By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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Dreamwave Pro Wrestling “Summer Spectacular”
Streamed on IndependentWrestling.TV
August 4, 2023 in La Salle, Illinois at the KOC Hall
A quick Google Map search shows LaSalle is about a 90-minute drive west of Chicago. I’ve seen a few shows from this venue; it is tiny and a complete sellout at maybe 150-200 fans. The lights are on and the venue is well-lit.
1. “The Hype” Gaige Noonan and Hunter Holdcraft defeated “Search and Destroy” Aaron Xavier and Bucky Collins at 7:23. The Hype are really short kids. The heels began working over Holdcraft, who wears an amateur wrestling singlet. Gaige made the hot tag at 5:30 and hit a top-rope crossbody block. S&D began working over Gaige, hitting front-and-back forearm shots. A heel manager accidentally threw powder in Xavier’s eyes. Gaige hit a Canadian Destroyer, and Holdcraft hit a German Suplex for the pin. Basic tag match; the kids have a lot of potential.
2. Hartenbower defeated Bryan Keith at 11:43. Again, Hartenbower is bald with a beard and looks a lot like Josh Alexander. An intense lockup and this has a big-time feel to it. Hartenbower applied a Full Nelson; he whipped Keith into the ropes and dropped him with a forearm. Keith hit a Mafia Kick at 2:30. They brawled on the floor in front of the guardrails. In the ring, Hartenbower hit a Bulldog Powerslam at 5:00 and he was fired up. They brawled back to the floor, where Keith hit a snap suplex on the hard floor at 6:30; Hartenbower barely got in before being counted out. Keith was no win charge, choking Hartenbower in the ropes.
Hartenbower hit a spinebuster; he set up for a spear but Keith caught him with a kick. He hit a decapitating clothesline for a nearfall at 9:30. Keith hit a Blockbuster out of the corner for a nearfall. Keith nailed a running knee to the head for a believable nearfall, and he jawed at the ref. Keith went for the Tiger Driver, but Hartenbower blocked it. Hartenbower nailed a spear for the pin. A really good match.
3. Vic Capri and Shelly Benson defeated “Those Damn Coyotes” Brooks Berna and Damien Deschain at 12:54. The heels attacked Capri and Benson as they entered the ring. The heels worked over Capri in their corner. Berna’s hair is darker and the side of his head is shaved; both heels are fairly scrawny. Capri finally hit a hard clothesline on Damien at 8:00 and both men were down. Shelly made the hot tag and hit some clotheslines; she is on par in looks and size with Liv Morgan and is just not believable in fighting bigger men, even these scrawny guys. She hit a Widow’s Peak neckbreaker. She hit a Doomsday clothesline for a nearfall at 11:30. Capri hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on Damien for a nearfall. Benson hit an Unprettier faceplant on Deschain for the clean pin. This admittedly didn’t do much for me.
4. Mike Bennett defeated Connor Hopkins at 12:44. Hopkins did all of Adam Cole’s mannerisms and pre-match routine, and he does have a passing resemblance to a young Matt Taven. Bennett is much thicker and he worked the left arm. They brawled to the floor with Bennett in charge. In the ring, Hopkins was in charge. Bennett hit a Divorce Court armbreaker at 6:30, then a series of chops in the corner. Hopkins hit a superkick to the face and an Exploder Suplex. Bennett hit a spear at 8:30 and they were both down. They got up and traded forearm shots, then they traded Mafia Kicks. Bennett nailed a piledriver for a believable nearfall, but Hopkins got a foot on the ropes at 10:30. Bennett hit a Death Valley Driver, then he applied an armbar. Hopkins applied a Boston Crab but Bennett powered out. Hopkins hit a superkick. Bennett again applied an armbar, pulling the arm back behind Hopkins’ head, and Connor tapped out. Good match. They shook hands, but then Hopkins hit a low blow punt kick and left.
5. Luigi Primo, Colt Cabana, and Bobby Orlando defeated Dan the Dad, Florida Man, and Warhorse at 10:49. These guys are all comedians so this should be some good humor. (Several times in recent reviews, I’ve compared Orlando to Cabana.) Primo is the pizza maker and I think he’s just brutally awful in the ring, but the kids love him. Cabana and Warhorse started for their teams. Dan and Primo entered at 3:00, with Primo still spinning his pizza dough and Dan still holding his coffee cup, and they traded standing switches; as expected, this is all comedy. Florida Man entered to face Orlando. Dan’s team worked over Orlando in their corner and it was pretty standard stuff. Orlando hit an elbow drop to pin Florida Man. Not nearly as fun or funny as I hoped.
6. Alex Shelley defeated J. Fowler at 14:01. Fowler has short dark hair and a passing resemblance to PAC. Standing switches to open, and Shelley hit a basement dropkick on Fowler’s knee. Fowler applied an anklelock at 6:00, but Shelley reached the ropes. They began trading forearms while holding onto each other’s left wrist. Shelley hit a stiff kick to the back, and he applied the Border City Stretch at 11:00. Fowler nailed a top-rope frogsplash for a believable nearfall. Shelley shoved Fowler into his heel manager and he again applied the BCStretch, but Fowler escaped and hit a hard kneestrike for a nearfall. Shelley couldn’t hit Shellshock. Shelley hit a superkick, then he landed the Shellshock spinning faceplant for the pin. This topped my expectations; sure, Shelley is always great, but Fowler more than held his own here.
* Val Capone hit the ring to introduce the women in the next match!
7. Zayda Steel defeated Shazza McKenzie, B3cca, Maki Itoh, Brittnie Brooks, and Kaia McKenna in a six-way scramble at 8:58. Brittnie is in all pink. Zayda is in blue, but with them both wearing sunglasses, they could almost be twins. I’ve seen all these women at least once, but I’m certainly the least familiar with those two. Itoh came out last and got the crowd fired up. Yes, Itoh is shorter, but these women by-and-large are roughly the same height and weight, although Kaia is clearly the tallest. All six fought at the bell. Itoh bodyslammed one woman onto another. Brittnie hit a clothesline in the corner on B3cca. B3cca and Shazza made an alliance and worked over Brittnie at 2:30, with Shazza hitting some chops as B3cca held Brittnie in place. Naturally, they began to argue when Shazza went for a cover.
In a neat spot, B3cca and Shazza did the splits and traded forearm shots in the middle of the ring; can’t say I’ve seen that before! Zayda stomped on Kaia on the floor. Itoh got a victory roll at 6:00 for a nearfall. Kaia hit a spear on Brittnie. Maki hit a tornado DDT on Kaia, then her Kokeshi falling headbutt. Shazza hit her splits stunner. B3cca hit a TKO stunner on Brittnie for a nearfall at 7:30. B3cca got a microphone! Itoh grabbed it and they fought over it! Maki hit a headbutt on B3cca. Brittnie hit an inverted DDT on Shazza; however, Zayda Steel tossed Brittnie to the floor, and she jumped on the prone Shazza to steal the pin! Fun match and I would not have minded if that had gone longer.
8. El Hijo Del Vikingo defeated Gringo Loco to win the Dreamwave Alternative Title at 19:30. Loco is the champion and I’ve never seen Vikingo be pinned, so not sure what to expect here. They posed with the ref for a pre-match photo, which got a pop. (I personally love this; it makes a title match feel like a big deal.) Quick reversals at the bell; no feeling-out process needed, with a standoff at 1:00. They traded forearm shots and Vikingo hit a shotgun dropkick for a nearfall, and they had another standoff. They hit simultaneous Mafia Kicks. Loco hit a fallaway slam at 4:30. They fought on the ring apron, where Vikingo hit his swinging powerbomb, and they both fell to the floor. Ouch!
In the ring, Loco hit a top-rope moonsault at 7:30 for a nearfall. Vikingo hit a roundhouse kick to the head and a spin kick for a nearfall at 9:00. In a cool spot, Vikingo hit a top-rope moonsault into the ring and grabbed Loco’s head for a mid-ring DDT. Vikingo then hit a springboard corkscrew press to the floor. In the ring, Vikingo hit a LIo Rush-style frogsplash, swinging his arms to gain momentum, for a nearfall. Vikingo stood on the second rope outside the ring and hit the corkscrew press into the ring for a nearfall at 11:30. Every move has been spot-on tonight. Vikingo went for a handspring-back-move but Loco caught him and slammed him stomach first to the mat. Vikingo dove through the ropes onto Loco and they were both down on the floor.
Both men got back into the ring at 13:30 before being counted out. They fought on the ropes in the corner. Vikingo hit a twisting suplex with them both crashing onto the mat; it was one of those move you aren’t sure who took the landing harder. Loco missed a top-rope corkscrew splash and Vikingo immediately got a rollup for a believable nearfall at 16:00. Vikingo leapt off the ring post and bounced off the top rope, but Loco caught him and hit a sit-out powerbomb for a believable nearfall, and the crowd chanted, “both these guys!” They traded forearm shots while on their knees, but then Loco hit an eye poke and got loudlly booed. Loco set up for his second-rope swinging powerbomb, but Vikingo escaped.
Vikingo hit a top-rope Poison Rana for a believable nearfall at 19:00, and that move was INSANE. Vikingo hit a double-jump springboard missile dropkick, a Meteora running double knees, then the top-rope 630 splash for the clean pin! “We have a new champion!” This was incredibly good. WOW WOW WOW. The other commentator called it an “instant classic” and he’s not wrong. Loco got on the mic and told the crowd to “give it up for the best cruiserweight in the world today.” Loco said there will be a rematch.
9. “Wasted Youth” Dyln McKay and Marcus Mathers defeated Flamita and Aramis to retain the Dreamwave Tag Titles at 21:11. I’m a big fan of all four of these guys, and I think this is the first time I’ve seen Flamita wrestle in the United States since the end of the ROH Sinclair era. The luchadors wear similar style masks but Flamita is noticeably wider and shorter. Aramis and Dyln started with quick reversals, ending in a standoff at 2:00. (The commentators are admittedly unfamiliar with them and kept saying “Artamis,” which I found annoying.) Mathers and Flamita both entered, and the broad Flamita dropped him with a shoulder tackle, and they shared equally fast reversals.
Mathers hit a missile dropkick at 5:00. McKay hit a running Shooting Star Press, and WY hit a team suplex, and WY worked over Flamita. Mathers hit a senton for a nearfall at 7:30. Aramis made the hot tag and he hit a series of kicks on Mathers, and he powerbombed McKay onto Mathers for a nearfall at 9:30. Aramis applied an Indian Deathlock on Mathers and leaned back for pressure, and the luchadors began working over Marcus. Aramis applied a modified Rings of Saturn. Flamita hit a springboard senton for a nearfall at 12:30. Mathers hit a second-rope crossbody block and he made the hot tag. McKay entered and hit some kicks on each opponent, then a tornado DDT on Aramis for a nearfall. Mathers accidentally hit a Lionsault on McKay at 15:00.
Flamita hit a standing moonsault for a nearfall on Mathers. Mathers hit a Lungblower, and McKay hit a Lionsault. McKay hit a Tombstone Piledriver on Aramis for a believable nearfall at 17:00. Aramis hit a Poison Rana on Mathers. Flamita hit a mid-ring Spanish Fly on McKay. Aramis hit a mid-ring Spanish Fly on Mathers! WY hit simultaneous Canadian Destroyers, and this has been insanely good, and everyone was down. Aramis hit a spinning Blue Thunder Bomb and a frogsplash for a nearfall on Mathers at 20:00, earning a “holy shit!” chant. McKay hit a second-rope superplex on Aramis. WY each hit swinging suplexes into the corners. McKay hit a top-rope Shooting Star Press, and Mathers immediately hit a top-rope 450 Splash for the pin. That was tremendous, too.
10. Christian Rose defeated Matt Cardona (w/Steph De Lander) to retain the Dreamwave Championship at 14:09. Rose is a mix of Dolph Ziggler and Zicky Dice, and he’s solid in the ring. Stephanie grabbed a sign that read “Chelsea Green > SDL” and she ripped it apart. Funny. Cardona got on the mic and demanded the fans show him some respect. Cardona had his internet championship, but he vowed he was adding the Dreamwave title to his collection. The bell rang, and naturally Cardona rolled to the floor to stall before they locked up. Finally in the ring, SDL grabbed at Rose’s ankle, allowing Cardona to hit a series of chops at 5:00. They brawled to the floor and Cardona was in charge. In the ring, he hit a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall at 7:30. They got up and traded forearm shots. Rose hit a senton for a nearfall at 9:30.
Cardona hit a low blow punt kick and a flying legdrop for a believable nearfall. Cardona grabbed the title, but Rose hit a mid-ring Mafia Kick for a believable nearfall. Rose picked up the belt, but the ref confiscated it. Rose hit a standing powerbomb, and he applied a Boston Crab. Steph hopped in the ring, so Rose applied the Boston Crab on her. Rose’s teammate ran in but was quickly disposed of. The ref got bumped. De Lander hit a low blow on Rose. SDL accidentally hit Cardona with a belt. Those Damn Coyotes ran into the ring and hit Steph, and everyone vanished from the ring except Cardona and Rose and the ref. Cardona went for a rollup but the ref saw his feet were on the ropes. Rose applied the Boston Crab again, and this time, Cardona tapped out. Solid match and what you’d expect.
Final Thoughts: I have been fortunate to see a lot of Vikingo-Loco matches this year, and this is hands-down the best. Every move Vikingo tried was flawless, and of course, Loco was in perfect placement to make all that crazy offense look good. Wasted Youth vs. the luchadors was incredibly good, too; it was non-stop action with no boring, extended beatdown periods. I’ll go with Shelley-Fowler for third place, ahead of the main event.
SO… GCW was in Detroit the same night as this event, and a lot of this Dreamwave roster have appeared in GCW at least once in the past three months. Both had highlights (Loco-Vikingo, Bailey-Christian.) I will flat-out say the Dreamwave show was better, and not just because of my dislike of the hardcore garbage at the Detroit GCW show. I will take lights ON with a well-lit room over lights off in a poorly-lit ring, with wrestlers vanishing in the corners and on the floor, any day of the week. It is just a better viewing experience. I do want to add that both shows were legit sellouts and it is great to see indy wrestling has rebounded coming out of the pandemic.
Dreamwave had another show in this building the next night with largely the same roster.