Outside the Ropes: ARWPRO Live, Sat March 09, 2019

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ARWPRO held a fundraiser event for Edison Jr / Sr High School’s wrestling club, at Edison Jr / Sr High School, Lake Station, IN at 7pm Sat March 09, 2019.

The most important part of attending a wrestling event is knowing where it is. Usually, ARW shows are at the American Legion Post 100 in Lake Station, and that’s where I headed – only to find an empty parking lot … at which time I remembered that the show was somewhere else this time! Fortunately, the actual location is almost literally right down the road from the normal location.

Before the show started, Joey Boom Boom came to the ring with ARW mainstay Nevada Slick. Joey said that there will be some changes, as he needs to step away from in depth involvement to handle other responsibilities – and therefore, he is naming a new ARW Commissioner. That new commissioner is Marcus Portrait – from The Picture Show tag team with Johnny Showtime. Marcus came out in a nice outfit, complete with vest and tie! He cleans up nicely.

Marcus Portrait’s first action as commissioner is, unfortunately, to ask Ratt J Flywheel, representative of The Scumbag Army, to relinquish the tag team belts, as the team who holds them has lost a member and is down to only one – The Machine. In return, Portrait said, Machine will get a non-title match against current ARW PRO Heavyweight Champion Ivan Manson tonight – and if Machine wins, he will then be able to challenge for an actual title match at any time of his choosing. Further, all Family members except for Charlie Jr will be banned from ringside. Ratt, speaking on Machine’s behalf, grudgingly accepted he arrangement.

Above, we see Ring Announcer Greg Hansen honoring his Irish ancestors in this St. Patrick’s Day season. Way to represent, Greg! The first match has Dave Allen defending his ARW PRO Indiana State Championship against Jon Hudson. At some point during the match, Hudson seemed to have injured his left arm or shoulder, which came into play later in the evening. Allen won this match by pinning Hudson with the aid of two feet on the ropes. I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture of that as evidence for a dispute, but I did snap a shot right afterwards, where you can see Allen explaining to the crowd that he most certainly did not cheat!

Next, we had a “SCW vs ARW” match to continue the feud between the two
promotions (somewhat) neighboring each other across the IN / IL state line. (Build the wall??!!??) SCW’s representative is Andy Black, who is introduced by SCW’s Doug Keast. Representing ARW is Jake O’Neill, who is introduced by King Bishop. The original ACW ref, who was now nicknamed “Flat Top”, was replaced by an SCW ref at the urging of Doug Keast … for fairness, you know. This is all to say the ringside got very crowded as everyone hung around during the match. The match ended when Andy Black accidentally kicked the SCW ref, who went down – leaving an opening for ARW ref Dave to leap back in the ring and count a pin on Black by O’Neil.

The third match was a chain match, with Max Holiday attached to B.O.W. by a long chain with leather cuffs on each end. Well, that’s how it was supposed to work, but Holiday started off the match by hooking his cuff to the top ring rope rather than his own wrist, leaving B.O.W. with nowhere to hide. The ref eventually took control and the match returned to normal (whatever “normal” is for a chain match!), and B.O.W. got the win after continually working over Max Holiday’s left knee.

The nice thing about having an event at a large high school like this is that they often open their concession stand to make more money, and those concession stands often have a larger variety than the average wrestling venue. In particular, the gold standard of a good concession stand is if they have soft pretzels and cheese for sale. This one did, $2.25. That’s enough about intermission.

After intermission, we started off with a tag team match: Nick Cutler and Angel Armani against the Caribbean Connection. The Connection likes to dance, and Armani is not a big fan of that dancing when he gets involved with a little bump and grind. Come on, Angel, loosen up a bit! Cutler and Armani left the ring for some back and forth with the “special” seats in the crowd held by SCW fans, and they stayed out there so long that they got DQ’d. Well, the Caribbean Connection said they didn’t come to ARW to win by DQ, and they wanted the match restarted. The ref agreed, and the match resumed, and eventually the Caribbean Connection won the right way – by pinning Nick Cutler. (The picture below is from mid-match.) There was a nice spot in the match where one of the CC guys had Cutler in the near corner and Armani in the far corner. He started hauling Cutler away from the near corner in a headlock while Armani started coming out of the far corner, and he gave Cutler a bulldog while simultaneously giving Armani a clothesline with the other arm.

Next it was time for the match advertised at the opening segment: a non-title match between Machine and Ivan Manson. The whole Family gang started coming out to ringside, but Marcus Portrait was quick to assert his new authority by sending them all to the back (except Charlie Jr, who signaled his lack of respect of Portrait’s authority by messing up his tie. Show some respect, man!) Manson bailed from the match after taking a couple of clotheslines, but Machine dragged him back in, and they proceeded to have a quite good big man match for a while … until Ratt J Flywheel got smart while Charlie Jr was yet again trying to distract the ref. Ratt had a bottle of ketchup from the concession stand (did I mention they had soft pretzels?) in one hand, and tossed his ubiquitous baseball bat into Ivan Manson in the ring. While Manson caught the bat, Ratt squirted ketchup onto Machine’s face. When the ref turned around to see the “bloodied” Machine on the mat and Manson holding a baseball bat, there was only one thing he could conclude – and so he called for a DQ on Manson. And now Machine can have a title shot at an upcoming show. I neglected to get a picture of this match, maybe I was finishing my pretzel.

The final match of the night was a 4-way elimination tag team match for the recently vacated ARWPRO tag team championship. The four teams in order of announcement were: (1)Rancid Joey and Brawn the Lumberjack representing the Family; (2) Stacey Shadows and Melanie Cruise, a.k.a. Maidens of Iron (cool name!); (3) Arabian Sheik and Jay Harris, a.k.a. The Unholy Alliance, representing SCW; (4) the irregular pair of Jon Hudson and X-Caliber. Hudson came to the ring favoring his shoulder.

The first team eliminated was The Family. Rancid Joey challenged the women, but didn’t get very far and he was hit with a combo dropkick / suplex by the pair – which led to his pinfall. He was woozy when getting dragged to the back – as shown here:

During a frenzy of action, Arabian Sheik did that thing where one tag team member runs around to another’s corner and yanks the feet of the opponent standing on the apron, causing the other to fall and hit the ring apron. Well, he did that to both X-Caliber and Hudson; when he pulled out Hudson’s feet, Hudson landed on his left side, which had the injured shoulder. Ouch! Next out of the match were the Maidens of Iron when they hit a low blow on Jay Harris, and were DQ’d. Even though they were no longer in the match, they stayed at ringside to support their ARW pals against the SCW team. While the Unholy Alliance was left facing X-Caliber (who was mostly now alone, since Hudson was hurt), Jay Harris threw X-Caliber up and over in a suplex, and X-Caliber landed on his feet! That was a sweet move. At one point, X-Caliber got in too much trouble and he had to tag in Hudson. Hudson tried his best and was helped out a lot by Jay Harris when Harris accidentally hit his own partner – Hudson was able to then roll up Arabian Sheik for a pin. And now your new ARWPRO Tag Team champions are Jon Hudson and X-Caliber!

The next ARWPRO show is Saturday, April 13, back at the normal location – American Legion Post 100 in Lake Station, IN.

Outside the Ropes: ACW Tecumseh Takedown, Fri March 08, 2019

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ACME Championship wrestling held Tecumseh Takedown at Lincoln Elementary School in Roselawn, IN at 7:00pm Friday March 08, 2019; the show was a fundraiser for the school’s annual trip to Camp Tecumseh. There was a lot at stake on this card – Would Dave Allen leave with his ACW World Championship? Would Jared Kripke remain Intercontinental Champion? Would Billy the Kid be out-toughed? And most importantly, would Jimmy Holmes be forced to go to on the school trip to Camp Tecumseh later this Spring with all those misbehaving, annoying, smelly kids?

The show started with Billy the Kidd defending his ACW Tough Man Championship against a new-comer Kota (he has a last name, but I didn’t catch it properly; he was one of a few new faces on the card tonight). Kota started the match off with an immediate attack on the distracted Kidd right at the ring of the bell, but once Billy recovered, Kota didn’t really last all that long afterwards. Below left, Billy is taking a breather after his victory.

The second match featured TK Zero against another newcomer, The Masked Dragon. The Masked Dragon wore a shiny white mask, a nicely laundered white karategi*, and ratty black sneakers. Dragon got in almost no offense and I think TK Zero worked up more of a sweat aggravating the kids at ringside (above, right) than in defeating The Masked Dragon. Hopefully we’ll see more of The White Dragon and he’ll be able to beat someone up soon … I recommend Cliff Caviar. * I have to admit that I googled “What do you call a karate outfit” to find the name of his gear, because I didn’t want to sound like a doofus and just say “karate outfit”. But maybe this was actually a judo outfit, which has a different name, I don’t know the difference. Look, if you’re coming to this page for your martial arts fashion knowledge, you’re severely lost!

Next, ACW Heavyweight (World?) Champion Dave Allen came to the ring, but not in ring gear. He had a mic in one hand and a slice of pizza (which looked pretty good!) in the other. Apparently, his opponent for the night didn’t show up, so he’s decided he has the night off. General Manager Michael Allen has another idea, though: Dave Allen will defend his title against a mystery opponent later in the main event!

Match three was Jeremy Hadley vs. Jon Scrutch. Scrutch is another new face to me, but he got a pretty good response from the crowd, so maybe he’s familiar to them, or he had really good entrance music. Anyway, Hadley really had the kids in the crowd going in favor of Scrutch, but Hadley won with a big frog splash (above, right). After the match, an unseen Drex Odell had a video promo challenging Hadley to a blindfold match at the next ACW event, Hebron Havoc, in April. Odell wants revenge for Hadley spraying something in his eyes during their previous match in February. Even though Odell prepared a video promo. he remained mostly unseen because the video was filmed in very low light and did not show up well on the “screen” in the bright light of the school auditorium.

The last match before intermission was Jared Kripke defending his ACW Intercontinental Championship against Rick Raid. Raid reminded the crowd that (a) the last time he faced Hadley, Hadley left with a concussion, and (b) in his last two matches at Lincoln Elementary, he ended the ACW careers of two different people – most recently, in a ladder match against Macho Del Silver … so Raid thinks the odds are in his favor. The match went back and forth (below left, Raid tries coming off the ropes onto Kripke). But at some point Raid’s knee got injured, and Kripke worked on the knee long enough for a Figure Four Leg Lock to be effective (below, right); Raid tapped out to the move.

After intermission, the show resumed with a triple threat tag team match between High Society, Kenneth James & Arun, and Xavier Black & Sanji. Sanji is the third new face for me tonight. Before the match started, the ref was checking everyone’s gear as usual, but not as usual, he actually found something! Arun was trying to sneak in a chain, and Kenneth James had brass knuckles under a kneepad. Shame on those guys! During the match, we saw a triple suplex involving all six men. Three lined up facing the other three with arms linked like a chorus line,, and one set of three heaved the other up and over all at once. Eventually High Society got the win after Young Money hit a leg drop off the top turnbuckle. After the match, Thomas Keith brought a small cake into the ring to celebrate Young Money’s birthday. Of course, you know the rules about wrestling and cakes! Kenneth James dropkicked Keith into Young Money, and Money ended up wearing the cake.

The cleanup of cake continued as Dave Allen came to the ring for his match against a mystery opponent. Michael Allen, Greg Hansen (ring announcer), and ref Zoran were working hard on getting the frosting mess off the ring canvas while Allen stood around watching. Now, Dave Allen comes to the ring carrying a nice white towel – but did he use the towel to help? Noooooooo (below left) . After the cake was cleaned up, El Muchacho was announced as Allen’s mystery opponent. He put up a good fight (below right), but came up short as Allen retained.

The final “match” of the night was the annual fan service event set up for Jimmy Holmes to try to get out of going to camp with all these noisy, annoying kids! Holmes hates camping, and if he and his team of Brentley Alexander Dawson and one of the school teachers (Mr. Williams?) defeat their opponents, then Holmes will not have to go to on the trip to Camp Tecumseh! The opponents are about half a dozen other teachers. They each come out one or two at a time and are pinned through trickery and treachery by Holmes’ team. But at one point, Holmes accidentally hit his partner B.A.D. with a chair; after he recovers, B.A.D. came back in the ring and clobbered Holmes, allowing the teachers to cover him for a pinfall! And so, Jimmy Holmes now has to go to camp with the kids.

This ending part sounds totally silly, but the kids love it, and it is effective. On my way out of the building, two boys were talking and one said, “I am definitely going to camp now!”

The next ACW event is Hebron Havoc, on Friday April 5 in Hebron, IN.