WrestleCade 2018 Supershow: WrestleCon Lite
WrestleCade 2018 Supershow
Date: November 24, 2018
Location: Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Commentators: Blake Chadrick, Cyrus Fees
So this is kind of like WrestleCon Thanksgiving with a big wrestling convention and a few shows, including this supershow. I’ve wanted to go down to this for a few years but I might as well take a look at the major show. This could be anywhere from great to horrible and it’s hard to guess one way or another. Let’s get to it.
National Anthem. You don’t get that very often outside of Wrestlemania.
Opening sequence, mainly including clips of past conventions and shows. Makes sense, even if this isn’t something you would expect on a show like this.
Apparently there was a dark match with Billy Gunn losing to Vanguard Championship Wrestling Champion Brandon Scott. Fair enough.
Eli Drake vs. Hurricane Helms
Not bad for an opener. Hurricane has Kelly Kelly and the H2 Empress (his wife) with him. Before the match, Drake says a year ago, he stood right here as the Impact Wrestling World Champion. Now, as the greatest wrestler on this planet, he knows there are two places you want to be: in the main event or in the opener. He wants to get this done so he can go get his, ahem, Pop Tarts (read as pie) so let’s downgrade Hurricane to a light breeze.
Hurricane doesn’t like the idea of Drake calling the ladies cheerleaders, because they’re not in high school. Huh? Anyway, Hurricane, the guy dressed as a superhero, mocks Drake’s gear, including the fact that the trunks don’t seem very full. Drake backs him into the corner to start and they exchange finger points. The Hurricane pose has Drake backing up and it’s time for some right hands to Drake’s head in the corner. Drake comes out and yells…before falling down to give Hurricane two. Eh point for a funny spot.
Hurricane starts in on the arm but gets shoved down, setting up a jumping neckbreaker to send Hurricane outside. That goes nowhere so Drake reverses a suplex into a neckbreaker for two back inside. A swinging neckbreaker (we get the point) gives Drake two more as he’s working the neck to set up the Gravy Train. Hurricane makes the comeback with a neckbreaker of his own but the chokeslam is broken up with an atomic drop. Drake makes the mistake of going after the women though and gets slammed off the top. The chokeslam gives Hurricane the pin at 7:53.
Rating: C-. This was fine for an opener as Drake is a star and Hurricane is going to get a reaction from his reputation and mannerisms alone. The wrestling wasn’t the point here and on a show like this, there are going to be more than enough people going out there and trying to steal the show. This was more of a curiosity match and for the spot they were in, that’s all it needed to be.
The announcers talk about Taya Valkyrie vs. Penelope Ford coming up later tonight.
The Boys vs. War Kings
That would be Dalton Castle’s Boys vs. Crimson/Jax Dane (the Veterans of War from TNA) with Animal in their corner for some reason, meaning they have the LOD face paint on. The Boys are cleared out for trying a handshake early on. Serves them right. Dane starts with we’ll say #1 (their names are Brent and Brandon but the announcers can’t tell them apart either) with a standing fall away slam sending #1 flying.
Crimson comes in to chop #2 but a very delayed vertical suplex is broken up with a kid to the knee. A double Eat Defeat and a double clothesline put Crimson on the floor, setting up a double suicide dive. Back in and Crimson launches #1 into the air for a crash, allowing the tag back to Dane. A pop up spinebuster crushes #1 but we get some “they might as well be twins” magic….and it doesn’t matter as #2 takes a fireman’s carry into a cutter to give the Kings the pin at 5:09.
Rating: D-. Nothing to see here at all as it was just a squash, though I’m still not sure what the point was in having Animal out there. The War Kings are fine for a power team and having them destroy the Boys for a little while was fine. That being said, was there really a point in having a squash on a one off show like this?
CW Anderson vs. Kid Kash
Jerry Lynn is guest referee. Anderson has John Skyler and an unnamed blonde with him. Kash on the other hand has Joel Gertner with him, who might be able to explain how the 49 year old Kash can still be a kid. Gertner does get in a PG-13 version of his signature dirty introductions, which are still funny after all these years. They run the ropes to start and Kash sends him outside for a big flip dive.
Back in and a top rope clothesline gets two on Anderson, who is right back up with a spinebuster. They head outside again and it’s time for a chair, with Anderson sending him shoulder first into the post and then pelting the chair at said shoulder. That’s very Anderson of him. The armbar goes on for a few seconds, followed by a heck of a left hand (again, very Anderson of him) as the announcers talk about Kash’s time as part of the Pitbulls in WWE.
Kash gets in a clothesline for a breather and it’s time to slug it out. A powerslam gives Kash two but he gets caught in a superplex to put them both down. Skyler gets inside to yell at Lynn….and here’s New Jack with the weapons. Jack starts cleaning house, including with a vacuum between the legs. A swing at Lynn sends him running off but he comes back in to take a chair away from Kash. The distraction lets Anderson hit a superkick to finish Kash at 11:02.
Rating: D+. The wrestling we got wasn’t terrible, though the completely random Jack cameo didn’t do the match any favors. If they just have to do the ECW match, at least it was someone different than the Tommy Dreamer/Sandman/everyone else that always gets these spots. Anderson wasn’t too bad and Kash, despite being ancient, was fine as well. Not a good match, but it could have been much worse.
Post match Anderson asks the ECW alumni to come get in the ring, so here are Blue Meanie, Shane Douglas, Chris Hamrick and a few others. This is an ad for an upcoming ECW panel so it’s hardly the worst thing in the world.
MVP/Moose vs. Carlito/Eddie Edwards
What a completely random match that you would only get on a show like this one. Side note: how in the world did Carlito never get a run in TNA? He’s kind of perfect for that place, especially in a quick run. Eddie in in his TNA hardcore mode here, which isn’t the worst idea in the world. It makes extra sense when Moose is in there with him, so we’re at least getting some continuity from the bigger show. In something I don’t think I’ve ever seen: the referee is wearing glasses.
MVP and Moose can’t decide who start so we pause for Eddie to high five a fan. We start with MVP and Carlito, the latter of whom doesn’t want to hear about the apple. The fans DEMAND an apple so someone brings one from the back, allowing the two of them to finally lock up. MVP headlocks him down and then headstands his way out of a headscissors, offering Carlito a friendly tap to the chest. Carlito scores with a dropkick so now it’s off to Moose vs. Edwards to start the fight.
Eddie wastes no time in sending him outside for a suicide dive. Back in and Moose gets in a shot to the face, allowing MVP to come in for some stomps. Eddie chops away at Moose though, giving us the always cool visual of the sweat flying off his chest. MVP comes back in and grabs a chinlock, followed by Ballin for two.
Moose tries his own but only hits mat, allowing the hot tag off to Carlito. House is cleaned in a hurry with a Roll of the Dice getting two on MVP. Moose makes the save and fights to the floor with Eddie as everything breaks down. MVP can’t hit the Playmaker on Eddie and there’s the apple spit in MVP’s face. A DDT gives Eddie the pin at 11:54.
Rating: D+. Just a tag match here and the kind of weird combinations that work very well on a show like this. MVP and Carlito didn’t do anything for me most of the time but they can wrestle a perfectly fine match like this one. Eddie being aggressive and crazy still works well and this was fine, especially with the apple actually playing into the finish after getting the attention at the start.
Penelope Ford vs. Taya Valkyrie
Hardcore with Amber O’Neal (former NWA Women’s World Champion and Luke Gallows’ wife) as referee. Ford is Joey Janela’s girlfriend who had a star making performance at All In. Taya’s entrance takes some time so Ford blasts her in the face with a trashcan to start. Valkyrie gets posted and it’s time to bring in some toys, like a ladder and a chair. A handspring back elbow drives the ladder into Taya but she’s right back with a spear to take Ford down.
The ladder is laid across the middle rope and Taya suplexes her onto it, with the ladder not budging a bit for a very scary landing. Taya puts a chair between Ford’s legs and dropkicks a trashcan into said chair, drawing quite the gasp. It’s table time, which can mean a variety of things at a show like this. They head outside with Taya ripping open Ford’s sweater for a chop but getting whipped into the barricade. Another table is set up but they fight into the crowd and have a seat in a pair of chairs.
That means a slap off, with Ford nearly falling out of her top, to the point where the black tape can be seen. Taya gets the better of it and hammers Ford back to ringside, only to be sent into a table that of course doesn’t break. Ford going face first into it doesn’t work either but Taya taking her shirt off gets a much more positive reaction. Back inside and Ford fires off some kicks in the corner, followed by a DDT onto an open chair for two.
Taya gets in one on the closed chair but she takes WAY too much time loading up a middle rope splash through the table. Ford takes too long with her super hurricanrana though and it’s a superbomb through the table to give Taya the pin at 16:06. O’Neal wasn’t a factor whatsoever.
Rating: C. I’ll give them big points here having a physical fight with the weapons being used like any men’s match of the same rules. So many times you’ll see a women’s match with some weak weapons usage but they were beating the fire out of each other here. Second, it was a big relief to not have the announcers talk about their rather revealing gear. It wasn’t mentioned once when it was almost impossible to ignore. Yeah it’s there, but focus on what you’re getting instead. Nice surprise here, with the extra time not even being a problem.
The announcers preview the rest of the show as the ring is cleared.
Crazzy Steve vs. Vampiro
Casket match and I forgot Steve existed, though he has Sinister Minister (James Mitchell) with him. Steve jumps him before the bell and Vampiro falls to the floor but is still able to whip Steve into the barricade. Another whip sends Vampiro into the side of the casket but Vampiro looks to be near death. Like more so than usual.
They brawl into the crowd and you can barely see anything more than Vampiro’s head. Steve hits a running something and bites Vampiro’s head before they head back to ringside. Vampiro looks for a weapon but settles for a Nail in the Coffin onto the coffin instead. So Nail on the Coffin. Minister comes in for a low blow and Steve adds some mist to the face for the win at about 6:15 (remember no opening bell).
Rating: D-. I heard good things about this match and yet this is what we got. It didn’t have any time and really, that’s probably the best thing possible as Vampiro looked horribly out of shape here and seemed barely able to do anything more than walk around. Bad match, bad execution and a bad idea in general, with the one good thing being they went home in a hurry. That’s actually a big point as so many matches would just keep going no matter how bad it was.
Post match Vampiro grabs the mic and talks about doing this since 1984. He’s beaten cancer and survived a broken back and he didn’t fly from Colombia to have these two censoreds do this. Vampiro does these things on special occasions and that’s not how this is ending because the people didn’t come here to see that. He doesn’t need to get booked on any show because he is the show. Next year, he’s showing up to face the two of them in a cage with no rules and no time limit. Vampiro asks the fans to cheer for him to wrap things up. Uh, yeah Vampiro. You do all those things.
AML Title: Caleb Konley vs. Jason Kincaid vs. Luchasaurus vs. Marty The Moth vs. Mil Muertes vs. Psicosis
This is the America’s Most Liked Wrestling Title and Konley is defending in a ladder match. If nothing else I get a nice flashback with Psicosis’ old WCW music. I haven’t heard that in years. Luchasaurus is better known as Vibora in Lucha Underground and Judas Devlin in NXT. For reasons I don’t understand, he’s a face here, because when you think monster with a mask, you think face. Konley is the hometown boy and brings in his own ladder.
After nearly thirty seconds of just staring at each other, the brawl is on with Muertes and Moth double teaming Luchasaurus inside. Naturally he just flips away and starts kicking but gets caught in a Backstabber from Muertes. The other three all come in off the top and we get a big shift of places so the smaller guys can come in for a change. Konley takes both of them down at once and hits a big dive onto…someone who was on the outside.
That leaves Kincaid to hit a big springboard armdrag but Psicosis backdrops him onto the pile in the required spot. Psicosis hits his own dive and it’s time for the first ladder. A headscissors sends Luchasaurus into the ladder in the corner and it’s off to Kincaid to hammer on Muertes. A springboard dropkick doesn’t work on Muertes but an X Factor does. Muertes no sells a monkey flip into the ladder and it’s a chokeslam to send Kincaid into the ladder instead. Luchasaurus comes back in but gets caught by Marty’s ladder to the face, only to have Konley come in with the ladder around his neck for the spin.
Konley is the first person to go up but Marty and Muertes pull him down. Another ladder is put up and all six climb at once with some of them even going for the title. Everyone comes down until Marty is left alone for a climb. Luchasaurus makes the save this time but Muertes pulls him down.
With Luchasaurus in trouble, Muertes wrecks everything in sight, including taking the ladders down. He’s a complicated guy at times. Everyone gets smart and beats Muertes up, capped off by a cutter from Psicosis. Konley is left alone after a series of dives but Marty pulls him through a ladder. With Marty going up, Konley pulls himself up into a German suplex. That’s enough to retrieve the title as Konley retains at 13:04.
Rating: C+. This was just a bunch of spots with some wrestlers the fans should be familiar with and that’s perfectly fine. It’s a fun match and they had some time to hit a few flips and dives in between the spots with the ladder. The title change wasn’t likely to happen and there’s nothing wrong with seeing a fun match with the fans getting a treat. Fine for the show it was on and that’s important to keep in mind.
Top Rope Belts Battle Royal
Hurricane Helms, Zane Riley, Mallaki Matthews, Ricky Roberts, Dave Dawson, Chris Dawson, Keith Mac, Bazooka King, Mike Camden, Cam Carter, Yahya, Leo Pride, Jeremiah Plunkett, Gigolo Justin, Axton Ray, Sean Denny, Mark Denny, LaBron Kozone, Chad Skywalker, Rex Bacchus, QT Marshall, Bobby Fulton, Dylan Fulton, JB Cole, Chris Hamrick, Billy Brash, Fallah Bahh, Mr. Hughes, Gary Wolfe, Shane Douglas, George South, Simon Gotch, Stan Lee, Blue Meanie, Glacier, Fred Rosser, Sandman
Hurricane won this last year so I’m assuming he’s defending. I’m sure I missed a few people (the audio was hard to make out) but does it really matter in a match like this? I don’t know a lot of these names but Rosser is better known as Darren Young. Everyone goes after Hurricane to start and he’s out in fifteen seconds. Bahh um, shall we say, releases some pressure from his stomach and about ten people leave at once but here’s Sandman, a surprise last minute entrant, to fill in some of the gap.
We look at most of his full entrance (to be fair, it’s amazing in person) as the battle royal could have just about anything going on at the moment. The song finally ends after over FIVE MINUTES (a normal length for Sandman) and he canes Lee from the apron for some flopping around like a fish selling. Another cane shot gets rid of Kozone but South kicks Sandman out, becoming a huge heel in the process. South is out a few seconds later and pulls Lee with him.
Cole, Bacchus and Meanie are gone as the eliminations are barely getting any mention here. Grimm eliminates Skywalker (just called Walker by the announcers) and there go Roberts and Marshall. Brash and Glacier go as well and it’s down to Bahh, Zane Dawson and Rosser (I told you it was going fast).
Dawson gets double teamed but Bahh clotheslines Rosser down. Rosser eliminates Dawson and Bahh hits a crossbody. The Banzai Drop is broken up and Rosser gets him to the apron but Bahh pulls him out there as well. A neckbreaker on the apron doesn’t get rid of Bahh, who hiptosses Rosser out for a double elimination at 12:56. Bahh is named the winner despite hitting first. Eh it’s not like it matters that much.
Rating: F. Yeah it’s bad, but it’s not the kind of bad that I’m going to get upset about. This was ENTIRELY for the live fans so they could say they saw a battle royal, but the big joke elimination wasn’t exactly funny and didn’t help things. This wasn’t so much bad as much as it was “yeah get this over with” and the Sandman entrance makes up for some of that. Cool moment, but a nothing match of course.
Actually hang on as it was close enough that they’re restarting it, even though Rosser looks to have banged his head on the way down. Bahh backdrops him out for the real win in about thirty seconds. I like it better than having the really bad finish, which seemed to be a botch. They shake hands for a bonus.
PJ Black/Johnny Impact vs. Juventud Guerrera/Ultimo Dragon
Lucha rules with Taya Valkyrie and Sonny Onoo of all people as the seconds. I guess Sonny isn’t offended by the Japanese stereotype character if it’s an indy show and not WCW. At least we get the old Juvy music as the WCW is strong with this show. Before the match, Johnny insults North Carolina and says that himself, Black and Taya are the real Mexican legends. Dragon and Impact start things off with Dragon taking him into the corner for a clean break.
The wristlock doesn’t work for Impact as Dragon does his big spinning escape and it’s time to hit the mat. Dragon flips out of a leglock as we hear about the still incredible J-Crown Title (that famous shot of Dragon holding nine titles). Black comes in and is immediately chopped by Juvy and the running DDT sends Black to the floor. That means the big suicide dive and it’s Black in trouble for the first time. A poke to the eye cuts Dragon down and it’s back to Impact for a kick to the head.
The double teaming is on with Juvy chasing Impact to the floor, which just allows Taya to get in some stomping of her own. It’s back to Juvy for a faceplant but Taya breaks up the 450 and Black PULLS OFF THE MASK. Juvy is rightfully ticked off but Black suplexes him down and grabs a double arm crank. Impact comes back in for a Moonlight Drive but misses the Countdown to Impact, allowing Juvy to hit a quick Juvy Driver. The hot tag brings Dragon back in and everything breaks down with the villains getting caught in the always stupid looking rowboat leg stretch.
Taya chases Sonny around and it’s a double superkick to Juvy. Starship Pain connects but Sonny pulls the referee out at two. Taya throws him in…and Sonny kicks both of them down to their knees, setting up a series of YES Kicks. Even Taya gets kicked down as well but the distraction lets Black and Impact hit a double low blow. Juvy dives into a low blow and that’s enough to give Black the pin at 16:03.
Rating: C+. The match was fun and the old guys looked anything but old….if you ignore the rather ridiculous Sonny part. It’s not like he was anything other than a low level comedy manager back in the day so why is he beating up a World Champion and someone who used to be a champion in WWE? Fun match though, with Dragon alone being more than enough to make it a cool moment.
The announcers preview the main event and incorrectly say Ric Flair won his first NWA World Title at Starrcade 1983.
NWA World Title: Jake Hager vs. Nick Aldis
Aldis is defending and Hager (carrying his wife Catalina on his shoulder) is better known as Jack Swagger. Nick actually has a second of his own in indy wrestler Kamilla Kaine. EARL HEBNER is referee for the real star power and we get some old school instructions. Hager takes him (Aldis, not Hebner, as Hager isn’t that horrible of a person) down with a quick Gator Roll and Aldis bails to the floor for a minute.
Back in and we go into a bit of a grappling exchange with Hager slipping outside to avoid a Kingsland Cloverleaf. The women nearly get into it on the floor but the distraction lets Aldis get in a shot from behind to take over. Back in and Aldis gets two off a suplex, followed by a clothesline into a middle rope elbow. A jumping back elbow to the jaw gets two more and it’s time to work on the leg. With the Cloverleaf not working again, Aldis slaps on the Figure Four as the announcers get in the Flair error again.
Hager makes the big turn for the reversal so Aldis is in the ropes almost immediately. The comeback is on with the belly to belly powerslam, followed by a big clothesline for two. The running Vader Bomb hits raised boots and the Mag Daddy Driver gets two more. Hager’s superplex is broken up and Aldis drops the top rope elbow. That’s still not enough for the Cloverleaf and Hager slaps on the ankle lock.
That’s broken up as well and it’s a double clothesline for the double knockdown. The women get in for no logical reason and it’s the much bigger Kaine flipping her over without much effort. More referees come out to get rid of the two of them and Hager grabs the ankle lock with a grapevine. The long crawl to the ropes gets Aldis out of trouble so Hager puts it on again. Can’t fault the logic there. This time Aldis rolls out though and a small package retains the title at 17:30.
Rating: B-. Not too bad here, even with the women not exactly being necessary. The story of the battle of the submission holds was fine, even if Aldis never actually got the Cloverleaf. Beating Hager is a nice win for Aldis as he’s a former World Champion in WWE and, even if it’s been a long time, that still means a lot. I’m still not huge on Aldis but this was a good performance. Good wrestling here and one of the better matches of the night.
They shake hands to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This is a show where you need to remember what you’re seeing. This isn’t supposed to be some big, epic show and that’s not what you get here. Instead it’s a lighthearted night of wrestling with a bunch of legends and a few lower level current stars. That’s perfectly fine for what it was and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a much more laid back atmosphere than something like WrestleCon (which is better and has bigger names) but for about three and a half hours, I’ve seen much, much worse.
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