By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
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Impact Wrestling/Rockstar Pro Opening Day
Dayton, Ohio at the Dayton Convention Center
Report by Dot Net readers Justin and Stephanie Madden
Attendance was roughly 350 people. There are typically 100 people or so for a regular Rockstar Pro show. Rockstar Pro has had some talent come through here like Chris Hero. Even after he was cut by NXT a few years ago, this was where he came back to.
Rockstar Pro is not as big as Les Thatcher’s old Heartland Wrestling Association which ran in Southwest Ohio in the early 2000s and featured Nigel McGuinness every week, but close. Saying that makes me feel old.
For comparison, TNA Impact used to come to Hara Arena in Dayton around the time Austin Aries was champ back in 2012 or so. Embarrassingly, this show had more people than those TNA house shows. This is a comparable crowd to what ROH brings to Dayton. The show was in a medium conference room typical to any hotel or convention center, and Sami came over the house mic a few times and told us to “clean up our trash or they won’t let us come back.” I get the impression that this is going to be a continual thing for Impact to run here. Rockstar Pro and Impact are pretty much one and the same.
Lots of OVE merch, but this is Sami Callihan’s home promotion. Typical merch and meet and greet lines. Hardly anyone wearing actual Impact stuff though.
Josh Matthews was on hand recording commentary but never was acknowledged. Most matches had a mix of Rockstar Pro and Impact talent. If it was all local guys then I skipped taking notes. Here are some highlights.
Moose beat Jake Crist. Moose won. Good opener lots of back and forth action and believable near falls near the end.
Jessica Havok and Neveah beat Madison Rayne and Samantha Heights. Madison was obviously the most over but she was barely involved in the match. Jessica Havok did a middle rope Tombstone that was nasty looking.
Ace Austin defeated JT Dunn. I read about Ace Austin online, and I guess he’s a recent Impact signee, and the guy is pretty good. I think pre AEW he would have developed another year or so but in this climate you gotta grab who you can if you are Impact. Regardless, the man can fly. Definitely the X division style match you’d expect. It might be worth seeing again on Twitch.
Sawyer Fulton beat some locals in a big tag team match. I had to get a hot dog so I missed most of this.
Brian Cage beat Ace Romero and Clayton Gainz. Cage wins after hitting Gainz with his finish. Gainz is a Brian Cage clone in terms of body, but does more high spots. Ace Romero is the local guy with the Adrian Adonis body. He’s a super heavy guy stuffed in small trunks. A good match but nothing spectacular.
Sami Callihan defeated Eddie Edwards in a Dayton Street Fight. Sami brought a trash can full of weapons. They played up the baseball bat to the eye spot, of course. No tables, but they did pull sheets of plywood out from under ring, which led to a “Dayton Tables!” chant.
Johnny Impact defeated Larry D. Impact won, of course, over the local champ. A longer match than I expected, maybe 15 mins or so. Impact was seriously bothered by a few hecklers. He spit gum on one of them from the apron, knocked another guy’s hat off right in front of of me, and told another that his mom sucks d— while he was on the top ropes. Classy guy.
All in all a fun night. My wife and I would go back because we enjoy live wrestling, but other than some locals here in Dayton this isn’t doing much to build or expand Impact. I don’t know how they make money doing this.
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