National Pro Wrestling Day was held on February 2, 2013 at the National Guard Armory in Philadelphia, PA. Over 20 different independent wrestling promotions were represented with over 70 wrestlers participating in matches. It was a long day! As a result of so much going on, this is going to be a really long post! There are pictures at the end and I’ve included a couple of videos too.
I went with a couple of friends and had a great time. We waited outside for the doors to open for about an hour. We had read on Twitter that the doors would open at 12:30 and they actually opened around 12:20! I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever been to an indy show and the doors opened early! It’s a good thing too because it was freezing cold out there.
In the lobby we were greeted by none other than Bill Apter! I’ve seen Bill before at the Legends of the Ring fan conventions, but I still mark out big time every time I see him. He was gracious as always and shook everyone’s hand. Inside there were several vendor tables set up selling t-shirts, DVDs, masks, etc. There were also some wrestlers selling 8×10’s and photo ops. Some people would pose for pics for free and some were charging, which is the norm. You can see in the pics below who I got pictures with so I won’t go into too much detail here about that.
After about 20 or 30 minutes the show started up. I was happy to see that Chikara’s Gavin Loudspeaker was the ring announcer for the event. He’s a great talent and brings a lot of energy and excitement to the show.
The Ring of Honor match started the show (I’m thinking that maybe this match wasn’t on the iPPV due to the ROH contracts limiting their wrestlers’ ability to appear on non-ROH shows but I’m not sure about that). The Briscoes vs. Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs to start things off was very nice!
I’ll list the matches and offer any comments I have:
ROH: The Briscoes vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino
I was expecting an awesome match and that’s what I got! The Briscoes are always entertaining and Corino and Jacobs are no slouches either. The match was shorter than I had hoped but that seemed to be the case for every match. Briscoes got the win with the doomsday device.
Wrestling Is Fun: Saturyne vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado
I’ve seen Saturyne a couple of times before live and I was really looking forward to seeing what she would do against a male competitor. Juan wore his bow tie the whole time which I thought was funny. At one point he was on the floor and Saturyne climbed on the turnbuckles to jump off and Juan let out a high-pitched shriek which reminded me a lot of Chuck Taylor. Saturyne got the win with a small package I think.
House of Hardcore: Vik Delicious & Ben Ortiz vs. Tommy Dreamer & Hale Collins
I wan’t expected Tommy Dreamer to wrestle so this was a nice surprise. I saw Collins at the House of Hardcore show and he was pretty impressive. This was a decent match but nothing really stands out as too memorable other than Tommy’s speech. You’ll see below that I got a pretty nice shot of Hale Collins in mid air doing the frog splash. Dreamer and Collins won the match.
Absolute Intense Wrestling: Ethan Page vs. Josh Alexander
My friend Ryan knows Alexander from the C-4 promotion in Canada and informed me that he is the current C-4 Champion. I’ve seen Ethan Page on various video clips online from AIW. These two really impressed me and I thought it was a good match. The worked pretty well together and everything was smooth. Ethan Page came out with Seleziya Sparx which didn’t help him win the match as Josh Alexander got the win.
CWF Mid-Atlantic: Arik Royal & Chiva Kid vs. Ric Converse & Trevor Lee
I had never seen any of these guys before and to be honest I don’t remember much about this match other than the incredible finish which saw the Chiva Kid nail a moonsault with a double spin (720 moonsault?) That really impressed the hell out of just about everyone in the place. Check it out on this video, it was awesome!
CZW: Matt Tremont vs. Latin Dragon vs. Rory Mondo
There were some fans furious that CZW wan’t originally planned to be a part of this day, but in the end they did get added to the show. In my opinion this was one of the sloppiest matches on the card. Matt Tremont took a sick bump when he was suplexed off the turnbuckles down to the floor. It made a loud “thud” that echoed throughout the place. There were some good “hardcore” spots but overall it just looked sloppy to me. Tremont got the win with a strong powerbomb on Latin Dragon.
Wrestling Is Art: Colt Cabana vs. Mike Quackenbush
I was looking forward to this one since it was the first match announced way back when the hype first started for the event. One thing I noted is that Quackenbush has an awesome long ring jacket! This match was mostly comedy with some nice moves mixed in. Not much high-flying or fast paced action which surprised me. The ending seemed to come out of nowhere when Cabana got the pin. A solid, fun match but not exactly what I thought it would be. After the match Bill Apter came into the ring and presented a plaque to Colt Cabana declaring him an “Ambassador of Independent Pro Wrestling”. Colt made a great speech about how great it is to be an indy wrestler and how they are all like family. It was a great speech and Cabana certainly is a great ambassador for indy wrestling!
Beyond Wrestling: Sugar Dunkerton & Aaron Epic vs. Eric Corvis & Chris Dickinson
I’ve seen Sugar Dunkerton before in Chikara but all the other guys are new to me. I honestly don’t remember much about this match. Dunkerton and Epic got the win but I don’t really remember how.
Rey De Voladores Tournament: 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Jojo Bravo vs. Oliver Grimsley vs. Shane Hollister
PWInsider.com sponsored this tourney and they brought in a special ring announcer…Stephen DeAngelis! Was really looking forward to seeing Scorpio! I’m somewhat familiar with Shane Hollister from AAW videos online. Bravo might just be the world’s tallest midget (anyone remember Bill Dundee?) and Grimsley is an evil clown or something. There was one spot where Hollister caught Scorpio with a titty-twister! Hollister was accompanied to the ring by the lovely Scarlett Bordeaux and she got involved at some point. Scorpio caught her and threatened a piledriver or powerbomb but didn’t get the chance to do anything to her. Scorpio eliminated Hollister with a 450 splash and eventually hit the 450 again on Grimsley for the win! Scorpio advanced to the finals later on in the 7PM show. Good match with lots of action. I really enjoyed it!
Kaiju Big Battel: American Beetle & Neo Teppen vs. Dr. Cube & Sekmet
OK, so in this match there is the evil Dr. Cube and his monsters vs. the heroes. Cube ended up not wrestling and 2 other monsters came out to take his place or something. It was kind of a mess with monsters everywhere. Even with Gavin Loudspeaker doing commentary over the P.A. system it was hard to follow what was going on. If you’ve never heard of this before check out this video. It will explain it pretty well.
Wrestling is Respect: Drew Gulak vs. Francis O’Rourke
These guys both look like they could be MMA fighters and were very serious about the match. Francis didn’t like being announced and wanted his name to be changed to “Frank”. They wrestled a very tight, stiff style which reminded me a lot of MMA. Gulak eventually made O’Rourke tap out. It was a good way to recover from the zaniness of the previous match.
Rey De Voladores Tournament: Bolt Brady vs. ACH vs. Lukas Sharp vs. Surfer Mitch
I love watching ACH wrestle but I’ve never seen the other 3 guys. Don’t remember much about this one except that ACH won so that sets up 2 Cold Scorpio vs. ACH in the finals. That should be a good one!
That was the end of the 1PM card. It seemed a little too long and was exhausting! I think it felt that way to me because there were so many wrestlers that I wasn’t familiar with and I didn’t sleep well the night before in the hotel. I enjoyed seeing so many new guys but I was just a little too tired to really enjoy it. At this point we hung around for about a half hour getting pictures and autographs then went out to get dinner. We returned about an hour later and continued!
One really cool thing happened once we got back from dinner that I just have to mention. I was talking to Dasher Hatfield and Bill Apter walked over with his video camera and microphone. He wanted to interview Hatfield so I got to operate the camera for him! Then he moved on to interviewing the team of 3.0 and I did the camera work on that one too. It was so cool to be working with Bill Apter even in such a small way that I really enjoyed it. He is a legend! You can see those interviews in my previous post here.
And now…the 7PM card!
Wrestling Is Heart: Heidi Lovelace & Mat Russo vs. “The League” of Reed Bentley & Tripp Cassidy
The story here is that Heidi Lovelace got the crap beat out of her and her partner wasn’t much help at all. We cringed at some of the abuse she took in this match but it was entertaining and I enjoyed it.
Fighting Spirit Wrestling: The SAT vs. Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik
I haven’t seen the Maximos since the weekly TNA PPVs and I remember them being much smaller and more in shape. I assume that Ortiz and Draztik are two of their students but I’m not 100% sure about that. We saw a few good double team moves by the SATs but I think the other team’s lack of experience really hampered this bout. The Maximos got the win after hitting Spanish Fly.
Women Superstars Uncensored: Christina Von Eerie vs. Ezavel
All I know of Von Eerie is that she used to date Jessie Neal and she has a huge ass mohawk. Ezavel is a blonde who wears a mask. Don’t remember much of this match. Ezavel won but I don’t even remember how that happened. Better than a WWE Divas match for sure, but nothing too spectacular.
Resistance Pro: Jay Bradley & Darcy Dixon vs. Robert Anthony & Thunder Kitty
I was excited to see Jay Bradley and Robert Anthony since I’ve seen them on Resistance Pro’s web videos and they both are pretty good wrestlers. Having the women in the match created a fun dynamic with the men and women tagging in and out a lot. It was a good match which saw Anthony and Thunder Kitty get the win. Bradley and Dixon argued after the match and Bradley laid her out and pinned her.
CHIKARA: F.I.S.T & Los Ice Creams vs. 3.0 & The Colony
This was your typical Chikara match, meaning it was great! Some comedy mixed with great wrestling action. The Colony and 3.0 won. A pretty strong “Chikara” chant after the match.
NYWC: Alex Reynolds & John Silver vs. Tony Nese & Apollyon
Tony Nese impresses me every time I see him. I wasn’t too sure about Apollyon based on his look but he really did a great job in the ring. He even did a dive through the ropes onto the guys on the floor which for a guy his size was amazing. Apollyon and Nese got the win. It was a fun, entertaining match that I really enjoyed.
EVOLVE: AR Fox vs. Shane Strickland
Both of these guys can really move and this match was a treat! Lots of high flying, acrobatic action. AR Fox got the win. A great showing by both guys in this one.
Wrestling is Awesome!: Devastation Corporation vs. Proud Oak & Thunderfrog
Sidney Bakabella who I assume is the promoter made an odd speech about Fritz Von Erich owning the territory and some other nonsense which made me think this is a really gimmicky federation with some old school schtick. Devastation Corporation kind of reminded me of Demolition just a bit (at least their look). Thunderfrog carries a big wooden hammer that only he can lift. There was a funny spot where one of the bad guys tried to lift up the hammer but couldn’t (just like Thor’s hammer!) Fun stuff! Devastation Corporation got the win. I really enjoyed this match more than I thought I would. It was fun, old school wrestling.
IWC: John McChesney vs. Logan Shulo
I honestly don’t remember much about this match except the crowd was all of Shulo’s case for looking like Jesus or something like that. I remember thinking that they were good but I just don’t remember any specifics. McChesney won the match.
Wrestling’s Heroes & Outlaws: Hurricane Helms & Matty de Nero vs. Ophidian and Kobald
de Nero is a cowboy wearing a Nintendo power glove which somehow gives him power ups when he presses the buttons. Kobald got the usual toilet paper streamers thrown at him. Ophidian was wearing a new mask which I really liked. At one point Ophidian did some dancing and Helms broker out some of the 3-count moves. It was a fun, fast paced match. Ophidian was distracted by someone standing in the entranceway to the ring (his old partner or something?). Hurricane and de Nero won the match. It was a good match and was fun to watch.
Rey de Voladores Finals: ACH vs. 2 Cold Scorpio
The ring announcer did the old “buff, cut, chiseled and jacked” intro for Scorpio which was really cool. This was a good back and forth match that saw each man try to outdo the other. ACH was trying to prove that he’s better than Scorpio and Scorpio was trying to prove that he’s still got it (and yes, he does still have it!) Eventually 2 Cold Scorpio got the win. They shook hands after the match and then Scorpio was presented with the plaque for winning the 2013 Rey de Voladores Tournament. It was a great way to finish the day!
At the end of it all I was exhausted and worn out but really glad I attended and would definitely do it again next year if it happens. I thought there would be more people, but it was a pretty good crowd as it was. I emailed Mike Johnson from PWInsider.com about attendance figures and he said he guessed there were maybe 600 for the 1PM show and 500 for the 7PM show. I thought it was more than that but I’m really not good at estimating the size of a crowd!
I hope you have enjoyed this huge recap of National Pro Wrestling Day! Below are some of the pictures that I took during the day. Were you there live? Did you watch it on iPPV? Let me know in the comments what you thought of the show!