Wrestling Review //
Fight Life
February 8th, 2023
Line Sider Brewing Co. East Greenwich RI


Additional photos can be found in a Facebook album here :::

I've been paying attention to Fight Life since it started and knew it was only a matter of time before I made it to one of their shows.   This show first caught my attention in that way of trying to go because of the Speedball Mike Bailey vs Jordan Oliver match.   My goal for 2023 is to see as much Speedball Mike Bailey as I can and I had bought tickets for this show before I even knew I'd see Speedball a few days prior at Garden State Pro.  

The one announcement though that confirmed my ticket purchase for this show was that of Yuval Goldshmit, who has been doing absolutely wonderful things in Germany and so when I saw the opportunity to see him wrestle here I knew I had to take it.    Somehow, after I had already bought my ticket, Lio Rush was also announced and that just made everything so much sweeter.  I really seem to be having the best luck with wrestling shows this year.

This was only my second time coming to Rhode Island for professional wrestling, but seeing some of the same faces on both shows was definitely fun.   Fight Life is interesting to me because it has JT Dunn leading the Unit and a lot of wrestlers from Chaotic Wrestling, but also there's this group of wrestlers who I associate with NCW and Lucky Pro Wrestling as well.  So you combine those two rosters- where you could have Ricky Smokes (Chaotic) and Steven Lust (NCW) on the same show.

But then Fight Life adds this extra element to it all as well, using those more local wrestlers as the building blocks to bring in names like Lio Rush, Speedball Mike Bailey, Jordan Oliver, Marcus Mathers and so on.   I'm not saying Chaotic, NCW or LPW wouldn't bring in those names but I feel like they'd only bring them in one at a time.   And that's fine- it's nothing against them because they're still doing good work as well- but the way the Fight Life cards shape up is just unreal.  

My measure for going to a show is "What happens if someone drops off?"  If you were going to this show just to see Speedball Mike Bailey and then he couldn't make it for some reason, would you be upset and not go to the show?  I would hope not because then you would still miss Lio Rush, Jordan Oliver, Yuval GoldShmit, etc.   This really just speaks volumes though about how great Fight Life is doing with their shows because you should want to see everyone.

Fight Life 8 opened with Ricky Smokes (who has yet to win a match in Fight Life) against Dustin Waller.   While I enjoy Miracle Generation as a tag team, I think they also have a lot to offer as singles wrestlers still and they don't get booked that way as much.  So to see Dustin Waller in singles competition was fun and Ricky Smokes is very much hated everywhere he goes, which is also fun.    It was a good match to open the show because it was fun and just set the tone for the rest of the night.

Sean Leiter and Steven Lust have an angle going on Fight Life that you have to be paying attention to for it to make sense, but as they took on The Haven, Leiter started the match, tagged out and then wouldn't let Steven Lust tag out.   This is going to lead to a match between Sean Leiter and Steven Lust and it's going to be fantastic.  This also gave The Haven a win in Fight Life and so that's just another way in which this all worked out for the best. 

Out third was Danny Miles vs Yuval Goldshmit.   Danny Miles was originally scheduled to face Manders which makes me wonder if that happened who Yuval Goldshmit would've faced.   I must say that a few years back, when The Unit formed, I felt like Danny Miles was the weakest link.  But looking at Danny Miles in this match, he might just be the best member of The Unit right now.  So to see him go toe to toe with Yuval Goldshmit was a really great match and I'm happy this was how I first saw Yuval Goldshmit in person.

My favorite part about the next match was that for some reason Paris Van Dale blamed me for her having to face Mike Graca.   This felt like certain death for PVD and I was personally invested.  Paris spent a lot of the match running scared, then when Mike Graca was about to get in some offense, Paris pulled the ref in front of her and this whole match ended up being ruled a no contest.   Mike Graca neither cared nor was done though as he brought a door into the ring with intentions to put PVD through it.

The returning Gal Barkay made the save and Mike Graca ended up going through the door after some fighting.   Gal Barkay looks like he was carved from stone and just has this wrestling look about him, which makes me very much want to see him face the unpredictable murder style of Mike Graca.    This might not have technically been a match but the way it shall lead us to an even bigger match makes it all worthwhile.

Up next we had JT Dunn doing his best Enzo Amore cosplay as he took on B3CCA.  I saw this match once before and I still don't think JT Dunn has fully recovered from getting kicked in the head by B3CCA.   It's weird to me how the crowd was behind JT Dunn (and The Unit) but there were still some people saying The Unit sucks and that should be the appropriate response.  And then sometimes B3CCA was cheered but sometimes she was booed so it wasn't really clear what the fans thought of her.

True to being B3CCA though and her superstar power, she played it up both ways.  B3CCA is just one of those natural wrestlers but also can talk.   When you can talk and back it up, that's something special.  So I really don't ever want to boo B3CCA.  But sometimes, the crowd does.  So the way that B3CCA can react to the crowd when even the crowd doesn't seem to know what it wants is just so rare and how B3CCA is not on weekly television is beyond me. 

I spent intermission talking with Yuval Goldshmit and then buying a baseball cap from B3CCA.  I liked the way that this B3CCA hat looked so that was why I bought it (and for support, you know) but I never really know how hats are going to fit me and feel until I put them on and wear them a bit.   Let me tell you, this B3CCA hat is one of the most comfortable and form fitting hats that I own (and I have quite a few) and for the foreseeable future, you will likely see me wearing it everywhere.

After intermission, we came back with Aaron Rourke vs Lio Rush.   Aaron Rourke is another one of these wrestlers who just has such a great look and presence but also can really go inside of that ring.   This match was a lot of fun, different from when I previously saw Lio Rush vs Alec Price, but still a really solid match.   Every time I see Lio Rush live it feels special (and I buy a t-shirt) but this match with Aaron Rourke was just even bigger than I could've imagined.

Shot Through The Heart (which is Love, Doug and TJ Crawford now) took on Young Dumb and Broke (Ellis Taylor and Charlie Tiger) in what was a pretty fun match.   I'm kind of surprised that YDB won, but since they did get that victory and The Haven had a victory earlier in the show, perhaps it is time for them to face each other.

The scramble was next and it started off as chaos.   Allie Katch and Shannon Levangie were on the bar and everyone was in the crowd back there.   Once it finally got into the ring, Alec Price came out as a mystery sixth opponent.   I briefly saw Alec Price come out to sell merch during intermission and then disappear, so I knew he was there but I didn't know what he was going to be doing exactly.  

So the scramble was won by Kylon King.  Marcus Mathers, Allie Katch and Alec Price were in it and they all have their own bragging rights for sure.  But Shannon Levangie is definitely a future star.   And one member of YDB I don't see enough (this was my first time seeing him live) is Griffin McCoy and he is just so good inside of that ring I'd like to see him in more one on one competition everywhere.

The main event was Speedball Mike Bailey vs Jordan Oliver.   While it's only February, that was my Match Of The Year so far.   Every other match for the rest of the year is going to have to try and top that.   Because these two wrestlers beat the hell out of each other for a long time.  There were several moments where I thought either wrestler would win because I just didn't know how the other could continue, but somehow they kicked out.  

I truly believe that Speedball Mike Bailey is one of the best wrestlers in the world today.  And the evidence of that is simply in the matches.   But I also believe that is every bit true of Jordan Oliver as well.   I have a short list of who the best wrestlers are right now and these are two names that are definitely on it.    When you have two wrestlers who have just been having their best years meet in that ring together it's just magical.   There are no words for it.

After the match, Kellan Thomas came out and said that there was going to be a tournament to crown a champion and the first round matchup he would be in would be against Mike Bailey.   It has already been announced that this show will be back at Line Sider and so unless something unexpected comes up I'm planning on being there once again because now I am hooked.  


Popular Posts