RCW held the 10th annual Slam Cancer Benefit show at 7:00pm Saturday July 15, 2017 at the Batelle Community Center in Mishawaka, IN. This loooong show clocked in at over four hours, with 10 matches altogether. So get comfortable!
The show opened with Brutus Dylan coming to the ring, and he calls out the entire RCW locker room so wrestlers and audience can give a 10 bell salute to all those who have died from cancer. After this nice touch of class, the wrestlers head back to the locker room, and Brutus reminds us of what he’s gone through the last several months after his injury. He’s been thinking a lot about what his future holds, and — “Fighting out of Indianapolis, Indiana! … ” Dru Skillz interrupts and lets Dylan know that no one cares about cancer or his injury. Skillz attacks Dylan and starts to work over his injured leg, threatening to damage it more with a chair. At that point, Dylan’s tag team partner Tank rushes out to make the save. Of course Dylan is pissed, and he sets Skillz vs. Tank for the semi main event later in the show. (Unlike in the WWE, where apparently everyone just shows up to the arena hoping the GMs set matches at the last minute, Dylan says this is possible since Tank’s original scheduled opponent was unable to be at the event.)
The structure for tonight’s event is that most matches in the first half are qualifying matches for the James Wilson Memorial Tournament, which is to be determined by a fatal four way match as the night’s main event, between the winners of the four qualifying matches.
The first qualifying match has Theo Storm (accompanied by Noah Walker) vs. Rogier Lanier. Theo storm scares the audience that he’s going to win several times with near falls, but eventually Rogier Lanier gets the win. In the first picture below, you choose: (a) a test of strength, or (b) rehearsal for a dancing competition. In the second picture, (a) Lanier is intercepting Storm’s attempt at a springboard stunner, or (b) Theo has just hit his first-ever home run and Roger is really proud of him! (Answers: (b), (a).)
The next qualifying match is Tripp Cassidy (accompanied by Jason Saint and Charlie Cruel) vs. Sage Philips. Charlie appears to give Tripp a smooch for luck, then Tripp passes the smooch along to Jason Saint. Saint considers for a moment whether he liked it or not, and decides it was acceptable. The ref finds a large spike when he searches Cassidy. He must have been coming straight form work or something. The match goes between Cassidy toying (such as pictured, left) with the smaller Philips, and Philips getting out of predicaments with his agility and some Zach Sabre Jr type countermoves. Eventually Philips took the win with what looked like Kalisto’s Salida del Sol, which probably has a more universal wrestling move name, but hell if I know what it is.
Eli McFly vs. Ames may not have produced the winner of the James Wilson Memorial Tournament (spoiler, sorry!) but it took home the award for oddest match of the night. First, a financial note: When Ames was dancing around ringside during his intro, the gentlemen at the back announcing table put two singles into Ames’ tights. Now the promotion for this event said that ALL proceeds will go to Hospice Care, so Brutus Dylan, if you’re looking for a couple more bucks, Ames has them! As the match got more heated, Ames set up McFly spreadagled on the second turnbuckle and delivered a running crotch shot. Ref A.J. was like, whatever, I’m cool with that, no big deal. Later on, when McFly got frustrated, jumped out of the ring, and went to grab a mic, Ref A.J. was like, “ok, cool, no need for a count out yet” until he eventually decided to start counting quite a bit later. I think Ref A.J. is trying to be like the substitute teacher everyone loved because he let students get away with stuff. During his extended time out of the ring and on the mic, McFly suggested they change the match to a … dance contest? … instead. Each exchanged sequences of dance moves until finally McFly delivered the inevitable sneak attack / low blow for the win.
The final qualifying match for the James Wilson Memorial Tournament has Caleb Stills vs.
TNA Impact Global Force Wrestling’s Mahabali Shera! Damn, he’s huge. It’s always surprising how big some of these TV guys can look when they’re up close and personal. Caleb Stills gets the surprise pin with a roll up aided by a pull of the tights.
Now that we know our four entrants in the tournament fatal four way later on, it’s time for some retribution! It’s a last man standing match between Kevin Storm and Noah Walker, for the RCW United States Championship, which Storm held previously and Walker has now. Let’s just say these guys are not fond of each other! As a stipulation arising from a previous RCW show, Theo Storm will be handcuffed at ringside so he can’t interfere. Noah and Theo come out first; while Theo is in the ring objecting to the cuffs and Noah is out of the ring, WHAM! Kevin Storm sneaks in and clobbers Theo with a chair. That certainly makes it easier to put on the cuffs! (Below, left.) This match ended up involving: a chair, a second pair of handcuffs, a ladder, a kendo stick, and a table. The second pair of cuffs were used by Noah to tie Storm to the ropes while he hit him repeatedly on the back with the kendo stick. Those shots were too brutal to show images of on a family web page like this, but I can show you Referee Tony Lynn’s reaction to one of them. (Below, right.) The ladder was used appropriately by all parties involved, as
shown. Now at some point (perhaps somewhat accidentally, and if so, Jon Blackwell should have a word with Officer Rod Street about the quality of those cuffs) Theo had been working on those cuffs so hard and so long, he got out of them and started getting involved in the match. With three people in the ring, poor Ref Tony got clobbered and went down. At one point, Kevin Storm treated Theo Storm like a bad motion in a committee meeting and tabled him! Kevin got Noah Walker in the “tree of woe” position in one corner, propped a chair against his arms and head, then did a Shane McMahon-like leaping double drop kick from off the top turnbuckle of an opposite corner, and introduced the chair to Noah Walker’s face. Ref Tony recovered enough to count to 10, at which point we found Kevin Storm standing and Noah Walker still lying there, sad and defeated. Kevin Storm has regained the RCW United States Championship. It was a hell of a match, gentlemen!
And after all that, it’s only intermission time!
Back from beak, we have a 6 man mayhem match, featuring Shady Chris Xion, Sadon, DW Kelley, Steven Drochner, Jimmy W, and Justa Mazing (Ryan and Tiffany with the assist!). This was good clean fun where everyone took turns beating on everyone else, and some folks left their feet (Sadon and Mazing are pictured here doing that). Jimmy W took the win.
Dani Ferarra challenges The Amazing Maria for the RCW Women’s Championship. Dani does me a great favor by wearing a shirt with her name on it to the ring, so I know how to spell it properly! Maria is accompanied by Jason Saint and Charlie Cruel. Dani falls victim to the ol’ “foreign object double cross” where while the ref is turned away, Maria falls over like she’s been knocked out, and someone in her cohort tosses a chain in the air to Dani. Dani’s instinct is to catch the chain, which happens at the exact same instant the ref finally turns back around, so the ref sees K.O.’d Maria and chain-wielding Dani standing over her. DQ! Poor Dani.
In a battle for the RCW Tag Team Championship, The Police Department defend against both Guns & Aggression (Mance Warner and Luke Lawson) and Lumber & Lightning (JC Bunyan and Lightning Bolt Johnson). In the first picture here, you can decide what’s happening. (a) LBJ is sitting there drinking his tea and Ol’ Mancer is rushing to LBJ to offer congratulations on his recent engagement, or (b) Ol’ Mancer is a cranky bastard and is about to clothesline the head off LBJ. In the second picture here, you can decide
whether (a) JC Bunyan is leaping from the tree tops to clobber anyone underneath, friend or foe, or (b) Ref Russ is a cheating bastard and is shoving JC Bunyan off the turnbuckle to show favoritism for his buddies The Police Department! (Answers: (b), (a).) Now through hard work and intense analysis, I believe I have learned to decrypt some of the Police Department’s secret codes. I think that “Code 137!” or whatever the heck number Rod Street yells, means “Eva, distract the ref and toss us the mace, then Deputy Dave, try to shoot mace in our opponent’s eyes but miss and get me instead!” Because Rod Street yelled “Code 137!” (or whatever, don’t get on my case because I got the number wrong, people!) and yeah, Guns & Aggression are your new RCW Tag Team Champions.
In the match set up at the top of the card like about four hours and twenty-one ring intros ago (yes, I counted), Tank is out to teach Dru Skillz a lesson. Dru Skillz attacks Tank before the bell rings. Outide the ring, Skillz nails Tank with a Ric-Flair-Whoo chop that reverberates through the arena like a gunshot. Ouch! The guys trade punches, body slams, chops, and other things, nearly wearing each other out at one point, until Skillz decides to treat Tank to what Brutus Dylan was going through, and Skillz started putting Tank in ankle locks. The first time, Tank gets to the ropes. Later on, a second time, Tank gets to the ropes again, but Skillz doesn’t release the hold – and so draws the DQ because unlike Ref A.J., Ref Russ is having none of that crap in his ring. Since Skillz would not release the hold, JC Bunyan runs out from the back to try to intervene, but he gets swatted away. Then Brutus Dylan returns the favor from earlier and rushes to the ring (and he did some damn good rushing for someone whose leg went through all that recent trauma!) and Skillz bails pretty quickly. And The Midwest Monsters, reunited again, challenge The Soul Shooterz (Dru Skillz and Apollo Q. Starr) to a match at the next RCW event in Mishawaka on August 25. I should note that the whole time The Midwest Monsters and Dru Skillz were yelling at each other, Dru Skillz would attack JC Bunyan again, since he was closer and smaller. Poor JC.
In the main event of the night, the four qualifiers in matches before intermission come back from having gone to see the new Spiderman movie to have the fatal four way match for the James Wilson Memorial Tournament trophy. We have Roger Lanier, Caleb Stills, Sage Philips, and Eli McFly. McFly is eliminated first and pretty darn quickly, then Sage Philips, and then Rogier Lanier. Your winner of the James Wilson Memorial Tournament is Caleb Stills!
So altogether, the night lasted 4+ hours, we had two title changes, one tournament winner, one tag team reunion, one destroyed table, one back lacerated by a kendo stick, two acceptable hot dogs eaten by me, one international television star, one Code 137, one battered and bruised lumberjack, and 28 full ring introductions with music (four of which were doubles). That’s exhausting!
The next RCW event is scheduled for August 25, 2017 right back at the Batelle Community Center in Mishawaka, IN.
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 email@example.com Google calendar, where I try to keep up to date calendar postings of shows in and around the NWI region. Because WRESTLING!