Opening Match: Alex Reynolds vs. Mike Rayne vs. Shane Strickland
The winner will receive a shot at the Super Indy Title at Uncivil War in March. Reynolds slaps Rayne and retreats to the floor. Strickland does a handstand and snaps off a headscissors on Rayne, who responds with a hurricanrana. Reynolds misses a double clothesline and gets back dropped by both of his opponents. Strickland lands a fosbury flop to the outside. Reynolds sends him into the guardrail and catches Rayne with a codebreaker in the ring. Reynolds takes control, keeping both of his opponents at bay. Rayne leapfrogs over Reynolds and hits a jawbreaker on Strickland. He follows with a spinebuster on Reynolds along with a series of strikes in the corner. Strickland plasters Rayne with a gamengiri but runs into a roaring elbow from Reynolds. Rayne german suplexes Strickland into the turnbuckles. Reynolds blocks a reverse hurricanrana from Strickland but gets planted by a canadian destroyer. Rayne hits the Doppler Effect on Reynolds to steal the win away from Strickland at 7:44. There was some noticeable miscommunication in the beginning minutes of the match, but everyone seemed to find their rhythm down the stretch. Rayne has ranged from average to impressive in his IWC appearances thus far and I’m curious to see how he performs in a title match. Strickland’s talent is hard to deny and I hope to see him return to IWC soon. **½
Match #2: Bronco McBride and Matt Segaris vs. Jon Bolen and Brian McDowell
Bolen didn’t even want a tag team partner, but he settles for McDowell. The match begins with both teams brawling around ringside. Back in, Bolen powerslams McBride and drops an elbow. McDowell follows with a series of shoulder blocks and a backbreaker. The Blue Collar Slaughterhouse use some dirty tactics to isolate McDowell in their corner. He avoids a charge from Segaris and makes the tag. Bolen cleans house and hits a spinebuster on Segaris. He hits the Meltdown on McBride for a nearfall. Bolen follows with a spear on McBride for the victory at 8:38. This match did more harm than good. McDowell just felt like a hindrance for Bolen, who was able to defeat the BCS single-handedly after the hot tag. There’s a lot of interesting things IWC can do with Bolen moving forward, but this wasn’t it. *¾
Chuck Roberts makes his way to the ring. He explains his actions at Winner Takes All, including the decision to take Facade to the hospital and leave the event in Norm Connors’ hands. Roberts calls out Norm, who comes out singing “IWC belongs to me.” Norm says that Roberts and Logan Shulo only called him over the past three years when they needed something from him. Guys like John McChesney and Jimmy DeMarco called him just to catch up. Roberts brings out a contract and shows Norm that he doesn’t legally own IWC. The contract says that if Roberts is unable and unwilling, IWC will return to Norm. If Norm is to ever own IWC again, he’ll need a written signature from Roberts. After some arguing back and forth, Norm admits he values his friendship with Roberts more than wrestling. Norm gives Roberts control of IWC and asks that Roberts let him buy a ticket to a show every once and while. Roberts says that buying a ticket is the only way that Norm will ever be in IWC.
Match #3: Andrew Palace vs. Justin Idol
Chest Flexor accompanies Palace to the ring, as Team Big League obviously has interest in this match. They trade armdrags and both attempt dropkicks at the same time. Idol lays in a few chops in the corner and connects with a series of clotheslines. He sweeps out Palace’s legs. Idol knocks Palace off the apron and lands a dive to the floor. Flexor provides enough of a distraction to allow Palace to take over. Idol fights back with a powerslam but gets caught by a senton. He shrugs off some chops and connects with a knockout kick. Idol follows with facewash knee strikes. Palace blocks one with a mafia kick. He puts on his goggles but misses a top-rope splash. Palace blocks a go 2 sleep and hits an exploder. Idol escapes an implant DDT and hits a back superplex. Idol adds a modified go 2 sleep for the win at 9:15. Idol continues to look strong in the ring heading to his eventual confrontation with John McChesney. Palace provided Idol with his toughest challenge yet and looked great for having his trainer’s offense scouted. This was a solid back and forth match that did both men favors. **¾
Match #4: Jimmy Nutts and Joseph Brooks vs. Aiden Veil and Jordan Lennox
Nutts and Brooks constitute Team Big League while Veil and Lennox are now known as WAR (we are rock stars). Veil lands a standing moonsault onto Brooks and stares down Nutts. Lennox follows with a slingshot senton on Brooks. WAR send Team Big League to the floor with enzuigiris and connect with stereo baseball slides. Upon reentering the ring, Team Big League isolate Lennox. Brooks catapults him into a forearm smash from Nutts. Lennox hits a double neckbreaker but gets cut off before he can make the tag. He reverses a doomsday device into a victory roll and tags out. Veil connects with a leg lariat on Brooks. Nutts hits a spinebuster on Veil and the match starts to break down. Veil drop toe holds Brooks into Nutts’…well…you know. Veil ducks a roaring elbow from Nutts and rolls him up for the victory at 9:55. I hope this feud isn’t over because I don’t think this match was illustrative of what these two teams are fully capable of together. The beginning portion had some sloppiness and while the action picked up down the stretch, everything after the hot tag felt a bit rushed. WAR challenging the Founding Fathers would be an interesting contrast of styles if they decided to go down that route. **¼
Team Big League attack WAR after the match. John McChesney comes out in a blind rage and blames the loss on the biased referee. McChesney claims that Norm Connors owns IWC and calls out Michael Elgin, leading to…
Match #6: Mickey and Marshall Gambino vs. Colin Delaney and Keith Haught
Norm Connors appears in the crowd with a ticket. Marshall shakes his hand on the way to the ring. Jimmy Vegas and Super Hentai are watching this match from ringside. The Gambinos attack before the opening bell. They slam Haught out of the corner but Delaney saves him from more punishment. Marshall accidentally takes down Mickey with a lariat. Delaney yakuza kicks Marshall and takes him out with a dive. Haught connects with a knockout kick on Mickey. Marshall reenters the ring with a double clothesline and the Gambinos isolate Haught. He creates some space with a clothesline on Mickey and makes the tag. Marshall immediately slows down Delaney with a powerslam. Haught and Delaney hit a double team superplex on Marshall. They follow with a double team senton. Marshall pushes Haught to the floor while Mickey hits a spinebuster on Delaney. The Gambinos hit the Curse of the Gambinos on Delaney for the win at 8:54. The Gambinos reuniting provide another fresh challenge for the Founding Fathers. Meanwhile, Delaney and Haught have formed a unique team that is gaining a following. These two teams didn’t have the best chemistry but I like where things are headed. **
The Founding Fathers attack Haught and Delaney after the match. They continue the attack until officials back them off.
Match #7: Bobby Fish vs. Dalton Castle
Fish berates Castle before the match for not shaking a little kid’s hand. You can just tell that Fish is having fun in this role. Castle frustrates Fish’s attempt to have a serious professional wrestling match early on. Castle snaps off a hurricanrana and connects with a series of clotheslines. Fish retreats to the floor but gets met with a straight right hand. Castle finds knees on a slingshot splash. Fish takes control until Castle comes off the top with double knees. Castle hits an overhead suplex along with a pumphandle suplex. Fish kicks out his leg and hits a dragon screw leg whip. Castle attempts a dead-lift german suplex but Fish counters into the Fish Hook. Castle is able to reach the bottom rope. He hits a gourdbuster but his leg gives out on a dead-lift german suplex attempt. Fish attempts a figure four but Castle reverses into a small package for the victory at 12:31. Castle will wrestle John McChesney for the IWC World Heavyweight Title at Uncivil War in March. I like the idea of challengers having to go through Fish before challenging McChesney. These are arguably the two most entertaining wrestlers on the roster and they delivered a worthwhile match as expected. Castle has kind of been in limbo as of late so I’m looking forward to his progression at the next show. ***
Shulo stares down Norm Connors at ringside and punches him! Chuck Roberts tries to stop him to no avail. Shulo grabs the microphone and says that he’s tired of the shenanigans in IWC and will force a change himself. The Gambinos help Norm to his feet. Norm exclaims that he’s going to sue Shulo and Roberts as the show ends.
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Ryan Rozanskii has been a professional wrestling fan since he was six years old. His first memory of it comes from witnessing Scott Hall win a sixty-man battle royal at WCW World War 3. Of course, that was before alcohol became a problem for Scott. Speaking of alcohol, Ryan is a youngster…not even old enough to consume alcoholic beverages. However, Ryan has used swear words to describe how much he loves Pro Wrestling Ponderings. That is something he’ll never try again, due to the risk of possibly being grounded by his parents. Some people compare Ryan to Butters from South Park. Currently, that comparison has yet to have any legitimacy.
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