Views from the Hawke's Nest: Brian Kendrick's King of Flight 2013
Posted by TJ Hawke on 08.16.2013
Paul London, Ricochet, Amazing Red, The Young Bucks and more descend upon California to determine the first ever KING OF FLIGHT!
March 24, 2013
Commentators: GQ Money & Nigel McGuinness
King of Flight Quarterfinals Paul London vs. Samuray Del Sol
London did his own introductions and gave out kazoos because “clapping is old news.”
They did some stuff to start the match. London ended up on the floor after a diving corkscrew armdrag from Del Sol. Del Sol then did a feint dive, and London retreated to the parking lot. London got back in the ring, and he then worked Del Sol over. Del Sol came back with a Code Red for a nearfall. London came back with an elevated neckbreaker for a nearfall. Del Sol came back with a tope suicida. Del Sol got a 2.999 count with a hurricanrana driver. London came back with a springboard double stomp. London went to the top rope, but Del Sol caught him with the Rising Sun II: 1…2…3
This was a solid juniors match. I can’t remember a previous London match where he worked over his opponent. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened before; I just don’t think I’ve seen it. That structure was odd to experience, but the match managed to entertain me. Match Rating: ***
King of Flight Quarterfinals AR Fox vs. Nick Jackson
Nick was heeling it up, which should make for a fun environment. They avoided each other’s moonsaults to the floor. Nick then hit a Trouble in Paradise. Nick was in control after that. Fox eventually managed to send Nick to the floor. Fox then hit a lope suicida, a tope suicida, and a tope con hello. Back in the ring, Fox hit a diving cutter, but Nick got his knees up on a swanton. Nick got a nearfall after a great superkick. Fox came back with a My Dick Explodes, but Nick came right back with a superkick. Fox hit a shooting star cannobal, but Nick blocked the Lo Mein Pain. Nick went for a sunset flip pin, but Fox reversed it into a jackknife: 1…2…3!
This match was shaping up to be very good, but the finish was a tad anti-climactic after all that movez done in the match. Still, this was fun. Fox and Del Sol moving on is good news. That should be a hell of a semifinal match. Match Rating: ***
King of Flight Quarterfinals Ricochet vs. Amazing Red
They ended up on the apron, and Red hit an enzuigiri that sent Ricochet to the floor. Red then hit a Red Star Press to the floor. Bananas. Red was then in control of the match, which is an odd decision. Luckily, Ricochet hit a running cutter and got control of the match. Ricochet taunted Red for a moment, and the latter caught him with a superkick. Ricochet came back and went for a corkscrew deadman suicida. He almost completely missed Red. He may have grazed him. Back in the ring, they both went down after trading kicks. They went back and forth. Red hit a beautiful satellite DDT. He went for a springboard senton to the floor, but he accidentally took out some fans and some chairs. The fuck was that. Red got back into the ring, but Ricochet hit a backslide driver for a nearfall. The crowd has been taken out of the action for a bit. Red came back. This match has kind of fallen apart. Red somehow hit a super Code Red: 1…2…no. Ricochet took a funny bump for that one. Red went to the top rope, but Ricochet caught him and murdered him with a super reverse hurricanrana: 1…2…3.
This seemingly fell apart after that crowd dive from Red. Before that finishing sequence, I was really enjoying this (it was on the level of the first two matches). However, I really wish Ricochet did more of his cocky heels shtick. He’s a far more complete performer when he does that. Match Rating: **1/2
King of Flight Quarterfinals Matt Jackson vs. Rich Swann
Matt blocked a Swann dive early on. Jackson got control of the match for a while. They ended up on the floor; Matt hit a spear and a DDT on the entrance ramp. He was trying to win by countout. Swann stood up, but Jackson went to the floor to give him a superkick. Swann managed to come back with a superkick and a tope con hello. Swann hit a High Fly Flow for a nearfall. Swann made a standard pro wrestling comeback (but with flips!). Matt came back with a tombstone for a nearfall. Matt went for a Swanton, but Swann avoided it and hit a superkick. Matt came back with a buckle bomb and a flipping stunner. Ref bump. Swann hit a snap Falcon Arrow, which got him a phantom pinfall. Nick Jackson came out. He pushed Matt out of the ring and pretended to be Matt. Swann caught Nick with a small package: 1…2…3.
The Young Bucks attacked Rick Knox, as they are wont to do. Knox managed to give them his big running double lariat. The crowd popped. \
That was a weak finish to what was an otherwise fun match. I thought Swann looked really good here. The conclusion just didn’t allow the match to be a great overall package. Match Rating: **3/4
King of Flight Semifinal AR Fox vs. Samuray Del Sol
They started the match with a very cool sequence. Fox hit a lope suicida and a tope suicida. Del Sol blocked the tope con hello and then hit a twisting Air Jordan! Geezus. Del Sol gave him a standing sliced bread in the ring. Fox came back with a sliced bread on the apron. Da fuck. Fox then hit the Lo Mein Rain! Fox got a great nearfall with a springboard 450. Fox hit the Lo Mein Pain: 1…2…NO! That is only the second time I’ve seen someone kick out of this. This is easily the best match so far. Fox went to the top rope, but Del Sol caught him with the Rising Sun II: 1…2…NO! Del Sol then hit the Rising Sun I: 1…2…3!
This is exactly the kind of match you would expect from this tournament. Both guys worked their asses off and put on a super fun match. Match Rating: ***1/2
King of Flight Semifinal Ricochet vs. Rich Swann
Somehow, WWN has not booked this match despite having over three years to do so. They did some cool flippy stuff early on. Ricochet got control of the match and worked Swann over. They ended up on the floor, as Swann got control of the match. He hit a moonsault off the stage. Back in the ring, Ricochet got a nearfall with a running Ace Crusher. Ricochet got another nearfall with a diving leg lariat. Swann came back and hit a Red Star Press for a nearfall. I’m really enjoying this. Ricochet hit a backslide driver and a snapmare driver: 1…2…NO! Ricochet then hit a Phoenix Splash: 1…2…3!
This match was completely different than the other semifinal match, but I enjoyed it just as much. This is one of my favorite Rich Swann singles matches. Good stuff. Match Rating: ***1/2
Ryan J. Morals vs. Mr. Tanaka
Tanaka brought a umbrella. Nigel thought it was Oddjob from the James Bond movies. Oh brother.
I believe these are students of Brian Kendrick. I have very low expectations. Tanaka completely dominated the match. Morals got control of the match and went after the left knee of Tanaka. Tanaka avoided a charge in the corner and made a comeback. Tanaka made sure to sell his knee during the comeback. Morals got a single leg crab, and Tanaka was forced to tap out.
This was perfectly acceptable for whatever it was. Tanaka’s gimmick looks pretty lame at best and racist at worst. I would need to see more though. Match Rating: ½*
Brian Kendrick came out before the show to thank everyone for coming. The audio quality for it was not great.
King of Flight Finals Ricochet vs. Samuray Del Sol
They quickly ended up on the floor, and Del Sol hit a suplex on the stage. Back in the ring, Del Sol went for the walk-on-his-hands-spot, but Ricochet caught him with a dropkick. They traded fancy armdrags. Ricochet hit a Sasuke Special…into an armdrag. Ricochet was in control for a while. Del Sol was popped up in the air; he did a flip and attempted a hurricanrana, but it looked more like an armdrag. Ricochet has yet to have a real sense of urgency in this tournament. He’s working casual, but not cocky. Del Sol avoided a backslide driver and hit a standing sliced bread for a nearfall. Ricochet caught a Rising Sun #1 attempt and hit a Regalplex. Ricochet avoided a super reverse rana, but Del Sol then hit a moonsault into a satellite DDT. Ricochet came back with a Meteora: 1…2…NO! Del Sol no-sold a reverse ran and hit a reverse rana of his own. Del Sol went for the Rising Sun #2, but Riccohet reversed it into a Glam Slam for a nearfall. Ricochet went for the reverse hurricanrana, but Del Sol avoided it. Del Sol then hit the Rising Sun #1: 1…2…3!
Kendrick presented Del Sol with his crown after the match.
This was a very fitting end to the tournament. These two managed to save a lot of cool sequences and movez for the main event, and it may have been the most enjoyable match of the show (it’s a toss-up between this and Fox/Del Sol for me). Considering Del Sol was already in the early stages of signing with the WWE, I was surprised to see him go over. I don’t especially care, but it did surprise me. I do think he was the MVP of tournament; so, it was definitely fitting that he won. Match Rating: ***1/2
The 411: This was a very enjoyable show. It didn't live up to my impossibly high (PWG) expectations, but it was still quite good and much better than most American independent wrestling shows these days. I recommend that you pick it up if you're in the mood for a fun show with a lot of great talent. You can also get the show at Highspots.