Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Wrestling Review //
Top Rope Pro
6/27/21
@ The Eagle Event Center, Fall River, MA


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https://www.facebook.com/topropepromotions

https://www.cagematch.net/?id=1&nr=313767


When I found out about this show, mapped it out and saw it was about two hours away I figured it was over near Kingston and we'd just drive up north through CT into MA to get there.  Somehow, we went through Rhode Island and as it turns out, Fall River is right over the RI border into MA.   I've yet to see live wrestling in Rhode Island, so if this show was just ten minutes closer I could have made that dream come true, but alas, I feel like I went the long way around CT to get to MA but still was on the fast track.

This show was fun for a number of reasons and the first was that I didn't know a lot of the wrestlers on it.  It was advertised that Little Mean Kathleen was going to versus Becca and I figured that match alone was worth it, regardless of the other names on this show I did recognize.   This was also at the Eagle Event Center which is just such a unique place to see wrestling- it provides a look that other venues cannot and when you see photos from there you just know where they are from.

Oddly enough for perhaps the first time ever in my wrestling going existence this show said it was doors at 4pm, action at 5pm and they did not lie.  Jess and I showed up around 4:30-ish and a lot of fans were already inside.  We had front row seats but they didn't put names on the seats so we had to find two together, which wasn't that difficult but it became harder for people as they came in closer to 5.  Also, as I saw the venue now, I know next time to just buy whatever seats get us up off the floor because those seemed to be the best spot to sit in.   Still, every promotion should print out names and tape them to the chairs if you have reserved front row and I'm beginning to think it's a MA thing that promotions don't.

When I say we were told we had six or seven minutes until the show started and I checked my phone to realize that was going to be exactly 5:00 I was stunned.  And then they actually started the show on time as well.   This, to me, is simply unheard of but also good to know for future reference.  What is also funny is that on their website or the ticket site somewhere it said this show was set to run from 5:00 to 7:30 and it pretty much did.  I feel so often like these are just estimates but for it to actually be on time was just crazy but appreciated.

While I remember the match order for the most part, the only place I get fuzzy is matches two, three and four.  I'm going to use CageMatch for reference on this one, but  CageMatch also has matches six and seven swapped so both of us might be wrong here.

To my surprise the show opened with what could have been the main event with Ted Goodz taking on Brett Ryan Gosselin in a grudge match.   I saw Brett Ryan Gosselin years ago in NEW and have hated him ever since.  The crowd was hot on this night, chanting "Justin Bieber" at BRG and fully behind Ted Goodz.  This was such a fun match and even though I thought it was going to be later on in the card, it was what they call a hot opener to get the crowd hyped up.  Always good to finally see Ted Goodz live as well, after seeing him on IWTV so much with Beyond Wrestling. 

The second match was interesting because someone came out named Young Hollywood and he was billed from Los Angeles, CA.  I immediately said that there was no way they brought this jobber in from CA.   Elia Markopoulos got the heel heat just by being a foreigner because professional wrestling is one of the few places left where you can automatically be a bad guy if you're not from the United States but are wrestling here.  At certain points in his match, Elia Markopoulos would just yell "OPA!" and so the crowd would too.  This was what made this match so odd: no one ever really felt like they wanted to get behind Young Hollywood and yet they also felt torn on booing Elia Markopoulos because we just wanted to OPA! along.

What happened next was an interesting match that I feel like took place on an alternate timeline.  Matt Marvel and Sweatboy defeated Wildman Kongo because Anthony Corner was a special guest referee and he cheated.   I'm not sure the history behind this match, but it should have been a simple squash match and Wildman Kongo should have easily won, but he kept breaking up the three count to inflict more punishment.  This eventually lead to a standoff between Kongo and Anthony Corner, who is a football player of some type, and then Corner did a shoulder tackle to Kongo, pulled Matt Marvel over and did a fast three count.

I'm not really sure who this match benefits.  On one hand, Matt Marvel and Sweatboy won, but they looked half dead and not even aware of the win.  Does this set up a match between Kongo and Anthony Corner for some reason?  Is there any interest in that?  I don't really want to see that.  Wildman Kongo is a big dude and it feels like he should just be tearing through the roster, making a statement and not losing in these cheap ploys to a football player who isn't even in the NFL as far as I know (he was announced from a local team, I believe)

Also, I'd like to give a quick shoutout to Sweatboy, possibly one of the best gimmicks in all of professional wrestling right now.  I imagine at the training school, this wrestler was being asked about his gimmick like "So what is your name, what is your gimmick?" "Well, I sweat a lot so I thought Sweatboy!" and someone actually went along with it.  He even has Hulkamania-like shirts and it's just... if I told you it existed and it didn't you wouldn't believe me, but the proof is out there and it's just so ridiculous that I'm starting to like it.

During the next match we saw Garrett Holiday (as previously seen in Test Of Strength the week prior) take on Ryan Waters.   First off, Ryan Waters and Sweatboy need to somehow form a tag team.  They belong together.  But also, it's funny hearing people chant against Ryan Waters because they'd say things like "H2NO!" and it's funny but also like we need water to stay alive.  So it was odd to think how Ryan Waters has positioned himself in wrestling because I don't want to yell out "Waters Sucks!" and then take a drink from my water bottle.  Seems a bit odd. At one point, Waters had the ropes to break up a pinfall but then managed to win by using the ropes for leverage because mostly all referees are partially blind.

When I first saw this poster online it was five matches.  We found out it would be eight matches when we got there and I figured they'd do four matches then intermission.  But we went for the full five matches, intermission and then three more.  What struck me as odd was that right before intermission was the title match between Nico Silva and Matt Magnum.  This was a good back and forth match that I thought Matt Magnum might win, but it ended in a DQ when Magnum refused to break an ankle lock when Nico Silva was in the ropes.  The only reason why I can assume this didn't get the final spot on the card was either because of the DQ ending or because during intermission you could go into the ring and take photos with Nico Silva for ten dollars.

During intermission I went to the bar to buy water and then to the Ted Goodz merch table to talk with him.  I took a picture and bought a shirt because I'm doing merch right.  Intermission said it was fifteen minutes and I didn't time it but I feel like it was fairly close to being exactly fifteen minutes.

The first match back after intermission was "Flex 2.0" Cesar Leo vs Carlos Rosales.  Carlos Rosales had a mask on like a luchador while Cesar Leo came out with a dirty mirror and everything down to his tights design made me think of Rick Rude.   This was mostly a squash match that went on for a little too long and if the idea was to get the fans back into their seats and back into the action this wasn't the match to do it.

Now up until the show (even on the poster) we were under the impression we would see Little Mean Kathleen vs Becca.  When Luscious Latasha came out- who I had seen the previous night at Black Girl Magick- I either thought it was going to be a triple threat or someone wasn't there.  But, LMK had been posting to Instagram so I knew she was there and it quickly turned out that Luscious Latasha would be replacing Becca with no explanation.  It is also worth noting now that throughout the night, the ring announcer would say "The following contest is scheduled for one fall" and that whole deal but once it reached the point of saying the wrestler's name, it was often times drowned out by the entrance music being played.

This played into this match because there were a group of people behind us who were cheering for the heels all night for some reason and they kept yelling at Luscious Latasha "Let's go Becca!" and I had to turn around to tell them that wasn't Becca in there.  It strikes me as so odd but cool in some way that professional wrestling is this way but there are fans out there who can't tell the difference between Luscious Latasha and Becca and yet I've taken photos with Becca, I own merch for Becca, Becca is one of my favorite wrestlers.  And it's not a dig against any fans because I'm sure they feel the same way about me not knowing anyone in the main event tag team title match by individual name.  

It's just funny because I live in this bubble of like "How do you not know Becca" but then they can say the same only ask me "How do you not know Brandon Webb" and that's one of the great things about pro wrestling right now, to me, because we can each have our own favorites and promotions and things without all being the same.  Having these differences can open us up to new wrestling experiences and that, ultimately, helps the business grow.  But I digress.

LMK and Luscious Latasha put on a great match.  I wasn't expecting Latasha to get as much offense in as she did and thought she might actually win at one point.  LMK is over huge though and I was not the only one chanting for her- the entire Eagle Event Center was about to blow the roof off with chants of "L-M-K!"  If Top Rope Pro doesn't have a women's championship, it might be time to make one.

The main event was a tag team title match where The Devil's Doormen (with Sidney Bakabella) took on and defeated The Red And Black Attack.   First off, Sidney Bakabella got massive heel heat, nearly booed out of the building and it was great.  However, he did say that this match was to be contested under their rules which basically meant that there were no rules.   I'm not sure who any of these four guys are but Portuguese Power House was over huge with a lot of "PPH" chants.

Here's my problem with this match.  There were no DQs.  No count outs.  No holds barred.  And yet, when the Portuguese Power House was being double teamed by The Devil's Doormen, his tag team partner Pat Garrett just stood on the apron looking confused.  I yelled at him: "There's no rules, get in there!" and others began shouting similar things at him.  It might just be me, but if you're doing a no holds barred tag team type of match then you might as well have the tornado tag rules where everyone can be in the ring at once.   The ref was making sure there were clean tags and everything but why does it matter?  What would the ref do if there wasn't?

During this match, PPH was over huge and the crowd absolutely was booing the hell out of The Devil's Doormen.   But can you blame Pat Garrett for the loss, as he basically watched his partner get beat?  Absolutely.  The crowd may not have been happy with it, but there is no one to blame other than Pat Garrett.  

The next Top Rope Pro show is July 17th in Brockton, MA and there is a good chance I will work out a way to be there.   It is called Top Rope Roulette and the fans will draw the matches at random live and on the show!  So I'm actually somewhat interested in seeing what comes of it and also who is there.   Through DVDs, YouTube or in person I would suggest checking out Top Rope Pro as well.  


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