By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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New Texas Pro Wrestling “Texas Contenders Series – Buzzsaw Bash”
Streamed on IndependentWrestling.TV
September 21, 2023 in Houston, Texas at Houston Premier Arena
Trent Gibble and Dan Miller provided live commentary. This appears to be a training center; it’s a small pole barn and the crowd is maybe 70-100. Banners of top graduates hang on the walls. Lighting is so-so.
There are six well-known indy talents on this show, who compete all over the United States: Dan the Dad, Kody Lane, Warhorse, Bryan Keith, Raychell Rose, and Vert Vixen. All six have had at least one match on AEW TV, and they are the reason I tuned in for this show. I’ve seen some of the others on this show, but fewer than five times each.
1. “Fly Def” Zack Zilla and Warren Johnson defeated “King Bees” Dani Bee and Charity King in an intergender match at 12:11. Fly Def are muscular Black men and I’ve seen them a few times. Bee and King are much smaller. Warren and Dani started. The commentators stressed that the women were “at odds” but have put that aside, gotten some team gear, and are “on the same page.” I immediately have my doubts! Charity hit some bodyslams at 3:30 that popped the crowd. Bee hit a top-rope crossbody block.The women got pushed into each other at 10:30 and Bee apologized, but Charity looked livid. Charity stormed to the back, leaving her alone. Bee still got a tornado DDT for a nearfall. One of the guys hooked her arms, rolled her over and pinned her. The size difference here made it hard for me to suspend my disbelief, but the match was built around if the women could get along.
2. Lil Evil defeated Rudy Garza, Shimbashi, Diego De La Cruz, Dustin Nguyen, and Izzy James in a six-way “Rumble rules” match for the Lone Star Title at 13:15. I’ve only seen a few of these guys before. Garza was champion entering the match. Shimbashi and Garza opened, one-on-one, as the commentators explained the rules that others will join the match every two minutes, but this is first fall to a finish, so in theory, the match could end before everyone is in. I get it, but this seems convoluted. Shimbashi has shoulder-length hair and he’s Asian. The muscular Diego joined the match at 2:30; think Danny Limelight, and he hit a sidewalk slam seconds after entering.
Nguyen entered at 4:00; he reminds me of Jackie Chan and wore that traditional karate-style outfit. Izzy entered at 6:30; think Baron Corbin as he’s taller and has a large chest tattoo. Lil Evil entered at 9:00; think AEW’s Ortiz, so everyone got into the match before it ended. Diego hit a Death Valley Driver. Shimbashi hit a Shining Wizard for a nearfall at 11:30. Li’l Evil got a jacknife cover for the pin out of nowhere. Solid action.
3. Mysterious Q defeated Kody Lane at 11:52. I always compare Lane to Juice Robinson; I see him frequently in St. Louis-based Glory Pro Wrestling and he’s had a handful of AEW Dark matches. Q is tall, muscular, and wears a mask. Lane dominated early on, even though he’s a bit smaller than the massive Q. Q hit a Frankensteiner at 7:00 and they were both down. Q hit a German Suplex and a twisting suplex for a nearfall, and they were both down at 9:30. Kody hit a piledriver for a believable nearfall. Q hit a Dragonscrew Legwhip in the ropes, then a springboard stunner onto the apron, with both of them crashing to the floor. Mysterious Q rolled Lane into the ring and scored the pin. Good match, best so far.
4. Dimitri Alexandrov defeated KC Kr’eme, Danny Orion and Jus X Nick in a four-way at 13:15. I don’t know any of these four. Orion has curly, dark shouluder-length hair. KC is Black and wore purple with tassels on his boots, giving me Velveteen Dream vibes. Nick also is Black and he wore sunglasses and a baseball cap and he’s a babyface; he is bald and I’ll compare to a thinner Jay Lethal. Dimitri has wild long hair and a beard, giving me some Cameron Grimes comparisons. Dimitri hit a summersault senton off the ring apron to open, and all four brawled on the floor.
Nick hit a superkick on Orion. Orion hit a German Suplex on Nick. Orion hit a handspring-back-elbow on Nick for a nearfall at 8:00. Dimitri hit a double missile dropkick, and he chopped both Orion and Nick. Dimitri hit a piledriver for a nearfall on Orion at 10::00. Orion hit a top-rope crossbody block. Nick hit a frogsplash on Dimitri for a nearfall. They were all down, then all got up and traded blows. Orion and KC traded blows. Dimitri hit a sideslam on KC Kr’eme for the pin. Solid match; at times it felt like they were going at three-quarters speed but they all showed promise.
5. JJ Blake and Terrale Templo defeated “Culture Shock” Oli Summers and CJC to retain the Tag Team Titles at 10:21. Templo and Blake are Black men and they are taller and thicker. Blake wore a white shirt and made me think of Shad Gaspard. Oli Summers is white with reddish-blond hair and he’s scrawny in comparison. CJC reminds me of Steve Corino, with his bleached blond hair but darker beard. Culture Shock worked over Blake in their corner. CJC applied a Figure Four Leglock at 7:30, and he switched to an anklelock. Templo entered and hit a flying crossbody block on the heels, some dropkicks, and he was fired up. Oli accidentally hit his teammate! Blake got back in, hit a uranage, and scored the pin on Summers. Solid tag match.
6. Vert Vixen defeated Raychell Rose and Amaris Blair in a three-way to retain the New Texas Pro Wrestling Women’s Title at 9:29. I’m a big fan of both Vixen and Rose. I don’t think I’ve seen Blair before. I consider Vert Vixen to be a top five female indy talent, and she’s been champion for 132 days. Blair is MUCH shorter, looks like she’s 15, and she wore pink; my first time seeing her. Vert and Raychell stood nose to nose and argued and ignored the tiny Amaris. Blair hit some armdrags and a headscissors takedown. Raychell hit a short-arm clothesline on Vert at 2:30. Vert hit a hard chop on the tiny Blair and a snap suplex for a nearfall. Vert nailed a Helluva Kick and a Blue Thunder Bomb on Blair, but Raychell made the save.
Vert dove through the ropes on Rose at 5:30. Blair hit a crossbody block to the floor on the other two, with them all landing in the laps of fans in the front row. In the ring, Amaris applied a Cattle Mutilation on Vert Vixen! Vert hit a Helluva Kick on Rose. Blair hit a satellite DDT for a nearfall. Vert and Raychell traded forearms and loud chops, while Blaire was down on the mat. “This has devolved into a hockey fight!” one commentator said. Raychell hit a superkick on Vert at 8:30, but as she went to the top rope, Amaris shoved her off. Vert hit a brainbuster on Blair for the pin. Decent match; it was fun watching the established stars beat up on the tiny Blair. Vixen will next defend her title against Dani Bee.
* Charity King ran into the ring and attacked Vert Vixen from behind! Dani Bee ran to the ring and made the save and chased off King.
7. “The 8th Day” Oday and Shawn Hendrix and Brother Tracy defeated Dan the Dad and Ethan Price and Isaac Morales at 11:23. I’ve seen Ethan a few times in Glory Pro Wrestling, and he’s essentially a Eugene Dinsmore gimmick and is billed as “the big strong boy.” Dan opened with O’Day and he did his usual antics. The heels worked over Price for several minutes with very basic offense. Dan made the hot tag at 9:30 and hit a series of jab punches to the jaw. Price hit a second-rope bulldog. Morales put an opponent on his shoulders, but Morales got speared! The heel on Isaac’s shoulders basically fell on him and pinned him. Okay match… too long of a basic beatdown on Ethan for my tastes.
8. Bryan Keith defeated Warhorse to retain the New Texas Pro Title at 18:03. Yes, I tuned in just for this match, as Keith just always delivers. If you recall, he just faced Adam Page on an AEW Rampage taping in Chicago I attended. This crowd is LOUD and hot before they even tied up. Quick mat reversals. They began trading chops at 4:00, and this went a good minute. Keith hit a Mafia Kick that sent Warhorse to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring, they traded punches. Warhorse hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a nearfall at 7:30. Warhorse hit a running kneestrike in the corner for a nearfall.
Keith nailed a top-rope superplex and they were both down at 10:30. Keith no-sold a clothesline, and he hit an Exploder Suplex. He went for a Shining Wizard, but Warhorse caught the leg and applied a Sharpshooter. Keith broke free and hit a kneestrike in the corner. They began trading ‘thudding’ headbutts, then switched to punches. Warhorse hit a Dragunov-style running headbutt, and they were both down at 14:00. Keith hit a neckbreaker over his knee. Warhorse hit a clothesline for a nearfall, and they were both down again.
Warhorse missed a top-rope elbow drop, and Keith immediately hit a running knee to the jaw. He set up for the Tiger Driver but Warhorse escaped, and Warhorse hit a flip dive onto Keith, and they were both down on the entrance ramp on the floor at 16:30. In the ring, Warhorse hit a top-rope doublestomp on the back, then he nailed the top-rope elbow drop for a believable nearfall, and Warhorse was incredulous he didn’t win there. Keith hit a suplex into the corner, then another kneestrike to the jaw. Keith then nailed the Tiger Driver butterfly powerbomb for the pin. That was fantastic. They hugged, and the crowd rightly pelted them with crumpled-up dollar bills.
Final Thoughts: What a main event. They pulled out one heckuva main event in front of a small but very appreciative, very enthusiastic, crowd. Far and away the best match. Sometimes Warhorse can be pulled into silliness, but he wrestled this match like a man who desperately wanted to win a title and came up just a bit short. The women’s three-way earns second best, as I just think so highly of both Raychell Rose and Vert Vixen. I’m sure they have fought each other multiple times, but adding a green, significantly shorter and younger person to the match added a new wrinkle. Mysterious Q vs. Kody Lane was good for third.
If you only have time for one match, it’s definitely the main event. If time for three… the three I mentioned are significantly better than the other five on this show. Nothing was bad here; nothing offended me. But the six known quantities… that got me to watch … all delivered.