F1rst Wrestling “Saturday Night Nitro” results: Vetter’s review of Rob Van Dam and Dante Martin vs. “The Trustbusters” Ariya Daivari and Sonny Kiss, Colt Cabana vs. Dak Draper, Effy vs. Orange Cassidy, Darin Corbin vs. Arik Cannon, Free-Range Kara vs. Billie Starkz, Ethan Page vs. Jah-C

By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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F1rst Wrestling “Saturday Night Nitro”
September 10, 2022 in Bloomington, Minnesota at Mall of America
Replay available via FITE TV 

This is the first wrestling show here since the first-ever WCW Nitro (sadly, I missed both events. I was celebrating my birthday during that first Nitro, and I was at a kids’ birthday party on Saturday). The ring was set up in the rotunda at the Mall of America, allowing fans to watch from all four levels at the mega-mall. The crowd was hot. The ring was well-lit. They are announcing this as a “sold-out” crowd, but it is an open and free mall, and anyone walking by can stop and watch the matches.

* Arik Cannon hit the ring to a massive pop. Darin Corbin hit the ring to complain. Jerry Lynn hit the ring to a massive pop. Lynn taunted Corbin to accept a match!

1. Arik Cannon defeated Darin Corbin at 9:31. These two have traveled many miles together and have competed numerous times. Corbin controlled the action early. Cannon hit an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckles at 5:00. Corbin hit a spear, then a stunner, and they were both down. Corbin spun Cannon and hit a piledriver move for a believable nearfall. Corbin missed a top-rope moonsault, and Cannon immediately got a rollup for the pin.

* Cannon grabbed the F1rst title belt and celebrated with it, but Corbin yanked it out of his hands and said he never stated the title was on the line.

2. Ethan Page defeated Jah-C at 9:12. Page stalled early. Jah-C, a Black man, has appeared on AEW Dark at some of the Midwest shows. Jah-C hit a Fameasser leg drop. He hit a jumping Flatliner for a nearfall at 8:00. Page hit the Razor’s Edge overhead powerbomb for the pin. Good action.

3. Devon Monroe defeated Lince Dorado, Brandon Gore, and Rylie Jackson in a four-way at 14:11. Rylie, a tall, bald kid, was in an eight-man match on AEW Dark from Minneapolis in August, and I saw him have a really good match against Silas Young earlier this year. He hit the ring wearing a Green Bay Packers jersey, which of course got him massive heat. Monroe, a thin Black man, is doing the exact same look and gimmick as Sonny Kiss. This felt like a tag match, in the way the heels worked together.

Lince and Ryle traded good offense to open. Gore and Jackson worked over Monroe. They did a four-way submission spot. Gore hit a German release suplex on Dorado. Rylie worked over Lince in the corner. Lince hit a top-rope crossbody block on Gore at 9:00, and he finally made the hot tag to Devon. They did a tower spot out of the corner, with Dorado flipping everyone else to the mat at 11:00.

Monroe hit a tornado DDT on Rylie. GOre hit a Chaos Theory rolling German suplex on Monroe for a nearfall. Lince hit a top-rope bulldog on Gore, then a dive to the floor on Gore. That left Monroe and Rylie in the ring, where they traded rollups, until Monroe scored the pin after a chinbreaker move.

4. Free-range Kara defeated Billie Starkz at 8:06. The special guest referee was Lisa Marie Varon (WWE’s Victoria), who wore her spider-flavored ring gear, rather than a ref outfit. Kara also wrestled on the AEW Dark episode from Minneapolis. Starkz is the high school senior who has seemingly wrestled everywhere in the past year. Kara is billed as being from the smallest town in Minnesota. Early in the match, Starkz jawed at Varon for a perceived slow-count. Kara hit a mid-ring powerbomb for a nearfall at 4:00.

Kara hit a sliding clothesline for a nearfall. Starkz hit a tombstone piledriver for a nearfall at 7:00, and she set up for a Widow’s Peak but didn’t hit all of it. Starkz hit the Swanton Bomb for a believable nearfall. Kara rolled her over, hooked the arms, and scored the pin. Billie was livid. Varon hugged Kara; she went to hug Billie, too, but Billie pushed her away. So, Varon kicked her in the gut and hit the Widow’s Peak on Billie to the delight of the fans.

5. Orange Cassidy defeated Effy at 9:50. A nice pop for both men.  Comedy early with Orange refusing to pull his hands out of his pockets. Effy is much taller and thicker than I think people realize. Orange walked the tight rope. Effy tried walking the top rope at 4:00 but fell and got crotched. Effy tried to get a Tarantula in the ropes. Effy hit a Whoopee Cushion buttdrop for a nearfall at 6:30. Effy hit a spear, and he choked Orange in the corner with his leg. However, Effy missed a Blockbuster.

Orange did his kicks to the shin, then hit a nice tornado DDT at 9:00. Effy ducked the Orange Punch and hit his Fameasser for a nearfall. Orange Cassidy then hit the Orange Punch for the pin. Mostly comedy but the crowd was totally into it.

6. Thunder Frog won the “Rumble in the Rotunda (Royal Rumble) at 18:21. Warhorse started against local favorite Ryan Cruz. Ryan, who once looked like a Matt Hardy clone — he was nicknamed “V2” — now has shorter black hair. Kal Creed was #3. Just one-minute intervals. Shane Black was #4, and he got booed. Thunder Frog was #5, dressed in a full outfit looking like a Power Ranger. Dark Sheik entered at #6, earning a massive pop. Badger Briggs, a woman, entered at #7, and she hit German suplexes on several men.

Black Stallion, who must be close to 50, entered at #8.  ESQ was #9, wearing a button-down shirt and tie. Lore entered at #10, and he’s taller with long black hair. Lore immediately chokeslammed and eliminated Creed, then he tossed ESQ. Badger Briggs was tossed. Lore low-bridged the top rope to eliminate Stallion. Several wrestlers remaining worked together to eliminate Lore. In a silly spot, Thunder Frog used a hammer to strike the mat, tossing several people over the top rope, but only eliminating Cruz.

So, we’re down to the final four. Sheik skinned the cat and eliminated Shane Black. All three fought on the ring apron. Sheik hit a low blow on War Horse, eliminating him. Thunder Frog handed Sheik his hammer, which caused Sheik to fall off the apron to the floor. That match was all silliness, but the crowd liked it. Not much for athleticism.

7. Colt Cabana defeated Dak Draper at 9:29. I first saw Cabana (and CM Punk and Ace Steel) in 2000 in Steel Domain Wrestling in West St. Paul. Draper is the former ROH rising star, and I’m stunned he isn’t under a full-time contract. Cabana played up the comedy spots early, and Draper is a good foil. They brawled to the floor. In the ring, Dak dropped him throat-first on the top rope at 5:00 and took control. Dak went for a second-rope move, but Cabana got his feet up to block it. Cabana hit his flying buttbump in the corner at 8:00. Dak nailed a gut-wrench powerbomb for a nearfall. Cabana got a sunset flip with a rollup for the clean pin. Decent match.

* Darin Corbin hit the ring, carrying his F1rst Title, and he berated the crowd. He said “this whole show was supposed to be a celebration of me.” He vented about Jerry Lynn costing him earlier in the show. Jerry Lynn snuck in the ring behind him and hit Corbin with a chair to the back.

* Dante Martin hit the ring first, then Rob Van Dam for our “announced main event.”

8. Dante Martin vs. Rob Van Dam ended in a draw at 3:30. The crowd was hot and cheered for both. They shook hands and traded mat reversals, and RVD got some rollups for nearfalls. However at 3:30, music played and Sonny Kiss came out. Kiss talked about how this was the first wrestling show in this building in 27 years. Arya came out, and was angry he wasn’t booked for the show. He demanded this be turned into a tag team match, and the bell rang.

9. Rob Van Dam and Dante Martin defeated “The Trustbusters” Sonny Kiss & Arya Davairi at 9:31. Wow, the building is deflated from this bait-and-switch tactic. The heels immediately worked over Dante in the corner. Davairi grounded Dante on the mat. Martin hit an enzuigiri. Kiss hit the splits leg drop. Kiss did a handspring and a slap to the face, and grounded Dante. Martin finally hit a dropkick at 6:00, However, the Trustbusters kept Dante in their corner. Dante finally hit a missile dropkick onto both competitors, and he made the hot tag at 8:00.

RVD hit a spin kick in the corner on Kiss, then a monkey flip on Arya. He hit the Rolling Thunder onto both heels. RVD then hit the Five Star Frogsplash to pin Arya.

Final thoughts: I excitedly told a non-wrestling fan about the RVD-Martin match, and how I was going to avoid spoilers until I could see it. So, count me as deeply disappointed in this bait-and-switch outcome. RVD took zero bumps in either bout. He stood on the ring apron for the first eight minutes of a match that lasted less than 10.

This show had a fair amount of comedy, which is fine, but it turned out there were no must-see matches here. I really liked how the local talent got a chance to get in the ring with top indy wrestlers from around the country.

This is a great venue for a wrestling show, and I certainly hope that promoter Arik Cannon can work out a deal for this to be an annual event, if not twice or three times a year. Anything that brings people to the MOA on a Saturday night has to help. For those of us who live near here, the MOA has developed an unsafe reputation in recent years, from a kid getting tossed off a balcony to a recent shooting. Anything that brings families back is a good thing.

The show clocked in at about two-and-a-half hours.

SPECIAL EPISODE

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