Masked Republic live show report 4-27 Philadelphia

By Paul Cooke

Crowd was in the 600 – 800 range I would say.  There were a bunch of empty seats on the far side of the building but it looked like they had seating set up for closer to 1,000.  Looked like maybe a 50/50 mix or so between your run of the mill wrestling fans and families brought in by the extensive promotion in Philly’s Hispanic communities.  There were a fair amount of children and in general they were into the entire show which is always nice to see.  The set up was very professional and the show ran relatively smoothly, clocking in at around 4 hours in length.  The promoters did an excellent job in putting together a varied card that hit on almost all of the lucha libre staples (trios match, hardcore trios match, comedy, minis, women’s match, exoticos, ect.).


Hallowicked & Frightmare vs. Ultimo Panda & Latin Dragon


Ultimo Panda works a comedy gimmick (as if a wrestling Panda could do anything else) and it was effective.  Latin Dragon is a local who works CZW while Hallowicked and Frightmare are from Chikara and worked as the rudos by default.  The right kind of opener where they didn’t do too much but had a nice mix of comedy and action.  Latin Dragon and Panda won with a double frog splash.  Panda was over with everyone.


Green Ant, Amasis & Ophidian vs. Chuck Taylor, Orange Cassidey & Papadon


The rudos came out to “Born in the USA” which got the desired reaction.  They also threw tortillas to the crowd which didn’t quite have the same effect.  Another solid match to start the show.  The Chikara guys all looked good and Papadon got a lot of heat.  Orange Cassidey’s slacker gimmick is hit or miss when it comes to actually working a match.  The match was largely back and forth with guys coming in and out of the ring.  There was some comedy here as well, although a little less than in the opener.  The tecnicos won following a hot ending stretch.  Solid match.


Solar vs. Negro Navarro (c) for the Maestro Championship


Navarro had the FLLM Master championship with him but the match was generally referred to as being for the generic “Maestro Championship” which these two guys trade back and forth regularly.  This was the usual excellent match between Solar and Navarro.  Negro Casas is probably the best 50+ year old active wrestler today but Navarro and Solar are not too far behind.  The pace these two cut (even without factoring in their ages) was pretty incredible.  The match was largely mat based with exchanges of unique, great looking lucha submission holds and pinning combinations.  The crowd was into the match the entire time but more so as it went along which is a testament to both wrestlers.  The smoothness of the exchanges these two have in their matches is almost unparalleled.  Navarro locked on a key lock to pick up the win.  Post-match, both Solar and Navarro played to the crowd to get money thrown into the ring as is the tradition in lucha libre for fans to show their appreciation after a great match.  The fans were a bit slow in catching on, but eventually littered the ring with coins and paper money, while others handed bills directly to the wrestlers as they walked around ringside.  This went on a bit long (more than 10 minutes) although you can hardly blame them for milking every last penny.  This was the best match on the show and a real treat to see live.


Mini Mariachi (c) vs. Pierrothito for the PWR Minis Championship


Mini Mariachi is the original Octagoncito under a new gimmick.  Pierrothito got the crowd all over him by signing the Puerto Rican anthem before the match.  Pierrothito is very good but Mariachi was a little off.  They had Pierrothito win out of nowhere about five minutes in, before someone with the promotion came out and polled the fans on whether the match should be restarted.  The crowd wanted five more minutes and got it.  Mariachi won the re-started match but the false finish and Mariachi’s work made for a rather flat outing.


They took an intermission here even though with the long money collecting post-match of Solar/Navarro, it probably was not completely needed.  A lot of masks and some t-shirts at the merchandise tables as you would expect.  From the looks of things, they probably did decently on merchandise sales.


Christina Von Eerie (c) vs. Sumie Sakai (w/ Jenny Rose) for the PWR Woman’s Championship


Von Eerie was over.  Sakai was the rudo and Jenny Rose (who she apparently helped train) interfered throughout the match and there was also a ref bump.  Von Eerie retained her title in what was about a ten minute match.  Nothing bad, but largely forgettable.


Cassandro vs. “Spartan” Matt Cross


Cassandro was over huge with the entire crowd from the get go.  Matt Cross used a Spartan warrior gimmick to further drive home the contrast.  Cassandro did an angle with a Spanish language radio station disc jockey in the promotion for the show.  The DJ picked Cross to win with the bet that if Cross lost, he’d give Cassandro a kiss.  Cassandro was excellent throughout the entire match with his highlights including a great tope, a big shoulder first bump into the guardrail, and a hard bump on his upper back/neck off of the top rope.  The crowd was into the entire thing and it was the most heated match on the card so far (although the crowd was into every match more or less).  Cassandro picked up the win and the DJ fulfilled his end of the pre-match bet.  Cassandro was great.


Bestia 666, Damien 666 & Sabu vs. Blk Jeez, Rukus & Homicide


Sabu was over big time as expected.  Damien handled ring announcing for his team.  This was the expected garbage brawl and was fine for what it was.  A lot of thrown chairs but only one broken table.  The tecnicos won after Sabu put Homicide through a table with a chair-assisted leg drop.  After the match, Damien cut a promo and then slipped getting out of the ring.  He needed to be helped to his feet with Sabu and Bestia helping him to the back.  He was not putting any weight on the leg whatsoever.


LA Park (c) vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. for the IWL World Heavyweight Championship


This was not announced as a title match in the advertising.  Parka looked really big in person.  Both guys cut promos before the match.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from these twos on a small show outside of Mexico but they worked very hard and a put on a match that was far less reliant on brawling than I expected it to be.  Wager Jr. pulled off a cannonball off of the apron as well as a somersault senton from the top rope.  Parka did a tope which looked great especially considering his size.  The match had a true main event feeling and the crowd got into the near falls.  Probably the second strongest match on the show behind Solar/Navarro.


Overall, it was an enjoyable show and well worth the trip.  As mentioned, the card was put together smartly with a variety of different styles throughout.  I am sure between the cost of the wrestlers, losing out on the ability to piggyback off of Extreme Rising, and the other costs of producing the show it was a money loser but it was a very good effort nonetheless.  I would definitely be interested in attending a future show put on by Masked Republic.  

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