By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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Tri-State Wrestling “Origins”
August 13, 2022 in Versailles, Indiana at Tyson Activity Center
Available via YouTube.com
This is the promotion’s debut event and it was just posted for free on YouTube.com. Joe Dombrowski provided commentary. Dombrowski tweeted about this event over the weekend, which is why I chose to watch and review it. The event features four first-round matches in a tournament. (I never heard of this city; Google Maps shows it is straight west of Cincinnati in southern Indiana.)
This is a high school gym with a weird set-up, as we have risers to the left, rather than directly opposite the hard camera, and we curtains set up to try and make the room feel smaller. It creates a weird look. Lights are good and this is shot with multiple cameras. We do have on-screen graphics with names of the wrestlers. I’ll put the crowd at 200.
1. Alice Crowley defeated Bailey McRoberts at 5:59. McRoberts came out first and cut a heel promo. Dombrowski sai Crowley is only 20 years old and she has a biker chick look. Crowley attacked from behind and dominated early. Crowley hit a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall at 5:00. Crowley then hit a running knee to the collarbone for the pin.
2. GPA defeated Pompano Joe at 13:16. Dombrowski noted that GPA has appeared on AEW Dark/Elevation in recent months. GPA cut a heel promo, saying he is from Chicago, the greatest city in the world, and he bashed Indiana. I don’t know Joe; Dombrowski said he’s from the Cincinnati area. He has greasy, curly black hair (think young Bret Hart) and is a 20-year ring veteran. Standing switches early on.
GPA claimed he was poked in the eye at 5:00, and he attacked Joe. GPA hit a backbreaker over his knee for a nearfall. Joe hit a neckbreaker over his knee for a nearfall. GPA hit a stunner for a neafall. They traded rollups. GPA got a rollup, put his feet on the ropes for leverage, and scored the tainted pin. OK match; it stayed in second gear.
3. Tre Lemar defeated Myron Reed in a tournament match at 19:20. Lemar also has been on AEW TV, and he’s looking like Darius Martin. Reed, of course, has had a nice run in MLW. They shook hands at the bell and opened with good reversals. Myron nailed a dropkick for a nearfall at 6:00. Tre hit a top-rope crossbody block and a Lungblower for a nearfall. Tre began targeting the lower back, and he hit a back suplex for a nearfall at 9:00.
Tre hit a backbreaker over his knee and remained in control. They fought to the floor, and Myron used the wall to hit a Sliced Bread flipping faceplant at 11:30, earning a nice pop. In the ring, Reed hit an enzuigiri. Reed dove to the floor onto Tre, with them crashing amongst the fans. In the ring, Reed hit a top-rope seated senton for a nearfall at 13:30.
Reed hit a swinging DDT for a nearfall, and the fans chanted, “This is awesome!” Tre hit a superkick to the face. Tre put Reed on his shoulders and hit a backbreaker over his knee for a believable nearfall. Tre applied a Jericho-style Lion Tamer, but Reed reached the ropes at 16:30. Reed nailed a stunner, then a Clout Cutter for a believable nearfall; the ref stopped counting rather than make the three-count at 18:00, and Dombrowski wondered if we reached a time-limit. The ref and another ref talked, and the match was ordered to continue. That was weird. Lemar got a rollup for the pin. Flat finish to a really good match.
4. Eric James defeated Brian Pillman Jr. in a tournament match at 15:36. James sang Backstreet Boys “I Want it That Way” on his way to the ring and was loudly booed. He then berated the crowd; he has short brown hair, a beard and a large chest tattoo. Pillman came out to Motley Crue’s “Wild Side” and he got a hero’s welcome. Pillman has the size/muscle mass advantage, and they traded mat reversals early. Pillman hit a nice dropkick at 3:30. James rolled to the floor to stall and regroup. They brawled on the floor in front of the fans.
In the ring, Pillman went for a half-crab, but James dove for the ropes. James shoved Pillman shoulder-first into the corner, and Brian sold a shoulder injury. James hit a back suplex onto the ring apron at 7:00. James took control in the ring. He nailed a leg lariat for a nearfall at 9:00, and the crowd rallied for Pillman. James nailed a Rude Awakening standing neckbreaker, then a Tiger Bomb for a believable nearfall. Pillman hit a back suplex and a clothesline into the corner. Pillman hit a fisherman’s powerbomb for a believable nearfall.
Pillman switched to a half-crab, but James reached the ropes at 12:30. James dropped him throat-first on the middle rope. James nailed a top-rope elbow drop for a nearfall. Pillman hit a springboard double stomp and a modified Jackhammer. They began trading mid-ring forearm shots, and Pillman nailed a superkick. James got a rollup, grabbed the ropes for leverage, and scored the tainted pin. I hate this is pretty much the same finish as the second match.
* A heel manager hopped in the ring and told Pillman he would have won if Pillman had his services. He recruited Pillman, but said he would need a haircut. Pillman’s response was a superkick to the jaw.
5. Gaston LaRue and Justin Xavier defeated Carson Drake and Tim Lutz at 11:27. I don’t know any of these four. Drake came out with a megaphone and said that these fans are “made of tobacco spit and failed dreams.” He has feathered blond hair, sunglasses on the top of his head, and looks like the villain in every 1980s teen movie. Xavier is tall, super skinny, and wore white. LaRue is really short and he wore a purple cloak and he has an “ancient book of wrestling secrets.” (Insert eye roll here.) Early in the match, Justin Xavier hit a running Shooting Star Press, sending Drake to the floor to regroup.
LaRue hit some chops on Lutz. Dombrowski also hasn’t seen these guys before. The heels worked over the diminutive LaRue. Drake hit a slingshot suplex for a nearfall at 7:30. The ref missed Xavier making the hot tag, and the heels kept working over Gaston. Drake nailed a spinebuster for a nearfall. Gaston hit a top-rope missile dropkick on Drake, and he made the hot tag at 10:30. Xavier hit a springboard double stunner. Drake swung LaRue’s book at LaRue; LaRue ducked it and hit a dropkick, sending the book into Drake’s head, and LaRue made the cover for the pin. Blah.
6. VSK defeated Sam Beale in a tournament match at 16:51. VSK was announced as “representing the Cardona family,” and of course, Beale used to be an Impact Wrestling “apprentice” of Brian Myers. (Dombrowski also pointed this out.) Beale is the babyface, and VSK was arguing with kids in the front row early in the match. VSK hit a nice dropkick at 3:00. Beale hit a senton for a nearfall, then a plancha to the floor, and they brawled into the crowd. Back in the ring, VSK worked over the left arm, and he hit a senton for a nearfall at 9:00.
VSK applied a sleeper, but Beale powered out. Beale hit an Exploder Suplex and was fired up. Beale nailed a spinebuster for a nearfall at 12:00. Beale hit a Fame-Asser legdrop for a nearfall. VSK nailed a neckbreaker over his knee, then a dropkick for a nearfall. VSK went for a frogsplash, but Beale got his knees up to block it and get a nearfall at 14:30. They traded mid-ring forearm shots. VSK hit an enziguri. Beale nailed a clothesline, and they were both down. VSK got a rollup for a nearfall, but the ref saw the handful fo tights. Beale nailed a Doctor Bomb for a believabl nearfall. VSK put Beale upside down along his back, then hit a driver into the mat for the pin. That topped all expectations.
7. Dalton Castle defeated Jake Crist (w/Bobby Olsen) in a tournament match at 14:16. Crist came out first and earned boos from the fans. Dombrowski said Crist is a 19-year pro; I know I first saw him circa 2005 for IWA-Mid South. Castle came out with two generic “boys” (not the Tate twins.) Castle wore his ROH six-man title belt (keep in mind, this was filmed in August.) Castle hit a chop early on that sent Crist to the floor. In the ring, Castle did some amateur-style wrestling moves, and Crist was scrambling. Castle hit a head-capture suplex for a nearfall at 4:00.
Crist choked Castle in the ropes and was in charge. Olsen hit Castle behind the ref’s back. On the floor, Castle accidentally chopped the ring post at 6:30, and Crist immediately targeted the injured hand. In the ring, he tied up Castle on the mat. They went to the floor, where Castle tried to hit the Bang-a-rang on the floor but Crist escaped. They brawled up onto a stage (right next to the hard camera) at 9:30. Crist crashed from the stage through a bunch of chairs on the floor.
Back in the ring, Castle was now in charge, hitting a decapitating clothesline at 11:00. Castle hit Olsen after another interference attempt. Castle hit a gut-wrench suplex and a German Suplex. Castle hit a delayed German Suplex for a nearfall. Crist nailed a top-rope crossbody block for a nearfall at 13:30. Castle nailed the Bang-a-rang spinning faceplant for the clean pin. Good match.
* Backstage promo with Brian Pillman Jr., who was upset with himself for not taking Eric James serious enough. He vowed he would be back to Tri-State Wrestling in the future.
Final Thoughts: I am a huge fan of Dalton Castle, and his match led me to watching this show. And it was a good match, and I’m glad that Crist didn’t veer into the hardcore stuff he’s been doing lately. However, thae Beale-VSK match was well laid out, and that was as good as I’ve seen Beale look. So, that’s my unexpected pick for best match. The main event earned second-best, and Reed-Lemar gets third place. The women’s match and the tag match were clearly participants who need some ring time.
Tri-State Wrestling will head to Hamilton, Ohio, on March 11, featuring an appearance by Ted DiBiase. Again, the Origins event is free on YouTube. Each of the seven matches are separate files; there isn’t one file for the entire event. I guess it will be easier to find the match you want to see.