Saturday, August 20th, 2016
Des Moines, IA
Dustin and I attended the show, and I for one, was not sure what to expect. Oftentimes, I get wrapped up in the cynical, “seen everything before” smarky approach I have for Pro Wrestling. I will say, I did not expect the memorable night of wrestling I was given.
Before the match, Decent cut a better than decent promo (see what I did there) stating he will be pulling “double duty” tonight, so apparently he is involved in the tag team main event. Good pre-match heel mic work.
Justin Decent vs. Tony Sly for #1 Contender
Sly wins and is deemed new # 1 contender. Solid match that served its purpose.
The Legend Killers v. The Hooligans
Ok, this match. This match…ruled! It truly did! The crowd was bonkers for it & the Hooligans definitely impressed me. The have a great punk hillbilly gimmick & a wrestling style that is innovative & exciting. Their manager, Uncle Leo is the cherry on top. The legend killers are nothing to sneeze at either. They are great heels, and do the little things right. They get it. My personal favorite match of the night.
Austin Fouts vs. Nathen Edwards
Fouts has a great gimmick. I really enjoyed his schtick as the Cougar Hunter. He even wore leopard print gear. At one point, an unwanted lap dance to a female spectator earned him a slap to the face. That’s dedication. His opponent, Edwards is a rookie who showed great fire and will make a very good white meat babyface very soon.
Ray Feuring vs. Nick Brubaker
Feuring is a member of the “Stud Club” & his manager, Jason Michaels cut a promo before the match stressing the importance of the $10,000 challenge. Good mic work by Mr. Michaels (see, I can be objective & fair even though he made fun of my Chicago Cubs hat I was wearing). Both guys looked good coming out of this match.
TS Aggressor entered the ring with IPW Champion James Jeffries to wish a little boy a happy birthday. While the festivities were transpiring, Legend Killer Member Matty Star came out & interrupted. He was eventually taken out by Jeffries with his finisher & the boy covered Starr for a mock pin on Starr. Great feel good moment.
UGLY v. Clay Cooper
It wasn’t ugly at all. This match was quite serviceable. Cooper is another rookie with a great upside. He also resembles a young CM Punk, so that’s something. After the match, Nate Edwards helped Cooper up & then announced they are becoming a tag team. Intriguing pairing.
IPW Champion James Jeffries vs. Nicky Free
Nicky Free is a big dude. He was definitely the perfect foil to the scrappy, smaller Jeffries. Jeffries is the right guy to be the face of the company for sure. The crowd loved him and he has a traditional babyface vibe that translates to the crowd, and makes him easy to emotionally invest in.
James Jeffries wins & retains.
Post-match, UGLY entered the ring & started beating.
Ryan Slade & AJ Smooth vs. Impact Pro Wrestling Tag Team Champions Justin Decent (in place of Aaron Von Baron) and Nate Alsin in a “Fans Bring the Weapons” match!
A raucous crowd & a trash bin full of weapons gave this match a special feel. Best weapon: a children’s toy vacuum. I’ve always wanted to see one of those destroyed, so I got my wish. At one point, Smooth got “injured” and was helped to the back, making it a handicap match. The finish saw Slade in trouble & Smooth returned, limping to the ring, for the save. The ring is cleared of the heels, then Smooth turns on Slade with a choke slam in a shocking twist.
Decent & Alsin win & retain the tag team titles.
Post-Match: AJ Smooth cuts a heel promo and Aaron Von Baron returned to join his team. Smooth, Von Baron and Decent proceed in turning on Alsin and leave him lying face down to end the show. The heels spoke and taunted the fans. The fans boo’ed and threw garbage in the ring, while Alsin continued to sell, making a pretty cool scene. The house lights came on, and people stared filing out. Nice, effective double turn, leaving a cliffhanger storyline to watch play out during the next show on Thursday, September 29th.
In a nutshell, this was a solid, entertaining, well booked, above average show. This was my first IPW show, and I was impressed with the whole presentation. Troy Peterson and TS Aggressor (he’ll always be known to me as that), really have something special here in a local independent promotion. There were kids & families, and plenty of adult fans to give it a good variety of noise throughout the show. It was an excite able crowd, leaving a stellar atmosphere. It was also very refreshing to see an independent (or any, for that matter) wrestling crowd playing along with the roles the wrestlers were playing, and stories they were telling. The fans were/are knowledgable of the characters, and emotionally invested in the outcomes. They boo’ed the heels, and cheered the baby faces. That is what makes pro wrestling fun. The whole crew from Midnight Guthrie on down are professional and precise, and all the talent worked hard to ensure that everyone got their money’s worth.
I am looking forward to the next show…and the next…and the next, and so on. I am proud that Impact Pro Wrestling is based here in Iowa, and impressed with everyone involved who make it a must see show. Thank you IPW for taking the smark out of this mark…even if just for one night (hey, baby steps).