by Greg Parks, PWTorch columnist


APRIL 4, 2019

The show began with Wrestlecon Ambassador Road Warrior Animal coming out. He wore the shoulder pads, but no face paint. He started an “LOD” chant. He then introduced Ric Flair to the live crowd. Flair looked quite frail as he gingerly headed to the ring. This was done to fill time as the Athletic Commission was said to be holding up the show according to announcers Excalibur and Kevin Kelly. You could barely hear Flair speak at times because he held the mic so far away from his mouth. He spent a few minutes reminiscing about the old days.

The late Mark Hitchcock, a former Highspots employee, was honored by having this show named after him. His sister and fiancée were there and said a few words. A video was shown of Hitchcock with wrestlers over the years.

(1) Eddie Kingston vs. Masato Tanaka

The two men shook hands to start. Kingston’s outfit was not kind to his physique. Tanaka mounted Eddie in the corner and delivered ten punches then hit a cross-body for two. Kingston blocked a Tanaka DDT but Tanaka countered with a suplex. A flip stunner off the top rope continued Tanaka’s momentum. He also hit a superplex, then a frog splash for a two-count. Tanaka kicked out of a Falcon Arrow. Kingston sold shock that he didn’t win there. An exchange of chops took place. Tanaka won with a sliding forearm to the face.

WINNER: Tanaka, at 8:11. Tanaka has slowed down quite a bit and his strikes are a lot lighter, but it was cool seeing him in this environment.

Kingston, who said he will retire this year, got the mic post-match and said Tanaka was his dream match and after 17 years he’s honored he got to wrestle him. They hugged mid-ring.

Penta El Zero M and Ray Fenix came out next. Apparently no team wanted to accept their open challenge, so Fenix offered to fight Penta.

(2) Penta El Zero M vs. Ray Fenix

Quick roll-up by Fenix for two. I didn’t hear a bell to start but assume there was one. Penta threatened the ref. Hook kicks were traded. “Lucha Brothers” chant by the crowd. A springboard moonsault hit, as did a Canadian Destroyer for two by Penta. The story was these two knowing each other’s moves so well. Fenix finished Penta with the Spanish Fly.

WINNER: Fenix, at 6:43. Surprisingly short, plus you have to imagine the crowd would’ve rather seen a team from the past or a current team face these two. Obviously it was a good match for the time they were allotted.

(3) Puma King & Samantha Heights & DJZ & Tajiri vs. Sammy Guevara & Santana & Ortiz & Diamante

Guevara tried to ingratiate himself with LAX. This was Lucha Rules (different than Lucha House Party Rules). Men and women could wrestle each other here, with Tajiri and Diamante getting at it first of the man/woman dynamic. Guevara mocked DJZ, putting Z’s hand close to his partners to tease a tag when Guevara was on top. Guevara hit a shooting star press into a pin, but Heights ran through Ortiz to break it up. Lots of leaps outside the ring and onto the group. The women connected on a double senton from opposite posts to the floor. Tajiri misted Ortiz in the middle of an arm-drag, then hit the Buzzsaw kick for the win.

WINNERS: Tajiri & Heights & Puma King & DJZ, at 12:05. Some fun stuff here with an eclectic collection of wrestlers.

(4) Arez vs. Flamita vs. Robbie Eagles

High-energy start to the match. Flamita and Eagles had an extended exchange. Arez, standing on Flamita’s back, countered an Eagles cross-body into a Spanish Fly. It wasn’t a clean landing, however. Eagles won with a 450 splash onto Arez, who was bridge-pinning Flamita at the time.

WINNER: Eagles, at 6:53. A few cool three-way spots but nothing to write home about.

(5) Caleb Konley & Zane Riley & Jake Manning vs. Hurricane Helms & X-Pac & Jushin Thunder Liger

The babyfaces made for a unique three-man squad. A hot reaction for each of the legends, especially Liger. X-Pac did some mic work putting him over. Liger put Konley in an early surfboard. Riley tagged in and wanted “The Kid,” X-Pac. Riley suggested a test of strength and after teasing acceptance, Pac told him to “suck it.” When Helms tagged in the crowd chanted “3 Count,” so Helms showed off a few dance moves from his Sugar Shane days. Manning responded in kind but was booed. A “dance forever” chant broke out. Manning consulted his rule book, suckering Helms in to take advantage. The match broke down at the end with an X-Pac bronco buster, a Helms chokeslam, and a Liger brainbuster to close it out.

WINNERS: X-Pac & Liger & Helms, at 13:44. The comedy was fun at the beginning but the serious part of the match dragged a bit.

X-Pac put over Liger again post-match. Helms said he begged WWE to allow him to do this show and share the ring with Liger one last time.


(6) Barbaro Cavernario vs. Dragon Lee

The Fite TV feed went out for about six minutes during the entrances and the early part of the match. It came back on with Lee hitting a running Canadian Destroyer, but Barbaro turned Lee inside out with a clothesline. Lee won with a Falcon Arrow. Money was thrown into the ring after the match.

WINNER: Lee, 2:56 shown. Too short to get a read on it, but a longer-form match certainly would’ve been hot.

(7) Shane Strickland vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Sabre worked holds on Strickland and took out his legs. He also flipped off the crowd. Strickland turned the tide and worked a few mat moves as well. Sabre finally got back to his feet and an advantageous position. Strickland knocked Sabre to the ground with a chop. He surprised Sabre with a chop to the quad next. Strickland had momentum but walked into a cross arm-breaker. Sabre countered Strickland coming off the top for a double-stomp into a submission hold for the victory.

WINNER: Sabre, at 16:39. Stayed in one gear the entire match as Strickland played Sabre’s game. That said, it was all very well done.

(8) Daniels & Kazarian & Scorpio Sky vs. Trent Baretta & Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy

SCU did mic work including their “worst town” bit. They went to leave after their promo but Orange Cassidy came out with the Best Friends. Cassidy kept his hands in his pockets for as long as possible, ducking a Daniels lock-up attempt and also maneuvering out of a waist-lock, all with hands in pockets. Baretta tagged in after four minutes of Cassidy shenanigans. Somehow Kazarian and Cassidy traded places, leaving Sky vs. Kazarian in the ring. After soaking in the moment, they went for a quick pin which was broken up. Chuck and Trent did some double-teaming. Cassidy’s purposely slow-mo offense followed. He gave Trent and Chuck sunglasses to wear, which seemed to alter their attitudes. Daniels then found the sunglasses and he and Cassidy gently chopped and kicked each other. Daniels ended up delivering a low blow. Cassidy got serious 15:00 in when SCU removed his sunglasses. Double chokeslam to Sky and Kazarian. However, a Best Meltzer Ever was hit on Cassidy for the pin.

WINNERS: Daniels & Kazarian & Sky, at 18:22. You can see why Cassidy is getting the buzz he’s getting. That match was something. Not sure what, but it was something.

All six raised each other’s arms after the match. Except Cassidy. His hands stayed in his pockets.

(9) Bandido vs. Will Ospreay

Ospreay came out of the gate hot with a few near-falls. Bandido came back with some high-risk moves of his own. A long delayed vertical suplex was delivered to Ospreay. Chops were exchanged with Ospreay getting the better of it. The crowd was quiet with anticipation, it seemed. Ospreay was on top for much of this portion. Bandido impressively pressed Ospreay over his head for a press slam, down into a Falcon Arrow. The two men exchanged blows mid-ring. After a powerbomb by Bandido, both men were down as the match reset. A superkick sent Bandido to the outside. That’s where Ospreay connected on a springboard cross-body. Bandido beat the count back in. A Rainmaker hit into an Oscutter, but only for two. Bandido couldn’t kick out of the Storm Breaker, though.

WINNER: Ospreay, at 16:50. Really a terrific match, worthy of its main event placement.

After the match, Ospreay talked about how awful he had felt lately but said there’s no better therapy than pro wrestling. He put over Bandido and said he has no catchphrases but only natural ability. He thanked everyone. Bandido spoke some Spanish and mentioned it being his last indie show and he seemed honored to be in the main event. He seemed to be emotional as he signed off.

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