Outside the Ropes: ACW at the Rust Belt Rebellion, Sat Aug 18, 6:00pm

ACME Championship Wrestling (ACW) took part in Shelby, Indiana’s Rust Belt Rebellion auto show event by putting on a wrestling card on site at 6:00pm Saturday August 18.

I had no idea what to expect from a “Rust Belt Rebellion” auto show in Shelby, IN, especially since I had never been to Shelby, and the address on the flyer for the show was not something like the Lake County Fairgrounds or other municipal location, but looked just like the address where Amazon would deliver new socks to some dude’s house.  Google was no help whatsoever, as it kept wanting to redirect me to the Indianapolis area.   Luckily, on the approach to Shelby, there was good signage to the Rust Belt Rebellion; the signs directed me to a residential street and …. holy shit, this thing is at some dude’s house!  Cars of attendees were parked up and down the street.  Some neighbors had “no parking” signs near their curbs.  But wait, it got really interesting.  The property behind the house opened up into a large partially cleared forested area that was set up with a lot of permanent structures to host this event, or other events like it.  It was like a mini Renaissance Fair lot, but for tattooed men with cars instead of for nerds with plastic swords.  There was a playground for kids with the features built from car parts and with an auto theme; there was a replica gas station front (pictured below), there were a couple of open structures for food sales.  And, at the heart of it all, there were a couple of open areas where people had lined up their old cars and popped the hoods for others to gawk at.  And finally, towards the back, was the wrestling ring!


The first match was X-Calibur vs Thomas Keith.  Apparently Thomas Keith does not like being in Shelby, and he made that clear to the crowd.  During the match, Ref Zoran got clobbered and fell down. Keith grabbed a water spray bottle and sprayed the ref to help revive him; during the confusion, X-Calibur got the upper hand on Keith and got the win.  (Below left, Keith suplexes X-Calibur off the turnbuckles.)

The second match was started at the insistence of Billy the Kid, who is still pissed at Phantasmo for events at the last show which closed out ACW’s “school year” earlier this summer, School’s Out.  GM Michael Allen agreed that Billy the Kid deserved a match; Phantasmo came out and they got started.  Below right. Phantasmo finds himself in a precarious position.  But. eventually Phantasmo won; this did not make Billy the Kid happy, and the two went at it again, resulting in a pull-apart brawl that required the ACW security guards and wrestler Arun to separate (this picture is a couple of paragraphs below, left).  I think we can expect more from Phantasmo and Billy the Kid.

There was a little girl in front of me who saw the guy at ringside recording video, and asked her mom, “Are they recording for TV?”  I’m glad kids still know about TV and not just YouTube.

Kujo came out for his match against Cliff Caviar for Caviar’s Tough Man Championship.  As Caviar came out, he had his “Insurance Policy” TK Zero with him, as always.  As they circled the ring, Kujo jumped out and knocked TK Zero into the guardrail, neutralizing him at least for a while.  Smart!  But, this only paid off temporarily.  Below right, Kujo was not impressed by Caviar’s right hook, and so shows Caviar where he could hit him a second time.  Later on, Kujo had Caviar knocked loopy; TK Zero entered the ring, hit Kujo from behind, and dragged Caviar onto the prone Kujo so that Caviar got the three count.  All this happened in full view of the ref,  but the Tough Man rules have a no DQ stipulation, so the ref can do nothing but count.

After this match cleared out, TK Zero remained in the ring for his scheduled match against Jesus, er, rather, Dakota Prodigy – who is nicely rocking the long hair and beard now.  Below left, TK Zero tries to squeeze Dakota through the guardrail early in the match.  Dakota didn’t get in a lot of offense, and was pinned pretty quickly after he tried to get the upper hand with a jump off the top rope shown below, right.

Next up, hometown hero from Shelby, Crimson Dynamo, took on Kyle Cross.  Not only did Cross have to defend against Dynamo, but also from a kid who’s mom came up with a megaphone for the kid to shout with.  (I don’t think the boy had or used it up until this point.)  Dynamo won the match when he caught Cross with a right cross out of the blue.  Below left, the ring lights give Cross a spooky glow; right, Cross gives Dynamo a neckbreaker across the top turnbuckle.

The Top Gunns made their ACW debut against Kyle Kaylor and Venom.  Venom was a masked wrestler whose mask looked exactly as you’d imagine it would for a wrestler named Venom.  The Top Gunns coordinated well together for some fun offense on their way to victory, and developed a new number one fan in the front row who basically demonstrated he was having a religious experience from the match! Below left, Highball dropkicks Kaylor.  Below right, Ace is carrying and is about to backdrop both opponents at the same time!

The second to last match had Dave Allen taking on Arun.  I think Dave Allen’s Grandmother was in attendance; I mean, he kept calling one woman in the crowd “Grandma”, and if she wasn’t really his Grandmother, that would have been totally disrespectful.  A small boy kept getting more and more upset with Allen’s words and antics to the point of tears.  Poor kid.  Below left, the action is outside of the ring.  This match had a nice intensity to it; somehow Arun got a cut on the top of his head and had blood on his face, which gave a really good extra look to the match.  (Per Facebook posts, it seems he needed stitches … hope you heal up nicely, Arun!)  Arun did get the win with a surprise roll up.  Below right, you can see the true face of disappointment.

The main event was Rockstar Jonny Nigh defending his ACW Heavyweight Championship against Xavier Black.  Below left, Nigh is escaping from a headlock, and below right is celebrating with his fans after his successful title defense.

The next ACW show is coming in late September, be sure to give a Like to the Facebook page “ACME Championship Wrestling – ACW” for updates.


If you’ve read this far, you might like wrestling?  So maybe, 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.

* or 9pm, or 9:30pm, or anytime before or after, depending on how much stuff there is to cover! 


Outside the Ropes: ARWPRO’s Headlock on Hunger, Sat Aug 11, 2018

ARWPRO held Headlock on Hunger at noon on Saturday August 11, 2018.  This show was a fundraiser for the Portage Food Pantry, held at the Texas Roudhouse on Rt 6 in Portage, IN. 
When I say the show was at the Texas Roadhouse, that means “at, but not quite inside”, and we all got to sit on the blacktop parking lot on a nice 85 degree sunny day (pictured left, below the next paragraph).  I guess Mother Nature isn’t a wrestling fan.  But there were ice cold drinks at the concession stand, along with hot dogs and burgers cooked inside the restaurant, which were delicious.  I think I’ll go back to Texas Roadhouse soon, order a burger from the menu, and ask if I can pay $3 for it like at this event! 
The show opened with Angel Armani coming out to spray good scent on the stinky audience and introduce his new protege, Johnny Swashbuckle.  His opponent was the “Prince of Lucha” Juan Hernandez.  The match was full of shenanigans from Angel Armani on behalf of Swashbuckle (pictured right below, he tries to push Hernandez off the turnbuckle), but Juan Hernandez eventually got the pin. 

The second match featured Indiana State Championship Dave Allen vs. Johnny Showtime.  Dave Allen had a cheering section of one, a young boy who had a “Dave Allen Fan Club” sign; his parents should be ashamed.  The end of the match was eventful; Johnny Showtime pinned Allen near the ropes, and the ref counted three and called for the bell – but at the same time, he noticed Allen’s foot had been on the ropes, so he ordered the match resumed … and this time, Allen won, to retain his title. (Below left, Showtime kicks Allen in the midsection.)


Match three was a fatal four-way.  Breaking with the first two matches, there was no one named Johnny in this one.  We had Sadon vs. Theo Storm vs. Maverick Cage vs. X-Calibur.  ARWPRO owner King Bishop came out and announced that the winner of this match would receive the ARWPRO Golden Ticket, allowing him to challenge for any ARWPRO title.  After a lot of attempted teaming up against each other, and action in and out of the ring, X-Calibur is taking home the Golden Ticket.  Below right, Maverick Cage drops the tower of doom, throwing down all three opponents off the ropes. 

The ARWPRO Women’s Championship was up for grabs next, with champ Moxie Mollie defending against Melanie Cruz.  The confusion at the end of the Indiana State Championship match was just a warm up for this one. At one point in the match, Melanie Cruz got frustrated and clotheslined the ref.  A second ref came out, and he must not have noticed the transgression, because he allowed the match to continue, and counted to three when Cruz  had Mollie pinned quickly afterwards.  As he announced the winner and new champion, the original ref came back into the ring, asserting that Cruz was disqualified because she had clotheslined him.  The refs started shoving each other!  Moxie Mollie, recovering from a kick to the mush from Cruz, was demanding the match be restarted!  King Bishop was quickly out to restore order; he announced that the title was being held up, with the rematch to take place at the next ARWPRO show on Sept 8 in Lake Station, IN.   (I did not get a picture of this match; I’ll blame my wife, who arrived at the show right at the start of this match, so I was being a good husband and talking to her …. a bit.  Love ya sweetie!).

After intermission, WWF star Eugene came out to entertain the crowd and beat up Nick Cutler.  My wife was impressed with Cutler’s chest hair (in a “wow, is that real?” kind of way, not in a “hubba hubba” kind of way).  Eugene was not, and he got the win.  Below left, Eugene helps a boy in the front celebrate his 5th birthday by having him count the 5 punches he was giving to Cutler.

The next match started out as a battle between ARWPRO Heavyweight Champion Max Holiday defending against Drex Odell, representing The Family.  But it quickly degenerated into a DQ as other members of The Family came out and interfered.  Drex Odell was the only one out there not wearing a black shirt, and I had to remind myself a few times that he was actually part of The Family.  Below right, Odell dodges out of the way at the last second.  Farther below, left, Holiday raises his title.


B.O.W. and The Machine sweated and talked smack at each other through a match that ended with Machine victorious.  The theme of the match was, “It’s hot, count faster, ref!”  Below right, B.O.W. is about to plant Machine into the mat.


The main event of the show started out as Tommy Dreamer vs. Ivan Manson in a Chicago Street Fight.  But as they are known to do, The Family carried on their grudge against Manson by running out and ruining this match, too!  This pissed off Tommy Dreamer, who says he didn’t come all this way for nothing, and the match was turned into a hardcore tag team match between Dreamer & Manson vs. The Family (it was actually 4 on 2, but who’s counting).  Dreamer and Manson came away with the win.  Below left, Dreamer waits for his moment against Odell.

After the match, Tommy Dreamer did a really nice thing and called all kids under 12 into the ring for a big group picture.  It’s all, he says, about making memories for them.


The next ARWPRO show is on Saturday September 8, 7:00pm, at the American Legion Post 100 in Lake Station, IN.