Your Trip to Space Mountain
By Brian “Flair” Kelley
Mr. Kelley explores his trip to International Championship Wrestling’s event earlier this month. Magicians, TNA Stars, brawling, and words with the Tonya Harding! What’s not to like?
At last I find the time to return with “Your Trip To Space Mountain”.
I planned a road trip with my girlfriend for a weekend of pro wrestling, including our first showing of International Championship Wrestling with special appearances by former figure skater/bad girl Tonya Harding and TNA stars “Cowboy” James Storm, Eric Young and Knockout Traci Brooks. The next night we had plans to get a motel so that we could go to Ottawa, KS and see International Wrestling Conference’s first show. The problem that came up was that I happened to be on call that weekend and was afraid they would want me back home (3 hours away). We didn’t want to take the chance of wasting the money, if in fact they did call me.
I won’t lie, though. I did have a couple of concerns about going to the International Championship Wrestling show on the first night of my planned weekend. First and foremost, their was no place on the website to buy tickets. The last thing I wanted to do was drive 3 hours and use all of that gas money only to find out that it was sold out. If you know me, though, you know I am open for anything new.
On that Friday, the doors were to open at 6:30PM. If I was to leave work at my scheduled time then there was no way we would have made it, so I found a way out and left at noon. I visited friends in Marshall on the way to KC. We arrived a full thirty minutes early at 6PM at a National Guard Armory. There were about four people ahead of us, and about that time Tonya Harding and another guy started putting up a sign in front of us that said “autographed pictures and autographed bats for $40.00″ (yes I said $40.00).
This prompted me to say “Who is Tonya Harding?” She turned around and in the saddest voice imaginable said “Me”. I laughed and told her I knew who she was. To be honest, I was proud of this short conversation that we had and truth be told I was being quite a smart ass.
While in line, another fan named Richard Corp entertained us with magic tricks and told us that he was a comedian magician. He said that he did shows around the area and without knowing that one of my favorites is Tommy Chong, he mentioned that he is actually friends with him. He brought smiles to the kids in line as well as my girlfriend, and I am sure we will catch one of his shows in the future.
We finally were allowed to purchase our tickets, which were $20.00, and go to our seats. The ring looked a little shaky and there were no ring rails to boot. We sat next to the Richard magician in the front row. A ton of chairs and no people, but a TV station was in the house with channel 38 personality Holly Starr in one corner.
Tonya Harding was across the room, and after getting to know some of other fans around us we decided to go talk to her. I told her I was playing about what I had said earlier, and that my mother was in fact a fan and wanted an autograph. For $10.00 we got our picture taken with her as well.
Disco Inferno, who was a WCW star back in the day, was there. I had met him at a WLW show a few years back, but I still had him sign a picture for us and take another one for free. Before I knew it though, Eric Young and Traci Brooks were standing nearby talking to fans and signing autographs. I am sure Eric must think that my girlfriend and I are stalkers by now, because we have seen him five times and taken pictures with him in the past year. The first time was when TNA sold tickets for Lockdown in St. Louis. The second time was when we attended an All American Pro Wrestling show in Carbondale, IL for VIP tickets (Traci Brooks was also there that night). We stayed in the Hilton where TNA had a fan interaction event (I met my friend Chuck from Slamzone there). Then we met Eric in Kansas City for the TNA house show. Eric is always willing to smile, so big props to Eric. He helped make it a great evening. Traci is first class, too, as she always comes off as a genuinely nice person. For that reason alone she is a asset to any company she works for, and might I say that on this night she was looking better than ever.
Central States Wrestling star (and I am willing to bet future WWE wrestler) Mark Sterling was in conversation with Traci and Eric, so I asked for him to stay in the picture that we took . I happen to have the goofiest smile ever, but I can tell you that before the first match started I was happy that we had made the trip.
The matches did not start until an annoying hour and a half later, but there really were not that many more fans that showed up. For some reason I always feel bad about that. The ring announcer came out and thanked the crowd for coming and introduced the first match, which had Clarice (who had a gimmick that is almost identical to TNA’s Abyss) defeating Kent Truth. It looked a little cheesy at first, but it was short and for an opener was not bad. Although the crowd was small, they were excited to see wrestling and really added to the night. The next match was a tag team match between the team of Cameron Cage & Sean Vincent and the team of Chaz Wesson & Michael Serious. That match was a pleasant surprise because I have been wanting to see Cage for awhile now and the other three I had seen and knew that they could produce a good match. There were some stiff shots, and the heat that Cage and Vincent were able to bring out from the crowd (as they stole a win from Wesson and Serious) was awesome. After the match, the Ring Announcer impressed my girlfriend as he did a “commercial” for the sponsors of the show.
Two Powerhouses battled before the intermission as John Saxon popped the crowd with win over Adrian Whisper. Before the intermission was over, Dubray and I hung out with fans around us and I encouraged our new friend Lisa to bring her daughter and Richard to CSW’s show on May 3rd in Lawrence, Kansas. Richard had me rolling throughout the night with his comments to the wrestlers and at one time had me nearly crying. For the life of me I wish I could remember what it was that he said.
Traci Books started the second half of the night with the crowd clearly on her side. She took on the snobby Irresistible Danielle and brought laughter into the building when she said Danielle looked like she was twelve years old. They battled in and out of the ring, and at one point Richard told Traci to use his knee and she gladly did as she slammed Danielle head first into it. Traci would go on to get the victory to the crowds delight.
The next match was Disco Inferno and Doink the Clown against each other, and after that match I have to eat my words. I recently told International Wrestling Conference’s current President Steve Scott that I did not enjoy Doink as a wrestler at all and did not understand why anyone would book him. That is not a knock on the wrestlers who have portrayed him throughout the years, it’s just that I do not like that gimmick. In this case, though, Disco and Doink both put on a superb match. Doink was able to excite the crowd with his antics and I have to say I also enjoyed Doink and Disco. They played well off each other.
James Storm came to ring for the main event and was able to draw some monster heat from the crowd. He made fun of several of the fans that approached the ring to let him have a piece of their mind. Eric Young came out and the crowd wanted to see Storm get what was coming to him. The two wrestlers went back and forth and before I knew it the two were right next to us, body slamming each other right in front of our group of people. Lisa and I tried to get as many pictures as possible before Young threw Storm into a bunch of chairs and, to add insult to injury, tossed him into a trash can. In the ring Storm was able to get the decisive advantage and it looked as if he had Young in real trouble. He kicked him out of the ring ,and as the ref restrained Storm from attacking him again on the outside, Young went under the ring and out came SUPER ERIC much to Storm’s chagrin. What must have seemed like a sure victory just a few minutes before for Storm turned out to be Super Eric’s victory, concluding the evening
The night was through for Dubray and I, and the drive had been well worth it as we made new friends, watched some good wrestling and met some of the best wrestlers in the world today. It just goes to show you that you never know what is in store for an independent wrestling show until you actually go. I will keep my eye out for the next International Championship Wrestling show, and though I will be cutting back somewhat in the amount of shows I go to due to the rising gas prices I hope to see you at one very soon.