Outside the Ropes: ARWPRO, Saturday March 10, 2018


ARWPRO held a show at American Legion Post 100 in Lake Station, Indiana on Saturday March 10, 2018 at 7:00pm.

Please forgive any errors and lapses in memory, as I’m writing this five days after the show.  My schedule right after the show ended at about 9:30pm Saturday was to go home, get to sleep by 11pm, wake up at 4:15am (and note that clocks changed overnight, so I lost an hour of sleep!  … I know, poor me), and head for the airport for a three day work trip.

Because March 10 was as close as we’d get to St. Patrick’s Day at ARWPRO, ring announcer Greg Hansen took the opportunity to let his Irish loose for a while while King Bishop trailed along hoping get a few of the candies that Greg was handing out.

The show opened with Jack Moody taking on X-Calibur for X-Calibur’s Indiana State Championship.  My advice for Jack Moody is to stop pointing that thing at the audience!  I seem to get pictures quite often of X-Calibur being upside down, and tonight is no different.  Above right you can see him in the middle of a standing moonsault.  This put away Moody and X-Calibur retained his title.

Next we had a few minutes of “King Bishop‘s Corner”,  during which he followed up events from a previous show, where Heavyweight Champ Max Holiday defeated Ivan Manson in a title match, and there seemed to be a bit of respect shown between the two afterwards.  Max Holiday came out with his manager Rat J. Flywheel, and Ivan Manson came out with Family patriarch Charlie Junior.  The discussion turned to some barking against Chazz Moretti and how he had pulled the current tag champs Aggravated Assault away from Rat’s group the Scumbag Army.  The tag champs came out, and the end result of it all was that tonight’s main event would be Max Holiday and Ivan Manson teaming against Aggravated Assault for the tag titles; but, if Max gets pinned, whichever member of Aggravated Assault pinned him would get his Heavyweight Championship, and if Ivan Manson got pinned, he would have to give up his membership in the Family.

Just as we thought KB’s Corner was winding dowm, someone else’s music started, and IMG_20180310_193941-01.jpgout came … Flawless Dave Allen!  KB noted that Allen was not under contract to ARWPRO, and what the heck did he want?  Allen talked about how he was one of the originals of ARW, and it was time to come back and make his mark.  King Bishop offered a match between Allen and Johnny Showtime (of the Picture Show), and if Allen won, he would get a new contract with ARWPRO.

And, Dave Allen did win, so we can expect to see him around a lot more!

Charlie Junior came back out with Rancid Joey Rak and Old School Manson in tow, as the Family was about to take on The Mexecutioners; however, apparently Charlie has the IMG_20180310_200325-01.jpegpower to change the terms of a match on the spot, since he announced it would now be a 3 on 2 match because “The Masked Prospect” needed to audition for membership in the Family.  The picture to the right shows the usual story, where OSM is distracting the ref so that Charlie can get in his licks.  But as familiar as that is, you can also guess how this turned out: the Mexecutioners pinned The Masked Prospect.  Charlie, Rak, and OSM were not impressed, and left ol’ Maskie behind after the match.


During intermission, the ring tried to eat a few people, and here you can see one brave soul trying to rescue two people who had already been pulled under. (There was ring repair going on, and it was funny to watch one person crawl under the ring and disappear, then a second, then almost a third.)

The opening match of the second half of the show had The Derby Doll Lane Rosario (with Chazz Moretti) trying to unseat Moxie Mollie as the ARWPRO Women’s Champion.  The picture above shows the Derby Doll waiting to pounce on Moxie Mollie.  However, Moxie retained her title after getting the Derby Doll to tap to an STF-looking thing.

The Dark Horse Nick Cutler and Gregory Glover came out and promised each other good sportsmanship and a nice clean match. (You know how well that’s going to go, right?)  IMG_20180310_210956-01.jpgThere was a lot of banter, stalling, and chants of “Hairy Idiot” directed at Cutler.  Once things finally broke down as predicted, Cutler got himself disqualified with a low blow to Glover.  Then Cutler left the ring to grab the ring bell, and returned to set up a blow to Glover.  Before he got his chance, some familiar music hit and out came the second surprise of the night.  I could hear ol’ JR yelling, “Bah gawd, it’s Drex Odell!”  Drex appeared like he was going to urge on Cutler in attacking Glover, but instead he clobbered Cutler, then went over to assist Glover. It looks like 2018 will be an interesting year for ARWPRO!

The main event had, as advertised earlier, Max Holiday and Ivan Manson against Aggravated Assault in a match that came with a flowchart full of stipulations. IMG_20180310_212541-01.jpeg This picture shows how things went to start, with Aggravated Assault sending the ref over to check on Manson while they teamed up on Max Holiday.  Chazz Moretti is surely standing by saying, “Gentlemen, tsk tsk, this is not good sportsmanship.”

At the end of the cheating and melees, Ivan Manson was pinned – and so due to the stipluations, he must give up his membership in the Family.  And as the Family likes to do, they grieved the loss of one of its members by beating the crap out of him.

The next ARWPRO event is on Saturday March 14, 2018, at Morton High School in Hammond, IN.


If you’re desperate for something to do, check out the Northwest Indiana Wrestling Action Program (NWIWRAP) broadcast Sundays at 9:15pm, right after Mostly Metal, which runs Sundays from 8:00-9:15pm CST, on WVLP 103.1FM in Valparaiso, IN.  If you’re not in Valpo, catch it streaming on http://www.wvlp.org and the Tune In Radio app.  Rebroadcasts happen Wednesdays 10pm – midnight, and NWIWRAP is archived on YouTube, just search for NWIWRAP.  You can find @nwiwrap on Twitter.  And you can subscribe to the nwiwrap.wvlp@gmail.com Google calendar, where I try to keep up to date calendar postings of shows in and around the NWI region.  Because WRESTLING! 



Outside the Ropes: ACW March Meltdown, Fri Mar 09 at 7:00pm


ACME Championship Wrestling held March Meltdown at 7:00pm Friday March 09, 2018 at the Demotte Boxing Club in Demotte, IN.  First, I have to say that the name of the card was a lie, since I got home afterwards and there was still snow on the lawn in between my house and my neighbor’s.

I think the third time will be the charm in terms of my finding the driveway for the Boxing Club in the dark.  The approach is tricky if you haven’t been there before. On my first trip there last month, I simply went right past the turn into the place off of Rt 10.  (And spots to turn around are few and far between on Rt 10, apparently.) Last night, I was alert, my phone told me “your destination is on the right”, and so when I saw the driveway in the dark, I hit the brakes and turned in.  Unfortunately it was the driveway to someone’s house. Sorry, folks. The drive I wanted was the next one, which I saw had a red serial killer van on the roadside with a large sign proclaiming Pro Wrestling Tonight. Next time, I’m going to nail it on the first try!

This was one of the best ACW shows I’ve seen in terms of overall match quality.  The lights were bright and colorful, the sound was clear, and the ropes were tight.  It was a good night for wrestling!

The first match had Crimson Dynamo trying to regain the Tough Man Title from The Luxurious One, Cliff Caviar.  Caviar came out by himself, with his silver spoon, and spoke to the crowd (well, insulted the crowd and his opponent).  He looks so lonely without his usual valet TK Zero on hand, below left. The Tough Man Title comes with no DQ rules and eventually Caviar tried to get a chair involved, but smacked the ringpost rather than Dynamo.  The match ended when TZ Zero eventually came out, interfered, and Caviar was able to hit Dynamo with a chain during the distraction. So Cliff Caviar remains the ACW Tough Man Champion. I’m sure we will not hear the end of it on-line.  

In the second match, Rockstar Jonny Nigh took on Joe Jitsu, who might now be called Jujitso Joe, who knows.  At one point in the match, Rockstar pulled Joe’s mask off – only to reveal a second mask underneath! Joe also knows jujitso of the mind.  Rockstar eventually won the match, and afterwards told the crowd this was only the first step in his new strategy, and we’d see the second step soon.  Hmmmm.

TZ Zero returned to the ring next, for his own match against Arun.  Before concentrating on Arun, TK Zero made sure to argue with people in the front row.  Arun got in some good offense, but TZ Zero controlled most of the match and got the win.  You know, TZ Zero supports Cliff Caviar, but Caviar is nowhere to be seen during TK’s matches.  This is a one sided relationship, and I hope TK Zero thinks about that.

The last match before intermission had Billy the Kid against Dave Allen.  It went back and forth for a while, but Allen got the upper hand and started punishing Billy the Kid with several kicks to the face in the corner (such as the one pictured) and other blows.  Ultimately, the ref stopped the match as Billy was unable to continue. Allen tried to get in a few more blows anyway, but refs got Billy out of the ring. I think the ACW crew needs some proper first aid training, though, for how to get an injured person away from the scene without making things worse!

After intermission, X-Calibur and Jared Kripke took on Austin Fury and Xavier Black in a tag team match with Lucha Libre rules, which Fury and Black won.  After the match, General Manager Michael Allen told the crowd and the guys in the ring that at the next show on April 13, there would be a Fatal Four Way match for Xavier Black’s Intercontinental championship between these four individuals.  Not one to let teamwork get in the way of making a statement, Black attacked Fury from behind and left him laying in the ring.

Next, Kujo took on Bradley Alexander Dawson, who practiced his stroke a couple of times before the match.  In wrestling history, there have been contests marked by the skillful targeting of a body part of one wrestler (such as an arm or leg) by the other.  In this match, Kujo strategically targeted BAD’s nose for exceptional punishment. He slammed BAD’s face into the mat several times, punched it, hit turnbuckles with it, and overall delivered targeted punishment to the schnozz.  This clearly led to Kujo’s victory.

In the main event, Drex Odell successfully defended his ACW Heavyweight Championship (again) from ACW newcomer Superbad Santana Starks.  Starks is well known in other NW Indiana wrestling circles, but I think this was his first appearance at ACW. At one point, Odell missed a moonsault (pictured), but Starks was unable to capitalize.  Later, Odell finished off Starks with a clothesline.

ACW’s next event will be Hebron Havoc 3, at Hebron Middle School, Friday, April 13 at 7:00pm. 


If you’re desperate for something to do, check out the Northwest Indiana Wrestling Action Program (NWIWRAP) broadcast Sundays at 9:15pm, right after Mostly Metal, which runs Sundays from 8:00-9:15pm CST, on WVLP 103.1FM in Valparaiso, IN.  If you’re not in Valpo, catch it streaming on http://www.wvlp.org and the Tune In Radio app.  Rebroadcasts happen Wednesdays 10pm – midnight, and NWIWRAP is archived on YouTube, just search for NWIWRAP.  You can find @nwiwrap on Twitter.  And you can subscribe to the nwiwrap.wvlp@gmail.com Google calendar, where I try to keep up to date calendar postings of shows in and around the NWI region.  Because WRESTLING! 


Outside the Ropes: ACW St. Valentine’s Day Bash, Fri Feb 16, 2018


ACME Championship Wrestling (ACW) held St. Valentine’s Day Bash at 7:00pm on Friday February 16, 2018, at the DeMotte Boxing Club in DeMotte, IN.

This show was rescheduled from the previous Friday Feb 09 because the weather had pulled a heel turn and blindsided the region with repeated heapings of snow, one on top of the other.  My 40 minute drive to DeMotte was much more pleasant for the new night!  The DeMotte Boxing Club is what you’d call an “intimate venue” for a wrestling show, with seats around all sides of the ring in very close proximity.  The action was up close and personal.

The first match was Kujo vs. Intercontinental Champion Xavier Black.  Kujo gave Black a lot of taunting, but Black is the strong silent type and let his actions speak.  He must like to talk with his feet, because you can see Black’s foot is saying hi to Kujo’s midsection, and later on his head.  Black eventually won with shenanigans, a roll up with a pull of the tights.

Before the next match started, we were introduced to the debut edition of the Caviar IMG_20180216_191944.jpgCasino!  Cliff Caviar and his lackey TK Zero came out with two stools, personalized pillows, and a small rug to set up the ring.  Caviar began by introducing his guest – his Tough Man Championship Belt!  Soon, Crimson Dynamo (who used to hold the belt and must think it is due more respect than this)  came out and attacked.  A brawl ensued, and GM Michael Allen proclaimed the start of a 6-man tag match featuring Cliff Caviar, TK Zero, and Dave Allen vs. Crimson Dynamo, Billy the Kid, and Arun (?).  This match had a couple of nice sequences where each person got to come in and hit a move of some sort, before getting clobbered by the next guy.  (Below left, Caviar drops a luxurious elbow on Arun while TK Zero does his best Bigfoot impression.  Aaarrrrrr!  Below right, TK Zero attacks!)

Next up, Mr. 3% Jon Hudson made his ACW debut by taking on Bradley Alexander Dawson, B.A.D. Dawson spent a lot of time hiding, I mean, strategically placing himself outside the ring.  He did get in a bit of offence, as you can see (below left), but he was only able to delay the inevitable for a short time, and Dawson was eventually was pinned by Hudson.

After intermission, Thomas Keith took on Rockstar Jonny Nigh.  In the picture above / right, Nigh is the one who’s sideways.  Rockstar got the win with his sit-out Pedigree type thing that I don’t know the name of!

Match number five was a triple threat match between Jared Kripke, Austin Fury, and X-calibur for the spot of Number One Contender to the IC Title held by Xavier Black.  I believe the pre-match planning went something like this: “Oh, you thought the ladder match between Rick Raid and Nacho Del Silver had painful looking spots?  Hold our beers!”  There was some serious smacking, bumping, and flying going on in this match.  Even Fury had to stop for a breather: below, left.  While Fury was out of the way, Kripke and X-calibur kept going at it.  Below, right, Kripke is about to land on X-calibur.

The “ouch!” moment of the night came when Kripke went for a suicide dive between the ropes out onto Fury and X-calibur, while both simply stepped aside.  Kripke made quite a loud THUNK on the hard floor.  My viewing partner, Ref Extraordinaire Jeremy Tillema, and I could not see the landing from the opposite side of the ring, but we definitely heard it.  (I also heard in my mind Mauro Ranallo calling, “What a tope suicida, mama mia!!”) There were also other dives to the outside, and a triple powerbomb.  Later on, Kripke wrote,


Yeah, no kidding!

The match ended with a pull apart brawl involving wrestlers from backstage.  Credit to Jeremy Tillema (see, that’s why he’s a ref, because he pays more attention to the details!) who helped me remember that the outcome of this is a four-way match with these three and Xavier Black at the next ACW show.  I am not sure what Xavier Black thinks of this development.

And the main event of the evening featured World Champ Drex O’Dell vs. challenger Johnny Motley.  O’Dell overcame not only Motley but the vicious taunts of “marshmallow!” from kids in the audience to retain his title.  Who is left to unseat O’Dell???


The next ACW show will be Friday March 09, 2018 at (probably?) 7:00pm at the DeMotte Boxing Club.


If you’re desperate for something to do, check out the Northwest Indiana Wrestling Action Program (NWIWRAP) broadcast Sundays at 9:15pm, right after Mostly Metal, which runs Sundays from 8:00-9:15pm CST, on WVLP 103.1FM in Valparaiso, IN.  If you’re not in Valpo, catch it streaming on http://www.wvlp.org and the Tune In Radio app.  Rebroadcasts happen Wednesdays 10pm – midnight, and NWIWRAP is archived on YouTube, just search for NWIWRAP.  You can find @nwiwrap on Twitter.  And you can subscribe to the nwiwrap.wvlp@gmail.com Google calendar, where I try to keep up to date calendar postings of shows in and around the NWI region.  Because WRESTLING! 



Outside the Ropes: Backbreaker Wrestling – Winner Takes All, Sat Feb 03, 2018


Backbreaker Wrestling held Winner Takes All in Griffith, Indiana at 6:00pm on Saturday February 03, 2018.

This was the second card in the young promotion’s life, and we saw the introduction of the Backbreaker Tag Team Championship belts.  The venue, Hildelbrant Hall of St. Mary’s Catholic church of Griffith, IN is a spacious room with lots of seating space and air space.  (Cheap plug alert!  You can catch Episode 41 of NWIWRAP on which owner Shaun Spinks talks about Backbreaker Wrestling and the venue.)

The show started with Top Gunns bringing Old Glory to the ring for the national anthem.  After that was over, the Masters came to the mic to talk smack to Top Gunns.  The mic is stationed on a stage at one end of the room, and so is positioned behind a fourth of the seating area; you can see heads turning backwards in the picture below.  Top Gunns are eager to get things started, but the Masters are in no hurry and will wait for later in the show.  As the Masters walk towards the ring before bailing, one of them is carrying a Starbucks cup to establish his classiness.  Suddenly, I felt dirty for having my own Starbucks cup, because I was still enjoying my iced coffee I grabbed for the drive from Valpo to Griffith.  Dang.


The first match has Trog the Caveman vs Louis Rojas.  Trog’s entrance music is a bit more poppy than I’d associate with a Caveman; I would have expected something a bit more primal and drum heavy – but you do you, Trog.  Louis Rojas tries to communicate early on, asking if Trog speaks English or Spanish, but only gets a grunt in return.  Then he tosses Trog’s leg bone outside the ring to see if he’ll play fetch, but again, no luck.  Say, where do Cavemen go to get their tattoos, anyway?  Eventually the prehistoric powers of Trog overwhelmed Louis Rojas; Rojas tried a splash and missed, and Trog rolled him up.   Yabba dabba doo!


The second match has the Bromantics (Dave Allen and Xavier Black) vs The Crimson Dragons (Crimson Dynamo and Jared Kripke).  The ring ropes are pretty saggy, bro. The Bromantics are in control most of the match, bro.  But when the Crimson Dragons start getting some momentum (the picture below / left shows Kripke dropping an elbow on Allen),  the Bromantics head for the locker room and get counted out.  I guess they didn’t … Bro-lieve!


Match three has the fabulous TK Zero taking on the Universal Bomber.  Actually, he’s taking on both Universal Bombers, since there are some serious ref distraction / double team efforts going on there.  The Universal Bombers even pull the ol’ switcheroo as the one not involved in the match switches places with the one in the match while the ref’s back is turned.  Come on, Ref Oscar Rios, you can do better than that!  After that switcheroo, the fresh Bomber gets the pin on TK Zero.  I’m not sure what’s going on in the picture I have from this match (above, right), but hey, it’s the one picture I have of this match!

After intermission, the fourth match is Johnny Motley against Dick Davis.  I know I’m supposed to hate Davis, but the dude uses Jefferson Starship’s Jane as his entrance music, so he can’t be all bad.  It turns out that Davis’s sidekick Kevin Graves is at ringside with his new Pepe Le Pew hair coloring, and Kevin wants to take on most of the audience while Davis takes on Motley in the ring.  Davis uses lots of dirty tricks on Motley (such as the eye gouge shown below / left), but none of them give him the ultimate advantage, so he gets frustrated, shoves ref Oscar, and gets himself DQd.  (So Oscar will DQ Davis for just a little shove, but lets my main man TK Zero get railroaded by the Universal Bombers?!?!  What’s up with that!)


The second to last match brings out all 400 pounds of Wildman Beast to take on Hardcore Harry.  Sadly, yhis is not a “body hair vs body hair” match since Beast has none.  While Harry is IMG_20180203_194501-01.jpegcoming to the ring and the ref is checking Beast’s boots, Beast tricks Ref Zoran into checking the same boot twice, with the “check the boot on my right side, then let me spin around so you can check the boot on my left side … ha, you checked the same boot twice!” gag.  And believe it or not, this actually matters!  Because later in the match, Beast reaches into his unchecked left boot to pull out a taped spike (shades of Abdullah the Butcher or the Iron Sheik) and uses it to jab Harry’s throat.  The kids at ringside are going nuts yelling at Ref Zoran to “check his boot!”, but Zoran doesn’t listen to pesky kids.  In the pic to the left, Beast pauses for a snack before later dropping two backdrops onto Hardcore Harry … who is now Pancake Harry … Beast gets the pinfall before the ref has to peel Harry off the mat.

The final match of the night is for the brand new Backbreaker Wrestling Tag Team Championship, and one more time, out come Top Gunns and the Masters.   This was a back and forth match, marred only by the shenanigans of the Masters.  I mean, come on, you know what’s happening in the picture below and left.  The Top Gunns end up with the win and the new BBW Tag Team title belts.


The next Backbreaker show is On the Ropes: Saturday April 21, 2018 at 6:00pm, at Hildebrant Hall of St Mary of Griffith.


If you’re so inclined, check out the Northwest Indiana Wrestling Action Program (NWIWRAP) broadcast Sundays at 9:15pm, right after Mostly Metal, which runs Sundays from 8:00-9:15pm CST, on WVLP 103.1FM in Valparaiso, IN.  If you’re not in Valpo, catch it streaming on http://www.wvlp.org and the Tune In Radio app.  Rebroadcasts happen Wednesdays 10pm – midnight, and NWIWRAP is archived on YouTube, just search for NWIWRAP.  You can find @nwiwrap on Twitter.  And you can subscribe to the nwiwrap.wvlp@gmail.com Google calendar, where I try to keep up to date calendar postings of shows in and around the NWI region.  Because WRESTLING! 




Here is a year end wrap-up for our regional wrestling scene, courtesy of the Northwest Indiana Wrestling Action Program!  There are more than half a dozen promotions regularly and predictably running shows in and near the Northwest Indiana region (I’m considering the 4 most northwest counties as “in NW Indiana”, and anything to the east that’s near or above Rt 30 as “near NW Indiana”).  This is what I can remember or dig up (without too much effort!) about their current title holders and first shows coming up in 2018:

ACW: ACME Championship Wrestling

This promotion runs in conjunction with the DeMotte Boxing Club and often has fundraiser events at regional elementary and high schools.  Current champions are:

  • ACW Heavyweight Champion: Drex Odell
  • ACW Intercontinental Champion:  Xavier Black
  • ACW Tough Man Champion: Cliff Caviar

Their first event in 2018 will be on February 9th at the DeMotte Boxing Club.

ARWPRO: Adrenaline Ringside Wrestling

The “ARWPRO Arena” is the American Legion 100 in Lake Station, IN.  This promotion regularly runs shows there on the 2nd Saturday of each month, unless they are out doing a fundraiser or it is the holiday season.  Their current title holders are:

  • ARWPRO World Heavyweight Champion: Max Holiday
  • ARWPRO Women’s Champion: Moxie Mollie
  • ARWPRO Tag Team Champions: Aggravated Assault
  • ARWPRO Indiana State Champion: Xcaliber

Their first show of 2018 will be Saturday, January 13 at 7:00pm at the American Legion 100 in Lake Station, IN.

Backbreaker Wrestling

This is a new promotion running at the Saint Mary – Hildebrandt Hall in Griffith, IN.  Their first show was in October 2017, and the next one is Saturday February 3 at 6:00 pm CST: “Winner Take All”, featuring The Crimson Dragons (Crimson Dynamo and Jared Kripke), Trog the Caveman, The Bromantics (Xavier Black and Dave Allen), Scott Powers and The Universal Bomber, The Beast, TK Zero, Johnny Motley, and The Masters vs Top Gunns to become the first Backbreaker Tag Team Champions

BLP: Black Label Pro

This is a new promotion running at the On the Square Sports Academy in Crown Point, Indiana.  There have been 3 shows so far, containing a tournament to crown the first Black Label Pro Heavyweight Championship.  And so, at the end of 2017, we have:

  • BLP Heavyweight Champion:  Filthy Tom Lawler

The first show in 2018 will be Saturday January 13, at 7:00pm CST, at On the Square Sports Academy in Crown Point, IN:  “We’re Not The Mounties”, featuring Quebeccer Pierre vs All Ego Ethan Page, AJ Grey vs Sammy Guevara, and a Black Label Pro Rumble – the winner of which gets a title shot sometime in 2018.

EHF Wrestling

This relatively new promotion has been running strong in 2017 in southern Michigan and Northern Indiana, somtimes at the Century Center in South Bend, IN, and sometimes in Niles, MI.  Current champions are:

  • EHF Heavyweight Champion:  Sadon
  • EHF United States Champion: The Celtic Nightmare

Their first event in Indiana in 2018 is Saturday January 20 at 7:00pm EST at the Century Center: “New Year’s Revelations”.

FWF: Funkdafied Wrestling

This is starting to stretch the definition of “our area”, as this promotion frequently runs in Warsaw, IN.  However, many of the performers also perform for promotions in this area, and so are familiar to fans here.   Current champions are:

  • FWF Heavyweight Champion: Officer Rod Street
  • FWF Hardcore Champion:  Adam Bueller
  • FWF Cruiserweight Champion: Roger Lanier
  • FWF Tag Team Champions: Midwest Monsters

Their next show is Saturday June 20 at 7:00pm EST:  “New Year’s Funk 4”, at White Diamond Limousine Service, 2744 West Old Road 30, Warsaw, IN.  FWF Heavyweight Championship: Nick Cutler vs Rod Street (c), FWF Hardcore Championship Match: Fireball vs Adam Bueller (c), FWF Cruiserweight Title Match: Jacob Brawn vs Roger Lanier (c), FWF Tag Team Championship Match: The New School vs Midwest Monsters (c), Soul Shooters vs Anthony Toatele & Alexander S Kirk, Cletus Farmer vs Swat Member 145, Drax Obrien vs JC Bunyan, Maltese Tiger vs Steven Drochner.

PWK: Pro Wrestling King

This is probably the most active promotion in the area, running a lot of shows in the north and central Indiana region, such as in Bourbon, IN.  In the wrestling high season of summertime, these guys might be having shows every other week.  At the end of 2017, we have:

  • PWK Heavyweight Champion: Tank
  • PWK Tag Team Champions: Spirit of Detroit
  • PWK On-Line Champion: Adam Bueller

Their first show of 2018 will be Saturday, March 24 in South Bend, IN.

RCW: Revolution Championship Wrestling

Their home base is the South Bend / Mishawaka area, and most of their shows are at the Battell Center in Mishawaka, which is one of the best venues for smaller wrestling shows in this region (at least from the perspective of the audience, I have no idea what it’s like for the workers backstage!).  Current title holders are:

  • RCW Heavyweight Champion: Anthony Toatele
  • RCW Women’s Champion: Maria James
  • RCW United States Champion: Kevin Storm
  • RCW Tag Team Champions: Lumber and Lightning (JC Bunyan and Lightning Bolt Johnson)

Their first show is “Rise of the Revoluion” on Saturday March 10 at the Battell Center in Mishawaka, IN.  Announced matches so far: Nick Cutler vs. Sugar Dunkerton, Fatal Four Way w/ Justin Mane, Shane Mercer, Mojo McQueen, Owen Travers.

In MemoriamFire Pro Wrestling, which ran monthly at Impact Christian Church in Merrillville, IN, suspended operations towards the end of 2017.  Whether we’ll see it resurrected is uncertain, but you know, if any promotion has a chance of resurrection, you’d think it would be one that had its shows in a church!  Smashmouth Pro Wrestling, which ran shows at Inman’s Recreation Center in Valparaiso had an up and down 2017, with a couple of shows being cancelled.  A show in 2018 seems to be in the works, and NWIWRAP will bring you updates as they come around.

A Horrorible Year: 2017


I went on a horror movie bender in 2017.  The number of hours I’ve spent watching really bad movies this year is staggering.  But at least when a movie is bad, I can do something useful while it’s on – like checking Facebook, Reddit, or grading students’ work (oh wait, I shouldn’t have said that part).

Back in 2015, I decided to go through the entirety of the “classic” horror franchises and watch all of them, no matter how bad.  I even sat through Hellraiser: Revelations and Jason Goes to Hell.  In 2016, I didn’t watch many movies (that’s all relative, of course: I watched 118 in 2015 and only 57 in 2016 – lame!  I’m up to 143 here in 2017 with a couple of weeks left to go.  I don’t think I’ll make it to 150, but we’ll see).  Most of the movies I watched in 2016 were horror, but in no particular pattern.

In 2017, I got an itch to dive into another horror franchise and picked Final Destination.  And then I decided (apparently after some significant head injury that I don’t remember receiving, but there is no other explanation) to just go ahead and get through as many of the second rate horror franchises as I could stand.  And man, I could stand a lot.  I looked for sets of movies with at least 3 or 4 in the series, and that could include remakes, reboots, and so on.   For example, there are a bunch of Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies, but they don’t really line up as “sequels”, rather, they just form some sort of mobius strip of a timeline of reboots, reimaginings, and rehashings.

Anyway, here are the movie sets I’ve watched in their entirety this year:

  • Final Destination
  • Blair Witch
  • Wrong Turn
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  • Hayride (only 2 of them)
  • The Hills Have Eyes
  • Cube
  • I Spit on Your Grave
  • Prom Night
  • Pumpkinhead
  • Children of the Corn

I think that’s just a hair less than 50 movies altogether if you count them.

I’m also in the midst of some general themes, such as watching lots of old Wes Craven movies, and finding really awful found footage movies.   I have four Toxic Avenger movies still in my Netflix queue, but I have not been brave enough to seek out the Leprechaun films.

Here are some random thoughts from the experience this year:

  • The set that was the most fun overall was probably Final Destination.
  • The set that was the least fun was I Spit on Your Grave.  I should not be surprised by that.
  • The award for “yeah, they were bad, but it didn’t hurt as much as I thought” goes to Children of the Corn.  (The last one, CotC: Genesis is on the way to me right now, so I may change my mind about that one.)
  • Based on reviews and internet screeching I’d seen, I expected to hate Adam Wingard’s Blair Witch.  It turns out, I liked it.  A lot!  And, that movie improves the experience of the very first Blair Witch Project, too, based on what we learn.
  • The first Prom Night movie is excellent!  Jamie Lee Curtis was in 3 horror movies in the space of about a year when she burst on the scene:  Halloween, Prom Night, and Terror Train.  I listed them in order of how much I enjoyed them.
  • I just watched Pumpkinhead 4: Blood Feud last week.  I don’t know what to think about it.  It’s either one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, or a work of high level genius.  Take some Americana, a bit of Romeo and Juliet, and a monster, then mix it up, and you have this movie.  The movie centers around the feud (duh) between the Hatfields and McCoys – seriously, folks – who in this movie are alive in the early 21st century, I guess, but still living and talking like it’s 1870.   The Pumpkinhead monster gets involved with the feud and things get so hairy that the families call off their feud because of all the carnage.  But to get rid of the monster for good, the person who called it up has to die … will the McCoys sacrifice their own kin to help save the Hatfields?  I mean, if you strip the names Hatfield and McCoy out of it and just take a high level look at the “flowchart” of events between two feuding groups of people and what it takes to calm the feud, there’s actually a really interesting moral quandry hiding in there.  But on the other hand, we have the Hatfields, McCoys, and Pumpkinhead.   So I don’t know what the hell I just watched.
  • My favorite horror movies this year (whether part of a franchise or not, and whether released this year or not – I just need to have seen it for the first time this year) have been Split, Get Out, Train to Busan, The Girl With All the Gifts, It, Prom Night, and Blair Witch.

In 2018, I might ease up on movie watching and try to play some video games.  I’ve only finished about 6 hours of The Last of Us!



Outside the Ropes: ACW Winter Warfare 5; Dec 8, 2017


ACW held Winter Warfare 5 at Lincoln Elementary School in Roselawn, IN on Friday, December 8, 2017 at 7:00pm CST.

Because math is hard, this was the 4th anniversary show for ACW, since it would have been Winter Warfare 2 that made the 1st anniversary.  It’s like the argument about whether the new millennium started in 2000 or 2001.  Now, I’m typing this 6 days later, after an entire week of having a cold, so I am relying more then usual on the skimpy notes I tapped into my cell phone.  Any errors are the fault of T K Zero.

I do remember I considered not going to the show at all, because Cliff Caviar stressed on social media that he was vacationing on his yacht this weekend and would not be on the show.  If Cliff Caviar isn’t performing, is there a point to making the drive?  I dunno.

To start things off, some familiar faces from Fire Pro Wrestling come out to take their seats at a ringside table: announcers Jim and the masked guy.  They were never introduced to the audience at any FPW show I went to, and that trend continues here.  I almost wonder if I’m seeing ghosts, and no one else knows they are there.  But I’m pretty sure that’s not true, as I think it’s their voices on this video of the opening segment of the show.  Either that, or a couple of loud drunk guys in the front row got captured in the audio.  But since that video is there, now there’s no point with me continuing with a recap, so goodnight!

Nah, I’ll keep going.  I didn’t take all these high quality pictures for nothing.  General Manager Michael Allen comes out greet the crowd.  He is interrupted almost immediately by Drex Odell, who is out to complain (again) that he has defeated everyone in ACW and is out of competition.  Michael Allen grudgingly agrees with him, and says that’s why he’s brought in someone to take on Odell; Odell will meet Gideon for the ACW Heavyweight Championship later in the show.  Gideon comes out to give a sneak preview, which leaves Odell lying in the ring.

The opening match is Austin Fury against Rockstar Jonny Nigh.  The special guest referee is Mr. Shepherd, from Lincoln Elementary, I guess.  Fury and Nigh are each accompanied by teachers.  (The match does not devolve into a Lunchroom No DQ Falls Only Count in the Biscuits & Gravy Brawl, sadly.)  You can watch this video for the part of the match where Nigh makes Fury bounce like a beach ball off a DDT.  I’ll just say this once then leave it alone, but … man, those saggy ropes really seem to hinder things.   Rockstar Jonny Nigh wins.

The second match of the evening stars Crimson Dynamo.  He, like Drex Odell, does not have any competition lined up already for his Tough Man Title (this could be a short evening if too many people don’t have matches planned!) and he issues an open challenge.  The challenge is answered by …. Blue Dynamo?  He is in Dynamo gear that’s, you guessed it, blue.  And he’s really skinny.  (See picture.  He’s the one that’s getting handled.  IMG_20171208_193217-01.jpegAnd he’s masked.  Hey, wait a minute ….) Soon, T K Zero comes out to talk smack at Crimson Dynamo.  While he is distracting everyone, Blue Dynamo pulls out some brass knuckles, gives Crimson Dynamo a low blow, and gets the pin.   Then Blue Dynamo unmasks, and it’s Cliff Caviar!  Oh no!

Off the heels of his involvement in the previous match, T K Zero takes on Jared Kripke in the third match.  Kripke’s original opponent was supposed to be CK1, who was not on hand, and Kripke states (1) that his moustache does more curls than CK1, and (2) that he’ll take on anyone (another open challenge!).  That’s when T K Zero came out.  And man, do the kids here at Lincoln Elementary hate T K Zero!  (Pic 1 below shows him reminding the children at the rail to stay in school, eat their vegetables at lunch, and respect their teachers.) Kripke gets the win, after which Austin Fury comes out and attacks him (Pic 2).

The fourth match has Rick Raid taking on Macho Del Silver in a ladder match; an ACW contract is hanging above the ring – the first person to retrieve it gets the contract, the loser must leave ACW for good.  This match was simply amazing, with some big moves like a suplex up and over the top of the ladder, a tipped ladder where both workers ended up on the ropes, slams from the top, and so on.

Rick Raid ends up winning the match, signs the contract and slaps it into the chest of GM Michael Allen, then sings “Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye” to Del Silver.  (He’s got a pretty good voice, if this wrestling thing doesn’t work out, he has options!)  Macho Del Silver gives a farewell speech.  And hey look, it’s Mr. Moxie Mollie out to console him, he must be an old friend.

After the short break, the next match is Kyle Kaylor vs ACW Intercontinental Champion Xavier Black.  Black wins this, and then pulls a fast one on Kaylor by feigning the “I respect you now and will shake your hand” move before attacking him.  While Black is attacking Kaylor, a mystery man runs out from the back and pretends to buddy up to Black before he clobbers Black himself, then feeds Black over to Kaylor to get his licks in.  I don’t know who he was and his name was never announced.  But if you can identify him from this photo, please contact the authorities.  And no, Kyle Kaylor is not playing “I’ve got your nose” there, it just looks like it.


Next up, we have Flawless Dave Allen (without his branded Dave Allen shorts!) against X-caliber (Pic 1, below), who wins with (if I am learning my wrestling moves well) a Death Valley Driver.  Afterwards, Austin Fury runs out and attacks him, too!  Jeez, what’s up with this guy?

The second to last match is the one set up at the beginning of the show, Drex Odell vs. Gideon for the ACW Heavyweight Championship.  Pic 2 above shows Drex trying and missing a moonsault.  Between Gideon, Drex, and the ref, there were three large homo sapiens in the ring for this match.  Odell wins, rather suddenly, and keeps his title.  Someone has to step up!  I wonder what Kongo Kong is doing in 2018…  Please note that Austin Fury does NOT come out and attack either of these guys after the match.

In the main event of the evening, the Fighting Schoolteacher Jimmy Holmes takes on Bradley Alexander Dawson in a match coming out of the John Hendle Cancer Benefit Show.  This is a street fight!  Picture 1 below shows Holmes going into a piece of plywood. At one point, BAD leaves the ring to go backstage and runs back in with a weapon – Kyle Kaylor!  BAD slams Kaylor on top of Holmes, that’s funny.  But Kaylor cannot be called a foreign object, since he’s from Indiana.  (Hey, don’t look at me like that, you’re the one still reading this crap.) Soon, BAD KO’s the ref and exposes a turnbuckle, preparing to send Holmes’ head into it.  But Holmes has other ideas, and hits BAD with BAD’s own golf club.  While the original ref is still out of it, Super-Ref Zoran dives effortlessly into the ring (seriously, I’d give that dive / slide into the ring a 9.7) to count the pinfall for Holmes.  And then, during the celebration, Mr. Moxie Mollie comes back to the ring and attacks Holmes!  This causes a brawl and lots of folks from backstage have to come out to separate these two (Pic 2 below).  They don’t like each other!  Mr. Mollie introduces himself to those who have not been with ACW since the beginning, he is Maverick Cage, he and Holmes have quite a history, and now it’s time for the third match between the two.  This will take place at ACW School’s Out, which I’m guessing is in May or June of 2018.  Jeez, that’s a long time away.

So 2017 is all done in ACW, and the year ends with:

  • Heavyweight Champion:  Drex Odell
  • Intercontinental Champion: Xavier Black
  • Tough Man Champion:  Cliff Caviar (due to events hereafter to be called the Roselawn Screwjob!)
  • No tag team or women’s titles are around, but maybe that can be taken care of in 2018, eh ACW?


If you’re so inclined, check out the Northwest Indiana Wrestling Action Program (NWIWRAP) broadcast Sundays at 9:30pm, right after Mostly Metal, which runs Sundays from 8:00-9:30pm CST, on WVLP 103.1FM in Valparaiso, IN.  If you’re not in Valpo, catch it streaming on http://www.wvlp.org and the Tune In Radio app.  Rebroadcasts happen Wednesdays 10pm – midnight, and NWIWRAP is archived on YouTube, just search for NWIWRAP.  You can find @nwiwrap on Twitter.  And you can subscribe to the nwiwrap.wvlp@gmail.com Google calendar, where I try to keep up to date calendar postings of shows in and around the NWI region.  Because WRESTLING!