Resistance Pro Wrestling is a Chicago based company created by the minds of
former ECW World champion Raven and Smashing Pumpkins lead singer (and the only original member of the band left in the Pumpkins) Billy Corgan. Actually,
Mike Johns did a great job introducing company in his review of the first show here
So here we are, one show deep with things about to pick up as Resistance Pro crowns its first Heavyweight champion. Former NWA champion The Sheik will join (spoiler alert!) future ROH World champion Kevin Steen and the son of the British Bulldog Harry Smith in a Triple Threat match with the winner walking away with the title of Resistance Pro Heavyweight champion. Not only that, but the Resistance Pro Tag Team title tournament will continue before and after Davey Richards takes on Chicago’s own Colt Cabana in a highly anticipated battle. Also, Resistance Pro’s first champion, the Women’s champion Melanie Cruise will find out who will be her first challenger for her title. So much is going to happen before we get the answer to an important question: Is Resistance Pro’s “Rise” Worth Your Money”?
A bikini wearing D’Arcy Dixon was the first face to greet us before giving the viewers a pose session. When the posing ended, Dixon explained the lack of The Briscoes on this show was due to their behavior - which included calling her disrespectful names and making sexual innuendos. Dixon promised to scout more teams tonight until Resistance Pro Women’s champion Melanie Cruise entered the building with Taylor Made and Ms. Nikki by her side. Also there was Montgomery the dog in Nikki’s clutches.
Dixon was excited to meet the three women, but the scary cold shoulder sent D’Arcy packing. Melanie grabbed the microphone pretty much said her being the Resistance Pro Women’s champion meant she is the best and could have her match whenever; and whenever meant right now.
Resistance Pro Women’s champion Melanie Cruise w/Ms. Nikki & Taylor Made vs. Serenity
Serenity did her best Kellie Skater impression by trying to big boy Cruise, only to be flattened by a big boot to the jaw. Sidewalk slam by the champ left Serenity dazed. Made and Nikki put the boots to Serenity when Cruise pitched Serenity to the floor before rolling the spunky Serenity back in. Serenity avoided a running Cruise, firing off some arm drags. Instead of using her momentary advantage properly, Serenity messed with Cruise’s hair. Melanie powered off the mat in a hurry, slaughtering her potential title challenger with sit-out burning hammer.
After the match, Taylor Made revived Serenity with a kiss topped off by her own pin.
P-Dog Millionaires (Shawn Daivari & Arya Daivari) vs. Robert Anthony & Mr. 450
Yes, the Shawn Daivari came out with a red silk shirt while dancing and flashing his chest to the ladies. This is also the continuation of the Tag Team title tournament that will go through several shows. 450 and Arya started this thing off for their respective teams, with Arya doing a great job putting 450’s back to the mat with his high impact maneuvers before letting his brother takeover. 450 fought his way to a tag, but Anthony didn’t do much better than his partner, rolling to the floor. Shawn made a huge mistake by letting Anthony recover and shove Daivari into their corner. Once again, the weak link of the team was Mr. 450, who lost the advantage Anthony created. It would take a distraction from 450 from the apron on a rope scaling Arya to turn the tides in Anthony’s favor via the frankensteiner.
Mr. 450 grounded Arya for a few moments before setting up a series of attacks, including the running bulldog into the kneeling super kick. This team of Anthony and 450 were in complete control thanks to simple rear chin locks. But the rear chin lock came back to haunt Anthony when Arya belly to back suplexed his way to freedom. 450 tagged in, only to run into a spine buster. Shawn finally tagged in, going wild.
Shawn was fighting off both opponents, almost pinning 450 off the power slam. Double neck breaker by Shawn on his opponents allowed himself and his brother rain down punches to the faces of Anthony and 450. Anthony got underneath Arya during the beating, dropping him face first into the top turnbuckle prior to using a reverse gut-wrench suplex to put Shawn in position for the Mexican surfboard that slammed Shawn in position for 450’s somersault senton. The pace picked up after Anthony mouthed off with the crowd. Anthony got dumped to the floor before Arya super kicked 450 in position for their double team superfly splash-guillotine leg drop double team.
Shawn Daivari grabbed the microphone, saying that they wrestle not a Persian style, but the American Midwest style - a style representative of every race. Shawn declared the next time they see the P-Dog Millionaires it will end with them becoming the Resistance Pro Tag Team champions.
El Generico vs. PAC
Very pro-Generico crowd after the initial bell. The first collar & elbow tie up ended in a stalemate. Generico one-upped PAC with an arm drag when PAC tried to outwrestle the masked man by using his arms against him. When PAC realized what was going on, PAC turned the pace up a notch, using a back flip to dropkick Generico. Generico wasn’t rattled, getting to his feet before arm dragging PAC three times. Generico helped PAC to his feet, only for PAC to pull away. The honor was slowly leaving as seen when PAC bounced off the ropes, using a hurricarana to a nice ovation.
Suddenly, the King of the Nighttime the masked Petey Williams came to ringside with a proposal: A Three Way Dance. Generico and PAC accept by opening the ropes for him.
The King of the Nighttime Petey Williams vs. El Generico vs. PAC
Though he wanted in the match, Williams left the ring after the bell to let the original opponents face off again. Williams slipped into the ring as Generico and PAC circled each other, clobbering the fellow masked man from behind. Williams did the same thing to PAC when things settled. Generico and PAC got tired of Williams’ actions, cornering him on the floor to set up some double punches. When the action entered the ring, Generico helped PAC use a corkscrew moonsault onto Williams. Once again, it was down to PAC and Generico, with Generico halting PAC’s speed with the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Williams slipped in, pitching Generico to the floor before attacking PAC.
For some reason, Matt Cross came out, grabbing the microphone. The action halted so Cross could complain about not being booked. Cross learned that you can’t wait for opportunities and demanded to be in this match.
The King of the Nighttime Petey Williams vs. El Generico vs. PAC vs. Matt Cross
Williams found himself cornered with Cross by Generico and PAC’s side, only for Cross to blindside Generico and PAC. PAC was all alone, being beaten by Williams and Cross. Generico finally reentered, only to be double teamed as well. Every time Cross or Williams turned their backs to pose, the other would go for the pin. PAC found himself in a bad way after taking a dropkick to the mush from Cross while locked in Williams’ camel clutch. PAC had to fight by himself, and did a great job after knocking Williams to the floor for an asai moonsault.
The stunned Williams was blindsided by Generico and the blue thunder bomb. Neither Generico’s bomb nor the Michinoku driver could pin Williams. Just as Generico had the momentum in his favor, Cross double stomped him. PAC used a standing shooting star press after knocking Cross down for a two count of his own.
Williams slipped in, looking for the Canadian Destroyer on PAC. This led to a pin attempt exchange that turned into big move after big move until PAC used another hurricarana to spike Generico’s head. PAC took too much time setting up the shooting star press on Generico, allowing Generico to get his knees up. Canadian Destroyer on PAC … for a near fall thanks to Cross!
Cross slipped to the floor while rushing Williams. Before Williams could do move from the corner, Generico yakuza kicked him in position for the turnbuckle Brain Buster that ended with Williams’ neck bending around the top rope in a sickening fashion. In the words of Gorilla Monsoon, the pin fall was elementary.
Jay Bradley vs. Stephen Walters
Bradley easily stopped the indy-riffic flipping and rolling counters with a simple leg sweep. Things got a little sloppy, allowing Bradley to rock Walters’ equilibrium. Bradley focused on Walters’ head, slamming him over and over again against the top turnbuckle. The methodical pace of Bradley left Walters on his knees. Bradley went to the well once too many times with the turnbuckle slams, getting kicked in the head. Bradley kept his footing, exploding with a big boot to set up the Lariat and another victory.
Instead of being interviewed as planned, Bradley took the microphone to explain that winning makes the whiskey and the women go down easier.
The interviewer asked a laid out Walters about him losing, only for Stephen to pop up ready to continue the match. Walters, still holding his head, remembered he lost, giving Bradley his due before leaving.
Colt Cabana vs. Davey Richards w/Tony Kozina
For you ROHbots out there, this is a rematch from ROH’s “9th Anniversary Show” where Richards won. Cabana was ready to throw kicks with Richards, bringing a smile to the ROH World champ’s (at the time) face. Rather than fight Davey’s style, Cabana tried to outwrestle Davey. When that didn’t work out, Colt used those hilarious antics to save himself from Davey’s arm wrenches that included jumping over and over again to feign a reversal before grabbing the ropes and a simple trip to stop the running Davey. Colt tried to get the jump on a surprised Davey, only to be dropkicked to the floor - where a fan graciously toweled Colt’s forehead.
Cabana found himself stuck on the mat, doing his best to counter whatever holds Richards had in mind. The seated surfboard was the hold that cost Richards for a moment, almost leading to a submission in the favor of Cabana. Richards found himself being tricked and almost pinned several times until he back dropped Cabana to the floor for that running kick off the apron. Dishonorably, Kozina choked Colt with his towel before tossing Cabana back in so Davey could continue his striking assault.
Kozina tried to get involved again, only to miss Cabana and get hung in the middle rope crotch first. Cabana was firing off right hands, but Davey was aware enough to stop Cabana’s follow up scaling the ropes with a modified Alarm Clock. Richards turned his attention to Colt’s left leg to possibly set up the Ankle Lock. The fans were behind Cabana, and it powered him up as he stopped both the handspring enzuguri and a tope. Cabana came flying off the top rope to set up a Dusty Special topped off with the Bionic elbow. Flying Apple-clothesline combination couldn’t get the pin in favor of Colt.
Colt couldn’t hit the Colt 45, but a running Richards did taste the butt-butt. Cabana placed Richards on the top rope, only for Richards to knock Cabana off his perch and dropkick him in position for the Ankle Lock. Colt rolled through Davey’s patented submission, using the Billy Goat’s Curse to a great ovation. Showing his jujitsu skills, Davey countered Cabana’s submission with the Ankle Lock again. Using every bit of strength he had, Cabana clawed his way to the ropes. Both men found themselves fighting on the top rope after Colt stopped Davey’s ascent. Cabana placed Davey onto his shoulders, dropping Richards stomach first against the top turnbuckle. When they hit the mat, the two men started trading submission and pin attempts. Suddenly, Davey rolled to his feet, rushing Cabana. Davey went low, only for Cabana to knee Richards square on the jaw, knocking him out. Cabana rolled Davey’s limp body over, getting the pin.
Canadian Destroyer Petey Williams entered the ring, actually getting into an argument with Kozina over who was going beat up Cabana. Williams won out, using the Canadian Destroyer to lay Cabana out. As Davey recovered, he tried to figure out what happened to Cabana. Rather than answer Richards’ questions, Kozina and Williams ushered Davey to the back.
Da Soul Touchaz w/Diamond & C-Red vs. Lucha Squad (Heroes & Gringo Loco)
No, Heroes is no more than one person. Da Touchaz is a trios group, so they had to decide who of the three would take on their opponents. After a quick game of rock, paper, scissors, Acid Jaz was left in the cold so Marshe Rockett (the hybrid wrestler of the group) and Willie Richardson (the big man) could do the honors. I haven’t seen Da Touchaz in a while, and I must note that C-Red has lost a tremendous amount of weight. I think Willie ate some of him.
Marshe and Loco kicked this thing off for their respective teams, with Marshe pushing Loco around. Using his speed to his advantage, Loco was able to work his way around Marshe, using a hurricarana to set up a tag and a double team that saw Heroes be pressed and moonsaulted on top of Marshe. Willie tagged in, coming face to mask with Heroes. Heroes was running into the immoveable object, and things got sloppy fast as Heroes couldn’t get across this big man’s shoulders for a head scissors and was too short to take a clothesline, yet sold it like it connected.
Da Touchaz were in complete control after Willie did hit the next clothesline attempt. Big elbow off the middle rope by Willie followed up by a snap suplex that turned into a DDT because Heroes didn’t snap too well. Willie mocked Heroes, leading to another awkward exchange that ended with both men looking for what appeared to be dropkicks, but nothing hit. Heroes’ dropkicks allowed him to clip the big man and make the tag as Richardson did the same.
Loco jumped off the top rope, screwing up another hurricarana on Marshe. Thanks to Loco dropping himself on his own head, Da Touchaz put Loco in position for Willie’s big leg drop. Richardson missed, allowing Heroes and Loco to turn the tides and send Da Touchaz to the floor for two dives that took everyone down. Heroes scaled the ropes against as Willie rolled back in. Suddenly, Loco looked down to see Loco arguing with C-Red. Acid Jaz jumped onto the apron, tripping Heroes to set up Marshe Irish whipping Heroes into Willie’s Pounce that knocked Heroes clear across the ring. To add insult to injury, Willie slapped Heroes a few times before pinning him.
After the match, Jaz and Marshe feigned handshakes to lay their opponents out. Willie topped off his partner’s attacks by squashing Heroes with the guillotine leg from the top.
#1 Contender Match: Cheerleader Melissa vs. Sassy Stephie
Melissa did a great job halting Stephie’s grappling, turning this match into a brawl. Power drive elbow by Melissa set up that high angle Indian deathlock. Stephie made it to the ropes, falling to the floor. Stephie used this time to recover and catch Melissa off guard when she reentered the ring. Several hair mares ended with a near fall for Stephie. Last chancery by Stephie couldn’t get her the submission prior to some skull screwing didn’t pin Melissa. Stephie’s taunting allowed Melissa to recover and catch Stephie running with a modified Samoan drop. Several clotheslines and the big boot set up Melissa’s curb stomp.
Before Melissa could get the three count, Nikki and Taylor Made came to ringside to distract the referee. As Nikki showed Montgomery off to the referee, Made blew powder into Melissa’s eyes. Cheerleader Melissa blindly stumbled into Stephie’s DDT. Sassy hastily went for the pin, becoming Cruise’s first contender.
Cruise joined her girls, stating that excrement happens after congratulating Sassy Stephie.
Resistance Pro Heavyweight title: Harry Smith vs. Kevin Steen vs. The Sheik w/Rinaldo Piven
Steen took a corner, watching Sheik and Harry slug it out until Smith kicked Sheik to the floor. When Smith and Steen locked up, they found themselves evenly matched on the mat. Big belly-to-belly suplex by Smith stopped a charging Steen. Sheik ran in to jump Harry from behind, but took a power slam instead. All three men were back in the ring, with Smith looking for a flying arm bar on Steen that was stopped by The Sheik. Steen saved Sheik from taking a suplex to the floor, DDT’ing the stunned Harry. Steen finally made The Sheik understand that they needed to work together via a friendly hug.
Simple stomps and kicks from his opponents left Harry on his back or out on his feet. Sheik was doing a lot of the heavy work as Steen jawed off with the fans. The relationship between Steen and Sheik started to break down when pins came into play. Thankfully for Steen - who initiated the miscommunications - Sheik refocused and saved Steen from taking the Sharpshooter by clipping Harry’s left leg. Smith could barely stand as he tried to fight off both men. During Steen’s assault of Smith’s leg, Sheik pulled out the railroad spike, but didn’t use it when Steen turned around.
Cannonball in the corner by Steen set up a pin on Harry and infuriated Sheik. Using the spike, Sheik stopped Steen’s pin before choking him with the spike. Harry got up swinging, but a double clothesline ended Harry and Sheik’s fight. Spear by Steen on Harry made the crowd very pro-Steen. Steen missed a shoulder ram into the corner on Harry, allowing Smith to explode with several clotheslines, a big body drop, and the Hulk Hogan finish. Steen stopped the sure pin on the Sheik, but took a power bomb from Smith for his trouble.
Sheik saved Steen from being pinned, using a neck breaker on Harry for another two count. Steen used some clever maneuvering, using a lung blower on Sheik while landing right on top of Harry. Steen locked Harry in the Sharpshooter, only for Sheik to come after him with one of his boots. Steen ducked Sheik’s wild swing with his footwear, taking the boot to clobber Sheik. Steen turned to Harry, thinking about doing the same thing to him. Steen decided against using the boot, spitting on Sheik’s attire. Steen walked into Harry’s Sharpshooter. For several heated moments, Steen refused to give up. Unfortunately for “Mr. Wrestling, the pain became too much, and he no choice but to tap out, making Harry the first Resistance Pro Heavyweight champion.
Steen took the microphone, expressing his goal of fighting for the children who started supporting him during the match and shutting the Sheik and Piven up. After chasing Sheik and Piven out of the area, Steen confronted Harry, who offered Steen a shot at the title any time, anywhere.
As everything seemed to be settling down for the evening after Billy Corgan awarded Smith the title belt, someone entered the ring with a bag in his hand. That someone turned out to be “The Man Beast” Rhino. Rhino presented his ticket to get a picture with Smith. Rhino talked about his loneliness in recent years, and his search for a friend and title shot. For Rhino, Smith could be one in the same. Before Harry could answer, Rhino asked to get his picture with Harry. Rhino took the title belt, posing with it alongside Smith. After Rhino got about ten pictures with Smith, Corgan put a stop to the weirdness by telling him to leave while they consider giving Rhino a title shot.
This was the “Oh no he didn’t!” moment as Rhino flipped and pretty much cussed everyone out before revealing that in his bag was the original ECW title belt. Rhino didn’t care how Corgan felt, stating he wasn’t Vince McMahon and he’ll take the Resistance Pro Heavyweight title next month.
Is It Worth Your Money: To paraphrase a line from Mike Johns’ review of the first RPW show, I don’t exactly know what RPW is trying to create, but it feels different already. And a lot of that “different” has to do with the lack of predictability. It was hard to judge where a majority of the matches were going until the last few seconds, and that’s a great thing that’s missing in wrestling nowadays. But unpredictability can only get you so far if the action and booking isn’t up to par. And “Rise” was definitely a show of beautiful peaks and woeful valleys. What you had here was a great main event, a wonderful battle between Cabana and Richards (Match of the Night for sure), a surprising four way (that shouldn’t have taken so much work to get to), and the first tag match that kept you on the edge of your seat.
On the flip side, there was two squash matches, Melissa and Stephie doing the best they could while working toward a mediocre match that deserved more time and a better finish, and easily one of the worst tag matches I’ve seen in quite some time. And I don’t mean so bad it’s funny, I mean just plain bad. Da Soul Touchaz deserved better than this, and Heroes should never grace a RPW ring again. The guy was plain awful, and helped create a horrible first impression for Da Touchaz.
While the show wasn’t all roses and sunshine (well, it shouldn’t be inside of a nightclub), “Rise” moved smoothly thanks to the action and increased lighting on the floor so you could see what was going on unlike “Black Friday” (still not great, but an improvement) and the men and women did a great job strengthening the show when it seemed to be going down. Pretty much that was the entire show: Have something okay or bad followed by a match that rocks your socks off. By the show’s end, you’re not thinking about Heroes stinking up the joint or “Lonesome” Jay Bradley’s horrible nickname (I ignored it in the review because it’s so bad), but the great scrap of a title match, Davey and Colt tearing the house down, and that wild four way. All in all, I walked away feeling like Corgan, Raven, and the men and women of Resistance Pro are onto something special. What that is I really don’t know yet, but color me excited to find out.
Resistance Pro’s “Rise” Is Worth Your Money.