This past Saturday night, I was able to attend Night 2 of IWC’s A Call To Arms 4. This was the 100th IWC show celebration under Norm Conners. Of course I missed night one (which included the likes of AJ Styles, Christopher Danials, Homicide, Eric Young, Motor City Machine Guns, etc) due to my company’s Christmas party, and I heard nothing but good things.
But I did get to night two. The place has a new lighting system, leading to a more “boxing” event sort of feel with he house lights turning off and a lighting setup onl above the ring. I was told there were around 850 people there, and there wasn’t a dull match all night. The crowds typically get rather low energied at times during the IWC shows, maybe during a massively submission based match or with people the newer fans may not know. But on this night, there was noise the majority of the night.
We started off with a return match of Ricky Reyes and Davey Richards. Reyes has always been a hard hitting submission machine, and Richards is a newer guy in IWC and does some amazing flying moves. Reyes won with a quick submission via arm bar to an injured Richards.
Then we got Dennis Gregory coming out, and being completely shut down by “Man of Action” Chuck Roberts. This was feedback from Gregory bashing Chuck’s throat with a chair a few months ago. But this was our introduction to 2 Cold Scorpio in IWC. Remember that guy? No? You should. He was sadly known as “Flash Funk” in WWF, but is also known for his work in WCW and ECW in the past. And he made it official that he “signed a contract” and is going to be around the company for a few months at least. Excellent.
We got Brent Albright (WWE’s former Gunner Scott) had a great match with Claudio Castagnoli, one of the Kings of Wrestling. Always entertaining, but somehow, not as fun as the first time I’d seen him against Gregory. Albright gets the nod after knocking out Claudio with knees to the head.
Then a tag between Southern Comfort (Chris Hamrick and Tracy Smothers) against Sexual Harassment. Just a fun match with dancing and lots of comedy spots. The stuff that makes indy and house shows.
Then Glenn Spectre (formerly “Wonderman”) refereed the “IWC characters match” between Delerious and TNA’s Eric Young, fresh off headlining this week’s PPV. Another awesome comedy match.
Then 2 Cold Scorpio took on Samoa Joe, also off the past weekend’s PPV, in a great match, unfortunately sullied by a run in by Gregory. I look forward to that Gregory/Scorpio feud.
Then the 10 man “Past, Present, and Future” tag match with Jimmy Demarco, Sebastion Dark, CJ Sensation, Teddy Fine, and the returning Jimmy Vegas against Troy Lords, Michael Facade, Shirley Doe, Super Hentai, and the returning Dean Radford. Fantastic lineup, and a crazy, spotfilled match that everyone agrees brought the house down. Amazing.
Then Shane Douglas came out, did a shoot on why he will never return to the ring, was honored by the entire IWC roster coming to ringside, and proceeded to tell us why IWC was the place to be, relating it to the early days of ECW. Very emotional and very good speech.
Then we prepared for three cage matches. First, Larry Sweeney losing to Fabulous John McChesney for the Super Indy belt. McChesney retains, but a great cage match.
Then Ray Rowe beat the crap out of Dennis Gregory for the IWC Championship, only to be screwed by Gregory’s War Machine, grabbing him climbing out the cage and throwing him back in the door, then by his own partner, J-Rocc, who slammed the door in his face.
But the was made up by Norm announcing there was still an open contract for the night, and Sandman came out to claim it. After the greatest entrance in wrestling, and spraying beer on all four sides of the ring’s fans, Sandman had a great, quick match to gain the IWC Championship. That’s right. Sandman is our champion. And was then promptly attacked by Davairi. Not Sabu, Davairi. And assisted by 2 Cold Scorpio. The future of IWC is looking really bright.
Finally, our main event was the Gambino Brothers (Mickey and Marshall) defending the Tag belts against Babyface Fire (Jason Gory and Shiima Xion). Amazing match. As expected, I feared for Xion and Gory’s lives as they dived off the top of the cage multiple times and everyone hit a tack filled ring. Amazing.
Why am I going back to this show? Because Shane Douglas hit some chords with his speech. That this is a great fed, and in just the year we’ve been attending shows at this gym in Elizebeth, PA, to see people grow int he ring and the faces that swing by from TNA and ROH, something great is happening here. We’ve always been lucky to be in such a big wrestling town, but even though there’s great choice, there’s not always great quality in the products. We are very lucky to have something that’s head by someone like Norm, who’s been in the biz for so long and appears to have a pretty good head on his shoulders. He’s had a formula that’s worked since working with WWE and ECW guys in the 90’s, (one fact I didn’t know until we talked to him on the Mayhem Show last week (30 minutes in)) Shane preached about how Vince McMahon and Dixie Carter (heads of WWE and TNA, respectively) don’t care about the wrestlers, and to support this instead of their product, and we’ve agreed about the work ethic of these places. It’s good for some, but not all of its wrestlers. And people have died due to choices related to the hectic work schedule of these companies. Overseas tours, 4-5 day travel work weeks, maybe gone for weeks at a time, all factors that make bad decisions easier.
While Shane calls for us to dump these companies, I can’t ask anyone to do that. It’s like asking people to stop using gasoline because their upset over the middle east, the environment, or just the insane cost. People just aren’t going to do it. WWE, especially has that nostalgia factor that will keep drawing us in. But you can pull back. Not buy the PPVs, but go out to the places that carry them and support your local bar instead.
But either way, give your local indy that chance. You might be pleasantly surprised.