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By Adam Cardoza on 2021-06-08 23:59:00

ACTION WRESTLING “Action: Next Up - Episode 1”

From Tyrone, GA
Taped 4/22/21
Now Available on

Last month, ACTION Wrestling debuted a new semi-regular series called “Next Up”. This episode was taped just before the 4/22 show “Oops, We Forgot to Buy and Anniversary Present!” My write up on that one is here.

In a Venn diagram of “training show”, “tryout show’ and “thanks for helping out”, this series seems to aim right in the center of all this, utilizing a lot of upcoming talent from AR Fox’s nearby wrestling school as well as other workers who were in town but not on the main show. Episode 1 is presented without commentary. Bobby Flaco is your referee. New South’s Carmen Michael is your announcer. There’s a small family crowd in the venue and the wrestlers are surrounding two sides of the ring to give some little ambience/energy.   

Match 1: Mykael Bodega vs AWOL vs Landon Hale vs Damion Turner

I like the energy of this crowd. They love everyone except AWOL. AWOL hates them too. AWOL & Turner team up and send Hale & Bodega packing. Turner nearly gets him with the rollup, batters him around with chops before Hale has to cut off the pin from a senton. Hale with a big flip and a dropkick fires the room up. Big tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two and the big Bodega is back in. HUGE chokeslam to Hale and a sidewalk slam but Landon kicks out. Bodega tripped up by AWOL....but his clotheslines are barely doing any damage. These kids do not like AWOL at all and are happy when Bodega makes him eat an elbow. Turner and AWOL sent to the outside but they drag Bodega along for the ride. Big dive from Hale to trio and we get our first “This is awesome” chant. Hale springboards in at AWOL but gets rolled up for two. Turner catches AWOL with a DDT but he rolls out. Bodega recovers and Turner goes for a ride on the package piledriver express for an emphatic three count.I agree with the crowd, this was awesome. 

Winner: Mykael Bodega

Match 2: David Firestein and Nasty Leroy vs Trevor Outlaw and Brian Andrews

Andrews and Firestein go head to head right at the entrance but Outlaw opts to start for his team, trying to get the crowd to STOP clapping and cheering. Andrews comes in, boots Firestein down and stretches him a bit. Outlaw in and he chokes out Firestein on the middle rope while saying hello to everyone watching on IWTV. Hey, Outlaw. Big belly to belly for two. Firestein counters with a vertical suplex cutter and starts the crawl over to Nasty Leroy. He gets the tag and Leroy throws those Dusty punches. Combo into a cutter and Andrews makes the save. Full Nelson uranage to Leroy. Andrews takes too much time getting back to corner, allowing Firestein to get in but Andrews catches his head and sweeps him into a ddt for the three. Outlaw definitely made good use of his time and motormouth to make his presence felt. Andrews and Firestein clearly have some unfinished business. 

Winners: Trevor Outlaw & Brian Andrews

Match 3: Carson Dilbeck vs Dy-Lan vs Erron Wade vs Noah Hossman 

Dilbeck can’t even wait for the intros to finish and he’s already shoving at Wade to get the fight started. Dy-Lan tries to get a little dance party started but Dilbeck wants none of that. Hossman and Wade go fast and technical in the ring while Dy-Lan and Dilbeck brawl on the floor. Dilbeck is sick of the good wrestling happening in the ring and decides to toss out Hossman and beat up the baby dragon. Big larait from Dy-Lan cuts off Dilbeck for two. Hossman back to throw forearms and big slaps at Dy-Lan. Big superkicks cut the exchange off. Hossman with a big spear and is last man standing. Crowd pumped up as he gets Wade up in a high vertical position.....Wade comes down and spins into a heel kick. He tries the same on Dy-Lan but eats a spinebuster. Dilbeck in with a headlock driver to Dy-Lan and he’s down for the count! These kids hated Carson Dilbeck but he showed great ring awareness to pick up the win here. I want to see Hossman and Wade 1-on-1.

Winner: Carson Dilbeck

Match 4: Nawfside Heroes (Jose Manuel & Shoota Gabe) vs Jay Lucas & Larry Lazard

Shoota and Lazard kick this off. Shoota tries to hold him down but Lazard uses his speed and agility to flip and counter his way out of danger. Lazard with a cool standing corkscrew senton for two. Lazard ends up running into a fist for two. Lazard tries an up and over slingshot but Shoota sits on him for two then pulls into a crab. Jose and Lucas tag in for their team and Lucas gets dragged to the mat repeatedly for some submission work. Lucas tries to battle out but Jose’s striking game is good too. Shotgun dropkick to the corner and the Nawfside Heroes get to the double teaming. Lucas with a high kick stuns Shoota, he flips Lazard onto Shoota...his follow up dropkick may have connected with his partner somewhat, stunning Lazard and allowing Shoota to take advantage and roll up Lazard for the surprise pin! Lazard was the star of this show, bringing out all of the flash but Jose Manuel was a low-key beast on the ground work. 

Winners: Nawfside Heroes

Main Event: “The Ash Hole” Ash Bennett vs The Renegade Enforcer

I was ready to boo this Ash Hole but then Renegade Enforcer stepped into the ring and this kid might be doomed. Renegade no-sells Ash’s ineffective strikes, catches a springboard but Ash gets out of harm’s way. Ash flips out of the corner but Renegade finally catches up to him with a big shot that drops him hard. Renegade with a big club to the back and everyone is ready to see this kid get beat. Tossed corner to corner, Ash is a rag doll but makes the kick out. Big double chop in the corner but Renegade misses an elbow drop and charge to the corner. Ash baits him to the apron but gets blasted with a lariat. Renegade misses the slingshot, Ash flies in with a kick to the head. DDT off the ropes? Renegade kicks out! Crowd is getting split between these two, as they are loving the energy these two are putting out. Ash comes in with a kick but Renegade pops him up and slams him down for two. Renegade setting up to charge, Ash trips him into the buckle and rolls him up. It’s the CLOSEST of two counts and Ash is in disbelief. He comes in but Renegade catches in a powerslam position and swings him up for a suplex to finish his ash off. This was very David v Goliath but you’re still rooting for the giant. All go, no slow. This was a lot of fun. 

Winner: The Renegade Enforcer

And that’s it for the first episode of “Action: Next Up”! At a little shy of 40 minutes, these were 5 fast and furious matches. Granted I would have loved some commentary to give me a little backstory on some of these guys, it gave me the opportunity to take in the pure energy of this very hot crowd. This wasn’t the ACTION I’m used to. This felt like more raw energy, from the single roving camera shot to the wrestlers at ringside keeping the crowd engaged. This was a great first stab at a “first look” show that I hope Action keeps going before their cards in the future, as it gives some of these students a chance to get some exposure they wouldn’t otherwise get this soon (as an aside, I don’t need this NOW.....but SOMEDAY I would love to see “HOSSMAN vs TANKMAN” on a show poster, if that dude keeps going and growing his skills). I look forward to episode 2! Until then!

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