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Meadowlands Expo Center – Secaucus, NJ – Sunday, April 7, 2013
Lenny Leonard and Drew Gulak are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Anthony Nese w/ Mr. A vs. Soldier Ant w/ Fire Ant
The commentators don’t know who Mr. A is at this point. Nese and Soldier start with some chain wrestling and take it to the mat. Soldier takes the early advantage and Nese powders. When Soldier tries a dive Nese quickly gets back in the ring and cuts him off with a clothesline. Nese then hits a dive of his own and gloats about it. Back in the ring Nese stays in control and hits a nice quebrada for two. Soldier is fighting back way too much, and his offense is looking way too choreographed. They trade some strikes and it leads to Nese hitting a one-armed Buckle Bomb. Nese follows with a running knee to the face. He goes up top and hits a perfect 450 Splash to get the pin at 5:08. Nese looked good here but Soldier Ant was a bit off. I also would have had Nese look more dominant.
After the match Nese introduces his “Director of Brand Imaging” Mr. A. The behemoth proceeds to chokeslam Fire Ant and then flatten him with a splash from the top rope just for fun.
MATCH #2: Caleb Konley vs. Scott Reed w/ Larry Dallas & Trina Michaels
Konley is all fired up but Reed gets the jump on him and they start brawling. Control shifts back and forth between these two former partners. As soon as Konley starts building momentum Dallas interferes to give Reed the advantage. Reed uses his power to beat Konley down, and even hits a dropkick for a two-count. Dallas and Michaels take cheap shots whenever the opportunity presents itself. Konley gets sick of it and wipes Dallas out with a dive, and then does the same to Reed, sending him into the front row. He follows Reed out and hiptosses him into a pile of chairs, and then drops him on the barricade. Back in the ring Konley hits a missile dropkick, a diving lariat, and a German Suplex for two. Reed comes back with a pumphandle backbreaker and then Splash Mountain for two. They battle to the top rope and Reed hits an impressive springboard hurricanrana. Konley no-sells it and hits a Best Moonsault Ever for a near-fall. Dallas puts a chair in the corner and gets in the ring. Michaels distracts the referee and Reed hits Konley with the chair and then hits Smash Mouth on the chair to get the win at 8:59. That was an okay brawl with a supremely lazy finish. The sooner The Scene (though not Konley) is just forgotten the better.
MATCH #3: The Super Smash Brothers (Player Uno & Player Dos) vs. The D.U.F. (Sami Callihan & Arik Cannon)
Callihan and Cannon try to attack before the bell and it’s a brief brawl before the referee can get it under control. Cannon and Dos go back and forth, as both teams try to set the tone in the early going. Callihan and Cannon take control on Uno and isolate him in their half of the ring. Cannon and Uno spill to the floor, and both Callihan and Dos decide to dive to the floor to wipe out their opponents. Back in the ring Callihan and Dos go back and forth with clotheslines and boots to the face. Callihan hits a Death Valley Driver for two. The referee has zero control over what’s going on here and things are getting awkward. Cannon and Dos fight on the floor while Callihan and Uno are in the ring. Uno tries to hold Callihan in place for the Fatality but he can’t hold him. Instead he holds Callihan’s legs while Dos hits a Frog Splash and that’s enough to get the pin at 8:38. That could generously be described as a disaster, with neither team appearing to be on their game and no one looking like they were on the same page. I’m glad they kept it relatively short because there was nothing holding this one together.
MATCH #4: Brian Kendrick vs. Chuck Taylor w/ The Gentleman’s Club
Kendrick controls the early going with a variety of strikes and holds, mostly focusing on the arm. Every time Taylor tries to come back Kendrick has an answer for him. Since Taylor has three people at ringside with him they are able to assist him in taking control of the match. Taylor works Kendrick over for several minutes and talks trash to him at the same time. He hits Sole Food and then charges him, but Kendrick low bridges the top rope to send Taylor crashing to the floor. Kendrick hits a dive that takes Taylor and Orange Cassidy out. He then puts the Swamp Monster into Nolan Angus’ lap, and rolls the wheelchair into Taylor up against the barricade. I am aware how ridiculous that sounds. Back in the ring Kendrick goes up top and Swamp Monster holds him there. Taylor goes for a superplex but Kendrick shoves him down and hits a swinging DDT out of the corner for two. Kendrick keeps the momentum but can’t quite put Taylor away yet. Taylor fights back with a variety of moves and then locks on the Kentucky Crawdad but Kendrick escapes it. Kendrick tries to follow up but Taylor puts him right back in the Crawdad but this time Kendrick gets to the ropes. Kendrick hits the Sliced Bread No. 2 but Angus distracts the referee. The distracting allows Taylor to get a rollup for two. Taylor hits a uranage and then kicks Kendrick in the chest. He tries his own Sliced Bread No. 2 but Kendrick avoids it and hits the move the right way to get the win at 13:09. Kendrick can pretty much put on a solid match with anyone, and his style meshed well with Taylor here. The shenanigans with the Gentleman’s Club were there but not overwhelming, so this worked.
MATCH #5: High-Flyers FRAY! Ladders Are Legal – Matt Jackson vs. Nick Jackson vs. AR Fox vs. Samuray del Sol vs. Uhaa Nation vs. Christina Von Eerie vs. Façade
This is like a regular FRAY! except that ladders will be legal once everyone is in the match. AR Fox is out first, and he’ll stat the match with Samuray del Sol. I expect all of this to be hard to keep up with. They start flipping and flying around right from the get-go and wrestle to a standoff. The back and forth continues and we get our next entrant, one half of the Open the United Gate Champions Matt Jackson. Matt tries a cross body from the top rope and hits nothing, so he rolls right to the floor. He makes his way back in and sends both del Sol and Fox to the floor. Everyone is fighting outside the ring and the next entrant is Christina Von Eerie. She takes everyone out with a springboard cross body from the second rope. Back in the ring she goes up top and this Matt with a clothesline. Von Eerie hits an enziguiri for two. She takes the fight right to Matt, attacking him with headbutts. They take it to the floor and Matt wipes her out with a dive. Fox and del Sol end up back in the ring as the other half of the Open the United Gate Champions Nick Jackson makes his way out. They set up a tag team battle with Fox and del Sol. The Bucks win that battle and then invite Von Eerie into the ring. Von Eerie foolishly accepts a handshake from Matt, which allows Nick to drill her with a superkick. Matt follows with one of his own. He holds her for Nick to hit a baby superkick to score the first elimination at 7:57. The Bucks are loving life and controlling the match as the sixth entrant comes out and it’s Uhaa Nation of Mad Blankey. Nation throws the Bucks around, and gives the same treatment to del Sol. He throws everyone to the floor and goes for a dive but Fox cuts him off and takes everyone out with the Lo Mein Rain. Matt goes up top and hits everyone with a moonsault. The final entrant is Façade and now everyone is out so ladders are legal. Façade takes everyone out with a dive and throws the first ladder into the ring. Now things are really going to get fast and hard to call. Del Sol hits Fox with the reverse rana for a two-count. He goes up top and Nick catches him with a superkick. Fox gets rid of Nick and then hits del Sol with Lo Mein Pain to eliminate him at 12:54. Façade comes in to battle Fox and Nation gets involved. The thing about Façade is that he’s actually pretty terrible. Fox gets up on a ladder and Façade tries to jump on the other side but it’s one of those ladders where you’re not supposed to climb the other side and he crumples to the mat. The referee has been holding the ladder for Fox, which I hate. Fox comes off the ladder with Meteora on Façade to eliminate him at 15:15. We’re down to Fox and Nation against the Young Bucks, essentially. Nation and Fox are working well as a team, but the Bucks are able to withstand their attacks. The Bucks grab a very tall ladder and smash it into Nation’s face. Back in the ring Nick rams the ladder into Fox’s groin. Nick slams Fox and climbs up the ladder but Fox gets back to his feet and shoves it over. Incredibly, Nick lands on the top rope and takes Nation out with a dive to the floor! Back in the ring Nick hits the slingshot X-Factor. The Bucks try to double team Fox, but he fights them off and is able to position Matt on a ladder between the barricade and the apron. Fox hits a kickflip moonsault and gets a nice pop for it. Back in the ring Fox sets Matt back on the ladder but Ricochet runs out and throws Fox off the top and onto the ladder! Ricochet hits the 630 and Nick scores the pin at 19:58. Now we’re down to Uhaa Nation versus the Young Bucks in essentially a handicap match. The Bucks use the ladder to wear Nation down. The resilient Nation is able to toss both Bucks into a ladder but he still has an uphill battle ahead of him. It’s time for a Superkick Party and Nation is in rough shape. The Bucks go for More Bang for Your Buck but Nation escapes and rolls Matt up to eliminate him at 23:32. Nation gorilla press slams Nick and then hits the Uhaa Combination to win the High Flyers FRAY! at 23:47. That certainly had a lot of action and was fairly fun to watch. Uhaa Nation going over was definitely the right call. It felt a little long, and the involvement of Von Eerie and Façade added very little to the finished product.
MATCH #6: Jon Davis vs. Orange Cassidy w/ The Gentleman’s Club
Cassidy has Chuck Taylor, Drew Gulak, and The Swamp Monster in his corner. Apparently Cassidy has a “laid back approach” to wrestling, which I don’t understand. Neither Cassidy nor Davis seem eager to make any contact, so they both just stand around doing nothing to start. Davis tries to engage Cassidy, who has no interest in wrestling. They finally start doing stuff and Cassidy hits a few moves. Cassidy goes up top for a rana but Davis catches him and throws him over his head. Davis hits a knee strike and a lariat. He then dishes out a lariat to the referee as well for some reason and that’s a disqualification at 3:47. Drew Gulak and Chuck Taylor try coming to the rescue but Davis lays waste to both of them as well. Lastly the Swamp Monster comes in and Davis hits him with 3 Seconds Around the World. The crowd doesn’t seem to care much. As for the match, as it were, there was very little to see.
MATCH #7: The Six Man Tradition Continues – CIMA, Eita & Tomahawk T.T. vs. Johnny Gargano, Rich Swann & Ricochet
Gargano is the Open the Freedom Gate Champion, and CIMA is the Open the Dream Gate Champion. The winner of the fall here will get a title match of his choosing. Swann and CIMA start the match. They go back and forth and the pace quickens. Swann dropkicks CIMA to the floor so Eita comes in to replace his partner. Eita chops Swann hard, so Swann rolls to the floor and Ricochet replaces him. The feeling out process continues and Eita gets the better of the exchange. Tags are made to Tomahawk and Gargano, so now everyone has been in the ring. Momentum continues to swing back and forth between the two teams, with everyone getting a chance to show their strengths. The first extended period of control goes to Team CIMA, as they isolate Swann in their half of the ring for several minutes. Eventually Swann is able to catch both CIMA and Eita with a simultaneous Ace Crusher, and he makes the tag to both Gargano and Ricochet. Things get fast and furious and the action is becoming hard to keep up with. Control shifts back and forth as offense is coming from all over the place. After several frenetic minutes we land on Gargano versus CIMA in the ring, Champion versus Champion. The two captains battle back and forth, reversing each other’s attacks. Gargano hits the Hurts Donut and locks on the GargaNo Escape and Tomahawk has to break it up. Swann comes in and unleashes a flurry of offense on Tomahawk, so Eita comes in to take over for his partner. Gargano saves the day with a superkick and Hurts Donut. Swann follows with the standing 450. Ricochet goes up top and nails the 630 to get the pin at 22:33. That was another great outing for this awesome yearly tradition. I love the interplay between Gargano and CIMA, and the youngsters Eita and Tomahawk T.T. were a great addition. Also knowing the tension between Ricochet and Gargano and how it played out in the end made this a big success.
MATCH #8: Main Event – SHINGO vs. Akira Tozawa
This should be pretty awesome. They are former partners so they know each other well and are a bit tentative during the early feeling-out process. The crowd support is evenly split between the two competitors. SHINGO takes the first sustained advantage and sends Tozawa to the floor. He whips Tozawa into the guardrail, and then drops him face-first on the ring apron. Back in the ring SHINGO continues his dominance, keeping Tozawa on the mat. After several minutes Tozawa is able to fight back with a Shining Wizard. Tozawa sends SHINGO to the floor and wipes him out with two dives and a somersault senton off the apron. Back in the ring Tozawa hits a Brainbuster for two. Tozawa stays on offense for a bit, but it’s not to last, as SHINGO blocks a boot in the corner and ties Tozawa up so he can abuse him with punches and chops. SHINGO hits a neckbreaker and a diving lariat for two. Tozawa comes back with an enziguiri and a Saito Suplex. They fight up on the ropes and Tozawa brings SHINGO down with a superplex. Tozawa sends SHINGO to the floor and goes for a dive, but SHINGO catches him (!) and powerbombs him hard on the ring apron. Ouch. Back in the ring SHINGO covers for two. SHINGO hits a lariat in the corner and a gallon throw for another near-fall. Things get heated and both men start throwing suplexes on each other. Both men rise and continue beating the hell out of each other. SHINGO hits a Death Valley Driver, Tozawa counters with a release German Suplex, and SHINGO pops up with a Pumping Bomber. Both men are down. Back on their feet they continue the back and forth. Tozawa hits a bicycle kick to the back and a release German Suplex, followed by the high-angle German Suplex for a two-count. They trade forearm strikes and right hands. SHINGO tries Made in Japan and finally hits it after several attempts throughout the match. It only gets two, so he hits it again and Tozawa kicks out again! SHINGO kills Tozawa with the Pumping Bomber to finally get the pin at 23:08. You want to send a weekend of shows out on a high note – send Tozawa and SHINGO out there and tell them to do their thing. These two are so good, and they built the match up perfectly, with SHINGO needing three finishers to finally put Tozawa away. You probably didn’t need me to tell you that this is an awesome match.
Tags: Akira Tozawa, DGUSA, Mercury Rising, Ricochet, shingo