KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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WRESTLE CIRCUS: BIG TOP REVIVAL
JUNE 23, 2019, 7:00PM
AUSTIN, TEX. AT 800 CONGRESS
REPORT BY TOM STOUP, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Approximate attendance: 510
With NXT concurrently touring Texas, Wrestle Circus owner Al Lenhart issued a pledge via Twitter to refund any fan their admission if they claim to have had a better time at a NXT show than at Big Top Revival. Lenhart took to Twitter after the show to provide his own reflections, including that this was the first time in the promotion’s history he believed “every single match on the card delivered exactly what it was supposed to deliver.”
Louden Noxious opened the event by welcoming fans to Wrestle Circus’ “stomping grounds,” acknowledging WWE’s Stomping Grounds event that had commenced one hour prior to this event’s bell time. Shown picture-in-picture on commentary above the Twitch chat stream, Rob Sanderson and Colin Delaney noted that due to travel issues Myron Reed would not be competing in the opening contest as announced. Colt Cabana had also been advertised to defend his NWA National Championship against Delaney, but was forced to bow out due to a clotting issue.
(1) Daga defeated Aerostar, Teddy Hart, and Low Rider via pinfall. AAA wrestler Low Rider was noted to be Myron Reed’s replacement. At the bell, he called Hart “the disgrace of the Hart family” before Aerostar took charge. Daga got the better of the showy masked luchador, and the wrestlers cycled through various one-on-one pairings. Hart springboard moonsaulted to the outside onto Daga and Low Rider, then Aerostar springboard flipped onto all three of them. Low Rider did his own springboard flip onto the others, and Delaney said, “Oh yeah, Low Rider didn’t get a turn yet.” Back in the ring Aerostar and Low Rider began a another cycle of quick one-on-one pairings. Hart restrained Low Rider so Daga could double-stomp him from the top turnbuckle. Aerostar hit a somersault cutter on Low Rider, then Hart hit a burning hammer on Aerostar, both for two counts. Daga found two after a shining wizard to Hart. Hart responded with a swift Canadian Destroyer to Daga, but was taken out by a top turnbuckle cutter out of nowhere from Low Rider. Daga dropped Low Rider into a crushing lungblower for three. Hugs and handshakes were shared among the wrestlers after the bell, but Low Rider refused to partake and got superkicked by the victor as a result. Fans chanted “please come back” as the wrestlers departed.
(2) Will Allday & Alex Gracia defeated Scarlett Bordeaux & Anthony Greene via pinfall. Greene said all the “creepy guys” in the crowd wished they could be in his position. He and Allday looked to start off, but Gracia asked to tag in to take on Greene herself. Greene locked Gracia in a full nelson and rhythmically ragdolled her. She took him down with a head scissors, and he tagged Bordeaux. Bordeaux couldn’t get anything going against Gracia before both women tagged out. Allday chopped away at Greene, then hurled his tag partner into a senton that Delaney referred to as the “Unskinny Bop.” Rob Sanderson said he appreciated the reference (to the band Poison). Bordeaux tagged in and kicked Allday below the belt while Greene distracted the official. Bordeaux hip-checked Allday in the corner and ground her rear in his face. Allday looked to retaliate, but thought twice about striking Bordeaux. Bordeaux took advantage of the hesitation and hit Allday with a spinning neckbreaker for two. Greene tagged in and tried to whip Allday into Bordeaux’s posterior, but Allday reversed the maneuver. Greene halted his momentum, but called for a “one more time” chant when realizing he lost an opportunity to come in physical contact with the waiting target. Allday then held things down on his own, eventually superkicking Bordeaux from the ring. Gracia tagged in and pulled down Greene’s trunks during a sunset flip for two. Greene’s trunks still down, Allday hit the man with a cutter and Gracia covered for two. Allday threw Bordeaux in the corner and rubbed his own rear in her face. Bordeaux stacked Allday up for two as the match broke down. Allday carried Gracia in a wheelbarrow position, and slung her into Greene. Gracia covered Greene for the win.
Rob Sanderson plugged the ability to “tip” Wrestle Circus via Twitch so viewers tuning in free can support the promotion. One may also support by associating an Amazon Prime account with the Twitch channel at no additional charge.
(3) Colin Delaney pinned Jordan Lennox. David Kidd made his entrance as if he was about to wrestle, but he was attacked by Jordan Lennox with a chair. Lennox greeted the “f—kface fans” and said he had arrived to wrestle Colin Delaney since Delaney’s scheduled opponent Colt Cabana was unable to compete. Lennox threatened that Kidd would be “f—king dead” if Delaney failed to accept the challenge. Delaney flew at Lennox in a rage, repeatedly leaping out of the ring onto the instigator. A referee began officiating the fight as Louden Noxious replaced Delaney on commentary. Delaney controlled the contest until Lennox hit a burning hammer on the apron. Commentary detailed Lennox’ tenuous history with Wrestle Circus as Lennox took his time picking Delaney apart. Delaney rallied with a back elbow and a tornado DDT. Rob Sanderson said, “What a week for Delaney, with ‘Toy Story 4’ coming out.” Noxious wondered if Delaney could take Lennox “to infinity and beyond.” Lennox thought he won with a roll-up, but Delaney had his hand on the bottom rope. Delaney then surprised Lennox with a successful roll-up, infuriating Lennox. Lennox attacked Delaney after the bell, but Delaney grabbed a chair and ran Lennox out through the front door of the building.
Gentleman Jervis was shown in a video, anxiously attesting he’d never been in a match as violent as his upcoming defense against Sami Callihan was probably going to be. He said, “I just want to live,” and worried Callihan’s spit would get in his “cottonbelly.”
Teddy Hart joined commentary so Colin Delaney could take a post-match break, and said Wrestle Circus will one day be legendary. He said the promotion’s fan culture is unlike what you get with “the smart marks in New York.”
(4) Gentleman Jervis pinned Sami Callihan to retain the Sideshow Championship. Rob Sanderson recalled “Sami left NXT to do things his way” as Teddy Hart credited Callihan with knowing “how to get booked.” Callihan egged the crowd on and said he wants to bathe in their tears. He cursed independent wrestling and said he only does what he does for himself. Jervis covered his ears. Referring to the recent incident that reportedly led to his release from MLW, Callihan said he plans to cause more than $2700 in damages to 800 Congress. At the bell, Jervis offered a sunflower to Callihan. Callihan accepted the flower, but broke it in half and threw it back at the champion. Jervis thrice ducked an attack and spanked Callihan, further angering the already very angry challenger. Callihan bit Jervis but fell to a Russian leg sweep. Jervis took Callihan down and rode him like a horse. Jervis rocked Callihan to sleep and went for a cover, but Callihan appeared to suffer night terrors and sat up in fright at two. Appearing to sleepwalk, Callihan absently wandered at ringside, loading the ring with chairs. Jervis tapped the somnambulist on the shoulder, rousing him and inciting a vicious attack with multiple chairs. Callihan tried to tear the mask from Jervis’ head. He spat on his hand, let it drip back into his mouth, and chopped Jervis in the throat. With Jervis down, Callihan began hitting on a female member of the crowd who was clearly attending the event with a significant other. Jervis leapt in and began striking Callihan with another flower. Callihan snatched the flower and choked Jervis with its stem, then stabbed the stem into Jervis’ eye. He arranged a chair in the turnbuckle, but was whipped into it headfirst by Jervis. Jervis double-stomped Callihan from the top turnbuckle, which is “up where eagles fly” according to Sanderson. Jervis threatened Callihan with a chair but couldn’t follow through despite Callihan begging for it. Callihan hit a piledriver for a believable near fall. He flipped off the crowd as he set up the Sideshow belt on a pair of folded chairs and spat on it. He went for another piledriver on the metal, but Jervis countered into a leverage pin for the win. A broken flower laying next to him, Callihan slapped the mat in frustration after the decision.
Intermission. Ray Zombie’s short documentary “WrestleCircus Family” was shown, focusing on what the return of Wrestle Circus has meant to its fans and its owners, as well as wrestlers Kevin Condron, Alex Gracia, Lance Hoyt, Trey Miguel, Scorpio Sky, and Zachary Wentz.
(5) Dezmond Xavier defeated Jake Atlas and JT Dunn via pinfall. Atlas received a riotous ovation early as he balanced on the top rope while holding onto Xavier, kicking at his opponents then arm-dragging Xavier out of the ring. Dunn booted Xavier on the apron, and Xavier backflipped onto Atlas. Dunn then dove onto both Atlas and Xavier. On the outside Dunn and Xavier traded chops, and Dunn backdropped Xavier on the apron. Dunn scored two over Xavier following a DDT. Atlas leapt back in and suffered a series of kicks from both Dunn and Xavier before rallying and delivering kicks of his own, eventually covering Dunn for two. Xavier took charge of the ring, controlling Dunn and vigorously charging into a dive onto Atlas on the outside. He missed a flipping attack on Dunn from the top turnbuckle but recovered and hit a cutter on Dunn for a near fall. All three men began trading holds and further near falls with Dunn suffering the worst of it but staying alive. Dunn removed his elbow pads and struck Atlas in the temple with an elbow strike. Xavier corkscrewed from the top turnbuckle to break up the subsequent pin. Louden Noxious, back on commentary, said Xavier “could have been an Olympic diver.” Xavier struck Atlas with a pele kick and leaned down onto him for three. Colin Delaney rejoined commentary at the decision, sans shirt, and commended the action he’d just witnessed. Atlas and Dunn shared a fist bump as they departed.
Louden Noxious again told the crowd that it’s good to “be back at our old ‘Stomping Grounds’” in reference to the concurrent WWE event. He acknowledged a fan who was attending her first Wrestle Circus show, and encouraged the crowd to cheer and chant for her. He then announced the next Wrestle Circus show for Sunday, July 28. Commentary plugged that the aforementioned “tips” could also be given specifically to any of the on-air talent, as has been the case for prior streams.
(6) The Rascalz (Trey Miguel & Zachary Wentz) defeated The Riegel Twins (Logan Riegel & Sterling Riegel) and Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) via pinfall to retain the Big Top Tag Team Championships. The Riegels dumped the Rascalz from the ring at the bell, and Private Party – Quen still in his sunglasses – began working team moves on them. The Rascalz reentered the ring and with Miguel’s help Wentz sent Kassidy for a loop with kicks and a standing shooting star press for two. The Riegels leapt on their competition on the outside, but Wentz recovered a poured a fan’s beer on his own face. Quen then leapt from the ring onto the crowd of wrestlers. A quartet of cutters were deflected by various competitors back between the ropes, each followed by successful cutters. The official then excitedly got in on the action by delivering a cutter of his own to Miguel and counting three for himself. Colin Delaney said, “What’s Randy Orton’s music sound like? I don’t watch enough.” When Rob Sanderson reminded him of the lyrics, Delaney sang, “I hear voices in my head.” The Riegels briefly took over before Quen told the crowd, “Let’s do something stupid,” and Private Party superkicked the Riegels in unison. Kassidy flung a Riegel from the turnbuckle with a Frankensteiner, and Quen caught the Riegel in a cutter. Wentz desperately broke up the subsequent pinfall. The Riegels managed to get Kassidy down with a meteora, but Wentz swantoned onto Kassidy for the decisive fall over the Private Party member. As the AEW-bound Private Party enjoyed a “please come back” chant, the commentators agreed that every match to that point could be considered “match of the night.”
Colin Delaney asked if anyone had “tipped” him so he could buy a beer, and almost immediately a “tip” notification popped up in the Twitch stream from a fan who said, “have one on me!”
(7) Peter Avalon submitted Orange Cassidy. Colin Delaney noted how Cassidy’s entrance received the same reaction as some of the highest high spots in earlier matches. Leva Bates then made a surprise entrance, cosplaying as “Freshly Squeezed Leva Bates” in a perfect Orange Cassidy outfit which included a t-shirt of herself wearing a t-shirt of herself wearing a t-shirt of herself, and so on. Bates mimicked Cassidy’s entrance beat for beat, then went through a Marx Brothers-esque mirror routine with Cassidy himself. Cassidy approved of Bates’ homage as the two of them slid their hands in their pockets simultaneously. Avalon entered with a microphone, noticeably perturbed. Avalon asked, “What is this lackadaisical bulls—t?” He told Bates and Cassidy they should be ashamed of themselves. He began working the audience up, but relented, saying to them, “I’m not paid to fight you.” He then disrespectfully dismissed Bates, referring to her as “Toots.” Bates kicked back on the ring apron. Avalon asked for a handshake at the bell, but Cassidy’s hands were in his pockets. Avalon pulled Cassidy’s hands out to boos, and Cassidy returned them to cheers. Cassidy shimmied out of a waistlock and relaxed with his legs crossed. Avalon whipped him into the ropes and went for a dropdown, but Cassidy just lazily stepped over him. Cassidy then leapfrogged over Avalon and dropkicked him before kipping up, hands in pockets the whole time. Avalon chopped Cassidy one time, and Cassidy thought about tapping out from the pain. He paintbrushed Avalon’s chest with lazy chop attempts, then gently stepped into his light version of a kick. Avalon nearly took Cassidy’s head off with a big boot but Cassidy dodged. Cassidy wound up on the outside after suffering several forearms, and Avalon followed him for more chops and a back rake. Avalon kicked at Cassidy’s left thigh, then dropkicked Cassidy to the mat for two. He propped Cassidy’s head between his legs and gyrated mockingly. Avalon whiffed on another dropkick, and Cassidy – hands in pockets, of course – nailed him with a DDT for two. Cassidy removed his pocketed hands for an avalanche DDT for another near fall. Despite selling his leg, Cassidy managed a blue thunder bomb for still another near fall. Avalon responded with a meteora to Cassidy’s back for two. Bates rolled in as Avalon argued with the official, and Avalon failed to notice the swap as Bates rolled him up for two. When Avalon recognized the ploy, Cassidy surprised him by spitting orange juice in his eyes. Cassidy rolled Avalon up but the official was busy ejecting Bates. Avalon snatched Cassidy in a single-leg crab targeting the wounded left leg, and Cassidy quickly tapped.
A video was shown of Tessa Blanchard asking if Scorpio Sky is ready for their match. Blanchard had her Lady of the Ring title over her shoulder and said, “I’m a champion, too.” She said she’s beaten Sky before and would beat him again. Referencing his Foo Fighters entrance theme Sky said, “I’m not just a champion; I’m the best.”
Louden Noxious asked the crowd to chant once more for the first-time attendee he’d introduced earlier, and reminded everyone to get tickets for the July 28th show. He then screamed in his signature scream that it was time for the main event.
(8) Scorpio Sky (with Kevin Condron) pinned Tessa Blanchard to retain the Ringmaster Championship. Colin Delaney aptly referred to Blanchard as “the queen of Wrestle Circus,” and went on to suggest it’s a crime people have only widely noticed Sky’s talents in recent years as he has “always been this good.” Rob Sanderson recognized that it’s been 702 days since Blanchard beat Rachael Ellering for the Lady of the Ring Championship. Dueling chants broke out before the bell. The wrestlers locked up collar and elbow, began shoving one another, then began furiously wrestling for positioning. At a stalemate, Condron blew a vape cloud in Blanchard’s face and Blanchard’s eyes became irritated, though only momentarily. Blanchard took Sky down and began pounding on him. When he squirmed out she hit him with a cutter, then a dropkick that sent him tumbling to the outside. Blanchard hurled Sky into rows of chairs, and postured at Condron who shielded himself with one of the chairs. Sky threw Blanchard through further rows of chairs, then carried her back to the ring under one arm. He cracked her with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He then spoke to the official as Condron used his undone bow tie to choke Blanchard against the rope. Sky stomped on Blanchard’s back, and Blanchard retaliated with forearms before Sky kicked her left leg to ground her. Sky continued to target Blanchard’s left leg with stomps and elbow drops. Sky howled a “woo” and dropped into a figure four. Delaney said, “Ric Flair gets a lot of credit but I’ll take Tully Blanchard any day.” Blanchard reversed the hold’s pressure but Condron helped Sky grab the bottom rope. Blanchard limped to the turnbuckle and Sky dove at her headfirst but she blocked him with her knees. She returned to forearming Sky in the jaw, and Sky rolled out of the ring after she nailed him with a DDT. Blanchard twice dove through the ropes onto Sky. Sky set her up for a leg drop on the apron but she dodged, then dove once more to take out both Sky and Condron. Sky dodged a weakened leaping attack from the top turnbuckle, but Blanchard hung him up on the middle rope and kicked him back to the mat for two. Blanchard hit an unorthodox half-and-half driver for another near fall. Sky double-stomped Blanchard’s back for two of his own. Blanchard clocked Sky with the Ringmaster belt for a close two. She hit her signature top turnbuckle facebreaker, but Condron yanked the official from the ring. Blanchard leapt onto Condron and stomped on him. Sky hit Blanchard with the belt for a very close two. Blanchard surprised Sky with a small package for an even closer two that the official could arguably have called a three if he’d wanted to. Sky answered with his cutter finish for three. Sky celebrated by holding both his own and Blanchard’s title belts, then dropped the Lady of the Ring belt on the fallen Blanchard. As Blanchard revived, the crowd gave her a warm standing ovation and a “thank you, Tessa” chant. As Blanchard held her own belt high, Sami Callihan stormed in and attacked her from behind, then delivered a piledriver. He placed his foot on Blanchard’s body and held the Lady of the Ring title over his head to close the show.
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Tom Stoup co-hosts the “PWT Talks NXT” Dailycast and reports on NXT tapings from Full Sail University. Follow @TomStoup on Twitter.