By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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Mark Hitchcock Memorial Supershow
Streamed on HighSpots.com
March 30, 2023 in Los Angeles, California at Globe Theatre
Ian Riccaboni and Veda Scott provided commentary. Veda noted this is the venue that PWG has used for the past three or so years for its shows. (I recently reviewed the “Battle of Los Angeles” DVDs, which took place here.) Ian said it is his first time here.
* Mick Foley’s music hit and the crowd popped; he emerged from the back and entered the ring. He introduced a video slideshow of Mark Hitchcock with several wrestlers over the years.
1) Blake Christian defeated Michael Oku at 14:11. Again, Oku is the thin, talented Black Brit, and he competed in the PWG BOLA in January. They shook hands to begin. Quick reversals immediately and a standoff. Oku hit a dropkick at 3:00. Blake hit a spear on the ring apron that sent Oku to the floor. In the ring, Blake hit a bodyslam and a neat senton for a nearfall, then a snap suplex. Blake hit a Lionsault press for a nearfall at 5:30. Oku fired back with a top-rope crossbody block, and they were both down.
Oku hit some forearm shots and a DDT for a nearfall at 7:00. Blake nailed his handspring-back-spin kick, then a Saito Suplex for a nearfall. Oku hit a top-rope Lionsault for a nearfall. Oku hit a Fosbury Flop to the floor at 10:00. Blake immediately hit his own (better!) Fosbury Flop. They got on the ring apron and traded forearms, and Blake nailed a half-nelson suplex onto the ring apron at 12:30!
They went to another side of the ring, where Blake hit another half-nelson suplex. Blake missed a springboard 450 Splash, and Oku immediately applied a half-crab, but Christian reached the ropes. Blake nailed a second-rope back suplex at 14:00. Blake then hit a springboard 450 splash for the clean pin. Really, really good opener. They shook hands afterward. Blake had some heelish mannerisms in the match but never really cheated, either.
2. Bryan Keith and Kenta defeated Tom Lawlor and Christopher Daniels at 18:11. Ian hadn’t seen Keith before, which surprised me. Keith made it to the semi-finals of the PWG BOLA earlier this year. Daniels was a mystery partner for Lawlor; he removed his robe and he was wearing short-shorts like Lawlor. We have a special guest ring enforcer… Ken Shamrock! The crowd popped for this surprise. Daniels and Keith started. Lawlor entered at 2:00 and hit some chops on Keith. Kenta tagged in for the first time at 4:00.
Daniels and Kenta tied up, and Ian says this is only the second time they’ve ever shared a ring, which is just mind-blowing. (And the other time was recently!) Keith hit some hard chops on Daniels. Lawlor hit a cheap shot on Keith, allowing Daniels and Lawlor to take control of the offense. Lawlor hit a back suplex at 8:30, and he went for a cross-armbreaker. Daniels accidentally hit Lawlor. Keith hit a DDT on Daniels at 11:00, and he made the hot tag to Kenta.
Daniels went to tag out, but Lawlor hopped off the ring apron! Kenta hit a fisherman’s suplex on Daniels for a nearfall. Keith and Kenta hit some front-and-back kicks on Daniels for a nearfall, but Lawlor made the save! Keith and Daniels hit simultaneous clotheslines. Lawlor accepted the tag this time and he traded stiff forearms with Kenta. Kenta placed Lawlor’s feet on the ropes and he hit a DDT, then a Helluva Kick and a basement dropkick in the corner at 14:00. Kenta nailed a top-rope doublestomp to Lawlor’s chest for a believable nearfall.
Kenta set up for Go To Sleep, but Daniels made the save. Lawlor hit a diving spear into the corner on Kenta and got a nearfall. Lawlor applied an anklelock on Kenta. Kenta escaped and put Lawlor in a crossface. Daniels entered the ring and hit the ref! The ref was down and rolled out of the ring. The wrestlers kept fighting, with Lawlor hitting a low blow uppercut on Keith. Shamrock got in the ring, but he refused to make the count. Daniels tapped his finger on Shamrock’s chest; Shamrock leveled Daniels with one punch. Lawlor and Shamrock stood nose to nose; Lawlor shoved him, so Shamrock shoved him back. Kenta used this opportunity to get a rollup on Lawlor, with Shamrock making the three-count.
* Shamrock hit a slam on Lawlor, then applied an anklelock until Lawlor tapped out. The heels scampered to the back while Shamrock, Keith and Kenta celebrated in the ring.
3. Ultimo Dragon defeated Negro Casas at 10:51. As noted in my review of the Collective lucha show, Casas is now 63. Ian said it is their first singles match in a decade, but they’ve wrestled maybe 200-250 times total. On a video screen, we hear from Chris Jericho, who said he met them both in CMLL. He said he learned a lot from Dragon. He called Negro Casas one of the best wrestlers he’s ever been in the ring with. He called them “two of the greatest of all time.” The bell sounds, and the crowd chanted, “both these guys.”
Mat reversals to open. Dragon applied a surfboard at 4:30, but Casas escaped. They traded some quicker moves and had a standoff at 6:00. They went to the floor; Dragon set up for an Asai Moonsault, but Casas yanked him down, drawing some boos at 9:00. Dragon hit a top-rope superplex, and they were both down. Dragon applied the Dragon Sleeper in the center of the ring, and the ref called for the bell. Considering the ages of the competitors involved, this was really decent. Veda Scott said Casas did not tap out; it was the ref’s decision.
4. Aramis, Galeno Del Mal, and Rey Horus defeated Laredo Kid, Arez, and Latigo at 14:02. I don’t know Galeno Del Mal, but he is BIG. Like, maybe 6’3″ and 300 pounds, not fat but thick. Aramis and Latigo started. Ian praised Latigo saying “he’s sensational for his size,” as they traded quick reversals. Horus and Arez entered at 1:30 and Horus hit some deep armdrags. Arez bumped into Galeno, who was standing on the apron, and the crowd chanted, “You f—ed up!” Galeno tagged in; Arez scrambled out of the ring to the floor at 4:30. Funny.
Laredo and Galeno traded quick moves and the crowd popped for Galeno moving so fast for being so big. Laredo Kid hit a frogsplash on Horus for a nearfall at 6:30. Arez hit a deafening chop on Aramis. Latigo hit an equally loud chop on Aramis. The rudos kept working over Aramis, with Arez hitting a nice rope-assisted moonsault. Galeno jumped in to save Aramis, but the heels worked together to hit a bodyslam on Galeno at 9:00 for a nearfall. However, Galeno hit a top-rope crossbody block on the three heels, with the fans chanting “Holy shit!”
Galeno helped launch Horus over the top rope onto everyone. Galeno then nailed a flip dive over the top rope onto everyone, landing on his feet at 10:30. The fans chanted “lucha!” In the ring, Arez hit a series of kicks to drop Galeno. Aramis hit a sit-out Air Raid Crash on Arez for a nearfall. Latigo entered and hit a Lungblower. Horus hit a tornado DDT on Latigo. Arez hit a lungblower on Horus.
Laredo Kid entered and hit a chairshot on Galeno, drawing boos, at 13:00. Galeno hit a spinning second-rope slam on Latigo for the mat, at the same time Horus and Aramis hit dives to the floor on the other rudos. That was fantastic lucha action. Fans pelted them with crumbled-up dollar bills, and well deserved. Ian said he thinks he just found his new favorite wrestler.
5. Hyper Misao, Mizuki, Shoko Nakajima, Yuki Aino, Yuki Kamifuku defeated Hikari Noa, Miu Watanabe, Nao Kakuta, Raku, Rika Tatsumi in a 10-woman Tokyo Pro Joshi showcase match at 14:22. Names were not displayed on the screen, so I have no idea who anyone is. Don’t take my lack of description as a slight on the action, because this was entertaining. I do want to give Veda Scott credit here for explaining to Ian Riccaboni and us viewers who everyone is. The finish came after a top-rope doublestomp to the stomach for the pin. This was fun.
6. Shigehiro Irie defeated Mike Bailey at 11:49. Irie won the 16 Karat tournament in WXW; this is my first time seeing him and he’s big and thick, similar in size to Shingo Takagi or EVIL. Of course, Bailey won the PWG BOLA just over two months ago in this building. An intense lockup. Bailey immediately hit his Speedball kicks to the ribs and thighs, and they brawled to the floor at 1:30. In the ring, Bailey hit a Vader Bomb kneedrop to the chest for a nearfall. Irie countered with a Whoopee Cushion buttdrop for a nearfall at 3:30.
Bailey hit a missile dropkick and a running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall. Bailey nailed his Triangle Moonsault to the floor. (Fans are right next to the ring, so Bailey doesn’t have a lot of room to hit that!) Bailey missed a moonsault kneedrop on the ring apron. Irie immediately hit a flying crossbody block as Bailey was in the ropes. In the ring, Irie hit a rolling cannonball for a nearfall at 6:30. Bailey fired back with a series of kicks. Irie hit a clothesline, and they were both down.
Irie hit a second-rope Samoan Drop for a nearfall at 9:00. Bailey nailed his mid-ring moonsault kneedrop. Bailey went for his Tornado Kick, but Irie blocked it. Bailey hit some more kicks, and this time he hit the Tornado Kick. However, he missed the Ultima Weapon kneedrop, and Irie immediately hit a decapitating clothesline. Bailey hit a mid-ring Spanish Fly for a nearfall. Irie hit a cannonball against the ropes, then another decapitating clothesline for a believable nearfall at 11:30. Irie applied a sleeperhold, and he began hitting elbow strikes to the side of Bailey’s head, and the ref called for the bell. That was really good.
7. “United Empire” Jeff Cobb, Kyle Fletcher, and Mark Davis defeated Kushida and “The Motor City Machine Guns” Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley at 16:34. Kushida and Fletcher started, with Kushida working the left leg. Shelley entered and he worked Fletcher’s left arm. The Guns hit some of their team offense on Davis. Davis hit his senton on Sabin at 4:00. Cobb entered and he hit backbreakers over his knee on Sabin, as the UE worked Sabin over. Cobb held Sabin upside down and he ran around the ring a couple times, before ramming Sabin into a turnbuckle. Ouch.
Shelley entered at 6:00 and cleared the ring. He tried a double Sliced Bread, but Fletcher and Davis escaped. AO slammed the backs of the MCMG together to get a nearfall at 7:30. Cobb surfed on Shelley’s back, and he hit a standing moonsault for a nearfall. The UE now began working over Shelley’s left arm. Kushida entered and hit some quick kicks and a running palm strike on Davis at 11:00. The Guns team applied triple submissions, but UE were able to escape.
Fletcher and Shelley traded mid-ring forearm shots at 12:30. Cobb hit a flying forearm in the corner on Shelley, then the Spin Cycle spinning slam. The MCMG hit basement dropkicks on Fletcher’s face. Sabin dove through the ropes onto the UE at 15:00. In the ring, Davis hit an enzuigiri on Kushida. Sabin hit a tornado DDT on Cobb. Fletcher hit a half-nelson suplex on Sabin. Fletcher and Davis then nailed the Koryallis team flipping slam on Sabin for the clean pin. That was really, really good.
8. El Hijo Del Vikingo defeated Komander and Black Taurus in a three-way to retain the AAA Mega Title at 12:42. Taurus refused to shake hands. Taurus immediately hit his double Crucifix Takedown, then he gorilla pressed Komander to the floor on Vikingo, then he dove through the ropes on them at 1:30. Great start! In the ring, Taurus slammed one opponent on the other. Vikingo and Komander hit stero dives through the ropes on Taurus. They then hit a team springboard moonsault to the floor on Taurus.
In the ring, Vikingo hit a springboard 450 on Taurus; Komander followed with a springboard Shooting Star Press for a nearfall. Komander hit a double-jump huracarana on Komander at 4:30. Vikingo rammed Komander into the corner. Vikingo hit his Shooting Star Press-into-a-huracarana on Taurus! “Is that real life?” Ian shouted. Vikingo hit his double jump armdrags on Taurus. Komander hit his springboard huracarana on Vikingo, then a Canadian Destroyer on Taurus. Komander hit a backbreaker on Vikingo at 7:00, and fans chanted “lucha libre!”
Komander walked one rope to the corner, then hit a flip dive on Taurus on the floor. Vikingo hit a springboard spinning press on both men on the floor. Crazy spot. Back in the ring, Vikingo went for a Shooting Star Press, but Komander got his knees up to block it. Komander hit a faceplant on Vikingo. Taurus nailed a backbreaker then his pop-up Samoan Drop on Komander at 9:00. Vikingo hit a German Suplex on Taurus! He hit a running double knees for a nearfall on Taurus, and fans chanted, “This is awesome!”
Taurus hit a top-rope bodyslam on Vikingo. Komander hit a Poison Rana. Vikingo hit a Crucifix Takedown on Taurus, and everyone was down at 11:00, with fans chanting, “Fight forever!” Taurus and Komander fought to the floor. Vikingo hit a springboard 630 Splash onto both of them. In the ring, Vikingo hit a running double knees on Taurus in the corner, then a dive through the ropes on Komander. Vikingo immediately jumped back in the ring, and hit a top-rope 630 Splash to pin Taurus. Fantastic.
Final Thoughts: Wow, what a show. The main event was perfect; every move Vikingo and Komander tried to hit… it landed perfectly. Again, I give a lot of credit to Taurus here. Just tremendous action. Irie-Bailey felt special and earns second-best. I’ll slightly take the MCMG-UE six-man tag over the lucha six-man tag for third-place. So, when I’m acknowledging that really good Blake-Oku match was only fifth-best on this show, you know it was a great event.