Friday the 13th was bad luck for weather but good luck for wrestling fans as it marked the second show of Resistance Pro Wrestling at the Excalibur. For the unfamiliar, Resistance Pro Wrestling is a new federation based out of Chicago that was co-founded by Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins who serves as the creative director. They’ve been lining up some great talent of some familiar faces and a lot of fresh up and coming workers and aim to offer up a nice alternative to the big two federations. Focusing heavily on actual matches and having the show in a night alone makes them stand out in a good way and this federation really has the ability to grow into something special.
Chet Coppock was the ring announcer for the evening and he was the first one out to announce the first match which was ladies champion Melanie Cruise versus the young and spunky Serenity. Melanie came out with a two-woman entourage that consisted of one girl carrying a dog (who was amazingly well-mannered and very cute) and another girl who carried a riding crop and had a sort of dominatrix-light thing going on. Serenity was a ball of energy from the moment she stepped into the ring. She unsuccessfully tried to get momentum off the ropes to clothesline and/or tackle Melanie Cruise but Melanie was easily 50% larger than she was and just shrugged the attempts off. There was a little back and forth but Cruise mostly dominated the match and it didn’t take long for her to wear down Serenity enough to hit her with her finisher and get the pin. After the match the still stunned Serenity was mounted by the Riding Crop girl who planted a kiss on her and then covered her for a pinfall of her own and counted to three. As the champion and her to cohorts left the ring, Serenity came to her senses and looked disgusted by being in the receiving end of the kiss and kept wiping her mouth off and had a look on her face like she ate something nasty. The match was fairly quick and was pretty solid which got the show off to a good start.
The Davari Brothers (the older one wrestling fans may remember from his time in the WWE) took on Mr. 450 and Robert Anthony in the first round of the tag team title tournament. Anthony and 450 were clearly the heels in this match and Robert Anthony was good in his role spouting attitude and making amusing threats to everyone who was listening as he threatened to “kick them in the penis”. The Davaris came out dancing and parading around while wearing sunglasses and were full of energy. When the match got started there was a lot of back and forth action between the two teams for a while and 450/Anthony had the upper hand for a while before the Davaris rallied for a comeback. The match was pretty fast-paced for the most part and had a lot of great ring-work by all four participants. It was a satisfying match from start to finish which really showed how talented the four guys were. The Davari Brothers took the hard-fought win to advance in the tournament. Hopefully it won’t be the last we see of Mr. 450 and Robert Anthony though as they were a really solid team.
Masked wrestler, El Generico (who at the Black Friday show lost a match to The Almighty Shiek) took on PAC. These guys were equally paired and in the first part of their match the traded holds and counters that showcased their technical abilities. There was a lot of handshaking after spots and eventually PAC started getting a bit frustrated at not being able to best El Generico. They started picking up the pace and doing bigger moves, all of which got strong reactions from the crowd when all of a sudden The Canadian Destroy (Petey Williams who gets angry anytime someone calls him Petey) came out and demanded that he be included in the match. Generico and PAC agreed and Williams quickly hopped out of the ring and hung around on the floor deciding to let the other two wear each other out. That didn’t stop him from tripping El Generico anytime he turned his back and got too close to the ropes. Eventually Williams decided to be a more active participant in the match and there was a lot of teamwork between PAC and El Generico to wear down Williams. A few minutes later Matt Cross came to the ring and demanded to be included in the match. It looked like he was going to side with the other two guys against Williams but then suddenly turned on them, aiding Petey. For awhile it almost worked like a tornado tag match as it was two-on-two but eventually it splintered into every man for himself. The action and pacing of this match was top-notch and the only thing keeping it from earning a perfect rating was they could have been tighter and taken less time conveying the story of adding the additional two guys into the match. Had they picked up the pace and gotten to the point quicker, it wouldn’t have broken up the action as much and the fans would have been popping non-stop for the 25 minutes these guys were out there. It was one of the best matches on the card and El Generico especially shined during this match, taking a much deserved victory at the hands (er, shoulders) of Petey Williams. This is the kind of match that gets people out of their homes to a wrestling show and these guys deserved the big applause they received.
Lonesome Jay Bradley took on Steven Walters in the shortest match of the evening. Walters tried unsuccessfully to take Bradley off his feet and got kicked, thrown and taunted for his troubles. Bradley asked the referee to tell Walters to start trying harder and when Walters looked like he actually might get something going to knock down Bradley, he got folded in half by a huge clothesline which earned Jay the quick win. Walters was still folded in half when Bradley got up and left the ring and when he came too, he asked the post-match interviewer if it’s time for his match as if either he had split personality or he was knocked out so hard that he forgot he even had a match.
Fan favorite, Colt Cabana, squared off against Davey Richards in a more traditional match with old-school pacing. Colt kept Richards at bay with a lot of mat work to wear him down and it seemed that whenever Richards would fight back, Colt would get him into another hold and take control. Richards tossed Cabana out of the ring where Tony Kozina started choking out colt with a towel and stomping on him. After tossing him back into the ring, Richards got the upper hand until Colt started a comeback. A lot of back and forth action followed that really did a great job building excitement including a top rope spot and Colt administering the flying ass. When the dust cleared Colt squeezed out a very hard-fought victory. Angry at his defeat, Richards and Kozina delivered a post-match beating on Colt to make themselves feel better about losing. Great ringwork by both wrestlers in this match made it another highlight of the evening and Colt was as amusing as ever in the beginning stages of the match. This was a great example of how you put together a meaningful wrestling match as opposed to an exhibition of high-spots. When the two busted out some bigger moves, they meant something and were exciting.
Next up was another tag team qualifying match that featured The Soul Touchaz taking on El Gringo Loco and Heros. The match seemed to get off on the wrong foot from the start and the two teams never geled enough to put on a very good display. El Gringo Loco was on the receiving end of a beating at the hands of both Touchaz for most of the match and there was a lot of blown spots. Highlights of the match included Loco diving off the turnbuckle to tackle everyone else on the floor (and nearly knocking his own head off in the process on the ring apron) and the extremely large Toucha jumping off the top rope onto the poor Gringo Loco laying on the mat. The Soul Touchaz won by pinfall after the big top rope move by the behemoth. When the match was over the Touchaz inflicted a bit more punishment on their opponents before everyone left the ring. Sadly the match was mostly a train wreck that you can probably just chalk to up everyone involved having an off night and miscommunications.
In a match to determine the number one contender for the Women’s title, Cheerleader Melissa took on Sassy Stephie. The two ladies traded holds, flipped each other around by the hair and bent each other up like pretzels for a few minutes showing that both of them have more actual in-ring skills that most of the diva roster of the WWE. When it looked like Melissa was going to win, Melanie Cruise’s assistant came to ringside and threw makeup powder into Melissa’s face that blinded her. This gave Stephie the opening to nail her finisher on Melissa and take the win. Melanie Cruise came out and congratulated Stephie on her win which she of course orchestrated as she viewed Cheerleader Melissa as a bigger threat to her title than Stephie. Good pacing in this match and it won back the crowd after the match that preceded it.
In the main event of the evening, The Almighty Shiek, Kevin Steen, and Harry Smith (son of wrestling legend The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith) fought in a three-way, no time limit and no DQ match for the Resistance Pro World Title. Steen once again played a great role of comedic heel and simultaneously made fun of The Shiek while enlisting him to team up with him to take down Smith. The two beat up on Harry for quite a while until each started wanting to be the one to get the pin so Steen and Shiek started fighting each other. Shiek took off one of his loaded boots to try to use it to get the win but Steen got ahold of it and used it on the Shiek to knock him out of the match. This gave Harry enough time to get his wits about him and pull off a comeback that featured a big sit-down powerbomb before putting the Sharpshooter on Steen who submitted which made Harry Smith the first Resistance Pro World Heavyweight Champion.
Billy Corgan came into the ring to congratulate Smith and present him with the belt. As the two were celebrating, Rhino (you may remember him from ECW, WWE, or TNA) came into the ring saying he bought his ticket for a photo of him with the champion and Billy (this was a legit ticket that was available to the fans) and he wanted his picture taken. He was also carrying a small duffel bag. He posed for some pictures with Billy and Harry and then he turned to them and demanded a title shot. He went on about how he was a world champion and had a belt of his own (which he never actually took out of the bag) and that he is the one that is a real champion, setting up a feud for the title between Rhino and Smith (which would be one hell of a good matchup!).
When the dust settled the show was over and there was a meet and greet in the adjoining room where all the talent came down to shake hands with the fans and sign autographs. The overall show was a nice step up in quality over the first show and this federation looks like it is will pick up momentum and keep growing with their future shows (which will be happening once a month now). Wrestling fans in the Chicago area would be wise to come check out their future shows as it many cases it’s a better wrestling show than they are going to see on television currently.
Check out another photo set from this event here!