WrestleCircus “The Squared Ring”
July 22, 2017
1. Lance Archer def. Steve Reno. Reno had won a prelim match before the show and remained in the ring to issue an open challenge to anyone in the back with something to prove. Suzuki-Gun member Lance Archer (Hoyt) made his return from injury to answer the call and made short work of him.
2. MJF (c) def. Lio Rush to retain the CZW Wired Championship. MJF pulled out every single play in the heel playbook to ruin Rush’s final match in WrestleCircus. From threatening the fans and company with a lawsuit, to faking a knee injury, to spitting in the face and kicking Rush in the balls after his post-match speech, this kid is villain incarnate. They had a crazy back and forth match with a million big moves, with Lio fighting back through all the underhanded tactics, but eventually an innovative piledriver through the second rope put him away.
3. The Mecha Wolf def. Ethan Page. The newly rebranded Mecha Wolf, formerly known as Mr. 450, dominated most of the match was big moves and high spots. He won with a simple suplex into a kick to the back, which was a buzzkill after all the other things he’d just done. Unsure if that was supposed to be the finish…
4. Scorpio Sky def. ACH. There was about one minute of wrestling for every 12 years of showboating in this match. Some say ACH is still in Austin, putting on a show after literally every single move, to this very day… Scorpio Sky won with a rollup and a handful of tights after several distractions from his posse at ringside.
5. Sammy Guevera def. Flip Gordon. It’s very hard to innovate in this era, but these two make it look effortless. They had an awesome back and forth match with variations on moves you’re not going to see anywhere else (until everyone steals them next week). And not just flashy, needless high spots but brutal twists on big suplexes and power moves that looked awesome and had impact. Guevera got the win with a 630 splash.
– Morrison came out with his fiance Taya Valkyrie and trashed AAA over the recent controversy. Taya told the fans not to go to Mexico because Vampiro would probably steal their belts and give them to Sexy Star for no reason. She said they’d continue to work with Lucha Underground and will be appearing on GFW soon – the crowd didn’t like that – but neither Vampiro or Jeff Jarrett will be invited to their wedding. The fans chanted “f— AAA” and Taya announced herself as the first entrant in tonight’s Open Scramble match.
6. Jordan Len-X won an Open Invitational to retain the Wrestling Revolver Scramble Championship. The other competitors were Dave and Jake Crist, Jason Cade, Myron Reed, AR Fox, Dezmond Xavier, Space Monkey, Zachary Wentz, Taya Valkyrie, “Dirty” Andy Dalton and Leva Bates. I’m not even going to attempt to cover what happened here because it was one of the most insane matches I’ve ever seen. Leva was dressed up as Sami Callihan, there were a million dives, a never ending brawl, someone slipped on a banana peel, Space Monkey simulated oral sex using said banana… Just pure insanity. Go out of your way to see this.
– Sami Callihan rushed the ring and killed Leva Bates with a piledriver. He called NXT and Lucha Underground bullshit, and cut one of the best shoot-style promos in years trashing everyone including his own Wrestling Revolver promotion. He said that independent wrestling runs through him, and the only reason Jordan Len-X has his promotion’s title is because his brother runs Wrestle Circus and their partnership means more money for him. Shane Strickland came out and got spit on and slapped in the face multiple times. He said he was sick of Sami’s bullshit and blatant disrespect for everything his generation is building, and promised to shut him up by making their match No DQ. Callihan threw a chair at him but Strickland caught it out of the air and dared him to get back into the ring.
7. John Morrison def. Donovan Dijak. They had a bit of fun with the crowd throwing Morrison’s shirt back before the match. They worked a solid back and forth match, but not near the level of most Dijak performances I’ve seen lately. Morrison kicked out of two Feast Your Eyes. Taya Valkyrie came back out to distract the referee but accidentally got kicked in the face by her fiance. Dijak went for a variation of the Starship Pain but Morrison moved out of the way and hit Starship Pain to win.
8. Roppongi Vice (c) def. The Lucha Brothers to retain the Big Top Tag Team Championship. It looks like RPG isn’t quite done as they set up a rematch between these two teams for the next show. They worked a great NJPW style juniors match that the crowd ate up. Trent kept yelling that he was a heavyweight now. The assumption was Pentagon and Fenix winning so the fans ate up all the nearfalls and RPG hitting the Strong Zero to retain came as a welcome surprise. Rocky spoke after the match saying they have one more left in them so they’re putting the titles on the line in August, and wanted another match with the Lucha Bros.
9. Christi Jaynes & Gentleman Jervis def. Colt Cabana & Delilah Doom. A fun comedy match before we go to the double main event of the evening. The crowd was into it but people are dying as we hit the four hour mark of this five hour show during a week where many hardcore fans have seen just a bonkers amount of wrestling because of the G1.
10. Shane Strickland (c) def. Sami Callihan to retain the Ringmaster Championship. This got extremely personal, extremely quick. They went back and forth with everything including the kitchen sink, just trying to hurt each other. It was Strickland who took the biggest beating though, as few are more comfortable in a hardcore environment than Sami Callihan, the “Death Machine” and booker of CZW. Sami threw him hard into a brick wall then hit an exploder suplex into a row of chairs, before pelting him with a dozen different chairs. At one point they actually left the building and started using weapons in the outdoor merch area. Strickland had his arm brutalized with a chair, then came back and killed Callihan with a Death Valley Driver on the apron. There was a superplex through a cluster of chairs. Absolute carnage. The finish came when Sami had the Stretch Muffler locked in, Strickland nearly passed out but reversed the hold into a cross armbreaker, kicking away at Callihan’s face until he was forced to tap out.
11. Tessa Blanchard (c) def. Rachael Ellering (c) to retain the WrestleCircus Sideshow Championship and become the new WrestleCircus Lady of the Ring Champion! Excellent main event and well deserved placement for two of the best women’s wrestlers on the planet today. They had a hard task following such an intense semi-main heading on a nearly FIVE HOUR show but got the crowd behind them. There was a dueling chant throughout and a huge show of respect for Tessa when she won. Great way to end a great night of matches.
Almost everything on the card delivered big time, with only a few minor hiccups along the way. I’m not a fan of being negative, so let’s get that out of the way first…
I couldn’t get past the amount of goofy showboating between ACH and Scorpio Sky, resulting in the only thing I would consider a true low point during the entire event. I understand that a lot of people love ACH and I’ve seen plenty of his matches live that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed; this just wasn’t for me. The Dijak/Morrison match was acceptable, but after being in St. Louis for his barn burner with Marufuji a few weeks ago I had higher expectations. The placement of a comedy match 200 minutes into a show had me reeling a bit, but after four NJPW G1 events, six hours of WWE television and prep for tomorrow’s WWE pay-per-view, my total exhaustion may have been self-inflicted. Any other week but G1 week I would have had no problems with going five hours as a fan of the WrestleCircus product.
Those are my only complaints, and considering the length of the show and how many high points there were, that is a completely respectable margin for error. I thought the Callihan/Strickland war was Match of the Night, set up by one of the best indie promo segments in years (and I’ve seen a lot of Callihan promos). Between the match and the promo it would be in serious contention for my favorite thing of 2017, but this has been an unusually good year for WWE-alternative wrestling. You wouldn’t be wrong in considering the main event or the tag title match the best bout, or even the insane Invitational Scramble, which might have been the most chaotic performance I’ve ever seen in a ring. I loved every second of it, topping the Scramble I saw at Revolver’s show in Orlando. Sammy and Flip Gordon will likely go overshadowed but had an excellent stand-out showing, and MJF’s heel character is something to behold. After this he’s on my top five villains in wrestling list with the likes of Callihan, The Miz, Kevin Owens and Minoru Suzuki; how’s that for company?
So for the few bumps in the road, that’s a lot of positives coming out of another awesome night at the Circus. And the fact that the entire thing is broadcast live and COMPLETELY FREE just blows my mind.
Don’t sleep on this WrestleCircus event, and don’t sleep on WrestleCircus in general. Yes five hours is a lot of time to invest, but the benefit is that so many stars get a chance to shine, and the heels really get a chance to do some promo work and sell themselves as such. Overall I’d say you could take out 2-3 of the more underwhelming matches, pace things a bit better and end up with a contender for the best 3.5 hour show of the year, but I made it through to the end and it was well worth the grind.
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