Prestige: Nervous Breakdown
March 31, 2023
The final show of my Mania weekend coverage. We’re in the Globe Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Hosts are Jordan Castle and Brian Zane.
Clark Connors, Kevin Knight & Yuyu Uemura vs. C4 (Cody Chhun & Guillermo Rosas) & Sonico
Three kids from the NJPW LA Dojo against some Seattle boys. Everyone is solid. Knight has impressed me this weekend. Sonico gives Uemura the poison mist. What a tribute to the Great Muta! Sadly he can’t finish right afterwards because Cody wants to do a dive. It’s a cool dive but they could have done it before. Anyway, Team Seattle takes it. This was good. Effort was high.
Calvin Tankman vs. Vinnie Massaro
I’ve seen Vinnie this weekend, on Circle 6. Tankman has been dreadful this weekend. He’s had a stinking awful time. It’s bizarre to me that I reviewed a Massaro indie match 20+ years ago in XPW and here we are still. Destined to do this forever. Indie bros. This match has a brutal fucked up belly to belly overhead suplex. Tankman doesn’t get over at all and lands head first. The only great looking move Vinnie has now is the Snoring Elbow. Tankman elbows him in the face and hits the Hidden Blade to win. Arguably Tankman’s best match of the weekend and it was still not very good sadly.
West Coast Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship
Titus Alexander (c) vs. Michael Oku
Similar experience levels here with Oku just about having the edge. Oku is 7 years older though. This is Oku’s second and final match Mania weekend. It’s a long one. Oku works babyface and Titus spends the match steadily becoming more of an asshat. They botch a super rana where Titus plants his head straight into the mat. Not content with that Oku takes Chaos Theory on top of his head. Oku, sort of, works the leg to set up the half crab and Titus then does it himself, because he’s a bit of a dick. If everything had landed clean in this, as some bits do, it would have been ace. It gets very messy when Amira gets involved. The finish is Oku doing something really dumb; leaning so far back on the half crab his shoulders are pinned and Titus retains. ***¼
POST MATCH: Alan Angels gets a lengthy promo about how he’s going to become the most talked about guy in the biz in the next 12 months. Bookmark this tweet! Or something. We shall see.
Adam Brooks & Warhorse vs. Midnight Heat (Ricky Gibson & Eddie Pearl)
Remember when Jake Parnell was on the verge of being a break out star and then he went 100% into this weird gimmick and now this is his only booking Mania weekend? Brooks feels the same, only without the gimmick change. He was just good and hasn’t done anything about it. They try and run formula and it doesn’t really work. I don’t like Midnight Heat. The faces miscue and Gibson hits the Lungblower for the pin. Meh.
Taya Valkyrie vs. Miyu Yamashita
Taya is a local hero. Yamashita has been to Prestige a few times already. They tell a big woman vs small woman story. Taya with the power stuff, Miyu with strikes and quick movements. Yamashita blows a spot in the corner. I’ve seen her wrestle a lot and she’s looked worse on these Mania shows than anything else I can remember. I don’t know if she’s carrying an injury or the travel has ruined her. This wasn’t great. Taya wins.
Robert Martyr vs. Timothy Thatcher
This is a clear mismatch, but Tim is such a generous guy that it doesn’t come off like that at all. Instead, they tell a story of Thatcher wanting to have fun and Martyr getting little wins. Martyr broke out during the pandemic, so I’ve only seen him a few times. He does a good job of fighting from underneath. Thatcher goes from playing with him to being surprised that Martyr keeps coming back to getting frustrated that Martyr won’t stay down. Martyr’s offence is interesting. He keeps going for a KO or a sleeper. Ideally, I’d like to see him go for flash pins against the bigger man and do anything to score that win. Martyr gets his face slapped off and choked out. This was good! ***½
Kevin Blackwood vs. Shigehiro Irie
This takes a different tack. It’s just two guys hitting each other. The striking is snug, which helps. Blackwood isn’t quite on with a DDT through the ropes and I catch him slapping his thigh a few times. Otherwise, I’m impressed with him here. This is a stylistically a better match for him than Jimmy Jacobs was. They have a wobble near the end, where Irie basically no sells a piledriver, hits a cannonball and Blackwood then just beats him anyway. Momentum shifts, guys. If you’re doing the hitting for the fences business, do it with less complicated spots. I still liked it. ***½
POST MATCH: Prestige announce they’ll be running shows from the Globe from now on. Next show is June 18. A date for your diaries.
Masha Slamovich vs. Aja Kong
Aja flew in for this match and the convention. It’s been a delight seeing her in the selfies of a bunch of famous wrestlers including Mercedes Mone. Either you love Aja Kong or you just don’t get wrestling. It’s insane to think she was on Summerslam 1995. I got to see her wrestle for EVE in 2018. An absolute legend. When you make a career of being big, immobile and violent you can keep going for as long as you like. She’s 52. Slamovich plays nice and let’s Aja beat her up for 8 minutes. Aja takes like two bumps. Backfist finishes. Masha looks like she had a lovely time putting over a legend. ***
Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor, Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson) vs. Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) & Ultimo Dragon
Lawlor has had a terrible weekend. He’s made me actively dislike him, having come in with no strong opinion. Lawlor sells fear of Shelley in this one. Which is exactly what he did with KENTA the other day. The faces go between desperately trying to adhere to the rules to the standard ‘ohhh, it’s breaking down in Chinatown’ stuff that plagues Shelley’s matches. It does NOT help that Ultimo Dragon keeps getting dragged into stuff, like your uncle onto the dance floor at a wedding, trying to do the latest dance craze. This motherfucker doesn’t know what’s happening. He just got the hang of dabbing. Anyway, the faces clear everyone out and Ultimo gets the pin. This was 20 fucking minutes.
POST MATCH: wrestlers from Revolver runs in to attack Shelley. You sneaky fuckers. I immediately switch off and cancel my Highspots account.
It wasn’t a bad show, but the ending left a horrible taste in the mouth. A long, bad match followed by a run in from a man I have no interest in seeing in wrestling. Or anywhere for that matter. You CANNOT do surprise appearances in wrestling after Speaking Out. Unless that person is squeaky fucking clean. I do not want to be surprised by someone I know has a past that I do not want to watch under any circumstances. Did this really pop a buyrate for the next Prestige event? Sell some tickets? I fucking doubt it. Did it piss me off enough to never watch Prestige again and remember them as a bunch of assholes? Yes, it did. Fuck you Prestige! After the Aja Kong match I was thinking about checking out another of their shows because it had been pretty good. Now? No chance. See how that works?
On a lighter note, here are my show lists (complete with Cagematch rating in brackets) and my favourite 20 matches from WrestleMania weekend across all shows.
- Wrestlemania N1 (8.73)
- ROH Supercard of Honor (8.82)
- Wrestlecon Supershow (7.57)
- Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport (7.34)
- Wrestlemania N2 (6.62)
- NXT Stand and Deliver (7.66)
- DDT Goes Hollywood (6.88)
- Spring Break 7 (7.43)
- NJPW x Impact (6.58)
- TJPW Live in LA (8.58)
- GCW vs DDT (7.29)
- Gringo Loco’s Wrld on Lucha (6.55)
- Prestige Nervous Breakdown (7.00)
- Santino Bros California Love (7.00)
- GCW Emo Fight (5.67)
- Jimmy Lloyd’s D-Generation F (5.33)
- GCW For the Culture (6.20)
- Effy’s Big Gay Brunch (6.86)
- WWE Smackdown (6.73)
- WWE RAW (0.67)
- Gunther vs. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre (WWE WrestleMania N2)
- Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair (WWE WrestleMania N1)
- El Hijo del Vikingo vs. Komander (ROH Supercard of Honor)
- Reach for the Sky Ladder Match (ROH Supercard of Honor)
- Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. The Usos (WWE WrestleMania N1)
- El Hijo del Vikingo vs. Komander vs. Black Taurus (Wrestlecon Supershow)
- Konosuke Takeshita vs. Yuki Ueno (DDT)
- Claudio Castagnoli vs. Eddie Kingston (ROH Supercard of Honor)
- Bianca Belair vs. Asuka (WWE WrestleMania N2)
- Aramis, Rey Horus & Galeno Del Mal vs. Arez, Laredo Kid & Latigo (Wrestlecon Supershow)
- NXT US Championship 5-way (NXT Stand and Deliver)
- Samoa Joe vs. Mark Briscoe (ROH Supercard of Honor)
- Tim Thatcher vs. Josh Barnett (GCW Bloodsport)
- KUSHIDA vs. Lio Rush (NJPW x Impact)
- Kota Ibushi vs. Mike Bailey (GCW Bloodsport)
- Bobby Beverly vs. Matthew Justice (Circle 6 Clockwork Orange House of Doom)
- Magical Sugar Rabbits vs. Yamashita & Itoh (TJPW)
- Seth Rollins vs. Logan Paul (WWE WrestleMania N1)
- MAO & Shunma vs. Chris Brookes & YOSHIHIKO (DDT)
- Dulce Tormenta vs. Sexy Star (Gringo Loco’s Wrld on Lucha)