By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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Love Pro Wrestling “Speedball Strikes First”
Replay available via Twitch
September 29, 2023 in Edmonton, Alberta at Rec Room South Edmonton
This show aired for free on Twitch.tv. Veda Scott is on commentary but it sounds like she’s in a tunnel. I don’t know Boris, the man with her in the booth. This appears to be a theater; the ceiling is high. It is very dark in the arena so I can’t see the crowd at all, but Boris said during the second match that it’s a sellout.
* I admittedly watched this only because of Mike Bailey in the main event. I know just a few of the others.
1. Travis Williams defeated Son of Irish to win the LPW Challenge Championship at 10:18. Williams wrestled the next night on AEW Collision in Seattle. My first time seeing Son of Irish, who has shoulder-length curly hair (think Jungle Boy) and he wore the big shoulder brace we’ve seen so often lately. Mat wrestling to open. Irish hit a springboard flying forearm. The sound has quickly gotten better so they have fixed some technical issues. The bald Williams is a Zack Sabre clone and he tied up Irish on the mat, and Veda made a Bryan Danielson comparison. Son of Irish hit a running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall at 9:30. Travis got a rollup with a handful of tights for the cheap pin.
2. “The Radz” Larry Wood and Rich King vs. Se7en went to a no-contest at 11:31. I don’t know these guys at all. The heels beat up Wood in their corner. Se7en wore basic black singlets. Rich King made the hot tag at 7:00 but Se7en worked him over too. Some managers hopped in the ring, causing the double disqualification/no contest. Pretty basic stuff. The boss/promoter came out and said next month, the managers for both teams will be in the match as well.
3. Jared Rogers defeated El Asesino at 4:22. Asesino wore a lucha mask. Rogers has shoulder-length brown hair and a thick beard, somewhat like Cameron Grimes. Asesino attacked from behind, so he’s the heel; he’s really short. Asesino jawed at the crowd while clutching his groin; this is clearly not a kid-friendly show. Rogers got a rollup for the pin out of absolutely nowhere. Not good.
4. Ty Jackson defeated Reid Matthews at 13:10. Ty Jackson wore pink and a floppy hat like Jack Swagger’s purple hat, and his flamboyant outfit is from the Jeff Hardy collection. Reid is a heavyset brawler, looking like Jimmy Lloyd. Reid hit a nice fallaway slam at 2:30. They brawled to the floor. In the ring, they traded punches. Ty hit the Athena-style top-rope flying stunner for a nearfall at 9:30. Reid hit a spinebuster. Ty hit a Swanton Bomb (I swear I made the Jeff Hardy comparison before this!) for the pin. That was solid and certainly much better than the prior two matches.
5. Jack Pride defeated Dean Richtor, Wolfboy Will Mantla, and Riley Cruz in a four-way to retain the LPW Scramble Title at 11:05. The promoter said this next match would be “car crash theater” with several new wrestlers here. Riley is a rocker, banging his head in his jean jacket. Wolfboy is a VERY young kid with some warpaint on his face. Richtor is bald and muscular and has a legit fighter look to him; think Chris Dickinson. Jack Pride wore a neon-light jacket and tinted sunglasses and looks like a jerk. Wolfboy and Riley are the babyfaces and they worked together early on. Richtor hit a T-Bone Suplex at 5:00, then a Dragon Suplex, and I”m impressed with what I’m seeing from him.
Riley hit a fallaway slam and a second-rope moonsault for a nearfall at 8:00. Richtor put Cruz in a Torture Rack, then slammed him to the mat. Pride slapped Richtor, then ran from him. Richtor hit some rolling German Suplexes on Wolfboy. He then hit a German Suplex on Cruz and he’s showing some Goldberg-type strength. Richtor went to the top rope but Pride caught him with a kneestrike as he came down. Pride then covered Cruz for the pin. Decent match; Richtor impressed of the four.
* Intermission wasn’t edited out but I zipped through it.
6. Taryn from Accounting and Steven Crowe defeated Berat Gorani and Sheik Shabaz via DQ in a Tag Title match at 16:04. I recall Taryn had a match on AEW but they dropped the “from accounting” tagline in her appearance. Berat and Shabaz beat her up early; we kept losing the signal from the building for a few seconds at a time, which was really distracting. The heels dominated this one. Taryn is a bit heavy and wore a black one-piece… I don’t get the “from accounting” in her name; it implies she was going to come out dressed like a secretary, like “Miss Hancock” in WCW. She finally hit a double clothesline at 10:00 and all three were down. Crowe made the hot tag and hit a clothesline to the back of the head for a nearfall. The heels hit a team spinebuster move for a nearfall at 13:00 but Taryn made the save. Taryn and Crowe hit a team Gory Bomb for a nearfall. However, one of the heels kicked the official, so he called for the bell. Beret and Shabaz retained their tag titles by losing via DQ. This didn’t do much for me.
7. Zoe Sager (w/heel manager) defeated Judas Icarus in an intergender match to retain the LPW Grand Championship at 17:40. Icarus was in the squash loss to Dutch and Vincent on Saturday’s AEW Collision; he wrestles barefoot and has a lot of Mike Bailey’s qualities, from his kick-based offense to his dark black hair. Zoe is a blonde and reminds me of the Pretty Empowered ladies in NWA. She appears shorter-than-average, as Icarus isn’t particularly tall but he had several inches on her. In a real fight, he’d destroy her. She grounded him early on with a leglock around his head. He hit a hard kick that dropped her at 2:30 and she stalled in the ropes.
He backed her into the corner and hit some hard chops. He hit a bodyslam and a backbody drop, and this is the lopsided match it should be; he just has so much muscle mass compared to her. He hit some hard kneestrikes in her lower back as she was seated on the mat, then a running penalty kick to her chest for a nearfall at 5:00. Her manager choked Icarus in the ropes, allowing her to hit a 619 and some punches to the face. She hit a standing neckbreaker for a nearfall at 7:00, and she grounded him. The ref threw the heel manager out. Judas hit some more chops in the corner.
Zoe came off the ropes but he caught her with a knee lift, then he hit a Mafia Kick at 10:30. He hit a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall and they were both down. She hit an enzuigiri, then a Helluva Kick at 13:00. He hit a spear, then a headbutt. She shoved him into the corner; she got underneath him, put him on her shoulders, and hit an Electric Chair falling slam for a believable nearfall at 14:30. She hit a Pele Kick and they were both down again. She went for a low blow but he blocked it; he got a rollup for a nearfall, then a flipping slam for a nearfall. She got a rollup for a nearfall. He hit a release suplex, dropping her stomach-first. She hit him in the head with her title belt with the ref out of position. Zoe then hit an X-Factor faceplant for the tainted pin. They told a good story despite their size differences.
8. Michael Richard Blais defeated Mike Bailey at 26:14. Again, I tuned in for Bailey. My first time seeing Blais; he wore red trunks and has his wrists and hand taped. He is a bit heavy around the waist and is clearly in his late 30s or early 40s, and Boris the commentator said he’s been a mainstay in the western Canada scene for more than 20 years. Standing switches to open. They brawled to the floor at 4:00 but it was so dark it was impossible to see. In the ring, Bailey dropped him across the top rope at 7:30 then hit a kneedrop on MRB’s back as he was dangling there. Bailey hit a kneedrop to the chest for a nearfall.
Bailey hit his Speedball kicks to the ribs and thighs at 11:00. He set up for his triangle moonsault but MRB cut him off. MRB hit a series of kicks, then a standing moonsault for a nearfall. Bailey fired back with his running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall at 14:00. They traded forearm shots. MRB landed a jumping knee to the chin, then a mid-ring Spanish Fly, and they were both down, with the fans starting a “this is awesome!” chant. They got up and traded chops. Bailey hit his Triangle Moonsault to the floor at 18:30. They fought on the ring apron, where Bailey nailed his moonsault kneedrop!
In the ring, Bailey missed the Ultima Weapon but landed on his feet. Bailey set up for the Flamingo Driver but Blais escaped, and he tied Bailey in the Tree of Woe. Blais went to the top rope and hit a Coast-to-Coast summersault kick, then a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. Bailey missed another moonsault kneedrop. Blais hit a neckbreaker over his knee for a nearfall at 23:00. MRB missed a 450 Splash. Bailey hit his Tornado Kick in the corner, then the Ultima Weapon summersault kneedrop for a believable nearfall. Bailey immediately set him up for the Flamingo Driver, but MRB escaped. They traded rollups, and Bailey hit another moonsault kneedrop. Bailey again set up for the Flamingo Driver, but MRB applied a submission hold. MRB hit another neckbreaker over his knee, then a running knee, then he tied Bailey in a knot in the middle of the ring, and Bailey tapped out!
Final Thoughts: I tuned in for Bailey and he delivered. Blais had a good showing against him; I personally would have thought Bailey would go over here, but so few people will see this, it’s fine. I knew Icarus and Travis Williams going in, and they are both really good… too bad their AEW match was a squash. The rest of this roster appears to be locals that quite bluntly aren’t ready for the national stage. Richtor stood out in that four-way and MRB was decent in the main event. Zoe is clearly talented, but this was just absurd to pretend she could stand toe-to-toe with the larger, muscular Icarus. Always great to hear Veda on commentary but the sound wasn’t ideal. Lighting over the ring was solid but not great. This show gets a thumbs in the middle, but it was solid and free.