Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Monday, September 07, 2009

R.I.P. IWA-MS, 2/8/03

PAS: To memorialize IWA-MS, a promotion which has provided entertaining shows for over a decade, we are going to review some random shows over the next couple of weeks, after which I imagine the promotion will be back in business.

Shark Boy v. Vortex

PAS: Vortex was accompanied by American Kickboxer who trained him. This match was mostly built around an apparent Shark Boy v. the ref feud, and ended with a restart fast count bullshit finish. Vortex had some impressive athletic spots for an unathletic looking dude, but definitely looked a little rookieish in his other stuff. It was good to see the crazy old dude smoking a pipe though.

ER: Vortex had some pretty OK looking stuff here, and I was fully expecting sub pretty OK. Good to see American Kickboxer coming out and talking shit while wearing a full-on all over print button up Gundam shirt. If you can still sound credible starting shit while supporting Mobile Suit Gundam then more power to you. And that old man's pipe was full on Hans Landa size, just puffing away in the front row.

In between matches saw Todd Morton work the STICK and it was great. He cut a genuinely threatening promo, really intense and hate-filled. What doesn't this guy do? Dave Prazak tries his best to make lame jokes over it man I hate that guy.

Mark Wolf v. KO

PAS: KO was a legit Scottish Games competitor who was green as grass but probably a better athlete then pretty much anyone who ever worked IWA-MS. There were moments where both guys seemed to be visible calling spots. KO looked good on offense, and not so good on defense, dropping early on a bulldog ect. Wolf was solid too, although he kind of had one good looking move, one weak looking move.

ER: I liked KO here, and Phil is overstating how bad the bulldog looked. Most people wouldn't have even noticed it. Plus, I hate when it looks like dudes leap into a perfectly positioned front flop. This dude made the bulldog look REAL, but stumbling and falling way more painfully than if he had taken the bulldog as planned. If you're gonna stumble during a spot, might as well do it when you're supposed to land on your face anyway. Wolf was wearing some classicly torn Balls Mahoney shorts. I can just picture these guys sitting at home, carefully tearing their pants JUST so, just so they'll be PERFECT when they throw shitty forearms to some guy's chest.

Adam Gooch v. Drake Younger

PAS: This was pretty great, Adam Gooch was totally awesome in 2003, great height on his bumps, great looking execution on his moves and a legit sleazeball heat machine. He had this great run for a couple of years and then totally disappeared. He was accompanied by Michael Todd Stratton (AKA Todd Morton), and he is always awesome to watch, even when he is the apron. This was Younger's IWA debut and he looked pretty good, a bunch of energy and some cool spots. It got a little two county for my taste at the finish, but this was blast.

ER: Man, I forgot how great Gooch was earlier this decade. Pre-match heat garnering with Stratton was awesome. They turned an old bit into a forgotten classic, something that easily could've been botched in most others' hands. Fan gives Gooch a wifebeater as a gift, wifebeater says "Gooch is da MAN!" on the front, Stratton urges him to put it on and then poses Gooch to all sides of the crowd, which naturally reveals the back of it says "Who takes it in the ASS!" and Stratton does the slow reveal then reacts in all sorts of awesome "Boss Hogg getting worked by the Dukes" mannerisms. Stratton was the ultimate second in this match.

Steve Stone/Ballz v. Devon Fury/Cornbread

PAS: This was a Pro-Am match, the concept being that a professional was teaming with an amateur. I assume what that means on an IWA show, is that the pros were working for free and the amateurs were paying to work the show. Cornbread was the better of the two backyarders, as Ballz was there mostly there so the announcers can make dozens of puns. Still I never thought I would appreciate the polish and professionalism of Devon Fury.

ER: You can also tell the pros are the ones with new jean shorts and a non-faded black t-shirt. Steve Stone had some good offense including a real nice kneedrop and some good spunk on the ring apron. Cornbread was a pretty enjoyable backyarder, but I'm kind of a chubby chaser as far as wrestling is concerned. If a fat guy does a nice leg drop I'll think he's the best guy in the match. Ballz is my new least favorite wrestler, as Fannin/Prazak with their fucking awful "balls" puns were just constant. Not a one of them funny. Fury slammed balls! Fury punches balls! Fuck you guys.

Danny Daniels v. Spider Nate Webb

PAS: Daniels is a guy I have never particularly cared for, I love Nate Webb but wasn't expecting much. I was plesantly surprised at the beginning of this match as they had some really nice sequences, including Webb climbing Daniels body while in a knucklelock and ripping off a sweet rana. Match fell apart though about six minutes in and never really recovered. Nice moonsault by Nate though.

ER: Nate Webb's pedo-stache always looked so funny with the rest of his vinyl/mesh Hot Topic look. Really came off as a guy who had a friend that worked there and would regularly steal stock, so Nate just gets a bunch of free clothes. There is always a bunch of cool stuff in Webb matches, and Daniels really SUWA's the aforementioned hurracanrana. But that really was the highlight of the first 10+ minute match of the night, and it came in the first minute.

Ian Rotten v. Brad Bradley

PAS: Man was this great. Classic Ian Meth Cook Battlarts. Bradley is a big dude who got a WWE deal at one point. Apparently he was coming off of a MAW victory over Ian, so Ian was coming at him hard. Bradley wasn't really firing back hard enough for this kind of match, although Ian did a great job selling the shots. Ian just goes after Bradley's leg, slapping on some nasty looking leg locks, and even pounding at his thigh with punches. Finish was great with a bloody Ian grabbing a steel chair and decimating his leg with chair shots and then putting on an STF for a submission.

ER: I was a big supporter of Brad Bradley/Ryan Braddock in WWE. I really loved all 9 total minutes he got on Smackdown. Loved the Festus match, loved the tag he had opposite Festus, thought he had good heavyweight offense and a nice dropkick. Anything he had in 2008, he did not have here. Steen-esque bod and a bland face/haircut, this was the Ian show. Ian sells a stomp to the face better than anybody. Bradley was throwing some really wimpy stomps to the face and Ian really made it look like his skull was getting caved in. Those chair shots to the leg were so damn nasty.

Shaq Daddy v. Rollin Hard

PAS: This is another Pro-Am match, with Rollin Hard in the traditional Ian roll of guy potatoing a backyarder. No John Calvin with a kendo stick here, and Rollin actually sells for this guy a bit which kind of kills the gimmick. Shaq Daddy seemed kind of over with the crowd and this feels like the kind of thing that can't be understood out of context.

ER: Shaq Daddy didn't just seem kind of over, he was practically the most over guy on the whole show. Maybe he was a popular local tattoo artist? I have no explanation for this match. It gets like 11 minutes, Shaq gets a lot of bad looking offense, Rollin' really doesn't actually stiff him at all, puts him over afterwards like they had just gone through an epic war, crowd goes apeshit. I have no fucking clue what happened. Rollin' took a real nice spill through some chairs at ringside, but....I just guess you had to be there?

Bull Pain v. Corporal Robinson

PAS: Pain comes out with Mickie Knuckles as his valet, which is an angle that I didn't remember happening. This started out a little underwhelming, but man did it kick in gear. Both these guys really convey "tough guy" well and there were large parts of this that felt like the two craziest guys in a small town clearing out a bar. At one point Bull does a frog splash off the bleachers to the floor, which is a totally insane spot for a veteran to do, I could see Nate Webb or Vortex doing it, but Bull Pain worked in the AWA for fuck sake.

ER: Mickie rocking the little black dress and stylish bob! Cut to 6 years later and she has tangly long hair and a scarred up forehead. Bull is one of the most intimidating guys in wrestling, and Cpl. can do a real nice brawl. Their brawl through the crowd was a lot more impressive than most. Really had a cool fight atmosphere. Bull's bat shots are so awesome. They always look so nasty. They should've used him as an advisor to Ox Baker on "Escape from New York".

Chris Hero v. Michael Todd Stratton

PAS: I had seen this match years ago and I remember it fondly, and man does it hold up well. Stratton (aka Todd Morton) is just amazing at drawing heat, this is the day after Hero and Punk went 90+ minutes, so Hero is coming into this with a disadvantage. Lots of cool shit here, this building has a support poll off to the side of the ring and Stratton takes a huge flying bump into that poll, which looked just brutal. Stratton also breaks out a ladder and they do some cool spots with that, including Stratton pinning him in the corner with the ladder and blasting him with a perfect dropkick. Finish looked to be super overbooked, with a ref bump and Bull Pain and Adam Gooch run in, they get cut off by KO and Mark Wolf and Wolf smashes Stratton. That felt like the finish, but instead Stratton kicks out at two, and they do an amazing kneeling punch exchange, leading to Hero sweeping his legs and getting the Hangman's clutch. Awesome, awesome match, really one of my favorite Chris Hero matches ever, and another spectacular Todd Morton performance.

ER: I am usually not a huge fan of 30 minute matches, as more often than not it seems like the guys could've accomplished just as much in 16-18. But this 30 minutes flies right on by. Everything here was great. Phil mentioned all the cool spots. Hero dropkicking Morton off the apron into the support pole was a real rewind moment. Hero started the match out with real bad punches, but by the time they got to the kneeling exchange he was finally opening up and belting Morton. Of course Morton's punches started great and by the time the exchange rolled around they were just perfect. The size difference was really noticeable here, too, as Morton is a short guy, but they worked the match really believably around that, as even a big guy can get hit in the face. This whole show was a really great showcase for Todd Morton. This would be a real good place to start if you've been wanting to get into him.

Say, we should do some sort of Complete & Accurate Todd Morton list after the Fujiwara one...

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Blogger Todd said...

I posted a link to this review over at the IWA-MS board. Nick Maniwa, an eminent authority on all things IWA-MS, responded:

Shaq Daddy was a popular tattoo shop owner and invited all his friends, thus his overness

So Eric was about right.

1:52 PM  

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