July 3, 2010
– Larry Goodman
Rampage Pro Wresting taped two hours of television at Johnny G’s in Warner Robins, Ga.
In the ring, RPW has the best quality wrestling in Georgia. They do more chain wrestling and mat work than the other places I visit. For the
most part, the work is smooth with solid psychology, and they mix it up with the occasional dose of aerial pyrotechnics.
Something is missing, however, when it comes to gut level connection with their fans. This was the third taping since the new booking
committee was put in place, and they’re educating the crowd to new directions. It’s subtle, slow building stuff that feels kind of remote at
this point. There was no mic work at all, and this show could have really used some. If not, the crowd needs to see the vignettes on a big
screen to get them up to speed on the storylines.
Attendance was down to 80. It’s a weekend best to avoid running. WWE canceled their 4th of July house show run due to poor ticket
sales. NWA Anarchy dropped the first Saturday in July from the schedule starting in 2009.
(1) Drew Adler pinned Matt Black in a dark match at 6:13
No intro music due to technical problems. Black handled it well. Adler has a buzz cut now but he still looks like a dork. He doesn’t need to
be on TV until he puts a significant amount of meat on those bones. JT Smooth was out on the ramp taking notes. Adler won it with a roll
up. The crowd popped for the finish like they were glad it was over.
(2) Mike Kross beat Kyle Matthews (with Jimmy Rave) in 9:44
My favorite match of the night. Matthews demonstrated why he was voted top technical wrestler in Georgia for 2009, and Kross was able
to hang right with him. The story is that Mathews has been struggling, and Rave has taken him under his wing. They opened with solid
back and forth mat wrestling. Kross came off the ropes and Matthews caught him midair with a dropkick to take control. Matthews popped
the crowd with big chops. All of his holds have that a snug, professional look to them. Kross used a koppo kick to spark a sequence of
flying maneuvers. Kross knocked Matthews off the apron with a spinning kick, but Matthews evaded a dive by Kross and nailed him with a
tope. Great sequence. But Matthews missed his vaunted Slurpee Kick and Kross swooped in with an Oklahoma Roll. They shook hands,
and crowd showed their appreciation with a long round of applause for both men.
(3) Jimmy Rave beat Sean Logan via submission in 3:42
There was something about Logan that got under the crowd’s skin, so they were just fine with Rave trying to break his arm. Rave used a
dragon screw leg whip to set up a heel hook and Logan tapped.
(4) Shaun Banks (with Cru Jones) beat Sugar Dunkerton to retain the RPW Heavyweight Title in 8:09
Banks was making his first title defense. He always looks cut, but he’s in currently in his best shape ever. Line of the night was a fan
asking Jones if he purchased his suit at Elaine Bryant. Dunkerton goaded Banks into starting the match with a tip off. Instead of jumping,
Banks blasted Dunkerton jaw with a forearm. Dunkerton responded with a hot flurry that included a kick in the ass and a flying body
press. Banks was great with the facial expressions here. Banks worked on Dunerkton’s back with a camel clutch until Dunkerton caught
him with a knee to the groin. Dunkerton’s comeback was spot on. He’s greatly improved the timing and crispness of his moves. Good
match. Dunkerton did better than any other babyface on the card when it when it came to connecting the crowd.
(5) Usual Suspects (AJ Steele & Murder One) beat Exotic Ones (Simon Sermon & Tommy Too Much) and Jones Boyz (Mr. Jones &
Velvet Jones) in 12 minutes
The usual deal where the heel teams work over the babyface team, but the heels undercut each other along the way. Steele hit a nice
trapped arm belly to belly suplex on Velvet. Velvet’s work is not up to snuff, especially his offense and especially against a larger guy. It’s
noticeable to the point it’s going to limit his push. They did a big melee on the outside and Velvet did a plancha into the pile. Back inside,
Sermon hit a Saito Suplex on Velvet and told Suspects to finish him off. Steele slammed Velvet on the floor, but a miss of the ropes set up
the hot tag. Mr. Jones cleaned house on the other three heels. Mr. splashed Too Much with Velvet riding him piggy back style. Goofy but
the crowd liked it. Steele pulled Mr. out of the ring and Murder hit the RKO on Velvet for the pin. Questionable judgment for Mr. to tag Velvet
in after the beating he had taken.
For hour number two…
(6) Cru Jones beat Michael Stevens in 7:16
This match didn’t click. It was heel vs. heel, and the crowd didn’t like either of them, but at least they saw Jones as a star. They chanted
“half pint brawler” at Stevens. It got really quiet after that. Stevens did comedy until Jones missed with a reckless charge. Stevens then
swarmed all over him. Jones cut him off with a lariat and went to work. Stevens threw his feather boa into Jones’ face to set up a brief
comeback. Jones reversed a backslide into the Lava Drop (Canadian backbreaker dropped into a DDT).
(7) Adrian Hawkins beat Mike Kross in 9:10
Hawkins opened up with an aggressive, mauling attack and never let up. He did a number on Kross’ neck. Kross didn’t get a hope spot
until 7 minutes into the match. Kross sparked a comeback with Pele kick. He hit a sling blade lariat for a near fall. Hawkins hit his
signature springboard back elbow and won it with the Unprettier. Good match.
It was time for the TV Title Tournament Four Way Final. The tournament came about as a result of the decision to merge the
Intercontinental Title and the Cruiserweight Title. Three competitors had gained entry through qualifying matches. Commissioner Sal
Rinauro introduced Jimmy Rave as the fourth with the explanation that Rave never lost the Intercontinental Title.
(8) Jimmy Rave (with Kyle Matthews) defeated J-Rod and Jeremy Vain and Caleb Konley in an elimination match to become the first
RPW Television Champion in 20:49
Crowd support was split three ways, and they directed their verbal abuse towards Vain. The fans in Warner Robins have a cruel streak.
None of the faces could gain a significant advantage, until Konley got a chance to shine, since he was going to be the first one
eliminated. He cleared the ring of all competition and then hit a split legged moonsault to the outside. Rave submitted Konley with a heel
hook at 7:45. Vain immediately jumped Rave and beat the tar out of him for several minutes. When Rave tried to mount a comeback, Vain
tossed him through the ropes and into the rail. Rave finally hit an STO and hot-tagged J-Rod. Vain sold a barrage of kicks from J-Rod like
each was a lethal blow. But Vain moved and J-Rod crashed into Rave, knocking him off the apron. Vain cheated his way into a couple of
near falls, then got an honest one with a superkick, before fallin victim to J-Rod’s cross armbreaker at 16:20. J-Rod offered to shake
hands, but Rave clocked him with a forearm instead. That got a reaction from the crowd. J-Rod ducked Rave’s running knee and rolled
him up. J-Rod started digging into Rave’s chest with stiff kicks. Rave sold a knee to the chin like the lights went out for a moment, but
kicked out at two. Rave had J-Rod’s superman knee scouted. Rave went for a pescado and got nailed with a kick for a near fall. They
traded near falls. Rave hit The Move That Rocked the World. Referee Dustin Robinson counted three, but J-Rods foot was clearly under
the ropes and the crowd knew it. J-Rod showed disappointment but didn’t **** about the decision. Rave acted like he knew he got away
with something. They did a show of good sportsmanship. It was kind of weird deal with three faces and one heel. The wrestling was
good. Probably more near falls than necessary at the end. I really liked Rave’s subtle heel stuff.