International Wrestling Cartel
(Court Time Sports Center – Elizabeth, PA. – January 31, 2017 – 7 PM)
The Reloaded shows are unique in that all the champions in the company defend their championships against opponents who are unknown until match time. The challengers are determined by a computerized randomizer and revealed on a video wall in the venue.
The Upper Echelon (PB Smooth & Colby Redd) defeated Keith Haught & Remy LaVey.
Redd looks pretty sharp. He has a good physique and is decent in the ring. He vaguely reminds me of Caleb Konley.
Redd delivers a rude punt to Haute’s face.
LaVey drops Redd with a Sling Blade.
Smooth pins LaVey after a sit-out chokebomb.
IWC World Heavyweight Championship: Wardlow (c) (w/ Justin LaBar) defeated T-Rex.
LaBar gets on the mic. He makes some crack about the protests going on in Washington DC.
The Reset Button selects T-Rex and the crowd goes berserk.
(FYI: T-Rex is a guy in an inflatable dinosaur suit. He is kinda awesome.)
Wardlow: “I’m the King of the Jungle!”
Wardlow: F5, senton, pin. It was over in seconds.
Wardlow is now 1-0 as champion.
Shane Taylor’s music hits. The two nose up.
Taylor: “Before there was a ‘Wardlow’ there was another monster in the IWC.”
This was a solid segment to set-up the main event.
Jack Pollock (w/ Team Storm: JaXon Argos & RC Dupree) defeated Andrew Palace.
Palace ran through the audience during his entrance.
Audience member to the pro-Canadian Team Storm: “It’s Trump’s America now! Build a wall!”
Palace and Pollock tear it up. Near the end, they are on their knees trading slaps. Pollock hits a spine buster for a two-count.
Audience: “You can’t win!”
Team Storm distracts the ref while Pollock blasts Palace with a chain. He follows with a boot to the face and pinfall.
IWC Women’s Championship: Britt Baker (c) retained over Chelsea Green.
The Reset Button selects Chelsea Green. The crowd is ecstatic.
Green pulls no punches, as she curbstomps the champ.
Baker won by submission after she locked Green in a crossface.
Baker is clearly on the rise.
Fatal 4-Way (Winner gets a berth in the Super Indy Tournament): Jonathan Gresham defeated JaXon Argos (w/ RC Dupree), Sless Taylor, and Dominic Garrini.
All four were selected by the Reset Button.
Crowd to Taylor: “Who are you?”
Garrini stands out from his three opponents as they have similar looks and body types.
Taylor and Gresham pair off nicely together.
Taylor takes a “Tower of Doom” superplex spot.
Argos is gone next.
Gresham shifts his weight on Garrini and pins him to win the bout and the spot in the Super Indy.
IWC Super Indy Championship: Chris LeRusso (c) (w/ BC Steele & Bulk Nasty) defeated “The Franchise” Shane Douglas.
LeRusso: “I am the greatest Super Indy champion of ALL TIME!”
Crowd: “Discount Miz.”
The Reset Button selects Shane Douglas.
The crowd is into everything Douglas does.
The two fight around the ring. It is a solid, believable match.
Finally, one of LeRusso’s flunkies tosses him a chain. He nails Douglas and topples him with a tripdriver to score the “W.”
Crowd to Douglas: “You still got it.”
The Franchise cuts a promo about wanting to wrestle since he was a child. He puts over IWC and the indies.
Crowd: “Thank you, Shane!”
Shane InYaFace (w/ Aniya) defeated Bulk Nasty (w/ BC Steele).
InYaFace has nasty in a Dragon Sleeper when there is more distraction by Steele. InYaFace still won by submission.
He was immediately jumped by LeRusso, but he immediately locked his assailant in a triangle choke.
The Mega Plowers defeat the STDs.
This was a quick one. Jock Samson appeared to have an injured leg.
The Kingpin of the STDs has a great gimmick. He is a pro bowler.
#1 Contendership to IWC World Heavyweight Championship: DJZ defeated Jimmy Vegas.
Vegas is a god damn monster. He tosses DJZ like he is nothing. One time he threw Z, who rotated multiple times before crashing into the top and middle rope. It was ugly but awe-inspiring.
The two take it out of the ring. Z rocks Vegas with a couple dives to the bleachers on his opponet.
Vegas winded after a number of minutes of serious brawling but he still brought the pain.
Eventually, DJZ hit a high-low DDT for the pin and #1 contendership.
The two hug at the end.
IWC Tag Team Championship: The Fraternity (Trent Gibson & Channing Decker) go to a “no contest” with “Big League” John McChesney & Daniel Hooven.
The champs come out and announce that they are the greatest team in time and space.
The Reset Button selects Daniel Hooven (the ringside photographer) as their opponent.
He panic as the duo pull him in the ring and slap him around. Decker takes Hooven’s glasses and stomps them to pieces. Then he takes his camera and destroys it with the hazing paddle.
Hooven tries to fight back but he is beaten down.
John McChesney is out for the save. The match becomes a tag.
Hooven is in peril most of the time. He eventually hot tags “Big League.”
McChesney hits three superkicks to Gibson. Hooven holds Decker’s legs as McChesney scores the pin and the titles.
House pops big for the title change.
Officials come out and discuss the finish. Apparently, only opponents chosen by the Reset Button are eligible for championship opportunities. The match is declared a “no contest.”
A rematch is between the two teams is set for February 25th.
IWC World Heavyweight Championship: Wardlow (c) (w/ Justin LaBar) defeated Shane Taylor.
Wardlow dominates early.
Wardlow: “You think you can come to MY HOUSE and disrespect ME??”
Taylor fights back. It sounds like he is punching through the champion’s chest.
These are two hosses trading leather.
Taylor maneuvers Wardlow to the railing in front of the champs mother and girlfriend or sister. He looks Ms. Wardlow in the eyes and cackles as he wallops her baby boy. He buries him with chop after chop to the chest. Taylor laughs as she curses at him. It’s a great moment. (Well, not for her.)
Wardlow misses a senton off the top rope. It’s cool that he can do it, but I’d save the wear and tear on my body if I was him.
Taylor: “Everybody DIES!!”
Taylor scorches Wardlow with a lariat.
The champion keeps going for the F5 but simply can’t get up his massively awkward challenger.
Finally, Taylor climbs to the top rope. Wardlow jacks him and gets him across his shoulders for the F5 and pinfall.
As Wardlow is announced the winner, the building goes black.
Matt and Jeff Hardy appear on the video screen. They announce that they are coming to the IWC on April 8.
When the house lights are back on, Taylor destroys LeBar. Wardlow carries his manager to the back.
Taylor gets on the mic and puts over the company to end the show.
-Jack Pollock. Jack Pollock. Jack Pollock. Jack Pollock. This kid has all the tools. He needs to be booked everywhere.
-The “legend-in-the-making” gimmick suits LeRusso. He has a swag in the IWC setting that is more potent than he exhibits in other companies. He is doing good work.
-Too many similar finishes. There were multiple occasions in which flunkies outside the ring passed a chain to their guy to trigger the finish.
-Channing Decker. This kid is money. Good look, buckets of charisma, and an innate sense of timing when it comes to pushing the crowd’s buttons. Buy the DVD or stream of the show. Watch how masterfully he played the segment where he destroyed Hooven’s glasses and camera. It’s so good. It drips tension.
-The Dusty Finish. The tag match was fun and compelling. The schmaz finish took a little shine off of the overall segment. I get why it was done but it still was a bit of a thunk at the end of an otherwise tidy piece of business.
-The Franchise. I have been a wrestling fan for a very long time. I have seen many things in during that time, so I know have a bucket list filled with odds and ends. One of them was to see Shane Douglas wrestle in Pittsburgh. (I’m from Ohio so it’s not as simple a task as it would seem.) The pop he got when he came out gave me made the hair on my arms stand up. Seeing the legendary former ECW champion in front of a hometown crowd was electric. The people love him. It was a special moment.
-John McChesney. After a six-month layoff, Big League made a nice showing. He might disagree, but I felt he showed little to no ring rust.
Also: Keep your eyes peeled for him before and after shows. John is always impeccably dressed. He projects a level of class that some indy performers should note. Presentation counts.
-The Gimmick Tables. The moment intermission began, I ran to the washroom. When I came out minutes later, the gimmicks tables were under siege. Every single one of them was stacked triple deep with fans looking to interact with the performers (ie: spend loot.) I was thoroughly impressed by how brisk half-time commerce was.
-Shane Taylor. I spoke to Shane after the show. I told him a story he undoubtedly didn’t remember. Years ago Shane used to wrestle at a tiny bar in Barberton, Ohio called the Shamrock Nite Club. Every Tuesday night, matches were held. Not disrespect to any wrestlers who passed through those doors, but the Shamrock shows were on the lower side of the spectrum in the business.
It’s been a few years since I last time I saw Taylor there. He chatted with my friends Ron, Wayne, and I after the show. Shane told us that he had set some goals in the wrestling business. One of which was to make it to Ring of Honor. It wasn’t how he said it, but the way he did, that made me believe him. Now don’t get me wrong, Taylor was an impressive beast even then. He has always been physically gifted. But sitting there, in this rundown club in front of a dozen fans, it was probably even hard for him to believe what he was saying. But a few weeks ago, he made that dream a reality. He and Keith Lee have been tagging in ROH for a number of months. At the tail-end of December, he signed a full-time contract with the company. It just goes to show what hard work and perseverance, guided by a vision, can do. Congratulations, dude.
Video graciously provided by Tim Harshman