Last night, the United Wrestling Network held their annual Red Carpet Rumble and syndicated TV taping from Bellbank Park in my hometown of Mesa, Arizona. The sold out crowd was treated to wrestling action feturing the stars of the UWN which includes members of various other rosters throughout the wrestling landscape including AEW, MLW, and beyond.
Before the show, many of the talents involved took part in a meet & greet session where you could purchase some of their gimmicks and swag. Hammerstone, Colt Cabana, and Danny Limelight were among the stars with the most attention but Dave Marquez, Ortiz, and others were walking around shaking hands as well. This made the event feel special because you would never get to do this at some of the other wrestling shows. My youngest, 13, loved meeting the likes of Hammerstone, Cabana, and Peter Avalon while I was amazed at shaking the hand of Dave Marquez!
Here are the results and a personal editorial review under each from my perspective.
– Clark Connors defeated Jakob Austin Young
A strong opener. Neither guy really was disliked by the crowd but the crowd often seemed to pull for Young chanting his initials of “J-A-Y” often. But, by the end, the crowd seemed satisfied with Connors’ pinfall victory.
– Midnight Heat defeated Reno Scum to win the UWN World Tag Team Titles once again
This match was great. Reno Scum worked a very Road Warriors like style dominating the Midnight Heat who were the clear heels. Midnight Heat is a good name for this duo as their tag team stylings remind me of the iconic Midnight Express of the late Bobby Eaton, Dennis Condrey, Stan Lane, and Norvell Austin (briefly) in various intervals from years gone by. This was one of the highlights of the show!
– MLW World Heavyweight Champion Alex Hammerstone defeated AEW’s Ortiz
Hammerstone has a presense that exhudes star power. I mean, this guy is a superstar! Though Hammerstone is the local guy, Ortiz had a lot of fan following because of his AEW exposure and the fact that he was the smaller guy in the match. At one point, while working the leg, Ortiz was shot into the railing by Hammerstone literally into my face. Ortiz looked at me and screamed, “He’s too f***ing strong!” This made my night! In the end, Hammerstone hit the Nightmare Pendulum for the win.
– Kevin Matteson retained his UWN Heritage Championship by defeating Davey Richards
Richards came to the ring without ring announcement as they did the announcing once both competitors were there. As much as I hate to say it, I don’t feel the audience quite got how impressive it was to see Davey in person. Matteson is an impressive athlete as well, however, and the two had a technical wrestling match. While I enjoyed it, it seemed to be too mat styled for the crowd who weren’t as into it as they were for prior matches. The finish saw Matteson reverse an Ankle Lock by Richards into a pin like Eddie Guerrero did to Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XX.
– Bad Dude Tito defeated “Bad Boy” Joey Janela, “Chocolate Thunder” Willie Mack, and “Captain” Shawn Dean to retain
Solid match with a lot of spots that got the audience to cheer “Holy Shit” including a superplex on Willie Mack that sounded like his “Thunder” namesake.
– Zeda Zhang defeated Danielle Kamela
Solid but short match featuring two former WWE NXT women. It seemed like the girls knew they had a little less time so their action was a step quicker than some of the other matches. Enjoyable encounter of two talented young ladies!
– Peter Avalon defeated R-Three
Avalon has a lot of fans in Arizona as he was one of the main forces behind keeping Championship Wrestling from Arizona going for as long as it ran. Avalon was the underdog in the match against the much larger, much more menacing R-Three. But, he came away with the win with a top rope moonsault.
– A commercial shoot for Quick Quack Car Wash with the mascott duck Quackals. He is interviewed and then confronted by local heel “Cryin'” Ryan Morals who says this is his town and punches the duck! The duck fires back, hits a stunner, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s theme song hits. And that’s the bottom line!
– Eddie Kingston defeated Danny Limelight by disqualification so Limelight retains his UWN World Heavyweight Title
Eddie Kingston was clearly the draw of the show. After a solid match, Invictus Khash and former UWN Champion Jordan Clearwater the caused the disqualification finish when Kingston was gaining the advantage in the match. This brought out a lot of the babyfaces including Ortiz. After the smoke cleared, Kingston told Ortiz that they were good. This plays to the duo’s issues on AEW TV where Kingston doesn’t trust Ortiz.
– Rapper Mega Ran performed Tractorbeam…. The audience, especially the kids, seemed to like it. Me? Not my kind of music. But, he seemed to love pro wrestling and that we all can agree on!
– Invictus Khash won the Red Carpet Rumble which saw entrants such as Colt Cabana, EJ Sparks, Shawn Dean, Willie Mack, Joey Janela, and more
Much like the WWE’s Royal Rumble, this is a battle royal match where each competitor comes out at different times I presume either 60 to 90 seconds apart. There were 30 men in all. EJ SParks, being “Phoenix’s Favorite Son”, had the audience eating out of his hands as his hair beads flew all over the place. Colt Cabana got a big pop upon his entrance but aside from the Dusty Rhodes Flip, Flop, and Fly, he didn’t do too much and seemed to be eliminated fairly quickly. Tyler Bateman, who most recently was seen in Ring of Honor tied with Vincent in the Righteous, came out in a very pirate-like jacket which got the crowd into him. It is strange that a man who has been around for this long got over with a lot of people due to his ring jacket. But, whatever works, as Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler once opined. Clearwater and Khash were the last 2, the duo who caused the DQ in the earlier title match. Khash pinned the former champion.
Overall, the show was a home run. This was the first time the company has run Arizona in years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the venue chosen is a newly built sports complex boasted to be the largest in the United States. The location was the Pickelball Stadium on the grounds which actually served as an absolutely perfect setting for this event. There were people standing waiting to capture a seat as the crowd was sold out. In the end, I think this will come off extremely well on TV!
Championship Wrestling airs insyndication all over the United States. Check your local listings and set your DVR!