Warrior Wrestling returned to action on September 12th with the first show in a three-Saturday series of events, the Stadium Series. Due to social distancing, they have limited fan access and are having the events outside on the Marion Catholic High School football field.
With big names such as Filthy Tom Lawlor, Brian Cage, Thunder Rosa, Joey Janella, The Rascalz and Kylie Rae, not to mention the returning Tessa Blanchard, this first event of the Stadium Series looked to be an awesome melting point of some of American wrestling’s best talent.
Let’s go to the ring and check out the action!
Daga vs Isaias Velesquez
Daga challenged Velesquez to try and win his AAA Latin America Title. Velesquez is supposed to be the ‘Heart of Chicago’, where this event is taking place.
An impressive opening match for Warrior Wrestling. Isaias Velesquez looked unbelievable. I would definitely be looking to sign him if I’m ROH or MLW. He is a name you are going to see VERY soon. Daga worked the knee to win the match. It seemed that the announcers wanted to tell the story that Daga had to win so as not to embarrass his wife in the first match of the night. Is Daga, “Mr. Blanchard” now? Would she care if he lost? I think tonight she has more on her mind.
Filthy Tom Lawlor vs Kevin Ku
Both of these wrestlers are a part of Team Filthy. Tom Lawlor is the ex-MLW champion. Lawlor was looking great early by showing power and working submission moves on Ku. Ku started his comeback with some blocks and then a shoulder tackle.
Lawlor quickly applied a modified sharpshooter until Ku grabbed the ropes. Quick kick from Ku to Lawlor’s thigh. This is a longer match than the opening. Lawlor got Ku into a rear-naked choke. Ku tried to roll him for a pin. Lawlor had to break. Lawlor then got Ku into a guillotine choke. Ku escaped, then disrespected Lawlor with some slaps before hitting a gutbuster. Finally, Filthy Tom Lawlor nailed a V-Trigger for the win.
Winner: Filthy Tom Lawlor
Kimber Lee vs Thunder Rosa
Thunder Rosa is the NWA Champion and just took on Shida in AEW. She has been in wrestling for only six years. Kimber Lee is in Impact! Wrestling, is the Shimmer wrestling Champion and is married to one of The Rascals. This is the first time that these two have met in a ring.
I’m surprised at the edge that Kimber Lee was showing. I haven’t seen that in Impact! Wrestling. However, Thunder Rosa was controlling the match with her quick moves and the targeting of the left leg of Kimber Lee. She kept driving Lee’s knee into the mat and ring post. Kimber Lee tried a Swanton bomb, but Thunder Rosa got her legs up. She hit two leg drops then the Thunder Driver for the pinfall victory. Not a bad match at all.
Winner: Thunder Rosa
Joey Janella vs Warhorse
I was definitely looking forward to this Warrior Wrestling matchup. Of course, Joey Janella is the bad boy of wrestling and is a staple of AEW and AEW Dark. Warhorse was also on AEW last month, taking on Cody for his TNT Championship before he lost it to Mr Brodie Lee. Supposedly, Janella had four root canals earlier today, fact fans, according to his tweet.
This started out as a QUICK match with a lot of back and forth. Janella started headbanging and Warhorse followed along until Janella made him pay with a kick to the stomach. Both went back and forth with chops. Warhorse showed some power until Janella grabbed him in an armlock. Warhorse countered with a quick roll-up for a near-fall.
There was a little bit of overselling by Janella as Warhorse put him into a sharpshooter. I thought that Janella would have been the crowd favorite, but it seems like the Warrior Wrestling Chicago crowd loves Warhorse. They were the first match to go outside the ring.
Warhorse ran around the ring like Braun Strowman. Joey Janella clotheslined him and put Warhorse on his shoulders. He ran 50 yards for a touchdown and slammed him. The referee counted until 9. Janella hit him with a superkick as he came into the ring. Warhorse kicked out then hit a neck breaker. He pimped himself up before doing a brainbuster. Janella kicked out.
I was enjoying this match and had no clue who was going to win. Janella hit his pile-driver then a superkick. However, Warhorse rolled Janella up as he was going for a pin. Warhorse surprised Joey Janella with his win. Now, Warhorse will take on Brian Pullman Jr. for Warrior Wrestling Championship next Saturday.
Joey Janella was going to cut a promo about how people think he is a bad wrestler, that was until he was rudely interrupted and attacked by two men in masks and black hoodies. It started pouring down with rain as one of the men hit a Death Valley Driver to Janella. Fans started leaving as refs looked at Janella, who picked up a chair and headed out looking for the two men. Warrior Wrestling decided to take a five-minute break for the rain.
Warrior Wrestling Rain Delay
Well, it ended up being more than five minutes, but that sometimes happens with outdoor shows. It was great to see the precautions that they were taking for the wrestlers though. Everything from wiping down things to changing the mat so they wouldn’t slip. They did a great job.
Alex Shelley vs. TJP
This is one of the matches I wanted to see. These are two wrestlers from Impact! Wrestling and New Japan. I look forward to TJP and Fallah Bah taking on The Motor City Machine Guns in Impact! Wrestling soon. They are two great hybrid, high-flying, technical wrestlers.
TJP started off grappling with Alex Shelley, getting him into an ankle lock. Shelley played his game by locking in an armbar quickly. I’m confused since this wasn’t what I was expecting, but it is a very good show of mat prowess. I enjoyed the submission moves and different kinds of locks they were using.
If they adapted their planned match because of the rain and not wanting to get hurt by slipping then I applaud them. The choreography was quick and smooth. They looked like this was their style all along. Shelley made TJP look great by his selling of TJP’S many moves.TJP used a Surfboard Stretch and an Octopus Stretch but, in the end, Shelley quickly rolled TJP up for a three count and the win. Both shook hands.
Winner: Alex Shelley
Alex Shelley talked about how the rain didn’t stop them and how Warrior Wrestling doesn’t put anything on sub-par. He stated that he knew they wrestled a different match, but he was happy that the fans enjoyed it. I definitely did. They showed off their knowledge of a different style tonight and it was excellent.
Dan The Dad vs Elayna Black
This is a Chicago match. Elayna is a wrestling student from their school. Dan the Dad is a freelance wrestler that is well known by the Chicago crowd. This was the only intergender match on the card. Elayna showed a Death Tarot card and Dan the Dad chugged his mug of coffee. Elayna jumped on his shoulders then threw his coffee in his face. She did a nice spear. The announcers said that Elayna has worked some with GCW also.
Dan the Dad hit a kick then slammed Elayna into the corner. He hit her with an elbow then took off his belt. Dan slapped Elyana’s back with the belt. Elayna took off his glasses and broke them. He took off his shirt and Elayna DDT’d him and got the pin.
Winner: Elayna Black
Brian Cage vs Benjamin Carter
Benjamin Carter has only been training for a couple of years at Seth Rollins’ wrestling school in Iowa. Brian Cage was the first-ever Warrior Wrestling Champion and wrestles in AEW as their FTW champ. Brian Cage had a blast coming down to the ring with the fans.
The Machine tossed Carter completely across the ring. He slammed him hard into the mat. Carter got it going during his comeback with numerous flying moves. However, they ended up outside the ring, where Cage pressed Carter above him and threw him into the apron before slamming Carter into the ring post.
Back in the ring, Cage German suplexed Carter across the ring then threw him again across the ring like a football. Brian Cage put his arms up in a touchdown pose. Carter had no clue where he was and kept trying to get away. He hit Cage with two dropkicks, but Cage just threw him into the ring post.
Cage missed a spear and hit his shoulder into the post. Carter attempted a frog splash but Cage caught him in the air. Cage hit a second rope springboard suplex, but Carter kicked out. Then he superkicked Cage into a flip off the top rope. Cage kicked out! Carter tried a high flying move again, but Cage caught him again. He nailed Carter with two pile-drivers, a spinning kick and an F5 to win.
Honestly, Benjamin Carter impressed me. He’ll be signed very soon. It won’t surprise me if Cage tells Tony Khan about him and we see him on AEW Dark soon.
Winner: Brian Cage
The Rascalz vs Chris Bey, Jordan Oliver & Myron Reed
I’m excited to see Jordan Oliver. I saw him a couple of years ago and want to see how much he has grown as a wrestler. They mentioned he has put on 50lbs. Chris Bey and The Rascalz are all in Impact! Wrestling. The announcers stated that The Rascalz are a mainstay at Warrior Wrestling events, but most teams that they take on aren’t used to working together on a regular basis.
Chris Bey and Trey Miguel started the match off with a lot of athletic and choreographed moves. Some weren’t very smooth and you could see them having to wait on each other. There weren’t any tags in this match, so it was each man for himself. All six men ended up outside after many dives on each other. Chris Bey ended up taking them all out at once, but The Rascalz were the ones who ended up getting back in the ring first.
Back in the ring, The Rascalz got out their vape pen. They blew smoke in everyone’s faces, which started a comedic slow-motion routine where all six men moved in synchronisation until it wore off. Then they went back to normal speed.
I couldn’t get into this match and wasn’t impressed with any of them. Maybe Trey Miguel, but even he wasn’t completely on tonight. It just felt sloppy and chaotic. The announcers couldn’t get it over. In the end, The Rascalz did a three-man move for the win.
Winners: The Rascalz
They announced that Brian Pillman Jr. will be taking on Warhorse, and all three Rascalz will be taking on each other for a chance at the Warrior Wrestling Championship next Saturday.
Warrior Wrestling Main Event: Tessa Blanchard vs Kylie Rae
Tessa Blanchard is the Warrior Wrestling Women’s Champion. She hadn’t wrestled since March 7th due to Covid-19 and her contract being terminated by Impact! Wrestling. She came out deadly serious, strutting confidently and looking more muscular than ever. Smilin’ Kylie Rae is the number one contender to the Impact! Wrestling Knockouts Championship. She is also from Chicago and is definitely the fan-favourite/babyface tonight. She is also wearing a backpack, which she used when she took Tessa’s title from the referee and put into the backpack. But Tessa wasn’t playing.
Kylie Rae wanted to shake hands, so Tessa did. She squeezed her hand and stared at her fiercely. Kylie Rae took over quickly by using an armbar until Tessa used her power to control her. Kylie Rae threw a knee out and hit Tessa in the mouth. She rolled out of the ring. As Tessa got into the ring, she immediately started trash talking. She got Kylie Rae near the ring post. Everyone thought she was going to throw Kylie’s legs into it but instead swung her the other way, so that Kylie’s head crashed into the post.
Tessa was aggressive and took Kylie Rae outside the ring. She beat her throughout the crowd and kicked her. Tessa took a sign that Kylie Rae had signed for a fan and ripped it up. She yelled at all the fans and slapped Kylie. Finally, they got back into the ring where Tessa proceed to smack Kylie around some more. Kylie Rae started getting upset. She put together a lot of offensive moves, but you could tell that something happened to her right knee. With it being wet, I’m not sure if it is a real injury or not.
Tessa caught Kylie Rae with a short-arm clothesline then hit her with a suplex. Kylie Rae kicked out. Tessa then hit her a diamond cutter. She grabbed Kylie Rae’s backpack, handing it to Rae. Kylie was happy and gave it to the referee. Tessa took this opportunity to hit Kylie with a forearm behind the referee’s back, followed by a Hammerlock DDT. Kylie Rae kicked out! Tessa climbed up onto the ring post and Kylie Rae pulled her down, rolling Tessa up for the win.
Winner: Kylie Rae
After the match, fans saw both women drop their personas, shake hands and hug. They stayed like that for about 90 seconds, talking before hugging tightly and then both kissed each other on the cheek. Tessa left the ring so that Kylie Rae could celebrate in the spotlight. She is only the second woman to hold the Warrior Wrestling Women’s Championship and you could tell it meant something to her to win it in her hometown.
Big props to Tessa Blanchard for dropping the title in that way. Great job by Kylie Rae selling most of the match. I can’t give enough credit to Warrior Wrestling for putting on a great show with great matchups, other than The Rascalz match, which was good but not to the level of everything else. This was a fun event that I would have loved to attend. I’m certainly thinking about purchasing next Saturday’s card on September 19th.
What are your thoughts on this show and will you be following the Stadium Series over the next two weeks? Let us know in the comments below!