I must apologise, Warrior Wrestling fans. I’ve been a little bit behind on my coverage of Greatest Matches (three kids and school holidays are not the most wrestling-friendly of scenarios, I’m afraid) but I’m here with two shows to catch up on. The show I’m most excited for is Episode 13, featuring Tessa Blanchard defend her Warrior Wrestling Women’s Championship in a War of Attrition match.
I’ve already kept you waiting, so let’s go straight to the ring!
DJZ vs. Sammy Guevara (Warrior Wrestling 4)
This would be the last match both men would have at Warrior Wrestling as they departed to NXT (as Joaquin Wilde) and AEW respectively shortly after this match. They decided that they wanted to say their goodbyes to Warrior Wrestling together in combat one against the other, so here we are.
Sammy was in full-on ‘cocky little s**t’ mode here, pretending to go for the handshake only to give DJZ the finger, as well as bowing to the crowd after a smooth backflip into a dropkick. DJZ let his wrestling do his speaking for him instead, countering Guevara’s middle finger with an arm bar whilst hitting a lovely back spring elbow early on and showing that he could more than hold his own against Sammy in the speed stakes. He called Sammy’s bluff when Sammy leapt over the guard rail on an Irish whip attempt outside by running straight over him and jumping straight on Guevara! DJZ then decided to celebrate and it was Sammy who returned the favour, flying over the rail like gravity had deserted him.
I’d love to see a lot more of this Sammy in AEW. He balanced DJZ between the guard rail and apron and crushed the man with an amazing shooting star press from the apron! Where he’s taken risks in AEW, it’s usually been to the detriment of Matt Hardy’s health, but he was really on-target here and showing an in-ring flair that doesn’t always appear in Jacksonville.
This was followed by a sequence where DJZ nailed Sammy with a beautiful Spanish Fly and a Code Red before Sammy and he exchanged a series of short dropkicks that left both men breathless. Wow. Sammy’s standing moonsault attempt was answered with just feet to the back, followed by a spikerana, which in turn was answered by Sammy by a running knee. The grappling here was exceptionally fluid and exciting. Case in point: DJZ pushed Sammy off the top during a fireman’s carry attempt, so Sammy, without missing a beat, leapt back up to the top and dropped DJZ with a jaw-dropping Spanish fly for an incredibly close two count.
In typical heel fashion though, it was a roll up with the tights that gave Sammy the victory in the end. Why put in the work when you cut corners with much less effort? What a great match! Athletic, fast-paced but more importantly, crisp and on point. The execution of moves here was flawless, Sammy was at his cocky best, and DJZ put in a gutsy performance. Very recommended.
Sam Adonis vs. LA Park (Warrior Wrestling 4)
Sam Adonis was obviously not in the best of moods this night. Apart from insulting the Chicago crowd, he stated LA Park was not there, so instead, he would make famous any little Chicago indie darling in the back who wanted to step in the ring with him. Just a shame for Adonis that LA Park didn’t agree to this scenario, as he was very much in the building, a fact he let Adonis know by sneaking into the ring behind Adonis and attempting to crack him in the head with a chair. The ref attempted to grab the offending weapon though, leaving Park open to fists and chops by an aggressive Adonis.
Taking his opportunity, Adonis removed Park’s weightlifting belt and gave him a few hard cracks with the leather in between throwing ‘The Chairman’ into the ring barriers and apron. He then gave Park a hard shot to the back with a chair before taking it back to the ring and working the ribs with the steel and mocking Park’s trademark dance.
Adonis took it one step further; he threatened the ref into giving Park a whip to the back with the belt, before forcing him to stomp Park whilst he throttled him! That’s a new one on me. Even Nick Patrick wasn’t that biased. Sort of. The ref then helped to give Park some chops to the chest but soon got a smack from Park as ‘The Chairman’ ducked a clothesline. He then took Adonis out on the outside with a massive dive which is astounding for a man his size
Taking control of his belt, Park unleashed two of the nasty strap shots I think I’ve honestly seen. Well, not quite. Seeking his revenge, Park lifted up the ref’s shirt, poured beer down the poor guy’s back before cracking him with a shot that made a sound I’ve only heard when a jet engine has kicked in, OUCH! The LA Park strut soon followed, and I don’t blame him after that.
Adonis tried to take over again but Park got a bit of breathing space with a big power slam. Adonis returned fire with a big superplex that left both men battered. Adonis attempted to finish things with a powerbomb through two chairs placed together, but the appearance of a mysterious person distracted Adonis enough for Park to attack from behind and nail a powerbomb of his own through the two chairs for the pinfall victory.
What a fun match! Adonis was on great form and Park is always entertaining anyway, but those strap shots he unleashed here—my god. I would have liked to have know who the mystery man was who caused the distraction and why, but other than that, I enjoyed this one.
War of Attrition: Tessa Blanchard, Taya Valkyrie, Dr Britt Baker & Madison Rayne vs. Kylie Rae, Tasha Steelz, Big Swole & Ray Lyn (Warrior Wrestling 8)
This episode was entirely dedicated to this one match, and for good reason. The match started as a four on four tag match until one team got a fall. At that point, the winning team would split into two separate teams and will face off until another fall is decided. The winning team then split into a singles match, the winner of which will win the Warrior Wrestling Women’s Heavyweight title.
This match occurred at an interesting moment in wrestling time. Tessa had not long been crowned the Impact World Heavyweight Champion, the night before which she found herself embroiled in controversy on social media. Interestingly, commentary decided to address this and build it into the story of the match, proclaiming that although they had experienced no issues with Tessa, she was hated by the women’s locker room. I noticed they didn’t bring up the allegations of racism, something Tessa has always denied, but then, I wouldn’t really expect them to either. Still, the crowd was noticeably mixed for her, with a large chunk chanting “new champ” and booing her.
Also, Britt Baker had not long turned heel before this match and found herself here across the ring from Big Swole, who she would soon be feuding with in AEW. Not only do matches like this show how companies like AEW and Impact are willing to work with companies like Warrior Wrestling, but watching them back now, they also function of little time capsules in the ever-accelerating world of contemporary pro wrestling. I mean, this was only 14 months ago and so much has happened since, it’s unreal.
The first part of the match showed the women seemingly having a lot of fun, talking trash to each other and playing to the crowd. That sense of fun was infectious as Kylie Rae got the crowd cheering and laughing along while Big Swole had the fans chanting “SWOLE! SWOLE! SWOLE!” Swole pretending her hand was hurt and asking if there was a doctor, only to hit Baker in the face, was hilarious, I have to say, as was Madison Rayne responding like an answering machine that Ray Lyn isn’t here right now as her team mates cried out for the hot tag.
Baker forced the tap out from Ray Lyn with the Lock Jaw to end the first part of the match. This gave Baker the right to pick her tag partner. She picked Madison, which put Taya and Tessa on the opposite team—an interesting decision, as Tessa and Taya didn’t exactly see eye to eye then. Commentary even suggested this might be why Britt picked as she did. Here the mood changed, as things got more serious with the match reduced to four competitors. Tessa didn’t need to be pinned here to lose her title. If Taya conceded the fall, Tessa would be eliminated before the final stage. This section saw some really good, fiery exchanges between Tessa and Britt, with a great double knee and a cutter from Tessa. But it was Taya who got the pinfall in the end, cutting the field down to just her and Tessa.
What I really liked about this match was how each section had a different feel. So here, with both women knowing the title was at stake and with their personal issues also, they started off here just assaulting each other with a vengeance, throwing bombs and brawling into the bleachers. Back in the ring, each woman went for big moves to try and put the other one away, but it was a hammerlock DDT that was finally enough to put Taya away. Tessa retained, to a mixed reaction, but this was a great match plain and simple. The way the match built up in intensity as it progressed and the stakes got closer to being realised showed a great sense of storytelling, and there was just a wealth of talent on display here. Really, really great work here. Go out of your way to see this match!
The Greatest Matches series of shows are doing a great job of showcasing the quality and variety that Warrior Wrestling has become known for in its short existence. Episodes 12 & 13 between gave us athletic high-flying, brawling and superb women’s wrestling across an hour’s worth of programming. There’s something for everyone, and that’s no bad thing at all. The big stand out on these shows was the War of Attrition match, which showed great storytelling at its heart and rewarded fan investment by escalating up to an intense finale.
I’ll see you next time for more from Warrior Wrestling’s Greatest Matches!