By Brian Kelley
This past weekend I was invited from several of the fans of 3XWrestling for their 3rd annual roll the dice Champions of the Galaxy/ 3XW tournament at Mayhem Collectibles Inc. I must admit that though the world has passed me by with the game of Pokémon I dreamed of ordering a game out of the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Magazine called Champions of the Galaxy.
I had dabbled in Dungeons and Dragons at one time but the ideal of a wrestling game was always intriguing to me. The problem though was that we were very poor and ordering games out of the magazines while keeping up with my comic book obsession (And this was when they were 75 cents) did not allow other hobbies other than baseball cards.
As I turned 16 and my best friend Chris Howser and I were able to drive a car we were able to get a job that allowed us to buy more comics (Chris a huge GI Joe fan to this day) and we decided to go in half on an edition of the COTG game.
Like they advertise it’s like” Star Wars meets Pro Wrestling” and we were hooked. Hours up on hours holding tournaments and matches with the stars of COTG such as Lord Nexus, Krakan, Star Warrior and many more including my personal favorite for some reason I don’t know to this day Exo-King. We were the Vince of our promotions. Making special cages matches for feuds, naming our Super cards after twelve shows. When we weren’t with our girlfriends, we were up late rolling the dice.
As time marches on though we all get busy, change jobs and have children so hobbies like COTG goes to the backburner. Chris a father of three now, is as busy as ever and my only regret is that we didn’t purchase the game sooner. I’ve had more fun playing that game than any game system I have owned, and that’s the truth.
We move forward to the MWR years and thankfully through the site we have meet not only great people who wrestle and promote but true fans in each promotion we go to. It’s been a blessing for Dubray and me to meet people who will be friends for life.
Eric Koncence and Kerry Weinbrandt
While plugging the MWR site one day on facebook I spoke to two 3XW fans Eric Konecne and Brian VanderWal who brought up the fact that they played the COTG game. Today the company has grown to truly awesome heights as they feature The Legends of Wrestling with the likes of Harley Race, Lou Thesz and even Frank Gotch sets and for the younger generation they also have sets of CHIKARA, even a card of one of my favorite tag teams the Briscoe Brothers.
Eric and Brian explained to me that this year they were having their 3rd annual COTG tournament along with a tournament featuring the stars of 3XWrestling. They invited me and I told them that I would love to make it but I couldn’t commit at the time due to the four hour drive to Des Moines.
Thankfully, Eric gave me the date and I checked my schedule Memorial weekend with 3XWrestling that Friday night and Magnum Pro Wrestling in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Saturday night. That left an opening for me to come that Saturday morning at 11 am at Mayhem comics to join the fun.
I agree with this young lady go big or go home….She was pumped up to take over ICON-3
They told me that the tournament would last awhile so I respectfully told them that I would love to stay but I would be leaving early for Council Bluffs which is about 2 hours away. Well I had so much fun I lost track of time and left later than planned.
After losing in the first tournament, we played with a CHIKARA 8-MAN tournament, which I thought was cool that I had photographed Chuck Taylor recently at St Louis Anarchy, yet I did not have his card much to my chagrin.
I had heard that there could be some of the 3XWrestling stars to show up, but wasn’t for certain they could make it as many were booked out of town. Yet, in through the doors was the voice of 3XWrestling Midnight Guthrie then awhile later the 3XWrestling Tag Team Champions” The American Bulldogs” Mark McDowell and Jonathan West came through the doors with belts in hand.
The artist for the 3XW cards for the game is on your left Mark Taggart , while Chad Olsen does the stats. Great conversation was had by all as you can see in this photo.
The 3XWrestling cards were well done with stats from a great guy named Chad Olsen and wonderful artwork of the 3XW stars done by Mark Taggart. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Filsinger Games encouraged fans to make their own cards to go along with the ones they sell. These cards were called bootlegged. To be honest Chris and I had done that as well but still enjoyed to get the ones they sold. Yet, I would of never of believed that a company would mind their fans to do that or that the game had grown so big.
Young VanDerwall loved to hold the 3XW tag belt. When Maddog asked if he would be ready in a few years all he could do was smile.
Then the big tournament for the MWR coverage area was on, Maddog and Jonathan were able to play themselves while the 14 others of us in the 16 man tournament picked a name out of a bowl. I reached in and out came “The Punk Icon” Tony Sly.
Feeling good that I had a former member of Genesis that has broken away from Todd Countryman’s group to feud with Gage Octane that positive mood went downhill when I saw who I was matched up against in the first round. Young Marcus Keen was smiling ear to ear when he sat next to me and sat down his card of “The Belt Collector” Jeremy Wyatt.
I protested quickly to deaf ears that Marcus should redraw because Wyatt was on the DL due to a broken leg so therefore he should not be in this tournament. With no luck the battle was on in the first round, it was Jeremy Wyatt vs. Tony Sly.
Wyatt and Marcus quickly went on the offense on Sly and I hitting move after move. Still Sly battled back after kicking out of two pinfalls to hit a move of his own. Could Sly pin quite possibly a man who is considered by many to be the best in the Midwest? Marcus rolled two dice and needed to beat a 4.
An 8 came up and Wyatt was quickly back on the offense hitting his feared finishers twice more but Sly was able to kick out. The problem was after each pinfall you kick out of the higher you have to roll. Hope was leaving quickly for the Punk Rock Icon and I as Marcus delivered Wyatt crossface and I need to roll a 9 to stay in the match…….A 6, Wyatt had done me in and Marcus was thrilled.
Marcus and Jeremy Wyatt would blaze through by defeating arch rivals Tyler Cook and Maddog McDowell before battling it out in a rematch from last years 3XW title match with Brian Ash.
Marcus would stand proud as the 2012 3XW/COTG ICON3 Champion. Under him is the men that he and Wyatt defeated to earn the title.
I dropped the ball on promoting this event for my friends but next year I hope to have this event hyped on the MWR site for fans to come and join I-CON 4 to see how much fun it can be.
After Maddog lost to Wyatt, him and his tag team partner Jonathan West had a match between themselves. On this day the dog would have his day proving that the teacher has not taught the student everything that he knows.
Complete states of the Second Annual 3XWrestling ICON game is as follows.
Brian Ash (Connor Olson) d. AJ Smooth (Midnight Guthrie)
Nate Bash (Mark Taggart) d. SBC (Tom Keen)
Jimmy Rockwell (Kerry Weinbrandt) d. The Mauler (Kyle VanderWal)
Gage Octane (Alexandria Keen) d. Devin Carter (Greg Keen)
Tyler Cook (Cameron Keen) d. River Monster (Brian Underdahl)
Jeremy Wyatt (Marcus Keen) d. Tony Sly (Brian Kelley)
Jon West (self) d. Ray Stryker (Chris Foster)
Maddog McDowell (self) d. Mike Sydal (Chad Olson)
Brian Ash d. Nate Bash…Jimmy Rockwell d. Gage Octane…Jeremy Wyatt d. Tyler Cook…Maddog d. Jon West
Brian Ash d. Jimmy Rockwell and Jeremy Wyatt d. Maddog McDowell
Finals: Jeremy Wyatt (Marcus Keen) d. Brian Ash (Connor Olson)
Before he left Midnight Guthrie was getting the final scoops as only he can from the one and only Wonder Women. Catch Midnight in Des Moines, Iowa for 3XW and Kansas City for Metro Pro Wrestling.