It all started with the above video. It spiked my interest in a promotion I had never heard of. I was excited in some ways because it was running near my hometown of Millville in Cumberland County, NJ. I knew a lot of the names on the card from either CZW or various YouTube searches.
Side Show Pro could best be described as a Chikara/”Old School” type of promotion. There were tons of guys in masks and others with just odd gimmicks. Somehow, for the most part, it all worked quite well. I liked that the ring announcer was dressed like a MC for a circus. It fit the aura that I’m sure the guys were going for.
Here’s a quick rundown of the results:
- Steel Dragon (Latin Dragon and Lance Steel) defeated Alexander James & Nathan Avery w/ Justin Beaver by submission.
- Fredo Majors pinned Anthony Haynes.
- In a Fun House Four Way Match: Nick Arcade outlasted Xerox “The Door to Door Luchador”, Mighty Moe, and Erik C. Jones
- There was an odd squash match here. I didn’t catch either guy’s name.
- NWA Force 1 Heritage Title Match: Ryan Slater (C) pinned Ophidian after Slater distracted the ref and nailed a low blow leading to the pin.
- NWA Force 1 Title Match: Johnny Calzone pinned Alex Payne to retain the title.
- LJ Cruz pinned Niles Young.
- Jon Dahmer pinned Joe Gacy.
Overall, it was a pretty good card. The action was hit or miss, but how can you complain about a ten dollar ticket? I really liked the effort of all four guys in the Fun House match. Not only could they all “go” in the ring, but each guy told a different story. And, each guy brought their own level of comedy into the match. Xerox “The Door to Door Luchador” is a must see act.
I was happy to see the career of LJ Cruz continue in a winning effort as well. He impressed me earlier in the month at a New Moon Rising Wrestling show. Cruz oozes with charisma and I wonder just how far he will go. His journey in pro wrestling is one to watch.
Johnny Calzone, as much as my friend Ryan and I were giving him the business, was impressive in his win. Also impressive in defeat was Alex Payne. I don’t know the genesis of the “Sugarfoot” chants the fans give him (they did so at the ECWA 3/3 show as well). Alex Payne has a bright future as well.
Another name I’d like to bring up is Kimber Lee. I first saw her at the 1/7 ECWA show and was impressed with her athleticism. I saw her again at the CZW 13th Anniversary Show in February. Now, in three months I’ve seen her in three different promotions. She’s a workhorse and very dedicated to her craft. She has the “it” factor in my estimation. Her facial expression, her passion, and her psychology all work. She doesn’t steal heat from her charge, she enhances it. I’m not sure what she wants to do with wrestling, but if she made a run at it, I could see her being immensely successful and the cornerstone of a Women’s Division in TNA or WWE.
The match of the night was Ophidian vs. Ryan Slater. Both guys are impressive workers. I’m sure you’ve seen his work in Chikara…but if not here’s something to chew on:
Ophidian is a talented worker that is also a talented comedy guy. The things he can do inside the ring is just downright amazing. I don’t get fans that don’t appreciate this type of worker and would prefer fat, out of shape, gassed out brawlers when you can see someone like Ophidian who honestly does things you or I can not do.
Slater is no slouch either, but a more old school, Arn Anderson type of guy. He’s a solid wrestler. The two meshed well together and created a great match. Ophidian made a new fan tonight and I can’t wait to see him in action again.
It was a solid debut for the promotion. There are some minor things to improve, but overall it was a solid show filled with memorable moments. I await the announcement of their next outing.