Rising Sun Till Death Do Us Part Stage 2
February 8, 2020
We’re in Milan, Italy at the Palazzetto Dello Sport for the evening part of the Rising Sun February double header. All their shows are put together this way so any fly-ins can be utilized twice in the same day. Hence second matches for all of More Than Hype and David Starr. All featuring in title bouts.
There are more people in the building for the evening show, which is nice to see.
The Rebel Souls (Kronos, Matt Disaster & Steve McKee) vs. Andres Diamond, Mary & Pasquale O’Malamente
I was very impressed with Kronos yesterday. More on his look here; he looks like an angry biker version of Will Cooling. Disaster’s Steve Austin look is less ridiculous here where he’s surrounded by guys with leather vests and denim. Diamond has a robe and is very flamboyant. Pasquale has opted for a flat cap instead. Mary is the first sight of a women’s wrestler in this promotion but given the current state of European women’s wrestling it’s probably not a surprise. Pasquale works in a t-shirt, which is an Indie red flag. Mary works in a black denim vest. McKee tells her to “go back to the kitchen”. She has an ok presence but her timing isn’t good. Cagematch has her at around 70 matches so that’s to be expected.
Kronos gets rid of her with a big boot but Pasquale takes over and he’s not any better. They make a real mess of the isolate the babyface/missed hot tag/fake tag stuff. The ring positioning is horrible during it. The ideas are basic wrestling 101 stuff but the execution is torrid. The match is significantly better with Diamond in there. The match simply fails to hit the dramatic beats when he’s not in there. The return of Mary, for example, sees McKee have to position Disaster for it because he’s so out of position and unaware of where he needs to be for the forthcoming spot.
McKee picks off Mary for the win and I’m glad this disorganised mess is finished. McKee impressed the most here. He seemed to know what everyone else was supposed to be doing even when they didn’t. Diamond looked like the best wrestler but he wasn’t far enough along to carry his tag team partners.
Final Rating: *
Dylan Rose vs. Andy Manero
Manero used to be called “Omega” and I welcome this name change. Dylan Rose is another guy with an Anglicized name. At least his sounds ok.
Singles matches have less moving parts and are easier for wrestlers to do without a mass of mistakes. Even though this match has little flaws they’re nowhere near as noticeable as the ones in the opener. They’re not snug enough and Rose is lacking snap on his bumps but both guys look way better than anyone in the first match. It takes me until a dance move from Manero for me to realise he’s doing a Saturday Night Fever gimmick. The flared trousers suddenly popping me. I’m guessing Dylan is somewhat inexperienced as he’s frequently caught waiting for a move to happen and he doesn’t close the gap between wrestlers quickly enough. Some of his actual execution is a wee bit shaky but there’s potential there. Manero, who’s been wrestling for ten years, seems more assured although he also telegraphs moves fairly regularly. His mechanics are better and he looks smoother in his execution. He tries very hard to protect Rose but they shoot for epic, which Rose is nowhere near ready for. Shiranui puts Manero away. Rose needs to get reps in to improve but there’s a lot of raw potential there.
Final Rating: **3/4
Hari Singh vs. AB Knight vs. Il Lupo
Hari is a BritWres guy. I saw him wrestle in Resurgence. This is his Rising Sun debut but he’s well received despite a lack of fame in the BritWres scene. He throws out a nice looking Code Red and it’s clear there’s a gulf in talent between the UK and Italy. Hari, who is lost in the depth of the UK scene, looks like an absolute star. His Spiral Tap is the first real aerial move of quality I’ve seen out here. Lupo gets the pin on Knight. This match made Hari Singh look like a goddamn star. Knight, again, looked a little ungainly here. The match really benefitted from a brisk pace and a shortened run time.
Final Rating: ***
Rising Sun Tag Team Championship
Party Hard Inc (c) vs. More Than Hype
MTH are a trio here and the tag champs add Riot to their number to make it fair. They fuck around a lot here and the bodypopping handshake spot has me in bits.
From the comedic beginnings they step it up into a more exciting match and it’s pretty clear MTH saved their big moves for the night show. Party Hard Inc aren’t quite on MTH’s level. Riot has a penchant for 80s style punching but they do a fine job of incorporating him into the action. It’s a fun match that escalates nicely and everyone is involved in that process. Party Hard Inc retain with a spike Tombstone and Riot feels the urge to do the dumb Undertaker cover but thankfully he’s not legal.
Final Rating: ***3/4
God of Sun Championship
Alessandro Corleone (c) vs. David Starr
Corleone is much bigger than Starr but David knows how to work bigger opponents and makes this about his technical ability versus Corleone’s size. Starr comes across as so much more dynamic and purposeful here. His levels of professionalism in the ring shining through. He wants everything to look as good as possible. Corleone has a had time keeping up and at times Starr just works around him. As soon as Starr unleashes the Blackheart Buster, which got him the pin last night, it’s apparent they’re going Big here. Starr throws himself into the big spots with reckless abandon. The tope is amazing and he delivers a cracking lariat before falling to the chokeslam. This was really good and like White Wolf a sign that guest talent can bring the best out of the locals.
David looked like he enjoyed himself.
Final Rating: ****
Rising Sun Championship
Nick Lenders © vs. Mirko Mori
I’m not sure which title belt holds more prestige. Either this one or the God of Sun strap. Mori means death. It’s a pretty cool name. One of the best I’ve seen from Italy. That and Corleone. For anyone out there who says it’s easy to just hit each other with plunder should watch a few of the early spots in this where it becomes apparent it’s not that straightforward. Especially the chair shot on the dive. There is huge ambition here and I appreciate what they’re attempting is very difficult at times but a lot of it doesn’t land as it should. If it did this would be a blowaway great match.
Incidentally Lenders is also known as Nico Inveradi, which is a vastly superior name. There are some amusing moments in this. Lenders has one hell of a time opening a chair. The match works best when they keep it simple. The dive off in the crowd is great and so is Mori using his belt as a weapon. Both guys take severe punishment and I’d question the necessity for a lot of it but if you like to see people getting hurt then you’ll get a kick out of it. The sickness feels very different too with Lenders putting out a cigarette on Mori’s tongue.
A lot of what they do looks incredibly painful without being a good visual, if that makes sense, which is a pity because they’re getting hurt but it doesn’t look as bad as it is. Like, I’m sure it sucks to get hit with a skateboard but it probably wasn’t worth the reaction it got. They get a bit religious towards the finish with a light tube crucifix. Mori teases running into it twice before being hurled at it for the pin. The spot didn’t really come off as it could have sadly. There was a lot of effort here but so many of the spots fell short of popping the crowd, especially the finish. I came away liking both guys as workers though and I’d be happy to watch them in a less violent setting.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Apart from my internet struggling horribly during this show and the opener being pants I once again had a nice time. The standard was higher here than during the less attended afternoon show. In particular the Starr and MTH matches where the imports got the business out of the locals. There’s a lot of talent in Italy that are operating at a decent level. I won’t name them but I was impressed at how high the better wrestlers were operating at compared to Spain, Hungary and Denmark, which are widely regarded as hotbeds for upcoming European wrestling. There’s a strong chance that Italy could become a place where people can go to work but they have a venue issue here. It’s not good photogenic enough for the VOD. It’s fine and wouldn’t look out of place in the USA but if you’re trying to establish yourself as cool and different then a different setting (Progress in the Ballroom, White Wolf in the old tobacco factory) helps. For what its worth the Italian scene is worth keeping an eye on and if improvements continue they could become a worthwhile destination for European wrestling.
Rising Sun can be found on Twitter at @RisingSunItaly. Their online home is RisingSun.it. They offer VOD services for the latest show or a bulk purchase of all their shows for streaming or downloading. They have a “happy or refunded” formula so if you buy the shows and you don’t like them you can get your money back. Considering the pair of shows I bought were five euro for over four hours of footage I can safely say it’s worth your time to see something new. Their YouTube channel has a load of free matches on it as well if you don’t fancy spending money on this promotion.