Instead of the usual Impact review this week, I will cover the Resistance Pro show that happened on Friday, March 23rd.
For those that may not know, Resistance Pro is the promotion headed by Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame, and is based in downtown Chicago. Their first show was in November, and they’ve run approximately every month since. I have been to three of the four shows, and have found them to be very good. The Excalibur nightclub provides a surprisingly great atmosphere for a wrestling event, as the multi-level setup gives a “Fight Club” like vibe. Plus it’s nice to see some of the young up and coming talent.
I also want to apologize to anybody from Resistance Pro in advance if I get any of the names wrong. This is mainly going by memory and a few notes.
March’s event was called “Obsession”, and was headlined by Resistance champion Harry Smith defending his title in a rematch against Rhino. While it was obviously not specified by name, Rhino was putting up his most prized possession as collateral: His ECW title that he won in the final ECW show in 2001.
It was announced at the beginning of the show that Ring Announcer and Chicago radio legend Chet Coppack would not be there, as he was ill. His replacement announcer did share a message from Chet that he would be back for the next show. The crowd responded with a “Chet” chant.
The show began with D’arcy Dixon and Eric St. Vaughn, coming out to pose for the crowd. Some commotion broke out, and the former Lou E. Dangerously jumped the rail. D’arcy recognized him, and complained about how she is always getting interrupted. Lou got a mic, and said he came out here to apologize for the comments he made online. This was referencing a blog he recently wrote, where he said Resistance Pro was going to fail because it was yet another attempt at rehashing ECW. Billy Corgan by this time had made it out to the ring. Lou again started acting apologetic, then went on to say that The Smashing Pumpkins were only hits because they paid to have their songs played on the radio. He said ECW was like the Nirvana of wrestling. After a few more insults, Corgan had Lou’s mic cut, and had security escort Lou out.
MATCH ONE: Matt Cross and
Mr. 450 Señor Chris Hall vs. Tripp Cassidy and Big Sue Jackson – The team was originally setup as Cross and Mr. 450, but Hall ambushed 450 from behind as they made their way to the ring. At the end of the match, 450 had come to and made his way to the second floor cage. When Cross was down, 450 hit a 450 splash. However, Hall hit the ring, splashed Cassidy, and rolled Cross over top of him to get the win. The two beat down 450 afterward, with Cross yelling that 450 should be thankful for being given the night off so he could go eat pop tarts.
Winners: Matt Cross and Señor Chris Hall
MATCH TWO: ACH vs. “Ego” Robert Anthony – I was very impressed with the work of both men. ACH was great as a high flying hero, and Anthony was his usual entertaining self as the comedic heel constantly getting shown up. When ACH showed some kicking ability, Anthony proclaimed to the ref “I didn’t know I was facing Bruce Leroy, he’s got The Glow!”. He also had some great shots at the crowd before locking up with ACH and proclaiming “Now it’s time for wrestling, no more talking!”. He would of course continue to berate the fans and ACH afterward…
Anyways, this was a great back and forth match with some fun athletic material by ACH. In the end, Anthony hit a surfboard into a slam for the win.
Winner: “Ego” Robert Anthony. I hope both guys get a lot of work, as Anthony has been consistently entertaining. This was my first time seeing ACH, and he was very impressive
MATCH THREE: “The Matrix” Taylor Made (w/Melanie Cruise & Miss Nikki) vs. Serenity – This match has been about two months in the making, as Serenity was attacked by Cruise’s entourage at “Rise”, and interfered in Cruise’s title defense at last month’s “Vicious Circle”. Melanie Cruise was on a crutch. She took the mic and said that she is in no condition to defend her title. Serenity did a good job playing the spunky babyface. In the end, Serenity got the pin after interference from Cruise and Nikki backfired. Cruise hit the ring attacking Serenity, and beat her down. This of course made it look like her injury was not legit at all.
The interviewer (I forget his name) tried to get a word with Cruise, saying that people will seriously doubt her injury after what she just did. Cruise slapped him, but still informed her that in 90 days she will defend the Resistance Womens Title against Angelina Love.
MATCH FOUR: “Lonesome” Jay Bradley vs. Sean Waltman – This match was for the #1 contendership. Bradley has been portrayed very well as a dominant tweener style asskicker. Waltman by far got the biggest reaction of the night. The crowd chanted “1-2-3”, which really seemed to touch him, and he told the crowd that he loves wrestling in Chicago. This was a very good match, with the action spilling outside and Bradley smacking Waltman into the barricade. Once they made it back into the ring, Waltman made his comeback, hitting his signature X-Factor Facebuster and Bronco Buster. In the end, Bradley hit a lariat that would make Stan Hansen proud and got the clean win.
Winner: “Lonesome” Jay Bradley to become the #1 Contender to the Resistance Pro Title.
Bradley took the mic, and went over Waltman’s accomplishments as a member of the NWO and DX, and brought up his title history in all his promotions “and yet still I beat his ass”. Waltman got up and shook Bradley’s hand, taking his loss like a man. He said that he was sorry if he disappointed anybody that wanted to see him win, but Bradley is one tough SOB. A huge “X-Pac” chant broke out as Waltman saluted the crowd one last time.
MATCH FIVE: Rising Sun (Samuray Del Sol & Lince Dorado) vs. John Skyler & Ashton Vuitton – All four guys worked very hard, and the crowd loved it. If you like the cruiserweight/luchador style high-flying matches, you will love this. So much happened in this match that I forget the exact finish, as there were several near falls. But the crowd loved the match and the masked Samuray and Dorado were very popular with the kids.
Winners: Rising Sun to secure the final spot in the tournament.
MATCH SIX: “The Almighty Sheik” vs. Stephen Walters in a Falls Count Anywhere Match – This is a rematch from last month when Sheik lost by DQ after refusing to release Walters from the Camel Clutch. Naturally, given the stipulation, this match went out of the ring. They wrecked the barrier and brawled around the second floor balcony. Unfortunately I was directly below the balcony so I missed a good portion of the match. Sheik’s manager Rinaldo Piven tried to interfere throughout the match. The most impressive spot of the night came when Walters jumped off a dancer cage on the second floor and hit a body press onto Sheik. Piven once again interfered and Walters laid him out. Sheik then was able to attack Walters and lock in the Camel Clutch for the submission victory.
Winner: The Almighty Sheik
After the match, Walters spoke about his frustration. He said he has been at all four evens, and the only victory he had was by DQ. He said he was tired of losing, and pledged allegiance to Sheik. He bowed at the carpet and kissed Sheik’s feet. Once Piven was brought back to consciousness, the three walked to the back.
MATCH SEVEN, The Main Event: Harry Smith(c) vs. Rhino for the Resistance Pro Title – Jay Bradley was at ringside to watch the match. This was a pretty physical match, with both guys using power moves. While Smith had Rhino in the Sharpshooter (or Sasori-Gatame for any Riki Choshu fans), Lou E. Dangerously grabbed Rhino’s ECW Title and tried to interfere. The referee called the match off.
Winner: N/A, presumably a No Contest as I didn’t catch any official announcement.
Billy Corgan came to the ring and cut a profanity laced promo on Lou, saying 14 years of friendship was down the drain. He said that he believed Rhino and Lou were in cahoots, and the only way to settle this was to ensure there would be no interference. Corgan announced that the next show would be Smith vs. Rhino in a cage. Raven came out to the ring, making his first onscreen Resistance appearance that I have seen. Raven appointed himself the referee, but clearly seemed to imply that he thinks Rhino should win.
Conclusion: I could be a little miffed at the main event had no real winner, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to see the cage match. So I guess the show did its job in making me want to go to the next one. Plus there were no less than three very fun matches in ACH vs. Anthony, Bradley vs. Waltman, and Samuray/Dorado vs. Skyler/Vuitton. Obviously I cannot judge any DVD production yet, but Resistance has had increasingly improving production values with each DVD release, so I look forward to getting the DVD.
Overall, I give the live experience a B+, a very solid effort from Resistance Pro.