365 Wrestling, Day 38: Ben Carter vs. B-Boy (ACTION Wrestling, 2/7/20)

365 Wrestling, Day 38: Ben Carter vs. B-Boy (ACTION Wrestling, 2/7/20)

365 match reviews, one for each date on the yearly calendar? Challenge accepted. Welcome to 365 Wrestling.

Pro wrestling is just another storytelling medium. Like any established art form, you see the same themes play out, in different variations. One of my favorites is the young rising star facing the wily veteran, and we’ve got a fine example of that here: Ben Carter against B-Boy from ACTION Wrestling’s February 7, 2020 event.

You can check out the entire catalog of ACTION events, over at IWTV. However, you can watch this match for free on Youtube:

The Match

You may know Carter as Nathan Frazer, the name he adopted after joining WWE and NXT UK.

Before any of that happened, this import from the United Kingdom was turning heads on the independent circuit in the United States, including this quasi-galaxy of Southeastern promotions — which includes ACTION, Southern Underground Pro, TWE and the Scenic City Invitational — that shares the same booking continuity.

Carter set up this match with a brief challenge:

B-Boy, meanwhile, has been a fixture for the highly influential Pro Wrestling Guerrilla promotion in southern California since PWG began. He made a few prior appearances in the ACTION sphere previously, but you also might recognize him from Seasons 1 and 2 of Lucha Underground as Bael.

The Match

What begins with a handshake of respect quickly devolves into violence, in a good way. An early taunt by Carter, though it responds to one of B-Boy’s own, upsets the veteran and triggers a nasty forearm that Carter sells like a knockout blow. That’s just the start of what’s to come.

B-Boy chains a La Magistral into an ankle submission, then starts flinging his foe around the ring. The most stirring is either a death valley driver into the corner or a flat faceplant by Carter when he’s chucked to the floor. B-Boy’s vaunted strikes also do damage, and Carter sells the punches — which are delivered sparingly — like possible knockout blows. B-Boy’s more the grizzled veteran than the outright villain but he heels it up in one of my favorite moments: positioning Carter in a chair out on the floor, doing a full lap around the ring to gain momentum and … poking Carter in the eye.

Carter plays the young upstart who takes a beating but keeps coming back time and time again. If you’re a longtime wrestling fan like me you’ve seen this story told countless times, but here it works well because Carter does an excellent job fighting from underneath regardless of what B-Boy does to him. At one point, the New Age Punisher screams for Carter to stay down. Carter does not, and that brief snapshot encapsulates this entire story.

Early on, Dylan Hales mentions Carter’s pace advantage and Carter makes use of pace in his comeback. Carter hits that next gear very quickly, unleashing bursts of explosive offense in an attempt to narrow the gap and overwhelm B-Boy.

The action builds to a compelling and believable series of false finishes. We see powerslams. Tiger Drivers. A Canadian Destroyer. A midair cutter. A DDT on the floor. A brainbuster. After all that, Carter’s pin comes out of nowhere but after all that’s happened, it satisfies. The action is something that would be standard business in a PWG ring, but in this environment — a rec center in a small Georgia town on the periphery of Atlanta — it stands out, and it’s outstanding.

This match intended to propel Carter into a major push but this was ACTION’s last event before the pandemic. By the time shows resumed, Carter had signed with WWE.

Final Rating: 7.8

This is an excellent match and, according to ACTION CEO Matt Griffin, one of the best matches in ACTION history — although I think the IWTV Title Match from Southeast First surpasses it. It’s definitely worth seeking out and watching. Even if you’re seeing both wrestlers for the first time, the story is easy to grasp, well-told, and executed with barely a hitch.

Up Next

A snob turned wrestling champion and a zombie funeral director walk into Penn Station. Hijinks ensue.

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Southeast First Preview

Southeast First Preview

Matt Griffin thinks that independent wrestlers in the Southeast get overlooked on the national scene.

He hopes that Southeast First changes that.

A collaborative effort featuring eight different promotions in the region, Southeast First emanates Friday, January 21, from the Roger Spencer Community Center in Tyrone, GA. Bell time is 7:30 p.m., and general admission tickets remain on sale. The event also will be streamed live on IWTV.

The rec center in Tyrone is the home venue for ACTION Wrestling, but several other companies are involved:

Southern Honor Wrestling, based in Atlanta
PWX Wrestling, based in Charlotte
New South Wrestling, based in Alabama
TWE, based in Chattanooga
Southern Underground Pro, based in Nashville
Scenic City Invitational, based in Chattanooga

“The south does not get the respect it deserves,” said Griffin, a former independent wrestler himself and the promoter of ACTION. “We want to try to bring the Southeast to a better level of prominence and have some of these wrestlers who haven’t been seen outside the Southeast get seen. Sometimes, the only things you can find of somebody are a single-cam shoot on YouTube. There’s still a lot of great wrestlers here who don’t get the credit that some in the Northeast and Midwest do.”

Perhaps ACTION’s top talent is featured in the main event, as AC Mack challenges Alex Shelley for the IWTV World Title. You probably know about Shelley and his accolades and exploits. Mack has held the ACTION, SUP Bonestorm and SHW Titles. He also won last year’s Scenic City Invitational tournament. Griffin described the Mack-Shelley bout as “the biggest match I could possibly think that we could put on.”

Other matches include:

Owen Knight defends the SHW Title against Kyle Matthews

Jon Davis defends the PWX Title against Drew Adler

Rolando Perez defends the New South Title against Brandon Williams, Donnie Janela & Chris Crunk in an Elimination Match

Merc defends the TWE Title against Damyan Tangra

Violence Is Forever (Kevin Ku & Dominic Garrini) take on current ACTION Champion Arik Royal & Jaden Newman

Adam Priest vs. Anthony Henry

Landon Hale vs. Eli Knight

Bojack, BK Westbrook & Diego Hill vs. Ashton Starr, Bobby Flaco & Brogan Finlay

It’s not hyperbole to label this as the most significant event in ACTION’s three-year history.

“It’s been a long term goal for me to book wrestling that matters,” Griffin said. “If you draw 500 people it’s great, but if no one outside the building sees your show, what does it matter? This is 2022 now.”

Be sure to check this site on the night of the show, as we’ll be reviewing one of the matches from this event for Day 21 of our 365 Wrestling project!

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