New Orleans’ weekend of wrestling kicks off in style, as WrestleCon presents the first event of the weekend, the Mark Hitchcock Memorial Supershow. The show was originally scheduled to be headlined by a tag team match featuring the Golden Lovers, Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega, versus The Best Friends, Chuckie T and Trent Beretta, but with Beretta’s injury still not healed, Chuckie T had to get a new partner, revealed just before the match begun. A huge six-man tag sits in the second-to-last spot, as Sami Callihan, Juice Robinson and Hiroshi Tanahashi team up to face the trio of David Starr, Brian Cage and Minoru Suzuki. There will be appearances from other huge stars such as Will Ospreay, Rey Fenix, Jeff Cobb and Tomohiro Ishii, as well as two bonafide legends of the luchador style, Matt Classic and Chico el Luchador. Mark Hitchcock was one of the producers on the Highspots team, the group behind various independent wrestling videos. By all accounts, he was a phenomenal person.
This was actually the first event at Wrestlecon, and everything I’ve reveiwed over the past week came after this show.
+ Chuck Taylor & a mystery partner vs Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi): I could take or leave the replacement as a singles guy, but as part of this match it worked wonderfully. The Lovers were hugely popular, and even Chuckie got a good reaction, despite pulling out his classic douchebag moves. This was another fantastic match, three hours into a show full of fantastic matches
+ Brian Cage, David Starr & Minoru Suzuki vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson & Sami Callihan: holy hell, what a line up. It is no secret I am a huge fan of Suzuki, Starr and Callihan in particular. Even though in my mind it makes more sense for Cage and Callihan to be on the opposite teams, but Starr/Callihan can’t be on the same team, so whatever. This was arguably the higest profile match, despite only being the penultimate match, but the crowd was super hot for everyone involved. I also never realised I wanted a long Callihan/Suzuki match until here. This was simply a really solid match with an incredibly loud crowd
+ Adam Brooks vs Sammy Guevara vs Shane Strickland vs Will Ospreay: god damn, this was hectic. I’m a fan of all four of these guys, and I am amazed Ospreay even made it to the show, after his match against Marty Scurll at Sakura Genesis. Hometown hero Brooks is making some big waves for himself, Guevara may well soon be the best in the world, and Strickland was able to swerve his way out of any trouble, because he is that damn good. Really, they are all that damn good, and this match was just that damn good
+ Chico El Luchador & The Mexicools (Psicosis & Super Crazy) (w/ Juventud Guerrera) vs Jason Cade, Matt Classic & Teddy Hart: it is almost hard to believe that Chico and Classic have over one hundred years of experience between them, but these two legends are destined to go back and forth forever. I didn’t know I missed the Mexicools until I saw them, but once the match was over I was happy this was a one time(?) thing. Teddy Hart was Hart, and this third time I am seeing him reminded me why I was never a huge fan in the first place. Overall, this was not the best wrestled match, but damn it was lots of fun
+ Bandido & Flamita vs Rey Fenix & Rey Horus: this was the match I wanted out of Lucha Bros/Jack Evans and Teddy Hart at Pancakes and Piledrivers. Unlike that match, this one was technically smooth, visually incredible and audibly hard hitting. All four guys received a standing ovation, which is exactly how I felt after watching this craziness
+ Jeff Cobb vs Tomohiro Ishii: god damn, this was great. It’s a shame I have not watched this show until now, because if I had I may have written “there may be been nothing that will topped this all weekend”, it was that damn good. This was a power match up, between one of my absolute favourites (Ishii) and a guy that I am always impressed by, even if I don’t seek him out in particular (Cobb), but both of them put on one hell of a match
+ Caleb Konley, Jake Manning, Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Trevor Lee & Zane Riley vs Madison Eagles, Nicole Savoy, Shazza McKenzie, Tenille Dashwood & Tessa Blanchard: this was full of a lot of obviously choreographed spots with not much in between, but damn if it wasn’t entertaining. The women were the de facto good guys, just because of the nature of the match up, and for the most part there was nothing overly offensive about the way the match was laid out (one or two moments notwithstanding, but they may have been spur of the moment things from the guys). This was surprisingly fun
+ Joey Ryan’s Women’s Open Challenge: Joey cut the most over-the-top sexist promo before the match, but his competitor was not quite what you might expect. This was not so much a match as a segment, but it was interesting enough to warrant being a plus
+ Joey Janela (w/ Penelope Ford) vs Penta El Zero M: this was a realtively short opener, but knowing that both men go on to do so many more matches over the weekend forgives that a bit. I certainly did enjoy the match, especially if and when Penelope Ford got involved (just because you know that Penta won’t take any of that shit)
Should you watch this event: It is a testament that after all the wrestling I have watched lately, this was easily one of the better shows, if not second best overall; I don’t think it quite topped the NXT show). Every match on this show was good to great, with a good crowd, not-horrible commentary (which is huge praise, after the shows I’ve watched recently) and all outcomes made sense. This was just great, from top to bottom.