NOVA Pro Wrestling 05/11/18 Threat of Joy Results and Review
May 11th, 2018

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Preshow Match:  Devan Dixon, Silas Mason, Mack Buckler, and Josh Fuller vs. Mecha Mercenary, BIG BEEF, Isaiah Frazier, and The Masked Man (w/ Coach Gator)
My stream cut out for a bit at the opening bell.  When it comes back on, Masked Man hits a german suplex on Fuller after fighting off Buckler.  Buckler snaps Masked Man’s neck across the top rope and the heels find an opening to isolate him.  He avoids some offense from the Mason Dixon Line and makes the tag.  Mercenary cleans house with a series of strikes and splashes.  BEEF and Mercenary inadvertently collide on stereo splash attempts.  Frazier connects with a leg lariat on Buckler.  Frazier finds an opening to put away Fuller with a DDT and give his team the win at 6:38.  This was too short to really mean much, aside from smartly being used as a vessel to establish Coach Gator’s alliance with Frazier.  *¼

After the match, Coach Gator announces that Nick Aldis will be defending the NWA World Heavyweight Title against Isaiah Frazier on June 9th.  The crowd really pops for the announcement.

Preshow Match:  Breaux Keller vs. Graham Bell vs. Marino Tenaglia vs. Mikey Banker vs. Shane InYaFace vs. Jaxon Stone
Everyone starts brawling at the opening bell.  Bell catches Banker with a series of kicks.  Stone hits a fallaway slam on Tenaglia.  Keller connects with a double missile dropkick to Stone and InYaFace.  InYaFace answers with a nice chaos theory.  Tenaglia lands a dive to the floor.  Bell follows with a moonsault from the top rope.  In the ring, Keller slips on a springboard attempt and barely catches Bell with a DDT.  Banker airplane spins Keller into a spinebuster.  Tenaglia hits a springboard flatliner on Banker.  Bell lights up Tenaglia with a knockout kick and hits a backcracker.  InYaFace hits a uranagi on Bell for a nearfall.  Stone hits a piledriver on Bell for the victory at 5:54.  While just as short as the last match, these six managed to pack a ton of action into their six minutes.  Bell looked great but everyone managed to stand out in some way.  This was exactly what an energetic preshow match should be.  **½

Preshow Match:  Wheeler YUTA vs. Travis Huckabee
They begin with some chain wrestling and Huckabee is able to frustrate YUTA by constantly escaping a headlock.  Huckabee applies a reverse sharpshooter but YUTA reaches the bottom rope.  YUTA intensifies the action with a forearm and a dropkick.  He follows with a slingshot senton and takes control.  Huckabee fights back with a shotgun dropkick.  He connects with a headbutt and hits a spinning ace crusher.  Huckabee applies the Golden Dream but YUTA is able to get his foot across the bottom rope.  YUTA connects with a springboard dropkick and hits an inverted DDT for the win at 9:05.  They laid some solid groundwork with YUTA being too willing to play Huckabee’s game early on, but the rest of the match didn’t really capitalize on that groundwork to generate much suspense.  They still had a solid back and forth contest, but it seemed like they have a better match in them.  **½

Preshow Match:  Faye Jackson vs. Laynie Luck vs. Penelope Ford vs. Veda Scott
Scott and Jackson immediately stare each other down.  Ford and Scott then take cheap shots at Luck and Jackson.  Jackson hits a double hip attack on Ford and Scott and adds a double seated senton.  Ford goes to the eyes behind the referee’s back, allowing her and Scott to take over.  Their alliance eventually falls apart.  Luck has spent a lot of time on the apron and may have reaggrivated an injury.  Scott hits a german suplex on Ford for a nearfall.  Luck catches Scott with a stunner but runs into a boot from Ford.  Jackson hits a samoan drop on Ford for a two count.  Ford comes back with a flying crossbody.  Luck and Ford trade forearms.  Jackson hits a spear on Scott and a wheelbarrow facebuster on Ford.  Jackson kind of applies a headscissors on Ford for the victory at 7:06.  It seemed as though Luck reaggrivated an existing injury in the opening minute or so.  There were times when they established a good rhythm and other times when the action was really disjointed.  The finish also came off awkwardly and I would have to rewatch it to fully understand Jackson’s new finisher.  *¾

Opening Match:  Rickey Shane Page vs. “Safety First” Tim Donst
They trap each other in legbars and roll to the ropes.  Donst’s safety team makes sure they don’t fall to the floor.  Page connects with a headbutt to the midsection and hits a DDT.  Donst goes to the middle rope but thinks better of it, so his safety team carry him and drop him onto Page.  Page gets fed up and throws weapons into the ring.  Donst quickly removes the weapons.  Page absolutely levels Donst with a garbage can shot to the head.  He takes control in the ring until Donst fires up and removes his safety vest.  Donst hits a rope-assisted stunner but Page responds with an ace crusher.  Page connects with a yakuza kick but walks into an ace crusher.  He battles back with an enzuigiri and both men are down.  They battle up top and Donst hits a superplex.  He rolls through into a suplex into the turnbuckles for a nearfall.  Donst yells “safety last” but falls victim to an air raid crash.  Page gets distracted by the crowd chants but connects with a roaring elbow.  He lands a top-rope splash.  Donst finds an opening to apply From Dusk till Donst for the win at 13:02.  It’s unsurprising that these two had strong chemistry together and Page was the ideal opponent to play off of Donst’s “safety first” gimmick.  One the antics went away, they wrestled an entertaining back and forth match.  The finish seemed a bit abrupt, but this opener did an excellent job of getting the crowd excited.  ***

Match #2:  Jordynne Grace vs. Christi Jaynes
They battle over a knucklelock and Jaynes is holding her own in the strength department.  Jaynes snaps off a headscissors but runs into a shoulder tackle.  They exchange quick pin attempts to no avail.  Jaynes snaps off an armdrag and connects with a knee strike in the corner.  Grace responds with a spinebuster and takes control with a vader bomb.  Jaynes fights back with a back heel kick and a dive to the floor.  Back in, Jaynes lands on her neck after a shooting star press attempt.  Grace hits a running powerbomb for the victory at 8:00.  Jaynes’ shooting star press attempt was absolutely terrifying.  The match ended immediately and she was quickly taken to the back.  I don’t think a rating is appropriate here.

Match #3:  Dominic Garrini vs. Sage Philips
Garrini asserts his power advantage early on.  Philips does his best to avoid submissions.  He snaps off a few armdrags and hits a wheelbarrow bulldog.  Garrini hits an overhead suplex and takes control.  Philips goes after Garrini’s bare feet at one point but can’t capitalize.  Philips comes back with a german suplex and lands a dive to the floor.  In the ring, he hits a slingshot flatliner but Garrini responds with german suplexes of his own.  Philips hits a backcracker and an unprettier for a nearfall.  Garrini connects with a shotgun dropkick followed by a knee strike to the face for a two count.  Philips avoids a running knee strike and synchs in an octopus hold.  Garrini counters into an ankle lock.  Philips rolls through the hold and hits a butterfly DDT for a nearfall.  Garrini is finally able to hit a piledriver for the win at 11:23.  A strong exhibition where both men came away looking good.  More importantly, the booking was intriguing, as Garrini’s piledriver was established once again as a match-ender.  This was clearly not the end of their feud and I’m looking forward to what they can put together next.  ***

Garrini attacks Philips after the match and threatens to break his arm if NOVA Pro management doesn’t give him a spot in the Commonwealth Cup.  Garrini’s request is granted and he is now in the tournament.

Match #4:  Men’s Commonwealth Cup Qualifier: Beau Crockett vs. John Kermon vs. Bobby Shields
Kermon befuddles his opponents with submissions early on but the action looks rather awkward.  Shields and Crockett ram him back-first into the ringpost.  Kermon fights back with a double stomp.  Crockett keeps Shields at ringside while working over Kermon.  Kermon powerbombs Crockett out of the corner as he superplexes Shields.  All three men are down.  Shields hits a falcon arrow on Kermon for a close two count and follows with an STO.  Crockett superman punches Kermon for the victory at 9:58.  The early interactions between these three felt too choreographed and they quickly started relying on the “two-in-one-out” formula that tends to plague triple threat matches.  I like everyone in this match well enough but this one just never came together.  *½

Match #5:  The Ugly Ducklings (Lance Lude and Rob Killjoy) vs. The Hooligans (Devin and Mason Cutter)
Both teams start brawling before the opening bell.  The Ugly Ducklings snap off stereo hurricanranas and land stereo dives to the floor.  They showcase their double team offense back in the ring on Mason.  Devin causes Killjoy to slip on a springboard attempt and the Hooligans work him over.  He connects with a roaring elbow on Devin, lands a dive to the floor, and makes the tag.  Lude lands a flying crossbody onto Mason and hits a sliced bread.  He lands a springboard moonsault onto both Hooligans.  Mason responds with a corner cannonball on Lude.  Lude hurricanranas Devin off the top rope and then Killjoy hurricanranas Mason onto him.  Lude connects with a flying double stomp onto Devin for a nearfall.  The crowd chants “fight forever” and this match is getting quite good.  The Ducklings miss Launchpad McQuack.  Mason hits a stunner on Killjoy and the Hooligans follow with a double stomp-piledriver combination for the win at 14:18.  I thought that this contest was great for a number of reasons.  Both of these teams stress double team offense and actually seem like dedicated teams.  They’re exchanges were innovative and you never quite knew where the action was headed.  The hot tag in particular was memorable.  They had the crowd rocking down the stretch and made the best use of their fourteen minutes.  These two teams are tied 1-1 and will meet again, but this was an incredibly strong entry into their series together.  ***½

Match #6:  Arik Royal vs. Gunner Miller
Miller is one of two wrestlers to defeat Royal in a singles match in NOVA Pro.  Miller spits at Royal and they start brawling.  Royal slams Miller into the canvas and shoulder tackles him across the ring.  They battle over a suplex and land on the apron.  Miller sends Royal into the ringpost and takes control.  Royal fights back with a thesz press from the middle rope.  He peppers Miller with a series of punches and hits an exploder.  Royal connects with an uppercut and a lariat for a nearfall.  Miller hits a uranagi.  They collide in the ring and awkwardly fall to the canvas.  Royal recovers with a backbreaker.  Miller hits a pounce, sending Royal into the referee.  Royal hits Space Jam but no one can make the count.  Miller delivers a low blow and hits a jackhammer for the victory at 14:27.  This match was missing a lot of the energy that usually makes Royal’s matches worthwhile.  I assumed that they were simply playing off of their previous match together and that the jackhammer would lead to a nearfall.  It seems as though Royal is being positioned to win the Commonwealth Cup, but singles victories over him should come off as special.  This did not.  **½

Match #7:  Women’s Commonwealth Cup Qualifier: Allie Kat vs. Solo Darling
They battle over shoulder tackles.  Darling hits a nice stalling suplex and takes control with a series of strikes.  She hits a pumphandle slam at one point for a two count.  Kat comes back with a northern lariat and a shining wizard.  They battle on the apron and Kat gets knocked to the floor.  Darling comes off the apron with a tornado DDT onto the floor.  In the ring, Darling applies a sharpshooter but Kat is able to reach the ropes.  Kat connects with a ripcord headbutt for the win at 10:59.  After a pretty pedestrian first half, the action really picked up once they decided to start throwing bombs at each other down the stretch.  I wish they would have established that vibe from the beginning.  Darling looked extremely solid in the ring and she should certainly be brought back.  **½

Match #8: Independent Wrestling Title: Tracy Williams © vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. Logan Easton LaRoux
They begin with some intricate three-way submissions.  Williams lights up LaRoux with a knee to the midsection and the crowd loudly applauds.  Gresham and Williams attempt to team up and it goes horribly awry.  They are able to get back on track and not let LaRoux outsmart them.  Gresham enzuigiris LaRoux, causing him to dragon screw leg whip Williams.  Williams hits an olympic slam on LaRoux, who responds by going after the left leg.  LaRoux lands a dive onto Gresham and takes over.  Williams levels LaRoux with a discus lariat and all three men are down.  Gresham hits a springboard DDT on LaRoux and traps Williams in a figure four.  LaRoux turns the hold over and applies a camel clutch on Williams.  That was pretty innovative.  Gresham plants LaRoux with a brainbuster for a nearfall.  LaRoux returns the favor but Williams breaks up the pin attempt.  Williams hits a DDT on LaRoux for a nearfall.  Gresham lands a moonsault off the apron onto Williams but finds knees on a 450 splash.  LaRoux hits an ace crusher on Gresham for a nearfall.  Williams just unloads on LaRoux in the corner.  Gresham and Williams trade strikes.  Williams lariats LaRoux and hits a spike piledriver to retain his title at 13:53.  This was an excellent triple threat match, which amazingly balanced a plethora of three-way spots with actually telling a story.  Williams’ leg immediately put him at a disadvantage and Gresham’s tunnel vision on working over that leg almost allowed LaRoux to steal the title.  These three worked incredibly well together and this was one of those rare three-ways that felt like a genuine multi-man match.  ***¾

Thomas Sharp, sent by Stokely Hathaway, attacks Gresham after the match.  Also, PCO vs. Nick Gage will be a first-round match in the Commonwealth Cup!!

-Show Grade:  B
You Need to See:
You’d Enjoy Watching: Williams/Gresham/LaRoux, Hooligans/Ducklings, Garrini/Philips, Donst/RSP
You Should Avoid:

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