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Freelance Wrestling Strikes Back (Sept. 30, 2016) recap & review: Corino, Durst, & Brubaker make a splash, Joey Ryan works the butt and other stories

Freelance Wrestling

I tune in a little early for the preshow only to find Frank the Clown cutting a shoot promo on the crowd for being jealous of him dating Noelle Foley and telling them to "Cactus Jack [themselves] off". Alrighty. Onto the actual card!

Arik Cannon & Ariya Daivari vs. Double Dragon Monkey Fury (Rey Furia & Space Monkey) vs. Roscoe Eat Lisa (Mikey McFinnigan & Zakk Sawyers) vs. Superiority Complex (Roy Gordon & Tony Nas) (Tag Team Scramble Match)

Early stretch built around Cannon & Daivari vs. Furia & Monkey here. Space Monkey and Arik Cannon indulge in the classic battle of banana vs. Pabst Blue Ribbon, and PBR largely wins by way of a sweet standing figure four with a good long pull, beer mist and a can straight to the head. Banana comes back, though, as Cannon falls for the oldest trick in the monkey book and slips on the peel.

The match then shifts to the established tag teams, Superiority Complex and Roscoe Eat Lisa bringing the double-teams and simultaneous maneuvers.Things break down on the outside and Mikey McFinnigan & Space Monkey get with the high flying, top rope springboard moonsault and a corkscrew moonsault off the top turnbuckle respectively. Then back in the ring for your usual "everybody get something cool in" multi-man stuff towards the finish.

Double Dragon Monkey Fury win by pinfall following a tail whip from Space Monkey on Tony Nas.

Really fun opener, loved the structure with the shifting two-on-two action right into all hell breaking loose, made for a nice snappy match.

Colby Corino, Brubaker, & Kobe Durst hit the ring afterwards and assault the winners, heading to the back with no exposition as to why they may have done such a thing.

Joey Ryan vs. Shigehiro Irie

Joey Ryan penis shenanigans to start, begging Irie to touch it. Irie manages to avoid it but ends up nearly breaking his knee on a Manhattan Drop thanks to the impact on Joey’s steel member. And again, an Earthquake Splash sees a butt injury due to Ryan’s wrought iron wang. Joey leans into the injury with punches, an Atomic Drop, and knees straight to the brown eye before grinding the point of his elbow. A bite, a clawhold, there’s no end to his butt-based sadism.

Ryan makes the mistake of going back to the penis grab however, and Irie mounts a comeback only to be felled by a falling headbutt to Joey’s dick. Ryan finally gets the penis grab he wanted but Irie’s able to grit through and turn it into a slam. Joey turns it right back around with a butt-first version of the YouPorn Plex before jamming his lollipop into Irie’s mouth and...

Joey Ryan wins by pinfall with a superkick.

Great hilarious comedy match. Maybe I’m simple, but you work the butthole and I’m gonna have a good time.

Chris Castro is invited into the ring to celebrate his birthday. He says when he saw the date for the show he knew he had to party with his friends, his family, and his fans. Wrestling is his passion, his life, and it’s an amazing feeling to share it once or twice a month. He exhorts the crowd to party hard tonight and tomorrow and then "Money" Matt Cage comes out!

Over the last couple months, he’s heard everybody asking him when he’d come to Freelance. Well, it’s taken him longer than he’d like, but he’s glad to finally be here. He doesn’t want to take up too much time here, but he’s been watching, and he puts Castro’s potential over before saying his birthday means a new beginning. It’s time for them both to step up, and he proposes a first-time-ever match between the two of them down the line.

This is pro wrestling, of course, so Cage punctuates the offer by hitting the Money Shot on Castro. He follows up saying it ain’t about Chris Castro, but rather all about the money. He calls Castro a fat piece of shit, wasted potential, before saying it’s gotten even worse since he started going out with his girlfriend, who he has several choice names for. Cage hits another Money Shot and rolls Castro over before counting a mocking pin and saying this is as close as he’s gonna come to a match.

Well I’m stoked for this feud! Gonna be great.

Christian Rose vs. Gringo Loco vs. Jon Cruz vs. Kenny Sutra vs. Mr. 450 vs. Stephen Wolf vs. Suge D vs. Triton (Scramble Match)

Suge D and Christian Rose ducking each other early, but Rose ends up locking up with Wolf. Wolf busts out some cool stuff, including a tilt-a-whirl legsweep before Suge finally gets in and everybody else denies Rose the tag. But this is a scramble, and Rose tags out by leaving only to get lumberjacked back in so Suge can go to town! Rose and Suge end up brawling to the back, so Wolf and Cruz get in and have an awesome fast-pased exchange featuring a super violent headscissors takeover from Cruz.

Triton and Loco’s turn to go fast now and they don’t disappoint despite issues with Triton not being quite used to the tension on Freelance’s ropes. The match breaks down a little bit, 450 and Cruz going Lucha World Order on Loco and Wolf only to see Sutra and Triton join in to turn it into tandem double superplexes. Rose comes back out and nearly steals it with a half nelson Olympic Slam but Suge isn’t far behind.

Everybody ends up outside and a fountain of dives ensues, Suge and Loco taking the crowd out with senton atomicos off the top, Cruz hitting a tope con giro, 450 with an Asai moonsault, Triton with a double jump moonsault off the top, and Stephen Wolf crosses himself before hitting a shooting star press off the top! Wolf and Loco in and Wolf takes the tide with a huge double knee gutbuster but he can’t capitalize and Cruz cuts him off. Cruz eats a diving crossbody and a jackknife powerbomb but 450 breaks it up and hits a kick assisted TKO and a standing shiranui before Cruz lands a huge Swanton!

450 breaks up the pin of course, and then Kenny Sutra tries to steal the win with quick pins. Gringo Loco with an avalanche Falcon Arrow but Wolf breaks his pin up. Sutra looking for an avalanche Frankensteiner but Loco blocks and Wolf kicks him to the mat. Triton finally nails a ropewalk into the springboard Frankensteiner for real! Headscissors on the outside and it’s 450 against Wolf now, firing chops at each other.

Wolf narrowly gets an advantage but 450 fights out with kicks and a DDT, looking for the 450 but Wolf comes to his senses and blocks it. Rose comes in and lays Wolf out with a huge lariat and we’re right back to Suge and Rose slugging it out with forearms. A series of kicks into a knee from Suge leave Rose dazed, Suge hits a brainbuster and has it won but yanks Rose off the mat before the three! Suge up top and Wolf puts him in the Tree of Woe, but Rose is right there...

Christian Rose wins by pinfall with a swinging reverse STO on Stephen Wolf.

Holy hell that scramble was awesome. Best multi-man highspot match I’ve seen in a good while, especially with the story layers bookending it with Rose vs. Suge. And Stephen Wolf in particular was super impressive for my first time seeing him.

N-Words (Acid Jaz & Bryce Benjamin) (c) vs. Zero Gravity (Brett Gakiya & CJ Esparza) (Freelance Tag Team Championship)

N-Words in charge early, a quick tag keeping Gakiya down, but Esparza manages a blind tag and Zero Gravity start bringing the tag maneuvers. Gakiya gets back body dropped over the ropes onto the N-Words but they chuck him right back onto the apron in a cool spot. Back to dominance from Jaz and Benjamin on Esparza for a while, but he gets separation with a bulldog and Gakiya comes in on fire.

Dropkicks, a pop-up knee strike, a Meteora, clearing house with a diving blockbuster for an exclamation point. Tag made, Esparza with a slightly awkward quebrada fakeout but Gakiya fires himself into a chair with a suicide dive trying to take the N-Words out. Bryce hits Splash Mountain but it’s not enough to put Esparza away! Esparza with an attempted avalanche Frankensteiner, Bryce blocks, Gakiya with the gamengiri to get him out of it leads to a tight nearfall after more flying.

Bryce with a wicked corner exploder before a double spinebuster fails to put Esparaza away. Looking for a follow up with KKK but Esparza nails a dropkick to stop it.

N-Words win by pinfall with backbreaker/double stomp combo on CJ Esparza, retaining the Freelance Tag Team Championship.

Another good tag title match courtesy of the N-Words. My first time seeing Zero Gravity, too, and they’re certainly welcome to show up on my computer/TV screen more often.

Corino, Brubaker, and Durst hit the ring again after this one, laying out the tag champs. Brubaker gets on the mic and introduces himself and his cohorts this time. Colby says these two have been underused and underappreciated by Freelance and so has he, phonecall after phonecall, email after email— Durst chimes in with scramble after scramble and Brubaker complains they didn’t put him on the show last month. Colby finishes, saying if Freelance doesn’t want to give them a shot, they’re gonna take it.

Craig Mitchell vs. Isaias Velazquez

Firing right away at each other, running the ropes and charging Bull Moose style. They fight to the outside and Velazquez runs afoul of the rest of Team Beta, kicking the ringpost after Dutra moved, allowing Mitchell to beat him pillar to post. Back in the ring, Mitchell starts going after the knee hard, stomping, wrenching, and tearing.

Isaias manages to carve out a bit of separation and mount a comeback but Mitchell dodges a double stomp off the top and Velazquez is right back in one wheel territory for a moment. Second rope Northern Lights suplex into a successful double stomp but Velazquez can’t capitalize because his knee is so screwed. Back to their feet they slug it out but every time Isaias grabs an advantage Mitchell kicks the leg.

Back outside, Velazquez continues to risk it all with a huge dropkick before rolling Mitchell in the ring for another double stomp and coming up lame. Craig hits a TKO but it’s not enough. Isaias with a one-legged standing shiranui into the Bryan Danielson arm-trap MMA elbows but Mitchell digs deep and deadlifts out. Back and forth struggle and Mitchell hits an awesome slingshot rope-hung piledriver but Velazquez manages to kick out!

Isaias with a series of kicks and the Hammer of Dawn but as he looks to get up for the pin the other members of Team Beta distract him on the apron. Buzzsaw kick, Mitchell cages it into a leglock and turns it into a Stretch Muffler...

Craig Mitchell wins by submission with a Stretch Muffler.

Good match. Well played with Beta’s influence in the proceedings and Velazquez’s continuing high risk devil may care willingness to sacrifice his leg even further in the name of winning. If you read my stuff you know I’m often irritated by that sort of "nevermind, I can do stuff" approach to selling, but I think it actually worked really well here since that was the story and he got caught out by it in the end.

Rob Matter and Stevie Fierce out for the State of Beauty and the Beast Address. Matter starts off saying they went through hell in that match but in the end the audience stood and applauded them, and they really appreciate that. They’ll do whatever it takes to get the tag titles back, up to and including five TLC matches.

Stevie counters by asking how "your NEW Freelance Heavyweight Champion Stevie Fierce" sounds. Rob says that’s not his first choice, but Stevie’s his best friend and if that’s his goal, he’ll gladly take a back seat for now. Stevie says first off he doesn’t need permission, and secondly, he’s the tall, jacked, gorgeous superstar, while Rob is pale, skinny, made of peanut brittle, and he reminds him of these loser fans.

Stevie continues, saying their tag team is finished before slapping Matter and welcoming us to the Aesthetic Era of Stevie Fierce. Rob takes him down and pounds on him until he escapes before saying if Stevie believes he doesn’t belong in the ring, he’ll have to prove it and makes the match for next month.

Jake Something vs. Jeff Cobb

Cobb tossing Something around like a sack of potatoes out of an early lockup. Cobb looking to invite Something to the Bull Moose off-the-ropes test of strength but Jake won’t take it and cheap shots him. Something in charge for a while, including an awesome delayed backbreaker. Trading big suplexes leaves Cobb in control following an Athletic-plex.

Cobb starts flying, standing moonsault, standing shooting star headbutt and then he takes Something to the mat for momentary grappling. Cobb doesn’t stick to it, though, and Something is able to catch him in the corner with a wicked stomp to the chest. Strike exchange on their feet, Cobb with a sick headbutt to the chest that turns the tide again.

Belly-to-belly, looking for a straight suplex, Something slips out and hits a German, shoulder block, Black Hole Slam gets a nearfall! Cobb is reeling but all it takes is one opportunity...

Jeff Cobb wins by pinfall with the Tour of the Islands.

HOSS! Love Cobb, and Something gave credence to how much I enjoyed him in the scramble last month. Good stuff.

The two face off in the ring after and Something flips Cobb off, so hopefully this ain’t over yet.

DJ Z vs. Mustafa Ali (c) (Freelance Championship)

Internet issues on my end to start but I come in on an awesome sequence with both guys a step ahead of each other. Strike exchange, the champion in charge, DJ cuts him off with a dropkick but Ali flips the bird and goes right back to work. Hard shoulder thrusts from DJZ rattle the turnbuckles but Ali has his number anyway.

Slingshot senton / quebrada combo gets two for DJ and puts the champion on the back foot for real. Huge back body drop over the ropes sends Ali into the first row, and DJ lies in wait on the apron for Ali to get up before hitting a through-the-corner suicide dive but ALI CATCHES HIM INTO A CRASH LANDING ON THE APRON!

Back in the ring, Z is reeling and Ali gets a couple deep nearfalls off of simple kicks before trying to ground him with a headlock. Ali targeting the back now, tripping and suplexing while firing kicks to the back on the way down. DJ gets some separation on a tornado DDT but runs shoulder-first into the ringpost and eats a sweet elevated Sharpshooter in the ropes! DJ comes back with a crossface in the same position but Ali’s able to fight out and hit a diving cutter.

Champion moonsaults right into DJ Z’s feet and momentum shifts again, a battle on the ropes ending in a double jump avalanche Frankensteiner from DJ. Lariat, pop-up kick, humongous DDT, DJ puts the work in but isn’t rewarded with the win. Ali with a counter avalanche gourdbuster into a sunset flip rolled through into a Liger Bomb but DJ is equally hard to put away.

Ali wins a superkick duel but when he goes up top to capitalize DJ Z press slams him onto the apron! Trading blows on the apron, ducking and dodging leads to a Mustafa Ali suicide dive that goes all the way through the crowd and to the wall! DJ with a tope con giro, Ali looking for another dive but DJ cuts him off. A third try and DJ rolls all the way back in and cuts him off with a huge DDT!

Big 450 comes up empty, they trade superkicks, DJ with a poison Frankensteiner but the powerbomb followup leads to Ali reversing to a Canadian Destroyer and hitting a 450 on empty mat! Up in the corner, jockeying for position...

Mustafa Ali wins by pinfall with a springboard Spanish Fly, retaining the Freelance Championship.

Awesome match, ebbing and flowing and crazy stuff happening without getting repetitive or feeling overwrought.

And now intermission while they set the cage up!

"All Ego" Ethan Page vs. Robert "Ego" Anthony (Steel Cage Match)

Ethan Page on the microphone to start, saying tonight he’s gonna do two things— one, prove Ethan Page is the only Ego in professional wrestling and two, he introduces his manager for the night, Frank the Clown. Sometimes, my friends, the wrestling goes too far.

Fortunately, Robert Anthony is all business and we get underway without him introducing Ronald McDonald or somebody to counter the clown. The two Egos square off, with Anthony drawing a line in the sand and daring Page to cross, but Page tries to book it and leave the cage immediately. Anthony gets on him, though, stomping a mudhole in the corner and sending Page face-first into the cage over and over and over.

Anthony asks for and receives a beer from the crowd, opening it so it sprays in Frank’s face and decking Page with it. A dazed Page starts to climb and Anthony seems content to let him slowly try a moment before laying into him, finishing with a run down the top rope into a dropkick that knocks Page back to the mat. Anthony with a big delayed vertical suplex and he goes to the door, not to escape, but to invite Frank in.

This only gets him a low blow from Page and the door slammed in his face. Now it’s Anthony’s turn to eat cage over and over, Page grating his forehead on the cage. Page continues to work the head, trapping Anthony between the ropes and the cage and firing a dropkick and big punches before a rope-hung DDT.

A full moon apparently rises but my feed is audio-only for a little bit. When it comes back, Anthony jams a handful of skewers into Page’s head and yanks them out before jamming them in his buttcrack and hitting a Manhattan Drop. With Page writhing on the mat, Anthony decides he’s had his fun and goes for the door but Frank desperately blocks him. Page wakes up and drops him before getting a chair from Frank.

But he can’t fire off shot one because Anthony blocks him and throws hands before throwing the chair at his head. Another chair shot, Anthony thinking more face-on-cage action but Page reverses him and ends up Pillmanizing his hand and his leg. Page then invites Frank in the ring to help him out, the sneaky snake bastard.

But Anthony wakes up! Side slam on the chair! Frank is locked in the cage! Anthony forces Frank to take a seat on the mat and reaches for a skewer, thinking to jam it in his head but Page wakes up and cuts him off! Frank books it on out the cage and the two Egos begin climbing on opposite sides of the cage. They jaw at each other and converge before trading slaps on the top rope.

Page wins the exchange with headbutts and a low blow but Anthony evens the score with a diving cutter! Once they wake up, both men begin climbing again, this time in the same corner. More headbutts from Page but Anthony fires back a good dozen of his own. Avalanche Rock Bottom from Page and he’s crawling to the door...

Ethan Page wins by escaping the cage through the door.

Wonder of wonders, an escape rules cage match that didn’t make me want to tear my hair out! Quite the contrary, it was really enjoyable. Both dudes were out to hurt each other and when they got cute it made sense.

Page on the mic, says everybody’s seen them doing this since last December, and Anthony made this as nasty as it got, but it ended how it started, with the real Ego hitting him with the Rock Bottom. Which is coincidentally where his career is now, at rock bottom. Page flips the crowd off and heads to the back.

Anthony on the mic, saying it’s 12:40 in the morning and he’s got no excuses, Ethan Page was the better man tonight. He’s done a lot of good things in life, like getting his 1-year-old son Harrison’s footprint tattooed on his foot, and he’s given us everything he’s had. He’s got to do some soul-searching and figure out where to go from here, but for now, he’s going to go home for a while and be a dad. He says he loves all of us for supporting independent wrestling before taking his leave of the ring, leaving his wrestling shoes behind.


This may have been the best show Freelance have put on in the time I’ve been watching. The eight-man scramble was superlative, the title match was awesome, and nothing on the card was anything less than good. Plus the story development throughout, with the triad of Corino, Durst, & Brubaker wreaking havoc and the segments setting up Cage/Castro and Matter/Fierce all delivering. A lot of the time "talking segment" and "indie wrestling" go together like oil and water, but not here.

It’s certainly been the best quality $5 stream they’ve done, with audio coming through loud and clear, a nice square view of the action, and the only real complaints I can make are occasional bits of video lag and a pair of short black screen video dropouts. If you discount the lack of camera angles beyond the hard camera, it’s grown to be quite competitive with most indie iPPV out there and remains one of the best values in wrestling.

So keep an eye out for the VOD release, folks, it’s a keeper.

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