Gary Jackson challenges Dynamo Pro Champion Ricky Cruz for the title on Tuesday, September 30 at Off Broadway in Saint Louis.
The bout will be a No Disqualification match. With the intimacy of the venue, this is sure to be a crazy war!
Cruz stole the victory the last time these two met in July, when he kicked Jackson below the belt to get the pin. When the rules can be broken by both men, can Gary stop Ricky’s reign in the seventh defense?
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 blow to the head…that resulted in an almost brain injurie as stated by http://www.braininjurylawofseattle.com/. 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)
Now, as promised, a special comment about Saturday’s Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance event at the South Broadway Athletic Club in St. Louis, Missouri.
As I previously said, I feel like I’ve done the MMWA a disservice as I haven’t been to one of their events in awhile. My last event at South Broadway was in March and my last MMWA event was the one at the Cinco De Mayo Festival. I appreciate Timothy Miller posting the video clips on YouTube as I’ve been able to keep up, for the most part.
Lynn Mephisto posted on Facebook that he has parted ways with the promotion. He had a good run, including reigns as Battle Royal (now Survivor) Champion and TV Champion. Also, as previously noted, Ace Hawkins quit after his Junior Heavyweight Title loss to Everett Connors; apparently he has military obligations that will keep him out of the ring for the time being.
Attendance was still strong, though a bit down from the packed houses at South Broadway earlier in the year. Audience enthusiasm was no problem on this night.
The King of St. Louis Cable Tournament was restructured as the four first-round winners were scheduled to face each other in a four-way elimination final. I did a tournament preview a few days ago, so go there for the salient details. The tag match was announced online at the last minute, as was Kevin Lee Davidson’s substitution for Tony Kozina in the tourney.
Your ring announcer was Ben Simon, your referees were Nick Ridenour & Brian Stoltz.
Tag Team Champion Da’Marius Jones vs. Barackus (w/ J-Mal Swagg), King of Cable Tournament: These two faced each other in Barackus’ MMWA debut in January…this was shaping up to be as one-sided as their previous encounter. However, Swagg got into a discussion with his Elitism compatriot over how to end the match; that led to Jones hitting Paydirt out of nowhere for the surprise win in 5:40. Barackus and Swagg argued after the match and Barackus teased the CLAWWWWW~! on Swagg, but J-Mal talked him out of it…
TV Champion Moondog Rover vs. Kevin Lee Davidson (w/ Co-Commissioner Sean Orleans), King of Cable Tournament: As noted, Davidson was replacing Tony Kozina in the tournament. Co-Commissioner Jim Harris made the same observation I did, noting that Kozina lost his qualifying match to Gary Jackson last month. Orleans did a “random draw” to decide the remaining two tournament participants and they shockingly(?) turned out to be members of the Elitism (or allies of the group, at the very least).
This match mostly consisted of Davidson working on Moondog’s leg, though the time-compressed nature of the tournament meant that the first-round matches were relatively short. Davidson was in full control of the match and brought in a chair, destroying Moondog’s leg for the DQ in 5:47. Several wrestlers finally ran him off, including Jackson Whitechapel (who was double-crossed by Sean Orleans in a battle royal last month). Jim Harris ordered a no-DQ rematch for Herculaneum (nice job of building that card), but we later found out that Rover wouldn’t be able to compete in the tournament final. Didn’t make much sense for Davidson to go for the chair when he did…I don’t recall him making many pin covers so it didn’t seem like he was frustrated enough to go that route. If the Elitism guys wanted to ensure that Moondog didn’t make it to the final, then maybe Davidson should have, you know, tried to win. Oh well.
Andrew “The Wolf” Wilder & Johnathon Zulu vs. LaMarcus Clinton & Chase King: This would determine the next challengers for the Tag Team Title, held by A.J. Williams & Da’Marius Jones. LMC & Chase are the former champions but fell short against A.J. & Da’Marius last month. Zulu is still looking for a steady tag team partner since his previous two tag matches against Elitism members ended in defeat (thanks to timely low blows).
Wilder was thrown out of the ring and the referee was checking on him, so King went for a low blow only to be blocked by Zulu. However, LMC intervened with a punt to the Universal Weak Point and Zulu wasn’t ready for THAT…Chase capitalized with a Protobomb variation for the win in 6:58. No word on when the Tag Title match will happen…they didn’t say anything about Herculaneum in that regard and, as it turns out, Da’Marius Jones will be otherwise occupied at the next South Broadway event…
Survivor Champion Dave Osborne vs. Heavyweight Champion Brandon Espinosa vs. “Da Bomb” Brian James for the Survivor Title: This was a unique setup as they essentially had two back-to-back matches; the first was for Osborne’s title and the second was for Espinosa’s championship with a short rest period in between. The only real precedent was the match at WrestleMania 2000 with Kurt Angle defending the Intercontinental and European Titles against Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho; that led to Angle losing both belts without being pinned or made to submit. Since James wasn’t pinned in last month’s tournament qualifier (it was a tag match) and he had won last year’s tournament, he got this opportunity…in fact, the match(es) featured all three previous tournament winners. This seemed time-compressed as well, especially given the stakes involved. James got the clean pin on Espinosa with his sitout gourdbuster finisher in 5:30, winning Osborne’s championship.
Heavyweight Champion Brandon Espinosa vs. Survivor Champion “Da Bomb” Brian James vs. Dave Osborne for the Heavyweight Title: With the wear and tear of the previous match as a factor, this one didn’t last long…Espinosa bided his time outside the ring as James and Osborne fought. Orleans stuck his nose into things after James hit his finisher on Osborne, distracting James and then holding his leg to keep him from breaking up Espinosa’s pin cover on Osborne. Espinosa retained his title in 2:51, but James made a good case for a future one-on-one title shot. Never fond of setups where a champion can lose a title without being pinned/made to submit…I’ve already talked about how I think MMWA has too many championships and it seems like there are a lot of title switches in recent months. At any rate, Espinosa is defending his title in Herculaneum against the winner of a battle royal that same night.
Tag Team Champion A.J. Williams vs. Evan Gelistico, King of Cable Tournament: Surreal to see Gelistico at South Broadway; he has trained there this year and worked a previous card or two for the promotion. This was the most technical bout of the night and also the only match that went over ten minutes. It was definitely a different sort of match than anything else on the card. A.J. got the tapout win with a modified cross-armbreaker (with Evan face-down on the mat) in 10:12.
“Night Train/Great One/Gorgeous” Gary Jackson vs. J-Mal Swagg (w/ Barackus): Barackus came out with Swagg but left the ringside area before the match started…guess there’s still trouble in Elitism paradise. Gary won with the Texas Cloverleaf in 5:46. Gary reminded us of THE RULES~! afterwards.
“Risky Business” Everett Connors vs. Co-Commissioner Sean Orleans for the Junior Heavyweight Title: After Connors upset Ace Hawkins for the title last month, Orleans decided to take matters into his own hands. Orleans got a good run of offense after Connors missed his first attempt at the guillotine legdrop; however, Everett came back to hit the move on the second try for the victory in 4:37. That led to a post-match attack by J-Mal Swagg to set up the Junior Heavyweight Title match for Herculaneum. Whitechapel made the save again, wanting to get his hands on his former tag partner, but Orleans got away to save his own skin.
“Night Train/Gorgeous/Great One” Gary Jackson vs. Tag Team Champion A.J. Williams vs. Tag Team Champion Da’Marius Jones, King of Cable Tournament, three-way elimination: Moondog was unable to compete due to his injury. Gary seemingly shrugged off A.J.’s first superkick…Gary got Da’Marius in the Cloverleaf but ate another superkick, leading to A.J. scoring the surprise three-count on Jackson at 5:43. That left the tag champs to do battle…tempers flared, but Jones hit Paydirt for the one…two…three in 8:22.
All three guys had history with Espinosa…in Jones’ case, he debuted in the area with an upset win over Espy at an SICW event in Hillsdale. Espy won the rematch at South Broadway and retained his title against him at Cinco De Mayo earlier this year. It surprised me when Jones made the challenge for the 60-Minute Ironman Match…I had only seen one match of that kind on the indies around here: Bailey Mannix vs. Eric Allen at MECW in late 2011. Hopefully that’ll be a good one…October 11th is shaping up to be a very busy night for indy wrestling in this area.
Now, as promised, a special comment about this weekend’s Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance event at the South Broadway Athletic Club in St. Louis, Missouri featuring the fourth annual King of Cable Tournament.
I’m a fan of one-night tournaments in general, dating back to the WWF’s King of the Ring tournament in 1993 when Bret Hart defeated Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect, and Bam Bam Bigelow in one night to capture the crown. With all the gimmick pay-per-views on WWE’s calendar, I’ve been disappointed that KOTR hasn’t figured into that equation on a regular basis.
The tournament was started in 2011 with the winner earning a title shot of his choosing. The title shot took on Money-In-The-Bank privileges and could be “cashed in” at any time, though that possibility only came into play with last year’s tourney winner. While the cash-ins didn’t always result in a title change, all three Kings of Cable would capture the Heavyweight Title within a few months of their tournament victories.
The first tournament took place on October 29th, 2011 in Lemay, Missouri. The tourney was unique in that Heavyweight Champion Gary Jackson was a participant…it was noted that Gary would be able to hand-pick his next challenger if he won the tournament. It also featured Junior Heavyweight Champion Johnny Courageous, TV Champion Brandon Espinosa, and Battle Royal Champion Dave Vaughn. The quick-and-dirty bracket rundown:
Quarterfinals: Espinosa d. Dave Osborne, Phil E. Blunt d. Courageous, Vaughn d. Max Archer, Jackson d. Ace Hawkins.
Semifinals: Espinosa d. Blunt by count out (Blunt wanted to “make amends” for interfering in Espy’s previous title shot at Jackson and essentially forfeited the match right away); Jackson d. Vaughn.
Finals: Espinosa d. Jackson.
Jackson retained his title against Espinosa via DQ win in December, but Espinosa would capture the title from Gary in January.
The second tournament also took place in Lemay and happened on September 22nd, 2012. It featured Junior Heavyweight Champion Archer and Battle Royal Champion Osborne among other competitors.
Quarterfinals: Brian James d. Archer, Osborne d. Lumberjack Abe, Ricky Cruz d. Ken Kasa, Lumberjack Gabe d. Jimmy D.
Semifinals: Osborne d. James, Cruz d. Gabe.
Finals: Osborne d. Cruz by count out after Kasa interfered.
Osborne didn’t cash in his title shot until January and his match with Jackson ended in a no-contest due to Brandon Espinosa’s interference. However, Osborne would go on to defeat Jackson for the title in February.
The third tournament was held at the South Broadway Athletic Club on November 9th, 2013. Participants included Jr. Heavyweight Champion Andrew Wilder, TV Champion A.J. Williams, and Battle Royal Champion Lynn Mephisto.
Quarterfinals: Mephisto d. A.J. Williams, Ace Hawkins d. Wilder, Osborne d. Da’Marius Jones, Brian James d. Jimmy D.
Semifinals: Mephisto d. Hawkins, James d. Osborne.
Finals: James d. Mephisto.
James’ tournament win had the quickest turnaround of the three. In December, Brandon Espinosa retained his title against Osborne with a DQ win after an unidentified man (now known as Barackus) interfered. James cashed in his title shot right after that bout concluded and capitalized on the worn-down champion to win the championship.
This year’s tournament participants have been finalized. Six men qualified at the August event: Tag Team Champions A.J. Williams & Da’Marius Jones (defeating LaMarcus Clinton & Chase King), TV Champion Moondog Rover (defeating Lynn Mephisto), Gary Jackson (defeating Tony Kozina), and Barackus & J-Mal Swagg (defeating Brian James & Johnathon Zulu). Co-Commissioner Sean Orleans did a “random draw” to determine the final two competitors and “coincidentally” drew the names of Elitism allies Evan Gelistico and Tony Kozina (despite Kozina losing his qualifying match last month!). The brackets have not been finalized so I guess we’ll have to wait until the event itself to find out how things will shake out.
The card will also feature a unique “two-fall match” with both the Heavyweight and Survivor Titles at stake. Notably, the match will feature the previous three Kings of Cable as Heavyweight Champion Espinosa and Survivor Champion Osborne will be in the ring with Brian James. It will be conducted under triple threat rules, but the first fall will be for Osborne’s title and the second fall will be for Espinosa’s championship. Topping off the announced lineup, new Jr. Heavyweight Champion Everett Connors will defend against Sean Orleans.
The nice thing about my obsessive-compulsiveness with regards to wrestling viewing is that the whiny blog(s) are a great reference source for this sort of thing, don’t forget to check the Stacey Hughes’ blog which is one of the best ones for us..my LiveJournal page just reached its ten-year anniversary! One of these days I’ll need to go back and tag the posts so they’re easier to search…