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Inspire Pro Wrestling's RELENTLESS Review


The Godfather
Staff member
Mar 17, 1988
Direct Link to Tom Holzerman's The Wrestling Blog

<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vdPJOUoEZpA/VAUATdiGrPI/AAAAAAAAAGQ/k9tA9sI3muc/s1600/BwegiLICYAAT7JZ.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vdPJOUoEZpA/VAUATdiGrPI/AAAAAAAAAGQ/k9tA9sI3muc/s400/BwegiLICYAAT7JZ.jpg" height="640" width="512" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">New Champ!<br />Photo Credit: Joel Loeschman</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: justify;">Relentless was an emotional rollercoaster, containing such amazing highs followed by the most extreme of lows. But the great matches and the amazing atmosphere (there really isn’t anything like an Inspire Pro crowd) aren’t what stick out most in my mind. Instead, it was the unusual reliance on outside interference/distractions. That was most definitely out of the norm for the company. I almost thought Vince Russo had been hired, which makes me shudder to think about.<br /><br />The only match that didn’t have some sort of interference was the NWA Women’s Title match (I’m excluding the Dell/Palmer match as I’m counting it as a bigger overall production involving the Inspire Pro Title and the follow-up match), but that was not without it’s share of controversy.<br /><br /><a name='more'></a>So, let’s just see what happened, shall we:<br /><br /><b>”Dirty” Andy Dalton def. Jax Dane to become Number One Contender to the Inspire Pro Championship</b><br /><br /><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">Jax Dane? More like Jacked Dane! <a href="https://twitter.com/InspireProWres">@InspireProWres</a><br />— Samantha Dupin (@Samalammaa) <a href="https://twitter.com/Samalammaa/statuses/506219313871990784">August 31, 2014</a></blockquote><br />My wife, ladies and gentleman! I covered this in my <a href="https://www.blogger.com/%E2%80%9Dhttp://wallsofjerichoholic.blogspot.com/2014/08/inspire-pros-relentless-preview.html%E2%80%9D">preview</a>, but this may be my first time seeing Jax Dane (I can’t recall if he wrestled at the Branded Outlaw shows that featured NJPW talent), and I gotta say, he’s large. Also pretty good.<br /><br />While the way Andy Dalton won doesn’t really make him look strong in the ring, it does prove that with him being the “Dirty Mind of Wrestling” and having “The Mind of Wrestling” JT Lamotta in his corner, they are the smartest. They didn’t <i>need</i> to defeat Jax Dane; they just needed to hang on long enough for Lance Hoyt to come down and blast Dalton with a clothesline, giving him the disqualification victory and number one contendership.<br /><br />Pretty ingenious and it’s a wonder more heels don’t use that when it’s really the only logical option for cheaters. And speaking of that, as I did in the preview, it’s hard to be a loathsome piece of garbage on the indie scene and actually have people hate you for it (often times the fans love you regardless, especially if you slap your thigh well), but Dalton pulls it off with great aplomb.<br /><br />All of that would be proven ten-fold in the main event, but we’ll get to that.<br /><br />After this match, Hoyt and Dane got into a bit of a scrum that caused almost the entire locker room of wrestlers and staff to hit the ring to separate them. My only issue was that one of the people involved in keeping the peace was Bradley Axel Dawson of the Hollywood Knives. The man knocks himself out while sneezing, how was he able to survive two giant-sized men clubberin’ each other?<br /><br />I was just hoping beyond hope that he would get laid out somehow and given that his match was next, it would have provided a simple and easy reason for him to not help Stevo Reno, but it was not to be.<br /><br />What we thought was going to happen, though, was the imminent death of our esteemed ring announcer, Brandon Stroud. Everyone cleared the ring of Dane and forgot about Hoyt, I guess? They just dispersed, allowing him to accost Stroud. We, the fans, were fully behind the blogger/ring announcer, even though no one intervened, ‘cause, well, have you seen Lance Hoyt? He’s big. And they don’t call him “The American Pyscho” for nothing.<br /><br />Luckily, for Stroud, it was just some more bullying, that it wasn’t really going down. He just wanted to give his victim time to think about what he was going to do.<br /><br /><b>The Orphans def. The Hollywood Knives</b><br /><br />The Orphans are comprised of DG and Zac Taylor, two brothers who are actual orphans . They are also trainees of The AAPW School (where my wife will begin training soon). They’ve been active in the “attack out of nowhere” game in recent months, attacking Morbidus with Jeff Gant and then, on their own, taking out Kyle Hawk. Gant is seemingly out of the picture (as he missed the show and his scheduled match with Franco D’Angelo).<br /><br />The Hollywood Knives had their typical match of Bradley Axel Dawson knocking himself out by tripping over the ring steps, leaving Stevo Reno to go it two-on-one once again. So far, he’d been able to overcome the odds, and it looked very much like it would occur once more, but he could never get one of the Orphans out of the ring or down for long enough to get a three on the remaining brother, always having it broken up at the last moment.<br /><br />In the end though, no one can overcome three-on-one odds (unless you work for WWE), as The Hollywood Knives suffered their first and final loss when a third Orphan emerged to put Stevo down, giving the Taylor brothers the 1-2-3. The new Orphan? Well, he’s known as Sky DeLacrimosa elsewhere, but who knows about now? No name was given.<br /><br />After the match, the Knives finally imploded, with Dawson blaming Reno for the loss and that he was tired of expending some much blood, sweat, and tears for the team while Reno just laid around being a lazy bum and not helping at all. That drummed up a nice “bullshit” chant from the crowd (and even Stroud) because, well, that is obviously its purest form imaginable.<br /><br />Dawson beat down his former partner and was heading to the back as the fans started to chant “STEVE! STEVE! STEVE!” This enraged Dawson, as he re-entered the ring, climbed to the top turnbuckle and hit a big splash with all his weight (he has a sizable belly) full force on Reno.<br /><br />This was a really good match, actually, especially considering the Orphans were fairly new to the business. But, like I said in the preview, not much of this matters if there isn’t a tag division. Who do the Orphans feud with? The only other team just broke up as a result of their victory. Well, I guess we get a bit of an answer later when they return later in the night, but we’ll see on that front.<br /><br /><b>Street Fight: Mr. B def. Scotty Santiago</b><br /><br />This match started off with a bang, literally. Or would it be a crash? What’s the sound for when a trash can is hurled from the ramp and smashed into Mr. B’s head? ‘Cause that’s how this one got underway. Trouble is, that’s about all that I (and many others) saw, as the action quickly spilled to the outside. Like, outside the building. They went out into the lobby, out the front door, and fought in the street. When it returned to the Marchesa Hall and Theater, they went into the women’s restroom. Finally, it got back into the ring.<br /><br />Soon, we saw the return of Shane Taylor. Who’s Shane Taylor? Well, I don’t know. Not really. The last time we saw him, he was made a member of the Pump Patrol (what happened to those guys?) way back in January at The Ecstasy of Gold and never saw him again (to my recollection). Since this was a Street Fight, it was perfectly within the rules for anyone to get involved. And that was how Mr. B overcame the politics and picked up his first win in Inspire Pro.<br /><br />We would see these guys again.<br /><br /><b>Barbi Hayden def. Athena to retain the NWA World Women’s Championship</b><br /><br />This first-half main event (it was right before intermission) set the bar high for the rest of the night. I’m not quite so certain anyone else overcame it, either. The second half of the show was filled with some excellent bouts, but this match probably gets my Match of the Night. When Ray Rowe went out with his injuries, I nominated this match to replace it as the headliner, and I don’t think I would have been shamed if they had. As it was, we got a more emotional end the show that this didn’t quite have, but it wasn’t without it’s ups and downs and controversy.<br /><br />It was a back and forth contest with neither woman having the upperhand for too long. Eventually, Athena was able to hit the O-Face (a twisting dive off the top rope into a stunner), but Hayden ended getting her foot on the bottom rope, and despite counting the three, referee Mike Knoxville reversed the decision and restarted the match.<br /><br />Athena went for a second O-Face, but Hayden countered and hit her DDT (a Randy Orton-style DDT, but with Athena’s feet on the top turnbuckle in this instance) for the three count. BUT, Athena’s foot was on the bottom rope as well, completely unseen by the referee. Why was that? Well, Hayden casually pushed her foot off the rope before he could see it and restart the match.<br /><br />Could we be seeing a heel turn for Barbi Hayden? I’m not opposed to it. It definitely adds some more meat to these Women’s Title matches. Now, imagine if Athena wins the XX Division Championship (when is that going to happen, by the way?) and you have these two ladies both battling with belts. Goodness, that would be splendid.<br /><br />We’ll definitely get a rematch at some point, but I kind of hope Hayden just keeps dodging her, and making Athena prove she needs another shot. I hope she says this WHILE Athena is XX Champ.<br /><br /><b>”Absolute” Ricky Starks and Franco D’Angelo fought to a No Contest</b><br /><br />Gary Jay managed to book himself a flight to somewhere in New Mexico (according to Ricky Starks), so he missed the show, leaving Starks without an opponent. Franco D’Angelo was also sans opponent when Jeff Gant was unable to make it. So, they decided, despite not having anything against one another, to have a nice, friendly contest.<br /><br />Starks facial expression in the corner really sold that Franco is a beast and he wasn’t particularly looking forward to having to face him. But he went at him without fear. None of it ultimately mattered, though, as The Orphans jumped into the proceedings and caused a no contest. Matthew Palmer came to his buddy’s aide, though, making the Orphans run away for the first time.<br /><br />Could we get a feud out of this? Maybe. I like that Inspire Pro is mixing up who faces who. It’s not like they ever repeat anything and just have the same people face each other time and time again, it’s more that a lot of these people have done so many battles in other companies, that it’s nice to see some changes. Especially if you take some established people like Starks, D'Angelo, and Palmer and pit them against these upstarts, The Orphans. Sure, maybe they’ve bit off more than they can chew, but it’ll be fun to see them try and take ‘em down.<br /><br />The wrinkle in all that is what happened at the end of the show.<br /><br /><b>Scot Summers def. Lance Hoyt to retain the World Class Championship</b><br /><br />Lance Hoyt owes Brandon Stroud a new shirt (that had just come back from the dry cleaners according to his girlfriend Destiny), or at least a few new buttons that flew off when his shirt was ripped open. But it was now time to put up or shut up for Stroud, and while he tried to talk his way out of it, he didn’t back down. He even threw a punch (that got blocked) ‘cause what else are you gonna do? Thankfully, before he could be murdered in the middle of the ring in front of everyone, Scot Summers ran out.<br /><br />During the introductions, Stroud said Hoyt had a Whataburger tattoo on his back, that it’s not a bad thing to be a bitch aka woman (A LOT of “bitches” and “son of a bitch” being thrown around as insults on this show, maybe the pre-show talk of keeping your misogyny to yourself should be extended to the wrestlers?), and that he was an asshole, THE asshole, in fact.<br /><br />This led the fans to not only chant “Asshole” at Hoyt, but also “Whataburger,” “Whatachicken,” and a variety of other things associated with the fast food chain. This was a very heated match that, well, also did not have a clean ending. While Jax Dane didn’t get involved physically, he provided enough of a distraction to allow Summers to lock in a grapevine ankle lock to get the submission victory.<br /><br />After the match, Greg Symonds came out (shockingly not during the match), in a really nice suit complemented by the worst baseball hat. Why ruin a good suit with a stupid hat? Anyway, he claimed he was giving it up. The business that is. He had some demons to overcome. Some sort of addiction and was going to leave and spend time with his family and himself. Summers supported this decision and shook hands.<br /><br />So, of course, it was all a ruse, Symonds laying out Summers with a clothesline. He was soon joined by Mr. B and Shane Taylor. Is he now on the side of politics? Are they now going to work out in Mr. B’s favor? Shouldn’t he be against this? It’s what was keeping him down, yes? Doesn’t he want equality for all? I suppose he just wants it to favor himself, huh? But, like I said earlier with the Orphans, if this pits Summers against Mr. B and Taylor (and I suppose Gabe Roach, if he comes back) as obstacles for Summers to overcome before he can get his hands on Symonds, that’s fantastic.<br /><br />At least Brandon Stroud gets to live to see another day.<br /><br /><b>Jojo Bravo def. Jordan Jensen</b><br /><br />And a rivalry has come to an end. The first feud of Inspire Pro (Jordan attacked Bravo on the very first show) was finally put to rest. This was a match with attempted interference, but Andy Dalton managed to get himself handcuffed to the ropes, preventing him from helping out his buddy.<br /><br />I’m hoping this is the beginning of something big for Bravo, because he deserves it, and I think the people backstage recognize his abilities and the fan support he has. Perhaps the J-Crown or moving onto Inspire Championship? Perhaps. Of course, maybe he and Jensen go back to being partners? They did shake hands afterwards afterall, Bravo saying he (and everyone else) does recognize Jensen's talent.<br /><br />It was a bit of a nice twist, as Bravo wasn’t wearing his revenge tights. This match was about putting an end to the rivalry. He felt Jensen was acting out for the recognition, thinking himself overlooked, and Bravo sympathized with that, as he, himself, had felt like that before. The handshake didn’t sit well with Dalton, though, as he and Jensen got into it. They seemed to have made up, though.<br /><br />At one point in the match, Jojo went for a tornado DDT, but spun all the way from the corner to the ropes, springboarded off, taking the momentum in the opposite direction, then spun out of the DDT, into a bulldog. It was insane. I’m telling you, don’t sleep on Bravo. He’s the hidden gem of Inspire Pro.<br /><br /><b>”Centerfold” Matthew Palmer def. “One Man” Mike Dell to become the NEW Inspire Pro Champion</b><br /><br />With Ray Rowe recovering from his motorcycle accident, Mike Dell was allowed to choose the challenger for his Inspire Pro Championship. He chose Matthew Palmer, much to everyone’s delight (especially myself). My wife and I were talking with our pal Brian about how the Inspire Pro Championship seemed to have the least amount of heat and story behind it and that we were looking forward to him losing the gold to Rowe. We didn’t feel it was likely to happen with a replacement opponent.<br /><br />But it did! And it was glorious! See, I think they may have went ahead with whatever their plans had already been. It was honestly the most character Dell had show. He was at his most interesting. The story with Rowe was that Dell had never beaten him (getting manhandled just before he won the Title), so there was doubt in "One Man’s" mind that he could top his now-injured foe. He was finally turning into what he should have been, a heel who is losing control.<br /><br />He tried using a chair multiple times but Knoxville stopped him. He would eventually use it on Franco D’Angelo at ringside, destroying the Bionic Freak’s knee, forcing him to leave ringside. After a chair shot and a Delbow (top rope elbow drop), it looked like he would retain, but it wasn’t enough to keep Palmer down.<br /><br />With the referee down, Palmer used the chair on Dell, hit a frog splash, and won the Inspire Pro Championship! There was much rejoicing! But it was short-lived. Andy Dalton and JT Lamotta made their way to the ring and demanded that Palmer defend the gold right then and there.<br /><br /><b>”Dirty” Andy Dalton def. Matthew Palmer to become the NEW NEW Inspire Pro Champion</b><br /><br />Palmer made a huge mistake. He was almost immediately hit with a piledriver, but he kicked out, amazingly. He started to fight back, but he couldn’t fight two men at once with Lamotta at ringside. Eventually, he succummed to a second pliedriver, and his title reign was over in less than ten minutes (give or take).<br /><br />It was such an emotional rollercoaster.<br /><br />That said, I’m not opposed to the quick double-switch. It gives Inspire Pro a Champion with an actual character. Someone we can hate (it was mostly apathy towards Dell fairly quickly into his reign), and gives everyone someone to chase. Everyone knows he will use every trick in the book to keep his belt. It also sets up a nice dynamic where Jensen can turn face, since they already got into it a bit following the Bravo match.<br /><br />So, while I was elated that Palmer had won, I’m more interested now that Dalton is the Champ. I suppose we’ll have to wait until November (or whenever the next show after Battle Wars is) to see a rematch (if he grants one at all) and a full match between those two would be awesome. It would give Inspire Pro a Championship Match main event that’s actually good and that people care about. Can’t rely on the NWA Women’s Title forever.<br /><br /><b>Final Thoughts:</b> Another great show in the books. It’s almost getting ridiculous how good Inspire Pro is. My only faults were what I mentioned at the top, with all the completely unnecessary interference and distractions.  It’s always better to have clean finishes, ‘cause who are you helping? With Dalton it worked only because of who he is and who he has as a manager. They talk up being the Minds of Wrestling, so they should be able to out-think people. They did it with Hoyt assisting with a DQ and then challenging Palmer for the title immediately after he won it. People never make the best decisions in the heat of the moment, especially when coming off something such an emotional event.<br /><br />Although, I guess I can’t really be too hard on most of it. Almost all made sense, as either payback or were within the rules of the match. It’s almost more of an inconsistency. This isn’t ACW, so it shouldn’t be anarchy all the time. If you’re going to have count outs (they have a 20 count), then when a manager trips up a wrestler in plain view of an official, it should either be a DQ or you throw the manager out. Simple as that. Either you allow all of it, or none of it. (Small infractions like a trip-up that doesn’t lead to a finish don’t need to end the match, just get rid of the cheating element.)<br /><br />It didn’t hurt my enjoyment though. I just don’t want it to become an issue where whenever it looks like the finish of a match, I’m looking to the entrance or the crowd to see who’s going to run out.<br /><br />I would like to point out a fan who told few of the wrestlers who would be complaining on the mic (or just talking in general) to “shut the fuck up.” I can’t remember who any specific targets were, but it was amazing. I just wish he had told it to the guy who took it upon himself to heckle Stroud as he was dealing with his impending doom. Dipshit.<br /><br />At one point during the show, Justin Bissonnette (whom I <a href="https://www.blogger.com/%E2%80%9Dhttp://wallsofjerichoholic.blogspot.com/2014/08/an-interview-with-inspire-pros-justin.html%E2%80%9D">interviewed</a>) brought into the ring Thomas Munos, whom some of you may remember as the referee that attacked Sammy Guevara during a match, got fired, and attacked him again when Guevara was beating up Biss. Well, with Guevara gone from the coming, Biss and the Inspire Pro powers thought it was in the best interest to reinstate Munos.<br /><br />But Munos declined the blue NWA referee shirt. Instead, he wanted a contract to compete as a wrestler AND a chance to win the vacant J-Crown. As it happened, Biss said that they would be having an 8-Man Tournament for that particular crown and that Munos would be the first participant added.<br /><br />I’ve been waiting for a referee-to-wrestler transformation story and this one worked out beautifully. Munos isn’t the best talker in the world (and who knows how good of a wrestler he is), but considering the fan support he already has, he’s an instant fan favorite. That’s one of the most underused ways of adding someone to your roster. I think it’s what WWE tried to do with Brad Maddox, but they screwed it up when he was immediately decimated by Ryback. But it’s perfect and if they can somehow work his past job into his wrestling (knowing all the tricks and whatnot), it’ll be great. Hopefully, he’s competent enough in the ring (assumedly he is, otherwise they wouldn’t go forward with it).<br /><br />But the biggest announcement to come out of the night was that Inspire Pro would be returning on October 5th with Battle Wars. With Chikara. Yes, they are putting on a joint show. And the first two matches booked are Jojo Bravo and ACH vs. Silver Ant and Fire Ant and Scot Summers vs. Teddy Hart. Yes, THAT Teddy Hart. Of the people he mentioned, the only ones that I remember them announcing to participate are Grand Champion Icarus and Dasher Hatfield. It’s going to be amazing!<br /><br />So, if you’ve never been to an Inspire Pro show, this should be one you go out of your way to see. It’ll be worth the travel. I mean, Texas people (and people from all over) travel for King of Trios, why can’t people come to Austin for this? There’s no reason, so get your butts to Austin on October 5.<br /><br />Basically, you can sum up my feelings about Inspire Pro with this picture:</div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-sk_-MRMPRWk/VAYNcVAdHBI/AAAAAAAAAGg/pU62smAfNq8/s640/blogger-image--1327321522.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-sk_-MRMPRWk/VAYNcVAdHBI/AAAAAAAAAGg/pU62smAfNq8/s640/blogger-image--1327321522.jpg" width="512" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Photo Credit: Joel Loeschman</td></tr></tbody></table>

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