Attended in person, approximate seat is lower box, back row. Basically as far back as I can get so I have better peripheral vision. Also partway through the opening event, I moved another section to the left because I had a drunk asshole heckler in front of me.
First we begin being greeted by APW ring announcer AJ Kirsch. Mic problems are intermittent and will be throughout the rest of the night, Kirsch handles it well. Also it's hard to make out the names because of reverb/echo. Kirsch invites out the ring announcer from the NWA territory days Alan Bolte, who also gives a little talk of his own before inviting Pat Patterson, who won the local US Heavyweight Championship five times, as well as 11 local world tag titles.
On a side note, the attendance looks to be around I'd say 3-4 thousand, a VERY far cry from when Roy Shire would pack this place to capacity every show 40 years ago.
So Bolte turns the mic back over to Kirsch, who announces our first bout of the evening.
30-man SF Rules Battle Royale
We start off with two competitors, and there wasn't more than five guys in the ring at once. In homage to Roy Shire's territory (who did a battle royale in this very house as their premiere show), eliminations are over the top rope touching the floor, by pin, or by submission. X-Pac made an appearance, knocked a few guys out and got a bronco buster high spot in. Was never a lull or slow moment, which is what you want from something like this. Jacob Fatu wins by pinning Willie Mack
Candice LeRae vs Rachael Ellering vs Shotzi
This felt like an "intermission match," maybe it was the women or the book telling them to take it easy. I'm inclined to give the wrestlers the benefit of the doubt and go with them being told to keep it light. This honestly should have been the opening match, given that there really wasn't much notable that went on. Shotzi wins by pinning Ellering
APW Tag Team Championship match, three-on-two handicap tag match
Lion Power (Will Hobbs & Marcus Lewis) vs The Classic Connection (C) (Levi Shapiro & Buddy Royal) & Brian Zane
Wow, this is quite reminiscent of an old Midnight Express match, where the babyfaces get the manager in the ring to keep an eye on him. Great build with Classic just working over the babyface, until a hot tag. Victory comes when Shapiro takes Lewis to the corner so Zane can gimmick him in the face, but Lewis ducks, Shapiro gets sprayed, Zane somehow gets tagged in and soon receives a 450 splash. Lion Power wins by pin (Lewis pinning Zane), new APW Tag Team Champions.
APW Premier Women's Championship:
Ruby Raze vs Shayna Baszler (C)
Decent match, brawler Ruby Raze roughs up Shayna, then a comeback, teasing a sleeper (How about that?) a few times. Near the end Raze, who uses a gimmick reminiscent of Freddy Kruger (but about 100 lb heavier and female) slips on her claw glove, the referee catches it at the last minute and slips it away. Raze starts screaming at the referee, giving Baszler time to lock in a sleeper in the middle of the ring, Raze taps out. Baszler wins by submission.
San Francisco Deathmatch: Jeckles the Jester vs JR Kratos, with Kevin Sullivan as ringside enforcer.
Ugh, hardcore BS. Trying to give as fair a shake as I can, I guess it did alright. Jeckles brings out a table, of which I missed the spot because I was blocked by everyone in front of me standing and the barricade, same for Sullivan's involvement. Thumbtacks come out, absolutely disgusting. Eventually Kratos delivers a piledriver onto the tacks and gets the win. Kratos wins by pin.
Alan Bolte comes back to welcome us, brings back Pat Patterson who talks up the venue and his time here (of course, not mentioning that he was a dirty, rotten heel for almost his whole run). Gets interrupted by Ric Flair-wannabe Dylan Drake who puts him and the fans down, but Patterson puts him in his place with a low blow. Eventually Kirsch is brought back and we're back to wrestling.
APW Worldwide Internet Championship:
"BFD" Karl Fredericks vs Will Cuevas (C)
Pretty good, balanced match that didn't try to spotfest and had a decent build to the finish. Fredericks wins by pin, new APW Worldwide Internet champion.
Post-match - there's a stare-down and words exchanged, but then the two shake hands and depart the ring with respect for one another.
APW Universal Heavyweight Championship:
Brian Cage vs Jeff Cobb vs John Morrison vs Luster The Legend (C)
Most of these guys were technical/brawling big men, obviously except Morrison. Good spots all around, false finishes, broken up pins, and kept constant action throughout the length. Very good semi-main event. Jeff Cobb wins by pinning Cage, new APW Universal Heavyweight Champion.
Cage Match: Joey Ryan vs Cody Rhodes.
Ugh, fuck Joey Ryan. True to form, he got his stupid little dick spot in, at least he didn't flash us all. Decent build with a near-escape broken by a Cody Rhodes electric chair. Some interference as two masked people stop a Rhodes escape, and throw a chair in. One comes back, revealing to be Candice LeRae, who then grabs Rhodes by his junk for a suplex. Brandi Rhodes comes in, and nearly gives a Dream Street to LeRae, only to be superkicked by Ryan. LeRae sets up Cody for one, but he ducks and LeRae gets KO'ed. Joey tries for one last escape, but Cody stops him for a superplex off the top. Rhodes finally wins by escape.
Grade: C, would have been a B+ or A- with anyone but Joey Ryan. Did I mention fuck Joey Ryan?
AJ Kirsch thanks everyone for coming, mentioning APW's upcoming shows, and that there will be another Cow Palace show in September.
Overall show grade: B