Now, as promised, a special comment about Friday’s Dynamo Pro Wrestling event at the Gateway Center in Collinsville, Illinois as part of NatsuCon.
DISCLAIMER: I’m biased. Deal with it.
Ring of Honor events in the venue had given me a brush with the anime conventions that took place at the same time…Dynamo took advantage of the crossover appeal by holding their own event as a direct part of NatsuCon. I’ve watched enough anime and read enough manga to recognize some but not all of the cosplays…never knew an Ewok could look that attractive. Ahem. The event drew a good amount of casual onlookers, so hopefully that’ll bump up attendance at Dynamo’s other events.
I briefly joined the Wrestle Talk podcast for a live segment prior to the event, doing my best to push the St. Louis independent wrestling scene as well as my own comedy exploits (such as they are). The guys traditionally broadcast out of the Kansas City area and frequent Metro Pro Wrestling…if I can bum a ride from someone, it’d be cool to check out next Saturday’s event. (Hint hint.)
Your ring announcer was Luke Roberts; your referees were Scott Ramsey and Jay King.
The Bite Club (Rocket Mapache & Jackal) vs. The Midnight Society (Jayson Khaos & Billy McNeil) (w/ C.J. McManus): Billy was dressed in all black and stalled and complained to the referee a lot. This match felt like a throwback to Gateway Championship Wrestling as the participants (including manager C.J.) were all a part of that promotion back in the day. With the Midnight Society finally on the same page (and using the old Midnight Express theme music), it seemed like they were due for a win here. It should be noted that the referee for this opener was the same one who felt the wrath of the Midnight Society in Glen Carbon last week (Scott Ramsey). Chaos broke loose at the end and C.J. distracted the ref, allowing Khaos to mule-kick Rocket in the little acorns. Khaos followed up with a Death Valley Driver onto the knee and Billy added a sliding lariat, allowing Khaos to pin Rocket for the win in 12:32.
Davey Richards & Angelina Love had been scheduled for the card (with Miss Monica set to face Angelina), but travel problems forced them to cancel. As I’ve noted in the past, it’s unfortunate that fans see Davey as someone who “no-shows” a lot…it seems like it’s out of his control for the most part. Since Angelina lives in this neck of the woods nowadays, it would be cool to see her in the ring with some of the female wrestlers of the Midwest like Lucy Mendez and Stacey O’Brien.
Makaze vs. Karim Brigante (w/ Miss Monica Passeri): The GCW alumni trend continued with Makaze’s presence here. Brigante had the advantage in size and power, but Makaze’s experience was the deciding factor as he won with the Blizzard Suplex (Northern Lights/fisherman suplex) in 6:05.
“The Cowboy” Ric Maverick vs. “The Alternative” Ozzie Gallagher: Maverick was the representative of NatsuCon who set up the wrestling portion of the event. Gallagher had been on a winning streak in recent months and Maverick picked up his first victory last week in Glen Carbon against The Incredible “Primal Prodigy” Matt Kenway (Look At Him). Maverick won a solid bout with the cobra clutch in 5:48.
Mason Conrad vs. Brandon Espinosa: Since the event was in Illinois, Espinosa’s MWR Missouri Title was not on the line. I had only seen Conrad on a handful of occasions; I believe he’s from the Chicago area and he probably traveled with the other out-of-town guests. It seems like Espy’s little controversy from a few weeks ago has already blown over…such is the ADD-afflicted age of social media. At any rate, this was a fine competitive matchup…Espy scored the win after the brainbuster in 8:30.
“The King of Chaos” Ricky Cruz vs. “The Voodoo King” Mojo McQueen: McQueen is another Chicago guy who came out in a mask with various voodoo-related items, including a smoke-spewing box which may have caused headaches if it had set off any fire alarms. I can honestly say this was the first time I had ever seen a voodoo doll involved in a match. Despite the occult shenanigans, Cruz made the comeback only to be cut off by the big man. McQueen had to walk all the way to the backstage area to get a metal chair (which happened to be the one personalized by Outtkast)…he shoved the referee when he tried to interfere and then bashed Ricky with the weapon. That drew a disqualification in 7:30, but such is life…McQueen attempted to do more damage, but Ricky delivered a spinning heel kick to knock the chair back into his own face. The voodoo man retreated, but I suspect this issue is far from over.
Intermission~! Given my previous experience with the Gateway Center’s refreshment costs, I stuck with the public water fountains…so no Official Ben Simon Concession Count™ on this evening. Aww.
Outtkast vs. “The Lightbringer” Jesus Bryce for the D-1 Title: I had heard of Bryce Benjamin, but this was my first time seeing him with this name (I think he had been scheduled for one of Frank Thurman’s cards in the past). I really like him; hope to see more of him in the near future. Outtkast retained his title with the Case Study in 8:44; he hasn’t had a real feud over the D-1 Championship since he won it.
High Level Enterprise (Jack Gamble & Jon Webb) vs. “The Valedictorian” Keon Option & Big Jay Knight (w/ Justin D’Air) for the Tag Team Title: Option & D’Air had earned this opportunity, but D’Air was on crutches due to a recent knee injury. Gamble & Webb copped an attitude and even tried to swat away the crutches. D’Air and Option brought out Knight (another Chicago guy) as the replacement…he’s a big dude and HLE had trouble dealing with the size difference. The referee was knocked down in the closing moments of the match, allowing Gamble to swipe one of D’Air’s crutches and whack Knight with it. Webb followed up with a moonsault off the second rope to pin Knight in 10:18…SHENANIGANS~!
Delirious vs. Mike Outlaw: This was a proving ground for the up-and-coming Outlaw against the veteran Delirious, who got his start in the St. Louis area in 2001. I remember that Hillsboro county fair, the monster truck, and also the debut of some gal named MsChif…good times. (I tweeted to Delirious about that debut event and he tweeted back a picture of the event program…bwahahaha.) Outlaw is working his way back up the ladder to a rematch with Heavyweight Champion “Dirdey” Jake Dirden (who was wrestling in Iowa this past weekend). Delirious made his usual manic entrance…he was happy to see me in my new Delirious T-shirt that I picked up recently at Ring of Honor. As is tradition, the Wayne’s World cap went flying…it nearly ended up in the ceiling!
Anywho…wrestling match, yay~! They started with a feeling-out process before turning up the tempo and aggression…lots of Fighting Spirit™ in this one. Each man survived the other’s best shots, but in the end Outlaw delivered his middle-rope springboard European uppercut and then followed up with the High Noon (top-rope elbowdrop)…that was enough for Outlaw to score a huge win in 15:27! Afterwards, Delirious shook Outlaw’s hand and raised his arm in victory…nicely done.
I hung around the venue for a little while afterwards, particularly catching up with longtime GCW fan Richard Dix…sometimes life takes people in different directions after they’ve been a consistent presence for a while. Delirious did some podcast interviews with his head wrapped in a towel or something…I think he said his mask got wet. The man is dedicated, I will say that much…and he’s also as eloquent a speaker as ever.
It sounded like Pro Wrestling Resurgence had a successful debut at The Ready Room last Saturday night. My decision for that evening was a tough one, but I hadn’t seen comedian Gabriel Rutledge in a few years (not since the Comedy Etc. days); the last time he was in town, I was in the hospital with bronchitis. I didn’t want to miss seeing him this time around, but I would have to skip wrestling with events on both Friday and Saturday. Resurgence has a few more events lined up for August with some big names scheduled to appear…Kevin Lee Davidson vs. Moose and Michael Elgin vs. Brandon Espinosa are just two of the big matches set to take place in PWR.
While there’s nothing local next weekend, August will be VERY busy…here’s what’s on tap for Greater STL:
-Sunday 8/7: Wrestling Invades America in Swansea, IL
-Saturday 8/13: Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance in St. Louis, MO
-Saturday 8/20: Dynamo Pro Wrestling in Wood River, IL; Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling in East Carondelet, IL; Pro Wrestling Resurgence in Sauget, IL (Pop’s)
-Friday 8/26: St. Louis Anarchy in Alton, IL
-Saturday 8/27: St. Louis Anarchy in Alton, IL; World League Wrestling in St. Peters, MO
-Sunday 8/28: Pro Wrestling Resurgence in Swansea, IL
That’s my special comment for this, the thirty-first wrestling event I’ve attended in the year 2016. Good night, good luck, and #yaywrestling.
-PB, Watching Wrestling Wrong Since 1991