You Gotta See This
05/07/04 - Lafayette, IN
by Scott Christ
Ian comes out to talk, in detail, about what happened with the Havana Pitbulls for May 8. Plane tickets and stuff.
When we went down to Lafayette for a show the building was so tall and hollow that it was hard to understand the mic.
That translates over to tape.
MURAT BOSPOROUS v. TRIK DAVIS: THE PREQUEL
These guys wrestled on May 8 as Bosporous came over via Hero for two shows. Really, really lose chain wrestling to s tart and Bosporous really looks like a guy that should be a lot more stiff and crisp than he is. Pretty much the same match as the next night. Frog splashes misses in this match and Davis gets a swinging tomakaze for the win.
PETEY WILLIAMS v. NATE WEBB
Lots of fun if not technically any good at all. Webb hits three really shitty-looking Nebraskan tumbleweeds, which Petey doesn't sell at all, though it's hard to argue with him I guess. Petey gets a sharpshooter and I buy that Webb is going to tap, but Nate turns it over really smoothly into a figure-four leglock that I don't buy. That's not the issue, though; what IS is that neither of them sell THAT either. Petey wins with the Canadian Destroyer in about ten. Totally watchable match but it just never got going and had no real substance to it. Post-match, Petey helps Nate up, hugs him, and the Wheatus kicks back up and Petey cuts a rug, so you really can't go wrong there. The match didn't work for me though.
EDDIE KINGSTON v. CHRIS HERO
Really an interesting matchup as Kingston is a CHIKARA product and a promising tag wrestler, but this is the first I've seen of him in singles action. He fails to really impress but doesn't look bad, either. His strikes are softer than I expected and he doesn't seem to have much in the way of varied offense. Hero as a worker - and I never say anything bad about Hero as a worker - could benefit from mixing himself up a little more. I'm not saying I have a single problem with what Hero does, because the methodical, slow-paced British style of counter-to-counter chain wrestling is right up my alley, and I love watching him wrestle. But if you watch the May 29 match with Samoa Joe, you can see that Hero HAS more than he tends to present. That match was different than what he usually does, as the crowd was rabid and he and Joe just went for broke for 15 minutes. Here, you have a 15-minute match which Hero wrestles in the same style as if he's going an hour, which is completely understandable. There's nothing wrong with having an identifiable style. All I'm saying is he can do more than what he does here, I've seen him do it, and it would be cool to see Hero go into that kind of raging bull mode more often, sort of like what American Dragon does. Hero plays a convincing pissed-off babyface just as well as he does the guy that singles out a body part and tries to destroy it. They keep this match pretty simple and old school, letting Kingston control most of the match as the heel and Hero makes the big comeback, focusing on the neck to set up the tapout via hangman's clutch in under 13 minutes. Perfectly good, and I always enjoy the chance to see Indy Stars work with up-and-coming guys, it's the closest thing you get these days to old WCW Pro/Worldwide/Main Event main events.
EUROPEAN ROUNDS MATCH
ARIK CANNON (w/Cornerman Eddie Kingston) v. CHAD COLLYER (w/Cornerman Nigel McGuinness)
European rules means twelve three-minute rounds, with yellow cards for low blows and whatnot and a red card means a DQ and stuff. And if you knock a guy down, you can go for a pin, unless the referee starts his count for the KO, in which case if you touch them, you can be yellow-carded. A LITTLE TOO INTELLECTUAL FOR ME. Where's Ian Rotten with ladderheaded german suplexes. Gotta have two pins, two submissions or a KO to win the match. Collyer goes up 1-0 in the third with a cradle, and Cannon gets it back with a roll-up and rope assistance in the sixth round. I like both of these guys and I thought I would dig this format, but it's not working for me. The match is heartless as every time there's an advantage, the rules cut it off. There's no closed fists allowed, so there's lots of chops, and neither of these guys are choppers. Cannon eventually just kicks Collyer in the junk for his third yellow, and more importantly, the red card and automatic DQ. So we get around 20 minutes and nothing to speak of, really. Okay wrestling as this is just an excuse to chain wrestle and not do a lot else.
DANNY DANIELS (with Jim Fannin) v. IAN ROTTEN
Ian has the eternal promoter/wrestler dilemma of presenting himself as the toughest motherfucker going. In Ian's case, it's quite defensible. Ian has the backgrounad and credentials to be the toughest motherfucker going, and Ian also has the brains to realize that he's most effective as that big, tough, upper midcard babyface who can give the rub without losing any credibility with his fans. He actually does the whole thing quite well, with a notable exception being him going through to the semifinals of the TPI last year, but even then it seemed like he did that only to keep himself on par, as he does lose plenty of matches. He lost to Arik Cannon this year to put Cannon over, lost to Ray Gordy to do the same, basically hoping that by losing to them, the fans would accept those guys as viable opponents for anyone in the future. And hey, if the sky fell in and Ian lost all his wrestlers or whatever, Ian could always step in and help carry the promotion. He does it almost as a backup plan in a way, it seems.
This match is much like all of Ian's straight wrestling matches, and at this point the intrigue of seeing that Ian can work a straight match has worn off, and it really allows you to focus on the work therein. No one in their right mind will argue with you that Ian is a smooth wrestler, or particularly athletic, but what he does accomplish is a sense of realism, particularly in his brawling, which is always focused and on-point. This match is wrestled with the stipulation that if Ian wins, he gets five minutes with Fannin. There is actually less urgency than you mgiht expect this match to have. Daniels works Ian's arm and ton and controls the match. Match actually starts picking up nicely once it's do-or-die for Ian, as he blocks a piledriver and delivers one of his own. Ian blocks the piledriver again, and rolls Daniels up with a waistlock schoolboy for the pin in a little under 15. Fannin grabs a big handful of powder and tosses it in Ian's eyes, then goes after the bad arm. Fannin rants and raves about a car accident Ian was in years ago that hurt his shoulder while he attacks it. Patti, Ian's wife, comes in and clears Ian's eyes with some water as Fannin argues with the referee. Fannin has a great reaction when he realizes Ian can see him, and Rotten just destroys him after that, ending his assault with a DDT onto a chair.
RYAN BOZ v. EDDIE VENOM
This is a livejournal grudge match. Interesting start as they trade armdrags. Boz is about 6'3" and is huge compared to most guys, but Venom looks like he goes about 6'5" or 6'6", so Boz's usual big size advantage is taken away for this match. Boz again impresses and is one of the more underrated guys in the midwest right now. Boz focuses on the leg and guides the match along. Venom...is still a little rough around the edges, but not near as bad as I was led to believe he is. Punches are terrible. Big boot is NOT, damn. Boz with the sit-out tombstone for the win right after when Venom's leg gives out. Totally pretty okay. Boz argues with dipshits.
Samoa Joe has made an open challenge, and he's out. He gets the stick but I can't understand a goddamn thing from Lafayette with all that hollow.
SAMOA JOE v. STEVE STONE
Steve Stone, marching to his death. But if you look further than that, this is Joe coming in, being a major heel, insulting the entire locker room and IWA Mid-South itself, and his challenge is answered by an organizational soldier that could make a name for himself in the process. Joe's entire IWA run past his first match against Whitmer has been as a heel, but his ring style refuses to make him one as his ring style is a lot of no-selling and bitchslapping people, and what the fuck, I can understand NOT booing that. Although I have fun booing Joe, myself. Stone takes the mic and shows no fear. How foolish.
Match starts even, with Stone hanging with Joe more than you might expect, but needing to use the ropes repeatedly and basically making it seem like he's just trying to hang on and waiting for an opening. Joe wrestles with a calmness about him, as if he doesn't respect Stone at all. Stone does come back and gets a flurry of strikes in, but runs into the STO, and Joe proceeds to just murder him from that point. Stone valiantly tries to trade forearms with Joe, but loses. That would be better if Stone's forearms didn't look a lot better than Joe's. The moral of the story here, though, is that Stone simply can't hang with Joe. Stone manages to take the advantage back and hit the whiteout, and moonsaults Joe's face. Stone continually makes the mistake of pissing Joe off with his strikes, and Joe kicks Stone in the head. Stone does the dead sell, but Joe picks him up and he is ANGRY. Huge lariat. Picks him up. Chris Hero comes out and tells Joe to pin him. Island driver - no pin, he chokes Stone out instead. And he won't let go. Hero gets in the ring and gets in Joe's face. They really, really, really built the hell out of that match and it's no wonder the heat it had. This match was Joe v. midcarder by the numbers as Joe allows for offense from the other guy, but you don't believe he's going to win or anything.
LACEY & RAIN v. DAIZEE HAZE & MICKIE KNUCKLES
Pretty standard IWA women's fare here, and a standard formula tag. Lacey and Rain are effective as the cheating heels and Daizee plays a fine face-in-peril. Mickie gets the hot tag but doesn't last long, eating a double-team tomakaze that was apparently supposed to be the finish but Bryce didn't count the three, so Lacey spikes her with a DDT for the win. They put the boots to Mickie, Daizee tries to help, she gets beaten up and stretched until Nate Webb and Petey Williams hit the ring to chase them off. Ian gets in Rain's grill so she smacks him, which leads to her and Lacey running away. Daizee throws out the KO or submission match challenge to Lacey for the next Lafayette show, which was a damn fun match. Mickie points to the slap mark on Ian's face so Nate kisses it for him.
AUSTIN ARIES v. AMAZING RED
Red's match the next night in Highland with Sydal fucking sucked, but then, Red fucking sucks. Aries is some bomb shit so it'll be interesting to see what he can pull out of the little turd. Red controls the early going with a bunch of corny kicks. Aries thankfully takes over with a crisp forearm and high angle suplex. Aries proves he's only about 3000 times better than Red while on offense here, as Red is proving entirely useless yet again. The thing about Red is that outside of his marginal name value there is absolutely nothing he gives you that there aren't 100 other guys out there, wasting away in obscurity in North Carolina or Kansas or wherever the shit they are, couldn't give you just the same. He spins around, he throws kicks, he's small, his matwork stinks, and now he doesn't even do crazy flippy stuff. He has good reason not to with his knee the way it is, but damn, what's the point of him now? It'd be entirely different if he worked on his mat skills big-time and became a strong mat wrestler with the occasional highspot, sorta like Rey Jr. has become over the years, but he hasn't, and that just kinda makes him Essa Rios but shorter. They pick it up and burn through a bunch of near-falls, and Aries wins with a cradle counter on impact of a superplex. What a waste of money that weekend of Red was, except at least he put over Aries and Sydal.
DELIRIOUS & MATT SYDAL v. B-BOY & HOMICIDE
Homicide and Sydal start off with a really nice break-even exchange, and then we get the handshake and dual tags. Delirious confuses the hell out of B-Boy and Homicide insinuates that Delirious has been spending too much time with Daizee. Delirious does the arm-spin bit but B-Boy just forearms him in the face. Sydal ends up playing FIP and gets stretched repeatedly, while Homicide and B-Boy cut the ring in half and make frequent tags. Sydal makes a tactical error when he doesn't tag out after getting a short advantage, instead B-Boy gets his knees up and a lionsault and Sydal is in further trouble. Sydal manages to finally make the tag to Delirious, and he's hot indeed. Homicide's dive is a no-go, but Delirious' isn't, and he damn near dies. They start turning it up with all four men going at it, flying around all over the place. Sydal's dragon rana is...better left not talked about. Shadows over Hell on Homicide! B-Boy saves. Homicide with the Owen belly-to-belly throw, and basically this has just broken down and they're going 100 miles an hour now. Homicide and B-Boy get the Steiner Bros. flying bulldog off the shoulders on Sydal. They kill Delirious and Sydal breaks the pin, and they're impressing Samoa Joe with their heart and determination. This whole mess actually makes sense when you consider that Sydal was just killed by them, and this was the only chance they have to win this match. Unfortunately, Homicide hits Sydal with the cop killa - but Delirious saves! Shining wizard from B-Boy to Delirious, Homicide covers and it's over. Damn good match.
IWA MID-SOUTH HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
NIGEL MCGUINNESS v. BJ WHITMER (champion)
Hero drops the history as these two trained together with Les Thatcher. They get the artful dodger out of the way early on, and Whitmer misses a charge to the corner and posts his shoulder. Nigel makes use of that, but Danny Daniels appears at ringside to interfere on Whitmer's behalf. Nigel with a crippler crossface. Daniels helps out again. I was actaully into this until Daniels got involved, but at this point I'm just figuring this will be Williams/Shelley from 6/19 with Daniels playing the role of Zach Gowen. Actually, Danny stays out of it for the most part. McGuinness stays on the shoulder but can't get the duke. Whitmer with the German, the dragon and an attempt for a power bomb/piledriver, but the arm is too weak. A chair gets involved and it goes into Whitmer's shoulder twice, and Nigel gets a camel clutch hammerlock kind of hold on. Whitmer taps but Daniels is distracting Jon Lovitz. Nigel lets go and gets him back in the crippler crossface. BJ cheats to win with a chain or some knux or whatever, and he retains. Decent match but standard Whitmer stuff, and if you don't care for Whitmer this match wouldn't change your mind.
Tag match is definitely something you should see, and there some good, non-cliche stuff with Joe/Stone and Hero/Kingston, and Daniels/Rotten is suitably an Ian straight match. Good stuff.