An Epic Wrestling Weekend

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This past weekend was an epic weekend for Northern Indiana wrestling fans, as there were 3 events in 3 days across the top of the state.  They were not organized east to west, but oh well.  On Friday night, there was RCW (Revolution Championship Wrestling) Seven, at the O’Brien Recreation Center in South Bend.  On Saturday night, there was Smashfest, at Inman’s Bowling and Recreation Center in Valparaiso.  And on Sunday night was Heroes of Might and Magic – wait, that’s for gaming nerds –  Heroes and Legends VIII at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Ft. Wayne.  I did not go to the third event, but did see the first two, and here’s what happened at them.

RCW Seven

RCW Seven was aptly titled, for being on April 7th and a celebration of the company’s seventh anniversary.  They messed up the theme by moving the start time from 7pm to 8pm, but I’m sure there were good reasons.  Also, tickets weren’t seven dollars, which was disappointing, but on the other hand hot dogs were also not seven dollars, so fair is fair.

(Note I’m writing these notes a couple of days after the fact, and I’m 50, so if you trust my memory, you’re ridiculous.)

To open the show, Dru Skillz came out before his match with Sugar Dunkerton and tried to get serious, telling a sad story about meeting a kid outside a gas station nearby, and the kid having been abandoned by his dad.  Further, his dad beat him regularly.  When Dru asked him if there was someone he wanted to be taken to, the kid answered Sugar Dunkerton – because Sugar Dunkerton couldn’t beat anyone!  Oh, swerve!  And it was on.  Sugar came out and entertained the crowd, and went on to get the better of Dru Skillz with a bit of trickery – playing possum and then getting the roll up.

Next Jorge Bravo and Johnny Cyanide came out to begin a 2-on-1 handicap match against … Kongo Kong!  Kong was accompanied by his manager Jason Saint. (Check out Kong’s debut on Impact Wrestling this week, 4/13/17!) I don’t know what they were thinking.  Jorge Bravo got out of there relatively unscathed, but poor Johnny Cyanide … may he rest in peace.  Kong was not pleased that Cyanide kicked out of his big IMG_20170407_203248 splash, and tore into him in and out of the ring.  RIP Johnny Cyanide, who hasn’t been seen since.

Guns and Aggression (Luke Lawson and Mance Warner) took the #1 Contender spot for the RCW tag team titles with a win over The Newer School (Theo Storm and Noah Walker) and the team of The Maltese Tiger and the American Eagle.

Ruff Crossing defeated Caleb Stills.  This match was really fun.  I will say this, though: Ruff Crossing needs more Blue Oyster Cult.  (I hope some people get that, it’s really damn funny!) I think he may be my new favorite wrestler, because anyone who wrestles as a cowboy but then comes to the merch tables afterwards wearing an Obituary shirt is awesome.

Kevin Storm came out to no opponent since Matt Striker was unable to make the event.  Or the one the next night.  Or the next.  However, Noah Walker came out to offer his services.  GM Jon Blackwell said this impromptu match would be for Storm’s US Title, and Theo Storm was barred from ringside.  Of course, this means that Kevin Storm eventually won the match by DQ when Theo Storm came to ringside and interfered.  Being rightly pissed that his instructions were ignored, Blackwell said that on May 20, Kevin Storm and Walker would meet again, and Theo would be handcuffed to a ring post.

After intermission, The Police Department (Rod Street, Deputy Dave, and Eva Lonis) took on the team of Lightning Bolt Johnson, JC Bunyan, and Tank.  And the stipulation was that if either of LBJ or LC Bunyan pinned on of them, that duo would get the RCW Tag Team titles.   You knew it was serious because Eva Lonis took off her sunglasses.  Eventually, TPD got up to their shenanigans and maced JC Bunyan in the eyes when the ref was distracted, and he was pinned.  Tank tried to help JC by pouring some water on his eyes, but I’m pretty sure that’s not recommended first aid procedure for that kind of injury.  Tank then promised retribution on the Police Department at a later date, when his partner Brutus Dylan was also ready for action again.

Next up, Adam Bueller (w/ Jason Saint) took on The Iron Demon Shane Mercer for the Strong Style Championship in a no DQ match; this one went into the bleachers, onto a merch table, used a garbage can, and eventually came to the ring.  It ended badly for Bueller when Mercer took advantage of the bag of thumbtacks (!!) supplied by Jason Saint, and originally intended for Bueller to use on Mercer.  Mercer carried Bueller to the corner and up the ropes, and Mercer used his amazing finisher to land Bueller on the tacks (I still don’t know what that finisher is called, but it’s like a fall-away slam from the second rope in which Mercer flips around 270 degrees and lands belly down on his victim).  Afterwards, Jason Saint got dumped on the tacks, too, for good measure.

Did I mention that somewhere in South Bend there’s a hotel owner sitting in his office wondering why he’s getting no business, when Friday is usually such a good night? It’s because the little silver ding-a-ling bell next to the “Ring Bell for Service” sign was stolen for use at RCW Seven as a ring bell!  Even the injured Brutus Dylan couldn’t get any authoritative ring bell sounds out of that sucker no matter how hard he pounded on it.

Anyway, the next match was a triple threat for the brand new Revolution Strong Women’s Title!  Here it was Maria James (with Jason Saint, who managed to hobble out to the ring after the last match), Kelly Klein, and Madi Maxx in the mix.  Maxx was the bubbly crowd favorite, but Maria James ended up with the win, and she is our first ever Revolution Strong Women’s Champ!  (In the process Jason Saint got beat on / slapped a bit more … poor guy.)    Remember this if you’re still reading below about Smashfest.

The finale of the night was Nick Cutler against Colt Cabana.  Confession time, I’ve heard Cabana’s name many times, but I’ve never seen wrestle before.  And now I’m sad that I’d been missing out all this time.  Cabana and Cutler were absolutely hilarious and put on a great crowd pleasing show.  We learned way too much about Cutler’s chest hair in the process.  Cabana got the win, and this match alone was worth my one hour drive and $10.

Smashfest

On Saturday, we had Smashfest, at Inman’s Bowling and Recreation Center in Valparaiso.  I’m not much of an autograph & picture guy and did not take part in the meet & greet stuff, but here’s what happened in the matches.  I’ll keep some descriptions shorter, since there were so many!

A good part of the crowd was already in the seating area at 4pm, so by 5pm or so, they were getting restless.  Fortunately Ryan Anderson began the proceedings with two pre-show matches.  Sugar Dunkerton defeated Jorge Bravo, and Tank defeated Officer Rod Street.

By 6pm, the place was packed and the poor Inman’s folks had to go get extra chairs from their grandmother’s houses, the local church, and wherever else they could scrounge them up.  IMG_20170408_183520The main show started with Legion (Malice and Nitro) taking on Abyss and Rosemary – Decay.  Rosemary wasted no time spraying mist into Nitro’s eyes, taking him out of the action.  He eventually recovered; Malice had retrieved a table from under the ring, and eventually, Abyss put him through that table, leading to a win for Decay.  (Best of luck to Nitro as he gets his ankle worked on!)

Next was a Battle Royal, the winner of which receives a shot at any SPW title they want.  This was where some of the guests came out for their ringtime – Hornswoggle was in it, Zach Gowan, Rob Conway, and … Kikutaro, the guy with the mask that freaks me the F out every time I see it, I mean really, this is like Stephen King’s IT levels of freaky, and it doesn’t even look scary.  Why am I so bothered by it?  Fresh off his victory the night before, Shane Mercer won this thing.  He had to take out Stephan Bonnar to do it, which was no small feat.  Anthony Toatele held on to his SPW US Title over Craig Mitchell.  Kevin Storm and Noah Walker (who are cool with each other in the SPW universe, but not the RCW universe) lost to JC Bunyan and Cody Deaner.  I’m glad JC Bunyan recovered from the mace attack the night before.  Rick Baker, Ryan Howe, and Brent Myers had a three-way match, and Ryan Howe got Rick Baker to tap out.

At this point, there was an impromptu match between the SPW staff and the web cam shooting the action for iPPV on the Fite network.  The camera was stationed on a small speaker platform high on a wall overlooking the ring, and it fell off.  After a few SPW staff tagged in and out, they eventually got the web cam to submit and stay where it was damn well supposed to, but I’m pretty sure they cheated and used a foreign object: duct tape.

Adam Rose came out with local Rosebuds and without his hair, and defeated Mr. 3% Jon Hudson, who I believe is now officially a lemon.  Then, having just had an intermission because of the web cam, we got another (planned) one.  During intermission, I interviewed 5 kids in the crowd about their favorite wrestlers, you can hear them at about the 22 minute mark of this week’s episode of NWIWRAP.

After intermission, Mordecai prayed for the power from above to defeat Lightning Bolt Johnson.  And what do you know, prayer works!  Because Mordecai got the win.  I was disappointed in LBJ because Mordecai ran down Valparaiso pretty bad, and LBJ didn’t stand up for us enough.  Well, gosh, the next time someone talks smack about Warsaw, I’m going to let them!

In a battle to determine the first SPW Hardcore Champion, it was Fireball, BD Smooth, Cletus Farmer, Elijah Mcfly, and Shannon Moore (did I forget anyone?) in a hardcore match.  They really couldn’t do much truly hardcore because of space constraints, so the extent of the hardcoreness was use of a garbage can, a traffic cone, and some aluminum cookie sheets (that make a nice noise against a skull, it turns out) in and very close to the ring.  BD Smooth got body slammed onto the garbage can courtesy of Shannon Moore, which was pretty cool.  I’m not sure who will get the bill from Inman’s.  Your new SPW Hardcore Champion is Fireball!  I can’t believe no one used a bowling pin or bowling ball in this match.  Now that I think about it, why has there never been a professional bowler gimmick?  Someone could be “Mr. 300” and come out with those bowling wrist braces that conceal hidden weapons.  Why do I have to think of all this stuff, come on, people!

In what could have been the match of the night, Ames and Cody Jones lost to Marshe Rockett and Acid Jazz.   Da Soul Touchaz showed off some great moves, Ames was fun as usual, and Cody Jones was really intense.  The end of the match was really clever, Acid Jaz spit powder (hot chocolate?) into Cody Jones face; being blind, Jones clobbered and attempted to pin his own partner Ames.  Rockett and Jaz indicated the audience should play along, they counted 3 themselves and had the audience cheer for Jones as if he had actually won.  Still blinded, he stood up to celebrate and was greeted by a clobbering from Da Soul Touchaz who pinned him for real and retained the SPW Smashmouth Titles.  Fun stuff!

Now I said this could have been the match of the night, and the reason it was not was because to achieve perfection, Rockett and Jaz should have had a guest manager!  SPW had sold off guest manager spots, and lots of other wrestlers and teams, both before and after this match, were accompanied to the ring by their guest managers.  Maybe their guest manager pulled a no show.  Or maybe their idiot guest manager was sitting off to the side at his little “radio station station” IMG_20170408_163507recording stuff from the show, and missed whatever clue bus he was supposed to get on in order to be ready at the right time.  Can you guess who the guest manager was supposed to be?  I heard Ryan Anderson paging the guest managers for matches before intermission, and other matches after intermission had managers who apparently actually paid attention to whatever I didn’t.  Oh, well, screw it, I guess I didn’t need that fifty bucks anyway.   I’m just worried that Marshe Rockett and Acid Jaz went home thinking their guest manager didn’t care enough to show up.  I’m sure they were really worried about it.  And also, those WWE scouts in the audience missed out on that next big thing.  Sorry guys!  😦

Anyhoooo, Maria James next went 2-for-2 in capturing brand new regional women’s titles by winning a 4-way elimination match for the first SPW Women’s Championship.  She outlasted Paloma Starr, Shawna Reed, and Laura Van Ness (wrestling under a different name , I think, I didn’t catch it, I was still pouting about the whole guest manager business).  Maria James is now both the Revolution Strong and SPW Women’s Champion.  Jason Saint is manager of the year so far!

And finally, Dru Skillz outlasted GPA, Will Huckaby, Troy Miller, Sugar Dunkerton, and Bushwhacker Luke in a 6-way elimination match for his SPW Heavyweight Title.

And that did it!  I did not go to Heroes and Legends in Ft. Wayne on Sunday like a lot of the more dedicated die hards, I had a WVLP fundraiser to attend in Valpo.  And plus, 3 days in a row of being away for wrestling may have resulted in locks being changed on our house doors.  My three big take-aways from the weekend were: Sugar Dunkerton is amazingly fun.  Shane Mercer is amazingly powerful and intense.  (I can watch either of those guys for hours.)  And hats off to Maria James for taking both of the brand new women’s titles that were up for grabs.

To wrap up, I will channel the spirit of Mordecai to address something that I’ve noticed as a widespread issue at many of the events held by regional wrestling companies: Oh Heavenly Father, as you look down on these Indiana wrestling promotions struggling to make it in a crowded and competitive business, please grant them the resources to not only have proper ring bells in place, but also select proper angelic warriors who can wield a mighty hammered weapon to strike those ring bells with Heavenly Fire at thoust appointed times!  Lo, let us not anymore hear light little ding dings as those which announce the arrival of dinner in the monkey house at the zoo,  nor have distracted bell attendants so caught up in their own prayers to your Holiness that they don’t even notice the referee calling for a bell to start a match.  Yea, oh Lord, let us hear the loud and thunderous peals of the bell, as to rival the trumpets surrounding the walls of Jericho.  In short, O Lord, cause them to smite the hell out of thy bell such that all are aware of its greatness.  Amen.

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