By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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Battleground Championship Wrestling “When Worlds Collide”
Streamed on FITE TV
March 26, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
I didn’t hear who was on commentary. If you’ve seen a show from this venue, you know it has decent lighting and a good fan base that shows up.
1. Ray Jaz defeated Bull James and Rich Swann in a three-way at 4:12. I can’t believe this match was only four minutes because they got a lot in. You’ve seen this finish before — Swann hit a frogsplash on James, but Jaz jumped in, tossed Swann to the floor, and scored the pin himself on Bull James.
2. Steve Gibki defeated Eugene Dinsmore at 3:47. Blah. Gibki is big and muscular and has the black/white ghost paint on his face like Vampiro, or recently, Santana and Ortiz. I saw Eugene at a recent indy show and the crowd was booing him loudly with “boring” chants. Substandard action.
3. Wrecking Ball Legursky defeated Alec Odin at 5:40. Legursky seems like he has gotten over in NWA. Odin has decent size. So-so match; the right length here.
4. Tony Nese defeats KC Navarro at 16:26. Fantastic match. Nese is so good but was just not able to show it in 205 Live at all. Nese got the inside cradle for the pin. They shook hands after the match, but then KC low-blowed him, and he called out Brian Cage to help with the beat down. That led directly into the next match…
5. Brian Cage fought Buddy Matthews to a draw/double DQ(?) at 13:31. I loved this. Cage is so good. While he’s been off AEW TV, he’s had really good matches this year against Jonah in Pro Wrestling Revolver and Will Ospreay in Warrior Wrestling. I love the former Buddy Murphy, too, and these two have good, stiff, chemistry. Both Nese and Navarro got involved. As Matthews was going for the pin, Navarro pulled the ref out of the ring. The ref called for the bell. The ring-side announcer said Cage won via DQ, but the TV analyst pointed out it should be Matthews who won via DQ. Either way, we don’t get a clean finish. The match is set up for the next show of Cage and Navarro vs. Matthews and Nese. That works.
A 10-minute intermission that went around 25 minutes…
6. Super Leather defeated Traxx at 8:21. Traxx is muscular and bald and made me think of Ryback. Super Leather wears a Texas Chainsaw Massacre leatherface. Super Leather gets a low blow and a rollup for the pin. Blah. The very definition of a post-intermission “popcorn match.”
7. Beast Man defeats Afa Jr. at 6:49. Afa Jr. is formerly Manu from WWE (short-lived in the Legacy faction led by Randy Orton.) Beast Man is both tall and heavy. Late in the match, Gibki comes back to ringside to distact Afa Jr., allowing Beast Man to get his oversized cave-man bone and hit Afa with it.
8. Mariah May defeated Lady Frost at 12:25. OK, May is absolutely stunning. Think 50 percent Tiffany Stratton, 25 percent Franky Monet, 25 percent Maryse. Just look up her pictures. She is doing the exact same gimmick as Stratton; she’s rich and pretty and she knows it. The announcer says she has competed in Rev Pro and this is her U.S. debut. She will be one of the dozen-plus wrestling shows in the Dallas/Fort Worth area this weekend. She is a star in the making; better workrate than I expected.
9. Bully Ray defeated Atsushi Onita at 13:32. This was a hardcore match, and they had a table set up in the corner of the ring that was covered in barbed wire. There also was a barbed-wire covered bat. This was stiff and brutal and I generally don’t care for this action. Late in the match, the lights went out, and the familiar tune of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” played. Sandman hit the ring, looking thinner and healthier than I’ve seen him in a while. Seconds later, the lights went out again and they played Sabu’s theme, and he also hit the ring. Bully Ray slammed Onita through the barbed wire table for the pin. Onita made it clear after the match he wasn’t happy with the distractions.
Final Thoughts: They announced a return date for August, and the crowd made clear that is way too long of a wait until the next show. I’ll still give best match to Cage vs. Murphy, but wow, that Nese vs. Navarro match was good. The main event was exactly what the crowd wanted to see, and Mariah May was stunning, in both looks and in-ring skill, in her U.S. debut. I guess I’ll give credit here that matches they likely new would be bad with new, unknown wrestlers or fading stars were kept short and relatively painless.