IWA-MS #WeAreIWA Review

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Thanks to the kind folks at Powerbomb TV, IWA Mid South presented its first ever live stream event. #WeAreIWA turned out to be a fun night of wrestling featuring a variety of some independent wrestling’s biggest names, hottest prospects and promising new comers. The main event saw Aaron Williams defend the heavyweight championship against Jake Crist and Mance Warner, which ended the night with a ‘feel good’ moment . This event was held on February 1, 2018.

Eric Wayne vs AJ Gray vs Sage Philips vs Trey Miguel vs Sage Cainan vs Myron Reed

A wild start to this show as all six competitors paired off and started slugging it out. The action immediately spilled to the outside. Once the ring was cleared, they were able to keep the action more focused as they took turns getting their shine. As one competitor hit a move, another came in to take over. The whole process was just smooth and devoid of any awkwardness. They set up their high spots nicely, but I would have liked to see something different from the traditional six-man spots we’ve grow accustomed to. Still, when you take into consideration how young the talent involved in this match are, this was an incredible effort. Even though there was only one winner, everyone was a star and came out looking like a million bucks. Fun start. ★★★¼

Ace Romero vs Sami Callihan

I’m not sure what happened here but most of this match was just lackluster. They tried their best to get the crowd to come up but nothing seemed to work. They brawled for a while on the outside but it felt dull and lifeless. To Sami’s credit, he tried to get the fans involved but he just couldn’t garner the reaction he wanted. Much of what they did came off as uninspiring and it lacked excitement. The finishing stretch was well-constructed but the lethargic delivery led to deflated false finishes. The response from the crowd was lukewarm at best. So too are my feelings towards this match. ★★½

Marko Stunt vs Ludark Shaitan

Marko Stunt has a bright future in this business, at least in IWA-MS for now. He has all the ability and natural talent, but this match showed that he still has a lot of grooming to do. Being that badass that she is, Ludark Shaitan beat the absolute crap out of him for the first half. I think this match would have served Marko better had he just fought from underneath. Once he took over, he seemed to just wander about aimlessly. He got the chance to show off his athletic ability but, at the same time, such a long control segment exposed his greenness. I would have liked to see a more cohesive structure; that way Marko would have gotten to show off his absolute best, rather than just sandwiching it between the things he is still developing. Still, a good showing for the young man and props to Shaitain for giving an opportunity. ★★½

Tai Pei Deathmatch: Amazing Maria vs JC Rotten

This was a qualifying match for the Prince of the Deathmatch this year. They got straight down to business by starting off with a fork-duel. Maria wasted no time as she stabbed away at Rotten’s forehead. This was a neat deathmatch with innovative use of weapons. They took their time in moving from one act of violence to another. There was purpose and reasoning to everything that they did. You could have felt the animosity between these two as the level of violence increased the longer the match went. Solid match. ★★★

MJF vs Eddie Kingsotn

Kingston beat the absolute piss out of MJF early on, then the match slowed down considerably. The action was long, drawn out and plodding. Skippable. ★½

Brandon Taggert and Shain Bender vs Chase Holliday and Steve Manders 

For the most part, this was a fairly standard tag team match that needed its own unique identity. The work was solid and structurally sound but nothing in particular stood out. Still, it was engaging with an enjoyable and satisfying conclusion. **3/4

Calvin Tankman vs Larry D

If you’re a fan of hoss battles like I am, then stop reading and go watch this match now.  If you need further convincing, then read the rest of this review and then go watch the match. These two damn near destroyed the ring. This was just two beasts lugging at each other until one of them was put down. What made it scarier was their insane agility. Men of this stature should not be moving this quickly and doing standing moonsaults.  Within the first five minutes, the ring resembled a car crash as their bodies laid motionless. The finishing stretch was exciting and filled with believable nearfalls. These two went all out and left everything they had inside the ring. On this night, Calvin Tankman and Larry D went to war. ★★★½

IWA Mid-South Tag Team Championship Match: Unfortunate Pairing (Pat Monix and Elliott Paul) (c) vs Jimmy’s Angels (Ace Perry and Dale Patricks) 

The action was fast and furious early on but they started to meander and the match felt a bit directionless at times. They added in some comedic elements and while they were a welcomed change of pace, I’m not sure if it belonged in the grander scheme of things. The heat segment was drawn-out, but they compensated for it with an energetic conclusion. Still, this match felt like a barrage of ideas that needed sifting. ★★¾

IWA Mid-South World Championship Three-Way Eliminator Match: Aaron Williams (c) vs Jake Crist vs Mance Warner

This was an absolute slugfest from start to finish. The action was hard-hitting and there were even some weapons involved. The use of weapons added a whole other layer of intensity. Mance Warner suffered a gash at back of his head from a chairshot and it was just nasty. The visual of Mance Warner fighting off two opponents as blood dripped from his skull made this match even more dramatic. The crowd was heavily invested and there was a lot of heart to the final moments. The final fall was emotional and heart-warming. You can’t ask for anything more from a main event. Very strong end to the show. ★★★½

You can catch the replay of this event at Powerbomb TV

 

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