FWF held Crossfire at the Center Lake Pavilion in Warsaw, IN at 7:00pm EST on Saturday March 24, 2018.
First, especially if you have kids, I recommend the Wyndham Garden Hotel on Center Street. We stayed there so I could see this show before we finished our not-quite-direct drive from Valparaiso to Cincinnati. (You know you have the wrestling sickness when you’re willing to spring for a hotel room to see a show.) In particular, the pool area at this hotel is really nice. The down side is they don’t have free breakfast. But Bob Evans is right across the street, and once you decide the wait at Bob Evans is too damn long, you can go down the street to Maria’s, which is better to support since it’s a local establishment anyway.
The FWF venue is super. There’s easy parking and a nice view of the lake as you walk
in. Look carefully at the lake in this picture (the venue is the building on the left). Do you see Kevin Storm’s head bobbing up and down in the water? No? Well, that’s because this picture was taken about 2 hours before he got thrown in the lake. More on that later! But for now, I’ll just note that Center Lake Pavilion is one of the better spots for wrestling I’ve seen in the northern Indiana territory. And Bell Ringer Ryan Anderson told me the burgers were really good, so I tried one, and he was right! I opened my burger and saw only a burger in a bun, no extras like lettuce or tomato. So I was sad. But I loaded that sucker up with ketchup, mayo, and mustard (yes, all three, stop with your judgments) and it turned out that damn, it was indeed a tasty burger.
In the first match, Unchained Brandon Day took out Jorge Bravo with a powerslam. I’m old and my memory is starting to fade, but I think it was a slam where Day had Bravo hoisted face down over one of this shoulders like a sack of potatoes, then slammed him forward and down such that Day’s weight landed on top of Bravo (as opposed to Day remaining standing and releasing Bravo for the slam). I can’t remember what this particular slam is called. I looked up the Wikipedia page that describes dozens of wrestling throws, but didn’t find this one. I’m sure it’s something simple. Someone please educate me. Edit: ’tis simply the front powerslam? I was seriously overthinking it. The match ended pretty quickly and I didn’t get a picture until the end, so we get to see Day standing victorious over Bravo (below, left).
In the second match, Fireball defeated Drax O’Brien with a roll up. The picture above & right is from this match and you may think Fireball is not in it, but look closely in front of the near ring post for the top of his head! I’m sorry, this is the only picture I took of the match.
Next up, Jacob Brawn, Mark Vandy, and JC Bunyan scrapped. I think this was supposed
to be a triple threat, but with Brawn and Vandy both representing “The Gingerverse” it was pretty much a two-on-one. Or maybe it was intended to be two-on-one, who knows. To the left we see Vandy holding Bunyan while Brawn leaps down to chop him. Apologies for the bright ring lights reflecting off the pale Gingerverse skins. At one point, Brawn and Vandy took turns giving headbutts to Bunyan and going loopy afterwards, so we’ve learned that JC Bunyan is part Samoan. Mark Vandy ended up getting the win, and afterwards, Vandy and Brawn stood together and implied they’re going after tag team gold!
After the match, Officer Rod Street led out several of his minions and took them to task for failing to do anything about Cletus Farmer even though he’d been tasking SWAT Team members to do just that. (By the way, does the “T” in SWAT stand for Team or Tactical? If the former, then “SWAT Team” becomes one of those redundant phrases like “ATM Machine”. ) Cletus came out and offered to be the “1” in a 2-on-1 match with members of Street’s SWAT team. Street sent in a couple of the goons, and Cletus defeated them. Rod Street looks pissed.
During many matches and this one in particular, a man who wins “Best Dad of the Night” gave his little girl the best seat in the house (below, left), and then afterwards she got to run around the ring with Cletus. Good work, Dad!
Then, JD Smooth defeated the Celtic Nightmare with a sneaky roll up, but not before getting tossed around a bit (above, right).
As hockey announcers like to say, “These two teams don’t like each other!” This is the case between the Midwest Monsters (Tank and Brutus Dylan) and The New School (Noah Walker and Kevin Storm). Their feud came to a head here in a No DQ Warsaw Street Fight. Below, we see Kevin Storm under the can, and Tank going through a door.
During this match, Brutus Dylan grabbed Kevin Storm and asked if the crowd wanted to see him throw Storm into the lake. You know what the answer was, and they went outside; a good portion of the crowd went out through the doors with them. Fortunately, Tank and Walker stayed behind and kept some action going in the ring for those of us who didn’t exit the building. I did not see it, but rumor has it Storm did end up in the lake, and he was not seen again during the night. The Midwest Monsters got the win.
After intermission and clean up time, Rogier Lanier defended his FWF Cruiserweight
Championship from Ames. Ames started the match on the mic saying he was going to do two things, (1) take Lanier’s title, and (2) kiss him on the lips. He also claimed to be thinking about that BBC, by which I think he meant he was worried about world events and would go watch the news from England after the match. Ames got the win when he pinned Lanier, aided by his feet on the ropes – which the ref did not see. So Ames is now the FWF Cruiserweight Champion, but he only accomplished one of the two things he set out to do.
In tag team action, the Soul Shooters took on Anthony Toatele and Alexander S. Kirk. I don’t know if there’s a story here, but this seems to be a tentative partnership; Kirk tried to make nice with Toatele, but Toatele looked at him like he was selling Amway. During this match, I got to see Ref Russ be more indignant at the Soul Shooters’ shenanigans than he usually gets. Also, Dru Skillz practiced his social skillz and got a group of older ladies to yell at him. The match ended when Kirk was holding one of the Soul Shooters so that Toatele could deliver a flying knee, but you know what happens here: the victim dodged out of the way and Toatele’s knee ended up taking out Kirk instead, and the Soul Shooters got the pin. In the picture below, left, Skillz just took a swift kick from Kirk and is about to flop forwards onto his face. Below right, Remi Wilkins comes off the turnbuckle to give an assist to the powerslam Skillz is giving to Kirk. That spotlight is in a terrible position for the picture. Or rather, I selected a stupid seat if I was going to be taking pictures. (But I like sitting on the aisle!) After the match, the Soul Shooters proclaimed they want a shot at the FWF Tag Team Titles.
In the second to last match, Matt O’Hare took on Lightning Bolt Johnson. FWF
management decided that it was necessary to have a second ref on hand for this one, outside the ring. In the picture to the left, you know what’s happening, right? LBJ was about to give a big boot to O’Hare. The ref was behind O’Hare, and when O’Hare leaped out of the way, the ref got clobbered instead. Or, that’s usually what happens, but not here! LBJ pulled up on the boot, and saved the ref. But the look of terror on the ref’s face is still perfect. LBJ got the victory in this match.
The main event was a triple threat match for Officer Rod Street‘s FWF Heavyweight Championship; Nick Cutler and Cosmo were the other competitors. Since this was a No-DQ match, Street quickly capitalized and sent in his efficient SWAT Team to attack Cutler and Cosmo. But having recently spent time in the hospital for the birth of his daughter, Cutler picked up some medical tips and attempted to give colonoscopies with one of Street’s little plastic orange cones to almost everyone. Cutler was so absorbed in this process he accidentally gave one to Ref Russ, thinking he was another SWAT member. Having had one of these done recently (the real kind, not the plastic cone kind), I feel for you, Russ.
The match ended in Rod Street’s favor when Sheriff Eva Lonis comes in with a can of Raid and sprayed just about everyone, allowing Street to get a pinfall. And so he retained his title.
The end of the show broke down when two teams of five (one backing new owner Jayson Maples and one backing previous owner JD Smooth, with these teams headed for a showdown soon) converged on the ring for punching and shouting. The Soul Shooters are on JD Smooth’s team and they got some fans so worked up that a few others had to come out from the back to make sure peace was maintained.
I’ll edit this when I get more details, but the next FWF shows, or at least shows that will have an impact on FWF, are coming up in two weeks (April 7) and at Jayson Maples’ Heroes and Legends X, on Saturday April 21 at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum in Ft. Wayne, IN.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Google calendar, where I try to keep up to date calendar postings of shows in and around the NWI region. Because WRESTLING!