We’ve got three matches in our latest batch of Odds and Sods, and we’re hitting three continents – the Americas, Europe and Asia for some hand-picked graps!
Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz vs. Bandido & Flamita
We’re going to January 2018, and Dragon Gate’s Korakuen Hall show from their “Open The New Year Gate” tour. Some of those early 2018 DG shows haven’t gotten much acclaim, but this match in particular stood out… so let’s see!
We open with Xavier and Bandido, with the latter peppering Xavier with some shots before backflipping around him just because he can. A lucha-style armdrag eventually comes off as Bandido flips more than he drags, and I guess we’re under lucha rules as Zachary Wentz comes in to take Bandido down for a standing shooting star. Flamita comes in for his flips, courtesy of a ‘rana, but Xavier stops his dive as the pair shoot off the ropes, with a Xavier dropkick setting up for a dive.
Except Bandido stuffs it by backdropping Dezmond to the floor, as it’s the luchadores to take to the sky, courtesy of a backdrop assisted tope con giro. Wentz’s superkick breaks it up as he launches in with a Sasuke special, before a corkscrew crossbody off the top rope from Flamita set up for a modified Sasuke special from Xavier. All the flips!
We’re back inside as Xavier and Wentz peppered Flamita with kicks, ahead of a Bronco buster and a double stomp that almost won the match for the former CZW tag champions. The tables turn as Bandido and Flamita double-team Xavier, who ends up taking a superkick-assisted reverse ‘rana for a near-fall as these guys are sprinting! Bandido Matrix’s away from a Wentz clothesline, but ends up getting clocked with an enziguiri and a backflip kick from Xavier… who in turn has to deal with Flam’s fly… which he blocks only to get taken down with a springboard ‘rana. Wentz is back with a wacky springboard Ace crusher to leave everyone down, and then we’re off to duelling forearms.
Superkicks from the luchadors had them slightly ahead, but Xavier helps to shove Wentz into a standing moonsault that almost got the win, with Flamita narrowly breaking up the cover. Back-and-forth chops from Xavier and Bandido follow next, before Flamita monkey flips Xavier into a spinning powerbomb from Bandido… who then returns the favour by giving Flamita the platform for a cannonball off his shoulders for a near-fall!
Xavier tries again to out-strike the luchadors, but he loses a battle of superkicks before Wentz clobbers Bandido as he flew off the top rope. A round-the-post 619 from Xavier knocks Bandido back into the ring, as the Final Flash (corkscrew senton) completed the spectacular showing for the win. I really enjoyed this sprint – not all of it hit, but for the pace they went it was pretty much spot on for a casual like myself. ****¼
Joey Ryan vs. Candice LeRae
From Bar Wrestling 8, this was Candice’s last match before going to WWE (well, technically her first after, since she reported to the Performance Centre days earlier)… so of course, it’s an emotional affair, with streamers, cupcake signs and the lot.
Joey’s got his usual shtick, offering his lollipop to the crowd before oiling up… but before we get going, they hug, as Candice wants one last tag, which we get as Joey crawls… and dives in!
We finally get going with a tease at wrestling’s favourite sexual assault spot, before a teased test of strength just… ends. Candice comes back with a drop toe hold and a back senton for a one-count, before her attempt at a slam’s forced to turn into a roll-up as she took the upper hand… until Joey pie-faces her after she went for a Pedigree. Yep, the classic “I’m going to WWE” spot!
Candice returns fire with chops and forearms as the crowd booed pretty much anything Joey did, before she flew off the top rope into a ‘rana on Ryan… then a satellite into an Octopus in the middle of the ring! It’s switched into a Gargano Escape, which commentary completely no sells, as Joey grabs the ropes to escape. Ryan charges back out of the corner with a spear, but LeRae’s ‘rana puts the brakes back on, before she hits a flying swinging facebuster off the top rope for another near-fall. Another flying move’s thwarted when Ryan shoves the ref into the ropes, crotching Candice as Joey then does the lame ref bump thing, swivelling around with Candice in a fireman’s carry until her feet hit the ref.
Of course, she turns it into a crucifix pin for a long visual pin, before she pulls the referee up… into a Ryan superkick. All the ref abuse! The comedy continues as the two butt into each other off the ropes, and they tease Candice falling headfirst into Joey, but she doesn’t… A dropkick from Ryan has him ahead, but he decided to take things a little further with a bag from the crowd… a bag of… gummy bears?!
The ref returns to help Candice fly off the top, using another ‘rana to send Joey into the bears for a near-fall… he returns the favour with a Boobplex, before blasting Candice with a superkick, and we’re into the Ric Flair “I’m sorry, I love you” shtick, as he goes for a superkick… but Candice ducks and countered with a Ballsplex… except Ryan counters that into a Penis suplex into the gummy bears, rolling them together for fun.
Another lollipop comes into play from his trunks, as does a superkick, but Candice kicks out at one, before escaping the Moustache Ride neckbreaker and catching Ryan with a Pedigree in the gummy bears for a two-count. From the kick-out, it’s back to the Gargano Escape, but Joey stands up and swings her onto his knee, before the pair tease Ballsplexes, and end up in a Candice reverse ‘rana!
The Ballsplex follows, as she rolls them together before booting Joey in the corner, and taking him up top for Ms. LeRae’s Wild Ride… and that swinging neckbreaker gets the job done! Exactly what you’d expect as a farewell match between these two, plenty of shtick, plenty of each others’ move, and the obligatory “I’m going to WWE!” spots. Perfectly fine graps – and then there was the farewell ceremony aftewards! ***
Beano vs. Mark Haskins
A look at Pro Wrestling Chaos now, and their Control, Alt, Delete card from February 2018. We’ve a jump cut to avoid Beano’s music, but at least Mark Haskins still has Crobot here!
Beano’s trying to take Haskins to the mat early, but Haskins is more than even as he picks himself up and starts to work over Beano’s arm. It’s like an effortless masterclass in those opening stages, with Beano finding himself restrained in an Octopus-style stretch, before he slips out and turned up the tempo…
…only to get caught into an armbar as he went for a clothesline. Oh dear. Still, Beano fights on, and gets caught in another armbar after Haskins rolled away from a low clothesline. It’s a case of Beano trying to fight, but going for big stuff too early and being made to pay for it. A chop from Haskins misses, and gives Beano a chance to fight back with some chops of his own, at least until Haskins kicks away and issues some receipts.
Haskins gets sent packing pretty quickly, but Beano’s forced to abort a dive as Haskins instead comes back with a misdirection tope as commentary lists Haskins CV… including a New Japan show, which is right, if you class the ROH War of the World tour last year as New Japan shows? It’s a stretch… Haskins keeps Beano outside for some chops, ducking an attempted receipt as the Welshman hits the ringpost instead, before they rushed back into the ring as the beatdown continued. It’s quickly becoming a bit of a torture session from Haskins, who rattles through submissions with ease, before unwisely trying to go kick-for-kick with the former PROGRESS champion.
More submissions follow, but Beano nearly nicks a win with a roll-up out of a crossface, before Haskins just decked him with a forearm to the throat. Oof. Still, Beano fights back again, taking Haskins outside with a tope as the crowd started to get behind him… and it’s a rather sustained offence too, with Haskins finding himself on the defensive, absorbing a running enziguiri and a pump kick!
A spinning uranage almost gets Beano the win after he’d draped Haskins off the top rope, but a foot on the rope barely saves Haskins… Beano goes for it again, but Haskins counters out into a Sharpshooter, before turning it into a Tequila Sunrise-ish submission as the Welshman tapped. Bloody hell, that was pretty good – a lot of it was Beano getting his arse kicked, which he’s good at in this stage of his career, but his hopeful moments later on were also pretty solid too. ***½
That wraps up another batch of “Odds and Sods” – if there’s anything you think we should take a look at in this little vacuum, hit us up via that Contact form!