Gary Jackson to Topple Travis Cook Organization?

Gary Jackson was SICW's champion in 2009. Photo: Brian Kelley
Gary Jackson was most recently SICW’s champion in 2009. Photo: Brian Kelley

By Ben Simon

Gary Jackson is a legend and he’s not done yet.  The longtime Saint Louis veteran will take a crack at “Ironman” Ken Kasa and his Classic Wrestling Championship this Saturday, April 26, at the East Carondelet Community Center.

I’m trying to get back into the spotlight and be a champion again.  A lot of fans remember me when I had the (MMWA Championship, when it was the SICW’s crown, too)… they say I’ve still got what it takes to win this belt again.

Watch Gary Jackson’s full interview from Wrestling Explosion

A multiple-time champ at South Broadway, “Gorgeous” Gary has never held the top prize in modern SICW.  Over a year since his last shot at the Classic Title (CWC), “Night Train” looks to take Travis Cook’s most prized trophy from his most prized athlete.

That athlete is Ken Kasa, the CWC for 10 months.  Saturday will be Kasa’s 11th title defense, just two away from Ricky Cruz’s record of 13.

This SICW offering is titled “Barnburner” and it should be one indeed.  In a co-feature, Flash Flanagan makes his return to test Jake Dirden in a heavyweight showdown.

In this battle that pits a kendo stick against the Asiatic spike, this could get out of hand in a hurry.

Also, Ricky Cruz teams with the 410 lb. Bull Bronson to battle Chaz Wesson and Ron Powers.  As well, Heath Hatton wrestles promotional newcomer “The Iceman” Howard Moritz.

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

Dynamo Double-Shot: Can Dirden Run Gauntlet?

Dynamo Pro 4/19/14

By Ben Simon

Update: Jake Dirden has retained against Jeremy Wyatt.  Dirden vs. Outtkast is confirmed for Off Broadway.

A title rematch is signed for Dynamo Pro’s return to the Sports Academy in Glen Carbon, Ill. on April 19.  Jake Dirden will defend against Jeremy Wyatt.

Wyatt said that he was “screwed” out of his supposed title victory over the bearded Dirden earlier this month.  Wyatt earned the pinfall by nailing Jake with the title belt.  After Elvis Aliaga brought the foul play to light, the match was restarted and Dirden made good.

Note that Davey Richards will not appear at the April 19 event due to a TNA obligation.

Dynamo Pro 4/22/14

The winner of the title scrap on Saturday won’t have long for a breather; the Dynamo Pro Championship is on the line again Tuesday, April 22 at Off Broadway in Saint Louis.

Outtkast of the Bum Rush Brothers will finally get his first crack at the title.  The match is his specialty: a “House of Fun”  hardcore match.  This one will get crazy and will be “fun” to see live.

Dirden’s face is on the poster but it could just as well be Jeremy Wyatt defending the Dynamo Pro Championship come next Tuesday.

For ticket information, visit DynamoProWrestling.com.

Will Brandon Espinosa Resurrect The Elitism? Can It Be Stopped?

 

Commissioner Harris makes the matches for April 12 as wrestlers stand up to Espinosa's posse.  Photo: Maurice Ramsey
Commissioner Harris makes the matches for April 12 as wrestlers stand up to Espinosa’s posse. Photo: Maurice Ramsey

By Ben Simon

It’s unusual but not unknown for a small faction to grow into a monstrous one.  A virus is spreading in MMWA Wrestling.

Brandon Espinosa is not new to the faction game.  In fact, up until a couple of years ago, he led a group called the “Elitism.”  Could the Elitism return, bigger than ever before?  That notion is a dangerous one.

Espy and his longtime buddy Ace Hawkins interrupted last month’s main event tag match.  Their mission: to injure Gary Jackson and Brian James.  Barackus and Mephisto assisted.

The locker room emptied and a brawl erupted in the ring.  What was left in the ring was an army of necessity: Gary Jackson, Brian James, A.J. Williams, Da’Marius Jones, Dave Osborne, J-Mal Swagg, Webmaster Stevie K, Andrew Wilder, and Everett Connors.

On the outside: Espinosa, Hawkins, Mephisto, Jackson Whitechapel, Sean Orleans, the huge Barackus, and a returning Chase King.

Jim Harris has set the card for April 12.  The main event will pit Brandon Espinosa and Ace Hawkins against Gary Jackson and Brian James.  If either Jackson or James scores the fall, he will receive a title shot.

In the co-feature, Dave Osborne will finally get his hands on Barackus in a fair, one-on-one contest.  Barackus is undefeated; his claw hold is, so far, unbreakable.  One thing to look for here: can Osborne avoid or break the hold before Dave is KO’ed face-first on the canvas?  The former champ has been attacked by the huge Barackus multiple times.  Now, he looks for revenge.

Jackson Whitechapel and his agent, Sean Orleans, will deal with a wild card of a tag bout versus Da’Marius Jones and “Dogtown” Jake Dempsey.  Dempsey, a local boxing trainer, will make his pro debut.  Will Dempsey try to get in the ring with his former commentary partner, Orleans?

On April 12, Jackson, James, Osborne, and company are fighting to keep the integrity of wrestling alive at the SBAC.  If they fail, it is possible more wrestlers will be tempted by the “faction’s” dominance.  And if that happens, South Broadway is looking at a hostile takeover in the wrestling department.

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

Jeremy Wyatt to Collect Dynamo Belt April 5th?

Dynamo Pro 4/5/14

By Ben Simon

“Show me greatness!” shouted Mark Bland.

Dynamo Pro’s Executive Director of Operations sat ringside Feb. 1 for the gauntlet battle royal to determine a championship mandatory challenger.

Jeremy Wyatt (who entered at unlucky #1 in the field of 20) heard the message loud and clear.  He outlasted them all and receives his Dynamo Pro Championship match April 5 at the Stratford Bar & Grill.

Known as “The Belt Collector,” Wyatt has made a career out of doing just that.  He held the NWA Central States Heavyweight and NWA Missouri Heavyweight titles at the same time, a rarity seen only twice before.

Jake Dirden is the most dominant champion in Missouri, in terms of title defenses.  When “Dirdey” applies his Asiatic Spike sleeper hold, no one escapes.  He’s a wild man, but he won’t take Wyatt lightly.

The Black Hand Warriors (Michael Magnuson & Dave DeLorean) will defend their Dynamo Pro Tag Team Championship against the former and first champions, The Bum Rush Brothers (Shorty Biggs & Outtkast).

Outtkast was to fight Jake Dirden for the big title on March 1st.  However, freezing rain forced a cancellation.  Outtkast is not happy that he may have to wait through several more cards to get his deserved shot.  Ripping the tag title from the BHW would be a welcome consolation.

Also, Bradley Charles meets Dan Walsh, Elvis Aliaga will try to out-”fit” Mark Sterling, and a three-way tag team attraction will pit Gamble & Webb against Jake Parnell & Andino Giovanni as well as Brandon Espinosa & Ace Hawkins.

Buy tickets in advance at BrownPaperTickets.com.

Special Caseyville Event: Kasa vs. Hatton for CWC

Ricky Cruz assaults Chaz Wesson with a chair on March 22 in East Carondelet.
Ricky Cruz assaults Chaz Wesson with a chair on March 22 in East Carondelet.

By Ben Simon

You’ve heard the news?  Ken Kasa is still the Classic Wrestling Champion.  The “Ironman” defeated Jake Dirden, 2-1, in a best-of-three showdown last weekend in East Carondelet.

With the match tied 1-1, Travis Cook blatantly interfered, trying to get the champion disqualified.  This would yield a loss, yet a successful title defense.  Referee Jay King knew that the deciding fall in the match had to be a pin or submission for a title change.

Even though King wouldn’t disqualify Ken Kasa, Dirden couldn’t keep his composure and tossed Kasa over the top rope for a DQ in the third.

There is no rest for champion Ken Kasa.  He is signed to meet Heath Hatton for the title in Kasa’s 10th defense this Saturday at the Caseyville Village Hall in Caseyville, Ill.

Also on the card, Ron Powers and Chaz Wesson will tangle with Ricky Cruz & Ax Allwardt.  What condition will Wesson be in?  Ricky Cruz’s brutal chair assault left Chaz bloody and unconscious just this past weekend.

Listen to Ron Powers talk about the match on RingSyders

Note that Dave Vaughn was originally slated to team with Cruz in the match; Vaughn is taking a leave from pro wrestling.

The event is a benefit for the local fire department.  For tickets, call (618) 344-1781.

Jake Dirden Vies for Classic Championship Tonight

Dirden locks Kasa in his Asiatic Spike in December 2013.
Dirden locks Kasa in his Asiatic Spike in December 2013.

By Ben Simon

On Saturday, March 22, at the East Carondelet Community Center, SICW’s Classic Wrestling Champion Ken Kasa will put his title on the line against the Dynamo Pro Champion Jake Dirden.

The bout is an old school, best-of-three falls match with a one hour time limit.  This format was the norm for world heavyweight championship matches and many classic Saint Louis showdowns decades ago.

Listen to Ken Kasa talk about Dirden on RingSyders

These two met for the CWC in December in a one fall match.  After distraction by Dave Vaughn, Kasa reversed Dirden’s Asiatic Spike sleeper into a pin combination to retain.

Be there tonight to see either “Dirdey” walk out as unified champion or to witness the “Ironman” and the Travis Cook Organization make a successful ninth title defense.

A Greater SaintLouisWrestling.com

By Ben Simon

In August 2010, I started this site to serve the former MMWA-SICW alliance.  Tony Casta’s and Herb Simmons’s promotions needed an online presence badly.  In fact, their “web site” mmwa-sicw.com simply redirected to a Myspace page.

This site, originally mmwasicw.com (without the hyphen), was created.  It was considered the new official web site of these organizations.

However, when South Broadway’s wrestling club and SICW divorced officially in late 2012, SaintLouisWrestling.com seemed like the kid no one wanted.

Neither promotion wanted or wants to share an “official” web site and I can’t blame them.  I could have just chosen a side and promoted it exclusively.

SaintLouisWrestling.com is too valuable for just one promoter.  That’s why I’m going to transition it to serving all of Greater St. Louis.  I’m a busy man, so it may take a while.

The Mid Missouri Wrestling Alliance has launched a new official web site: MMWAstl.com.  Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling has no official web site.

If you would like to write for SaintLouisWrestling.com, let me know.

Brandon Espinosa Reclaims MMWA Strap with “Dirdey” Help

By Brian Kelley

This story originally appeared at MissouriWrestlingRevival.

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Just two months after he lost the MMWA Heavyweight Championship to the 2013 St. Louis King of Cable winner “Da Bomb” Brian James, Brandon Espinosa is once again the champion.

The details of the treachery can only be explained by the two conspirators involved, but neither Espinosa or, the 2014 MWR Wrestler of the Year, Jake Dirden are talking.

The night started out with the biggest crowd in the history of the historic South Broadway Athletic Club as 625 fans came in from the cold for the red hot action.  In today’s MMWA you never know what will happen, as was the case when Commissioner Jim Harris informed Lynn Mephisto that Lenny had a match that evening against Harris’s hand-picked opponent.

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You couldn’t tell if the fans or Mephisto were more surprised when Dirden marched to the ring.  Mephisto had been on a roll at the SBAC and looked to have Dirden in trouble.  However, Dirden was just too much to handle as he applied the Asiatic Spike for the tap out.

As the crowd celebrated, Espinosa came into the ring to attempt a post-match double-team, yet it would be for naught, as Dirden turned the tide, forcing Espinosa and Mephisto to retreat.

It is amazing how fast happiness can make a U-turn in no time. That is what happened when the James-Espinosa match ended.  With Barackus, Mephisto, and Brandon Gallagher suspended (Mephisto assisted Gallagher in beating down Gary Jackson), it seemed as if Espy was all alone during his chance at the MMWA Championship.

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Wrestling journalist Patrick Brandmeyer recapped the action: “The referee was bumped as Espinosa hit the brainbuster; Espy went for the move again, but James reversed it into the sit-out gourdbuster.  There was no referee to count the pin attempt… then Jake Dirden stormed the ring looking for Espinosa. Both men got to their feet as Dirden entered the ring… but Dirden turned around and leveled James with his thumb strike to the throat!  Dirden took his leave and the referee recovered in time to count Espinosa’s pin.”

When and how did Espinosa get Jake Dirden to assist him in regaining the MMWA Championship?

We may never know, but once again, Espinosa has power at South Broadway and Jim Harris knows that he will have to be at the top of his game to outsmart Brandon Espinosa.

The big night of new champions also included “Big” Dave Osborne capturing the TV Championship from “The Enforcer” Jimmy D.  Ace Hawkins defeated Andrew Wilder for the MMWA Junior Heavyweight Championship as well.

Big Jim Hoffarth Gets Crack at Classic Title

"All Travis Cook does is talk, talk, talk" - Hoffarth calls out the Travis Cook Organization on "Wrestling Explosion."
“All Travis Cook does is talk, talk, talk” – Hoffarth calls out the Travis Cook Organization on “Wrestling Explosion.”

By Ben Simon

Opportunities like this don’t come often for Big Jim Hoffarth.  On Saturday, February 15 at the East Carondelet Community Center, the big man will try to break the hearts of Travis Cook and Classic Wrestling Champion, Ken Kasa.

Wouldn’t it be a shame; just after Valentine’s Day, too.

Formerly known as “The Big Texan,” Hoffarth hasn’t received a shot for the Classic Wrestling Championship since November 2012.

Hoffarth lost his mask against Gary Jackson in November.  Since taking that loss in stride, he has defeated Max Archer, Alexandre Rudolph, and Joker (the last two in tag competition).

On the other side, “Ironman” Ken Kasa will make his eighth Classic Wrestling Championship defense when he steps into the ring on Saturday.  Say what you will about his manager Travis Cook, but Cook knows how to keep the title in his own camp.

Also on the card, Ron Powers & Jake Dirden take on Ricky Cruz & Flash Flanagan; in singles action, the unpredictable Dave Vaughn meets Heath Hatton.

The bell time is 8 P.M.

Barackus to All: Who’s Going to Try to Stop Me?

Barackus demonstrates his incredible hand strength by treating Da'Marius Jones' head like a stress ball.  Photo: Maurice Ramsey
Barackus squeezes Da’Marius Jones’ head like a stress ball, demonstrating his incredible hand strength. Photo: Maurice Ramsey

By Ben Simon

The five hundred in attendance sat and stood in concerned silence January 11 after Barackus made his South Broadway debut.  Really, it was quiet.  The 350-pound monster had just driven Da’Marius Jones’ head onto the canvas.  The move earned Barackus the victory by rare means: a knockout.

See Barackus’ vicious clawhold flatliner that knocked out Jones

The big man seemingly arrived in Saint Louis via Brandon Espinosa and Lynn Mephisto.  This trio is dangerous, but they must tread lightly or they’ll draw the ire of the new MMWA Commissioner, Jim Harris.

Barackus wasn’t done for the night.  Once again, he set his crosshairs on Dave Osborne in Osborne’s match against A.J. Williams.  After the distraction cost Big Dave the match, Barackus laid him out with the claw-flatliner combination.  Barackus has been suspended until March.

Barackus (left) tries to intimidate Big Dave Osborne with the threat of the claw hold.  Photo: Maurice Ramsey
Barackus (left) shows Osborne his “claw.” Photo: Maurice Ramsey

It seems inevitable that Barackus and Osborne will meet in a match.  When Osborne is aware of his opponent’s attacks, the former heavyweight champ is quite the force.  Would he be able to avoid the mighty grip strength of Barackus?  Could he slam the big man?  Fans everywhere should look forward to this eventual showdown.

The main event tag match was an out-of-control double count-out.  Following, the new Commissioner granted Brandon Espinosa a MMWA Heavyweight Title opportunity against Brian James on February 8.

Jimmy promised Mephisto a “big surprise” in February, perhaps a mystery opponent.  Mephisto isn’t exactly buddies with the Commissioner; Lenny infamously shoved (then referee) Harris out of the ring and was almost arrested in October 2011.

Jim Harris’ new position was the closest thing to an open secret to be found that night.  Earlier, the former Senior Official wanted to sit anonymously in the crowd and watch from the fans’ point-of-view.  Harris sent this announcer text messages throughout the night to set up stipulations and enforce rulings.

A big ruling was in the tag bout pitting Ace Hawkins & J-Mal Swagg against Andrew Wilder & Flaming Freddie Fury.  The victors would decide the stipulation in the MMWA Junior Heavyweight Title bout on February 8.  Ace’s team won, and he decided that when he meets Wilder for the strap, it will be a no disqualification match.

Wilder insisted that Hawkins put up his MissouriWrestlingRevival “Sexiest Male Wrestler Award” as an additional prize.  Hawkins agreed.

Webmaster Stevie K retained the Battle Royal Championship (a rarity for this title) in a six-man affair.  For his win, Stevie earned a TV Title shot against Jimmy D.  Jimmy walked out of the subsequent match, which gave Stevie a count-out win, but no double championship reign.

Jackson Whitechapel was unfocused in his bout against Moondog Rover.  Rover won after delivering a spinebuster.  Whitechapel’s manager, Sean Orleans, served a suspension and was out for the night.  Orleans will return on February 8 and must direct his protegé’s energy in a positive direction.

MMWA | SICW | Dynamo Pro

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