By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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Freelance Pro Wrestling “Freelance Rhapsody”
Streamed on IndependentWrestling.TV
January 13, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois at Logan Square
Freelance does a great job of packing this small ornate ballroom, as I think they are sold out with about 300 fans.
* GCW was in Chicago on Friday in Thalia Hall. A quick Google Map search shows that it is less than eight miles from Thalia Hall to Logan Square, so a short trip for Dan the Dad and Calvin Tankman, who did both Chicago shows.
1. Robbie Reeves defeated Angel Escalera, Gunner Brave, Regan Lysdale, Sabin Gauge, and Trevor Outlaw in a six-way scramble at 6:55. Reeves is a slightly heavy kid, probably still a teenager. I am sure I have seen more Trevor Outlaw matches than the other five competitors combined. Escalera has wild and uncombed long hair. Gauge’s partner in “Latinos Most Wanted” is on later in the show. Regan is of average size, so she’s giving up a lot of height and weight to most of these men. Reeves and Escalera had a dance-off. Outlaw clocked Regan from behind and tossed her to the floor. Outlaw teased a dive to the floor but pulled up. Two other guys whipped him through the ropes at 3:00. Funny.
In the ring, Regan hit some kicks and a bulldog on Angel. Sabin hit a Lethal Injection on Regan. Gunner hit a basement dropkick, then a Poison Rana, on Sabin. Angel hit a Frankensteiner, then a Swanton Bomb for a nearfall at 5:30. Outlaw hit a Pedigree for a nearfall on Angel. Reeves hit a swinging sideslam on Outlaw for a nearfall. He hit a Canadian Destroyer on Sabin, then a modified Samoan Drop to pin Sabin. Fun scramble.
2. Isaias Velazquez defeated Chico Suave at 8:53. Velazquez is short and was cocky as he walked to the ring. Chico is a bit more rotund and he’s the babyface in his Gringo Loco-style lucha gear. Velazquez stalled a lot. They traded chops. Chico hit a bulldog, then a Guerrilla Press and a running splash for a nearfall at 7:00. Chico missed a top-rope moonsault, and Velazquez immediately hit a Sliced Bread. He nailed a top-rope doublestomp to the chest for a believable nearfall. The ref got bumped, and Velazquez hit a low blow punt kick to score the cheap pin. Okay.
* A masked man attacked Chico Suave with a chair. This happened last show, too! Who is it?
3. Koda Hernandez defeated Wes Barkley at 11:10. I’m a big fan of what I’ve seen from Koda over the past year. Wes has been a regular in Cleveland-based AIW, and he’s wearing a crowd that makes me think of Jughead from the Riverdale comics. Wes attacked before the bell, and before Koda even had his jacket off. Koda reminds me of AEW’s Santana, and he hit a back suplex for a nearfall. They brawled to the floor. Back in the ring, Barkley was in charge. Koda finally got to his feet and they traded forearm strikes at 7:30. Koda dove through the ropes and over the guardrail onto Wes, who was amongst the fans.
In the ring, Koda hit an Angle Slam for a nearfall at 9:00. Wes grabbed his crown and hit Koda in the head with it but only got a nearfall, and he was irate he didn’t get the pin. Barkley set up for a tornado DDT, but Koda blocked it and hit a double-arm DDT for the pin. A nice win for the hometown wrestler. Koda got on the mic and called out Freelance Champion Darin Corbin, who wasn’t on this show.
4. Dan the Dad defeated Alfonso Gonzalez at 13:33. Alfonso is rotund with a mustache. As per usual, this should be all comedy. As I noted above, Dan wrestled just eight miles away a night ago for GCW. Gonzalez hurt his back so he rolled to the floor and stalled. He sprayed fluid in Dan’s eyes. Alfonso hit a back suplex for a nearfall at 6:00. Dan hit a stunner and unbuttoned his shirt, showing he’s serious now. He hit a Helluva Kick, then a top-rope crossbody block, then a spinebuster. He hit a People’s Elbow for a nearfall at 10:30. Gonzalez applied a half-crab. Dan put Gonzalez’s feet on the top rope and hit a Flatliner. He whipped Alfonso with his belt, then he hit a Backpack Stunner for the pin. Okay match; Alfonso doesn’t do much for me.
5. Craig Mitchell defeated Matt Knicks at 11:12. Mitchell is the rotund brawler, and Knicks has some tattoos and a bit flabby, too. They traded shoulder tackles. They brawled on the floor. Knicks hit a missile dropkick off the apron to the floor at 6:00. They brawled in the ring. Knicks hit another dive to the floor. In the ring, he hit a kick to Craig’s head, then a Code Red for a nearfall at 10:30. A heel manager shoved Knicks off the top rope to the mat. Mitchell immediately hit a package piledriver for the pin. Okay. Mitchell whipped Knicks with a belt after the match until Dan the Dad made the save.
6. GPA and Laynie Luck defeated “Members Only” Calvin G. Lewis and Malcolm Cambridge at 12:16. Real-life couple GPA and Luck are always entertaining; they have the Cardona-Greene dynamic. I’ve seen MO in AIW with Barkley. Cambridge and GPA opened, but GPA paused to kiss Laynie. Lewis (think Kenny King) got in and squared off with Laynie at 3:00 and she shoved him, so he kicked her in the stomach. MO hit a team slam on her, then on GPA. GPA began working over Cambridge. Laynie entered and tied up Malcolm on the mat.
Lewis got the hot tag at 8:30 and he beat up both heels. He hit a double clothesline, then a double Lungblower to their chests for a nearfall. GPA launched Laynie onto Lewis. MO hit a team 3D move on her. Lewis hit a Dragon Suplex. GPA hit a spear at 11:30. GPA and Laynie accidentally collided! Cambridge hit a package piledriver on GPA. Laynie hit a stunner on Lewis, and GPA covered Lewis for the pin. Fun match.
7. Storm Grayson defeated Calvin Tankman to retain the Freelance Heavyweight title at 13:33. I’m a huge fan of Calvin, and this match is definitely why I tuned in. Tankman came out first but Grayson attacked him from behind on the stage! (I start my stopwatch at first contact) and they brawled on the floor at ringside. Strange seeing Tankman as a babyface for the second straight night. They got in the ring and traded forearm strikes. Grayson dove through the ropes at 2:30 but Tankman caught him. However, Grayson shoved Tankman head-first into the ring post. In the ring, Grayson was in control of the offense. Tankman hit some chops. Grayson hit a dropkick for a nearfall at 5:30.
They traded forearm strikes. Storm hit an enzuigiri. Tankman nailed a pop-up spinning back fist and they were both down at 8:30. Tankman nailed a backbreaker over his knee, then a short-arm clothesline, then a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. He hit some more stiff forearm strikes. He poped Grayson up, but Storm hit a dropkick, then a back suplex, then a piledriver for a believable nearfall at 11:00. Storm rolled to the floor and grabbed his belt, but the ref confiscated it. Calvin hit a spinebuster and forearm strike to the back of the head for a believable nearfall, and they were both down. Tankman’s head hit an exposed turnbuckle! Grayson hit two running kicks to the head for the cheap pin and he was booed.
Final Thoughts: An okay show. Grayson-Tankman lived up to its billing and was best match. While I generally dislike intergender matches, GPA/Laynie vs. Members Only earns second place. A well-laid-out scramble takes third. While I admittedly am not as impressed with this overall roster as I am for other indies, Koda Hernandez continues to be a stand-out talent, and I liked what I saw from some new guys in that scramble.