Da’Marius Jones is King of Cable, Calls Out Champion

Da'Marius Jones celebrates his King of Cable tournament victory in the crowd September 13.  Photo: Brian Kelley
Da’Marius Jones celebrates his King of Cable tournament victory in the crowd September 13. Photo: Brian Kelley

By Patrick Brandmeyer

Now, as promised, a special comment about Saturday’s Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance event at the South Broadway Athletic Club in St. Louis, Missouri.

As I previously said, I feel like I’ve done the MMWA a disservice as I haven’t been to one of their events in awhile. My last event at South Broadway was in March and my last MMWA event was the one at the Cinco De Mayo Festival. I appreciate Timothy Miller posting the video clips on YouTube as I’ve been able to keep up, for the most part.

Lynn Mephisto posted on Facebook that he has parted ways with the promotion. He had a good run, including reigns as Battle Royal (now Survivor) Champion and TV Champion. Also, as previously noted, Ace Hawkins quit after his Junior Heavyweight Title loss to Everett Connors; apparently he has military obligations that will keep him out of the ring for the time being.

Attendance was still strong, though a bit down from the packed houses at South Broadway earlier in the year. Audience enthusiasm was no problem on this night.

The King of St. Louis Cable Tournament was restructured as the four first-round winners were scheduled to face each other in a four-way elimination final. I did a tournament preview a few days ago, so go there for the salient details. The tag match was announced online at the last minute, as was Kevin Lee Davidson’s substitution for Tony Kozina in the tourney.

Your ring announcer was Ben Simon, your referees were Nick Ridenour & Brian Stoltz.

Tag Team Champion Da’Marius Jones vs. Barackus (w/ J-Mal Swagg), King of Cable Tournament: These two faced each other in Barackus’ MMWA debut in January…this was shaping up to be as one-sided as their previous encounter. However, Swagg got into a discussion with his Elitism compatriot over how to end the match; that led to Jones hitting Paydirt out of nowhere for the surprise win in 5:40. Barackus and Swagg argued after the match and Barackus teased the CLAWWWWW~! on Swagg, but J-Mal talked him out of it…

TV Champion Moondog Rover vs. Kevin Lee Davidson (w/ Co-Commissioner Sean Orleans), King of Cable Tournament: As noted, Davidson was replacing Tony Kozina in the tournament. Co-Commissioner Jim Harris made the same observation I did, noting that Kozina lost his qualifying match to Gary Jackson last month. Orleans did a “random draw” to decide the remaining two tournament participants and they shockingly(?) turned out to be members of the Elitism (or allies of the group, at the very least).

This match mostly consisted of Davidson working on Moondog’s leg, though the time-compressed nature of the tournament meant that the first-round matches were relatively short. Davidson was in full control of the match and brought in a chair, destroying Moondog’s leg for the DQ in 5:47. Several wrestlers finally ran him off, including Jackson Whitechapel (who was double-crossed by Sean Orleans in a battle royal last month). Jim Harris ordered a no-DQ rematch for Herculaneum (nice job of building that card), but we later found out that Rover wouldn’t be able to compete in the tournament final. Didn’t make much sense for Davidson to go for the chair when he did…I don’t recall him making many pin covers so it didn’t seem like he was frustrated enough to go that route. If the Elitism guys wanted to ensure that Moondog didn’t make it to the final, then maybe Davidson should have, you know, tried to win. Oh well.

Andrew “The Wolf” Wilder & Johnathon Zulu vs. LaMarcus Clinton & Chase King: This would determine the next challengers for the Tag Team Title, held by A.J. Williams & Da’Marius Jones. LMC & Chase are the former champions but fell short against A.J. & Da’Marius last month. Zulu is still looking for a steady tag team partner since his previous two tag matches against Elitism members ended in defeat (thanks to timely low blows).

Wilder was thrown out of the ring and the referee was checking on him, so King went for a low blow only to be blocked by Zulu. However, LMC intervened with a punt to the Universal Weak Point and Zulu wasn’t ready for THAT…Chase capitalized with a Protobomb variation for the win in 6:58. No word on when the Tag Title match will happen…they didn’t say anything about Herculaneum in that regard and, as it turns out, Da’Marius Jones will be otherwise occupied at the next South Broadway event…

Survivor Champion Dave Osborne vs. Heavyweight Champion Brandon Espinosa vs. “Da Bomb” Brian James for the Survivor Title: This was a unique setup as they essentially had two back-to-back matches; the first was for Osborne’s title and the second was for Espinosa’s championship with a short rest period in between. The only real precedent was the match at WrestleMania 2000 with Kurt Angle defending the Intercontinental and European Titles against Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho; that led to Angle losing both belts without being pinned or made to submit. Since James wasn’t pinned in last month’s tournament qualifier (it was a tag match) and he had won last year’s tournament, he got this opportunity…in fact, the match(es) featured all three previous tournament winners. This seemed time-compressed as well, especially given the stakes involved. James got the clean pin on Espinosa with his sitout gourdbuster finisher in 5:30, winning Osborne’s championship.

Heavyweight Champion Brandon Espinosa vs. Survivor Champion “Da Bomb” Brian James vs. Dave Osborne for the Heavyweight Title: With the wear and tear of the previous match as a factor, this one didn’t last long…Espinosa bided his time outside the ring as James and Osborne fought. Orleans stuck his nose into things after James hit his finisher on Osborne, distracting James and then holding his leg to keep him from breaking up Espinosa’s pin cover on Osborne. Espinosa retained his title in 2:51, but James made a good case for a future one-on-one title shot. Never fond of setups where a champion can lose a title without being pinned/made to submit…I’ve already talked about how I think MMWA has too many championships and it seems like there are a lot of title switches in recent months. At any rate, Espinosa is defending his title in Herculaneum against the winner of a battle royal that same night.

Tag Team Champion A.J. Williams vs. Evan Gelistico, King of Cable Tournament: Surreal to see Gelistico at South Broadway; he has trained there this year and worked a previous card or two for the promotion. This was the most technical bout of the night and also the only match that went over ten minutes. It was definitely a different sort of match than anything else on the card. A.J. got the tapout win with a modified cross-armbreaker (with Evan face-down on the mat) in 10:12.

“Night Train/Great One/Gorgeous” Gary Jackson vs. J-Mal Swagg (w/ Barackus): Barackus came out with Swagg but left the ringside area before the match started…guess there’s still trouble in Elitism paradise. Gary won with the Texas Cloverleaf in 5:46. Gary reminded us of THE RULES~! afterwards.

“Risky Business” Everett Connors vs. Co-Commissioner Sean Orleans for the Junior Heavyweight Title: After Connors upset Ace Hawkins for the title last month, Orleans decided to take matters into his own hands. Orleans got a good run of offense after Connors missed his first attempt at the guillotine legdrop; however, Everett came back to hit the move on the second try for the victory in 4:37. That led to a post-match attack by J-Mal Swagg to set up the Junior Heavyweight Title match for Herculaneum. Whitechapel made the save again, wanting to get his hands on his former tag partner, but Orleans got away to save his own skin.

“Night Train/Gorgeous/Great One” Gary Jackson vs. Tag Team Champion A.J. Williams vs. Tag Team Champion Da’Marius Jones, King of Cable Tournament, three-way elimination: Moondog was unable to compete due to his injury.  Gary seemingly shrugged off A.J.’s first superkick…Gary got Da’Marius in the Cloverleaf but ate another superkick, leading to A.J. scoring the surprise three-count on Jackson at 5:43. That left the tag champs to do battle…tempers flared, but Jones hit Paydirt for the one…two…three in 8:22.

All three guys had history with Espinosa…in Jones’ case, he debuted in the area with an upset win over Espy at an SICW event in Hillsdale. Espy won the rematch at South Broadway and retained his title against him at Cinco De Mayo earlier this year. It surprised me when Jones made the challenge for the 60-Minute Ironman Match…I had only seen one match of that kind on the indies around here: Bailey Mannix vs. Eric Allen at MECW in late 2011. Hopefully that’ll be a good one…October 11th is shaping up to be a very busy night for indy wrestling in this area.

The King of Cable Tournament: A Look Back

By Patrick Brandmeyer

Now, as promised, a special comment about this weekend’s Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance event at the South Broadway Athletic Club in St. Louis, Missouri featuring the fourth annual King of Cable Tournament.

I’m a fan of one-night tournaments in general, dating back to the WWF’s King of the Ring tournament in 1993 when Bret Hart defeated Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect, and Bam Bam Bigelow in one night to capture the crown. With all the gimmick pay-per-views on WWE’s calendar, I’ve been disappointed that KOTR hasn’t figured into that equation on a regular basis.

The tournament was started in 2011 with the winner earning a title shot of his choosing. The title shot took on Money-In-The-Bank privileges and could be “cashed in” at any time, though that possibility only came into play with last year’s tourney winner. While the cash-ins didn’t always result in a title change, all three Kings of Cable would capture the Heavyweight Title within a few months of their tournament victories.

The first tournament took place on October 29th, 2011 in Lemay, Missouri. The tourney was unique in that Heavyweight Champion Gary Jackson was a participant…it was noted that Gary would be able to hand-pick his next challenger if he won the tournament. It also featured Junior Heavyweight Champion Johnny Courageous, TV Champion Brandon Espinosa, and Battle Royal Champion Dave Vaughn. The quick-and-dirty bracket rundown:

Quarterfinals: Espinosa d. Dave Osborne, Phil E. Blunt d. Courageous, Vaughn d. Max Archer, Jackson d. Ace Hawkins.
Semifinals: Espinosa d. Blunt by count out (Blunt wanted to “make amends” for interfering in Espy’s previous title shot at Jackson and essentially forfeited the match right away); Jackson d. Vaughn.
Finals: Espinosa d. Jackson.

Jackson retained his title against Espinosa via DQ win in December, but Espinosa would capture the title from Gary in January.

The second tournament also took place in Lemay and happened on September 22nd, 2012. It featured Junior Heavyweight Champion Archer and Battle Royal Champion Osborne among other competitors.

Quarterfinals: Brian James d. Archer, Osborne d. Lumberjack Abe, Ricky Cruz d. Ken Kasa, Lumberjack Gabe d. Jimmy D.
Semifinals: Osborne d. James, Cruz d. Gabe.
Finals: Osborne d. Cruz by count out after Kasa interfered.

Osborne didn’t cash in his title shot until January and his match with Jackson ended in a no-contest due to Brandon Espinosa’s interference. However, Osborne would go on to defeat Jackson for the title in February.

The third tournament was held at the South Broadway Athletic Club on November 9th, 2013. Participants included Jr. Heavyweight Champion Andrew Wilder, TV Champion A.J. Williams, and Battle Royal Champion Lynn Mephisto.

Quarterfinals: Mephisto d. A.J. Williams, Ace Hawkins d. Wilder, Osborne d. Da’Marius Jones, Brian James d. Jimmy D.
Semifinals: Mephisto d. Hawkins, James d. Osborne.
Finals: James d. Mephisto.

James’ tournament win had the quickest turnaround of the three. In December, Brandon Espinosa retained his title against Osborne with a DQ win after an unidentified man (now known as Barackus) interfered. James cashed in his title shot right after that bout concluded and capitalized on the worn-down champion to win the championship.

This year’s tournament participants have been finalized. Six men qualified at the August event: Tag Team Champions A.J. Williams & Da’Marius Jones (defeating LaMarcus Clinton & Chase King), TV Champion Moondog Rover (defeating Lynn Mephisto), Gary Jackson (defeating Tony Kozina), and Barackus & J-Mal Swagg (defeating Brian James & Johnathon Zulu). Co-Commissioner Sean Orleans did a “random draw” to determine the final two competitors and “coincidentally” drew the names of Elitism allies Evan Gelistico and Tony Kozina (despite Kozina losing his qualifying match last month!). The brackets have not been finalized so I guess we’ll have to wait until the event itself to find out how things will shake out.

The card will also feature a unique “two-fall match” with both the Heavyweight and Survivor Titles at stake. Notably, the match will feature the previous three Kings of Cable as Heavyweight Champion Espinosa and Survivor Champion Osborne will be in the ring with Brian James. It will be conducted under triple threat rules, but the first fall will be for Osborne’s title and the second fall will be for Espinosa’s championship. Topping off the announced lineup, new Jr. Heavyweight Champion Everett Connors will defend against Sean Orleans.

The nice thing about my obsessive-compulsiveness with regards to wrestling viewing is that the whiny blog(s) are a great reference source for this sort of thing…my LiveJournal page just reached its ten-year anniversary! One of these days I’ll need to go back and tag the posts so they’re easier to search…

Anywho, see ya Saturday…

Good night, good luck, and #yaywrestling.

4th King of Cable Cup This Weekend

MMWA 9/13/14

By Ben Simon

The King of Cable Cup single elimination tournament is this Saturday, September 13 at the South Broadway Athletic Club.  The winner gets a shot at any title at any time he wishes.

The bracket has not been released.  However, we know the eight participants in this year’s Cup.  They are:

J-Mal Swagg, Barackus, tag champ Da’Marius Jones, tag champ A.J. Williams, Gary Jackson, TV champ Moondog Rover, Evan Gelistico, and Tony Kozina.

In order, the past winners are: Brandon Espinosa, Dave Osborne, and Brian James.  All of them have parlayed those tournament victories into realized championship reigns.

This year, those three will face one another in two different three-way matches.  The first three-way will be for Osborne’s MMWA Survivor Championship.  The second match will see Espinosa’s MMWA Heavyweight Championship on the line.

Also on the card, Everett Connors defends his MMWA Junior Heavyweight Championship against Co-Commissioner Sean Orleans.

Bell at 8.  For advance tickets, call (314) 778-4833.

A Fun Birthday at Dynamo Pro

By Patrick Brandmeyer

Now, as promised, a special comment about Saturday’s Dynamo Pro Wrestling event at the Stratford Bar & Grill in Fenton, Missouri.

For the second year in a row, my birthday fell on a weekend so I spent the evening at a local wrestling event. Didn’t do anything particularly special for the occasion: Slept late, bought a G1 Transformer on eBay, and made a Hardee’s run for dinner. You know, like you do.

Attendance was solid as Dynamo has built a pretty good audience for the Fenton events. Energy level was all over the place, but at least the fans were into it.

Dynamo was presented with a unique scheduling conflict that wasn’t related to anything in the area; Heavyweight/Tag Champ Ricky Cruz, co-Tag Champ Brandon Espinosa, and Lucy Mendez were all in Iowa for 3XW this past weekend. That left them with neither of their reigning champions. Absent from the announced lineup were Brandon Aarons (Missouri licensing?) and Shorty Biggs (who was in Outtkast’s corner but didn’t wrestle). The original lineup had Shorty vs. Evan Morris, Jon Webb vs. Brandon Gallagher, and Aarons vs. Paco Gonzalez.

Your ring announcer was Chris Roedel (with Luke Roberts doing extra announcements), your timekeeper was Ben Simon, and your referees were Patrick Hook, Richard White, and Jay King.

Jon Webb vs. “The” Evan Morris: Morris was announced as the former prom king at his high school…heh. This was Morris’ first Dynamo appearance in several months…I’ve heard nothing about Central-States Championship Wrestling in a while, so who knows what’s going on there. Fans weren’t really into this one for some reason, but the match itself was solid enough. Webb won with a combination of super kicks (two standard, one close-range) in 6:17.

Mike Outlaw vs. “The Alternative” Brandon Gallagher: As I’ve previously said, I wish Dynamo had a secondary singles title since there are a lot of guys in the midcard with nothing to win. Gallagher is a prime example as he has been in limbo since the feud with Dan Walsh ended. Outlaw scored the victory after the Macho elbow in 6:50; he’s had a good run in his first few months of in-ring competition.

“Madman” Paco Gonzalez vs. “Ironman” Ken Kasa (w/ Travis Cook): Haven’t bought a wrestling T-shirt in a while, but I may pick up the new “I’m A Travis Cook Guy” shirt.  Kasa has become more of a regular with Dynamo since losing SICW’s Classic Title; who knows what kind of politics were in effect in that regard (That may be fodder for a totally separate commentary, especially in light of this past weekend’s changing of the guard in Ring of Honor.). At any rate, another fine bout; Paco missed the frog splash and Kasa got the win after the John Wu Dropkick in 8:41.

Jack Gamble vs. “The New Hotness” Danny Adams: Gamble had wrestled in Fenton previously with Travis Cook as his manager, so they made sure to announce that he was no longer a “Travis Cook Guy”. Adams worked on Gamble’s leg and got the surprising tapout win with a modified Texas Cloverleaf (similar to one of Edge’s old finishers) in 7:46.

Executive Director Mark Bland made an appearance, but only to introduce special guest “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and segue into the intermission. I talked to a few fans who feel like the whole feud with Ricky Cruz may gain Ricky sympathy. Bland has arguably been acting like your standard overbearing boss and stacking the deck against the champion.

Outtkast (w/ “The Don Mega” Shorty Biggs) vs. Elvis Aliaga: This was a rematch from Glen Carbon when Outtkast got the win. Shorty came out with ‘Kast but didn’t stay at ringside; don’t know if he had Missouri licensing issues as well. Outtkast hit the Case Study but this time Aliaga got a foot on the bottom rope. Kast attempted his finisher a few more times but Elvis was able to get out of the predicaments…Aliaga finally hit the TCB (Falcon Arrow) to even the score between the two in a time of 12:32.

“Dirdey” Jake Dirden vs. “The Bosnian Warchild” Spi-Ral: I’ve been impressed by Spi-Ral so far. I don’t think Dirden has faced too many high-flyers in his career and was wondering how this match would go…I thought it played out pretty well. Don’t think the fans saw Spi-Ral as a legitimate threat to Dirden…Spi-Ral’s previous losses to Ace Hawkins and Jon Webb probably didn’t help that perception. At any rate, Dirden won with the Asiatic Spike in 11:50 and the fans started buying into Spi-Ral a bit more by the end of it.

The Bite Club (Rocket Mapache & Jackal) vs. The Black Hand Warriors (Michael Magnuson & David DeLorean)(w/ Travis Cook): Travis insulted Bobby Eaton in his pre-match promo, noting that he’s not a fan of anybody who has been associated with Jim Cornette (Remember SICW?). A friend asked if Dirden-Spi-Ral should have been the finale of the night…I’m not sure, I guess it could have been. Even now, I wonder about the decision to take the belt off Dirden, but that’s just me. I joked with Mapache before the match that they would have failed as a tag team if they hadn’t at least TRIED to get in a signature Midnight Express double-team…bwahahaha. My first suggestion was the Rocket Launcher but I threw out the Veg-O-Matic and Flapjack as well…we did get the Rocket Launcher, so kudos for that. Travis distracted referee Jay King so he wouldn’t count the pin…that brought out Eaton to dispose of him in short order. Magnuson accidentally superkicked his partner and the Bite Club members disposed of Magnuson, then Jackal and Mapache BOTH rolled up DeLorean for the pin…sure, why not? That got the win in 16:14 to make Mapache and Jackal the top contenders to the Tag Team Titles…whenever Ricky and Espy plan on gracing us with their presence again. :)

Dynamo cancelled their scheduled event in Glen Carbon on Friday the 19th, but added Off Broadway on Tuesday the 30th…so September will still be a busy month.

Rocket Mapache & Jackal Have a New Friend… Bobby Eaton!

Dynamo Pro 9/6/14

By Ben Simon

Tonight at the Stratford in Fenton, the tag team champions are away, so their contenders will play.

Former champs The Black Hand Warriors (Michael Magnuson & Dave DeLorean) represent the Travis Cook Organization.  They will take on the Bite Club (Rocket Mapache & Jackal).

To counteract Travis Cook, “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton will be in the Bite Club’s corner.

Listen to Bobby Eaton talk about the Bite Club on RingSyders

The winners will be the mandatory challengers for a title match against Ricky Cruz & Brandon Espinosa.

Also on the card: Outtkast vs. Elvis Aliaga, Shorty Biggs vs. Evan Morris, Jake Dirden vs. Spi-Ral, Brandon Gallagher vs. Jon Webb, Paco Gonzalez vs. Brandon Aarons, and Jack Gamble vs. Danny Adams.

Bell at 8.  For ticket information, visit DynamoProWrestling.com.

Labor Day is Over – On with Wrestling!

By Patrick Brandmeyer

Now, as promised, a special comment about upcoming independent wrestling events in Greater St. Louis (Okay, I rarely promise anything related to these commentaries, but the format is a homage to Keith Olbermann so I feel obliged to start with that).

The schedule will get very crowded in the next few months, meaning local fans will have to make choices between the area groups. There are three events scheduled for September 27th and three events scheduled for October 11th…geography will be a factor to some people, I would imagine.

In Dynamo Pro Wrestling…the Glen Carbon event scheduled for Friday, September 19th was canceled, so the only event currently set for September is this Saturday in Fenton. (Haven’t heard anything about Off Broadway events.) Conspicuous by their absences from the posted lineup are Heavyweight/Tag Team Champion Ricky Cruz and co-Tag Champ Brandon Espinosa…it doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be there, but it still seems unusual. I imagine something is afoot in that regard, perhaps involving our esteemed Executive Director Mark Bland…we shall see.

The posted lineup features The Bite Club (Rocket Mapache & Jackal) facing the Black Hand Warriors for the next shot at the Tag Title as well as “Dirdey” Jake Dirden vs. “The Bosnian Warchild” Spi-Ral. “The Don Mega” Shorty Biggs faces the returning Evan “Money” Morris, Elvis Aliaga gets a rematch with Outtkast, and former WCW TV and Tag Champion Beautiful Bobby Eaton will make an appearance.

On September 13th, I’ll finally make it back to the beautiful and/or historic South Broadway Athletic Club for MMWA…I haven’t been there since March. In April, I finally discovered what it would take to keep me away from an indy event: Hospitalization due to acute bronchitis. Since then, there has always seemed to be another event on the nights of SBAC cards…big thanks to Timothy Miller for posting videos online, allowing me to keep up on the goings-on.

I’m a big fan of the one-night tournament format and this event will feature the annual King of St. Louis Cable Tournament. The winner gets Money-in-the-Bank-esque privileges and can challenge for any title at any time. The main event will notably feature the previous three tournament winners in a unique “two-fall” match: Heavyweight Champion Brandon Espinosa, Survivor Champion “Big” Dave Osborne, and “Da Bomb” Brian James. Both falls will work like your standard triple threat match, but the first fall will be for Osborne’s Survivor Title and the second will be for Espy’s Heavyweight Title. Also on the card, new Junior Heavyweight Champion “Risky Business” Everett Connors makes his first title defense against wrestler/manager/commentator/co-commissioner Sean Orleans.

Six men qualified for the tournament at the August event: Tag Team Champions A.J. Williams & Da’Marius Jones, “Night Train/Gorgeous/Great One” Gary Jackson, Television Champion Moondog Rover, Barackus, and J-Mal Swagg. Going on the notion that the losers of those qualifiers are out of the running, that excludes these men from the final two spots: LaMarcus Clinton, Chase King, Tony Kozina, Lynn Mephisto, Brian James, and Johnathon Zulu. That doesn’t mean one of the two resident commissioners (Jim Harris and Sean Orleans) won’t rule otherwise, but I guess we’ll find out on the night of the event.

SICW returns to East Carondelet on Saturday the 20th with “The Birdman” Koko B. Ware appearing. I only saw the tail end of the WWE Hall of Famer’s career, but he was one-half of High Energy with Owen Hart and he had one of the best brainbusters in wrestling (known as the Ghostbuster at the time).

The card itself is loaded with “Ironman” Ken Kasa getting his rematch against Heath Hatton with Travis Cook barred from the building; also, Red River Jack faces “The King of Chaos” Ricky Cruz on the heels of Jack costing Cruz his title shot at Hatton in August. Gary Jackson will face newcomer Mohamad Ali Vaez, Jake Dirden takes on Bull Bronson, and “The Man of Tomorrow” Daniel Eads faces a tough test in the form of veteran Flash Flanagan.

Saturday the 27th has SICW in Fairmont City as well as MMWA in Herculaneum. Nothing has been announced for SICW yet; MMWA has a battle royal for a Heavyweight Title shot later in the night, as well as defenses of the Jr. Heavyweight and T.V. Titles. I’m leaning toward SICW since it’s closer, but that’s just me…

Dynamo returns to Fenton on Saturday the 4th, then will be back in Glen Carbon on the 11th…but the 11th will be a crowded evening. MMWA has their monthly event at South Broadway that night and SICW has a card in Swansea to benefit the area fire department.

Wrapping up October, SICW is back in East Carondelet on the 18th with One Man Gang appearing (no word on the status of Akeem The African Dream for the event).

Wrestling fans live in a time period in which their hobby is more accessible than ever before. Whether it’s through the WWE Network (I forget how much it costs) or through other avenues, there’s no longer an excuse to restrict yourself to what’s on television. If the mainstream products aren’t to your liking for your own reasons, then give something else a try. Independent wrestling gives you a different perspective on the business and fans are a lot closer to the action…the possibility of first-hand interaction with the wrestlers and manager (just ask Travis Cook) is much greater. Speaking for myself, I just have a better time watching indy wrestling than I do watching WWE or TNA these days…all I recommend is that you give it a shot and see what you think.

Good night, good luck, and #yaywrestling.

Pat’s Special Comment: More to Be Desired

By Patrick Brandmeyer

Now, as promised, a special comment about Saturday’s Dynamo Pro Wrestling event at the Sports Academy in Glen Carbon, Illinois.

Writing these commentaries isn’t always easy.  I’ve been accused of going easy on aspects of cards that probably deserved more criticism.  I’ve known some of the people in the local wrestling scene for a long time and, admittedly, biases do exist.  That being said…I didn’t think this was very good.

Pre-show notes:  For a little while, the only match announced on the Facebook event page was Ricky Cruz & Brandon Espinosa defending the Tag Team Titles against Shorty Biggs & Outtkast (since the Bum Rrush Brothers got a non-title win over Cruz & Espinosa in Eureka).  A few days later (presumably due to Espinosa not being available), it was changed to Ricky defending the Dynamo Pro Title against Shorty (another Eureka rematch, as Shorty defeated Ricky by DQ at that event).  A few more matches were posted, but the Facebook event page took down the Ricky-Shorty match for some reason…that match did still happen, though.  Other announced matches were Dirden-Kasa, Rando-Fantastic, Bite Club-Professionals, and Aarons vs. Paco vs. Gallagher.

The attendance was okay…but the crowd noise was really bad for most of the night.  Some matches got decent fan response, but people were deathly quiet for other portions of the night.  That’s been a problem for the Glen Carbon venue for a while; it’d be best for Dynamo Pro to search for a new Illinois venue.

The Bite Club (Rocket Mapache & Jackal) vs. The Professionals (Shawn Santel & Mauler McDarby)(w/ Travis Cook):  “I’m A Travis Cook Guy” T-shirts now exist…may have to pick one up.  The Bite Club ended the Black Hand Warriors’ Tag Team Title reign so Travis sent his other tag team after them for some payback.  Would like to see more of Santel and McDarby; they’re an underrated tag team.  They seem to have found some middle ground on their ring attire with the jeans over the wrestling tights.  At any rate, Mapache got the pin on Santel after he and Jackal hit splashes off opposite turnbuckles at 8:07.

Steven Kennedy vs. Danny Adams:  The in-ring action was fine by itself, but the fans weren’t really invested in the match.  Kennedy pulled out a few old-school moves, including a Splash Mountain for a late near-fall.  Kennedy got the win with his old finisher, a running middle-turnbuckle moonsault, in 8:28.

Brandon Aarons vs. Paco Gonzalez vs. “The Alternative” Brandon Gallagher:  I’ve said a few times in the past that multi-way matches have jumped the shark for me.  Gallagher bided his time and let the other two fight it out.  Gallagher took advantage of the situation…Paco went up for the frog splash and Gallagher pushed him off the turnbuckles, then rolled up Aarons with a handful of tights at 5:22.

Mike Outlaw vs. Sir Isaac:  This was a matchup between two of Dynamo’s newest rookies.  I had only seen Isaac in the battle royal in July at Glen Carbon and this was his first singles bout.  Unfortunately, a match between two relatively unknown competitors didn’t amount to much emotional investment on the part of the fans.  Would like to see these guys against different opposition in the future, though.  Outlaw won by blocking Isaac’s sunset flip off the second rope in 6:05.

Executive Director Mark Bland called out Heavyweight/Tag Team Champion Ricky Cruz to set up the stipulations for the main event.  The no-disqualification stipulation made sense since Ricky got disqualified against Shorty in Eureka to save his title.  Bland stumbled over the announcement a bit, but he made Outtkast the special guest referee for the main event.  I’m not a big fan at all of stacking the deck.  What’s the payoff supposed to be…a match between Ricky Cruz and Mark Bland?  Who does that really help?

Dash Rando vs. Cavana Fantastic:  This stemmed from a match in June when Fantastic turned on Rando in a tag match against the Professionals.  The crowd was dead for this match as well…it was a funny guy who rarely wins and a funny guy who just resurfaced after a long sabbatical.  Cavana finally hit the superkick after a few tries and pinned Rando with feet on the ropes at 5:17.

Outtkast vs. Elvis Aliaga:  It was an uphill battle after the previous few segments, but this match was solid for what it was; each man escaped the other’s signature moves and Outtkast escaped a TCB (Falcon Arrow) attempt, getting the rollup pin in 6:23.

“Dirdey” Jake Dirden vs. “Ironman” Ken Kasa (w/ Travis Cook):  These two had some great battles in SICW over the Classic Title; I was looking forward to this one after it was announced.  It seemed like a condensed version of the matches they had in SICW.  Dirden’s Asiatic Spike is popular with the fans, but his variation of the move where he delivers a thumb strike to the throat and essentially throttles the opponent to the mat for the pin…not so much.  That ending seemed to fall flat with the fans (as did several things on this night)…Dirden got the win in 7:49.

The intermission was oddly timed as it didn’t happen in the middle, but toward the end after seven matches with two to go.

High Level Enterprise (Jack Gamble & Jon Webb) vs. The Black Hand Warriors (Michael Magnuson & David DeLorean)(w/ Travis Cook):  This stemmed from a World League Wrestling feud; Gamble had joined the BHWs in both WLW and Dynamo, but double-crossed them in WLW to rejoin his partner Webb and regain the WLW Tag Title.  Travis did some pre-match mic talk with Gamble.  My friends noted DeLorean’s resemblance to Kevin Steen both in looks and in some of his moveset.  They traded a lot of big moves in the home stretch; myself and my friends were wondering if it’d end on a rollup of some kind after all of that, but that wasn’t the case.  DeLorean pinned Gamble after a top-rope Air Raid Crash(!) in 13:27.

Heavyweight/Tag Team Champion “The King Of Chaos” Ricky Cruz vs. “The Don Mega” Shorty Biggs, no-DQ match for the Dynamo Pro Title, referee Outtkast:  Neither guy got much of a reaction when they came out, sadly.  Outtkast made a few early fast-counts for Shorty’s pin attempts before settling into a more standard cadence.  There were plenty of bells and whistles in this one…Outtkast tried to stop Ricky from using weapons on a few occasions (but it was no-DQ!).  There was a weird dissension tease when Shorty used Ricky’s brass knuckles against him and Outtkast was randomly occupied with something at the timekeeper’s table and didn’t count the pin fast enough.  Cruz finally brought in a chair and whacked Outtkast with it when he tried to stop him…at that point, who could really blame him?  Bland tried to get involved and was accidentally knocked off the apron by Shorty when Cruz sidestepped him.  Jay King took over the officiating as Outtkast was helped to the backstage area…Ricky stunned Shorty with the knucks and superkicked him for the pin at 11:52.

No local wrestling in my area next weekend, from the looks of things…I won’t mind a weekend off.  Hopefully Dynamo can rebound in the future…they’re next on my schedule as they’re back in Fenton on September 6th.

Good night, good luck, and #yaywrestling.

Shorty Gets a Rematch Saturday

Dynamo Pro 8/23/14

By Ben Simon

Ricky Cruz meets Shorty Biggs at the Sports Academy in Glen Carbon on August 23 in Cruz’s sixth defense of the Dynamo Pro Championship.

The two met for the belt two weeks ago under the pavilion at Brookdale Farms at a benefit card.  Biggs was set to deliver a top rope leg drop onto “The King of Chaos” when Cruz’s partner, Brandon Espinosa, interfered in the match.

Biggs won the match, but the title can’t change on a disqualification.  Executive Director Mark Bland is expected to be at Dynamo Pro this Saturday; hopefully, he bans Espinosa from ringside.

Also on the card: Jake Dirden vs. Ken Kasa, Paco Gonzalez vs. Brandon Aarons vs. Brandon Gallagher in a three-way, Rocket Mapache & Jackal vs. Shawn Santel & Mauler McDarby, and Dash Rando vs. Cavana Fantastic.

Bell at 8.  For ticket information, visit DynamoProWrestling.com.

Pat’s Special Comment: Missing South Broadway…

Brandon Espinosa made it out of the SBAC's August offering with his Title.  Photo: Eleanor Harris
Brandon Espinosa made it out of the SBAC’s August offering with his Title. Photo: Eleanor Harris

By Patrick Brandmeyer

I feel like I have done the Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance a disservice in recent months. After missing their April event due to bronchitis, the local wrestling schedule has been extremely full and I haven’t been to any South Broadway events. Fortunately, the magic of YouTube has allowed me to keep track of the goings-on…

I’m not a big fan of corrupt authority…my philosophy is that people go to independent wrestling events to see something DIFFERENT from what’s on television. That applies to extended talking segments as well. Tony Casta did add Jim Harris as Assistant Commissioner to keep Sean Orleans from abusing his power too much.

The table has already been set for the September event (which I SHOULD be able to attend); that event will feature the annual King of St. Louis Cable Tournament. Six men have qualified: Tag Team Champions A.J. Williams & Da’Marius Jones, TV Champion Moondog Rover, Gary Jackson, Barackus, and J-Mal Swagg. I imagine the field will be completed by Survivor Champion Dave Osborne and new Junior Heavyweight Champion Everett Connors, though Andrew Wilder could also be a candidate after his strong showing against Heavyweight Champ Brandon Espinosa.

The Tag Title match I had prognosticated last month came to pass as Williams & Jones defended against former champions LaMarcus Clinton & Chase King (who had never lost the titles in the ring). Both LMC and King had taken sabbaticals from wrestling and the titles just vanished from the MMWA picture; the titles were reactivated in April when Jackson Whitechapel & Sean Orleans defeated Jones & Jake Dempsey to become the new champions. Nice teamwork by both sides in this one.

The TV Title match had plenty of stipulations on top of being a championship bout; the winner qualified for King of STL Cable AND Mephisto had to eat dog food if he lost. Mephisto went a bit more aerial than usual in this one with a suicide dive and (missed) Lionsault. Gary Jackson stopped Mephisto from walking away from the stipulation, so it looks like that issue isn’t quite over.

Gary Jackson vs. Tony Kozina shaped up to be an old-school technical battle…and it was, despite Kevin Lee Davidson’s interference on a few occasions. My esteemed colleague Drew Abbenhaus said that he’d never seen a tapout from a figure-four reversal and I don’t think I had either.

There could be some trouble in Elitism paradise, judging by the battle royal. Jackson Whitechapel may be a bit tired of Sean Orleans forcing him to do the lion’s share of the work in their tag matches and then hogging the glory at the end. They had some communication near the start of the battle royal that led to Whitechapel attacking Orleans, then Orleans low-bridging Whitechapel out of the match…hmm. Tag partners King and LMC got former Survivor Champ Stevie K out of the match only to be dumped one right after the other by Osborne. Evan Gelistico hung back and let the other guys battle it out…rookie Laurence Johnson got J-Mal Swagg out, only for Gelistico to send him to the floor. Osborne took great pleasure in eliminating Orleans…then had a pretty good exchange with Gelistico before finally winning to retain his title. This was the first time in a few months that the former Battle Royal Title had been defended in a battle royal…so there you have it.

After Everett Connors pinned Ace Hawkins in last month’s gauntlet match, Hawkins claimed it was a fluke and Connors could never beat him in a straight one-on-one match. To be fair, Ace had been in the ladder match with Andrew Wilder earlier in the night and wasn’t in the best of shape. The rookie Connors has been working quite a bit around the area, appearing for Dynamo Pro as well as PWCS. The match built up pretty well and I wasn’t expecting a title change, but Connors finally hit the guillotine legdrop to score the huge upset! It sounds like Ace is taking a break from wrestling…going by the subtle hints of him throwing a tantrum and QUITTING after the loss.

The only match I didn’t see on YouTube was Barackus & J-Mal Swagg vs. Brian James & Johnathon Zulu…Swagg pinned Zulu for the win. The loss meant that last year’s King of STL Cable winner was out of the running for this year’s tourney…perhaps he’ll challenge for Espy’s title at the September event as I don’t think he’s had a one-on-one rematch since losing the title back to Espinosa. If I remember right, the tournament winner can get a shot at any title of his choosing whenever he wants…so if a member of the Elitism wins it, would that person challenge for Espinosa’s title or not?

Andrew Wilder had a good showing against Espinosa in the main event, but Orleans’ distraction cost him the match. Wilder is really good for his level of experience; it would probably do him some good to add a bit of bulk (he was announced at 149 lbs.) and get some tights/trunks instead of the baggy shorts.

At any rate, I should finally get back to the South Broadway Athletic Club in September…looking forward to it. I’m a big fan of wrestling tournaments so that’ll be a fun part of the event…

Look Out, Heath! Ricky Cruz Wants His Classic Title Back!

Ricky Cruz would love to add SICW's belt to his collection.
Ricky Cruz would love to add SICW’s belt to his collection.  Photo: Amanda Blase

By Ben Simon

Heath Hatton’s campaign as Classic Wrestling Champion begins with a difficult showdown against #1 contender Ricky Cruz.  It all goes down Saturday, August 16th at the East Carondelet Community Center.

This is the first time Heath Hatton and “The King of Chaos” Cruz have met for the title.

Cruz is swimming in leather; he recently won a new belt in Independence, Mo.  He now holds the Dynamo Pro, GWF, and Dynamo Pro Tag Team Titles.  If he beats Hatton, he will need an assistant.

The co-feature is a six-man tag pitting Gary Jackson, Jim Hoffarth, and Shorty Biggs against Waco, Flash Flanagan, and Bull Bronson.

Also on the card: Ken Kasa vs. Outtkast, Ax Allwardt vs. Red River Jack, Daniel Eads vs. Matt Cage, JJ Garrett vs. Mohamad Ali Vaez, and Joker vs. Mallaki Matthews.

“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, a main event wrestler from the first WrestleMania, will be in attendance.  The Professional Wrestling Hall of Famer will be available for autographs.

For advance tickets, call (618) 286-4848.

MMWA | SICW | Dynamo Pro

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.