Wrestling Review: WrestleCircus/PWR Midnight-Ish After Mania (2017)

After all the other independent wrestling has had their fun, the wrestling events in Orlando don’t finish when Wrestlemania goes off the air. Live from The Plaza in Orlando, Florida, commencing at about midnight, aka whenever people get there from The Citrus Bowl, WrestleCircus (WC) and Pro Wrestling Revolver (PWR) present Midnight-Ish After Mania. Competitors representing either WC or PWR will go head to head in a series of dream matches, with three titles being put on the line.

+ Michael Elgin vs Shane Strickland: this was the best match of the night, on a night where you could tell the performers were tired. Big power moves from Elgin, and Strickland’s impressive athleticism made for a really solid back and forth contest. An interesting botch near the end was actually really interesting, and seeing the way the performers improvised made for a memorable encounter, complete with a rarely seen super-finisher
+ Death Machine (Sami Callihan & Jessicka Havok) vs The World’s Cutest Tag Team (Joey Ryan & Candice LaRae): I admit I was looking forward to this entire show because of this match, and in that regard I was satisfied. There was a surprisingly large amounts of comedy, but still a fun match, with Havok being the standout. Havok and Callihan (a real life couple) should be teaming more often
+ Championship Scramble Elimination match (WrestleCircus Sideshow Championship AND The Wrestling Revolver Scramble Championship): this was a standard set up, which ended up being really enjoyable. A handful of surprise entrants made for some nice moments, and once the lesser entrants were gone, the remaining athletes really showed what they could do, despite it being at least some of their 7th or 8th matches over the week. A nice ending, with a really good aftermath sent the show out on a high, and a lot of very tired fans and performers home happy
+ Team WrestleCircus (Aaron Solow, Boone the Bounty Hunter, Ricky Starks & Sammy Guevara) vs Team Pro Wrestling Revolver (Curt Stallion, David Starr & OI4K (David Crist & Zachary Wentz)): Boone (aka Johnny Mundo under his WrestleCircus persona, a fact the commentators made the mistake of a few times) was great, and Starr and OI4K were their regular impressive selves. An interesting mid-match spot was silly, but fit in with the less-than-serious nature of the match as a whole

Joey Ryan (left) had a lollipop down his pants. Guess where Sami Callihan puts it next.

– Brian Cage (c) (w/ Melissa Santos) vs Dezmond Xavier (WrestleCircus Ringmaster Championship): this was fine, in the same way any Cage 1-on-1 match is fine. Cage has good power, Xavier has good agility, the two did exactly as you’d expect. For a title match, and as the opener, I’d have to say it was lacking
– ACH vs Martin Stone: both these guys are good-to-great, depending on their opponent, but this kind of felt lacking as well. Maybe just a clash of styles
– Rachel Ellering (c) vs Angel Rose (WrestleCircus Lady of the Ring Championship): Ellering is a lot better than most other indie women, and therefore I can’t help but place the blame for this match being bad entirely on Angel Rose. Much like the Cage/Xavier opener, this was not good for a title match

— “Manscout” Jake Manning (w/ Samantha Heights) vs Leva Bates: after already eviscerating the Manscout on the previous PWR show, giving him only my second ever minus-two rating, I didn’t think it could get worse. I was wrong. After a fucking horrendous pre-match promo from Manscout Manning, he and Bates put on the absolute worst match I have ever had to watch on my screen, and I feel sorry for the live audience for having to be anywhere near the shitshow this “match” was

> I still got a kick out of the entrance themes. “Don’t Stop Believin’” is such a nice change of pace from the regular 25-second loops that most superstars have

Should you watch this event: Capping off an already very long week of wrestling, with the five I’ve now reviewed just the tip of the wrestling iceberg, you could tell the performers were tired here. The heavily promoted inter-gender tag team (World’s Cutest vs Death Machine) and Elgin/Strickland were both fine, and the Championship Scramble was an enjoyable watch. Seek out those matches, but don’t bother with any others.

And if anyone suggests you watch Manscout/Bates, punch them in the face and never talk to them again.


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