In what’s becoming a ‘Mania tradition, The Wrestling Revolver held an early morning show… except this year without pancakes.
After a wacky song about a “pancake robot”, we’re back in the Hilton in midtown Manhattan for this Saturday morning show. Rich Palladino is your ring announcer, checking off a third venue for the weekend – but the first thing he does is introduce the host of the show, Jimmy Jacobs. Accompanied by the Rascalz dressed as pancakes, because the hotel wanted to be paid money for giving the crowd pancakes…
Bork Torkelson, Don Callis & Phil Stamper are on commentary throughout the show.
David Starr vs. Moose vs. Brian Cage
Jimmy Jacobs doesn’t do Starr’s whole entrance, which led to a look of disgust that commentary mistook as being because he’d had the wrong hometown announced. Starr gives Jimmy a cue card, and we’re underway…
Starr tries to play big guy here with fake lats, before his attempts to chop away on Cage and Moose were just laughed off. A flapjack ends badly for Starr, who rolls outside as the two big lads traded strikes. Leaping knees, headbutts… and then they charge into Starr on the apron, who hit a pair of Cherry Mint DDTs, then a tope into the pair of them for afters. Moose eats a Blackheart Buster for a near-fall back in the ring, before Cage dropped Starr with the F5 as the big lads took over. Cage tries to suplex Starr in from the apron, but ends up getting caught by Moose, who brings him down with a choke bomb off the top rope for a two-count… with Starr breaking up that cover with a superkick.
Cage is back with a discus lariat to Moose, before he countered a superkick to Starr into a powerbomb over the knee. Hey, that’s his move! A Steiner Screwdriver followed, before Moose just chucked Cage out to steal the pin. A decent enough opener, and Starr perhaps got off lightly! **¾
Gauntlet Match for PWR Tag Team Championship: Besties In The World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) vs. Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz) vs. Lucha Brothers (Fenix & Pentagon Jr.) vs. Latin American Exchange (Ortiz & Santana) (c) vs. Team Tremendous (Bill Carr & Dan Barry)
They threw six teams in this, starting with the Besties and Aussie Open, complete with their Rev Pro muzak. There’s even a huge high-five for Rob on the way down from Dunkzilla. Familiar faces and all that!
The first fall sees Davey Vega getting flapjacked by Aussie Open, then squashed with a back senton from Mark Davis for a near-fall. Fitchett’s in to help with a double-team side Russian legsweep before the Besties worked a double-team Axel Dieter Special on Kyle… at least until Davis broke it up. The Besties stay on Kyle for a spell until a Quebrada knocked Vega down, as Mark Davis then came in and sliced through Vega with a series of thunderous chops.
The crowd booed when they stopped making noise, so Dunkzilla went back to them. Never boo! Tags bring in Fitchett and Fletcher, with the former catching Davis with a Pele kick on the apron, then a crossbody and a corkscrew diving knee to Kyle for a near-fall. Davis is back with his chops and clotheslines, before a stacked-up slam led to a uranage backbreaker and an assisted inverted crucifix powerbomb for another two-count. We keep going as the Aussies’ best stuff doesn’t seem to put the Besties away, before a pull-up piledriver was countered into a ‘rana by Fitchett.
From there, a cannonball/diving enziguiri to Fletcher in the corner, then an assisted cutter dropped Kyle… two-count, as a diving boot-assisted suplex got the elimination as a non-plussed Don Callis mused. Out come Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz (as pancakes) as number three, but they jump into the Besties … only for Wentz to eat that Pele kick on the apron early on… but its not long before the push-assisted standing moonsault got rid of Fitchett. Ah well!
The Lucha Bros are out next, trading superkicks with the Rascalz, before they sandwiched Wentz within some of those kicks. A superkick-assisted pumphandle driver’s next, and yes, we’re getting quick matches as the Rascalz went with that. They beat down the Lucha Bros, until LAX arrived… to join in. I guess it’s all legal, and that’s an easy elimination as the crowd booed the non-match.
Team Tremendous are out last, and they’re jumped by LAX in the aisle as they laid in wait. Dan Barry cuts them off with an Asai moonsault, landing on his feet too, before Bill Carr hit a tope con giro into the pile. An assisted senton from Barry almost had Don Callis thinking he’d botched it, before Ortiz came back with a missile dropkick. Back sentons follow from Santana for a near-fall as they were working like they’d started the entire match again… before Carr hit a Black Hole Slam, then threw Ortiz into a lungblower for a near-fall.
Carr gets sent outside by Santana… then run into by an Ortiz tope before Dan Barry ate a cutter, a lungblower and an inside-out flapjack for a one-count as Carr made the save again. Then gets tossed out. Where he trips Santana on the top rope as the defacto challengers looked to come back into it… only for them to tease a triple-stacked tower of doom that turned into a doomsday sliced bread for the win! Well, this started out hot, went to crap in the middle and picked up at the end… and that’s a shocking title change for a guy who had previously said he’d be retired by now! **¾
AR Fox vs. JT Dunn vs. Ace Austin vs. Sammy Guevara
Another multi-man match… there’s only two singles matches on this entire show, so get used to it!
The action here’s not too frantic for a four-way, with Guevara impressing early as he flew around to take out Dunn and Fox early on. Speaking of Fox, he hit a nice kickflip moonsault off the ring post, before Ace Austin’s Sasuke special almost went horribly awry. Fox’s Skulk get involved with a hattrick of topes con giro, although they went unidentified as Fox followed up with an over-the-post tope con giro. All the dives!
Austin comes down hard with a missile dropkick off the apron as all I hear is Don Callis audibly wincing on commentary. Back in the ring, the pace felt weirdly slow, almost like an exhibition level, as Guevara and Dunn trade chops until a Death By Elbow was met with an inverted Go to Sleep by Guevara for a one-count. A big ol’ Parade of Moves breaks out as bodies fly all over the place, with Dunn nearly stealing it with a roll-up and a handful of tights, before Fox came back with a springboard cutter.
Fox comes even closer with a Lo Mein Pain, before missing a 450 splash, as we just keep on going. Guevara does a shooting star into Austin’s knees, leaving him prone for a springboard guillotine legdrop for a near-fall before the madness ended with Death By Elbow from Dunn. Fun, and just about everything landed well, but this felt like I was watching at half-speed at times. ***
PWR Open Invite Scramble Championship: Caleb Konley (c) vs. Jake Manning vs. Ian Maxwell vs. Daga vs. Lance Anoa’i vs. Mance Warner vs. Arik Cannon vs. Trey Miguel vs. Clayton Gainz vs. John Skyler vs. Kyle The Beast vs. Shigehiro Irie
They gave Tass a scramble match… the rib continues! This is a title in Wrestling Revolver where it’s always defended in scrambles… so not much of a champion’s advantage. Problem was, the challengers all got one big jobber entrance, thankfully with name checks.
We start with Konley poking the proverbial bears in the ring, and we start with everyone taking their shots at him, including a big pounce from Irie to the outside. There’s double hiptosses for everyone, before Miguel and Daga turned their sights on each other. Heck, there’s even a hiptoss from Tass! KTB shows some agility with a Quebrada, but you barely digest that as there’s so. Many. Flips. Seriously, why is this one not slowed down like the prior multi-man? Maxwell clocks Cannon with a superkick, but then runs into a neckbreaker as Irie (who actually has his name pronounced correctly here) set up Arik for the slingshot splash for a near-fall. Mance Warner goes wild with eye pokes before he opened a few cold ones… sharing them with Arik Cannon. Comedy comes in as Clayton Gainz chugs a protein shake… and gets met with a beer mist for his woes.
We get dive teases before Ian Maxwell’s rana gets caught and turned into a powerbomb to the outside by Konley. Skyler’s back with a slingshot spear for a near-fall as they keep going. MORE DIVES! ALL THE DIVES… and then KTB joins in with a flip senton to the floor. Manning nearly wins it with a backbreaker/Flatliner combo, but he gets caught by Gainz’s TKO before Daga kept the parade going with a barrage of superkicks. There’s a neat series where Skyler’s avalanche Finlay roll just put him in position for a big splash from Anoa’i for a near-fall, before the Parade ended with Konley backhanding Cannon… only for Irie to piledrive Cannon onto Konley for a near-fall. The crowd like that one.
Jake Manning went to the back… and returned after destroying the set with the tent he used at WrestlePro. It’s used as a landing pad as Manning sets off a massive Tower of Doom into it… and that’s the finish as Konley stole the pin on Ian Maxwell. This wasn’t too bad, but it was beginning to drag by the end, as all Jake Manning could do was look on rather forlornly as he took his tent back… **¾
Jimmy Jacobs is out to try and get a reaction as Manning kills the set again.
Adam Brooks vs. Matt Cross
A main event from any show held in the imaginary 70s!
They shoot out of the cannon as Don Callis compared Adam Brooks to the former CM Punk… that’s a comparison I can just about see with Brooks’ bleach blonde hair. We’ve got our first dive pretty early on as a tope from Cross nearly puts the Aussie through the guard rails, ahead of a flagpole elbow drop. Back in the ring, Brooks hits a backpack stunner for a near-fall, before a slow-mo TKO looked to leave Cross dazed ahead of a step-up enziguiri. A tope into a DDT has Brooks ahead again on the outside, but Cross is right back in with the rebound lariat and a shooting star press for the win. That felt pretty short, but what they did was good for the time they had. ***¼
Impact X-Division Championship: Chuck Mambo vs. Rich Swann (c)
This was originally meant to have been PAC vs. Swann, but Chuck Mambo had overwhelming support in a Twitter poll to get the spot… so here he is. Beach balls and all. I hear wrestling fans love those over ‘Mania weekend…
We got going early as Mambo worked over Swann’s arm before he flopped in trying to do the splits. Mambo does some of his comedy early, including the “telephone” wristlock, which Swann escaped out of with some kip-ups. Mambo saves himself as he lost his footing in the ropes, and keeps on top of Swann with a Romero special. A Gory stretch, then a Gory special was next as Mambo was bringing his A-game here, before Jason Cade popped up on the apron for a distraction. An attempted Reefbreak’s stopped when Swann dropkicked Mambo away… and that’s where the match turned on its head, as Swann got serious and took the initiative.
Chops and a step-up backheel leave Mambo rocked, but Chuck’s able to respond with a Blockbuster before he a Bad Burrito attempt was stopped with a superkick. Chuck’s got a superkick too, as he lands the Reefbreak for a near-fall… but Swann’s straight in with a ‘rana off the top and a 450 splash as he almost put the plucky Mambo away. They head outside, where Mambo’s springboard 450 to the floor caught Swann and Cade ahead of the Chuck You back inside for another near-fall. Swann brings the big guns though with a springboard cutter and a Ki Krusher for some more near-falls. A second handspring cutter’s turned into a back cracker as Mambo finally lands a Bad Burrito and a springboard splash… with only Jason Cade pulling the ref out saving the match.
Chuck heads outside to take care of Cade, which led to the finish as Mambo got rolled up in the ring as he chased the “injured” Cade. Banana peel finish aside, Mambo looked insanely good here – getting a tonne of offence in against Swann and barely coming up short. A break-out performance, hopefully, that can be built upon. ***½
Ace Romero vs. Fallah Bahh vs. Larry D vs. Dan Maff vs. Madman Fulton vs. Jacob Fatu vs. Jessicka Havok
Billed as the Hoss Fight Challenge, there’s a lot of beef in this match. And only one song…
Madman Fulton looked to be immune to Jessicka Havok early as his oVe shirt stopped her from attacking him… but he wasn’t exactly shy to cheapshot her. In among the big lads was plenty of agility, with Larry D catching Dan Maff’s crossbody before Fulton swung Fallah Bahh into a swinging side slam. Havok’s back to slam Romero, as something of a Parade of Moves broke out, with Fallah Bahh coming back with a Banzai drop that Maff broke up with a cannonball. Jacob Fatu superkicks away Maff before a handspring moonsault misses… allowing Larry D to punch through Maff with ease.
Fatu is quickly back with a corkscrew senton out of the corner, only to get pounced into the corner before Fulton caught Romero with a Finlay roll. There’s a huge Samoan drop from Bahh as the Parade keeps going, culminating in a big tope from Havok on the outside. Fatu’s got a Sasuke special for the hell of it, before Maff nearly took the win with a Burning Hammer on Havok. The big lads continue to fly, but it was a simple springboard moonsault from Fatu to Havok that got the win. There’s some decent stuff here with the big lads being flippier than some of the “flippy guys” on the undercard. **½
Rickey Shane Page vs. Tessa Blanchard
Tessa’s in no mood to mess around as she got in Rickey Shane Page’s face early on – almost daring him to come at her as she flew in with a swinging DDT and her Magnum flying lungblower finish early on.
RSP kicks out though as we continue with Tessa waffling him with forearms in the corner, clubbing him down, before she lifts him on to the apron and down to the floor for a spot of brawling. Page fights back on the outside, then rolled Blanchard back in… only to have the rope kicked into his crotch as Blanchard took him outside, and tope’d into a Fireman’s carry. A tope at the second attempt caught RSP chest-first into the barriers, before she followed back in with a Samoan drop for a near-fall. She keeps firing back with kicks and punches as Page demanded it, before he finally flicked a switch and made a comeback with an avalanche in the corner and a no-bump suplex.
Page comes close to the win with a senton bomb off the top, but he’s quickly caught with a massive pop-up spinning DDT as Blanchard surprised him. An enziguiri catches Blanchard up top ahead of a superplex, as that and a chokebreaker earned him a pair of two-counts. An attempted superplex is countered as Blanchard bit away, then properly spiked Page with a Destroyer off the top… and of course, that’s only a near-fall as Don Callis bemoaned on commentary, before a Magnum and a Buzzsaw DDT got the win. Well, Tessa brought the fire here, but RSP – and his offence – looked oddly restrained throughout here. ***
oVe (Dave Crist, Jake Crist & Sami Callihan) vs. The Unwanted (Eddie Kingston, Joe Gacy & Shane Strickland)
This was Shane Strickland’s final match on the indys, and I for one was shocked that he didn’t feature on the CZW co-pro show on his final days before leaving for WWE. Shocked, I tell you.
oVe jump on Strickland and co before the bell, and the Unwanted – a group formed in EVOLVE that bled out here for this match – quickly look in trouble as Dave Crist dumped Joe Gacy with an awkward hammerlock DDT in the ropes. It’s all oVe early on until Strickland came in with a capoeira kick/rana combo. We quickly reach a staredown with Strickland and Callihan, before Sami got all spitty on us. Strickland replies as anyone would… by running in with a knee before Callihan dumped him into the corner as we started a long dive series. Strickland has to abort his dive, but then everyone else goes airborne, including Colby Corino, who was out to assist the Unwanted… but he only got superplexed to the pile on the floor.
oVe’s manager JT Davison goes up too for a flip senton, which caught me off guard, and for the hell of it… so does the ref. So graceful… not.
Back inside, we get a Tower of Doom that saw Strickland crash awkwardly into Jake Crist’s powerbomb attempt for a near-fall, but the soon-to-be-departed one is quickly back with a roll through cutter. Callihan’s short piledriver nearly ends it though, as does a Crist cutter (complete with a pile on pin). ANOTHER Tower of Doom is teased, but Callihan breaks it up as a double elbow drop just went horribly wonky from oVe. The crowd try to get back into it, but the atmosphere is so flat, which is a damned shame given the occasion. Perhaps this is a lesson: be careful what favours you give to THAT friend?
Especially when that friend spits at you with mucus that hangs on your elbow pad. Strickland spits back before bursting back into life with an armbar snap, then a Swerve stomp for the win. Well, that was a match, and all we needed was some pancakes for Strickland to live up to the title of the show. They went at it between the bells, but the real main event was the farewell ceremony. ***½
Perhaps not a “show too far”, but Pancakes and Piledrivers 3 was the embodiment of the issue that plagued WrestleMania weekend: too many shows with too many bodies. Over 50 names on this show meant that just about every match was a spotty, rushed multi-man – which are fine every now and then, but a full show of them? Less is more!