Barnett's Steel Domain Wrestling Review and Reaction: Featuring Colt Cabana vs. Adam "Scrap Iron" Pearce in an "I Quit" Match for the NWA Title
By Jake Barnett
Steel Domain Wrestling iPPV (in-person perspective)
Hopkins, Minnesota at the Hopkins Pavilion
1. Sammy Savard defeated Matt Classic: I was actually ok with this match as the opener. It didn't overstay its welcome, and it got the crowd pumped up early as Matt Classic was a big hit with many in the crowd. Savard works a Hercules type 80's gimmick, with a swinging chain and the whole bit. He's a passable brawler, and Matt Classic was very entertaining as he poked fun of himself and Savard throughout the match with his antics. Savard picked up the win after a rollup, but honestly most of this match was Matt Classic related stalling and humor, and the fans wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
2. Heather Hallberg defeated Miss Natural: This was not a technical masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but my hat goes off to Hallberg for really connecting with the crowd by using heel tactics effectively. This match was a rematch from the previous show in West St. Paul back in April, which didn't have as lively a crowd and Hallberg had to work pretty hard to get the crowd against her. That wasn't a problem here, and she was the stand out character of the first half of the show. She works a raunchy heel act and used a bit of crude sexual innuendo to taunt the crowd, and it was a huge hit. Her husband plays a sycophantic manager that falls over her every word at ringside. They work well together, and their character antics lifted this match from mediocre to above average for me. It ended with Hallberg rolling through a cross body block to get the win. Miss Natural was competent in the ring, but didn't have much of a character to speak of. I'd have to see more of her to have an opinion.
3. Renny D and Ben Sailor defeated Rob Thunder and Red Lightning: Hoo boy, this one was kind of rough. Pretty formulaic tag match without a lot of high spots, yet there were several botched spots that really took the shine off of both these teams. It didn't seem like either of these teams had worked together regularly, as their characters didn't really mesh and it seemed like they were just in the beginning stages of finding their ring identities. There were some flashes of really good stuff, but there were too many misfires for this one to grab much of my interest. I'd like to see these guys do this again after the work through some of the rough spots.
4. Arya Daivari defeated Ryan Cruz: This was my favorite match of the night. It was another rematch from West St. Paul in April, but they really tore it up and gave the fans an exciting match. There were plenty of near falls and no misfires that sucked you out of the moment. They had a great run of near falls to close the match, with Davairi picking up the win after his Magic Carpet Ride Splash from the top. I can't really say that either guy really lost here, as it was an excellent performance that showed that both of them have the stuff to at least get a look from somebody on a bigger stage. I'm surprised Daivari hasn't already gotten the call, to be honest.
5. Craven Knyte defeated Rob James: Craven Knyte has a great physique that would not look out of place in any of the national promotions. He looked more comfortable in the ring than the last time I saw him in West St. Paul, but he has some work left to do in establishing a character and still had some missed opportunities in the ring. Rob James impressed me with his ability to connect with the crowd, but I'm not sure he has a look that the bigger promotions want, and that's a shame. This match was mediocre for me, as it looked like there were some communication or timing problems throughout the match, but both guys showed heart and worked hard. I think Knyte specifically could be a guy to watch out for as he matures.
6. Honky Tonk Man defeated Mitch Paradise: This was pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a guy who is as limited in the ring as Honky these days. Mitch Paradise has a good look, but needs work on the mic. He and Honky had a promo exchange to start the show that didn't impress me, but I think Paradise seems to have an idea for a character that just needs some more fleshing out. The match finished with a rollup by Honky after a punch and kick fest. Honky also sang his entrance music, which really excited about 8 people who sat behind Jason Powell and I, but a lot of the younger generation in the crowd didn't really get into it. The same could be said for the match itself.
7. Colt Cabana defeated Adam Pearce in an "I Quit" match: Colt and Pearce were both on their games here. Pearce got into it with fans both verbally and almost physically at ringside, and really played the role of asshole particularly well. Cabana showed good humor and was extremely over with everyone in attendance. The Colt Cabana chants started early and continued throughout the match. The match itself spilled all over the arena and had some brutal sounding chair shots as well as used the plexiglass hockey boards to good effect. Pearce was busted open late after bouncing off the hockey glass, but recovered and appeared to get the win after a ref stoppage when he unhooked the top turnbuckle and choked Cabana. Cabana never said "I Quit", however, so the match was restarted and Cabana won with a similar rope choke used simultaneously with the Billy Goat's Curse. I enjoyed the match a lot, but I think if it had ended with a Pearce win I would have enjoyed it more. Restarting the match felt a little formulaic, but otherwise this was a great main event and I think very highly of both competitors. How are neither of these guys getting calls from major companies? Maybe they are too Pro Wrestling for WWE, but I think either of them could be a good fit in TNA, which seems to be putting a focus on dynamic younger characters.
Do you have questions, comments, or concerns? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @barnettjake.
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