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Hamilton’s ACTION Wrestling Matt The Mouth’s Mysteriously Meaty 29th Birthday Bash Extravaganza 01.08.21 Review

January 17, 2021 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
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Hamilton’s ACTION Wrestling Matt The Mouth’s Mysteriously Meaty 29th Birthday Bash Extravaganza 01.08.21 Review  

Quick Results
Alan Angels pinned Adam Priest in 10:09 (***)
Adrian Alanis pinned King Garuda in 4:04 (**¾)
Liam Gray defeats Rob Killjoy in 11:56 (***¼)
Suge D defeats Kevin Ryan via referee stoppage in 8:32 (***)
Logan Creed pinned Alex Kane in 10:30 (***¼)
AC Mack and Graham Bell went to a no contest in 7:41
JD Drake & Anthony Henry pinned Kevin Ku & Dominic Garrini in 23:04 (****1/4)

We’re at the Roger Spencer Community Center in Tyrone, Georgia for this. There’s a socially distanced crowd of 50 on hand for what was a mystery show for the live crowd.

If you have IWTV, this show’s up as part of your subscription – otherwise, you can sign-up at iwtv.live using promo code ACTION for a free trial.

Adam Priest vs. Alan Angels
Priest has been seen on those monster AEW Dark tapings lately, while Angels got a huge reaction on his return here – having been a regular prior to masking up and becoming the Dark Order’s 5. Priest has a chip on his shoulder and is picking and choosing what matches “count” on his win-loss record.

We open with a lock-up as the pair rolled around the ropes, but Priest misses as he swung at Angels after a break. Angels trips Priest, then caught him with an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline as Priest cowered into the corner.

A waistlock takedown from Priest gives him an opening, but Angels hammerlocks the arm and forces Priest to break in the ropes. Frustrated, Priest slaps back as the match descended into elbows and uppercuts between the pair of them. Angel’s ‘rana takes down Priest ahead of a retaliatory slap, before he busted out a Mistica that ended in a side Russian legsweep for a two-count.

Angels keeps Priest in the corners with some right hands, before Priest lifted him onto the apron… then knocked down a springboard, causing him to spill to the floor. Priest stays on top of Angels, charging him into the side of the ring, then the side of the stage before heading back inside, where he looked to work over Angel’s lower back with knee drops.

Throwing Angels into the corner is next as Priest looked to build, eventually dumping Angels with a tiltawhirl backbreaker. Mudhole stomping keeps Angels in the corner, but Angels fires back with some overhand chops before both men caught each other with crossbody blocks. Angels is back up first with some forearms and an Asai DDT, before a rear hook kick dropped Priest.

Angels follows that up with a springboard moonsault for a near-fall, before Priest came back out of nothing with a DDT. He heads up and lands a frog splash to Angels’ back for a two-count, but Angels hits back with a stomp off the middle rope to a doubled-over Priest. The pace picks up as Angels popped up from a German suplex to hit a standing Spanish Fly, before Priest fought to break wrist control.

Eventually he does and took down Angels with a La Magistral for a two-count, only for Angels to hit back with the Wing Snapper for the win. A fun opener, with Priest looking good in his role, but it’s clear the star being focused on was the returning hero Angels. ***

Post-match, Angels tells us that he’s been watching while he’d been away and “there’s more to come.”

Before the next match, Suge D came out, sarcastically applauding as he made his way to his seat. I’m very likely over-generalising here, but Suge’s demeanour on social media towards (and around) ACTION has been a little bitter – aggrieved at others getting opportunities that haven’t come his way.

Adrian Alanis vs. King Garuda
Alanis has changed his look a LOT since I last saw him, back when EVOLVE was a thing. There’s a fantastic bit in the entrance where a kid had a poster for Liam Gray – accompanying Alanis – that read “how strong are you Liam?” He couldn’t rip it up, but the kid sure could.

This was an open challenge of sorts, with Alanis finding his own opponent: the best of the best from Mexico, King Garuda. He’s a fellow WWA4 trainee, and I’d expect him to have some aerial ability given the trainer (AR Fox).

We open with a lock-up as Alanis took Garuda into the corner, but Garuda ducks a clothesline and tries to restrain Alanis with a side headlock. After being pushed away, he elbows Alanis, then hit the ropes for a tijeras before he leapt up into a torture rack position, but the spin out wipes out the referee amid the arm drag.

As the referee composed himself, Alanis hits Snake Eyes, then blasted Garuda with a lariat to the back of the head for just a one-count. From there, Alanis wears down Garuda with right hands and elbows, but Garuda snuck back in with a chop… and then got wore down some more in the corner. A sidewalk slam followed for a two-count, before Garuda’s jawbreaker offered some more hope… as does an enziguiri, before Alanis took him down with a sweet Slingblade Backbreaker. That ruled.

A shotgun dropkick followed into the corner, leaving Garuda vulnerable as a torture rack into a gutbuster got Alanis the win. This was a delightful squash – Garuda got plenty in so it wasn’t a whitewash, but Alanis looked mighty impressive here – another name to keep your eye on as the indies rebuild in 2021, that’s for sure. **¾

Post-match, Rob Killjoy makes the save as Gray and Alanis were putting the boots to Garuda – and it’s time for what was a staple of later-day EVOLVE… and that leads to a match as Matt Sells – seemingly in charge for the night – set it up.

Liam Gray vs. Rob Killjoy
Gray seemed aggrieved that he had to wrestle, and got slingshotted into the ring to start as the Ugly Duckling took the upper hand early on.

Some headscissors take Gray into the corner, before some quick exchanges led to Killjoy getting a two-count from a roll-up. A dropkick takes Gray outside, where he’s fanned by the remnants of his poster by Alanis. Gray rolls back in to beat the ten count as he then took Killjoy into the corner for an old-school eye rake in the ropes… but Gray’s quickly back outside as Killjoy chopped him to the floor.

Gray’s quickly thrown back inside, but he’s screaming for his life as Killjoy chopped him in the ropes, creating a see-saw effect. There’s no respite for Gray as he’s dropped with a back suplex onto the edge of the ring, before more chops took Gray into the crowd… then into the ring. Killjoy’s momentum stops in a hurry as Alanis trips him mid-springboard, opening the door for Gray to fire back. There’s a splash for a one-count, before a cobra clutch had Killjoy in trouble in the middle of the ring. Gray pulls Killjoy into an awkward neckbreaker for a two-count, before a side headlock was snuck out of by Killjoy, who went back to the chops.

Gray keeps hold of Killjoy’s wrists, and it eventually pays off as he hits a wrist-clutch overhead suplex for a two-count, before Killjoy found a way back in with a Quebrada. Killjoy gets back up with some forearms and chops, before an O’Connor roll got a two-count. He’s pushed to the outside before Gray’s attempt at a leapfrog was caught and turned into an Okada-ish neckbreaker slam. A suplex and a leaping stomp followed for a two-count, before Alanis distracted Killjoy on the top rope.

That’s capitalised on with a sunset flip takedown from Gray, who then went back up for a frog splash for another near-fall. A backflip from Gray taks Killjoy into the corner, where he then hits an Arabian press to surprise Alanis on the outside… but taking his eye off the ball allows Gray to hit a dropkick through the ropes, then a plancha to the outside… accidentally wiping out his own man.

Killjoy picks up the pieces back inside, springboarding into a stomp to the lower back before an over-the-knee brainbuster gets a near-fall, with Gray kicking out as Alanis tried to put his foot on the rope. An attempted powerbomb’s blocked, so Gray’s knocked back onto the apron before he caught a charging Killjoy with what looked like a stomp, before a double-arm DDT back inside gets Gray the win. The finish looked a little off, but this was a good match to establish the Gray/Alanis tandem some more. ***¼

The next match was meant to be Kevin Ryan vs. Cabana Man Dan, but while Dan’s music hit… there was no Cabana Man. That was the cue for Suge D to hit the ring to give a reasoned talk to Ryan, complete with topical references. Suge mentions how Ryan was a big deal in another promotion, but that’s faded away as he’s now “having to do double shots to be here and in a secondary tag match.” Suge said that Ryan was meant to be a “stepping stone”, and then offered himself as a replacement, having wound him up.

Kevin Ryan vs. Suge D
Ryan’s fairly new to ACTION, and is yet to pick up a win here… meanwhile, Suge was wrestling in dress clothes.

Ryan’s not happy with Suge’s patronising behaviour, as he tried to start some claps. Then offered to wrestle with just one hand, doing so as he took down Ryan with a wristlock that turned into a choke. Ryan gets free and slaps around Suge, before a waistlock takedown led to a crucifix pin, getting a two-count.

Suge kicks out and grabs a full nelson as he took down Ryan, then rolled him into a pin… but the leg clutch turned into a seated surfboard attempt as Suge grabbed the ropes to save himself (and likely his outfit!) Ryan shoves Suge into the corner, then shot in with a double leg as he tried to make some headway, but had to backflip over Suge in the corner ahead of a springboard kick for a two-count.

Suge pulls Ryan into the corner to buy him some time, following up with a half and half suplex and some right hands, before chops wore down Ryan in the corner. A faked-out punch drops Ryan, as Suge looked to wear him down with knees to the back, setting up for a chinlock. Ryan fights free and hits some kicks en route to a German suplex, then a diving Meteora to the back of Suge for a near-fall.

Another punch from Suge turns it back around, as do some chops and a clothesline, before he hit a Cattle Mutilation-like choke for the stoppage. This was a little one-sided, but exactly what the story they were going for needed, with Suge continuing to deal with the chip on his shoulder. ***

Post-match, Suge sarcastically puts over the sound guy, before telling Ryan that the crowd didn’t believe in him… nor did Kevin. He then tried to recruit Ryan, telling him there was another way ahead than being on the way to or out of WWE developmental… before telling him that match was a “lesson in tough love.” Ryan shook Suge’s hands, and it looks like those two are a pairing now.

Alex Kane vs. Logan Creed
Having stumbled across Alex Kane via a random Fite stream last year, I’ve become a big fan of his. His win-loss record here’s been a little even, with a stoppage loss to Dominic Garrini being followed up by this outing… but I guess you need to be tested at some point. I’m not even mads…

Kane pie-faces Creed before the bell, and gets decked with a big boot in return. Body blows trap Kane in the corner, before a whip and a splash led to Creed getting a little confident… hitting the top rope for a flying bulldog-ish facebuster. Creed goes for an elevated facebuster, but Kane rolls through into an ankle lock, only for Creed to push him away.

Kane stays on him, grabbing a waistlock, but Creed spins out and hits a lariat instead. A big boot knocks Kane off the apron, but Kane’s right back in and caught Creed with an overhead belly-to-belly. Creed seemed to land on the shoulder, but he’s fine as Kane heads outside and sets up a chair… not to hit him with, but for a step-up splash on the edge of the ring.

Back inside, Creed gets caught with a hattrick of German suplexes, then kicks out at two before he had to defend a crossface, rolling up Kane for a two-count. Kane stays on him with an armbar, before rolling him into a front chancery as Creed fought up to his feet… only to get tripped again as Kane tries for the ankle lock.

Finally applying the ankle lock, Kane pulls Creed away from the ropes, but couldn’t stop Creed from forcing the break. A Stinger splash followed, but Kane shoots over and sent himself outside… he’s quickly back in, but gets sent into the corner by Creed, who hits a splash of his own before an overhead belly-to-belly tossed him into the corner.

A neckbreaker keeps Creed down for a two-count, but he’s right back up with a chokebreaker… then kicked out Kane’s knee before a curb stomp left him down. Kane tries again with an ankle lock on the mat, but Creed punches his way free… only to get caught with a ripcord Angle Slam. Down come the straps as Kane looked for a leg-capture German suplex, but it sent Creed spilling to the outside.

Kane followed him outside so he could throw him back in… and went for the same suplex, but Creed spun out and punched him out instead. From there, a full nelson elevated facebuster followed, and that’s the win for Creed, who spent an awful lot of this on the defensive. Not to be, erm, a Contra-rian, this loss won’t do Kane much harm against a much more experienced name. Keep an eye on his name mind you – there’s a lot of potential in that lad, particularly once the indies really get back to full strength after the pandemic. ***¼

We then get footage from during intermission, where Angelus Layne was aggrieved at not being “in the company.” Matt Griffin hits the ring to explain away why Layne wasn’t booked, but she cracks him with a gunshot-like slap, then a Busaiku knee, before wishing him a happy birthday. By stomping through the “promotion of the year” framed certificate that ACTION had gotten…

Graham Bell vs. AC Mack
Firing off a bazooka, Bell’s certainly one of a select group of wrestlers who’s used firearms as part of their entrance. He’s here to “get the job done” on AC Mack, but this is a non-title outing “because he’d been paid off,” referring to a moment where Bell was given an envelope at the end of last year. Hitman for hire.

Bell’s caught with a diving uppercut at the bell, sending him outside as this one spilled into the crowd, with Bell then getting thrown into the ring post for good measure, before he returned with a back suplex onto the apron. Kicks and a right hand knock Mack back into the crowd, but Mack sidesteps a charge as Bell damn near spears an empty seat in the crowd. It’s a good job that guy moved!

Mack followed Bell and brought him back into the ring, as a leg lariat followed back inside. A leaping low dropkick keeps Bell down for a two-count, but Bell hits back, pulling the champion to the outside as he threw his leg against the ring apron. A standing figure four followed, as Bell was working over Mack’s knee, stomping it into the mat back inside.

Some simple choking followed as Bell then dragged Mack towards the ring post, looking to torque the knee around the turnbuckle irons. A knee breaker followed, then a Dragon screw on the mat, as Bell continued to focus on the leg. Mack tries to kick him away, eventually doing so before Mack caught him unawares with an inside cradle for a near-fall.

Clotheslines from Mack keep Bell down as the champion as hobbling, but he’s able to come back in with a Thesz press as the pair fought on the mat. It descended into a hockey fight from there, with the referee struggling to get control of… and he just ends up throwing the match out. I mean, at least do a ref bump or something, but I guess that accidental bump the poor sod took earlier filled up his card for the evening. It’s ruled as a no-contest as Bell’s dragged away to end things. This was more for a storyline than a match… **½

Suge D’s got a vignette next, telling us he’s tired of having his dream “whored out,” using very descriptive language as he told us he’d show Kevin Ryan how to not end up in the same place as him. We get Suge being annoyed at guys like Anthony Henry coming in “calling their shots,” whereas he had to put time in in promotions… promotions that “wouldn’t let (him) in like he walked into DC with a MAGA hat on”, as he told us that nobody got to determine if he belonged.

Violence is Forever (Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku) vs. WorkHorsemen (Anthony Henry & JD Drake)
Apparently this was Henry and Drake’s final match as a tag team – although we had the same thing in November 2019 after these two teams had an iron man tag match at Black Label Pro. This time though, Henry’s upcoming retirement might make this one likelier to stick…

Henry and Garrini get us going with a knuckle lock, before Henry’s waistlock almost turned into an armbar… but he gets to the ropes before Garrini could apply the hold fully. They head to the mat as Henry looked for a guillotine, but it comes to nought… unlike Henry’s attempt to take Garrini down as he just punted him with a kick to the back.

Garrini snapmares Henry, but it’s rolled out of as Henry pushed him into an armbar, looking to play Garrini at his own game. They head back to the mat, but Henry manages to roll into his corner for the break as tags brings in Kevin Ku. Henry’d also tagged out, with Drake just obliterating Ku with a chop that the cameraman missed.

Ku tries to chop back, but Drake laughs him off and gladly accepted Ku’s offer to hit him again… and promptly decked him with a second chop. They go back and forth, but a poke to the eye is what keeps Ku down. He recovers as Garrini comes in to help batter Drake with kicks, but they just rile up the big man, as the WorkHorsemen looked to force their way into the match.

Kicks from Henry rocked Garrini into the corner, where chops were waiting for him, following up with a snapmare and a kick to the back as Garrini looked to be in trouble. Drake’s back with more blistering chops, before he gave some receipts for those kicks ahead of a falling headbutt… but Garrini falls right by the ropes so the cover’s easily broken up.

Garrini returns with a knee strike, knocking Drake down as tags bring us to Ku and Henry… Ku’s kicks and a low dropkick have Henry down, but Drake clings onto Ku’s ankle in the corner, stopping his momentum in its tracks. That’s a good save. Henry capitalises as he took down Ku, who tried to kick back, but a series of stomps wore down Ku ahead of a Dragon screw. Drake’s back for some stomps of his own, then a DDT to the leg and a knee drop to the leg.

Henry’s back to try and roll Ku in a half crab, but instead he switches it into an Indian deathlock – including a bridge back and some flipping off that drew in Garrini to stomp apart the hold. Drake returns with stomps, weakening Ku for a Figure Four that Garrini quickly stomped apart… so Henry just wanders in to blast Ku with a kick to keep things even.

Ku tries to duck a chop, but ends up taking it anyway as he then looked for a roll-up that got him a two-count. Drake’s boot knocks him down as Henry returned to drag this match back into a striking battle. A leaping enziguiri stops Ku ahead of a brainbuster for a two-count, as Garrini threatened to break up the cover… but Henry broke up the pin to avoid any attack. It didn’t make things easier as Drake came in for a Vader bomb on Ku, getting a near-fall before an ankle lock kept Ku in trouble.

Ku finally manages to get free, rolling Drake to the mat for a STF, but this time Henry runs in and hits a leaping stomp to break it up. Finally Ku tags in Garrini, who cleared house with elbows and clotheslines before a rebound back suplex dropped Drake. Hobbling in, Ku helps with a high/low to the big man, with Garrini getting a two-count off of it, but a kick to Ku’s leg stops that brief flurry as the WorkHorsemen went at it again.

An assisted tornado DDT from Henry gets a near-fall as he then transitioned into an armbar, then an ankle lock on Ku, before he let go to deal with an on-rushing Garrini. He’s caught in a guillotine and held to Drake could chop his back, before things calmed down a little. Garrini shakes it off and tagged in so he could get his own back on Drake, by way of a chop battle.

Drake laughs off the chops and tries to obliterate Garrini (mullet and all), before things broke down into a hockey fight. Henry blind-tagged in, leaping in for a German suplex before Ku’s attempt to equalise led to all four men being downed. When they got to their feet, we’re dealing with elbows and more chops, before Garrini picked up Henry for a Go 2 Sleep… then handed him off for more kicks and elbows from Ku.

Garrini pulls Henry into an armbar, while Ku’s guillotine on Drake was quickly turned into a Drill Bit as Drake used Ku to break up the hold. Tags get us back to Ku and Drake, but the big man’s Bossman slam has Ku down before Drake chucked Henry his way. Chops and knees lead to a misses Drake cannonball, as Garrini came in to hit a F5 on Henry… before an Alphamare Waterslide from Ku took care of Henry.

A kick-assisted piledriver drops Drake for a two-count, but Violence is Forever can’t capitalise as a Drake spinebuster took out Garrini ahead of an eventual cannonball to Ku. They keep going, with Henry hitting a double stomp to Ku, before a Drake moonsault landed for a near-fall with Garrini restrained in the ropes. Drake’s frustration’s shown in the way of more chops before a double stomp-assisted Fire Thunder driver spiked Ku… and that my friends, is that!

This particular style may not before everyone – with lots of strikes, kick-outs and all culminating to one big “critical” move, but if you’re into it, this was absolutely fantastic. From what I’ve seen, ACTION look to be running a tight ship as one of the main US indies running that don’t dabble in death matches, and they’re not always using the same names as the rest. JD Drake’s always going to be really high on my list of “guys who really should be knocking it out of the park on a bigger stage,” while these two teams really mesh well together. ****¼

The final score: review Good
The 411
As I’ve said elsewhere, it feels like a lot of the current independent scene is dabbling with death matches right now - so it’s rather refreshing to see "wrestling" on a show. Having looked around on IWTV's catalogue, promotions like ACTION and SUP are doing quality work in terms of no-frills wrestling with good storylines around it - and is well worth your $10 a month if you're looking for something new to try out.

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ACTION Wrestling, Ian Hamilton