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IWA-MS Ted Petty Invitational 2002 Night Two 11/2/2002

Written by: Arnold Furious

November 2nd 2002. Night two! Still in Indiana. Hosts are Dave Prazak & Ian Rotten.

Here’s the bracket for round two. You’ll notice immediately it’s a lot stronger than the past two years.

Colt Cabana v Nick Mondo
BJ Whitmer v Ace Steel
Chris Hero v Jimmy Rave
Christopher Daniels v CM Punk

Colt Cabana v Nick Mondo

Cabana runs down Mondo by saying he has no place in a scientific tournament because he’s the “King of the Backyard Fucks”. Colt roars at Mondo who retorts by calling him “Goldberg”. Colt generally overpowers and uses the ropes to show his ring smart he is. Mondo keeps doing drop downs when Colt is set for him to leapfrog. Colt wins a test of strength. “AAAAAAAARGH, I OWN YOU” – Cabana. Mondo connects with a sloppy Hurricane kick. The problem with heel Colt is he spends so long jawing with the crowd that time gets wasted. Ah well, easy night for Nick Mondo. He literally could go out there and do nothing and the match would still get over. They both work in arm spots with Colt starting it and Mondo countering. Mondo uses the rules, or lack thereof, of IWA-MS to his advantage by tying Cabana’s arm up in the ropes then abusing it. Colt retorts by dumping Mondo arm first on the ropes. The problem with working body parts in the Indies is no fucker will sell it. Well, not guys that like their highspots. Guys like Hero, sure, which is why his angle works better than anyone else working body parts. Colt lays in some weak chops. Mondo retorts with his own weak chops so Colt slaps him in the Shades of Wilbur Snyder. Again there’s an issue because Colt can’t seem to stay focused on one body part. That kinda makes the whole match a series of rest holds rather than something to do with psychology. Mondo won’t sell anything anyway as demonstrated by him popping right back up and hitting a slingshot senton to the floor. Literally zero selling of the ribs from the stretch. Colt goes after the leg because that’s new. Mondo kicks him off with the Enzuigiri. Mondo hits his double stomp off the top but if Webb kicked out than Colt will too. They go up top and Colt hits a backbreaker off the top for 2. Not sure that even has anymore impact than usual. Especially as Colt was worried about his knee and moved it before the impact. Mondo escapes the Colt 45 once but not the second time. At least the impact on both those big moves was the same area. **1/2. More selling from Mondo would have been nice. Prazak lies about Colt working the same body part all match. Short term memory failure!

BJ Whitmer v Ace Steel

These guys don’t like each other anyway so we start with a brawl on the floor. Ace looks way more intense so wins on the floor until BJ ducks and Steel chops the ring post. Ah, that old chestnut. That’s another spot that gets used a lot but never goes anywhere. Ace is immediately using that hand just moments later. BJ tries for a spinning heel kick but Ace just puts his arms in the way to block and hits a neckbreaker over the knee. Steel seems to have that little more intensity, which is surprising after already winning this thing last year. You’d think he’d maybe have less desire having already triumphed once. Ace is being a strongstyle jerk here, which makes him a winner in my book. He just pounds BJ into submission, not literally, with a series of kicks and knees to the head. One of BJ’s major issues is he does AJPW selling without the body to back it up. He does that again here just popping up after all that abuse and hitting a release German suplex. For me you need a body that looks like it’s capable of absorbing abuse in order to absorb abuse. And even then if your opponent targets your head then no selling is pretty much not an option. They continue to beat each other up, which is tremendous fun to watch. They trade on submission attempts and I think I prefer Whitmer’s camel clutch over Ace’s standing Octopus. If only Ace was a little more thoughtful in his selection of moveset he could go far. Still. This is fucking 6 years ago and Ace still hasn’t really done anything with that given talent whereas Punk who was behind him at this point is running around the WWE like a superstar. Ace does a great counter here sneaking out of the camel clutch and sneaking his way into a Tiger Driver and you know I love that move. Ace wants the Gorybuster but BJ counters out into a brainbuster for 2. BJ goes up top and hangs his head low so Ace can dropkick him to the head. That was nice and helpful of him wasn’t it? Ace wants a superplex but BJ won’t let him so they trade with forearms up top. BJ wins but Ace pops back up and hits a running forearm. NICE! Ace with a superplex and this has started getting clinical but BJ counters the cradle for the pin! ***1/4. Neat finish on a solid strongstyle match.

Jimmy Rave v Chris Hero

Hero is the story here as he’s struggling with a bad knee after his match with Matt Stryker. He’s not rocking the full on sell coming up, ala Jeff Hardy, and further disappoints me by slingshotting into the ring. See, wrestling is all about telling stories and when you’re in the middle of telling a story it’d be good if you remembered your continuity. Prazak retroactively thinks that Jimmy Rave should have lost to Tarek because Tarek “took it to him”. Erm, no. Rave absolutely schooled him and then they ran some bullshit finish. Don’t tell me its raining while you’re pissing down my back. You can’t retcon something that’s on the same DVD release. Not even the WWE goes that far. These guys start with some nice mat wrestling but ultimately I can’t help but think Rave should be working the knee. He tries to get the leg but it’s just so he can segue up to the arm via chaining, which again doesn’t focus on the injury, which hasn’t been brought up by anyone. He could barely walk out of here last night! Now he’s hitting missile dropkicks and nipping up. Honestly this whole match is just frustrating. Rave hits a pescado to showboat a bit. Hero misses a moonsault by MILES. Rave was underneath him as Hero was stood on the buckles. No one moonsaults blind like that. Either Rave moved too early or Hero shouldn’t have done the move. They trade with strikes and Rave gets killed doing it because he’s too small but then gets an armdrag and he’s looking for that cross armbreaker again. Fuck this match. I thought they’d done a great job on Hero-Stryker as well to set up the tournament and Jimmy Rave is clueless. The arm work doesn’t even look good and certainly isn’t convincing with Hero outweighing Rave by some distance. Rave with a superkick and he goes after the cross armbreaker again. Hero gets out by rolling with his weight but Rave counters into the Fujiwara armbar. Hero gets the ropes this time. Rave tries to land some combos but Hero counters into a release German suplex. Rave goes back to the arm. Looks like this match is going to have to stand alone as they’ve ignored the previous night, something I used to hate about the body part working on Smackdown. They used to pull the same shit. Continuity folks. Hero with the Cravatplex but Rave goes right back to the armbreaker. Rave gets the whirl into the Crossface and it’s on the bad arm. It wouldn’t have been unreasonable to expect a tap out there. Hero slaps some life back into his arm and hooks the Hangmans Clutch for the tap out. ***. This worked fine as a stand alone match. I’m just ticked we didn’t get any continuity with last night. Rave showed focus, albeit on the wrong body part, and Hero was willing to sell it. But now Hero is selling the arm like he was selling the leg last night. Does that mean he’ll be fine again later?

Christopher Daniels v CM Punk

Punk decides to grow a set and the TITLE IS ON THE LINE. This would become a running theme.

IWA title – CM Punk (c) v Christopher Daniels

Punk sets the mood and makes this a friendly opening with a handshake. Daniels starts out by controlling the pace. He doesn’t really want something at the same speed as his match with AJ so he kicks off with a headlock. Punk counters onto the arm and we have some very solid chaining. Daniels comes back with another headlock and we have ourselves a very simple storyline! Punk counters out to a hammerlock and I find myself mentally applauding the basic storytelling of this match. Back to the headlock and Punk counters out onto the arm again. Daniels with a drop toehold into a headlock and Punk counters out to the hammerlock. This would be wrestling in its most simplistic and yet beautiful form. Daniels counters out back into the headlock and he used a slightly different version there to keep Punk on his toes. Punk headscissors out to get into the an arm ringer. Daniels uses the ropes to flip back over and then takes back over with the headlock. 5 minutes gone of literally one hold from each guy and the counters between them. Beautiful. Obviously they decided on that as the mark for speeding up as Punk flips off the top and Daniels moves before dropping the leg. Daniels with a back suplex and all those headlocks are paying off because Punk is discombobulated. But because Punk worked the arm a lot he uses that as an out. HAMMERLOCK SLAM! A HIT, A PALPABLE HIT! Punk leaves his head out there working the arm though and Daniels gets in a quick headscissors but Punk yanks on the arm to stop it. Now they’re using all their basic offence to block more complex offence. Punk takes the arm for the TOP ROPE WALK OF DOOM! Into a legdrop across the arm. Crowd loves that. I’m pretty fond of it. Daniels comes back with a jawbreaker and this is a really smart match. I’m enjoying it. Daniels is selling the arm BIG TIME as well. He hurts himself badly hitting a shoulderblock with the wrong arm so its weaker than usual and Punk is able to get up first and dropkick the injury. They counter some more and Punk hits a lariat for 2. Punk is critical of the referee’s cadence on that count. And he’s right. He was doing the 1-2-pause-3 count that Earl Hebner does. Daniels is hurting bad but he has enough in the locker for an Enzuigiri, which knocks Punk cold because he has that head injury. Daniels is still selling the arm on everything by holding it against his body. Top stuff. So much so he uses BOTH arms on an Irish whip as to not further damage it. Daniels catches Punk with the Iconoclasm for 2. Punk punches the arm to block further abuse but then runs into the STO, which Daniels can hit with one arm. BEST…MOONSAULT…EVER, which requires no arm strength, gets 2. But his injured arm makes the Angels Wings counterable and Punk reverses out and hits the Shining Wizardoooo for 2. The selling and psychology here is mint. Punk knees the shoulder and hits a HAMMERLOCK SUPLEX for 2. Man, that was tasty. Daniels blocks the Welcome to Chicago into a near falls sequence and Punk boosts Daniels up easy with the bridge. Daniels gets out into a crucifix for 2 and they keep countering into more near falls. They must be so tired. Punk gets the CHICKENWING and he Daniels taps out because he can’t make the rope. WOW, that was fucking awesome. ****. Wonderful psychology and selling. I think that shows how bad M-Dogg 20 is. Or perhaps just how great Chris Daniels is. He starred in both rounds so far. That finish was perfect too.

POST MATCH Ian Rotten asks Daniels to come back real soon. Daniels gets the mic to say he only goes to federations that have hardcore fans so he’ll be back. Daniels tells Punk he was the better man and asks for a shot at the title down the line. The fans and Punk agree so I guess there’s a re-match somewhere. I’d love to see it if they work on the psychology like they did here. Great stuff.

Danny Daniels v Tarek the Great

This was set up on night one. Tarek charges in like a madman but Daniels is already in the ring so he has the high ground and gets the early advantage. Tarek’s half paced Rey Mysterio tributes are a little tiresome. I’d rather watch him kick people, which he does shortly afterwards making everything alright again. Daniels bails and Tarek hits a weak tope. In Japan they’d be laughing. Tarek does some slow motion countering, which Daniels counters into a wheelbarrow suplex. The hold I always thought was called an Ocean Cyclone. Tarek’s ridiculous Ric Flair tribute selling kicks in. Save your screaming for actual nasty looking moves rather than basic suplexes, please. Daniels works the back over. They counter a bit and Tarek specifically aims at the neck including hitting a weak looking neckbreaker off the ropes. Tarek with a split legged moonsault for 2. That totally worked. Daniels comes back with a wind up backbreaker for 2. Thus continuing his work on the back. Daniels goes up top thus setting himself up perfectly for the Musclebuster. Tarek can’t get it though and has to counter into the Michinoku Driver. Daniels gets his foot on the rope to survive that nasty looking head drop. Tarek goes up top with a chair but Daniels dropkicks it into his face. I like that spot. They’re screaming at each other here. Without looking it sounds like some sort of gay porn. Daniels gets a super fisherman buster. For 2. I’ve always thought that sort of kick out was a tad excessive. Daniels comes off the top but Tarek grabs that chair from before and slides it into Daniels’ face on the way down for the pin. **. It was ok but Tarek’s offence is remarkably inconsistent. Half the time it’s fine and half the time it looks like shit. Like he never quite figured out what worked for him. The chair finish turned nasty for Tarek as the chair was driven into his own head. “He might need stitches” I overhear. Ouch. He’s already in a pool of his own blood and it’s gushing out of the side of his head. Tarek shouts at the people who come to help him. “I want to walk the fuck out of here”. Ah, macho bullshit. Excellent.

Matt Stryker v Super Dragon v AJ Styles v M-Dogg 20

Ah, the old “losers” match. Stryker has Dave Prazak as a manager. They should just leave him on commentary. They split up with Dragon & Cross staying in the ring. Cross hits the massive whirl headscissors this evening. Hard to follow both sets of fighting. AJ & Stryker is pretty tidy on the mat but then equally tasty in punching. Cross comes in and AJ has to carry him around and generally show him how to stay inside his abilities. AJ happily smacks him with a spin kick and makes it look nicely smooth. AJ gets a blind tag with Cross working Stryker and they do a flip up powerbomb spot but Cross turns it into a rana and the crowd goes wild. Dragon comes in and KILLS AJ’s bad knee like a motherfucker. Ok, there’s the Super Dragon who was missing last night. He turns that into a dragon sleeper with stepover toehold. Dragon is relentless and won’t break that. Stryker tags himself in to work that knee over. Ref misses AJ on the ropes again so he has to kick out. The officials in this company vary dramatically in terms of quality. Cross comes in and manages to blow an elbow drop to the knee on AJ. AJ goes nuts on him for fucking up, as he tends to, and Dragon gets a tag. Meanwhile the crowd rags on Matt Stryker for his lack of definition between eyebrows. FEAR THE BROW! Dragon pulls out a Figure Four but AJ turns it over and then blocks the dragon whip. BUT not for long! Dragon finally gets it and that’s the second time he’s killed that knee. He goes for another but AJ clocks him with an enzuigiri. Cross comes back in with no warning and blows a standing moonsault. He then hits a cartwheel over the top into a rana on Dragon on the floor. Which Dragon has to catch and then throw himself into. Over reaching there young sir. Again. AJ & Stryker do some nice stuff until Dragon jumps back in there and lariats AJ to stop the Styles Clash. Cross dives back in but Dragon catches him with a capture double underhook brainbuster for 2. Stryker saves. He has his own brainbuster for 2. Cross with a tornado DDT. Guys start popping spots off. Cross tries for a super rana but Dragon gets in the way so he gets laid out. That was kind of a fuck up. AJ blocks another super rana into a SUPER STYLES CLASH ONTO DRAGON! Hoooo! **1/2. Fun 4-way spotfest. Not good wrestling by any stretch of the imagination but some fun little spots. M-Dogg needs to learn to reign himself in a little. Especially when he’s hanging with 3 really talented guys like this.

Semi-finals of the TPI 2002 as follows…

Colt Cabana v BJ Whitmer
CM Punk v Chris Hero

Colt Cabana v BJ Whitmer

Ian Rotten relays a story about how BJ was wrestling in IWA while he was a referee in HWA. He’s hardened himself by working in Japan as well. BJ hooks a hammerlock and Colt can’t wrestle out of it, which is weird considering how many reversals and holds he knows now. They’ve obviously been taking notes on Punk-Daniels because they work facelock/hammerlock a lot in the early going. They both go for a sucker punch at the same time, which is the joy of having two heels. They end up slapping each other instead. They work in the dancing spot, which is typical Cabana but more suited to his comedy babyface persona. They work in one of the worst ref bumps I’ve ever seen and it’s for no reason whatsoever. Colt breaks out some serious armdrags. DEEEEP armdrag the second one. They start trading on chops before BJ wins out with a whirl backbreaker. There’s a good thing about this match. Even though it’s really quite bland at least the wrestling is good. Which is a step up from the usual scrubs. Ace Steel mentions the Irish Whip and says he doesn’t know why it’s so named. Ah, I do. The Irish Whip that we know nowadays isn’t the same as the version that bore the original name Irish Whip. The original Irish Whip was the finishing hold of Irish wrestling star Daniel “Danno” O’Mahoney. It was more like a judo throw. But the name itself stuck to the modern hold where it started by the grabbing of an arm. “Whipper” Billy Watson used a modified version and the move has infiltrated wrestling since then. Over time the move has changed and the original somewhat lost. To the degree where Danno’s name is close to being lost to the history books and not even wrestlers know the origin of the hold. Sad times. These guys are still wrestling though so let’s turn our attention back to them as they run a fine mid air collision. Those don’t always look convincing but POW. Ace points out what a long show this is. Yeah, and we’re not even close to the end. Not every match needs 15 minutes folks. Colt tries hard for the Colt 45 but can’t get it and busts out the DOCTORBOMB instead for 2. That should be Colt’s WWE finish. He goes up for a moonsault but hits BJ’s knees. BJ wants the Exploder but can’t get it. He grabs the wrist…WRIST CLUTCH EXPLOIDAAAAAAA for 2. Colt’s big back allows him to kick out. A smaller man would have been ended there. COLT 45! That was very sudden. BJ gets a shoulder up. No real explanation as to why that is. BJ looks fucked. BJ pulls a dragon suplex out for the pin and for some reason Colt doesn’t just put his feet on the ropes, which were within reach, and BJ gets the duke. **3/4. If anything they gave this too much time. They struggled to tell a story with the time provided and came in with not much in terms of game plan.

Chris Hero v CM Punk

This is a long-term feud and following on from the 55 minute TLC match and 2/3 falls match. I’m really glad Punk changed his entrance music. The screaming introduction doesn’t suit him at all. Punk grabs the mic to say he has déjà vu and once again puts the title on the line. This means more because the feud has lasted a year and these guys have competed here for 2 years and been in every Sweet Science tournament. Meanwhile Punk putting the strap on the line in every round would birth a yearly tradition thus making the TPI mean that much more.

IWA title – CM Punk (c) v Chris Hero

Hero knows Punk isn’t fully recovered from his fractured skull and lamps him around the face to open this. They shake hands and Punk cheap shots Hero as a receipt but that leads into a striking war that Hero wins. They both go for dropkicks at the same time to show how evenly matched they are. They have word from the back and BJ Whitmer was injured from a head drop earlier putting the finals in doubt. Hero gets a cravat and they counter around with cravats and snapmares from one guy to the other. CRAVAT PSYCHOLOGY! Punk cartwheels around Hero’s monkey flip and there’s more recognition psychology. Punk looks tired though as he had a tough match with Chris Daniels earlier. Punk gets a bodyscissors but Hero forces the knees apart to prevent the pressure. Punk goes in with the arms as well but Hero chops his back to expose the neck then slaps on a cravat. Man, that’s good stuff. Ian Rotten returns to the commentary position to confirm that BJ Whitmer will be continuing tonight but he has a concussion. That’s really not wise. Punk & Hero switch this over into a headstand and slap each other in the face until it collapses. Punk goes for another handshake but Hero is somewhat distrustful after earlier. He goes for it anyway because he’s an idiot and Punk kicks him in the guts. Hero gets backed up and Punk wails away in the corner so they can talk. Punk breaks out the Blockbuster, the move he broke his skull doing at the Jersey J Cup, and he immediately sells the head like a champ. Meanwhile Hero has sold neither the leg nor the arm nor has Punk gone after either one, which leaves a sour taste in the mouth when you consider Punk is using the same head injury as part of his psychology for the entire night. Hero works in some headbutts seeing that head as an opening. CRAVATPLEX! Hero sells the arm when he can’t get a decent cover but Punk clearly doesn’t notice because he ignores the arm. Punk goes for the neck instead and goes for the Shining Wizard but Hero blocks it. They start trading headbutts, which isn’t smart on Punk’s part with his cracked head. Hero gets opened up during those. Punk hits a Russian legsweep with a nice floatover for 2. His floatovers are quite nice but he doesn’t use them on a regular basis. Hero is still focusing on the head with kicks and a basement dropkick. Punk is also bleeding presumably from the headbutts but that one would definitely be a bladejob. Punk does his Jackie Chan corner flip but Hero is ready for it and dumps him face first on the buckles. Hero goes for the HANGMAN’S CLUTCH. Punk struggles in the hold but you know he won’t quit. Not with his title on the line. Punk is bleeding a real gusher here. The old crimson mask. Punk with a diving rana and a split legged moonsault for 2. Punk’s flying has never been pretty but at least its better now than it was 2 years ago. WELCOME TO CHICAGO, MOTHERFUCKER! Hero looked awkward taking it. SHINING WIZARDOOOOO gets 2. Punk chops Hero so hard he ends up falling over himself. Both guys look really tired. Punk with the face wash. We’re 20 minutes in. Hero breaks out the Artful Dodger. Has he been watching old Johnny Saint tapes? Punk blocks the roll up by taking the injured arm though. AHHHH! Hero rolls out of it and they both look tired. Hero busts out the Tiger Suplex but Hero can’t cover because he hurt his own arm doing the move. Hero tries for a lariat but Punk blocks it into the CROSSFACE CHICKENWING! Hero taps out because his arm is already fucked and Punk retains and makes the finals. ***1/4. Not their best work but some nice familiarity selling.

3-way Womens match – Hailey Hatred v Rain v Lacey

Special referee is Joel Gertner. He’s real thin. “Well, well, well”. “The vernacular spectacular”. “The sexual intellectual”. Hailey nearly falls off the apron coming out here making herself look like a mug. Rain has a comedy gimmick of collecting dollar bills from the fans then stuffing them in her bra. The fans are particularly jerky by holding them up in the air so she can’t reach. Joel “frisks” Hailey. Or possibly feel her up. Lacey is the only babyface. The feeble girls attack Hailey to prevent the kind of beating they took last night. This really isn’t the best of wrestling. Rain takes a particularly awful looking Japanese armdrag. We get a 3-way chopping spot and hey, Lacey can chop! The others can’t. They run a triple bulldog spot, which is about as good as you would expect. Crowd chant “she’s a crack whore”. I think that’s aimed at Rain who’s rather skinny. She retorts by ripping Joel’s trousers off. Of all the people in the ring I didn’t want to see stripped…We get a sunset flip/German suplex spot that works quite well. It all still looks fake but they’ve at least worked in some interesting spots for the crowd to pop. Joel shoves Hailey because she stomps Lacey when she’s in the ropes. Crowd thinks she’s a man. With enormous tits? She gets crotched up top setting up a superplex/powerbomb spot. Well they’re sure using the 3-way dance playbook huh? Rain is pretty good looking but she’s a horrible wrestler. They do a terrible roll up spot that goes badly wrong. Gertner sportingly counts along. Rain blows a scoop slam. A scoop slam? Please. She pins using the ropes to eliminate Lacey. That was horrid.

Hailey jumps Rain and hits a fisherman buster. No pin. Whirl backbreaker gets 2. Rain can’t kick out right either. Hailey has had enough of Joel’s slow counting. You get the feeling there’s probably a finish in there. Hailey hits a nice Northern Lights for 2. Rain comes back with a tornado DDT for 2. Rain with a sloppy headscissors. Hailey with another fisherman buster for the pin. Probably shouldn’t have used it earlier. 1/4*. Bad.

Josh Prohibition v Ian Rotten

Is there really any need for this match? The crowd has a love of Ian that I don’t pretend to understand. Although Ian’s chaining in the opening minute is the best I’ve ever seen him do. Albeit the same bit of chaining that Hulk Hogan has down pat so anytime someone says Hogan can’t wrestle he does that. They work the mat a bit and Prohibition isn’t very strong so struggles with the countering, kayfabe, and Ian gets the better of it. Whatever happened to Josh? He was one of those up and comers that never seemed to make it anywhere. His somewhat loose chain wrestling might be a clue to that. Ian starts working the arm a bit. I get the feeling from this match that Ian wanted to prove he could work a technical style on a big technical show like this. He’s not as bad as you might think at mat wrestling but because it’s so rare that he does it there’s a lack of polish. Ian can’t go 100% pure though and uses headbutts and fish hooking. Ian’s Mutalock doesn’t have much in the way of bridge either. Josh counters into an Ace Crusher for 2. Josh heads up top but Ian moves out of the way of it and hits the double hook DDT for the win. *1/2. The mat wrestling was passable, which is a complement for Ian Rotten, and the match didn’t suck as a result. It wasn’t good either but it wasn’t bad.

POST MATCH Ian doesn’t miss an opportunity for another long-winded promo about how hard everyone works on these shows. As if this show isn’t long enough! I honestly find Ian’s heartfelt promos to be very repetitive. Fair play to him for believing in his wrestlers and in wrestling but I don’t necessarily want to hear about it every time I watch an IWA-MS tape. Especially with him cutting one at the start of night one as well. I know every wrestling promoter is a tireless self-publicist but I don’t care to listen to them either and more often than not its people I like more than Ian Rotten. As if that’s not enough he comes out AGAIN to put over the Ted Petty tournament along with Ace Steel. Here’s how you reduce the run time of an IWA show by 30 minutes; clip all Ian’s promos! Ace gets the trophy to present to the winner and walks out the door with it. Hahaha. He returns moments later. It’s now called the Vic Capri Trophy after the former IWA wrestler who was forced into retirement.

Incidentally it’s now well after midnight and we still have 2 matches to go. Punk is caked in dried blood.

TPI finals – CM Punk v BJ Whitmer

Punk catches BJ cold with a tope. Both guys have suffered knocks to the head this evening already. Punk connects with a springboard missile dropkick while the introductions are being made. Because Punk jumped ahead of the bell we don’t know if this match is for the title so Punk grabs the title and shouts “this belt is on the line”. BJ doesn’t take too kindly to that and hits a swinging neckbreaker on the belt. Crowd is very pro-Punk despite Whitmer’s efforts today. Both guys are already bushed so Whitmer goes to a chinlock pretty quickly. This is likely to suffer due to the abuse both these guys have suffered over the course of the evening. Punk fucks up the face wash and just flat out kicks Whitmer in the side of the face. I really hope that concussion is a work! Punk with a snap powerslam for 2. That’s the first near fall. BJ Whitmer had so much promise back in 2002. What happened there? He never quite stepped up to the highest level. He was in NOAH at the time and looked great. Punk is bleeding again. Whitmer hauls him up for a sit out powerbomb. Punk barely makes it over on the Jackie Chan corner flip before bouncing back up there with high crossbody for 2. Whitmer pops back up and kills Punk on the spot with a hard clothesline. “A fuck off lariat” – Ace Steel. BJ breaks out the swandive headbutt but that also hurts his own head. His selling isn’t really that great on it though. He does the Rob Van Dam “aw, my injured body part” for a few seconds then just carries on as normal. BJ counters Punk as they get back up and hits less than perfect German suplex. They’re struggling out there. Either its fatigue selling the entire tournament, which I doubt but that would be awesome, or they’re really tired and are making mistakes. Punk makes a mess of the split legged moonsault but BJ gets his knees up anyway. Punk really did have issues with doing stuff he wasn’t very good at and it took him a long while to figure that out. Punk looks a little confused in between spots and hits a Superfly Splash for 2. Again, another top rope move that doesn’t look good but he went for it anyway. BJ breaks out the EXPLOIDAAAAAAAA for 2. That was out of the blue. Punk dropkicks the knee but BJ blocks the Shining Wizard. They do some sloppy countering on the mat and Punk hooks a Texas Cloverleaf. BJ gets the ropes. That had tension. HEAD & ARM HEADDROP SUPLEX…for 2. One of Taz’s many patented suplexes. You don’t see it often because it’s a head drop. And BJ has a concussion. Shining Wizard gets 2. Oh come on now! The sheer number of head shots should now be enough for BJ to just take the count. He instead comes right back and hits a brainbuster for 2. No transition into that. That might be one of BJ’s major issues over the years is that his transitions were lacking. He goes for some rolling suplexes but Whitmer is way loose on those. He’s not loose on a fucking stiff as fuck rolling forearm to the back of the head though. SHIT ME. Now he suplexes Punk and the sonofabitch kicks out! They battle around up top and the PEPSI PLUNGE…gets 2. You’ve got to be kidding me now. Punk goes up top and gets crotched. BJ warms Punk up with some forearms. They wobble up there a little bit and BJ wins out with a BRAINBUSTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH off the top! And that friends is that. BJ gets the pin for the TPI AND the IWA-MS title. ***. The finishers were overkill because they were both fucked walking into the match. That said this was a really hard hitting match and a great effort after a night of hard work from both guys.

POST MATCH celebrations occur. Then out comes Ian Rotten to cut another promo putting over everyone. We bring out everyone in the tournament to celebrate what a great tournament it was. Punk cuts a tearful promo about coming back from a broken skull and that’s a great promo. Everyone poses around the trophy in a nice visual.

Hardcore Gauntlet match

We open with thumbtacks all over the ring and mousetraps? Prazak & Gertner on commentary. Rollin’ Hard, complete with enormous, and I mean enormous, fake afro, is out first. He has his own sign with “Kill Whitey” on it. His opponent is Necro Butcher. Necro brings the comedy with a banana skin, which Hard slips on, and back bumps into the tacks. Necro bleeds off something. #3 is 2 Tuff Tony. He can wrestle a bit but he doesn’t. Not here. Out into the crowd where Necro takes over by throwing chairs at everyone. That gets MESSY in a hurry. The others gang up on Necro. #4 is Nate Webb. He comes out to the A-Team theme music. If it was messy before he got out here it gets worse after he’s here with all 4 guys just brawling around. Tony slams Webb on a chair but its on thumbtacks. Which would have been more painful? Tony ANTIQUES the ref! Why would you bring flour out here? “Randemonium” shouts Gertner. #5 is Corporal Robinson. Necro grabs him and Webb throws a chair at him. Webb hits a TKO but does so in the tacks and thusly injures himself. Necro decides he hates Webb for making him drink all that tequila last night and hip tosses him into the ring steps. #6 is Bull Pain. That’s everyone in this match. He has a baseball bat and does the HHH sledgehammer shots with it, which looks stupid. But then he is stupid. “Fuck you fuck all you assholes” – Pain shows his extended vernacular. Bull Pain always looks like he’s been out all night partying in an S&M club. Tony, nutjob that he is, hits a corkscrew plancha. “Fuck you” – Pain. Yeah, he’s a regular mastermind. Webb goes up for a Phoenix Splash to the floor. We’re over FIVE HOURS into tonight’s show. Tony breaks out a few light tubes. Necro goes up top for a drunken dive. Necro chucks a box of tools at Robinson. The “Kill Whitey” sign hits Pain in the head. Nice of him to write it on a metal sign. Necro and Webb work a sloppy neckbreaker spot on the floor. You could see neither guy wanted to get hurt there. Tony sentons onto Pain as he’s set up on the ropes and Pain headspikes it. Webb puts ELECTRIC LIGHTS on Necro’s back then sentons onto it. HOLY SHIT! That’s not good. Hard accidentally slams the ref. Necro’s back is a mess. Webb goes for the moonsault across the ring. Pain looks to ruin it so Necro DDT’s him. CHAIRSAULT ACROSS THE RING! He lands on Pain but also connects with the kick on Robinson who was in the tree of woe. That was a neat spot. Webb goes up with a chair looking for another sick spot but Tony German superplexes him off the top. Hard with a DVD on Necro. Although there was a set up chair right next to them that he could have used for total murder. Why on Earth did someone bring flour into this match? Now everyone is covered in it. Two guys back suplex Necro onto that set up chair. That was a much uglier spot than the one that would have been with the DVD. About 30 minutes of garbage here and it’s well past 1am. Bull Pain gets the win with a frogsplash on Necro sandwiched between two chairs. Robinson uses the bat to stop the others from breaking the fall. ¾*. There was effort in there but it was a sloppy mess. I guess I give props to Nate Webb for taking some silly bumps and making the match more interesting.

POST MATCH Bull Pain really acts like a total bastard by attacking the fans, the referee and the other wrestlers until Ian Rotten comes out with a chair to scare him off. Bull attacks anyway leading to a horrible, horrible brawl. Ian books himself & Necro v Bull & Robinson for the next show. He talks for another 5 minutes or so thus making the main event grind past the 40 minute mark.

Final Thoughts: Good show albeit ridiculously long. Why, oh why, can’t IWA just fucking edit these things? The woman’s match was terrible and had no place on a DVD release. Ian Rotten’s match was solely so he could demonstrate his wrestling ability and insert himself into the TPI another year. But at the time it looks superfluous. The Daniels-Tarek stuff was unnecessary. When you’ve got a big tournament weekend you need to have minimal extra stuff or you’ll run way over. This weekend’s worth of shows runs over 9 hours. NINE HOURS. That said there are a few great matches on here. Mostly featuring Chris Daniels who was on inspired form. His match with AJ is the usual clinical stuff while the one with Punk is a psychology fans dream. I’ll give this show the thumbs up. Although if I were watching as a fan and not a reviewer I’d have skipped over the matches I mentioned above and maybe a few others too.
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