Branded Outlaw Wrestling: Branded World Order Review
Jan 19th 2019
By Chris Manley aka Captain Fantasy
It was a big weekend for wrestling in the Alamo City with a WWE Live event in town on Friday and local promotion Branded Outlaw’s monthly offering on Saturday. Branded Outlaw has a great reputation around town. often when I speak to local wrestlers and hardcore fans of Indy wrestling, they recommend going to BOW so I came in with high expectations. We arrived at Woodlawn gym with enough time to grab concessions and find a seat. The crowd was a good mix of smarks and families ready to cheer the hero and boo the heel.
Here a rundown of that night’s action.
High life vs bo Bradley and prince Kanu
This match started flat due to a mistimed comedy bit. One of the members of highlife kept honking a party horn every time his in ring opponent took a step which caused the ref to pause the action and check his shoes. (Why I don’t know) This bit had poor execution. I’m sure with lots of time to practice or a semester of theatrical training at Sac they could’ve pulled this bit of comedy timing off but as was did not go over at all. Another issue was only 1/4 of the audience could see the horn hidden behind the fighter’s back. The rest of the crowd was in the dark as to where the horn was coming from.
The in-ring action from both teams was fine. The match itself was an ok opening match but the highlife themselves are a tag team who’s gimmick is kind of all over the place. Their lack of cohesion leaves the crowd confused. They gave out dollar store candy and threw Mardi Gras beads to kids. The kids liked the stoner guy, but the other guy’s crop top and speedo had them creeped out. They were like do I like this guy or is he using this candy to lure me to his van?
Prince Kanu was a stereotypical African heel who earned chants of Wakanda forever. Indy fans are hilariously savage.
David Stahr vs Branden Vice
David Stahr starts the match attempting to buy a win. He offers $1 to his opponent to lay down and take a pin. Vice, a fighter who dresses in Miami vice like attire, refuses the bribe and then throws a wad of paper on the ground. As the ref picks up the paper Stahr asks what it was that vice threw. The ref says $100. This bit fell flat with the audience as well. Comedy in matches to me is very welcomed but it takes a certain level of acting skill to pull this off. Both this match and last, we’re simply too ambitious with the comedy for their level of acting ability. Stahr who was trying to play a stereotypical Jewish heel only once embraced his gimmick fully yelling “Jew” before one maneuver. It didn’t go over well. Everyone was kind of like “did he just say that?” Cringed and moved on. While both were passable in ring, they both need more commitment to their chosen gimmicks to succeed.
Media Kingz vs Rayzer Foster and Nike Vinzant
Rayzer and Nike were a younger big man little man combo with good chemistry. The big guy showed great athleticism landing a running moonsault at one point in the match
Dempsey and Rashad of Media Kingz are a near perfect pairing as a smarmy heel tag team. Rashad is an ultra-arrogant jerk who has the in-ring skills to back it up. Dempsey, a skilled mic performer is a great “chicken shit” heel. One of the funniest moments of the night came as Dempsey was being body slammed on his way down, he tells his opponent “I’m sorry”. Trying to broker peace. Together Rashad and Dempsey are fun to hate.
Near the end of the match a super kick outside the ring put the big boi on his back. The crowd grew concerned as the thud we heard confirmed he 100% smacked his head on the concrete floor but he got to his feet after so all we could assume was he was ok
Rey Ortiz vs Frisco Flame
This match featured two things that make Indy wrestling fun. A great in ring performer in Ortiz versus a hilarious comedy performance from Flame. The suplex killing machine Ortiz is a legit threat to anyone with his suplex based move set. The kid behind me wanted to cheer for him but she didn’t know his name, so she called him Aqua man.
Flame is a fighter who’s over the top flamboyantly gay character had the crowd rolling in laughter. This is an example of the commitment to character that stahr and highlife should embrace.
In one moment u get Ortiz absolutely destroying flame with a flurry of suplex variations then in another moment u get flame hitting Ortiz with a flurry of different ways to sit on a man’s face. At one-point flame had Ortiz pinned in the corner when he punished him with violent pelvic thrusts to the face but in the end Ortiz’s power proved too much and he earned the victory. It was a fun match that got a huge crowd reaction.
Rudy Russo vs Richie Garcia vs Chris Cruz
In this title match “Doctor” Cruz inserted himself into this match in a bit that didn’t exactly make sense, but it didn’t matter as the result was a great triple threat match. Cruz a fast-moving high flyer showed lots of heart. He made good use of his doctor gimmick at one point declaring his opponent’s attack as “unhealthy”. This match served mostly as a showcase for Garcia who is 1/3 of the local faction The Hybrid Bruisers, who’s attitude gives him a feel of other bad asses like Pete Dunne or Punishment Martinez. He has a knack of making a wrestling match look like a brutal fight.
Ruddy who’s a fine baby face getting the kids on his side spent most of the match knocked out but still find a way to retain. It’s clear the fight between Rudy and Garcia is far from over.
Aaron Mercer vs Sledge
For me this was the match of the night. The in-ring story was masterful as both wrestlers had the crowd eating out of their hands earning the first “this is awesome” chant of the night. Sledge playing face looks like a beast and earned the victory with a pop-up sit down powerbomb
Mercer earned his nickname as the best rookie in Texas. He exudes mad Bryan Danielson vibes both in appearance and in ring acumen. He spend most of the match terrorizing the wrist of sledge with a variety of wrist locks and finger manipulation bringing sledge to nearly taping out several times much to the chagrin of the kids behind me who took to referring to the villainous Mercer as Bobby speedos.
Billy Gunn vs Big Daddy Yum Yum
Former DXmember and current AEW agent Bad Ass Billy Gunn is a class act. While at BOW he shook every hand and literally kissed a baby. He took time to sit with a young fan and took pics with everyone. It was like going to see that band u loved in high school who is happy to play all the hits. He yelled “Suck It!”, crotch chopped and of course it wouldn’t be a Mr. Ass match without a full moon from the legend. Any true fan got their money’s worth. Gunn landed a leg lariat to get the pin over Big Daddy Yum Yum.
Yum yum himself is a pro. He’s a giant who oozes charisma as evidenced by his ability to sell shirts before he even fought a match. I must’ve seen twenty people wearing “my booty is ya face” T-shirt’s including mr ass himself.
Moonshine Mantell vs Terrale Tempo
This was a battle of two of the best wrestlers south Texas has to offer and for the crew that I came this was their match of the night. Both Mantell and Tempo are fighters who are ready for television. This match earned chants of “this is awesome” early and built itself into a masterpiece of storytelling. Tempo, though close, failed to seize the moment or the title away from the champ Mantell. The crowd ended on their feet. What a strong way to end a fun night out.
Grade for BOW Branded World Order
The crew and staff have a family feel. The venue is large and clean. I recommend this promotion not only to the most hard-core Indy fan but also to families looking for fun on a Saturday night.
Next month’s show Feb 17th 6 pm bell time features current Bullet Club member and NJPW wrestler Chase Owens, local favorite Dirty Dalton and CZW alumni Masada. Tickets $20-$25. Woodlawn Gym 1103 Cincinnati Drive visit https://brandedoutlawwrestling.weebly.com
For tickets and info