Written by: Bob Colling
IWA-MS presents Homecoming
From: New Albany, IN
Opening Contest: Tracy Brooks vs. Mickie Knuckles in a number one contenders match for the NWA Midwest Women’s Championship: They shake hands to show respect for each other. Early on, they trade some standing holds until they have a standoff. They both get two counts following rollup attempts. Brooks gets the first offense of the match working over Knuckles with stomps on the mat. Knuckles side slams Brooks and continues with kicks. Knuckles barely hits Brooks with a seated dropkick. Brooks clotheslines Knuckles out of the corner. Knuckles decks Brooks with a discus forearm shot and an arm breaker. Brooks fights back with a few clotheslines. Brooks tosses Knuckles with a gut wrench suplex for a two count. Knuckles puts Brooks on the top turnbuckle. Brooks shoves Knuckles off the middle rope and Knuckles is able to hit a middle rope belly to belly suplex. Knuckles drops Brooks with a shining wizard for the win. (*1/2. Not a bad start to the show, I’d say. Knuckles is still quite green, but they kept the action simple and was mildly entertaining for what it was. I didn’t think Brooks had a chance to win this match.) After the match, they shake hands and embrace on the floor.
Second Contest: Danny Daniels vs. Steve Stone: Early on, they trade a few quick pin attempts. Stone works over Daniels in the corner with strikes. Daniels works over Stone’s left knee and tries for a Boston Crab, but Stone isn’t giving up. Daniels works over Stone’s knee after slamming his leg over the bottom rope. Stone misses a dropkick and Daniels locks in a Boston Crab again. Stone plants Daniels with a sit out spinebuster for a two count. Daniels counters a suplex and nearly wins with a rollup. Stone hits a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Stone puts a chin lock on Daniels but doesn’t get a submission. Daniels low blows Stone to avoid a splash. Daniels drops Stone with a big boot. Daniels drops Stone with a gut buster. Daniels delivers a swinging gut buster for a two count. Stone nearly wins with White Out (Flatliner). Daniels avoids a top rope moonsault and they trade pin attempts. Daniels low blows Stone and goes back to the Boston Crab but Fannin gets on the apron. Daniels gets distracted and sends Stone to the floor. Daniels leaps off the top and takes Fannin and Stone out with a somersault dive on the floor. Daniels hits a top rope hurricanrana in the ring but Stone kicks out at two. Stone gets a rollup on Daniels and has a handful of tights for the win. (*. I didn’t think this was all that good and Daniels is far better playing a heel role. This wasn’t holding my interest and I hope that Daniels doesn’t have a long run as a face.)
Third Contest: CM Punk vs. Claudio Castagnoli: Early on, they trade arm control until Castagnoli rolls on the mat to break free from the hold. Punk keeps a side headlock on Claudio for a few moments. Punk monkey flips Castagnoli and follows up with a scoop slam. Punk backdrops Castagnoli and plays to the crowd. Claudio sends Punk face first into the middle turnbuckle to get control of the match. Castagnoli knocks Punk to his knees with an uppercut to the back. Castagnoli uppercuts Punk several times in the corner. Punk fights back with several strikes, but Claudio stops Punk with a neckbreaker. Claudio drives Punk down across his knee back first out of a neckbreaker. Claudio chokes Punk with his own arms but Punk doesn’t stay down for too long. Claudio hits a backstabber to keep Punk on the mat. Castagnoli goes to the top rope, but Punk cuts him off. Punk hooks Claudio and hit a superplex. Punk continues his offense with chops and a flying forearm. Punk nearly wins the match following a clothesline. Punk gets a two count with an inside cradle. Castagnoli decks Punk with an uppercut for a two count. Punk connects with a shining wizard and brings Claudio to the top rope. Punk hits the Pepsi Plunge for the win! (**1/4. The comedy feel wasn’t all that good at the start, but this ended up being a decent match and the Pepsi Plunge is a great finishing move. Probably a killer on the knees, but the setup for the move was done well and the closing two minutes of the match were entertaining.)
Trik Davis was supposed to be competing in the next match, but after an interview segment that I couldn’t really hear, Corporal Robinson was inserted into the match.
Fourth Contest: Rollin’ Hard vs. Corporal Robinson in an IWA-MS Rules match: Hard tosses Robinson into empty chairs in the crowd and there is several moments of more brawling. Hard hog ties Robinson on the floor, but undoes that quickly for a chin lock on the floor. Hard avoids a spin kick by Robinson and hits a sloppy looking TKO. They just go to the floor and Hard works over Robinson with chair shots. Hard plants Robinson with a side slam in the ring. Jim Fannin gets on the apron to hold Robinson. Hard almost hits Fannin, but Robinson superkicks a sign into Hard’s face for a two count as Fannin pulled the referee out. Robinson stalks towards Fannin on the floor and Hard takes Robinson out with a spear into empty chairs for a two count. This match has been going on for ten minutes and I’m not sure why it has lasted that long. Robinson counters a Samoan Drop with an inverted DDT. Robinson takes out Fannin on the apron and hits a cobra clutch leg sweep for the win. (1/4*. It was just boring and not very interesting at all. I was shocked there wasn’t any blood loss and the overall brawling was lackluster.)
Fifth Contest: Arik Cannon vs. Ian Rotten: They trade shots early on with Cannon dangerously pulling Rotten to the floor by his arm. They exchange a few headbutts and Rotten staggers Cannon with an uppercut followed by a double knee strike. Cannon wraps Rotten’s arm around the ring post. Rotten sends Cannon to the floor with a head scissors while Ian was on his back. Cannon misses a running strike and hits the ring post face first. Rotten tosses Cannon with an overhead suplex. Cannon tosses Rotten into the ring post a couple of times leading to a two count. Cannon tries for a cross arm bar, but Rotten doesn’t give in. Rotten decks Cannon with a stiff shot to the face. Cannon wraps Rotten’s arm around the bottom rope. Cannon tries to get a submission, but Rotten counters getting a leg lock for a brief moment. Rotten drops Cannon with a headbutt and Ian also drops to the mat. Cannon gets another submission on Rotten, but isn’t able to get a submission. Ian nails Cannon with a clothesline, but Cannon takes Rotten down to the mat and tries for an arm submission. Cannon nails Rotten with a shining wizard to win the match. (1/4*. That match sucked.) After the match, Steve Stone, Cash Flo, and Rollin’ Hard enter the ring to attack Rotten. Bryan Danielson comes out and puts Cattle Mutilation on Rotten for some reason. The good guys exit the locker room and make the save.
Sixth Contest: NWA Midwest X-Division Champion Matt Sydal vs. Nate Webb: Neither man is able to get a clear cut advantage as they exchange some mat wrestling holds. They have a standoff after Sydal doesn’t get a submission with an ankle lock. There’s another standoff after a few arm drags. Eddie Kingston and Jack Marciano make their way out to the ringside area and are mocking the guys in the ring. They Eddie and Jack sit in the front row to watch the action. Sydal sends Webb to the floor and Webb has a confrontation with Eddie and Jack. Sydal rolls to the floor and all four men are bickering. Sydal nails Webb with a spinning heel kick for a two count and then yells at Eddie and Jack. Webb drives Sydal down with the mat with a slam for a two count. Jack and Eddie get on the apron but are ejected by the referee. Eddie and Jack slide into the ring and attack both Sydal and Webb leading to a tag match.
Seventh Contest: Matt Sydal & Nate Webb vs. The Wild Cards (Eddie Kingston & Jack Marciano): Webb and Sydal hit dropkicks to send them to the floor and take Eddie and Jack out with dives to the floor. Kingston and Marciano work over Sydal and Webb with strikes in the corner for the early advantage. Webb head scissors Marciano to the floor and plays to the crowd. The bell sounds and the match officially begins with Marciano working over Sydal until Webb hit a missile dropkick. Webb takes Marciano out with a somersault splash in the corner, but misses a second attempt. Webb comes off the top, but Marciano takes Webb to the mat. Webb is taken down with a Hart Attack, which looked really sloppy. Kingston drives Webb to the mat with a vertical suplex. Marciano counter a crossbody attempt by powerslamming Webb to the mat for a near fall. Webb continues to be double teamed by the heel duo. Webb takes Marciano down with a suplex, when he could have easily made a tag instead.
Sydal and Kingston are tagged in and Sydal hammers away on Kingston before dumping him to the floor. Sydal tosses Marciano across the ring with a release German suplex for a two count. Webb and Sydal hit stereo spin kicks for a two count. Webb is sent to the floor as Marciano works over Sydal with strikes. Sydal kicks Kingston away and hit a reverse leg drop slam on Marciano, but Kingston decks Sydal with a big boot allowing Marciano to get the cheap win. (*1/2. There were a few sloppy moments and wasn’t all that great. I’d much rather have had seen the original singles match between Webb and Sydal. It felt like a weird decision to put the heels over in this match.)
Eighth Contest: JC Bailey vs. Cash Flo: Flo dumps Bailey through the middle rope to the floor but doesn’t followup with the advantage. Flo continues to work over Bailey after an eye poke and chokes JC over the bottom rope. Flo drives Bailey down to the mat with a back suplex. Flo scoop slams Bailey and delivers a forearm strike. Flo delivers a backbreaker and a press slam. Fannin chokes Bailey over the middle rope and Flo kicks Bailey. Flo plants Bailey with a spine buster for a two count. Flo yanks Bailey off the ropes to drop JC down to the mat. Bailey dropkicks Flo to the floor and takes Flo out with a suicide dive. Bailey scoop slams Flo and heads to the top rope. Bailey hits a missile dropkick and hits top rope leg drop for the win. (1/2*. Another match that I didn’t really care for. Flo isn’t too bad in the ring, but the story was that Flo dominated and then loss after a coupe of moves. Bailey seems to be someone that the company is going to build around.) After the match, Flo wants more of Bailey. Bailey returns to the ring, but Flo leaves.
Ninth Contest: Generation Next (Alex Shelley & Roderick Strong) vs. Chris Hero & Nigel McGuiness: Strong and McGuiness kickoff the tag team match. They lockup and have a clean break after neither man is able to get a clear advantage in the corner. Strong is dropped to the mat face first before tagging in Shelley. Shelley gets control on McGuiness working over his arm on the mat. Hero gets tagged in and Shelley is driven down with a double backbreaker. Hero kicks the middle rope into Shelley’s midsection before taking Shelley down to the mat again. McGuiness returns to the match and works over Shelley’s left arm for a few moments. Shelley is able to counter McGuiness on the canvas and gets a two count. McGuiness gets a knuckle lock before coming off the top rope with an arm drag and Hero tags in. Shelley is driven down with a double gut buster for a two count. Hero knee drops Shelley’s left arm and attempted a submission, but changes his mind and tags in McGuiness. McGuines staggers Shelley with an uppercut. McGuiness is shoved into Strong and Shelley plants Nigel with a backbreaker to get the advantage for his team. Strong gets tagged into the match.
Strong takes McGuiness over with a suplex and leaps off the middle rope to hit an elbow drop for a two count. Shelley hits a leg lariat for a two count on McGuiness. Shelley knocks Hero off the apron and Hero gets stopped by the referee. Strong is brawling with McGuiness on the floor behind the referees back. Shelley hip tosses McGuiness and follows up with a senton for a two count. Strong and Shelley hit a neckbreaker/backbreaker combo on McGuiness. Nigel and Strong trade a few shots until Strong takes McGuiness over with a vertical suplex a couple of times. Strong locks in a chin lock, but McGuiness isn’t giving in. Shelley catapults Nigel into a big boot from Strong. Nigel tags in Hero, but the referee doesn’t see it and Strong continues to work over Nigel with strikes in the corner. Strong and Nigel exchange a few chops until Nigel drops to the mat. Shelley scoop slams McGuiness and goes to the top rope hitting a frog splash but can’t go for the cover. Strong gets tagged in and only gets a two count. Strong catapults Nigel throat first over the bottom rope. Strong hits a standing dropkick before tagging Shelley back into the match.
McGuiness counters a catapult into a big boot and sweeping Strong onto Shelley and tries to tag in Hero, but Shelley yanks Hero off the apron. Strong drops McGuiness with a dangerous looking suplex for a two count. Strong stops Nigel with a jawbreaker, but Hero gets tagged in and hammers away on Strong. Hero forearms Strong followed by a side suplex. Hero hits a running senton splash for a two count. Shelley superkicks Hero followed by the Golden Gate Swing for a two count. Hero takes Shelley over with an overhead suplex for a two count. Nigel stops Hero from hitting Shelley with a move and turns on his partner. Nigel plants Hero with an arm lock DDT. Shelley and Strong lock in a crossface and a Boston Crab for the win. (***. The match started off slowly, but this felt like an old school tag match and it held my interest throughout. They ended up working an enjoyable match and the turn by Nigel added to it.) After the match, Nigel works over Hero with Strong and Shelley. Arik Cannon comes down to the ring and gets a few shots in as well. Nate Webb and Matt Sydal make the save with steel chairs.
Tenth Contest: Bryan Danielson vs. AJ Styles: Early on, they focus on a mat wrestling base with Danielson getting the advantage until they have a standoff. Neither man is able to get control on the mat again and they have another standoff. Styles nails Danielson with a standing dropkick, which looked great. Danielson dumps Styles over the top to the floor and misses a slingshot crossbody hitting the floor. Styles hits a slingshot crossbody to the outside. Styles scoop slams Danielson followed by a knee drop for a two count. Danielson tosses Styles with a German suplex. Danielson uppercuts Styles and continues with a scoop slam and knee drop for a two count. Danielson gets a modified abdominal stretch on the mat, but isn’t able to get a submission. Danielson nails Styles with a running forearm. Danielson connects with a slingshot suplex for a near fall. Danielson knocks Styles into the ropes with an uppercut. Danielson keeps Styles on the mat with several knee strikes to the lower back. Danielson has Styles over his shoulder, but Styles counters with a backdrop. Danielson takes AJ over with a gut wrench suplex and taunts the fans.
Danielson drops Styles with an airplane spin causing both men to fall to the mat. Danielson puts Styles on the top turnbuckle but Styles counters a back suplex by landing on top. Styles forearms Danielson several times followed by clotheslines and a spin kick for a two count. Styles hits a springboard reverse DDT for a two count. Danielson counters a suplex attempt with knee strikes. Styles is able to hit a suplex turned into a neckbreaker for a two count. Styles heads to the top rope, but Danielson crotches AJ. Danielson plants Styles with a top rope back suplex for a near fall. Styles staggers Danielson with a Pele kick. They both attempt lariats and they drop to the mat. They trade several shots while kneeling on the mat. Danielson tries for a German suplex, but Styles lands on his feet. AJ tries for the Styles Clash, but Danielson gets free and locks in the Cattle Mutilation and switches to a rollup for the win! (***1/4. I enjoyed the match, which didn’t really feature many highspots at all. It was a refreshingly good wrestling match with plenty of good counters and the clean finish for Danielson was surprising, but well done. I’m usually someone that prefers at least a few highspots, but they put together an enjoyable match without the usage of any, for the most part.)
Main Event: IWA-MS Heavyweight Champion Petey Williams vs. B-Boy: They have a standoff after Boy breaks free from Williams on the mat. Williams tries to pull Boy’s hair, but Boy is bald so that doesn’t work. Petey tries for a wheelbarrow arm drag, but Boy counters for an arm bar for a moment. Williams tries for the Canadian Destroyer, but Boy shoves Williams away to avoid the move. Boy chokes Williams over the middle rope and delivers several strikes in the corner. Williams gets a two count after a side Russian leg sweep. Petey plants Boy with a neckbreaker for a two count. Williams takes Boy over with a snap suplex and a back suplex. Boy plants Williams to the mat with a spinebuster for a two count. Boy nails Williams with a standing dropkick. Boy hits a Blue Thunder Bomb, but Williams kicks out at two. Williams nails Boy with a step up kick to the head and they are both on the mat. Boy kicks Williams but Williams drives Boy chest first to the mat for a near fall. Williams splashes the corner and Boy stomps Petey. Boy is stopped by Williams in the corner and Petey gets the Sharpshooter locked in right in the middle of the ring. Boy is able to reach the bottom rope to break the hold.
Boy catches Williams in the corner, but Williams gets a rollup. Boy rolls through and nearly wins the match following a Death Valley Driver! Boy spikes Williams with a brainbuster and locks in a submission, but Williams reaches the ropes to break the hold. Boy powerbombs Williams into the corner and nearly wins the match. Petey almost wins with a rollup out of the corner and they clothesline each other. Boy avoids the Canadian Destroyer but Petey hits the Canadian Destroyer after a float over to win the match. (**. I mean, there was no interest in this match at the start. There were a few bright spots in the match, but I don’t think anyone was overly interested in the match. The action was decent but they didn’t do anything all that compelling or interesting. I’d say B-Boy was a weak challenger for this show.)
There were two entertaining matches on the show, which makes this an overall disappointing show. Danielson/Styles have done better in other promotions, so that’s not must-see or anything. Considering IWA-MS had the TPI starting the next night, this was likely just a show that lacked any importance, really. I can’t recommend this one.
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.