By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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West Coast Pro Wrestling “Can You Work Fridays?”
Replay available via IndependentWrestling.TV
January 6, 2023 in San Francisco, California at The State Room
It’s worth pointing out that this event was held a day before the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla “Battle of Los Angeles” tournament.
* The show opened with a video of wrestlers working out and preparing for their matches. I really like this clip.
To the building, which is a small room and a crowd of 250-350. James Kincaid and Veda Scott provided commentary.
1. “Team Filthy” Tom Lawlor, Royce Isaacs, and Jorel Nelson defeated “The Conglomerate” D-Rogue, Midas Kreed, and Alpha Zo at 12:09. Team Filthy are also a squad in New Japan Strong. Midas Kreed is a thin Black man with dreadlocks; think Wes Lee. Kreed and Nelson started. All six brawled on the floor. Lawlor ran around the building, circling the fans, before finally hitting a knee strike on Midas. They all brawled in the ring.
Team Filthy began working over Zo. My first time seeing Zo, a Black man who is about same thickness as Angelo Dawkins; not fat, but a few extra pounds in the middle. Zo and Lawlor traded hard chops at 8:30. All six got in the ring and brawled again, and they all collapsed. D-Rogue’s team hit a piledriver on Lawlor for a believable nearfall. In a nice spot, Isaacs hit a German Suplex from the ring apron back into the ring. Lawlor hit his knee strike to the back of the head. Nelson then hit a sit-out powerbomb on Kreed for the pin. I enjoyed that; they kept the action rolling.
* Adrian Quest and two other guys attacked Kreed, D-Rogue and Zo! They got on the mic and called this a “Southern California takeover.” They continued the beatdown.
2. Robert Martyr defeated Lazarus at 10:42. Lazarus wears gear right from the Mortis catalogue. Martyr wears generic black pants. Lazarus dove between the ropes and barreled into Martyr. He took control in the ring. Martyr hit a second-rope German Suplex for a nearfall at 5:00. Lazarus hit a dropkick to the butt as Martyr was trapped in the corner, then a strait-jacket German Suplex for a nearfall at 8:00, then a Northern Lights suplex for a nearfall. Martyr hit a running boot for a nearfall, then a suplex for the pin. So-so match; the finish was underwhelming.
3. Vinnie Massaro defeated Ricky Shane Page via DQ at 12:30. Both men have guts and are brawlers, but Page is taller and heavier. Lots of stalling by both men before they finally locked up at 1:30. They brawled to the floor, and Page slammed Massaro’s back into the ring post, and Massaro sold the pain in his back. In the ring, Page pulled out pliers and started removing a corner pad. Massaro hit an STO uranage and applied a submission hold on the mat, but RSP reached the ropes at 9:00.
RSP hit a stunner, then a top-rope Swanton Bomb for a believable nearfall. Massaro fired back with an Exploder Suplex for a believable nearfall. RSP shoved skewers into Massaro’s forehead, then he slammed him into the exposed turnbuckle. The match basically stopped; I presume the ref disqualified Page. Page got on the mic and said that “they are too much alike.” He said he will take Massaro out, or Massaro will take him out. OK match that just… ended.
4. Bryan Keith defeated Black Taurus at 11:41. Keith wore his Mexican baja sweater to ringside. Both men were in PWG’s “BOLA” the next day. An intense lockup to start. They suddenly sped it up with some lucha reversals, with Keith keeping up, ending in a standoff at 2:00. Taurus hit a powerslam for a nearfall. Taurus tossed Keith into a turnbuckle, and they were both down at 5:00. Keith hit a second-rope flipping stunner for a nearfall.
They began trading mid-ring chops, then Mafia Kicks. Taurus nailed a headbutt. Keith nailed an enzuigiri and a back suplex; Taurus hopped up and hit a spear, and they were both down at 7:30. Excellent sequence. Taurus nailed his pop-up Samoan Drop for a believable nearfall. Keith hit a suplex out of the corner, and they were both down at 9:30. Keith nailed a tornado DDT. Keith hit a kneestrike to the jaw, then a standing Tiger powerbomb for the pin. That was really, really good. Keith put on his cowboy hat and tipped it at Taurus as a sign of respect. Easily the best match so far.
5. Kevin Blackwood defeated Starboy Charlie at 14:38. I really like the tattoo-covered Blackwood, but he never seems to win; he apparently got some believable nearfalls on Chris Jericho at the PWG BOLA event Sunday in non-tournament action. He has normal blond hair today; often it is pink or green. An intense lockup and some quick reversals. Charlie hit a running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall at 2:00. Blackwood has a size, weight (and age!) advantage, and he unloaded some chops and a backbreaker over his knee, then a double stomp to the chest. Alan Angels appeared at ringside and distracted Blackwood; he was offering Kevin some food!
Blackwood hit a snap suplex for a nearfall, and he repeatedly slammed Charlie’s head into the mat. Charlie hit a chop block to the back of the knee, then a dropkick to the face at 6:00, and they were both down. Charlie hit a suplex for a nearfall. Charlie went for a second-rope corkscrew press, but Blackwood got his knees up. Blackwood then hit a German Suplex, and he applied a Texas Cloverleaf in the middle of the ring, but Charlie eventually reached the ropes at 8:00. He set up for a piledriver, but Charlie escaped and got a rollup for a nearfall.
Charlie hit a running knee to the jaw and a spin kick to the head. Blackwood hit the Cameron Grimes-Cave-in double stomp to the chest. Charlie hit a piledriver move, and they were both down at 10:00. Charlie hit a series of punches; he took down the straps of his bib overalls and was fired up. They traded rollups. Charlie nailed a jumping piledriver for a believable nearfall at 11:30. Charlie tied him in an Octopus in the ropes, then he hit an Asai moonsault to the floor.
They brawled on the floor, and Blackwood hit a piledriver on the floor! He tossed Charlie in the ring and hit a top-rope double stomp to the chest for a believable nearfall; he yelled at the ref in disbelief he didn’t win there, and the crowd rallied for Charlie. Charlie hit a shotgun dropkick into the corner. Angels hopped on the ring apron, but Charlie hit Angels. However, the distraction allowed Blackwood to hit a Helluva Kick, then another top-rope double stomp to Charlie’s chest while Charlie was standing, to score the pin. Blackwood was glaring at Angels while getting the win.
* Blackwood left the ring. Angels hopped in the ring and beat up Charlie. Blackwood returned to the ring and ran off Angels. Blackwood helped Charlie to his feet, and it appeared he was going to shake his hand. However, he beat up Charlie some more! Angels returned to the ring, shook hands with Blackwood, and they beat up Charlie some more! Bryan Keith hit the ring, and the heels scampered to the back. Keith got on the mic, and he suggested to Charlie that they team up take on those two in February. That was a fun post-match segment.
6. Sandra Moone defeated Vert Vixen at 9:34. Vert Vixen has appeared in several AEW Dark matches. Moone is a regular on the West Coast; she has brown hair and is of average height/weight for a woman. Standing reversals to open. Vixen hit a Flatliner. Moone hit a crossbody block in the corner. Vixen hit a stunner for a nearfall at 3:30, then a back suplex, and they were both down. They got up and traded forearm shots, with Vixen getting the better of the exchange.
Moone nailed a back elbow. She dove through the ropes onto Vixen on the floor at 7:30. In the ring, she hit a powerbomb for a nearfall. Vert Vixen came back with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall. Moone nailed a gut-wrench suplex for the pin. That was a pretty good match.
7. Nick Wayne defeated Alex Shelley at 13:48. Shelley also competed in the PWG BOLA the next day. They opened with standing reversals. I have been watching Shelley wrestle longer than Wayne has been alive. They went to the floor, where Wayne snapped Shelley’s arm. Shelley accidentally chopped the ring post, and Wayne immediately hit a punt kick to the damaged arm. They got back in the ring, with Wayne focusing on Shelley’s sore left arm. Shelley hit a dragon screw leg whip at 3:00, and he went to work on Wayne’s left leg.
Shelley tied him in a Figure Four Leglock, but Wayne reached the ropes at 6:00. Wayne hit a double stomp, and they were both down. Wayne hit a 619, then another double stomp on Shelley’s sore arm as Shelley was holding the top rope. Shelley went for Shellshock but Wayne avoided it and hit a standing moonsault for a nearfall at 8:00. Shelley went for the Border City Stretch, but Wayne avoided that, too. Wayne nailed a handspring-back-stunner at 10:30, and they were both down. Wayne went for a Swanton Bomb, but Shelley got his knees up. Shelley applied the Border City Stretch in the center of the ring, but Wayne was able to get his toes on the ropes. This crowd was hot.
Shelley nailed a Flatliner into the middle turnbuckle at 12:30. Shelley tried for Sliced Bread, but Wayne avoided that too. Wayne went for the Clout Cutter, but Shelley blocked it. Shelley finally nailed the Shellshock spinning faceplant for a believable nearfall, and he went back to the Border City Stretch. However, Wayne rolled him over and scored the fluke pin! Shelley was stunned.
8. Titus Alexander defeated Alec Price to retain the West Coast Title at 18:46. I’ve made the comparison before, but Titus reminds me of a more slender, younger Ethan Page, in looks and heel demeanor; he also competed in the PWG BOLA. Price is from the Northeast, so the crowd is behind the West Coast champion. Veda Scott wondered if Price wins the title, will we ever see him and the belt again. Veda noted that Price had wrestled an extraordinary number of matches in the past two weeks. Titus his a bit taller and more filled out; Price is slender. Quick reversals with neither man able to hit a signature move early on.
Price hit a second-rope twisting crossbody block at 3:30. He jumped off the second-rope, but Titus caught him with a dropkick and got a nearfall. Titus hit a backbreaker over his knee at 6:00. Price hopped on Titus’ shoulders and got a Victory Roll for a nearfall. Price hit an enzuigiri at 8:30, then a running knee ino the corner, then a second-rope flying leg lariat for a nearfall. Price hit a top-rope twisting Blockbuster for a believable nearfall at 10:00.
Titus nailed a brainbuster for a believable nearfall, and the crowd chanted, “West Coast!” He missed a top-rope double stomp. Price put Titus on his shoulders and he dropped him head-first on the top rope at 13:00. Price then hit a double stomp in the corner for a nearfall. They brawled back to the floor, and Price got his leg tripped on the ring apron and landed on the top of his head! They fought on the ring apron, where Titus hit a German Suplex, with Price landing on the floor. Titus then hit a flip dive over the top rope to the floor!
In the ring, Titus nailed a top-rope double stomp to the chest for a believable nearfall at 16:00. Price hit an enzuigiri. Titus nailed a superkick. Price hit a swinging second-rope leg lariat, then a Canadian Destroyer for a believable nearfall. Titus hit him with a knee strike, then a Sweet-Time Driver (Michinoku Driver) for the clean pin. That was really good, too.
* Titus got on the mic and put himself over. Wayne limped to the ring and grabbed a mic. Wayne offered a handshake. Titus shook his hand but tried to hit Wayne. Wayne ducked it and hit a second-rope Clout Cutter. Wayne picked up the West Coast title belt and held it over his head. He challenged Titus to a match on Feb. 4 in Sacramento.
Final Thoughts: I seriously first saw Alex Shelley wrestle live in perhaps late 2003, at least two years before 17-year-old Nick Wayne was born. Wayne continues to show why he is just such a rising star; he looks so good against these top-notch indy veterans. That was easily best match of the night.
That is the best match I’ve seen from both Titus and Price, and they definitely earned second-best. I’ll go with Bryan Keith-Black Taurus for third place, with Blackwood-Starboy Charlie for honorable mention. After a solid first match, the next two left me cold, but after that, the show really turned around, and got better and better. I have seen Martyr a few times now, and I just don’t see what others are seeing in him.
This was a good show, with no horrible garbage matches, no off-putting intergender matches, and everyone worked hard.
The post West Coast Pro Wrestling “Can You Work Fridays?” results: Vetter’s review of Titus Alexander vs. Alec Price for the West Coast Title, Alex Shelley vs. Nick Wayne, Vert Vixen vs. Sandra Moone, Starboy Charlie vs. Kevin Blackwood, Black Taurus vs. Bryan Keith – Pro Wrestling Dot Net appeared first on WorldNewsEra.