I don't get to nearly enough independent wrestling shows. The place I live in the middle of the country has few promotions to offer action my way. I can go a couple hours south to Des Moines for a few promotions or I can go west as I did on Saturday, April 25 to take in my first Scott County Wrestling show.
SCW's function is to serve the Quad Cities as their local wrestling promotion, but the company actually runs out of a little town of 1600 called Walcott. The Walcott Coliseum is a wedding hall connected to a bar and restaurant, and is maybe a perfect independent wrestling venue for a company that draws maybe 200 fans every month.
SCW is built around a lot of local talent in the Quad Cities area. It dates back several years in history, but its current incarnation has been running monthly for a couple years. Folks like Danny Daniels and Colt Cabana used to regularly compete here, but their most famous past competitor was one of their original crew, one Tyler Black. He is of course better known today as Seth Rollins, WWE World Heavyweight Champion. A few other folks are still there from those early days, such as Tyler's former tag partner Marek Brave, current SCW Champion Nevin Knoxville and evil manager Mark Stone.
I sat in the second row just off from the entry curtain, nestled right next to the wife and sons of one of the SCW regulars. It allowed a great view of the action as the company put on a solid card.
The show kicked off with the introduction of the second class of the Black and the Brave Wrestling Academy, SCW's official training camp. Ran day by day by the aforementioned Brave and co-owned and operated by the aforementioned Mr. Rollins (and named after their former tag team), Black & the Brave is making some rather good in ring competitors with only three months of training behind them. Checking out the six representatives of the school in action at Epic, I can say they looked well seasoned, even when four of them were wrestling their first matches.
The first match pit Austin Ellis, a cocky debuting star, took on J.J. Garrett, a young star inspired maybe a bit too much by Saved by the Bell’s AJ Slater. Neither man is an exceptional talent, but they put on a very solid match that helped me get to know Garrett a bit and that showed off Ellis a bit before his loss.
A four way match for the Quad Cities Cup was up next as Harvey Bower, Tyler Priegel, the always entertaining Markus Crane and the reigning champion Bobbi Dahl. It was pretty thoroughly insane, with a lot of man on man kissing from not just Doll but also Krane. Bower showed himself to be a future talent to watch with some great moves as well. Dahl got the win, which disappointed me a bit as he seems the least interesting figure in this one.
The debuting BLack & Brave graduate Fabian, a face-painted weirdo in dress pants and vest, took on local stalwart Biff Malibu. He got nicknamed quickly as Fabio by the announce team and the audience immediately started in on Fabio chants. But Fabian scored the win in his debut match, a solid if someone uneventful battle.
The local lucha sensation Latin Thunder took on Mallaki Matthews in the next contest. Their battle was short but allowed both men to show off some solid mat and aerial skills.
The tag team titles were on the line next as Matt Cage turned heel to join with Christian Rose and form Team Overkill in SCW for the first time. They took on the team of Eli Machete and Conner Braxton, two graduates of the Black & The Brave's first class. The pair won the tag titles in their first match and four months into their careers, they looked solid against the far more seasoned Rose and Cage. Team Overkill took the young babyfaces to a competition as epic as the show’s name, but a quick roll up by Machete allowed the champions to retain.
Intermission was next and I have one rule for everyone that goes to an independent show: buy at least one piece of merch. The wrestlers live and breathe on merch sales. With Rose wowing me only minutes before, I was glad to pick up an awesome shirt from him, now available on ProWrestlingTees.com.
I also picked up a copy of Latin Thunder’s autobiography. More on that one after I give it a read.
The first match back from intermission was two rookies facing off as Adrian Alexander went one-on-one with Bodie Van Zandt. Both men looked solid, but I personally think Van Zandt showed himself to be the star of this class. He picked up the win to prove it.
The semi-main event was the SCW title match as Nevin Knoxville of Mark Storm’s Sindicate battled Marek Brave. This was Brave shooting for redemption as a savior to SCW, but he would come up short after he is attacked by not just the Sindicate but also by the five recent graduates of his class! A nine on one beat down leaves Brave out as the other two members of Team Morrow rushed the ring to save him.
With Brave out of action, it looked like a handicap match was in order for the main event elimination match. Team Morrow (Bucky Collins & Krotch) were outnumbered by Team Storm (Steven Youngblood, Johnny Wisdom and Tank Roberts). But while Storm thought he had the upper hand on Morrow with his new recruits serving as lumberjacks, Morrow had a surprise of his own. Shane Hollister returned from his ankle injury after six months on the shelf!
The match quickly became a showcase for the returning Hollister. As arguably SCW's most gifted wrestler, he deserved that spotlight. Ultimately he proved the sole survivor and allowed Sean Morrow to keep his job. And Morrow gave Hollister a reward for his work: a title match against Nevin Knoxville at the upcoming Revival on May 15.
Overall, SCW put on a great fun show with Epic. The matches didn't have the polish of a WWE or TNA battle, but the competitors put their hearts and souls on the line for a good show, a fact that was obvious to most fans in the audience. I found the storytelling and wrestling flow well put together overall and for a small indie in the boondocks of Iowa, they still knew how to book very well. Ultimately, they get the best compliment a promotion can get: I will be making my return trip to Walcott on May 15.
Maybe I'll see you there.