Bullet Proof Wrestling returned to action in Barnesville with another great show.
The rematch between Donovan Dijak and Drew Adler was every bit as amazing as their first encounter last month. A better pair of singles matches the state of Georgia is not likely to see this year. The WrestleMerica Championship is a bigger deal as a result.
Cody retained the BPW Championship over Trevor Lee in another excellent main event. It didn’t have the electric feel or insanity of Cody’s match with Jimmy Havoc last month. That would have been a whole lot to ask.
Joey Mercury did another marvelous job of laying out the card, such that each match gave the crowd something a little different. Nobody overstayed their welcome. With a running time of 2:30, the crowd was raring to go for the main event.
Attendance at Old Academy Gym was 250 paid with over 300 total in the building. It was an traditional crowd that cheered babyfaces, booed heels and had no inclination to chant “both these guys”.
On the surface, the numbers wouldn’t seem to add up to booking as much name talent going forward as BPW has on these first two shows. The company has Luke Gallows as an owner and half dozen sponsors, so there may very well be more to the finances than meets the eye.
The return date is Friday, June 16 with Cody defending the BPW title. No other names were announced.
(1) David Finlay pinned Jaxson James in 8:01 with a Finlay Roll. The opportunity to see a New Japan star is the part of the added dimension Bullet Proof brings to Georgia wrestling. Back and forth chain wrestling to open punctuated by a Finlay dropkick. James blocked the Finlay Roll and gave Finlay a hotshot to the gut to take over. James with punch and kick offense. Finlay made the comeback with multiple variations of the European uppercut. James countered a second Finlay roll attempt and went for a roll up using the tights. The third time was the charm. Not the planned finish but James appeared to kick out late. The confusion clearly took the edge off the crowd reaction. A good way to open, very technically sound, too bad about the finish.
(2) Tyson Dean defeated CB Suave in a first blood match at 12:32. This was set up at the first BPW show when Dean turned on Suave and busted him open. Dean came out wearing boxing headgear, carrying a giant jar of Vaseline and a towel so tomfoolery was in the offing. The action spilled to the outside where they tried to ram each other’s head into the post. Dean’s headgear slipped off on in the process. He scrambled to get it back on. They teased shots into an exposed turnbuckle (courtesy of Dean) but no dice. Dean sent Suave’s head into a ringside table and blasted him with punches trying to open him up. Back inside, Suave crashed and burned on a flying crossbody. Crowd got behind Suave. He started to land punches, dropping Dean in the corner. A chair was brought into play but neither man succeeded in using it. Dean lost his headgear for good when Suave brought him off the top with a body slam. Referee Chris Sharpe got knocked down. Suave sent Dean’s head into the exposed turnbuckle. Dean was bleeding. Adler hit the ring and ran Suave’s head into the turnbuckle to bust him open. Dean wiped the blood off and applied the Vaseline, then laid Suave out with a piledriver. Adler revived Sharpe, who saw Suave bleeding and called for the bell. Crowd was pissed. This was well done and had heat, albeit not as much as the angle that set it up. The nod to Blanchard/Rhodes Starrcade 86 made the match for me. It sucked about the headgear snafu, because it called attention to the obvious. The logical thing to do was get the damn thing off Dean's head but Suave never tried until the end.
Adler laid Suave out again with a variation on the GTS before heading back to the dressing room.
(3) John Skyler & Brady Pierce defeated Q.T. Marshall & Austin Theory in 11:56. Standing 6-5 with a stellar physique, Pierce looks like a superstar. However, there’s something missing in the personality department and he looks mechanical in the ring at times. Marshall insisted that ring announcer Michael Griffie inform the crowd that he was going back to New Jersey if they called him MARshall instead of MarSHALL. Crowd picked right up on it.
Marshall celebrated to excess after scoring two shoulder block knockdowns. The babyfaces made him pay with Marshall bumping huge for their double teams. Theory clotheslined Skyler behind the ref’s back to start the heat. Referee Owen Parker was all about the rules and didn’t fall for the typical deal where the heels switch without tagging. Some matches need that spot for heat. This show needed referee credibility because of the ref involvement in the finishes. Pierce cleaned house with a vengeance, hitting a world class spinebuster on Theory. Marshall tried to save him but gave Theory an elbow drop instead. Match broke down with all four in. Theory hit a killer Rolling Thunder blockbuster on Skyler for a close near fall. It is mind boggling what a natural Theory is for pro wrestling. Finish saw Marshall lock hands with Theory in a desperate attempt to keep him from going down for Pierce’s sunset flip. Skyler superkicked Marshall and Pierce pinned Theory. This was a highly entertaining match (largely due to Marshall) and it had heat. The beauty was how basic it was. The only flashy move was Theory’s blockbuster which made it stand out that much more.
(4) Drew Adler defeated Donovan Dijak to regain the WrestleMerica Championship in 20:11. Dijak’s entrance got a healthy respect pop. Adler’s Pearl Harbor attack before the bell did not end well for him. Dijak gave Adler a spinning heave ho over the top rope the floor that was impressive as hell. Dijak took control on the outside with wicked thudding forearms to Adler’s back. Adler tried for a back suplex on the floor. Dijak landed on his feet and pressed Adler back into the ring. Adler tweaked Dijak’s knee as reentering the ring. Dijak hit a fireman’s carry sitout powerbomb but took too much time going up top and got hung in the tree of woe. Adler was all over Dijak’s knee.
Dijak knee gave way when he tried for Feast Your Eyes. Adler applied a knee submission hold but Dijak managed to power out, sending Adler‘s face into the turnbuckle. A boot to the face had Adler reeling. Dijak was virtually immobile. He had all he could do to pull the ropes down to spill Adler out, not once, not twice but three times in a row. Adler escaped Dijak’s finisher with another shot to the knee. Adler crumbled after eating a superkick. Adler reversed a backslide via another shot to the knee and tried to pin Dijak using the ropes for extra leverage. As Adler complained to referee Sharpe, Dijak rolled him up for two and got another near fall with a superkick. Dijak goozled Adler for the chokebreaker. The knee gave way again and Adler hit a Blue Thunder Bomb. They battled on the ropes. Adler hit a falcon arrow off the top for a very close near fall and the only “this is awesome” chant of the night. An enraged Adler started screaming in Dijak’s face. Dijak grabbed Adler by the throat. Adler escaped. Adler hit a tornado kick followed by a Helluva Kick. Adler charged again and Dijak planted him with the chokebreaker. Both men down in agony. Dijak ascended to the top rope using only his good leg but missed the moonsault. Adler connected with a jumping knee strike but Dijak kicked out. Dean came to ringside. Dijak cut off the interference. Adler went for a tope and inadvertently nailed Dean. Dijak hit a corkscrew flip dive on Adler and Dean that narrowly cleared the top rope due to the injured knee. Dijak tried for a slingshot sunset flip back to the inside. Adler sat down on Dijak while hooking hands with Dean for extra leverage to secure the pin.
Postmatch, Dijak went for Feast Your Eyes on Adler. Dean saved Adler so Dijak wasted Dean with the move. Adler then tried to hit Dijak with the belt and got laid out as well.
Crowd showed Dijak a lot of love as well they should have.
This was an incredible match. They took their time, changed speeds, allowed the story to unfold and the intensity to build organically. Crowd was quiet early and going nuts at the end. Dijak’s selling of the knee was terrific.
(5) Brandi Rhodes defeated Aria Blake via submission in 6:23. Brandi got Blake in a variety of predicaments where she could slap her ass. The crowd took pleasure in Blake’s distress. They recovered from a botched leapfrog spot. Blake heeled. Her big move was the corner double knee ala Cien Almas. The ring positioning was wrong for Brandi's missile dropkick Brandi then speared Blake and locked in a double arm crossface. Match was mediocre at best, not that it mattered. Brandi is so immensely likeable and stunningly good looking that this crowd was just happy to see her.
(6) Cody defeated Trevor Lee to retain the Bullet Proof Wrestling Championship in 13:30. Cody is clearly the man the fans come to see. Lee escaped an early figure four leglock attempt and worked an armbar. A bit of a dueling chant broke out, the lion’s share being for Cody. Lee accepted Cody’s “Too Sweet” touch…
Then clubbed him from behind. That got heat. A fiery exchange ensued at ringside. Lee put Cody in a torture rack and rudely dropped him on the ring frame. Lee went to work. He gave Cody a “Too Sweet” poke in the eyes. Lee unloaded on Cody with forearm shots. Lee was getting good heat here. Lee snuffed out a rally by using Cody’s tights to sling his head into the turnbuckle. Cody blocked a tornado DDT. Lee blocked a superplex and sprung off the top right landing crotch-first on Cody’s knee. Lee punched his way out a figure four leglock. Cody got the better of an exchange and launched a full on comeback. Lee blocked Crossroads and hit a flying forearm for a near fall. Cody back with a running knee for a two count. Lee countered another Crossroads with a forward rolling cradle. Lee got big near falls with a deadlift german suplex and flying double foot stomp. I think Lee was going for Orange Crush when Cody countered with Crossroads for the 1-2-3. This was a fine main event, far more technical than and not nearly as wild as Cody’s epic match with Havoc last month.