Billy Corgan’s (of Smashing Pumpkins fame) Resistance Pro Wrestling returned to the gothic looking confines of Excalibur on Friday night with their latest event, Taken By Force. The federation has grown a lot in just six shows including getting a TV deal with a local station (WCIU in Chicago) to air their programming. This event was taped for a future TV broadcast and they packed the room with a lot of enthusiastic fans, many who have become regulars at the events.
As the sun was starting to set, the event was kicked off with two “dark matches”. Think of dark matches as a bonus for those who showed up early (or on time). The first match was Chris Castro vs. Marvelous Matt Knicks. This was a short, simple match that was pretty by the numbers. Both wrestlers had their time to shine but it was the larger Castro that took control with some bigger power moves and some kicks. After about five minutes Castro prevailed. The two wrestlers did exactly what you’d want them to, get the crowd warmed up for the show and they did a very good job, and that crowd stayed warm the entire night.
The second dark match was a tag team affair with The Submission Squad vs. The Hate Junkies. Submission Squad was a pair of guys with vastly different looks and physiques, but who both wrestled a traditional mat style that focused largely on holds over power moves. The Hate Junkies looked like outcasts from a punk rock show and wrestled a style very similar to The Headbangers from the WWF. In fact they mimicked them a little too closely. It was a pretty fast and furious match with a lot of double teaming by both teams, but mostly the Hate Junkies who tried their best to double team and brawl their way to victory but eventually lost to the Squad (by submission of course). This match had good pacing and was a fun affair, with its only low point being the obvious Headbanger gimmick infringement such as the blowing of snot rockets on their opponents.
When the show officially began, Rinaldo Piven came to the ring and called out commissioner of safety, Chris Nowinksi. At the last show the two had an altercation where Piven ran his mouth off to Nowinski about his rules of safety and was given a punch to the face for his troubles. Piven, now wearing a sling and a neck brace which he said was a result of last month’s “brutal beating”, was accompanied by his lawyer (who looked more like a sort of hipster vagrant) and again called out Nowinski. During his tirade he insulted people with brain trauma which led to Jesse Corgan (Billy’s brother) to come to the ring. Piven and Nowinski came to an agreement that this evening each would pick a wrestler to represent them with the stipulation that if Piven’s wrestler wins, Nowinski is fired as commissioner of safety and if Nowinski’s wrestler wins, Piven is suspended for six months. Nowinski said he was even going to let Jesse pick his wrestler for him.
Thunderkitty made her return to Resistance Pro to wrestle Lucy Mendez. Thunderkitty got an extremely warm welcome and many in the audience kept chanting her name. Her gimmick is that of a classic lady wrestler like a Fabulous Moolah where she wrestles and looks totally old school, with a bit of a roller derby look about her. Thunderkitty spent most of her match tying up Mendez in holds in an attempt to lock on a sleeper hold. This also included an airplane spin! Mendez fought her way out of every attempt, but eventually Thunderkitty locked her up on the mat with a sleeper style hold that knocked Mendez out. The crowd loved every bit of it and Thunderkitty is well on her way to becoming a regular fixture with the kind of reaction she got. Her style is a nice contrast to most modern wrestling styles and it’s proof that what’s old is new again.
It was then time for a quarterfinal match in the tag-team tournament. This time it was Lock Up (with Warden Myers) vs. Matt Cross and Chris Hall. Hall and Cross took control early and spent a great deal of the match doing damage to Suge D. The crowd got behind Lock Up and cheered for them to make a comeback and for Suge to try to make it to his corner to tag his partner. After failed attempts at interference by Warden Myers, Suge eventually made a hot tag to his partner who came in to clean some house, but that didn’t last long before Hall and Cross regained control with a little cheating and double teaming of their own. Eventually Lock Up managed to squeak out a clean win and got a huge pop from the crowd as a result. After the match the Warden “rewarded” his team by allowing Suge to speak to the crowd before carting them back off to prison. This match was tag-team wrestling at its near finest and was a lot of fun to watch.
Nikki St. John came to the ring to talk about her confrontation with Melanie Cruise last month which led to her being fired as Melanie’s assistant. She called Melanie out and challenged her but instead of Melanie coming to the ring, The Matrix Taylor Made (Melanie’s other minion) came to the ring and attacked Nikki. She kicked Nikki out of the ring, and started talking trash but then Nikki found herself a kendo stick and started beating the crap out of Taylor with it. She got some good licks in before security came in and stopped the fight and escorted the ladies out of the ring.
A three-way match with Mr. 450, John Skyler, and the mammoth sized Jocephus was the next bout. This was an odd pairing on paper but in execution it couldn’t have worked out better. Skyer and 450 double teamed Jocephus at the start of the match to get him out-of-the-way for a while which then freed up the ring for the two to fight each other. Their action was fast and full of impressive kicks, reversals, and moves and the two really wowed the crowd. When Jocephus got his wits about him, he came back in the ring to extract revenge against his two opponents. He easily overpowered them both. When Skyler and 45o tried to double team Jocephus while he was against the turnbuckle by Skyer acting as a springboard for 450 to do a flying move, Jocephus caught 450 in mid-flight and choke slammed him onto Skyler’s back and pinned him. In this match everyone got a chance to shine and Jocephus came out of it looking stronger than ever and this match could easily be a reason for Skyler and 450 to have a single’s match at the next show which would be a very hot match.
Lou E came to the ring with the Resistance Pro champion, Harry Smith. Harry turned heel at the end of last month’s show and this segment did its best to cement Harry as a heel by having him put on a “wrestling clinic”. This clinic consisted of him picking someone from the crowd and stretching him in the ring, tying him up in painful wrestling holds and basically beating the crap out of him. The poor guy who volunteered was twisted up like a pretzel and pummeled for his troubles. This was too much for fan-favorite, ACH to take and he came out to save the kid which led to him facing Harry in a non-title match. ACH flew all over the place to try to make up for his size disadvantage (Harry is a giant) and made a strong effort, but eventually Harry got the best of him. Harry didn’t seem to take ACH seriously at the start of the match but ACH quickly made Harry work for his victory. The crowd absolutely loves ACH and they were hot for this entire match. It really elevated the excitement level of the crowd and this segment did a lot better job of making Harry come across as a heel than Raven’s speech after the show last month.
Rinaldo Piven came back to the ring with his pick for the match challenging Nowinski’s pick. Piven picked Ashton Vuitton, who has a pretty boy model look and a cocky attitude which really go him heat with the crowd from the instant he walked to the ring. Nowinski asked Jesse Corgan who his pick was and Jesse replied with “Serenity!”. Nowinski, dumbfounded by Jesse picking a girl to wrestle on his behalf had no choice but to accept it, shake his head and hope for the best.
Ashton, who seemingly had no problem wrestling a girl, took control from the get go and easily overpowered little Serenity. He was brutal and slammed her, tossed her around the ring, tripped her, and even suplexed her, one of which looked especially brutal. Any time Serenity seemed to roll out of the way of one of his attacks and try to make a little comeback, Ashton would shut her down almost instantly. Things were looking bleak when Ashton missed a big move when Serenity rolled out of the way and she got a second wind and started slugging away at him and eventually got him down on the mat. She got up on the top turnbuckle and was going to go for a big splash to try to win the match for Nowinski, but Jesse walked over and pushed her off the turnbuckle which caused her to fall and Ashton rolled her up for the pin. Nowinski was fired and Jesse grabbed a microphone and said he was tired of living in his brother’s shadow and he is going to “man-up” with his new best friend, Rinaldo Piven. As he left the ring he said “you can call me Jesse Piven now”. Billy, who was up in the balcony looking down, was dumbfounded by his brother’s actions.
Woman’s champion, Melanie Cruise put her title on the line in a match against TNA Wrestling superstar, Angelina Love. Melanie had the clear size and strength advantage in this match and proved it early when Angelina tried to charge her off the ropes. After a couple failed attempts at taking Melanie off her feet she changed tactics and used her speed and smarts to get the upper hand. Melanie was clearly facing her toughest opponent yet but persevered enough to make a comeback. It seemed that no matter what Melanie was trying, Angelina was able to take it and still keep mounting a comeback. The frustrated, or perhaps concerned Melanie eventually resorted to cheating to win by rolling up Angelina near the corner and putting her feet on the ropes to hold her down for the three count. Melanie took her dog and her belt and after declaring that the title is hers forever, left the ring. This was a very solid women’s match and the two ladies worked great together. The last two months of matches for Melanie has left her looking better than ever and she seems to have really upped her game recently.
Before the main event, the Baron brothers and the Thompson family came to the ring to pay tribute to Sam Thompson, Resistance Pro time-keeper (among other duties) and friend to all. Sam Thompson was one of the strongest and most inspirational people in the world who sadly lost his battle to cancer after a lifetime of health problems that would have made even the biggest and strongest giants tap out. The brothers and the family each gave a tearful speech about Sam and then they gave him a 10 bell salute, after which the entire crowd chanted “thank you Sammy”. It was a very touching and emotional moment that had many people in the audience with watery eyes. Sam, deservedly got the biggest pop of the night and is someone who will be sorely missed, but never, ever forgotten.
In the main event, Lonesome Jay Bradley took on The Ego Robert Anthony in a match to decide the number one contender for the Resistance Pro title. These two guys are easily the top two guys in the company which they more than proved in this match. Ego got the advantage early by using a lot of headlocks to try to keep Jay grounded and wear the powerhouse down. Jay is at his most dangerous when he’s up on his feet and moving because you never know when his “boomstick’ clothesline is coming. Every time Ego would tie up Jay, Jay would find a way to shake him off or get him to break the hold, but Ego was relentless. If Jay countered with elbows to the gut to get Ego off him, Ego would grab Jay again and put him in another hold. This was clearly pissing Jay off and try as he might, he couldn’t get Ego off of him long enough to gain the advantage.
At one point, clearly at his wit’s end, Jay picked up Ego and tried to toss him over the ropes and out onto the floor, but Ego landed on his feet and darted back in the ring to keep the pressure on Jay. Jay was getting his licks in but in small doses and always when trying to get out of holds. Eventually he got so pissed off that he powered out of a hold, picked up Ego again and this time tossed him over the top rope into the wall of the balcony. There was nowhere to go but down from there and Ego fell to the floor. This gave Jay the break he needed to catch his breath and take control. He hopped out of the ring and attacked Ego, tossing him into the crowd and all around the club. The two traded blows and threw each other into posts and over merchandise tables until they worked their way back to the ring where both men were clearly worse for wear.
At this point both guys were pretty beaten up so no one had the clear advantage and the two picked up the pace by putting bigger moves on each other. This built up excitement big time and there was many times during the match that the crowd was chanting “this is awesome”. The crowd was very behind Ego, but they also respected the hell out of Jay and this was one of those rare matches that the performance was so good that the crowd loved both people in it. After a lot of countering, near-falls and relentless attacks from both men, Jay was able to find the opening he needed and hit his boomstick clothesline on Ego and got the win. The crowd popped for Jay winning two out of massive respect. Both men proved they are at the top of their game and they both elevated themselves with this incredible match. Jay gets to go on to be the number one contender for the belt but Ego came out of this match looking as much like a main-eventer as Jay did.
Harry Smith came to the ring to attack Jay who is now Harry’s biggest threat to the title and the two traded blows. Jay looked like he was getting the upper hand on Harry until that kid who Harry stretched and beat up earlier ran into the ring to help Harry double team Jay and beat him down. When they got Jay out of the ring, the two, along with Lou E. posed in the ring until Harry picked the kid up again and slammed him and stretched him again! After Harry got the kid out of the ring he posed some more with Lou to end the show.
Taken By Force was a huge step up in match quality from even the last Resistance Pro show and the main event was without a doubt the best match the federation has had thus far, and one of the best wrestling matches in years. This little wrestling company is quickly becoming the cream of the crop in wrestling and is likely to grow rapidly with these high-caliber shows. The fans all left excited and happy that they got well more than their money’s worth with this show.
Check out additional photos from this show here!