Ricky Cruz: I Know Jack… and Who He Is! (& More from SICW)

Ricky Cruz later walked out on this match with Red River Jack (right) on September 20.  Photo: Brian Kelley
Ricky Cruz later walked out on this match with Red River Jack (right) on September 20. Photo: Brian Kelley

By Patrick Brandmeyer

Now, as promised, a special comment about Saturday’s Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling event at the Community Center in East Carondelet, Illinois.

Not a lot to talk about from this past week, really. The next few weekends will be really busy around here with multiple events on the same nights. On top of that, my twenty-year high school reunion will be in the first weekend of October, so I’ll have to figure out my plan of attack for those few days.

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

Big Jim Hoffarth & Farmer Billy Hills vs. Christian Rose & Ax (Allwardt): This was Rose’s SICW debut. Hills went with the overalls instead of the spandex he wore in his previous appearance…probably a good choice. Rose attempted to emulate Hulk Hogan’s bodyslam of Andre the Giant when he went up against Hoffarth…probably NOT a good choice. In the end, Hoffarth chokeslammed Rose for the win in 9:27.

“Dirdey” Jake Dirden vs. Bull Bronson: Bronson was flying solo with manager Travis Cook barred from the building. This would fall under the Gorilla Monsoon definition of the “irresistable force meeting the immovable object”; Dirden had a similar encounter with Barackus at Dynamo in Eureka. If a 400-plus-pound guy falls on you in mid-superplex, you’re probably gonna stay down…and that’s exactly what happened in 9:28. Not sure what business Bull had on the top rope in the first place, but it worked out for him so who am I to say anything?

“Night Train/Gorgeous/Great One” Gary Jackson vs. Mohamad Ali Vaez: Vaez got the microphone beforehand and spoke some not-‘Murican, prompting Gary to interrupt for some enlightenment about the merits of This Great Country Of Ours™. It was more of a fight than a wrestling match, resulting in a quick no contest in 5:00. The referee tried to establish some level of control and that resulted in some mutual ref abuse and the bout being thrown out. This feud…MUST CONTINUE~!

Promoter Herb Simmons interviewed “The Birdman” Koko B. Ware. Koko told the story about his wife finding his original macaw Frankie in a pet store and how that was a selling point when Vince McMahon brought him into the WWF. (He told the same story on the RingSyders podcast on Missouri Wrestling Revival…shameless plug!) He went out of his way to talk to the younger fans in attendance, encouraging them to follow their dreams. Koko seemed like a really down-to-Earth guy and it was very cool to get his autograph.

On a personal note, Koko was in the opening match on the first live wrestling event I ever attended in March of 1993. Gary Jackson wrestled on that card as well and I also got Gary’s autograph on my event program. I’ll need to look up Koko’s Memphis work as I’ve heard he was great there. He also had one of the best brainbusters in wrestling (known as the “Ghostbuster”). One of my main memories of Koko was the High Energy tag team with one of my all-time favorites, Owen Hart.

Herb also brought out Gary and they talked about how he and Koko got their start in the business around the same time…they nearly formed a regular tag team in those days and Herb teased that they should team up in SICW sometime. Hmm…

Bobby D & Shiloh Jonze vs. “The Money” Matt Cage & “All About Me” Mallaki Matthews: Cage & Matthews had an extended personalized introduction for Drew to read…nicely done. Jonze is another OVW competitor; saw him once or twice on Ring of Honor’s TV show when ROH and OVW had a working relationship. The two tag matches were the only unannounced bouts on the card. Jonze hit Mallaki with a Trouble In Paradise-style flying roundhouse kick out of nowhere, getting the win in 7:35.

“The Man of Tomorrow” Daniel Eads vs. Flash Flanagan: Eads is still fairly new to the wrestling game and has been working with some more experienced competitors lately: Ricky Cruz, Cage, and now Flanagan.  Eads appeared to tweak his knee on the landing from a double-axhandle off the top rope, then aggravated it further with an inverted atomic drop; after that point, Flanagan focused his attack on the leg. Eads survived a figure-four leglock and was able to hit a Superman Punch out of nowhere, but couldn’t make the pin cover right away and it only got a two-count. Flanagan took out the leg again and hooked an anklelock; Eads didn’t surrender, but the referee declared Eads unable to continue in 14:16.

Flanagan wasn’t done as he assaulted Eads’ bad leg with his kendo stick and then a steel chair…that drew out Classic Champion Heath Hatton and Flanagan retreated. Flash told Heath point-blank that he was wondering what it would take to get his attention…Flanagan obviously has his sights set on the championship once again, so he got on Hatton’s radar by doing some damage to his protege.

Red River Jack (w/ “The Famous” Big Daddy) vs. “The King of Chaos” Ricky Cruz: Jack blatantly interfered in Ricky’s title shot at Hatton last month, resulting in Cruz’s long-awaiting title opportunity going up in smoke. Ricky took out Jack’s leg at one point, but that didn’t last too long. Jack survived Ricky’s superkick finisher and went for his Double-R-J (Diamond Cutter/RKO), but Ricky bailed out of the ring and deliberately got counted out at 9:06. Cruz got the mic and started talking about how “you shouldn’t be here,” then finally clarified himself: “I know it’s you, RON.”

I’d done the same math that Ricky had: Red River Jack was an alias once used by King King/Bruiser Brody when he wrestled under a mask, Ron Powers was known as a Brody protege, and Ron lost to Ricky in a loser-leaves-town match earlier this year. However, from my observation, this new masked man doesn’t APPEAR to be Ron Powers…I could be wrong, of course. Ron is technically only gone for the remainder of the calender year and could potentially make a comeback in 2015, but we’ll see.

Heath Hatton vs. “Ironman” Ken Kasa for the Classic Title: This was Kasa’s rematch for the title after Hatton ended his 13-month reign in July, but manager Travis Cook was banned from the building. Travis’ absence was noticeable in terms of the crowd noise for the match. Kasa got to the ropes to escape the crossface this time around, then used a metal baton hidden in his boot to do extra damage (how Memphis can you get? :)). The referee was knocked down and Hatton pulled off Kasa’s boot to get the weapon for himself, but Kasa stopped him with a low blow…that resulted in a near-fall. The match ended with an odd count out as Kasa teased a uranage off the apron onto the timekeeper’s table below, but Hatton escaped the setup and speared Kasa off the apron. That resulted in Kasa hitting his head on the table and not being able to beat the ten-count, so Hatton retained via count out in 15:55. The door is open for another Kasa rematch since Heath didn’t beat him decisively.

After the match, Flash Flanagan attacked the worn-out Hatton…Daniel Eads limped to the ring to help out but Flanagan was just leaving. It looks like Hatton-Flanagan will be the main event for next weekend’s Fairmont City event…

Next Saturday will be busy with SICW in Fairmont City and MMWA in Herculaneum. The following Tuesday will be Dynamo’s return to Off Broadway.

So far, October looks like this:
-Saturday 10/4: Dynamo Pro Wrestling in Fenton, MO
-Saturday 10/11: Dynamo in Glen Carbon, IL; MMWA in St. Louis, MO (South Broadway); SICW in Swansea, IL
-Saturday 10/18: SICW in East Carondelet, IL (One Man Gang appearing)

Good night, good luck, and #yaywrestling.

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