How are you going to top this one Jeff? Is what I heard as I walked through the hallway of the Oceanside Boys and Girls Club and it definitely go me thinking. How does SoCal Pro find a way to draw such a large gathering to its monthly offerings. Announced a few weeks prior to the 16th, SoCal Pro would be out the very popular RockNES Monsters. I thought at the very least, their might be a drop off in attendance, but the crowd seemed pretty unaffected by. Perhaps it was the SoCal Pro Rumble that got them there. or maybe folks were there to say good-bye to Chimera, regardless of what got them to the show, it was a hot crowd.
Kid Caramba returned to SoCal Pro in a match up with Angel Santos. Caramba seems to get a large face reaction. I’m not sure when the Kid started for SoCal Pro or where he started his training, but he is quickly becoming one of the crowds’ favorite. Santos continues to hold only disdain for the crowd and coincidentally that’s how the crowd responds to him. Santos is starting to get better with his ring presence. I was really bothered the last time I watched him, because of his inability to make eye contact with the fans ringside. I think he has worked on it. He looked at a couple of fans and told them to shut up. Which makes his heel shtick seem much more believable. I don’t have any complaints about his in ring work. I think he has been progressing each show and you can see it.. And it is no disrespect to Caramba, but he looks young and fairly new in the ring. But he too looks like he has really improved. His connection to the crowd will really help him advance a long the way. I sometimes feel that when I’m at a show, I would see the same match if it were 20 people or 200 people, but I don’t think that is a successful formula. Each match should be more unique. There should be interaction with the live crowd. The ability to get the fan to react what you do in the ring is nearly as important as your move-set. In contrary fashion, both did a great job of connecting with the fans. Santos walked away with the victory, but it wouldn’t be the last we’d see of Caramba.
Originally scheduled to be a #1 Contenders Tag Team Match, “Lovin” Nic Lovin and partner Ric Ellis took on The Todd Chandler and Matt Twizted. Twizted substituted for Aerial Star and had teamed with Chandler last month against Anchors Away. Last month, Rick Ellis worked along side “Megastar” Tommy Williams and “Pretty” Peter Avalon in the opening six man tag. Also last month, Nic Lovin got a victory over Kid Caramba with help from Avalon. So going into this match there wasn’t a clear cut favorite. I believe Avalon would have made a better choice to team with “Lovin” but again he was another guy who was missed on this show. But Ellis worked his butt off to help take your mind off of it. Chandler and Twizted went back and forth a lot with Ellis and Lovin. I enjoy watching Chandler quite a bit. His offense is pretty crisp. And some of his strikes in the corner look down right painful. Ellis got the pin on Twizted. And Lovin tried to place his pink cape on Ellis. The dichotomy of Ellis iceman like personality and Nic Lovin’s effervescence leads to quite the odd couple and could prove to be problematic for the reining tag team champions, the RockNES Monsters.
The next match of the night was certainly a high light for the fans at the Boys and Girls Club. Originally scheduled to be a Tag Team bout of The Ballard Brothers versus The Lucha Express (SoCal Crazy and Chimaera), in what was to be Chimaera’s final match, was changed for the better. Pleasantly surprised was I when Johnny Paradise joining the Ballard Brothers as for one night only as Johnny Ballard (which is fitting, because he is billed from Cananda) taking on Crazy, Chimaera, and B-Boy. I had seen B-Boy hundreds of times through out the years. But never saw him in the heyday in San Diego, I guess this is about as close as I would get to that. And I really enjoy SoCal Crazy’s work. There is no wonder for me why he appears in just about every indy in SoCal and Tijuana. At the last show, Paradise and Crazy went toe-to-toe in a match that would spill out to the floor. The bad blood between the two, have kept both of them out of contention for the SoCal Pro Title. B-Boy’s antics to start the show were pretty amusing, threatening to put the Canadian Flag down his shorts, driving the Ballards insane. Eventually Chimaera would be the one to bury the flag in his pants. Which got a great reaction out of the crowd. Once the wrestling got serious, it was a pretty high impact match. Referee distractions, goading their opponents into the ring, and sneak attacks to his partners kept Chimaera mostly on the wrong side of town being taken advantage of the sneaky Ballards. When Chimaera did make the hot tag, B-Boy took over. Using some weird forms of a Jedi Mind Trickery, a creative move-set and his opponents slow reactions, B-Boy got Shane and Shannon to hit moves on each other. Like with an Ace Crusher that really had to be seen to believed. B-Boy’s fun didn’t last long as Johnny would help even the odds. And then it became all about the spots. Crazy and Chimaera diving over and through the ropes to on awaiting heels. B-Boys running dropkick into the corner as Crazy dives across the ring. Chimaera is able to get the pinfall. And after a brief celebration with SoCal Crazy and B-Boy, Chimaera stands alone in the ring and thanks the crowd. A real classy moment for SoCal Pro.
Just when you think the announcement for intermission would be called, Ricky Mandel comes out and demands his match with “El Chido” start right now. The Oceanside Street Fight. The last time these two squared off in the ring the rules were extremely relaxed. Last month Canales finally cashed in and became champion of SoCal Pro at the expense of his former compadre, Mandel. There fight circled the Boys and Girls Club gym before getting back into this ring for the finish. This match would Mirror many of the same qualities of the last show. Mandel was already geared up for the match. Canales would essentially come to the ring in a pair of jeans. The match didn’t take long before it spilled into the ring. A fan near ring side supplied a few unusual weapons to Canales, a Halloween Prop Butcher Knife that was busted into over the head of Mandel. As the action spilled out into the crowd, all hell broke lose. Canales in control would toss Mandel into the gym’s concrete walls and stomp him around the arena. The action again would circle the gym floor before ending up back in the ring. But while on the floor a ladder came into play when Mandel took the upper hand and crashed the ladder on top of Canales. The action became more increasingly difficult to watch because of where they wound up, but eventually Mandel would emerge with Canales in tow to the Merchandise stable, when Mandel would attempt to use a bag of chips to block Canales nose and mouth. Once Canales was shoved into the ring, Mandel would toss a Chucky doll into the ring and would settle on a miniature scarecrow as his weapon of choice. Now I don’t want to be negative, but these choices of weapons were pretty weak. I understand this is a family show, but my only complaint about this match is that a toy knife and a scarecrow are not adequate weapons. You’d do more damage with your fists and feet than those things. There was also supposed to be a spot where Canales would be handcuffed to the ropes and Mandel would beat him with a cane. The only problem is the handcuffs never really stayed on and Canales had to try to make the cuffs work. Eventually they would give up on the damn things and focus on beating each other some more. Again there was a ton of intensity in the match and the crowd ate it up. But the choice of weapons and the handcuff spot being blown kind of brought the match down for me. Hector would pull off the victory with a Spinebuster type maneuver. The post match celebration was pretty amazing though. The show went to intermission and fans entered the ring side area to take pictures with and get autographs from the champ. It was really impressive how many fans were flocking to the champion. And it wasn’t just kids, it was entire families, and adults as well. Which kind of shows you the environment SoCal Pro is creating in Oceanside and just how over Canales is right now for them.
The 20 Man Over the Top Rope SoCal Rumble was honestly a sigh to be seen. When the video is released this will be the match you want to check out. Much of the roster returned for the final. The Rumble was patterned after the Royal Rumble. Johnny Paradise drew number one and put up a great showing. Jason Redondo drew number 2. There were also a couple of debuts at the show, Duke, Syn, Dragon Force Kid, and Ryan Kidd. The four newcomers to SoCal Pro were brutalized in the ring. I’m not sure if this was some sort of freshman hazing, but you can tell the vets were having some fun with the new faces. Early on Tommy Wilson was eliminated by Jason Redondo, but the referees ringside missed it. And Tommy was able to sneak back into the ring and eliminate Redondo. As the ring filled up, the action would migrate to either of the four corners of the ring and allowing the center of the ring to showcase action. When Scorpio Sky entered the ring, he went right after Paradise. It is the little things like that, that makes matches like this more exciting. After Paradise was eliminated, Wilson ripped the mask off of SoCal Crazy and threw it over the top rope. Which had Crazy leaping over the top after his mask. That got a pop out of me, hadn’t seen that before. The Final Showdown came to Mandel, Wilson, and Kid Caramba. Wilson and Mandel took this opportunity to punish Caramba. And after it look like Caramba couldn’t take anymore, Mandel held the Kid and Tommy lined up for his Mega Kick. With the bulls-eye all over Caramba, Kid Caramba was able to dodge what would have ended Caramba’s time in the rumble, forcing Mandel over the top. An apologetic Tommy repeated said sorry to Mandel and promised to do it for THEM. Caramaba had one of his familiar bursts of energy and attempted to toss Tommy over the top. Caramba convinced he was the new #1 Contender celebrated overcoming such adversity. And the fans were eating it up. Unfortunately for Caramba and the fans in attendance, The Megastar was able to get back into the ring and launch the youngster over the top. The Megastar Tommy Wilson briefly celebrated until Jason Redondo came out and we had a short scuffle.
Overall I had a great time at the show. I think SoCal Pro has put on another great show and I am looking forward to their next show on December 4th. For more photos of the show, check out our facebook page.