Back in late September, I wrote a preview for Ronin Pro Wrestling’s upcoming launch, calling it the shape of indie wrestling to come. The first event did not disappoint, with a great combination of talent in the locker room and special guests. With a talent pool and the dynamic team of Seth Gregg and Blake Chadwick doing commentary, they are set for success. How do you push it over the top? Easy: get legendary ring announcer Joel Gertner to introduce the matches. This past weekend was the second Ronin show and once again all systems were a go, giving fans exactly what they wanted and more.
Triple Threat Match
Shane Swyft vs. Mikaze vs. Max Stardom
When you have three wrestlers that have speed and agility fighting each other, you know some high-flying moves are coming. This match was action-packed, with all three combatants keeping the match very close. With a lot of risky but high-reward moves, someone was bound to fall victim, and this time it was Swyft. Mikaze found himself alone with Stardom in the ring and was able to land his “Ninja Star Senton” to put Stardom down for the count and walk out undefeated at 2-0.
Couldn’t ask for a better opening match. Lots of solid back and forth action and the aerial moves had the crowd in awe. Mikaze always puts on an entertaining show. I think he raised the bar for himself with this one.
Solo Darling and Heidi Lovelace vs. Justine Silver and Lexie Quinn with La Rosa Negra
Much to my chagrin, Negra wasn’t scheduled to be in action after a very impressive match last month between her and Leva Bates, so it was nice to see her ringside. I was also anxious to see a better outing from Solo Darling, and I must say she didn’t disappoint. Throughout the match there was great chemistry from all four women as well as Negra, who let her presence be known with well timed distractions and interference. In the end, the numbers game didn’t pan out and the team of Darling and Lovelace put down Lexie Quinn with an emphatic dual Front Russian Leg Sweep.
Solid match by all the ladies, great in ring work by Darling and Lovelace, and Quinn turned in a great first match.
After the bell rang, Shawn Prime shooed the ladies out of the ring. As he began to speak of his disgust for Commissioner Brad Bond and his opponent, Colt Cabana. Jonny Vandal’s music glared over the speakers shutting Prime up. The two exchanged words as Prime exited the ring and wished Vandal a good match with a sadistic grin on his face.
Jonny Vandal vs. Eddie Graves
These two had a fierce match back in September and the continuation of this feud looks promising. Graves came out to a sea of boos, as the “Last Rock Star” made dismissive gestures and spit whiskey at the crowd. Once the match got underway, Vandal mounted a quick offensive, but Graves fought back hard. Reminiscent of their first match, there was a lot of back and forth. Graves ended up getting the best of Vandal, as Shawn Prime made his was back to ringside with unfinished business.
Another great match by both wrestlers.
Now that the score is one to one, I hope we get to see a finale to this great rivalry.
Prime and Vandal went off quick, trying to beat each other mercilessly. When senior official Bruce Owens tried to control the impending madness, he fell victim to Prime as well. The contest quickly spilled into the crowd as the two men literally tried to rip each other’s heads off. Not even security could stop the sadistic Prime as he delivered a spinebuster through one of the merchandise tables to Vandal before being handcuffed and removed from the arena.
T.E.C.H. (Mike Monroe and TC Read) with Jim Sherbert vs. Team Lucha (Cruz and Rios)
Hands down, this was the match of the night, and not just because T.E.C.H. manager Jim Sherbert stopped by ringside to put me over. These four wrestlers put on a show that, in all honesty, this review will cheapen. A great combination of grappling, high-flying moves and team-ups put this match over the top. The match’s highest point was a great move by Cruz hitting a double chest stomp to both Monroe and Read. In the end, the numbers game prevailed and Sherbert helped his team to secure the victory.
Another great outing from T.E.C.H. Team Lucha also wowed me in this match. I really hope this gets a sequel.
After the match, Joel Gertner announced that, due to the actions of Shawn Prime earlier in the night, the main event would be changed to the “Hashtag Warrior” Edward Malken going up against Colt Cabana. Malken’s original opponent, Joey Bricco, was then scheduled to face Aron Agony.
Donovan w/ Joey Bricco vs. Jude Mackenzie w/ Aron Agony
Last time Donovan competed, he viciously attacked a fan ringside after a very short match where he dismantled Oliver Cain. This time around was very different. Though it ended in another dominating performance by Donovan, Mackenzie put up way more of a fight. There was a lot of taunting throughout the match between the combatants and their ringside escorts, but Donovan still prevailed. After the match, Donovan turned his attention to security, viciously pummeling them until coming face-to-face with Commissioner Bond. Things quickly escalated when Donovan laid his hand on Bond as they spilled out into the locker room area.
Way better match for Donovan this time around, and I am enjoying the developing storyline between him and Bond. Mackenzie also gave a solid match against a much physically bigger Donovan.
Special guest Jesse Sorenson, most recently of TNA, joined the announcing team for the next match.
Aron Agony vs. Joey Bricco
When two wrestlers are under 175lbs., you don’t expect a heavy-hitting match. This was a shock to the system. Bricco pummeled Agony out of the gate, refusing to let up. Eventually, Agony began mounting a huge comeback but unfortunately succumbed to the “Fitness Guru” for the pinfall. After the match, Bricco mocked Sorenson and his recently injured ankle, provoking Sorenson to get in the ring. The “Fitness Guru” bit off more than he could chew after a few choice words and pulled a lucky dodge as Sorenson hit a superkick to Bricco’s spotter, Scott.
This was a hard-hitting match that showed both of these wrestlers’ more physical side.
Bricco’s definitely catching major heat with the crowd and I’m sure fan favorite Agony would like a rematch after this one.
“The Devil Himself” Derek Drexl w/ Snakemaster Abudadein vs. BJ Murdoch
In a creepy “the devil came down to Miami” showing, Derek Drexl entered the ring area in a straight jacket accompanied by Snakemaster Abudadein. Murdoch, a well-known staple in the South Florida wrestling scene, came to answer the challenge of Drexl. This was the epitome of a hardcore match. Staple guns, chairs, barbed wire and the legendary Golden Spike all played a part in a match that saw both men lose a lot of blood in the ring. In the end, Murdoch gave the devil his due and put him down with the Dream Maker. Clearly living up to it’s name, the finished left Drexl outcold as the ref called for the bell and Murdoch won via TKO
I have seen Murdoch fight many times, but never like this.
Even with the 100-pound advantage in Murdoch’s favor, Drexl brought as much pain to Murdoch and vice-versa, pushing both men to the brink. All I can say is please let there be a rematch in January!
Alex Chamberlain vs. Teddy “Savage” Stigma
Though this match was a decent back and forth by both combatants and very physical, nothing stood out tremendously. Stigma tried to used his female ring escorts to distract Chamberlain a few times, but it was to no avail. A low hanging-light also fell victim to the two men as they went back and forth. Chamberlain eventually locked in the Camel Clutch on Stigma in the end, causing Stigma to submit.
It was a good wrestling match, but nothing memorable. I’ve seen Chamberlain wrestle many times and know his abilities, so I can say with conviction that this was a fluke… or maybe the adrenaline was still surging from the hardcore match before it?
Leva Bates vs. “Crazy” Mary Dobson
Bates does it again. Never to be outdone by her moniker as the “Woman of 1000 Gimmicks,” Bates’ wrestling was on point. Dobson, a newcomer to Ronin, also had an impressive showing. The two showed great in-ring chemistry and gave the crowd a solid match. The result in this match was a double count out, as neither woman could overcome her adversary. They continued fighting outside the ring until officials came out to separate them.
Another solid outing by Bates and a great showing by Dobson. Another match I wouldn’t mind seeing happen again at a future Ronin show.
“The Hashtag Warrior” Edward Malken vs. Colt Cabana
For the main event, Malken took on Cabana after a solid victory over Al Snow back in September. This match had a great combination of banter and wrestling, complete with Cabana ripping body hair from Malken’s back and chest, as well as a double-titty-twister-turned-suplex. The comedic value was also at a high level. In an unexpected finale, Cabana stole a page out of his friend CM Punk’s book and called for a Go To Sleep. Malken quickly reversed and fought out of it, but Cabana figured out a way to get Malken back on his shoulders and hit him with the GTS, putting Malken down for the victory.
Another solid match from Malken and a great showing by Colt Cabana, whose solid work in and out of the ring together delivered a great finale to a great show.
Final Grade: A
All in all, it was a great card filled with many memorable moments and matches that highlighted all of the wrestlers’ abilities. It definitely has me ready for December 6, when Ronin invades the historic Ft. Lauderdale War Memorial Auditorium with special guests like Booker T., Rhino and Shane Douglas, whose talents should mesh well with their highly-skilled locker room.
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