Loophole Robs Ricky Cruz of his Ring Time with Travis Cook at SICW

Travis Cook (right), seen here with Attila Khan, avoided five minutes in the ring with Ricky Cruz, July 18.  Photo: Doug Byrd
Travis Cook (right), seen here with Attila Khan, avoided five minutes in the ring with Ricky Cruz, July 18. Photo: Doug Byrd

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.

DISCLAIMER:  I’m biased.  Deal with it.

Attendance was slightly down for this month’s installment of SICW…it was a busy time in the area as there was a summer carnival in Dupo and a baseball game at GCS Ballpark.  I don’t know if the turnout has hinged on the presence of special guests, but there hasn’t been a visiting legend for a few months (other than Cowboy Bob Orton who is now a consistent authority figure for the promotion).  It can also get hot inside a crowded building during the summer months…of course, all of this is mere speculation on my part.

Your ring announcer was Drew Abbenhaus; your referees were Denny Thomas, Terry Riley, & Jay King.

The night started with Drew and promoter Herb Simmons hyping the event…manager Travis Cook interrupted the proceedings (in a warmup suit in case of potential in-ring action).  Travis said there was NO WAY Ricky Cruz would beat Attila Khan and get him in the ring…and he would just knock him out of if he somehow did.  He made some insulting comments about Director of Affairs Cowboy Bob Orton, but was surprised when Orton came out and stood behind him.  Travis made a tactical retreat (or maybe he just ran away), leaving Herb to speak with Cowboy Bob.  Herb made note of the cast on Orton’s left arm…Orton said that he had an accident while doing yard work and he wouldn’t be doing any ladder matches in the near future.  Har har.  (I think it flew under the radar that Cowboy Bob’s injury was very similar to the one Kahagas inflicted on Red River Jack with his kendo stick at the June event…)

Keith Smith Jr. & “Dead Sexy” Daniel Gunner vs. (Bubba) Troll & Purple Passion:  These were some unique tag team combinations…still getting used to Gunner as a fan favorite.  He may or may not have dropped the “Dead Sexy” nickname.  Hadn’t seen Purple Passion in a while…Troll acted like he’d be fine if he never saw him again.  Gunner and Troll have had a recent series of one-on-one matches (Troll won both of those encounters).  Keith Jr. pinned Passion after a discus lariat in 6:57; Troll decked his own partner in his post-match frustration.

Captain Shabam vs. “The Icon” Chris Hargas (w/ Travis Cook):  Apparently the masked Shabam is from the Kansas City area.  He didn’t have much in the way of size, and he got good air when thrown.  Hargas toyed with his overmatched opponent and even pulled him up from a few pin attempts when he could have beaten him.  After three F-5s (which seemed excessive), Hargas got the easy three-count in 4:52…then added another F-5 after the bell as Travis endorsed Hargas as the proverbial roadblock for Heath Hatton.  He specifically referred to Hargas as the “replacement” for “Ironman” Ken Kasa in his organization, saying that Hargas wouldn’t tap out like Kasa did (when Hatton won the Classic Title).

“Your Canadian Hero” Sean Vincent vs. Waco:  This was a rematch from a previous encounter which Vincent won with the Mapleleaf Leglock.  It appeared to be the same story in this one as Vincent targeted the leg to set up his finishing hold…but Wyldefyre made an appearance to distract Vincent and the referee.  That led to Curtis Wylde entering the front door of the building and dropping Vincent with the Wylde Ride (Flatliner)…he got out of dodge and the referee turned around to see Waco making the pin cover.  As a result, the masked man got the tainted victory in 5:37…aww.

Intermission~!  Since I only had a salad(!) before leaving the house, I indulged a bit with a cheeseburger, two cans of soda (Mountain Dew & Pepsi), and a bottle of water.

Keon Option vs. Brandon Espinosa (w/ Travis Cook):  Yes, the Espinosa/Cook alliance from their previous days in the Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance has been revived.  Travis was also a bit short on manpower with Bull Bronson absent for the evening.  Option was making his SICW debut in the midst of an impressive rookie year, primarily competing under the Dynamo Pro banner.  These two locked up at a Dynamo event in Wood River with Option scoring the upset, so Espy was looking to even the score.  (Hopefully I’ll get a look at that event via DVD in the near future.)  They had a fine matchup here…Espinosa hit an offensive flurry consisting of a turnbuckle powerbomb and Blue Thunder Bomb, then hooked the cross-armbreaker for the tapout in 8:16.

Heath Hatton vs. Ax (Allwardt):  These two are no strangers to each other, having crossed paths in SICW as well as Pro Wrestling Collision.  Ax’s stock is slowly rising as he got the better of a feud with Big Jim Hoffarth, then held Keith Smith Jr. to a time-limit draw in June.  With Hatton scoring a quick win in his return to action last month, I expected this matchup to be a foregone conclusion; however, it turned out to be far more competitive than that.  Heath got the flash pin with a schoolboy in 11:27 (longest match of the night). (EDIT:  Ax took a swing at Hatton with his chain and missed, leading to the pin.)

Bobby D vs. “Volatile” Curtis Wylde (w/ Wyldefyre):  Wylde had issued an open challenge leading up to this event; his Chauffeur limousine was parked outside the building as a reminder of his “high-roller” status.  Wylde seemed to be the favorite in this one, but after his interference against Vincent earlier in the night, you had to think some retribution was imminent.  Sure enough, Vincent made his way to ringside to argue with Wylde…and Bobby D capitalized with the dreaded DISTRACTION SCHOOLBOY~! for the win in 9:10.  Things are far from settled between Vincent and Wylde…

Cue intermission numero dos…said hi to Malia Hosaka, who had a busy weekend as she wrestled at 3XW in Iowa the previous night against Stacey O’Brien.

Ron Powers & “Night Train/Gorgeous/Great One” Gary Jackson (w/ Big Daddy) vs. Classic Champion Flash Flanagan & “The Tokyo Monster” Kahagas (w/ Travis Cook):  This featured tag match had plenty of the proverbial combustible elements:  Powers & Jackson have a lot of water under the bridge between them, particularly in the MMWA where they feuded over the Heavyweight Title.  Meanwhile, Flanagan & Kahagas were brought together against common enemies, but Kahagas may or may not have an eye on the gold.  As it turned out, Ron & Gary were the more cohesive unit of the two…feuds can produce bad blood but also familiarity and mutual respect.  A series of miscues derailed the efforts of the opposing side…things finally broke down completely as Flash and Kahagas had a confrontation on the floor, leading to a countout in 10:24.  The two finally came to blows with the champion getting the better of the exchange, then getting out of dodge as Hargas and Espinosa hit the ring.

“The King Of Chaos” Ricky Cruz vs. Attila Khan (w/ Travis Cook):  If Cruz pinned Khan or forced him to submit, he would get five minutes in the ring with Travis Cook.  The emphasis on the pin-or-sub part of the stipulation should have clued me in as to a potential loophole, but I hadn’t thought about it too much.  It was Travis Cook’s dealings that led to the end of Cruz’s Classic Title reign at the hands of Ken Kasa; after that, Travis did everything in his power to keep Ricky from getting more than one lone rematch for the belt.  When Ricky’s attitude changed for the worse, he formed an alliance of convenience with the Cook Organization as he feuded with Red River Jack…but that seemed destined to fall apart in short order.

These two haven’t had technical classics, but they’ve had plenty of intense brawls…Khan had yet to be pinned or made to submit, so Ricky was hoping to end that particular streak.   It looked like Cruz had the win after landing his signature superkick, but Travis blatantly pulled the referee out of the ring and punched him out…drawing a disqualification in 6:37.  The war continued and the locker room emptied to keep Cruz and KHAAAAAN~! separated…meanwhile, Travis gloated about the loophole he had exploited:  Ricky only got him in the ring if he won by pinfall or submission.  This feud…MUST CONTINUE~!

I scored a leftover soft pretzel and nachos on the way out the door…but a few minutes down the road, I had to hit the brakes when I saw a dog running around on the street.  I had to get out and pick up the dog to get him(?) out of the road…all while he was trying to jump in my car since he smelled food.  Heh.  The nachos went flying and I had liquid cheese to clean off my floormats when I got home…such are the perils of driving to and from independent wrestling.

Next weekend…Saturday has World Powerhouse Wrestling in Collinsville.  High Risk Wrestling has a card on Sunday in Cahokia.

A very busy August looks like this so far:

-Saturday 8/1:  Pro Wrestling Championship Series in Granite City, IL; Dynamo Pro Wrestling in Eureka, MO
-Saturday 8/8:  Dynamo Pro Wrestling in Fenton, MO
-Saturday 8/15:  Pro Wrestling Epic in Pontoon Beach, IL (afternoon); Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance in St. Louis, MO
-Friday 8/21:  St. Louis Anarchy in Alton, IL
-Saturday 8/22:  St. Louis Anarchy in Alton, IL; Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling in East Carondelet, IL
-Saturday 8/29:  Dynamo Pro Wrestling in Glen Carbon, IL; World League Wrestling in Troy, MO

Good night, good luck, and #yaywrestling.

P.S. We are all marks.

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