Alpha-1 Get Rich or Die Tryin’ on March 5, 2017
Watch: Smart Mark Video
Knights of Columbus Hall – Hamilton, Ontario
It’s Alpha-1’s 50th show and it’s never been a more fitting time to return to reviewing them as I have in the past.
Before the show starts, Ethan Page counts down the Top 10 moments in Alpha-1 history:
10) Josh Alexander’s First Title Win
9) Ethan Page vs. Tyler Thomas Extreme Rules Match
8) The Oppression Faction
7) Kobe Durst Dethrones Rickey Shane Page
6) Scotty O’Shea vs. Josh Alexander 2/3 Falls Bar Brawl
5) Debuting in Oshawa, Ontario
4) The 4th and Final Encounter between Alexandro Del Bruno vs. Josh Alexander
3) Josh Alexander Returns
2) Heidi Lovelace Becoming The Alpha Male Champion
1) Monster Mafia vs. Gym Rats – I agree!
Evil Space Monkey vs. Space Monkey
Bananas are akin to streamers when Space Monkey is being introduced. I’m just going to refer to Evil Space Monkey as Evil Monkey. The match kept pace as a hot opener that never slowed down. The crowd got into it as we got a corner cannonball/moonsault combo from Monkey for a kickout. Jim Nye and Dick Justice were ringside and got into a push and shove, but beyond that were obsolete in terms of the match sans post-match, which was great to see. Let the monkeys fight it out! A senton off the top from Monkey onto a standing Evil Monkey still wasn’t enough. Evil Monkey hit a GROSS neckbreaker that smashed Monkey into the mat but he stayed in. A Michinoku driver and tail whip earned Monkey the win over his Evil adversary twin. It was a super fun opener that went the right amount of time.
Post-match saw “the experiment being ended” with Nye hitting his finish on Evil Monkey and injecting poison into him, putting him down. Dick Justice was out to save Evil Monkey from any further punishment, adding to the hype for the two’s match later on in the night.
Kikutaro vs. Marion Fontaine
This is Kikutaro’s Canadian debut! So great to see. Fontaine is apparently 169-0 in bare knuckle fighting with 49 knockouts. Everything about this screamed comedy done right, as a lot of the kids ringside ate it up huge. Kikutaro tried backflipping off the ropes while grappling but ended up screaming stop at Fontaine while running the ropes. This particularly made a bunch of kids laugh obnoxiously loud. Fontaine was embarrassed by Kikutaro but so was the ref Matt Grant as he was implemented into the comedy too. We got legitimately great near falls with a crossbody, ans well as Fontaine kicking out of the GO TO SHIT which is exactly how it sounds. Kikutaro did his classic mid-match speech in English, putting over the show, thanking the fans, ranting until he was rolled up for a near fall. Kikutaro recruited ref Grant for further assistance but it backfired as the ref collided with Fontaine and Fontaine managed to hit the unprettier for the victory. Tons of fun, and a great comedy match. It blew away all expectations. I love Kikutaro, and this match made me want to watch super serious Fontaine to see what else he’s capable of.
Alpha-1 Zero Gravity Championship: Alessandro del Bruno (c) vs. Gavin Quinn
Alessandro del Bruno remains a hidden gem that hasn’t been picked up by a major company, and Gavin Quinn was mostly still unknown to me headed into the match. Let me say right away that, holy shit, Gavin Quinn is a tremendous wrestler. The match started mega hot with a death valley driver kickout, great chops, and Quinnsanity (Spanish Fly) attempted off the apron only for Jade to distract Gavin. The momentum sided back with the champ after that as we saw a mafia kick, flatliner, PK, AND a Code Red. “New champ” chants echoed throughout the venue as excitement built for Quinn. Speaking of Quinn, his moveset is incredible as we saw him pull out a Scorpion Deathdrop among more indie-riffic moves, hitting one of the better superkicks I’ve seen in sometime. More near falls were amazing, especially when Quinn kicked out of Made in Japan and that superkick. A corkscrew was missed which led Del Bruno to hit a PK for the victory to retain the Zero Gravity Championship for the 10th time running. This was a great Zero Gravity Title match, paced around what the division should be–a workhorse title for new/unknown names to be elevated in matches. I always love Jade never getting annoyingly involved in her clients matches.
Grudge Match: Josh Alexander vs. Shane Sabre
Shane Sabre was out for his entrance, but The Virus attacked him from behind–being it Joey Kings and two new masked men. Josh Alexander was already in the ring and got on the mic. The Virus will remain forever in Alpha-1 as he unveiled the new members. In a crazy swerve GAVIN QUINN has joined the group, with the second member being Tyson Dux. Two perfect choices. I was hyped as hell during the segment. Ethan Page wasn’t dressed for a match but made a tag match between Sabre and him vs. The Virus.
Ethan Page & Shane Sabre vs. Virus (Josh Alexander & Tyson Dux)
The match started out obviously as a brawl, with Page and Alexander being the focus. For someone that was a super-fan of Monster Mafia and appreciates both, I love it. Josh and Dux showed how money they are as a team from the jump by stretching/stomping Page at the same time. Hot tags were built with the first being Page coming back in. We got the classic “fingers are oh so close to touching the babyface partner” spot with the two. Gavin Quinn tried to bicker at Page to distract him, but soon enough he got the tag. The match broke down and got a lot better in terms of quality with moves everywhere~! Josh’s car crash crossbody through the ropes is so ridiculous. Near falls saw a flatliner to Alexander and RK-Ego to Dux, a double DDT to Dux who’s attached to Josh via his legs, plus other neat spots like a rolling elbow/DDT combo from The Virus and a double Sabre spear! Joey Kings interfered again by distracting Sabre on the top rope which led to Dux catching him with a mid-air uppercut and then hitting the Kryptonite Krunch for the victory. This was a really good tag that started out a little questionable but built well. I love The Virus right now.
Dick Justice vs. Jim Nye
This was a quick return from intermission match. That’s not to discredit it as it told a good story in short order. Nye ripped off Justice’s fanny pack which led to him being headbutted in return. Nye took something out of his lab coat and it ended up being the same poison he used on Evil Monkey. Dick fought it off, but couldn’t fight off the mist that Nye snuck in his mouth, as it would gain Nye the sneaky victory. When I said super quick I meant it. Nye is a great character and I hate anyone who doesn’t like Dick Justice. Short and effective storytelling with Dick thinking there wouldn’t be anymore trickery from Nye only for Jim to sneak out with a win still. Post-match Nye cut a promo challenging Space Monkey one more time.
Alpha-1 Tag Team Championship Elimination Match: Gregory Iron & Rickey Shane Page (c) vs. Virus (Josh Alexander & Tyson Dux) vs. Young Money (Brent Banks & Young Myles)
This was turned into a three way (and elimination) match when Alpha-1 GM Josh Alexander inserted Dux and himself into it. Greg Iron started out the match with an awesome suplex on Myles. Speaking of Myles, Team Young Money is one to watch as they’re super duper entertaining. Their wheelbarrow bulldog is fire emojis. Virus ghosted on the match, being smart villains, letting the two workhorse teams destroy each other in the process. We got ridiculous counters to follow (like a elbow counter to a Banks springboard) and ridiculous dives. All of a sudden a Kryptonite Krunch was hit out of nowhere on Banks and Young Money were eliminated. It was down to the champs and The Virus. Dux and Alexander continued to be innovative clapping hands, sandwiching heads like an instrument. RSP was worked over and accidentally ran into Iron by accident. The Twist of Hate got a huge pop as it was hit on Alexander. Iron made a tag behind RSP’s back which led to a pin not happening right away, but when it happened, Iron was too cocky as he was countered into a landslide roll-up as The Virus win the match, becoming the new Alpha-1 Tag Team Champs. Awesome ending to a very well laid out match. Young Money are so much fun to watch but were protected. Alexander and Dux are blatantly amazing as a tag team. Great choice for your tag champs going forward.
Post-match saw the breakup of RSP and Greg Iron. “Knock him out Ricky knock him out” chants echoed. He tried for the chokebreaker on Iron but Iron shoved something down his throat. It was hit on the second attempt. RSP got on the mic and challenged Greg to a dog collar match. We’ve got to “old” Rickey Shane Page back! Love it.
Alex Daniels, Dr. Daniel C. Rockingham & Dominic Garrini vs. Eric Cairnie, Josh Rogen & Mark Wheeler
I’m a big fan of 1) Team AIW invading Alpha-1 in this predicament and 2) Stokely Hathaway on commentary. These things combined to make this match a hoot. I didn’t know anyone on the non-AIW side of the tag coming in but Ez E and Wheeler were impressive. Stokely on commentary bantered the lead man by saying he was paid by word so he should be careful in how he words his questions, and also providing a legendary line: “so you broke, and doing commentary, that’s a shame.” Dominic Garrini stole the show with his STIFF offense including knee strikes and Germans. He is an enigma in the ring and captivates whoever he wrestles in front of. Daniels played a great dick as usual with a fun fake out punch. Wheeler hit a standing sliced bread for a kickout. DANIELS HIT A SUPLEX NECK FIRST INTO THE TURNBUCKLES ON WHEELER! EZ E hit a fisherman’s buster but Garrini broke it up. He also kicked Daniels out of the ring. EZ E’s tights were held on a roll-up as Team AIW win. I really enjoyed this as it was a short breezy six man. Stokely on commentary added a lot to the match too. Garrini truly is a star.
Post-match “Big Man” chokeslammed EZ E and Stokely hijacked the mic. He put over Garrini huge, as Garrini had tons of medals draped around his neck. They reminded everyone that since Dominic won the ladder match at Buck Wild, he’s able to cash in his opportunity at anytime, anyplace, anywhere. DREAM TEAM BABY.
Alpha-1 Alpha Male Championship: Kobe Durst (c) vs. ACH
I knew this would be something of epic proportions, but I did not know I would be uttering the words “potential indie MOTYC” after viewing. It just shows how when you’re a greedy wrestling fan that wants something from a performer for a long time, and you end up getting it with the wrestler he’s facing being great too, it obviously elevates the match. ACH was the cocky selfish prick I’ve always wanted him to be, but on an insane degree. He didn’t even fool around that much but when he did it naturally added to the match. A VERY LARGE highlight reel consists of limbwork from both sides being Kobe working on ACH’s hand which originated from ACH chopping the ringpost by accident, and ACH destroying Kobe’s chest to the point where it was beat red and war torn; tons of near falls like ACH’s deadlift German, a cutter, and much more. I’m on a mumble rant about the psychology regarding this match cause it really was next level. It wasn’t so much about the moves watching this, but my god, the moves were insane too. ACH worked over Durst’s arm like no tomorrow like a savage. So we also got continuity and limbwork. Everything came together in the unexpected perfect storm. Kobe threw up his middle fingers as ACH bit his hand shortly after. Durst threw a mean rolling elbow but he was superkicked multiple times. We ended up seeing a top rope codebreaker for a kickout. Slaps to ACH on the top rope and a hurricanrana but ACH landed on his feet, hitting his momentum lariat BUT DURST THREW ONE TOO. Durst accidentally, yes, accidentally landed a yoshi-tonic for another out of this world kickout. ACH shoved Durst off the top rope but Durst caught ACH out of mid air in a codebreaker for a FUCKING KICKOUT?!?!?! ACH tried multiple times to roll Durst up out of desperation but ended up being hit with the piledriver as finally, the Diamond Tiger retains his title. This was a war and one of the best independent wrestling matches of the year so far. Top 5 North America indie match this year and one of the best matches of March. When I realized that this combined everything to love about wrestling, especially when ACH brought out an extra mean iteration of his persona, this has to be close to an indie MOTYC for me. A world class main event for the 50th Alpha-1 show only seemed right.
ALPHA-1 GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN' ON MARCH 5
Great - 8/10
Alpha-1's Get Rich or Die Tryin' caught me in ways I didn't expect it to. We got tons of variety whether it be comedy, the fabulous usage of The Virus, hot tags, or two great title matches, with the main event coming close to being a MOTYC. All of this combined with the fact that there wasn't a weak link from the roster on the entire show, and that this was all done in just two hours, makes it a great breezy watch. Fun for any wrestling fan. Congratulations on 50 shows, A1. It'd be hard to have a better all around show to celebrate such a fact.