By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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Lehigh Valley Athletics Council presents “Steelstacks Smackdown II”
Streamed on Independentwrestling.tv
September 16, 2023 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at Musikfest Cafe
I admittedly watched this because Delirious and Mike Bailey were in action; I admittedly don’t know most of the wrestlers on this show. Mike Vittman, Veda Scott and Ian Riccaboni provided commentary.
You literally cannot see a single fan in the picture from the hard camera, as there is a stage across from the camera. Ian says this is a capacity crowd. I really like the lighting, and you can see there are hundreds of fans in the venue.
1. Mantequilla and The Xyberhawx defeated the Lost Boys in an eight-man tag at 12:48. The Xyberhawx look like Chikara’s Colony, with one dressed in yellow, one in red, one in blue. I only know Mantequilla from some House of Glory shows, and wore mostly in black. The Lost Boys are all dressed like Young Bucks and all appear to be under age 21. Good action from these youngsters, with everyone getting to hit some dives. This was better than I expected when they all hit the ring.
* Veda Scott joined commentary here.
2. Abby Jane (w/Pancakes) defeated Harleen Lopez at 8:11. Two more Harleen gave me Jacy Jayne vibes with her tight braided hair and her heelish mannerisms. Abby Jane looks like she just came off the set of Hairspray the Musical, and she’s all smiles. Abby hit a dive from the apron to the floor. In the ring, Harleen hit some snap suplexes. Harleen beat up Pancakes. Abby hit a snapmare driver but was selling pain in her elbow. Harleen hit a German Suplex for a nearfall at 6:30, then a DDT for a nearfall, then a Tiger Driver powerbomb for a nearfall. (It was a bit awkward but luckily Abby appeared to be okay.) Abby hit a sit-out powerbomb, then a discus forearm for the pin. Like the opener, this topped all expectations.
3. Afa Jr., Rex Lawless, and Havoc defeated Ultimo Ant and The Batiri at 10:46. Afa Jr. was known as Manu during his short WWE run a decade ago. Lawless is muscular and reminds me of Jaxon Ryker; I just saw him wrestle on Thursday. The Batiri have painted faces, like Arez or Bestia 666. Ultimo Ant wore a yellow ant mask. Ian said the Batiri were “once sent to a different realm,” which must be one of those crazy Chikara storylines. I don’t think I’ve seen Havok; he is thick and his whole team is larger than their opponents. Lawless entered and nailed a LOUD chop on one of the Batiri at 3:30. Afa Jr. entered at 5:30 and he beat up Ultimo Ant. The Batiri entered and hit rolling cannonballs on Lawless. Afa Jr. hit a frogsplash on Ultimo Ant, and Lawless immediately hit a Sky-High powerbomb to pin Ultimo Ant. Afa Jr’s ring time was wisely kept short.
4. Tracy Williams and Matt Makowski defeated “Incoherence” Delirious and Frightmare at 12:39. Makowski just returned to action recently from a lengthy injury and I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen of him; he looks like he could be Tracy’s younger brother. I’m a huge fan of Delirious and as I noted, it’s one of the reasons I watched this show. Delirious, of course, went nuts at the bell and he squared off with Matt. They traded really good mat reversals. Delirious hit some deep armdrags at 2:30. Tracy and Frightmare tagged in. Delirious put a baseball cap on and he hit a series of Hogan legdrops on Tracy.
Matt kicked at Delirious left elbow at 7:00 and he went to work on twisting Delirious’ arm, snapping it backward. Tracy entered and applied a Fujiwara Armbar, and the crowd rallied for Delirious. Delirious finally hit a suplex and he made the hot tag to Frightmare at 10:00. Frightmare nailed the Go 2 Sleepy Hollow kneestrike for a nearfall. Delirious hit the Panic Attack running knee, then the Shadows Over Hell backsplash on Matt for a nearfall, but Tracy made the save. Tracy and Delirious traded hard chops. Makowski hit a Chaos Theory rolling German Suplex on Frightmare, and he turned it into a cross-armbreaker, and Frightmare tapped out. That was fun.
5. Max the Impaler defeated Delmi Exo at 7:27. Delmi is now MLW women’s champion, while Max is a top star in the NWA. Delmi wore a tiara on her head. Max of course has the height and overall size advantage. The crowd taunted Delmi with a “Max is gonna kill you!” chant before they locked up. Delmi applied a headlock but couldn’t budge Max. Max nailed a running splash that flattened Delmi at 1:30, then a running Stinger Splash, and Delmi went to the floor to regroup. Delmi hit a missile dropkick from the ring apron to the floor. In the ring, Delmi hit some chops and forearms that had no effect. Max nailed a backbreaker over the knee, then a senton for a nearfall at 4:30. Delmi hit a shotgun dropkick and a running double knees in the corner for a nearfall. Max hit a spear. Delmi snapped Max throat-first across the top rope. Max hit a pair of hard clotheslines for the pin. Good match.
* Intermission was edited out of the replay.
6. Lucky 13 and Brandon Kirk defeated “Club Soda” Puf and Jeff Cannonball at 10:16. I have only seen Kirk a few times and usually in ultraviolent hardcore matches; he’s tall with dark black hair. Lucky 13 is shorter and looks a lot like Petey Williams. Puf is the 350-400 pounder who is perhaps best known for being in a vignette on AEW TV between Adam Cole and MJF. I don’t know Cannonball but he’s every bit as heavy as Puf. Lots of humor and antics over drinking Squirt soda. Lucky 13 charged at Puf with scissors at 3:30 but the ref stopped him. Puf hit a massive senton on Lucky 13 for a nearfall. Lucky 13 got a rollup and put his feet on the ropes for a believable nearfall.
Lucky 13 hit some clotheslines; Puf nearly went over but pulled himself up. Puf hit a slam on a third attempt, and they were both down. Kirk and Cannonball entered at 8:00. Cannonball hit a double German Suplex. Club Soda hit some punches on Kirk. Lucky 13 went to the top rope but Puf flipped him to the floor. Lucky 13 got a barbed wire bat but the ref confiscated that, too! The heels hit low blow punt kicks while the ref was getting rid of the bat, and they scored the cheap pins. I really found it funny how Lucky 13 kept going for weapons that weren’t allowed here.
* After the match, Lucky 13 and Kirk gave a manager a haircut.
7. Mike Bailey defeated LSG at 10:38. Veda said this is a first-time-ever matchup. Leon St. Giovanni has seemingly been wrestling in ROH forever. They shook hands before the bell and traded really quick reversals. LSG hit a shoulder tackle. Bailey fired back with his Speedball kicks to the ribs. They traded chops on the floor. LSG hit a snake-eyes on the top turnbuckle at 3:00 and he took control. Bailey hit a missile dropkick and they were both down. Bailey hit a running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall at 5:30. LSG hit a Flatliner for a nearfall. Bailey hit a huracanrana for a nearfall, then his moonsault kneedrop to the chest, sending LSG to the floor to regroup.
Bailey nailed the Triangle Moonsault to the floor, drawing a “holy shit!” chant. They traded blows on the ring apron, but Bailey missed a moonsault kneedrop. They traded rollups, and LSG hit a butterfly swinging sideslam for a nearfall at 9:30. LSG avoided a superkick and he hit an enzuigiri. He came off the ropes but Bailey caught him with a kick. Bailey hit the Tornado Kick in the corner, then the Ultima Weapon summersault kneedrop for the pin. That was really good, and probably the best LSG match I’ve ever seen. The crowd chanted “Both these guys!”
* Sidney Bakabella hit the ring dressed like Jerry Lawler, including a ridiculous crown. He got on the mic but was loudly booed. He announced that B3cca is unable to compete tonight because she’s on tour in South America with Taylor Swift. Sdiney said he would be leading the team! He also said the main event would be a no-disqualification street fight.
8. “Ultramantis Mob” Ultramantis Black, Big Dan Champion, Swamp Monster, Edith Surreal, La Chica, and Cheeseburger (w/Wheeler Yuta) defeated Channing Thomas, Bojack, Jacob Hammermeir, Avery Good, and Sidney Bakabella in an 11-person tag at 17:41. Yes, the babyfaces had six on their team, not five. No, I don’t get it either. Bojack is the 350-pound Black man who is a top star in Carolina-based Deadlock Pro, and he’s a pleasant surprise. Everyone brawled on the floor. Ian said this is the first time anyone has seen the Swamp Monster in 11 years, but of course it could be anyone in that costume. Wheeler Yuta isn’t cleared to wrestle but he set up a table in the corner. However, Bojack slammed Ultramantis Black through the door in the corner at 2:30.
Big Dan hit a grazing dropkick on Bojack. Cheeseburger and Good traded offense. La Chica entered at 6:00 but she’s probably under 5 feet tall and Channing immediately knocked her down. Edith and Jacob entered, and Edith hit a dropkick to the back. Bojack hit a senton on Edith for a nearfall at 9:30, and the heels worked over Edith. Bakabella entered, hit a kick, got booed, and tagged out. Dan finally made the hot tag at 12:30 to a huge pop and he cleared the ring. The scrawny Cheeseburger brawled with the massive Bojack, and Cheeseburger hit his palm strike. Edith hit a DDT on Avery Good. La Chica hit a DDT. She hit a rolling cannonball on Channing Thomas. Sidney entered the ring and tossed Chica to the floor.
Wheeler Yuta grabbed Dan’s arm to stop him from hitting Sidney, and Dan was shocked! Wheeler laughed and took money from Sidney! The Swamp Monster took off his costume and it’s Chuck Taylor! Big Dan hit chokeslams on Jacob and Channing, then a TKO stunner on Avery. Ultramantis Black put Sidney in a full nelson. Dan Champion slammed Bojack on his partners, climbed on the pile, and scored the pin. That was fun silliness.
Final Thoughts: I feel like I just watched my first Chikara show in years. I loved the silliness and PG theme… even the fun of hardcore wrestler Lucky 13 finding weapons but being blocked from using them.
I have seen so many LSG matches over the years, often short tag team matches with Cheeseburger. This is easily the best LSG has looked. Yes, Mike Bailey is always having the best match of the show (as he did here), but he brought out the very best of LSG, who stepped up his game. I’ll go with Tracy Williams and Matt Makowski vs. Delirious and Frightmare for second-best, with a strong Delmi-Max match for third. I’ve used this term before, but the main event was a fun mess. I mean that as a compliment. It was a bit bonkers. The Chuck Taylor reveal was fun but still could have gone off better, as he didn’t get a chance to get much revenge on Wheeler Yuta. And I had low expectations from the first two matches just because I didn’t know the participants, but they topped my expectations.
I can’t stress enough the importance of good lighting and great commentary. You certainly can’t go wrong with Veda and Ian handling the bulk of the show. I just watched a different show that was good action but hampered by subpar lighting. This show is available on IWTV and it gets a thumbs up.