IWA-MS Part 2
In which, I get to the point!
now playing: something vaguely resembling the main alt hip hop play list on the iTunes Music store.
Left to TPI around 5:30. Which would’ve been great at some point in the week – the ticket I bought off Joe the first night had a bell time of 7, the website had 6:30 posted at one point, and it was finally settled on at 6PM, to get us out of there before 1:00. I was taking my last photos around midnight, so I guess that worked.
That was a benefit for later; I still had the problem of getting from the north side of Chicago to Hammond in a half hour, which isn’t quite possible until they start putting jet engines in Toyotas. It was still my quickest trip thru the Dan Ryan (also the first I can remember, but shhh) with no traffic despite the Sox game taking place; they shot off the fireworks for the introductions just as I passed.
Digression #34 of 54: If you’ve never been, going to a White Sox game is worth it just for the introductions. It’s like they went to a basketball, saw the dramatic light show, video of past action and the always goofy clips of players posing for their introduction, and decided they had to multiply it a hundred times. If you ever wanted to see Pablo Osuna turn around in a chair, with a large spotlight shining from over his left shoulder, and stare smiling into the camera like a morning news anchor, this is the show for you.
Back on point. Traffic was fine. They may one day completely finish construction on the stretch of 94 around the border, but I don’t suppose I’ll be alive to see it. I figure I rolled into the IWA-MS Hammond Armory around 6:30-6:40ish.
And rolled back out a couple minutes later.
Here’s a completely underrated feature of buildings: actual parking! The armory wasn’t built with this idea in mind; there’s about 75 parking spots, then about 50 more spots on gravel for large events, and maybe 15 cars you can park on the grass pass the edge of the gravel for the truly desperate. I was the truly out of luck; no space.
My first idea was to park in the neighborhood across street, next to someone’s house. That appears to be vaguely illegal and an unwise idea depending on the neighborhood (and I knew nothing about this one), so I drove around the greater Hammond/Calumet area to see if I could figure a better solution within walking distance – and twenty minutes later, I was parked back where I started. I guess I learned something (I’m a moron.)
I said a prayer my car wouldn’t be towed by time I got back, dodged cars on the four lane street, and finally got to the Armory about 7. Kevin Steen was outside, apparently taking a break after his match, and I started to feel pretty good about my chances of not missing anything I was dying to see. Surely Ian had bailed me out for a second straight year and booked an hour of stuff I’d be fine missing, and I’d pull off this unlikely doubleheader without missing out on a thing.
Match in progress as I arrived: Chris Sabin vs Josh Abercrombie
I haven’t seen much of IWA-MS (and really most indy guys) I haven’t been there for (and I haven’t been there for much), so there were some revelations for me thru the two days. The best one got mentioned much later, but Josh’s look surprised me. I figured “Josh Abercrombie” was a marketer’s idea of an modern All-American guy; blond, blue eyes, clean good looking in a plastic still picture way, looking ripped out of the magazine. This Josh Abercrombine was a black haired guy with ugly chest tattoos, wearing no Abercrombie. So weird. If you’re going to use a fake name (and I’m going out on a limb here and saying Josh Abercrombie not his real name!!!), why pick one you’re playing against? Maybe he fit the definition better before, and he’s changed, and now he’s stuck with an illfitting name and now I’ve stumbled into a pot/kettle situation so I’ll shut up.
On the F4 show, Joe accurately recapped all Chris Sabin matches as “I know they were good, but I can’t remember them.” That’s Sabin to a T; he does all the high tech X-Division moves and offense, and you know at the time it’s good impressive stuff, except it’s not impressive enough to actually impress a memory on you. Is he missing something? Are we missing something? I dunno.
The first night, there was an annoying guy next to me upset about the Noble/Josh match, because Josh had otherwise being heel, and working one match as a face was obviously going to kill all his future heat, and this was before the match started. There were too many of these people and I hated them all. (I’m not even questioning the logic; I’m just saying it’s something you might put in your back pocket for later and enjoy the match that’s on now, not put yourself on tilt.)
There was nothing outwardly wrong about this match, but there were so many better things on both the night, you know?
Matt Sydal vs Tyler Black
Here’s the thing. It was suggested I might dig Black and Brave. I’m undecided on Marek. I now hate Tyler Black. I hate his too tiny gear, I hate his standing on chairs with the crowd, and I really really hate his stupid music with an undying passion of pure hatred. I hate him more than the idea I should now be rooting for the White Sox because they have “Chicago” in front of their name.
okay, well, maybe that’s pushing it. You get the idea.
This – likely unjustified but everpresent – hatred of Tyler Black makes it hard to take his matches seriously, because I just want to see him lose and lose bad. Luckily, I think this might be the fourth or fifth time I’ve seen Matt Sydal in person and he’s been fun to watch each and every time, so I got to root and ignore the specifics. Like, I’m aware Tyler did a flip off a fat guy’s stomach, but only because other people have told me. Yet, I remember have the neato things Sydal did, like the standing SSP for the win. I was really thrilled it got the three count, too – it seems so near impossible, it hurts the impact of all near impossible moves if it doesn’t get a pin (or get broken up); the message becomes “no crazy flip I do between now and the end of the match matters, except for the one we’ve agreed upon to finish; you may way to go get a drink or something in the meantime.” Sydal made it mean something, so I love him even more.
In between matches, I finally saw someone from the group the night before – Maestro Ken, which is two words and not one word (thecubsfan has slowly migrated to being one word, but only in my mind), and asked him what I missed. He helpfully explained:
– Marek Brave b Trik Davis in a surprisingly quick match (fine, didn’t care)
– Kevin Steen b Bob Bradley in their TPI quarterfinal (figured as much, living with it)
“Oh yea, Skayde vs Quackenbush. It was a pretty good match.”
It hurts, EVEN NOW. I, I, can’t even talk about it now without shedding tears. (Luckily, I’m writing AND breaking the fourth wall.) This was apparently the match I spent doing the parking tango, just to drive the knife a little deeper. Joe spent the nice trying to convince me (and anyone nearby) that Ken orginally lied and the match actually wasn’t any good, “Skayde broke his leg in the first minute and they had to go right to the finish and now he’ll never wrestling again”, but for some reason, I had trouble believing it.
I need to take a break. Let me sleep and put the rest off for an undetermined length.
And now it’s about a week later, I remember even less of this show but said I’d do this and I’ve got to get on a plane in a few hours. Uh oh. Let’s see how fast I can blow thru this.
Arik Cannon b Delirious: This was an evil comedy match. My notes say “GW” and I have no idea what that means. I do remember Delirious appeard to rebreak his nose, which can’t be fun.
Jimmy Jacobs b Mickie Knuckles [IWA-MS]: If, in the middle of the Evil Vince era WWF, Evil Rock met Chyna for the World Title in a PPV match, it would’ve been a lot like this match. I was hoping they’d announce a stipulation like “if Mickie wins, then it’s Jimmy who works the concession window on the next Hammond show”, but nope. Jimmy was at his misogynistic best/worst, Mickie got in some painful looking offense, there was two different ref bumps and Ian running it to count a pin and out to chase after some Iron Saints. I believe the finish involved powder, a chain shot and a belt shot, before Jimmy finally got the win. They had people believing near falls, which is the point of a match like this, and Ian did an Ian speech to Mickie about how she shouldn’t be sorry.
Intermission. I catch up with people a little bit. Some try to get ring announcer extraordinaire/TTW Promoter Joey Eastman to give up the semifinal matches – much to his credit, all he’d give them he was looking forward to one of the matches for seven (?) months. (I assume that’s the third one, but what do I know.) After the first match started, I figured out they were pairing them up in match order.
Steen b Quackenbush: Steen attacked before the bell, and Quack really didn’t get in much offense before Steen hit his finisher. It wasn’t a great match, and I think it was compounded by people being genuinely disappointed by Quackenbush not going to the final. I hope he makes it one of these years.
Matt Sydal b Chris Sabin: Most everyone figured out who this left for the final semi after. Again, Sabin and his opponent look good, but nothing memorable – maybe he’s suffering to be on a show where everyone’s trying to be memorable. Future Shock got reversed into a small package for the win.
Arik Cannon b Chris Hero: Hero came out in serious mode, not waiting for the music to be just right, just rushing the ring and getting in Cannon’s face. This was a painful match, in that they hit each other hard, and some of it made you hurt just watching. Lots of headbutts to the head, lots of people trying to drop each other on their head – if they were going for the impression that each man wanted the other dead, then they accomplished. Cannon got a semi-fluke pin on Hero with a backslide for the win.
Post match, Hero eventually brought himself to congratulate Cannon, but as it was wrapping up, viciously turned on him. He was pulled off, with Trik Davis and Mickie Knuckles coming out to help, realized what he had done, and wanted to apologize to Cannon, who wanted nothing to do with him. When he finally got Cannon to talk to him face to face, Hero turned on him again, and laid out Trik and Mickie too, before using a chair to dislocated Cannon’s shoulder. It was a crazy scene and a well done turn of events. Everyone was buzzing about it for a while.
Iron Saints b Tank & Rain Man: This had the handicap of a makeshift tag with little shot of actually winning the belts (they’d announced the next title match already) and had to follow a great angle – and it was pretty good. Tank and RM worked out well as a team, and got the crowd into the match. This probably wasn’t in the Top 3 matches of the night, but definetley exceeded expectations.
Super Dragons b Ultra Generic Puma Spiders: This was AWESOME. The tape is worth it for this match alone. You’ve got the UGPS all in masks as they come to the ring (though they sadly didn’t wrestle in them), and all dancing to Nate Webb’s music. When you think that can’t beat, out come four Super Dragons, in full Super Dragon gear.
And then the match rocked. I’ve got order of elimination (Puma, Claudio, Brandon, Alex S, Nate, Joey Ryan, Generico with Super Dragon surviving) but that’s not telling the story of how great everyone – but especially Dragon and Generico where here. I don’t even have a good description, except the Generico Brainbuster was so painful looking, I couldn’t watch.
I’m not doing this match justice. It was really really good.
TPI Final: Matt Sydal b Arik Cannon & Kevin Steen
This had to follow that, which wasn’t good. This had Cannon announced as unable to compete, which means we were all watching and waiting for him to join the match anyway – and he finally did, after we’d given up on him, and to be beaten in about 2 minutes when Steen went after his injuried shoulder. This match was Matt Sydal vs Kevin Steen, which is a relative low wattage final; the crowd wanted Sydal to be here, but they weren’t sold on Steen. (It’s a shame AJ was sick, because obviously he’s in this spot, and the backstory of the Sydal/Styles would make the match and finish work by itself.) It was a great match, and got the fans in it after Cannon was gone. But it had to work to get there. After, Ian came out and talked up the Gateway folks Sydal, Daizee Haze, and Delirious.
After the show, there was an unadvertised dark match, which saw Maestroken get whupped for about ten minutes. I had to put on the stripes and count a pinfall, which somehow included me sliding (and having to answer questions the next day about how I’d gotten grass stains on my pants – this was a situation where a lie is more believable than the truth).
My big plan, before Scott backed out (like a LOOOO-oh, I’ve run this into the ground) was a TCF.com dinner pre or post-show. Instead, it turned out to be me, Joe, Maestroken and five people I didn’t know (or maybe I did?) and names barely caught at a Steak N’ Shake. And it was still pretty fun – the outing was lively enough that it woke me back up for the trip home. I still hate bananas. No wrestler have the key to my house.
(Not doing this justice either; a lot of it’s because I’m hurrying. I hope Joe gives a better take. I’d explain the stories, but that’s not as fun.)
After, I drove home without killing anything, though I almost died because the eight bottles of water, 2 bottles of Gatorade and who knows how much sprite kicked in and I really needed to go. I managed.
And now I’m done. Yay. Ask me questions if I’ve left anything out, but I won’t see ’em till Tuesday. BYE.