Welcome back to my weekly review for Warrior Wrestling’s Greatest Matches series! This highlight series for one of independent wrestling’s brightest stars is a great introduction to the company if you’ve never had the pleasure before. This week, cult favourite Warhorse is taking on ‘The Bad Boy’ Joey Janela, while Tessa Blanchard and Britt Baker bring a dream match to life and a big six-man Lucha tag match in the main event.
Let’s get to the ring!
Warhorse vs. Joey Janela (Stadium Series 1)
A battle of two larger than life personalities, you might be forgiven for thinking this might have gotten a little wild. Actually, this was a hard-fought, very entertaining wrestling match, proving both men, despite their critics, do very much know their craft.
The match built up nicely, from some nice technical exchanges to start to some big high-impact power exchanges at the end. Janela was throwing out sidekicks like they were going out of style, while later on, he nailed a beautiful superplex into a Fisherman’s suplex in an impressive moment. Also impressive was Janela carrying Warhorse on his shoulders across the football field, only to land a touchdown with a death valley driver! You could argue it was silly, but it looked damn cool and I popped big time for it.
Warhorse, though, proved his toughness and endurance by taking a package piledriver and another superkick before he rolled Janela up for the 1-2-3, taking a hard-earned victory.
A great opener and a match to show to the doubters.
Tessa Blanchard vs. Britt Baker (Warrior Wrestling 3)
If the AEW faithful get their wish, we could one day see this encounter take place within the confines of Daily’s Place. And on this showing, the fans would not be disappointed if Tessa was to become All Elite.
Tessa heeled it up nicely here, offering a handshake then running her hand through her hair, as well as holding the ropes for extra leverage whilst she had Baker tied up. Baker gave as good as she got, exchanging big elbows and forearms with Blanchard. Yet it was the second generation wrestler who was more dominant. She had Baker twisted into shapes that the human body really shouldn’t be able to be manoeuvred into.
In the end, it wasn’t a submission that caught Baker out but a variant on a dragon screw leg whip into a roll up. Moments before, Blanchard had started to show her frustration at being able to put Britt away and the adjustment in technique betrayed a sense of desperation, something that ultimately pushed Tessa to switch up and snatch the victory.
Great, subtle storytelling to end a really good match.
Sam Adonis, Super Crazy & Dragon Lee vs. Pat Monix, Daga & Ultimo Dragon (Warrior Wrestling 3)
Talk about a wealth of talent! And the inclusion of Ultimo Dragon and Super Crazy reminds me how lucky I was to be a teenager watching wrestling in the latter part of the nineties. And man, Ultimo Dragon can still go! While used perhaps a little sparingly in this match, when he did get involved his speed and fluidity of movement was undiminished. It was incredible. And while Super Crazy was perhaps more obviously wearing the passing of time on his body, he was still delightfully full of life, bringing his sense of fun and personality to the ring.
The match itself was a little stop-start and this detracted from the flow of the action. A little bit of a shame, because the action on display was very good, with the two dragons, Ultimo and Lee, looking good in particular. Daga was over like crazy with the crowd and there was a good atmosphere. There was just something missing a little bit for me.
This was another great show and a continuing reminder of what a bright light Warrior Wrestling is in an already exciting independent scene. The Janela-Warhorse match should be shown to all doubters of the pair; they really show how much they know their stuff. Tessa Blanchard and Britt Baker put on a tough as nails submission and striking clinic and, despite some misgivings, the main event did have moments where the talent really shined.
If you’re sleeping on these Warrior Wrestling shows, then you’re missing out. They’re free on YouTube—what’s your excuse?