Monday, May 16, 2016

Looking back at SCW Revival 2016

This weekend offered a new night of Scott County Wrestling as the company presented their annual Revival event. Much like WWE's Payback, this show was about setting up a new era for the company. Marek Brave is taking a few months off after his storyline injury at last month's show and with a new heavyweight champion in the promotion, things are a-changing.

Mason Beck is really good at these crazed looks.
Image credit: @SCWPro on Twitter
One thing that didn't change was Violet Parker forced to sit on the sidelines again. Violet was to face Zahra Schreiber this month, but Zahra took a Detroit booking instead, moving her SCW debut to June. Without that big debut, the company had a bit of money open and they used it to bring in an SCW veteran.

Bucky Collins made his return in the opening match. Once an SCW regular, Bucky is now working mainly for Funky Munky Wrestling on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities. But he made his return to battle the always excellent Johnny Wisdom in the opener. Their battle for the Quad Cities Cup pushed both men to the limits in a technical showdown, but ultimately it was a foot on the ropes that helped Wisdom retain.

Four of the five new students that opened last week's show took part in a tag match next. Dante Leon and Gyasi D'Wayne took on J.T. Energy and Mike Heights. Leon and D'Wayne played the faces while Energy came off as a smarmy clubber forced to team with the angry-for-no-reason Heights. Dante Leon seemed to get the most ring time here, but it was D'Wayne and Energy that look like the standouts of this class to me. Ultimately, the face team picked up the win.

SCW head Sean Morrow came to the ring next to report Brave would be out for at least the summertime. This brought out SCW champion Mason Beck who called Brave the past and himself the present. Connor Braxton, fingers still bound up from his injury last month, came out to challenge Marek Brave in turn. Braxton called himself the future and said he deserved the next title shot. Shane Hollister arrived next, saying he was the past, present and future of SCW and saying he was deserving of the shot. Braxton and Hollister were put in a number one contender's match for the main event, while Beck was given an opponent for right now, a man he beat down months before: Ross "The Hoss" Reznik.

In a non-title match against the champion, the young Reznik seemed like the underdog in this, despite towering almost as high as Brave. The two men made this out to be a hoss fight, though Reznik still needs to perfect his lariat if he's going to use that nickname. Ultimately it was a Beck Bomb that put the young Mr. Reznik away.

A four way match seemed to be the "everyone else here" battle of the night as Tank Roberts, The Secret Ninja, Ript Studwell and Biff Malibu (wrestling for the first time in a few months despite being at every show) all battled it out. Studwell worked his scrawny strongman gimmick well, while Tank and Biff worked as the giants towering over the others. The Ninja biffed his one offensive move as he failed a springboard move and fell on his face. Tank Roberts picked up the win and put this one to bed in short order.

The final match before intermission was a tag title battle as Adrian Alexander and Bodie Van Zandt took on the full force of Zero Gravity, Brett Gakiya and CJ Esparza. Zero-G are a team to see wherever they travel, two super-small guys with high flying moves as far as the eye can see. This one was filled with false finishes, enough to make me think Zero Gravity would win back the SCW tag titles. But Alexander and Van Zandt's cheating came into play yet again as they took Gakiya down for the victory. (During intermission, I at least helped cheer them up by buying their new shirt.)

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The second half kicked off with Chris Hayden and Alex Taylor. I'm still not sure what to make of either men, but Taylor continues to get better at his high flying style. The end of the match came quick, with Taylor winning, but it seemed like Hayden might have botched a kickout.

The company faces a quandary with Eddie Machete. After losing last month's main event, he needs to rebound, but all their titles are held by heels at the moment, keeping Eddie out of any title picture. They solved this for a month at least by putting him in a match against perennial fan favorite Krotch. The two men put on a clash of styles on the show, though nothing quite as strong as the battle between Krotch and Shane Hollister last month. Eddie Machete picked up the win with a shoutout to his co-trainer, hitting a curb stomp for the win.

A three way tag team elimination match was the semi-main event of the night featuring the teams of Latin Thunder and Sentai, Steven Youngblood and Wilhelm, and Bobbi Dahl and Raveboy. This was the first time I saw Wilhelm in action, and he mostly worked as the base for a lot of moves. Thunder and Sentai were the first men eliminated, a bit too quickly for my taste. This allowed the rivalry between the other two units to continue. Ultimately Dahl and Raveboy picked up the win with a very cool wheelbarrow suplex and codebreaker combo on Youngblood.

Connor Braxton and Shane Hollister are two of SCW's brightest talents and they showed it in the main event. The two men threw everything at each other, with both men kicking out of the other's finishers. They kept things bouncing between each man in control, always a challenge when a much smaller heel takes on the bigger face. Ultimately the battle spilled to the floor. Even as I thought the match was heading towards a double count out, Connor quickly rolled in at the nine count to get the win.

The show came to an end with a staredown between Braxton and Beck. The company returns on June 10th with Unbroken, a card I will miss do to a pesky family vacation. Braxton versus Beck has been announced, though I suspect Zahra vs Violet will be announced soon. Dahl and Raveboy versus the tag champs seems likely as well. If you're anywhere near the Quad Cities area, I recommend you give SCW a shot. It's worth the trip each and every month.

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