UPW Overload

Rick Bassman/St. Clair Entertainment

By DrayvensCrow

Crank up the DVD player and get the gang together to watch this offering from the man who brought wrestling The Ultimate Warrior and Sting, as Rick Bassman and Ultimate Pro Wrestling bring you some of the hottest action from their 2004 pay-per-views.

The California-based promotion that has sent over 20 wrestlers to WWE (John Cena , Victoria, Luthor Reigns and Heidenreich, just to name a few) consistently offers up some of the hottest action on the independent wrestling scene and the best of those are offered here. To set the pace, "The Future" Frankie Kazarian takes on Jerry Lynn and Evan Karagias in a Triple Threat elimination match for the UPW Light Heavyweight Championship. And the action continues from there as "Scrap Iron" Adam Pierce takes on WWE Hall-of-Famer Jimmy Superfly Snuka in a hard hitting one-on-one match up. You just might recognize Pierce's manager in this match when he picks up the mic for his opening promo: The Big Schwag from Monster Garage makes one of his final appearances on UPW in this match.

Fans of the last Tough Enough competition will be surprised when Mike "The Miz" Mizanin and his partner Lil Nate take on Kid Vicious and Tony Stradlin in a tag team match. Mizanin gets to show how far he has come in his career with crisp moves and big pops on his high spots. This match, it has to be noted, took place before the WWE competition and shows how WWE made the wrong choice in Daniel Puder. Get ready for a wild match in and out of the ring as "The World's Most Dangerous Man" Ken Shamrock takes on The Predator with special ring announcer Bruce Buffer from the UFC. Tank Abbott tries to interject himself before the match even starts but itís the in-ring action that will have you on the edge of your seat.

The next two matches quicken the pace as Lucha legends Konnan, Juventud Guerrera and Psychosis take on Ultimate University grads Andrew Hellman, Shawn Riddick, and Antonio Mescaret. While the young grads are highly overmatched by the Luchadores, they do make a good effort against them and get tossed out of the ring headfirst for their troubles. Catch-as-catch-can is the operative phrase in the "Lightweight Lunacy" match to determine the number one contender for Kazarian's title. Starting off as a Royal Rumble-type match (pinfalls and submissions count as well) and two wrestlers are added every minute, the action is fast and furious until only four wrestlers remain and it becomes a ladder match and the contract hangs over the ring. Directly after this match, you'd do well to get your remote and switch to the Bonus features.

Anyone who doesn't remember Joannie "Chyna" Laurer's attempt at a singing career will find out for themselves why she gave it up soon afterwards after watching this disc. Switch back to where you were on the main menu and watch Valentina take on Erica Porter in a Women's championship match and Chyna take on both Porter and Schwag afterwards. It's time to catch up with the tag team ranks with a taped review of the title status and then, it's straight to a title match between champs Hardcore Inc. and Shane and Shannon Ballard. The Ballards shed the Hanson Bros. gimmick that they made their name on for a more conventional look in this match. Adam Pierce returns for the long awaited match with Diamond Dallas Page after he dismantles a 'plant' for liking DDP's book and wrapping up the regular chapters is a tag team match up between AMW rip-offs The Outlaws and Skulu and former WWE superstar Rikishi.

The bonus features on UPW releases are numerous and this release doesn't disappoint, starting off with a visit to Piper's Pit as "The Rowdy One" squares off with the Hardcore Kidd about promos. Then take a behind the scenes look at UPW's training facility, Ultimate University and go out on the town to a local bar with The Miz. Fans of The Nitro Girls will love a look at the UPW Powerbomb Dancers which leads into another Pierce promo and Joanie Laurer's performance. Rounding up this release are two bonus matches; first, Konnan and Psychosis take on the up and coming team of Pit Bull Reyes and Puma, but the best and hardest hitting match is between Frankie Kazarian and Mikey Henderson. These two wrestlers take some of the hardest bumps this reviewer has ever seen! That includes the top rope Lesner/Big Show superplex!

So if WWE and TNA just aren't your cup of tea, do yourself a favor and check out the stars out west at Ultimate Pro Wrestling.



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