by Dustin Smothers (@SmoHawk)
Friday night Iowa Went Lucha, and let me tell you, it was awesome.
This isn’t going to be a typical review of the show, this is going to be more of a love letter to Sami Callihan for bringing Des Moines it’s very own super-indie.
The Des Moines metro already has two fantastic independent promotions in Impact Pro Wrestling and 3XWrestling. Throw in Scott County Wrestling, and we are a hot-bed of independent action. The only thing missing was a promotion, with a little national cache to boot. Back in June, we got that. The Wrestling Revolver was formed, and myself and many others thought it would be a one time event.
Boy were we wrong.
Last night was one of the best independent shows I’ve been to that wasn’t at WrestleMania weekend. Everyone involved worked hard to entertain, and amaze the fans in Des Moines. Who would have ever thought we’d see Chavo Guerrero and Marty the Moth jump from The Temple, to the Seven Flags Event Center? What about the fact that CMLL legend Triton was live in Des Moines last night? Did I mention Brian Cage and Sami Callihan destroyed each other last night?
The professional wrestling landscape is changing every day, and we were treated to a showcase of why that is with a hearty helping of amazing Midwest talent as well last night. Names like Curt Stallion, Connor Braxton, Dezmond Xavier, Oi4K, Zachary Wentz and others performed death defying feats last night. Wentz jumped off of a rock wall for fucks sake.
The night started with former TNA X Division Champion Trevor Lee defeating new internet sensation Darby Allin. Darby is a former professional skater, and he has been making waves with his unorthodox offense in EVOLVE. Trevor Lee continues to impress me every time I see him live, and Darby Allin is someone everyone should be taking notice of. The Punk Rock Zombie will surely be on the national radar soon.
Fenix had been advertised to face Brian Cage in the main event of the evening, but due to a separated shoulder he was unable to compete. After Cage chose to bully Fenix, Sami Callihan made the save and announced that he would be facing Cage in the main event instead! I was sold!
Next up the Number One Contender to the SCW Heavyweight Championship Connor Braxton came rolling out on his hover board, and the crowd just eats this shit up, as do I. Braxton has the right look, he has the charisma, and he can clearly have a good time or be serious when the time is right. He defeated Clayton Jackson after a brutal hover board assisted People’s Elbow!
Next up we got a triple threat match between CMLL legend Triton, Chicago-based American luchadore Gringo Loco and Anthony Henry. Henry was replacing the injured Zema Ion, who was in attendance but unfortunately was not cleared to preform. Henry was unknown to me at the start of the match, but I’ll say this, he is on my radar now. This kid had heart, stepped up the plate against a Mexican icon, and delivered the goods. Gringo Loco is always on point, and what can I say about Triton that would do him justice. Triton won the contest, but all three men showed respect to one another after the match, and it’s those moments that make wrestling fun!
The “Manscout” Jake Manning came out next and endeared himself to the women in attendance, reminding them that he felt their place was in the kitchen. His opponent felt otherwise, and Jessika Havok made sure to let Jake have it. This was a great “Battle of the Sexes” with a lot of great comedy spots from Jake. The finish of this match may have been the most shocking of the night, as Manning won with his feet on the ropes winning the first match I’ve ever seen him win. I’d love to see these two feud all over the country!
The AR Fox Scramble match clearly stole the show in June, when Zachary Wentz did a dive unlike anything seen in Des Moines before, and while nobody jumped off of anything (that would come later), this was still an amazing match! This was once again a who’s who of independent up and coming stars. AR Fox was joined by my man, Curt “Lone Star” Stallion, Mat Fitchett, Davey Vega, Darin Dinero, Jason Cade, Ethan Case and Matt Palmer. The action was far to fast and furious to keep up with, but all you need to know is you missed a hell of a match. AR Fox came out victorious, and I’d assume the ice packs were very much needed in the back after this affair.
After a brief intermission, we returned for what I believe was the match of the night. Oi4K (Ohio is 4 Killers) Dave & Jake Crist, with their manager JT Davidson waged war in a Tornado Tag with Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz. The action spilled into the crowd early, and as I mentioned, someone jumped off of something again. That someone was once again Zachary Wentz and he upped the ante by scaling a rock wall that was set up by the Iowa National Guard, and he jumped over fifteen feet onto Oi4K to the crowd’s delight. One the action returned to the ring Oi4K came up victorious following a double stomp into a spike tombstone pildedriver for the victory. I’ll say this, that was the best Indytaker I’ve ever seen. You’re move Young Bucks.
Caleb Konley was set to square off with Silas Young, but due to family commitments, Young had to cancel at the last minute. Konley didn’t go unchallenged though, as
“Dirty” Andy Dalton made his stench known much to the chagrin of the Iowa fans. Let me tell you this, Dalton is one of the greasiest, slimy sons of bitches in the business, and you better take notice because he is also really good. Caleb Konley is tragically underused on TNA programming, but we were treated to what he is capable of as he picked up the W in this fantastic match.
Chavo Guerrero, Jr. defeated Marty the Moth in a battle straight out of Boyle Heights as these two Lucha Underground stars had a killer bout, full of the absolute bizarre ticks of The Moth. This was the first time I had ever seen Marty in person, and he is something else. His hijinks and facial expressions are amazing and it’s mind-blowing knowing this is Martin from the Austin Tough Enough season! Chavo is always a class act in and out of the ring, and he paid tribute to his late-great uncle Eddy by hitting the Three Amigos and an epic Frog Splash for the 1-2-3.
The main event of the evening as I mentioned was Brian Cage v. Sami Callihan. These two never go light on anyone, so I was ready for an all-out war when the bell rang and I was not disappointed. Sami came up short in the end, as Cage killed him with a Weapon X for the victory.
Post-match Sami grabbed the house mic and thanked all the fans in attendance, let us know that The Wrestling Revolver’s next show will be in Orlando as part of WrestleMania weekend, but that they would be back home in Des Moines shortly thereafter.
I had a conversation with a few people after the show, and from what I gathered we can expect The Wrestling Revolver back in Des Moines in May. That’s a long time to wait, but let me be the first to tell you….it will be so worth it.