IWC: Caged Fury 2017 Review

August 19th, 2017

Opening Match:  The Mega Plowers (Jock Samson and Magnum CK) vs. The STDs (Chest Flexor and Corey Futuristic) vs. Marshall Gambino and Jami Jamison
Four minutes did not give this one a ton of time to play out, and all of the storyline elements overshadowed the action.  But that’s not always a bad thing.  David Lawless started a feud with Gambino while the Mega Plowers dissolved after this match.  The breakup worked well with the crowd because Samson is loveable enough that no one thought he would attack his tag team partner.  Hopefully Samson and Magnum can deliver some entertaining hoss battles.  The STDs won in 4:32.  *

Match #2:  Chris LeRusso (w/ BC Steele) vs. Dennis Jackson
Jackson was making his IWC debut and he is just incredibly tall and muscular.  I have never seen him wrestle before but I am curious to see how polished he is in the ring.  This was a pure squash match, with Jackson throwing LeRusso around the ring before finishing him off at his leisure.  While I do wonder why LeRusso was the one to be squashed, he made Jackson look monstrous and Steele’s facial expressions were on point.  A fine squash.  Jackson won in 1:53 with a uranagi.

Match #3:  IWC Tag Team Titles: The Fraternity (Channing Decker and Trent Gibson) © vs. Locked and Loaded (Duke Davis and Ganon Jones, Jr.)
Locked and Loaded, a pretty well-known tag team in the Pittsburgh area, were making their IWC debut here and they actually managed to dethrone the longest-reigning IWC Tag Team Champions in history.  The result was fairly shocking but still made sense.  Given their presence in the Pittsburgh area, the IWC crowd was familiar with Locked and Loaded, so that helped.  These two teams had solid chemistry together and the match was really only held back by a confusing finish that didn’t go as planned.  Locked and Loaded should be a positive addition to the tag team division in IWC.

Speaking of the tag team division in IWC, it’s difficult to articulate just how important the Fraternity have been to the promotion over the past year and a half.  Throughout the course of the Fraternity’s reign, they delivered solid matches with a wide variety of teams and truly saved a flailing tag team division.  I will be completely shocked if the Fraternity do not get a big break at some point in the next few years.  Locked and Loaded became the NEW IWC Tag Team Champions at 12:32 when Davis rolled up Decker.  ***

Match #4:  IWC Super Indy Title: Joey Janela vs. Anthony Henry vs. Gory vs. Sugar Dunkerton
Going into this match, the Super Indy Title was vacant after John McChesney had to relinquish the belt due to injury.  They started the match by adhering to tag rules and I think the action suffered because this particular mix of personalities in my opinion lends itself to a more chaotic atmosphere.  However, there was a great moment when Janela referred to Dunkerton and himself as “skinny fat guys.”  Once the action broke down, the contest became a lot of fun and Gory winning the title garnered an excellent reaction.  Gory always works incredibly hard and I think he is vastly underrated.  I think I Facebook message Gabe Sapolsky Gory clips biannually but I certainly don’t blame the man for not responding to an old chunk of coal like myself.  Anyway, this was a fun four-way that made crowning a new champion seem like a big deal.  Gory became the NEW Super Indy Champion at 13:52 when he hit Trepidation on Henry.  ***

Match #5:  Cage Match: Bulk Nasty (w/ BC Steele) vs. Daniel Hooven (w/ Santana Diamonds)
I really enjoyed this match for what it was.  Hooven used to do ringside photography for IWC and crossed paths with Nasty, who is generally a jerk.  Hooven picked up some fluky wins against Nasty in the past few months by taking advantage of Nasty’s cockiness.  Here, however, Hooven poked the bear one too many times and pretty much got decimated.  I appreciated how efficiently they were able to get their point across.  Four cage matches on one show is a lot and the seven-minute duration was perfect here.  This wasn’t even the best match on the show thus far, but I think I’ll remember this one the most moving forward.  Nasty won in 7:01 by escaping the cage.  **¾

Match #6:  IWC World Heavyweight Title: Cage Match: Wardlow © vs. Jimmy Vegas
As expected, most of this match consisted of them trading power offense, which was technically fine but not overly exciting.  They were able to ramp things up when Vegas hit a nice olympic slam from the top of the cage, but the finish was a letdown.  Dylan Bostic returned to IWC to cost Vegas the match.  Bostic’s return was surprising, but interference in cage matches never seems like a good idea because it goes against the spirit of the stipulation.  Vegas threatening to quit IWC unless Bostic is reinstated is at least intriguing.  Wardlow retained his title in 11:55 by escaping the cage.  **½

Match #7:  IWC Women’s Title: Cage Match: LuFisto © vs. Katie Arquette (w/ Calvin Couture)
There is something to be said for just going full speed ahead at each other in the ring.  They delivered an energetic ten-minute match that did Arquette a lot of favors even in defeat.  Britt Baker was extremely popular with IWC crowds but she is still very new to professional wrestling.  LuFisto was a smart choice for Baker’s successor because she is someone who can really cultivate a women’s division and get quality matches out of people.  Couture did manage to interfere, but it didn’t affect the outcome of the match because LuFisto just beat the shit out of him.  This was a smart, focused cage match and a really nice performance for Arquette despite being in the business for only six months.  LuFisto retained her title in 10:31 by escaping the cage.  ***

Match #8:  War Games: Team Palace (Andrew Palace, Darin Dinero, and Jonathan Gresham) vs. Team Storm (Jack Pollock, Jaxon Argos, and RC Dupree)
IWC has a history of enjoyable War Games matches and this one falls into that category.  The match’s biggest strength was how well-laid out everything ended up being.  Argos and Gresham received a chance to meet one-on-one for the first time, Dinero got to run wild in his in-ring return to the promotion, and Palace was setup as the clear challenge for Wardlow’s heavyweight title at the end of the year.  With that said, this match did suffer from everyone just laying around the ring at times and perhaps they could have shaved a few minutes.  But War Games matches are supposed to be marathons, so I can at least understand giving this main event well over twenty minutes.

I’ll be curious to see how the crowd reacts to Palace moving forward.  He is clearly being positioned to lead the promotion into 2018 as a babyface and we’ll see if the crowd cooperates with that plan.  I certainly hope that Pollock doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, because he is one of the more versatile wrestlers I’ve seen in some time.  Team Palace won in 33:28 with Palace being the sole survivor.  ***¼

-Show Grade: B
You Need to See:
You’d Enjoy Watching: War Games, LuFisto/Arquette, four-way, tag title match
You Should Avoid:

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