APW KING OF INDIES 8 [Review]: ‘Ultimo’ Dragon!

APW KING OF INDIES 8 [Review]: ‘Ultimo’ Dragon!

“Monsignor” Travis Moody

KOI Tournament Match: Jeff Cobb vs. Fatu – Very solid opener and my first time seeing Jacob Fatu live. The son of the Tonga Kid/Tama from WWF and the movie “Bodyslam” was pretty impressive and reminded me of a mini-Rikishi with his agility and charisma. Not surprised they put him over since Cobb has a match tonight. – 3.25/5

KOI Tournament Match: Titan vs. Flip Gordon – Awesome athletic showcase that went about as smooth as one would hope. – 3.5/5

KOI Tournament Match: Timothy Thatcher vs. Brody King – A very different style of match you can feel the crowd so desperately wanted to like. Neither guy took it to the next level and no one bought it. The botched pinfall count — shoulder up/4? — didn’t help either. – 2.75/5

KOI Tournament Match: Dragon Lee vs. Ryuske Taguchi – Perhaps the most over match of the night. A near perfect mesh of comedy and athleticism, which was needed after the last match. I have a new appreciation for Taguchi after seeing him up so close. The guy just has it. – 3.75/5

KOI Semifinal: Flip Gordon vs. Jacob Fatu – Another very good back n forth match with these two, where Fatu — despite his size — actually felt like the underdog. Local Bay Area fans were probably pretty shocked to see Fatu lose here, too. – 3.5/5

KOI Semifinal: Dragon Lee vs. Brody King – Something about Brody — an LA combo of Tommy End & Luke Harper — just felt “off” in his last match and my fellow Apostle & I wondered if the guy was having too much day fun 6 hrs from home. At least King turned it up about 5 or 6 minutes into the match and started laying Lee out with some deadly chops and lariats. While he performed better, it was pretty apparent at this point that Dragon Lee was the best and most talented guy in the ring tonight and terrifyingly explosive leaping outside of it. – 3.25/5

Revolution Women’s Champion Nicole Savoy vs. Taya – Pretty fun brawl with lots of in-crowd shenanigans. While the double KO finish didn’t solve a match that had promised “unfinished business”, both gals were solid and great with the crowd. Nicole’s matt wrestling was pretty damn good too. – 3/5

APW Tag Team Champions ROE vs. Reno Scum – Funny that a guy started chanting “This is Awesome!” just before the match truly became that. After a hot start from Reno Scum, the last 5-minutes were arguably the best thing about the entire night — an unbelievable finish. This was the “Sixth Sense” of wrestling matches, a good movie with a GREAT ending! – 4/5

KOI Finale: Flip Gordon vs. Dragon Lee – While this one didn’t go without mistakes — Flip had a pair of errors he quickly corrected — both guys turned it up and had a righteous final to what wound up a fun tournament. Lee “Orange Crush’d” his way to become the biggest lucha star on the indies and this was his award to lose. Well played, sir! – 3.75/5

Overall = 3.5/5 Bibles.

I haven’t been to many indie shows outside of PWG, but #KOI8 was on-par with the non-ASW and Globe shows this year. I mean.. where else can you see three freakin’ Dragon Lee matches in one night? And while Flip isn’t “there” just yet professionally he definitely worked hard, got over great with the crowd and did things maybe only Ricochet or Ospreay would dare to do. Once he gets more comfortable bouncing off the ropes, he’ll be a more accurate high flyer. Really enjoyed the Reno Scum tag team victory and seeing new champs crowned was nice for the crowd. The rest of the night was fun. If nothing else, APW certainly knows how to book a card!

-Travis Moody