Tales from the Eastside Directory

IWA Mid South "Sixth Year Anniversary" (10/2/02)

Tales From the Eastside by Patrick McGovern

-The next stop on the IWA-MS review train is the 6th Anniversary show. This was one of IWA's most anticipated shows in some time, with the return of Tracy "f**k you, I'll commit ultra mega mass homicide" Smothers and the debuts of M-Dogg 20 and Josh Prohibition lined up, plus CM Punk in a high profile match against Jerry Lynn. I'm not feeling too terribly creative with the opener this week, so let's just get to the show...

(Edit 4/1/03: I htmled this up all nice so it doesn't look so bad, and made it a bit more family-friendly. I guess I'll do less transcription in the future so there's less swearing...Ichiban Puroresu is a site for the whole family, after all!)

-Jim Fannin and Dave Prazak, as usual, handle the commentary side of things.

-Ian Rotten starts the show with some talkin', as he is wont to do. Ian's order of business tonight is announcing the sixteen participants in the Ted Petty Invitational; mentions of AJ Styles, Jimmy Rave and Chris Hero get moderate pops, Nate Webb's name gets a big reaction as well but the biggest reaction is saved for when Nick Mondo is named. Ian just gets done rattling off the names when Danny Daniels makes his way out, looking mildly irritated. "Ian, I don't mean to interrupt your announcement here, but, uh, I think you took too many chairshots to the head, but you forgot to include my name on the list." "You're not on the list Danny." Daniels expresses disbelief. "I'm sorry Ian, I've only been all over the country, kickin' ass, y'know...could you check to see if I'm on the list?" Ian quickly scans the list again. "Um, as I look at this list of sixteen guys, I don't see any of these guys that you're better than. You know, maybe if it was a top twenty, but you're not better than any of these sixteen guys." "Ian Rotten, you're tellin' me that Danny Daniels isn't good enough to be in your tournament." Ian offers protests while Daniels is busy yelling at the crowd. "Hey, hey, hey, hey, I got an idea for ya. If you really wanna be in the tournament, I saw this thing in ECW where you were a ref..." Ouch. Daniels is not pleased, as you'd expect, and he snatches the mic to offer rebuttal. "Ian, you've been in this business a long time, you should know about payin' your dues, you should know I've been there! (Ian: "I'm not say- I'm just sayin' you're a good referee!") So answer my question, Ian Rotten! ("You're a good referee!") I'll tell you what, you go ahead, you have your participants in the tournament, but just in case one of your participants doesn't make it to the tournament, who would be next in line to make it in to your prestigious tournament?" Ian appears to relent a little. "If someone can't make it, I'll give ya a shot, but this isn't the Miss Universe pagent! (about two people laugh) See, some people got that! But I can assure you, everybody will be there." "What about a flight delay?" "Fine, you're in." "Alright, Ian Rotten, you're right, I'll pay my dues in the IWA, I'll pay my dues. In fact, tonight I got a hell of a competitor, Chuck E. Smooth! ::applause:: And I'm gonna prove to you why I belong in your ::taps the mic against Ian's chest:: tournament." The crowd heckles Daniels with a "He's gonna cry!" chant (heh) while Ian says that we're gonna get to some wrestlin', so let's hit Chuck E. Smooth's music!

-Danny Daniels vs. Chuck E. Smooth. Smooth is supposedly the face here, but he a) enters to "...Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears and b) Dances up to the rattier females in the crowd, so I instantly hate him. Before we get started, though, original IWA ring announcer Rico is out (and looking shockingly sober); Ian laments that he wanted to play some music for Rico, but he came out too early. With all that out of the way...

The crowd alternates between a "Chuck E!" chant and a "nose" chant to antagonize the, um, nostrally endowed Daniels. Daniels is content to lounge on the apron after the bell. Collar-and-elbow tieup to start and Daniels backs Smooth into the corner, shoving him for the unclean break; Smooth responds with a hard bitchslap. Collar-and-elbow again, Daniels with a wristlock and he turns it into a hammerlock, Smooth reverses, Daniels drop toeholds his way out of that and floats over to a front chancery. Smooth to his feet and he lands some clubbing forearms to break the hold. The two circle and we try the collar-and-elbow again- this time, Daniels grabs a side headlock and grinds it in. Smooth shoots Daniels off the ropes and Daniels comes back with the predictable shoulderblock, now he comes off the ropes and Smooth drops down, then telegraphs the backdrop on the way back so Daniels nails him with a clubbing forearm. Whip by Daniels and Smooth comes back the other way with a satellite headscissors. 'Rana by Smooth and he charges Daniels, only to get backdropped to the apron. Smooth throws a right or two and Daniels blocks them before sliding through Smooth's legs to the outside, he tries to pull Smooth off the apron but Smooth kicks him off, then Smooth leaps off the apron with a nice vaulting 'rana that puts Daniels in the first row! Smooth rolls Daniels in, but Daniels lands a shoulderblock through the ropes to regain the advantage. Head to the buckle by Daniels and he brings Smooth in for some choppery. Daniels with a corner whip, Smooth nips up and tries for a satellite headscissors but Daniels counters it to a stomachbreaker (over-the-shoulder gutbuster)!

The crowd makes with a "Gon-Zo" (y'know, the Muppet with the big nose) chant, but Daniels isn't phased and he stays on Smooth with a pair of hard shoulderblocks in the corner, then a gutwrench gutbuster. Daniels responds to the crowd with a polite "f**k him and f**k you!", then makes the first cover of the match for a two count. Smooth trying to fight back with body shots, but Daniels goes to the eyes to halt that. Inverted Hero Sandwich (!) by Daniels drops Smooth gut-first right across Daniels' knee, and that earns another two count. Daniels immediately makes me mark out by locking on a...ground abdominal stretch! Muga on all your asses! Yeah, I know, I'm a dork. Anyway, Daniels goes for every advantage he can with the ground cobra twist, grinding his elbow into Smooth's gut and periodically grabbing the ropes for leverage. The ref catches Daniels' nefarious cheating and forces him to break the hold. Daniels has a problem with this and takes issue with referee Mr. Lemke, allowing Smooth to sneak in with a schoolboy, one, two, no. Daniels immediately goes back to work, shoulderblocking Smooth right back to the mat. Smooth lifted onto Daniels' shoulder and he runs him stomach-first into the corner, leaving him hanging out to dry. Daniels climbs up and he wants the Superplex now, but Smooth fights back with a right and surprises Daniels by sunset flipping him off the second rope into a Powerbomb! Smooth covers, but he only manages a nearfall. Smooth with a right and an Irish whip, Daniels with an armwringer reversal and a gutshot turns things back his way. Front suplex onto the rope by Daniels and some clubbing forearms, then he whips Smooth stomach-first into the corner. Daniels catches Smooth on the rebound and shoves him right back into the corner, then charges in with a shoulderblock to keep working over Smooth's ribs. Daniels trying for another charging shoulderblock, but this time Smooth gets out of the way and Daniels runs himself through the buckles and to the floor! Smooth on the apron now, trying a plancha but that wasn't so smart- Daniels easily catches him and runs him into the post twice. Daniels shakes off his hurting shoulder and chops Smooth, Smooth responds with a right but Daniels elbows him in the face and rolls him back in the ring. Daniels again with a face-first whip into the corner, trying for a rebound lariat but Smooth ducks and plants Daniels with a full nelson bulldog!

"Chuck E!" chant as the crowd has really gotten behind Smooth. Chuck E. makes with some jabs, landing three but Daniels ducks a dancin' jab, only to get clocked with a double-thrust to the throat. Daniels falls to his knees and Smooth lands a pair of Nick Mondo-esque kicks to the head to send Daniels flopping down to the canvas. Daniels crawls to the corner to try and get to his feet, but Smooth lands another double-thrust to put him down, slumped over in the corner...in perfect position for the move the much-missed John Petrie once dubbed the "gay porno donkey ride", the Broncobuster! Daniels is pissed and he charges out with a lariat- Smooth ducks- SUPERKICK! Cover by Smooth, but Daniels manages to get the shoulder up in time. Smooth pulls Daniels up and whips him into the corner, trying an avalanche now but Daniels gets the boot up. Daniels to the top rope, but Smooth stays on him with a trio of rights. Smooth up on the corner now, trying a 'rana but Daniels blocks and Smooth takes a nasty spill. Daniels positioning himself, there's the Frog Splash and he covers, one, two, NO! Smooth gets his foot on the rope at the last second. Fireman's carry by Daniels, going for the Hawaiian Smasher but Smooth drops out and catches him with a Stunner! Nice counter there and Smooth covers, one, two, now it's Daniels getting HIS foot on the rope at the last second! Smooth heads up top to try to finish things, leaping off with a plancha but Daniels catches it, spinning him into position, and there's the jumping Tombstone! That's his move, Brandon- Daniels gets the duke (10:19, 79). Very good opener. Daniels was a standout, having a focused attack and really holding the match together. Smooth had some nice moves and got some good nearfalls in around the end, but this was really Daniels' match; it's hard to believe that two years ago, this guy had the most annoying gimmick in all of ECW (the evil referee that helped Justin Credible). Nothing too flashy, just good, solid wrestling that heats up the crowd to start the show.

-Rico goes over the card for the rest of the evening, then reviews the house rules for the fans as only he can ("If the fight looks like it's headed your way, it probably is; pack up your s**t and move!").

-Average White Guy vs. Chris Kole. Guy comes out wearing a freaking lampshade on his head; Kole (a student of Chris Hero's) is a bit more stylish, sporting a customized t-shirt. Feeling out process to start: Collar-and-elbow, Kole with a wristlock, Guy reverses and goes to a waistlock. Kole lands an elbow or three to break the waistlock, then comes off the ropes with a shoulderblock. Kole off the ropes again, Guy drops down and tries a clothesline and chop, both ducked by Kole, then Guy telegraphs the backdrop and Kole vaults over him. Kole keeps running the ropes, Guy leapfrogs him and tries a monkey flip on the way back but Kole tumbles over him and we stand off. Kole wants a handshake, but Guy wants none of that and shoves him, so Kole responds with a kick, a right and then a nasty forearm that sends Guy down and heading to the floor for a powder. Kole with a sliding dropkick through the ropes and now he heads outside, nailing Guy with a forearm and slamming his head to the apron. Kole taking to the sky now, going for an Arabian Press but he undershoots it and wipes out on the concrete! Reason #1 to love the IWA fans: There's not one boo to be heard, let alone a "You f**ked Up" chant. Guy is now firmly in control and he slams Kole's head into the apron, then rolls him in for a forearm and then three more forearms in the corner. Rope burn (OLD SCHOOL!) by Guy, followed up by a whip and a clothesline. Guy kicks a field goal on Kole's ribs and whips him again, Kole trying a bodypress on the way back but Guy catches him, boosting him into a Michinoku Driver II. Cover by Guy, but he barely gets two. Whip by Guy, again Kole tries the bodypress and again it fails, this time Guy throwing him into the corner. Rights and chops by Guy in the corner, then he stops to taunt the crowd, allowing Kole the chance to switch their positions and land some chops of his own. Forearms by Kole, but Guy turns things right back around with a right and a cross-corner whip, followed by an avalanche. Kole crawls to the ropes only for Guy to use his knee to choke him there. Clubbing forearm by Guy, then a snap suplex earns a two count. Kole lays in some body shots, but an eye rake from Guy puts an end to that. Armwringer by Guy and he lands a pair of hard kicks to Kole's leg, then he side Russian legsweeps him down into an Octagon Special! The crowd claps to get behind Kole, who slowly manages to break free of the ground Octopus, landing a pair of forearms and getting to his feet. Another forearm as Kole backs Guy into the corner. Cross-corner whip by Kole, Guy reverses, Kole nips up out of the corner and tries a clothesline, Guy ducks and locks on a full nelson, Kole reverses and snapmares him over. Soccer kick to the back by Kole, then a harder kick to the chest. Kole coming off the ropes, looking to take Guy's head off with a running kick but Guy scoots out of the way. Bodyshots by Guy and he tries a suplex, but Kole blocks it. Guy tries the suplex again, this time Kole drops behind him, gutshot and a suplex of his own- rolling through to a Teioh (Butterfly) Lock! Guy has nowhere to go, and he taps out to give Kole the upset victory (6:10, 71). Perfectly fine for the undercard; Guy has some really nifty moves, and while he's no great shakes there are certainly a ton of worse guys on indy undercards out there. Kole put in a pretty good performance, botched Arabian Press aside. He showed a lot of Hero influence in his forearms and selling, plus his finisher was really nifty. Crowd seems to be into him, too; wonder why he hasn't been brought back?

-Josh Prohibition vs. Tarek the Great. This is, as mentioned somewhere above, Prohibition's IWA-MS debut. He wears a hockey mask to the ring for some reason (never seen him do that before). Tarek hugs a group of three guys as he makes his entrance- one of them looks like a younger Steven Prazak with no fashion sense. Collar-and-elbow to start, Tarek goes to a wristlock and he inside armdrags Prohibition to an armbar but Prohibition is very quick to make the ropes. Back to the collar-and-elbow, Prohibition applies a hammerlock but Tarek drop toeholds out and stretches Josh with a Pendulum Swing! Tarek swings Prohibition back and forth a bit before converting to an STF, and once again Prohibition is quickly able to find the ropes. Prohibition takes a brief rest in the corner while Tarek makes with some rhythmic clapping. Prohibition lunges out at Tarek but Tarek grabs a waistlock, standing switch, Tarek throws some elbows and switches back but Prohibition counters that by taking Tarek down into a Shawn Capture! Tarek struggles, screaming in pain and inching for the bottom rope, which he manages to reach. Prohibition waits out his five count a bit before breaking. Collar-and-elbow (3), Tarek to the side headlock, Prohibition with a pair of forearms and he shoots Tarek off only to get shoulderblocked. Tarek off the ropes again, Prohibition drops down and leapfrogs but Tarek throws him with a bodyscissors armdrag to keep the advantage. Tarek measuring Josh- big KICK to the head! Bodyslam and Tarek lands a springboard legdrop, then covers for two. Forearm by Tarek and he comes off the ropes, trying the bodyscissors armdrag again but Prohibition counters to a Wheelbarrow suplex! Cover by Prohibition and Tarek kicks out at two. "Ter-Eck" chant from the crowd and Prohibition would like them to be quiet.

Kneebar locked on by Prohibition, Tarek refuses to give it up so Prohibition breaks the hold and lands some kicks to Tarek's knee. Tarek grabs the bottom rope but Prohibition pulls him to the post, slamming Tarek's bad wheel into it three times before tying up the legs and putting on the RINGPOST FIGURE-FOUR! One of my favorite moves, but it's also illegal and ref Turtle has to force a break. Prohibition back in the ring and Tarek chops him, they exchange chops briefly but Prohibition puts an end to that with a single-leg takedown, then a spinning toehold to a kneescissors. Tarek writhes in pain but fights to keep his shoulders from falling, then throws some open-hand slaps to Prohibition's chest to get him to break. Rights by Tarek and he comes off the ropes, trying a lariat but Prohibition ducks and drops him with a full nelson backbreaker, then lifts Tarek up from there right into a Fishermanbuster! Nice sequence by Prohibition and he covers, but Tarek gets the shoulder up at two and a half. Clubbing forearm by Prohibition but Tarek fires back with three kicks (using his good leg) to Prohibition's knee, then a spinning heel kick catches Josh in the face and he heads out the floor. Full head of steam by Tarek and he dives out onto Prohibition with a tope suicida! Tarek made full contact there but he's still got a limp as he rolls Prohibition in. Tarek nails a limpy kick, trying a second but Prohibition catches it and tosses Tarek with the head-and-arm ProhibitionPlex, which gets a two count. Prohibition with a kneebreaker, holding on for a Dragon Screw legwhip and STILL holding on for a kneescissors! Josh really knows how to pick apart a limb, I'd say. Prohibition cranks away with the kneescissors, but Tarek isn't conceding so Josh breaks the hold. Clubbing forearm keeps Tarek down, then Prohibition slams his knee to the mat twice. Straight right to the face by Prohibition and an elbowdrop for a quick two count, then it's back to the knee as Prohibition works it over with an elbowdrop into a kneebar. Tarek screams and repeatedly tries to lock on a facelock to force Prohibition to break the hold, but nothing's doing. Finally Tarek does grab Prohibition's neck, and he yanks away until Josh has to break the kneebar. Prohibition stays on the knee, however, nailing it with an elbowdrop and a kneedrop before trying for the kneebar again, but Tarek uses his good leg to kick Prohibition off. Another kick as Tarek makes it to his feet and he tries a corner whip, Prohibition reverses but Tarek catches him on the charge with a boot and plants him with a tornado DDT! Tarek covers, one, two, Josh gets the shoulder up. Prohibition with a gutshot and he tries a suplex but Tarek drops behind and KILLS him with a freaking amazing Brainbuster! Almost THE BEST BRAINBUSTER IN yadda yadda there. Tarek covers, but Prohibition barely manages to kick out. Both men down now, and both get up around the four count to start exchanging rights: Tarek, Prohibition, Tarek, Prohibition, Tarek, Tarek, Tarek, Tarek swings and misses so Prohibition chopblocks him down! Prohibition heading to the top floor, but he's spending too much time climbing- Tarek gets to his feet and hooks him up for the Tarek Buster (Muscle Buster) which gets the rather abrupt three count (11:51, 79). Tarek doesn't have much of a chance to celebrate his victory before Danny Daniels is out and Pearl Harboring him with a clubbing forearm! Daniels dumps Tarek from the ring and yells at him, then whips him into the sea of chairs in the crowd. Daniels tosses a chair at Tarek and puts him back in the ring, mockingly encouraging the "Ter-Eck" chant. Looks like Tarek's busted open and Daniels works the cut with some piston rights and forearms. Daniels hits nine piston rights in all before Spyder Nate Webb dashes out to run him off. Daniels tells the crowd "C'mon, chant for him now!" while Webb and a trainer have to help Tarek out.

The finish really hurt this, as Tarek spent most of the match doing a good job selling the knee only to forget it at the end. It was a fine match for the most part, with Josh showing good fire attacking Tarek's knee and Tarek doing his usual great job selling the submissions (there was a neat touch as Prohibition logically decided to attack the leg after Tarek cleaned his clock with the kick to the head- storytelling!). They really needed another five minutes to put together a hot finishing sequence, as the Tarek Buster seemed to come out of nowhere.

-Rollin' Hard (with Joel Gertner) vs. Harry Palmer. Palmer is an old-school IWA vet, having made it to the finals of the Sweet Science '00 tournament in a losing effort to Chris Hero. Hard surprises everybody when he comes out with a (very trimmed-down) Gertner. Hard gives Gertner the 'Kill Whitey' sign to hold while he threatens Mr. Lemke in the ring, and Joel looks confused in a funny moment. Rico is all ready to handle the intros when Hard takes the mic and declares that Gertner will do his intro. Here's one for old time's sake: "Well, well, well, it is I, the lyrical miracle, the sexual intellectual, the vernacular spectacular, and- now more than ever- the quintessential stud muffin, Joel 'I took the last train into Clarksville/and met a seventeen year old at the station/and I taught her all about the joys/of mutual masturbation/and later in the evening/when she was experiencing penetration/I swear this girl thought long and hard/that she was suffering from constipation' Gertner." Prazak: "Was the seventeen year old Nadia Nyce, that's what I wanna know." Gertner adds a long rhyming intro for Hard and I'm far too lazy to transcribe that, although he does coin a catchy new nickname for Rollin': the 'Funky Phenom'. Hard then takes the mic and goes off on a really long (but fairly amusing) rant about how his married life and wrestling life differ; all I'll say is that I hope his wife wasn't listening (and some of the rodentia in the crowd are waaaaaay too into Hard).

As for the match...well, it's your comedy match for the evening, so I don't see myself doing PBP here. They do a lot of stalling to start, then some not-awful basic wrestling with light comedy. The first real comedy spot here sees Hard give Palmer a bunch of hiptosses, then Gertner comes in to add a hiptoss of his own and even Lemke gets to hiptoss Palmer down. They do a lengthy Three Stooges "I'll fake this handshake and punch you in the noggin" bit. Palmer does bust out a cool rolling necksnap counter to a ground headscissors. Funniest spot of the match sees Palmer get backdropped onto the top buckle and protest how he's afraid of heights while Hard locks him in the Singlet Deathlock up there. Comedy involving a sunset flip follows (Lemke helping Palmer during the sequence since Hard has been threatening Lemke the whole time). They do some outside brawling before the finishing sequence. Hard gets a clothesline and elbowdrop for a two count, then threatens Lemke for his count. He looks like he's gonna Stinkface him (eww) but instead gets into a slugfest with Palmer that ends with the Westside Slam for another nearfall. Hard's pants are falling down at an alarming rate, so we need to finish up quickly! Hard goes for the Negro Amigo but Palmer drops out and shoves him off into the corner. Palmer trying an avalanche but Hard gets the boot up, only to run out of the corner right into a powerslam from Palmer. Double KO and Palmer heads to the second rope, flipping off with a Blockbuster! Palmer covers but Hard cradles him- both men's shoulders are down and Lemke counts a double one, two, three (11:46). Rollin' thinks long and hard (bad pun not intended) about clocking Lemke after the match, but after Gertner cools him down he decides to let Nise John Lovitz live to ref another day. Hard wishes everyone a happy anniversary and starts up an IWA chant, then it's Gertner comedy hour as he verbally spars with the white haired woman that's always at ringside. It's a comedy match, you expect me to rate it? This was what it was: Like I said, it had a few funny spots, but it could stand to have been cut down a little bit. Crowd was certainly into it and Gertner was funny for the most part, so it wasn't a total waste (and be honest, do you really want Rollin' in straight wrestling matches?).

-Spyder Nate Webb vs. Dysfunction for the IWA-MS Light Heavyweight title. Dysfunction is a (ugh) Juggalo, who made his name in IWA-MS by taking a BRUTAL beating from Ian at "No Blood, No Guts, No Glory '02", a show that I highly recommend as it has a little something for everyone. I'm not a big fan of Dysfunction, as he has some nice moves but he's really goddamned obnoxious- which makes him a good heel, I guess. Webb sadly does not enter to "Simpson, Homer Simpson" tonight. Dysfunction yells stuff into the camera as he enters, then before the match Webb has some choice words for Dysfunction, saying how ashamed he is that Milwaukee produced a "f****t" like Dysfunction. Webb then bails to the floor and tells the crowd, "This guy's gimmick is that he likes to insult people, well let's see him insult us!" An "In-Sult Us" chant breaks out while Webb vaults into the ring.

Webb crawls around all spidery-like as the bell sounds. Webb immediately launches himself at Dysfunction with a Thesz Press and a flurry of lefts and rights. Dysfunction wiggles free and slides out of the ring, taking his time to talk some s**t to the fans so Webb flies out onto him with a somersault tope! Dysfunction rolled back in and Webb heads up top- sentonbomb lands (and lands BIG TIME)! Cover by Webb, one, two, no, Dysfunction kicks out late. Stomps by Webb and he heads outside to gather some hardware; he ends up with three chairs from the crowd. VanDaminator (come on Nate, you're better than that!) puts Dysfunction down and then Webb starts arranging furniture. He props a chair in the corner, runs Dysfunction's head into it and places chair #2 on the other side of his head, then props chair #3 open outside the corner. Webb to the opposite corner, and he crashes into Dysfunction with a chairvault Nebraskan Tumbleweed that makes a chair sandwich on Dysfunction's head! Clubbing forearms by Webb and an attempted whip, armwringer reversal by Dysfunction and he knees Webb in the gut to set up a Flatliner. Stomp by Dysfunction, then he plants Webb with a good-looking full nelson face-first Powerbomb. Cover by Dysfunction, one, two, he pulls him up! Silly Dysfunction, that trick comes back and bites you on the ass 99% of the time. Dysfunction heads out and finds a kinda short ladder while giving us running commentary. "You people wanna see Nate Webb die? I'm gonna kill him, right now!" Fannin: "Well there may be no DQ or countout, but I think murder is illegal in the IWA!" Prazak: "Yeah, I think that might be grounds for disqualification."

Dysfunction lays the ladder flat in the ring and lays the three chairs on it. Right hand by Dysfunction, then a whip and he catches Webb- OBLITERATING him with a press slam right onto the ladder and chairs! Dysfunction with another whip, trying the press slam again but this time Webb counters with a dropkick. Webb with five or so clubbing forearms, then the takes Dysfunction into the corner and works him over some more. Webb to the second buckle, going for a tornado DDT but Dysfunction blocks with rights, now he's up top and he wants a Superplex onto the ladder and chairs but Webb drops behind, Webb going for a back superplex onto the ladder but Dysfunction flips out, now Dysfunction has Webb and he back suplexes HIM onto the structure! All I can say is that looks PAINFUL. Am I a master of the obvious or what? Webb is lying in a heap and Dysfunction isn't exactly quick to his feet; the crowd encourages their favorite with a "Go Nate Go!" chant. Dysfunction staggers around and pulls Webb to his feet for some body shots. Dysfunction announces "I'm choppin' this f**ker right now!" and he does, three times even! "I'm killin' this f**kin' f****t right now!" Dysfunction doesn't get a chance to continue his murder plot as Webb surprises him with a jumping knee to the face. Webb pulls Dysfunction to the corner and hooks his arms, now boosting himself up to the second buckle- and somersaulting off, giving Dysfunction a Tomikaze on the way down! That's Jason Cross' move but you will not hear me argue with the Spyder. Webb to his feet and he goes upstairs, looking for the Moonsault but Dysfunction moves out of the way! Dysfunction gets Webb in a Torture Rack and sits down in a bodybreaker; that's apparently his move. Cover by Dysfunction, one, two, he pulls him up again! Prazak best sums up my thoughts on that decision: "Well, Dysfunction is a Juggalo so therefore he is a dorkwad." Dysfunction heads outside and grabs a table. Dysfunction setting it up in the ring and looking for a Powerbomb through it, but Webb goes up and over with the sunset flip- one, two, nope. Dysfunction tries for a lariat but Webb ducks, then he drops Dysfunction with a very cool delayed hangman's neckbreaker! Webb sets up the ladder and lays Dysfunction on the table- Webb ascends the ladder, grabs his own leg, does a dance move and flies off with a legdrop through the table!! Webb hooks the leg, one, two, three! (8:12, 72) The crowd goes INSANE and you can't help but get into it at home. Webb makes with the elation and celebrates with his new title all the way up the aisleway- leaving him open for a sneak attack from Chuck E. Smooth! What huh now? Smooth pummels Webb with rights and he runs him into one of the support poles. Smooth rushes Webb in the ring and stomps him, then slams a piece of table on him and gives him a modified Pedigree (lifting him by the wrists instead of a double-underhook) on the table wreckage! Security checks on Webb and helps him out while Smooth stalks off- no, wait, he's back and he's punching and stomping away, then he tosses Webb into the ringsteps. Tarek the Great (in an FMW jersey) runs out wielding a chair to repay Webb's favor from earlier, but HE gets nailed from behind by Danny Daniels! Daniels runs Tarek into the ringpost while Yet More Security is out to try and separate everyone- and they're not doing that good of a job. Smooth chairshots Webb right in the face while security FINALLY manages to cover up Webb. Daniels stands over Tarek and jams a chair into his gut; he's set to do it again but Chris Kole is out to save Tarek by swiping the chair from Daniels. Webb finally gets helped to the back by security, and Kole and the trainer also help get Tarek away.

Spotty match with nothing to it but big moves, but all the spots hit and looked good, plus the crowd was freaking MOLTEN the whole time (the pop when Webb hit the Spyder Drop off the ladder and won the title was unreal). It's hard to complain about this when Tarek and Prohibition just wrestled a solid technical juniors match- and Smooth/Daniels wasn't too shabby either. The post-match melee was also very well-done and an example of why IWA-MS is the best at doing these kind of out-of-control brawls: These things don't work in the WWE where the brawls are all carefully timed to fit within a four-minute segment and everyone is yelling carefully scripted insults at each other, and it doesn't work in ROH where everything just feels so forced (I haven't seen the 'infamous' NYC riot yet; I'm just referring to all the Prophecy beatdowns and Corino's work on 12/28). Here, the post-match brawl accomplished a bunch of things logically (forwarded the Daniels/Tarek feud and the 'Daniels wants in the TPI' angle, turned Smooth heel and gave Webb a pair of logical contenders for his new title) while just generally getting over like crazy with an already hot crowd. I don't mean to gush, but Ian really IS the best booker in North America when he wants to be.

-Mitch Ryder vs. Mark Wolf. This is a renewal of the feud Wolf had in mid-to-late '01 with the 'Bad Motherf**kers' ('BMFs' for short) stable where Ryder, Bull Pain and Todd Morton would just beat the living hell out of Wolf and his friends week in and week out, eventually injuring him; however, when Wolf got back from injury, the BMFs skipped town. Wolf is coming back from another injury here and Ryder is also making his return, and you can expect nothing less than a wild brawl here.

Wolf sprints right to the ring and floors Ryder with a right; as Stevie Ray might say, it's on like Donkey Kong now! Wolf with four more rights, each one taking Ryder off of his feet. Whip by Wolf and he gives Ryder a high backdrop. Six more rights from Wolf send Ryder into the corner, where Wolf hits five countalong punches. Cross-corner whip by Wolf, Ryder reverses but Wolf does the do-si-do to send him into the corner anyway, following up with an avalanche. Wolf goes back up for more countalong punches, he gets eight of them before Ryder slips under Wolf and flapjacks him into the turnbuckle. Stomps by Ryder and he gnoshes on Wolf's skull for a bit. Ryder pulls Wolf up by his braid and bites him some more, then land s a measured stomp. Wolf has added some colour and Ryder lands four measured rights to the cut. Ryder to the back mount for two more shots to the cut, then he taunts the crowd before going back to biting the cut. Wolf up by his braid again and Ryder slams him head-first into the corner. Bodyshots by Ryder (five in all) and he works a blatant choke. Pair of rights by Ryder and he basks in his own greatness- Wolf takes advantage and surprises him with a schoolboy! That only gets two, though, and Ryder rocks Wolf with a lariat to put him back down. Ryder covers for two, then works over the cut with some forearms. Bodyslam by Ryder and he heads out to get a chair. Stomp to the cut and Ryder places the chair on Wolf's face, then he comes off the second rope with a (sloppy) legdrop to the chair! "You f**ked Up" chant doesn't disappoint me as it seems more for the purpose of getting under Ryder's skin; Ryder seems to take it as a challenge, as he heads back to the second rope and lands a second legdrop perfectly. Ryder slams Wolf's head into the chair, then chokes him out with his singlet strap. Wolf cinched up top, Ryder with a right but Wolf comes back with one of his own and he shoves Ryder off, then Wolf comes off the second rope with a kneedrop! Ryder is rushed into the corner, he tries to chuck Wolf out through the ropes to the floor but Wolf blocks it.

Wolf pulls Ryder's singlet strap down, then whips him into a back elbow. "Get up, motherf**ker!" Wolf charges in for an avalanche, but Ryder sidesteps and now he does manage to dump Wolf out to the floor. Ryder with piston rights to the cut, then he takes Wolf on a tour of the building- but instead of doing the lame HAIR PULL DANCE (hi, Stuart) Ryder just casually tosses Wolf into stuff (a support pole, a wall, a wooden board). Ryder works over Wolf's back with forearms and goes for a whip into a nearby ladder, but Wolf reverses it. Both guys staggering around now, wandering back to near the ring as one of the helpful IWA fans gives Wolf a bat. Wolf winds up for a swing, but he spends too much time talking trash and Ryder pokes the eyes to switch the momentum. Ryder puts Wolf in a headlock and drags him to ringside, scraping his fist on Wolf's cut the whole way. Wolf rolled in the ring as Ryder...takes ref Rudy Charles for a walk? Yep, this is so Charles won't see the return of Bull Pain, who is sprinting to the ring with his trademark baseball bat! Pain drives the bat into Wolf's gut while Ryder makes his way into the ring and leans back for the easy pin (10:05, 67). Ryder and Pain gesture to each other, and Pain gives us a (still evil) mile-wide grin before the two share a big hug. The Bad Motherf**kers are reunited, and it feels so good- unless you're Wolf, who gets another bat to the gut from Pain. Double whip by the BMFs and Pain connects with a line drive to Wolf's gut on the way back. Pain chokes away with the bat while Ryder adds kicks to the face, but now Chris Hero and Harry Palmer, both with chairs, are out for the...somewhat cautious save. When they finally get up the courage to enter the ring Wolf and Pain do make their slow exit from the ring. Pain hurls insults at the fans while walking away. Hero and Palmer check Wolf out, and Wolf has a glassy look in his eye while not moving. Palmer helps Wolf out, while Hero parts the ropes so they can head to the back.

Again, a strong post-match angle, but the match itself was nothing special. The first couple minutes were intense, quality brawling, but the match went too long and didn't have enough hate to carry for a whole ten minutes. However, later tonight there WOULD be a great brawl that would have more than enough hate to go around- but we'll get to that later.

-M-Dogg 20 vs. Chris Hero for the IWA-MS World Heavyweight title. A surprisingly serious Joel Gertner replaces Fannin on commentary for this match. MD20 makes a thoroughly fruity gymnastic entrance, slingshotting into the ring to a backflip into a kneeling pose. MD20 also gets a nice, polite pop, but it's nothing compared to the reaction Hero gets. Prazak says that someone referred to M-Dogg as 'cute and bouncy', which makes him sound like a Pokemon or something.

Handshake to start. Collar-and-elbow, Hero with a waistlock. Hero works the waistlock into a wristlock, but M-Dogg rolls, kips up and reverses. Hero maneuvers his way around and counters to a hammerlock, so now it's M-Dogg doing the maneuvering as he feels his way out to a hammerlock of his own. Hero looking for a way out, and he eventually manages a waistlock takedown. Floatover to a front chancery by Hero, M-Dogg rolls out of it and backflips for no reason; Hero responds with a punch to the gut. Snapmare attempted by Hero, but M-Dogg again uses his gymnastic skill and cartwheels to counter. Big knee to the gut by Hero and he comes off the ropes, trying for a hiptoss but M-Dogg flips to his feet. Corner whip by Hero and M-Dogg AGAIN gets all acrobatic on us, springboarding to the top rope and backflipping off the top into a pose. Hero shoots M-Dogg off into the opposite corner but fails to follow up with an avalanche, so when M-Dogg nips up and does a superflous backflip it's all for naught as Hero uses a single clubbing forearm to put him down. Hero tells M-Dogg that he should settle down (ha!) and it looks like we're gonna start over- rhythmic clapping by Hero and we go to a collar-and-elbow. Hero with a side headlock, M-Dogg slowly looks for a way out and doesn't find it so he nails a trio of forearms to break. Snapmare by Hero and he comes off the ropes, M-Dogg drops down but gets shoulderblocked on the way back. Hero waves hi to M-Dogg and comes off the ropes again, MD20 drops down and catches Hero on the way back with a nice Japanese armdrag. Hero's down and M-Dogg charges in with a nifty front-flip 'rana. M-Dogg tries to charge in again, this time Hero tries to catch him with a quebradora but M-Dogg lands on his feet only for Hero to calmly punch him right in the head. Measured right by Hero and a whip, going for the quebradora again but M-Dogg counters with a DDT that has Hero rolling out to take a breather- so M-Dogg dives out onto him with a corkscrew pescado!

Stomp by M-Dogg but Hero is back to his feet with a gutshot and then he puts M-Dogg against the post for a nasty chop. M-Dogg stumbles around while Hero lands a clubbing forearm. "One more, is that what you people wanna see, one more?" The crowd gives Hero their approval and he puts M-Dogg against the post, lacing into him with another chop. Hero parts the fans and gets five rows deep in the crowd, charging in for a lariat NO M-Dogg moves and Hero crashes into the post! M-Dogg vaults up the turnbuckle, then he drops the Flagpole Press (M-Dogg lies horizontally on top of the post and drops straight down into a splash from there) onto Hero! M-Dogg rolls the champion back in and makes the first cover of the match, netting himself a two count. M-Dogg heads up top now, leaping off the top with a split-legged Moonsault into a senton (!) that makes perfect contact- M-Dogg hooks a leg, but again only gets a two count. Gutshot by M-Dogg and he tries a whip, armwringer reversal by Hero but M-Dogg do-si-dos him into a legsweep, following up with a standing Moonsault, one, two, yet again Hero kicks out. M-Dogg trying a corner whip now, but now Hero is using his size to his advantage and dropping to one knee to prevent the whip. M-Dogg makes another unsuccessful attempt before Hero muscles M-Dogg into a corner whip of his own and charges in with a HARD shoulderblock. M-Dogg is folded up, but he's gonna try to Jackie Chan his way out of the corner...only to have Hero keep hold of the legs and make sure he lands right on his ass! Cover by Hero and he manages a close two count, but he's firmly in control now. Clubbing forearm by Hero, followed by a double slap to the back. Hard back suplex by Hero and he covers, M-Dogg again kicking out at two but a bit slower this time. WAR Special locked on by Hero, converting to a surfboard varient where he puts one leg in the back and bends his other knee against M-Dogg's neck; I've seen Donovan Morgan and B-Boy do that move before, so I hereby dub it the 'California Surfboard'. No submission from M-Dogg, so Hero goes back to bearing down on M-Dogg's back with the WAR Special. M-Dogg fighting to his feet and Hero tries to hold on, but M-Dogg tosses repeated elbows to break Hero's grip. M-Dogg quickly off the ropes, up and over with the sunset flip, one, two, Hero rolls through to a Stretch Muffler! M-Dogg struggles, reaching for the second rope- and he's found it. Hero drags M-Dogg to center ring, landing a questionable stomp. Whip by Hero, but M-Dogg spins him on the way back with a satellite headscissors! Hero quickly to his feet and landing a hard lariat, and just like that the advantage switches right back to Hero.

Hero covers and M-Dogg gets a late kickout, before Hero slices his throat and locks on a cravate. It's a variation of what he beat BJ Whitmer with last night, will it work here? M-Dogg is fading, now he's fighting back with a kick to Hero's head, there's three more and Hero breaks the hold. Both men on their feet and M-Dogg tries another kick, but Hero catches it, then quickly executes a single-leg takedown into the Hangman's Clutch! M-Dogg sloooooooowly inching for the bottom rope, he reaches and for a second time the ropes have saved M-Dogg. Hero breaks clean but he's making with some rather unsportsmanlike behavior, bullying M-Dogg with taunts. "C'mon M-Dogg! C'mon! C'mon!" Clubbing forearm by Hero and he hangs M-Dogg in the ropes for a chop. "C'mon!" M-Dogg rages back with a forearm, another, a third but Hero swats him right back down with a clubbing forearm. Hero back to the cravate, wearing M-Dogg down until his shoulders fall for a two count. Whip by Hero and he wants a lariat but M-Dogg slides through his legs and tries a bodyscissors, Hero counters to a waistlock, M-Dogg with four back elbows but Hero doesn't break and instead runs M-Dogg chest-first into the corner, only to give the challenger an AWESOME German suplex out! M-Dogg sells it old-school style with some twitching, then Hero covers him for two. Hero cinches M-Dogg up for a Superplex now, but M-Dogg throws three elbows to send Hero down. M-Dogg positioning himself, but Hero leans back into the ropes in the nick of time and M-Dogg gets crotched. Hero back up the ropes and he does ten countalong clubbing forearms (ouch), then sets up M-Dogg and LAUNCHES him with a Spider German suplex! M-Dogg does a full flip on the way down and it's crazy. M-Dogg looks like he landed funny on his knee and he's not getting up, so Hero rolls him over for a two count. Hero works the cover for a closer two, then he works M-Dogg's back with a clubbing forearm and a soccer kick. Hero standing over M-Dogg now, he steps over M-Dogg's shoulders and sits down on his back in a move that Hero must've learned from watching Johnny Saint, as I can't imagine anywhere else you'd see something that funky. Hero tries to pull M-Dogg up from there into a Powerbomb, but M-Dogg surprises him by countering with a freaking great 'rana! I have never seen M-Dogg look this good.

Both men are down, they make it up at the same time and M-Dogg applies a waistlock, standing switch by Hero, "Here we go!" and Hero hits a goddamned SWINGING (four revolutions) CravatePlex! M-Dogg's in a bad way and he rolls out, Hero follows and lands another hard clubbing forearm before getting a table. Hero sets up the table and then rolls M-Dogg back in so he can cover for two (guess the table was just a contingency plan?). Hero is getting pretty fierce with the taunting now. "C'mon M-Dogg! C'mon M-Dogg! C'MON!" M-Dogg snaps as Hero gets in his face, with a pair of forearms and a great strike flurry, flailing away with forearms, kicks and punches! The crowd is now almost completely behind M-Dogg but Hero interrupts his flurry by casually picking up over his shoulder (like a child) and cinching him up top...but M-Dogg leaps off the top buckle and catches Hero with a headscissors! M-Dogg pitches Hero out by his legs, now M-Dogg is psyching up- full head of steam- SPACE FLYING TIGER DROP makes full contact! M-Dogg kicks Hero while he's down and slams his head into the table, now he's trying to position the table but this gives Hero a chance to recover and hit a chop. Snapmare by Hero, followed by an open hand slap to the chest and Hero heads up to the second buckle. M-Dogg to his feet and he's up on the corner now striking with a pair of forearm, but Hero fights back with a pair of elbows to send M-Dogg into the ring. Hero gets M-Dogg on his shoulders, running crucifix Powerbomb to the outside attempted but M-Dogg drops out, he charges in and Hero backdrops him- M-Dogg lands on the apron to avoid crashing through the table. M-Dogg grabs the ropes in a desperate attempt to not fall through the table, so Hero kicks his hands off the top rope repeatedly. M-Dogg catches on and grabs the second rope, he lands a pair of shoulderblocks to send Hero reeling- slingshot into a Moonsault press by M-Dogg! Hero's down, M-Dogg covers, one, two, NO! The crowd *really* thinks a title switch is imminent now. Hero again staggers outside, trying to regroup, but M-Dogg is right behind him. Hero turns around and nails M-Dogg with a clubbing forearm and tries to whip M-Dogg into a support pole, but M-Dogg reverses the whip and it's Hero that meets the pole. Hero's out on his feet and M-Dogg hits some clubbing forearms while setting him up on the table. M-Dogg points skyward...and starts VERTICALLY WALKING UP THE POLE! You read that right, M-Dogg grabbed the support pole and started WALKING UP it. Insanity! M-Dogg gets a good way up the pole before he takes flight, twisting off the pole with a diving headbutt that catches Hero right in the knee! The table collapses and Hero's in agony, screaming and clutching his knee. M-Dogg rolls the ailing Hero in while the crowd makes with an "M-Dogg" chant. M-Dogg covers, one, two, NO! So close. Hero limps to his feet, M-Dogg tries charging him down with a satellite headscissors but Hero counters by getting M-Dogg over his shoulder, dropping him backwards for the Hero's Welcome- NO, M-Dogg drops behind and takes Hero over with Sliced Bread #2! Hero's down, M-Dogg's going up and the crowd is clinical...M-Dogg off the top with Death From Above (Moonsault into a 450 Splash) and he covers, ONE, TWO, THREE (23:04, 89)! M-Dogg wins the IWA-MS World Heavyweight title in his first match with the company! The crowd blows the roof off the place, getting even louder than they did for Webb's title win. M-Dogg leans against the ropes and raises his belt, then climbs the corner and raises it high while the crowd alternates between "M-Dogg" and "I-W-A" chants, then M-Dogg points to Hero and the crowd shows their appreciation with a "He-Row" chant. Hero takes the mic and I can't really make out what he says, but it's something about giving M-Dogg respect, and how he's first in line for a title shot. "There'll be another time, I got a bad wheel right now, but there'll be another time!" Ian Rotten comes out to offer his $.02: "M-Dogg, I got a question. I didn't really plan on doin' this, but...when're you comin' back? You're not gonna lose that belt on the East Coast, are ya? You'll be back by Sweet Science? Okay, congratulations!" Ian departs knowing that his belt is safe while M-Dogg hugs Hero, then Hero raises the new champion's arm. M-Dogg raises his belt with one hand and clutches his band with the other while walking out.

This was, by FAR, the best M-Dogg 20 match I've ever seen. He's a very green worker who has some amazing spots, and the problem is his matches seem to be about nothing but those spots most of the time. Hero, however, had other plans. This match was extremely smartly laid out, telling many stories at once: It was about the relatively unknown challenger making an impact on the champion, it was about Hero falling to M-Dogg's explosive offense early on only to slow him down with strikes and submissions, it was about M-Dogg earning the crowd's support as he takes a hell of a beating. The match was so smartly laid out, it was a lot more than a Spike Dudley "big guy kills the little guy until the little guy makes a comeback" match. Give a majority of the credit to Hero, who made M-Dogg look as good as I've ever seen him while still looking strong himself. You can really see how well this match is laid out, as Hero knew exactly when to give M-Dogg comebacks and hope spots, and knew to give him enough offense so it wouldn't come off as a squash at all. It's telling how the crowd was pretty decisively favoring Hero in the beginning and by the end they were totally with M-Dogg. It felt like a big match in the way a title match should, and it felt like a star turn for M-Dogg (sadly, he failed to follow up this with consistantly great performances). This is must-see viewing and yet another reason why Hero is one of the very best workers in the world.

-Bull Pain vs. Tracy Smothers in a Street Fight. They'd been announcing that Tracy would be 'making an appearance' all night, but no opponent was ever really mentioned. When Pain hits the ring waving his baseball bat, Rico is quick to make an exit; referee Turtle follows soon after (he's Turtle so he's slower, of course). Smothers gets a big reaction coming out, and lets Pain know that he's not threatened by the bat. Smothers crosses himself after he's introed, then starts shadowboxing up to Pain, who decides to hit the floor. Pain yells "gimme the goddamn microphone!" and no one will deny him what he wants; Pain basically spends a while insulting the crowd in that evil voice of his. Smothers takes the mic and he's Tracy Smothers so he gets transcription: "I'm gonna make this short and I'm gonna make this sweet, motherf**ker! You and that little jackoff you carry around with you, Todd Morton, you hit me in the back of the head with a chair. I was out for six months and you're the reason why! (...) I'm gonna take that bat and stick up your ass and turn you into a popsicle, boy! Oh yeah, oh yeah, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it." The reason that Pain and Morton put Tracy on the injured list was because during the BMFs big run last year, Smothers was trying to join the group and that was Pain's way of rejecting Tracy's membership (thanks to Prazak for explaining this on commentary) .

To the match: Smothers and Turtle both demand that Pain get in the ring to start, but Bull seems rather reluctant. Smothers leads some clapping and the crowd is in a frenzy, like they have been for most of the night. Smothers gets sick of Pain's lackadaisical attitude and rushes him to fight, but Turtle separates them until the bell rings. Staredown, broken when Pain threatens Turtle for no apparent reason. Smothers encourages the "Go Tracy Go" chant and they finally lock up- collar-and-elbow tieup, Pain muscles Smothers to the corner but Smothers reverses positions and backs off, letting Pain think about it. "f**k you Tracy!" Crowd chants some rather unpleasant things about Pain's genital area, and once that's done Pain and Smothers circle while trash talking each other; Smothers encourages a "Bald Headed Geek" chant. Collar-and-elbow, Pain backs Smothers into the corner, Smothers switches positions and the two jockey for position along the ropes with Tracy eventually winning that battle. The two go nose-to-nose and keep throttling at each other, leading to Turtle having to get between them. Collar-and-elbow a third time? No, Pain dodges Smothers' lockup attempt and gutshots him, then rope burns him. It's on now- Pain lands a pair of rights, Smothers responds with a left, right, left, right, backfist, backfist, backfist, backfist, backfist and Pain heads out to the floor. Smothers is right behind him, leaping off the apron and making contact with a double axehandle. Pain fights back by shoving Tracy into the crowd, sending him into the chairs. Eye rake by Pain and he sends Smothers back into the ring. Pain brings a chair in with him and lays in stomps and headbutts, then he drops Smothers with a back suplex. More headbutts and Pain sets the chair upright, going for a back suplex onto the chair but Smothers shifts the pile and Pain squashes the chair! Smothers holds the bodypress for a cover, but only a two count.

Now Smothers has the bat as things are looking to get uglier- he nails Pain right in the mouth with the butt of it, probably drawing some blood. Field goal kick to the ribs by Smothers, then he stomps him and lays Pain over the bottom rope so he can dish out a crossface forearm from the outside. Choke by Smothers and then he takes Pain outside, tossing him five rows deep into the crowd! Both guys are far into the crowd now and exchanging blows, Smothers with a right, Pain with a headbutt, then Pain grabs a chair and slams the edge of it into Smothers' head twice. Chairshot by Pain rocks Tracy, who staggers to his feet and unleashes a punch flurry that sends Pain reeling two rows deep into the other side of the crowd. Hacksaw Tracy Smothers breaks a 2x4 over Pain's back. Pain grabs a chair, ready to swing it at but Smothers kicks it back into his chest hard! Pain finds a plank of wood for himself and smacks Smothers in the head with it as both men are making it back into the ring. Pain stalks Smothers around the ring, so Smothers grabs the chair that was wrecked earlier and he brings it down on Pain's head. Pain slumps to the corner and Tracy follows with clubbing forearms, but Pain low blows Smothers with the bat to shift the momentum his way. Pain nails Smothers square in the face with a punch, bloodying his nose. Smothers woozily makes his way out to the floor, where Pain seats him in a chair. Pain bites Smothers' face, then jumps off the apron and onto Smothers with a lariat! Smothers gets to his feet and wildly tosses a chair at Pain. Chairshot by Smothers, then he tosses Pain into some more chairs. Smothers forces Pain to have a seat, then unloads on him with several rights before just rushing him to the ground and pounding away. Pain stops the beating by finding a beer can and nailing Tracy in the head with it (Fannin is incensed that the fans are sneaking in alcohol), then he makes a cover for two- IWA Street Fight rules means Falls Count Anywhere, btw. Pain tries to roll Smothers back in the ring, but Smothers counters by using his body to repel off the ropes and nailing Pain with a back elbow!

Smothers drags Pain out the front door and we're outside, in the parking lot. Smothers throws some rights but Pain fires back with a gutshot, then a slap which has Smothers stumbling around in the dark- only to charge back out of nowhere and clock Pain with a stop sign! We get a slugfest that ends with Smothers backdropping Pain on the concrete and getting a two count. A particularly helpful IWA fan gives Smothers a 2x4 with the instructions "Here, Tracy, nail him in the face with this!"; Smothers uses it to nail Pain low instead, then he obliges to the fan and does give Pain a shot in the face. Pain with a bodyshot and a measured right, then he hammers Smothers in the back with forearms and slaps before sending Smothers back into the building the hard way by tossing him into a few rows of chairs! Smothers grabs a trash can and no doubt has malicious intentions, but he doesn't get to carry them out as Pain gutshots him and then nails him with the can. Smothers gets tossed into some more chairs before being rolled back into the ring, and Pain fetches a chair. Pain to the top buckle now, he goes on to walk the second rope and then he lands a chair-assisted elbowdrop onto Smothers! Smothers dragged away from the ropes by his legs and Pain elbowdrops him downstairs. Pain to the top rope now, another elbowdrop? Nope, it's a Bullfrog Splash and Pain covers, one, two, Tracy gets the shoulder up! Pain pulls Smothers up by his hair and tries a right but Smothers blocks and lands a backfist, another, a third, a fourth and Pain is on Wobbly Street (tm Steven Prazak). Pair of double-thrusts to the throat by Smothers, then he slams Pain's head into the buckle. Pain with a double-thrust of his own and a trio of chops in the corner but Smothers switches their positions and lays in a backfist, backfist, backfist, forearm, left, right, left, right, doublechop, then one more doublechop and Pain is feeling it. Armwringer by Smothers, he wants the short-arm clothesline but Pain ducks, Smothers stays on him with a pair of clubbing forearms, then he takes him off his feet with a jumping sidekick! Cover by Smothers, but Pain kicks out at two. Tracy up top and he makes the "screw you" gesture to Pain, then he flies off the top with a great super Flying Jalapeno, sailing three-quarters across the ring and nailing Pain with the back elbow! Smothers adds a chair thrust to the chest and he covers, one, two, NO! Pain kicks out at the last second. Jawbreaker by Pain, but Tracy pitches him out of the ring to halt his offense. Tracy Diesels his way back into the ring (!), then holds on to the top rope as he's doing it so he can slingshot back out through the ropes with a sliding dropkick! This old man can go, people. Pair of rights and Smothers tosses Pain into a sea of chairs for a two count, following that up with a sickening sign shot to the head! Pain crawls back in the ring and he scampers around for his bat, but as he reaches for it Smothers sprints across the apron, swinging the chair and landing a home run on Pain's skull! Pain grabs the chair and drives it into Smothers' gut but Tracy holds the ropes to prevent being dragged in, so Pain drops the chair flat and pulls him in over the ropes with an Implant DDT onto the chair! That's enough to get the pin for Pain (17:57, 82).

Pain looks wrecked as he makes his way up the aisleway, but he still has enough energy to yell "f**k you! f**k you all!" at the crowd. Smothers is down in the corner looking defeated, but he has the mic so we get another TRACY PROMO~! "I'm gettin' too old for this stuff. Bull...this mornin' I heard I was gonna fight Bull Pain. For twenty years I've known him, and you always know when you get in the ring with Bull Pain, you better mark on your calendar that he's comin' and be ready, 'cause he's one tough sonuvabitch. I wanna hear it for Bull Pain, I wanna hear it for the IWA ("IWA!" chant from the crowd; Tracy turns directly to the camera). Get that on Smart Mark Video, oh yeah. I fought for my life, literally. I'm not in ring shape, but I'm gonna get there. I've been out for months and I'm gonna come back with a vengeance. (Tracy says something about being from Tennessee that was really spirited, but I couldn't really understand it) I just turned fourty years old, I'm a beat up old man, but I got a couple more in me. Hell, I got a lot more in me! That's what I'm talkin about. You see a man like Terry Funk, you see a man like Bob Armstrong, you see Dory Funk, you see Stan Hansen, you see (some names I didn't catch), they're tough, people, and so's Bull Pain, so's Ian Rotten, so's Terry Mann (?), so's a lot of guys in this sport that you call a business and that that motherf**ker in Connecticut calls entertainment. I'm gonna fight, I'm gonna get back in shape. So you remember this, Bull Pain: I will be back, and I will be ready. Oh yeah, IWA, you know it."

It's not just hype, Tracy Smothers really is awesome. This is not the match for ROH clapmonkeys that think all great matches must include as many holds as possible and makes you want to chant "match of the year" at the end. Hell, it's not even that truly great of a match: Smothers and Pain spent too much time doing the crowd brawl, I think, and it was slow in spots. But this had a hot crowd (like all the matches tonight, pretty much) and a really good ending sequence, but it had something more: It had HATE. Tracy is so good at getting over his hatred for someone in the ring, while getting the crowd behind him at the same time- he's also good at getting the crowd to want him lynched, too (witness "No Blood, No Guts, No Glory" '02 and the riot he starts). He's an old guy, sure, and he can't do very much anymore, but he knows how to make his big moves count. This was old school in the best way and is a hell of a brawl, and any fan of the style will dig this very much.

By the way, I'm biased.

-CM Punk vs. Jerry Lynn. During the intros, Rico announces that Lynn is making his return to the IWA- this doesn't sit well with Punk, who goes to register his rage on the mic. "Hold up, did you just say 'welcome back Jerry Lynn'? I'M the one that hasn't been here for four months, retard! Here, hold this." Punk goes to the back and emerges with something under his arm; it turns out to be a 'Help Retarded Children' apron, which he makes Rico wear. "Somebody help this man as he doesn't realize this is MY welcome back, not yours!" Punk jaws with the crowd right after the bell. Collar-and-elbow tieup to start and Lynn goes to a wristlock, Punk rolls, nips up and reverses, Lynn mirrors and goes to a hammerlock, which Punk reverses. Lynn finds his way out of the hammerlock with a high snapmare and Punk comes off the ropes, Lynn drops down and then telegraphs the backdrop on the way back, so Punk flips over him. Gutshot by Punk and he tries a corner whip, Lynn reverses, Punk nips up out of the corner and tries a hiptoss, Lynn counters with a monkey flip but Punk lands on his feet, Punk with an armdrag, Lynn with an armdrag, stalemate.

Staredown and Punk takes time to yell at the fans some more. Collar-and-elbow again, Lynn with a side headlock and he tries to shoot Punk off the ropes, but Punk armwringers his way into a side headlock takeover. Textbook headscissors counter by Lynn and he gets to his feet for a side headlock takeover of his own. Punk lets his shoulders fall for two, but he can't reverse after kicking out and Lynn keeps working the headlock. Lynn gets another two count out of it before deciding to pull Lynn up in the headlock. Forearms by Punk break the hold and he shoots Lynn off the ropes and Lynn catches him with the predictable shoulderblock on the way back. Lynn off the ropes again, Punk drops down and leapfrogs en route to being taken over with a satellite headscissors on the way back. Gutshot by Lynn and he slams Punk's head into the corner. Whip by Lynn, Punk tries a satellite headscissor of his own but Lynn seamlessly counters to a spinning face-first Powerbomb! Snapmare by Lynn and he applies a reverse chinlock. Punk gets to his feet and counters to a waistlock only for Lynn to run him back first into the corner to force a break. Cross-corner whip by Lynn and Punk Flair Flips to the apron, shoulderblock through the ropes and he slingshots in with a sunset flip but Lynn grabs the top rope to block, so Punk bridges up and side Russian legsweeps Lynn back down. Punk back to the apron, slingshot senton back in but nobody's home (nice nod to last night's main event)- and Punk still manages to land on his feet! Whip by Punk, Lynn reverses and goes for a hiptoss, but Punk blocks and puts Lynn in a Gory Special. Punk takes Lynn for a spin in the hold, then drops him with a Gorybomb! Cover by Punk, one, two, Lynn kicks out. Punk politely explains to the ref that he'd like a faster count next time. Vertical suplex by Punk earns him another two. Punk to the reverse chinlock now and he works it for a bit before Lynn gets to his feet, elbow by Lynn breaks the hold and a slugfest breaks out: Lynn, Punk, Lynn, Punk, Lynn, Lynn, Lynn, Lynn, Lynn with a corner whip, Punk reverses, Lynn nips up into a Gibson roll, one, two, Punk kicks out. Punk goes for a lariat to halt Lynn's momentum but Lynn ducks it, he comes off the ropes and Punk catches him with a tilt-a-whirl-slam, then he covers for two. Surfboard by Punk and I think he's picked his body part. Lynn seems reluctant to submit, telling the ref "My back's fine, I ain't f**kin' givin'!".

Punk decides to head back to the reverse chinlock, a bad move as Lynn easily makes it to his feet. Pair of elbows by Lynn, Punk responds with a knee to the gut and a clubbing forearm. Punk takes Lynn to the corner and whips him to the opposite corner, avalanche attempted but Lynn gets the boot up. Lynn charging out of the corner now and Punk tries a backdrop, Lynn counters with a go-behind to a waistlock but Punk sandwiches him back into the corner (deja vu!). Snapmare out of the corner by Punk and he fluidly follows with a rolling neck snap for a two count. Lynn pulled to his feet and Punk welcomes him to Chicago (even though they're in Clarksville) with the butterfly backbreaker. Cover by Punk, one, two, Lynn kicks out but he's immediately rolled over into an STF! Lynn inches over, but for every inch Lynn makes Punk cranks in the hold that much harder. Lynn struggles heavily, but he eventually does make it to the ropes and Punk decides to crank in the hold harder than ever during the five count. Lynn is pulled up by his hair by Punk, but Lynn fires back with elbows, a flurry which is cut short when Punk hairslams him back down. Lynn is taken to the corner for a chop and Punk whips him 'cross the corners, Lynn reverses, Punk backdrops the charging Lynn to the apron and, having apparently never seen a Jerry Lynn match before in his life, goes for a shoulderblock through the ropes- of course Lynn sidesteps and guillotines Punk to the floor. Lynn makes it back in the ring and he's fired up, hitting a pair of clotheslines but Punk ducks the third, trying for a 'rana but Lynn counters with a Ligerbomb! Lynn holds the cover, but Punk kicks out at two. Lynn sets Punk up, looks like it's Cradle Piledriver time but Punk charges Lynn into the corner to put an end to that. Forearms by Punk and he scoop slams Lynn, then heads up to the second rope. Split-legged Moonsault? If that's what Punk wants, he's taking his sweet time about it, sarcastically encouraging the crowd to clap for him...and this bites him in the ass, as Lynn sprints up the ropes and brings him down with a side Russian legsweep!

Both men are down and the obligatory ten count is put on- both men make it to their feet at about seven and they start exchanging right hands. Lynn, Punk, Lynn, Punk, Lynn, Lynn, Lynn, Lynn with a whip, Punk reverses, Lynn tries for a bodypress on the way back but Punk catches it and boosts Lynn up into a forward roll slam! Punk seamlessly fires off the split-legged Moonsault and he covers, but Lynn gets the shoulder up in time. Corner whip by Punk, Lynn reverses and charges right into a boot. Lynn comes back with a shoulderblock and a pair of rights to keep Punk down, then Lynn flies off the second rope and plants Punk with a bulldog! Lynn covers, one, two, two-and-a-half only as Punk gets the shoulder up. Stomp by Lynn and the International Sign of the Cradle Piledriver as he sets Punk up, Punk counters with a backdrop but Lynn rolls through for a sunset flip, only for Punk to block that and drop into a Cross Armbreaker! Lynn clasps the hands to block, trying to turn over the hold but Punk's not gonna let that happen and he extends the arm. Lynn thrashes, his foot finding the rope before it's too late. Corner whip by Punk and he charges in, Lynn vaults him overhead but Punk lands on the second rope where he hits Lynn with a back elbow before flying off with a Blockbuster! Cover by Punk, but again he only can manage a nearfall. Punk heads upstairs and Lynn crotches him, now he's up there and he's trying for a Superplex, but Punk blocks it twice. Uppercuts by Punk and now HE'S in control, looking for the Pepsi Plunge but Lynn blocks and backdrops Punk before leaping off the top with a modified tornado DDT! Lynn covers and hooks a leg, but Punk manages to kick out at the last second! Stomping by Lynn and he wants a suplex but Punk blocks, Punk trying the suplex now but Lynn drops behind, Punk going for a chop but Lynn ducks, then he boosts Punk up into the Hawaiian Smasher! Cover by Lynn, one, two, foot on the rope by Punk! Punk crawls to his feet and Lynn meets him with a pair of rights, trying for a clothesline but Punk ducks, there's the Hangman's Backbreaker and THERE'S the Shining Wizard! Cover by Punk- the crowd thinks it's over- one, two, NO! Very late kickout by Lynn there. Punk is pissed and he throws off his elbowpads. Punk lifting Lynn into a Gory Special, going for the Gorybomb but Lynn's fallen for this before, so he knows to counter to the sunset flip, one, two, Punk counters with a jackknife for two, Lynn flips that over for two, Punk hooks the legs and bridges with a figure-four jackknife for two, Lynn turns that over and pins the shoulders for two. Punk rolls to his feet, wants the clothesline but Lynn ducks, full nelson by Lynn and Punk drops into a bodyscissors cradle to counter, one, two, Lynn flips it over- all about leverage- one, two, both men roll to their feet. Lynn trying the clothesline now, Punk ducks and grabs a waistlock, standing switch by Lynn, he hooks Punk's arms through his legs and then does a double legdrop to pin his shoulders, one, two, three! (17:14, 83) Punk obeys the Code of Honor post match, and raises Lynn's arm to boot. I somehow doubt Punk's sincerity here; sure enough, Punk clotheslines Lynn down and puts on the badmouth. "Do you know who I am?" Piston rights by Punk. "Who are you?" Nine more piston rights and then Punk pulls Lynn to his feet so he can whip him into a knee to the gut. Stomping by Punk as Chris Hero (in a snazzy Kawada t-shirt) limps out with a chair to chase him off. Punk baits Hero, but shows no interest in actually getting back in the ring. Punk with the stick: "Y'know, people in the back that see these shows think I have an attitude problem. Jerry Lynn, I just proved 'em all wrong. I KNOW I have an attitude problem! I don't just think I'm better than everybody, I KNOW IT!" Hero helps Lynn to the back after Punk exits.

When I first saw this match a few months ago, I remember being really disappointed. It seemed like the most generic US Indy match possible: Mirror sequences and a standoff at the start, a bunch of big moves at the end and some Malenko/Guerrero two counts. When I watched it again to review it, it caused me to look closer and I realize there's a lot more to this match than I first thought. There's a lot of Punk trying to prove himself as the superior man, the one who deserves all the accolades since this is his big return. The mirroring actually makes sense in an "anything you can do I can do better" kind of way, and they did more than just the armdrag-for-armdrag mirroring (like the waistlock/run into the turnbuckle sequence). This wasn't as entertaining as Punk's match with Nate Webb last night, but technically it was better. Also have to note how Punk has actually become more fluid and probably a much smarter worker since his injury- he does less repetitive stuff (all the Punk matches from earlier this year seemed to have the Jackie Chan/jawbreaker/plancha sequence) and just generally looks like a much more confident worker. Hero/M-Dogg totally overshadows this but it's still a fine match.

-Cash Flo vs. Ian Rotten vs. Necro Butcher in a House of Pain, Fans Bring the Weapons deathmatch. Here's one for the vampires. "House of Pain" means my least favorite stipulation in wrestling (aside from "...on a pole" matches that is), a two hundred lighttubes match. This is Flo's first match in IWA in a little while, as he's replacing Corporal Robinson. See, this was originally supposed to be Corp vs. Ian due to Corp turning on Ian in Chicago a few months ago, but Robinson couldn't make it so Flo's taking his partner's spot. Funny note: Ian supposedly retired from deathmatches in July, but he asked his wife Patti for permission to do one more and she gave the okay. Flo says "f**k" a lot in a really lame promo while Too Tuff Tony and CM Punk join on commentary. Punk doesn't say much as he has to meet some people at the Waffle House later, while Tony's commentary consists of much Ahmed Johnson-like indecipherable mumbling. Necro enters to "Gets Me Through", that relatively new Ozzy Osborne song, as opposed to his normal music ("Bang Your Head"). He's not the kind of person you think he is, he's not the antichrist or the Iron Man, but he tries to entertain you the best he can...

Fannin puts it best at some point during this match: "Commentary is pointless in a match like this, Dave Prazak, because the people can see the carnage for themselves, and our words can't do justice to the pain those three are putting each other through." I'm just gonna hit the highlights. Funny moment at the start as all three guys are doing the Star Wars lightsaber circle with their tubes and referee Brent Blades is cowering in the corner. Lots of hitting each other with tubes and then carving said tubes into the victim's forehead. This is REALLY not my kinda match, and I hesitate to even call it wrestling. A barbed wire bug zapper gets involved at one point, as do barbed wire christmas lights, a chunk of drywall, a giant pizza spatula and a chain. Flo's arm is cut up pretty bad by the bug zapper, while Necro's back is shredded all to hell and it's up there with Rick Michaels' bladejob at Freedom Fight '02 for gruesomeness. Ian gets a lighttube to the eye and wears a heavy crimson mask for the duration of the match. At one point Necro utterly destroys Flo with stiff headbutts, chops and more headbutts. Ian fixes up one of those crazy chairs n' light tubes structures and tries to Powerbomb Flo through it, but Flo counters and Ian gets backdropped through his own lunatic creation. Necro does his cool chair-assisted bodyslam on the floor to Flo. Ian goes nuts at one point, whacking Flo with a lightbulb baseball bat, a wiffleball bat and then a toolbox in rapid succession. After the 15:00 mark all three guys are on their knees in a circle on the floor, and they trade some stiff headbutts for a while. Late in the match Ian goes and grabs an extension cord, plugging in some decorative Christmas lights a fan brought. Brutal spot back in the ring while Ian does that sees Necro go for his finisher, the Asiatic Spike (Terry Gordy's thumb to the throat) but Flo counters it with a SICK AND WRONG Exploder through a log cabin of glass! Ian has trouble with the lights and then he just declares "oh f**k it" and smashes the lights onto Necro's already shredded back with a chair. Ian then slams Flo off the top onto the shards of glass in the ring, and Necro drags Flo barebacked across the glass wreckage. OUCH.

Cash Flo does his "Oh s**t" top rope Legdrop to sandwich a chair on Ian's face for a good nearfall near the end. Necro kicks a light tube downstairs on Flo (owwwwwwwww). Hilarious spot (to me) sees Blades actually put a five count on Ian for a blatant choke! Brent, they're cutting each other up with glass and bug zappers and other crazy s**t, I think a five count is a wee bit out of place in this match. The finish sees Flo toss Ian through the ropes to the floor and try a back suplex on Necro onto the glass, but Necro counters with the Asiatic Spike and Flo's shoulders fall for three (22:06). No, I'm not going to rate it. To look at it as a straight match and it'd be rated in the thirties or twenties, but to look at it as a straight match would be to miss the point. This is a spectacle for the bloodmarks, so if you enjoy this kinda thing, dig in: This is one of the finer gorefests you'll find, you sick, socially unacceptable bastards. All I can do is sit back and cringe.

-Ian drinks some water and rests from the twenty minutes of hell he was just put through, then makes a great, heartfelt speech about the IWA's sixth anniversary. He thanks all the people that have helped IWA-MS survive for six years (Fannin, Rico, Lisa and Paula the concession stand girls). Ian says that "We wouldn't have survived this year if it wasn't for Mike Burns believing in this product", prompting a huge "Smart Mark" chant (Burns is the owner of Smart Mark Video). Ian of course gives props to Patti, then he mentions all the big feuds that have helped define IWA-MS, like Tarek/American Kickboxer and Punk/Cabana. He ends with a story about how he and Mark Wolf grew up wanting to be wrestlers, very good stuff especially if you're a big IWA fan. Ian's last words: "There is an alternative to the Sports Entertainment, and it's called IWA Mid South hardcore wrestling. Thanks, goodnight."

-Very, very solid show on the whole, with only one absolute must-see match (Hero/MD20) but a whole lot of decent--->good stuff on the undercard, not to mention several very strong angles, a great brawl in Pain/Smothers, excellent promos from both Ian and Tracy, and a little something for the goremarks at the end. Heavy on the variety and a recommended show, but there are several other IWA-MS shows you should pick up before this if you're a first-time buyer, like the TPI and the recent 300th and Ultra Styles Clash shows. Still, this is one that you should see at some point; at the very least, find the Hero/MD20 match somehow.

To close I'm gonna point you in the direction of some quality tape sites. Of course, http://www.smartmarkvideo.com is where you should head for all your IWA-MS and CZW needs; BarrMark (who can be reached at BarrMark11@hotmail.com) has great rates and service, plus his exceptional "Collar & Elbow" comps; Wes Hatch (WeSide187@hotmail.com) and finally, Melanie's H3Girl's Tapes has the best selection of Wildside.

Later this week or early next I should have a review of IWA-MS' next noteworthy show, "The Gauntlet Challenge", which saw M-Dogg 20 trying to prove himself as champion in a concept show. Until then, later.