Live Review: XWA Retribution: A Super Kick Party!
By Eric Perzanowski, Staff Writer
New England fans of professional wrestling have a lot to be buzzing about this past weekend. Over Saturday and Sunday, four major wrestling events occurred in the Rhode Island and Massachusetts area. There was the New England Fan Fest in Providence and a WWE Supershow in Boston, which featured a surprise appearance from The Rock.
I can only be in so many places at once, so this past weekend, my sports entertainment cravings were satiated by the shows held by XWA (Extreme Wrestling Alliance) and Beyond Wrestling.
The action started Saturday night at the CLCF in Cranston, Rhode Island for XWA Retribution: "A Super Kick Party!" This show was highly anticipated for it being the debut of Matt and Nick Jackson, The Young Bucks, to XWA. The Young Bucks are undoubtedly one of the biggest names on the independent scene. So much so that a Squared Circle Wrestling show next month is being billed as, “We Booked This Show Because It Was Literally The Only Available Date For The Young Bucks.”
The show began with one of the commentators welcoming fans and announcing the matches for the evening. He was quickly interrupted as XWA Heavyweight Champion Warbeard Hanson, Bobby Cruise and Steve Corino stormed the ring. Cruise began by insulting the crowd, saying what a shame it was how eight nights prior they appeared on Ring of Honor’s pay-per-view Best In The World, broadcasted around the world, and now they were here in Cranston.
The promo also insulted XWA as a whole, as a part of a Ring of Honor/XWA angle that has been ongoing. JT Dunn came to the ring and was granted two minutes to make his case for a title match that night. He was granted a match vs. Hanson, but Cruise said there would be a ringside enforcer to prevent any funny business from the XWA people.
Devin Blaze and Anthony Stone participated in the first match. Blaze appeared to have a clown or joker persona, evidenced by half of his face being painted, and his tendency to laugh throughout the match. On one occasion, Blaze even told the crowd a knock-knock joke as he had Stone in a submission hold. Some memorable spots included a running dropkick from Stone to a dazed Blaze who was propped up in the corner. The height and impact Stone got on the strike was impressive. Another memorable point was a dive to the outside by Stone, which he then turned into a DDT onto the hard ground. Stone ended up winning the match.
Up next was Jason Blade vs. Vinny Marseglia who had the upper hand for a majority of the match. The turning point came when Blade damaged Marseglia’s left shoulder. After refusing to let go of an armbar after the referee called for a rope break, Blade was disqualified. Blade continued to apply the armbar after the bell rang. XWA promoter Mike Antonucci eventually came out to break it up. Blade mentioned before the match that he said he’d be facing dire consequences if he were to make contact with Antonucci, so he quickly feigned backing off, only to super kick him.
Steve Corino vs. Antonio Atama was next. There wasn’t much wrestling in this match, as most of it consisted of back-and-forths between Corino and members of the crowd, with Atama’s parents playing a large role in this. Both Corino and Cruise are masters at working the crowd, and their quick wit led to many entertaining interactions. Atama won by pinfall and a quick count by the referee.
A brief intermission followed. At this time, the Young Bucks had come out to sell merch and interact with fans. Of the roughly estimated 150 people in attendance, at least half of them (myself included) entered the Young Bucks line.
Before the second half of the show, Mike Antonucci came back to the ring to announce that he found the perfect opponent to deal with Jason Blade at their Wrestlelution show in September. It was announced that Antonucci himself would be facing Jason Blade.
The first match of what was sure to be an exhilarating second half was Ace Romero taking on Travis “Flip” Gordon. Both athletes had an intrigue to them. Gordon’s was in his high-flying abilities. Romero had plenty of charisma, and monstrous size. The match was pretty back-and-forth. Both competitors pulled off impressive spots. Gordon performed a breathtaking corkscrew moonsault from the top rope to Romero’s posse outside of the ring. Romero threw Gordon into the steel barricade right in front of me. Romero ended up winning this match.
Now it was time for the Super Kick Party. The Young Bucks’ opponents Julian Starr and Brian Fury entered separately. I had been told of Starr and Fury’s dysfunction at previous shows, and the separate entrances had certainly showed that. The Young Bucks entered to Hanson’s “MMMBop” and thunderous applause. As they were in the ring, posing for the fans, streamers poured down from the crowd. The match began when the Young Bucks crotch-chopped and yelled, “Suck it!”
The brawl began. Starr played off of the crowd’s love for the Young Bucks, by imitating their taunts and receiving relentless boos. “Come on, it’s the same thing,” Starr said in response to the boos he received. Fury and Starr’s past dysfunction did not play much of a role in the match. The Young Bucks got in a lot of their popular spots (including many super kicks), my favorite one being Jackson holding the opponent, while the other does a number of back flips, only to turn around, walk over and rake his nails down his opponent’s back. The match ended after the Bucks hit the IndyTaker on Fury.
Starr fled the ring, and Bobby Cruise returned to coax the Young Bucks into continuing to put the hurt on Fury. After a double super kick, Starr returned to the ring to help his partner and the segment ended with a handshake between Starr and Fury.
Before our main event, Bobby Cruise returned yet again to announce the ringside enforcer for the title match, and it was none other than Paul London. The people next to me jumped with glee, and I was internally doing the same. London and Brian Kendrick was my favorite tag team when I was a young lad.
The match almost instantly turned to chaos. The action spilled into the audience. Warbeard Hanson told our area to get out of the way, so he could toss Dunn into the crowd. When Warbeard Hanson tells you to get out of the way, you do it. Dunn’s impact into the crowd actually severely bent the beams on the chair I was sitting in. Hanson viciously tossed Dunn into the building’s walls several times. Hanson even snatched a fan’s Sprite, took a drink of it and spit it in Dunn’s face.
At one point the referee got knocked out, during which the Young Bucks and Steve Corino returned and triple-super-kicked Dunn. Starr, Fury and Atama all returned to fight off the Bucks and Corino.
London played an impartial enforcer for most of the match. Late in the match, London made his allegiances known as he struck Hanson and counted the pin for Dunn. While celebrating in the crowd, the ref woke from his unconscious state, and said that Dunn was disqualified for striking him earlier on. Hanson remained champion when a video from Chris Dickinson played, challenging Hanson to a cage match at the next show “Kill ‘em and Grill ‘em,” to which Hanson accepted.
Check out Eric's review of Sunday's event, hosted by Beyond Wrestling: "Life Sucks and Then You Die."
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