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.