by Alex McCarthy @AlexMc7489
Photo credit to Matt Tucker Photography
Saturday October 15th, I had the pleasure of attending Riverslam ‘16 in Muscatine at the Muscatine Boxing Club. It was definitely a grittier atmosphere than the pristine Walcott Coliseum. They had some very nice women serving concessions. At the other end of the arena was what looked to be a bake sale, and Marek Brave was selling Black and Brave Academy merchandise which explains why he was so nice to me. They had a camera crew in the house from the Muscatine Independent Film Festival. It makes me wonder if this show will be available on DVD or online. I also saw Joe Acer in the crowd, but he was wearing a shirt, so I couldn’t see what he had written on his back tonight. The kid with the green beats that sits in the front row at SCW shows was also in the front row here. He’s the straw hat guy of Eastern Iowa wrestling, I guess.
First match of the night saw Renato Sanchez coming down to “Low Rider” weighing in at 300 pounds. I’m not familiar with this guy, so I don’t know where else he works. He has an intimidating size. Johnny Wisdom comes out with Nate Alsin and Jason Michaels in tow. Michaels informs the audience that Alsin is going to take care of Latin Thunder in the main event. He then informs the people of Muscatine that after the election, we won’t have to worry about people like Renato Sanchez and Latin Thunder. Referee Waldo calls for the match to start, but there’s no bell. It starts with a lock up takedown. Renato works Wisdom into the corner. He delivers a body slam. Renato drops him with a back body drop. He then chases Wisdom around the ring as the wily veteran tries to evade the dominance of the much larger athlete. Michaels catches the legs of Renato as he tries to go back into the ring. Wisdom then turns the match around in his favor. He chokes Sanchez on the ropes. There are several strikes from Wisdom including a headlock. He applies a chin lock to work the big man down. An elbow drop only gets the veteran a two count. There’s a hip toss followed by a body scissors. The crowd is firmly behind Renato even though they’re calling him Reynaldo. The big man Sanchez hits a splash in the corner. He holds him up for a delayed slam. It should’ve been three, but Michaels pulls Waldo to the floor. Jason Michaels is sent to the back. A Samoan Drop and a Vader Bomb give Renato Sanchez the victory.
Next up, Mike Pride, from Muscatine, Iowa and wishes he was from anywhere else, comes down to the ring. He’s wearing this white leather get-up that makes him look like he might’ve been a back up dancer for Three Count at one point. He’s opponent ‘Mr. Extreme’ Mick Wiqied comes out. His gear reminds me of Luke Harper with a flannel jacket. I did notice there were multiple babies in the audience. Then, ‘manager supreme’ Axel Greece comes through the curtain. He was wearing silver pants out of 90s rap video, a dress jacket covered in dollar bills, a duck tape striped cane, Party City sunglasses, and a dirty backwards baseball cap. It was like he asked five people to bring the stupidest most obscure piece of apparel they owned, and then he put it all on. He looked stupid. Wiqied was mesmerized by the idiocy of this guy, and it allowed Mike Pride to jump him. The many fans in Muscatine got to see two guys from their own backyard do battle. Pride throws Mick into the steel stairs. There’s a suplex, but I must admit I’m distracted by the ridiculousness of Axel Greece. He uses his striped cane to choke Wiqied. A well meaning fan in the front row tries to explain to Waldo exactly what happened when Greece got involved. Pride managed to get a two count. There was a knee drop from Pride. Mick is thrown to the floor, and Axel goes on the attack. Pride tells the fans to move implying he’s going to throw Wiqied into the chairs. He then throws him into the ring making their moving out of the way futile. Pride throws several kicks. He steps on Mick for a two count. He misses a splash, and there are some atomic drops. Wiqied pulls Greece onto the apron to punish him for his trash talking. Pride goes to jump him, but Mr. Extreme moves. Pride knocks his manager to the floor. Wiqied gets a super kick for the win. He came up to me and took a shot at my Cubs shirt after the match.
Next up we have the IPW Championship Match. ‘Centures’ by Fallout Boy plays. This makes an amazing wrestling theme song. Sparrow comes through the curtain. He’s got a nice entrance robe that is black with silver sparkles. It also has feathers. James Jeffries comes out next who is supposedly the IPW Champion, but he did not have the strap with him tonight. Jeffries gear looks like a cross between the Ultimate Warrior and The Rockers. Major 80s/90s vibe at this show in general it seem. The match starts with some chain wrestling. The ink covered Sparrow and the champion Jeffries start out what has been the best match of the night so far. It’s quick paced with front face locks and hammerlocks. One thing I heard a lot of in this matches was a ‘break it off’ chant any time an arm submission was applied. Is that a typical chant? Tweet me @AlexMc7489 if you hear the ‘break it off’ chant anywhere else. There’s a big shoulder block from Sparrow. A high speed exchange leads to Sparrow taking the advantage. There are some nice arm drags followed by a plethora of strikes. The champ gets the advantage back as he seats Sparrow in the ropes for some seesaw punches. Sparrow responds with a soul food into an armbar. The official makes multiple two counts. The champion powers into a pinning, but it’s only a two. He hits a running knee in the corner. He follows up with some big chops. There’s then a powerful Irish whip. Jeffries hits a spinning forearm to the back. There is a big Sparrow fan in the front row who looks to be about seven. Jeffries hits a unique reversal for the count of two. There’s a chin breaker and a pin under the ropes. A textbook vertical suplex only gets a two count. A series of near falls leads to a Fujiwara armbar from Sparrow. He’s unable to put the champion away. Both men try to put their opponent away with a back drop, but each man lands on his feet. There’s a spear that leaves both men down. They exchange some punches before a tilt a whirl head scissors. Jeffries hits a flying cross body that a lot of people seem to believe should have put Sparrow away, but it doesn’t. Sparrow hits soul food again, but there’s another kick out. Sparrow misses a senton. Jeffries hits sliced bread number 2 for the win. ‘Party in the USA’ plays.
After intermission I got worried because Axel Greece was back, but he was taking over as ring announcer. Joe Acer of SCW fame is recording this next match on his iPhone. Zicky Dice and Jackson Kelly come out to a nice reaction. I was happy to see some familiar faces. Bodie Van Zandt and Xander Killen come out as their adversaries back together for one night only. A discussion with Killen after the show revealed that the contract had already been signed before he decided to dump Van Zandt as his partner. He also said obtaining the winner’s purse was all that really mattered to him, and he didn’t care who his partner was. I wish I could’ve gotten a word with Van Zandt, but I can certainly understand his desire to be a gentleman and give Killen another chance. However, when they’re coming down to the ring, Killen is appearing to have a cramp in his calf. Van Zandt has the decency to give him a calf massage. When the match starts, Zicky and Bodie start out the match. The Marvelous Magician has a levitating card which he holds in midair. Bodie Van Zandt attempts the magician’s feat, but he drops it. He tries to do it again, but he can’t. He then rips up the card like a petulant child which shows that spending all day in the locker room with Xander Killen has had an effect on him. Zicky attacks him. He throws him head first into his partner for a double noggin knocker if you will. There’s some more back and forth before both men are able to tag in their partner. Kelly hits back to back beautiful flapjacks. Killen goes to the floor, and Kelly attempts a baseball slide dropkick, but Xander has it telegraphed pulling out the ring skirt and trapping Kelly in it. He attacks him and Bodie joins in to increase their momentum. Killen throws several chops in the corner. Kelly reverses it with chops of his own. There is a hair pull takedown from Killen. He mounts him and delivers punches. Killen starts to lose control, but he tags in Van Zandt who takes it back. Quick tags are employed by the experienced tag team, and a massive dropkick to the face gets a two count. Kelly hits a powerful lariat before both men get tags. Zicky comes in with a house of fire before employing the never ending magic scarf to choke his opponent. There’s a sick dropkick. Van Zandt regains control, and Killen throws the Australian flag to the floor. My notes may be a little spotty because this was, by far, the match of the night, and when I’m truly engaged, sometimes, I forget to take notes. Zicky hits some head-butts stopping Xander from going high risk. However, Killen manages to throw him off the ropes. He jumps up and GRABS THE RAFTERS! He hangs for awhile unsure what to do. Dice stops him from capitalizing on the height by pulling him into a rope assisted sit-out power bomb. He throws Killen in the corner and sets him up for Kelly’s bum kick. Dice hits the cannon ball in the opposite corner on Van Zandt at the same time. Killen and Van Zandt both manage to kick out. Bodie throws Dice into the stairs while Kelly falls victim to a soul food and kick combination which gets them the victory.
We have women’s action next, and I’m looking forward to this match because I’m not familiar with either of these ladies. The stairs are still in a disarray after they served as a target for the Zicky Dice throw. Frankie Jay clearly is not impressed by Muscatine or anyone there. Kiandra comes down with light up boots, and she has the crowd behind her. Waldo calls for the bell, and Frankie admonishes him because she wasn’t ready. Kiandra applies an early arm bar. Frankie escapes the ring, and she leads Kiandra on a wild goose chase around the ring. She lures Kiandra back into the ring and takes control. There is a Thesz Press take down. Miss Jay chokes Kiandra, and then is totally surprised when the official informs her that is illegal. She literally said, “What? I can’t do that?” I will write the Iowa State Wrestling Commission requesting a copy of the official Iowa Pro Wrestling Rulebook be faxed to Miss Jay. She then pulls Kiandra’s hair. Someone really needs to send her that rulebook. They split kicks, and Jay gets a near fall. The jackknife cover cannot put Kiandra away either. Frankie Jay has total domination of Kiandra, but she cannot seem to put her away. She starts to ascend the ropes, and when the crowd asks her to go to the top, she refuses to appeal to their requests stopping at the middle rope. She drops an elbow, but she’s still unable to put Kiandra away. The light-up booted lass finally starts to turn the match around. However, Frankie cuts her off with a pedigree! She misses a splash, and Kiandra hits her with a big boot! Frankie Jay saw the lights of the light up shoes, and then, she saw the lights as Kiandra got the victory.
Main event time. Venice Beach, California native, Nate Alsin comes to the ring with Jason Michaels. Muscatine resident, Latin Thunder, comes down to a big reaction. I was actually extremely impressed that he had his first match in the world famous Texas Sportatorium. There’s a one hour time limit, and Waldo bans Jason Michaels from ringside. Alsin jumps Thunder from behind getting some early offense. Thunder reverses it, and he lands some strong chops. He lands a head scissors takedown. Thunder lands a flying forearm before Alsin goes to the floor. He actually takes a nine count before going back into the ring. I did notice a lot of photographers in the building tonight. Alsin puts a tight headlock on Thunder. They exchange some more offense. Thunder throws a nice dropkick. He also hits a Russian leg sweep. Thunder tries to utilize a crucifix takedown, but Alsin is too powerful. He drops down on top of Thunder. He hits him with a massive power slam before applying a headlock. Alsin shows his power with some strong clotheslines. He hits a big slam before delivering a leg drop. I seem to recall another guy from Venice Beach having a decent leg drop. Alsin couldn’t put Thunder away with his. A youngster in the front row admonishes Alsin, and he asks him if he wants to be next. He applies a front face lock, but Thunder hits some elbows that allow him to escape. Alsin hits another power slam. He hits a second rope elbow drop. He hits a very nice vertical suplex. There’s some ground and pound. Thunder goes for a cross body, but Nate catches him and slams him. He locks the legend in a bear hug. Thunder escapes, and he slams Alsin himself. Thunder hits some punches to the head. There are some clotheslines before more ground and pound. He drops him with a scoop slam and follows up with a flying elbow, but he kicks out. Alsin hits a black hole slam. He then hits a spear and hooks the tights for a two count. Thunder applies a sleeper. Alsin throws both of their weight into the corner taking down Waldo in the process. Jason Michaels runs down to the ring with a steel chair. THUNDER KICKS OUT! Waldo sees Jason Michaels and seems confused. Michaels gets up on the apron. Thunder knocks him off and racks Alsin. He hits him with a hurricanrana for the victory!
Overall, it was a fun show. I liked that it was a two hour family friendly show that ended early enough for commuters to get home at a decent hour. I thought the venue worked for the show, and it was cool seeing some SCW mainstays as well as IPW folks. I’m hoping they run some more shows here.