Friday, May 23, 2014

Pick Three: Kicking Off the Summer Right

One more time, with feeling
Photo Credit: Devin Chen
The weekend is here, but it's not just any ordinary weekend. Nope, Memorial Day weekend is upon us, which means shore days, long lunches dining al fresco, and shedding the layers of clothing. One thing that remains constant is the quantity and quality of wrestling shows on a given weekend. Just as Memorial Day stands as a titanic holiday, the opening of the summer season, this weekend's slate may be the best one yet. The Chikara/Wrestling Is Fun! doubleshot is tops on my list for sure, but I previewed those in depth yesterday. Chikara isn't the only game in town. Three mega promotions have huge shows this weekend, so without further ado...

GOLD - Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n Roll

PWG kicks off the weekend tonight with its third show of the year. Show up at the American Legion Post #308 in Reseda, CA by 8 PM local time for the first bell. The main event is almost a year in the making, as Kyle O'Reilly will get one more shot at the PWG World Championship in a submissions or knockouts only match against Adam Cole. O'Reilly felt the sting of Cole's betrayal at Battle of Los Angeles last year, and his attempts to win the title have been foiled at every turn by Mount Rushmore. Speaking of the rest of that faction, the Young Bucks and Kevin Steen will team up in six-man action to battle the two of the three newest roster members from the state of North Carolina, Trevor Lee, and Cedric Alexander, and their partner, Johnny Gargano. He replaces Andrew Everett, who was supposed to complete the North Cacakalacky troika.

Gargano seems like a suitable replacement, but if that news is disappointing, PWG has two explosive high-flying matches lined up on the docket. First, ACH continues his meteoric rise up the charts in the indies as he takes on Ricochet. If that match doesn't get your motor running, either you're dead, or you're selfish and need a second one to get hype for. You'd be lucky in that case, as AR Fox will go into battle against Rich Swann. Going back to Gargano, he was originally set to face Rocky Romero in singles action. His tag team partner, Alex Koslov, will fill in, as the Forever Hooligans EXPLOOOOOOOOODE. The Best Friends of Trent? and Chuck Taylor will battle Joey Ryan and Candice LeRae in what ought to be a whimsical tag affair, and rounding out the show will be the pseudo HOSS FIGHT of Brian Cage vs. Roderick Strong.

SILVER - Inspire Pro Wrestling In Their Blood

Inspire Pro Wrestling has crowned Champions in the Heavyweight and J-Crown divisions, and now, the time has come for women to take center stage. In Their Blood will prominently feature the XX Division as well as the rest of its strong roster. Doors will open at the Marchesa Theater in Austin, TX at 5:30 PM local, and the main event will feature a title match, albeit not an Inspire Pro title. Barbi Hayden brings the NWA Women's Championship with her for a sanctioned title defense against Portia Perez, who is making her return to Texas after over a year away. The process towards crowning a XX Division Champion also begins with a three-way dance as Athena, Angelus Layne, and Veda Scott will battle for a spot in the finals of the title tournament. Paige Turner and her new bestie Miss Diss Lexia will team up to take on KC Warfield and Kat Green in tag action, and if that wasn't enough, Jessica James will make her return to Texas after a highly successful tour of Japan.

The men will also be in action on this card, and the J-Crown Championship will be in the spotlight as Ricky Starks defends in a three-way ladder match against Barrett Brown and Sammy Guevara. The opening match of the entire show is a real Beauty vs. The Beast encounter, as Jake "Homeless Brody" Dirden returns to Inspire Pro to battle Matthew Palmer. The Unholy One, Greg James will take on Carson, while Tadasuke makes another Inspire Pro appearance to take on the Heaviest Sumo in the Land, Jojo Bravo. Finally, the massive Great Depression will step into the ring with maybe the most awesomely named wrestler in history. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the one, the only HONKY KONG. I really hope he's as entertaining and awesome as his name suggests, because I fear it might be all downhill from there.

BRONZE - Absolute Intense Wrestling JT Lightning Tournament

The third annual tournament in memoriam of JT Lightning happens this weekend. The first show is tonight, and the conclusion of the tournament will happen tomorrow. Both shows happen at Turner Hall in Cleveland, OH. Tonight, the show starts at 7:30 PM local, while tomorrow's show gets started at 6 PM. In an added bonus, the winner of the tournament will walk away with the Absolute Championship, as Michael Elgin will be defending the strap throughout, and his first round match is a doozy. He'll go up against Eddie Kingston in a match more befitting a semifinal or two-thirds of the traditional three-way dance to end the tourney. The winner of that match will take on the winner of Heidi Lovelace vs. Rickey Shane Page. The rest of that bracket includes Eric Ryan vs. Jimmy Jacobs and UltraMantis Black vs. Danny Havoc.

The rest of the first round matches, in order of bracketing, are as follows: Tim Donst vs. Marion Fontaine, Josh Prohibition vs. Colin Delaney, Matt Cross' Beard vs. Flip Kendrick, BJ Whitmer vs. Seleziya Sparx, Ethan Page vs. Veda Scott, BUFF BAGWELL vs. Jock Samson, Louis Lyndon vs. Bobby Beverly, and Sonjay Dutt vs. Davey Vega. The first round will play out on night one completely. Night two will contain the quarter-, semi-, and final matches, as well as a special attraction non-tourney match, Johnny Gargano vs. Chris Sabin.

This weekend is full of cookouts and beach trips, but these wrestling shows are bigger than big. If you can get to one of these shows, or if you can watch the Chikara spots on iPPV, then you won't be disappointed. But if you can't watch any of these shows, try to get to one in your area. Shows happen across the world every weekend. Head out to see one where you are. Besides, your favorite show or wrestler may be out there. You just don't know it yet.