Wrestling Review //
Test Of Strength / Invictus Pro Wrestling
"United We Fight"
Columbia Club, Torrington, CT



It had been a while since we had been to either Test Of Strength or Invictus Pro, but earlier in the year it was revealed that the two promotions would be coming together for this show and it just felt like it was can't miss.   The fact that this was also at the Columbia Club in Torrington meant that we would stop by Carvel for ice cream prior to the show.  What we didn't know was that at the town green (or whatever the place with blue water is called) there was some kind of strawberry fest earlier in the day.  Had I known that, we would've left even earlier and had strawberries all through the show.

Life moves fast sometimes and all you can do is just try to keep up.  While we were outside waiting for the doors to open we were informed that this show would be streaming live on IWTV and that added another level of excitement to it because not only did it feel like we wanted to be loud for Invictus Pro but also Test Of Strength has never been live on IWTV before and it felt like it was time to show others out there how Connecticut does.   Even though I had already purchased tickets and was already waiting to go inside, this just somehow made me even more excited for this show.

We got in with some time to spare before the show started at 6:30 but eventually pizza came so Quentin spent some of the time eating pizza.  We also got to meet PJ Savage before the whole show started and that was just so great because he's incredibly nice and incredibly talented.  When the show started it cut over to two commentators (one of which wasn't wearing pants) and I could hear them say we'd start things off with the Invictus Social Media Championship Match.   This meant that the Man Crush Mondays Chris Moljo would be out as he cashed in a briefcase he technically cheated to win.

As a side note to all of this, the idea of this being an Invictus and TOS show seemed kind of lost based on the fact that the two companies spent time working side by side when they could have had more of a versus style card here.  For example, the Invictus Social Media Champion could have faced the TOS K-1 Classic Champion.  There was a six person tag which had SWB / Hale Collins / Matias vs The Mission that could've had three steady Invictus roster members on one side.  The only match that really felt this way was the tag team between both champions.

The first match was a good showcase for Chris Moljo, as he is the face of Invictus Pro Wrestling right now, but fear not faithful reader who is a fan of all things good and not heel characters: PJ Savage holds the Climb for Clout briefcase so it feels like only a matter of when- not if- Moljo loses that title to PJ Savage.  

The second match saw Lucas Chase (w/ Jared Silberkleit) defeat both Mark Alexander and Red Sawyer.   This was another case where I wonder why this match was the way that it was.  Red Sawyer is still relatively new to the game, as is Mark Alexander (though he also was a ref last year) and so to have this as a threeway of sorts- especially with the veteran Lucas Chase- just felt like there could have been an Invictus wrestler in here to mix it up.   Someone such as ABBS or Smiley.  (I know, either of them might have been booked elsewhere)

This took us into the Six Way Scramble, which was more of an Invictus match, and it was rightfully by Big Game Leroy.   It had been a little while since we saw Big Game Leroy but being able to see him again was one of the reasons why we went to this show.   Quentin also made a sign for him, which was fun.  The Whisper was supposed to be in this match but was replaced by Matt Awesome and then we also got Adam Brooks (he's Australian and really good!), Killian McMurphy, J Boujii and Clipper Jones.  

When Killian McMurphy came out with Big Dust, as they went by I said "Big Dust I love you" and he said "I love you too".   It was not made clear who the sixth member of this match would be, but it was thought to be a member of Take Over and that member being PJ Savage.  Seeing J Boujii in this match was great because this was the first place I ever saw J Boujii wrestle.  I know that it feels like TOS has forgotten about J Boujii or given him some unspoken ban, but the TOS fans certainly have not forgotten about him.

And I want to give a special mention in this match as well to Clipper Jones.  At some point late last year, when Uncharted Territory ended in Worcester and Wrestling Open started up, it really felt like a much bigger audience got to see Miracle Generation, Sammy Diaz and Elijah 6 and Ichiban.   Well, Clipper Jones is that guy from Connecticut that should be on your radar next.  He is that good and within a year I really hope that people take notice.   It's also kind of funny (but not haha) that Clipper Jones is from CT and is booked here, in CT, but because of Invictus.  I really hope TOS begins booking Clipper Jones on every show going forward.  He's such a natural fit.

After the scramble we went into a tag team match of Clara Carreras and Sammy Diaz taking on Evie De La Rosa and Marcos.   *sigh*  A lot of the reason why we haven't been to TOS as much lately is because when we first started going to their shows about a year ago, they had wrestlers like J Boujii and Garrett Holiday, Karen Bam Bam and even B3CCA was appearing frequently.   (Where is Bonez?!??)  Both Marcos and Evie De La Rosa have just felt like this dark spot not only in TOS but in all of CT.   Imagine this match instead having B3CCA and Alec Price in it.

So I'm going to go on a little side rant here because I feel like this is where it is most important.  In my humble opinion, the mark of being a great heel is that you are someone who could- should the situation present itself- also be cheered.   And using this last match as an example, you look at someone like Sammy Diaz.  Sammy Diaz has always been *good* even if sometimes he'd cheat to win matches.  But when it came time for The Firm to do battle with The Mission and fans had to take sides, Sammy Diaz was embraced by the fans and is now largely cheered.

This makes me look at wrestlers like Evie De La Rosa and Marcos, who really aren't aligned with each other and Evie De La Rosa even cut a promo saying she didn't trust Marcos.  If it came down to it, if somehow Marcos found himself opposite the biggest of heels in all of wrestling, would Marcos be cheered?  Would fans accept and embrace Marcos?  I don't think I ever will and not just because I don't like him but because I don't think he's that good.  He's done nothing to show me that he should be champion and the same goes for Evie De La Rosa.  Just some food for thought.

Sammy Diaz scored the pinfall victory over Marcos in this match, which should make him either champion or in line for a title shot, but Ryan Fraust came out and took out Honest Abe.  This lead to Marcos agreeing to put the title on the line at the next show against Ryan Fraust.  Ryan Fraust is such a legend and it's in his hometown that I really hope he gets that special moment and ends the wrath of Marcos.  

Shifting gears from my opinion about two specific wrestlers to two other wrestlers, up next was the Invictus Tag Team Champions Milk Chocolate taking on TOS Tag Team Champions Miracle Generation, which ended in a no contest when The Mission came out and attacked Miracle Generation.   While everyone loves Miracle Generation, I think everyone at this show could agree that we all hate Milk Chocolate.  Every time I've seen Milk Chocolate I've wished that they were someone else, back to that first Invictus show I saw them on when Brandon Watts told me to stop talking to him when I was heckling him during the match that they lost.

So this match was a bit of chaos and at one point Kylon King held Randy Summers' arms back and Quentin got to chop him.   When this was announced as a title match I kind of knew it couldn't end fairly because neither team could walk out with both sets of belts and no one would really admit "Hey, our team is better", but let's face it: Miracle Generation became champions in a hard fought match against The Firm while Milk Chocolate only became champions because The Outfielders were injured and Wrecking Ball went to NWA.

We took an intermission and came back for three matches only we didn't know what one of the matches would be.   First off, The Mission (Dan DeMan / Brother Greatness / Patrick Saint) took on SWB / Hale Collins / Matias.  Cage Match tells me I saw Hale Collins at my first ever Invictus show, but I don't remember that (Cage Match also doesn't recognize SWB as of this writing)   Hale Collins gave Quentin his sunglasses and he kept wearing them after that.  But it was also just great to see the wildness of Brother Greatness, who is just such a character and should be much more appreciated for every show that he is on.

Originally, we were to see a Women's Championship match featuring Champion Edith Surreal defending against Riley Shepard.   However, Covid is still a thing so that didn't happen.  However, PJ Savage came out and said he was the biggest and the best, which brought out Wrecking Ball Legursky.   This once again ended with Wrecking Ball being hit by a briefcase (seems to happen a lot) and even though it ended that way this was just such a fun hoss match.  Just two big boys beating the hell out of each other and I could watch it backa hundred more times.  

In the main event, Ichiban defended the K-1 Classic Title against Ken Broadway.  I really like Ken Broadway but the combination of him playing the heel and Ichiban just being so over with TOS made it feel more like an even split with the fan cheering Ichiban and booing Ken Broadway.  It is what it is, but I truly do hope one day that Ken Broadway can return to TOS under different circumstances.   He truly is just such a special athlete and that match he had against TJ Crawford back at the first Invictus show I ever went to still holds up amongst the best I've ever seen.

Both Test Of Strength and Invictus Pro Wrestling have their own separate shows coming up next month and since Quentin is out of school sooner than later it's going to be time to go back to NJ again for Invictus.   I'm also really looking forward to the next TOS show, as they announced that former WWE superstar will be in the house and that's someone I really look forward to seeing.   Coming out of this show, the future looks bright for wrestling not only in CT but in NJ as well.    This summer is going to be so much fun.


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