Outside the Ropes: ACW Shades of War, Fri Feb 08, 2019

ACME Championship Wrestling opened their 2019 season with “Shades of War” at their home base, the DeMotte Boxing Club, at 7pm Friday February 8.

The show opened with a bang (almost literally), there were lasers! A video screen! FIRE!! A couple of fire pots erected in the center of the ring launched burts of flame synchronized with the house music. Pretty cool! Or rather, pretty hot! But it felt good, since there was cold air coming in from the entryway.

General Manager Michael Allen greeted the crowd as always, then the action got underway.

(M1) ACW’s first match of 2019 was an energetic contest between High Society (Thomas ‘the Benjamins’ Keith and Young Money) vs Arun and Sadon. High Society let everyone know that DeMotte was not on their list of favorite places, or favorite people. They also displayed many tag team shenanigans; Ref Z had his hands full with this one. Each team got control of the match for a while, but it ended when Young Money hit a leg drop from the top turnbuckle onto Arun.

(M2) Match 2 was for the Tough Man Title, with title holder Billy the Kid taking on challenger Kenneth James, who was making his ACW debut. The ref in this match seemed to be trying to enforce a lot of rules for a No DQ match, such as yelling at James when he was gouging Billy the Kid’s eyes. Billy the Kid retained his title, and Kenneth James gave a handshake of respect afterwards. On his way out of the ring, Billy the Kid held up his title and yelled something at me over the ropes … I think I might have been challenged to a match, but I’m not sure. We’ll see at Hebron Havoc, I guess. But if I’m going to come out of retirement for that, first I have to train to learn how to work in the ring, then work in the ring for a few years, and then retire the first time. That seems like too much effort, so I might have to politely decline.

(M3) The third match was another tag team match, this time between Top Gunns and The Main Attraction (whose names are, I think, Cortez Knight and Rodney Jackson). They came to the ring straight from baseball practice, carrying wooden bats, and dressed for the ring in khaki shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers. The Top Gunns controlled a good portion of the match, although The Main Attraction got their licks in. Eventually, though, they got frustrated with not making headway, and one of them grabbed a chain, wrapped it around his wrist, and hit Highball in the back of the head – causing a disqualification. He bled a little through his mask after that …and he was pissed. He challenged The Main Attraction to a No DQ match at the next ACW show, Hebron Havoc, and General Manager Michael Allen set the match. This was Ref Z‘s second tag match, and the second one that was hard to control.

(M4) Match 4 was Theo Storm challenging Jared Kripke for his Intercontinental Championship. This was Kripke’s first match back since getting his bell rung at the last ACW show in 2018. Theo Storm seemed to enjoy a lot of verbal back-and-forth with the crowd. Both guys took a lot of punishment, at at various times, I was convinced that Kripke got, in order, another concussion, a broken neck, and another concussion again. But, he ended up retaining his title. (The third picture below is not sideways, that’s Theo Storm going up to kick Kripke; the fourth picture is how Theo Storm keeps from getting pinned.)

(M5) After intermission, the show got underway with a Fatal Four Way match for a chance to be the next to take on Jared Kripke for his Intercontinental Title. The four in the match were X-Calibur, Xavier Black, Johnny Motley, and the -new- Cliff Caviar, who has exchanged his green blazer for a sparkly black overcoat with gold trim, and a black flat brimmed hat – a cross between a circus ringmaster and a bull fighter. On his way out to the ring, he threw his old green coat on the ground and stomped on it. Although he has new attire, he has his same old attitude, though. As expected, these four took each other all over the ring and out of the ring. Once, I got splattered by water from Xavier Black’s wet hair as he went flying over the top rope to the outside. After the match had been going on for a while, it was interrupted by TK Zero, who came out and attacked all four men in the ring … even Cliff Caviar, who he used to protect. He exclaimed to GM Michael Allen that he did this because HE should be the one getting matches and chances like this. Having caused his destruction, he retreated – and at this point, Xavier Black and Johnny Motley also vanished, leaving X-Caliber and Cliff Caviar to finish the match. X-Caliber ended up with the win, and so he is now the #1 contender for Jared Kripke’s Intercontinental Championship. As X-Caliber soaked up his victory, Kripke came out for a friendly stare down, and it was very sportsmanlike all around.

(M6) Jeremy Hadley took on Drex Odell in the next match; this match was mostly a contest of pride and history, with Hadley being upset that Odell has put his own stamp on ACW more recently, although Hadley was one of the old timers. These two pummeled each other pretty well; I tried to take good notes, but it was hard because I was afraid Hadley would yell at me for being on my phone, as he did to a couple of other folks in the audience. The match ended in a DQ win for Odell when Hadley, having been thrown out of the ring, came back in with a spray can of something smelly – cologne or deodorant? – and sprayed Odell in the eyes with it. The spray messed Odell up badly enough that he couldn’t see and had to be helped to the back. (Note: Odell caused an incident at Backbreaker Wrestling the next night – listen to the audio recap! – wearing an eye-patch. Hmmmm.)

By the way, Drex Odell has a new nameplate for the video screen, but it unfortunately had a typo in it. I’ve fixed it for him at no charge, below is before (left) and after / fixed (right). You’re welcome.

(M7) The main event was a defense of the ACW Heavyweight Championship, with champion Dave Allen and challenger Kujo. Kujo had a chance at the title at the last ACW event of 2018, but that was spoiled when Johnny Motley interfered. This match proceeded cleanly for quite a while, until Ref Z got caught behind Dave Allen in a corner while Kujo was about to splash Allen; Allen got out of the way, and poor Ref Z took the splash. While he was down, Johnny Motley made a return, this time with a chair. He took Kujo out of action with the chair, and when Ref Z recovered, Dave Allen was able to get the pinfall and retain his title.

In summary, let’s appreciate the hard work and punishment that Ref Z went through, with two out of control tag matches and then being on the receiving end of a flying splash from Kujo in the last match. He is the evening’s MVP.

The next show announced for ACW so far is Hebron Havoc, on Friday, April 5. Matches we already know about are a No DQ tag team match between The Main Attraction and Top Gunns, an Intercontinental Championship Match between Jared Kripke (c) and X-Caliber, and I’m guessing we might see Kujo vs Johnny Motley.

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