Written by: Bob Colling
IWA-MS presents A Matter Of Pride
From: Midlothian, IL
Ian Rotten runs down what we’ll see on the show and then announces that he is likely done wrestling due to various injuries, including a hairline fracture of his skull. The entire crowd stands up and gives him a standing ovation. Ian talks about his grandmother having a lot of money and writing a check for him if he couldn’t get by. Rotten announces that since TPI has had great sales as well as King of the Death match shows, that the dream will be continuing. After looking it up, Ian wrestled a show the next week for Hardcore Homecoming and wrestled for IWA-MS on October 14th. So, it wasn’t over.
Opening Contest: Jayson Reign vs. Claudio Castagnoli: Regin tries to trade strikes with Castagnoli and gets decked to the mat after one shot. Castagnoli tries for a leapfrog, but gets yanked down by his leg and Reign locks in a figure four leg lock. Castagnoli gets out of the hold, but Reign focuses his attack on the left knee. Claudio is able to fight back with a suicide dive uppercut to the floor. Castagnoli backdrops Reign and plants Reign with a spinning X-Factor for a two count. Reign counters a Ricola Bomb attempt with a northern lights suplex for a two count. Reign plants Castagnoli with a 2k1 Bomb for a near fall. Claudio uppercuts Reign and goes to the middle rope, but Reign hits a double under hook suplex for a near fall. Claudio has Reign over his shoulder and hits a cutter followed by the Ricola Bomb for the win. (***. They worked a competitive match and it kept my interest. Reign seems like a more than capable wrestler and it was fun to watch.)
Second Contest: Nate Webb vs. Marek Brave in a number one contenders match for the IWA-MS Light Heavyweight Championship: Early on, they drop each other with strikes and they shake hands. Brave dropkicks Webb to the floor but Webb counters a baseball slide attempt by hitting a DDT onto the floor! Webb decks Brave in the corner with a right hand and a snap suplex. Webb delivers a Codebreaker and a clothesline for a two count. Webb locks in a straightjacket submission and switches to a reverse DDT for a near fall. Brave plants Webb with a hip toss turned X-Factor. Brave hits the Flipping Spirit, but Webb kicks out! Brave nearly wins with a Blue Thunder Bomb for another two count. Webb avoids a spear and locks in a tarantula submission on the mat, but Brave doesn’t give in. Brave flips Webb over after blocking a kick and superkicks Webb, but Webb counters a pin with a rollup for the win. (***. Similar to the first match, they are not having long matches but the action is really enjoyable. The superkick by Brave got the fans out of their seats because they bought into the move really well. Webb is incredibly over with the crowd and his victory isn’t a surprise at all. This show is starting off strong.)
Third Contest: Kudo vs. Brandon Thomaselli: Thomaselli is dressed like he’s the Ultimate Warrior. They focus on some mat wrestling to start the match with bot men getting some momentum. After a few moments they have a standoff. Kudo gets a chokehold on Thomaselli and nearly pins Brandon. They have another standoff after trading a few pin attempts. Kudo nails Thomaselli with a standing dropkick. They trade chops in the corner until Kudo delivers a kick to Thomaselli’s upper back a few times on the mat. Thomaselli forearms Kudo to the mat and delivers a kick to Kudo’s head. They both get fired up and trade kicks to each others backs. Thomselli is able to win that exchange and signals for a press slam. Thomaselli press slams Kudo and comes off the ropes to hit a standing shooting star press for a two count. Thomaselli scoop slams Kudo followed by an elbow drop, knee drop and a splash for a two count. Kudo kicks Thomaselli on the apron, but Brandon delivers a forearm strike and drops to the floor.
Thomaselli begins to shake the ropes and trade strikes with Kudo. Kudo kicks Thomaselli to the mat with several strikes to his chest. Kudo delivers a double knee strike and a northern lights suplex for a near fall. Kudo continues with quick strikes and a kick to a kneeling Brandon for a two count. Thomaselli hits a fireman’s Death Valley Driver for a near fall. Thomaselli delivers a running kick for a two count. Kudo almost wins with a backslide and destroys Brandon with a few kicks. Kudo takes Thomaselli down with a vertical suplex and comes off the top to deliver a double knee strike for the win. (***1/4. I’m not familiar with either man, really, but that was a really good match. The incorporation of hard hitting action and wrestling moves was done very well. I was pleasantly surprised by this and would like to see them go to battle again.) After the match, Ian Rotten comes out and gives Kudo a hug. Ian tells Kudo that any time he wants to come back that he is more than welcomed. The fans chant for Kudo to return. Kudo says he will be back and thanks the fans. Rotten tells Thomaselli that he will get his rematch when Kudo returns.
Fourth Contest: The Iron Saints (Sal Thomaselli & Vito Thomaselli) vs. CJ Otis & Mickie Knuckles: Otis and Vito start the match as they take each other down to the mat with Otis getting control with a headlock. Sal gets tagged in but Otis takes Sal over with a quick back suplex. Knuckles tags into the match and decks Sal with a forearm. Sal returns a shot and staggers Knuckles. Sal drops Knuckles to her knees following another forearm strike. Knuckles chops Sal in the corner but runs into a double boot. Sal clotheslines Knuckles and taunts the crowd. Vito kicks Knuckles in the chest and follows up with a heel kick. Vito clotheslines Knuckles and tosses Knuckles across the ring by her hair. Sal keeps Knuckles on the mat and stands on her hair while pulling her up by her arms. Vito slams Knuckles, but Knuckles tries to fight back with strikes, but Sal enters and double teams Knuckles. Otis tries to get involved but distracts the referee instead. Sal gets out of a rollup and decks Knuckles with another clothesline. Knuckles tosses Vito across the ring by her hair. Otis gets the tag and cleans house with clotheslines. Otis tosses Sal with an overhead suplex. Vito forearms Otis, but Otis tosses Vito with a German suplex. Knuckles kicks Sal several times but Vito plants Knuckles with a bulldog.
Sal goes to the top rope as Vito takes Knuckles down with a vertical suplex and Sal hit a crossbody. They don’t go for the cover and instead Sal has a chair to use on Knuckles. Otis makes the save hitting Sal from behind. Otis sends Sal into the ring post face first and tosses Sal into a few chairs. Otis puts a chair over Vito’s hair and Knuckles goes to the top, but Jimmy Jacobs crotches Knuckles. Iron Saints and Jacobs beat down Knuckles and Otis. After the match, Otis is taped to the ropes and Jacobs beats on Knuckles with something. Jim Bannon comes out and gets taped to the ropes, too. Knuckles has been busted wide open by Jacobs. Jacobs has been using his belt from his pants to choke Knuckles. Ian Rotten is trying to get into the ring but he’s being prevented. Jim Bannon gets beaten up after breaking free. Chris Hero gets into the ring and runs off the heels. Arik Cannon drops Hero with a suplex and now the locker room empties out to run the heels from the ring a second time. (*1/2. The match wasn’t very entertaining or anything, but the aftermath was done extremely well. It left me wanting to see Knuckles vs. Jacobs for the title. So, they accomplished providing interest for that match.)
Ian Rotten cuts a promo saying that he may be done, but he has a lot of friends. He warns Vito and Sal to be ready to be taken to the extreme like they never have been before.
Fifth Contest: Ryan Boz & Trik Davis vs. Team Underground (Chandler McClure & Eric Priest) in a losing team must split, no disqualification match: McClure is hiding behind the door and attacks Davis from behind as Priest attacked them from the front. McClure and Priest hammer away on Boz and Travis in the crowd. Davis head scissors McClure into the wall face first. Boz tosses a trash can onto Priest. Boz and Priest are battling it out by the merchandise table. Davis delivers a Codebreaker and Boz nails McClure with a big boot. Davis takes Priest out with a somersault dive to the floor. Priest lifts Davis into the air and Davis hits the wall face first. Priest decks Boz to save McClure from a suplex. Priest boots Boz to the floor and McClure almost gets a three count. Davis gets a chokehold on McClure, but isn’t able to get a submission. Priest boots Davis to save McClure. McClure sends Boz into several chairs in the crowd. Boz no sells strikes and right hands McClure. Priest takes out Boz with a dropkick on the floor. Davis takes McClure out with a suicide dive and Boz big boots Priest on the other side of the ring. McClure saves Priest from Boz with a boot on the floor. McClure drives Davis into the ring post ribs first.
Boz hammers away on Priest and drops him on the floor. Boz tosses McClure into several chairs in the crowd. Priest low blows Boz to stop his momentum. Priest tries for a piledriver, but Boz counters with a backdrop onto chairs. Priest whacks Boz over the back with a steel chair. Davis comes off the apron to take Priest out with a head scissors on the floor. Priest whacks Boz with a steel chair. Priest has Davis and McClure hits a top rope spike piledriver, but Davis kicks out at two! Boz gets to his feet and blocks the spike piledriver. Boz sends Priest onto McClure, but a man from the front row attacks Boz and hits a swinging side slam. Boz is met with a spike piledriver and Priest pins Boz. (***. I enjoyed the action and the no disqualification stipulation helped them put together an enjoyable bout. All four guys are solid wrestlers and held my interest. The interference finish was disappointing, but didn’t kill my entertainment level.) After the match, the man who interfered is revealed as being Mike Walker. Boz and Davis embrace knowing their team is over with.
Sixth Contest: ROH World Champion James Gibson vs. Matt Sydal: The start of the match is kind of slow as Sydal controls Gibson on the mat after a few arm drags. Sydal head scissors Gibson followed by a dropkick to send Gibson to the floor. Gibson walks towards the wall to avoid any kind of dive. Gibson chops Sydal and continues with forearm strikes. Gibson comes out of the corner but Sydal delivers a spinning kick for a near fall. Gibson counters a Here It Is Driver attempt. Sydal sends Gibson to the floor and knocks Gibson into the crowd with a baseball slide. Gibson knee strikes Sydal on the apron to drop Sydal to the floor. Gibson comes off the apron to connect with an elbow strike. Gibson double stomps Sydal and drops Sydal over the top rope. Gibson stands on Sydal’s midsection and delivers a gut buster. Gibson drops Sydal with a short arm clothesline followed by a leg drop. Gibson nearly wins the match with a rollup to counter a crossbody. Gibson was using the tights on the pin attempt. Gibson scoop slams Sydal and locks in an abdominal stretch on the mat. Gibson digs his elbow into Sydal’s ribs.
Sydal misses an elbow drop and Gibson misses an elbow drop. Sydal nearly wins with a sunset flip from the apron. Gibson runs over Sydal with a forearm strike. Gibson drops Sydal down with a gut buster followed by a kick to Matt’s back for a near fall. Gibson delivers a knee drop to Sydal’s head. Gibson keeps Sydal on the mat with a body scissors. Sydal switches Gibson over and locks in the Boston Crab. Gibson powers out and they trade pin attempts. Gibson decks Sydal to the apron and chokes Matt over the middle rope. Sydal lands on his feet after an attempted German suplex. Sydal plants Gibson with a tornado DDT. Sydal and Gibson trade chops in the middle of the ring. Sydal forearms Gibson followed by a clothesline. Gibson gets stopped on the middle rope as Sydal hit a standing hurricanrana for a two count. Gibson tries for a rollup and has a handful of tights, but the referee saw it and stops the count. Sydal almost wins with a rollup as Gibson was arguing with the referee. Sydal tries several rollups but Gibson kicks out at two each time. Gibson plants Sydal with a swinging neckbreaker. Gibson spikes Sydal with a spinebuster for a two count. Sydal avoids a kick to hit Gibson with a heel kick. Sydal nearly wins with a Here It Is Driver. Sydal heads to the top rope and Gibson avoids it. Gibson hits a Tiger Driver for the win. (***1/4. This show is quickly becoming one of the favorites. The quality of wrestling on this entire show has been really good. These guys worked really well together and kept a good pace throughout. The finish wasn’t all that surprising. I’ve always enjoyed Gibson’s independent run during this time and he delivered a good showing here, too.)
Seventh Contest: IWA-MS Light Heavyweight Champion Josh Abercrombie vs. Tyler Black in a tables, ladders and chairs match: Abercrombie cheap shots Black with a kick to the gut to avoid a handshake. Black quickly fights back with a heel kick. Black clotheslines Abercrombie to the apron and the champ regroups by grabbing a chair and misses a chair shot. Black gets dropkicked and Abercrombie delivers a knee strike followed by a chair assisted dropkick for a two count. Abercrombie slides a table into the ring and slides a ladder into the ring as well. Abercrombie sends Black face first into the ladder in the corner. Abercrombie sits Black down on a chair in the corner. Abercrombie puts a table and ladder in front of Black and dropkicks the ladder into Black’s chest. Abercrombie lays Black onto a table and goes to the top rope, but Black stops the champ. Black runs into a boot on the apron and Abercrombie tried for a backstabber, but Black held onto the ropes. Black puts Abercrombie through the table off the apron with a reverse DDT! Abercrombie kicks out on the cover attempt.
Black drives the ladder into Abercrombie’s midsection before ramming the ladder into Abercrombie’s face. Abercrombie has been busted wide open from that shot. Black dangerously sends Abercrombie through the ropes with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Black tries for a cover, but only manages a near fall. Black brings another chair into the match and hit a chair assisted standing moonsault and a standing shooting star press for a near fall. Black blocks a chair shot on the ladder and whacks Abercrombie with the chair. Black whacks Abercrombie with the chair a few times while standing on the top of the ladder. Black leaps off to leg drop the ladder onto Abercrombie’s face! Abercrombie gets a second wind and gets to his knees quickly. Black forearms Abercrombie several times to stagger the champion. Abercrombie lifts Black into the air and drops him over the standing ladder. Black slams Abercrombie and connects with a her leg drop. Black goes to the top rope and misses the Phoenix Splash. Abercrombie smashes Black with the chair and delivers a swinging neckbreaker onto the chair for a near fall. Black gets crotched on the ladder, which was laying over the top rope. Abercrombie DDTs Black onto a steel chair!
Abercrombie uses the chair to leg drop Black for another two count. Abercrombie sets the table up and lays Black onto it. Abercrombie goes to the top, but Black gets up to block the move. Black puts Abercrombie through the table with a top rope back suplex! Black climbs the ladder but Abercrombie stops Black and climbs the same side of the ladder. Black is able to hit a swinging neckbreaker off the ladder for a two count. Black climbs the ladder but Abercrombie again stops Black. Abercrombie climbs to the top rope and leaps off to hit a Backstabber taking Black off the ladder! Abercrombie goes for the cover, but Black doesn’t stay down! Abercrombie sets up four chairs in the middle of the ring. Abercrombie and Black stand on the chairs, but Black counters with a small package driver onto the chairs for a near fall! Black rolls another table into the ring. Black stands on the table with Abercrombie, but the table legs give out and they have to start the spot over. Abercrombie lays Black onto the tale and hits the Phoenix Splash for the win! (***3/4. That was a really good TLC matches that had a few slip ups. The match held my interest and it’s obvious that Tyler Black has loads of talent and his eventual rise in wrestling should have surprised nobody. There were a bunch of big spots and just a really good match to watch.)
Eighth Contest: IWA-MS Heavyweight Champion Jimmy Jacobs vs. Delirious: Delirious starts the match with several strikes and clotheslines Jacobs over the top to the floor. Jacobs misses a clothesline on the floor and is chopped by Delirious. They brawl into the crowd trading chops. Delirious clotheslines Jacobs several times in the corner. Jacobs falls flat on his face but pops up to his feet to chop Delirious. Jacobs yanks Delirious down to the mat by his mask. Delirious works over Jacobs with a headbutt to nearly knock Jacobs off the ropes. Delirious drops Jacobs gut first to the mat. Delirious has a chin lock on Jacobs and switches to a rollup for a near fall. Jacobs tries for a head scissors, but Delirious counters by dropping Jacobs chest first to the mat. Delirious goes to the top, but gets shoved off by Jacobs sending Delirious crashing to the floor! Jacobs stomps on Delirious several times on the floor. Jacobs nails Delirious with a running boot on the apron. Jacobs keeps control with elbow drops on Delirious for a near fall. Jacobs continues to beat on Delirious with right hands. Delirious almost wins with a rollup.
Jacobs keeps Delirious on the mat with a sleeper hold. Delirious fights out with a jawbreaker and Jacobs stumbles to a corner. Jacobs quickly recovers and works over Delirious with strikes. Delirious backdrops Jacobs and comes off the ropes with a clothesline. Jacobs sends Delirious to the apron and Delirious comes off the top with a clothesline for another near fall. Delirious goes to the top but misses a splash and Jacobs hits a sit out neckbreaker for a near fall. Jacobs drives Delirious down with a modified Un-Prettier for a two count. Delirious drop toe holds Jacobs into the and avoids a spear. Delirious delivers a running knee strike into the corner and nearly wins the match, but Jacobs gets his boot on the bottom rope. Jacobs plants Delirious with a reverse DDT. They begin to trade forearm strikes until Jacobs delivers a boot. Delirious almost wins with a sunset flip but Jacobs gets out. Jacobs tries for a Slice Bread, but Delirious crotches Jacobs on the top rope. Jacobs hits Delirious a few times with a spike on the top rope. Jacobs hits a top rope senton splash to win the match. (**1/2. A decent match and the heel run for Jacobs in IWA-MS seems to be going really well. I recall Jacobs being one of the most popular guys in the area and he’s working well as a heel. It was a fine match, and the cheating nature by Jacobs seemed to fit the match. It doesn’t over shadow the main event. I didn’t believe Delirious was going to win anyway.) After the match, James Gibson enters the ring and attacks Jacobs. Gibson says he’s going to get some revenge on Jacobs tomorrow night for all the nonsense he’s done and cheating people out. Gibson is ready for a fight, but Jacobs isn’t about to do anything. Jacobs throws his spike and does enter the ring. Jacobs bails from the ring and runs backstage.
The only way to win the main event is to say they respect their opponent.
Main Event: Chris Hero vs. Arik Cannon in an I Quit match: They start off trading chops in the middle of the ring. Hero dropkicks Cannon to the floor and follows up with a forearm strike. Cannon stops Hero with an eye rake a loud right hand. They continue to trade strikes in the crowd and around ringside. Cannon delivers several headbutts and a low blow. They are mostly just trading stiff chops and strikes on the floor for several minutes. Hero delivers a few cross face strikes, but Cannon gets up and punches Hero several times. They return to the ring where Hero scoop slams Cannon followed by a leg drop. Hero elbow strikes Cannon in the corner and delivers a leaping forearm strike. Cannon dumps Hero to the floor and delivers a baseball slide. Cannon continues to beat on Hero with quick kicks to the face. Cannon sits Hero down and delivers another chop followed by a clothesline out of the chair. Hero knocks Cannon down with a spinning heel kick out of the chair. Hero wraps Cannon’s leg around the ring post. Hero continues to kick Cannon’s left knee several times. Hero locks in a half Boston Crab, but Cannon doesn’t give up on the floor. Hero rolls through with a leg lock but Cannon isn’t giving in to the pain. Cannon breaks free and gouges into Hero’s eye. Hero uppercuts Cannon and grabs four chairs to lay them on the floor. Hero gets a fifth chair and attempts a double leg slam, but Cannon counters and begins to trade more strikes with Hero.
Cannon has Hero over the apron and hits a swinging neckbreaker onto the chairs. They return to the ring where Cannon keeps control with a modified Rings of Saturn move. Cannon drops Hero over his knee with a neckbreaker. Cannon wraps Hero’s legs together and wrenches Hero’s neck. Hero tosses Cannon over with a German suplex. Hero takes Cannon over with a snap powerslam. Cannon goes to the floor and Hero takes Cannon out with a suicide dive! Hero tosses a chair into Cannon’s injured knee several times. Hero puts a Boston Crab on Cannon, and has a chair pushing into Cannon’s neck! Hero is sitting down on the chair to add extra leverage. Hero comes off the apron to double stomp the chair onto Cannon’s knee! Hero locks in a half Boston Crab, but Cannon refuses to quit. Hero brings the action back to the ring and focuses on Cannon’s knee. Hero comes off the top rope but misses a moonsault. Hero staggers Cannon with a kick to the head. Cannon delivers a kick of his own to stagger Hero. They are trading step up kicks. Cannon avoids a shining wizard and puts the hangman’s clutch on Hero.
Hero tries for a swinging neckbreaker, but Cannon holds onto the ropes. Hero is kicked twice and drops to his knees. Cannon delivers another step up kick and tries for a cover, but there aren’t any pins for the match. They go into the crowd and begin to brawl again. Hero sends Cannon face first into the wall. Cannon kicks Hero’s knee and dropkicks Hero face first into the wall. Cannon gets tape out and begins to tape his own mouth shut. Cannon brings Hero back to the ring and delivers a few chops. Hero crotches Cannon over the middle rope. Hero grabs Cannon and hits a Hero’s Welcome! Hero locks in a modified Texas Cloverleaf. Cannon is tapping out, but his mouth is taped shut. Cannon elbows to avoid a back suplex and takes Hero over with his own side suplex. Hero takes Cannon down and locks in the Hangman’s Clutch. Cannon’s tape has come off his mouth and Cannon is forced to say he quits. After the match, Cannon tells Hero that he respects Hero. Hero offers his hand and Cannon appears to be conflicted. Cannon shakes Hero’s hand but then spits in Hero’s face and then limps away. (**1/4. The match dragged on for a while since they mainly did the same stuff over and over again. There were even people in the crowd that got frustrated with the constant stiff shots on the floor. I’d consider this to be a disappointing match and I wish it went with a more violent approach instead of a bunch of submission holds and hard hitting strikes.) After the match, Hero cuts a promo about not having to prove himself anymore. Ian Rotten bans a fan in the front row for trying to steal the spotlight or something.
A really strong show by IWA-MS this time around and almost all the matches were entertaining. This surpassed my expectations and was full of quality wrestling instead of over the top hardcore wrestling. The show showed me that IWA-MS is capable of having strong wrestling shows without the need of death match wrestling. I’ll give this a strong recommendation.
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.