Almost forgot to do this! That would’ve been a shame, since they handed out programs listing all the matches and the rudos and tecnicos, so I can actually identify these people with little effort. Well, most of these people.
I’d guess attendance around 100, give or take 25. Show started about 7:20, listed 7. I was running late everywhere today, but apparently I was on indy time all along, showing up late enough to be a couple minutes early.
1) Valentino (rudo) b Sea-Man (tecnico) – Valientino is the ex-exotico now working generic loud mouth rudo. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a GALLI show, so he may have been this bit for a while. It felt like a long time since I’ve been to a show, because about 45% of the wrestlers were in different roles since I last saw them, and 45% were guys I’d never seen. Sea-Man, maybe doing a low rent Shark Boy bit with the double entrande name, was announced as the best wrestler from the Skayde training seminal the last two nights. I would guess that means they had a lot of guys who were just starting out (or they were just really amused by the name.) Sea-Man’s moves included a fisherman’s suplex and Starfish Press. Valentino was good, this was an opening match.
2) Jake Shining (tecnico) b Mat Knicks (rudo) – Mat was the first of a rudos accompanied by the same white guy manager. He was there for three matches, but they never seemed to announce his name. Everyone knew who he was, I was just not in this loop. He was good interacting with the people. Crowd had been pretty dead during the opener, so Knicks made fun of the crowd for being dead while getting them to make noise, mostly relating to his ugly pink zebra shorts. He did enough to get the vocal ladies yelling at people the rest of the night, so mission accomplished. There were some slight psychological issues – do not use a piledriver on a lucha show, and do not use it for a two count, there are plenty of other moves to use for that – but this was a really nice indy wrestling match. Work was solid, crowd was entertained. Finish was Jake beating Mat after Mat missed a shooting star press, which was a bit odd after the opener’s finish was Valentino beating Sea-Man after Sea-Man missed a shooting star press. Mat’s missed SSP was roughly 29 times better, which may be underselling how horrible Sea-Man’s SSP was.
3) (tenicos) Flash Metal & Atomico b (rudos) Destructo Alfa & Funebre. Funebre, as always, was accompanied by Kid Funebre. Kid Funebre is going to be a 10 year vet before he ever has his first match. The Funebre’s had really impressive looking gold masks, and their partner’s looked high class as well. I was completely unfamiliar with the masked tecnicos. Atomico is a chubby guy who was absurdly dancing slowly on his way to the ring, so hopes were low. He didn’t do much of the dancing bit in the match, and was surprisingly smooth, like he was a veteran using a different name. Flash Metal was an average indy luchador. Rudos were the heroes of this match, doing a great job covering up for tecnico mistakes (not going along with the mistakes to avoid magnifying them, hitting them, and then setting them up to get back on track.) It was professional work. Flash Metal took the match on a frog splash.
4) (tecnicos) Acid Jazz, Noriega, Kenny Sutra b (rudos) Ripper, GPA, Rob Michaels – again, match moved one sooner. It occurred to me that Acid Jazz has been on these level of shows since I was in college, I was in college quite a while ago and then I was disappointed for both of us. Ripper is a big masked rudo, Rob Michaels is a large unmasked white guy, GPA is a doing a ‘smart!’ gimmick (reading a book before and during the match, loca ladies chanting “teacher’s pet” at him), Kenny Sutra is a generic undersized indy flyer, Noriega is the charismatic ex-WWC who’s just a level or three most everyone else on this show. He’s also was increible here, for what he didn’t have to do. He was in for about 45 seconds in the opening tecnico offense, sending the rudos out and setting up Sutra for a dive on to them, Sutra got beat on for a long time, Acid Jazz got the hot tag (not a great reaction, which may be the usual lucha thing about no one about US hot tags – lucha audiences react to the offense, not the anticipation of it or the escape), Jazz blew his hot cocoa mix at Michaels, blinded Michaels chokeslamed GPA and covered him, Noriega came in for about 15 seconds and beat Michaels for the win. A grand total of a minute of working, with a lot more energy spent fooling around with GPA’s book and the fans after the match, and he got the win and was probably more over at the end. A virtuoso performance, and I’m not being mocking. This was probably the best match of the night; it was a lot of stock indy characters, but they played their roles well.
5) Joshua Cristian & Ovirload (rudos, champs, with the manager) b Flash Metal & Furia Roja (tecnicos) [GALLI TAG] – this was supposed to be the third match; Furia noticeably arrived during the opener and it seems his scheduled partner Scorpion never arrived. Maybe they pushed back the match in hopes he’d turn up? Ovirload is the masked guy of the team, Joshua Cristian is the taller one, but they’ve both generally playing the same cocky champion role. Match really never got going well – tecnicos went for a double dive thru the ropes, Furia went okay, but Flash Metal hit the ropes on the way into the dive and just rolled thru them to the floor. It looked more clumsy than painful, but he was done for a while and things never got into a groove after that. I don’t know if was ever going to be a good match, but it didn’t seem to have a lot of hope after that. Champs beat one of the tecnicos with a sideslam/neckbreaker combo to keep the titles.
Intermission was here, to fix sound problems. I don’t know if they did, there was a lot of talking after the Skayde match I couldn’t really understand. This went on long enough for many of the rudos (and Acid Jazz) to wander out and talk to people. It must’ve been around here where my phone started calling people on it’s own, people starting calling me back thinking something tragic had happened, and I kept ignoring them thinking THEIR phone was calling people on it’s own. This was as distracting as that last sentence was confusing. Somewhere in here, Rob Michaels and GPA wandered out so Michaels could apologize to GPA for chokeslamming him in their match. I have no idea why this happened, but I’m happy those two are better friends now.
6) Mason Conrad (champ, rudo, with the manager) b El Bandolero (tecnico) – Again, been coming here long enough to remember Conrad as Shining and Knicks, but not enough to get used to the progression to being the champion. He has improved. I was unfamiliar with Bandolero, but he’s got a great mask – a black/gold Soltario mask with a red bandanna sown over the mask. Same design on the back of trunks too, and it looks very good. Bandolero is very athletic – this was the match with the biggest highspots of the night, including a nice Asai moonsault – but his fundamentals aren’t there yet. He’s an indy luchador, no shame in that, but Conrad was clearly the better wrestler and it would’ve felt wrong if he had lost his title here. Finish was Bandolero going to the top, taking forever, and Conrad catching up to him to drop him with a huge fisherman’s suplex. I think the idea was Ripper was supposed distracting Bandolero, but I didn’t even pick up Ripper being at ringside until after the match. At any rate, Ripper puts up his title (Lucha Chicago) against Bandolero next Friday in Elmhurst
7) Discovery & Skayde (tecnicos) vs Gigolo Americano & ?? (rudos) – the program mentioned the previous partnership of Discovery and Skayde, and they did a bit before the they came out talking about how those two got started as the Power Raiders. I think I might have been the only person there who knew who the Power Raiders were, but it was a nice touch. Skayde was wearing his mask and his NWA Mexico title. Gigolo came out wearing his mask too, but unmasked and introduced his surprise partner….KID FUNEBRE! This was the greatest thing ever. Gigolo and the nine (???) year old pose and yell to the tecnicos about how they’re going to beat them. Tecnicos are facing away from the enterance, so I’m expecting the real mystery partner to run out and attack them from behind. I’m wrong. Skayde attacks Discovery, he’s Gigolo’s partner.
7a) Discovery & ??? (tecnicos) vs Gigolo Americano & Skayde (rudos, w/Kid Funebre) – I found Arena Xalapa’s facebook this past week. I always love finding promotion’s facebook accounts, because it always gives me lineups (and sometimes even results) more reliably than newspapers. It’s almost enough to get me to join Facebook. Anyway, going thru their lineups for the last few months, I noticed Skayde had actually been working rudo in Xalapa, a bit of a surprise. I guess I should’ve seen this turn coming! Gigolo & Skayde beat up Discovery on his own for quite a while. A Masked Tecnico eventually ran out to be Discovery’s partner, but it was someone I didn’t know and someone who’s name was never (audibly?) said, so I still have no idea who it was. The kid did not have a great night, looking nervous or confident on some spots, and out of position or late for others. It dragged the match down, which was obviously much more of a brawl than the llave classic match of Discovery & Skayde on the same side. Rudos eventually beat Discovery with an unseen foul and a frog splash. Destructo Alfa & Funebre returned to help beat up the tecnicos post match, and Gigolo and Discovery set up a Alfa/Funebre/Gigolo vs Discovery/Masked Tecnico/TBA (Sutra? he was out at the end, though not just for this) match for this Friday.
8) Apacalypto & Justified (tecnicos) b Gabiel Herrera & Doug Simmons (rudos) – the last match was listed as the main event, and this match was listed as the Showcase match. I don’t know, this one came last. If you recall back a month or so ago, I linked to a Chicago Tribune article about Apacalypto; he’s an over 50 year old man just starting out in lucha who also happens to be a major funding source for this group. His partner Justified (cowboy gimmick, not as cool as the show) was mentioned as having only three matches (a lot more time spent in the gym), but had a significant rooting section. (There also seemed to be wrestlers, trying to hide in the bleachers, cheering very loudly for the tecnicos here.) This is exactly the kind of match you’d think it would be – fantasy camp we could pay to watch, more or less. Herrera & Simmons did strong work making the tecnicos look impressive, selling a lot of stuff huge. Match felt way too long – show was already 2h45m by the time this started, and fans (and occasionally Kid wrestlers) were checking out before this one finished. Tecnicos beat up on the rudos for quite a while before Justified was trapped for a while. Appacalypto got the hot tag, of course. Match came down to Simmons and Apacalypto. Apacalypto put on his special glove for his chokeslam and tried to start his own fan chant for the chokeslam, but Simmons bopped him with a roll of pennies. Pennies went flying everywhere but the referee – who worked all the matches, and must’ve been too tired to notice – counted three anyway.
(Sutra had not so subtly passed the roll of pennies to the referee in between matches, and the referee passed it to Simmons. Both of them took multiple looks at the item they were secretly passing, as if they were a guy in his first poker game who just got dealt two aces and needed to keep checking that they were really aces. I will hire none of you to be my secret agents! Though I couldn’t tell exactly what they were passing.)
An EMT rushed in the ring to check on Apacalypto, who appeared to be dead from this deadly maneuver. Meanwhile, promoter Carlos got the microphone, declared he saw the loaded punch and the match could not end that way. He ordered the match restarted, despite Apacalypto having seemingly passed on to the next plane of existence. The EMT was still checking on him when they rang the bell (or played the MP3 file of a bell), which really seemed kind of cruel of Carlos.
8a) It turned out okay, because Apacalypto recovered, chokeslammed Simmons, and won the match. HOORAY. This was definitely a match that happened.
The first half of this show was better than the second half of the show, and my attention and patience wanes as things go over the three hour mark – this may be a problem with the CHIKARA/ROH doubleheader, now that I think about it – but I definitely got my $5 worth. There were some solid/good indy matches here. I may go to Friday’s Elmhurst show – it won’t have Skayde, but maybe it’ll have some of these other guys.