A three-match show featuring one of my personal favorites from the area and a few relatively big names for Midwest fans.
Kraig Keesaman promo
Keesaman’s debuting a new gimmick based on a vignette he did a couple shows ago from a wine cellar. He used to be a generic babyface, and most recently, he was a viking. Now he’s “Vintage.” Here, he basically complains about not getting booked and not getting respect despite his longevity in the biz, so he’s going to beat Redwing to earn respect. Simple promo delivered pretty well, but it was very generic.
(Nate) Redwing vs. “Vintage” Kraig Keesaman
I thought this would be a big man vs. little man match-up, but Keesaman’s a lot taller than I remember. Instead, it’s a strong man vs. tricky man match. Keesaman gets cocky and Redwing throws him around a bit. Keesaman takes control by bending the rules and gets heat for a while. Redwing fights back with his power and looks to be on the winning track, but The Iceman comes out and pops him in the eye with some sort of foreign object, knocking him out. Keesaman applies a sleeper and makes it look like Redwing passed out in the hold, so the ref awards the match to him.
Winner – Kraig Keesaman
Rating – OK
I like Nate Redwing. I think he’s got a good look and nice power moves. Keesaman’s character is just a regular dirty heel, but apparently he owns a wine company in real life, so that’s where the “Vintage” nickname comes from. He seems to have the skills to pull it off. I’m sure there are a lot of Icemen in wrestling; this one is white, bald, kind of short, and does a hip-hop dancer gimmick, though he’s just wearing casual street clothes here. He and Keesaman will probably be a tag team after this, and that could work. The match was solid and served its purpose of getting Keesaman out there with his new style.
Bolt Brady vs. Christian Rose
Rose is a mean heel and keeps Brady under his control for most of the match. Brady is tenacious and quick, so he bounces back with the flips a few times. I’m not sure if these guys have something against AJ Styles and Low-Ki, but Brady kicks out after both the Styles clash and the tree of woe double stomp. His fortitude pays off in the end when he hits the flux capacitor (double underhook piledriver) for the win.
Winner – Bolt Brady
Rating – OK
Brady has been in Metro Pro before, but this is Rose’s debut. I had high hopes for this match because I expected Brady to be similar to ACH in style and smoothness, and I liked parts of the one match of Rose’s that I reviewed for Free Pro Wrestling. Unfortunately, this match isn’t particularly smooth. Their momentum is constantly cut off by awkward transitions, especially at one point when Brady tries to slip through the ropes. I haven’t seen a lot of either guy, so I’m willing to chalk it up to the ring being different to what they’re used to.
Mark Sterling Promo
Sterling says that he’ll be facing Tommy Dreamer at the anniversary show coming up, and he’ll beat him to prove he’s the toughest and sickest wrestler there is. After the King Brothers win the Tag Team Titles tonight, Sterling will beat Jeremy Wyatt and end his career. I’m not a fan of Sterling’s promos, and it’s hard to put a finger on why. I don’t find his voice threatening except when he does his death metal growl (which he doesn’t do here). His words and speaking style don’t sound very natural.
Metro Pro Tag Team Titles: The King Brothers w/ Mark Sterling vs. Kobra Kai Dojo (c)
Now we have a true big men vs. little men match. Mat Fitchett and Davey Vega show up the Kings early with kicks and agility. Due to the size difference (one King brother is about as heavy as both Vega and Fitchett put together), there isn’t much else they can do. The Kings look inexperienced early on, their selling consisting of little more than twitching their heads at each kick. They seem to get more comfortable during the heat segment, and Ryan King particularly likes to shout a lot. Maybe he’s trying to keep himself conscious after hitting his head on the floor in the early going. He gets his revenge when Sterling stops a Fitchett apron kick and allows Ryan to hit a Samoan drop on the apron. This gets Sterling banished from ringside, but the Kings beat up Fitchett for a good length of time afterwards. Vega gets the hot tag and there are more kicks. Jake King actually takes ten superkicks in a row from the KKD. But when Fitchett takes Ryan out with a somersault to the floor and the ref goes to check on them, Sterling runs back out and shoves Vega off the top rope into Jake’s knees. Jake then pins Vega with a running splash, and we have new tag champs.
Winners – The King Brothers
Rating – OK
Another solid match, this one in spite of the Kings’ limitations. Their respective girths hold their mobility back and make them pretty slow, but they actually seem to have good gas tanks, all things considered. KKD are quite good, and the ring didn’t hamper their speed or slickness. I wish Jake would’ve gotten the win with something more powerful than a simple splash, but whatever.
The Kings and Sterling continue the beatdown until The Commission of Mr. Gelistico and Mr. Abernathy make the save. Well, Gelistico does. Abernathy seems to hobble to the ring, and by the time he’s there, Gelistico has already sent the heels running with his wild rulebook swinging. Vega and Fitchett are hesitant to let The Commission help them up, what with their history and all. The Commission don’t push the issue and choose instead to leave the ring while encouraging the fans to keep changing for Kobra Kai.
Overall: OK. Mostly an enjoyable episode this time around. Even the second match, with all its hiccups, had some good spots. Midnight Guthrie is still a pretty good commentator. I just wish the show would be more up-to-date.