Views from the Hawke's Nest: Class Wars's Two Turntables and a Wrestling Ring 2012
Posted by TJ Hawke on 11.22.2012
Class Wars runs their first live event!
October 27, 2012
Commentators: Thomas Green, Billy Roc, Tripp Cassidy, & Reed Bentley
The DVD starts with a nifty hype video. The show then starts with Heidi Lovelace coming out and welcoming everyone to the show. Heidi then introduces Class Wars’s live event host, Ian Gerber. He reminds the audience that this is a family friendly event.
Billy Roc & Mat Russo vs. The Social (Fabrice & Chris Conway)
Roc is, of course, the head trainer of the School of Roc. He also happens to be the King of Indiana. NBD.
Russo went for submissions early, but Conway made the ropes. Roc got the crowd to point at Conway and call him a coward for using the ropes to escape a submission. Ok, Triple H. Roc and Fabrice then squared off. Roc tied him up in a knot. Fabrice couldn’t escape, so Billy slapped him in the ass. Roc and Russo then went after one of Conway’s legs to set up Russo’s Calf Slicer finishing submission. Eventually the referee got distracted, which allowed the rudos to isolate, and then get the heat on, Russo. The Social were in control for a while. At one point, Fabrice hit Russo with a standing moonsault. After a good while, Russo was finally able to hit The Social with a couple of suplexes. Roc tagged in and immediately hit them with a diving crossbody. Roc got a nearfall on Conway with a Code Red. Conway finally slowed Roc down with a back suplex. The Social then hit Roc with theJägerbomb: 1…2…Russo makes the save! Fabrice gets sent to the floor, and Russo catches Conway with the Calf Slicer! Conway taps out!
And with that, Mat Russo is my new favorite School of Roc student. He’s got his style/look down already, and he just, in general, looked really sharp here. Russo vs. Roc may actually be the Class Wars match that I am most looking forward to (if it ever happens) in the promotion. I envision that being all sorts of fun. Billy Roc was his usual reliable self, and he did a good job of making sure the crowd got vocal for the match. The Social were solid in their debuts. They’re not as crisp as Russo, but they did a fine job here for sure. Match Rating: ***1/4
We see some pre-show promos next. The League say they are a shoe-in for winning their Trios Championship Tournament qualifier. Heidi Lovelace, Dale Patricks, and Dale Patricks’s Leather Jacket say they are feeling confident. Sadly, Dale Patricks’s Leather Jacket is not competing tonight, but they have a great replacement in Trevor Court.
Ripper Thomas vs. Guy Lombardo
Ripper is doing a horror gimmick. I’m guessing Lombardo is a local worker (based on the combination of his gear and his crowd reaction).
Ripper dominated Lombardo in the early goings. Ripper’s hair is so long that I have yet to see his face. Ripper locked in the FACE CLAW, which is my favorite move ever (not to be confused with the nerve pinch, which is my least favorite move ever). Luckily, Lombardo got to the ropes right away. Lombardo managed to get him in the corner, where Lombardo gave him the Stinkface (I shit you not). Ripper no-sold it though and gave him another FACE CLAW! Lombardo managed to make Ripper fall to the floor. Lombardo was in control on the outside for a couple of minutes. Ripper managed to send him into the ringpost. They ended up back in the ring, and Ripper set up for the FACE CLAW again. Lombardo avoided the FACE CLAW, and he caught Ripper with a schoolboy: 1…2…3…umm, ok.
I thought this match was going along fine in terms of setting up Ripper as a monster going forward, but then he got pinned by a fat, bald, uninspired indie worker who doesn’t even come from the school. I don’t see any creative upside in putting Lombardo over. If there were some external (or even internal) politics involved, then I just don’t think this matchup should have been booked in the first place. I like Ripper’s look, and I hope to see more of him in the near future. Match Rating: *3/4
The League (Reed Bentley, Tripp Cassidy, & “Big” Sue Jackson) vs. Heidi Lovelace, Dale Patricks, and Trevor Court (w/ Dale Patricks’s Leather Jacket)
This is a qualifying match for the Class Wars Trios Championship Tournament. Court recently appeared for AAW, and he impressed me a lot. Lovelace has appeared on OVW TV and the SHINE iPPVs. Heidi put on a mask as she came out.
The tecnicos charged the ring, and the match started as a big brawl. Eventually, Sue and Heidi ended up in the ring alone. A trios tag match broke out shortly thereafter. Bentley and Cassidy ended up on the floor, and Court wiped them out with a tope con hello. Jackson fell onto the middle rope, and Heidi hit him with a 619. Patricks wiped out everyone on the floor with a Deadman Suicida. Heidi then used Jackson’s back for a double jump plancha. Heidi went for a diving backstabber on Jackson, but he didn’t fall and instead, he managed to cut her off. The League proceeded to get the heat on Heidi. Heidi was eventually able to fight back, and she tagged out to Court and Patricks. Court and Patricks hit Cassidy with a double team Ace Crusher. Bentley gave Patricks the Reed Awakening. Cassidy took a bite out of Heidi’s face. Cassidy went for a super powerbomb, but Heidi reversed it into a super hurricanrana. Court gave Bentley a powerbomb. Court and Heidi then hit Bentley with a powerbomb/backstabber. Patricks and Court then hit Bentley with a double team Sliced Bread #2. Jackson wiped out Court with his running body press. The League then took out Heidi. Patricks got hung up in the corner, and he ate the running knees from Cassidy, a running splash from Jackson, and a Ghetto Stomp from Bentley. Court made the save, but he then got sent from the ring. Jackson hit Patricks with the Close Shave: 1…2…3!
This match started out HOT, but unfortunately, they just couldn’t get the momentum back after the heat on Heidi. There were a ton of positives to take out of this match however. Since season 1, the most important story going on with this promotion has been the rise of Heidi Lovelace, who has proven to be one of the more consistent performers to come out of the school. She has a certain charisma that allows her to connect with or without an audience, and she’s just damn impressive in the ring (I think she’s much more interesting than Chikara’s Saturyne for the sake of comparison). It’s also great to see The League look strong after their off-season of discontent. Trevor Court continues to impress me, and I hope to see him get bigger opportunities in 2013. Finally, Dale Patricks’s annoying Incredible Hulk routine was nowhere to be found, so he was much more enjoyable than usual here. This was far from a perfect match, but it was still damn enjoyable. Match Rating: ***
Buck Boulder vs. Marc Houston
Boulder was OVER with this crowd, which makes me happy. I have no idea who Houston is.
These are some big boys. Boulder kind of has a Claudio look, but with a less defined frame. To be fair, almost everyone is wrestling looks fat compared to Claudio. Houston resembles King of Trios 2012 Tatanka, minus the mullet and the charisma!. The crowd exploded when Boulder hit an armdrag. The crowd is crazy. They traded leg-bar attempts. They then avoided some big kick attempts from each other. Boulder took Houston down with a dropkick and then hit a sidewalk slam for a nearfall. Houston came back with a scoop slam for a nearfall of his own. Houston demanded a handshake. Boulder punched him in the face instead. They traded punches. Houston took him down with a shoulder tackle. Boulder then caught him with a chokeslam: 1…2…NO! Houston then hit a spinebuster: 1…2…NO! Houston called for a lariat, but Boulder avoided it and hit Altitude Sickness: 1…2…NO! Houston came back with a ripcord lariat: 1…2…3!
This was WAY better than I would have guessed. They didn’t do anything fancy, but they worked hard and had the crowd the entire way. I enjoyed this match a lot. I don’t understand why Boulder lost, but it didn’t upset me the way the Ripper loss did. Match Rating: **3/4
Joe Pittman vs. Rob Ramer
Pittman jumped him from before the bell. Ramer caught him with a spinerbuster to slow him down. Pittman cut off Ramer on the floor with a lariat. Pittman tried to get the crowd to start a slow cap for him. It did not work. Pittman proceeded to work him over in the ring. Pittman hit a Full Nelson Slam at one point for a nearfall. Ramer came back with a series of punches and strikes. Ramer hit the DVD: 1…2…3. Huh.
This match did not do much for me. Ramer wasn’t very interesting to watch, and once again, I can’t figure out why the guy who is not a part of the universe goes over. I have reasons to care about Ripper Thomas, Buck Boulder, and Joe Pittman. I don’t have reasons to care about these other guys, and nothing about their performances made me think that I could care about them in the future. Now, if one of these three School of Roc students lost, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it. In fact, considering that Buck Boulder’s gimmick is that “he’s always looking for the next mountain to climb,” it makes sense that he doesn’t win right away (especially to another…mountain of a man. Ah thank you). I’m just not sure of the upside that comes along with Ripper and Pittman losing. I hope it makes sense in the long run, and that I look back at this review a year from now and think that I was being overly critical. Match Rating: **
U-Gene vs. Shawn Cook
U-Gene is of course Eugene, aka Nick Dinsmore, in full gimmick. I’ve never seen Shawn Cook before.
There were some Eugene shenanigans in the early goings. Yes, I’m going to write “Eugene” throughout the recap. Come at me Vince. More Eugene shenanigans. Finally, Cook cut him off with a lariat. Cook was in control after that for a while. Eugene Hulked up and made his comeback. Eugene then hit the Rock Bottom. Eugene then hit the People’s Elbow: 1…2…NO! Eugene called for the RKO, but Cook blocked hit and hit a back suplex for a nearfall. Ref bump. Ref bump #2. Eugene then hit the Stone Cold Stunner for the phantom pinfall. Tripp Cassidy ran into the ring, but he ate a Pedigree from Eugene. Eugene then gave Reed Bentley the FU and the five Knuckle Shuffle. Eugene then gave Sue Jackson a poke to the eyes and a chokeslam. Cook threw powder in Eugene’s eyes: 1…2…3. Heidi Lovelace, Trevor Court, and Dale Patricks ran down, and the referee realized there were some shenanigans. An eight person brawl broke out. Eugene assisted Court with a tope con hello to wipe out the League. The match was apparently restarted. Eugene then hit Cook with a RKO: 1…2…3
Oof. Ok, I understand the desire and the need to book Eugene from a business perspective, and if booking him is the difference between making a profit and losing money, by all means, I encourage Class Wars to continue to use Eugene. However, the way Eugene was used here seemed counterproductive to the presumed larger goal of making the Class Wars brand into a bigger deal. The message from this main event was not only that Eugene was and is the biggest star on the show, but he completely dominated the promotion’s heel faction by himself. I honestly couldn’t believe my eyes as I saw Eugene run through the League, one by one. So, on top of the first grade level substance of a Eugene match, I saw characters that I care about tossed aside by, for lack of a better term, a WWE reject. I watched and reviewed the first season of Class Wars because I became so invested the characters. As a result, I did not enjoy this much at all. In the interest of being fair, the crowd clearly reacted and responded to Eugene way more than I did. Match Rating: *1/2
After the show, Tripp Cassidy announces that he is selecting Sue Jackson for his team in season 2. Billy Roc shows up and announces that he is selecting Reed Bentley. Bentley walks off with Roc. DISSENSION~!
BONUS Match Reviews
Mike Quackenbush vs. Billy Roc from IPW’s Super Jr. Heavyweight Tournament 2006
This was a quarterfinal match in IPW’s annual Super Jr. Tourney.
This may surprise you, but this match started with both men exchanging holds. This went on for a while, and it was beautiful. Roc hit a backstabber and a slingshot senton. Quack came back and went after the left leg of Roc. Quack was in control for a while until Roc hit a desperation enzuigiri. Roc made a comeback. He hit a spinning heel kick and got a nearfall with a schoolboy. Quack managed to Snake Eyes Roc and hit the Saving Grace: 1…2…NO! Roc came right back with a tornado DDT and a nifty diving hurricanrana: 1…2…NO! Roc went to the top rope, but Quack met him up there with a superplex. Quack then immediately transitioned into a Quackendriver III: 1…2…3!
Quack got on the microphone after the match. He admitted that he had never heard of Billy Roc before he got here. However, he says that after wrestling Roc, he realizes that Roc is a great and that Indianapolis is lucky to have him. Roc and his students sporadically worked for Chikara after this match.
This match was beautiful and made Roc look like an outstanding wrestler. I’m a sucker for competitive chain wrestling, and this match absolutely gave me that. I would love to see what these two would do together in 2012, but it seems unlikely that the match would ever happen. Match Rating: ***1/2
The League (“Big” Sue Jackson, Tripp Cassidy, & Reed Bentley) vs. Heidi Lovelace & Dale Patricks from Class Wars 2012
This is a two out of three falls match. There are additional rules that I'm copying word for word from the screen: "In between falls, The League has thirty (30) seconds to swap one partner. The League CANNOT use the same two wrestlers in two (2) consecutive falls." The announcer also mentioned that Dale Patricks promised to have a surprise for The League and that the odds were now evened.
Billy Roc announces that he has hired an official Class Wars referee, as Roc had been refereeing all the matches previously. The referee is John Calvin. Cassidy and Bentley are doing the first fall for The League. Cassidy and Heidi started the match. Heidi took down Cassidy with an armdrag, and she then tagged out to Patricks. Patricks took Cassidy down with an armdrag as well. Bentley tagged in. He and Patricks traded some stiff forerams. Patricks hit a DDT for a nearfall. Heidi came back in and went after Bentley's left arm. Patricks ran in without being tagged and attacked Tripp and Sue. Heidi gave Bentley an enzuigiri and Patricks then hit him with a Brogue Kick: 1...2...3. Dale Paricks and Heidi Lovelace win the first fall.
Sue Jackson ignores the thirty second rest period and just starts attacking Patricks. Patricks ate two rolling sentons from the rudos. Heidi broke up the pinfall. Sue Jackson locked in a nerve pinch, and Patricks started wailing. Cassidy tagged in and hit the Don't Be a Hero Knee Strike (he pulls them off the top rope into a knee strike. Looks like a more violent Go-2-Sleep): 1...2...3. The League win the second fall.
Cassidy continued to beat down Patricks after the fall, so Bentley forcibly removed him from the ring. Sue crushed Patricks with a running splash. Heidi again had to break up the pinfall. Bentley tagged back in and hit a butterfly suplex: 1...2...Heidi broke up the pinfall again. Patricks avoided a back suplex and tagged in Heidi. Heidi ran wild on Bentley. She had a pinfall with a hurricanrana, but Cassidy jumped up on the apron. Remi Wilkins ran in and pulled Cassidy off the apron. Patricks and Heidi knocked Sue Jackson off the apron. Bentley was still distracted by the Wilkins run-in. Patricks then got a pinning combination on Bentley: 1...2...3. Dale Patricks & Heidi Lovelace win the match two falls to one.
Heidi and Patricks celebrated in the ring. Wilkins joined them and explained he was late because someone had slashed his tire. That made me laugh (in a good way).
This match really showed how much the Class Wars wrestlers have improved in the ring since the very first episode of the web series. While the match was maybe not technically perfect, everything they did was much crisper and smoother than when I first started watching them. Reed Bentley especially seems to be someone that has a bright future. I'm also really digging what Heidi is bringing to the table, and I see her being the breakout star in Class Wars season 2. I did have a couple of nitpicks about the match though. Since it wasn't really a handicap match (or whatever advantage The League had wasn't emphasized enough), it was a little annoying that the tecnicos kept "cheating," for lack of a better word. Patricks illegally ran in and double teamed Bentley to finish the first fall, and Heidi repeatedly broke up pinfalls illegally. While both of those things happen frequently in tag team matches, they usually happen in chaotic tag matches with bodies flying all over the pace. This match was much more methodical (which I am definitely fine with and actually like), so those types of thing stood out more.
I am very intrigued with the direction of The League. Season 1 of Class Wars seemed to be all about establishing them as a dominant heel faction, but now there is clear dissension in the ranks. Reed Bentley is now storyline training with Billy Roc, and his goals for the group seem to be drifting farther and farther apart from Tripp and Sue. Personally, I would love to see this Trio stick together, especially since Class Wars announced that they would be crowning Trios Champions in the somewhat near future. However, Reed leaving The League eventually would also open the doors to a lot of cool storylines and matches. Match Rating: **1/2
Season 2 of Class Wars begins Monday, January 28, leading to the live Finale on Saturday, April 20th in Lafayette (to be released via Smart Mark Video). There will be at least one full match between now and Jan 28 on the Youtube channel for free, potentially more.
The 411: While I could first talk about big picture stuff, I feel the need to say that of the six matches on this show, three worked really well. Like, “I want to rewatch them” (and I will) well. That being said, the other three matches did not go well, and in the case of the main event, I greatly disliked what I saw. I’m completely invested in the Class Wars universe because I have grown fond of following most of the characters. I don’t care about Guy Lombardo, Shawn Cook, or Eugene. If Class Wars is going to use guys like that more in the future, I either would prefer that they be used to enhance the roster, or the promotion needs to do more make me care about them. While this show is not great in a bubble, it was still nice to get back into the Class Wars universe before the start of season two. I'm looking forward to season two a lot, and I encourage everyone reading this to check it out. You can support Class Wars by buying this show as a DVD
, as a MP4, or as a Video On Demand .