By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Minneapolis, Minnesota at Uptown VFW
Broadcast live on FITE TV (replay available for $12.99)
The show opened with graphics for the women and matches that would appear on the show… Ring announcer John Maddening checked in. After a moment of muted sound, Maddening noted that tickets for the event sold out quickly. He looked into the camera and welcomed viewers to the promotion’s first pay-per-view. Maddening hyped upcoming events… The broadcast team of Dave Prazak and Kevin Harvey checked in as the entrants made their way to the ring for the opening match…
Powell’s POV: The crowd was loud and rowdy to start. The venue is sold out and the ring is well lit. They have a big screen showing the in-ring action near the back and the what I assume is the bar area also has a couple of smaller screens airing the matches. I’ve attended F1rst Wrestling events at the First Avenue nightclub and that was a really fun atmosphere, but I haven’t attended a VFW show yet.
1. Shotzi Blackheart vs. Solo Darling. Rob Page was the referee. Darling performed a pump-handle slam for a near fall. She tried repeatedly to apply the Sharpshooter and eventually locke dit in, but Blackheart powered out of it. Blackheart performed a 619 (or 612 in Minneapolis). Blackheart threw a knee to Darling’s head in the corner followed by a DDT. Blackheart performed a senton from the ropes and score the clean pin. The women hugged afterward.
Shotzi Blackheart defeated Solo Darling.
Powell’s POV: A good match. Blackheart has appeared on Impact Wrestling and Dot Net staffer John Moore has said good things about her work. Darling has
2. Sierra vs Kara Noia. Prazak noted that Sierra is from Wisconsin, which led to heat during the introductions from the Minnesota fans. Noia didn’t fair much better when she was introduced as being from North Dakota, but the fans got over it and rallied behind her as the babyface. The broadcast team noted that Noia is a graduate of Ken Anderson and Shawn Daivari’s The Academy School of Pro Wrestling. Sierra pulled some of Noia’s hair out and held it up for the fans to see. Sierra applied an armbar and worked over Noia’s fingers. Noia came back with a powerbomb and had an offensive flurry, but Sierra rolled her up and held the tights for the win.
Sierra defeated Kara Noia.
Powell’s POV: A decent undercard match that kept the crowd engaged.
F1rst Wrestling Uptown Champion Darin Corbin made his entrance and asked the crowd to shut the f— up for a minute (it’s a 21 and up show). He said he could hold the title as long as he wants because no one can beat him. Orange Cassidy made a surprise appearance while carrying a backpack and entered the ring. Cassidy used a monotone voice while introducing himself. Corbin told him that Cassidy was supposed to debut in August and it’s only March. He asked if Cassidy even knew where he was. “No, I do not,” Cassidy replied to laughs. Corbin continued to hell on Cassidy, who asked if he was shut up if he took his title from him. Corbin asked Cassidy what was in his backpack. Cassidy pulled out his Independent Wrestling TV Title belt. Corbin said he’d put his belt on the line if Cassidy agreed to put his title on the line. Cassidy agreed.
3. F1rst Wrestling Uptown Champion Darin Corbin vs. Independent Wrestling TV Champion Orange Cassidy in a title vs. title match. Cassidy did some comedically light kicks, which the fans responded to with “holy shit” chants. Funny. Cassidy tapped his shoulder into Corbin a short time later. “Somewhere the Honky Tonk Man is telling them to slow it down,” Harvey said. The comedy continued with Cassidy teasing a tap, then tapping Corbin with “chops.”
Corbin kicked him and said playtime is over. He put Cassidy’s hands in his pockets, which led to a Cassidy running the ropes, ducking clotheslines, rolling over Corbin, and dropkicking him while keeping his hands in his pockets and while wearing his shades. Corbin speared Cassidy. “Jim Cornette is rolling over in his grave,” one the broadcast team members said. Cassidy turned it on and hit a DDT from the ropes for a near fall. Cassidy grabbed a bottle of orange juice fro his corner and took a swig. Corbin performed a Ginger Snap and made a cocky cover, allowing Cassidy to counter into a pin for the win.
Orange Cassidy defeated Darin Corbin to win the F1rst Wrestling Uptown Championship.
Powell’s POV: A cool surprise addition to the card. Cassidy’s act is fun and really clicked with this crowd. And if you’re wondering, yes, Darin went by his name before Baron Corbin popped up in NXT. I assume we’ll get the Cassidy vs. Corbin rematch on the August 2 show.
4. Priscilla Kelly vs. Kylie Rae. The broadcast team alluded to Kelly’s controversial “tampon spot” and praised her ability to create a buzz for herself. Kelly reached down her pants at one point and then applied a Camel Clutch. Fans responded with a light “you sick f—” chant. Late in the match, Rae placed Kelly in a seated position on the top rope. Kelly fired back with punches and and a headbutt, then performed neckbreaker style move from the ropes, hooked Rae’s leg with her own, and got the pin.
Priscilla Kelly defeated Kylie Rae.
Powell’s POV: I thought the backlash over Kelly’s tampon spot was silly. That said, I was disappointed to see her play on it here. I’m not offended in any way. Rather, it’s that I would hate for that to be thing she’s best known for long term and be something that works against her getting higher profile opportunities.
5. Jordynne Grace vs. Mercedes Martinez. Grace performed a wicked looking Michinoku Driver at one point. Martinez came back with a spinebuster for a two count. Martinez applied a rear naked choke, but Grace powered up and broke the hold. Martinez reapplied the hold, but Grace once again came back with a good powerbomb for a nice near fall. Martinez performed a pair of Saito suplexes and a running knee in the corner followed by a neckbreaker for another near fall. Martinez connected with a high knee and then performed a fisherman’s buster for the win…
Mercedes Martinez pinned Jordynne Grace.
Powell’s POV: A strong match between two pros. One of my real regrets about not being able to attend the show was not being able to see a Martinez match in person. This was the new best match of the night.
Penelope Ford made her entrance and delivered a brief promo in which she said she’s a very bad girl. Joey Ryan made his entrance for an unadvertised appearance…
6. Joey Ryan vs. Penelope Ford. Ryan gave his blow pop to a big bearded fan at ringside, then oiled himself up inside the ring. Ford teased grabbing, um, it. She grabbed Ryan by the chest hair and tossed him across the ring. Ford reached inside Ryan’s trunks and pulled out a blow pop, which she tucked into her cleavage. Ryan performed an atomic drop style move on Ford’s knee, then rubbed her face on the mat to boos. Ryan covered Ford for two counts three times in a row, then barked at referee Page that he won twice (Page deserves whatever abuse he gets).
Ford came back with a German suplex. She performed a Bronco Buster, then Ryan pleaded with her to do it again. She teased it and slapped him instead. Ryan came back with a “boobplex.” Ford grabbed “it”. Ryan flexed “it” and flipped her over for a two count. Ryan pulled out another blow pop, which ended up in Ford’s mouth only after Ford pulled the backside of his trunks down. Ryan put the blow pop in Ryan’s mouth, then pulled the one out from her cleavage and stuck it up his backside before hitting a handspring into a cutter for the win.
Penelope Ford defeated Joey Ryan.
Powell’s POV: A fun surprise. It was a solid out show and the promotion overdelivered with the Cassidy and Ryan surprise appearances. Hopefully that will help them sell some VOD replays on FITE TV. The match was everything you’d expect from a Ryan match. It’s not for everyone, but this bar crowd loved it.
7. Jessicka Havok vs. Kimber Lee. Both women played to the crowd prior to the match, so neither woman played a heel role. Havok performed a backbreaker and asked the crowd if they wanted one more. She went for it again, but Lee performed a head scissors takedown. Havok came back and performed two running boots in the corner. She went for a third, but Lee jumped up and kicked her instead. Lee picked up a near fall from a head scissors off the ropes. Lee leapt off the ropes again, but Havok caught her and chokeslammed her for a two count. Havok caught Lee on the ropes and performed a tombstone piledriver for the win.
Jessicka Havok defeated Kimber Lee.
Havok sat down by Lee in the ring and kissed her forehead before raising her arm. Lee bowed at Havok before leaving the ring to end the show.
Powell’s POV: A good match to close the show. Havok is a terrific monster and it’s a shame we don’t see more of her in the bigger promotions, though she did appear on the WOW television series. The middle rope tombstone is scary as hell, but she pulls it off nicely. Overall, a good, tight show with a couple of nice surprises for the lively crowd and some good matches that never overstayed their welcome. There were no intermissions or downtime on the VOD version that I watched and it clocked in at roughly two hours and ten minutes. The broadcast team did a good job and worked in some fun lines that will appeal to the fans who are most likely to be watching an event like this one. Here’s hoping that F1rst Wrestling will end up on FITE TV more often going forward.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Eric Bischoff discussing whether there are similarities in Vince McMahon’s WWE booking and Verne Gagne’s booking of the AWA during its dying days, a network shakeup that could potentially be an issue for All Elite Wrestling, Eric’s upcoming shows with Tony Schiavone and Conrad Thompson in Chicago and New York, and much more.