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Arena Reports
8/19 IWA-Mid South in Midlothian, Ill.: Hero-Cannon, Strong-Delirious, Jacobs-Brave

Aug 23, 2005 - 9:59:00 AM
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By Chris Vetter, Torch Contributor

IWA-Mid South report
Aug. 19, 2005
Midlothian, Ill.


IWA-Mid South had perhaps its best show of the year thus far, topping “Simply the Best 6,” (April 9), “Something to Prove” (June 11), and “No Blood, No Guts, No Glory,” (July 2.) The show featured 10 matches, and nothing felt below average here.

The crowd is 110, and the show gets underway at 7:48 p.m. Ian Rotten made his way to the ring and announced several matches for the big “Ted Petty Invitational” on Sept. 23 & 24. Matches announced include Chris Hero vs. Chris Harris, Chris Sabin vs. James Gibson, Homicide vs. Rainman, El Generico vs. Matt Sydal and American Dragon vs. Claudio Castognoli. Retired wrestler Vic Capri will be the referee for the TPI finals on Sept. 24.

Ian also said he has a concussion, and won’t wrestle until late September. A return date for Midlothian is Sept. 9. Ian promised that if the promotion folds in December, it will go out with a bang. “We’re not gonna go standing around; that’s not gonna happen,” he said.

Note: CM Punk was in the building, and watched much of the show from the merchandise tables.

(1) Jayson Reign defeats Eric Matlock at 9:27. Reign is bald and wore blue tights. Matlock has black shorts and black hair; I hadn’t heard of him before, but Matlock told me he’s been wrestling for eight years, predominantly on the West Coast.

Reign hit a shoulder tackle, and they traded chops. Matlock hit a nice dropkick to the face for a nearfall. Reign hit a brainbuster for a nearfall at 4:30. Reign nailed some spine kicks. Matlock got a Victory Roll for a nearfall, then a bulldog. Reign came back with a German release suplex, and both were down. Matlock hit an inverted Pedigree, placing Reign’s head between his knees and dropping him hard, on the back of his head.

Reign came back with a Camel Clutch, but Matlock reached the ropes. Reign hit a Shellshock/sudden spinning faceplant, for the pin. Good opener; the crowd was pleased with this match and responded well to two guys they really didn’t know.

(2) Ryan Cruz defeats Darin Corbin at 8:57. Cruz is the Matt Hardy-lookalike. Corbin, with red hair and red tights, drew jeers from the crowd for his ridiculous dancing. Corbin does a good job drawing heat.

Cruz got the early advantage with a clothesline, armdrags and a dropkick. The crowd chants “Opie” at Corbin. Funny. Cruz hit a vertical suplex, but he missed a guillotine legdrop. Corbin nailed at running basement dropkick to the face at 6:30. Cruz hit a spinning uranage, and they traded stiff forearms.

Corbin hit a senton splash for a nearfall. Cruz hit a nice spin heel kick to the face, then a side gut suplex for the pin. Fun match.

(3) Eric Priest & Chandler McClure defeat Trik Davis & Ryan Boz at 8:20 in a Texas Tornado match. McClure is the heel referee gimmick. Priest is the heel underwear model. Trik is the small underdog, much smaller and skinnier than everyone in this match. Boz is the tallest and strongest here.

All four men are in the ring, and they brawled immediately. Boz flipped Trik onto the heels on the floor. Several guys are thrown into rows of chairs on the floor, drawing an “IWA” chant from the crowd. Priest was slammed hard onto the floor.

Boz caught McClure and slammed him hard against the ring apron at 3:30. In the ring, Priest flipped Trik in the air, and nailed Trik with a Spinebuster. Priest threw several punches at Boz, but they had no effect. On the floor, Trik got a drop-toe-hold, and McClure crashed into the wall. McClure gave Trik a suplex on the floor. Boz was bleeding. Back in the ring, Priest gave Trik a spike piledriver off the ropes and scored the pin. This was a good, fast-paced brawl, and the crowd was into the action.

A rematch was announced, and the losers of the rematch will no longer be allowed to be a tag team!

(4) Brandon Thomaselli defeats KUDO at 10:40. Wow that was really good for the time given. Thomaselli –since I last saw him three weeks ago – has started wearing Road Warrior-style makeup around his eyes. KUDO, a Japanese wrestler, wore shiny black pants with a yellow stripe. Several fans threw black and yellow streamers in the ring. A nice touch.

They traded quick armbars and headlocks, then quicker nearfalls and a standoff, and the crowd popped. Thomaselli hit some stiff forearms. KUDO came back with some hard chops and kicks to the chest. Thomaselli nailed a spine kick, then a vertical suplex for a 30-count at 5:30, before dropping KUDO.

KUDO came back with Tajiri-style kicks to the head and a Northern Lights Suplex for a nearfall at 7:30. They hit simultaneous cross body blocks, and both were down. Brandon hit a gutbuster over his knee and a running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall. KUDO applied a Tarantula-type move in the ropes, but he missed a top-rope flying knee drop. Thomaselli nailed his Air Raid Crash/Kryptonite Krunch and scored the spin. The crowd chanted “Bring him back.” The wrestlers hugged. Really good match.

SIDE NOTE: Mickie Knuckles, a woman, recently won a battle royal, and will get a shot at the IWA-Mid South Heavyweight belt, currently held by Jimmy Jacobs, on Sept. 24. Knuckles is a hard-hitter, and has held her own in the ring with men before.

(5) Mickie Knuckles defeats Rain at 12:19 in an Indian Strap Match. One belt was laid in the center of the ring, and the women were on the floor; whoever got to it first could use it. They both grabbed it at the same time, but Rain hit some kicks to Knuckles’ thigh, and she had the belt. However, Knuckles asked for the crowd to give her a belt, too, and she quickly got one.

Mickie spanked Rain with the belt. Rain whipped Mickie with the belt across her back. Mickie took Rain into the crowd, and even let someone in the crowd whip Rain! Back in the ring, Mickie got the belt around Rain’s throat, and she applied a Muta Lock. Rain came back, and put the belt around Mickie’s throat, while Mickie was tied in the ropes at 5:00.

Rain applied a front guillotine choke (a la Gibson), and they traded shots, and brawled into the crowd. Back in the ring, Mickie hit a frogsplash for a nearfall at 10:30. Rain hit the Raindrop/inverted DDT for a nearfall. Knuckles applied a sleeper with the belt around Rain’s throat. Mickie won it with a shining Kawada Kick to Rain’s face for the pin. Very good match, and I liked the various uses of the belt. Hard hitting for a women’s match, too.

Jimmy Jacobs, sporting a nice suit, got in the ring and tried to revive Rain. He stood face-to-face with Mickie. “Do you really want to play with the big boys?” he asked. “This is a man’s sport, and ain’t nothing but a broad.” They traded slaps, and Jacobs hit a spear and a senton. Several wrestlers came to the ring to save Mickie. Ian Rotten announced that before Jacobs faces Mickie on Sept. 24, he will have to face Colt Cabana on Sept. 23.

Intermission

(6) Sal & Vito Thomaselli (The Iron Saints) defeat CJ Otis & Orlando Colon at 10:56. This was solid, and certainly surpassed my expectations. Sal is bald, Vito has long black hair, and they both have a lot of tattoos. CJ Otis is thick, with blonde hair, and he’s still fairly green. Orlando Colon is related to Carlos Colon; he’s thin, draws great heel heat, and definitely looks like a Colon. He wore purple tights, and he was annoyed that no ring music played for him. Unusual match, in that all four seem to be heels.

Sal hit some armdrags on Otis. Otis came back with a nice series of punches on Sal, and they traded hard chops. Colon tagged in at 2:00, but he tagged out almost immediately, drawing more heel heat. Vito hit a spin kick on Otis. Colon got in and he hit a nice spinning suplex at 5:00. Vito hit a guillotine legdrop on Colon for a nearall. The Saints did a lot of double team moves.

Vito applied a Muta Lock on Colon. Otis got the hot tag at 9:00, and he hit a Saito Suplex on Vito, then one on Sal. However, the Iron Saints hit their Pendulum Doublestomp on Otis and scored the pin. After the match, Colon complained to the crowd about what a loser his partner is.

(7) Josh Abercrombie defeated Tyler Black in a best of three falls match at 23:33 to retain the Light Heavyweight Title. Abercrombie is wearing ugly red plaid trunks, and he appears to be more of a heel tonight. Black is the impressive rookie, with long black hair and black & pink trunks.

They shook hands and traded basic armbars and headlocks, as the crowd alternated chants in support of the guys. This is an extended feeling out process. In a cool spot, Black “Skinned the Cat” going out of the ring, and hit Abercrombie with a headscissors takedown at 6:00. Cool. Black was on offense with chops and a dropkick. Abercrombie came back with a spin kick to the face at 9:00. Black went for a Pele Kick, but Abercrombie got his hands up to block it. Abercrombie hit a Saito Suplex for a nearfall.

Abercrombie went for a Lungblower off the ropes, but Black hit a nice jump-up enziguri to block it. Black hit a spinning brainbuster and scored the first pin at 11:31. The match continued immediately, and Abercrombie dove for Black’s left arm, applying cross-armbreakers. Abercrombie hit a field goal kick to the chest, then a cool armbar over his shoulder. Black came back with a missile dropkick and a spin kick for a nearfall at 18:00.

Abercrombie nailed the Taliban Backpack/jumping Lungblower, then he applied a Konnan-style Tequila Sunrise, putting pressure on the injured arm, and Black tapped out at 19:46. As the third fall began, Black got an inverted DDT for a nearfall. Abercrombie was still working on the arm. Abercrombie went to leapfrog Black, but Black’s head collided with Abercrombie’s groin, and Abercrombie fell to the ground in pain. It appeared the match is stopped momentarily so Josh can catch his breath. However, Josh hopped up, hooked Black’s leg and did a forward roll into a pin. Crowd booed Abercrombie for pretending to be injured. Good match.

Ian Rotten came out and said these two will have a rematch on Sept. 9, and it will be a TLC match!

(8) Delirious defeats Roderick Strong at 18:02. Delirious, as usual, went crazy when the bell sounded. In a nice touch, Strong immediately claimed that Delirious pulled his hair (which is something Delirious usually does!) Strong tied up Delirious’ legs and nailed some heavy chops to the chest. Delirious came back with a headscissors takedown. Strong nailed a spinebuster and more heavy chops.

They brawled on the floor and into the crowd, and Strong threw Delirious into rows of chairs. Back in the ring, Strong hit a dropkick to the face at 11:30, then three consecutive backbreakers over his knee. OUCH. Delirious dove through the ropes onto Strong at 13:30, and they both landed in the chairs. Back in the ring, Strong hit a second-rope superplex. Delirious hit a pumphandle sitdown powerbomb for a nearfall, and several short-arm clotheslines in the corner.

Strong applied a Boston Crab, but Delirious reached the ropes. Delirious hit a Crucifix Takedown for a nearfall. Strong nailed a Mafia Kick for a nearfall at 17:30. Delirious came back with a headscissors takedown into a rollup, and got the pin out of nowhere. The crowd really enjoyed this match. In one of the funnier spots, Delirious kept getting in the face of one fan at ringside, jawing in his gibberish.

(9) Jimmy Jacobs defeats Marek Brave at 15:41 to retain the IWA-MS Heavyweight Title. Another really good match. Marek is another impressive rookie, with long black hair, but thinner and more pale than his counterpart, Tyler Black. Jacobs has really morphed into a good heel.

They open with basic arm and leg holds, until Jacobs threw a hard slap to Marek’s face. Marek returned the slap. Marek hit a dropkick, so Jacobs bailed to the floor at 4:00. They brawled on the floor. Marek hit an Asai Moonsault to the floor. Back in the ring, Jacobs hit a low blow and took control, with chops, punches, and repeated doublestomps to the chest. Marek came back with a Blue Thunder Bomb at 10:00, and both were down.

They traded hard chops, and Jacobs did a great Flair Flop. Marek hit a Lionsault for a nearfall. Jacobs hit an overhead powerbomb, as Marek sat on the top rope. In a cool spot, Marek hit a spear, but floated over into a Northern Lights Suplex. Marek missed a Shooting Star Press at 13:30. Jacobs has a chain, and he nailed Marek with it. Jacobs hit a Senton Splash for a believable nearfall, and the crowd popped when Marek kicked out. Jacobs then won it with a rollup while grabbing the ropes for leverage. Another really good match.

(10) Chris Hero defeats Arik Cannon at 19:45. Hero wore a green Superman outfit; I haven’t seen this one. One criticism of these two is some people don’t like their “extended feeling out process” seen in past matches. That wasn’t the case here. This was a non-stop slugfest from the time this match began until it ended.

They immediately traded stiff forearms and chops. Cannon tried for the Glimmering Warlock/step-up enziguri at 2:00, but he missed. They brawled to the floor and traded more hard chops. Cannon threw Hero into the chairs. Cannon hit a field goal kick and he bit him. Back in the ring, Cannon hit a spear and a senton for a nearfall at 5:30. Cannon is dominating the action, as he tied Hero in a pretzel. Hero fired back with a series of hard chops. They brawled again on the floor, where Cannon accidentally chopped the ring post at 9:30.

Cannon hit a backbody drop on Hero on an open chair, and the crowd popped. Back in the ring, Cannon hit some spine kicks and applied a modified Figure Four. Hero came back with some doublestomps and a senton. They traded more vicious chops at 13:30, and Cannon hit a Back Suplex, dropping Hero hard on his head. However, Hero hopped up and hit a Back Suplex of his own, and both were down.

Hero took over on offense, with a running flying forearm, a powerbomb and a Hangman’s Clutch/modified STF, but Cannon reached the ropes. The crowd chanted “Let’s go Cannon, Let’s go Hero.” Cannon hit a brainbuster for a nearfall. Cannon is bleeding from his nose. Hero went for a Glimmering Warlock (Cannon’s move!), but he missed. Hero hit a doublestomp to the chest for a nearfall at 19:00. Cannon hit a couple consecutive Glimmering Warlocks. They traded stiff blows, then Hero suddenly nailed Cannon with a straight right punch, and Cannon hit the mat, and Hero covered him for the win. WOW, that was stiff, and the best one-on-one match I’ve seen from these two.

Hero cut a promo, asking Cannon to admit that Cannon is not the best wrestler in IWA-MS. Cannon offered to shake Hero’s hand, but instead, Cannon hit a low blow and another Glimmering Warlock. The crowd popped for Cannon’s antics.

Final thoughts: Show ended at 11:50. I’m not one for hyperbole, but this is among the best IWA-MS shows of the year, with Cannon-Hero topping the action, with some other great matches like Brave-Jacobs, Delirious-Strong and Black-Abercrombie. If you have not seen IWA-Mid South before, or are not familiar with these newer names, this is a show to check out.

The lowlights are few here. IWA-Mid South certainly wants more than 110 fans, but the people here were vocal and into the product. Purchase a copy of this show at www.smartmarkvideo.com.


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