Written by: Bob Colling
International Wrestling Cartel presents A Call To Arms
From: Johnstown, PA
Opening Contest: Chris Hero vs. Sonjay Dutt: Hero takes Dutt down to the mat with a wrist lock, but Dutt counters with a wrist lock of his own. Hero twirls Dutt around with a go-behind. Dutt uses his speed to overwhelm Hero, but gets shoved down. Dutt arm drags Hero a few times and connects with a dropkick. Dutt clotheslines Hero over the top to the floor. Dutt takes Hero out with a somersault dive over the top to the floor. Hero plants Dutt with an STO to gain control of the contest. Hero focuses his offense on the left arm of Dutt. Hero drives Dutt down with a backbreaker for a near fall. Hero stomps on Dutt and taunts the fans. Hero knocks Dutt down to the mat with a clubbing blow to the back. Hero stops Dutt with a jawbreaker and flips off the middle rope to deliver an arm breaker for a near fall. Dutt locks in an octopus lock in the middle of the ring. Hero drops Dutt throat first over the top rope. Hero hits a sit out hammerlock slam for a near fall. Dutt nails Hero with a step-up kick to the head. Dutt dropkicks Hero and hits a standing hurricanrana. Dutt nearly wins after a head scissors. Hero plants Dutt with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Hero connects with a release suplex for a near fall. Hero misses a splash and Dutt connects with a few splashes in the corner. Dutt spikes Hero with a tornado DDT and hits the Hindu Press for the clean win. (***. They got around six minutes and they made the most out of it. Hero showcased some fine power moves, which Dutt sold really well. Dutt was impressive with his offense and his finishing move is fantastic. I thought this was a good way to start the show.)
Second Contest: Dennis Gregory & T. Rantula vs. Bubba The Bulldog & Jimmy Vegas: Bulldog and Gregory kickoff the tag match. Bulldog shoulder blocks Gregory, but is met with a hip toss and quickly calls for a timeout. Gregory shoulder blocks Bulldog a few times and tags in Rantula. Rantula keeps arm control on Bulldog with a wrist lock. Rantula leg drops Bulldog on the arm, but Bulldog fires back with strikes. Vegas tags in after Bulldog got control in the corner. Vegas stomps on Rantula in the corner followed by right hands. Bulldog returns to the match trying to clothesline Rantula and finally manages to knock Rantula down for a near fall. Rantula chops Bulldog in the corner and Gregory tags back in to work over Bulldog with strikes. Gregory splashes Bulldog in the corner and tries for a scoop slam. Bulldog counters with a low blow and chokes Gregory over the middle rope. Bulldog misses a splash in the corner and Gregory almost gets a three count on a rollup. Vegas returns to the match with a front face lock on Gregory. The referee doesn’t see a tag because of Bulldog causing a distraction. Bulldog kicks Gregory coming off the ropes and hits a side slam for a two count. Gregory stops Bulldog with a neckbreaker and both men are down. Gregory almost wins with another rollup off the ropes. Gregory stops Bulldog on the middle rope, but Bulldog manages to hit a bulldog off the middle rope. Bulldog tries for a suplex, but Gregory counters and hits a superkick. Rantula cleans house with clotheslines and strikes Bulldog in the corner several times. Rantula is double teamed in the corner for a few moments. Rantula is clotheslined over the top to the floor. Gregory gets back in the ring and hammers away on Vegas with several right hands. All four men are on the floor brawling around ringside. Rantula gets back into the ring before the count of ten and Rentula wins the match for his team. Gregory decked Vegas with a ring bell shot to the head. (*1/4. It’s a mostly basic encounter with nothing really standing out at all. The count-out finish was a flat finish, as well. I understand the placement of the match since there’s a lot of other strong matches still to take place and this can cool down the crowd from a fun opener.)
Third Contest: Sebastian Dark vs. Shirley Doe in a no disqualification match: Dark goes after Doe before the bell with right hands in the corner. Dark sends Doe to the floor and Dark continues to keep control with strikes around ringside. Dark misses a slingshot crossbody attempt and hits the floor. Doe has a chair and smashes Dark over the head with it. Doe forearms Dark around ringside and sends Dark into the railing. They make their way up the aisle where Doe scoop slams Dark on the floor. Doe gets a running head start, but Dark avoids a clothesline to hit a German suplex on the floor. Dark rolls Doe into the ring and continues to hammer away on Doe. Dark kicks Doe in the corner and keeps a leg lock on the mat followed by a leg drop to the knee. Doe almost wins with an inside cradle. Dark hits Doe with a chair over the knee on the apron. Dark whacks Doe over the head with a steel chair shot. Dark misses a superkick and Doe puts a cobra clutch on Dark. Doe connects with a cutter for a near fall. Doe tries for a DDT, but Dark counters with a double arm DDT for a near fall as Doe stops the referees arm from hitting the mat. Dark misses a top rope moonsault and Doe hits a neckbreaker out of a suplex attempt for a near fall. Doe waits in the corner missing a shining wizard as Dark spits in Doe’s face. Dark hits a Torture Rack slam for the win. (*1/2. The most hardcore aspect of this match was a couple of unprotected chair shots to the head for both men. I wouldn’t say the match was all that bad because it did hold my interest. I think the match should have had some more violence to it.) After the match, they literally run backstage to continue their brawling.
Fourth Contest: Alex Shelley, Dean Radford, JT Rodgers & Troy Lords vs. Al B. Damn, Eric Xtsay, Jimmy Jacobs & Super Hentai in an elimination match: All eight men are in the ring brawling to start the contest. Jacobs and Damn hit dropkicks and stereo somersault dives to the floor on opposite sides. Hentai dives off the top onto Shelley outside the ring. Xtsay leaps off the apron and hits Lords on the floor. Shelley and Jacobs are in the ring to start the match. Jacobs head scissors Shelley and tries for a hip toss, but Shelley yanks Jacobs down to the mat. Jacobs hip tosses Lords followed by chops and bites his forehead. Jacobs slams Lords and Damn press slams Jacobs onto Lords followed by a leg drop for a two count. Damn nails Lords with a leaping back elbow followed by a snap suplex. Lords spikes Damn with a brainbuster. Lords clotheslines Damn in the corner and tags in Rodgers, who drops Damn over the top turnbuckle. Rodgers plants Damn with a cutter for a two count. Rodgers kicks Damn in the midsection for a near fall. Damn misses a kick and Rodgers plants Damn with a sit out front slam. Radford connects with a big boot on Damn. Radford plants Damn with a spinebuster for a near fall. Damn drops Radford over his knee face first and both men are down. Hentai tags in and clotheslines Rodgers a few times and a scoop slam. Hentai uppercuts Rodgers a few times. Hentai tries for a couple of suplexs, but Rodgers blocks it. Hentai locks in the Iron Maiden and Rodgers submits for the first elimination.
Jacobs clotheslines Lords for a two count. Jacobs tries for a neckbreaker, but Lords counters and drops Jacobs with a brainbuster for another elimination.
Xtsay plants Lords with a side slam, but Lords delivers a low blow and tags in Shelley. Xtsay connects with a double clothesline and tags in Hentai. Hentai hammers away on Lords and is met with a kick from Shelley. Hentai takes Shelley over with a northern lights, but Shelley low blows Hentai and gets a cradle on Hentai to get a three count and eliminate Hentai.
Damn enters to nail Shelley with a spinning heel kick. Radford enters and Damn hits a head scissors to send Radford into the corner. Damn goes to the top turnbuckle across the ring and dropkicks Radford in the corner. Shelley hits the Shell Shock on Damn for another elimination.
Xtsay comes up from behind on Shelley, but Lords kicks Xtsay from behind on the previously injured leg that Xtsay had. Lords delivers a DDT to the left leg. Lords knee drops Xtsay on the knee and goes to the top rope to deliver a knee drop for a near fall. Lords knee lifts Xtsay and misses a splash in the corner. Xtsay plants Lords with the STD for an elimination.
Shelley dropkicks Xtsay on the injured knee and delivers a kick to the knee. Shelley puts a modified figure four, but Xtsay chops his way free from the submission hold. Shelley continues to focus his attack on the knee. Xtsay jabs Shelley followed by a few clothesline. Xtsay accidentally clotheslines the referee allowing Shelley to deliver a superkick. Hentai comes out and hits a spinning tombstone on Shelley. Hentai slides a table into the ring and they setup the table up. Shelley is laid on the table and Xtsay leaps off the middle rope to splash Shelley through the table! Xtsay covers Shelley for another elimination. Radford and Xtsay are left in the match. Radford waits on the floor and slides into the ring hitting a Death Valley Driver managing to pin Xtsay for the win. (**1/4. These kinds of matches tend to bore me, but the action was consistent enough here to keep me entertained me. They followed the same formula of quick eliminations once they began. So, that was a bit of a bummer. It’s a fine undercard match, though.)
Fifth Contest: IWC Super Indy Champion Colt Cabana vs. AJ Styles: Cabana cleanly backs away in the corner. They counter each other with wrist locks and exchange mat wrestling holds. Cabana keeps control of the contest with a headlock. Cabana keeps Styles on the mat with a top wrist lock, but Styles breaks free and kicks Cabana a few times. Cabana leg sweeps Styles, but Styles pops right back up and they trade wrist locks. Cabana puts a head scissors on Styles for a few moments. Styles dropkicks Cabana coming off the ropes and connects with a knee drop off the ropes for a two count. Styles floats over Cabana but is met with a backdrop. Cabana knee strikes Styles in the corner and tosses Styles to the floor. Styles almost wins with a slingshot sunset flip into the ring. Cabana hits a swinging neckbreaker over the middle sending Styles to the floor. Cabana takes Styles out with a springboard moonsault to the floor! Cabana heads to the top rope hitting a crossbody into the ring for a near fall. Styles puts Cabana down with a gut buster for a two count. Styles plants Cabana with a neckbreaker out of a vertical suplex attempt for a near fall. Styles puts a Muta Lock on Cabana, but doesn’t get a submission. Cabana drops Styles with a backbreaker and they collide on stereo crossbody attempts.
They begin to trade strikes in the middle of the ring until Styles nails Cabana with a pele kick. Cabana sits Styles on the top rope, but Styles almost wins with a sunset flip. They trade a few pin attempts. Styles hits a springboard reverse DDT for a near fall. Cabana blocks a DDT attempt with a bearhug and hits a sit-out double arm suplex for a near fall. Cabana tries for the Styles Clash, but Styles rolls through. Cabana elbows Styles and manages to counter a crucifix with a rollup for the win. (***. A solid encounter between these and actually better than I was expecting it to be. Cabana didn’t rely on comedy and provided some fun offense throughout the contest. The finish was a little flat and I think a stronger finish would have done better for the match overall. It’s a huge win for Cabana considering Styles was just NWA World Champion and defeating Luger on TNA just weeks prior.)
Sixth Contest: Raven vs. Shane Douglas in a street fight: Raven blows snot into a towel and wipes his butt before tossing it at Douglas. Douglas backs Raven into a corner and cleanly backs away. Douglas eye rakes Raven followed by rubbing the dirty towel into Raven’s face. Douglas chokes Raven with a towel and yells at the crowd. They go to the floor where Douglas sends Raven into the ring post shoulder first. Douglas hammers away on Raven with a few strikes. Douglas whacks Raven over the back with a piece of the railing. Douglas chokes Raven with the railing and jabs Raven in the midsection. Douglas misses a shot against the ring post. Douglas rolls Raven back into the ring to continue the match. Raven low blows Douglas to stop his momentum. Raven delivers a jawbreaker and they both remain on the mat until Raven gets a one count on a cover attempt. Douglas low blows Raven and steps on Raven’s groin. Raven hits Douglas with the railing on the floor and uses the railing to hit Douglas in the groin. Raven drops Douglas groin first over the guard railing. Raven has a wooden chair and drop toe holds Douglas onto the chair for a two count. Raven misses a chair shot in the corner and Douglas knocks Raven to the floor. They brawl into the crowd. Douglas hits Raven with a paper cup.
Raven sends Douglas into several empty chairs in the crowd. They make their way back into the ring. Raven jabs Douglas followed by a clothesline and a running clothesline off the ropes. Raven knee lifts Douglas to the mat and delivers a splash followed by a running bulldog out of the corner for a near fall. Raven tries for a DDT, but Douglas attempts a belly to belly. Douglas rams Raven into the referee in the corner, but Raven still hits the DDT. There’s no referee on the pin attempt. Douglas decks Raven with a chain around his fist. Douglas covers and pins Raven to win the match. (*1/2. This isn’t anywhere near the quality of match they provided during their TNA feud just a few months earlier. It felt like they were going through the motions and it wasn’t very good. A cheap finish just added to the disappointing match.)
Seventh Contest: Dr. Feelgood vs. Carlton Kaz: I would be lying if I knew who either one of these guys are. Feelgood is a hometown guy, apparently. They mess up a monkey flip in the early moments of the match. Kaz delivers a back suplex managing a two count. Kaz sends Feelgood into the corner back first a few times. Kaz puts a reverse Cloverleaf on Feelgood, but doesn’t get a submission. Feelgood sends Kaz into the corner chest first and almost wins with a rollup. Feelgood starts his comeback with a backdrop and a powerslam for a near fall. Feelgood nearly wins with a northern lights suplex. Kaz kicks Feelgood into the ropes, but Feelgood manages to lock in a Sharpshooter to win the match by submission. (DUD. Two green wrestlers working a sloppy match to seemingly fill time. They were bound to fail.)
Eighth Contest: IWC Tag Team Champions Glenn Spectre & M-Dogg 20 vs. Hijinx, Devil Bhudakahn & Jake Garrett in a handicap match: I have honestly no ides who the challengers are in this match. Spectre controls Garrett early on with mat wrestling and tags in Dogg. Hijinx gets the tag and taunts the crowd by flexing. Dogg shoulder blocks Hijinx followed by a monkey flip. They both miss somersault leg drops and have a standoff. Hijinx arm drags Dogg, but Dogg comes back with an arm drag of his own and another standoff. Dogg hits a standing hurricanrana and keeps a wrist lock on Hijinx until Spectre tags in. Spectre puts an inverted surfboard on Hijinx. Hijinx stops Spectre with a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Hijinx side slams Spectre and Devil hits a slingshot elbow drop from the apron. Devil hits a tilt a whirl backbreaker on Spectre for a near fall. Devil boots Spectre in the corner, but Spectre gets a backslide for a near fall. Spectre locks in a submission hold, but Devil doesn’t submit. Spectre is driven down with a double backbreaker for a two count. Garrett hits a chokeslam into a backbreaker for a two count. Garrett drives Spectre into the corner back first to keep control of the contest. Spectre forearms Garrett for a near fall to counter a backdrop attempt. Dogg is yanked off the apron to prevent a tag for Spectre as the challengers keep control. Garrett has Spectre over his knee as Hijinx hit a top rope leg drop for a two count.
Hijinx hits a swinging neckbreaker over the middle rope to send Spectre falling to the floor. Hijinx kicks Spectre a few times on the back of the head. Hijinx gut wrenches Spectre for a two count. Hijinx puts an abdominal stretch on Spectre, but doesn’t get a submission. Spectre plants Hijinx with a sit out spinebuster and both men are down. Devil gets tagged in and Dogg cleans house on all the heels. Dogg forearms everyone and beats on Devil in the corner as Spectre returns to the ring. Spectre and Garrett go to the floor following a spear by Spectre, but the camera missed it. Hijinx dives out onto Spectre on the floor. Dogg takes everyone out with the M-Dogg Driver on the floor. Devil gets in the ring and tries for a dive, but Spectre cuts Devil off with a forearm. Spectre hits a release tiger suplex and Dogg hits a top rope shooting star press for the win. (*1/4. Spectre and Dogg carried this match and I think nobody really cared for the challengers at all. Considering we have two major matches left, I’m not surprised this was used to kind of cool off the crowd a bit.)
Ninth Contest: IWC World Champion Sterling James Keenan vs. CM Punk: Punk wants to shake hands, but Keenan isn’t interested. Punk shoulder blocks Keenan for a one count a few times causing the champ to bail to the floor. Keenan boots Punk in the midsection and they trade chops with Punk getting the advantage. Punk misses a chop coming off the ropes and they counter each other on full nelson attempts. Punk almost wins with a rollup and hip tosses Keenan, but is kicked away. They try for dropkicks and have a standoff. Keenan now wants to shake hands. Keenan fakes Punk out and kicks Punk in the nuts to send the challenger rolling to the floor. Keenan beats on Punk with strikes around ringside. Keenan sends Punk into the apron face first and they return to the ring. Keenan keeps a neck vice on Punk. Keenan absorbs a chop and eye rakes Punk against the ropes. Keenan connects with a back suplex. Keenan cheap shots Punk with a strike to the groin and Punk rolls to the floor. Keenan forearms Punk on the floor and return to the ring. Punk hammers away on Keenan, but another eye rake stops him. Keenan stops Punk with a neck vice on the mat. Keenan chokes Punk over the top rope. Punk fights back with strikes and hops in the corner, but a low blow stops his momentum.
Keenan monkey flips Punk out of the corner. Keenan fist drops Punk, but Punk battles back with a superkick and both men are laid out. Punk decks Keenan with a clothesline a few times. Punk drops Keenan with a neckbreaker and a leaping lariat for a two count. Punk knee lifts Keenan and hits a dropkick for a two count. Punk hits a hammerlock clothesline for a near fall. Keenan ducks a clothesline to hit a dragon suplex. Punk connects with a hammerlock DDT for a near fall. Punk tries for a slam, but the referee is knocked down. Punk drops Keenan with a cutter. The referee is knocked down and Punk checks on him. Keenan goes to the top rope missing a missile dropkick. Punk locks in the Texas Cloverleaf, but the referee doesn’t see Keenan tap out. Keenan spikes Punk with the NK Ultra, but Punk kicks out at two. Keenan argues with the referee, but Punk comes up from behind and gets a rollup for a near fall. Keenan boots Punk in the corner and gets a backslide with his feet on the ropes for the cheap win. (**3/4. I tend to not enjoy Keenan’s matches, but this was actually entertaining for the most part. It may also help that I enjoy Punk’s indie career, but I’ll give the benefit to Keenan too. The finish is a little lackluster, but the action overall was solid enough to be considered enjoyable.)
Mick Foley is the special referee for the next match. Bubba The Bulldog and Jimmy Vegas are at ringside because Bulldog believes he is owed money for training Foley and Dusty. I guess he’s delusional.
Main Event: Jerry Lawler vs. Dusty Rhodes: Rhodes works over Lawler with elbow strikes and jabs a few times. Lawler complains to Foley about the strikes. Foley pulls Lawler off Rhodes in the corner. Rhodes scoop slams Lawler and Lawler quickly backs up against the ropes. Rhodes elbow strikes Lawler coming out of the corner. Rhodes backs Lawler into the corner and delivers a right hand in the corner. Lawler has something in his hand behind his back as Rhodes wants to do a test of strength. Lawler passed it off to Bulldog on the floor to avoid being caught. They are really stalling with this test of strength spot. Lawler finally hits Rhodes with the object to the throat. Lawler keeps control with stomps on the apron. Rhodes is attacked by Bulldog and Vegas on the floor while Foley was distracted. Lawler works over Rhodes with strikes on the mat, but Rhodes gets to his feet and staggers around the ring. Lawler continues to use the object, but passes it off to Bulldog. Bulldog helps choke Rhodes from the apron. Lawler continues to keep control with strikes in the corner. Rhodes fights back with a series of jabs and an elbow smash. Rhodes decks Lawler with another right hand. Lawler is given the object by Bulldog, but Foley finally gets possession of the object. Rhodes works over Lawler in the corner with right hands. Lawler takes Rhodes down with his feet on the ropes, but Foley sees it. Foley shoves Lawler back and Lawler trips over Rhodes allowing Rhodes to pin Lawler with a rollup. After the match, Bulldog and Vegas attack Rhodes. Foley gets Mr. Socko out and puts it on Bulldog and Vegas. Rhodes helps out with elbow strikes to the heels. Foley shoves Socko into Lawler’s mouth and Rhodes delivers an elbow smash to end the show. (DUD. What would you expect from these two legends at this point? It was slow and they stalled a bunch. They kept it to mostly strikes and failed to be entertaining in any aspect. Obviously the draw is to see them live and not really to see a classic match between the two of them.)
I’ve had this show for the better part of fifteen years and I just for whatever reason never put it in to watch. Maybe it’s an instance of if I watch it, I know I’ll never watch it again. The main draw for me was the Douglas/Raven and Styles/Cabana matches. Styles/Cabana delivered and the title match was solid enough between Keenan and Punk. The opener between Hero and Dutt was a fun way to start the show, but the show just never found a groove. As a result, I can’t recommend the show.
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.