By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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ETU “Summer Madness”
Replay available via IndependentWrestling.TV
July 30, 2023 in Ridgefield Park, N.J. at KOC Hall
The crowd is in the 150-200 range. “Iron” Jack Sullivan and Righteous Jesse provided commentary. Avery Good hit the ring and told us that in true “expect the unexpected” fashion, we are opening with a title match!
1. Matt Tremont defeated Bryan Keith to retain the IWTV Title at 8:05. Tremont is the death match king who is looking more and more like Big Van Vader every time I see him. Keith is a surprise opponent and the crowd popped for his music. They traded hard chops early on and fought to the floor. Keith slammed Tremont face-first into the ring post at 5:00, with an ugly ‘thud’ sound as he hit. In the ring, Keith clocked him with THREE unprotected chairshots over the head. Those are entirely unnecessary. Keith hit a Blockbuster out of the corner for a nearfall at 7:00, and the crowd chanted “F**k you, Texas!” at Keith, getting under his skin. Tremont hit a sit-out piledriver for a nearfall, then a sit-out powerbomb for the pin. Really good stuff for the time given.
* Seconds after Tremont won, Alec Price came to the ring, holding a mic. Price, in his thick Boston accent, called Tremont a “piece of gahh bage” and said he’s the real champion. Avery Good stepped in and separated them, and noted they meet at Americanrana on Aug. 13. Good called for the next match to begin right now!
2. Lee Moriarty defeated Alec Price at 12:52. This was one of the matches that got me to tune in. Good reversals early on. Lee was in charge early and tied up Alec on the mat. Lee hit a basement dropkick at 4:30. He shoved Price shoulder-first into the corner and he kept Price grounded. Price hit an enzuigiri to the ear and a second-rope legdrop for a nearfall at 6:30. Price hit a superkick. Lee hit a short-arm clothesline. They traded forearm shots, then they traded rollups. Lee (who had essentially worked as babyface so far) hit a low blow mule kick with the ref out of position, then a Flatliner for a believable nearfall at 9:30.
The crowd rallied for Alec! Lee got a wrench, but the ref confiscated it. Price nailed a half-nelson suplex and his kneestrikes in the corner, then his top-rope diving stunner! Price nailed the step-up mule kick to the back of the head, but as he went for the cover, Krule (Mads Krugger from MLW) hit the ring! Price jawed at Krule, turning his back on Price. He jawed at Matt Tremont, who was watching the match. It allowed Lee to get a rollup, and he grabbed the bottom rope for leverage, to score the cheap pin. Good match, and it gave Price an ‘out’ for losing.
* Avery Good announced a Krule vs. Matt Tremont match for Halloween… and it will be a Buried Alive match!
* B3cca hit the ring and made fun of everyone who has fought so far. She made an open challenge. The commentary team noted that nothing on th planned lineup has happened in order, thus the ‘expect the unexpected’ name is appropriate.
3. B3cca defeated Jimmy Lloyd in an intergender match at 7:26. I just saw this matchup a week ago at Fight Life, with B3cca getting a low blow and scoring the pin. He nailed a hard kick to her chest at 1:00. She hit a drop-toe-hold, sending him into the middle turnbuckle. She hit a handspring-back-slap to the face, and she dove through the ropes and hit a tornado DDT to the floor. In the ring, she hit a missile dropkick for a nearfall and a twisting Poison Rana.
Lloyd nailed a package piledriver for a believable nearfall at 5:30. She hit a Canadian Destroyer; she came off the ropes but Lloyd caught her and hit a piledriver, and they were both down. With the ref out of position, B3cca hit a low blow mule kick, a second-rope stunner, and a tornado DDT for the pin! Wins in consecutive weeks! Despite my objection to intergender matches, these two have some decent chemistry in the ring, repeating some of the moves that worked well a week ago.
4. Joshua Bishop and Wes Barkley defeated Abed Arroniz and Joe Krule at 8:24. I just saw Arroniz and Krule on a Fight Life show last week; they are green and still learning. (Joe Krule is not the big, masked Krule we saw earlier in the show. He’s short and rather scrawny.) The commentary team said Krule and Arronz are replacing Above the Rest, who couldn’t make the show from Maine. Bishop is the Sid Vicious clone and this should be a squash. All four brawled at the bell, and Bishop immediately hit a Black Hole Slam. One of the youngsters tried a punch on Bishop that Joshua completely no-sold; these kids are tiny compared to Bishop.
The kids dropped Wes throat-first on the top rope at 2:30 and they began working him over. Wes tried to make the hot tag but Bishop was pulled off the corner to the floor. Bishop finally made the hot tag at 6:00 and he caved in the kids’ chests with chops. Bishop hit a fallaway slam. He put both opponents across his shoulders and hit a double Death Valley Driver for a nearfall. Bishop nailed a Razor’s Edge and the crowd chanted “one more time!” Bishop and Barkley hit a team chokeslam move on an opponent, slamming him onto his partner, and they pinned both of them. An extended squash; I wouldn’t have minded if they destroyed them in 2-3 minutes.
5. Homicide defeated Danny Demanto at 9:38. Chairs were placed in the ring and tables set up in the corners before the match began. They brawled to the floor, where Homicide hit a snap suplex thorough a door at 4:00, and he slammed door shards onto Demanto’s back. In the ring, they tried shoving each other into a door covered in weapons. Homicide hit two suplexes but couldn’t get the third. Homicide hit a low blow, then an Exploder Suplex through the weapon-filled door for a nearfall at 8:00. Demanto hit a stunner, and he set up six open chairs in the ring, and he jawed at fans. However, Homicide nailed a stunner across the six open chairs for the pin. Solid brawl and it didn’t devolve into a gross hardcore match.
6. J Boujii defeated Akira, Jaden Newman, and PB Smooth in a four-way at 14:03. J Boujii is a Black man with his hair in short dreadlocks; I saw him for the first time last week. PB Smooth looked a bit like The Godfather in his pimp jacket. Akira and Newman (think Drew Gulak) started with some mat reversals. Smooth and Boujii entered at 3:30. Smooth is much taller than Newman and he hit some heavy chops. Smooth and Boujji worked together to beat down Newman and this was immediately looking like a tag match.
Akira made the hot tag at 8:00 and hit a stiff kick to Boujji’s spine. Smooth scooped up Akira and bodyslammed him stomach-first to the mat. Smooth tossed Boujji at Newman, and Boujii hit a stunner. Nice move. Boujii and Smooth argued. Akira hit a flying forearm on Boujii. Boujii hit a Rollins-style Stomp. Akira hit a German Suplex. Ken Broadway suddenly attacked Akira with a chair! The commentary team wondered where he came from. Smooth hit a Death Valley Driver on Newman, and he allowed Boujii to cover Newman for the pin! The commentatary team were perplexed that Smooth gave the go-ahead to Boujii to win.
* Ken Broadway got on the mic. He was upset that Marcus Mathers was getting a title shot, and he wasn’t. So, he is getting himself into the main event title match and making it a three-way!
7. Brandon Kirk defeated Billie Starkz at 9:53. Brandon also does a lot of death matches and I don’t doubt he would destroy Billie in a legit fight. Brandon patted her on the head, patronizing her. They traded armbars. She dove through the ropes and barreled onto Kirk. He caught her on a different dive, and he hit a Death Valley Driver onto the ring apron. They brawled on the floor, but he accidentally chopped the ring post at 4:00. In the ring, she hit a suplex for a nearfall. Kirk hit a piledriver on the ring apron and scored a nearfall at 7:00. Kirk headed backstage and returned with several foldied chairs and threw them in the ring. They fought on the chairs and he hit a flip piledriver onto the open chairs for the pin.
* It appears she was supposed to kick out but she didn’t lift her shoulders. Akira, the ref, and a few medics jumped in the ring and checked on her. After a few seconds, she sat up, looking a bit groggy, and she got up. “A scary situation but she’s up on her feet,” a commentator said. However, Billie demanded the match be re-started, so I guess her injury was all a ruse. “I thought Billie was paralyzed a second ago,” a commentator said.
7B. Billie Starkz defeated Brandon Kirk at 1:57. Billie hit a neckbreaker over her knee. She piled chairs on top of Kirk and she hit a top-rope Swanton Bomb onto the pile of chairs. She got an inside cradle and scored a pin. I can’t put into words how much I hated this. Fans were legit worried she was knocked out and it was all a ruse. (This may officially be listed as one match with her winning, but being as I stopped my watch when he apparently won with her ‘injury,’ I have listed it as two separate matches.)
8. “The Miracle Generation” Dustin Waller and Kylon King defeated “The SAT” Joel and Jose Maximo for the IWTV Tag Titles at 15:45. The SAT wore their camouflage gear. King started; I still can’t tell the Maximos apart. Waller entered at 2:00 and faced the other Maximo. Waller hit a huracanrana on the floor. A Maximo dove to the floor on everyone. In the ring, the SAT worked over Waller. King entered and hit a second-rope moonsault at 6:30. He hit a doublestomp on the back, and now the MG worked over a Maximo in their corner. Waller hit a running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall. Kong hit a spinebuster at 9:30. The other Maximo made the hot tag, and he hit a moonsault press on both MG.
Kong hit a Code Red and suddenly everyone was down. Waller accidentally hit Kong with a back elbow. Waller hit a doublestomp as a Maximo was tied in the Tree of Woe. Kong hit a superplex on the other Maximo. The MG hit stereo superkicks, then stereo kneestrikes for a nearfall. A Maximo hit a Canadian Destroyer. The SAT hit a team Wash Machine swinging faceplant. The SAT nailed a top-rope team Spanish Fly for a believable nearfall at 14:30. Kong nailed a top-rope superplex, and Waller followed with a Mamba Splash frogsplash for the pin. Good match. They all shook hands and hugged.
9. Marcus Mathers defeated Masha Slamovich and Ken Broadway in a three-way to win the Key To The East Championship at 21:04. Masha was champion entering the match. The crowd booed Broadway’s inclusion here. Broadway hit some kicks on Masha and traded chops with Marcus. Broadway is much bigger and thicker than I anticipated compared to his opponents here. Mathers hit a top-rope crossbody block on Broadway at 6:00. Masha hit a spin kick on Broadway. Mathers hit a spin kick on Masha, then a sit-out powerbomb on her for a nearfall. Masha hit a snap suplex on Marcus for a nearfall at 8:30. Masha hit a double dropkick on both men. She hit a Canadian Destroyer on Broadway for a nearfall, and they suddenly were all down.
Mathers hit a piledriver on Masha, and Broadway hit a German Suplex with a bridge. Mathers floated over and he ALSO covered Masha, and they both pinned her at 10:32! The referee ruled this was a double-pin so the match was continuing 1-on-1. However, PB Smooth and J Boujii walked to rinside to cheer for Broadway. Broadway hit a powerbomb and a kick to Mathers’ face for a nearfall at 13:30. Mathers hit a tornado DDT and a twisting suplex, then he nailed a top-rope Swanton Bomb for a believable nearfall. Broadway hit a running penalty kick for a nearfall, and he applied a modified crossface on the mat, but Mathers reached the ropes at 16:30.
Mathers fired up and hit some spin kicks, but he accidentally crashed into the female ref while coming off the ropes. Broadway immediately hit a low blow uppercut. Boujii jumped in the ring and hit a Stomp on the head. Broadway hit a swinging Flatliner, and a different ref made a nearfall count at 19:00. Broadway hit a punch to the jaw. Mathers hit a Clout Cutter and a German Suplex, then a standing powerbomb. Mathers set up for the 450 Splash, but Smooth and Boujii pulled Broadway from the ring. Mathers hit a flip dive to the floor on all three. In the ring, Mathers hit a stunner, then a top-rope 450 Splash for the clean pin. That was really, really good.
* Boujii and Smooth jumped in the ring to beat on Mathers after the bell, but Austin Luke ran in to make the save. Mathers got on the mic and challenged Broadway’s team to face Mathers, Luke and Dyln Mckay in September. Broadway accepted.
Final Thoughts: A tremendous main event. As usual, a three-way has some clunky spots where one wrestler is down and out. As good as Masha is, the match moved to another level when it boiled down to just Mathers vs. Broadway. I’ll go with SAT-Miracle Generation for second-best. I love that SAT are still active and putting on good matches with the top East Coast tag teams, like Miracle Generation in this match, or against Wasted Youth (Marcus Mathers and Dyln McKay) in recent GCW appearances. Moriarty-Price earns third best.
I am continually in awe of the travel schedule of the top-tier indy talent. A quick Google Maps search shows it is about a three-hour even drive from Worcester, Mass., where Thursday’s Wrestling Open show was held, and this event Sunday afternoon in Ridgefield Park. Miracle Generation, Marcus Mathers and Alec Price did both shows… but Price actually zipped to Chicago for a show on Friday before making it back to the East Coast for this event. And while I don’t read spoilers, I presume Masha Slamovich also wrestled in Chicago on Friday and Saturday at the Impact tapings.
Check out Expect the Unexpected on IWTV. I recently watched an older ETU match featuring Jonah (Bronson Reed) vs. Mike Bailey in one of those ‘may-never-happen-again’ matches.