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.

Pat’s Special Comment: Dynamo at the Farm

By Patrick Brandmeyer

Now, as promised, a special comment about Friday’s Dynamo Pro Wrestling at Brookdale Farms in Eureka, Missouri.

This would qualify as my longest drive to a wrestling event in several years (just under an hour)…I drove past Stratford Inn in Fenton on the way there. Used to go to Six Flags with the family and the kid in me REALLY wanted to drive past the amusement park, but the route didn’t go in that direction.

This was a fundraiser for the local football team, so the audience was almost all children. It was an outdoor event but the forecast called for the rain, so the ring was set up in a pavilion near the cornfield maze. It rained steadily for a good portion of the night but finally cleared up by the end of the event.

Your ring announcer was Jeff Vernetti (with Luke Roberts & Chris Roedel handling extra announcements), your timekeeper was Ben Simon, and your referees were Jay King and Patrick Hook.

Mike Outlaw vs. Paco Gonzalez: The card started with a battle between two of the newest wrestlers in the area. Outlaw gives out his bandanna to ringside fans before his matches; always a nice touch for a fan favorite. Fine matchup here; both guys have a lot of potential and I’ll be watching their careers with great interest. Outlaw missed the Macho Elbow and Paco got the win with the frog splash in 9:17.

Brandon Aarons vs. “Ironman” Ken Kasa (w/ Travis Cook): Think this was Kasa’s first Missouri match in a little while…hope this means I’ll be seeing more of him at area events. Now that he’s no longer SICW Classic Champion, his schedule may expand a little bit. Kasa missed the John Wu Dropkick and Aarons got the upset win with the close-range superkick in 8:23. Travis claimed it was an illegal kick to the throat…and the sun was in his eyes. Bwahahaha.

The Bite Club (Rocket Mapache & Jackal) vs. “The Alternative” Brandon Gallagher & El Sanchez: Don’t see El Sanchez too often in recent years…I will refrain from speculation regarding his identity. Mapache & Jackal are coming off a near-win of the Tag Team Title in Fenton…they eliminated The Black Hand Warriors (Michael Magnuson & David DeLorean) to end their title reign, but they were subsequently defeated by Dynamo Pro Champion Ricky Cruz & Brandon Espinosa. Mapache hit a Macho Elbow and Jackal followed up with a splash off the top to pin Gallagher in 10:44.

“Dirdey” Jake Dirden vs. Barackus: This was Barackus’ Dynamo debut in a battle of the big guys. Haven’t seen Dirden against larger opponents too often and I thought this played out well for what it was. Barackus has mostly fought smaller opponents as well (other than his recent series with Dave Osborne at MMWA), so it was a good test for both guys in that regard. Dirden powered out of Barackus’ clawhold and Barackus held out in the Asiatic Spike for a long time…he backed Dirden into the turnbuckles, but Dirden hung onto the hold and took him down. The referee finally called for the bell at 11:23 (!) as Barackus passed out in the hold.

Outtkast vs. Tag Team Champion Brandon Espinosa: With Cruz-Shorty as the only announced match for the night, it made sense for their tag partners to do battle.  Espinosa has bulked up in recent months and Outtkast had trouble picking him up for his trademark Spineshank (running over-the-shoulder backbreaker). Outtkast had his issues with Ricky for a while there, so Ricky got personally involved to ensure Espinosa’s victory. Distraction, pull of the tights on the finishing rollup, AND extra leverage provided by the outside party… (in 8:07). Notably, that was the disappointing result of the night for the fans.

Dynamo Pro & Tag Team Champion “The King of Chaos” Ricky Cruz vs. “The Don Mega” Shorty Biggs for the Title: Had been interested in this singles match since their brief encounter in the four-way tag match. Shorty was way over with the younger crowd and Ricky stalled a lot…heh.  Shorty went to the top rope for a potential Def Jam (top-rope legdrop) and Espinosa ran in for the DQ at 12:35. Outtkast came back out for the save and they set up an impromptu (non-title) tag match…

Tag Team Champions Ricky Cruz (Dynamo Pro Champion) & Brandon Espinosa vs. The Bum Rush Brothers (Shorty Biggs & Outtkast), non-title: The match started with some comedy… I’m not sure if I should explain that but I will. Shorty smeared a booger on one of the turnbuckles and each guy tried to rub the other’s face into said turnbuckle (treating the evasions like it was an exposed turnbuckle or something). It finally paid off when Shorty sidestepped a charging Ricky Cruz and Ricky ran face-first into that turnbuckle…bwahahaha. Outtkast pinned Espinosa after a Samoan Drop/flying boot combo with Shorty in 6:56, avenging his earlier loss…the Bum Rush Brothers won to close out the night. This could set up Shorty challenging for Ricky’s title again in the future as well as the BRBs going after the Tag Title once again.

Dynamo has had a very busy schedule this year with several new venues…they have an event in Glen Carbon in two weeks and then they’re back in Fenton two weeks after that. By coincidence, it’ll be the second year in a row that Dynamo has wrestling on my birthday…heh.

More on this past weekend in indy rasslin in the next comment…stay tuned. Same Pat-time, same Pat-channel…or something.

Good night, good luck, and #yaywrestling.

With Espy’s Gang in Charge, Good Luck Wilder!

MMWA 8/9/14

By Ben Simon

Brandon Espinosa and Andrew Wilder meet for the MMWA Heavyweight Championship this Saturday, August 9 at the South Broadway Athletic Club.

On a level playing field, Espinosa would be a slight favorite.  In this circumstance, Wilder doesn’t appear to have a snowball’s chance to win the title.

Things are different now.  The Elitism faction, headed by Sean Orleans, Tim Miller, and Brandon Espinosa, now has control over matchmaking at MMWA Wrestling.

“The Commissioner” position is held by the group.  The group can suspend, fine, reinstate, stipulate, and stack the deck against those opposed to The Elitism’s reign.

Also on the card, TV Champion Moondog Rover defends his title against Lynn Mephisto in a rematch from last month, MMWA Junior Heavyweight Champion Ace Hawkins vs. Everett Connors for the title, and Gary Jackson vs. Tony Kozina.

On another note, the South Broadway Athletic Club organization moved to its current home on August 4, 1914.  Happy 100th birthday to the SBAC.

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

Wrestling at the Farm

Dynamo Pro 8/8/14

By Ben Simon

Ricky Cruz defends his Dynamo Pro Championship against Shorty Biggs on August 8th in the main event of a fundraiser for Eureka’s Junior Wildcats football program.

This is the first wrestling event for Brookdale Farms.  This is an outdoor event with limited seating.  Bring a lawn chair.

Bell at 7.  For ticket information, visit DynamoProWrestling.com.

Ricky Cruz & Brandon Espinosa Collude to Win Tag Title

By Patrick Brandmeyer

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

It was a rocky road when Dynamo started to branch out to new venues…it began with Off Broadway late last year and continued with Stratford Bar & Grill in January. Sometimes it just takes time for people to discover that there’s wrestling in town…seeing the same thing with the new Hey Guys Comedy Club in Fairview Heights. (Cheap plug!) Over time, the audience has grown for both spots and they had a solid turnout for this event.

With less than a week to promote after the past week’s Off Broadway event, very little was announced beforehand. The scheduled match between D’Arcy Dixon and Lucy Mendez didn’t happen due to Missouri licensing issues, though they did have a brief exchange in the ring. The Dynamo Pro Champion Ricky Cruz didn’t have a scheduled match and was added to the three-way dance for the Tag Team Title along with Brandon Espinosa, making it a four-way.

Your ring announcers were Chris Roedel & Luke Roberts, your timekeeper was Ben Simon, and your referees were Patrick Hook and Jay King.

Paco Gonzalez vs. Danny Adams: Have been seeing these two protégés of Michael Elgin at several shows lately, starting with the pre-show at Ring of Honor in Collinsville. They’ve usually wrestled each other, so it’s safe to say that they’re familiar with each other’s styles. Paco seemed to tweak his knee late in the match and Adams went after the injury; wasn’t sure if it was a bad injury or not, but he seemed okay on Sunday. There were a few cases of big-moves-for-two-counts.

I was a bit irked with the no contest after Jake Dirden attacked both guys at 12:05. The microphones seemed a bit off as I had trouble hearing some of the promos…the message was fairly clear in this case, though. Dirden wanted another shot at Cruz; Crystal Yount said he hadn’t been able to regain the title in his previous rematches AND she didn’t approve of Dirden messing up other people’s matches, so he had to earn another title match by beating recent rival Elvis Aliaga.

Jon Webb vs. “The Bosnian Warchild” Spi-Ral: This was Webb’s return to Dynamo after his first tour of Japan…cool for him. Webb won with a superkick combo ending in a close-range superkick at 7:23 (the only match of the night that went under ten minutes).

Enter Executive Director Mark Bland, starting a trainwreck promo segment that included Travis Cook (w/ Tag Team Champions The Black Hand Warriors), Brandon Espinosa, and Champion Ricky Cruz (w/ Lucy Mendez).  I got a good laugh out of Espinosa griping to Ricky and Lucy on Tuesday about how he doesn’t speak Spanish. I’d be good with seeing Cruz-Espinosa at some point…random to throw them into the Tag Title match. Yay for wacky tag partners who hate each other!

Brandon Aarons vs. “The Alternative” Brandon Gallagher: Gallagher tried to insert himself into the promo segment, but Bland was at his wit’s end and simply blew him off. Gallagher scored two eliminations in the six-way match at Off Broadway but was pinned by Aarons, setting up this bout. The fans were a bit subdued for this one after the lengthy promo segment that preceded it. Gallagher’s been a bit directionless in recent months…he got a DQ win over Dan Walsh, but Walsh hasn’t been around as much to continue that feud. This was the second match in a row to end with a superkick of some kind; Aarons hit the cobra clutch suplex and followed up with a close-range superkick for the victory in 9:04.

Mike Outlaw vs. Jack Gamble (w/ Travis Cook): I was wondering if we’d see another superkick finish here (since that’s one of Gamble’s signature moves). Outlaw’s shown a lot of potential in his first few matches…I’ve seen most if not all of them. Spi-Ral inexplicably got involved, but that brought out Gamble’s former tag partner Jon Webb to even the sides a bit. That distraction led to Outlaw fighting out of a superplex attempt and hitting the Macho Elbow for the upset win in 11:20…nicely done.

D’Arcy Dixon vs. Lucy Mendez: D’Arcy said she wasn’t cleared to compete due to a recent concussion…she got a mixed response to her question about whether to bash Lucy’s face anyway (“YEAH!…but she’s pretty and stuff…I don’t know…”). They had a brief fight that ended with Lucy planting her with a tornado DDT (concussion~!)…D’Arcy had to be assisted to the backstage area and I imagine we’ll see them face each other for real down the line. Call it a no-contest/Sportz Entertainment Finish if you wish, though the match didn’t officially start.

Elvis Aliaga vs. “Dirdey” Jake Dirden: These two have an odd dynamic; Dirden won the first match in January, but much ado was made about the referee calling for the bell “early” when Elvis was seemingly unconscious in the Asiatic Spike. Their second match was a double DQ and their third bout saw Aliaga seemingly on the verge of victory with the TCB (Falcon Arrow) before Jeremy Wyatt interrupted things. They had a good match though it felt a bit long; both guys survived the other’s signature moves. Dirden finally kept him down with the Asiastic Spike after an extended effort…he got the tapout in 17:44(!). They shook hands after the match…Dirden looks like he’s remaining a fan favorite for now.

The Black Hand Warriors (Michael Magnuson & David DeLorean) (w/ Travis Cook) vs. Dynamo Pro Champion “The King of Chaos” Ricky Cruz & Brandon Espinosa (w/ Lucy Mendez) vs. The Bite Club (Rocket Mapache & Jackal) vs. The Bum Rush Brothers (“The Don Mega” Shorty Biggs & Outtkast) for the Tag Team Title: With the Warriors’ schedule being full with WLW events, they had gone about two months between their most recent title win and their first defense at Off Broadway this past Tuesday. Travis complained about his guys being put against multiple teams and was immediately warned by Mark Bland that he’d add MORE challengers if he wouldn’t shut up. Cruz & Espinosa had trouble getting on the same page and that was the main story of the match.

Chaos broke loose between the Bum Rush Brothers and the Cruz/Espy tandem…in the midst of it, Espinosa didn’t quite hit his jumping DDT too cleanly on Outtkast but salvaged a pinfall out of it. The tension between the tag partners finally seemed to hit a breaking point as Espinosa walked away from the ring and Cruz & Lucy followed him to the backstage area…Espinosa tagged out beforehand, so the team wasn’t eliminated via countout. That would be important later. That left the Black Hand Warriors and the upstart “Bite Club” duo…the Warriors have been fighting a lot of upstart challengers in WLW as well, it would seem. I don’t think the two teams had worked with each other; that produced a few rough spots but they got it together for the most part. The remaining challengers were the obvious underdogs and kept on fighting…finally scoring a flash pin elimination when Jackal victory-rolled DeLorean to counter a Doomsday Device attempt. Mapache & Jackal thought they had won the title, but Cruz attacked Mapache at ringside and Espinosa jumped the guardrail, planting Jackal with the jumping DDT for the final win in 21:58(!). Cruz now has double gold in Dynamo and, counting his MMWA Heavyweight Title, Espinosa holds two championships in the St. Louis area.

Good night, good luck, and #yaywrestling.

Black Hand Warriors, Bum Rush Bros., Jackal, and a Crazy Raccoon…

Dynamo Pro 8/2/14

By Ben Simon

Bang!  Bang!  Bang!

That’s the sound of Dynamo Pro Wrestling blasting out so many events, that it has become the most active promotion in Greater St. Louis.

The action continues this Saturday, August 2, at Stratford Bar & Grill in Fenton.

As of Friday, the headliner is a three-way match for the Dynamo Pro Tag Team Championship.  Magnuson & DeLorean defend their title against Outtkast & Shorty Biggs and Jackal & Rocket Mapache.

After Ken Kasa lost his own title recently, Travis Cook could part with all of his Organization’s gold Saturday, should the Black Hand Warriors lose that match.

Also on the card, Spi-Ral vs. Jon Webb, Danny Adams vs. Paco Gonzalez, and Lucy Mendez vs. D’Arcy Dixon.

Update (2:09 P.M. 8/2/14): Dynamo Pro Executive Director Mark Bland issued a press release today.

Mark Bland release

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

From My Perspective: Championship Weekend Review

Heath Hatton made Ken Kasa submit to become SICW's champion July 26.  Photo: Brian Kelley
Heath Hatton made Ken Kasa submit to become SICW’s champion July 26. Photo: Brian Kelley

By Patrick Brandmeyer

Now, as promised, special comments about Saturday’s Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling event at the Community Center in East Carondelet, Illinois and Tuesday’s Dynamo Pro Wrestling at Off Broadway in Saint Louis, Missouri.

It was another packed house at SICW with a well-hyped title match. Ken Kasa had passed the one-year mark of his championship reign and manager Travis Cook had a bottle of champagne all ready to celebrate the milestone. For his part, Heath Hatton was riding a wave of momentum that included an endorsement from Jim Cornette, a battle royal win, and a tapout victory over the champ in last month’s tag team main event.

Your ring announcer was Drew Abbenhaus, your referees were Jay King and Keith Smith Jr.

The start of the card featured an oddly-extended segment…it began with a replaying of Larry Matysik’s over-the-phone acceptance speech for the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Iowa this past week. The audio wasn’t the best and they finally faded it out. After that, promoter Herb Simmons talked up the new sponsors for SICW Wrestling Explosion as well as the upcoming events (Paul Orndorff will be the special guest for August).

Joker vs. “Dead Sexy” Daniel Gunner: This was Gunner’s SICW debut; according to his Twitter bio, he had previously wrestled in the southeastern part of the country. Thought the match was solid for what it was; Joker won after a superkick in 3:49.

Outtkast vs. JJ Garrett: Another SICW debut; I had previously seen Garrett at PWCS and he mostly competes in Iowa. This was Outtkast’s second appearance for SICW as he debuted last month in a loss to Ax Allwardt. Kast has shown a bit more of his technical skill at these shows; his matches elsewhere are usually brawls and hardcore-style bouts. Outtkast picked up the victory after the Case Study (modified fireman’s carry into a bulldog-ish drop) in 4:00.

Big Jim Hoffarth vs. Frankie “The Thumper” Wyatt & Waco: Waco had apparently been griping about Hoffarth being a lousy tag partner, so Hoffarth told him to find a new partner and he’d face both of them…thus this Very Special Handicap Match™. I’m not too fond of handicap matches in general, mostly since authority figures tend to overuse them in other promotions. If nothing else, it’s refreshing to see the loaded side actually winning as opposed to the outnumbered side taking advantage of a contrived set of circumstances to OVERCOM TEH ODDZ. A cheapshot by Waco set up a big clothesline by Wyatt, then Waco tagged in to hit a Macho Elbow for the win in 5:58. This feud…MUST CONTINUE~!

“Night Train/Gorgeous/Great One” Gary Jackson & “Dirdey” Jake Dirden vs. Flash Flanagan & Ax (Allwardt): Dirden and Flanagan had a few clashes in the recent past. This seemed fairly short for some reason…Flanagan took out Dirden with his kendo stick behind the ref’s back, but Gary rolled up Flanagan for the pin in 7:33. Don’t see Flash lose too often…

Before the first intermission, Herb interviews visiting legend Ox Baker. The guy’s as old-school as it gets and has a unique look with the giant mustache. He was infamous for his trademark heart punch (or “Hurt Punch”) and the move was even blamed for killing two opponents! He said that in his day, when he told fans to “SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP”…they did. I noticed the fans quiet down when he raised his voice to say that quote…bwahahaha.

Bobby D vs. “The Money” Matt Cage: Hadn’t seen Bobby D in a little while. Cage has made two prior appearances for SICW: A loss to Heath Hatton and a time-limit draw with Shorty Biggs. He competes pretty regularly for central Illinois promotions but appears in this area every once in a while. Cage got the win out of nowhere after a jumping leg lariat in 5:17.

Red River Jack(w/ Big Daddy) vs. Mallaki Matthews: Yes, I had a theory as to the identity of Red River Jack…from my observation on Saturday, my guess was incorrect. I don’t know if the masked man is an experienced competitor or someone totally new, but he’s definitely a big boy. For reference: “Red River Jack” was an alias previously used by King Kong/Bruiser Brody when he competed under a mask. Jack made short work of Matthews, finishing with his version of the Diamond Cutter/RKO in 2:38.

“The Man Of Tomorrow” Daniel Eads vs. “The King Of Chaos” Ricky Cruz: Ricky kindly informed Drew of his accolades so that he could repeat them in his ring introduction. These two were the other half of last month’s tag match; Eads played a crucial role in holding off Cruz so that Hatton could get the win over Kasa. This was a proving ground of sorts with the upstart Eads taking on the experienced former champion…Eads had a fine showing and it took not one but two superkicks to keep him down for the count at 12:29. There will be another day for The Man of Tomorrow, to be sure…but Ricky’s gunning for another title shot.

“Ironman” Ken Kasa (w/ Travis Cook) vs. Heath Hatton for the Classic Title: I already covered the history here…Hatton had a close call against Kasa in Caseyville earlier this year, but Travis BELTed him and cost him the match via countout. Travis got more and more involved as the situation grew desperate…Heath speared Kasa and went for the cover, but Cook put Kasa’s foot on the bottom rope. That brought out Big Daddy with Red River Jack in tow…but Kasa got the opening to hook the Iron Maiden Torture Lock. Kasa had won the title with that hold and no one had escaped it, but Heath kept fighting and attempting to roll out of the hold. He was finally able to counterwrestle his way into the Crippler Crossface and Red River Jack held off Travis when he tried to interfere with a steel chair. With no more shortcuts to take, Kasa finally tapped out at 19:12 and his thirteen-month reign as champion came to an end! Hatton celebrated his title win with several young fans to close the show…good for him. WOO~!

Onward to Dynamo at Off Broadway….

The audience is slowly growing at Dynamo’s new venues…Tuesday night is a tough slot for a wrestling event but the fan enthusiasm comes off well in the intimate venue. It’s the polar opposite of the Sports Academy in Glen Carbon where the crowd noise doesn’t come off as well in such a huge building.

Your ring announcer was Chris Roedel (with Luke Roberts handling extra announcements); your referees were Jay King and Patrick Hook. Your sponsors were Stag Beer and Strange Donuts (providing free gooey butter cake and Butterfinger donuts for the night).

Mike Outlaw vs. Danny Adams: Both men are newcomers to the wrestling scene; Adams is a trainee of ROH Champion Michael Elgin and Outlaw is a recent graduate of the Dynamo training school. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen almost all of their matches at this point…they got about ten minutes and had a solid opener. Outlaw gave out a bandanna to a ringside fan…yay for fan interaction. Outlaw became established as the crowd favorite.  Outlaw got the win (his first?) after a Macho Elbow in 9:07.

Brandon Aarons vs. Paco Gonzalez vs. Rocket Mapache vs. “The Bosnian Warchild” Spi-Ral vs. Jackal vs. “The Alternative” Brandon Gallagher: This was an elimination-style six-way, though only two wrestlers were legally in the ring at one time.  Gallagher ate an early superkick from Spi-Ral and then decided to bide his time on the arena floor. I noticed very few actual tags (if any), but it made sense in the bigger picture: Let the other guys wear each other out and then pick up the pieces. Gallagher’s had previous encounters with Aarons, Mapache, and Jackal, so it was in his best interests to stay out of the line of fire…he tripped Jackal to set up Paco’s Oklahoma roll for the first elimination. After that, Gallagher quickly rolled up Gonzalez with a handful of tights for fall number two. They didn’t announce elimination times, but those took place in the first five minutes…things settled down after that as Gallagher locked up with Mapache. Yes, there WAS a “Rabies” chant.

Mapache and Gallagher tangled for a few minutes; that ended when Gallagher blocked a sunset flip for his second elimination of the match. That brought in Aarons as Gallagher was feeling confident, but it didn’t last as Aarons eliminated him with a half-nelson pumphandle suplex. That meant a finale between Aarons and Spi-Ral…Spi-Ral has a unique arsenal with mat wrestling ability, aerial moves, and some martial-arts kicks. He got some good airtime on the top-rope splash that earned him his first Dynamo victory in 14:47.

“Dirdey” Jake Dirden vs. Brandon Espinosa: Despite both being mainstays in the area wrestling scene for the past few years, this was their first one-on-one encounter. Espy had trouble dealing with Dirden’s size advantage in the early going, but a timely distraction by the arriving Lucy Mendez allowed Espinosa to clip the knee. Espy focused his attack on the leg to keep the bigger man down…Dirden made the comeback but that brought out Dynamo Pro Champion Ricky Cruz to personally get involved. Lucy distracted the ref as Cruz got up on the ring apron with the title belt…but he accidentally hit Espinosa with the gold when Dirden avoided the shot. Dirden knocked Cruz off the apron and got the victory with the Asiatic Spike in 10:27…looks like the Cruz-Dirden issue is far from over.

The Black Hand Warriors (Michael Magnuson & David DeLorean) (w/ Travis Cook) vs. The Bumrush Brothers (“The Don Mega” Shorty Biggs & Outtkast) for the Tag Team Titles: These teams have traded the belts a few times in this calendar year…the Warriors’ Dynamo appearances have been scarce in this title reign as they’re also WLW Tag Champs. Travis made an extended pre-match speech, noting the absence of Executive Director Mark Bland and suggesting that he and his crew could get away with whatever they wanted to do. I suspected another title change could happen…while there were several close falls in the finishing stretch, it didn’t quite work out that way. Shorty got his hands on Travis and picked him up on his shoulders, but the referee’s attention was on Outtkast and DeLorean brawling on the floor. That allowed Magnuson to stun Shorty with a low blow and roll him up for the pin. This feud…MUST CONTINUE~!

“The King Of Chaos” Ricky Cruz (w/ Lucy Mendez) vs. “Night Train/Gorgeous/Great One” Gary Jackson for the Dynamo Pro Title: Gary wrestled a handful of times for GCW and MRW before that, but he hadn’t competed for Dynamo until an Off Broadway show a few months ago when he defeated Brandon Gallagher. Ricky and Gary had faced each other a couple of times in SICW when Ricky was the Classic Champion, but both were fan favorites at the time and Cruz is decidedly NOT a good guy any more. Lucy got involved a few times, of course. Jackson had Cruz set up for the Texas Cloverleaf but Lucy distracted the ref…in the ensuing chaos, Ricky mulekicked Jackson in the Universal Weak Point™ and got the pin with feet on the ropes. (Two low-blow finishes in a row, I note.) Didn’t get a match time for this one. After Gary recovered, he challenged Ricky to face him again in a street fight-style matchup…hmm.

So, that ends my run this week.  August is looking like a busy month.

MMWA | SICW | Dynamo Pro

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