Freelance Pro Wrestling “Dead By Dawn” results: Vetter’s review of Storm Grayson vs. Effy for the Freelance Title, GPA and Laynie Luck vs. David Ali and Heather Monroe for the Freelance Tag Titles

By Chris Vetter, Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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Freelance Pro Wrestling “Dead By Dawn”
Streamed on IndependentWrestling.TV
October 27, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois at Logan Square

The venue is a small ballroom and it was packed with maybe 250-300 fans; I believe this was a legit sellout for this tiny space. Dave Prazak and K-Mel provided commentary.

1. Dan the Dad defeated Davey Bang, Brandon Gore, Sabin Gauge, Darius Latrell, and Craig Mitchell in a six-way at 9:34. Mitchell is big and round in a singlet; he won a Royal Rumble here in the last time I checked out Freelance Wrestling in May. Gore wore a tinfoil hat and he’s nutty; think NXT’s Brooks Jensen. Darius is the tall Black man who dresses like a basketball player (think a skinnier Omos). Bang hit a dropkick on Latrell to send him to the floor. Dan did some of his ‘dad comedy.’ Dan removed his shirt at 3:30 to tie up with the rotund Mitchell. Mitchell hit a Sidewalk Slam. Sabin hit a top-rope huracanrana on Bang.

Bang speared Gauge, then he dove to the floor on everyone. Gauge did a Fosbury Flop onto everyone at 5:30. The tall Latrell hit a dive onto everyone! In the ring, Bang hit a top-rope doublestomp on Latrell’s collarbone. Gauge and Bang each hit a Poison Rana on each other, then a springboard Spanish Fly and they were both down. This is a hot opener. Dan entered and hit a series of punches on Gore. Mitchell hit a piledriver on Gore; however, Dan rolled up Gore for the pin, stealing the win from Mitchell. Fun opener.

2. Shane Mercer (w/James Russo) defeated Allie Katch to retain the Freelance Underground Title at 9:21. Okay, Mercer is a beast and one of the strongest indy wrestlers, so it is absurd to think Allie could have a chance here. The crowd is fully behind her, and Katch hit a second-rope headscissors takedown. She dove through the ropes but he caught her; she shoved him headfirst into the ring apron at 1:30. In the ring, she hit a crossbody block. Mercer hit a Tour of the Islands-style powerslam for a nearfall; that really should have been it. He hit a delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall at 4:00. She hit her buttsplash in the corner. Allie nailed a standing powerbomb for a nearfall at 7:00. Allie rolled to the floor and grabbed a knife! He missed a clothesline and she jumped on his back and applied a sleeper. He nailed Moonsault and Battery/second-rope fallaway slam for the pin.

3. Shazza McKenzie defeated Xia Brookside at 7:25. Xia grabbed a sign from a fan and ripped it up, showing immediately she’s a heel today. Shazza got a nice pop. (Strange as I find Shazza to be such an excellent heel, so let’s see how this goes.) Xia threw a temper tantrum and pouted at the boos. The bell finally sounded but Xia delayed tying up. Shazza finally grabbed her and hit a chop; Shazza isn’t particularly tall, but she seems to have a size advantage. Xia applied a Camel Clutch at 3:00. She repeatedly stomped on Shazza’s back. Xia has a bloody nose; I didn’t see how that happened, but the commentators pointed it out. Shazza tied Xia in the ropes and hit 10 spin kicks to the chest. Shazza nailed a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall at 6:30. Xia hit a “Broken Wings” lungblower move (using her feet, not her knees). Shazza nailed the Splits Stunner for the pin. That was really entertaining.

4. Darin Corbin defeated Bryan Keith and August Matthews in a three-way to win the Freelance Legacy Championship at 13:25. This was supposed to be a singles match for Keith’s belt. Matthews came out with Bang, they hugged, and Bang left. Keith came out second, but before the bell sounded, Darin Corbin emerged from the back to loud boos. Darin told Keith to shut up or he’ll beat him quicker than he lost on Rampage. Funny. Corbin called Mathews the “Marty Jannetty of his tag team.” He said he deserves this title shot. So, this got turned into a triple threat! Keith and August both punched Corbin at the bell. August hit a dropkick on Keith, and they traded forearm strikes.

Corbin and Keith traded forearms. Corbin pulled down the straps of his singlet and invited a chop; Keith punched him in the jaw at 3:30, dropping Darin. Funny. Corbin began working over Matthews and he choked August in the ropes. Keith and Matthews traded more chops. Corbin hit a baseball slide dropkick on Keith at 8:00. Keith hit an Exploder Suplex into the corner on Corbin. August hit a release German Suplex on Keith, then a cannonball into the corner for a nearfall. Matthews hit a Grimes-style Cave In on Corbin. Keith nailed the Tiger Driver powerbomb on August for a believable nearfall at 11:30, and Keith was shocked at the kickout. Keith hit a kneestrike on August.

Corbin hit Keith with the title belt for a believabe nearfall! We got a “this is awesome!” chant. Matthews hit a Naito-style Destino on Corbin! Matthews missed a 450 Splash. Corbin immediately rolled up Matthews for the pin! New champion! I truly didn’t see that coming. So, Keith loses his belt without being pinned. Corbin scrambled to the back with his title. Keith and Matthews shook hands and hugged, and the crowd gave Keith a giant ovation.

* Intermission was cut out of the replay. I question having this next match as your ‘popcorn match’ after the break.

5. Koda Hernandez defeated Jordan Oliver at 14:29. I’ve said a few times now that Koda is “one to watch,” as he competes here and for Warrior Wrestling and other Chicago and Midwest indies. Oliver is NOT wearing his JCW Title belt which is a bit surprising, as he usually has it everywhere. Prazak talked about the “potential” of Koda. Oliver hit a mid-ring Sliced Bread at the bell, then a flip dive to the floor, then a top-rope moonsault for a nearfall at 00:30. Wow what a sprint to open. They immediately traded rollup attempts. Koda hit an Exploder Suplex, an enzuigiri, then a spinning back fist and an Angle Slam for a nearfall. Koda went for a dive to the floor, but Oliver kicked him in the face at 2:30.

Oliver hit his twisting body block on the ring apron, and they both crashed to the ground. Oliver nailed a brainbuster onto the stage! “He’s not getting up from that! This match is over!” Prazak proclaimed. Oliver dragged Koda into the ring but Koda kicked out of a pin. Oliver applied an STF and he remained in charge. Koda hit a clothesline at 7:30. He hit a series of Eddie-style suplexes and a spin kick, and we again got a “this is awesome!” chant. They traded chops at 10:30. Oliver nailed the Acid Kick, then another running boot for a nearfall. Oliver hit a release German Suplex, then a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall.

Oliver nailed the second-rope Clout Cutter for a nearfall at 12:30, and Oliver was a bit surprised at the kickout. Oliver nailed a Helluva Kick in the corner, then a second one, and Koda collapsed to the mat. Koda hit a second-rope T-Bone suplex, then a suplex for the clean pin! That was every bit as good as I hoped. I think we see now why Oliver didn’t bring his belt with him. They shook hands and hugged, and Prazak said Koda is “realizing his potential.”

6. GPA and Laynie Luck defeated David Ali and Heather Monroe to retain the Freelance Tag Team titles at 13:23. I don’t think I’ve seen Ali before, he wore a fluffy white jacket that could have belonged to the Godfather. Heather wore pink with a white cowboy hat. (While these are both intergender teams, it isn’t a mixed tag belt; it’s the regular tag titles.) GPA and Luck came out dressed like Effy and Allie Katch, making fun of them, and were booed. The bell rang and the women started, but Laynie was still roleplaying as Allie Katch. Heather hit some deep armdrags. GPA entered at 2:00, still wearing his “Effy wig,” and he did Effy-style movements. Ali hit a flying back elbow and the wig came off, with the fans mockingly chanting “holy shit!”

Ali and Monroe began working over GPA in their corner. Laynie, on the floor, slapped Heather in the ring, and the heels began working Monroe over. They hit their double hip-thrusts to Heather’s head and GPA hit a Whoopee Cushion buttdrop. (They are doing all of Bussy’s signature spots. I think most of the crowd gets this.) Ali finally made the hot tag at 9:00 and he hit a butterfly suplex on GPA. He hit a diving forearm for a nearfall. Laynie applied a front guillotine choke on Ali at 10:30. Ali escaped and suplexed Laynie. Laynie hit a headscissors that sent Ali flying to the floor. Heather hit a tornado DDT on Laynie. Ali hit a sideslam on GPA for a nearfall at 13:00. Laynie spit fluid in Ali’s eyes, then she hit a stunner. Ali made a jackknife cover to pin Ali. Okay match with the comedy you’d expect.

7. Storm Grayson defeated Effy for the Freelance Heavyweight Title at 23:09. Grayson had a WWE TV match against Shanky a year or so ago and he’s a top guy in the Chicago/Midwest area. Standing switches and a feeling-out process to open. (I noted this last week when Effy main evented a Fight Life show … he is bigger and thicker than you’d guess.) Storm hit a Mafia Kick at 3:30. Effy tied up Storm in a Tarantula in the ropes. They fought to the floor, where Effy hit some loud chops, then he crotched Grayson on the guardrail at 6:30. In the ring, Grayson was in charge and twisted at Effy’s neck. Effy hit a snap suplex at 10:30. Grayson hit a superkick. Effy hit his Whoopee Cushion buttdrop for a nearfall at 12:30, and he nailed a curbstomp for a one-count.

Effy hit a TKO and applied a Dragon Sleeper. Storm nailed a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall, and this crowd is 100% behind Effy. Effy hit a Helluva Kick at 15:30. Effy nailed a Blockbuster, then a spear for a nearfall. Grayson hit a second-rope superplex, then a Falcon Arrow, for a believable nearfall at 18:00. Grayson hit a piledriver on the ring apron; Effy barely got back into the ring before being counted out. They fought up onto the stage, where Grayson hit another piledriver at 20:00! Effy again barely got back in before being counted out. Storm hit a kick to the side of the head for a nearfall, but Effy’s foot was on the ropes. Effy hit the flying Fameasser legdrop for a nearfall. Storm hit a kneestrike to the head and rolled him up for the pin.

* Laynie Luck and GPA attacked Effy from behind. Grayson watched for a moment before turning and leaving! Allie Katch hit the ring for the save and the heels scampered away. Allie got on the mic. She will face either Laynie or GPA on Dec. 9 when they return to Logan Square.

Final Thoughts: A good show. I’ll take Oliver-Koda for best match, ahead of Corbin-Keith-August for second. While it was shorter, I’ll take the crisp Xia-Shazza match for third, ahead of the main event. Nothing wrong with the main event, but it felt like they stretched 12-15 minutes of action into 23 minutes.

Perhaps a year ago, I watched a match where Shane Mercer gorilla pressed tiny Marko Stunt about seven rows deep into the crowd. He is a beast. I just don’t see the point in having him in the ring with Allie Katch. I just can’t suspend my disbelief enough to pretend she can do any offense on him. Likewise, Ali is so much bigger than Laynie Luck, I fought that equally ridiculous that she could get that much offense in on him.


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