14 Months in the making, Wrestle Circus returns! Even without the main champions and name recognition – how does the show stack up?
Brian Cage announced that he’s vacating the Ringmaster and Sideshow Championships because of the injury he sustained as Impact Wrestling: Rebellion. Also Tessa Blanchard doesn’t seem to be making an appearance on this one, but maybe they’ll use this to establish a number one contender.
Either way, Wrestle Circus: The Show Must Go On and Raise the Curtain, were two of my favorite shows last year. Hopefully even with the layoff and the lack of notable names, we get a solid show.
- Ringmaster Qualifier Match: Scorpio Sky vs Dezmond Xavier: Xavier wins via Jocay-Le – ** 3/4
- Shazza McKenzie vs “The American Nightmare” Leva Bates vs Alex Gracia vs Christi Jaynes: Leva wins via Cross Roads – **
- Big Top Tag Team Titles: The Riegel Twins vs Dirty Devils (c) vs The Rascalz: Rascalz win via Tandem Shenanigans – ** 1/4 – TITLE CHANGE!!!
- 6 Way Scramble: Lance Hoyt vs Colin Delany vs Peter Avalon vs Fuego del Sol vs Spryda vs Will Allday: Hoyt wins via Blackout – ** 1/2
- Ringmaster Qualifier Match: Joey Janela vs Sammy Guevara: Guevara wins via Shooting Star Press – *** 3/4
- Puma King vs Jake Atlas: Puma King wins via Avalanche Drop – ***
- oVe Rules Match: JT Dunn vs Sami Callihan: Dunn wins via Death by Elbows – *** 1/2
- Sideshow Championship Match: Orange Cassidy vs Gentleman Jervis: Jervis wins via Rolling Cradle – * – NEW CHAMP!!
- Ringmaster Championship Match: Dezmond Xavier vs Sammy Guevara: Guevara wins via Deep Double Leg Cradle – ** – NEW CHAMP!!
- Carnival Cash-In: Ringmaster Championship Match: Scorpio Sky vs Sammy Guevara (c): Sky wins via Ace of Spades – N/A – TITLE CHANGE!!!
An alright kick off match. A few hiccups and Scorpio’s manager Kevin Condron getting involved a little too much, stopped this from being great. Also with the stand ovation afterwards, this could be the farewell for all AEW bound talent. Sammy Guevara was on commentary and kinda said the same, which kinda contradicts the fact that he’s in a Ringmaster Qualifying match later.
After a small technical issue, Leva comes out dressed like Cody Rhodes, even with a little Pharaoh stuffed animal. Speaking of small technical issues, this match had quite a few. It was decently paced and you saw what they were trying to do, but it was generally a little rough. Leva with all the Cody signatures was cute, the Human Centipede Indian Deathlock was very Indie…so not necessary. Still an alright match, just could’ve been a ton better. Gracia is adorable but very green and Jaynes messed up a Spanish Fly that looked like Shazza got the brunt of it, but it wasn’t a complete train wreck.
This tag match was kind of an over booked rolling mess. It started hot with the Rascalz hitting dual Diving Cutters during the intros, but then just devolved into spots. There was also an awful spot where everyone was in a headlock, so the Dirty Devil’s Insidious Follower tried to interfere, but also got grabbed, then she grabbed the referee and it turned into a dumb domino effect Jawbreaker spot. A few false finishes until the Rascalz popped back in did some cute stuff and both pinned Andy Dalton for the victory. The Bengals are doomed this year.
It looks like the Lucha House Party lost someone. What’s a Fuego? Why is this a 6 pack challenge now. Christ – and they’re not even giving the other 3 an announced name. On looks like a Ninja Turtle…one is a knock off wannabe rock star or something. This has been a much more indie feel show than last year. I’m guessing it’s because they took over a year off and most of their mainstay talent has been scooped up between AEW, ROH and Impact. But this has really been some bingo hall/VFW level stuff.
As a match, it was a 6 pack spot fest. Lance Hoyt made everything bearable. Even the post match stuff he was great. There’s not much to say about the match. 5 small guys, 1 big guy. They ganged up eventually, there were a few cool spots, but Hoyt won by overpowering all of them. This was a rough first half since Intermission kicks in at this point.
The second qualifying match after the intermission, and it’s one with solid names. Both Janela and Sammy have signed to AEW recently, but Janela is trying to re-prove himself coming off his major injury. This match definitely lived up nicely, there was good desperation from both, not a lot of ridiculous moments or excessive near falls. The folding chairs got a workout in the early part of the match, but after that, things were confined to the ring. Really good match.
A very lucha libre match. Started with a long athletic exchange of counters and dodges, into a solid match. The finish was a little awkward, but all in all, not a bad match. Atlas also may have legit hurt his arm after falling into chairs following a moonsault, so not sure if that played a part in the odd finish.
Callihan makes this a NoDq oVe rules match as soon as he comes out, and this goes as we expect. A lot of chairs, low blows, spitting and not a bad match. It did however irk me that Sami hit Dunn with a Daryl plushie cat, and the commentary thought they were saying Pharaoh, even though they kept saying he hit him with a cat. Also commentary annoyed me because they don’t really call moves and just say “wrestling maneuver” quite often. Get a play by play person who can call moves and maybe watches wrestling. Who doesn’t know who Daryl is? Hell, ROH sent out an apology when Bad Luck Fale “killed” him.
Orange Cassidy and Jervis is for the vacant Sideshow title now…ugh.
So…the title is called Sideshow, so I suppose there’s a place for this idiocy. The fact that they spent the first half of the match trying to get Cassidy’s hands out of his pockets, and slow motion rope running, just generally eye roll inducing comedy wrestling. Some people like this, I’m aware, the crowd seemed to pop through the whole match. But this isn’t wrestling, this was like the high school reenactment of someone trying to remember a match. Imagine, if the Spanish guy from Ant Man was telling you a match, but you set it at .25 speed and one guys move is rocking someone to sleep. Yup…that about gets the gist of it.
Dezmond has had about 3 hours to rest, and a shorter match. Sammy had a tough match and only about an hour between. So I wonder if that will play into the match.
Well…okay I understood initially that they both went for big moves since it’s their second match and they wanted to get it done quickly. But it just never stopped. A bunch of big unnecessary moves. Sammy kicked Dez in the back of the head about 5 times, and then Dez popped up to break up a top rope move. Then Sammy was on the receiving end of multiple kicks, and won on his second roll-up counter. It was just…weird. Shooting Stars, Spiral Taps, 630 Sentons…just too much.
Overall Score: 6/10
Not only were the quality of matches significantly lower than last year, the fact that Sammy gives this stupid proud babyface promo after winning, when he was a defiant asshole the whole show, I’m so sick of the “grateful Indie guy” crap. Scorpio Sky jumps him eventually, so that’s cool.
OH! He still has that Carnival briefcase, and he’s cashing in!? Okay well hot damn, that did add a little bit of excitement to the end of a show I wasn’t huge on prior. Scorpio does the AEW letters in the air, ala Bret Hart.
Either way, the show wasn’t nearly as good at the last year, but wasn’t unwatchable. It lacked a lot of logic and felt to be done on the fly from Peter Avalon saying he changed the 3 way to a 6 pack challenge, Sami Callihan changing his match to NoDQ, Sideshow being stapled onto Jervis and Orange, and of course the Ringmaster double duty aspect. So I anticipate next month’s show to make more sense, but this was still a little disappointing comparing it to previous Wrestle Circus shows.