Adrenaline Rush â€“ May 24th
(watch it here)
This edition of Adrenaline Rush started off like no other had. The show occurred mere days after the passing of Macho Man Randy Savage was announced. Because of this, the entire locker room emptied after a lengthy and magnificent tribute video to the extraordinary man, for a 10-bell salute. The hush that fell over the crowd as they honored their hero wasâ€¦incredible. It truly was the perfect way to kick everything off.
The show began once Johnny Roxx appeared for another segment of â€œOn the Roxx.â€ His guest this week? Derick Neikirk. Roxx presented Neikirk with a restraining order, so that he was not to touch Dom at all that night. From there, Roxx continued to verbally bash the former champion, before finally handing him a card for anger management classes. But Neikirk has never been one to listen for too long. He gave it all right back to Roxx, before calling on his partner, Val Venis, to join in on the fun. Both men attack Roxx, leaving him a broken mess on the floor as Gallo and Vitalli rush to his aid. Riviera, however, was late to show up. Once Team Elite retreats, the members of the Freak Squad reveal some cracks in their usually stable foundation.
This match sticks out in my mind the most when I remember this night. It was off to an abrupt start, and my jaw hit the floor several times. Both men were incredibly agile, hitting their moves with such a forceful impact that you were forced to take notice. Mack ran that ring like a boss, and Sharpe was right on his heels. Mack has perpetually been impressive, but I was surprised by Sharpe. Iâ€™ve only ever seen him stare at the ceiling after the Network was through with him. But now I canâ€™t wait to see what else he can do.
Winner: Willie Mack
Cedric the Hitman
Iâ€™m really beginning to enjoy this â€œIdentity Theftâ€ gimmick. This week, Johnny Manson paraded around in pink shorts (notice: not jorts) and took on Cedric the Hitman. Or rather, Cedric took â€œBretâ€ on, pouncing on him before the bell rang. â€œBretâ€ even attempted the beloved Sharpshooter, but Cedric was too close to the ropes. Within seconds, Cedric had ended it, however.
Winner: Cedric the Hitman
Disregarding the broken â€œBret Hartâ€ in the ring, the fan-adored Ryan Castellucci entered the ring for some announcements. Well, he tried to anyway. Cedric was hopping around him like a wily anklebiter, forcing Castellucci to stop each time he approached. Finally, after what felt like a fortnight, Cedric yanks the mic out of his hand and begins to discuss his utter greatness. And then how awesome he is. And then how wonderful. And it went on, and on, and on until thankfully, Cutler Wright appeared. He wanted to invoke his rematch clause on the now vacant Elite Championship, which Cedric also thinks he deserves a shot at. Regardless, they would face each other in the main event.
At this point, â€œBretâ€ is still in the midst of it all when suddenlyâ€¦none other than Robocop appears! You canâ€™t make this stuff up.
Watch Robocop here!Â
The Prophet and Shadow Fox
Woodrow Santanelli and Devin Sparks
Hopes were high for this match. Anything involving â€œThe Businessâ€ has become intoxicating to watch. Sparks grows on me more and more, standing out in a very good way. Iâ€™m still not sold on Santanelli, but his new-found aggression is definitely helping. And as far as Prophet and Foxâ€¦well, youâ€™ve heard enough about my thoughts about them. On to the match! Every time they team up, Prophet and Fox function with each other better and better. Overall, everything jived pretty well. Sparks is very impressive, and his movements always look good. But Iâ€™d like to see him branch out from the basics and really wow the crowd. I feel as though he has enormous potential, but has yet to tap into it. Overall, the match was incredibly entertaining.
Winner(s): Woodrow Santanelli and Devin Sparks
After the match, Steve Osborne made his way out to discuss the fans, and how stupid they are. This caused them to damn-near riot, their hatred floating at the surface. Of course, the boys of The Network (Johnny Stamboli and Tyson Tyler) waltzed out for their rebuttal. They promised Steve that heâ€™d feel the wrath of the GFY soon, but he scoffs and tells the fans to â€œGFYâ€. At that he smacks Johnny in the face, but to his surprise, Sheik walks out. â€œSteven,â€ he starts, condescendingly. â€œYou want to be a wrestler?â€ Steveâ€™s face drains of all its blood when a match is booked for Xtreme Measures. Santanelli, Sparks, and Steve would take on Stamboli and Tyler. And the crowd goes wild.
This pairing was definitely a surprise. Never quite saw these two battling it out, but hey, itâ€™s fresh. But all of that was eclipsed by the tribute Andrew Hellman decided to pay to Macho Man. Not only with the in-ring taunting, but finished him off with true Savage style, in the form of an elbow slam. It was simply magical and purely poetic.
Winner: Andrew Hellman
Promptly after that, the Freaks make their way out, having apparently made up. Dom brags about a phone call he received, discussing the breaking news that heâ€™d be added to the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, located in his hometown of Amsterdam, New York.
Riviera and Gallo were supposed to defend their titles that night, but Riviera was promptly told by the other two members that he would sit out as â€œhis head was not in the game.â€ Reluctantly, he complied, and their opponents were introduced.
Dom â€œThe Bombâ€ Vitalli and Gabriel Gallo
The Freak Squad
JB Bad and Clutch
Usually, anything involving the Freaks as a tag team turns them from the Freak Squad to the Freak Squash, and this time was only mildly different. It was just enough to make their point, but also had some real action jammed in between. My favorite part was when Bad was noticeably bleeding from one ear, and Gallo showed it off proudly. The Freaks made easy work of the two from there, finishing them off simultaneously.
Winner(s): The Freak Squad
The Freaks marched over to the announce table, kicking the men who occupied it out. They waited patiently after commandeering it for their brethren to emerge, and they could evaluate him.
Well, the dancing star had been missing for quite some time. I have to say, I was pretty surprised when Sal walked out. Seemingly still aggravated from the earlier events, he wasted little time attacking Sal, who put up a hell of a fight at the start. Suddenly, Gallo and Vitalli charged, with Gallo distracting the ref and Vitalli crawling in to land a Superkick on Sal. Riviera was incensed by this assumption that he couldnâ€™t win clean, but took the pinfall nonetheless.
Winner: Frenchy Riviera
Almost immediately after, Sheik walked out to inform Vitalli that a contender had indeed been chosen to face him at Xtreme Measures for the Heavyweight Championship. The screen lit up with the video package depicting Tommy Dreamer, and his music bellowed through the venue. Domâ€™s rage was the only thing that could silence the exuberance echoing from the fans, as all three stormed out.
Cedric the Hitman
This was definitely a fresh main event. Cedric has come from the Battle Royale at Bad Intentions, to the main event, fighting to be a contender for the Heavyweight belt. I think he has a great personality, but still would like to see more from him. He made some bold moves, but was a bit too eccentric with them. Regardless, this match was incredibly enjoyable. The start was slow, but built upâ€”naturallyâ€”and especially picked up after Wright hit a magnificent moonsault from the top rope that made my jaw drop. I was thoroughly impressed and genuinely wowed.
Winner: Cutler Wright
What a tremendous show. True, nothing big happened. It was the same â€˜ol stuff. But this time, it was paired with some excellent matches.
On a side note, I watched the remastered video for the first time, and I have to give a verbal high five to the men at the announce table: Will Banks, Lawrence Tyler, and Ryan Castellucci. Even if I though a match was mediocre, their excitement and careful detailing revved me up unexpectedly. It generates a sense of exhilaration for anyone watching but the subliminal sounds. Very nicely done, boys.
Tags: adrenaline rush, cutler wright, exw, indy, Review, the freak squad, Val Venis