Year End NWIWRAP Up

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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

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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

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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.

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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?

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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!