By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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Prestige Wrestling “Roseland 6”
Replay available via IndependentWrestling.TV
September 1, 2023 in Portland, Oregon at Roseland Theater
This building was completely PACKED. There appeared to be roughly 800 or so in attendance. However, we have fans literally standing in front of the hard camera, partially blocking a view of the ring; how does that happen? The ring is astonishingly well lit; this might be as good as an indy looks when the lights are low on the crowd but the ring is lit. Jordan Castle and Brian Zane provided commentary; Castle is young and enthusiastic.
* Alex Shelley came to the ring for his singles match against Chris Sabin, and he had both the Prestige and Impact title belts with him. (I actually thought Impact was headed toward a Shelley-Sabin matchup with Sabin doing an ‘Option C cash-in’ but then he lost the title to Lio Rush.) Shelley got on the mic and said he loves the Roseland Theater and said it’s his favorite venue to wrestle in. He said that if he hadn’t won the Prestige Title, he’s not sure he would have won the Impact title. Judas Icarus appeared in the ring; he doesn’t have a match on the show. He whined about not being on the show, and the crowd responded with a “shut the f–k up!” chant. He demanded a title shot against Shelley. Shelley responded with, “I’m sorry, what’s your name again?” which ticked Icarus off.
Travis Williams attacked. Chris Sabin came down and made the save. Williams said “nobody wants to see this Motor City love fest.” We somehow have a different opening match. (Is Prestige actually doing a bait-and-switch for a SECOND STRAIGHT SHOW?)
1. Judas Icarus (w/Travis Williams) defeated Chris Sabin at 13:16. I really like what I’ve seen from Icarus; I’ve described his look with his short dark black hair as a cross between a young Paul London and a current Mike Bailey. Sabin tied Icarus in a surfboard lock on the mat. Sabin set up for Cradle Shock at 2:30 but Icarus wiggled free. They brawled on the floor; this building is packed and there is barely any room for them to walk. Back in the ring, Icarus was in control and he grounded Sabin. Sabin hit a dropkick at 7:30 and they were both down. Sabin hit a straitjacket German Suplex and a running clothesline in the corner, then a swinging faceplant for a nearfall.
Icarus hit a twisting faceplant suplex for a believable nearfall at 9:30; I really wasn’t sure where and how Icarus was dropping Sabin there. Sabin hit a running kick to the face, then a Helluva Kick in the corner, then a top-rope missile dropkick to the back of the head at 11:30. Sabin set up for Cradle Shock again, but Williams grabbed Icarus’ foot to pull him free. Williams punched Sabin in the face, allowing Icarus to get a rollup for a believable nearfall. Icarus went for a rebound lariat, but Sabin avoided it and applied an STF. Williams hopped on the ring apron, so Sabin hit him. Sabin went for a sunset flip rollup, but Icarus sat down on him, reached out and grabbed Williams’ arms for leverage, and scored the cheap pin.
* We had two scheduled women’s matches: Amira vs. Steph De Lander and Xia Brookside vs. Killer Kelly. However, due to reasons “out of their control,” both SDL and KK are off the show. Thus, the other two women were thrown into a match against each other.
2. Amira defeated Xia Brookside at 6:45. Xia came out first and she demanded the ring announcer kept adding to her accolades in her ring intro, earning some boos. Amira is still a rookie but she’s like Raquel Gonzalez — a tall Latina who will tower over most of her female competition. Xia kept her grounded early and she was the heel. She hit a stiff kick to the spine for a nearfall at 4:00. Amira fired back with a spinebuster, then a running knee to the collarbone for a nearfall at 5:30. Xia hit a Lungblower. Amira got an inside cradle for the pin out of nowhere. Xia threw a temper tantrum like a four-year-old.
3. Kevin Blackwood defeated Shun Skywalker at 14:06. Blackwood is a full babyface here and got the streamers treatment. Shun is a Dragon Gage wrestler dressed in all black and a mask that reminds me of NJPW’s Bushi; he’s been on MLW and a lot of US indies over the past year and I’ve liked what I’ve seen. They charged at each other and hit forearm shots. Blackwood hit a German Suplex at 1:30 and a basement dropkick. They fought on the floor, where Shun hit a Mafia Kick to the face. Back in the ring, Shun was in charge. Shun hit a Helluva Kick at 5:00; he hit a series of kicks and kept Kevin off-balanced.
They traded forearm shots. Blackwood hit a doublestomp to the chest at 7:00 and they were both down. Blackwood hit a swinging back suplex for a nearfall. Shun applied a Boston Crab and sat down on Kevin’s back, but he reached the ropes. Shun playfully slapped at Blackwood’s head and got booed. Blackwood blocked a Pedigree; he hit another doublestomp to the chest and they were both down again at 11:00. Blackwood draped Shun over the top rope, hit some kicks to the chest and a doublestomp to the back for a nearfall. Blackwood leapt off the top rope, but Shun caught him with a dropkick. Shun hit a brainbuster but Kevin immediately sat up.
Shun set up for a Pedigree but hit a swinging slam for a believable nearfall at 13:00. Shun hit a Shining Wizard, then a moonsault kneedrop for a nearfall. Kevin hit a German Suplex and a half nelson suplex, then a Helluva Kick, then his top-rope doublestomp to the collarbone on a standing Shun for a believable nearfall. Blackwood immediately hit a Death Valley Driver for the pin. A very good back-and-forth match with a lot of mystery over who would prevail.
* Matt Cardona came to the ring and he wore his Indiana Jones-themed outfit and he has two title belts with him. He got on the mic and said “Portland, Oregon!” and the crowd cheered. But then he said, “Portland, Oregon, f—ing sucks!” and was loudly booed. He complained that he is being wasted here. “I should be in the main event! I should be winning another championship. Instead, I’m wrestling Tyler Breeze.” He said Tyler is just trying to leech off Cardona’s success.
4. (Tyler) Breeze defeated Matt Cardona at 14:40. His indy name is just “Breeze,” and he got a huge pop. He looks great; I haven’t seen him since he was cut by WWE, and he got a huge “welcome back!” chant. The crowd then chanted, “Chelsea’s better!” Jordan noted that Steph De Lander usually hears that chant, and he wondered how this will affect Cardona with her not able to attend tonight.
Cardona stalled on the floor before locking up, and they finally locked up at 1:30, but Cardona immediately rolled right back to the floor and sat on the lap of fans. In the ring, Cardona hit one forearm shot and immediately rolled right back to the floor; he’s a master of milking a crowd. In the ring, Breeze finally hit some punches and a backbody drop, with Cardona rolling right back to the floor at 3:30 and calling for a timeout.
This time, Breeze followed him to the floor and they brawled in front of the crowd. In the ring, Cardona beat down Breeze, and he hit a running boot to the face in the corner at 6:30. Cardona pulled off his shirt and he choked Breeze with it. Cardona hit a clothesline and posed. Breeze fired up with some running forearm shots. Breeze hit a plancha to the floor at 9:30. In the ring, Cardona nailed a lungblower for a nearfall. Breeze hit the Unprettier faceplant for a believable nearfall at 11:30 and they were both down. Cardona hit a low blow mule kick and the Radio Silence flying leg lariat for a believable nearfall.
Cardona got a title belt, but Breeze hit a spinning kick for a nearfall before Matt could use it. Matt got a rollup with a handful of tights for a nearfall at 14:30. He again got a belt. Breeze hit a low blow (with the ref out of position) and a superkick for the fun. A very good match; you wouldn’t know that Breeze has been inactive for two years. He looked fresh and energized.
* A well-produced video aired showing the feud between Sonico and Alan Angels which has played out over several shows this year. When the video concluded, we return to the ring and there are metal fences set up in the ring with barbed wire and a kendo stick in it. We hear Rowdy Roddy Piper’s bagpipe theme, and Angels walked to the ring, wearing a kilt, and he was LOUDLY booed. This is awesome.
5. Sonico defeated Alan Angels in a “Ghouls Realm Match” at 18:29. They immediately began brawling. Sonico (dressed all in black, looking like a Dominatrix or NWA’s Gagz the Gymp) hit Angels with the kendo stick across the back. Angels hit a kendo stick to the stomach. Angels suplexed Sonico onto a barbed-wire crutch for a nearfall at 4:30. Sonico hit a backbody drop into the fencing in the corner, drawing a huge pop. Sonico got the barbed-wire crutch, hit Angels across the back, then rubbed it across the forehead at 7:30. Jordan Castle said this feels like “a snuff film.” Sonico dumped a bag of thumbtacks in the ring, and Angels bled from the forehead.
Sonico got a skewer and he jabbed it in Angels’ forehead, then in his ear, rightfully earning a “you sick f—!” chant. Angels pushed a gusset plate into Sonico’s shoulder;this has crossed over into being gross. Sonico hit a Blue Thunder Bomb into the thumb tacks at 13:00. Sonico went under the ring and pulled out a door covered in thumbtacks and slid it into the ring, and the fans chanted “This is awesome!”
Angels hit a Death Valley Driver onto the thumb tack door at 15:30. Angels hit a frogsplash for a nearfall. Angels hit a snap suplex. Sonico sprayed Angels with a mist, then he hit his own snap suplex. He hit another snap suplex onto the fence covered in barbed wire at 18:00. Sonico got a flag, put it over Angels’ body and scored the pin. More violent than my tastes but this crowd loved this.
* 20-minute intermission to clean up the ring. I have it on live so I watched AEW Rampage while waiting for the show to return.
6. Ethan HD & Kris Brady defeated Drexl & Randy Myers and Kidd Bandit & Jaiden in a three-way tag at 7:29. Myers is the effeminate DC Joker character. Jaiden is dressed like DC’s Robin and Bandit is dressed like Batgirl. Jordan said it “looks like Cartoon Network” in the ring. Funny. Jaiden and Myers started. Drexl bit Chris. Ethan tagged in at 2:30 and he faced the much smaller Bandit. Myers put Drexl on his shoulders and spun around, knocking down their opponents at 5:00. We had a fun multi-person submission spot. Drexl and Myers hit a team piledriver on Bandit for a nearfall. Brady hit a standing powerbomb on Jaiden at 6:30. Ethan and Brady hit team top-rope splashes on Jaiden for a nearfall, but Bandit made the save. Brady hit the Best Moonsault Ever on Bandit for the pin. Satisfying popcorn match that didn’t overstay its welcome.
7. Rey Fenix defeated Rey Horus at 15:57. Fenix, of course, is not at AEW while selling injuries from a pre-All In beatdown. (I guess he could still show up on Sunday but I’m not expecting it.) The crowd loudly chanted “Lucha Libre!” before they locked up. Castle acknowledged that this is Fenix’ first match since the AEW beatdown. They opened with mat reversals, which was certainly unexpected. They sped it up and traded pinfall attempts. Fenix hit a dropkick for a nearfall at 3:00. Horus hit a second-rope huracanrana. Fenix hit a spin kick for a nearfall. They traded hard chops on the floor at 6:00, and they brawled away from ringside and up onto a stage that is perhaps four feet off the ground. Rey hit a backbody drop, sending Fenix onto an open chair.
Horus hit a summersault dive from the ring onto Fenix. In the ring, Horus hit a rotating frogsplash for a nearfall at 8:00. Fenix hit a doublestomp on the back for a nearfall at 9:00. The crowd again started the “lucha libre!” chant. Horus hit the sunset flip bomb for a nearfall. Fenix ran across the top rope and hit a penalty kick and got a nearfall at 10:30. Fenix set up for a Musclebuster, but Horus fought free. Horus hit a satellite tornado DDT that popped the crowd, who chanted “Fight forever!” They got up and traded loud chops and you could see the sweat flying. They traded kicks. Horus hit a Poison Rana; Fenix immediately hit a German suplex and they got a standing ovation; Fenix slowly made a cover for a nearfall at 14:30 as the fans chanted, “Both these guys!” They fought on the ropes in the corner. Horus got a forward roll off the ropes into a cover for a nearfall. Fenix immediately hit a stunner, then a devastating Rikishi Driver piledriver for the pin. That was incredible.
* Fenix got on the mic and said “Thank you, I really appreciate it.” The fans pelted them with crumpled up bills and they chanted “You deserve it!” Fenix said he felt proud to stand here with Horus, and he called him “one of the greatest Luchadors from Mexico.” Fenix said this match was special. They hugged and the crowd popped. I’ve said this before, but Fenix’s English is much better than you’d think, based on how he never gets to talk on AEW TV. Horus then spoke, saying he has known Fenix for years and he listed some of the promotions (and countries!) where they’ve fought. I loved everything about this.
8. “C4” Cody Chhun and Guillermo Rosas defeated “Midnight Heat” Eddie Pearl and Ricky Gibson in a ladder match at 27:18. Again, MH give off old-school tag team heel vibes, like FTR. Gibson is bald (looking very much like Eric Young) while Pearl has dark hair. All four brawled at the bell. They brawled to the floor away from the ring. Rosas slid a chair in the ring at 3:00. Pearl’s face got slammed onto the ladder in the ring. Chhun and Gibson had a tug-of-war over a ladder, but Gibson rammed the ladder into Chhun in the corner at 6:30. The MH hit the babyfaces with a chain and Cody was bleeding heavily from his forehead; this white mat was quickly turning red.
Cody tried to get to his feet but he had so much blood in his eyes he couldn’t see. Again, this is gross and beyond my personal tastes. They brawled back to the floor. In the ring, Chhun hit a backbody drop at 16:00 on Pearl. Chhun hip-tossed Pearl into a chair wedged in the corner. C4 hit a team powerbomb move on Gibson. Chhun held Gibson’s arms at 19:00 while Rosas punched Gibson in the forehead with a chain, so Gibson also was now heavily bleeding. This is ridiculously gross and a huge turnoff. A ladder was pushed into Gibson’s groin, and C4 hit chairshots on the ladder to push it into Pearl’s groin. MH chokeslammed Rosas through a table at ringside at 22:30.
Good lord this match is slow and plodding; it’s not just the blood loss that is getting to me; they have somehow stretched this match out twice the length necessary. Gibson got a ladder and set it up in the ring. MH threw Chhun over the top rope and through a table set up at ringside at 26:00; that looked unnecessarily dangerous. In the ring, Rosas speared Gibson through a table set up in the corner. Pearl started to climb the ladder, but Chhun somehow got in the ring and yanked Pearl off the ladder. Chhun then pulled down the title belts from the ceiling to win the match.
Final Thoughts: I’m showing my bias to the high-flying stuff, but you’re not going to top Horus-Fenix. They had the crowd going nuts. They didn’t have any missed spots despite all the high-risk moves. I really liked Blackwood-Skywalker and that takes second. While I hate that Alex Shelley didn’t wrestle, Sabin-Judas was a really strong replacement and takes third. Cardona vs. Breeze met my expectations and is a good honorable mention.
I can’t endorse that main event; it should have been at least 5-10 minutes shorter, and the blood loss was extreme. I’ve been in clinics where a couple drops of blood that hit the floor are treated like toxic waste; I wonder what those workers would think about seeing four men all with gushing wounds sharing each other’s blood. Likewise, the Angels-Sonico match was too violent for my tastes, even if it didn’t have the same level of blood loss. (I fully expect to get hate mail from fans who loved those matches. If that is the type of match you like, well I think you will really like both matches. I do think the main event was still too long with too many periods of no action, regardless of the blood loss concerns.)
I certainly hope that Alex Shelley isn’t injured, but I’m baffled why Prestige would book Shelley vs. Sabin and not deliver, particularly after the loss of goodwill when just a month ago they promoted the heck out of a Kevin Blackwood-Malakai Black match, but then it was turned into a tag match with them teaming up. Apparently there was a ‘late-breaking injury’ that led to that change, but Prestige vowed they wouldn’t do a bait-and-switch again with Sabin vs. Shelley…. yet here we are.
This show can be viewed on IWTV. Definitely check out the lucha match and the other top three I mentioned.