Monday, August 15, 2016

'13' was anything but unlucky for SCW

After a couple months away, I knew I couldn't skip 13, the SCW thirteenth anniversary event. With a longer list of announced matches than usual, it promised to be a solid endeavor for the Davenport area's only professional wrestling company.

Image credit: SCW.
The show kicked off with Matt Cage, an SCW veteran and well-known Midwest star, as he battled Alex Taylor. Taylor debuted just a few months ago and I have to be honest that I was hard on him in the last couple reviews. He's vastly approved since his last appearance and really showed some babyface fire against Cage. And unlike all the previous shows I've seen him at, Taylor picked up a huge upset win over Cage to kick off the show. It would be far from the only upset of the night.

Eddie Machete seems lost since his feud with Connor Braxton ended, though he continues to put on great matches. Things were no different as he took on House of Truth graduate Xavier Wallace in the second match. Xavier quickly got over with a few solid moves, but this match was pretty much all Machete as Eddie countered everything Wallace had. He hit a wicked curb stomp to take the pin over the SCW newcomer.

The battle royal that followed featured several stars I didn't know (including a couple new Black & Brave graduates), a few recent grads and a couple veterans in Steven Youngblood and Tank Roberts. Youngblood worked a comedy spot early on where his manservant kept his feet from touching the ground, but it really went no where. JT Energy really seemed to be the standout of the match, even if he didn't really seem to have a chance of winning. Ultimately Tank Roberts picked up the win and a future Quad Cities Cup title match.

What I could find online of the other House of Truth graduate to join SCW on Saturday was so-so at best. But Dominique Fabiano definitely had credentials behind her. She put on a very solid match with Black & the Brave graduate Violet Parker. Parker picked up the win with a Widow's Peak (always a great move to watch). I would love to see Fabiano back, but I honestly think SCW needs to give in and let Violet just wrestle with the boys. She definitely needs to get more repetitions in and there's no reason to keep her benched when she's the same size as some of the young male wrestlers coming out of the Academy.

I'm still not as sold on Ross "The Hoss" Reznik as most of the crowd in Walcott, but I'm definitely a fan of the grappling and striking of Johnny Wisdom. The two men faced off in a lumberjack match with Wisdom's QC Cup on the line. The writing was on the wall with fellow heel Roberts winning the title shot earlier, but Wisdom tried his best to take out Reznik. The finish proved to make little sense as Reznik would recover far too quickly from a suplex to the outside on all the lumberjacks to hit his finisher and pick up the win over his foe.

(An aside: I think SCW missed a potential solid bit of storytelling by not having Tank immediately cash in his title shot and take out the weakened Reznik. I fear Reznik as something other than the underdog babyface will be harder to sell to the crowd in the months ahead. Also, it would just be nice to have an actual story revolving around the Cup instead of seemingly random matches.)

After the intermission, things kicked off with a four way elimination match (erroneously referred to as a fatal four way by the commentary team) for the SCW Tag Team titles. Honestly the teams of G'Yasi Dwayne / Dante Leon and Latin Thunder / Sentai probably should have just been added to the battle royal as after an initial flurry of offense, they were both quickly eliminated by the reigning one year champions Adrian Alexander and Bodie Van Zandt. This left Raveboy and Bobbi Dahl to serve as their opponents. The party boys team have been foils in the champs' sides for months, but this time they seemed ready for all their shenanigans. Raveboy avoided the champs' double team finisher, Dahl sent one to the outside and then Dahl and Raveboy hit their own finisher: as Dahl lifts the opponent into a codebreaker by Raveboy followed by a wheelbarrow suplex by Dahl. It's an awesome finish and secured the veteran and his young protege their first SCW tag team titles.

The match of the night was Connor Braxton versus Shane Hollister. In what was Braxton's finest performance yet, he gave his all against the man he beat just a few months before to win a title shot. But this time, Hollister was on point. He hit brutal super kick after super kick on the larger Braxton, even after spending minutes wearing down the knee. Ultimately the assault would be too much and Braxton went down for the three. Hollister seemed to take a face turn post match however as he raised Braxton's hand and declared him officially the future of wrestling.

Marek Brave accepted the first two SCW Hall of Fame inductions for himself and WWE superstar Seth Rollins. While Rollins wasn't in attendance (still a surprise to many of the fans there), his parents were in attendance and Brave handed the trophies to them. After a long speech and a remembrance of his decade with the company, I knew Brave would finish his acceptance in one of two ways: he would either immediately challenge the champion or announce his retirement. Sadly, retirement was Brave's choice. He promised he was far from done with SCW, especially with his students joining the roster every three months, but with back, neck and foot injuries troubling him, it was time to retire. I wish Brave the best of luck as he enters a new era in his career, even if it saddens me to not be able to see him in the ring again.

The main event featured the diminutive Krotch against the SCW champion, the massive "Mean" Mason Beck. Beck clearly was letting the chants of "Becky" get to him, even as he pummeled Krotch with power move after power move. Beck is easily one of the crispest power wrestlers on the independent scene, but no matter what he threw at Krotch, he could not keep the Phallic Phenom down. It took four attempts for Krotch to finally land his version of the Sliced Bread #2, called the Krotch Rocket, but he finally did, scoring a one-two-three and making a clean sweep for title changes at 13.

The show was crazy, but from top to bottom, 13 offered not a single bad match. A few young talents got to really shine, veterans got to shine and a major shift happened from all heel champions to face champions.

SCW returns with Supremacy on September 17th. Though no matches have yet been announced, I would assume some title rematches will be in order. Hollister seems to have a legit claim to a title shot now, while Tank still waits in the wings for Reznik. While that event will surely be about finishing storylines, I suspect some new battles will arise as well, as SCW continues to grow in 2016.

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