Wrestling Review: WrestleCon Mark Hitchcock Memorial SuperShow (2022)

After being postponed last year, WrestleCon returns to Wrestlemania Weekend in Texas once more with the Mark Hitchcock Memorial SuperShow. In the main event, four of Ring of Honour’s (ROH) former best competitors face off, as The Briscoe Brothers, Mark and Jay Briscoe, face the team of Low-Ki and Homicide, The Rottweilers. In the semi-main event, two all time legends will lead a team of five into a huge Mystery 10-Man Tag Team match, as PCO continues a very late career resurgence against the deathmatch legend, Atsushi Onita. Meanwhile, fresh off their respective matches with Jon Moxley and Chris Dickinson at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 8, Biff Busick and Minoru Suzuki clash in a highly anticipated contest, and a six man tag team match will see Josh Alexander, Ace Austin and Black Taurus team up to face Michael Oku, Laredo Kid and Rey Horus. In a wrestling first, this show will feature a Dirty Dishes Match between husband and wife, Johnny Wrestlecon (aka John Hennigan, fka John Morrison) and Taya Valkyrie, where the loser must wash the winner’s dishes until the end of time. Also on the card, two of the toughest men in all of professional wrestling go head to head, as Timothy Thatcher returns to the independent wrestling scene with what many might consider the unenviable task of facing the “Stone Pitbull” Tomohiro Ishii. Finally, two women who have spent the best part of the recent years in WWE, Mia Yim and Athena (formerly known as Ember Moon) both return to the indies against each other, and in the opening contest, Bandido and “Speedball” Mike Bailey face off for only the third time ever in their history, where the lineal ROH World Champion Bandido looks to earn his first ever victory over Speedball.

+ Team Onita vs Team PCO (Mystery 10-Man Tag Team Match): the mixture of legends and current generation wrestlers made this a spectacle, if nothing else. There wasn’t a lot of great wrestling, but the dirty dancing, Scrappy-Doo confidence, Boom Booming, Rock N’ Rolling and Cowboy Stuff from the competitors was great. I can admit that the entrances themselves were arguably more exciting than the match overall, but PCO is an absolute freak and Onita is a legend for a reason
+ Minoru Suzuki vs Biff Busick: oh god yes. If there was any doubt what my boy BIFF was going to do after leaving NXT, then the Bloodsport match with Moxley, and now this match has removed all doubt. My boy BIFF is back and god help whoever he faces. And I mean, do I even need to say how good Suzuki is? This was my favourite match on the show
+ Josh Alexander & Black Taurus & Ace Austin vs Michael Oku & Rey Horus & Laredo Kid: Alexander is fantastic, Black Taurus is so unique, all three of Oku/Horus/Kid can do some crazy unique things, but Austin felt out of place. This match was overall a lot of fun, and I think Taurus was the most impressive. But I’ll say it again: Alexander is fantastic and he could be undefeated at the top of any company right now
+ Johnny Wrestlecon vs Taya Valkyrie (Husband Versus Wife Dirty Dishes Match): surprisingly intense, with one very small moment that tipped the live crowd (and me) into getting really invested in this one. The commentary really worked overtime in this, and Johnny Wrestlecon played up to the crowd perfectly. I’m not a huge fan of intergender wrestling, but this had enough of a comedy edge to not turn me off – at least not immediately
+ Timothy Thatcher vs Tomohiro Ishii: loyal readers, THIS is the shit I live for. Two meaty men willing to beat each other senseless for my viewing pleasure. This wasn’t pretty, and I loved every second
+ Mia Yim vs Athena: this was good, but not great. I personally enjoy Athena far more as a bad guy, and she got to slide into that role perfectly here, even when her opponent Yim is not necessarily known for being a squeaky clean hero herself. Both women were, but especially Ember Moon was, always underutilised in her time in WWE, and it was good to see both women able to let loose a bit. This didn’t fully click, but I do look forward to what they can do in the near future
+ “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs Bandido: Bandido is the lineal ROH champion and has a huge match up at the upcoming Supercard of Honor, but he still did not let up at all against Speedball. I’ve been blunt with how good I think Speedball is, and this was another match that proved it (though I do wonder about how his knees are going to hold up in the future). This was the exact right way to kick off a show like this

The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs The Rottweilers (Low Ki & Homicide): I’m not sure what the idea was in putting this on last, especially when the 10-Man, Biff/Suzuki and even Thatcher/Ishii were on the card as well, but this match was garbage and I didn’t care for it at all

> I am a big fan of Ian Riccaboni, and I hope he gets to stay on with ROH. I think he has gone under the radar for most people

Should you watch this event: If you stop this at the end of the 10-Man tag, this was one of the best independent wrestling shows I’ve seen. Suzuki/Biff was incredible, Thatcher/Ishii was exactly my kind of wrestling match, the 6-Man Tag was super impressive and the Dirty Dishes Match was something different than the rest. I can’t get over my thought that that main event tag just completely missed the mark.

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