Zelo Pro: Respect match, women’s main event shine
By Mike Pankow
May 3, 2019
With a brutal brawl and a women’s main event, Zelo Pro provided a two-hour adrenaline rush at Joe’s on Weed St. on Sunday afternoon.
Simon Grimm, formerly known in WWE and NXT as Simon Gotch, and Chicago native Pat Monix engaged in a knock-down, drag-out fight that went all over the Clubhouse room at Joe’s with the crowd of several hundred fans getting closer to the action than they ever imagined. The “I Respect You” match in the semi-main-event slot arguably was the highlight of the show and concluded a rivalry in Zelo that built over a year. The winner of the match would be determined when his opponent uttered the words “I respect you” into a microphone.
The wrestlers used steel chairs on one another, getting thrown into steel chairs and having chairs thrown into them. Monix used a t-shirt as a prop as he tried to “water torture” Grimm. Grimm tied Monix to the ropes with duct tape and tried to smother him with a plastic bag straight out of Ric Flair-Terry Funk from 1989. The fight even went into the upper level of the bar with Grimm threatening to toss Monix onto the floor from a flight of stairs. With all of the craziness, neither man would cede to the other, usually using crass language to further fuel the fire.
After the brawl finally returned into the ring, Grimm wedged Monix’s head in a chair and was ready to jab the chair into Monix’s neck and head. Grimm pulled up short on the chairshot and took the mic, telling Monix, “After a year of this, I thought you were going to say it. … I respect you, man.” Moments later Grimm said, “But I still don’t like you” and kicked Monix in the head. It was certainly a bit of an unexpected twist and ending to the rivalry.
Chicago’s Kylie Rae defended her Zelo Pro Women’s Championship against Britt Baker in the final match of the afternoon. After about 15 minutes of hard-hitting and submission moves, Baker scored the victory with a small package to provide some conclusion to a rivalry that began at Warrior Wrestling 4 in March when they fought to a no contest after Jessicka Havok ran in.
Both Kylie Rae and Baker are headed for All Elite Wrestling later this month. Baker now is the reigning champion, so she likely will defend the title at a future Zelo show, but it seemed like Kylie Rae’s farewell independent show in Chicago.
She grabbed the mic and addressed the crowd for about a minute, talking about how she quit before eventually getting her break. Kylie Rae, who was part of Zelo Pro’s first show in the summer of 2017, was extremely emotional, even uttering a curse word before apologizing to her parents. “I wouldn’t have done this without every one of you,” she told the crowd.
Promoter Matt Bacaling’s crew put on an exciting, satisfying show from top to bottom.
In the opening match, The Blackheart Battalion of Brubaker and Jason Hades (with the injured Storm Grayson in a sling at ringside) defeated CJ Esparza and Brett Gakiya, known as Zero Gravity. Brubaker hit a fisherman buster on Gakiya to score the pin.
Next up, the bubbly Laynie Luck defeated the dark and mysterious Elayna Black in a competitive bout. At one point, Black (who touts on her Twitter that she’s half goddess, half hell) appeared to jam a tarot card in Luck’s mouth. Luck scored the pinfall with a German suplex.
In the following bout, veteran Chicago luchador Gringo Loco faced the debuting “Bulletproof” Ben McCoy. Loco has wrestled for several local promotions, including AAW, Freelance, Warrior Wrestling and Galli Lucha Libre, and is fan favorite. McCoy, a native of Kenosha, Wis., is an army veteran who earned a Purple Heart after serving in Afghanistan. McCoy played heel in this match and pulled out the pinfall victory by holding Loco’s tights for leverage.
In the final match before the two show-stealers, Isaias Velazquez and Mason Conrad defeated Bryce Benjamin and GPA in a tag team affair. GPA, who portrays a snotty, brainy character in mold of former WWE Superstar Christopher Nowinski, took the mic before the match and said he wanted to discuss something very important with the crowd, “the ending to Avengers: Endgame.” Conrad jumped GPA before he could reveal the spoiler.
Benjamin and GPA controlled a good part of the match with traditional heel tag team tactics before the faces made a rally. Conrad finished off the match after hitting GPA with a cradle piledriver.
Zelo Pro’s future includes five one-hour special shows as part of the Windy City ThunderBolts’ White Castle Wrestling Thursday following the independent baseball team’s games. The first show is slated for June 20 after the ThunderBolts’ contest against Southern Illinois. Zelo Pro is advertising former WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJP and Swoggle (aka Hornswoggle) for future events.
For over 100 photos from this event, plus hundreds from other events Windy City Slam has covered, go to https://www.windycityslam.com/photos.