Monday, March 14, 2016

SCW "Luck is for Losers" in review

For the first time in way too long, I made it to a Scott County Wrestling show in nearby Walcott, Iowa. The tiny village of less than 1500 still seems a strange place to have a thriving little independent wrestling company, but SCW continues to put on great shows to the delight of just over 100 fans every month.

I have kept up with the basic couple of plot threads since my last SCW show. Mark Storm fell out of power with the company, though he still manages Johnny Wisdom and does color commentary. Shane Hollister turned on Marek Brave, but didn't get the title. Eddie Machete (the former Eli) turne don Connor Braxton after a payoff by Storm, costing them the titles and starting an ongoing war. Mason Beck returned to the company and ran roughshod in his quest to take on Brave for the SCW Heavyweight belt.

The show opened with one of the company's veterans, Tank Roberts, in action against Alex Taylor. Taylor comes from down south and the announcers hyped his experience, but he seemed super-green. I have literally watched people have their first matches at SCW, but the Black and the Brave graduates were leaps and bounds above this guy. Tank did his best to carry the match and picked up the win to get the guy out of the ring.

Two teams I was completely unfamiliar with faced off next as the Orlando Pop Idols took on Guns & Beer. The Pop Idols are working a snobbish rich party gimmick while Guns & Beer are a cross between Cowboy James Storm and The Briscoe Brothers. The Pop Idols were unoffensive but also uninspiring, but Guns & Beer lived their gimmick to perfection. Duke Cornell and Cousin Gator worked a solid tag team battle with Cornell playing the face in peril while Gator was the big man to the rescue. Ultimately they picked up the win with a great chokeslam and flying neckbreaker combination move that hopefully has a very awesome name. Guns & Beer are definitely a team deserving of wider recognition.

Zicky Dice was one of the Black & Brave recruits when I visited last time, but now is in full fledged wrestling mode and is super over with the fans. But he ran head long into Shane Hollister. Hollister was on point for their match. He looked like a million bucks laying in some mean kicks and strikes in what could only be called a dominant performance.

Krotch and Hollister had words between their matches, before Krotch took on Johnny Wisdom (with Mark Storm) for the Quad Cities Cup. The two men had a fairly solid performance. Wisdom maybe should start keeping his shirt on in the ring, but he certainly brings good energy to every match he's in. A true journeyman, he looked good against the insanely over Krotch. Still, it was only a distraction by Storm that allowed Shane Hollister to give Krotch a kick to the head that allowed Wisdom to pick up the win.

Though it hasn't been announced, it seems likely we will see Shane Hollister and Krotch next month at Epic.

The second half of the show kicked off with a non-title match between the tag team champions Adrian Alexander and Bodie Van Zandt and the makeshift unit of Rave Boy and Bobbi Dahl. Alexander and Van Zandt were the recipients of the tag titles thanks to Machete's turn months before and the unit of Rave Boy and T-Buck have pursued them ever since. T-Buck was injured by Mason Beck last month though, so Rave Boy recruited Dahl for this battle. The tag champions picked up the win, but things seem to have been set up for another battle between the company's two teams of Black and Brave graduates.

A brief aside: Bobbi Dahl is a fascinating figure for small town Iowa wrestling. He pretty much plays the flamboyant super-gay heel character made famous by folks like Adrian Adonis, but he plays that role as a babyface. He's crazy over with fans which I can only take a good sign for the future of wrestling.

In a match that should have been the semi-main event, the company's new high flying luchador Sentai took on the returning Mallaki Matthews. Matthews is a great local talent with a very simple gimmick about being totally self-obsessed. He even comes out to Serebro's "Mi Mi Mi". Sentai picked up the win with a frog splash, a top rope move that I suspect would be crazier if he didn't have to worry about slamming into the ceiling.

The semi-main event gave King Steven Youngblood a win in a match I otherwise won't talk about because it was just a sloppy mess.

The main event was a preview of the twin Epic main events as Connor Braxton and Marek Brave teamed to take on Mason Beck and Eddie Machete. They put on a solid match with a lot of babyface fire for Braxton and Brave as they went after their respective rivals. But anger is often a weakness for a face. Beck and Machete capitalized well on this more than once. Ultimately while Machete and Braxton brawled on the floor, Mason Beck laid out the champion for the win and the potential preview of Epic.

I have to call out Connor Braxton especially in this match. Months ago I said Eddie Machete looked like a superstar in his matches, but now that Braxton has his own set of tights with his name on it and a beard, he has also started to draw star power in the ring. The upcoming Walcott Street Fight between the two men should tear the roof off at the next show.

Luck is for Losers clearly was a show meant to build to a bigger event the next month, but with some quality wrestling broken up by a couple so-so matches, it was definitely a decent show. Last year's Epic was actually my first SCW show and this year's show looks like it has a lot more going for it with the company's top stars spread out over several matches instead of confined in a six man main event.

I always encourage every wrestling fan to go check out their local independent promotions. IT is great fun being able to watch young stars work against each other up close. And you never know when you could be watching a future superstar. Over a decade ago, a young Tyler Black teamed regularly with Marek Brave and I doubt anyone at an SCW show would have guessed he would spend over six months as WWE champion Seth Rollins. Now he's training SCW's next generation of stars and in the process, building a future for professional wrestling in Eastern Iowa.

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