Updated: Jan 14
IWA-MS celebrated their 25th year anniversary and started the party off with night 1 of their anniversary series on October 1st. It wasn't an easy road, but Ian Rotten and the IWA-MS family have made it to 25 years. 25 Years for any company is an achievement and it should be celebrated as such. I've been out of the loop a little bit, but I know that IWA-MS delivers on big shows.
IWA-MS will always hold a special place in my heart. When IWA used to run near me, I would always make it out to their shows. Unfortunately, IWA moved quite far away, but I still tried and made it out to King of the Death Matches and Prince of the Death Matches this year. It was a wonderful time to just be able to soak it all in. It's incredible to think about some of the matches and shows that IWA has given us over the years. For those of you who are new to IWA-MS feel free to message me on Twitter (@mdbrennan535) and I'll gladly give you some show recommendations.
Pompano Joe vs. Billy Tipton vs. Matt Diesel (c) - IWA-MS Junior Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Match
Every time I see Billy Tipon wrestle, I feel like he's on the cusp of truly breaking out. This match wasn't his best, but all three men worked hard to get the night started. The finish of the match had Matt Diesel hit an ugly swanton bomb for the 3. All 3 of these guys are solid, but for some reason, it just didn't click. Oftentimes, triple threats are hard to put together and maybe that's what happened here. Purely speculating.
DarkkLoudz (Eric Darkstorm & Deget Bundlez) vs. GKFAM (Prima Donny & Piper) (c) w/Billy the P - IWA-MS Tag Team Championship Match
This was DarkkLoudz's debut. Interested to see what these two can do here. Unrelated, but Billy the P is over with me. I think he's one of the best things going in independent wrestling. Very early in the match Piper did a dive to the floor but was caught and thrown over the top rope from the floor by Deget. Very impressive power but Bundlez. Deget also nailed a beautiful spinebuster. I've never seen Bundlez wrestle before, but I dig it.
Prima Donny is the recipient of the hot tag and fires up nailing a pretty double dropkick off the turnbuckle. Piper and Donny hit a double rock bottom followed by a 2 count, then an assisted sliced bread #2, and a frog splash. Tricked me, thought that was it. DarkkLoudz looks like they're going to get a comeback here, but instead, they get a double neck breaker for the loss.
Post match Darkkloudz beat down GKFAM down as the crowd boos. I really think Deget Bundlez looked great here. Would love to see more of him going forward. I would also like Billy the P's wardrobe.
Hollyhood Haley J vs. Thunderkitty (c) - IWA-MS Women's Championship, No DQ & No Count Out Match
I appreciate Maniwa explaining that the pinfall can only take place in the ring and not in the ropes. It adds clarity. Hollyhood finds a sock of rocks and attempts to use it but gets an Iron Claw for her troubles. I really dig Thunderkitty's gimmick. Absolute throwback to classic women's wrestling. Winning with a Von Erich claw is great too.
Corey Storm w/ Ben Shearin & Jake Crist vs. Lance Anoa'I w/ The Headshrinkers
Storm and co. come out to Gangrel's theme song and are wearing goofy fake vampire teeth. Gangrel was originally supposed to be Storm's opponent on the show but was pulled due to injury. So a nice little troll job.
Crist cuts a promo. The man is a great heel. This is truly the first time the crowd has come alive. They really don't like Crist. Cool to see Samu and Rikishi too. They both look like giants.
Storm works the taped-up foot of Lance for the majority of the match. Storm did a spot where he was teasing the people's elbow, but Anoa'I got up and hit him with the Rock Bottom. Lance also went for a superman punch but got kicked in the face. Anoa'I also hits a spear. Lance kicks out of the Eye of the Storm. Corey brings in a chair. After going for a cutter, Lance hits a Samoan Drop onto the chair for the win.
Post match Shearin and Crist jump in the ring for a beatdown. Rikishi gets in the ring to make the save. Samu also gets in the ring and smashes Storm and Shearin with a kendo stick before Rikishi gives them a stink face. This is ideal family bonding.
Ian Rotten grabs a microphone to tell a story about being in a bar and gargling 50 shots of Jack Daniels with Henning, Duncum, and Samu. It was a solid story, but I don’t want to ruin it, so definitely seek it out. Ian puts Lance Anao'I over strong too. Talks about future matchups for Anao'I. This is not the last time we see him.
Rebecca Payne vs. Amazing Maria - Unlucky 13 More Bang for Your Buck Match, To Win Staple 7 dollar bills to your opponent
Both of these women have been in IWA-MS for a bit and have proven themselves to be every bit of hardcore as the men. Of course, the idea is to staple dollar bills, but there is a buffet of weapons.
Normally the first few dollar staples come quickly then there is a little bit of a lull until several come at once. Rebecca Payne is just bleeding buckets immediately. I can't help but remember Crist smashing her with a kendo stick at King of the Deathmatches. That is just an absolutely brutal haunting memory.
Back to the present day and these two smacked each other with bats covered in poppers and a bug zapper. These women are just crazy! Amazing Maria staples one dollar to Payne's face and another to her tongue. I'm good on all that, but hats off to the two of them. This is exactly the kind of match that helped IWA-MS to reach 25 years.
Amazing Maria cuts a promo about Queen of the Deathmatches in November before giving the microphone to JC Rotten. JC Rotten announces that Amazing Maria will be on Team Sickness in November as well. The camera was smart to get a shot of Ian looking surprised at the announcement. A little background JC is assembling a team to take on Ian Rotten's Team in November. Should be a good weekend of deathmatch wrestling!
Jake Crist (c) w/ Bobby Olsen & Corey Storm vs. Flash Flannagan - IWA-MS World Heavyweight Championship, No DQ & No Countout Match
Flash is a true journeyman of wrestling. Jake Crist is one of wrestling's last true heels. This should be a very methodical match in a good way. If Jake Crist loses, he is gone from IWA-MS.
Crist establishes that he's one of the evilest wrestlers in IWA-and maybe wrestling by consistently using eye pokes and every other underhanded tactic that he can. Flash hits a big superplex followed by a triple german suplex, a move that should be done more in wrestling.
The finish comes when Storm interferes and Crist hits a cutter followed by a backslide.
Masada vs. Rickey Shane Page - Taipei Deathmatch
The Taipei Deathmatch is part of the reason why IWA-MS exists in the first place. In 1995, Ian Rotten fought his brother Axl Rotten in a Taipei deathmatch in ECW. If you haven't seen it, stop what you're doing and actively seek it out. It is the bar for all Taipei Deathmatches.
For those uninitiated, a taipei deathmatch is when the wrestlers have glass glued to their fists. I should have probably mentioned that before I sent you to go watch it. Oh well, moving on.
RSP has announced that he is no longer doing deathmatches, so this is scheduled to be his last one in IWA-MS. RSP and his stable 44OH have done a lot, relatively quietly, in IWA-MS. If this is truly RSP's last deathmatch run, the man deserves a statue!
Taipei Deathmatches in general are very hit or miss for me, but Masada and RSP are 2 of the top deathmatch wrestlers in the world over the course of the last 10-15 years. I trust them to deliver a good match.
The most creative spot in the match came when RSP taped over the glass on Masada's hand. I've never seen anything quite like that. People have tried to knock the glass off in matches past but to just tape over it is truly a creative method. That wasn't enough though as Masada ultimately picked up the win.
Overall, the show was solid. Can't really complain about anything. If you don't like deathmatches you may struggle with it a bit as 2 of the best matches were deathmatches. Also, if you like deathmatches you should check out "Your Daily Dose of Death".
There is enough meat on the bone with this show for everyone to enjoy though. That's always been the big appeal of IWA-MS to me, it is a buffet of wrestling. (I know that is a tired metaphor, but it is accurate.) The show's runtime is about an hour and forty-five minutes. In today's wrestling landscape that is such a refreshing change of pace. I am looking forward to viewing night 2 as well, when that show is released on ITWV.
Overall Show Rating: B-
IWA-MS has accomplished an amazing amount during its first 25 years. They've had an unmatched talent pool with creative matches and amazing tournaments. If you haven't watched much IWA-MS you are missing it.
Congratulations to IWA-MS on 25 amazing years and here's to 25 more!