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

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.

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