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RADICAN'S TAKE
RADICAN'S DVD REVIEW - PWX "Night of Champions VII" 2/23: Chiva Kid vs. Corey Hollis, Cole defends PWX Title vs. Konley

Apr 1, 2013 - 2:49:04 PM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist

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RADICAN’S PWX “RISE OF A CHAMPION VIII: THE LAST STAND” DVD REVIEW
FEB. 23, 2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C.
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The ring announcer introduced the show in front of a small, but enthusiastic crowd. They have no fans facing the hard camera where the stage is, which isn’t idea for the home viewing experience. The stage has a video screen set up where the wrestlers come out, but the lighting isn’t very good in the ring from the hard camera where there are a lot of shadows. The floor camera shots aren’t bad except from one angle where there’s a bright light in the background. Shane Helms is on commentary with Chris Shore.

(1) Chip Day vs. Cedric Alexander. They had some hard hitting exchanges early, but Day sent Alexander down to the mat with a big kick. Alexander has a presence about him here that I haven’t seen in his ROH work. Day has a very generic look and needs to put some work into his physique, but he’s solid in the ring. Day continued to work over Alexander for a long period of the time and the crowd tried to rally behind Alexander. Alexander mounted a comeback and hit a nice slingshot clothesline for a two count. Day fired back and got a crossface variation, but Alexander rolled him up for a 2 count. Day then countered a clothesline into a big kick to the head for a 2 count. Day caught Alexander with a superkick, but Alexander surprised him with the COD in the corner for the win.

Winner: Cedric Alexander

Star rating: (**3/4) – This was a good hard-hitting opener. They had some good exchanges down the stretch and Alexander carried himself well in the ring.

After the match, Alexander was interviewed on the stage. He was asked if he had changed. Alexander said he was faster and more aggressive. He said he is now one of the best wrestlers in the world. Alexander closed the interview by saying he doesn’t like being in the first match.

Ernie Osiris came out and his mystery partner was introduced. It turned out to be Rhett Titus, who got a good ovation from the crowd. The lighting for his entrance would give some people a seizure. The entrance of their opponents wasn’t shown.

(2) Ernie Osiris & Rhett Titus vs. John Skyler & Drew Myers. Some ominous music played while Titus worked over Skylar in the ring. I wonder what that was. Titus and Osiris worked over Skylar for a long period of time before Skylar bailed to the outside. Osiris missed a dive to the outside, but landed on his feet. Eventually Myers and Skyler overwhelmed him on the outside and tossed him back into the ring to begin working him over. The crowd tried to rally behind Osiris, who began to mount a comeback on Skylar. Osiris hit a knee to the back of Skylar’s head, but Myers cut him off from tagging in Titus. Osiris finally avoided a double team and tagged in Titus, who ran wild. Titus tossed Myers out of the ring and hit a big clothesline on Skyler for a nearfall. Skylar and Myers fired back and Myers capped off a big sequence with a German with a bridge on Titus, but Osiris made the save. Osiris wiped out Skylar with a flip dive through the middle rope to the outside. The crowd fired up as Titus and Myers went at it in the ring. Titus eventually hit a double underhook brainbuster on Myers for the win.

Winners: Rhett Titus & Ernie Osiris

Star rating: (**) – This was a solid tag match. The crowd was into the action, especially once Titus got the hot tag and the action picked up nicely down the stretch before Titus picked up the win.

Smith James vs. Chris Lea was joined in progress. They were going at it in the ring when some ominous music played. A large man came out with half his face painted. The commentators identified him as Kongo. Kongo ended up destroying Lea and James. Kongo is a very large overweight man, but he showed good power taking out Lea and James. The crowd chanted “Feed me more” at Kongo to end the segment.

(3) Zane Riley & Amber O’Neal vs. Mike Bennett & Maria. Riley looks really low rent with his Hawaiian shirt and winter hat ring attire. Zane offered Bennett a beer before they locked up. Bennett told the fans he wasn’t going to drink the beer and Riley got a rollup for a nearfall. Riley then began slapping Bennett’s backside. Bennett begged off and hit a kick to the gut. Bennett crawled to the corner and tagged in Maria. Maria kissed Bennett where Riley hand slapped him. O’Neal then slapped Riley, but Maria wouldn’t kiss his sore spot where he had been slapped. O’Neal went at it with Maria and gave her the stink face. Bennett tried to run into the corner, but O’Neal tripped him and hit a double stink face on Maria and Bennett. Riley went for the stink face, but Bennett and Maria bailed. Bennett got on the mic and said they were too good for this match. Bennett and Maria went backstage, but Riley and O’Neal dragged them back to the ring.

Bennett cut off Riley and then nailed O’Neal with a running kick to the gut to save Maria. The fans booed, as Bennett continued to go after O’Neal. Maria choked O’Neal on the ropes while Riley yelled at the ref. Bennett also choked O’Neal with the ref distracted as the crowd booed. I thought they said this was a mixed tag rules match, but apparently it isn’t. Bennett and Maria tagged in and out to work over O’Neal until Bennett missed a leg drop off the second turnbuckle. Riley got the hot tag and ran wild on Bennett. Riley and Bennett ended up bumping heads after Riley whipped Bennett into the turnbuckles. The women tagged in and O’Neal ran wild on Maria. Bennett came in and grabbed O’Neal by the hair, but she slapped him away. Maria and Bennett were standing over O’Neal when O’Neal surprised her with a rollup while Riley held Bennett from making the save for the win.

Winners: Zane Riley & Amber O’Neal – This was a comedy match that was just there for me. Bennett & Maria did a good job of getting the crowd behind O’Neal & Riley, but this was a forgettable match that was more geared towards the live crowd.

Jake Manning came out and got on the mic and said he knew it was supposed to be Strong & Edwards vs. Steen & Richards. Manning tried to get into his promo but the crowd kept heckling him and saying “What!” Manning said he was running out of time and asked to be put into the match. He said he had put in hard work outside of the ring and wanted to put in work inside the ring. Steen grabbed the mic and said to what appeared to be the authority figure that he wanted Manning & Redwood in the ring. Strong then got on the mic and told Steen that they’re the champions. He said Jake had an emotional story and told Ty to put them into the match, but the titles wouldn’t be on the line. Richards got on the mic and said everyone should shut up and fight.

(4) PWX Tag Team Champions The Dojo Bros. (Roderick Strong & Eddie Edwards) vs. Davey Richards & Kevin Steen vs. The Great Outdoors (Jake Manning & Grizzly Redwood) - Non-title Thee-Way Elimination match. Richards and Strong did a fantastic sequence of back and forth pinning combinations to begin the match before coming to a stalemate. Steen acted like he was exhausted just watching it from the apron before tagging into the match. Strong also tagged out to Manning. Manning got a testicular claw on Steen and Redwood ran in and swept out Steen’s legs out from under him. Steen fired back with a testicular claw of his own, but Redwood tagged in and hit a chop off the top for a one count. Steen fired back a short time later on Redwood, but Edwards tagged himself into the match. Edwards got a testicular on Redwood and Helms said if everyone was getting their wieners touched, he wanted his touched, but he wouldn’t let Shore be the one to do it. Richards took out Redwood and tagged in Steen, who put the boots to Redwood.

Strong tagged himself into the match and tried to suplex Steen, but Steen blocked it. Steen eventually hit a suplex of his own on Strong for a 2 count. Richards tagged in, but Strong nailed him with a nice dropkick as he came off the ropes. Steen hung up Edwards in the corner and Richards teased a running dropkick, but hit Edwards in the nuts instead. Steen then followed up with a cannonball in the corner for a nearfall. Manning tagged in and continued to abuse Edwards with a chest rake and a nipple twist. Redwood tagged in and grabbed another testicular claw. Edwards eventually fired back on Manning and tagged in Strong, as the match continued to not have much of a flow to it. Manning cut off Strong and tagged in Redwood, who grabbed a chin lock on Strong. Manning tagged in and hit a long delayed vertical suplex on Strong and the fans applauded. Manning then lifted up Redwood and dropped him down onto Strong for a 2 count. Richards tagged himself into the match and went after Redwood. Richards played to the crowd before locking in a combination arm/leg submission on Richards. Everyone came in and grabbed submissions to form a six man submission chain. Everyone ended up breaking free and Richards covered Redwood for a 2 count. Redwood finally managed to cut off Steen and he tagged in Edwards. Steen tried to go up top, but Strong cut him off. Edwards went for a superplex, but Steen bit his face. Steen then went for a swanton, but Edwards got his knees up.

Strong tagged in and put the boots to Steen. Strong and Edwards tagged in and out to work over Steen. Steen got a mandible claw on Strong, but he fought free and Edwards choked him in the corner. The crowd tried to rally behind Steen. Steen finally hit a big powerbomb on Edwards and both men were down. Steen finally tagged in Richards, who ran wild on Strong. Strong ran in, but Richards got a rollup on Strong while hitting a northern lights suplex on Strong for a double pin, but it got broken up. The action broke down and the crowd fired up. Richards wiped out the Dojo Bros. with a dive to the outside. The ref ended up counting out Richards, who couldn’t get back into the ring because Strong was grabbing his foot. This means Steen & Richards were eliminated.

Manning lifted Strong onto his back and spun around Strong to knock over Edwards. He then slammed Strong onto Richards and Redwood covered him for a 2 count. Strong ended up catching Redwood by surprise on the outside and he tossed him into the ringpost. Manning came over to check on Redwood, who looked to be in bad shape. Strong came around from the other side of the ring and nailed Manning from behind. Edwards then held Redwood up for Strong to chop him. He then tossed Redwood back into the ring for a 2 count. The crowd tried to rally behind Redwood while Steen & Richards watched the action from the entrance. Strong and Edwards continued to work over Redwood inside the ring and they nailed him with a tandem back breaker for a 2 count. The fans tried to rally behind Redwood again. Strong tried to jump down on Redwood, but he got his knee up and crotched Strong. Redwood tried to tag out, but Edwards knocked Manning off the apron. Edwards got a hat from a fan and tipped it to Manning on the apron. Redwood surprised Edwards with a stunner and eventually tagged in Manning, who ran wild.

Manning took out Strong and Edwards with a double clothesline off the top and the fans fired up. Edwards and Strong went for a double kick in the corner, but Manning got out of the way and nailed Edwards with a combination backbreaker/Face buster for a 2 count. Edwards fired back and caught Manning with a code breaker off the second rope and tagged in Strong. Manning fired back and hit a suplex into a slam on Strong for a 2 count. Manning and Redwood went for the doomsday device, but Edwards broke it up and kicked Manning into Redwood. Strong hit a big gut buster on Manning and Edwards followed up with a clothesline for a 2 count. Manning ended up getting a rollup on Strong for the pin.

After the match was over, Strong put the boots to Manning. Helms said Manning & Redwood have to be the #1 contenders now.

Winners: Jake Manning & Grizzly Redwood

Star rating: (***1/4) – This was a long match going over 30 minutes. It dragged in spots, but the crowd was into the action, although they seemed to burn out towards the end. The match started with some fun comedy spots and they did a six-way submission at one point that got the fans into the action. The story of the match was well-executed to set up Redwood & Manning as the underdogs that overcame the odds to beat the PWX Tag Team Champions and set themselves up for a future title shot. I would have liked to have seen more personality from Edwards and Strong to showcase what the Dojo Bros. are about, as I hadn’t seen their act before.

Adam Page came out on the stage for an interview. Page said he has a broken hand and turned his attention to Cedric Alexander. Page said Alexander brought something out of him that hadn’t been there before. He said he didn’t like Alexander’s change in attitude. Page said there were no handouts and Alexander can’t expect to be in the main event every time. Page said at the next PWX show in March, he’d like to wrestle Alexander.

Chiva Kid came out to a good reaction to face Corey Hollis.

(5) Corey Hollis vs. Chiva Kid. Helms put over Chiva Kid huge on commentary comparing him to Rey Mysterio Jr. among others he’s been in the ring with. Chiva and Hollis went to a fast-paced exchange and came to a stalemate. Chiva went for a dive and ended up on the apron after Hollis got out of the way. Hollis then tripped him face-first onto the apron and tossed him back into the ring a short time later. Shore mentioned that Hollis had won the previous match between these two men. Hollis continued to dominate the action as the pace slowed down. Hollis began working over Chiva’s mid-section before dropping him stomach first over the top rope. Chiva tried to mount a comeback, but Hollis turned him inside out with a big clothesline. Chiva finally avoided a charge from Hollis and nailed him with a spinning kick to the back of the head. The announcers made it clear that the winner of this match would be entered into the match to crowd the first TV title match on the next show.

Kid fired up and went after Hollis, but Hollis countered a standing moonsault by getting his knees up into Chiva’s mid-section. They went to an exchange of strikes with 5 minutes remaining in the time limit. Chiva hit a modified Michinoku driver, but only got a 2 count. Chiva went up top, but Hollis cut him off. Chiva ended up fighting Hollis off, but Chiva missed a splash off the top and landed on his feet only to eat a back breaker and both men were slow to recover. Hollis finally crawled over to Chiva and covered him for a 2 count. Hollis hit a lightning spiral on Chiva with under 2 minutes remaining, but Chiva kicked out at the last second. Chiva countered a style clash with a kick to the head. Hollis caught him by surprise with a rollup, but Chiva fired right back with a kick to the head and both men were down. With under a minute left in the time limit, both men fought near the apron. Chiva ended up on the stage. He got a running start, jumped up to the top rope, and hit a crazy SSP press on Hollis. Chiva couldn’t crawl over to cover Hollis and the time limit expired.

The fans gave both men a standing ovation once they made their way to their feet. The announcers weren’t sure what this meant for the upcoming match to crown the first TV Champion. Day came down to check on Hollis and Osiris checked on Chiva. Hollis ended up selling frustration and headed to the back on his own.

Winner: No winner due to a time limit draw

Star rating: (***1/4) – These guys worked a really smart match with Hollis keeping Chiva grounded and working over his mid-section for most of the match. They built up to some nice exchanges down the stretch and Chiva’s SSP at the end where he got a running start and jumped from the stage to the top rope and then hit a SSP press with some serious air on Hollis before the time limit expired was pretty crazy. I wasn’t totally clear that this match was for a bye into the match to crown the first PWX TV Champion at first, but that was really my only gripe with the setup for the story to this match.

Steen came into the commentary booth for the main event. Caleb Konley came out to challenge Cole for the PWX Championship in the main event. Shore noted some of their previous history with Konley submitting Cole in a Six Man Tag last month.

(6) PWX Champion Adam Cole vs. Caleb Konley – 2/3 Falls match. Shore said the first fall is by submission only, the second fall is by pinfall only, and the last fall will be held under last man standing rules. I don’t think they mentioned any of this until right before the match started. Konley nailed Cole with several punches. Cole went out to the apron and Konley kicked him off to the floor before nailing him with a big dive through the ropes. They went back and forth on the outside before Konley booted a seated Cole out of a chair at ringside. They battled back into the ring and Konley hit a nice neckbreaker for a 2 count. I thought this was a submission only fall. Cole fired back and hit a DDT. Cole continued to dominate the action inside the ring and hit a missile dropkick for a 2 count. Cole went for the Canadian destroyer, but Konley countered it into a backdrop. Konley then applied the o face and Cole submitted to give Konley the first fall.

Cole bailed to the outside to regroup. Helms said Cole still had the advantage despite holding a 1-0 advantage because he’s still the champion. Cole exchanged some blows with Konley before bailing to the outside again. Konley went for a dive a short time later, but Cole caught him and hit a German suplex into the apron. Cole rolled Konley back into the apron and covered him for a 2 count. The crowd chanted “Sexy Jesus” at Cole, who did a Jesus pose for the fans that got some heat. Steen wondered whether Edwards and Strong would show up to interfere. Steen said the ref shouldn’t be checking on Konley while Cole applied a chin lock. Helms pointed out the ref has no clue what he’s doing, which was pretty funny. Konley fired back with a huge chop, but Cole raked his eyes right away to maintain the advantage. Konley fired back with a big slam followed by a senton for a 2 count.

Konley continued to fire up on Cole and capped a big sequence with a German with a bridge for a 2 count. Cole fired back with a Pele kick and a running knee strike for a 2 count. Cole went for another running knee, but Konley rolled him up for a nearfall. Konley flipped out of suplex, but his knee gave way and Cole hit him with an unprotected running knee to the face for a great nearfall. Konley fired back and went for a springboard, but Cole nailed him with a superkick. Konley rolled to the outside and Alexander came out to check on him. Konley finally got back into the ring, but Cole only got a 2 count. Manning and Redwood also came out to encourage Konley with a bunch of other members of the locker room. Cole hit a big boot and a neckbreaker out of the DVD position for a nearfall. Konley fired back and hit a Michinoku driver for a nearfall. The fans fired up as Konley set up Cole from the corner. Konley hit a big forearm, a diving elbow and a big suplex. Konley went to pick up Cole, but he countered him with another neck breaker over his knee for another good nearfall. The fans fired up with Cole holding Konley in the figure four. Konley struggled and finally reached the ropes to break the submission. I don’t understand why Cole didn’t just keep the hold on Konley since this fall can only end with a pin.

Cole taunted Konley, but Konley reversed a whip and sent Cole into the corner. Konley went to charge at Cole, but his legs gave out. Cole hit a superkick and went for another, but Konley applied the O face. The ref called for the bell awarding Konley the title. Well, that was really strange given how the rules were explained.

Konley got on the mic after the match and the crowd chanted “That was awesome.” The announcers said they might have got the rules wrong, but the match was still awesome. Konley thanked the fans of PWX for supporting him. Konley said he was taking the belt and taking PWX to bigger and higher places. Steen got in the ring and ended up nailing Konley with a package piledriver. Steen bailed out of the ring and told Konley if he wanted PWX to grow, Steen needed to be the champ. Steen told Konley to enjoy the belt because he was going to come for it. Steen thanked the fans for coming and said the Kevin Steen Show was over. Steen then came back and said next month, Konley would lose his title because he’s wrestling Kevin Steen.

Winner: Caleb Konley 2-0 to become the new PWX Champion

Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a heck of match, but the announcers didn’t get the stipulations right, which lead to a great amount of confusion on my part while I was watching it. That being said, Konley looked as good as ever here going at it with Cole and they got the crowd red hot, especially during the second fall when it looked like Cole was going to tie it up at 1-1 for sure and all of the babyfaces came out. It’s too bad the rules for the match weren’t explained better going into it.

Osiris was shown cutting a promo saying he would get to the top through hard work. Osiris said one day he would be a champion. Rhett Titus came into the picture and shoved his crotch into Osiris’s face. Titus said last year at this time he was at the top of PWX, but now he was crawling back into the ranks. Titus said he would be watching the winner of the Konley-Cole match closely.

Cole was shown backstage complaining about Strong and Edwards not being allowed at ringside. Strong told Cole that Caleb got lucky tonight and that he’s better looking than him as well. Strong and Edwards got Cole to smile. Strong said they would wear their tag titles to the bar. Cole frowned, but smiled when Strong told him he’s still their champion.

Konley cut a promo backstage. He said he appreciates what Steen did. Konley said as ROH Champion, Steen was the biggest guy in the room for him to knock out like his father taught him. Konley said when he faced Steen for the title; he would knock the biggest guy out.

Overall thoughts: The show was plagued by the lighting and the hard camera shot wasn’t easy to look at because there were dark spots in the ring. The floor camera shots were better and when those were featured the action looked good except for one vantage point where one of the lights shined very brightly into the camera. The show wasn’t unwatchable, but I would recommend that PWX put the lights on when they run shows in this venue.

The undercard was solid, but unspectacular. One thing that stood out on the undercard is that several of the local PWX wrestlers like Cedric Alexander, Chiva Kid, Corey Hollis, and Caleb Konley are worth keeping an eye on. I’ve seen Alexander in ROH, but he carries himself differently when working North Carolina for promotions like PWX and Pro Wrestling Evo. Alexander had a definite presence about him in the opening match and carried himself differently than he does in ROH.

The second half of the show was good. Chiva Kid vs. Corey Hollis had a match that told a good story, although I wish the announcers had provided more background to PWX crowing its first TV Champion with the winner of this match getting a slot in the match to crowd the first TV title holder. One thing I noticed about PWX is that a lot of the matches told a story and weren’t just about flashy moves and this match was a prime example of that with Hollis trying to keep Chiva grounded by working over his mid-section so that he couldn’t use his high-flying maneuvers. I’m definitely interested in seeing more from both men, especially in the future. The SSP press Chiva hit before the time limit expired was a jaw-dropping execution of that particular maneuver.

The Three-way elimination match with Manning & Redwood vs. Steen & Richards vs. PWX Tag Team Champions Edwards & Strong was a good match, although it was slow at times. I liked the story they tried to tell with Manning & Redwood overcoming the odds and beating Edwards & Strong. Edwards & Strong using the Dojo Bros. gimmick in PWX is a nice twist that shows a different side of their personalities, alongside Cole rounding out the group. Edwards and Strong still need to work on taking their personas and getting them over in the ring.

The main event featuring Adam Cole defending the PWX Championship against Caleb Konley in a 2/3 Falls match was very good bordering on excellent at times, but the commentators not knowing the stipulations for each fall made following the match very confusing, especially during the second fall when Konley submitted Cole under what I thought were pinfall only stipulations. Konley showed me a lot in this match and showed a different side to his in-ring work that I haven’t seen in DGUSA.

This was a solid show and PWX is a promotion worth keeping your eye on this year mixing local Carolina talent with ROH talent. The wrestlers do a good job of telling stories in the ring and just about everything on the show seemed to have a purpose. If PWX can clean up the production issues and storyline confusion, they can definitely raise their stock in 2013.

You can purchase PWX “Rise of a Champion VIII” at Highspots.com

***

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Follow Sean on Twitter at Twitter.com/SeanRadican

Contact Sean at PWTorchSean@gmail.com


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