Rocket Pro Wrestling: Blast Off – From A Talk In Chicago
Date: March 9, 2019
Location: St. Joseph’s Church, Joliet, Illinois
Commentators: Bill E. Downing, Professor Blackburn, Schelli
So last November (it was last month when I started writing this) I took in all four nights of Survivor Series weekend. I had the four night package of seats, meaning I was in the same seats for every show. During the last two nights, I was sat next to a guy (whose name I never actually caught) who happened to be part of the staff of Rocket Pro Wrestling (as was his buddy Kevin, also a nice guy). They were both rather enjoyable to talk to so I thought I’d see how their promotion went. Let’s get to it.
This is the inaugural show from the company and I know nothing coming in.
The venue is fairly small but they have the lights turned down nicely and it looks pretty good.
We open with a rocket launching (can’t fault them for missing the theme) to get things going.
Here’s Johnny Roy Hero, who seems to be the boss and is throwing out pieces of paper to the crowd. He introduces the commentary team, with the Professor in a mortarboard. I wonder if he does poetry too.
National Anthem. Dang they’re not leaving anything out here.
Commentary starts talking over Hero, who introduces the CEO Chet Gunderson. He’s a rather happy guy who comes out to some polkaish music and hands out glowing rings to some fans. Chet, with his glasses taped together, is proud of his clip on tie and out of breath from dancing. He introduces another boss, General Manager Jbek the Paycheck, who has the Rocket Pro Wrestling Title. Commentary talks over him again and it’s hard to understand both of them at the same time. There is going to be a Rocket Rumble to crown the first World Champion tonight, but we’ll get to our first match right now.
Kota Colmillo vs. Escorpion Dorado
Dorado is a masked luchador and both guys are barely taller than the top rope. Colmillo crawls around to start before working on the wristlock but Dorado reverses into one of his own. Schelli declares this cheating because Colmillo is her guy. Colmillo grabs a headlock (Schelli: “Headlocks are good.”) until Dorado hits three straight armdrags. Dorado’s suicide dive is blocked with a forearm and it’s time to start bending the fingers.
Some running splashes into a monkey flip have Dorado in trouble and a Thesz press gets two. A kick to the ribs into a DDT (Schelli: “That was a cheap shot.”) gives Dorado his own two but Colmillo is back with Miz’s Reality Check. Cue No Coast (I think that’s what they said) to watch as Dorado is back with a springboard crossbody for two. Colmillo goes outside and hits No Coast in the face, allowing Dorado to hit a pair of superkicks back inside. A top rope splash finishes Colmillo at 6:17.
Rating: C-. First things first, keep in mind that this is the opening match on an inaugural show of an indy company. What we got was watchable enough wrestling wise, but the storytelling is a bit much. Having someone interfere in the first match might not be the best idea, as we’ve seen these two wrestlers for less than five minutes and now someone else is being added. Also, I’m not sure how much sense it makes for the face to win by interference. The action was watchable all things considered, but I’m a bit worried about how things are going to be laid out.
Demented Jack vs. Xavier Cross
Jack has a doll with him named Abby and Cross is a clapping priest (the fans like him and they are in a church). The third commentator says maybe his third statement of the night as he suggests that he isn’t all that thrilled with the doll. The bigger Jack shoves him down to start and then does it again for a bonus. An enziguri puts Jack on the floor early on, with even Schelli admitting that it wasn’t bad. Prophet hits a suicide dive for two back inside but Jack cuts him off with a spear.
They head outside with Jack sending him into the steps and a running basement double chop knocks Cross silly back inside. The chinlock goes on but Cross is right back up, only to get dropped with a clothesline. Schelli: “Sleepy time Prophet.” Cross is back up with a superkick and they’re both down again. Some forearms put Jack down and Cross drops a top rope elbow for two. Jack grabs an implant DDT but Cross hits another superkick and a running Downward Spiral is good for the pin at 10:47.
Rating: C-. There were some more moves int his one but the characters didn’t really offer much change. I kept waiting for something to get better but it was a lot more about doing move moves until we got to the finishing sequence. The match didn’t really build to anything and just kept going to a finish. It wasn’t terrible or even bad, but I could go for knowing more about these people. Then again, first show and all so where would you learn about them?
Rodney Jackson vs. John Scrutch vs. Maxx Blaylock
Anything goes and Blaylock is a cowboy. Jackson has Cortez Mack and Blaylock has some undetermined relative with him named Doc Blaylock. Scrutch gets double teamed to start and the two managers beat him up on the floor. Jackson is given a chance to join the Death Ride but he opts to flip around instead, meaning it’s a quick pose for a breather. Scrutch comes back in with a double clothesline but gets double teamed down again.
Blaylock is sent outside again and Jackson goes to the apron for a running kick to Maxx. Back up and Scrutch clotheslines the heck out of Maxx, only to have Scrutch get double teamed again. Maxx suplexes Jackson for two but Jackson is right back with an ax kick for the same. As Scrutch is double teamed by the managers (on the other side of the ring, meaning we can barely see it), Maxx is sent outside as well so Jackson can dive onto a bunch of people at once.
Maxx hits his own dive (Schelli: “That’s what a cowboy does.”) but gets caught in a superplex from Jackson back inside. Scrutch comes in and, you guessed it, is sent outside again. Jackson tries a standing Lionsault but gets superkicked out of the air, sending him onto his head for a scary landing. Scrutch gets back in and takes the strap down for a Stunner. Maxx hits an RKO though….and it’s a double pin at 7:53. Scrutch is named the winner with no explanation from the referee.
Rating: C. As confusing as it was with all of the people involved, the match did the best job of telling a story yet. For some reason, Blaylock and Jackson were worried about Scrutch and beat the heck out of him every chance they could. That was paid off when Scrutch got to showcase himself a bit and cleaned house, but then the ending was more complicated than it needed to be. Even commentary seemed confused at how it could have happened and that isn’t the best look.
Post match the Blaylocks beat up Scrutch, including an RKO onto the cowbell. Hold on as here’s Jbek the Paycheck to say that next month it’s Scrutch vs. Maxx in a 2/3 falls falls count anywhere match and the winner gets a shot at the Inner County Championship. So that’s a thing as well.
Shawn Danger vs. Sanji
Schelli seems to be a big Sanji fan and Danger seems to be rather intoxicated. Sanji, who seems to be from Japan, jumps Danger in the corner and the stomping begins in a hurry. Danger is back with an elbow to the face as the announcers discuss his blood alcohol content. I’m going to assume it’s high.
Some running corner clotheslines have Sanji in trouble but he’s back with some uppercuts to the face to take over. A running shot in the corner sets up a hanging swinging neckbreaker as two people named No Coast come out. One of them pulls out a unicorn (apparently from Fortnite) and accidentally knocks Sanji silly. Danger hits a Stroke for the pin at 4:45.
Rating: D. This one really didn’t work for me as it was one joke from Danger and then an interference ending. It’s becoming an issue tonight as there has been way too much interference up and down the card. It’s the first show and I get the idea of setting up some stuff for later, but it’s ok to just have a match.
Post match Kota Colmillo comes out to help Sanji beat down No Coast. Jbek comes out to make a tag match for later tonight (and yes he throws in a playa).
Rion Skillz vs. Joey Roth
Well in theory at least as commentary says Skillz is going to be facing Matt Wild. Hold on a second though as Roth pops up on screen to say he’s in California and won’t be here tonight. We have a replacement on hand though.
Rion Skillz vs. Matt Wild
Wild has someone named Reilly O’Doyle in his corner. Skillz is a somewhat bigger guy but he has to wait for Wild to pose in the corner. That’s matched by Skillz, who gets a bigger reaction as the pose off begins. Even the referee gets to pose as we’re two minutes into the match with no contact yet. They ring the bell a second time and I’m not entirely sure where we are right now.
After even more stalling, we get the lockup about three minutes after the initial bell. Hold on though as Wild accuses him of a hair pull so we pause for some yelling from the referee. A lockup goes on and Wild bails outside, slides back in, and then goes to the floor again. Back in again and Skillz hits a heck of a clothesline, plus a few shoulders for a bonus. One heck of a chop in the corner rocks Wild again and a few more make it even worse.
A wind up punch is cut off with a thumb to the eye though and Wild grabs a quick neckbreaker. Wild starts stomping away and a running basement dropkick gets one. The chinlock goes on and we get some old school arm drops (I can always appreciate those) to bring Skillz back up.
That means more chops but O’Doyle grabs a leg for the save. Wild gets two off an atomic drop (you don’t see that one too often these days) and drops an elbow for the same. Skillz chops him out of the air though and gets in even more of them as he certain has a weapon that works. That brings O’Doyle to the apron though and Wild gets in a low blow. A lifting Downward Spiral finishes Skillz at 11:42.
Rating: D+. The stalling at the start got annoying in a hurry and kept going for way too long. Things got better once they put it into a rhythm though as Skillz got to beat him up with the chops. Wild and O’Doyle are a pretty standard heel combination and that’s fine for a show like this. It was getting good but the ending was a little cliched and something I feel like I’ve seen several times, which isn’t a great feeling.
Myles Mercer vs. Justa Mazing
Mercer has C-Red and Renee Van Pebbles with her while Mazing has Kendra Hall. Mazing works on the arm for a bit before it’s back to the standoff. An exchange of kicks puts them both down and Mercer is starting to get a little more serious. A run of the ropes lets Mazing dropkick him to the floor but Mercer breaks up a kick from the apron. Back in and Mercer drops a bunch of elbows (Schelli: “It’s like an elbow train.”) with the big one getting two.
Mercer gets two off a Blockbuster and he isn’t happy with the speed of the count. Mazing gets in a few shots to the chest but Mercer sends him into the corner to cut that off in a hurry. C-Red reminds us that he’s at ringside by choking away but Mazing flips to his feet and hits a Spanish Fly (Schelli isn’t impressed). Another C-Red distraction doesn’t work so it’s a jumping neckbreaker for two on Mercer.
Back up and Mercer grabs a reverse hurricanrana into a jumping flip forward DDT for two more. Mazing is rather out of it but he shoves Mercer into the corner for a ref bump. That brings Van Pebbles in but Kendra spears her down. A Zig Zag plants Mercer for no count so Mazing throws the referee back in like a sane wrestler. Back in and Mercer hits a pretty bad looking stomp (he grazed Mazing, who went down too fast) for no count as Mazing gets a foot on the rope. Mercer tries a Codebreaker but Mazing throws him into the air for a cutter and the pin at 12:21. Schelli: “Whatever!”
Rating: B. That’s the match of the night by about a mile as these two looked a lot more polished than anyone on the show so far. The ending was rather cool too with Mazing pulling off a good looking spot to put Mercer down. I’ve been waiting on something like this and it was rather solid up and down.
Hero comes out to check on the referee, who gets to work the next match as well.
No Coast vs. Kota Colmillo/Sanji
The members of No Coast are given names but I can’t make them out over the noise. Schelli thinks they look like Power Rangers so we’ll go with Yellow and Red. Sanji and Yellow start things off with Yellow spinning out of a wristlock as the fans sing the Power Rangers theme song. They trade hammerlocks until a blind tag brings in Red, with Yellow kicking Sanji into a sunset flip for two.
Kota gets sent outside but breaks up Red’s attempt at a dive. Yellow is right back with a backsplash from the apron, sending Schelli into the Power Rangers theme. Back in and some running dropkicks in the corner rock Sanji again but he’s fine enough to hit a suplex on Yellow. Red gets drawn in to Kota can come in sans tag for a chinlock. A running kick to the face gets two more on Yellow and it’s back to Sanji for a double back elbow.
Sanji’s middle rope chop to the back gets two more but Yellow goes fast with a running leapfrog to make the hot tag. Red comes in for a neckbreaker and splash for two on Sanji, who is right back up with chops to put Red down. It’s back to Kota for a running clothesline in the corner and a monkey flip makes it worse.
The slow beating continues but Red and Kota hit stereo crossbodies for the double knockdown. That means a double tag to bring in Sanji and Yellow with the latter taking over in a hurry. Red holds Sanji for a running knee to the back of the head as everything breaks down. Sanji gets in a middle rope knee to Red’s face for the pin at 10:31.
Rating: C. No Coast was a nice team here and while I’m a little confused by having them lose to a thrown together team with two people who had already wrestled tonight, it was a fun enough match. The Power Rangers deal was a good way to make them stand out, with the colors alone being a good way to tell them apart. I could go with knowing a bit more about them, but the match itself was good enough.
C-Red vs. Rage
C-Red has Myles Mercer and Renee Van Pebbles with him. Schelli thinks Rage looks like her grandmother’s curtains. The two of them jump Rage to start and the fight is on outside but we ring the bell anyway. Red grabs the chinlock and then the reverse chinlock before sending Rage outside for another beating. Some shoulders in the corner keep up the slow beatdown and we’re in the chinlock again.
Red gets the referee looking elsewhere again so the other two can cheat some more as we certainly have a formula going here. A middle rope ax handle cuts off Rage’s comeback for two, meaning more cheating can take place. Rage does the Ultimate Warrior rope shake comeback and kicks him in the face (Bill: “This is the Rage that we know.” Where would we know him from?), only to have Mercer trip him down. Back up and Red misses a charge in the corner, allowing Rage to grab a rollup for the pin at 7:40.
Rating: D+. This is a match that probably could have been dropped for the sake of cutting the show’s run time down a bit. It was a bunch of slow beatings and interference from the floor until Rage did about two moves and won. I’ve seen worse, but after a rather long show already, this didn’t really feel like it needed to be here.
Post match the beatdown is on but Nuke (a big guy, who happens to be the one who I was sitting next to at Survivor Series) comes in for the save.
Aaron Stone vs. Cesar Dragon
Stone is a high flier and Dragon looks more like a Power Ranger (green in this case) than No Coast could ever hope to be. At least this one certainly seems to be inspired by the show (though it might be Green Lantern). Dragon takes him to the mat to start and grabs a headlock but Stone is right back up with a kick to the head. Something like a Claymore puts Dragon down again but he’s not even letting the count get to two. A double legdrop gets another one so Dragon is back up with a sliding knee for two of his own.
Dragon’s middle rope basement dropkick gets another two but Stone is back up with even more kicks for…well you get the idea now. A running corner basement dropkick (they REALLY like kicks) gives Stone two more but Dragon gets crafty and dragon screws the leg. Something like an Indian Deathlock (which wasn’t used by Ric Flair, contrary to what commentary says) has Stone bailing for the rope so Dragon switches it up a bit with a suplex for two.
Stone’s knee is fine enough to hit a running knee for two more but he gets sent into the corner. The Alberto Del Rio top rope double stomp gives Dragon two more and an enziguri rocks Stone again. Stone superkicks him out of the air though (Schelli: “ET phone home!”) and they’re both down for a bit. Back up and, say it with me, Stone kicks him in the face to put them both down again.
Stone’s knee seems messed up (so much for his offense) but he’s able to duck a Shining Wizard. The comeback (Maybe?) is on with some running forearms and a spinning torture rack powerbomb for two more. Dragon kicks him in the leg, setting up a double chop to put them both down. A rolling kick to the head cuts Stone off again but he’s right back with a fisherman’s driver for the pin at 14:31.
Rating: C. It’s an entertaining enough match with some good kicks, but it’s coming WAY too late in the night. That’s been the problem with a lot of this show: the length is bringing it down as these are just people with no backstories or characters going out and having watchable matches. That can drag down a show in a big way and that’s what’s going on here. Stone looked good and I could see him going somewhere with a little more time.
Rocket Pro Wrestling World Title: Rocket Rumble
For the inaugural title and it’s a 20 man Royal Rumble with 90 second intervals. Rion Skillz is in at #1 and, after a rather long wait, Maximus O’Ryan is in at #2. O’Ryan wants nothing to do with a handshake so, after nearly a minute of staring at each other, Skillz slaps him a few times. It’s Joey Blues (Yellow from No Coast) in at #3. Yellow and Skillz double team O’Ryan with Skillz unloading in the corner. Joey is fine enough with standing back to watch, allowing O’Ryan to fight back and beat them both up.
Cortez Mack is in at #4 and goes after O’Ryan as well but it’s quickly off to Skillz as O’Ryan and Yellow chill in the corner. Aaron Stone is in at #5 and gets rid of Yellow before superkicking Skillz. They pair off in different corners and it’s Max Blaylock in at #6 to pick up the pace a bit. Blaylock gets rid of Stone and Skillz tosses Mack to clear the ring out in a hurry.
Cesaro Dragon is in at #7 and nothing happens for a bit. That means it’s Ryan Grazer (Maybe? It’s Red from No Coast) in at #8 as Blaylock is tossed. Myles Mercer is in at #9 and he chills on the floor in a smart move. The brawling continues so Mercer gets in but slides right back out as O’Ryan glares at him. Kota Colmillo is in at #10, giving us Skillz, O’Ryan, Dragon, Red, Mercer and Colmillo at the moment.
Mercer gets in and is knocked hard into the corner as Xavier Cross is in at #11. He goes straight for O’Ryan but gets rid of Kota instead. Mercer gets beaten up again and it’s….Bruiser Newcastle coming in (slowly) through the crowd at #12. Apparently he’s a chef and throws hot dogs at people, with Skillz eating his. We stop to offer an exchange of hot dogs until Newcastle gets jumped. Mercer bails to the floor and everyone gets together to eliminate Newcastle.
Matt Wild is in at #13 and Red is out as well. The brawl is on and a bunch of people roll underneath the ropes for a breather on the floor (gah). Shawn Danger is in at #14 and he goes to the floor to chase Mercer. The two of them get inside with Danger stomping Mercer in the corner. C-Red is in at #15 and Mercer joins him on the floor (Egads STAY IN THE RING ALREADY!) but C-Red is in to beat up Danger.
Justa Mazing is in at #16 and I think everyone is in the ring at this point but you never can tell. Mazing starts slugging away at everyone as the ring is way too full. Demented Jack is in at #17 as Danger is out cold, meaning Mazing goes after Jack instead. Rodney Jackson is in at #18 and Danger is tossed. John Scrutch is in at #19 as Jackson gets crushed by a bunch of people in the corner. Scrutch is out in a hurry and Mazing rips Jackson’s chest off with a chop.
It’s Rage in at #20, giving us a final grouping of Skillz, O’Ryan, Dragon, Mercer, Mazing, Jack, C-Red, Jackson and Rage (Cross and Wild were dumped somewhere in the melees). Jackson is tossed out by Rage and a superkick eliminates Jack. Mercer is out as well and a double clothesline puts O’Ryan on the apron.
There goes Dragon and we’re down to Skillz, O’Ryan, Rage, Mazing and C-Red, who pulls himself up in the corner. Rage goes after C-Red and it’s Skillz and Mazing getting rid of O’Ryan to clear the ring out a bit. C-Red gets rid of Rage and we’re down to three. A baseball slide gets rid of C-Red, leaving us with a nice showdown.
Skillz hammers on Mazing but the SHH chop….is silent. They do it again as Skillz has lost his chopping abilities. Mazing hits one of his own and celebrates but Skillz hits him once for a knockdown. Skillz gets low bridged to the apron though and a dropkick is enough to give Mazing the title at 38:35.
Rating: C-. Mazing was possibly the most impressive guy all night long so giving him the title is a good idea. A lot of these people were interchangeable and could have been tossed out a lot faster, but Mazing did have some star power and came off as a good choice for a winner. The match was long, but it does feel like Mazing earned it, which is the point they were shooting for here.
Hold on though as here’s Chet Gunderson to say not so fast. Mazing isn’t done yet because he has to beat THIS GUY to win the title. Sure why not.
Rocket Pro Wrestling World Title: Justa Mazing vs. Jeff Steeples
Again for the inaugural title. Actually hold on AGAIN though, because Schelli says she’s part owner of this company and wants to make this a triple threat for the title.
Rocket Pro Wrestling World Title: Justa Mazing vs. Jeff Steeples vs. Mark Reconsile
For the inaugural title (I think? Mazing has the title and they go back and forth between saying he is or isn’t the champion). Jeff is called the Behemoth and Reconsile is good sized from a width perspective. Reconsile bails to the floor to start and tells the other two to fight without him. Mazing strikes away at the bigger Steeples to little effect. A stomp to the foot staggers Steeples as Reconsile doesn’t want to hear the fans booing him.
That’s enough for Reconsile to come in for a running forearm to put Steeples down in the corner. The big guys fight to the floor as Mazing tries to pull himself up in the corner. They brawl on the outside (mostly off camera, though you can hear the chops) as commentary confirms that you have to get the fall in the ring. Mazing is back up for the big running flip dive and the brawl continues in the aisle.
We continue to not be able to see it for the most part until Steeples rolls back in. Steeples manages a good bridging northern lights suplex for two on Mazing with Reconsile coming back in for the save. The pace slows a good bit and Reconsile hits a running hip attack to crush Mazing in the corner. We slow down a bit with Reconsile mocking the fans before going up for a middle rope Stunner to Steeples (cool) for a very delayed two. Reconsile tries a monkey flip on Mazing…but there’s not much air to it as Mazing just lands on him for two (that’s a new one).
Mazing kicks Reconsile down but has to bail out of a middle rope Phoenix splash. Steeples is back up with an STO to Mazing but Reconsile plants Steeples for two. It’s Mazing up first and striking away at both of them but Steeples kicks him down. The ref gets bumped by Steeples so Reconsile pulls out his chain to knock Steeples out. Reconsile chains Steeples to the post and here’s Matt Wild to lay out Mazing. Another shot with the chain lays Mazing out and Reconsile gets the pin from another referee at 16:07.
Rating: D+. This was long and overbooked, though I’ll give them points to doing something with Schelli after having her be an annoying commentator all night long. I wouldn’t have bet on that one so well done on a bit of a surprise. That being said, they would have been better off finding a different way to do this (Schelli adds a 21st entrant to the Rumble for instance) if they need to do the screwy finish tonight. It was longer than it needed to be (a theme tonight) but at least they got a nice angle in at the end, even if it was overbooked to get there.
Steeples and Mazing are annoyed to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. It’s the first show and you can tell that on quite a few fronts. As I’ve mentioned multiple times now, the show is WAY too long. This show clocks in at about three hours and forty five minutes, or half an hour longer than Survivor Series. There’s something to be said about packing a show, but with this much going on, a lot fewer wrestlers get to stand out because there’s so much going on. A lot of the stuff here felt like it was there for the sake of being there and that’s not a good feeling.
For instance, you had two matches added during the show in the No Coast tag match and the triple threat main event. If you have to do those matches, especially the tag, set them up then do them on your next show. That, plus cutting out one of the several other matches, drops you by about 45 minutes in a hurry. The matches stop having any impact because they just keep going and I was wondering when the show would end. Now that being said, they seem to have learned their lesson as the second show is about an hour shorter, which is WAY better and shows that they can adjust as necessary.
Finally for the negatives, they need to adjust the commentary. Downing was fine as a regular play by play man, but Blackburn might have said ten things all night. The other commentators would reference him and I would have to remember he was there. Schelli was rather annoying but by making her a heel character, they did at least do something with her so points for that.
Now for the good stuff. They didn’t go insane with gimmicks or characters and presented a mostly down to earth, realistic style. You can go in multiple directions with a show like this but it’s a good sign to have something that fits in with everything they’re doing. They didn’t go over the top or do anything that felt out of place. It’s a good idea to go with something simple on the first show and that’s what they did here.
The wrestling was passable enough and while they didn’t have much in the way of character development, that can all come later with vignettes or something else. A few of the wrestlers did make an impression and I’d consider watching it again, especially if they do something to pick up the pace and get out of there a little earlier. It’s a first show and that’s very understandable, though they have some things to work on. What matters is getting the show together without being a disaster and they did both of those things here. It could have been better but it could have been a lot worse so not too bad.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the paperback edition of KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:
And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at: