In this episode of Wrestling Night in America, PWTorch columnist Greg Parks breaks down both nights of WrestleMania with callers and emailers. Topics include the quality of the Firefly Funhouse match, the decision to put Charlotte over Rhea Ripley, the potential of wrestlers getting more creative freedom in the current environment, and more.
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•Overall – PUSH: I don’t want to say Outbreak was a bad special, just totally skippable. Maximus Khan and Jay Bradley are the two Ohio Valley Wrestling talents that most caught my eye and are now on my radar. If you are going to catch any matches, the Moose vs. Bradley and The North vs. Acey Romero & Larry D matches were my two favorites but check out Wentz vs. Maximus since Maximus seems like an interesting character. This is my first-time hearing D’Lo on commentary, and I thought he did a really serviceable job and would like to hear more from him. Also, is this not the most unfortunate timing to have your special named Outbreak, with it happening during the time of the COVID-19 outbreak?
•Dimes vs. “Category 5” Corey Storm – PUSH: A short match between two young OVW wrestlers getting ring time during the preshow. I don’t know much about these two, but I liked some of the aggressiveness Dimes showed. Storm is the youngest wrestler to hold the OVW Television Championship. Storm wins with his top rope double stomp called “Eye of the Storm”
•Cali Young vs. Ray Lyn – PUSH: Like the first match, this is about two talents getting some ring time in and they make the most of it. I liked Cali; she showed some charisma. Unfortunately, after getting pushed into her manager DL3 who was on the apron grabbing the referee’s attention, Cali is rolled up by Lyn for the win.
•Zachary Wentz vs. Maximus Khan – HIT: I need to see more Maximus Khan. I love the guy’s look, his ringside attire, and badass music. He looks like a Robert E. Howard’s Conan villain. Once he got in the ring, I was ready for him to murder Wentz. I’m going to keep an eye out for him in the future. Good match with Khan in the role of the heavy, beating down Wentz. Wentz got some hope spots in but is ultimately defeated by Khan’s spear.
•Dave Crist vs. Joey Ryan – HIT: It’s a Joey Ryan match so… Still here? Good. There is some funny banter between Crist and Joey that played to the audience followed by some decent wrestling. Dave plays a good fall guy for Joey’s stuff. Fun time waster if you have a sense of humor. Joey wins with the “Touch It”-Sweet Tooth Music combo.
•Johnny Swinger vs. Wille Mack – MISS: I have two problems with this match. First it is the second match with a gimmick wrestler in a row; Joey Swinger wrestles in a parody of the 80s style so it’s another slow match. Second issue I have it that it went too long. They could’ve accomplished the same match in half the time. Other than that, in a vacuum it is a good enough match. Mack wins with the Six-Star Frog Splash.
•“Shotgun” Tony Gunn vs. Trey Miguel – PUSH: This is a much faster match than the previous two. Trey and Gunn put forth a good show. Trey sells a leg injury throughout the match but is able to overcome Gunn and win with a Meteora. Good, though not great, match. I will hand this to Trey though, his selling of the leg after the match is spot on unless he was legit injured.
•Moose vs. Jay Bradley – HIT: Moose finds himself in an unusual situation of both facing someone his size and being the crowd favorite. This is a good match between two big men with impressive power spots and getting a “this is awesome” chant from the crowd. Moose wins with the No-Jackhammer-Needed Spear.
•The North vs. Acey Romero & Larry D – HIT: Ethan Page and Josh Alexander are great as The North. They take on two superheavyweights in Larry D and Acey Romero in a brutal encounter. There is a part of the match where they work over Acey for so long, it was starting to look criminal. The North wins with their a tandem crucifix powerbomb toss from the corner Also, D’Lo tried really hard to get the name XXXL to stick for the Larry and Acey team.
•Madman Fulton vs. Rhino, Old School Rules No Disqualification Match – MISS: This is your standard, run-of-the-mill, every day, no disqualification, hardcore match. Let that last sentence sink in for a minute… So, we get everything you’d expect from one of Rhino’s “ECW Special” matches, with chairs, kendo sticks, and trashcans. A competent match but there is nothing new. Rhino goes over with a Gore.
•Kiera Hogan vs. Megan Bayne vs. Jessicka Havok vs. Jordynne Grace – PUSH: This is a solid match. I went in with my eye on Megan Bayne and how she’d fare in the ring with three established Impact stars. Megan acquitted herself well but didn’t really stand out which is admittedly hard to do in the chaos of a 4-way match. Megan taps out to Havok’s Boston Crab leg lock to end the match. Oh, and I hate Kiera Hogan’s new haircut. Maybe with time it’ll grow on me.
•Jake Crist & Ace Austin vs. Daga & Tessa Blanchard – HIT: Ace Austin and Jake Crist is a weird team-up. Ace spends the entire match avoiding Tessa, which was driving her crazy, making you want to see Tessa get her hands on Ace even more. Tessa does a good job at selling her frustration and when she finally tags in while Ace is legal, Ace immediately tags in Jake. Tessa proceeds to unleash pent up her rage on poor Jake. There is a scary moment in the match when Ace and Daga botch a northern lights suplex causing Daga to get dropped on his head. Josh on commentary called it bowling-shoe-ugly. Tessa wins with a Buzzsaw DDT on Jake to close the show.