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Philadelphia, PA – 7.21.2005

Young Lions Cup Qualifying Match
Slacker Martin vs. Dr. Cheung

Martin Oklahoma rolls Cheung out of a Fujiwara armbar for two. Martin hits a hip toss and applies a headlock. Martin reapplies the Fujiwara armbar and Cheung grabs the rope. Martin kicks away at Cheung’s arm. Cheung blocks an Irish whip and pokes Martin in the eyes. Cheung hits a pair of legdrops for two. He chokes Martin on the mat. Cheung splashes Martin in the corner and chokes Martin on the middle rope. Martin fires back with forearms. Cheung tries a spin out slam, but Martin rolls him up in a crucifix for two. Cheung blocks a satellite headscissors with a tombstone piledriver for two. Cheung stops to use a stethoscope on referee Bryce Remsburg. He tests Bryce’s reflexes with the ring bell hammer. Cheung hits Bryce in the knee and inadvertently knees Martin as he comes over. Cheung tries a Mandible Claw and only gets two. Cheung double stomps into a senton for two. Martin brings Cheung down and hits a split-legged senton for two. Cheung drops him with the Doctor Bomb for the pin at 7:47. Cheung’s exit music being the “M*A*S*H “ theme song is genius. That’s literally all I have to say about this match. *

Young Lions Cup Qualifying Match
Andy Sumner {CZW} vs. Sabian {BO}

I’m confused, since Sabian won a YLC qualifier last month. I guess this telegraphs the finish? Anyway, Robbie Mireno accompanies Sabian to the ring. Sumner trips Sabian. Sabian pops up and knuckle locks Sumner. Sumner shoots right in and brings Sabian down again. Sabian kicks Sumner out of another knuckle lock. Sabian kicks Sumner in the back after winning an exchange on the mat. Sabian kicks Sumner in the back once again and chops him in the corner. Sabian encourages Sumner as Sumner chops him. Sabian lights up Sumner with kicks to the chest. Sabian applies a modified STF. Sumner taps out at 3:28. So this is weird considering Sabian already qualified. The announcers mention this fact too, so thankfully I’m not crazy. Sumner’s matches continue to be one of my favorite things on this show. *1/4

Darin Corbin {NSE} vs. Retail Dragon

USApe accidentally was announced, causing the ring announcer to go to the back and get the name of the correct opponent. I guess USApe no showed. Dragon and Corbin chain wrestle to start off. Dragon takes Corbin down with a headlock takeover. Corbin transitions into a headscissors. Dragon flips out and trips Corbin. Dragon runs the ropes and takes Corbin down with an armdrag. Dragon electric chairs into a quesadora. Corbin side steps an attack and hits an enzuigiri. He slides through the ropes with a baseball slide. He comes in with a slingshot senton for two. Corbin hits a uranage backbreaker for two. Dragon rolls out of the way of a moonsault. Dragon and Corbin trade forearms. Dragon drops Corbin on his head with a reverse hip toss! That was as weird (and cool) as it sounds. Dragon hits a shooting star double stomp for the pin at 4:30. That was impressive stuff for 4 and a half minutes. Really proficient stuff for two relative rookies. This could have been one of the best matches in a Young Lions Cup tournament with some more time. **1/2

Mike Quackenbush, Lance Steel, Shane Storm, Prophet, & Ryan Cruz {NSE} vs. Larry Sweeney, Icarus {F}, Gran Akuma {F}, Niles Young {CZW}, & JC Ryder

Sweeney slaps Storm after backing him into a corner. Sweeney takes him to the mat in a headscissors. Storm sends Sweeney to the floor with an armdrag. Prophet and Ryder tag in. They exchange holds until Prophet takes Ryder down with a headlock. Ryder puts Prophet in an Octopus Hold and then hits a headscissors takedown. Prophet hits a pair of armdrags and a dropkick. Young and Cruz tag in. Young applies a reverse chinlock. Young knocks him down with a shoulder tackle. Cruz comes back with an armdrag and a hip toss. Young gives him the same manuevers. They throw stereo dropkicks and tag out to Icarus and Quackenbush respectively. Quackenbush schools Icarus in an exchange of holds. Steel helps Quackenbush take down Icarus with a headscissors. Steel kicks Icarus who dropkicks Akuma. Quackenbush and Steel continue to use tandem offense to thwart F.I.S.T. Cruz comes in and is quickly dumped on the ropes with a Hot Shot by Sweeney. The Rudo squadron takes turns wearing down Cruz. It takes him awhile, but Cruz escapes by suplexing Sweeney to escape a headlock. Quackenbush tags in and knocks down Akuma with a leg lariat. He gives Icarus a quebradora. Steel and Quackenbush put F.I.S.T. in a double Crab. Ryder and Young break the pin. All ten men begin brawling in and out of the ring. Sweeney cuts Cruz off from making a dive. Sweeney drops Cruz with a gordbuster and Quackenbush breaks the pin. Quackenbush, Storm, Prophet, and Steel all slam Sweeney free-mason style. Prophet hits a frog splash and Icarus makes the save. Prophet gives Ryder a modified Falcon Arrow for two. Ryder hits a shining chin kick for two. Prophet sends Ryder to the floor and follows out with a pescado. Cruz flies onto Young with a crossbody for two. Cruz blocks the yakuza kick. Young ducks a lariat and drops Cruz with a tombstone piledriver. Quackenbush and Steel break the pin. Akuma dropkicks Steel in the corner. Akuma elevates Icarus into a DDT on Steel for two. Quackenbush sends Akuma and Icarus to the floor and dives onto them with a tope con hilo. Sweeney blocks the Air Raid Crash. Storm blocks a gord buster with a Jackhammer for the pin at 21:43. Another non-stop multi-man bout that showcases a lot of the students talent. Easily the best stuff on the shows. ***

Young Lions Cup Qualifying Match
Joker {BO} vs. Ravage {CZW}

This is Joker’s first match back after going to Iraq. He’s on a five day sabattical and decided to spend some of his time in the States wrestling. Both guys aggressively look for the advantage on the mat. Joker rolls Ravage into an ankle lock. Ravage uses the ropes to escape. Ravage rolls up Joker to avoid an ankle pick. Joker backslides Ravage for two. Ravage monkey flips Joker. Joker lands on his feet. Ravage escapes a quebradora and dropkicks Joker to the floor. Joker cuts off a dive from Ravage with a knee strike. Joker throws an open bottle of water at him. In the ring, Ravage makes Joker angry by slapping him. Joker beats Ravage into the corner and powerbombs him. Joker misses a knee strike. Ravage drops him with an overhead suplex. Ravage monkey flips Joker into the corner. Ravage stretches Joker’s arm while clutching his forehead. Joker hits a sambo suplex. Joker rolls Ravage into a headlock which he wrenches on. Ravage throws Joker face first into the corner and hits a backbreaker for two. Ravage small packages Joker for two. Joker picks up Ravage on his shoulder and rams his head first to the corner. Ravage looks for a surfboard stretch but Joker puts on the headlock again. Ravage pops his head out and applies another stretch. Joker uses the ropes to escape. Joker drops Ravage with a Tiger suplex for the pin at 9:43. However, Joker’s shoulders were also down, making this match a draw. Weird ending, but the referee called it like he saw it. Joker look like he didn’t miss a beat since being off but Ravage looked like he didn’t give two squirts of piss about this match which made it suffer. *1/2

Joker angrily drops Ravage with the Joker Driver. He deserved it.

DJ Hyde {CZW}, Vries Kastelein, & Heretic vs. Chris Hero {KOW}, Claudio Castagnoli {KOW}, & Arik Cannon {KOW}

Claudio corrects the bell ringing duties of the ringside attendant and high fives Hero and Cannon because of it. Cannon and Heretic go “catch as catch can”, if you will, to kick this match off. Cannon shoulder tackles Heretic. Heretic responds with a pair of armdrags. He crucifixes into a knee strike to Cannon’s skull. Heretic hits a flying knee strike and a Code Breaker. Cannon rolls to the floor and is met by a comforting Claudio and Hero. An extremely fat fan takes off his shirt and horrifies Hero. Hyde shoves Hero while Hero does some trash talking. Hero gears up for a shoulder tackle. Hero fails to make Hyde budge, even with multiple attempts. Hero does show showboating before punching Hyde right in the head. Hyde back elbows Hero and slams him down for two. Hero sits down to escape a sunset flip, but Hyde moves so that Hero’s buttocks hits the mat. Hyde gives Hero an atomic drop. He backdrops Hero and Cannon breaks the pin. Kastelein tags in and delivers some uppercuts to Hero. Hero drops him down and tags in Claudio. Kastelein headstands out of a headlock and applies a front chancery. Claudio kicks Kastelein’s legs out to escape a wristlock. Kastelein arm whips Claudio into an overhead wristlock. Claudio clutches his wrist in a pin attempt. Kastelein neck tie chokes Claudio from the apron. Claudio escapes. Kastelein tries a variety of pinning combinations but only gets two. Kastelein throws Claudio down with a cravate. Hero blind tags in and scoop slams Kastelein as he comes off the ropes. The Kings isolate Kastelein in their corner. The Kings throw in a good deal of show boating while they beat Kastelein down. Kastelein escapes their grasp after a lengthy beatdown by ducking Hero’s clothesline and tagging in Hyde. Hyde takes down all three Kings. He lays in strikes to Hero in the corner. Hyde hits a lariat and Claudio breaks the pin. Heretic flies in iwht a somersault senton into a pinning combination for two. Hyde, Cannon, Kastelein, and Hero brawl on the floor. Claudio pops up Heretic into a European uppercut for the pin at 23:23. Kastelein and Heretic both impressed me and brought two totally different styles. The Kings of Wrestling can’t help but be entertaining during their matches and never let a moment drag. I questioned why this main evented the show, but in the end it certainly proved it’s worth. ***1/4

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