Action Arcade Episode 7



Championship Rundown
Grand Champion: Dasher Hatfield
Campeones de Parejas: Solo Darling & Willow Nightingale
Young Lions Cup Champion: TBD

Commentary is provided by Jason Worthington & Sidney Bakabella.

ZERO is excited to have made it to the semi-finals of the Young Lions Cup tournament. He swept his opening round match and overcame many obstacles to do so. He’s also excited to face his friend Green Ant in the semi-final match. However, ZERO says the past couple of weeks has been a tale of two Green Ant’s. One is unsure of himself in the ring and didn’t earn a single fall in the Young Lions Cup opening round match. ZERO wants to face the other Green Ant: the one who is a submission master and came back from Japan with a new bag of tricks. That’s the Green Ant he wants to overcome en route to the finals.

The Spoiler vs. Masked Enforcer #2
Stem the Hemorrhaging of Polka” – Philadelphia, PA – 2.29.2020

Enforcer hurt his back slamming Spoiler in the early going. Spoiler took notice and attacked Enforcer’s back to get the match in his favor. Enforcer saw the rope-walk attack coming and threw Spoiler off the top rope and to the canvas. Spoiler pummeled Enforcer’s back to escape a bearhug. Enforcer crumbled when going for a slam and Spoiler pinned Enforcer with his feet on the ropes at 5:27. Presentation goes a long way with me and the presentation of this match in the format of the Action Arcade was much stronger than when it originally aired. They shuffled the airing of matches and interactions between the two competitors, and threw in some more promos for additional context, which made the whole package more coherent. That made the match itself feel much less out of place than it did when it originally occurred. Major kudos for that. The story within the match itself worked just fine, and because of the extra backstory we received, the win felt much more significant for The Spoiler. The end I thought was a little blasé. Revised rating: **

Many people told Donna Rama after her match last week that it was as if they saw a whole different side of her in the ring. She says that’s the entire point, and next week, we’ll see what she looks like with one point towards the Grand Championship in her name.

Young Lions Cup XVI Semi-Final Round Match
Max The Impaler vs. Ricky South

Young Lions Cup XVI” – Philadelphia, PA – 1.18.2020

I didn’t realize how big South was until I saw him face to face with Max. South had control to start, but a body block from Max put an end to that. She whipped South from corner to corner, crushing him with splashes and blows. South caught her coming off the ropes with a boot and nailed his devastating piledriver to punch his ticket to the finals at 4:41. The fans were NOT happy to see Max eliminated, but that does help give South some heat going into the final round. Even so, I did find this match to be a little oddly structured. **

Young Lions Cup XVI Semi-Final Round Match
Green Ant {C} vs. ZERO

Young Lions Cup XVI” – Philadelphia, PA – 1.18.2020

Both competitors showed a sense of intensity right away and had no wasted movements. ZERO’s strength kept him in the fight against Green Ant’s experience and swiftness. ZERO’s lack of experience however failed to keep focus in his attacks, as he shifted between Green Ant’s lower back, his shoulders, and regular strikes. He positioned Green Ant in the corner for a tombstone. Green Ant flipped forward, then rolled ZERO up into a seatbelt pin to earn the second spot in the final round at 7:30. ZERO had two very solid performances in this tournament, and I really appreciate that while his offense is a nod to the original Mister ZERO, his personality is unique. Green Ant has grown into a very slick mat competitor just like his predecessor, and it became clear in a match like this where he had the rare instance of being the more veteran competitor. I very much look forward to seeing more from both guys. **¾

Sam Leterna brings us this week’s Cibernetico Report. Boomer Hatfield says he will be watching Sonny Defarge’s match tonight, and challenges Defarge to play by the rules for once. We then get a message from BLANK. He says action is his art, and for beauty to occur, there must be suffering. Brutality is a utensil he knows well, and he will rid the world of ugly one being at a time. It is unclear who BLANK’s message was intended for. We then hear from one of the Cibernetico captains, Ophidian. He says Mike Quackenbush criticizes his methods of training, but has yet to witness them first hand. He challenges Quackenbush to stand ringside and send four of his Cibernetico teammates into Crucible rules bouts next week, so he can see for himself that the fire reveals what the flesh conceals.

Mike Quackenbush vs. Sonny Defarge
“?” – Philadelphia, PA – 11.23.2019

This was Match #20 in Quackenbush’s 25th Anniversary tour. This was a battle between skill, technique, and experience against brute force and ruthlessness. Quackenbush’s speed and ability bested Defarge. Although Defarge would stop him with an uppercut or some fross out tactic, Quackenbush was quickly able to recover and take back over. This changed when Defarge gave Quackenbush a backbreaker. Quackenbush’s back has been his achilles heel for basically his entire career, and Defarge took full advantage of his by switching his offense to focusing on the back and neck. Quackenbush found an opening for a knee strike. Defarge blocked a Neutralizer, but Quackenbush held onto his waist in an impressive headstand, and brought Defarge down in a sunset flip for two. Defarge shut him back down with an uppercut. Defarge almost pinned Quackenbush with a powerslam. Quackenbush escaped Defarge’s grasp and nailed him with a roundhouse kick to bring them back to equal footing. Quackenbush took him down with a backdrop and monkey flip, and got a nearfall with a dragonrana. Quackenbush was surprised but his expression showed he had a game plan. The Tail of the Dragon DDT earned him yet another nearfall. He called for Quackendriver III, but Defarge weaved his way free. He belly-to-belly suplexed Quackenbush for two. He grabbed Quackenbush by his throat and tossed him into the corner. A backbreaker and the rebound lariat followed, but somehow Quackenbush kicked out yet again. When they fought in the corner, Quackenbush put Defarge on the top turnbuckle and brought Defarge down in a Frankensteiner. Quackenbush applied the Lightning Lock Beta and Defarge tapped out at 17:04. This was so engaging, and did a really convincing job portraying Defarge as capable of being a near equal to Quackenbush. Making this an Action Arcade episode exclusive, similar to Dasher vs. Razerhawk from last week, gives fans like myself a reason to watch these shows, especially when the exclusive matches are of such high quality. This is definitely the best match of the Action Arcade series so far and in hindsight probably one of the best matches of Season 19 as well. ***¾

The post-match credits show outside in the nighttime a body (perhaps a dummy?) in a garbage bag covered in duct tape and barbed wire being carried by Callux the Castigator outdoors. He drops the body by a fence and turns his head to look with his left eye into the camera.


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