It is time once again for an At Odds with Wrestling homework assignment. Every week without a major PPV, so no homework next week as we all watch AEW, Joe and Adam alternate homework assignments of classic and “classic” wrestling events. This week is the 4th episode of Cody Rhodes’ Nightmare Factory Showcase.
Cody opens the show and reminds us these are all rookies who have been training for 12 weeks. The ring announcer is fine but the PA system is not. Many of the wrestlers’ names were unheard but thankfully there were graphics. Glacier and Jesse Derden are the commentators and hey, did you know Glacier has a twin brother? Missed opportunity during his WCW days. Player 2 alternate gear Glacier would have been fun.
Trevor Blackwell vs Frany Filto.
Trevor can’t do a kip up and the crowd chants it too! This crowd is very familiar with the wrestlers, probably other trainees, but at times it’s a little too familiar. Sometimes it feels like I’m walking into an inside joke and no one will clue me in. Franky has definitely lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time, and good for him. I’m trying this path as well but not as part of a 12 week wrestling training program. Franky hits a cross body off the top for the pin. For rookies, the match is fine.
D’Marceo James vs WIll Purlieu.
Will comes out and I immediately want to punch him. He just has a very punchable face. How old is he? I don’t want to punch out a minor. These two are too similar to be wrestling each other. There are other wrestlers on the card who could have used a heel with some talent to wrestle against. Both of these guys come across as natural heels. James has tons of potential but needs more charisma. Will will get further once he embraces his inner heel. James picks up Will and power bombs him to escape from an arm bar. Will runs into the referee, James hits a nut uppercut, then rolls up Will for the pin. Again, not bad but I think both would be better playing heels against other people.
Casey Carrington IV vs Dylan Lesynd.
Dylan comes out wearing a full mask over his face yet takes it off and wrestles maskless. Not sure the logic there. Dylan seems small and oddly proportioned. If you take your “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way” off the shelf and see the eight heads break down Dylan doesn’t fit into that body type. I’m not saying any of it to be an asshole, just very noticable. Casey sells an injury and uses it to sneak in a low blow while the referee is distracted. I like Casey’s slingshot splash move. Not to rag on him more, but there’s something awkward to Dylan’s movements. Dylan with this weird pose elbow drop thing. Casey with a moonsault that misses and Dylan follows it up with a knee but Casey rolls to the outside. Casey with a butterfly driver, sorry – double underhook piledriver for the pin.
KC Rocker and Luther Hevans vs Gabriel Vega and Danny Dragon.
KC and Luther look like a Hot Topic Enzo and Cass. BSG now stands for Big Strong Gabe. Danny holds onto a headlock and still fights off both opponents. The story of the match is to beat up Dragon. This goes on way too long. Gabriel finally in with a hot tag and, meh. Gabe jumps off of Dragon’s back to pin KC. I wasn’t impressed with KC and Luther, so the match fell flat with them controlling so much of the bout.
JR Miller vs Kevin Panic.
Miller has a cane! Everyone runs away! JR reminds me of an early DDP, like the BattleBowl ring era. I thought both of these guys looked great when they came out and I ended up disappointed. There are flashes of character in Panic but again, meh. JR goes for the cane but the referee stops him. Kevin hits a shining wizard he calls the Panic Button for the pin.
Reka Tehaka & Gizelle Azure vs. Katie Hebner & Ashley D’Ambroise.
These two teams have the best heel vs face differences so far. Gizelle is not good. Whole lot of ass though. Gizelle doesn’t need weapons. My ass is my weapon. Dun dun dun. Better watch out. I’m a war machine. Sorry. Gizelle with a good move where she drags Ashley by her hair back to her own corner, just too far away to make a tag but so close, then drags her all the way over to the heel corner. Then Gizelle hits a terrible pump handle slam. Tehaka taps out to Ashley, I think. The face team had the heels in simultaneous submissions. Everyone but Gizelle looked really good here and I look forward to possibly seeing them on Dark as they continue to improve. Best match of the show.
Dean Alexander (with Angelica Risk) vs Cliff Hendrix (Yellow Boots).
There is way too much talk about Cliff’s gear. Far more talk about his clothing than the actual match.
Dean dips and goes for a kiss on Risk then drops her to the mat. More on that later. Dean does a fine job here as the player/coach of the showcases. Cliff has shown nothing here, certainly not enough to get the main event spot. He does have a good slingshot DDT though. Dean picks up Cliff, Cliff’s legs swing out and knock down the referee. Dean hits a tombstone DDT that would have gotten the pin otherwise. Angelica Risk and Brooke Havoc come out to beat up Dean. Cliff then hits a Swanton Bomb for the pin.
Do I have rose colored glasses on for the previous three versions of this showcase? I felt like there was more potential on the other shows, and I have seen some of them since. The women’s match was the best one for this show. No AEW cameos either. If this comes up again as a homework assignment I’ll watch but I also wouldn’t be shocked if the show moves in another direction.