We take a look at the follow-up to July’s Passion Cup, as Passion Pro came back for their latest show, featuring Axel Tischer and Tristan Archer in the main event.
Tamas Szabo pinned Dennis Dullnig in 8:45 (**¾)
Red Scorpion submitted Gulyas Öcsi in 11:36 (**¾)
Icarus & Dover pinned Rufus Goldfeet & Kuro in 8:11 (***)
Aigle Blanc pinned Carlos Romo in 14:49 (***½)
Maokai pinned Rick Salem in 6:29 (**½)
Marius al-Ani pinned Maverick in 9:12 (**¾)
Peter Tihanyi pinned Robert Dreissker in 13:42 (***¼)
Tristan Archer pinned Axel Tischer in 18:04 (***½)
You can get this show on-demand for about $6 at https://tixa.hu/passion2eng – with English commentary coming from Dave Bradshaw as we’re live-on-tape from Budapest’s Thor Gym Csepel.
Tamas Szabo vs. Dennis Dullnig
These two were part of a three-way on the debut show in July, and we start with lockups as Dullnig uses the hair to take Szabo into the corner.
A snapmare’s good for an early pin attempt, before Dullnig connects with a chop as he looked to restrain Szabo. Dullnig loses sight as Szabo hits the ropes for a crossbody, following with a chop for just a one-count, before Dullnig punches Szabo in the gut in the corner.
The pair continue to trade chops, but Szabo is pulling ahead… so Dullnig rakes the eyes as he took down the Hungarian. A knee from Dullnig’s good for a two-count, who then grounds Szabo with a chinlock to keep the pressure going. Dullnig’s Jackhammer nearly wins it, but Szabo fights back with a clothesline, a side-Russian legsweep and a bulldog, before Dullnig fought out of a Pedigree.
Dullnig returns with a discus lariat instead for a near-fall, before a gutwrench gutbuster got him a little closer to victory. Szabo takes some boots, but manages to finagle his way back in for a Pedigree for the crowd-pleasing win. **¾
Red Scorpion vs. Gulyas Öcsi
We’ve another local favourite vs. import outing here, as Öcsi looks to score his first win in Passion Pro.
Of course, Scorpion doesn’t want Öcsi’s handshake, as he instead slapped the big lad before cowering into the ropes. We’ve a Benny Hill chase as Öcsi runs after Scorpion, pushing him away in the ring before Öcsi was taken outside.
Scorpion knocks Öcsi off the apron, but gets pulled outside as Öcsi decided to throw some strikes, before we headed back inside. Öcsi sits down on a sunset flip for a two-count, then began to throw himself around, landing a dropkick to Scorpion, before he chucked him outside again, following with a body attack to knock the Italian off the apron.
Back inside, Scorpion looks for a German suplex, but that’s not happening as Öcsi butt bumps free. A hiptoss and a back senton looks to follow, but Scorpion got the knees up to block, then hit a dropkick for a one-count. Elbow drops make it a two-count, as did a low dropkick to the head, before Öcsi’s attempt at a comeback quickly ended when he missed a cannonball.
A running low dropkick from Scorpion meets Öcsi in the corner for a delayed two-count, as Öcsi was forced to cover up as Scorpion threw strikes from above. Öcsi manages to reverse a suplex, before a swinging side suplex dropped Scorpion ahead of the back senton. The cannonball follows, but Scorpion kicks out at two, before he tripped Öcsi back into the corner.
An Eye of the Hurricane out of the corner gets Scorpion a two-count, and a few more, as Öcsi fires back following some slaps. Scorpion cowers, but shoves the ref into the corner as Öcsi had headed up top… the ref stops himself from the collision as Scorpion hits almost a Falcon Arrow on Öcsi for a two-count… then followed with a rear naked choke for the eventual submission. Öcsi never really seemed to get going here, as he was outdone by Scorpion’s tactics throughout. **¾
Rufus Goldfeet & Kuro vs. Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover)
We’ve a makeshift team to take on the Arrows here, with the wonderfully-named Rufus Goldfeet standing out here as his pairing with Kuro just couldn’t get on the same wavelength.
Dover shoves the golden booted one away early, before Rufus went for the nose. Boots in the corner just aggravate Dover, who took Goldfeet’s head off with a lariat, prompting Kuro to tag himself in as Rufus posed. Kuro has some better luck, but runs into a back body drop as Icarus comes in to take over, lending his knees as a crash pad for a Dover uranage.
Another back body drop sees Dover throw his tag partner onto Kuro for a near-fall, before a standing moonsault from Icarus nearly got the win. A leglock followed, but Kuro’s in the ropes instantly, and manages to return with a German suplex. Rufus eventually finds a common language with Kuro – English – and that seems to spark a period of offence.
Rufus rakes Icarus’ eyes on the rope, before the pair traded strikes… leading to a short DDT on Icarus for a near-fall. Kuro’s back to pancake Icarus, following in with a wild cannonball in the corner for another two-count, but Icarus was able to turn it back around as Rufus accidentally DDT’d his own partner, before Dover ran wild.
A standing fallaway slam from Dover has Rufus down, while Kuro’s met with a Saito suplex, before Dover tried to slam both men. Rufus slips out for a roll-up, before he was thrown into a kick to the back of the head from Icarus, and that’s all folks. A short, but entertaining, tag match with Rufus and Kuro working well together as the oddest of odd couples. ***
Carlos Romo vs. Aigle Blanc
It’s been way too long since I’ve seen Carlos Romo – now he’s back in the UK, those chances of seeing him live have shot up.
We open with a handshake, as Aigle Blanc tries to take things to the mat. Romo obliges, rolling him down with a leg lock en route to a Magistral cradle for an early two-count. A bow and arrow hold from Romo’s escaped, as we reset and resume with the pair looking for front facelocks.
Blanc tries to roll down Romo, but the pace intensifies as Romo found his way in with a full nelson before Blanc escaped, and eventually kicked Romo into the corner. A slingshot ‘rana back in from Blanc has the Spaniard down, ahead of a low dropkick for a two-count, before Romo rolled out of a tombstone and into a deathlock.
Romo rolls through some more and ties up Aigle some more as they hit the ropes for a break. A clothesline has Blanc down for a two-count, while a chop took Blanc into the ropes before Aigle ran into a nasty-looking knee that almost ended things. A Twist and Shout from Romo keeps the pressure up, as did a Butterfly Hold, before Romo settled for an armbar.
It turns into a cravat as Blanc was on the defensive, eventually pushing Romo away ahead of a lariat as the Frenchman finally closed the gap. A springboard crossbody has Romo down, ahead of an enziguiri from Blanc, who nails a Twister suplex for a near-fall. Aigle heads up top after that, but he’s caught by Romo, who eventually gets taken down with a gamengiri ahead of a Meteora to the back of the head.
Romo barely kicks out in time from that, before a scramble for a submission led to Romo rolling Blanc into a grounded Octopus stretch. Blanc’s able to drag himself to the ropes, before he blocked Romo’s Cutter Without the E, only for Romo’s Busaiku knee to take the Frenchman down and to the outside.
Romo stays in it with a springboard stomp and a Spiral Tap for a near-fall, before a PK got him a little closer, but Blanc blocks another cutter before he hit a ‘rana driver. Romo falls to the outside… Blanc heads up to some shelving and hits a flip dive off of it onto Romo, before a 450 splash back inside lands on Romo’s knees.
It’s quickly shrugged off through as a rear spin kick from Blanc, then a Last of the Dragon from Aigle Blanc planted Romo for the three-count. Wrestled at a different pace to the rest of the show so far, this leapt off the page with neither man having too much of an advantage for too long, before Blanc managed to snatch the win with a quick 1-2 combo. Where and when for the rematch? ***½
Maokai vs. Rick Salem
Maokai had an unexpected debut last time out, but should be more prepared against the Frenchman Salem here.
Salem’s crystal ball saw Maokai diving at him with a knee, so of course, Salem can sidestep it. The ref removes the crystal ball, so Maokai has some luck with armdrags and headscissors, before Salem crotches Maokai on the top rope. A back suplex drops Maokai for a two-count, while an enziguiri added another one as Salem seemed to have remembered what the future could have held for him.
The referee – Rainer Ringer – disarms Salem of his crystal ball as he tried to use it as a weapon, allowing Maoki to come back with a crossbody off the top for a near-fall. Salem’s big boot puts Maokai down again, but Salem misses a flip senton before Maokai leapt into a Codebreaker… which almost ended proceedings.
Salem looks to finish off Maokai with a superplex, but he’s pushed down as Maokai ends up taking the win with a double stomp off the top. Short, but good while it lasted as Maokai leaves with his maiden win. **½
Marius al-Ani vs. Maverick
This was a rematch from the first round of the Passion Cup – a match that Maverick won unexpectedly via an injury stoppage. It’s addressed via a pre-taped promo from al-Ani before the match…
al-Ani threatened to break Maverick’s fingers in response, and went for a wristlock to start, before Maverick slunk out of a headlock on the mat. Marius keeps teasing the fingers, but instead charges through Maverick, who returned with a dropkick before he went for Marius’ fingers.
Getting free, al-Ani chokes on Maverick in the ropes, then landed a snap suplex as the tempo shot up and came down. An overhead belly-to-belly has Marius stay on top, but Maverick’s able to return with a slingshot sunset flip for a near-fall… only to then immediately defend an ankle lock.
Breaking free, a springboard seated senton gets Maverick back in it, as did an enziguiri, then a half-and-half suplex, before a back cracker and a swinging DDT almost upset al-Ani. From there, al-Ani escapes a Fireman’s carry, then went to Maverick’s fingers as an up-kick drew a near-fall. A finger snap and a kick keeps Marius ahead, at least until Maverick countered a Diamond Driver with a back suplex…
Maverick heads up top, but misses on a frog splash as al-Ani returned fire with a suplex, eventually throwing a Superman punch and the Diamond Driver for the win. A lot more even than you’d expect given al-Ani’s wXw champion, but Maverick was more than a proverbial warm body here and had a few hopeful moments. **¾
Promo time as Robert Dreissker wants to get revenge on Peter Tihanyi for the Passion Cup final, where Tihanyi kneed Dreissker in the face… meanwhile Tihanyi’s got a retort, but I don’t speak Hungarian, so moving on…
Robert Dreissker vs. Peter Tihanyi
Just like in the first shows, Dreissker’s here to be a big bully for the local heroes, but Peter Tihanyi heads outside at the bell to adjust his gear…
When we get going, Dreissker shoved Tihanyi back outside, before they traded side headlocks and wristlocks in the early going. Tihanyi gets free to land a dropkick, then armdrags, before another dropkick took Dreissker outside ahead of a faked-out dive.
A back body drop from Dreissker on the apron lifts Tihanyi to the floor, where the pair brawl into the crowd. Dreissker throws Tihanyi into the wall, but the Hungarian sidesteps a charge before he threw a punching bag onto the Austrian. That’s an inventive use of the surroundings… there’s a lone chair around too, but it’s not used as they head back to the ring, where Dreissker knocks Tihanyi off the apron and back into the wall.
Dreissker stays on top of Tihanyi with forearms, then with a shoulder block, before a clothesline snuffed out Tihanyi’s brief hopes of a comeback. A snap bodyslam dumps TIhanyi ahead of a splash for a two-count, before Tihanyi finally made a comeback with… a back body drop? What the hell?!
Tihanyi hangs up Dreissker in the ropes before a springboard Meteora and a moonsault out of the corner drew a two-count, only for Dreissker to snap back with a death valley driver to counter a tornado DDT for a near-fall. A pumphandle slam pushes Dreissker closer to victory, before a splash in the corner and a Boulder Dash almost put Tihanyi away… but Tihanyi manages to slip out of a Samoan drop and rolled up Dreissker for the upset pin.
Immediately after the match, Dreissker hits a back senton before he kicked a bloodied Tihanyi into the corner, continuing the beatdown on the floor as Dreissker was a bit of a sore loser. Tihanyi leaves with the win, but didn’t exactly leave looking victorious… and challenged Dreissker to a street fight next time out. ***¼
We’ve promos from Axel Tischer and Tristan Archer ahead of the main event…
Axel Tischer vs. Tristan Archer
A first-time meeting, and we start with the pair going to ground as they looked for an early advantage.
Tischer blocks a drop toe hold, then maneuvered in for a side headlock on Archer, keeping him on the mat after the Frenchman had pushed his way free. Wash, rinse, repeat, but we’ve the same result as another headlock takedown keeps Tischer ahead, before Archer finally found a way through with a hiptoss, a drop toe hold and a dropkick, as a slam finally left the German down.
A back senton lands on Tischer for just a one-count, but the “Axeman” catches Archer between the ropes, kicking the ropes into him before boots took Tristan into the corner. Archer recovers, throwing Tischer into the buckles, but was quickly met with a European uppercut for a two-count as the former RINGKAMPF member retained the upper hand.
More uppercuts keep Tischer ahead, but he telegraphs a back body drop and Archer kicks him away, before throwing the German into the corner. A running uppercut followed from Archer, then a discus lariat and an Exploder, before Tischer pulled Archer into the buckles as he mounted a comeback of his own. A suplex/slam’s good for a near-fall for Tischer, who then grabbed a sleeperhold that Archer throws free of, before a Dragon screw and a chop block to the knee had Tischer back on top.
A half crab follows, but Archer tries to nick a win with a cradle, before La Terreur planted Tischer. Archer can’t make the immediate cover because of his dodgy knee, only getting a two-count once he’d composed himself. Tischer grabs a Kimura to counter another La Terreur, but Archer hits a back suplex anyway for a near-fall before Tischer dove into the ropes to crotch Archer.
Tischer counters back with a superplex attempt, eventually hitting it for a delayed two-count, before the pair began to trade strikes. An enziguiri from Archer ends that series, before a Codebreaker from Archer and a discus lariat led to another near-fall. Tischer blocked a Coup d’etat and nearly rolled up Archer for the win, before a death valley bomb and a German suplex gave the German a near-fall of his own, as Archer would then go on to counter a superplex with a powerbomb, with the Coup d’etat getting the win in the end. A good main event, going longer than the rest of the card, as the night ended with a handshake between the competitors. ***½
This was a solid follow-up show from Passion Pro, with the changed roster giving us some fresh matches – and some outings that are well worth going out of your way to see. We’re also seeing some stories build here, with Tihanyi and Dreissker threading across all of their shows so far.