April 6 2019
We’re in Jersey City at White Eagle Hall.
Alexander Dean vs. J-Money
Dean is Irish. He targets Papa Hales and holy shit is he going to fight him?
J-Money has a gimmick where he gives money away and has money sticking out of his trunks. He chops Dean with money in his hand.
This is reckless spending in this economy but it popped me pic.twitter.com/wluiOJta9m
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) April 10, 2019
And this. Marvellous work. This is a good match because J-Money is over and does fun things and can take bumps. Dean is a big sour faced bastard who does strikes and suplexes. So Money gets over and then Dean kills him. Simple formula. Money gets the lucky pin with a victory roll. This was fun. I enjoyed it.
Final Rating: **3/4
IWS Canadian Championship
Kevin Blanchard (c) vs. Ophidian
Ophidian is from Chikara. I like him a lot. The trouble with being a Chikara guy is that Chikara don’t like their guys working all over. It holds people back. Ophidian has wrestled for 12 years and has rarely had a chance to shine outside of Chikara. I’m looking at the promotions he’s worked for and he’s been in a lot of places but I still feel that the Chikara connection holds him back. Blanchard is Canadian and this is his home promotion.
They have a tidy match. It’s good on the mat, it’s good when they’re striking and they have some cool but basic spots. They build nicely too so I feel drawn into the contest slowly but surely. Until there’s a Canadian Destroyer and I roll my eyes a bit but it does set up a big double stomp for the finish. This was good!
Final Rating: ***1/2
Fernando de la Cruz & Jordano the Producer vs. Carvo & Rocco Benz vs. Karl Jepsen & James Runyan vs. Maredes & Steven Mainz
I have no idea who all these guys are. It does feel like IWS has used this match as a dumping ground for everyone that wanted to work the show though. And they still have a scramble match later! Carvo and Rocco, the “Mercedes Brothers” (because the car), are the clear favourites as they’re big. These guys are clearly aware that they’re not over so they work hard. The results are mixed. There are some tremendous chops and clubbing blows but the one dude, I think it’s Jepson, full on drops one of the other guys (you’re getting no PBP on this motherfuckers because I don’t know anyone). Mainz nails the one guy with a kick and Maredes comes off the top for the pin. I’m very aware how incredibly vague I was here but it was a fun, but flawed, match.
Final Rating: **
The Green Phantom vs. Matt Tremont vs. Nick Gage
Gage is out here before his music has even started. He’s so keyed up. Tremont is out second and they start fighting before Phantom is out here. Phantom is the Canadian guy. He’s 6’5”/265lbs. Tremont throws him into the crowd and Gage follows out destroying chairs as he goes. Gage gets so mad at the chairs being zip-tied together that he throws a row of them at Green Phantom. They have FUCKED UP the venue’s seating plan. Phantom looks impressive unless he has to actually do anything. So Gage makes a point of continually throwing him into the chairs.
It’s much better when Gage and Tremont just kill each other. Phantom can’t do anything right and you can see both of the others getting madder with him. Tremont bleeds like a trooper and Gage takes horrific bumps. The spot onto the two set up chairs is criminal. Tremont goes head first through a table and because Gage is dead the Green Phantom gets the pin. Don’t expect to see this guy on any shows outside of Canada anytime soon. It genuinely looks like both Tremont and Gage want to kill him.
Final Rating: **1/2
Pinkie Sanchez vs. Sheldon Jean vs. Excess vs. Nelson Pereira vs. Black Dynamite vs. Maxim Lemire
Excess has a Mark Davis hard high five gimmick. We have a definite mix of talent here. Nelson is Portuguese. If we ever do the European Tour show for Portugal he’ll be on it. Excess is terrible. Lemire is a tank. Sanchez, the local boy, is the stand out. I’ve seen him on shows all weekend but this is the best he’s looked. Jean is decent. He’s creative and athletic. As I type that he botches horribly, falling off the ropes onto the other ropes. He’s lucky to escape without serious injury. Excess finally does something cool by trying to break Nelson with a half crab through the ropes and Black Dynamite moonsaults onto him. I’m amazed nobody has gotten hurt in this match. Lemire eventually finishes Excess with a powerbomb and we made it out of here without anyone breaking their neck, which is a miracle frankly. Normally I would enjoy a match that had this level of ambition to it but I was way too scared someone was going to get hurt because of the botches.
Final Rating: **1/4
IWS Women’s Championship
Veda Scott vs. Solo Darling vs. Addy Starr
The belt is vacant. I went to look it up and I’m not sure it has a history.
I love Solo. Like in every possible way. Addy is Canadian so you’d think she was favourite here. I mean, Veda is too but logically you want a champion that was good.
The timing isn’t great in this. They’re all guilty of turning up late for a spot. They also attempt weird spots like Addy doing a double kneedrop out of the corner where Solo has to awkwardly squeeze in there. It’s also a match filled with Veda’s goofy selling. Addy belts her with Sliding D and that’ll do it. Solo Darling was the star here. The sooner everyone realises this the better.
Final Rating: **1/2
IWS World Championship
Benjamin Tull (c) vs. Rory Gulak
Gulak’s career has been in major US Indies like CZW and Chikara. Tull is a career Canadian (17 years as a pro) so this has a similar dynamic to the Ophidian match earlier. Tull, like many Canadians before him on this show, isn’t good at banter. IWS has felt like a small time Indie here. I would question why they ran. Tull is very small time and having a title belt being called the “world title” when it’s only ever changed hands in Canada doesn’t strike me as a cool move either. I suppose it is now because it’s being defended in America but beforehand? Nope. Gulak looks good here and in the process makes Tull look better. Tull is at his best when he’s hitting clubbing power stuff. The best spot of the match is a clothesline but he keeps attempting flips and stuff and it just doesn’t work. The finish is incredible though with Tull catching Gulak as he comes off the top and drills him with the Phenomenal Driver.
Final Rating: **3/4
Arik Cannon vs. Sexxxy Eddy
Eddy is a little late getting out here because he’s already drinking or perhaps it’s the “five pounds of cock meat” that’s slowing him down.
This is less a match than two guys fucking around but I’m completely fine with that. The tequila break puts a big smile across my face.
Every time music plays they go and drink at a little alcohol table. This is going to end with vomit. It strongly resembles the post show piss ups I’ve been to in BritWres. Especially if Keir is around. One bourbon, one scotch, one beer is the point where I’d have tapped out. As much as I love that fucking song…and alcohol. I just wouldn’t want to take a spot after it. It is notable that nobody takes a bump. But they do dance to “Baby Shark”.
We get about 15 minutes into the match and someone actually takes a bump.
They pour out drinks for the entire crowd and then get double pinned on a German suplex. Everyone wins! Because they’re drunk.
Final Rating: ***1/4
There’s a lot to be said for a show that finishes with two drunk men falling through a table. Otherwise IWS was one of the shows that you could, in all probability, just skip over this Mania weekend. The Alcobrawl was a fun finish but the rest of the card was middling to say the least. It was painfully noticeable that all the IWS guys went over and none of them were that exciting. This is one of those shows that is going in the bottom third on my recs sheet.