It was a cool, overcast afternoon on February 15 in Sun Valley. The turnout at KnokX V was excellent with a line to the street from the front of the Domain and beyond. As I usually do, I pre-ordered my ticket and had my seat clearly labeled before the show started. Again, I really appreciate KnokX Pro for doing this and looking out for their fans who pre-order tickets.
|(photo courtesy of KnokX Pro Entertainment)|
One of the first things I noticed inside the Domain was a keyboard set-up on the left side of the stage when facing the stage. I will get to the purpose of the keyboard later on.
The Domain is becoming a legendary place to see pro wrestling, and I believe that in time it will do down in history as one of the best places in Los Angeles to see an event. It is my favorite venue for its intimate feel, comfortable seating, friendly environment, and of course, a kicking' sound system and four video screens.
The commitment of pro wrestling fans to this organization is akin to the familial bond between best friends. Providing an atmosphere that is like a school graduation at a wrestling show is quite the feat--hugs, embraces, and tons of smiling faces reverberated in the crowd.
After a final safety check of the ring, the show official began with a rousing rendition of the National Anthem played on the keyboard by KnokX Pro's own DaQuan. KnokX Pro's own Syko Stu led the National Anthem with a salute in the middle of the ring. This was a respectful way to start the show and helped to set the tone for the rest of the night's festivities.
Devious Bear, the KnokX Pro General Manager, made his way to the ring to a positive response from the crowd eager for action. He mentioned how the evening was going to start with a championship match, which also garnered a fantastic response.
In the opening match, the European Cruiserweight Champion, Greyson with his manager Raymond Paulson issued an open challenge to the locker room stating that KnokX V was all about Greyson alone and no one else. This caused boos from the crowd. All of a sudden the familiar music and Twilight Zone video played and EyeZ In Disguise made his fantastic entrance to the ring. Jezette then came out to a rousing ovation.
|(EyeZ in Disguise entrance - photo courtesy of Armed with a Camera)|
The pacing and strategy of the opening championship match was one that I loved. Paulson kept shouting, "Break her arm!" on the outside of the ring as Greyson and Jezette traded impressive arm locks and holds with each other. It became a counter battle in the opening minutes of the match. Greyson cheated early on with a hair pull on Jezette leading to more attempted arm submissions. With a devastating jumping arm breaker using his knees, Greyson further damaged Jezette's arm. It looked like Jezette was able to get back into the match with a destructive leg scissor on Greyson's head smashing it into the turnbuckle, but Greyson soon slammed her down again. Jezette nailed him with a huge clothesline, but Greyson took control of the Jezette's left arm again. Every time Jezette looked to gain control, Greyson took it back. Working an armbar in the middle of the ring, EyeZ motioned to Jezette to roll out providing valuable help in the process. After rolling out of the move to the corner, Greyson went for his trademark double jumping knee. Jezette moved out of the way and countered with an old-school bulldog. A stalemate occurred with both competitors on the mat and the referee counting them. He counted all the way to seven, as both Greyson and Jezette slowly worked their way back to their feet. Taking real control for the first time in the match, Jezette tirelessly put Greyson into a dizzying spell with strikes in the corner and a headscissor sending Greyson into the turnbuckle. With a powerslam worthy of the word "power," Jezette went for the pin and nearly missed the three count by inches. Greyson found his footing again with an out of this world STO on Jezette for a count of two himself. Jezette then went for a hip toss on Greyson but turned it into a sickeningly awesome neck breaker for another near fall. Looking to finish the match, Jezette went to the top rope, but as she was about to execute a move, Mr. Raymond Paulson held her boot causing EyeZ to dive from the outside of the ring threw the corner to attack Paulson. The split second interference caused Jezette to miss the move. Greyson secured a quick pin with his feet on the rope for extra leverage retaining his KnokX Pro European Cruiserweight Championship. The opening match was a Domain burner, which built to a dramatic and climatic finish. Jezette managed to get a bit of revenge on Greyson with a top rope splash. If I was a wrestling commentator, this would be the type of match that I would love to call.
No one in the Domain was able to settle down, as the second match soon was underway.
The ever tenacious Vincenzo Iosefa Parisi (VIP) with Totally 80s in his corner took on the multitalented DaQuan.
|(VIP sinks a deep headlock onto DaQuan - photo courtesy of Armed with a Camera)|
Totally 80s tried to again attack DaQuan after the match, but DaQuan was able to nail a trademark elbow, butt smash, and kick for some measure of revenge.
Rolling quickly into the third match of this historic show, Richard came out to referee the match between Primal with Blue Holiday taking on the always popular Vito.
|(Primal getting ready for battle - photo courtesy of Armed with a Camera)|
|(Vito taking in the adulation of the crowd - photo courtesy of Armed with a Camera)|
|(Vito taking control of Primal in the corner - photo courtesy of Armed with a Camera)|
Blue Holiday did not take kindly to Primal's loss and issued an open challenge to anyone in the talented KnokX Pro locker room. Laura "The Body" James came out to a positive reception and accepted Holiday's challenge beginning the fourth match of the night.
Being that this was an open challenge match, Holiday and James started off the match trying to psych each other out through trash talking. Blue Holiday took control with a slap to James in the corner, which led to lockup and headlock by James. A whip into the ropes and a drop toe hold later put James firmly in control. A recovered Holiday had little time to breathe as James delivered a crucifix into a solid pin attempt for a two count. Blue Holiday recovered and put James in what I can only describe as a front Gory Guerrero Special submission; Holiday dropped her from the move. When James stumbled up, Holiday struck with a clothesline followed by a choke in the ropes. Continuing the vicious attack, Holiday sent a special delivery of elbows in the corner to James. A spear hammered James into the mat and Holiday looked to get the pin, but James managed to get to the ropes. Holiday continued her assault with kicks to the mid-section and more trash talking for good measure. James launched one last comeback with a series of clotheslines, elbows, and a classic looking Ivan Putski-like Polish Hammer strike. James twisted her ankle in the process causing Holiday to hit a quick front kick leading to a pin with her feet in the ropes for the three count and the win.
Maverick made his way out to the ring to help the fallen James.
The last match before the intermission could have definitely been a main event match in any promotion. Billed as a "Special Attraction Tag Team Match," the tag team of Hillbilly Hero and El Presidente with Raymond Paulson took on Jacob Fatu and Black Pearl with Jr. Rikishi Fatu in their corner. The trio of Jacob Fatu, Black Pearl, and Rikishi received a groundswell of applause from the adoring KnokX Pro crowd.
|(Rikishi and Black Pearl - photo courtesy of Armed with a Camera)|
A stunned crowd soon became unglued when Black Pearl grabbed Raymond Paulson and threw him into the ring. Pearl rocked the Domain with a superkick of his own to Paulson. Soon Rikishi entered the fray to the adulation of the raucous crowd as Paulson sat pathetically in the corner. A nasty, wicked stinkface later on Paulson and the Domain became a party zone leading into the intermission.
|(Black Pearl attempting a face face slam on Hillbilly Hero - photo courtesy of Armed with a Camera)|
Check back later this week for the second half report of the awesome KnokX V show!