Here's my bullet point thoughts on Holiday Hangover.
|Zachary Wentz in his natural element.|
All Photos featured on this page are by the amazingly talented Photos by Manning.
- DJ Z is an amazing high flyer and it turns out, so is Gringo Loco, a dude I've never seen in action before Friday night. But Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz are now on another level. They've traveled around the world twice over and I cannot help but think their work with the OWE kids and CIMA has helped them to strengthen their game. I expect 2019 to be an even bigger year for the unit.
- The first three of the four first round title tournament matches were just okay. Jessicka Havok versus Matthew Palmer was a classic beatdown with her just destroying him before he pulled the old Eddie Guerrero fake chair shot move, only to get beaten down even more. Larry D versus Rich Swann was competitive but with Larry's positioning in Revolver it seemed like his victory was a foregone conclusion. No JT Dunn, so the three way became Trey Miguel vs. Ace Austin vs. Clayton Gainz. I was more than okay with this as Gainz seems set to have a solid wrestling career, even if his ring name is one of the worst since Flex Kavana.
- Tommy Dreamer took Brian Cage's place against Shane Strickland and showed why he's such a talented ring psychologist to the fans in attendance. It wasn't a first time match-up I ever expected to see but it was a heck of a lot of fun. Strickland is an amazing talent and working folks like Dreamer will only make him that much better.
|JT Energy confronts Manders-Claus!|
- The return from intermission gave us the only few moments with any Iowa-based talent in action as Manders-Claus (Steve Manders handing out prizes in an awful Santa outfit) came under attack by the debuting JT Energy. Manders took Energy out quick and finished his rounds, but if the Revolver really wants to ingrain itself in Iowa wrestling, I really want to see it actually use the local talent in significant ways.
- I was surprised to see Kimber Lee before the event selling her wares. She's an amazing talent that I can't help but feel WWE dropped the ball on and I hope she returns for more Revolver shows, maybe as an announced talent next time. She got to show off some of her skills in the six way scramble open against champion Caleb Konley, Manscout Jake Manning, Madman Fulton, Ace Romero and Dirty Andy Dalton (also a last minute replacement.) They put on a great spot-based match frequently built around how they could use the tent Manning of course brought in. Konley stole the win in a bout way better booked than the mess in October.
- Jake Manning and Caleb Konley are rockstars in their roles with Highspots. They're hocking wares, maintaining cameras and/or on commentary for various parts of the show, and still take time to be really great talents in their match. So much of what they do is behind the scenes and I don't think they get close to enough credit for their talents.
- I think the Christmas Death Match between Jimmy Jacobs and Arik Cannon was pretty much doomed to fail from the start. Half the people there didn't seem to know Cannon despite him being a regular Midwest guy for over a decade (including in Des Moines' own 3XW.) Jacobs brought out a few of the same spots he used back in October's death match and it all just came out feeling a bit redundant. It was a fun callback to see him pull out the trusty spike I haven't seen in years though.
- OVE versus ACH and the Besties in the World (or the Super-Besties) was apparently a bout the six men talked about for a long time in advance of it finally happening. ACH is a fun talent and knows how to play a local crowd, but if the rumors about his future are true, I'll be curious to see how he can play to a large audience. He was lost in the shuffle in ROH and I worry it might be the same for him wherever he proves to go. But the spectacle the six men put on here was worth the price of admission alone. A ton of talent all in one ring at the same time is always something to love.
- The main event was built around an angle from the start and that hurt it. With Palmer out due to "injury" Strickland was the only member of The Crew left standing. He put on an entertaining battle with Trey Miguel and Larry D, but the end came with a ref bump. With the ref down, Larry takes out his opponents and covered for a pin as a new ref hit the ring. Only the new ref stopped his count and attacked Larry, pulling off his shirt to show he was a freshly shaven Matthew Palmer. He stole the pin and the victory and gave The Crew their second main event win over the last two shows. It will be interesting to see how they play out that story in the shows ahead.
- Matthew Palmer landed maybe two moves for the entire show and still exited as the most hated heel in the promotion and the new champion. He's just an amazing heel and it's fascinating to watch him in action. He's a Texan guy with history in Inspire Pro and Wrestle Circus, but isn't a guy that is much more than a blip on the indies. But damn if he isn't pure greatness as a top heel. I got a special kick out of his pre-match promo against Havok, where he ranted about how women shouldn't be allowed to wrestle, an interesting note from a man whose Twitter handle name recently listed his last name as Palmer-Moon.
- The company isn't back to the Val Air until early March, but with six shows planned for Des Moines this year, I'm excited to see what else they have in store for the future.
- If Sami's focus on talent has shown me anything with the crowd reactions at the Revolver, it is that Larry D and Matthew Palmer are both incredible independent wrestling talent that need to have more eyes on them.
|New Revolver Champion Matthew Palmer.|
Overall another great show from the Wrestling Revolver. Promised talents at the next event included John Morrison and Daga among others, so it will be very interesting to see what the future holds for the company in the new year.
To watch the show, stay tuned to the Highspots Wrestling Network as it usually goes up within a week. For more on the promotion, visit ProWrestlingRevolver.com. And stay focused on this site to see some of these same names in the Top 100 wrestlers of 2018!