The Uniqueness of Outside Championships
By Christopher M. Zack
This column is the property of Christopher M. Zack and published here as agreed upon by Pro Wrestling Next. No duplication of this column is permitted without the exclusive written consent of the author and/or PWN officials.
General Disclaimer: I can be incredibly long winded. I have a degree in English and love to write, so I tend to write quite a bit. When I’m passionate about something, it comes out even more. I have a lot of passion about the wrestling business, so these columns will definitely be wordy, but it’s all to get discussions going.
That’s right, it’s the return of Angles W/Camera Guy Chris. First things first, personal business. I again would like to apologize for my sporadic posting over the summer months. It’s been hard to sit and focus on (no pun intended) putting together an article between my work schedule and spending time with my daughter during the summer months. Now that school has started again, it’ll be a lot easier to post this for you great fans who visit the boards and read my work.
I also want to announce two things about Angles. Firstly, I will not be posting on a weekly basis. At the moment, I simply don’t have the energy or time to get a new topic together and post every week. It would burn me out very quickly. Angles will be a monthly post at the very least. There may be 2 posts a month depending on time and topics. That leads into my other announcement. My work is going to look more exclusively on Independent wrestling. There are so many great Indy feds and Indy talent out there, that to look at the WWE and TNA would just be foolish on my part. Pro Wrestling NEXT is a great Independent Wrestling Organization showcasing the best young wrestlers out there, and that’s where my attention will be from now on.
I can’t think of a better place to begin this new focus than with some of the events that transpired this past Friday, August 21st, 2009. There are many excellent independent wrestling groups around the world and right here in America. Organizations like Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Full Impact Pro, CHIKARA, and Combat Zone Wrestling come to mind as some of the top Independents that come to mind here in the States. (I left out Ring of Honor, because, honestly, they have a national TV deal and are on PPV, I can’t consider them independent anymore) Friday night’s event at the Bier Stube saw the World Heavyweight Champion of one of these top feds defend his title live for us in the Quad Cities, CZW Champion Drake Younger.
Younger, trained by the likes of Ian Rotten and Chris Hero among others, is a brutal, vicious competitor who has held the Combat Zone World Heavyweight Championship since July 12, 2008, when he defeated Nick Gage for the title. Holding any title for more than a year is a great feat, but it’s definitely a mark of a true champion. Drake is best known for his deathmatch wrestling, a main stable for CZW, but he is also a brilliant technical wrestler and mat technician.
Younger brought this combined style to PWN on the 21st, looking to take down Hunter Matthews. Hunter, former PWN Quad Cities Champion and self-proclaimed “King of Des Moines,” felt he was cheated out of a title and deserved a title match at Bier Stube Bash 2, The Sequel. So, Drake Younger stepped in to give him that opportunity. How often to you get to see a World Title from another organization defended? That is the main point of this article. It’s a treat when another group, especially one as big as CZW allows their title to be defended outside of one of their own shows.
Younger brought is reputation and his World Title to Moline and gave the fans one kick ass ride. I’ve already talked about this match to some extent in my response to the results thread, but I’m going to go a bit more in depth now.
Hunter came out first, and of course took the microphone, much to the dismay of the fans. Matthews has definitely not been a favorite of the QC crowd. He talked about how the Quad Cities Championship had been taken, and his need of holding a title. Younger came out to put a stop to the talking and start the action, bringing and emptying a beer battle as he walked to the ring. He was on Matthews right from the start. Hunter didn’t even have a chance to get out of his jacket before Drake took the fight to him. Eventually, he was able to duck out of the ring and get a moment to pull his jacket off and gear up for the fight, but a moment was all he got.
The CZW Champion quickly followed him out of the ring to continue the beating. Out amongst the fans, we saw many various weapons used and advantages taken by both parties. And under CZW rules, this was all legal. No count outs, no disqualifications. Matthews was hit by a water bottle and a beer can before fighting back and getting Younger prone on top of a hard plastic picnic table. Hunter attempted a piledriver on top of this table but Drake was able to counter. Younger looked like he wanted to slam the “King” down to the cement below, but Matthews was able to block that attempt and the two of them made their way off the table.
The World Champion would empty a garbage can and take that to Hunter Matthews’ skull, leaving an indentation of the King’s “crown” on both sides of the metal can. Younger would then take his empty beer bottle, smash it across the ring post and attempt to lacerate Matthews with it. Hunter was able to dodge that and fought Drake, leading him to the fountain in the Bier Stube’s court yard. He tried to force the Champ’s head under water, and Younger struggled to prevent this, but, Matthews was able to over power him and dunk him for several seconds.
The two men battled back and forth around the outside of the ring until Hunter was able to whip Drake over a couple more plastic picnic tables towards a set of stairs leading up to a balcony overlooking the garden. They fought up to the balcony, both men teetering and trying to push the other over the edge. Thankfully, neither was successful. That would have caused serious injury. After battling back down the stairs they made their way out to the parking lot and onto the metal bed that had carried the ring to the venue. Hunter would get scooped up and slammed on his back on the metal!
At that point, things were pretty well over. Matthews was able to stay on his feet as they fought their way back in the ring. In the ring, Younger hit a sick ass vertibreaker for the win and rolled out of the ring to celebrate with the QC crowd. The fans really seemed to enjoy this. Drake grabbed the microphone, told the fans that he’d heard about Matthews and how he liked to run his mouth a lot. He was glad to have given the fans what they’ve wanted, silence, and he hoped to see them all in the bar to share a beer! At one point, I remember him looking me right in the eye…er…lens…and saying “That’s what you get when you call out Drake Younger” while pointing to Hunter, prone in the ring.
This is the great action you see in Pro Wrestling Next. Not only are we bringing in great new talent, we’re showcasing HUGE matches with World Titles from some of the top feds across the country. This is only the beginning, too. On September 12th, PWN welcomes back Davey Richards, current holder of the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship (a title he’s had once before) and current holder of the Full Impact Pro World Heavyweight Championship, a title he Will Defend in Davenport on September 12th at PWN’S Severed Ties!!!! FIP’s World Title is one of the top 3 wrestling championships in the country, and seeing it defended here in the Quad Cities is going to be excellent.
Back to the Bier Stube Bash, now. The CZW World Title match was awesome, but not the biggest moment of the night by far, in my opinion. The biggest moment happened before that match when The Hooligans defeated the Submission Squad to take the Lethal Wrestling Alliance Tag Team Championships. As unique as it is to see titles defended from other organizations, it is extremely rare to see a title change hands outside of the confines of the group the title is from. What makes this title change even more exciting and controversial is the fact that The Hooligans are not a part of LWA.
First, I have some background info. I need to thanks Brian “Flair” Kelley, Pierre Abernathy, and Kari Williams for tracking down or providing this information for me. The Submission Squad (Pierre Abernathy and Evan Gelistico) originally consisted of Pierre Abernathy, Dingo, and Nick Tyson, but the team has also included Evan Gelistico and “Blackheart” Johnny Vinyl. Before joining Abernathy, Gelistico was a member of the Bearded Men from Space Station Eleven (Gary the Barnowl—who was eventually corrupted by the likes of Gelistico, Abernathy, Tiffany LaFane, and Davey Vega—Billy McNeal, XXX Jordan Lacey, and Evan Gelistico) for approximately two years. Abernathy and Gelistico won the LWA Tag Titles on April 4th in O’Fallon, Illinois’s Night’s of Columbus building from the Ego Express (“Spoiled” Steven Kennedy & K.C. Karrington). The Ego Express were the first team to hold the LWA Tag Team Titles, beating Dingo and Davey Vega on 12/18/2008 at Yuletide Terror ’08.
During their title reign, the Submission Squad squared off against the Hooligans, the Northstar Express, and the Ego Express. One of their biggest feuds (before claiming the LWA gold) came against the Bearded Men over a span of two years. This feud saw Gelistico turn on the Space Station, claiming to be Gary’s father. Their other noticeable feud happened when original members, Dingo and Nick Tyson began to distance themselves from Abernathy and Gelistico. This culminated in a match between the new and the old Submission Squad on May 30 at the Vetta Sports Complex. Abernathy & Gelistico emerged victorious.
The Hooligans are Devin and Mason Cutter. The Cutters were raised in the outside districts of East St. Louis IL. They come from a working class family. They are just a couple of thugs or hooligans that enjoy a beer as much as they enjoy a good fight. You can catch them at any local pub after a hard days work drinking with there mates and at the end of the night you sure to see them in a fight. They are best known for their work in IWA-Mid South, where they have competed against some of the best IWA-MS has to offer, including (sometimes with Rain as their partner) Ian & Axl Rotten (sometimes with Mickie Knuckles)—better known as Bad Breed—on several occasions in many different types of hard-hitting, violent matches. The Cutters, in my opinion, are very no nonsense. They’re heavy hitters and consider themselves Working Class Heroes, though the fans from Friday didn’t consider them very heroic when they won the LWA Championships.
In Moline on August 21st, the crowd was already fired up, and it only escalated to see the first of two title matches. The QCA fans were definitely against the Hooligans throughout the match, especially after the match. Security had to restrain both the Hooligans and the crowd following their victory for the LWA Titles.
The match itself saw both teams getting in some early offense, until Devin and Mason cut Evan Gelistico off from his partner. The Cutters used classic heel tactics to divide and concur, isolating Gelistico and using moments when the ref’s back was turned to both double team Gelistico and trade places with blind tags.
During the match, Tim Donst and Jasin Strife came out to watch the proceedings. Donst had lost a match to Tony Kozina earlier in the night due to disqualification after Strife came down and joined Tim in assaulting Kozina. The Submission Squad had come to the aide of Kozina, causing Donst and Strife to flee the ring before Abernathy and Gelistico could lay a hand on them. I didn’t see Donst and Strife come out, since my attention was focused on the action in the ring, and rightly so, I am Camera Guy Chris, after all.
Back in the ring, Gelistico manages to catch a break, tagging in his very fresh, very eager partner, Pierre Abernathy, who proceeded to take down both the Cutters as they took turns charging at him. In the corner, Gelistico was down and prone to Donst and Strife, who chose that moment to strike, taking out Evan’s knee and leaving him crying out in pain on the cement below the ring. Then it was only a matter of time before the numbers game caught up with Abernathy. With no partner waiting on the apron, and the vicious Hooligans having 2-1 odds, it didn’t take long for the match to end, crowing Devin and Mason Cutter the NEW LWA Tag Team Champions.
A title change is always a sight to see, since they can be rare, especially in the independent feds. Seeing a title from another company even defended at an outside event is something big. PWN featured two outside title defenses at the Bier Stube Bash 2. What makes this particular match even more unique is seeing the titles change hands at an outside event. And if that were the only major deal about this match, then, while worth mentioning, it might not get all the attention it is getting. What makes this particular outside title defense and changing of the guard so incredibly special is that the new LWA Tag Team Champions are not a part of the Lethal Wrestling Alliance!
This situation has potential to get very bad very quickly. I know I’ll be following the situation as closely as I can and update the fans on how things turn out. I’d also like to welcome any and all LWA fans visiting the PWN boards and reading this article. I invite you to join in the discussion of both the situation with the Tag Team Titles and the uniqueness of seeing outside titles defended.
I would like to once again thank everyone for the information provided for this article. It’s very much appreciated. I’d also like thank Brian “Flair” Kelley, once again, as well as Missouri Wrestling Revival for giving me the opportunity to reach a new audience with my articles. I hope you all enjoy. For those viewing this on MWR, and would like to join the discussion, the main article can be viewed here at the Pro Wrestling Next board.
Christopher M. Zack