Marvelous USA 2/13/16 Live Thoughts

February 13, 2015 in Queens, NY

Marvelous Puroresu USA had a thoroughly enjoyable first event at the Queensboro Elk’s Lodge last August and followed up with an equally good second show (despite the lack of core roster members). The third show lineup looked great, with the return of Takumi Iroha, debut of Mio Momono, East Coast debut of Kyoko Kimura, and dream match of Rocky Romero vs Amazing Red.

The show opened with a “ceremony” featuring Chigusa Nagayo addressing the crowd (via translator). She apologized for not being able to wrestle due to her recent surgery, and promised to be back in action next time.

As with both previous shows before the proper card started there was a short MMA demonstration. I still question the inclusion of light sparring on a pro-wrestling show, but they were good and kept the phantom punches to a minimum this time, focusing more on grappling.

The fist match featured the returning Lio Rush against Will Ferrara in his Marvelous USA debut. Great choice for an opener. Rush is a high energy wrestler and between this and his previous semi-main against Amazing Red is fast becoming an integral part of the roster. Ferrara also was quite impressive and I hope to see him return.

Marvelous USA did something interesting this time out that paid great dividends. The day before this show they had a tryout/seminar and reserved several spots throughout the card for wrestlers who participated. Some obviously need more experience and polish, but it will come with time. Overall this was a solid success.

Anthony Gangone was the first of them to appear as he faced Sonny Kiss. While he’ll need to fine tune the act a bit, Gangone was fully committed to playing the heel and provided a good foil for Kiss’s flamboyant and flashy character. Good action here too.

Nyla Rose and Jessika Black vs. Ashley Vox and Sonya Strong was next, and all included wrestlers were from the tryout. Good match with great effort from all four. Rose in particular is already showing fantastic heel instincts and mannerisms.

Flawless And Lawless, Willow Nightingale, and Rad Brad Benson vs. The Hounds Of Hatred (Stockade, Boo And Bam Sullivan, and Mouse) w/ The Devil Doll was a hard hitting war with a lot of intensity and some insane highspots (including a superplex to the outside!). Willow Nightingale was fearless against her dismissive opponents in sequences that highlighted what good intergender wrestling looks like. I’ve enjoyed Lawless on the previous shows and it was great to see him back with his partner.

 

Mio Momono made her wrestling debut teaming with Rene Michelle against Davienne and Kyoko Kimura. The crowd was crazy behind  the 17 year old Mio and super hot for the whole match. I’m assuming Kyoko wrestled in the spots on the card Chigusa would have if she were healthy, as the veteran was opposite Marvelous’ young Japanese stars in both her matches. Here she was also working with two of the foreign wrestlers who have been to Japan to train with Chigusa. Great approach, as her experience can only help the younger talents.

The less experienced duo obviously wasn’t perfect. There were several times when Rene had to effectively ignore an in peril Mio who was close enough to tag, and when Mio was ready to make the hot tag Rene didn’t reach out, leading to a very anticlimactic exchange. But these are small miscues overall in otherwise strong performances for their experience level. Mio made a big impression in her debut and the crowd loved her.

Ace Austin v Ken Broadway vs. Missile Assault Man was the second contest to exclusively feature wrestlers from the tryout. This honestly didn’t fair as well as the other one. No one was outright bad, but it was a bit sloppy and didn’t click the way they wanted. Missile Assault Man came across the best wrestling-wise and was amusing, but his gimmick is a one note joke that I can see getting stale quickly. Ace has a good gimmick and will get better with experience.

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Broadway carries himself like a star and has the entourage to match, but his gimmick turned my stomach. To me turning your back, getting down on your knees and putting your hands behind your head when the ref comes over to check you and then calling the ref racist when he reluctantly checks your boots crosses the line from heel heat and “I want to see someone defeat you” to “I just don’t want to see you on shows.”

Takumi Iroha and Cheeseburger vs. Kyoko Kimura and Brian Fury started with a lot of amusement. First Kyoko grabbed a fan’s phone as he tried to take her picture and took some of her partner instead. Then once in the ring for introductions she tried to convince Cheeseburger to give her his hat. He wisely decided to decline and put it on his partner’s head instead.

This match was another great example of intergender wrestling done right. I was thrilled to see Iroha back and she got a chance to shine here and show her strength against her larger opponents. A nice, subtle related moment happened when she was trying to push past the ref to help Cheeseburger and after a few back and forth attempts to get her back to her corner the out of breath ref remarked “you’re… deceptively… strong.”

Fury was fantastic and I hope to see him back. Cheeseburger isn’t a personal favorite of mine, but he’s good in his role and was perfect here as Kimura’s punching bag. Great work from all four.

Smiley certainly made the most of his opportunity via the tryout, looking impressive as he and Donovan Dijak had a great back and forth match. Smiley’s gimmick is highly amusing and he’s pitch perfect as the underdog. Dijak was allowed to stretch here and looked much better than anytime I’ve seen him in ROH. He matched Smiley’s high flying, which was awesome to see from the big man.

The co-main event of Amazing Red vs. Rocky Romero was heavily hyped before the show, and rightfully so. Romero has come so far since I first saw him years ago, and has true star presence. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand as he and Red tore the house down. Fun post match exchange too that sowed the seeds of an eventual rematch.

The main event saw Takumi Iroha’s second appearance of the show teaming with Kimber Lee to take on Sumie Sakai and Heidi Lovelace. Once again a nice opportunity for her to both shine and learn being in the ring with excellent and experienced opponents (and partner).

Nice to see Heidi in Marvelous and she was a great partner for Sumie, showing heel mannerisms I hadn’t seen from her before. During intros Heidi “kindly” pointed out that I was saying her name wrong when I chanted “Takumi.” 😉

Takumi and Kimber made a great team and sent the fans home happy with a big victory in a phenomenal main event. Perfect way to end the show.

 

 

 

Marvelous Puroresu USA is on quite a roll. The tryout paid immediate dividends, and the undercard was again nicely varied with a high level of effort. Mio’s debut was done perfectly and well received by an enthusiastic audience. Using Kyoko and Takumi in two matches apiece emphasizes the Japanese talent that is a big draw here and a unique aspect of Marvelous. Another pair of great co-main events topped off an incredibly fun event.

Can’t wait for the next one. 🙂

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