By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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West Coast Pro Wrestling “From West Coast With Love”
Replay available via YouTube.com
September 10, 2023 in Los Angeles, California at Don Quixote nightclub
West Coast Pro is San Francisco-based and this is their debut in Los Angeles. This show can be viewed on youtube. They were having some audio issues as the show got underway as the commentary is barely audible but the ring mic is loud; this has happened here before. The crowd is between 250 and 350. The hard camera is in the upper deck in a corner, giving us an awkward look into the ring; I prefer it being head-on.
1. “West Coast Wrecking Crew” Jorel Nelson and Royce Isaacs defeated Alan Angels and Kevin Blackwood at 7:18. The heels didn’t want to get in the ring. Blackwood hit a snap suplex on Jorel at 3:00 for a nearfall. Jorel hit a top-rope crossbody block on both heels and made the hot tag. Royce hit a fisherman’s suplex and an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, then a Saito Suplex. Angels nailed an Angels Wings faceplant. Blackwood hit a Death Valley Driver, and Angels hit a frogsplash for a nearfall at 6:30. Jorel nailed a stunner to pin Angels. A really good opener for the time given.
2. Ishmael Vaughn, Kubes, Viento, and Kidd Bandit defeated Wicked Wickett, Koto Hiro, Dom Kubrick, and Lucas Riley in an eight-man tag at 10:19. My first time seeing Wickett, who wore a mask and a skeleton outfit, like La Parka. I’ve seen Riley before and he’s solid. Viento has long hair coming from under his mask, reminding me of Psicosis. I am aware that LGBTQ superhero Kidd Bandit is now injured; I don’t know if that happened here. Viento and Hiro opened with some lucha reversals. Ishmael, a Black man, entered at 2:00, but suddenly all eight were brawling. Ishmael hit a neckbreaker over his knee on Wickett. Kubes (think NXT’s Myles Bourne) entered and helped work over Wickett.
Bandit hit a DDT for a nearfall at 5:00. HIro made the hot tag; he’s masked and billed as Japanese. Kubrick and Riley hit stereo dives to the floor at 6:30. Wickett hit an Asai moonsault onto everyone on the floor. The big Ishmael hit a flip dive to the floor on everyone, and he was fired up. All eight kept brawling on the floor. Viento leapt off a short stage, over the guardrail, and onto everyone on the floor at 8:00. Nice spot. In the ring, Kubrick and Riley hit some quick team moves. Kidd Bandit hit a spin kick. Wickett hit a stunner and a running elbow on Bandit at 9:30. Kubes hit a German Suplex. Ishmael hit a spear. Viento hit a top-rope flying clothesline, then a springboard DDT for the pin on Hiro. That was a fun match; it was messy fun, and I do mean that as a compliment.
* (It is certainly possible Bandit got injured by that running forearm shot. It certainly looked vicious. But every time Will Ospreay hits a similar move (a Hidden Blade), I think it looks vicious.) Also, the sound is vastly improved now since the first match.
3. Kevin Knight defeated Vinnie Massaro at 12:30. Massaro is the aging overly-stereotypical Italian gimmick; he wears his Hugh Morrus singlet to cover his massive gut and I admittedly am not a fan. Basic opening stuff. Knight hit a top-rope flying clothesline at 4:30, and they brawled to the floor. In the ring, Knight hit a huracanrana then his leaping splash for a nearfall at 10:00. Massaro hit a suplex into the corner, then a powerbomb for a nearfall. They traded forearm shots, then they traded rolllup attempts. Knight got a mid-ring huracanrana for the clean pin! I’m pleased with this result, as Knight is so good but I presumed he was losing here.
4. Jiah Jewell, JT Thorne, and Robert Martyr defeated Adrian Quest and “Los Suavacitos” Danny Rose and Ricky Gee at 9:42. Jewell is the “crazy Cajun” and you can’t help but compare him to Lash LeRoux. Thorne is the first graduate of the WCPro Academy but I admittedly haven’t been impressed yet. Martyr is the Florida wrestler and I just am baffled they fly him across the country for a show. Martyr and Quest started with some basic mat reversals. Thorne and Rose entered and battled. Jiah entered at 3:00, but the heels began working him over. Martyr finally made the hot tag at 7:00, and he hit a swinging second-rope crossbody block on two heels. However, the heels began working over Martyr. Quest hit a second-rope moonsault to the floor. In the ring, JT Thorne applied a Fujiwara Armbar and got a submission. Solid match; it never really reached third gear.
* West Coast Pro matchmaker Chris Hero came to the ring. He put over Thorne and said he has already wrestled in Korakuen Hall in Japan; Hero said it took him six years to accomplish that feat. Hero announced Thorne vs. Timothy Thatcher at the anniversary show on Oct. 14. Thorne certainly looked shocked and surprised; I think this was legit news to him.
5. Lee Moriarty defeated Alpha Zo at 12:12. Zo is slightly heavy Black man; he wrestled Jeff Cobb last month and I was really struck by how they appeared to be the same height and body shape. Mat wrestling reversals to open. Zo hit a back suplex at 2:30, and Lee rolled to the floor to regroup. They brawled in front of the fans, who are really seated far too close to the ring. In the ring, Lee hit a snap suplex and he took control of the offense, twisting Zo’s arms as they wrestled on the mat. Zo hit a German Suplex for a nearfall at 7:00.
Zo hit an Exploder Suplex and a decapitating clothesline for a nearfall. Lee hit a short-arm clothesline for a nearfall at 9:30. Lee held onto Zo’s wrists and stomped on Zo’s chest. Zo fired back with a second-rope superplex, and both men were down. Lee hit a spear at 11:30, then a DDT for a believable nearfall. Lee applied a Border City Stretch; he switched to a series of elbow strikes until the referee called for the bell and awarded the match to Moriarty. Good action.
* In true pro wrestling fashion, they announced a “15 minute intermission.” But it wasn’t edited out and I was able to fast forward over a full 30 minute intermission. I just find that funny.
6. Starboy Charlie defeated Shun Skywalker at 13:17. Last month, Charlie showed some heelish tendencies without actually cheating, so we’ll see what happens here. Shun,, the Dragon Gate star, recently appeared on MLW, and he wears a black outfit and mask similar to NJPW’s Bushi. Standing switches to open. Charlie hit a running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall at 2:30, and Shun rolled to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring, Shun hit a huge backbody drop. Charlie hit a huracarana at 6:30, then a shotgun dropkick and a hestitation dropkick in the corner at 8:00.
Shun applied a Boston Crab. Charlie hit a Thesz Press and a series of punches; the ref pulled Charlie off of Shun, and Charlie barked at the ref. Charlie hit a Pele Kick. Shun nailed a German Suplex at 11:30, then a swinging powerbomb move for a believable nearfall. Shun hit a running kick for a nearfall. Charlie hit some kicks and an impressive Poison Rana, then a spin kick to the head for a believable nearfall. He hit a second spin kick to the head for the clean pin. That was really, really good.
* Shun offered a handshake, but Charlie turned away and left the ring, and was booed. So, Charlie reluctantly returned to the ring and shook Shun’s hand, but it was clear he didn’t want to. Intriguing. Chris Hero was now in the second tier. He said the nature of pro wrestling means sometimes there are missed flights and wrestlers cannot appear. He said he books “alternates” and he has a bonus match for us. (Paul London was a bonus alternate last month.)
7. Bryan Keith defeated Francesco Akira at 9:44. So, Akira had been booked for the GCW show in New York against Tony Deppen at this exact same time. While I watched the GCW show, I wondered what happened to that match. My guess is Akira missed his flight to New York, and wound up here instead. (Again, just a guess, I have no knowledge on why he was announced for GCW but wound up here instead.) I saw these two have an absolutely FANTASTIC match on a Texas show about a month ago. (I watched that entire show just for this matchup. Thus, I’m not minding an immediate rematch.) Keith is coming off a nice showing versus Adam Page at the AEW Rampage taping in Chicago I attended.
A feeling-out process to open. Keith set up for the Tiger Driver but Akira fought free and they had a standoff at 2:30. Keith hit a back suplex. Akira hit a second-rope huracanrana. Keith charged at Akira, but Francesco caught him with a springboard stunner at 5:00. Akira nailed a flip dive to the floor on Bryan Keith. In the ring, Keith set up for a Styles Clash but Akira managed to turn it into a DDT for a nearfall, and they were both down at 7:30. Akira hit a twisting neckbreaker for a nearfall. Keith avoided the Fireball running double kneestrike to the bak of the head, and Keith nailed his Tiger Driver powerbomb for the pin. A very good match — not nearly as good as the main event epic they had in Texas — but still very good. I think the fact this was so short shows it truly was a last-minute bonus match.
* NOTE: I read on Twitter that Black Taurus was driven to the building and changed in the car, and ran into the building as his match was beginning!
8. Iron Kid defeated Aramis and Black Taurus in a three-way at 15:03. SO, this started as just Aramis and Iron Kid. This is my first time seeing the masked Luchador Iron Kid, who has long wet hair and made me think of a young, masked Juventud Guerrera. Aramis wore generic yellow pants and mask; he must have quite a collection of ring gear because I’ve seen multiple outfits from him. The commentator said Iron Kid won the only prior match between them. They traded quick lucha reversals and had a standoff at 1:00; they clearly know each other well. Iron Kid hit a dive through the ropes and they were both down on the floor. Suddenly Black Taurus ran into the ring at 4:00 and the crowd popped. The commentator was legit shocked that Taurus had made it to the building, as everyone presumed he wasn’t making it. Taurus powerbombed Aramis onto Iron Kid in the corner at 6:00.
Iron Kid hit an impressive corkscrew dive to the foor on Taurus and the crowd chanted, “Lucha!” then “West Coast!” In the ring, Aramis hit a superkick on Iron Kid. Taurus nailed a top-rope gorilla press on Iron Kid at 9:30. Taurus nailed his pop-up Samoan Drop on Aramis for a nearfall. Aramis hit a Poison Rana on Taurus, then a flip dive to the floor on Iron Kid. Aramis leapt off the corner and did a springboard flip dive to the floor! In the ring, Aramis hit a brainbuster on Iron Kid at 11:30. Taurus hit Aramis with a pair of backbreakers over his knee then a discus clothesline. Iron Kid hit a top-rope huracanrana on Taurus, and all three were down.
Taurus picked up Iron Kid and threw him over the top rope onto Aramis, then he dove over the ropes onto both of them. In the ring, Taurus hit a piledriver on Iron Kid, but Aramis broke up a pinfall with a doublestomp to the back. (There was a 10-minute call at 14:00, so I think they consider the match re-started when Taurus joined.) They did a top-rope Spanish Fly with all three of them. Iron Kid hit a twisting fisherman’s suplex to pin Aramis. That was really, really good. Iron Kid was hesitant at times, showing he’s still learning, but he made a very good first impression with me and the fans in attendance. (So, I guess you could call this an 11-minute match after a four-minute draw between Aramis and Iron Kid.)
* Manami Toyota came to the ring wearing a West Coast Pro T-shirt. She sat at ringside for the next match!
9. Takumi Iroha defeated Johnnie Robbie (w/Los Suavacitos) to retain the West Coast Pro Women’s Title at 14:56. Robbie wore her ski mask to the ring. Iroha just defeated Masha Slamovich to win the title a month ago. Robbie is still fairly green and I have to imagine this is a huge match for her. A knucklelock to open and a test of strength. Iroha hit a snap suplex for a nearfall at 4:00. She hit a hard kick, and Robbie rolled to the floor and conferred with Los Suavacitos. In the ring, Robbie hit a running knee to the back of the head for a nearfall, and she jawed at the referee. Johnnie was now in control of the action. Takumi hit a spin kick to the jaw at 9:00, then some Yes Kicks to the chest.
Robbie hit a spinning back fist. Iroha hit a forearm that clocked Robbie, dropping her to the mat at 10:30, and the crowd popped. Iroha set up for a Razor’s Edge but Robbie escaped and got a rollup for a nearfall. Robbie hit a backbreaker over her knee for a nearfall. Iroha fired back with a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall at 12:30. Los Suavacitos hopped on the ring apron and hit Takumi, allowing Robbie to get a rollup for a nearfall. Iroha hit a spin kick to the head for a believable nearfall. Iroha missed a Swanton Bomb and Robbie immediately hit a stiff kick to the spine. Iroha hit a series of kicks to the head, then a running knee to the chest. She kicked Los Suavacitos off the ring apron, then she hit the Razor’s Edge powerbomb for the pin. Good match but I never once thought Robbie was winning here.
10. Titus Alexander fought Daniel Garcia to a time-limit draw at 30:00 to retain West Coast Pro Heavyweight Title. I wish Garcia wore his PWG title at indy shows but no sign of it here. Titus, the Ethan Page clone, was loudly booed and the commentator said “Titus Alexander has the most punchable face in pro wrestling.” Garcia got on the mic and vowed to win the title. Titus stalled at the bell, then they had an intense lockup and this has a nice ‘big match feel’ to it. In the ring, Garcia applied a half-crab but Titus reached the ropes at 3:00, and I suddenly am wishing this was an ROH Pure Rules match. They traded slaps to the face and Titus again bailed. In the ring, Garcia set up for a crossarm breaker but Titus fought free.
Titus did Garcia’s signature dance at 7:30 and he got loudly booed. He remained in control and stomped on Garcia. He hit a flying forearm but slipped as he kipped up and he clutched at his right knee. Garcia stomped on Titus as we hear the 10:00 call right on with my watch. Garcia hit some chops; the commentator wondered if Garcia was aware that Titus hurt his knee. Garcia hit repeated shots to the back. They brawled to the floor at 12:30; this match has slowed down as it really is unclear if Titus did legit tweak that knee. Back in the ring, Titus kicked the ropes, causing Garcia to get crotched. Titus hit a snap suplex and seems like he’s walking a bit better now, as he hit a slingshot senton and a sliding dropkick at 14:30.
Titus hit a dive through the ropes, but he did clutch at his knee, and his ankle too. They brawled on the floor. He slammed Garcia back-first on the apron at 16:30. Titus hit a doublestomp on the back but again favored his knee. Titus hit a backbreaker over his injured knee and he again mockingly did Garcia’s dance, drawing more boos. Titus hit another doublestomp at 18:30; he hit some clotheslines but Garcia had fired up and no-sold them. Garcia instead unloaded a series of forearm shots as we reach 20:00. Garcia hit a series of German Suplexes. Garcia applied his half-crab, then moments later, he applied a full Boston Crab, but Titus reached the ropes at 22:00. Garcia was now the one stomping on his opponent and keeping him grounded, as I’m starting to think we’re going to a 30-minute draw.
Titus hit a handspring-back-stunner for a nearfall at 24:00 and he again clutched at his ankle. Titus applied a Sharpshooter in the center of the ring. Garcia applied his half-crab leglock and leaned back for pressure but Titus escaped. Titus went for the Sweet Time Driver but Garcia got a rollup for a nearfall. Titus hit a superkick for a nearfall at 27:00, then a Chaos Theory rolling German Suplex for a nearfall. Garcia finally did his dance (For the first time in the match!), and he hit a piledriver for a believable nearfall at 29:00. Garcia applied his Dragon-Tamer/Sharphooter, and he leaned back for pressure. Titus crawled toward the ropes as we have a 29:30 warning. Garcia cranked hard on the submission hold, but Titus held on to survive the time limit, and we have a draw.
* The crowd chanted for “five more minutes!” Alan Angels and Kevin Blackwood came to ringside and urged Titus to ignore the crowd. Titus hugged Garcia, but then Angels and Blackwood jumped in the ring and attacked Garcia. Starboy Charlie made the save, along with Kevin Knight and Vinnie Massaro. Starboy Charlie hit a Gotch-style Piledriver on Titus.
Final Thoughts: Garcia has become a really good heel. The crowd was fine with booing Titus, but they really didn’t want to cheer for Garcia, and the match had a lot of quiet moments. I will give it best match, but the lucha three-way was really good and a close second. Charlie-Shun earns third place, with Akira-Keith earning honorable mention.
Give Black Taurus credit for making it to a show where everyone assumed he was missing it. And regardless of what happened that caused Akira to miss the GCW show on the other side of the country, it was nice that he still found a match on this day. Akira is booked for future GCW shows so I don’t think anyone is too mad at him for not making it to New York.