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DVD Review: IWC, "Accept no Limitations 2," Feb. 18, 2006, with Castognoli, Doe, Sweeney, Keenan, McChesney, Milano

May 1, 2006 - 10:40:00 AM
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By Chris Vetter, Torch Contributor

Full Disclosure: IWC sent me this DVD to review.

International Wrestling Cartel returned to Elizabeth, Penn., on Feb. 18, 2006 for “Accept No Limitations 2.” The crowd is about 250 people and they are hot for the show. IWC uses multiple cameras, editing is good, lighting is great, and commentary is handled by Joe Dombrowski, who is excellent on play-by-play. During the show, Bryce Remsburg, Chris Maverick and others rotate in on color, but their voices are distant… they don’t sound like they have a mic below their mouth.

No backstage segments at all on this show; everything is done in the ring. (I’ve seen IWC shows in the past with backstage promos.)

The show opened with Sterling James Keenan walking to the ring. Keenan makes it clear that he’s no fan favorite now – he heckled a few fans – but he does support IWC, and has sided with the promotion in its war against Shirley Doe’s squad.

(1) Sterling James Keenan defeats Raymond Rowe at 6:32. Good opener. Rowe reminds me of David Young, as he’s nearly bald, a bit chubby, and he wore camouflage pants. Keenan is a great up-and-comer, as he has a good physique, long black hair, tattoos up and down his arms, and he’s a good talker. Keenan applied a headscissorslock in the ropes. The ref wore a mask, which is really odd, and Dombrowski talked about this during the match. Keenan hit some punches. Rowe hit a belly-to-belly suplex for a nearfall, then a T-Bone Suplex.

Rowe was in charge, hitting some knee lifts to the head and a clothesline. The crowd was a bit quiet. Keenan fired back with a DDT, some clotheslines and a nice Mafia Kick for a nearfall at 5:00. Keenan hit a Lungblower for a nearfall. Rowe came back with a high back suplex, dropping Keenan on his head. Keenan held Rowe along his back and hit a modified Tombstone Piledriver for the pin.

* IWC Promoter Norm Connors walked to ringside and announced that Keenan would face IWC champion Shirley Doe at the next show in March.

(2) Milano Collection AT defeats KUDO at 8:54. While this was short, the action was great, and it gets my pick for match of the night. The crowd loves Milano, who is a Japanese man who thinks he’s an Italian supermodel, and he wears white trunks. KUDO is a shorter Japanese man, and he had a great 2005 competing along the East Coast; he wears shiny black pants with a yellow stripe. The crowd was instantly hot before the action began. They opened with some good mat wrestling and Milano working the arm. He twisted KUDO’s arm in the ropes, and he hit an armdrag.

Milano tied KUDO up in the bottom rope, and he hit a basement dropkick. KUDO came back with a nice standing dropkick to the face at 3:00, then some spine kicks, a spin kick to the face, and some chops. KUDO hit a running double knees in the corner. Milano came back with a jumping enziguri, as KUDO went for a springboard move! Nice. They were both down at 6:00. Milano hit some chops, a handspring-back-elbow, a bulldog and a senton for a nearfall.

KUDO hit an enziguri. KUDO nailed a Tajiri-style spin kick to the head for a nearfall. He went for his top-rope flying double knees, but Milano avoided it. Milano hit a modified Styles Clash to score the pin. Good action, and I wish it had been longer.

(3) Mickey & Marshall Gambino defeat Glenn Spectre & Shark Boy at 12:16. Solid match. Marshall is the heavier brother; the Gambinos wear tan & black, and they operate a “Moving Company,” but it’s implied that it’s a ‘front’ for their Mafia work. Spectre wore his Wonder Woman outfit; the more gay he acts, the more the crowd cheers. Mickey and Shark Boy started with some quick action, and Shark Boy hit a nice dropkick. Shark Boy bit Mickey on the rear, and Mickey stalled on the floor. Spectre tagged in and he hit a superkick on Marshall at 3:30. Spectre hit a flying forearm and a rumpshaker in the corner. Spectre forced Marshall to ‘ballroom dance’ with him, and the crowd finds this all quite funny.

Marshall hit a twisting neckbreaker on Spectre. The Gambinos hit a team back suplex, then team elbow drops on Spectre. Marshall hit a guillotine legdrop for a nearfall at 7:30. Spectre came back with a Shining Wizard/running knee on Mickey, and they both were down. Shark Boy made the hot tag, and he hit dropkicks on both Gambinos, then a standing neckbreaker on Mickey. Spectre applied a nice modified Figure Four Leglock on Marshall at 11:30, but Marshall reached the ropes. Mickey nailed a Death Sentence/elevated legdrop on Spectre to score the pin. Lengthy match, but nothing really above average.

* After the match, Spectre pouted and didn’t want to shake hands. Some comedy music hit, and soon, all four were doing ‘the Big Wiggle’ dance. “Norman Smiley would be so proud,” Dombrowski said.

(4) J-Rocc defeats Dirk Ciglar at 8:24. J-Rocc is a thick bald man (he reminds me of Danny Maff), and he wore a black & green & gold singlet. Ciglar has long black hair, he wore black pants, and he has a solid physique. Ray Rowe came to ringside, and we’re told that Rowe, like J-Rocc, are from Cleveland; they hug. Ciglar hit some armdrags. Rowe tripped Ciglar. Ciglar headed to the back, and he emerged with Jason Cage to stand in his corner. Back in the ring, Ciglar hit some dropkicks. Rowe choked Dirk in the ropes at 5:00.

J-Rocc hit a kneedrop for a nearfall, and he jawed with the ref, then he hit some chops. J-Rocc applied a sleeper; Dirk hit a back suplex to escape, and they were both down. Dirk hit some clotheslines and a powerslam. Dirk went to the top rope, but Rowe pushed him off, and Dirk fell to the mat. J-Rocc immediately hit a hard clothesline for the pin. Solid.

* The Masked referee is in the ring again. Larry “Sweet N’ Sour” Sweeney came to the ring for his next match. Sweeney is wearing his ICW/ICWA Tex Arkana TV Title, which is a bogus belt that he supposedly defends throughout Louisiana and Texas. The belt has a ‘24/7’ defense clause, much like the WWE hardcore title once did. Before the next match began, the ref rolled up Sweeney and got a three-count to win the title! The ref headed toward the back, took off the mask, and it’s Jason Gory! The crowd loved these antics, and Sweeney was fuming!

(5) “Fabulous” John McChesney defeats Larry Sweeney at 13:10 to retain the IWC Super Indy title. Good match. McChesney wore black pants, and while he’s still small, it appears he’s putting on some mass. They opened with good mat reversals, and the crowd was hot. Sweeney, of course, complained to the ref that McChesney pulled his hair. McChesney hit a hard slap and some armdrags. Sweeney hit some chops. McChesney hit a backbody drop, and Sweeney rolled to the floor at 5:00.

They briefly brawled to the back, then made their way back to the ring. McChesney dove through the ropes onto Sweeney on the floor, and the crowd chanted, “IWC!” In the ring, Sweeney hit a Hot Shot across the top turnbuckle, and he was in control. Sweeney hit a butterfly suplex at 7:30, then some Dibiase fist drops. They traded punches. McChesney hit a standing dropkick for a nearfall. Sweeney hit a clothesline and a bodyslam. Really good crowd heat.

Sweeney hit a second-rope elbow drop, but he pulled McChesney up before the three-count! They traded chops, and McChesney hit a running Mafia Kick to the side of the chest for a nearfall. McChseney hit a TKO at 12:30. They fought on the top turnbuckle, and McChesney pushed Sweeney to the mat. McChesney then hit a frogsplash to score the pin.

* McChesney grabbed the mic after the match, and he said he wanted another match with Low Ki! Norm Connors agreed to book the match for the next show in March!

(6) Claudio Castognoli defeats Jason Gory at 10:43 to win a spot in the Super Indy Tournament. Good match. Gory wore his new ICW/ICWA title to ringside; he’s thin with Vampiro-style black eye makeup. Claudio is much taller, thicker and stronger than Gory, and he pushed Gory to the mat. Dombrowski hyped the Super Indy tournament (it was held April 15, the DVD is on sale now!) Claudio hit a shoulder tackle. Gory hit some armdrags and a headscissors takedown. Claudio hit a European Uppercut and a Stinger Splash. The crowd was hot and split between cheering these two.

Claudio tossed Gory in the air, and Gory crashed stomach-first on the mat. Claudio was in control, and he applied a modified Cobra Clutch, then he hit a delayed vertical suplex. Gory hit a nice hurricanrana at 6:30, then an Asai Moonsault to the floor! In the ring, Gory hit a 619 for a nearfall. Claudio came back with an inverted suplex, dropping Gory stomach-first. Claudio hit a top-rope elbow drop for a nearfall, and the crowd rallied behind Gory. Claudio went for the cross-arm powerbomb, but Gory avoided it and he hit a chinbreaker.

Gory hit a second-rope moonsault for a nearfall at 9:00. Claudio hit a hard European Uppercut. Gory got in a sunset flip for a believable nearfall. Claudio tossed Gory in the air, and he NAILED a European Uppercut as Gory came down, and he scored the pin.

* Immediately after the match, Larry Sweeney ran to ringside and attacked Gory. Sweeney hit a piledriver on the floor to get a pin, and regain his ICW/ICW Tex Arkana TV title!

SIDE NOTE: In January, Troy Lords fought John McChesney to a 20-minute draw, and Lords looked really impressive. After the match, he was awarded a spot in the Super Indy tournament. This upset Shiima Xion, who lost his tournament qualifying match.

(7) Shiima Xion (w/Chris Maverick) defeats Troy Lords at 13:20. Disappointing match, especially after how well Lords looked a month earlier. Lords wore his red & black singlet. Shiima is a Filipino model, and he has poofy hair and a fluffy jacket. The match egan with Lords hitting some punches and armdrags. Xion hit a headscissors takedown. Dombrowski said Lords had “a career night” at the January show. Lords applied a Cattle Mutilation/double armbar. Xion tied up Lords’ legs and did a ‘photo op,’ posing for pictures and applying hair spray.

They traded chops, and Lords hit an enziguri and a senton for a nearfall at 3:00. Xion took control with some stomps and elbow drops, then a DDT on the ring apron, and they both fell to the floor. The match started to fall apart. “The tempo of this match has slowed down considerably,” Dombrowski acknowledged. Lords hit a headscissors off the top rope to the mat at 8:00. Lords was in control with a headbutt, a Mafia Kick to the side of the head, and a brainbuster. Maverick distracted the ref, so Lords hit Maverick. Lords went for an Arabian Moonsault, but he missed.

Xion hit a doublestomp to the head. They traded stiff forearms, and Xion hit a DDT. The announcers speculated that one of these guys might have suffered a concussion (as a reason for explaining why this match is ‘off.’) Lords hit a release German Suplex for a nearfall, then a brainbuster, but Maverick put Xion’s feet on the ropes. Maverick ran in the ring, and Xion accidentally hit Maverick. However, Xion hit the ‘Filipino Destroyer’/modified standing neckbreaker on Lords to score the pin. This action was just not smooth, and they can do better than this.

* Xion grabbed the mic and he challenged Lords to a re-match next month, with Lords’ spot in the Super Indy tournament on the line!

* Norm Connors came to the ring with several students. One of them had strong words about Connors and essentially turned heel. I didn’t care…

(8) Dennis Gregory & Dean Radford & Jon Bolen defeat Hentai & Shirley Doe & Sebastian Dark in an elimination match at 25:20. A WWE-style brawl. Bolen is in tremendous shape, and I wonder why WWE doesn’t have him under contract. Doe is the heavy Mick Foley-type brawler with long black hair. Dark also is a bit chubby with long brown hair. Radford is a bit heavy with wet black hair. Hentai is short, wears a blue mask, and he has tape on his ribs (that would matter later.)

The match began, and Bolen brawled with Dark. Gregory dove over the top rope to the floor. Doe tagged in, and he hit some stiff chops on Radford. The heels began to work over Gregory. Doe hit a spine kick for a nearfall on Gregory at 6:30. The announcers talked about how Doe has had an unprecedented 14-month reign as IWC champion. Radford made the hot tag, and he hit some punches and he cleared the ring. Radford hit a Mafia Kick on Doe for a nearfall. The heels quickly took back control of the match and worked over Radford.

Hentai hit a clothesline for a nearfall on Radford. The ref missed Bolen making a tag. Radford hit a powerslam on Doe, and they were both down at 12:30. Bolen made the hot tag, and he hit a series of clotheslines on the heels. Bolen put Hentai in a Bearhug – and keep in mind, Hentai has taped ribs – and Hentai tapped out at 13:29. In an awesome spot, Bolen held both Doe and Dark in his arms, and the faces hit a Hart Attack/flying clothesline. Bolen hit a Samoan Drop, tossing Doe around the ring, for a nearfall. Seriously… Bolen has the physique that WWE wants in its guys.

Radford and Doe traded punches at 17:30. Radford hit a spinebuster, but he missed a top-rope elbow drop. Suddenly, Sterling James Keenan hit the ring and nailed Doe with a chair! The ref saw this… and he disqualified Radford at 18:40, and this match is now 2 on 2!

Bolen hit a spear on Doe. Doe hit a top-rope guillotine legdrop on Bolen. The ref was bumped. Hentai came back to ringside, and he hit Bolen with a chair, but the camera missed it. Hentai threw powder in Bolen’s eyes! Dark then pinned Bolen at 21:31, and the heels are up.

There are some sloppy missed moves in here. Gregory hit a double standing neckbreaker for a nearfall. Gregory pushed Doe to the floor, and he hit Dark with a faceplant for the pin at 23:54. Gregory sent Doe face-first into the title belt, then he hit a top-rope guillotine legdrop to pin Doe and win the match. The crowd popped for the victory, and Gregory got on the mic and called his teammates back to the ring to celebrate.

Final thoughts: DVD went 2 hours, 35 minutes. This was a so-so event. Nothing really, really bad, but no must-see matches, either. Although it was under 10 minutes, KUDO vs. Milano topped all the action here. The match was quick, the moves were crisp, and the crowd was hot.

The main event was next best, as the crowd was really happy to see Gregory pin the champion. Doe is a solid wrestler, and I like what I’ve seen of Hentai. I have no interest in Radford or Dark. I mentioned it already… but Bolen looks like he is ready for a WWE developmental deal.

Claudio Castognoli works very well with guys smaller than him, and I liked the match with Gory, and that’s third-best here. Sweeney is a fun heel, and I enjoyed his match with McChesney. Xion is a great heel, too, and I’m sure he will have a better match with Troy Lords down the road.

The negatives of this show: I want IWC to put in some more backstage segments again. Those are missing from recent IWC shows I’ve seen. Dombrowski is great on the mic, but they really need to do something about the distant voice of the color man. Are they using two mics?

As good as some of their homegrown talent are – Spectre, Xion, Gory, McChesney, Lords – none of them are quite ready to move up to Ring of Honor yet.

This show is a thumbs in the middle. Nothing bad, but nothing spectacular. It was a nice setup for the “Super Indy” tournament, and I’m looking forward to that show.


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