Epic Pro Wrestling “Better Each Day” results: Vetter’s review of Juicy Finau vs. Ray Rosas in a guerrilla warfare match, Bad Dude Tito vs. Kidd Bandit, Royce Isaacs vs. Jordan Cruz


By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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Epic Pro Wrestling “Better Each Day”
Replay available via FITE.TV
August 19, 2023 in Los Angeles, California at Bill Greene Sports Complex

Epic Pro is apparently celebrating its one-year anniversary; a quick internet search says this is their fourth-ever show, but I have seen all but five of these wrestlers before. This is a large gym so a crowd of 120-150 looks really small. The lights are on so no problems seeing the action. The energetic youngster Jordan Castle provided lead commentary.

* The show opened with Ray Rosas outside, saying he has been wrestling for 20 years and has constantly been ignored.

 1. Cam Gates defeated Michael Hopkins at 8:19. These two are new to me. Hopkins is a Black man and rode a little scooter around ringside. Gates is an Asian man with lots of tattoos on his body. Gates hit a faceplant for a nearfall at 4:00. Hopkins hit a stunner for a nearfall at 7:30. Gates got a rollup with a handful of tights for the cheap pin. Solid opener.

* Jordan Cruz cut a backstage promo. He challenged Royce Isaacs to a match.
2. Brooke Havok defeated Johnnie Robbie at 10:09. Johnnie has long black hair and she wore a red one-piece. Havok wore black, and they are both of average size. Robbie was in charge early and she hit a backbreaker over her knee for a nearfall at 5:30. Havok fired back with a tornado DDT and they were both down. Havok hit a pump-handle slam for a nearfall. Robbie hit a sit-out powerbomb for a believable nearfall, and they were both down at 8:00; these two are still fairly green but they clearly have worked together often. Havok hit a springboard bulldog faceplant for a nearfall. Robbie nailed a brainbuster for a believable nearfall. Havok hit a stunner for the pin. Like I noted, these two click in the ring.

* The Divine brothers spoke outside about their upcoming match. I really like how they are weaving in promos between matches.
3. Che Cabrera defeated Eli Everfly at 10:07. Efferfly wore a fly-themed mask to the ring and he has a long green tongue; I’ve seen him a handful of times before, mostly in GCW West Coast shows. Che is much more muscular and has appeared on New Japan Strong tapings in the past; I’ll compare him to Damian Priest. Che immediately hit a sit-out powerbomb on his smaller opponent for a nearfall. Everfly hit a huracanrana and a satellite tornado DDT for a nearfall at 2:00. They brawled to the floor with Che in charge, hitting hard chops in front of the fans.

In the ring, Cabrera hit a hard clothesline for a nearfall and he remained in charge. Everfly hit a bulldog and they were both down at 7:00. Everfly hit a top-rope moonsault to the floor. In the ring, Che hit an Alabama Slam. He put Everfly’s feet on the top rope and hit a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall at 8:30. Eli hit a Code Red for a nearfall. However, Che hit a Goldberg-style Jackhammer for the pin. Good big man/little man match, as the right guy won but Eli got in some good hope spots.

* Royce Isaacs was interviewed outside on what appears to be football bleachers. Again, I like these short promos.

4. Brendan Divine and Danny Divine defeated Damian Drake and Matt Vandagriff at 12:52. Vandagriff is arguably the star of the Las Vegas-based Future Stars of Wrestling, and I recall seeing him have a really good match against Mike Bailey. I don’t think I’ve seen the Divine brothers before; tehy wore identical Stone Cold-style black vests and gold pants; their names are on the sides of the pants so hopefully that helps. Danny and Vandagriff started; Vandagriff looks like a cross between Drew Gulak and NJPW’s Chase Owens. The brothers slammed Damian head-first on the top rope at 3:30. The Divines began working over Vandagriff in their corner.

Drake made the hot tag and hit some back elbows at 8:30, then a stunner for a nearfall. Danny and Damian traded mid-ring forearm shots. The Divines hit a team suplex move for a nearfall. Vandagriff hit an impressive frogsplash for a nearfall at 11:00. Vandagriff and Drake hit a team Lungblower move for a believable nearfall. The brothers hit stereo spinebusters, then a team faceplant slam on Vandagriff for the pin. Good match.

5. Calder McColl defeated Titus Alexander at 13:56. Titus is a top 20 indy talent and he always reminds me of Ethan Page in looks and heel mannerisms. My first time seeing McColl; he wore a kilt to ring and he’s bald with a small beard. Titus stalled early. Calder hit a running boot to the head as Titus was lying on the ring apron. Titus took control in the ring. Titus nailed a handspring-back-stunner for a nearfall at 9:00. Calder hit some running knees to the chest in the corner, then a top-rope crossbody block for a nearfall at 11:00. Titus hit a brainbuster for a believable nearfall, and he was stunned he didn’t get the win with it.

Calder hit a release suplex and a diving back elbow for a nearfall at 13:00. Titus nailed a Chaos Theory rolling German Suplex for a believable nearfall. Titus set up for the Sweet Time Driver, but Calder got an inside cradle for the pin. Easily best match of the night so far.

* A commercial aired for their next show on Nov. 25.

6. Royce Isaacs defeated Jordan Cruz at 16:57. Both these guys have great physiques and have both competed in New Japan Strong. (It is weird for me to see Isaacs in singles action, as he’s so usually teaming with Jorel Nelson.) They traded armbars early on and this is intense. Isaacs held Cruz upside down on the floor, and he looped around the ring, holding Cruz, before finally slamming him on the ring apron at 5:00; I’ve seen him do that before but Cruz is a big man to do that to! In the ring, Royce hit a backbreaker over his knee. He hit a gutwrench suplex for a nearfall at 8:00 and remained in control of the offense.

Cruz hit a Superman punch and a back suplex and he was fired up. Cruz hit a flip dive to the floor; that’s a big man doing that move! In the ring, he got a nearfall at 10:00. They traded chops, and Royce dropped him with a European Uppercut. Cruz hit a German Suplex; Royce hit a German Suplex. They hit simultaneous clotheslines until they both collapsed at 12:00; this has been really good. Isaacs hit a brainbuster for a nearfall and he switched to an anklelock on the mat. Cruz hit a second-rope superplex at 14:30, then a Michinoku Driver for a believable nearfall. Isaacs applied a Sharpshooter, but Cruz reached the ropes. Royce nailed a jumping piledriver for the pin. That was an excellent match.

* Juicy Finau cut a promo outside.

7. Bad Dude Tito defeated Kidd Bandit at 15:39. Tito has competed often in New Japan Strong and toured in Japan as well and he is rightfully compared to Dr. Death Steve Williams in looks and style. Bandit is the plucky, likable LGBTQ superhero, still green in the ring but makes up for it with personality. Bandit came out first and got a hero’s welcome. Bandit charged at Tito but it was like a brick wall, and Bandit went down. They brawled to the floor. Bandit nailed a spin kick to the head at 6:00 as Tito was seated in a chair, with fans holding onto his arms so he couldn’t escape the kick. In the ring, Tito was completely in charge of the action; he has a huge size and strength advantage. He nailed a short-arm clothesline for a nearfall at 9:00.

Bandit jumped on Tito’s back and applied a sleeper, but Tito shrugged Bandit off. Tito stood behind Bandit and hit some crossface blows. Tito hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a believable nearfall at 13:30, and he was frustrated he didn’t get the win there. Bandit hit a running knee to the collarbone, a DDT and applied a Triangle Choke, but Tito turned that into a powerbomb. Bandit hit a 619. However, Tito hit a brainbuster for the pin. Solid match; it just seems strange to have this match after Che/Everfly, as they were almost identical big, muscular person vs. smaller person matches.

8. Ray Rosas defeated Juicy Finau in a guerrilla warfare match at 21:35. Rosas has some gray in his beard, showing his age. Finau, perhaps best known for his Major League Wrestling run, must be 350-400 pounds; he came out first and was holding light tubes. He wore a full-length T-shirt, not his Blue Meanie-style half-shirt he frequently wears. Rosas charged at Juicy, but Finau hit a Pounce, sending Rosas flying and rolling to the floor at 3:00. Finau charged at Rosas, but Ray moved and Juicy crashed into rows of chairs. Rosas hit a top-rope flip dive to the floor on Juicy at 6:00. He then hit a top-rope crossbody block on Finau on the floor.

Juicy got a barbed-wire two-by-four plank from under the ring. However, Rosas hit Juicy with it in the forehead, and he pushed the barbed wire into Juciy’s forehead. They brawled on the floor, into the back for a few seconds, and returned to ringside. Juicy was bleeding from his forehead. In the ring, Juicy cracked a light tube over Ray’s head at 14:00; Ray rolled to the floor and he has cuts all over his back from the glass, and this is gross. In the ring, Juicy hit a delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall. Rosas nailed a running knee, then a moonsault onto light tubes on Finau’s chest, with the light tubes exploding, for a nearfall at 17:00.

Rosas hit Juicy with a garbage can, then he dumped a bag of thumbacks into the ring. (Quite honestly, it was a small amount of thumbtacks compared to what you usually see.) Juicy hit a Samoan Drop with them both landing in the thumbtacks at 20:00. All of a sudden, the Divine brothers jumped in the ring and superkicked Juicy, and they helped Ray beat up Juicy. The brothers put a chair around Juicy’s head, and Ray nailed a top-rope elbowdrop onto the chair and scored the pin. Okay brawl — clearly not my favorite style — but I really don’t know why we needed outside interference at the very end.

Final Thoughts: There are some really good promotions running on the West Coast, with Defy Wrestling, Prestige Wrestling and West Coast Pro leading the way. (With all due respect to PWG, which I’ve been watching since their inception … they’ve run one show since Feb. 1 and I don’t think they qualify as truly an ‘active’ promotion.) GCW is out West three or so times a year as well and uses a lot of these guys as well. I liked what I saw here from this promotion, particularly putting short promos between matches; more promotions need to do that.

For two, big muscular men, Jordan Cruz and Royce Isaacs put on a really entertaining match. They look and wrestle like TV-ready stars, and they earn best match. Titus-McColl was really good for second-best. I’ll go with the Divine Brothers tag match for third place.

This show began airing on Fite+ on Aug. 24. This is a good representation of the top California-based talents on the indy scene today.


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