Glory Pro Wrestling presented their Day of the Dragon event from Columbus Plaza in Collinsville, Illinois. The eleven match card promised an exciting show, which Glory Pro delivered, highlighted by the first round of the Midwest Territory Championship Tournament (MTCT) and an appearance by Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat.
Unfortunately, I had some frustrations with both the ring and the card that kept me from fully enjoying the show. The ring itself was set up about two feet lower than what I’m used to, the consequence of which being, anyone standing ringside blocked my view. While, I’m sure Glory Pro had a good reason for setting things up this way, it was challenging at times to keep track of the action.
My other issue involved how crowded the card was and the limits that fact placed on the performers. Eleven matches in approximately three hours is a ton to get through, so it makes sense that no one match was allowed to go much past fifteen minutes. The downside being that a few of the matches felt rushed, while others could have gone from “good” to “great” if the talent had been given more time to work.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.
Match 1: Manders Defeats Joshua Bishop, Billy Brash, Kody Lane, Mike Outlaw and Mark Wheeler when Manders Pinned Bishop via Gutwrench Sit-Out Powerbomb to Advance in the MTCT
To kick off the show, we had a quick six-man that heated the crowd up nicely. Outlaw and Bishop grabbed the highlight of the match when Brash followed up Outlaw’s tope con giro with an equally impressive corkscrew plancha. Manders secured the win with a gutwrench sit-out powerbomb that the other men just missed breaking up.
Match 2: Jake Something with Tommy Vendetta Defeats Kobe Durst via Spinning Side Slam Following a Vendetta Distraction
Our second match began with Durst attempting to use his wrestling technique to get the upper hand over Something, only to be blocked repeatedly by the larger man’s power. Durst eventually got some offense in when he countered Something into a backstabber, and later, a flipping powerbomb. Vendetta interfered repeatedly, even spending a good amount of time inside the ring before accidentally hitting Something with a tope. It was a Vendetta distraction that allowed Something to hit a spinning side slam on Durst for the pin and the victory.
Fired up by his win, Something tried to hype up Vendetta for the next match, which lead to…
Match 3: Barackus Defeats Tommy Vendetta with Jake Something via Second Rope Splash
Barackus dominated Vendetta here in under two minutes, flattening Vendetta and drawing the ire of Something. An entertaining match between Barackus and Something should be on the horizon. Following the match, Something appeared fed up with Vendetta and left him heartbroken in the ring.
Match 4: Halal Beefcake (Idris Abraham & Joe Coleman) Defeats The Gym Nasty Boys (Timmy Lou Retton & White Mike) and Space Pirates (Shane Sabre & Space Monkey) via Assisted Jackhammer by Coleman on Sabre Following Whey Protein to Sabre’s Eyes
This match was incredibly entertaining, as expected from the six involved. Whether it was White Mike attempting to convince Space Monkey to try some “weird stuff” before the match or Retton hitting two men with his rolling cutter, there was something for just about everyone to enjoy here. Halal Beefcake cut the fun short, however, when Coleman tossed a handful of protein powder into Sabre’s eyes and both men used an assisted suplex powerslam to put Sabre down for the pin fall.
Match 5: Stephen Wolf Defeats Myron Reed via TIlt-a-Whirl Tombstone Piledriver to Advance in the MTCT
This was a great match by athletic standards that was elevated to my Match of the Night based on the storytelling skills of both men. Before the match started, Wolf called Reed out as the reason the two of them were not currently tag team champions, while Reed was sure the blame belonged with Wolf. Reed could be overheard saying, “Sometimes brothers gotta fight it out.” This simple wrinkle, on top of the tournament implications, made the big moments, such as the two countering each other’s signature offense, even more meaningful. The drama hit a high point when Wolf was just barely able to kick out of a springboard 450 at two.
After Wolf pinned Reed following a tombstone piledriver, the two men embraced and Reed told Wolf that he had better win this whole thing. I would have loved to see this match go 20 or 30 minutes, but the two did well with the time they were given.
Ricky Steamboat Addresses the Fans
The Dragon took a few minutes to speak to the fans in attendance, naming his favorite people to work with (Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Rick Rude, and Jake Roberts, specifically) and regaling the crowd with a fun Flair anecdote.
The Four Star Heroes came out to tell Steamboat that no one cared about him anymore, but were sent packing when Steamboat hit his signature chops on Matt Knicks to a huge ovation from the fans.
Match 6: The North (Josh Alexander & Ethan Page) Defeat The WorkHorsemen (J.D. Drake & Anthony Henry) via Torture Rack Assist into a Spinebuster to Retain the IMPACT Tag Team Championships
This match could have been billed as the main event, and these four did not disappoint, despite things seeming a bit rushed. As The North entered to Page’s music, Page informed us how much not playing The North’s music infuriated Alexander and how the The Walking Weapon would surely take his frustration out on the WorkHorsemen. Alexander proved this to be the case in a fantastic show of strength, getting the much larger Drake up for a spinning powerbomb. Drake answered back with his own show of athleticism, hitting a somersault senton and later a top rope moonsault that got a great near fall. The North managed to come away victorious when Alexander tossed Henry to Page for a big spinebuster and the win.
Match 7: Seishin Defeats Laynie Luck via Knee Trembler to Advance in the MTCT
This was a solid match that contrasted the more straight ahead style of The Little Blue Dragon with the fun loving Party Unicorn. Luck taunted Seishin by Dabbing, Flossing and forcing her opponent to Whip in the center of the ring. Luck tried to wear Seishin down with a guillotine choke and running knees in the corner, but Seishin overcame both the disrespect and the varied offense of Luck to catch the Unicorn with a knee trembler and move on in the tournament. After the match, the two hugged in the ring and Seishin donned Luck’s unicorn mask while they celebrated. I’d love to see Luck and Seishin as a mythical creature themed tag team that can both party and punch people in the mouth.
Match 8: Hakim Zane Defeats Danny Adams via Pinfall Following a Sky Lift Powerbomb by Karam to Advance in the MTCT
The final match in the first round of the Midwest Territory Championship Tournament pitted Hakim Zane against Danny Adams. Zane looked to frustrate Adams early by avoiding his offense and taunting Adams loudly every chance he got. Zane has incredible charisma and played the egomaniac villain perfectly. Zane got what he was owed, though, when Adams suplexed him from the floor into the ropes and punished Zane with strikes. Zane responded by working the arm of Adams attempting to apply multiple crossfaces. When it seemed like Adams might prevail anyway, Karam ran out from the back and hit a big powerbomb on Adams, letting Zane pick up the win and advance to the second round.
Match 9: Paco and Curt Stallion Fight to a No Contest After Throwing Referee Sean O’Brien From the Ring
This match was originally a three-way match between Paco, Stallion, and Eddie Kingston for the Crown of Glory Championship. Unfortunately, Kingston had to be removed due to injury, so this match was instead used to build Paco and Stallion up for when Kingston has recovered. The two men certainly succeeded, laying into each other with vicious strikes and displaying some serious animosity that eventually lead to a double disqualification. The men continued to fight long after the match was tossed which caused the locker room to empty in an attempt to separate the two. It will be interesting to see how a master promo like Kingston fits himself and the title back into this feud.
Match 10: AJ Gray Defeats Jake Lander via Vertical Lift Michinoku Driver
Gray and Lander worked together exceptionally well here with Gray trying to use his size and strength to impose his will on Lander, and Lander responding with his own strength and athleticism. Gray battered Lander with thunderous chops and impact maneuvers, but Lander refused to give in. Lander fought back, turning an abdominal stretch into a crucifix bomb and getting Gray up for a rolling Death Valley Driver. Gray eventually got the better of his opponent when he hit Lander with a Michinoku Driver for the win. Following the match, Jake Something emerged from the back and offered Lander the chance to be his new protégé, which Lander rejected after some thought and the encouragement of Gray. Something let it go for the time being, though he promised Lander they would do things, “the hard way.”
Match 11: The Four Star Heroes (Brubaker & Chris Castro) with Matt Knicks Defeat The Besties in the World (Mat Fitchett & Davey Vega) When Castro Pinned Fitchett Following an Attack with the Title Belt to Become the New United Glory Champions
After The Besties made their entrance Castro and Knicks appeared with Knicks favoring his arm. The two claimed Knicks had been injured earlier by Ricky Steamboat and was unable to compete (Knicks would go on to repeatedly interfere in the match), but they had someone who could fill in: The Filth King, Brubaker. Caught off guard by the switch, the champions spent the majority of the match fighting from underneath in what proved to be a fast and chaotic main event. Brubaker and Castro rocked The Besties with impressive tandem moves, including a brutal looking exploder suplex into a dead-lift German. Castro paid homage to Stan Hansen with some vicious lariats and Hansen’s trademark yell. At some point following the lariats (in an unfortunate coincidence), Castro seemed to legitimately injure his arm. He toughed it out, and finished the match, but didn’t stick around long afterwards.
The Four Star Heroes won the match and the titles when a distracted referee failed to notice Fitchett being struck with one of the belts and Castro covering him for the victory. Brubaker, Castro, and Knicks continued to attack the Besties after the match, which drew Danny Adams and Mike Outlaw from the back. They were soon joined by a returning Kevin Lee Davidson, who arrived to a massive ovation and helped clear the heels from the ring. The Besties in the World and No New Friends stood tall in the ring and closed out the show. While undeniably exciting, the match was a bit overbooked and could have benefited from being a bit simpler. The post match seemed to set up a No New Friends vs. Four Star Heroes feud going forward, which should certainly be a draw for Glory Pro fans.
/Mat Fitchett wins the “Best Gear” award for his Venom inspired knee pad (bonus points because it was the knee he uses to hit his Busaiku strike).
/A riot nearly broke out when Halal Beefcake insinuated that Space Monkey wasn’t a real monkey. Abraham and Coleman clearly have no concern for public safety.
/A disoriented White Mike demanded the shoelaces of a nearby cameraman.
/A young girl was cheering loudly for Jake Lander and someone in the crowd shouted that Lander only had one fan. Lander responded by saying, in that case, he’d win it for her. Pure gold.
/Ring announcer Ben Simon should be first in line to voice Justin Roberts if they ever decide to make a Justin Roberts animated series. Yes, he should be cast ahead of the real Justin Roberts.
This was a well above average show, certainly worth the $15 price for general admission. While some aspects didn’t appeal to me, if you love getting to see tons of matches at a lightning fast pace, you absolutely should check this show out on independentwrestling.tv. Glory Pro Wrestling’s next show, Thunderstruck, will be held Sunday, September 22nd in Collinsville, Illinois. Details can be found on their Twitter @weareglorypro.
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