Thursday, June 4, 2015

Inspire Pro's In Their Blood II Review

Gaze upon your inaugural XX-Division Champion
Photo Credit: Joel Loeschman
Folks, Inspire Pro is kinda good at what they do. I know everyone has their favorite promotions, for some it could be Ring of Honor or Chikara or Beyond Wrestling or New Japan or even WWE. There’s nothing wrong with whatever promotions you like and watch and spend money on. But, if you have the time and the energy and the extra cash and you are a big wrestling fan, you should really invest some of that into Inspire Pro. It really is what everyone says it is: the best wrestling in Texas. In my opinion, it’s scope goes beyond that, but I’m only one man. But this one man is whose opinion and review you are about to read.

For In Their Blood II, we’re going to do a few things differently. Firstly, these are the match results:

1. Keith Lee defeated Thomas Shire and Mr. B in a Triple Threat Match to retain the Pure Prestige Championship
2. Matt Riot and Erik Shadows defeated Pump Patrol (Jared Wayne and Curt Matthews)
3. “One Man” Mike Dell and Barrett Brown fought to a No Contest
4. Jojo Bravo defeated Thomas Munos
5. Veda Scott defeated Jessica James and Athena in a Triple Threat Match to become the first ever XX Champion
6. Steve-O Reno retained the J*Crown Championship by defeating King Ricochet, Donovan Danhausen, and “Jiggle-O” James Johnson in a Fatal Four Way
7. “Absolute” Ricky Starks pinned Ray “Death” Rowe to become the #1 Contender to the Inspire Pro Championship
8. Angelus Layne and Tim Storm defeated Joey Ryan and Delilah Doom
9. “Dirty” Andy Dalton defeated ACH to retain the Inspire Pro Championship

While I will be talking about each match, they a) won’t be in the order that they actually happened, and I may not actually say a whole lot about the matches themselves. If you want a play-by-play account of the matches, I suggest you find another review of the show. Trust me, there are plenty of them, and more and more popping up daily it would seem. Just remember, I was the first. I actually can’t back that up, I’m pretty sure I’m not, nor am I probably the best. But I try damnit, and hopefully that’s reflected in my string of words that attempt to form sentences.

So, we’re all ready to hear how this show went done, yeah? Alright, strap on, strap in, let’s do this!

As any follower of Inspire Pro knows, Lance Hoyt has been fighting a battle with ring announcer Brandon Stroud to #StopTheBS for what seems like a year at least. Hoyt is tired of Stroud's bullying. So, at the top of the show, Hoyt made his presence known and informs us (but mostly Stroud) that he would be very near, as he would be joining Eamon Paton on commentary. Hoyt would spend most of the night annoying Stroud by constantly ring the bell whenever he would be talking. At one point, he rang it to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad" and the crowd sung about working on the railroad all the live long day.

Hoyt remained in this position, only getting up once to try and give Stroud some water, until the Inspire Pro Championship #1 Contender's Match between "Absolute" Ricky Starks and Ray "Death" Rowe. It was then that he got physically involved, trying to attack Starks. It was Starks, you'll remember, that defeated Hoyt at Phenomenon by count out thanks to some Stroudference. But our hero Stroud ran interference again and grabbed onto Hoyt's leg. So, when Hoyt freed himself, his boot was a little off from its target, striking Rowe instead.

Somehow this occurred in plain view of the referee and it did not result in a disqualification. When Barbi Hayden was paying off a referee it made sense that things went a bit screwy, but there were a couple of baffling decisions on this night. You need to get your shit together, Inspire Pro referees. It has seemed that a little bit of that "anything goes" has creeped into some of these matches when it comes to the officials. It's not full-blown ACW or ECW or anything, more of a Japanese style, where you can kinda brawl around, use tables randomly, push the refs, and none of it results in a poor finish. I like that. Refs in Japan are my favorite, cause they don't take shit, and they let things go a bit. The problem with Inspire Pro has been the consistency. Remember, in the first Andy Dalton/Matthew Palmer Inspire Championship match, Dalton retained by kicking the ref, but then in the following show's six-man tag he attempted the same thing and the referee wasn't having it (although then I think he even caught Dalton's foot).

So, all for there being a little leeway, but you just need to make sure it's consistent and not just something you conveniently forget about or remember depending on what kind of match ending you want. To be honest, 90% of matches should have a clean ending. As long as the match is good, and a decent story was told, you aren't going to be hurt by taking a clean pinfall.

As for the match between Rowe and Starks, it was hard-hitting and intense. It's exactly the kind of matches Starks was having the first few months in Inspire Pro, when he was losing matches because he wouldn't let go of submissions (he should go back to that intensity, just with the added knowledge of when to let go). Rowe was his typical good self.

The great thing, besides Starks picking up the win and finally having an opportunity for the Inspire Pro Championship, was that Hoyt's interference did not lead directly to the finish. The blow he struck wasn't a knock out shot, it just stunned Rowe and halted his momentum. It allows Starks time to recover more than anything. And after a string of counters, Starks was able to hit his finisher, which is similar to Christopher Daniel's Angel's Wings, twice (he knows Rowe is hard to keep down) and pick up his biggest win to date. Starks is exactly where he needs to be, in the main event scene.

As for Rowe, sure he never got the title opportunity he had earned before his motorcycle accident, but he doesn't really need it. And while he's basically a regular, he still kind of feels like a special attraction. That might be just because he was chosen to face Chris Hero and Robert Evans when they came through, and was pegged to take on Ethan Carter III before the latter bailed for a trip to China. I'm not sure if sarcastic air quotes are required around that or if ECIII really did go to China, but either way, Rowe is the guy the showcase in marquee matches outside the Inspire Pro narrative.

That said, he's been a key component since his return from injury. Despite the loss to Starks, Rowe will be competing at Clash at the Bash II against Hoyt, thanks to the latter's errant boot. As for Starks, his title match will have to wait as someone managed to jump the line ahead of the number one contender.

In the main event, ”Dirty” Andy Dalton retained the Inspire Pro Championship against ACH in what was an amazing match, of which there was very little doubt, I’m sure. Dalton being Dalton and ACH being ACH. If you know anything about those two men, you know that a) they can bring it in regards to their in-ring prowess, and b) they are fantastic at working in character moments throughout their matches. Dalton is probably one of the best at it today. He’s doing his job of being the ultimate scumbag to absolute perfect.

That being said, after he defeated ACH, thanks to a well-placed boot to the nether regions, Dalton claimed to be the best Champion of any kind, anywhere. Which brings me back to the person who jumped in front of Starks in the pecking order, Steve-O Reno. That’s right, everyone’s favorite J*Crown Champion had himself a legitimate claim to a title shot by virtue of his Fungressional Medal of Honor. What’s that, you say? Well, it was a gold medal (Reno really likes winning what are essentially accessories, doesn’t he? Although I guess a belt is as well, so, uh, nevermind) that he won last November at Fun Fun Fun Fest in a battle royal to gave him a Title shot of his choice whenever he felt like having it. Yes, very similar to WWE’s Money in the Bank briefcase.

But are Dalton’s claims even accurate? He has held onto the title since last September’s Relentless show, where he coerced (and defeated) Palmer into defending his just-won Inspire Pro Championship. Since winning it, he has lost to Chikara's at-the-time Grand Champion, Icarus in a non-title match; defeated Thomas Shire at FFF Fest; lost to Palmer by DQ, but retained; lost to Palmer in a Trios match; retained and retired Palmer after Franco D'Angelo threw in the towel; and, on this night, defeated ACH after kicking him in the junk. Not exactly setting the world on fire, is he? Then again, he did pull the ultimate troll job, entering his match to Palmer’s “In The Air Tonight” music. As I said on Twitter, he needs to be in a troll-off with Kevin Owens. Simply brilliant.

With all that in mind, though, does Reno have a bigger claim to being Inspire Pro’s best Champion? He won the crown in January at Ecstacy of Gold II in a Gauntlet match that he entered first no less. After that he defeated Mr. Touchdown at Undeniable and “Jiggle-O” James Johnson at Phenomenon. And on this very night, at In Their Blood 2, he faced his biggest challenge, or should I say challengeS, when he faced not one, not two, but three other men in the form of ”Jiggle-O” James Johnson once again, the debuting Donovan Danhausen and King Ricochet. He faced that challenge head on and WON. He also did this crazy-ass nonsense, a triple submission:

A video posted by Steve'O Reno (@steveauxreneaux) on

Yes, that’s a standing Indian Deathlock on Johnson, followed by a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker onto Danhausen that he turned into a sort of modified abdominal stretch, and capped it off with the Iron Claw on Ricochet. Steve’s kind of awesome guys and you should all jump onto the bandwagon before it’s too late. See him now, when it only costs like $10 to $15 and you can talk to him without any restrictions, before you’re having to pay $100+ for nose bleeds and have to pay the extra VIP pricing for WWE Axxess.

(The match was absolutely AMAZING, I can’t even express it in words. It would just be an entire paragraph of heart eyes. Whatever you have to do, track down this match -- and the whole show -- because it was SO GOOD.)

So, with all that said, Dalton or Reno? I suppose we’ll find out at Clash at the Bash II. So, sorry Ricky, but Reno’s jumping the line, because it’s time for him to level up and challenge for the Inspire Pro Championship. The only sad part about it is the fact that there will not be a J*Crown defense next month, but it’s worth it to see the most popular (and probably hardest working) guy in Inspire Pro challenge for the ultimate prize. And besides, Starks-Dalton would be amazing, but how amped would you be to see and cheer for two guys who really deserve the spotlight they are getting at Inspire Pro in Starks and Reno?

On Twitter, I posted this:

It was in response to two things: 1) that Candice LeRae had to miss the show due to a family emergency, and 2) the J*Crown is supposed to be intergender and I will continue to harp on the fact that we have not yet seen a female challenge for the crown since it was made so. If anyone is, like, the poster person for intergender wrestling it’s LeRae. But as you could see, a certain Jojo Bravo, was less enamored with my fantasy booking.

I get where Bravo is coming from. While Reno’s only had three Title defenses, only one of them have been against an Inspire Pro regular. I know I said they tend to slot Rowe into the special attraction matches, but if anything, it’s kind of Reno, isn’t it? And his matches are always for a Title. So, this whole new attitude of Bravo’s, where he’s kicking kids (he kicked a man’s hand at ITB2, when all the guy wanted with a high-five), and slamming Tom Tom Club girls. Yes, on this very show, when Jojo Bravo took on ”The Ultimo Sex Symbol” Thomas Munos, Bravo did not take kindly to Munos’ lady friend getting involved in the match, so Bravo simply brought her into the ring, scooped her up, and slammed her down hard onto the canvas.

He utterly dominated Munos in this match, and rightfully so. With all of Munos pomp and circumstance, he’s still very green, and Bravo is a veteran at this point. He controlled about 90% of the match and did exactly what I’d hoped he would do when he turned heel, and that was just truck fools. And truck Munos he did. He even finished him off with the Inspire Pro Special submission, that he debuted back at Battle Wars when he and ACH defeated The Colony. So, sure, this is only his first victory since taking on this new personality, but doesn’t he deserve a J*Crown opportunity? Absolutely. As I replied on Twitter, and I’m going to paraphrase myself, it’s attitudes like mine, wanting to bring in more outside talent, that has made Bravo into the man he currently is. He has every right to want to hate us if we’re going to constantly overlook him. I don’t think we’ll make that mistake going forward.

Aiding Bravo in this transformation is Nigel Rabid, who is also joined with Thomas Shire, who entered the night’s opening match with the Pure Prestige Championship wrapped around his waist. It was Rabid who absconded with the Pure Prestige Title at Phenomenon and stated that he was going to return the belt to its rightful owner. Shire was entering the match, officially, a challenger, as Keith Lee was the new Champion, and joining them would be a man Shire has all sorts of problems with, ”Chi-Town’s Finest” Mr. B.

I can’t remember the last Inspire Pro show that didn’t have an opening match that wasn’t outstanding. This one featured three talented stars, who are all kind of coming into their own. Shire has always been talented in the ring, but rather bland. He works better as a heel and with a charismatic manager. It worked wonders for him in ACW as a part of The Business headed by Chris Trew (which, incidentally, also included Bravo). Now, Trew is leading The New Movement, and the reigning Pure Prestige Champ, Lee. Lee is an absolute BEAST of a man. He’s damn near the perfect package of size, speed, talent, and charisma. Tom mentioned that he did this, but also, um, this:

A video posted by Chris McDonald (@thechris104) on


You have both of those guys, plus Mr. B, who ever since first challenging Shire for the Title and having the crowd making him a face by sure force of will (you can thank the AAPW students for that), has really found his niche. He hasn’t really changed at all, he’s just a slightly more noble version of himself. He went from the guy who punched Shire in the nuts and stole the belt, to preventing Rabid from running off with it again and giving it to its rightful owner, Lee. Yes, of course, Lee won with a HUGE powerbomb that made Mr. B bounced about two feet up off the canvas. (Someone apparently posted the whole match, so, check it out before they pull it down?)

Lee will be going places, folks, as he’s already gotten to work Ring of Honor recently, and I can’t imagine him being stuck in the Texas area for long. Appreciate him and support him, because he deserves. Shire and Mr. B do as well, for they fill their roles very well.

Another person who fills their role well, is Angelus Layne. She is the monster of the XX Division. At Undeniable, she suffered a broken foot in defeat at Delilah Doom (Paige Turner was also involved), missing out on the final slot in the XX Division Championship Tournament Finals. Needless to say, she was unhappy with both the broken foot and the loss. She said some words about the situation, and at Phenomenon, despite being in a boot (used for injured feet), she attacked Doom and put her in the Koji Clutch.

That was only the beginning, for at In Their Blood 2, the XX Championship Match was about to begin, when Layne interrupted Delilah Doom during her entrance, and Pillmanized her arm. Just straight destroyed it. It took Keith Lee to get Layne to retreat, although she was not scared in the least. It’s the second time those two have stared each other down, and I would be so into a match between them. Make it happen, Inspire Pro! Doom was carried off and it was announced that she would be unable to compete due to a dislocated shoulder.

As the other two participants in the match, Jessica James and ”The Wrestling Goddess” Athena waited for the match to begin, there was a surprise arrival by one Veda Scott. She brought her legal representative with her along with some paper work. The paperwork stated that, in the event of some unfortunate mishap, the previously scheduled match of a Triple Threat would go on as advertised, with her filling the open slot. Her legalese had done it again.

Now, the question is, why on earth would Scott just be there? Why would she have that exact paperwork drawn up? How could she possibly know something that specific would happen? She’d have to have had elicited Layne’s help in taking out Doom, right? You’d have to be a fool to think it wasn’t at least a possibility. But, why Doom? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to take out either Athena or James? Doom, of course, is the least experienced of the trio, so she would, despite her recent hot streak, in theory, be easier to defeat, yes? That might all be true, but who had beef with Athena or James? No one, so, it had to be Doom. And it had to be Layne.

But did this meeting take place? Did Scott seek out Layne’s help? Perhaps, but she could have just used her brain and realized that it was very likely that Layne would just do it of her own accord. She is, after all, hellbent on Doom’s, well, doom. In my opinion, though, I don’t think she did. I think she was fed of with having been screwed over twice, first by being forced to face Athena in a singles match instead of the advertised Triple Threat match (which, ironically, was scheduled to be the debut of Angelus Layne, but she had broken both her wrists previously), then she lost her make-good NWA Women’s Title match against Barbi Hayden despite her foot being under the rope on the pinfall. It was, of course, later found out that Hayden was paying off the official, which in turn led to her suspension and the stripping of her Number One Contendership status to the XX Title. Instead, the person she defeated, Leva Bates, is the new Number One Contender. Although, how does a loser earn that honor? Unless I’m misremembering, Bates lost on a countout, so there wasn’t anything screwy between Hayden and the official in that instance. Man, maybe Hayden should hire Scott and her legal team?

At any rate, I believe that Scott just hedged her bets, and they just so happened to pay off. It was a long shot, but also, not really at all. There was no way Layne was going to let Doom compete in that match, when she felt it should have been her instead. And now, Scott is the first ever XX Champion in Inspire Pro history. She didn’t necessarily cheat to win, but she used that big brain of her’s, and pushed Athena to the floor after Athena had hit James with the O-Face. She then immediately took the belt, and with her legal representative, bolted from the building.

Everyone within Inspire Pro is concerned that they may never see the belt again. They’re just going to have to hope that Bates can defeat her at Clash at the Bash II. I don’t think she’s going to, and this is where I fantasy book. While I don’t think it will be revealed that Scott and Layne were in cahoots, I desperately hope that it is. See, in my vision, she only has to face Bates because she is contractually obligated. After that, she can go into hiding for a few months. Just refused to defend the belt and rub it in everyone’s faces as she’s starring for Ring of Honor on Destination America.

That’s until Layne decides she’s done with Doom, having done all she could to break the poor girl’s spirit (this should lead into a dark phase for Doom, perhaps going goth for a couple of months), and wants what is owed to her. Layne would need actual hard evidence that prove that the interactions took place, but she should reveal that Scott had, in fact, approached her to take out Doom in exchange for a future Title shot if she were to so happen win the XX Title. Stunningly, this would make Layne a temporary face, because, yeah, she just destroyed Doom’s life, but now she was trying to bring the XX Title back to Inspire Pro. She would be beloved! Besides, everyone hates lawyers anyway.

Now, this wouldn’t be to set up Layne as a face. Just in this once instance. No, instead, she would defeat Scott for the Title, then lord over the XX Division with an iron fist. Just putting down challenger after challenger until she, alone, is left standing above the heap. Only, wait a minute, who’s this? Emo Doom has found the power of Richard Simmons once more and is coming for her revenge! I’d say In Their Blood 3 would be a good time to pull the trigger on a Delilah Doom XX Title reign, don’t you?

But that’s for the future. In the present (or very recent past, I suppose), Doom had an injured shoulder, and Angelus Layne was teaming up with Tim Storm to take on the World’s Cutest Tag Team of Joey Ryan and… well, not Candice LeRae, who, as I mentioned, missed the show. So, Ryan needed a partner, and in situations like these, he always asks WWTRD, aka What Would The Rock Do? When a fan asked, he replied, “It doesn’t matter what The Rock would do!” In all seriousness, though, he said if he were The Rock, he would just fight the match by himself. But it just so happened that he ran into a spunky woman backstage who would full of fire.

Delilah Doom! Why, yes, her shoulder was still fucked up, but it had apparently been popped back into place. It was heavily wrapped, but she wasn’t going to back down from the opportunity to get revenge on Layne. Ryan, however, left it up to the fans to make the choice for them, should Doom compete or nah? And to be honest, a lot of the crowd was against it, because, well, she just had a dislocated shoulder and we would rather not watch her die in the ring? Yeah, so, no Joey, perhaps find someone else. He apparently heard it otherwise, but Doom was made an honorary member of the World’s Cutest Tag Team.

As for the match itself, it was all about Layne’s dominance over Doom, and her trying to rip her arm off. Storm and Layne controlled the majority of the match, with Ryan being able to gain back control from time to time, only for him to stupidly tag Doom back in. Eventually we got to the part where Ryan starts Boobplexing Layne, and then tells Doom to Ballplex Storm. Now, if you don’t know how Tim Storm his, well, he’s built like a silverback gorilla. No joke. He’s just a brick wall of a man. Not surprisingly, Doom had difficulty performed the move. She would have even with a good shoulder. Instead, Storm just blasted her in the face.

In the end, Layne and Storm were just too much, and Layne put Doom away with an Cradle Back to Belly Piledriver. So, yeah, Doom is dead. Sorry everyone, but Layne killed her. OR DID SHE!?!?!? ‘Cause after the show, this went down:

Well, perhaps she isn’t dead, because Chris Trew just booked her in a match for Clash at the Bash II against Angelus Layne and “The Mountain” Vanessa Kraven. It has already been confirmed that Doom’s partner (the person charged with holding up her corpse, if Doom is, indeed, dead) will be Jessica James. If you’ll recall, James lost to Kraven at Undeniable, so she would like her own measure of revenge. But, for an injured Doom and James to go against the two beasts of Layne and Kraven? Yeah, it doesn’t look good.

Can, I dunno, this lead to Layne forming like a Four Horsewoman stable, with Kraven involved. Heck, you can even take my early fantasy booking and make Veda Scott the leader if you want. I dunno, I just want a stable of woman to run roughshod over Inspire Pro. Take out men and women, it doesn’t matter. We’ve seen it time and time again with men from the Four Horseman to the Dangerous Alliance to the nWo and DX and Nexus and the list goes on and one. Just do it, Inspire Pro!

As you have noticed, seven of the matches were in some way linked to one another. You could easily go from one match to the next with some sort of thread to carry through, then picking up another and going to the next, and so on and so forth. That said, there were nine matches on the show. So, that leaves two matches that were just there. Not just there in that they sucked or they weren’t important, just that they didn’t have the overall implications of anything else. No one in these matches are currently doing anything related to anyone else in the company. Self contained, if you will.

The first of those was The Pump Patrol (Jared Wayne and Curt Mathews) versus Matt Riot and Erik Shadows. Riot and Shadows have been around for a long time, while The Pump Patrol was around in the early days, replaced a member and recently returned. This is all good news since later this year Inspire Pro will be introducing a Tag Team Tournament to crown the first ever Inspire Pro Tag Team Champions. Back at Phenomenon, Killer McKenzie and James Claxton won a Battle Royal to gain a bye in said tournament. These two teams were apart of that match, but ultimately fell short.

Here’s the thing, Riot and Shadows are amazing athletes (especially Shadows). They just fly all over the ring, but also mix in some good strikes. They’re just good at their job. But, they are kind of bland. I mean, Shadows is a shoot werewolf, so he has that going on, but otherwise, they just kind of come in, fly around, get thrown for miles by Keith Lee, and just do an amazing job for what their station is in Inspire Pro. I hope for bigger things from them, as they have the talent, but you just never know. Now, Pump Patrol? Yeah, they have it. They are probably the most entertaining tag team I have seen in a very long time.

They’re just all about the gains, man. Watch them do push-ups while pinning their opponent, or do push-ups in the corner while their legs are on their opponents shoulders and then make said opponent do squats while they do that. It’s great. My wife absolutely loves The Pump Patrol. If Laynie Luck could join the Pump Patrol, she’d be in heaven. She’s all about those gains, too. But this team, I mean, they lost, but they won so many fans. I don’t know how you can’t love those guys. I hope they, too, do well in the tag tournament Actually, I hope they win.

The other match pitted the former (and first) Inspire Pro Champion, ”One Man” Mike Dell against Barrett Brown. Brown returned recently as the newest member of the World Class Syndicate. He joined Carson and Moonshine Mantell, replacing Alex Reigns. Reigns wasn’t too happy about being kicked out of the group, so he mysteriously challenged Brown, not revealing who he was until the match, and then defeated him. Following that, he was challenged by Brown and Carson to a tag match, and brought in his mystery partner, Dell. After they picked up the win, Moonshine then turned (a detail I had forgotten in my preview) on the World Class Syndicate.

I kind of hope they start calling themselves the World Class Syndicate, just ‘cause, but we’ll see. The match itself was… boring. I hate to be mean, but it was. I mean, I dislike Dell, but it actually has nothing to do with his look or his talent, because he does have a good look. His body looks great, although he might want to work on his cardio, as it always seems like he’s blown up as soon as the bell rings. And he’s not lacking in actual talent, it’s just that… he doesn’t connect. That might not be a true statement for everyone (‘cause he does have his fans), but he just doesn’t work for me. When his music hits, I tune out. I’m just not interested in anything he’s doing. Ever. I wasn’t interested when he was Inspire Pro Champion and I’m not interested now that he’s lower on the card. In fact, it mostly just infuriated me that he was the Champion, because nothing was going on. Go back and read this review, how many things are happening around Andy Dalton and the Championship? SO MANY THINGS. Now, that’s not necessarily Dell’s fault, but, even so, he wasn’t so amazingly great at movez that he could compensate with five-star matches.

With that said, I kind of feel bad for Brown. Brown is a good wrestler. For whatever reason, though, I just don’t think he’s been able to connect with the Inspire Pro crowd like I’ve seem him do elsewhere, like say ACW. I couldn’t tell you exactly what it is, because he’s very good in the ring. He’s had some damn fine ones in ACW. I don’t know if it’s the general spottiness of his involvement with Inspire Pro or what? Because he was involved in the J*Crown scene when Sammy Guevara was the Champion. Together with Starks those three put on a better Ladder Match than you’ll have seen in WWE in a decade probably. So, he had something go then, but then he kind of disappeared. Even if he was on the shows, it kind of felt like he wasn’t? If that makes sense. But he’s good and he can be a great contributor to Inspire Pro, I just don’t think it’s in this setting. Get him involved with the J*Crown again or, better yet, have him try and dethrone Keith Lee for the Pure Prestige Championship. That would be fun.

Anyway, this match existed, and eventually Dell nailed his top rope Dellbow, but he wasn’t able to get a pin, as Brown rolled out of the ring. The referee proceeded to make his ten count, but for some reason Dell kept interrupting him and telling him to count? Um, Mike, he was. Don’t you want to win this match? If you don’t want to win by countout, go get Dell. Perhaps the story was that he was more annoyed that Brown wasn’t getting up. He did say that he felt it was beneath him to even be in the ring with the likes of Brown. If that’s the story? Fine. But eventually, when the referee count to, like, eight or so, Dell became fed up and just shoved him to the ground. This is the second instance, as I mentioned much, much earlier in this report, of the referee’s just letting some things go.

Dell and Brown proceeded to brawl through the crowd, and they may even have left the building. I can’t say for sure, as I don’t tend to get up and follow brawls. It’s too much trouble. In the end, the referee didn’t even make a double count out. He just threw out the match as a no contest. OK? See, that’s the consistency I’m talking about. If Dell wasn’t going to be DQ’d, might as well not count, right? But you should also not throw the match out. Let them find their way back to the ring if everything else is fine. I dunno, it was weird and mostly boring, and I hate to see that on any show, much less an Inspire Pro one.

Final Thoughts: Well, that was the show. Overall, it was another fantastic one, one that you should all purchase whenever it becomes available. Just keep your eyes on their website for that, plus all the other news and updates.

I only have a few minor displeasurements (not a word) with the show and they were as follows. In Their Blood is essentially the flag ship show for the XX Division. At the show last May, we had four women’s matches on the card, including the Main Event NWA Women’s Championship between Barbi Hayden and Portia Perez. It was great and a huge step forward in regards to equality. It’s rare in the wrestling business that women are seen as equals to the men. A lot of times the women are just used as eye candy and aren’t allowed to show how athletic and talented they are along with how beautiful they are. Inspire Pro, I think, is on the forefront of making women’s wrestling important. That’s one of the things I love about it. For one I like women’s wrestling, and for two, well, my wife is a wrestler and I want a place like this that she can work at.

With all that said, for In Their Blood II, there was one. Sure, it was a big one, the crowning of the first ever XX Division Champion, and it was billed as a double main event with Andy Dalton and ACH, but it was shunted down to before the intermission. Now, that’s nothing to scoff at. It’s a prime spot to be in. There’s really four big positions, the opener, the first half main event, the second half opener (the lesser of the four, to be honest), and, of course, the main event. That said, for something this big, from this company, on this show, shouldn’t it have been THE main event? After all, while ACH-Dalton was great, did anyone really think ACH was going to win? If Palmer couldn’t get the job done, why would we think part-timer ACH would. And let’s be real, even if he shows up at every show, because of where he is in his career, working all over the globe, he’ll always, to me at least, be considered a special attraction. Sure, you can strap someone like that, but it would feel wasted, in my opinion.

So, why not headline with the women? I understand why this one may not have been, given the story they were telling. And given how the match turned out, it probably would have been a let down. I’m not saying the match was bad, just the beginning of that match was pretty bad. It seemed like everyone was lost, even Athena, who never seems lost in her matches (James will from time to time depending on her opponent), like no one knew what to do. It was a shame, given what this represented. It eventually picked up and got into a pretty good groove, but I just felt slightly underwhelmed when it was all over.

It was actually the culmination of a string of underwhelming matches, which is the rarest of the rare for Inspire Pro. It started with Mike Dell and Barrett Brown, which I talked about earlier, followed by Jojo Bravo and Thomas Munos which was more to do with Munos greenness. I just don’t connect with the guy, as it feels like a character that should be on someone else. Actually, I know exactly who would OWN that character, but that’s unimportant. Bravo was his always brilliant self. I love that he not only owned up to kicking the kid, but saying he would kick all the children, which would be amazing. (Clearly I do not have children of my own.) But the match itself wasn’t much, again, because Munos is still limited in what he can do, but Bravo did what he could.

That was followed by the women, so, I understand it’s placement, given the quality (which they had no way of knowing ahead of time) and with the storyline involved. Maybe you don’t want something like that to cap off your show. Admittedly, having Steve-O Reno come out and cash in for an Inspire Pro Title show was much better, because it builds even more anticipation for next month. Still, it was disappointing to see only the one match for the women on what should be a show highlighting them.

You could say, yeah, but the World’s Cutest Tag Team and Angelus Layne were booked. And, yeah, while that is true, and it told an even better story that what would have happened at Candice LeRae been able to attend, it still didn’t fulfill the need for more women’s matches, you know? Heck, even next month’s show has two women’s matches with an additional intergender match. All I’m saying is, don’t bill it as an XX-themed show (for lack of a better phrase) if you aren’t going to showcase that division. In fact, just get rid of that. Just have your shows, but have a more equal representation of all the talents. You have a lot of great men on your roster, there’s no denying that, but you have some great women, too, and they should get highlighted on more than just one or two matches. I understand this is really picking nits with basically one show, as in the past, they have been very good with representation, but that’s what this really stems from. They can do it and have and I’m confident they will continue to do so going forward.

The other thing I had an issue with was just that lull in the middle that I mentioned. That’s not anyone’s fault, ‘cause it just happens. Doesn’t make it any less disappointing though. But once that second half of the show hit, well, it was ON and they nailed everything and put us well on our way to Clash at the Bash II.

Actually, I did have another thing. At one point during the ACH-Dalton match, ACH placed Dalton into the hands of a fan and then backed way far back to get a running start for a chop. Before he could returned to Dalton, a fan had taken it upon himself to chop Dalton across the chest. Hey, dude? Yeah, don’t do that. It’s not your place. I don’t care what Dalton said to your wife, because you know what? It’s Andy Dalton! He’s going to say awful things to your wife! It’s his character. I’m glad Dalton called him out on it post-match (even ACH told him to leave the chopping to himself), and did so in a very crude manner. Fuck that guy.

One other thing I did not mention, ‘cause there wasn’t a good way to squeeze it in (I’m a hacky writer!), was Franco D’Angelo commenting on throwing in the towel and costing Matthew Palmer his career in Inspire Pro. Simply put, they are best friends, and he was concerned for his safety and well-being going forward. Understandable. Athena, who if you were unaware is Palmer’s girlfriend (the first it’s been acknowledged in Inspire Pro), took exception to that. Somehow or another it led to Athena challenging The Bionic Beast to a match, and he accepted. So, that’s interesting.

Oh, and one more thing! There was a fan in the crowd who looked oddly almost identical to Steve-O Reno’s old tag team partner in the Hollywood Knives, Bradley Axel Dawson. He was sitting in the second row and during Reno’s match, he was going BANANAS! Especially when Reno was in his general area. Reno would just give him weird looks. So, was it Dawson? WHO KNOWS!? Will it mean anything? WHO KNOWS!? Where was the Hollywood Strangler? WHO KNOWS!? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Sidebar: The Orphans? The Great Depression? Are they ever coming back? They should.

Now, the next show happens on June 21st at the Marchesa Hall and Theater like usual. It is the flagship show for Inspire Pro. It is...

Credit Facebook page.

1. Inspire Pro Championship: “Dirty” Andy Dalton © vs. J*Crown Champion, Steve-O Reno
2. XX Championship: Veda Scott © vs. Leva Bates
3. Delilah Doom and Jessica James vs. “The Mountain” Vaness Kraven and Angelus Layne
4. Ray “Death” Rowe vs. “The American Pyscho” Lance Hoyt
5. Jojo Bravo vs. Cherry Ramones vs. Teddy Hart vs. El Mariachi Loco
6. Athena vs. Franco D’Angelo

We are literally only three days passed In Their Blood II and already six matches have been announced. Heck, four of those were announced AT the show. It’s great when one show can blend into the next. As long as they can keep from screwy finishes being what leads them forward, they’ll be good. But look at that lineup, won’t you? So fucking good. Plus, we have the return of Teddy Hart (and Mr. Money!!!) along with the debut of Lucha Underground’s cult hero, El Mariachi Loco!

Seriously, come to this. You need to see this in person. What are you waiting for? Get in your car now and come! There will be plenty of things to do in Austin until June 21st. There’s practically a festival every weekend! DO IT!