By Kari Williams
The April 18 MMWA-SICW event in East Carondelet, IL set the stage for the 50th anniversary of Wrestling at the Chase, which will be celebrated this month, and gave fans an entertaining night.
Jeremy Lightfoot and “Gorgeous” Gary Jackson put on a competitive match up for Jackson’s Heavyweight Title. In the back and forth contest, neither man solely dominated, although Jackson’s technical strategy kept him slightly ahead of Lightfoot as far as offense was concerned. After multiple nearfalls and reversals, Jackson walked away with the Heavyweight Championship still in his hands.
Jerome Cody, as a fan favorite, had his hands full against Lumberjack Gabe prior to the main event. Early on, neither man could gain the upper hand, but Cody’s use of submission holds weakened his larger opponent. Lumberjack Abe, who had accompanied Gabe, tried interfering, but Cody would not relent and refused to go down without a fight. Gabe did his best to dominate, even going so far as to use his suspenders to choke out Cody. The illegal tactics almost worked, but Cody surprised Abe with a roll up when Gabe made an effort at distracting the referee.
Bobby D dealt with Shaft and Travis Cook in the next bout. Shaft’s newfound viciousness forced him to attack D before the bell rang and allowed him to keep his momentum going for nearly the entire match. Whenever D attempted to slow Shaft down, either Cook would get involved or Shaft’s brutality would reemerge. Just over nine and half minutes, Shaft stole a victory with a roll-up, but he held D’s tights for added leverage.
Junior Heavyweight Champion Dave Vaughn, accompanied by Cook and Shaft, defended his belt against the recently returned Jaysin Static. Static’s determination to succeed, along with the support of the crowd, fueled his desire and helped him wrestle one of the best matches of his young career. Vaughn had to try his hardest to remain one-step ahead of his competition. On two occassions, Static sent Vaughn flying out of the ring. However, Vaughn’s fierceness came through, and he connected with a spear after a delayed vertical suplex to retain his title.
After the intermission, Herb Simmons talked about the upcoming 50th anniversary of Wrestling at the Chase and how the promotion plans to celebrate. Former Wrestling at the Chase Personalities Larry Matysik and Mickey Garagioloa will be in attendance, as well as WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race. Cook and Shaft interrupted Simmons’ announcement, claiming that they will win all of their matches and then they went on to provoke the security guard Jim Brown. Brown’s wife came up behind Cook and ripped off his neck brace, revealing Cook’s neck injury as a fake. This prompted Jim himself to come to the aid of his wife, which then prompted “Gorgeous” Gary Jackson to run in. Due to this altercation, Jim and Jackson will take on Cook and Shaft on May 23 at the East Carondelet Community Center with a no disqualification stipulation and two referees present.
Chris Hargas wrestled Waco in an impromptu match. Having Texan at ringside gave Waco an unfair advantage, which he utilized moments into the match. Hargas felt the effects of Waco’s highflying ways when Hargas wound up on the outside and Waco launched onto him, followed with a ruthless attack. However, the fans backed Hargas 100 percent, allowing him slowly regain his compsure, and by the five minute mark, the tide began to turn. Hargas came out on top after focusing his attack on Waco’s leg and won due to pinfall shortly thereafter.
The Big Texan with Waco took on Lumberjack Abe in the second bout of the evening while Gabe began his meddling ways early on, giving Abe a distinct advantage. These two men made their way out of the ring on more than one occasion, leading to struggles by Abe and Texan to keep the lead. Waco felt the need to make his presence felt near the end of the bout and the chaos resulted in a double disqualification.
In the opening contest, Natas and El Uno Lobo battled it out with Natas scoring the win via pinfall. He connected with a second-rope in just over four minutes.