally avoiding each other in a nice lucha-inspired sequence. Tags follow as Penta and Carlos Romo come in, but Carlos’ offer of a handshake is seen as an insult, as Penta just “cero miedo”’s in his face… so Romo grabs a headlock and gets shoved into the ropes as Penta isn’t ready.

Another “cero miedo” is stopped by Romo, who throws a forearm before he ran into a superkick as the pair went back and forth. A forearm, a superkick and clotheslines keep the momentum finely balanced, before A-Kid cut off Penta’s dive by hitting a crossbody onto Penta as the Spaniards snuck in a blind tag. Romo’s back in pretty quickly afterwards, as Whitewolf were taking the fight to the Lucha Bros.

An enziguiri from Romo’s good for a near-fall, but Fenix tries to turn it around, with Romo’s headscissors going awry before A-Kid saved it with a low dropkick from a backbreaker position. A second dropkick from A-Kid gets a near-fall, before he’s taken into the Whitewolf corner as Romo and Kid worked some pretty quick tags. A rather lax cover barely gets Romo a two-count as he perhaps had to up his game against Fenix, absorbing a chop before a pump kick earned Carlos another near-fall. Eventually Fenix hit back as Whitewolf tried to double-team him, with a handspring double cutter putting them down before Penta came in and cleared house with clotheslines and a Slingblade.

The tables turn as A-Kid’s held in the ropes for a chop from Penta, before Fenix threw one in too, with the Lucha Bros peppering him with superkicks, finishing with a stereo superkick and a wheelbarrow splash onto A-Kid for a near-fall, with only Carlos Romo making the save to keep the match alive. Romo tries to fight back with chops of his own, but you can guess how this goes… he runs into some forearms before Penta and Fenix just torched him with chops!

Avalanche clotheslines and a jumping spin kick in the corner keeps the offence up, before Romo ate a lungblower and a flying double stomp for a near-fall. Romo throws Penta into the corner to stop Fenix from flying, as A-Kid returned to the action, throwing Penta into a lungblower before he delivered a German suplex… and now Whitewolf are back on top, taking the Lucha Bros outside for dives!

Romo’s got a tope, as does A-Kid as the barrage of topes barely knocked Penta and Fenix back a step. A top rope Asai moonsault from A-Kid finally does it as he almost crashed into the guard rails. Back inside, Fenix is isolated as he took a missile dropkick version of a Total Elimination… but Penta broke up the pin with a solid kick, as he then trash-talked A-Kid. That starts a chop battle, with Kid standing up to those chops as he gave as well as received… until Penta caught him with a kick to the gut. A-Kid escapes a package piledriver, but can’t avoid a Fenix dropkick, and to make matters worse, Fenix redirects a superkick as Romo got taken down. I have to rewind because things quickly get crazy, when Romo recovered to hit a moonsault after Fenix’d taken a Spanish Fly from A-Kid… but Penta just breaks up the cover by stepping on it, using it as a springboard into a Destroyer on A-Kid.

GOOD GRIEF. If I knew how to GIF, I would…

All four men were left laying after that as the crowd’s brief “this is awesome” chant subsided into chants of “Lucha! Lucha!”. On the apron, Fenix and A-Kid trade forearms, then chops, before an enziguiri from Fenix and a Penta superkick knocked A-Kid down. Romo’s left alone as he’s kicked, then met with a stuff package piledriver as a tope from Fenix ensured A-Kid couldn’t break it up, allowing the Lucha Brothers to get the win.

Considering that Team Whitewolf were unknowns coming in here, it’d have been easy for them to play right into a Lucha Bros match, acting like human crash test dummies. Instead, they brought their game to this too, making sure that they weren’t just side notes on this show. Yeah, the lack of crowd familiarity hurt this a little, and I’m sure a rematch in front of a crowd familiar with both teams (Fight Club Pro, Rev Pro?) would be even more insane. ****

After the match, the Chicago crowd tossed money into the ring – in true lucha tradition – as all four men celebrated. A-Kid, Carlos Romo – that was a heck of a start to your 2019, here’s to making this a springboard for the rest of it!