DVD Review: 3XWrestling’s High Octane

3XWrestling is an independent promotion based out of Des Moines, IA, owned by Todd Countryman, Steve Biley, Skylar Pierce and Kyle Lobner. They produce one show a month for DVD sales. This two-disc set was taped in Des Moines on March 14, 2008. I bought the DVD because one of the wrestlers is from my area and I was curious about the promotion. You may recognize some of the names but most you will not unless you are an indy fan. For information about 3X Wrestling, including the roster, video clips and online sales, check out their homepage. 3XWrestling DVDs are reasonably priced for a double set. If you are lucky enough to live near Des Moines, be sure to check out the action.

Match 1: Ryan Slade vs. All Star

The Newer Era of Ryan Slade and Aaron Masterson (with Joey Marx) enter the ring and Slade informs everyone he will be in another match tonight so he will not be wrestling this match and Marx will take his place. Slade and Masterson leave and All Star is introduced. Marx looks like he weighs all of 100 pounds but he does have some nice tattoos. All Star is over a head taller and much heavier than his opponent, and working a baseball gimmick. He carries a bat, is billed from Cooperstown, NY, and comes out to Centerfield by John Fogerty. According to the announcer, All Star lost to Slade and will not be happy that he is facing someone else tonight. I expected a quick and easy squash here but that’s not what I got. This was booked as a nice opening match to get the crowd ready for the rest of the card, featuring an interesting blend of wrestling and Marx going outside to threaten a little kid in the audience. All Star debuted an elevated, twisting neck-breaker which the commentator dubbed the “All Star Cutter”.

Winner: All Star with a modified DDT known as The Sinker.

Next up was talk-show segment “The Show Down” with host David Anderson, accompanied by announcer Chad Mylan. Anderson introduces Scott Casber and as Casber comes to the ring (to entrance music that sounds suspiciously like Shane McMahon’s), he stops to talk to one of the kids in the front row. I thought for a second the kid’s Dad was going go after Casber! No one in the crowd seems to like him or Anderson. Casber insults the crowd, insults the talent, and then insults the guy who was giving him the evil eye earlier (who happens to be Steve Biley, the PROMOTER who actually looks like a wrestler himself). Casber introduces 3XW Pure Wrestling Champion Mark Sterling and 3XW Heavyweight Champion Gage Octane, collectively known as the Gentleman’s Club, with their manager Todd Countryman. Big brave Sterling steals Mylan’s glasses as soon as he enters the ring – what a jerk! Octane gives Biley a hard time and everyone beats up Mylan, the smallest guy in the ring. Security keeps Biley from helping Mylan and 3XW President Skylar Pierce comes out to put a stop to the beat down and promises to be in the commentary booth tonight. He announces Sterling’s opponent for later as Egotistico Fantastico, who charges the ring to chase off the heels.

There are several interviews interspersed throughout the program and all the gab sessions help get fans up to speed on recent activities in the promotion. Since this was my first look at 3XWrestling, I enjoyed the promos.

Match 2: Northstar Express Ryan Cruz and Darin Corbin and Brady A. Desire vs. Arik Cannon, Maddog McDowell and Christian Moore with Allison Wonderland

Out of the six men involved in this match, I have seen Cruz and Corbin, who are the 3XW Tag Team Champions, in action once before with a different promotion. Corbin looks heavier than the last time I saw him but Cruz appears to be in very good shape. He wore three t-shirts to the ring so they could throw a merchandise sales pitch before the match began. I was not as impressed with Northstar Express in this match as I was the first time I saw them, although they do work well as a team. Cannon, complete with a spiked hair-do that looks stiff enough to be lethal, executed his moves with fluid motion and surprising speed. Moore and Desire are both very knowledgeable in the ring. McDowell, the largest of the bunch, moved in a more kick-ass fashion and actually has a finisher called The Rabies Shot! The match format didn’t give me enough of a chance to see each individual worker but I did enjoy the blend of wrestling, brawling and cheating.

Winners: Ryan Cruz, Darin Corbin and Brady A. Desire with a low blow to Arik Cannon for the pinfall.

Match 3: “Delicious” Devin Carter vs. ??? (It’s A Gauntlet Match)

It is obvious from audience reaction that Carter is a fan favorite.

First opponent: Knight Wagner

Carter and Wagner did eventually get around to some nice mat wrestling despite all the illegal tactics by Wagner. This was not a long round by any means, but decent. Carter pins his opponent after a face plant/body slam known as the Tasty Treat.

Second opponent: Krotch with Nikki

Krotch is skinny and looks built for high-flying. Both men spend time interacting with the fans and that gives the viewer a “being there” feeling. They exchange holds and counters with Devin being the more powerful of the two. I wouldn’t mind seeing either of these workers in the ring again. Krotch leaves the ring to go after Northstar Express, chasing them to the back, does not return and is counted out.

Third opponent: “The Unbreakable” Zach Thompson

Thompson charges the ring to blindside Carter and is introduced after the two begin to battle it out. Unbreakable doesn’t appear to be there to wrestle but to cause harm. Not a bad round and although the crowd appeared to enjoy this one, I felt the second round was superior. Carter gets the pinfall after the Tasty Treat. They shake hands after the match.

Winner: “Delicious” Devin Carter

Match 4: 3XW Pure Champion Mark Sterling with Todd Countryman vs. Egotistico Fantastico

I immediately disliked Countryman from the initial “talk fest” earlier in the show and although Sterling really didn’t impress me with his mic skills, I did get a chuckle out of his tights. He had his first name on the front and his last name on the back although I don’t know if he did that for his own benefit or so no one forgets who he is. The champ came to the ring with a look on his face that would make a grizzly bear just waking up from hibernation look happy and even the commentators remark about his consistent bad mood. He breaks some poor fan’s camera and harasses the ring announcer. Fantastico comes out wearing a mask and cape, riding a scooter. I have never seen an entrance like that before! Countryman has honed the heel manager shtick even if he does kick like a girl. Sterling and Fantastico are both well-built, impressive athletes. Sterling utilizes mat wrestling and stiff strikes and Fantastico is a high-flyer but that style sometimes costs him. Sterling’s chest ends up looking like he’s spent a week in the Bahamas with no sunscreen but his wrestling is solid and he pulls out some classic heel work that impressed this old-school fan. This match was awesome.

Winner: Mark Sterling with the aid of the scooter and a distraction by Countryman.

Match 5: New Era’s Ryan Slade and Aaron Masterson vs. Tyler Cook and Jeremy Wyatt

This match was fast paced with well executed holds and counters. The workers were all in the same size range, which makes a match interesting, and there were a lot of scrambles with more than two men in the ring. Cook is someone to keep your eye on. He is not a large wrestler but has a solid build and appears to have a vast array of wrestling holds and good timing; I can visualize him in TNA’s X-Division. Slade, Masterson and Wyatt did a nice job, too, but Tyler stood out in this match.

Winners: Tyler Cook and Jeremy Wyatt with a Swanton and superkick.

Match 6: Shane Hollister vs. Hunter Mathews

Mathews looks like a high school football player while Hollister goes for the punk rocker look. This is Iowa, so guess who the crowd favorite is? That’s right, the football player. I got the impression these two have faced each other before. They did a good job of working against each other and even the ref looked like he was having a good time out there. This contest featured more mat wrestling, which suited me just fine, and was fun to watch.

Winner: Shane Hollister with a roll up while using the ropes.

Match 7: Fatal Four Way, 3XW Heavyweight Championship: Gage Octane (with Mark Sterling and Todd Countryman) vs. Kraig Keesaman vs. Jimmy Rockwell vs. Casanova

Fatal four way is not one of my favorite matches but I’ll withhold judgment until I see it. Keesaman looks like he spends quality time in the gym, Rockwell is a fan favorite, Casanova, the 3XW Cruiserweight Champion, is a little on the chunky side (and another big fan favorite), and Octane is a hated heel and takes the longest time to make his entrance. The Commissioner sends Sterling and Countryman packing not only from ringside but out of the building. Octane does a good job as a heel but unlike his Gentlemen’s Club partner, he spends more time talking before the referee calls for the bell. Rockwell receives numerous chops from everyone throughout the match. Casanova is very agile and works the ring well. Octane and Keesaman work well as singles and at times as a tag team during this match. This was entertaining and gave each wrestler equal time in the ring. Rockwell appeared to take the worst of the damage but everyone worked hard to keep the match going.

Winner and still Champion: Gage Octane with a spine buster known as the Spine Tingler.

The Wrap-Up: I’ll get my complaints out of the way first. The camera work, especially the angles, often left much to be desired and the audio was a little off at times. The announcers, while good, faltered or had lull periods. Both departments could stand some work. These complaints are minor notes, however, and didn’t take too much away from the action. This particular DVD was $10.00 plus shipping.

If you are looking for pyro or fancy entrances, you’re out of luck. But if you’re seeking an alternative to super short matches with limited wrestling, I recommend you purchase this DVD. 3XW has a terrific blend of wrestling, aerial action, and just enough talk to keep fans in the know. Right now I have another 3XWrestling DVD waiting for my attention and intend to purchase more in the future.

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