Written by: Bob Colling
International Wrestling Cartel presents No Excuses
From: Monroeville, PA
Opening Contest: Jimmy DeMarco vs. Kudo: Early on, Kudo controls DeMarco on the canvas using his experience to keep the rookie grounded. Kudo hits a standing dropkick as DeMarco comes off the ropes. Kudo hits a running double knee strike in the corner and kicks DeMarco on the back a few times. DeMarco plants Kudo with a DDT to get some momentum in his favor. Jimmy takes Kudo over with a hurricanrana for a two count. Kudo has a crucifix on DeMarco but DeMarco hits a Samoan Drop only for Kudo to deck Jimmy with a standing spin kick. Kudo nearly wins with a rollup and knocks Jimmy out with a kick to the head. Kudo comes off the top and hits a double knee strike for the win. (*1/2. Well, it was largely a showcase of Kudo and I think that was the right direction considering DeMarco is rather limited at this point.) After the match, J-Rocc and Troy Lords attack DeMarco. DeMarco is sent face first into the ring steps. They put his arm on the ring steps and smash a chair against the steps to seemingly break the arm of DeMarco. The locker room decides to empty a little too late.
Second Contest: Matt Sydal vs. Delirious: Despite having not touched yet, Delirious claims that Sydal pulled his mask. A mat based start to the match with neither man getting a clear cut advantage for any significant amount of time. Delirious claims that Sydal choked him after cleaning the ref’s glasses to get a clearer look of the action. Sydal gets out of a camel clutch position since Delirious didn’t hook the arm and soon dropkicks Sydal to the floor. They are on the floor trading chops with Sydal getting the better of the exchange. Sydal takes Delirious over with a head scissors in the ring but Delirious drops Sydal throat first across the top rope. Delirious gets a near fall following a back suplex but had a cocky cover. Delirious has a cobra clutch and hits a cobra clutch back breaker on Sydal. Delirious goes to the top rope but is stopped by Sydal with an elbow strike. Delirious regains footing but misses an attempted cross body thanks to a kick to the face by Sydal in midair.
Sydal hits a spinning heel kick and monkey flips Delirious out of the corner. Sydal hits a twisting dive over the top to take Delirious out on the floor. Delirious sends Sydal into the corner with a drop toe hold followed by a running knee strike for a near fall. Sydal hits a knee lift in the corner and a standing moonsault for a two count. Sydal hits a pump handle driver but Delirious kicks out at two. Sydal goes to the top but misses a shooting star press. Sydal landed on his feet and they counter a few moves until Delirious hits the Chemical Unbalance for the win. (***. An enjoyable match between two guys making their debut in the company. The comedy was short and effective with the action that followed delivering an entertaining match. I liked it.)
Third Contest: Sumie Sakai & Glenn Spectre vs. Daizee Haze & Chris Hero: This is the first match in IWC were women are legally part of the action, per the announcers. Spectre and Hero start the match with Spectre providing the comedy by humping and touching Hero, because that’s his character. Spectre dances with Hero while keeping control of his arm, which the fans are enjoying quite a bit. This is mostly a comedy match at the start. Spectre hits a running butt splash in the corner and the ladies tag into the match. Haze takes Sakai over with a head scissors only for Sakai to get control with stomps. Sakai pulls Haze’s hair with one hand and lets go to use the other hand to continue the hair pulling for a few moments. Sakai dropkicks Haze to the apron but here comes Hero and he is backdropped to the floor by Spectre. Spectre and Sakai attempted suicide dives but Hero and Haze move out of the way.
Back in the ring, Haze has control of Sakai with elbow drops. Haze does the same hair pulling spot to get some revenge from earlier. Hero scoop slams Sakai and chops Spectre off the apron. Hero shoulder rams Sakai in the corner and tags Haze back into the bout. Haze keeps control of Sakai and Hero gets involved some more while Spectre is on the apron. Hero has a leg lock on Sakai when I thought men couldn’t touch women in the match, but maybe that’s changed. Hero decks Sakai with an open hand thrust and shoves Spectre off the apron. Haze enters the match and controls Sakai briefly before tagging in Hero who slingshots from the apron to kick Sakai over the back of the head. Sakai gets a two count on a rollup attempt but Spectre gets the tag and cleans house on Hero with strikes. Spectre hits a standing senton splash. Sakai hits a missile dropkick on Haze while Spectre clotheslines Hero to the floor.
Spectre takes Hero out on the floor with a suicide dive. Hero has Spectre on the floor but Haze comes off the top and accidentally takes Hero out with a cross body. Sakai slams Haze and heads to the top hitting a moonsault for a near fall. Hero has Sakai but Spectre helps Sakai and the ladies roll around the ring trying to get an inside cradle with Sakai getting a two count. Haze plants Sakai face first into the canvas. Spectre sends Haze to the floor while Hero enters the match with chops. Hero slams Spectre before going to the top and hits a double stomp but Sakai hits a big splash, though the referee has to stop the count since it was mistimed. Spectre hits the Crock Bottom on Hero, but only manages a near fall. Hero decks Spectre with a roaring elbow but Spectre rolls Hero up for the win moments later. (**1/2. This was a lot better than I was expecting. It’s probably one of the better mixed tag matches I’ve seen on the independents in sometime reviewing wise. It’s a sixteen minute match but it didn’t drag along which I was fearing.)
Bubba The Bulldog comes out a claims that the guy Jon Bolen pinned at Caged Fury was a fake. Bulldog wants Bolen to come to the ring and shake his hand before their match in August. Bolen comes out and gets in Bulldog’s face. Bulldog thanks Bolen for helping him wakeup and realize that his career won’t be the same. They shake hands to make the match official in August. Bubba attempts a swing but Bolen blocks the punch is met with a chair shot from Lou Marconi. Bubba gets on the microphone and tells Bolen to never turn your back on the Bulldog. Bolen ducks a clothesline and chases the heels from the ring.
Fourth Contest: Jason Gory vs. Shima Xion: Gory starts the match with a dropkick and Xion accidentally knocks his manager off the apron. Gory face plants Xion sending him to the floor. Gory takes Xion and his manager out with a somersault dive over the top to the floor. Gory head scissors Xion on the floor but Xion stops Gory with an elevated DDT off the apron on the floor. Xion hits a clothesline after dropping Gory across the top rope. Xion has a leg lock on Gory and takes a photo before Gory gets a few strikes in. Gory takes Xion over with a standing hurricanrana and a splash in the corner. Gory gets a two count after a running bulldog out of the corner. Xion counters a handspring elbow strike to hit a face buster. Gory hits a Codebreaker but Xion comes back with a sit out power bomb to counter the QAS. Gory his the Gory Bomb only getting a two count on the cover. Gory hits a standing moonsault for a two count. Xion battles back with a neck breaker but can’t keep Gory down on the cover. Xion’s manager tries to help with a 450 splash but Gory got out of the way easily. Gory hits the standing Spanish Fly for a two count. Gory spikes Xion with a spinning modified tombstone piledriver for the win. (**. Gory has some great high risk moves and that carried this match to a better match than I was expecting.) After the match, Xion hits a reverse From Lust To Dust on Gory to leave him laying.
Fifth Contest: IWC Heavyweight Champion Shirley Doe vs. Eddie Kingston: Kingston goes to the aisle way not waiting for Doe to enter the ring and they begin to brawl in the crowd. Kingston misses a splash and hits the hockey boards. Kingston nails Doe with a running boot to the head. Doe plants Kingston on the floor with a tornado DDT. Doe misses a forearm hitting the ring post instead. Kingston hits a suplex on the floor to keep control of the match. The bell sounds once they get in the ring and Kingston works over Doe with strikes in the corner. Doe battles back with several strikes and chops in the corner. Doe hits a running knee to the chest for a two count. Doe calls for the shining wizard but Kingston blocks the move and hits a power bomb for a two count. Kingston power bombs Doe but Doe gets a cross arm bar on Kingston but can’t get a submission. Kingston gets a reverse Texas Cloverleaf on Doe, but Doe isn’t giving in. Doe dropkicks the knee of Eddie and connects with a shining wizard. Kingston this a back suplex but Doe hits another shining wizard and they are both down. Eddie knocks Doe down with a spinning back fist. Doe fights back with a stunner and a shining wizard. Doe plants Kingston with a Death Valley Driver for the win. (*1/4. I don’t understand the appeal in Shirley Doe. The match isn’t one of his worse matches but it’s still not a good bought. The finish puts a seal on Kingston being a serious threat to Doe, as well.)
Mark Madden comes out and wishes Shirley Doe a happy birthday and they embrace. The locker room empties with a cake to celebrate the birthday. Doe thanks the fans for their support. This felt like an attempt to make something feel way more important than it is.
Troy Lords and J-Rocc come out to confront the Gambino Brothers. Rocc is mad that they tried to take him out last month and they brag about the brothers being in the hospital with DeMarco now. There is some random guy coming down to the ring using the Hardy Boys music but he is escorted out of the ringside area. Jesse Ark is apparently some kind of crazy WWE fan and is arrested. I literally have no idea what that segment was all about.
Sixth Contest: IWC Super Indy Champion John McChesney vs. Claudio Castagnoli: They shake hands to kick off the contest. Neither man gets control when they lockup for any significant amount of time. McChesney gets a near fall on Claudio with a rollup and sends Castagnoli to the floor with a head scissors. McChesney attempts a cross body to the floor but Claudio catches McChesney and drops him face first across the ring apron. Claudio drops John face first onto the floor. Claudio continues to work over McChesney with uppercuts back in the ring and stomps. Claudio scoop slams McChesney for a near fall. Claudio works over McChesney with uppercuts in the corner before keeping John on the canvas choking John with a tie. Claudio controls McChesney with a bear hug in the middle of the ring but McChesney breaks free and takes Claudio to the mat only to be stopped by an uppercut.
Claudio sets McChesney up hitting a delayed vertical suplex after keeping him up in the air for a little while managing a two count on the cover. Claudio goes to the top but McChesney dropkicks Claudio on the top rope knocking him to the canvas. Claudio and McChesney trade strikes with Claudio stopping McChesney with an uppercut but McChesney comes back with a couple of dropkicks. McChesney arm drags Claudio to the floor and tells the fans to move. McChesney takes Claudio out with a somersault dive over the top to the floor. McChesney goes to the top hitting a missile dropkick on Claudio for a two count. Claudio hits an uppercut after lifting McChesney into the air getting a two count. Claudio has a torture rack on McChesney but drives him down to the mat for a near fall. McChesney is sent into the corner and Claudio attempts a handspring but McChesney gets his boots up and attempts a tornado DDT but Claudio counters. McChesney hits a tornado DDT on the second attempt and hits a top rope leg drop for the win. (**3/4. A fine match between these and a good victory for McChesney since Claudio is on the verge of breaking through on the independents. Claudio mainly carried the action but McChesney looked solid in his spots of action.)
The Gambino Brothers are here and they brawl with Troy Lords and J-Rocc on the floor. Jake Garrett comes out and hits the Gambino Brothers with a steel chair to help Lords and Rocc. Dean Radford runs into the ring and cleans house to help the Gambino Brothers. Hentai comes out and whacks Radford with a steel chair. Sebastian Dark whacks Radford over the head with the chair, as well.
Seventh Contest: IWC Tag Team Champions Hentai & Sebastian Dark vs. Chris Hamrick & Tracy Smothers: Smothers and Hamrick run into the ring and attack the champions to save Radford. Hentai is backdropped by the challengers as the bell rings and Dark gets met with a double shoulder block. A double side Russian leg sweep on Hentai and an elbow drop by the challengers. Hamrick super kicks Dark into a corner and delivers a few chops in the corner. Smothers fakes out a 619 and settles with a baseball slide to take the champs out on the floor. Hamrick goes to the top and hits a cross body to take the champions out on the floor. Dark and Hentai hit a missile dropkick/spine buster combo for a near fall on Hamrick. Hentai focuses his offense on the left knee of Hamrick. Hentai knocks Smothers off the apron to the floor to control Hamrick in the ring with a kick to the leg. Hamrick has an inside cradle on Hentai for a two count. Hentai quickly regains control with a clothesline.
Hamrick misses a splash in the corner and crotches himself over the middle turnbuckle. Hentai takes Hamrick over with a snap suplex for a two count. Hentai keeps control of Hamrick with a sleeper hold and a back suplex before tagging in Dark. Smothers is distracting the referee while the champions double team Hamrick briefly. Hamrick nearly pins Dark with a cradle but is met with a clothesline. Dark plants Hamrick with a sit down power slam for a near fall. Dark has Hamrick on his shoulders but Hamrick hits a dangerous superplex off the shoulders of Dark on Hentai, but Dark mistimed falling backward and nearly crippled Hamrick. Smothers gets the hot tag and cleans house on the champs with clotheslines. Smothers takes both men out with leaping kicks but is stopped by Hentai and Dark. Smothers manages to hit a double flatliner and a double spear. Smothers hits a side slam but Dark breaks the cover. Smothers clotheslines Dark to the floor while Hentai has Hamrick on the top but can’t hit a hurricanrana. Hamrick spikes Hentai with a middle rope piledriver! The referee is out of position focusing on what’s happening on the floor. The referee calls for the bell because Dark hits Smothers with a ladder. So, Hamrick and Smothers won by disqualification. (***1/4. I really enjoy the team of Hamrick and Smothers, especially Hamrick at this point. Dark and Hentai are a good heel team and worked very well with an older team. I’d like to see more of this feud moving forward.) After the match, Hamrick and Smothers suggest a no disqualification ladder match for the next time they square off. Norm Conners gives them the match rather quickly.
Main Event: Matt Hardy vs. AJ Styles: Yeah, this has a big match feel to it and you can tell literally everyone in the building came to see this. Hardy’s promo put AJ over as the future of wrestling, which was accurate, but Styles was killing it as it was at the time just as he has for the last ten years. Okay, onto the match.
They show respect for each other by shaking hands before locking up. Styles takes Hardy down to the canvas but they counter each other on the canvas a few times. Hardy gets out of a hammerlock by sending Styles to the floor but Styles gets on the apron and enters the ring again to continue the match. Hardy keeps control of Styles on the canvas with a head scissors but Styles gets out quickly and puts a headlock on Hardy. Hardy gets out of the headlock with a back suplex. Hardy drops Styles face first across the top turnbuckle followed by a running clothesline for a two count. Hardy knocks Styles down with a right hand to the head but AJ kicks out at two on the cover attempt. Styles hits a dropkick to get momentum in his favor with a two count on Hardy. Hardy drives Styles down to the canvas with a delayed vertical suplex for a near fall. Hardy jumps onto the back of AJ across the middle rope for a two count. AJ slides to the floor after being sent towards the corner and hits a springboard forearm shot for a two count on Hardy. Styles kicks Hardy on the back of the head and goes to work with a few chops.
Hardy has a front face lock with a body scissors on Styles on the canvas looking for a submission but Styles reaches the ropes to break the hold. Styles sends a charging Hardy to the floor where Styles hits a baseball slide and takes Hardy out with a somersault dive over the top to the floor. AJ rolls Hardy back into the ring but only gets a near fall. Styles scoop slams Hardy and delivers a knee drop for a two count. Styles continues his offense with a back suplex but Hardy continues to power out on the cover attempts. Styles hits Hardy with a flurry of strikes in the corner. Styles sends Hardy into the corner and hits a leaping clothesline in the corner causing Hardy to crash to the canvas. Hardy stops a springboard attempt by shaking the ropes making Styles land groin first across the top rope. They begin to trade strikes with Hardy knocking AJ down with a roaring elbow but only gets a two count.
Styles misses a kick and Hardy hits an inverted neck breaker for a two count. Styles plants Hardy with a brain buster but can’t get a three on the pin attempt. Styles hits a springboard reverse DDT but Hardy kicks out at two. Styles attempts the Styles Clash but Hardy counters with the Side Effect for a near fall. Hardy goes to the top but Styles kicks Hardy in midair and hits the Twist of Fate only managing to get a near fall! Styles heads to the top rope but misses the Spiral Tap! Hardy is up and looking for the Twist of Fate. Styles blocks the boot and attempts a hurricanrana but Hardy counters with the Styles Clash but AJ kicks out of his own finisher! Hardy heads to the top rope and misses a moonsault as AJ got his knees up! Hardy tries for the Twist of Fate but Styles gets out of it and manages to hit the Styles Clash!
AJ rolls over but Hardy pops his shoulder up at two! AJ works over Hardy with strikes in the corner as they stand on the top. Styles can’t hit a hurricanrana but nails Hardy with a Pele Kick knocking Hardy off the top to the floor. Styles counters the Twist of Fate but Hardy low blows Styles and hits the Twist of Fate but AJ kicks out at two! Hardy attempts another Twist of Fate but Styles hangs onto the ropes and gets Hardy with an Oklahoma roll to win the match. (****. This is easily the best match in IWC that I’ve watched thus far. A great match to end the show. The match had some great action and near falls. Check this match out.)
A really good overall show for IWC as there wasn’t anything on here that was all that bad. Several of the matches exceeded my expectations and a lot of the matches were full of entertainment. This is a show something I’d watch again no problem.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.