Outside the Ropes: HCW Return of the Kings, Sat Apr 29, 2002

The show was set to start at 5:05pm, which is great in two ways: the callback to the days of Saturday wrestling on TBS with the :05 start time, and the early start time – which meant I’d be home for a reasonable old man bed time. So I was excited to load my car with all my gear (mixing board, wires & mics, etc) to record an episode of the Northwest Indiana Wrestling Action Program NWIWRAP to broadcast later in the week on WVLP 103.1FM in Valparaiso. IN. I happily set off in the car, listening to my favorite podcasts (Bloody Good Horror and Voices of Wrestling) along the way. But a bit more than half-way in my 80 minute drive from Valpo to Mishawaka, I realized … my backpack with my laptop was still sitting at home in a dining room chair. OH NO!

Well, I completed the drive and decided to just sit back and enjoy the show, take a few pictures, and then prepare this little recap, the old fashioned way (although posting on a web page is not really “old fashioned” when compared to radio).

The HCW event was held at the Battell Community Center in Mishawaka, IN. I had been there several years ago for a few Revolution Championship Wrestling events, before they moved to the Goodson Event Center in South Bend. The Battell Center is actually a great place to see a show: not a bad seat in the house, and the ring noise echoes quite nicely in the room.

Not only did this event have an early start time, but it was short and sweet – three matches, intermission, and then two matches after that. This reminds me of shows put on by Backbreaker Wrestling in Griffith & Lowell, IN, which start early (usually 6:30pm) and have 5-6 matches on each card. When you’re 50+ and sitting on hard uncomfortable plastic chairs, this can be quite nice once in a while!

While I had not been to an HCW show before, I knew many of the wrestlers from other events. And wrestling is like heavy metal, where the people often look really scary, but turn out to be the nicest people you could meet. The folks at HCW welcomed me warmly even though I was a doofus and not prepared to do the radio coverage I’d planned.

The show actually started around 5:20pm, and the first match was Diesl Traxx and The Pro Dads against the Workhorsemen. This was a 6-man tag match between the colorful Pro Dads with Uncle Diesl against the traditional wrestling-minded, no nonsense Workhorsemen. Team Coach Theo Storm brought his mini megaphone to the ring to cheer on his teammates. You can also see under his leg the ridiculously long tag rope: the WHM actually attempted to walk off before the match started because as purists, they could not stand the absence of tag ropes. So Diesl pulled out these long shoelace things to attach in the corners. One person (can’t remember who) took advantage of them and went out several feet into the ring for a tag attempt! Anyway, Diesl and the Pro Dads won this bit of fun.

Match 2 featured (The Man They Call) Kujo vs newcomer Seth Seance. This was a battle of the face paint: Seth Seance had his full face covered by a voodoo priest type of design, and Kujo had large diamonds around the eyes, and the Joker-like extended black smile streaks extending all the way through the cheeks. He makes this look work well, it’s kind of creepy! Seth Seance got in basically no offense and was dispatched with by Kujo rather quickly; I didn’t even get a picture. Having barely broken a sweat, Kujo got on the mic and expressed his disdain to the HCW management, yelling, “This is what you got for me??” He wanted more competition, and out came Dick Davis. The second opponent was at a disadvantage, of course, because Kujo was already warmed up – and Kujo defeated Davis as well.

Match 3 was Tony Thunder against Nick Cutler. I believe several wrestlers were pulling double duty today, having worked in the afternoon at a Pro Wrestling King event put on as a benefit for a food pantry in Culver, IN. It was reported they managed to collect “three SUVs full of food”, which is great. I love the community support. I believe Nick Cutler was one of the ones pulling double duty. I don’t know how rough his match was there, but here Tony Thunder put him through a grind, and ended up getting the win. I have to say that one thing I never want to see again is Nick Cutler doing a booty shake / twerk for the camera of a woman in the front row. (That’s not what’s going on in the third pic below, but the pose is remarkably similar … in that pic, Tony Thundre is thinking twice about a suicide dive.) After the match, Tony Thunder had words for an unknown (at least to me) person who “took everything from him.” Tony warned that “old school” Tony Thunder may come back at the next HCW event, which will be on June 24 (more below on that).

We had intermission after the third match. I think Dick Davis was the only one with any merch out for sale, so intermission was pretty laid back. After about five or ten minutes, we were greeted by “A Moment With Michael Shaw” …. Mr Shaw came out to very relaxing music, and encouraged us to be our best selves, and said that he loved us. Personally, I was not motivated by his presentation, and I hope someone comes out next time and inflicts violence.

Match 4 had Nick Dallas taking on Roach. Now Roach’s powerful symphonic entrance music does not really go with someone named “Roach”, but it does fit with his many, many tassels, so I don’t know what to think.

Roach busted me typing notes into my phone and called me out! I was so afraid to catch his eye afterwards that I failed to get a picture of this match, which Roach won (thanks to my support) after inflicting a few instances of brain damage on Nick Dallas.

The main event of the evening pitted Greek against Greek! The Greek Philosopher / Wrestler Simon Socrates took on HCW Champion and Greek pledge, the always lively Chip Walker (chug! chug! chug! … with root beer, of course, there are kids present). Socrates acted the Achilles heel during the match. (Sorry, I had to.)

Socrates worked over the knees of Chip Walker quite a bit, but it wasn’t enough, and Chip managed to get the win with a couple of suplexes. He remains HCW Heavyweight Champion.

The next HCW event at the Battell Center in Mishawaka is on June 24, and it’s part of a benefit for a cause called, I believe, “Fit With Fire“. Someone named Sapphire introduced us to it, there is a “two miles per day” challenge leading up to it, and there is some sort of activity going on earlier in the day before the HCW event. I was not able to dig up any pages or links on Facebook or Twitter, but if I can learn anything further, I’ll edit this page to include it.

With the time change going back from South Bend to Valpo, I got home by 7:30pm, which was superb! I love the early start time. I hope to attend the event on June 24, and I will do a better job of bringing ALL my recording gear instead of two-thirds of it. Ugh.

Anyway, you can catch previous episodes of NWIWRAP on YouTube, and you can hear them broadcast on WVLP in Valparaiso (you can listen anywhere using the Tune In Radio App as well). My schedule (along with my heavy metal show is):

Wednesday: Mostly Metal, 10pm – midnight, and NWIWRAP (when I have an episode) right after.

Sunday: 8-10pm, replay of Wednesday’s Mostly Metal, and NWIWRAP right after that.

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