Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW) celebrated Night One of its two day 13th Anniversary Show on December 10th, as Jushin Liger reigned supreme in the annual Battle of the Light Heavyweights to claim the Light Heavyweight Championship.
Liger defeated local JAPW talents including: B-boy, Bandido Jr. & Azrieal, as well as perennial independent wrestling favorite, El Generico, and former JAPW Champion Kenny Omega, who was making his return to JAPW after a year long absence.
The match was clearly in the favor Omega, Liger and Generico from the start. Azrieal, who was the defending champion, was quickly minimized in the match and despite lasting until the final two, was never more apparent of a threat than B-boy or Bandido Jr. Omega, who claimed to be hailing from Pokemon Stadium, proved that his time spent in Ring of Honor and working with DDT talent, Kota Ibushi, in Japan was well worth it. Omega incorporated a level of comedy and slick offense which would make even Colt Cabana jealous. While a match that clung to a few too many spots, it overall seemed to ring a chord of success with those in attendance. However, Liger displayed questionable antics as he broke cover holds multiple times towards the end of the match, no doubt complicating the ease of his victory. If not for his highly decorated career, one might chalk such actions up as rookie mistakes.
The main card began with Jon Moxley defeating Devon Moore. A solid match, that failed to stand out from the other multiple occasions that these two have fought. The JAPW fans are being told to embrace Moxley, but he has thus far failed to bring the elements that have made him so successful in CZW, to a broader stage.
Corvis Fear defeated Mo Sexton in a match that was given less time than the strippers who accompanied Sexton on the way to the ring. In fact, despite the solid technical wrestling of Fear, the fans seemed more interested in strippers at ringside as well. Several fans were spotted stuffing dollars into the attires of the strippers even as the match progressed. Fear proved once again that he is a creative wrestler, but nothing pushed the match passed “decent”.
Current TNA & Former WWE and WCW star Rhino defeated Nick Gage in a hard hitting, but lazy match. Gage appeared willing to give everything he had, but Rhino seemed to simply not care about the fact that he was wrestling. Brodie Lee ran in on behalf of his Hillybilly Wrecking Crew (HWC) teammate Gage, but ended up hitting him with a Big Boot on accident and costing him the match. Lee somehow managed to take away from the already boring matchup with a run in that had less emotion than a housewife fresh off of Botox treatments.
The female wrestlers were next as Lu Fisto defeated Kalamity to progress to Day Two to fight against Sara Del Ray. A female match should never come across as the strongest match of the show, and yet this was clearly the standout showing of the first half. Lu Fisto seemed to do the impossible as she had a great match against an opponent who appeared to constantly be lost in the ring.
Necro Butcher defeated Eddie Kingston in a quick, but hard hitting match. The quality of the match was, however, weakened by the incorporation of a very cheap looking metal barricade. Worse, the prop became the focal point of the match and took away from the ferocity of the competitors. Butcher appeared to tweak his back while scooping up Kingston for a slam which may have led to the abrupt end of the match.
JAPW Champion, Brodie Lee, made his second run in of the undercard during this match which led to Gage picking an opponent from the back for him to fight. The always entertaining and flamboyant Pinkie Sanchez fell victim to Lee’s boot in less than five seconds.
The show then broke for an intermission.
Da Hit Squad defeated the United States Death Machine for the Tag Team Championships to kick off the second half. The match seemed to spend the majority of the time in the crowd, but the brutality was constantly present. All weapons, and walls, were in play for Da Hit Squad during their decisive victory over the former Champions.
Liger then capped the show with his Title victory.
The show in general lacked the intensity that have made so many fans of the JAPW product. Perhaps the show was packaged as a teaser for the event on Saturday, but if that was the case it failed in its goal. Save for the efforts of: Liger, Omega, Generico, Fear, Lu Fisto & Gage, the show was lackluster in nearly all regards.
– David Stephens
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