NEW Wrestlefest XXII 3/2/2018
Matt Riddle takes on Brad Hollister in singles action. NEW Heavyweight Champion Flip Gordon teams with Rey Mysterio Jr. to take on Joey Mercury & Caleb Konley. Tenille Dashwood squares off against Deonna Purrazzo. Plus, much more!
Northeast Wrestling presents Wrestlefest XXII
From: Waterbury, CT
Opening Contest: NEW Tag Team Champions Adrenaline Rush (Daniel Evans & Keith Youngblood) vs. Cam Zagami & Robbie E: Youngblood and Robbie kickoff the tag title match with Robbie deciding to hug his partner Zagami to get some extra heat. Youngblood works over the left arm of Robbie for a few moments, but Robbie quickly counters. Youngblood kips up and brings Robbie to his corner to tag in Evans. Robbie gets Zagami tagged in but Evans sends him into the ropes only to be met with a shoulder block. Evans catches Zagami on a leapfrog attempt and sends Cam into the corner. Robbie is sent into his partner and is arm dragged by the champs. Evans catches Zagami on a middle rope crossbody, but falls down anyway. Youngblood drives Zagami down with a vertical suplex. The challengers bail to the floor as the champs play to the crowd. Youngblood takes both men out with a suicide dive. Evans gets a two count on Zagami. Evans gets tossed to the floor by Zagami and Robbie holds Evans on the apron to allow Cam to hit a springboard dropkick. Robbie gets a few cheap shots in as the referee is distracted by Youngblood.
Robbie legally tags in and gets a two count on Evans. Evans fights back on Robbie with a few strikes but Robbie keeps control of the match. Zagami and Robbie double team Evans in the corner for a near fall. Zagami plants Evans with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Robbie drops Evans with a forearm strike and goes for a cocky cover managing a two count. Zagami accidentally forearms Robbie and Youngblood gets the tag. Youngblood cleans house on the challengers as Robbie spears Zagami in the corner. Youngblood splashes Zagami and superkicks a kneeling Robbie. Youngblood hits an Angle Slam on Zagami for a two count as Robbie breaks up the cover. Youngblood sends Robbie to the flood and tags in Evans. Evans plants Zagami with a running powerslam and Youngblood comes off the top with a swanton. Robbie puts Cam’s foot on the bottom rope to save the match. Youngblood chases after Robbie but gets shoved off the apron. Evans goes for a slam but Zagami comes up from behind and rolls Evans up to steal the match and titles. (**. There wasn’t much going on here in terms of excitement, but I thought the team of Robbie and Zagami worked a good heel match and got a decent reaction for the title change. There seems to be some promise for the new champs and I’m curious to see how they grow as champions.)
Lanny Poffo comes out and cuts a promo putting over Northeast Wrestling and the fans. You know, the usual speech that special guests give.
Second Contest: Bull Dredd vs. Chris Battle vs. Christian Casanova: Casanova gets worked over by both men and sent over the top to the floor. Battle and Dredd trade rollups showing their alliance lasted all of ten-seconds. Battle and Dredd are very sloppy with rollup attempts and seem to be working a style they just aren’t good at. Casanova gets back in the ring and is arm dragged by Battle. Dredd and Battle drop Casanova with axe handle strikes but neither man can pin Casanova. Casanova sends Dredd into Battle to send Battle to the floor. Casanova drops Dredd with a kick to the head. Casanova gets a two count on Dredd following a forearm strike. Battle grabs Casanova but is dropped over the top rope and falls off the apron. Casanova misses a standing dropkick and Dredd connects with his attempt. Dredd hooks Battle on the middle rope but Casanova comes over and yanks Dredd’s leg off the middle rope. Battle nails Casanova with a missile dropkick and clotheslines. Battle knee strikes Casanova followed by an ace crusher for a two count. Dredd grabs Casanova but Battle spears Dredd on accident and Casanova is able to steal the win by pinning Dredd after tossing Battle for the floor. (*1/2. A rather predictable match with the predictable finish. I’m liking Casanova, though. He had a strong showing at Over The Top and this victory helps his momentum.)
Third Contest: “King of Bethany” Brian Anthony vs. Jake Manning: Anthony tries to attack Manning before the bell but Manning jabs him a few times followed by a clothesline and swinging neckbreaker. Manning ties Anthony on the bottom rope, which makes just about zero sense as Anthony is just holding the ropes. Manning dropkicks Anthony to the floor and his servants check on him. Manning follows to the floor and chops away on Anthony. Manning pummels Anthony in the corner with right hands but is dropped over the top turnbuckle face first. Anthony continues to work over Manning with strikes and chokes Jake over the middle rope. Anthony hits a jumping elbow strike for a near fall after playing to the crowd. Anthony takes Manning over with a vertical suplex for a two count. Manning elbows his way out of a nerve hold and is met with a knee strike to his midsection. Anthony comes off the ropes with a running big boot and goes to the top rope. Anthony hits an elbow drop for a near fall.
They begin to trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Neither man will drop down until Anthony kicks Manning low. Anthony has Manning on his shoulders but Manning counters with a backbreaker and a quick Flatliner. Manning drops Anthony with strikes and a boot in the corner. Manning heads to the top rope hitting a flying shoulder block. Manning sunset flips Anthony into the corner. Manning does the move a second time but is pulled out by the Graysons. Manning decks them on the floor and punches Anthony. Manning sends all three men into each other. Jake goes to the top rope and falls backwards to take everyone out.
Manning goes for the cover but Anthony kicks out at two. Manning heads to the top but is met with a kick from Anthony. Anthony gets knocked off the middle rope but Manning gets crotched as the referee was distracted. Anthony hits a middle rope powerslam for the win. (**1/2. I enjoyed this more than I was expecting to. Manning has yet to win a match in NEW, which has to be one of the longest angles ever in NEW. Anthony works very well as a heel and they both were able to keep me interested throughout. I’d have to think we’ll be getting an Anthony/Gordon match for the title at some point.)
Fourth Contest: Ron Zombie vs. “American Sumo” Mike Gamble: Gamble starts the match punching Zombie a few times but Zombie goes for the DDT only for Gamble to back off. Gamble continues to work o Zombie with strikes and knocks Zombie off his feet with a strike to his chest. Zombie fights back with jabs but Gamble cuts him off with a clothesline for a two count. Zombie stomps on Gamble’s foot but Gamble avoids the DDT by hanging onto the ropes. Gamble threatens the referee after the referee prevented him from using the ropes on the pin attempt. Zombie boots Gamble and hits the DDT for the win. (*. Well, that wasn’t much of a match, really. I’m surprised there wasn’t a match with Hale Collins or even a mention of him considering their interaction at Over The Top. Gamble is super green and isn’t very good.)
Fifth Contest: Tenille Dashwood vs. Deonna Purrazzo: Early on, they trade a few wrist locks until Dashwood rolls through and they have a standoff. Purrazzo taunts Dashwood and gets tripped for doing so. They both get a near fall with rollups and that leads to another standoff. Purrazzo keeps Dashwood on the mat but Tenille backs her into the corner to deliver a strike. Purrazzo does a cartwheel and drops Dashwood with a kick. Dashwood kicks Purrazzo from the apron and drops her over the middle rope for a two count. Dashwood stands on Deonna’s hair and pulls her arms up for some cheap offense. Dashwood drops Purrazzo with a sloppy butterfly suplex for a near fall. Dashwood clotheslines Purrazzo for a near fall. Purrazzo fights back with chops and puts Deonna in the tarantula. Dashwood puts Purrazzo in the tree of woe before delivering a kick to her back. Dashwood pulls Deonna by her hair to get the cheap advantage in the corner. Dashwood hits a running crossbody into the corner for a near fall. Dashwood controls Deonna on the mat with a full nelson. They trade strikes until Purrazzo delivers a knee strike and a side Russian leg sweep for a two count.
Dashwood blocks a vertical suplex attempt and plants Purrazzo with a reverse DDT. Dashwood runs into a boot in the corner and Purrazzo gets a rollup for a near fall. Purrazzo transitions into an arm bar but Dashwood reaches the ropes to break the hold. Purrazzo goes for the arm bar again but Dashwood is able to avoid it after a struggle. Dashwood sends Deonna into the corner and delivers a neckbreaker followed by a running kick for the win. (*1/2. The match failed to hold my interest as I really don’t understand the hype around Dashwood since she wasn’t very good when she was in the WWE. Purrazzo has been built up as a top up and coming performer and having her job out to Dashwood in a convincing manner is a little weird.)
Sixth Contest: Matt Riddle vs. Brad Hollister: They shake hands to show respect for each other. They trade a few go behinds but neither man can get control for a long period of time. Riddle gets on the back of Hollister, but Hollister drives Riddle back first into the corner before dropping Riddle to the mat. Riddle recovers and goes back for the choke. Riddle shoves Hollister and Hollister doesn’t back down. Riddle drops Hollister with a German suplex, but Hollister no sells it and hits one on Riddle. They have a standoff in the middle of the ring with both men trading chops. Riddle nails Hollister with a knee strike to send Brad into the corner. Riddle delivers a couple of leaping forearm strikes in the corner. Riddle forearms Hollister and tosses Hollister with an overhead suplex. Riddle covers Hollister for a two count. Hollister gets his knees up to block a senton splash and tosses Riddle with a German suplex. Riddle pops right back up but is met with another German suplex moments later. Hollister tosses Riddle with a third German suplex for a near fall. Riddle forearms Hollister a few times but is met with a strike and Hollister gets a two count. Hollister tosses Riddle with a German suplex for a two count. Hollister puts a camel clutch on Riddle but isn’t able to get a submission.
Riddle counters the camel clutch looking for a tombstone but Hollister counters and drops Riddle with a slam for a two count. Hollister attempts a powerbomb but Riddle lands on his feet and strikes Hollister several times. Riddle nails Hollister with a kick to the head and has Hollister on his shoulders but delivers a kick and German suplex for a near fall. Riddle hits a couple of standing senton splashes for a two count. Riddle kicks Hollister several times on his chest. Hollister fights back with strikes but Riddle goes for a backslide only for Hollister to counter. Riddle counters with a powerbomb and a knee strike for a two count. Hollister shoulder rams Riddle in the corner but Riddle fights back with strikes. Riddle knee strikes Hollister for another two count. Riddle heads to the top rope hitting a senton splash but Hollister catches him with a powerbomb and a clothesline. Hollister hits a sit down powerbomb for the clean win. (***1/4. Well, they delivered a quality match on the undercard. I had hope that this was going to be solid and they came through with a solid match. This has to be a huge victory for Hollister getting a clean victory over Riddle.) After the match, Riddle and Hollister embrace to show respect for each other.
Seventh Contest: Josh Briggs vs. Wrecking Ball Legursky: They are both undefeated in NEW. Legursky works over Briggs in the corner with strikes and taunts the crowd. Briggs boots Legursky and pummels Legursky with strikes in the corner. Legursky shoulder blocks Briggs as Josh charged the corner. Legursky misses a splash in the corner but Briggs is backdropped to the apron. Briggs comes off the top with a crossbody for a two count. They both go to the floor where they trade strikes. Legursky sends Briggs into the guard railing chest first. Legursky sends Briggs chest first into the railing. Briggs boots Legursky on the floor and sends Legursky chest first into the ring steps. Briggs has Legursky setup for a suplec but Legursky counters with a suplex of his own on the floor. Legursky misses a running splash and hits the post face first. Briggs staggers Legursky with a boot to his face. Briggs beats on Legursky before rolling back into the ring. Briggs dives over the top rope to take Legursky out with a dive on the floor.
Legursky gets control with an elbow drop in the ring for a two count. Briggs fights back but runs into a swinging side slam but Briggs kicks out at one. Briggs gets out of a chokeslam and plants Legursky with one of his own for a near fall. Legursky’s manager gets in the ring and jumps on Briggs back, but is yanked down. The referee calls for the bell and Briggs wins by disqualification. After the match, the manager is begging off but Briggs grabs him for a chokeslam. Legursky gets up and saves his manager by pummeling Briggs in the corner. Legursky continues to beat on Briggs until Mick Foley makes his way out. Foley has distracted Legursky allowing Briggs to take him out with a headbutt. Foley puts Mr. Socko down the manager’s throat and brings him backstage. Legursky has gotten up but Briggs avoids him and sends Legursky to the floor. (*3/4. The match was rather disappointing and I’m not sure why you’d book two undefeated guys in a match if you don’t want either man to take a loss. Legursky is capable of a good showing, so I think this was just a bad matchup.)
Main Event: NEW Heavyweight Champion Flip Gordon & Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Joey Mercury & Caleb Konley: Gordon and Konley kick off the tag team main event. Gordon uses the ropes to counter Konley’s wrist lock with the same hold. Gordon plays to the crowd after backing Konley into a corner. Konley works over the left arm of Gordon for a few moments until Gordon kips up several times and confuses Konley. Gordon does a handstand and head scissors Konley to the floor. Gordon fakes a dive to the floor and plays to the crowd while Konley regroups with Mercury. Gordon dropkicks Konley for a two count. Konley yanks Gordon down to the mat and Mercury gets tagged in. Mercury works over Gordon with strikes in the corner. Gordon hip tosses Mercury out of the corner and keeps control with an arm bar. Mysterio gets tagged in but Mercury breaks free to avoid a double team. Mercury controls Mysterio by working over his left arm. Mysterio head scissors Mercury over the middle rope but Mercury bails to the floor to avoid the 619. Mercury grabs the microphone and threatens he’ll leave if the fans don’t stop chanting chicken. Konley says they don’t need this and they should just leave. Mercury agrees and they begin to leave. Mysterio says they will drag them back in if they need to. They come back.
Mercury apologizes to Mysterio and wants to shake hands but Rey isn’t interested. Mercury goes to his knees to show how serious he is but Flip is telling the fans to say no. Mercury low blows Rey as the referee was distracted by Konley. Mercury sends Rey back first into the corner and keeps control of the match by sending Rey chest first into the turnbuckles. Mysterio continues to be worked over by Konley upon Caleb tagging in. Mysterio fights out of Konley’s hold but is met with a strike. They have an awkward exchange and Rey tries to tag in Flip, which he could easily do, but Konley takes too long to stop Rey so it looked awful. Mercury holds Rey open for a kick from Caleb. Konley is sent face first into the middle turnbuckle by Rey. Gordon gets the hot tag and cleans house knocking Konley down with a springboard spinning elbow. Gordon kicks Konley followed by a standing moonsault for a two count. Mercury sneaks a tag as Gordon dropkicks Konley, but Gordon dropkicks Mercury anyway. Gordon goes to the top but Konley cuts him off before getting kicked away. Gordon misses a top rope crossbody and Mercury drags Flip to the corner to deliver a boot to the lower midsection. Mercury drops Gordon with a short arm clothesline. Konley tags in and works over Gordon with a strike to his midsection. Konley drives Gordon down face first to the mat for a near fall.
Konley decks Mysterio off the apron and tags Mercury back into the match. Mercury drives Gordon face first down to the mat and taunts the crowd. Mercury drops Gordon with another clothesline and Konley tags in keeps control of Gordon on the mat. Mercury is tagged back in and Gordon is driven to the mat face first by both men. Mercury tries to pin Gordon but isn’t able to keep Gordon down for long. Mercury keeps a sleeper hold on Gordon by bringing the champ down to the mat. Gordon gets out of the hold and collides with Mercury on a crossbody attempt. Mysterio gets the tag and springboard splashes Konley. Mysterio hits a springboard crossbody and a kick to a seated Konley. Mysterio kicks Konley from the apron but Mercury stops Rey on the apron. Mercury tosses Rey into the ring and Rey plants Konley with a tornado DDT. Gordon hits the Samoan Pop on Mercury followed by a kick. Konley slaps Gordon followed by a superkick. Konley backfists Rey and has Rey on his shoulders but Rey counters with a hurricanrana. Mercury comes in but is put over the middle rope as well. Rey hits the 619 on both men. Rey goes to the top and splashes Konley for the win as Gordon took Mercury out with a dive to the floor. (*1/2. Well, there were many moments in the match that just didn’t flow very well and it usually involved Konley. The match didn’t really get out of the first gear, but the finish was decent. I’d consider this a disappointment and there wasn’t much advancement between Gordon and Mercury since they’re having a rematch in a couple of weeks after this show. It was more of just a way to get a pop for a former WWE talent to get a win.)
On paper, this show looks like it would be a stronger show, but it fails to deliver much entertainment for me. Hollister/Riddle was a good match and the Anthony/Manning bout was solid enough as well. They focused on highlighting former WWE talents (Tenille & Mysterio), so if that’s your preference you’ll likely enjoy those matches more than I did. Overall, this was a disappointing show and I can’t recommend it.
Thanks for reading.